AgerBomb Seminars and Workshops

If you’d like Andrea to visit in the near future, fill out a seminar request and we’ll do our best to put you on the 2017 calendar!

Competition website:

CrossFit Queens is hosting, for registration information

CrossFit WillyB is hosting, for registration information,

Event page to sign up:

CrossFit Spanish Fort is hosting, for registration information,
Gym website:
Event page to sign up:

CrossFit Pace Patriot Pride is hosting, for registration information,
Gym website:
Event page to sign up:

Details coming soon
CrossFit Bison is hosting, for registration information,
contact (8:30am-12:00pm)
CrossFit Kingsboro is hosting, for registration information,
contact (3:00pm-5:00pm)
Gym website:
Event page to sign up: 

Competition website:


Coming soon in January and February, Seminars in Connecticuit, New Jersey, and Colombia!

If you are local, within subway/driving distance to NYC and you’d like to put on a AgerBomb Workshop for your athletes – email

Comments Off on AgerBomb Seminars and Workshops

Take the muscle-up off the pedestal

Take the muscle-up off the pedestal. I preach this every chance I get because it’s just another movement! There are hundreds of things to work on in CrossFit, and they’re all manageable if you put in the work required. Clean and jerking 135 lbs, stringing together wall balls, high box jumps, kipping pull-ups, a 100 lb snatch! All these things come easier for some than others depending on our background athletics before we first stepped foot in a CrossFit gym.

For me, personally, I walked into the gym and started classes, and two weeks into doing CrossFit did a strict ring muscle-up. I remember looking around the room and being like, “cool, I did it! Now what’s next… hmmm.” I moved on to trying to tackle double unders and wall balls for the next 6 months. Something about those two movements were so hard for me and I had to practice alllll the time! I had whips on my arms from messing up on the rope and bloody lips from being stuffed by a 16 lb wall ball I could only do in sets of 5s. For the people that get their first double under with barely any effort: I am happy for you but I also think you are an alien and I will never understand you.

I realize most people (women in general) have a lack of upper body strength that needs to be trained before they’re capable of achieving this upper body feat of strength. But that doesn’t mean this movement is intangible, impossible, or HAS ANY POWER OVER YOU! Switch your thinking to something positive…. “it’s something I have to keep working on. It’s just like any other movement I haven’t gotten. I will achieve a muscle-up, but just haven’t yet.”

Our fitness journeys and accomplishments are so different because we were all created so differently. That’s why it’s so beautiful! If it were easy anyone could do it and we wouldn’t appreciate it… be thankful to have a gym where you can walk up to a set of rings or a pull-up bar and get stronger! Modified or Rxd strict dips and strict pull-ups will pay off, but you need to start somewhere. 1st, you need to BELIEVE it’s possible, 2nd you need to WORK.

Take that muscle-up off the pedestal and go attack the work that will get you there. Good luck you guys!

Comments Off on Take the muscle-up off the pedestal

Back in Action

As I sit on the airplane, coming home from a weekend in Orlando Florida, I’m sipping hot tea and tapping along on my keyboard in hopes to settle my mind and reflect on the weekend I was just apart of. The tea is in hopes to soothe my throat after a long day of teaching, and I’m chuckling about how I lose my voice at the exact same point at every seminar I teach; like clockwork, it knows its limit. I have taken a hiatus from posting blogs online, for quite a while now. Where is that free-bird that posted a new blog every time she had an idea or a thought pop into her head anyways… where did she go? 

In the last few years I have experienced a lot of growth in my life both as a person and an athlete. As I dove into some personal studies of my own, and was getting mentored by a friend in a bible study, I started realizing the revelations were so deep, I was afraid to share them. What was flashing through my brain was so constantly deep that I didn’t know if I could continue to write online about the things I was learning. It was almost like I needed to write “notes,” instead of complete thoughts, because I couldn’t quite string them together enough to make sense, and say what I wanted to say. My brain was thinking faster than I could translate, and so I adjusted by starting to take notes on paper. This lead to journaling, and if you follow my “story” at all, you know that I share what I’m learning, but usually only in short phrases or verses that I was studying, or things I learned from pastors or close friends whom I look up to.

