Ep 130 – Kristi O’Connell on Training for Joy and Balance

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We, ultimately- we love CrossFit, but we also view CrossFit as a way for us to be fit and do things outside of the gym.  And do them together.  We always try to continue reminding ourselves of that, so, in the spring we’d like to do an obstacle course race.  And I think that’s a new mindset shift for me, is that, it used to be, oh no, I can’t do that, I’m going to get hurt.  But then it’s like, we’ll why do you have all this fitness?  So, you have it to compete, but I think for me it’s like, I’ll go to the Games. I will do my absolute best.  I love to compete, I’m not gonna just go there and not try.  I’ll try my hardest, and I think just knowing that I’m taking a different approach this year.  And knowing that ahead of time and preparing myself for that. Whatever that outcome means, I’m still gonna work hard.  I’m just gonna make sure that I’m not sacrificing my family, my body, and everything else in order to maybe get into the top five or the top ten or whatever it may be.” – Kristi O’Connell

Kristi O’Connell, formerly Kristi Eramo, has been passionate about fitness her entire life.  A former collegiate swimmer and endurance athlete, she made her first appearance at a CrossFit Regionals competition in 2014, and by 2016 she placed first at the highly competitive Central East Regional.

Following three CrossFit Games appearances as an individual between 2016 and 2018, Kristi placed 26th in the world in the 2019 CrossFit Open, qualifying for a spot at the 2019 CrossFit Games as an individual.  Instead, she made the surprising choice to decline her invitation as part of an effort to be more present with her friends, family and her community at CrossFit Polaris.

As fate would have it, an unexpected invitation to join Team Invictus X, had Kristi competing at the 2019 CrossFit Games after all, but this time as part of a team who prioritized FUN.  The experience helped re-ignite Kristi’s passion for training, and also helped her to evolve her approach.

These days, Kristi enjoys working out daily alongside her husband and her friend, Dan Bailey.  Her training volume is much lower, and her focus is primarily on running her affiliate and making time to disconnect and be present with the ones she loves.

I had the chance to catch up with Kristi and we chatted about the importance of connecting your training to your inner “why,” how her mindset and approach has shifted over the years, and what she’s doing to make sure she continues to find joy in fitness.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Kristi’s recent marriage & name change
  • How her approach to training has evolved
  • Her plans for the 2020 CrossFit season
  • The importance of using your fitness to enjoy life
  • What led Kristi to compete on a team in 2019 after qualifying as an individual
  • Connecting her training to her inner “why”
  • The hormonal impact of training as a competitive athlete
  • How Kristi is learning to slow down, disconnect, and be more present
  • The impact of technology and social media on her training and her stress levels
  • How Kristi started doing CrossFit
  • How she met her husband, Patrick
  • The challenge of switching her career path from an accountant to a gym owner
  • What it’s been like to compete with her mom, Donna Eramo, at the CrossFit Games
  • Why Kristi decided to join Team Invictus X for the 2019 CrossFit Games, and her reflections on the experience
  • Three things Kristi 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 Kristi

You can follow Kristi on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

Links:

Related Episodes:

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

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.


Ep 129 – Improving Your Fitness from the Ground Up: Nutrition Basics with Nicole Aucoin

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“I believe something as fundamental as nutrition shouldn’t be complicated, and if you keep it simple, and you help people make changes, and you encourage them and find bright spots- find positive things in what they’re doing… They’ll make those changes.– Nicole Aucoin, MD, RD

When it comes to fitness and disease prevention, regular exercise is just one piece of the puzzle.  Quality nutrition lays the foundation for better health, and yet it’s a component that is often overlooked by both fitness professionals and their clients.

Nicole Aucoin is a Registered Dietician and the founder of Healthy Steps Nutrition, a consulting program run at hundreds of gyms and nutrition practices worldwide.  In addition to empowering her own clients to make lifestyle changes through diet and exercise, she works to help gym owners share the importance of nutrition with their own members. Nicole is also the author of Nourish: Grow Your Nutrition Business From The Ground Up. 

Nicole is actively involved with CrossFit as a CrossFit Level 2 Trainer, co-owner of CrossFit HSN, member of the CrossFit Certification Board, regular contributor to the CrossFit Journal, and active supporter of the CrossFit Health movement. I had the chance to sit down with Nicole at the 2019 CrossFit Games.  We chatted about the challenges of practicing dietetics in a clinical setting, why affiliate owners should prioritize consistent nutrition messaging as part of their program, and the methods Nicole uses with her own clients to facilitate accountability and long-term lifestyle changes.

In this episode we discuss:

  • What inspired Nicole to study nutrition, including addressing her own disordered eating as a cheerleader in college and her mom’s experience using nutrition as part of cancer treatment
  • Her experience learning conventional nutrition advice while in school, and the challenge of practicing as a Registered Dietician in a hospital setting
  • Nicole’s experience with conflict of interest between the food industry and the nutrition industry
  • How Nicole got into CrossFit and how it influenced her approach to nutrition
  • Ways affiliate owners can help members make nutrition a priority
  • Tips to help gym owners be consistent with their nutrition messaging
  • Nicole’s general nutrition philosophy and how she gets her clients started
  • Ways affiliate owners and coaches can further their nutrition knowledge beyond their CF-L1
  • When to defer nutrition advice a registered dietitian
  • Nicole’s thoughts on the CrossFit Health movement
  • Methods she uses to help clients with consistency and accountability
  • Nicole’s take on the ketogenic diet and what a general CrossFit athlete can do to fuel their workouts
  • The importance of being able to enjoy a treat and move on
  • Three things Nicole 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 Nicole

You can reach Nicole via email or follow her on Facebook and Instagram.  You can follow Healthy Steps Nutrition on Facebook and Instagram, and you can follow Grow Your Nutrition Business on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

Links:

Related Episodes:

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

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.