The Hardest Stage of Life

The hardest stage of life is right now.

All too often as we get older, we like to inform the youngsters about how “easy” they have it now, and “just wait until…” and to enjoy today while it lasts because someday you’ll wish for days like today, and the worst one is, “It’s not a big deal. You’ll get over it. When _____ and _____ happens, then you’ll really have something to complain about.”

As coaches, the longer we do this, the more we can fall into this same trap. Telling newer clients to not worry about it, don’t do this, do that, quit your complaining, blah blah blah. We can go off on self-righteous expeditions. Well-intended, of course, but poorly received (And understandably so). Even veteran CrossFitters can do this to other fellow athletes.

We all have to remember that each and every one of us is on a unique and very individual journey.

And, those of us that are older and more experienced need to allow the younger and novice to make the same mistakes we did, to struggle and improve the ways we got to, and to be allowed to process both negatively and positively as they figure themselves out… Just like we got to.

Hindsight is a b**ch, because it makes us actually believe that we can fix the past. Had I known better in high school, had I only found CrossFit back then, I could have… And, as we look longingly at our past trying to correct it, we inevitably and inadvertently project it onto our youth and beginners.

The hardest stage of CrossFit is right now.

Whether it’s your very first day of On-Ramp, your 6th month, or your 6th year, and whether it’s your first day back from vacation, your third week back from shoulder surgery, or your second month back postpartum - All of those stages are challenging. And, even if you’re injury-free, kid-free, and debt-free, you still have your own internal battles and other challenges we know nothing about.

We are all in our hardest stage of life. Right now. And, the reason that right now is the hardest stage is because, well, we are living it right now.

We are enduring the NOW.

Let’s try to allow each other to live our own stage of life and stage of CrossFit by supporting and encouraging one another, as well as sympathizing and just LISTENING. Acknowledgement is an incredibly powerful gift, and often it’s all we need.

Just someone to say, “Yes, I see you, I hear you, and I know that pain, too!” That’s it. Don’t try to fix it for them or compare it to anything else.

I am still working on this skill myself, because naturally as a coach I want to fix everything and help. But, the next time an athlete is struggling with their performance after trying to do it “Rx,” instead of me giving them a lecture about scaling appropriately, maybe the better approach is to acknowledge the stage of fitness they are in right now. I remember when I was finally able to do workouts “Rx” but was still the last person to finish. While I was excited about being able to do it “Rx” I was also frustrated with my inability to do it quickly. Now, though, I realize that I was just in that transitional stage from scaling to Rx’ing, and just as I had to start from the bottom my first day of CrossFit, so too did I need to start at the bottom as a newly “Rx” athlete. I just didn’t realize it at the time.

The hardest stage of life is right now. However, it is also the best stage, because with each fleeting moment, you have the opportunity and choice to be better, to learn, to grow, to evolve.

We like to pretend that we are guaranteed 100 years, but we are guaranteed nothing except death. So, live your stage of life to the fullest, and allow others to live theirs.


Kara PurvesComment
The Beauty (& Torture) of The EMOM

Today, we did “Chelsea,” which is a 30 min EMOM of 5 Pull ups, 10 Push ups & 15 Air Squats. The goal is to complete one round of Chelsea within the one minute each round. So, yeah, 30 rounds total. Yum! ;-)

While a part of me really despises workout like these, I actually love them more!

EMOM’s like “Chelsea” force us to be honest with ourselves and our progress. It shoves that big piece of humble pie in to our faces. There is no hiding.

Today, I was forced to face the hard truth that I have way more pulling power than I do pushing power. This is nothing new to me, though. I’ve always known that. It’s why I LOVE workouts with pull ups and cleans, and absolutely HATE wall balls, push ups, and dips. But, I only hate them because I struggle a lot with them. They are really hard for me to get through.

In other words, I NEED TO WORK ON THEM MORE!!

“Chelsea” reminded me of this today. Thanks, Chelsea… I think…

What I also love about EMOMs is how it exposes our workout habits and pacing methods. When I start to fall apart in push ups, I slow down significantly. However, in an AMRAP-style setting, I slow down even more, mostly because I can. Whereas in an EMOM-style setting, you are forced to finish within the minute, which makes you challenge your previous pacing methods.

