~~Tires~~SANDBAGS~~SLeDge HaMMeRs~~ OH MY… just another day in the life of a Crossfitter

Women of CrossFit came out on May 7, 2011 to raise money and show support for a fellow Crossfitter from Woodward CrossFit who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Every moment was filled with the community of Crossfit. CF boxes from around the Austin area came in teams of two to THROWDOWN for a cause.  Leander CrossFitter Chris Brull captured a video of the event and the heart all the ladies put into the day.

The ladies of Crossfit Leander had three teams tackling the two WODs this day. Loaded up with tires, water bottles, sandbags and a “mystery” bag that we still wonder if it was dog food or mulch… regardless… IT WAS HEAVY!  This was a WOD showcasing the “functional fitness” of Crossfit. Carrying a tire, with a full tank of water sloshing around in one hand and trying to figure out how to balance the sandbag and sledge hammer with the other hand so that you can make it the 100 yards down the road. A few hours later it seemed very familiar when I had my squirmy 4yr old in one arm with her backpack filled with games and toys, and a few bags of groceries on the other arm – all while trying to unlock the front door. Sure it’s easy to say “set the child down and unlock the door”… sometimes you just can’t (pick your battle). Just like that morning when it would have been easier to set down the tire so it no longer pinched your shoulder and the water bottles filled with sand didn’t cut into each finger you held them with. Today the battle was CANCER, if we just quit and set the equipment down why were we even here? It was a THROWDOWN…. nothing today would be as hard as what Tara Knighton was going through.


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A CrossFit Mom and her Village

CrossFit Texas community!

 Crossfit — it’s “YOU AGAINST YOU”…. even when there are 10 others with shins to the bar ready to tackle the same work you are. At “3-2-1 Go” it is about the work YOU are going to do.  Even though we know the work is ours to do, we are all still a team.  This is best seen at the end of a WOD -one person finishes but they aren’t done… you see them at the foot of another who is still working and they stay right there encouraging them every step of the way.  I see this day after day in our gym and it defines the CrossFit Community that I love so much. 

As a Coach I can walk in the box and if I’m in a bad mood or had a bad day… you leave it at the door.  I see our members and I immediately forget my worries and thrive on seeing THEM improve, get stronger, faster or do something they NEVER thought they would able to do. 

 As an athlete myself, I have those same “just not into it” kind of days.  These last few weeks I have been blessed with receiving some of the CrossFit Community love myself. 

Every Saturday a group of us gather to train in preparation for the CrossFit competitions. An intense 2 hours of skill sets or heavy work and then a WOD to follow.  One of my favorite things about our little community is that all the kiddos are welcome.  I know my little Mekenzie has a blast!  They all tumble around the gym until we are ready to work… then off to the playroom they go ~ only a few “they aren’t sharing” moments happen -haha- but one of the many parents work the room and we are off.  My little Mekenzie has been in a CrossFit gym since she was about 2 yrs old so she knows the drill…and fits right in – usually with her own WOD right next to Mommy.

My norm is usually a few seconds during each WOD for Mommy moments between minutes of work. This Saturday, I had a little angel helping me as Mekenzie was really wanting me to stop and come play during my WOD. I have mastered the ability to talk to her when I can’t even breath because I’m mid burpee or kettlebell swing.  After a few quick stops to open a juice box or tie a shoe, my good friend Ashley just saw a Mommy moment. She saw a need and stepped in. The need for Mekenzie to have a playmate and the need for me to finish a workout. Both things provided what each needed. CrossFit is one of the sanity moments I need… after completing a WOD it gives me more than a fit and healthy body… It also provides a fit and healthy mind. These both carry over into my fit and healthy Mommy role

Saturday rolled around again.. I had to miss the first half of training and walked in as the group was about to start the WOD. I helped Coach the team and then had planned on doing it after class alone.  As I finished up working the heavy skill set I just LOST IT! I had no passion, no desire, no GRRRRR to do the WOD. I honestly just did not care in that moment. I wanted to pack up and go.  This is where my teammates stepped in and became my coaches and my motivation.  Crossfitters all know how it feels to have an “off” day, and this day they helped me through mine. 

These are the days I am remember how blessed I am to have a family in my Crossfit community. Thank you to all the “get up girl…get it done!” moments you share with me!

ONE DAY – 17mins – ONE GOAL

SEPTEMBER 25, 2010

Fight Gone Bad began as a fundraising event in 2006. From those humble beginnings and with the support of the CrossFit community, we’ve proven what a small, totally committed group of people can accomplish. The first four editions of Fight Gone Bad have raised a combined total of more than $2 million.

Why I’m Doing This

I am working to raise funds and awareness to help these three causes. I will participate in a FGB Event where every bit of my blood-sweat-tears will be shed for the Cause! Make it about someone else today! If you or a loved one have ever been affected or you just want to honor those in need. DO IT HERE!

Shannon’s Fund Raising Page!!!


Wounded Warrior Project believes the greatest casualty is being forgotten. WWP provides unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of severely injured service members.



