Success Stories

Doreen Hayes Shares Her Story

I read and hear so many interesting stories about our MBS athletes and find my story to be a bit uninspiring.This is how I got to be a part of MBS where I just love the coaches, athletes and all of the camaraderie. We all have a story to share about our lives that make us unique so Val asked me to share mine. I have been a tom boy and athlete my entire life. I played pretty much all of the sports offered until I got to high school. I then went with running track once I got to the high school level. I qualified for state 3 years in row in the 100m hurdles, long jump and 4 X 100m relay. I then joined the Army and served active duty for 3 years. I was stationed at Redstone Arsenal and also deployed to Saudi Arabia for the Desert Storm campaign. I did 5 years in the Army Reserves here in Colorado while going to night school and working full time to get my BSBA. I met Eric the man of my dreams while still in the Army Reserves and we will be celebrating 20 years of marriage this June. He and I love our dog children and have two huskies that most of you have met. They are our second generation of dog children. Eric and I never had human children not because we didn’t want them but because it just didn’t work out for us. As an adult I have participated in many different sports leagues such as softball, soccer, roller hockey, and volleyball. I also tried out for the Colorado Valkyries WPFL when I was 29 years old and competed against 2 girls right off the Collegiate level soccer field for the tight end position. Although, I didn’t actually get to play in a game as I only made the practice squad, I had a blast learning how to play and be a part of the WPFL. I also golf a bit, bowl and do yoga but my true love is running. I have completed 3 full marathons, 12 half marathons and too many 5k and 10k’s to count. Unfortunately, due to injuries my body does not love running like it used to so I dabble here and there and do what I can which isn’t much these days. The thing I seem to love now, at the ripe old age of 45 is Crossfit. I started Crossfit at another local box in December of 2014 and didn’t find what I was looking for. I realized that Crossfit could and should be more then what I was getting while I was dropping in to other Crossfit boxes while traveling for work. Speaking of work, I work for the Department Of Interior a major career change just about 8 months ago for me. Then MBS opened and here we are. I love the people at MBS and also what Crossfit has done for my Mind Body and Soul!!! I hope to spend many many more years Crossfitting and making new stories with new friends. Competing and RXing all 5 Open Workouts this year just confirmed what I love about Crossfit. The people and the support! Thanks for reading and see you at the Deuce (MBS CROSSFIT II-Arvada).

We love hearing hearing from you. Please e-mail your success stories (big or small) to so that we can recognize you and share your story with the rest of the MBS Community.

Shari’s New Groove

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Meet Shari, she’s a regular in the later ams classes. She’s only been a member for about a year (+/- a few months) and is consistent at coming to the gym no matter what.  She has made a TON of progress since her start and the more practice she gets the faster she picks up cues.  Check out this workout from earlier this month.  In the first clean she’s pulling early at the knees (& with her arms), and she doesn’t pull her knees under the bar. When she’s at full extension her chest and shoulders are forward and her hips never fully open as shown in the picture. Thus never making contact at the hip/thighs and she leaves the bar out front. I’m also going to bet this lift “felt” pretty heavy to her.  After showing her the video, and giving her the cue to pull her knees under as she sweeps the bar into the hip, she hits the lift again.  At 0:27 you’ll see her execute the cue, resulting in contact at the hip, more vertical extension, and a much cleaner lift! Even though it was the same weight, she was more efficient, and to me that lift looked much easier!  I see big weights in Shari’s future!

Want more weightlifting?  Be sure to join me, Coach Meriah, at our Broomfield location this Saturday at 9am for weightlifting practice!  Also make sure to join our MBS Strength Group on Facebook for the latest in class times, competitions, articles, videos, and more!

Katy Kazell Shares Her Story!!!

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Katy Kazell is one of the strongest and consistent female athletes at MBS CrossFit.  You might think that she is naturally gifted, but to the contrary- she works hard, maintains a nutrition plan, recovers when needed, and remains balanced. Here is her story.


Last summer I felt like I was hitting a plateau and was having a hard time getting stronger. Eating primarily Paleo and low-carb, I stumbled upon some articles about Flexible Dieting and calculating macros and decided to give it a try. I increased my carb intake by 2-3x and noticed a huge difference in strength, energy, and was actually able to gain some weight and muscle. This change made a really big difference for me in workouts and in strength. The carbs I added were basically rice, oatmeal, and potatoes.

I was diligent about tracking my food for several months, which was helpful to gain knowledge about the composition of what I was eating and how much of what I needed to be eating. I pre-prepare all of our breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for the week because I don’t have time to cook in the evenings. It takes a little bit of time and effort on the front end, but it’s really convenient during the week and keeps us from eating out too much. Different nutritional strategies work for different people, and I don’t think there is any ONE correct way to do it, people just need to find what works best for them individually to meet their needs and wants.