I realized today that I probably pace too much in high volume push ups, and while, yes, I struggle, and yes, I have to break them up into small sets, like 2-3’s, and sometimes even singles, I CAN still move relatively quickly. I don’t actually need to rest as much as I do in an AMRAP.

Had “Chelsea” been a 30 min AMRAP, I probably would have done 19 or 20 rounds. But, since I did it EMOM-style, I finished 23 rounds.

So, pay attention to your EMOM’s.

What are they telling you?!

Kara PurvesComment
Crock Pot Balsamic Roast Beef

I looooooooooove the crock pot! It’s so easy, and so darn helpful, especially with busy families! Here’s a delicious crock pot recipe that is one of my personal go-to’s. I hope you enjoy it! :-)


  • 3 lb. beef chuck roast, boneless;

  • 3 chopped chunky sweet potatoes

  • 4 chopped chunky carrots

  • 1 sliced sweet onion

  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 2 cloves minced garlic

  • 1 cup red wine

  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

  • 1 ½ cup beef stock

  • 2 tbsp cooking fat

  • Sea salt

  • Black pepper


  1. Season the roast beef on all sides with sea salt and black pepper, as desired.

  2. Melt some cooking fat over a medium-high heat in a large skillet, and sear the roast for 2-3 minutes on each side. I personally like to use bacon fat (yum!), or even ghee, but use what you’d like.

  3. Place the meat in the slow cooker and top with the onion, garlic, balsamic vinegar, beef stock, bay leaves, rosemary sprigs and red wine.

  4. Cover the slow cooker, turn it on low, and cook for 6 hours.

  5. After the 6 hours, add the carrots and sweet potatoes, set the slow cooker to high and cook for about another 3 hours, or until the vegetables are nice and soft and the meat is fork tender.

  6. Remove and discard the bay leaves and rosemary sprigs (very important step, haha!)

  7. Pour the liquid from the slow cooker into a saucepan and bring to a slow boil over a medium-high heat. Keep it boiling and let it reduce until you get the desired consistency for your sauce.

  8. Pour the sauce back in the slow cooker and serve with the meat and vegetables.

  9. Enjoy!

Kara PurvesComment
Things I Wish I Knew When I Was a Beginner

Hindsight can be a b*tch. Especially in things like CrossFit, because now after having done it for over 10 years, and even owning a gym for 7 years, it’s too easy for me to look back and say, “Gosh, had I known what I know now, I would be SO much better at CrossFit right now. Maybe I would have even made it to Regionals or the Games.” Ha!

When I used to share blogs like this - The “What I Wish I Knew” type posts, it always entailed the cliche, “Scale more, shave your calluses, cheer everyone on, and go outside your comfort zone” items. When you Google for similar blogs, they say the same things, too. All great advice, though.

This time, however, I want to try something different.

Here are things I thought I knew, then learned something else, then thought I knew better, but then realized I still don’t know:

  1. CrossFit will always be hard. It never gets easier. It’s not supposed to. So, stop pretending that you’ll reach an end. You’re not supposed to be “done” with CrossFit. You will always be good at some things, and then suck at other things. While your list of skills will gradually increase, there will always be something else waiting for you to learn. IT’S A JOURNEY, not a destination.

  2. Allow yourself to be a beginner like everyone else. Even those of us with elite backgrounds were still beginners to CrossFit. Give yourself to permission to learn and grow at your own pace, on your own time. There is no race to fitness. Embrace the process, and clap for yourself along the way.

  3. Nutrition is personal and individual, and completely up to your readiness, mindset, and emotional state. While diet fads, monthly challenges, and nutrition coaches can be beneficial, more times than not they only serve as expensive distractions with short-term results. At the end of the day, you need to find something that works for YOU, and is sustainable throughout your daily life. Really, the one and only BEST piece of nutrition advice I can offer you is: FOOD IS FUEL, not punishment or reward. Eat to perform at life (not just CrossFit), and find YOUR quality of life.

  4. Fitness is relative, and should actually complement your daily life and the activities you already enjoy. Don’t let CrossFit take over everything. And, don’t let “Rx” take over your fitness journey. It’s arbitrary. Fitness is fitness, and it’s in the small steps, the tiny accomplishments, that add up over a long period of time. Don’t compare yourself to others. We are all fighting battles daily that the rest of us know nothing about. Focus on your personal growth. Self improvement. Fitness is in YOUR personal achievements.

