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J-Sprague set to crush the the Nor-Cal 40’s at TJ’s (uhh.. unless there’s a lot of running, of course.)

Friday, February 11th, 2011

Our friendly neighborhood CF affiliate and rival, TJ’s Gym (yes folks, it’s ok to be friends) is hosting the Nor-Cal 40’s competition this Sunday, Feb. 13th, starting at 8am.  It sounds like an aweful lot of fun.  The programming is being done by Andy Petranek, founder of CF LA and one of the most experienced and craftiest hands at coaching this stuff.  Rumor has it that there will be three workouts and since there is no scaling, I suspect that there won’t be any muscle-ups or handstand push-ups.  Which is why Jill may be in trouble, because, if there were, she would win.  I’m betting that there is a lot of running, and running is her goat, but since she dominates at everything else, that suits things just fine and will make things entertaining… errr, I mean interesting!  Here is a picture of our heroine looking very apprehensive at her very first CF competition at the 2009 CF Games affiliate cup:

A very apprehensive Jill Sprague when we were looking on while Dave Castro explained the instructions from the 2009 CF Games Affiliate Cup.  Famous quote from Jill:  "Wall Ball?... What is Wall Ball?  Someone needs to show me before we start."

A very apprehensive Jill Sprague when we were looking on while Dave Castro explained the instructions from the 2009 CF Games Affiliate Cup. Famous quote from Jill: "Wall Ball?... What is Wall Ball? Someone needs to show me wall-ball before we start."

Here are a few notes about Jill:

Jill is an attorney, married, and mother of two in her early forties.  Her kids Will & Matty are about 6 & 8 years old.  (more or less)

Jill was an elite gymnast at UCLA way back in… the late 80’s??

She also trains at the Ice Chamber in the east bay in the mornings. 

Jill found CFM by searching for parkour classes.  She brought her friend Caroline Lee to the parkour classes (Aka Liner, or Jail-Break and also a former UCLA gymnast), who proceeded to use her new found parkour skills to help her win Wipe-Out and $50K last year.  Liner hasn’t been back to CFM since.  BAD Liner!  Infamous quote from Aero:  “She didn’t even take her parkour coach out to dinner.”   Don’t be sooo butt-hurt, Aero.  She started off with Shane anyways.  =)

Russell with his "Wipe-Out" idol "Jail Break" in the back ground at Caroline's viewing party

Russell with his "Wipe-Out" idol "Jail Break" in the back ground at Caroline's viewing party

"The Face of Parkour Connections"
“The Face of Parkour Connections”

Jill has mainly taken parkour classes with us and done a few CrossFit classes and just a couple of adult gymnastics classes.  (She likes the parkour classes because she can learn new stuff.  The gymnastics classes haunt her with her competitive past more than anything else.)  Jill is now one of our coaches and teaches the girl’s Intermediate/competitive-track gymnastics class on Tuesdays & Thursdays along with Amanda Norton from 4:30-5:50pm.   Her son Will takes my competitive-track gymnastics class at the same time while Mathew Sprague takes the intermediate parkour classes with Aero.  You’ve never seen a couple of kids prouder of having such a cool mom and it’s a real treat to watch Jill coach her boys.  Unfortunately, since she’s started coaching for us in September of 2010, she’s hardly been able to sneak in any workouts.  Coach’s curse, Jill, now you know how it feels. 

Back in 2009 we needed females to represent us at the CF Games.  Jill and Kristy stepped up and competed for us in all 3 events of the first day of affiliate competition.  Both of their goats was running.  They dominated at everything else.  Even wall-ball.  Jill is short, at least by CrossFit standards (she’s about average height for a gymnast) .  When Dave Castro was giving the instructions for the Affiliate Cup in 2009 Jill had the most apprehensive look of disbelief I have ever seen.  She turns to me and says:  “Andres, how did you get me into this?!”  I laughed.  “I’m not sure, Jill, but you’re here!”.   Moments later she turns to me again and asks me “What is wall-ball?”  The target for wall ball at the 2009 games was more like 12 feet high instead of the usual 10 feet.  Breanne Feudale, a fire-breather from Mad-Dawg fitness at the time and Nor-Cal favorite CrossFit Games contender, DNF’ed on the Snatch/Wall-Ball couplet in the individual competition that year because she could not get one wall ball at the target’s height.  The movement required too much power and it was exceedingly difficult for short girls.  Jill proceeded to learn wall-Ball for the first time and perform incredibly well in all of the workouts.  (Except for maybe the hill run.  That one wasn’t so good.)  This rock-star carried the CFM team along with Kristy Graves that year to a respectable finish for the Cup, even though they both had to compete in every workout!  We should have had three or four women competing and we only had two!  Now, despite not having recently been training CrossFit, she’s stepping up to take on the Nor-Cal 40’s at TJ’s Gym.  Jill is competitive, but she also goes for fun and to enjoy the experience, regardless of the outcome.  I’m looking forward to coaching her on Sunday, especially because as a coach, she gives to others all the time.  It will be fun to have this event be about her.


I want to thank the folks from TJ’s for accomodating us and giving us a few spots to compete, although registration had just closed.  Unfortunately Martin hurt his wrist when a panel mat slid out from under him during a max-height box-jump  and won’t be able to compete this weekend and Rosanna won’t be able to make it either.  Nevertheless, I encourage any of you who wish to come watch and support us to swing on by.  I just found this video of the workouts and standards, luckily for Jill, there’s not that much running!

Here is a more entertaining video (that you may have seen before) of Jill’s Ninja Warrior submission from last July:

We’ll see what she can do on Sunday.  Wish her luck!

The CrossFit Games Open & Affiliate Team Format are out

Friday, January 28th, 2011
Bill Berry & Tom Woodward on Workout "A" in the 2009 CF Games Nor Cal Sectionals

Bill Berry & Tom Woodward on Workout "A" in the 2009 CF Games Nor Cal Sectionals

The CrossFit Games will use an “Open” format this year.  As of March 15th, there will be a weekly workout announced each Tuesday that must be completed and scores recorded by 5pm PDT by the following Sunday at an affiliate or by video submission.   The results are going to be compiled at a centralized CrossFit Games website.  The first phase of the Affiliate Cup will follow a similar structure with the top 3 male & Female scores counting towards the Affiliate Cup rankings.  The great news is that everyone can participate and there are prizes for the affiliate team with the most participating team members!  The top 30 teams from each region will be invited to their regional competition and it only costs $20 to register an affiliate team for the first part of the competition.  Here is the complete scoop with a great many FAQ’s:

Individual Open:,1012/

Affiliate Open:,1017/

So get ready!  I was a little disappointed when I heard rumors about the “video submission” thing instead of sectionals, but this format with competition at local affiliates actually sounds like it’s going to be a lot of fun!