Average being Amazing!

So lately I have been needing extra motivation, and I felt that since the Crossfit opens just finished I could watch some of their workouts. I want to see how they continuously push themselves even when they have nothing left. SO I recently went online and watched a workout, which I found the most interesting. I am not very familiar with a lot of big crossfit names....but these five names I have heard so much about. I always hear people talking about how far they have come, and pushed themselves.

So I watched this and went to my workout the very next morning and I imagined myself as though I was going against Briggs. I was continuously telling myself to push through every burpee, ever floor push press, and every ab mat sit-up. When I finished the workout this morning I was so jacked up and proud of myself. I used to have to take breaks when it came to burpee's and now I did not need one beak. Looks like I need to watch these workouts before every workout I do.  

Tales from the Frontline II

As I finish each WOD I am always more and more impressed with what I personally overcome. I love the feeling of winning, but bettering myself and reaching my goals definitely takes the cake.  It is one of my biggest pet peeve's to just give up on something when the going gets tough. My entire life I have had the most competitive attitude, no matter who it came to.  I could be working out or competing against someone who is ideally better than me in every way, and that still won't get me to give up. I thrive on the feeling I get during and after the workout, the feeling of satisfaction. I have never liked using a weight that I know is to light, I get upset when I have to. And I feel that it is that which motivates me the most, knowing I can always do more, and pushing myself to the best of my ability. Though it may not be very fun when I am pushing myself to the limit, it is worth it in the long run.  Being able to say I have accomplished some of my goals and that is the best feeling in the world. Though it has been only one month, I have come a long way and have a long way to go. Sky is the limits..


Tales from the Frontline

First morning WOD...not to sure how i actually felt about it since I was half asleep on the way there.
But once i saw the rare opportunity I had of working out with a couple other people, I had to show them the determination I was going to have for this WOD.
As the time is about to start i step up to the bar, preparing myself for (my favorite) hang cleans, push ups, and the intimidating rope climb. I continued reminding myself how this will help me get those chisled arms I have always wanted, that beach body for the summer season coming up, and knowing I accomplished the workout is just a cherry on top.

I remember the steps we were taught with different ways to wrap the rope, and let me tell you; the wrap around trick was the only one I can actually do.
The clock starts I rush to start the hangcleans..pushing through every rep I continued to the pushups, which are also not my best. I dont look at the pushups as a whole, i seperate them into portions so its not as intimidating for me.
Finishing the pushups I saw I was just behind everyone else, but not giving up I pushed myself up to the top of the first rope climb, and then mistakenly forgot I was on a rope...and let go, falling to the ground.
Shaking it off like it did not happen, I pushed myself even harder to try and catch up the whole work out. I made sure fully extend my arms, working the muscle's I had no idea I even had. Upon finishing the workout each of us cheered  each and every person on until they finished the workout.
Though I was not the fastest or the strongest, it did not matter to me. All that mattered was finishing the workout to the best of my ability and that is what I did. Having people behind you for every workout, pushing you, cheering you on to succeed. Even when I had doubts of my ability to finish, my teammates and my own determination got me to the finish line. Who would have ever thought that I could accomplish this.


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Run Around the Lake

Hi All!!!!




The weather is getting nicer…finally….. so that means more FUN IN THE SUN!!!  


I have mentioned this race to many of you, but for those of you I haven’t seen, we are putting together teams for Run Around the Lake again.  This is a 24 hour Relay Race that Starts on Friday, July 25th at 9:00pm and ends on Saturday, July 26th at 9:00pm in Wakefield Mass.  The teams are made of 6-8 athletes.  One athlete will start, run a 5k (3.1 mile) loop around a lake, then hands off to the next athlete (teammate) who then runs that same 5k loop and then hands off to the next athlete/teammate and so on….We have done this in the past and had a lot of fun….Ask anyone who has done it…except Mark.  ☺


Answers to the most commonly asked questions:

No you don’t really get much sleep….maybe an hour here or an hour there

In between our loops we hang out together under a tent…..try to get some sleep/rest…think tailgate party

You end up running anywhere from 6 to 8 loops depending on how fast your teammates are

You end up having about 2-3 hours between each of your loops, again, depending on how fast your teammates are

Teams are mixed both male and female

The cost is approximately $30.00 per person….depending on how fast we sign up….prices increase the longer we wait.