  5. Remember to live your life. While, yes, CrossFit can be freakin’ awesome, and the community you workout with can be life-changing, and your life can be consumed by if you allow it to be, remember to live your life, too. CrossFit is just one part. Remember to eat the cake, too. Go see a live band, climb Half Dome, zipline through Mexico, skydive over Hawaii, backpack through Europe, cook for your friends, learn the piano, take a woodworking class, and read a good book.

The funny thing about life, and even CrossFit, is that the more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know!

So, be a lifelong learner. A lifelong CrossFitter. A lifelong liver. ;-)

Kara PurvesComment
CrossFit Acronyms & Terms To Know

In case any of you needed a cheat sheet for CrossFit acronyms and terms, here ya go:

AMRAP - Stands for “As Many Reps As Possible” within a give time frame, or until failure.

BOX - The name CrossFitters use to refer to the gym, “I’ll see you tomorrow at the Cadre box!”

BJ - Box Jumps

BMU - Bar Muscle Up

BP - Bench Press

BS - Back Squat

BW - Bodyweight

CHIPPER – A WOD that consists of a series of movements that are not repeated. In addition, the athlete must complete all of the reps for the exercise before moving on to the next. One of the classic chippers in CrossFit is the “Filthy Fifty”

C&J - Clean & Jerk

C2B - Chest-to-Bar Pull ups

DL - Deadlift

DU - Double Unders

EMOM - Every Minute, On the Minute / However, most coaches today now use OTM - On The Minute. They both mean the same thing, though. At the top of every minute, you complete the required reps within that minute, and rest in the time remaining.

FIREBREATHER - An extremely fit athlete, “Coach JonMichael is a firebreather!” ;-)

FS - Front Squat

GHD - Glute-Ham Developer

THE GIRLS - Several CF Benchmark WODs are named after women. “Fran” is one of the most popular ones. To familiarize yourself with The Girls better, check this out:

HSPU - Handstand Push Ups

HS - Handstand

HEROES - Just like the Girls WODs, there are several benchmark WODs names after fallen heroes. You can check them out here:

KBS - Kettlebell Swings

K2E - Knees-to-Elbows

ME - Max Effort

METCON - Short for Metabolic Conditioning, which is a short, high intensity workout

MU - Muscle Up

OHS - Overhead Squats

OHWL - Overhead Walking Lunges

PC - Power Clean

PR - Personal Record - Every time you beat your previous best score.

PS - Power Snatch

PU - Pull up -OR- Push up

RC - Rope Climbs

RX - “As Prescribed” in CrossFit, meaning, you completed the workout as it is written without changing any of the reps or weights

SDLHP - Sumo Deadlift High Pull

S2OH - Shoulder to Overhead

SN - Snatch

SQ - Squat

TABATA - High intensity interval training consisting of 8 Rds of 20 sec max effort, and 10 sec rest

TGU - Turkish Get Up

T2B - Toes-to-Bar

WB - Wall Balls

WOD - “Workout of the Day”

Here’s a great list of common CrossFit movements, too:

Kara PurvesComment
Hand Protectors: How-To & Which Ones

Tonight, I just wanted to share a few different YouTube videos for y’all to check out on your own time. There are many ways to protect your hands during our workouts, especially when it’s high volume gymnastics. You can either make your own hand protectors with athletic tape, or buy the fancy ones out there.

Personally, I don’t use any hand protectors, because I hate not being able to feel the bar, so I have really ugly palms, and I diligently shave my calluses. Hand Modeling days are over… Haha! ;-)

However, those of you who are looking for ways to protect your hands, check out these videos, and hopefully one of them will be of use to you. Happy Training!

How to Make Hand Protectors with Athletic Tape:

Full Hand Protectors:

How to Hook Grip and How to Tape the Thumb:

Hand Protectors Reviews for CrossFitters:

Kara PurvesComment
Don't Forget to Live

As we sweat and work our butts off at Cadre, and while we push through our comfort zones and build healthy habits, I want y’all to remember to LIVE you life, too.