So this is the beginning, this is me coming back to blogging and doing my best to narrorate the transition of thinking I’ve experienced. This is me being real, honest, and true to what life has been showing me.

As I sit here, still nursing my tea, I am feeling a wave of understanding. I can certainly marvel at what God has done, and how he certainly put people in my life at the exact moment I needed them – even when I thought I was better on my own. I also wonder why he waited so long to put others in my life, even though I was asking for them so much earlier. But one thing is certain, and that’s that he has a plan, and he is in control of that plan, I am not. The plan is for me to experience life and be respectfully honest about the highs, the lows, and the in-betweens. The plan is what brought me here today, and the same plan that brought you to be reading this, and possibly intrigued to learn more. I thank you for ending up here, and being “along for the ride,” even when the ride gets bumpy and lacks inspiration but is instead vulnerable and real. True life isn’t the highlight reel of your best outfits and most adoring accomplishments. Real life is the content that doesn’t even qualify as B-roll or even C-roll for that matter, but when seen in the right light it can be just as beautiful as the ideal we were wishing for in the first place.

The networking of the fitness world, the “glory of the Games,” and the slow turn of a young passionate athlete to a mature faithful adult is fogging my mind as I write to you guys. Ultimately, I’m thankful. I’m grateful for the lessons I’ve learned, even when they were really hard ones that I didn’t know if I’d ever see the other side of. I’m still going to continue journaling, so stay tuned. Those notes are actually momentos and recordings of my spiritual growth and two-sided conversations with God… and I now know the story I’m writing just wouldn’t be complete without it.


Comments Off on Back in Action

2015 Fall Schedule and AgerBomb Seminars

CrossFit BigCat is hosting, for registration information, contact
http://Gym website:
Event page to sign up:


CrossFit Leesville is hosting, for registration information, contact
Gym website:<=staff
ventBrite page to sign up:


CrossFit bond is hosting, for registration information, contact
http://Gym webstite:


Freedom Athletic Academy is hosting, for registration click here
Gym website:


There are more seminars that are pending in these cities. We are looking to book in Dec-Feb 2016.
Please keep your eyes open for them!

Chicago, Illinois
Edmond, Oklahoma
Dallas, Texas

Comments Off on 2015 Fall Schedule and AgerBomb Seminars

Friday Night Truth


I went to a worship service a few weeks ago. It was just that, two hours of praise and singing, and I realized how badly I needed it as I was leaving. I saw a picture on the wall that was about being with God, and that we’re not alone in our problems, we’re not alone in our life. I was thinking about how many people are wondering about their faith, but instead of asking questions, just pressing pause while sitting on the fence, wondering which side to jump onto.

I for some reason was feeling for those people on this particular Friday night, thinking that most people unless they have plans, are sitting at home, thinking about the week, or maybe getting deep into their own thoughts. Just thinking of our CrossFit community… and that I can’t reach them all personally through just simply making a post… that only does so much. That doesn’t answer peoples questions, that just yells out what I think the answers to my own personal questions are….

I was burdened and couldn’t think of a solution.…
I was trying to figure out how to solve my problem. How can I reach people? How can I be there for them? How can I talk to people about their faith? Am I even qualified or equipped enough mentally and spiritually to comfort people and talk about their relationship with God?

So I just left a subtle message and said if anyone was curious, to DM me. Not knowing what to expect, I sat around for a few minutes, and nothing had happened. I got out of my car, came in through the front door, and checked again. No message. I was regretting my decision, thinking I was looking too vulnerable on a Friday night and started wondering if I should actually be out doing something better.

The next time I lazily checked to see if anyone that questioned their faith wanted to talk or needed answers…. I checked and there were piles of messages! I was on a roll trying to juggle multiple people at a time, and searching my brain for every answer I had. Flipping through my bible and racing my brain back to the bible study where we had researched things similar. I was answering the simplest questions like “What version of the bible should I buy if it’s my first one?” all the way to, “I have strayed away from God and now I don’t feel worthy of coming back. I’ve messed up too much, and I don’t think I’m ‘good enough’ for church.”

I haven’t been this fulfilled in so long. I loved having these conversations with people. I couldn’t believe that people could be so vulnerable talking to someone they’ve never met. But that’s the thing with social media, we feel like we know each other. We learn about someone’s daily life with the highs and the lows, and we feel connected. That’s fellowship right there, and that’s a great start.

