I met Dawn when we merged the two gyms and from what I could immediately gather, Dawn doesn’t meet many strangers. She’s got such a great personality and genuinely rejoices at the successes of those around her. Well… Dawn has been putting in the work and has been seeing much of that work come to fruition in her fitness.
** on a side note if you have ever seen Dawn hit a new PR it is quite a thing to behold. Let me paint the scene for you. Dawn approaches the barbell and takes her grip on the bar. Fierce eyes and determination swirl around her as she gathers all her strength for the attempt. She takes a big breath and pulls tension into the bar. The steel and weight struggle against her muscle but they are no match as the weight breaks from the floor. Dawns face turns red with determination as the weights climb from the floor. The effort is great as her mind tries to convince her that the weight is too heavy. She silences the thoughts and stands with the weights before returning them quickly to the floor. Now she is dizzy from the effort so she leans forward onto her knees as she collects herself. As the fog of the heavy lift clears she springs off the floor like a coiled snake and lets out a giant squeak. She has not mastered the roar yet. “Woo Hoo” and off she goes running toward the PR bell in an arc. With a slap of the bells rope she declares her victory over the weights for the day and continues her run as if in a victory lap.
I have been watching Dawn’s progress, like I watch many of you, and have noticed her focus and progress lately. It has been inspiring to me and apparently to many of you as well. Most recently I gave Dawn a challenge to participate in our Old School Throwdowns Winter Classic. She accepted my challenge and in doing so found a new gear through competition. I am proud of Dawn and her continued efforts to be the best she can be Mind, Body and Spirit. If you see her wandering around looking lost say hello but stand back because she may have just hit a new lifting PR!

Q & A with Dawn:

Full Name?
Dawn Ruth Feyen Thomason
47 (Side note from JE… I don’t believe this. You are much younger.)
Tell me the cliff notes of who you are.
Wife to Steve, mom to Ryder, daughter, sister, friend. I love Jesus, and I believe in miracles.
Why do you train?
To be stronger and better in everything I do.
Favorite cheat food?
Anything that combines chocolate and peanut butter
What is your occupation?
Dental hygienist
Favorite Workout/movement we do at CrossFit 30004?
Pull ups. I am not great with them and I can’t do strict ones… yet, but they are so impressive!
What is your most hated workout/movement?
Overhead squats and Snatches. I just…no…
When do you train?
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Mornings except for Thursdays.
What has changed the most since you began training?
Definitely my upper body strength. I had no idea how weak I was. I love feeling so much stronger than I ever have been.
What has been your biggest struggle that you have overcome?
I wouldn’t say I’ve overcome it, but it’s my own mind.
Learning to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
What is your favorite music when you are not training
I love big grooving choirs, Alabama Shakes, Chris Stapleton, Prince, Aerosmith, Justin Timberlake.
Tell the World one thing about fitness that they should hear.
Do it! There is nothing better than being able to hang out with your kid and function on a fun level.

Personal Training

Many times in class sessions we just don’t have enough time to give you the necessary skills and drills to improve on specific skills. During a WOD is not the right time to practice new movements.

You are setting yourself up for frustration if that is when you practice skills.

Personal Training can get you the necessary time, attention, skills and drills to set you up for success.

If you want to set up a training session like Jackson, and begin the road to achieving your goals this year email, Info@PowerAthleticsGa.com

We look forward to seeing you achieve your 2017 goals.

Barbell etiquet

If you didn’t notice we have 12 new 20kg barbells in the rotation for you all to use.

Because of the new barbells we decided a little barbell etiquette tutorial was appropriate.

Hopefully this will help us maintain our equipment in fantastic working order for a long time to come.

Hold each other accountable on these things.

Thanks for everything.


Merry Christmas


May your Christmas be full of something amazing and may you find the Hope that is for us all.


The most important part of your workout routine and expectations during the holidays is MIND SET.

