Overcoming Obstacles: Meet the Monsters

The point in any story where the hero is forced to overcome obstacles is always compelling to us because it is the point where they’re forced to grow.

As a society, the typical heroes are athletes, entrepreneurs, artists, and occasionally politicians. But we are all heroes in our own stories.

As we continue down our heroes journey, there are over 20 different types of hidden monsters that we can face to serve as obstacles to overcome.







Collectively, they make up the resistance. They’re the opposition to the Hero, to us, in our story. The resistance will stand against any act that we try to take for meaning, purpose or growth.

This includes things like any new diet or health program, a new exercise program, a weight loss journey, a program for spiritual advancement, any calling for writing or music or any unconventional art form, big commitments of heart like getting married or having a child, any program to help you overcome a bad habit or addiction, educating yourself, any business or entrepreneurial adventure.

Your journey is littered with opportunities for change, and this is their meal.

They’re invisible to the physical senses. You cannot see them, or hear them, or touch them or smell them. You can only feel them, down in the darkness. You can catch a glimpse, like a shadow in a darkened room. The force of the negative feelings they try to push from the core of your being is aiming to drive us away from where we want to go.

Each one of them is insidious. They’ll tell you anything to keep you from doing what you need to do or heading in the direction you need to go. They will lie, seduce, bully, and torment. Individually, they can take any form that needed to trick you. The resistance will present itself in the form of a well-meaning friend or family member or it will attack you like an armed criminal waving its weapon in your face. The monsters have no conscience, no moral standards and they feel the opposite of what you feel. Their nature is ever shifting and ever changing, making it difficult to identify them.

These monsters are unbiased, nondiscriminatory, objective. They are a force of nature, part of every life. That adds to their power because most of us believe they shouldn’t exist at all and when they do we believe they can be vanquished. But they can never be so and are an essential part of our nature, of our journey. Though we sense malevolence, they are truly the definition of indifference.

The monsters are universal. They are the opposition to everyone and everything, not just to you. Everyone experiences them. The more important your mission or call to action, the more the monsters will attack your soul.

The warrior knows that the battle must be fought and won anew every single day. The great artists understand this also. Everyone is an artist and their life is their defining work of art. The hero’s journey, your journey, is an endless work of art.

The monsters do not aim to wound you. They do not aim to hold you back or disable you completely. The monsters aim to kill. They want to annihilate the art entirely. Your genius, your unique gifts and experiences, and perspectives that can never be replaced. The monsters want to remove them from the history of the universe absolutely and completely.

Overcoming the monsters, the obstacles in your story, is a war to the death.

How do we overcome the obstacles?

You just do it. Start. Start now. Start before you’re ready. You’ll never be ready before you’re almost finished. So “waiting until you’re ready” is one of the monsters and it’s got a stranglehold on you.

The enemy, the opposition, the obstacle to our journey is not a lack of preparedness. It’s not the difficulty of the task or the problems that need to be solved. It’s the monsters of the resistance. The voice in our heads that tell us it’s too difficult, too strenuous, that is the voice of the monsters. The one that hears the voice is the artist, the hero, you. If we give that voice one second in our brain it’s going to inject us full of excuses and justifications and reasons why we can’t, shouldn’t, won’t.

So start now. Start before the voices get louder. Start to abruptly end their momentum. Good things happen when you start before you’re ready to start. Starting before you think you are ready thrusts you into a high-pressure situation.

When your natural fight-or-flight reaction kicks in, choose fight.

Choose to embrace the adrenaline, the head rush, the feeling of your heart slamming against your chest and courage coursing through you.

When you start the fight, when you dive in head first, you make a commitment. Without it, you only give the monsters more to feed on.

If you still have an alibi, an excuse, a justification, your monsters are still in charge.

Introduction to Level Method

Have you noticed the large ‘coming soon’ banner on the wall in the gym?

Have you heard Michael mention the Level Method tests?

