You want me to do what?

CFL1 Certification Course March 2008

This was it. lI’d been on the CFHQ website for about two years making guinea pigs out of my friends and visiting the only other CrossFit Gyms in the greater St. Louis area. CrossFit St. Louis and CrossFit DesPeres (renamed CrossFit Valley Park)

Valley Park was where I would visit the most when I had time. Dan and Brandon were extremely welcoming and excited to share.

I was introduced to the Olympic Lifts at CFDP and was more hooked than ever. 

I wanted that L1 knowledge. I wanted to be around people who were as excited about this new method as I was. I wanted that experience. 

I had to fly to Texas to get it.

It did not disappoint.

Our host was GSX athletics and Jeff Tucker. Tuck later became the developer of the CF Gymanstics course. My level 1 was like a who’s who of CrossFit celebrities. Nicole Caroll, Dave Castro, Pat Barber, Jeremy Thiel, Robb Wolf, Sevan Matossian, Todd Widman, Tony Budding.  I was starstruck. 

There must have been about 80 attendees. People from everywhere. So happy to be there. No egos, no drama. 

I remember the wod on the first day.

5 Rounds
5 Med Ball Cleans
5 Burpees. 

We broke into groups of 10 and took turns cheering each other on. Back in the day there was no pacing.  When my wod was done I just wanted to lay down and catch my breath but my coach dragged me up to cheer on the next athlete. My job wasn’t just to finish my workout but to encourage others to finish theirs. No one was alone in their efforts.

It was more than the exercise, it was also about fostering the community. 

Texas in March is dry. We did that wod outside in the grass. I was convinced that I inhaled a few blades of grass because I was coughing all night. Turns out…it was Fran cough. We all had it. 

The next day we were back at it. I was interviewed on camera and was featured on the HQ Website. WOW!

Robb Wolf did our nutrition talk and we chatted during the break.

Me: Hey Robb, how can I increase my push up strength?
Rob: How many push ups do you have?
Me: I don’t know
Rob: Don’t you think you should figure that out?
Me: (feeling like a dumba$$ but point well taken)

The workout that day was…


We knew it was coming, everyone did Fran at the L1.

The ladies were given the 35# bars but ran out when they got to me. We were doing Fran with empty bars and I was stuck with a 45. I looked up and said, “I don’t think I can do this” and Nicole Caroll put her hand on my shoulder, smiled and said “Sure you can”

So I did.

Empty 45# bar and some crazy box jumping kipping pull up that I made up and still teach to this day. 

I was lit up when I came down from that last pull up. So much energy in that room. So much cheering, encouragement and celebration. It was intoxicating.

After recovery time, I worked with Pat Barber on muscle up transitions and kipping pull ups with Rob Wolf. 

Rob coached me to my first pull up that day. One well placed cue, “Push away”

If you know me, you’ve heard those very words come out of my mouth. 

I carry all those memories with every class I teach. I will carry those lessons learned for the rest of my life. 

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