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 https://www.louisville.com/content/food-waste-donation-franciscan-kitchen-dare-care

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, https://franciscankitchen.org/history-of-franciscan-shelter-house 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 https://franciscankitchen.org/financial-donations

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.

Kipping It Real with Coach Meg

Hot off the presses! It’s the first ever edition of Kipping it Real with Coach Meg! I’m so glad you are here today.

Bright Spots

Here at Kipping it Real we will always start with a bit of happiness. You’ve stopped by on a GREAT day because there is an abundance of joy to go around!

Best wishes!

First and foremost, a huge congratulations goes out to John and Erin Spyrka on their recent wedding in Florida. We are truly thrilled for you both and wish you a lifetime of happiness!  

We’ve got Thomas Roundtree, who not only just celebrated a birthday, but casually passed his Level One Certificate as well. 

Aaron Davis completed the same Level One Course and also received his certificate. Congratulations to both of these gentlemen on a job well done!

Latest L1 participants at FCCF! Can you find Thomas and Aaron?

It should be mentioned that several Level One Certificate Seminars have been held at the gym, which is an enormous honor, but let me be the first to tell you that the L1 exam is no cake walk! Leading up to the seminar weekend, these athletes are doing copious amounts of studying. During the L1 weekend, they are learning a plethora of information in a short period of time. My hats off to both of you gentlemen and all of our recent participants at FCCF. We are so proud of each and every one of you.

Jamie going to work!

This past weekend we had a slew of athletes competing in Festivus! Shout out to Trent Miller, Erick and Laurie Lawson, Nicholas Triplett, Jamie Pyron, and Bryan Brown for their drive, heart, and representation.

Representing at Festivus.

Laurie brought home a 3rd place finish, as did Erick and Bryan! All of you put in such effort. It is inspiring to witness such dedication on a weekly basis.

Nutrition is vital in fitness. It gives you the fuel your body requires to do what you do each day. When you are on the go, as most of us are, finding quick and healthy options to fuel the body can prove challenging. That is why a big round of applause is warranted for all of the Fern Creek CrossFit Nutrition Challenge participants. Over the past 8 weeks, several of our members have stepped outside of their comfort zones and worked towards a healthier lifestyle. Shout out to Olivia McGuire on her 1st place finish and Stephanie Green for coming in hot with 2nd place. Job well done ladies! Congratulations to Kevin Forcht for finishing in 1st place and Cliff Peters in 2nd place for our gentlemen. Impressive work guys!

Pamela Gagnon hosts The Gymnastics Course!

Lastly for our Bright Spots, I’d like to mention several of our lady rock stars who attended The Gymnastics Course. FCCF Coaches Amanda, Lindsey, Tracy, and former coach Vee, all took time out of their busy schedules to gain additional knowledge that can be applied when coaching each and every day! It can be easy to forget that these women wear many hats and have a lot of responsibilities outside of the gym. The four of them are employed, some are wives, mothers, girlfriends, aunts, sisters, dog moms, caregivers, and all are the greatest friends (but the writer of this post may be slightly biased!) Thank you all for working hard and continuing to better yourselves.

Quick plug – Goal Setting Sessions are taking place now. Feel free to reach out to set up your session. You walk away with valuable information that helps you to personalize attainable goals. Don’t be intimidated or embarrassed or think you don’t have time. It takes 10 minutes or less. We are at your service!

Let the guessing game of “What will the next workout be?” begin!

Stay tuned for upcoming information on The CrossFit Open starting October 10th, 2019. There will be longer open gym hours on Saturdays and Sundays to get your Open workout in and submitted.

That’s wraps up our inaugural voyage together. Normally I’ll share a Bright Spot or two and then dive in to a fitness related topic of sorts, but we had so much positivity to discuss, let’s leave it at that. Go do a random act of kindness and check back soon for another edition of Kipping it Real with Coach Meg.