Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

roselena dl
Last Thursday, following the Great T-shirt Slogan Debate of 2009, StuLu sent me the message below in an email—a message he was about to post late that evening. After reading it, we both thought it too valuable to risk being lost in the comments section of some day’s post.

Rest today.


From StuLu:

Or, just maybe, MPH does not need a slogan, catchy t-shirt, or even a tag-line. As a marketing guy, I can tell you that tag-lines are merely a shtick. Not that a shtick is all that bad. Messages conveyed within the simplicity of half-Haiku in the “here is what we do to save your life” of corporate prose can indeed be powerful stuff. But, does it matter? And, more importantly, who gives a shit about a shocking t-shirt anymore. I can go to Urban Outfitters and choose between many examples that tout everything from sex with leprechauns all the way to the wonders of surfing in Nebraska. What does this mean? Who believes a t-shirt anyway? Surf in Nebraska?

Yes, I have come full-circle with this whole t-shirt thing. In some ways, I think that Steve said it best with “Nuff Said.” And that wasn’t even his slogan of choice! “Nuff Said” indeed.

We are witnessing history here. A revolution of sorts. What an honor it is that all of us, through the grace of coincidence, have come upon this time to be right smack here at the start. This does not come often to one’s life. And, while it is, in the context of things, of less historical importance than the discovery of penicillin (god knows my months in Bangkok can attest to that), it is still something that we can cherish as far more worthy than a one-liner on a t-shirt that becomes representative of our values to the general public.

A revolution is action upon the foundation of words, which is perhaps why I have decided that this does not feel right. Enough has been spoken. Why don’t we just do this thing? Does a revolution constitute parading through Georgetown with “Shaft Was a Pussy” on the back of our shirt?

We want to see John and Melody succeed—a given. But, we also want to see them succeed in a way that is as pure as what they give us each day. So, I have thought of alternative ways to do that; grassroots ways for us to bring more bodies to compete with, inspire us, make us laugh, and build more friendships than a t-shirt ever will—ultimately to ensure that we are not back in a year or two wasting away at Vida as we try and do “Fran” on our own.

  1. All of us should link each other on Facebook (the greatest niche marketing tool since the billboard) and begin to occasionally post about CrossFit MPH and some workout that kicked our ass. Our posts should be inclusive in nature. Too often we fall into the sphere of feeling we are doing something really badass, which is good in a sense (and true!), but what people really want to hear is that CrossFit MPH is welcoming to them. And, we are.
  2. Instead of our always telling people about how better we are than them as a result of the WOD we just crushed/survived, perhaps we could instead tell people that each day we have one hour that is an adventure in our lives…something that takes us briefly away from the crap we have to deal with on a routine basis. With that foundation, start pushing the Saturday Free BeginnersWorkout for everyone to try so as to experience it for themselves. Ask them: is their workout an adventure? Is it really fun? If yes, okay. If not, give them the CrossFit MPH alternative.
  3. For as much time as we spend thinking up tag-lines (me to blame more than anyone!) we could be cruising around CrossFit and Paleo-related forums to find the proper moments to mention CrossFit MPH. Search engines pull from website forums more than anything else…get on ’em!
  4. As we do things a bit better, with more confidence, or faster than before, don’t just say it is a result of CrossFit alone, but instead say it is a result of the elite fitness coaching we get at CrossFit MPH. We need to distinguish ourselves from the growing mainstream of the CrossFit world in that what we have here is something really special in John and Melody. CrossFit is the brand that drives their affiliate, but the quality of training is the destination that keeps us there. If we let them become just another CrossFit affiliate in the eyes of those who have yet to experience these same unknowest (I just made that word up) might well end up in another gym doing “CrossFit Lite And Wrong” as I was for a few years. From here on I don’t Crossfit…I do CrossFit MPH.
  5. Whenever I go to lululemon, which is quite often, I always mention to the nice attractive ladies there (who I do admit constantly undress me with their eyes) that I love CrossFit MPH and that “they are the best thing to come to the neighborhood since my favorite lululemon underwear!” (which I really do cherish as it compliments quite nicely my pelvic region). Little things go a long way in mentions. Perhaps John can even provide us with little cards that offer the introductory session on Saturdays as what will be perceived as a special “perk” that we can give away to people we meet, coworkers, friends, or even that special person whom you might take home from a bar one night and is commenting on your amazing stamina in bed: “Well, thank you…I get my sexual drive from CrossFit MPH…would you like to try it out for free?”
  6. Yes, we should wear t-shirts. Which is why I guess I don’t completely oppose the process, only the intent of delivery. We should wear them to one place only: to other gyms. I do sneak into Vida on some Friday evenings and Sundays for an ad-hoc workout, and I think of this as the absolute best place to spread the brand. It is the only worthwhile location. Anywhere else and I believe the concept to be lost. Well, I take that back—they might be very effective to wear while shopping the fine wares of lululemon.

