06 – Women of the 2015 CrossFit Games Demo Team – Christy Adkins, Jennifer Smith, and Talayna Fortunato

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Each year the CrossFit Games Demo Team is tasked with testing and demonstrating many of the workouts you see during the CrossFit Games competition. I had the opportunity to spend the week of the 2015 Reebok CrossFit Games with this talented group of individuals: Matt Chan, Zach Forrest, Paul Tremblay, Jennifer Smith, Christy Adkins, and Talayna Fortunato.
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The Ladies of the 2015 CrossFit Games Demo Team
In this bonus episode, I sit down with the three women of the 2015 Reebok CrossFit Games Demo Team.
  • Christy Adkins is a 6-time CrossFit Games athlete, competing every year from 2009-2014 and finishing as high as 6th place. This season she narrowly missed her 7th trip to the Games, placing 6th in the Atlantic Regional. An east coast native, Christy has recently moved to San Diego for a few months as she trains for 2016. Follow her on Twitter: @ChristyPAdkins, Instagram: @ChristyCrossFit, and Facebook.
  • Jennifer Smith competed with CrossFit Maximus in the CrossFit Games team competition twice before qualifying as an individual in 2013. She also narrowly missed qualifying this year from the East Regional. She currently lives in Canton, MA and works as a trainer at Reebok CrossFit One. Follow her on Twitter: @JenSmith008, Instagram: JenSmith008, and Facebook.
  • Talayna Fortunato is a three-time CrossFit Games competitor with her highest finish being 3rd in 2012. She took the 2015 season off in order to have surgery on her ankle and is now training for 2016. She also works as a physical therapist in Naples, FL. Follow her on Twitter: @talaynaf, Instagram: talaynaf, and Facebook, and her website: talayna.com.

We discuss:

  • Their previous CrossFit Games experience
  • Their experience on the 2015 CrossFit Games Demo Team
  • Their reflections on the past year and plans for next season
  • How they balance training with other aspects of their lives
  • Three things they do on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on their health
If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating! I’d love to hear all of your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #JFHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday!

05 – Men of the 2015 CrossFit Games Demo Team – Matt Chan, Paul Tremblay, and Zach Forrest

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Stitcher

Each year the CrossFit Games Demo Team is tasked with testing and demonstrating many of the workouts you see during the CrossFit Games competition. I had the opportunity to spend the week of the 2015 Reebok CrossFit Games with this talented group of individuals: Matt Chan, Zach Forrest, Paul Tremblay, Jennifer Smith, Christy Adkins, and Talayna Fortunato.

 

In this bonus episode, I sit down with the three men of the 2015 Reebok CrossFit Games Demo Team.

  • Matt Chan is a 6-time CrossFit Games athlete, competing every year from 2008-2013. He took the 2014 season off in order to rehab his back, and after suffering a serious injury while mountain biking he came back to finish in 9th at the 2015 South Regional. Matt lives in Boulder, CO with his wife, CrossFit Games commentator, Cherie Chan. They are both known in the CrossFit community for their roles on CrossFit Seminar Staff, application of the Zone diet, and using their fitness to learn and play new sports outdoors. Follow Matt on Twitter: @Matt1Chan and Instagram: @Matt1Chan.
  • Zach Forrest is a 3-time CrossFit Games athlete and former Navy SEAL. He lives in Los Vegas, NV where he owns CrossFit Max Effort with his wife Lindsey. This year, he placed 10th at the South Regional. Zach is also a member of the CrossFit Seminar Staff. Follow Zach on Instagram: @zforrest4, and Facebook.
We discuss:
  • Their previous CrossFit Games experience
  • Their plans for next season and what motivates them to train for the Games
  • Their experience watching the 2015 Games this year and how they will change their training for the upcoming season
  • Their favorite things to do outside the gym
  • Three things they do on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on their health
  • One thing they struggle to implement that could have a big impact on their health
  • What a healthy life looks like to them
If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating! I’d love to hear all of your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #JFHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday!

04 – Hillary Froning and Ashley Khalipa on CrossFit’s impact on their lives and families

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Stitcher

Hillary Froning and Ashley Khalipa are the better halves of Rich Froning, 4-time Fittest Man on Earth, and Jason Khalipa, 2008 CrossFit Games Champion and multiple-time podium finisher. This year both men decided to forgo the individual competition in order to compete in the team division of the CrossFit Games.

