Goodbye to Coach Matt

Goodbye to Coach Matt

By Coach Jason Struck  It is with a considerable breadth of emotion that CrossFit Full Circle, and James and I specifically, say goodbye to Matt Bahen. Only a few weeks ago, Matt approached us with the firm commitment that he was ready to move on in the next phase of his life, and that didn’t include being an owner of Full Circle Fitness. We recognize that this message comes quite late, as it corresponds to the last day that he will coach a class with us, and for that we deeply apologize. No party wanted to make any statements until it was clearly decided how his departure would be handled. And that agreement was not finalized until yesterday. So, after 6 years as an owner, 8 years as a member, and countless hundreds of WODs, Matt moves on. He’s looking forward to spending more time with his family, and the freedom that not being a small business owner often provides. He will be competing on January 29th with Mike C. as part of a Master’s team at the SuperFit Championships here in Richmond, and training with us on Saturdays up until then to continue getting ready. We hope you’ll consider going to the event to support him and cheer on our whole crew (currently 8 people, and possibly more...
Strong, Cool & Collected – Virginia’s Strongest Woman Takes on Nationals

Strong, Cool & Collected – Virginia’s Strongest Woman Takes on Nationals

By Crystal Lowery I went to Nationals. And I didn’t cry, puke, or come in last. Yes, those were my actual goals for my first National Strongman contest. Competing is already hard enough, with the intense training leading up to the contest, the day-of nerves that make you want to puke, and the long, exhausting day of actually competing. Now, add in flying halfway across the country (alone, on three different planes, nonetheless), TWO days of competing, and knowing there are THREE badass pros competing in your weight class. This is what I did, and I lived to tell about it. A little background: I started training Strongman two years ago after getting over a pretty bad back injury. Yes, you read that correct; I hurt my back, it healed, and then I started lifting really heavy objects. Yes, many people thought I was crazy, but it was something I really wanted to do. Luckily, I have a great coach who I trust, and I knew that if I showed up and listened, I would get stronger. And I did. I competed in a few shows that year, and I even placed 2nd in my very first show! It was in my last show of that year that I qualified for Nationals. This year I competed in a few more shows and managed to win the title of Virginia’s Strongest Woman. Training for Nationals was tough, and it was heavy. And despite a crazy busy work schedule, I managed to get to most of my training sessions and actually felt really good before leaving for Iowa. (Nationals was held in Iowa,...
Training For and Competing in Partner CrossFit Competitions

Training For and Competing in Partner CrossFit Competitions

By Megan Parker and Jennifer Burns Megan: There was a moment during the Superfit Richmond CrossFit competition when I locked eyes with my partner Bethany and said, “I will never ever do this insanity again,” as I flopped over the bar in an attempt to do a bar-over-burpee. I really felt confident that was true. I hated every minute of that entire day; I couldn’t breathe, I almost vomited – twice, and I couldn’t move for days after! So how did I find myself at a gym in Farmville competing again? I found another awesome partner, and I wanted a do over. Jenn: This summer Megan Parker messaged me, “Soooo what if I found a partner competition and you were my partner?” After a much too wordy response where I felt the need to give her a full history of my thoughts on and abilities in CrossFit, I gave a timid, “I’d love to. But don’t forget I’m old and weak.” She was to be the heavy lifter and I’d take care of any pull ups that were thrown at us. As it turns out there were no pull ups and in the end she handled the pushups in our last work out in such a way that I couldn’t believe she had the nerve to say, “I can’t do pushups.” I bet she can probably do pull ups too. The main reason I was hesitant to agree to compete with her (besides feeling insecure and inadequate… did I mention how strong she is?) is that I haven’t really been doing much CrossFit lately. Right now I’m focusing on building...
CrossFit, Barbell, Strongman, CrossFit, Rinse, Repeat as Needed

