Permission Granted

Well, as some of you know, I am competing in a 2-day CrossFit competition the end of this month in California called “NorCal Masters.” I do it every year, and now that we live in Ohio, I do it every year as a mini reunion with all of my friends and old CrossFit 707 members.

This year, I am 4-months postpartum with our third girl. I had to be on bed rest for a significant amount of time in my third trimester. And, my recovery was difficult and much more challenging than my first two. It just is what it is.

I find myself in a small, internal pit of despair, though. I am not where I had hoped I would be for this event. Not even close. My fitness and strength are significantly less than pre-baby.

I’m just going to be very blunt —> My ego is super duper sore!

I think we naturally hold on to what we “once were” because hindsight is a b**ch and, let’s be honest, we tend to remember things in our own favor. While I was a decent CrossFit competitor (slightly above average, at best), I like to remember myself as “almost elite.” Hahaha!

If there is only one thing I have gotten from CrossFit, it’s a huge knuckle-sandwich of humility.

The problem with holding on to what we once were (or inflated memory thereof) is that it does NOT allow us to be who we are today. It does not allow us to process and grow. It interferes with our progress and happiness.

Basically, it’s the old, selfish ex-boyfriend that keeps coming back for random hook-ups, and we allow it thinking “this time will be different.” Just as he ain’t gonna change, honey, neither is our past!

So, it’s time to seriously ditch the ex-boyfriend (the past), and learn to be present in the here and now.

Right now, I am 4-months postpartum. I am 38 years young, a full-time stay-at-home mom, part-time coach, and running mostly on coffee, catnaps, and sarcasm.

My fitness is in an entirely new stage of life, so I need to allow myself to grow in this current stage. Often, we think of progress as this one loooooong, continuous line in our life.

What if instead we thought of progress as stages, just like life itself?!

What if instead of me trying to compete with who I was 2, 5, 10, even 20 years ago, I just compete with the person I am TODAY?! The stay-at-home mom of 3 girls with a part-time coaching job.

What if my progress starts from my first day of postpartum, instead of my first day of competitive CrossFit?

What if I focus on my recovery as my body still repairs itself from baby-making, and I celebrate the small victories as they come in the new me (rather than constantly compare them with defeat to the old me)?

It’s too easy (and cruel) for me to say, “Well, I can only do ONE ring muscle up right now. I used to be able to do 10 strict in a row, and 30 kipping in under 5 minutes. Man, I suck now…” Sound familiar?! Most, if not all of us talk this way to ourselves. And yet, we’d NEVER say this to anyone we cared about. Why do we hold ourselves to such different (and destructive) standards?!

I see you… The one coming back from a back injury. The other one recovering from a C-section. And even you over there, the one with a hip replacement, and you on the other side returning from shoulder surgery. I see you. I see all of you. And, I see you comparing yourself to what you “once were,” and beating yourself down as you begrudgingly show up to the gym.

I get it. Part of us is embarrassed because we think everyone will see and judge us for not being “as good as we once were.” The other part of us is simply our own ego getting the best of us.

That old saying, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude” is perfectly applicable here!

I can’t change that I had to be on bed rest, that I’m 4-months postpartum, and that I wasn’t cleared to workout again until about two months ago. I CAN change my feelings of insecurity and frustration, though. I can change how I mentally prepare for NorCal Masters. I can choose to focus on the things I CAN do today, and accept the outcomes of this event as they unfold.

And, I can give myself permission to be the person I am now.

Give yourself that permission, too!

Each day, just come as you are, with what you have that day. That IS enough.

Kara PurvesComment
Pro Tip #34

We’d like to share some Pro Tips with y’all from time to time, and hopefully you find at least one of them beneficial.

The #34, by the way, is completely arbitrary, hahaha!

Anyway, here’s one of my most favorite Pro Tips that may help a lot of you in the workouts, and especially in the Open:

When breaking up a unit into smaller sets, make your first set the largest set, then the next set a little smaller, and any other sets following even smaller and smaller.

For example, the workout “Fran” consists of 21-15-9 reps of Thrusters and Pull ups.

So, maybe instead of doing it in repetitive sets, like 7-7-7, 5-5-5, and 3-3-3, try doing them in 10-7-4, 9-4-2, and 5-4. The big psychological aspect of this strategy is that you will be much more likely to rest less and go for it knowing you have a smaller set to complete in front of you. Whereas, knowing you have the same number over and over again, and yet you are getting more tired with each set, can be discouraging and downright frustrating, which then of course leads to longer resting!

It’s all a mind game! ;-)

Here’s another example:

400m Run
30 KBS
15 Box Jumps

Maybe tackle it by doing 15 KBS, then 10 KBS, and then 5. Or, maybe you can do 20 and 10. Or 15, then 9, then 6.

Now… When it’s a WOD like “Murph” where you have 100, 200, and 300 reps, it may actually be better to do consistent sets, like 10 x 10 of the pull ups. Or, maybe apply the same strategy like this: 5 x 10, then 5 x 6, and then 5 x 4 for the pull ups.

Bottom line - Think about your rep scheme and what will get you to move the fastest with the shortest amount of rest. Hope this helps!

Kara PurvesComment
Improvement Imminent




  1. 1.

    about to happen.

    "they were in imminent danger of being swept away"

    synonyms: impending, at hand, close, near, approaching, fast approaching, coming, forthcoming, on the way, about to happen, upon us, in store, in the offing, in the pipeline, on the horizon, in the air, in the wind, brewing, looming, looming large

** Improvement Imminent - Weekly Walkthrough Podcast ** 

If you haven’t heard already, Coach JonMichael and his brother, Coach Philip (Co-Owner of CrossFit CLE) do all of our programming at CrossFit Cadre. Each week, they take the time to meticulously select workouts that provide constantly varied workloads, time domains, and levels of intensities and skills, to help us better perform at LIFE.

This is LIFE Training!

“General Physical Preparedness (GPP)” is the buzzword for it. It’s being able to do everything well enough to get it done. Not necessarily master or be exceptionally great at - That is specializing, and unlike traditional sports and fitness classes we are used to, CrossFit is everything. Literally. Everything fitness.