I rest on Thursdays and Sundays, but listen to how I am feeling. If I feel really beat up, or if something is really sore, I will take it easy. If I feel great and have a lot of energy, I’ll come in and workout on Sunday. Stretching and mobility always makes me feel better, but I need to work on being more consistent with it.

Consistency in training:

This is really important, because a lot of the time it is overwhelming to try and tackle a big goal. If you show up and do work, you will see results. On a day to day basis, I don’t always feel “great” or “strong” or hit new PR’s…but I enjoy working out and trust the process in the sense that if I am consistently working hard I will see results in the end.

When I decided that I wanted to be a Police Officer in 2009, part of the testing process was doing 20 push-ups in one minute (touching your chest to a fist, not even to the ground). I decided to test it out ahead of time and literally could not do it, so I actually withdrew my first application. Around this time I also couldn’t run for more than 1/4 of a mile without stopping or do a single pull-up. This was a little bit of a wake up call that if this was the career path I wanted. I owed it to myself and my coworkers to get into good physical shape. Getting from that point to where I am now definitely did not happen overnight, it has been a long and steady process.

Using fitness outside of the gym:

Fitness is an important aspect of my job, but I also enjoy hiking, running with my dogs, and playing volleyball. I am getting kayaks soon, so I am pretty pumped about that too.

Working on specific skills:

When we first joined MBS, we would come early or stay late almost every day just to work on skills. Double unders, butterfly pull-ups, and OHS are some movements I specifically remember having to work really hard at to learn. With so many different movements in CrossFit and the variance of our WODs, sometimes it’s necessary to take it upon yourself to put in a little extra work in areas that you personally need to improve on. For me, that’s usually strength and I’ve found that squatting on a regular basis or doing a strength cycle really helps me.

Maintaining balance:

Dan, my job, CrossFit, and spending time outside and with friends are all important to me. They overlap and compliment each other in many ways, but overall I think it is important to put time and effort into different facets of your life to maintain a healthy balance and not get burned out in one arena.

Meet The Scarbrough Family!!!

