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7
Feb

Participation Is Key

In about two weeks CrossFit is hosting its annual worldwide online competition. This year, more than previous years, the open will mean almost nothing to just about everyone… but I still want you to sign up.

Most people do not want to sign up for the open because of an unnecessary performance expectation in each workout. I don’t just mean this for those firebreathers that dominate their boxes whiteboards but also for the everyday CrossFitter who is afraid that they can’t do something.

To those firebreathers (not signed up yet) let me give you the hard truth right away, you are not as good as games athletes. To the everyday CrossFitter fearful of failing at something, you probably will, as we all have. Failure is not a bad thing. As cliche as it is, failure is an opportunity for you to get better. Failure is a roadmap to improving skills or levels of fitness that you currently lack.

The open is a yearly fitness checkup. For people who take CrossFit seriously, you may look at your ranking and try to better your place each year, but for the everyday CrossFitter (which is most of us), the focus should be to get better each year. This could mean doing each workout as prescribed, getting a muscle up, or merely doing something you couldn’t do the year before.

CrossFit has a simple, yet effective method to get you more fit. CrossFit’s theory is that if you are more fit from year to year, you are probably getting healthier along with it. Most people don’t get fitter and at the same time become more unhealthy.

At the gym, we do a twelve-week test to see if we are improving, but those are short term. The open allows for an annual test for you to see just how much you have improved over the course of the year.

The open allows us to create an event that builds comradery, fellowship, and support. It will enable us to develop our community in a positive way. It allows our members to meet people they wouldn’t normally see because of the classes they attend. We split everyone into teams where they work together on strategy and team spirit ideas.

The community feel is something that we get from every class. It is something that is special to a CrossFit gym and plays a part in BWCF even more than most. The open is a chance for all of us to create a lasting bond that is more than the everyday workout. It allows for a community to be built with the purpose of bettering your team rather than solely on the ‘self-interest’ aspect of fitness.

By the end of the five weeks, everyone is running on such a high from the excitement that the open has brought them, it’s all anyone can talk about. The way we do the open here, it doesn’t matter if you can do a pull-up or row 500m without taking a break. It is about coming in and working hard for one workout each week and supporting your gym mates.

Each year we grow as a community, and into a great community at that. We can then help build each other up with this community, and hopefully better each others lives through it.

By signing up for the open and participating with us, you are committing to five weeks of betterment. Not only in a test to improve your fitness and in turn improve your health, but also improve your life through community and fellowship.

Sign up, participate and enjoy.

Richard

4
Feb

Mobility! Do It!

Mobility is not just stretching, but most think that stretching will help us get into better positions when working through a tough WOD. Mobility in fitness terms can be seen as the muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments ability to move through a complete range of motion without restriction. It is not just the muscles stretching that is gets your body in the right positions during a workout.

The main issues that I see mobility wise in our gym are Shoulders, Hips and Ankles. Most people have problems with just one of those areas, but at times I have seen a complete train wrecks where they have all three.

Here are my three favorite mobility exercises that can help create some more range of motion through each of these body parts.

Shoulders:

This is a combo session. One movement involves a lacrosse ball and the other a band. Doing both back to back on each shoulder will create some serious range of motion. A reasonable timeline for improvement here if done every day would be 60-90 days.

External Rotation Smash with Lacrosse Ball: Start with about tw minutes on each side.

Banded Bully Stretch – Two minutes minimum on each arm

Hips:

Jobs that require a lot of sitting has ruined most people hips. When your hip flexors are tight, it can really limit the range of motion you can pass through, and at times will cause a good bit of pain when trying to squat. This simple movement will use a band and a mat but if done every day can also create some serious change within 60-90 days.

Banded Hip Opener – Start with a minimum of two mintues on each leg.

Ankles:

Ankles are almost never seen as the problem for most people. We will try to say it is my hips or my hamstrings and glutes are tight. This is why I cannot squat low or why I lean over when I squat. Also, a lot of lower leg pain or injury has been linked to tight ankles. Ankles are annoying to work on and take a lot of work to do it, because of this the time to change takes a bit longer than other areas. If this was done every day, you could expect to see some decent change in range of motion in about six months.

Banded Ankle Distraction – Two sets of two minutes on each foot for bad ankles.

There is one thing you will notice with these mobility exercises, time to change. Each one takes a good amount of time and application before you see any change. This is the reason why people who have been coming to class for five years and still cannot overhead squat or squat on their toes. No one wants to put in the time to increase their mobility, but everyone wants to complain about not having it.  

