Monday 6.10.13

Any guesses? Name that athlete...

Any guesses? Name that athlete…

OTM x 30
5 Pullups
10 Pushups
15 Squats

Try to complete as many minutes as possible.

Old School.

Old School.

CFNE Internal Team Throwdown!

Coming up THIS Saturday — Click HERE to register!

Coaches Corner…with Coach Harry

My First Workout(s) at CFNE

 We have all been asked, and have asked this question. What was your first CrossFit workout? As cliché as the topic may be, I enjoy hearing those stories. They often end in a way that would turn just about anyone away from trying CrossFit(at least the normal people), but, we understand them. Over the years in the gym and in the competition setting, we most definitely have fond memories, but we will never forget our first WOD.

As some of you know, I have been fortunate enough to have been part of CrossFit New England for some time. But it’s been broken time. Two months ago, I returned to CFNE after having the luxury to serve four years in the USMC. And as I was going into my first class after moving back, I was thinking back to my first day at CFNE, wondering how it would compare to today. So let me lay my story on ya.

My first day at CFNE was in October of 2008. I like to think I’m a pretty tough guy (I just flexed when I wrote that), but I was no-doubt-about-it nervous on my first day. I had been doing CrossFit in my garage for some months, but I was nowhere near these cats. They were legit. Not only that, but the WOD was comprised of a movement I’ve never done before – snatches. So I didn’t know what to expect. It just might kill me. Only one way to find out. I asked a friend if he wanted to come along, but he couldn’t grasp the fact that I was going to drive 45 minutes to workout in a middle-school gymnasium.

A middle-school gymnasium… because at the time, CFNE was not at 15 Tech Circle. Ben and Heather were running morning classes (and morning only) out of Dover-Sherborn Middle School and the Nobles School in Dedham. It was down-and-dirty CrossFit in its finest. WOD on a basketball court, in a parking lot, or in a playground. Low equipment, but high motivation. What sounded strange to my friend sounded like a great time to me.

I got there about 30 minutes early. Annnnnd that’s a lie. I was definitely over an hour early. It was my first day! Can’t be late. So I killed some time with an iced coffee and made some phone calls. Even more embarrassing, is that I walked through the entire middle-school in my workout clothes with a water bottle looking for CFNE. Strange looks when I asked where they might be. But at last, I somehow found the gymnasium.

I met Ben that morning, and he immediately welcomed me like I was an old friend. I shot him an email a couple days prior asking if I could drop in, but I didn’t expect him to remember. From that alone, I instantly felt like I came to the right place. We started pulling equipment out of the storage locker, and in the process, I met about 20 people. I remember thinking about how inviting it was that first day. I compared it in my mind to the Gold’s Gym I had a membership with. I was that guy with his hat low, headphones on, looking to get after my workout with no interruptions. A bit of a 180, but, I was all about it. I felt like I had become part of something, just 15 minutes in.

The workout went awesome. Ben warmed us up as a group, demonstrated all of the movements, and talked strategy. It was ”Randy” – 75 power snatches for time. I got smashed. It was awesome. I don’t remember a single rep, all was a blur, but I do remember physically crawling to the back of the gym floor after finishing. Actually crawling on all fours to the door, because I was worried that iced coffee was about to show itself on the floor. But that wasn’t nearly my favorite part(should that even be a favorite part!?). My best memories of that day was surprisingly the time before and after the workout, getting to know Ben and the group. And I didn’t see that coming at all. We were all so dramatically different… there were firefighters, school teachers, stay at home mothers, college students and military. How could a workout bring us together as if we were long-lost brothers and sisters? Especially when we had such little equipment… it was just us! I was impressed, and was eager for more. For the following months, my 45 minute drive to CFNE was made without a second thought.

Fast forward to 2013, two months ago, when I returned to the walls of 15 Tech Circle. I had been able to work in a few visits home during my time away, but it had been awhile. Driving in for the first time since moving back, I wondered how the “new” CFNE would be.