Scarbroughs Napali Coast 2015CrossFit is our crack. Our whole family is high on it. Unlike most addictions, our dependence wasn’t fast and furious. It took some serious and consistent peer pressure (thanks Heather Young!) until we finally got that blissful dose and BOOM! we’re hooked – all four of us. Game over.
A year ago, attending a CrossFit class had never, ever even crossed our minds. Brent just wasn’t a group exercise type of guy and I was afraid. Very afraid. I’d heard horror stories about coaches screaming at participants as they pulled cars while carrying friends on their backs, pausing only to barf and then get back at it. No thanks. So when Dawn and Eric B. asked us to join them at MBS for a Paleo/Fitness challenge in September of 2014, we were reluctant. I mean, did we really want to give up wine and all things fun and delicious for 60 days?? We really like Dawn and Eric so we said, “What the hell” and our journey began…
We dove head first into the nutrition challenge and it was a heck of a lot easier taking that plunge together rather than flying solo. We were diligent and religious. I had always eaten a relatively healthy diet and was nutritionally conscious – buying organic etc., but it was new territory for Brent. He never subscribed to the idea that food affects, well, basically everything – mind, body, behavior, mood, etc. We have an eleven year old son with high functioning autism, so I was well versed in the role of nutrition and knew that it was sooo important to cut gluten and dyes out of his diet, but Brent was never on board. So C’s diet and our grocery bill were always a point of contention. Thankfully, he quickly started to feel the difference in his own body, and now he’s not only on board, he’s steerfing the ship…full speed ahead. So benefit number one of our introduction to MBS and Crossfit was a dramatic shift in our overall diet and Brent’s mindset about nutrition.
At the beginning of the challenge, we went to the hangar with our team to complete a pre-challenge workout. (Wall balls (yuck!), box jumps, etc.) Our measurements were taken (yikes!) and we were on our way. We were required to work out for at least 30 minutes every day and we had to record our exercise and nutrition choices nightly. Being (ahem) the fiscally responsible person that he is, Brent decided we could do all of the workouts on our own at a local gym – Crossfit seemed a bit pricey for something we could clearly do elsewhere. He’d watch videos and then we’d attempt the movements…he was kinda successful… me? Not so much. As many of the coaches at MBS can attest, I am a very kinesthetic learner and “challenged” when it comes to reciprocating movements correctly without guidance – basically, I need a good coach. So after a month of trying to navigate through some very technical workouts, we screwed our heads on straight and officially joined MBS. The monthly payment is comparable to yoga and it’s worth. every. penny. All of our friends were like, “Say what?? You’re doing Crossfit?!?” and all of the jokes started—you know the ones, “An atheist, a vegan and a crossfitter were sitting at the bar…” and “Crossfit is the reverse fight club…” Blah, blah, blah. Our response? “Don’t yuck our yum.” And on we went.
Brent started losing weight and transforming his body in no time and by the end of the challenge had dropped at least 20 pounds. I wasn’t dropping any lbs, (which was kinda frustrating) but I was getting stronger and my clothes were starting to fit better. Plus, people were stopping me in the grocery store to ask what I was doing to lose weight. So I guess I was just re-proportioning the weight – -or maybe building more muscle? Regardless, we both had more energy and were feeling fab. Benefit number two of Crossfit: more energy and transforming our 40ish bodies.
2015 smacked us in the face with the loss of a dear friend, knee surgery, long hours at work and lots of yucky stress. Then summer came around and we cranked up the fun. We LOVE to see live music, so we played and played. (Don’t get me wrong, dancing is crazy good exercise, but when you add the beer consumption, it doesn’t exactly even out.) We placed CF on the back burner and lost our healthy balance. Fast forward a couple of months and we felt nasty. Time to head back to our box. We sort of unconsciously agreed to commit to fitness and worked with each others’ schedule to make sure we both could go at least 5 days a week. Suddenly we were feeling great again! Our dedication has been solid since September, missing only a couple of days because of vacation. We’re crushing PRs while spicing things up with a bit of healthy competition between us. We encourage, support, and celebrate each other’s successes, which is pretty cool. Benefit number three of CF: it’s healthy for our marriage.
Here’s where the rest of the fam comes in…our 8 year old daughter plays competitive soccer. During the season, she plays 4-5x per week and we needed to find an outlet for her energy in the off season. She’s tall, but still doesn’t have a grip on her size and doesn’t play “big”. We figured we’d put her in CF twice per week to build strength and endurance. The funny thing is, she’s got mad soccer skills for an 8 year old, but she’s inconsistent with her effort. One day she’s playing like Messi and the next she’s looking for rainbows and unicorns. So, we didn’t have super high expectations for kids’ CF. She surprised the heck out of us. She’s balls to the wall start to finish. It’s crazy. She pounds out burpees, wall balls…whatever! And she can tell you all about an AMRAP, EMOM, or Hero WOD. No doubt she will play big in the spring. Proud parents right here. Benefit number 4 of Crossfit: strength training for our super star ;).
Back to our eleven year old with High Functioning Autism…he is brilliant—smarter than many adults in America (no joke), but while he’s a beast when it comes to brain power, he struggles with physical strength. Like many kids on the spectrum, C has delayed fine and gross motor skills and suffers from a weaker core. Being intelligent and aware of the discrepancy between him and other kids his age, he’s never enjoyed anything physical. Nothing. Nada. He’s not even psyched to ride a bike. (He can destroy a geography competition, but plays hooky on field day.) So, when S started in kids’ Crossfit, we let C just observe the first class. I told him his CF class was starting in two days expecting all kinds of resistance. He just nodded and told his sister after her class that his cf class was in two days. Not the reaction I was expecting, but I certainly wasn’t going to get my hopes up. Thursday came around and he crushed the class – participated the whole time…and here’s the kicker…he LOVED it! On the way home from class, his endorphins were on fire and he was jabbering excitedly about how he was going to go to Crossfit with Brent and me someday. What the what!?! He has never – I mean NEVER enjoyed anything physical – let alone wanted to go again! (I may have secretly shed a few tears of joy.) He’s been to two additional classes and is looking forward to more. It may be a honeymoon period but we’ll take it. Benefit number five: the whole family can participate – including our son with “special needs”.
Honestly, I could go on and on about the benefits of Crossfit and especially MBS: health, wellness, community, lifestyle… but if you’re reading this, you’re on the same page, so I’ll stop. Oh yeah, and remember our comical friends who were spouting out silly Crossfit jokes? Yeah, not so much anymore – they’re asking questions and trying to find time to join us at MBS Crossfit. They’re jealous of our high. ☺

Debbie Swanson Shares Her Story-CrossFit at 63

Why did she begin CrossFit at the age of 63?


Thanks to our son’s continuing encouragement and his belief that I would really enjoy CrossFit AND the fact MBS Broomfield opened a location in Arvada, a five minute drive from our house, I thought, “What the heck, why not give it a try?”

I have loved any kind of physical movement – skiing, racquetball, running, swimming. But as I approached the age of 30 a significant event occurred. My dad had a quintuple bypass, having battled diabetes and hyperlipidemia for 20+ years. After the surgery, as he lay in his hospital bed with tubes coming out of nearly every opening on his body, and a couple of additional openings the docs had made, he looked up at me with pleading eyes and said, “Don’t let this happen to you.”

