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15.4…The Recap

Saturday, March 28th, 2015

crossfit-154-open-workout“15.4 is…going to follow this rep scheme.” David Castro takes out a marker and writes on the whiteboard. “(3, 3) (6, 3) (9, 3) (12, 6) (15, 6) (18, 6) (21, 9) (24, 9) (27, 9) etc.”

Well, that’s certainly new. But what are the movements that will be accompanying this rep scheme?

“The first movement is…push-ups.”

What?! Looking out across the CrossFit floor, I saw many confused faces. But, knowing Castro and his flair for drama, something was coming…

“The second movement is…cleans at 85lbs. 15.4 is…wait, wait, wait. We do have a scaled option this year, let’s take advantage of that.”

Oh boy. Here it comes.

“The first movement in 15.4 is really handstand push-ups. The second movement is cleans at 185lbs for the men, 125lbs for the women. As many reps as possible in 8 minutes.”

For the RX division, there weren’t that many cleans, but they were certainly heavy. Many athletes achieved singles while others were looking for a PR on their cleans. The real work was the handstand push-ups. HQ’s new movement standard for handstand push-ups required your feet to pass a line. This was challenging and caused the phrase “no rep” to be used more often than not.

The athletes that did the best broke up their sets and tried to keep moving without reaching failure until the end. If anything, people were more limited by the skill challenge and the weight of the cleans rather than their cardio.

The scaled division was accessible to everybody that was unable to do handstand push-ups. The 10 push press/10 cleans at a medium weight let athletes storm through as fast as possible. Even though the workout was only 8 minutes long, it definitely challenged our cardio as we worked hard to alternate between the two movements.

HUGE SHOUT OUT goes to Jayson N., who achieved his first handstand push-up!!

Shout outs:
Sera got the highest female score in the gym with 107! Can’t forget about Daniel T’s amazing 1 clean. Stephanie R’s first attempt score was 5, but she improved it to 14! Same thing for our teen girl Caitie B. whose 2nd attempt score was significantly higher than her first. Karen L. deserves honorable mention because handstand push-ups are a HUGE mental challenge for her. She worked hard this year and posted a competitive score. Don’t lose faith Karen! Your muscle ups are coming! AND Jeff P. PR’ed his clean!

Other highlights include Mike T. and Margo T. showing GRIT! Chris B. really worked hard on this one. How about Patrick C. was amazing for doing this workout while his 8 year old son screamed at him from the kitchen. Steve V. also posted a HUGE score. AND ROGER USED THE WALL!
The best story belongs to Joe W. When he recorded his score on the games site, he accidentally chose the wrong affiliate therefore, his score was invalid. We learned of the mistake at 4:40 PM on Monday, which led to a mad dash to make the 5 PM deadline. In a shocking turn of events, after reaching out to CrossFit HQ Monday night, they decided to allow Joe’s score anyway.
All in all, once again this community showed how united, strong, supportive and FIERCE we are.

15.5 prediction: Thrusters, box jump up and over, and pistols. Yes, I’m sticking with the pistols. Well done everyone!

15.2 The Recap.

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

Since its second year in 2012, the CrossFit Open has included a repeat workout. These reappearances give us a chance to see how much progress we’ve made throughout the year. This year’s repeat was last year’s 14.2, an unforgiving couplet of overhead squats and chest-to-bar pull-ups. A few people were discouraged when the workout was announced. Common questions we heard on the floor included: “I can’t get into a full-depth overhead squat.” “The scaled option is still a regular pull-up?!” Despite the uncertainty, our members showed up and gave their all and many were pleasantly surprised with the results.

There are about 20 (give or take) athletes, who competed last year and had the opportunity to see if they had made any improvements over last year. In an overwhelming number, most of you absolutely killed your previous year’s rep count. This is a great testament to the strength, development, hard work, and dedication to the programing. You do not get stronger without doing the work. We had a large number of you, who did the workout for the first time, both RX and scaled, all of whom had great results. I was very proud of all of you once again, for coming together as the CrossFit Marin community rooting each other on and putting up some impressive numbers. We even had great numbers posted by our Teen division!
To Rich Lefurgy, who came in first in his age group in our region, 21st in the world!
Another highlight of the week was watching Sera crush another workout again, she is putting up huge numbers. Michael V’s reverse grip overhead squat were the perfect adaptation for him, and Mark R. even doing an overhead squat at all is exciting. Daniel T nearly TRIPLED his score from last year, Stephanie R performed her first chest to bar pull up and Heather R did her first pull up! More highlights included Narendra’s excitement for scoring higher than Roger, Margo T’s incredible performance and, Joe W tackling chest to bar pull ups. And how about Russ logging 2 open workouts in Row?? Well done everyone.