It felt exactly the same. And I couldn’t be more honest. There has been some incredible additions to the gym – the client base doubled, the equipment seemingly tripled, and best of all, there are incredible coaches who could not be more passionate about what we do. But the unmistakable vibe that CFNE resonates remained there. It’s ability to bring together all walks of life in every class hour has only strengthened.

Heather led my first class back, and was just like day one for me years ago. Heather warmed up the class, led the mobility, and briefed the workout. All while interjecting several innuendos that only she can get away with. Felt exactly the same as the old CFNE… just a great time. And as expected, I got ca-rushed by the WOD. Mission complete. Classic CFNE. Loved it.

Few organizations in the world can keep their original personality intact. Time changes people, and so does money. We want it to be for the better, but sometimes, it’s not. We’ve all experienced that in some regard. Know this – CFNE has never taken a step off the path. To summarize it, I’d like to reword something. These aren’t “changes” from the old to the new CFNE. Simply because there was never such a thing of an old and new. CFNE grew and matured, much like a living person. And with that, its original personality and values will forever remain intact, regardless of the size it grows to or the materialistic changes it may undergo. CFNE will always be CFNE.

Alright… but there is something I have to mention before I wrap this up. The one, and the only, change I’m not so happy with – the loss of the best bars on Earth. Heatherbars!!! If that word doesn’t bring you back, then stop reading now. Because it’s for your own good! They were the most delicious snack you could ever dream of. Not Paleo, not Zone, but damn, I’m make my own diet around these if I could. It was pretty much a fourth macronutrient for us at CFNE for some time. Good stuff. GREAT stuff. RIP Heatherbahs, it was for the best.


  1. michelle

    Harry, you nailed it. So true, right down the the Heatherbars! CFNE has grown but it is still the same- “We were all so dramatically different… there were firefighters, school teachers, stay at home mothers, college students and military. How could a workout bring us together as if we were long-lost brothers and sisters?” Still true. Great post, Harry! We are so glad you are back.

  2. Harry. Well done, friend. It’s a privilege to coach with you and more so a privilege to know you. Perhaps one of the nicest dudes ever. Thank you for your service and thanks for coming back to CFNE safe & sound. It has been awesome.

  3. Missy

    I remember when you walked through the door that day in 2008- OMG- Who is this CUTE YOUNG guy working out with us?????????? I think I probably had my twins in a double stroller! Those days were the best and I totally agree- the vibe has not changed one bit! LOVE CFNE!
    SO glad you are back, harry!
    xo m

  4. Derek

    Heatherbars post wod in the car.. Sticky fingers. Steering wheel. Bad news.

    Harry you were one of the first bad-asses I first met when I walked through that door at the carol school. And you are spot on about CFNE’s personality and values not changing. There are a lot more of us now, AND we have a TELEVISION in our gym, but CFNE is still home.

    My family and I all shed a tear for you at your going away party when you left, prayed for you while you were gone, and are happy as heck that youre back. Well done sir!

  5. Great write up Harry. Thank you for sharing this. It’s been great getting to know you and of course coaching with you at the crack of dawn.

  6. Harry, great read. I miss the early mornings at Nobles tremendously but not nearly as much as the Heather bars!

  7. Lisa L

    Harry- what a great read- I was literally transfixed. Thanks for coming back, thanks for serving, thanks for being a great guy. Hope your shoulder heals fast and furiously! ;)
    AND I look forward to when I can do a full, non-subbed, class with you (and the rest of the coaches for that matter!!).

  8. Lisa L

    Oh and those sexy calves in the photo are definitely Dooles!

  9. CFNE has always been awesome. But having you back Harry has made it even more awesome-er!

  10. We’re lucky to have you! Thanks for your service, and for coming back to CFNE. Glad to have the chance to know you this time around.

  11. Thanks for sharing, Harry. So nice to read your memories and reaffirm how C

    • … how CFNE is a unique and wholesome community, no matter where it is located!

      My mystery photo guess: Sean Rockett.