I will have signup sheets up tomorrow on the White Board


Signups/teams will be on a first come, first serve basis.  I can register as many teams as we want, but I need commitment.  So often we get excited about things, sign up then remember we have a prior commitment.  Please check your calendars and be sure of your commitment prior to signing up.  I will have more details as we get closer and finalize teams, but I wanted to get us signed up ASAP.  This race does sellout and as I mentioned earlier, the prices increase the longer we wait.  


Below is the actual website for the race so you can check it out for more details.





Coach Kimmie

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Tour of Lights Bike-a-Thon

Hi ECC Cyclists,

I've agreed to be on the planning committee for a bike ride to help my
friend Paul in honor of (and lead by) his father who had a head
trauma. They had very few riders last year and so I need to increase
awareness of the ride and promote it in general. Might we be able to
put it on our webpage or maybe post flyers somewhere?

Would you also kindly send it to any other friends and list serves you
can think of?

I'm also brainstorming other ways to increase athlete awareness and
would appreciate your ideas.


Ride info is in the attached flyer and summed up here:
- Tour of LIghts Bike-a-Thon (25mi, 65mi, 1.5mi loop)
- May 3
- from UCONN Avery Point, CT

Documentary chronicling Paul's father’s recovery:

-Crystal Lynne Piper


And the Winner is....

The fact is, all of the participants who learned from the challenge and understands how proper nutrition affects not only one physical output but general health are considered winners. The coaches of Elm City CrossFit would like to extend our gratitude to all who embarked on this challenge. We encourage everyone to continue the great work that was created with this experiment.

Tallying the points and accounting for this challenge was nothing short of a task in and of itself. The extended time was partly due to the tons of data but it also came down to a careful analysis and re-analysis of the results. Kimmie and I were convinced there was an error. We accounted for the entire experiment results multiple times and got the same result. The only thing I can say is WOW!  We had a clean cut winner but had a 4-way tie for second. Here are the results…

1. John Cocca

2. Dustin Kreidler

    Oren Kanner

    Jennifer Kreidler

    Tanya Kanner


I guess there is something to strength in numbers. The couples killed it and were ridiculously consistent.

Again, congratulations to all of the winners!


Mobility Class back in Full Swing

Class Description:

ECC Mobility is designed to help athletes build flexibility and prevent injury. It incorporates various forms of yoga and physical conditioning to enhance athletic potential, to teach body awareness, and to prevent injury. These classes are intended to aid sport, not to be a sport in and of themselves. Therefore, “I’m terrible at flexibility” is exactly the sentiment that should drive you to attend Tuesday & Thursday at 6:30pm and Sunday at 8:00am.

All moves are modifiable for all varying levels of flexibility. Unlike a traditional yoga class and more like the CrossFit style, only a few poses will be described and demonstrated per class and students will be critiqued as they do each stretch slowly and carefully with multiple repetitions. Each individual should watch the demonstration of how to get into each pose and out of each pose fully but be comfortable only going into the stretch to the extent that is comfortable for him: the point is to build strength and flexibility not to look good or to compete. Stretching pain is ok: it should feel like a deep massage. But “red-flag” pain is not ok and likewise it is never ok to compromise the set up, the technique or the proper positioning for depth in a pose. Remember: the point of this class is to deepen proper flexibility and core strength in the places where your body needs it in order to be correctly aligned and protected from injury.

Who’s Teaching:

Crystal is creating and instructing this course; her gym name is Rhabdo. She is a Yale Medical Student in the final phases of her studies. She came to ECC in 2009 after years of daily yoga and many years of competitive athletics. She swam, ran, and rowed competitively. She enjoyed Yale cycling and triathlon teams, dabbled with boxing and loves surfing. With the help of ECC training, she completed her first IronMan in 2011, injury and pain free. She worked with physicians at the San Francisco Ballet and has been part of the medical team for many sporting events. Ultimately, she is pursuing a rich career in sports medicine and would like to express her gratitude for this opportunity to impart the knowledge she has gained thus far.


