AOTM

Helen Theisen
Member name:

Helen Theisen

Athlete of the month: June, 2018
Details:

What made you decide to start CrossFit?

I owe my decision to start CrossFit to my college roommate, Tori.  She reached out to let me know how great her CrossFit experience had been and she felt I would enjoy it just as much!  I researched local boxes and I liked Strongpoint’s philosophy and reviews, so I booked an appointment with Ryan.  I’m so happy my friend opened my eyes to CrossFit and even more happy that I chose Strongpoint!

What results have you seen or goals have you achieved?

I have seen so many positive results mentally and physically.  I feel healthier, more energized, more focused, and more confident.  These were definitely my main goals when starting CrossFit a little over a year ago.

What do you like best about the gym?

The best part about the gym, in my opinion, are the people.  I immediately felt comfortable when I started at Strongpoint.  Everyone has been very welcoming and friendly.  The coaches have been genuinely interested in helping me learn and perform better, which means a lot to me.

What is your favorite exercise or WOD?

Any WOD or exercise that is related to weightlifting or barbell movements is my favorite!

What is your least favorite exercise or WOD?

Any WOD or exercise related to a gymnastic movement is my worst enemy.  Who in the world thought handstand pushups were a good idea?!

What motivates you to show up day after day?

I am motivated to show up day after day because the WOD’s are always a little different and always challenging.  I love that the workouts are not repetitive and routine.  I also love the feeling after the workout; I just feel happy and accomplished.

What negative thoughts hold you back from being your best?

I find myself thinking negative thoughts when a WOD has a lot of gymnastic movements in it.  I immediately have thoughts that I won’t be able to do the movements which means I won’t get to RX the WOD (ugh, so frustrating!).

What has been your most memorable moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

Well, there were quite a few memorable and embarrassing moments when I first started CrossFit like falling off rigs while trying to do a pull up or yelling ‘time’ way too early because I did the WOD wrong, but my favorite (non-embarrassing) moment has to be when I hit 190 pounds for my clean and jerk PR.  What a rush!

What has been your least favorite moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

Besides being yelled at by Ryan occasionally during workouts, my least favorite moment at Strongpoint CrossFit has been struggling with the Precision Nutrition Class that was offered.  It helped me correct some bad habits, but boy was it tough and frustrating!

What’s one thing that no one at the gym knows about you?

Volleyball has been a huge part of my life.  In fact, I was so obsessed with it in high school that I broke four state records for setting (I know what you’re thinking, I’m way too short to be a volleyball player!).  I ended up having the opportunity to play volleyball at the collegiate level.  I was a four-year student athlete at Concord University in Athens, WV (where I broke no records).  It was an amazing experience!!

What is your favorite quote from Strongpoint CrossFit?

Any time a coach says “below knee”, I think of bologna and I giggle hysterically to myself!

What do you want to accomplish with your training in the next year?

I want to accomplish many wegihtlighting PR’s and improve my gymnastic movements over the next year.  I would love to be able to string together more than two or three pull ups at a time.

What advice would you give to someone who just started out?

Don’t give up and don’t compare yourself to other athletes! Just keep moving, pushing, and improving yourself!

What advice would give to someone who was on the fence about starting?

The grass is greener on the CrossFit side, so just get off the fence and make the best decision of your life!

Melissa Estrada
Member name:

Melissa Estrada

Athlete of the month: April 2018
Details:

What made you decide to start CrossFit?

I never knew CrossFit even existed until my brother-in-law introduced me to it. After that first class that he brought me to, I was hooked.

What results have you seen or goals have you achieved?

Overall I feel way stronger now from when I started out.

What do you like best about the gym?

People cheering me on during the WOD.

What is your favorite exercise or WOD?

My favorite exercise is when it has to do with body weight movements and also movements involving dumbbells.

What is your least favorite exercise or WOD?

My least favorite exercise is anything that involves thrusters.

What motivates you to show up day after day?

What motivates me to show up is watching other athletes at the gym pushing themselves to be better, and seeing that makes me want to be better as well.

What negative thoughts hold you back from being your best?

My only negative thoughts that hold me back is hitting a plateau and not being able to surpass my goals.

What has been your most memorable moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

My most memorable moment at Strongpoint CrossFit is signing up for the open for the first time.

What has been your least favorite moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

I really don’t have a least favorite moment. Just learning from those tough moments and to keeping chugging on.

What’s one thing that no one at the gym knows about you?

I’m an Artist so I love to oil paint.

What is your favorite quote from Strongpoint CrossFit?

Its’s you vs. you

What do you want to accomplish with your training in the next year?

Just to keep getting better and stronger. But to be more specific, I’d like to get bar muscle ups.

What advice would you give to someone who just started out?

Don’t try to compare yourself with other people and to go at your own pace. 

What advice would you give to someone who was on the fence about starting?

Try it. It’s not as scary as it seems.

Coach’s comments: Melissa started with us in the winter of 2016 and has become one of the most consistent members of our 4:30 pm class.  She has made dramatic improvements in her technique, skills, and strength over the past two years adding nearly 40 pounds to her back squat, 25 to her front squat, 20 to her snatch, and literally more than doubling the amount of weight that she is able to clean.  She has made great strides in her gymnastics skills as well especially over the course of the past few months as she has been able to develop more consistent chest to bar pull ups and handstand pushups.  Melissa just completed her first CrossFit Open and was able to complete the last three workouts as prescribed.  She has a great attitude and is always very coachable.  It has been a pleasure to watch her abilities grow over the last two years, but more importantly, she has developed so much more confidence in her abilities.  We have enjoyed working with Melissa to date and look forward to helping her achieve more of her goals in the future! 

Charles Curley
Member name:

Charles Curley

Athlete of the month: March 2018
Details:

What made you decide to start CrossFit?

While working out at home every morning, I did P90X or Insanity which became really boring after doing it for three years (plus Tony Horton is really annoying).  I wanted to find something that was challenging and let me lift heavy weights.

What results have you seen or goals have you achieved?

I have gotten a lot stronger and learned new skills.  My mobility has improved.  I am able to do more and more workouts as prescribed.

What do you like best about the gym?

The coaches and the people.  The 6am group is very supportive of each other and as much as it may suck each day everyone is encouraging each other.

Learning new skills.  When you do a snatch or a clean and you hit it in the right way that you can feel the physics of the move actually kick in is really cool (not that it has happened that often though).

What is your favorite exercise or WOD?

Rope climbs, dumbbell snatches, or box jumps.

What is your least favorite exercise or WOD?

Running, dumbbell thrusters and/or burpees.

What motivates you to show up day after day?

