Columbia MO Archives - Kohler Created

CrossFit Level 2 Seminar

I’m back! My CrossFit Level 2 Seminar Experience

By | CrossFit, Exercise, Jessica | No Comments

Hi everyone! Long time no see. I never mean to disappear, but this has been the busiest couple of months I have EVER lived. I hate that I won’t have written thoughts and memories to remember all the amazing work and times we’ve had, but you can only do so much and I hope to start getting back into a regular routine now that things are becoming…well somewhat more doable.

CrossFit Level 2 Seminar

As you might have heard, I just completed my CrossFit Level 2 certification! It was my big 2017 goal and I completed it just in the nick of time.

What is the CrossFit Level 2 Seminar?

“This course is ideally suited for any CrossFit trainer serious about delivering quality coaching. Students enhance their understanding of the CrossFit methodology, program design, and implementation, and they advance their skills while coaching others in movements and workouts. Students need to come prepared to be heavily engaged; each leads individual and small-group training sessions, and classroom sessions are discussion-based. Peers and instructors provide feedback and evaluation.” (source: CrossFit Training)

In short, the Level 2 Certificate course is that “next-level” intermediate step that builds on the methodology and movements of CrossFit learned at the Level 1 Certificate course. It aims to build on the understanding of essential mechanics of functional movements, fault identification, and correction, essential qualities of an effective trainer, effective programming design, and evaluation, and class management strategies and structure for effective group workouts.

The Level 2 is the second out of three (soon to be four) certifications offered by CrossFit for coaching.

Why did I want to take it?

For those who are just starting to know me, I’m a Learner and an Achiever (StrengthsFinder). I always want to know about everything, and I thrive on achieving things.

When I started CrossFit 5.5 years ago, I had never really done sports or “working out” before. I got hooked quickly once I realized CrossFit wasn’t just “hitting the gym.” It had a methodology that thrived on testing and retesting measurable, observable and repeatable fitness movements and benchmarks.

Along the way, I also fell in love with coaching and being a working part of the community. Just like the workouts themselves, coaching CrossFit has its own style and methodology that thrives on constant variance and improvement. And as one of the early (second!) female coaches in COMO, I’ve always felt women needed to special representation (because we own), as well as “from scratch” athletes who started from the very beginning like me.

I wanted to take the L2 specifically because I wanted to attack weaknesses I know I have in front of groups and public speaking, as well as fine tune some strategies for cueing and triaging (that’s an official term) movement patterns.

How did I prepare for the seminar?

I think every certification or test has its horror stories, and there was no shortage of them for the L2 when I started thinking about registering. I’m a part of the CrossFit Affiliate Owners and Coaches group on Facebook, and I regularly stalk the CrossFit subReddit. People talk, and if you know me, you can guess how that might have sent my anxiety into THREAT LEVEL MIDNIGHT CODE RED SURVIVAL. I suffer from crippling performance anxiety when it comes to public speaking. Oddly enough it’s never been an issue coaching unless I’m doing so in front of 10+ people.

With that all said, the biggest help I found was talking to people, mainly Tyler, Angelo, and Nate. I read the extensive LEVEL 2 TRAINING GUIDE & WORKBOOK from the CrossFit Training website. I also discovered several YouTube playlists of videos (here and here) captured at Level 2 Seminars. They were very helpful in allowing me to kind of priming my mind for the lectures and demonstrations. The CrossFit YouTube channel, as well as the CrossFit Journal, has tons of available resources. If you aren’t taking advantage of them (even as an athlete) you are missing out!

My Level 2 Seminar Experience

Day 1

My CrossFit Seminar Staff consisted of Steve and Natosha Haydock, a married couple from CrossFit Springfield where I attended the seminar. Steve’s intense (in a good way):

The softer side of Steve…

In addition to being a part of the coveted CrossFit Seminar Staff, they now hold the distinguished role of being witnesses to my Level 2 experience (haha!).

The first day began with the six criteria needed for effective training (teaching, seeing, correcting, group management, presence/attitude, and demonstration).

We then broke into groups and practiced teaching and correcting static and dynamic positions in the 9 foundational movements. It was very nerve-wracking to essentially circle your fellow participants repeatedly and cue their movements, not to mention the fact that it was being guided and prompted by the Steve or Natosha.

