Thank you for checking out The Community Conversation, brought to you by Prototype Training Systems, home of CrossFit Prototype. The Community Conversation highlights a different member of the Prototype Community each week and allows them to tell their story, share their life experience, and communicate their perspective on all things fitness.

We’ve all listened to podcasts and watched YouTube videos that highlight some of the world’s greatest leaders and visionaries. We believe we have some AMAZING people at Prototype and we want you to get to know them! (Check out our last episode here!)

To that end, this episode features my mother-in-law, Karen Burton! This is actually our first in-person Community Conversation and we thought it would be fitting to highlight this amazing mom on Mother’s Day! I’m not going to spoil anything about Karen in this episode but if you want to know how we met, listen to what she thinks about Prototype and how she managed to stay fit during COVID, you will want to check this out!

So, click the link below to watch this Community Conversation on our YouTube page! You can also check out The Community Conversation on all major streaming platforms including Spotify! Don’t forget to subscribe!

Michael Collette 0:02
Alright, everyone, we have our Mother’s Day community conversation, what better person have on here than my mother in law? Karen Burton. So, other than my brother, I guess you’re my first family member on the community conversation that’s not necessarily blood related. So we’re gonna get in getting into today’s community conversation again, it’s Mother’s Day. And Karen is spending her first few waking hours with me talking about stuff she probably doesn’t want to talk about. But with that said, Karen, why don’t you just give everyone kind of like, your story of how you got into, into into CrossFit and it’s certainly a good one, so I’ll try not to blush too much. Okay,

Karen Burton 0:47
so I think was 2012, right. 2012?

Michael Collette 0:52

Karen Burton 0:53
Erin Lindsey called me and said, Mom, you know, have you ever done CrossFit? And, and I’d say no, no, no, no prospects for for young people. She said, No, Mom, this guy from BSc is starting this CrossFit gym. And he’s offering free classes at the high school. And I said, the last thing I want to do is do CrossFit. But then I found out that she had a crush on this guy. So I said, Okay, we’re going and I said to john, we’re going, we got to go check out this guy. So it had nothing to do with CrossFit. I had no desire to do CrossFit. But I needed to check out this guy that she had a crush on. So we went and didn’t really have too much interaction with him. So I had to go back again. I had to keep going back, because I had to find out what this guy was all about. So fast forward. I actually started liking it. And I liked the spirit of what it was all about. And when he opened the gym, I remember going in, and I met my dad, and he was helping him get the place set up. Yeah. And I remember thinking, wow, Mike Sr. was just such a nice, nice, man, his son can’t be too bad. Yeah. So anyway, um, I joined and have been part of a CrossFit community since 2012.

Michael Collette 2:35
I remember that. But you didn’t. You came to the early morning workouts at the West bro. Track. Yes, it was early morning. Yeah. So I remember Aaron saying, My mom’s gonna come do a class do a workout. And I was like, okay, that’s cool. And she was like, No, you should be worried. I was like, why? Like, why? To Well, she’s like, she can be like, intense. And I remember it was I don’t ever remember feeling threatened, or like or like, like, scared.

Karen Burton 3:10
I was very, I was very discreet.

Michael Collette 3:12
Yeah, I guess. But you knew a lot of those people that I knew, like, Sondra and Kathy and everyone, right, that sort of stuff. And then

Karen Burton 3:21
but you are also much older.

Michael Collette 3:23
Yes. Few years old,

Karen Burton 3:24
a few years older than my daughter. She was still she was in college. And yeah, I was thinking, who is this guy? And I was a little bit nervous.

Michael Collette 3:33
Yeah, no, I understand. But, uh, you like the workouts? And then john didn’t start at the same time you did? Because john didn’t go john team. afterwards. I feel like once the gym was open, because I don’t remember john

Karen Burton 3:44
He came to one track.

Michael Collette 3:46
Okay. Maybe it was in the afternoon. Yeah, or something like that. Okay. Because I leave in the morning. Okay. So then you guys get working out. You obviously liked it. And you were coming in the morning, like 6am 6am. And there were a lot of was a really like good group of people. Some of those people have moved away but a good core. Those people are still there. It’s going to talk a little

Karen Burton 4:09
Oh, we had a fabulous 6am girls. We had a bunch of girls that we just would meet every morning. It was it was fantastic. And we watched each other grow. And then when I moved away, I you know, everybody else got stronger except for me. You know,

Michael Collette 4:27
wait, when did you know that? Some people are listening. They probably don’t know, because you guys lived in Westboro. How long? Did you guys live in Westboro for

Karen Burton 4:33
19 years.

