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Category: Miscellaneous

CrossFit GBT, Newest Box in Ellisville, Proves CrossFit is For EveryBODY

My husband and I have been trying something new this year and the vocabulary of our new endeavor includes words like thrust, snatch and jerk.

Okay – minds out of the gutter. It’s CrossFit! And we were fortunate enough to discover Ellisville’s newest CrossFit Gym, CrossFit GBT (Got Better Today) and its owner Karla Bennett.

I had been hearing a lot about CrossFit for a couple of years, but I chose to ignore the chatter. I understand the importance of strength training, but I don’t like it. At all.

Plus, some of what I heard or saw regarding CrossFit (CrossFit myths) didn’t look fun. At all.

People:

  • lifting huge weights over their head
  • doing handstands
  • doing push-ups
  • doing squats with weights
  • getting yelled at
  • flipping over tires
  • and worst of all, doing pull-ups!!

CrossFit Is for EveryBODY

Then a friend told he how much CrossFit changed her life. I only met her a few months ago, but she said she used to be in terrible shape and poor health. She said her husband had to drop her off at the entrance to malls and department stores and then go park the car because she was unable to walk. She said she couldn’t even do one sit-up. And she changed all that with CrossFit GBT!

CrossFit
Karla working with a client

She talked about how she and her husband and several of her friends have improved their bodies, but more importantly, improved their quality of life because CrossFit addresses functional movement. I couldn’t believe this woman had ever been anything but the vibrant, energetic, healthy, beautiful person who was standing before me.

Honestly, I didn’t know that someone who couldn’t do a sit-up could or should do CrossFit. I didn’t think of CrossFit as a beginner’s workout. I was intrigued. And I was looking for two things:

  • A cross training program to compliment my marathon training.
  • An exercise program that my husband would enjoy.

This sounded like it might do both. I still didn’t think I would like it, because I don’t like strength training. But I have promised myself about a hundred times that THIS time when I’m training for my marathon, I’m going to do it right. I’m going to cross-train and not just run seven days a week, and I’m going to stretch.

Crossfit GBT is Like Having a Personal Trainer

And Karla has been helping me do just that. She keeps her class size fairly small, and she scales the workouts for each individual. It is not unusual for three or four people in a class to be doing different things based on ability and experience. And she is always right there, watching carefully, making sure your form is perfect and helping you make adjustments if it’s not.

I thought I’d feel intimidated doing this kind of workout, but the environment at CrossFit GBT couldn’t be more welcoming. There have been a few times when I’ve been anxious to do exactly what everyone else is doing, but Karla’s main goal has been to ensure that you are ready and have perfect form before moving to heavier weights and more complicated moves so that YOU DON’T GET HURT. It’s like having a personal trainer right beside you.

For those more competitive types, Karla’s gym is a certified CrossFit gym, which means that members will be able to eventually compete in CrossFit Open events. Although, Karla stresses that the competition factor will not be the main focus of her box (that’s what CrossFitters call their gym).

“It’s all about being the best YOU can be, working as hard as YOU can. Regardless of previous athletic skill or ability, CrossFit GBT can help you out,” Karla says.

Another thing I love about CrossFit GBT is that Karla is a wealth of information on so many other fitness and health-related topics. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree with a Health and Wellness emphasis.  She is a CrossFit certified Level I instructor as well as a US certified Weightlifting Coach. Because of her background, she can assist with understanding the value of sound nutritional eating habits and how to fuel before, during and after workouts.

CrossFit GBT offers group CrossFit classes, individual lessons and nutrition counseling.

“CrossFit GBT is devoted to educating people on how to live a healthy lifestyle,” Karla says. “We want nothing more than to see you succeed at your goals. We will work to help you with whatever we can. We believe fitness is an ongoing process.”

Contact info:

More about Karla:

Karla holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing with a Health and Wellness emphasis.  She is a CrossFit certified Level I instructor as well as a US certified Weightlifting Coach. She assists athletes to understand the value of sound nutritional eating habits and how to fuel before, during and after workouts. She consults with a variety of professional trainers as well as athletic trainers. Karla has worked with all levels of athletes from children to older adults.

She designs workouts based on personal fitness level, time of season for athletes and personal strength level.  She has each participant undergo a Functional Movement Screen before beginning training to determine movement patterns that are key to normal function and identify areas of weakness to individualize each athletes goals and workouts.

Karla first started doing CrossFit in 2009, her favorite WOD’s are AMRAP’s and her least favorite WOD’s are those that involve any form of wall balls or Overhead Squats. However, she still programs them anyways because she knows that you will never be able to get better if you do not practice.

 

Taylor Swift 1989 World Tour Provides Great Mother/Daughter Experience

Taylor Swift 1989 World Tour St. Louis Concert
Taylor Swift 1989 World Tour St. Louis Concert

My 7-year-old’s suggestion that we do a mother/daughter sleepover, complete with crafts, board games, facials and mani’s/pedi’s became a reality last week with an added bonus – tickets to the Taylor Swift 1989 World Tour concert, in the SECOND ROW OFF THE STAGE!

Ginger first suggested this weekend of “funtivities” last spring, offering it as a birthday present from her to me. Since I’m not the type of mom who loves doing crafts or playing board games, I kind of put her off, suggesting a Starbuck’s gift card instead. I know, shame on me.

She was persistent and kept after me all summer. So I began trying to figure out how to make it happen, knowing in my heart that I should cherish these times with her, reminding myself how quickly time passes.

When we lucked into the amazing seats at the Taylor Swift concert, I decided it would be fun to skip school, stay downtown, do our crafts & mani’s/pedi’s and head over the concert to top off the night. We stayed at the Embassy Suites, which I reviewed here.

