Push Away the Screen: The #TampaTrio joins CrossFit Kids

Since beginning my own CrossFit journey last year, my trio have had the opportunity to take a few CrossFit Kids classes at CrossFit En Fuego

CrossFit Kids is a "strength and conditioning program that is specifically designed for kids and teenagers and helps them develop a lifelong love of fitness. In a group setting, children and teens participate in fun and engaging workouts that deliver measurable results and prepare them to be well- rounded athletes."

But recently something just clicked inside their little heads and they wanted to do the program with more regularity. I'm the type of parent that doesn't force my children to do a sport that they don't want to do. We've tried baseball, football, gymnastics, and cheerleading, and none of them stuck. They've expressed interest in joining the local swim team, but their practice schedule is very intense, and the kids don't want to commit to all that time in the water at this stage in their young lives.

Together we watched a lot of the coverage of the CrossFit Open, and they loved what they saw and asked if they could do CrossFit Kids. I asked Coach Jen if she had openings in her class, she said yes, so Ronin started "officially" on Monday, April 28th, and the girls on Monday, May 5th.

Haley, my oldest daughter, does not like to sweat. I thought after her 5:30pm WOD in the heat, with no AC would make her change her mind about CrossFit Kids, but NOPE. Not one bit. In fact, she actually said to me "mama, I love CrossFit Kids so much, I don't even care that I'm sweating." Awesome.

In their 2 weeks of classes they've done 2 girl WOD's, Cindy and Fran, learned a bunch of new skills, and they've made some new friends! The kids always play a game after the WOD, so it's a great way to bond and connect with peers.

Here's the Trio in the middle of Cindy. Each one working at their own pace. Ronin at the far end is doing jumping pull-ups, Ella in the middle is doing push-ups, and Haley is doing squats.

But just like with "grown-up" CrossFit, the coach makes sure that the kids warm-up and understand how to properly do all the movements. In the video below you can see them warming up, setting up, and Coach Jen making sure Haley knows how to do assisted pull-ups. She had issues with her feet in the bands incorrectly, and Coach Jen was able to correct that and Haley enjoyed the pull-up part of the WOD the most! LOL. But not as much as Ella.


Ella thought assisted pull-ups were the best thing ever! She said she felt like she was flying. I told her she needs to lose a band or two.

During Fran and the jumping pull-ups, Ella could easily pull her chin up and over the bar. This girl is ready to learn how to kip. She's also got a really nice squat. She very conscious of her form and technique, never rushing, always thinking ahead. I can see her little wheels spinning. In fact, she said to me last night "I'm going to go to the CrossFit Open when I'm 18. 2024 will be my year."


I think it's safe to say that we've FINALLY found a sport for the kids that they enjoy and look forward to attending the classes.

What sport(s) do your kids play? Have you ever thought about CrossFit Kids?

Push Away the Screen: The Tampa Trio does Summer 2014

Summer time is quickly approaching. Actually, forget quickly approaching, it has arrived in Florida!! And before I know it the Tampa Trio are going to be out for summer break.

Having 3 VERY ACTIVE kids, I try to plan our days/weeks with as much physical activity as I can. It's good for me, and it's good for them.

Last summer we weren't quite as busy as I would have liked. Our community pool was closed for renovation, so we had to rely on a neighbor's pool, and we had to drive there, so we lost down time with the commute, and it also rained a lot last summer so often we'd pack up, drive to the pool, only get in a short time before the rains started and we had to leave to come home. And with it usually happening around mid-afternoon, it was too late for us to go and get other activities in. Ugh. I'd rather not relive last summer, EXCEPT for our awesome trip to North and South Carolina, now that was a great way to Push Away the Screen.


But this summer, this summer will be different!! Our community pool is up and running, I've got the kids enrolled in summer camps, my dad has plenty of space for us at his home near the beach, and of course, we have our CrossFit.

This summer I'll be able to continue my kids through their own CrossFit journey as CrossFit Kids will move to Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings through the summer. I work out in the morning. That means we'll be working out together, though with separate coaches. I LOVE this and we're all super excited by this opportunity to watch each other grow physically, and mentally because CrossFit is as much a mental sport as a physical one.

Ronin will also get double CrossFit luck when he participates in their weekly summer camp program. They only offer it for ONE week during the summer, so if you want to get your kid enrolled, now is the time to do it. They'll have 2 certified CrossFit instructors, but more than that, both of the instructors are moms, certified educators, and are comfortable and awesome when working with special needs kids. And I know this firsthand since they've both been working with Ronin for quite some time now.

But we won't be doing CrossFit all summer.  The girls will also be attending a week of Girl Scout residential camp! They'll be Engineers to the Rescue where survival skills meet science as they build and design water filters, wind-powered cranks, a message-carrying car, and safe shelter after an earthquake strikes the Camp!! How will they get out of this predicament? By working with their team and applying problem-solving and engineering design know-how!How cool is that?? And they'll also enjoy plenty of time canoeing, tubing, swimming, and doing other Girl Scout activities!!

