Athlete of the MonthDecember

Scott Stickland

Years Doing CrossFit: 3

*

 

How long have you been doing CrossFit?

I started in January 2017 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

 

What made you decide to give 7 Mile Strength & Fitness a try?

It is a long and interesting story (at least to me)! My wife was pregnant (our son was born in October 2016) and I was busy getting life sorted out. I decided I should go for a physical with my doctor to see how I was doing (I unfortunately worked in a job with long hours with lots of travel and wasn’t focused on my health). I knew I was overweight (probably 225lbs at the time and had more stretch marks than my pregnant wife – currently 190ish) but the doctor was concerned about my results and urged me to make life changes. I stopped smoking, started going to a conventional gym and eating healthier. The gym was great – I enjoyed lifting weights but I was spending far too much time there and my wife wanted me to do shorter workouts (new baby and all). I started to look into options and heard about CrossFit – basically I tried it out because I heard it was an intense hour long workout and I also watched the Netflix movie and the guys were ripped. I finished my foundations class just as the 2017 open started and haven’t looked back.

 

What was the hardest part when you started out and how did you overcome that?

Changing my attitude towards working out. I thought that Olympic lifting was silly and then I started trying it out and it was humbling and it kept me coming back to try to get better.

 

We are unlike most traditional gyms – we require that all of our members have a Coach-for-Life. How has that been helpful to you?

It is great. It is nice to have a coach that understands me (injuries, goals, likes/dislikes). It is also keeps me accountable – I remember a couple of weeks ago I had been traveling and not in the gym for a bit and Brett sent me a note to check-in to see if everything was okay (I think I went straight to the gym after I landed).

 

You are taking part in this year’s Intertrust Cayman Islands Marathon. Is this your first marathon? Tell us a little bit about training with our marathon running club – how has that been helpful for you?

I will be running the full marathon. It is a first for me. The club is great and super helpful. It has kept me accountable and I have also learned a lot about running. Highly recommend the club for anyone that wants to get into running and a try a first marathon.

 

You recently participated in The CrossFit Games Open. You hit a bunch of PR’s in those workouts – congrats! What was your favorite Open workout and why?

I enjoyed 20.2 – I actually re-tested it after I ripped my hand on the first attempt. I like double-unders!

 

Name something you’re most proud of in the gym.

The relationships I have built. I moved to the island recently and it has been a great way to meet people (especially people that like CrossFit). The club is very welcoming.

Also making fun of Jay for never wearing a shirt.

 

Did you play any sports growing up?

I played hockey and soccer. But I was a little small vertically and a little wide horizontally – this is probably the best shape I have been in my whole life.

 

Anything people at 7 Mile Strength & Fitness don’t know about you?

I love the cold. Cayman is great but all I do is sweat.

 

Anything crazy on your bucket list? (bungee jumping, sky diving?)

Running a marathon. I am a cannon ball. This will be the biggest physical challenge of my life.

 

What is your favorite WOD and why?

Filthy 50!

 

What is your least favorite WOD and why?

Anything with heavy snatches and ring muscle-ups. I am still figuring both those movements out!

 

What has been your biggest surprise about doing CrossFit?

What the human body can do. I never thought I would be able to do the workouts that I do today.

 

Would you recommend 7 Mile Strength & Fitness to others and if so, why?

One hundred percent. I try to convince my wife every week (I cc’d her on this e-mail) – hint hint nudge nudge! It is fun, dynamic and it feels like a community.

 

Thanks Scott, we are proud to have you as our December 7 Miler!

 

Athlete of the MonthNovember

Kristen Lomas

Years Doing CrossFit: 6

*

How long have you been doing CrossFit?

I started CrossFit at the end of 2013 and came to 7 Mile in 2016.

 

What made you decide to give 7 Mile Strength & Fitness a try?

I liked the number of classes available, the types of classes/alternatives offered, and I had heard from a few people who went to 7 Mile how great the coaching was and the wonderful atmosphere at the gym. At the time you were also located right next to my workplace so it was very convenient for a mid-day class.

 

What was the hardest part when you started out and how did you overcome that?

Like many people I get nervous with new experiences, but I also know those feelings go away pretty quickly. So if I wanted to try it out, I just had to do it. I went to the first classes / intros with a friend and that helped with some of the nerves.

 

You’ve been with us for awhile now. What, in your opinion, has kept you consistent all this time?