Your critique and feedback is greatly appreciated. Please be encouraged to give your thoughts after each class and/or email comments to crystal.piper@elmcitycrossfit.com.


From the Front Line

To all the coaches at Elm City Cross Fit.

I would just like to say Thank You!! About 7 months ago I went to the doctor for my routine annual physical and we were going over my blood work and the Doc says that my ALT / AST numbers (liver function) are elevated, so being on a statin drug for high cholesterol for about the past 7or 8 years I assumed it was from the medicine. It was right around that time I started doing cross fit. After the first couple weeks I went to Joe's class on nutrition and decided to give it a try just cutting out the sugar and bread, pasta etc.. I also decided to stop taking my cholesterol medicine (without consulting with my Doc first) Well its been about 7 months and I go in today to get my blood work checked Doc says cholesterol numbers look good and I can stay off the medicine and to keep doing what ever I"m doing. I want to give all of the coaches at Elm City cross fit a Big Thanks for all your help!!


Mike Krasner



Turkey Day Turkey Trot

Hey Athletes!!!

It is that time of year…..Turkey Trots!!  Woo hoo!!!  What better way than to start off Thanksgiving than with a little run?  Team Mossman is hosting a 5k and a 10k on the Rail Trail…Yes, our very own Rail Trail.  Can we say home court advantage?  I can!!!  The races start at 7:30, so there are no-excuses about missing Turkey Dinner.  :)  Come-out and join the fun!!!  This would be a great Benchmark WOD as we are entering into the Base Building Phase of Endurance.  Plus OPPers…this does count as a “Comp WOD.” 

Here is the link for Registration:  http://teammossman.com/events_rtr.html

Now….if all my cheerleading wasn’t enough for you to sign up, which I really can’t believe, then think about Volunteering!!!  ECC is crewing an aid station just outside our door!!!

Being our “Hometown,” I would LOVE to see a lot of ECC Participation and Support.

Come play with me!!!!

Coach Kimmie


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Fun Stuff Going On!

Elm City CrossFit's Epic Eating Experiment is just beginning. Make sure you check in with your team leaders for updates and information on healthy and clean eating. If you missed the meeting and want in, email Joe at joe.kusnitz@elmcitycrossfit.com for more information.

The full zip custom sweatshirts have arrived! This was the pre-order sale that ended 3 weeks ago. You know who you are so if you ordered one, you can see Joe or Bobby to get yours. Remember they are $60 and we can only accept cash or check made out to ECC.

Elm City is hosting a compeition. Elm City CrossFit's Frosty Festival is scheduled for Jan. 25th. For more information or to register for this event, go to the link below to sign up.


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Elm City’s Epic Eating Experiment

Who: Anyone! Don’t even have to be a member of ECC.

When: November 5th – January 31st 2014 – Happy New Year!!

How to Begin: Join us at the Opening Town Hall Meeting - Tuesday Nov 5th @ 7 pm at ECC

Why: To reach your goals! This challenge is not a diet plan. It is a group of like-minded individuals who collectively want to become healthier human beings. The time duration was established to ensure each participant will develop healthy routines and habits as well as see the lasting effects of proper nutrition and hydration. Your body will change. It is not exclusive, complicated or expensive. Everyone can do it – everyone will see results.

Cost: $25 per Athlete

Each athlete will be placed on an accountability gang. The total number of gangs will depend on the total number of participating members.

There will be a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place individual winners as well as gang winners. 

There will also be a “spirit” award. We understand that it is possible to eat clean and gain weight, but become leaner.

As CrossFitters we live on recordable, definable, accountable and simple systems. The competition is simple – accumulate the most points and you win!

