Annie Thorisdottir | Rob Orlando | CrossFit OGs

Sevan Matossian (00:03):

Good morning. Look at all these notes. Look at all these notes. Notes. Notes. Notes. Notes. Michelle, what’s up? Mr. Reynolds? Six. That’s an interesting position. Christine Young friend reached out to me yesterday, hadn’t heard from the guy in about a year. Former CrossFit employee. Dear friend, love the guy, kind of guy you’d want to do a long road trip with. Very smart. And he said, dude, I love your show. Don’t ever polish it. I love the fact that it’s not polished. I was like, okay, okay. Okay. Good morning, sexy savages. Thank you. He meant YouTube, Bieber when he said, sexy savages. Look at that. Look at that. Caleb is back. Nice to see you. Morning. Is this from the Shakin? This is from the Shakin. Crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy. Did you see who we have on today? I did. Crazy. It’s kind of exciting. Yeah. Crazy exciting. Look, there she is. Bam.

Annie Thorisdottir (01:29):


Sevan Matossian (01:30):

Annie. What’s up, girl? Dude, thanks.

Annie Thorisdottir (01:33):

Hi. Good. How are you guys?

Sevan Matossian (01:34):

Thanks for doing this on such short notice. I’m great. I’m super stoked.

Annie Thorisdottir (01:39):

Of course. I’m sorry for a late reply. And then I was like, oh my God, I haven’t talked to Savon. And then I checked the date and the time. I’m like, that’s actually perfect. I’m running tomorrow.

Sevan Matossian (01:48):

I love it. It’s my favorite part of the, I got a call, I don’t know, yesterday at some point just said, oh, Annie replied. I’m like, let’s do it. And I go, when he goes tomorrow, I go, let’s do it. I love it. I love it. Cave gastro. I thought Annie was a clickbait. Yeah. Yeah. So did I. She saw that we were click baiting her, and she goes, you don’t have to do that. I’ll come on.

Annie Thorisdottir (02:14):

I’m here. I’m here.

Sevan Matossian (02:15):

Yeah. Where are you

Annie Thorisdottir (02:17):

In Iceland right now.

Sevan Matossian (02:18):

But I mean, the actual scene, you’re like, are you at a coffee shop? What’s with the painting?

Annie Thorisdottir (02:23):

No, I’m in my living room. Wait, wait, wait.

Sevan Matossian (02:27):

Who painted that?

Annie Thorisdottir (02:28):

Here’s a picture that Freya drew next to painting. She knows how to use that. What’s that called? That blue thing that you can put on pictures or things together and stuck together.

Sevan Matossian (02:44):

Glue. Glue.

Annie Thorisdottir (02:46):


Sevan Matossian (02:48):

Adhesive, new

Annie Thorisdottir (02:48):


Sevan Matossian (02:50):

Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Annie Thorisdottir (02:52):

So now she will draw a picture or paint a picture, and then she’ll just put it on the walls. So yeah, it’s decorative here.

Sevan Matossian (03:02):

I wonder what your tolerance is going to be compared to Frederick’s? My kids completely covered one wall in my bedroom, and my wife’s tolerance is very high, but I’m like 20 pictures is good, but they want to wallpaper it.

Annie Thorisdottir (03:15):

Oh, I gradually, this is the living room, so I gradually just make them disappear. I don’t pull the pictures out. I store them for way longer than Frederick thinks I should store them just in case Fre will ask for the picture. I need to be ready

Sevan Matossian (03:32):

When I pull them down. I feel guilty the same way. I feel guilty. Well, you don’t really have bugs in Iceland, but sometimes I feel guilty for killing a bug instead of taking it outside. And that’s how I feel. A little bit of guilt. Each one I pull down just a little bit. It goes away quickly,

Annie Thorisdottir (03:48):

And one will come up in its place, so it’ll be okay. We actually just bought these picture frames that you can put multiple of those pictures into.

Sevan Matossian (03:58):

I bought that too. Did Instagram sell that to you?

Annie Thorisdottir (04:02):


Sevan Matossian (04:02):

Yes. Instagram sold that to me too. Holy shit.

