Sharon Hipp, CrossFit Durable's Member of the Month!!!

We are super thrilled to get to celebrate Sharon as our member of the month!  On top of having 7 children, 8 if you include her husband Tim (kidding!), she's in the gym at 5am each morning to start her day.  Sharon is not one to complain about a movement or workout, she just simply accepts the day and gets work done!  So many complain about not having enough time in the day but she is a shining example that it's always possible to make time if you make it a priority.

In our recent Nutrition Challenges Sharon has made steady gains to get to her goals.  Over the last 2 months she's simultaneously dropped 4.5% body fat while gaining almost 4 pounds of muscle.  That's amazing results!  We can't say enough great things about this woman.  Congrats again Sharon!!!

Here's a little more you may not have known about Sharon...

What did you think about CrossFit before you walked through the doors for the first time?

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This body will never be able to do that! My body was in so much pain from the effects of Lyme disease. 

What kept you coming back?

Even though it was painful to keep working out I felt myself getting stronger. I did not want to give that up. The encouragement I received from the coaches, other fellow members, and my family helped me keep coming. I love the 5am folks like family!!!

What might you tell someone who is still on the fence about trying CrossFit?

It will be the best thing you ever do to invest in your health! After one week you will be hooked!

What’s your favorite workout? 

Any kind of burner that last 20-30 minutes. I like endurance work that helps me work on pacing. 

What is the last thing you googled?

The weather to see if the children would play soccer today.

What is a weird fact that people may not know about yourself? 

I love the weather channel!  After living in Boone, NC for 5 years, where the weather can change every hour, I became accustom to watching it. 

If you could choose one superpower what would it be and why?

Flying, because who would not love to soar above!

What was the first concert you ever saw? 

Dave Matthews

What new skill will you have a year from now? 

Pull-ups :)

Injuries, inside or outside the gym 

I'm sure we have all had at least one in our lives. Injuries are normally viewed as limitations to what you can do physically from that point on until you have recovered. I'm here to tell you that injuries are actually opportunities. An injury is an opportunity to become an expert in a different area of your training.

Most people would agree with this statement, and most people would think that I'm not even saying anything new... but how many people actually take the opportunity that an injury gives them to become a specialist in a different aspect of the gym?

Here's a few guidelines if you're dealing with an injury.

1. Talk to your Coach

None of the coaches here at CrossFit Durable are doctors and we cannot diagnose injuries. But let us know that something is going on. We'll always recommend that you go see your doctor or chiropractor and figure out what is wrong. Then let us know how we can help!

2. Identify everything you are able to work with and make a list

Identify every part of your body that you can work on that isn't related to the injury. For example if you have a shoulder injury, working out your core, hips and legs should not be an issue. For a lower body injury, doing upper body movements should not be an issue. Your coach can help you!

3. Focus on the mobility and health of your muscles and joints.  

Mobility is a huge aspect of our fitness and usually overlooked. Ignoring mobility can be a cause of many minor and major injuries, so taking the time to focus on the parts of your body that are not yet injured, and doing some extra mobility can help prevent future injuries.

4. Make strength and strict movements your priority

Again, working around the injured body part, begin working on strengthening every other muscle that you can think of.  A shoulder injury is the perfect opportunity to start a strict squat cycle.  A leg injury is the perfect opportunity to master strict/weighted pull-ups, shoulder presses, or push-ups.

5. Make it your goal to become a specialist

CrossFit teaches that specializing is the enemy, and that is normally true. However, if you have a broken leg and you cannot squat, run, jump, etc, why not specialize in gymnastics? Master the muscle up, practice L-sits everyday, learn how to walk on your hands!

Again, injuries are not limitations. They are disguised as opportunities to learn something new, and to become a specialist around the gym. Make sure you work with a coach to determine appropriate scaling and modifications, and always refer back to your doctor when it comes to the actual injury itself.

Coach Scott

When it Comes to Nutrition, Keep it simple!

The nutrition world is inundated with diets, meal plans, false information, misleading advertising, and to be blunt, garbage we put in our bodies. So what do we do about it? We need to focus on the basics and KEEP IT SIMPLE. When we are in a bind, stressed, or short on time it makes it easy to think simple. There is no silver bullet or perfect plan, the one thing or plan, what to eat or not eat that will be the ultimate answer. Well, unfortunately, silver bullets and perfection is mostly a figment of your imagination. With that said, you should 100% be striving for it. This is how you start – make small decisions that are in your best interest over a period of time. Continuously doing it will lead to big results and a healthier lifestyle. As time passes decisions will get easier and easier and leave room for more improvement. Nutrition isn't a quick fix, strive for perfection by making good decisions and seeking constant improvement.

Here are a few habits you can put in place.

Don't drink your calories

A coffee from the coffee shop might as well be a giant slab of cake... a venti size frappuccino with whipped cream at Starbucks can have as many as 600 (!) calories. Booze is all empty calories (meaning you get no nutritional value) plus consuming alcohol in excess can cause you to make poor food choices. Fruit juice, while natural, is liquid sugar! Water or unsweetened tea is your best bet.

Drink water with every meal

Hunger can often masquerade as thirst. You may feel that you are still hungry, but really you just need some water, so drink a tall glass with every meal. If you can't decide if you need a snack or not, drink a glass of water and wait 20 minutes before going for the snack. If plain water is too boring, try infusing your water with fruit. Use a shaker bottle, add a few pieces of frozen fruit and you have a cold, lower sugar, flavorful drink.

