Proving Yourself Right

Kevin holding presenting the American Flag at half during of a U of H game. 

Kevin holding presenting the American Flag at half during of a U of H game. 

I’ve had a pretty lucky upbringing. My parents, family, and friends have always supported my dreams and aspirations. My dream, from when I was young enough to have one, was to play professional baseball. I dedicated countless hours to try and perfect the craft. Until that dream was turned completely sideways in late 2011. I was suffering from immense lower back pain and I tried to continue to play because I wasn’t going to let anything stop me from playing the game I love. As you might’ve guessed, that wasn’t my best decision. My last game before the pain became too much to bare, I went 2-3 with two home runs but I couldn’t even run to first base. I was diagnosed with Spondylolysis. I was born with a thin bone in part of my spine and over time it caused two stress fractures to occur, causing my spine to slip. My luck continued when the doctor informed me that I had two options: First, I could have surgery to fuse my spine back together or, take 6 months off and go through physical therapy to strengthen the area to stop the spine from slipping. He also informed me that I was never going to be able to play baseball again.

Kevin at bat during a game.  

Kevin at bat during a game.  

Just like a typical 8th grader, I thought that the doctor didn’t know what he was talking about and after I take my six months off I’ll be able to continue to play the game I love. That’s just what I did, but the result of the stress fractures left me extremely limited. I wasn’t able to squat, deadlift, and really do anything that put a lot of pressure on my lower back. All throughout high school, where everyone learns how to squat and starts to strengthen their legs, I was stuck doing all upper body exercises which I enjoyed so I didn’t complain. As the years went by my back continued to bother me and I was never able to play at 100% again. After my senior year, I had the option to continue to play at the next level, but after days of thought and weighing my options I chose not to pursue my dream in order to save my health.

Kevin's first CrossFit Competition. 

Kevin's first CrossFit Competition. 

Shortly after, I found my new goal. I wanted to become an officer in the United States Army through the ROTC program that my university offered. This became my goal because of multiple personal reasons, and I did typical gym workouts to try and stay “fit”. The moment I realized I’m nowhere near as fit as I thought was actually during an obstacle course that was at my university’s campus. My legs became jello and I was so out of breath halfway through that I wanted to stop more than I wanted to take another breath. I realized that in a couple of years I’m going to have a lot of lives in my care. I wanted to be fit enough that at any given moment I could pick up my comrade and carry them to safety no matter the weight, the distance, or what kind of condition I was in myself. That was my reason to join CrossFit and that stays with me every day I wake up, walk into the gym, and when I think about what I want to eat. Every goal I set is to get closer to my vague definition of fit. Will I ever get there? Will there ever be a situation where I have to carry someone and their life depended on it? I don’t know and I hope no one is ever in that situation, but there’s always that possibility and I will continue to better myself to stay prepared.

Kevin training at EaDo Elite. 

Kevin training at EaDo Elite. 

The biggest thing I want anyone reading to understand is that it’s not about proving others wrong, it’s about proving yourself right. Never set a goal or set out to accomplish something where your first thought is about beating the person next to you or trying to change someone’s thoughts/opinions. The only person you need to beat on a daily basis is yourself. Worry more about losing the fight to get one more rep, to continue to push when you think someone took away your oxygen, to continue to studying or working on a project instead of get that precious hour of sleep. We make countless decisions every day, but how many of those choices get you closer to your personal “why”? Never stop setting goals and working every day to achieve them. Never forget that goals take time to achieve and you’re not powerful enough to rush that process. “It takes twenty one years for you to be twenty one. Don’t rush the process, trust the process.”

Kevin representing EaDo Elite at The Fittest Games where they took 4th place overall. 

Kevin representing EaDo Elite at The Fittest Games where they took 4th place overall. 

My name is Kevin McEnery. I’m an EaDo Elite athlete, future Army Officer, current student at the University of Houston pursuing a mechanical engineering major and math minor, member of the EaDo Elite regional team, Crossfit EaDo coach, and son of Kevin and Catherine McEnery.  As you are reading this I am fighting for the unknown, so go out, get closer to your goal and always remember to prove yourself right.

Kevin Snatching during the team snatch ladder at the South Regional. The team went on to take 6th place overall, finishing 1 spot away from the CrossFit Games. 

Kevin Snatching during the team snatch ladder at the South Regional. The team went on to take 6th place overall, finishing 1 spot away from the CrossFit Games. 

