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AMRAP-ing Your Life

June 15, 2017

Anyone who knows me immediately knows two things.

1. I can talk.
2. I talk about CrossFit.

I take a lot of life lessons from CrossFit, so conversations about life tend to naturally gravitate back to the sport of fitness and the things it teaches me.

CrossFit teaches me that hard work is good for me, that miserable things will eventually end, and that I'm capable of more than I've ever imagined.

Recently though, I remembered a very practical lesson CrossFit teaches, and I'm applying that principle to my (non-athletic) life with pretty amazing results.

Even as a mediocre (at best) CrossFitter, I'm always shocked at the sheer volume of work that can happen in just a few short minutes.

With this in mind, I thought of the things that I struggle with in the rest of my life. For me, a major one is organization.

Things like budgeting, de-cluttering, and record keeping are the bane of my creative, fun-loving, fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants existence. Just the thought of them leaves me feeling overwhelmed and inept.

However, I KNOW those boring things are essential to my mental health, so I have no other option but to make a plan to get them done. My solution? 15 minute AMRAPs.

I've been giving those boring/overwhelming weaknesses 15 minutes of focused effort 6 days per week.

Here is what I noticed...

1. I actually do it.

Creating a low barrier for entry by "only spending 15 minutes" on something keeps me from feeling overwhelmed by it.

As much as I hate de-cluttering closets, or working on my monthly budget, I know I can handle 15 minutes of it, so instead of putting it off indefinitely, I can actually talk myself into doing the work.

I have a friend who says: "If you want to be a runner, start by putting on one running shoe."  This is the same tactic.  Start with a time, or an action that doesn't overwhelm you, so you can get over the inertia, and actually start moving.

2. I spend longer than 15 minutes.

Once I get started, I get in the zone and typically spend much longer than 15 minutes on the project I've been putting off.  A few (or even one) of these sessions, and the problem I was dreading is completely taken care of. Kinda like you may not want to start Murph, but once you do, you hang in there and finish feeling satisfied and accomplished at the end.

(See how I bring everything back to CrossFit?)

Anyway, this may not be a new concept for you, but it's worth trying if it is.  I'm no life coach, and I haven't written a book on this or anything.  All I know is that our laundry room has never been more organized, and I have another fun way to talk about CrossFit now that I can apply it to even more areas of my life.

Happy AMRAP-ing!

- - -

P.S.  Here's another way to say it...If you want to be great at double unders, start by designing a really fun custom speed rope...Too pitchy?  Sorry.  We sell jump ropes around here, whaddya want from us?  :)

Click below to check out some of our super-fun gear!

"CrossFit" is a registered trademark of CrossFit, Inc. This website is independently created and maintained by its owners, without any affiliation, connection, or association with CrossFit, Inc., nor the sponsorship, endorsement or approval of CrossFit, Inc. or any of its parents, subsidiaries, or affiliates.

This blog attempts to answer my friend's question...

"Balance, hahaha, what's that?"

Seriously though...What is that?

Lots of people talk about balance, but it's always in the context of searching for it...

People will comment that they "need to hit the gym more," or "spend more time with my family," or "eat a healthier diet," or "concentrate on work," etc.

They'll then end their comment with a guilt ridden sigh, and say something like, "Gosh...I just wish I could find a balance."

Well, here's my take...You ARE balancing.

When I think of balance, I think of someone on a tight rope. 

If you've ever balanced on a tight-rope, or a slackline, you know that it is not a passive activity.  It's not like you just step onto a tight rope, find your balance, and then trot along effortlessly like you're on a sidewalk.

When you balance, you're constantly recognizing the moments you are off course, and making slight corrections to get yourself re-centered over the line.  The thrill of a tight rope comes from the constant string of moments we notice that we are slightly OUT of balance.

Oxford defines balance in this way: "to keep or put (something) in a steady position so that it does not fall."

By that definition, if you have not fallen, you ARE balancing.

Sure, you may feel a bit off to one side or the other occasionally, but THAT'S WHAT BALANCING IS!

I think we should be okay with that. More than that, I think it should be thrilling (like a tight rope is thrilling).

There are times when we spend a little extra time at work (and get something awesome done).  There are times when we do a little more exercise than laundry (and set a PR...High Fives!!!).  There are times when we spend so much time with our families that we've let our good and purpose-driven occupations slip (but made incredible memories in the process).

