Abby’s Challenge

Challenges are awesome. It’s so cool to see a bunch of you using CrossFit to take on these challenges that not only tackle mental demons, but also greatly improve your work capacity. Abby Campbell made a decision to do as 100 day burpee challenge (1 burpee on the first day, 2 on the second, 3 on the third, etc. until she reached 100). I can’t tell you how proud I am of Abby’s progress since she started here at CrossFit Fenway. She had a free trial with me back at the old box a year ago and was a bit more timid then. In one year of consistently showing up at CFF Abby has transformed everything. From her body, strength, stamina, and most importantly, her mind, she is a completely different person to me in the best way possible. In her own words, Abby wrote about her why’s, how’s, and positive results she truly got from making the decision to commit and take on a challenge.  From Abby:


As many of you may know, I have been doing a 100-day burpee challenge for well, 100 days.  You may have seen my name written on the goals board, or have seen me doing them endlessly after the 6:30am WODs.  Today is finally the last day of my self-imposed challenge and almost my one-year anniversary of signing up for CrossFit. With the challenge over, I have done 5,050 burpees.  This time last year, there was no way I could have even thought about doing something like this.

The challenge was simple enough: I started with 1 burpee on Day 1, 2 burpees on Day 2, and added one more burpee each day after that.  If I missed a day, I had to make it up the next, along with that day’s round (Not something you want to do on Day 90, as I regrettably found out!).

A lot of people asked me why I decided to do this, and the answer is also simple- I wanted to prove I could make a commitment to myself, and I was also inspired by a friend, who also undertook this journey.

100 days ago, I was reading a Facebook status from Troy Singer, a friend from home who also does CrossFit.  He was taking on this same challenge and talking about it on Facebook.  At first, I didn’t pay much attention.  Then, I started seeing more posts on Troy’s progress as he was using Facebook to journal his experience.  I thought it was pretty inspiring that he kept going, even though he was traveling a lot for work and was involved in so many other things outside of CrossFit.  He really had to MAKE time to do this once he got up into the higher numbers.

Right around this time, I had asked Eric about the possibility of competing this year.  He agreed that it was a good goal, but said I still had a lot of things to work on…. And he was right.  He also offered some suggestions for how to improve, but the thing he said that stood out to me was pick a specific skill and work on it. There were so many choices- double unders, rope climbs, handstand push ups, pull ups- all things that keep me from RX’ing many of the WODs, and keeping me from being a CrossFit competitor.  But, instead of starting with these, I decided to start with my mental state.  I needed to prove to myself more than anything that I could stick with something for an extended period of time, no matter what.  Even something as simple as a burpee- a move I did in my very first WOD at Fenway.  No excuses, no “I just didn’t have time”, no “I don’t feel good”, and no “I can’t”.  And so I put my hands down on the ground- Day 1 accomplished.

What I didn’t think about when I first started was how my personal journey would affect other people.  I started to talk about what I was doing first with my family, then some friends and coworkers.  Then I started to post more actively on Facebook.  I mostly did this just to keep myself accountable.  If other people were watching (even if they just scrolled by it on their news feeds), I would be less likely to give up on the challenge.

Then, all of a sudden, I started to get more “likes” on my posts, not a lot, but some.  But, as I got into the higher numbers, I noticed others became more curious about what I was doing, and some people even decided to take on challenges of their own- whether it was the full 100-day challenge, or other variations, such as the 1000 burpees in January challenge several of our own members took on.  Most of my office was doing it (including my boss), some of my family members (including my aunt in Utah) and a handful of friends from around the country (including my boyfriend’s cousin in Minnesota).


The funny thing was I thought nobody was really paying attention; I was just doing my thing and trying to hold myself accountable for staying with it.  I didn’t mind if anyone else cared (I mean, lots of people go to the gym and then talk about it on Facebook- I knew I wasn’t special)- I was doing this for me.  So, you can imagine my amazement at the support I have received, especially from my friends I have made over the course of this year at CrossFit Fenway – the wonderful complements and words of encouragement also helped me stay committed to my goal.  For this, I can’t thank you all enough.

