March 2018 Athlete of the Month

March Athlete of the Month

Brian Hoffman

Tell us about yourself, hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.

I am married to Jennifer Hoffman who is also a member of Light the Fire. Jen and I have two little girls – Aubrey who is seven, and Brenna who is four. I served in the US Army as a parachute infantryman in the 82nd Airborne Division and also was a member of Michigan Army National Guard based out of the Detroit Armory. I am employed by Conti Fire Protection as a job foreman and am a member of Local 704 (Detroit) Sprinklerfitters Union. As a hobby, I am a beekeeper, so if anyone needs honey, I can hook you up! Jen and I met Brandon Perry and Heather in Jamaica last year, not knowing we all lived 5 minutes from each other. Brandon put Jen and I through some CrossFit workouts at the resort gym, and I thought it was pretty interesting, so me and my wife joined soon after we returned.

How long have you been doing CrossFit?

I have been doing CrossFit for almost 10 months.

What do you remember about your first CrossFit experience?

I remember coming into my first Foundations class thinking I was in fairly good shape. I also remember that I was completely wrong! The little WOD at the end almost killed me, but I really liked it, and was hooked after that.

What do you most enjoy about CrossFit?

I like the fact that everyday is different. Coming to CrossFit is not like going to a regular gym where you go through the same thing day in and day out. I like coming into class, looking at the whiteboard and knowing “today is going to suck”, but every time we complete a WOD there is a sense of accomplishment.

What do you most enjoy about being part of Light the Fire CrossFit family?

At first it was just the workouts that I enjoyed, but after time I got to know the people at the gym. I feel Jen and I have made a lot of friends at Light the Fire, and I look forward to seeing them every day.

What motivates you to come to the box?

I just feel like it’s part of the schedule for me. I know that my kids see Jen and I in our gym clothes and hopefully that will rub off on them. I also know that I won’t get to where I want to be without putting in the work.

What is you most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?

I can finally do a bar muscle up. A…..really…..ugly… muscle up.

What is your favorite wod, lift, movement, or skill?

I like the clean and jerk.

What is your least favorite wod, lift, movement, or skill?

Thrusters, burpees, the bike and the rower. All torture techniques and devices.

What is your current CrossFit goal?

I just want to keep at it and look back in a year and see where I’m at. This year I really want to work on my endurance, which unfortunately, will probably include the bike and rower. Also, I wrote 225# clean and jerk on the “goal” board a long time ago, and I’m getting close. Hopefully this year I can make that happen.

What would you tell a newbie or someone that has never done CrossFit?

I tell people they just have to give it a try. A lot of people think they can’t do it, but CrossFit can be done by anyone. Just come to a foundation class and go from there. I try to recruit everyone I talk to.

Have you had a life changing experience since starting CrossFit?

It has made me pay attention to what I eat and drink. I used to eat a lot of fast food at work and drink pop. Now I pack my lunches and stopped drinking pop. I also cut down on bread. However, every now and then you may find me at a local Taco Bell.

How has CrossFit affected your life outside of the box?

Everything is better. I feel, eat, and sleep better.

***The Athlete of the Month will demonstrate qualities such as, attendance, selflessness, proper scaling, time dedicated to mobility and recovery, dedication to improving form, technique, and skill sets, putting the community before yourself, encouragement and support towards others at the end of WODs.

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February 2018 Athlete of the Month

February Athlete of the Month

Tressa Duffin

Congratulations to Tressa Duffin, Light the Fire CrossFit’s February Athlete of the Month! You’ll find Tressa at the 4:30pm class most days, and when she’s not at the gym kicking butt & taking names, she’s out helping protect our community as a State Trooper!

Tell us about yourself, hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.

I am the oldest of three children.  I have 2 younger brothers.  One is a police officer and the other is a JAG officer in the Marine Corp. My mother passed in 1997 from breast cancer.  My step father lives in Grand Rapids.

I enjoy baking, outdoor activities, working out and hanging out with my nephews.

