Calli got engaged!!!!!

Amy & Goose,

I wanted to take a few minutes to express my true and utter appreciation to both of you, the CrossFit staff, and Southie community.

When I first started my crossfit journey two and a half years ago I was probably in one of the lowest points of my life…not to mention one of the fattest! I had just returned home after living in NJ for three years and I was overweight, drank and ate way too much, and had this overwhelming feeling of being lost. I woke up one day and decided I’d had enough and I needed to make some serious life changes. That’s when I reached out to you, Amy and with a few words of encouragement and a little push I began my crossfit adventure.

I will never forget my first day. Amy, you told me that you couldn’t coach my intro session because we would end up talking and catching up the entire time instead of working out (Goose, I’m sure that you can attest that this is far from the truth…I’ve never been much of a “Chatty Cathy” J). Retta introduced me to the movements and my first AMRAP (what the heck does that even mean??) and I survived my first 12 minutes of box jumps (step ups on an irrigation box), thrusters (with a pvc pipe), and burpees (buck furpees…I still feel that way to this day J). For the next few weeks I was in so much pain that even my hairline hurt, but I was hooked!

The box has become an outlet for me…a place that no matter what is going on in my life, no matter how stressed, angry, or down I might be feeling I can put it all aside for at least one hour and let it all out! You guys were so supportive to me during the time of my brother’s accident (and always) and that is something I wilcalli-400x600l never forget and be forever grateful.

I never played any sports growing up so I was never apart of a team. For the first time in my life I feel like I’m part of not only one of the best teams, but also the best families I will ever have a pleasure of knowing, loving, and growing with. Every person I’ve ever met at the box pushes me to be a better person. They push me to both my physical and mental limits and help me rise above them. I can’t tell you how much stronger I feel not only physically, but emotionally and mentally as well. Two and half years ago when I walked into your box, was the best decision I’ve ever made. I’m truly thankful for all you have taught and instilled in me throughout my experiences here at CFS.

Over the years you guys have made me strive to be a better athlete, coach, friend, and most importantly, a better person. I came from the darkest place in my life to the happiest. I no longer always feel self-conscious and lost, and have transitioned from being a negative Nancy to positive Patricia. I can’t thank you guys enough for all of your guidance, energy, patience, and support over the years. I take everything I learn at the box (and will continue to do so) and apply it to achieving not only my long-term goals, but also my goals in every day life.

Three months ago when I found out I was moving my first thought was, “How the hell am I going to be able to leave, not to mention replace CFS?!?” You guys and the community you have created are honestly irreplaceable and I will miss you more than words can describe. Thank you for always lending an ear to listen, for being such wonderful friends, and for letting me crush weight with the best of the best!

I will never forget where I came from J

Love you guys!

Amy, Goose,

I was exchanging emails with some of my 6am CFS friends yesterday (it was really a chain about finding a good paleo chicken salad recipe and tequila = great combo, right? Ha!) and shared with them some of my post wod thoughts from yesterday. They all responded saying that I needed to share with you as well! God knows this THANK YOU is certainly long overdue!

Tuesday night was a late night for me, and when the alarm went off on Wednesday morning- I wanted to take a rest day- but I didn’t. I showed up and the only reason I actually went in is because I committed to meeting the girls at 6am- and Leases in particular (who no-showed- which I have given her a lot of hell for). J I believe my comment to them was “no excuses, I will be there”- and so I was.

Anyway, glad I went. Really glad.