Med School and Barbells

I am a third year medical student at Baylor College of Medicine.  In one short year, I will be a doctor (yikes!).  I like to think of CrossFit as a hobby, something that I do for fun.  In conversations with non-CrossFit friends and people in the medical field, I have come to realize that CrossFit has become a pretty serious hobby.  As much as I don’t like to admit, I prioritize CrossFit.  I don’t have a lot of free time and, for the most part, any free time that I have is spent at the gym.  A typical day for me can include 10 hours in the hospital, not to mention the 3-4 hours of reading or studying in preparation for the ever-impending exam.  On most days, if I am lucky, I can meet up with competitor’s class at CrossFit EaDo for a quick workout to get my body moving and give my brain a quick break. 

People often ask me how I balance medical school and competitive CrossFit.  The truth is, as I am sure many other student athletes can attest, I don’t think that I would be as successful in school without the outlet that CrossFit provides.  CrossFit, particularly the competition class, is my stress relief, my form of exercise, my time to take care of myself, and my social hour.  Of course I love CrossFit in itself.  I love to exercise and I love the feeling of really pushing yourself over the edge.  I love being really tired, whole body tired, after a workout.  CrossFit provides this feeling like no other form of exercise.  But I have also become spoiled by the group atmosphere of participating in a set workout alongside other like-minded athletes.  It is no longer enough for me to WOD.  I need to WOD with the best.  The competitors’ class at EaDo provides me with a much needed social element to the daily grind that is CrossFit.  My daily workouts make me more productive when it is time to sit down and get some studying done at the end of the day.  I have more energy and motivation to work hard and be efficient in my studies.  CrossFit gives me something to look forward to when I go home and something else to focus my attention.

I have been participating in CrossFit for about 3 years and have been competing ever since I started medical school.  Each year, it is hard for me to fully commit to competing at the highest level, knowing that school is really my top priority.  This year, school is particularly demanding and I am hoping that I can maintain my balance.  My goals for this season center on maintaining that balance.  I want to stay sane in regards to medical school and to keep enjoying CrossFit.  Of course I want to improve upon my Open performance last year and to contribute competitive scores for my team to help in qualifying for Regionals, but I cannot say that athletic performance is my top priority.  I want to continue to allow CrossFit to be my outlet that allows me to be successful in medical school. 


  As a naturally competitive person, it is really hard for me to enjoy sport without maximizing my potential.  It’s hard not to agonize over my weaknesses and it’s easy to become frustrated when progress seems slow.  However, EaDo Elite programming has really taken the guesswork out of what I should be doing to eliminate my weaknesses.  I know that if I can make time for my 1.5 hr workout, I will be making strides towards meeting my goals.  I am constantly encouraged by those around me at EaDo Elite.  There is always someone to challenge me to be better at the things that I am good at and to give me a pat on the back after a WOD that focuses on my weaknesses.  After months of training, it is nice to have people around you that can remind you how far you have come and to help you celebrate your victories, no matter how big or small.  As we embark upon the Open season and a very difficult part of my medical school career, I hope that I can maintain my commitment to EaDo Elite and to continue to enjoy all the things that I love about CrossFit.  I am excited to see what a year of having fun with training will do for me as an individual in the Open and even more excited for my teammates and fellow EaDo athletes!  There is nothing like a little competition to push us to accomplish things we never knew we could.

 

-Sara Fish has been CrossFitting for 3 years and has a competitive background (Soccer at the collegiate level, Tennis and Gymnastics). Sara's hobbies include doing 150 wallballs with no breaks faster than the 2015 fittest woman. 

 

The Distinction Between Elite and Elitist

EaDo Elite Logo.png

Elitism is rampant in athletics, particularly our sport. It's a natural evolution when performance is measured so objectively. Every box has that athlete, the big fish in the small pond, the loudest about their performance and the first to make an excuse if they are beaten. Some boxes tend to breed this type of athlete and others worship the ground that they walk on. Yet it seems that the old saying, the dog with the loudest bark often has the smallest bite, often rings true. Elitism is characterized by a belief that they are superior to others, and often through that belief they ignore outside influence sometimes to their detriment. In stark contrast, being truly elite requires a humbling of ones self and in the sport of fitness that happens in every WOD, every day, sometimes multiple times. 