Richard Andrews

CF-L2

29
Jan

Athlete Spot Light – Jamie S.

We could not be happier to have Jamie as a member at BayWay CrossFit. She is a pleasure to have and has an impressive fitness story. She always has a smile on her face and is a friend to everyone. Thank you, Jamie, for being such an awesome member and a big supporter of BayWay CrossFit!

First Name & Last Initial
Jamie S

Home Town
Anahuac

Age
37

Occupation
Teacher

When did you start CrossFit?
May 2015

When did you start at BWCF?
2017

What are your favorite movements or workouts?
Deadlift, Pushups, and HSPU

What are your least favorite movements or workouts?
SNATCHES!!!

Tell us about your sports & fitness background?
I was always overweight and had no sports or fitness background when I started CrossFit. In 1999 I began a weight loss journey. Weightless surgery, diets, and traditional gym workouts lead to great weightless results, but I was becoming bored and hitting a wall with my results. After starting CrossFit, my goals shifted dramatically! I was no longer just trying to become smaller; I was now motivated to be stronger. CrossFit has helped me overcome some mental blocks and fears. I am more confident in what I am capable of doing, and this outlook has translated over to my career, relationships, and overall view of myself.

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Take us back to your first WOD…what was it, and how did it feel?
My dear friend, who has now passed away, introduced me to CrossFit. I was unable to do any of the movements. My coach was very patient and modified all my WODs at the beginning. It became common knowledge that there was a WOD and then he would say ‘except for JAMIE.’ He had his hands full with me. I would carry around a small notebook with details of all the movements we had done. The language was hard for me to remember. I would watch youtube videos of what movements were in the WOD that day. It was quite comical at the beginning, and I still have trouble remembering all the CrossFit lingo.

What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health, and fitness since starting CrossFit?
I have become so much stronger! I have been able to lose weight and build muscle. Overall CrossFit has changed the way I view fitness. Fitness is mostly mental for me now. If I can overcome the negative thoughts and doubts I have about myself and my ability, then true health becomes easier to attain.

What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were unexpected?
I did not expect to meet such amazing people. Inside and outside of the gym the BayWay CrossFit community is outstanding! I am so grateful for the opportunity to learn from people who strive for more every day. They have such a passion and perseverance to reach their goals.

Please share with us any favorite CrossFit/BayWay CrossFit moments?
I think my favorite moments at BayWay are those everyday moments. Coming in after work and getting to workout with my BWCF family. Or waking up on Saturday and knowing I will be getting stronger, faster, and better with a group of really great friends.

Any advice for people just getting started?
I think my advice would be to remember that we all start on different levels and that is ok! What we all have in common is the choice to be consistent and show up and not give up. I would also say that “True grit is born out of failure”… and man will know you fail!!!! Facing the fear of failure was a big part of it for me, but there are great things on the other side of that fear.

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
I am a member of the Houston Rucking Club, and I enjoy getting out in the sun and putting in some miles.

18
Jan

Timeline to BAD

The word fat can be an offensive word, and I don’t mean it to be when using it here, but with the new year, many people are making resolutions to become more fit. The problem is most expect results in a couple weeks or months, but for most people, results may not come for years, and using an example of someone becoming fat is a relatable one that I think most can understand.

Let’s think about someone who just graduated, and is working their first job out of school working a typical job for their part of town or the field they studied. They are somewhat fit after their senior year being a former athlete and attends the gym a few times a week. They make breakfast and bring their lunch to work, but usually pick something up on the way home for dinner after hitting the gym.

A few months into the job they realize that someone is always bringing something to the office for breakfast like doughnuts, kolaches or tacos, so they stop making breakfast so they can sleep a little longer knowing breakfast is at work. They figured they would just add in some extra cardio at the gym each evening.

After a year or so they stopped taking their lunch to work and started going out to eat with their co-workers or the company would cater food a couple times a week. They try to make healthy choices, but most of their co-workers chose restaurants that have minimal healthy options and are more on the fast side of the service industry. When the company caters food it is usually something they can get in bulk like fajitas, chicken wings, sub sandwiches or barbeque. Again, they try to make healthy choices but when they do they are usually harassed by their co-workers and end up eating whatever. They now are trying to make it to the gym every day because they are starting to notice some ‘not so positive’ changes to their body.

