Thursday 140417

Three rounds for time:
Row 500m
12 Deadlifts, bodyweight
21 Box jumps, 20″
Post times to comments and BTWB 

Anna teaching foundations class all about “What is CrossFit”.

Hydrostatic BodyFat Test sign-up sheet here!  Don’t be late.  Bring your swimsuit and towel.

Verve Lean and Mean Nutrition Challenge Sign-Up Sheet here!

Haters gonna hate, potatoes gonna potate. By Courtney Shepherd

As most of you may know by now, mostly because I may have gone a little cray cray on social media about it, but I was recently hired by CrossFit HQ as part of their Seminar Staff. It’s only been a few weeks but the awesomeness of the experience thus far is hard to put into words. I am going to make my best attempt to do so. But before that I want to back up just a bit, I want to build up this experience for you as it has built up for me. Like most of you I subscribe to the many forms of social media that manage to suck up so much of my non working time. I dabble in the Twitter, the Facebook, and the Instagram. Over the last few months I started doing something that I now regret, I started to read the comments section under posts put out by CrossFit. Why do I regret this? Because I have never seen so many ugly comments to things I find to be so amazingly beautiful. Like the pregnant woman doing overhead squats. Amazing to me that a person will strive to keep themselves and their unborn child as healthy as possible, continue to move and thrive, yet be torn apart in text by nay sayers. If there is one thing that CrossFit is not at a lack for, it is the nay sayer. From the articles about rhabdo, to the comments from physical therapists about how much they love CrossFit because it keeps them in business, and to the acquaintance that tells us at parties how they’ve seen the games on TV and that just looks crazy. Sometimes it’s hard to ignore all that negative feedback.
Working as a CrossFit trainer has introduced me to so many different people with so many different stories. Now working as part of HQ Seminar Staff has taken it to another level. And after this past weekend, at one of the most amazing Level 1 courses I have ever been to, I have now decided how I would like to approach the CrossFit hater. With a simple blog post telling everyone what CrossFit really is. CrossFit is not the CrossFit Games. CrossFit is not the injuries sustained by people that are trying hard to push themselves because people push themselves in so many different sports and there will always be injuries. CrossFit is intense but it is intense relative to the needs of the person doing it, meaning that CrossFit is something different to each and every person that comes through the gym door. The Games, the injuries, the rhabdo, that’s the 1%. CrossFit is the other 99%. CrossFit is all the other people who walk through the doors whose only goals are to be happy, healthy, and active. 
*CrossFit is having a woman in her twenties be told after several knee surgeries throughout her life that she will never be able to squat or run again. CrossFit  is this woman coming into a gym and over the course of a year, with appropriate scaling, technique work, and strength building, be able to squat 100# and run 800m both without pain.
*CrossFit is an out of shape woman who admits to unhealthy habits having the courage to walk into a CrossFit gym and take the first steps to make healthy changes in her life. CrossFit is this woman, after consistently working out and making small changes in her diet over time, being able to take a work trip to Nepal. She was able to hike, while carrying a necessary equipment, without any issues. Something she admits would not have been possible months ago.
*CrossFit is a man with arthritis in his joints causing pain during day to day activities. After CrossFitting for a year, performing functional movements and taking his joints through a full range of motion, CrossFit is this man no longer having pain and being on the least amount of medication necessary to manage his disease.
*CrossFit is a couple coming to the gym and making that hour a time they spend together, encouraging each other. Celebrating each other accomplishments, and seeing how strong they both are.
*CrossFit is shared misery. When one person is done with the work but decides they will continue on working next to their friend until they are done. By the way, they are friends because they work out at the same time and simply introduced themselves to each other. They just met today. The idea to support someone does not require that you know them more then 30 minutes, that is CrossFit.
*CrossFit is the millions of dollars raised EVERY year to support the families of fallen soldiers. The families of  sick or injured  hometown heroes. CrossFit is CrossFit for Hope, CrossFit Kenya, Barbells for Boobs, Steve’s Club, 31 Heroes, Lift Up Luke, Ogar Strong. . . .  CrossFit is a community of people, that given the opportunity to WOD in honor of someone or some cause and raise money for support, will do it.
*CrossFit is the kid with ADHD, whose mom and dad brought him to CrossFit Kids as an outlet for all of his energy. CrossFit is this kid’s parents telling his trainers that because of CrossFit he has been able to focus more during school.
*CrossFit is the woman who has carried many children but not given birth. CrossFit is this woman coming to a place where she can find and harness her strength, in every sense of the word, and do it surrounded by supportive people.
*CrossFit is the snowboarding fiend who comes to the gym 8 months out of the year. CrossFit is taking the other 4 months to to use “all this fitness” and shred the mountains as often as possible. 
*CrossFit is. . . . . 
I have more stories than room on this blog. I know what CrossFit is to me. It has been a blessing physically, mentally, emotionally. I can say without doubt that CrossFit, over the past 5 years, has helped me to realize the best version of myself. You do not have to like CrossFit, you do not have to do CrossFit, but before you hate on it you do need to know what it truly is. Now I want to know, what is CrossFit to you? 


