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Hear and read about how we’ve helped other people just like you! Disclaimer: Results are extremely typical.

Workout of The Day

Director’s Cut

Kris did a competition with a few gym member’s back in early October, here’s what went down…

Who did you do it with?

My teammate was Breanna Korsman, and James and Kevin were our other CFPV team.

 

How did you prepare?

I did the normal workouts written for our gym. The week before I scaled back on weight, did one extra day of yoga, and rested the day before the competition. During my rest day I foam rolled and stretched but the WODs in the gym helped prepare me enough that I didn’t feel like I needed to do anything different!

 

What were the WODs?

First WOD:
2 minutes to find 1RM front squat (team weights were added together) and then a 5 minute AMRAP of front squats at 115#

Second WOD:
8 min AMRAP
6 Thrusters (65#)
8 Pull ups
10 Burpees

Third WOD:
30-20-10
HSPU
Snatches (85#)
I had to look up the WODs because what I remember most from the day was all of the things we laughed about.

 

What did you feel the most prepared for?

Definitely the second wod. We weren’t the biggest people there so the first WOD wasn’t our strongest point. The second WOD had a light weight lift, we both felt confident about the burpees and Breanna’s butterfly pull ups saved us (and are so much fun to watch)!

 

What was the hardest part?

The snatch in the last WOD was heavy for both of us. I tried to make up for the HSPU that Breanna was flying through but it was tough.

 

What would you do differently, if anything?

Breanna and I hadn’t worked out together as a team before the competition so I would have had some practice sessions with her. We were still pretty in sync considering we hadn’t worked out together yet but I think it would have been good to talk about each other’s strong points before hand.What did you take away from it?

 

What did you take away from it?

We went in thinking that we would probably come in last place, but as long as we had fun that was all that mattered. We ended up doing really well (and coming in 11 of 14) and I think it was because we didn’t put so much pressure on ourselves. I’ve learned in other competitions that I can be my own worst enemy but I’m finally starting to focus on the things I CAN do instead of beating myself up.

 

What did you enjoy most about it?

The people I was with. Breanna, James and Kevin are amazing to struggle through a competition with. No one lost their temper, and everyone was very honest about what we could have done better and what we need to work on, without getting down on themselves. Everyone handled themselves with dignity, humility and, most importantly, humor. It was amazing to see, especially since it was Breanna and Kevin’s first competition!

How did you celebrate after?

Breanna brought beer for us and then we went to TacoLu afterwards to eat!

 

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Palm Beach Partner Throwdown

 

Who did you do it with?

Jessica Duffy

 

How did you prepare?

We prepared by practicing the workouts and lifts once they were released.  We continued our normal routine of doing CrossFit workouts daily up until dialing it back 4 days before the competition. We also followed a strict zone diet for 30 days leading up to the event.

 

What were the WODs?

The first WOD was a clean complex. We had to work up to our heaviest weight and complete a squat clean, hang squat clean, and front squat without dropping the bar.

 

The second workout was 75 pound shoulder to overhead and burpees. The repetitions increased by 3 for an 8 min AMRAP.

The third workout was a 10 minute AMRAP of rowing, kettle bell swings and goblet squats at 35 pounds.

 

The final workout was a chipper:

400m sandbag run (65#)

75 Wall balls

50 Kb snatches (25#)

30 box jump overs (20″)

10 deadlifts (125#)

100 singles each

Repeat backwards

15 min cap

 

What did you feel the most prepared for?

We put a lot of emphasis on the clean complex because that’s what we were most concerned about, specifically the hang clean. We’re both relatively small in terms of CrossFit girls, so we knew we’d excel in body weight movements like burpees and box jumps.

 

What was the hardest part?

The hardest part was the rowing/kb swing/goblet squat WOD. It was really difficult getting off the rower and going straight into squats and kettle bell swings. Also, that workout was outside at noon in the South Florida sun, so it really smoked us. It was the middle WOD, so I’d compare it to the 15 in 21-15-9 workouts. You don’t have the same adrenaline as the first WOD and you know that you still have a long day ahead of you.

 

What would you do differently, if anything?

