The Weekly Dose of Awesome

So, this Awesome is a bit belated.  This is one where all the coaches said "no way... I can't believe he hasn't been the Awesome yet!"  After all, Dan's been with us for a while now, and I think all would agree he's just a straight up GOOD DUDE. 
What would you say makes an awesome workout buddy when you're in class?  Probably someone who's encouraging, friendly, fun to work out with.  Sound like anyone you know?  Dan's always chatting with members before class, always having a good time.  His attitude is infectious, and there's always a good vibe when Dan's in class.  Coaches love him, too.  He listens to coaching, doesn't get WOD-drunk, and brings a positive outlook every day.

SWOD ready!

Dan B. doesn't take himself too seriously, and yet the man has consistently been putting in serious work in SWOD and classes - more times than not with that signature camou hat on. Fly fisher, world traveler (yeah, I did a little Facebook stalking before writing this!), he's another awesome member of the UB community.  You're a good dude, Dan.  Thanks for being good to UB!

Meet the UBicorn & a UB Shirt Order

A UB Shirt Order

It's about that time!  We are doing a large custom UB merch order!  Put your name down to grab yourself some UB merch!  All of our designs (UBicorn included) can be printed on:

  • T-Shirts (20$)
  • Hoodies (30$)
  • Baseball Tees (25$)
  • Long Sleeve Tees (25$)
  • Tank Tops (20$)

And announcing our new merch items:

  • Tote bags (25$)
  • Ladies Slouchy Hoodies (30$)

The order sheet will be available for one week beginning this Friday.  All ordered items must be prepaid either with cash or credit card.  Please comment with any questions!

The UBicorn

Meet the UBicorn.  He is a fearsome beast of a creature who is as majestic as he is swole.   He roams the floor at UB, PRing with every barbell he meets. 

Ubicorn

Wanna rep the UBicorn as your spirit animal?  He will be a part of the UB merch order, available as a T-shirt, long sleeve T or hoodie with the custom "UB" back of the shirt.  Best of all you get to pick the shirt colors.  Drop into the gym to pick up your order!

Food for Thought: Pan-Roasted Chichen with Bacon & Apples

The following recipe was lifted from Nom Nom Paleo, but the original recipe is from Zen Belly

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 6 large bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or 1 whole chicken, cut up into 8 pieces
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc, but if you’re on a Whole30 you can substitute bone broth and a splash of balsamic vinegar)
  • 3 to 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • ½ pound bacon (5 to 6 thick strips)
  • 1 cup sliced shallots (about 3 large)
  • 1 apple, cored and sliced in ½-inch-thick half-moons (I use Fuji)

Steps:

Heat the oven to 450°F with the rack in the middle position.

Season the chicken pieces on both sides with salt.

Heat a 12-inch cast iron skillet or other oven-safe heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. 

In the hot pan, sear the chicken pieces skin side down until nicely browned and crispy, about 4 to 5 minutes. While the skin is crisping, add freshly ground black pepper to the meaty side.

When the skin is crackling, flip the pieces over and cook for 2 minutes more. 

Pour in the wine and add the thyme sprigs.

Transfer the pan to the hot oven and roast the chicken for 15 minutes.

While the chicken’s doing its thing in the oven, cross-cut the bacon into ¼-inch pieces.

Brown the bacon bits in a skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 10 minutes.

Transfer the bacon bits to a paper towel-lined plate and pour off all but about a tablespoon of the bacon drippings.

Add the shallots and apple to the skillet and sauté for another 4 to 5 minutes, or until the shallots are softened and the apples start to brown.

Turn off the heat, and stir in half of the crispy bacon bits.

After the chicken has cooked for 15 minutes, add the apple and bacon mixture to the pan with the chicken.

Do your best to nestle the bacon and apples between the chicken pieces rather than covering the skin.

Roast the chicken for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F. (Got a meat thermometer, right? Then use it!)

Sprinkle the remaining bacon bits on top of the chicken.

Done!




Congrats Coach James!!

A giant congratulations to Coach James!  If you weren't yet aware, the man got hitched over the weekend! 

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When we met James, he was just another guy in our SFCF lunch class with Olivia and me.  He was a nice man and a hard working athlete... but beyond that, we knew very little of this non bearded, long shorted man.  When he heard about our UB dream, he offered "If you guys want any help opening your gym, I could maybe help you guys out for a bit...".   Little did we know he would not only be instrumental in helping us open the gym, but he would also grow to be a bearded coaching wonder who would make a permanent place in our hearts.  