I think you have all heard my story of that fateful first time I did a WOD in Orange with Berretta?! I am fairly certain I have shared it with you all- because it kept me from going to classes in Orange and is what initiated my fear of box jumps back in the day. Well, it was almost a year ago- and I believe it was the week of the Regionals and you were only offering classes in Orange because of a scaled back staff. (or it could have been you were leaving for the Games- don’t completely recall because I didn’t even know what the regionals/games/etc. were back then!) I remember that my parents were in town and staying with me- so I had the day off of work and decided to go to a later class that morning. Anyway- the WOD was 5 rounds, 400 meter runs, and way too many wall balls & box jumps. I didn’t remember it being called “Kelly” (again, I probably didn’t understand the names back then)- but I remember the WOD vividly. I struggled the entire way through. People were finished 15 minutes before I did- and I didn’t even finish in the time cap. Berretta stuck with me through my final round of wall balls and then again on my box jumps (btw, I was jumping on the irrigation boxes back then). In that final round- I walk up to the box jumps and Berretta lets me know that the clock is going to go off- but that he wants me to finish- so I agree. There are now about 4 or 5 REALLY FIT girls standing around, that I have never met- and to this day couldn’t tell you who they are/were… they were cheering me on, encouraging me to finish. About 5-10 jumps from being finished, I “trip” on the box, but catch myself. About 2 jumps after that- I literally fall over the box (the little irrigation box- which at the time was so scary to me) and fall on the floor. I get up- complete the final few box jumps and complete the workout. The “fit girls” all congratulate me and go on to tell me that falling off the box and getting bruises is a badge of honor in CrossFit and they have all done it. They were clearly trying to make me feel better about my performance (which I did appreciate!). I walked out of Southie Orange and about 25 meters from my car, I felt the tears building and the lump in my throat and I ran to the safety of my car before I started to cry. It wasn’t sad- I promise… (well, maybe a little). I cried from sheer exhaustion, total humiliation, a myriad of other overwhelming feelings and complete acceptance/realization that I was SO out of shape and that this CF thing I started was going to change that- and change my life.

On Tuesday night, when I read the post for Wednesday’s WOD- “Kelly”- it really didn’t dawn on me that it was that same workout I struggled with so much just a year ago or so! Wednesday morning as we were getting ready for the workout- a few of us were chatting about what our plan was. Were we going to scale? If so- to what point? Then Celeste just belts out, “I am going to go for it!”. That was all I needed to hear- she just committed to going for it and so was I. It was as if she challenged me personally. Well- as we were wrapping up the workout Wednesday morning- Celeste was coming in from her 5th 400 meter run while the rest of the 6am class had completed the workout- and the clock was running out of time. It was really then that it dawned on me that this was that same WOD that could have easily been my excuse for never returning to CFS again. Everyone gathering around Celeste this morning reminded me so much of that day… the difference is she knew all of us. (and I am fairly certain she didn’t cry in her car afterwards! Ha!)

If it hadn’t been for Berretta’s encouragement to finish the workout that day (and the fact that he made me believe I could and would), or the “fit girls” who didn’t really know me taking an interest in me and my ability to finish the wod, or the fact that you guys (Amy & Goose) remembered my name from DAY 1 (which made me think you guys had some microchip put in my head without my knowing so it scanned as I walked through the door)- and took interest in my challenges and successes- I am not sure I would have returned. Since then I have certainly had numerous other humbling experiences that I could on to thank the many other CFS coaches and members for helping me through.

Wednesday morning definitely kicked my a$$, but it was also a great feeling to be able to finish it, under the time cap and Rx. AND, I am so glad that on those days I am struggling through a WOD- I have made good friends who know me and are there to cheer me on through the end- and help give me that extra push to “go for it!”.

You guys- along with all the other coaches have really created something special at CFS! Thank you for all that you and the rest of the CFS coaches do. Because of the genuine interest and care each coach and member of CFS have for the community- it is a place you can’t help but love being a part of.



More from Amy on receiving the CrossFit Southie Member of the Month award….

First of all- thank you so much for honoring me with Member of the Month! I cannot say enough how thankful and appreciative I am for all that you both do to make CFS the community that it is! Looking back at the last year or so- I can think of a moment that each and every coach and specific members have helped push me to be better, go further, and challenge myself (and pick me back up and get right back at it when I fail and fall! J). My life has changed a lot since joining CrossFit Southie- in a way that I don’t think can ever be reversed. I have been pretty focused on my career for a long time- and while focusing on that success- I allowed my personal health and fitness to take a back seat. I realized that with CrossFit and your guidance that I needed to make my health- fitness and nutrition- a priority. You guys make me feel like a priority every single day that I show up- and in turn it has encouraged me to do the same for myself. While I am still a work in progress- I think the biggest compliment I have received from family and friends outside of CFS is that I have become an inspiration to them. What bigger compliment can you receive than be told you are an inspiration? So- in turn, I would like to thank the two of you (Amy and Goose) and the rest of the CFS community for continuing to inspire me every day!

