Happy mid-May, friends! The May Newsletter is here! You can check it out digitally below, or you can read the printed copy next time you're in the gym! If you've wondered if CrossFit is dangerous, this is a good read for you. I talk about just a couple of the claims that insinuate the lack of safety in practicing CrossFit, explore the reasons it's not, and share some good practices that make it even more safe, or dare I say beneficial. Check it out!
If you had to miss our last seminar on sleep but are looking to learn more about sleep, and particularly a way to improve your sleep, you're in the right place. Sleep is majorly important. Think about how much sleep you need versus how much you do any other singular task in a 24-hour period. A work day is about the only thing that rivals that amount of hours dedicated to doing just one "thing". For all of you moms, dads, caretakers, and small business owners out there, I do understand that you don't really turn that responsibility off; so, consider this as everything outside of those roles : ). While you don't "turn off" these responsibilities, you also don't get another set of time to pursue healthy living. Meaning, you must find your way to a healthy living in the midst of this set of circumstances we've chosen to prioritize in life.
We start with the change we can control by personally living the best version of life we can live and then hope we get to experience the improved domino affect of this version of life with our family, community and world. Every day we create change with our presence in the world; therefore, we also decide if that will elevate our world or make life just a little more difficult for ourselves and everyone else around us. If healthy bodies (and minds, emotions, spirts, etc.) necessitate a certain amount of sleep and you're choosing not to, you are likely missing the stimulus of optimized and healthy living. So, let's stop missing out on the best parts of life because we're too tired to be present. Sleep is one way we can elevate our overall life experience. We talk about the other 4 factors of health in the gym and here in the journal; so, feel free to engage those as well when you've gotten sleep to a better place. Let's start by talking about some sleep basics as it pertains to our specific goal here to create a sleep routine/schedule that will help you best fill in the worksheet and begin implementing it into your life.
1. A sleep schedule/routine prepares your body for sleep. While the human body is wildly complicated in the way it works, it's also highly trainable. By repeating a set of habits our bodies will do what they can to survive - meaning it will do all of the work while we effectively work against it if necessary, but many complications can come from this choice of lifestyle. The kind of complications I hope you're not accepting as just part of aging are things like: serious illness, injury, lethargy, obesity, and lack of vitality. These are largely avoidable if we'll put distance between us and sickness by pursuing fitness in all 5 factors of health.
2. You need to sleep 7-9 hours a night. Everyone is unique; so, you will need to find for yourself what your optimal hours of sleep are in that 7-9 hour window. Our bodies are amazing and we do A LOT in a day. Therefore, there are many processes that need to happen for your body to restore itself and have energy for the next day. It's okay if you have room to work on that. That's likely why you're reading this article. So, let's work on it. If you're currently getting 5 hours, let's set a goal to achieve 5.5 hours nightly this month and increase that over time.
3. You will need to spend additional time in bed to actually achieve your goal. Even with the addition of a sleep routine, you will still need time to actually fall asleep. So, as you're thinking about creating your schedule, add about 30 minutes to your identified sleep need. For example, if your goal is to sleep 8 hours and you need to get up at 7am, you will need to be in bed by 10:30pm to set yourself up for success.
4. Consistent sleep/wake time is key. Just like our sleep routine lets our body know it's time to sleep, we can alert our body that it's time to begin the processes that happen at rest by simply going to sleep and waking up around the same time every day. Our digestion (another thing happens more often than other activities in the day) happens at rest, particularly the sleeping period of rest. This is just one example of why working on sleep is more important than you may have previously realized.