And to think, on my first day of CrossFit, I faced 40 burpees in the WOD, and by the time I was done, I was in tears.  Special thanks to Erika for making me finish and encouraging me to come back and try it again.  It worked.

In reflecting on the last 365 days since CrossFit has been in my life, I have realized how far I have come.  Not only have I lost some weight, developed better eating habits, but I feel like I have regained my mental edge that had gotten lost somewhere along the way.  365 days ago, I would not have believed I could do a 100-day burpee challenge, or even consider doing a competition.

On Day 100, I am going to do another post, and for every “like” I get, my boyfriend, Kris, has said he will do 1 burpee.  For each burpee we both do, we have decided to make a dollar donation to Steve’s Club, which is an organization that provides resources to underprivileged and at-risk youth so that they can also experience CrossFit.  I know what CrossFit has done for me, so it only makes sense to pay it forward to someone else who may not have access to it otherwise.

After Day 100, I will move on to another skill- rope climbs perhaps, or working on my front squat form.  There are still so many things I can improve, but after completing this challenge I feel like I am just a little bit closer to that goal than I was 100 days ago.

February 27, 2013
 Hang Snatch 3-3-3-3-3

Overhead Squats (95#/65#)
Lateral Burpees Over Barbell
Kettlebell Swings (32kg/24kg)

Vote for CrossFit Fenway! Each of the last 3 years CrossFit Fenway was voted Best Health Club in the Boston Phoenix Best Poll.  This year we’re going for the 4-peat!  CLICK HERE to vote for CrossFit Fenway as the Best Health Club (in the Shopping category) for 2013.  Vote for any of your other local favorites too, click submit, enter your name and e-mail address, then click submit again to cast your vote (once per day per e-mail address).  Show your CFF pride, and help us defend our title!

Scotty Rum’s Karaoke Night Fundraiser… With a Twist!  On March 9th Scott Rumrill is hosting a HUGE karaoke night at Copperfield’s, next to CrossFit Fenway.  Admission is $20, and all proceeds go to Scott’s fundraising effort for the American Liver Foundation.  The twist?  Sure, you can just do some good ol’ fashioned karaoke, or for a $5 donation you can pick a song and the person who sings it!  Immunity from being chosen to sing is available for an additional $10 donation at the door.  There will also be delicious barbecue courtesy of SoulFire.  If you can’t make it, but would still like to donate, Scott’s fundraising page is here.

  20 comments for “Abby’s Challenge

  1. Sam B
    February 27, 2013 at 8:19 am

    Congrats on achieving your challenge goal Abby, and for all that you have achieved so far. awesome to read your post.
    hang snatch: 53kg great coaching from Sam today. I feel like some progress was made.
    wod: 15:45 rx. all mental. move faster dammit.

    • Ab Bee Cee
      February 27, 2013 at 10:28 am

      Thank you Sam! :)

  2. Laura Espo
    February 27, 2013 at 9:48 am

    Great post and super inspiring achievement! Congrats!

    Hang snatch: 25kg. Form is too jenky on these to move up in weight but thanks to sam for the good cues.

    WOD: 15:36 with modifications.

    • Ab Bee Cee
      February 27, 2013 at 10:29 am

      Thanks Laura!

  3. Brooke Ilene
    February 27, 2013 at 10:36 am

    Abby, YOU’RE A FORCE!! We are so incredibly proud of you!! Way to set your mind to something and then get after it, not for anyone else, but for yourself. Amazing. Remember running that day and the “I don’t know your name but you did GREAT!!” speech? Look at how far you’ve come. I am so lucky that you wandered into CrossFit because not only do I love working out with you, but our friendship and kitchen dancing is my favorite.

    Hang Power Snatch: 45 kg…50 didn’t reach past my shoulders. Put it on my tab.

    WOD: 16:12 rx

    It was a sweaty one! Whoot.

    • Ab Bee Cee
      February 27, 2013 at 10:46 am

      Thank you love! You are the best! And I DO remember that day- I was a hot mess and you were so nice to me! haha!
      peace. love. and kitchen dancing.

  4. Brooke Ilene
    February 27, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Correction: Hang Snatch.

  5. Ab Bee Cee
    February 27, 2013 at 10:40 am

    Thanks Erika for the kind words, and for encouraging me to write this post. You have been a great mentor to me in the year since I have been here.
    Thanks to the rest of the coaching staff too for your patience, encouragement and fun times.

    As an update, I got 100 likes on my post about the challenge the other day- which resulted in my boyfriend (who had never done a burpee before in his life) having to do 100 of them in a day. We also are making a $200 donation to Steve’s Club because we collectively did 200 burpees total. It feels good to be done, but I am glad I stuck with it.

    Hang Snatch: 35kg
    WOD: 16:25 RX

  6. Scott R
    February 27, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Nice work Abby. It was fun to watch you power through all those burpees day in and out. Your grit and determination to get them done should be an inspiration to us all. I don’t know if I’ll ever do a 100 burpee challenge, but it certainly helps me to get through my volume training. So glad to be there on the last day when you finished. Nice work!

    Hang Snatch: 115# – it wasn’t really pretty, but it was a 3-rep PR
    WOD: 17:30 Rx. Fun WOD!

  7. Elyse
    February 27, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Go Abby! Great job!

  8. Amy W.
    February 27, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Congrats Abby!

    HPS: 32k

    WOD: 14:34 Rx

  9. Mike G.
    February 27, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    HS – 60kg then back down in weight to work on snatching and squatting with it.

    WOD – 15:19 Rx. This was much more difficult than I thought it would be. And doing burpees after ohs hurts the wrists.

  10. POPE
    February 27, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    congrats, Abby! well done!

    HS – 50kg (new PR!)

    WOD – 16:53 (should not have gone all out on that first round of 10…)

    nice work, 7am!

    also, congrats to Lilly on getting accepted to grad school and further confirming her eventual departure from our lovely box… no, i am not tearing up.

  11. Brennan
    February 27, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Great job Abby! Couldn’t make it in to WOD today, but wanted to thank you for encouraging me and inspiring me regularly at the box ;0

  12. Ab Bee Cee
    February 27, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    Wow! Thank you all for the nice notes! You are all inspirations to me as well :)
    This has made my day!

  13. Tim
    February 27, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    Couldn’t make it in today either but wanted to join the chorus of congrats for Abby! This is what makes coming to crossfit so great – seeing people challenge themselves – and achieve things they never thought they would do. Brava!!

  14. Dan P.
    February 27, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    Abby, I tried this challenge a couple of years ago and ended up bailing in the 40’s due to a shoulder injury (unrelated to the burpees.) I never tried it again. Big ups to you for sticking with it. I couldn’t imagine missing a day in the 90’s. What a killer. That’s mental toughness.

    HPS: 115# – Then dropped to 95# and worked on form.
    WOD: 17:32 Rx – Mandy warned us this would be tough on the lower back, and that is my weakness. At the round of 6 my back really started to bother me. I pushed through it, and came in just under the cap. Wasn’t fun, but its done.

  15. Brian
    February 27, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    Hang snatch: 46 kg
    WOD: 3 Rx, so close and yet so far away

    Abby = AMAZING

    Good work 5:00!

  16. Kate
    February 27, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    Hang snatch 29kg (2 @ 30kg but failed on the 3rd)
    WOD: 17:05 (20kg ohs, 24kg kb–thanks Natalia for giving me the inspiration!)

  17. Ab Bee Cee
    March 4, 2013 at 9:26 am

    Just saw the rest of your comments today. Thank you again everyone. You are some of the nicest people I have ever met. Thank you for being such an inspiration to me :)

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