I wanted to send this picture a few weeks ago and forgot. Funny thing is I’m not sucking my stomach in…and the pack I have on had not been readjusted from the last time I was in Costa Rica and I only got bigger… The picture below with Jro is the first couple weeks after moving to Boston last year in April.. I think I started CF in July. I weighed (the last time I looked) was a round 225lbs or so… and now I weigh on average about 185lb…so I would say CrossFit works!!! I can list a million other great reasons why I love CrossFit but most importantly is I’m back.. I started playing hockey again a few months ago as a result am going to Europe next week to play with a team representing Boston, as well in the end of June I’m Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro all cool things because of CF..So I wanted to give a shout out to you guys, and say thanks and I m so glad I came back after the first day that I thought I was going to have a heart attack!!!
So thanks!! – Darin

Dear Amy and Goose:

On our drive home from a 20.5 mile training run (with fellow CrossFitter, Petra), we reflected on the impact that CF Southie has had in our lives and so I feel compelled to share with you my perspective and, more importantly, to thank you for the community you’ve created in South Boston.

First off, you’ve taken my fitness to a level that I never could have dreamed of. In January 2011, I embarked on an arduous journey of training for my first marathon (Boston). It was a lonely winter as I struggled to clock the mileage and when race day came, I questioned whether the Hal Higdon training program would be sufficient to get me through the Newton Hills and Heartbreak Hill. I finished the marathon and vowed that I would do another.

So, this past April, I decided to train for the 2012 NY Marathon. I procrastinated with kicking off my training, but when August rolled around and the 12-week mark hit, I knew I couldn’t put it off any longer. The first few weeks were painful and mentally defeating. At that time, I was doing CrossFit a solid 4 days per week and was in denial about my body’s inability to recover while following a traditional marathon training program (this time, I’m following Hal Higdon’s intermediate program). I eventually resigned myself to scaling back to 2 days at CF, but I was scared to let you down. However, when I relayed the news to you, you made me feel better about my decision.

Sure, my strength training has plateaued since then, but on the flip side I’ve made tremendous strides in my training. I contribute my progress to CrossFit. I’m faster and my cardio vascular endurance has dramatically improved. Now, I can easily converse while running at a pace well under 10 minutes and the idea of breaking a sub-4 hour marathon is actually within reach! Note, I ran the Boston at a solid 10:28 pace which brought my time to 4hrs & 34 minutes so the notion of pushing myself to shave off a half hour was inconceivable when I first started.

I never would have tried switching to a Paleo diet if I didn’t witness the benefits and results firsthand. But, its more than a diet. Its a lifestyle that is manageable for me to follow and now I’m seeing and feeling the positive results w/my own body.

Though I’m not participating in this fall’s Paleo Challenge (because of marathon training & some work demands), I opt for Paleo about 75% of the time and LOVE it. When I do cheat and make poor food choices, my body rejects the unnatural, processed foods and so I’m slowly building to closer to 80% Paleo.

18 months ago, I never would have considered passing on the opportunity to dip fresh Italian bread into olive oil or eating salads without salad dressing. Now, I don’t even give it a second thought! The same goes for pasta, peanut butter, cheese, and the list goes on and on. My latest challenge is adjusting to coffee without milk — its been interesting to say the least, but it may help ween me off caffeine in the long run.

My Sunday afternoons are mostly spent planning my meals for the week and perusing the internet for new and simple paleo recipes to follow. When I eat out at restaurants, I find myself consulting the menus beforehand, but this is a good thing because it gives me a game plan which keeps me on track. I also have to attribute some of the above-mentioned fitness improvements to eating paleo. Even today, I only consumed (3) packets of energy supplements during my 20 mile run and didn’t hit the dreaded “wall.” When training for Boston, I not only consumed countless synthetic goos, but the wall that I slammed into at mile 18 of my 20 mile training run sent me walking home defeated and exhausted.

I’m not sure how to convey the confidence that you’ve instilled in me. Even after a tough WOD where I question if I scaled too low or pushed too far (resulting in a slow time), I hop in my car feeling accomplished and empowered to do nearly anything that I set my mind to. Moreover, the physical changes I’m seeing in my body are helping me to develop a positive relationship with my body. I am no longer ashamed to hold a glance while practicing yoga or to weigh myself in the locker room at work. I’ve learned to love my body and to be proud of the newfound muscle definition on my arms and legs. And that love of me transcends to countless other areas of my life — dating, work, finances, setting new goals.

