The Open, Apex Combine Recap, and Inspiration

Last Chance to Sign Up for the Open!

The 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games Open starts on Wednesday! If you have not signed up yet, what are you waiting for?!? We have received a few inquiries from individuals regarding schedule conflicts. Due to the level of participation we will be running the open workouts for those who cannot come in on Saturday mornings on Thursdays at 6AM and 6:30PM. If you absolutely cannot make it on Saturday morning we will arrange to have a coach judge and score your workouts at this time. We are still encouraging everyone to try their best to complete the workout on Saturday – this will foster the best competitive environment for everyone. If for some reason you are out of town for the entire week or cannot attend Thursday or Saturday’s workouts please see Micah and we will handle it on a case by case basis. PLEASE DO NOT show up to a class expecting to do the workout officially without letting someone know in advance. All scores must be posted and validated by 8PM Sunday and you MUST post a score for all five workouts for any of your scores to count. For a more detailed outline of the rulebook, please see the PDF here.

CrossFit Apex Combine

As some of you may or may not know, five of our athletes and coaches traveled to CrossFit Apex to compete in their 2012 Winter Combine. Please join me in congratulating Morgan Russo, Jeff King, Anthony Masicieri, Carlos Gibson and Kyle George on their achievements this past weekend. This was the first individual competition for Jeff and Anthony and they represented CrossFit215 in fine fashion. Full results and a breakdown of the workouts can be found on CrossFit Apex’s site here.

CrossFit215 Athlete Inspiration

As the CrossFit Games Open rapidly approaches it is easy to get caught up in all of the hoopla surrounding “The Games.”I know many of us, including myself, tend to look for inspiration from the elite Games competitors who have graced the podium over the past few years. The CrossFit Games website is filled with stories of how many veteran firebreathers are preparing for the competitive season. These athlete’s impressive feats of strength and seemingly superhuman stats are enough motivation to get anyone fired up. But sometimes the most inspirational athletes are the ones standing right next to you in your own gym. With that being said, I would like to take the time to highlight the achievements of Morgan Russo this past weekend. Unfortunately I did not get a chance to see it in person, but I was extremely impressed and proud to hear that she pulled 255# on the deadlift ladder workout – a huge PR! For those of you who may not know Morgan well, she is one of the most entertaining and positive people I have ever met. Anytime I see Morgan I am always greeted with a smile. I even had the pleasure of competing alongside her back in November during the OTG competition. This was Morgan’s first individual competition and she was extremely nervous. One thing you may not know about Morgan is that she suffers from a severe anxiety disorder that creates an extreme physiological response when she has a panic attack. If she becomes too overwhelmed, usually when surrounded by lots of people in a claustrophobic setting, her entire body freezes completely leaving her unable to move or speak. These attacks have created ER visits in the past, therefore she forewarned us during the OTG competition that this might happen. Her bravery to even attempt to compete under these circumstances literally floored me. All I could think was, “wow this girl has got guts.” Luckily, Morgan did not have any severe panic attacks that day. She faced her demons and persevered through every workout. Since then Morgan has participated in two additional individual competitions. Speaking with Morgan before each one of them I recognized her attitude was always the same. She mentally prepared herself going into them not to worry about anyone else, but just do her best. I cannot tell you how much I admire this characteristic because it is something I struggle with often.  Morgan’s positive attitude is a great testament to the fact that even though it is easy to get caught up in your own insecurities, if you can learn to set aside your fears, you will experience great success.

Morgan is great example of how the athlete who might appear to be very unassuming on the outside, is actually way stronger than one might perceive both internally and externally. If you compared Morgan next to 2011 CrossFit Games champion Annie Thorisdottir you may conclude very quickly that Annie is obviously the superior athlete. But external assumptions only go so far. The misconception of what some people may define as a great athlete can be compared to the fallacies of how some view the definition of being well educated.  Being well educated doesn’t necessarily mean you had to have great SAT scores, an above average IQ, and a degree with an Ivy League stamp. The word educate is derived from the latin word “educo,” meaning to educe, to draw out, to develop from within. It isn’t about how much knowledge you can absorb and regurgitate, it is about how you organize and use that knowledge after you acquire it. The same goes for how we can distinguish the characteristics of a good athlete. You don’t necessarily have to be the strongest or win every competition you enter. More importantly, what separates the good athletes from the rest of the pack are the following attributes: confidence, a teachable spirit, pride, accountability, competitive perseverance, and discipline. Morgan is a great representation of all of these qualities. She celebrates her own accomplishments but doesn’t gloat. She has drive and determination to constantly improve her weaknesses. She embraces constructive criticism and exhibits eagerness to learn. She acknowledges her mistakes, but turns that into motivation to improve next time. Lastly and most importantly, she does not give up – ever.

