Nobody knows discipline like a service member. Boot camp, deployments, physical fitness tests year after year. For Derick Carver, those feats were even more difficult after losing his leg to an IED; but the Army Ranger didn’t let the challenge intimidate him, instead he conquered feats others can barely imagine. And now, he’s opening a new Crossfit Gym in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, this month. Carver opened Bayonet Crossfit in Shelby Township two years ago and his new 10,000+ square fit space with friend and business partner Jennifer Pishko promises to be a hit. Though he and Pishko encourage everyone to consider joining a gym, they know the reality of committing to daily or weekly routines doesn’t fit everyone’s schedule. So, the duo is sharing some of their tips to help military spouses get and stick to New Year’s resolutions.
Derick’s top 5 tips to get fit and stay healthy
1. Join Chagrin Falls CrossFit. Ok, Ok, we had to allow some shameless self-promotion for Carver. But he makes a good point. If you have the time and the money, join a gym to hold yourself accountable.
2. Research and pick programs and nutritional plans that best fit your lifestyle. Make your body and lifestyle transformation as easy as possible by finding something you can stick to. If you love fruits and veggies, consider adding smoothies and juices to your diet. If you have little children, find a family-friendly fitness group such as Stroller Warriors.
3. No one cares about your excuses, so don’t make them.
4. Don’t get discouraged; stay flexible and committed.
5. Don’t give up.
Carver draws on his military experience to help clients stay motivated and says military spouses are no different, they need to stay focused on the big picture and keep in mind that being healthy means committing to a healthy lifestyle. “You didn’t get fat or out of shape overnight, so your results won’t happen overnight. It is going to take work. You mentally prepare yourself for the challenge ahead and realistically understand that you have to put in the effort to reap the rewards,” he said. Hmmm…spoken like a true service member. As spouses approach deployments, military moves and redeployments, knowing there are going to be rough patches and time needed to get “back to normal,” they must approach workouts and nutritional changes the same way. You can’t expect changes to happen overnight and you can’t get discouraged if the numbers on the scale don’t drop instantly or the jeans that are two sizes too small today don’t fit perfectly tomorrow.
Carver’s business partner and friend, Jennifer Pishko, echoes his mentality and says progress may not happen as quickly as you’d like, but as a busy working mom she can relate to your struggle. “You work all day and feel guilty spending time away from home and kids to work out,” she said. She used to feel that way until she realized taking that time for herself not only turned her into a better mom, but a better wife too. “I became an overall happier person when I felt better about myself and the way I looked. I felt like I could accomplish more in a shorter period of time because I had more energy. I was physically strong and mentally I was able to handle more of the unexpected,” she said. Carver said Pishko hit the nail on the head. Making time for activities that boost physical and emotional health improve morale, that’s why is important for military spouses to take good care of their bodies. They’re always facing unexpected twist and turns, especially during deployments. “I think that the stress relief is huge [when it comes to working out]. It keeps your mind focused on goals. Also, depending on the facility and most are like this, there is additional support there [at the gym],” he said.
Jennifer’s top 5 tips for Success in the New Year.
1. Set small goals along with your big goal. “Saying you want to get in shape or lose weight is a good place to start, but what does it really mean?” Pishko asked. She suggests putting specific goals on your list, such as “I want to work out 4 times a week,” or “I want to do 5 unassisted pull-ups.” Give yourself weekly goals, a medium-sized goal each month and finally, your overall, large goal. “It will help you stay motivated when you see the little milestones.”
2. Be realistic. “Giving yourself something unrealistic to accomplish or in an unrealistic time frame will lead to failure.” Saying you want to lose 30 pounds in 6 weeks is not realistic and won’t lead to permanent lifestyle changes.
3. Have fun and realize you’re human. Cheating by sneaking a bowl of ice cream on the weekend will not make you fat.
4. It’s going to suck, but it will get better. Getting used to working out can be a harsh wakeup call if you’re out of shape. “You will be sore. You’ll be using muscles you probably didn’t know existed. You’ll be challenged daily and some of those days will be great, but some days you may feel like you failed.” Pishko encourages people not to give up, because it will get easier with time. “If it were easy, we’d all look like super models and wear bikinis to the grocery store!”
5. Do what you suck at. “They say life really starts outside your comfort zone,” Pishko said. If you’re not great at something, give it a try anyway…see how far you can push your limits and you’ll grow along the way.
Carver whole-heartedly recommends military spouses to join a gym or attend group fitness classes. “We have fulltime, dedicated coaches who are continually learning and becoming better at what they do. We have a community of people that support each other in and out of the gym. We also have high quality programming that is designed to make individuals faster, stronger, and all around more fit,” he said. “When you go scouting out places to join, make sure you talk with the coaches or trainers. You should join a facility that knows what they’re talking about, has a methodology behind the programming and has proven results with members.”
Pishko said she has learned a lot from Carver. Not only has he defied the odds and become a fitness guru, despite combat injuries and the heavy weights deployments bear, but he has taught her never to take life for granted. “Don’t complain,” Pishko said. “Because someone has it harder than you. Someone is always going to be stronger than you, too. Give it 100% or nothing. We can get the most in the last 10% of the workout when we are tired and suffering. Push through. I’ve also learned a great deal about overall strength and perseverance,” she said. Pishko and Carver will have to remember the advice they’re dishing out to others as they prepare for the grand opening of the new Ohio facility. Chagrin Falls CrossFit is set to open January 24, 2015 at 524 E. Washington Unit H, Chagrin Falls, Ohio, 44022. Just as new fitness challenges come with hard work, trials, and tribulations, so do new business opportunities and you must have the discipline it takes to succeed.
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