I question all the time why God gave me this platform. I am convinced that it was for his purpose. There’s no way he’d put me under the microscope just to show people how much I love working out in a gym. There has to be something more.  If anything, I’ve discovered that although CrossFit does a lot of good, it makes a terrible God. Misplaced worship that goes to gym time that instead can be offered upwards.  I’m not sure what my purpose is yet, but I know who my creator is, and I’m what we call “unashamed.” I don’t know the meaning of life, and am not over-educated in theology or philosophical by any means, but I know what hurting is. I know how pain feels, and I can say that I could relate to every single one of the questions I received. When I did the same thing the next friday night, I realized I wouldn’t rather be doing anything else. I wish I had better answers, more accurate scripture quotes, more verses memorized, better timing, better eye-sight for staring at a phone for hours (I’m kidding but seriously, I’m going to go blind if I don’t find a better system lol).

Meanwhile as I was thinking that I wasn’t “good enough” to talk to these people that want to take the next step in their faith but don’t know how….. I realized I am exactly where God wants me to be.  I had to remind people over and over that I’m a sinner too. That I’ve been there, where they’re at, and that they’re not alone. On a weekly basis I say things I shouldn’t, hurt people I love, and make bad choices. Just because I don’t post about it on the internet doesn’t mean that I’m perfect, because I’m not. Just because I read the bible a lot doesn’t’ mean I’m a “good christian” it mostly means I know I’m in need of a lot of work, and there is only one way to see change.

I can’t thank the people enough for writing in the last few friday nights. I needed it just as much as they did. I think I’ll test out this tradition, and see how often we should set up these “Friday Night Truths.”

If you’re a believer, I want to encourage you to share your faith, and take the time to love on people. Meet people where they’re at, with no expectations. I want to remind you what Jesus did for us, and by keeping it to ourselves, we’re limiting the love and growth of our country.
So here’s to getting the courage to feel completely … unashamed.

See Recent Instagram links  @Ager_Bomb

Comments Off on Friday Night Truth

Up to the Challenge…. and on to the next.

I’ve only done FRAN three times in five years of CrossFit.

The first time I did it was in an intro class on my first day, and I used a box for jumping pull-ups and used a 55 lb barbell. I remember getting done at 9:35 and looking up at the record boards of the gym to see athletes that did it in sup 3:00, some closer to 2:00 and was in complete disbelief that was even possible. That people could do it with RX pull-ups AND ten lbs heavier then I did it, and was trying to fathom where they could even make up time when I was trying my absolute hardest to stay conscious in that workout.

The next time I repeated it was three years down the road. I hadn’t redone it because I was actually afraid of what the number would be, thinking it would identify me and label me to how fit I was. I will never think that again. We are not our stats. It’s a workout. It’s another excellent combination of gymnastics and weightlifting that give us the zeal for life we’re looking for when we walk into the gym. I got 2:48 that day and was completely ecstatic that I went my hardest and had a crazy realization of how much time had passed and how much my work capacity had changed in the hours, days, years… to improve.

Today, almost two years later, I redid Fran and still was unsure if I’d beat my standing personal record. I asked myself why it mattered so much. Why it mattered in this particular workout what my time would be – as if that mattered more than the other hundreds of workouts I’ve logged this year. I still didn’t know if I would PR, even though I did believe I was “fitter.” Would I feel bad if I tied my last year’s time? What if I did worse? Would I feel the same contentment and just hit another workout and put it in the back of my brain, or would it eat at me until I redid that dreaded combo? As an athlete I fight demons daily that say I can’t… or that I could but won’t, and ones that say I shouldn’t try. As the clock counted down I shut those far away from my brain. I filled my brain with positivity and focused on truth and the sheer adrenaline that was pumping through my veins. There was actually no time to think during the actual thrusters and pull-ups but “stay fast…. stay fast.” In sprint workouts that’s a mantra I use often, to remind me that I’m doing great! But I need to staaaay doing great. As I did my last pull-up I saw 2:28 cross the clock and was completely surprised.