I have been employed by the Michigan State Police for 24 ½ years.  I have worked as a road Trooper, undercover narcotics officer, home town security interdiction team member and a community service Trooper.  I am a defensive tactics instructor, TASER instructor, and crime scene technician.  My current role as a community service Trooper has allowed me to work with the community at large in many capacities.

My passion is Human Trafficking.  I have been blessed to meet and work with numerous survivors.  I chair the Monroe County Anti Human Trafficking Coalition, sit on the Adrian Human Trafficking Task Force and am a member of the Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force.

How long have you been doing CrossFit?

Just over 2 years.

What do you remember about your first CrossFit experience?

I had done some CrossFit at home, but going to a CrossFit box was both exciting and intimidating. I was afraid that I would never be able to remember what all the abbreviations stood for. After my first workout I had some doubts that I would be physically able to survive another one!

What do you most enjoy about CrossFit?

I enjoy the variety of the WODS, the mixture of cardio and weights. It can be challenging and defeating at the same time. Some days you have great workouts and maybe you achieve something you haven’t before or you hit a new PR… and some days it seems like you’re starting from square one. But that’s what makes you come back.

What do you most enjoy about being part of Light the Fire CrossFit family?

I like that all people, no matter their abilities or athleticism, are welcome. I appreciate that we are allowed to scale or substitute an exercise if we need to. People are encouraging and not judgmental.

What motivates you to come to the box?

I enjoy working out and the challenges that CrossFit brings. It’s important for me to be in shape for my job and for my future. I know taking care of myself now will bring benefits to me in the future. I like working out with people with different abilities and strengths, it motivates me.  

What is you most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?

No recent PR’s. I am able to do double unders and kipping pullups, which at this point, are probably my biggest accomplishments.

What is your favorite wod, lift, movement, or skill?

Bear complex, cleans.

What is your least favorite wod, lift, movement, or skill?

There are so many…☺ Burpees and wall balls. WOD – anything with thrusters. That’s a movement I have not mastered yet.

What is your current CrossFit goal?

I would like to master toes to bar and learn to do butterfly pullups. Eventually I would like to get my Level 1 and coach.

What would you tell a newbie or someone that has never done CrossFit?

Come back tomorrow. You’re going to be sore, you’re going to be challenged but the rewards will be worth it.

Have you had a life changing experience since starting CrossFit?

Not a life changing experience, but a lifestyle change.

How has CrossFit affected your life outside of the box?

I’ve met some awesome people and have made new friends.


***The Athlete of the Month will demonstrate qualities such as, attendance, selflessness, proper scaling, time dedicated to mobility and recovery, dedication to improving form, technique, and skill sets, putting the community before yourself, encouragement and support towards others at the end of WODs.

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January 2018 Athlete of the Month

CrossFit has always been a community first atmosphere to build a stronger bond with one another. We have decided to begin recognizing the awesome members of our community with Athlete of the Month!

The Athlete of the Month will demonstrate qualities such as, attendance, selflessness, proper scaling, time dedicated to mobility and recovery, dedication to improving form, technique, and skill sets, putting the community before yourself, encouragement and support towards others at the end of WODs.

January Athlete of the Month

Courtney Baumann

Tell us about yourself, what are your hobbies, interests, family, job, etc:

My name is Courtney Baumann and I am 18 years old. In high school I played volleyball, basketball, and ran track. Throughout my life I have also danced, competed in pageants, played the piano, and was a member of 4-H. I have one older sister, Kayla, who along with my mom, Cheri, do CrossFit with me at Light The Fire.

How long have you been doing CrossFit?

6 months.

What do you remember about your first CrossFit experience?

Watching other people do pull-ups and wondering how I would ever be able to do that.

What do you enjoy most about CrossFit?

I love being able to go 5 days a week and getting a completely different workout everyday. I never get tired of going because every day is something new!

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Light The Fire CrossFit family?

Everybody at Light The Fire was so welcoming when I first started CrossFit. The entire family is so motivating and we all push each other to get better everyday.

What motivates you to come to the box?

Being able to workout with friends and knowing that I will push myself a little harder that day.