We strongly encourage all of you to listen each week to Coach JM & Coach Phil’s podcast as they discuss the upcoming week, the workouts, the intentions and focus, and how to best execute each one for yourself in order to achieve self-improvement.

For those of you who have already been listening to the podcasts, there is a bit of a change to their structure. They are going to start to release the podcast in 2 parts to allow them to dive deeper into each days training while also making these more digestible as 3-day segments.

Remember to stop back in on Wednesday morning for Part B!

Check out Part A for this week here:

Kara PurvesComment
Fork It Friday

Happy Fork It Friday! — a punny way to end your week on a high note and learn a little something new from CrossFit Cadre’s very own Coach Alyssa! ;-)

Our first issue will answer a question submitted by Steven. He asks:

“Should you eat enough calories for your resting metabolic rate at the weight you are currently at or the weight you would like to be at?”

This is a great question—and is a great place for me to include my shameless plug of why working with me is so awesome and beneficial. I take the guess work out of the “Fitness + Nutrition = Your Best You” equation.  

Often times when you are first embarking on your quest for a sustainable lifestyle, you can feel overwhelmed incredibly fast. There are so many things you are looking to change at once that before you know it, there is too much to keep track of. You are beyond hungry because you forgot to eat, and now you find yourself eating an entire bag of Doritos with a jar of peanut butter in a single sitting to cope with your emotions.

By working with me, all you have to do is tell me what your goals are, and we come up with a realistic, systematic, personalized plan of action TOGETHER, that is specific to YOU and your stage of life. There is strength in numbers and teamwork makes the dream work! END PLUG.

With that being said, as it is possible to over-eat, it is also possible to under-eat. Steven asks a great question, and the super simple answer is “when trying to lose weight, eat less calories than your body needs to maintain your current weight (resting metabolic rate).”  

However the-once-so-simple-answer is a thing of the past. As more research is published and health, wellness, and nutrition are a known necessity to your quality of life, it is important to realize there is more to being healthy then just eating for calories. It is more about the TYPES of foods you are eating—or should be eating.

These foods include meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar.

Before focusing on quantity, first start with quality.

If you would like more information for your goals specifically, schedule an appointment with me! You can email me at

PLEASE NOTE: Under eating is as serious of an issue as using incorrect form on a Deadlift: it is dangerous and you could seriously hurt yourself. If you are new to making a lifestyle change, I highly encourage you to work with me (or another trusted trained professional in health, fitness & nutrition).

Just as you wouldn’t try to figure out how to fix your transmission on your own, so too should you not try to fix your nutrition without some form of professional help. Whether it be with a dietitian, your primary doctor, nutrition coach, etc. The added bonus to working with me (or other professional) is the face-to-face interactions, strong rapport, and consistent accountability and support.

Nutrition is SOOO much more challenging and convoluted compared to anything we do in the gym. That saying, “Abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym,” is so true! You can’t outrun a poor diet. Let’s get together and figure it out!

Kara PurvesComment
Three Little Words That Changed ALL Of My Workouts (And My Life)

I am sure many of you have heard it before—the whole "I get to" versus "I have to" perspective. When I used to own a CrossFit gym, I relied on this mindset often. Because I feel like we tend to take our lives for granted—without even meaning to.

The most common complaint at the gym was always, "I have to workout… I have to do thrusters… I have to do burpees…"

But when we start any sentence with, "I have to…" it's pretty much a guaranteed suck-fest. And we lose out on what we have to gain in the situation. What we can learn. How we can grow and progress through it. How we can be a better version of ourselves.

Last year, I was humbly reminded of this perspective shift when we went to Disney World with our two girls. Our oldest was six, and our youngest was two. As every family who has braved Disney can relate, we had meltdowns and hissy fits galore. But we also had a ton of awesome moments!

There was one moment in particular, though.

We were waiting in line to meet Buzz Lightyear to get his autograph. My oldest had an autograph book and wanted to meet every character possible. So, we stood in line for about 30 minutes, which in a child's world, is like a billion and ten.

I was also about 4-months pregnant with our third girl. The combination of my pregnancy, my oldest's hyperactivity, and my youngest's whiny, needy stage—created a vortex of frustration for me.

I was tired, bloated, sweaty, and downright irritated.

I kept sighing heavily and rolling my eyes.

HAVE TO stand in this stupid line and wait for Buzz Lightyear.

HAVE TO pick up my youngest for the millionth time just to keep her quiet.

HAVE TO be here in this hot weather, sweaty and miserable.

I was being a Negative Nancy.

I fully admit it. And then, FINALLY, we were next in line. Oh, sweet relief!

But, wait. What was this?! Someone is cutting in front of us?! What the heck?!?! Seriously?!

An employee came up to me and said, "Excuse me, ma'am, but we have a family here with the Make a Wish Foundation. Would it be alright if their daughter went before you guys? You'll be right after them."

It took me a second to register what she was saying because I had to put my bad attitude aside and realize what was going on. I agreed, of course, and allowed the family to go in front of us.

And then, I watched the family.

The little girl was probably about 9 or 10 years old, and she danced around Buzz with her younger brother. The sheer excitement in her face was infectious to watch. Buzz spent a solid 10 minutes goofing off with them and making the girl laugh.

I watched her mother as she mentally recorded this moment in her heart. Tears streaming down her face. The grandparents were there, too, and they shared in the bittersweet moment.

I can only imagine as a mother myself that she was probably thinking something like, "I'll never get to do this with her ever again. I want to remember this forever. Her laugh. Her smile. This moment where she's not in any pain, and not thinking about the inevitable. She gets a whole day to be a kid and not a patient. I love her so much."

I suddenly realized that I was crying, too, because my oldest asked me what was wrong with my eyes.

I shook my finger at myself. While, yes—we are all human and we can't live life in fear of death at all times, but we can choose gratitude at any time.

I had forgotten in a classic parental moment of frustration that I GET TO bring my kids to Disney World, I GET TO wait in line for Buzz and then watch my daughter's eyes light up as she meets him, and I GET TO bring them back here again and again and again and again.

GET TO sleep soundly at night knowing my kids are healthy and safe.

GET TO hold my youngest for the millionth time, and I know that there will be millions more ahead.

GET TO remind and discipline my oldest time and time again and teach her how to be a good person as she gets older. I GET TO watch her grow old.