  12. Bubba

    Harry – Can’t say how glad I am to have you back at CFNE. The gym does feel the same but thats in no small part because Harry’s back! Some of my best crossfit memories were training with you and I can’t wait to keep it going. Great Post – I remember the first wods with you (crazy redhead kid), Derek (Pilsbury dough boy), Big Bri (super strong guy) like they were yesterday. Its great to think that those first connections are still being made at the gym today.

    Heather Bars! Half my caloric intake in 2009

    • thanks, Bubba. My kids refer to pictures of me during that time as “fat Daddy.” Feel the love…

      • For any one needing a good Father’s Day gift, I highly recommend the book “Dad is Fat” by the comedian, Jim Gaffigan. It is hilarious. Really funny, sweet, and sarcastic all rolled into one.

  13. A great read Harry. Thanks for sharing. My first Harry experience was Open WOD 13.4. He helped me focus during thrusters on using my hips mid WOD. Did it in a way that encouraged and pushed me. Had no idea who this guy was but I knew he was worthy of listening to and now I know so much more about Harry. I wondered recently if the photo in the back was Harry?

    My Ocean State Master Throw Down experience and personal results shared:

    • Rick W

      Dan, congrats on a great performance. Way to set goals and good job knocking them off!

    • Alison

      Congratulations Dan. Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m sure that margarita was one of the best you’ve ever had.

    • Dan – I really enjoyed getting to know you and your family better. Your enthusiasm made the day more fun for all of us. Congrats again on a job well done!

  14. Katrina

    Heather bars!!!!! Yum

  15. Great post, Harry! Glad you are at cfne
    30 OTM: 1-8 RX, 9-15 level 1, 16-30 level 2

    • Forgot to say this was “chelsea” which I have done once before a long time ago, and quite sure it was not close to the volume I achieved today….I am completely spent–hard/grueling workout.

    • laura c

      we had the SAME exact workout today~

  16. Doug B

    Did the CFNE mile today because I’m a mans man…tied my shoes though…kinda disappointed in myself…lost style points for sure…well at least my hair is still swaggerific

  17. Andy M

    Right on Harry, your words are so true. And it is awesome having you back!

    Chelsea: Rx for first 12 rounds then down to level 1 the rest of the way. Can’t lift my arms above parallel.

    • Braatz

      Impressive work, Andy. That takes guts and determination to stay at level 1 the rest of the way.

  18. Mike R.

    Great write up, Harry! Awesome stuff.

    Chelsea: 1-8 Rx (did not finish squats in round 8), level 1 (4,8,12) for Rd 9 (did not finish squats in this round either), level 2 (3,6,9) rounds 10-30.

  19. Tricia D

    Great article, Harry. You are an excellent coach and we are very lucky you came back!

    And, great job Bergerons & all of the coaches and CFNE staff. You all make a lot of lives better – not a bad gig, guys.

  20. Kristin R

    Chelsea – about half and half level 2 and 3. Knee pushups after the first two rounds. I have no idea when I switched over to level 3 because I was afraid to look at the clock and see that we had double digit rounds left!

    Great post Harry – and is someone going to tell us newbies what’s in a Heatherbar?

  21. Chelsea
    1-7 Rx
    8 L1 (4/8/12)
    9-15 L2 (3/6/9)
    16-28 L3 (2/4/6)
    29-30 L4 (1/2/3)

  22. Dan C.

    Chelsea: 31+23 Rx

  23. Braatz

    Chelsea: 1-11 Rx / 12-18 L1 / 19-30 L2

    Great to have you back, Harry, and coaching at 0530. My first CF/CFNE WOD was DT… “say hello to my little friend”.

    Underrated moment of the day: Max seamlessly moving from push-up demo to break dancing. Genius.

  24. Rachel E

    We’re so lucky to have you back, Harry! Great post and I couldn’t agree more that CFNE has stayed true to its roots and just keeps creating more people focused on doing all the right things, for all the right reasons, no matter who is watching.

    Chelsea: Level 2 reps, hand-release pushups

    • Oh goodness – I’m impressed that you WODed today. I’m still resting (back at it tomorrow).