In this video, Michael gives you a formal introduction of Level Method and how we will be incorporating it to better support the goals and progressions of every person at The X-Project.


The Level Method is an innovative system for managing and progressing in a group environment.

There are a series of tests designed to measure and promote your fitness level, organized as levels that range from novice to expert and correlate with the belt colors of jujitsu. Every person, at every level, with any limitation, will be able to find where they are and move forward with success.

Michael discusses customization and individualization as the core foundations of our goal at The X-Project, and emphasizes that every person has a progression and movement that is best for their abilities and current level to progress forward. Using the Level Method will allow us to add much more depth and layers to that mission in a concise way.

It will not be replacing the programming or determining the workout of the day, it is a structure that will supporting what we are already doing by:

  • Pinpointing weaknesses
  • Providing incentives and safety measures 
  • Delivering a ranking system for each athlete to better understand their progress
  • Demonstrating incremental and objective goals that everyone can use to move forward
  • Encouraging Informed decisions to maximize the effectiveness of every workout

Instead of building our curriculum based on arbitrary sets, reps, ‘RX’s’, we have been using the workout stimulus to build our workouts, and the energy systems the Level Method outlines as categories supports that. 

The best part? There’s a clear, color coded, gigantic map of the levels across all the systems so you can follow your progress and visualize your goals. Done are the days of scaling, bring on building your own program. 

The Level Method provides the framework, the structure and the nutrients that we need for every person to take things to the next level.

We will begin pre-tests Monday January 7th to introduce the Level Method framework and give everyone an idea of how the test days will be structured. Michael can’t wait to share more details as we go, so bring your smiles and as always, do the work.

Four Ways to Add Spice to Your Workout

We get it. It’s CrossFit. It’s always spicy. It’s always brutal. We understand that your coach programmed the workouts so their already perfect. They’re intelligent, elegant in ways we can’t comprehend and have the perfect amount of sexy to them.

But, just in case you want to do something different here are 4 simple and fun ways to add some unique challenges and still hit the intended stimulus.

here is an example workout to reference for our mental exercise:

4 Rounds of:

50 Double Unders

12 Chest to Bar Pull-Ups

12 Thrusters

#1. Force Unbroken Movement

Take the example written above and add the word “Unbroken” to it. It changes the pace of the workout and adds in an invisible interval. The objective remains the same; complete the workout as quickly as possible. But now you have to make sure you rest long enough to complete the set unbroken without resting too long and slowing down too much. By the time you get to the final round you may have to start searching deep inside yourself to find the courage to hit all 12 pull-ups in a row even when your grip and shoulders are fried.

#2. Add Set Rest Intervals

Determine the intensity you want from the movements then build in a rest period that will allow that. 1-to-1 or 2-to-1 ratio can make a big difference. Or turn it to a 3-to-1 ratio and make sure to keep the foot on the pedal the entire time you’re working. The same amount of work complete at a different intensity level can completely change the challenge and experience.

#3. Record Multiple Scores

What if each of the 4 rounds was it’s own individual score? What if the objective was to get a faster score each round? What if the only score that you recorded at the end of the workout was the slowest round you completed? Each of those completely changes the mindset before and during the workout.

#4. Start Rounds on a Fixed Time

For the workout above, you could say that each rounds starts every 3rd minute. This creates an interval and rewards you for going faster. The quicker you complete the round, the longer you get to rest before the next one. This creates an incentive for intensity also.

These strategies can be applied to almost any workout.

Try some when your training feels mundane and let us know how it went!

2018 Holiday Schedule

The holiday season is fast approaching! In order to plan your gym time around the parties, events and quality family time, here is our schedule for November and December.

