#TBT "You Don’t Have To Be Great To Start"

**Because it’s Thursday, now known as international “throwback” day, I present to you a throwback to the early days of EPW. This was originally posted on December 11, 2012**

I’ve been crossfitting for about 5 months now and a lot of people have asked me what I did to lose weight or what crossfit is because they want to see if it’s “for them”. When I tell them about crossfit, the most common reaction I get is “oh, I’ll need to start working out now so I can get ready for that” or “oh no, I’m too out of shape for that”.

I’ll be the one to break this news to you:
You will never be ready to start crossfit. Ever. No matter how many miles you can run or how many pounds you can lift, you are not going to be “ready” to start. 

I’m trying to say this in the nicest, least offensive way possible: crossfit is going to knock you on your ass. And that’s why it’s so effective. If you’re an awesome runner, it’s going to throw some weights at you. If you’re an amazing weightlifter, you better get ready to do some serious running. You’re a couch potato and can’t walk 10 feet without gasping for air? That’s okay, we’ll scale the exercise down for you. If you’re awesome at both cardio and weightlifting? Well, let’s go ahead and increase the weight/reps from prescribed.

That’s the point. To make EVERYONE better as an all-around athlete.

So here it is: my top 5 reasons you should get off your butt and get in the box NOW.

5. The people kick ass.
The best part about Crossfit is the community. People show up, stay late, and show out. There is not a single gym in this country–probably the world–that has people who are so committed to seeing each other succeed in fitness and in life. Every crossfit box is really a family that cares about and supports each other. Doing a pull up unassisted? SCORE! For the team. First muscle up? AWESOME! And just try not showing up to the box for a few days. Your phone and facebook are about to be bombarded with, “Uh, Ace, haven’t seen you at the box lately. What’s going on?” This is how you know they’re good people. They’re not going to let you slip back into being a lard-ass.

4. The coaches kick ass.
Crossfit coaches are great. They’re the kind of people who are going to support you 100% and make sure that you’re always just a little outside your comfort zone. If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you, right? Coaches are the kind of people who will help you figure out exactly what to do to be your best you–because if you’re not trying to be that, you’re kind of in the wrong place.

3. It’s almost the new year. And you don’t wanna be THAT GUY/GIRL.
We all know that gyms are PACKED in January because everyone made their “new year’s resolution” to shrink down to 2 pounds and only eat slim fasts for the next year. We get it. Don’t be that guy/girl. Don’t wait for some fake holiday to make a decision about your life. Make it now. Decide you’re gonna be a more fit person because you want to. Not because some hallmark created holiday filled with vodka-induced bad decisions told you to.

2. It’s a lot easier to get in shape when you’re not sitting your ass on the couch.
If you’re anything like me, you’re sitting on the couch reading this and thinking “Godddd, why can’t I just be fit?” Um, well, because you’re still sitting on the couch. If you’re even more like me, you’re probably also eating a pint of Rocky Road ice cream and that isn’t helping out either. 

1. Because you should stop being a baby and just do it already.
If anyone understands you, it’s me. I was TERRIFIED to go to Red Stick Crossfit. Just walking in the door seemed like a monumental achievement. And it was. That’s the hardest part. Walking in and saying, “yeah, this shit is gonna suck and I’m gonna do it everyday.” But walking in that door everyday and not being scared of what’s gonna be on the whiteboard is one of the biggest achievements I reach everyday. Does it hurt? Yes. Do I fail? Yes. Do I keep going back? Yes. Because I’m addicted. And you will be, too. 

PS: If you’re in the Baton Rouge area and want an awesome box with awesome people to train with, please feel free to check out Red Stick Crossfit on Government St. and Hearthstone. 

Update: If you’re in the Houston area and want to try out an awesome box with awesome people, TRY MINE! Come on over to CrossFit 3600 on Gessner Rd and Clay. You won’t regret it.

Let me tell you about my friend, the Drifta Lifta

Starting strength training in Baton Rouge was a lucky break for me. I didn’t know it when I started, but just being in Baton Rouge and at Red Stick CrossFit put me in touch with a lot of pretty great athletes that I might never have known otherwise.

One of those athletes is Matt Vincent, also known as the Drifta Lifta.
So who the hell is Matt, right? Like, who is this guy and why does he get a nickname like “Drifta Lifta”?

This is Matt.

Photography by www.mikebuckphotography.com. Go check out his shit. Tell him I sent you.

He’s a two time Highland Games champion. Which means he gets to throw really heavy shit like, all the time. Like it’s his job. Because, well, it is.