Annie Thorisdottir (04:07):

I think so. A lot of people are talking about this. They don’t want the phone to listen to you and all of that. I’m like, obviously I don’t want a person to be listening to my conversations, but I love it when I suggest things that I like and then I forget a commercial that came on my phone or something. I’ll say what I’m looking for or what it was that I liked. I’m like this hair tie, hair tie that keeps it whatever, and just hope that it’s going to show it to me again. I love this feature.

Sevan Matossian (04:37):

Technology’s crazy.

Annie Thorisdottir (04:38):


Sevan Matossian (04:39):

Hey, what about the Blaze pods? They’re always trying to get me to buy those. Do you know what those are? No, they’re those, you put ’em on the ground and they’re lights and they light up and you work out with them. You put six of the lights on the ground and then you might be like, oh, these things. And then you hit them or tap them, or you put them on a wall. They’re training lights.

Annie Thorisdottir (05:03):

Oh, how fun. So it’s like agility and

Sevan Matossian (05:07):

Yeah, just like a gimmick, but to keep you engaged. You know what I mean? Kind of to inspire you. I’m guessing how a new pair of shoes would do, but here’s the thing you need. Once you buy them, then you have to do a $10 a month subscription. And that’s the only reason why I haven’t bought, I feel like I’m being manipulated. It’s $500 for the lights and then 10 bucks a month for a subscription. I’m like, I don’t know.

Annie Thorisdottir (05:29):

That’s a smart concept.

Sevan Matossian (05:31):

Yeah. Great. Right. I bet you they’re I

Annie Thorisdottir (05:33):

This thing at the gym, hotel gym that had those on the wall where you had to press the lights and they gave you a score or something afterwards and compet it against my family and that. That’s actually great. I think you’ll be very good for you as an athlete also, just to develop, staying mentally engaged when you’re under fatigue. Yami has actually had us do a shit ton of those. Do you know what Stroop is?

Sevan Matossian (06:01):

No. Spell it for me.

Annie Thorisdottir (06:03):

S-T-R-O-O-P. Stroop, I think. Yeah. It’s just a game. And it was a specific app he even ended up buying access to with a multiple games is I think Formula One uses it a lot. Yeah, strip effect. So then we would have intervals, and so you need to press the right color of what the word is saying, not follow the color of the letters, whatever it’s like. So you need to stay focused. And there’s all different kinds of games like this. And he would have us play this in our, so we would maybe be doing a workout that took three minutes or intervals. So we were like two to four minutes. And then in the one minute break, we had to sit down and we had to play this game. So your hardware was super high and you’re trying to stay focused and do the right things in the game, and you could just see your scores. It’s like plummeting when you got more fatigued. And then we started doing this, actually the most, that’s probably the most boring training I’ve done. But then he would schedule in twice a week. We had to do this for 30 minutes straight. So just sit on our phone and do different types of games, like Reaction with a Hand or Look or whatever It was different games that you played, but it was mentally fatiguing. It was training.

Sevan Matossian (07:30):

Yami Hass been your coach for more than 10 years, and he runs the training plan. Yami.

Annie Thorisdottir (07:36):


Sevan Matossian (07:37):

Yeah. Crazy.

Annie Thorisdottir (07:38):

He does. We’ve been working together since I met him first. What was it? Semi? It was called back then. Dave will be able to tell you the right things there if he’s still listening. Yeah. So I met him at semi’s and homestead the same times I met Frederick for the first time.

Sevan Matossian (07:59):


Annie Thorisdottir (08:00):

Sanctional sectionals. Frederick just told me. It’s called Sectionals. That was 2010, right?

Annie Thorisdottir (08:09):

Regionals. Stead. Sectionals were named Stockholm,

Annie Thorisdottir (08:12):

So maybe called regionals.

Sevan Matossian (08:14):

Where was that? Where was that

Annie Thorisdottir (08:16):

Stead? Sweden. Right by Copenhagen.

Sevan Matossian (08:20):

Was that at Lakos headquarters? No. Yes.

Annie Thorisdottir (08:25):

Lagos headquarters.

Sevan Matossian (08:26):

Oh, I was there. Yeah. Crazy.

Annie Thorisdottir (08:28):

You were there. Yeah.

Sevan Matossian (08:30):

Micko was there, right?

