Reflections on the Open

As we head into the final Open workout for the year, here's my thoughts:

It's been a party every week! From 5am to our final heat at Friday Night Lights. You brought energy, you brought fun, you bought into the best 5 weeks of the year (only second to our Holi-Wod and Holiday events in December). It's not to say you didn't work hard, you've pushed limits, earned those PRs, crushed goals, gracefully received a few no reps as those judgement eyes were on you, gave out thousands of fist bumps, both virtually and IRL, and you laughed and smiled and met a few new friends you haven't had a chance to workout with before due to your regular class schedule.


The After Party has been equally as fun. From Fuzzy's tacos to Confluence brews & Chipotle to Margaritaville to decorating the entire box as if we were in a float contest for a the St. Patty's Day parade, you did well very crew.

To our 8 athlete 2018 judges: Tim, Andrew, Joe Austen, Meghan, Jordyn, Alyson, Travis, Ami. You got a peek into the "other side". You took the challenge to not only perform the weekly workouts but to understand the movement standards, step up to the uncomfortable area of giving out no reps and you counted 1000s upon 1000s of jumps in 18.3. You had to balance the nerves as an athlete performing the workout to then stepping into the role of judge, which for many, is more stressful than completing the workout. A few of you have come in during morning classes to help judge, giving up the comfort of your cozy bed. A few of you have come in during lunch class to help keep the heats running smoothly so everyone could be judged and get back to work, or you've completed the workout and then immediately stepped into judgment zone for us and then returned to work. And during FNL, it's never a "who will judge next?" You're always more than ready with a clipboard and score sheet. It's given me a chance to be a coach during the Open for a few heats, it's given me a chance to step back, look at this amazing community that has been built and smile with tears in my eyes and be proud of you all. It's given Nick the chance to use his fitness to get the best shots of all the athletes, because let's be honest, we all love to see ourselves working out and maybe those photos will help explain the "what is CrossFit, again?" to our families. 


To our coaches: Brett, Bryan, Dan, Dilon, Jamaal, Kristen, Leah, Nick, and Reid. When I asked you to step it up, to bring the best 5 Fridays for our community, to look outside of your workout and schedule and give it to them. You did. You've led our first intramural Open to being something that has even exceeded my vision for it (which you know is hard to do). You've gone from judge, to athlete, to coach, depending on the heat. You've come in on Sundays or early Monday mornings to help judge make-ups or redos, you've stayed later on Monday nights and have always held the standard on what constitutes a good rep. It starts from the top down and when you give your Friday nights to the Box, it gets noticed and it makes the Box a second home, where athletes don't want to leave, and they bring their families to...which also makes for a really late Margaritaville night :).


To our photographer, Nick. You have the hardest job of them all. The easy part is the actual shooting of the workout, it's the hours and hours you spend editing and deleting those "won't get past the #jjp standards of good form and bad angle" You've given up a few vacation days to shoot photos during lunch class and on top of that, you get to deal with me and the late nights setting up, you take command on the constructing walls, hanging TVs, moving things around so the photos look good. You put up with my early mornings of judging and my texts of "to-bring-to-the-gym that I have forgotten at home or need from the store". #nickpilling is the MVP.


To Morgan, the intern. Quiet but mighty. Morgan, you've stayed late Thursday nights to set up, have been at the box before 5am on Fridays, head to work all day and return to FNL, ready to go. How you manage to do the workout, I don't know, because every time I look over or go to check in, your at the front desk, working on team points, assisting others with getting questions answered, and you are our head of music manager, and you show up BIG TIME for your intramural team. You've also been interviewing a few our athletes on their experiences and it's been exciting for me to see what interview pops in my inbox each week. To say this Open has been more manageable, especially adding in more event organization and scores with the Intramural Open, is an understatement. Thank you, Morgan.


To our community: Usually during Week 5 of the Open, I'm more than ready for it, I'm tired and over the Monday score validation, chasing you all down to get it submitted, I'm ready for the regular routine again. Not this year. I can't believe it's Week 5 already, it's gone so fast and it's been so much fun. Little sleep, lotta coffee, but much more fun. My goal for this final week is that we pack the Box with everything Max Oxygen, black and orange all the way, and I want to see our logo all over you. I want to see big smiles, fist bumps, cheers (both in voice and in clinging cans) and whatever Dave Castro has planned for us, bring the energy because you're going to PR. We'll carry over the End of Open fun to Angry Goldfish, where I'm told we will easily take it over this small, neighborhood bar that has amazing burgers.


