One year ago today, our doors were closed.

There was no workout on the whiteboard. The PR bell was silent. No music blared from the speakers. No coach paced through a hard-working class with an eye on movement and sharing words of encouragement. The parking lot was empty and no sun was shining through the bay doors.

Initially, for myself, things seemed a bit dire. There were questions about what to do and whether TCF would survive.

Like many, I would underestimate the eventual impact of the coronavirus, but I also grossly underestimated the strength and kindness of the members…


Earlier today, I was sitting at my desk and I could feel a wave of anxiety creeping up inside me. In order to get a sense of why, I sat with the feeling for a moment.

When I was a kid, my father expected that we would contribute around the house. Almost without fail, when he returned home from work, he’d ask, “What did you do today?”

He wasn’t asking about homework, bike rides or softball games. He was talking about things like raking the yard, weeding the garden and cleaning up after the dogs.

One time, I foolishly suggested…


I recently heard the following quote and it rang true to me:

‘When you’re able to get yourself through something that you didn’t think that you ever could, it raises the bar for the future.’

We’ve all persevered through significant challenges this year. I’m not at all interested in a repeat of 2020, but it’s fair to say that we’ve all learned and grown stronger from the experience.

As the pandemic broke, Sophia remarked to me that we’d soon refer to events as BEFORE, DURING and AFTER. …


I recently ran across this picture. It’s from 2016. It taken at a local CrossFit competition shortly after the death of my mother. When I see this picture, I recall how I felt, physically and emotionally, on that day. The heaviness of the moment.

My grandparents had died a couple decades earlier and my father a half-dozens years before my mother. My work was an interesting challenge, but the culture was toxic. There were a lot of adult matters to address like emptying and selling my childhood home. …


Written: December 1997

Top Nine Animals on Baby Caylee’s Clothes

9) Dogs (a lot of Huskies)
8) Sesame Street creatures of unknown origin (e.g., Elmo, the Cookie Monster)
7) Dinosaurs (No T-Rexs need apply)
6) Fish (preferably extremely cute ones)
5) Birds (Baby Chicks and Orioles…surprise)
4) Tigers (with a whole bunch of Tigger)
3) Ducks (but no Donald Duck yet)
2) Rabbits (but no Bugs Bunny yet)
1) Bears (Winnie the Pooh leads the way!)

Dad’s Top Nine Rules for 5-month-old Caylee Star 9) No flinging your doll into Dad’s Cheerios during breakfast. 8) No attempting to place teething…


Written: Spring 1997

The Eagle’s Next Flight

Recently, a local TV news program has been running a series of shows about Firefighters. In one segment, they asked family’s members if they were nervous for their firemen due to the perils that are a part of this honorable career. Many of those interviewed spoke heartbreakingly of the apprehension they feel between the time that their family’s firefighter leaves for duty until he safely returns home.

My remembrances of those times are different. As a child, I certainly knew my dad was a fireman. Many days we’d pick my father up from…


Written: April 2019

Pansy Brunch — Caylee Whitaker — From Cherry and Trey Whitaker — Proud Parents

First of all, we would like to thank Tri-Delta for your caring and loving support for Caylee throughout these four years. As for sharing our thoughts about Caylee, one page is not enough when we could write a novel. Thanks for requiring us to keep it brief.

Caylee — When you were born, we only wished that you were healthy. We were blessed. You were healthy, strong and bright. Over the years, you have blessed us countless more times.

It would be easy…


Written: September 2017

Since Tolland CrossFit opened on August 28th, I’ve learned a great deal and have been able to view the world from a new perspective. Below are a few observations:

  • Driving in at 4:30 AM, I have seen more red foxes in one month than I had in my previous 696 months of life combined. Also lots of owls and possums. If you have a thing for foxes, I recommend driving around at 4:30 AM.
  • I’ve met a lot of great people from Tolland. I’m not sure if there are statistics to back this up, but it seems…


Written: July 2017

Short story:

We’re opening our own CrossFit gym.

Long story:

I worked for large organizations for 40 years. Lived the ‘Office Space’ life. Walked the hallways and sat in cubicles. Made the daily commute to and from the office. Even had a modicum of success along the way. Enough to afford a small home in a quiet town with more cows than people.

Last spring, for the final time, I carried my personal items out of the office. I tossed them into my Jeep, made the commute home and laid in a sunny hammock for a few…


As a coach and an owner, I can attest to the fact that everyone who walks through our doors sinks a hook into my heart. The longer they stay in your life, the more shared experiences you have, the more you witness their struggles and triumphs, the deeper the hook sets.

When contemplating the idea of opening a gym, I immersed myself in research. I read countless articles, listened to hours of podcasts, visited other gyms and talked with their owners.

One article that resonated with me focused on the type of community members to hope for. The bottom-line of…

Trey Whitaker

Former blogger, current CrossFit gym owner. Former paratrooper, marathoner, youth sports coach and jujitsu black belt. Hoping to retire soon to write full-time.

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