More? Sure. We all have ideas. We all have voices. Scream out loud! We must rally to achieve the status for CrossFit MPH to the point that others are making a t-shirt about all of us (god, I really hope that someone doesn’t create some random StuLu logo that becomes the smiley face of a new generation).

I would love a new CrossFit MPH t-shirt. But, do I need a catch phrase? No, not necessarily. I really just need a lululemon version with “CrossFit MPH” on it, and in a nice spandexy fabric that compliments my ring-dipped pectoral region. (Did I just say that?) I better go talk to my friends at the P St. shop to see what they can do: “CrossFit MPH=Spandex Sexy.” I Like It! I guess what I am saying is that underneath this new shirt is an emperor of change, and by golly-by gosh we should bare it.

And, in the immortal words of Steve: “Nuff Said.”



  1. aschneidau | November 14, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    StuLu, you rock!! Your comments make me laugh! And I love Crossfit – even though I’m still new, weak, and often terrified of the WODs, I love it!

  2. tubameat | November 14, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    facebook me!
    my real name is Steve Dumaine

    keep squattin’!

  3. voidwhichbinds | November 14, 2009 at 11:42 pm

    Stulu rocks my world, he’s eloquent whether it’s a snarky fbomb during a pushpress or this remarkable post.

    Steve, um, that fb profile pic – um, wow.1

    My real name is why-did-i-eat-that-it-was-sorta-good-but-not-paleo-and-not-in-the-end-worth-it – aka Tod Companion

  4. jwood30 | November 15, 2009 at 12:24 am

    Stu, I love your uncompromising energy and love for our brand of crossfit. JW

  5. Rob | November 15, 2009 at 1:34 am

    Agreed. Although I would still like a T-shirt! I think there is something to wearing your “colors” around town.

    FB = Robert Keeling. My profile pic is me in an wig dancing in a 70s-theme party. You had to be there. Hit me up!

  6. Kimmie | November 15, 2009 at 6:22 am

    Very nicely said Stu although I am becoming uncomfortable w/ your pelvic region discussions. lol Just joking…kinda.

    FB=Kimberly Holden

  7. swimdra | November 15, 2009 at 7:28 am

    Nicely said as always stu and I certainly agree. We are not just any crossfit, we are crossfitMPH. As you said, that distinction is important because it recognizes how great John, Mel and BK are, and how hard they work to help us try and achieve greatness.

    FB- Sidra Carman

  8. train2live | November 15, 2009 at 7:28 am

    WOW! Excellent post Stu! I could not agree more with your comments and ideas. I think you have truly captured the essence of what makes Crossfit MPH so unique. Let’s start a revolution! One that is focused on Crossfit and specifically Crossfit MPH.

    We all write about it everyday here on this blog. How it has made a difference and why it is better than any other means of fitness training. Now lets tell everyone else.

    FB = David Olson

    I my profile under “info” I have a link to both the main Crossfit site and to Crossfit MPH

  9. jwood30 | November 15, 2009 at 7:42 am

    Just so everyone knows FB = Jeffrey Wood

  10. Jen M. | November 15, 2009 at 10:36 am

    my facebook is Jennifer Meyer McCue
    i will now friend you all 🙂

  11. Jen M. | November 15, 2009 at 10:46 am

    ok, i just friend requested everyone (well those I could find) through sean’s profile… oops. oh well, you know him too 🙂

  12. meghanmcnally | November 15, 2009 at 10:47 am

    I think we should start a mph page on facebook too! And on fb, it’s meghan mcnally…

    • coach | November 15, 2009 at 6:42 pm

      In a word, “no.”


