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Entries Tagged as 'Must Read Posts'

The Record Board Doesn’t Matter

April 8th, 2015, by · 2 Comments

100%. Yep, I said it. The record board doesn't matter. Neither does anyone's time for a given workout. Know what REALLY matters? That you gave it everything you had today. That you finished and went face down into the black mat, breathless. Your 100% today might not be as fast as your 100% was 2 months ago, and that's ok too.

SCORE. I watched you grind through that WOD for 15 brutal minutes. There was a puddle of sweat under your bar and chalky hand prints dotting the mats where you did your push-ups. Yet when the timer ran out I could see the disappointment on your face. Don't ever, EVER be disappointed with your performance based on what someone else did. Don't let your "score" dictate how high you hold your head for the rest of the day.

BURN. Don't be a whiteboard watcher either. Don't allow yourself to feel like a failure because you didn't beat someone else's score, or because you were 15 seconds slower than the last time. The whiteboards don't matter. If I tore them off the wall and burned them, it wouldn't change anything. I would still expect you to come into the Fort, bust your ass, and give me whatever your best was for that given day.

WIN. As long as you pushed yourself to the max and didn't quit, that should be marked as a win. Maybe you set a mental goal for the WOD and didn't hit it. So what. Just go faster next time! The whiteboard allows us to see where we rank among our own gym, but it doesn't tell the whole story. It doesn't tell me what your potential is. It doesn't tell me what your day was like. It doesn't tell me about your sleep, your nutrition, your stress level, or even what your mental attitude was coming into the WOD. All it is, is numbers. Forget the numbers. Just live, breathe, and die to be the best CrossFitter YOU can be each and every day.

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Not Everything is CrossFit’s Fault

January 22nd, 2015, by · Comments Off

BAD NAME. Quite often I get tagged on Facebook and sent links to videos showing people doing CrossFit with less than perfect form, or doing questionable movements. I'm here to let you know, that it's unjust to blame CrossFit for all of this.

UNFAIR. It's pretty unfair to say that everything that anybody doing a CrossFit workout does is "giving CrossFit a bad name". GASP! Someone in Nebraska let their back round on a deadlift?? GET DAVE CASTRO ON THE PHONE! It's CrossFit's fault!! Can you really lump every single CrossFitter in the world under the "CrossFit" umbrella?

NBA. Would it be fair to say that everyone playing basketball anywhere in the world is representing the NBA? Does anyone cry out about how unsafe the NBA is when a player snaps his lower leg in half? Or when a player dislocates his elbow and breaks his hand following a bad fall? Nope. That's just playing basketball. But if someone gets hurt doing CrossFit in their garage in Alaska, that means CrossFit isn't SAFE. (by the way, don't click those links if you aren't ready to be grossed out)

IDIOCY. As with any sport, there are bound to be as many bad coaches as their are good ones. Same with teams or gyms - there will be some that are great, and some that are unbearable. And if all of this diversity is accepted when it comes to other sports, why not CrossFit? Why must we hold "CrossFit" accountable for everyone's idiocy?

CFHQ. As a whole, CrossFit HQ is responsible for only a few things. There is a blog with daily workouts published by HQ. The programming is tough, but it is intended to be. On this same website there are HUNDREDS of videos demonstrating how to properly perform the movements. And let's not forget the CrossFit Journal. It is full of articles on how to improve movement quality, overall mobility, and athletic performance. Nowhere on the site or in the Journal does it say "go as fast as you can, and let your form get all kinds of shitty". CFHQ encourages proper form. Period.

COMPETITION. Most recently, there was a video circulating of some high jumps performed at a "CrossFit competition". The competition is one of the largest annual competitions for CrossFit athletes, but it is not directly associated with CrossFit HQ. Do you see what I did there? It is a competition for CrossFit athletes, but it is NOT an HQ sponsored event. The only "CrossFit" competitions throughout the year are the Open, Regionals, and ultimately, the CrossFit Games. Sure, there have been some silly movements at the Games, and HQ has taken the heat for those. Everything else is programmed by the affiliate or the organization hosting the event.

COACH. While it's easy to point the finger of blame at "CrossFit", what it comes down to is that CFHQ offers a tiered level of certifications, as well as specialty certifications to help each of their potential coaches gain as much knowledge as possible. Ultimately, there will be some coaches who are better than others. We wouldn't blame the NBA for our 11th grade basketball coach's performance, so we can't blame HQ for the quality of the coaches using their name and coaching their sport.