    • Also: Way to kick ass Saturday!! You da woman!

  25. Rick W

    Chelsea: rounds 1 to 15 (Level 2), 16 – 29 (Level 1), 30 Rx
    Welcome back Harry, i have really enjoyed getting to know you and thanks for teaching me how to do pushups correctly!

  26. Alison

    Chelsea (or goat day, take your pick) – 1-15 mod 2, 16-30 mod 3.

    Huge props to Bob R. who put on a Chelsea clinic.

    Cash out (June goals) – 5 push jerk, 5 split jerk, 100 DU

    Harry, great post. I’m so glad you are back! My first WOD was a 2k row. My second was Grace, and I was directly behind you with my 35# while you finished before me with Rx weights. I was in awe. (I also sprained my wrist that day and the doctor asked me why I was doing 30 clean and jerks with 35#, shouldn’t I really just do 5# dumbbell curls? 35# is a lot of weight for a girl like you! Clearly, she’s not a candidate for Crossfit, nor does she schlepp and swing her 80#+ and 60#+ kids around just for fun. Functional fitness, right?!)

  27. michelle

    Chelsea: 19 w 3 butterfly pu/6 push ups/15 squats
    11 w 2 butterfly pu/ 4 push ups/12 squats

  28. Chris M.

    “Chelsea” – 30 Rounds Rx’d

  29. Chelsea: 30+34 Rx

    Excellent post Harry!

  30. Awesome post Harry!

    Back after being away for a few weeks. Work travel, tweaked back and a vicious head cold.

    Chelsea kicked my butt
    Rds 1-3 RX, 4-6 L1, 7-8 L2, rest was L3. ugly…..

    Was good to be back though!

  31. 1-15 L2, 16-30 L3

    Someone left wrist wraps and a water bottle in the CFNE tent at Ocean State Crossfit. I left them at the front desk.

  32. Chelsea: 22 rnds Rx. Then 8 rounds of 5 pull ups, 8 push ups, and 15 air squats.
    I missed the memo on the rep scheme if we couldn’t complete a round.

  33. Sarah W

    Great post, Harry. Thanks, man. I read this at 4:58 am and couldn’t wait to get to CFNE this morning.
    1-5 rx, 6-13 level 1, 14-30 level 2.

  34. Rachel M

    Such a great post Harry! So happy you’re here and that I have the opportunity to coach and train with you:)

  35. ECizzle

    Harry! How did you have time to write this with all the GRILLING ?!?! :)

    HEATHER, please, please, please make HeatherBars again. Quest bars and kill cliff got nothing on them. I am even willing to admit they are more delicious than rice cakes and GF butter. xoxoxo

    • ECizzle

      Actually, don’t make HeatherBars again. #nocontrol #whowasikidding #gameover #peanutbutterandbanana

      • Megan B

        Heather, pay no attention to EC. Just because SOME people have no control doesn’t mean you have to deprive the REST of us of that deliciousness that was the Heatherbar.

        #ICanTotallyEatJustOne #OrTwo #OrThree

  36. Heather O

    Harry thank you for writing this amazing article, for your service to our wonderful country and for coming back to coach at CFNE so all of us newbies can get a chance to know you and be trained by you. (And also for representing our hometown of good old Worcester with me!) :-) You are a wonderful coach! I hope you get better soon. Oh and p.s. What are HeatherBars? :-)

  37. Chad M

    Great post Harry, having you coaching us has been awesome.

    A little bit off track, anyone looking for a roommate or house sitter for July and August? When the contract was about to get signed the greed of the person came through and I decided to tell him to take a walk, so Liz and the kids will be moving the end of this month and me, I’ll be here through the end of August, with numerous cross country flights thrown in.

  38. Marcus

    Great post, Harry.

    Chelsea: had to cut pushups down to 5 after round 11 b/c I felt a muscle I pulled a week or two ago flaring up. really liked this wod. looking forward to doing it again.

  39. Greg D


    Rounds 1-7 (Rx)
    Rounds 8-10 (Level 1 4/8/12)
    Rounds 11-30 (Level 2 3/6/9)

    Great workout!