Subtle dynamic faults are definitely something I need to be more mindful of. In the world of group fitness classes, it’s all too easy to attack only gross faults, especially in those who are new to CrossFit or working out. Often this leads to intermediate and advanced athletes being coached less, and I know I’ve been guilty of that.

After lunch, we dug into class structure and group management. We built off the discussions over the effective coaching criteria and applied those approaches to how we approach a one hour class or session. Natosha led us through a “mock” class and demonstrated how many opportunities there are for coaching and how every one of our athletes should come away feeling like they’ve received valuable feedback, one-on-one attention and ways they can improve. That was the part/idea that, even though I knew it already was my biggest “aha” moment of the weekend (there were more for sure).

Our workout (we always want to know what the workouts are at these seminars don’t we?) was:

21-18-15-12 (reps of each)

  • Sumo deadlift high pulls (95/65)
  • Overhead lunges (95/65)
  • Push-ups

This was my jam, although eating Chipotle 1.5 hours before not thinking there may be a workout was a mistake.

We closed Day 1 with one more daunting group exercise where we had to pick a foundational movement, teach it to another member, then triage and refine their movement to what is better and closer to “optimal.”

Needless to say, the rumors are true, you are WORN OUT.

Day 2

Day 2 dug heavily into teaching and programming for the methodology of CrossFit. I’m fascinated by programming, mostly because I’m an Instructional Developer by day. That is what got me hooked on CrossFit in the first place. How all the pieces come together to meet the desired stimulus or performance outcomes. Yum.

While the Level 1 Seminar dedicates just a little piece of Day 2 to programming, The Level 2 Seminar digs further into not only developing programming but analyzing its effectiveness. They offered great insight into how to really develop for variance well, offering great templates and techniques for writing and developing workouts, proper scales and accommodating heavy days.

The final big exercise was a teach back/group coaching — teaching and cueing a movement (mine was overhead squat) to an entire group. Boy, that was tough — and I can definitely tell that I’m used to much smaller and one-on-one coaching. I could not stop jumping around instead of projecting and commanding from one place. Yikes.


While daunting and very much like ripping a band-aid off some major hang-ups and anxiety, I’m so happy I completed this seminar. I feel like it’s given me renewed motivation and better context for what I should aim for in my coaching and position at CrossFit Fringe. Too often, I sit on the side and assume other people would be better-suited to things than I would, and that really isn’t always the case. I got great feedback, and feel assured that my coaching is valuable and needed.

St. Louis Zoo - Kohler Created - Columbia MO

A coffee date of sorts

By | MK, Parenting, Travel, Weekend | No Comments

How about a coffee date?

a coffee date of sorts

I really didn’t mean to let blogging fall off for the month. Life just got BUSY, and something had to give — basically everything but an insane amount of work across 3 jobs, caring for KK and Neil, and keeping my house from burning down. Probably a little extreme, but some days it felt about to that point.

So let’s chat. I see bloggers do these “coffee date” posts from time to time, and here’s mine.

KK's 2nd Birthday

As you might have seen, our little KK is two years old. TWO. She is just — ohhh I can’t get enough of her. Babies weren’t my strength, but I own at toddler wrangling. She’s just a little ball of exploration and sass. When you have a toddler, naturally people ask you about when you plan to have more kids, but I just can’t even get my mind there. Honestly, I’m just so in love with life right now, I never want it to change.

KK's 2nd Birthday

She had a cute little Doc McStuffins-themed birthday party thanks to her amazing auntie Rachel. Rachel is the master of event planning and I’m so jealous of her natural ability to think through things like food for a specific number of people and decorating with super simple materials. It was seriously adorable, especially the sugar-free cake, which I enjoyed all the next week.

KK's 2nd Birthday

She got super cute gifts this year, many already evidence of how much older she is in just a year. She got board games, Elsa dolls, Learning Resources toys, a hot wheel track, and plenty of Color Wonder markers. These muffins are her absolute favorite thing right now. My parents just bought the popsicle set. Their food toys are super cute as well. Half the fun of parenting is the toys.


