Thick Skin

Steve and Kristen at 10 a.m.

I’ve been told I need to have thick skin many times throughout my life. 

A little over a year-and-a-half ago, I scored an interview for what turned out to be the best job ever. I was up for the position as copy editor in CrossFit’s Media Department. During my interview, Director of Games Media Tony Budding told me that I had to have thick skin to be successful in the company. 

Honestly, I would have had scaly skin if it meant working for CrossFit, so of course, I said I did.

Working for CrossFit eventually led me to CrossFit Santa Cruz. After hearing all of the positive things many of my co-workers/friends had to say about the affiliate, I was intrigued, and then convinced. 

As it turns out, thick skin would come in handy here, too.

A few weeks in, I went to a class coached by Hollis. The workout was a couplet — deadlifts (ugh) and box jumps. Mid-workout, Hollis stopped me.

“Nope,” he said. “Take some weight off.”

Cue thick skin. I stripped off 10 lbs., and continued.

“Nope. Still not it.”

This happened once more until I was finally able to achieve the form he was looking for. I started the workout with 123 lbs., on the bar and scaled down to 93 lbs., by the time I was finished. Talk about a blow to the ego. 

But Hollis was right. And at that moment I made the decision to swallow my pride and work on my deadlifts.

As siblings often do, Coach D and Hollis share a few traits. 

If something sucks (like my double-unders), Coach D will tell me — in those exact words. Her tough love bounces off my thick skin, and you know what? I eventually improve.  

Sure, I got my first muscle-up through hard work and determination — but also by not crying myself to sleep every night of every day that I failed at trying for one.

In the words of Walt Disney, “You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” 

So suck it up, put on your thick skin and persist.

-Nicole Evans



135 pound Clean & Jerk, 30 reps 

"Two hands any how from the ground to overhead"- Greg Glassman