CrossFit Foundation provides support and assistance to the CrossFit community, the men and women of the military, law enforcement and first responder communities and their families in times of need.


LIVESTRONG – Lance Amrstrong Foundation

Lance Armstrong Foundation identifies and acts on the issues faced by cancer survivors in order to comprehensively improve quality of life for members of the global cancer community.



WHY wait until Tomorrow?

I ask for your help!

 100% of all donations are sent to Fight Gone Bad and sent to the three Causes. 



Beauty in Strength

In the CrossFit Box it’s all about you.  Go faster, harder, stronger and all quicker than you did it last time.  It might sound vain to claim that when I walk up to a WOD, I am in a FIGHT against myself.  I recently talked about how I found out how much you learn when you slow down and how obvious things become in those quiet moments.  Some days you can cruz on those quiet moments and other times the light starts finding the itsy bitsy cracks in that foundation and turns them into the Grand Canyon. Part of what I found in CrossFit was how far I could push myself.  I read in the  CrossFit Journal article linked below, the question asking if it takes a certain type of women to do CrossFit or does CrossFit make you into that person.  I believe it’s both. Just as I learn how insightful slowing down is, I also have learned a halt to a dead stand still isn’t comfortable either. Back to finding balance.

I have always considered myself a confident, independent woman and will take on any challenge you throw at me.  CrossFit is a perfect match for me.  I may not be the fastest or the strongest, but if you want someone to push till the end I will give you everything I have.  It is all up to YOU on how the WOD goes.  We all know it’s going to suck but the feeling you get when you can yell “TIME” and drop to the floor in sweet exhaustion and joy that you just tackled a beast is what keeps me coming back.  I feel like I’ve been chipping away at earning my “CrossFit Chick” member card over the last year and 4 months.  There have been many highs and lows, times when I questioned my desire, questioned my ability and questioned my place amongst those other athletes.

The CrossFit Journal,  Beyond the Body, defines what a CrossFit girl/chick is. I will tell you that EVERY single woman who steps into a CrossFit box and looks at the whiteboard and says “ok let’s go”, has already found that place beyond the body! Gaining strength over our mental challenges is a much larger gain than any barbell we can lift.

CrossFit Journal-Beyond the Body

CrossFit chicks swim upstream. They battle against all the images of  female physical fitness that have been implanted since birth. They fight the self-limiting mentality put upon their gender community. CrossFit chicks possess a confidence, commitment and sense of accomplishment that puts them at the forefront of their gender. They know the anxiety of stepping up to competition. They savor the taste of victory. They sweat, suck wind and give their all. They are part of a community that snuffs out the mantra of popular culture—the CrossFit community. (www.crossfit.com) required reading!

As I read this journal article it reminded me of how far off my path I had gotten.  This day was NOT a good day in my little CrossFit world.  I DO CROSSFIT! I am not supposed to let my mind cloud with doubt, fear, and frustration.  I went to training this morning with a purpose…. unfortunately injury interfered with my training.  The WOD included running, clapping pushups and a rope climb.  I can run.. I can clap in  midair and do a solid pushup…. I can climb a damn rope….  Not staying true to my stretching and Trigger Point, I fell to injury.   I have been unable to squat below parallel, unable to jump, run or do any other move that involves hip extension.  So after painfully pushing through a wimpy warmup I decided it was best to switch to an active rest WOD.  Like a ton of bricks the mental battle hit me.  I walked out of the gym, sat outside and tried to figure out WHAT THE HELL I was doing!?!?!?!?  I knew exactly who I needed to talk to.  I may be a CrossFit woman, but I felt like I was fading away like Michael J Fox in Back to the Future when his future is being altered before his eyes. (ok that was hopefully the last random example I use..haha). I saw myself a year ago, not only as I walked into the CrossFit box for the first time with a “kick ass” attitude as my Coaches would say, but also mentally TORN down.  So I sat there and tried to figure out how I could have come so far in that mental and emotional whirlwind and still get slapped down over a WOD.  My very own Popeye opened up my can of spinach for me…. as I stewed away at my dissapointment, he said ” So, how’s that working out for you?”  DAMN he was right. 


My teammate, my friend and my newest accountability partner Terilyn, stuck around and we  found some quiet time to train.  With the huge garage door rolled up and the sunlight as our only light.  The rings hung down….. time to TRAIN YOUR WEAKNESS.  Working through every variation of transition work, dip work, false grip pullups… we did it, we worked on muscle ups. That was a great perk in my day! Thank you girl for sticking with me!


Second attempt at a WOD.  Round 1 Push Press, Back Squat, Overhead Squat… oh yeah, I can’t squat.  I made myself sub out of squats because I just couldn’t mentally handle another failed attempt to train and finish a WOD.  Sometimes outside variables … those situations, people, and events that you can’t control sneak in through those tiny cracks again.  This time I had a witness and I didn’t like how I allowed all of these variables to leave a mark.  Grumble Grumble Grumble… allow yourself to feel bad, to be mad, to GET PISSED OFF.  THEN, LET IT GO! 

