Grinding Back Through 2013 - The Box

Grinding Back Through 2013

If you had told me a year ago all the things I’d do and all the people I’d meet in 2013, I would not have believed you. I hadn’t written anything serious in years, and although it was a hobby,
CrossFit 2013 Recap

If you had told me a year ago all the things I’d do and all the people I’d meet in 2013, I would not have believed you.

I hadn’t written anything serious in years, and although it was a hobby, it was nothing that I had any intentions of pursuing. Then I saw a post looking for media help with the CrossFit Games site; I sent them an idea, they liked it, I wrote it up, and they published it. After writing for CrossFit, I wanted to do more, so I applied at The Box magazine, and they gave me a shot as well.

It’s been a crazy 12 months. More than three dozen articles later, I’ve been able to fulfill one of my dreams of becoming a published writer. I’ve interviewed and written about Chris Spealler, Stacie Tovar, Justin Allen, Valerie Volobril — all Games athletes — as well as Jeff Martin of CrossFit Kids and Dr. Kelly Starrett. I worked on a live TV production at the North Central Regional with great staff from CrossFit HQ, and I’ve made friends with an amazing support staff both with my fellow Games writers and at The Box.

One year ago I had never done anything like this.

So I can’t help but wonder ... what does 2014 have in store for me? Are there other people out there in the CrossFit Community who have dreams and aspirations they haven’t gone after?

My goals for the upcoming year: Get more training in, write more, share more people’s stories, try to do good and encourage that in others, and get my Level-1 coaching cert.

Get In More Training

I am very thorough about tracking my training. I started in March of 2010, and I got 160 WODs in that year. The past two years, I did 211 and 210 respectively. There are several reasons why I missed the 200 WOD mark this year, and I’m not going to waste time with excuses. The point is I got in 185, and I want to get back to 200.

Write More and Share People’s Stories

One of the things that I love about writing is sharing other people’s stories. Whether it’s a team or athlete profile for the Games’ site or my own quirky tales for The Box, I like to share stories. Anytime I get to work with a great athlete or tell another grinder’s tale, I love to be able to write and pass it on to my readers. My goal: Keep writing and keep sharing as long as someone will give me a chance and a space to do it.

Do Good and Encourage Others

As a parent, coach, teacher or writer, I want to try to strive to do things in a way to help people. Each January, I teach the book Tuesdays With Morrie and attempt to impress upon my students the lessons about caring for others and being a positive part of the lives of others. Hopefully, sharing my experiences and the stories of people I meet and work with will encourage others to do good and to be positive role models in the lives of those around them.

Get My Level-1 CrossFit Coaching Certification

I’ve thought about this one for some time and had to weigh the cost vs. the benefit of getting my Level-1. I think that it’s a good step for me, but I know (as many critics of CrossFit have stated) that I won’t walk away from that one weekend and just magically be able to coach and run CrossFit classes. I do hope to work in conjunction with my trainers and spend some time as a part-time trainer with our CrossFit box. I love the idea of working with CrossFit Kids and helping grow a new generation of grinders.

In all that I do, I try to be thankful to those around me who have inspired me and encouraged me along the way.

What are your goals for 2014? What are things you might want to try that you’ve always been hesitant about? Share your goals with me at jtolgrinder @

Stay on the grind.

— Jamie Toland (JTol)