A Day in the Life….

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I’m not photogenic and don’t normally like to be in photos, but I do love this one – it’s from my Coaches Bio, and it’s calm, sweaty and happy. My goal in life!

Today (Monday 1/4/2016) is a day I have to share…as an example of following your dream, indulging your passion, and doing what you love.  It’s not often that I survive a day like this without a breakdown at some point due to the volume of work, but today all the stars lined up and it was a good day.

Thank God I ate a lot today….and because I knew I wouldn’t have time to train, I upped the fat to help keep me calm on a typical Monday.

I love my box, I love our athletes (I say “our” because you all are all of our (the coaches) responsibility), and I love days like this even though by now, 9pm as I write this, I’m Jonesing for either a glass of wine or a pillow.  Yes, it’s only 9pm, but let me share how the day started…just in case some of you catch me on a not so calm version of today!

Sunday night, I was in bed early – by 9pm I was out! Lame, you might think? Not if you just set your alarm for 4am and counted backwards on your fingers to ensure you’d get 7 hours of sleep if you could put yourself out quickly!

4:00 a.m. my alarm goes off.  No snooze – up and at ’em. Big Day! First work day of the year (aside from Saturday!) and new things happening today.

5:15 a.m., at the box…still have to email the landlord for the fix to the shower and the broken window in the Kids Room – CHECK! Tidy up, spray some Lysol around (it IS a warehouse, but it needs to not smell like one!), double check the whiteboard, eat breakfast (yes, at 5:15am – roast beef, potatoes and guacamole)..and it’s time to open the doors.

5:45 a.m., our athletes start rolling in – big day – new squat program that no one really understands!  Check on everyone – bodies OK? -weekends OK? – got goals set for the New Year?  Huge group rolling in…I have to admire anyone who gets up at 5am to train at 6am…and can muster the energy to push as hard as these folks do!

6:00 a.m., lead the group warm up. Make sure we don’t have anyone not ready to squat!  Lead the explanation – new program – old school – and should be not only a challenge, but fun!  With Coaches Mal and Liv, coach up the class – watch the split between the Strength-bias group and the daily WOD.  Make sure Phizzle is doing OK – the only one in RX+ at the 6am class and his WOD is horrifically difficult, especially by himself.

6:45 a.m., on the fly, change the metcon – too long, too many athletes for three sleds.  Made it too long. Change it to keep everyone working at a higher intensity and to get them done on time.  Class is wiped out at the end, and accomplished with a new 5RM LBBS and the start of the 20 Rep Squat Cycle under their belts. Loving it!

7:00 a.m., first 1:1 onramp session with a newbie – the kind of newbie that keeps me in this business.  Yes, I love the competitors – who doesn’t. And I love seeing Heather get her first, second…fifth kipping pullup on her first try!  I love all of that. But this is a 50 year old woman, a little (OK, very) nervous about starting. She saw the CF commercial with the 70 year old woman training at a CF gym and thought if she can do it, so can I.  I’ll admit I had to reassure and persuade her to try it, but today she was glad she did.  First onramp session a success – and I’m changing someone’s life for the better. The strength, confidence and healthy future this woman is going to experience because of this sport is beyond what I can conceive at this early stage, but I’m on fire! I’m super jacked!  Ran her long – a little late, but finished by 8:30 a.m.

8:30 a.m., grab my container full of Rosemary Ham, nuts and sweet potato mash (yes, cold) and eat it on the way to Legends. Legends is our “functional fitness” program for seniors. It started in March with 12 athletes, and we’re initiating 16 newbies today at 9:00am and adding a fifth hour long class this week!  We now have a total of 64 ACTIVE SENIOR ATHLETES!  Let’s get ready to rumble!

9:00 a.m., walk in to meet Charmaine, the first newbie on site.  Hubby’s there getting everything set up – name tags on newbies..and without as much as a “Good Morning, Babe”, we’re off!  Try to remember all 16 names…who has the total hip, who has the limited shoulder range of motion, who has the tibial plateau fracture, and who’s nervous…THEY ALL ARE! Try to be funny, don’t use big terms, don’t over-coach, don’t under-coach, be reassuring…we’re doing good (and I’m starting to perspire…and it’s air conditioned!  Uh oh…deodorant fail so early!). Well, maybe their sense of smell has waned over the years (one can only hope!). Where’s Paulie?  Oops, scheduling snafu – it’s just Ed and on the 16 – wowzers.  But, day one of new Legends athletes in the books and a success.