One day on a max Deadlift effort I stood almost nose to nose to Ashley and told her exactly what I knew she needed to hear to lift that bar. She got a PR that night.  We almost cried in the emotion that was exchanged in that short moment.  This Saturday that I had been beat down, I walked across the gym to hear those exact words casually said to me. WHOA. That stopped me in my tracks.  What was actually said isn’t what’s important.  What is important, is the moment that we all have that makes us realize we are stronger than the itsy bitsy cracks in our committment.

Third attempt: WOD was told to me on that moment.  I immediately felt myself rise above it.  When you feel supported in every way, it’s amazing how your strength comes from within.  

10 Rounds: 15 Deadlifts 155#, 15 pushups. Great strength builder on my 1st pull … 5 rounds down then we decreased the weight to keep the metcon component.  HOLY CRAP…………… I”M BACK! 


Finding strength beyond what your body can lift, push, pull is what true beauty is.  That is what I define as a CrossFit Woman.  I will continue to work toward any title that aids me in finding my strength beyond my body.  Thanks to my own Popeye and knowing when to make me eat my spinach.




CrossFit Success Story from Tammy G.

Tammy and I (& Mekenzie) after she finished as the Womens Leader in the CrossFit Total of 610# for a combined weight score from Backsquat, Press and Deadlift.

One of the joys I get to experience as a CrossFit Coach is watching others come into “their moment”.  Tammy Gore is a client at CrossFit Texas and one of the most dedicated women out there! Dedicated to what you ask…. HERSELF, her health, her future!  I have had the pleasure to watch Tammy’s transformation and realization of what she as a STRONG CrossFit women is capable of.  I have seen Tammy come in everyday and every time she heard “3-2-1…GO” she took on the challenge of the day. I asked Tammy to be a guest on my blog to share her story, if you ever wanted to change but didn’t think you could do anything about your current situation…. WRONG. Please read her story and be inspired, I know I am.   


I am what you would call an emotional eater. This means I eat when I am sad, eat when I am angry, eat when I am frustrated; even eat when I am bored. I need to eat to live. My problem is that I have always lived to eat.   

I made excuses; convincing myself that I was happy with the way I was. It wasn’t until I visited my doctor in late summer of 2009 that I finally realized how out of control my weight was; I had reached 260 lbs and was being diagnosed with Diabetes. I would have to take medicine every day for the rest of my life. Having watched my grandmother go through a diabetic stroke, I knew it was time to take control of my life. The only question that remained was how.  

I had the honor in putting together a health fair at my work in September. The last week of the fair, the owner of Crossfit Texas, Brannon Muska, along with two of his trainers talked to me about my health. The question that he posed was “what was I” willing to do to change my circumstances. I took that question very seriously. I had so much at stake and here was an opportunity to change my life once and for all.  

He invited me out to watch an event at the Dell Diamond. Let me just say that I was completely intimidated. I had difficulty climbing the stairs without losing my breath. How would I ever be able to do the things I saw them do? He asked me to come to the gym the next week; he didn’t take no for an answer. He invested his time and effort. He showed me that I was capable of doing more than I had ever imagined. He proved that Crossfit does work.   

Understand that along with exercise, you have to change your nutrition. I lost 30 lbs in the first 2 months only to gain back 17 lbs. I could see that exercise alone wouldn’t work. I started the 24 day challenge and on day 18 weighed in. I have lost 12lbs of what I had gained back along with 4 lbs of muscle. The energy I feel is outstanding. I am making better choices with food and learning to deal with life without eating binges. We recently had Crossfit totals and I took top female in back squats (225 lbs), press (100 lbs) and dead lift (285 lbs); this from a girl who only 6 months ago couldn’t walk to her car without breaking a sweat.   

The best thing about Crossfit is not only what you lose, but about what you gain. I have gained a support group; a second family. It means that if I am having a rough day, I can text Shannon or Chanel and they will encourage me to stay strong. It means when I walk in the door of the gym, I am greeted by name with hugs and smiles. It means when I don’t think I can possibly take another step, someone will be there to encourage me and take that step with me. Come be a part of our family; come be a part of Crossfit!  

God bless you, 

Tammy Gore 

Temporary SANITY when you step out of the box!

Sitting on the edge.  To some it’s all nerves, to others it is a place of comfort. I take a deep breath as I look at this picture and realize I am comfortable looking over the edge at the new things that I am blessed with in my life.  Maybe because I have more balance or maybe because I have a better scale. 

I was blessed to go on vacation to beautiful Mexico recently and experience some temporary sanity.  I think my jaw is still on the floor of the patio outside our room from the amazing views and accommodations.  It’s always hard to leave my baby girl at home when I go away, even if for a short while.  But this time it was all about BALANCE and just taking a breather. 

As I remember sitting on the edge of the pool looking out over the ocean and hearing the waves crash beneath me, I was quiet.  I checked in with myself… Mekenzie is safe at home with family, my heart is calm in knowing that.  I am right where I want to be.  It’s easy to say it’s perfect balance when you are looking over the ocean and the sun is shining all day.  I’m not saying I don’t need to keep working and tackle many more obstacles, but I am happy. And happy hasn’t been in my life outside of being a Mommy in a long time. 