I can say with confidence that we are about 80% functional at the Fringe 2.0. I think the consensus is that we are never moving again. Ever. It was so easy last time because we had half as many members and little to no equipment. This time, we had all the things, and our building underwent significant construction. A lot of things are getting done, but it’s a work in progress. It’s like when you move into a house, shit’s just a little crazy for a while. At least it is if you opt to do as much yourself as possible. Tyler is a machine and my hero. Can’t ask for a better friend and boss.


Even though we’re still dealing with construction, every time I walk through the door, I’m overcome with visions of what I see it looking like and all the things we’re going to do. I don’t own it, but man, I’m so passionate about that place. Aside from my family and pets, I’ve never been so in love with anything.

Other fun things of note. My brother got married this weekend! Eric is the older of my two younger brothers and has definitely always been kind of bolder, wilder of us three. He literally put Cheez-Its and pineapple on his wedding registry. I knew the moment he brought Liz home that she was going to be stuck with us, and I’m so glad that she is!


While we were in St. Louis for the wedding, we took Kaitlan to the Saint Louis Zoo for the first time. She loved it! We stopped in the amphibian house first, and I don’t think she really registered the non-moving snakes as animals. But then she saw a pig-nosed turtle swimming back and forth in the water, and she just lost it. Oh, she loved that turtle. She got so upset when we tried to move onto the next exhibit, and didn’t understand the whole concept of zoos until the monkey house, where she realized that if she kept walking, there were MORE animals.


She did pretty well at the wedding too, although she wanted to be outside the entire time. She also ate her weight in food the whole weekend, which was crazy, because she’s kind of a bird when it comes to food. We got to see so much family we never see enough of, it was great to catch up over hotel breakfasts.


My brother was so cute at his wedding — so unlike himself, and it was just a great time.

Eric and Liz Durboraw

So yeah, that’s a short catch-up on the past few weeks in our world! Just a few more till a much-deserved break!

Friday Link-up and Loving Lately

By | Friday Link-up, Jessica, Weekend | No Comments

The top mezzanine is really coming along this week at Fringe 2.0!

Friday Link-up and Loving Lately

I am so excited about that upstairs. I hope Tyler realizes that I’m going to camp out in that office.

Did you take advantage of any of the mega deals on Amazon this week? I wasn’t going to, but then someone shared that the spiralizer I have been coveting for some time was on super sale, and I went for it. I couldn’t help myself. It arrived yesterday, and I’m in love!


I can’t wait to give this a try next week! Onto the rest of what I’m loving this week!

Friday Link-up and Loving Lately


I get on waiting lists for popular books at the library all the time (I think it’s an addiction), and it just so happens TWO became available at the same time: Fates and Furies, and All Things Cease to Appear. I’m going to have to haul ass to finish these both and so far they are really good!


NAKED Nutrition (Protein specifically). I received an awesome array of samples from NAKED Nutrition, and I’ve been in love with every one of them so far. Since quitting breastfeeding/pumping a year ago, I’ve kind of re-entered the world of supplements, but I never feel all that comfortable with them. It’s a shady business, nothing is regulated, and as someone who prioritizes as many fresh and unprocessed foods in my diet as possible, supplements are…well a lot of them are NOT. Here’s Neil reading the back of one of our Whey Protein brands vs. Less NAKED Whey Protein (chocolate):

I’m especially loving blending them with iced coffee!


String Cheese + Packets Seriously, we’ve been so on the go lately that this is my go-to meal for BOTH KK and myself. I used to grab one of the many brands of bars, but they always leave me feeling like I haven’t eaten anything, it’s such a waste (and most are really high in sugar)! This combo packs a good protein punch (8g in the string cheese alone) and I feel full enough to work out or continue chasing KK until I can get a proper meal in.

Passing this awesome deal onto you: Buy TWO Sargento snacks and get a FREE subscription to Women’s Health Magazine for a YEAR!


New Ulm Summer Sausage! Okay, I know this is really specific. My parents recently took a trip back up to my home state (the best one ever, Minnesota), and brought some summer sausage back from New Ulm. I grew up on this stuff, and it’s unrivaled to anything I’ve been able to find here. I think the secret is mustard seeds. Anyway, it’s been forever since I had it. KK got some for the first time, and loved it. Definitely in her genes. No place to order online, just going to have to travel there.

