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. Big Bri

    “Chelsea” – 30 + 31 reps Rx’d.

  2. Kristin B.

    Chelsea: a mix of L1, L2 and L3 w/all real pull-ups and push-ups. Tore my hand with 4 rounds to go so switched to KBS. You know a workout is tough when you look at the clock and only 10 minutes have gone by…

    Great post, Harry. I think everyone remembers their first workout. Mine was 12.1, aka 7 minutes of hell — uh, I mean burpees. Quite the introduction.

  3. Chelsea: 22 rx, 23-25 L2, 26-30 L3

    Like hitting a wall on round 23, qick decline from there. nice work 5:30. Tough Wod!

  4. Chelsea Wins:

    Rx: 1-7
    L1: 8-10
    L2: 11-16
    L3: 17-30

    Bitch slap complete. Thanks, push-ups.

  5. Wendy P


    RX- 1
    L1- 2
    L2- 3-30 … RX push-ups until 9 then on my knees for the remainder

    Tough WOD!!!

  6. 31+19

  7. Megan B

    Chelsea modified to REAL kettlebell swings (full extension at the top – first time doing these instead of eyeball height ones) instead of pullups.
    Rxish: 1
    L1: 2-3
    L2: 4-30

    Level 2 was right on target for me for this WOD given where I’m at with pushups.

    This was my first-ever Crossfit workout at CFNE after elements, back on 9/14/2009. I did jumping pullups and knee pushups. My score was:

    1-3 (rx reps)
    4-7 Level 1
    8-10 Level 2
    11-27 Level 3
    28-30 4/4/0.

    Fun to look back and see that some things have improved over the years! I remember getting to into the third round and thinking I was a total failure for not being able to do it 5/10/15 the whole time. :) Silly me!

  8. Chelsea: red band throughout and knee PU starting in round 3.
    1-5: 5/10/15
    6-19: 4/8/12
    20-30: 3/6/9

  9. Christian

    Harry, great piece of writing. I shared a lot of your same feelings my first day of Crossfit, and even more on my first day at CFNE. Like everyone, I too am glad to have you “back” even though I didn’t know you before your return to CFNE.

  10. Kevin G.

    1-6: 5/10/15
    7-12: 4/8/12
    13-30: 3/6/9 (or so)

  11. Maureen B.

    1: Rx (Yupp just one ha)
    2- 8: Level 1
    9 – 15: Level 2
    15 – 25: Level 3
    26 – 30: Level 2

    Harry so glad you came back to cfne to coach! Love hearing the stories of how and when people first started at cfne.

  12. Chelsea: 1 L1-kipping pull ups + knee push ups; 2-18 L2-kipping pull ups + knee push ups; 19-28 L3-jumping pull ups after re-ripping + knee push ups; 29-30 L3-jumping pull ups / could not complete 1 knee push up to standards…totally went to failure…yikes.

    Nothing like a Monday night 6:30pm WOD to give ya a dose or reality! I’ve been feeling really excited about my performances lately (WOD times/scores). Chelsea was exactly what I needed to check myself and remember what CF is all about. Time to refocus on the areas of greatest growth potential aka GOATS! One of the biggest being push ups. I want to do them full body! Push up challenge started today!

    • Harry – You are a fantastic coach! CFNE is extremely lucky to have you back. I’m grateful for the perspective you provided in your post. All I remember from my first WOD of Elements last November is that it involved push ups…How fitting with today’s stuggles. I was the last one to finish, by quite a bit. Everyone was cheering me on and it took everything I had to complete the reps. Max congratulated me for holding myself to the standard after I was done. One of my earliest CFNE moments I will never forget.

      • Great moment AK! You’re working hard and it shows. Keep up the good work.

  13. Geoff L

    Chelsea – OTM x 20

  14. 1-11 subbing kbs for pullups then defcon 2

  15. “chelsea”… what a humbling experience.
    1-14: Rx
    15-24: L1
    25-29: L1 with scaled pushups. haven’t done those in a whiiiile. close to arm failure.
    30: L1 (Rx pushups)

  16. Brian L

    rounds 1-20 rx
    rounds 21-30 level 1


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