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WOD 3.10.14

2 Rounds for As Many Reps as Possible of:
2 Minutes Push Press* 135/95
1 Minute Rest
2 Minutes Toes to Bar
1 Minute Rest
2 Minutes Double Unders
1 Minute Rest

Jerks are no reps on the push press station. Focus on staying tight and keeping your midline as you press out. The load should be such that you can perform 10 unbroken and perfect reps of fresh.

Post reps per movement and Rx to comments.

CFSBK Athlete Of The Month

Laura McElherne

As the competitive season for CrossFit gets into full swing with the Open, we get to know one of our members who’s been steadily upping her strength while becoming more competitive on metcons within the gym as well. Laura’s unassuming attitude, quirky sense of humor, and quiet demeanor belie her intentions...she wants to beat the person ahead of her. This determination and her eagerness to be coached along with her friendliness on a barbell rack caught our eye. Let’s get to know a bit more about the gal we coaches have called “Strong Laura” for a while now.

Fox - How did you first find CrossFit?

Laura - A friend had started at The Black Box: CFNYC and was getting super buff. I was immediately intrigued and started watching the mainsite videos. I remember watching a video of The Bear Complex and thinking about how badass all that barbell work looked. Soon after that, I started straying from my hamster-wheel cardio workouts and trying to do CrossFit at the Park Slope NYSC. I would grab like a 5 pound body bar and practice the clean and the snatch in a hidden corner of the gym so nobody could see me. I bought a book called The New Rules of Lifting for Women and started to learn to squat and deadlift from it. I was also doing a lot of yoga, but I was frustrated by how little I was improving. Plus I was smoking like a chimney. I’d be the person you’d see having a cigarette right before entering the studio and then lighting up again, all zenned out, as soon as I was out the door.

Fox  -  Reformed smoker, I get it. No judgement. I also remember that Bear Complex video, classic! That was big weight back then, now it’s toy weight for those guys. I’m pretty impressed that you actually squatted and deadlifted on your own, too. What brought you to CFSBK?

Laura - Well as I was trying to do CF on my own and had brought my squat up to a staggering 85 pounds, I was also talking non-stop to Andrew, then only my boyfriend, about it. I’d avoided joining due to the cost. For an early birthday present in June 2012 he finally had heard enough and bought me the Foundations course, and also did it with me. We scheduled a private cycle with McDowell due to schedule constraints and it was great. I’m pretty sure that Andrew figured I’d move on from CrossFit after finally trying it, and I’m pretty sure I planned to go back to NYSC a little better equipped to keep training on my own. None of that happened. I quit smoking, joined SBK, and quit NYSC.

Fox - Ha, awesome. Aside from getting to snatch more than a 5 pound body bar, why did you end up staying with us?

Laura - I started to progress where I’d stalled and was learning new skills. I was never athletic, always super uncoordinated, and this was the first time in my life I started to feel like I wouldn’t be a wimpy klutz forever. My first double under felt like a miracle. So did my first handstand. It was also really inspiring to see women doing pull ups and know that if I kept working at it, someday I could do them too. I’m still not great at any of those movements, but I know that if I stopped coming, I would never get any better. Beyond that, I figured that if I was going to be spending 3-5 days a week going to the gym for an hour or more, I might as well talk to people and have fun with it, instead of just zoning out on an elliptical or hiding in a corner with a barbell. I never really knew anybody in classes I attended before unless I brought a friend, the environment simply didn’t foster it. Now I train among friends every time I’m here. Plus I really love the programming here, and the way the coaching staff brings it to life. You guys never seem to be phoning it in like I’ve seen in other classes I attended at “globo gyms”. I swear I’m not just sucking up!

Fox - “Suck Up Laura” is going to replace “Strong Laura”! Kidding. We always like to hear that we’re doing the job we strive to do. It’s so true that you can and should have fun with this stuff. How did you develop such a sunny outlook? Where are you from originally?

Laura - California, naturally. Santa Clara, in the Bay Area, to be exact. My parents are still there and I love to visit when I can. I moved to New York in 2005 to attend NYU for Art History. Now we live in Flatbush which is great. Aside from some great food we have sooo much space. Enough space in fact to keep up with my vintage chair collection. We have 12 chairs in our apartment.