Sooooo my husband and I made some changes. We took up running and swimming along with dietary revisions. Running remained my main physical focus until we moved to Colorado. I met a number of women who avidly played racquetball and I was invited to join. I loved it and stayed with that until most of my RB buddies moved away or moved on.

In 1999 I entered, what would turn out to be, a 10 year season of significant stress, overwork, loss, deaths, and grief. In 2009 soon after I graduated from seminary, I, as my grandmother would have said, “Commenced to have a nervous breakdown.”  In today’s parlance, I was diagnosed with a major clinical depression.  During those 10 years of intensity and having had little time or margin to deal with any of it, I was  hit at all levels – emotionally, physically, and mentally. I was put on medications which had numerous side effects, one of them being, significant weight gain. In the end, took me three to four years to emerge from the darkness and away from the meds.

Fast forward to July of this year – another nudge toward CrossFit. I admit that I had some reservations: my age, how I would be received, my lack of fitness, doubts about being able to do the work, etc.  But our son kept reminding me that the only person I would compete with was myself. Knowing that I’m not defined by what I accomplish but by who I am I entered a class at the Deuce. All the while I repeated to myself, “I don’t have to keep up with anyone but myself.”

IT WAS WONDERFUL! After my first class I would like to have died – but surprisingly, I didn’t.  In fact, I was very much alive. It took some time to recover but I returned, again and again. Heather, Jeremy, and Rich have been my greatest encouragers in addition to the members of the morning MBS CrossFit Arvada classes. I feel stronger, better, and more fit – it feels good. I consider every movement a win – another deposit into my health and fitness account. I enjoy the classes, coaches, and members of our box.

So I say thank you to all of you – for your patient training with attention to form, the friendship, encouragement, and just plain fun – especially when we get to play “Pizza Delivery with the abmats” or do squats to Moby’s Green Sally Up.

To whoever says, “Why did she begin CrossFit at the age of 63?” I soundly say, “Why the heck not?! What are you waiting for?”

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CrossFit Before, During and After Baby: Anke and Val Share Their Stories

“This goes without saying but keep in mind that everyone’s journey is different. I want to mention first, that it is most important (whether pregnant or not), that we learn to pay attention to our body’s signals! “Leave the ego at the door” and be ok with modifying, well, embrace it actually! Going slower and working on form was very important to me during and post pregnancy! 
CrossFit while pregnant:
When I found out I was pregnant in September 2014, I had just started to regain strength and mobility after cervical spine surgery. I hadn’t done intense CrossFit or weightlifting for 3 months so I was scared and worried about potentially harming my unborn child. I watched my heart rate, went slow and light and began to truly learn what my body was telling me. It actually helped me that we were doing the 8 week nutrition challenge at the beginning of my pregnancy, although it did not keep me from being nauseated and über-tired. I made it a point to go to the gym at least 3 times a week – every time I went I felt better afterwards, so “make myself move” became my motto. I quit running early on, partly because winter arrived  but also because rowing felt more comfortable. I also avoided any jumping or climbing moves, like box jumps or ropes, to eliminate the risk of tripping or falling. I avoided the snatch as well as the clean and jerk as soon as my belly started showing around 4 months! Just like the fear of tripping on a box jump, here, I eliminated the danger to bump the bar on my belly – and I also didn’t want to mess up my form. There are so many ways to modify, using kettlebells, or dumbbells for example. Sit ups  made me nauseous so I quit those, too, and I used a 8″ box for push-ups and burpees. I tried to keep up with pull-ups and dips but when you’re pregnant, you don’t really have much of a core. This will also be important post-partum! Check for diastasis recti and consult with your doctor, or see a specialised (!) PT before doing any core work! Then I traveled back to Germany for a few weeks and got sick. Probably because I didn’t work out. My family in Germany didn’t even let me lift my nephew because “you are not supposed to lift heavy when you are pregnant.” However, fatigue and nausea were getting worse, and with the OK from my doctors, I started coming back to MBS in January. With every workout I began to feel better. Yes, by now I had to modify a lot, take more breathing breaks, but the weights on the bar slowly increased to pre surgery/pre pregnancy weights. About a week before my due date, I quit CrossFit again, it just didn’t feel right. 
Giving Birth: 
I was happy I worked out while I was pregnant, especially so close to the end. Maja was born within one hour and her Apgar score was 9.5/10. Don’t get me wrong, giving birth was still not easy. Yet, I can only imagine how much worse it would have been for me, or her, had I not been in somewhat decent shape. 
After birth:
The second part of the journey begins here and I am still on it (People say it takes 9 months for your body to prepare for birth, it will take 9 months to “return to normal” – I completely agree). In the beginning, it was most important to me to focus on Maja but I also became very depressed (post-partum depression is no joke!). All I could physically do was walk, sleep and do kegels (which I recommend doing already before giving birth). My body and spirit felt “broken.”At my 6 week post partum appointment I was cleared for exercise and went back to MBS for the “Perfect Week” and managed to complete all 5 girls – modified, but accomplished 🙂   I developed a training plan around Majas sleep/feed schedule and especially enjoyed returning to Rich’s strength class. Besides all the smiles and memories that Maja creates for me on a daily basis, CrossFit plays a crucial part in promoting my well-being. Now, Maja is 5 months old, and I am excited to share my love for CrossFit with her as she grows, although currently her sport of choice is napping.