  1. rob bell :

    Crossfit is awesome trainers who really get it. That recognize it’s for everyone, not just the ripped guys and gals, that Beast Mode is a mindset and a willingness to push individual limits. Courtney crossfit is people like you. This is a truly inspiring post and testament to all the athletes, trainers and owners out there and, ahem, especially the rigodamdiculous crowd (ubiquitous Anchorman reference) here at Verve.
    Congrats to you on getting on HQ staff and to all the students (and those students’ students) whose experience just got kicked up a notch!
    Or to put it real simply – You rock and we love the way you roll!

  2. Kaplan :

    CrossFit is self-doubt turning into self-confidence. It is a certain sense of accomplishment and realization you are now better than you were before. It is ignoring the knot in your stomach as the clock counts down from 10 because you know you have the tenacity to fight through whatever is on the whiteboard. It is being inspired and motivated to meet your goals and overcome challenges and constantly being impressed by everyone else who is doing the same.

  3. KDB :

    This helps explain why you should never read the comments:

    Yes. I realize the self-contradiction or paradox of me posting this in the comments. I am funny like that.

    Great post.

  4. slaughter :

    great post Courtney –

    CrossFit is fun and healthy. CrossFit is trying to keep up with Kaplan.

  5. anna :


  6. Keith :

    I needed this. Badly.
    I love that there is a place where I can struggle along side others and not feel foolish.
    I’m very frustrated by the ‘broken’ parts of me that need to be fixed but will be back. My huge thanks to all the trainers who have allowed me the space to accomplish things I did not know were possible.

  7. Allaina :

    CrossFit is being fitter and stronger at 45 than I ever was playing competitive basketball in college. CrossFit is carrying my gym bag, my laptop bag, and my lunch bag in one arm and still being able to squat down to pick up my granddaughter with my other arm when she runs to greet me. CrossFit is an hour of time where I can focus on myself and my goals. CrossFit is overcoming challenges I never thought I could. CrossFit is improved mobility. CrossFit is 5K PRs. CrossFit is my happy place. CrossFit is only as awesome as the coaches who teach. And Verve is pretty freakin’ awesome! I’m so glad Roots steered me here. 🙂

  8. Leslie :

    NEVER read the comments section!

    Crossfit has encouraged so many people toward a healther life I don’t know how anyone can hate on that!

  9. Vanessa P. :

    Loved this post Court!! So true! Also, congrats on your new job with HQ!:)

  10. James O.G. :

    Wait! I remember this from the L1! Ummm… constantly varied functional movements executed at high intensity?

    Oh! What is Crossfit to me? CrossFit, to me, is the recognition that the best things in life – self-confidence, satisfaction, respect, a 500# deadlift – are earned.

  11. Trina :

    Crossfit is filing my callouses instead of my nails. And I love that.

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