July/Aug 2018 - The NFM Fittest Issue

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Exposure Ashley Bassett training near the Cumberland River Compact in downtown Nashville. @bassett_fitness PHOTO CREDIT: Sam Carbine @scarbine

Send in your hi-res, healthy lifestyle photos to info@nashvillefitmagazine.com for a chance to be published.

Content Exposure / 4

Happenings / 12

The A-List / 26

Publisher’s Letter / 8

#NFMFittest / 14

Discover! / 68

Contributors / 10

New to Nashville / 22

Events + Races / 70




NUTRITION Blackberry Ginger Lemon Popsicle / 16 Trending in Nutrition / 18

WELLNESS Are You Stressed About Stress? / 50 Positive Mental Attitude: PMA / 52

LIFESTYLE All-Access: Nashville Knights / 28 NFM Fittest Winners / 36

FITNESS Dance to Remember / 56 Athlete Advice: Central Regional / 58 Brick Workout / 64


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PG. 36

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Publisher’s Letter The List What I’m consuming right now:


n May 12th, we hosted the first annual NFM FITTEST. While this event had been a brainchild of mine for the city of Nashville for the last three years, I would have never been able to pull it off without my team and the help of so many volunteers, judges, and friends. If you were there, participated, competed, or shared, please know it meant the world to me. This competition will become a flagship event for us moving forward, and we are already planning to bring it bigger and better next year. If you missed it, make sure you attend next year. You’ll be blown away. The NFM FITTEST Issue is a celebration, not only of the winners of the event, but of our amazing fitness community as well. During one of the hottest days of the summer, I watched people trying to better themselves in every way. Through fitness of course, but I also saw cheerleaders yelling, countless high fives, and diving finishes. That’s what real community is all about. I, along with so many others, walked away from that day with a full heart. We had a little fun with the winners’ photoshoot and tried to capture each person’s inner superhero. Even though they only have two home games in Music City this season, we were able to catch up with the newly formed Legends Football League team, the Nashville Knights. These women are as tough as they come, on and off the field, and I’m looking forward to watching them grow and be a spotlight for the female athletic community. During the CrossFit Regionals, we were able to gain media access to some of the Central Region’s most dedicated athletes and learned a few things from the pros. Recovery, nutrition, good technique, and remembering to have fun were some of the key takeaways I’m going to (try and) remember.

Stay Music City Fit,

Ryan Freebing, Owner 8

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A forward thinker in the health and fitness space, Aubrey Marcus shares his expertise on everything you need to know to wake up and “own the day”.

What habit I’ve picked up on: I started adding a pinch of Himalayan salt to my drinking water as soon as I wake up. It provides trace minerals to my diet and satisfies my thirst in the morning. The mineral content also holds more water within my body throughout the day too.

What I’m most looking forward to: In early August, I’ll be travelling to Madison, WI to watch the 2018 CrossFit Games. We’ll have media passes again, which means we’ll have access to the Athlete Village. #bucketlist


Thank you to NFM’s contributors who make this magazine a worthy source of health and wellness information in Nashville.





Kathryn Defatta

Maureen Iliadis

Christina Lafferty-Neal

Kathryn Defatta

Kathryn, a Nashville native, is a therapist and instructor at CycleBar. She specializes in eating/exercise disorders and helping individuals find balance in their health and wellness lifestyles. She believes how we feel is more important than what we look like and her mission is to create a safe environment for others to share in her beliefs.

Maureen Iliadis

Maureen is a Nashville native with extensive training in ballet, tap, jazz and lyrical. Performing all over the world through Europe, Southeast Asia and working as a director for Celebrity Cruises, Maureen is honored to pass on the art of dance to her students at her studio, Grassland Dance Academy.

Christina Lafferty-Neal

Christina is a Walk & Talk Psychotherapist with a private practice in East Nashville, and a CrossFit L-1 and CrossFit Kids & Teens trainer. She works to create opportunities for people to live their life with boldness and joy. She is a major advocate for using food and movement as medicine. She strives to help others learn to love their bodies and minds for each amazing capability.







Nashville Fit Magazine assumes no responsibility for the content of articles or advertisements, in that the views expressed therein may not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or any magazine employee or contributor. This publication and all of its contents are copyrighted. PLEASE RECYCLE THIS MAGAZINE


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Back by popular demand. Saturday, July 21st at the Vanderbilt Recreation & Wellness Center, join us for a day of fitness, food, and fun. New to this year’s expo, the introduction of the Calisthenics Games. You won’t want to miss it! Register as a vendor and purchase tickets at MusicCityFitExpo.com or email info@nashvillefitmagazine.com for more information.


Yoga on the Diamond is happening again on Sunday, August 19th on the Nashville Sounds baseball field in downtown Music City. Each ticket gets you a hour yoga session and a free ticket to the Sounds game later that day at 6:15pm. Purchase your tickets at yogaonthediamond.com.


Just in time for summer. Nothing motivates a tough workout more than fresh apparel you look good in. Get your #MusicCityFit tee now, and let the city know who runs it.


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Find Your Fit

A one of a kind Community Fitness Event

August 4, 2018 8:00a.m.-2:00p.m. Private Franklin City Park 6100 Tower Circle Franklin, TN 37067



To learn more, visit danidďŹ tness.com

The best from












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@zack_lannan_fit M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 8 • N A S H V I L L E F I T M A G A Z I N E






The Co-Duke of Pops himself, Alex Dollard, reveals their Blackberry Ginger Lemon Popsicle recipe from the King of Pops vault just in time for summer. 16

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Blackberry Ginger Lemon Popsicle Makes about 10 4-ounce popsicles. INGREDIENTS 1 cup fresh blackberries 2 Tbsp organic sugar 4 Tbsp water 2 Tbsp cup ginger juice 1 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice Pinch of salt DIRECTIONS Puree blackberries with 4 tablespoons of water. Add 2 tablespoons of organic sugar. Mix blackberry puree with the ginger and fresh lemon juice. Pour into popsicle form. Wait 4-6 hours, or until completely frozen. Share with your favorite country music stars!

@kingofpopsnash J U LY / A U G 2 0 1 8 • N A S H V I L L E F I T M A G A Z I N E






2017 offered us trends like plant proteins and healthy fats. It also told us, “staying in is the new going out.” Weren’t we all glad to get rid of that pesky FOMO? Which, for a lot of us, meant we experimented in our kitchens and finally used that stove for more than just storing extra sweaters. The obvious thing about trends is they come and go. But your health isn’t a fad. It’s never “uncool” to treat your body right. Take the time to read and ask questions about the things that are trending and don’t be afraid to branch out or go against the norm. Listen to your body because self-respect and being in the know is always a good thing. Here’s what’s trending in nutrition today.


You might know healthy fats are in, but 2018 has zoned in on omega-9s. Better known as monounsaturated fats, these not only make for cute jokes about avocados, but also help to regulate blood sugar levels and balance a healthy weight. Popular items like macadamia nuts, almond butter, and avocado oil are some of the highest omega-9 foods. Eating these foods can help you reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. They have also been said to increase your energy and decrease anger, which in turn can enhance your mood. Now who doesn’t want that?


The popularity and selection of nutrient-dense and “superfood” collagen has exploded over the past year, and for good reason. Collagen supplements are not traditionally found in modern diets, but are rich sources of two amino acids that are important for health. One of these amino acids, proline, has been shown to be crucial for joint health and helps support smooth and supple skin by strengthening the collagen that keeps our skin firm. Considered the “beauty food,” collagen is a fibrous protein that’s a key component of your skin. The other, glycine, has shown to modulate inflammation in the digestive tract, participate in detoxification and liver health, and also helps support healthy, restful sleep. Along with direct collagen products, also try maca powders. The Incan root - which helps calm the mind, boost stamina, and support a healthy libido - is also capable of reducing monthly breakouts, strengthening your mane, and boosts collagen production in the body.


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Sustainable food, sourced locally first and always organic.

Pre and Probiotics

Probiotics have been a hot topic in the nutrition world for a few years now. They’re bacteria provides health benefits such as better digestion and a stronger immune system. With plant-based eating becoming increasingly popular, people are looking for probiotic sources beyond yogurt and kefir. Fermented drinks like kombucha give you a daily dose of good bacteria in tons of flavors. These probiotics go beyond “live and active cultures” — they survive and thrive to give you health benefits. It’s a great idea to introduce healthy bacteria into your digestive tract, but you also need to provide the right fuel to help those good bacteria thrive. That’s where prebiotics come into play. Chicory root fibers (inulin and oligofructose) are the only scientifically proven plant-based prebiotics with proven health benefits such as weight management, improved calcium absorption and digestive health.

Drinking Vinegars

Similar to kombucha, drinking vinegars is a trendy new alternative to sugar-laden sodas and juices. Most of these are made with the popular health powerhouse, apple cider vinegar, and other health-promoting ingredients that make them a tasty, tangy way to balance blood sugar. Studies show that consuming vinegar at bedtime can actually support healthy blood sugar levels when you wake up.


NUTRITION Vinegar can also help facilitate the absorption of vitamins and minerals from food as well as help you feel full longer. Meaning, it’s great for an after dinner treat and monitoring food cravings.