10557769_10152738248748720_6842735605111217246_oFirst a quick athletic background on myself.  I grew up a swimmer and competitively swam and played water polo through college.  After college, swimming remained at the core of my training.  No matter where I lived I would seek out a Masters Swim Team and continue to compete at swim meets, triathlons and open water events.  As I was following this routine in the summer of 2011, I began hearing about CrossFit.  Previous that year though, I had ACL reconstruction surgery and I was too afraid to try CrossFit until I felt like I was completely healed.  So in the spring of 2012 I took the plunge into the CrossFit world and haven’t looked back.

About two years after starting CrossFit, in June 2014, I found out I was pregnant.  My husband and I were beyond happy with the new chapter about to begin in our lives.  With doctor approval, I decided to continue with CrossFit throughout my pregnancy.  Of course the first 8 weeks of the pregnancy were easy-peasy, nothing felt like it had changed, and then the morning sickness set in.  I have never thrown up after a CrossFit WOD before but it began happening then.  The morning sickness made me really slow down and focus on what I was doing.  I had to really pay attention to my body and not push it too hard.  I also made sure I was fueling myself properly.  Being a morning WOD-er I rarely ate before I worked out, but with the morning sickness I had to start getting up earlier to fuel my body and settle my stomach down before the WOD.  Luckily around 16 weeks things calmed down and other than feeling extra tired at the end of the day, the morning sickness was gone.  I started having great WODs again and even set a couple PRs.   I continued to CrossFit until the day I went into labor.  In fact my water broke at the gym during 15.1 at the 5:30 AM class.  35 hours of labor, and 40 minutes of pushing later Odin came into the world.

Post baby was definitely more difficult for me than the pregnancy.  About 3 ½ weeks after Odin was born I re-hemorrhaged and had to go back to the hospital.  I had to have a small procedure done because there was left over placenta.  This was more mentally difficult than physically because I was dead set on getting back into the gym and working out by 4 weeks.  After the procedure the doctor told me that I had to wait until at least the 6 weeks post-partum to begin working out again.  This really discouraged me because I had my goal and now I couldn’t meet it.  I reminded myself that my health is just as important as my new baby’s and I needed to listen to the doctor and not let it get me down too much.  Luckily, everything healed fine, and I was cleared at 6 weeks to resume my workouts.  When I returned to the gym I made sure to check my ego and scale appropriately.  Mainly I tried to remind myself that my body did not change overnight to grow Odin and it will not change overnight to go back to what it was before.  Now being 8 months post-partum I feel almost fully back to myself.  I still focus on maintaining good form and tell myself that there will be good days and bad days at the gym and I cannot be too upset by the bad.

All in all the biggest take away for me from my pregnancy is listening to my body.  I used to be so competitive and push myself to the breaking point too often.  I now take rest days more often, fuel my body properly and am always thinking about form.  No workout is ever worth an injury, especially when I have a little one at home I have to chase around!

Post Baby Competition with Coach Amy12049173_892405665416_5669448436960719812_n

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Erika and Steph Share Their Story- CrossFit Progress!

