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Jordan Alexander joined DogTown about a year and a half ago. When he arrived, he was there to get stronger for rock climbing. He was not that interested in dialing in nutrition and had no idea how vested in CrossFit he would get. Over the course of the last year, Jordan has begun a transformation that continues to evolve. Our dude loves extreme stuff, hard and fast workouts and has an innate ability for body awareness in gymnastic movement.  While his sheer will is something to marvel at, he has also developed a willingness to slow down and learn the proper mechanics that will keep him getting stronger and staying healthy into old age.  As a coach, I love grit and hard work first and foremost.  He embodies these qualities and with some structure and slowing his roll, he is making huge gains in and outside of the gym. If you have the chance to take a class with Jordan, you will quickly find that his energy and hard work are contagious.
Coach Dusty



Q: What was your health and fitness like prior to CrossFit?
A: Prior to CrossFit, I worked out a few times a week at LA Fitness and did rock climbing at Hangar 18. I joined DogTown to gain strength for climbing. However, I ended up addicted to Crossfit so haven’t been climbing as much!

Q: How long have you been doing CrossFit and what inspired you to start?
A: I’ve been doing CrossFit for a little over 18 months. I started because I wanted to get stronger for climbing. I ended up putting rock climbing on hold and focused on CrossFit. The few times I’ve been back to rock climbing gyms, my results have been crazy different. I can climb at much higher levels due to strength. I still need to make it a priority again though along with CrossFit since I do love climbing too.

I now feel better at 32 years of age than I’ve ever felt in my life.

Q: What are your favorite movements and workouts and what are your least favorite?
A: Bar muscle ups or anything gymnastics based. Gymnastics is usually the highlight of my week when I’m in town! Love being upside down and focusing on movements and seeing actual results such as getting my first bar muscle up or ring muscle up! Favorite workouts are any that are short and brutal! I’m not the best at maintaining a pace.

Q: What is one of your most proud CrossFit moments and what is one of your more embarrassing ones?
A: Proudest CrossFit moment so far has been 10 consecutive bar muscle ups.
Most embarrassing was letting go of the bar doing toes-to-bar and almost hitting the electrical outlet. Letting go of the bar is not recommended from personal experience.

Q: What are your CrossFit goals?
A: To get stronger! Prior to CrossFit, I was skinny fat. I want to continue getting better at movements and overall just being healthy. Beyond that, 5 consecutive ring muscle ups and consistent handstand walking!

Editor’s Note: Jordan also aspires to beat Missy and Vanessa at workouts.

Q: You’ve been training 1:1 with Dusty once a week for the last few months.  What have been the biggest changes and successes since?
A: Working with Dusty has been a highlight of my CrossFit experience. Over the past few months, I’ve seen a huge increase in mobility and overall strength. Beyond that, he inspires me to get better every day. It’s not about immediate results but becoming better little by little each day.

Q: You approach CrossFit with a solid work ethic and a no fear attitude. Where does that come from (and how can we all get that?)
A: Work ethic / no fear just comes from wanting to be better every day. I consistently record what I do each day at the gym so I can always look back on it and see where I can improve / be better. I’m just trying to be faster and stronger than I was the day before!
 
Q: Any advice you can give to a newbie at DogTown?
A: Be consistent! The pain of that first workout is temporary. If you stay consistent, you’ll consistently get better. Beyond that, set goals and work to achieve them!

Q: You are doing a Tough Mudder in November. Here’s your chance for a #shameless plug to persuade other members to participate. Go!
A:  Nov.3 at Lake Elsinore. 10 miles. 20 obstacles. I had a bunch of friends going originally and they bailed because they hadn’t trained or anything like that. Come get muddy and hang out!

Q: : What 2 things can you share with our DogTown family that they may not know about you?
A: I’ve been skiing since I was two years old and it’s by far my favorite thing to do! I’ve also been to more than 30 countries in the past 4 years and hope to hit every country around the world eventually!




 

 
One of the greatest things about CrossFit is that when anyone sets into the box, they are an athlete. Nobody is judged based on what their job is or what their title is or where they grew up or the stressful day they had. We are all there to work out and be better than we were yesterday.

Everyone is bonded simply for being in the pain cave together. We push each other, we inspire each other. We cheer for each other. (We tease each other). We are a community.

So many of us though have really inspiring stories that do not get the attention they deserve. One of the most quintessential unique traits about CrossFit is that people are there after overcoming some really hard, difficult shit. And with Crush Cancer just around the corner, it’s a great time to get to know one of our very own DogTown members, Jim Agee (and his wife and workout motivator, Ellen).  About three years ago in August of 2015, Jim started experiencing pain that went up his leg into his back. On the third day, the pain was excruciating enough that Jim and Ellen went to Urgent Care. They were quickly sent to a urologist that same day who arranged for MRI’s to be taken. 

