Friday 111111

Three rounds for time of: 

15 Overhead squat, 95# (65#)
15 L Pull-ups
15 Split-jerk,  95# (65#)
15 Knees to elbows
15 Hang clean,  95# (65#)
15 Back extensions, 25#

Hold 25 pound plate or dumbbell to chest for back extensions.

Post time to comments.

Thanks Verve for getting our ass in shape, for the best day of our lives. XOXO, Zach & Kristi.  Congratulations you two, you look amazing!

Even coaches need coaches.

I've been doing CrossFit for five years now.  Through out that time I have coached CrossFit athletes almost daily for three of those years, continued my education at least quarterly and been on the CrossFit L1 seminar staff for over two of those years.  I've competed in the CrossFit games twice and should be feeling at the top of my game.  But, in the grand scheme of things, that really isn't that long and while I have continued to develop and feel confident in my trade, I am far from calling myself an expert or thinking I have arrived.

When I first started CrossFit as an athlete, PR's came almost daily. Same as being a coach, improvements came so regularly that it was obvious to me where and how to continue to improve.  CrossFit (coaching or as an athlete) is like tasting fine wine. At first you think those wine snobs are crazy that they can smell and taste bilberry root in your glass. Over time you start to taste the bilberry root.  If you work at your craft before you know it (likely 10 years down the road) your not only making the wine but you can identify 10 scents and tastes in that glass of wine, knowing how long it should age, understanding the bottling process, growing and all the nuances of wine making. Or you could plateau, which often leads to a decline in skills.

Those in danger of plateauing are those who know their craft or sport.  Been doing in for a few years and the exponential growth they once saw now happens to a lesser degree. Maybe you anticipate your movement challenges, know what cues a coach will bark at you, and understand how to game a WOD.  Eventually, you try to head off these problems before workouts start by incorporating mobility, concentrated practice or take specialty classes, maybe you even avoid those things?  You have your issues all figured out.  You begin to be able to handle a wide range of challenges with less fumbling and confusion.  So maybe even you become a little complacent. I could easily fit into this mold, but I believe there is a better way.

The coaching model is different from the traditional conception of pedagogy (study of teaching methods), where there’s a presumption that, after a certain point, the student no longer needs instruction. You graduate. You’re done. You can go the rest of the way by yourself.  But our fields are always evolving. We have to keep developing our capabilities and avoid falling behind. So the training suggests an ethic of perfectionism. Expertise is thought to be not a static condition but one that we must build and sustain for ourselves. (here where it may be going wrong)

The coaching model considers the teaching model naïve about our human capacity for self-perfection. It holds that, no matter how well prepared people are, few can achieve and maintain their best performance on their own.

The U.C.L.A. basketball coach John Wooden, at the first squad meeting each season, even had his players practice putting their socks on. He demonstrated just how to do it: he carefully rolled each sock over his toes, up his foot, around the heel, and pulled it up snug, then went back to his toes and smoothed out the material along the sock’s length, making sure there were no wrinkles or creases. He had two purposes in doing this. First, wrinkles cause blisters. Blisters cost games. Second, he wanted his players to learn how crucial seemingly trivial details could be. “Details create success”.

Élite performers, researchers say, must engage in “deliberate practice” sustained, mindful efforts to develop the full range of abilities that success requires. You have to work at what you’re not good at. In theory, people can do this themselves. But most people do not know where to start or how to proceed. Expertise, as the formula goes, requires going from unconscious incompetence to conscious incompetence to conscious competence and finally to unconscious competence. The coach provides the outside eyes and ears, and makes you aware of where you’re falling short. This is tricky. Human beings resist exposure and critique; our brains are well defended. No matter how well trained people are, few can sustain their best performance on their own. Additionally, tasks that involve the complexities of people or nature seem to take the longest to master. That’s where coaching comes in.

I recently hired a coach to address where I can improve in my athletic performance.  It's been eye opening and great to see what I was missing.  I've already seen improvements and have a better visualization of my future capacity.  I also now have upwards of six coaches delivering me feedback on my profession, how I coach, how I teach, how I lecture.  I believe we all could use eyes and ears on our performances.  It's when we start to feel comfortable in our craft that we've stopped learning and stopped progressing. And if it's excellence your striving for, someone else looking in with honest eyes, may just be the only way to get there. 

This is a test, if you read this whole thing, post to comments.

Inspired by and excerpts from, Personal Best, Top athletes and singers have coaches. Should you? -by 


  1. Trina R :

    Great Post! I completely agree that a supportive community and continuing input and learning from others is key to long term success.

  2. Jeremy :

    A fantastic post; it serves to remind us all that there is ALWAYS room for improvement and greater knowledge… no matter what the skill or pursuit may be. To hear that sentiment echoed from such experienced and accomplished figure(s) only solidifies my confidence in the essence of CrossFit and the incredible individuals that make it their life-long passion.
    Zen Master Shunryu Suzuki summarized this concept extraordinarily well, in my opinion: “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.”

  3. Zac :

    You guys are great people and it is a pleasure to have you at the gym. Smiles,

  4. Jordan :

    A great post and true to so much more than Crossfit!

  5. Stacey :

    Cherie…you continue to inspire me to do better, push outside my limits and comfort zones. You are one of those trainers I look to for guidance and motivation…amazing lady. Thank you, truly.

  6. Joylyn :

    Great post Cherie. Thank you.
    Yay Kristi and Zach–so extremely happy for you both! Congratulations!