Everyone’s path to CrossFit and functional fitness tends to be related but yet unique in their own ways. Just the same, Erika and Steph have experienced different paths to fitness and CrossFit.
Steph had been exposed to fitness from a young age but never really took it seriously until she decided she was tired of being overweight and always feeling lethargic. Conversely, although Erika had been active the majority of her life, fitness and healthy eating were never a priority.
Around 2006, they decided they needed a complete lifestyle makeover which included both diet and fitness. Steph had been exposed to the fitness lifestyle due to her sister who was a Pro Figure Competitor and personal trainer. Erika always had the excuse of just not having enough time in the day after work. Finally, the constant excuses of not eating healthy and being able to exercise were over!
It started with food. Erika did the research and they slowly adapted a new way of thinking about what they ate at every meal. At first it seemed impossible to give up the “convenient foods”. However, once they revamped their diet, they quickly saw a dramatic change both mentally and physically. They then joined a local gym where their interest in weight training sparked. They followed body building athletes such as Dana Linn Bailey and created a workout program which they followed on a consistent basis.
While Steph was playing on a weekend softball league, a teammate suggested they join a CrossFit gym. She explained that she found the sport to be exciting with its variety and most importantly it had a great community. They kept this in the back of their minds as potentially their next step in fitness.
Upon moving to Colorado, they knew they needed to join a gym. Erika brought up joining a CrossFit gym and figured it was a good time to give it a try. They joined MBS CrossFit and Steph’s feelings about CrossFit as a whole were mixed. She didn’t like it at all but she stuck to it and now absolutely loves it!
Committed to tracking their progress, Erika and Steph both keep a log of all their workouts since nearly the beginning. They both have seen improvements across the board. For Erika, it took some time, but she got over the mental hurtle of being inverted and can finally do a handstand hold. Steph reached her goal of being able to complete a rope climb and she recently achieved a personal best of 3 in one minute. Along with their determination and consistency, MBS’ attention to detail and quality coaching played a key role in their continuing success. Steph notes, “My favorite thing about CrossFit is that there is always something to work on and a new goal to achieve. If you are bored, you are not pushing yourself enough. My definition of strength is no longer just about how much weight I can lift but also mental strength. When my body says no but my mind keeps pushing, I know I am getting stronger after every WOD.”
Erika and Steph truly thank the MBS community and coaches for their continued support and motivation.

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Teri Braun Shares Her Story

11958314_10206687151513974_6891953197155102760_oMy appreciation for fitness came in high school.  I took two classes: dance and weight lifting. They forever changed my perspective on body image-in a good way!  (Too bad I didn’t learn about clean eating at the same time.  Growing up, corn, potatoes and peas were staple “veggies” at my house.)  I worked out off and on, even had personal trainers here and there.  But I was never serious about getting strong, just “tone”.  My idea of losing weight was warped at a young age.  “If you want to drop pounds…just don’t eat!”  So, when I wanted to lose weight, I just didn’t eat.  It worked like a charm!  What I didn’t know is, as you age… that changes, along with many other things.  For instance my body after three babies and gravity taking a toll on my aging vulnerability.  Enough was enough! I was getting my pre baby body back! So I hired a personal trainer.  He rambled something about… “Olympic Weight Lifting” and I thought for sure I was in WAAAY over my head.  I explained my not wanting to look bulky or manly.  He assured me that would not be the case.  Within a couple of short months I saw physical changes that I had never seen before!  I HAD MUSCLES!!   After six months of logging 300 minutes of cardio per week and lifting 3-4 times weekly, I met my goal!  I lost 22 pounds and 15% body fat.  I was STRONG too!  I was able to bench and squat my own body weight and doubled my body weight in my sumo deadlift.

Well, I met my goals, now what?  I sought out another goal.  I wanted something to push me mentally and keep me active and accountable.  I registered for a half marathon.  During training I sustained an ankle sprain that took nearly a year to heal.  Feeling cheated out of an accurate performance record, I demanded a “mulligan”.  So I registered for another half marathon.  As my milage increased, my weight lifting decreased.  My logic was to preserve that energy used for lifting and use it for running.  That makes sense…right?  NOOOOO, wrong on so many levels!  I started getting injuries right and left!  Nothing major, little things, like issues with my IT Band and hamstring, knee pain, low back pain, tight calves, and for the first time ever-plantar fasciitis.  I was breaking.  I started PT and slowed down (after my race of course!).  “Slow down” consisted of boot camp classes instead of running and lifting heavy weights.  In February 2014 I went to a Valentine Couples Workout at my husbands gym.  This was my first exposure to crossfit.  I enjoyed the workout and felt sore the days following. But it hurt so good.  I joined his box and worked out regularly.  Slowly, I started to see results.  I wasn’t coming close to PR’s but I was making progress nevertheless.

In early May 2014, my back began to ache.  It made sense to stretch more (in hopes of releasing the tension in my posterior chain).  The pain grew more intense…simple things like sneezing and coughing were excruciating.  After several doctors appointments and an MRI, I was told I had disc degeneration (not uncommon to see at my age) and “several bulging discs” in my lumbar spine.  I was advised to “slow down” and focus on core strength.  While in a lot of pain and being fearful of making things worse, I did nothing for 3 months.  As a result of the many injuries that lead up to, and included this, I gained all 22 pounds back plus another 10!  After a depressing summer, I started working with a trainer who had experience with crossfit and olympic weight lifting movements.  I worked with him until joining MBS in February 2015.  I did my free week then had to leave abruptly for California to help care for an ill family member. Again, I found myself stagnate for ANOTHER three months, after working so hard to get my back rehabilitated.  But Finally!  I came back to MBS in May.  I only started with 2 days each week then slowly added more. I remained fearful of re-injuring my back (or anything else for that matter).  I started with very low weights (15lb bar)-wasn’t even ashamed.  I milked the low weights as long as I could.  I started increasing my weights and even moved up to the 35lb bar.