I continue to discover that you can learn a lesson from every person you encounter throughout your lifetime. Often, those influences will come from the least likely sources and slip in the back door. Morgan has now become one of my main influences. Despite the fact that I have been doing CrossFit longer then her, Morgan has  participated in 3X as many competitions as I have. Additionally, she has a better deadlift, she leaves me in the dust on the ERG, and most recently I discovered that she can whoop my butt in the water.  She may not be the most accomplished CrossFit athlete in the world, but she represents all of the qualities every athlete should strive to have and embodies everything we stand for at CrossFit215. Morgan has inspired me to stay humble and appreciate every individual victory I achieve. Her influence has reminded me if we do not take the time to look back and celebrate our victories we will never realize all of the hard work we put in.  I wish I were able to witness Morgan’s most recent accomplishments this past weekend at the CrossFit Apex Combine, but luckily I will not have to wait very long to see the next competition on her agenda. The 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games Open starts on Wednesday and this time we will both be competing side by side.

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And the winners are…

Saturday Competition

Congratulations to everyone that came out and competed this Saturday!! It was a fun battle that came down to the last heat for the men. Tune in later in the week for the highlight video….

Our regular competition was nothing compared to the Dragon Ladies, they were FIERCE!!!

Hope to see everyone else next time around!

Dragon Boat Competition

1st – Joyce
2nd – Judy 6.7
3rd – Alice

RX Division
1st – Meredith (not shown here)
2nd – Alli
3rd – Kelly

In-House Competition

Women’s Division
1st – Amy (not shown here)
2nd – Rachel
3rd – Morgan

Men’s Division
1st – Beryl
2nd – Jeff
3rd – Mather

Reebok CrossFit open

The open starts next week and we have a good size group signed up already but we wan more – we want everyone! No matter your skill level, you will benefit from participation in this, I promise. we have people from all different skill and ability levels signed up already. Also, most of you have done lifts at weights and movements beyond what will be asked of you for the upcoming workouts. Again, if you have not signed up and are not going to please talk with one of the coaches, help us understand why you have decided not to. If scheduling is an issue as far as making it here on Saturdays, don;t worry each week we will have people making up the workout at different times and you can also do the workout some where else if you will be out of town.

Nutrition Challenge – Winners Announced!

We have two winners for the challenge both of which were perfect for the 30 days. Melissa and Christa (seen below) both scored 56 points each week. For Christa, as well as losing 10 lbs and who knows how much in pants sizes, she also “has more energy, better recovery, and all around just feels better.” Congrats to both of them!

Another nutrition post – careful, touchy subject for some…

Schedule Change / Test

We are beta testing a new class time this week, Thursday at 8:30am. In situations like this we will start with this class time one time a week and if picks up any steam we will leave it on the schedule and possibly add that time to other days in the week.

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Compete for Yourself

~a message from one of your coaches, Perrin Behr

I wrote an article back in November titled “Why Competition Brings Out the Best In Us” as a reflection of my personal experiences in a CrossFit competition. As the 2012 CrossFit Games Open approaches, I want to re-address the topic of competition in an effort to motivate those of you who may be “on the fence” to sign up and join your fellow 215ers in what will surely be a fun and memorable experience for our community. I want to clarify, the number one reason we are asking for everyone to compete in the open is to benefit YOU. It does not matter if you are a newbie, veteran or coach – you should compete.


The Open was designed to give all athletes from every level an opportunity to compete and realize their hard work on a large scale. This is your chance to see where you measure up against the world. I cannot stress enough how strongly I believe that competition is an integral part of your development as an athlete, and most importantly as a person. The coaches and staff at CrossFit215 dedicate our lives to helping you become stronger, faster and healthier. We want you to set goals and help you achieve them. The reason the workouts are timed and scored is to produce measurable results. In order to truly know if you are improving, it needs to be measurable. Whether you are competing against an old PR, or somebody else’s score on the whiteboard, competition is already ingrained in our community. Even outside the gym, you may not even realize how many competitive life situations you encounter on a daily basis. Whether it is competing for a big job promotion, applying for grad school, or competing in sports, our entire lives are surrounded by competition. Competition brings out character and pushes us to do our best. It is the motivating force behind that extra rep. It is the incentive to study for an extra hour. It drives you to get closer to reaching your own goals. We want you to compete in the Open so you don’t squander the opportunity to surround yourself with people who can cheer for you, push you, and inspire you. Competition is healthy and necessary and makes us better people.