Yes, eating mostly real food, like lean meats, vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, etc are super important, and will do wondrous things for your body and brain, DON’T FORGET TO EAT CAKE.

Have a big slice from time to time. And, heck, once a year, eat an entire cake by yourself. My personal fave is Princess Cake. If you don’t know what it is, check this out: And, YES, I have eaten an ENTIRE one by myself once before on my birthday! Totally worth it. ;-) But, if cake ain’t your thang, by all means, please enjoy your fave treat on occasion, because life is short and worth celebrating anytime!

And, yes, working out consistently and pushing yourself outside your comfort zone is necessary for results, DON’T FORGET TO PLAY (and rest).

Especially the sports and activities you grew up with and enjoy! After doing CrossFit for 5 years, I joined a rec volleyball league for fun (I played in middle and high school), and it was SO fun to get back into an old sport I loved so much. Plus, thanks to CrossFit, I was actually pretty awesome still despite not having had played in over 10 years!

Do other things outside of CrossFit - Put that fitness to LIVING LIFE! ;-)

Aaaaaand, just as important, DON’T FORGET TO REST. When you are on vacation, it IS okay to actually rest and NOT do any CrossFit or Hotel WOD. Trust me, you won’t “lose it all” if you enjoy your vacay!

Lastly, while surrounding ourselves with others of similar lifestyles and fitness regimes (aka our Cadre Community) is important, DON’T FORGET TO SOCIALIZE OUTSIDE OF CROSSFIT.

While 95% of my friends are in fact CrossFitters, I do have some that don’t do it, don’t care, and never will, and it’s actually nice. They remind me that there are a million others things to do and talk about than just CrossFit, nutrition, and fitness in general. They keep me balanced in life.

Bottom line - Work hard, but don’t forget to LIVE YOUR LIFE, because after all, that is WHY we do this stuff called CrossFit. ;-)

Kara PurvesComment
Yin Yoga Pricing

Just a heads up for y’all about Yin Yoga’s cost. It’s very straightforward, and the great thing is, you can drop-in anytime. There is no need to sign up ahead of time for class, you can show up last minute. And, remember that Yin is for EVERYONE, so bring your friends and family along! You do NOT have to be a Cadre member or even a CrossFitter to take Yin Yoga with us. You also do NOT have to have any experience with Yoga - Amanda can help all ages and abilities!

$13 / Drop-in

$100 / 10-Classes

It’s every Sunday @ 9:00am! We look forward to seeing y’all there!

And, please remember that Open Gym is from 10:30 - 12:00 on Sundays. While Yin Yoga does end at 10:00, we ask that y’all please do NOT show up earlier than 10:30, just in case Yin goes over a little bit. We do not want any disturbances for this relaxing class, and we thank you for understanding and respecting their class setting.

Thanks for being awesome! ;-)

Kara PurvesComment
Scale UP

Here’s a concept I’d like you to seriously consider in CrossFit, and just fitness in general.

Often when we first learn something, we then see it as just that. When many of us first learned CrossFit (including me) we were immediately told about “Rx,” and it became everyone’s obsession. “Rx” was the goal, the destination, the end all, be all.

But, the thing is… Fitness is a journey. It’s a lifestyle.

A lil’ twist on a stoic quote, “There is no way to fitness, Fitness IS the way.”

“Rx” is not a destination, per se. You are NOT done if and when you achieve the ability to perform workouts as prescribed.

What I see all too often are newbie athletes who try to rush their progress to get to “Rx.” But, on the other end of the spectrum, I also see athletes who stop progressing, who stop pushing themselves, who start coasting in the workouts because now they can do all the WODs “Rx,” so they think they’ve reached the end.

Today’s workout is a great example:

400m Run
40 Bar-facing Burpees
200m Run
20 Deadlifts @ 225/155
400m Run

Now, most people used the suggest percentage of 50-55% of your 1RM Deadlift, which was great. A few people went “Rx” and probably should have gone a bit lighter in their deadlifts, but nonetheless, they got the workout done in a reasonable time.

There were also a few, though, who should have gone heavier than “Rx.” Wait, WHAT?! Heavier, you say?! You mean… Scale UP?!!!