Fox - Are they human sized, or this part of some dollhouse hobby? 

Laura - Nope, all full sized. It’s embarrassing. I just love collecting junk. In my defense, it feels like a way to keep my love for art, craft, and design alive, even if the art history degree didn’t translate into a happy career. I now work in social services. I’d been working for some galleries and an auction house and felt like my soul was being sucked out of me. I started volunteering to distract myself from the misery of my old job and eventually landed my current gig as an analyst with Street to Home - Brooklyn/Queens. I work on policies to promote continuous quality improvement and evidence-based best practices, ensuring that we’re complying with our city contract and fulfilling our mission to end street homelessness. I love my job, but I do still crave art in my life. In addition to the chair hoarding, I also make ceramics---hand-thrown vases, planters, mugs and such--and I’m constantly doodling, lettering, and painting. And I love to cook. Andrew and I are sort of foodies I guess, so eating out at new hot spots and tasting new cuisines also satisfies some of the thirst for all things creative.

Fox - How did Andrew and you meet?

Laura - At a bar through a mutual friend. Romantic, I know. I was coming out of a long-term relationship, as was he, so I thought we would just have a summer fling and keep things casual. Andrew described me to his friends as “Fake ID” for the first month of our relationship. But eventually, we started spending more and more of our time together, and I realized that I actually kind of loved the guy. He lost his father about 6 months into our relationship, and working through that tragedy together really drove home how much he meant to me. We were married in September last year.

Fox - That’s nice to have such a positive takeaway from a sad loss. And to progress from booty calls after meeting in a bar to husband and wife is a great journey. Congrats!

Laura - Thanks! Fun fact about Andrew and I and that bar: Andrew is 10 years older, and the name of the bar was Lolita. Total Humbert Humbert.

Fox - Ha! You guys seem to have a great sense of humor. Alright, last stock question. What should we look for in a future Athlete of the Month?

Laura - First of all, someone who knows the value of being a nice person. And secondly, someone who challenges themselves. I know that when I see people working hard, lifting heavy, and going fast, it inspires me to do more.. I especially love the women who buck the “don’t lift heavy or you’ll get bulky” BS, and who aren’t concerned with what society says is beautiful. Those women are role models.

Fox - As are you Laura. Thanks for sitting down and sharing. 

Don't forget to submit your 14.2 scores to the CrossFit Games site by 8:00pm this evening.
Failing, Bailing, and Training Culture at CrossFit Affiliates  Inside the Affiliate 

Reader Comments (34)

Love this interview so much. Congrats, Laura! You've been a role model to me with your strength and drive (and hilarious blog posts). So fun to learn more about you. Fox, that "Ghost" link is particularly special.

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKate R

Laura Mc! I often have the pleasure of lifting with this she-beast on Sundays and she is, in fact, Strong Laura. Congrats, lady!

229 reps with 73# on the bar. I maybe should have done 83. I'm pretty stoked about the double unders, though -- they were on today, and I got 29 unbroken in the second round! I am hereby forbidding myself from counting attempts in WODs. I've used that as a crutch because my DUs are still somewhat inconsistent, but slowly but surely I've been getting to a point where pretty much every time they show up, I can string them together in 3s and 5s at least. So it's time to say bye bye to scaling them forever, I think.

12th place at the crossword tournament. I'm not thrilled with being out of the top 10 this year, but yes, objectively speaking I realize that 12th place at the Nerd Olympics is still pretty damn good :P

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterStella

6am with a bearded McDowell.

Great WOD today. Peter shamed me into doing this Rx and I'm glad he did. 135# was heavy but manageable.

Hit 202 reps.

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMattyChm

Hurray - LAURA or should I say "Laura of the Many Chairs".

Great write up, love working out with Laura at CFSBK and her snarky humor. Thank you for finally explaining what you do since every time I get the answer of along the lines of "public servant" (which is VERY VAGUE).

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterasta

6am with the crew.

Tired today (14.2 + a bender of a Saturday night + Sunday Funday) but it felt good to get a sweat in.

Isaac and I were partnered to form Team Awesome. We did not take advantage of our proximity to Team MattyChm+Peter by turning around and doing the WOD duel-style (facing each other).

Hit 307 Rx.

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMichael A.