A tumor was found on Jim’s lower back, up against his spine. He was seen by an oncologist who was upfront with Jim and Ellen on his diagnosis, which was non-Hodgkin’s  Lymphoma. He was also adamant that they would tackle it any which way they needed to. Jim felt like he was in good hands, and the promising  news was he had a 90% chance of beating it.

And so Jim began 6 treatments of chemotherapy, each session three weeks apart. Jim felt pretty good, all things considered, during chemo until around the 4th session. The tiredness he felt is indescribable.

In January of 2016, Jim had finished his chemotherapy and the tumor was gone. Mentally, he was ready to regain his health and when he asked his doctor how long recovery would take, he was told 2 years. Jim was a bit skeptical of that long of a period, but the doctor was right on about that. It did indeed take that long to get back to a sort of baseline of health that he felt prior to his cancer diagnosis.





Coincidentally (which is a bit sarcastic as there is no such thing in life as coincidences) around the same time that Jim began his recovery, Ellen began her CrossFit journey. She had great success with it (Ellen is a rock star!) and as all loving wives do, she inspired Jim to sign up as well. Like everyone who comes through DogTown’s  On Ramp program, Jim was humbled by the workouts. He stuck with it though and more than a year later, Jim has come to love and thrive off of doing CrossFit. Prior to CrossFit (and his diagnosis),  Jim and Ellen did a lot of outdoor cycling  and were into century rides that are 100 miles! Ellen also has done several AIDS Life Cycle from San Francisco to Los Angeles and will be going again in 2019.

In comparison,  Jim “enjoys” (again a loose term as does anyone really enjoy CrossFit workouts?) CrossFit because he likes having quick and dirty full body workouts.  When they were biking, while it was fun, it was a much bigger time commitment, like spending all day Saturdays on longer rides. Jim also had no idea he would enjoy Olympic Lifting either! He loves the community of coaches and athletes and being around people who push him and motivate him to go harder.  He is appreciative of the support he gets there and CrossFit is definitely going to be a mainstay for our power couple!



Crush Cancer is happening on SATURDAY OCTOBER 27, 2018 AT DOGTOWN CROSSFIT.

Click: here to donate.

HERE'S THE STORY

Stand Up and join us in the 8th Annual 2018 Crush Cancer event that benefits Stand Up To Cancer’s collaborative cancer research! This year, the main Crush Cancer event will be held in Los Angeles, California, on Saturday, October 27th. In addition, gyms from across the country and around the world will be hosting their own events- all with the goal of raising as much money as possible for Stand Up To Cancer. Crush Cancer is an endurance fundraising event and health expo where participants must raise $150 in order to participate.
This circuit-training-style workout includes five different exercises, and participants are encouraged to perform as many reps possible for one minute. They then get one minute of rest and repeat the workout twice. The health expo is open all day and features restaurants and businesses- as well as the biggest brands in the endurance workout space. Crush Cancer has raised over $875,000 in the past 7 years and gyms from across the U.S. (from Los Angeles to Boston) and the world (from Dubai to the UK to the Philippines) have participated and now it is your turn to get involved!
Join us this fall to Stand Up To Cancer! If you cannot attend our LA event, contact Kara Gross (email Kara at dogtowncrossfit.com) about creating your own local fundraiser!
Grace is an understated badass of the morning crew. She comes in consistently on time for 6:30 AM classes. She works her butt off, moves weight, pushes hard and rarely complains about the workouts. In her thirties, Grace quietly works the program by showing up and putting the effort in. Without even knowing it, she often sets the bar for many of the women that come in to the later classes as a goal on the white board to aspire to. She does not even see that at all, which is what is so special.

Thanks,
Coach Dusty
 
Q: What was your fitness like before CrossFit?


A: Prior to having kids, I didn’t have a lot of fitness. I’d occasionally go to the gym to run on the treadmill or the elliptical, and then maybe some weights, but I really didn’t know what I was doing. After my last child, I had a hard time losing the last 10 pounds so I thought I’d run a half marathon to get me into shape. I didn’t lose any weight but it lead me into marathon running and triathlons, so I spent a lot of time in the pool and on my bike/spin class. I was never fast but I could just keep on going.

Q: How long have you been doing CrossFit and what inspired you to start?