What is you most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?

Competing in my first competition without scaling the workouts.

What is your favorite wod, lift, movement, or skill?

Power Snatch

What is your least favorite wod, lift, movement, or skill?

Assault bike

What is your current CrossFit goal?

To be able to do a strict pull up and consistently do T2B

What would you tell a newbie or someone that has never done CrossFit?

Try it out because it’s such a great feeling when you see your weights go up or when you start to accomplish goals that you never thought were possible.


Congratulations Courtney, we’re happy to have you as a member of Light the Fire CrossFit!


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The dreaded “R” word in CrossFit…and it’s not run.

Occasionally you may hear about individuals getting rhabdomyolysis from over-exertional training. I’ve heard for 2-3 people I know personally experience this. And please, it’s not a good thing! It’s not something to wear as a badge of honor because an individual pushed so hard. It’s a dangerous condition, and should be treated as such.

Rhabdomyolysis is a condition in which muscle cells break down, releasing a toxic substance into the blood, which can lead to kidney failure. Muscle breakdown normally occurs as you’re working out, however with severe damage, myoglobin is released, which can block kidney ducts when it reaches the kidneys. This can cause kidney failure, and significant damage to the muscle.

“Rhabdo” as it is commonly known as, is not something that is common and indicates something is seriously wrong. By seriously wrong, I’m not just referring to the physical damage an individual sustains, but also what caused that damage to occur. If it’s coming from a gym or workout setting, that indicates poor programming, with repeated use of the same muscle groups. Workouts that are high reps, low weights and/or performing a lot of reps of one movement without changing movements can be combinations that provoke rhabdo. Heavier weights are generally not going to cause rhabdo, as the heavy weight causes you to slow down and take breaks.

That being said, a good coach should scale athletes to a level that is appropriate and safe for them. This may include modifying movements, scaling the number of reps/rounds or weights. A coach who is responsible for programming should also be aware of muscle groups/movements (think squat, push, pull, etc.) they are programming and how it may affect these muscle groups. Coaches should also take care when encountering an individual who has been away from exercises for a while, to scale them appropriately. Individuals who have competed in sports in the past, or done CrossFit before may be more likely to mentally push themselves farther than their body is prepared to go physically at this time.

Many critics of CrossFit will associate rhabdo with it, but it has been an issue in several other sports. I specifically remember hearing about the University of Iowa’s football team in 2011 having some individuals get diagnosed with rhabdo from conditioning. Also note that was 2011, I didn’t get into CrossFit until 2012, so I had exposure to what is rhabdo from my studies as an athletic training major. Upon searching “rhabdo in sports” in Google, lots of articles from the NCAA, medical sites and research studies pop up. An article as recent January 2017 reports a few cases of rhabdo in Oregon football players.

Symptoms of rhabdo include the hallmark “cola-colored urine”, very painful muscle aches and muscle weakness. Some people report extreme swelling and soreness as symptoms of rhabdo. Rhabdo requires immediate medical attention, and will likely be treated with IV fluids to flush the myoglobin through your symptoms, rehydrate and prevent kidney failure.

So how do you avoid rhabdo? First I would recommend finding a gym with educated coaches, who prioritize safety of their members over getting them to do as much work as possible. Find out what the coaches’ backgrounds are, what the training philosophy is there and how are they going to keep you safe? Don’t take offense if they seem to over-scale you when you first begin, it’s for your safety and it’s better to be safe than sorry, right? Next, be sure to keep yourself hydrated and fueled properly. Give your body time to recover, ideally you want about 24 hours in between workouts, and take 2-3 rest days per week, and do some recovery that day like going for a walk. If you’re beginning or returning to CrossFit after a hiatus, know that you be sore. However soreness that’s so bad that keeps you from moving your limbs, paired with swelling, and that cola-colored urine are symptoms of rhabdo and you should not delay in treatment.

-Coach Katie

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Staying Hydrated

As summer comes, that means we’re experiencing increased temperatures & increased humidity. Most of us sweat a lot anyways when we work out, so now you add in those compounding factors, it makes for really sweaty mess! Because of these changes in our gym environment, it’s important to make sure we’re continuing to stay hydrated and prepared for our workouts!