With Ashley and Hillary at the 2015 Reebok CrossFit Games
With Ashley and Hillary at the 2015 Reebok CrossFit Games

 

In this episode, I sit down with Hillary and Ashley, who each met their husbands before they started CrossFit, to hear about the impact CrossFit has had on them personally and their families. They discuss how their own relationships with exercise have evolved and what CrossFit means to them, the CrossFit Games aside.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • How their husbands discovered CrossFit
  • How their lives have changed since the introduction of CrossFit and CrossFit Games competition
  • Their personal backgrounds with exercise
  • Their motivation for working out now and how they work exercise into their routines
  • Three things they do on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on their health
  • What a healthy life looks like to them

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating! I’d love to hear all of your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #JFHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday!




03 – Lindsey Smith on competitive drive and finding balance

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Lindsey Smith was a three-sport Division 1 athlete (Soccer, Track and Field, and Basketball) at DePaul University and then went on to compete in the CrossFit Games every year from 2009-2012. She narrowly missed qualifying for her fifth appearance in 2013, and took the 2014 season off to give birth to her second daughter.

With Lindsey after competing at the 2012 CrossFit Games
With Lindsey after competing at the 2012 CrossFit Games

She now lives in Columbus, OH where she is the Athletic Director of the Wellington School and raises her two young girls along with her husband Web. She also continues to work on weekends as a long-time member of the Level 1 Seminar staff, and on top of all that, she is pursuing her MBA. Lindsey has always been an inspiration to me for her competitive drive and the way she is able to juggle and prioritize so many different areas of her life. Here she talks about what drives her to take on so much, and how she manages to do it all!

Lindsey and I recording at her home in Columbus, OH after teaching at a L1 Seminar together.
Lindsey and I recording at her home in Columbus, OH after teaching at a CrossFit L1 Seminar together. Photo: Web Smith.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Lindsey’s transition from college athletics to finding CrossFit and the CrossFit Games
  • Her experience at the 2009 CrossFit Games at the Ranch in Aaromas, CA and how her previous athletic experience prepared her for a 5th place finish
  • The many hats she wears as an athletic director, mother, wife, athlete, trainer and student and why she chooses to pursue so many things at once
  • How, despite being so busy, she ensures that she gets a workout in every day
  • Her decision to give up training for competition and how she feeds her competitive drive post-CrossFit Games
  • Why she is pursuing an MBA
  • Three things she does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on her health
  • One thing she struggles to implement that could have a big impact on her health
  • What a healthy life looks like to her

You can follow Lindsey on TwitterInstagram, Facebook, and her website. For more on Lindsey, check out the video profile below:

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating! I’d love to hear all of your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #JFHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday!


02b – Dr. Michael Canales on my Achilles injury and pursuing excellence

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Dr. Michael Canales was a gymnast at Ohio State University from 1996-1999 where he was a member of the 1996 NCAA championship team and several Big 10 Championship teams. He has since mentored and coached several Olympians and continues to provide mentorship to the Ohio State Men’s gymnastics program today. He is also a practicing foot and ankle surgeon at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center in Cleveland, OH. I first met Mike and his wife Dominique Moceanu, member of the 1996 women’s Olympic gold-medal winning gymnastics team, over 2 years ago when I was searching for gymnastics coaches to supplement my CrossFit Games training. We have since worked together on a regular basis and developed a close friendship.

After my Achilles tendon injury at the Central Regional, Mike was one of the first people I turned to. He performed my Achilles repair surgery the week after my injury and has supported me throughout my recovery process. In Part 1 of this episode, we sat down to talk about his background, mentorship, and his impressions of Achilles injuries in CrossFit and sport. Here in Part 2 we dive into my specific injury in more detail and our experience as well has his pursuit of excellence and virtuosity in all areas of his life.

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With Dr. Canales and my fiancé Dani before my Achilles repair surgery.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Mike’s reaction to my Achilles tendon injury and performance at the 2015 CrossFit Games Central Regional
  • How he balanced his roles as my coach, mentor, friend, and surgeon in the time surrounding my injury
  • What motivates Mike to strive for excellence and virtuosity in every area of his life
  • Three things he does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on his health
  • One thing he struggles to implement that could have a big impact on his health
  • What a healthy life looks like to him

You can follow Dr. Michael Canales on Twitter and Instagram. To see more of our training together, check out the video profiles below:

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating! I’d love to hear all of your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #JFHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday!