5. Read our April Newsletter and Kelsey's Journal article on sleep for more insights on sleep and why you should do it. ☺️
How to complete the worksheet:
1. Identify your sleep/wake time and the amount of sleep you need.
2. Identify your start time; so, you can begin with the "60 minutes" section of the worksheet.
3. Read the list of habits/practices and select those that you already do/implement some new ones. (don't be afraid to try something new because it may end up being the practice that makes the most difference)
4. Fill in the schedule with the appropriated time it will take you to do each habit/practice you've chosen.
4. Tell the people you live with so they can at the very least not impede your completion of this sleep routine goal.
5. Tell a close friend who can help keep you accountable.
Attached, you'll find the worksheet I designed to aid you in creating a routine and implementing that into your daily schedule. The photo you see is just a screen shot for reference as you're reading. To actually fill out the worksheet, download the PDF, and get to work! Comment below and let me know if this was helpful! I am confident this can improve your sleep and in turn enhance the rest of life. Thanks for reading this article! For more on sleep, check out Kelsey's recent journal on sleep as well as our April Newsletter!
Sleep! I’m sure everyone who picks up this month’s newsletter is NAILING sleep habits, having an amazing uninterrupted 7-9 hours of sleep each night and springs out of bed each morning full of energy for the day. You’re reading this journal to learn tips to share with your best friend…right? 😆. Whatever your reason is for getting ready to click the link, go ahead and do it. Open the article. See if there's something you can do to improve your sleep today!
Monday, April 4th looked a little different inside our gym walls. A lot of people walked away from the gym a little bit sorer, hands raw, bruised and battered, and a bit more tired than their usual Mondays. That would only make sense regarding the fact that we rope climbed the height of Mount Everest in one day. On April 4th, we partnered with the local nonprofit, Mossy Creek Health Initiative(MCHI), to host the Everest Climb Fundraiser. All-day we climbed up and down our gym ropes alongside athletes from in and outside our location to work toward the 2,9031-foot altitude of Mount Everest.
In order to reach our goal, we needed to climb our 15ft ropes 1,936 times, and each climb would represent at least a dollar being donated to the MCHI. Our community truly came together during this event to tackle this feat and support the MCHI. We had 70+ people participate by climbing the ropes, donating to climbs, sponsoring athletes to climb, or climbing virtually. By the end of the day, we completed all 1,936 rope climbs and scaled Mount Everest. Together, we helped raise $2,359 dollars for the MCHI.
Always Forward Scholarship: provides an opportunity for low-income individuals to improve their health and well-being through exercise programs, health coaching, and access to a community of people who value health and wellness.
Mossy Creek Market: a new farmer's market coming to Downtown Jefferson City this summer. It is not only an opportunity to shop for local, fresh, and organic products; but, it is also an occasion to connect with neighbors, support your local farmers and craftsmen, and enjoy the vibrant and rich culture our local vendors have to offer.
Phoenix : a program coming soon to the MCHI that will support those who are recovering from addiction and will help build a sober active community.
Because of your generous donations, the MCHI can continue to build health, connect community, and restore vitality to the local community and those in need. We mean it when we say, “Mossy Creek Fitness is more than a gym”, and it’s boldly exemplified in moments like the Everest Climb. You all came alongside each other and stepped up to be a part of something bigger. You generously gave your time, energy, and financial contributions to help support a great cause and give to those in need.
We can’t thank you enough!
You can learn more about MCHI's work within the community here as well as continue to support these local programs.
Reclaim Your Right to a Full Night’s Rest
Have you ever experienced embarrassment in admitting you have been sleeping eight hours or more each night? Too many of us have. Have you ever been victim to the all too common phrase, “you can sleep when you’re dead”? A phrase that epitomizes society’s detrimental view on rest and the damaging stigma that a full night’s sleep equates to laziness. It is this very mindset that is severely affecting our overall well-being, and, ironically, it is literally bringing death knocking at our doors sooner. According to neuroscientist, Dr. Matthew Walker, we are “the only species that will deliberately deprive ourselves of sleep without legitimate gain”(Why We Sleep). Unfortunately in the modern day world, if you are sleeping enough at night your life must be too easy, you are not doing enough, or you are lazy for choosing rest over ‘productivity’, which in reality is often just busyness. As individuals, we have been so hyper focused on being more, doing more, and having more that we have lost sight of one of the most key and vital functions to our survival and quality of life.
