Made In CrossFit

June 29, Arizona

Remember how I said I was stressed just picking a box when I had three choices? Here’s what came up when I was in Tempe (Phoenix):



Holy. Crap.

I started with the ones closest to my hotel, as well as either of the airports I’d be working from. I swiftly axed the airport ones as I had no interest in driving 20 minutes home after, soaked in sweat. It’s too dang hot.



(And this was AFTER the workout and the quick drive back to base!)

To be totally honest, I spent a LOT of time comparing, but I’m pretty sure I picked Made In CrossFit because they had Murph pics up. Off went a message and back came a very welcoming invitation. Since they had scheduled intro classes, I plugged my info into their website and waited for the next one.

Upon arrival, owner Oscar welcomed me, and assured me form and mobility were tantamount (Yep! Look what I found!). I watched a bit of the previous workouts finishing up, and witnessed some new PRs – heard the bell ring and lots of congratulations from everyone else. It felt like an awesome environment to be in.



Coach Katie took the newbies and went over all the movements, including scaled options available; then we went for a run, and I got SUPER lightheaded (due to some huge issues happening back home, I really hadn’t eaten that day or drank enough water). I’ll admit up front I didn’t push hard, my lunges could have gone deeper, my Spider-Man’s longer, but my goal was not to black out. I let the coach know so she could keep an eye out, and she kept form in check where any weight was involved.

We did 3 rounds of 5 Spider-Man wall walks, 100′ weighted walking lunges, and 5 diamond push-ups. I finished right at the 15 minute time cap, tired and SOAKED.



Due to the aformentioned issues back at home, I pretty much finished my work and booked the first flight back, but if I find myself back in Phoenix, I plan to go visit again!
A couple more shots of their giant facility (lifted from their facebook page)

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Made In CrossFit
(480) 415-4745
#5, 1130 W. Alameda Dr, Tempe AZ

Silver Strike CrossFit

June 7-20, Nevada

When I finally caved, bit the bullet, and started looking for the box where I was stationed I was in Carson City, Nevada. I thought it was a small town, imagine my surprise to find three local gyms.
At first I panicked a bit at having to choose, but I got on some message boards and asked opinions, as well as found a poster at local java hangout Comma Coffee (it just has this ‘trust us’ vibe). So I sent my ridiculously hesitant message off. Jen was quick to reply, reassuring, and just so darn friendly, that off to Silver Strike CrossFit I went.


On arriving I found puppies and very welcoming, friendly folks. It wasn’t huge like 403, more like 403 was in their last location. These guys had been open for a mere month.

And I found out the gym owner Jen sufficiently creeped me back on facebook, and discovered mutual law enforcement connections. I can be apprehensive confiding in people that I’m away from home with minimal supervision, for obvious safety reasons, yet I unknowingly chose the gym owned by a cop; with at least one other police officer and a corrections officer among their membership. Josh had seemed a little concerned with all my talk of “people I met at the gym” and I laughed silently, wishing I could tell him how safe I was (remember he’s currently in the dark on this). Another reason I knew I chose the right gym-a copy of Supple Leopard on the stereo.

The coaches were made well aware of the fact that I knew NOTHING, and Mike went over all the movements we would be doing in the workout with me. The warmup was back squats so we started with an empty bar and practiced form while everyone went through their warmup. A LOT of form was corrected (yes honey, my squats suck), and true to CrossFit form, even though half of my warmup was instruction, the warmup felt like a workout.


I’m in there!



Then came the actual workout. Sprints were outside. In the sun. In the 95 degree desert (at least it’s a dry heat).
I only had an empty bar but the rest of the class treated me like I was one of them and we all chipped away at the tasks. I rewarded myself at each sprint turnaround with a pat on the bulldog’s head.



Tried my best to focus on the form, and squatting deeper since I had the advantage of no weight, but I’m sure by the end I was only going down about 3″.

True to CrossFit form there were lots of “congratulations” and “good jobs”. I was DEAD, and it took three days for me to be able to sit down unassisted again.


But I went back for more…NOT the next day like my sadistic husband’s first time. Four days later. The same coach and two of the same people from my first class were there. A nice small group so I could stay supervised without taking too much attention from others.

Once again, I was ready to be done after the warmup (wasn’t that the workout?). Alex & Mike put weight on my bar-just 10 per side, but it was enough to feel the dynamics of the movement more than PVC pipe offered. Kind of neat to have a ‘click’ moment. 10 more per side was added but I lost form quick so we pulled it back off (yay for being safe!).

Setting up for the workout we opted to split the difference and add 5 to each side. Holy crap honey I did a workout with a 45lb bar! (Shut up that’s big for me.) I was REALLY ready to be done after three rounds, I’ll give CrossFit props for having that peer pressure aspect that made me finish. I wasn’t fast, but I finished. And I was wrecked again.