Come learn about the points distribution and experiment details at the Opening Town Hall Meeting. If you have questions, feel free to contact Joe at joe.kusnitz@elmcitycrossfit.com or Kimmie at kabattipaglia@elmcitycrossfit.com



Barbells for Boobs - Sunday, October 27th

Elm City CrossFit is heading down to New Haven CrossFit this Sunday October 27th @ 9am to participate in their annual Barbells for Boobs! This is a wonderful event to raise awarness and money for breast cancer. This competiton will include the signature CrossFit workout "Grace" 30 Clean & Jerks for time. Scaling is optional and this user friendly event is oepn to everyone. Ask a coach or click on the link below to pre-register.



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Stay Tight!

Midline Stabilization
By: Mat McQueen-Crawford


What is midline stabilization and why is it critical to functional movement?

There are several different ways to define midline stabilization. Some of the more common definitions are;

  1. The capacity to maintain a neutral spine under load
  2. The ability to control the muscles around your spine so that you make it stiff and immovable
  3. Stabilizing the muscles that surround the line running through the core of the body which trisects the spine and bisects the pelvis.

The last of the 3 refers to the midline not simply being our spine but rather the integration of the spine AND pelvis and their alignment during movement.

Coaches often refer (just about every class) to a neutral or flat back when engaged in a loaded position. This is where midline stabilization comes into play. Before an athlete moves into a loaded position, whether under their own body weight (i.e. air squat) or with a loaded bar, they want to engage their “core” in order to maintain correct posture from head to hips. The disengagement of this stability can potentially lead to movement dysfunction, less force production, or worse; spinal injury.

The understanding and practice of midline stabilization isn’t just important to the newer, less experienced athlete but to the most seasoned veteran as well. How many times have you witnessed someone (or experienced yourself) hyper-extend their lower back when weight is put overhead? How about their mid AND low back when performing a clean? This happens because of a break in midline stabilization and therefore loss of control.

How to brace your spine for stabilization:

  1. Set your pelvis in a neutral position. Do this by screwing your feet into the ground while they’re stationed directly under your hips and squeezing your butt.
  2. Align your ribcage with your pelvis by pulling your lower ribs in. Imagine your pelvis and ribcage are two bowls full of water and they must remain stacked in this neutral position to avoid spilling.
  3. Place one hand on your waist with the thumb of that hand digging into your lower back. Take a quick breath and tense your abdomen as if you were anticipating a punch to the stomach. You should feel pressure against your thumb driving it out of your lower back. This is the bracing pressure that secures your spine.
  4. Lastly, squeeze your glutes (buttocks) to finish setting your spine in a neutral position.

Sound too complicated? Just practice and seek advice from a coach if you’re unsure. Also, there is an in depth 10 part series on midline stability presented by Dr. Kelly Starrett online at the CrossFit Journal. Many people are visual learners and there are plenty of videos to help guide you through the practice.

Don’t hinder your progress or stunt your fitness by setting yourself up for dysfunction or injury. Remember, practice makes permanent so take the time to set proper position before eachlift to reinforce good habits.

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Order your new ECC gear Today!

Order your new Elm City CrossFit full Zip Sweatshirt Now!

This is a unisex full zip sweatshirt. You can feel this sample sweatshirt at ECC on the main board.

We are only accepting pre-orders so we know exactly what colors and sizes to order.

They come in the following colors: Black, Grey, Royal, Burgandy, Gold, Navy, Orange, Purple, Red

All lettering and logo will be printed in white

Cost is $60 per shirt and must be paid at the time of the sweatshirt pickup – NOT ORDERING

If you are interested – Please email Joe at joe.kusnitz@elmcitycrossfit.com  make sure to include your size and color

Deadline is 10/19/13 for all orders


Self Assessment will make you a better athlete...period

In most all endeavors in life, I believe, the ability to self assess and adapt or make changes when warranted is very much a component of achieving success. I don't have any life coach certifications, but I'm just saying, dinosaurs weren't built to adapt very well, and look at how far that got them. Germs, viruses, microbes, yeah they adapt, flu anyone? That's probably a different type of adapting, and a little bit more dramatic, but in all seriousness, the ability to review your own actions, thoughts, etc. from an objective standpoint will help you improve, regardless of the endeavor.