What the team at EaDo has dedicated themselves to is an idea, the idea that talent is important but that it is irrelevant if the effort is lackluster. We will work harder than we want to every time we set foot in the gym, we will redo reps when our technique is off, and practice transitions for almost every possible movement, repeating them over and over until they're seamless. When we fail we will come up with plans to address our weakness, and we will face things we aren't good at, things we don't like. This is all in an effort to get better. 

     

 

 

 

Being actually elite requires you to separate your ego from the equation. Effort and a constant relentless pursuit of self betterment become staples in training. Oddly enough elitism has no place on the road to becoming elite. Too many athletes fall victim to the belief that they are above reproach, cannot be coached, and can do no wrong. Don't let your ego be your greatest enemy, MOVE BETTER because you can take a hard look at yourself, MOVE FASTER because you are willing to go to the dark place regularly. Be UNMATCHED, UNEQUALLED, and NONPAREIL, because actions speak louder than words. Become an EaDo Elite Athlete, follow our program, join the movement, commit yourself to being better. 

"Dictionary is the only place that success comes before work. Hard work is the price we must pay for success. I think you can accomplish anything if you're willing to pay the price."
-Vince Lombardi

-Article by coaches Connor Martin and Shane Rojas of EaDo Elite

Photo Credit: Sierra Prime

This isn't your average competition program.

 

The most valuable characteristic of EaDo Elite is the emphasis placed on consistent, and sound mechanics. As athletes and competitors, it's easy to get caught up in the amount of weight on the bar or the speed of our movements compared to others.  Our coaches have made sure each athlete moves consistently and efficiently, even if that means slowing us down.

 

The most respectable trait of the program is the personalized touch coaches have added to the programming. At the start of this season each athlete expressed their goals individually via email to the coaches. Then upon careful consideration, the coaches made specific recommendations and supplementation's that best suited each individual.  While most programs are written for a generic population overlooking personal weaknesses, the programming for EaDo Elite allows everyone to work on their weakness and continue building on their strength.  

 

Since the start, I have learned a lot about myself as an athlete, coach, and as a person. EaDo Elite has taught me, that I will have good days and I most certainly will have bad days. Some days lifting will feel amazing and everything goes right. Others, well, those days are ones you have to brush off and get back up (literally, sometimes). 

I have learned that as a coach being a perfectionist isn't a bad thing. Perfect movement makes an athlete better. One small tweak in technique can improve that lift or movement ten fold. I have personally experienced the benefit of polishing technique, increasing the majority of my lifts. 

Most importantly EaDo Elite has taught me that believing in yourself is the most important thing you can do. Believing that you CAN is often one of the biggest struggles. Sometimes it takes a minute to step back and celebrate the things that you have accomplished, in life or in the box. Whether it's a 5 lb PR, a stupid fast Fran, or driving in Houston without getting road rage, every victory is worth celebrating. 

And the best part?  The team will always have your back! I can't imagine not being a part of EaDo Elite.

Brittany Miller is a coach and athlete at CrossFit EaDo. She enjoy's dealifting heavy objects, encouraging her peers and talking in a Louisiana accent. 

Compete

Starting Crossfit was a very slow process for me. I went once a week to Crossfit Point Break in Spring, TX with some guys I knew who now own Skyline Crossfit. An actual sentence that came out of my mouth was, “I’m not going to do exercise classes regularly”. What an idiot. Once my friends opened Skyline Crossfit in Houston I became a member and was hooked. I’ve competed in sports my whole life and I had just finished my collegiate baseball career so Crossfit for me was a way to fill that void.

I did my first open at Skyline and was immediately hungry for more. Even after seven minutes of burpees. I couldn’t wait for the following season to try and prove myself further. After my first open I decided to bounce around a bit check out some other gyms. The first gym I tried was Crossfit Eado and that’s where I stuck.

I was very fortunate to meet a group of athletes from the very beginning that had the same goals, were willing to put in the work and push each other to be better every day. As a result, Crossfit Eado has qualified a regional team three consecutive years. Something I have been lucky to be a part of and contribute to each year. This was the main goal for us. As you achieve your goals it’s necessary to set new ones. Which we have. Each year we’ve been gotten better and added some amazing athletes along the way. 2016 is poised to be our best year yet.