Well deserved !!! Congrats strong Laura!!! It has always been a pleasure to be in group class with you!! I could not wait for the day we were partnered on the same bar for a cycle I'm still trying to get there!!! you are a role model to me and willie and I are very happy you are athlete of the month!!

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNancy

congrats laura!

powerlift meet recap:

it was quite an interesting experience ill say that much.
grunting, sweating, cursing, testosterone, spandex, disappointment, elation, dudes who look like vigo from ghostbusters 2 and a lot of clearly visible penises... and that was before i even left my apartment that morning.

weighed in at a robust 158 (with my shoes, sweats and shirt on) thanks to 2 months of a strict whole 30 diet (which is brilliant to do when training for a powerlift meet)
i went 6 for 9 and came dangerously close to bombing out

my first squat i got 3 red lights for depth but i knew i shorted it even as i was coming up. my 2nd squat though i really felt like i got depth (got 2 red lights that time). 3rd squat, same weight, insane pressure: 3 white lights.
comparing the 2nd and 3rd attempts, i really see no difference. after my 2nd attempt even the guy spotting me from behind said "oh yea you nailed it that time"
302.5 wasnt even a pr this week as i had hit 305 for 3 singles on tuesday. i was hoping to hit 340 or so, oh well, something to shoot for next total.

143, 154, 160
All of those are pretty much paused bench prs. its not a strong lift for me as i have skinny little mutated baby arms. they all went up fairly well though.

341, 374, 380F
lost all tightness on 380 and my legs were pretty much fully extended before the weight even came off the ground. ive hit 375 thrice now though so I feel like I own it (and this time I hit it weighing 10 pounds less than the last time I did)


the only other guy in my weight class (165) bombed out on bench so I took home 1st place. all in all it was a pretty fucking weird experience, we were there for like 7 hours and there was about an hour and a half wait from lift to lift because there were 3 heats and only 1 platform but i really enjoyed the experience, it was super fucking weird after all so how could i not?

thanks to The Bearded One for not only coming out with us to a gym on his only day off from a gym but also for letting me jump into a strength cycle half way in and for generally putting up with all my ridiculous nonsense (even though i know he loves it).
thanks to all of the lifters, Becca and Paul are my stength cycle pals 4lyfe, Rob gave me some excellent pro tips and licked his fingers when he caught Lisa and me in a tender moment of intimacy and Nicole was probably pound for pound the strongest lifter there. team CFSBK came away with FIVE first place trophies and in general were the best looking crew there. also it felt good to out-lift a few dudes who were in the weight class above me.
thanks to everyone who came out to watch and support especially Lisa who kept me fed and motivated even after i got down on myself for nearly bombing out.

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commenteruzef

Slept in for a late 8am class today with McDowell

Got 311 reps Rx'ed on the WOD. I put my hardest work into the double unders. I got 132 doubles the first round (sets of 50, 50, 32), and 99 the second (lots of tripping up at the end of the second round). Push presses were less than a max effort at 5, 3, 3, 2 the first round, then 1, 2, 2, 1 the second. TTB held up better, got 32, then 26.

2x8 strict HSPUs at home today to get some more strength work in.

Sounds like a fun class at 6am, wish I could have woken up for it!

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAlex C

Congrats Laura - you are one very strong and very nice person.

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSamir Chopra

STRONG LAURA! Very fun interview, my only regret is that it was not conducted over whiskey. Laura has been a great addition to the gym. It's been fun to watch her progress, I look forward to seeing where she goes. I feel lucky to have the privilege to pry some insights out of members then hack some words into the doc that becomes the AOM article. One of my favorite things to do.


10am class
PP at 135: 30/22
T2B: 25/23
DU: 100/99
299 Total

Opened with a set of 15 on the push press to start which I realized upon cleaning the bar for a second set, was a mistake on my part.

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFox

282 reps with the usual 6am crew. This was a fun WOD. Was glad Peter and Michael made me do Rx. Wish I had my doubles on lock when I did 14.1 Whoops.

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterIsaac Green

Strong Laura!!!! What a pleasure it's been to have her (and andrew) as part of our community. She's a great athlete and a great person for other CFSBKers to look up to!