From elsewhere around the Internet

Have a great weekend everyone!

Disclosure: I am participating in the Women’s Health Action Hero program and have been provided with Sargento String Cheese and the opportunity to participate in an ambassadorship program for the period of a year in exchange for my thoughts, awareness through blog posts and opinions about any products or opportunities I partake in.

our toddler is a night owl

Our toddler is a night owl

By | Food, Menu Planning, MK, Parenting, Weekend | One Comment

Happy Tuesday!

I feel like this weekend was a lot of playtime and catch-up with our business. We are absolutely booked solid right now. And although I like to have business continually coming in, there’s always that tipping point where it starts to feel a little crushing, and you want some things OFF your plate. Thankfully, with some creativity, we were able to swap the KK playtime parent role back and forth and finish one big go-live.

New front desk progress at Fringe 2.0!

New Front Desk

Additionally, now that our new client management system and WOD tracking are live and fully functioning at CrossFit Fringe, I got to finish a nearly 6-month task list of things I’ve been wanting to update/change about our front and back end systems. It’s probably a little dorky to be this excited, but better business system flow and communication with our members is pretty much my numero uno priority.

KK at 23 months

We also got out of the house on quite a few errands and took KK out for lunch at Flat Branch on Saturday. She was like, the best-behaved kid in the informal family section. That’s right. That’s our name for when they group all the families with small children together at a restaurant, but totally act like they haven’t done it intentionally. It’s totally fine, I prefer not disturbing other people, but it’s just so funny when they do it and act like they haven’t done it. We also did a little splash park time:

KK at 23 months

KK at 23 months

KK at 23 months

She super late naps and stayed up super late with us (thus being the reason we juggled around to get our biz work done). To help keep her busy, we made a new toy thanks to the suggestion of a friend:


She loves this box full of rice aka “sensory activity.” Seriously, LOVES it. She likes scooping and pouring the rice between cups. The dogs are enjoying the snack of whatever is spilling out, and for the most part, it makes cooking in the kitchen a lot easier. I think we’ll probably create another one with noodles next.


She said “NO” for the first time Sunday. It just came out and I nearly fell over. I don’t know if I’m excited or scared for what happens next. On one hand, it’s just another way she can communicate more clearly with us, but I’ve also heard that NO becomes no to everything, and the start of many battles. We will see…

“Mama” is also sounding clearer and less like “MeMET,” though I was kind of getting attached to that pronunciation. She is still saying COCK for car/truck, which is always hard to explain to people.

On Sunday, we tried doing our weekly shopping at Aldi for the first time. It was pure chaos in there (ours is tiny), but we got a lot for a lot less than we typically pay. We definitely can’t replace our other stores with it entirely, but we could definitely stand to save some money on some things by going there.


Meal prep this week was a double batch of lasagna. A little outside the norm, but you have to do the fun stuff sometimes right? I pinned a bunch of new stuff to try, and I just bought a spiralizer I’ve been coveting on Amazon for Prime Day, so let the fun begin!

Other than that, it’s hot, I’m ready for fall. I want to be outside again.

Kaitlan's 2nd and Raniest Fourth of July - Kohler Created

Rainiest Fourth of July

By | CrossFit, Holidays, Weekend | No Comments

rainiest fourth of july

I can’t remember a rainier Fourth of July weekend than this year. It barely stopped raining from Saturday morning onward. But we had a fun weekend anyway!

We started Friday hoping to get a training session in at CrossFit Fringe, but KK took an early nap and was in NO mood to hang out at the gym. Even doing burpees didn’t make her laugh like normal. She eventually calmed down and we passed the time picking flowers, finding bees, and rolling around on the weight carts while Neil worked out.


Afterward, the female coaches (we call ourselves the couches — long story) got together for dinner. We try to do this a few times a year. Libby makes amazing hotpot, and it’s nice to just mellow out, tell stories, and just have girl time. We’re all pretty busy, so it’s always nice and laid back.


Love my new tank from Women’s Health Magazine!

