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5 years ago I took a trip on whim to Park City, Utah. It was for a “gym owners meet up” …. I didn’t own a gym. I was nervous as hell. Some of these people had owned gyms longer than I’d even been working out! I almost didn’t talk to anyone the whole first day. Until I met Chris Cooper- my first mentor. I decided for the rest of the weekend I was going to introduce myself to as many people as possible. I still see and talk to many of those people to this day. 

Ever since then, the right things just seem to drop into my lap at the right moments in life. The building that Degree is in “just happened” to come up for sale right at the time I was looking to start this “gym thing for real”. Coach Kelly dropped into the first nutrition challenge I hosted in my garage, and a year a half later become a coach at Degree (with a little encouragement), Coach James lives across the street from the gym and was one of the first people to register for our Founders Club. 

Now I seek out and continue to inject myself into these uncomfortable, terrifying, sweaty- palm (and arm pit) situations. I try things that I’m not sure will work, I invest money in places that I’m not 100% sure if it will pay off or not. I hardly ever play it safe. I always introduce myself first. But that’s being an entrepreneur, isn’t it? I have a feeling that being a parent is similar. You have no idea what this will bring you, but you are excited at the opportunity to try and grow and maybe even fail. 

So how do you get “lucky” in life?

  • Expose Yourself to More: more people, more ideas, more events, more countries… Seek experiences instead of money. 
  • Go First: If I’ve said this once, I’ve said it 1000 times. Make eye contact and say hello, reach out for the handshake, extend coffee date invitations. Very few people “go first” anymore- but we’re all thrilled to be invited! Tell them how excited you are, it will pull them out of their shell and ultimately out of yours (if you’ve met me, you know I have no issue showing you how excited I am to be around you). 
  • Work Wicked Hard- but be humble: When people see successful people, they often say things like “Wow you are so lucky, I wish I could do that”. Those people are usually incredibly gracious and usually offer some encouragement. What they don’t say is, “well it’s taken me years of incredibly hard work, long hours, not seeing my friends or family, many failed attempts and many tears to get here”. What you see of a successful person is just the tip of ice burg, they won’t show you the rest. Put your head down, and master your craft. 
  • Cull People From Your Life: If someone is constantly dragging you down, stop seeing them. If something is really upsetting you, stop doing it. Sounds simple, but I know that’s not easy. My first mentor quotes Emerson all the time, “Heartily know, when demigods go, the gods will arrive”. 
  • Open Yourself to Mentorship and Learning: Your ego is like a closed baseball glove. You could very well be missing easy pop flies because you don’t want to catch the ball “your way”. Instead of trying to re-invent the game, or running faster… try walking, with an open glove. 

You don’t get to where you want by expecting things or waiting for opportunity. You create the opportunity you want- and sometimes, just sometimes, you get really lucky.

Some people believe in fate or luck, I believe in driving the car. I believe in earning the fuel. 

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Written By:  Kelly Miller
You’ve seen the headlines:

“Drink this drink and feel more invigorated!” “Make sure you get 15 hours of sleep a night!”

Just kidding, those are pretty outrageous – BUT – not unheard of!
 What is the secret to improving your energy levels? 
 First things first, let’s keep it simple. Hopfully you’re still reading and not completely bummed that it’s not a fancy supplement, or a super expensive, never before seen something.
 Water. Water. Water.
Did you know that most of us are in a perpetual state of dehydration? Whether minimal or extreme, most of us aren’t drinking enough water.
 For most people, a minimum of 2L, or 30-35ml per kg of bodyweight. Another way? Take your weight in pounds and divide it by 2 and aim to drink that much in ounces. 
Psst, email maireadrodgers@degreecrossfitseaforth.com for more info on that!
How do I get more water in?
Keep it simple.

We just ended our April Nutrition Challenge at Degree, and the very first ‘challenge’ was to drink one big class of water at every meal. This simple step made SUCH a huge difference in everyone’s day!

Try it for yourself; you just may be surprised.

But Kelly, water is boring!
Is it? It’s a pretty basic molecule, but think of all the amazing things it does for your body!
 your digestive system works better your skin may become clearer, eyes more shiny than they already areyour mental capacity will improve (goodbye brain fog!)and SO much more.
It may be boring, but man, look at the pay off. 

Try adding some fresh fruit, or cucumber to your water over night to add a bit of flavour, and a fresh taste!
 What is the secret to improving your energy levels?
Start with water. Make that a habit, a non-negotiable, and then we can chat about the next step =)

Until then, drink on (H20, folks!) and keep being awesome,
Coach Kelly 
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By Mairead Rodgers, RD PHEc

Someone asked me this question the other day during an early morning WOD, and if I’m being honest, I wasn’t awake enough or having enough oxygen going to my brain during the workout to have good answer besides “it depends”. Which is still my answer, but I’ve got more to say about it. 

