Lynn: “Training is one of the only things I do for myself”

Lynn: “Training is one of the only things I do for myself”

Lynn Cowie-McAlister


The reason why we wanted to share Lynn’s story is because her life provides her with many reasons not to do CrossFit, and yet after one year she finds herself regularly doing kipping pull ups and handstands – a feat she says she would never have believed this time last year.

Lynn’s barriers to training may sound familiar to you.

Lynn is a secondary school teacher by trade but has transitioned into Organiser Membership Growth at the Queensland Teachers’ Union. Her job is busy and requires travel, sometimes unexpectedly. Lynn doesn’t see her job as a check in at 9 and check out at 5 type of role:

I LOVE my job and am passionate about state schools, their teachers and children who attend them and the positive change they make to the fabric of our society”.

Through her passion for her job comes pressure to perform and given the nature of the memberships, a feeling of needing to be available 24 hours a day.

Lynn juggles her work with her relationships; her 22 year marriage to her husband Scott, and her two teenagers, Harper and Ivy. As a high achiever, even Lynn’s hobby is an area where she excels:

I sit on the Hockey Australia Officiating Committee looking at developmental pathways for officials nationally and internationally and  I also work with the ‘Officiating Collective’ developing resources to assist officials in managing conflict resolution in high performance spaces (across sporting codes).  I umpire the top Brisbane women’s’ league (for field hockey) because I believe you should practice what you preach and lead by example.”

CrossFit is “one of the only things I do for myself”.

This quote is the main difference in outlook between someone like Lynn who prioritises training and others who can’t fit it into their priority list. Training doesn’t need to be a chore – it is something that we are lucky to be able to do if we can find the time and the opportunity. I’ve never heard Lynn say that she just needs to make it through her session. Rather, she is relieved to finally be at that hour in her day where she focuses on nothing but her own improvement.

Despite that, Lynn says joining Cultivar wasn’t really chosen by her but for her by her good friend Cresta. Once she tried she was hooked, and says that CrossFit challenges her physically and mentally every day. She also said that the five pillars of health at Cultivar perfectly align with her own personal values, and that it is her role as a parent to lead the way.

Lynn found more than she could’ve imagined at Cultivar, now considering the people she trains with as a big extended family.

The benefit of Lynn having your own personal coach.

CrossFit and Cultivar work on a group class model. The community and fun aspect of group training keeps people coming back just as often as the physical results.

However, some people look for more guidance through their own coach in addition to group classes. Lynn has been one of our members who has thrown herself into getting as much out of Cultivar as possible, working with Coach Ellie for 10 months now.

“Having a personalised coach whom I have built trust with has been such an amazing experience for me – in a variety of different areas of my life.  Ultimately it has given me to confidence to ‘let go’ of a lot of things which were holding me back. Revisiting my core values and REALLY breaking them down has given me a renewed and positive focus.    I feel that I am calmer, that I can reflect honestly and critically and be prepared to try different ways to change/improve, that failure is okay (which is a HUGE thing for me), that this is my journey and comparison isn’t healthy, that life is messy and that’s okay, to give myself permission to just be present and to walk away from things and people that don’t align with my values.  I think I smile a lot more now and it’s also awesome to just have someone to kick your butt when you need it (at training or just life in general!)”

What Lynn would say to anyone who is thinking of trying CrossFit but feels intimidated?

 “‘New’ is always scary but the Cultivar community will welcome you.   Give it a go – make some new friends, have a laugh and challenge yourself.   If you had said to me 1 year ago that I would be able to do a kipping pull up or a handstand I would have laughed.  1, because I wouldn’t have known what a kipping pull up was and 2, because I hadn’t done a handstand since I was 10 – BUT HERE WE ARE!”

Thanks for sharing with us, Lynn! We think your story is inspiring to many people who are too intimidated by CrossFit or who feel that they don’t have the time to fit training into their schedules.

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