Shanta recently completed her first 60 days at CrossFit Jungle Gym and sat down with Coach James to discuss her progress over the last few months.
“Hi everyone, I’m Shanta.”
What brought you to CrossFit Jungle Gym?
“Well I started out about a year go, but then I ended up getting cancer and went through treatment. Then I was like, you know what, instead of going to the gym or going into boxing I really enjoyed CrossFit and the atmosphere, everyone was so welcoming. I was just like I need to get back, it feels like a real community and everyone supports you.”
Tell us about your success over the last 60 days?
“I did gain a little bit of skeletal muscle and I did shaved some time(2 minutes!) off the first workout that I came in and did. “
What would you say was your first sign of progress?
“My first sign of progress was when I was able to squat with some weight.”
What would you say was the biggest obstacle we helped you overcome over the first 60 days?
“I guess you could say the upper body. When I first came, I couldn’t do a push up, I had to do it with the box. When it came to doing the toes to bar, I didn’t know if I could hold myself up. So I realized that I can hold myself up – I did the 15 second hold and the knees(to elbows).”
There is another Shanta at home, watching this video, she’s in the same shoes you were in before you signed up, what do you say to her?
“I would say come on in, its probably going to be the best decision you will every make. If you want to get fit everyone here is welcoming, judgement free and they support you – it doesn’t matter, wherever you are at.”
I’ve been thinking about it since early November. Not getting to see my family back in Wisconsin, not being with Vanessa’s family for Thanksgiving maybe not for Christmas either. Was last year the last time I’ll celebrate the Holidays with them? Will COVID or another medical ailment get to them? Will old age? Will a freak accident take someone from the family? Maybe even some of my relatives would miss seeing me around for the next holiday gathering?
There’s only so much in life that one can control but what I do know as time ticks by every person past their prime is inching ever closer towards the end. Mortality is very motivating to me. That motivation drives me to improve my health and to inspire those I love to do the same. I care about you… so you’ve been invited to workout or taught to squat at least once during a family gathering. In my family we’ve many entire holiday dinner’s talking about the mathematics behind fitness and why we must all strive to become more fit. The answer… To enjoy more of these holidays together. Simply, fitness is the buffer between us and a poor quality of life or death.
I don’t want to be the person who will be missing at the holiday gatherings next year (or the next 50 years). I hope all my loved family members feel the same, being motivated to take care of themselves. The only thing I fear is that they don’t have the tools to build the fitness buffer themselves, so… I encourage them at every opportunity to take action on their fitness.
Kimberly recently chatted with Coach James about how she came to CrossFit Jungle Gym two and a half years ago for a better lifestyle, how she stayed motivated to workout during quarantine and what she wants to accomplish next.
Hi I’m Kimberly Cerasi – I turned 50 today.
What brought you to CrossFit Jungle Gym?
Just a better lifestyle, I tried all these different workouts and you stick with it for a couple months, and kind of fall off of it. I needed something to kick my butt and get in shape. Two and a half years later and I’m still here – must be doing something right.
Tell us about some of your successes over the last 90(ish) days
That was tough, especially going into quarantine and not getting the push from class. I promised myself I got too far where I was, I lost a lot of weight, I got strong. I pushed myself, I woke up Monday – Friday everyday at 6am and did the workout then started work. I did it every morning.
What was your most recent sign of progress?
There’s a couple, power cleans, for sure. We mentioned right before I was at 60#/65# I wanted to get to 75# I can now do 90#/95#, even if its a 1 rep max. Backsquats, we did it from the rig one day because there was only four of us and even though I was at 130# before I left, I got to 115# which I’m proud of, especially for not doing them at home. Also, deadlifts – I can still lift heavy, it feels good.
What was the biggest obstacle we helped you overcome over the past 90+ days?
Oh, it goes back to quarentine, the fact that you guys did the videos and kept us in check. Getting the messages from (Coach James) every night, “ok this is what I want to see” and then a little reminder the next day asking how’d it go? It was always like, if I missed a workout, I have to tell him(Coach James) why and that wasn’t going to happen – I’m not making excuses.