How long it takes you to get in good running shape depends on a lot of things. It depends on what that goal of “good running shape” looks like for you. Do you want to run 400m without stopping? Do you want to run the 3.5km Hog Jog with our Degree crew in June? Do you want to run a half marathon? A full marathon? Do you want to keep getting faster at these things? What that goal looks like for you might be entirely different than what it looks like for someone else, and there’s no right or wrong answer. 

It also depends where you’re starting from. Have you run much before? Is running something you try to avoid? Have you had an injury that means you haven’t been able to run for a while? Again, this might be different for everyone.

Everyone’s goals around running might be totally different and that’s ok! The bottom line here is that if you want to get better at running, guess what you’ve gotta do? RUN! And if you do want to start running, or run more often and more efficiently than you might be now, Running Club might be just the program for you!

This awesome program kicks off May 23rd and runs Mondays and Thursdays at 6:30pm at Degree until June 17th, and spots are starting to fill up! Click here for more details or to sign up! Or email maireadrodgers@degreecrossfitseaforth.com with any questions!

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By Mairead Rodgers, RD PHEc

Does this sound like you? Whether you’re someone who doesn’t feel like they run often or fast enough to be a “runner”, someone who wishes they didn’t hate running quite so much when it comes up in a WOD, or someone who’s always wanted to run a 5k or another race but has never trained for it, so many people have running goals, especially at this time of year when the weather is just starting to warm up. 

Being a runner is not based on speed or body size or how long you’ve been running or how far you can run. If you run, you are a runner. Period. That’s it. There’s no membership cards or anyone who can say “no, actually you’re not a runner, you’re just someone who runs”. I love running, and I realize that’s a weird thing to say. Running is something that makes me feel strong and happy and takes my stress away. I want to spread that to anyone else who wants that, and I want to help them get there. 

If you’re nodding along with me and want to become a runner, Running Club might be the perfect option for you! While it’s not just for beginners or people looking to get into running, it’s a perfect option if that’s where you’re at!

Why is it perfect for new runners?

  • We start easy. Nothing’s going to discourage a new runner more than not feeling like they can run far or fast enough, and we’re not into that. This is also a way to help avoid getting hurt!
  • We work through drills to make sure we’re all running with good form so we’re running efficiently (making it suck less) and not in a way that’s going to injure us.
  • We do some strength work to make sure that the muscles we need to run are in good shape. These are muscles we might not use as much if we’re not running much yet or that we don’t know we need for running. 
  • You run with a group! So many people are nervous to start running because they don’t want people to see them out running by themselves. Come run with some friends until you feel up to running on your own. 

Does this sound like the group for you? Click here for details and to get signed up! Or email maireadrodgers@degreecrossfitseaforth.com with questions or for more info!

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By Mairead Rodgers, RD, PHEc

Raise your hand if you’re on any kind of social media of some description (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.). Keep that hand raised if you are on multiple social media apps. Keep your hand raised if you feel like you spend too much time of social media sometimes. Pat yourself on the back if you found this post through social media. 

How do the things you see on social media make you feel? Do they make you feel happy? Inspired? Do they teach you something? Do they make you feel frustrated? Bad about yourself? Angry? Annoyed? 

I’m asking lots of questions today, but are you familiar with Marie Kondo? (Bet you never thought that question would come up in an email from a CrossFit gym!) If you don’t, her method to decluttering your house is to get rid of thing that do not spark joy, and keep only the ones that do. So I decided to start following the same kind of principles to my social media feeds. 

At the end of the day, even if what we’re seeing on social media is frustrating us and making us unhappy, we choose most of what we put there. We can choose to unfollow anything that is not “sparking joy” or is dragging your down or making you feel bad.

Here’s a non-exhaustive list of the things that spark joy for me on social media:

  • friends and family crushing their goals
  • random strangers crushing their goals and encouraging others to do the same
  • pretty food
  • healthy recipes
  • well-organized pantries
  • pretty bookshelves
  • fitness memes
  • dogs and baby goats

Things that don’t spark joy for me on social media that I’ve been making a point not to see:

  • body shaming of ANY KIND
  • fad diets or diet products
  • anyone encouraging others to eat in a disordered way or spreading mis-information about nutrition

Your lists might be completed different than mine (not everyone loves baby goats). But the point is that you get to choose whether what you see on social media makes you feel good or not. We create our own social media feeds. We choose who and what we follow. If something if bothering you on social media, you can unfollow that person. You don’t have to see what they post. (Heck, if it’s someone you know on Facebook, you can unfollow so you don’t see what they post but still be friends and they’ll never know!) If we’re going to waste time on social media, it should inspire us, teach us (maybe) and make us feel good about ourselves.