I enjoy that 7 Mile runs its classes on time, that the coaches ensure we use proper form (to help us improve as well as keep us safe) and of course the many people I have met. Once you attend a certain class for a good amount of time the other members keep track of you (in a good way!) – and that is great for accountability. The consistency has helped with many things including keeping certain health markers in the desired range, keeping me more productive the days I go to the gym and helping my mood. On the days I have had to miss a workout (unplanned), I find my productivity is lower and I may be a wee bit more irritable (I am sure my husband would say way more irritable!!)

 

The 2020 CrossFit Games Open is upon us. How have the workouts been going for you? You’ve done the Open before – any different feelings about this year’s Open versus the rest of them? Congratulations on 20.3 as well. Getting a PR on your deadlift AFTER doing Diane is very impressive! Huge congrats!

The Open is a great experience because I enjoy competition atmosphere. There is a different feeling going into the workouts and you can really feel the positive energy in the gym. Its also great to be cheering on others who maybe have met their goal or hit a new PR. The only difference this year is that I am now into the next age category – not that it really matters but I like to analyze how many total people are in this age category versus previous. And the deadlift PR was fun and unexpected. Handstands and a PR – it was a great day!

 

What is one thing you’re most proud of in the gym?

I am proud to be able to workout with my 21 year old nephew who is also into CrossFit. He has come to visit here in Cayman and we have worked out together. I am almost sure I heard him say “for being old, you are cool”.

 

What would you say is one trait/characteristic you’d like to pass along to your daughter Tillie?

I know you asked for one, but we often talk about responsibility, respect and staying true to yourself. She has been into karate for a few years and these same items are discussed which is great reinforcement and helps her keep us in line. It is awesome to watch Tillie figure out what she likes and pursue it – even when it may be very different to what her friends are doing.

 

Anything people at 7 Mile Strength & Fitness don’t know about you?

I would not be upset if I had to sit in a casino and gamble all day long. I also quite enjoy really bad dance club music.

 

Anything crazy on your bucket list? (bungee jumping, sky diving, hiking?)

Not so much “crazy” items, but my bucket list contains:

  • Watch the Chicago Bears in a Super Bowl (which is not in my control and which will probably not happen anytime soon) AND
  • Take a month long trip to Italy and enroll in a culinary, coffee and cacao program.

 

What is your favorite WOD and why?

I do enjoy running and gymnastics WODs, but I really do not have a favorite. Sometimes my weakest moves can be in WODs that feel incredible to finish knowing I had to push a bit harder.

 

What is your least favorite WOD and why?

As mentioned above, even my least favorite movements (ugh thrusters) I do not mind in workouts as I feel a sense of accomplishment when I am done. And although my squat strength is weak (front and back!), I do enjoy pushing myself and talking to the coaches about how to improve (yes Brett on the accessory work – I’m trying!).

 

What has been your biggest surprise about doing CrossFit?

Biggest surprise about CrossFit in general is how many myths/misinformation there is (even all these years later). And the best surprise about 7 Mile Strength & Fitness is how they are able to dispel these myths (different strength classes, yoga, stretching, FIT classes, proper coaching, referring out when needed).

 

Would you recommend 7 Mile Strength & Fitness to others and if so, why?

I do often recommend 7 Mile. We are all working towards similar goals even though we have varying levels of fitness. The coaches and owners of 7 Mile do really promote their own members in what they do professionally and what they are committed to for items such as charities. It is more than just a gym and I am very proud to be a member.

Congratulations, Kristen!  We are proud to have you as our October 2019 7 Miler of the Month.

 

Athlete of the MonthOctober

Amol Pargaonkar

*

How long have you been doing CrossFit?

I started CrossFit in February this year so 8 months now.

 

What made you decide to give 7 Mile Strength & Fitness a try?

Prior to joining 7 Mile Strength & Fitness, I have routinely paid for various gym memberships but hardly used any of those. I then tried having a private coach with my wife once a week to keep myself motivated to do workouts regularly. It helped for a couple of months but then I ended up only going to gym on the private workout days. I needed much more than a normal gym to keep myself motivated. I took trial lessons with CrossFit in Camana Bay but did not fit in with the culture. I was then recommended 7 Mile Strength & Fitness by my private coach. I had also heard positive reviews about 7 Mile Strength & Fitness from my manager, Tasha Ebanks-Garcia. I made an appointment with Trevor and felt that I will for the first time enjoy going for a workout rather than just going to a gym just to keep my guilt clear.

 

What was the hardest part when you started out and how did you overcome that?