A true example of not only mental strength, but also fantastic athletic performance, came from our Athletic Director Amanda. She injured her neck a few days prior, and after several days of mobility, chiropractic and soft tissue care and a little luck, she was able to perform this workout and even eked out 3 reps more than last year. Well Done Amanda.

15.3 is just around the corner, I feel wall balls and double unders coming! Don’t forget our Mid-Open Recovery Party on Friday, March 13, starting at 7 PM. Check out our leaderboard!

New Things at The Cave (and they are really exciting!)

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

unnamed-32015 is off to a great start.
Thanks to the hard work of our athletes and staff, this year is off to a terrific start. We launched a new look, promoted new leadership, and have more events in store. Read on for the latest news…

New Logo & Look
Our refreshed logo was custom-designed in vibrant blue and white to reflect the welcoming, honest, hard-working spirit of our athletes and staff. Response so far has been terrific. T-shirts and other branded goodies will be available for purchase in the pro-shop over the next few weeks.

New Equipment
New equipment is arriving! CrossFit athletes welcomed training on the Glut Hamstring Developer
(GHD) machines. And, arriving soon is a TumbleTrack for the gymnastics and parkour athletes to practice floor routines and tumbling skills. Thanks to Coach Russ for securing these key pieces.

unnamed-4Gymnastics - Open Gym on Mondays at 10 a.m. for ages 2-6
Yoga - Class times have changed to Tuesday and Thursday at 10 a.m.
And, a reminder to be on time to class. Please, no more than ten minutes late for ALL disciplines.

New Summer Camp Schedules
Camp enrollment is now open. Register before April 15th for ninja and gymnastics camps and receive an early bird discount!

New Leadership Roles
Please join me in congratulating the following leaders:

Amanda Norton has been promoted to Athletic Director of all programs including Gymnastics, CrossFit, and Parkour. This management role leverages Amanda’s natural talent for leading teams, fostering community, setting high standards, and ensuring quality across all disciplines at The Cave. Athletes will continue to benefit from Amanda’s experience as a coach for classes, competitive gymnastics and CrossFit teams, and private sessions.

Mikaela Velloza has been promoted to Director of the summer camps, Kids’ Night Out, and birthday event programs in recognition of her innovative and successful management. Students will also continue to enjoy Coach Kaela during regularly scheduled class times.

We will miss Crystal Montgomery as she takes a break from The Cave. We wish her the best on her adventures.

Policy Updates: Adjusted Temporary Leave Credit
The Cave is committed to keeping class sizes small. Because of this commitment, an athlete enrolled in a class often prohibits other students from enrolling in that class. You are paying for the reserved right to come to the classes each month. But, we’re aware that life is complicated and schedules can change suddenly. We offer a temporary leave credit of two (2) consecutive weeks for any temporary leave (vacation, medical, etc.) The credit is 50% of your regular class fee. If you are injured and would prefer to immediately withdraw from your class entirely, please give us a doctor’s note and we’ll waive our fee.
Coming Soon: Summer Hold
We want you back! We’re working on the ability to hold your spot over the summer. No more need to withdraw or gamble on losing your preferred time. Details coming soon.
Join The Cave Team!
Do you know Quickbooks accounting? Are you a graphic or web designer? We need help advancing our systems. Contact Stephanie Parker if you are interested in project-based work.
As a growing business, we’re always striving to improve your experience. Your suggestions and feedback are always welcome. Ping me at

A short History lesson: Presidents day

Monday, February 16th, 2015

us_presidential_seal_1945_eo_picturePresidents’ Day is an American holiday celebrated on the third Monday in February. Originally established in 1885 in recognition of President George Washington, it is still officially called “Washington’s Birthday” by the federal government. Traditionally celebrated on February 22—Washington’s actual day of birth—the holiday became popularly known as Presidents’ Day after it was moved as part of 1971’s Uniform Monday Holiday Act, an attempt to create more three-day weekends for the nation’s workers.