If I miss I day, I feel like terrible the rest of the day.  I need the feeling that you get when you lift something heavy and do something that is challenging and pushes you to force yourself through something.

What negative thoughts hold you back from being your best?

I tell myself how miserable a workout is going to be before I even start it.

What has been your most memorable moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

It’s not one specific moment but all of the small ones.  It is hitting a new PR, hanging out with everyone after a workout, doing a rope climb for the first time, explaining to the kids about a world before the internet or cable television, and enjoying the feeling of finishing something I did not think I would finish.

What has been your least favorite moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

Either when we did the workout that finished with a 400 meter run carrying a 20 lb. wall ball or when Chris recently had your “Choose Your Own Adventure” that ended with 30 calories on the Assault Bike and a mile run.  Those both sucked.

What’s one thing that no one at the gym knows about you?

I was going to play soccer in college but I broke my leg my senior year of high school.  A player kicked through my shin, breaking both bones.  When I looked down my shoe was gone and my foot was pointing sideways.  I reached down and put my foot back correctly and then passed out from the pain hitting.

What is your favorite quote from Strongpoint CrossFit?

After Michelle explained a workout that needed explaining, somebody asked can I do this or that, then twenty or so different variations, Michelle, exasperated, said, “I don’t care It’s your workout.”  Plus, “Baloney squats.”

What do you want to accomplish with your training in the next year?

Getting better at gymnastics.  Getting double unders.

What advice would you give to someone who just started out?

Scale, do not care about where you are on the whiteboard, and ask questions.

What advice would give to someone who was on the fence about starting?

It is intimidating to walk into the gym for the first time, but everybody is very welcoming and supportive.

Coach’s Comments: Chuck joined us just over a year ago and has become one of the most consistent members of the 6:00 am class.  We can pretty much count on Monday to Friday attendance week in and week out assuming he’s not traveling for work.  As a result of his hard work and dedication, he has better than doubled his measurable strength in the last year taking his back squat from 105 to 265, front squat from 75 to 225, deadlift from 130 to 365, clean from 85 to 165, and power snatch from 75 to 140!  Chuck recently completed our pull up program and improved his strict pull ups, kipping pull ups, and toes to bar.  All that hard work and consistency is paying off!  Chuck is also competing in the CrossFit Open this year for the first time.  We have thoroughly enjoyed working with Chuck to date and look forward to helping him continue to hone his strength and skills in the coming year!

Allison Bailys
Member name:

Allison Bailys

Athlete of the month: February 2018
Details:

What made you decide to start CrossFit?

I went to bring a friend with Connie Garland.  I was looking to incorporate more weight training.

What results have you seen or goals have you achieved?

Happy to say I can do a pull up, but more importantly I feel strong and healthy. I feel that I am in better shape than I was 10 years ago.

What do you like best about the gym?

The support from fellow participants and the variety of exercises offered.

What is your favorite exercise or WOD?

Snatch, although it took a while to feel comfortable doing them.

What is your least favorite exercise or WOD?

Anything that has a 20 minute cap!

What motivates you to show up day after day?

Knowing that I will have accomplished a good workout when I am done.  It doesn’t hurt to be complimented on my arm muscles either.

What negative thoughts hold you back from being your best?

Fear of thinking “I can’t do it”.  I focus a lot on technique and understanding a skill before I am comfortable and confident doing the skill.

What has been your most memorable moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

Doing double unders more consistently.  I never thought I could do more than one but with lots of practice, I can.

What has been your least favorite moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

Doing too much and hurting my shoulder.  This limited me for too many months.

What’s one thing that no one at the gym knows about you?

I have been playing cards at the poker room for so many years that I am on a first name basis with many of the pit bosses.

What is your favorite quote from Strongpoint CrossFit?

It’s a toss-up between:  “It’s you vs. you” and when Ryan says to me “Just do whatever you want”.

What do you want to accomplish with your training in the next year?

This year’s goal is a chest to bar without a band.

What advice would you give to someone who just started out?

Be patient. It doesn’t all click when you first start out.  But if you keep with it, it does all come together.

What advice would give to someone who was on the fence about starting?

You really find out what you are made of.  It’s intimidating until you get into it, then it’s so worth it.

Coach’s comments: Allison has been with Strongpoint for a little over four years.  I still remember asking her what she did to stay in shape on her first day and was surprised to learn that she was only doing yoga.  She started very simply with a single session each week before progressing to two and then three days a week.  Allison is now a mainstay in our 8:00 am “Masters” class.  She routinely trains three days a week and serves as somewhat of a gym ambassador during that class.  She has referred in her daughter, husband, and several neighbors for various programs over the years.  Allison completed her first CrossFit Open last year and has indicated that she’s going to participate again this year.  That’s a long way from only training a single day a week three years ago!  As she mentioned, Allison injured her shoulder late in the summer of 2017, but she did not let that stop her from continuing not only to attend, but to continue to improve her strength and skill in the movements she could still do.  Allison is wholly focused on proper technique, yet has developed significant enough strength in her lifts that she would undoubtedly be competitive at the state and even national level in Masters Olympic Weightlifting. (Now if we can get her to a meet!)   We have enjoyed working with Allison and look forward to helping her continue to progress in the future! 

PS: That is, undoubtedly, one of the most surprising answers to the question about something at the gym no one knows that I have ever seen!  Allison the card shark!  Who’d have thunk it?!

Nina Hrustic
Member name:

Nina Hrustic

Athlete of the month: January 2018
Details:

What made you decide to start CrossFit?

My husband suggested we join the CrossFit gym close to his work. I said “NO WAY!” at first. But I am so glad I gave it a try.

What results have you seen or goals have you achieved?

I have become a lot stronger and have gained some muscle along the way.  

What do you like best about the gym?

Doing the workouts together as a group, because I am sure there are many workouts I wouldn’t be able to get through if I tried to do them alone.

What is your favorite exercise or WOD?

I love cleans and front squats/back squats

What is your least favorite exercise or WOD?

I really dislike any workouts that have any running incorporated into them.

What motivates you to show up day after day?

Knowing that I will be just a little stronger after every workout.

What negative thoughts hold you back from being your best?

“It’s too heavy!”

What has been your most memorable moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

Being able to do pull ups without a band.

What has been your least favorite moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

Ryan calling me out in front of the entire class when I was doing something wrong.

What’s one thing that no one at the gym knows about you?

I’m bilingual

What is your favorite quote from Strongpoint CrossFit?

“That was the worst 20 minutes of my life.” –Unidentified nurse that usually trains in the am

What do you want to accomplish with your training in the next year?