Annie Thorisdottir (08:31):

Yes. Micko was there. Yeah. Was

Sevan Matossian (08:33):

There Thateveryone

Annie Thorisdottir (08:34):

Had stars in their eyes watching Miko. He didn’t compete because he was, he won the games. That’s

Sevan Matossian (08:41):


Annie Thorisdottir (08:42):

But that was a fun competition. That’s where I met Yami and just me and same and asked if he would be willing to train us, coach us for the games. And we’ve been working together ever since.

Sevan Matossian (08:57):

Yeah, that’s wild. Hey, is he ever going to put out a, you think about it’s got to be one of the most important things you can get from a coach is proof of longevity, if not the most important thing. So your success is undeniable and then the longevity. I wonder, you would think that people would be clamoring to get his programming, like clamoring. He’s kept you healthy and at the top of the game.

Annie Thorisdottir (09:24):

Yeah, it’s absolutely amazing. I feel like we’ve not going to say that everything’s the best that we’ve done, but we’ve done mistakes and then we’ve learned from the mistakes that we make. He’s been really, really good at continuing his education. When you have people that are so passionate about what they do, they will excel in. And he is so passionate when it comes to making the right training, doing the right training for the right reason, with the right purpose behind it. And that’s how we’ve had to evolve with my career as well. Just like me, what I did in 2011, that athlete would not have survived for this many years in the sport. We’ve had to evolve and change. And he’s always looking for expertise in endurance programming and strength development and all these different, just see what he was doing with the mental training and all of that as well. He is looking in different sports in different fields and trying to get the best equation for the best programming. And I do believe he is one of the most knowledgeable guys out there when it comes to programming for elite athletes, for you to be successful and elite. Because he doesn’t just think about one movement, but he thinks about the movement pattern behind that one movement. How are we going to make you as efficient as possible and your body and health maintain as long as possible and there helps that. He’s an osteopath as well.

Sevan Matossian (11:06):

So look at this. You just pointed out something else to me. So we have longevity, we have success. You can put on Yi’s resume. Those got to be two of the most important, but check out this one. Just relationship.

Annie Thorisdottir (11:20):


Sevan Matossian (11:21):

Crazy, right? I mean, we see people moving all the time and you have to suspect, there’s the saying in business or in workplaces, people don’t leave jobs. They leave relationships. Meaning if you really love your job, you’ll stay. And so you would’ve either have left him or he would’ve left you at some point, no matter the success.

Annie Thorisdottir (11:42):


Sevan Matossian (11:42):

So the relationship. So he’s able to maintain a relationship too, which is huge.

Annie Thorisdottir (11:46):

Absolutely. And I think that’s come with, I am brutally honest, and I say when I’m not happy with things, I say things. When something feels off, I say things. If I don’t think something is going to work out, I challenge him. I could definitely constantly challenge Yami. We’ve never had an easy season, but he listens and he doesn’t always agree with me. And then I will try. He will give me his reasoning behind why he’s doing it, and then I will try and we will. We have a trust. We’ve built a trust.

Sevan Matossian (12:28):

Annie, is there ever a time in the relationship where you’ve pushed back and he pushed back so hard that it gave you comfort? You needed to hear his passion more about it? Do you know what I’m saying? It’s like that my relationship with my wife sometimes. Sometimes she’ll say something and I’ll roar at her and she’ll be like, okay, I get it. Or I’ll say something and she’ll roar at me and I’ll get it. It’s not fighting, but it’s more adamant and Hey, more conviction. So then you’re like, okay, that’s kind of what I needed.

Annie Thorisdottir (13:04):

Of course, I would say we probably have that every year around the same time where I start doubting things and I’m like, okay,

Sevan Matossian (13:14):

Makes sense. I

Annie Thorisdottir (13:15):

Don’t feel like we’ve done enough of this or this year it doesn’t feel right. I don’t think you’re focusing enough on the right things or doing the right things in my programming and blah, blah, blah. And then, yeah, he is usually happy happen. Pretty solid arguments,

Sevan Matossian (13:31):


Annie Thorisdottir (13:32):

So yeah,

Sevan Matossian (13:33):

That’s cool that you notice it around so the doubt will creep in. It’s funny, I do that to the producer of the show. When the doubt creeps in, you’ll start banging on him a little bit.

