[HE SAID] Everything to Lose, Nothing to Gain

August 8, 2018

Written by: Kiel Holman, KAHA Fit & Together We Rise CrossFit Director of Marketing

Wait, isn’t that backwards? Not when it comes to motivation. I must be crazy, right? How can I say you’re motivated by a situation where you have EVERYTHING to lose and NOTHING to gain? Let’s break it down:

Scenario #1: You get to work, have your coffee and get ready to crush the day. Your boss comes to you with a project that would take weeks to complete, but says he needs it tonight. Which one of his next statements would cause an absolute relentless pursuit to make this happen?

·         “This will be a big promotion and raise if you get this completed.”

·         “You no longer have a job if this isn’t completed.”

Let’s look at another example.

Scenario #2: You pay $200 to enter a weight loss challenge. After you sign the agreement, the gym brings out the fine print:

·         If you lose the most weight among all the challengers, you get your money back.

·         If you don’t lose the most weight among all the challengers, the gym keeps your $200.

The one that motivates you more is not the first one (where you gain something), it’s the second (where you have something to lose). A raise and promotion can be motivating but not nearly as much as not having a job to be promoted at. Getting your money back is great, not losing money is much better.

But neither one of these situations are real life, right? Man, I hope not. Let’s see how this applies to other areas of your life.

We all want to be the best version of ourselves. No matter if you feel out of shape or like your career is in a rut, improvement is what we strive for. If you’re motivated by what you’ll gain, it can be very difficult to persevere. Also, if you’ve never been passionate about your job or achieved a goal weight, it’s tough to be motivated by something you’ve never experienced. What if we shift that mindset from what you gain to what you lose?

You might not be happy now, but what if you gained more weight? What if you lost the shape you are in now, or your current job situation gets worse? These are the type of thoughts that can make you push intimidation aside and decide it’s time to get started.

The crazy thing is that, if you do make this decision based off what you can lose, you will find you gain what you were originally motivated for.

Don’t want to lose your job? Find a way to bring energy every day and exceed expectations, then opportunities will open up for you. Don’t want to keep spiraling and gain more weight? Start moving and making healthy food choices, then you will progress towards the healthy life you’ve dreamed of. Don’t want to be out of breath just walking up a flight of stairs? Set goals, document your progress and watch your strength and fitness go through the roof.

I believe people have more inside of them than they ever thought possible. You just have to let that person out. Look in the mirror, that is your competition. Wake up, focus forward and crush it EVERY. DAMN. DAY.

[SHE SAID] You Paid WHAT for That?!

August 1, 2018

Written by: Monica Hilton, KAHA Fit & Together We Rise CrossFit Owner

Do you remember the first time you came to the realization that people pay a lot more for brand-name products versus generic?

I distinctly remember a moment like this, years ago. I was in college with a total of (I’m guess-timating) $3.07 in my bank account, and I overheard my mom talking to my aunt about a purse my cousin was eyeing. 

Do I remember the brand? No. But I remember the price tag: $2,600. FOR A PURSE. Not a purse with $2,500 stuffed in it. Not a purse that came with a sugar daddy. Just a purse.

Fast forward some years (more than I care to count) and as an adult who still believes that $2,600 is more of a double-mortgage payment than a purse payment, I’m able to emotionally justify that price tag with three words: price per use.

So let’s say my cousin went ahead and purchased this “better be made of unicorn hair” purse for $2,600. And let’s say that was ten years ago. (Editors note: I wish it was only ten years ago that I was in college. But I digress.) And let’s say that she carried that purse faithfully EVERY day for ten years. That’s 3,650 days. That means her “price per use” would actually only be $0.71.

Let’s use another example: You see a pair of jeans at the store for $100. You buy said jeans, break them in, wear them for 9.3 years until they finally start falling apart. Your price per use on those bad boys is pretty darn good. But let’s say you bought that same pair of jeans for $100, got them home and realized the fitting rooms at the store must’ve been some sort of fun-house mirrors. You intend to return the jeans but never do, they collect dust for 9.3 years and your price per use is… well, terrible.

