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How To Find A Good CrossFit Gym

September 19, 2014
Just another morning, hanging around at Rocket CrossFit.

Just another morning, hanging around at Rocket CrossFit.

Of all the things I’m asked about CrossFit, the one I’m asked most often is “do you know anything about this gym?” or its variant, “do you know a good gym in this city?”  The answer is usually “no,” because it’s not like we all know each other. Even in Seattle, I don’t know thaaaaaat many of the bajillion gyms that are popping up. So I do what I do when I’m curious about anything, Google it. And although there is NO substitute for going in and getting the feel of a place, I will weed gyms out pretty quickly based on their Web sites.

The people who ask  me this are “regular folk.” Not people who want to compete in any real way. People who have jobs and kids and usually a handful of injuries that make them think they can’t do CrossFit. People who have seen all the bad press that CrossFit gets, but are still curious and interested. And they just want to make sure that they don’t go to one of the bad gyms. Read more…

Mom’s Bikini Body, For Better Or Worse

September 16, 2014
Me, this summer, paddle boarding with the girls. Joy. That's what it was, JOY.

Me, this summer, paddle boarding with the girls. Joy. That’s what it was, JOY.

It only tangentially matters that I was in bed with my husband when I retold him a conversation that I had with my 16 year-old daughter. And that “conversation” is an overstatement of the few sentences that passed between us, somehow filling me with hope for the future, and a little bit of pride in my parenting and, as always, more love for my daughter than I know what to do with.

She and I were driving to her Olympic Lifting training. (Which, is probably not tangential, now that I think about it.) I was remarking that we’re getting ready to embark on a Whole 30 Challenge at the gym, something that we do 3 times a year. I off-handedly said that I was extra motivated, by vanity, this time. She looked at me like I was speaking Chinese. Read more…

Online Dating Photos & Self Identity

September 5, 2014

This photo was the lead photo on my OK Cupid account.

This photo was the lead photo on my OK Cupid account.

It’s been three years since I had, and took down, my OK Cupid profile. I can only imagine how strange it would have looked there, amongst all the sexualized party-girl shots. The women made up and looking their best. My “cover photo” was a photo of my dirty feet. Filthy feet. Hadn’t-been-washed-in-a-week-and-somewhat-covered-in-blood-feet. But I was trying to catch a very particular match. A guy who would look at those feet and think, “I want to do whatever she’s doing.”

Not, “I want to do her.” Read more…

Integrity: Keeping it Together While Running A Small Business

August 31, 2014

10339352_10152575462050921_7190131724315349070_oBrady and I recently went to a seminar about running a CrossFit gym, by Ben Bergeron of CrossFit New England. (As an aside, if you’re running a CrossFit gym, and get the chance to go to this seminar, it’s totally worth it. Ben’s great, he represents the best of what CrossFit has to offer. Totally worth it.) In it, he talked a lot about “integrity.” It’s a word that people use a lot, but I don’t think that many people use it the way that I think is most powerful. The way that is hard. The way that, literally, keeps it all together.

People talk about “integrity” in a way that is interchangeable with “manners” and “proper” behavior. As if “integrity” means “doing the right thing.” And it can mean that, or has at least come to mean that. And that’s awesome. I think that most of the world has a long ways to go in terms of both having good manners and doing the right thing. Read more…

Don’t Eat The Placenta In The Fridge

August 29, 2014

Photo by me, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Photo by me, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

“I’m sorry, what now?” My ex-husband often looks confused when I say things to him that made perfect sense in my head. “Don’t eat the placenta in the fridge.”

Really, this seemed like simple – and rather obvious – advice. Like it shouldn’t be confusing at all. Placenta probably tastes nasty, and you shouldn’t eat it, at least not in the same way you’d eat a steak , or bacon, or any other meaty type thing. If a placenta could be considered meaty.

“Why is there a placenta in the fridge?” Read more…

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…

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