Laura Dubie
Here is the song from my 14.2 video you requested. It's so good, I know.
Grimes - Colour of Moonlight (Antiochus) [feat. Doldrums]

March 10, 2014 | Registered CommenterDavid Osorio

Congrats Laura! This made me so happy this morning when I checked the blog. I have only had the honor of being paired with Laura once for a WOD ( I went lighter lol) and she had some very sage advice about the importance of rest days, which I was in dire need of at the time. Thanks for that! It stayed with me. And I adored the piece she wrote which was posted on the blog with Laura and Andrew's beautiful wedding picture that time. Also, I'm not going to lie- having her amazing 2K time on the leaderboard in front of me while I was rowing, definitely spurred me through many of the harder CRASH-B workouts. Laura, some day I want to be just like you. Thanks for being an inspiration. I love your story- great write-up.

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

Laura!! Congratulations! I have admired your progress across the board. Excellent choice for AOM and great candid interview!

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

Congratulations to Laura Mc! An excellent choice for AOTM.

WOD: 47 PP (73#), 49 T2B, 218 DU = 314 total. Hit a PR on doubles in the first round by doing my first 65 reps unbroken. Was able to string together my first 5 kipping toes to bar, and then...never again. Got some very helpful advice on the kip technique from Ro. Push presses got HEAVY. I loved this WOD and was excited coming in today.

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKH a.k.a. Cage

Also, Stella: doubles unders and toes to bat?! Woot woot go Wonder Twin!!!

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKH a.k.a. Cage

49 T2B?! HOLY @#*&! Wonder Twin, HOW ARE YOU DOING THAT? Uh-may-zing.

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterStella

Congrats, Laura! I love seeing your regular posts where you put up strong numbers and times.

6am. 241 reps Rx: 31/18, 30/20, 75/67. Calves were all sorts of tight today (from yesterday's running?) making the double-unders frustrating. The bar felt like it gained 50# on the second round of push presses.

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

whoops, i posted this on yesterday's thread... meant to post it on today's.

1. absolutely loved spectating all the badassery at the powerlifting meet this weekend. the folks doing their first meet - you were inspirational. prepared, poised, positive. loved it! for the seasoned competitors (heh) like rob - it's so great to watch you continue to improve. i'm so happy for you and your results.

2. the Repair pop-up is SUCH a good idea. i'm totally in love with the concept and am planning to haul as many of my broken possessions as i can to this event. thanks SBK for alerting me to cool shit like this!

3. meat and FISH CSA pickups this Wednesday, 6-8:30!

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermichele

Congrats Laura!! I've always had fun throwing down with you the few times we've been partnered up. Looking forward to high fiving you personally when I get back to SBK. @David I'm going to admit i used the "shazam" app during my weekly open-WOD checkin to name that song you had in your video as well...that's a good one!

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKatie Harpz

10am class with Noah at the helm.
Went 95# which was on the lighter side of good weight. 20/16
The doubleunders put me over the top for rep count. 127/107
A change of toe to bar station mid way also ate some rep time. 23/27
320 reps total.

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKeith W

yes to more GRIMES fans!!!

I get to validate Open video submissions for the North East and people can leave candid comments about the video for the moderators. Things like "missed count on 3rd set of double unders" or "squats not to depth" etc.

One of the comments on my submission was: "Great form, terrible music" :) :(

March 10, 2014 | Registered CommenterDavid Osorio

Grimes is my favorite Witch House/Grave Wave artist. She mainly wins #1 due to my ignorance of the rest of the genre, and cause DO is sweet on her.

Laura is super boss. Very funny, great to coach, and obviously, pretty damn strong.

Took my swing at 14.2 today. After watching numerous people attempt and be humbled by the workout it I was legitimately frightened of what would happen. Got 84 reps, or 4 shy or round 3. OHS felt easy, but when I got back to the pullup bar for my second set of 12 C2Bs it felt like someone had disconnected my hands and forearms from my CNS. Every pull felt like I was trying twice as hard and going half as far. Missed a few at the end- if I had hit them all I think I coulda made it to the next round.

Was pretty angry and frustrated for a bit after, then took 3 deep breaths, remembered I was just a month or two removed from a scary back injury, and got my head screwed back on straight. Glad to be participating, hope the next workout is a little more in my wheelhouse! Thanks to Arturo for judging, McD for always sage strategery advice, and the rest of the coaches for delaying our Monday meeting a bit just to watch me flail around on the pullup bar.