Brain Foods

Botanicals, such as epigallocatechin from green tea for boosting brain function, are gaining more appreciation, along with the tumeric-on-everything craze. More supplements and foods revolving around clarity and mood are showing up on the market. Some of the top botanicals for brain health include herbs and mushrooms. Look for formulas containing ashwaganda, lions mane (shown), reishi, gotu kola, turmeric and holy basil to boost brain function.

No More Soda (sort of)

A study from 2003 recently showed that 12 percent of adults and 19 percent of children are reaching for the sugary beverage less. The good news? People are drinking more water! This could be due to growing trends in the flavored sparkling water market. Brands like LaCroix, bubly, Spindrift, and Sparkling Ice all offer a plethora of options for your taste palate. One can only hope this trend sticks around. We are all for a market that makes H2O more exciting.

Detoxing Diets

Instead of unhealthy fasts and juice diets to detoxify the system, people are trying more clean foods to help facilitate the body’s natural process. While labels make it easier to avoid foods with GMO (genetically modified organisms) ingredients, there still isn’t a standard label for everyday toxins. Chemical toxins are everywhere in our diets. Try foods that contain sulfur as supportive vitamins and minerals like vitamins C and E, selenium and zinc. Beets are a good food source along with the new charcoal craze added to skin care products and some juices.


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Don’t call it a stationary bike. North Gulch in Downtown Nashville • (901) 598 8320 www.tyltcycle.com • @tyltcycle

o t w ne LIFESTYLE


Training Camp 400 Davidson St, Nashville, TN 37213 trainingcampnashville.com Owned and operated by multiple time MMA world champion Michael Chandler, Training Camp is Nashville’s newest multifunctional fitness facility located just across the river from the downtown area. Whether you want to reach your fitness goals, get in better shape, gain confidence in combat sports, or find a deeper “you” with your yoga program, Training Camp has you covered. With a high-end athletic club feel, the facility houses 10,000 sq. ft. of fitness paradise and offers personal training, group fitness classes, boxing, kickboxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and yoga. Training Camp has 3,000 sq. ft. of fitness area decked out with brand new equipment, 3,000 sq. ft. of mat space for combat sports, and another 1,000 sq. ft. yoga room ensuring there is something for everyone. Seventeen years ago Michael and his father said they would one day build a gym together and Michael’s father, Mike Sr., would build it with his bare hands. Almost two decades later, that vision became a reality and Michael has lofty goals to help change lives through fitness and make Nashville a healthier city. “Anything is possible for those who don’t have to do it alone. I have made my name by surrounding myself with the best people possible and then working extremely hard. I have seen first hand how a fitness family can change peoples’ lives; Training Camp is Nashville’s gym.” Text 615-582-6250 to schedule a tour or to take advantage of their first class FREE offer. 22

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The Ainsworth 206 21st Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203 theainsworth.com/nashville The Ainsworth plans to open midsummer at 206 21st Ave. S. in the Aertson Midtown development, just in time for the upcoming NFL season, and will boast a 75-foot U-shaped bar planted in the center of the space, garage doors that will open along 21st Avenue, big booths for group dining, and lots of greenery and wood details. The 10-year-old brand currently has four locations in New York City, two in New Jersey, and one in Kansas. The Ainsworth’s venues are multipurpose spaces comprised of full-scale restaurants, bars, lounges, and event areas. Besides becoming the city’s new hot sport-watching destination, the Nashville restaurant is designed with events in mind. Different sections of the restaurant can be reserved for private or semi-private events, and there is a designated private events space that will accommodate about 50 people. Offering a new take on classic American fare favorites, signature cocktails, and visually stimulating décor, The Ainsworth is the perfect neighborhood spot to grab a great meal, watch the game, plan a company happy hour, or meet up with a date for late-night drinks. Known for their famous Mac & Cheese Burger and more recently, their 24K Gold Wings, The Ainsworth is exactly where you’ll want to get your next cheat day meal.


Yogasoul 811 Wedgewood Ave, Nashville, TN 37203 yogasoulnashville.com Yogasoul is Nashville’s hottest new yoga studio in town, located in the Wedgewood-Houston area at 811 Wedgewood Avenue. Yogasoul’s mission is to provide a supportive and community driven space for yoga students to connect with others; to elevate and empower their souls; and to become the best versions of themselves. The studio features two spacious rooms offering hot, warm, and unheated styles of yoga. It also comes equipped with four showers so you can cool off after your flow. Be on the lookout for events and retreats, teacher trainings, and workshop from this studio. Stop in today and take advantage of their introductory rate: 30 days of unlimited yoga for only $30. Everyone is welcome!

GrowHouse Method 2829, 1105 Woodland St, Nashville, TN 37206 growhousemethod.com GrowHouse Method cultivates and pursues holistic physical wellness through 1-on-1 personal training, private group class, conscious nutrition, horticulture and art. Located on Woodland Street in the heart of Five Points, GrowHouse Method looks to serve as a unique personal training facility for all independent personal trainers and wellness professionals. Simply drop in during their business hours and use the facility for a flat drop-in rate. GrowHouse Method also offers 1 Hour (1-on-1) Sessions, 30 Minute (1-on-1) Sessions, Private 1 Hour (Group Training) Sessions, and 1 Hour (Group Classes). CoOwners Shaun Guttridge and Molly Caroline are seasoned personal trainers and athletes specializing in fat loss, strength and conditioning, physique sculpting, correctional movement and holistic nutrition. While the immersion of plants and local art help with the overall aesthetic and wellbeing, they are also for sale! GrowHouse Method’s herbal supplement bar provides everything from Cold Brew Coffee, Protein Shakes, Kava, Creatine and BCAA’s to serve both your pre and postworkout needs. Also, later this summer, the herbal lounge will be open during nighttimes while providing live music and art performances, aerial fitness exploration, stimulating refreshments and a wide array of group workshops. Go check the out! 24

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Big Gu



The Plus Side of Running

Clean Eatz Nashville 4004 Hillsboro Pike Suite 115-R, Nashville, TN 37215 cleaneatz.com Clean Eatz Nashville is a meal prep company and healthy café located in the heart of Green Hills. The café opened in March 2018 at 4004 Hillsboro Pike. As the most affordable meal prep company in the nation, Clean Eatz is quickly spreading in cities across the southeast. The café menu features build your own bowls, flavorful salads, wraps, burgers, sandwiches, and flatbreads. Each week the Clean Eatz team crafts six new refrigerated meal prep options for customers to choose from. Meals can be customized to half carb, no carb, gluten free, and extra protein. Grab & Go freezers are stocked daily with a large variety of options accommodating a wide range of dietary needs. Clean Eatz also offers custom meals, the meals can be customized individually with specific protein, carb, and veggie portions. Owner Will Russ, saw firsthand the impact meal prep and Clean Eatz had on his own life and decided to make the move to Nashville to open the location in Green Hills. Clean Eatz is committed to helping people live longer and healthier lives, through portioned prepared meals! Mention this article and receive 50% off your first meal plan order with Clean Eatz!

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We gently train plus size, beginner, and returning runners with one on one specialized coaching for 5K, 10K, and 13.1 Call 615.810.4273 or visit us on Facebook at Big Gurlz Run!






At Nashville Fit Magazine, we pride ourselves on being bold, well-researched, and above all, fun. The A-List is a curated list of our team’s favorite products and tips based on personal experience or expert advice. This month features a list of our favorite new gear for summer.

No Bull Sand Knit Runner $159

No Bull (nobullproject.com) Featuring a lightweight, breathable, stretch upper that moves with you, the Knit Runner is part of an all-new running line from No Bull dropping in July. Known for their stylish trainers and lifters, the Knit Runner provides a comfortable knit sock construction for easy slip on and off.

RXBar Nut Butter Vanilla Almond Butter box of 10 for $25 RXBar (rxbar.com) No B.S. RXBar just added creamy nut butter to the mix and created a delicious, decadent spread you can add to anything. It’s still made from real, simple ingredients too. We’re seriously going to spread it on everything.


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Onnit Star Wars Kettlebells starting at $150

Onnit (onnit.com/starwars) Know the full power of the Dark Side with these custom sculpted kettlebells. Cast in black iron to strike fear into the hearts of all in their presence, adding kettlebells to your training program can help build explosive strength and muscular endurance through efficient, full-body movements. Available in 50lb, 60lb, and 70lb weights, there’s a kettlebell for every creature in the galaxy.

NutriFitt Amino Fitt BCAAs + Electrolytes Smashville Lemonade $40

NutriFitt (nutrifitt.net) Locally owned and operated, NutriFitt provides all-natural, clinicallytested performance enhancing supplements for those looking to build more muscle, burn fat, and achieve more. Out with a new flavor for the summer, the Smashville Lemonade has a freshing taste and zero caffeine.

Goodr Sunglasses Whiskey Shots with Satan Sunglasses $25

Goodr (playgoodr.com) Designed to comfortably stay on your face whether you’re haulin’ ass down a mountain trail or drinking beers in the summer sun. Goodr puts out a couple of different designs that are some of the best polarized sunglasses you can buy for less than $50.

