You’re Going to Run Out of Health Before You Run Out of Money…

You’re Going to Run Out of Health Before You Run Out of Money…

You’re Going to Run Out of Health Before You Run Out of Money…

The host of a podcast I listen to loves to remind the listener of this statement uttered by his dying friend.  While you can certainly shoot holes in the theory, it certainly will ring true for most of us. I’m sure you’ve had friends, family members, and loved ones pass on or find tragedy way too soon in life.

CFSP Member Spotlight: Grant Simmons


What brought you to CrossFit in the first place?

I had CrossFit offered at my last workplace, and when we moved back to Sandpoint, I wanted to keep the focus.  I've known Kenny for a long time (from the first time we lived in Sandpoint) and was excited to see what he'd built while we were away.

What was your first impression? Has that changed?

The ego-free energy!  By and large, the gym 'culture' is maintained by a cadre of really personable, capable, and friendly coaches, and that's spilled over to the member athletes - I may not always want to show up, but I am always glad I did, due to the folks who want to be there.

What was your first success? lame yet so profound:  squatting past parallel.

What are you working on now?

Those God-forsaken double-unders.  Ask me the same question next year and I'll likely have the same answer.

What’s your favorite CrossFit Sandpoint memory?

Legit snatching 160.  Or running a 400 backward and hitting a car halfway around (I couldn't stop laughing for the next 20 minutes).




CFSP Member Spotlight: Austin Humble

CFSP Member Spotlight: Austin Humble

What brought you to CrossFit in the first place?

Well I had been working out for a few years on my own in local gyms and athletic clubs, and started working out here at the SWAC for a few months, but I just kept feeling like something was missing. I never left there feeling like I had gotten a sufficient workout.

CFSP Member Spotlight: Kate Smith

CFSP Member Spotlight: Kate Smith

As a new widow, I moved home to Sandpoint to be closer to family, but I knew that I would need to expand my community here in order to grow/survive after such a devastating event.  I wanted to find like-minded people and being six months post-partum, I wanted a challenging, peer-accountabilty environment to keep me going.  A CrossFit friend from Georgia kept nagging at me to try CrossFit--he told me it was a good fit for me and I should give it a try.  One day at church I was briefly introduced to Whitney, and then later that week I ran into her and Ruth at a children's event.  I thought to myself, "Wow, look at their arms!  I want arms like that.  I wonder where they work out?"  So I struck up a conversation with them, joined CrossFit that day (telling Kenny that my "Why" is because I want arms like them), and they have become some of my closest friends in town.

5 Year Alumni: Paul Osman

5 Year Alumni: Paul Osman

The first day Paul was here, I thought he was going to die. 

I’m really glad he didn’t, but for a minute there, I was concerned.  Mostly with how I was going to get a dead guy out of his pull-up bands.  

You see, Paul had done CrossFit before (which you’ll read about below), so I granted him a little more leeway in his first workouts here.  I don’t remember exactly what he did for his first one, but I do remember that it had pull-ups.  I also remember that he had an interesting way of resting between his sets of pull-ups.  He would hang from the bar, feet still in his bands and rest his head against his upright arms with his eyes closed.  So, you can see my preoccupation with how to extract a dead guy from a loaded band while he still had a grip on the bar.  

In all seriousness, Paul is one of my favorite guys to have in class.  He’s here consistently 3x per week, he likes to talk hunting, he listens, and he’s got a great, dry sense of humor.  (So I’m hoping he’ll find my depiction of his first class funny). 

5 Year Alumni: Susie Jensen

5 Year Alumni: Susie Jensen

Everyone always says "the people" - but with good reason. I have never met a friendlier, cooler group of people. It's always one of the best parts of my day to come in and throw weights around with this group. Everyone is encouraging, inclusive, friendly, and fun. There's a ton of other stuff that keeps me coming back as well - I love the coaches, I love feeling strong, it's fun, it's a great place to work off the bad energy of the day, etc. But the people - the people are phenomenal. 