Annie Thorisdottir (13:46):


Sevan Matossian (13:47):

Yeah. That’s cool. That’s cool that you recognize that.

Annie Thorisdottir (13:51):

Oh, absolutely. Well, through this many years, you better know your pattern a little bit. So we’ve had the same conversation, but I feel like it’s a conversation we’ve had to have almost every year. But I think that’s a part of our process as a part of me feeling like he is in control of what he’s supposed to be in control of.

Sevan Matossian (14:12):

And you don’t want to be right, and he doesn’t want to be right. You want to win win. Transcends being right. 10 out of 10 times, right?

Annie Thorisdottir (14:20):

100%. Yes. Yeah,

Sevan Matossian (14:24):

It’s crazy. I wonder how many athletes have messed up. I see it all the time in regular Life Day-to-Day life where people would rather be right, or people would rather be right than get the outcome they want. And it’s a tragedy.

Annie Thorisdottir (14:40):

Or people, well listen blindly and follow blindly, whatever their coach is saying or whatever the program is saying without voicing their concern. And then it will bring doubt in the back of their head when they then take the floor and start competing. And I think that’s a dangerous part.

Sevan Matossian (15:03):

And maybe resentment in the relationship.

Annie Thorisdottir (15:05):


Sevan Matossian (15:06):


Annie Thorisdottir (15:06):


Sevan Matossian (15:10):


Annie Thorisdottir (15:10):

That’s always something for me that I’ve always, obviously it’s a team and I have a team around me. I would not be this successful and have this longevity if I didn’t have my team around me. And that team is a small group, but it’s a group that’s been with me for a decade, over a decade. Most of them. It is Frederick. It’s my parents. They’ve been with me since 2009 at the games. Every year they will be there, and they’re with me through the season, obviously taking a back seat a little bit more and more with the years then it’s been Yami. And then my chiropractor from London, he’s been with me since 2013 when I had my back injury.


This is my circle of the people that I trust to help me to get to where I need to be to win the CrossFit games and B, the best I can be. But I still acknowledge and make sure that I am also monitoring what I am doing, and no one else is going to know how I feel, how my body is doing, how I am mentally doing. Unless I express those things, we won’t function as a full unity to make me as good as possible. So me being able to be vocal about things that might need adjustments and not be too proud and always have to do everything just as it is talking about it, making adjustments that might be needed to the programming. If I’m feeling really, really beat up or if I’m feeling too fresh and I can do more because I know ultimately it’s me that’s taking the floor and it’s me that’s going to win or lose the CrossFit games. That’s not my coaches. That’s not my team. I am stepping onto the floor by myself. So the responsibility needs to be in my hands as well. I share it with others and I use others to help me. But I feel like it’s always been important. I can’t finish the year and be like, Nope, we didn’t run enough this year. It’s also mine to say these

Sevan Matossian (17:34):

Things, right? Yeah. At the end of the day, it’s all on you.

Annie Thorisdottir (17:42):


Sevan Matossian (17:42):

A buck stops with you at the end.

Annie Thorisdottir (17:45):

Sorry. If you hear the drilling, there is some drilling going on.

Sevan Matossian (17:48):

I thought you ate something funky last night. My bad. Ken Walters savon using corporate speak today. Don’t be mean. Don’t be mean, not cool. Don’t be mean. Hey, Annie, your gym is called CrossFit.

Annie Thorisdottir (18:05):


Sevan Matossian (18:06):

And you have one gym or multiple gyms?

Annie Thorisdottir (18:09):

One gym. One gym.

Sevan Matossian (18:12):

And tell me about that gym. Are you involved in the day-to-Day? Is it a big gym?

Annie Thorisdottir (18:18):

It’s a big gym. I actually don’t have a number on the amount of coaches. No on the amount of members that we have right now, but probably around thousands.

