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Welcome New Team Member, Chelsea!

We are very excited to welcome Chelsea to our CrossFit Sanitas team! She’s new to Boulder and will be working the front desk multiple days a week, usually in the early mornings, so be sure to say hi when you see her and give her a warm welcome to the community.

Chelsea was born and raised in Northwest Washington, and recently moved to Colorado to pursue her MBA at CU. She’s been an athlete her entire life, playing softball and soccer in her youth, competing in bodybuilding and powerlifting in college, and now doing CrossFit and trail running.

All of these experiences have led her to realize there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to diet or fitness, and the best path is the one that you love and can adhere to. For her, CrossFit satisfies the part of her that enjoys moving a barbell and learning new things, while keeping her fit enough to hit the trails.

Outside of the gym, Chelsea finds joy in baking, reading non-fiction, and connecting with people.

We also wanted to share this creative essay about trail running Chelsea wrote for her application to grad school:

The trees blurred. The only sounds were of my breathing and my shoes hitting the trail. I smiled. My arms flew into the air as I ran down the trail to maintain my balance as I rounded the corner of a switchback. I had spent my childhood and adolescence hiking, but this was my first time running downhill during a day in the mountains. I felt like I was flying. Even with an athletic history, trail running was intimidating and difficult, but that was the appealing part, so I persisted.  As I ran down a trail, my daily life faded into the background; I am transported to a place where I truly feel alive.

I love the freedom that trail running provides. I feel like a kid playing in the woods. My eyes are opened like a child’s who first discovers the feeling of dirt in their hands. It is innocent and pure. Trail running is about the discovery of self and of others. Solo-runs are an opportunity to release stress, plan my week, and appreciate life. This is all accomplished simultaneously while I jump over rocks, roots, run up and over hills, and dodge branches. Group runs foster community, and add an element of friendship that I have yet to experience in any other aspect of my life. We support each other, suffer together, and enjoy the beauty our world has to offer. Trail running is a desire to push further, do better, and overcome any obstacles in life.

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Rest: The Toughest Part of CrossFit…and Life

I recently saw a proposition on Instagram: “If you’re so mentally tough, take a rest week.”

What if mental toughness isn’t about your ability to go-go-go!  When I watch athletes during the CrossFit Games or at competition, it seems like mental toughness means fighting through at all costs.  

But what about that rest week as the Instagram account proposed?  If you can’t take a rest week, or a rest day, or take the time to focus on mobility or gymnastics to address those weaknesses instead of the WOD, tell me this — are you really mentally tough?

I propose that mental toughness is actually mental flexibility.  It’s recognizing when something is an excuse versus when you should stop, assess, and in some instances, modify the movement or stop the movement altogether to get assessed by a professional. Mental flexibility is going to mobility class instead of the WOD when you feel really tight and a bit exhausted.

“I determined something else was going on. So I stopped.”

During 19.2, the recent CrossFit Open competition workout with sets of 25 toes-to-bar between increasingly heavy hang squat cleans, I felt something funky happen in my hips and in my core. At that moment, mental toughness for me was pausing for a moment and assessing my body. Was this the typical “I feel tired and want to slow down?” thoughts, or was it something else? I’ve invested the time to train proper movement and therefore have a good grasp of what things should feel like when done correctly, including what is uncomfortable but still functional and safe, I determined something else was going on. So I stopped.

My mental toughness at that moment wasn’t “how much can I push through the pain?” Instead, in that scenario, mental toughness meant recognizing that something was out of whack, stopping my workout, and getting myself an appointment ASAP with Nicole. (Side note: something WAS wrong. I had thrown my SI joint out of alignment.) That mental flexibility allowed me to come back for a WOD and continue my training routine without interference. Had I pushed through that pain, well, who knows?

On another day, mental toughness may mean recognizing that I am recovered and using that data to feel confident giving my 100%, even if that max heart rate zone and seeming inability to breathe feels uncomfortable.

So is it all about mental toughness? Maybe for some folks. But I challenge us as a community to think more about mental flexibility. Let’s cheer people on when they’re going all out and giving 100%, but let’s also recognize the value and the strength it takes to take a step back; whether that means you need to modify a movement, take some time away from the main WOD for mobility or gymnastics to address some weaknesses, or to take a rest day. And ultimately, can you apply this to your life outside of the gym, too? How often are you pushing through life when maybe some rest and self-care are needed? Think about it.


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The Weekly Preview 040819

We have a week that’s packed with core and strict work for you all. And a big shoutout to our top 5 athletes from last month’s burpee challenge! Kathleen Dehaven has won herself a free 60-minute massage for completing 1,212 burpees during March. Kathleen Dehaven: 1212 Ashley Cohen: 1074 Mathew Gerke: 461 Meg Tufo: 407 Lydia […]

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The Sanitas Core Challenge

March was an inspiring month watching all of you get in your extra burpees each day. Kathleen and Ashley left everyone in the dust breaking over 1,000 burpees in 31 days. Kathleen is the overall winner and gets a free 60-minute massage for her badass effort! Kathleen Dehaven: 1212 Ashley Cohen: 1074 Mathew Gerke: 461 Meg […]

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The Weekly Preview 040119

We’re wrapping up the Sanitas Burpee Challenge and rolling straight into the start of the Sanitas Core Challenge! Each day we will be posting specific core exercises to target the trunk and develop better bracing techniques in order to mitigate injury-risk to the lower back. Monday: Strength: Front Squat w/4sec Pause in the Hole Every […]

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The Weekly Preview 032519

The CrossFit Open is finished! You all did such a great job testing yourself over these past five weeks! As we approach the end of the month, remember to keep up on that Burpee Challenge. We will be finishing off the month with a fun tester workout to see where you are at: 100 burpees for […]

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CrossFit Sanitas Track Practice Returns March 27

Coach-led track sessions at Centennial Middle School begin this week on Wednesdays at 6:30am and Saturdays at 8am. If you have running-based goals for 2019, or you simply want to improve this part of your fitness, try adding these sessions into your weekly training — or just join for an outdoor workout now and then! […]

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Strength Class 8 Week Strength Cycle

Over the next 8 weeks we will be progressing from higher volume and sub moderate loads to lower volume, higher intensity, and heavier weights! During this cycle you will come to see lots of accessory work targeted at fixing inefficiencies and improving muscular asymmetry. The goal is injury prevention and to prepare for higher volume […]

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The Weekly Preview 031819

The Weekly Outlook We are now into week 5 of the CrossFit Open. Scores must be submitted by 6pm on Monday night to be official. The limited number of remaining movements leads up to expect a spicy couplet to finish off the Open! A big shoutout to Dave Warfel, our March Member of the Month! […]

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