GET TO enjoy a week in Disney World with my girls and then go home and continue life with them as normal. 

No hospital visits await us. 

No medications. No side effects.

No chemo-treatments. 

No Hospice. 

No conversations with my daughter about what Heaven might be like.

This simple change in sentence structure can rewire everything. Try it next time you're dragging your feet through the mud.

I GET TO go to work today. I GET TO sit in traffic and listen to a podcast I GET TO work a double shift and get paid overtime. I GET TO go to the grocery store and buy anything I want for my family. I GET TO walk my dog. I GET TO wake up at 4:30 am to workout at 5 am. I GET TO make choices for myself. I GET TO meal prep and plan, and not wonder where my next meal will come from. I GET TO do today’s workout with movements I hate, because my body is fully functional. I GET TO change this poopy diaper, because my baby is healthy and well-nourished. I GET TO scale this workout so that I can work on improving myself. I GET TO modify the workout because even though my arm is broken, the rest of my body works, and my coaches are awesome. I GET TO live another day.

Choose gratitude.

Being a mother has taught me so much about gratitude and grace. While I try to be the best parent I can be for them, they are in turn teaching me how to be a better person each and every day of my life, and what a privilege that is!

Kara PurvesComment
Cadre Picture Day!

Professional Photographer, Alex Freeman, will be at CrossFit Cadre on Saturday, February 2nd from 10:00am - 1:00pm.

There are only twelve (12) 10-min photo shoot sessions available, so sign-up ASAP!

To schedule your 10-min session with Alex:

Please contact him via email at


Call or text him at (330) 790-7896

Sign-up fee is only $40 + Digital Files (prices vary $25-125)

Check out his amazing work at -

This is an amazing opportunity to get athletic, professional photographs of yourself for personal use and memories. We’d also love to be able to use them to update our website, up our social media game, and share our wonderful commUNITY with the world in beautiful photography!


Kara Purves Comment

“The only constant in life is change.”

“You could not step twice into the same river.”

Life is full of challenges, highs and lows, and constant changes, even itty bitty ones that we may not even notice as the seconds roll by. We are constantly changing… Aging. And, things are always happening to us, whether it’s a change in the climate, an unexpected appearance at our doorstep, a late package, traffic jam, or a baby spitting up on our new blouse.

Life is happening to us. All. The. Time.

Change affects us all on a daily basis, and we all deal with it in different ways. Sometimes, we resist change, while others time we welcome it, while still others times we simply ignore it. Regardless of how we deal with it, though, change is still happening. Life moves on with or without us. The big question is, where will you be?!

In my very short 38 years of life, I have come to the conclusion that there really are only TWO things we can all be certain of in life:

  1. We will die.

  2. Change will occur today.

Now, the most powerful realization any one of us can have is that the circumstances and changes themselves DO NOT dictate how our lives will go, but rather, HOW WE REACT & ACT to them will. Our feelings and behaviors dictate each of us.

Over the weekend, we moved the rig around in the main room. We also set up the bikes, rowers, and Ski Ergs differently. The entire layout of the gym is different. Why? Not because we had to, the old layout was fine. Not because people requested it. Not because it’s more efficient or a better flow. Nope.

The one and only reason we changed it was quite simply to change it.

You see, we are not here to just open the door, turn up the music, and cheer you on for 10 minutes in the workout. We are here to keep all of you young in body, mind, and spirit. Everything we do is done to help you learn, grow, evolve, progress, and question things.

Every action we take is to provoke you to move forward.

We never want to become complacent, comfortable, set in our ways, or even creatures of habit. Routine and conformity are the death of life. True aging is when we stop playing, learning, and growing. When we stop allowing change to happen.

So, embrace the suck, but even more so, embrace change.

Fitness is a journey. Life is a journey. The one and only destination is death itself. So, until we reach that destination, let’s keep building sand castles that get knocked over by the ocean, and instead of getting mad at the water, hop in and ride the wave! :-)

Kara PurvesComment
Fork It Friday

Make sure you read that title correctly… Haha! ;-)

Coach Alyssa will be doing a Nutrition Blog every Friday to share helpful tips, tricks, recipes, prep ideas, information, resources, and anything else about nutrition!

If you have any topics you’d like her to cover in her nutrition blogs, please let her know in the gym, or email her at We are always here to help, and we want to answer your burning questions, so please let us know how we can help you!

We look forward to our new “Fork It Friday” blogs!

May the fork be with you! ;-)

Kara PurvesComment
The Evolution of CrossFit

For those of you who may not know, CrossFit is still a very “new sport” in the world. It was back in 1995 when Greg Glassman started the first gym in Santa Cruz, CA, and then created the actually business of “CrossFit” in 2000.

To put things in more perspective, the sport of Basketball was invented way back in 1891. It wasn’t until 1946 that the NBA (National Basketball Association) was established, which is 55 years after the first version of basketball was created. And, it’s obviously evolved since then.

It’s taken 128 years for basketball to reach the point it’s at today. Next time you’re sitting on the toilet, or can’t sleep one night and are just lying around in bed, look up the history and evolution of basketball.

It’s pretty interesting, and a great reminder to all of us that we are not exceptional in our time - The same way we look down on history and love to feel advanced and superior, our ancestors were doing the exact same thing during their time. And, our great grandkids will criticize us, too, someday. So, let’s get over ourselves, and just appreciate humankind for what it is.

CrossFit has only been around for barely 19 years, and as many of you who follow the Games are seeing, the sport of competition itself is still be molded. We are in the midst of a creation, and it probably won’t be for another 20 years until the sport of CrossFit is actually settled and established.

A positive way to look at it is - We get to be a part of CrossFit history! I get to tell my grandkids and great grandkids about the weekend I competed in the first CrossFit Sectionals competition in San Jose, before the Open and Regionals were even thought of.

Now, the other part of CrossFit you may not know is that it was never intended to be a competitive sport. Glassman created it to train his clients for life. Yes, it is a life-training program! It was designed to help anyone, at any stage of life, at any level of ability to get fit, and then to transfer that fitness into everyday life.

Just like anything new and exciting, though, when CrossFit became popular it exploded like wildfire, and we just couldn’t keep up. Gyms were opening up faster than Starbucks, and naturally the elites in the community created competition.