Since we are a gym, I'm going to speak specifically to your athletic performance on both a micro and macro level. In terms of a macro level, I'm thinking in terms of an "A" race. An event in which you plan and train for, and you are providing what amounts to a post race writeup. Lindsay provided us with some great feedback after her most recent event, and she has given us permission to share that with you, which I will do in a moment. Prior to getting to that, I want to briefly mention that this type of internal thought and personal feedback shouldn't only occur on a large scale.

Take for example the "On The Minute" style of workouts that we do where we manipulate work:rest ratios, rep schemes and loads. Most often, depending on the phase of training we are in, these are low volume, moderate to high weight affairs. These are some of my favorite days to coach, because they afford me the ability to not only watch an athlete's lift and provide feedback, but often 50 seconds plus of feedback. Now, that may not seem like much time, but I am a firm believer that you can't fix much more than one thing at a time. The shotgun approach always stuck me as a sure fire way to overwhelm and confuse. 50 seconds is enough time to reinforce some positives, focus on one negative, and demonstrate a correction. That is valuable one on one time, and in the middle of a workout. But this isn't where that coaching ends.

You've just lifted, you have been given one or a few corrections, and you given me that, "yup, that makes sense" face. Now pay attention to what you are doing for the rest of the workout. You have those same 50 seconds after every lift to re-assess. How did you feel, what did you do right, what did you do wrong, did the queue help, etc. Rather than singing along to Mark's Eminem playlist or watching each second tick off the clock, think about what you just did, and visualize your next lift. Provide us, the coaches with feedback when we make it back to you. Maybe the queue didn't help at all and you are more confused. Either way, this type of self assessment will make you a better athlete period. There is always something to improve upon. The sooner you identify it, the sooner you can start addressing it...period

And now, on a macro level, we have Lindsay O's post race report. First off, great job on both your hard work, and your reflections. I love that you have set a goal and worked hard towards that goal. Second, thank you for sharing and helping to provide a great example of what I'm talking about here. Saves me from totally having to fabricate a make believe story.

Overall, a great experience.

The swim was fine, albeit a little weird. If you look at the course map on the Mossman website, it would appear to be a diamond where you swim out a pretty good distance, but in reality the first segment is pretty lateral to the shoreline. With low tide (like, very low tide), you wind up not really being able to swim it because you hit the bottom with hands and/or feet. So… once I hit the first buoy, I was able to swim. The water was pretty warm (I think they said 71F) and very calm, and I got into a groove pretty quickly and just chugged along. My main goals for the swim were to not get too anxious and to not get kicked in the face. I knew if I could avoid those two things, I’d be fine. Except for the one lady that was near me most of the swim and seemed to be incapable of sighting the rest of the buoys (granted, we were swimming into the sun, so I’ll give her that), no issues (and no jellies!). I expected to be in the water for ~40 mins based on what I thought my 1 mile swim time was, but my swim time was 29 mins and change, so either this course was off, I was way faster than I’ve been all summer (I don’t think so), or what I previously thought was 1 mile during training was actually longer.

T1 was also fine. I think a little slow by comparison to others, but I can work on that. The bike ride was OK. I guess I’d say it met my expectations in terms of how I thought I’d feel. The bike is still the least comfortable thing for me (and I don’t just mean sitting on the seat). BUT, I think this is also where I can probably make the most significant gains in the near terms with some technique tweaks and proper equipment/fit. I didn’t really like the 5 loop thing… it was mainly that I didn’t like how close the super-cyclists out to win a gold medal were to me when they lapped me. I think I’d probably prefer an out-and-back bike course or bigger loops, but I have no complaints about the lack of hills. So, once the super cyclists were off the course, it was better for me psychologically, but by the 4th loop, my pace started dropping off. I was keeping a comfortably tough pace for the first 3.5ish loops but things started to drop off after that. I knew the bike would be my toughest sport, so I tried to keep it reigned in and not go out too fast.