Sevan Matossian (18:29):


Annie Thorisdottir (18:30):

Wow. We are a fairly large gym, so we can run two classes, well kind of three classes at the same time, but classes start every half an hour. And then we have another area where we have them beginners courses, kids classes, the golden Age classes. And we actually have very strong kids program and Golden Age program. Oh,

Sevan Matossian (18:58):

I like

Annie Thorisdottir (18:58):

That. That’s going on, which is amazing. And then we also have mommy class. I love coming to the gym. When I’m coming training in the morning, it’s usually just past nine o’clock. And on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays we have mommy classes. So that’s women either pregnant or with newborns. Most of them are just with their newborns there. And then on the other side of the gym is a golden h. And just seeing, I feel like we just have the whole broad spectrum there. And then I come and do my training alongside all of them, and I just like, it’s a special feeling. It’s pretty awesome.

Sevan Matossian (19:39):

I want to talk about the mommy classes, but I learn more about your gym, so who runs? So you’re out of the day to day?

Annie Thorisdottir (19:46):

I’m out of the day to today. Yeah, there’s just, I am too busy and I won’t be able to give it enough attention. Is Frederick

Sevan Matossian (19:53):

Involved in the day-to-Day, or is someone in your family? No, no,

Annie Thorisdottir (19:56):

Not in the Dayto day. So we’re three people ultimately that own the gym together. Sean, she is kind of the hat behind it, the financial manager and has been managing the schedule with all the coaches and all of that. We have another guy thrust us stepping into a lot of those things now as well. And then Everett, he’s been the head coach since we started, so he does most of the programming. And then we have coaches, obviously. And Ster is taking on the role of now managing a little bit the day-to-Day, the coaches and everything on the floor. And I believe he will become gradually a bigger role and a part of the gym. And then Frederick and me, we are probably the annoying ones that come and are like, oh, I think this year can be better. This year can be better. We’ve often been a part of developing the coaches a little bit. So just meeting up with the coaches, talking about how we feel like that can be better and more fun for them. It’s just always nice. I saw it when I was teaching the level one seminars. I learned so much when I was interning, and then when I started teaching it, I felt a little sad that I could never see any of those amazing coaches teaching anymore. Does that make sense? Dude,

Sevan Matossian (21:29):

That’s the best part of going to the L ones, watching the red shirts coach crazy. Yes. And Frederick was a red shirt too

Annie Thorisdottir (21:35):

For a little bit. He did the interning and yeah, never. And then just time travel. It doesn’t make sense. Me traveling from Iceland for a weekend seminar, it was just too much. I loved it, but it was just too much travel with the training and everything.

Sevan Matossian (21:55):

And you miss being around those coaches, you were saying?

Annie Thorisdottir (21:57):

Yes. So there you get to see them coach, and there you learn to become a better coach yourself. So as soon as I got my red shirt on, I didn’t get to see that much of other coaches. Obviously I could watch the lectures and all of that, but it’s so amazing to learn cues. And that’s what I’ve learned going around the world, seeing different coaches teach at different gyms. When I was at some of those quarters where you have those phenomenal level one coaches, level two coaches that are teaching those seminars, seeing them coaching classes is so good. So when you become a coach in a gym, you’re usually just by yourself and you don’t get to see others coach. So for coaches to meet up and just talk about some of the things that have been working for them and just it continues to being a coach fun, it gets you excited.


Just like training. When you sit down and you talk about your programming, you talk about your training, you get motivated and you get like, oh, I can’t wait to start this. It’s the same with coaching. When you talk about the different things and the feeling that you can make other people feel, and when they walk into the gym and you’re a part of possibly the best part of their day, and you’re supposed to make them feel special and their experience be good. And yeah, I know coaches are not supposed to be cheerleaders. That’s at least what we teach in level ones. But dude, I love having a cheerleader. I love walking through the floor when people are in the class and just me standing behind the rower or whatever, looking at the mortar, they will go harder. You have that little extra gear, so you giving a little extra gives them a little extra.


So that’s a little bit what we’ve been a part of. And then when there’s something that we’re very passionate about, then we get to do that at the gym. So we really enjoy it, like endurance seminars. So we set some of those up at the gym. We work with hardware monitor or during specific stones and threshold training. And then now I want to start doing a little bit of menopausal seminars, just helping women that are going through menopause, knowing how they’re supposed to be training and what’s happening in their body and all of that. That’s something that I’ve gotten very passionate about, so I want to be doing that. So then we have that access, and we can always do that at Cross Regular Lake.