Michael Collette 4:34
Okay, and then what year did you guys purchase your house and

Karen Burton 4:40
bought our house in 2012 and I moved down here full time in 2013.

Michael Collette 4:48
Yeah. It was only a year afterwards. Okay.

Karen Burton 4:51
Yeah. About 2013 14. Yeah, yeah. And I joined Upper Cape CrossFit.

Michael Collette 4:58
Yeah, that’s right.

Karen Burton 4:59
Am I always You know, I? I really enjoyed going there, but it still didn’t feel like home. So, you know, actually, that’s probably the biggest benefit that COVID brought, was able to bring back

Michael Collette 5:18
to the work virtual work. I can

Karen Burton 5:19
now do virtual workouts. Yeah.

Michael Collette 5:21
So you were in westborough moved to Falmouth, and you also changed careers. Now you’re this real estate agent that’s basically sold every one house that I know

Karen Burton 5:35
Westborough by the sea.

Michael Collette 5:37
Yeah. So why don’t you talk a little bit about that? Cuz now john, does that with you, too? Yeah. And how did you get into the real estate side of stuff?

Unknown Speaker 5:45
So I always knew I wanted to go into real estate both my parents were were real estate agents. My dad’s a commercial broker. My mom is 86 years old and still working as a real estate agent, Bobby, Bobby in left Harford. And I always knew I wanted to be a real estate agent, in my, quote, retirement years. So I retired from pharmacy when I moved to the cape and had my real estate license and started, you know, became active, full time right into real estate. I had a goal that that I set myself a goal that within five years, I was one of the top agents on Cape Cod, and I did it in four years. So you know, I extremely goal oriented and but I love it, I absolutely love it. And I’ve been fortunate because, um, we live in a fantastic community, and a lot of our friends have relocated to this area.

Michael Collette 6:43
How many

Karen Burton 6:44
Oh god

Michael Collette 6:46
you basically robbed the whole town of Westboro?

Karen Burton 6:50
Westboro by the sea is what we what we now call Yeah,

Michael Collette 6:55
there’s a lot you know, like, could you like, there’s more than 15? No,

Karen Burton 7:00
probably more than 10

Michael Collette 7:02
but they’re all live within like yeah, we all live within Lori’s like I can see your house in the backyard.

Yes and Brent and Sally. Sally across the street Laurel Mack is diagonally behind Judy’s around you know to do judy is

well john for Tom but they’re not Jim but like people you know, john during

Karen Burton 7:20
Yep. My sister and my brother in law lifts the blocks are you know, yeah. Yeah, there’s quite a few down here.

Michael Collette 7:29
So she’s so basically there’s a shameless plug if you’re looking for a hosue on the Cape she’s not gonna say I’ll say she’s your person to go to. Um, but so that the you’d mentioned that COVID has allowed you to exercise more and you are going to uppercase and then obviously COVID have been shut down and you didn’t want to go do outdoor classes there and you were starting to do the our virtual classes again and now you’ve built out like a little home gym. What’s your experience been like? Doing virtual workouts? Like getting acclimated to zoom and then like doing it but continuing to do it consistently making it now like part of your life? Yeah,

Karen Burton 8:12
I I don’t think I could ever go back to in person classes right now. That’s almost the way I that’s the way I feel. I love rolling out of bed. I get my coffee. I actually have coffee every morning on online with a banjee

Michael Collette 8:27

Karen Burton 8:29
We drink our coffee during our warm ups they’re in the cape to their on the cape on so and they’re doing their virtual their Orleans. Yep. And it’s virtual has been the best thing ever. It’s fantastic. You know, I just can go downstairs turn on my computer, you know, sync it with my TV and I can see I can see and you know, and you know it’s it’s it’s so it works so much better for my lifestyle.

