Why we are doing JAG28 on Memorial Day

Every year Memorial Day reminds us to remember and honor those who paid the ultimate price to defend our country. Every year CrossFit gyms all across the country perform "Hero WODs" to help remember different people who gave their life for our country. Often gyms do Murph on Memorial Day in memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, N.Y., who was killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005.

Michael Murphy was a hero. Last year we did Murph in his honor, and this year we will do JAG28 to remember U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Mark Forester, 29, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Mark was assigned to the 21st Special Tactics Squadron, based in Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina, died on September 29,2010, while conducting combat operations in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan. He is survived by his parents Ray and Pat, and siblings Terri, David, Joseph and Thad.

  The last photo of Mark (right) alongside the Medic he died trying to save.

The last photo of Mark (right) alongside the Medic he died trying to save.

We learned more about Mark thanks to one of our own members, Greg Fox. Mark and Greg were best friends. Mark loved CrossFit and tried to get Greg to try it for a while. Finally, at one point he made Greg promise him he would try CrossFit someday. 

I asked Greg to share some more info about Mark as we prepare to remember him on Memorial Day.

He was my best friend. Best dude in the world. I was with him on 9/11 when he decided to fight. He joined Air Force Special Operations shortly after college and became an Combat Controller 2 years later. These guys usually attach to SEAL or Green Beret units in the field. They go through the same training, and when they're not calling in bombs, they're fighting alongside those guys. 

Mark was KIA on his first deployment when he attempted to save a Green Beret Medic who had been shot by a sniper. The photo I attached is the last photo ever taken of him a few hours before his death. The soldier next to him is the medic he died trying to save. 

JAG28 was his call sign he used to communicate with pilots overhead. 

Above all, he was a great person. Best I'll ever know. 

Here is some other information about Mark: 

  • USAF Combat Controller: 2007-2010, assigned to 21STS, Pope AFB, NC 
  • Distinguished Graduate: USAF Combat Control School 2008 
  • Silver Star: Awarded 15 June 2012 for actions on 29 September 2010 
  • Bronze Star with Valor: 6 August 2010 
  • Purple Heart: 29 September 2010 
  • KIA: In support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Uruzgon Province, Afghanistan, 29 September 2010 
  • Survivors: Mom, Dad, 1 sister, 3 brothers, 18 nieces and nephews 
  • Religion: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 

To learn more about Mark:

We are so thankful for a chance to be able to remember and honor the hero that Mark is. Greg also wants everyone to know that Mark would have wanted everyone to enjoy a Chik-fil-A milkshake after the workout.


For time:
Run 800 meters
28 Kettlebell swings, 2 pood
28 Strict Pull-ups
28 Kettlebell clean and jerk, 2 pood each
28 Strict Pull-ups
Run 800 meters

Join us on Monday at 10am for JAG28. 


Second Annual GICF Planting Party

Last year, we hosted our first annual planting party to kick off the Goose Island CrossFit Community Garden. We grew some delicious Basil, Cilantro, Kale, Swiss Chard and Green Peppers. On May 21 at noon, we will be replanting and adding new planters to our community garden. Members will be free to attend and participate. If you have a planter from last year, we are providing the seeds, so you can simply come, plant your seeds and enjoy hanging out together. 

If this is your first year participating, we will teach you how to make a sub irrigated planter. 

Be sure to check out the instructions below to see what supplies you'll need to bring.

Once you've made your planter, you are free to leave your planter at the gym, or you can take it home. 

What you will need:


These will be key and are cheap. They can be found new at Home Depot for around $3 dollars each. Alternatively, grocery stores often have stacks of food grade 5 gallon buckets and will give you some if you ask. You will need two buckets for every planter you want to make.


It will help you out a lot. Also, don't pay more than $5 for one... no matter how fancy it looks.


The PVC Pipe is going to allow you to water your plant without pouring it directly on the soil. This will ensure that your plants stay adequately hydrated without over watering. You can buy pre-cut 2 foot lengths of 1 inch pipe at Home Depot. The cap will prevent misquotes from accessing the water.


The Potting Mix is really important. Because the soil is going to be constantly watered you want the mix to be able to breathe. Part of the construction will allow the soil to aerate and breathe.  The Potting Mix will let the roots flow freely and allow the plant to getperfect hydration.

We Will Supply Everything Else

Come May 21@12pm!


The Open is Coming!