5 Year Alumni: Lissa Markwardt

5 Year Alumni: Lissa Markwardt

I don't even know where, to begin with this one.  There are so many reasons I love having my mom in every 8am class during the week.  


One: She has been our biggest supporter since day one.  She talked us through all the scary leaps we were taking to make this work.  Without her, none of this would be possible. 

CrossFit Sandpoint 5 Year Alumni Member Profile: Star Jensen

CrossFit Sandpoint 5 Year Alumni Member Profile: Star Jensen

I love Star's story for a lot of reasons. 

For one, there are a few initial reactions to CrossFit that I've grown accustomed to over the years.  One is, "What about all the injuries?".  Two is, "I can't do that (because of _____)".  Star's story not only debunks those, but also dramatically reinforces the idea that through proper strength and conditioning training injuries can be made better and prevented in the future, and that makes me happy.

For two, watching someone develop from having a hard time doing a shoulder pass-through with a PVC pipe to having no limitations in here is just awesome.  I grew up playing volleyball, so seeing her go from unable to participate fully in the sport that she really loves to being back at it full bore is what this is really all about for me.  CrossFit should prepare us and make us better at the things we love (besides CrossFit).  Star is the embodiment of that. 


Third, Star is just a pleasure to work with.  She is a lifelong athlete, so she has a natural inclination to know when to push and when to back off.  She is also incredibly receptive to coaching, so selfishly, I really love that about her. 

Thanks for being a part of the family Star!

CrossFit Sandpoint 5 Year Alumni Spotlight: Aleya Hutchens

CrossFit Sandpoint 5 Year Alumni Spotlight: Aleya Hutchens

To say that Aleya has transformed herself over the last 5 years would be a tremendous understatement.  When she first walked into one of my classes, I remember feeling like she didn't like me, nor did she like what I was asking her to do.  If you would have pulled me aside that morning and said, "over the next 5 years, you'll watch her develop into one of, if not the, best movers in the entire gym" I'd have thought you were crazy.  It wasn't personal at all, it was just definitely something out of her element. 

Yet, through these years, I have watched her do things I imagine she never thought possible.  From gymnastic feats like muscle-ups and huge sets of pull-ups to Weightlifting at a nationally competitive skill level, she continues to grow and achieve.  I'm incredibly proud to be able to say that I'm her coach.

CrossFit Sandpoint Total Life Challenge

Announcing the CFSP 30 Day Total Life Challenge!

It’s been a really, really long time since we’ve done any type of nutrition challenge here and there’s a reason for that. In past challenges we saw participants lose 20-30 pounds in a month. And while that’s great I didn’t feel good about the likelihood of those participants keeping the weight off in the long term.

While a challenge puts a framework and expectation on duration; sustainable habits and honest introspection (the really important stuff) are much harder to implement. Couple that with the fact that I believe most “diets” that come with a fancy title are largely bullshit ways to sell books, it’s been hard for me to get behind something for 30 days that we could do as a group.

After some brainstorming I’ve come up with challenge I am truly excited about; 30 days of lifestyle and nutrition tweaks that will make you a fitter, trimmer, healthier and better you.

Crabs in a Bucket

Crabs in a Bucket

There’s a fantastic analogy that describes what happens when you put a bunch of live crabs in the bottom of a bucket.  All the crabs are smashed on top of each other, certainly aware, in whatever capacity they are capable, that they are in an unfavorable position.  Some of these crabs have incidentally landed on the top of the pile, where they can reach their legs up and over the top of the bucket, and climb to their freedom. 

CrossFit Sandpoint 5 Year Alumni Profile: Valerie Bucholtz

CrossFit Sandpoint 5 Year Alumni Profile: Valerie Bucholtz

Val has been here almost daily since we first opened to the public.  She only misses when she's out of town, and even then seems to find her way into another gym whenever she can. 