CF is not for the faint of heart. Its expensive to join, but the decision was easy after my intro session with Goose in August ’11. I decided to shift the money that I was spending going out to improving my health. I thought that I’d meet people at the gym, but I didn’t think that I’d make lasting friendships. That is a priceless bonus that I’ve uncovered at the box. I lucked out in being an early morning person and so I became part of the 6am morning crew with a handful of other young professionals. Within a few weeks, I felt at home with other like-minded thirty-somethings who balance careers, families, love, travel, demands with fitness and nutrition.

There’s a unique balance of fun (we’re laughing all the time during mobility and warm-up), competition (that challenges us to go faster/keep up, lift more weight, or remove bands) and support (scale when you need to, yell your name when your struggling, and congratulate you when you PR) that is unparalleled. CF is an individual sport, but I felt like part of a team. And for someone who never played sports when she was young, this is HUGE!

But the friendships outside of the box is what really strikes me. I’ve met more amazing, helpful, humble people at CFS than I ever expected. There’s an unspoken bond among members of CFS. I know it and feel it when I pass someone in my car or order a drink at Stats. Whether its a wave, a “like” on FB, or a beep from a passing car, its camaraderie and respect that begins with your leadership, passion, and commitment to build the best box in Boston.

Last, a wholehearted THANK YOU! Thanks for the coaching, tough love, support, compliments, and inspiration you’ve given over the past 18 months. In summary, you’re role models for successful entrepreneurship!

All the best,

Megan Cincotta (aka Meg C)

Amy & Goose,

It has only been a few weeks now that I have not entered one of the Southie boxes for a WOD. Saying I miss my second home terribly is an understatement, it’s practically killing me! I cannot thank you both enough for your dedication, support and motivation that has make me a better athlete. The environment you provide at Southie is like no other. As I Crossfitted Cross country I was able to experience almost a dozen of different boxes throughout the country, but not one of them could compare to what you both have created here. Crossfit Southie is complied of an amazing community of trainers and athletes who strive to help each other to reach their fitness goals and push the limits on what we think we can and cannot do. When I reflect back to a year ago when I first stepped foot in the Southie Orange Box I was a completely different athlete. I have become stronger and more confident in my lifts and continue to strut through PR city! The techniques and skills I’ve learned from you now help me train others. You have both helped support me through many different competitions which I appreciate so very much. Southie as a whole exudes a positive, competitive energy that has helped me reach many of my personal fitness goals and become part of a unique community. You are both an inspiration to me in so many ways and I cannot thank you both enough!

See you soon!

Caitlin Weiler

Hi Amy & Goose,

I can’t thank you both enough for the top-notch facility and community you’ve built at CFS, and the things you and the other coaching staff at CFS have helped me accomplish over the past year and a half. Joining Crossfit Southie was terrifying for me when I finally bit the bullet and signed up – I’d always been the sort of person who dreaded gym class in high school, and it took me years to ever sign up for a 5k because I was afraid of running near all those people!
And thanks to you, your programming, and the coaching from yourselves and the rest of the superb CFS coaching staff, I’ve somehow done the following in the past year:
-Run a half marathon up a mountain with very little running training
-Done a Crossfit competition (Throwdown!)
-Gone to trapeze school (and people say kipping has no practical carryover!)
-Learned how to surf
-Done a powerlifting competition a couple weekends ago (and walked away with a 2nd place in my weight class)
Not to mention all of the little things I never thought I’d be able to do, like deadlift 200 pounds (and then some), string together double unders, do PULL UPS, and so many more. If you’d told me a year and a half ago that I’d do all that stuff, I would have thought you were a crazy person!

Most importantly, I’ve stopped thinking of myself as a person who can’t do things. Crossfit has changed how I think about myself in so many ways. Without you guys, I’d still be squatting 100 pounds, with poor form, in running shoes, just because I didn’t think I could ever lift any heavier. I’d still not even try pullups, because, you know, girls can’t do those.

This is getting long and making me a little sad, so I’ll wrap it up. Thank you again for everything, and please pass along my gratitude to Aaron, Berretta, Christina, Chuck, TJ, and everybody else. I can think of at least one time each of these coaches has pushed me to do something I truly and honestly thought I couldn’t do, and I am a better person for it.

Best of everything to you both!