I can sit and list the things that throw me off my rocker and get me whipping like a kite tail out of control until the wind finally dies and I come crashing down.  That is the easy part.  What I needed to do was make that same list of what keeps me at an even glide. I was thinking about all the times I hear people say ” UH…. I need a vacation!”.  What is it that we need to get away from? Work, daily household chores, the unforgiving work schedules, bickering kiddos???   Do we ever really get away from it? I know I walked back  into my house with a load of laundry that didn’t care if I was sunning myself for a few days. We I guess just stepping away from the vice of the moment is what really helps. 

I use that more than I realize. If I’m working in the ICU, I often need to step back and look at the big picture, it allows me to see what would ultimately help my patient the most. When I’m Coaching CrossFit, I find myself on the perimeter of the class scanning for technique issues, fatigue setting in or those athletes that just want to finish the WOD. Looking from afar and dialing into what motivates each athlete to push a little harder, tweek their form or boost their confidence .  As a Mom, I have to step back more than I would like.  I sometimes have to let lessons be learned the hard way, but I also get to watch amazing changes happen before my eyes!

 So stepping away is GOOD! We all learn the hard way on a daily basis, how about stepping back and telling yourself it is ok to WATCH!  You will grow and you will take more away from that experience of quiet and calm than you could during any chaotic moment of the day.

Learning to SLOW DOWN, now there’s a concept.  Fortunately, I have found a wonderful teacher for this life lesson, and I have realized levels of self confidence that I didn’t think exsisted!  Hard-headed is probably an understatement for a description of me, and in this case it took me a few times to realize that it really is in my best interest to let go.  I think once I have done it 20 or so times I will be proficient and not feel like I have to be running around like a rabbit.  It truly is revealing when you step out of the box, step out of your comfort zone.  Do you even know what that feels like? Why would you? Leaving anything we “know” is uncomfortable….so you would think.  When we were babies we didn’t know how to walk, but are you still crawling? Nope, we seek out things that bring us a bigger reward and sometimes we get a little bruised along the way.  As adults we get stuck in that comfort zone with the fear of those bruises.  One can make a conscious decision to change and step out of their personal box.  Others are forced out due to lack of the ability to control all of our surroundings, events and people in our box. The best is when we are taken by the hand and gently encouraged to test other options. 

I have been through all three of those over the last 2 years.  I learned that I can not control other people, events, or my surroundings no matter how hard I try.  You can control YOU and how you react to those elements.  I also have made a conscious decision to make changes in my life that ultimately bring happiness “my reward” for my daughter and I.  Finally, being gently lead and encouraged.  Who doesn’t like encouragement?  What I found was that by stepping out of my comfort zone and changing myself rather than trying to change the system….. the system ultimately shifts back to making it all work.  Life will surprise you if you let it.  Surprises usually mean the unknown and that is a scary place.  Seek out some Temporary Sanity…. SLOW DOWN….. STEP BACK….. TAKE A VACATION!

*would you like Spinach or Bacon with that?


For all you CrossFitters out there, here is a little note from Andy Petranek that will get ya’ moving! I know it will be easy to take with you into your next WOD, but I encourage you to take this “GO FOR IT” attitude and step out of your comfort zone.  It might mean literally in a WOD, or finding something in your everyday that you struggle with and put the same 100% into it.  The results can only be amazing!

Going For It
by Andy Petranek on Facebook
What would it look like if you were 100% committed to your health and fitness? Would it look different than your commitment does currently? 100% commitment would mean showing up, without excuses. 100% commitment would mean eating right, sleeping right, and drinking enough water EVERY day. 100% commitment would mean going all out in the workouts, stopping to listen to the coaching, not cutting corners, and not losing count. What if you aimed for 100% every day?

UnBreakable ….Sectionals Day 1

CrossFit CST Sectional Camp Mabry

This past weekend amongst 200 other Firebreathers I dripped blood-sweat and tears to try to find my place.  What is a firebreather you ask…. To some it’s the “balls to the walls” Crossfitter, to some it could be defined as one who “eats-sleeps-walks-talks” Crossfit.  I see a “CrossFit FireBreather” as ANYONE willing to lay it all on the line and JUST TRY and NOT QUIT.  That’s the spirit of CrossFit that I feel.  Yes, I define myself as competitive and always up for a challenge.  If you say I can’t…. BACK UP BUSTA’  because I’ll try!  What was the “place” I was trying to find? It was MY place at the Central Southern Texas Sectionals , the qualifier for the next competition Regionals in Dallas this May.  They were taking the top 30 men & top 30 women to the next level.   