QUALITY. Our focus at CrossFit Fire has always been on quality coaching, holding our clients to a high level of movement standards, and delivering top-notch results. Don't let all the internet CrossFit-jibber-jabber skew your perspective. CrossFit is meant to be delivered as a premium fitness experience, unlike anything you've tried before. It is meant to be instructed by knowledgeable coaches. But above all else, it is meant to be a life changing combination of community and a healthier, stronger you. So let the haters, hate. We got nothin' but love here at CrossFit Fire!

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Discipline vs. Motivation

January 6th, 2015, by · Comments Off

With the New Year comes a renewed sense of excitement with the prospect of bettering yourself. As the days go by though, and the calendar turns from January to February and eventually beyond, that excitement usually wanes. What will it take then to ensure that you actually do become a better version of yourself?

You would probably agree if I told you the answer is discipline.

Think about that word for a moment and what it means in terms of your health and fitness.

You’re probably thinking about that friend you have who works out every single day, even on holidays, birthdays, and when he’s not feeling so good. The same friend who never eats out and always shows up with a cooler of food he already prepared. The same friend who somehow manages to politely refuse that piece of cheesecake while you help yourself to seconds. The same friend who can watch a ballgame with the guys without a single beer.

How great you would be if only you had his discipline!

But you don’t.

Instead, you have repeated failed attempts at reaching your goals and all of the associated guilt and decreased self-love.

Fortunately for you, the answer isn’t discipline. In fact, the answer has never been discipline. Instead, the answer is:


That’s right, it’s not that you haven’t been disciplined in the past, it’s that you haven’t found the proper motivation.

Up to this point, chiseled abs, a sub 3:00 Fran, and not dying from heart disease have meant less to you than that scoop of chocolate ice cream, new episode of your favorite TV show, or hanging at the bar to have a few drinks with a friend.

This doesn’t make you less of a person though so stop beating yourself up. Remove all of the associated guilt and simply admit that you have loved pizza and beer more than you have loved a hard physique and tons of strength. After all, your actions are and always will be a reflection of what you truly love in life.

What that means is that you must be honest with yourself and align your goals this year with your values. If your health and fitness are to improve between now and 2016, then you must ensure that you love yourself. That way you will be motivated to make choices in support of that self-love.

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Your Kids are Watching

December 23rd, 2014, by · 1 Comment

PRESSURE. As parents, there is endless pressure to raise your kids "the right way". You have to shelter your kids from anything dirty, scary, or even remotely risky. Every party you plan needs to be exhaustively researched on Pinterest, and all your decorations need to be homemade. The pressure to be a "perfect" parent comes at you from every angle - magazines, TV, the STUPID INTERNET.

REMEMBER. Do you remember when we were kids? I could come to my Mom with my eyeball hanging out on my cheek, and she'd examine me through a LOCKED screen door, (we were locked outside to play) and then reluctantly drag me inside, put on one bandaid and send me back outside. We made mud pies and merry berry mash, rode our bikes without helmets, and put pennies on the railroad tracks. Know why? BECAUSE OUR PARENTS LET US. It was fun. It was messy, but our instincts drove us to play outside and explore.

INSTINCTS. So while kids these days are being sanitized to death and getting their annual flu shot, they are looking to you for guidance. Their instincts are being squashed and they are DYING for a way to play and explore. They are watching YOU to be their role model in this crazy journey of life.

Jack and Jamie sent me something they found on their laptop:

Jaclyn’s Goals Over Winter Break
• Bananas
• Grapes
• Carrots
• Green beans
• Apples
• Strawberries
• Nuts

• Treadmill
• Sit ups
• Push ups
• Squats
• Broad Jumps
• Jumping Jacks
• Jump Rope
• Elliptical Machine


  • the “whiner” - 30 jumping Jacks, 15 broad jumps, walk on treadmill for 20 minutes
  • the “Bethany” - 5 rounds: 5 push ups, 5 sit ups, 5 squats
  • the “Lilo" - 20 minutes on the Elliptical
  • the “angry guerilla” - shovel drive way, run to park and back
  • the “Jobo" - pick up Jobo poop for time
See? Your kids are watching. Did we all read this and giggle a little? Yes, of course. But it just goes to show that your kids are paying attention to how you live your life. They are watching you use your sleeve to open the bathroom door, sanitize your grocery cart for 15 minutes before touching it, spend your free time in front of the TV, or lock your car doors at a red light.

ENJOY. They are also watching the way you enjoy your life, not just the things you do to protect them. They watch you lifting weights, running, sweating, and making health and fitness a priority. When you grab your gym bag and head to the Fortress, they see how excited you are and how much fun it is to be taking care of your body and making time for yourself.

So next time you think it doesn't matter if you make it to the gym today, think twice. Because your kids are watching.

