Category Archives: Tales

Trainer Interview – Marilee Lake

When my wife started CrossFit, it was with the encouragement of her good friend and fellow soccer player, Marilee Lake. So it was only appropriate that she was among the first group of coaches I had during my own journey too! And she has been a big part of my whole family’s CrossFit journey ever since.

Lee was kind enough to answer a few questions about her own CrossFit experience…

Q: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am a part-time CrossFit coach and stay at home mom. I have a degree in Sports Management and have worked in the fitness industry for 5 years now. Outside of CrossFit I love to play soccer, hike, and volunteer with Street Petz.

Editor’s Note: Street Petz is the non-profit organization my wife helps run down here in Colorado Springs. They support the pets of the homeless by providing food, supplies, and some basic vaccines through the generous support of local folks like Lee. My garage looks suspiciously like a pet store at times, but I know the folks Street Petz supports appreciate everything my wife, Lee, and the rest of the volunteers do for them. Check out this awesome article at the Colorado Springs Independent for more about what they do!

Q: What brought you to CrossFit as an athlete?

CrossFit gave me physical and mental challenges just like when I was a college athlete. As I became part of a box, I was on a team again.


Q: Why did you become a trainer?

When picking a career, I knew helping people was my main goal. I started off as a personal trainer. CrossFit just provided me the tools to truly change people lives.

Q: What is your main focus or goal as a trainer?

My main goal as a trainer is to make sure that someone is reaching their fitness goals and creating a healthy lifestyle.

Q: If you could start over as a crossfitter, what would trainer-you tell athlete-you?

More mobility! I would of focused more on the efficiency and technique of the movements rather then just weight and checking something off the list.


Q: What’s your favorite piece of equipment at the box?

A barbell never lies.

Q: Where do you train? And where do you coach?

I train and coach at CrossFit 719 in Colorado Springs, CO.

Q: What do you think is the secret to CrossFit’s crazy success and growth?

It works for so many different types of people. You can see young and old doing the same WOD with different modifications. CrossFit also builds confidence and mental strength that can really help outside the box (gym).

Q: Who is your favorite CrossFit athlete and why?

I don’t have a true favorite. When I am competing in a sport I don’t like to idolize others. Everyone has their own story and path to get to the top. I just hope I can write mine someday. If I had to pick one, [I would pick] Annie Thorisdottir because she is always smiling like one of my favorite [Pittsburgh] Steelers’ player Hines Ward. You should be loving your sport that much.

Q: If you could ask your favorite crossfit athlete a question – what would it be?

How do find time for everything outside of CrossFit?

Q: What’s your favorite story from your time with CrossFit so far?

There are several stories, but one word explains them all Community. In my CrossFit career so far I have been a part of two boxes, and the family connection is amazing. I had so much support when Clara was born, during competitions, and even while I was the newbie in my current box.


Thanks Lee! I appreciate the time! I still need to come check out CrossFit 719 and your Oly Lifting class over the summer. 🙂


Are you interested in being featured as a box owner, trainer/coach, or athlete? I’d love to hear from you! Click “Contact Us” at the top of the WOD Tales page and I’ll get in touch!

Athlete Interview – Jennifer Ridler

A huge shout out goes to Jennifer, who was one of the first few folks who answered the call for guinea pigs for this whole interview process.

Jenn Ridler (photo taken by Mike Andersen at Crossfit Continuum)
Jenn Ridler (photo taken by Mike Andersen at Crossfit Continuum)

I’ll give you a little bit of history here.  Though I have known Jennifer (or “Ridds” as many folks call her) since starting crossfit in 2013, my wife Evelyn played indoor soccer against her for several years before that and I heard her name often when games were done. So I already knew of her as a fierce competitor. And you can bet she brings that fierceness to the crossfit box!

It was only when she started teaching a beginning yoga class at our box (Crossfit Continuum) that I got to know her a bit better as the wonderful, hard working lady she is. She’s just one more of the people who make our crossfit community here in Colorado Springs so fantastic!

