Why I compete in the CrossFit Open

Why I compete in the CrossFit Open

Let me start by saying that I am not competing in the Open because I have any hope of winning or doing particularly well by any external measure. I will certainly not place in the top 10 or even close to the top 100. I might adapt movements or skip them all together because I am still working through injuries.

But I am competing anyway. And I can’t wait!

The CrossFit Open is so much more than a three-week competition (although it’s definitely that as well). It is the entire process. It’s watching the announcement and trying to guess the workouts, followed by equal levels of excitement and anxiety because I know how hard it will feel. It is showing up with my community and doing it together.

The Open shows us we are so much stronger than we think, that we are capable of so much more.

I love the Open because it pushes me to challenge myself beyond my normal range. Doing the workout that everyone around the world is doing—even if I end up doing it at home, in my second bedroom, alone at 5am—brings a level of give-a-f*ck that I normally don’t tap into. Because I know that my score matters, really matters!

But it’s even bigger than that. I love watching seasoned athletes workout alongside those  tackling it for the first time, and then they cheer on the new athletes who are giving it their best shot.

It’s about seeing people who thought they couldn’t do it come out and try their hardest. Then they become cheerleaders for friends who also thought they might fail. We become more than we were when we began the workout. And we leave as better people because of it.

For me, the Open is much more than a weekly test of fitness. The Open is a chance to give to our community more than we take for ourselves, to cheer on our friends, and show up for each other when we need it the most.  I am proud to be part of a community that has not let this tough year dictate how they show up.

The Open shows us what we are capable of—that it’s okay to push outside our comfort zone, knowing that this is where growth happens, and that through everything that has happened we are a community striving for a better tomorrow.

Seizing the Day

The Open is a chance for something more, and that is why we do it. Because it is our opportunity to push our limits, to walk out of the gym (or living room) stronger than when we walked in. We know that we saw the challenge and faced it head on.

We show up, do something uncomfortable, and because of that we know that we can embrace the rest of our day with courage. How you show up to your workout, just like how you show up to your day, is your choice—and the Open is our chance to make the choice to push for something more.

This year has been anything but normal, and every day that you enter the ring you make a choice to be better. You are choosing to take control of the things you have control over, to let go of the things you don’t, and to leave it all on the table knowing that you gave it your best.

And that is why I do the Open. Because how I show up to this challenge is how I show up to it all. Ready to be uncomfortable, ready for the possibility that I will lose, ready to put everything   into something where the outcome is uncertain. Because at the end of the day I know I did my best. And for me, that will always be enough.

The 2021 CrossFit Open has Arrived

The 2021 CrossFit Open has Arrived

What makes CrossFit so beautiful is that everyone works out an affiliate box for different reasons.

Perhaps it’s so you can be healthier for yourself and for your family. Maybe you enjoy being part of a community. Or maybe you love competing with your friends. Nothing like a challenge.

But now we can take it up a few notches. It’s called The CrossFit Open, and it’s a global celebration of all the reasons we love doing CrossFit.

The 2021 CrossFit Open begins March 11th and registration is now LIVE! It’s a wildly popular international sporting event. In 2018, the event attracted a record 415,000 athletes.

Here’s how it works. The competition runs for three weeks, with a new workout released each Thursday. You must submit your performance by the following Monday, which is needed so you might advance to the next level.

The Open is for everyone irrespective of age, gender, or ability. Each event will have an RXd, scaled, foundations, and equipment-free variation. There are divisions for teens, masters, and adaptive athletes. Truly, no one is left behind.

You can tackle these workouts at RedLeaf (depending on COVID regulations in place at the time), from home, at a park, or anywhere with a flat surface.

The 2021 CrossFit Open has Arrived

Three Ways to Make 2021 a Great Year

A new year is like a painter starting with a fresh canvas. It’s hers to shape and perfect.

But as we look ahead, let’s also take time to reflect on our health and fitness journey on the 12 months just passed.

For those who were successful in 2020, Keep Going! Be proud of your accomplishments and lend a hand to someone else in your life that may need it.

For others, as we begin 2021, it’s time to remove all the challenges, obstacles, and excuses that have been in your way in 2020.

But where do we start? Here’s three sure-fire ways to make a change, your health and fitness journey:

1. You should start slow in January. Think of it as a month to build momentum on what’s to come. Start creating small habits you can integrate easily. Use the December Healthy Holiday Challenge habits as a start (posted on the @redleaf_fitness Instagram page).

2. Find a small win daily. Instead of tackling hard goals from the start, begin with accomplishing small goals and finding small wins every day.

Here is an outstanding method passed onto me from a friend who is a fan of James Clear. (His book Atomic Habits is on my list to read this year. WIN!)

“If you have a goal to start running in 2021, try chalking up small wins each day.

Start with just taking your shoes out of storage and placing them by the door. WIN.

Maybe for a few days or weeks you just look at them. WIN.

Perhaps one day you put them on. WIN. 

A week later you put them on and walk around in your house. WIN.

One morning with your shoes on, you decide to go out for a morning walk. WIN.

Slowly, this will get you running. Those small daily wins matter and will help you create habits to inch you towards your goals. “

3 – Write down your goals using pen and paper. Seeing your goals on paper helps immensely. It allows you to see what it is you really want to achieve.