CrossFit, Barbell, Strongman, CrossFit, Rinse, Repeat as Needed

By Shayna K.  I am an antsy person. It’s always been a challenge. I know that everyone, to some degree, can be a little unfocused. But I spend a lot of my day feeling like I’m going to crawl out of my skin. I have not, in 34 years of living, sat through an entire movie. I HATE movies. I stopped regularly attending class after 11th grade because I didn’t feel like I could stay in my seat and even if I did, I couldn’t listen for long enough to learn much. For the most part, I’ve just gotten used to it. Like any responsible, twitchy, high-strung person, I figured out a long time ago that maintaining a regular exercise regimen was key. After youth and high school sports, I tried pretty much everything. As a college student, I signed up for yoga (dumb), basketball (fun), and swimming (swim a 500m, in ANY AMOUNT OF TIME WITH AS MUCH REST AS YOU’D LIKE, for an A. Should have majored in swimming.) I joined a weightlifting club and skipped class with other unfocused people. Since then I’ve backpacked segments of the Appalachian trail, surfed, and entered trapshooting and arm-wrestling contests. I took up snowboarding (in North Carolina, which is like taking up surfing on Lake Michigan but with more broken bones and longer drives), and spent the next five years or so just… driving and breaking bones, basically. I’ve played in competitive adult basketball, softball, and tennis leagues. I’ve done master’s swimming, hot yoga, tepid yoga, Pilates, and kickboxing. I’ve belonged to just about every major gym chain there is, plus...
The Journey to Becoming a CrossFitter

The Journey to Becoming a CrossFitter

By Ryan Burns It all starts one day when you’re doing your usual evening routine. You realize that something needs to change in your life. You invest in one of those trendy home workout programs. But, working out at home mostly doesn’t end well. So, one day you see a Groupon for a CrossFit gym. You sign up and tell a friend. He/She explains that if you do CrossFit your kidneys will explode. You ignore your friend. You show up for your intro class. The coaches tells you that they’re gonna show you how to clean and jerk. After that, they say they’ll work on your snatch. You complete your intro classes and get to start participating in the regular WODs. Then you actually do your first real WOD. While it isn’t always easy, you keep showing up and working hard. Now that you’re working out more, you notice your appetite is increasing. You learn about macros. Your deadlift is getting pretty heavy and you’re feeling good. Then you see someone snatch it. You get your first CrossFit injury. (Probably from trying to snatch your deadlift.) You get better. You get back in the gym. You set new PRs. And then, finally, your big day arrives… Your crush a WOD you get your name on the whiteboard.   Ryan started his journey to being a CrossFitter at CrossFit Full Circle 2 years ago. When not writing here, he blogs at...
Reflecting on the RVA Open and Why I Compete at Weightlifting

Reflecting on the RVA Open and Why I Compete at Weightlifting

By Erin Potter I was fortunate enough to compete at the RVA Open Sanctioned Meet a few weeks ago, along with some fellow gymmates. First,I feel I need to state what a great event it was — well run, full of friendly folks, organized, close to home. I highly recommend it to anyone looking to compete. I recently read this article, and it really resonated with me. It includes a list of reasons why you should compete in weightlifting. After finishing the RVA Open (my fourth meet) and feeling a little underwhelmed at my lift results, I took a look back through the article, pulled out my notebooks that track my workouts and PRs, tallied my meet scores, and checked myself. It became clear that I actually hit different goals than I was expecting when I signed up. Why do I compete in Olympic weightlifting? It certainly isn’t because I’m lifting the best numbers around. I’m not at all, but there is something about it that keeps me coming back and motivates me. So, in rereading the article I mentioned, I found some clarity and reassurance. Competing gives me something to train and prepare for. I need motivation or I’ll get lost in the slow increments of upping PRs. In looking back at meets, my total (snatch + clean and jerk) has gone up by 4 kilos in 8 months. While my PRs in the gym are a little better than that, it just didn’t feel that great when I did the math. So, I didn’t meet my lift goals, but realized that I totally hit my body weight...