Excuses are like armpits…some are large and some are small but they all stink

Some of the excuses I have heard include, “I won’t do well,” “I’m not ready yet,” “I’m not good enough to compete.” These statements are silly. First of all, if you walk into the gym with that kind of mentality you are already dooming yourself. Don’t believe the lies. Everyone has to start somewhere. Rest assured you will be surrounded by your friends and fellow athletes who will stand beside you for every rep. One of the best things about CrossFitters in general is we are united in our goals – to become better people. Your best efforts will be admired and respected. Win or lose, the journey is what truly matters.

What You Should Expect

If you decide to take the plunge, you should expect your experience to include a supportive community cheering you on from the start of 3…2…1…GO! right until the clock stops. You will witness inspired performances from experienced athletes who blaze the trail with top scores and quickly become your goal to beat. The Open may be your eye opener in regards to where your strengths and weaknesses lie. Just as we have been revisiting all of the open workouts from last year, these will be the new benchmark to ultimately help you create new goals for the rest of the year.

So come join us for the Open. Compete for your team. Compete against your friends. Most importantly, do it for yourself.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”  – Theodore Roosevelt

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Game Time!

OK boys and girls, the time is at hand – The 2012 Reebok CrossFit Open is upon us. This is what your fearless team has been getting you ready for and we are calling all hands on deck. No matter your ability, skill level, weakness or strengths, we are asking and urging for full participation from the whole family. We are stronger and stand a much better chance with everyone behind us.

So what does this mean for each one of you?

It means we are asking very little of you. Go online and register yourself as a participant in the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Open ( Once created, on the left side of the profile you will see tabs for “add your affiliate” and “join a team.” The cost for the open competition is $20 person which went up unexpectedly, yet not surprisingly, since last year. We are hoping for full participation in the open so to offset the cost for every person that signs up you will get a $10 gift certificate for the 215 store.

Starting February 25th all you will have to do is come in each saturday and participate as a group in the open workout for that day. Just another workout. There will be a total of five workouts to do. If,  for some reason, you can not make it on Saturday, talk to one of the coaches and you can make up that week’s workout at another time.

In-House Competition

Our next competition and last one before the open is this Saturday starting at 9am. It should last about two hours and is sure to be a good one. We are going to have two divisions so please encourage everyone to come. The more people that participate the better. Its OK if you can’t do a pull-up or everything prescribed yet. We will still have plenty of competition for the scale division.


Our next on-ramp starts this Wednesday at 6:30p. We have a few spots left and this is our last month at the reduced cost for the program. If you have not signed up yet, or know someone who was thinking about it, get them in here today or tomorrow.

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CrossFit Open Training

Great job everyone with the first two weeks on this training cycle as we prep for the CrossFit Open Competition. Keep it up on those strength/skill days, these will be beneficial to your development. Keep hitting those workouts hard, especially with the energy system work (work:rest), your coaches have a plan for you…

Many of you are still dealing with weaknesses in certain areas. While everyone has been working really hard with what we have programed for you on skill days, remember that these are the areas we deem important based on the needs of the open and the overall community standings. If you have something that you really want to improve on come in early, pull a coach aside and ask them how to do it. From there, GET AFTER IT! Come in 15-20 minutes early and work on those areas.

Also, give us some feedback… how have you felt the last two weeks? What else do you want to work on? Tell us below!

Upcoming Events / Seminars / Clinics

Starting in two weeks we will be running clinics on Sundays. These clinics will focus on different areas, changing in each week.  Some of the different types of clinics we will be having are mobility, competition skills, gymnastics, and so on…. These days will not be W.O.D. based but rather skills based looking to improve your proficiency in specific movements.  Make sure to check the event calendar for these upcoming events as well as the date of our next in-house competition.

Last Call for Grass-Fed Beef!

The cow has been ordered and will be delivered to our gym next Wednesday 1/25/12
(subject to change) and there are still two 1/8 shares up for grabs. If you need a bit more
convincing, please refer to my FAQ below. Also, please don’t forget to check out Philly
Cowshare’s FAQ too

This seems really expensive. How can I justify the price tag?

You are receiving 43lbs of grass-fed, hormone and antibiotic free, dry aged beef for
$7.63/lb. For comparison purposes if you went to Whole Foods the other day you would have paid $8/lb for grass-fed ground beef. If you were to try to price these cuts of meat a la carte I guarantee you will not be able to find a better price for this quality product in this area. If you do, Perrin will do 1,000 burpees and eat a stick of butter… Seriously.

I don’t have enough freezer space.
Perrin does and she has offered to hold as much of your share for as long as you need her to. “Boom” – Perrin.