What are you looking to accomplish in the next 90 days?
I still want to increase my power clean, my goal is to get over 100#’s. My deadlift, I want to get back past the 130#, getting to 200#’s would be awesome, that seems kind of a stretch. My backsquat’s getting to the weight I was at before and heavier. I was at 130# before so heavier than that.
There is a Kimberly sitting at home watching this video, shes in the same shoes that you are in – what do you say to this Kimberly sitting at home?
You have come so far in the last two and a half years and there is so much more in you. So keep going – you can do it.
Fitness flow positive, the outline of the parallels between cash flow positive: investing, saving and fitness. The main concept is that finances and fitness run a very similar course. You can add to your balance (cash flow positive) or you can remove from your balance (cash flow negative).
You may or may not know the stock market generally grows every year and if you were to buy an index fund on average (over the last 10 years 30 years 100 years). It’s going to return about seven percent after inflation. Let’s compare what you’re doing for your fitness to putting money in a savings account or to investing in the stock market.
I remember in school being taught “you should be saving for retirement starting right from the get-go”, then they show me the math and you’re like yeah this totally makes sense. But good luck getting $10 out of a broke college students wallet for anything but beer! If you were like me you didn’t… but what i want to to give you is just a little bit of numbers. Then I want you guys to always make an improvement on your fitness every single day or think of it over a week or month.
The goal is we are always fitness flow positive, that means we have to be able to put at least one increment of fitness in the right direction more than we took out from our fitness. For example, if I decide that i’m going to eat pizza and drink beers on Saturday night, I’ll need to make decisions the rest of the day that will still leave me moving one step closer to the fitness goals.
If I have health and fitness goals for 30 years from now, now’s a good time to start thinking about small daily investments.
I’m going to talk about everything in dollars… if you took a small increment of money and invested it or saved it every day, you put $1 away every day for the next 30 years (a very small amount of money, you could scrounge that kind of money up off of the ground every day if you wanted). If you did that for 30 years, you’d have $10,950 and each dollar you put in the bank account, your savings, would be a buffer against any financial issues that might come up.
$10,950 is not a huge sum (though I doubt any of you would turn it down) most of you guys could probably figure out a way to put $10 dollars away or maybe even $50 fifty dollars away and for our purposes though we just have to get a little bit in there. I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t like to have $11,000 sitting around.
This is this concept, how are we going to put a dollar away every single day for the next 30 years and have $11,000. The financial implications of $1/day to your regular budget is pretty low. You could make that happen.
Now investing has an exponential side of things… if you put $1 into an index fund today and left it there for 30 years it would be worth nearly $8. No extra scrounging off of the ground. You could just take $1, that you picked up in change, invest it and it would be worth $8 30 years from now. Sounds pretty awesome!? If you put $1 a day into that same index fund for the next 30 years, you know the same way you put a dollar into the savings account, you would end up in 30 years with $35,000!
That’s if you just took $1, that you scrounged off the ground each day and put it into something that has compounding interest… versus in a savings account. If you learn how to be a really good investor for example, you can make each of those dollars go a lot further that the industry average. Ask Warren Buffett… (if you haven’t ever listened to or read his biography it’s 37 hours long and I would encourage you to take the time to do it at some point in your life). Every dollar counted to him because every dollar that he put away could be worth 30 dollars in the future. He knew how to utilize the money… it’s the same thing with your fitness.
If you put $1 worth of fitness in the bank each day you will always come out further ahead than if you don’t. You can build an $11,000 fitness buffer with a $1/day fitness deposit. BUT if you can figure out how to improve on your fitness, not just put a small deposit in a savings account but learn how to get more out of your effort each day… then you’re going to start getting exponential gains. That can turn into really amazing results (the $35,000 balance vs the $11,000 balance) as opposed to mediocre results.
Fitness Savings Account
“I know I need to do something I’m gonna go walk for 30 minutes or run for 30 minutes” or you know sort of stick to the same thing and that’s that’s absolutely awesome that you that you start saving your fitness.