Eat veggies with every meal

Mom said veggies are good for you and turns out she was right. Not only are you getting a boatload of nutrients and vitamins, but the water and fiber content of the veggies keeps you feeling fuller for longer. Try sautéing vegetables, like zucchini and onions, and seasoning with salt and pepper and fresh herbs like chopped thyme or tarragon. When in a pinch grab a bag of baby carrots, snap peas, or green beans. Almost all supermarkets have washed and packaged snack or smaller size portions of fresh veggies.

Make calculated indulgences

Nobody said, never indulge! Just plan and indulge smarter. A failure to plan is a plan for failure! If you know you're going out for dinner and you'll want to order dessert, make smart food choices leading up to your meal out and there's no need to feel guilty about the creme brule. Ordering the dessert is a planned indulgence. Now, if you find yourself eating junk food from a vending machine because you didn't plan ahead to bring your own food, you've indulged, but you probably haven't enjoyed it one bit. Plan ahead and eat well most of the time so you can eat something not so healthy but feels truly worth it guilt-free. There are non perishable food items you can stash for snacks; almonds are a great option.

Avoid your "trigger" foods

Can you think of any foods that once you start eating them you just can't seem to stop? The package of crunchy, salty, sugary, fatty whatever-it-is that you just need to keep snacking on until it's gone? Any food that triggers a binge, that is, a food you cannot eat in moderation, you should just simply steer clear of. Remove the temptation. If it is in your house get rid of it and replace it with a healthier option.

It all goes back to keep it simple. If it is to hard to follow it is a recipe for failure and frustration.

Take the tips above, focus on them and then start building upon them and if you need any help our nutrition certified coaching staff is here for ya!

Coach Scott

Ana Maria Vega, Durable's Member of the Month!


Ana and her husband Luiz joined CFD late last year and you'll usually find them cruising in on their motorcycles together for our 6:30pm class.  If you didn't know how sweet and kind they were you'd be scared of them...seriously, this is Ana's smile in the picture :) (JK!)

The Durable Community is so lucky to have a member like Ana because she gets involved in almost every event we offer...intramural open, member outings, local competitions, workshops/clinics and barbell clubs.

If you've yet to meet Ana read on to find out more!

What did you think about CrossFit before you walked through the doors for the first time? My best friend was a CrossFitter and challenged me to try it. In 2011 I decided to give it a shot...Best decision EVER!

What kept you coming back? After trying CrossFit, i knew I wouldn’t go back to “the gym” I realized that the structure and guidance offered by the coaches was a great fit for me.

What’s your favorite workout? Lifting is my favorite part of CF.... cardio, Not so much! 

If you could choose one superpower what would it be and why? If I could choose a superpower it would be to turn back time. 

What new skill will you have a year from now? Pull ups, but more specifically I hope to really improve on my Olympic lifts



Working Smarter Not Harder

The age old question when you first meet another CrossFitter, "what's your FRAN time?!".  Similar to guys at most gyms who want to know how much you bench.  We innately want to know where we stack up to others, not to say that there is anything wrong with that, there isn't.  Competition is an awesome driving force that pushes many of us to do great things.  The biggest problem though is when we view every day in the gym as a competition rather than a day to train we end up pushing ourselves further from being fit and more towards injury.

Picture walk into class and this is the workout posted on the board...  It's 4 rounds, 10 front squats, 10 box jumps and a 90 second row for calories with a 3 minute rest.  You love to row and immediately know you're going to have a great day.  Here's the results of your day...

Round 1 - 35 calories, Round 2 - 32 calories, Round 3 - 24 calories, Round 4 - 26 calories 

You're now lying in a pool of your own sweat and you and your buddy are giving fist bumps and nods of approval that resemble the ending  to every Lethal Weapon movie.  Neither of you can move because the lactic acid built up into your legs has suppressed your ability to do basic human functions.  We've all been there and we've all felt that feeling of accomplishment from giving it our all.  You'll definitely need to take a day off tomorrow from that shalaking you unleashed on that C2 rower, and besides, you're only missing weightlifting Wednesday.

As a Coach, here's what I saw in that athlete's performance: they could not sustain their effort across all four rounds.  Their rate of perceived exertion, RPE, (the amount of effort it takes to perform a task) for each round was probably close to their max capacity and they most likely pushed themselves to their absolute limits.  This only benefits athletes who are brand new to training and elite athletes with high work capacity (a subject for another article). For the rest of us mere mortals, unfortunately we just set ourselves back a couple of days in the gym.  Had this athlete approached the workout with a goal of achieving a pace of 30 calories/round they would have been able to sustain their effort across all four rounds and I would have seen them in class the following day.

Improving fitness in its most simplistic form is the ability to perform a volume of work consistently over a long stretch of time.  Staying consistent with our training while continuously exposing ourselves to different modalities will help us to always increase our strength, lean mass and fitness level!   Conversely, when we compound high intensity days repeatedly, with normal life stresses, an average diet and an average of 6 hours of sleep a night (raise your hand if this sounds like you... no one will see), we not only increase our risk of injury but more importantly prohibit the improvement of our overall fitness.

There will always be a time for us to dish out 125% of our effort at Durable and your Coaches will let you know that is, but as we work our way through a program, remember the more often you can train, the fitter, leaner and stronger you will become.

Coach Scott