I remember the first time I recognized that Val was in here with a slightly different motivation and intent than the rest.  While most others were here for a great workout, she was here to find out what she could do, what she couldn't do and test those in competition.  I remember one day early on where she was the only one who showed up for class.  We got to get really in-depth on rowing technique.  She wanted to know everything she could about improving something she had never really done before.  That really impressed me. 

Open Season 2018!

January is here.  

The Open is 9 weeks away.  


(Timeout) What is the Open?  

The Open is a special time of year in CrossFit.  It’s a 5 week long series of weekly workouts that are performed by the entire CrossFit community.  

Most of you are probably thinking, “well that sounds kind of cool, but I’m not sure what that really has to do with me…”

And you’d be right.  Just like when I play a game of touch football in the backyard during the Summer, I’m not out there competing with Antonio Brown for reception yards.  However, that doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy the game played by the pros and have some fun.  

So, what does that look like at CrossFit Sandpoint?  

On one level, it doesn’t look any different than any other week of the year. Show up, workout, kick ass with your friends, do shit you didn’t think you’d ever be able to do, go home.  Repeat.

On another level, you can join up on an Intramural Team and participate with a group.  We’ve done this two years in a row, and if you spend any time reading our Member Spotlights, you’ll recall that a great many of those mention that being on a team for the Open was one of their favorite memories of the year. 


Each of our coaches pick a team of roughly 10-15 people.  These members of their teams score points for their teams by doing the workout, and by wearing their team colors for that workout.  We also award points to the top 5 males and top 5 females.  In other words, if you’re worried about your performance hurting your team, all you have to do is workout and wear a color and you’re doing all your team can ask for.

To make the season more fun, we do these Open workouts on a handful of different days: Thursday Night (right after it’s announced), Friday all day, and Saturday for the morning class. 

Saturday is definitely our most popular version, with 20-30 people doing it that day, all dressed in their team colors.  It’s a silly amount of fun. 


Finally, for the most involved level, you can throw your hat in the ring in the online version of the competition.  You’ll submit your score weekly and be able to compare your score to hundreds of thousands of other competitors.  Few CFSP members do this, but there are some great reasons to do so.  

For one, it is surprisingly interesting (and somewhat discouraging) to compare yourself to the rest of the world.  

For two, it allows you to track your performance year over year.  

Third, depending on your personality, it can be really fun to take things a little more seriously for a few weeks out of the year.  You may just find that it’s something you want to do in the future, and ramp of your training with that in mind. 


So, with the Open coming up, our training will change slightly.  

As with above, for most of you this doesn’t mean anything.  You still just need to show up and be your normal ass kicking self. 

For those of you who like to pay more attention, the next 9 weeks will be more Open focused.  We’ll focus on more skill development, revolving around things that we’ll encounter in the CrossFit Open.  More skills in regards to handstand push-ups, pull-ups, toes to bar, double unders and more. 

These skills will be practiced outside of workouts for the majority of the upcoming future.  This will give you an opportunity to focus on these skills without the pressure of the clock. 

Then, on either Thursdays or Fridays during the week, we’ll do repeat a workout from Open past, to get a little bit of a scrimmage feel, where you’ll get a good glimpse into how these workouts proceed and feel. 

This is all a ton of fun, and I encourage you to view it at such!  

CrossFit Sandpoint Member Profile: Kara Berlin

What brought you to CrossFit in the first place?


Time, structure, and efficiency. Before joining CrossFit, I was spending upwards of two-three hours per night being a cardio-bunny at another gym. Hopping between different machines, changing my playlist on Spotify five times to find the right track to pump me up before bopping back over to weights... No amount of steps on the StairMaster4000 ever felt enough, even though I was well-aware my time spent was beyond excessive, given my demands elsewhere. Ain't nobody got time for dat. I didn't have an agenda, but a feeling - a feeling of pure, utter, ass-whooped exhaustion - that I was always trying to achieve, but rarely did. Some former co-workers and friends encouraged me to check out CFSP. I don't recall the WOD, but I was certainly served a heaping slice of humble pie, a-la-mode, with a generous amount of ass-whooping. Please, sir, I want some mo'.