I would probably have practiced everything a couple more times. We didn’t focus much on the second and third workouts because they were movements we had done regularly in our daily CrossFit workouts.

 

What did you take away from it?

That there is no community like the CrossFit community. Total strangers were cheering us on and supporting us, sharing tips and snacks!

 

What did you enjoy most about it?

I most enjoyed doing the competition with Jessica. It was her first CrossFit competition and we just had so much fun. She had a really positive attitude which kept me going throughout the day. We went into it as something to do just for fun, but ended up doing really well.

 

How did you celebrate after?

We celebrated after with family and gym members, Mimi and Rich, who stood in the heat all day to support us. And, food of course: Cheese fries, beer & birthday cake.

 

By Marissa Melillo

About Marissa…..
I started CrossFit at CFPV in June 2012 and after two years of CrossFitting I decided to get my Level I cert and start coaching. I fell in love with CrossFit because it brought me a reward every day no matter how big or small. Everything from breaking my own personal record or watching someone do something they never thought they could before, I love being surrounded by victories. Coaching gives me a different kind of gratification; I like showing people what it’s like to believe in themselves and the connections we all have in the gym. I was a competitive athlete throughout my life and after a career ending shoulder injury and an unsuccessful surgery, CrossFit gave me a new medium to push myself in and it’s been rewarding since day one.
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Avoiding Pitfalls During a Diet Challenge…

 

Tips for beginners during a diet challenge:

  • Plan your meals for the week.
  • Prep your meals twice a week.
  • When you feel hungry between meals, drink water! Usually when I think I’m hungry, I’m actually not.
  • Use the people doing this with you as a support system. Share your recipes, thoughts, anxieties, and tricks to get through it.
  • Try to breath and relax. Find joys in OTHER things. Food can be amazing, but if it’s the MOST amazing thing in your life you might want to find a hobby. Go for a hike, go to the beach, spend some time with your dog, get some reading done. Be proud of yourself for being in control again.

Going through a diet challenge can be difficult for a lot of reasons. Even for those of us that eat “clean” most of the time, more than likely you don’t realize just how much you cheat until you’re trying to go 30 days without any slip-ups. Thinking back on the diet challenges I’ve done in the past, these have been my biggest challenges:

  1. 30 days sounds like a lifetime
  2. Going out with friends
  3. No time to cook
  4. Craving sugar
  5. Wanting to drink
  6. Holidays/events

Over time, I’ve figured out ways to get around these obstacles. First, I’m a list person. I love making them and I love crossing things off of them even more, so having some way to count down the days helps me visually see how far I’ve gone and also that there is an end in sight. I mainly use iPhone apps (Countdown! and Events are my two favorite) to do this, but I’ve also added 5$ to a jar for every day I get through and use that money to reward myself at the end (usually shoes, shocking I know). Try not rewarding yourself with food at the end. One, remember what this challenge is about, and two, you are not a dog.

As far as going out with friends and wanting to drink, I’ve learned that the more friends I tell, the easier the challenge is. Even if the friends I was around weren’t DOING the challenge, they knew that I was and were supportive. The more people you tell, the more accountable you end up being. There were a few times in my first diet challenge that I silently planned on cheating just so I didn’t make everyone else feel uncomfortable, but the people I was with would answer for me and say “she can’t have that” if I was offered something. Problem solved. Your friends want you to succeed and more than likely will help you do so. If you have the type of friends that will urge you to cheat instead of have willpower there are ways of getting around that too, the main one being that maybe you should take a closer look at who you surround yourself with…

Not having time to cook is a problem I’m guessing we all have but planning on two prep days a week makes all the difference. I take a couple of hours on Sunday to prep my food for Monday-Wednesday, and then prep again on Wednesday for the rest of the week. Prep can mean grilling everything I need for lunch or just cutting everything up so I just have to throw everything on the grill/stove.