Tess Fallon

Amy and Goose,

As you know, I leave to move back to Toronto tomorrow, and before I
go, I just wanted to share with you how Crossfit Southie has impacted
my life over the past few months. In nine short months, Boston has
come to feel like home. This is in no small part due to the amazing
experience I have had being a part of the Crossfit Southie community.
I came to Boston to get a masters – a quick academic diversion after a
tough residency back in Toronto, and a break from clinical medicine.
I could not have predicted that my time in Boston would have been so
greatly impacted by Crossfit, and by the amazing community of people I
found at Crossfit Southie. I can honestly say that every aspect of my
life has been improved by doing Crossfit, and by being a member of
this community. I don’t know how to thank you both enough.

There is no doubt that I am a different person today than when I
arrived in Boston. I showed up here, totally burnt out after a long,
exhausting residency. Not only was I mentally and emotionally drained,
but I was totally physically deconditioned. Though I had always
thought of myself as an athlete growing up, and played varsity
basketball during my undergrad, my crazy residency work schedule and
studying for final residency exams left no time for exercise. In the
six months before I arrived at Crossfit Southie, I literally did not
do one minute of intentional exercise. In addition to that, I was
eating whatever food I could find in the hospital cafeteria, and had a
completely dysfunctional sleep cycle. My social life consisted of
exam study group meetings. Needless to say, when I arrived in Boston,
I was eager to make a change.

Luckily, last spring, while avoiding studying by creeping friends on
Facebook, I saw photos of an old friend and former teammate at the
Australian regionals last year. A rapid succession of google searches
for ‘crossfit’ (I had no idea what it was), followed by ‘crossfit
boston’, led me to the Southie website. I did my first intro class
with Goose before most of my boxes were unpacked. By the end of that
first day, I knew two things: 1) that burpees suck, and 2) that if I
stuck with this I was going to get fit. I also had a pretty good
sense even from that first day that there were some pretty great
people hanging around the box. I couldn’t have been more spot on.

I started coming five days a week from the outset, because I was
determined to use my time away from medicine wisely, and because I
wanted to feel like an athlete again. I was in so much pain those
first few weeks (months? still now?), but became quickly addicted to
the tiny achievements I was having every day I set foot in the gym.
Still now, I am totally amazed at the elation I feel with even the
smallest of achievements: a new PR, a new skill, beating someone in a
WOD I didn’t think I could beat. The competitive athlete inside of me,
a part of me I thought was long gone, is now alive and well. Despite
the fact that there is always someone doing things better, faster,
heavier than me, I have become completely addicted to the feeling of
showing myself that I can do more today than I did yesterday. This
addiction has allowed me to change my mind and body in a short period
of time. I am fitter, tougher, and having more fun on a daily basis
than I ever could have thought possible nine months ago. To go from
desk potato to placing at the internal throwdown is monumental
progress in my world. I don’t know how to begin to thank you and the
other coaches for allowing me to make these changes in my life.

If all that I had gotten out of my time at Crossfit Southie was
improved physical fitness, I would have been satisfied. But almost
from day one I started to talk to, and get to know, the other members
and coaches, and was thrilled to make new and interesting friends
(none of whom are in medicine…I love my medicine friends, but how
refreshing to talk to people who do other things!). Coming to WOD is
the thing I look forward to most each day, not only because of the
athletic challenges, but also because it is so much fun just to hang
out with a great group of people. You guys have done such a good job
of creating a real community at Southie. I have been, and continue to
be, inspired by my fellow athletes and coaches every single day – not
only because they are amazingly talented and driven athletes, but also
because so many of them are kind, interesting, fun, intelligent, and
thoughtful human beings, who know how to play as hard as they work.
Having this group of friends in my life here has meant so much to me.

These nine months here have been truly transformative, and it is very
difficult for me to think about leaving. Of course, I will join a new
box in Toronto, and while I’m sure they will be lovely, I think that
what you two have created here in Southie is truly unique. Thank you
so much for the opportunity to be a part of that for this short time.
I know you’ve heard it so many times before, but Crossfit really has
changed my life, and being a part of the Crossfit Southie community
has taught me so much about the elements I need in my life to be happy
– interests and passions outside of work, physical fitness, a healthy
diet, a diverse social network, and regular doses of fun, among other
things. I really hope to see you both in Toronto next weekend.
There’s a great tequila bar we could check out with blood orange
margaritas that are totally paleo and totally fabulous. I know you’re
in training for the Games, but I’m sure you can have one or two ;).

Thanks again for everything, and keep in touch.

-Dr. Sarah

Hey Goose,

I’m just a few months away from my 1 year anniversary at Crossfit  Southie and I’ll be the first to attest that I may not attend as often  as most.  Twice per week is about as much as my schedule allows.  Trust  me, I would go daily if I could and when I do go, I try my best to give  it my ‘all’.