What was your first impression? Has that changed?

See "humble pie," above.

Really though, my first impression was that it wasn't easy, at all. I came home depleted, but simultaneously so invigorated. This hasn't changed. It still isn't easy and if it ever is, I did something wrong. I love that each and every person can come in, scale appropriately to a healthy level of ability, but always push themselves. There's no glass ceiling, no cap, no limit. I like that.

What was your first success?

Showing up! Truly.

However, I distinctly remember the first time I did a consecutive amount of double-unders, where my limitations were my cardiovascular system, less my coordination. I wouldn't say it was like riding a bike, but it was so much easier to find success in that again after I felt it for the first time.

What are you working on now?

Generally speaking, I am working on improving my overall fitness to have more fun! I want to take advantage of my body and it's youth (how long can I say that?) so I can be my best self as a runner, mountain biker, skier, etc. More specifically however, I've been wanting to work on my upper body strength that is ghastly disproportionate to my lower body. I've gotten a taste of some fluid, linked kipping pull-ups, but I'd like be able to do just as many strict and really ground my strength in the foundations and basics.

What’s your favorite CrossFit Sandpoint memory?

Not sure I can answer this with a superlative, but a specific moment in last year's Open always makes me laugh, and feel grateful.

I was leaving town, so I did one of the workouts right upon it being announced on a Thursday night, alongside the best-of-them...the elite! There were spectators cheering everyone on, and the energy in the gym was impossibly palpable. I don't recall the specifics, other than some ghastly amount of reps with the barbell, followed by a row, and then as many HSPU as possible with the time remaining. I had over 1:30 remaining to bust some HSPU out. Had I done one successfully before? No. Did I do one successfully then?

I distinctly remember watching the Facebook-LIVE video, slunked on floor of my kitchen once I was home - exhausted, but in good spirits, and the camera footage panning over the gamut of all of us that evening: Kelli busting out those HSPU (with a baby-on-board!), shirtless men either side of her just killing the game - animal-style. Then there was me, far off in the right corner, continually collapsing on my head - and a few times collapsing even further from the head-stand into what I can only call a "full-planked-flat-body-belly-flop", time and time again for a full one minute, thirty seconds. I had a tribe of cheerleaders around me for the whole 1:30. There is so much collective drive in our little gym's community, so much room for improvement, and so much encouragement.

More often than not, the hour at CrossFit is the best hour of my day. It's my me-time. My blood-pumping, head-clearing zen. I don't have to make the decisions, there is energy to feed on, and I always get that slice of "pie" a-la-mode. But best part is the banded team of athletes who hail from different trails, yet show up at the same place at the same time for similar reasons. We celebrate each others successes, we hold one another accountable, and we push each other to be our best selves inside - and outside - of the gym. I am so grateful to have this outlet - and this hour - be a part of my day, (almost) every day.

Gifts for Fitness (Part 2)

If you're interested in giving experiences for gifts, you can read about some of my suggestions in Part 1 .  If you'd like some gear to go with those experiences, or you like having something physical to wrap, read on.

If there is one universal thing about CrossFit athletes, it’s that we’re pretty into our gear.  From jump ropes and shoes to weight belts and wrist wraps, there’s really an endless list of things to get that promise to make our fitness lives better.  I’ll summarize my thoughts on those items, and if you happen to be one of those people who are related to one of us CrossFitters and don’t know what to buy that special someone, you can get some great hints here.


If you hadn’t already figured it out by now, CrossFitters really like it when other people know that they CrossFit.  So, aside from representing that fact with a fit body, wearing clothes that make that statement for you is the next best thing.  New, more comfortable clothes are also proven to improve your performance by 15%.  Seriously though, I do believe that having nice gym clothes does make it more likely that you’ll go to the gym.