Umm…and again (despite posting now, I was composing as I go). A long story involving airplanes and explosives (that do belong on the airplanes!) and FedEx and I was stressed and upset and still stuck NOT going home. So why not add some physical pain to the mix. We tried handstands, did strict presses (mine suck less than my squats form-wise, I just have ZERO strength. Bar only, albeit the 35lb one) paired with Michelle who had been there every time with me (who just about got back to her 1RM!). Then Annie, which I kind of did in 13 minutes. I didn’t double the single-under count on the 40s set (the coach said I didn’t have to at all) but I figured I paid to be there, why cheat myself out of it. It would be like leaving for 15 minutes in the middle of a movie. It got super awkward (to me) at the end when I was the last one going and everyone watched, but I’m starting to like this crowd ❤️

Silver Strike CrossFit
(775) 720-8304
3260 Centennial Park Dr, Carson City NV

Hostile Takeover

Hi, I’m Josh’s wife, and I am NOT a CrossFitter…so unless you know him/us in person, you’ve probably never heard of me (No, wait! He posted our Christmas card pics in 2012…where he called my roller derby a “hobby” but CrossFit “who I am.”) I guess you could call me a box bunny because I’ve been around 403 enough to be friends with a lot of the members, but as long as Josh has been doing CrossFit, I’ve been holding out on it. It’s just not my style, I don’t like getting yelled at, the gangster music, the excessive effort required…a lot of reasons. If this progresses, I will still refuse to call myself a “CrossFitter”, I will just be a person who does CrossFit. (I KNOW that’s possible, I’ve met some even at 403!)

However, for many reasons, I’m giving it a go:
-recent body image dissatisfaction, and very little motivation to actually do anything about it
-travelling for work, why not check out different boxes and see how many I can go to
-a ‘grand gesture’ of sorts to add a common interest between my husband and I (although I confess part of my lengthy holdout was absolutely begrudging of how my roller derby was never taken seriously)
-and, you know, to put something back in this space he has neglected for so long!

The catch-I’m NOT doing it at 403. I’m not even doing it with Josh (yet). I travel all over North America with my job, so I started trying it out wherever I’ve got time when on the road. Oh, and I haven’t told him I’m doing it yet…

There’s a new rookie in town.

Except out of town.

Coming to a town near you.

(Did I make that cheesy enough?)

Gettin Shredded

Dear friends and family,

I’m excited to tell you about a big commitment that I’ve made. We all know that losing weight is tough. My results in the past have been positive, with 100lbs missing from my body since 2011.  I have tried a lot of methods, found some that worked and more that didn’t.  I’ve Captained teams in weight loss challenges, and am happy and thankful that my efforts have inspired others to better themselves through hard work and nutrition.  That said, I’ve decided to try something different this time. Something better and bigger…way bigger.

For the next year, I will be living and training as an athlete.

I know that might sound intense, but it makes perfect sense. The fitness athletes that I admire most all have a have a coach, they follow a structured training program, they have teammates that drive and support them. Instead of dieting, they focus on eating lots of high-quality food so that they can fuel their body properly. They know how to rest and recover so that they can sustain that active, high-performance lifestyle. That lifestyle is exactly what I’ve committed to.  We are all very lucky at CrossFit 403 to have Heather, Regan, and the coaching staff we do, and I’m very proud to be part of that coaching staff, a staff that tries to push ourselves a little further in order to learn and bring more to the table for our members, our family.

To this end, I have been given the opportunity to work with CrossFit Games athlete Mike McGoldrick and his friends from the Barbell Shrugged podcast to be a part of the first Barbell Shredded program.  It’s 52 weeks of continuous work, it will be very hard, but should be very rewarding, and I am very much looking forward to learning some new things that will not only help me achieve my fitness performance goals, but will also provide me with new tools that I can bring to the amazing family at CrossFit 403.  I will still be coaching and working out with the 403 crew, that will not change, most of this journey will take place behind the scenes but I want everyone to be aware.

My hope is that one of these new tools will be effective in helping you achieve your goals and instill the confidence needed for you to BE the change you want to be.

Here’s my request – Please help to hold me accountable.

Some days will be easier than others. I won’t always feel like going to the gym for a tough workout. If we are at a restaurant and everyone is eating junk food, please don’t offer me any. I’ll just say no. And please don’t ask me again until I give in. I know that it’s “just one bite, just this once,” but that attitude is exactly why most transformations fail.

If we’re going to grab some dinner together, can we please go to a restaurant that is both delicious and healthy for us (this will be good for both us us after all…).

I need you to make this process easier for me, not harder.

You’re my friends, my family, and my support and I need you to be strong with me until I can do it all on my own.

Help remind me of my commitment. Please encourage and believe in me.