In my own effort to compensate (in part) for my absence, I wear my  Crossfit Southie wrist band on my stethoscope.  Every time I exam a  patient I think of where I’d like to be.  It motivates me to practice in  my profession like I’m doing a WOD (thankfully WODs are not 12 hour  days!).  Reading posts over the last year I realize that Crossfit  infiltrating into other aspect of my life isn’t unique.  It seems more  like a common link that most, if not all, relate to.

It’s a great thing.  My family (except for my oldest son) is sick and  tired of my yammering about Crossfit.  I’d say, a small price to pay for  my health and happiness.  I owe it all to you, the coaches and the  amazing crossfit southie community.  Ab Pectore!

-David Neumeyer

Amy, Goose,

First  of all I want to congratulate you and the rest of the Southie team on  this past weekend’s  accomplishment.  I know everyone has been working  extremely hard and I couldn’t be happier for you.  What you two have  accomplished in a relatively short period of time is nothing short of  amazing.  I’m proud to have been part of the CFS community and will  always call it my home box.  I’m bummed I couldn’t make it this weekend  to cheer and enjoy in celebrating such a huge stepping stone for CFS,  because I’m certain this is only the first of many to come.

Secondly,  thank you for this past year.  Not only am I in the best shape I’ve  been in ten years but being in a job that can be stressful and thankless  on most occasions; going to the box was often just what the doctor  ordered.  From day 1 both of you and your coaches have been welcoming,  encouraging, knowledgeable and professional.  I wish you both continued  success with everything not only with the box but with each other.  It’s  easy to root for good people. J  Go get some in LA!!!

God bless.

Hi Chris and Amy,

I wanted to reach out and let you know that I miss CF Southie SO MUCH! I knew it was a fantastic place, however until I moved to Virginia and tried to find another box, I didn’t fully realize how spoiled I was with you guys. The first place I checked out down here didn’t have a group warmup, you just do it on your own, and then you do the WOD. A skill was thrown in at the end if you stuck around for it. I felt so deflated. (Not to mention the very low music – it felt like a strange library. Plus, in this huge space, there was not one ball for wall balls. I can imagine equipment is extremely expensive and respect that each box will be different, but may I please have a wall ball just to do them on my own in the corner as a sob inside that I miss Southie?!) The next place I checked out was a little better (the coach was very impressed by my deadlift form so thank you!!) but still, nothing like CF Southie, especially in terms of coaching. In addition, I didn’t fully appreciate that CF Southie is truly a group of elite athletes like NO OTHER. I knew the people I had the pleasure of CFing with were fantastic athletes. However, now that I have worked out in a few other boxes, it has become very apparent to me that you were not exaggerating in the least when you say CF Southie has elite athletes hence the L1/L2 classes for those starting out. (Ya, at the first few boxes I was very confused why I was one of the strongest for the WOD in the regular classes and I’m way out of shape at this point.)
In a nutshell, I can’t thank you enough for what you do. All the thought and preparation you put into the group warmups, the skills, strength, mobility, the WODs is appreciated. The equipment is appreciated. I truly got a little choked up when I walked into the places down here because I realized I wouldn’t find another CF Southie no matter how hard I tried because you guys are the best.
Well, I have a few other boxes to check out this week. Hopefully at least the taste in music is better. (How can people get pumped and workout in quiet is beyond me. But at this point that is the least of my concerns in finding a box down here.) Wish me luck and I’m definitely doing some drop ins when I am back in town.  -Lauren

Just wanted to say thank you to you, Amy, Berretta and Chuck for being such great people and awesome coaches. I did the endurance WOD last night at Level 2 (huge for me) and was chatting with Berretta about my first day at CF Southie… I couldn’t run a single 200m without feeling like I was going to pass out. Literally… we ran 200m in the warm up and I was dizzy and so severely winded that my chest hurt. We were doing partner stretching in the warm up and my partner (I think it was Darin??) looked
at me as I was gasping for air and sweating like it was my JOB and he said with a great deal of pity… “you know this is the warm up, right?” in fact, NO. I didn’t know it was the warm up!!