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A look inside Music City’s newly formed Legends Football League team, the Nashville Knights. These women are as tough as they come, on and off the field. Nashville Fit Magazine gives you all-access. PHOTOS BY ALYSSA BARKER


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Hometown: Gilbert, AZ Tell me about your experience as a member of the LFL: Football has always been my sport. Once I found the LFL, I was it’s biggest fan. In 2016, the Legends Cup was in my hometown. After watching it live, I knew I had to do whatever I could to become apart of the league. The best part about being a professional athlete is having the opportunity to finally do the one thing I love the most! On top of that, being a part of this Nashville team is incredibly fulfilling. I don’t just have teammates, I have friends for life. I have learned amazing things can happen when you use your body to its full potential. Dream big, keep believing in yourself, and don’t ever let anybody dull your shine! This opportunity to play football has changed my life. What once seemed like an impossible goal has turned into my reality. I fell as though I was wandering around aimlessly for a while - I had no direction or path in life. Football has relit a fire inside of me! It has given me direction and new ambitions in life. It hasn’t just changed me as an athlete, it has changed me as a person. What is your reason for a fit lifestyle? I don’t want to wake up at eighty years old and say I let my dreams slip away from me. I want to live, not just exist! Hopefully, along the way, I can inspire others to follow their dreams too, no matter how crazy they might seem.


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Hometown: Nashville, TN Current fitness regimen: I enjoy high-intensity. I’m always up for a sprint workout! Running is a stress reliever for me. Growing up, I was taught to hold in my emotions, which was horrible, so I turned to running as an outlet. The further I ran, the more I felt my burdens float away. What does playing women’s professional football mean to you? I love the fact that I’m not only able to inspire females, but also admire the athletes I’m around everyday. I’d like to be an inspiration to those who grew up in similar circumstances as myself. Being raised by a single mom and being the oldest in a big family meant I was forced to take on adult responsibilities at a very young age. I’m blessed be a part of the first ever women’s professional football team in Nashville. Even better, it’s coached by the first woman in the league, Danika Brace. I get to be among other powerful, strong, and competitive women who are passionate and have the same goals as me. I want anyone who feels like they aren’t valued to know that they matter. Work hard for a cause, not applause. Live life to express, not impress. Don’t strive to make your presence noticed, just make your absence felt. Football has not only been an outlet for me emotionally, but it’s become a lifestyle. It has taught me to be disciplined, never be content, yet consistent, and remain focused. I’ve learn my greatest lessons through athletics because it exposes my weaknesses and forces me to challenge myself. I don’t allow my weaknesses to discourage me. Instead, they help build me into a stronger individual.


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LIFESTYLE Current Occupation: Manages Vortex Performance in Huntsville, AL. Current Meal Plan: Very regimented prep throughout the week with slight modifications depending on the intensity of workouts and training. Balance is my key. I don’t believe in depriving myself. I eat to grow and perform adequately because my fitness routine is designed for performance. So, we heard you’re fluent in sign language? Yes. My brother is hearing impaired and also battles diabetes. Health and wellness is a huge part of my life, so I do everything in my power to promote a healthy lifestyle. I’m certified with the crisis center of North Alabama and participate in volunteering and bringing awareness to suicide prevention and domestic violence as well.

It sounds like you take a lot of pride in being a professional athlete. Being a role model means everything. Advocating for others helps me possess and perfect, leadership skills. The passion, camaradiere, discipline, and the hunger to become more along side your teammates are just a few reasons why I love football. Is your healthy lifestyle just about work for you? No, but it helps. It’s an avenue to greatness. The longevity, growth, and ultimate feel-good is the safest legal high you can get - all while you mold into the most phenomenal version of yourself. It’s vital that we pay attention to our mind, body, and spirit and always fuel it with optimism. One of the biggest messages I’d like to convey is one I have learned myself through this lifestyle - embrace your individuality despite what others say. Fight for what you believe in, set your intentions while clearing your path. Once you’ve opened that door, absolutely nothing can stand in your way.


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Hometown: Portland, OR Previous athletics: I grew up in the dance studio on a competitive team. It led into cheering professionally for about five years. What do you do to stay in shape? Weight lifting and football practice mostly. I mix those with CrossFit. I need a little of everything to balance out all the tacos and pizza I eat!


Is there something you’ve learned from football you’d like to pass on? Stop overthinking and be selfish occasionally. Take care of yourself! Surround yourself with people who believe in every bit of you. I’ve learned I really like keeping people on their toes - throwing curve balls and surprising them. Life is about adventures and taking leaps - pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and discovering who you are through new challenges.

Grasping opportunity without fear is some of the best medicines for the body and soul. It has allowed me to grow physically and mentally in my own life and hopefully that inspires someone else to do the same. Being 28, and one of the rookies on the team, how has your short time with the LFL shaped you? I get a lot of reactions like, “You’re crazy!” or, “You should focus on your career,” and even more annoying, “Aren’t you afraid of getting hurt?” I really believe all of the push back I hear is from people who are too scared to take leaps in their own life. This season with the LFL has made me tougher - more than any other stage of my life. Being coached by an amazing woman like Danika Brace - on and off the field - has helped mold and inspire me to be better. I take that attitude with me everywhere now. It doesn’t matter how young or old you are, find what makes you wake-up happy. That might mean I’m not ‘doing what I’m supposed to at this stage in my life,’ but I know I’ll never look back and regret this. J U LY / A U G 2 0 1 8 • N A S H V I L L E F I T M A G A Z I N E




The first annual NFM FITTEST was held on May 12th and comprised of ten fitness tests that measured power, strength, speed, agility, coordination, and endurance. When the last heat made it across the finish line, only a handful of athletes come out on top. While not everyone can be crowned “the fittest”, what transpired on that day was a combination of determination, athleticism, sportsmanship, and community - the true traits of a hero.

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Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and an impenetrable spirit… These are the fittest men and women in Nashville.

M F T S TE #1



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overall individual winner

kevin andres How did you react when you found out you won? Big surprise! I kept asking if they were sure! The scoring took a minute to understand, but I think, overall, consistency was key. I felt confident the whole day until I started looking at the unofficial score sheets. I called my mom when I found out I’d won and she was freaking out because it was also Mother’s Day. Did you have any goals or expectations coming into the competition? One of my goals has always been to be on the cover of a magazine. But for this competition, I brought my family out there and I just wanted to have fun. I use to put a lot of pressure on myself in competitions: 5Ks, 10Ks, CrossFit, professional basketball in the American Basketball Association, and triathlons. I’ve also done competitions in the Air Force with some Special Forces guys.

Do you have any goals set for next year’s competition? I do feel a little bit of pressure to defend the title. Favorite test? The 40-Yard Dash (something I’ve never tested before) or the Interval Run. I grew up playing basketball so suicides were comfortable for me. The best part was putting on my cleats again and just competing with a bunch of like-minded individuals. It’s always a blast lacing up. Least favorite? The Grip Test. I didn’t feel like it really reflected my grip strength. What is your incentive to be fit? I work at Life Time Athletic in Franklin, so my fitness and overall health allows me to deliver the same to my clients. I enjoy health and I’m very active. My daily routine always involves some type of active “fun”, such as going to the park with a ball or frisbee. I’ve also been a vegetarian for four years now. I’m always juicing and eating big salads. What is your advice to competitors who want to win? Focus on what fitness is all about. Community and getting the best out of the people you are competing with. Ultimately that’s what NFM Fittest was all about. Being able to share health and wellness with others. Superpower: Speed Weaknesses: Sunburns Enemies: The Assault Bike and hunger


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women’s 30s, overall individual winner

Ashley Dance What is your fitness background? I was in gymnastics until I was sixteen years old, ran track at Samford, and now I’m doing a lot of Calisthenics and acrobatics as a trainer and professional at Nashville Strength Co. How do you think this event will affect Nashville in the future? I think people train harder when they have something to compete for. I hope it’s an incentive to push the city of Nashville to form a stronger fitness community and elevate athleticism.

What is your incentive to be fit? Besides being my job, I think I would feel old if I were to stop moving. I want to be as fit and active as I can, as long as I can. I want my body to be capable for as long as possible. Some people don’t realize how much the body is capable of doing. Superpower: I wish I could teleport! Weaknesses: Endurance Enemies: Coke products

How did you react when you found out you won? I was excited! I only knew I won the pull-ups but I knew I’d been beaten in some other tests. So I was pumped when I heard I’d won. What inspired you to compete? As a trainer, I wanted my clients to see me participate in the field for real and not just hiding in the gym telling them what to do. Did you train specifically for NFM FITTEST? I ran a little more than my usual routine. Favorite test? I loved the pull-ups. Least favorite test? The Interval Run gassed me the most. What was the best part of the day? The food was really good! But it always feels really good right after you’ve finished competing. I love that feeling of accomplishment though.