While we’re on it, do you own a YETI? If you use it, you’ll probably agree with me that that magical technology that keeps your beverages icy cold or smokin’ hot was a tremendously awesome investment. But if you bought it and aren’t using it, you obviously understand that your price per use is bad but more importantly, if you’re not using it, can I have it?

You see where I’m going with the price per use. You’re smart and you want to make good use of your money. These are everyday examples but never has the price-per-use analogy been more apparent to me than with a gym membership. 

If you’re lucky, you found your dream gym on your first try, you’ve been getting fantastic results for years and those results are worth whatever the monthly fee is. If you’re in the other 99%, you’ve probably tried everything from the big box gym down the road to P90X and you might still be searching.

Let’s apply the price per use secret decoder ring:

  • If you pay $10 per month for your membership and even though they serve free pizza, you never go, what’s your price per use, or more important, the value?

  • If you paid $100 for an at-home workout program or $1,000 for a treadmill and both are collecting dust, what’s your price per use, or value?

  • If you pay $200 per month for your gym membership and go five times per week, excited to see your community of friends and impressing yourself on most days with the strength and fitness you’re gaining, THAT’S VALUE, AMIRIGHT?

It all boils down to the old saying, “You get what you pay for.” The do’s and don’ts of that are simple: DO realize that your hard-earned dollar should be spent on things that provide you value, and DON’T pay for things that don’t provide it. If you’re unsure, ask to try before you buy, or for testimonials from people just like you.

In the end, you’ll be happier and feel more comfortable when you spend your money. Even if it’s on a purse made of unicorn.

[HE SAID] Three Tips to Get the Life Balance You're Searching For

July 25, 2018

Written by: Kiel Holman, KAHA Fit & Together We Rise CrossFit Director of Marketing

Find balance. Everyone has been given and probably gave this advice to someone at some point in life. But how? Work, family, bills, workout, groceries, your home or apartment, laundry, dishes…the list goes on and on. Easier said than done, right? Here are 3 tips to balance out the life scales.

1.       Brain breaks: Everyone needs some time to shut it all down, clear your head and regroup. A lot of us go a thousand miles an hour from the time we wake up until we lay down at night. This can make it hard to get good sleep, which along with your crazy daily schedule, will add up over time to completely wear you down. Brain breaks can be a 10-15min pause in your day to clear your head, recover and be ready to get back in action. Find something you enjoy like reading a book, listening to music, going for a jog or just simply finding a quiet area to close your eyes and relax in peace. It’s not about having the time to do this, it’s making the time to do it. Your body and mind will thank you.

2.       Break a sweat: Time is one of the biggest reasons people give for not getting a workout in. There are 10-minute workouts you can do to get the blood flowing and your heart rate up with zero equipment. Check out @twrcrossfit on Instagram or Together We Rise CrossFit on Facebook for “workouts on-the-go” Parts 1 and 2 to find what will work for you. Something is always better than nothing. Even if it has been a while since you went to the gym, you will be amazed at how much getting your body moving will refresh and energize you.

3.       Be Present: This is a very simple concept, but can be the most challenging to accomplish. With all the tasks, appointments and responsibilities you have it is very easy to be thinking about the next thing instead of what is happening in the here and now. Whether you are with your kids, at work, taking advantage of a brain break or workout; giving all of your attention to the task at hand will make you more effective, give you more enjoyment, a feeling of accomplishment and will better clear your head of the clutter throughout the day.

Balance is so very important. Today’s world is very demanding, but with the right plan, tribe and support you can consistently crush each day and enjoy life too.

[HE SAID] Three Tips to Make This Your Last "Day One"

July 19, 2018

Written by: Kiel Holman, KAHA Fit & Together We Rise CrossFit Director of Marketing

It has been said with fitness and nutrition that the hardest part is getting started. While that may be true in a lot of cases, it is also challenging to keep it going when things get tough or when life happens. So how can you stay on track? Here are three things that can help you get started and keep the momentum going.