While the girls are away, Ronin will PLAY!! He's going to attend one week of a sports-themed camp. He's still deciding on soccer or basketball, but space is still available so we've got plenty of time.

And our summer vacation is quickly approaching!! This year we'll be heading to Jekyll Island, GA! We've been invited to be special guests at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel!!  There is SO MUCH to do on Jekyll Island! Nature, cycling, swimming, SUP'ing, and so much more!!

We happened across Jekyll Island last year on our drive home from the Carolina's. We couldn't stay on Jekyll Island long as a horrible storm was moving in quickly and we were on a mad dash back to Tampa! But we loved what we saw and can't wait #PushAwayTheScreen and explore this amazing island!

We'll also be spending some quality time with Grandpa down in Venice. We'll look for sharks teeth, get in some AMAZING orange ice cream from Nokomis Groves and just relax and recharge! My dad's house has suddenly become a huge treasure trove for the trio and they love spending time going through his knick-knacks, playing in his greenhouses, and trying to catch minnows from his old wooden bridge.

And or course we have our normal plans like Busch Gardens, Adventure Island, and if when it rains, that will be our "down time" our re-charge time, perhaps our time to get some chores done!

We're all super excited for a busy summer!!

What are your summer plans??

Push Away the Screen: Sea Lion Splash at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo

**This is a guest post by my daughters, 8 1/2 year old old, Ella and 10 year old Haley.**


Last Thursday was take your child to work day.

My mom has a pretty cool job. She's a lifestyle blogger. That means she writes about fun stuff that our family does that she thinks your family might like to do too.  It just so happened that on that Thursday my mom had been invited to go to Lowry Park Zoo to see their newest traveling exhibit, Sea Lion Splash and she thought it would be a great opportunity for me and Ella to see exactly what she does for her job. Best part was that she told Ronin he had to go to school because it was take your DAUGHTER to work day. Ronin fell for it, and we had a very nice girls day out. Okay, so back to sea lions.

Sea Lion Splash is a family owned business. They even brought their daughter with them to work that day. I'm guessing she was about my age, maybe a little older. How cool to work with sea lions everyday!

The Peters Family travels all over educating people about sea lions. When they aren't traveling they live in Myakka City, Florida which is kinda close to where my mom grew up in Venice, FL. But she's never been to Myakka City.

We asked them some questions after the show and learned that the Peters Family has has 10 sea lions, almost all rescues, divided among four facilities: two mobile units that travel the country to state fairs and zoos, a permanent facility in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and a private base of operations in Myakka City, where the Peters and the sea lions rest between trips.

We saw 4 sea lions. 2 were Pategonian Sea Lions and 2 were California Sea Lions. Did you know Pategonia is way down at the tip of South America. It gets COLD there!

The 2 California sea lions were named Poonkie and Lily. They were SO CUTE!! California Sea Lions are much smaller than Pategonian Sea Lions.

Here are Lily and Poonkie giving each other a kiss. Adorable.

These sea lions were orphans. That makes me sad that they lost their mom and dad. But I'm so happy that someone like the Peters family rescued them!

Next up were the 2 Pategonian Sea Lions. These guys were MUCH BIGGER!!

We saw Stella and Kitty. Kitty was my favorite. She was so sweet. We learned all sorts of cool facts about sea lions and Stella showed us how to make sure to clean up marine pollution!

We saw them do all sorts of neat "tricks" like sliding on their belly, and they also demonstrated how strong they are! They can hold themselves up on ONE FLIPPER!!

 But my favorite part of the show was the after party!! We got to touch the sea lions AND have our picture taken with them. It was INCREDIBLE!!

The sea lions were very soft and they smelled like fish. But I didn't care! I got to touch a sea lion!!

I LOVED being able to see Sea Lion Splash. It was an experience that I will remember FOREVER!!

There were other things to do at the exhibit area too! There was a big inflatable slide, a bounce house, and a sandbox. We came back to this area twice during our visit and both times there was no one there but US!! That was so cool!

After the show we spent the rest of the afternoon exploring Lowry Park Zoo. Mom let us go on Gator Falls 4 times, and 3 of those times we never even had to get off the ride!

It was such a great day and I got to see my mom's job. I have to say I think she has a pretty cool job. She gets to go to places like the Zoo and Busch Gardens, but she does spend a lot of time taking pictures and making notes. She also is obsessed with hashtags. I don't get hashtags. Not yet anyway.

Sea Lion Splash will be at Lowry Park Zoo until May 31st. It's NOT included in your daily admission, but it's only an extra $2 per person, so we highly recommend that you do it. You won't regret it!!

Have YOU ever met a sea lion??