22 Apr 2014
My CrossFit Kids program is about teaching kids to take care of themselves and value fitness. I also believe in the intrinsic values and qualities sports can teach. Qualities I think are valuable in life and teaching kids and teens what they mean through sport was central to the mission of my fitness business. I come from an education background and I am always curious about the latest in education studies. I am fortunate to have some great connections with educators in the field of pedagogy and one such professor introduced me to the research done by Angela Lee Duckworth on GRIT. Her work in this field affirms what I have always believed, GRIT is a necessary quality for success.
I recently had a set back in my professional career and that experience got me thinking about GRIT again. I’ve always been willing to take risks. I went to college when my high school guidance counselor told me I wouldn’t make it. In fact, he was a little more harsh “girls like you don’t go to college.” I set out to prove him wrong. It took me 7 years to finish college while I worked a full time job. During that time I failed out of college once because I just wasn’t ready for the demands of school. I kept going back when everything kept pointing in the opposite direction. I believed that with enough hard work I could make it. I also had seen that poverty was a life I didn’t want to live.
When I applied to graduate school I didn’t know if I could get in. I didn’t have the best grades and my undergraduate school was by no means a top tier school. Hunter College is part of the CUNY system of New York City and it caters to students on the margins. While I was there I had to take remedial education and learn the basics of high school math. I was in a classroom with other students working full time. There were mothers in the classroom who would bring their babies because they didn’t have anyone else to watch them. I loved it! I understood their story and their drive inspired me.
Dr. Duckworth’s research on GRIT has started important discourse amongst educators and psychologist. She looked at success from a motivational and psychological perspective and what she asked is: Who is successful and why? The quality that kept emerging time after time was GRIT. She noticed that IQ was not the predictor of grades for students and that professionals in sales were most successful if they had long-term passion and perseverance. Adults and kids with mental stamina and the ability “to stick with your future” is what made success because hard work for many years is what makes that “future a reality.” Angela Lee Duckworth
My recent set back got me thinking about my goals for the CrossFit kids program I started 4 years ago. It was reality time for me. I had the next 6 months all planned out and in one phone call everything changed. I was going to take my kids program to another affiliate gym. The new gym had hired me as a consultant for 3 months. I would then leave the kids program behind and move on in the summer to work with inner city kids in another program. Seemed perfect until I got the call that the new home for the kids program was pulling out of the contract. It was the eleventh hour and all I could do was crawl in bed and pull the sheets over my head. “NOT Happening!” I kept saying to myself.
Once I emerged I felt defeated. I called a few trusted people and asked for advice. These are some of their insights:
“Don’t stay in the grey area for to long trying to figure out other peoples motives. Make a new plan and save your kids program.”
“You started this kids program when no one else was doing this in Boston. Keep it going.”
“Never give up your kids program!”
“This is not a failure but perhaps the best blessing you can’t see right now.”
I started to figure out a new plan. I also started to do what I do when life doesn’t make sense. Work out more and read research on education. I looked at Dr. Duckworth’s research on GRIT from a new perspective.
I took Dr. Duckworth’s GRIT test. I thought I would be the grittiest person in Boston. However, a 3.38 on a scale of 1-5 is not so gritty for someone as gritty as me. I’m a survivor for sure but perhaps at this point my gutsy determination was not enough to pull me through the latest set back. Perhaps what’s still missing is the last part of GRIT that I’m in the middle of trying to figure out—working hard over many years to make my future a reality. The future of the kid and teen program I started four years ago is just not finished yet. I was giving it up just as it was getting to the next level.
Dr. Duckworth has noted, people with GRIT don’t look at set backs or failure as a permanent condition. I liked her message, when we fail we have to be able to start over with lessons learned and find a way to be better. I learned a huge lesson~ Never give up my kids program! I was ready to hand it over to other people. Nice people, I’m not even upset that they pulled out at the last minute. I get to redo this and get it right. I get the opportunity to take this program to the next level. I don’t know what the future will bring but I’m not ready to give up.
