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Ivan Dimov’s Ambitious Plan To Change LGBTQ Lives In Bulgaria

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By Spenser Mes

Last summer, CrossFit Virtuosity member Ivan Dimov was at a party in his native Bulgaria. “I’m outspoken,” Ivan says, “and it became kind of obvious that I’m gay.” Later that night a teenager approached him, fumbling, nervous. He said he was gay too, and that he didn’t have anyone to talk to. “I was probably the first person he ever told,” Ivan says.

The moment was pivotal for Ivan, who left Bulgaria after high school to attend Williams College in Massachusetts and has since spent more than 20 years living and working in the United States. “Of course I knew that Bulgaria is not an easy place to be gay,” says Ivan, “but that was when I started to think seriously about what I could do to make things better.”

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Masters and Commanders

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By Spenser Mes

Andrew Bielawski says it was easy to find a squad for the masters division of last year’s CrossFit Team Series competition. “We just gathered all the old [sic] people from Virtuosity,” he laughs. The CFV team, which included Maibritt Jensen, Lucas Rooney, and Elizabeth Wipff, brought the heat. As Andrew remembers it, their only hiccup was a workout that opened with jump roping: “Rooney and I both struggled. The ladies finished their portion of the entire workout before we had even finished our double-unders.” In the end, though, “Old Dawgs, New Trix” placed a very respectable 69th in the world. Encouraged by that success, Andrew and Maibritt decided to compete this year at the Long Island Masters Team Competition in Hauppauge, New York.

Andrew is 47, but since the youngest team member determines the age bracket, they competed with the 40-44 year-olds. While the second workout brought back Andrew’s old double-under nemesis, thankfully the rules allowed Maibritt to complete most of them. For Andrew, the real struggle came later during the fourth workout of the day, a six-minute max distance sled push, which he described as, “the most brutal thing I’ve done.” “Please Please Please,” he posted on Facebook, “NEVER program sled pushes.”

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Stretching Your Big Toe with Coach Joey

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By Spenser Mes

Our toes, especially our big toe, which bears twice as much weight as the other four combined, rarely get the love they deserve. When we run, our toes maintain contact with the ground 75% of the time, elongating the foot and allowing us to go faster. And when we deadlift, squat, or do kettlebell swings, they help stabilize the body. Yet we often forget about our toes, which Joey compares to forgetting about your fingers when trying to hold a handstand.

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James Kozlakowski Takes 10th at Regionals

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By Spenser Mes

Like the rest of CrossFit Virtuosity, James Kozlakowski did Murph on Monday, and like those of us who were able to fight through the lingering soreness, he also worked out on Wednesday. The major difference between James and the rest of us is that, days before, he placed 10th at the CrossFit Games East Regional.

Only in his second year of CrossFit, James was a reluctant convert. “Looking at it from an outside point of view, it looked pointless,” he says. He’d been doing these kinds of workouts for most of his life: as a football player and wrestler in high school in Lynbrook, NY and then as a lacrosse player for Long Island University, where he studied childhood education. After he graduated in 2012, though, he missed competing, and a friend suggested he try CrossFit. What hooked him was realizing he wasn’t as well conditioned as he’d thought. “CrossFit opened a new goal in my life — not to be the most ripped or best looking, but rather to be in the best shape possible.”

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Why We Love Gymnastics (And You Should Too!)

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Perhaps you’ve noticed that we’ve been programming quite a bit of gymnastics work lately. Perhaps you are wondering why. Perhaps you don’t consider yourself particularly good at gymnastics and find the experience challenging. Perhaps challenging sometimes verges on frustrating. Perhaps you look at the programmed workout and feel some dismay. Perhaps you decide to skip working out today in favor of tomorrow.

We understand all of these possible feelings about gymnastics. Gymnastics is HARD. But we say to you also, gymnastics is IMPORTANT.

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Making the Impossible Possible

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Here’s a great blog post from the archive. Coach Elasti wrote this a couple years ago, but it’s always relevant, especially at this time of year!

Originally published January 2013.

When I started CrossFit four years ago, I never thought I would be where I am today athletically, professionally, and personally. In the beginning, just showing up and getting through the workout was all I could manage. Eventually, I got comfortable and ambitious enough to set some real concrete goals.

My first CrossFit goals were: Get a pull-up (at 36 I had NEVER been able to do this!) and deadlift 200lbs (what?!).

In order to achieve these seemingly impossible (at the time) tasks, I would need a plan. Being part of a community and having access to coaching helped, but I would also have to practice, show-up, and track my progress. What I couldn’t imagine then was how pursuing these goals would turn me into the CrossFitter I am today.

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Travel Workout Ideas!

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re you going on a work trip or taking a vacation? No need to get out of the habit of working out! Most CrossFit gyms will let you drop in as a visitor — you can search for affiliates with the CrossFit Affiliate Finder.

If there’s nothing convenient, or you’re not going to be able to fit a class into your schedule, here are some ideas for things you can do in a hotel room, basic hotel gym, or outdoors!

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Athlete Testimonial: Patricia Velez

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I invite men and women, especially those 40 years of age and older to get to know CrossFit. Thanks to my daughter, who inspired me to exercise regularly, get in shape, relieve stress, and escape routine, my life has changed in every way.

Invito a hombres y mujeres, en especial a las personas mayores de 40 a-os en adelante a conocer el CrossFit. Gracias a mi hija que me incentivo a ejercitarme, ponerme en forma, eliminar el stress, salir de la rutina, mi vida ha cambiado en todos los aspectos.

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Athlete Profile: Eleni Greenblatt

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Name: Eleni S. Greenblatt
Hometown: Deer Park, Long Island
Age: 38
Occupation: Half mom, half real estate broker
CrossFitting Since: January 2013

How have you changed since starting CrossFit?
For the very first time in my life I am comfortable in my own skin. I have always been the type to hide in clothes and now I am so healthy and relaxed which carries over in my family and work. I hope to be a great role model to my daughters and show them with very, very, very hard work you can accomplish anything.

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