I want to do able to do more workouts as prescribed. I also really want to hit a 200lb back squat.

What advice would you give to someone who just started out?

Take your time. Learn proper form first and the weights will start to add up.

What advice would give to someone who was on the fence about starting?

I know it seems intimidating at first, but everyone has to start somewhere and was a beginner at one point. Give it a try! You may surprise yourself and end up loving it (like me).

Coach’s comments: This is Nina’s second, and much longer, stint with the gym.  She originally started in one of our four-week challenges and her and her husband, Emir, ended up sticking around our regular classes for a while afterward.  She has consistently attended three times each and every week since rejoining about a year ago.  I still distinctly remember the first time I “called her out for doing something wrong in front of the entire class.”  We were working on air squats during her first session and I told her that what she was doing was not a squat.  Ironically enough, she has developed some of the absolute best squatting form in the entire gym!  As she stated, we have watched her skills continually improve and her strength numbers go up very consistently over the course of 2017.  She has added over 40 pounds to both her back and front squat, does about 20# over a her original single best deadlift for a triple, and has literally doubled the amount of weight she can snatch and clean.  Those are incredible results after only a year of training and she has done it through her determination, consistency, and hard work.  We have seen Nina’s confidence increase so much along the way too.  We have really enjoyed watching her grow in the past year and look forward to helping her continue to achieve her goals in 2018!

Stephan Baker
Member name:

Stephan Baker

Athlete of the month: May, 2016
Details:

What made you decide to start CrossFit?

I was looking for a new type of exercise. I started reading a lot about CrossFit but I wasn’t sure how to find a box. My co-worker Pearl told me about Strongpoint and it took some persistence but she eventually convinced me to come to Bring A Friend.

What results have you seen or goals have you achieved?

I have done sports my entire life but CrossFit is a completely different type of exercise. I am the fittest I have ever been. I have gained lean muscle and feel healthier and stronger. One of my goals was to learn a bar muscle up.

What do you like best about the gym?

The friendships and relationships I have with the other members and coaches.

What is your favorite exercise or WOD?

Anything that involves power cleans or shoulder to overhead

What is your least favorite exercise or WOD?

WALL BALLS! And overhead squats because of my lack of flexibility

What motivates you to show up day after day?

The community, Ryan’s passion, and accountability.

What negative thoughts hold you back from being your best?

My competitiveness. I always think I should have done better. Finished higher in the WOD.

What has been your most memorable moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

During my first week at Strongpoint, Ryan asked me if I had ever squatted before. I think he was trying to tell me that my flexibility was something to consider working on.

What has been your least favorite moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

When my wife beats me!

What’s one thing that no one at the gym knows about you?

In high school I was a kicker for Bolles and won the state championship by kicking the only two field goals.

What is your favorite quote from Strongpoint CrossFit?

Anything Bad Mike comes up with at 6am

What do you want to accomplish with your training in the next year?

I would like to improve my flexibility and get a ring muscle up.

What advice would you give to someone who just started out?

We all can’t be Rich Froning but stick with it you will be surprised what your hard work and perseverance can accomplish.

What advice would give to someone who was on the fence about starting?

Try it! It will be something you have never experienced. It’s not just physical exercise, its community, friendship, and fun.

Coach’s Comments: Stephan has become one of the most hard-working and consistent members of our 6:00 am session. While he is a great natural athlete, Stephan routinely works on his weaknesses and has made significant strides in his overall strength, conditioning, and flexibility since joining us right at two years ago.  Stephan participated in the 2015 and 2016 CrossFit Opens and has competed at Rep Your Box and Festivus.  He has referred in co-workers and his wife, Christine, who has become a solid member in her own right during the past year with us.  Stephan also participated in our January, 2016 TakeDown Challenge where he finished fourth (just behind Christine for the record!).  Of note, Stephan routinely engages with the coaching staff after and outside of classes for extra help and suggestions to continue to build on his already solid abilities.  With his nutrition dialed in, eagerness to get better, and strong work ethic, we really look forward to seeing what Stephan can accomplish in the future!

Stephania Landaeta
Member name:

Stephania Landaeta

Athlete of the month: June, 2016
Details:

What made you decide to start CrossFit?
I wanted something challenging, different, and disciplinary. I wanted to be surrounded by nice and fit people that will encourage me to work hard.

What results have you seen or goals have you achieved?
My endurance has improved, as well as the ability to do things I never thought I could do. Now, I feel more confident and mentally and physically strong.

What do you like best about the gym?
What I liked best about the gym is that I feel like I am part of a big, fit family. Being away from home, I can truly say that Strongpoint has gave me a home away from home and I’m so glad that I’m part of this great family. 

What is your favorite exercise or WOD?
My favorite WOD is anything that involves box jumps or box overs with some power cleans or pull ups and hand stand pushups. I also like burpees and toes to bar.  

What is your least favorite exercise or WOD?
I do not like rowing 50 calories or 1,000 meters. I do not like ring dips, pushups or thrusters either.

What motivates you to show up day after day?

Have fun, stay fit and learning something different.

What negative thoughts hold you back from being your best?
It’s too heavy or it’s too hard. There is no way I can do that. They did it so fast and I will take forever.

What has been your most memorable moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?
Thanksgiving get together. We worked out, cleaned and ate.  

What has been your least favorite moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?
When I showed up to class trying to do my 16.1 and Ryan was mad.

What’s one thing that no one at the gym knows about you?
I have two older sisters that are also twins and their names are Antonella and Antonietta.

What is your favorite quote from Strongpoint CrossFit?
My favorite quote is “It’s gonna be EPIC”   

What do you want to accomplish with your training in the next year?
Become more fit and develop more mental and physical strength, as well as becoming more mentally and physically healthy  

What advice would you give to someone who just started out?
Push through, do not give up, and consistently go and put in your best effort

What advice would give to someone who was on the fence about starting?
CrossFit is for everyone.  Do not doubt yourself and believe that you can anything you set your mind to.

Coach’s Comments: Stephania just celebrated her first “CrossFit birthday” and has been nothing short of a pleasure to have in the gym for that entire year.  She quickly became and has remained one of our most consistent, determined, and hardworking members starting with our 6:00 am sessions, moving to our mid-morning, and eventually settling into evening classes since finishing school this spring.  She has routinely trained 5-6 days per week despite a demanding senior year at the JU College of Business.  We were sad thinking about her moving away after graduation, but as fortune would have it, she became a Presidential Fellow at JU and will be around a little longer! Stephania has significantly improved every single aspect of her fitness in the past year with us.  She competed in No Baby Leave the Sock, two Festivus Games, and the CrossFit Open in the last 10 months alone and always gives 100% effort in everything she does.  She recently enrolled in our TakeDown Challenge program and I’m excited to see how dialing in her nutrition helps her improve her performance.  We look forward to continuing to work with her for another year and seeing what she can do!

