Community and Culture, Year 3.

3 years. Our anniversary week puts me in a space of reflection and gratitude. In some capacity or another, I've heard most of you give your "why". You can articulate why you show up, why this is important and necessary part of your day and it blows me away how we, as coaches, can impact you with just the hour you are under our leadership. I can't. I can't put into words why this space and the people and coaches are so special and meaningful to me, I can only tell you I get a deep feeling in my gut. I believe all of this comes back to two things, some would say they are the same but I view them as separate but connected: Community and Culture.


Community: You are the community. You are the ones who welcome new athletes, drop-ins, kids, and dogs into the box. Your smiling faces and care for one another is what makes this space special. Not the location, equipment, or programming. There's a certain type of person attracted to CrossFit. Those that know it won't be easy, and enjoy hard work, that don't expect to have results within 6 weeks, those that have a type A personality and choose to not settle for less, those that pursue greatness, invest in themselves, and are supportive. And those types of people you'll find in any affiliate, not just ours. But not every box is a community and I'm sure you've experienced this first hand when you've dropped into other boxes. I can't tell you how many times I've heard "It was a nice box but it makes you appreciate what you have at home." from you. Each of you care, genuinely care about others around you and know that if you connect with each other, you're more likely to show up when you'd rather sleep in or hit up happy hour or work through lunch.

Culture: The culture is the religion of the box. It's not something you can see but if it's there, you can feel it. And it starts with the Coaching Staff. I did not ask to be a leader, I had never  seen myself as one, and I had always said it "just happened". But the more I learn about leadership, the more see it as something that was always a part of me and it was exposed in CrossFit through coaching. I recently listened to a podcast with Bill Anthes, CrossFit Morristown owner, L1 Seminar Staff and former military he describes leadership as this:

"Leadership is a choice that people make. It's how he or she carries him/herself, it's his/her intentions, it's his/her performance." Furthermore, Anthes says that Leaders priorities are to: 1) Accomplish the Mission 2) Take care of your people. And then there are those who go to the next level... 3) Improve the organization he/she is a part of and not only do the job but leave this place better than he/she found it.

 The coaches did not seek out their L1 or L2 to become leaders but it's certainly a required part of their job. Looking at the above priorities of a leader (or Coach):

1) Accomplish the Mission: Get people fit through functional movements while having fun or "inspire, entertain, and educate," if you want to use the L1 expectations of a trainer.

2) Take care of your people: Your coaches know a lot about you and not just about your squat form. They know about your family, your health, your career, stressors and celebrations. They may know you better than your co-workers do. And they can identify when you're not feeling it or if you need a bit of extra encouragement. They'll also check in with you or call you out if you haven't been showing up to class. They foster the community. 

3) Improve the organization he/she is a part of and leave it better than he/she found it: If you could all look back from 3 years ago (and there's nearly 15 of you that can) who we (as an organization) were then is nothing to who we are now. This is through lots of learning, discussion, practice, being open to feedback from one another, and never settling to be complacent in how they coach. And as a result, you'll find that you are more fit now than you were, your movement has improved, you're mentally stronger, you've accomplished goals you never dream you'd set and I'm sure your confidence in and out of the box has drastically improved. That is due to the coaches ensuring that the programming is executed as it was intended to be and communicating this through visual, verbal and tactical cues all while making it fun and welcoming. It is our coaches who support new athletes in class, and take this to the next level and ensure that yes, CrossFit is for ANYONE. They show this by spending the time explaining the workout intent, scaling the workout for each person based on how he or she is moving in the warm up and what he or she is feeling like that day and continuing to check in with athletes during the workout, not just cheerleading or clock managing and demonstration of movements. CrossFit is for anyone regardless of ability, currently fitness level, age, gender, or physical limitations.

It is my, and now ultimately, our mission over the next 2 years to continue to diversify our community. [As coaches], "we are in a position to inspire others to see that they have the ability and power to change their destiny" ( I want kids as young as 3 and masters over 80 years old and adaptive athletes to say "I CrossFit at Max Oxygen CrossFit Downtown" because I believe that CrossFit can help people improve their entire lives, not just their health and fitness capacity, and we have the culture and community to truthfully back this statement up. "CrossFit makes people better" -Coach Greg Glassman, CrossFit Founder.

Thank you for a 3 years. For the opportunity to learn, grow, laugh, and sweat with you.     

                                                 Coach Jess                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


50 Day Challenge Recap

How'd those 50 days go? The time between Thanksgiving and New Year's is one of the hardest times to maintain a workout routine, eat healthy, get enough sleep and keep alcohol to a minimum. You may have found yourself sleeping in & skipping the WOD because you were out late the night before or it was too cold or you had a sugar hangover. Holiday parties and social events have packed your evenings and weekends and the closest thing to healthy was the celery stick you ate with your buffalo dip. 