The hardest part after starting out was accepting that the body will be sore almost each and every day. It felt painful after all the lunges or the burpees. Initially I was worried about injuries but Trevor was a great help. Just a whatsapp message to him about any concerns and he would reply back and break down complex health terms in the simple language that I would understand. Also talking with Tasha, as we share a office space, kept me motivated and overcome the initial resistance.

 

We recently posted about your consistency in the gym and how working on your nutrition has helped you change your physique. Tell us a little bit about how your Coach for Life helped you with some of the changes you made and how those changes have had such a positive impact.

I am Indian and my diet was more of carbs with rice, Naan rotis, spicy curries etc. Eating carb and fat based food meant that I used to fill quickly without necessary calories. I knew that to have an impact on the workouts, I had to make a change to my diet. Working with Trevor, I got details on how to structure a diet and based on my weight got macro numbers that I should be managing on daily basis. It not only meant that I changed my diet but I also ate more. It was difficult to accept that I need to eat more to become healthy. I started keeping a diary for food and tried to come as close as possible to the necessary macro numbers (did not monitor those during holidays). I was then eating more but not gaining any weight. I am now following the motto of eat properly, workout hard and then enjoy the rest of the healthy day. I had slight issues with my blood pressure but with workout and healthy diet, I have been able to control those without medication.

 

Congratulations on having a new addition to your family! What was it like becoming a father for the second time? Future CrossFit kids? ;)

Thanks again. The newborn is called ‘Abhinav’ which means ‘Unique’ in Indian. Life has got back to changing nappies and discussions about poop. Definitely no more kids – I have had my quota full. ;)

 

Name something you’re most proud of in the gym.

It has now been almost 8 months and I am continuously going to gym. Doing a WOD everyday rather than a gym routine just keeps me motivated. I have never gained such consistency in my entire life. I am actually loving to get up at 4.45 am in the morning and looking forward to drive to CrossFit.

 

Did you play any sports growing up?

I was Table Tennis captain of my college.

 

Anything people at 7 Mile Strength & Fitness don’t know about you?

Being an Indian, I love Cricket but after staying out of India for last 20 years (9 years in Germany and 9 years in London) now love to watch football as well.

 

Anything crazy on your bucket list? (bungee jumping, sky diving?)

Stay in Himalayas for few months.

 

What is your favorite WOD and why?

Squats and Wall balls. I believe they you great balance and strength to the core.

 

What is your least favorite WOD and why?

Burpees. Those just pull all the strength out of you.

 

What has been your biggest surprise about doing CrossFit?

You can have a strong community and enjoy fitness activities.

 

Would you recommend 7 Mile Strength & Fitness to others and if so, why?

I would absolutely recommend 7 Mile Strength & Fitness to others. I am not an extrovert and was welcomed by all the members upon joining. It is a fantastic mixture of fun and fitness.

 

Congratulations, Amol!  Keep up the great work!

 

Athlete of the MonthSeptember

Ahmed Elsheshtawy

Years Doing CrossFit: 3

*

How long have you been doing CrossFit?

I’ve been doing CrossFit on and off for a little bit over three years. I joined 7 Mile around eight months ago.

 

What made you decide to give 7 Mile Strength & Fitness a try?

Honestly, I originally wanted to join 7 Mile because the times of the classes worked better with my schedule, and the gym is very close to my workplace. I also thought that trying a new gym might motivate me to actually show up more. However, after the first few PT sessions, I realized that it was going to be much more than just that. It’s been a great experience so far, and I continue to learn and grow every day.

 

What was the hardest part when you started out, and how did you overcome that?

The hardest part was learning new moves that didn’t come naturally to me, like the Olympic lifts and double-unders. I used to do a lot of cherry-picking when I first started in order to avoid moves that I didn’t like.

 

We are unlike most traditional gyms – all of our members have a Coach-for-Life. How has that been helpful to you?

This has been extremely helpful! I didn’t realize how much value a coach can add to the quality of your training once you start working one-on-one with them. Coach Brett has taught me a lot about how to move properly and always motivates me to push a little bit harder.

 

I see you’re a huge football (soccer) fan! Any World Cups coming up for you in the future.  ;)

I was actually born in Qatar, where the next World Cup is going to be held. I haven’t been back since I was 5 years old, so it’d be great if I can go and watch a couple of games in 2022. In the meantime, I’m happy with playing football on Sundays.

 

I know when most people travel “back home,” they always get a few of their favorite foods/snacks. Anything from home (Egypt) that you miss that you can’t get here?