A little while after they started eating out every day for lunch they figured they’d stop eating dinner to counter the bad things they’d eaten. After the gym, they would have a protein shake, and that’s it, although the number of times to the gym has fallen back down again, and if they made it to the gym, they mostly stayed on the cardio machines because they were not trying to ‘bulk up.’

This continues for a few years, except the gym has become less and less because they extra cardio made them hate the gym, they were not seeing positive results, and they got burnt out. Now when they look in the mirror, they noticed they have put on a lot of weight in the midsection, and some recent blood work showed they were on the verge of some severe health issues.

It is at this point that someone usually tries to make a change. But this has taken years to get to this point. It did not happen in a few weeks, a few months or even a year, it took multiple years to get here, and it will take years to get back.

Understand that making a lifestyle change that is good or bad takes time, and for it to change your body aesthetically, physiologically and mentally takes time. Becoming FIT or FAT is a long game. It takes time to shape your body, and it takes a lot of work! I will tell you right now it is a lot easier to be fat than it is to be fit, but making a choice to be fit is the right one.

Come to our gym and try a class. See if it is something that you like. We try to help as much off the floor as we do on the floor. If you are at our gym now and are struggling to stay consistent with your food or your exercise send us an email. Don’t wait until it is too late and you have missed a month of workouts. Let’s break through this plateau now and get this year started on the right path!

Richard Andrews

CF-L2

10
Jan

Performance = Results

There is not another fitness program that I know of that tracks performance in the manner that CrossFit does. Any successful person or business in life tracks performance so why would your exercise be any different? Tracking performance is key to improving fitness, and improving your fitness is the best way to see results.

Like intensity, performance is relative. You are only capable of what you can do, and sometimes people are just better than you. In any type of athletics or exercise, this is one of the hardest things for people to get over. It is easy to make excuses about someone beating you, “They cheated,” “They have done this for longer,” “They do a lot of extra stuff,” “They have more time to prep,” the excuse list is endless. As cliche as it sounds, the only performance you should be worried about is your own, because someone else’s performance is not going to make you better whether you beat them or not.

I believe that if you are continually increasing your performance, you will also increase the results that you see. Those results could be weight loss, fat loss, muscle gain, mental growth, athletic gains or anything else in the fitness realm. Performance is improved by increasing your capacity and applied intensity to a particular movement or movements. An example of building capacity in a movement would be increasing your max pull-ups from 4 reps to 12 reps. As your capacity increases so will your performance in workouts that involve pull-ups. As you learn new movements, you do them slower, but they still find a way to leave you out of breath. As you get better at them not only can you do more reps faster but you are not as out of breath when you finish.

A great example of this is running a mile. You may start with a fifteen-minute mile and be entirely out of breath and completely exhausted, but when you improve your time to nine minutes, you will still be out of breath but because of your training be far less fatigued. That is increasing capacity.

I don’t think that people should focus solely on where they are finishing on the leaderboard each day, but I do believe that people should be trying to improve their workouts each day. Too many times people say, “I don’t care about the whiteboard,” and causes their overall workout to suffer. You should care about the whiteboard and how you are doing. You should always be trying to improve at the things you are not good at. (strength, double unders, pull-ups, etc.) You should continuously strive to refine movements and learn new ones. (ex. Kipping pull-ups to butterfly pull-ups) As your capacity increases so will your performance, this is increasing your fitness. As you improve your fitness, you will enjoy the way you change both physically and mentally.

Richard Andrews

CF-L2

2
Jan

Scaling, Are you doing it right?

CrossFit, by design, is a program where every workout can be made to fit your capabilities. What this means is that no matter what your fitness level, skills or injuries we can modify a workout to fit you and provide with the best workout possible.

Whenever you first start, we have to modify almost every workout. We make sure that you are performing the movements with good form before allowing any weight or intensity to them. We may lower the weight on some workouts or add some time of assistance to help you do movements like pull-ups. If it is something like running, we may shorten a 400m run to 200m. The goal of the modifications is to keep the desired stimulus of the workout.

Maybe you come to us with an old knee injury from a high school sport. You may be in great shape but might need some modifications when it comes to impact movements like box jumps or running. We could substitute box step ups with some loading and a non-impact cardio movement like biking or rowing. Sometimes modifications are necessary to keep you healthy and in the gym. This is hard for people because they want to be doing the same movements that their friends are doing, and it will make them a little discouraged. The thing is even if you are dealing with an old shoulder or knee injury getting a modified workout here is way better than not working out at all or wandering around the local globo gym for an hour.

