Five years of CrossFit: here’s CrossFit 206

Today is my last day as an employee at CrossFit Seattle. Dave and Nancy and their whole gym community are, more than any career or hobby I’ve ever had, the people who inspired me to do my best and to be my best self. With their training and inspiration, and after the passage of five years in the time it takes for a dropped barbell to hit the ground, Tom and I are taking the step of opening our own CrossFit affililate here in our part of Seattle, CrossFit 206.

Favorite CrossFit Seattle/CrossFit North memories:
– The giant, tall windows and ceiling in the old hangar that was CFN
– Walking in for my first session with Dave, feeling like the new girl in school, and Nancy greeting me with her beautiful smile as if I were an old friend she was delighted to see (she was getting ready to help teach the Team Survivor class along with Kristen Schriver and Carrie Klumpar, if I remember correctly)
– Dave running his adult gymnastics enthusiasts through attempt after attempt after attempt to learn the glide kip; I don’t know when I had felt glee like that since childhood!
– Staying after CrossFit class every Friday night to work on skin the cat, and whatever else I was obsessed with at the time; I always loved the rings
-Discovering with Dave’s help that I COULD LIFT HEAVY! Never knew how badly I wanted to do that!
– Being complimented by Dave after about six months on being “one of his best athletes”! I still puff out my chest over that remark after five years!! And he has loads of best athletes now!
– Goofing off with Tom, Dave and Nancy plus gym friends Dave and Cindy Shephard. I think I can safely say we all miss them both.
– The celebration of Dave leaving his day job to be a full-time CrossFit coach.
– The thrill of moving with them into CrossFit Seattle’s Fremont location and seeing the business thrive! Meeting loads of new CrossFitters!
CrossFitters, cross your fingers (crossfit your fingers?) for us that we will build an equally joyous, hardworking community at CrossFit 206! I’m eternally grateful for this whole process.

Hoist: the more you say it, the funnier it sounds

I like non-lifting writers’ descriptions of weightlifting moves. “Hoist” is the favorite verb for any lift. This month, Nick Heil reports for Outside on his workouts at CrossFit offshoot
Gym Jones. Heil goes in
for a weekend seminar and quits in the middle of some
of the workouts. He especially hates the “dead lift.” His use of two words
reminded me of the Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer. “I don’t understand your
‘work outs’ and your ‘dead lifts’…”

Heil says a deadlift involves “standing in front of a loaded barbell, squatting down, and then hoisting the
weight to your thighs. The more weight you add, the more it feels as if
your spine is going to splinter like a celery stalk.”

Hoist it, baby! Or you could just deadlift it. Get some
coaching. If you learn to pressurize, you won’t feel like a celery stalk. If you learn the right starting position, you won’t think you’re “squatting down” when you’re deadlifting.

Earlier this year, Olympics reporting was rife with hoisting.

The International Herald Tribune: “On her third lift, she hoisted 110 kilograms over her head to safely set the record.”

From Boston.com: “To aspiring Olympian Melanie Roach, hoisting barbells is nothing compared with the challenge of raising an autistic child.”

From ABC News: “…at the Olympic weightlifting trials in Atlanta, Ga., Melanie Roach successfully hoisted 228.8 pounds over her head.”

From US News & World Report: Melanie Roach can hoist a 230-pound barbell above her head.”

Seattle P-I: “Every man reading this is presently trying to figure out if he could lift 234 pounds over his head. Dear sirs, you cannot. In the interests of lower backs — and male egos — across our city, please, don’t try. Most couldn’t hoist it up above their knees.” This article had a bonus verb: to toss. “…she tossed 233.69 pounds in the clean and jerk.” That sounds like a lot of barf.

The Associated Press: “…locked up her spot by hoisting just under 240 pounds on her second attempt… Roach let out a yell while posing with the bar above her head.” Bonus word: posing.

USA Today: “On each hoist, that clenched expression turned into a wide, white smile as the bar soared above her head — and stayed there until she decided to drop it.” Soaring! I like that triumphal word choice.

If you think “hoist” is amusing, Google the phrase “melanie roach hoist” and see how many hits you get.

Using verbs other than hoist is Anthony Lane in The New Yorker, in his excellent and funny reports from Beijing: “In less than ten hours, tiny Chinese weight lifters would start picking up lumps of metal as heavy as the man from Guam and holding them over their heads.”

CrossFit Seattle in the local news

A reporter from KIRO radio came and interviewed Dave Werner, the owner of the gym (and my boss). Oddly enough for a radio story, it is online (linked behind Dave’s name above). Take a look at the ten photos along with it. They’re quite representative of what we do although pictures can never capture the three-ring circus atmosphere.

History of women in weightlifting

I’ve been Googling to find the name of a woman I saw on either Johnny Carson or David Letterman sometime between 1988 and 1994. She was at least 60 years old and she lifted a huge barbell and gave a huge grin. I think she did a deadlift, but all I really remember is her proud grin.

I still haven’t found her, but I found this short but interesting piece on the first women’s powerlifting meet.