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1
Jul

Nancy and Rene Espinosa Member Transformation

How did you meet? What is something most people do not know about you?

Nancy: We met online.

Rene: Yes, we did meet online.

Nancy: He cherry picked me…  I stood him up the first day we were going to meet. The next day I called and said, “I am sorry, something came up. I can meet you right now. I promise. I’ll show up.” I felt bad and wanted to make it up. So, I bought a bouquet of roses for our first date as an apology for standing him up.  Ces had the cheesiest smile. Nobody had ever given him roses before! We hung out everyday after that. Three months later I was pregnant!

Rene: Eighteen years later we are still into each other. It all started with the flowers.

Rene: I try to be an open book. Most people don’t know I used to be a heavy gamer. I loved gaming. My priorities were gaming, work, and family. I had a group of friends I would play online with from all over the world. We played together for several years. Another thing people do not know about me is I’ve been working at Bed, Bath, & Beyond for 24 years. 

Nancy:  I used to play the violin and most people do not know I was a teenage runaway. I would run away from home and the cops would pick me up and take me back home.  Most people don’t know that both of us were previously married to different people. Another thing some people may not know is we came close to divorce.

Why do you keep coming back to Bellhouse CrossFit?

Nancy:  When Rene joined Bellhouse, I saw the changes in his body pretty fast, so I came on board about four weeks later. One of the things that was driving us apart was how I wanted to stay on the track towards health, but Ces wasn’t into it at first. 

Rene: Working out brought us closer together. I saw all the positive changes Nancy had made with her body. I learned about the gym. I wanted to try and do something for myself too. I think working out together at Bellhouse CrossFit helped us become closer in our marriage.

Nancy: Working out was the first thing we ever did together as a hobby. We both love the community, the workouts, and the feeling of belonging. 

Rene: The community… I think that has the most impact on us. The friendships we have made…Chris, Josh, Katie, Danielle, Hannah, Justin and Chad to name a few. It has been a good thing for me. 

What are the accomplishments you are most proud of since joining the gym?

Rene: I have kept the weight off. Working out allows me to eat as much as I want. I enjoy eating out. I have lost 60lbs since beginning my health journey. I have lost about 20lbs since joining Bellhouse and I know I can lose more! I love the amount of energy I have. I always wanted to do things with my kids. I did not want to be tired or lazy. I have the ability to do those things now.

Nancy: I began working out to improve my physical health. Since joining the gym, I have gotten better mentally and spiritually. I have learned many things about my body over the years. Last year, I went into a state of Rhabdomyolysis. As a result, I had to see a cardiologist. He performed many tests on me and was concerned about a low heart rate. He mentioned that I may need a pacemaker, but referred me to another specialist. The other specialist assured me I was doing well and to keep working out! The low heart rate was the result of a well conditioned heart. High cholesterol and diabetes run in my family, so I have strong genetic leanings towards chronic disease. I am taking control of my life. It drives me and motivates me to stay in the gym and work hard. I recently saw some acquaintances from twenty years ago, they hardly recognized me. 

How did you overcome some of the obstacles in starting your health journey?

Rene: I don’t want to go back to the way things were. I did not like the version of myself before. Fat, lazy, and unkept. It affected my mental, physical, and emotional self. I felt depressed and anxious. I went through a lot. Once I learned to change my eating behaviors and started working out, I learned I could feel better! The motivation to stay in the gym was important to save my marriage. My wife started this journey and I saw the change in her. I knew I just needed to do it. She found a lifestyle that worked for us. I feel comfortable talking to people and investing my time in others. I like making friends. I like talking to people about things other than working out. 

Nancy: First, I think that throughout my own story, motivation is something I learned to not count on. You need discipline. There are many days I don’t want to workout or eat a healthy meal but I feel I owe it to my peers and family to show up. They help me get there when I don’t want to attend. There are some times I know I need to get there to connect with others and stay accountable. 

What is your current focus or goal in the gym?

Nancy: I want to lean out and increase muscle definition. At the gym I want to increase my upper body strength. I was very happy when I was able to do toes to bar during the Open. I am proud of that. I have slowly increased the amount of weight on the bar too!

Rene: In the gym I am trying to be active, injury free, and work towards longevity. I found CrossFit after 40 years old. I have only been doing it for two years. I want to be fitter at fifty than I was at forty. I am not competing with anyone. I am trying to be a better version of myself. I have a grandson now and an eight year old son. I am going to stay healthy for them. 