  • Know that you may miss a few workouts. And be OK with it, but do not let it start a snow ball effect of missing workouts.
  • If you’re in town, GO TO THE GYM! Even if you have company in town. Sneak out early before everyone wakes up and get it done. Make it short and packed with intensity.
  • Do your workout out FIRST THING IN THE MORNING. Even if you typically don’t workout in the mornings, try it! It will boost your metabolism. It will keep your mindset focused on believing you are a healthy person; therefore you’re more likely to make better nutrition choices later in the day, too.
  • Do not plan a squat progression or other set program that requires a commitment on certain days of the week. That’s just setting yourself up for un-met goals.
  • Use this time to de-load.
  • Use this time to try something new! If you’re in a hotel and use a hotel gym or only your hotel room, push your limits on something like 100 burpees for time. Try a high intensity yoga class on TV, DVD or YouTube.
  • If you visit family and they have a gym membership, tell them you want to go with them one day and check out what they do. What a great way to spend time with family AND get your workout in!
  • Want something low key? Try a yoga class with mediation.

Which leads us to…


Stress is often created when our reality does not match our expectations or desires. So again, set realistic expectations of what you can commit to with your workout routine and nutritional choices. Give yourself some wiggle room. Enjoy life! From a physical standpoint, here’s some things you can do to help manage the inevitable stress:

Include group activities into your days off:

  • Go to the park
  • Go hiking
  • Go roller skating
  • Go bowling
  • Play miniature golf
  • Ride bumper cars
  • Visit a trampoline park, etc.

Take your supplements!

There are TWO supplements that are crucial during this time:

  • Magnesium – take ZMA (zinc, magnesium, B12) before bed to help you sleep
  • Fish Oil – Your likely eating more carbs, sugar and processed foods during the holidays. These foods cause chronic inflammation throughout the body. Getting 1,000-1,500 mg of EPA and DHA (combined) per day will combat the inflammation. If the bottle does not specify the EPA, DHA and ALA breakdown, then it is a waste of money. There are no into-inflammation benefits in ALA (because it is an omega-6).


Reflect on your 2016 accomplishments, and in-vision yourself crushing your 2017 goals! Use this time off of work to give your brain some free space.

Most importantly, LOVE YOURSELF! You are not just a physical body, but you are MIND, BODY and SPIRIT.


Enjoying a meal with those you work with is an important part of team and relationship building. Here’s 4 tips in regards to office parties:

  1. Treat it as your cheat meal (see cheat meal strategies in part 1). If it’s not worth it to you, to spend your cheat meal on the office party, then consider these other options:
  2. Bring your own meat and veggies like you’d usually eat for lunch. EAT THAT FIRST. Then, if there’s something you just really love or really want to try then do so. Consider eating just enough to experience a bite or two of that food.
  3. Bring a veggie tray to share. I know sometimes that’s “lame” and the easy way out, but it’ll give you something healthy to snack on should you feel the need to keep on eating like most everyone else.
  4. And again, regardless how much you love Stacey’s famous dessert or Frank’s mac n cheese, do not take any leftovers home!


Traveling can be the trickiest and really mess with your body ecology. You have limited access to healthy foods, your schedule is based on driving times or flight times and sometimes unpredictable events can occur (traffic or delayed flights). Here’s some tips for staying on track while traveling:

  • Google “Paleo” or “Primal” and the city name. Find health friendly restaurants at cities you’re traveling thru and at your ultimate destination.
  • Don’t forget about grocery stores! If you’re driving by car look at grocery stores that have a hot bar or even a salad bar. You can pick and choose what you want, and the variety is often great!
  • Salad bars
  • Deli counter
  • Produce department
  • Pack protein and fat. This is the best time to bring protein powder in a blender bottle (just add water), beef jerky, hard boiled eggs, protein bars, almonds or individual sized pouches of nut butters. These are excellent options when flying and traveling to and from airports.
FAST FOOD, if you must:
  • Choose the grilled chicken
  • Keep the carbs low
  • Salads are great – just be careful with all the “added” stuff in the salad. They are often highly processed and super high in carbs and fats. Especially those high fructose based dressings.
  • Sit and eat each meal. Eating in the car can be stressful and will negatively affect your body’s ability to properly digest your food

Try to keep meal times as close to your normal routine as possible. That way your body knows what to expect when. Eating later than your normal time often leads to you “starving”, which leads to over eating.

Ultimately, you want to keep the protein high, fat moderate and carbs lower.

Up next…working out and managing stress…

Heather’s Healthy Zucchini Lasagna

1 pound ground beef or I used 99% fat free ground turkey (feel free to add 1 tbsp Italian seasoning for extra flavor)
1/2 onion, chopped
2 fresh minced garlic cloves
1/2 jar Barilla spaghetti sauce (or your sauce of choice)
2 zucchinis
1 cup ricotta
8 slices (I use the thin sliced) provolone
2 ounces shaved Parmesan cheese

ONE SPECIAL TOOL I HAVE IS A SLICER. You can make thin slices of the zucchini with a knife, but this tool sure is helpful and gets the job done FAST!