  13. elaxtell | November 15, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Thanks, Stu — I always enjoy reading your posts and this one is truly great! FB = Erin Axtell Hirota

  14. StuLu | November 15, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    You know…the wonderful hidden surprise in this uprising is that we all, for the first time, have full names. And, will now have our daily adventure with a bit more understanding of each other and the lives we lead. The greatest friendships I have built in life have been with the most unlikely of people in that we came together amidst shared interests/experiences.

    My Name is Stuart Holbrook. And I love you all.

  15. ashacooper | November 15, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    Agree with everything said!

    FB=Michelle Asha Cooper

    P.S. Will return this week! Missed the workouts a lot. I’ve been trying to keep up with my burpees.

  16. Mrs. Finkenstadt | November 15, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    Fantastic post StuLu (Stululululemon???)

    I think you all already know this but FB- Ivy Finkenstadt

    • coach | November 15, 2009 at 6:49 pm

      You got it, Ivy–StuLulemon. “StuLu” for short. It should now be clear to all how (and why) Mel, B-kay and I gave him the nickname…


  17. StuLu | November 15, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    I have never accepted so many Facebook friends in one day since I declared myself as a candidate for President! (That was 4 people for the record)

    This is amazing…even more so that I can see now a bit of who you all are outside of sweat and strength. Not that it matters..and it doesn’t. But, wow, what an amazing group of unique people – and what better than MPH to open the door for DC to allow for a bit more of an open dialogue in the wondrous diversity that we all are.

    I am off to KC, MO in the morning for an unexpected client meeting. Back on Tuesday at 5…can’t wait to see Steve eventually to give him shit about his FB picture.


  18. sub10NARF | November 15, 2009 at 7:30 pm


    Another stellar post. As you point out, the purpose of the t-shirt, at least in part, is to promote MPH, which means wearing it outside of MPH. So many of the suggestions (including my own), while funny, witty, edgy, etc., smack of elitism, and MPH is anything but that. Coach Main and I used to talk about how absurd a lot of the chatter is on the main site – the non Crossfit related stuff; not that there isn’t a place for reasoned discourse on politics, gun control, the economy, etc., but somehow arguing that because you Crossfit you have to subscribe to some particular viewpoint, or because you Crossfit you automatically have credibility on such issues, is absurd. Crossfit is about creating elite athletes, not about fostering elitism.

    We all believe in Crossfit, and more specifically the MPH brand of Crossfit.

    I’m belaboring the point, I know, so I will get to it. While I am a fan of a bunch of the suggestions, and likely would buy whatever the next iteration of the t-shirt looks like, depending on what the slogan ends up being, it may not get much rotation in my “wear in public” wardrobe.

    We all want Crossfit MPH to continue to grow, and with people who believe in what John and Mel have built and who will add to the incredible community that John and Mel foster. Perhaps proclaiming our superiority isn’t the best way to do that.

    I know that the window has closed on suggested slogans, but if the point is to spread the word about MPH, something as simple as
    “Crossfit MPH – Ask Me” might be the type of message that John and Mel want to send. And to be clear, a number of the suggested slogans absolutely convey that very simple, but important, message.

    See you on FB.

    John Socknat

  19. StuLu | November 15, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    John…well said. You are a very eloquent writer as well!

  20. StuLu | November 15, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    The hits keep coming: I just discovered that Koji and I…though distant in our interaction…are closer than we thought. We are both avid Whitewater Kayakers and actually share some similar “yet to be MPH” friends. Six degrees of separation from Koji anyone?

    • voidwhichbinds | November 16, 2009 at 8:26 am

      StuLu –

      You bring your kayak, i’ll bring my whitewater canoe, let’s throw a crossfit mph paddle party next spring!


  21. aschneidau | November 15, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    my Facebook is Amy Schneidau!

  22. IWant2GetStronger | November 15, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    Hey folks. My fb is Neil Austriaco MPH crossfit = ask me. I like that

  23. cjsiegel | November 16, 2009 at 9:44 am

    Well put stu…very well done. I’m new to the MPH community, but immediately felt the pulse of the sense of respect, teamwork and community from my first WOD. Here’s to being challenged and growing stonger. I couldn’t ask for any better.
    FB=Christine Laing

  24. Jenny J. | November 17, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    Thank you Stu for the well written, thoughtful post. I agree that no slogan is necessary and no slogan can really do crossfit MPH justice. we’re so much more than a tagline.

    FB = Jennifer Jeremias 🙂


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