My Two Pood Worth for Bootcampers

My Two Pood Worth

Making a Six-Week Challenge a Lifetime Commitment

We have a six-week boot camp going on right now.  Coaching this group has been incredibly humbling as I see how dedicated and excited they are at the prospect of transforming themselves.  I have developed a deep love and respect for each of our new members and so desperately desire to see them succeed!  I’ve spent some time reflecting on previous boot camps and the people who have transitioned from a six-week challenge to being CFTC Challengers with the hopes of providing insight and inspiration to our current bootcampers.  Whether you are a boot camper yourself, new to CrossFit, or looking to make a lasting life change, I pray that this advice is germane (fitting, isn’t it?) to you as well.

  1. Goals - At least 90% of the people who sign up for our bootcamp do so because they are unhappy with their bodies.  They want to lose weight and / or gain muscle and have been unable to do so on their own.  While these are legitimate and admirable goals, I have found that those who end up sticking around (and reaching these goals in the process), are the ones that take their focus off of their appearance and more on their ability and personal growth.  Instead of obsessing about the weight on the scale, they become more concerned about the weight on their barbell.  It becomes less about how you look in the mirror and more about how your olympic form looks.  This is so healthy and empowering in a culture that values little more than size 0s and washboard abs.  While you will absolutely notice a transformation in body, I believe that it is the transformation of mind and soul that brings people back long after the last day of boot camp.

  2. Celebrate the little victories - Because of the constantly varied attribute of CrossFit which entails gymnastics, weight lifting, and metabolic conditioning among other things, there are a bajillion different things to get better at.  For some, this can be incredibly intimidating - where do you even begin?  Instead, I have found it incredibly rewarding to instead see them as different, measurable movements of growth.  Because there are so many various aspects, you can continually have PRs and never grow stagnant in your abilities.  Rather than being discouraged by what you can’t do (yet), focus on and be encouraged by what you can do now that would not have been possible a month ago.  Make small goals for yourself and then celebrate each victory! 

  3. See food as fuel, not the enemy - Many come into boot camp feeling discouraged with their eating habits, thinking they are unable to change or are sick of yo-yo dieting.  This is part of the reason why we do not encourage boot campers to count calories.  We do not want you to feel restricted and view food as the enemy to your goals, but rather see food as fuel to surpass your goals.  We encourage a paleo lifestyle because we believe that fueling your body with nutrient-dense whole foods will go far beyond helping you lose weight, but provide lasting health and true wellness.  The details of this can vary for each individual (I could not survive without peanut butter and coffee whereas Andy has rice almost every day), but the general concept remains the same.  Real food is a gift from God that allows us to achieve our goals and live life to the fullest.

  4. Community - During this session of boot camp, we have had four CrossFit members sacrificially give up their time and energy to come alongside and mentor the bootcampers.  They stick around for the class and help with form as well as shoot encouraging messages throughout the week and develop relationships.  This is a pillar of what CrossFit the Challenge represents and speaks highly of those who have made it their home.  Although the coaching is great (obviously), it is the community that is what brings people back and helps them to stay.  When you join our box, you are not an isolated athlete seeking your own gains.  You immediately join a family of moms, contractors, teachers, grandparents, engineers and college students who are just as concerned about cheering you on to accomplish your goals as they are with their own.  We are a family, witnessing each others’ good, bad and ugly.  We laugh together, cry together, sweat together and do life together.  We pick each other up (now that we’re strong enough!) and keep each others’ egos in check.  You may walk in a stranger, but you will leave a friend.  

In closing,

To our current boot campers - we are so grateful for you!  It has been an honor to come alongside you as you have dedicated these six-weeks to a “new you!”  I hope this helps encourage you to stay on and make CFTC your home and CrossFit a lifestyle.

To our current CrossFit members - what a blessing you are!  It is because of you that CFTC is a place where people can feel loved and accepted wherever they are on their wellness journey.  You each have incredible testimonies and I am honored to be a part of your life and your family.

To future boot campers - No matter where you are physically, mentally or emotionally, we would love to be a part of your journey and help you achieve any goals you may have.  At CFTC you will find no condemnation, only inspiration, unconditional love and a close-knit family!

All my best,


Confessions of a CrossFit Mama

It’s been almost a year and a half since I completed the most epic AMRAPP (As Many Rounds As Possible of Pushing) of my life.  My beautiful baby boy is approaching 18-months and as he continues to grow, I have spent some time looking back at my CrossFit Mama journey.  It has been full of good, bad and ugly.  For the benefit of other CrossFit moms, moms-to-be, or anyone who wants to better empathize with those individuals in your community box, Here is my story.  