In the few short months I have been at MBS II CrossFit Arvada, I feel like I’ve accomplished quite a bit.  For starters, I’ve tightened up my nutrition and lost 10lbs.  Thank You Coach Jeremy!  A lot of my fear is minimal, or gone.  I’m beginning to re-train my lungs (asthma) to handle more endurance.  I have even crept up on some of my old PR’s and surpassed others.  My former 1 rep max for front squat was 95lbs now it’s 140lbs!  I have never been able to climb a rope.  Frankly, I gave up on the thought of it ever occurring.  Well…I have successfully climbed a rope!  Having said that, I still need to perfect coming down (yeeeooooow).  Most of my workouts remain modified but I am OK with that!  I feel blessed to be injury free.  I am excited to see what milestones are yet to come.  I see kipping pull ups in my future.  Even muscle ups in my more distant future.  I have committed to enjoy the journey and not stand in my way by comparing myself to where I “used to be”.  With hard work and dedication that will come.  I look forward to my continued progress.  A very sincere THANK YOU to our amazing owners and coaches here at MBS!!

Erik Shares His Story



“Doing the Damn Thing”

Since I started working behind a desk, my activity level bottomed out and I started packing on the pounds. Hooray beer! In my head, I was arrogant enough to think that I could change my habits at the drop of a hat. At the time, I was living the coach potato life and the most I could muster up was enough energy to complain about it. I tried some boot camps, running, and eating well but nothing would stick. Boot camps are not sustainable and running just destroyed my shins. Every round of trying to get in better shape just resulted in frustration. Turns out, most habits are really hard to change!

It came to a head when I realized how hard I was being on myself. Mandy did her best to get me to join yoga but I was too self-conscious to do it. Through her membership at CorePower, she started checking out MBS and came back telling me how great the CF1 classes were. That combined with some recommendations from friends convinced me to give MBS a try on January 2nd. The workout was 3 rounds for time: 400m run, 20 wall balls, 20 box jumps. Let’s just say my legs were Jell-o after that workout. I almost hit the deck from taking the step down from CF1 room and I couldn’t move the whole following weekend. After that, something just clicked in my head that I needed to just keep coming back or live the DNB life. I chose the former and definitely don’t regret it!

Now, you can find me almost every morning with the 6am’ers trying to wake up! Mandy and I do Cardio Flex whenever we can. It is nice to share the accomplishment with each other and great to have Andrea kick our butts. We enjoy the fact that “we did the damn thing”: this is our favorite saying during and after a tough class because sometimes it’s hard to believe that we’re actually doing these crazy workouts!.

Mandy and I loved doing workouts, but still wanted to get to know our fellow MBSers a bit better. When we heard about the Spartan Race training, we knew this was our chance. We loved waking up every Tuesday at 6am rain or shine (and there was a LOT of “moist” mornings) and trudging through mud, climbing ropes, and doing burpees with Pat and all the other Spartans. Completing the Spartan Race was one of the best experiences I’ve had with MBS so far: there is no way we could have done the race with the amount of confidence and excitement that we had without our 6am Tuesday classes. We’re already talking about upgrading to the Beast for next year! Best of all, we got what we wanted out of Spartan Training: to get to know other MBS members a lot better.

One of the best perks of MBS is the amazing community. All of the coaches have been unbelievably supportive, and getting to know members better through the Spartan race training has only contributed to our overall fitness because we love working out with our friends. There are few things more motivating than to hear Andrew M say that I’m killing it on some movement or another (thanks, man!). Probably the best part of the MBS members and coaches are their unwavering positivity. CrossFit is an incredibly intimidating sport but I have found that, as long as I get out of the parking lot and into the hangar, I’m going to get support and encouragement from everyone. I have not mastered all of the movements by any means, and Mandy is not an every day WOD’er, and yet all of our efforts are unconditionally accepted and encouraged. That means a lot, a LOT! Even when coaches challenge me to put a bit more weight on the bar or drop my hips a bit lower, it FEELS like encouragement rather than a drill sergeant yelling commands. This kind of positive challenge has entered my subconscious in other areas of life knowing I can push myself harder at work and at home too, and that it can be fun. I can’t say thank you enough to all of the awesome coaches and other MBS’ers who have helped me to change my life. Meriah always says that I’m the one doing the work but I could not have improved this much without her and the rest of the community cheering me on.