I am still not convinced. I want to learn more about the health benefits of grass-fed over grain fed beef.
I thought you’d never ask

Any more questions? Email [email protected], ask her in person, call her,
or message her on Facebook.

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Welcome to CrossFit215.COM 3.0!

As you may have noticed, our new site launched yesterday… Welcome to 3.0!! We have made some great improvements  that we hope will make your online experience better as well as increase traffic on the site within our community and beyond.

For our current members, there are still a few things we are still debugging. At the top of the home page we will put a direct link to MindBody to help you register for class. Our strength cycle is still being updated and will be up shortly – apologies for the delay. Meanwhile please keep this link in your bookmarks (Mindbody) and use it to register for class prior to each time you come in. To let you know about some of our new features… lets start with the best… our WOD Blog has a comment section to it. Please post your scores and comments to the workouts here each day. The intention is to help get people excited, nervous, or eager for whats to come that day. We also have our Nutrition Blog under the Blog tab at the top. We are debugging a filter issue right now but shortly the nutrition post will only be present there. To see the latest nutrition post Click Here.

Our Next On-Ramp Class starts February 6th. January will be the last month we will be having our On-Ramp special ($175). Don’t forget – refer a friend and save money of your membership!

Membership Options
CrossFit 215 has changed their membership options for 2012. To see the full change, click here. In order to keep up with and fulfill the growing needs of our community, we are now providing ways to save money on membership. This change means that 215 will be able to start adding more services a la carte.  This will include skills clinics, rowing clinics, Olympic Lifting Seminars, etc…

Nutrition Challenge Blog…

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Philly Cowshare

We are well into the first week of our Whole Foods Challenge and would like to offer an opportunity to purchase some high quality food to assist you on your nutrition journey. I am arranging an order with Philly Cowshare to deliver grass-fed, antibiotic and hormone-free beef. If you are not familiar with Philly Cowshare check out their FAQ. Grass-fed beef has many health benefits including its richness in omega-3s. I have personally ordered from Philly Cowshare before and can tell you they deliver a high quality product. All cuts of beef are individually flash frozen and vacuum sealed for freshness.

If you are interested in ordering the minimum order size is an 1/8 of a cow which includes 43 lbs. of dry-aged, grass-fed beef. Roasts are between 2–3 lbs. and steaks are 1-inch thick.

  • 3 Delmonico Steaks
  • 2 T-Bone Steaks
  • 1 Porterhouse Steaks
  • 2 Ranch Steaks
  • 1 Sirloin Steak
  • 1 Flat Iron Steak
  • 1 London Broil
  • 1 Rump Roast
  • 1 of the following cuts (Mock Tender, Petite Tender, Tri Tip, or Flank Steak)
  • 1 Chuck Roast
  • 2 packages Chipsteak
  • 2 packages of Cubed Beef
  • 1 Osso Bucco-style Soup Bone

The package also includes ground beef and 4 oz. beef patties to make a 43 lb. package.

I have arranged a price of $2,624 for the entire cow which comes out to $328 per 1/8. This price is is cheaper then what they advertise on their website, so take advantage of it! If there is enough interest to buy an entire cow by this Friday we can have a delivery made to 215 on Jan 18th. Otherwise the delivery will be made on Jan 25th or Feb 1st. Please let me know if you are interested by posting to comments with your name and order size (1/8 share (43lbs) = $328, 1/4 share (86lbs) = $656, 1/2 share (172lbs) = $1,312).

If you have any questions please feel free to email me at [email protected]

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Welcome to 2012!

Pound for pound, watch out for this kid…


Whole Foods Challenge

Our 2012 Whole Foods Challenge has officially kicked off today. How’s it going so far…? For some of you, this may not be your first challenge. I encourage those who are more experienced with their dialing in their nutrition to take it to a higher level this time. For all of you first timers – good luck! Remember, we are here with you the whole way. By the end of the week the Nutrition Blog will go live. This blog will be dedicated to this challenge for the next 30 days. After the challenge is over the blog will become a place for you obtain more information on nutrition and lifestyle. For those of you who missed the nutritional seminar, we have a web version available – email me for details.. Your books are at 215 ready for you to pick them up. Don’t forget that you can email me if you want to set-up your one-on-one in order for us to take body measurements and discuss lifestyle aspects of your next 30 days.


The nutritional blog will turn on by the end of the this week, but here is your first Whole Foods blog to look get you going… read more. Post questions or comments below in today’s blog comments.

