CrossFit Gainesville- School Of Elite Fitness
BEGINNER'S TIPS TO MEDITATION
A couple of months ago, in the middle of a stressful and overwhelming semester, I decided to start meditating. It boasts of many benefits, increased zen being at the forefront, so it was just what I needed. My first sitting, on a Sunday morning, went surprisingly well. I put in a full 10 minutes and it seemed to breeze by. However, when I repeated the process the next evening, as my mind buzzed with tasks and worries, the result was anything but relaxing. So maybe squeezing meditation in when I already feel days behind on work is not the best way to start practicing.
I resumed about three weeks ago, to see if a less cluttered mind might lead to a more rewarding meditation attempt – so that I might be well practiced by the time another overwhelming period comes along. I went with the simplest instructions I was able to find (see full article here: http://goodlifezen.com/how-to-start-meditating-ten-important-tips/)
1. Find a quiet spot and a comfortable position. I love sitting out on my porch and feeling at least slightly part of nature (rather than part of my home's AC system). Feel free to experiment with sitting vs. lying down.
2. Set an alarm for 3,5, 10, or any amount of minutes you think you can manage at the start. I find that I need the first couple of minutes just to settle my mind and be able to begin focusing on my breath (step # 4 below), Also, with a slightly longer time period, my perfectionist side feels like I have a better chance of properly concentrating through at least part of the practice. Whatever time period you choose, make sure it is time you have set aside and not time you are trying to squeeze in. The latter is just likely to lead to a to-do list in your mind as you move through steps 3 and 4.
3. Many recommend that you meditate with your eyes open and a soft gaze. I however found my eyes getting dry and my kitties and the surroundings too distracting. Closing my eyes allows better concentration and a euphoric and peaceful feeling when I open them once my alarm goes off. Try each and go with what works for you.
4. Try focusing on your breath. Don't adjust your breathing. Breathe normally, but do your best to simply pay attention to your inhale and exhale. I also found it effective to count my breaths in fours: 1, 2, 3, 4, and begin again at 1. This allows you to catch your mind wondering. If you find yourself counting to 10 or 20, simply return to 1 and start again.
I have yet to get through a full session without my mind wondering – actually I find it hard to get through three counts of 4 without some thoughts invading. That's OK. I consider meditation to be effortless effort. Effortless because your mind must be relaxed and not straining, but effort because concentration takes practice and work. It's not an easy combination to achieve, but a great one to strive for.
So why do I keep returning to these 10 minutes sessions? Well, while stress did not magically disappear from my life there are a few slight changes that I've begun to notice. 1) I'm much more aware of how tense my mind and face are throughout the day. From time to time I'll actually think about releasing the tension in my forehead which is surprisingly relaxing. 2) I prefer meditating in the morning, once I've gotten everything ready for work. Devoting 10 quiet minutes to the start of my day, helps me set a much more positive mindset than the hurried perspective I've been so used to. 3) I remember a coworker once commenting that she didn't have to look up from her desk when I was coming to know it was me, because my stride was always so uniquely quick. So here's an odd one, I seem to walk slower. And finally 4) I really enjoy the 10 minutes of quiet me time. I like feeling all the tension clearing from my face, and welcome the challenge of sharpening my mind's ability to focus. It always leads me to end each session with a smileJ
I wholeheartedly recommend that you also give it a try.
Adrien and Gene have their comfortable positions down!
Workout of the Day
Ax4. Deadlift x5; 3030, rest 90 sec
B. 1 min on, 1 min off x3; double unders for reps
C. 1k row for time;
A. Split Jerk; 3 reps every 2 min for 10 min, working up to about 70%
B. One set every 2 min for 8 min;
12x Strict Press @50% of 1RM - move the bar quickly
C. “Annie” for time;
50-40-30-20-10, reps for time
Swamp Challenge Recap
We had an awesome experience yesterday at the Austin Carry Forrest for the 6th Annual Swamp Challenge! Teams of 2 athletes forged their way through the 3 mile scenic trek as they hurdled hay, high stepped tires, partner sled dragged, fireman's carry, and potato sack raced to the finish. It was also impressive to see the mental challenges like sudoku, barbell math problems, and puzzle games give our teams a run for their money, if you know what I mean.
Did you know that the physical and mental challenges that the Swamp Challenge teams faced have a resemblance to military training? Ask a registered participant about there experience...
It's our goal every year to surprise and delight our athletes so I want to pay a special appreciation to our sponsors who helped us make it all happen. If you haven't heard of these company's or done business with one of them, know that we give our highest recommendation and encourage you to trust them with your business should you have the need.
1st Credit Union of Gainesville
Bodies in Balance
University Sports Massage
Aesthetic Print and Design
RX Smart Gear
Eat the 80
Southeast Car Agency
Workout of the Day
20 min AMRAP;
5x Pull Up/ring row
10x Push up
15x air squat
A1. Back Squat x3 reps; working up in weight, heavy but not to failure; rest 30 sec
A2. Muscle Up progression/muscle ups x4-6 reps, rest 60-90 sec;
B. 6 sets for time;
12x Wall Ball Unbroken
8x Pull Ups;
adv; unbroken each set + Ctb Pull Ups;
It is Finally Here!
Eighty athletes are gearing up to take on the 2015 SWAMP Challenge and we are SUPER excited about all of the changes we have taking place this year.
We wanted to explore new locations in Gainesville to take folks off the beaten path. That is when someone suggested the Austin Carey Forest. It is a beautiful natural resource just a few miles from Downtown Gainesville that not many folks know about. Special thanks to Michael Andreu for helping us secure that spot.
We also wanted to use the event to give back to an organization whose mission is to protect our community's natural resources. It didn’t take us long to connect with Tom Kay, director of the Alachua Conservation Trust, and get them onboard. Read more about the ACT.
We have added some new obstacles and challenges this year too. We wanted participants to have to put their thinking caps on and see how well they could solve problems under physical fatigue. Just wait until you see the fitness themed Sudoku Danielle created. We have also got some 500lb hay bales for you to scale (courtesy of Greg Streukens), balance beams to walk, spider webs to crawl through, tires to flip, math problems to solve and more.
If you haven’t signed up yet, you still have time! Registration will be open through 5pm today. If you are signed up, invite your family and friends and cheer you on through the gauntlet finish.
The prizes this year are pretty sweet also...we have Nutriforce products, Rx Ropes, TryPly Boxes, Eat the 80 Gift Certificates and D’lites gift certificates for the top three teams in each division. With 38 teams registered, it looks like we’ll have some great competition.
The gym will be closed this Sunday! Come on out the Austin Cary forest and have some fun!
2013 SWAMP Challenge
Workout of the Day
Ax4; Back Squat x5 reps, 30x1, rest 90 sec, working up
B1. Strict Chin Up x3 weighted negatives, rest 30 sec
B2. Push Ups x10-12 reps for quality, rest 30 sec
C. 5 min max rep double unders;
Partner Rowing Contest - In teams of 2-3, row 2000m, alternating no more than 100m at a time
10x Shoulder to Overhead
10x Pull Ups
rest 2 min after each set;