If you could eat any food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

R: Burgers

N: Pizza 

What are three words to describe your partner

R: driven, intuitive, motherly 

N: serving, meek, loving

What do you think your marriage will look like 50 years from now?

R: Nancy will be wiping my butt. We are gonna have a bunch of grandchildren, and have lots of sex

N:  I’ll be 89, I believe we will keep doing what we are doing  now… pouring into other people and helping other marriages by sharing our story, I think our marriage will be even stronger and more complete. Our calling is to help other couples who struggle in their relationship/marriage. 

If you have unlimited time, what hobby would you like to pursue?

R: Traveling. Nowhere specific, just start on a mountain and go. 

N: Hiking. Go somewhere  through  each of the seasons. 

If the two of you were a band duo, what genre of music would you play?

N: Alternative on the drums.

R: Alternative on the electric guitar.

24
Jun

Who is @kneesovertoesguy

Kneesovertoesguy has become a social media hit. His practice centers around knee ability. Get out of pain. Stay out of pain. Enjoy a pain free life with world class knee ability.

    You may have seen some kneesovertoesguy exercises during our general warm ups. Ben Patrick has reminded me and many other coaches that the tibialis, or the muscle attached to your tibia on the front of your shin, is an extremely overlooked muscle. Strengthening your tibialis not only looks good on the beach, but also helps to stabilize your ankle and knee. This is so important! Especially for us CrossFitters that put so much load  on our bodies with dumbbells, kettlebells, and barbells.

    The long story short is that Ben had a gym before the pandemic and worked with many athletes. He helped his clients improve their L sit, their sled push, and their knee ability. These are uncommon when compared to pull ups, air squats, and thrusters, but just as important! You cannot judge your fitness just by the ability to do a workout as prescribed. Are you pain free? At Bellhouse CrossFit, your pain free ability to move the body how you want is a giant goal. Remember, we are developing you all to be badass and redefine health for yourself, your family, and the city you live in.

    Ben moved online during the pandemic and began Athletic Truth Group, an organization dedicated to educating the general population and coaches about pain free movement. Sometimes we need to slow down and rebuild our foundation in order to break through a plateau. Ben’s program helps you to do just that. Coach Blair and Coach Chris are both participating in Ben’s program so that we can bring it back to you, our valued members. 

    Other benefits of the kneesovertoesguy program is mobility. You have seen me talk about touching my own toes, and hear about how Chris is improving his mobility in a pike stretch. We have seen tremendous gains in the month since beginning. We have started to incorporate some of the stretches, or unloaded strength training into our warm ups and cool downs. 

    If you ever have any questions about how we program, how we coach, or what we think about pain free ability, please ask your coach. If you want some personal coaching to improve your own knee ability, reach out to Coach Blair and schedule a time to train with this link… https://calendly.com/bellhousecrossfit/personal-training

17
Jun

Laura Garcia Member Transformation

Who are you? What is something most people do not know about you?

I am a teacher. I am a mom. I have lived in Baytown my whole life. One thing most people do not know about is my anxiety disorder. It began suddenly two years ago during a traumatic driving experience. When people see me in public, they see someone that is funny, cracks a lot of jokes, and outgoing. They do not see the anxiety I am feeling. I have learned to live with it. It is part of who I am now. I am not ashamed. I am open with others about it if they ask. You never know what someone else is going through. The things that I struggle with may help them! 

I believe there is a stigma around anxiety. There shouldn’t be! Some people see it as an excuse, not real, and made up. I even used to think that. Now that I go through it on a daily basis, it is very difficult! Two years ago I experienced a blackout while driving. My equilibrium got thrown off. I did not ever want to put my passengers in danger. I went to see a doctor and he prescribed me medicine for motion sickness. Then, each time I got behind the steering wheel, I would experience a lot of anxiety. I knew for the sake of my kids, I needed to get it under control and find a healthy outlet. 

Anxiety is a real thing and I think if more people talked about it, then there would be less shame around it. Mental health is so important! We need to take it seriously. 

Why do you keep coming back to Bellhouse CrossFit?

The people. From the moment I walked in, this place has felt like family. You know, there is always somebody telling you how great you are. I sometimes feel like I did the crappiest job working out. Then, someone else is there encouraging and reminding me it is okay. 