Photo by www.scottishheavyphotographs.com

Matt likes to throw heavy stuff around and to do that, he has to be strong. Like, really strong. He has a love for lifting, eating, beer, and being efficient. So naturally, to tie all these things together, he started drifting. His home is in Baton Rouge (with his adorable wife), but he travels all around the world (!!!!) training with some crazy incredible people and then he documents it to share it with all of us.

What does all this mean?
He goes around and meets the best people possible to learn from them and become the best strength athlete possible. He’s getting lighter, stronger, and more efficient everyday.
In fact, he can show you better than I can tell you so take a second to check out the Drifta Lifta’s teaser trailer below:

Think that’s cool? Visit www.driftalifta.com and check out the “just the tip” sections for tips on how to be a better, more explosive, more mobile athlete. To quote Matt, “I learn everything you can so that I can be better and less of a piece of shit.”

Go watch! And hang out. And follow him on facebook HERE. And then go follow him on Instagram HERE.


"The thing is…we have to break up"

**brought to you via questions from EPW readers**

Things have been hard lately.
Work’s not as steady as it always is, money’s tight, and you just moved.
The worst part? You’re now unable to find time to get to the box. Now instead of the usual 5 minute drive over, your commute is 80 minutes. You’re missing out on all of your friends and the awful workouts and the fun.

You can handle it for a couple of months. You’re like, “okay, this is the month I’m going to do better at managing my time” but after 3 months of paying your dues and only making it over there twice, you come to the realization that this isn’t going to work.

You have to break up with your gym.

Breaking up is hard to do. 
It’s hard enough to have to tell your box owners, “hey, I gotta go,” but how do you leave your friends? How do you leave this place that you call home and these people you call family? 
Eventually, you come to terms with it, right? Right. Because you have to do what you have to do and you feel like everyone will understand that. 

Unfortunately, not everyone understands that all the time. 
All of a sudden, people that you totally loved and cared about at the gym are giving you the cold shoulder. 

There are like, a million CrossFits just on the west side of Houston alone. If we had beef with everyone who went to a different box/chose to go their own fitness route…we’d literally hate EVERYONE.

No, it isn’t everyone. You have a few that still call, you still hang out, y’all do non-box-things. 

But when you catch some former box mates out, it’s like you don’t exist. Sometimes, they’re not very nice and that sucks.

What’s awesome about CrossFit is that it’s diverse. It brings a TON of different people together.
What sucks about CrossFit is that sometimes people are so diverse that you and the people you meet only have that thing in common: CrossFit at [insert box here]. So if you’re gone, you may not have anything in common to that person anymore.

Does it suck? Yes.
Is it right to let go of a relationship because you switched boxes/moved/whatever? No.
So what do you do? Fight them. Obviously.

Just kidding.
Let it go (let it goooooooooooo!)

Because, honestly, the true friends that you’ve made through your box will still be your friends. They’ll understand your situation. They’ll include you. They’ll come visit you in an entirely different state just because. Because they’re your friends and not just an acquaintance that happens to do the same stuff as you. 
Friends will text you about your new PR and ask your opinion on the new nanos no matter what box you’re at or what path you’ve taken. They will NOT ignore you, be ugly, or make snide comments–because we’re not supposed to be about that shit!

So when you see a CrossFitter out, old box mate or not, smile. Say hi. Be friendly (even if they aren’t). 
Because that’s what our community is supposed to be about: community.

Currently -ING

Two Brain Business by Chris Cooper from 3, 2, 1, GO Project. This guy’s legit. Unfortunately, I’m reading at the slowest pace I’ve ever read in my life because I have limited time to read and also because I keep marking up all my pages with highlighter and notes.

My family, both by birth and by choice. I am so happy to be home and close to my parents and closer to my siblings. I can literally have lunch with my best friend and my boyfriend on any random Wednesday, just because.

Because how can you not love faces like these…
…even if they are Packers fans. Ugh.
So close to these girls now. So happy.

To Golden Oldies radio on Pandora–right now, Come Together by The Beatles. I’m having a sing along. JOIN IN!

About all the things I absolutely must get done this week. One of which is finish a blog about breaking up with your box–I actually have it done, but I don’t feel like it’s ready to post yet. I still have some things to say.

I apologize for the outrageous handwriting. I was in a hurry this morning. And this is not even close to finished.

Myself because I ripped an entire piece of sheet metal off of an ugly ass door at the box. We had a door that was decorated like a race car and it looked insane. The black squares of the racing flag were actually vinyl, so I was going to go one-by-one and take them off…except then I got impatient. So I literally ripped the whole thing off. HULK STRENGTH! Now to strip, sand, and paint.

That it was already the weekend so we can have our box ugly sweater Christmas party! I am excited. Also that Brittany would tell me what the hell she got me for my birthday. AND that Mama Nancy will let me decorate our Christmas tree in Harry Potter theme this year.

Nothing that matches. I’m actually wearing a thermal hoodie and tank that I got this weekend from In The Box Pro Shop and navy sweatpants. And grey chucks. It’s all jewel tones, so that matches, right?!

Um, I’m a midget. Also, if you visit www.intheboxproshop.com and use the code “puppylove” you’ll get 10% off your purchase. So do that.

A nap. And a beer (that’s okay to say, right? I mean, it’s halfway through the day).

Coffee, some extra motivation, wrapping paper, and string Christmas lights. I also need to update my blog design…which I will be attempting this week by myself. Bear with me, this could be a real shit show.

That this weekend’s competition showed me more of my weaknesses than I wanted, but I am really proud of the progress I’ve made with some of my Goats like, burpee box jumps. I definitely have areas that I want to work on, but I’m really happy with the progress I’ve made so far. And I wouldn’t go so far to say that I like burpees, but I can do them pretty efficiently now.

A little tired, but happy. Thankful for the people in my life. Proud of my 3600 athletes for taking on a new adventure and kicking ass this weekend.

"How’s the gym?"

I’ve been way more absent than usual lately. 
Most of you know (or maybe you don’t) that back in August, I was extremely fortunate to become the owner of my own CrossFit box, CrossFit 3600.

Since then, my life feels like it’s been on warp-speed. Seriously. My days blend into nights and I’m always working. It’s the best job I’ve ever had.

That’s not to say it isn’t without its stresses. 
Most days, things are perfect and everything is going exactly how I want them to. The WOD that I’ve programmed is awesome, my marketing plan is going great, and I get 5 new members. 
Other days, it’s a shit show and I can’t even hear the words, “how’s the gym?” without completely losing it.
I work 80 hours a week (108 hours last week, actually) to avoid working 40 hours a week and it’s definitely the best decision I’ve ever made.

I am incredibly lucky that I have really great athletes so far that make my blessings far outweigh my burdens. Any time I’m stressed out, one of them manages to come through and make my day. I look forward to going to work and seeing them everyday, which is the bomb.com.

Guess who didn’t just finish Filthy Fifty?

That being said, I miss blogging a ton. I’m always coming up with ideas about things I want to share with the readers who follow Eat.Pray.WOD and I’ve been missing out. So I made a schedule and I’m hoping to keep to it all December and well into the new year. 
Because I miss writing all the things and having you read all the things. 

SO! If there’s something that you specifically want my opinion/musings on (CF related or not), shoot me an email eatpraywod[at]gmail[dot]com. 
Can’t wait to hear from you! 

A Word About Feminism

Feminism is getting a really bad rep these days. 

For some reason, I keep seeing women talking about being “anti-feminists” because “they don’t believe they should have to hate men” or “they don’t think women deserve special rights to put them above men” or because they “don’t think it’s okay to be a hate mongering asshole”.

Weird. Because I agree with all those things and I am, indeed, a feminist. 

1. I would love and respect my boyfriend, too. 2. I make my own decisions without being pressured. 3. I enjoy makeup and like feeling pretty. Also, I don’t need to be superior to men. I want to be equal.
“I need to be partnered”–Which is exactly why we should be equal.

So when people say this ridiculous shit, I channel my inner Inigo and say “I do not think that word means what you think it means.”

Imagine a world where there was actually a whole movement dedicated to equality of the sexes…oh wait.
Rights that you would, quite literally, not have without the feminist movement.

So here’s the skinny (strong?) about feminism:
It just means being equal. It means believing that a woman’s life is worth the same as a man’s life. 
I mean, I think we should all agree to that, right?

What feminism doesn’t mean:
Feminism DOESN’T MEAN you hate men. (uh, obvs, I’m a man lover over here).
Feminism DOESN’T MEAN you get special consideration. (Uh, because if you got special consideration, you’re not equal. See?)
Feminism DOESN’T MEAN you’re a hate mongering asshole. (I mean, you might be. But that doesn’t make you a feminist.)


Herein lies the problem. A lot of women (and men) have become so accustomed to today’s lifestyle, they don’t really realize the part that feminism has played in where we are socially. 

Like, without strong women and men who supported equality of the sexes, a woman would still be considered a man’s property.

Without strong women and men who supported equality of the sexes, women would not be allowed to go to school.

Without strong women and men who supported equality of the sexes, women would not be so much as CLOSE to a computer, much less able to create a meme of their own image holding a sign declaring why they’re “anti-feminist”. 

See where I’m going with this?

So stop it. Stop holding women back and telling us to get back in the kitchen, take off our shoes and get knocked up already. 

Stop telling little girls that they can’t be strong or that they can’t be whatever-the-hell they want to be-whether it’s an astronaut, a stay at home mama, or a crossfit affiliate owner– because they freakin’ can. 

Stop telling girls that when men mistreat them on the street they should just “ignore it” or when a man yells some obscene thing at them that they should “take it as a compliment”. 


Your girls and your women are worth more. They are worth every bit as much as everyone else. And they should know it. 
Because you should tell them. 
You should encourage them to be strong.

Encourage women AND men to love each other.
And protect EACH OTHER.
And lift EACH OTHER up. 

Because the only way our society gets any stronger is if we all get stronger together.

Allow me to reintroduce myself

It’s been kind of a long time since I told my story about how I came to CrossFit and what I found a long the way. There have been a huge number of people who have visited my blog (thanks!) and are probably like, “who the hell is this girl?” Additionally, it’s important to remind myself that things that are easy now were not always easy and to reflect on the progress I’ve made and look forward to the progress I will make. 

So let’s start at the beginning.

In case you didn’t know, I’m Aislinn. I am not 25 like my sidebar says (only because I haven’t had a chance to update it), I’m 26–soon to be 27–and I’ve been a crossfitter for just over 2 years. 

When I finally found CrossFit thanks to a glowing recommendation from my friend Jordan, I was terrified. I was 204 pounds at 5’2”. There was no freakin’ way I was gonna be able to do whatever the hell Julie Foucher and Annie Thorisdottir were doing on TV. Not a chance.

I found Red Stick CrossFit in July of 2012. I called and spoke with Andrew, the owner and head coach. Talked his ear off. Told him all my worries and fears and pretty much tried to convince him to convince me that I just couldn’t do CrossFit and if I tried, I would die. Didn’t work. 
Andrew assured me of two things: 
1. I could definitely do CrossFit
2. I’d pass out way before I died.

Like everyone else who started before me, I went in scared everyday and learned something new. I scaled everything. I couldn’t even lift the 35 pound bars. I was in awe of all the athletes around me doing seemingly undoable things. 
My goal? Get skinny.

In September of 2012, Red Stick CrossFit participated in Barbells for Boobs, a competition designed to raise money for mammograms for women in need. I reluctantly signed up to do it after Andrew and Lauren assured me that I could scale the work out (I was nowhere near a 95# clean yet!).

For the first time, in a LONG time, I actually felt like an athlete. In addition to all that, I got to experience the amazing community that is CrossFit outside of my box. All around me, people were cheering and encouraging competitors to get one more rep. Move a little faster. Work a little harder. 

As the months went on, my goals changed. I didn’t really care as much about how “skinny” I was or how much I weighed. My goals started shifting to how strong I was. I didn’t care about looks or size. I cared about getting a pull-up. I cared about increasing my deadlift. I cared about increasing the number on my barbell rather than decreasing the number on the scale.

Where I am now:

I’m no longer at Red Stick CrossFit (but it’s still my home box!). I’ve moved from Louisiana to Houston, Texas where I’ve opened my own box: CrossFit 3600. I could have never guessed that my life would take this turn but it’s been the most incredible journey.

There is nothing better than being able to help people reach their own fitness goals and help them impress themselves everyday. 

It’s also a blessing to be able to tell my athletes that I’ve been and could possibly still be in their shoes. Double unders are hard and no one likes burpees. 

But everyday, we get better and everyday is a more exciting day on this crazy journey.

It has been awhile!

Man, oh man. Updates on life:

I haven’t been getting to blog because I’ve been swamped with work at the new box. It is extremely rewarding and exciting. And that’s good because I spend 14-16 hours a day doing work for the box. Love it, but sometimes, this girl needs a nap–which cuts into my blogging time. 

Seriously. I need a nap. This is Mama Nancy, standing over me as I die after completing a Team Series workout. She’s actually really excited about it (the workout, not me dying).

Living at home with Mama Nancy and Daddy Carlos has been awesome. I LOVE IT. I really like not coming home to an empty house and spending time with my family. Mama Nancy claims she is dreaming of the day that I’ll get a place of my own (we all know she’s fibbing–she loves me being home, I think). 

Mama Nancy is not a fan that I get to go to work like this everyday. Things she also won’t do: touch my laundry. 

I was pretty terrified pre-move that I’d get here and have no friends because they’d all be busy living their own already established lives and doing their own thing. I’m thrilled that that is the case but they’ve been great at including me, too. 

Only one of the most fun times ever! Murder Mystery dinner. Murder in MargaritaLand!

Also, I’ve set a goal to post at least 3 times a week on here–mainly because I miss writing and mostly because I miss you. 

That’s all for now!


All of you know by now that I moved back to Houston. 

My original plan was to move back here temporarily while I tried to get selected for Marine Officer Candidate School. Unfortunately, my family needs me right now in a way that I can’t provide if I’m at Quantico. So the move to Houston is permanent. 

Once I determined I’d be making a permanent move, I started looking for jobs. And job hunting sucks. It, in itself, is a full time job. I applied for approximately 19,481,020,181,391,003,484,930,310,320 jobs (give or take about 3) and was pretty much told I was either under qualified or over qualified for all of them. 


I was pretty down about it and Mama Nancy suggested I see about finding a possible part time gig as a CrossFit coach in the meantime. I answered a CraigsList ad looking for a coach and sure enough, got the job (YAY, ME!).

But that’s not the big announcement.

Shortly after I got the job, the owner operator of the box decided he no longer wanted to be a box owner and essentially walked away…leaving this awesome box and awesome members without an owner and a coach…

…so I bought it.


Now that everything is official and I have my affiliation, I can say that I am the proud owner and coach at CrossFit 3600 in Houston, Texas. I am honored and humbled to have such an incredible opportunity to help others in their fitness journey the way I have been helped. 

I will say, if you had asked me 3 years ago if this is what I’d be doing, I would have said, “HELL NO”. Of course, with any leap of faith and pursuit of passion, there will be nay-sayers and doubters who will tell you that you can’t reach your goals and that you can’t do the things you want. But all I have to say to that is, “watch me.” 

In just my 3 short weeks back in Texas I have connected with SO MANY PEOPLE who are interested in being healthy and living a fit lifestyle through CrossFit and I cannot wait to provide them with that opportunity and watch them grow.

If you’re in the Houston area, please feel free to come by and and drop in OR if you’re looking for a CrossFit family in Houston, come join ours! We’ve got plenty of room. 

Thank you so much everyone who has supported me through this journey and process and thank you in advance for all of your well-wishes and support. So far it has been 16 hour days in the gym, lots of programming, planning, working, cleaning toilets (!!!!), sweeping chalk, signing membership agreements, and seeing sweaty, smiling faces…and I love every single second of it.

“1 CrossFit workout takes 1 hour from start to finish. 3600 seconds. That’s all we need to change your life.” 

"but, like, what do you take?"

*I was compensated in the form of product for this review. All opinions are my own.

I get a lot of questions about what kind of supplements I take on a regular basis.

About two months ago, I would have told you that I don’t take any. I generally rely on regular foods to supplement my workouts. Also, I hate the way powdered product tastes. It’s either like drinking straight sugar water or drinking liquified chalk. Ew.

So when my friend Claudia asked me to try out ATP Mechanix, I was a little skeptical. She assured me that it was unflavored (and I’m thinking, “right, we all know that ‘unflavored’ means it tastes like crap”) and really good–it would help me focus and push through my workouts and then recover afterwards.

So I tried it. Skeptically.

And Claudia was right.

I used ATP Mechanix both pre and post workout and it was a great experience. Because it’s legit tasteless instead of the crappy “unflavored”, I mixed it with a little water and some flavoring from Target so I could make it taste the way I wanted it to. 

The pre-workout was what I was most concerned about, as I don’t want to be jittery or have my heart feel like it’s exploding out of my chest. And it was complete opposite of that. I felt very focused and direct, like I wasn’t going to stop until my workout stopped, instead of when I got tired. 

The post-workout was the bomb. I should note that I had actually taken a week off prior to coming back hard in the gym and I was pretty nervous about being so sore I couldn’t move…and that also wasn’t the case. While I was sore (duh), I wasn’t half as sore as I could have/should have been. I also felt like I got more restful sleep–as of late, my sleep patterns have kind of sucked with waking up at ridiculous times and tossing and turning. I didn’t have any of those problems while taking ATP Mechanix

I literally loved using the product and especially loved that the labels are in actual English. I can Google all the things on the label and actually figure out what they do–instead of having to read alternative names/figure out alternate pathways to figure out what I’m putting in my body. 

Each pouch is good for 30 days of supplementation and requires very small serving sizes. 

All comments have been disabled. If you’re interested in ATP Mechanix, please click HERE and say hi to Claudia! She’ll be happy to get you on the way to greater performance!