Each of these equations (Savings vs Investing) relies on one thing that you always find a way to be fitness flow positive (that creates the possibility to save or invest!). In order to deposit you’ve got to have the $1 to put in every single day. Now, you can either… learn to get better with that one increment of fitness every day or not. If you decide to fully leverage that $1 and get more from it over the course of 30 years or you can just get the linear improvements which is still good (in comparison to running Fitness Flow Negative).
Let’s draw some conclusions to what a fitness savings account is… “I eat the same same thing every day and it’s generally healthy”. Example, I get up and I have two eggs and I have a cucumber and six almonds. I eat the same lunch everyday that is healthy and balanced. Then at dinner I eat pizza or wings and beer. This is a net positive day, we’ve made two out of three good options. That is making a small (very small) deposit every single day. If I decide to go for a walk everyday… I’m making another very small deposit every day towards my fitness and health, and that’s great!
If you deposit that much everyday, the same amount of time and that same amount of effort, THEN just get a little bit better at it each day, now instead of it being putting into a savings account now we’re putting it into an investment account! THAT is going to have an exponential return on it. The key here is to continue to seek improvement, to get better results. You can’t get incremental or exponential results without a regular positive flow… so again the key here is to have some amount of fitness to deposit.
Out of fitness debt in a year?
Let us consider that you’ve been taking care of yourself for a year and you’ve been making lots of good fitness and health decisions for a year. However, you spent the last 25 years racking up health and fitness debt. Are you out of the red? Are you back to zero yet? I don’t know… how much fitness debt did you rack up? What was your fitness bank account saying?
One of the reasons why a lot of people get frustrated, you’ve had 15 years of not taking care of yourself and then you go a year and haven’t fully succeeded yet. By the way you can get absolutely great results in a year. But, where your fitness efforts make the most, where you get the most advantage, is when you continue to make a small deposit every day for the rest of your life. All small commitment to doing that one small deposit every day. Everybody has a different point in their fitness journey where they decide “I’m going to get better than who I am now”, and that’s how people lose 140 pounds. That’s how people get off of blood pressure medication.
Convert from Saving to Investing
It’s a commitment to “I’m going to make a small deposit every day”. Then at some point “I’m going to make better use of the effort that I’m putting in”. Improving what you do then you get even greater results.
It stops being linear, just adding one dollar every day. Soon, you will know each year, “I’m getting compounding interest on my fitness”. That’s where the greatest results are. But you don’t get the same compounding interest if you only deposit once every six months. You don’t get all the compouding interest if you only deposit once a year. Continually making small deposits on the shortest interval possible (daily for fitness) gives you the most leverage for compounding. The goal is that every single day is is a net positive in your fitness flow.
Shitty year ruins your life savings?
If you’ve been putting $1 of fitness into your bank account for the last 30 years and you have a really bad year, do you think you’re down to zero or in the negative yet? Probably not.
Business owner’s talk about cash flow positive… If you have cash flow positivity your business can survive literally forever. Fitness flow positive is the same EXACT thing like every dollar you put in the bank for your fitness you will that’s the buffer between any hazards that come up. In finance, if I’ve stashed up the $11k and I have a $6k bill come up I still have $5k left. If I hadn’t saved a single dollar yet and that bill comes up I’m $6k in the hole. Now the scenario feels a lot different… if that $6k is due right now and it’s in your fitness paying that balance and you don’t have the $6k… what does that look like? You might be able to borrow money, but you can’t borrow health or fitness.
You don’t know when a balance will come due…
There was a family friend who was in a car accident and a physical balance came due. It came due at an unexpected time… you don’t know when, you don’t expect it. But when it does come due… do you have enough to pay? What most people should be doing is taking this simple math and saying “let me just make this little deposit in me, in all the facets of my life”. But you know today we’re specifically talking about fitness. “Let me put that $1 into my fitness today and if I do that I’ll be good”. The key is to keep building that blance and don’t spend it all this weekend, or the next month or year or over the course the next five years. I ask you… Where can’t you be with your fitness, if you start depositing today?!