Sevan Matossian (24:28):

My wife, I think similar to you, she trained her first pregnancy, especially before the twins. She trained every day. It was a little difficult in the beginning with the morning sickness, but trained all the way to the day she had the baby. She even set some prs with some cleans. I mean, she doesn’t have numbers like you, but I think she cleaned and jerked 1 35 for the first time when she was maybe four or five months pregnant. And not even pushing. There were other things she stopped doing. She stopped doing pull-ups because she would say when she would hang from the bar, she would feel the tension in her stomach. But other things, it is really remarkable to have a front row seat. I mean, women have been doing it since the dawn of time, but for people like Frederick and I, or for even women having their first baby, it’s a remarkable front seat. Front row seat to have to see a woman grow a baby, a human being inside of her, and then also stay in top physical condition. And I’m assuming women did that. The majority of women on Planet Earth have done that before. We got to modern times. They still had to get animals, get food, carry the other children around. I guess you’re kind of doing it now, right? You are taking care of a baby and then you’re growing another baby inside of you now, right?

Annie Thorisdottir (25:46):


Sevan Matossian (25:47):

Yeah. Why I’m

Annie Thorisdottir (25:48):

18 weeks in.

Sevan Matossian (25:49):

Did you mean to have another baby?

Annie Thorisdottir (25:53):

I absolutely meant to have another baby, but this was not planned. No. End up. I never compete with a birth control. I just do better without, and this literally happened five, seven days after the games. I was Were you

Sevan Matossian (26:12):

Surprised? Are you surprised? Were you being careful? Were you monitoring or were you kind of, because our twins, after we had the first baby, we got Lackadaisical. And then with all that stuff, with all sorts of contraception. But also I feel like the woman’s body after it has one baby, it might be in kind of the mode. Oh, okay, I make babies.

Annie Thorisdottir (26:33):

Yeah, exactly. It was definitely, well, obviously easier than with the first one. We were trying when we had the first one and that it didn’t take long. It took three months, but this time around, it just happened immediately where it didn’t fit with my cycle, if I’m being honest with that. But I can never say that it’s of, we’re very excited. I’ve always wanted to have more children, but I was very excited to compete at Ropes. I was super disappointed with the games, the physical shape of

Sevan Matossian (27:12):

You did 13th at the games, is that what you mean? Your placement you’re disappointed with?

Annie Thorisdottir (27:17):

Oh no. Well, obviously I didn’t want to place. I think I placed 13th. That’s definitely not where I wanted to place.

Sevan Matossian (27:25):

When you say you’re disappointed, what were you disappointed about?

Annie Thorisdottir (27:28):

I just underperformed. Okay.


Yeah. Apparently that can happen. I would say I underperformed 2016 and then I underperformed this year at the games. And I honestly haven’t really figured out what it was that happened. Training leading into the games was pretty darn good. And everything that I can compare with, apart from the one at Maxis, that was the only thing I would say. It was a little bit limiting going into the games because I’ve had this hip thing going on for a while. So that was the only thing that maybe I hadn’t done as much as I wanted to do, was a lot of heavy lifting. But everything else, I’ve never done as much running. I’ve never done. There were so many things that were clicking really, really well. You

Sevan Matossian (28:27):

Were doing showcase.

Annie Thorisdottir (28:32):

And literally I’ll walk out of the event and I’d be like, dude, I did my best. I really tried, but I just don’t know what happened. My legs were just giving in and it was just like my body just wasn’t feeling right. So the only thing I can put it up as is going a little bit overtrained into the games, and that is maybe me learning a little bit how I need to be. Like you need to evolve and fix how you’re feeling. And I wasn’t feeling great either. I was potentially a little under. But then you also need to just,

Sevan Matossian (29:11):

What about an episode four of your podcast? Fantastic setup by the way you and Karin have. It’s a killer. Thank you. And great podcast, great audio, great. Just raining, good stuff. I watched episode four last night and you said you cried every morning before you would go, and I can’t remember when, but recent. Oh, I was on a seven hour drive the other day and my wife was sitting next to me and 30 minutes into the drive and my kids were in the back. My three kids, 30 minutes into the drive, the dog died in her laps, just died. Oh my God. So we had the dog with us until we got home and I had to bury it. So I cried and laughed for six hours. Jesus, I couldn’t believe.

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