Episode 10: CrossFit Pioneer, Author and Entrepreneur Kelly Starrett Dares You to Be Vulnerable

Truth Tribers, since we’re all about telling the TRUTH, I can’t lie to you. When I first heard about CrossFit, due to my ignorance, I bought into the myths. I admit I was judgy. I used to think it was a cult. I thought it was a fad. I thought everyone would eventually get “rhabdo” from overworking their bodies. But after seeing so many “jacked” a.k.a. fit bodies, I was intrigued. I did research, signed up and it changed my life physically, mentally and yes, even spiritually, forever.

Here to demystify these myths is my coach, friend and superstar celebrity trainer and movement and mobility thought leader…

Dr. Kelly Starrett is a coach, physical therapist, author, speaker and co-founder of San Francisco Crossfit, MobilityWOD and the nonprofit StandUpKids. Kelly has totaled more than 150,000 hours training people at our San Francisco CrossFit box alone.

Kelly has worked with people from every single branch of the military, pro ballers in the NBA, NFL, NHL, Olympic gold medalists, ballet dancers and the list goes on and on. His clients include Laird Hamilton, Tim Ferris, Barbara Walters and THAT lists goes on and on too.

I’m lucky to be among the folks Kelly has touched. Personally, professionally, physically, mentally and spiritually, I have been deeply transformed by Kelly and doing CrossFit the right way. In doing research on Kelly and his life partner and co-conspirator, Juliet, I can honestly say they both open up in a way I haven’t heard in other podcasts.

Kelly Starrett
Kelly Starrett

I love how Kelly delves into his sordid childhood, his anxieties, where he got his nickname, “Supple Leopard” and oh yes, his love life. I was surprised to see a softer side of this hard-bodied, seemingly hard-shelled coach. I especially was touched by his Christmas tree story. I also shared my Christmas tree story/moment as we both came from childhoods full of shame and a scarcity mentality.

For a look inside my own progression and anxieties around CrossFit, check out my recent blog post on Go Inspire Go.

I hope you enjoy this rare inside look of Kelly’s life inside and outside the CrossFit box.

Hang on to your kettle bells y’all. We dig deep and go in swinging…

More info:
TruthDare interview with life and biz partner, Juliet Starrett
–Kelly’s books: “Becoming a Supple Leopard” (2015), “Ready to Run” (2014) and “Deskbound” (2016)

Toan’s Takeaways:

1. Self-care is critical in growing yourself and reaching your fullest potential. If you’re taking a risk — whether it’s starting a business or taking a leap of faith in your personal life — remember to take care of yourself. That’s the only way you can continue to keep on keeping on. You have to serve yourself before you can serve others. That means doing what nurtures YOU: eating, breathing, doing hobbies that connect you to your body, mind and spirit. If you’re not feeling that connection, it’s time for a truth check.

2. Is fear paralyzing you or helping propel you? Yes, it’s scary to start something new, but what do you really have to lose? I love the quote by John Burroughs, “Leap and the net will appear.” But also have an exit strategy, whether it be financial, mental or <FILL IN THE BLANK>. What are your fears and how are you channeling them to best serve you and your life’s mission?

3. Be consistent. Period. Kelly has tens of thousands of hours training clients under his belt. The idea of being an overnight success is FAKE! Kelly says there is no shortcut for being great at what you do. You have to put in the work, be humble, be curious and be kind!

Who: Kelly Starrett — Entrepreneur, Author, Co-Founder/CEO, S.F. CrossFit, MobilityWOD and StandUpKids

What is his TRUTH?: “I wasted a lot of time and I don’t have enough time to waste anymore.”

What does he DARE you to do?: “Be vulnerable. Ask for help.”

Follow Kelly Starrett:
Facebook (@kelly.starrett.7)
Twitter (@mobilitywod)
Instagram (@suppleleopard)

Learn more:
1. San Francisco CrossFit
2. MobilityWOD
3. StandUpKids


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Trust your Truth, I dare you!


Kelly Starrett and Toan Lam
Kelly Starrett leading a workout session with Toan Lam
Kelly Starrett at a San Francisco CrossFit class
Kelly Starrett and Toan Lam recording an interview


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