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  • #mycrossfitjourney

    My CrossFit Journey  

    The beginning of Junction City CrossFit as a registered affiliate in 2012 began 4 years earlier in small gym at Camp Buehring, Kuwait.  It was October 2008 and I was sitting in the chow hall when I saw 2 Marines approach me and my partner.  One was a Captain, and the other a First Sergeant.  I was in full panic mode. As a lowly E-5 I quickly inspected my uniform, weapon, and bun to make sure I didn’t look “ate-up”.  We both went to stand up and they immediately waved their hands and told us to relax.  They started to smile and proceeded to invite us to do this thing called CrossFit at the gym the next day.  I said yes, as I felt it was the only appropriate answer to tell a Captain and a First Sergeant.  I showed up the next day at the gym not sure what to expect.  There were 5-6 Marines all huddled in the corner of the gym, and Tosh (Marine Captain) was explaining the workout.  It was Fran 21-15-9 of Thrusters and pullups, rest the time it takes you to complete it and do it again.  I had no idea what “Fran” was and looked at the reps and didn’t think it was too bad.  I didn’t even know about kipping pullups at the time, but knew I could do them strict.  That workout wrecked me. I was sore for days……but I came back every day for the 2-3 months they were at Camp Buehring.  It was like a fire had been reignited. I played sports from the time I was about 7 years old.  T-ball, karate, basketball, volleyball, softball.  I LOVED competing, but I really loved the training.  I played 2 years of college basketball before I joined the Army and the camaraderie you feel when you play team sports and belonging to an institution like the Army is something I loved and missed it.  I tried regular body building, marathons, triathlons, but nothing provided me that team feeling that I missed so much.  That feeling of busting your ass to beat someone, and at the same time cheering them on to be better.  That when my teammate was better, I too, became better.  

    I became obsessed with CrossFit.  If I wasn’t working, I was learning and training CrossFit.  I was reading everything I could get my hands on.  It became the best part of my day while I was mobilized.  

    I returned home in 2009, enrolled back at Kansas State and got my Level 1 CrossFit certification.  I found a handful of people that were doing CrossFit. And again, we were off in a small corner, getting crazy looks while we did these “WODs”. In 2010 they had Sectionals.  This was basically like the Open, but you competed at a venue for the weekend.  I along with 1 other girl that I trained with made it to Regionals.   I loved education, but couldn’t get CrossFit out of my mind.  I graduated in 2010 and started teaching at Fort Riley Middle School.  In 2011 CrossFit moved to an online competition, and we made it to Regionals as a team.  Vince was on there too!  (He doesn’t talk about it much) The sport was very young and I’m proud we were a part of that and see how it has grown.

     

     

     

     

    By late 2011 I was training people in our 2 car garage.  Mostly family and friends.  It was a great way for me to get experience as a coach and become comfortable coaching group classes.  We started having so many people show up to our house, that we put equipment into the living room and kitchen to accommodate everyone.  By Christmas we had 20+ people show up to our house for the 12 days of Christmas WOD and we knew then, we had to find a building.  

     Our first building was on 15th street.  It was such a jankity old building, it didn’t even have a ceiling over the toilet! But the owner let us a do a month to month payment, and it didn’t seem as scary. We figured if we bombed, then at the very least we were out 800 buck.  Not stuck in a long multi-year lease agreement.  Vince and the help of some amazing members,  polished that turd the best they could.  And I was the happiest person ever.  A dream come true…….A dream that I was scared to put into reality because there were definitely a few naysayers that said it couldn’t be done.  But Vince and I were determined to make it happen.


      Months later, we moved in to our current building. We borrowed 6K from my dad, (it’s all paid back now) and every time we made money, we bought equipment, certifications, and renovations -whatever we could do to put back into our gym and show our members how much we cared about their training and fitness. I’m pretty sure we didn’t pay ourselves the first year at all.  It was hard, really hard and I was starting to not be able to keep up.  Working full time, coaching classes, trying to train, cook, clean, etc. was becoming overwhelming.  I had a meltdown and told Vince I couldn’t do it anymore.  That I wanted to quit teaching and run the gym full time.  I’m so lucky and felt so relieved that Vince agreed that it was a good idea and we would go for it.   Now we are both working at the gym full time and it has been amazing.  We have big dreams and are currently working on making that reality.  We want a bigger facility, more equipment, and the ability to offer more programs to current athletes as well as bring in others! 

    The hardest part about CrossFit now, is that because we live in a Military town, I know that eventually everyone leaves.  As I have aged, the worse this seems to have become for me.  Vince has seen me ugly cry on several occasions because of people leaving.  

    CrossFit has done so much for me, and it has impacted my life in such a positive way. CrossFit is definitely about fitness.  But people stay because of the community.   And I hope it has done the same for all of you.  


  • How the constant pursuit of bigger numbers can make you hate training


    One of the best things about being a beginner are the newbie gains.  When you first start at CrossFit your numbers skyrocket.  It is not uncommon to see 20, 30, or even 40 pound jumps in some of your lifts.  There may have been times where you PR’d multiple times in very quick succession.  It’s a great feeling but it can become like a drug and you start to chase after that next PR.  And here is the thing with newbs… they are getting stronger, but they’re also developing the neurological adaptations ($10 dollar word for muscle memory) that create huge jumps in their squat, deadlift, bench, and other lifts.   But the newbie lifter gains seem to stabilize and start to come fewer and farther in-between.  What happened?? 

    As you become a more seasoned lifter, those big jumps in weight are going to occur less and less.  There may be months or maybe even years before you hit a PR on certain lifts.  How do you stay motivated if you think you’re not seeing results, because you’re not hitting PRs?  

    If you’re only looking at what you’re numbers are, you’re missing out on so much!  Training, and maintaining a healthy and strong body is a lifetime commitment.  We at JCCF want you to make goals, but the JOURNEY is where the magic is.  And often times, people get so hung up on the end goal, they forget to enjoy the journey of getting there.  There is something to be said of doing the common movements uncommonly well.  And we call that virtuosity.  Getting that 300 pound deadlift with crappy form gets you nothing (except a hurt back).  But doing 15 perfect Deadlifts at 150 will yield you much better results and get you to your ultimate goal of lifting heavier.  Work on perfecting your squat.  Every squat, every variation, every single time you do them.  Work your mobility so your strict press and handstand pushup are flawless.  Pick apart your movements and make them better.  

    I promise, if you stop chasing the PRs your training will increase exponentially and your love and joy for training will increase as well.  


  • Performance & Fitness

     We know that you come to JCCF with varying goals. Fitness and Performance WODs are available so that you can progress to your goals with confidence.

    You're probably asking yourself, "How do I know which one to do?"  

    "Fitness" is great for novice  and intermediate athletes. Novice athletes are new to CrossFit and/or have  little knowledge of lifting weights. Intermediate athletes have been training for a while and feel confident in most movements done during the WODs. Fitness WODs are for those who want to train hard and train functional; who want to be healthy; who want to train in a way that keeps them able to play with their kids and run from a bear. This is for the individual, who's goal is to maintain health and longevity. 

    "Performance" workouts are for individuals who want to take their workouts to another level.  Intermediate athletes who have been training for some time and feel confident in most movements and athletes who show proficiency in movements.  They want a challenge and they want to see how far they can push the limits of their potential. 

    The coaches will help guide you and you aren't stuck in one or the other so feel free to try both. 


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Contact Us

www.christinaspencer@junctioncitycrossfit.com
 1406 N Washington
 Junction City, KS 66441
(785) 223-5357

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