  40. harry… great writeup. don’t know what CFNE was like without you because MY “no-doubt-about-it-nervous on my first day” experience was right around the time you came back, but it sure is awesome having you around coaching! : )

  41. Rasheed

    Chelsea – Rx first 16 rounds; scaled push-ups to 8 in rounds 17-20 and to 6 in rounds 21-30. Did pull-ups and squats Rx for all 30 rounds.

  42. laura c

    Chelsea: KICKED MY ASS!
    1-8 RX (tried round 8 but was a bit short)
    9-15 (level 1)
    15-30 (level 2)
    I found my grove in level 2 and finished all those rounds with like 20 seconds to spare… I needed level 1 1/2!

    But after doing the math that is : 105 pull ups, 210 push ups and 315 (acutally more b/c I messed up on these) air squats….. thats NO JOKE!

    Harry – I had heard ‘stories” about you and was glad you came back – the stories were all true but the sentiment that you were a “amazing nice guy” was an understatement and I am honored to have you as one of my coaches. Even when we act like we are not listening…we are:)!

    PS I got to eat heatherbars for a few months and they are OMG so dang good! At one point had about 10 frozen in my freezer after they told me they were not paleo (for the challange) – WHAT? Heather makes them, they are paleo in my book….

  43. Andy R

    Chelsea: 30 rounds RX plus 25.

  44. Sara C

    Wow, Chelsea, you are not a nice girl, are you???

    One round Rx. Yep. Well, that’s a benchmark and I’ll go from there next time! After round one, I scaled and scaled…scaled down, then up, then down, then up. Push-ups went down to my knees about 1/3 of the reps in. This workout was just 10 rounds to effing long, but that is how we get stronger and I am glad I did it!

  45. Chelsea: 10 rounds Rx, 10 rounds with 5 push-ups each, 10 rounds with 5 hand release push-ups.
    I seriously wanted to quit at round 25 and planned on it until some inspirational song came over the speakers and pushed me through. I’ve never wanted to quit a WOD as bad as I wanted to today.

    Cam you were amazing today. Congrats to you and Connor for getting past 30!

  46. Susan Stein

    Chelsea: all rounds with skinny green band and push ups from knees
    Rounds 1-9: RX reps; 10-18: L1 rep scheme; 19-30:L2 rep scheme

    That was tough!

    Great write up Harry, now I’m dying to try a Heatherbar. Maybe she can make 1 batch for us virgins. Nice to know that the essence of CFNE hasn’t changed, wish I had found it earlier!

    • Sara C

      I had the same thought…could we just have a Heatherbar day? Just ONE day?

  47. I believe that is my husband.

  48. Trupti

    Great write-up Harry! Its such a privilege to train and coach under great people. I remembere, I was welcomed by “Filthy 50″ on my first day at CFNE and I totally panicked!!! Then Ben turned it into “Filthy 15″ for me and by the end of it, I was on floor thinking the same as you did years ago, ha!

    One constant that remains same no matter who comes and goes is that CFNE IS ONE BIG FAMILY and ALL ARE WELCOME HERE :)

  49. 30rnds+25reps Rx ..awesome crew in the 530 to chase!

  50. Ouch that Hurt !! Is Chelsea a boy or a girl and can you name the 6 other towns in Mass with a womens name ?

    • Megan B

      Beverly. Lynn. Sharon. Dana. Hadley. Lee. Shirley. That’s 7 by my count. :)

      What about men’s names? Far more of those.

      • Lynn, Beverly. Shirley, Sharon, lee, Marion.
        Where is Dana and do you know anyone named Hadley ?

        • i do – she’s a good friend :)

        • Megan B

          Amy and I each know a Hadley. :) Dana is apparently someplace in what is now the Quabbin Reservoir. I was looking at a Census list of places in MA, and since at one point there were people in Dana, it was on the list. Too funny.


  1. #WODsohard | Monday 6.10.13 - [...] June 9, 2013 Categories: CrossFit New England [...]
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