It will always be uncomfortable when we bump up against the edges of our balanced position, but part of the thrill of life is finding the edges of our balance.  As long as your spiritual, relational, or economic life has not fallen apart...YOU ARE BALANCING.

My encouragement is to celebrate your active state of balancing (instead of sighing and feeling guilty). 

In the words of Dr. Seuss:

" sure when you step, step with care and great tact. And remember that life's a great balancing act."

Staying upright takes good decisions and a knowledge of where you should be centered, but it's still a balancing act.  We'll always be finding the edges, and pulling ourselves back in.

Keep balancing my friends :)

- - -

P.S.  If you haven't read the book "Oh, the Places You'll Go" as an adult, you can do so with this link.  Just don't get all teary eyed like I always do.  Frickin' Dr. Seuss gets me every time...

Also, a fancy new jump rope can be a great addition to your balancing act.  Click below to make that happen!



Why Hard Is Good...

May 09, 2017

I've been doing some genealogical research lately.

If you've ever considered delving into your unknown family history, I'll warn you that it's a mixed bag.

For every successful business man, or brave Revolutionary War soldier, you'll find an alcoholic, womanizing, absentee father, or a suicidal patriarch who hung himself after years of discouraging circumstances.

Most of all, my research has reminded me of this one truth: Life is hard.

We live in a broken world. We're surrounded on all sides by adversity. There are battles to be fought, but so many times we've got our eyes out for easy street. We seek comfort over conflict. We seek luxury over hardship. We look for the path of least resistance over the journey fraught with pain and suffering.

Which makes sense, right? Why would we willingly subject ourselves to hard situations?

Well, I believe we'll have trouble in this life whether we try to avoid it, or not. If that's the case, we might as well make a stand and fight a battle that is worth fighting, right?

Have you ever watched a movie? Yes? Of course you have. What makes a good movie? You guessed it. Adversity.

We don't sit and watch 2 hour movies about people who were born into loving families, attended the best schools, and became more and more successful until one day they rode off into the sunset with huge bags of money, the admiration of the world, and a perfect marriage to another incredibly attractive human.


We watch stories about people who overcome obstacles. We want to see a poor, hard working local boxer "go the distance" with Apollo Creed by running stairs, punching a beef carcass, and chasing chickens (Rocky). We want to see an emaciated Tom Hanks stranded on an island, talking to a volleyball, and risking everything to make it back to civilization (Castaway). We want to see someone get framed, and sent to prison. We want to watch him suffer unbelievably hard conditions and mistreatment before finally devising an escape plan, and climbing through a sewer line to freedom (Shawshank Redemption).

We want to watch stories about people who have fought the good fight, and won.

In fact, the saying "fought the good fight" comes from someone who was no stranger to hard circumstances...

2 Timothy 4:7 "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."

The writer of this Bible verse (Apostle Paul) had been blinded, shipwrecked, bitten by a snake, imprisoned, beaten, whipped, stoned, left for dead, and likely beheaded at the end of his life.  Through it all, he held on to his faith, and continued his purpose. Thousands of years later, we're still talking about it.

We're no different than the Apostle Paul. Something in us craves a good fight.

I think that's one of the reasons we voluntarily endure extremely hard workouts.

We feel the adversity out there, and the WOD is some sort of metaphor for the battle we want to fight against the enemy who is prowling around us like a lion.

We know it's good to do battle. Why else would we walk through the door knowing the misery we're about to face?

Unfortunately, sometimes our desire to do battle can end when we walk out the door. While we seek war at the gym, we look for a hammock on the beach with the rest of our life.

Wouldn't it be better to find a fight worth fighting, and lean into it with the same raw energy we tap into during an AMRAP?

Adversity will eventually find us in our hammocks, just as it will find us on the front lines. However, we don't write stories about people who lay on the beach all day.

We write stories about people who face conflict, suffer greatly, and accomplish amazing things.

Let's live lives that are worth writing stories about, shall we?

Have a wonderfully hard day :)

- - -

Ahhh yes. Abs. Many of us are infatuated with them. Many of us have suffered through hours upon hours of gut-wrenching pain in our pursuit of them. Many of us have failed to find them. For all of you out there twisting and turning under the overhead lighting in your bathroom, here is the best way to get them...

