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Fitness: 3x5 Across
Perform your third 3x5 of Pressing for the cycle. Add 5lbs from last week's weight.

Performance: 5/3/1 (1 week)

Post loads to comments.
Press e3/6

As Many Rounds As Possible In 10 Minutes Of:
25 Kettlebell Swings, 72/53
10 Handstand Push-Ups or Dumbbell Presses

Post time and Rx to comments.


Athlete of The Month

Marian Lai!

Not that we take requests for featured athletes (coaches discuss who makes a good candidate) but this gal has had her name thrown our way by more than a few members as someone they felt should be recognized. Marian Lai has been kicking butt on Degraw street for a few years now, and from just about the beginning has exemplified the the type of social openness that we love at SBK. Only recently, however, did I realize we were all pronouncing her name incorrectly...

Fox - Mare, tell me about your start with CrossFit South Brooklyn.

Mare - I started in July 2010. I’d been told by a friend in Florida that CrossFit was great and honestly my only research was a google search that led me to CFSBK.  I took a Teaser class with Laurel who came off not only as strong but also welcoming. I signed right up for Foundations and did that with a few people who are still members as well.

Fox - Cool! I think Noor, Ken H, Radhika, and Deepak were in that group. What were you doing pre-CF?

Mare - I’d been doing “regular gym routines”, mostly from magazines. I used to go to the gym with these nerdy spreadsheets and lay them out to perform the workouts. I was spending 2+ hours in the gym and seeing zero results. It obviously needed to change.

Fox - Were you athletic as a kid?

Mare - NOT! I was a math olympiad kid...I grew up that way and in my 20’s was a couch potato who smoked cigarettes and ate double chocolate muffins each day. Imagine me 30 pounds heavier? Yup. In my 30’s I started doing endurance stuff like running 5Ks, 10Ks, ½ marathons, and a few duathlons. I lost a bunch of weight but wasn’t really healthy and struggled to keep the weight off. I’d done zero barbell training in my life.

Fox - Enter CrossFit. What was the beginning like for you?

Mare - I’d originally intended for CrossFit to complement my gym “routine”. Funny thinking about that now. I already told you about my spreadsheets. Early on though I came to understand the social network aspect of a place like CFSBK. Three days post-Foundations my dad passed away suddenly from a head injury. I was in shock. About a month later I started coming to classes and the gym and the people in it were a huge part of my emotional recovery. It gave me a routine and a support system and a place to focus on positive things. During this time, I specifically remember being completely paralyzed and sweating as I faced a max box jump in class, fearing I could hit my head and die.  Nobody around me knew I was having these irrational thoughts, but it was the encouragement I felt that day and witness every day since at CFSBK that makes me loyal to this place.   From there, I found I enjoyed challenging myself in a group setting and engaging in friendly competition. I started to see results and was drawn to the fact that the changes were quantifiable. Remember the math nerd in me? I like setting benchmarks and breaking them. I like the aesthetic changes that I went through but also love that the community as a whole supports women being strong.

Fox - Good stuff. The SBK community has definitely gotten many people, including myself, through some tough times. I’m glad that you decided CFSBK would have a part in that for you. Tell me a bit about you outside of the gym.

Mare - I grew up outside Seattle with two sisters, and am the child of Taiwanese immigrants. I love my family but couldn’t wait to explore! As soon as I could I left and came to school in the east. I attended U Penn in Philly and man was I in for a culture shock. I eventually came to NYC to work in entertainment. I did some work in magazines and cable and then somehow landed my dream job. For about 13 years now I’ve worked for the Fox Network on American Idol and other reality shows. I’d like to think that I help in making people’s dreams come true. Other than the gym, I like to entertain and have get togethers that range from Sunday suppers to Saturday night rooftop ragers! I’ve done lots of solo travel, the coolest was touring the Venezuelan jungle where I woke up in a hammock facing the tallest waterfall on earth. A few summers ago I got pretty into SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding) and did a 3.5 mile race on Lake Washington. I’m pretty good at it, probably because I have a low center of mass :) I also have to admit some of my CrossFit nerdiness...I’ve visited over 30 affiliates around the country and world. It’s fun to see what other boxes do.

Fox - There’s recently been some big news in your life that may change your penchant for solo travel. Can we divulge?

Mare - Manpanion? Yes, I got engaged last month to a guy I met online in the Fall.  Single ladies out there, my advice to you all is don’t be hesitant about sharing your CrossFit world to potential suitors.  I included in my profile that I was looking for someone who would appreciate my muscles and calluses, and I found a partner who does exactly that!  