Michael Collette 9:03

Karen Burton 9:05
And we also have our little we have this nice 7am group

Michael Collette 9:09
Yeah, there’s the there’s the pros of the convenience right you but you’re also getting the attention to and the coaching and the training and that sort of stuff. But then you’ve also built out this little you the the the benefit that you have that maybe not everyone has like the ability to build out a little gym like downstairs and getting all the equipment and all that sort of stuff, which has been awesome. You got like a bike and a rower and kettlebells and all that sort of stuff. You mean like your own?

Karen Burton 9:38
I still don’t Yeah, the barbell. I’m still working on them. I still I use. I bought a barbell but thank goodness Heather. Heather Clancy, let me her 15 pound one because I’m still not the light one light one. Yep,

Michael Collette 9:51
that’s okay. So okay, so virtual. Now you’re the real estate market here. Is is a is kind of crazy. Like what? And you said that you’re like goal oriented? What are your like? What are your fitness goals? What are you? What are you working towards? or working on? Or what do you what motivates you to keep getting up every morning at five 6am to work out because you’re very routine and structure. We were talking about this, you said you had like a coach like a, like a business coaching thing. And you’re talking about like getting your eight hours of sleep and that sort of stuff? And how that’s a struggle for some people. How do you stay so structured with that?

Karen Burton 10:27
Well, let’s say well, going back to your question about the structure I yell at for sleeping for sleep in general, like,

Michael Collette 10:38
you know, like, it’s hard for people because so just to this day, I guess the take a step back, some people it’s hard to write, get up, wake up, okay, turn on the camera, like be motivated enough to do that make it part of their routine, like how did how, like, again, like how does that like, what’s the and when we mentioned, like, goals? Yeah, being goal oriented, like, what is the driving factor to keep that going? And not like, stop?

Karen Burton 11:06
Well, I don’t. It’s funny, like, you know, when I look at myself, but I look at the people around me, and I kind of don’t think of myself as a quote, crossfitter I just don’t look at myself and say, oh, like, you know, I’m a crossfitter I feel like I’m this older person who likes to just to stay active. And what I, what I like is that it’s not that I have a goal to lift, you know, 85 pounds over my head, it’s that I just want to stay fit and strong and be able to be more toned. You know, I’m not, you know, it’s, it’s not about you know, for me, it’s not about powerlifting or doing that it’s just about maintaining and, and feeling good. You know, it’s part of my routine. It’s like, I wake up every morning at 6am you know, do a couple things, do some work on the computer and then set up for 7am. It’s just like, it’s part of what I do. But I also you know, I’m in bed. You guys don’t always teach me but I’m in bed by nine o’clock. You know, my phone is on silent from 9am till 6am. And it’s 9pm to 6am and it’s just like, I sleep I sleep my eight hours

Michael Collette 12:24
We only make fun of you when you go to bed at seven 7pm. So, okay, but being strong to pick up your granddaddy. Yeah, since it’s Mother’s Day. This is your first Grand Mother’s Day for being a mother’s day as being a grandmother. So if you guys are listening in, this is not Erin and I. But Karen and John’s oldest son, Michael and his wife, Megan, they live out in New Jersey. They work out in New York, they just had their baby a few weeks ago. What’s it like being a grandmother?

Karen Burton 12:59
It’s wonderful. The biggest challenge is I can’t figure out what I want to be called. It’s the biggest dilemma because I don’t picture myself as grandma.

Michael Collette 13:11
So I What are your top five and you can let people know that maybe they can vote and vote on it.

Karen Burton 13:18
Okay, so there’s a couple things Ama is what Michael called his grandmother, John’s mom and he was the one who came up with that name. So Ahmad is an option, Nani is another one BB like for mini Buby or Bubby Burton. My mother is Bubby so I can’t take that away from my mother. So anyway, I think those are the top three

Michael Collette 13:50
Bub was in there No?

Karen Burton 13:51
no I don’t know. I don’t know. It depends.

Michael Collette 13:55
I don’t know gonna know by when it when you need to have the habit.

Karen Burton 13:59
It’s time she’s she’s talking Yeah, I should probably have some reference before that. So that when I talk to her saying Hi, it’s it’s BB on the phone or not me or Alma. I’m just not sure which one I should be I don’t want to be Nana and I don’t want to be grandma. So something different. I just feel that those are those I just don’t want to be Yeah.