Saturday I hit the gym for a training session. I recently signed up for HOA (an epic CrossFit competition I did just before getting pregnant in 2013), and so I’m slowly starting to add a little volume in preparation. I hit back squats, an EMOM (every minute on the minute) of some weaknesses, and then did the class workout. I was pretty smoked by the end! Here is a video of one of my warm-up sets at 175#.

My full workout ended up being:

4×3 Back Squat at 200# (with some additional lighter sets for warm-up)
10 minute EMOM of 1 clean and jerk (105#), 5 pull-ups/ring dips
8 minutes muscle-up skill work (getting so close to 5 in a row!)
5 rounds of 15 burpees + 45 second airdyne sprint + AMRAP (20) wall balls

Needless to say, I was definitely happy when naptime came around. Neil got to enjoy some computer games, and I hit our comfy bed with KK.

It was still raining when we woke up, so we ordered some pokey sticks from Gumby’s, and watched half of the first season of Veep with a little Ben and Jerry’s (Cinnamon Bun) to share. Since Game of Thrones is done until 2017, we’ve been on the hunt for a few new shows and I’ve heard a lot of good things about it. It definitely lived up to the hype — kind of a West Wing meets Parks and Recreation, really right up our alley. Have any show recommendations for us? We really don’t get to watch a ton of TV, just an episode or two of something other than kid programming every few days.

We also hit the ab roller on hard mode:

Ab roller hard mode from Kohler Created on Vimeo.

Sunday started off pretty rainy but cleared up in the early evening. We did some cleaning projects in the upstairs closets and ended up purging a bunch of stuff, which is always a good feeling. With Kaitlan’s stuff always growing, I find myself parting with my own stuff a lot easier haha. We still had boxes of DVDs and CDs, so it was long overdue that they made their way out.


We did the grocery shopping and a little meal prep. Last week we made a Korean Pulled Pork that we liked so much we bought the ingredients for another round. It’s super easy to put together and it’s a little different spin on pulled pork, so that’s fun. I really like it with rice, pineapple, a little kimchi and sriracha 9seen above).


I stayed up way too late finishing The Good Girl by Mary Kubica. It’s not even due for another 10 days, I don’t know what I was thinking. If you remember, I just finished Don’t You Cry, and I’m pretty sure I’m moving to Pretty Baby after I finish my current library load of books.



July 4th was actually pretty mello. The weather was great so after naptime we headed to a friends house for BBQ and playtime and then we drove home, grabbed the stroller and walked downtown for the fireworks display. KK really enjoyed playing in the park, but was still not thrilled about fireworks. I don’t blame her, it was really loud this year.

So out with June, in with July! What are your plans and goals for the month of July?

CrossFit Fringe New Building

Highs and Lows

By | Jessica, MK, Parenting, Weather | 2 Comments

CrossFit Fringe New Building

I see this fun highs and lows post idea around the blogosphere all the time and thought I would try it out for myself to share a little of what is going on around here.

First, thanks for bearing with my last post. I gotta be honest, I took most of last week “off” the Internet. I don’t do that often, but sometimes being online just makes me feel terrible and really anxious, especially when world events, negativity, and fighting hit critical mass. Spoiler: No one wins the Internet and fighting solves nothing.

It’s tough taking a break when so much of your job involves so much work on the Internet, but I managed to eek by and really just focus on work offline, which to be honest, was really nice.

Anyhow, a little of life around here while I’ve been out.

KK 22 months – Rolling exercise ball and laughing from Kohler Created on Vimeo.

High: My little chatty KK baby! Non-stop little sentences comprised of seemingly more and more clear words. A few of the most common: dog, kitty, car (unfortunately pronounced “cock”), truck (also pronounced as “cock”), blueberry, thank you, I sneeze, I go, I see, bath, bottle, bees, cow, book, go, doc, shoes, teeth, hair, and block.

The mispronounciation of car/truck is really awkward. We were at the library over the weekend and she was seeing the cars/trucks outside the window and almost screaming “COCK.”

She’s also catching onto games and scenario-based play. We play this game constantly where we pretend to roll over the ball. She loves it! She also has started being more reciprocally playful with the other kids at the gym.