CrossFit Texas Women Competitors

Last May after only 5 months of doing CrossFit I headed up to GSX CrossFit in Dallas for the Southwest Regional Qualifier.  That was walking into the complete unknown.  Over the past year and 3 months I have used that competition more and more to prepare me for each and every WOD I do.  Being able to have gone through the “experience” was just a taste of what is needed to try and figure out what you need to do to prepare.  Competing in Dallas at the CrossFit FXTX Unleashed Games this past February was a great precursor to this weekend. That one cold Saturday I had to put my mind and body through 4 BRUTAL CrossFit WODs.  I knew where I gassed, where I could have done more and where my strength, endurance and grit levels where.  Placing 4th was good, but not good enough.   

Now onto the Grrrrrr moments for me.  I have been struggling with feeling “broken” and torn on my training and the competing side of this “Games Season” in the CrossFit world.  I knew that the field of women that was coming to compete was going to be FIERCE! My goat is my mind.  My confidence can be easily exposed to show the constant “IN MY KITCHEN” mindset I carry with me.  I am a single Mom to a wonderful 3yr old little Red headed doodlebug, I am a full-time RN, and I Coach CrossFit 5 days a week. So when I thought about the chances I had to actually hold my own against the 20-something yr old Full Time CrossFitter with a totally different game than me….self doubt flooded my kitchen.  I choose to spend time outside the CF box and try to find balance with all these roles.  Thankfully I have a wonderful support system  that allows me to follow my passions.   

Friday night approached and the nerves started with the sporadic moments of butterflies.  Then Mark just told me “HAVE FUN”.  Wow. It worked! I decided that I had done all I could do to up to this point and I had to control what I could and let go of the rest.  (How about I tatoo that on my forehead…. maybe I won’t forget it).   

Saturday started out nice and cool then the heat came before the sun was even over the horizon.  I was in Heat 2 for the 1st WOD.  


Dead Man's Row

2kilometer Row for time, you then had 10 sec to walk to your barbell and complete as many 185# Deadlifts as possible before the 12min time cap elapsed.  I had never rowed a 2k for time before, I was gaming this WOD off how I feel after a 5oom.  I was confident in my Deadlifts and just wanted a competitive row time so that I would be high enough in the standings moving into the 2nd WOD of the day.  I planned to stay in the 2min/500m pace window then pick it up around 1ooom.  The problem was I had no idea how I feel at 1000m straight, I can’t remember the last time I did a long row.  1st 500 I was on pace… moving into the 2nd 500 I was feeling good and every once in a while I wanted to pull and sprint.  My judge was great at reminding me that I had found a “happy place”.  This was probably the most comfortable I have been in an uncomfortable situation.  1000m done – half way now baby.  I hit that half way mark and realized I was still OK!  The last 500 I wasn’t sure how soon to sprint and when to be in the active rest mode to get my legs ready for the deadlifts.  2k DONE… I hear my judge starting the 10sec countdown.  It was chalked up & was just waiting on ME!  


3-2-1… LIFT….hmmm not bad.  A short rest at the top (no rest allowed at the bottom) and off I go.  My grip was solid, my back was in check and my legs felt good.  I was shooting for 10 lifts and when I actually hit them I wanted 15… in my 13th lift my grip failed before my hips opened.  Row=8:40 and I pulled 12 Dead’s.  THEN I realized I couldn’t breath.  Thanks to Scott w/McTeer Fitness Training, he caught my suck factor on film.. haha.  Kinda strange to watch yourself and not even remember rolling around the ground trying to catch your breath.  With the 12 DL’s I had shaved 1min off my row time.  I was now standing in 18th place out of 65 women.  


The next 4 hrs I had to stay focused and make sure my nutrition and hydration stayed on track.  Our CrossFit Texas Team was huddled under a tent and making sure everyone was Trigger pointing, taking their Advocare Rehydrate  (*big Thanks to Joel Holcomb for your help with supplement timing) and refueling (Mary thanks for your nutrition guidance) for the 2nd WOD of the day.  My support system grew and showed me how blessed I am.  My mom brought Mekenzie to the event and she was one of my biggest fans.  Mekenzie is around CrossFit almost everyday and she is a true lil follower… only a CrossFit kid breaks out into burpees during her ballet class.  As Mekenzie stood with Mark and the gang during WOD 2, she was repeating all the yells from around her.  My 3yr old lil girl started shouting “GO MOMMY, push your head through”…guess I need to work on my head thru on my handstand pushups – haha.  

Mekenzie and Jack cheering on their CrossFitting Mommy's

WOD #2: “MABRY MELODY” – 3 rounds  

2 Handstand Pushups   

(hands within 30in taped area, head to ground, full lockout and heels on wall at full extention)  

6 Ground to Overhead – 95 lbs. (Clean & Jerk)  

10 burpees  

Thankfully we have been working on our HSPU’s in the box (Thanks Rob & Brannon for making sure we did it!)  But I still hadn’t gotten the timing perfect w/my kip.  I met w/a friend on Thursday and I was able to nail it! Nothing like the last-minute.  I was excited about this WOD. A little nervous on how my shoulders would feel in the second round.  I had a great Judge, Carl kept me on the wall and my head in the game.  1st round was great, then…… 2nd rnd HSPU’s ate my lunch. Either I couldn’t get locked out elbows or my dang heels kept popping off the wall.  I could feel how close I was but Grrrrrrrrrrrrr it wouldn’t go.  FINALLY 2nd HSPU done and onto the C&J’s and burpees.  I was able to get one of my 3rd rnd HSPU’s before thee 12 min cap.  I was SERIOUSLY disappointed in my performance here! It exposed a weakness and all I can do is… MORE WORK!  