Not surprised that I finished in a certain time and it was “good enough” or that I had found my worth in a time or a workout. Because I’ve learned from thinking in that way. It can destroy you. It can be a dangerous mental trick that will lead to burning-out and idolizing performance. I do CrossFit because I love the way competing makes me feel, and I was wired for it. It’s in my DNA. I was created a passionate person burning to see progress in myself and other people. But it’s not everything. Instead, I was proud that my training had paid off and I was, indeed, fitter. I felt smooth and un-panicked and confident with the talent I’ve been able to work so hard for. And then I was done with it. I was relaxed and able to think of it as another workout and know that maybe again, next year, on an un-dreaded day… I’ll do it again and feel the same way:

Up to the challenge and proud of the progress….. And on to the next.

1 Comment

2015 CrossFit Games Open Leaderboard


10622943_10204764255080897_6028418787288749913_nWell the stats are out!!

The five week test has finally come to an end, and it’s nice to see the finishes considering everyone moved around a ton of places, week to week in each region. The invitations are being sent and everyone can take a break from qualifiers as 99% of Open athletes finish their season.

Top 20 from the SouthWest Region (includes Arizona, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado) advance to the next step of the CrossFit Games – to REGIONALS. Since I got 4th out of 6,068 women in our region (wooooooaaahh there are so many girls competing!) that means I get one of those coveted tickets. Our “super-region” is combined with the top athletes from South Central (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi) and all of Latin America. We’ll be throwing down in DALLAS, TX May 15-17! Who’s coming??

In the worldwide tally I got 65th out of 108,764 women (that is a LOT of women competing in the Open – #GIRLPOWER) which Im proud of. Honestly, I look back and see how many workouts I did twice, how much I thought about our results as a gym or how all my friends were doing and Im totally happy and content with the turnout and results! The community and camaraderie built me up & I can’t say how EXCITED I am for the next level, my fourth year of Regionals.

Let’s UNIFY and do this together!!!


“Where in the world is Carmen SanDiego?” A 2015 Traveling Reflection

IMG_3378The old computer game, “Where in the World is Carmen SanDiego,” reminds me of my life these days. Other then the fact that she was a detective with a sweet Australian hat and trench coat, interviewing people to solve crimes, that is. I swear I’ll make a post from a state, and by the time I want to make another post I’m in a completely different part of the US, and I’m thinking, well… this is going to be confusing for everyone, and laughing, enjoying the process.

These last two months have rushed past me, so fast that I ended up completely ignoring my birthday because I barely even noticed it was February a couple of days beforehand. All of the sudden I was in an airport and people were blowing up my phone with loving ‘I miss you, Happy Birthday’ texts. To be honest in the last few months it might seem like a vacation, but it was work to keep up with such a demanding schedule. Life happens on the road too, and life was honestly telling me to slow down… whether I chose to hit the brakes or not.

Bringing in the New Year I had been dreaming after the Grid season of the new CrossFit competition season. I would smile to myself looking at 3 competition weekends that me and Kris Clever were the only athletes to even attempt to do, – and know it was going to be FUN! Knowing if training and competing is when I feel most alive, that these three back to back competitions were going to test me to determine my training focuses.

Becky Conzelman, masters athlete of the LA Reign, Ian Berger, coach of the NY Rhinos, and Ken Battison, beast of an athlete from the DC Brawlers and I sealed a team together for the OC Throwdown. Our goal was to WIN and we almost did! As for life happening…. I was training by myself the week before the event and rolled my ankle so bad that I couldn’t do anything but row for a whole week. It hurt to stand, and I was doing everything (seeing my Dr, mobililty, ice, elevation) in my control to get it better in order to not let my team down. When we got together to practice the one-rep max vertical hurdle jump the day before, I wrapped and taped it up as much as possible, and was able to jump without any pain at all. I decided to go into the competition doing whatever we could to win, and I’d tape it up completely for each event, having full confidence it would be ok.