Make more good decisions than bad decisions
It doesn’t have to be by a lot it just has to be a little bit better than the negative influences. There will be days or months or years where you can just ram tons and tons of deposits into the into the health and fitness bank account. You’ll be so fitness flow positive that like you’ll build a giant buffer in a single year or in five years or in three years or in two months that you’ll have a positive balance that can last you a year two years ten years.
If you start having a negative fitness flow is that you should be going out to correct it if you were if you had a job for 19 years and you made really good money and you saved up and you saved your emergency fund and you get laid off you have the funds to cover a period of time where you don’t have any coming in.
Fragile, Robust, Anti-fragile
If you don’t have a giant positive bank acount then you’re fragile. What I want for you guys and your fitness is to always be as robust or anti-fragile as possible. If you want to get the compounding interest on your deposits you know the investing of your fitness is you exercise daily you eat well and you have coaches to help you improve on those strategies and tactics, getting exponential results over time is what will make you antifragile. Being robust is adding to the savings account, eating well and daily exercise. If you find a way to move better, how to lift the next five pounds or to add a new movement that you’ve never done before that is exponential fitness investment.
Take your one fitness flow positive dollar and you invest it into learning a new movement. Learning is exponential growth, exponential opportunity for growth. If you can’t figure out how to do that on your own, go find an amazing coach or investor. There are plenty of fitness coaches who don’t know how to do that. They put your efforts into a savings account.
One of the greatest investors of all time is Warren Buffett. If you gave him a dollar it’ll likely be worth $30 in a couple years. He’s proven to have done that. There’s somebody with a proven track record that can do that and that’s what a coach serves the purpose of. If you’re not fitness flow positive you’re going to run out of your buffer zone. Eventually the “unexpected or unknowable” WILL happen and you’re not going to have the balance to pay it.
Maybe it’ll be a disease COVID, cancer a car crash and even if you do have this giant balance built up… it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll have enough to pay the balance. Certainly, if you have built up a giant bank of of fitness than you are more likely to be able to pay the balance. You’ll be 100 times more likely to be able to pay it.
My challenge to you… is that you to think about your fitness as a literal investment. It’s building the buffer between you and your fitness bankruptcy. Fitness bankruptcy means death, you don’t want that day to come. Start putting the fitness $$$ away now, if you don’t know how to make use of them get a coach. Find somebody who’s had success doing it.
If I can encourage you to do anything, it is this, getting a little better every day. All the successful people we’ve talked to: the gym owners, the coaches, the successful athletes… it’s always about just better. If you can do this little tiny thing a little bit better today and a little bit better tomorrow and you keep putting these little deposits in your account eventually that sum is ginormous! Figure out what you need to do today, even if you’ve started out the day terrible, what do you need to do to make it positive today.
Fitness flow positive is a concept to follow… hit it every day. Make sure that you’re always depositing in your fitness and health bank account. That’s going to be the difference between positive health and fitness outcomes and negative ones. Build as much buffer as you can between you and fitness bankruptcy. That buffer will ensure that when the balance comes due, you’ll have stashed away the fitness to handle it!
Jason started at CrossFit Jungle Gym about 3 months ago to improve his fitness and mental health. After completing our first 60 days program he sat down to chat with coach James about his experience.
So why did you come to CrossFit Jungle Gym?
“I was going down a bad direction and I needed to get all aspects of my life together, fitness, mental health, everything. Coming here with the group setting and everybody to back you up. It’s been 3-4 months later and fitness has gone up, my mental health is great. Just all around feeling much better after being here.”
What was the biggest obstacle we hoped you overcome?
“I would say the consistency. If I started slacking, I think there was a week where I hit one day that week. James sent me a message and I was in 3 times a week every since.”
What are you looking to accomplish next?
“My next goal is I would like to get a 5k under 30 minutes and a longer term goal is I want to do a triathlon.”
Is there anything you would want to say to anyone at home who was in the same shoes you were in?
“The first thing you need to do is be self aware and say you need to make that change. Come in, you show up once, talk to the coaches and have all the motivation once you come in. They’ll help you through the first 60 days, the program they have. The motivation from them and the community of being here. You’ll start to do three days a week and you’ll make that consistent and after a month you’ll feel so much better.”