live. fate loves the fearless.


March 15, 2016 miranda

I did my very first CrossFit workout on Nov 5, 2007 at a Gold’s Gym in Salt Lake City, Utah.

At the time there were no affiliates in Salt Lake.  No one that I knew had ever heard of CrossFit before.

I met Chris Spealler and Damon Stewart who taught me how to do the movements in December of 2007.

I opened the first CrossFit affiliate in Salt Lake City in March of 2008 – CrossFit 801.

For 3 years I ran classes and occasionally jumped in with a group, but mostly trained alone or with a few others between regular class times.

In spring of 2011 I moved to Northern California.  I trained alone or sometimes with some other friends (Heber, Brooke, Pat) from CrossFit HQ until fall of  that year.

I started to go down to NorCal CrossFit to train with my friends Jason, Neal, Alex and Garret a few times a week, which turned into every day.  That continued (and the group grew) until I moved to Costa Mesa, CA in November 2015.

I have never been an official member of an affiliate, and I have never regularly trained with regular members at any of the affiliates I have been a part of – until now.


I knew that what I had at NorCal CrossFit was special, but I don’t think I realized what a giant hole would be left when I tried to find somewhere to train in a different city.  The “glory days” of that old crew is a blog post for a different time, but let’s just say there has been a huge adjustment period and a huge gap in the fun vibes that I had there since moving to this new place.

I realized more than ever, that the way I got so fit in the first place was because I was training with my friends and honestly just messing around and having fun.  After a few months of mostly training completely alone,  I found a pretty cool crew in the trainers and more competitive athletes at CrossFit Chalk in Newport Beach!  I love training with this crew!  Ashlee, Ryan, Nikki and Chris are the best.  They are competitors for sure, but aren’t so tied to spreadsheets and multi part rigid programming as most of the athletes I meet these days (we were NEVER like that at NorCal and I loved it). So, I would train with them….only one problem.  They train in the middle of the day…and I need to be at work most days during that time.

So, one day…desperate to just not train alone…I decided that the class workout at Chalk looked pretty fun so I just attended regular class.  Mind blown.  I had so much fun and the workout was really good and really hard!  I pushed WAY harder than if I had trained alone and I was super satisfied with the amount of work I got in.

The members have been super welcoming and the energy has been awesome.  For the first time in my CrossFit “life” I attend regular classes and quite honestly look super forward to it.  I don’t know that I would have had the same experience at just any CrossFit gym so I thought it might be kinda cool to list all of the reasons I love training during regular classes specifically at CrossFit Chalk.


Why I love Chalk:

  • Great programming.  Super elegant, classic CrossFit. I go to both regular CF and the “Sweat” class…which CRUSHES me actually.
  • Awesome and fun members.  These people want to get fit, but they won’t do it at the expense of having a good time and making sure there is the appropriate amount of shit talking and joking around.  People aren’t so competitive that they don’t know how to relax. After every workout at least 5 people come over and tell me good job.  I love that.
  • Good coaching.  Warm ups and instruction has been awesome.
  • GREAT MUSIC. This one is a deal breaker for me.  It’s not super dirty, but the occasional cuss word is definitely fine AND they play it LOUD!
  • Beautiful and super clean gym with a ton of equipment.  They have enough assault bikes and stuff like sandbags and slam balls to use in regular workouts.
  • Chill vibes pre and post workout….all go and grimy vibes during the workout.  Reminds me of my crew back in NorCal.
  • I leave WRECKED.  Maybe more wrecked than the regular members who I train with in class actually.  I think they might think I am crazy.  I am typically the one dying the most.


Some misconceptions that “high level” athletes have about training in “regular class”

  • The workouts are too easy.  If you think this, you have a severe misunderstanding of CrossFit methodology and the importance and method of measuring intensity.
  • I need WAY more volume if I am going to be competitive.  Yes, if you are consistently competing in multi-day competitions you need to work more volume in.  I often times actually stay after class and do some accessory work myself, and sometimes I do both the “Sweat” and CF class on the same day, but remember that intensity is more important than volume.
  • Doing competitor programming by myself will be better than training with a class.  One thing I have found and will tell anyone I meet that is interested in competing is that who you train with is WAY more important than the programming you do.  You will get way more fit hitting one workout a day REALLY hard than in doing 2-3 and never hitting the gas pedal.

If you are an athlete that has been training alone and has access to a super cool atmosphere by joining class, I HIGHLY recommend jumping into regular class a few times a week.  It will bring a ton of fun and intensity back into your training and the regular members will LOVE having you.

postwodIf you are a gym owner, remember that the tone you set in your gym is so important.  Don’t lose focus on the fun and the grimy intensity that get’s people fit and builds such a strong community where people really want to be.

To my new friends at CrossFit Chalk…thank you…you have literally saved me from full depressed vibes in training alone and feeling super homesick for my old crew.


  • Vladimir Bellevue

    This is awesome Miranda! I’m definitely learning this. I do spend a lot of time in my Garage because my work schedule is usually so frantic trying to find someone to match times is usually a mess for me. Most of the boxes I’ve encountered (until now are closed midday when I had my break or I would be working out alone ) I’ve done multiple programs in my garage by myself until I found my buddies at knockout cf down the block from my new crib. They push me hard but are super chill afterwards. I’ve gotten better over the 3years of CrossFit but I wonder sometimes how far I would’ve come if I had these guys/ladies pushing me forward. (Hindsight 20/20 – I get it now) Training alone is cool, Training with Good friends and Vibes much better

  • RJ

    Thanks! great read. My old gym closed and I felt this way for a long time. trying to find the right gym culture/ fit into the current one can be difficult.

  • Miranda,

    Really enjoying the posts relating to the transition you’re in. Stay healthy and keep having fun.

  • Al Temple

    Miranda, you are awesome. I follow alot of individuals and Crossfit boxes on Instagram and you are by far my favorite. I was crushed when you got hurt last year. Keep up the great work…I’m also an independent Crossfitter 🙂

  • Hey Miranda,

    I have found out this article on IG today and I am glad you are again giving away something from your life. I was following NC CF Lab and Vivendi Lab project everyday and even at this moment I am coming back for inspiration. It’s too bad you had to quit it but I understand that your life changed little bit. Also watching NorCal team on the Games was amazing, too bad that injury came in the way for the podium.

    Thanks for all the information you put on this blog and on Vivendi lab! Keep writing these articles :-).


  • kim karecky

    Miranda Ryan is my son and this makes me feel so good! Thank you for choosing Chalk I know they love having you as much as you love being there. Ryan has told me that several times. keep up the good work and having fun thats what its all about 🙂

  • Jonathan

    Awesome post. I have followed you for quite some time since you came on the scene. Glad to see you’re back in the gym enjoying the pure-ness of again.

  • Julie

    My husband and I spent a couples of days training at Chalk and I fully agree with you…What an awesome group of people! Loved it!

  • Amazing blog, Miranda!!! Glad you found a NEW home, away from home!!! I agree with you 100% on every aspect of what you wrote…

    It’s comforting to know, that not only your “average” CrossFitters go through the depressed vibes, but also your elite athletes as well!!! Keep pushing forward… Positive Outcomes Only…

  • Karen Arnold (Anchorage, Alaska)

    So happy for you! I am switching gyms myself…. I am hoping to find the same good vibes you have discovered!

  • Great site. Have bookmarked it. Thanks 🙂