I had one client this morning who warms up with 155. This is NOT meant to make any of us feel bad in any way, so please don’t turn this into that. This is a woman who puts extra hours in consistently to build her strength, so she has earned this ability. Anyway, I knew she’d fly through the 20 deadlifts unbroken without breaking a sweat. It would have been “too easy” for her. I knew it, and she knew it. So… She scaled up today, and she had a great workout, finishing well within the time frame we were looking for. :-)

So, while having “Rx” can be fun and give some of us a focal point, always remember that it is completely arbitrary and really only useful for competitive athletes who want to participant in the Open, in local events, or beyond.

Keep yourself in check.

Just as much as you are chasing those goals, especially those of you focused on “Rx,” remember that you must continue to move forward by scaling up when appropriate - Also known as “Rx+” for those of you who like to label things. :-)

Maybe eventually you’ll even reach “Rx++” ;-)

Bottom line, keep going. Keep leveling up as the time arises throughout your fitness journey!

Kara PurvesComment
Amanda Bryner

Hello Cadre Crew, I'm Amanda Bryner, your new yoga instructor every Sunday morning!

I am going to Kent State for Physical Education with a Concentration in Sports Performance. I've decided to do this because I wholeheartedly believe movement is medicine. I've been doing yoga since 2013 and CrossFit since May 2018. I completed my 200-hr Yoga Teacher Training in May 2019 at One Love in Kent. I quickly realized my passion for yoga is based in the practice of Yin Yoga, and more relaxing styles such as Yoga Nidra and Restorative Yoga.

So, why Yin Yoga? It offers a deep stretch for our bodies, a quiet place for our minds, and healing for the soul. Placing a safe stress on our connective tissue helps keep joints mobile, prevent degeneration within the bones, and reduces fixation. You may even tap into stresses held deep in the muscles to find an emotional release and a sense of inner peace.

The driven, go-go-go mentality of CrossFitters especially can easily spill into every day life. Which is a wonderful thing and a great trait to have. However, that can make it hard to tap into the "Yin" side of life. What I mean by that is the slow down or the calm. Self care and taking that time to sit with one's self to really acknowledge what is happening in the body and the mind is an important part of living a balanced life.

In my Yin Yoga class, we get into a posture and hold it for 1-5 minutes while focusing on the breath and being in the present moment. This allows for the deep stretch of our muscles that we don't typically take the time to do. Every class will be structured differently and focused on different parts of the body. Some classes may be hips focused, while another may be focused on arms and shoulders. We always end class with a few minutes in Savasana, letting the body rest and soak up all the goodness from the class so we may carry it on throughout the day.

The combination of CrossFit and Yin for me has been incredible. It has so many benefits even for someone less active. I've got a lot of love for the practice and hope to share it with you and your loved ones. Thanks for making me a part of your community!

I look forward to having you in my class on Sundays @ 9:00am! :-)

Kara PurvesComment
Paleo For Coffee Lovers

If you loooove coffee like I do, but are trying to do Paleo, or a similar diet to cut out artificial sweeteners, dairy, etc, here are some creative ways to enjoy your morning Joe while sticking to your nutrition!

  1. Coconut Milk

  2. Coconut Cream

  3. Almond Milk

  4. Coconut Sugar

  5. Raw Honey

  6. Maple Syrup

  7. Date Sugar

  8. Liquid Stevia

  9. Add 1-3 teaspoons of your favorite nut butter and blend with your coffee (Maybe add a little coconut oil, as well), and enjoy a nutty coffee

  10. Blend about 1 tablespoon of pumpkin puree, about 2 teaspons coconut milk, 1-2 teaspoons maple syrup, and just a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg for a “Paleo Pumpkin Latte”

  11. Warm 1/2 cup of coconut milk, 2 teaspoons of ghee, and 3 teaspoons of honey. With a whisk or a whipper, blend together until they’re frothy. Add your black coffee, whip some more, and enjoy!

  12. Cappuccino-style, combine 12 oz of strong, dark brewed coffee with 1 tablespoon of ghee, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, 1 tablespoon of coconut cream, 2 teaspoons of raw honey, 2 teaspoons of maple syrup, 1 teaspoon of coconut sugar, and 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.

  13. To spice things up, try adding a teaspoon of cinnamon to black coffee, or nutmeg, ginger, or even a pumpkin pie spice blend.