Chuck asked me half way through the WOD how I was doing and I said “I don’t know if this is for me.” I was so disgusted with myself for being on the verge of quitting, which is why I signed up that same day.

anyway… i won’t keep going on about how god-awful that first workout was for me and how grateful and happy I am that I stayed. I just wanted to say that without you guys, your genuine connection to and support of all of us (no matter how athletic we are), your tremendous knowledge, training and skill and all-around wonderful personalities… well, I wouldn’t have stayed and I certainly wouldn’t have made the improvements I’ve made in the last five months. I love being a part of the CF Southie community (even if it’s just a small part) and am really excited to see how much more I can improve (obviously, with all of you guys coaching and pushing me along).

Thanks for helping me change my life. =) (ok, that concludes today’s bit of way-too-warm-and-fuzzy-cheeziness.)


Pre- Paleo

2 months into Paleo/CrossFit

Hey Goose,

I honestly can’t thank you enough for this (member of the month). A little personal note for you guys to start with…I came into your gym 4 months ago with my life in a downward spiral. My relationships with my family and friends were crumbling, I was unhappy with my job, and I constantly tried to convince myself that Boston was not the right place for me. I would drink every night just so I could go to sleep. Sleep seemed like the only place I could escape the depression I was putting myself through. Since meeting you guys and becoming a member of the community that is CrossFit Southie, my life has turned around completely. You guys have been the catalyst for what has been the best thing that has happened to me in my entire life. I have never felt such control and confidence. I enjoy my job again, I am closer with my family than I have been in years, and I am comfortable and confident in where I’m at in life. Again, I can’t thank you guys enough. You and everyone at CrossFit Southie have helped me find a life worth living!

See you guys tonight!


Chris and Amy,

Yesterday marked 3 months since I joined the CrossFit Southie team.  It has been a tremendous journey so far and I feel so great about what I have been able to accomplish since day1.  I have you to thank for everything you have done for me.

During the first few weeks of CrossFit, I was at the point of tears during WODs, barely able to climb stairs in the mornings, and feeling overwhelmingly exhausted…Now I feel great everyday and am constantly filled with energy and excitement.  You have pushed me to my ultimate limits and I haven’t felt better in my entire life than I do now.

CrossFit has made me successful in other things besides thrusters and burpees…I have recently earned positive recognition from my boss and was given more responsibility for my unit/kitchen.  I guess you could call it a promotion. :)

Also, since Kristen and I are CrossFitters together, our journey has definitely made our relationship grow.  Since we feel better about ourselves, we feel better about each other as well, and I know for a fact that she absolutely loves you guys (and CrossFit) just as much as I do.   We are totally hooked.

I look forward to everyday I get to come to Southie and do the WOD.  Even though there are always those days where you don’t feel like doing anything, I still know that a CrossFIt day is always a good day.

I absolutely love your positive energy and enthusiasm that you bring to the workouts everyday.  It definitely shows and doesn’t go unnoticed.  I am a more positive and well rounded person physically and mentally and I have you to thank.  So…thanks for everything you do and have done for me because it is greatly appreciated.

As for the ext 3 months, they are going to be interesting…The Paleo challenge is definitely going to be a challenge.  But I am going to commit and see what happens!  I am excited to see the positive results and since you guys are the pros I am completely confident that it will be a success.  I hope CFSouthie continues to grow and Chris’ sick obsession with Burpees never end!  You guys are the best.  Don’t ever change.

-Emily Hedgepeth (crazy legs)

“I just wanted to send a big ‘thanks’ out to you. Every workout with y’all feels more and more like ‘home’. You get us ready, warmed up, with skill-based strengthening, and kick-butt cardio-vascular death marches; I appreciate it. You have constructed a space where we all come to forget our outside stresses and collaborate together, jokingly competing against each other to better ourselves. As I return after a couple days off (with the lame excuse of too much work), I realize how important it is to commit to the program, not just for exercise, but complete peace of mind, so that I can be more present for myself, and for those who need my focus and dedication. On a personal level, I have students who have really tough situations, and a sister-in-law who is very slowly awakening from a three week car accident-induced coma. Coming here reminds me how lucky I am to have the ability to sweat (oddly enough, we need to remind ourselves of that), to push myself, the luxury to ‘hit the gym’, and I thank you for that. Most importantly, as I kick my own butt, I actually feel like a stronger teacher all around, and a better support system for my husband’s family. I am really grateful for you guys and the Crossfit Southie team, in general. Have a good one. See you tomorrow.”
-Jason Dionne

“Gooseman…Ams…Thank you very much my friends. I am a business/marketing man and when I buy into something its cause it kicks ass and I make sure everyone and there brotha knows about it!