WOW, day 1 was done and two WODs done.  I was in 25th place at the end of the day and knew that I had to work my a** off on Sunday to stay in the top 30.  I felt like I had left it all “out there” and even though I wasn’t 100% satisfied at my performance I knew I had pushed through every uncomfortable spot as best as I could.  The day couldn’t have ended better.  Now home to put my tired lil girl to bed & put myself through my next prep phase ….. hot shower, Rehydrate, Night Time Recovery and Catalyst – what a nightcap huh.   

On to the Next One 


CrossFit Texas Women

CrossFit Texas Women's Gathering & Goal Setting.


The first Women’s Gathering and Goal Setting session was held Saturday Feb. 20th at CrossFit Texas.  About a dozen of the ladies that leave their blood-sweat-and tears on the box floor throughout the week came on this Saturday with a different purpose.  We gathered to build upon the awesome community base that CrossFit has laid down for us.  This time it just needed a “women’s touch”.  Mary and I wanted help develop a group where we could have an open forum to talk about the struggles in any and all areas.   



Many issues were thrown out to start our forum: 

  • How do you stay motivated?
  • How do you know if you should Zone or Paleo?
  • How do others stay with a nutrition plan with a family and kids?
  • What supplements should I take?
  • How do I set goals?


  When you make a regular habit of reviewing your goals, you will be better able to achieve them. Goal setting is an important method of deciding what is important for you to achieve in your life.  Separating what is important from what is irrelevant or a distraction, motivating yourself, building your self-confidence.


S- Specific

M- Measurable

A- Attainable


T- Time Bound

Set performance goals NOT outcome goals!

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. What is MOST important to me?
  2. What could get in my way? (obstacles to accomplishing your goals)
  3. What actions do I take to meet my goals?
  4. Who can help me to meet these goals?


  1. When do I start? Make a “kick-off” date for taking action and a date to accomplish it by.

My “TO BE” List

Lifetime Goal

Long Term (6mo-yr)

Short Term (3-6mo)

Immediate (1-3mo)

What other areas are important to you? For example, do you want more community involvement, spiritual growth, more leisure time, a greater self understanding?  To get started #1 Plan- identify the action plan, #2 Implementation – who/what is your monitoring system, #3 Evaluation – who is providing feedback related to your goal?

Goals will change as time goes on.  Adjust them regularly to reflect your growth.  If your goals don’t hold any attraction any longer, let them go.  Time to reevaluate and make a new plan.  If you achieve your goal too easily, make the next one harder. Realistic doesn’t mean it has to be easy, just “do-able”.

One of the best stories of setting a goal and realizing how it changed as she grew is with Ashley Hartgrove.  I would like you to read her story and if you see her in the gym please stop and chat.  She is an inspiration in making a goal a reality and then some! 

Ashley Hartgrove’s CrossFit Testimony 

The wisest person I’ll ever know was quoted as saying “If I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid.”  So… 

I can tell you that I went from a size 10 to a 2.  I can tell you that the scale hasn’t read 135 for me in 8 years.  But, if you want my testimony for CrossFit, I’d rather you listen to how others testify about me…  When they stop me in the hall at work, at the gym, or at church and ask me what I have been doing because I look like a different person.  That is my testimony.  When I describe a CrossFit workout to them, and they respond back with an “I could never do that” and I reply back to them, “neither could I… but I do it every day”. That is my testimony.   

I’ve been a CrossFit athlete for six months now.  CrossFit started as a size and scale thing.  An “I have to wear a strapless gown for a wedding in October and I want my arms to look good” comment to my husband. Every journey starts somewhere and that was where I wanted to go. It wasn’t half-way through my 6-month plan when my path changed directions. The body-fat analysis, scale, and measurement goals were being surpassed faster than I could make new ones. The desire to look good gave way to a passion to feel good… to BE good. No longer did I need the scale to go down or to look better in the mirror. The goal soon became a workout with ‘real’ push-ups. It became an unassisted pull-up. It became a workout ‘as prescribed’ (Rx). The joy of seeing a small number on a dress or on a scale became miniscule compared to a small number on the board with Rx next to it.  

If you want my testimony for CrossFit, you can find it on the white board. Daily, I desire to know what the white board says.  Daily, it has a new goal for me. It testified about me last time and it will again but this time with a smaller number, or an Rx, or both. October is no longer a goal, it is a month. That is my testimony.  I hope you will join me, I want to testify about you!



An update on Ashley- she is training to compete in the CrossFit Games Central/South Texas Sectional March 13th.