After the 2013 Regionals, I was named team captain going forward. We all have jobs and this is something we do after work (or at 1pm during work, sorry guys) for fun, to relieve stress and to hang out with friends etc. Crossfit is secondary for most people so leading by example is the best way to get people to follow. My goal is to be ready for regionals/games. If you want to go, myself and every one dedicated to this goal will show you how to get there. It’s also important for me to help the overall direction of the competition class. The entire gym has eyes on us which means we need to set the standard.

For people looking to compete at a high level I would tell them to be set goals, be patient and know what it takes to get there. Have FUN. “It’s not about finishing first in one workout on a certain day. Greatness is achieved through the unrelenting struggle over the course of days, weeks, months and years, of constantly striving to improve. After all your struggle, maybe one day will the opportunity to be great will fall upon you. On that day, at that time, will you be ready?” This is a quote that really resonates with me from the world’s fittest man, Ben Smith. After doing Crossfit for four years I can tell you there is no instant gratification, you have to put in the work to get the reward.


Thank you to everyone that has been a part of my journey up to this point. It means more to me than you know.

 

 

~Greg Gossett is the co-owner of Below Parallel. He is a former collegiate Baseball player and a three time regional athlete. 

 

Photo Credit: Sierra Prime

From Rugby to CrossFit

A few months ago I started training with the EaDo-Elite crew. Seeing advanced athletes training alongside and supporting each other was what motivated me to join the program. Starting my training at EaDo on the main floor I saw a lot of improvement but knew that it was time for me to make the transition to a group that would push me further. As a former Rugby player for the Venezuelan national team, I initially joined Crossfit and other training disciplines to cope with the physical and mental requirements of a high performance athlete.

Soon after my first few weeks at EaDo-Elite I started improving across the board; all my lifts, endurance, and gymnastics. Of course this resulted in sourness from my scalp to my toes. The real magic happened soon after, I started making not only physical gains but also gained teammates, friends and mentors. This has helped me to get further than I could have ever gotten on my own.

Just after I joined the program the coaches came out with a list of standards that needed to be met to maintain a position in the class. This was intimidating for a few reasons, not only were a lot of the movements previously established weaknesses but they were to be tested under fatigue and in WOD's. To my relief soon after the announcement of the standards the coaches had one on one meeting evaluations. We analyzed how achieve the standards, and how to turn our weaknesses into strengths. 

At my meeting, some daily accessory workouts were added to my schedule to improve some specific skills. I went into the meeting wanting to improve my olympic lifts,  however it was pointed out that by keeping my focus on my METCON and other specific skills (handstand pushups, deadlift lat tension, and running) where I was weak, that my overall capacity would improve. Additionally, there was enough olympic lifting in the program that I would see an adaptation. I trusted the coach’s advice and worked on what he had added to my workouts.

Without notice, I was PR-ing across the board; every benchmark we tested, and every lift increased by 20 pounds or more. I was running faster, I was getting leaner. To my surprise I accomplished all the requirements that I thought I couldn’t, just by trusting experienced coaches.

By far the most important personal improvement was my mental strength. Great athletes are always mentally tough. That strength defines whether you can finish the final reps of a brutal WOD, or push past the competitor next to you. Those couple of meters to the finish line, that set of 9 on FRAN, those 5 pounds over your PR, these are the moments where as little as one rep can change the whole outcome of your personal or collective success. The mental strength that I’ve gained, has helped me to overcome my own barriers, not only as an athlete, but in every single aspect in life. I'm able to push forward and to aim higher every day, not only as an individual but as a team member. The only limit between you and greatness… is you. Thank you EaDo ELITE!

~Rodrigo is pursuing a PHD in Sports Medicine. He is former national level player and an avid CrossFitter.

Photo Credit: Sierra Prime

Iron Sharpens Iron, the EaDo Elite Difference

2012 SoCal Regional 

2012 SoCal Regional 

I started CrossFit in mid 2011 with no aspirations of continuing past the first month, and then, like so many of us, was sucked in by the competitive atmosphere that I missed from my youth sports. I moved a few times in the next few years and changed boxes accordingly, but each location was relatively small with one or two relatively competitive athletes, at least compared to CrossFit EaDo.

I got used to being a relatively big fish in relatively small ponds. I had high aspirations. I wanted to make it to the Games (heck, I still do) and although I should have the mental game to train in a dark closet and still be competitive (shout out to Mikko Salo), I just don't. I need to compete, I need someone to chase, I need someone to chase me, and I need to have fun.