Low: Feeling completely overwhelmed at work and like I’m never getting closer to being caught up. Even at “full steam” productivity, for everything I cross off the list, I seemingly add about 10 more items. I’m always anxious about dropping the ball somewhere. Not really good times. Though breakfast burritos help…

High: The new home of CrossFit Fringe is coming together swimmingly (per the above pic)! Tyler has been putting in some insane hours and has been working his tail off, so I’m not only excited but super proud of my boss.

Low: It’s so beastly hot. Last year we enjoyed a really mild summer, this one appears to be on track for most like the surface of the sun. We got a great storm last night after several weeks of no rain, and I’m pretty sure you could hear a collective sigh of relief around town.

Unintentional PR match for 3 reps at 225# from Kohler Created on Vimeo.

High: Hitting 3 reps of your previous deadlift PR by accident (ie, not paying attention to what you loaded on the bar). Not a PR anymore! And yes, that look is because Angelo is continually putting the weight on the bar.

Low: KK picked up a cold from somewhere. I hate watching her struggle with runny noses and congestion. I can’t wait till she figures out blowing her nose from all the goofy demonstrations and practice we’ve tried with her. I don’t know what we’d do without the NoseFrida and Boogie Wipes.


High: My reading game is still strong. I just finished a YA called Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum, and I’m almost finished with Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica, which is sooooo delightfully suspenseful. Reading really helps center me. If you don’t already, follow me on GoodReads!

Any big highs or lows for you lately?

KK at the park

Weekend in the Park

By | MK, Parenting, Weekend | No Comments

You’ve heard of a “walk in the park”…

…but what about a weekend in the park? This weekend felt a little slower. Oh who am I kidding, I don’t know what a slow weekend is anymore. Everything always feels like it’s going like 150 miles per hour. We’re booked up with freelance, we’re working toward CrossFit Fringe‘s move, and Neil has a race next weekend.

That being said, I love summer weekends where it stays light long, and you can take evening walks just before bedtime. We’re still sleeping with the windows open a lot of nights, and with a pretty wooded lot, it almost feels like camping.

weekend in the park

Speaking of yard, harvested my first round of kale from the garden! My lettuce hasn’t fared so well, but going to try another round. This is definitely a learning process, and time flies much quicker than I thought it would. I didn’t harvest fast enough!

So back to the weekend. Friday afternoon started with an awesome delivery from Naked Nutrition! More on this soon!


Friday night I stayed up way too late reading. Okay it was just nearly 1am, but that is extremely late for me. I’ve been on a YA Fiction BINGE lately, and finished up two books I started Thursday on Friday night! If you haven’t, you should definitely guilty pleasure read The Selection series and the Dorothy Must Die series. So, so well worth it, and they make you feel like a rockstar because you’ll finish them fast. Seriously, I need to do another book update, because I feel like I am killing it lately! Yup, that’s me patting myself on the back. Here are the gorgeous covers of both books:



Saturday morning KK woke up unusually early for a weekend. Typically we get a 7-7:30am toddler alarm, but it was like closer to 6:30am. We ran some errands, including Target for new sandals and swim gear for her, and then hit a park. She loved the slides and splashing in the puddles.

Kaitlan - 21 months

Kaitlan - 21 months

Here are the cute sandals we got her at Target. They had some cute girly ones, and while I loved them, she is into mud and dirt non-stop (evidence above), and it just didn’t seem practical…


Saturday night KK earned her first time out. She’s had some totally impressive tantrums lately, but Saturday night she absolutely did NOT want her diaper changed, and was just in full-scale revolt. Neil and I looked at each other and it was like, “yup, this is happening.”


We placed her in her bed, and closed the door. When she started to calm down and had nearly stopped crying (5-7-ish minutes), I opened her door, and she was standing in the doorway with her plastic cooking toys and bottom lip fully out. She ran to me immediately and gave me the biggest hug and would not let go. It was not an easy thing to do, but I’d rather the lessons come now and she understand where the lines are. Give me a rabid toddler any day over a newborn baby and all night crying, this still feels easier. It’s still hard in knowing what is the most effective/non-effective thing to do, but you learn over time right?