Fox - Congrats! Wedding dress muscle ups are always a hit! Tell me about a memorable gym moment for you, and maybe also a few things that you’re currently working on improving.

Mare - I’m working getting my double unders more consistent and the volume up.  Also have a goal to be able to handstand walk two floor mat lengths by the end of the year.  And, I’d like to do 21 pull ups unbroken, leading to doing a sub 7 minute Fran. Without a doubt my first handstand push ups were pretty cool and memorable.  Being invited to join the Competition Team last year has also made me more focused and determined in my training -- gotta keep up with Ellie!  

Fox - Awesome. Last question. What do you think we should look for in future athlete features?

Mare - Someone who’s enthusiastic about all the people who come to the gym, both the vets and the newer folks alike. That kind of attitude is what helps keep cohesiveness in the community even as the gym grows.
Happy Birthday, Coach Jeremy and Malcolm S!

Reader Comments (80)

Same observation as Joel. I can't think of a better response to the Jezebel piece than celebrating Mare. Congratulations, Mare!! It's been a pleasure to watch you develop as an athlete, especially over the past year when you've taken. off. You're such a positive addition to our community and I feel lucky to count you as a friend. Enjoy your day!

Jeremy, Malcolm -- Happy birthday to you both!

May 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKMo

The only thing I know, is that of all the people they chose to lambaste they choose DO and Margie?

The author didn't give a chance to Marie and DO to respond. Obviously there was an agenda. Also, not putting one's name out there while publically criticizing someone is pretty pathetic IMO.

In general, I think it's a hard topic to talk. As a dude, I can't imagine what it would be like to be a woman at a gym and face misogyny. I think it's important to listen to everyone's opinion and then make smart informed decisions. I know that if the community of people expressed a dissatisfaction with the name, and the community voiced outrage, things would be changed.

I think it's awesome that David and the coaches have fostered a democratic approach to issues and topics when in reality it's a business that is private. Yes the business thrives on membership and the community, but at the end of the day it's SBK's decision on whether or not you participate.

I remember many long difficult conversations that were not suited for gym comments board that were gone through thoroughly in this space. The comments was intented (i think) for weights and numbers. It has evolved, and although topics can be difficult, I think all can agree the blog s an extension of the community. I whine and complain on here too, but it's articles like this that remind me why comments are important.

I think decisions about what we call things and how we do things should be decided by 2 groups. The coaches & the community. Not some author who wrote a one sided article. I know first hand after 3 years hear that David is the most active listener to the community. I look forward to the response tomorrow.

May 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDH3

Marian FTW! Congrats.

Having been graciously allowed to lift alongside so many of our strong women at the last Titsday will always be one of my favorite CFSBK memories.Ya'll all a buncha bad asses. I might add that Marian out deadlifted me that day. Awesome.

May 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCorbett

My apologies for the abhorrent grammar. I can't listen to clients and write cogently at all.


May 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDH3

I consider myself a pretty ardent feminist, but I think some feminists (or extremists in any group) simply enjoy getting offended. Anyone who enters such a conversation--1) via email instead of in person and 2) without being willing and open to listen and 3) anonymously discusses it--isn't someone I'm interested in engaging. Go enjoy your tiny skull-sized kingdom, sweetheart.

This gym and its people blow my mind, and I am daily inspired by the women I've met here to become strong and be damn proud of it. Shrug that nasty dirt off your shoulders.

May 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKate Reece

DH3 said basically what I was thinking. It is a community issue. Our community is thoughtful and supportive, and can eloquently express problems they may have with all aspects of CFSBK, Crossfit, training in general, etc. We don't need Jezebel to tell us (and the world unfortunately) how we act and think. I kind of wish she had just been given the opportunity to come in and interact with the many women that have been positively affected by Titsday and the CFSBK community at large.

May 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTodd

Very well said Bree. I think that post alone basically disarms any claims that we are fostering a misogynistic environment based on the use of a tongue-in-cheek phrase. Spend 10 minutes here and you'd know that. People just love to get offended on the internet, its much harder face to face, and like Katz said, would require some actual, you know, journalism.

May 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNoah

Congratulations Marian!!! And thanks for bringing AOTM back, you must have heard us complaining the other day!

Happy Birthday Jeremy and Malcolm!

May 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDMak

Just wanted to throw in support for Margie and David.

So glad you are keeping the name Titsday. Taking Margie's 2nd tough titsday lifting course (or the gateway drug to Strength Cycle) was exceptionally important to me owning my fitness, my numbers and even how I want to be viewed as a woman in this world. Titsday is about owning are own strength, humor and not needing to put a big pink ribbon on it.