2013 SoCal Regionals

2013 SoCal Regionals

I had the privilege of joining the EaDo Elite program early this year and completing the Open with the EaDo Elite athletes. I was unprepared for the depth and level of the program. Where before I could have an off day and still expect to place in the top three females in my gym, here I was coming 16th on a good day. In 15.1a I clean and jerked 195# and felt really proud of myself, only to have that effort barely put me in third. In fact, it is the only workout where I broke the top three throughout the Open. It was humbling to say the least, but no one rubbed it in. In fact, the opposite was true. Following each WOD, regardless of who placed ahead of whom, athletes congratulated one another and shared strategies for success. Although we were all still competing with one another, I felt truly welcomed.

And challenged. There is nowhere to hide your weaknesses here. Where I used to be able to back off in the areas I disliked (i.e. running, or the Devil’s bicycle) and rely on my strengths to finish well in WODs, now I have to push hard everywhere. Because there is always someone better than I am at my good stuff, and someone ready to lap me on my weak stuff. I have to keep pushing, because if I don’t I’m going to get left in the dust. Not on one WOD, or in one area, or by one person, but overall by a group of incredible athletes. It’s motivating, and really fun to be able to train with this community.

2015 with some of the EaDo Elite women

2015 with some of the EaDo Elite women

Now, seven months later, I am so grateful to this community. Ironically, I feel closer to making my goals now at seven months post-partum than I ever have been. I had amazing coaching and programming at my previous gym, Brand X, but something magical happens when you get this type of talent together in this volume combined with excellent programming and coaching. I am so excited to see where we will all be in a few years. One thing is for sure, I know we will all be better together. #movebettermovefaster

 

Camzin Martin has qualified twice as an individual in the SoCal Region and competed once as an individual and once as a member of the Brand X Team. She has aspirations to compete on one of the EaDo Elite Teams in the 2016 season at the Regional and Games levels. #braddavidsonnutrition #lifeasrx 

EaDo Elite launches their new Cycle August 3rd 2015!

Move Better Move Faster

EaDo Elite launches their new Cycle August 3rd 2015!

 

EaDo Elite is starting their next cycle today! This cycle’s focus is on the productive application of strength. Our last cycle was centered around gaining strength. Which means hashtag gains are upon us! We will focus primarily on the Olympic Lifts as they produce more power and speed.  Additionally, we intend to highlight high-skill gymnastic movements in two main ways:

1.     Acquisition and repetition of movement  - based on data collected from prior years, competitions, and Crossfit main site. Each week we will program a variant of a skill that is likely to come out at regionals or the Crossfit Games. For example, strict muscle ups, triple unders, strict handstand push-ups, back roll support, front and back up-rises etc.

2.     Skill refinement under fatigue – movements that have come out with high frequency, will be trained under fatigue with an elevated heart rate.  For example, handstand walks, legless and regular rope climbs, kipping handstand push-ups.

 

Our lifting cycle will be comprised of 3 styles of strength training:

1.     “Wave” lifts – wave-style lifting with the slower less explosive lifts

2.     Time sensitive lifts – EMOM style lifting with Olympic lifts

3.     Barbell Efficiency - Lifts done for max reps in a given period of time

Our secondary goal is to maintain the strength adaptations that were gained in the previous cycle. We strive to give our athletes the best environment to excel at he most efficient rate possible. Among our 40 athletes, in the last 12 week cycle we had two of our top athletes improve their snatch over 10%, and many experienced significant all-round improvement. This is a testament to our, motto of “Mechanics and efficiency over everything”. Simple put, if you move better, you become more efficient. Therefore, your line of action is quicker, meaning you move faster. Additionally, if you move well you will increase the likelihood of your longevity in the sport. This increases your likelihood of success, because the more training time you have, the more well equipped you are to deal with the riggers of competition.  Case and point, 2015 Crossfit Games Champ - Ben Smith, an athlete who has been to the games seven times, has experienced very few injuries, and moves very well. This years Crossfit Games was a grueling test, and Ben Smith’s mechanics and experience were a big factor in him winning. #movebettermovefaster

Please feel free to leave any comments, questions or memes. 

Follow us in Instagram #eadoelite and tune into our live feed to watch EaDo Elite training secessions at 4:30 and 6pm

https://instagram.com/eadoelite/

 

Program Directors,

-       Connor Martin, Shane Rojas