I have always believed in the power of GRIT. I think it is a quality worth teaching kids and teens through the sport of fitness that we have all come to love. I continue to learn through my own CrossFit training about my strengths and weaknesses as a person. What I value: Honesty, Hard Work, Giving Back to Those Less Fortunate, and Fortitude, to name just a few. And what I would never do: cheating, stealing and cutting corners. The CrossFit community is full of amazing comeback stories of courage and resolve. This is my little story about getting a second chance to get it right.
How about you? Got GRIT? Is CrossFit a valuable tool in helping you become a little more gritty?
Take the GRIT TEST
18 Feb 2014
Coach Julie Is OUT tonight. Please follow the instructions below for an open Olympic Lifting session.
As always help each other out and be careful and respectful of each other. Warm up joints well and 3×3 with bar.
I will be present 10am-12 this Saturday
Snatch 60% 3×3 70% 3×2 75% x3 80% 3×1
Clean and jerk 70%3×2 75% 3×2
Back Squat 70%x 3 75x 5×3
14 Jan 2014
Hey CFB! Are you ready for a great week of clean eating, dirty training and Not Your Average Joes Team Throw Down?
We are! The points on the board for the Transformation Challenge are starting to come in. If you haven’t gotten them in to me please do so by Wednesday. Lynn Marshall, Kathy Materazzo and myself are all fighting for last place…it’s fierce! The rest of you are rocking it out…keep up the great work. Love all the recipes on the Transformation Challenge page. If you need extra help with nutrition be sure to reach out to Alex Black.
Here are the Teams competing at North Shore CrossFit on Saturday:
Biscuits & Gravy:
Nick, Evan, Lynn and Ms. Congeniality
Mickey, Ali, Jodie and Pat
Snatchues of Liberty:
G2, Cori, Kristin, Dennis
My Biceps Need Bread:
Tito, Adam, Carla, Katie
Drop, Pop ‘N Lock:
Jason W., Kiel, Sophie, Shannon
Shakin’ Not Stirred:
Omri, Sharon, Nigel, Ashley
Snatch Me If You Can:
Chrissy, Kari, David Y., John Z.
CFB Badass Consortium:
Pat L, Alex B., Jason, Rachel
There will be car pools leaving from the box Saturday morning around 8:30. Check in with your team about rides and let me know if you need one. Also, the WODs were posted, look them over and ask a coach for help if you need to figure out a strategy. We are here to help!
I also hear that some teams are coming up with some outrageous outfits….can’t wait!
13 Jan 2014
The WODs have been announced!
Car pool will be from the gym. If you need a ride let Tina or G2 know. Details will be coming out tomorrow.
Here are the WODs and they don’t look pretty….
Not Your Average Joe’s Team Workouts
Overall Scoring will be placement based. 1st = 1pt, 2nd=2pts, etc. Lowest combined points will determine final placement.
10am – Briefing
10:30 Start Time
Workout 1&2 (10 Minute Time Cap)
Athletes must stay in order on the rower.
Both Workouts are completed when the 2000m row is completed
While a team member is rowing the remaining 3 members will alternate on thrusters
Max combined reps thrusters will count as a 2nd workout score
Any order on the thrusters
Must squat below parallel or to a ball if having form problems.
Finish in lockout position overhead
Workout 3 (10 Minute Time Limit)
Combined 2 Rep Max Efforts
All Team members must complete 5 burpees before every attempt on the barbell
Team mates must lift in order
The team member must announce the weight they are attempting
Each team will have a mens and womens bar
Each team will have 4-45’s, 2-25’s, 2-15’s, 2-10’s, 2-5’s and 2-2.5’s
Two Team members need to Snatch
Two Team members need to C&J (announced before start)
Score is all 4 team members combined heaviest doubles
C&J- Weight must touch shoulders durning movement
Snatch – Ground to Overhead and come to a final lockout position.