This year Goose Island CrossFit will be participating in The CrossFit Open. We will all be performing the same workouts and comparing results across the gym. We split the gym into two teams. One for Coach John and one for Coach Sara. Every week you will compete against yourselves for a reward at the end. Starting tomorrow CrossFit will begin announcing the workouts every Thursday at 7pm. We will watch the announcements live at the gym! Please feel free to join us. Every Friday we will perform the open workouts at the gym at each class, but we would love it if everyone could come in the evenings for our Friday Night Lights. We will stay late Fridays to make sure everyone can get in and to cheer each other on. Join us and get ready to feel the energy!

For scoring we are going to try to make it easy to track the score. At least 8 points will be up for grabs every week, in addition to a bonus point for each newly acquired skill. The 8 base points will be earned as follows:

  • 1 point each for the top finishers, male and female, for the Rx and Scaled workouts (4 points total)
  • 1 point each for the best combined team score, male and female, for the Rx and Scaled workouts (4 points total)

We want to reward everyone that helps win the workout, but we also want to acknowledge everyone who achieves something new during the open. 

We will hand out a spirit of the open award to someone that personifies the spirit of the open. We want everyone to work hard and compete against themselves as well as others at the gym. Secondly, the winning team will get to design our run of summer apparel and pick our next party location in March.



                                                                          TEAM SARA

Adam H
Alex C
Alex Tyler
Bethany S
Caroll S
Cary S
Claire W
Dave R
David B
David K
Jamie B
Jeffery S
Kate O
Kate W
Mark O
Mike P
Robert R
Sean C




Aaron B
Aaron Y
Alex Reed
Andrew C
Bryan James
Catherine L
Charlie S
David J
Eric I
Fred S
Greg Fox
John Fox
John W
Luke R
Matt B
Nick R
Nicole Franks
Rachel C
Rachel L
Rob B
Sara Fisch
Steve M

Why we are going to be upset if you don’t do The Open

Here at Goose Island CrossFit I like to think that we have a very open and welcome environment. I want people to feel comfortable with movements and take their time with progressions before they try something big like Handstands. This is just a part of what we do every day at the box. I believe that while CrossFit can be very exclusive (think the CrossFit Games), it is at its core an inclusive sport.  Competitors at the regional level represent less than one percent of the total number of people that do CrossFit. Every year people pay $20 knowing that they will never go to the CrossFit games. Why do we do this to our self? Let us explore why they do this and why the coaches at Goose Island CrossFit will be upset if you don’t sign up.

You get to set the stage for your next training year.

Even if you don’t see yourself as a high level athlete and do not have aspirations to compete at the Games, you still will be competing against yourself. As you look back on your training with us you will remember that ever year will have a supreme focus on the open. I fondly remember when my first coach, Justin Enders, patiently coached me to my first #135 Snatch during the snatch ladder in 2012. It was a huge moment for me, since I realized I could do something that I originally thought was impossible. Every year since then I have accomplished a goal I didn’t think possible. Use the open as a chance to set goals for the coming year.

You get to compete against yourself.

Every day we fight to try to make it through another day. We fight to think “I can’t yet” instead of “I can’t.” We want you to be able to look at yourself in the open workouts and not to compare yourself to others in the gym. Look at a workout that has Toes to Bar and think about how you can accomplish more reps for you in that day and not about how reps someone else got.

Participate in a worldwide phenomenon.

Every year hundreds of thousands of people participate in the open. You get to see people from across the world do the same workout in different gyms. It’s really cool.

Participate with Goose Island CrossFit every Friday Night.


 We will be doing the workouts every Friday during the open. Every Friday night we will have a huge event starting at 5:30pm. We will do the workouts in heats and have a great time. People will cheer you on, you will accomplish what you thought impossible and you will see your fellow members do amazing things. We want you to be a part of it.

So at the end of the day we won’t really be upset, but we want you all to do this with us. We want you to be the best version of yourself you can be and to be fit for life. We believe that The Open is an amazing chance to see where you are at and to set goals for where you want to get to.


Sign up at games.crossfit.com and register with the gym!­



What are the LaPortes Eating: Week 2

Welcome back for another edition of "What are the LaPortes Eating!" Once again,I hope these meals will provide you inspiration as you plan and grocery shop this week. This time, I even have a few recipe links and descriptions!