1.Seek out internal motivations: Getting ready for a vacation, bikini season or any other “event” are all external motivators. When the path to your goal gets tough these motivators will quickly fade and it is easy to lose focus and get off track. Challenge yourself to look deep inside for your personal “why”. Do you lack confidence? Are you missing out on time with family or friends because you are tired or feel defeated? Coming to terms with what your true motivation is will ultimately carry you through anything.

2.Find a tribe: You need to surround yourself with people who get it, who understand the difficulty of making a transformation to the best version of themselves. Anything worth achieving is going to take determination, perseverance and awesome people around you to cheer you on and pick you up when you’re down. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them and they will change your life.

3.Track your progress: People begin a new workout routine, try a new gym or begin a nutrition plan with different visions of what success looks like for them. How many actually write down these goals or definitions of success? Not many. Even if they do, while in the midst of these new things they fail to record objective things that allow them to see their progress. A lot of them rely on subjective things like; I “feel” better, my clothes seem to be fitting differently, it looks like I lost weight, etc. Track your nutrition with apps like My Fitness Pal, write down your workouts, have your body composition measured. When you see actual numbers going down your confidence and motivation will sky rocket.

You put in so much effort and overcame your fears to get the ball rolling, don’t stop now. Find your “why," your tribe, write down the numbers and always remember…


[HE SAID] Achieve Your Goals: Not Like That, You're Not

July 3, 2018

Written by: Kiel Holman, KAHA Fit & Together We Rise CrossFit Director of Marketing

Lose weight without giving up some foods you love, reach your strength and fitness goals without pushing yourself beyond your comfort level, make a huge lifestyle change without changing your habits…and on and on and on.

Almost every diet, workout, or money-making fad promises big changes with little to no discomfort. I hate to break it to you, but ITS ALL COMPLETE CRAP.

Three things you need to come to terms with when going after a big goal personally or professionally:

1. It’s going to be uncomfortable.

2. You are going to have to work extremely hard consistently.

3. It’s going to take longer than you think.

We have all heard at some point in our lives that we need to get out of our comfort zone. I think that phrase has lost its meaning. It has become something people say, but they don’t fully accept what it means.

What it means is this: IT’S GOING TO HURT.

No matter if it’s physical or mental, in some way it will be painful. Whether we are talking about muscle soreness from starting a new workout routine, the mental strain of staying up late or getting up early, or the psychological struggle of passing up your favorite sweets; on the path to success, being uncomfortable is unavoidable. Denying that will only make it worse, but if you accept it you will significantly increase your ability to follow through. Remember, because you are still breathing your record of making it through adversity in life is 100% thus far, so when you feel like you can’t keep going, know you have before and you can now.

Consistency, consistency, consistency. This cannot be overstated.

I truly feel this is where a lot of people fall apart. A lot of us at some point have taken part in a 30, 60 or 90-day challenge. They can help jump start you and get motivated to finally take action on your health and fitness goals. However, make sure you aren’t just mindlessly following a plan or routine. Educate yourself and acquire some tools from that challenge that will allow you to continue to live this way.

This is your life, your health, your happiness…TAKE OWNERSHIP OF IT.

What you fuel your body with and how you exercise is a journey that requires an ability to constantly adapt and persevere. Life will always happen. Changes in your job, family, age and circumstances will never make it easy. If you consistently have good days, those turn into weeks, which will turn into months and years.

YEARS…that’s right, I said years.

Let that sink in for a minute. Long term goals and delayed gratification are not terms that are in our societal vocabulary any more. Nowadays if the video we want to watch doesn’t start in less than 10 seconds we get frustrated and move on. This mentality has carried over into how we perceive fitness and weight loss should be. You have treated your body a certain way for 5, 10, 15, 20+ years but you expect to reverse it all in a matter of weeks? How does that make sense? In short, it doesn’t.