I have been luck to be apart of some interesting initiatives on feminism and women's rights in my line of work and very lucky to meet some lead feminist thinkers -- and every time I talk about feminism I bring up our gym. I bring up a community of women that support each other versus build snarky hierarchies (still a huge problem as noted in Sheryl Sandberg fall out). I tell people about the strong confident men that come to cheer us on and support us.

Thank you to all the CFSBK staff for standing firm on Titsday and generally being awesome people. everyone who counts knows who you really are the good you are accomplishing every time a man or women achieves something they once thought impossible.

Internet fallout sucks - but a mini campaign comms tip to those planning on emailing the reporter - venom will make this go on longer. Moral high ground without needing to justify what she clearly does not want to understand will be the most effective way forward. Name calling and lecturing will give her more fuel for fodder and like Matt pointed out that a large part of Jezebel's overall strategy.

May 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMel

From the moment during my first foundations class when McDowell made a point to tell us that push-ups done from the knees were called "modified push-ups," never "girl push-ups," I have always been impressed by CFSBK's commitment to creating a safe and non-judgemental space for both men and women to thrash around like lunatics in attempts to get strong. If jezebel is offended by a silly/punny name, well then, tough tits.

And speaking of celebrating female strength, congrats to Marian! Awesome interview.

May 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

Fantastic interview, cheers to you Marian! I'm still confused about the correct pronunciation of Marian/Mare though...

SO doubly proud to be a member of CFSBK and an O.G.Tough Titsday participant today.

May 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBethany E.

Yay to the return of AOTM and congrats to Marian! I have to say, I really love this series...very inspiring.

I'm truly surprised by the Jezebel article. I've never been anywhere less douchey or sexist or misogynist than CFSBK. Everyone is so incredibly warm, friendly and welcoming that it's almost like walking into an alternate universe. I hope to participate in Titsday at some point...now I've gotten off my duff and back into the gym! I really wish "Rachel" hadn't gotten up hung on the name and took the time to really get to know the place. She's missing out.

May 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy

David Osorio "misogynist bro", that's what I've always thought in my years knowing him...

The Jezebel "article" is such horse shit. Luckily there'll be a new cat meme in a few moments that faceless idiots can pay attention to.

May 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFox

I've got to be honest. There is a large part of me that feels like we should do something a little bit more active. Over the past few months it's been commonly accepted for publications to misreport/slander/lie (see ny post). Typically there are no ramifications/consequences. I think some of us should demand a retraction but not in any sort of hostile way (obviously).

We should invite the author of Jezebel to attend and to take titsday to experience it.

May 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDh3

Congratulations Marian! Welcome to the super-awesome world of AOM!

Wanted to echo Mel: Do NOT email or post comments. It'll likely just make things worse.

May 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMatt Katz

I am posting a second time today. The first time was to give Marian the credit she deserves. The second time, sadly, is to express my annoyance at that stupid-ass Jezebel piece.

So, I'm a feminist. It's kinda like my day job. I support people's right to get offended.

I also teach people to make arguments. That's kinda the other part of my day job. But I apparently am not smart enough to understand the logical leap involved in asserting that the existence of a women's powerlifting meet is evidence of the existence of a bro-culture.

CSFBK is the most woman-friendly fitness environment I have ever been a part of. I learned to value how strong I am because of y'all. Thanks for that.

May 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSerene

haha damnit, Fox, you've got my number... I love stupid cat memes. SO MUCH.

May 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

Congrats, Marian!

Great choice, Mgmt.

May 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew M

I’m truly touched by all the congratulatory comments from the CFSBK community today - I've been skipping all day! I am honored to be AOTM, but the fact is, everyone at CFSBK is a source of inspiration FOR ME!

I, too, will happily defend DO and Margie. “Rachel” is only doing herself a disservice by rushing judgment without having first-hand experience with Tough Titsday. I’m a three-time participant so I can, without hesitation, verify that the ROAR of cheers comes from both female and male members of our community. Tough Titsday embodies the culture of CFSBK, one that is devoid of the hyper-masculinity of other gyms (both non-CrossFit and CrossFit gyms alike) and one that redefines for us ladies the definition of, and correlation between, beauty and strength.

May 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMare (aka Marian)

I’m truly touched by all the congratulatory comments from the CFSBK community today - I've been skipping all day! I am honored to be AOTM, but the fact is, everyone at CFSBK is a source of inspiration FOR ME!