  14. Mocha-style, combine 12 oz of brewed coffee, 1 tablespoon of coconut milk, 1 tablespoon of coconut cream, 2 teaspoons of maple syrup, 1 teaspoon of raw honey, and anywhere from 2 teaspoons to a tablespoon of raw cacao.

  15. And, you can enjoy ALL of these tasty ideas ICED, as well.

Kara PurvesComment
Open Gym Hours & Expectations

So, as many of you heard in our Town Hall Meeting, we have NEW Open Gym hours every SUNDAY after Yoga Class from 10:30am - 12:00pm.

You may NOT under any circumstances come in during Yoga Class and do any form of working out (other than the actual Yoga Class), as it would be too disruptive and distraction to the class. Thank you for understanding and respecting the Yoga Class’ time.

You can, however, come and do Open Gym during ANY regular CrossFit and RIIPT class time during the week. Please understand that the class has first priority to everything in the gym, though, soooo… If the WOD has rowing in it and it’s a full class, but you wanted to do some rowing too, well unfortunately you will have to modify your workout so that the class can have all the rowers. The class also has first priority to space, so, again, if it happens to be a full house and every corner of the gym is filled, you may have to modify your workout to a running WOD or something that keeps you out of the way of class. These scenarios are highly unlikely, but probable,so we just want to make sure we are all on the same page.

And, as always, you are expected to clean up all of the equipment you used when you are done with your Open Gym time. This includes scrubbing the barbell, wiping down the rower, bike, ski erg, medicine ball, etc and putting everything back in its rightful place.

Thank you for continuing to respect the gym, equipment, and each other! Teamwork makes the dream work! Everything is awesome! Everything is awesome when you’re a part of a team! ;-)

Kara PurvesComment
Friendly Reminders

Just two quick reminders for this upcoming weekend…

This Saturday, Aug 3
LADIES NIGHT @ Liz’s House BYOB & Potluck Party

WHO: All the lovely ladies of CrossFit Cadre!
Old and new members, young and experienced, Rx and Scaled, CrossFit and RIIPT, and any other category you would consider yourself - If you sweat with us at Cadre, and you’re a woman, you can totally sit with us poolside and enjoy the company of some other bad ass ladies! ;-)

WHAT: Ladies Night Pool Party Potluck & BYOB Event
Bring any main dish, appetizer, dessert, side, and/or beverage to share with the rest of the ladies!
Also, if you’d like to swim and/or sunbathe, feel free to bring your swimsuit, too!

WHERE: Liz's House @ 1474 Berkshire Rd, Stow

WHEN: Saturday, Aug 3 @ 5:00 - 10:00pm

WHY: Because, gosh darn it, we deserve a night to wine and dine and enjoy each other’s company!

We look forward to seeing y’all there, even if you can just come for a little bit. And, don’t worry, ladies, if you can’t make this one, there will plenty of other ones in the future! ;-)

This Sunday, Aug 4 ~ FREE YOGA for all with Amanda

ALL are welcome!

NO experience necessary!

You do NOT have to be a Cadre member! You don’t even need to do CrossFit to attend.

This is for everyone and anyone who wants to improve their quality of life through range of motion and movement. And, at the very least, if you’re still on the fence about Yoga, just come watch the class this Sunday!

Hope to see y’all there! ;-)

Kara PurvesComment
FREE YOGA on Sunday, 8/4 @ 9:00am

Calling all human beings on the planet, near and far!

We have FREE YOGA this Sunday, Aug 4 @ 9:00am with Amanda Bryner!

ALL are welcome!

NO experience necessary!

You do NOT have to be a Cadre member! You don’t even need to do CrossFit to attend.

This is for everyone and anyone who wants to improve their quality of life through range of motion and movement. And, at the very least, if you’re still on the fence about Yoga, just come watch the class this Sunday!

Hope to see y’all there! ;-)

Kara PurvesComment
Sous Vide Steak

If you love steak (or any meat, for that matter), but have never had it sous vide, NOW IS THE TIME! ;-)

What is sous vide cooking?

(Source by Anova Culinary:

“Once limited to the pros, sous vide (pronounced sue-veed) is a cooking technique that utilizes precise temperature control to deliver consistent, restaurant-quality results. High-end restaurants have been using sous vide cooking for years to cook food to the exact level of doneness desired, every time. The technique recently became popular for home cooks with the availability of affordable and easy-to-use sous vide precision cooking equipment like the Anova Precision® Cooker.