Whether you are looking at an elite athlete on TV or a friend and think, ‘It must be nice to just be able to eat that, lift that much weight, run that fast, or look that way.’ Thoughts like that have the mentality that these individuals were just given those abilities. What people don’t think about or see is all the blood, sweat, years and tears that have been put in…the hundreds and thousands of hours spent working hard to be able to do these things.

It was EARNED.

I truly believe people can achieve more than they ever dreamed if they would be patient, trust the process and stay the course. If something isn’t working, change it. If there are certain people or circumstances holding you back, change it.

Is it easy? No, but anything worth achieving never is.

You can be anywhere you want to be. You just have to be willing to consistently be uncomfortable longer than anyone else.

[SHE SAID] Getting Back into Shape: YES, YOU CAN'T.

March 2, 2017

Written by: Monica Hilton, KAHA Fit & Together We Rise CrossFit Owner

Every day, people all over our country decide that this is the day they’re going to get back in shape. Maybe the pants button just cannot stretch that far or the doctor has given a warning. Maybe summer is around the corner and covering up to feel comfortable is… uncomfortable. Maybe it’s just that gut feeling that IT’S TIME.

Whatever the reason, deciding to move forward can be a little exciting, and A LOT more scary, overwhelming and uncertain. But you were a college athlete. Or you used to work out on the regular. Or you’ve tried P90X. You got this.

To help you through the process of getting back into fitness, I’ve come up with a list of reasons why you can’t do it. That way you can be fully prepared to get back to the couch as quickly as possible if needed.

Reason #1: You’re really out of shape.

This is a tough one because everyone at the gym is already in shape, so you’re going to have a hard time fitting in. All the beautiful people in head-to-toe spandex will stare and judge.

TRUTH: First, no one wears head-to-toe spandex. Second, you’ve heard it before… fitness is a journey. It took more than a few days — and many cheeseburgers — to get out of shape, so it will take effort — and less cheeseburgers — to get back into shape. Set little, achievable goals ahead of time so you can celebrate the victories along the way to keep yourself motivated. And find a workout buddy.

Reason #2: You have no idea what you’re doing.

Since every gym is filled with muscle-y dudes in tiny tank tops that have vein-y biceps bigger than your head, you’re definitely going to stick out like a sore thumb in your normal workout shorts and a t-shirt. Plus, you struggled to lift a 50lb bag of dog food the other day, so why do they even have those 100lb dumbbells?

TRUTH: Fitness is a journey today as much as it was in your glory days. The first time you attempted to lift a weight didn’t automatically qualify you as a seasoned athlete. You had to learn. And now you have to re-learn with your “more well-seasoned” body. You can, and will, get there. Trust the process. And the process is easier when you find a gym you’re comfortable with. One that helps you create a fitness plan, shows you proper form and gives you options.

Reason #3: You’re too old.

You’re just going to have to live with the fact that every single person at the gym is 18 years old and looks like a fitness model. It doesn’t matter that their form is dangerous, they look amazing.

TRUTH: There is no such thing as too old to workout. If you need proof, contact me for links to articles about the oldest competitor on American Ninja Warrior (72 years old), the marathon runner (85), the BODYATTACK instructor (81) or the downhill skier (95). What was that about being too old again? Explore your options.

Reason #4: You don’t have enough time.

Let’s be honest: Time is just not a luxury that you have. Other people must somehow be able to bend time and create an extra hour in their day because between getting the kids ready for school, going to work, full days of meetings, picking the kids up, taking them to… it it soccer or ballet today? Either way… dinner and all the other things, finding time for you is, well, impossible.

TRUTH: People who are busier than you are working out right now. A 60-minute workout is just four percent of your day. Most importantly, the people in your life who need you need you to be healthy. You can’t take care of others adequately if you’re not taking care of yourself. Your dreams of marathon play-sessions with the grandkids in the yard someday are unrealistic if you don’t focus on what it will take today to get there. One of my favorite fitness sayings is, “If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.” And those excuses will rob your loved ones from the very best you that you can give them.

