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Why I Kicked an Athlete Out Of My Box

July 20, 2014
Me, look all concerned-coachy.

Me, look all concerned-coachy.

My job as a coach is to make people stronger. It’s really that simple. It is mostly a physical task, as in, my job is to make you physically stronger. But there is also a fairly large emotional component to it, one that is too-often ignored. Because the path to physical strength is a long one. It involves you being able to assess any task, figure out whether it will help you or harm you, make adjustments on the fly and proceed with your own self-interest as your foremost responsibility.

Or, as I more often say it, “listen to your fucking body.” Read more…

Programming WODs Is Hard(er than doing them!)

May 31, 2014
Photo by Tim Aguero:

Photo by Tim Aguero:

I just finished my first week of programming WODs for Rocket, all by myself. Well, I wrote them, then very nervously handed them to Brady for his seal of approval, which it got with only very-minor discussion and one small change. (I need a drink, that was nerve-wracking.) This momentous achievement has made me an expert in absolutely nothing, except, perhaps, how hard programming was the first time I did it. But it did make me wonder if people know how much effort we put into this. There are no whims involved here, we actually have a plan. Read more…

Not ALL CrossFit Gyms! (How to find a good one!)

May 30, 2014

Photo by Tim Aguero:

UGH. I really tried to ignore this current round of “Bash CrossFit For Sport.” But EVERYONE tagged me in that inane article written by “she who won’t be named” about the evils of CrossFit, complete with declarative statements that her opinion, supposedly formed after two visits to a clearly awful gym, was true of the whole sport. All of it. All gyms. All coaches. And that as a professional power-lifter, she had never deadlifted in her life. (Cue, of course, the video that circulated shortly after of her, yes, deadlifting as part of a WOD, in a CrossFit gym. Whatevs.) Read more…

Privilege & A Baby With A Purple Cast

May 3, 2014

broken Yesterday was the first really sunny day in Seattle. Even the cold-blooded amongst us donned flip-flops and attempted to photosynthesize while we could. For us, that meant heading to the park, getting ice-cream cones and forgetting that there is anything wrong in the world, ever.

Lots of layers of luxury in that sentence. None of them are lost on me. Read more…

The Unnatural Tyranny of Natural Beauty

April 30, 2014
Natural as a spring day. Sort of.

Natural as a spring day. Sort of.

She seemed surprised when I told her that I desperately needed to color my roots, they were getting out of hand. There was an awkward pause, and then, “you color hair? I thought you were all about being natural?”

It’s a word we throw around so much about women and beauty. Being a “natural beauty” is, of course, the ultimate goal, but we are constantly told all the ways we are not naturally beautiful, so we must buy lots of products and services to try and look like natural beauties. It’s weird. I don’t get it. It’s one of those “no win” situations: either you’re a natural beauty, or you’re a fake. The more you try to achieve the ideal, the faker you are. So, try too hard to achieve the goal and you make yourself worse.

Can we stop this game now? Please. Read more…

Is There Room For Women In A CrossFit Box?

April 5, 2014
Just a day at Rocket, all types of people, doing work, together.

Just a day at Rocket, all types of people, doing work, together.

I am a woman in my mid 40’s. By the time I found CrossFit, I was past 40, and had “been there and done that” for almost anything fitness related that you can name. Except weight lifting, unless you count adding tiny dumbells to some situps and stuff. Like many women (and maybe men,) I found the idea of CrossFit intimidating at best, and downright unappealing at worst. Not because of the exercise, but because of a culture that seemed so codified and aggressive in a way that I just don’t roll.

Fast forward. I’m now a L1 trainer, with a handful of other CrossFit certs to my name, and I own a CrossFit gym. I’d say that I drank the Kool-Aid, but Kool-Aid isn’t Paleo. Read more…

I’m NOT Your “Box Babe,” And I Don’t Want To Be.

April 4, 2014
Oh, are you looking at my ass? My bad.

Oh, are you looking at my ass? My bad.

It was with gritted teeth and a grimace that I slogged my way through the light-hearted misogyny called “Be A Box Babe, Not A Barbie” in the current issue of The Box. I pictured the author, spanking his monkey with spunky pride as he conjured up images of his ideal woman who was, for some reason, bent over a box for the next round of thrusters. (Hey, I never ground my fantasies in reality either, I get it.) Sentences swirled in my head, in which I explained to him that I am actually not doing CrossFit so that I can meet his standards of “box babe,” when I choked on my own words, realizing that the whole idiotic diatribe was written by, seriously, a woman. Read more…

Your Body Is In Charge

April 3, 2014
* See below for an explanation of this photo. Please. *

* See below for an explanation of this photo. Please. *

It’s the first of the month, that means a new batch of athletes are starting at Rocket CrossFit. This is pretty much my favorite day of the month. I love the potential, and in many cases the courage, that fills the air as we embark on a month of Blast Off. Each and every one of them has placed their trust in us, and I truly treasure that. I tell them how their safety is my #1 priority, that we never work through pain, that it can be hard and we’re all in it together. But what they’re really trusting me with isn’t their bodies, it’s their emotions. Read more…

Top 8 Tips For Winning The CrossFit Open: Gaming The Games

March 24, 2014
Froning and Khalipa cheering on another "competitor" who is still working. Because that's what we do in CrossFit.

Froning and Khalipa cheering on Austin Malleolo, who is still working. Because that’s what we do in CrossFit.

It’s CrossFit Open season again, and here at Rocket Crossfit we are doing what we always do in our humble little 1,300 square foot gym: Consistently turning out more champions per capita than any other gym on our block. Winners, baby. Fucking champions, dude.

And, as happens every year, throngs of reporters in my imagination are asking me how we do it. What our secret is, because our success is just so obvious. Our secrets are so simple that anyone can do them, and can seriously raise the barre for competition in the Games.

So, here are the Rocket CrossFit Top 8 Tips For Winning the CrossFit Open:

Read more…

Using Your Grown-Up Brain To Deal With Your Child’s Growing Sexuality

March 15, 2014
Photo: Flickr / J.Elliot

Photo: Flickr / J.Elliot

I have a lot of fears about the fact that my daughter is going to be having sex sometime soon. I don’t mean today, though I suppose that’s possible. But in the next year or two, someone (I think a guy, but I don’t really know, maybe a girl, maybe both) will inspire something in her that results in them having sex. Of some sort.

As a sex-educator and sexuality advocate, I would love to spout for you the party line, the one which says that it’s exciting and empowering and a glorious journey. I could even say it convincingly, because I believe it. But let’s be honest, I believe it more for other people, in theory, than I do for my own daughter, in my gut. My gut is all like “aaaaccccckkkkkkk” when I think about it. Read more…


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