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Women’s 20s Winner

Kimm chase What is your fitness background? I ran track and played water polo growing up in Los Angeles. Most recently, I’ve played professional arena football for four years with teams in LA and Seattle. I’ve coached high school and collegiate athletes for over eight years now, and I currently train and work independently with clients in Nashville. Would you consider yourself the competitive type? I wouldn’t say I’m competitive. I just always want to win. Where you surprised you won? We had a co-ed heat, so we didn’t keep track of our times or anything. What’s an activity you never want to do again? Box jumps What inspired you to compete? A bunch of athletes from our gym got together to support the event and compete. That was a huge factor for me. Having everyone come together from Redline and CrossFit Trivium was really why I signed up. I love my fitness community! What do you wish more girls your age knew about fitness? It doesn’t have to be intimidating. Fitness and working out can be something you love. You don’t have to lift a lot of weight or be able to do a handstand. It’s about being healthy and being around people that are likeminded. Favorite test? The 1-Mile Run What was the best part of the day? Getting to hang out with my tribe. We brought a tent and all our Redline members came out to support us. It was a really fun day. What is your incentive to be fit? My clients and athletes. They are tough and work really hard, and that inspires me to grow and succeed for myself everyday. I work with a lot of athletes that I am able to teach them a lot of life lessons through fitness. I want my lifestyle to be an example to them. Superpower: Freeze time Weaknesses: Gymnastics Enemies: French fries and milkshakes


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Men’s 20s Winner

zack lannan Did you train specifically for NFM FITTEST? I’m a trainer at Chadwick’s Fitness and we specialize in performance training. While I didn’t train specifically for this event, I have to be able to demonstrate standards and movements for clients, so this competition kept me on my toes. Did you have any goals coming into the competition? I just wanted to have fun and do as well as I could. I wanted to meet more people in the area that were also in the fitness industry too. Why choose NFM FITTEST as your first competition? Where I work, we are all about community. That’s what I love about Nashville Fit Magazine. It aligns with my values and why I love fitness. If you make up a test, what would it be? A five minute all-you-can-eat competition. What was the best part of the day? Experiencing that sense of community and how easy it was to talk to people you were competing against. We were all there for the same reason, to compete, but we were all having fun with it too. How would you describe your lifestyle? I eat Chipotle so often that the guys behind the counter know my name. So I guess you could say my eating habits aren’t all that strict. During the summer I’m more active. I like to get outside and just move. It isn’t exactly considered physical activity to me as much as it is just fun. Something you would never eat again? I’m not a picky eater and will try anything. I ate a scorpion once though and it was horrible. What is your incentive to be fit? I have a family history of heart disease, so that is always in the back of my mind. We also have family history with cancer, so maybe I’m just paranoid but I stay fit to be healthy. Superpower: I wish I could fly! Weaknesses: Five Daughters Bakery Enemies: Clowns

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men’s 30s Winner

devin Tolentino Would you encourage others to participate? in NFM FITTEST? Absolutely! If fitness is a priority, people should have a good measure of how fit they are. This event was a perfect all-around measure of that. People that workout should be in a program that prepares them for general athleticism. All of the events tested some form of athleticism. What inspired you to compete? Augie Christian encouraged all of us at the gym to sign-up and compete. So we got a group together and trained hard. Did you train specifically for the NFM FITTEST? Besides my regular CrossFit training, I ran more than usual and made sure I got in a good amount of track work. Did you have any goals coming into the competition? Besides winning, one of my goals was to make sure I didn’t take too much pre-workout. I would have thrown up and embarrassed myself on some of those running tests. Favorite test? The Vertical Jump Least favorite? The Y Balance Test What was the best part of the day? After the 1-Mile Run, my heat was really supportive. It was a total “bro” moment, but I loved it. It was really cool how stoked we all were to compete together. What is your incentive to be fit? I have a newborn son at home, so it’s important for him to grow up seeing that I’m not lazy. I want to be able to keep up with him when he is older too. Superpower: 20-minute AMRAPS Weaknesses: The hHeat, bad knees, and long femurs Enemies: People that say “FriYAY,” “Nashvegas,” and “Cali”. I’m from California and it’s not something we say.


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woMen’s 40s Winner

peggy Ray How did you feel on event day? Excited but super anxious! Favorite test? Mystery Test #2 because it required so much focus and balance different than anything I was prepared to do. Least favorite? Pull-ups! I would go to the gym one day and be able to rock some out then a few days later not be able to do one! It’s been extremely frustrating not being able to master them. Did you train specifically for NFM FITTEST? I worked out about six weeks prior to the event with Gerrell Webb, (@itrain365), on some of the tests. I had never done any sort of agility T-test, 40-yard dash, or interval run before. Come to think of it, other than the 1-Mile Run, I had never done any of the tests prior to working with Gerrell. His athletic background and style of training helped me immensely. What would you say to convince other women your age to compete in NFM FITTEST? Just do it! It was so much fun! It was basically like an adult field day! Why do you think fitness is especially important at your age? Fitness is important at any age, but the older I get the more I realize the importance of living an active lifestyle. I am

in better shape at 42 than I was in my 20s. I have more energy to everthing I want to do with my daughter and husband. We are a very active family and like to keep moving. Did you have any goals coming into the competition? I was stepping out of my comfort zone by participating, so I didn’t have any expectations other than to do my best on each test. I was proud of myself for just trying something I had never done before. What was the best part of the day? Having the opportunity to meet and be inspired by so many different people in the Nashville fitness community. It was like one big fitness family just cheering each other on. What is your incentive to be fit? My number one incentive to be fit is my health. I want to be the best version of me for all those in my life and I can’t do that without taking care of my body and mind. Superpower: The power of flight. Something I’ve always wanted to do since I was a little girl. I still sit in traffic and imagine what it would be like if I could just fly over all these cars. Weaknesses: Ice cream, cake, candy, donuts, and funnel cakes. I have a sweet tooth. Enemies: People who eat ice cream, cake, candy, donuts, and funnel cakes in front of me!

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men’s 40s Winner

Augie Christian How do think NFM FITTEST affected the fitness community? I think it brought attention to all the different types of fitness. When registration opens up again next year, I know a lot of people will jump on board. It was a friendly competition, but I know there will be a lot more athletes in the field next year. What inspired you to compete? Honestly, I just love competing. The tests were different from my normal routine and that meant I could get out of my comfort zone. It gave me something to strive for and get excited about. What was your favorite test? There were a lot of speed and agility tests, and as an older guy, it was exciting to see I still hold onto that. Favorite thing fitness allows you to do? I love being strong, like being able to pick up both my boys over my head. What does your daily diet consist of? A lot of rice, meat, and almond butter. What is your incentive to be fit? My two young boys. I need to be able to kick their ass even when they’ve turned 18.


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What would you say to convince other men in their 40s to compete in NFM FITTEST? If you have kids and you think you’re “just fit enough”, you should try the FITTEST out to see if you can keep up with the rest of the pack. I don’t want to be the guy that can’t keep with his kids when they’re older. This event was a good test for that kind of fitness. Superpower: Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound Weaknesses: Easily persuaded Enemies: Slow - people, talking, stories. I like to get things done

Men’s 50s Winner

Dennis Cheatham Did you train specifically for NFM FITTEST? As the owner of Opex Franklin, my routine consists of working out five days a week for about an hour or two a day. At 51 years old, I’m usually doing a lot of mobility training, conditioning, and gymnastics. I have to be more efficient with my movements. It’s all about being well rounded. That’s why I enjoyed this event. I trained for the CrossFit Games a number of times in the past and finished in the top 30 in the world this year. Did you have any goals coming into the competition? I was mainly just doing it for fun. It felt like an adult field day. I have a background in strength and conditioning, athletic training, and sports medicine, so this was a good test for me. I’ve worked with some high level athletes and this event reminded me how to train them. Favorite test? The Y Blance Test Least favorite? I pulled my calf muscle on the Interval Run, but I mostly enjoyed all of the tests. What was the best part of the day? I’ve been in this fitness community for 10 years and

in the industry for 23 years. My favorite part was getting to see a lot of old friends. When I competed at a high-level of athleticism in the 80s, I didn’t have anyone to ask the difficult questions to so I’m enjoying being able to do that for others now. What is your incentive to be fit? It’s more of a philosophy for me. I feel like its a personal responsibility to maintain a certain level of health and fitness. If we aren’t fit and healthy, we’re putting a burden on society, which just comes back to our responsibility as individuals. We should take care of ourselves. We should educate our children so that they can continue to grow too. What would you say to convince other men in their 50s to compete in NFM FITTEST? People don’t realize the resilience they have to do anything. They don’t know their own strength and willpower. Fitness helps with developing the understanding of oneself. It develops mental toughness. At my age, or any age really, it’s important to progress properly and understand that you are capable. Superpowers: Balanced strength Weaknesses: Heat Enemies: Age

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women’s 60s Winner

Lea Kroll What is your fitness background? I played sports in high school and was on intramural teams here and there. I’ve been a runner since college. Most recently, I am in to CrossFit. What inspired you to compete? My friend Rae Hummell, put the event on our community page and called me out to participate. I signed up on the last day of the deadline and decided I would have fun with it. How did you feel on event day? Great! I had so much fun. It was intimidating being in a heat with people half my age, but it was also inspiring too. I had to remind myself not to try and keep up with them. Favorite test? They were all doable, but I liked the Wall Balls. Least favorite? The Y-Test. I don’t have any balance. Do you have any goals set for next year’s competition? To do better on the Vertical Jump Test. My husband kept telling me we would practice these events for next year. What was the best part of the day? The energy! Everyone there was fit and excited and in a great mood. The volunteers, vendors, and judges were all great too! You could tell everyone was happy to be there. What would you say to convince other women in their 60s to compete in NFM FITTEST? Anyone can do this! All the events are doable and the day is just fun! What is your incentive to be fit? I see people my mother’s age that can hardly get around. I don’t want that for myself. I want to play with my grandkids. I have always felt that fitness should be an important aspect to


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anyone’s life. I want to stay as young as I can for as long as I can. What is your current routine? I currently do CrossFit four times a week at CrossFit Forte. We have three acres at home, so we do a lot of yard work as well. I’m always trying to do races when I can too. Starting CrossFit made me rethink more about my diet. I’ve become more conscience of what I put in my mouth and have lost 30 lbs. I try to follow a paleo diet mostly, but it’s more about cutting out junk and sugar that I use to eat. Superpower: I would want to have super strength Weaknesses: Kryptonite Enemies: Chronic disease

Men’s 60s Winner

Ronnie Haislip How did you react when you found out you won? It took awhile for it to set in. When the competition was over, I went to the registration table and was told I was sitting in third so I left. I thought I performed pretty well but I didn’t monitor the rest of the field much. I didn’t find out that I’d won until I got home and saw it on the computer. I was really happy.