Top brands or things to consider:

·         Lululemon: Yeah, their stuff is expensive.  It’s also the most comfortable, stylish and durable gear that I own, by far.  I am lucky enough to wear sweatpants to work everyday, and I have pairs of Lulu sweatpants that I’ve owned and worn multiple times a week for years and years, without them showing any signs of wear.  Good stuff costs money, and if you’re in this for the long haul, you’ll end up saving money in the long run by not having to replace it all the time.  

·         Prana:  Similar to lululemon in style and comfort, but a little less expensive.  They make great stuff and have a more complete line of casual street clothes too.  

·         Reebok: CrossFit and Reebok are almost synonymous now.  I’m fairly certain that CrossFit saved Reebok from extinction, and now that they’ve got some cash behind their development, their gear has gotten better and better every year.  

·         Rogue Fitness: Rogue has a lot of quality clothing that will make that “I’m a CrossFitter” statement for you.  You can get apparel from your favorite athletes, with your favorite sayings or just with “Rogue” across it, which may appeal to your more passive representation of CrossFit, knowing that only those in the know will know.

·         CrossFit Sandpoint (or your local box): We’ve got shirts, hats, sweatshirts, beanies, stickers, patches etc that tell everyone not only that you CrossFit, but also where you CrossFit.   



Wrist Wraps

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Wrist wraps protect and reinforce a particularly vulnerable and complicated joint.  They can significantly help people with their overhead movements and can ease some pain that comes with what is initially a really awkward front rack position.

- Things to consider:

·         There is a velcro and stretch combination and there is a non-stretch, twist design to choose from.  I’m a velcro and stretch fan, but I know a lot of twist fans as well.  I don’t really have an opinion other than you’ll probably get one and stick with it.  

- Where to get them:

·         Rogue Fitness

Hand Protection

There are few things worse in CrossFit than tearing your hands.  They hurt for days, prevent you from training to your full capacity, they don’t look cool, they scar, and they make your hands rougher in the long run (which prevents future tears, but also may make your companions less likely to want to hold them).  Some hands are more prone to tears than others, but a great way to prevent tears altogether is to wear some sort of grip protection.  

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There are a few options here, but most come down to either glove or just palm protection.  I don’t think I know anyone that has stuck with gloves for the long run.  They’re just too awkward, both in appearance and in grip.  Instead, almost everyone I know has preferred the palm style hand protection.  “Wodies” seem to have the biggest following these days, and they seem to last a while.  

Check out your options here:

Rogue Fitness

Lifting Belt


This is a tricky one for me because I’m really not a fan of weightlifting belts in general.  I think they’re dramatically overused and are often a crutch instead of just learning how to brace your midsection when you lift.  That said, they are a great aid on max lifts (but really only then).  

However, a lot of people really like them, will continue to use them and probably won’t die because they do.  

There are two options here, either belt or velcro.  I prefer the non-velcro belt as velcro tends to fail after years of use, and if there is one place you don’t want your equipment to break down, it’s  at the bottom of your new max squat. 

Where to get them:

Rogue Fitness

Jump Rope

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We do a lot of jump roping in CrossFit, often to the chagrin of athletes.  The disdain for the activity can be prevented or at least assisted with the utilization of a personal jump rope.  Getting used to a rope that is the exact same size, speed and handle shape has transformed a lot of people’s jump rope ability in a matter of days.  I tell everyone that I have a hard time with any rope you just hand me off the wall because it’s not mine.  Adjusting a rope even a few inches can change it a lot.  So, by having your own, you can circumvent all of that mess and know that it’s set perfectly for you.

Where to get them:

Rogue Fitness

RX Smart Gear

RPM Ropes


This can be a tricky one, as a. 99% of all supplements are total bullshit, b. People have their own tastes and things they like, and c. I don’t find supplements to be the most thoughtful-seeming gift out there.  