The following paragraphs are not meant to shame you for your current sleep state (ahem, it would be hypocritical not to say I also struggle with about every topic addressed), but rather to very plainly and bluntly lay out why sleep is so critical and encourage you just one step forward towards better rest.
Where did we go wrong?
According to the CDC, 1 in 3 U.S. adults gets less than the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Looking at sleep over the past few decades, it is estimated that people sleep 2 hours less a day than they did 60 years ago. What has changed? The two biggest cultural factors that currently affect sleep are work-related stress and technology. We are allowing our devices and jobs to take the place of one of our most essential and vital functions. While it may not seem that we are ‘choosing’ less sleep, but are rather forced into this lifestyle; the hard truth is that most of us prioritize many things over sleep that ultimately do not compare in value. We are not set up for success by living in a world that rewards busyness and stigmatizes rest. But no matter the case, the decision to shorten sleep still comes with repercussions that we have to face the harsh reality of.
Research has shown that frequently sleeping less than 6 hours per night increases the risk for infection, cancer, brain tissue loss, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and infertility. Sleep loss affects appetite regulation by increasing hunger hormones and decreasing satiation hormones. It is a direct link to obesity. Habitual short sleep for just one week can disrupt blood glucose levels so significantly that you can be classified as a pre-diabetic. Poor sleep triggers chronic inflammation, which contributes to plaque formation and hardening of arteries which can in turn cause heart attack or stroke. Sleep loss can also lead to a 4 fold decrease in empathy levels. It makes sense why it’s one of our foundational factors of health, for it significantly affects our physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
The Rewards of Rest
While the detrimental effects of sleep loss can be intimidating and daunting, they can also be channeled as a wake up call to change our sleep habits in order to reap the benefits of rest. Consistently maintaining quality sleep yields the reward of living smarter, happier, and longer. It is our innate superpower, if we choose it. Up until recently, we did not understand the numerous benefits sleep brings or how essential it is to living. If we do it right, we spend a third of our lives asleep which sets us up for success to live out the other two thirds of our life. Our bodies are extremely complex and require a set amount of time every 24hrs to perform system maintenance, so we can continue to operate optimally. “Sleep dispenses a multitude of health-ensuring benefits, yours to pick up in repeat prescription every twenty-four hours, should you choose”(Why We Sleep).
During this system repair at night, memory storage occurs, logical thinking is improved, and creativity boosted. Ultimately, we are better thinkers when we are sleeping more. Sleep also directly impacts our performance during training and physical activity through its repair of broken down muscle tissue and the release of growth hormone; which, helps build muscle mass and regulates fat storage. Sleep also regulates the hormone levels of leptin and ghrelin; which, are integral to appetite and hunger. During sleep deprivation, these hormones are unregulated and basically run rampant. If overeating and cravings are an issue, it is worth looking into your current state of sleep. Overall, quality sleep supports your psychological health, cardiovascular health, mental health, immune system, and metabolic state.
Basic Sleep Tips
Good quality sleep on a regular basis lets your body get the restorative break it needs, and it improves your overall quality of life. When improving rest, some of the most important steps are to be aware of how essential it is and to debunk any social stigmas of being ashamed of choosing sleep. It is challenging when society pulls us in many different ways; however, we have to start making the difficult but critical choice to choose health and rest over busyness, stress, and our devices.
While shifting our overall approach and view on sleep is the primary goal, there are also very practical and tangible steps we can take to start improving our sleep. Below are very basic ways you can set up an optimal environment for good sleep:
If you’re expected to be ‘always on’, sleep may feel decadent. But for a healthy and productive life, it is on par with eating well and exercising regularly. Sleep is not a luxury, it is a necessity. To live an intentional and full life within our individual, family, work, and community spaces, we have to start allowing ourselves to rest and reset appropriately every 24 hours. As we strive towards health, fullness, and vitality, it’s time to not only start reclaiming our need to sleep but to also be proud of ourselves when we achieve it.
