crushing goals

Reflections on the Open

As we head into the final Open workout for the year, here's my thoughts:

It's been a party every week! From 5am to our final heat at Friday Night Lights. You brought energy, you brought fun, you bought into the best 5 weeks of the year (only second to our Holi-Wod and Holiday events in December). It's not to say you didn't work hard, you've pushed limits, earned those PRs, crushed goals, gracefully received a few no reps as those judgement eyes were on you, gave out thousands of fist bumps, both virtually and IRL, and you laughed and smiled and met a few new friends you haven't had a chance to workout with before due to your regular class schedule.


The After Party has been equally as fun. From Fuzzy's tacos to Confluence brews & Chipotle to Margaritaville to decorating the entire box as if we were in a float contest for a the St. Patty's Day parade, you did well very crew.

To our 8 athlete 2018 judges: Tim, Andrew, Joe Austen, Meghan, Jordyn, Alyson, Travis, Ami. You got a peek into the "other side". You took the challenge to not only perform the weekly workouts but to understand the movement standards, step up to the uncomfortable area of giving out no reps and you counted 1000s upon 1000s of jumps in 18.3. You had to balance the nerves as an athlete performing the workout to then stepping into the role of judge, which for many, is more stressful than completing the workout. A few of you have come in during morning classes to help judge, giving up the comfort of your cozy bed. A few of you have come in during lunch class to help keep the heats running smoothly so everyone could be judged and get back to work, or you've completed the workout and then immediately stepped into judgment zone for us and then returned to work. And during FNL, it's never a "who will judge next?" You're always more than ready with a clipboard and score sheet. It's given me a chance to be a coach during the Open for a few heats, it's given me a chance to step back, look at this amazing community that has been built and smile with tears in my eyes and be proud of you all. It's given Nick the chance to use his fitness to get the best shots of all the athletes, because let's be honest, we all love to see ourselves working out and maybe those photos will help explain the "what is CrossFit, again?" to our families. 


To our coaches: Brett, Bryan, Dan, Dilon, Jamaal, Kristen, Leah, Nick, and Reid. When I asked you to step it up, to bring the best 5 Fridays for our community, to look outside of your workout and schedule and give it to them. You did. You've led our first intramural Open to being something that has even exceeded my vision for it (which you know is hard to do). You've gone from judge, to athlete, to coach, depending on the heat. You've come in on Sundays or early Monday mornings to help judge make-ups or redos, you've stayed later on Monday nights and have always held the standard on what constitutes a good rep. It starts from the top down and when you give your Friday nights to the Box, it gets noticed and it makes the Box a second home, where athletes don't want to leave, and they bring their families to...which also makes for a really late Margaritaville night :).


To our photographer, Nick. You have the hardest job of them all. The easy part is the actual shooting of the workout, it's the hours and hours you spend editing and deleting those "won't get past the #jjp standards of good form and bad angle" You've given up a few vacation days to shoot photos during lunch class and on top of that, you get to deal with me and the late nights setting up, you take command on the constructing walls, hanging TVs, moving things around so the photos look good. You put up with my early mornings of judging and my texts of "to-bring-to-the-gym that I have forgotten at home or need from the store". #nickpilling is the MVP.


To Morgan, the intern. Quiet but mighty. Morgan, you've stayed late Thursday nights to set up, have been at the box before 5am on Fridays, head to work all day and return to FNL, ready to go. How you manage to do the workout, I don't know, because every time I look over or go to check in, your at the front desk, working on team points, assisting others with getting questions answered, and you are our head of music manager, and you show up BIG TIME for your intramural team. You've also been interviewing a few our athletes on their experiences and it's been exciting for me to see what interview pops in my inbox each week. To say this Open has been more manageable, especially adding in more event organization and scores with the Intramural Open, is an understatement. Thank you, Morgan.