For others, committing to 50 days was enough to keep them on track, still able to enjoy treats in moderation but getting the veggies and lean protein in each day while sticking to a 4-5x a week workout schedule.

Julie was one of those people.

Julie dominated her 50 day challenge! Read about how it went for her, it may inspire you to set 2017 goals. Remember, if you are a current member with MO2DT and you want help setting your initial macros, email Jess to set up a time in January for no additional charge.

What did you change from how you were currently eating to now?

I ate what I thought was "clean" before I started this process, but I actually wasn't eating enough of it.  I would also go in waves of healthy/clean eating for a week or so at a time, fall off the wagon and not really watch what I was eating, and then get right back to healthy eating after a few days.  There was so much inconsistency.  I went from eating 4-5 times a day to at least 6 times per day and I have protein with every single "meal." The biggest change has been having to eat more than I've ever eaten before.

Physically, did you see any changes (either in the scale, inches lost, energy, PRs, all of the above).

The scale has gone down a few pounds, but I've lost 8 1/2 inches overall and have gone down between 1-2 sizes.  My jeans are a nightmare right now and I'm glad I kept a few pair that never quite fit or were too tight because they fit now.  I have way more energy than I've had before and can tell a big difference when I don't meet my protein goal for a few days.  I feel stronger too!  I set a huge PR on my 1 rep dead-lift going from 225 to 275. 

What was the hardest part about the 50 days?

The hardest part for me was meeting my protein goal.  Some days were better than others and I got sick of eating some of the same things and had to get creative. 

What was the easiest part about the 50 days?

Meal prep!  I love to cook and spending an hour or two each week making sure I had everything I needed made a world of difference.  There were a few weeks that I didn't meal prep and it threw me completely off track.  

Will you continue following macros?

Yes!  This is working for me.  I've spent years trying to figure out the right "formula" to lose weight and what works for me.  Staying consistent and meeting my macros is working very well.  For the first time, I'm not focusing on the scale moving either, and am focusing more on how I feel and paying attention to what my body needs.  I think not putting that pressure on myself is making a difference too.

How did you make it through 50 days? What were some strategies you used (meal prep, kept it simple with easy recipes, etc.)?

I was far from perfect throughout the 50 days, especially with Thanksgiving and my birthday thrown in the middle.  I figured out how to "make room" for the things I liked and adjusted my macros accordingly.  I kept things simple and ate a lot of chicken, broccoli, turkey, eggs, plain greek yogurt with 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder mixed in (this is amazing), and I was open to trying new things.  I found I really love brussel sprouts and they can be incorporated in a lot of meals.  I am also a snacker and emotional eater.  Paying attention to when I was grazing and just mindlessly eating made a difference too.  I struggle with this the most while I'm making dinner, so I made sure to push my afternoon meal back to 3-3:30pm and have as much of dinner prepped before I got home so it was a quick meal.  I also made sure that my meals were big enough to have leftovers, like roasting a big pan of vegetables that would last 2-3 days and cooking enough chicken for 3-4 meals instead of one meal at a time.  I would also cut up vegetables and fruit and put everything on a tray in the refrigerator to grab and eat while I was cooking.  Being prepared and open to trying new things, and knowing that I had to make a change were all factors that helped me keep going!



Wintertime brings Waffles

Here's the best protein waffles recipe I've found, these are light, crispy, and filled with protein! I make a few batches and then split them up in bags for the freezer for days when it's a grab and go breakfast, I can throw them in the toaster to reheat.  

 Light and Crispy Vanilla Protein Waffles 

Prep time:  10 mins Cook time: 20 mins Total time: 30 


  • ¾ cup applesauce
  • 4 eggs, whisked
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup tapioca flour (I used arrowroot powder)
  • 1 cup vanilla protein powder (I used SFH pure vanilla)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • maple syrup, to garnish


  1. Whisk together applesauce, eggs, vanilla extract, and coconut oil.
  2. Add tapioca flour and whisk until combined. Then add protein powder and whisk again to combine. Lastly, add baking soda, cinnamon and a pitch of salt and mix well.
  3. Pour batter into the waffle iron (greased, if needed) and cook until crispy. Be patient. Mine took less than 5 minutes per waffles. Repeat. My batter made 2 batches of 4 square waffles.
  4. Garnish with Kerrygold butter and pure maple syrup.

Yields 8 waffles

Adapted from: Original Recipe by PaleOMG - Paleo Recipes at