Here are bonus ideas on modifying your diet that will in turn support your new fitness goals:

  • Eat vegetables with every meal.
  • Commit to drinking water with dinner.
  • Cook at least three homemade meals per week.
  • Drink less alcoholic drinks per week.
  • Eat less sugar.
  • Commit to drinking more water throughout the day.
  • Commit to doing a personal training session once a week with RedLeaf Fitness.
  • Stretch when you wake up, or before bed, or do it both times.
  • Aim to get 8-10k steps every day.

Happy New Year, Keep Going & wishing you all a fruitful 2021.

Why I compete in the CrossFit Open

CrossFit: We’re Back.

RedLeaf Fitness, after careful consideration, has decided to embrace the CrossFit brand again, believing the changes promised by the new management team mean we can resume the journey with all its original promise.

The 2021 CrossFit Open has Arrived

How To Get The Best Fitness at Home

Here we go again. The gym is closed, and it feels like we are back to ground zero.

Except this time we face new challenges – it’s the holiday season, it’s cold outside, and our days have less sunlight.

What does this mean for us? It means we need to Keep Going, take our fitness home, and make it a priority.

Here are my four tips when working out from home.

1 – Schedule it In Stone

Set up a schedule and insert a time for your workout. Whether it’s for 20 minutes, or one hour, mark it in, and ensure that the time slot is now blocked off. Don’t let any meetings or tasks compete with that spot.

2 – Tools You Will Need

Great news, your body is your first tool! The number of exercises and the intensity you can accomplish using your own body weight is unlimited.

Yet you may still want to add some equipment to boost your workout. My recommendations to start are: light weights (dumbbell or kettlebell), a jump rope, and a medium resistance band.

If you are an active member of RedLeaf Fitness, you can email Coach Michelle at michelle@redleaf.fit to have that set up for you.

3 – A Space for Fitness

Ideally you don’t want to workout in the same area where you have your virtual office. Instead, consider a popup gym in a spare room, or an area used less frequently. Then it becomes a special area for getting fit and healthy. This is a space where once you enter you can tell yourself: “It’s go time!”

4 – Movement Snacks Are a Thing

Movement snacks are small breaks during the day, say one to five minutes long, where you get up from your chair and move your limbs. This can be a stretch or a couple of exercises.
An example of this would be interlocking your fingers behind your low back and opening up the chest for 30 seconds. Or, perform 20 stand-and-sit movements, like a squat, from your chair or couch.

With this, it’s time to decide whether you are goal-oriented or someone who needs accountability. This is especially important to ensure you Keep Going despite feeling unmotivated.

Goal-Oriented Athletes

If you’re someone who is motivated by a challenge, this is the perfect time to re-evaluate your goals to see what you can accomplish to keep moving the needle.

What goal will you set to get you out of bed to hit your gym? Or, what do you need to get your workout in after a long day of work?

When establishing your goal, ensure it is SMART. That is, make sure your goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. If you need help tailoring your goal, reach out to one of the coaches at RedLeaf Fitness who will be over the moon to guide you.

Accountability and You

If you’re someone that needs accountability. We are here for you! With RedLeaf Zoom or RedLeaf Zoom Personal Training, you can make an appointment today to ensure you reach or exceed your fitness goals. Inquire today and let’s keep you on track toward your fitness and health goals.

Happy Holidays from Coach Sam!

Why I compete in the CrossFit Open

The Benefits of Being Imperfect

A Strategy for Long Term Success

The secret to seeing real and sustainable long-term changes in your body is this: strive to be consistently imperfect!

We, your coaches, are asking you to ditch the idea that you need to be perfect in order to see results. Hear us when we say that being consistently imperfect over time is infinitely better than being absolutely perfect for the next thirty days.

We are asking you to be consistent most of the time, for a long time. Be consistent in your habits and understand that changes in body composition doesn’t happen after a seven-day juice cleanse or a 30-day detox. The changes you want won’t happen by cutting out alcohol, caffeine, or carbs for a week. They happen slowly, over months and years from small but steady changes in certain habits.

Where the Magic Happens

Creating good habits could include having a drink a few times a month rather than a few each night. Or try eating healthy, real food six and a half out of seven days a week, and working out for 20-30 minutes most days. 

And you can’t beat prioritizing your sleep even when things are crazy, hectic and stressful, instead of staying up late to binge watch Netflix or cram in extra work. 

When we have established habits to fall back on, the ones we do day in and day out, you will really see changes. That’s where the magic is. 

So when you think of the abs you want, or the muscles you know are there but aren’t quite visible to the world yet, understand that it is time to forget the idea of being perfect, of being “all in.” Understand that what you do for seven, 15, or 30 days isn’t going to move the needle over the course of your life. 

It’s what you do day in and day out over the next few years that will set you up for the you that you are working so hard to see.


So when I say I want you to be consistently imperfect, think of it as a weight being lifted, as a welcomed reality check that you don’t need to be perfect every day. You just need to keep at it. Focus on making minor changes that you can hold on to for one, two, maybe even three years before you really see the difference.

Let go of the idea that results should come right away and find value and comfort in the process. Overnight results are fleeting, and the ones that take time are the ones we hold on to. Let’s adjust our timeline, refocus our intentions, and find joy in the journey.  

Forget about being perfect! Strive to be consistent—to be imperfectly moving in the right direction, and to find success along the way.