Adam Roach
Member name:

Adam Roach

Athlete of the month: July, 2016
Details:

What made you decide to start CrossFit?

My brother had been doing it for a year and really convinced me that it would change my life, and I was also getting super tired of doing the usual Planet Fitness style work outs.

What results have you seen or goals have you achieved?

I’ve noticed I’m stronger than I’ve ever been and my all around health is at its best. I even sleep better.

What do you like best about the gym?

Blitz

What is your favorite exercise or WOD?

I love doing spit jerks and handstand pushups .

What is your least favorite exercise or WOD?

Wallballs

What motivates you to show up day after day?

Knowing that every day is a different day for me to better myself.

What negative thoughts hold you back from being your best?

I have none

What has been your most memorable moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

When I learned how to do a ring muscle up. I asked so many people how they did it and I tried to put all of it together and it finally clicked.

What has been your least favorite moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

Throwing up a 4 Rivers Texas Destroyer thanks to Fran

What’s one thing that no one at the gym knows about you?

I moved to California to pursue acting and music.

What is your favorite quote from Strongpoint CrossFit?

“IT’S GOING TO BE EPIC ”

What do you want to accomplish with your training in the next year?

I want to close the gaps in my lifts and keep setting and achieving my goals.

What advice would you give to someone who just started out?

Humble yourself.  There’s nothing wrong with asking questions.

What advice would give to someone who was on the fence about starting?

I can say I’ve been active my whole life and CrossFit has put me in the best shape of my life.  No matter who you are, it will help you with your life in general.

Coach’s Comments: Adam started in the spring of 2015 and came to us as a relatively fit individual with a good background in barbell work from weightlifting and football in high school.  I still remember his first week… he showed up in khaki shorts because he forgot his workout shorts and went ahead and did the WOD anyway.  Typical Roach!  He referred in his lovely fiancé (now wife), Cele, a few months later and they have both become mainstays in our 4:30 pm class.  Adam has served the gym in various capacities as a judge for two Festivus Games, helping out with gym clean up days, and even carting me around on a forklift to change out the climbing ropes.  He also served as an intramural team captain during the 2016 Open where he led his team to sweet victory!  Adam makes productive use of Open Gym periods and regularly participates in our Olympic Weightlifting class.  After participating in the Open and Forging the Warriors’ Regional fundraiser competition, Adam has set his sights on competing in an Olympic weightlifting meet this fall where his relative pound for pound strength will allow him to shine.  The staff is proud of his development to date and we look forward to working with him to achieve of his fitness goals in the future!  PS – he also does a mean Johnny Cash impression. 

Kyle Smallwood & Pete Kroshefskie
Member name:

Kyle Smallwood & Pete Kroshefskie

Athlete of the month: August, 2017
Details:

What made you decide to start CrossFit?

KS: I was getting bored of the normal gym routine and was looking for something different. I remember watching the CrossFit Games on ESPN in 2013 and thinking it looked like a lot of fun. I joined a gym in January 2014 and was hooked after that first workout.

PK: Essentially I was in the worst shape of my life and was extremely frustrated with myself for letting it get so out of control.  I basically went from being a very successful High School and Collegiate Wrester, to ultimately not working out at all over a 13-year period.  I think there might have been a 6-month stint where I went to a Globo Gym regularly, but absolutely hated it and slowly stopped going.  I put a lot of the blame on my previous employment, due to the lack of work life balance it provided, and then in the summer of 2014 I was able to make a career change that afforded me the flexibility that I was really looking for.  Once I got settled into my new job, I realized that I couldn’t use my employment as an excuse anymore and decided I had to start working out again, but I knew it had to be something different, something that would keep me challenged and motivate.  I had heard about CrossFit, but really had no idea what it was or how it worked!  I just remember some of my old coworkers saying that it’s insanely hard, but go figure, of course none of them had actually ever even attempted to try CrossFit before.  I knew I had to make a drastic change in my life, so I figured why not try this CrossFit thing that everyone told me was virtually impossible.  So I went on line and searched for the nearest Box to my house and it came down to CrossFit 904 and Strongpoint.  I saw that Ryan offered a free consultation, so I reached out to him first and scheduled my consultation.  I won’t lie, I was extremely nervous walking up to the gym for my consultation, seeing people doing Bar Muscle-Ups, weights slamming and the music blasting.  I came extremely close to buying into the notion that this might not be something that I’m going to be able to do and almost got back in my car to drive away, but deep down inside I knew this was exactly what I was looking for and what I needed in my life to get back into shape.

What results have you seen or goals have you achieved?

KS: All of my gymnastics and general cardio has gotten a lot better. I came in with a relatively good strength background but was lacking on gymnastics. Now I’m able to consistently do muscle-ups, handstand push-ups, and pullups. Also, losing weight was a big plus I think I’ve lost a little over 30lbs since I started at Strongpoint.

PK: Walking into the gym for my first WOD, I really didn’t have any goals in mind other than getting into better shape and committing to making a minimum of three classes a week.  Over time I was able to eventually ramp up the number of workouts a week, along with occasionally incorporating in some of the accessory work.  I’ve gone from not being able to do more than 3 or 4 Pull-Ups without a band during my initial consultation to now being able to string numerous butterfly pull-ups together at a time.  Over my first 3 months I completed exactly 1 Metcon Rx (Jackie in 14:49) and now the only workouts that I’m not able to complete fully Rx are those with Ring Muscle Ups.  I’ve also lost approximately 27 pounds, gained significant strength, increased my conditioning and improved my overall health and fitness significantly!

What do you like best about the gym?

KS: The people make it awesome you just go hangout with other’s who like to lift and torture themselves. Also, beating Pete at WODs is fun.

PK: Hands down the people!!!  Strongpoint has a great member base and excellent coaches that are extremely knowledgeable and tremendously supportive!  Being a former athlete, I also really enjoy the friendly competitive atmosphere.  I also really appreciate that Ryan is continuously looking for ways to improve our experience and continuously seems to be investing back into the gym with new equipment etc.

What is your favorite exercise or WOD?

KS: Cleans are my favorite exercise. Grace would probably be my all-time favorite WOD. Outside of that I like any WOD that involves heavy weight.

PK: Any Metcon with Pull-Ups, Handstand Push-Ups or Rope Climbs.  I won’t name names, but I typically can outperform the “Other Spotlight Athlete” in the majority of these workouts.

What is your least favorite exercise or WOD?