Kaitlan - 21 months

Sunday, we hit the Annual Art in the Park at Stephens Lake Park (near our new location!) and then just did a boat load of food prep for the week. KK had so much fun she didn’t nap until nearly 5pm! I enjoyed getting a little work done for sure!



Ended the weekend with awesome dinner! I could eat meatloaf and sweet potato tots every day haha!

How was your weekend?

2016 CrossFit Games Central Regionals

2016 CrossFit Games Central Regionals Event Recap

By | CrossFit, Weekend | One Comment

2016 CrossFit Games Central Regionals

The past week has been insane! In a good way, but I feel like I’ve been all over the place, and I can’t wait to tell you about it.

So this year, a few of us girls from CrossFit Fringe decided to go to the 2016 CrossFit Games Central Regionals again. Last year it was in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and this year it was in Columbus, Ohio. While I was bummed not to get a trip to Minnesota (my beloved home state), I was excited to do a little exploring in a new city.

Unlike last year, I booked early and got a hotel close to the venue. It made getting back and forth not only super easy, but gave us some flexibility if we wanted to relax a bit more between heats or activities. The Hilton was super nice and absolutely gorgeous inside!

There was also a super cute market next door to both the hotel and the venue which made meals and macros easy to manage. I had everything from organic egg salad sandwiches, to smoothies, to a super fresh quesadilla. I also packed some snacks, mostly Lara bars, rice cakes, Buff Bake, and spicy almonds.




The vendor village was as I expected. I never seem to get free stuff, but somehow my other Outliers scored big time with Reebok, Rogue, Unbroken, Quest, Kill Cliff and Qalo. Maybe it’s something about me? I did buy a new Qalo ring though, totally in love with it! One of the Reebok employees also showed me a new way to tie my shoes. I have skinny feet, so this was a cool new trick.

2016 CrossFit Games Central Regional Podium Finishers - Kohler Created Image via HMB.

Our Athlete, Brooke Wells did amazing, securing herself a 3rd place spot and a return-trip to the CrossFit Games in probably one of the most stacked Regions there is. She struggled a bit in both Event 2 and 7, which involved strict muscle-ups and legless rope climbs. I would consider both advanced gymnastics. She did however almost get a worldwide event record for Event 3 (missed it by 6/10 of a second), and finished 1st in several events. It’s a case of being REALLY good at a lot of things, and weaker in a few that can make or break you. Dave Castro (who does the programming) definitely knows how to find holes in your fitness.

2016 CrossFit Games Regional Workouts - Kohler Created
Image via The CrossFit Games website.

Here’s a shot from Event 1 where Brooke really kicked it off with an amazing performance!


And Event 7, which we ended up watching at a random Starbucks in Ohio on the way home…


The coolest part of the weekend though was definitely announcing that in late July CrossFit Fringe will be MOVING! That’s right. It’s been nearly a year-long project of trying to identify the right type of space/location, finally finding it, purchasing it, and now renovating it. It’s an exciting project to be a part of, and even though I have no financial stake in my beloved gym, I feel like I do. Tyler is super gracious in allowing me to essentially “play house” and he regards and respects my input 150%. I’ll write a little more about this in another post, because it’s definitely something people ask about a lot.

Here are a few of the teaser videos I put out ahead of the announcement. These were super fun to make and boy I got a little misty reliving our history. I can’t believe how long we’ve been a community!

For now, I’m still reveling in the excitement and celebration of an announcement (and yikes, all the work we have to do), and a talented athlete hitting the main stage in Carson this July! Congratulations Brooke!

Around here

By | Books, Food, Weekend | No Comments


My title for this post makes me think of that Counting Crows song Round Here, which probably gives away my age in a big way.

But there’s quite a bit going on around here. So here’s a little life update. Neil will probably put out a post about his first race of the season at Gateway sometime in the near future, but here are some other things…


We’ve managed to secure a spot for 6 home visits a year with Parents as Teachers! These spots are coveted and hard to come by here in Columbia, but we’re excited to see where this takes us.

I won’t lie, I’m overwhelmed by the speed and sheer diversity of development in this 18-22 month range in toddlers. Don’t get me wrong, it’s exciting and a lot of fun too, but I know I would feel better if I could wrap my arms around it a little more.