I can tell you that coming back to CrossFit after having a baby has been one of the hardest, most humbling experiences of my life.   BUT it has also been the most rewarding, healthy and healing journeys I’ve had.  CrossFit with a kiddo changes everything.  Everything.  Before Titan, CrossFit was my life.  Many of you know what I’m talking about.  It becomes an obsession.  I would wake up in the morning focused on when I could get my WOD in for the day.  I would go back and forth trying to decide whether I liked morning or afternoon WODS better.  This was seriously my thought process - “If I go in the morning, I probably won’t be able to push as hard and won’t have any idea of what finishing time is respectable because I’ll be one of the first ones to try it.  Plus if I do it early, I won’t have the rest of the day to look forward to it.  But if I wait until the afternoon, I may be too tired and won’t be able to push as hard and I’ll be stressing all day worrying that something might come up and I won’t be able to make it to the box.”  Like I said, obsessed.  And I was uber competitive, in a dumb way.  I mean, I was good, but by no means an advanced CrossFitter but I acted like I was the cat’s meow.  It’s actually embarrassing now that I think back on it.  

When I found out I was pregnant my first thoughts were, “Awesome.  Wait, what about CrossFit?!”  I had made some big gains that year and felt the sky was the limit.  But now I had another human being in side of me.  I knew I couldn’t keep working out in the way that I had and if I’m completely honest with you, it wasn’t just because I wanted to protect my baby.  I mean, of course I didn’t want to do anything to jeopardize the health or safety of my sweet growing bundle, but I knew I was really competitive.  I knew I would struggle pulling back the reins during a WOD, especially when everyone around me was pushing their limits.  I felt it would be depressing to feel my progress decline in comparison to everyone else.  Wow, that’s embarrassing to admit out loud.  Welp, I promised to give you the good, the bad and the ugly of it, folks.  I also didn’t feel that doing just 12 minutes of moderate intensity would be enough for me.  For this reason, I decided my best bet would be to create my own program of 45-60 minute moderate intensity strength and cardio at home.  That way there would be no judging eyes and I could push myself however hard I felt safe.  (A quick note on this - Can we just all acknowledge what a crappy mom-judging culture we have?!).  I so admire those women who can CrossFit through pregnancy, but I just couldn’t do it in a healthy way.  I am hopeful that next time around I will be at a better place mentally and physically to do this.  We’ll see…  Anyway, that became my new norm until Ti was born.  

I remember the day six weeks post delivery when I got the okay to start exercising again.  I drove straight to the box from the clinic.  Oh, it felt SOOO good to be back in that haven.  But it quickly became evident to me that I had lost A LOT more strength then I had realized.  Pull ups were gone.  Weight that used to feel light was now impossible to lift.  Not to mention all the new noises and other things that were occurring with HSPUs and double-unders (see, I told you it would get ugly).  I was so discouraged and honestly considered whether it was worth trying to get back into it.  I was humiliated.  Although everyone knew I had just had a baby, I still wondered whether they were thinking snide comments about me in their heads.  I was so humbled by it all.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to devote all my time and energy to CrossFit anymore.  Finding time to make it to the box five days a week would be a struggle now that I was working full-time and had a baby.  I would have to be okay with no longer being one of the better athletes in the gym and give up my ego.  When I decided to do that, it was like a big weight was lifted off of my shoulders (no pun intended).  For the first time in a long time, I didn’t feel pressure to perform at the top level.  I could just enjoy the community and do my best and stop comparing myself to everyone else.  And rather than focusing on how much strength I had lost, I got to relive each moment of accomplishment!  I got to experience that first strict pull ups, first Rx WOD, etc.  

Now, I’d love to insert here a before and after picture to show how incredible the fight back has been, but I have to be real with y’all - your eyes would be drawn to the stretchies and a big hole that used to be my cute belly piercing.  Ain’t nobody want to see that.  Give them a little time to fade and shrink and then we might give that a go.  

I am finally free to enjoy CrossFit as it was meant to be.  Rather than being my life, it enhances my life.  If I can’t get to the box for a WOD, it doesn’t ruin my day.  If I have to cut a WOD short because Titan needs me, I can walk away and be fine with it.  There are times when I feel my former obsession creeping up, but I can usually quickly squelch it when I realize how much richer my life is now.  I’d give 20 pounds off of my squat for Titan’s smile any day.  Although I haven’t gotten all of my former PR’s back, I am getting ever closer and I believe 2017 will bring even better PR’s and accomplishments than ever.  And if not, I’ll be okay with that.  CrossFit is amaze-balls.  But being a mom is even better.  

("First published January 2017 for Max Oxygen CrossFit Downtown.")