Team Sprint Relay (Heats every 5 Minutes)
4 sprints each / 50 yard sprint relay
Each team will have one baton
Baton needs to be passed to next team member to complete their leg of the relay
Athletes must stay behind the start line to receive the baton handoff
Athletes must cross the turn around line with both hands and feet
If the line is not crossed athlete must return to the line and cross it to continue
AMRAP 6 In Relay
10 KB Swings
10 Box jumps
Each Team Member completes 10 reps each of an exercise one at a time before moving on to the next exercise. Repeat rounds until time is up.
Pushups – full range / arms lock out at top/ chest to deck
KB Swings – Full lock out overhead/ arms straight/ press standards for lockout
Box Jumps – Full extension with control at top of box
Score is total reps completed
04 Jan 2014
The Transformation Challenge is off to a great start. We are just finishing the last of the Hydrostatic Measurements which started at 7 a.m. It’s been a long and productive day of Testing on the WOD and Mobility. A huge thank you to Keith of FitnessWave!
We also want to thank our Challenge sponsors Bos Creek! Remember CrossFit Boston if you are in the challenge you have to sign up today to get started with 5 extra points towards your challenge. There is no purchase necessary but you do have to sign up with Bos Creek today. Below are instructions.
We are looking forward to helping you over the next 6 weeks make some changes to your lifestyle choices and seeing the great results!
- Sign Up!
- It’s Free AND You Receive a $20 Credit Towards your first order of Grass-Fed Beef, Chicken & Pork
- Earn Points Towards CFB Transformation Challenge
Send an email to: [email protected]
Subject Line: I’ll take the Bos Challenge
Body: CrossFit Boston
**The owner Greg is allowing CrossFit Boston members to forgo the video portion of this challenge unless you want to compete against athletes from other affiliates. When Bos Creek posts the WODs we will announce them and you will have an opportunity to complete each WOD and earn 5 points per WOD. It’s a WIN! WIN!
Alex Black, owner of WICKED GOOD NUTRITION, has sent us the following grocery list to help you get started as we head into the weekend.
We are still on for Saturday morning! Hydrostatic Measurements and Testing WODs all day long at CrossFit Boston!
This shopping list is for 1 person for 1 day of healthy meals. For more support, you can contact Alex Black and join her Transformation Challenge group for the next 6 weeks. She will have weekly group meetings and be available for weekly check ins when you need support.
To determine if you should purchase organic please visit her blog: http://wickedgoodnutrition.com/organic-foods/
1 bunch of kale
1 package romaine hearts
1 package cherry tomatoes
1 red bell pepper
1 package strawberries
Pico de gallo
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Look for free range and/or organic chicken
- Look for options with no preservatives or added sugar. The brand sold in the gym is a good option.
- Look for free range and/or cage free
1 container of Greek Yogurt (6 ounces)
- 0%, 2%, or full fat versions are all OK. No added sugars or preservatives. Chobani and Fage both have good versions.
Beans, Legumes, and Nuts:
1 Small can of Black Beans
- Look for the kind with no added sugar. Only almonds and salt. If you are going to Whole Foods, grind your own!
Spices and Herbs:
Salt and Pepper to Grind
Chicken Broth *NO MSG
Almond Meal (Almond Flour)
Look for recipes on Alex’s website: www.wickedgoodnutrition.com
We are all here to support you as you make these changes to a healthier life! Here’s to a WICKED FIT 2014!
29 Dec 2013
I love rumors! Facts can be so misleading, but rumors, true or false, are often revealing.
Landa from Inglourious Basterds
I heard that Jason Wong is going to send Kiel a six-pack of beer every Friday night for the next 6 weeks. And Kiel will be having pizza delivered to Jason at the gym every day. Both of these guys are going to be dumping packs of cigarettes in Omri’s car in the hopes he takes up smoking again. And you don’t even want to hear what they plan to do to poor Kristen Halfpenny to sabotage her chances of winning the Transformation Challenge.