Bellhouse challenges me. Not only to be fitter, but also to be a better person. It is the most challenging workout routine I have ever done. I love how workouts are constantly varied. I do it for my two kids. I am going to stay healthy for them. My oldest is into sports. It is a way to connect with him. And to be a role model for my youngest son. 

What are the accomplishments you are most proud of since joining the gym?

Double unders and finding my faith. Jumping rope is my favorite exercise. I loved doing it in high school. When I attempted double unders and could not do it… it was so frustrating! I used to be amazing at jump rope and loved the challenge of learning something new. I told myself that I would master it. 

When I finally accomplished it, it was such an amazing experience. I got to ring the bell after doing my first double under too! I had many conversations with my coach, Chris. He helped me understand what and how to practice. I learned that I needed to slow down in order to get better at the rope. I had to retrain my brain. Jump higher, spin the rope, and it will all come together. 

Bellhouse CrossFit is the reason I started going to Faith Family Church. The last several years I had been talking to my husband, Josh about finding a church. I wanted to get plugged in somewhere. I wanted to rekindle my relationship with God. One of my friends, Dee, told me about the Christmas service at Faith Family. It was a great experience, and unforgettable. I loved it! I have consistently attended since. 

Without Bellhouse and the community, I would be lost. I am so grateful for the community that has helped me find faith again. 

How did you overcome some of the obstacles in starting your health journey?

Time was a big one. I have two kids. They are both in sports. That takes up the majority of my time. Time management is extremely important. When my husband was able to give them rides, I started returning to the gym. He does so much to take care of the kids and it helps me find that hour in the gym. I am very grateful for my husband, Josh and the opportunity to workout. 

What is your current focus or goal in the gym?

I want to improve my cardio. I want to cycle the bar better, especially at heavier weights. I have done a lot better since beginning, and I know there is more to improve! I want to get a freaking pull up. I have not ever done one in my life. That is my biggest goal and I will get it! The coaching is amazing and I know it will help me.

What is your favorite smell?

Haha, roses (but seriously it is skunk!)

If you could repaint your house any color, what would it be?

Agreeable Gray

What is your spirit animal?

A Sloth. I love how they just hang and go with the flow.

If you could be a professional athlete in any sport what would it be?

Softball

What country would you wish to visit?

Italy. I think it looks so cool on the travel channels and would love to experience it. 

28
May

Teen Strength & Conditioning Camp

Register Here

June 14th to August 5th Bellhouse CrossFit will have a 12 to 17 year old strength & conditioning camp. Classes will be Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 12pm to 1pm at the gym. On Thursdays, we will meet at specific spots around Baytown to practice a skill or sport. Thursdays are also about having fun. The teenage group needs to have a mix of discipline and fun in their workout routines.

Group classes will be coach led. You can rest assured that your teen will learn proper lifting techniques for a variety of exercises. Just to name a few… Bulgarian split squat, dumbbell front squats, overhead press, strict pull ups, deadlifts, and hang power cleans. There are dozens more. The daily class will consist of a warm up, teaching, and group workout. They are very similar to how we run adult population classes, but the workouts and stimulus will be very different. 

At the age of your child, exposure to many stimuli will create adaptation. The last thing to do during the summer is to dedicate all the time towards a specific skill. Youth excel when learning multiple skills at once. It is part of their training age. The brain is still developing and their body can adapt much more quickly than an adult. 

The price of the summer camp will be $210 per month or $400 if paid completely up front. You can register online by messaging [email protected]

You may also fill out our Google Form Here and we will create a profile for your child then send you the waiver to fill out. You must set up a time with Chris to pay at the gym or over the phone.

We are so excited to offer this opportunity for the youth of this area! Our professional coaching staff is happy to welcome you and your teen to this program. Parents are welcome to stay and watch during the hour, or to drop off their teen and leave. Your daughter or son will have excellent feedback on their lifting form, build healthy movement habits, understand whole health, and make some friends. We look forward to meeting you!

20
May

Kim Edwards Member Transformation

Who are you? Be sure to include something most people don’t know about you.

Most people do not know that I am 44 years old and have four boys. I am a leader of 8 years with Young Living Essential Oils with a team of about 5,000 members and we are always growing! I love helping people find freedom through wellness, emotionally and physically with non toxic products. 