To our community: Usually during Week 5 of the Open, I'm more than ready for it, I'm tired and over the Monday score validation, chasing you all down to get it submitted, I'm ready for the regular routine again. Not this year. I can't believe it's Week 5 already, it's gone so fast and it's been so much fun. Little sleep, lotta coffee, but much more fun. My goal for this final week is that we pack the Box with everything Max Oxygen, black and orange all the way, and I want to see our logo all over you. I want to see big smiles, fist bumps, cheers (both in voice and in clinging cans) and whatever Dave Castro has planned for us, bring the energy because you're going to PR. We'll carry over the End of Open fun to Angry Goldfish, where I'm told we will easily take it over this small, neighborhood bar that has amazing burgers.


Thank you for an amazing Open, it's been one where we'll look back upon and be remembered as several things:  "the first one at Bell Ave", "Friday Night Lights", "the biggest Open yet", "the one where the shift happened". As I reflected on our 2017 Year in Review, I wrote that I was thrilled with the potential 2018 holds, I could feel it in my gut that it was going to be great. And it's met my expectations so far and we're not even half way into the year. So hold on, the energy doesn't stop as the last rep is counted for the 2018 Open.

Next up, the Jesus WOD, Operation Strength, ladies wine night, Bros and Beers, Viewings of "Ogar: Will of Steel" and "The Redeemed and Dominant: Fittest on Earth" oh, and an end of construction date!


Max Woman: Meet Alyson

1. How long have you been crossfitting?   I started CrossFit in 2013 when we were at the location across from the sculpture park. I had to take about 13 months off for a hip injury and surgery and have been back at it since January of this year. 

2. What is your favorite movement that we do in CrossFit?  My favorite movement is a toss-up between cleans and deadlifts. 

3. What was your biggest fear coming into CrossFit ? My biggest fear back when I started in 2013 was that I would be the only female and wouldn’t be able to keep up.  My biggest fear since re-starting this year was re-injuring myself and not being able to hit the times and weight totals I did prior to injury and surgery.  (Except that Alyson has improved by leaps and bounds since returning in January).

4. What CF accomplishment are you most proud of? I am most proud of being able to do rope climbs and pull-ups.  In all of the years I have done CrossFit I had never even attempted these until this year. 

5. What's your 9-5 (job)?    I am a State Revolving Fund Program Specialist.  I work for a State agency that gives low interest loans to Cities, Municipalities, and communities for water quality infrastructure projects such as wastewater treatment, sewer rehab, wells, etc…  I review their applications and once they have received our loan I ensure that they are following all State and Federal regulations (i.e. EPA guidelines, prevailing wages are being paid, debt/service ratio is being met). I also review and approve their requests and invoices for payments requests. 

6. Other than CrossFit, what else do you like to do in your free time? In my free time I can’t get enough of my family, especially my daughter Skylar.  I enjoy running, planning and hosting gatherings, biking, tailgating at ISU games, helping my sister on her vineyard/horse stables, sitting around a “camp fire”, and listening to music of all kinds.

7. What keeps you coming back each day?  Max Oxygen is the only place that I can let it all out (the good, the bad and the in-between).  I love that it constantly challenges me physically and mentally.  It reminds me daily that I can do anything I put my mind to and am willing to put in the work for.  

Also, and even more importantly, I love and respect the people (athletes and coaches).  Sometimes sweating it out with them, seeing their faces and talking to them is what gets me through a day.  I have made some of my best friends at this here.  I know that no matter what life throws at me they will be there to help me through it and help me celebrate the journey when it is done – in and out of the gym.  That is EVERYTHING! The people here hold a very special place in my heart and MO2 is "home" because of them.  

8. If you could cherrypick a WOD what would you choose?  I like the “Girls,” Grace, Cindy and Fran

9. One thing your WOD friends don't know about you?  “I feel the need - the need for speed!” (Maverick, Top Gun)  I like to go fast – in cars, on motorcycles, boats, etc… I have a deep desire to drive (not ride in – I need to be in control) a race car.  But I need to learn how to drive a stick shift first.  

10. Favorite "Cheat" Meal? I love pizza but I have not touched the stuff for over 6 months.  Now I just settle for a grilled steak, potato and asparagus.











Go All In

What happens if you "go all in" to this CrossFit adventure? 

If you're like most, you started CrossFit to get into better shape, you were tired of not seeing results from what you were currently doing and you were getting bored with your workouts. 

