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Sexual Shame Survey Results: The TEDx Talk

August 27, 2014

Screen Shot 2012-01-06 at 9.37.41 AMThe idea of sex without shame may sound about as beautiful and possible as a world without war. But we need to work towards both, (and will try to avoid mentioning the porn collection found in Osama Bin Laden’s den when he was killed, illustrating, perhaps, a metaphorical link between shame and violence. And the fact that you never know what’s going on behind closed doors.)

That was the point of the TEDx talk that I gave on sexual shame. As I was preparing to give the talk, it occurred to me, perhaps a little too late, that there was very little research on sexual shame amongst “straight” folks. And that no matter how compelling I was (which remained to be seen, because I was so nervous I could barely think about it) I would still need to find a way to show people that they were part of the shame soup in which we all swim. Read more…

Women’s Bodies, CrossFit & Advertising

August 25, 2014

Let’s get something straight, something that I think we can agree on: BODIES ARE AWESOME. I’m not gonna pretend that one of the best parts of my job isn’t watching strong bodies do amazing things all day, all glisteny with sweat and making sounds that, I mean, really, sound kinda naughty-fun if you close your eyes. Also not gonna lie and pretend that I don’t love looking at pictures of women’s bodies, generally speaking. Yum. I don’t know whether it’s aspiration, inspiration or just admiration, but yes, a strong woman doing hard things (no, not that kind) definitely gets me to pay attention.

So I am not even going to come close to saying that it isn’t okay to showcase strong women when you are trying to sell products to CrossFitters. In fact, I’d like to see a lot more of it. But, what the fuck is this: Read more…

VIDEO: Setting Goals & Taking Responsibility

August 7, 2014
Brady and Alyssa on New Day Northwest. August 7, 2014

Brady and Alyssa on New Day Northwest. August 7, 2014

Although a much longer piece of writing about goal-setting, managing expectations and taking responsibility will follow (I am, after all, a writer. I have to write) here’s the video of today’s segment on New Day Northwest. Brady and I had fun, of course. Even though he was tired from a night on duty at the firestation, and is never all that excited about being the center of attention. (Me, on the other hand, I love the spotlight more than makes any sense for a hardcore introvert!)


Just Redefine It: Kevin Ogar, My Broken Neck & CrossFit

July 29, 2014
With Kevin Ogar, and a look on my face that just screams, "I hate the way my foot tastes."

With Kevin Ogar, and a look on my face that just screams, “I hate the way my foot tastes.”

I ran into Kevin Ogar at The CrossFit Games. I was looking for him, he was on my short list of people I’d really like to meet. Actually, I’m not even vaguely impressed by celebrity, so he was the only person on my list. Because I feel a kinship with him, on behalf of all of us who are walking around broken, and utterly undefeated. Read more…

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…


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