New Strength Cycle

On February 22nd the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Open will begin. The open will consist of 5 weeks of workouts designed to establish who is qualified to compete at the regional level. Regardless of your skill level, we are encouraging FULL participation this year. We feel that having a goal to train for might be the catalyst a lot of you need right now to take your fitness to the next level.  With that in mind, today we are starting a strength and programming cycle designed to help you succeed in the Open Competition. The strength aspect of this cycle and workout types will be posted online from now until the end of the Open. You will notice a new viral face of 215 by the end of the week the strength cycle will be there.


Sweatshirt Orders

We are ready to place our sweatshirt orders and at this time we have about a dozen people confirmed. Some of the people we talked to were before we got the female test size in and there was a lot of “order me a shirt” in passing. In order to make sure we do not miss anyone or mess up anyone’s orders, we have put taking orders online. Whether you have spoken with Morgan or not, please go on Mindbody (click here) and place your order. The shirts are under products.

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Why Competition Brings Out the Best In Us

Written by Perrin Behr

This past weekend I witnessed many inspirational moments that will forever resonate in my memory. This was my first competition as an individual athlete in my short CrossFit career, and the days leading up to the event were extremely stressful as I tried to prepare myself mentally and physically. I have been dealing with some nagging back and shoulder injuries recently, therefore my confidence felt a bit depleted, but with so much support from friends and the 215 community, I tried not to let these doubts bring down my spirits. The entire day from start to finish was completely eye opening. The athletic performances displayed only validated my opinion of how strong and supportive the CrossFit community is. It is not everyday you get to observe a group of individuals from all different walks of life coming together and giving it their all.

As a spectator, there were a few particular standout performances that I found myself gravitating towards. I watched a 13 year-old female competitor fly through double unders, clear box jump with ease, and string kipping pull ups together like she had been doing them for years. All I could think of was, “wouldn’t it have been great if I discovered CrossFit at her age?” I also met another athlete who was the heaviest individual participating. He didn’t let his size discourage him and pushed through every workout. These individuals are the perfect example of what CrossFit is about – turning an athlete into a competitor. I believe too many of us have this misconception that you can only compete if you look like the athletes who qualify for the games. The reality is that anyone can compete. These two competitors could not be more different in physical stature, but so similar in their goals. It wasn’t about winning the competition – it was about doing their best, pushing their own limits, and celebrating their achievements. As the day continued on, I persevered through some grueling workouts and ended up finishing in the top 10 out of 32 women. Overall, I was pleased with my performance. I don’t believe a lot of the programming complimented my strengths, but I know I gave my best that day.

After the competition ended and the scores had been tallied, I made a remark to my fellow competitor about how I did not think I would compete again as an individual – this was simply too much pressure. Team competitions were more up my alley because you are less vulnerable to failure. Clearly, I had not quite absorbed everything there was to learn about my experience yet. This fellow competitor, who also happens to be someone I deeply admire as an athlete, said something very important. She reminded me that individual competition requires a different level of mental fortitude. There is no hiding behind your team. My weaknesses may be exposed, but it is then that I will be forced to learn humility and acceptance.

After I let this sink in for a while my true reflections from the day came to fruition. Competition brings out the best in us because it forces us to face our fears. There is no hiding. There are no excuses. I cannot simulate the environment of a real competition in my everyday training. Entering a competition requires a higher degree of courage and strength. In the end, I learned how it felt to challenge my body and mind to their fullest potential. I learned where my strengths and weaknesses lie, and how to cope with the outcomes. All of these things are important to experience if you want to grow as an athlete and a person.

Lastly, I read a blog article a while back about an athlete who was relatively new to CrossFit but wanted to compete in the 2011 Games Open. He shared many of the same insecurities I have about competition. Before the open began he made a list of ten reasons he should compete. I was inspired to write my own list.

Top 10 Reasons I Should Compete

  1. I love CrossFit. It is FUN. I am blessed to have the ability to do this.
  2. Challenging yourself is healthy, therapeutic and necessary.
  3. I compete to get better. If I’m not competing against individuals who are better then me then I’m not growing as an athlete.
  4. When I can learn to push my physical limits, I can push through other areas of my life.
  5. So I can say, “I competed as an individual.” Not a team. Just me and only me.
  6. I will prove to myself that I am a worthy competitor.
  7. I want to inspire and be inspired.
  8. Competition scares me, therefore I should compete.
  9. Because I doubt myself, but when I show up tomorrow I going to kick my doubts in the a$$
  10. I want to be able to say, “I gave my best today.”

I highly encourage anyone and everyone to compete in something at least once in their lifetime. It doesn’t have to be CrossFit, but there are so many wonderful opportunities to participate in local competitions at every level. Go ahead, take the leap. What do you really have to lose?

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually be afraid you will make one.” Elbert Hubbard

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