Stop giving a crap about them.

Here's what I mean. If your GOAL is to have 6-pack abs, you will likely lose interest and give up on your pursuit months -- or even years -- before you reveal your chiseled mid-section to the rest of the world through a perfectly posed mirror selfie (bonus points for #nofilter).

Here's what happens when you hit the gym for the sole purpose of developing a 6-pack...

Day 1: Abs? No.

Day 2: Abs? No.

Day 3: Abs? No.

Day 4: Abs? No.

Day 5: Abs? No.

Day 6: Abs? No.

Day 7: Abs? No.

Day 8: ....No....Just...No!...Stop it.

It doesn't take a genius to see a pretty discouraging pattern here. 

You may or may not achieve your goal of having 6-pack abs, but one thing is certain: Your singular focus on aesthetics is likely going to be a super frustrating and miserable process, rife with self-loathing and poor body image.

What if there was a better solution? What if you started hitting a CrossFit box, and eating a clean diet for the sole purpose of being more fit (instead of obsessing over your abs)?

Day 1: Healthier?  Yes.

Day 2: Part of a community?  Yes.

Day 3: Learned a new skill?  Yes.

Day 4: Earned a much needed rest day?  Yes.

Day 5: More confident?  Yes.

Day 6: Laughed with friends?  Yes.

Day 7: Found a movement you're pretty good at?  Yes.

Day 8: Resting/Impatiently waiting for the next WOD to be announced?  Yes.

Day 9: Did something you had no idea you were capable of?  Yes.

Day 10: Talking constantly about CrossFit?  Yes.

Day 11: Still talking constantly about CrossFit? Yes.

Day 12: Noticeably stronger? Yes.

Day 13: ...yada yada yada...So. Much. Yes.

This will go on and on until someday, 1 of 2 things will happen...

1.  You'll be getting out of the shower on some random Wednesday, and very casually notice..."Hmm...(shrug)...I have abs."


2.  You'll get out of the shower on some random Wednesday. You WON'T notice that you DON'T have 6-pack abs, and you'll run happily off to the rest of your day without giving your lack of abs a single thought.

Why? Because you'll be stronger, healthier, and more fit. You'll love your body for what it can do. You'll have significantly lowered your risk of disease. You'll experience more, and miss out on less. You'll have a better view of what you're capable of. And abs?  Well, whether you have them or not, they'll pale in comparison to the functional fitness lifestyle you've fallen in love with.

So, what's the moral of the story?  Stop trying to develop 6-pack abs. Be fit. And let the abs show themselves at their leisure. :)


- - -


"CrossFit" is a registered trademark of CrossFit, Inc. This website is independently created and maintained by its owners, without any affiliation, connection, or association with CrossFit, Inc., nor the sponsorship, endorsement or approval of CrossFit, Inc. or any of its parents, subsidiaries, or affiliates.

5 Box Disorders...

April 18, 2017

As a trainer at our local box, I've noticed some conditions that you may, or may not have.  Read below to help diagnose, and treat some of the most common box disorders.

#1.  Maturity Deficiency

If your trainer can't get through coaching the Snatch, Thrusters, Jerks, Wall Balls...etc. without constantly pausing for laughter as you insert double entendres, and "that's what she said" jokes, you may have been born with a sense of humor that has only reached the maturity level of a middle school boy.

Treatment:  There is no known treatment for this disorder.  Most who suffer from Maturity Deficiency never recover.

#2. OCD (Obsessive Changing Disorder)

If you obsessively ask to change the WOD on the white board, you may be suffering from Obsessive Changing Disorder.

Does the statement below sound familiar?  If so, you may want to see your trainer about ways to be less annoying...

"Hey I know the whiteboard says kettlebell swings, running, and pull-ups, but I was thinking about doing sit-ups, rowing, and handstand pushups instead, is that ok?"

Treatment:  Trainers of people affected by Obsessive Changing Disorder can help treat the condition by rolling their eyes, encouraging the affected person to stop being a sissy, or by imposing a 50 burpee penalty every time they ask to change the WOD.*

*Warning:  Athlete will likely ask if they can do 50 jump squats instead of 50 burpees as a penalty.

#3.  Movement Dementia

Have you been going to your box for over 3 years?  Do you still have trouble remembering which movement is which?  If so, you may have Movement Dementia.

Here is a test...

When your trainer says the words "power clean," which of the following questions, or statements do you respond with?

A.  Do we pass through a full squat in a power clean?
B.  I think I'm going to scale these because I'm not very strong overhead.
C.  Which medicine ball should I use?
D.  Can we switch power cleans to bicep curls?

If you answer A,B, or C you may have Movement Dementia.  If you answer D, you may have Obsessive Changing Disorder.  You may also be in the wrong gym entirely.

#4.  Dysfunctional Counting Syndrome

Do your results typically end with an "ish" or a question mark? 

If your internal dialogue sounds something like this during a WOD, you may have Dysfunctional Counting Syndrome...

"38, 39, 50, 51...Wait, did I just skip a few reps?...62, 63, 24, 25...Wait, which round am I on?  26, 27, 38, 39...Oh Crap!  I forgot my Sit-ups in round 3...4, 5, 6...Oh well, I guess I'll just look busy until a few other people finish..."

Treatment:  While there are no known cures for Dysfunctional Counting Syndrome, those affected can elect to enter every possible local, regional, or worldwide competition to occasionally post an accurate score by way of having a judge to count their reps.

#5 Gymnesia

One moment someone can be totally entrenched in the functional fitness lifestyle, and the next you'll see them wandering around Walmart with a distant look in their eyes, and a cart full of Ho-Hos.

We can only theorize that this is some sort of Amnesia.  They've forgotten the benefits of being fit.  They've somehow gone back to neglecting their nutrition, and worst of all, they've forgotten where their gym is located.

Treatment: Don't risk frightening them off, as they are most likely scared and confused.  Calmly tell them that you remember them, and that they have a family that loves them, and wants them to come back.  See if they can recall any memories at all of their former selves.  It may be helpful to have other members of your gym contact them as well.

So there you have it. 5 disorders to watch out for at your box.  In the whole scheme of things though, all of them are pretty harmless (unless you never recover from #5).

Have a WONDERFUL day!
- - -

As I sift through some of the ridiculous things people post under the banner of inspiring others, I'm compelled to speak out against a few of these misguided, and even dangerous statements.

Here are 3 of my (least) favorite quotes...

#1.  "Second place is the first loser."

Are we still saying this? Just when I think this one has run its course, it pops up on my feed again. It may be the dumbest one out there.

Imagine if you could be second place all the time. I'm guessing you'd be pretty stoked about...

- Second richest person in the world.

- Second most photogenic person.

- Second most innovative person in human history.

- Doctor who has saved the second most lives...etc.

Would we call any of these people a loser in their specific contexts? Of course not.

If we've done our best, we need to stop acting like spoiled little brats who didn't get our way, and start being grateful for the amazing gifts we've been given. (no matter what place we come in)

#2. "Pain is temporary, pride is forever." 

Let's not forget that pain is a great way to recognize when you should stop doing something.

You absolutely should not give up if you are a healthy person who is just having a pity party for yourself in the middle of an AMRAP.

On the other hand, If your conscience/pain is telling you something isn't safe, you should remember that SOME pain IS forever.

How proud will you be if you jack yourself up trying to win a poorly attended Wednesday WOD by ignoring your pain and finishing at all costs? Let's do some risk/reward evaluations shall we?

Save super-human, high-risk efforts for the time your neighbor runs himself over while rotating his tires, and you need to deadlift his Trans-am while your kids drag him to safety.

3. "Surround yourself with ONLY people who will lift you higher."

This quote is great advice if you never want to help anyone else, teach anyone anything, or inspire someone to see their untapped potential.

Don't get me wrong. I think there are times to cut ties with unhealthy relationships, but sometimes WE need to be the ones helping people out of a low spot instead of always reaching up and asking for a boost from the rock stars we've surrounded ourselves with.

I'm sure I'll get push-back on this one, but keeping people who need help, or have nothing to offer you out of your life is a pretty selfish thing to do, don't you think?

Anyway, I'll get off my soap box now. There are MANY more stupid quotes out there, but hey, we all have lives to live, and things to do, so I'll let you sift through the rest of them :)

It should also be noted that I LOVE QUOTES, but I feel like it's important to look at them with a critical eye, instead of blindly letting them "inspire" us into an unhealthy state of mind.

Have a WONDERFUL day!
- - -
P.S.  "Always remember that welts are just poor double-under skills leaving the body :)"

The Lord knows I have a competitive streak a mile wide.

My friends at the box laugh at me as I meticulously set up my barbell, kettlebell, jump rope, and/or plyo-box in the most efficient way possible to eek out the most rounds and reps in any given AMRAP.

On the other hand, I'm starting to understand that winning isn't necessarily the point.

I think the point is to play a game together.  To collectively reach our potential.  To use the environment of group workouts to draw us into giving our best effort. All while encouraging, and celebrating each other's achievements.

My 6 year old son reminded me of that.

After his first soccer game, we piled into the car, and headed to meet a member of the "opposing team" for breakfast (A.K.A. his best friend Ellie).

On the way there I asked my son, Emmett: "What was your favorite part?"

His answer?

"Giving people five at the end."

Wow.  What a perfect answer. I hope he holds on to that attitude forever.

Emmett definitely wanted to win.  He definitely did his best, but in the end, congratulating people, and celebrating the game was the most enjoyable.

We show up.  We strive.  We compete.  We do warfare with our muscles, mind, and will.  We ache to edge out competitors.  We come as close as we dare to puking, passing out, or collapsing.

At the end of it all, we give each other high fives.  Win, or lose, I hope that's always my favorite part.

Let's recognize the battles fought alongside us.

Let's see that we are all wonderfully made.

Let's build each other up instead of tearing each other down.  Let's use competition to draw us into an encouraging mindset, and be careful never to let it be an obstacle to meaningful community.

Have a wonderful day!
- - -

Dear CrossFit,

March 01, 2017

Above:  Our newest model Carissa performing "Victory Pose With A Barbell" in her AMGAP tank :)

Another hilarious guest post by Amanda Kolman...Enjoy!

- - -

Dear CrossFit,

You seem to be doing fine on your own, but I thought I'd write anyway with a little re-branding advice. There are a number of exercises and WODs in your repertoire of nightmare-inducing workouts that might be a little more appealing if you changed their names. I present just a few here for your consideration:


This is a no brainer. First of all, they begin with the word burp.  Not pleasant at all. Plus, in this morning's workout I noticed that the motion of a burpee actually feels like defeat. The throwing of oneself down on the floor makes it feel like the workout is over and it's nap time. This means that you will need an extra bit of mental energy to talk yourself into getting back up. I'm wondering if that could be accomplished by renaming these A PHEONIX RISING FROM THE ASHES. Sure, it's a little more cumbersome, but I think it's obviously a better choice than Burpee. Gross.

Annie, Grace, Elizabeth, Fran...and the like.

I am disappointed that you chose to name all of these horrible workouts after people I know. Now when I see those people all I can think is, "You suck!" 

Instead of trying to give them lady names, let's just call them what they are. Something like, HORRIBLE WOD #1, HORRIBLE WOD #2, and so on. Honesty is the best policy here.


This is just nonsensical.  There is nothing in this movement that even remotely resembles cleaning.  Besides, almost everyone hates to clean. If you prefer to be nonsensical, how about picking something more fun like, ROLLERCOASTER or PUPPY BREATH. At least then, we feel good for a second before we collapse on the floor, breathing so hard that we taste blood.


This needs no explanation.  It's just wrong. How about VICTORY POSE WITH A BARBELL (pictured above). It's more self-explanatory this way...and less dirty.


I get it. It's a workout where you chip away at massive amounts of exercises until you get it done. But, it seems a little cruel to call something chipper that is so hard. It doesn't make me feel chipper at all. Plus, chipper is a happy-go-lucky attitude and I really need to channel a more hard core approach when I walk through the door of my box. In fact, how about something reflecting that attitude like: TAKE A LOT OF FEROCIOUS BITES OUT OF THIS WOD.

The truth is, even if you called an exercise PUKERS we would probably all still be lined up outside the door of our box ready to get to it. We are obviously a bunch who care more about the muscle and the community we are building than we do about what crazy things people might think if they overhear us talking about Thrusters.

Whatever you decide, it seems that people will keep coming back for more. But, I think you can do better. I believe in you CrossFit.

Always Sore in Cincinatti

- - -

P.S. One exercise that is perfectly named...THE DOUBLE UNDER. It's fun AND it is accurate...just like the Double Under Wonder jump rope I purchased. Colorfully designed and perfectly sized for accuracy. Now there's a company who knows how to name things :)



"CrossFit" is a registered trademark of CrossFit, Inc. This website is independently created and maintained by its owners, without any affiliation, connection, or association with CrossFit, Inc., nor the sponsorship, endorsement or approval of CrossFit, Inc. or any of its parents, subsidiaries, or affiliates.

5 WODS Every Mom Has Done :)

February 23, 2017

If you are a mom, like me, you may not have made it to the gym today. You may have found yourself running, but it was probably out of time rather than around the block. But, I can also guarantee that you did a lot of other important stuff. 
When I have those days where I have to skip a workout, I like to play a game in my head where I make up pretend CrossFit workouts for all the other important stuff I did. Then I feel a little better about not hitting the box...
WOD #1:  The Push Press
  3 rounds for time 
  Load coffee into french press
  Rest for 3 minutes while water boils
  Load water into press
  Rest for 3 minutes while coffee steeps
  Press, pour, and drink
  Tell your kids to stop arguing every minute on the minute.
WOD #3: Clean and Jerk-1 RM
  Spend lots of time cleaning the floors.
  Yell at any jerks who walk in with muddy shoes.
WOD #4: Shuttle Run
  16 hour AMRAP
  Shuttle kids to activities & run errands from morning 'til night.
WOD #5: Military Press   
  Threaten to send your kids to military school if they don't obey!
  You should definitely plan to go Beast Mode on this one.
Okay, maybe it is kind of a stretch to consider these things a workout, but doing what you do every day is definitely not easy.  These are workouts that will test any mom's moxie. Actually, come to think of it, why don't you get dressed and go to the gym today.  You deserve the break :)
- - -
P.S. "Double Under Wonder" might be the way I describe myself when I finally getting around to cleaning out under my kids' double beds, but it is also a pretty fabulous jump rope.  Get yourself one today. You can use it at the gym or to hog tie those kids while you take a nap.



"CrossFit" is a registered trademark of CrossFit, Inc. This website is independently created and maintained by its owners, without any affiliation, connection, or association with CrossFit, Inc., nor the sponsorship, endorsement or approval of CrossFit, Inc. or any of its parents, subsidiaries, or affiliates.

How To Be a Super Kid...

February 16, 2017

My son turned 6 yesterday, but he wasn't just the birthday boy at school, he was also the "Super Kid."

In his kindergarten class they have a new Super Kid every day, and when you're the Super Kid, you have a certain amount of responsibilities, and privileges. 

You get to be creative by bringing something to show the class that starts with the letter of the day (my son brought an Orangutan).  You get to influence the people around you by choosing which games to play, and which activities to do (my son chose Heads Up 7 Up).  You get to be generous by sharing a snack with the rest of the class (my son brought cupcakes...normally not on the menu, but hey, it was his birthday).

When he got home yesterday he took his Super Kid sticker off and stuck it to the back of my journal.  My first thought was..."Hey, don't stick a sticker on my journal!  I have to walk around with that, and it might damage the cover if I peel it off..."

After thinking about it a bit, I decided just to leave the sticker where it was. 

My journal is where I keep all my to-do lists, and goals, which is probably the best possible place to have a Super Kid sticker.

As an adult we get the freedom to make our own decisions, so every day we wake up is a chance to be the Super Kid.

We get to be creative, and influence the people around us. We get to share things with people, and be generous.  We get to walk alongside the people in our lives, and exercise the responsibilities and privileges that have been given to us.

In essence, we have to be the Super Kid no matter what, and since we've been given this role, it sure would be nice if we all hit the workplace, gym, or home-front with the same beaming smile my son carries with him on his Super Kid day.

Whether you have a journal with an awesome sticker on it or not, I hope you'll join me in leaning into your Super Kid role. The world sure could use more of your creativity, influence, and generosity.

Have a WONDERFUL day!

- - -

P.S. Every Super Kid should have a super-sweet jump rope right?  Click below to design yours!

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