A word from Mandy:

Um, thanks MBS! I have a new hottie tottie husband! Upgrade alert! Seriously though, Erik has shed some pounds, but his outlook on all of life is radically different than it was 9 months ago. My husband was a bit of a mopey bummer who was not always easy to be around mostly because he just didn’t feel good about himself. Since starting MBS, I cannot believe the transformation. There have been several mornings when his alarm has gone off and I’ve thought “this is it. This is the morning he sleeps in and never goes back” and that has never happened. I’ve never seen Erik so determined with such a “no excuses” attitude. As some of you know, we spent several months working on our yard this summer. Yes, he was able to haul rock, sod, and mulch – for which I would have doubted his ability previously – but more than that, he was motivated and we had some fun with it! We liked to joke as we were hauling tons of rock that “Pat would be so proud!”, and we would shout “FUNCTIONAL FITNESS!” to each other across the yard, laughing. Overall, Erik has so much more energy and zest for life: he is willing to pick up extra chores around the house, he is happy to walk the dog, he plays fewer video games, and he eats better. I think that MBS has helped Erik have a longer life and a higher quality life, which immeasurably contributes to my quality of life. As for me, Andrea has especially inspired me to become stronger and more fit, while remaining positive and encouraging any little gain that I have made. While I like to balance out my crossfit with yoga and running rather than the every day WODing that Erik does, I feel like a welcomed member of the MBS family. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all the staff and coaches for all your encouragement of both Erik and myself. Erik, you are “doing the damn thing” every day and I could not be more proud of you

Erika Wagner Shares Her Story

11898673_10153196071073720_2566859738116315741_nI started CrossFit in January 2012, looking for an alternative to the steady state cardio rut I had found myself for several years.  I went in to CrossFit Chicago for a free trial workout, which turned out to be the Baseline.  I could not do a regular push-up or pull-up, but I was hooked immediately.  I followed a pull-up plan for 2 months trying to get the required 3 strict pull-ups so that I could be taught to kip (and ditch the dreaded bands). Fast forward to July 2013, I moved to Broomfield and joined MBS. I felt, and still feel, so lucky to be able to come to such a great gym in such a beautiful location with such dedicated and knowledgeable coaches.  Not everyone gets to workout and take selfies with such an amazing backdrop ☺

Around October that year my shoulder and upper arm started to feel really sore.  I went in to see an Orthopedist, had an MRI, and was given a cortisone shot and told to lay off the weights.  Of course that was never going to happen, and I continued training through the pain, setting many PR’s along the way.  I bought some sessions with Ashley O’Connell to see if she could help  with the pain.  After stepping around on me a little bit, Ashley suggested I go in for a second opinion because she thought there was something wrong with my bicep tendon.  I went in to see another doctor, and it turned out that I had an SLAP (superior labrum anterior posterior) tear and a torn biceps tendon that would require surgery.  On July 31, 2014, I had my labrum reattached with 5 anchors and my biceps tendon reattached with a screw. I spent two months in an immobilizing brace and four months completing physical therapy.

It’s now been 13 months since that surgery, and I almost feel like I am back to my old self.  I’ve learned that recovering from a surgery, or any setback in life, takes a few things: a positive outlook and a plan.  In CrossFit, we are constantly trying to be better and do better than yesterday.  I know that my time at the gym is oftentimes the best part of my day.  So what happens when you can’t go to the place you love and do the things you love to do?  Well, the best plan I could figure out was to do the things I COULD do.  For a few months, all that I could do was walk.  So I walked a 4 mile loop around my neighborhood every day, and each day I tried to PR my four mile walk time.  When I started physical therapy, I celebrated each incremental increase in range of motion.  I treated my PT exercises and 1lb dumbbells like I would any WOD. Finally when I could come back to MBS, I continued to follow the plan my physical therapist had put together for me and worked on strengthening the muscles around my shoulder.  I asked for modifications from our coaches, so that I could take part in class. I remember how pumped I was the first day I could do a power clean with an empty trainer bar, how cool it was to finally do a snatch again, and the amazing feeling of kicking up into a handstand!!  I’m still working on strengthening my shoulders, and still trying to get my pull-ups back.  But I have a training plan, and I am sticking to it.

You hear the phrase “Leave your Ego at the door” thrown around a lot, and it’s true.  We each come in every day to be the best possible version of ourselves, but our egos can get in the way of that goal.  Before my surgery, I could Rx most workouts and had a pretty decent engine.  I would work through real pain and ignore what my body was telling me because I was concerned with what I thought my time or weight said about me (insert eye roll).  For now, I have had to learn how to become comfortable scaling workouts when necessary and knowing my own limitations.  The most important thing is to move well and work hard, whether the work is ring rows or muscle-ups.  We will all get better and stronger over time, but only if we stick to our own plan.

We each face our own struggles, big and small, but I really believe that CrossFit helps develop the confidence and courage we need to face things head on.  A big thank you to Pat and Janelle for creating such a great community, our coaches for all of their help, and my 9’ers for all of their positive energy and encouragement!!