Jul 13th, 2020
I vividly remember one of my first interactions with Haley which took place at the CrossFit Southie Grand Opening. I was watching Haley rip through box jumps and a barbell during her WOD and thinking to myself… that girl can move! After she finished up, I approached her as she laid on the ground with an exhausted, happy smile on her face. She looked at me with wide eyes and said “I looooove this place!” Unbeknownst at the time, that was the start of a very special relationship between Haley & CFS.
Haley is an incredibly kind, empathetic and accepting individual. From day 1, she has had a special ability to make everyone that has ever walked through the CFS doors feel welcomed and at home. Over the years she has also developed the confidence and command to demand the respect from every athlete and even the largest of classes at CFS. These qualities are very difficult to find grouped together but Haley has somehow been able to effortlessly express them both gracefully and tactfully.
In addition to having a wonderful personality, Haley has been the behind the scenes right hand woman for all the CFS dirty work. She has always worked both hard and smart. Haley has had a hand in all things admin including member outreach, payment tracking, nutrition challenges, showdown/in-house prep, class registration, etc.. You name it, she’s done it and she has always done it fast, efficiently & to a T, without much oversight. Lastly and likely most importantly, Haley has been the mediator and voice of reason to two stubborn, head butting business partners. Looking back, we’re not sure how we would have survived the last 7 years without her.
We were very lucky to have Haley as an integral part of our team and as a leader of the CFS community for as long as we did. There are certainly some huge Nano’s to fill. And even though it feels like we are losing Tom Brady all over again, we couldn’t be more happy for Haley and know that she will always be successful no matter what path she chooses. We love you Haley Byrnes and thank you for everything!
More from Haley herself…
I found CrossFit in 2010 as a total newbie – I’d never touched a barbell before and my definition of exercise was killing myself on an elliptical. Like so many, I was instantly hooked. After a few months of workouts, Dennis & I ventured to Albany, NY to watch our CrossFit coach compete at Regionals. We didn’t know many people, so we cheered for our coach and any other athlete from the Boston area. All weekend long, people were cheering loudly for this guy named Goose. I remember thinking, “Why is this dude so popular, and what kind of name is that?” At some point in the weekend, I met the infamous Goose and his super friendly girlfriend, Amy. In that moment, I had no way of knowing how much CrossFit and those two strangers would change my life.
The CrossFit community in Boston was very small back then. Everyone knew everyone, regardless of which gym you belonged to. Amy invited me to the CFS grand opening and I was in awe of the gym. I remember telling her “this place is HUGE!” … which is funny, because back then it was just Southie Orange. I loved my first CrossFit gym so much, but I knew right away that Southie was special. In the year that followed, I took my L1, interned at my first CrossFit home, and began coaching… but every time I’d come by for a workout at CFS, I knew I wanted to be there. I left my coaching job at my first gym and officially became a CrossFit Southie member on New Year’s Day of 2012 and never looked back.
Instantly, I knew I’d made the right decision. I basically lived at the gym. Eventually, I went through the intern program and started coaching a few classes each week. I was so happy to be here, but I hated my 9-5 desk job. After one particularly bad day at work, I was complaining to Amy (for probably the 1000th time), and she turned and asked, “Would you want to work here?” Without even thinking I gave her a big “YES!” I gave my notice at my job the very next day.
I started work as a full-time coach in August of 2013. It’s crazy to think about how different my life was back then. I was 24 years old, still living at home, and honestly had no idea what I was doing. It is hard to put into words everything that I’ve learned and experienced in these last seven years.
As an athlete, I achieved things I never thought possible – heavy lifts, muscle ups, handstand walking… 7 CrossFit Opens, 2 trips to Regionals on the CFS team, and one amazing trip to LA to compete at the CrossFit Games.
As a coach, I’ve learned SO much. I cringe when I think back to the coach I was in 2013! I’ve taken many certs over the years to improve my knowledge, but without a doubt, I have learned the most inside the walls of CrossFit Southie. Every day is a learning opportunity here. Goose & Amy have always worked hard to give us access to the best resources out there and have always challenged us to be better. There is a reason why CrossFit Southie has the strong reputation that it does, and I’ve always been proud to be a part of it.
Above all, CrossFit Southie has been my home, my safe haven, and my support system for the last 7+ years. I can’t think of any major milestone in my life that the gym or my “gym people” haven’t been involved in. You’ve always been there.
When people who don’t do CrossFit ask me about what I do, or how I can possibly stand to get up for work at 4:30 in the morning, I don’t talk about the coaching. I talk about the people and the community. I look forward to every chance I get to high-five someone after they hit a PR. I love the conversations we have in between lifts where you tell me about your day or show me pictures of your dog. My work has very rarely felt like work, and I am so grateful for that.
Whenever people asked about my future, I’d always laugh and say “I’m never leaving!” A part of me truly believed that. How could I leave a job that I’ve loved so much? It will not be easy.
