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Today’s Workout
Complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
5 Pull-ups
10 Push-ups
15 SquatsWARNING: The following post is LONG!! If you’re a regular reader of our blog, you know that we don’t write fluff, or post things that we don’t feel are worthwhile. So though this post is long, it’s important, especially if you’re a student at CFLA.

The subject of this post is “Changes”… we’ve made a TON of them in our staff and structure over the past few months. If you’re one of our students scratching your head, wondering what I’m talking about, that’s good… we’ve tried make these changes with as little impact on you as possible. CFLA is a work in progress… we’re constantly changing and evolving to meet and exceed the needs of our community… and I wrote the following to bring you all ‘up to speed’. Feel free to read as much or as little as you’d like.


The only thing constant in life is change. Boy is this true… and it’s no different at CFLA. Over the past 7 years, we’ve undergone transition after transition, each change rooted in our commitment to people (students and staff), and in our capacity to provide world-class coaching to an ever growing and evolving community. For the last four of these years, I’ve been extremely fortunate to have had a team of five people on my staff that Sam originally referred to as “the dream team.” Becca, Michael, Jonesy, Jennifer and John. We flowed. We built the CFLA community into what it is today. We worked, played, trained, laughed and cried together. Every day I looked forward to going to work to be around these amazingly awesome people.

Back in January, I found out that like it or not, this team was going to change… Becca gave me an 18-month warning (who in the world does THAT?) that she was moving to Portland in June of 2012. Being that it was so many months in the future, it gave me the ‘opportunity’ to both ignore it, and deny that it would EVER take place. Interestingly enough, around that same time, I began ‘noodling’ an idea I had about bringing on a full-time admin person to be part of our team, with the intent of allowing coaches to do more of what we’re good at (coaching), and less of what we’re not (admin). Coincidence that these two things came up around the same time? Nope.

In the meanwhile, during this same period, Michael had taken on a year-long training commitment at Landmark Education to take his leadership and communication skills to the next level (and beyond). Jonesy had started talking to CrossFit HQ about working for their certification team and was talking about getting into working with athletes in collegiate sports teams. John was working full-time developing his company, The Biz, as a larger-scale CrossFit affiliate business consulting program, and Jennifer was working hard with him to turn this into her full-time job. And I was working on developing our Instructor Training Program, to train future class instructors and coaches for CFLA.

In hindsight, it’s clear to me now that we were all preparing for a transition that we didn’t consciously see coming. This transition actually began when we brought Niki on board full time to take over our admin position, and hit full swing in August when Becca accepted a full time writing job in Portland and moved (a full 10 months early), Jen started working full time for The Biz, and Jonesy began actively seeking work as an athletic trainer with sports teams at the collegiate level. My full-time team of five, though shrinking at CFLA, was blossoming… each person growing into new roles in the Universe!

Today at CFLA, we have almost an entirely new staff team. People on the team fit into three main categories – Coaching Staff (full-time and associate), Class Instructors, and Admin. These categories are entirely new (on our old ‘dream team’, there were no distinctions or categories… we all did it all). It represents a huge shift in how we do what we do, allowing each member of the team to spend as much time as possible doing what they’re both really good at and love doing, something that we like to call ‘unique ability’.

I can’t fully express the excitement I have for this change at CFLA. It has a significant impact on each of our staff members, and on you, our students… since you will be on the receiving end in classes, seminars, challenges, and events. And while it may not seem like much at first, I can promise you that when people spend more time doing what they love doing (and are good at), everyone benefits.

Below is a list of each of the people on our ‘new’ team… you’ll recognize many of the names, because they’ve all been part of our community now for many years. I know you’ll support them just as you always have, but now you know ‘the rest of the story’.
1. Michael is now our Team Captain. The only remaining full-time staff member from the the ‘dream team’, he’s got many years of coaching experience at CFLA as well as years of Landmark Education communication training under his belt. Michael is the man with the plan for our team, and my right hand when it comes to running the business. He’s also a full time coach, instructor and trainer.

2. Sam is our newest full-time coach. He’s also a full-time staff member and Michael’s right-hand man. Passionate about health and fitness, Sam is coaching both on and off the gym floor. He is also responsible for maintaining the physical space at CFLA, and assists Michael and me with whatever we need to run the business. His youthful exuberance is contagious… careful, if you take a non-CrossFitter around him for any length of time, they’re likely to be squatting, thrustering, and talking Paleo next time you see them.

3. Jonesy is now what we’re calling an ‘associate’ staff member. He’s one of our primary class coaches at CFLA and coaching many of you ‘off the floor’, but has a much more limited staff responsibility, giving him the time he needs and wants to pursue athletic training (let’s all think UCLA or USC so he stays right here!)

4. Shirley rounds out our Coaching Staff. She has been a ‘lurking’ staff member for the past 2 years with a regular following in the 8:30 Tuesday night class… and finally, the time was right to bring her on board. She’s an associate staff member, like Jonesy, teaching classes with some staff responsibilities, but allowing her time to do the things she wants to with the CFLA Kids program and the fun (think Sweet Cheeks) things she does in the rest of her life.


5. Jennifer hasn’t gone anywhere, just changed roles. She is working full time for The Biz (which is being run solely by John Burch). This used to be the consulting branch of CFLA that we recently split off to run on it’s own. Though no longer full-time staff at CFLA, she is still part of our Class Instructor Team… so she’ll still be teaching classes at CFLA and you’ll see her regularly up in our ‘bullpen’ – her office, for now, running The Biz. She is also responsible for designing our apparel.

6. Niki is our Chief Office Runner. She handles all memberships, paperwork, filing, scheduling, phone answering, intros,… if something is going on at CFLA, she not only knows about it, she’s probably already in action, doing something about it (aka ‘Radar’). She is NOT a coach or instructor for classes… her ONLY job at CFLA is to run the office… and run it she does!

7. Logan – though it’s hard not to look at him now and think, ‘intern’, he’s definitely NOT an intern anymore. He’s paid his dues, worked his butt off, trained in our Instructor Training Program, and is now one of our most loyal and trustworthy new coaches. He’s teaching a few classes on the CFLA schedule each week, and is running the CFLA Pro-Shop.

8. Chris Devlin and Matt Wagner – These guys are the newest addition to our instructor staff, and they round out our team. Both have been CrossFit certified. More importantly, they have been training in our Instructor Training Program (ITP) for the past year-and-a-half, have passed a rigorous written test and been scrutinized time and again in front of our staff coaches discerning eyes while student teaching. Each has come a long way… and I’m proud to call them CFLA Instructors… they’re now an official part of our team!

We’ve got a fantastic team of staff and instructors at CFLA who have all come up through our system… starting as students, progressing and evolving, eventually expressing the desire to serve our community as staff, instructors and teachers. I am really excited and honored to have them on board as part of our team. And I know they are equally as excited and honored to serve you.

As students at CFLA, you will continue to see and experience innovations, changes, improvements, and additions to our system and team. That’s one of the things you get as a student at CFLA. Thank you all for being a part of our collective community, for without you, there’d be no one for us to serve! I’m looking forward to growing and changing with all of you for years to come!

In health and fitness,


Strict Lynn (32)
Sean – gettin’ over the bar.



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