Why do you keep coming back to Bellhouse CrossFit?

The community. I have not ever found a workout routine like this. In a group setting, Bellhouse excels. The positive atmosphere and environment is something I crave. Normally, I am the cheerleader. Here, other people are cheering me on. I love that. I previously thought CrossFit was only lifting heavy weights. I did not see the cardio side of it. I did not see the coaching side of it. I did not realize you could modify every workout and movement to fit your own needs. My sons who workout with me are 10 and 16 years old. We each have different needs and skills. We each need different modifications at different times. If I knew this 10 years ago, I would have started then.

What are the accomplishments you are most proud of since joining the gym?

Before coming here, I never lifted a barbell over my head. I needed help with groceries and carrying suitcases. Since coming to Bellhouse and being consistent with it, I feel stronger outside of the gym. I have more endurance and physical confidence. I have seen an increase in my physical activity outside of the gym too!

I have been doing less yo-yo dieting since beginning CrossFit. Now I am focused on eating for performance. I feel stronger and can even see my muscles!  I love that Bellhouse is a family setting. There are all ages, shapes, and personalities coming together for the same goal. Everyone cheers each other on regardless of where they are in their journey

I am proud the boys can see me being consistent in the gym. I love that we cheer each other on as a family. We have conversations about our own personal improvements outside of the gym. When they see me pushing hard, I believe it is helping us bond closer together. 

How did you overcome some of the obstacles in starting your health journey?

I just kept showing up. It was a matter of setting the alarm, putting on my shoes, and walking out the door. I wanted to see the smiling faces of the members in the gym. I just did it. If it was not for the community, then I would not be here. I know the boys want to be here, and that helps me continue to make it to the gym. Because I work from home, it would be very easy to stay there. I feel most creative in the morning so I would get lots of work done. Once I realized that working out in the morning helped me feel better, I made it a priority. It still fits into my schedule and I am productive throughout the day. 

What is your current focus or goal in the gym?

To continue being consistent, reduce my body fat percentage, and improve in all areas. I want to get stronger and have more endurance.

What is your favorite household appliance?

My coffee maker. It is awesome. It grinds my organic beans right before it brews!

What is your favorite home cooked meal?

My mother makes German pigs in a blanket and not what you think… It is bacon wrapped in steak, over a bed of noodles with gravy. YUM!

What advice would you give to your teenage self?

Stop being stupid. You can really accomplish more than you ever thought you could

What is your dream car?

A four door Lamborghini. 

14
May

Ask Me Anything: How can I lose body fat without losing muscle?

How do I lose body fat without losing muscle?

Let us define some terms. Visually, body fat is sagging parts on your body that have no function in exercise. Think of of the body fat on your arm similar to weight of leaves on a branch. The branch has structure and stability much like your muscle. The leaves add a small amount of weight and resistance to the branch. This analogy can help us create some context around building muscles and losing fat. 

When you exercise, your internal body temperature rises, heart rate increases, blood flow increases. These are each related. When you lift weights, move with intensity, and control your body by using your brain… lots of things are going on. The hard work of your nervous system, muscular system, and skeletal system together is just part of what drives the results you see in the mirror. Why do we think we can lose fat through exercises? I do not know. It is a myth.

You lose fat through a caloric deficit in your diet. You can add to this deficit by exercising. Going to the gym and moving with intensity will increase the amount of calories that you burn daily. Let us say that you are eating a daily diet of 1,700 calories. You have a basal metabolic rate of 1,200 calories per day. That means that in order to lose body fat, you must burn more than 500 calories each day. That extra amount can be met through exercise.

Building muscle is another story. Why? Because fat and muscle are made of two completely different cells. The fat tissues does not turn into muscle. Fat does not get toned into muscle. Muscle gets toned into muscle. Fat gets “burned” by being in a caloric deficit. So to build muscle, focus on eating more protein and strength training in the gym. Here at Bellhouse CrossFit, our daily programming and coaching is centered around making you a more bulletproof and healthy human. Our strength training and intense workouts are sufficient to build muscle. It is your job to increase the protein intake to support your muscles so that they continue to grow, and to have a caloric deficit to lose the fat.

Need some help on this? Bellhouse CrossFit now offers Nutrition Coaching. We can help you build better habits with your eating and get you on the way towards your goals. Email [email protected] to get started. 