I really miss Koshari, the national dish of Egypt! It’s a wonderful concoction of rice, pasta, lentils, chickpeas, and tomato sauce. A carbs overload that satisfies the stomach and warms the soul. It’s also an excellent post-Murph meal!

 

Name something you’re most proud of in the gym.

If I have to choose something I’m proud of, it’ll have to be the discipline I was able to build during the past few months when it comes to exercising. The simplest inconveniences used to stop me from going to the gym for days. Days turn into weeks, and you know the drill. There’s still a lot more room for improvement, but just last week, I showed up for an after-work class to do ten rounds of running and burpees. Old me would have skipped that without batting an eye.

 

Did you play any sports growing up?

Just like 90% of Egyptian kids, the only sport I ever played growing up was football. But I only played competitively for a brief time while in university.

 

Anything people at 7 Mile Strength & Fitness don’t know about you?

I’m usually a quiet guy, so there’s probably a lot of things. But I don’t think anyone knows that I like singing Karaoke every now and then. I’m not necessarily good at it, but I do like it.

 

Anything crazy on your bucket list? (bungee jumping, sky diving?)

I’m not really a bucket list kind of guy, but I’d love to one day attend a Liverpool home game. Extra points if it’s against Manchester United and we beat them.

 

What is your favorite WOD, and why?

I don’t really have a favorite WOD. Sometimes I dread the workout of the day, especially when it includes some moves that I haven’t mastered yet. But I always end up feeling great afterward, which is why I keep coming back for more!

 

What is your least favorite WOD, and why?

Thankfully they don’t get programmed that often, but Turkish get-ups are terrible and should be canceled. I know they’re good for you, but at what cost! :D

 

What has been your biggest surprise about doing CrossFit?

CrossFit gets a bad rep for being “too intense,” so I was surprised by how much attention is given to making sure everyone is moving correctly and safely. A lot of times we spend more time warming up than actually doing the WOD.

 

Would you recommend 7 Mile Strength & Fitness to others and if so, why?

I definitely would! It’s a great place to work out, all the coaches are great and genuinely want to see you reach your goals, and everybody is always so nice and encouraging. It’s a great community to be part of!

 

Thanks, Ahmed and congratulations!

 

 

Athlete of the MonthAugust

Jeremy Hadley

Career: Accountant

Years Doing CrossFit: 2

*

How long have you been doing CrossFit?

I started doing CrossFit when I joined 7 Mile Strength & Fitness around 2 years ago.

 

What made you decide to give 7 Mile Strength & Fitness a try?

Until joining 7 Mile Strength & Fitness my workouts consisted of a few basic routines I’d come up with in high school using free weight exercises and machines. I managed to get by with it when I was in my teens/20s while playing sports at school several days a week. But as more years went on I became increasingly less motivated in the gym due to boredom and mediocre results, so I decided it was time to get a little more serious about my fitness goals. I really wanted to find something a lot more challenging and comprehensive where I could also learn some new technical skills (such as the olympic/power lifts and gymnastics movements).

 

What was the hardest part when you started out and how did you overcome that?

Building consistency, trying to overcome existing confidence issues and trying not to compare myself to others in the gym. When I first joined, I had been dealing with a lower back injury for months and was also struggling through the end of a long-term relationship, so needless to say I was in pretty bad shape physically/emotionally. I used to look at the WODs and get really nervous about showing up to regular class, even though I knew they could be scaled. Because of this I avoided the regular classes for a long time and opted for FitCon with the idea that I would try and build up a base and graduate myself into regular classes once things improved. The FitCon programming was awesome in this respect. It was really challenging and interesting, and allowed me to focus more simply on just coming to the gym and working hard (to build that consistency/confidence) since it is less technical. It was exactly what I needed and the perfect transition into regular CrossFit. So now I look forward to coming to regular classes and I’m definitely much more focused on where I am rather than where I am in relation to others.

 

You recently got your first muscle up! Congrats! Muscle ups are a very high skill movement and you made it look pretty easy ;) How did it feel being able to do such a difficult movement?

Well, it definitely did not feel “easy”!! I was pretty surprised when I finished the rep. Given where I started a couple years ago it felt great but it also reinforced that this is still very much the beginning for me and that I need to keep working hard.

 

You’re a desk jockey and a CrossFitter by day ;) – is coming to the noon class a nice way to break up your work day?

