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Not posting your daily WOD doesn’t make it better……

If there is one thing that always makes me giggle is affiliates that treat their programming as if it’s gold…….. I love you and you’re commitment to the work you’re putting in, but you’re programming isn’t made of

I’m not belittling the time and effort that people put into their programming – hell we write our programming 4-6 weeks in advance and have physical therapists review it so we think our programming is pretty solid.

Let’s look at some BIG DOGS in the CrossFit world, CrossFit Invictus, Hyperfit USA and Crossfit New England, gyms that have a huge following in the CrossFit Games level athlete level…….. guess what they do…… POST THEIR DAILY WOD!

Why?  Because the magic of programming isn’t in the workout itself.  Yes of course a thought out program is important, but they understand that the magic of a program is in the coaching, the cueing and the motivation.

So get over yourself….. your programming isn’t a magic program…… your coaching is your gold.


CrossFit does not mean CrossFit

One of the hardest things to explain to people in and outside the CrossFit world is that CrossFit doesn’t mean CrossFit…….what does that mean?

It means that other than paying to use the word CrossFit we have NOTHING in common.  Every facility is run 100% independent from each other and putting CrossFit in your business title doesn’t mean your gym is even CrossFitting.xxAoQ163

It has become such a buzz word that gets gyms climbing up the google search results that some gyms pay the affiliate fee for that alone, but when it comes to applying the original philosophy they are far from what CrossFit believes.

  • When was the last time your gym sat you down and talked about the philosophy of CrossFit and why you’re doing what you’re doing?
  • When was the last time your coach walked you through the sick – well – fit curve?
  • Have you ever been shown the 10 general physical skills and where that is reflected in the programming?

Do your research and understand WHY you’re doing what you’re doing vs following a coach blindly.  I truly believe that the only way to buy into a coach and a program is to understand the whys of what you’re doing.  At Coca CrossFit we do as much education as we do coaching.  We want our members to understand the benefits of what they’re doing and why its called ‘CrossFit’ vs just working out.  Get them to ask questions and become knowledgable about their bodies and their journey so they can actively participate in the process.

Much like any other consumer product that you research the CrossFit gym or any gym you select should be put to the same test.  What is the owners resume?  What have they done personally?  What educational back ground do they have? Is it their life or their hobby?  How long have they been coaching?  What have others said about their experience?

An educated consumer is a happy consumer (in my humble opinion)


Falling a part and pulling it back together

Over the last two months I have learned more about fatigue and nausea that I ever knew possible.  Feeling like a walking zombie, barely keeping food down and the idea of having any brain function is laughable.

Now as I enter my second trimester I am finding that there are more good hours than bad hours on days, but I’m far from saying I feel good.  What I have realized now that I am having more good hours is just how badly I let everything go….. my home…my gym…my body….my nutrition……all way below my normal functioning level.


Of course having a clear moment to realize how far things have unraveled only drives me to unravel farther because I am my owner worst critic and bully.  A few hours of ‘what the hell did I let happen’ ….. a few tears….. and learning on my fiancé and the reality is this is where I am at, now lets pull it back together.

It’s ok to no be ok….. and today i was not ok, but that does not mean i’ll find a dark room and disappear, it means I did what i needed to do emotionally to get it out of my system, I’m pulling my big girl pants back up, and taking a step forward, no matter how small.



Guess what….. You’re NOT that cool…..

If there is one thing I know in this world it’s that you’re not possibly as ‘cool’ as you think you are.

There is nothing that erks me more than hearing someone belittle those around them for their choices.  Your way of thinking…. feeling….working out….. eating….. its not the ONLY way to do it.  You can feel as strong and as passionately about what you’re doing as you want, but it’s not black and white the best way.  It’s simply the best way for you.  Great!  Own it!  Stop--Youre

BUT you choice to call someone a douche or laugh at how stupid they are doesn’t make you any better.  In fact it makes you smaller than the person you’re trying to be ‘cooler’ than.

I battle this everyday because there are things that I feel strongly about, and watching others do things that just don’t make sense, or may injure people is difficult.  Watching people post videos of bad reps bragging about their PR.  Reading blogs from ‘experts’ that clearly just started a coaching career 6 months ago is maddening.

But guess who’s issue that is…… mine….. so i do my best to put on my blinders, do that best I can to educate those around me with the best knowledge I have available. And that’s also why it’s so important to me to continue to be a student of my sport.  The minute I know it all and call myself an expert is the day I’ll retire.