KS: I hate overhead squats so any WOD with overhead squats I automatically prepare myself for a world of suck. Burpees would have to be a close second.

PK: Any WOD that has Thrusters, Clusters or Wall Balls, so basically any movement that includes a squat followed by pushing weight over my head!

What motivates you to show up day after day?

KS: I love the gym and just love working out. If I miss a day I feel lazy and like I didn’t accomplish anything. Also, I know Pete would give me crap if I didn’t show up.

PK: Honestly I just really enjoy working out again.  It’s no longer an unpleasant chore that I have to do on a regular basis to stay healthy!  I’ve also developed a great friendship with the “Other Spotlight Athlete” who I typically workout with.  It’s great being able to workout with someone that’s willing to point out my areas for improvement, while also pushing me past my limits on a daily basis, but this also cultivates a feeling of accountability to one another to show up day after day.

What negative thoughts hold you back from being your best?

KS: I’m bad about getting in my on head. If I’m not performing as well as I think I could I get frustrated and that hinders my performance.

PK: The fear of getting injured.  I’ve had numerous surgeries during my wrestling career, so I have a pretty good understanding about what the recovery process may require and I know it’s not going to be any easier now that I’m much older.  But I also realize that the fear of getting hurt could lead to improper technique and positioning and possibly cause the injury that I’ve been fearing.  I also recognize that the more I work on my technique and form, the more I’ll become comfortable with the movements and the fear of getting hurt will ultimately subside.

What has been your most memorable moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

KS: Probably this year during 16.3 the power snatch/bar muscle-up workout. I was worried because I didn’t really have bar muscle-ups down, but I ended up getting into the 6th round. I realized then that I was capable of doing more than I what previously thought. Also, cleaning 300lbs last year was pretty exciting.

PK: Not having Bar Muscle-Ups after months of attempts and spending the Friday evening before 16.3 trying to figure out how to do them.  Ryan recommended that I make a slight adjustment to my approach and on my first attempt I was finally able to propelled myself up and on top of the bar… go figure!  The next day during 16.3 I completed 4 rounds totaling 12 Muscle-Ups, but most importantly I had an Rx next to my name!  Thank you RM!

What has been your least favorite moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

KS: When Pete beat me in the Sunshine State Cup…stupid handstand push-ups. Also, doing 16.5 I’m still haunted by the fact that I had to redo that workout.

PK: The evening of my very first Metcon (5 Rounds – 10 Deadlift, 10 Burpees)!  I didn’t do the 275 Rx weight, but I definitely didn’t scale down to what I probably should have either.  As soon as I made it home, it hit me really hard, I immediately had to lie down on my living room floor as the room began to spin and then came the wonderful introduction to Pukie The Clown.  During all of my years working out for wrestling, I never got sick from any kind of exercise or workout and thankfully I haven’t since that evening!  That first workout was extremely humbling, but it also opened my eyes to the fact that I was much more out of shape than I realized and I absolutely needed to make a long term commitment to CrossFit if I really wanted to get back in shape.

What’s one thing that no one at the gym knows about you?

KS: I was part of a State Championship weightlifting team in high school.

PK: The summer after my senior year of high school I qualified for a U.S.A. Wrestling Team that traveled all over Turkey for two weeks competing against their countries top Wrestlers.  During that trip my only loss was in OT to the reigning World Champion.

What is your favorite quote from Strongpoint CrossFit?

KS: “Get Angry!!!” – Ryan every time we have to do heavy deadlifts

PK: “You know where you can find sympathy?  Between shit and syphilis in the dictionary!” -Ryan

What do you want to accomplish with your training in the next year?

KS: I just want to steadily improve across all areas such as gymnastics, strength, and endurance.

PK: I really want to complete a full Ring Muscle-Up Metcon Rx!  I also really want to stand on the podium at the Team Festivus Games competition this fall alongside the “Other Spotlight Athlete” and preferably we’ll be standing next to, but above Andres and Kosta.  I’m also secretively working on my handstand walking with the hopes that Dave Castro programs them into the Open next year, knowing that’s probably the only possible way that I’ll ever have a chance at actually beating Ryan in a Metcon.

What advice would you give to someone who just started out?

KS: Just stick it out. Those first few weeks or months can be tough trying to learn all the movements and terminology and constantly being sore. Over time though you’ll see improvements and you’ll start to become addicted.

PK: Set a couple small but attainable goals when you first start out and use Wodify to track your progress and keep notes on your previous workouts.  If you stay dedicated and show up to the classes, you’ll start checking those goals off your list and eventually you’ll be setting goals that you never thought would even be achievable when you first set foot in the gym for that first workout or consultation.

Also, if you have little or no previous experience with Olympic Lifting, I would highly recommend participating in the Olympic Weightlifting class on Thursday nights!  I had no idea what the differences were between a Clean, Snatch, Power Clean, Hang Snatch etc. but the Thursday night Weight Lifting class definitely help me gain a better understand of how to perform each and every one of these movements.

What advice would give to someone who was on the fence about starting?

KS: Just do it! You won’t find a more supportive and awesome community than the people who do CrossFit. And if you’re serious about getting in shape or looking to change things up CrossFit is the perfect opportunity.

PK: I would tell them that CrossFit has definitely improved my life in a very positive and healthy way!  Give it a chance and try it out for at least a couple weeks and don’t listen to the naysayers!  Yes, it can be hard, but only as hard as you make it and anyone can absolutely do it!  If you don’t think you’re 100% ready to participate in a full-blown CrossFit class, then start out with the Fundamentals class or the Boot Camp class.  Also, keep in mind that you basically have a personal trainer available to you in every class and they’re there to provide advice and guidance through your new found fitness journey!

Coach’s Comments: Kyle and Pete have become the hottest “bromance” in the gym.  They started up with Strongpoint right around the same time and have both become mainstays in our 6:30 pm class nearly every weekday.  They both participated in our most recent TakeDown Challenge where each finished in the top four.  They have each participated in multiple Festivus Games, the CrossFit Open, and most recently the Sunshine State Cup where their back and forth rivalry was pretty entertaining.  Here’s two guys that are separated by about 12-13 years in age that met up at the gym, pushed each other every day for a couple of years, and have inspired each other to do things that exceeded either of the expectations when they started.  They have developed a great friendship in the process.  Kyle and Pete both came in with good athletic backgrounds, but we have watched them steadily and consistently creep up the leaderboard as their strength and skills have developed.  They both have great attitudes, are very coachable, and will undoubtedly continue to develop as they work together (and against each other) in the coming months.  We look forward to seeing them compete as a team at Rep Your Box later this month and Festivus in the fall!