The concert was amazing – an experience that I think Ginger will remember forever. I know I will. It was magical for my daughter, being that close to the stage, able to see the beads of perspiration on Taylor’s face as she put 110 percent into her performance. Ginger belted out the lyrics to almost every song, and seemed mesmerized by the dancing, the lights, the pure energy put forth by a performer who knows how to interact with and electrify an audience.

It was a transforming 24 hours for me, too – a reset of sorts. It reminded me to slow down and enjoy my girl. It helped me acknowledge a few things that I knew, but had forgotten in my busyness:

  • Ginger won’t remember whether I kept the house clean.
  • She won’t care what I accomplished as a writer.
  • She is unconcerned about my work, my website, my paycheck or my social media presence.
  • She expects to be fed, but isn’t worried about whether every meal is balanced.
  • She desires my attention and my presence.
  • She likes crafts and board games and music just like I like reading, horror flicks, running and time outdoors. I must make a regular effort to engage in her passions.
  • We share an interest in fashion, perfume and all things “girly” so that’s a good place to “hang out” together.
  • Now we also share an interest in Taylor Swift, but it’s because we did it together.
  • She wants me. Most importantly, she wants ME. That’s easy. Give her more of ME, and in so doing, I get the amazing benefit of getting more of her.

One more big plus from the weekend: Ginger and I had a chance to really talk about things going on in her life. At 7, she’s starting to navigate the difficult social waters of “girlhood.” Those waters can be rough, mainly because more often than not, our gender has not figured out how to lift each other up rather than cut each other down.

Mean girls are reality. And I am a believer that EVERY girl possesses a mean girl inside of her. It is our job, as moms, to help our daughters tame the mean girl, keep her on a very, very short leash, acknowledging her feelings, helping our daughters to give words to those feelings, but then empowering them to reach higher – to look up and consider what Christ wants her to do and be. Ginger and I talked about how hard it is to be nice after someone has been mean, and then how to move on. Then we talked about how the Taylor Swift song, Shake It Off, can be a theme song for doing just that.

So, thanks Taylor, for everything! And thanks to the Embassy Suites for providing a great venue for our mother/daughter Sleepover.

 

 

Adult Friendships – Make New Friends But Keep the Old

PREVIOUSLY POSTED AUG. 2008

I mentioned in a previous post that I recently hooked up with a very dear, almost life-long friend. My friend and I met as freshmen in high school.  We took classes together, partied together, traveled together and even lived together (rather peacefully, in fact) in an apartment until I lost my job and had to relocate to South Carolina for a new job. My friend visited me in South Carolina, was in my wedding and visited me in the hospital when I had my first baby.  When my husband worked nights and weekends while my first-born was young, she kept me company and provided much-needed “adult” conversation.

Then my husband’s schedule changed and he was home at night and on the weekends.  I had another baby.  then dance lessons, soccer practice, life as a wife and mom took over.  Meanwhile, my friend advanced in her career and started traveling the globe on incentive trips.  She even invited me to go on one with her — all expenses paid for a week in Scotland.  I really wanted to go, but my “babies” were 6 and 3, and I couldn’t bear to leave them for that long.

We made the effort to get together several times a year, then once or twice a year.  Eventually, we got to the point where we’d only see each other once a year.  We’d lament this fact every time we’d hook up because we always had so much fun.  We laugh about old memories and how no matter how much time passes, we’re still basically the same people.  We were both raised by cops, thus we’re both terrible cynics.  (really, NOTHING good happens after midnight!) We agree on things like crime and punishment. We both love strappy sandals, but think you MUST have painted toenails to wear strappy sandals. You know — all the important stuff.

I used to get upset that we didn’t see each other more often, and my friend would console me by saying that her mom told her this would happen. She said that friends “drift” some during the  childbearing/childrearing years, particularly if they don’t both go through those years at the same time.  Her mom said that you get so busy during those years that the only friends you have time for are the ones who have kids the same ages as yours and/or kids who are involved in the same activities.  But, her mom concluded (all of this from experience) that once you get those kids raised, you gravitate back to those “old” friends because “they knew you when” — and there is simply no replacement for that intimate knowledge.

As my friend and I sat at the water park and watched my baby play, I came to the conclusion that her mom’s predictions will prove to be true.  In the meantime, we’ll cherish these few get-togethers and do what we always do.  We laughed at some of the antics of our youth, and my friend promised to pray that my own children don’t try half the stuff we tried. We laughed even harder at the minor (and sometimes not so minor) dysfunctions in our families of origin. We talked about whether she might ever get married, and if not, will she try to have a baby without a husband.  She shared her exciting stories of global travel with me, and I shared stories of being a mom to a teenager, a pre-teen and baby all at once. And we talked about those years in the future when we can get together more often, maybe even travel together again.

I’m very thankful that we make the effort to stay in touch, even if our encounters are few and far between.  I know I’ll be glad when I’m old and she and I are attending Red Hat Ladies luncheons, or we’re sunning our wrinkled old bodies on a beach somewhere.

UPDATE May 9, 2015

Awesome morning exercising with one of my bestie’s since high 10258681_10152908937665488_3637393969448378393_nschool, Jan Wadsack . But the BEST part? The trip down memory lane! As we were leaving, she was following me because we were trying to find a place to have coffee near Creve Coeur Park. And this was in the rearview mirror because of Jan’s expired plates, of which she was unaware. It has been AGES — like 30 years — since these two daughters of police officers were pulled over together. Being that our dads, and Jan’s uncle, all wore the badge, we could not go ANYWHERE without some police officer keeping an eye on us. One officer in particular pulled us over regularly just to harass us. I wish I had thought to ask the officer today to pose with us for a photo with his lights a-blazing. Another bonus — he didn’t give Jan a ticket!