Planned Meals

These were my planned meals that I planned and cooked for 2-3 servings each:

Meal 1: Salad with balsamic chicken, grapes and slivered almonds

Meal 2: Steak with steamed snap peas and roasted garlic Cauliflower mixed with mashed potatoes

Meal 3: Buffalo Chicken Casserole with roasted broccoli (Basically, this recipe minus the sugar, with coconut oil as the fat and with added broccoli)

Meal 4: Meatballs with tomato-coconut cream sauce over potatoes

(Sauce was, sautéed onion and garlic mixed with coconut cream, fire roasted tomatoes and chilies, salt and pepper, chicken broth, reduced and then blended with 7 handfuls of TJ’s Broccoli slaw….I didn’t have a roasted red pepper on hand, but if I had, it would have been a fantastic addition)

Meal 5: Chicken Tortilla Soup (minus the avocado because I'm allergic)

Breakfast 1: Sweet Potato Hash egg bake

Breakfast 2: An egg and chicken sausage scramble over diced potatoes

Improved Meals

Unfortunately, I feel really constricted by only cooking things that I’ve planned, so no matter how much I plan, I'm usually compelled to improvised meals just for the sake of improvisation:

Improvised meal 1: chicken salad with homemade mayo, grapes, apples and pecans (this was delicious)

Improvised meal 2: Burger sliders with caramelized onions and roasted sweet potatoes.


 This week we honestly did quite a few serious treats. I post these more for the sake of transparency, but I don’t recommend these if you’re actively pursuing weight loss :)

Snack 1: Frozen Banana and Cocoa Powder Smoothies

Snack 2: Pecan shortbread cookies (300 g almond meal, 6 dates, cup of pecans, ½ cup fat, ¼ t baking soda, ¼ t salt)

Snack 3: Chocolate breakfast cake (3 dates, 4 eggs, ¼ cup coconut flour, ¼ cup coconut oil, 3T cocoa powder)

So I think that just about covers everything we ate at our house this week. What have you been cooking?


What are the LaPortes Eating: Week 1

It’s January 8th, and the holidays have just ended. You may be still struggling to get back into a normal groove, and can barely fathom introducing anything new. But you’ve committed to do this Whole30 thing, and now you’re feeling grumpy.

We’re here to help. We can’t take away your desire to kill everything on day 4, or overcome your longing to sleep forever on day 6, but we can offer solidarity.  Rest confidently knowing that not only are several of your gym mates going through this with you, but also many of us have gone through this whole process before and deemed it worth doing again.

Solidarity can also help you in more practical ways. For example, you now have access to a hive brain when you’re trying to figure out what to cook. I’ll start the process by doing a weekly update about what we’ve been eating for the week, but I think it would be amazing if you all could post some or all of your favorite meals for the week in the comments, so we can benefit from each other’s efforts.

So here goes.

This week we’ve been eating:

3 meals of a delicious salad, topped with apples, pecans and balsamic chicken with an olive oil/balsamic dressing

3 meals of mini burger sliders with kale wraps and sweet potato disks

3 meals of butternut squash soup with shredded chicken, red pepper, onion and apples

3 meals of zucchini lasagna with cashew “ricotta”

2 meals of chicken stir fry with snap peas, bell peppers, leeks, pineapple juice and coconut aminos

For breakfast….honestly this week breakfast has been a little rough with transitioning back into the school schedule.

We had a few servings of egg bake (this week’s edition featured hashed sweet potatoes, leeks, eggs, chicken sausage and veggies), but many mornings it was a mad dash. I think we had plantain pancakes; bacon and apples fried eggs; and sweet potatoes. One morning the kids just had fruit and nuts, and one morning I think Noah ate a dinner for breakfast and a breakfast for dinner.

That's us. What have you been eating?



Whole30 Nutrition Challenge

We are proud to introduce the 2016 Goose Island CrossFit Whole30 Challenge.  

This is going to be a community event, and we will measure progress and give out prizes. We want to answer a few questions, so that you can get started. 

When does it start?

You can start as early as today and as late January 7th. The event will officially end on February 7th with a Super Bowl Party. We created a window for people to start so that they can plan appropriately for the commitment.  

What do I have to do to be eligible for a prize?

You will need to weigh in, register your body fat percentage and get some measurements taken (Chest, Waist and Hips) by a coach before a class. We will use progress in these categories as well as retesting a WOD from the first week to determine the winners. There will be a balance of judging improvement in performance and measurements.

What can I eat?

During this challenge, we will temporarily be eliminating:

Grains, Dairy, Sugars (sugar, sweeteners, honey, etc.), Legumes, Processed Food, Alcohol

To reset our taste buds and make room for the foods you can eat, which are:

Meat, Eggs, Vegetables, Fruit, Nuts, Seeds and Healthy Fats

Starches like sweet potatoes and potatoes are completely acceptable. 

Why should I do it?