The challenge I faced when it came to craving sugar could be an article in and of itself. I had dreams of eating fudge stuffed cupcakes (which I’m not even sure exist) and cakes with cookie dough frosting. It wasn’t pretty. But every dream I had (yes, I really had these dreams) made me realize that I actually DO have an addictive personality…my addiction was just sugar. Time to show myself I can do this. Not having processed sugar sounds terrible, but going 30 days without it will remind you that things like cake pops, cookies, fudge, etc. are called TREATS for a reason. They should not be part of your daily or even weekly caloric intake. Now that my body is not used to that constant flow of sugar, when I do eat sweets I usually can’t eat much of them. My brain goes into sensory overload and my stomach isn’t happy with me. Once you get through the first 30 days you will pick your treats more carefully. An Oreo or 24 just doesn’t seem worth it. If you’re going to cheat, you want quality not quantity. Think of your long term goal when it comes to sugar cravings. After two weeks, the cravings and dreams will subside.

Wanting a drink falls into the same category as sugar for some of us. Dealing with stress by having a beer sounds great, getting together with friends for drinks might be a weekly occurrence (or more). That’s ok. Try to think of other ways to deal with stress. Venting to a friend, getting a good workout in, going for a long run, yoga, reading, writing, going to the beach….there are a million ways to deal with stress that don’t involve you drinking/cheating on the diet challenge/stressing out about it.  And I’m guessing when you hang out with your friends, you’re there more for their company than the liquor. Order sparkling water and cranberry juice with a lime so you get the fizzy drink feeling and pay more attention to your friends and what they have to say.

I saved holidays and events for last on purpose. I think the main reason a lot of people never even TRY to do a diet challenge is because at some point in that month they have a holiday or event they want to celebrate. I hope there is not EVER a 30 day stretch of time that you don’t have something to celebrate. But what about the other 25-29 days you’re NOT celebrating? You could give your body a break the rest of the time, right? Going 30 days is amazingly commendable, but going 29, 28…maybe 27 days and messing up a couple of times because you have this amazing life with so many exciting, happy things going on that you wanted to have a glass of champagne or a slice of really great cheesecake sounds like an important part of being able to MAINTAIN this once the “challenge” part is over. If you make it through an event without cheating, you are my hero. If you don’t, you are human. Start again tomorrow. It’s not the end of the world, it’s not the end of the challenge and tomorrow is another day.

How I go about diet challenges:

I plan. I use Sunday and Wednesday to make my food for the week. I look for a holiday 30 days away (a birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.) and see the light at the end of the tunnel. I don’t think about all of the things I CAN’T eat, how long 30 days sounds, or how tough this is going to be. I DO think about all of the things I can eat, how great I’m going to feel, how well I’m going to sleep, how I’m giving my body a chance to take a break. Notice I said body, not mind. Your brain will be tired from going through a thousand thoughts and emotions. Listen to them, take time to sort them out, and realize that it’s ok and this is not that big a deal. Talk to each other for support. Phone a friend, find a life line. Sometimes just talking with a friend about the cake you think you’ll want to eat at the end of this, helps. Finding fun paleo recipes, swapping recipes or meals with friends and sharing them with the people that are going through this with you helps. You have an amazing support system…USE IT!

By Kris Amatuli

By Kris Amatuli

About Kris….
I started CrossFitting at CFPV in 2010 while I was getting my M.S. in biology at UNF. After a year and a half of being a member at CFPV I got my L1 certification, became a trainer and I love it! I also work at UNF as a visiting biology lecturer and mainly teach general biology, zoology, and anatomy & physiology. I am a Michael Jackson loving, Harry Potter obsessed, fitness nerd and I love spending time on the beach in Neptune, running with my dog, yoga, Pilates, Toes to Bar, and Green Room Brewery.
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Wake Up Like an Athlete…Live Like an Athlete pt.1

 

One of the things I love about competing in a sport is that it guides your life outside of the gym. You make sure you’re hydrated because you’re recovering from your last training session and getting ready for the next. You skip satisfying urges and cravings because you know they will set you back. You train your brain as hard as you train your body and learn to control your emotions because when it’s time to perform, they don’t serve you.

 

You don’t need to be a serious athlete to train and eat like one and you don’t have to live like a monk either. You do need to love your body and respect it. What that means to each individual person is different. To me it means eating high quality food and keeping portions in control, drinking at least 120 ounces of water a day, stretching more than I train, sleeping as soundly as I can when it’s possible, and  carefully warming up first thing in the morning.