Rachel Bush
Member name:

Rachel Bush

Athlete of the month: September, 2016
Details:

What made you decide to start CrossFit?

What had happened was… In Jan 2012, I was browsing Groupon and found a deal for “CrossFit.”  I had no idea what it was, and somehow convinced my bestie Devon to buy it too and join me.  The gym turned out to be right by my house, and a perfect fit with an awesome coach!  I’m proud to say I am one of the original gangstas (OG)

What results have you seen or goals have you achieved?

Because of my consistency at the gym this year, I have been happy with many results. I’ve set new personal records on many lifts and I’m looking forward to many more.  I also participated in the TakeDown Challenge last January. I continue to use what I learned about nutrition on a daily basis.

What do you like best about the gym?

The friendships I’ve made, the awesome coaches, ROMWOD and Blitz!

What is your favorite exercise or WOD?  

Running

What is your least favorite exercise or WOD?

Wall balls and Snatches

What motivates you to show up day after day?

Dem gains bro!

What negative thoughts hold you back from being your best?

I don’t have any. My motto is Be Positive, like my blood type. #B+

What has been your most memorable moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

It feels like so long ago but the first time I completed a kipping pull up! Also competing in Festivus this year!

What has been your least favorite moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

It’s between Cassie flying/falling off the pull up rig at the old gym, or the moment Deevon cancelled her membership.

What’s one thing that no one at the gym knows about you?

I think some may know, but in 2013 I completed a full Ironman Triathlon. 140.6 miles! I also competed in the Jax Physique bodybuilding competition at UNF. (Ok that’s two)

What is your favorite quote from Strongpoint CrossFit?

“Stronger people are harder to kill” -RM

What do you want to accomplish with your training in the next year?

Keep getting stronger and more flexible. Maybe compete again!

What advice would you give to someone who just started out?

Consistency is key and don’t forget to mobilize!!

What advice would give to someone who was on the fence about starting?

CrossFit provides fitness improvements that are quantifiable!

Coach’s Comments: Rachel has been member since the days of the much fabled “Old Gym.”  I believe that she started before we even had paint on the walls in the old place, which eminently qualifies her as a Strongpoint “OG.”  She was primarily a distance athlete through the majority of the first couple of years relying on CrossFit a couple of days a week as her cross training days.  After a brief foray into figure competition in 2015, Rachel decided to start training CrossFit more regularly.  We have seen her lifts steadily rise and dramatic improvements in her gymnastics skills this year with more regular attendance.  Rachel participated in her first CrossFit Open, where she earned several top-three finishes in scaled workouts in our in-house competition, and the spring Festivus Games.  She now routinely completes workouts as prescribed and has steadily moved up the leader board throughout 2016.  The coaching staff has really enjoyed working more closely with Rachel in 2016 and we look forward to seeing what she can do with continued consistent effort in the future!

 

Member name:

Erin Greene
Member name:

Erin Greene

Athlete of the month: December, 2016
Details:

I find it very ironic that I’m answering these and my quads are soaked in Tiger Balm. 

What made you decide to start CrossFit? I was living in Italy and a couple friends were really into it.  I was already teaching multiple classes at our base gym and doing my own thing in between them, so when I got the chance, I would join them.  It was difficult because of the language barrier (although many CrossFit terms are universal), but it broke up my usual routine.  When we moved back to the States, I was finding after not having a typical gym for about 5 years, that most of them were either small studios which were a lot of money for a time slot or big box places where everyone threw their music in and didn’t talk to anyone.  I knew I had to drink the Kool-Aid and come to the dark side.

What results have you seen or goals have you achieved?  You could say that the past couple of years, I didn’t push myself as hard as I could in the weight room.  It was mostly aesthetics over function and teaching up to 20 classes a week between SPIN and Group X, I was completely exhausted, so I was only mustering what I could.  Coming into Strongpoint, I was back to doing lifts I hadn’t done since college and beating even those numbers.  Rest, good coaching and listening to my body has been a tremendous help.

What do you like best about the gym?  The 9am’ers, making sure we’re pushing Liz to her max potential, listening to Mike and Connie talk about their hippy days and of course, Jason’s hair.

What is your favorite exercise or WOD?  Deadlifts all day every day.  Diane and Donny have been two of my favorites even though they both made me want to puke.

What is your least favorite exercise or WOD? Ring Dips and Toes to Bar.

What motivates you to show up day after day?  My college coach said something to me that I’ve kept in the back of my head since I was 18.  It definitely wasn’t something insightful, but it fueled my fire and even more than 20 years later, I’ll pull it out when I need it.  I do quite a number of things to prove people wrong.  Besides, I’m a creature of habit.  If my routine is off, it throws my whole day out of whack.

What negative thoughts hold you back from being your best?  I don’t like being injured or sidelined and if I feel like I’m going to do something that may hurt myself, I won’t push past that point.

What has been your most memorable moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?  Hitting 3 bones (300#) on my deadlift, getting my HSPU and Double Unders.

What has been your least favorite moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?  When Jason doesn’t show up for rowing days.  Those days are pretty disappointing.

What’s one thing that no one at the gym knows about you?  Birds, frogs and worms petrify me.   If they get too close to me, I’ll break out into a cold sweat.  If I have to touch one?  I’ll cry.

What is your favorite quote from Strongpoint CrossFit?  “No one dies on our watch!”

What do you want to accomplish with your training in the next year?  Stringing together Chest to Bar Pull Ups and Toes to Bar.  It’ll happen.

What advice would you give to someone who just started out?  Do what you can do, but embrace the challenge.

What advice would give to someone who was on the fence about starting?  That first step is always the hardest, but you have two choices:  jump feet first or hang there by the britches of indecisiveness.  One hurts a lot less.

Coach’s Comments: I have found that one of the hardest things to do as a trainer is to train other trainers, but it has never been an issue with Erin!  Despite her vast experience, she came to us in the fall of 2015 with an open mind and an empty cup and has never looked back.  She mentioned that she is a creature of habit and I’m pretty sure that there would be a picture of her if you looked up “consistency” in the dictionary.  She routinely trains at our 9:00 am class Monday through Friday each week and is able to seamlessly balance her training with the demands of a job and family.  While she was strong and had some basic body awareness starting out, her lifts have all improved as well as her gymnastics skills and aerobic capacity.  She participated in the 2016 CrossFit Open, where she had to scale nearly every workout, and was completing most daily workouts as prescribed just a few months later.  Simply put, Erin pushes other members and not in a pushy, aggressive, “I’m better than you” type of way.  She pushes them via her own effort, expanding skill set, and example. Plus she’s strong… like real strong… like set the new all-time women’s gym records for the deadlift and sumo deadlift within a year strong… like deadlifts more than a lot of men strong!  Erin also regularly expresses her fitness in pursuits outside the gym as well.  She has participated in a number of obstacle course races, adventure events, and is currently training for a marathon.  Erin has been an awesome member to date and we look forward to continuing to work with her in the future!

