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Seven Years of Owning a CrossFit Gym Has Taught Me…..

September 7, 2018
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7 years ago. I finished Blast Off and made Celia touch a barbell for the first time. She hated it.

Okay, it’s been 7 years. SEVEN YEARS that Rocket CrossFit has been open. That’s amazing to me. I can’t count (mostly because we’ve changed software systems a few times) how many people have been through our doors. It’s humbling. I’m even more humbled by the ones who walked through when we first opened, and are still with us.

I’ve learned a lot of life lessons. None of which are specific to running a gym, all of which seem to be good life rules in general. Read more…

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Doctors, Stop Telling People Not To Do CrossFit

July 15, 2018
too hard

This screen shot was shared by Rob Attenborough, frustrated owner of Fraser Coast CrossFit.

“My doctor says I need to do something else, that I’m not ready for CrossFit.” As a CrossFit gym owner, I’ve heard this so many times, and I want to scream every time I do. It’s one of the most commonly discussed things in various Facebook groups for gym-owners. We’re sitting here looking at a massive epidemic in lifestyle-related illness, which can be ameliorated with fitness and nutrition, and doctors are telling patients that CrossFit is too hard for them.

It feels like just another way for a doctor to tell a struggling patient that they aren’t good enough. It’s another way that a doctor will ignore a patient’s holistic health, writing them off as “fat” and therefore ignoring everything else. It’s a total absence of faith, trust and respect for what that patient is capable of. What they are worth as a person.

And it’s the exact (fucking) opposite of what we do in CrossFit gyms across the country. You come into a CrossFit gym and 99% of us will look at you and say, “I’m so glad you’re here, let’s get started.” (I’m allowing for 1% of people who are just assholes, I assume we’ve got those too.) Read more…

What Is The CrossFit Type, Anyway?

June 12, 2018

12828401_1027044680703671_7607187025537192245_o“You don’t seem like the CrossFit type.” I hear it all the time. Honestly, I think it’s code for “you don’t look like you’re in that great shape,” or something like that. But I also hear it when I say that I don’t usually feel like working out. Or that I don’t care about the Games.  Or we don’t sell some MLM magic powder that will make you yoked. Or that we run our gym in some way that people think is totally not “like CrossFit.” You guys, we’ve never done a workout off of mainsite and we don’t even use “RX” weights in our workouts.

So does that make me “not the CrossFit type?” Does that make Rocket not a “real CrossFit gym?” No. It makes us precisely and exactly the CrossFit type.  If you think that CrossFit is about following some sort of orthodoxy and giving a fuck what other people think of you, I think you’ve got it all wrong.  Read more…

Infiltrate CrossFit With Love

June 7, 2018

Love Wins

Yesterday, CrossFit fired Russell Berger just a few hours after he released a homophobic Tweet using his title, corporate platform, and tagging the company in it. That is the speed of light, in corporate time. That morning, Berger referred to celebrating gay pride a as a “celebration of sin.” By the end of the workday, there was a 2-Tweet statement from CrossFit in which they acknowledged the issue, made a clear stand in favor of inclusion and then took decisive action. Russell Berger was fired from his very public position at CrossFit by the end of the day.

Read more…

CrossFit and Rhabdo

May 21, 2018
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I’m not saying that Popeye cut his lawn with a pair of scissors and gave himself, rhabdo in the forearm, but…..

There are few words that are more fun to toss into a room full of CrossFitters than “rhabdo.” I mean, “paleo” is fun, “zone” will start a lively debate, and “kipping” is a classic. But really, “rhabdo” is where feathers will start flying.

But, as we approach Memorial Day, when, along with a bajillion other folks, we will be doing “Murph,” I always want to talk about rhabdo with our members. It is real. It’s also really unlikely to happen to you, but if it does, I want you to know what it looks like so that you can get medical attention immediately. Because it can kill you. I don’t mean that metaphorically. It can literally, kill you. So, while it’s unlikely to happen, it’s super important that you recognize it if it does.

All that said, yes, it has happened in our gym. It has happened a few times, and in every single case, it was the last person and reason you’d ever expect. It happened with good programming and good coaching. So let’s dispel a few myths first… Read more…

Dating Is Not Supposed To Be Predatory

January 19, 2018
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I’m not really unstable, this was just the “maddest” looking photo I could find of myself.

So many people have sent me every think piece written about the Aziz Ansari incident, asking my opinion.  I want to scream ISN’T IT FUCKING OBVIOUS? But I guess not, so here it is.

This happens EVERY DAY and is not okay.

This is our culture. This is rape culture. If you want to be all like “but it’s not rrreeeeaaalllllyyyyy rape,” go for it. You could probably get away with saying that Ansari isn’t a rapist (I might agree with you sometimes, depending on my mood.) But what you have to admit is that the fact that we’re even parsing the details of it is rape culture. That many of us think it’s no big deal is rape culture. This is who we are.

Resolve Not To Make Resolutions

December 19, 2017
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On top of Mount Adams. While I never want to do this again, training for it changed my life. 

It’s January, and I own a gym. I should LOVE resolution season. When loads of people swear that this is the year they’re going to “get into shape,” whatever the hell that means. When people pour into the gyms across the country, proclamations waved high, spirits soaring. But I don’t love it. I hate it. All I see is wave after wave of shame and guilt, and spirits that I know are, for the most part, going to crash onto jagged cliffs of disappointment and failed expectations. That will make it even harder to try again, next year.

Resolution season is the siren song of a toxic culture determined to trap you with shame and a crippling inferiority complex. Fuck that.  Read more…

Instructions for my funeral

September 3, 2017

229678_10150348441655921_5234309_nA whole lotta people in my life died this summer. Seriously, more than usual. Earlier this week, I sent a weird text to someone I love, asking “what’s the dress code for this service?” It was, admittedly, for the service of someone I didn’t know all that well, but who was dearly loved by some of the people I love most in this world. (The death season started this year with losing someone I loved most in the world, and I’m still reeling and pissed about it, honestly.)

Anyway, me being me, I’d like to be very clear up front about what I want at my funeral. Read more…

Nutritional Challenges at Rocket

August 11, 2017

sept challengeIt’s that time of year again. Three times a year, we do a nutritional challenge at Rocket. It’s changed a bit over the last 6 years, but the basics have stayed the same. And this time, we’re trying something new, a “scaled” division. When we began, we always did a Whole 30. After Brady and I discovered Keto, we let people choose between a Whole 30 and strict Keto. But there were always people who asked for a “half-assed 30.” We scoffed, because we were some combination of clueless and sanctimonious. But really, that was incongruent with who we are as a gym, and what we love about CrossFit. If the idea is that we’ll meet you where you’re at, and can scale anything, why would we leave nutrition out of that?

So, because I am constantly explaining to both members and other gym owners how and why we do our nutritional challenges, I’m gonna spell it all out here. My hope is to inspire others to do their version. Even if you’re not a member of Rocket, get a group of friends together and commit to nutrition for 30 days.  Read more…

Proposed Rule Changes for USA Weightlifting Meets.

June 26, 2017
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My kid, a nationally competitive lifter in her own right, helping coach at USAW Youth Nationals in Atlanta.

Just back from USA Weightlifting Youth Nationals, yup, still my favorite way to spend time. Why isn’t EVERY weekend a national meet? Why do I even have to do other stuff? Doing other stuff is stupid. I pretty much always want to be surrounded by ridiculously inspiring kids chasing dreams and snatching more than I can deadlift, at the ripe old age of 9.

Because it’s my favorite thing in the world, I’ve dedicated hours of my life to coming up with a strategic plan to make Weightlifting meets even better. Okay, really,  just the moments when there’s nothing on stage and I’ve already seen all the Instagram posts that are being broadcast on the big screen.  Read more…