Over the last 4 1/2 years, Olivia and I have had the privilege to watch Yimbob grow not only as a coach, but as a man with overwhelming heart and kindness.  And just when we thought we had seen all sides of dear Yamoose, he met Miranda.  Like everything else in his life he was determined to get his bacon maple donut (aka "the girl")  and eat it too.  As their relationship blossomed, so did his focus.  Yimbo's commitment to his new love only strengthened his commitment to his vision of being a serious CrossFit competitor.   As they recessed down the aisle, I couldn't help but smile and think I couldnt be happier these two awesome humans found one another.  Congrats again, James and Miranda!  We hope the rest of your lives are as magical and donut filled as your big day!

 

Welcome Back, Old Friend

We never expected you to take so well to our photo wall.... it was never intended for long term occupation of the white board.... we kept it up as long as possible, but alas, the temperature changes and hits with the occasional wall ball finally won out, and the photo wall was taken down. 

But wait!  There is a silver lining!  Welcome back to the UB top 5 board!  For those of you who knew old UB, you'll notice this top 5 board only has 15 categories.  You will also notice this board is BLANK!  With a N-UB comes a new start.  This means over the next few months, spots on the coveted white board are completely up for grabs!  White board accomplishments must happen during class or UB events and must be supervised.  Who will start us off??

Welcome back, whiteboard.  We missed you and all the competitive glory you brought in tow.  Welcome back.

The Weekly Dose of Awesome

I get to give a shout out to another midwesterner reppin' hard here on the west coast...

Annamarie has a long name and a long list of awesome qualities. She is one of the most consistent athletes I see in the gym day in and day out. You will see her morning, mid afternoon, and weekends. She has a competitors spirit or what I refer to as the warrior mentality. Pursuing skills constantly like double unders ... which she can now string together in the 100's.  Strong(er), becoming a regular in strength and oly class's her strength and technique are on the rise at a steady pace. But most important she has a love for the sport ... and it shows. No matter the day, the time, or the workout, she brings everything to the table. Sadly Annamarie will be heading back to Chi town to pursue her career. We wish the best of luck to you, and be sure to keep up the awesomeness girl!  Be you and your new gym will appreciate you like we do!

Annamarie

Survey Results

We really want to make UB not just a great community, we want to make it your great community.  Feedback is a necessary part of our growth, so thank you for taking the time to help us be at our best!

You had some kind things to say as well as great ideas of what you want more (or less) of.  Here are some of the highlights of what's going well:

Amazing coaching. Great programming. lots of individual attention. Lots of great people!
UB has changed my life.
After coming from [other local CrossFit box] you guys are a breath of fresh air. Love all the coaches.
Coaching is excellent, equipment is new/well maintained, extra clubs (OLY, SWOD) are included with membership and awesome.
I appreciate that you always review the movements regardless of class size and experience. I also appreciate the discussions on WOD strategy prior to the WODs.
great coaching, great community and good for everyone from the advanced athlete to the de conditioned new person
Love every one of the coaches. They are extremely attentive, always evaluate injuries before class, and are willing to scale if we’re not feeling a certain movement that day. I love the individual attention i get and when the coaches correct my form and positioning. They are supportive of my goals and I always feel like they are cheering me on and pushing me to go the extra rep :)
The coaching at UB is top notch. I always feel like I am getting the instruction I need to make sure that I am doing the movements correct.

We also heard your feedback on what we can do better:

  • More WOD challenges & community events
  • Personalized goal setting
  • More seminars
  • More specialty classes
  • Reliably posted programming
  • Water fountain

We are working on all of these items and have lots of plans in the making!  2015 will bring about a bigger, badass UB!  Stay tuned for announcements on all the upcoming awesome!

Thanks again for playing!  After all, we wouldn't be UB without "U."

Food for Thought: Slow Roasted Chicken

The following is from Mark's Daily Apple.

There are already so many different recipes for cooking a whole chicken, you might wonder why you need one more. But if you’re a fan of store-bought rotisserie chicken, then you definitely need this one. Just like a cooked chicken from the market, the meat on this bird is plump, juicy and tender and the skin browned and deeply flavorful. Plus, this recipe is so simple and hands-off that it’s basically as convenient as driving to the store to buy a rotisserie chicken.