100%. On days when I don’t workout at lunch I usually feel like crap by 5-6pm. It’s amazing how much a good workout can really reset the day for you, especially during peak accounting season when things are extra stressful/demanding. I’m definitely a lot more chilled out in the office and in e-mails after doing a metcon 

 

You’ve been very consistent lately. Tell us a little bit about how you stay motivated to keep coming.

I think most of us can relate here but life happens and for various reasons we may oscillate between working really hard / consistently in the gym and then getting lazy or distracted and losing a lot of progress. Now that I’m more focused on my longer-term goals I’m really trying to minimize this and make health and fitness a permanent lifestyle choice.

 

Name something you’re most proud of in the gym.

Don’t consider myself a very proud person generally but if I had say anything I guess it would be that I’m proud of the consistency I’ve been able to maintain over the last 6-7 months. I had to dig really deep to pull myself out of the hole I was in when I first arrived just so that I could feel “normal” again. It feels good to have finally found that momentum.

 

Did you play any sports growing up?

Nothing very competitively, but I did wrestling, football (American), baseball, and hockey through various parts of grade school. Now I just enjoy a humbling round of golf every now and then ;)

 

Anything people at 7 Mile Strength & Fitness don’t know about you?

I have been learning Latin bachata dancing for the last 3 months and just attended a dance congress in Miami. It was a lot of fun but I’m a pretty shy person so the experience was also terrifying especially given I’m a beginner and everyone else was advanced. Nothing like a healthy dose of getting out of your comfort zone.

 

Anything crazy on your bucket list? (bungee jumping, sky diving?)

I’ve always wanted to do a lap around the Isle of Man TT motorcycle course.

 

What is your favorite WOD and why?

Haven’t really figured this one out yet. Thumbs up to anything that leaves me feeling high on air.

 

What is your least favorite WOD and why?

Nothing yet. No pain no gain?

 

What has been your biggest surprise about doing CrossFit?

Few things:

1. How long it takes to master the power/OLY lifts to a proficient level and to be able to cycle them quickly at working weights. I was not able to appreciate how complex the movements really are until I started trying to learn them. I’m always inspired when I see the veterans around the gym plowing through power snatches and deadlifts in great form like it’s nobody’s business.

2. How cool everyone is at our gym and most other gyms. Like I said earlier, I was pretty intimidated when I first joined but now I know there was nothing to be afraid of. The support that the coaches and other members provide each other is incredible.

3. Also, CrossFit is addicting, especially as a beginner once you realize that you can get great results by simply turning up to class and pushing yourself. I really question what the hell I was doing all the years before I joined.

 

Would you recommend 7 Mile Strength & Fitness to others and if so, why?

Totes. Being somewhat of a traveler I’ve visited around 6 other CF boxes so far. While I may be biased in saying this I think our gym really does have an edge on the quality of coaching.

 

Congratulations again, Jeremy!  We’re proud to have you as our July 7 Miler of the Month!

5 Hydration Tips for the Summer


While hydration is always important, it’s even more important when the hotter weather strikes. For us in Cayman, the weather is hot all year round but during the summer the humidity gets really high so staying hydrated is crucial. And while we’re fortunate enough that we’re not talking about severe hydration that can kill you, even mild hydration has its consequences. Such as:

 

  • It dampens your mood

 

  • It causes headaches (ever spent an entire day at the beach and wondered why you had a splitting headache all evening?)

 

  • It increases fatigue (did you have not only headache post-beach day, but also felt ready for bed at 7 pm?)

 

It’s not rocket science. If you have experienced mild dehydration before, the answer is simple: You need more fluids in your system.

 

 

 

Here are 5 tips to get you guzzling all of the water if you’re spending more time in the sun this summer:

 

 

1. Water-Plus

 

Some of us have a hard time drinking a lot of water. It can almost feel like we’re force-feeding ourselves, which isn’t pleasant. So we drink soda or juice or Gatorade (or beer) instead—aka sugar bombs. Instead of turning to sugar drinks, go the infused fruit route instead!

 

Lemon water, lime water, orange water, cucumber water, or even raspberry water often helps make it easier to chug 500 mL of water in one sitting. Another great one: Raspberry, lemon and mint water. Prepare of 4 L jug of it in the am and you won’t feel like you’re forcing yourself to drink water all day.

 

And if fruit-infused water isn’t for you, then maybe carbonated water is. We did a bit of research into carbonated water and whether it’s A-OK for your health and all signs point to yes. One common concern: Is it bad for my teeth? According to this study, no! (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11556958).

