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What we think about CrossFit, Bodies, and so much more….

When Alyssa is not coaching or trying to build Rocket into a massive empire (or a tiny one) of radical positivity, body acceptance, inclusivity and empowerment, she’s writing about that stuff. (And life-coaching, and giving seminars, and speaking and……) For ease and simplicity, we’re posting links to her writings on CrossFit related stuff here.

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Sweat and Happy Thoughts Can’t Cure Depression

I am a trainer. I train muscles, mostly. I am fortunate enough to have a couple hundred people who trust me with their bodies, and I take that very seriously. I approach it with the same “first do no harm” goal that a good doctor would..

I know enough about mental health to know that exercise can help symptoms of depression, but it is not, by itself, a cure. You cannot fix a chemical imbalance with a mantra. No more than you can wish away cancer or fix diabetes by thinking the good thinks real hard.

If you are a yoga instructor or a CrossFit coach or a body builder or a……. you are not a mental health professional and you need to step away and let the pros take this one.

…. read more….

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No Excuses, But Lots Of Reasons

Here we go again. Yet another “no excuses” mom needs us to laud her 6-pack abs as she shames the rest of us for not looking like her. As a trainer, and a gym-owner, these things make me cringe. They are not inspirational, except that they inspire rage in me with an intensity that few other things can. They are amongst the most harmful things out there, if what we’re really trying to do is inspire people to be strong and healthy. And happy.…. read more….

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CrossFit, Sports, Leaderboards and Gender Identity

I really thought that the gym my husband and I own would be the one place where I wouldn’t fumble on gender politics and their surprising manifestations. I mean, I know they’re everywhere, but…  They pop up where you least expect them, even for those of us who have dedicated the lion’s share of our adult life to addressing them where they hide; everywhere from education to sex to athletics. I, personally, have used all the various skills that I have to help people understand not only the differences between sex, gender, sexual orientation and expression, but to also help people understand why it matters on a level of fundamental human rights. … read more …

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Why We Compete, But Not To Win

I am the least competitive person on the planet. If you tell me you want me to go head-to-head with someone, I will say “no.” Then, I will likely editorialize something that vacillates between the martyrdom of “let them have it” to the egalitarian hooey of “it’s not about winning.”   So it may seem odd that as a coach, I am constantly pushing our athletes to compete.

I think that competition is one of the best ways to push yourself, for yourself. Competitions are one of the best training tools that we have, and they are wickedly fun.  … read more …

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Should I Get My CrossFit Level 1?

It’s usually right as an athlete’s been working out with us for a year or so, they start making noise about getting their CrossFit Level 1. It’s the natural progression of questions: “Can I / Will I get bulky?” “Do you think I can compete?” “Should I get my Level 1?”

No. No. And No. With caveats, of course.

First, the first 2, cuz I can to that real quick like.   … read more …

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Raising Children To Love Their Bodies (When We Don’t Love Ours.)

I’ve always been blessed with a body that conforms to the utterly arbitrary social standards of the day. I was also blessed with a mother who loved her body and whose feminist sensibilities allowed me to blossom without any pressure to be anything other than who I am.

And I still, largely, hated my body. My boobs weren’t big enough.  My stomach was too poochy. My thighs touched. MY NOSE WAS HUGE. My…..  whatever, there was a list that I carried in my soul until fairly recently. I just wasn’t good enough.

Then I had a daughter, coming of age. It only takes one instance of your toddler saying, “goddamnit” when they drop something to remind you that they are sponges. Their world view and sense of self is defined by how you interact with the world around you.  … read more …

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How To Find A Good CrossFit Gym

Of all the things I’m asked about CrossFit, the one I’m asked most often is “do you know anything about this gym?” or its variant, “do you know a good gym in this city?”  The answer is usually “no,” because it’s not like we all know each other. Even in Seattle, I don’t know thaaaaaat many of the bajillion gyms that are popping up. So I do what I do when I’m curious about anything, Google it. And although there is NO substitute for going in and getting the feel of a place, I will weed gyms out pretty quickly based on their Web sites.  … read more …

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Women’s Bodies, CrossFit & Advertising

Let’s get something straight, something that I think we can agree on: BODIES ARE AWESOME. I’m not gonna pretend that one of the best parts of my job isn’t watching strong bodies do amazing things all day, all glisteny with sweat and making sounds that, I mean, really, sound kinda naughty-fun if you close your eyes. Also not gonna lie and pretend that I don’t love looking at pictures of women’s bodies, generally speaking. Yum. I don’t know whether it’s aspiration, inspiration or just admiration, but yes, a strong woman doing hard things (no, not that kind) definitely gets me to pay attention.  … read more ...

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Why I Kicked An Athlete Out Of My Box

My job as a coach is to make people stronger. It’s really that simple. It is mostly a physical task, as in, my job is to make you physically stronger. But there is also a fairly large emotional component to it, one that is too-often ignored. Because the path to physical strength is a long one. It involves you being able to assess any task, figure out whether it will help you or harm you, make adjustments on the fly and proceed with your own self-interest as your foremost responsibility.

Or, as I more often say it, “listen to your fucking body.”  … read more …

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I’m Not Your Box Babe And I Don’t Want To Be

It was with gritted teeth and a grimace that I slogged my way through the light-hearted misogyny called “Be A Box Babe, Not A Barbie” in the current issue of The Box. I pictured the author, spanking his monkey with spunky pride as he conjured up images of his ideal woman who was, for some reason, bent over a box for the next round of thrusters. (Hey, I never ground my fantasies in reality either, I get it.) Sentences swirled in my head, in which I explained to him that I am actually not doing CrossFit so that I can meet his standards of “box babe,” when I choked on my own words, realizing that the whole idiotic diatribe was written by, seriously, a woman.

Fuck me. No, not that way. In the “this world is fucked, and that means me too,” way. … read more …

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Top 8 Tips For Winning The CrossFit Open

It’s CrossFit Open season again, and here atRocket Crossfit we are doing what we always do in our humble little 1,300 square foot gym: Consistently turning out more champions per capita than any other gym on our block. Winners, baby. Fucking champions, dude.

And, as happens every year, throngs of reporters in my imagination are asking me how we do it. What our secret is, because our success is just so obvious. Our secrets are so simple that anyone can do them, and can seriously raise the barre for competition in the Games.

So, here are the Rocket CrossFit Top 8 Tips For Winning the CrossFit Open:   … read more …