Thank you for an amazing Open, it's been one where we'll look back upon and be remembered as several things:  "the first one at Bell Ave", "Friday Night Lights", "the biggest Open yet", "the one where the shift happened". As I reflected on our 2017 Year in Review, I wrote that I was thrilled with the potential 2018 holds, I could feel it in my gut that it was going to be great. And it's met my expectations so far and we're not even half way into the year. So hold on, the energy doesn't stop as the last rep is counted for the 2018 Open.

Next up, the Jesus WOD, Operation Strength, ladies wine night, Bros and Beers, Viewings of "Ogar: Will of Steel" and "The Redeemed and Dominant: Fittest on Earth" oh, and an end of construction date!


Year 2.


Year 2. Where to start? When I began reflecting on the past year, I can not believe it's only been a year, so much has happened, so much has changed, so much growth, laughter, friendships, and strength and a little heartbreak and pain. I come back to 2 words as I think of the past 365 days: Year 2 was all about commitment & heart.

To the MO2DT Athletes:


"When confronted with a challenge the committed heart will search for a solution. The undecided heart searches for an escape" -Andy Andrews. 

Each one of you are committed. Committed to being better humans. Committed to living healthier lives and striving to be above average. Committed to demanding more of yourself inside and outside the box. Committed to supporting each other. Committed to excellence for yourself and your family. 


If you're reading this, you know what I mean. I'm not sure how we got this lucky to find some of the most caring, compassionate, supportive people in the Des Moines area, but we got very lucky. You all are kind to and supportive of each other, in daily workouts and above and beyond that. Helping cope with heartbreak & life changes, supporting each other in nutrition challenges and CrossFit yearly goals. Cheering each other on in other fitness and sports endeavors, planning evenings out together, dog sitting for each other, scheduling play dates with each others children. You go out of your way to help others, you take a few moments to check in on someone who you haven't seen in the box for a few days, you reach out to me and the coaches, wanting to know how you can help with whatever project or event we have coming up (and this whole summer it's been THE MOVE). 

I can honestly say I have never been a part of something so community driven and it takes my breath away when I think about how blessed I am to be a part of your lives and the coaching staff would agree with me. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your lives, to give us an hour of your day and to choose Max Oxygen Downtown to being a part of your wellness-health-social hour and beyond. #moderndaysocialclub


To the coaching staff: Brett, Bryan, Dan, Dilon, Jamaal, Kristen, Leah, Nick, & Reid:

I think most people look at a part-time job as something that they put little effort into, get a bit of extra cash from and float through each week pretty easily. This is not you. Your position is not easy, it is not the few times your name is on the schedule each week. It is not with little effort to be a trainer at MO2DT. It starts on Sunday when the workouts are released, it is before and after class, checking in with athletes, writing thank yous, fist bumping, texting, encouraging athletes. It is attending our competitions and social events. It is early morning coaching developments, improving the group & time management, perfecting your coach's eye, and continually learning and sharing knowledge bombs.

The bar is set high and I'm sure you've figured out by now, not one of you will reach it, no one will get to a point in their coaching career that he/she can stop learning, stop caring, stop striving for excellence. Excellence is not perfection. Excellence is the quality of being outstanding or extremely good.   

Thank you for not settling to be mediocre. Thank you for bringing big fun into classes each day. Thank you for giving a shit. Thank you for putting your time, blood, and heart into this box. Thank you for allowing me to lead you on this sometimes crazy, ever relentless pursuit of excellence. 

Bring on year 3. 

“I can tell you what it is that makes you successful in a [CrossFit affiliate], “It’s the blind and relentless constant pursuit of excellence." Greg Glassman


Friday Firsts: Meet Hugh

Meet our newest members of MO2DT!

1. When you thought CrossFit, what came to your mind (before you joined)? High intensity interval training, strong community and muscly people.

2. How many people know you're doing this CrossFit thing? (First rule: always talk about CF). For the first few months I only told family and close friends but after I finished my first Crossfit Open i started sharing my crossfit accomplishments with the social media world! 

3. Favorite workout so far: Definitely enjoy any Olympic lifting but its hard to beat Nick (Hofer’s) farewell workout when we got to shotgun some beers and run around. 

4. When do you typically WOD? Right now I'm WODing three times a week at 6am before work but am working up to a five-a-week plan

5. Tell us one thing we don't know about you from your high school days. I was a boy scout, reached Eagle scout senior year!

6. Best thing you've learned about this experience: No matter how hard you work in the gym, there is no substitute for a healthy diet/lifestyle.