Michael Collette 14:24
Alright, so you guys are listening. The top three were BB BB and Nani those are the three so you can email me directly once you get this to give your your your vote he’ll help carry make make a decision. Um, before we get into the Spitfire round three questions that I have. One more question I want to ask you because you mentioned it because you said you don’t like identify as like a Just kind of getting back to identify as like a crossfitter. What would you say to someone that might be listening to this or has like, a friend or family member? That might be thinking the same thing like, Oh, I could never do CrossFit or I could never do this sort of like exercise, but they, but they might, it might resonate with them. Oh, like just getting stronger being more fit tone, like, what would you say to those people?

Karen Burton 15:24
Well, it’s, it’s my friend Laurie. Womack is the perfect example. You know, I use, she used to say, Oh, God, I could never do this, I could never do this. And she is doing it. And she modifies, like, I modify. And I always said to her as weak. It’s not, you don’t have to do those strong, you can just modify and do what you can do. There’s always a modification for everything. And the coaches will work with you, either online or off to tell you what that modification is. And that’s what I feel really good about. Sometimes I feel like, like, if I you know, you know, when you’re not sure of the exercise, and you don’t want to be you know, you don’t you feel embarrassed asking, but when you do you don’t feel it’s all right, you know, it’s, it’s fine. It’s fine. Exactly. Totally fine.

Michael Collette 16:19
Um, no, that’s a good way to put it. Okay, so if you haven’t, have you watched these community conversations have you listened to them?

Karen Burton 16:25
yes. Oh, but but I don’t know. Wait.

Michael Collette 16:27
The last few questions like three questions I want to ask. So I think I know the answer to at least one of them. But the first question is, what is your favorite movie of all time? Favorite TV? So that part is three parts of the question. What’s your favorite movie of all time? Favorite TV show of all time, and what are you currently binge watching? Right now? Okay, so let’s start there. All right.

Karen Burton 16:52
So my favorite was the first one.

What was my

Michael Collette 17:05
joke? What’s your favorite movie?

Oh, my favorite movie. I’ll bet you’ll laugh. It’s overboard.

Karen Burton 17:11
overboard. Oh, that’s what? go overboard.


Michael Collette 17:19
the second one was what is your favorite TV show of all time?

Karen Burton 17:23
TV show or movie. No?

Michael Collette 17:26
Well, the second part is like what’s your favorite TV show?

Karen Burton 17:30
Probably friends,

Michael Collette 17:32
friends. Good. And then the third is what’s the third part for this first question is what is their what is the show that you’re currently binge watching now

Karen Burton 17:40
Oh binge watching? White Collar

Michael Collette 17:43
white collar, ok. Now you got a new one with that Georgia?

Karen Burton 17:46
Oh, yeah, Georgia and Ginny. We started watching it yesterday.

Michael Collette 17:49
Okay, good. Yeah. Okay. Then the second question is what your favorite musician or band or music artist of all time, like if you could only listen to like one musician or one band or one group the rest of your life. who would it be?

Karen Burton 18:05
Probably Ed Sheeran,

Michael Collette 18:06
Ed Sheeran. Okay.

Then the third, really?

The third question is, what is your favorite hobby to do outside of working out? What’s your favorite hobby?

Karen Burton 18:18
To play golf, golf and pickleball? Which one? golf golf?

Michael Collette 18:24
You guys golfing today? It’s gonna be next day.

Karen Burton 18:25
Yeah, I think so. It’s

Michael Collette 18:26
gonna be a beautiful day. All right. Well, you guys, we just had our first live in person community conversation. I think this is Episode 18. You guys got to learn a little bit about Karen Burton, and her journey finding CrossFit and prototype which was probably the most unique out of any other person because no one else has come to the gym just to meet me or to interview me to date their daughter. So thank you, Karen, for doing this on Mother’s Day. I know this is a private last thing that you wanted to do, but I appreciate it. And everyone else is listening. I’m sure they really enjoyed it as well. Remember, you guys can watch the community conversation on our YouTube page or follow us on YouTube. can also subscribe on Spotify. These conversations come out on the first Monday or sorry Monday of every week. Do you ever want to be on the committee conversation? Just let us know. And we appreciate you guys listening. Thank you again, Karen. Thanks