We’ve done previous blog posts on proper water intake and post-workout fueling. Check them out for additional information.

As a recap of the water blog post, it’s important to know how much water you need to take in during an average day. A good start is taking your bodyweight, divided it by two and that’s how many ounces of water you should be drinking a day. If you sweat a lot, you need to drink more. So on days you work out, you should be drinking more. For example, pre-pregnancy, I needed to drink somewhere in the 60-70 ounce range, but on days I worked out, I aimed for about 100 ounces of water.

Some people use urine color to know if you’re properly hydrated. This is a good start, however it’s not fool-proof. Some vitamins cause your urine to change color, making you think that you’re more dehydrated than you really are. Ideally your urine should be a light yellow, cola-colored urine is a red flag, and a symptom of rhabdomyolysis.

Use your thirst to guide you. If we all would listen closely enough and not be biased, our body generally tells us exactly what we need. So drink water when you’re thirsty, stop when your thirst is quenched.

Gatorade, Powerade and other sports drinks are marketed to replace the electrolytes you use lose while working out/playing sports. Powerade is owned by Coca-Cola and Gatorade owned by Pepsi…they design their drinks to taste good, not necessarily be healthy (we could do a whole other post on the effects and ingredients of pop). To actually get enough of these electrolytes to replenish what you lose, you’d have to drink a whole lot more sports drinks, plus you’re getting a lot of sugar. Just a quick look at Powerade’s nutrition label via their website, there’s 21 grams of sugar in one serving – with 2.5 servings per bottle! Daily recommended sugar intake is about 25 grams (varies by gender and size of person), so that’s almost all of the sugar you need in one day, in one serving! If you’re looking to get in nutrients you lose while working out, consider a healthy snack after working out that will specifically replace the nutrients you’re losing.

While it’s important to stay hydrated, you don’t want to go to the opposite end of the spectrum- that can cause its own problems. So make sure you’re not drowning yourself in water intake, use the suggestions above to make sure you’re getting the proper amount.

Stay hydrated & stay active friends!

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Drop-in Etiquette

It’s that time of year…summertime! Summer means vacations, taking trips, enjoying the outdoors and good food. And for some of us CrossFitters, that may mean you want to keep up with your workout routine. One option for you would be to “drop-in” to another CrossFit gym, wherever you are going. Dropping-in can be a great experience- like helping you learn more, meet new people, add to your CrossFit t-shirt collection (more on this later) and keep up with your fitness why travelling. However, there are some unwritten rules of etiquette for dropping-in.

If you’re interested in dropping in somewhere, first figure out where you’re going! You can use CrossFit’s mainsite Affiliate Finder/Map to find a box around where you’ll be. Google search, Yelp and word of mouth also work well to find a place. Once you find a place, check their website for class times and a drop-in policy. Some gyms may have a drop-in policy, we’ve seen items such as drop-ins with 6 months or more of CrossFit experience welcome, welcome with advanced notice, etc. If the website doesn’t have a drop-in policy, send them an email and ask!