Friday (7/13) will be my last day coaching at CrossFit Southie. After nearly ten years of telling myself I’d do this “one day,” I’m finally pursuing a career in teaching. I’ve enrolled in a Masters program and will be working in a first grade classroom (or maybe I’ll be working through Zoom from my house? Who knows!) while I earn my degree. This is the definition of bittersweet: I’m so excited to begin my next adventure, but I’m so sad to say goodbye to such an amazing job filled with such great people.
To all CrossFit Southie members, past and present, I can’t thank you all enough for trusting me, supporting me, and laughing with me for all of these years. I’ve truly enjoyed getting to know all of you and I will miss seeing you every day.
The CFS coaching crew, thank you for always bringing your A-game, pushing me to be better, and for FINALLY learning that we only use ONE color marker per day on the whiteboard 😉 I know I’ll never have better coworkers anywhere I go.
And finally, to Amy & Goose, thank you for taking a chance on me when I was a clueless 24-year old. Your leadership, guidance, and above all, your friendship have truly helped me grow into the person I am today.
This is not goodbye, just a new beginning! I’ll still be around to workout, hopefully coach some classes, and make sure that the kettlebells are put away correctly 🙂 I hope to see as many of you as possible for some socially distanced air hugs next week. Love you all!
Beginning today, indoor gyms can open in the city of Boston. This comes with many rules and guidelines to ensure a safe environment among the COVID-19 virus. Many of you have expressed your hesitation to come indoors and some of you simply like the outdoor class and want to keep them going. We hear you and have been sorting out a solution that we hope will effectively satisfy all.
Here’s what you need to know:
- With the exception of rain and extreme heat, all classes will begin outdoors in the parking lot.
- You will have the freedom to complete the workout indoors or outdoors. As long as you have registered for class and there is space, we will make every effort to be flexible and meet your needs.
- Rig and rack days will be strategically programmed for days that inclement weather is anticipated. On rig and rack days, there will be 17 indoor stations in Southie Green, and outdoor stations with a modified equipment workout.
- Southie Green will be exclusively for classes (no Open Gym). In order to keep distance, stations will extend into the Toaster (the space near the front desk).
- Southie Orange will be used for Open Gym. There will be 4 spots with access to a pull up rig, and 7 additional spots without a pull up rig. If Open Gym is not full, we may use these spots for class participants as well.
- You will NOT be required to wear a mask while doing the workout in your station, as they are spaced 14 feet apart.
- You WILL be required to wear a mask any time you are outside of your station.
- Current state guidelines recommend that there be no more than 8 people per 1,000 square feet in gyms. Southie Green is nearly 10,000 square feet. Even during completely full classes, we will be limiting attendance to 23 athletes + 2 coaches. In an effort to keep everyone safe, we will be operating at just 30% of our current allowed capacity.
- Just like outside, each station will be equipped with disinfectant.
- Foot traffic will be controlled with arrows on the floor – just like at the super market!
- Indoor stations are set up to be a minimum of 14 feet apart.
- Staff will perform a thorough cleaning of any high-contact surfaces throughout the day and at the end of the night.
- Masks will be required any time you are not in your workout station – when entering the station, when using the restroom, getting equipment, etc.
You will notice that the registration schedule will look different beginning on Monday. A few things to note about class registration:
- If you have no intention of working out inside, please register for “Outdoor WOD.” This will save room in the “Indoor/Outdoor WOD” class for people who DO want to workout indoors. On most days you will be able to complete the workout exactly as it is written outside.
- If you wish to workout outside and “Outdoor WOD” is full, you can register for “Indoor/Outdoor WOD” and stay outside for the duration of the class.
- Open Gym slots are labeled as “Indoor Open Gym with Rig Access”, “Indoor Open Gym without Rig Access”, and “Outdoor Open Gym”. If you do not intend to use a Pull Up Rig during your workout that day, please register for one of the other available classes.
- Given the distance requirements, pull up space is tough to come by. Three stations do not allow for kipping and 1 station includes the fat bar which means a few volunteers will be needed in larger classes to perform strict pull-ups, ring rows or to test their grip strength.
- The outdoor mats will be numbered to correlate with the indoor stations. Please be considerate. We know everyone is excited to get back on the rig but this isn’t the hunger games. We will have people stand on their mats before entering the building to ensure that once inside there is not confusion about who goes to what station.
- Lastly, the brick building in our lot is being torn down soon. When this happens half of the outdoor lot will be temporarily off limits. We will re-strategize at that time.
We hope that you are excited for the next coming weeks! We know we are!
Plank Ups Over Barbell
*1 second pause at the bottom of the squat and the overhead lock out
**focus on standing tall and fast elbows to the catch position
100 Hollow Rocks
Every time you break – 15 Abmat Sit-ups
Scale – 4 minute modified hollow hold and every time you break you do 15 sit ups
Row 2,000 meters
21 Power Cleans 135|95
Row 1,000 meters
15 Power Cleans
Row 500 meters
9 Power Cleans
Level 2 – 115|75
Level 1 – 95|45, 1000m, 750m, 500m
WOD CREDIT- Crossfit.com
5 Rounds of
5 Stone Over Shoulder 140|90