I felt amazing during a few of the events, I jumped over a 46 in. hurdle twice, and almost made it over a 50 in. one! I was a high & triple jumper in high school, and then ran the 400m hurdles in college, so I had basically been waiting my whole life for an event like that, and our team had a BLAST doing it. There was actually a pretty dangerous video that went viral almost immediately after, so it was not a well-planned or tested workout, which was a bummer for OCTD’s already unsafe reputation. My favorite event was the out-door sand pit where we had to sprint–relay pull sleds in our bare feet. It was a RUSH and I still get chills when I think about the dirt spitting everywhere and athletes digging in and leaning forward in pure sprint fashion. Becky led off against Jen Smith, Ian went against Shawn Ramirez, I fought on the same leg with Chyna Cho, and then Ken battled Neal Maddox, taking home the first place finish by only about 2 or 3 seconds. At the end of the third day, we stood on the podium, tying with Neal’s team for 1st place, but because they had more first place finishes they got the 20k purse, and we took 2nd knowing how hard we had to work to get that podium spot.

My first day back, I got the flu, and my mom brought me food in bed because I slept 13 hours trying to kick how sick I was. Another trainingless week happened, deciding at the last minute to still do the Wodapalooza in Miami, Florida. There’s a reason why we called this a “suicidal mission” but I wasn’t going to let anything bring me down I was so insistent on completing it! It reminded me of working at Brick CrossFit a few years ago and committing my brain completely to teaching all 12 CrossFit classes in one day. For no reason at all, I set my mind for it, and was on a mission. No complaining, just put my head down and even though I cut open my thumb on a GHD machine and had to get stitches in the ER after the 6th class, I still went back and taught the rest because when I’m set on a goal- that’s just how my mind works. No one can convince me otherwise.

The atmostphere in Miami this year was one of the best times I’ve had at a competiton, ever. The warm sun, the breeze off the ocean right next to the warm-up area, three rotating stages with 1,100 competing athletes, and there were over 10,000 spectators over the course of a weekend. The first of the two events that stand out for me was the ocean swim event that I had been looking forward to for six months. I grew up swimming competitively, and was destined to see how I could stack up with Games competitors in the water! Getting to combo the open water swim with wall balls and L-Sits, it was a workout I would have written for myself if I had programmed!

That afternoon during the Clean Complex, I picked my outfit out beforehand knowing I’d need a reminder … wearing a “JESUS SAVES, BRO” tank. That day I got to reperesent for the only brand worth representing. I wanted to glorify God and reflect my heart on the outside, so people could see where my strength comes from. After getting a hang power clean PR at 190 lbs, and then being able to do it three more times right after, it fueled me and the crowd full of energy. As the clock ran out and I almost made it to the heaviest barbell, the crowd was electric as they could see my struggle at such a heavy weight, and I jumped around pulling my shirt up so they could read it as people stood up and clapped louder. It was electric, and I’ll never forget that feeling of pride and celebration!

The next competition in line was the East Coast Classic, ECC in Boston. On the flight there, the pilot announced an emergency landing in Kansas City. It was supposed to be a direct flight, and we could hear loud noises coming from below, and the turbulence was hard to bare. The woman next to me was crying because she was scared of crashing, and the guy next to me had headphones in and barely cared. By the time we landed safely we got off the plane and I said to him, “Dude… we’re not in Boston. We’re in Kansas.” He’s like….. “What?” HA, all the chaos of people panicking on the plane and he had no idea. Our flight got canceled as the plane was too unsafe to fly out, and I bought a last minute ticket to reach Boston. By the time I got there I realized how lucky I was to be alive, and honestly barely told anyone because I was still in such deep shock. I spent that weekend not being able to believe I arrived safely, and was distracted by what could have happened, what didn’t, but what almost did.

All the best athletes in our sport were competing individual or team as a show-case of a competition. They said, “it wasn’t a test of fitness” meaning it was only a 1-day with three events that were meant to “awe” the spectatoes – and that they did! The craziest thing I experienced was the way they dimmed the lights, and put a spotlight on the weightlifting platform in the middle of the arena. They played club music as women of all different shapes and sizes approached the same bar to have their turn with 205, then 215, then 225, 235, 245, and 250 lbs!! Single elimination, the weight kept going up, and a 17-year old girl got a new unofficial American Record Clean & Jerk at 245 lbs. It was amazing to be apart of, and honestly humbling to see the amount of girls that were able to put up that kind of “guy weight.” It’s not guy weight anymore!