 

What would living like an athlete mean to you?

 

Paint a picture in your mind what you would do differently in the day and start somewhere. Add a new habit after you’re settled into your first one. Undoubtedly the biggest bang for your buck is your diet and it’s also the hardest to control for most of us. I can’t stress to you enough that we have a very bad relationship with food. Imagine if you put all the expectations of food on a person! I’m upset; you are going to make me feel better. I’m happy; you’re going to make me happier. It’s my birthday, you are going to be the highlight of my night and you better be spelled correctly. I’ve had a terrible day, take my mind off it. Food would be pretty exhausted with us after a year or so. Food would be moving back in with its mother and changing its Facebook status to “It’s complicated”.

 

There are a lot of ways to approach food out there and the wonderful thing is that if something doesn’t resonate with you there is something else to try. In no particular order we love: The Zone Diet, The Paleo Diet, The Whole 30, The Mediterranean Diet, The Athlete’s Plate, and there’s probably a few I would give props too but forgot.

 

If dietary changes are a little too overwhelming at the moment then start with something else that will pay off huge in terms of how you feel: a wake up workout.

 

It shouldn’t be intense and it shouldn’t have a bunch of reps; the idea is to wake your body up and get blood moving. Here’s a quick one I love to do in bed before I put my feet on the floor:

Lying

 5 reps of a Knee Pull Crunch with a 2 second hold at the top

 http://www.exrx.net/Stretches/ErectorSpinae/Lying.html

LyingBentLeg

2 reps of a Bent Windshield Wiper at each clock position

http://www.exrx.net/Stretches/Obliques/LyingBentLeg.html

SidePretzel

5 reps alternating each side of a Side Pretzel with a deep breath in each side.

http://www.exrx.net/Stretches/HipAbductors/SidePretzel.html

LyingHipFlexor

5 reps alt. each side of a Hip Flexor Stretch (I crunch my abs and pull hard)

 http://www.exrx.net/Stretches/HipFlexors/LyingHipFlexor.html

 

Once my feet are on the ground it’s time to either get moving or I’ll do 5 more exercises.

BehindHeadChest

5 reps of a Chest Stretch hold for 3 seconds each

http://www.exrx.net/Stretches/ChestGeneral/BehindHead.html

Standing

5 reps of a Bicep Stretch with a 5 second hold at the top

http://www.exrx.net/Stretches/Biceps/Standing.html

StandingIbiotibial

5 reps both ways of hip circles with my feet apart, together, and crossed.

http://www.exrx.net/Stretches/HipAbductors/StandingIliotibial.html


NeckRotation

5 reps each side of side-to-side then up-and-down neck stretches

http://www.exrx.net/Stretches/Sternocleidomastoid/NeckRetraction.html

http://www.exrx.net/Stretches/Sternocleidomastoid/NeckRotation.html

Standing (1)

5 reps on one side then the other of an Upper Trap Stretch

http://www.exrx.net/Stretches/TrapeziusUpper/Trap.html

 

This takes about 5-10 minutes to do and I can’t describe to you how good I feel after. The best part? You can do some of these anywhere. Scan your body and find what’s tight and open it up.

 

Living like an athlete doesn’t mean to live like a full time athlete, the fun thing about not having the glorious job of working out for a living is that I can drink a few glasses of wine at night and I don’t feel like I’m doing any harm. Just treat your body like you would treat your car if it was the only one you’re ever going to get for your entire life. Athletes have to rely on their bodies to work so they treat them with the respect that they deserve. Love your body and do the same as an athlete at critical times like waking and laying down for the night and you will be amazed how the good feeling you had that started out physical penetrates deeper than just your muscles bones.

 

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The Pay It Forward Instagram Challenge!

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Win 50% off a month of your membership and 50% off your friend’s membership at CFPV!

3 Easy Steps

1)      Teach your friend how to squat.

2)      Snap a pic of your friend in the bottom of their squat.

3)      Post it to our Instagram account

Captain obvious would like you to know…your friend should not be a current CrossFitter.

