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Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Sport of Fitness Part 2

So about a week or so ago I was reading the Boston Herald and I saw an article about women training through pregnancy. I was so offended by what I read that I wrote a blog post about it.

The next night I was contacted by the Coach (Heather Bergeron) at the Crossfit that was quoted in the article. She was very professional and very concerned that her reputation was severely damaged by the article. She has given me permission to share her email with you. It is below:

Hey, CJ, 

I got wind of the article you wrote in response to the Herald article that ran the other day.
I hadn't read the article yet, but of course was pretty pissed off when I read what you had wrote.
However, of course when I read what The Herald had quoted me saying, I have to admit, I would've had a similar reaction. In fact, there were other misquotes in the article and overall I just thought it was a mess of information that seemed thrown together without much thought at all.
I don't know if you even give a damn about what my actual opinion is on this topic, but because it's something that I do, in fact, feel pretty passionate about I would love to have a few minutes of your time to clear up what I was actually trying to say. 

Either way, I am not a shitty coach, and my husband and I are certainly not trying to steal anyone's money. I'm not going to waste your time with a resume featuring all of my qualifications, because we both know that means nothing in terms of quality of actual real life coaching ability.
But, I would challenge you to find a single person who has ever entered our gym and walked away feeling like that way about their experience with us. Our members may have periodic qualms with our class times or how quickly we replace our broken bumper plates, but we're not alone there.
Our members know we care about every one of them like their our own family and that we do everything in our power to give them good, well-backed information. 

Having said all of that, I totally respect your reaction to a really poorly written article. I don't doubt that I would've had a similar response. 

So, can we talk? 

Heather Keenan Bergeron


I was pretty impressed that she contacted me and actually sounded like a good coach. I emailed her back with the following: 


I generally do not care a bit about what others think of me, what I say or do, but, if I said something negative and I was wrong, I do care.

I did not list your name or your box’s name for obvious reasons. 

As someone who was misquoted and ambushed by the media (Channel 7 many years ago) I can understand that that does happen more often than people think. 

I never questioned that you care about your clients and I do not doubt that you do. I questioned the legitimacy of an operation that would make a statement such as what was quoted to you. If you say you were misquoted I will take you at your word. I also would be very aggressive in getting a retraction printed by the Bible (Boston Herald as it is known). 

I am happy to add another blog post including your statements in this email with your permission. I am a very fair person and will admit if I was wrong. I am not saying I was wrong, as I addressed the facts as presented to me and the public in the article. 

I am also very critical of what goes on in a lot of boxes. I do say almost all the time that there are GOOD boxes and that is what people should seek out. If yours is a good one, people should go there. I don’t think you can debate the fact that there is a lot of dangerous and foolish things going on in boxes all over the place. A simple YouTube search will prove that. 

I have done seminars at boxes covering Strongman, basic lifting and Olympic lifting over the years and we are presenting a seminar geared to Crossfitters this summer with a great line up of speakers (AJ Roberts, Dr, Mike Nelson, Matt Kroc, Jedd Johnson and Greg Robins) designed to educate box owners, coaches and lifters. I have also trained many Crossfit coaches in my programs, 1-on1’s and at seminars/Training Days. 

One of my goals is to EDUCATE fitness pro’s and make the industry better and I think that shows. I also feel it is a responsibility of good coaches to point out the things that are not “optimal”. That was the reason for my outrage.

I’m pretty tied up the next few days with some personal business and will be out of the office until Monday. 

I will be checking email if you still want to talk let me know. 

I’m actually glad that you emailed me as it shows that a mistake was made and needs to be corrected. Let me know if it ok to use your email in a blog post.


We had a few more exchanges and she actually does sound like she is at one of the BETTER Crossfit boxes and not at all an idiot. I am taking her at her word that she was MISQUOTED by the media and not presented as she truly is. 

Why am I telling you this?

Well, I feel it is an obligation of mine to let people know if I screwed up and if someone else screwed up. While I don’t feel I screwed up as I explained in my email to her, I could have furthered the damage to her reputation. If I was wrong, I must fix that and not be a PART of the problem.

I am about as sure as I can be after dealing with her that she WAS misquoted and WAS represented poorly by the Herald. 

Many who know me are aware of the fact that I am critical of what goes on in boxes and not a fan of a lot of what they do. I do admire the work ethic but do not admire unqualified “coaches” running dangerous operations. I do know there are many good boxes out there and there are good coaches at them. I have coached many of them and I am friendly with some too.
The whole point of my blog post was to speak to the situation we have in this industry of unqualified people teaching others what to do when they do not know themselves. It happens more than you think and if you are in the industry, you know what I am talking about.


Let’s hope this helps Heather and her reputation. She sounds like one of the good ones.

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