I’m still a normal person, I’ll have a cheat meal here and there, but I seriously do want the next 12 months to be the 12 healthiest months of my entire life.

With your help, I know I can make it happen and I can achieve this transformation.


Murph and 403

Murph May 19 2014


It wasn’t my first Hero WOD…that was Klepto.

It’s not the hardest Hero WOD I’ve done either, and there’s several that have movements I still dream of being able to do…

But this hero, Murph, means something.

I’m not sure if it’s because I think that Murph and I were pretty similar in our loyalties and values, or because we both chose careers where he knew that death was a possibility, where we run into the danger when others run away. I’m not sure if it’s because I have many other friends who are in similar careers with Police, Fire, and Military, and I understand that any watch could be their last. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve researched what happened on June 28, 2005 more than any other military mission, making Murph more human to me, or because his legacy really is just that big.

I’m just not sure.

What I am sure of though, is that I have never been emotional while briefing a WOD for 26 of CrossFit 403’s finest. Seeing 19 names on the white board, the 19 who died on that day, just brings it home for me. Nine of those 19 were younger than I am now, including Murph himself who died at 29 years old.

Murph was the third ever CrossFit Hero workout–the first two were JT and Michael, named for S01 Jeffrey Taylor and Lt. Michael McGreevy, who died when the helicopter they were in was shot while on the way to try and save Murph and his crew.

Murph–For time, complete:
1 mile run
100 pull-ups
200 push-ups
300 squats
1 mile run
If you have a 20lb weight vest or body armor, wear it.

I’ve taken this workout on a number of times, but always on my own. I prefer to break it up into 20 rounds of 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 squats. It feels a little more manageable. I think I’m at attempt 7 now, and it was always a solo effort by me. Soul searching if you will; learning and training myself to know that no matter how beat up I feel, I will fix the situation, tough it out and keep moving, workout or not. In a career such as policing, the mental fortitude to continue to fight when you feel you have nothing left could be the difference between life and death. All that said, I’ve NEVER completed this workout as prescribed in any way. I’ve substituted sit ups for the pull-ups, I’ve done lots of ring rows, I’ve done push-ups off my knees, I’ve rowed instead of run, and in one attempt I did 5 rounds with real pull ups.

Today was different. Today was game day. Having run a sprint triathlon yesterday, being sick and beat up today, I didn’t care one bit what the clock said…this one isn’t about the clock for me. Today I would do this RX…pull-ups, push-ups on my toes, squats, and a 20lb weight vest. The clock didn’t matter. In fact the only time I even remember seeing on the clock was 57:12, when I started round 18 or 19.

That. Was. Hard.

But you know what? My whole 403 family was there when I was done. Regan, Drew, and Josh even ran the last mile with me, to show their support. When some people were done before I started round 14, they were still there when I came back in the door, last, and ripped the weight vest off. They were still clapping, cheering, and yelling, as if I had won the Games.

I hadn’t.  I just hadn’t stopped.

That’s what this, and CrossFit, is about. Learning what you can do, what you can accomplish. At the end of the day, this is still just a workout. This is corny, but no one has ever died doing Murph, but many have lived during it.

I’m very proud to be a part of the CrossFit 403 family, and the CrossFit community as a whole. But I was so proud today to share this workout with you guys, I just really can’t put it into any other words. Just, proud. You guys all amaze me.

1 hour, 14 minutes, 13 second. RX.

Coach Rook

Below is a slideshow made by our amazing in house photographer, Kelly. She’s a wonderful member of our community and has a distinct talent for capturing “those” moments. To top it off, she made the slideshow with one of my favorite songs, “Halo”, by Edmonton band Tupelo Honey. I highly recommend you listen to them! Just listen to the lyrics in the song as you watch and you’ll see why I suggested this song for the video…it just, fits. Thank you Kelly.

2014 CrossFit Open Recap

14.1 SCORE: 270 REPS
Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 10 minutes of:
30 double-unders
75-lb. power snatches, 15 reps

14.2 SCORE: 20 REPS
Every 3 minutes for as long as possible complete:
From 0:00-3:00
2 rounds of:
10 overhead squats
10 chest-to-bar pull-ups

From 3:00-6:00
   2 rounds of:
12 overhead squats
12 chest-to-bar pull-ups

From 6:00-9:00
2 rounds of:
14 overhead squats
14 chest-to-bar pull-ups

Etc., following same pattern until you fail to complete both rounds

14.3 SCORE: 115 REPS (Completed all 25 deadlifts at 275lbs)
Complete as many reps as possible in 8 minutes of:
135-lb. deadlifts, 10 reps
15 box jumps, 24-inch
185-lb. deadlifts, 15 reps
15 box jumps, 24-inch
225-lb. deadlifts, 20 reps
15 box jumps, 24-inch
275-lb. deadlifts, 25 reps
15 box jumps, 24-inch
315-lb. deadlifts, 30 reps
15 box jumps, 24-inch
365-lb. deadlifts, 35 reps
15 box jumps, 24-inch