Now, the unique thing about trying to make CrossFit a “sport” is that because it is originally intended to train all 10 areas of fitness, there is a much larger learning curve. It is not specialized like all the other sports of the world. Basketball focuses on accuracy and agility. Marathon is an endurance sport. Olympic Weightlifting is strength and power. Gymnastics is balance and flexibility. These sports allow athletes to train and focus on specific areas of fitness so that they can truly master them.

CrossFit, however, does not necessarily allow for mastery, but more so a general knowledge and ability to do it well enough. You can imagine the monumental training program a CrossFit competitor must endure to get good enough at ALL 10 areas of fitness. They are literally training 6-10 hours a day!

Those of you who grew up playing sports understand the frustrations of learning CrossFit. Because we grew up learning and mastering specific skills, we are used to a much smaller learning curve. We are also used to being really good at it.

When we started CrossFit, though, we quickly realized how many holes we had in our overall fitness, and grew impatient with the ginormous learning curve. It’s why so many new CrossFitters jump into “Rx” too soon too fast. It’s why so many CrossFitters get injured and sidelined. We treat CrossFit like a sport, like any other sport, and it’s NOT.

It’s NOT like anything we’ve ever encountered. And even us coaches are still learning and evolving in how we program, scale, and train our athletes in CrossFit. Glassman himself, the Father of CrossFit, has fully admitted that he wishes he never taught the kipping pull up, and he now pushes for strict gymnastics FIRST.

We are still learning. Evolving.

So, just keep the big picture alive. Sometimes the blinders can give us tunnel vision, and we can lose sight of the overall mission, which is to get fitter and a little bit better each day. :-)

We are training for life. None of us are going to the CrossFit Games (sorry!). So, while a little friendly competition and push outside our comfort zones are great, always remember the bigger picture here.

CrossFit is still just a “pre-teen” in its life, and we get to help raise it.

In the wise words of Pat Sherwood,

“The goal is to get fit, make it the best hour of your day, stay safe, turn up the music, high five some people, and blow off some steam. So remember that. Relax. Have fun. Workout.”

Kara Purves Comment
Books to Read in 2019

I love to read books.

And, I don’t mean on a Kindle or iPad. I mean a good ol’ fashion book made of paper and ink! There is actually a difference in how it effects the brain and our moods when we read a real book, versus reading from a techy-device.

It’s important for us to workout our brains just as much as we do our muscles in the gym!

Pick up a real book, and check out these titles when you get a chance this year:

“The Obstacle is the Way” by Ryan Holiday

“The Ego is the Enemy” by Ryan Holiday

“The Energy Bus” by Jon Gordon

“Monday Morning Leadership” by David Cottrell

“How to Win Friends & Influence People” by Dale Carnegie

“To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee

“Tuesdays with Morrie” by Mitch Albom

“Matilda” by Roald Dahl

“Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck

“Life of Pi” by Yann Martel

“The Glass Castle” by Jeanette Walls

“Chasing Excellence” by Ben Bergeron

“Speal: A David & Goliath Story” by Chris Spealler

“The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***” by Mark Manson

“Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff: And It’s All Small Stuff” by Richard Carlson

“Girl Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis

“The Five People You Meet in Heaven” by Mitch Albom


We’d love to hear your recommendations, too! :-)

Kara PurvesComment
Gym Etiquette 101

Now that we have officially started the new year, let’s revisit some basic, but very important guidelines and expectations at CrossFit Cadre:

1) Do YOUR Best. Leave your ego at the door. Don’t compare yourself, or anyone else. We are all on our own journeys, and we all fight battles daily that we know nothing about. Focus on YOU and YOUR progress. YOUR growth. YOUR development. YOUR efforts. We are all here to be the best versions of ourselves!

2) Let the coaches do all of the coaching. We have a very big and supportive community, and this is an incredible blessing. We have so many members who want to help each other, and we appreciate all the love and encouragement out there! However, we do kindly ask that you leave any and all coaching to the professionals. While your intentions are wonderful and pure gold, you just don’t know the clients the way we do. And, the cue we use for you is not the same cue we would use for Johnny or Sally, because they are not the same person on the same journey as you. Too many cooks in the kitchen can cause a fire. And, well-intended cues could accidentally get someone hurt. Please just leave the coaching to us, and cheer and support each other like crazy! ;-)

3) Clean up your equipment and DNA. Whatever piece(s) of equipment you use, whether before, during, or after class, please put it back where it belongs, unless otherwise instructed by a coach. And, please, for the safety and sanitation of the gym and community, CLEAN UP YOUR DNA if you happen to accidentally sweat, bleed, spit, or vomit on anything (including the floor), or any other bodily fluids. Thank you!

4) Introduce yourself to new faces, and pay it forward. As new members appear in class, please reach out a friendly hand and introduce yourself. We were all once new ourselves, and one of the biggest struggles in health and fitness is STARTING. Offering a friendly hand and smile can make a huge difference in the failure or success of a new member. And, help ‘em out with the gym - Show them where things are, where things go, and what our culture is all about at Cadre.

5) Cheer each other on, finish together, and wait until the last person is done to clean up. We are a COMMUNITY, and we start and finish together. No man left behind. If you are one of the first ones done, catch your breath, and then go back for you team. Cheer them on, count them down in their last round, do the last 10 burpees WITH them, and otherwise show them that you are there until the end with them. Once the last member has finished the WOD, then that is when we can start cleaning up and clearing the floor.

6) Pay attention and listen when the coach is instructing. Basic good manners. We want to help you learn and grow, while also prevent injury and unnecessary questions later on. Please just make it an automatic response to look at the coach and listen attentively any and all times the coach starts talking. Thank you!

7) Save the conversations for before and after the workout, and maybe even during warm up, but definitely NOT during the workout itself! C’mon…If you’re talking during the WOD, then you’re not even trying.

8) Be considerate of the next class. If you’re talking to a few buddies and having a good laugh, then great. Just please do not do it right next to class in session and be distracting. The North Side is a wonderful place to hang out and do extra work, too.

