Last but not least… the 18.5 Highlight Reel

18.5 is over. The Reebok 2018 CrossFit Open is finished. We did it. We made it. Dave Castro did not defeat us. We will survive.

Here are the 18.5 highlights:

  • Andi Lozano scaled on Friday, and came in Monday to bust it out RX. She wanted to get past the round of 9 and got to the pullups on the round of 12.
  • Shannon Frawley got her first chest to bar during warmup, and then did 4 more in the workout!
  • Jordan Elder’s goal was to hold his spot in 10th, and he absolutely did. Check that leaderboard, Jordan!
  • Kim Hernandez’s goal was to get to the round of 12. She got to the round of 18.  
  • Haley and Whitney were tied going into 18.5, and Whitney pulled out two extra reps to push her ahead. Both performances were truly heroic!
  • Gerry Flynn got a whopping 64 reps, fell asleep immediately after, and then told his doting wife that “maybe 3 glasses of champagne at brunch weren’t a good idea”. Brunch so hard.
  • Justin made it to pullups in the round of 21. Need we say more?


Bonus highlights!!

  • Haley Hall is sooooo cloooooose to a muscle up we can taste it. Keep at it, Haley!
  • Steven Harmon got his first bar muscle up!


What are the standings?

Women’s RX

Men’s RX

Women’s Scaled

Men’s Scaled

Women’s Masters

Men’s Masters

The year’s Open was such a fun one. We had so many people dragging their feet on signups, dreading Friday Night Lights, not knowing what to expect, who then came to love every week.

You are the real MVPs.

There were a lot of firsts — first muscle ups, first double unders, first RX’d workout, first Open back from 2 years of injuries… but you know what’s neat? These firsts are exactly what they are: firsts. Not lasts. You guys (slash we all) grew substantially throughout this Open Season, and the tone it’s set for the remainder of the year is exciting!!

CrossFit is fun, but community is better. And we sure do have a lot of good people inside the walls of CrossFit Renew.

Now, rest! Recover. And get ready for a whole new Renew.

18.4 Highlight Reel

If the CrossFit Open workout 18.4 were a Friends episode title, it would be “The one with all the deadlifts.”  Also, when’s the last time you bear crawled? 5th grade PE? Same. If you ask Hroch for a recap of 18.4, his response is simply “James killed it.”


End of blog.


Have a good Wednesday.

Just kidding. Here are the highlights!

  • James. Because he did all strict HSPU and we are not worthy.
  • “Andi Lozano’s bear crawl was UNBELIEVABLE! I literally thought there was an animal in the gym!” – Becca Harris
  • On the flip side, Becca forgot to breath the whole time and Andi had to yell at her to remind her so she didn’t perish.
  • Randel finished the second, heavy set of 21 deads and knocked them out in pretty big sets because of course she did.
  • Hroch was our only guy that got to the handstand walks! He finished the first set, and got into the set of 15 deadlifts before he was capped.
  • Becky, Whitney and McKenzie got into the last set of handstand pushups on Diane!
  • Tyler got no repped more than he wanted to and got mad for maybe the first time in his life. He’s a real human, y’all.
  • Gerry Flynn did the first set of 21 deadlifts in 28 seconds and then went for breakfast tacos.


What are the standings?

Women RX

Men RX

Women Scaled

Men Scaled

Masters Women

Masters Men

God bless our strong hamstrings and weird recovery issues (does anyone have neck soreness? Burst blood vessels in their face? From HSPU? No? Just McKenzie?). It’s the 5th and final week of the Open, y’all. Let’s finish strong and, perhaps most importantly, let’s get ready to party. Come hang out at Coach Becky’s house after the final heat on Friday (or go home, tend to your dogs/children, then come back) for jams, drinks, eats, and awards. Yep, there are awards.


18.3 Highlight Reel

18.3 was technical, it was gymnasty, and it pointed out lots of weaknesses that most of us have. Double unders, overhead squats, muscle ups…the only thing that could have made it worse would have been squat snatches.

Despite Dave Castro’s efforts to defeat us, the Renew Crew showed up strong! Every time there are skills like this, there is bound to be at least one person that gets something for the first time. And you better believe we had more than one!