14.4 SCORE: 157 REPS (Completed 7 cleans)
Complete as many rounds and repetitions as possible in 14 minutes of:
60-calorie row
50 toes-to-bars
40 wall-ball shots, 20 lb. to 10-foot target
30 cleans, 135 lb.
20 muscle-ups

14.5 SCORE: 21:3421-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps for time of:
95-lb. thrusters
Bar Facing Burpees

FINAL PLACING: (to come)
CrossFit 403 Men:
CrossFit 403 Overall:
Canada West:


I’ve got lots I could go on and on about in this post, but I guess that just means I need to write more often.  Regardless, I apologize now for this post and it’s inevitable randomness

I just got home from doing 2014 CrossFit Open WOD 14.4.  We’re 80% through this year’s Open, the single biggest fitness competition in history with over 200,000 people competing from across the globe.  It’s pretty damn cool to be a part of all of that, and even more cool that after some reflection this year on my progress, weaknesses, and goals, to realize that I’m the top 50% worldwide.  This isn’t mind blowing as far as stats go, but what it speaks to is my topic for this post.

Progress, and why the CrossFit Open is so important to me.

I’ve talked about this before, sometimes at length, but this year it has sunk in more than ever.

My first CrossFit Open was in 2012.  I weighed around 300lbs and had been doing CrossFit for about 6 months.  I had goals, but really I just wanted to post a score for each of the 5 workouts.  I finished last in my region, but I still considered it a success for the reason that I did the work and posted 5 scores, something that several hundred people didn’t do.  I still vividly remember Steve as my judge on workout 12.3…my game changer.  It had toes to bar, a movement I still dislike.  I spent about 14 minutes struggling, fighting, ripping, and failing to do a single rep.  Not one.

Remember that, for later.

In 2013, the Open got into my head.  For some reason I had huge expectations of myself, and I still don’t know why.  I knew, and know, that I’m not a Regionals level athlete (yet…………………), but I had high hopes and 2013 crushed me.  I was grumpy, agitated, and really hard on myself.  I did well, even posted some pretty high scores, but felt horrible with my performance.  Oh well, move onwards and upwards! I still achieved the goal of doing at least one of every movement I attempted.  Nothing beat me but myself. I grew a lot over the past year though and I think my attitude is better than it’s ever been.

Now, back to 2014.  CrossFit 403 is bigger than ever.  A gigantic family of like minded, loving freaks, who consider dancing and bad jokes at the gym as important as working out.  Our Friday night Open dates are awesome, and the support is unreal.  I needed that tonight, and I got it.  I’ve been stoked with this years Open, and barring workout 14.2, in which chest to bar pullups crushed me, I’ve done a LOT better than I could have hoped for…and even then, I managed 10 chest to bar pullups, more than I’ve ever done before. I’ve placed in the Top 10 guys in our gym twice in 3 weeks (5th and 7th) and tonight went better that anticipated.

Remember when I talked about Steve judging me in the 2012 Open and not having to count a single toes to bar rep?  Well, he lined up as my judge tonight and all I could think was “he’s not getting off that easy this time, I’m getting reps”.  As I said though, the support was unreal.  I know I didn’t do a very good job of hiding my dislike for toes to bar, but everyone was just so G-damn upbeat, I just went with it.  As is extremely common with athletes in this sport, I am my harshest critic, and I know I wouldn’t have done nearly as well had I done this on my own.  Chris and Steve especially, I needed those words tonight…one at a time, get work done.

All said and done, I did 50…50…one at a time.  I was as proud about that as I was of Sang, who did 3.  She worked her ass off for those 3 and left the bar with a smile.  THAT’S what the Open is all about, do what you don’t think you can.

Next week, after 14.5, the final WOD, I’ll do a recap of my scores, but this post isn’t about that as much as it’s about believing in the ability to push through the tough circumstances thrown in front of you and learning to keep on truckin.

I’ve always taken pride in my ability to push through the hard parts of life and continuing to work when no one else is willing.  I work on that through CrossFit—push beyond.  Get outside the comfort zone.  I know it hurts but it’s worth it.  To me, the CrossFit Open is the most important and crucial part of CrossFit competition. It’s about competing with yourself.  It’s about the people, the positivity, the health, the growth, the progress, the challenge, the camaraderie, the limits being thrown for a loop.

I’m so proud to be part of the CrossFit 403 community, and the CrossFit community as a whole.  There’s nowhere else I’d rather be than here, and I can’t wait to see what The Dave has programmed for 14.5.

Next year though….next year, I’m doing a f*****n muscle up.