Reason #5: It’s too expensive.

If you’re going to do this fitness thing right, you’ll definitely need the most expensive gym membership in town, a personal trainer, personal chef and nutritionist, masseuse, and probably a stylist so your workout gear is on point.

TRUTH: First, understand that an investment in your health is important. A popular fitness chain uses the slogan, “$10… Why pay more?” Why? Because YOU ARE WORTH MORE. Do you need an entourage of assistants to keep your fitness and nutrition in check? NO. But is it worth the investment to find a place where you belong, where you’re comfortable and where you’ll find support? Absolutely. If you’re willing to pay $100/month for cable so you can watch an abundant amount of Suits, shouldn’t you be willing to invest in yourself so you can enjoy an abundant amount of life?

So there you go. Keep the list of excuses in one pocket for anytime you feel you want to return to the couch, and keep the list of truths in your other pocket for when you’re ready to go out and get the healthy lifestyle you deserve. And remember this saying: “When I lost my excuses, I found my results.”

[HE SAID] Why everyone wants a case of the Mondays

March 13, 2018

Written by: Kiel Holman, KAHA Fit & Together We Rise CrossFit Director of Marketing

Monday: The most complained about day in history. Yet so many people say, “I will start working out [or eating right or get organized and motivated at work] on Monday.” The day you dread is also the day you feel you are going to be super stoked to start a big goal?! But hey, TGIM right? That’s almost like telling someone to calm down when they’re already calm.

“Never in the history of calming down has anyone ever calmed down by being told to calm down.”

Look, there is nothing wrong with always trying to have a super positive outlook. Positive vibes are great, but sometimes simply accepting that you aren’t happy with your physical and/or mental health, or your job, or any other aspect of your life, is just as beneficial. Waiting a day or a week to make a life change is not going to make you any more motivated to make it happen.

Accept it but here’s the key: MAKE A PLAN TO CHANGE IT.

There are 86,400 seconds in every day. That’s 86,400 opportunities EVERY day that could be your moment. The moment you made the decision to take action instead of just talking about it. Whether you want to start working out, eat healthy, get a new job or climb the ladder at your current one; any hour, any minute, any second could be that moment. Why wait until tomorrow or next week? What is wrong with right now?

I’m sure some of you are thinking, Thanks for the encouragement bro, but I’m at work or with my kids, can’t just drop everything and hit the gym. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m not a delusional idiot. I get it, but in that moment when you leave work or drop the kids off and are about to start making excuses as to why you can’t go to the gym, that is the moment I’m talking about.

Consistency is the key to almost everything. You want to lose weight or just simply eat better? Consistently make healthy food choices. You want to get strong or improve your fitness? Consistently hit the gym. You want a raise at work? Consistently exceed expectations. Easier said than done, I know. Here are some tips:

1. Don’t let a bad meal turn into a bad day, or a bad day turn into a bad week. So you had a weak moment and smashed a quadruple-sized breakfast meal with 37 sugars in your coffee. Your day does not have to be ruined, turn things around at lunch. And for the love of all things, when starting a nutrition plan, your first thought/question should not be about cheat meals. EARN IT by being consistent first!

2. You Google a new fitness routine and you’re jacked to start. The program is set up for Monday, Wednesday, Friday but today is Wednesday. Sweet, I’ll start on Monday! WRONG. It’s just simply day one, day two, day three, with a rest day in between. So today or tomorrow is day one, skip a day and do day two, skip a day and do day three.

3. I do all the work and someone else gets credit, I get passed up for promotions because my boss hates me, insert all other complaints here. Don’t ever let anyone control your success. One thing my dad always told me growing up in sports was, “Make it impossible for them to take you off the field.” Meaning, if you consistently crush it, they can’t ignore you. If there are ridiculous politics, then move on elsewhere but even the most horrible boss wants to make money. Control your effort, your mindset and your results, and you will get where you want to be.