Now for the paragraph to explain the click bait. I believe that scaling is necessary and needed in many situations, and I or any of my coaches will not force anyone to do something they do not want to or if they do not have the capability to do something. If someone wants to scale something because he or she is not comfortable, then they absolutely should, but at some point, if you’re going to reap the benefits of this program, you are going to have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. I have seen it many times where an athlete, who is capable of doing more, wants to scale something back. (again before the ‘never crossfitters’ read this out of context, I would never make anyone do something they do not want to or something they are not capable of) The problem is that these are the same people who struggle with getting strength PR’s, dieting, losing weight, building muscle, stamina, endurance, and speed. I think that intensity is the key to success in anything in fitness. You need to reach outside of your comfort zone and push yourself a little bit. I am not talking about banging your head into the wall or slamming weights, just a little push. Do a bit more weight, hang on to the bar a little longer, push through the burn on the air bike a little further. These things are tough and hard to do, but if you want to see your body change or see your name further up on the leaderboard, you have to push a little harder.

Richard Andrews
CF-L2

21
Nov

Energy Games Recap!

This weekend our gym had almost twenty athletes compete in a local fitness competition put on by Vintage CrossFit. A few had done competitions like this before, but for many, it was their first time doing a full day fitness competition.

 

Competing in a competition like this is unlike anything else. Fitness as a sport is unique in that if someone is more fit than you, they are going to win. There isn’t magic (that I have found yet) when 3-2-1 go happens, you obtain abilities and fitness that you didn’t have before. This creates different challenges that most sports do not have. Even in individual sports there other external factors that could play against your opponent that may not factor into your game. In a fitness competition like this, it is only you and your fitness. Nothing else.

This makes for an unusual mental state. Most people think a strong person as someone who can lift the heavy weight but to me, a strong person is someone who can walk up to a barbell and attempt to lift it knowing that it is probably not going to happen. It takes a strong person to pick up a twelve-ounce jump rope and attempt to do double unders in front of dozens of spectators knowing that you are about to struggle for the majority of the next four minutes. Most people would never put themselves in a situation to fail, but we had a strong group of people representing BayWay CrossFit.

 

It was very cool to see everyone working to the best of his and her abilities. I believe that in each workout everyone gave their all. Whether they finished towards the top or the bottom, everyone pushed their limits and their capabilities.

 

Most of our competitors were competing on teams of four, and most of them, if not all, had never done a competition with a team of this size. Some had never done a competition at all. Team competitions are more fun because you do not have the individual stress of only relying on yourself, but it provides a different type of pressure because you do not want to let your teammates down. These teams had to learn to synchronize movements with four people, some had to fast-track the learning process to double unders, and some had to learn to step up as a leader. All the teams we had competing did great. Everyone stayed positive and encouraging to others, and everyone gave it their all, and there is not much more you can ask for as a coach.

We had three individual athletes from the gym competing as well, all in different divisions. Two had never competed before and jumped into competing head first. All of them approached each workout with a game plan and executed it better than they practiced. All faced some pretty impressive competition and showed up each event ready to give their all. I saw a lot of hard work and many smiles from them, and again, you cannot ask for more.

 

Since I started CrossFit in 2010, I have competed at almost every level available in the community. When we started the gym in 2012, I made it a focus not to push competition because I competed. CrossFit is not about competitions but about making people fitter and healthier through constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity. If someone wanted to compete, it was going to be because they wanted to compete and not because I influenced them. However, I have to admit that seeing so many of our members competing this weekend made me very happy. Not just because they were representing our gym, and doing it well, but because everyone was enjoying competing just as I have for the last eight years.

Competing gives you something to train for, and shows you what you are good at and what you need to work on. It gives your training purpose. When we go as a community as we did, it also builds comradery and friendships. To me, there is no greater feeling than hearing your friends cheer you on in a workout.

 

I am very proud of everyone this weekend. Not only in the effort you gave but in how you all represented yourself and our gym. I saw a number of us stay in your heats after you finished to cheer on others still working. You stayed after your heat or showed up early to cheer on our others teams and individuals from our gym, and when the last girl of the competition had to fight through one more round of that horrible interval workout alone, we stayed and cheered her on.

 

Thank you to everyone. Yall are awesome, and I love you guys!

 

Richard

Congrats:

 

Individual Athletes:

 

Robert Wells – 3rd Place!