02a – Dr. Michael Canales on gymnastics, CrossFit, and mentorship

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Dr. Michael Canales was a gymnast at Ohio State University from 1996-1999 where he was a member of the 1996 NCAA championship team and several Big 10 Championship teams. He has since mentored and coached several Olympians and continues to provide mentorship to the Ohio State Men’s gymnastics program today. He is also a practicing foot and ankle surgeon at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center in Cleveland, OH. I first met Mike and his wife Dominique Moceanu, member of the 1996 women’s Olympic gold-medal winning gymnastics team, over 2 years ago when I was searching for gymnastics coaches to supplement my CrossFit Games training. We have since worked together on a regular basis and developed a close friendship.

With Mike and Dominique at the 2014 CrossFit Games.
With Mike and Dominique at the 2014 CrossFit Games.
With my fiancé Dani, sister Elizabeth, Dominique and Mike after the 2014 CrossFit Games.
With my fiancé Dani, sister Elizabeth, Dominique and Mike after the 2014 CrossFit Games.

After my Achilles tendon injury at the Central Regional, Mike was one of the first people I turned to. He performed my Achilles repair surgery the week after my injury and has supported me throughout my recovery process. Here we sit down to talk about his loves for gymnastics, mentorship, and foot and ankle surgery. We also talk about his impressions of CrossFit and how it has increased the attention and appreciation  of gymnastics, as well as Achilles injuries in CrossFit. In Part 2 we will dive into my specific injury and our experience in detail, as well as talking about Mike’s pursuit of excellence and virtuosity.

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My handstand walk at the 2015 CrossFit Games Central Regional. Photo: CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Mike’s fascination with gymnastics from a young age and why he continues to do it today at age 37
  • His transition from the role of an athlete to the role of a coach and mentor.
  • His motivation for and passion for mentoring in sports and medicine
  • Why he decided to become a foot and ankle surgeon
  • How CrossFit has increased the general public’s appreciation for gymnastics
  • His take on Achilles tendon injuries in CrossFit and sport
  • His reaction to my Achilles tendon injury at the CrossFit Games Central Regional

You can follow Dr. Michael Canales on Twitter and Instagram. To see more of our training together, check out the video profiles below:

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating! I’d love to hear all of your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #JFHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday!


01 – Rich Froning on competition, shifting priorities, and discovering his purpose

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Rich Froning is the reigning and four-time Fittest Man on Earth. He has competed at the CrossFit Games since 2010 as an individual, but this year he will appear at the Games with his team, CrossFit Mayhem Freedom. I’ve had the opportunity to get to know Rich a little bit over the past several years, as we both competed on Team USA at the CrossFit Invitational in 2012 and 2014 and on Rogue Team Black during the 2014 CrossFit Team Series.

Team USA - 2012 CrosFit Invitational.
Team USA – 2012 CrossFit Invitational. Photo: CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Team USA 2014 - Training at CrossFit Mayhem.
Team USA 2014 – Training at CrossFit Mayhem

I’ve recently spent time in Cookeville, TN training with his team and getting to know his community at CrossFit Mayhem. I’ve always been impressed by how competing in CrossFit has helped Rich to discover his purpose in life, and how he has used his platform to positively impact so many people.

Training with CrossFit Mayhem Freedom and Chris Hinshaw in Cookeville, TN
Training with CrossFit Mayhem Freedom and Chris Hinshaw in Cookeville, TN

In this episode, we talk about:

  • The workouts our dads do
  • His mental and physical transition from individual to team CrossFit Games competition
  • The biggest challenges of preparing for team competition
  • His CrossFit Games Central Regional 2015 experience
  • How his life has changed from before he found CrossFit to now
  • The impact of CrossFit on Cookeville and his local community
  • How re-prioritizing and reconnecting with his faith after adversity at the 2010 CrossFit Games led him to four consecutive CrossFit Games titles
  • His outlook on using his fitness for life rather than competition
  • His plans for the future and how he hopes to be remembered as a CrossFit Games athlete
  • Three things he does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on his health
  • One thing he struggles to implement that could have a big impact on his health
  • What a healthy life looks like to him

You can follow Rich on Twitter and Instagram. Look out for the world premiere of his upcoming documentary created by CrossFit: FroIVing: The Fittest Man in History on July 23, 2015.

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating! I’d love to hear all of your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #JFHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday!