Where's Coach?


Where’s Coach?


As I start my travel to work the Regionals this year it occurred to me that not everyone knows where I am, or what exactly I’m doing.  Some of the morning classes may not even notice I’m gone! With that in mind I thought I would jot down a quick summary of what it is I do on these long trips.



I am a part-time employee for CrossFit Headquarters(Not Rogue), and work mainly during the competition season (Open-Games, although there is travel all year to support those.) My department is under “Games” and is called “Signage.”  My official job title is “Signage Installer.” Our Signage department is pretty small with 1 full time employee (my boss), and 3 of us part time employees. We also have contractors that we hire to help during the actual events.



So what does a “Signage Installer” do?  I like to say that we are responsible for making the competition look like an “event.” One of the main pieces is the competition floor,  The flooring comes to our warehouse in Wisconsin completely blank and in large rolls. We divide it out and ship it to the events, and then once onsite we cut, and lay it out to the exact dimensions of the competition floor.  Once laid out and put in place we create the “ruler” look that is marking it every 6’, creating a border, create a finish mat to hide the scoring cable, and make it look “pretty.” It’s extremely important that this is all done with precision, to create a safe and fair competition.  


After that we cut and create all the other mats: rep mats (to show rep counts to audience) rep markers (to show rep counts to athletes and judges), start/stop mats, warm up area mats, and any other specific needs for the event(there are 100’s of these.)  


Once finished with the rubber we start on branding the competition floor and venue.  This includes all the barricades surrounding the floor, the flags in the corners, the covering over the rig, the clocks and clock covers, directional signage (think “ticketing” and an arrow, or “athlete warm up.” Branding and numbering of equipment (yep that tiny lane number on the Assault Runner, that was me.”


We also provide logistical support for several other teams at the event.  This includes packing and transporting kits for the Directors, medical teams, scoring, judges etc….


During the actual event we ensure that the competition floor matches the diagrams, and is safe for the athletes and judges.  We facilitate the name change outs, and floor change outs between heats and events.


Then the best part we break it all down in about 4 hours and load it onto a truck to go back to the warehouse or onto the next event!


I got started with this work as a volunteer, and I did it as a way to give back to CrossFit that had given me so much.  I started volunteering at our specific Regional and at the Games in 2012 and did it every year in various roles (Judging, Gear, Signage.)  In 2015 I became the volunteer Signage lead at our Regional, and then was picked up for the paid team at Games that year(2015.) I continued on the team as a contractor until early 2017, when I was hired on as a Part-time employee.


I have several reasons for doing it, but the main reason is the experience.  It gives me the opportunity to work with and learn from some really great people.  I’ve gotten to travel to some amazing places that I may have never visited(Australia 2x, Spain 3x), and there’s something exciting about the high stress “make it happen” environment of the event itself.  It also provides an extra stream of income to my family, and has helped us provide us some opportunities we wouldn’t have had. I also genuinely enjoy some of the work. I love to work with my hands and build/create things, and also like to problem solve on the spot.  Both of which I get ample opportunity to do, and often spend 12+ hours a day doing.



Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to go out and do these crazy events.  I always return with a renewed appreciation of the gym and community that we have.  Until then know that I miss all of you, and can’t wait to WOD with you again soon.


Week 1: East Regional in Albany, NY

Week 2: Central Regional in Nashville, TN

Week 3: Meridian Regional in Madrid, Spain


Friday 4/6

New Gym

  • Here are a few pictures of the wood walls going up.  We did these to cover the structural "X"s and maximize our wall space!
  • Permanent Power is on, and they began work on the parking lot this week!

Current Events

  • Zone Class this Sunday (4/8) at 9am 
  • Parent/Kid Class this Sunday (4/8) at 12:00pm
  • Starting 6/4/18:
    • Kids Class will be split into two different age groups and times!  We are doing this so we can provide the appropriate attention, workout, and coaching for your kids!
    • Tuesday (5:30-6:00pm, 3 yrs - 6 yrs) & (6:00pm - 6:30pm, 7 yrs - 11 yrs) 
    • Saturday (9:00am - 9:30am, 3 yrs - 6 yrs) & (9:30am - 10:00am, 7 - 11 yrs)

What Now?

  • The 2018 Open is over now and the 2019 is a long way off.  Now is the time to plan and set yourself up for next year.  The best time to make a change is NOW.  Finally ready to dial in your nutrition?  Do it now and reap the benefits for 50 weeks before the next Open.  Want to get a detailed plan to improve your lifts or gymnastics?  Contact a coach now so you don't get caught hoping "xyz" movement doesn't come up next year.  Think your conditioning could improve?  Maybe start attending some Zone classes throughout the week.
  • We have several things in the works for the next few months, including a Competitors seminar with Coaches Zach and Liz, and a Strength seminar with Coach Kyle S.  Both will be free to our members and are designed to help you reach your goals!
  • For some extra conditioning work try this fun little workout from MisFits
    • For Time:
      Run 1k
      Row 1k
      Bike 3k
      Row 1k
      Run 1k


  • Here is a good quote I heard this week:  "Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, and sometimes in the middle of nowhere you find yourself"  Have a great weekend everyone!

Open Wrap Up


Open Wrap Up

  • Thats a wrap on the 2018 CrossFit Games Open!  Congrats to everyone on their hard work, their PRs, and their dedication!  Special shoutout to our athletes moving on to the next stage of competition.
    • Zach Watts will be heading to Nashville May 25-27 to compete in the Central Regional as an individual.  the top 5 Men from the Regional will advance to the CrossFit Games in August.  Link to buy your tickets here: https://www.cuetoems.com/cfregion_2018/Tickets.aspx?l=CEN5F4FBE0C
    • Jack Howard, Liz Cole, and Allana Oak will be moving on to the Masters and Teens Online Regional Qualifier April 19-23.  This is a 4 day online competition, similar format to the Open, where they will complete the workouts at our gym and submit videos.  The top 20 out of each Age Division will qualify for the CrossFit Games in August.

Current Events

  • Closed this Sunday 4/1 for Easter
  • Parent/Kids Class 4/8 @12PM
  • Sunday Zone Class 4/8@9AM (Must have MyZone Belt)
  • Don't forget to pickup your Open Shirt in the Lobby
  • Head to the Ft Wright Zone Facebook page and give us a like, so you can keep up with all things Zone!  

Coaches Corner

  • Here's a little interval workout for you to work on that conditioning
    • 6RDs of :20 Sprint on Assault Bike and 1:40 Recovery Bike
  • If you struggled with any movements in the Open now is the time to start working on them for next year!  Schedule some 1-1 time with a coach to have them show you drills, and write some programming for you.

New Gym

  • The new gym is progressing nicely.  The inside is nearing completion, but we need some drier weather to start work on the parking lot.  Our goal is to be having classes there at the beginning of May.
  • As of right now, we are planning to lay the new floor on the weekend of 4/21-22.  If you are willing and able to help that would be amazing, we will take all the help we can get!  We will keep you updated as the time gets closer.

See You 18.2! (it kinda rhymes)

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Kg3 Nutrition Challenge Wrap-Up

I have never seen the type of successes we have had this round of nutrition!  I have watched PR’s happen in weightlifting and a million PR’s happen in gymnastics movements.  I have gotten gorgeous before and after pics that illustrate goals being met, both weight gain and weight loss.  The overall results and the amount of athletes that are simply on fire right now are astounding!  Seriously, everyone should be giving themselves and Atta Boy or Atta Girl right now for participating and sticking with it for the whole 6 weeks. 

We have had a tie for the winners of this challenge and they are Leigh Ann Gundrum and Gina Ogden.  Both came in with 543 points and were verified through their LoseIt submissions and their wodify activity last week.  Honorable mention goes to Beth Johnson for her third place finish!  Leigh Ann and Gina win gift certificates to Iron Office Nutrition, Blue Apron and, bragging rights until our next nutrition challenge! 

On a very personal side note, if you are someone who is still struggling to meet your weight expectations and you’re avoiding talking to me because it’s painful or too hard or …for example, you’ve “tried everything”, just completely given up, etc.   I’m working on something just for you, so just keep coming to CrossFit and keep working on your fitness and stay tuned for a workshop just for you this summer.   And if you’re sitting at your computer saying “How would Kate even know what I’m thinking???”   Trust me on this one.  It’s going to be good.

18.2 Recap

  • Great job to everyone for surviving 18.2 and 18.2A!  Congrats to Zach, Vince, Megan, and Kelsey for their top scores on 18.2, and Zach, Kyle, Steph, Meredith for their scores on 18.2A!

Insta Love

  • I ran across this post today and couldn't love it anymore.  "Comparison is the thief of true joy." Enjoy!

Current Events/News

  • Next Parent/Kids Class 4/8 @12
  • Gym will be closed 230P-4P on 3/13.  Sorry for the inconvenience
  • Spring Break is around the corner and a lot of folks will start traveling soon.  Download the "Sweat Deck" app for a fun way to get in a Hotel Room workout while on the road!
  • Head over to Ft Wright Zone FB Page and give us a "Like"


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Open Nutrition Help

  1. Hydrate!  
    • This is the number 1 thing you can do to boost your performance and to help your recovery.   Make sure you are staying hydrated through the week, leading up to Friday.  Then stay on hydrating after your workout to speed your recovery and get yourself in the best spot for a repeat.
  2. Stay on Plan
    • Make sure you are still hitting your macronutrient numbers, and are utilizing them at the appropriate time.  If you change your workout time for the Open, make sure you adjust your macro timing to account for that.  Give yourself the appropriate fuel for the WOD!
  3. Recover
    • Make certain you are hitting your post workout shake and meals within the optimal time window.  If you go in the first heat, make your shake and drink it while you judge the second heat.  That shake and meal are vital to your recovery and will give you the best chance at being prepared to repeat the workout.

The Open: Week 1

  • Congrats to everyone on their awesome scores, and congrats to Zach, Vince, Steph, and Megan for being FWCFs top scores!
  • 18.1 is in the books, and we are moving on to week 2!  We officially have 110 people signed up for the Open, which is a huge gym PR!
  • Now that we have week 1 under our belts, and some experience it's time to move on and set ourselves up for success on week 2.

Current Events

  • Parent/Kids class at 12P on 3/4/18
  • MyZone Class @9A on 3/4/18
  • 18.2 Released Thursday 3/1/18 at 8P, a few of us always watch it at the gym so feel free to drop by!
  • Make sure you go to https://www.facebook.com/FTWRIGHTZONE/ to like the Ft Wright Zone Page!  Seriously Do It!!!

Coaches Corner

  • Open Advice:
    • Use Thursday as an active recovery day.  You can certainly do the workout on Thursday, but don't go at it with 110% and completely exhaust yourself before the Open WOD Friday.  On the flip side of that don't sit in your recliner all day and watch Netflix, move around and stay active.
    • Hit it hard Friday.  We all know that we have multiple chances to repeat workouts, but the best way to learn something about a workout is to hit it hard and see what happens.  After giving it an honest best effort, look back and see if there is room for improvement, and where you could make that time up.
    • Theres always a chance to repeat.  If you feel like your strategy was way off, or you left a lot of reps on the table then you can always repeat on Monday.  Take Friday as a learning experience and try to get better.
    • If you feel like you gave it your all Friday and are happy with your score then don't repeat it.  Most of us aren't going to unseat Mat Fraser or Tia Toomey as the fittest on earth, so don't let the leaderboard make you feel like you need to repeat.  
    • Leaderboarding is dangerous in the wrong context.  While it is cool to see where you stack up worldwide, it does not define you.  Don't let position on the leaderboard dictate your self-worth.  For 99.9% of the world the Open is for fun, keep that in mind.  

Friday 2/16

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Current Events

  • Parent/Kid Class on 3/4 at 12:00pm with Coach Liz! $5 per person, discounts available for multiple children. 
  • Parent’s Night Out will be held on 3/10/18 from 5pm to 9pm! 5 years and up! $10 per kid, discounts available for multiple children! Must email admin@ftwrightcrossfit.com to reserve your spot! 
  • Zone is now offered Mon/Wed @ 12pm and 6:30pm, Tues/Thurs @ 7am and Fri @12pm! You must have a myzone belt to attend the class, rentals are available! 
  • #bringyourparenttozoneclass is happening on 3/4 at 9am! Yes bring your parents and show them how fun fitness can be!

Gym Update

  • It's coming along!  Drywall has been hung, and showers installed!

CrossFit Open

  • Sign up for the Open! games.crossfit.com
  • Open Logistics
    • As a gym we will do the workouts during normal class times on Fridays!
    • If you can't make it on Friday, or you want to re-do the workout to improve your score, you will have the opportunity on Mondays during regular class time
      • On Mondays classes will have 2 workouts:  The Open workout for makeup or re-do, and another workout of similar setup and timeframe.  So if you've already done the Open workout you can choose the new workout and get your fitness!  If you need to makeup you can do the Open workout!
    • We will not have special class times for you to redo or makeup your workout.  You can do it on Friday, or Monday, or both.
    • You will be responsible for submitting your score on the CrossFit Games website, as we are unable to do it for you.  We will validate your scores on Monday evening, and then you will be visible on the Leaderboard.
    • Assuming the workout format is the same as in years past, class format will look like this.  We will run  2 heats of the workout.  At the beginning of class you will find a partner, one of you will go in the first heat while the second person judges.  Then you will switch and the second person will do the workout and the first person will judge them.
    • Please be patient with us!  We have no advance knowledge of the workouts, so we are figuring out at the same time as you are!  We will do our best to help set you up for success, and keep the classes on time.  Sometimes because of the workouts classes will run a little bit long, so plan for that, but we will do our best to run on schedule.

Friday 2/9

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Water and Winter


Now that we are well into the frozen time of winter, we need to stay vigilant about our water intake.  With thirst response diminished, we can sometimes go for hours without drinking a single drop of water!  Sometimes, the signs of winter are actually signs of dehydration.  Check out my top 5 signs of winter and dehydration.  If you have any of these, make sure you up your H20 intake, even if you don’t feel like drinking it!

1.)    Constant colds.  Dehydration can dry out our mucus membranes and make them more susceptible to catching anything that we might run across.

2.)    Fatigue.  Lack of water intake, paired with CrossFit = exhaustion.  If you’re constantly feeling sluggish, it can definitely be a sign of dehydration.  Remember how much water you drank in the summer before, during and after CrossFit?  Try to maintain that throughout the rough winter months. 

3.)    Dry skin, a few extra crow’s feet or even a new major breakout?  Water flushes toxins from our system and keeps our skin supple.  Keep a cup next to your sink and drink a full 8 when you go to bed and also when you get up!

4.)    Chapped lips.  Think your chapped lips are from the cold air hitting them on your walk to work?  I’m willing to bet that it’s actually from lack of water.  Up your intake and give your lips 48 hours to improve!

5.)    You’re not sweating when you wod.  You might think it’s because it’s cold and you’re not warmed up enough but your body is putting out just as much effort as it does all year.  If your shirt is still dry, your hair isn’t damp and your arm pits are clean as a whistle, it might mean that you’re actually not drinking enough. 


Now go grab your FWCF Cup and get to drinking!

Current Events

  • We are adding Zone Classes!
    • Starting 2/12/18 we are adding Zone classes M/W@630PM and T/R @7AM
    • Note:  You MUST have a MyZone HR Monitor to attend class!  We will have a few belts available to rent for $20/class if you would rather "try before you buy"
  • Stacy Strong Open Shirts/Tanks will be in 2/21
  • The CrossFit Open is just a few short weeks away!  Signup at games.crossfit.com
  • Promise not to laugh, but here is a video from my very first CrossFit Open workout.  I was 2-3 months into CrossFit at the time, and had yet to reach "beard growing age"  This is proof that: #1:Everyone was a beginner at one point, #2: Anyone can do The Open!  Enjoy!

Coaches Corner

A Change in Perspective

A Change in Perspective

I opened the doors to my affiliate in 2012, a “wide eyed kid” with the dream of helping people find a healthier lifestyle. At the time, I had been doing CrossFit for almost 2 years and really loved the sport, and was ready to transition into making it a career.  The following piece discusses the change in perspectives I have had along that journey, and how they have shaped me to this day.  From Athlete, to Aficionado, to Coach, and then Owner, each stage equally valuable and I have learned so much during each phase of my journey.


I started like many of you, with a baseline workout that sparked my journey with what I call “the Athlete Perspective”. I found CrossFit as a good way to get into shape for the career path I was pursuing, and everything I did revolved around my goals. Intent on absorbing all of the CrossFit knowledge I could, I stayed after class, watched countless videos, tried to follow what I thought was a healthy diet, and generally did everything I could to improve myself. I spent most of my time assessing my performance and how I could improve as an athlete.  I learned so much about myself, my movement patterns and where I could push the limits of my abilities during this time.

In the fall of 2011 I decided to get my CF-L1 Certification. My goal at the time  wasn’t to become a coach or to own my own affiliate, I simply loved CrossFit and wanted to learn more. The month after my L1 I went to the CrossFit Mobility Seminar, and the month following that I went to the CrossFit Weightlifting seminar. I felt like I was starting to approach what I call the “Aficionado Perspective”. I had acquired a good base amount of knowledge from the seminars,  my outside readings, and was beginning to share that knowledge with others. My focus was still mainly on myself and my performance, but I began to share some of my experience and knowledge with others.

I was still in the “Aficionado Perspective” when I opened my Affiliate in 2012. I still had my workouts, pursued my performance as a priority, and largely viewed myself as an athlete.   At the same time I was coaching 7 classes a day and, predominantly  “winging it” when it came to the business aspect of Ft. Wright CrossFit. I had a vision of what I wanted my gym to look like someday, but no clear path or steps to get to there. I continued soaking up knowledge and attending as many seminars as I could; all in an effort to become an “expert” in every field within CrossFit.

In retrospect, I lingered in the Aficionado stage for too long, but all that time spent absorbing knowledge did pay off by giving me self confidence when coaching, especially to large classes. I’m not by nature outspoken, and wouldn’t label myself as a performer, so coaching and speaking to groups didn’t come naturally to me.  I had to put in time and effort to become comfortable and confident in my coaching skills. Knowledge helped me overcome that fear, and made me better at my job.

It took a few years to break out of the Aficionado Perspective and get to the Coaching Perspective. I had an empathetic base of knowledge from the Athlete Perspective, meaning that yes I knew the frustration of missed double unders, the joy of a PR and the pain of getting a little pukey during a workout.  I had an educational base from my time in the Aficionado phase, certifications on the wall, and some coaching experience so it was time to approach the Coaching Perspective.  In the Coaching Perspective you have to put your athletes needs above your own. You’re in the middle of your weightlifting, but your athlete has a question about muscle ups? Looks like you’ll finish your sets later. It’s 11PM on a Saturday night and your phone lights up with a message from an athlete with a nutrition question. Better find someplace quiet to type out your paragraph answer explaining how the athlete can improve their eating habits. Your needs, your goals and sometimes even your performance take a backseat to the people you are coaching and a good coach wouldn’t want it any other way.  But now, now you’re shifting focus, putting that energy you so carefully crafted working on yourself to others and you get to see the fruit of that labor.  Your members are hitting PRs left and right, limitations both mental and physical fall by the wayside, and they’re seeing meaningful changes in their lives. Fulfillment and satisfaction come from seeing the people you help, achieve things that they never thought possible.  You’re beginning to have an impact that’s bigger than yourself and you feel full in a completely different way.

The next stage is one that I’m still working on, and that’s the Owner Perspective. My focus has shifted at least partially from coaching athletes, to coaching coaches and running the business. Setting up expectations and guidelines that allow each class to run exactly as others that day, to provide a consistent client experience, all while allowing for coaches to get creative and continue working on their skills as well. Focusing on things like creating a more specific vision for the gym, and writing a path/plan for how to get there. Setting daily/monthly/90 day/6 month/yearly/5 year/10 year goals. All while trying to create a legacy for my daughter, establishing a FWCF that she can be proud of when she is my age.


My focus now is on creating a business that sustains more than just my family, and setting goals that affect more than just us.  Instead of trying to change the perspective of one teenage girl, that being strong is in fact beautiful, I want to change the entire world’s view on women (a rabbit hole that I jump down much more quickly now that I have a baby girl.) I don’t want to change one guys diet in my gym so he loses 30 pounds this year. I want to change his lifestyle so that he is now the example to his family and coworkers on what healthy eating is and how to achieve goals.  I want to empower him with the tools and knowledge to be the expert in his own community. My goals are bigger, my dreams focused on changing the world not just one person but to see the ripple effect of one person who goes and changes another person and then another until we start kicking down the doors of mental, emotional and physical conditions that hold people back.  Not just the people of Ft. Wright, not just of those in Northern Kentucky or the Tri-State area but to anyone who wants to go after a life without limits.

It’s been a humbling journey to say the least.  A journey I can honestly say was filled with mistakes but also so many lessons learned.  Maybe, maybe I may have spent too much time in some of those perspectives. Maybe I would be farther than I am now if I hadn’t, but I can’t change what has already passed. And if I can’t change it, then why focus on it? I choose to focus on the now, while looking forward. The questions that come now are “Is what I’m doing now going to get me where I want to be in a year? 5 years?”  If not then I re-evaluate, and make the necessary changes to correct my course to meet my goals. I’ve learned that I can take action now to become who I want to be later, and implemented careful planning to ensure my achievement of these goals.  


It’s easy to go after the “quick fix” when it comes to so many areas of your life.  But, what I have learned over the past 8 years is that there is no “quick fix” for a “new you.”  It takes diligent planning and dedicated focus to get where you want to be, and to achieve your goals. Maybe a year from now you’ll have a change in perspective and different goals, and that’s ok.  Each day is an opportunity to grow and to get better, take advantage of that. So, what are you going to do today to get better and/or achieve your goals?

-Kyle Stark