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Satisfaction in the Effort: On CrossFit and the CrossFit Games


crossfit-tyler tx eguide 4By Sarah Nichols

Imagine a sporting event with no booing or negative rivalries, where the loudest cheer of the day erupts for the athlete in last place struggling to complete the workout, and competitors complete an event, then turn and scream encouragement to fellow competitors finishing behind them. Imagine going to a professional football or basketball game where everyone in the stands intimately understands the physical struggle involved on the field below, having had experienced it on a personal level. This is the beauty of the CrossFit Games. Conventional sports fans watch pro athletes and say things like “Even I could’ve made that play,” whereas CrossFitters know for a fact they could not have. In this arena, spectators and athletes are unified by the fact that they are all CrossFitters. Each spectator has experienced the pain and misery of the movements being performed on the field and has a profound respect for the level of human work capacity displayed by the athletes they observe. But how can this be? How does the soccer mom or reformed couch potato understand and participate in the same fitness regimen as the Olympic-level athlete or elite military operator?

crossfit-tyler tx eguide 2Greg Glassman, the founder of CrossFit, states that “the needs of Olympic athletes and our grandparents differ by degree, not kind.” Simply put, everyone needs to be able to walk, run, squat, or sit and stand, and safely pick up objects of various weights. These are all functional movements encountered daily in life, and the distinguishing factor among individuals is not the movements but the intensity at which these movements are performed.

CrossFit workouts combine functional movements from multiple disciplines, like gymnastics, running and weightlifting, with the appropriate level of performance intensity necessary for the specific individual, regardless of athletic background (or lack thereof) to develop a “level of fitness that is, by design, broad, general and all-inclusive.” If you plan on starting gymnastics visit, to see what stuff you will need. Its goal is general physical preparedness; the ability to handle anything life may throw at you…for the elderly man next door that may mean the ability to continue helping his wife safely exit their vehicle…for the young nurse down the street it may mean developing the core strength necessary to safely bend and lift patients all day without risking injury to her back…for the elite military operator it may mean developing the strength to move efficiently with 90 pounds of gear and the stamina to maintain that physical output for hours if necessary. It is all based on the individual’s current fitness level and where they aspire to be.

The WOD, “workout of the day,” combines both strength and conditioning elements for a total body workout experience. They are constantly varied, high intensity and shorter duration (5-20 minutes max workout time), and you are never likely to do the same workout twice in one week. Sessions are performed in a group setting with coaches present to help members warm up and modify the WOD to their fitness level, while maintaining the desired intensity, or athletic stimulus. Once everyone is ready, they perform the WOD as a group and cool down together afterwards.

crossfit-tyler tx eguideIn CrossFit, it is the equally distributed group work mentality that allows a diverse group of men and women the ability to relate and unify towards the common goal of finishing the WOD – for everyone experiences the same level of intensity. Once it is over, there is a shared sense of accomplishment among participants regardless of fitness level. Even scaled appropriately to fit totally different individuals, there is no doubt that grandma next to you worked just as hard to finish the WOD as you did.

Similar to military and paramilitary team mindsets, most CrossFit gyms (or ‘boxes’ as termed within the community) make it a point to see everyone through the workout to completion. The shared perspective from the beginning is that everyone there, from the newbie to the seasoned pro, is working to become more fit. When you start the WOD together, you finish the WOD together. Those who are struggling the most to finish the workout typically have the rest of the group joining in with the coaches to encourage them as they complete their final reps. Instead of self doubt and wavering in the face of physical struggle and mental adversity, you have a group of like-minded individuals rallying around and willing you to finish. When the WOD is over, everyone experiences the triumph of accomplishment as a group.

The CrossFit Games are a similar experience on a much larger scale, where the world-wide community gathers to watch the fittest men and women among them compete to earn the clout and title of “Fittest on Earth.” The first step to qualifying for the CrossFit Games is participating in a world-wide Open event. When asked about the CrossFit Games, Brad and Amy Chesley, owners of CrossFit Tyler, say the Open is what they love most. “This is the only time that a huge net is cast out over the entire WORLD in search of the fittest. For us and our community at CrossFit Tyler, being a part of that step is amazing.”

The workouts are performed at local CrossFit affiliates and scores are entered online. Everyone is encouraged to participate in the Open. Experiencing the same stimulus of the workouts unifies the community to the struggle of athletes vying for a qualifying spot at the Games. Top athletes proceed to a Regional event and from there advance to The CrossFit Games.

But even at the pinnacle of athletic performance in reaching the Games, the true purpose behind the arena is not the victory. Jason Khalipa, winner of the 2008 CrossFit Games sums it up succinctly stating, “The CrossFit Games is one expression of what CrossFit is about.”

From the WOD at your local box to the podium at the CrossFit Games, ultimately it does not matter who the winner is. Everyone benefits when overall contribution and full effort are valued above all. This is a true distinction that separates CrossFit from other fitness and sporting events, and CrossFitters know satisfaction is in the effort, not the attainment.


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TJC offers Summer Activity, Athletic Camps for ages 3 and up

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From animation to athletics, horsemanship to robotics, and scuba to improv comedy, TJC has a summer camp to spark the imagination of any young explorer.

Registration is open for TJC Summer Camps for kids ages 3 and up. Camps begin Monday, June 4, and continue through mid-August.