While several states still have individual holidays honoring the birthdays of Washington, Abraham Lincoln and other figures, Presidents’ Day is now popularly viewed as a day to celebrate all U.S. presidents past and present…… and a day home w/ the Kids!  Enjoy the day.

All Cave classes run as usual

Throwdown 2015

Saturday, February 7th, 2015

20150131_cave-throwdown_068Throwdown 2015 — The Wrap Up

It would be impossible to summarize what an extraordinary day last Saturday was, but let me begin by thanking all of YOU who helped make it happen.  Thank you to all the volunteers, spectators, athletes and sponsors!

This community brought it, and in a big way. Every single person contributed to the amazing energy and enthusiasm in the air.  We laughed, we cheered, we cried, we celebrated!  The sportsmanship was off the chart, the camaraderie and admiration of the day was palpable. Thank you all.021a

I spent most of the day behind the scenes and was unable to witness all of the inspiring performances.  I am incredibly grateful to our photographers for their stunning pictures that help me relive the day.  Thank you Den Bell, Philip and Alan for sharing your impeccable talents! The pictures are outstanding.

Final results can be seen here:

I would like to clear up a confusion about the RX winner, that Sam himself brought to my attention:

030aThe final positioning shouldn’t take anything away from all their hard work and accomplishments, however, when Sam brought the results of the 2nd workout to my attention it did change the final standings.  After I reviewed all the entered scores for every athlete and talked with the judges, we did confirm there was an error that change the final results (but not who would have made the finals).  For RX men only:

3rd place is Sam,

2nd place belongs to Michael Schinner and

1st place goes to Thomas.

Congratulations athletes!  We are all so proud of you!

Some highlights of the day include:

  1. Fergal running with the sand bag.  He was so incredibly far ahead of the pack…it was stunning.20150131_cave-throwdown_177

  2. Wesley’s handstand push ups — they were all strict and unbroken! CRAZY.  His entire performance in the 7 minute AMRAP of WOD 1 was outstanding.

  3. Sandy Shepard’s push up modification.  What a great way to train for push ups — a black band across 2 J hooks on the bottom.

  4. Mark Anderson getting to the burpees in his 3 minute AMRAP!

  5. Jason Rosenbaum going for it in his clean and jerk.

  6. Michael Valencia.

  7. Sera and Chelsea joining the RX women in WOD1.  How much do you love the flying ponytails picture?

  8. Roya’s grit on the pull ups.  You did it baby!!!!

  9. Justin’s amazing attitude when WOD 3 was just not agreeing with him.

  10. The RX women, every time and….

20150131_cave-throwdown_158Find a new favorite in the athlete’s bag? Here are the links to all the great goodies you had in there: ReviveRX, Paleo Sweet Tooth, Sacred Chocolate, Caveman Cookies, Fashletics, Paleo Meals To Go, Paleo Magazine, Larabar, Rise Bar, Simple Squares, Whole Foods San Rafael, Exo bars, Kind Bars, AMARA, and Mammoth bars

A few extra thank yous:

Thank you Martin for generously lending us your rower.

Thank you Ehren for testing the WODS.

Thank you Bo for bringing your amazing micro brew.

Thank you Karen for the most meaningful clipboards on the planet.

Thank you Zev for being the best score sheet runner EVER!!!!

Thank you Dave for running equipment all day and making me look good.  He really is my better half.

And thank you Amanda and Roger. I’ve been pushing for this event since day 1 and you finally said YES!  You guys let me run this show, and do it my way. Thank you.

Please take a moment to visit our sponsors’ websites Juice Alley, Recharge S.F, , Sports Authority S.A. Elite, WOD Recovery Yoga , Keelan Chiropractic & Wellness Center. AES Construction

If you happen to need their services, please consider them.  Without their support this event would never have happened.

SO, who’s signed up for the Open?

THROWDOWN 2015, This Weekend!

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

throwdown-2015t’s here! This weekend is The Cave’s first intra-gym, all-day CrossFit competition, and we can’t wait! This is a huge day for CrossFit Marin, and we’d love for you to be part of it.