10:00 a.m., back to the Legends Athletes who know the program. The 10:00, 11:00, 12:00 and 1:00 sessions run smoothly.  Some half kneeling is always a challenge, but a huge ego boost when we’re successful (for them AND us!).  We were able to fit in a few bottles of water (hallelujah for Amino Energy about right now!), an Epic Bar and the best Fuji Apple I’ve had in a while.   Each session or class has its own personality, and at least one always yields a gut-busting, side-stitch-causing belly laugh.  Thank you for that – these athletes are amazing…inspiring!  When I’m 87, I can only dream I move that well.  Ellie is standing up so much more erect, Jan’s waiting for the next scheduled rest time, and Carole is counting everyone’s reps to make sure they’re all honest (joking, but that’w what we say!).  Energy still up – doing well!

2:00 p.m., head back to the gym. I have an hour before the first season session of the Pinellas Heat Volleyball conditioning starts and I have no idea how many girls, let alone who they are, so I need to be prepared.  Workout is written up, paperwork all ready for the parents.  And I have time to eat!…except that we have a walk in wanting information on joining.  I got it…

2:45 p.m., shoveling some more meat and veggies down my throat as the first girl walks in. Oh, and made a quick coffee too – it’s cold in the box and I’m getting tired – perfect combination at the perfect time.   We have three girls today, all bubbly and eager.  Parents introductions made, questions answered, philosophy conveyed.  Check on any injuries or issues with the girls and we’re off. Expectations laid out, orientation to the box, and we’re on the rowers.  Everything is new to them to we’re overexplaining everything and asking for confirmation.  Quick warm up and we’re going to start cleaning, front squatting and cash out with a quick metcon.  Pulled a plyo box off the stack and smashed my finger between two of them. Don’t scream in front of the girls, I’m telling myself!  But in need of a bandaid before one of them passes out because I’m bleeding.  Thanks to JD for saving me with the First Aid box and to the Hubs for starting their metcon so I could recoup!  Metcon done. Girls did well – still smiling.  Day one of Heat Training in the books.

4:00 p.m., and it’s time to check phone texts and email before I leave…Oh Lord!  Should have checked in a few times during the day.  Several newbies to be scheduled, a food log to review, and the boyfriend of an athlete wanting to start.  We had mailed our holiday newsletter to some of the athletes of the past and several of them were in my email wanting to reactivate.  It’s the first of the month, so we’re logging dues and verifying statuses.  4pm athletes are starting to work through their warm up and Coach Mal finishes up her private client so we chat about how our bodies feel – Mal’s beat up a little and we’re worried about a weird hip thing – called Ed over (the Hubs!) for a consult…so that sticks in my head as an ongoing concern.  Hate to pack up because I love being here – love the athletes in the 4pm class! (all the classes – don’t get jealous!).  But, I have a cat and a fish at home that need fed (and cat needs insulin – oye!) and they’ve been alone all day…time to go.

5:00 p.m., finally out the door.  Home by 5:30, dinner ready by 6:00…and I cooked. I never cook anymore. Sad, I know. No time. But I had some grass-fed flank and stir fry veggies in the fridge and it whipped up ever-so-quickly!  Dinner cleaned up.

6:30 p.m., Time to sit down and dome some paperwork, clean up emails, and check the schedule for tomorrow.  And so it begins: laptop on my lap, cat on one side, Hubby on the other side…we’ll be here for a while!

9:30 p.m., closing up shop. Don’t have the energy to shower (don’t worry, I will in the morning). Hitting the hay, hope to be asleep by 10…zzzzz.


Whoever said owning your own business was easy is a goon!  It’s never easy, but it’s more often than not, rewarding at a level I’ll not look to change anytime soon.  Making people better – at a lot of different things, including adapting to change.  Changing lives.  Being as excited to see them as they are to see us. We run several lines of programing at Rebels and I couldn’t be prouder of how smoothly (generally) everything intertwines:  The CrossFit “WOD”, the main programing for the box, the strength-biased line of programming, Rx+, CrossFit Kids (Nicole’s just the master!), the Heat, all the coaches private clients (and yes, we make sure the coaches that are providing one-on-one services as “personal trainers” are in fact, personal trainers with the credentials to back that up (even if they’re in pursuit of that actively).  Not sure why I threw that in there – must be an issue I see in our industry! My coaches are top notch – I mean really good. Their care factor is as great as their coaching abilities. This box means so much to so many people.  This is my first day of the new year gratitude post. I’m thankful for all of the great things I can list above, but also for the stress, forced time management, need to continually learn new things and be “uncomfortable”.

Today was a long day with no breaks.  Other than missing spending any time with my husband outside of the box today, it was a good day.  Bring on tomorrow!


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