Sous vide, which means “under vacuum” in French, refers to the process of vacuum-sealing food in a bag, then cooking it to a very precise temperature in a water bath. This technique produces results that are impossible to achieve through any other cooking method.

Sous vide cooking is much easier than you might think, and usually involved three simple steps:

1. Attach your precision cooker to a pot of water and set the time and temperature according to your desired level of doneness.

2. Put your food in a sealable bag and clip it to the side of the pot.

3. Finish by searing, grilling, or broiling the food to add a crispy, golden exterior layer.”

They are actually very reasonably priced, too. You can get a quality sous vide machine for about $60-120. So, now you know, and YOU’RE WELCOME!

And yes, you can use the sous vide with any other meats, even eggs, and it’s amazing! I just made your meat-loving lives a million times better! ;-)

Kara PurvesComment

Last week, while hiking through Yosemite with my husband and three girls, I ended up having a conversation with my oldest daughter, Bailey (7), about grit and how to develop it.

You see, as many of you can relate, our 7-year old whined and complained the entire time… “I’m tired… My feet hurt… When are we going to get to the falls… Why do we have to walk so far… I’m hot… I need a break… Can we stop… My legs hurt…”

The struggle is real.

After a day and a half of testing our patience, I finally pulled my daughter behind my husband and two other girls, and gave her “a talk.”

Whenever I have a “life lesson” discussion with Bailey, I seem to inevitably end up using CrossFit as an example. Bailey grew up in our gym that we owned in California, and it’s all she’s ever known, so she always gets it when I talk about CrossFit.

I started telling her how some clients in CrossFit whine and complain, and how we try to help them build grit and fortitude. She looked at me surprised and asked, “What?! They whine?! So, how do you make them stop whining, then?”

I started telling her how I try to help them compartmentalize the workout. I explained how “Fran” was done, and then how I tell a client to break it down and focus on the task at hand. So, the first 21 reps of Thrusters are compartmentalized into sets of 7. Focus only on the first set of 7. You only need to get to 7. Then rest. Now, you only have 7 to do again. Don’t think about or worry about the third set. It’s nonexistent right now. The only segment that matters is the set of 7 you are doing right now.

“Small, manageable, achievable targets,” I told Bailey, “that’s the key!”

So, then I showed her how to do it during our hike. “Pick a landmark that we can see up ahead,” I told her. She looked up and spotted a tree with a limb that looked like a hand with fingers. “Great! So, all we gotta do is get to that tree.” She shrugged and said that seemed pretty easy.

And, it was. When we reached the tree, I asked her if she needed a break, or if she felt like she could keep going. “I’m fine. Let’s keep going to that big boulder up ahead.”

When we got to the boulder, I asked again, and she said, “I see a tree knocked over up there. Let’s keep going.” And, I smiled, knowing the trick worked with her (at least, for this moment). We kept picking landmarks, and a few times she thought she wanted to stop, and I just distracted her with another landmark, “Hey look! There’s a squirrel up there, let’s walk to it and then we can stop.”

When we finally finished our hike, I asked her how bad it was for her, and she said, “It actually wasn’t as bad as I thought, Mom. I liked the landmarks!” I told her how that’s how I used to train for marathons and triathlons back in the day.


Whether it’s the workout, a weight loss plan, a new diet, a Deadlift goal, or whatever else, instead of overwhelming yourself with the big picture, compartmentalize the situation.

Small, manageable, achievable targets.


Think of them as small victories. We are much more motivated to keep going when we achieve something, even minute ones like reaching the tree up ahead, or finishing the first 7 reps of “Fran.” When we achieve, we want to achieve more, and we are much more likely then to keep going.

Mind tricks at its finest.

Try it next time, and let me know how it works for you! :-)

Kara PurvesComment
Ladies Night this Sat, Aug 3 @ 5:00pm

WHO: All the lovely ladies of CrossFit Cadre!
Old and new members, young and experienced, Rx and Scaled, CrossFit and RIIPT, and any other category you would consider yourself - If you sweat with us at Cadre, and you’re a woman, you can totally sit with us poolside and enjoy the company of some other bad ass ladies! ;-)

WHAT: Ladies Night Pool Party Potluck & BYOB Event
Bring any main dish, appetizer, dessert, side, and/or beverage to share with the rest of the ladies!
Also, if you’d like to swim and/or sunbathe, feel free to bring your swimsuit, too!