I, too, will happily defend DO and Margie. “Rachel” is only doing herself a disservice by rushing judgment without having first-hand experience with Tough Titsday. I’m a three-time participant so I can, without hesitation, verify that the ROAR of cheers comes from both female and male members of our community. Tough Titsday embodies the culture of CFSBK, one that is devoid of the hyper-masculinity of other gyms (both non-CrossFit and CrossFit gyms alike) and one that redefines for us ladies the definition of, and correlation between, beauty and strength.

May 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMare (aka Marian)

I just want to share this:

I was away from my desk for meetings most of the afternoon. I decided to check the blog again and saw 72 comments. My first reaction was "Awww! So many people are congratulating Mare on AOTM. How nice!"

Face palm, Jezebel. Face. Palm.

I echo everything that has been said already. So proud to be a Tough Titsday participant (and winner!) and even more proud to call CFSBK my home.

May 6, 2013 | Registered Commenterjen stop

Fox, why does it have to be a cat meme? :(

6:30 with David and Noah

I added a modest 1 pound to my press because I had a fail last week. I need to rethink my game plan after failing because today felt better the further I got into my work sets, and now I wish I had added a little more.


Wod with 12kg, and 1+ rounds of hspu
2nd round after I realized I was going to be very slow kipping the rest grabbed 20lb dbs to finish off 4 rounds of kb swings+ 6 push presses.

May 6, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercrystal

Yeah Marian! Double congrats!!

Happy birthday Jeremy and Malcom :)

Margie and David, TTD is a unique and immensely empowering experience. It's absurd to hear David talked about in that context. Not only is he the furthest thing from sexist, but also among the most open-minded, considerate people I know.

I agree with the comment that this person did not want her mind changed. Also a good call that someone had about Marian's so memorable moment at the last titsday meet. (Auto correct just won't let me type titsday for crissakes.. no I'm not trying to say tots day).

Seems like there's a significant population that does not get / want to get "crossfit" and they're happier when they promote the notion that it's a "douchy" "cult" (two words that I never thought of together before. I don't really care what they think, but it's not cool to negatively and inaccurately target people who don't deserve it.

May 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLauren B

Feeling the effects if last nights wine binge so did an abbreviated workout today.

First 7 were fast last got tough so I ended it.

Skipped the conditioning because I was feeling awful by then

May do a rage filled lift or two tomorrow.
I have no comments about the article. At least none to be made on the Internet where any keyboard warrior can feel free to misquote them.

May 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJeremy

I feel unfairly judged and labeled as a "faceless idiot" by FOX! (mutter...just because I enjoy a cat meme...what's wrong with that!?)
all joking aside...I echo what everyone has been saying in response to that piece of shit "journalism" by jezebel. I feel truly lucky to have found a place as supportive and community oriented as CFSBK. As someone who has never ever ever EVER liked "working out" to find myself suddenly loving it came as a big surprise. And it was in no small part due to the presence of all the supportive coaches and members. Having y'all cheering for me and being able to cheer for you all in return makes my flickin' day.


May 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLindsay S

Jeremy + Malcom = happiest of birthdays!

Mare - Again, congratulations to a lovely badass.

Agree with everything that has been said in addition to keeping it cool, nothing enrages people more than when you are logical without vitriol, it crushes arguments in a hot second.

Everyone already knows my heart belongs to SBK, all the support and all the warmth that has been offered without question during 2012 and 2013 just intensifies the ridiculousness of the article. I like the earlier offer of inviting the reporter in for TT, their loss if they choose not to attend. I am proud to be a member. I am proud to have participated in TT and can't wait to go under the bar again with all the strong ladies - this includes you Corbett :)

PS: DO you still can't have the hat. Margie I miss you. xo

May 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJB

The ladies & GENTS used their frustration from the Jezebel piece, and their desire to make Marian proud out on the Brooklyn DIrt Dawgz in the YMCA Softball league toonite.

28-5 Team Calaveras.

SPANKING.....ooops can I use the word spanking? Any angry parents?

May 6, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdh3

I find it interesting that a woman who works at a magazine called "Jezebel" is crying misogyny over an event called "Tough Titsday". I rolled my eyes after reading this article - void of any facts, research or journalistic talent. I agree with previous posts stating that had "Rachel" learned a little more about CrossFit and the CFSBK community, she would have fully comprehended the meaning of "Tough Titsday". But, instead of learning she wasted her time on complaining and arguing. The CFSBK community - not only as a gym/fitness community but community as a whole - is the least misogynistic community have ever been a part of. In fact it is the complete opposite - it is one in which i have never felt more respected as a woman!

Kudos to D.O and Margie for such an awe inspiring event and community!! Can't wait to participate this year!! Proud to be a part of CFSBK and proud of my TITS!!

May 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBecca

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