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNoah

the grimes 'genesis' video is so wild, mainly because i want to wield a sword! love her.

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCamille

12pm class with Fox and Ro.

Push Press @ 95#: 24, 22
T2B: 27, 21
DU's: 118, 109
Total: 321
-may be off a rep or two here as I left my notebook at the gym but that's pretty darn close.
-push press felt extremely heavy today. did almost all in sets of 5.
-t2b felt pretty good (for me) and I was able to most in sets of 5 as well. I'm trying this little bicycle kick thing that I've seen many people do and it seemed to work. I just have to remember to commit to doing it.
-started the first round of du's with an unbroken set of 75. in hindsight that seemed silly because it left me so gassed to keep going for the full 2 mins. decided to break them up in smaller chunks (20-30) for round 2 and felt much better.

Overall pretty proud of myself for doing this today. I tried my best to talk myself out of it but then realized that I coach nearly all classes tomorrow so I wouldn't really have a chance to do it then. Also super fun to watch McD, Ro and Noah tackle 14.2.

And more importantly, F'ck Yeah Laura! She's been on my radar for quite some time and I know it's just a matter of time before we see her name over is ALL over our leaderboard. Congrats Laura! Loved reading more about you and your journey to CFSBK. :)

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterlady fox

Fun 4.30pm with David.

I really was thinking about skipping today and resting my shoulder, but I decided to come in and treat this workout like a practice session of sorts, since toes-to-bar and consistent consecutive double unders are a distant dream.

In the warm-up my shoulder felt a bit sore on the lowering part of the push-press and David advised me to try dumbbells, which felt much better!

I used 25# DBs for the WOD and I got my first real actual T2B!!!! I actually managed to hit the bar with my toes for about half of my reps- a total of about 16 times!!!!! This is a MAJOR breakthrough but unfortunately I still cannot kip at all. Any time I tried, I just swung around on the bar and could not time it correctly. My single-double-singles were tiring as usual, but it is always good to practice them. Total number of reps was 174.

So happy I came in! I had so much fun! :)

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

299 reps.

First round of push presses @115lbs, second round @95
First round with knees to elbows, second round with dragonflies (?)
Got a PR on double unders in the second round (wearing lifting shoes! Must have been Rickke's rope wot did it.)

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSamir Chopra

laura mc!!! so deserved and so fun learning more about you.

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterariel c

Thanks everyone for the kind words, you all made my week. :)

6:30 with David and Ro. 262 reps with 95# and dragonflies. Toes to bar felt good in the warm up, but my right lat was bothering me so I scaled down for the wod. Double unders went better than usual, I was trying to really pull my elbows in and back, which I think helped.

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLaura Mc

The wrist is feeling...86% better. I think (i HOPE) another 5 days or so will be the end of it.

Snatch DL w/pause below the Knee@242x2x5
GHD situps:50

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJakeL

guys, grimes has a tumblr which has the best cat chat feature ever.


March 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterstephanie h

Ha...I watched David's video over the weekend with the sound off, didn't realize that it was soundtracked by Grimes. Cool. Also was very confused to read "grave wave" up there, but then again, I get confused when people reference dubstep and are talking about things that don't sound like Burial, so i guess my use of that term is stuck in London in 2006. Correct use of genre names has never been my strength.

Anyway, felt frustrated by 14.2 (16 reps, chest to bar just wasn't happening) and today's workout (160 reps scaled to 105#, "knees to elbow" which seemed...very much a work in progress, and double unders spaced out by singles). Practice. Practice! No skipping practice.

March 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMichael C.

That cat chat feature has appeared on the CFSBK blog a handful of times between the hours of midnight and 6amish.. :)


worked up to 70kgx1

Clean and Jerk
worked up to 90kgx1

:03 Pause Front Squat
worked up to 85kgx3

AMRAP 12 Minutes
12 Burpee Box Jumps 24"
12 Toes to Bars

5 Rounds even

Great day teaching classes! I love my job!

March 10, 2014 | Registered CommenterDavid Osorio

David - excellent taste in music. Grimes is the JAM. Love it. Colour of Moonlight is on the playlist!

March 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLaura a.k.a Dubie

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