Ridds was kind enough to answer a few questions for me, so I’ll let her give you some additional insights into her crossfit experience so far.

Q: What brought you to crossfit as an athlete?

I was 197 pounds, near obese and very much out of shape.  During high school I was an athlete so the competitive nature of crossfit is what drew me in and kept me there.

Q: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am 33 and a new mom. Crossfit through my entire pregnancy and attribute my “easy” labor to the continuation of working out throughout the pregnancy.

Q: What has the experience been like so far?

Wonderful! Love the community that crossfit offers. The competitions are always fun to go to with that element of adrenaline mixed in. Crossfit is my drug of choice.

Q: What has surprised you about it so far?

How addictive it has become. Over the course of 4 years I always come back even during my pregnancy.

Q: Where do you train?

Crossfit Continuum, Colorado Springs, CO

Olympic weights

Q: What are your favorite and least favorite crossfit movements so far and why?

Thrusters and split jerks. Thrusters are 3 different movements in one so it always hurts. Split Jerks because of an achillies tendon repair (not crossfit related) and my foot position has to change now.

Q: If you had one word to sum up the experience of an athlete at your box, what would it be?

My box is my second home, my other family. These people are always there to support me in anything and everything and I am there for them.

I didn’t follow directions… my one word would have to be Family.

8. What’s your favorite story from the box so far?

Man I have so many of them…. I love how it all started. Out of a garage off Academy blvd into what it is. It is the story of perseverance, loyalty and a family that just wont quit!

9. What do you think is the secret to crossfit’s crazy success and growth?

It works. You are able to build relationships as well as strength. We have a common goal, survive the WOD and talk about it later. Comrades .


Thanks Ridds for answering my questions! I look forward to the next time I get to WOD with you and do yoga!


Are you interested in being featured as a box owner, trainer/coach, or athlete? I’d love to hear from you! Click “Contact Us” at the top of the WOD Tales page and I’ll get in touch!

Welcome to WOD Tales!

I am not a gym owner, nor am I a trainer, but I am a writer and I have become a crossfit athlete over the last couple of years. Each day I work out at Crossfit Continuum I post to Facebook with my impressions of the WOD and I have a small blog where I’ve been writing about my own experiences moving from an overweight, out-of-shape computer geek to a less-overweight computer geek who can now deadlift, push press, and do handstand push-ups in his 40s.

Taken by Mike Anderson during Kiana’s WOD on February 17, 2015
Taken by Mike Anderson during Kiana’s WOD on February 17, 2015

But I am definitely not alone in this transformation. It happened with the help of dedicated trainers, other crossfit athletes, family, and friends at Crossfit Continuum here in Colorado Springs. And now I hope to share some of their stories as well as my own.

WOD Tales is here to start telling some of those other stories. My goal is to begin interviewing local box owners, trainers, and other athletes for articles and a potential podcast. My goal is to help share some of the stories from around the area of other folks who have been positively affected through contact with the great local crossfit community. Maybe down the line it grows to Denver or beyond, but I’d like to start here at home first.

The site I’m envisioning would include:

  • Articles about particular boxes, trainers, and athletes where they can tell their stories
  • Articles written by box owners and trainers about topics they feel passionate about
  • Short video interviews in the style of Barbell Shrugged where we get to see and hear from owners and trainers in a live setting
  • Searchable list of crossfit boxes in the area with links back to each home page and contact information
  • Dictionary of crossfit terms
  • And links to great crossfit resources

With time, I hope the site becomes a go-to resource for where to find info on local boxes, competitions, and stories that need to be told. Some of you are writers, itching to tell your own tales, but I suspect that many of you are daunted by the prospect of such an endeavor. I can assure you we’ll make it as pain free as possible. If you have a story or an article idea, I’m happy to listen and help with the writing part.

So bear with me as I get things started and let’s get this show on the road!