Rumors! And we haven’t even started yet. Rest assured that this Transformation Challenge is actually user friendly. Who wants to be miserable when you start out the New Year. It’s a time to reflect and be grateful for what we have, not a time to punish yourself because you had one to many drinks on New Year’s Eve or too much fruit cake!
It’s not a starvation plan that ends after 6 weeks and you go back to the old ways. It’s an opportunity to clean up your eating and add some habits that you can incorporate into your daily life. It’s about slowing down and taking time to meditate everyday for 10 minutes. Drinking more water to help your internal systems work better. Sleeping more! Or better yet, getting to bed at a decent hour in the evening. And it’s about us coming together as a community to just be healthier, happier and have a little more fun with our WODs!
Here’s What You Need To Know:
- We are helping you incorporate the following into your daily life:
- HYDRATION (H20)
- DAILY EXERCISE
- Hydrostatic Measurement is on Saturday, January 4th. Everyone has been scheduled at this point. Be on time for your appointment. Bring a bathing suit and a towel.
- You will receive a 6-page reading of your measurement results. It will have advice for caloric intake based on your goals. These can be used as a starting point for the nutrition portion of the challenge. But keep in mind that we are not keeping food journals. It is a point system. If you need more help with the eating portion Alex Black has offered her services at a discounted rate. I suggest you talk with her soon and consider hiring her for the six weeks of the challenge.
- For those who prefer hip/waist ratio measurement that will also be done on Saturday, January 4th.
- Testing WOD is also on Saturday, January 4th. Schedule has also been sent out. Neal is going to program a great WOD for everyone to finish and test different abilities. Coaches will be on hand to help you get through it.
- Transformation Challenge starts on Sunday, January 5th. The point system goes from Sunday to Saturday. Everything will be explained in the TC Packets you can pick up on Saturday, January 4th.
I’m also happy to announce that we have teamed up with Bos Creek, artisan meat, chicken and pork. They will be giving a months worth of meat to our Transformation Challenge winner! Check out their website:
In addition we want you to sign up today for the BosChallenge! It is a separate worldwide challenge but the owner Greg is letting us participate as a group. Once the Bos Creek WODs are announced on January 20th we will be posting them and having times for you to come in and finish them. There are only 3. We also get the opportunity to win 35 lbs of grass fed beef, chicken and pork as an affiliate if we get the most members to sign up. Spring barbecue!
If you sign up this week Greg is offering $20 to be used for grass fed beef, chicken or pork when you order on line. It’s free to sign up and all you have to do is email him. Below are instructions:
Send an email to: [email protected]
In the subject line write: I’ll Take the Bos Challenge
In the body write: CrossFit Boston
You must identify in the body as “CrossFit Boston” because we are using this challenge as an opportunity to win as an affiliate! In addition, we will be offering you the opportunity to finish the BosChallenge WODs (only 3) during the weeks of January 20th – February 4th. If you feel you have what it takes to go up against athletes from around the world we will video record you and send in your results. Otherwise, the WODs will be recorded in your Transformation Challenge record and you will receive 5 points towards our challenge for each WOD completed. It’s that simple.
Coaches will be on hand Saturday, January 4th to help you sign up for the BosChallenge as well! I suggest however you do it this week and get the meat ordered so you are ready to eat clean and train dirty!
08 Dec 2013
The year is quickly coming to a close and we still have so much to do!
Keep up the great training…no substitute for training dirty and eating clean.
Saturday, December 14th HOLIDAY PARTY
Time: 6-9 p.m.
Where: DAEDALUS Restaurant & Bar
If you plan on having dinner at Daedalus please make reservations. Call: 617-349-0071
Champagne Toast & Desserts around 7:30/8 p.m.
Can’t wait to see everyone!