How did you feel on event day? Really good. My wife was able to come with me that day and she is not normally able to come to any of my events.

Did you train specifically for NFM FITTEST? I do CrossFit four to five days a week and have been for 5 years now, so it covers me on almost everything.

What is your incentive to be fit? To be healthy at my age and be competitive.

Did you have any goals coming into the competition? To win! Favorite test? The Med Ball Toss was the easiest test for me. I hate to say it but the shuttle run was kind of fun. Exhausting but fun. And exciting to watch other compete in too! Least favorite? Probably the 1-Mile Run, but I didn’t hate anything. I also just had a flashback to the strict pull-ups!

What was the best part of the day? Having my wife with me and watching me compete.

What would you say to convince other men in their 60s to compete in NFM FITTEST? So many people lose their competitive edge as they age. Our bones hurt a little more and, for some, it’s just too much. What have you got to lose? It’s going to hurt either way! Superpowers: Legs Weaknesses: Upper body Enemies: Pull-ups

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Gym Team Winner SHED FITNESS

Danny Belch and Stephen May

How did you form this team? Both of us workout at SHED and the gym got together and drafted teams as a group. We got lucky and were paired together. How did you divvy up the events? Danny ran track at Stanford, so he took all the running and sprinting events. Steven played baseball at Belmont and took the majority of the strength tests. Favorite test? Danny: The Interval Run, which is ironic because we both felt like it was the hardest and most challenging test. I PR’ed on competition day though, so that was great. Steven: The Kneeling Med Ball Toss. Least favorite? Danny: The Y Balance Test. My legs were jelly after all the running. Stephen: The 1-Mile Run If you could create your own test, what would it be? Some sort of HIIT workout or a test that incorporates an actual sport, like baseball. Did you have a specific training regimen for NFM FITTEST? Danny: I dig up some old track workouts and made sure I stayed in shape on vacation. Stephen: I made sure I was being more consistent at the gym. We only met as a team once before event day and went through the standards. What were the keys to your team’s success? Knowing your partner’s strengths and knowing where you are going to excel. There was a lot of strategy in determining who was going to do what event. Any goals for next year? We’d like to beat our times from this year, but overall fitness goals would be to balance work and our time to stay fit. We’ve loved being involved in these events and want to get more active and meet more people in the fitness community. Superpowers: Speed (Danny) and explosive power (Stephen) Weaknesses: Desserts (Danny) and time (Stephen) Enemies: The TrueForm Treadmill. We both hate that thing.


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OPEN Team Winner MFBA

mitch beeson and nick desalvatore

How did you form this dream team? Nick heard about the event from a co-worker and told me to check out the website. We both had availability on our calendar to compete and that was it. We were in! How did you divvy up the events? We both had a couple of tests we had our eye on, but the rest of the time we played rock, paper, scissors to see who would be stepping up to the plate. It worked out well. Favorite test? Nick: Wall Balls Mitch: Pull-ups

Least favorite? We acutally enjoyed all of the tests and didn’t have any complaints or weaknesses really. It was a great event. If you could create your own Test what would it be? Nick: A 1-rep max clean or snatch Mitch: 5K run Did you have a specific training regimen for NFM FITTEST? We honestly just kept up with our normal routine and went out there to compete and have fun with it. What were the keys to your team’s success? We kept a business-like focus on each event and didn’t worry about the rest of the field. Goals for next year? Have fun and hopefully win again if we compete as a team. Mitch may compete as an individual next year if Nick can get another teammate since they will be participating in the 40-49 age division. Superpowers: Ability to fly (Nick) and The Incredible Hulk strength (Mitch) Weaknesses: Doughnuts (Nick) and pizza (Mitch) Enemies: Driving on road trips (Nick) and heights and airplanes (Mitch)

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ARE YOU STRESSED ABOUT STRESS? Stress isn’t always bad. In small doses, it can help you perform under pressure, motivate you to do your best, or lift another higher. But when you’re constantly running in emergency mode, your mind and body pay the price. How do you know when enough is enough?


ow many emails are in your inbox right now? How many notifications are on your phone? Those little red bubbles probably mean someone needs something, right? Do you have bills? Of course you do. How about your diet today? Have you worked out, yet? Did you get enough sleep last night? Drink enough water? How about your social interactions? Were you nice to people? We know, sometimes that one is hard. What about your productivity at work? When was the last time you called your Mom? Laundry? Dishes? It’s overwhelming isn’t it! Day in and day out there are responsibilities that weigh us down - and these are only casual, daily tasks. Add in an actual life changing event and its hard to imagine dealing with it all at once. From the moment our alarm goes off, we spend our day getting pulled in more directions than we are meant to handle. The fact of the matter is - people today spend the majority of their time feeling stressed out. It’s a lot, y’all. We are in the midst of a society working longer hours, for less money, while cost rise. We are trying to get more done than ever. And we’ve blurred the lines of our private and professional lives, working all hours of the day on projects we are passionate about. Our gadgets are always in our hand, notifying us of the newest update, issue, or message. People are spread too thin and struggling to keep up. If we know anything about healthcare these days, we know that stress has taken a toll on our mental health. It’s time we acknowledge these stress factors are also detrimental to our physical health. According to the APA’s 2012 Stress in America survey, more than 40 percent of adults said stress kept them awake at night. In 2018, the same survey shows that the leading stressor for about 60 percent of adults is related to personal health concerns or health problems affecting their family. Despite this, 33 percent of those Americans report never discussing ways to manage that stress with a healthcare provider. Most people aren’t fully aware of the damage that can be done by chronic stress until something serious happens. Now, we should admit that not all stress is bad stress. Cortisol isn’t exactly our enemy here. There are times we need it to thrive.


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Like when we are preparing for an amazing job interview, buying a house, or competing in a sport. That healthy dose of cortisol and adrenaline become a positive force in performance when the situation is less threatening. However, our body cannot differentiate between good and bad stress, which is a problem because we have the same hardwired response regardless of the trigger. When these hormones flood our body, our lungs will abruptly take in more oxygen to push throughout the bloodstream. Our heartbeat and blood pressure are raised. All other functions are put on hold to reserve the energy needed to escape the “stressor.” More times then not, the source of our anxiety isn’t life-threatening and our bodies hold on to the unresolved stress for an extended period of time. If you’re exhausted, experiencing stomach pain, changes in weight, inconsistent sleep patterns, feeling depressed or anxious, and/or get sick often, stress could be the culprit. Any of these could actually mean your body has been stuck in it’s ‘flight’ state for far too long. If unmanaged, repeated exposure to emotional distress can lead to health problems. In order to defend itself, the body will stay in survival mode. Chronic stress lowers immune functioning as well. Meaning, stress can inhibit the body’s ability to heal itself, putting you at risk for a variety of issues - ranging from obesity, anxiety, and depression, to heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and other various chronic illnesses that can only be truly addressed through changes in lifestyle. So now, as if all our daily stresses were not enough, we are stressed about stress and its effects on our internal clockwork. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to work through it. There are also preventive measures you can take. Keep reading to note just a few. Slow down. I know people are busy, but I promise, unless you find some time in your day to be still and recharge, your busyness will only lead to long term problems. You cannot continue to pour from an empty cup forever. Try turning off your phone after a certain hour, going out for a walk to get some fresh air, or making mindfulness meditation a routine. Finding joy, time to play, and

having human connection is just as important for your health as your business is for your career. Make time to move. Whatever form of movement works best for you - do it. This is the best way to work off built up energy that turns into frustration or irritation if left unreleased. Let go of some tension and let your mind check out for a bit. Since mental stress has such an enormous impact on our physical health, making time to move is one of the best ways you can fight off chronic illness. Prioritizing exercise has also been proven to reduce fear and increase self-confidence when facing everyday challenges. It also builds a strong foundation of will power, which can transfer to other areas of like and promote similar healthy decisions. Practice gratitude. Try this - 1. Place your hand on your heart to remind yourself you are a living, breathing, miracle. 2. Take 10 deep breaths, filing your lungs to push out your ribs and feel your belly

expand. 3. Say the names of 3 people you love and one thing that you are grateful for. Now how do you feel? Remember you’re just a person. Stress will always come and go. Try not to let it overwhelm you. When it does, ask for help. And most importantly - be kind to yourself.