A few days after leaving Boston in a snow storm, I was on a plane to fly halfway around the world to teach CrossFit in Switzerland. I had been anticipating this trip as my first time teaching an AgerBomb Seminar in Europe, and felt honored for the opportunity. Because of the weekend before, getting on a flight going over an ocean only a few days after an emergency landing and tons of freaky research I’d done on my own, was nerve-wracking for me. I broke down to my mom the night before, telling her that my training was suffering, talking about Regionals coming up again, and my heart was tired and I was just… exhausted. I was lonely, which is a weird thing to admit, but my friends and family were at home and I was always gone, and I’d be with strangers. After counting up that I would be spending around 60 hours in a plane seat in 6 weeks, I should have expected a break-down. She comforted me and reminded me why I teach, and reminded me of how it would feel better when I arrived. How lucky a girl I was to even get to travel the world at all. I love her. We caught up on the way to the airport and I told her I would do my bible study most the way to Switzerland to distract me – and that I did. If there’s anything that can clear up some anxiety, it’s being able to study, read, and be in the word for most of a 15-hour flight.

Being picked up by a gym member at the airport in Italy and driven to Switzerland while chatting about the differences between Italians, Swiss, Germans, and Americans was comforting. I still can’t believe how much I learned about history in general just by learning first-hand and spending time with locals. I ate delicious chocolate, had some Italian pizza, and got to enjoy a day walking around the lake and town with my friend that drove down from Germany whom I had met at a competition a few years ago in London.

The seminar itself was a success, and the athletes were hungry to get advice and learn how to prepare for the Open. We ended the last day with doing 14.4 together, and almost everyone PR’d including myself, and it gave me confidence going into the Open season. I had no idea how many different English levels and accents would be gathered in Lugano, Switzerland for the event! I learned so much about language, and even coaching, as I had to use much more demonstration (visual) and tactical (hands on) cues then I’ve ever used. I definitely became a better coach that week, working with all kinds of lifters. There was an Italian coach there that ripped my lifting apart for hours as I tried to do things “perfectly” at very light weight, and he yelled in Italian and I used the members as translators to communicate. He taught me more in a training session about weightlifting then I’d learned in the last half year.
Saying goodbye to the beautiful lake with the Swiss Alps jutting out of the water, and to my new “friends” that took me to the local castle to gaze around, was hard but I promised I’d be back someday soon.

A quick weekend at home, and having to get an emergency root canal the morning before I left, (life happening) I was teaching at the Faith RX’d camp in Tampa, Florida. Seeing the athletes build fellowship with each other and share their faith was inspiring beyond measure. I realized as the camp begun that maybe this was my calling, that this was why I was brought into the CrossFit world. Maybe all my work in the last few years was to, as our mission statement says, strengthen the hearts of the fitness community, in Christ-centered living and impact. Not because I am well-versed or even know most the characters in the Bible or could teach a lecture or answer complicated theology questions. But instead because I am learning to ask the right questions, and let the Holy Spirit guide me as I learn to listen and try to relate to believers and non-believers. I can learn from people and tell them about who Jesus is, and put life in perspective for what he’s done for us.

As I sit on another plane back from Florida after teaching my final AgerBomb Seminar before the Open, I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I plan to teach only a few more times before Regionals, and spend most my time training. Next up for me is enjoying the Open workouts that I look forward to every year, and being involved with my community as I do the workouts alongside them. I am anticipating a trip after the Open to teach in Brazil that bought my mom a plane ticket too. For the first time, she’ll get to hear my full testimony at a seminar, see me teach what I love, and travel and use a passport for her first time ever.

As people see the highlight real of our lives, the highs, the mediums, the poetic, the inspiring quotes, I was moved to write a blog where the truth comes out and people could see the “behind the scenes.” Nothing has changed this year about my goals, or my training. I still have my eyes relentlessly set on making it past Regionals in 2015 to the CrossFit Games. I can’t imagine not training for the individual goal of making it, that never seems to fade away or lose fire. Each year my training stays consistent and I get much stronger and better at competing in the sport of fitness, but here’s the thing – so does everyone else. Here’s to growing, learning, and instead of keeping it to ourselves, spreading our knowledge and love for each other to make the world a better place.



Upcoming Appearances

Getting ready for the open with lots of seminars! Check out my calendar of upcoming appearances and suggest a visit if I’m not coming to your town!