  • November 22nd, Thanksgiving Day: One class only, 8:30 AM [Turkey Burn Throwdown!]
  • November 23rd, Black Friday: One class only, 9:00 AM
  • November 24th, Saturday: One class only, 8:00 AM
  • December 23rd, Sunday: Closed – No Open Gym
  • December 24th, Christmas Eve: One class only, 9:00 AM
  • December 25th, Christmas Day: Closed
  • December 26th: One class only, 9:30 AM
  • December 27th: Two classes, 9:30AM and 5:30PM
  • December 28th: Two classes, 9:30AM and 5:30PM
  • December 30th, Sunday: Closed – No Open Gym
  • December 31st, New Years Eve: One class only, 9:00 AM
  • January 1st, New Years Day: Closed

As our community, we consider you family and we are thankful to have you this and every holiday season.

SweatSocial: New Referral Program

Through the summer, we offered the opportunity to play a game with us BINGO style and complete an AMRAP card. We had a few winners, and lots of stamps all around.

As we move into a new season, we have a new way to collect credits towards your membership and hang out with your friends at the same time!

Let us introduce you to our new referral program, #SweatSocial.

We consider all of our member’s part of our X-Project family, and hope you feel the same. Because we love nothing more than extending our family to yours, you have several new ways to earn credits with SweatSocial.

The first is to bring in your friends to try out our classes. We offer a free trial class for every new member, and we’d love to meet your friends and family. For every TEN friends you bring in to try us out, you’ll receive a 50$ credit.

On top of that credit, for every friend or family member that joins us at The X-Project, you’ll receive another 50$ credit and they’ll get 10% off their membership!

To get started, download our new SweatSocial app and register for an account to access your rewards punch card. Share the app, share the referral page, and share the love.

For every friend and every membership, just bring your phone to a staff member with your punch card in the app open and let the 50$ credits roll in!

In addition to the referral credits, if you’d like to chat with us about our exclusive local business opportunities with SweatSocial, including business highlights, corporate discount programs and free trial programs for your company staff, send us an [email].

Working out with friends – does it get any better than that? We don’t think so.

Rules to play:
Must be new members for the trial and new memberships. Drop in’s, repeat visitors or previous members are not eligible to be included.

Beyond The Whiteboard: Logging your workouts

One of the things we stress the most is recording and tracking your workouts (and all levels of your fitness, but that’s another post for another day). In addition to the custom journals available to our members, we encourage anyone who prefers the technology way to use Beyond The Whiteboard to track their workout.

There is both a desktop version [here] and an iOS and Android app for your phone [learn how to navigate the app here].

You can also link to it straight from our website and login to your account!

You’ll need to create an account on a desktop, and then you can download the app. As part of the sign up process, you’ll need to input our gym name and code. Ask your coach for those.

After you are added to The X-Project squad, you’ll be able to see and log the WoD.  You can also encourage your fellow members on their results by giving them fist bump or bicep emojis, as well as see the leaderboard for the gym and your rank.

You can also create your own squad! If you and your classmates are always asking each other about their workout results, why not create a squad so you can log in and check it out?

On top of logging the WoD, you can track your weight, nutrition, lifts, workouts on the go, and injuries. There are advanced analytic and reporting functionalities for the nerds among us.

Keeping track of your workouts allows you to look back and see improvement in so many areas, and taking detailed notes and accurately recording your score provides insight throughout your progress.

If you prefer the old school pen and paper method, that’s cool! Everyone has their own style, but that means when your coach asks for your numbers, you have several choices of how you record it so there is no excuse 😉

Remember to use the app to encourage and support each other, and keep in mind that you are competing against yourself every day.

Helpful Resources Links

Terms and Phrases: Refresher Course

We have all been there.

You’re standing in class, and the coach is giving instructions on the workout but it is like they are speaking in a foreign language. You want to try to understand but they are dropping acronyms and you can’t keep up. You’ll have to Google it after class, but that won’t help you now…

Or, you’ve been in the game for a bit now and you’ve got it down for the most part. But every once in a while you find that you are following along but don’t know what the words everyone is using actually stand for.

We’re here to help! Every fitness style has it’s own set of terms and phrases that mean nothing to anyone else, and at the School of Fitness a lot of those words happen to be CrossFit related. Here is a refresher course for the veterans and a handy guide for the newbies with the most commonly dropped words. No extra Googling needed!