CrossFit Gym Drop-In Etiquette

  1. Contact the gym before you go, unless specifically stated that it’s not necessary. This gives the coaches a heads up to expect you, and they can also make recommendations regarding the best class times for you to attend. When contacting the gym, be sure to introduce yourself, where you’re from, what box you currently attend and how long you’ve been doing CrossFit.
  2. Show up 10-15 minutes prior to your class time. You will have to fill out a waiver, and may have to do some other paperwork as well, so make sure that you give yourself and the coach plenty of time to get through all that without encroaching on class time!
  3. Let the coach know your ability levels. When you go to a different CrossFit gym, make sure you have an idea of what weights you normally use for a workout with the different lifts. Remember, the coach at the gym you’re visiting has never coached you before- help them by providing them with information so they can scale you appropriately. Also communicate any injuries or limitations.
  4. Introduce yourself to members of the gym. Hopefully they see a strange face first and come up to introduce yourself, but make some new friends! Coach Bill and I dropped into a gym in Seattle when we were visiting, and one of the guys in the class had grown up in Jackson, MI! Small world!
  5. This goes back to #3- the coach may over-scale you. Coaching an individual for the first time may result in the coach over-scaling the individual. It’s not personal, but they want to make sure you don’t get hurt while visiting, especially for one visit!
  6. Keep your space tidy- both in the lounge/lockers with your personal belongings and on the floor. Remember you’re in a new gym that you’re not familiar with. If you bring your entire bag of CrossFit gear (see #7), don’t let it spill out all over the place. Don’t hoard all the equipment and chalk around you either, make sure you’re sharing.
  7. Consider going minimalist for a drop-in. I recommend just taking your CrossFit shoes (Nanos/Metcons/NoBulls/whatever) and your jump rope. Especially if you’re just going for one or two days. If you need a sleeve, wrap or belt because an injury- you probably shouldn’t be doing that movement. You don’t want to be fumbling around in your bag to get out your Oly shoes and grips and miss any class time.
  8. Consider buying a shirt! A lot of gyms will waive the drop-in fee if you buy a shirt or tank top. You get some more CrossFit stuff to wear and a workout, bonus!
  9. Make arrangements ahead of time if you’re planning on coming for 3 or more days. Many times, gyms will give you a special fee for a certain number of classes, the more classes, and is cheaper compared to the drop-in rate/day. Work this out ahead of time, so you’re not keeping a coach from being on the floor or getting the next class started.
  10. Be nice, don’t openly criticize or compare the gym you’re visiting negatively to the gym you’re from. We hope that every time you drop-in it’s a great experience, but sometimes it might not be. Coach Bill and I have dropped in a quite a few places, and have had an overwhelming positive experience, but occasionally there may be an experience you’re disappointed in.

Enjoy your time away from home and the new experiences! Dropping-in is a great way to see more of the CrossFit community. It should be lots of fun, remember you’re on vacation!

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Regionals Week 3 Recap

The Meridian, West & Atlantic Regionals are over, and here’s who you’ll be seeing at the Games:

Meridian Women:

  1. Kristin Holte
  2. Samantha Briggs
  3. Annie Thorisdottir
  4. Jamie Greene
  5. Thuridur Erla Helgadottir

Meridian Men:

  1. Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson
  2. Jonne Koski
  3. Jason Smith*
  4. Lukas Esslinger
  5. Frederik Aegidius

Meridian Teams:

  1. CrossFit Jst
  2. CrossFit Fabriken
  3. CFXY
  4. Maxpuls Spartans
  5. CrossFit Reykjavik

West Women:

  1. Carleen Mathews
  2. Regan Huckaby
  3. Emily Abbott
  4. Carly Fuhrer
  5. Casey Campbell*

West Men:

  1. Brent Fikowski
  2. Samuel Kwant
  3. Cody Anderson
  4. Cole Sager
  5. George Sanchez*

West Teams:

  1. CrossFit Fort Vancouver
  2. Cascade CrossFit
  3. CrossFit Marysville
  4. Work Hard Live Fit
  5. Lane 5 Athletics

Atlantic Women:

  1. Cassidy Lance-McWherter
  2. Emily Bridgers
  3. Mekenzie Riley
  4. Whitney Gelin
  5. Anna Tobias

Atlantic Men:

  1. Noah Ohlsen
  2. Alec Smith*
  3. Ben Smith
  4. Travis Mayer
  5. Ryan Elrod*

Atlantic Teams:

  1. 12 Labours Lions
  2. Hustlehard CrossFit
  3. CrossFit Balance
  4. CrossFit Revamped
  5. 336 CrossFit

* indicates Rookie (no previous trips to the Games)

  • Annie Thorsdottir & her boyfriend, Frederik Aegidius, will be both competing at the Games for the first time since 2012.
  • Alec Smith, younger brother to 2015 Games champion, Ben Smith, qualified for his first CrossFit Games AND beat his older brother.
  • All four of Ben Bergeron’s athletes have qualified for the Games- Katrin Davidsdottir, Matt Fraser, Brooke Wells, and Cole Sager.