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Reclaim Belief in Yourself: How a Positive Attitude Can Create Success


hen I was a kid, I signed up for every team possible. I’ve participated in dance, cheerleading, soccer, gymnastics, basketball, swimming, cross country, and tennis. If it was available, I thought I could do it. As kids, we have the privilege of living in a somewhat magical world. A world where anything is possible and limitations do not exist. We all remember the excitement of signing up for a team and the butterflies at the beginning of each new game. We tended to try new things simply because we had blind faith and confidence in ourselves. Nevertheless, we all grew up at some point. The magic inevitably fades and the, “I can do anything!” mentality takes a hit each time we label something as a failure (despite the fact those failures teach us how to grow). As I got older, I started signing up for less and less. I became someone who lived in my comfort zone and focused on perfecting what I already knew I was good at. “There is no way I can do that,” became a staple phrase in my life. For so many of us, this is called life. We joke about #adulting, when really the magic is just gone. The simple childlike belief in ourselves dwindles away. Fortunately, as easy as it is to think we’ve lost it; we can get it back. It is important to experience things in life that make us feel small. Like standing under a redwood tree or sitting quietly to view the sunset. These moments will wake you up in a positive way. They encourage adventure. They bring back your bright and innocent views of the world. One day, I woke up and decided to challenge myself. I wish I could say it was a graceful shift from being stuck to finding my power, but it was not a simple transition. When I decided that I wanted to stretch outside of my comfort zone I did the only thing I knew to do - Googled everything. With that, I became increasingly overwhelmed with the amount of trends, information, and options offered to the public that promised goal oriented results. Google it yourself. In 2017 alone, some of the most highly searched health and fitness trends were Murph Crossfit, apple cider vinegar diet, tabata workout, plant based diet, Tom Brady diet, and the Ketogenic diet. With all these options, which one do you pick? Well, I picked everything. If there was a product that told me I’d be better, I bought it. Even though I was unintentionally learning more about myself, I also learned the problem with trends - they change. My route to success became quite exhausting and self-defeating. I was hungry for something long term and my way was obviously not working. After a lot of failure, I started seeing a licensed therapist who helped me realize that my growth had to be about something bigger than a trend I found online. Thus, my advice? Recognize this - you internally hold everything you need to reach your goals. Insert PMA. The human mind possesses the capability to create something that is more powerful than any fad diet or new workout plan. Thousands of studies have shown that a key (and possibly the key) component of success is attitude. More specifically, Positive Mental Attitude (PMA), in regards to goals and capabilities. Meaning, you control your attitude, therefore, you control your success. Your future is literally in the hands of your own mind. So, what is PMA exactly? By definition, it is the philosophy that having an optimistic outlook on any situation attracts positive changes and increases achievement. PMA is considered an internal focus of control that influences external factors. In other words, you control the outside matter through your internal resolve. PMA is basically the childlike magic we lose from years of repeating negative thoughts. In its simplest term, it is optimistic disposition. There has been a lot of dialogue around the power of PMA. By no means is it a replacement for hard work, nor does it promise that thinking positively will make you a professional athlete overnight. This philosophy is more than positive thinking - it is creating meaning out


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of our circumstances. PMA ideology says that we are not in control of the cards we are dealt in life. We are only in control of how we play them. Sometimes it can simply comes down to the stories we choose to tell ourselves. In Victor Frankl’s book, Man’s Search for Meaning, he points out a commonality in those who lived through the Holocaust. Survivors were not necessarily the strongest or smartest, but created meaning out of their experience. Their mental strength carried them through the physical and emotional trauma. Comparable to extreme athletes that participate in high intensity activities, they too believe that physical ability is not the entire battle. Focusing on why we do what we do and believing in one’s self often perpetuates achievement. Finding your personal PMA is like growing a muscle. It takes effort, attention, and habit. People don’t generally wake up one day deciding to be optimistic and poof, they see the silver lining in everything. You, yourself, can start developing the PMA muscle with these five tips. 1. Be intentional about your goals and make sure they are your goals. It is hard to stay positive through trials when you are working towards something you don’t actually care about. Find your purpose! 2. Be nice to yourself! Please. Recent studies have shown that participants who use positive affirmations through a workout compared to a group who said negative things to themselves rated the workout as easier and performed at higher levels. Remind yourself you are doing a great job, and do this often. 3. Turn your foresight into hindsight. Entrepreneur, Aubrey Marcus says, “In hindsight we are clearly able to see the purpose in our failures and disappointments. In hindsight, we are almost always grateful.” So try starting with gratitude and bypass a lot of anxiety. Be thankful. If we are can realize, in time, we will be grateful for our perceived misfortune, then we are sure to grow and reflect on the experience in a positive manner. 4. “Focus on your elbows,” my uncle, a personal trainer and avid long distance runner, told me this once. PMA is about focusing on what you do have and not what you don’t. Maintaining a positive attitude requires us to put more value in our strengths than our weaknesses. Just think, you’ll always have strong elbows. 5. Replace the idea of needing motivation with whether or not something is important to you. There are days when we don’t feel like doing one more rep, but it is important to challenge ourselves because that is how we get better. There are days when we don’t have the motivation to cook dinner, but it is important to fuel our bodies. Motivation tends to become an excuse that whispers, “you aren’t worth it,” at your most vulnerable moments. But, guess what? You are definitely worth it. Remember, we each have the power to collectively change our mindset. And mindset is everything. It’s how we wake up in the morning. It’s how we go about our day - deciding what foods to eat and what things to say. It is the community we choose. It is our scattered thoughts and self talk. Positivity is magic. Magic can be reintroduced into adulthood. The majority of magic is simply believing! And believing in ourselves renders a positive attitude. We create our own mentality and hold the power to change it at any time.



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Millions of Americans dance, and Nashville is no different. From honky tonks to dance studios, recreationally or professionally, we like to let loose. Did you know while you’re two-stepping though, you’re also doing something positive for your body and your mind?


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he music kicks on and you instinctively start tapping your foot and bobbing your head. As the music heightens, you stand up out of your seat and find yourself dancing, moving around the room waving your arms above your head and turning underneath yourself. Feeling free, you are inundated with happiness. But did you know that while you are getting down with your bad self, your brain is functioning at an all-time high? That’s right. Dance not only strengthens neuron connections, but it improves our memory.

power yoga + strength training

Dance is defined as a series of synchronized movements, but combined with the rhythm of the music, creates a pleasurable double play. While music stimulates the brain’s reward center, dance stimulates sensory and motor circuits. Dancers maximize cognitive function and muscle memory through practice. This type of stimulation is said to reduce the risk of dementia and better our memory. Dance has repetitive movement and sequences whether you are taking a ballet class, Zumba class, or dancing in your living room. At some point, you will find yourself repeating the same steps and sequences in sync with the music. Repetition helps our brains solidify connections that are used to recall memories. Certain regions of our brain, like the motor cortex, somatosensory cortex, basal ganglia, and cerebellum contribute to the overall learning process of how to move and perform. The motor cortex allows us to plan, control, and execute voluntary movements. The somatosensory cortex controls our motor skills, especially handeye coordination. The basal ganglia are associated with a variety of functions, including voluntary motor control, procedural learning relating to routine behaviors or habits, as well as cognitive and emotional functions. The cerebellum helps with all of our complex motor actions. In terms of brain functionalities, something such as dance is transformed into electrical impulses that travel between neurons. When you repeat dance steps often, it strengthens the bond between neurons and creates a memory. Dancing also increases dopamine levels. This allows us to retain those memories. The chemical dopamine is essential to the brain’s system for controlling movement, our learning process, coordination, and how we retain information. Dopamine is associated with our reward center, meaning the things we enjoy, like maybe music, will trigger our brain and body to remember something like a series of steps. Therefore, when it is present, we subconsciously remember. When we are not interested in subjects our dopamine level decreases from our prefrontal cortex. It is in fact hard to be motivated and remember things when this occurs. Dance is truly a fantastic form of exercise with benefits that are sometimes disguised. Although the lean muscles, flexibility, and cardio training help to shape our inside and outside health, it is the use of multiple, large muscle groups that enhance our mental health. Our brain and body connection will last our lifetime, so kick up your heels, fire off some endorphins, and turn up the music and dance!

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2218 8th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37204




The Music City Center witnessed the sport of fitness over Memorial Day weekend. It was clear, just from the stands, how meticulous these athletes’ train on a regular basis in order to compete for the title of the Fittest Man and Woman on Earth. So we asked them. What is the most important aspect of fitness for a CrossFit Games Athlete?


Scott Panchik @scottpanchik “For me, in my seventh year of competing and now 30, recovery is different. Especially because I’m training with my younger brother who is 21. It’s important to do everything right, between when we train and when we are resting. Getting enough sleep is probably one of the most important things for us as athletes. I sleep until my body is ready to get up and that has always been my indicator that my body feels rested. “On the nutrition side of things, what you eat following workouts and the timing of your food both a huge part of recovery. Some type of protein and carbohydrates following a workout is needed and don’t push off taking in those nutrients. These will keep your soreness level at bay the next day. They push out the lactic acid in your system. “A lot of people neglect meals pre and post-workout and I think this is where most people go wrong. You need something like a simple carb before a workout. Sometimes you have to eat when you aren’t hungry too, but the body cannot run on an empty tank. Rest, recovery, and fuel are the only things that will power you through one workout to the next. A protein shake after and a snack like fruit before will really go a long way for the average gym goer.


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“I’ve learned a lot from experience, but I’ve learned the most by just doing things the right and wrong way, because, honestly, you just have to find what works best for you.”


Brooke Wells @brookewellss “Besides working out as hard as you can, recovery is the most important. Warming up, cooling down, and nutrition are all major aspects to recovery. Definitely having a good diet and paying attention to nutrition helps, but you also need to prepare your body with a good warm-up routine. Most people don’t know how important recovery is to everything. At any level [of fitness], no matter how hard you work, your body has to be able to function for the next day”.