Here are the highlights:

  • The ever dominant Randel attempted a million ring muscle ups, and got her first one with 2 seconds to spare. The 8am was RILED up! (she also redid it and got 3 cause she’s Randel)
  • Ryan Kirwin has been so close to getting his muscle up for months. He didn’t get past the second set of double unders, but at 14:00, just for kicks, jumped up and got it on his first try!
  • Andi Lozano scaled and did pull-ups (with grace and ease) and was only 8 reps away from completing both rounds! That’s probably the most pull-ups she’s ever done in a workout!
  • Steven Harmon has been working on double unders since birth probably and was only 2 reps away from finishing the second set of 100! That is 198 double unders! We will be awarding him a medal because we have been anxiously awaiting this day.
  • Frank Brown wanted to do the actual scale, and did regular pull-ups. One at a time, slow and steady.
  • Whitney Furrh got two ring muscle ups after not having done them for a few years and was very excited, as she should have been.
  • Zach Lozano wasn’t satisfied with his performance, so went back for round two Saturday morning, getting to the second set of double unders in the second round (the farthest anyone got)!
  • Because of the previous highlight, Hroch also redid it. He didn’t beat Zach, but he did beat his previous tiebreaker and got further than before!
  • McKenzie and Becky did muscle ups in a workout for the first time, and had the BEST cheer squad. Every time they were on top of the rings, everyone lost their minds and it was amazing.
  • A few honorable mentions that will be getting muscle ups very soon are as follows: Haley Hall, Becca Harris, Jordan Elder, Tyler Daniel, Jack Furrh. Your time will come.


What are the standings?

Women RX

Men RX

Women Scaled

Men Scaled

Women Masters

Men Masters (Mike wanted everyone to know how he has been doing, so pay special attention to this section)

Now, on behalf of all of the Renew staff, we would like to close this blog with a quick, “I told you so.”

We told you that you would be pushed. We told you that you would be challenged. We told you that you would do cool things you didn’t know you could ever do. We told you our community would rally and cheer and celebrate everyone’s accomplishments. We dadgum told you so. You can thank us later.

But for real, it’s workouts like this that make CrossFit so special. We are so proud of all of you and beyond grateful for this community that is CrossFit Renew. Working out is cool…but you all are cooler.

We are past the halfway mark. Gear up for 18.4 and see you there!

18.2 Highlight Reel

We harp on Friday Night Lights and how special of a time it is, and this Friday truly was a great representation of what all the hype is about. There were buzzer beaters. There were PRs. There was so much cheering. And there was Dave Matthews Band.

Here are some highlights:

  • Ari Romano stood up his only clean at 12:00 on the dot! Tyler and James came out of nowhere, threw his weight on for him as he stepped up to the bar. True teamwork right there.
  • Who PR’d you ask?
    • Sadie hit a 155# power clean, 15# more than her pre-surgery lift!
    • Whitney hit her pre-surgery PR at 135#, which is 15# heavier than she’d ever done post-surgery!
    • Val Harmon PR’d by 10# at 115# and did it despite her bad day at work. #athlete #gainz
  • Jess Rhodes has always done step back burpees, and mentally had to make herself jump back with two feet. She got all of them with zero no-reps!
  • Frank Brown rolled in at 7:15p to compete alone at 7:30p. He warmed up a little, people lined the wall to watch, we cued up some requested Dave Matthews Band, and he got to work. He finished his last barbell facing burpee at 11:55, went for the clean while everyone lost their minds. For the full story, check out our Instagram post! It truly was heroic.

So what are the standings? Check them out below:

Women RX:

Men RX:

Women Scaled:

Men Scaled:

This week was a poignant reminder of what an incredible community we have. It’s easy to forget that in the hustle and bustle of growing membership and newly built spaces, but we love you guys so much and are so happy you’re a part of Renew.

Three more weeks, y’all! Let’s get ready to roll again on Friday!

Friday Night Lights: 18.1 Recap

One down, 4 more to go. 18.1 was… cute. Our shoulders are bruised, our forearms are sore, but clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose, amirite?