Just want to let you know that you guys are wickedddd f’in awesome. Your hard work, dedication and passion towards fitness, crossfit and life shows every day! I am truly grateful to be part of Crossfit Southie with you guys at the helm. As you might know I was a former Villanova football athlete(if you couldn’t tell I went there ha). For the last 2 years l had lost motivation and desire to workout.  Being part of crossfit southie has allowed me to take back control of my life both physically and mentally. In my short time as a crossfitter I have learned that it is more than just a gym. It’s a way of life with a great community of people.  I look forward to doing the best I can as a caveman and seeing dramatic results as I continue to improve! I will leave you with my theme for 2011.

“Look Good Feel Good Play Good 2011”….Cause when you look good, you feel good and when you feel good you play good!

See you at 6:30! Finga hugs! Boooooooom!”  – Boyson

“My Crossfit story…

I never thought, I would EVER be involved with anything remotely associated with sports… Why should I have? I was born and raised in France, was a smoker and really did not have any body image issues.  After living in the US for a few years, I realized that I had probably reached the pinnacle of inactivity and that my French genes were finally rebelling.  Mon Dieux!, It was time for an intervention.  I had to quit smoking, revamp my eating habits and exercise.  I personally struggled with the last part of this well known equation.  I knew, I was too intimidated by the “big” machines at the Gym and would not join a club. I although was aware of my need for some “Exercise 101 Class”. I was concerned, being a complete novice in this “new world”, about injuring myself.

The solution came through Chris in the form of personal training.  After patiently teaching me the proper techniques, scaling exercises to my rather “debutante” level and encouraging me session after session, our team perseverance finally paid off. I started not only feeling better and more energetic but also realized that I had grown physically and mentally stronger. Apparently these changes did not go unnoticed as my husband decided to follow my footsteps. Seeing him join Crossfit was the best reward and compliment I could personally get. We now happily Crossfit twice a week and work trough each new challenging session offer by Chris and Amy, TOGETHER!!”

-Laurence Shah


I will indeed drop in and thanks for the email. I was hoping to land a job in the boston area, but no go. Definitely trying trying to get back by the end of next school year. You & Amy and the rest of the box definitely have something special going on and it was great to be apart of it. My father was asking me if I was gonna miss living in Boston and I said” the only thing I am gonna miss is that southie box”. He replied “your nuts” and I said ” clearly you are not a crossfitter”. haha be good bro!! Thanks again!

All the best-



My fellow actuary Sean was at the intro class today and told me it went really well.  He said once he moves to Southie he will most likely join (August or so)

More importantly:  Being the nerd that I am, I spend a good deal of time on an actuarial forum talking about mostly non actuarial things; namely fitness and Crossfit.  I log all my workouts there and the majority of people are generally impressed with the results.  I’ve managed to convince a few people to try it, and they too have started logging their results and have showed great improvement.  While I praise CrossFit every chance I get I always caveat its effectiveness with one variable: quality of coaching.

Most of the bozos that knock our workouts constantly point to the degeneration of form that occurs as a result of fatigue.  While I generally agree, good coaches will enforce proper form during the workout.  Here is what Sean said in the forum after the intro class:

[I went to Ricky's box today and did the intro class. I really enjoyed it. I was there about 30 minutes early and watched some people finish up their WOD. Saw some bad forms on cleans, but the coach went over there and corrected it. Really surprised after seeing all the videos John Doe posts.

I would really like to join, but right now it's too far away and too expensive. Hoping when my lease runs up in summer I can move closer (and cheaper) and join. Until then, I'm probably going to focus on strength building.]

Ricky = Me, John Doe = Bozo

This made my day.

Alexander (Arik) Pogrebinsky


Amy, Chris, and the rest of the Southie staff,
Thanks for letting me drop in yesterday. I had a great time and it was fantastic to see everyone. It was especially nice to see Southie still crushing it on every level.

I have had the opportunity to travel to a lot of boxes in the last year, but nothing will ever be like coming “home” to Southie. I still remember my first  class and wondering how I would ever be able to do any of this stuff! Without the patience, understanding, and fundamentals Southie provided me, I know I would not be the athlete I am starting to become. I value everything you guys have given me more then any words can express. Thanks again and keep on killing it!