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Satisfaction in the Effort: On CrossFit and the CrossFit Games

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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.” 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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March 24th – Tyler Azalea 10k, 5k, and Kids Run plus MORE!


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March 17th – Beauty & The Beast Bicycle Tour – This legendary ride will take place this year just in time for spring. Online registration will close Thursday, March 15th, at 11:59pm. For details go to

March 24th – 2018 Tyler Azalea 10k, 5k, and Kids Run – Come out for the new and improved Tyler Azalea 10k, 5k and kids fun run for a beautiful course through the Tyler Azalea Trails. This race has been taken over by local runners, and we are looking forward to the best year yet! Proceeds benefit local charity, The Children’s Village. For more info find the event at

March 30th – Strides for Excellence Color Glow Run – This Color Run will feature a new twist – a glow run for all ages. The run will include the popular color celebration at the end of the race. Register at

March 31st – True Vine Beer Run – Save the date. More details coming soon. Find the event on Facebook or at

March 31st – Run 4 The Son 5K – This race starts at 9am and is family-friendly, stroller-friendly and friendly dogs-friendly. Register online or call Crossroads Church (903)939-9400. Proceeds go to the City of Whitehouse First Responders. Please bring two non-perishable food items for the Whitehouse Food Pantry. There will also be an Easter Egg hunt held right after the run. This will be at Whitehouse Sports Complex, 12500 County Rd 2133.

April 7th – Tyler Run for Autism– Join this 7th annual run inspired with the purpose of raising funds to provide much needed Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy for children on the autism spectrum in East Texas. 100% of the funds raised are given back to children enrolled at The Treatment and Learning Center for Children with Autism (TLC) or Autism Response Team of East Texas (A.R.T.). Register at

April 7th – Home Run 5K/10K will be held The Cannery in Lindale. Proceeds benefit Proverbs 19:17 Ministries. To register go to

April 28th – Diva Du will be held in Tyler. This beginner-friendly race, now has an added distance for those seeking more of a challenge as well as a 5K option for those who still want to enjoy the Diva treatment without the full duathlon commitment. For more info go to

April 28th – Tyler Rose City Miracle Run – Run for the kids who can’t. Run for the kids in your life. Run to make miracles. Simply lacing up your shoes and participating in the 2018 Tyler Rose City Miracle Run can help make miracles for the sick and injured kids of Northeast Texas. This will be held at Rose Rudman Park, Tyler starting at 8am. Register at

May 12 – Race for the Cure – Save the date for the 20th Anniversary of the Susan G. Komen Tyler Race for the Cure. To register go to

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 

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

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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Around East Texas

March 17th: Wildlife Walk & Navigation Revelation at Tyler State Park

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At Tyler State Park, you can boat, fish, swim in the lake, hike, mountain bike, picnic, geocache, camp, bird watch and study nature. It is located at 789 Park Road 16, Tyler. All events are free with fee paid for admission into the park. Adults are $6 daily, and children 12 years and under are free. For more info go to or call (903)597-5338. Tyler State Park offers several events this month.

March 17th (10-11am) – Wildlife Walk – Come learn to identify edible wild plants and how to prepare them. Many edible plants may be seen during this short hike. Learn about plant safety too.

March 17th (2-3pm) – Navigation Revelation – What do you do when your GPS batteries die? Learn to use a compass and a map for your navigation needs. Bring a compass if you have one or we have a few loaners. Dress for the weather and be ready for a short walk. Meet at the Amphitheater.

March 24th (8-10am) – Tyler State Park Birding Tour – Travel into the park to find birds, observe them in the wild, and add them to your lists. Recommended for ages 7 and up.

March 24th (10:30-11:30am) – Birding 101: Introduction to Birding – Learn how to identify birds by sight and sound for a ½ mile walk. Recommended for all ages.

March 24th (3-4pm) – Vultures: Carrion the Clean-Up Duties – Discover two species of vultures in Texas. Learn about how important they are and how they may not be much to look at, but they are masters of the sky.

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East Texans Get Healthy

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“Kitchen Talk” Classes at Integrative Health Matters

Integrative Health Matters recently opened in Tyler offering a healthy alternative to losing weight.

“Food is the real medicine. Through our innovative, hands-on cooking program, we aim to inspire healthy change through education. Diseases, chronic conditions, inflammation, and immune system disorders are often attributed to diet. Food is the medicine that can fix the problem. We help you create an organic based diet, with assessment, our health coaches will get to know you, and create a custom plan.”

“Integrative Health Matters is lifestyle medicine. It’s not about drugs and doctor’s appointments. It’s about how to eat right, how to think right, and to understand all the things we have to do to stay healthy,” said neurosurgeon Guy Danielson, medical director and founder of Integrative Health Matters. “This is root cause (medicine), not covering up symptoms with something from the pharmacy. The pharmacy is out in the garden.”

The public has opportunities to visit Integrative Health Matters at the practice’s weekly Functional Food Friday talks. Every Friday at 10am, the clinic opens to the community for casual conversations with IHM health coaches on how to use food to address various health conditions. These talks have focused on what foods to improve fatigue, inflammation, digestive issues, and more.

The clinic also offers twice monthly in-depth health and cooking presentations on Tuesdays. 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. These upcoming Kitchen Talks include:

  • March 13th (6pm) — Veggies You’’ll Crave
  • March 27th (6pm) — Detoxing Your Home
  • April 10th (6pm) — Salads Your Family Will Enjoy
  • April 24th (6pm) — Family Friendly Weekend Dinners
  • May 8th (6pm) — Eating on the Go

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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