Friday, December 27th is the deadline to sign up for the Transformation Challenge if you are having hydrostatic measurement. The hydrostatic measurement will take place on January 4th. Please let Tina or Jason know if you are interested. If you can’t make the Saturday, January 4th hydrostatic measurement we can set you up to get tested on Sunday, January 5th.
The Transformation Challenge is a great way to kick off the New Year and start some healthy habits. It’s only 6 weeks and you will have a group of people supporting you while you make some changes to sleeping, hydration, mobilization, nutrition, & better choices!!
06 Dec 2013
As you all know Coach Julie will be going to CrossFit Lando to coach CJ in her first throw down. Below is the programming for Olympic Lifting class for those who will be training. Please use common sense and help each other out.
If you get an opportunity to get out to CrossFit Lando in Woburn after training please come cheer on CJ!
Hang Snatch + Snatch Warm up to 75% then 5 Sets @ 75% Focus on high elbows on 3rd pull
Power Clean + Push Press
70% 2X2 75% 1X2 80% 1X2 85% 1X1 90% 1X1
70% 1X3 75% 1X2 80% 3X/2
05 Dec 2013
On Saturday CJ will be competing in her fist competition. It’s a tough one for even an experienced CrossFit athlete. It didn’t even faze her when I explained what it was 4 weeks ago. Battle of The Sexes at CrossFit Lando would make a strong man think twice but not CJ!
CJ needs no introduction! She is one awesome athlete who in less then a year has made amazing progress in CrossFit. I remember the first night she showed up at CrossFit Boston. It was last February. We were programmed to do 11 .1 WOD from the open games because we were preparing for the 2013 Open Games.
The WOD: 10 AMRAP ~ 30 Double Unders & 15 Power Snatches #65 Females
First time CJ had been in a CrossFit box. Coach had her go through the power snatch movement and within 20 minutes CJ hit 75# with form that put my 45 pounds to shame. Let’s fast forward to the end of the WOD~ CJ crushed it and asked if she could join. I told her we were preparing for the Open Games and she asked what it was all about. I explained a bit about CrossFit and how in 3 weeks we would all be competing against other boxes across the world. Her eyes lit up and she exclaimed: “I can compete in this.”
And compete she did. What she didn’t know, she struggled through without a complaint. Over the summer she went home and joined CrossFit Downtown Atlanta to continue her training. Now that school is back in session she’s back here whittling away at the unknowns. I can’t say she has goats because everything that comes her way she tackles with the determination of a champion.
CJ’s a competitor bottom line but what I think is most wonderful about her is her sincerity. When I first met her last year I didn’t realize how young she was. As the Regional Games were approaching I asked her if she wanted to go with us. Still not knowing the reach of the CrossFit competitions she asked what the Regional games were. I explained and she said, “I definitely want to go but I have to ask my parents.” I asked for clarification and she told me she was 17 and had to go back home for the summer. She would have to ask her parents if she could change her ticket to stay for an extra weekend.
Of course curiosity got the best of me and I couldn’t help but to ask her about her life. She is truly an amazing young lady. In her junior year of high school she was bored so she studied for the SATs and took them. She applied to Harvard and was accepted. I asked her if her guidance counselor helped her and she said, “No, he wouldn’t have let me to apply.” Girls got gumption!
CJ is a pre-med student at Harvard in her second year. Her brother is also a student at Harvard studying neuroscience. She has played a variety of sports and obviously enjoys competition. For 8 years she was ranked in the Junior Olympics in archery. Remember that domain we call accuracy! She’s got that one covered.
It’s her first competition and it doesn’t even matter if she does well. I know she will be putting on a great show of athleticism and poise. I look forward to watching her over the years as she matures into a better athlete and someday a doctor. A role model for all girls~ COUGER!
CrossFit Lando~ Battle Of The Sexes ~ WOBURN!! Competition starts at 9 a.m.