A: I started CrossFit around March/April 2011 or 2012 (I can’t remember). A friend of mine called to tell me about CrossFit. He had just started and loved it. He told me to research and look it up on YouTube. I didn’t have a good enough reason to not give it a try. Plus, with all the endurance and cardio I was doing and not seeing the results I was expecting, I told my friend I’d try it out for 3 months. If I didn’t like it I would go back to my normal routine of swim/bike/run. I didn’t love CrossFit at first. I always went into the gym a little nervous, but I loved when it was done. And now I just love it all because I see strength and progress.

Q: What have been the most surprising changes in yourself that you have experienced since starting at DogTown?

A: Since starting DogTown, I think the change that surprises me the most is my willingness to try new physical activities. A couple of years ago, a friend invited me to hike Mt. Whitney in a day. Mt. Whitney is the highest peak in the contiguous US. Round-trip, the climb took us 16 hours and probably the hardest thing I’d ever done, but the summit and view were indescribable. Without any training or preparation, CrossFit allowed me to challenge myself in a way I never would have expected from myself before I started CrossFit.



Q: What are your favorite movements and workouts and what are your least favorite?

A: I love movements that include squatting with a barbell, so I particularly love it when there’s a workout involving a front squat, back squat or overhead squat. I also love it when we clean (not power), and especially from the hang. My least favorite movements involve anything where I have to hang from the rig, so pull-ups and toes-to-bar.

Q: When you are not at CrossFit, what are you up to?

A: When I’m not at CrossFit, I’m usually busy with my family and getting kids to their appointments/destinations, and household errands. But lately and more excitingly, my husband and I bought a local business so we’ve been busy growing the store and building a brand. And since we both work, the new business has been consuming most of our free time. But I believe anything you own is worth the time invested.

Q: What are your CrossFit goals?

A: I don’t necessarily have any CrossFit goals. I just want to get better, faster, stronger. I realize as I age that there will be diminishing returns on my efforts, so the goal is to stay strong in order to live an independent lifestyle in my retirement years…just planning ahead.

Q: Working out in the morning takes serious dedication. What motivates you the most to not hit snooze?

A: My evenings are committed to being a mom. I’ve tried doing other group classes after work, but it just eats into my family time. And since I work, that leaves only the mornings to workout. Mornings are consistent so I shouldn’t have a reason to miss class. Earlier in my CrossFit journey, I was going to class pretty regularly, but I found myself cherry-picking the workouts because there was movement I didn’t particularly like. Then about 4-5 years ago I made a resolution to myself that if I was well enough to go to work, I was well enough to go to the gym. Since then, there’s probably only been a small handful of times that I’ve missed class to get a little more needed sleep.
Q: You may not realize but since you are one of the first women each day to do the workouts, you set the bar VERY high with impressive weights and times. What has been your secret sauce to being such a beast?

A: I don’t think there’s a secret sauce, although I wish there was. There’s always someone faster and stronger in class and I’m just trying to keep up. I don’t think I’m competitive so I don’t strive to finish first. But I definitely don’t like to finish last. I think that’s what keeps me pushing a little harder.


Q: Any advice you can give to a newbie at DogTown?


A: I think the best advice that I can give to a newbie at DogTown is to just show up. The programming and workouts are planned. You just have to show up and put in good effort to ensure good progress or results. One other thing I’d encourage anyone starting CrossFit is to keep track of their lifts and record their benchmark workout times. I still keep a journal and I love to reflect and look back to see where I’ve been and how far I’ve come.

Q: As a mom, what do you hope being committed to your health and fitness will teach your kids?

A: I hope that my kids see my lifestyle and commitment to health and fitness, and good nutrition as a normal lifestyle. When I’m at the gym, I think I’m like everyone else. When I leave the gym, I see myself as more of an anomaly since most people don’t exercise and eat out too often. I’m not a great cook, I have my kids help in the kitchen because I think cooking is a good life skill to have. And this summer my son, Nolan, spent the mornings working out with me at DogTown, which I truly loved because it gave us an opportunity to bond. If I show them it’s normal to make a meal and to exercise and the importance of being strong and staying strong, I hope as adults they’ll create a lifestyle that will incorporate some of my values.

Q: What 2 things can you share with our DogTown family that they may not know about you?

A: I’m not sure I can come up with 2 things about me to share, but one thing I can share is that I love puzzles, especially mega puzzles with 500-1000+ pieces. And I love doing it with my kids because it’s a great family activity. When we finish a puzzle, and because we’ve invested so much time into the puzzles, I could never take them apart. So, if you pull up all the rugs in our home, you’ll find almost a dozen puzzles that we’ve done. Every once in a while, when we lift the rugs, it’s always a pleasant surprise to see them.