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I didn’t want to own a gym

December 18th, 2014, by · Comments Off

SPANDEX. Growing up, I never said, "I want to own a gym some day". I think I told people that I wanted to be a doctor. Or a trapeze artist. Or whatever job it is where you get to wear tap shoes every day. I was going to either wear a white lab coat, or bedazzled spandex with a tutu. But I never, ever thought about owning my own gym.

TIME. As I sit here in my kitchen answering emails, responding to voicemails, mailing gift certificates, planning events and capturing my random thoughts for the blog, I realize how much I love owning a gym. For other small business owners, I don't have to tell you how much hard work you have to put into your business. It becomes like a baby. "Hey, want to start your own business? Or maybe you should adopt 12 infants." Either way, it would be the same time commitment.

BABY. But it's not just time that your business requires, it's love. It's nurturing. It's patience. You take this tiny idea and help it grow. You feed it with your heart and soul, and it starts to get bigger. Suddenly, you have a 4' long iguana living in a fish bowl, and you need to get yourself an aquarium. But what I've found, is that no matter how big this thing gets, it's still my baby.

SMILE. I still get excited every time I drive to the gym. I smile as I sing along with Taylor Swift on the radio, because I know I'm going to the best place in the world. My gym. The place that is uniquely mine - an extension of myself and all the things about the world that I love. All the hard work, all the heart ache, all the time's all worth it.

SHARE. So while I don't get to wear a tutu or tap shoes to work, I do get the immeasurable pleasure of watching my baby grow, and sharing it with all of you. I love sharing pictures and stories about the gym, and my friends there, just as much as parents love sharing stories and pictures of their children. I fill my Facebook page with videos of amazing feats of strength, and pictures of people who inspire me. People who also love my baby. The very people who I had in mind when I conceived this gym-baby.

LOVE. Thank you for loving my gym-baby, and for making it what it is today. You guys are the reason I've been nurturing this baby since 2008. Without such amazing people to share my gym with, it would just be a lonely, hollow shell. Thank you for filling the gym with love, laughter, triumph and extraordinary effort.

I love you guys! 

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Acting Strong or Being Strong. You Choose

September 29th, 2014, by · 1 Comment

Acting strong needs mirrors to workout, being strong needs a destination.
Acting strong needs friends to tell them how great they are, being strong needs friends they can help become great.
Acting strong looks around after a PR to see who’s watching, being strong puts more weight on.
Acting strong storms off when things don’t go as planned, being strong plans for tomorrow.
Acting strong is hurtfully honest, being strong is honestly helpful.
Acting strong is there for whomever is there for them, being strong is always there.
Acting strong waits to see the outcome, being strong makes the outcome.
Acting strong needs an entourage, being strong builds a community.
Acting strong needs applause, being strong needs to make others feel like they are applauded.
Acting strong is the loudest coward, being strong is the quietest fighter.
Acting strong waits for a better day, being strong lives everyday like it is their last.
Acting strong will pray as a last resort, being strong will pray as a first step.
Acting strong will display trophies of themselves, being strong will display trophies of others.
Acting strong has unending pride, being strong can’t be humble enough.
Acting strong joins a team so they can play, being strong joins a team so it can win.
Acting strong sets standards that value themselves, being strong sets standards that show value in others.
Acting strong is a burden, being strong carries them.
Acting strong fears the strong, being strong fears their own strength.
Acting strong will do anything to be accepted, being strong searches for those in need of acceptance.
Acting strong needs proof to believe, being strong is the proof others believe in.
Acting strong has no weakness, being strong overcomes weakness.

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You Are Going to Fail

September 1st, 2014, by · Comments Off

FAIL. Nobody likes to hear this, but I'm all about the hard truth. You are going to fail. It's part of life. It's part of CrossFit. It's just what happens when you challenge yourself.

LOSE. You are going to miss a rep. Drop your bar. Feel your fingers slowly losing their grip even though you're begging them to hang on. You will feel your feet grow heavy and your lungs start to burn. And will fail.

JOY. But then the most amazing thing will happen. After the failure, you are going to succeed. Shake off the funk of that failed rep. Wipe away your tears from missing a PR. Just suck it up, chalk up, and try harder.

GOALS. The highs and lows, ups and downs...they are all just part of life in the gym. You have goals. And if nobody had to fail along the way, everyone would reach their goals on the first try. And what would be the fun in that? Instead of a list of goals, it would just be your "list of stuff that's easy". See how boring that sounds?

EXPECTATIONS. This is all about setting your expectations. So much of our lives is filled with instant gratification and easy-buttons. But in the gym there is no easy button, just hard work. And if along your path to achieving your goals you are okay with a few stumbles, it will make your journey a lot more magnificent.

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