9) Be aware of your surroundings and others, and do NOT ghost-ride your barbell. Duuude, don’t be “that guy.” During the workout make sure that you have your own personal space, like an invisible square. Be mindful of how and where you use your equipment, too. For example, never swing your KB while facing another person - Always face a wall or other inanimate object, because if, heaven forbid, the KB slipped out of your hands, you’d only crack the wall, versus crack someone’s skull. And, “ghost-riding” a barbell means dropping it from overhead, and letting it bounce all over the place, and ricochet into you or someone nearby. Plus, they destroy the plates quickly, especially the 10’s - Please, SAVE THE 10’s!!! There is no need to dump the barbell unless it is a 1RM or super heavy. Please, have control of yourself and the barbell.

10) Be on time. My mother used to always tell me, “If you’re 15 minutes early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, then you’re late. And, if you’re late, then you’re an a**hole.” Now, obviously, there are exceptions, and we totally understand the rare and occasional tardy. We’re talking about the frequent offenders with no just-cause. Respect everyone’s time - Yours, the coaches, and the classmates. And, if you do have to show up tardy, please just join class seamlessly. No need to make a scene or cause distraction. Blend in and we’re happy to see you!

11) A little bit goes a long way with chalk. Rub a little bit on your palms inside of the bucket, and try to keep as much of it in the bucket. While clapping your hands and making dust clouds is super cool and dramatic for a movie, it’s really annoying and messy in reality. Plus, we breathe that air! And, really and truly, you only need a little bit, not a thick layer of frosting, for it to work.

12) Don’t just talk about gym etiquette and how to be a good person - BE ONE! Live it, breathe it, model it, show it, own it. It is all of our jobs individually to create our Cadre culture together. We have to build it, nurture it, and maintain it.

13) Help us help you! If you don’t tell us about a nagging shoulder pain, or a recent bike accident, or your newly diagnosed Diabetes, or raging time of the month, or even about your fitness goals, your fear of heavy weights, your desire to learn pull ups, etc - If you don’t tell us, we can’t help you! We are not mind-readers, and we are also not here to judge you. We are here to help. Talk to us! No matter how silly or insignificant or embarrassing it may seem to you. We want to know!

14) Communicate. Ask meaningful questions. Offer thoughtful suggestions and solutions. Please do not complain about something without a thoughtful solution or willingness to talk it out with us. If there is a problem, go directly to the source! Face-to-face. Don’t just gossip about it in class. No drama. We are available and always willing to listen and discuss. A lot of problems would disappear and otherwise be avoided if we talk TO each other, instead of about each other!

15) Have FUN, and don’t sweat the small stuff. Your “Fran” time and 1RM Snatch do NOT define you, nor are they that important in the grand scheme of things. In end, we are going to die - So, what is most important to you?! Not how reps you got in “Fight Gone Bad.” Don’t take yourself and your workouts too seriously. Remember that we are here to get fit, blow off some steam, be a little bit better than yesterday, and enjoy life before our number is called. :-)

Kara PurvesComment
How a Wedding Dress Changed It All

Take a wild guess as to what the #1 resolution every new year is. Just one guess. I bet you could get it without having to think about it for very long.

Yep - To lose weight.

Now, this is a concept that has been popular for, well, gosh, way too long! It’s a very well-intended fitness goal, and I totally get it, as I have fluctuated with weight myself.

The major problem we see in the health & fitness industry, though, is that weight loss is a multi-BILLION dollar money-maker filled with empty promises and unsafe methods. What’s worse, all of the schemes and gimmicks have only short-term results, meaning, once you’re done with the product or service, you’ll end up returning right back to where you started from. And, that, my friends, is why they keep making money year after year after year - They are profiting from our insecurities.

I’ll confess that I, too, fell into the traps of weight loss schemes - I tried Slim-Fast, I took Hydroxycut, I tried the Green Tea Diet, the South Beach Diet, Strict Paleo, I also took Stack’d, I’ve done cleanses and fasts, and I’ve even tried a severely low caloric intake. Ugh! I’ve tried all the classes, all the personal trainers, all of the extreme sports and activities. I’ve done long distance triathlons and running events. I’ve done the 4-5 hours a day in the gym thing.

Now… Listen, and listen well…

I found CrossFit in the beginning of 2009. My husband, Spencer, and I got engaged in February 2009. I said yes to the dress in April, and at that time weighed about 136, which is my “normal weight.” We did CrossFit 4-5 days a week, dabbled in the Paleo diet, and I just focused on learning all of the new movements and trying to get my first pull up.

Then… In August, I went in for my final dress fitting (our wedding was in October). My seamstress was visibly disturbed, and I thought maybe I had the wrong dress on because it did not fit me at all. In fact, it was way too big. The seamstress said, “Did you lose a lot of weight?!” I shook my head and explained that I weighed THE EXACT SAME as I did in April when I first got the dress. She looked annoyed at me in disbelief. As she pinned my dress, she said that it may not be possible to alter it due to the special sequins-design.

My dress had to be brought down TWO DRESS SIZES. And yet, I literally weighed the same 136 pounds.

In the end, it all worked out, and our wedding was amazing, as well as my dress. But, it was at this very pivotal moment in my life that I finally realized that weight is just a number on the scale.

I realized that when we focus on the important things, like nutrition and performance, then everything else will fall into place naturally.

For the first time in my life as I was genuinely working hard on my eating habits and CrossFit, I unknowingly improved my aesthetics and my body changed shape to reflect my actions.

So, the bottom line is this - FOCUS ON PERFORMANCE. Focus on doing the movements correctly, scaling the workouts appropriately for yourself to meet your needs and abilities, and eating and drinking for nourishment, recovery, and performance. Focus on quality training and nutrition.

Throw away the damn scale. In fact, throw away the whole idea of “I want to lose 20-30 pounds” all together!

Instead, let’s focus on, “I want to increase my muscle mass by 5 pounds, I want to increase my Clean & Jerk 1RM by 5-10%, I want to improve my mobility and flexibility, I want to learn 20 new Paleo recipes this year, I want to achieve my first strict pull up, I want to run my first half marathon, I want to love myself more…”

We need to re-train our thinking patterns. We need to shift focus from the empty numbers on the scale, to the much more meaningful numbers on the barbell, the body fat test, the whiteboard, as well as our own internal scale of happiness and well-being.