Both Valerie Voboril (California) and Samantha Briggs (Meridian) qualified via the Master’s Online Qualifier, AND qualified for Individual competition through Regionals. That’s pretty impressive! Chris Spealler has accepted his invitation to compete at the Games in the new Master’s division after qualifying in the Qualifier. For those who don’t know, Chris Spealler is a 7-time Games qualifier, including competing in the first CrossFit Games in 2007. Especially impressive, considering he is significantly smaller than many of his fellow competitors, at 5’5″ and 143#.

Interestingly, Dave Castro has hinted in a recent magazine article that the format for next year’s Regionals may be changing. Regionals were just recently re-structured in 2015, with the creation of “super Regionals”. Personally, I think those in the Regionals that compete later have a little bit of an edge, they get to watch at least week 1, and can learn/re-strategize based on how other athletes do. There are also some Regionals that are typically home to more elite athletes, such as the Central Regional. In the article, he also discussed a little behind his strategy for programming the Regionals this year. He consulted with Adrian Bozman and Stephanie Rochet on the programming for Regionals. They wrote up every Regional workout on a whiteboard to determine if they could all be done with dumbbells- keeping the theme from this year’s Open. The verdict?- yes, and that was Bozman’s vote, for an all repeat event Regionals but with dumbbells. Obviously that didn’t happen.

Dave Castro also says he’s writing a book about the process behind programming the 2017 Games. Would you read it?

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Regionals Week 2 Recap

The Pacific. California & Central Regionals are over, and here’s who you’ll be seeing at the Games:

Pacific Women:

  1. Kara Webb
  2. Tia-Clair Toomey
  3. Alethea Boon
  4. Madeline Sturt
  5. Jessica Coughlan*

Pacific Men:

  1. James Newbury
  2. Ricky Garard*
  3. Rob Forte
  4. Zeke Grove
  5. Mitchell Sinnamon

Pacific Teams:

  1. Functional Strength
  2. Injustice Crew
  3. CrossFit East Tamaki
  4. Reebok CrossFit Frankston
  5. CrossFit Moorabbin

California Women:

  1. Chyna Cho
  2. Kirsten Pedri
  3. Alessandra Pichelli
  4. Valerie Voboril
  5. Lauren Fisher

California Men:

  1. Josh Bridges
  2. Garret Fisher
  3. Jason Carroll*
  4. Julian Alcaraz
  5. Jeff Patzker

California Teams:

  1. NorCal
  2. Invictus
  3. Endgames Athletics
  4. Bear Republic CrossFit
  5. CrossFit ASAP

Central Women:

  1. Sara Sigmundsdottir
  2. Kristi Eramo
  3. Stacie Tovar
  4. Brooke Wells
  5. Jessica Griffith

Central Men:

  1. Paul Castillo*
  2. Streat Hoerner*
  3. Scott Panchik
  4. Alex Anderson
  5. Zak Carchedi

Central Teams:

  1. CrossFit Mayhem Freedom
  2. CrossFit 417
  3. OC3 Black
  4. Timberwolf CrossFit
  5. Maximus

* indicates Rookie (no previous trips to the Games)

  • Julian Alcaraz, 4th place finisher of the California Regionals, gave up his ticket to the Games in Madison, as his son (with girlfriend Miranda Oldroyd), is due in August. Wesley Rethwill, 6th place finisher, will be heading to Madison for his Rookie debut!
  • Lindsey Valenzuela finished 11th at the California Regionals, after giving birth to her son a year previously, May 26th 2016. An impressive comeback and an example for all women on the importance of postpartum training.
  • Stacie Tovar will compete in her 8th CrossFit Games in August, and will then put her competitive career on hold as she starts a family with her husband, Dustin Tovar.
  • Paul Castillo, from Glass City CrossFit in Toledo, will be making his Rookie Games debut!
  • CrossFit Mayhem looks to defend it’s title as Fittest Team for the 3rd year in a row after winning Regionals!