Mat Fraser @mathewfras “Knowledge of good technique. It’s pretty rare to find a movement that doesn’t have a technique involved and have a reason for it. Three or four years ago in the sport, there were things I struggled with and I didn’t even have the resources to go. You can’t have an ego that says, ‘No, I’ll do it myself.’ I wanted to find someone that knows more than me and ask them the right questions. [Technique] is important for injury preventions, getting more out of your time with each workout, and just feeling better about details in your progress.”


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Alex Anderson @alexanderson29 “Whatever outlet you choose, be consistent at it. Actually starting, but then being consistent at whatever you do. Whether that’s once a day, three times a week, or five times a week - pick something and stick to it. “Learning how to move well and being efficient will, of course, enhance any sport. But staying after it helps you learn how to be the best you. You don’t have to wreck yourself everyday. “It’s important to have consistency in all aspects from nutrition to having people that will help keep you accountable. Have goals as well. Having both small and big goals will keep you on track. They always remind you why you started and in the first place.”


Hal Fisher @halfisher96


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“Enjoy it! If you don’t enjoy it, you aren’t going to improve in any way. I try to keep my gym stuff in the gym. When I’m outside of the gym, I do my best to create time with my friends and try to keep a good balance on life.”

Jessica Griffith @jessicagriffith “There is no secret diet. There isn’t one thing that works for everybody. It’s compliance. You have to find what works for you. I count my macros, but that can be stressful and overwhelming for some people. Sometimes it just needs to be about portion control. You have to find a system that works for you - that you will stick to. “There is no one answer. It’s about general knowledge. The things I teach my clients isn’t stuff they don’t already know. It’s fundamental nutrition - a healthy balance of proteins, carbs, and fats. It isn’t over complicated or fancy. You just have to be disciplined enough to do it. It takes practice and willpower and general knowledge so that when you do go out to eat you know what to do. “I recommend cutting out alcohol, for sure! I was a college girl, I use to drink on the weekends, but now I don’t have a casual glass of wine. Alcohol is such a waste and it doesn’t help performance at all. Now, you have to be okay with being sober in a social situation and not rely on the fun that comes along with those things. But try going out and having soda water with lime. I’ve just found that alcohol is one of the biggest things people struggle with because it is such a large part of our social society.”


“There had to have been over 7,000 athletes, coaches, owners and fans piled into the Music City Center on Saturday alone. It was an incredible weekend.” Roy Mangrum, Barbell Voodoo “It was amazing to see the top 1% percent of CrossFit in our region descend upon Nashville, then look around at all the fit people that didn’t make it and realize just how super natural these competitors truly are in their sport. It really puts into perspective how elite the Games Athletes are in CrossFit.” Jacob Fasig, Fit By 40 Podcast

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This month’s workout demonstration caters to your inner triathlete. Bricks combine two or more of the triathlon legs into a single workout preparing you for the changing demands of each sport. The most popular bricks are bike/ run, but we’ve included a swim/bike example as well with the help of Derek Stone.

3-time GLIAC Track & Field Conference Champion 3-time NCAA National Championships Qualifier for Cross Country, Indoor Track Distance Medley Relay and Outdoor Track 1500m Completed 22 Triathlons including 1 Ironman and 4 Half Ironman 9-time Triathlon Champion 2nd Place Finish at the Draft Legal Duathlon National Championships


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Six Brick Benefits

1. Gives you a “race day” understanding for transitioning quickly from one sport to the next. 2. Opportunity to practice proper pacing and other race tactics such as surges and finding a comfortable cruise pace. 3. Builds mental strength and confidence. Making a brick workout non-negotiable makes you mentally tougher on race day. 4. Helps you hone in on your nutrition and electrolyte needs. 5. Practice quick transitions for a faster and more efficient race. 6. Teaches you the importance of energy expenditures. Going from horizontal to vertical with an elevated heart rate has its challenges. You can’t explode out of the gate too fast or you’ll run out of gas quickly.

Bike-to-Run Brick Workouts Short Course or Beginner Triathlete Brick Session After 10 minute warm up on bike, start Two to Three Rounds of Progressive Power Pick-Ups: 2 minutes at 80 percent (7 rpe), 2 minutes at 85 percent (8 rpe), 2 minutes at 90 percent (9 rpe) Take 3 minutes in between each six minute round to recover. Once you’ve finished your rounds on the bike, quick transition to run. Transition Run: 15 minutes total at 5 minutes easy, 5 minutes moderate, 5 minutes hard. Practice a strong fast finish!

Long Course or Advanced Triathlete Brick Session This is similar to the short course workout, but you’ll be running in between each round! After a 10 minute warm-up on bike, begin a six-minute Progressive Power Pick-up: Two minutes at 80 percent (7 rpe), two minutes at 85 percent (8 rpe), two minutes at 90 percent (9 rpe) Then, quick transition to run. Transition Run: 15 minutes total at five minutes easy, five minutes moderate, five minutes hard. Practice a strong fast finish! Transition Back to Bike for your next Progressive Pick-Up: 2 minutes at 80 percent (7 rpe), 2 minutes at 85 percent (8 rpe), 2 minutes at 90 percent (9 rpe)

Quickly transition into your running shoes right after the bike.

Maintain good running form off bike.

Transition to Run: 15 minutes total at five minutes easy, five minutes moderate, five minutes hard. Practice a strong fast finish! You can do a third bike/run round if you’re feeling mighty! The goal here is to stay sharp and focused on the run, especially in the second round when you may be more fatigued. Start slow and finish strong. Keep your form good and your cadence brisk.



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Swim-to-Bike Brick Workouts This brick can be done in a pool setting with spin bike or bike placed on trainer for efficiency. Of course, you can also ride on the roads as well too.

Short Course or Beginner Triathlete Brick Session Swim 400-500 meters total where the first 25 meters of every 100 meters is FAST to simulate a fast mass start. On the second 25 meters, sight three to four times to practice good sighting form. Keep stroking and lift your head slightly to scan the surface of the water like an alligator. During the final 50 of each 100, find your comfortable cruising pace. So, the pattern is 25 fast–25 sighting–50 cruise up to 500 meters. From there, you will make a quick transition to your bike and ride for 30 minutes in a progressive manner. Start slow to bring your heart rate down from the swim. The second 10 minutes should be a 6-7 on a scale of 1-10. Finally, really push it those final 10 minutes and build to a fast strong finish! Aim for a cadence of 80-90 throughout (number of revolutions per minute / rpms).

Long Course or More Advanced Triathlete Brick Session—DOUBLE BRICK! Warm-up 10 minutes easy on the bike to get your heart rate going and some blood flow. Then, 3 x 1 min hard efforts at 100+ rpms to increase sweat and heart rate. Quick transition into pool: Don’t forget goggles and swim cap! Swim: 10 minutes following 25 Fast, 25 Sight, 50 Cruise Quick transition back to bike: Yes, you’ll be wet! Bike 10 minutes at 70 percent effort or 6-7 on a scale of 1-10. Transition back to swim: 10 minutes following same pattern as above Transition back to bike: 10 minutes at 70 percent or 6-7 effort. You’ll likely experience that this effort now feels harder because of the fatigue from swimming.

Hop in and swim the first 25 fast. 64

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Practice good form on the bike - eyes look forward and on the road, good aero position, feet flat on the pedals.

Cool-Down Triathletes have notoriously tight hips, hamstrings, and glutes, so make sure you spend time stretching and rolling those trouble areas when you are finished. A hip extension stretch and some form of dynamic pigeon are two great stretches you should not be ignoring. You also might want to think about a 5-10 minute “cool down” or easy running after your second brick. This will allow your heart rate to bring itself back down to normal.

Want more resources to help kickstart your triathlon? Check out these local coaches, clubs, and race ogranizers. COACHES (USA TRIATHLON CERTIFIED) David Carpenter, Murfreesboro Jon Eichart, Hermitage Scott Foland, Franklin Jon Hamm, Nashville Kathleen Johnston, Nashville Dave MacNeill, Franklin John Maines, Spring Hill Nick Matthews, Franklin Heather Raymond, Franklin Jeff Reilly, Madison Derek Stone, Nashville Vickie Updike, Brentwood Johanna Zettersten, Nashville OTHER COACHES / COACHING ORGANIZATIONS Music that Moves Paceline Therapy & Performance Personal Best Fitness X3 Endurance TRIATHLON CLUBS Aero (youth) Brentwood Endurance Athletic Team (BEAT) Clarksville Triathlon Club East Nashville Triathlon Club Hendersonville Endurance Athletic Team (HEAT) MidTN Multisport Nashville Triathlon Club

Pro Tips Slow down. A very common mistake for beginners is starting too hard. Relax on the swim and avoid the chaos of the mass start. Leave some in the tank for the bike and run. Be comfortable swimming in open water. Although a lot of people will train in a pool, you’ll certainly want to do a few open water training sessions to get your body and mind acclimated with a current and the elements. Keep your transition area simple and clean. No one likes a messy transition and you’re better off knowing exactly where everything is before you get to your gear.

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SWIM PROGRAMS Ensworth Aquatics Masters Excel Aquatics & Multisport Lifetime Masters / Tri Nashville Aquatic Club (NAC) Nashville Dolphins Prairie Life Fitness YMCA of Middle Tennessee RACE ORGANIZERS Above The Fold Events & Sport Promotions Ironman Team Magic For more information on these resources or to be connected with a coach or program, contact Joe Fleenor at joefleenor@abovethefoldevents.com






ou may know James Crumlin from his high energy posts on Instagram. Or maybe you know him from his infectious smile. Could you have seen him out and about in Music

City? Crumlin is a well-known attorney in Nashville and an upstanding participant in the community. His dedication to fitness has captivated a following of those looking for advice on a variety of topics. From 1997-1998, Crumlin served as a judicial clerk to retired United States Chief District Judge William J. Haynes, Jr., (former United States Magistrate Judge) for the Middle District of Tennessee. He currently works for Bone McAllester Norton PLLC and has represented the firm for 16 years, solidifying his air of dedication to something he believes in. Furthermore, his concentrations in law includes labor and employment law, business and corporate law, litigation and dispute resolution, and entertainment and media law. Kind of sounds like he does a little bit of everything, doesn’t it? That’s because he does. And most likely, if you are reading this, you’ve joined him for a workout at the Capitol Steps downtown on any given Monday or Thursday evening at 6pm – and that’s how you know James Crumlin. Voted Nashville Fit Magazine’s Best Free Workout in 2017, Crumlin has continued this tradition for what has now been six years. On Thursday, May 31st, over 100 people showed up in the humid, Tennessee heat to sweat and celebrate the six year anniversary. “It blows my mind that we have been doing this for six years. I’m so overjoyed, humbled and blessed that people have supported this event,” Crumlin says, hesitating to take any credit for this, clearly popular, meet up. In 2003, Crumlin trained to run the St. Jude Half Marathon in honor of his mother. “After that, I ran it every year, except for 2010. It was really hot that year,” he laughs. But it wasn’t until 2012 when a friend suggested running the steps, that Crumlin elevated his training. “I would always wait until a month before,” he regrets. So when his friend, LaToya, recommended a new idea for their training regimen, just outside his office, he decided to give it a try. The following year he ran his fasted half marathon yet. Once LaToya moved away from Nashville, three more friends wanted to join in on the climb. “Next thing I know, everybody just started telling their friends and inviting people,” Crumlin recalls. Thus began the organic growth of what we now see propelling up that Capitol Hill two evenings out of the week. “It’s just good old-fashioned grass roots,” he smiles. “There is no self-gratification for me; it’s truly about trying to make people healthier,” he says. Crumlin also remembers witnessing noticeable changes in the people that show up and go to


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work. In particular, he says the Willocks family has set an inspiring example, having participated for four years and never missing a session. “It has never been about me or anyone else, really. It’s been all about the people that show up to better themselves. It’s a place where anyone can come and just get active. And it’s free! It’s available to all levels of athleticism,” he explains. The people that have put in the time have seen a reward. They have had success stories everywhere from 5 to 50 pounds, and one regular participant surviving a heart attack thanks to his cardio efforts and a healthy heart. “Their overall health is getting better, but it is also preventative,” Crumlin says.

To watch anyone change their lifestyle is rewarding. But Crumlin gives plenty of credit to Music City as well. He claims, “I’m so happy that Nashville has supported this. They’ve embraced it from the beginning and really shown up to improve themselves through exercise. Every time, it’s great to see.” With modesty, Crumlin admits that he has “been allowed” to come up with the workout routines. It’s different every time, but

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always some type of combination including running the downtown area, burpees, body weight movements, core work, and, of course, sprinting (or your speed of choice) the infamous hill under the Tennessee State Capitol building. His friends Everett, Tony, and Tiffany have not only been there from the beginning, but continue to serve as the core group that coordinates together to make it happen each evening. There is always someone there to help direct people and the list of volunteers and helping hands is constantly extending. Showing, yet another, fine example of the community and dedication Crumlin has helped to create. However, he assures, “I don’t look at it as my workout.” It isn’t uncommon for a series of unfortunate events to lead people to the light of health and wellness. Sometimes rock bottom is the only solid foundation in which we have to rebuild. For Crumlin, there was no such series. With his big grin and friendly spirit intact, he says, “The real change happened when I had a bet with my friend Darrell Freeman,” he laughs. They challenged each other to see who could run the 2013 St. Jude Half Marathon faster - and the loser was buying dinner and drinks for the group. The following year they ran the bet again. After Crumlin won for the second time, the challengers upped their wages. The new item on the plate was to finish an Ironman. The Ironman Triathlon is a series of long-distance races consisting of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride, and a marathon 26.2-mile run, performed in that order without a break. The biggest wager of them all? Crumlin couldn’t swim. After two frightening, near-drowning, incidents as a child, he was afraid of the water. In fact, his first open-swim consisted of murky, brown, lake water and goggles that offered no help in his time of need to see two feet in from of his face. “Yeah, it was a freak-out moment for me,” he remembers. Since then, Crumlin has competed in seven half Ironman and four full races in France, Florida, Louisville and Texas. So, obviously, he’s now learned. However, it is no small accomplishment to


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teach a grown man how to learn something basic and brand new. Most people in general couldn’t (and wouldn’t) set aside their pride to not only face something they fear, but worse, something they know they are bad at. But Crumlin prevails and rejoices in the journey. “It’s been a great ride,” he says. “I’ve truly enjoy it. That is why it has become a lifestyle.” Drawing the conclusion that when you up the ante in your routine, you keep it interesting. When you appreciate your passions, you are more likely to continue them. This creates consistency and consistency builds habits. Once you have good habits, you are on track to being successful. No matter the feat, those ever changing challenges are like ivy on the side of a beautifully worn building. It is climbing and intersecting with each vine to symbolize the positive growth our health can have on every aspect of life. And even if we have to tear the vegetation off the side wall and pressure wash it clean, then guess what? It grows back again. You don’t have to have an epiphany in order to get fit and be active. You don’t have to go through trauma in order to be grateful for your health. There doesn’t have to be a fancy revelation that tells you to work on your mind, body, and spirit. Usually, and in this case, the simplest things bring the most joy to our hearts and humbles the soul. Crumlin teaches us an important lesson we all need to be reminded of from time to time. A lesson that is never fully learned - one that slaps you in the face when you least appreciate it, but usually arrives exactly when you need it. That lesson is this: Leave your ego at the door. Fitness without ego is powerful. It removes your limits. It removes your drama and your complaints and most of all; it removes everything that makes you comfortable. Crumlin’s willingness to grow and persistently learn is exactly what attracts strangers and veterans alike to the capitol workout. There is no judgement. There is no expectation. There are only open arms and a big welcoming smile leading you to his front steps. Crumlin is here to encourage and promote a lifestyle and a community that has done the one consistent thing throughout his own personal journey: Make him happy. He wants that for each of you. He wants that for Nashville and has committed to it for six years. If you ever doubt this selfless form of happiness exists, just show up on a Monday at 6pm, after your work day, when you can see the city skyline and the transmitted rays of the evening sun light up with a rose-gold and crimson radiance. Or better yet, just ask him, because he’ll tell you every time, “Either way, I’m going to be there!”




8/19/2018 Yoga on the Diamond First Tennessee Park

JULY 7/3/2018 $10 Happy Hour Flow Blooma Nashville Yoga 7/5/2018 Fleet Feet Summer Trail Mixer Deep Well Trailhead

7/27/2018 Full Moon Paddle Paddle Up Nashville 7/28/2018 Yoga Under the Stars Adventure Science Center AUG

7/11/2018 Free Rooftop Sunset Yoga City Tap Nashville

8/11/2018 15th Annual Tomato Art Festival Five Points, East Nashville

7/22/2018 Sunday Sunset Social Picnic & Paddle Nashville Paddle Co.

8/12/2018 Music City Yoga Exchange Small World Yoga

7/21/2018 Hip Hop Yoga Warriors & Mimosas City Winery Nashville 7/21/2018 Music City Fit Expo Vanderbilt Recreation & Wellness Center


8/18/2018 Battle of the Barbells - Masters / Teen CrossFit Trivium 8/19/2018 Yoga on the Diamond First Tennessee Park

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7/21/2018 Eddie Ferrell Music City Triathlon Cumberland River Compact


8/11/2018 The Crazy Wine Dash The Nashville Fairgrounds

7/4/2018 Music City July 4th - 4 Mile Run/Walk E. S. Rose Park 7/4/2018 Andrews Cadillac Firecracker 5K & 10K Maryland Farms YMCA 7/15/2018 Bowie Park Kids Fun Run Bowie Nature Park 7/21/2018 Eddie Ferrell Music City Triathlon Cumberland River Compact

8/11/2018 East Nashville Tomato 5K Five Points, East Nashville 8/25/2018 It’s Just A Nashville 10K Shelby Park 8/25/2018 Cedars of Lebanon Triathlon Cedars of Lebanon State Park

AUG 8/5/2018 The Riverbluff Triathlon Ashland City, TN

ts online at Submit your even ine.com az ag nashvillefitm

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t s 1 2 July




Challenge yourself on July 21st as Team Magic’s Eddie Ferrell Music City Triathlon celebrates its 40th year. Enjoy a point to point swim in the Cumberland River, a bike on a traffic-free Elington Pkwy., and a flat out and back run course. Distances Sprint: Swim 300m | Bike 22.5k | Run 5k Intermediate: Swim 1.5k | Bike 45k | Run 10k

Learn more and sign up today at


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