That said, a good quality protein powder or a good quality fish oil are both effective and should be utilized by most people to round out their nutrition.  

Where to get them:

Stronger Faster Healthier


Thorne (here at CFSP)


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This may be my favorite thing on the list for someone to get as a gift.  They’re generic enough to know that you aren’t going to get something for someone and they’re going to hate it.  They’re super useful (normal collars slip and slide around slightly during use, the ones I recommend don’t budge), they’re individual enough to know they’re yours.  Best of all, they aren’t insanely expensive.  

I was given a pair as a gift a few years ago and will very, very rarely use a bar without them on it.  

You can find them here:

OSO Barbell Collars

Weight Vest

I’d only recommend this for more advanced CrossFitters, someone who does our Mountain Athlete programming during the summer, or someone who does preparation for long ruck type races on their own.  

In those cases, having your own weight vest is the only way to go.  First of all, I think I’d rather share a pair of underwear with someone than share a weight vest.  Seriously, they’re worn tightly to the body, often without a shirt underneath, during strenuous activities for hours at a time.  And judging from the ones that are left here for storage all year, people don’t wash theirs.  Gross.  

So, if you’re someone who finds themselves wearing a weight vest from time to time, get your own, and what better time to get one than for Christmas.  

I got mine off ebay for like $50 (not used of course), and it’s worked well.  It was the 40# version from ZFO Sports.  It’s worked ok.  I wouldn’t recommend the 40# version unless you’re absolutely sure you want that much weight for a majority of the time.  It is adjustable, but taking the weights out of it kind of messes with the balance and fit.  So, if you’re mostly a 20# vest person, I’d just get a 20# vest.  


They make super fancy tactical ones that are actually bulletproof, just know that the fancier they are, the more expensive they are.  

Where to get them:

Rogue Fitness

So there you have it.   A fairly comprehensive list of gift ideas for that CrossFitter in your life (or just for you).

The Gift of Fitness (Part 1)

As of this posting, we're in the final countdown to Christmas.  Hopefully, by now, we've got most of our shopping done (but seriously, with Amazon Prime, we've really got a whole week for our final orders, so no hurry!

One of the things we like to do in our family is give the gift of experiences for Christmas.  While oftentimes we are presenting others with objects or things, eventually those get used up or forgotten.  Of course we still do those things as well, but we also like to think that by giving an experience, you allow that person to do something they may not forget quite so soon.  Things like tickets to shows, plane tickets, lessons, trips, overnight stays have been neat to see utilized in a non-traditional way.

For the fitness person in your life, there's plenty of gear to get them excited about smashing that next workout.  Things like apparel, wraps, belts, shoes, jump ropes and other accessories are certainly great ideas (more on those things in Part 2 tomorrow).  But what about an experience in Fitness?


Here at CrossFit Sandpoint, we have ways to enhance or specialize in a more individual way that can dramatically benefit the recipient.  And if you're reading from afar, your local gym likely offers similar.

We have 30 minute and 60 minute Skills Sessions, available for $35 and $60 respectively.  These sessions are a great way to get specific, 1 on 1 attention to your skills here.  The nature of group classes are that every member gets roughly 2-3 minutes of devoted attention each class during skill based work (roughly 10 people/class, roughly 15-20 min for strength/skill work per day).  


Imagine what progress and work can be done with 10-20 times that amount of attention and care during a session.  It allows coaches the opportunity to use video, work through specific drills and assign homework to be done in the future either before, during or after class.  The progress I've seen in these sessions has been dramatic.  Even more, doing one per month has put athletes leaps and bounds ahead of where they might have been without them.

If you're interested in purchasing something like this for the CrossFitter in your life, putting it on your Christmas list, or even introducing a new person to CrossFit (new memberships include 5 half hour sessions in their first month here), you can do so here, or contact us here for more info.