Contest ends 2/28 Winner Announced 3/3

 

 

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CrossFit Lite

CFLite

Our CrossFit Lite class will be about the best of what CrossFit has to offer: Constantly varied functional movements. Usually we add “executed at a high intensity”. But that’s not what our CF Lite class is about. We’re going to let go of heavy weights, barbells, and things like Olympic lifts.

There will be an emphasis on bodyweight movements, correct movement patterns, and building foundational strength that mirrors the demands of the real world. The class will provide an atmosphere that fosters careful exploration into different movements under controlled conditions.

If you found a CrossFit class to be a little too fast paced this is like Jimmy Buffet CrossFit. Slower, relaxed, and happy. You should not go home and want to lay on the couch with a glass of wine and an ice pack. Our aim is to have you leave our gym that day feeling strong, confident, and stoked for the next class.

 

Here’s the details…

Class days and times: Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10:00am

Where: CrossFit Ponte Vedra

Cost: $90 for a 10 class card

 

Just like our regular CrossFit classes, we always give you your first class free so you can see if it’s something you’d like to use in your workout schedule. This class has an open door policy so if you’re interested just come over!

 

Have a question? Email andy@crossfitpontevedra.com or call us at 904-834-2602

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What do you need? Warning: Wall of text to come…

 

Let’s take 3 different CrossFit athletes…

Meathead Matt, String Bean Sally, and Beginning Barbra.

 

You can guess their strength and background just by their names. Meathead Matt is the typical male. Lifted weights, probably played competitive sports, strong but turns red and gasps for air if he parks on the far side of the parking lot and has to sprint through the rain to get inside the grocery store. String Bean Sally is your average “fit” female. She probably “runs” and does yoga. Likes to “mix it up” with classes at the Y. She either has low body fat and would fall over in a stiff breeze or she is neither frail or low in body fat but is scared of getting bulky and just wants to “tone”. Beginning Barbra is the mom who is starting to take her life back. She’s sacrificed a lot for her family and now she wants some me time. She works hard in the gym and does her best with her diet. She wants to get after it and start pushing herself harder but isn’t sure where to start.

 

Side note: These have genders associated with them. Please disregard them as they have been taken on by men and women alike. I’ve met women who were strong but hated cardio (Rugby ladies you know who you are). And I’ve met men who I immediately threw a jar of almond butter and a chicken breast at and told them to start eating. Case in point: don’t let your imagination stagnate by my limited writing skills.

 

Meathead Matt is going to always want to stick to heavier workloads. He’s going to bias strength heavy workouts and will come up with a reason why he has to scale down the workouts that expose his issues with stamina and endurance. He probably sucks at bodyweight exercises and falls apart with high reps. Matt doesn’t need to be strong, he just likes it and whether he knows it or not, he’s probably scared to death to find out who he is if he’s not the big strong dude in the room.

 

We believe it will be good for Matt’s fitness (and his soul) to let go of a little bit of strength. I know. That’s blasphemy in CrossFit right now. If Matt isn’t a competitive athlete or competitive CrossFitter and works in an office and leads a normal life he probably doesn’t need to squat double his body weight. He needs to get his body back into balance. That probably means a steady diet of yoga, soft tissue work, lots of body weight WODs and no heavy lifting, probably for a year. Like I said, blasphemy. We believe that the true value behind CrossFit is having a physical body that is well balanced in all capacities. If you can do Grace in under 3 minutes but don’t have a 20 round Cindy, your body is jacked up. If you’ve strength trained and didn’t balance it with flexibility and mobility work, I know you have some physical pathology that needs attention. CrossFit WODs give enough of a strength stimulus for everyday life and you don’t need the extra work Matt. And stop hiding behind your strength and flipping tires; expose yourself a little and be vulnerable. Confront your shortcomings and see what life is like on the other side of the fence, physically and mentally. Brené Brown: The power of vulnerability

 

String Bean Sally is the polar opposite of Meat Head Matt. She is just plain weak. Everywhere. She has a hard time finding her intensity because of preconceived notions on what lifting weights, hard work, and big effort will do to her body. Luckily with enough time she’ll come around. The tough part is that these people drop off quick when they first enroll in a CrossFit gym and we never get a chance to show them tangible results. Maybe it’s because CrossFit is hard or that she sees her body inflamed and thinks she’s getting bulky (muscle tissue swells up for a few days after you work it). Our members are our walking billboards. They are proof of what intensity can achieve. NONE of the women in our gym are muscle bound and bulky looking. We are also lucky that CrossFit has started the conversation on a wide scale about women lifting weights and exercising at a high intensity. In 2008 Tracy Anderson, who made an already skinny Gwyneth Paltrow skinnier, said no woman should lift over 3 pounds for weight. Tracy Anderson has a PhD in exercise physiology and regularly holds lectures and presents her research on women’s fitness at multiple colleges across the country. That last sentence was a complete lie. She’s a former dancer who put out a video series and trains a few famous people; if her methods were so fantastic and her theories on point, she would have over 8,000 affiliated gyms worldwide. She doesn’t but want to venture a guess who does? CrossFit. Proof, meet pudding.

 

Sally needs to soldier up. The best way we do it is taking it workout to workout. If she’s too drained or it took all the courage she could muster just to get to the class that day because of life or past WODs or whatever, we give her a break- just go easy and be glad you’re here. When she comes in with the life back in her eyes, we give her the tough love. In due time Sally will transform from a dainty, soft spoken, girly girl into a fire breathing, confident, not afraid to speak her mind woman. She’ll probably enjoy it to. Deep in her soul, she’ll always be that girl but she know how to lace her boots up and fight for what’s hers. And she won’t be muscle bound or bulky. She’ll have lost the fat in her limbs she thought was muscle and she’ll actually have the muscle she didn’t have to look “toned”.

 

Lastly is the most complicated one: Beginning Barbra. She has probably been sedentary for the last few years. She busts her butt in the gym but is coming from such a deficit that she feels like she’s getting nowhere. Her coaches can see a difference in her but she is struggling with whether or not she’s making headway and if she’s at the right place. She wants to try and push her up and we are not going to get in her way. The intelligent way to approach this is to let her pick one day out of her week where she intentionally goes harder. Then the other days she is back to her normal scaling (our gym created a mathematical formula to scale workouts predictably and there are 4 levels to choose from). If she needs to, she could even back off one of the workouts even more to allow for recovery but we haven’t found that to be necessary. Barbra is going to have to push through on all fronts and when she does, she’ll find herself cruising a long and realizing that her potential lies much higher than what she actually thought it was. Sometimes the body needs a push to hum along on a higher frequency and we’ve found that people like Barbra do well with an easy introduction to a higher intensity with lower expectations on the other workouts for the first few weeks.

 

The underlying theme we haven’t confronted here is the basis for understanding what our view of CrossFit is: Expectations in the gym should match expectations you want in your life. I (me personally) don’t want to Clean and Jerk the world. I want to Clean and Jerk. I want to Clean and Jerk heavy. But I compete in CrossFit competitions for fun and not competitively and I don’t compete in weight lifting or strength based sports (I race stand up paddleboards). That means I can relax about my “numbers”. That means if I am maintaining my C&J I’m happy. 5 Pounds over my Personal Record and I’m elated. 10 pounds under? Meh, must not be my day today. We suggest this approach for over 90% of our gym and we’ve seen it work wonderfully. It keeps you happy, genuinely just appreciating getting a killer workout, and feeling fit without feeling crazy or obsessed.

 

Your CrossFit experience should serve you and your goals. Pursuing something that is needless to your life outside of the gym can be extremely motivating and help drive you. It can also make you absolutely bonkers and stifle any kind of happiness and satisfaction from your pursuit of fitness. Our relaxed approach (relaxed compared to other CrossFit gyms) isn’t for everyone and it’s what makes us unique and gives a breath of fresh air in a community stifled by performance, competition, and pressure. It’s given us a lot of perspective and keeps us on the path that CrossFit HQ suggests for everyone but the competitive CrossFitters :low trajectory to a distant horizon.

 

It is no good getting furious if you get stuck. What I do is keep thinking about the problem but work on something else. Sometimes it is years before I see the way forward.” -Steven Hawking

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Being a Female CrossFitter and Coach

 

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Written by Kris Amatuli 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recently I read an article titled “10 Reasons You Should Take More Notice of What a Female Coach Has To Say”. I read this soon after four people sent me a different article titled “You should be dating a CrossFit Girl. Here’s why”. These articles might seem unrelated but it made me realize (or maybe remember) that being a woman can be tough, being a woman that CrossFits can be even harder, and being a female CrossFit coach is rewarding and intimidating at the same time.

 

For starters, I am NOT complaining. Being a female, especially one that CrossFits, is amazing. Up until three and a half years ago my hands had never touched a barbell, so is every tiny accomplishment exciting? You bet. Does it feel even better winning a competition when you hear people say “and they had GIRLS on their team!”? Absolutely. And ironically, these are the same things that make it intimidating.

 

Until reading the two articles, I didn’t put much thought into how people reacted towards me as a coach. Aside from the occasional “this guy doesn’t believe a word I’m saying because I don’t have a penis” conversation I’d had with my coach, I didn’t think my gender mattered in the gym. Oh but it does.

 

My first thought after reading the female coach article was “AWESOME”. I couldn’t have said it better myself. I’ve always felt like I deserved a little credit for having to struggle more to get certain lifts and movements. I wanted to send the article to everyone in the gym so the girls could relate to me a little better and the guys would listen more. A few days of reading this article every morning to psych myself up for class I started to realize – wait, I want men to read this article so they listen more? Do I really feel like every male takes what I say with a grain of salt?

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The answer is, no, BUT, the moments that I’ve used a cue over and over only to hear “(male coaches name) showed me how to do double-unders/cleans/etc. He told me I just had to (insert the same cue I used 1000 times with them here)!” aren’t exactly few and far between. I, in no way, think that I am the best coach on the planet, but I’ve reached a point that I have busted my ass enough to live up to my mentors expectations yet still feel intimidated in a room full of men that, 99% of the time, haven’t been CrossFitting as long as me or spent as much time learning the subtle nuances of the movements. It can get frustrating to say the least.

 

I’ve also become more aware of how people react towards me now in regards to CrossFit; something that was my driving force to get out of bed at 5am during grad school when everyone else was nursing a hangover, that I am lucky enough to now call a career. This is obviously not something I take lightly–no one likes getting out of bed at 5am. CrossFit has become something that I am proud of yet hesitant to bring up and I don’t know if men have the same problem.

 

I’ve never seen an article convincing women why dating a man that CrossFits isn’t such a bad idea (yes, I looked). I’m newly single and back in the very scary world of bars and dating, I have had two men lose interest or ask if I was 1) gay or 2) trying to “get big” when my answer to “So what do you like to do?” wasn’t shop, sew, dance, cook or paint my girlfriends toes. I assume any man turned off by something I am not only passionate about but has gotten me in the best shape I’ve ever been in, is concerned less with what I can do and more with what he cannot.

Likes looking pretty, taking pictures, fancy parties, toes to bars, and thrusters.

Likes looking pretty, taking pictures, fancy parties, toes to bars, and double bodyweight deadlifts.

Again, I am NOT complaining. But I do think it’s important to bring attention to the fact that the world wants me to be a picture perfect version of every woman on the cover of a magazine, yet using CrossFit as a tool makes me less feminine. I think it’s necessary to talk about the confidence I’ve gained BECAUSE I am a CrossFitter, that I have to tone down so I don’t make a male (notice I said a male, not a man) uncomfortable. (side note: boys don’t like when you tell them you could probably deadlift more than their body weight as you walk away to find a better suitor).

 

Most importantly, I have to acknowledge the fact that I am a woman and when it comes to coaching I KNOW WHAT I’M DOING. Attitude is everything. If I don’t recognize these issues and think about them, how am I ever going to move past them? If I have this thought in the back of my head all the time that they would listen better or trust me more if I was a man, can I really be the best coach I’m capable of being? If I’ve learned anything, it’s that you can only change the things you can control, and how other people feel about or react towards you is not one of them.

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