 

Research also suggests it hydrates you as well as still water and is easier for many to swallow, especially older adults ((https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26607248). Meanwhile further research says it helps with constipation.

 

 

 

2. Let Your Thirst be Your Guide

Hunger and thirst signal are there for a reason: To tell us we need food or water. It really is that simple…

 

That being said, we have often been told that: ‘If you’re thirsty, it’s too late!!!’ Too late for what? (If we really were “too late,” then all mammals on the planet would probably have died from dehydration. Instead, animals drink when they’re thirsty. And so should we).

 

The point is, if you feel thirsty, it’s not too late. It simply means that it’s important to drink ASAP. Becoming in tune with your body’s natural thirst signals is step one, and then step two is to BE PREPARED and have water readily available, especially in the summer when you’re going to need more than the winter.

 

 

  3. Be Prepared and Add Ice!

If drinking ice cold water gets you drinking more, then prepare a big jug or water bottle in the morning with lots of ice (and fruit infused if you desire) to entice you to drink, drink, drink. Because there’s nothing more appealing than a giant jug of ice water on a hot summer day—it certainly beats trying to find a fountain to bend over at and drink awkwardly.

 

4. Wake Up and Chug!

If you’re a coffee drinker especially, wake up and have a big glass of water before you drink your morning coffee—which only serves to dehydrate you even further. Drinking first thing in the morning will also go a long way in preventing you from being starving and eating too much at breakfast time.

 

 

5. Drink First, Then Shower Yourself..

Although it feels good to poor water on your head, or jump in a pool to cool off, remember nothing cools you off more effectively from the inside out than drinking plenty of cold water. So drink first, the dump the rest all over your body…

3 Ways We Will Help You Feel More Comfortable in the Gym


For many people, the gym is an intimidating place! Fear or intimidation of the gym is one of the most common reasons people avoid exercise. If this is you—you have been putting off starting a new gym routine because you’re apprehensive or intimidated—you’re certainly not alone.

 

Whether it’s fear of looking dumb because you don’t know what you’re doing (or embarrassment because you don’t know what you’re doing), fear of failure because you know you’re not as fit as you used to be, or fear of being pushed to do something you’re not comfortable doing, we’ve got you covered to help you overcome that hesitation 🙂

 

 

Here’s How We Are Different:

 

3. Coach in Your Corner

First and foremost, we are a coaching service. This means every single time you come through the door, you will be coached, thus eliminating your fear of not knowing what to do at the gym. Not only that, you will not be thrown right into a group class with experienced veterans. You will begin by working in a safe, one-on-one environment with just you and a coach until you’re physically, mentally and emotionally prepared to join a group.

And in fact, on your first day with us, all we will do is sit down and talk to get to know you and what you’re looking for to see if we’re a good fit for you—nothing scary about that, right?

 

 

 

2. Personalized Fitness

Your personal coach will get to know your strengths and limitations, your injury history and your fitness goals, and will guide your training in a way that’s appropriate your unique wants and goals and abilities. This means you don’t need to fear being pushed to do something you’re not ready for, like climb a rope when you’re terrified of heights and from falling from the ceiling because your arms might give out….Our priority is to keep you safe!

This also means you don’t need to be worried about not being as fit as you once were. Our goal is to keep you safe and build you up slowly and responsibly, keeping you healthy and injury-free in the process.

 

 

 

1. Not Your Average Anti-Social Gym

It can be intimidating walking into a gym full of super fit-looking people all with their headphones on talking to nobody. Meanwhile, you feel like the odd duck in the corner of the room hoping nobody is secretly laughing at you for using the machine incorrectly. This typical anti-social gym environment is everything we are not!

We’re a family-friendly gym, where you get to know and develop genuine friendships with the people you train next to, making even the most timid new clients feel that much more welcome and accepted.

 

If this sounds more appealing than your past gym experiences, contact us now.

Athlete of the MonthJuly

Briana Ebanks

Years Doing CrossFit: 1

*

How long have you been doing CrossFit?

About 9 months

 

What made you decide to give 7 Mile Strength & Fitness a try?

I was really at a low point in my life and realized that it was up to me to make some changes to improve my physical health. I was extremely overweight and unhappy with myself.

 

What was the hardest part when you started out and how did you overcome that?