So regardless of how cool you think you are….. you’re probably not as cool as you think you are….. and instead of judging and belittling those that ‘don’t know as much as you’ – try reaching out and sharing knowledge.


Are you RX’ing for your ego?

One of the biggest things that I see taking athletes down in the long run is chasing the RX and sacrificing all things; mental, physical and emotional health to get it.

I often clarify with myself and my athletes that just because I CAN RX (do a workout as written) doesn’t mean I should.  Scaling back or modifying workouts isn’t a dirty thing or a weak thing, it’s a smart thing.  Ego2

What are examples of good times to NOT RX:

  • You’re running on 4 hours of sleep because your kids didn’t sleep the night before
  • You’re feeling a ripping soreness in your muscles
  • You’re feeling a tweak in anyway going through the range of motion
  • You’re completely over whelmed by life and you’re at the end of your rope
  • You’re not strong enough to do strict movement (i.e. muscle up) but you’re going to do 100 kipping and blow out your shoulders

Can you survive a day, a week a month…… sure…… in the long run you’re doing yourself a disservice.  Allowing your body the ample time and resources you need to recover in the short term, while isn’t sexy, will pay dividends in the long run.

On a daily basis evaluate yourself….. are you RX’ing because you want to or because you’re ego of having that little ‘RX’ next to your name is driving you?


Coaching is about the EXPERIENCE

NOT YOURS……. your clients.  If you’re coaching means coming in, running through the technical side and leaving you’re leaving so much on the table.  how-to-create-experiences-customers-would-crawl-over-hot-coals-to-have-1-638

At Coca CrossFit we do our best to create an experience….. the whole experience.  It may be my 5th or 9th class but it’s the first class for your clients.  It’s important my energy level reflects how I feel about being able to serve each member each day. From a warm felt welcome, to asking how their interview went or how the kids are doing, but engaging in my clients lives and what’s going on in their world.  Hell the simple fact that I know every members name is critically important to me.

It’s important you get members to engage with other members.  There’s nothing worse than someone feeling left out or even worse, no one talking to each other.  Doesn’t happen at Coca.  I could care less how different someone is from the person next to them I’ll find something they can connect on.

It’s important you ask them what they want to hear…..yes I could rock the music I want to hear all day, but it’s not my class, it’s theirs.  And honestly more often then not it’s ‘Rap’ or ’90’s Hip Hop’ that I have requested.

It’s important your members know you’re proud of them.  While they may not be ready to wear your logo on the floor of the Reebok CrossFit Games giving your ego a boost because you’re such an awesome coach……. putting 5lbs more on the bar, hell not adding weight but moving better is a WIN!  You should be able to find one thing a day to celebrate each athlete.

It’s important people leave the gym feeling loved, important, validated and more importantly that the work their putting in is working.


NEWS FLASH….pushing someone down does NOT pull you up

I wish I could keep track of the number times a day I hear someone push someone down…… as if it will some how pull themselves up.  It’s simple comments like:

  • ‘who do they think they are?’
  • ‘what the hell is she wearing?’
  • ‘she’s a complete moron, how did she get a raise?’
  • ‘that’s not even full range, how is that a PR?’

If we all spent 1/2 the time we spent pushing others down investing in pulling ourselves up what a world we’d

This is something I have personally battled with, and working with life coaches and counselors since opening up my business I have done a ton and i mean a TON of soul searching.  And what I realized is that I pushed people down.  Why?  Because I had to justify why I wasn’t living up to my true potential.

Instead I have started seeing my own self worth, value and ability to live to my potential.  No excuses, just plan old hard work.  I want something I have to roll up my damn sleeves and put in the work.


What I learned dating a woman…..

I’m not sure I’ll ever truly be able to capture all the things I learned about myself, my family and the world around me….good, bad, indifferent in the year I dated and lived with a woman.