T2 was fine for me, I don’t think I could have done anything better necessarily since I was already wearing my running shoes for the bike ride. Rack the bike, toss the helmet, swig some water, and off you go. On to the run!! This is where I felt the best! I know I’m not fast, but it’s something I feel very comfortable with both in terms of knowing what I’m doing and knowing how to gut out the miles. So I started the run, and for the most part, I did not feel like I was running on cinderblocks coming right off of the bike. Granted, I did feel tired and like I was moving slowly. However, I was wearing my GPS watch which I paid no attention to it until it beeped at mile 1, and lo and behold, it read 10:20! 10:20 is a great mile for me on fresh legs, so I was SHOCKED to see that. Not only that, but I was passing people, too. In my mind, this is 100% attributable to the crossfit workouts and the strength that I have built up – it kicks in at the end and I can still run with my shoulders back instead of hunched over from fatigue. The pace dropped off a little after the first mile, but I ended up averaging 10:40/mi overall. My 10k was 1:07 and change… that’s only ~4 mins off of my PR and not my slowest 10k ever either, so I was incredibly pleased with the run.

So, I finished last in my age group, but I downloaded all the data and put it in a spreadsheet, and once I went through that, I saw that my swim and my run were really pretty decent, it’s the bike ride that I’m not so good with. Comparing my results to other women with similar swim and run times, my bike ride was on the order of 20-30 minutes longer than theirs – so this is how I’ve determined that the bike ride is where I probably stand to make the most significant gains in the short term. And I really think it’s probably technique (gear shifting, etc) and equipment (I think I need a bike frame probably one size bigger than the one I was riding, plus the right pedals and shoes) because given how I did on the run, I don’t think basic strength is my main issue.

-- Lindsay



Not so Filthy Fifty

It is a very rare occasion for a coach,  or an owner for that matter, to stop and look around and take in all that we have done – where we have come from, and to give thanks for the journey we endure every day. I had one of those rare opportunities yesterday; the addition of Filthy Fifty into the programming instantly got positive feedback from many of the participating athletes as well as newer athletes who looked from afar with excitement and confident anticipation for this signature CrossFit Chipper. 

As I entered the box on Wednesday afternoon I took note of the packed class and the explosion of names on the board. I was in awe of the courage, conviction, and output that all of our athletes had experienced throughout the day.  I was nervous about my very own personal participation in this hell workout, but took comfort in all the people who had gone before me and  knowing what was expected of me both mentally and physically.

We accumulated a record number of participants for this WOD and Elm City CrossFit set a new record for the amount of athletes at the box in one day!  It had less to do with number of athletes and more to do with the volume of heart. We saw personal records, RX’ing for the first time, buckets of sweat, scaling, and most of all, happy and  satisfied athletes:  satisfied in their participation, satisfied in their output, satisfied members of our community, and satisfied with the understanding of their own journey. 

So for one moment or one day, I stopped the proverbial wheel and give thanks for what we have built together – our community, our process, our box. A place where everyone can come together and act individually on their needs, but also collectively on their journey. ~The Average Joe



Class Changes/Additions and Throwdowns

So it's official as of Monday, September 16th.  The daily 10am class is being moved to 9:30am.  We had been going back and forth trying to make sure we took into account everyone's schedule, and splitting the difference between 9am and 10am seemed to fit everyone best.  Thanks everyone for your feedback, we hope this works better for you all!

Also, on Monday's at 6pm and Friday's at 6am, Crystal will be heading up an hour of mobility work, based on some fundamental yoga movements.  This class is designed to help our athletes prevent injury and increase flexibility.  The sessions are very user friendly, and require absolutely no yoga experience.  This offering is free for our Unlimited Members.

We also wanted to throw a shout out to Coaches Larry and Joe.  They kicked off the OPP throwdown this season by competeing Saturday at Triton.  Both did incredibly well with stiff competition.  We hope to have ECC Teams registered in many of the upcoming local throwdowns.  This is not exclusive to the OPP athletes.  All athletes are encouraged to sign up and push yourselves at these local events!  When you do, send us pictures so you can get your virtual high fives.

A big shout out to Thais for taking the pictures and supporting our athletes.  In addition to being our first member ever, she is also the first to jump at cheering others on!