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?

Women Who Lift: Meet Emi

Welcome to my feature: Women Who Lift. If you are interested in being interviewed for the series, please email me at jennifer@metamorfit.org  I would love to spotlight you. You don't have to have a blog, you just have to be a woman who lifts!

Today I am spotlighting Emi. Emi is a quiet, unassuming, young woman. Proud. Strong.  And she's 17 years old. She's part of our amazing CrossFit En Fuego competition team and I often have the opportunity to watch her workout in the morning. I also happen to workout with her mother, and I'm always so inspired by the love, and support that her mom gives her; pride for Emi just beams from her. Emi has just begun her first year of college, and oh how I wish CrossFit was a NCAA sport because this young woman just rocks. She started CrossFit at age 14 1/2 and as she says "she has no athletic background except CrossFit." But I watch her and she's athletic in so many ways! She runs, she jumps, she does yoga. She's a true athlete.

Meet Emi


Name: Emily T.
Age: 17
Occupation: Student
Location: Florida
Favorite WOD:  Anything with handstand pushups, power cleans, or bar muscle ups.
Favorite Lift: squat snatch!
Deadlift Max: 190
Back squat Max:  175
Overhead Max: Which lift? 140 – split jerk
Favorite Girl? Grace
Got Muscle-ups?  Yes, but they still need some work.
1 mile run:  7:02

How long have you been CrossFitting? I started in December of 2010, so a little over two and a half years.

What keeps you coming back/motivated?  I love the people and I love the support.  It’s awesome working out with people who push me and encourage me to do my best.

How did you find CrossFit?  I’ve known Pete and Jen for a long time and I wanted to join shortly after they opened En Fuego.

What is your athletic background?  I have no athletic background besides CrossFit.

How has CrossFit changed your life, lifestyle, level of fitness?  I was never athletic before I started CrossFit.  When I first started, everything was so hard.  I couldn’t do a pullup and I could barely snatch the 35# bar.  Since I started, I’ve become much stronger and I can lift weights that I thought I’d never be able to lift.  I definitely want to keep getting stronger.

What is the one thing you have done at CrossFit that you never thought you could do?  I never thought I’d be able to lift more than my body weight over my head. 

What motivates/inspires you?  Watching other people push themselves and give it their all in a workout is so inspiring.  I love seeing people PR, too.  It’s awesome.

What is your proudest CrossFit achievement?  Getting my first muscle up was pretty cool.  It felt so impossible and I could hardly believe it when I actually got one!  

Name one goal/personal achievement you would like to achieve through CrossFit?  I just want to keep getting better and working hard.  I want to see how far I can go in this sport.  Someday, I’d like to try to make it to regionals.

What goals have you achieved in CrossFit?   I’ve achieved a lot through CrossFit.  My strength and endurance have increased dramatically since I started. 

Hobbies/Interests outside of CrossFit?  I love yoga and playing the piano.

Do you follow a special diet? Paleo? Whole30?  I don’t follow any diet.  Most of the time, I just try to eat healthy.  I have a huge sweet tooth though!

What is your favorite meal?  I love my post-WOD meal – fried eggs with a sweet potato. 

Any advice for new members?  Stick with it and train hard because you can achieve any goal you have, no matter how impossible or far away it seems. 

17 years old. I did not have this level of dedication or drive at age 17. Did you??

Women Who Lift: Meet Mandy

Welcome to my feature: Women Who Lift. If you are interested in being interviewed for the series, please email me at jennifer@metamorfit.org  I would love to spotlight you. You don't have to have a blog, you just have to be a woman who lifts!

Today I am spotlighting Mandy. Mandy works out at my box CrossFit En Fuego, but we haven't worked out in the same WOD more than a small handful of times. I really connected with her via social media. She's very inspirational. She sets goals for herself, makes a plan, and meets those goals! She also has a lot of fun along the way. You can check out her blog here: Formula Fitness


Meet Mandy

Name: Mandy Phillips
Age:  28
Occupation:  Teacher and Entrepreneur
Location: Land O’ Lakes, FL
Favorite WOD: Anything weightlifting related,  CrossFit Total, Grace, and Linda
Favorite Lift:  Deadlift
Deadlift Max: 250 lbs
Back squat Max: 155 lbs
Overhead Max: Which lift? 115 lbs (Clean and Jerk)
Favorite Girl?  Grace or Linda
Got Muscle-ups? No, not even close….but that’s okay, one day I will!
1 mile run: 11 minutes exactly (running not my thing at all, but trying to change that!)