I really want to be sure we’re providing all the opportunity for growth and learning to her as possible, but in the right way. She shows interest in so many things, I just like the idea of having a little guidance.


We (and by we I mean Neil) has been cooking up a storm lately. We’ve hit a really good place with food lately. Everything is really healthy, but fun. It’s fun to both cook and eat, and KK pacifies herself enough now to where it isn’t survival mode in the kitchen for the most part anyway. Above is the awesome meatloaf we made that lasted us 4 days! It was so good too, and got better after day 1.

And the beginnings of a cajun dirty rice with shrimp


And the finished product…


So yummy!

I’ve also been in the kitchen, which has been a really nice development. I typically was just cleaning the kitchen after meals, but now that KK needs food and snax for daycare that hold her interest, I’ve kind of taken up the challenge and run with it. Thankfully she’ll eat nearly everything and is very forgiving of my less-successful kitchen experiments. So far we’ve done three-ingredient muffins, oatmeal raisin cookies, blueberry muffins and vanilla wafers.


Normal training is back and I am SO happy! I love accessory and range of motion work and that’s what I’ve been adding into my routine, both in the gym and at home. Tis’ the season for all the movements! My favorite right now are Bulgarian split squats, Single-leg RDLs and pause squats. These are all movements you can do from home with just your body weight, or add something you find around the house! Embrace the booty burn and try them out!

Also some gymnastics, care of Mitch (who was missing in action that day).


I’ve also been doing a lot of binge podcast/YouTube listening. I highly recommend checking out Julien Pineau’s StrongFit YouTube channel, as well as the new episdoes of Barbell Shrugged and Barbell Buddha, they are EPIC. I wish I could work for those guys. In particular, the one’s I ‘ve loved lately are:

In addition to listening to fun things, I have been reading a TON lately. I’ve almost fully moved over to reading on my Kindle Fire. It’s just easier, and it may be negligible, but I feel like I cover a lot more pages quickly. I’m also addicted to highlighting and taking notes.


The Dorothy Must Die Series by Danielle Paige is ADDICTIVE. I loved the Wicked Years Series by Gregory Maguire, so this new twist on Oz is fun to compare it to.


Between the World and Me by Ta-Hehisi Coates is probably one of the most intense books I’ve ever read. I was in tears nearly the entire time I read it, which never happens. It gives you such a different perspective on the racial and socio-economic tension, both recent and historically. Additionally, and it was probably unintended by the author, but I feel like his fears for his child growing up in this world are in many ways what we all feel for our children, race aside.

So that’s the fun around here lately? What’s going on in your neck of the woods?

February Camping Trip

Divide and Conquer Weekend

By | Weekend | No Comments

I hope your weekend was as fun as ours! Here’s a little recap!


Friday night was CrossFit, cheat meals (Billiards burgers) and coloring! I want to kiss whomever invented Color Magic Markers. GENIUS!


Camping Trip 2/6/16

Saturday morning Neil left for an overnight camping trip with some friends and KK and I got girl time. We watched movies and munched on Chex Mix, then hit a potluck at the gym. You just can’t beat CrossFit, so many activities!


We then spent the evening at grandpa and grandmas (my parents) watching Frozen. I just introduced them to the concept of looking for Easter eggs in Disney movies. It makes redundant watching so much more interesting. Did you know Rapunzel makes an appearance in Frozen?


Sunday morning we had breakfast and did all the grocery shopping. Neil got home and I then hit the gym for ROMWOD and some muscle-up work with some of the other coaches. My MU are pretty good, but I know they could be much better, so I’m actually being proactive and seeking help.

ROMWOD Mobility Classes - CrossFit Fringe

Super Bowl night was pretty low key. We food prepped, which involved smoking a ton of chicken, a huge pork butt and then homemade applesauce and hardboiled eggs. My brother got me one of these cool peelers for Christmas, and I’m definitely putting it to good use. It’s so much cheaper to make applesauce than it is to buy it.

Food Prep 2/7/16

KK helped clean…


…or not.

Food Prep 2/7/16

We dined on steaks, potatoes and salad and caught the end of the Super Bowl. KK ate her weight in steak, stealing most of it from my plate. I can’t believe how much she’s been growing lately, she is getting so long!