My Love Letter to 26.2 CrossFit

This post is dedicated to the joy and love I feel for my Coaches and teammates at 26.2 CrossFit in Rockledge, Florida. 

Two years ago I discovered 26.2 CrossFit. It took me two months to get up the courage to call and make the commitment to go to a class. I had, as Coach Allie describes it, stalked the box online and driven past it a few times before actually calling him to commit to a three-class-free visit. The moment he assured me I would not throw-up in his box I knew I would be committed to the process. 

The Coaches

Allie in Action Skills and Drills

Thanks Allie, for making it so easy for me go to the playground. Thank you for the ATLAS SHRUGGED 3 WoD, for the Marine Corp Marathon T-shirts you donated to my VFWA Rocket Post 4534 and for 26.2 CrossFit & Rockledge Barbell Club for working with us on the Stop 22 shirts. Thanks for taking my initial telephone call, for being so delightfully charming that you drew me into the box without reservation. Thanks for your sincerity, your kindness, your easy-breezy yet firm resolve in coaching style. Thanks for pressing me in such a positive way to do more than I thought I could.

Atlas Shrugged 3 WoD: April 12, 2014

3 rounds of

  • 14 dead lifts
  • 12 cleans
  • 9 shoulder to overheads. 
  • Weight should be 80% of your jerk and there is a 10 calorie row penalty for letting go of the bar during the triplet. 

Very Special Thanks to my Coach Shane. The perfect first CrossFit coach for me, you made it very easy for me to stick with the Endurance class three times a week and not want to flee away in tears or terror. You gave me the space I needed to move forward when I was ready and you always let me know just what I should do when I wanted to ease up. My favorite memories will always be those times when I not only surprised myself by doing something I had never been able to do before but it surprised you as well. The look on your face, the slightly raised eyebrows with a hmmm still makes me giggle. Thank you for encouraging me to embrace rowing on my off days! Thanks for enduring my dumb looks, hateful face, and #NotRollingMyEyes. 

Todd Tom Shane Sapphire

Lauri 2016 UprisingThanks to my Coach Lil’ Miss Lauri! Your infectious attitude, your competitive spirit, and your joy for CrossFit was and still is totally inspiring! Your continuous encouragement is extremely appreciated. Your happy squeals for the successes that come my way are like gold medals around my neck. Thanks for honking and cheering me on when you see me running. Whenever you are around a WoD it is always a P-A-R-T-Y.  A work-it-hard party, but a party nonetheless. (tee hee)

Coach Jamie – you are my rowing inspiration forever. I remember the first time I saw you row against Allie and your technique stuck in my brain. Knowing you and Coach Lance are Marines always made me want to work hard and not be a wimp, well, at least not publicly. 

Coach Marc – you are the wild warm-up guy that has challenged my abilities. The work-out before the work-out man. Thanks so much for your Go Ruck attitude. Thanks for letting me work up to your warm-up antics. You are awesome!

Nil and Kiel - Strongman Coaches

Coaches Nil and Kiel (Rockledge Barbell Club at 26.2 CrossFit– I wish I had more time to Strongman train with you. Thanks for teaching me to improve my deadlift significantly. The last WoD I did with 2 minutes of deadlifts was awesome because you took the time on a Saturday to work with me! (Yeah, I still need major work but the DLs were much improved thanks to my socks.

I also want to mention two substitute coaches when I first started. They are Paul H., the equivalent of Captain Awesome from CHUCK, and the truly adorable Alex G. They were so incredible sweet to me, the little old, grey haired lady when I started. Like Coach Jamie, Coach Paul is with me when I row and Coach Alex is in my head every time I have to do squats, especially air squats. Thanks guys!

The Teammates

A special shoutout to Strongman Reed Tompkins! You are amazing in the box and out in the community. I am a better person for having gotten to know you, your work ethic and your business ethic. 

Thank you to every one of my teammates! To all of you in the 5:30 a.m. class seeing you finish strong always made me want to do the same. Mike T. who always kills it. Danielle and Mark Q. who never quit. Jen H. for her scrapes and bruises and blistered hands and those awesome shoulders and arms and the Prancing Pony, Frankenstein Penguin Walk. Oh, and Mark Q. for his donuts and fried chicken, too. (Yeah. That is still so not right to put in front of the Chubby Chick, dude!)

The Biggest Hurrah goes to my 6:30 a.m. teammates that have come and gone over these past two years. I miss my first year mates a lot! Thank you Gabe and Michel for being my best cheerleaders ever. Thank you Linda S. for always coming back for me when you finished your run while I shuffled to the finish. To Sara G. and Karen R. for the team spirit, eye rolls and laughter. I always measured myself to you and found great joy in trying to keep up. As you improved, so did I if I kept up by half. To Mikey K. and that head of hair! Your example of just get in and git ‘er done with a game face focus was impressive. To Slim Tim, you always made me smile and made the WoD lighthearted. And Darc with that Mary Tyler-Moore adorableness even after running five miles before the WoD began. 

Slim Tim Bday Killer WoDDarc

Sapphire, Marlana and Sylvia and that speedy dude, Tom (who runs 3+ rounds to my 1) and Jason and Aaron, you have brought me such joy in the morning! And Todd, the consistent! (Where have you been lately dude?)  

Priscilla and Brandi: you little, adorable creatures are just the cutest Strong Mamas. Totally inspirational watching you the past two years and now you are killing it on the lifting!

To all of you on the Saturday Partner WoDs for letting me be the best me I could be as the slowest and the last place finisher every time, thank you. And to those in the other classes that I popped into on occasion, your patience and tolerance for my skill-set was very much appreciated. Thank you so much for never judging me and for the encouragement to keep going as you watched me finish the WoD  (Rosa, Sarah M., Claire, Evan, Natalieand so many others!) 

Heartfelt Gratitude to Natalie and Shane for putting together the lovely farewell party at Allie’s house. The Chubby Chick cake was simply out-of-this- world-delicious! 

fat chick cake smal

Thanks to my 26.2 CrossFit Coaches and with encouragement from my Teammates, I have run two 2 Milers, two 5Ks and I did the CrossFit Uprising 2016 Challenge, where I killed it on the weight pulling thing and the tires. (Yeah, the two judges at those stations were surprised too.)


Again, my heart is so grateful for the 26.2 CrossFit vibe (as the newest Coach, Kyle Z., calls it). My life is so much fuller for the blood, sweat, tears, blisters, fears, pains, joys, and successes we have shared. I will truly miss being at the playground with you!

Natalie and Me
Until we meet again! God bless and keep you!


Author: jswardell

Conservative Partnership Institute, Tea Party Patriot, Heritage Action Sentinel, Political Activist, #SocialismKILLS, Community Organizer, Blog:

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