All I Need to Know About Parenting, I Learned from CrossFit

Houston Dads Blog{For just two weeks, we are handing over our computers to the men in our lives and turning this little piece of the world wide web into Houston Dads Blog!  Read along with their joys and their struggles, and find out why we are so very thankful to have these awesome dads in our lives.}

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…I feel exceptionally fortunate to have a husband who works tirelessly to provide for our family, does right by others, is mindful of his blessings, and loves Caroline and I to the ends of the Earth. I’m so glad that I have Tate to share this parenting journey with, because I sure couldn’t do it without him!


As a dad, and an avid CrossFitter/gym owner, I can’t help but notice some similarities between parenting and CrossFit. Like parents, CrossFit has many critics – people are quick to judge CrossFit off of one or two experiences {mind you, there are 9,000 independently owned and operated affiliates running approximately 63,000 classes a day!}, so, they are only getting a very small snapshot – much like the lady in the grocery store shaking her head at your giving in to your child’s every desire to avoid the epic meltdown that has been brewing all day. She doesn’t see you reading books, brushing teeth, making lunches, trying to teach right from wrong, and normally exercising a little more structure in your parenting technique. Take each experience that you have and learn from it – parenting, like CrossFit, is a constantly evolving model of best practices.


CrossFit is based around the 10 elements of fitness, as originally defined by Jim Crawley and Bruce Evans of Dynamax, and made famous in the CrossFit Level 1 Trainers Guide. Here is my take on the 10 elements of fitness as they relate to parenting ::

1. Cardiovascular/Respiratory Endurance

24 hours a day, 7 days a week…there is no downtime for parents.

You are always on the clock. Endurance is your ability to press on no matter the hour of day or the time it takes to complete the task. Your child has a semester-long project that they’ve yet to start, due by 8am? Exact replica of the Alamo built from sugar cubes? – No problem! Grab a Red Bull and a seat at the kitchen table because you’re going to see them through this debacle, but it’s going to be a long night!

2. Stamina

No explanation required for this one…as parenting clearly never ends – even when your child reaches 18 years of age.

3. Strength

Your ability to hold up to the rigors of daily life with little to no sleep, poor nutrition, and no social life.

Any parent understands the importance of their ability to apply force. Removing lids from jars, cramming toys and clothes in closets, or lugging a stroller {and 8 million bags} up stairs and over curbs repeatedly. Our ability to lift, twist, and throw is vital to our success and survival.

4. Flexibility

Your ability as a parent to change plans, schedules, and lifestyle to avoid meltdowns.

Also applicable in a physiological sense – think of changing diapers in an airplane bathroom, or snagging a blanket with your toes as you’re carrying your child to bed. Grab a foam roller, check out MobilityWOD, and get your game up.

5. Power

Your ability to enforce your will upon your kids or a group of kids without causing physical harm or streams of tears.

6. Speed

The more quickly you can change diapers, make lunches, fold laundry, and wash dishes the more sleep you can get.

7. Coordination

The ability of a parent to drop off and pick up multiple kids at multiple locations, inside a narrow time frame

…or simply your ability to hold a baby, 10 bags of groceries {because clearly taking more than 1 trip to the car is for the weak}, and open the door without breaking any eggs – or your baby!

8. Agility

This refers to a parent’s innate ability to dodge flying objects…while maneuvering over a minefield of lego pieces…while carrying a steaming hot cup of coffee without spilling it all over yourself, the carpet, or {most importantly} your child.

9. Balance

Your ability to discipline and enforce rules all the while making sure that your child knows that they are cared for and loved.

10. Accuracy

The ability to keep your children focused and on task – this is most challenging when homework and chores are concerned.


I’ll leave you with this :: Greg Glassman, the mastermind behind CrossFit, implemented simple and effective methods marked by quotes and mantras that are easy to remember. The best and most famous example of Glassman’s methodology is World-Class Fitness in 100 Words {see right hand side-bar}, which I have re-written as it relates to parenting.  Disclaimer :: I am not claiming to be a world class parent – these are just my observations of world-class parents that I have been fortunate enough to learn from.

World Class Parenting in 100-Words

Keep plenty of diapers, wipes, pacifiers, and snacks handy, and be careful when using words like bedtime, bath-time, and Barney.
Be excellent at cooking, cleaning, singing, and dancing.
Master the art of listening; don’t ever say yes or nod your head if you didn’t hear the question.
Keep discipline consistent and never play favorites. Attend every recital, play, swim meet, and game.
You must be quick on your feet and slow to anger, and keep your eyes out for any sort of danger.
Working twenty-four hours and seven days per week, we as parents must agree we will not critique. 
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Amy S
Amy was born and raised in Northern California before moving to the Houston area in 2003. Amy has a degree in Corporate and Organizational Communication from the University of Houston - where she met her husband Tate, a former football player for the Cougars and current CrossFit gym owner. Amy and Tate enjoyed their first year of marriage as Inner-Loopers before moving out to the suburbs to start a family. Caroline joined their family in September 2012, and life has never been the same since! Aside from her job as mom, Amy works full-time as an English teacher at the junior high level. She loves fresh air, online shopping, baking, and finding new things to do in and around Houston. Amy writes at New Mom Problems where she chronicles her life as a California girl living in Texas, motherhood, being a wife, and teaching middle school.


  1. I love this post! I love the analogy between CrossFit and parenting! I’m reminded daily of the life experiences which have prepared me (kind of) for motherhood! I can feel your passion for both your work and your role as a father in this post!


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