Claudia Ramos

Abby Neid

Team Athletes:

 

AmatuRX:

Anna Bader

Jenn Rapp

Eric Poole

Joe Olivares

 

82Much:

Jennifer Hillhouse

Jamie Sutton

Willie Vera

Matthew Daniels

 

Nutty Tacos:

Brandy Le

Miriany Hornberger

Matt Neid

Gabe Ramos

 

Bang N’ Bods:

Precious Dominguez

Jamie Tolleson

Aaron Conger

Justin Rodriguez

 

12
Nov

Athlete Spotlight: Harry V!

November Athlete Spotlight:

 

First Name & Last Initial

Harry V.

 

Home Town

Baytown, TX

Age

38

Occupation

Electrician for the Port of Houston

 

When did you start CrossFit?

About three years ago

 

When did you start at BWCF?

I started CrossFit here!

 

What are your favorite movements or workouts?

Strict handstand push-ups and back squats

What are your least favorite movements or workouts?

Box jumps and burpees

 

Tell us about your sports & fitness background?

I didn’t play any sports just some football with cousins every now and then. I did go to the gym for a while but just lost interest going by myself.

 

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Take us back to your first WOD…what was it, and how did it feel?

Well, I would always drive by BWCF and see people working out, and I just kept thinking about it. Then finally I said I’m gonna stop by just to see what’s up. I did the little trial workout with Rich and signed up for three days a week, and it wasn’t long after that when I bumped it up to unlimited, and I haven’t looked back! I love it here, and I couldn’t see myself going to any other place!

 

What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health, and fitness since starting CrossFit?

I have seen a lot of changes. I can move around a lot better, and I can keep up with my kids. I climb ladders and stairs at work all day, and CrossFit has helped me out a lot there. Plus I work 12 to 16 hours a day, and I feel CrossFit is the reason I can keep working those hours and not feel tired!

 

What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were totally unexpected?

Just not being afraid of trying different things. That it is ok to get out of your comfort zone no matter what the outcome is, and what matters is the effort you gave.

Please share with us any favorite CrossFit/BayWay CrossFit moments?

The gyms intramural open is the best! Everyone’s there trying their hardest and cheering everyone on. It is awesome!

 

Any advice for people just getting started?

Don’t give up! No matter where you start off at just don’t give up, because when you get that pull-up or box jump you have been struggling with, and your class cheers for you, it is the best feeling in the world. It is pretty awesome knowing you have a whole class that wants nothing but the best for you!

 

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?

Spending time with the family camping, ATV riding, vacations, baseball, and just having a good time with family and friends.

 

 

8
Nov

Make You Better

I was watching a video with Greg Glassman, founder of CrossFit, the other day and he said something enlightening. (If you have watched at least one other video with him in it you will know this is not uncommon.) He said, “I know I am going to make you better.”

I wrote something similar to this a month or so ago, but I thought I would write a quick blog on this particular video because I feel it is something that everyone should understand.

When you come into our gym, our goal is to make you better. Better by definition is, “of a more excellent or effective type or quality.” Glassman elaborates, “Do functional movement at an intensity that’s a match for your psychological and physical tolerance, restrict your carbs, get adequate protein, enjoy fats, and see what happens. You’ll come out better.”

This is the exact prescription to getting better. The first part of that sentence talks about exercising. Multi-joint movements (functional) are just as effective in building muscle but provide a person with a higher calorie burn, coordination and movement efficiency as well as a cardio aspect that is missing from isolated movements. The cardio comes from the intensity that is applied to each day’s workout. Like I have said in videos and blogs before intensity is relative. Each person is going to have a different intensity level, and for some, this may take longer than others to find, but finding the one that works best for your mental and physical state is what drives results. Without intensity, you are only treading water.

The second half of that sentence talks about nutrition and explains it pretty well in only eight words. Restricting carbs could mean many things, but what I believe him to suggest is to not overeat carbs, avoid processed types and refined sugars. The American diet is full of ‘low-fat’ fad diets that force a lot of processed crap into our daily meals, as well as the need to indulge in too many sweets. Carbs are the primary fuel source for your muscles and body. Without them, daily function and exercising would be very difficult and results would suffer. Carbs are also the fuel source of many diseases and cancer so eating too many carbs increases your chances at these diseases. Learning which food sources to get your carbs from and when to eat your carbs is a valuable lesson and something we can teach at BayWay CrossFit.