What’s the secret? Low and slow. Most recipes for roasted whole chicken crank the oven temperature above 400 ºF/205 ºC in an attempt to crisp up the skin and quickly cook the meat before it dries out. This recipe keeps the temperature at a low 300 ºF/150 ºC and cooks the chicken slowly for 3 hours. While the skin doesn’t get super crispy, it’s far from flabby, and has the same rich flavor that rotisserie chicken skin has. The meat is flavorful and really moist but never rubbery around the bones, like some roasted chickens can be.

The long cooking time at low heat is a gentle and reliable way to make sure the chicken is fully cooked without drying out, so it’s really hard to over or under cook this bird. As an another added bonus, you get to choose the quality of the chicken (ideally pastured and/or organic) and don’t have to wonder if the chicken’s been ruined by a rub down in vegetable oil or other undesirable ingredients, like many store-bought rotisserie chickens are.

Tender, flavorful, healthy and easy – four good reasons why this recipe for roasted chicken is a real winner.

Servings:  1 whole chicken

Time in the Kitchen:  15 minutes, plus 3 hours roasting time

Ingredients:

  • 1  3 to 4 pound whole chicken (1.4 kg to 1.8 kg)
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds (10 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds (5 ml)
  • 2 teaspoons paprika (10 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons thyme, plus several sprigs to stuff in the chicken cavity
    (30 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt (8 g)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (45 ml)
  • 1 lemon, quartered

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 300 ºF/150 ºC.

Grind fennel and coriander seeds. Mix with paprika, thyme, salt, and olive oil. Rub all over the chicken.

Stuff the lemon pieces and thyme sprigs inside the chicken cavity. Tie the legs of the chicken together.

In a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet, roast the chicken for about 3 hours. As juices/fat accumulate in the pan during the roasting process, baste the chicken a few times while it cooks.

When the chicken is done, the skin should be nicely browned and the meat very tender. A thermometer inserted between the leg and thigh should register at 165 ºF/74 ºC.

 

So You're Starting to Plateau....

Starting out in CrossFit is great - everyday is filled with new challenges and skills. Then you start to get the hang of it, and it's PR city. You can't touch a barbell without PRing. You feel stronger and more capable everyday. You are on the fast track to badassdom, and it just keeps coming. You are unstoppable. And then, just like that, it happens... PRs start to slip away, the weight loss slows down and the frustration kicks in -- you wonder why CrossFit isn't working anymore. And then one morning you decide it's cold outside and you elect to battle it out with your snooze button instead of coming in for your morning WOD. Then one missed class turns into two, and suddenly 2 weeks have gone by since you have come into the gym and we coaches have gotten the torches out and are ready to send out the search party.......

If any part of this sounds familiar - don't fret. Despite your frustration, this is a temporary phase - a growing pain of your fitness journey. The important thing to remember is you are the tortoise, not the hare. Just because you have stopped making regular gains does not mean you have met the maximum of your fitness potential. What it does mean is that you have hit a plateau. But I will repeat - this is not permanent. There are some simple changes you can make to your routine to break this barrier and start feeling like a badass again:

  • Talk to your coach - Your coach sees you on the regular, and they might have some insight as to where you should be focusing your attention.  Be accountable for your fitness journey - schedule 5 minutes with them and ask!
  • Change your class time - sometimes getting out of a rut can be as simple as surrounding yourself with different athletes and a different coach. New people in your routine might help you push yourself and give you the boost you need.
  • Mix-up your intensity - if you have been choosing heavier weights for WODs to push your strength, try going a little lighter and turning up the speed (with good form). After a couple weeks, try switching back and test it out.
  • Tweak your nutrition - maybe you've been allowing more cheat meals. Maybe you've been eating the exact same thing every single day. Just like with your exercise, you need to have variety in your diet. Mix it up and dial it in.
  • Focus on recovery and mobility - the right mobility work will do wonders for you. The only hard part is figuring out which one you need. Talk to your coach and take some extra time to make sure you are addressing your issues. They just might be what's holding you back.

With any changes you make to your routine, overall remember to be patient. Most people have the potential to be good or even great athletes if they allow themselves the patience to stick it out.