  This topic always seems to be the hot topic.  One of the things I heard at my CrossFit Level 1 Cert. from Level 3 HQ Trainer Lisa Ray was, “you have 23 hours of your day to mess up the 1 hour you spent in the gym”.  This is just the tip of the iceberg! The hardest WOD you did that week is still easy compared to the level of difficulty dialing in your nutrition.  But…….IT CAN BE DONE! All the ladies attending on Saturday shared stories of how they make it happen.  It’s not big changes, or dramatic meal plans…. it’s just a PLAN that matters.  The best nutrition plan for you is…… wait for it…… ONE THAT YOU WILL DO!  Kerri and I share our funny stories of our “support” texting when one of us is tempted by the Oreo’s or ice cream.  Kerri and Heidi, sisters and partners in crime!

Heidi and Kerri - A great Team!

They have created an AWESOME circle of accountability for each other.  I encourage you to not hold back and share those moments with us.  Grab one of the trainers and we will help you find a plan of accountability. 


Mark’s Daily Apple

Performance Menu

Paleo Blocks blog  


At the end of the day it always feels good to get into those favorite pair of jeans.  Getting our goals in line, understanding how to implement the nutrition and workouts for optimal outcomes is going to get us there! So everyone brought in some of their old favorites that don’t fit anymore and we got to SHOP! What was the cost?  Being a part of this wonderful group and sharing yourself with others.  What a blast! It was like a big walk in closet that we all got to pick from.  Some snagged a new pair of workout shorts, others found a cute shirt or two.  What we had left over didn’t go to waste. Jackie Holcomb was able to take them to the Hope Alliance in Georgetown for us. I encourage you to visit there website and learn more about them.  

Developing partnerships and providing services that renew hope, highlight possibilities and change the futures of those whose lives have been affected by family and sexual violence.    

The 1st gathering was a success and more are to come.  You all are the drivers and we can take this vehicle where ever we want!  If there are topics that you would like discussed please email  Mary (mary@crossfittx.com) or I (shannon@crossfittx.com). 

Celebrating some of the awesome Ladies of CrossFit Texas

in our journey in and out of the CrossFit Box 



Self Defense! Our own Bonnie (and we might let a boy in…. her husband Rob 🙂 both are Officers with Austin Police Department) has offered to come do a session on self defense! WOOOOOOOOOWHOOOOO learn how to protect yourself…. I mean in case you can’t CLEAN the dude! Let me know if you are interested.  We will put a sign up sheet up in the gym when the date has been decided. 


We have one body – one life – one chance. INVEST in yourself! 

A fellow Crossfitter brought my attention to this article in the Wall Street Journal of a former US Marine that was injured in Iraq and lost interest in himself upon returning home and dealing with his recovery.  This is his story of how he pulled through his injuries and has fully invested in himself with the use of CrossFit. Click US MARINE: What\’s Your Workout?  to watch a video and read about his journey. YOU WON’T BE DISAPPOINTED!

  Don’t let life pass you by! Don’t let situations define you. 

One of the books I’m reading now talks about one of the greatest sufferings noted to man, but it also helps you see that however great or small the suffering we experience is, it’s defined by the meaning WE give it.  How WE respond and react to it.  Life is full of potential meaning, under any and all conditions, how will YOU define it, how will you react to it. Have you ever felt like you were clueless to how to feel better, do better, overcome a situation that was bringing you down? I have! Then when you least expect it POOF… you are given so many options, you aren’t sure how to put them all together.  I have had so much going on lately that I wasn’t stopping to even figure out how to handle it.  I was given a book and immediately the connection hit and I started to see how I needed to define my situations differently.  Aristotle believes that stormy situations are exactly what helps us as humans grow stronger.  When I start to focus on the suffering or pain of a situation my newest homework for myself is to stop and define that moment… MIGHTY GROWTH! I take aim at the moment and will strive to make it an opportunity to be a MIGHTIER HUMAN BEING! Don’t stunt your growth -make the choice to take advantage of the ‘suffering’  and create an opportunity for change! 


I lay out all this new homework for my mental wellness, now lets’ get to the physical wellness.  They go hand-in-hand in my book.  I know I’m not happy if either are too far off midline.  Figuring out which one is the problem that needs attention 1st is the challenge.  I know how when I’ve missed too many WODs in a week it throws my mental wellness way off.  Then if I’m mentally not checked in I don’t make sure I do what I need to do to workout… vicious cycle.  So how do we stay on track?  GREAT question… you think I have the answer.. NOPE.  I do have a  great network of people who help in different ways.  Somedays I need to get a butt whooping in the CF box and have a Coach yell at me to push harder.  Somedays I just want to look across the table at that special someone and quietly talk about the highs and lows of our day.  A sure fix is my daughter, she slows me down.  She is the oil that keeps my engine running.

A precious moment with my daughter Mekenzie

My INVESTMENT: Know that everyday is not going to be perfect. Define each situation and make it an opportunity for growth! Find the mental and physical balance in my day.  Control what I can control. 

What a little help with your challenges?