Calendar of events (subject to change):

January 31st – February 1 – AgerBomb seminar at CrossFit Lugano – Lugano, Switzerland – more info
February 13th – 15th – Iron Sharpens Iron Faith RX’d at TNL CrossFit Tampa – Tampa, FL
February 21st – Project AgerBomb Seminar at TNL CrossFit Tampa – Tampa, FL – sign up
February 22nd – Project AgerBomb Seminar at CrossFit HardCore North – Royal Palm Beach, FL  – sign up
March 7th – Project AgerBomb Seminar at Crossfit Lancaster – Lancaster, PA
March 8th – Project AgerBomb Seminar at CrossFit Koa – Cranford, NJ – sign up

Training with Pat Burke, 6x CrossFit Games Athlete

Training with Pat Burke has been the most consistent training I’ve ever had in my life. I’m used to visiting different gyms and training with different groups and people being in or out, depending on the workouts. We all assume most of us are training everyday even if we don’t see each other, but we don’t really know. I used to go from sweaty massacre to another sweaty massacre where we’d have some kind of a marathon session or big group workout, and then I would honestly rest for a while or train on my own and work on what I needed to get better. But it wasn’t consistent because if I wanted to take the time off and go “off program,” it was easy since there was no set schedule, it was just chaos. I’ll give the credit where it’s due though, and that is the training that started this fiery journey, and got me where I am today.

I remember six months ago in December when I called Pat, talking about a seminar I was teaching at his gym over Christmas break. I had already decided while I was living in Ohio that I was going to move home for the upcoming season, but had only told a few people and was bursting with excitement. I was like, “And guess what happens after the seminar?” He’s like… “Christmas?” I said, “ya and guess what happens after that….?” There was a long silence, and I broke it saying slowly, “I’M NEVER LEAVING! I’m moving back to Colorado!” He was totally surprised, I could hear it in his voice, “Well where are you going to …train… what gym are you…” I instantly said, “At your gym with YOU! Pat we’re going back to the GAMES this year man!” He just was silent for a while and said… “OH SHIT….” A few times and we laughed about how much training we were going to be doing as it all sank in. I love surprises.

His wife Janelle was very supportive about the transition, and with their 2-year old and a baby on the way, we built a schedule he could balance training and family. Looking back, she has been such a steadfast partner, and they’ve taught me so much about how caring and trusting a marriage can be.

And so the journey began, where I set out on a mission with one person with the same goal, the first time I had ever done that. No distractions, just training.

There’s something about waking up everyday knowing that someone is holding you accountable. Knowing that if I decided to take off for a few days or couldn’t make it in that he would have to do our programming by himself, or take class, and not that we’re uncapable of training on our own, but it was off the schedule. I learned that people say “Routine is the enemy” and that is true, but a routine in training is not bad. Consistency is dependable, which makes our performance dependable.

We are both very different athletes, as we all are, so we sometimes have opposite strengths and weaknesses. We have different favorites, and I began to learn how to game off him and strategize my workouts just as I would a competitor. For example, two weaknesses of mine are rowing and heavy deadlifts, they just aren’t my favorite. But he’s great at both so I knew early on in those type or workouts that I would have to either accept defeat early, and just try to stay close to him, or just stay calm and do my best… and then try to speed through the other areas of the workout to gain back some time. These are good strategies I need to develop because during competition there will always be someone better then me at a movement, and depending on when I take my breaks and when I make my moves, the experience in training will help me get a faster time, and maybe get me an advantage I can steal the lead with. We both learned to coach, and how to be coached.

Pat is a mountain man. He might as well be, anyway. A Paleolithic caveman that likes the workouts that seem like punishment… and as a natural ex-military athlete (“once a Marine, always a Marine”) he loves training with heavy sandbags and sprinting up hills, flipping heavy dirty tires and running through mountain trails with weight vests on. I remember about a month before Regionals we spent a lot of time getting mentally tough by trudging through grueling heat at altitude. Training at sea level in California for the last three years where outdoors extended to beach training or running next to traffic in the city, I wasn’t used to the mile-high elevation. Outside in the elements where there wasn’t a drinking fountain across the room, a protein shake at our convenience, or trendy music blasting from speakers to ‘keep us pumped.’ We didn’t need it. We depended on our own personal self-talk and the guidance of each other’s footsteps to find our pace.