A few more pec tears were noted again after this past Regional weekend, with Dan Bailey, Christian Lucero, Sam Dancer. Christian Lucero reports he was dealing with a pec strain prior to the announcement of the Regional events. In an Instagram post, he stated: “To everyone that is complaining about the programming and injuries, this is an incredibly physically demanding sport and in any competition there are going to be injuries. We are pushing the limits of human performance and operating at the highest level, so of course there are always going to be injuries. That is just part of the game!” Sam Dancer reported sustaining a small pec tear 2 weeks before Regionals, but was able to compete without re-aggravating his injury.

Lucas Parker, East Regional athlete had an interesting take on the injuries associated with Event 2 (pec tears). He reports the rings at Regionals were hung at a fixed width apart, and also hung from higher than most rings are. This set up is probably not the ideal set up that most athletes train and practice with.

This weekend will be the last of Regionals, with the Atlantic, West and Meridian Regionals.

In the Atlantic, we’ll see veterans such as Emily Bridgers, Ben Smith, Noah Ohlsen, team 12 Labours Lions. In the West, Ben Bergeron’s fourth athlete, Cole Sager will be taking on other veterans including Brent Fikowski, with Emily Abbott leading the women’s side. Sam Briggs is returning for another competitive individual season after undergoing shoulder surgery last fall after the 2016 Games, she will be facing off against some stiff Icelandic competition, including Annie Thorisdottir. Familar names on the men’s side of the Meridian include Jonne Koski, Karl Gudmundsson, Frederik Aegidius and Luka Hogberg.

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Regionals Week 1 Recap

The East & South Regionals are over, and here’s who you’ll be seeing at the Games:

East Women:

  1. Carol-Ann Reason-Thibault
  2. Katrin Davidsdottir
  3. Kari Pearce
  4. Dani Horan
  5. Chelsey Hughes

East Men:

  1. Matt Fraser
  2. Pat Vellner
  3. Tim Paulson*
  4. Cody Mooney*
  5. Michael Palomba*

East Teams:

  1. Team Back Bay
  2. Team CrossFit Milford
  3. Reebok CrossFit One
  4. CrossFit Queens
  5. Ocean States Finest

South Women:

  1. Tennil Reed
  2. Camille LeBlanc-Bazinet
  3. Margaux Alvarez
  4. Bethany Branham*
  5. Alexis Johnson

South Men:

  1. Logan Collins
  2. Travis Williams
  3. Dakota Rager
  4. Elijah Muhammad
  5. Tommy Vinas*

South Teams:

  1. Wasatch Brutes
  2. Salt Lake City CF
  3. Bigg Friends
  4. CrossFit Omnia
  5. Pillar CrossFit

* indicates Rookie (no previous trips to the Games)

  • Dakota Rager & Chelsey Hughes will be making their first trips to the Games as an individual.
  • Team Bigg Friends is the first team to qualify from Latin America.

We see quite a few returning individuals to the Games from the East and South regionals, with some rookies sprinkled in as well.

If you paid any attention to Day 1 of Regionals, especially in the East, you probably heard about a lot of men tearing their pecs in the first event. Based on my research, at least 4 competitors tore their pecs during event 2 (21-15-9 of DB snatches and ring dips) in the East regional. Regional competitor Alex Vigneault withdrew prior to the beginning of the competition due to a pec tear while practicing event 2. Rumor also has it that Nick Paladino, fittest teen ages 16-17 in 2015 & 2016, withdrew on day 3 due to a partial pec tear.

So why the tears? We can only speculate possible causes. One scenario could be due to overtraining. It’s common for athletes at that level to perform the events more than once in effort to figure out the best strategy and have an idea on how they should perform. With the events only being released about 2 weeks before the first Regional weekend, that doesn’t leave a lot of time for recovery from multiple attempts at events. Athletes are likely coming into Regionals at less than 100%, whether it be to injuries, lack of sleep, sickness, etc.