The women of CrossFit Texas are gathering this Saturday – Feb. 2oth at 12noon. We will be discussing Goal Setting, Nutrition and all the challenges that go with sticking to it. We will have a Paleo/Zone recipe swap & Pot Luck.  We are also  having a Clothes exchange.  Details on the clothes exchange are to come this week.  Register for this FREE seminar online at CrossFit Texas under “seminars”. email me for info shannon@crossfittx.com

 *TWIB* thank you for sitting across many tables with me!


The obligation to demonstrate and take responsibility for performance in light of agreed expectations. There is a difference between responsibility and accountability: responsibility is the obligation to act; accountability is the obligation to answer for an action.

For the past few weeks Kerri and I have talked about what it takes to make ourselves accountable in our training for the CrossFit Games Central Southern Texas Sectional competition March 13th.

  CrossFit Games Widget Central Southern Texas Sectionals – March 13th 2010 – Camp Mabry. Click HERE to come watch and support the athletes right here in Austin on March 13th!

We are always talking about our nutrition – the good days and the bad. The gals at CFTX are zoned in on training, lifting heavier, running faster and getting closer and closer to nailing our individual goals! Kerri and I decided we would take before pictures in the start of this new year and continue to press forward hard and fast.  We both laughed at how long it was taking us to get brave enough to actually post them on our blogs.  When she returned from vacation, she told me she had posted them that night…UHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH that meant I HAD to! Boooo.

Well I sat on them for a while after sinking a little in my training.  I am still trying to figure out just how to manage it all.  A full-time Single-Mom to Mekenzie my beautiful 3yr old, a full-time RN, and Coaching at CrossFit Texas Mon-Fri.  I love it all and seem to forget about myself sometimes and then I get super beat up by my frustration. 

My last post talked about this blog and all the little nuggets in it are not for anyone else but me.  Does that sound selfish??? I can’t post something and worry that other people are going to knock me for my times, my nutrition mishaps, or that I’m not the fastest or the strongest.  It is what it is and all I can do is WORK HARDER!

I reluctantly sit here in “chick” mode, if that exist… LOL and REALLY don’t want to post these pictures. I know that some will think good and some will think bad of what I have done and where I am.  I am happy of where I am! I CrossFit and damn it don’t complain.  (ok, so I may whine a little).  Here are my before shots taken earlier this month.  We all have struggles, we all hit walls and slumps, but it’s the climb out of those holes that is important.  So everyday I strive to add to my training.  It might be dialing in the nutrition better, getting more than my normal 4-5 hrs of sleep a day, and staying as consistent in my workouts as I can. ACCOUNTABILITY….. It’s takes WORK!!!

In case you are looking for my “accountability pictures” I had to remove them due to my ex husbands new wife inappropriately posting them on her blog as the link to my daughters name.  So I will show you all what is truly important to me. MEKENZIE PAIGE ISBELL.  Thank you Scott for giving me the best part of you!

*click picture for more of my babygirl.

Today’s WOD:

21 -Thrusters (85#) 21- supermans

50 Doubleunders

15 -Thrusters (85#), 15- supermans

50 Doubleunders

9 -Thrusters (85#), 9 -supermans

Running off minimal fuel from working the last 3 nights in the ICU and less than optimal sleep I was counting on my AdvoCare supplements to get me through this WOD.  I loaded with the usual – ThermoPlus, Catalyst, Arginine and of course O2 Gold.  All taken at their respectable times for optimal benefit in this killer of a WOD. 

Lauren and I decided to go heavy with this one. Focus was getting stronger!!!!!  So Brannon loaded us up with 85# each.  The Rx for the WOD was 65# and I know what I feel like after Fran at 65# so the SUCK FACTOR today was gonna be HUGE!  3-2-1-( this is gonna SUCK) GO!

Gaming my wods is what I like to do – Ashley and I decided we’d shoot for at least 15 before dropping in the 21’s – after 2 reps I realized I gripped the bar way to wide! I tried to push a few more out but was loosing power in the press.  DAMN IT dropping the bar was NOT what I wanted to do so early, but I knew I’d be stronger with the correct grip.  So down the bar goes for a quick reset.  All I could think about during the thrusters was “this better not feel heavy Shannon, because you need to lift a heck of a lot more weight at a faster pace !” I finish up the 21 a little slower than I liked, dropped for the supermans and thought I was gonna puke already! Grrrrr. Luckily my double unders are quick so I was just pushing thru as fast as I could. 

2nd set of thrusters…honestly I don’t even remember those. All I could hear was Howard quietly fixing my form one rep at a time. Trying to train my rest periods was crazy hard. All I wanted to do was stand there a little longer and catch my breath.  I made myself grab that bar before I had completely settled so that it becomes the comfort zone!  My eyes scanned the floor to see where the other girls where in the rotation… having such awesome athletes right in front of you is a great motivator to NOT STOP!

set of 9: I knew I wanted to knock these out without dropping the bar. My freaking legs where TOAST but it was only 9 more so GET IT DONE SHANNON!  5 reps – bar down- again I hear Howard quietly say “pick it up” and last 4 done straight for the last set of supermans and TIME: 11:30. Grrrrrr. NOT happy with that! But I worked the heavy so I’ll take it.  Now…. TRIGGER POINT is calling my name.