WHERE: Liz's House @ 1474 Berkshire Rd, Stow

WHEN: Saturday, Aug 3 @ 5:00 - 10:00pm

WHY: Because, gosh darn it, we deserve a night to wine and dine and enjoy each other’s company!

We look forward to seeing y’all there, even if you can just come for a little bit. And, don’t worry, ladies, if you can’t make this one, there will plenty of other ones in the future! ;-)

Kara PurvesComment
REMINDER: Town Hall this Sat, July 20

We hope y’all can make it this Saturday, but if not, we will also be streaming live on Facebook Live! And, we will also post the news on Sunday night’s blog.

We have a lot of great news to share, and we want to do it in person!
For those of you who cannot attend, we will also have it Facebook Live!

We strongly encourage all of you to attend who are able to (even if you don’t workout), as we have some big topics to discuss and we are super excited to get them all out to you! :-)

For all those who attend, you will automatically be entered into a RAFFLE to win a FREE Private Session with Coach Kara! The winner will be picked at the end of the Town Hall meeting! :-)

We will still have class @ 8:30am, but it will finish 15 minutes early for the Town Hall Meeting.

Then, immediately following the end of the meeting we will have another class. Depending on how long the discussion takes, the next class will start around 9:45-ish.

Please save the date and we look forward to seeing you all there!

Kara PurvesComment
Little Free Library

Take a Book, Share a Book

You will notice a new red bookshelf in the gym filled with books (Special thanks to Liz Flood for donating the book shelf to the gym), and that is our Cadre Little Free Library!

It’s just like the cute little book-houses you see on the corners of streets where people give a book and take a book at random. It’s a great way to share the love of reading with the community!

And, we are sharing that love at the gym!

So, please take a book and share a book anytime! Books can be any genre, any age group, any topic, any style… if it’s a book, it counts! We already have a few children’s books, some self-help, a few suspense novels, and short stories.

We look forward to sharing the love of reading with y’all. I’ve already snagged a new suspense novel this morning and can’t wait to start it tonight! :-)

Happy Reading!!!

Kara PurvesComment
FREE RAFFLE this Sat at Town Hall

We’re having a FREE RAFFLE this Saturday, July 20 at our Town Hall Meeting! All you have to do is show up for the meeting, and you’ll automatically be entered to win a One-Hour Private Session with Coach Kara.

Don’t think you need or want a private sessions?! Consider this…

Private Sessions are NOT what we may typically think of. They are NOT for rich people only. They are NOT for elite athletes only. They are NOT for competitive athletes only. They are NOT over-the-top extreme intensity-filled mess-you-up kind of sessions.

They ARE for anyone and everyone, any age, any stage of life.

Whether you’re coming back from a shoulder surgery, starting off brand new to CrossFit, or have been doing CrossFit for 10 years, there is ALWAYS something we can work on in a private session. They ARE a great investment in yourself and your goals and needs. They ARE the best way to breakdown a movement and really learn how to do something correctly. They ARE invaluable and can give you specific tools and focus for your specific stage of life.

Coach Kara has worked one-on-one with clients for over 10 years, and specifically her last two years of owning an affiliate in California were executed with a “Coach For Life” focus, meaning every single member had ongoing private sessions with Kara, in addition to regular Unlimited classes. Some members did once a week ongoing, others did every other week, some once a month, and a few were every 2 or 3-months, but there was always communication and collaboration. Some members focused more on Olympic lifts with Coach Kara, others focused on getting their first pull up or muscle up, some wanted to start local competitions, and others wanted to lose weight, focus on nutrition, lower their cholesterol, or beat their Diabetes Type II. She’s worked with pregnant and postpartum moms, senior citizens trying to maintain independence, and heavy lifters preparing for a Strongman event.

So… If you get to be the lucky winner of our RAFFLE this Saturday at the end of our Town Hall Meeting, you’ll get a small taste of what can level you up in your life! ;-)

Kara PurvesComment