Making the decision to actually do something. Once I did, it was just a matter of getting myself to the gym. It was also a bit overwhelming to see all the really fit people in the classes work out like rock stars. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to not make a complete fool of myself, let alone try and keep up. I ended up doing two rounds of PT Fundamentals and facing my fears head on. Luckily I found the community at CrossFit 7 Mile so welcoming and everyone really encouraged me on my journey.

 

How has having a Coach for Life been helpful for you?

Trevor has been really great. I am thankful that he was able to curb my fears about joining the classes and modifying my workouts to assist me particularly with my knee issues. I know I can count on him to provide me with sound advice and he even provides me with WODs whilst I am off island, albeit burpees included at no extra charge. LOL.

 

We are just over the half way mark in the year. Are there any goals you wish to accomplish this year – inside or outside of the gym?

To keep improving my fitness levels. I would like to be able to do a pull up, but first I need to lose another 20 lbs.

 

Favorite hobby outside the gym?

Reading and gardening.

 

Name something you’re most proud of in the gym.

The decision to workout every day Monday to Friday. In April I made the decision to move up from 3 to 5 days a week. I found that I just feel better the days that I work out.

 

Did you play any sports growing up?

When I was young I did a lot of roller skating but I always loved the water and anything at the beach was fair game – swimming ,water skiing, hydro sliding, etc.

 

Anything people at 7 Mile Strength & Fitness don’t know about you?

How much I admire the fitness levels and dedication that so many put in to their workouts. I also appreciate the support and community they have.

 

Anything crazy on your bucket list? (bungee jumping, sky diving?) .

No I am not a thrill seeker in that regard. I like to keep my feet planted on the ground and have no desire to jump out of a perfectly good airplane or bridge. I am thinking about learning to scuba though.

 

What is your favorite WOD and why?

Don’t think I have a favorite as I enjoy that we do something different everyday. That is what makes it fun and enjoyable for me.

 

What is your least favorite WOD and why?

Burpees of course. Just a different word for torture.

 

What has been your biggest surprise about doing CrossFit?

That I would really enjoy it the way I do. I hadn’t worked out in years and had really low self esteem when it came/comes to my body. That is changing and although I am not where I want to be physically, I know I am on the right path. I feel better about myself and the journey has really made a positive impact on my personal wellbeing.

 

Would you recommend 7 Mile Strength & Fitness to others and if so, why?

Definitely and I do all the time. Staff are knowledgeable, friendly and encouraging. I’ve met a lot of people both coaches and people who started out like me (maybe not at such a low fitness level) who are dedicated to improving their fitness levels which is inspiring. Everyone also encourages each other which makes it fun.

 

Congratulations, Briana!  We are so proud to have you as our July 7 Miler of the Month.

 

Two Hours Outside a Week Will Bring Your Health to a New Peak


Get out of the house, kids!

 

Go play outside!

 

We don’t know a single mother who hasn’t barked those words at her kids at one point in time. And while getting the kids out of the house so she could enjoy five minutes of peace and quiet might have been your mother’s prime directive, we like to think mothers have good instincts, so it’s possible her intuition told her getting outside would make you healthier. Mother’s instinct was correct: Science says so!

 

A new study published in the Journal Scientific Reports (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-44097-3) says a two-hour dose of nature each week boosts not just mental health, but physical health too. OK, the truth is this isn’t the first study to tell us this, but it IS the first study to tell us how much time we need to spend at the park, in the backyard or at the beach each week in order to reap the health benefits. The answer: A minimum of two hours.

 

To discover their findings, the researchers interviewed 20,000 people from England about their weekly activity levels. They were specifically curious as to how much of this time was spent outside.

 

Of those who said they rarely spent time in nature, close to 50 percent of them also said they weren’t happy with their lives, and a quarter of them were considered to have poor physical health. Meanwhile, of those who said they spent at least two hours outside per week, only 14 percent of were of poor health, and considerably fewer (20 percent fewer) said they weren’t happy with their lives. These numbers were fairly consistent even when considering different demographics of people: rural versus urban, wealthy versus urban, and old versus young.

 

Does where you are outdoors matter?

 While the latter study didn’t consider where you were outside—in a remote forest versus going for a walk on along the Vegas strip—previous research that looked into Japanese forest bathing suggests that being in a quieter place in nature helps reduce stress more than spending time outside in a more urban environment.

 

And for those of you who spend too much time in the gym to even want to consider doing more exercise just for the sake of getting outside, that same research suggests you don’t even need to be exercising to get the health benefits: You can literally just be sitting passively in non-urban natural environments taking in your surroundings (and the sun tanners score a point!).