Also, athletes could be at an increased for tear due to the nature of the dip. The eccentric muscle contraction is always the most difficult, and the eccentric contraction happens as you lower back down to the rings during the dip. However to work eccentrically, the movement must be slow & controlled- that means losing speed, which is not something a Regional athlete wants. If there’s not enough time and work put into eccentric muscle contractions and isometric holds, that can make a tendon more susceptible to injury.

Week 2 Regionals

Central- Who to look out for:

  • Sara Sigmundsdottir (has been training with Rich Froning and the crew at CrossFit Mayhem)- likely a favorite for the region.
  • Brooke Wells, Kristi Eramo, Staci Tovar, and Jenn Smith have all previously qualified for the Games.
  • Scott Panchik, Sam Dancer, Alex Anderson, Dan Bailey and Graham Holmberg are all previous qualifers for the Games.
  • Paul Castillo is from Glass City CrossFit in Toledo- seeded 4th right now!
  • CrossFit Mayhem Freedom is looking for another ticket back to the Games to defend their title as the Fittest Team, led by Rich Froning.
  • CrossFit Maven, located in Rochester, MI will be sending a team!
  • Julie Foucher will be competing on CTown CrossFit’s team.


  • Familiar men names from previous Games include Rob Forte, Khan Porter, and James Newbury.
  • On the women’s side it’s Kara Webb, Tia-Clair Toomey, Alethea Boon, and Madeline Sturt. Alethea Boon is coming back after tearing her Achilles at the 2016 Games.


  • Look out for Chyna Cho, Lauren Fisher, Alessandra Pichelli, Lindsey Valenzuela, Jamie Hagiya, Maddy Myers, Valerie Voboril and Rebecca Voight.
  • On the men’s side familiar names include Josh Bridges, Christian Lucero, Wes Piatt, and Garret Fisher.
  • A lot of competitive teams come out of this region including NorCal, Invictus (which has 3 teams competing I believe).
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Food Friday – Saving $$ using Vitacost

I think a common determent from eating healthy is the cost. The longer you eat clean and healthy, and the more you learn, the more ways you learn you can save. Since I’m not experimenting with as many Paleo/clean recipes right now due to my pregnancy, I figured I’d mix in some posts about ways I have and currently use to save money while eating clean!

One thing that has been a lifesaver with eating clean is Vitacost. Vitacost is a website where you can find all sorts of dry and canned groceries, vitamins/supplements, beauty/personal care items, pet food/supplements, house cleaning products, baby supplies. The website lists the normal list price of the product, in addition to Vitacost’s price, which is always cheaper in my experience. You can shop by specialty – which shows you products that fit into certain categories/diets like Paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, vegan, organic, etc. I have used this to find more Paleo-friendly snack and food products that I previously didn’t know about.

When you sign up for an account, you’ll have promo packet linked with your account that changes periodically. It has a variety of coupon codes for certain types of products or brands. I also use Ebates before shopping, which gives you 3% cash back. There’s FREE shipping with orders over $49 as well, I usually order every couple of months or so, so I can easily hit that $49 mark. Plus the shipping is usually 2 days, without paying any extra, which is awesome!

Some of my favorite products that I’ve ordered recently:

  • Enjoy Life Snack Packs. I use Enjoy Life chocolate (the most Paleo & clean friendly I’ve found) whenever I do any Paleo baking, or just for a quick sweet snack. I recently found the snack packs, and I’m OBSESSED. They’re perfect for satisfying  that sweet craving!
  • Quest bars. So many flavors & cheaper than most places I have seen them at!
  • Ghee. An alternative to butter.

I also order a lot of my baking supplies through Vitacost, flours, sugars, etc. because they’re cheaper here than when I go to Kroger or Mejier.

I haven’t had a chance to check out the baby supplies yet, but you can be I will be soon…. 🙂

If you’re interested in signing up for Vitacost, use my link and we’ll both earn $5 towards a purchase! 🙂

If you don’t have Ebates, consider using my link & sign up. It’s an easy way to earn cash back while shopping online at tons of stores!

Happy shopping!

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