We are so proud of you guys. You came, you saw, you wanted to turn around and remove your name from the heat sheet, but instead you conquered. All we can do week over week is just that: show up and work hard. Just like these people! Peep the highlights:

  • Jess Guevara did 18.1 on Friday, felt really defeated by it, so decided to re-do it with her mind right. For her, it wasn’t so much that she wanted to do the workout again, but she wanted to feel like she owned it. She got 51 more reps than her first attempt. So, take that Castro. #owned
  • Luke Voss kept it slow and steady with singles on toes to bar, ripped most of his hand and bled everywhere, but just like his temperament, he stayed consistent and finished RX at 171 reps.
  • Our favorite flexi girl, Andi Lozano, was so nervous coming into the workout and planned to scale. After warming up, (and some coaxing… I mean coaching), she completed the workout RX and  CRUSHED IT.
  • Sadie Flynn had knee surgery like… not even two weeks ago and completed the workout scaled, but like… she got almost 330 reps not two weeks out of surgery, so…wow.
  • The 8am crew showed up with guns blazing and sarcasm flying, per usual. They also were responsible and didn’t drink mimosas afterwards, but what they don’t know is that they will this week.  
  • Headmaster Hroch  came in on Monday during open gym talking some smack about how he wasn’t going to re-attempt the workout. He then proceeded to do some Good Will Hunting math on the board to figure out what split times he needed to get 12 rounds, still saying he wasn’t sure if he was going to re-do it, then obviously re-did it, and improved his score by 22 reps.


So what are the current standings? Am I going to Regionals?

You can always check the leaderboard whenever you want by logging into your account here. But or these recap blogs, we will keep you posted with the top 10 each week in both divisions.

Women RX:

Men RX:

Women Scaled:

Men Scaled:


Regardless of what the leaderboards say week over week, you guys are forever the best. Thanks for not only working super hard, but for helping us stay organized and keeping things running smoothly!

The Renew Crew is the best crew. Stay hydrated this week, eat clean (and eat enough!), stay stretchy, and we’ll see everyone again in a few days for 18.2!

Why I’m #InTheOpen: the Guevaras

Even though Jess and Patrick are still pretty new to the ~CrOssFiT UniVeRsE~, they’re still down to clown in The Open. When we asked them why they’re #intheopen, they responded separately but with basically the same answer because they are super spouses. Check it:   

“Because peer pressure.

But really, because of the community. We have loved getting to be a part of this weird group of people, and the FOMO of not going to Friday Night Lights was just too great! Patrick and I are still really new to Crossfit, so I have no idea what to expect from the Open— in my head it’s basically doing Murph once a week for a month. That sounds terrible. But I love this group! And even in our short time doing crossfit, I feel like I’ve done so much stuff I NEVER thought I’d be able to do. I’ve seen wonderful improvements in my strength and endurance and flexibility, and part of that is because I’ve had you guys around me, cheering me on through the workouts. So the unknown, daunting challenge of the Open seems much more doable because we’ll be surrounded by our Crossfit family. And in this kind of setting, gathering every week to cheer and push each other, the challenge of the Open seems worth it. Even if it is doing Murph once a week for a month*—  you guys are worth it!

*If the open is Murph every week, I 100% quit, but will be there very Friday night to cheer you guys on. -Jess”

Sidebar: Each week will not be Murph. You know, unless Dave Castro decides that it is. And then every week will unfortunately be Murph. But probably (hopefully) not. But also maybe.

“Why am I #InTheOpen? Honestly, the community. Everybody says the Open is a ton of fun and even though the workouts are terrible, we’re all struggling together. The people are what makes this box great. I’m looking forward to pushing myself and cheering on everybody else as they do something they didn’t think they could. I’m most excited about setting a baseline that I can try to beat next year and the year after that.” –Patrick

P.S. We are not sorry about the peer pressure.

IF YOU HAVE STILL NOT SIGNED UP FOR THE OPEN, GET ON IT. It’s going to be so fun and so great and so hard but so fun and so great.

Why I’m #InTheOpen: the Lozanos

We all know Zach Lozano as Hroch’s younger, cooler arch nemesis. He’s been a member at Renew for a long time, and is definitely the one on the leaderboard that everybody loves to chase. Or roll their eyes in disbelief. It’s hard to say!! Zach’s no stranger to The Open, so you can bet yer butt he’ll be setting the tone for Hroch there too.

Zach’s wife, Andi, while a newcomer to the CrossFit community, is quickly climbing her way up the leaderboard — workout by workout. A yogi and mobility connoisseur, she’s bendier than we’ll ever be. And guess what? She’s signed up for her very first Open.

Read more on Zach and Andi’s “Why”:

“I am a terrible wordsmith, and honestly don’t know why I am doing the open. I guess peer pressure is effective.  I think Andi is writing something up though.”



“When the first announcement for The Open came, I, like many of us, immediately thought: “I’m not doing that.” I came up with every excuse on the planet:

I’ve only been doing CrossFit for 6 months.

I didn’t start CrossFit to compete.

I’m not strong enough.

I’m going to look like a fool compared to everyone else.

I can’t do *insert movement here*.

I don’t like drinking beer after I workout.

Blah, blah, blah.

But after all the negative self-talk, I gave myself a minute to think. I started CrossFit as a way to aid me in my yoga practice. During my yoga teacher training, I was about one month into my CrossFit journey, so I was basically sore 24/7. I got really frustrated when yoga teachers would queue a pose for “tight shoulders”, but my muscles were literally too tight to even get into the pose and too fatigued and sore to even hold it. It made yoga frustrating and not enjoyable.

So I let my body be the teacher instead, and I learned how to use yoga as way to make it feel better. It became more and more apparent to me that I wanted to bring yoga to the CrossFit community to 1) recover well, 2) increase mobility & body awareness, 3) build a fiery core!

I registered for The Open so I could essentially feel the pain, lol. I can make an educated guess on how to recover from a workout based on the muscles that were worked, but there is something to be said about feeling the fatigue myself. Feeling intimidated about registering for The Open is an understatement, but I’m a firm believer that you should never let fear be in driver’s seat. I’m #InTheOpen to be a better yoga instructor. I’m #InTheOpen to be a better CrossFitter. I’m #InTheOpen to be challenged, to push past mental limits, and to be a part of the best community in Austin.”


There you have it. Zach, you know you love competition. Andi, we are so freaking proud of you for joining us. You won’t regret it!

Why I’m #InTheOpen: Becca, Becky, and Becca

You’ve heard from the Flynns, you’ve heard from Russ, and now it’s time for all the ~Bex~ in our gym to band together in solidarity for The Open.

Sorry, that was dramatic.

Anyway, we tapped all the Rebeccas in our gym for why they’re #InTheOpen

Presenting: Becca Harris, better known as DJ LaRae, Becca Matimba, and Coach Becky! We almost didn’t have Matimba, but she was able to be coerced and we are so excited to see her move some weight! No holding back on those deadlifts (or literally anything) this time, Becca!

Why she’s #InTheOpen, ft. DJ LaRae

“First, It’s FUN! I love having all of us together! You get to hang with people from all the other classes that you don’t regularly get to see. Yes people are watching, but it’s also encouraging because people are cheering you on! And of course you get see people accomplish cool stuff like PR’s. And i have heard the music is pretty good too.

Second, it’s a good benchmark. You will most likely do something in the open that you have never done before – and you will try something you have never tried before – and you will remember it. I remember when Becky got her first bar muscle up, when Cara deadlifted 155 lots of times and 155 had been higher than her previous 1 rep max. It’s a good test of where you are actually at and it’s fun to celebrate!”

*Also we just got word that DJ LaRae will, in fact, be dropping sick beats for us during Friday Night Lights. Let’s rage. *air horn x4*

Why she’s #InTheOpen, ft. Becca Matimba

“I joined Crossfit a year ago. I would’ve laughed in your face if you said I’d be Olympic weightlifting, running 5Ks, learning about functional fitness and being apart of a crazy/supportive fitness community dedicated to excellence.

I joined the Open because honestly it scares me and every coach wouldn’t stop talking it. I’m fairly logical and always expressive so I weighed my pros and cons. Having parents that set the bar high and playing sports growing up instilled a high-esteem for winning, but also a fear of failure/humiliation. I don’t want to do something while still being a rookie, it warrants a lot of failure. Sounds depressing (it is) but I’m always internally analyzing the odds. But, fear isn’t something to let rule my life and it ain’t real. So I’m facing that false fear and just going to do my best, have some fun, because ultimately it’s about progress not perfection.

Also, granting full permission to remind and yell this at me mid-WOD when I want to quit and bolt out the door because it hurts.”

Why she’s #InTheOpen, ft. a very succinct Coach Becky

“I do the open every year to challenge myself physically and mentally in a way that is different from just an everyday workout. But my favorite part, and the reason I would tell people to do it, is because Friday Night Lights is a blast and hanging out and cheering each other on is a great way to build up the community in our gym!”

The Bex have spoken. Time to step up and sign up. Leggo!

The Open: In Like Flynn


Because we aren’t kidding about wanting every single available member of our gym to sign up for The Open, we’re gonna spam you from our blog, too. Every week (…ish) we’re gonna feature some folks talking about why they’re #InTheOpen. From coaches to noobs to long-time veterans. Everyone has their reason, and our hope is that their reasons may inspire those of you on the fence to go ahead and hop off on the fun side.