Or, if you're more of a gear type of gift giver, stay tuned for tomorrow's post with my take on your options there.


CFSP Member Spotlight: Nancy Twineham

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What brought you to CrossFit in the first place? 

Working out has been a big part of my life for so long and I was sad to leave my gym in So CA.  I was taking a class at that gym called Hard Knocks, which was similar to CF in a small group setting and loved the structure of the class.  I think what I enjoyed most about it was all of the wonderful people I've met and friendships created. 

When we moved to Sandpoint, I joined a local gym but every time I would go workout, no one was there and there definitely wasn't any classes like this.  I was just going through the motions and starting to lose some motivation.  I had seen a flyer about a kids/teen CF camp that was being put on during the summer and wanted my kids to do something other than just sit around all summer.  When I dropped my kids off, I knew I had found what I was looking for and signed up the next week.

What was your first impression? Has that changed? 

My first impression was that it felt like I had come home.  Everyone was so warm and welcoming from the members to every single coach.  I think what stands out the most is that there are no egos.  Everyone is there to help and support you no matter if you've been doing CF for years or it's day one and you don't know what you are doing.  I really enjoy working out with everyone and look forward to going day after day

What was your first success? 

I think my first success would be participating in the Open and doing one of the workouts (17.3, I think) Rx'd.  It was a last minute decision and it felt great!

What are you working on now? 

I've really enjoyed taking Bill's Kung-Fu lifting classes.  I love both those lifts and want to continue getting stronger.  Pull-ups are still my nemesis, as well as linking toes 2 bar and hand stand push-ups.  Overall, I'm working on being a better athlete, trying to improve a little bit each day and to keep my nutrition on track.  

What’s your favorite CrossFit Sandpoint memory? 

There are a couple that stand out....most recently, I got paired with Chad & Val for a team workout of power cleans, thrusters and box jumps.  I so badly wanted to do this workout Rx'd but had to drop down in weight on the thrusters.  It was still more weight than I had ever done in the past. They weren't pretty but I did them and both Chad and Val were supporting me the whole time.  Another recent memory is hitting some PR's in the snatch & clean and jerk!

CFSP Member Spotlight: Steve Sanchez

CrossFit Sandpoint Member Profile: Steve Sanchez


What brought you to CrossFit in the first place?

In September of last year, I was staring down at my 20th HS Reunion.  My old classmates were in the planning stages, and I didn't want to show up 20 years older and overweight.  I was getting slower and loosing motivation for working out and doing the things I love (mountain biking, road biking, hiking, swimming, and triathlons).  I had stuck my head into the Sandpoint CrossFit box once before and was impressed (and intimidated!) by all the fit people, but when I saw Kenny's post that he was opening up 10 spots for his Foundations class last October, I knew that was going to be my best chance to get out of my rut.

What was your first impression? Has that changed?

At first, I didn't think I needed a "Foundations" class.  I knew how to do all of the lifts, and (I thought) I had good form, but when I couldn't lift my arms above my head for nearly a week after a scaled pull-up workout, I knew that I needed to calm down and stick to the game plan.  Because of biking, I have always had strong legs (or at least thought I did), but my range of motion was horrible!  Now that the coaches and I have identified some (many!) of my weaknesses, I am working hard to improve and I hope see that in my races next summer! 

What was your first success?

I would have to say my first success is actually sticking with it.  Over the last several years there have been times where I have been everything BUT motivated to workout.  Before CrossFit, I would come up with every excuse you can imagine to avoid a workout, but now that I have made friends and connections at CrossFit, I go not only because I am looking forward to the workout, but because I feel like I have to be there for my friends in the 4:30 class.  People like Travis, Jim, Ryan, Chase, Chrystal, and Terry (and all of the coaches!) inspire and motivate me to go harder and not give up, (and the 5:30 ladies give me crap if they don't see me during their warmup)!  I like to say "The hardest part is just showing up!"