This question is difficult to answer with a blanket statement, because doing it can improve so many aspects of your life, and only you know what makes it worth it to you. But if you have any interest in cutting down on craving, or changing the way you feel about food, you should do it. If you are tired of feeling fatigued and bloated all the time, you should do it. If you want to change the way you eat in a sustainable way, you should do it. If you’re chasing down a new CrossFit goal, you should do it. If you’re trying to improve your sleep or focus or mood this year, you should do it. If you just feel off after holidays, you should do it.

It’s just 30 days.

Will I be alone?

Not at all! There will be a large group of people from the gym doing it together. We will share recipes and even have a cooking party to help people learn how to make this a sustainable lifestyle! 

Check in with a coach to get started this week at the gym!

PR For The Masses - Can't or Can't Yet?

The PR for the Masses Podcast is back! 

In Episode 4, we apply a elementary teacher’s instructional paradigm to CrossFit. How does a fixed mindset (can’t) vs. a dynamic mindset (can’t yet) affect us on the floor? Plus a PR of the Podcast years in the making, and Coach Noah recommends… taking a day off? 

Subscribe on iTunes, or listen online! And then, help us out:

  • Review us (positively!) on iTunes!
  • Share on Facebook or Twitter!

PR for the Masses - Eat Like a Champion!

The PR for the Masses Podcast is back! 

In Episode 3, Noah and I join GICF Nutrition Challenge Grand Champion Kate Wojtan to talk food. Why worry about food? What does it matter? If I’m active and exercising, shouldn’t I be able to eat what I want?

Plus a brand new segment, "Words of Wisdom" with coach Noah LaPorte.  Listen! Share! Like!

Subscribe on iTunes, or listen online! And then, help us out:

  • Review us (positively!) on iTunes!
  • Share on Facebook or Twitter!

Listen to This! Episode 2 and a Special Interview!

The PR for the Masses Podcast is back! 

In Episode 2, Noah, Rachel, and I talk about the CrossFit Games. What are they? Should we watch? What happened this year? Listen to find out!

And... we have a special interview with our very own Granite Games Competitor, Jordan Rollan! Jordan will be competing this weekend at the Granite Games, and shares his thoughts on humans vs. superhumans, achievement, and starting somewhere.

Subscribe on iTunes, or listen online! And then, help us out:

  • Review us (positively!) on iTunes!
  • Share on Facebook or Twitter!


Introducing Our New Program and a Question.

What's new about our programming?

Today we are starting a new programming block curtsey of Jacob Tsypkin at TZ Strength. John and I have tested out the TZ Strength Program for individuals for over a year, and we have loved what his program can do. Now that Jacob is designing programs to fit a CrossFit box community, we are very excited to have the opportunity to present this program in our gym.  This program will still be adaptable for your goals whether you want to lose weight and stay fit for life or you are looking for an increase in performance in the CrossFit Open and other competitions. 


What will change?

We are excited to be able to bring in this fresh perspective for our next training cycle. While we are still using all the fundamental movements, you may notice that they are presented in new ways. Also, during this cycle, we will still be testing and retesting to be able to track progress. However, instead of testing your progress in one workout over 6 weeks, we will be testing your progress in multiple movements and workouts over the course of the next 3 months.


Why is there Extra Work?

In addition to the program that runs M-F, there will be an additional set of programming that can be completed as homework throughout the week. You could pepper it in around classes throughout the week or on some weeks hit it in one long session on Saturday. We will be making Saturday open to this from 12-2pm and Sunday from 11am-1pm on Sundays (starting the Sunday after Labor Day) in an open gym style format. A coach will be present, possibly working out with you, and be able to answer questions and provide general feedback. We feel that the homework sessions can help you tremendously if you want add something extra to your training. Every week we will post the homework on the Monday of the week it is to be completed. 

See you in the gym and let us know if you have any other questions.

Announcing: The PR For The Masses Podcast! Listen, Subscribe, Share!

We are very proud to announce the PR For The Masses Podcast, a new podcast produced by our very own Goose Island CrossFit. Get it on iTunes here, or on the web here! Here's the description: 

"The PR For The Masses Podcast is dedicated to new fitness records for the average, the ordinary, the under-achiever, and yes, the out of shape!"

In our first episode,

  • I talk with CrossFit coach Noah LaPorte about losing 100lbs in his first year,
  • Ask whether starting out-of-shape has contributed to his coaching success,
  • We ponder what to say to all of our friends who tell us “I could never do that.”
  • Plus, our very first PR of the Podcast!

If you've given us the look when we tell you we do CrossFit, you need to listen now! 

If you're with us on the fitness journey, will you share this podcast with your friends on Facebook? Or on Twitter? Or forward this email to them? Or stand on your street corner with a sign and read a transcript of the episode? 

Help us get the word out!