6
May

Ashley Williamson Member Transformation

Who are you? Be sure to include something most people don’t know about you.

Ashley Williamson. Most people do not know that I am afraid of roller coasters. I really am! I’m terrified of heights. Even though I seem to be cheery, positive, and confident most of the time on the outside, I am actually very insecure. I wish more people would give me constructive criticism. This is a struggle for me because I am afraid of being seen as a failure. I know that it is beneficial and will only continue to help me improve and grow.

Why do you keep coming back to Bellhouse CrossFit?

To be the best version of myself and set an example for my kids. I want them to see me as physically fit. I want them to see that results do not come easy. You have to put in the work. The hour at Bellhouse is my favorite hobby. I love getting time to express myself in the gym. It carries me through the day. Having my husband at the gym working alongside me is a great bonus as well. 

What are the things you are most proud of physically, mentally, and spiritually since joining the gym?

Physically, I love the results since joining Bellhouse CrossFit last October. I’ve been doing CrossFit since 2017 and struggled with double unders, squat cleans, pull ups, and the dreaded chest-to-bar. Having coaches take time and help you actually understand and explain things (even if it takes multiple breakdowns) has been a game changer! The support and encouragement of everyone in the BH family is truly inspiring. They help me accomplish things that at times seemed impossible!

Mentally, you will only get out what you put in. I am pretty hard on myself, and work hard for the results I am seeing. I have learned to push past my limits while working smarter.

Spiritually, the community here is amazing! I am able to grow, make new friends, and encourage others on their health journey. I think we all work very well together and my faith motivates me to love every step of the way.

How did you overcome some of the obstacles in starting your health journey?

Setting goals. You cannot overcome anything unless you set it for yourself. 75Hard was really eye opening. My mental strength improved, my nutrition improved, and I saw fantastic results. Having a coach or friends to keep me accountable in the gym helps. I have friends that are waiting for me to show up at 5am. I do not want to disappoint them. The encouragement of the Bellhouse Family gets me there. I like that the competition at Bellhouse isn’t about anyone else. It is only about yourself. 

What is your current focus or goal in the gym?

My current focus is to improve gymnastics. I want to string together toes to bar and pull ups. I want to be sure my movements are good. I would rather listen to my body and do the movement safely and correctly instead of RXing each workout. I am at a point where I believe I can get more out of intensity than using more weight. It has taken a while to get here, and I know that using the correct technique and following the stimulus coach says will get me to my goals faster. 

When you’re not working, how do you like to spend your time

With my family.

What is the first concert you attended

A Brittney Spears concert. Lots of plaid skirts and white shirts and suspenders.

What is your most used emoji.

The 😂🥰 and 🤦‍♀️

If someone were to play you in a movie, who would they be

Candace Cameron Bure

Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give to your 18 year old self

Diet and exercise are crucial, not just for when you want to lose weight. It is literally a lifelong pursuit and you should incorporate it as you age. 

30
Apr

Can I bike?

Yes, odds are that you can bike. We use the Rogue Echo bike here at Bellhouse CrossFit. It has a steel fan that is powered by your pedaling. There is no change to the resistance on this bike like the rower offers. The ease or difficulty of pedaling is entirely dependent on your fitness level. 

We have weekly workouts that utilize the fan bike. Sometimes members will opt for the rower or the run depending on how they are feeling. We recommend members to listen to their body and the coach when determining what machine to use for that day. 

This question came from a member with an injury. Running and rowing seem to be hurting but the bike feels okay. We recommend movement and exercise to continue blood flow. That will help any strained muscle heal naturally. Of course we want you to listen to your body and adjust anything if it hurts. No working through pain!

You can bike when your lower back hurts on the rower or running. You can bike if you have an ankle injury. You can bike if pulling the rower handle hurts your shoulders. There are a variety of things we can do in the gym to help you get back on the road towards your fitness goals and recovery. 

Lastly, when you choose to bike, pay attention to your cadence. The cadence increasing or decreasing across the workout will indicate your pace. Let’s say we have a workout that is calling for 15 calories. A cadence of 70 on the bike will take you 45 seconds to complete. A cadence of 60 will take you 1 minute and 15 seconds to complete. A cadence of 50 will take 2 minutes to complete. If the workout has a certain stimulus, meaning that the work needs to be done in a certain amount of time… then decrease the number of calories so you can move on the next exercise!