Walker, Matthew. Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams. 1st ed., Scribner, 2017.
“CDC - Sleep Home Page - Sleep and Sleep Disorders.” CDC, www.cdc.gov/sleep/index.html. Accessed 20 Apr. 2022.
RN, BSN, CF-L1
Do you even do CrossFit if you don't have gear? While I am joking when I say that, there are actually some pretty useful additives out there that will take your CrossFit game to the next level, and be worthwhile investments across the lifespan. These are in no particular order of importance, but listed as they came to my mind ☺️. I'll include links below. Check them out!
SHOES: There are a wide variety of shoes, and much of this category falls under personal preference. Both of these have become crowd pleasers here at our gym. If you're someone who wants to invest in a shoe that does most everything, go with the Trainer+. If you've got some extra finances, having a shoe particularly for running is a great choice for your feet (and subsequently your ankles, shins, knees, hips, etc.) . You'll want to bring these for WOD's that are primarily running or is a 2-part WOD, and you can change into a CrossFit shoe for the remainder/part B. When you can, support your feet! They're the only ones you get : ).
Phil & Jamison talk through the necessity of spending time wisely and provide their key 3 tips on how to do so.
The 2022 CrossFit Open has come to a close and it's time to give you guys a shoutout.
For 3 Friday nights you all came together to suffer, support, and celebrate. When we talk about suffering together it does admittedly sound a bit weird. Yet, it's the common ground we stand on when we come together for a CrossFit class. The CrossFit methodology, and certainly the CrossFit Open specifically, doesn't reward you based on your past accomplishments and capabilities. It isn't more kind based on anything connected to your personality. It especially is indifferent your socio-economic status or what you've earned outside of the gym. The ground is level in the CrossFit gym and it's an incredible thing to witness. So while suffering may sound weird, it's also kind of the point. Suffering, struggle, and pain are all part of the price you pay for growth. I was recently in a conversation with a friend who was making fun of the idea of doing "hard things", he was discrediting the concept that we should welcome suffering. Of course a life full of comfort is more attractive, so I could understand where he was coming from. However, comfort is synonymous with complacency. And you, my friends are not those kinds of people. The reason I point this specific concept out right now is because it took courage to accept the challenge and discomfort that came with participating in the CrossFit Open.
So I just wanted to take a second to encourage you and celebrate you for completing the CrossFit Open, for doing hard things, for choosing discomfort, and for showing up for one another. No matter the results, we celebrate your effort. We are excited to keep showing up to classes day-after-day with you guys and then, once a year, we'll come together to throw-down under the Friday Night Lights and experience some of that "Open magic" that had you all doing things you didn't think were possible.
Remember, you are doing things now you only wished you could do before...think about how that process can translate to all the other beliefs you have holding you back. Imagine the future.
Here are a few specific shout-outs! Sorry for any of those that we may have missed. If you've got a cool shout-out or story from The Open please share it with us.
Tanya Strickland - Strung together 5 double-unders for the first time!
Audrey Johnson and Tanzi Farrow - First chest to bar pull ups!
Lexi Cottingham and Aggie Cornett - First pull up!
Fred Myers, Evan McNair, Caryn Downing, Danielle Scheel, LeAnne Briggs - First CrossFit Open
Doug Dibb - Crushed wall walks this year having struggled with them heavily in last year's CrossFit Open. Finished top 30 in his division!
Connor Price - First Bar Muscle Up!
Jp & the team.
March MCF Newsletter 22.3 - Are you afraid of the inBody?
Download the March Issue of our newsletter below! Read some great insights and stories about our InBody machine and get signed up for your scan!
Schedule an appointment HERE
Phil & Jamison talk about the traction method and a few simple practices for making progress.