My Coach Can Beat Up Your Coach

I distinctly remember the first time Crystal came to our 6:30 a.m. Bootcamp at the Rowing Dock. I’d just started with CrossFit, and Crystal arrived to assist our coach Carey: blonde, pretty, perky… she was intimidating to the unhappy, overweight, beginning Bootcamper that I was.

I wrote an email to my friend Richard later that day about Bootcamp. Amongst my comments, “I can see the coach’s blue and silver sneakers out of the corner of my eye when I’m struggling through pushups.” I was talking about Crystal’s cute little feet.

I didn’t know then that she would be one of the most influential people in my life. Her energy, her commitment to helping others, her silly sense of humor… she’s a best-quality human, and I’m fortunate to count her among my friends.

Sure, she’s like a supermodel, and she’s the 9th fittest woman in the world, but to me, she’s Coach.

In case you haven’t had the honor of meeting her in person, let me share with you…

Ten Cool Things About Crystal McReynolds

1. She helped me reach my goal weight.
And when I say “helped,” I mean… she responded to every disappointed and celebratory text message I sent from my Weight Watchers weigh-ins. She encouraged me to keep moving when my rest breaks at Bootcamp stretched from “resting” to “stopped.” She reviewed my food logs – and read every word – to make sure my Zone-ing was on track. Throughout some rewarding, challenging months, she made the whole transformation from CrossFit newbie to CrossFit devotee (mostly) fun. Best of all, she made me feel like part of the CrossFit and Bootcamp family.

2. She loves the smurfs.
Like, a lot. How freakin’ adoriable is that?

3. She dyes her hair pink.
And sometimes purple and blue.

4. She’s the 9th fittest woman in the world.
Crystal tackled training for the CrossFit Games with the goal to be in the top 10 when the dust settled in Aromas. She did it. AND she did it while teaching Bootcamps and CrossFit Women classes with undiminished devotion. One of the things that’s cooler-than-cool about Crystal is that when she’s coaching someone, she’s right there. I know she works hard on her own training, but I’ll be damned if I can get her to brag about it. When she’s coaching us, she’s all about us. To make others feel special is a rare gift, and Crystal does it while also being a secret superhero.

5. She’s one of the top 10 fittest people in Austin.
To no one’s surprise, she got the largest number of votes in the competition. Rock. Star.

6. She has a puppy named Andre.
He is also ridiculously cute, fun, and full of energy.

7. She knows the names, strengths, and weaknesses of all of her bootcampers and class members.
Somehow she knows when to push, how much I can lift, when to give a shout-out that keeps me going, and when I just kinda need to do my thing. But it’s not just me. It’s all of us. She doesn’t forget anyone’s name or leave anyone behind. I think that’s why Bootcamp feels like a family reunion every Friday, and there’s no doubt that going to class is always way better than not.

8. Even at 6:00 a.m., she can bust a move.
Queen of the Silly Dance. ‘nough said.

9. Those abs!
Here she is modeling for Forged Clothing… giving us all a little something to aspire to being: our own version of a Superhero.

10. She makes up workouts like this:

Hard Eight
8 rounds:

  • 20 jump squats
  • 20 walking lunge w/PVC overhead rotation
  • 20 PVC snatch
  • 30-second isometric squat
  • hill sprint

To see Crystal in action, watch this video!

The Best Version of Ourselves 2018

The post below was originally published in 2011, and it's been updated each year to reflect where I am in my life and the new...

Read More
A Little Respect (Strength Monday 7/8/13)

In my quest for lean superhero-ness, Dave and I are hitting the craptastic gym in our Converse to lift heavy stuff and work on skills...

Read More


  • Barbara says:

    I liked her from the moment we met and she was my elements coach. She is such a wonderful inspiration, athlete and from what I can tell, all around badass. When I grow up…I'd like to be Crystal:P

    How were those margaritas?

  • Jennifer says:

    You are so frickin' blessed to have her as your coach. Until I read your post, I had no idea who she was…and then I get to your picture for #4 and I bounced in my seat. *bounce**bounce**bounce** It's HER! It's the girl I watched maniacally from the first time I saw her at the games …the entire two days, she was my focal point. She was AMAZING to watch! Never stopped – absolutely incredible. And, in all honesty – she is so unbelieveable fit and gorgeous and hot and beautiful. (and just a disclaimer, I am happily married with three kids but hello – a beautiful body is a beautiful body!) …and she stood out amongst thousands of other beautiful bodies at the games. Like I said, I had no idea who she was, but when the girls were talking about their 'CF girl crushes' (Melissa Byers is high on that list also!), I dubbed her mine. She is one of the reasons I returned from the games so motivated and inspired. And from your post, it sounds like she is as beautiful inside as she is outside. Well, thank you for highlighting what an incredible person she is! And that's a kick-ass workout!

    Also…ha! I lost my first 150 lbs on WW. Their points system has it's merits, but paleo is a gazillion times better for me!

    Thanks again for a terrific post, Mel!


  • Melicious says:

    Jennifer, how badass is that?! Yes, Crystal is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside.

    Your first 150lbs?! Good on you, superstar!

  • Team CS says:

    Excellent post!!!