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My Unfinished Business with Angie

Down with you!! J. Star

In CrossFit, the workout-of-the-day (WOD) is generally named after a person. They can be named after girls, heroes, and other guys in between. Sadly, the hero workouts are named after CrossFitters who serve in the military or armed forces and died in the line of duty. I haven’t found how the girls earn a WOD named after them (or which real-life ladies inspire the said workouts), but it’s my goal to someday have a WOD named “Laura.”

Anyway, if I am the hero of my CrossFit destiny, pushing myself against me and laying down personal records day in and day out, then I can’t be a true superhero without an archenemy. And mine goes by the name of Angie.

Angie is a body-weight workout and the worst 20 to 30 minutes of your life (or 10 minutes, if you’re that good).


100 pull-ups
100 push-ups
100 sit-ups
100 air squats

For time.

CrossFit Evolution – Angie from Lori Schwartzberg on Vimeo.

My history with Angie

Angie and I have played together three times over the past year, which is a lot since CrossFit programming is constantly varied.

1/8/10 4/11/10 7/26/10

ANGIE adjusted

50 ring dips, 50 jumping pull-ups
75 knee push-ups
100 sit-ups
100 squats


100 banded pull-ups
100 knee push-ups
100 sit-ups
100 squats


100 banded pull-ups
100 knee push-ups
100 sit-ups
100 squats

29:11 27:09 29:17

To set the context, April’s Angie was during the 40 WOD Challenge when I was going to CrossFit 3-days in a row, 1-day rest, 3-days on, 1-day rest, etc. I was at the height of my physical fitness for the year and was kicking some major muscle. In July, I just started a new job and was barely going twice a week. The thing that really pissed me off was I was busting out some killer pull-ups and rock-solid sit-ups. The push-ups, well, were a struggle. But two minutes slower? (more…)

What’s the deal with handstands?

Laura Kimball_handstand_Mazda2_Lamiki

Occasionally I post pictures on Twitter, Facebook, and even this blog of myself doing handstands. There are some friends and followers will consistently “like” those photos and drop comments of excitement and delight. Then there are other friends who will wait until we’re face-to-face and ask, “Why is your profile picture upside down?” Or even more direct—“What’s up with those handstands?”

What’s up with those handstands?

Handstands are the unofficial sign of a CrossFitter. To quote Greg Glassman, the father of CrossFit, “Handstands, hand walking, and pressing to the handstand are critical exercises to developing your athletic potential and essential components to becoming ‘CrossFit.’

Handstands work your balance, strength, and flexibility, three important elements that are “CrossFit.” They’re something that we can do outside of the gym, on a whim, and without any equipment. In the woods? At a national landmark? In your mother’s backyard—do a handstand; have someone take a picture of it and share it with your friends online for all to see and comment on.

It’s kind of like a gang sign as it shows your affiliation to a very specific group of people.  If you search on Google, bing, or Flickr for “CrossFit handstand,” the SERP will turn up a number of photos of people inside a gym and at the most awesome places around the world. These are CrossFitters in their natural habitats, doing their thing. (more…)

My (CrossFit) Gym

When people ask me what CrossFit is, I have a hard time explaining it because by definition, it is “broad, general, and inclusive.” CrossFit specializes by not specializing. It’s one of those things that you need to experience in order to understand.

This is one of the gentlest videos I’ve watched about CrossFit, but the message is compelling all the same. There is no blood, sweat, or tears in this video, but it gives me chills all the same. And it shows the one thing that keeps me going back to my gym.

My Gym from Patrick Cummings on Vimeo.


Community is a word that we throw around haphazardly. Sometimes it’s an adjective, a verb, a noun; other times it’s a goal, an objective, an obstacle. But rarely do we use it to mean the definition we learned in fourth grade: a group of people living in a particular local area having common interests.

At My Gym

At my gym, when they don’t show up, I call them.
At my gym, when I don’t show up, they call me.
My gym is different than other gyms. And I am different because of my gym.

At my gym, we celebrate birthdays by doing handstands.
At my gym, the mayor makes me my own jump rope.

At my gym, we scream when we accomplish personal records.
At my gym, we write those records on the wall.

My gym is Lynnwood CrossFit, and I am better because of my gym.

What Can You Learn from Training to Become an Elite Athlete?

They say it takes 30 days to form a habit and 90 days to change your life, especially when it comes to health and wellness.

Eleven weeks ago I started a new habit of going to CrossFit 3-days-on, 1-day rest, which meant I was working out 5-to-6 times a week, showing up to the evening classes during the week, and somehow making it to the 8am classes on Saturday and Sunday. My non-gym social life was on probation, but my gym life had never been better.

Laura Handstand 24HoursOfLeMons by Doug Chase
Learning how to do a handstand in a skirt, however, is extra. (Struting my stuff at “Goin’ for Broken” 24 Hours of LeMons at Thunderhill Raceway in California)

Last weekend was the CrossFit Regional Competition, which was the reason for the crazy workout in the first place. I didn’t make the affiliate team for my gym, but here’s what I got out of the competition:

How to establish a goal, and meet it

A year ago I met a woman who competed in a weightlifting competition in Canada, which technically made her an international competitor. This woman was probably twenty years older than me and did not have the body of a stereotypical athlete by any means. But she was strong and humble about her accomplishment. I don’t know if she placed, ranked, or even finished, but she showed up and competed (in spandex nonetheless). At that moment, I had a fleeting thought―I, too, want to be a weightlifting competitor. I race cars, so why not add this to the list?


On Becoming an Elite Athlete: The 40 WOD Challenge, CrossFit Games, and Me

If you were to find 13-year-old-me and tell me that as an adult, I’d be training to become an elite athlete, I would not believe you.

If you were to find me six months ago and say the same thing, I wouldn’t believe you either.

But I am.

At the end of February I volunteered at the 2010 Washington Sectionals for the CrossFit Games. Spending the weekend watching elite athletes in action changed my entire outlook on CrossFit.

This is what I saw:

2010 Washington State CrossFit Sectionals from Jeremy Grubaugh on Vimeo.

Claim to fame: yours truly makes a split-second appearance 16 seconds into the video.


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