Let’s make 2019 not only the year of new health & fitness goals, but also the year of NEW THINKING! ;-)

Kara PurvesComment
Reflecting on 2018

Before setting your 2019 goals, I’d like to throw out an idea for you to consider.

What were your 2018 goals?

Which ones did you accomplish? And, by the way, awesome job! ;-)

Now, which ones did you fail at or completely miss all together? We need to dig a bit right here. I know it’s uncomfortable, and maybe even downright disturbing. However, in order for 2019 to be better, we need to know WHERE and WHY we missed some marks in 2018.

Our jobs will still be stressful, our families will still need us at all hours of the day and night, the snow will still be frigid, the skies still gray, the summer will still be humid, traffic will still suck, and setbacks and unexpected twists and turns will still arise at the seemingly most inconvenient times ever.

Excuses will ALWAYS be there.

And, most of our “reasons” are actually just excuses. I know that sounds harsh, and even I take slight offense at my own words, but admittedly, I also know that when push comes to shove, when I really and truly want something, I MAKE IT HAPPEN, regardless of anything life throws at me.

“If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.”

Now, this does NOT mean we suck at being awesome people. Maybe we’re just picking the wrong goals, or going about it wrong, or just have different priorities. Maybe it’s just a goal you THINK you’re supposed to have because everyone else does. Maybe you’re just trying to live up to other people’s expectations, rather than your own. Or, maybe you don’t have the right support and resources.

Whatever it is… We need to figure it out so that we can do better in 2019, and beyond!

Here’s some other ideas to consider…

  • Drop the timelines and deadlines, and just do the work towards your goal, and let it happen when it’s supposed to. Trying to force yourself to lose 30 pounds in 30 days is not only stressful, but it’s actually unrealistic, unsafe, unhealthy, and unsustainable.

  • Drop the all or nothing, no pain, no gain mentality. All that stuff is garbage, and just fitness marketing brainwashing mumbo jumbo!

  • Stop looking at those Instagram transformation stories and pictures. Most of them are lies, and the ones that are real, you have absolutely no idea how hard and how long they worked behind the scenes! Plus, those transformation stories only show the aesthetics. How about the transformation of the person’s soul?! Personal growth?! Mental health?!

  • Stop trying to make someone else’s goals your goals. You are not Johnny or Susie. You are you! And just as Dr. Suess himself said, “You are you. There is no one alive youer than you!”

  • Stop trying to live up to the expectations of others (or what you think others expect of you). Sometimes the realities we see need to be re-focused, shifted. If you constantly think you’re disappointing others, maybe it’s time to evaluate where that is coming from, and then how to shift that reality into a healthier viewpoint.

  • Stop jumping from training plan to training plan, coach to coach, diet fad to diet fad, gym to gym, lifestyle to lifestyle. If you’re a “hopper,” it’s time to evaluate why, and then find a place to stick to for lasting results.

  • Stop doing 6-week challenges. While very well-intended, and in rare situations they can help someone jump start a healthy lifestyle, overall they are not sustainable, nor do they address your real issues. Challenges have a deceptive way of making us feel like we are changing and improving ourselves, when really we’re just distracting ourselves for 6-weeks.

Here’s what we could try to do instead…

  • See a therapist/counselor regularly. I say this, and I can feel a lot of you cringing at that word - “therapist.” The truth is - We are ALL crazy and broken human beings. And, that’s okay. But, we need to create a better culture around mental health, and finally make therapy a normal part of life. I’ll start - I see a therapist at least 2-3 days a month. There were times I was going 3 days a week, and then other times just once a month. It just depends on the stage of life I am in. Currently, I have a mild case of postpartum depression, and I am strong enough to admit it and seek help, both professionally and from my amazing husband and supportive family. Mental health is imperative. In my humble opinion, it’s THE most important part of ourselves to work on, exercise, practice, nurture, and maintain. And, you don’t have to be depressed or have “something wrong with you” to see a therapist. Even when I am at my best, I still see my therapist at least once a month for maintenance. Lastly, just as you shop around for the right pair of CrossFit shoes and Dentist, you need to shop around for the right therapist for you. I’ve had to test drive a few myself before finding the right one for me.

  • Surround yourself with awesome people with similar goals. Yes, you CAN choose your family and friends, as hard as it can be sometimes to say no to them. If your goals are really, truly important to you, though, you HAVE to have the right circle of people in your life to support, encourage, and sustain that life you want to live! Unfortunately, sometimes we out-grow people in our lives, even family members or long-time best friends. Remember, you are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with, so choose wisely!

  • Learn to love yourself more. Seems simple, but it’s actually one of the hardest things you’ll learn to do in your lifetime. And, I’m not talking about being selfish or narcissistic. I’m talking about learning to say no without explanation or apology, eating healthy, getting enough sleep, making time for yourself to workout, surrounding yourself to people who love and respect you, not worrying about other’s opinions of you, not trying to please others, reading more books, traveling, keeping a gratitude journal, and doing things that nourish your body, mind, and soul.

Here’s to a better you!

Happy New Year, my friends!

Kara PurvesComment
New Year's Eve & Helpful Tips

Important Reminder for tomorrow

Monday, December 31st

8:30 & 9:30am Classes only

We will be CLOSED the rest of the day!

We hope y’all have a wonderful night of celebration as we prepare to ring in the new year. Whether you’re out in the big city, over at a friend or family’s house, living it up penthouse suite style, watching the Big Apple fall, or spending a quiet night at home (and maybe even just going to bed at a reasonable hour), we hope you are happy and safe! :-)

Also, here are a few helpful tips on staying on track with your health & fitness goals, but also allowing yourself to celebrate and enjoy life:

1) Eat a healthy dinner BEFORE going out to the party and drinking. This can help prevent over-indulging and over-drinking

2) Alternate drinks between a glass of water and a glass of whatever indulgence you desire. This can help keep you hydrated, as well as possibly prevent too much drinking, aaand may even prevent a hangover the next day!

3) Snack throughout the party, especially if you are drinking. Most, if not all, problems arise from too much drinking with very little to no food in the tummy!

4) Set up your bed BEFORE going out, so then when you get home it’ll be like mommy is taking care of you. Have pajamas or sweats laid out, bed set to climb into, and maybe even leave a can of Sprite or ginger ale next to your bed and drink it before you go to sleep. Also, leave a bottle of water next to your bed, because you’ll definitely want that in the morning! You may even want to leave some Saltine crackers or graham crackers next to your bed.