Karis Roxas
Member name:

Karis Roxas

Athlete of the month: January, 2017
Details:

What made you decide to start CrossFit?

I got tired of doing the same routine everyday at a regular gym. I wanted something different and wanted to tone up. My boyfriend recommended CrossFit and thought that this something I could be interested in doing since he used to do it. Before I tried Strongpoint, I looked up videos online and see what I was getting myself into.

What results have you seen or goals have you achieved?

I’ve seen better performance in my running. I’ve accomplished my first pull up and picked up heavy weights! #gainz

What do you like best about the gym?

The community and the positivity of everyone. Everyone is so friendly and encouraging.

What is your favorite exercise or WOD?

Anything that has running involved, pull ups and squats

What is your least favorite exercise or WOD?

Overhead squats, snatches, and handstand push up (if you know me, I hate being flipped upside down)

What motivates you to show up day after day?

The progress I’ve been making and the changes to my body. And plus I LOVE FOOD!!!!

What negative thoughts hold you back from being your best?

Looking at the weight and realizing how much I’m about to lift. It really intimidates me to see all those weights and knowing that I have to pick it up.

What has been your most memorable moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

My very FIRST competition!!!

What has been your least favorite moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

Ehhhh I don’t really have one… Except when Ryan is grumpy =P

What’s one thing that no one at the gym knows about you?

I’m a Pastor’s daughter

What is your favorite quote from Strongpoint CrossFit?

“Just do whatever you want” -Ryan

What do you want to accomplish with your training in the next year?

I really want to be able to do chest to bar, double unders and maybe ever a muscle up?!?!

What advice would you give to someone who just started out?

Don’t be scared or intimidated by anyone else. Everyone starts somewhere and you can only get better!

What advice would give to someone who was on the fence about starting?

Try coming to bring a friend day. It’s a great introduction to what goes on J

Coach’s comments: Karis started with us in the summer of 2014.  She had very little prior exposure to many of the barbell and body weight movements that we do in CrossFit and seemed pretty intimidated by it all her first couple of months.  Karis completed her first half marathon in the fall of 2015 (Subaru Distance Classic).  She decided to do her first CrossFit competition, the Festivus Games, in the spring of 2016 and her focus, intensity, and performance immediately improved.  We saw steady gains in her lifts all year and she was able to complete many workouts as prescribed by the end of the year.  And she did it all while finishing her undergraduate degree at the University of North Florida and working!  Above all, Karis has a great attitude, is very teachable, and is always very friendly and welcoming to new members.  We’ve enjoyed seeing her abilities and confidence improve and we look forward to working with her in 2017!

Dr. Christina Migliara
Member name:

Dr. Christina Migliara

Athlete of the month: March, 2017
Details:

What made you decide to start CrossFit?

Three years ago, I wanted to lose baby weight from my second child and was looking for something other than a typical gym. I felt very bored having done that for so long. My cousin told me about great results he had from CrossFit so I decided to give it a try.

What results have you seen or goals have you achieved?

Initially, I lost 30lbs (all baby weight) which was my main goal. However, I started to see there was so much more to accomplish, I quickly began setting goals and challenging myself to my first competition, podiumed my second competition (Festivus at Strongpoint), then my first Rx workout, and one accomplishment lead to another.  I enjoyed setting the bar a little higher each time to see what I could do.

What do you like best about the gym?

I enjoy the healthy intra-competition that exists among the members. It makes it fun and challenging for myself.

What is your favorite exercise or WOD?

Anything with OHS and T2B.

What is your least favorite exercise or WOD?

Deadlifts, running, and burpees.

What motivates you to show up day after day?

Everyone needs a healthy outlet and I have found that CrossFit is my therapy. I no longer (on most days) find that CrossFit is a chore for me. Rather, it has become a lifestyle for me. It is something my husband and I do together and that also keeps us motivated. It helps us keep up with two growing boys! We want to get our boys involved and turn it into a family thing in the near future!

What negative thoughts hold you back from being your best?

I will sometimes underestimate my ability.  We all struggle with confidence from time to time and while I know that I am capable of much more, it can at times get to me and hold me back.

What has been your most memorable moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

I would say so far, hitting my 200lb back squat. I have struggled turning these chicken legs into powerful tree trunks and while I have more work to do, I am proud to have finally hit two-hundo! It’s like finally being allowed to play with the big kids on the playground, big step!

What has been your least favorite moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

Last week when I hurt my ankle 16 reps into the first open workout of 2017. I was super pissed!

What’s one thing that no one at the gym knows about you?

I had terrible handwriting as a child and my teacher would write “needs improvement on handwriting” every year in elementary school. Not much has changed since then either. lol

What is your favorite quote from Strongpoint CrossFit?

“Don’t be a d-bag!”

What do you want to accomplish with your training in the next year?

I am really looking forward to doing my first individual Rx competition by the end of the year. I look forward to pushing myself to compete in a higher level and getting out of my comfort zone.  I have a lot of lifting goals set and cannot wait to see what I accomplish in year 3 of my journey.

What advice would you give to someone who just started out?

Focus on your goals and try your best. You can’t compare yourself to the best athlete in the gym, they have worked really hard to get there but one day, you can too if that is what you want.  As with most things in life, you get out what you put in!

What advice would give to someone who was on the fence about starting?

You are capable of more than you think, give it a try before you say “I can’t”.

Coach’s Comments: Christina joined Strongpoint in the summer of 2015 and came to us with a solid fitness base developed from her first year of CrossFit in St. Augustine.  “CMig,” as she has affectionately become known, has made great progress during that time due in no small party to her strong work ethic, positive attitude and competitiveness.  She routinely sets and achieves goals and, in fact, led a goal setting seminar at Strongpoint in January in order to help our members get on track for 2017.  Her steady improvement has helped her creep up the leader board over the past year-plus.  Christina has participated in the last two CrossFit Opens with Strongpoint and is serving as a team captain in our intramural competition this year.  She also competed on a team of three with Whitney Beisiegel and Liz Gard at the Bacon Beatdown in 2016.  Additionally, she referred in her husband, DJ, who has become an awesome member as well.  CMig has become a mainstay in our morning classes and we look forward to continuing to work with her in the future!   