Glassman finishes the sentence saying to eat enough protein and to enjoy fats. As I mentioned before too many food items now are ‘low-fat’ which usually means, ‘we added sugar to make this taste better.’ We know sugar is bad and causes disease so why do we keep eating these? Fats don’t make you fat, sugar does. Fats can be used as energy in your workouts, and they also help you feel full by slowing your digestion. Your body will digest processed carbs super fast leaving you feeling hungry soon after you have finished eating. A perfect example is a bowl of cereal.

Eating enough protein is one of the hardest things to do for most people. Most studies show that the average person needs between 60-80% of your body weight in grams of protein per day. Example, a person weighing 200 pounds would need between 120-160 grams of protein per day. That is about six regular sized chicken breast per day and is the reason so many people have trouble eating enough protein. Eating somewhere in that ballpark each day is almost necessary for anyone who works out on a regular basis and wants to see results in fat loss and strength. As I stated in a blog post I wrote, Plant-Based or Not, choosing the meats you eat is very important because certain meats or too much meat has been linked to some health issues as well.

Better is improving in an area. What is true about our program is that it will have you growing in any area of your life, in and out of the gym, if appropriately applied. Glassman says, “I know I am going to make you better. What do I mean by better? You get to decide.” Following the CrossFit program through the guidelines listed in that first sentence, you will be better. It doesn’t matter if you listed exercise, sport, being a better dad or employee. The program will make you better. And I agree.

 

 

 

Richard Andrews

CF-L2

 

 

25
Oct

How to Win Friends At The Gym

Recently I finished the book How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. It is a self-help book that I listened to on the way to work and back for the last couple of weeks. The book was published in 1936 but still has application today. Because this is a CrossFit blog, I will give you a few of my favorite points that may help you be a better person in your community and build better relationships with your classmates. There are plenty of thoughts in this book that could also help you in your professional career, so if you have not read (or listened) to it yet, I highly recommend it.

Let’s start with an easy one, a SMILE. Smiling is one of the easiest things you can do to build rapport with someone. Walking into a room with a smile on your face will completely change the way strangers perceive you. Smiling makes you more approachable and trustworthy. Imagine someone walking in for a class with a stern look on his or her face avoiding eye contact compared to someone who walks in with a smile. So do not be a Debbie Downer. Start smiling more!

This paragraph is a mash-up of a few of Carnegie’s points, and for word count sake it is necessary.

Take an interest in someone else’s’ interests, even if it is just briefly, and listen to them. Listening is something people my age (millennials) have a hard time doing. We can absorb information instantly because of our connection to the technology so having to listen to someone talk for three minutes about their workout yesterday is hard, and most of the time when we do listen, we are just waiting for our chance to tell them about our workout and not listening at all. Let the other person do the talking and allow them to keep talking by asking them questions but DO NOT ARGUE. Being genuinely interested in what the other person is saying and avoiding arguments is one of the best ways to earn someone’s friendship.

Carnegie talks about criticism, praise, encouragement and how all of these play a factor in your relationships and all of his points are fantastic ones. Many of these are more applicable in a professional career and are something most should read. Again, to save word count, I am going to skip those and encourage you to read the book.

The final point I am going to put in is to Live Your Life With Integrity. It is an indirect point made in the book, but something that I took away from a journal article I read almost eight years ago called, The Deeper Side of Coaching. One of the main ways of keeping integrity is to AVOID GOSSIP, even though sometimes it is easy to get caught up in it. Not only is gossiping wrong but what you are telling people is that you are going to talk behind their backs when they are not around as well. Make it a general practice to defend someone who is not present. As awkward as this may be, you will build greater trust that way than continuing to gossip. Integrity is also built by never overpromising and not being afraid to say no. If you are unable to do something, do not lead on as if you can. If you cannot make it somewhere or are unsure if you can do something, do not be afraid to say no. People will be more hurt by you canceling last minute or not showing up than they will be by you saying no. Although, if you say no to everything at some point people will stop asking. Lastly, be known as the person who holds the door for someone, doesn’t drive like a jerk, dresses nice, tips well at restaurants and the person who supports everyone. Being the person who is liked because you are genuinely a good person and not because you are a good exerciser is more rewarding and lasting.

The key to enjoying your time with your community is having a good relationship with EVERYONE in your community. Ultimately, remember that when you are dealing with people, you are not dealing with creatures of logic but with creatures of emotion. Approach each conversation with a smile and listen with intent and interest. Live a life of integrity and be seen as a good person and your life will be much better for it.

 

Richard Andrews

CF-L2