5) Have a safe plan of getting home BEFORE you start drinking. Is someone going to be the designated driver? And, if they end up drinking, then what is Plan B?! Uber? Friend or family? HAVE A PLAN, as well as a back up plan!

6) Avoid taking Tylenol or aspirin, as they can add to the stress of your already overworked liver.

7) If you have any pets, be sure they are in a safe place if there are any fireworks near you.

8) If you’re staying at a hotel, take a picture of your room number on your smartphone, and drop a pin on your phone’s map. Better safe than sorry, and you just never know how you’re going to be after partying.

9) Be smart with your drinking cups, and NEVER LEAVE THEM UNATTENDED, especially in bars and unfamiliar places. If you do leave a cup somewhere for a period of time, just get a new drink! Be smart. Be safe.

10) Stick together. Especially when leaving the party, have a buddy to go home with, walk together in the parking lot, etc.

Kara PurvesComment
New Year's Schedule

Just a friendly reminder of our New Year’s Schedule for next week:

MONDAY, December 31st

8:30 & 9:30am Classes only

We will be closed the rest of the day for New Year’s Eve.

Please be safe out there, make sure you have a DD or other way of getting home if you’re “celebrating” hard that night, and PARTY THE NIGHT AWAY!!! ;-)

TUESDAY, January 1st

We will be CLOSED in observance of the New Year!

While the date on our checks and exam papers change, our mission to be awesome continues.

WEDNESDAY, January 2nd

Back to our normal class schedule (and our normal lives again).

Kara PurvesComment
Simple Changes for BIG Results

We do a lot of things without realizing it, or even knowing WHY we do what we do. Many of our habits are from our family growing up. Other habits form through the company we keep. And then other habits appear from our own internal beliefs about ourselves and our reality.

The great thing is - You have 100% control over yourself. Not the outside world, but yourself. Your thoughts, feelings, reactions, actions, etc. What you do, say, think, and believe. You can change it any time.

There are a lot of small habits we can easily change, and get big results from.

Transformations don’t always have to be grand, jaw-dropping, life-changing, Instagram-famous posts. In fact, most of the long-lasting and truly life-changing ones are actually small, tiny acts.

Here are some examples:

1) Instead of using that same dinner plate you’ve had for 10 years, pull out the salad plate. Our eyes get tricked when we use a large plate, and we subconsciously fill it and eat too much. Portion control is a HUGE issue for most of us, and most of us don’t even know it (until now, maybe).

2) Wake up 10 minutes earlier than you normally do, and use that 10 minutes for some kind of self-care. Write in a gratitude journal, read the newspaper or a short chapter in a new book (DO NOT read or look at your smartphone, though!), stretch, do some Yoga, or even a small set of push ups or air squats just to get the blood flowing, brew some fresh coffee and drink it while watching the sunrise, etc.

3) Only grocery shop around the perimeter of the store. The aisles are where all of our problems lie - processed, artificial, substitutions, chemically created, preserved, and otherwise fake foods. The crap is in the aisles. All of the real food in around the perimeter of the grocery store - meats, fruits, veggies, etc.

4) Never grocery shop when you’re hungry and/or tired, angry, or any other negative emotion. And, always go with a list.

5) Make sure all of your lights are turned off in your bedroom when you sleep. Even your phone, watch, etc. Absolutely no lights whatsoever.

6) Start to unwind and unplug about 30 minutes before your bedtime. Brush your teeth, change into pajamas, write in your journal, read a book, etc. NO smartphone!

7) Place your alarm clock away from your bed so that when it goes off, you HAVE to get out of bed to turn it off.

8) When you think you’re hungry, are tempted for more, or craving something sweet or otherwise unhealthy, drink an entire glass of water. If you’re still hungry afterwards, then find something nourishing, but more times than not, when we crave, our body is actually just dehydrated.

9) Do your hardest task of the day FIRST (if and when possible, anyway). We are most alert, refreshed, and able to conquer monumental tasks in the first half of the day. After lunch, we get that “afternoon fog,” and by nightfall most of us are burnt out.

10) Ask for help. Accept other people’s help. And, offer help. Remember, we are all in this together, and it works a heck of a lot better when we can all do our part.

What are some other things you’d add to this list? I’d love to hear what small, simple changes you’ve made in your life that added up to big results. It just might help someone else out there! ;-)

Kara PurvesComment
New Year, BETTER You

As the new year hastily approaches us, I would like to put a new spin on the whole “New Year’s Resolution” and “New Year, New Me” mentality…

Just call me “DJ Coach K” — I’m ‘bout to remix this business! ;-)

Statistically, over 80% of our new year’s resolution fail by February. And, the number one resolution is (surprise, surprise) Fitness. In peeling the layers of an onion, in my humble opinion, I believe that we all have best intentions while creating our resolutions. Of course we want to better ourselves. We want to change. We want growth. That’s why we’re making the jump in the first place.

However, the mistakes we are commonly (and often, unknowingly) making include:

  • Unrealistic time frames (“I want to lose 50 pounds in one month”)

  • Undefined and unclear action plans / steps towards the end goal

  • Lack of measurable results to track progress

  • Unrealistic expectations of the journey ahead (“I didn’t realize how hard this was going to be!”)

  • Trying to become a whole new person / someone else

  • Worrying about what others think of us and our progress, or lack of progress

  • Posting too much on social media, and not enough actual work

  • Getting too easily discouraged at every bump and detour in the road (even though they are completely normal, inevitable, and very much a part of the journey)

So, here’s my remix on the new year’s resolution…

Instead of trying to wipe your slate clean (because it’ll never get spotless, my friend) and starting anew, and rather than trying to re-create yourself - Accept, embrace, and even find gratitude in yourself and your journey thus far.

You see, the thing is, we’ve taught each other shame, embarrassment, and even hate for the negative parts of our lives and ourselves. We’ve learned from each other that making mistakes, especially big ones, is very bad and we should hide them. We’ve made each other believe that the ugly parts of life shouldn’t happen, and if they do, then we have to suffer in silence because no one else wants to deal with it. We think that the tough times are unique to us. We think we are alone. We try to run and hide, cover up, throw away, and even flat out deny the sh** that happens. We’ve knitted this dysfunctional web, and it’s why the health & fitness industry is so broken. We need to finally break the cycle and cut the threads that stick us to these lies and manipulations.