You completed Foundations, you found out you were not in as good of shape as you thought you were (it's ok, we felt the same way when we started too), and you could barely complete a 7 min workout without feeling like your body was going to hurt for days. 

You decided to give it a try & signed up for a membership. You now go to classes 3-4x a week, you've gotten a little bit faster, a little bit stronger and you can do 10 double under now and you've begun talking to those in your classes! You've noticed some new muscle definition in your body, your legs are sore most days because "CrossFit people squat all the time". You share with a few others that you are doing CrossFit.

For many people, this is where CrossFit ends and they go back to their every day lives. That 1 hour at the gym is fun but they are a little bit hesitant to go to attend a class time out of their regular schedule or go out for a beer with their gym friends or spend some time hanging around after class to work on their 2017 goals. That's ok!  

But what happens if you go all in? 

You'll find that you'll love CrossFit even more, you'll talk about it more, you'll talk about it enough that you're significant other will come try a class, your co-worker will ask what you do at workouts (and if he or she doesn't, you'll talk about it anyways). You'll find that you will begin to talk to your regular WOD crew about things  non-fitness related. You'll go out for a drink after class (The Lift on Wednesdays, Happy Hour Fridays) You'll attend the special WODs (Memorial Day, Hero WODs, Charity Events), you'll participate in The Open. You'll add CrossFit friends as Facebook friends. You'll create group messages with your CrossFit friends.

Pretty soon, you're CrossFit friends will be friends. . You'll find that you're hanging out with people interested in bettering themselves on a daily basis. You'll find that your life won't be separated by CrossFit and Life but it'll become a part of your lifestyle. Your fitness hour will be just as much your social hour. You'll spend way longer than that hour in class.

You'll begin to watch CrossFit YouTube videos, you'll read articles on how to get better at a certain lift, you'll research which jump rope is best, should you where lifters or go with the Nano or Metcon for your shoe. 

You'll grow more confident in yourself. You may then demand more out of the your career, you may look for a different career all together. You may decide to end the relationship you've been in for too long or finally get the courage to ask that special person on a date. 

What happens if you go all in with CrossFit? Anything, anything is possible. 



Max Woman: Diane

Diane came to Max Oxygen in September 2015, she had done CrossFit prior at another location (see photo from 2013) and heard good things about us so she thought she'd try it again.  

Diane cut out small things from her diet, such as diet soda and began to watch her sugar intake and showed up to workouts 4-5x a week. It's been quiet the journey for her. She's lost over 40# since she started and her body continues to transform, so much that other athletes are asking me how much more weight she's lost over the past several months. That's the cool thing about ladies who lift, even if Diane hasn't lost any more weight, her body is continuing to lean up and build muscle, resulting in a different body composition. Lifting weights at high intensity = results, that is CrossFit. 

As crossfitters, we know that there's so much more to it than what the scale or the mirror reflects. Diane has PR'd in EVERY lift, she's learned gymnastics skills and she set a goal of being able to do an unassisted pull-up by 3/15/2017 during our 2017 goal setting day and she achieved that goal just a few weeks ago during 17.2!

We are proud to be a part of your journey Diane and are honored you chose Max Oxygen as your gym home.

Read below to see what Diane has to say about her transformation:

What was your original why for joining CF? My purpose for joining crossfit was to challenge myself every day and it continues to be my purpose to this day.
Has that changed now? No.  Rope climbs,  handstands, pull ups and toes to bar are some of the many movements that I never thought I could do before but can do now.
What changes have you seen in the following:
Physically: I have seen many physical changes and clothes shopping is an awesome experience now!
Mentally: Mentally I am looking forward to new challenges and am feeling more confident at work, with my family and in social situations as well.
Socially: Crossfit has given me a renewed sense of community. I want to give to others what has been given to me. 
One piece of advice for a new person who has just joined CrossFit? One thing I would mention to a new person is to set some goals and listen to your coaches!! They can help you!
Why do you keep coming back? I keep coming back to see my CrossFit family crush their goals and set PRs!!!


August 2013

August 2013

August 2016

August 2016


16.2 March 2016                                                         17.2 March 2017