What are you working on now?

Now that I am tracking my progress and getting stronger, I'm working on completing all the Function workouts at RX.  My goal is to be able to complete all of the 2018 CrossFit Open workouts (scaled for my age group) in the allotted time, and I want to finish all of my 2018 races within the top 10% of my age group!    

What’s your favorite CrossFit Sandpoint memory?

My favorite memory was doing the 4th of July WOD at City Beach with so many other CFers!  That was awesome!

Pull-uptober and Ski Season Prep!

Pull-uptober and Ski Season Prep!

For the next two months, we’re going to have some specific goals to work towards in addition to our normal general fitness development.  With ski season right around the corner (maybe as soon as tomorrow as it looks like with this weather), and with this time of year being somewhat challenging for most to stay focused, we’re going to give you some extra motivation on a couple of things  


For one, pull-ups!  At our coaches meeting the other night, we were discussing what the most common thing that people are looking to improve or achieve.  The unanimous conclusion was pull-ups.  I’ve lost track of the amount of people who sit across from me when they start and admit, “what I’d really love to do someday is a pull-up”.  

So let’s tackle this together.  

Our programming always contains pull-up, chin-up and rowing work, but for the next 8 weeks, it’s going to be very specific and intentional on improving your ability to perform a single pull-up with the greatest amount of weight possible.  

So, how is this going to look?

Well, starting next week, we’re going to designate Monday for testing of 1RM pull-ups.  If you are currently able to do a strict pull-up, you’re going to start to add load to your body via kettlebells attached to a belt.  If you are currently unable to do a pull-up, you are going to find the lightest combination of bands that you need for an assisted pull-up.  

You’re going to write down your weights or combination of bands.  The bands are going to be numbered within their colors so you can keep track of which ones you actually use.  Older bands don’t assist the same as newer bands.  

Then, you just need to keep coming to the gym.  Our weekly programming will continue to be very similar, but we’re going to have some very specific pull-up work for you to do on the days that we have pull-ups programmed.  If you happen to miss a day, you can easily make up that pull-up work from the previous day in the class you attend.

If you’re a pull-up pro or working on kipping, don’t worry, you’ll still have time to work on the more dynamic stuff in your workouts.  Additionally, not to give any secrets away, but starting in January, and as we lead up into the Open, we’ll start another 6-8 week cycle where Performance and Sport will be working on kipping.


In addition to pull-up work, I know that many of us will be skiing this year.  In preparation for that, we’re going to devote a lot more effort to single leg work.  This may be a little less specific than our pull-up work, but you’ll definitely notice more lunges, step ups and split squats in your weekly routines.  If you’re not a skiier, no problem!  I’d hazard a guess that you, like most, could benefit from some extra single leg work.

Questions, comments?  Let me know!

(Oh yeah, and it's Pull-uptober because we came up with it in October, and we haven't come up with anything better).


CrossFit Sandpoint Member Profile: Vicky Graham


What brought you to CrossFit in the first place?
My husband and his cousin worked with a few hardcore cross fitters who were in great shape. Apparently, they talked about CrossFit a lot on the job because my husband would always tell me about CrossFit and the workouts. After hearing so much about it, I had to go and try it for myself.
What was your first impression? Has that changed?
I was completely overwhelmed and felt like I was in over my head.  I loved the idea of CrossFit but I was so bad at it.  I wasn’t going to throw the towel in though.  Feeling determined, I stuck with it.  I have been Crossfitting religiously for 3 years. I am addicted.
What was your first success?
Box Jumps! My first 20 inch box jump was like winning the lottery. After having my baby, I completely lost my box jump and had to learn it all over again.
What are you working on now?
Double unders. On a good day, I can get 4 in a row.
What’s your favorite CrossFit Sandpoint memory?
Experiencing the Open for the first time at CrossFit Sandpoint. The gym just has a different vibe for those 4 weeks…it’s awesome.