AMRAP Card: July


Ever play BINGO? Well, ours is better.

Our AMRAP cards have 25 spaces, just like BINGO.

There are five rows of five, just like BINGO.

But, to complete the AMRAP card, you’ll have to do more than wait for a number to be called.

In each square, you’ll find a different activity to complete.

There are opportunities to connect with your fellow X Project members, by outfit coordinating, taking sweaty selfies, or meeting a new workout partner.

You can expand your nutrition focus by learning a new recipe, or sharing one you have tried and swear by.

You’ll have the chance to promote local businesses, reach out to a stranger with kindness, or share the positive things in your life with your friends and family.

Every month there will be a new AMRAP card to complete, with 25 new adventures to get closer to your community, expand your network, and learn something new.

There is one thing in common with BINGO though. Prizes!

If you complete all 25 squares, you’ll receive a gift card to the fitness retailer of your choice and any item from the apparel store! If you complete one AMRAP line [like BINGO],  you’ll get a discount code for the online apparel store.

Download the July AMRAP Card, print out the card and get to playin!

Good luck!

Kyle Boettner, Part 4

Every day, you spend an hour with your coach. But how much time do you have to get to know them? Our community is built on the foundation of relationships. To support that, each week, your coach will share a part of their story.

Kyle shares what he hopes for in the future for his family and for the members.

Check it out.

Continued from Part 1Part 2 and Part 3 of Kyle’s story.

Follow Kyle on his journey on his Instagram page.

Jess Racz, Part 4

Every day, you spend an hour with your coach. But how much time do you have to get to know them? Our community is built on the foundation of relationships. To support that, each week, your coach will share a part of their story.

Continued from Jess, Part 1, 2, and 3

I have a lot of goals in my life — personal, professional, adventure goals. I have a lot of things I want to accomplish and achieve and make reality. A lot of goals and imaginations that sometimes keeps me from living in the present moment. Which is okay, if you truly understand what it takes, have patience for it, enjoy the process of it, and keep laying one brick in front of the other, not letting frustration, angry, impatience, uncertainty, or worry get in the way. Cause there will be challenges, setbacks, things that go wrong. If you are prepare and adapt for those and stick to your why and values and beliefs, then no amount of struggle can stop you.

However, it is still valuable to have imagination — to still think and dream big. It is as when we start to get older, we believe there is this rule that we still can’t think or act like kids? I say, screw it. Dare to dream and choose to be limitless in your goals and who you want to grow into.

One of my empowering beliefs is that there is a never-ending journey of one’s life purpose. There will always be more to give, more to see, more to do, more to say, more to share, more to learn, more to be. The growth as an individual is never ending. Your potential for greatness never has a cap. The absolute best possible version of you is never complete. All I can hope for is that each morning I wake up with a deeper sense of purpose and I go to bed each night feeling certain I gave my all in everything I had for the day.

For me, my measure for growth comes down to this: being 1% better than I was yesterday; a 1% better coach, a 1% better athlete, a 1% better friend, a 1% better person, a 1% better student. It is about being the role model I needed when I was 16. It is about giving more of myself day after day, maximizing every minute and every interaction, and deciding to be the person TODAY that I want to be in the future. Whether I am reading an empowering book, writing a reflection or my random thoughts on life, training in the gym, coaching a CrossFit class or my high school athletes, or talking with friends or family, my growth NEVER STOPS.

So who do I hope to grow into? I hope to grow into a better teacher, a better communicator, a better friend, a better athlete, a better coach, a better contributor, a better decision maker, a better forgiver, a better daughter, a better sister, a better student, and a better fearless female on this earth. Perfection can never be reached, but there isn’t a rule saying I can’t do everything I can to get as close to perfection as possible and grow into the best I am capable of becoming.

Anyone who thinks they know everything and are “content” with life and who they are, suffer more pain than they show and destroy any growth to have any positive impact on the world.

What legacy will you leave?