Let’s get the eye opening (aka the bad) out of the way:
*I learned that those closest to me were the FIRST to turn on me because they were ‘god loving and righteous’…and I was immediately cut out (after 2 years of ‘being family’)
*I learned that those that worked for me were the FIRST to tell me to be careful how I presented myself because working for me was an ‘iffy’ thing now because it was a reflection on them (talk about being self focused)
*I learned coaches were calling telling people to GET OUT because Coca had now become an morally corrupt place (keep in mind this was over night)
*I learned that families can tolerate others life choices as long as they don’t come home
*I learned that fear shapes a lot of lives

*I learned that I could run a business that accepted people EXACTLY as they are (ZERO EXPECTATIONS)
*I learned that the community of Coca CrossFit flourished under my strength to be ME….if I was confident enough to stand for what I wanted they too could stand for something they may have hesitated to in the past
*I learned that my family can hit ROCK BOTTOM and survive (to the point there were silent relationships, that were screaming at each other relationships, that blossomed into truly UNCONDITIONALLY LOVING relationships)
*I learned that I will do ME regardless of how difficult or how many people don’t understand
*I learned that more than a dozen other CrossFit affiliate owners who had kept their same-sex relationships out of the gym integrated into the gym and were embraced and strengthened their community as a result
*I learned that those that truly love you will always love you even when they don’t understand or accept you
*I learned that I can forgive even when I felt like I was the one that was wronged
*I learned that I am stronger than I ever knew
*I learned that I will share my struggles and story and all its ups and downs without fear of judgement…..

Because if I can not only survive being called a disgrace as a human being by a friend and come close to losing my mothers love to only have the strongest friendships I’ve ever had and a relationship with my mother that is 100% unconditional….nothing can hold me down. I will stumble….I will fall…. but i will never stop licking my wounds and moving forward.


Why you won’t see me on the arena floor….

Yesterday on my ‘mental health’ day aka working out in the middle of the afternoon in an empty gym I realized how much I love training, and I’m probably one of the few that likes doing it alone.  It’s calm and peaceful and the go go go pace that happens when you’re working with others is removed.

Today as I tackled a what seemed like a ‘death by Diane’ after an hour of gymnastics and and hour of lifting I had a true ‘AHA moment’idea-qisur-flickr

The gym was all but empty with just Russ and I.  As I set up all the weight changes and deficit increases for the HSPU and was getting ready to go.  I found P!nk radio and Russ asked ‘do you want me to start the clock?” I almost said no I don’t care, but felt like if he’s asking I should do accept.

As I finished my Diane (21-15-9 Deadlift/hand stand pushup), increased weights and headed into the heavy Diane, I felt relaxed and at ease.  Until I looked up and could see Russ onlooking.  I started an internal battle with I should GO and put up a solid performance, but then I really wasn’t concerned about the clock and I held strong with my original plan.  Move at a steady pace and finish the workout.

It was also the moment I realized that I KNOW what keeps me off the arena floor….. my drive to push to the dark place, my drive to race the clock.  I truly enjoy working on my gymnastics and all the conjugate lifting and WOD because I feel like I have to and it is good for me.  I used to have a fire that all I cared about was WODing and running the clock down.

My AHA moment….. realizing that I am in a place of truly enjoying the process, chipping thorough workouts, without the pressure of chasing other or the clock.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy working out with others, its just that I add pressure to myself to ‘perform’ when I’m with others.  I truly love the lifting and challenging my body.  The WOD portion….eh….

I am not saying this is how I’ll feel for ever, but its the evolution of my athletic career right now.


My version of a mental health day……

One thing that is lacking when you own your business is set aside paid vacation days, sick days and the often over looked ‘mental health day’.

Out of Order Sticker Funny Quote

Out of Order Sticker Funny Quote

Today it was 75 and sunny in november in Cleveland….. UNHEARD OF!!!  I had my usual start to the day for a Thursday;

  • 6:00am wake up
  • 6:30am breakfast
  • 6:45am-8:45am admin work
  • 9:00-10:15am LCCC college class
  • 10:15-10:30am take dog to vet for surgery
  • 10:30am-12:30pm  Workout……… well at least that was my plan….
  • 12:30 turned into 1:30 turned into 2:30pm

As the time ticked away I became more and more relaxed where as I usually would have become more and more stressed because I have so much to accomplish.  But as I mentioned it was 75 and sunny…. the bay door was open….the jams were pumping AND the gym was empty.  It was such a state of peace and calm that all I could think is ‘I think this is my version of a mental health day’.  And in that moment I made the decision that was just what it would be. Of course I couldn’t help but laugh that my version of a ‘mental health day’ was being in the place that causes me my stress (irony).

No Admin work between training and coaching. Just enjoy the weather, my life, reflect and breath.  4:30-7:30pm coaching was truly enjoyable because I wasn’t franticly running around all day returning phone calls, emails, making meetings etc.  I was calm and zen and was able to be in that moment each class.