This week? The Flynns tell us why they’re #InTheOpen:

“I am 100% the type of athlete whom Becky Wickes loves to hate. I looooove doing the things I’m good at, and — if left to my own devices — I do what I can to avoid working on the things I’m not so good at.

It’s what makes me a really, really great coach.

Anyway, I emphasize “left to my own devices” because I discovered this nugget of information about myself early on in my CrossFit career. As such, I have to make a conscious effort to work on the stuff I suck at (or the ones I just don’t like). Because I know it makes me a more well-rounded CrossFit athlete. I force myself to go to the WODs I don’t want to go to (albeit I complain the entire time), and I make Becky do gymnasty-dominant workouts with me because she gives me grief if I slack. Forced accountabilibuddy!

The same rules apply to me and The Open. I know there will be movements I am not proficient at, but I also know that by putting myself in situations outside of my comfort zone I’m getting a little bit better with every workout. My pride keeps me from being the best I can be, and by registering for The Open (the scaled version, mind you) I can tell my pride to sit down and see what my body is capable of.”

– Sadie Flynn

“My first year of doing CrossFit, I didn’t register for The Open because I thought “Why would I pay more money to do a workout?” but I still attended the Friday Night Lights workouts to hang out/because Sadie made me. What I found was an incredibly energetic environment — full of friends cheering each other on and then immediately drinking beer. I was sold after one Friday Night Lights. In subsequent years I have (still somewhat begrudgingly) registered, worked out, hated the workout, but had fun talking about how terrible the workout was and drinking beer with all the friends as I watch the next heat suffer through it.”

– Gerry Flynn

Register for The Open, y’all. Just click here, give Greg Glassman $20, and let the good times roll.



Friday Night Lights: what and why

Not to be confused with Friday Night Lights, one of the greatest television dramas featuring love, loss, Texas Football, and Taylor Kitsch to ever grace your eyeballs. When it comes to CrossFit, Friday Night Lights is the single best part of The Open.

What is Friday Night Lights?

Well, first, if you are still like, “What’s the Open?” read this. Basically, every Thursday for 5 weeks, CrossFit HQ releases a workout. As Open competitors, we have until Monday at 5pm PT to do the workout however many times we want and submit our scores to “the man” (CF HQ aka Dave Castro aka Greg Glassman). But Friday Night Lights is our chance to complete this workout as a gym family.

How will it work?

Every Friday evening, the gym will be set up with whatever is needed for the workout. You will already be assigned to a heat, and another member or coach will be assigned to be your official judge. Their job is to count your reps and make sure they are each to standard. You will come in, warm-up, and compete when it’s time for your heat. You will most likely lay on the ground for a while afterwards, and then get up and cheer your head off for the next heat.

That sounds overwhelming. What’s so great about it?

Hands down, one of the best things about CrossFit Renew is our community. And Friday Night Lights is one of the biggest community-cultivating events of the entire year. Sure you’re participating in a worldwide event (nbd), but you’re doing it with your buds, pals, workout comrades, arch nemeses, and for some — significant others by your side.

CrossFit technically is more of an individual sport, but as a gym, we are a team. There will be cheering. There will be a DJ. There will be matching shirts. There will probably be food and beer if Hroch has anything to say about it. There is a buzz about this event that is like nothing you experience in class the rest of the year.

Has anything cool ever happened at Friday Night Lights?

Yes. Every year. Last year, Luke Voss was still decently new at CrossFit and was pretty nervous going into it. He ended up CRUSHING every workout. It was unreal. And also Hroch accidentally turned the music and clock off while he was still working out but we’ve apologized, ok? Also! Val Harmon had never done a pullup and freaking finished all of them in one of the workouts.  AND two years ago, coach Becky had never done a bar muscle up and ended up getting them in the middle of a grueling workout.

I’m telling you, the energy and encouragement and adrenaline does crazy things to people. You just become the Hulk for 20 minutes and end up getting skills you’ve never done before, lifting more than you have in the past, or just exceed your own expectations by a landslide.

I am so excited to see who does what this year. Yes, it’s great to do CrossFit to stay active, but let’s put our competition stringers on and see what we’ve got in the tank. Every class is a training session, and every single one of your are physically able to participate in The Open.

Registrations starts Thursday, January 11th. Sign up here!