Life IS messy.

We ALL f*** up. Yes, all of us. Even the ones who we hold up on a pedestal and only see their highlighted reels. One of my most favorite lines my mother used to always tell me was, “Remember that even they get diarrhea! So, the next time you think they are so much better than you, just imagine him/her on the toilet farting and exploding.” Haha, it never fails! ;-)

I’ve mentioned before how I went “fitness crazy” in college because I was trying to “run away from my problems,” and it never seemed to work. I had to finally work on the inside, and then the outside followed. You see, my point in all this is — Rather than making another unfulfilling new year’s resolution and trying to re-create yourself for the ump-teenth time, face your demons, embrace your past, acknowledge who you are right now, in this very moment, and then strive to be a little bit better each day.

We NEED those mistakes, f*** ups, messes, roadblocks, bumps, hurricanes, heartbreaks, setbacks, and sh**shows, because without them we wouldn’t know progress, growth, improvement, education, resilience, perseverance, and gratitude.

All the parts of you - The good, the bad, and the ugly - Are what make you YOU!

And, instead of waiting until New Year’s Day, start now. Right here. Right now. Remember that time is simply a man-made concept, and we give waaaaay too much power and control to time. But, we also take it for granted and waste a bunch of it. Try to think of time as money, and invest and spend it wisely!

So, while another year approaches us, consider redefining this time of the year. New year, new number to write on your checks and exam papers, but the same continual journey for personal growth and progress.

New year. Better you, even with a few hiccups along the way.

Life is a journey, not a destination. You don’t need a new you - You need a new perspective, a new mindset, and a new love and appreciation for yourself.

It starts and ends with you. Inside first. The rest will follow, I promise. :-)

Happy Life Training, my friends.

Monday, Dec 31st (New Year’s Eve)

8:30 & 9:30am Classes Only

Tuesday, Jan 1st (New Year’s Day)


Kara PurvesComment
Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Program

We hope you and yours had a wonderful and blessed holiday, and we look forward to seeing y’all tomorrow and hearing all about your festivities and memories (And, seeing what sweet new CrossFit gear Santa brought you).

We will be back to our regular class schedule tomorrow, Wednesday, Dec 26th, so we’ll see all of you “favame” peeps, and the rest of the crew throughout the day. ;-)

Kara PurvesComment
Happy Everything to You

One of my most favorite quotes of all time during the holiday season is,

“If you are Jewish, tell me ‘Happy Hanukkah.’ If you are Christian, tell me ‘Merry Christmas.’ If you are African-American, tell me 'Joyous Kwanzaa.’ If you prefer none of those, tell me ‘Happy Holidays.’ I will not be offended, but rather I will be thankful that you took the time to say something nice to me.”

So, whoever you are, wherever you may be, and whichever holiday you observe, we wish you and yours a joyous and blessed holiday, and we thank you for being a part of our Cadre CommUNITY!!!

And, speaking of community and religions… I was thinking today how many of us joke about, while others criticize CrossFit being a “cult” or very “religious.”

While some may take offense to this, I actually take this as a compliment, and even with great pride. Sure, there are those extremes out there in the world, but, for the most part, CrossFit is a pretty amazing community of people wanting to better themselves, not only physically, but mentally and spiritually.

We’ve taken the health & fitness industry by storm, and are starting to redefine what REAL health and fitness are - Body, mind, AND soul. It’s the whole package. It’s a lifestyle.

Aaaaaand… In order to live this lifestyle, you have to be surrounded by those who choose greatness, as well.

So, yeah, we are a “cult.” We are a select group of people who have decided that mediocrity will no longer suffice. We have given each other, and ourselves, permission to be great. To grow. To succeed. And, to share a place at the top TOGETHER.

We are a “religion.” We live this lifestyle of quality - In health, fitness, nutrition, sleep, recovery, hydration, and in the company we keep. We seek progress and education. We build each other up. We hold one another accountable. We make each other better.

And so again, I say to all of you who are a part of this journey with us, regardless of color, religion, socioeconomic status, educational-level, etc - Thank you for choosing to be a part of this journey with us, this “cult,” to better ourselves inside and out, and for living this “religion” with us as we continue to be human and make mistakes, but learn and grow from them as we cheer and support each other through the highs and lows.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanzaa, & Happy Holidays to all of you!!!

Please remember that we will be CLOSED tomorrow, Tuesday, Dec 25th for Christmas Day.

Back to normal class schedule on Wednesday, Dec 26th.

Kara PurvesComment
Christmas Class Schedule & How to Enjoy the Holidays

Just a reminder that on Monday, Dec 24th we will be having an 8:30 & 9:30am Class ONLY, and then we will be CLOSED the rest of the day.

On Tuesday, Dec 25th, we will be CLOSED for Christmas Day.

On Wednesday, Dec 26th, we will be back to our regularly scheduled program (normal class schedule).


Now, just a quick note on how to enjoy the holidays - JUST ENJOY IT! ;-)

Too often, we can take our “challenges” and “goals” too seriously, and while discipline and dedication are important, we are also allowed to be human and enjoy life from time to time. The trick is to enjoy the holidays treats WITHOUT over-indulging. You can have a glass of wine and a piece of pumpkin pie. Just not the whole bottle and three pieces of pie in one sitting!

Everything in moderation.

One of the most challenging parts of enjoying the holidays is to NOT feel guilty and shame yourself for having that glass of wine or piece of pie. Gosh darn it, you are allowed to live!

Food is NOT punishment or reward. We are not dogs.

Exercise is NOT punishment for what you’ve eaten and drank, either. It is a celebration of what our bodies can do, and an investment in our own health and fitness.

So… Please enjoy your family and friends during these festivities, be grateful for this moment, and live your life the way you’d want your obituary to be written. I’m NOT giving you permission to self-sabotage, though. I am giving you permission, however, to be more human, to love yourself, and to allow a few indulgences along the way, because we really do only get ONE life to live.

Happy Holidays, friends!

Kara PurvesComment