One day of training sticks out to me that I’ll never forget. We were strapped up with 25lb and 40lb weight vests, running up a steep 600m hill to start, and then continued with rolling hills that looked over the valley of Table Top Mountain. Staying with Pat’s pace until halfway I started letting him break ahead and little by little finding a more comfortable pace. He’s a man of very few words… and all he had to do was turn around and yell, “Hey. Are you training for THE GAMES?” Eyes wide open and completely shocked that he called me out, I sped back up to his pace and my dreams and goals flew through my brain the entire way back.

Learning to ‘train uncomfortable’ has been a personal understatement. The situation and environment in competition might be less then ideal, and learning to adapt in any situation has become my hobby. Lift on uneven surfaces, maybe even on the asphalt outside where my bar rolls around and the sun is in my eyes. You don’t like that bar because it’s too thick or the texture hurts your hands? Go make yourself do an entire week’s worth of training on it so that in case it ever comes up, we’ll be ready.

When the Regionals workouts were announced we finally knew what we were getting into. Training had a direct purpose, and we right away picked out the ones that we thought we could do really good in, and the ones that were going to require the most work. Being new to the South West region made it impossible to picture what any of the other girls were capable of. It had been so long since I had trained with female training partners anyway, I could never gage how my numbers were holding up, and what I “should be capable of.”

As the weekend approached, our conversations got more concentrated and deep. I’ve always asked him questions about different Games events that I’ve only heard of or read about. We discuss how different and advanced the sport is now compared to 2004 when he started, or 2008, the first year he went to the CrossFit Games. He had come far from making it last year, and his goal was to make it back. I said, “Pat someone’s going to win every workout at Regionals. Someone’s going to win every workout. Someone will win the rope climb workout, why can’t that be us?” We agreed that we had a chance to blow up some of the events like we’d been doing in training. The confidence of pre-competition is shaky, filled with doubt, fear, positive self-talk, reminders, visions of completing every workout in the best position possible. When individuals train together, they become teammates, even though they compete individually. We called ourselves “Team Winner” (I’ve got to give Klokov props, he came up with the slogan and it just makes ya feel great).

“Team Winner!” was exactly what I yelled at him before every event as they announced the men’s heats and they ran out onto the field. I over and over was shocked at how he clearly had a “different mode” when in competition. From PRing his snatch by a gutsy 15 lbs to placing 3rd in a workout he was nervous about to winning the rope climb event, his “rise to the occasion” attitude was inspiring.

Going into the third day he was a contender for one of the three qualifying spots, and recovering from being sick as a dog. The flu had spread around and knocked out a bunch of individual athletes, staff members, and teams. He had been throwing up the entire night before, and that morning he was in the hospital getting an IV. Wondering if this was the end of the season for him, everyone was proved wrong as he sucked it up and earned a 3rd place spot on the podium. A sweet, sweet ticket to the Games. “Proven” because through all the pain and life-altering dedication, they are proven to be the best, and will now compete against the best of the best.

I’ve learned how to deal with many emotions over the last year. The lessons I’ve learned are sent straight from God, in answers to my prayers of “what I have planned.” No matter what comes my way, I’m taking it all in, and realizing what I can and cannot control as an athlete and as a woman. For right now I’m living in the moment, and training for the “next big thing,” which is something that will never end. It’s a habit, it’s a lifestyle, it’s a convincing drive that each season brings a more weathered, experienced version of myself.

I am so proud of my training partner. I’m proud of our progress, and as the weeks spill over of NPGL combine tryouts for me, and he’s on track for the biggest platform our sport has to offer, I’m glad to say not much has changed. I’m finally getting to do the “Games training,” I’ve always wanted to do, including lots of endurance, lake swimming, paddle-boarding, wall jumping, adventure races, and of course heavy heavy lifting. He mixes in some “human performance racing” fun with me for my goals, and we’re both getting “fitter” every day.

When in training, it feels like it’s all about the destination, and it wouldn’t be a journey without one. But LIFE happens on the journey, and it’s such a sweet, sweet ride. Read Pat’s story on how he came back to qualify again for this years CrossFit Games.