The Cave Throwdown will consist of 3 workouts for 3 divisions (RX, scale, and limited) throughout the course of the day. Competing athletes will put to the test their strength, endurance, and perseverance…and it will be inspiring to watch! Some athletes have never competed before, while others know how to put on a show! This will be a fantastic event to watch and cheer on these athletes as they shine.

Please note that the 11:00 a.m. CrossFit and adult gymnastics classes will be canceled this Saturday ONLY.

I would to thanks the following companies who have donated products and prizes for our athlete welcome bags or winners!

This event would not be possible without our dedicated sponsors and volunteers. We are so thankful to them for their support! So, if you are in the market, consider purchasing their services or products should they offer something you need or have interest in.

Juice Alley: WOW, these juices are delicious! Find them in great locations in Larkspur and Corte Madera. All their drinks are cold-pressed and made daily to ensure freshness and maximum benefits from the ingredients.

Recharge S.F.: “Get stronger and feel better in 20 minutes!” Recharge S.F.’s mission is to aid people along their journeys in reaching their full potential by delivering accessible, affordable, and professional athletic recovery and performance tools.

Sports Authority S.A. Elite: Step inside your Corte Madera S.A. Elite and find an exceptional selection of performance apparel, accessories, and athletic footwear from brands that have made a name for themselves as being at the top of their game.

This weekend: NorCal Masters Competition!

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

ncm2015logoThe 5th Annual NorCal Masters event is coming this weekend, January 24th and 25th, at the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond. The NorCal Masters is an annual two-day competition for Masters Athletes, with age divisions of 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, and 60+ in both genders.
The weather forecast is glorious so we encourage you to join us for a fun weekend.  Come watch some amazing athletes over age 40, shop the great vendor village, and cheer on our very own CrossFit Marin athletes! We’ve been awed by their dedication to self-improvement, watching them work very hard on a daily basis, continually pushing themselves.  I encourage all of you to head over the bridge and prepare to get inspired!

We have 6 incredible athletes competing this weekend:

  1. Susie B. - Our newest addition to our coaching staff, Susie is competing in the 45+ division and is going to be exciting to watch!  Susie is no stranger to fierce competition, but taking on this 2-day CF competition is a new endeavor for her.  I hope to see lots of Cavers cheering on her incredible spirit, tenacity and perseverance.

    Narendra R. - Also competing in the 45+ division Narendra has an accomplished athletic history (not to mention a 5:07 Fran time!). Narendra played soccer, basketball, and baseball in high school, while attacking track and field in college as well as a few years afterward. He has also run several triathlons and has 5+ years of ultra distance trail running experience.

    Mark A. - Mark is competing in the 50+ division and is so much fun to watch! Incredibly proficient in bodyweight movements, I think we’ll see him close to the podium at NorCal!

    Martin - Our youngest competitor, Martin is a strong, seasoned CrossFit competitor that places high in every competition I’ve seen him tackle.  His calm, methodical way of attacking workouts makes him a consistent and accomplished competitor.  Last year at NorCal, Martin placed 6th, and I believe we’ll see him get to the podium this year! He is competing in the 40+

    Karen L. - Karen and her husband Rich (see #6) are the backbone of CrossFit Marin.  On a daily basis I watch these two strive to be their best and work their hardest, inspiring our community to always push harder and be stronger. We are all so proud of Karen for competing at NorCal while coming back from a significant shoulder injury.  Karen is competing in the 45+ division.

    Rich L. - Quietly working hard in the corner you’ll find Rich, accepting discomfort everyday, yet digging deep to better himself.  RIch placed 18th at the 2012 CrossFit Games, and he placed 6th last year at NorCal.  I believe we’ll have the chance to cheer him on this year in the finals!

    There you have it — our amazing 6 athletes headed to NorCal Masters!  Don’t miss the chance to cheer them on! Tickets, directions and more information can be found here:
    Once the event begins, the leaderboard can be seen here:

    Hope to see you there!