“We’ve put together a great lineup of activity and athletic summer camps,” said Heath Stoner, director of TJC’s Ornelas Health & Physical Education Center. Stoner also oversees the college’s summer camps.

“TJC camps offer great opportunities for kids to gain skills to succeed in sports and learn about other cultures through art, science and technology,” he said, “but they’re also often a kid’s first opportunity to spend time on a college campus. Ultimately, we hope our campers are inspired to pursue a college career someday.”

The camps are operated at several locations on the TJC campus, including the Center for Earth & Space Science Education at TJC, Wagstaff and Gentry gyms, the Ornelas HPE Center, art department, science labs, swimming pool and gymnasiums.

TJC offers more than 60 activity camps, including: App Attack; Aquatic Camp; Babysitting Basic Training Bootcamp; Broadway Camp; Camp Illusion; Chess Camp; Code Breakers; Cookie, Cupcakes & Games; Comic Book Creation; CSI; Cultural Arts from Around the World; Dance Intensive for Beginners; Digital Storytellers; Disc Golf; English/Western Horsemanship; Explorers of the Kingdoms of East Texas; Exploring our World of Chemistry; Family Astronomy Camp; French Foil Fencing; Frozen Dance Camp; Game Labs; Improv Comedy; Incredible Stuff; Introduction to High Tech Health Careers; Jazz/Hip Hop Dance Camp; Jewelry Camp; LEGO Comics: Design Your Own Adventure; LEGO WeDo: Robotics for Younger Kids; Little Pony Express; Make Your First 3D Video Game; Make Your First Video Game; Minecraft Animators; Minecraft Designers; Minecraft Modders; Open Water Scuba; Pencil, Ink and Charcoal; Petite Picassos Art Camp; Printmaking Workshop; Robotics Camp; Scratch Jr.: Coding & Games for Kids; Space Camp; Slime Kaboom; Star Wars Stop Animation; Surveying & Mapping; Table Tennis; The Finishing Touch; Video Game Animation; Video Game History; Virtual Reality; Watercolor & Acrylic Painting; and Wood Works.

Athletic camps, run entirely by TJC coaching staff and players, include: baseball, basketball, football, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball.

For details, or to register online, go to

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East Texans Learn to “Live Healthy”


This Month at Integrative Health Matters:

Integrative Health Matters offers a healthy alternative to losing weight. The public has opportunities to visit Integrative Health Matters at any of these classes:

  • Every Wednesday (12:15-1:15pm) – Mindful Movements; (5:15-6:15pm) – “Just Breathe” Meditation
  • June 1st (10-11am) – Functional Food Friday: Eating Healthy on a Budget
  • June 12th (6-7:30pm) – Kitchen Talk: Mediterranean Diet Lifestyle
  • June 15th (10-11am) – Functional Food Friday: Meal Prepping
  • June 22nd (10-11am) – Functional Food Friday: Acid, Alkaline & Food Combining
  • June 26th (6-7:30pm) – Kitchen Talk: Plant Based Eating
  • June 29th (10-11am) – Functional Food Friday: Bone Broth

Cooking classes offered twice monthly are in-depth health and cooking presentations. These “Kitchen Talks” invite the public into the IHM instructional kitchen to learn to cook tasty and nutritious meals and create a healthy home environment.

Integrative Health Matters is located at 419 WSW Loop 323 #400 in Tyler, next to La Madeleine. For information about Integrative Health Matters, contact (903)595-8077 or visit


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Around East Texas

July 4th: Freedom Fighters 5K Race and more races!


To be listed here is free! Send us info for your event go HERE.

To add a walk, run, or biking event, please send to, It is always free to list any event.

July 4th – Freedom Fighter 5K will be held at Bergfeld Park. Registration is currently open at

September 22nd – Pineywoods Ultra – Run through deep East Texas pine forests on a scenic course underneath towering pines. This diverse, single track course, almost entirely underneath a canopy of 100-foot tall pine timber, will keep you captivated as you navigate rolling hills through rooty and pine needle conditioned trails. Enjoy a post race refreshing swim in the 64-acre spring-fed lake while you rest and recover. As home to the forest race in our eco series, you won’t want to miss this unique chance to run with deer through the deep piney wood forests of Eastern Texas. This is a 5k, 10k, 25k, 50k, and 100k. Wind through deep green pine forests on rooty single track while chasing deer and other wildlife. Enjoy the dizzying and majestic pine canopy above as you are shaded on your adventure. Register at 

September 29th – ZERO Prostate Cancer Run/Walk features a 5K run/walk, 1 mile walk, Kids’ Superhero Dash for Dad, and virtual Snooze for Dudes program. ZERO is proud to partner with Urology Tyler, PA to end prostate cancer. Stick around for the family-friendly post-race celebration. Run/walk participants will receive tech shirts, free food and prizes, and the opportunity to connect with others who are impacted by prostate cancer. To register, go to

October 13th – 2018 Corkscrew Half will be held at Kiepersol Winery, 3933 FM 344 in Bullard. Register by e-mailing

November 10th – Salute to Service 5K will be held in Whitehouse. More details to come.

December 2nd – 2018 Tyler Half Marathon & 5K – This event will give athletes a tour unlike any other through the Rose City of Tyler, Texas. The event will start and finish from TB Butler Fountain Square in the center of downtown Tyler, Texas. More information can be found at and be sure to follow The Tyler Half Marathon & 5K on

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