At the end of the day, something either matters to you or it doesn’t, there is no in-between. As the saying goes: “If it is important to you, you will find a way, if not you will find an excuse.” — Someone smart

We all push things off sometimes. We think, If I could just get past this, or pay that off, or wait until my schedule changes… I hate to break it to you, but you will never have all your ducks in a row and no one ever has all their crap together. Life is always going to happen. You will make mistakes and have setbacks, but don’t let them be reasons you stopped, just get back on it the next meal or next workout or next work day. It is easier to figure out a way to keep going than to get started in the first place. The clock is ticking, so pick your second, your moment and make the change.

[SHE SAID] The Church of CrossFit: From Atheist to Believer

November 7, 2017

Written by: Monica Hilton, KAHA Fit & Together We Rise CrossFit Owner

I believe that there are two types of CrossFit videos in this world:

1. The world’s fittest athletes doing things most humans wouldn’t dare to try. A 570lb dead lift? No thanks, I’m good.

2. The world’s not-so-experienced athletes doing things most humans shouldn’t dare to try. Right, um, you know your body wasn’t designed to bend like that, mmmmkay?

For years, I watched these two types of videos scroll through my social media feeds. Every time I saw one, I had the same thought: CrossFit? Nope. But thanks.

I have more than a decade of experience in the fitness industry and have owned a group fitness studio for three years. I thought I had tried all the options I ever wanted to pursue. Until one day when a friend invited me to actually try a CrossFit workout. Okay, it took several invitations.

Absolutely not. Well, maybe. Fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine.

I was prepared to hate it and already had my excuses lined up for not doing another one. Turns out, I never needed those excuses. From my first 200m run to my first wall ball, I was hooked. And I’m 5’ tall so let’s just say wall balls don’t come easy… 9’ is a long way up there. Plus, we did Sally. I was exhausted and wanted to eat all the things, but I was ALL IN.

Sure, the moves are challenging and learning this foreign language of CrossFit took me back to my seven years of poor Spanish skills but there was one thing that rocked my fitness world: community.

I had always pictured CrossFitters as an elitist group of athletes who welcomed no man/woman but the fittest. In my mind, you had to work out at a regular gym in order to work out at a powerhouse gym in order to workout at a CrossFit gym (see video description #1 above). If you pictured some dude turning to some other dude and saying, “Do you even CrossFit, bruh?” then we’re on the same page.

But on that fateful day, I saw people of all fitness levels bettering themselves AND helping each other.

When I attended my CrossFit Level 1 certification course, the community aspect was crystal clear. We were presented with the WOD and this info: “You’ll be divided in teams of three. If your team finishes first, DO NOT go take a team selfie and label it #Winners. That’s not the CrossFit way. Instead, you cheer on the team next to you. When you both finish, both teams cheer on the team next to them, and so on.”

So what happened? At the end, one team was finishing the WOD with fifty… FIFTY people cheering them on. And that is the CrossFit way. That is the community I believe in, and why I feel so strongly about encouraging that camaraderie in my gym. And so, Together We Rise (TWR) CrossFit was born.

In addition to the community aspect, I knew I had to tackle the second type of video I mentioned above. Safety is key, so I hired an elite team of trainers who are focused on results through safety, efficiency and then intensity.

Scalability is also paramount, so new participants have plenty of options to complete the workouts as well. Have you seen the video of the 70-year-old woman doing pistol squats? Or the 82-year-old doing burpees? What was your excuse again?

Finally, programming is a very important part of the equation and the TWR programming is “intentional.” CrossFit preaches constantly-varied functional movements performed at high intensity, and obviously we follow that. The posted WOD from CrossFit.com is a great option, but having programming specifically designed for our members makes it a customized experience.

So there you go: I’m a believer. Chances are, if you have a doubt in your mind, I had it too. Not everybody was born with a barbell in their hands but I’m here to tell you that anyone can do CrossFit and when you find the right community, it changes the game.