Cool part about this recipe is you can double it and have lots of leftovers. And I do “one pan for ME and one pan for my husband)

1/4 of a pan is a serving size for me. It has 320 calories, 39 grams protein, 11 grams of fat and about 15 grams of carbs. Not that I’m a big calorie counter, but I do like to know what my macro breakdown is the first time I make a recipe.

You’ve worked so hard to get where you are today, don’t sabotage all your efforts!


In regards to your exercise routine and nutrition, let’s think of the holidays as one event at a time, not a season.
For instance, dinner at Mom and Dad’s house is ONE meal.
Christmas day is ONE day you can’t make it to the gym.
It’s not a season or week or month.
So perhaps that ONE meal is your cheat meal.
Yep, I know you have Mom and Dad’s one day and Aunt Susie’s the next day, so let’s think of that as TWO cheat meals in a week.
Or maybe it’s ONE day of cinnamon rolls in the morning, party appetizers for lunch and pizza for dinner. The biggest rule on those cheat days is do not overeat and stick with your normal eating schedule. We’ll give you more strategies later that can also be used on these days.
Still, this is all manageable and will not de-rail you.


There’s several different strategies that can work for these “event” days. Here’s a couple we find to be successful:

  • Eat lean meats and veggies for all the other meals that day, and treat that ONE meal with the family as your cheat meal. Eat whatever you enjoy. No calorie counting! Go all out!
  • Treat that ONE meal with family as a normal meal, just balance it with the foods available to you. The turkey is your protein and perhaps you choose green beans or brussel sprouts as your veggie. Then choose ONE serving of your very favorite “cheat” side…maybe mashed potatoes, or mac n cheese or a homemade biscuit. Or maybe you want a taste of your side and save those carbs for a slice of pie. The point is to still eat a balanced meal, maybe just splurge with less favorable carb choices.

Remember to focus on the PEOPLE you are with, the mutual love you share. It’s not as much about the food as it is the relationships.

Other tips and tricks
  • Drink a cup of coffee while everyone else eats dessert
  • Bring a side that you know will work for YOU – veggie tray? Side veggie? The turkey? A “healthier” dessert?
  • Use this opportunity to bake a new, healthy recipe you’ve been wanting to try.
  • Maybe you like to bake? This is a perfect time to bake one of your favorites and share it. Therefore, it won’t be lingering in your house for you to eat…by yourself…until it’s all gone. Just don’t take those leftovers home. No one likes to waste food, but throw it away if you must. It’s the lesser of two evils. Finally, whatever you do, don’t take it into the office with you!

Up next…office parties and traveling…


Spartan OCR Training

Quick Q & A about the basic when, how, and what to expect of Spartan OCR training.

Classes kick off on 12/10/16 and meet every Saturday at 8:30am. in 3 month blocks.

Be a Better Human! Be Spartan Strong and ready for anything Obstacle racing can throw at you.

$69/mo for non-members

$49/mo for members of Power Athletics/ CrossFit 30004

Email: Info@PowerAthleticsGa.com to sign up.

Chains and Choices


My friend Ron Jutze was explaining that the human mind thinks in pictures; It doesn’t think in text, words, or anything else.

So, when life happens around us we will often assign those experiences with pictures in our memories. It is the emotions attached to those pictures that we form our beliefs. Therefore, if the past experience was a negative experience we will begin to assign chains to those images. Now, when any other circumstance comes along that brings to mind those associated pictures in our memory those new circumstances are now assigned those same chains before the new experience is had.

Often our life is littered with choices that we must make on whether to believe our circumstance will be negative or be positive. Life is filled with choices where we have the opportunity to choose to be grateful for the good things or dwell on the bad.

We are designed as people to thrive in an attitude of gratitude. We are not designed to thrive in an attitude of negativity. The choice to dwell in the negative is sure to keep us from becoming our best. Our lives are not made more full by choosing negative.

Consider this in your own circumstances.

Consider this in your own choices outside the gym and inside the gym.

Have you assigned chains to people and circumstances where the experience doesn’t match your choices?

Break the chains!