  7. robyn :

    Love the post!
    I think all of us can use a friendly reminder when we are not moving correctly or need help with specific movements, that it is only for our benefit that someone, whether it be a coach or fellow classmate, share with us. The longer we crossfit the more we think we know and it is hard to take criticism but it’s only for our health and safety when someone tells us we are needing to fix a movement. It will make all of us better!!!
    Huge thanks to all our wonderful coaches, I feel extremely lucky to have so many people caring about my health!

  8. Slaughter :

    Good Post – Always Listen to others – It will always make you better (and them too!)

  9. Leslie :

    Love all the Verve coaches! I have learned something different from each coach and that allows me to keep improving every day.
    Is anyone Volunteering for the Turkey Challenge and going to the meeting tomorrow? If so, want to carpool?
    email me-

  10. Kirk :

    Outstanding read, I follow your programming from Grand Junction, I must say you and your coaching team are one of the few where the words EGO are not imposed…. This was inspiring to say the least!! I wish I lived in Denver!!

  11. Mas :

    Great post CC!! Definitely words to take to heart. Congrats to Zach and Kristi!

  12. Sonja :

    Nice post.

  13. Phil :

    Details create success. How many corollaries are there in sports and life?? One of the best pieces of advice I’ve received – Have a plan, act with purpose. Good coaching helps create a better plan, more effective purpose. The level of coaching at Verve is outstanding and it’s reflected in the success of its members. Thanks, all you guys!

  14. Kellie :

    Great post, Cherie. Especially motivating to someone like me who has just recently gotten in to crossfit. It’s nice to know that even those we look up to (our awesome coaches) need a little push once and awhile!

  15. Amy :

    Amy from Grand Junction here…. and I’m with Kirk- I always read your site and come away with inspiration and CF pride. Thank you!

  16. bjackson :

    WOW…what I love about your posts is that they are so heartfelt and open. It is like you bare your soul! It’s all out there naked and exposed, vulnerable. Your experiences are so relatable that they transform my thought process. I can actually feel myself expand, taking in the knowledge and translating it into practical application.
    Thank you for your extra care and effort you place in your role at Verve. It does not go unnoticed or unappreciated!!

  17. Jim D. :

    I read this article a couple weeks ago on a trip back from Brussels. The point I liked best was when the Author talked about the way we learn. We go from a point of unconscious incompetence to conscious incompetence to conscious competence to unconscious competence. I can think of many examples where this correlation is true. However, two glaring ones come to mind. One Crossfit related and one not.
    A little over a week ago after the competition class Matt performed his WOD which was Grace. Watching Matt do Grace was a perfect example of unconscious competence. Every single rep of 30 Clean and Presses was identical. There wasn’t any wasted time thinking about how to set up for the move, he just performed it. One minute and 16 seconds later ( I think that was the correct time) he was done. Flawless execution.
    Years ago, and I hate to say it but, before many of you where even born (God I’m old), I was flying an all night sortie of of the USS Saratoga in the Mediterranean. Our mission was to protect the ship at night during some unusual and provocative actions by Libya. After an eight hour flight we returned to the Saratoga for a landing. I was extremely exhausted as was my CO-Tactical officer (Co-Tac) flying with me. We landed on the Saratoga and then proceeded to be guided out of the landing area after we raised our hook and cleared the arresting wires. One of the procedures for all carrier landings was to immediately go to full power on landing in the event that you boltered (missed engaging an arresting wire) so that you could take off and come back for another attempt. As we were taxing to our parking spot, I looked at Pat (my Co-Tac) and asked him if we had gone to full power in the wires (it was my responsibility to do so but, I couldn’t remember if I had). He looked at me and replied I don’t know. Well,every landing on a carrier is graded and then debriefed by a Landing Signal Officer within an hour of landing, additionally failure to go full power in the “wires” would automatically bring the wrath of the “Air Boss” upon you. Since neither of them mentioned it to me, I can only assume that I had reached the state of unconscious competence. Years later my friend Pat related this story to me in regards to his time served as an intern in Medical School. He was explaining how the success of 24 hour shifts in the ER was a result of this level of unconscious competence.
    For me every day at Verve feels like I am stuck between conscious incompetence and conscious competence. However, every once in a while one of the awesome coaches makes a comment or observation that moves me one step closer to the unconscious competence level that we all strive to obtain.
    Today that comment came from Zac in something as simple as “elbows high” when I was doing a clean. Six years of cleans and two simple words defined my incompetence. Now I am one step closer to my goal. That is why I love you guys. Coaches and athletes alike. Everybody helps us move one step closer to our goal.

  18. Zach :

    Read it on my bus ride to my plane to Tahiti.

  19. Matt Chan :

    So cool – Zach and Kristi! You guys worked hard to look do good and DAMN it paid off! Congrats!
    Great post… Cherie’s got a way with words.

  20. Matt Chan :

    JimD, great real life stories to get a point across. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Darika S :

    Great post Cherie. And thanks Jim for that post too.

  22. Hanna K :

    Great posts. Thanks!

  23. Drummond :


  24. “With some deft outreach and some hard work, even the angry students on the streets this week are likely to become, like their predecessors, happy and loyal supporters,” he said. “Colleges and universities are much bigger than any one individual or scandal. Their crises become part of their history.

  25. 96Mass :

    Read it. Best part “tasks that involve the complexities of people or nature seem to take the longest to master.” Just when you thought you were getting somewhere as a coach, something/someone new comes along with a whole new set of challenges. What a great industry!

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