The Meaning of The King Holiday BY CORETTA SCOTT KING

Monday, January 19th, 2015

mlk-quote-1Thank to The King Center for permission to repost this article.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday celebrates the life and legacy of a man who brought hope and healing to America. We commemorate as well the timeless values he taught us through his example — the values of courage, truth, justice, compassion, dignity, humility and service that so radiantly defined Dr. King’s character and empowered his leadership. On this holiday, we commemorate the universal, unconditional love, forgiveness and nonviolence that empowered his revolutionary spirit.

We commemorate Dr. King’s inspiring words, because his voice and his vision filled a great void in our nation, and answered our collective longing to become a country that truly lived by its noblest principles. Yet, Dr. King knew that it wasn’t enough just to talk the talk, that he had to walk the walk for his words to be credible. And so we commemorate on this holiday the man of action, who put his life on the line for freedom and justice every day, the man who braved threats and jail and beatings and who ultimately paid the highest price to make democracy a reality for all Americans.

The King Holiday honors the life and contributions of America’s greatest champion of racial justice and equality, the leader who not only dreamed of a color-blind society, but who also lead a movement that achieved historic reforms to help make it a reality.

On this day we commemorate Dr. King’s great dream of a vibrant, multiracial nation united in justice, peace and reconciliation; a nation that has a place at the table for children of every race and room at the inn for every needy child. We are called on this holiday, not merely to honor, but to celebrate the values of equality, tolerance and interracial sister and brotherhood he so compellingly expressed in his great dream for America.

It is a day of interracial and intercultural cooperation and sharing. No other day of the year brings so many peoples from different cultural backgrounds together in such a vibrant spirit of brother and sisterhood. Whether you are African-American, Hispanic or Native American, whether you are Caucasian or Asian-American, you are part of the great dream Martin Luther King, Jr. had for America. This is not a black holiday; it is a peoples’ holiday. And it is the young people of all races and religions who hold the keys to the fulfillment of his dream.

We commemorate on this holiday the ecumenical leader and visionary who embraced the unity of all faiths in love and truth. And though we take patriotic pride that Dr. King was an American, on this holiday we must also commemorate the global leader who inspired nonviolent liberation movements around the world. Indeed, on this day, programs commemorating my husband’s birthday are being observed in more than 100 nations.

The King Holiday celebrates Dr. King’s global vision of the world house, a world whose people and nations had triumphed over poverty, racism, war and violence. The holiday celebrates his vision of ecumenical solidarity, his insistence that all faiths had something meaningful to contribute to building the beloved community.

The Holiday commemorates America’s pre-eminent advocate of nonviolence — the man who taught by his example that nonviolent action is the most powerful, revolutionary force for social change available to oppressed people in their struggles for liberation.

This holiday honors the courage of a man who endured harassment, threats and beatings, and even bombings. We commemorate the man who went to jail 29 times to achieve freedom for others, and who knew he would pay the ultimate price for his leadership, but kept on marching and protesting and organizing anyway.

Every King Holiday has been a national “teach-in” on the values of nonviolence, including unconditional love, tolerance, forgiveness and reconciliation, which are so desperately-needed to unify America. It is a day of intensive education and training in Martin’s philosophy and methods of nonviolent social change and conflict-reconciliation. The Holiday provides a unique opportunity to teach young people to fight evil, not people, to get in the habit of asking themselves, “what is the most loving way I can resolve this conflict?”

On the King Holiday, young people learn about the power of unconditional love even for one’s adversaries as a way to fight injustice and defuse violent disputes. It is a time to show them the power of forgiveness in the healing process at the interpersonal as well as international levels.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is not only for celebration and remembrance, education and tribute, but above all a day of service. All across America on the Holiday, his followers perform service in hospitals and shelters and prisons and wherever people need some help. It is a day of volunteering to feed the hungry, rehabilitate housing, tutoring those who can’t read, mentoring at-risk youngsters, consoling the broken-hearted and a thousand other projects for building the beloved community of his dream.

Dr. King once said that we all have to decide whether we “will walk in the light of creative altruism or the darkness of destructive selfishness. Life’s most persistent and nagging question, he said, is `what are you doing for others?’” he would quote Mark 9:35, the scripture in which Jesus of Nazareth tells James and John “…whosoever will be great among you shall be your servant; and whosoever among you will be the first shall be the servant of all.” And when Martin talked about the end of his mortal life in one of his last sermons, on February 4, 1968 in the pulpit of Ebenezer Baptist Church, even then he lifted up the value of service as the hallmark of a full life. “I’d like somebody to mention on that day Martin Luther King, Jr. tried to give his life serving others,” he said. “I want you to say on that day, that I did try in my life…to love and serve humanity.