How long have you been CrossFitting? I am actually right at the 3 year mark! Started in September 2010, but have had to take a few breaks due to grad school and a torn ACL needing surgery.

What keeps you coming back/motivated? I am competitive by nature and my biggest competitor is myself!  I love challenging myself in an environment that pushes me, while having phenomenal support from fellow CrossFitters and the amazing coaching staff at CrossFit En Fuego.

How did you find CrossFit? I was brought to CrossFit by some co-workers that had been going.  So thankful they brought me!

What is your athletic background?  I have played sports my whole life.  Tried every sport I could as a child, but found my niche in softball, volleyball, and golf!  Notice little running involved in all of those.

How has CrossFit changed your life, lifestyle, level of fitness? CrossFit has dramatically changed my life!  I am always looking for ways to further myself and increase my health.  I have lost weight, gained muscle, and just become more confident in my body and fitness overall.    Also, it has made my relationship with my husband even stronger!  He recently started CrossFit in Feb. 2013 and we have never looked back!  Took be a long time to get him there, but now we are a team and love focusing on our fitness together!

What is the one thing you have done at CrossFit that you never thought you could do? (muscle up, double unders, heavy deadlift, run a mile, etc.)
Double Unders were a struggle for me for a long time.  I am able to do those and am currently working to lose the single I have in between my doubles!  Running has always been a struggle for me and with the help in my fitness gained through CrossFit, I am now training for a half marathon!  This is certainly something I thought I would never do!

What motivates/inspires you?  I am truly inspired by others!  I love watching people push themselves to do things they thought they would never be able to do.  I love watching people hit an obstacle and persevere through overcoming it!  This is what pushes me to do the same!  This is the exact reason I have started training for the half marathon and I have even started blogging about my fitness journey (formulafitness.org).  The feedback I have gotten from this truly pushes me to continue training because I know I am inspiring others as I achieve my own goals!  Love being a motivation to others!  That is what motivates me!

What is your proudest CrossFit achievement?  Before I had my ACL surgery, I was able to achieve a 500 lb CrossFit Total.  That is a combination of my max lifts on deadlift, back squat, and strict press.  That was always the number I wanted to hit and I did it!  Now my goal is to get that again!

Name one goal/personal achievement you would like to achieve through CrossFit? My next main goal is to complete an unassisted pull up!  I have always had a hard time with pull ups, but am getting closer and closer everyday to lose those bands and achieve this goal!

What goals have you achieved in CrossFit? Some goals that I have achieved are lowering my body fat %, increasing my strength on my lifts, and increasing my endurance through workouts!

Hobbies/Interests outside of CrossFit? Outside of CrossFit, my husband and I really love hanging out with friends, traveling, and working on projects for our new home!  Sports of course are always a huge interest for us too!  Go Bucs, Rays, and Bulls!

Do you follow a special diet? Paleo? Whole30? I have followed many ways of eating healthy before (WW, watching caloric intake, Low Carb, and Paleo).  Currently, I am doing Paleo, but trying to figure out how to continue this while training for my half marathon.  I have gotten a new Polar Heart Rate Monitor that has helped me track my calorie expenditure, but now I have to learn how to incorporate this into my diet!

What is your favorite meal?  I am a huge steak lover and actually I think one of my favorite meals is what we had for dinner last night.  Chimichurri Steak, Sweet Potato, and Asparagus….yum!  Recently a close runner up has been Meatballs, Spaghetti Squash as “noodles”, and homemade spaghetti sauce!

Any advice for new members? My advice for anyone thinking about doing CrossFit or just starting is to just do it!  Don’t be afraid!  The number one thing I love about CrossFit is that they scale all workouts to your current ability, while pushing you slightly past that point to continue to challenge you.  Don’t get frustrated you can’t do something or because others around you can and you can’t!  Who cares!?  They are not you!  They have not lived your life!  You are you and you define your competition!  Push yourself to be better than you were yesterday, then you can look back and see how far YOU have come!