Solcana blog

My Story: Solcana Athlete Sara Lewenstein

I came to Solcana in May because I was feeling, for lack of a better word, crappy about myself. I had top surgery in December 2016. After top surgery, I thought everything would be different. I thought I was going to automatically love my body because it would finally look the way I knew in my head it was supposed to look. But I still didn’t like the way I looked. Instead, I was sore, bruised, swollen, and covered in surgical marker. I was tired and weak. Some of this was due to surgery, but some of this was because I hadn’t worked out consistently in two years. As I began to heal, and the bruises and swelling went away, I still didn’t love my chest. Sure, my dysphoria surrounding my chest went away, but I still wasn’t happy with myself. I couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs without huffing and puffing. I had already gained back the five pounds of breast tissue my surgeon had removed. I had to buy new, bigger pants. And above all else, I was upset that I couldn’t be body positive about everything. I was upset that I was letting some stupid, arbitrary pant size number make me feel bad about myself.       This summer, I decided to make a change. I feel best about my body, no matter what I weigh or how I look, when I’m being active. I also know that I suck at working out by myself; I need accountability. Solcana gave me that accountability. And, it gave me a safe space to workout post-top surgery. I was nervous about working out after surgery. What if I couldn’t do an exercise because my chest was still tight? What if I had to explain about top surgery? Would I be respected? At Solcana, none of that was a problem. I feel safe and respected and I love starting workouts by sharing pronouns. Through working out at Solcana, I have become so appreciative and in awe of my body and what it is capable of. I never thought my body was capable of a handstand. But now I can do a wall walk all the way up the wall and I feel confident I’ll be able to kick up to a handstand soon. I can do pushups from the ground and deadlifts and other Olympic lifts I never would have thought I could do.       I’ve also been inspired to work on goals I had long since abandoned. Before Solcana, I had pretty much given up on being a runner. I thought it just wasn’t for me and always used my bad knees as an excuse. When I started at Solcana, I could barely make it through our warmup jogs to the fish dumpster and back. I especially dreaded Morgen’s warm up jog route, which sent us to the corner of cedar, left to the set of stairs, then up and down the stairs three times. By the end of the third time up the stairs, I was always gassed. Recently, I ran a mile in 9:45. I can only remember running a mile in under ten minutes once in my life. My new goal is to get below nine minutes and then to finally run a 5k. I’ve also seen changes outside of the gym. I work on the third floor and normally take the elevator up to my office. A few weeks ago, I came to work and there was a massive line of people blocking the elevator. They were waiting to check in for some event taking place in the first floor of my building. I immediately dismissed the idea of pushing through the crowd to get to the elevator and instead turned around and took the stairs without any sort of hesitation. I made it up all three flights of stairs and was only the tiniest bit winded. I could not have done that 6 months ago. Overall, Solcana has been life changing for me. As a trans person, I never really looked in the mirror and liked what I saw. All I can say is that dysphoria sucks. Now, I am the most in love with my body that I’ve ever been. A lot of that was top surgery, but working out at Solcana has also helped tremendously. I feel strong and powerful and muscular. And I’m always excited to go workout to see what I’m capable of achieving.  

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MY OLYMPIC HAT TRICK

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MY OLYMPIC HAT TRICK By: Lauren Anderson We are deep in the throes of the Winter Olympics, and I can't help but be inspired by athlete after athlete putting their years of effort to the ultimate test on a stage set for the whole world to see. I can't fathom the pressure. The physical prep aside, the mental preparation that goes into competition like that must be astounding....


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You Don't Have To Pee Your Pants #nopeeclub

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I started doing CrossFit 8 years ago, when the sport was in its infancy and the number of athletes worldwide was only in the thousands. Flash to today, there are 13,000 CrossFit gyms in more than 120 countries, thousands of other gyms who offer CrossFit-like programming, plus athletes who workout from their own garage. When it first started, there was a lot of trial and error. Over the last...


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THUNDER WITCH

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THUNDER WITCH By: Lauren Anderson This weekend I found myself immersed in research for a two-woman show I'm writing with my dear friend and colleague, Amanda. The show is called “The Towering Women of Malkin” set to be performed at the end of March. It's loosely based around Pendle Witch Trials of 1612. Essentially, it's England's version of The Salem Witch trials. The Malkin Tower was basically a barn,...


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My Story: Solcana Athlete Sara Lewenstein

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I came to Solcana in May because I was feeling, for lack of a better word, crappy about myself. I had top surgery in December 2016. After top surgery, I thought everything would be different. I thought I was going to automatically love my body because it would finally look the way I knew in my head it was supposed to look. But I still...


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Why I Recommend: Macro Tracking

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If you read my most recent post, you know that my experience with food and dieting has been up and down for a long time. Recently I went through a 6-month long elimination and reintroduction process to finally figure out which foods make me feel awesome, and which don't. Once I finished that process, I knew I wanted to invest in some time in using...


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February Athletes of the Month

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Congratulations to our February Athletes of the Month, Rica Highers and Bradley Machov! Rica Highers brings a fierceness and brilliance that is undeniable. She has embraced crossfit as a practice, and balances her drive and discipline with an attitude of mindfulness, patience, and self love. She pushes herself hard and holds herself to high standards, but she also takes time to celebrate herself and fellow athletes...


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WHAT I WHISPER TO MYSELF

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WHAT I WHISPER TO MYSELF By: Lauren Anderson “I don't know if I can do this...” Those were the words I whispered to myself a few weeks ago when I was trying to decide if I should add another plate of weights to my bar for some thrusters. I love doing thrusters. It's one move on the bar where I feel like a mountain shooting up from the...


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Why I Recommend: Elimination Diets

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I've been a coach for 8 years, and in that time I have tried A LOT of different ways of eating; vegetarian, strict paleo, keto, zone, high-carb, low-carb... just to name a few. The problem I always found with these strict and restrictive diet plans was always the same: I could commit to something for maybe 3-6 months, and then I would rebound, HARD. I...


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I HAD TO GO TO SUMMER SCHOOL FOR GYM CLASS

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I HAD TO GO TO SUMMER SCHOOL FOR GYM CLASS By: Lauren Anderson I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this before, but I've been thinking of this story a lot lately, so bare with me. When I was a high school sophomore headed into junior year, I forgot to go to gym. And by “forgot” I mostly mean I skipped gym class everyday to hang out with my friends...


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InBody Testing Feb 12th

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InBody is a quick and easy way to get metrics about your body composition, using a very simple machine that you can use while fully clothed. Every 6 months we bring in our friend Will Dahlgren into the gym to use his InBody machine in the gym and give you all an opportunity to get some numbers about your body that you can use to...


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THE SPIRIT OF THE NORTH

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THE SPIRIT OF THE NORTH By: Lauren Anderson Every time I do live theatre, the audience (whether you want it or not) becomes almost like another actor in the piece. The energy they give by laughing/ recognition/ or just general engagement, can really make or break a show. In the reverse, if I can't feel the audience engaged, it seems like an energy drain. And honestly, that's one...


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Solcana POC Scholarship Recipients

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  Recently, we raised over $17,000 in funds from our Black Friday sale, that we are able to use to support 9 POC athletes to join us for a full year at no cost. The application opened on Dec 1st and in the time it was open, we got 49 incredible applicants. From that all-star list, a small committee of 5 Solcanauts selected the 9 recipients....


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WHAT ABOUT BOB?

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WHAT ABOUT BOB? By: Lauren Anderson I think one of the best things in life is friendship that endures. And friends that endure with you. And more recently... friends who go with me to endurance class. You've heard me talk about endurance class with Mike before (see blog post “The Buddy System”). And I've mentioned Maureen countless times. She's my accountabili-buddy champion, who single-handedly gets me to...


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My Story: Solcana Athlete Amelia English

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Last week I played Getting to Know You Bingo at a meeting – that game where the bingo grid is full of things like “I’m the middle child” and “I play an instrument” – to help strangers learn little facts about each other. One of the squares said “I’m an athletic person” and I caught myself skimming over it because it wasn’t the square about...


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January Athletes of the Month

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Congratulations to Hallie Olson and Mike Grewe, our January Athletes of the Month!   Hallie Olson walked in the door one day in August and said "I'm here to sign up" and she has become a staple at the gym since then. Hallie is someone I am always happy to see in class. She is honest, gentle, and hilarious. If you ever need to be encouraged through a...


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Open Team Challenge 2018

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Our current strength cycle is coming to a close, ending the week of January 13th, with some opportunities to max out some lifts and get yourself a new baseline strength for the new year. Our next cycle we will be focused on prepping for and competing in the the CrossFit Open. The CrossFit Open is an international competition that happens yearly in February and March....


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RESOLVE TO GET INVOLVED

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RESOLVE TO GET INVOLVED By: Lauren Anderson After last week's bold and exhilarating –if not premature-- resolution to start thinking of my body as not just a machine that can DO things, but also as a thing of beauty-- I thought I could get out of the obligatory “making of a resolution” talk that is everywhere this time of year. (See last week's blog MERRY FUNCTIONAL FIT-MAS for...


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MERRY FUNCTIONAL FIT-MAS

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MERRY FUNCTIONAL FIT-MAS By: Lauren Anderson Hello! Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I hope this post finds everyone happy and healthy and snuggled in for some well-needed rest and reflection before the ball drops. And, universe permitting, we get to do it all again. This year was marked with tiny small changes for me. Nothing large or systemic like the year before, where I literally changed EVERYTHING....


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THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX

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THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX By: Lauren Anderson We're in line for warm ups. Stretched before us is a ladder rope thingy on the floor that we can hop through, then a big hard box, then a soft box to hop on. Then a series of other boxes. It's all hopping and jumping. Coach Kaitlin is skillfully walking us through it. I don't have fear like I normally do...


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INDECENT PROPOSAL

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INDECENT PROPOSAL By: Lauren Anderson You remember that cult classic from 1993 “Indecent Proposal”? Just me? Demi Moore and Woody Harrelson are young and hot and married and in love--but broke as hell. The dishwasher needs fixing! Student loans! “I just want to do my art!” I know Demi was wearing a crop top and overalls at one point. That's all I can really remember. By the power...


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