We call you to commemorate this Holiday by making your personal commitment to serve humanity with the vibrant spirit of unconditional love that was his greatest strength, and which empowered all of the great victories of his leadership. And with our hearts open to this spirit of unconditional love, we can indeed achieve the Beloved Community of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream.

May we who follow Martin now pledge to serve humanity, promote his teachings and carry forward his legacy into the 21st Century.

Last Call for registration, Looking for volunteers, Childcare info and Thank you sponsors

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

logo1It takes an incredible amount of courage to step out of your comfort zone and try something different, but the payoff is always worth it. As of today, nearly 30 athletes have signed up to participate in The Cave Throwdown on January 31, 12 - 5 p.m., something unique and new to our gym. Many of these athletes are first time competitors; others are seasoned veterans. All of them will be memorable to watch. Their names are listed on the board. We’ll learn more about them as the event draws near.

Will you join them? In addition to the thrill of trying something new, you’ll receive a great t-shirt! The last day to register is this Sunday, January 18th, by midnight. Is your name on the board? Click here to register.

For you supporters…The Cave Throwdown needs your help! Will you volunteer to help? You will also receive a great t-shirt and my sincere gratitude. We need about 8 more people from 12 - 5 p.m. Thanks to those who have already volunteered! Email

If you need childcare for the event, sign up here. The fee is $25 for the day, per child (sibling discount does apply).

And, please join me in offering our sincere thanks our lead event sponsors. Check out their websites below and please give them a high-five! Consider purchasing their services or products should they offer something you need or have interest in.

WOD Recovery Yoga: Yoga for improved athletic performance. We are so fortunate to have Stephanie Ring within our community. She is a fantastic Yoga instructor and athlete. Stephanie also coaches a WOD Recovery Yoga class at The Cave that is incredibly helpful for mobility and recovery.
Keelan Chiropractic & Wellness center. Another fabulous member of our CrossFit community that we are luck to have! Dr. Gina Keelen combines massage therapy, Exercise Rehab and Chiropractic so that your body heals faster. With a background in Personal Training, Physical Therapy and Chiropractic, Dr. Keelen can offer the most advanced treatment available for wellness care.

AES Construction: An advanced engineering sales company. AES Construction has uses its efficiency model in all phases of construction management including submittals, schedule monitoring, and infectious control. At helm is Kenny Bonkowski, joyful member of our crossfit community along with his wife Roya and 2 daughters on our The Cave Gymnastics team.

Juice Alley: WOW! These juices are delicious. Find them in great locations in Larkspur and Corte Madera. All their drinks are cold-pressed and made daily to ensure freshness and maximum benefits from the ingredients.

Recharge SF: “Get stronger and feel better in 20 minutes!” Recharge SF’s mission is to help people along their journey to reach their full potential by delivering accessible, affordable, and professional athletic recovery performance. They are excited to share our love of sports and the information we have learned throughout our competitive athletic careers with everyone.
Thank you sponsors, volunteer and athletes. This event is made possible by your energy and support!

This Week in The Cave

Monday, January 12th, 2015

logoHappy New Year and Welcome back! Have you seen our new logo?
The Cave has been busy since school has started, it’s wonderful to see everyone. Thank you for your patience as we work on our waitlists trying to find a spot for everyone.

The Cave Throwdown
For Cave members only! The Cave: CrossFit Marin is thrilled to announce The Cave Throwdown, a friendly but challenging intra-gym competition to be held at the gym on January 31, 2015.

The Throwdown will consist of three WODs. Athletes will compete in one of three divisions, divided for both men and women: RX, Scaled, and “I’m injured but really want to participate.” All competitors will receive T-shirts and bags. Prizes will be awarded to the top-place finishers.
To compete in the Throwdown please register using WOD Rocket
unnamed-1 Kids Night Out: Skill Work Night
January 24th, 5:30-10 p.m.
$40 in advance.
Register now.