Member Monday: Meet Shawn

Meet Shawn! He and his wife, Amy, did their first CrossFit competition almost 2 years ago now. 


1. How long have you been crossfitting?  Since May of 2013. So going on 3 years now.

2. What is your favorite movement that we do in CrossFit? If I had to choose one it would probably be the back squat but close second would be squat snatch.

3. What was your biggest fear coming into CrossFit MO2DT? That I would suck at it. I had watched plenty of CrossFit You Tube clips of people doing things I couldn’t imagine being able to do. It seems silly now with a couple years of perspective but it’s intimidating when you’re a newbie.

4. What CF accomplishment are you most proud of? Getting a squat clean PR at the Festivus Games was pretty awesome. Squat Snatching 180 after 6 months of trying and failing. But more generally, turning weaknesses into strengths, like double unders, hand stand push ups (took me 6 months just to get inverted… you know, on the wall), and hopefully soon, muscle ups.

5. What's your 9-5 (job)? I have a snack food brokerage business with my Dad. Basically, I sell snacks to convenience store distributors and larger retail chains throughout the Midwest.

6. Other than CrossFit, what else do you like to do in your free time? What’s free time? I have 3 kids so most of my time is consumed by them and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I enjoy cooking for my family, hiking and rucking, playing softball and golf, and drinking scotch on the deck with my wife in the summer.

7. What keeps you coming back each day?  The desire to be strong enough to be intimidating by the time my daughters start dating… in thirty years or so. Seriously though, I just want to get better as I get older and I love being around others who enjoy this CrossFit thing as much as I do.

8. If you could cherrypick a WOD what would you choose? My favorite WOD was the “Holleyman” Hero WOD: 30 rounds of 5 wall balls, 3 HSPU’s and a heavy power clean.

9. One thing your WOD friends don't know about you?  I don’t know… maybe that I was a slacker and smoker throughout high school and most of college… and maybe a couple years after. Okay, pretty much until I met my wife.

10. Favorite "Cheat" Meal? Pizza. It’s always pizza… Unless it’s tacos… Or any kind of chips and dip.



Member Monday: Meet Kelsi!

1. How long have you been crossfitting?
I started in June of 2013, so just shy of three years.

2. What is your favorite movement that we do in CrossFit?
   I love deadlifts, although I've recently become a fan of Sandbag Get Ups

3. What was your biggest fear coming into CrossFit MO2DT?
   Forcing myself out of my comfort zone leaving my old box.  Was I going to regret leaving? I can easily say that I don't.

4. What CF accomplishment are you most proud of?
  The first time I hit 120lbs on a clean.  115 lbs haunted me for the longest time. 

5. What's your 9-5 (job)?
   I'm a GIS Specialist with the Polk County Assessor's Office

6. Other than CrossFit, what else do you like to do in your free time?
  I enjoy spending time with my friends, bike riding, team trivia, playing sand volleyball, playing indoor volleyball, reffing volleyball, watching volleyball, pretty much anything volleyball.

7. What keeps you coming back each day?
  The community that is CF. Doesn't matter how great or how horrible of a day I've had prior to getting to the box but I know once I get there I can shut down all of the outside for a while and sweat it all out with a good group of friends.

8. If you could cherrypick a WOD what would you choose?
   For time: 500m Row, then 5-10-15-20 of Dead lifts, Toes to Bar, plate or dumbell ground to over head, finishing with another 500m row

9. One thing your WOD friends don't know about you?
  I'm currently competing in a speed sock knitting bracket style competition.

10. Favorite "Cheat" Meal? Old Chicago's Spaghetti Pie


Testing Week



This week we will be testing for the following:

1 RM Back Squat, Power Clean, & Shoulder Press. We will also re-test 3 metcons.

We performed these 3 lifts & metcons the week of 9/7 & wer reminded you to put your results in Wodify. I will be pulling these and the print outs will be at the front desk.

We will be doing these Monday-Thursday, plan your workouts accordingly. 

Reminder: when you are performing a 1RM, have a coach watch you to ensure that you are hitting depth so the lifts counts.



Wear it Wednesday

Guess what day it is?!? It's new apparel day! Check out the options below.

All t-shirts are $25, hoodies are $40.  

The shirts will be Next Level and the same soft feel as our last orders. Hoodies are also Next Level.



These will be preorder, forms will be at the box tonight. We will place the order by Thursday 12/10. We will have a very limited supply of extras to purchase later so be sure to order what you want now to ensure you get the right size.

Any questions: