Kipping it Real!

Welcome back to Kipping it Real with Coach Meg! I’ve said it before, but you’ve stopped by on a great day! Last weekend I was able to interview our very own Laurie Lawson who has a new credential to share with all of us at Fern Creek CrossFit.

Laurie has been a staple to the early morning classes for years. Her dedication and effort shines with every workout. In lamer terms, she is an absolute beast. Although Laurie happens to be Coach Erick’s wife, she has contributed her own blood and sweat into our facility to make it thrive and consistently steps up when volunteers are needed.

Without further ado, here is my interview with Laurie Lawson.

You recently became a Pregnancy and Postpartum Athleticism Coach. Congratulations! For anyone who doesn’t know what that entails, can you tell us about the process to get that accreditation?

Thank you! I’m really excited about this! It is a certification course developed by Brianna Battles after she developed complications with her deliveries. She is an athlete, who has degrees in Kinesiology, Coaching and Athletic Administration, but it wasn’t until she had children that she realized the need to look deeper into what exactly happens to a woman’s body when she gives birth. She put together a course for people that would certify them to coach pre and post natal women safely and effectively. There are so many interviews with many professionals such as, Pelvic Floor PT’s, OB/Gyn’s, mental health therapists, and women who are athletes. The course takes roughly 6-8 weeks, with a big test at the end. 

Why is this something that is important to you personally?

As a mother who has given birth to 3 of my 4 kids, it really hit home for me when I sat through a mini session about women and exercising. It upset me that after giving birth to 3 kids and working for an OB/Gyn office for 10 years, none of this information was ever discussed. We are told as women that we are cleared to go back to everyday living. 6-8 weeks is not long enough to heal completely.  Giving birth is considered a major surgery. Any other major surgery your doctor will tell you if may take at least 6 months to completely heal. If that is the case why are we telling women to get back in the gym and get that body back? We end up doing more harm to our pelvic floor than we realize. This is why some women pee when they jump rope or sneeze. We have to properly heal and properly and slowly build back.

When it comes to pregnancy and CrossFit style workouts, are there certain exercises that a pregnant woman should immediately rule out or is each athlete different? 

Yes and no… Each woman is completely different so what works for someone may not work for another. Also during pregnancy there are certain things you may want to stop or modify depending on what trimester you are in. It’s all about paying attention to proper form and watching where the athlete is holding tension in her body. To say all women should or shouldn’t do ‘X’ movement is just not going to work. That’s one reason I love this, it’s not one size fits all.

I was recently surprised to hear how long your body is actually considered “postpartum.” Why is the postpartum period so crucial for an athlete? And for any woman who is going through a tough transition postpartum while trying to get back to the athlete they were, what advice would you give them?

Postpartum is forever. Once you birth a child your body has been changed. A lot of women struggle in the postpartum phase because of the whole ‘get your body back’ talk. It can take up to 6 weeks for your hormones to balance back out. Then there is breastfeeding, sleepless nights, not having a schedule, and even sometimes not knowing what your baby needs. So much goes on in a woman’s head during this phase. She should not have the worry of getting her body or fitness back. We as women need to show ourselves some grace. We have just done some miraculous work. I love that I can talk with women to help encourage them during this time and start at the basics and build from there.

We’ve recently heard more open dialogue about the “pelvic floor” in the sports world and the importance of continuous work as you age. Many women have come forward having never had a single conversation with their doctor and feel overwhelmed with where to start. Can you talk a little bit about the pelvic floor? What is it exactly? Why is strengthening it after birth and as a women ages is important? 

The Pelvic Floor (PF) are muscles that help to hold your uterus, vagina, bladder, and bowel in place. You can have a weak or tight pelvic floor. Both can cause problems. Both can happen even if you have never given birth. When you give birth the baby pushes through your pelvic wall therefore weakening it and stretching it. If a woman is starting the menopause phases she will stop producing certain hormones. As those hormone levels decrease we start to lose elasticity in our PF and the organs that were being held, start to fall. Then you start seeing bladder issues or the feeling that something is falling out. If you start having any of those symptoms my first advice would be to see a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist. They can diagnose what is going on and then the therapist and I can work together to help you strengthen your PF. None of this means you have to stop completely working out. It just means we have to find a new way to reach your goals.

Any last words of advice for the women of Fern Creek CrossFit or for the men trying to understand more about women’s health?

I know this has been a lot but I hope you can feel how much this means to me. I am a mom of 4 and was recently diagnosed with being in menopause. I have been blown away with everything I have learned through this course. Also having my CF L1 has been so useful. I have started using some of the lessons I’ve learned in my every day training. No woman should ever be made to feel hopeless when she is in these situations. We can work to get you to your ‘new normal’ but you have to have patience and give yourself some grace.

A big thank you goes out to Laurie for sharing her time answering these important questions and opening the dialogue about women’s health. Also, a thank you to you readers for taking time out of your day to catch up around here.

Go do a random act of kindness and check back soon for another edition of Kipping it Real with Coach Meg!

Where everyone knows your name!

Welcome back to Kipping it Real with Coach Meg!

Thank you for stopping by today and always. You’ve picked an extra special day to visit because I recently had the privilege of sitting down with our veteran morning coach, Coach Robbie, to discuss the sport of CrossFit and get a glimpse inside his life. 

Coach Robbie has been with Fern Creek CrossFit since the doors opened. He has been a steadfast part of the gym for many members. His vast knowledge of the movements, along with his passion to help others reach their full potential, has impacted countless individuals. His sarcastic wit has not : )

Meg: What made you start CrossFit?

Robbie: I was training for a marathon and tweaked my knee back in 2012.  I realized that I was really bored with my training regimen and needed to change things up.  I was at LAC one morning and they were in the beginning stages of starting a Crossfit program, and the head trainer asked me to do Grace (30 C&J for time) with him.  It sounded simple enough but it absolutely wrecked me and I was hooked from that point on.  

Meg: What has made you continue CrossFit?

Robbie: First is the training modality, the philosophy of constantly varied functional movement never allows me to get bored with my workouts.  Secondly, is the results and the direct impact that my crossfit training has had on my everyday life.  Lastly, the friendships that I have built with my training partners and the community as a whole. 

Meg: What is your least favorite CrossFit movement?

Robbie: Overhead squats for sure.  My lack of mobility makes it difficult to get in the correct positions but I need to shout out Coach Bryan Brown, who has worked with me on my overhead squat over the last several months and I am starting to see some real progress.

Meg: What attributes do you think a coach must possess to be a great coach? 

Robbie: Knowledge of the movements, ability to communicate effectively to your athletes, enthusiasm for what you are doing, and ability to lead a large group of people and keep them on task

Meg: What is the most frustrating thing about being a coach?

Robbie: Athletes who do not have an open mind and think that they already know everything that there is to know so they are unwilling to take any sort of constructive feedback.

Meg: For those that don’t know, jiu-jitsu is also a big part of your fitness routine/life. How are jiu-jitsu and CrossFit alike?

Robbie: It may sound simple, but they are both challenging.  I believe it was Jocko who I heard say “Do something difficult every day of your life.”  Both Crossfit and Jiu Jitsu are not only physically challenging but mentally challenging as well and the feeling after a tough day in the box or on the mats is one of the most rewarding feelings in the world.  Secondly, they are both something that we will never master, there are always things to improve on, so this pursuit of improvement on a daily basis keeps me mentally engaged.

Meg: If an athlete is short on cash but wants to build their home gym, what 2 items should they buy first and why?

Robbie: I will do one better, I will give you one item that you should build you home gym around: a kettlebell.  Kettlebells are probably the most versatile piece of equipment that you can own.  You can do swings, cleans, jerks, snatches, presses, rows, curls, squats,  carries, etc. all with a single kettlebell.  You can design so many different workouts all with a single kettlebell so for this reason, I think it should be the staple of any home gym. 
Meg: If you could only listen to one band/artist when working out what/who would it be?

 Robbie: This is tough as I have a very eclectic taste in music.  But if forced to chose I would have to say Drake. 

Meg: Do you have a favorite moment or specific story you love from coaching?

Robbie: It is hard for me to narrow it down to one specific story or moment because there are so many to chose from and everyone who has come to my class, past and present, have all made a lasting impact on me.  My favorite thing about coaching, and my favorite moments, are those where someone is able to do something that they never thought they would be able to do, made especially great when I have watched them struggle for weeks working on a movement or skill and seeing the joy on their faces when they finally breakthrough. 

Meg: When you aren’t in the gym what are you most likely to be doing?

Robbie: Jiu Jitsu lol but outside of all physical activity you will most likely find me playing chess or some other game with my daughter.  She is relentless and talks more shit than I do. 

Meg: What fitness goals will you set for 2021? 

Robbie: First, I think the most important thing about this question is the realization of how essential it is to set specific and measurable goals, not just in fitness but in every aspect of our life.  It is just as important to write down your goals in a very clear manor.  It is not enough to say “I want to get better at Crossfit,” but how specifically are you planning on getting better at CrossFit? With that being said, I set a lot of strength goals as I know they are my weakness, so I am going to set a 350 LBS back squat goal, Clean and Jerk 225 LBS, Sntach and Overhead Squat 185 LBS. I will develop a supplemental plan as to how to get to each of these numbers of the next 12 months. And as soon as I hit these goals, I will set new ones. Never be complacent! 

Meg: Tell us one good thing about 2020 for you.

Robbie: First, it has allowed me to refocus on what is important in my life and slow down and appreciate the small things. Secondly, it has allowed me to focus on my personal goals.  As a coach, we sacrifice a lot of our fitness time to help other athletes, which we love to do, but sometimes it is nice to have some time to focus on yourself as well. 

A big thank you to Coach Robbie for taking the time to answer my questions and for all he does at Fern Creek CrossFit. We are very lucky to have you and we acknowledge your hard work. 
Thank you readers for your time. Now go do a random act of kindness and check back soon for another edition of Kipping it Real with Coach Meg! 

Hot off the presses Kipping it Real with Coach Meg is back!

Hot off the presses Kipping it Real with Coach Meg is back!

If you’re new around here or have forgotten how we do things, we have GOT to start with some bright spots! It has been far too long. Let’s start with our fearless member Gina Egnor. Gina was shockingly diagnosed with Lyphoma in July. She has since been fighting the ultimate fight and just completed her last round of chemo this past Wedneday. Radiation is next in her ongoing battle, but there is no mountain she can’t climb. We are SO proud of you, Gina!

Fern Creek CrossFit officially moved.

We moved right down the street (4756 Bardstown Road) from our previous facility. Instead of being behind a doughnut shop, you can now find us next to a protein shake shop! Talk about convenient. Our new facility is simply stunning! Showers, 4 bathrooms, a sauna, a massive rig, top notch equipment, and space for days! This leads me to my next bright spot, Coach Erick and Coach Bryan. These two were an essential part of the development, design, and execution of the new gym. Countless hours, days, weeks, and months were devoted into making this facility the best it can be. Not only did they deliver, they exceeded any and all expectations. Myself, the coaching staff, and the members of our fit family are forever grateful to both of you for what you’ve created.

This goes hand in hand in hand with Coach Brian and Coach Trent, the owners of Fern Creek CrossFit. They both must be thanked for this new facility because without them, none of this would be possible. We are all truly appreciative.

Bright Spots

Bright spots are well… bright, however, there is an elephant in the room and it’s that this pandemic won’t go away. COVID came in with a vengeance and closed us down for several months. We’ve all been careful since reopening, but we have had to make some changes in the past week for your safety. All athletes must register for a class via Zen Planner and check-in once they have arrived. This is mandatory. Please make sure you have a facial covering until you are in your designated workout zone. Again, this is for your safety and our coaches safety. Use of the sauna has been suspended indefinitely. Clean your equipment fully, this includes anything you came in contact with. We all have to do our part.

Toys for Tots!

Announcement time! Starting this Friday, November 20th, we will be collecting toys for our annual Toys for Tots toy drive. This will be our third year participating with Toys for Tots. The Marines will be picking up the toys earlier than in past years to allow time to disinfect all of the toys. When asked what kind of toys they were in need of most, the representative quickly answered boys and girls items, ages 12-17 years. This age is easily overlooked. Gifts for this age could include things like makeup sets, cologne, basketballs, skateboards, headphones, blow dryers, curling irons, and assorted electronics.

That’s it for today! Thanks for taking time out of your day to catch up around here. Go do a random act of kindness and check back soon for another edition of Kipping it Real with Coach Meg!

Thank you, FCCF Family for the incredible 2019 canned food drive.

Welcome back to Kipping it Real with Coach Meg! I am so glad you are here today and every day, but today I want to tell you about the Franciscan Kitchen and the close of our Canned Food Drive.

Most of you know our canned goods went to the Franciscan Kitchen here in Louisville, but do you know why?

In 2018 the Louisville Homeless Census data suggested that there were over 7,000 homeless people here in our own backyard. That number is only expected to climb.

The Franciscan Kitchen is cooking y’all! Located in the heart of downtown on South Preston Street, from 10:30 to 12:30pm, Monday through Friday, there are about 500 people walking through their doors to get a meal at least 5 days a week. They are serving well over 2,500 meals per week. Let me repeat that, 2,500 meals are served PER WEEK! They say 180 POUNDS OF GREEN BEANS CAN BE SERVED IN A SINGLE DAY! The Franciscan Kitchen has a van driven by caring souls to salvage food each day from local businesses in our community like Whole Foods, Longhorn, some Papa John’s, some KFCs, a few Krogers, etc. Kentucky Harvest helps the Franciscan Kitchen find places with unused food around the city each day. Their van then sets out early the morning to collect the available food. The need for our community to not be wasteful is of vast importance. I urge you to read this article

On a personal note, those giant boxes were set up, I never dreamed they would overflow like they did. It is truly exceptional how this community steps up for those in need. Being friends with kind and giving people like you all is an honor.

Thank you for the generosity this year. Your efforts allowed Fern Creek CrossFit to give over 88 pounds of rice, over 65 pounds of beans, over 60 pounds of green beans, over 45 pounds of oats, 35 plus jars of spaghetti sauce, oils, spices, and more.

I’d like to thank Coach John for his time. On Wednesday of last week, during the power outage, we met at the gym and he helped load can after can, box after box. We then drove downtown to drop off the donations. When we arrived at the Franciscan Kitchen they asked if we needed a service cart for the donations? We said yes and instantly filled that cart. A kind gentlemen said he better get another. Within minutes it became apparent we needed another. He laughed and said he better get the industrial cart this time! The next thing I knew, we had several volunteers slinging 15 lbs. bags of rice over their shoulders, the industrial cart was already loaded, and a fourth cart was ready as well. They were all seemily surprised what one little CrossFit gym out of Fern Creek had done. I shared with the man who brought the first cart out that many people made this possible. It was a moving moment. 

That moment was because every single one of you. 

“As you grown older, you will discover that you have two hands – one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”

Lastly, thank you to those who brought cans in that we never recognized. Thank you to those who contributed to their kid’s canned food drives and couldn’t contribute to this one. Thank you to those who are saving for Toys for Tots. Thank you to those who are saving to make Christmas magical for their loved ones. Thank you to those who have to save to support their CrossFit habit. We see you all. You never owe anyone any explanation for how you spend your money or how you choose to donate it.

We are simply thankful you are here. End of discussion.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. – The Fern Creek CrossFit Coaching Staff.

*After the holidays pass, we are planning a volunteer day with the Franciscan Kitchen where some folks would be kitchen volunteers and some would be food servers. This will take place the last Saturday of January or February.  Those two possible dates will be, Saturday, January 25th or Saturday, February 29th. As soon as we have confimation, we will keep you informed.

Kipping it Real: Open Edition

Hi guys! Thanks for visiting Kipping it Real with Coach Meg! Guess what? It’s the most wonderful time of year because…


The bad news? You’re probably not going to the CrossFit Games. Sorry to be Debbie Downer, however, the Open gives you a chance to assess your fitness after five challenging workouts. It gives you a solid blueprint of what areas need work! The Open is designed to test your limits, leave you exhausted, bring us all closer together, and should definitely leave you feeling accomplished. If it doesn’t you are being too hard on yourself!

The coaching staff and myself wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a Happy Open! There is always a bit of magic when it comes to the Open and with a community like this, it usually comes when you step back and watch the people surrounding you. That is what it is all about! You will see personal records being set, limits being stretched further than ever thought possible, a strong show of support for one another, and unbreakable bonds being formed.

Magic, I tell ya! Enjoy every second.


Canned Food Drive

The canned food drive is currently taking place and will go through Friday, October 25th! That is only 2 weeks from today.

We need all the help we can get! Please bring in any nonperishable items you can spare.

Any and all donations are greatly appreciated as all donations will go to the Franciscan Kitchen here in Louisville.

Burgener Strength Weightlifting Seminar

The Burgener Strength Weightlifting Seminar will take place at Fern Creek CrossFit on Saturday, November 9th and Sunday, November 10th.

Christmas Party

The Christmas Party is set for December 7th, 2019. Save that date!

Lastly, thank you all for making this community what it is… something so very special. Feel free to send me any great moments you capture of the Open!

Go do a random act of kindness and check back soon for another edition of Kipping it Real with Coach Meg!

Canned Food Drive Starts October 1st!

Hi guys. Thanks for visiting Kipping it Real with Coach Meg! I’m glad you are here.

Bright Spots

Thanks for being you, Trent!

I’d love to call attention to Coach Trent today. Trent did a random act of kindness that left me almost speechless. He went above and beyond to make sure one of our members was taken care of and his true colors shined bright. We’ve got some amazing people inside the walls of Fern Creek CrossFit. Trent didn’t want any attention for what was done so I will leave it at that.

Superwoman or Super woman? (Also, that t-shirt!)

Guess who had their first day back to the gym postpartum this week? That’s right Ellie Pardue, I’m talking about you girl! We see you! Not only did she come back with a vengeance, Ellie signed up to run the Kentucky Derby Mini Marathon in April! Is there anything this mama cannot do?! If you find out, let me know.

The canned food drive starts October 1st. All collected goods will benefit The Franciscan Kitchen here in Louisville. The Franciscan Kitchen, which was founded in 1980, is known for serving “homeless, hungry, and street people.” They operate solely on donations and with generosity from volunteers. It is estimated they serve about 420 hot lunches daily, Monday thru Friday. The Louisville community has a great need for this facility and it would be a true honor to help them in some small way.

Any and all donations are greatly appreciated.

Throughout October we will collect nonperishable items. The Franciscan Kitchen is looking for things like –

  • 1. Beans
  • 2. Rice
  • 3. Shelf-stable milk
  • 4. Peanut butter and jelly
  • 5. Canned fish
  • 6. Healthy soups or stews
  • 7. Pasta sauce and canned tomatoes
  • 8. Granola bars
  • 9. Popcorn
  • 10. Quinoa
  • 11. Pastas
  • 12. Oatmeal
  • 13. Rolled Oats
  • 14. Unsweetened Applesauce
  • 15. Nuts and seeds (unsalted)
  • 16. Beef, Chicken, and Vegetable Broths and Stocks
  • 17. Canola and Olive Oil
  • 18. Salt and Pepper
  • 19. Honey or Maple Syrup
I’ll shop for you : )

If you are busy and would like a personal shopper, you can Venmo me and I would be more than happy to grab some of the items on the list and give you a receipt. You can also go directly to their website and give a monetary donation at

Over 420 hot lunches PER DAY…

I’d love to introduce the Franciscan Community to the Fern Creek CrossFit Community!

The Franciscan Kitchen does a Christmas Giveaway of coats, hats, underwear, toiletries, and blankets to adults each year. They give clothing and toys to children. (This is something for us to think about as December approaches…)

December 7th!
Be there or be square!

Speaking of Christmas, our annual Christmas party has been set for December 7th. Mark those calendars now! Can’t wait to celebrate with you all.

That’s it for today! Thanks again for taking time out of your day to catch up around here. Go do a random act of kindness and check back soon for another edition of Kipping it Real with Coach Meg.

If you know of someone who has done an act of kindness or that has been working their tail off that you feel should receive some recognition or encouragement, please let me know! I’d love to include them in a Bright Spot.