Ep 137 – Rich & Hillary Froning on Putting Family First

Ep 137 – Rich & Hillary Froning on Putting Family First

“The most frustrating part was that every doctor was like, 'Oh, this is gonna work,' because both our blood work- he's super health, I was very healthy- our blood work was excellent. Not just good, it was excellent.  And so, we actually had to sign paperwork that we were going to have multiples because everything looked so perfect on paper.  And so, there wasn’t an issue- there isn’t an issue." 

"Scientific reasoning."

"And so, I joke, I tell everybody well the reason is that they’ve [Lakelyn, Trice & Violet] been our babies the whole time.  But I had told Rich, 'Adoption's been on my heart.'  Ever since I was little. I didn’t even really know a lot about it. I don’t have any friends that were adopted but I had just known and he was like, 'okay, you know my uncle adopted a little girl…' and so, our plan was- well, we’ll have three and then adopt after. "

"Yeah, that was our plan.  It’s funny how God’s like, 'Nah, that might be your plan, but that’s not my plan.” - Hillary & Rich Froning


As the most-decorated CrossFit Games athlete of all time, Rich Froning has won gold at the Games 8 times: 4 times as an individual, and 4 times as a part of team CrossFit Mayhem Freedom.

Rich and his wife, Hillary, finalized the adoption of their first child, Lakelyn, just before the start of the 2014 CrossFit Games, and shortly after Rich chose to step away from individual competition to dedicate more time to his growing family.

The road to becoming parents wasn’t entirely straightforward for Rich and Hillary.  After struggling with infertility, they ultimately followed their hearts and navigated the adoption process, dealing with anxiety, joy, and disappointment along the way.

These days, they’re a family of five, after adopting son Trice and daughter Violet.  In addition to raising the kids and owning CrossFit Mayhem, they’re staying busy with more endeavors that we can count from raising bison on Froning Farms, to opening a new coffee shop, organizing a yearly fundraiser for Mustard Seed Ranch, hosting a CrossFit Sanctional,  online training programs, Train with Rich seminars, a YouTube channel and podcast, running a boutique, managing Airbnb properties, and more.

We were excited to sit down with Rich and Hillary to catch up on all that has changed since the last podcast we recorded together in 2015 (hint: it’s a lot!).  We talked about Hillary’s take on Mayhem’s secret to success, what they’ve learned through their journey to start a family, and how they work together as a team to juggle all their endeavors.

In this episode we discuss:

  • How their lives have changed since our first episode together 5 years ago
  • How Rich’s mindset and day-to-day has changed since becoming a team athlete
  • Hillary’s perspective on Rich’s new training focus
  • The secret to CrossFit Mayhem Freedom’s success
  • What CrossFit Mayhem Freedom looks for in new team members
  • How their team works through events that don’t go according to plan
  • Hillary & Rich’s struggle with infertility and journey to choosing adoption
  • What the adoption process has been like for Rich & Hillary
  • The hard parenting lines they swore they’d never cross
  • How Rich & Hillary navigate making decisions as a team
  • How they prioritize and juggle all their endeavors
  • Their daily routine and where they see their family in five years
  • Three things Rich & Hillary do on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on their health
  • One thing they think could have a big impact on their health but they have a hard time implementing
  • What a healthy life looks like to Rich & Hillary


You can follow Rich on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.  You can follow Hillary on Instagram and Facebook.


Related episodes:

Ep 01 - Rich Froning on Competition, Shifting Priorities, and Discovering his Purpose

Ep 04 – Hillary Froning and Ashley Khalipa on CrossFit’s Impact on Their Lives and Families

Ep 18 – Scott Panchik and his Father on Running an Affiliate, Competition, and Recovering from Injury

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

Disclaimer: This podcast is for general information only, and does not provide medical advice. We recommend that you seek assistance from your personal physician for any health conditions or concerns.

This post was originally published on March 31, 2020.

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