 

5 other researched health benefits of spending time outside include:

 

1. Reduces inflammation: This study looked at students who spend time outside: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22840583). This study looked at its effects on the elderly (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22948092)

 

2. Decreases anxiety and depression: There is a lot of research that suggests this. Here’s one study:(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov./pubmed/20337470)

 

3. Lowers blood pressure:This might be linked to stress levels being lower after spending time outside: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2793346/)

 

4. Boosts you immune system:This 2010 study says just that: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2793341/)

 

5. Improves creativity: If you have a job that requires being creative, consider spending time outside first. This study says it increases creativity (measured by a creative problem-solving task test) by 50 percent: (https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0051474).

 

The gym’s great. We love it when you come here. But we also want you to get outside!

Athlete of the MonthJune

Becks Tyers-Smith

*

How long have you been doing CrossFit?

I started doing the fundamentals with Brett in May 2017 and began classes after the summer.

 

What made you decide to give 7 Mile Strength & Fitness a try?

Pete!! He loves CrossFit and for a long time (3 years!!) he has wanted me to do it too!! The 10am class fit with my schedule so I decided to give it a try!!

 

What was the hardest part when you started out and how did you overcome that?

I was scared about the barbell element of CrossFit. When doing the fundamentals it felt like there was so much to remember for each of the movements and I lacked confidence in doing them. The fundamentals with Brett enabled me to gain some confidence, but when I started classes I had the feeling that I wanted to avoid classes with lots of barbell movements.
However, the turning point for me was when I was encouraged to face my fear and I decided to do Barbell Club. Doing my first Barbell Club was totally out of my comfort zone and I got nervous every session! However, it was the best thing I could have done because now I actually want to do more barbell work!! The repetition of the complex barbell movements was fantastic for me and it gave me confidence that I needed. Brett and Chris were outstanding and helped me so much to achieve what I have in Barbell Club. Thank you both very much!!

 

We recently had a discussion about your bone fusion in your back and how coming to CrossFit has helped alleviate some of the pain you’ve experienced. Tell us a little bit about when you found out about it and how exercise has been better for you.

I found out I had Ankylosing Spondylitis in 2004, which for me causes inflammation in my sacroiliac joint and spine. I have always been active which has helped with the flare ups but, only since doing CrossFit I can say I have had no flare ups and I no longer take medication for it which is amazing!!!

 

Your husband Pete is also a member – we loved seeing him cheer you on in the first Fitness Test earlier this month btw. We’re curious, who would do 50 burpees faster, you or him ;)

Hahahahahahaha!! Hands down Pete! You could have chosen something I might be able to beat him at!!!

 

You participated in the CrossFit Open in February this year. The next Open is 5 months away. Are you going to participate again and if so, what are your goals? Anything in particular you’ve been working on?

Yes for sure I am going to participate in the next Open! It would be awesome if I could nail my toes to bar before then! I have been working on them in PTs but I need to make time to work on them outside of PTs to achieve this I think. I would also like to be able to do double unders by then too, so again I need to put in the work outside of class time!

 

Name something you’re most proud of in the gym.

Probably my squat snatch/overhead squat. During my fundamentals I couldn’t even squat with a pvc pipe above my head!!

 

Did you play any sports growing up?

Yes, I swam for a club, represented my county Leicestershire at netball, and I played tennis for a club.

 

Anything people at 7 Mile Strength & Fitness don’t know about you?

Ummm… I did the 2 mile North Sound Open Water swim in Virgin Gorda, BVI in 2014.

 

Anything crazy on your bucket list? (bungee jumping, sky diving?)

I have always wanted to do a sky dive….. but I would also really like to ski/snowboard again regularly and go on safari.

 

What is your favorite WOD and why?

I don’t really have one, but I like WODs that have a mixture of gymnastic movements and barbells, and I do like rowing!

 

What is your least favorite WOD and why?

I am not overly keen on wall balls, so I guess Karen would be my least favourite WOD at the moment!

 

What has been your biggest surprise about doing CrossFit?

How much I have grown to love CrossFit!! I didn’t think I could love another sport as much as I love tennis!! But I do! There is so much to learn and room for improvement, so I don’t ever get bored!!

 

Would you recommend 7 Mile Strength & Fitness to others and if so, why?

Hands down 100% ! The coaches are outstanding, so knowledgeable and encouraging. The staff and people are really friendly and I have made some friends for life!!

 

Thanks Becks, we are proud to have you as our June 7 Miler.