Lang Dorsey
Member name:

Lang Dorsey

Athlete of the month: April, 2017
Details:

What made you decide to start CrossFit?
I have been working out most of my life and had seen CrossFit competitions on ESPN, but it never actually occurred to me to seek out and join a box.  Until, while visiting my brother in Atlanta he informed me we were going to go workout and on the way he started talking about his CrossFit gym and by then we had arrived, so I marched into the gallows expecting the worst only to emerge a CrossFit believer!

What results have you seen or goals have you achieved?
My #1 goal is to stay health and in shape.  When I started I could barely manage (10) pull-ups, could only overhead squat a PVC pipe, and in general felt like I had never actually worked out before in my life, or at least completed a real workout.  At the open I snatched 135# (take that PVC pipe), can finish Nancy unbroken, and at last count did (14) rounds where (10) pull-ups where required per round and I did them all unbroken.

What do you like best about the gym?
I am very type “A” individual and I find it very difficult sometimes to shut down my mind and relax.  However, every-time I step into the box my mind clears and my only concern is how I am going to manage to score a PR and/or survive the WOD.

What is your favorite exercise or WOD?
I really like “Nancy” because of the overhead squats, or I’m all in on anything with ropes, wall balls, box overs, or rowers.

What is your least favorite exercise or WOD?
Anything with double unders!  At this point, it is embarrassing that I have not been able to figure out how to string together a series of double unders.  If I cannot master or semi-master this movement by next year’s open, then my penalty will be no craft beer for (3) months.

What motivates you to show up day after day?
The stress relief, comradery, and the hint of a competitive environment, which motivates me to get after it…

What negative thoughts hold you back from being your best?
My only negative thoughts are my concerns about injuring myself by going to heavy on some of the WODs I.E. especially deadlifts!

What has been your most memorable moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?
The first day I started…  It was a brisk February morning and following the WOD I felt like I was coughing up blood.  There was no blood, but the memory of the intensity of the workout has engrained a fond, yet painful memory into my brain.

What has been your least favorite moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?
Other than Ryan hurting my feelings and Liz hogging up a 30 square meter area during open gym there have been no least favorite moments.  As a side note it is impossible for a non-family member to actually hurt my feelings…

What’s one thing that no one at the gym knows about you?
I am trying to master a majority of the English dialects and can currently do a typical English, English Cockney, Irish, Scottish, Indian, Australian and am working on South African and Canadian.  I find this skill comes in handy when telling jokes…

What is your favorite quote from Strongpoint CrossFit?
“It’s going to be epic”

What do you want to accomplish with your training in the next year?
I want to win this spring’s Festivus “Masters Division” competition (I love this year’s WODs), squat 300 lbs., clean 210 lbs. and string together on average 25 dubs.

What advice would you give to someone who just started out?
Jump in and attend on a regular basis, so that you can see and feel your progress and your friends and family can physically see your progress.  Additionally, you are going to be in pain for at least (4) months, so suck it up, as it will go away soon enough.

What advice would give to someone who was on the fence about starting?
We all know that your current workout is not motivating, probably not effective and most certainly boring at best.  CrossFit will change all of that if you are willing to jump in and stay at it on a regular basis.

Coach’s Comments: “Langry” just hit his two-year mark with us at Strongpoint and came to us in the winter of 2015 with a very solid fitness base.  He did, however, have very little exposure to Olympic lifting and many of the intermediate weightlifting movements that we do in CrossFit.  He has aggressively worked on his weaknesses resulting in steady, consistent improvement.  Lang participated in the Spring Festivus Games in 2016 finishing third in the masters division of his first competition.  He went on to finish first in the 50-54 age group at the Spartan Super in Palm Coast in December of that year.  Most recently Lang competed in his first CrossFit Open where he nearly cracked the top 200 in the region for his division.  Lang has volunteered as a judge for two of our competitions and also referred in his wife, Christine, who has become an awesome member as well.  We have enjoyed working with Lang to date and look forward to seeing him continue to grow in the future! 

Celestina Roach
Member name:

Celestina Roach

Athlete of the month: May 2017
Details:

What made you decide to start CrossFit?

Adam (Cele’s husband) was my deciding factor. I was doing the planet fitness style gym on my own when Adam joined. He was coming home and talking to me about all the things he did at the gym and I had no idea what he was talking about, but I saw he was excited about it and really liking it so I decided I would give it a try to see what it was all about. It has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.

What results have you seen or goals have you achieved?

I had always considered myself a “fit” individual as I grew up playing sports and had always done some kind of working out, but since starting I have this strength that I never knew that I had and have managed to lose 20 pounds! On top of just being a healthier individual I’ve recently been able to do movements like chest to bar, double unders, and ring dips which I could never do before.

What do you like best about the gym?

Aside from the great friendships that I have gained it pushes me harder than I have ever pushed myself. I also like the competitive aspect with those around me as well as myself. Who doesn’t like to win right?

What is your favorite exercise or WOD?

I really like anything with cleans or squatting.

What is your least favorite exercise or WOD?

Burpees and Snatches! Although, this is probably one of my best lifts but I struggle with it every time.

What motivates you to show up day after day?

There is just something about going to the gym and not having worry about what else is going on in my day. There is also this sense of wanting to be better and I know if I put my time in I will be.

What negative thoughts hold you back from being your best?

In all honesty it’s mostly laziness.  There is definitely the thoughts that a weight is too heavy or I’ve just learned how to do this movement so I will suck at it though.

What has been your most memorable moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

Probably this recent open. I completed a lot of workouts RX that I didn’t think that I could. I pushed myself harder than I have ever pushed myself and it showed me that I am capable of so much more than I thought.

What has been your least favorite moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

This recent open, although I really impressed myself there was nothing easy about 17.5 as I had just accomplished double unders the week prior and I really thought I might fall over and die come round 5.

What’s one thing that no one at the gym knows about you?

I’m a real adrenaline junkie, swimming with sharks and falling out of the sky doesn’t scare me, but lizards… Those scare me.

What is your favorite quote from Strongpoint CrossFit?

“These are you knees.”-Ryan as he points to his knees. Which I’m glad he does because otherwise I might forget.

What do you want to accomplish with your training in the next year?

I just want to continue to improve in all aspects. I’d like to get bar muscle up at some point but I’m kind of scared of flying over the bar.

What advice would you give to someone who just started out?

It gets better. I wouldn’t say it gets easier but you get more comfortable with the movements and start to enjoy the pain because to be honest the first couple of months are the hardest.  It’s all about being in the growth mindset. It’s not that you can’t do it; it’s that you can’t do it yet.

What advice would give to someone who was on the fence about starting?

It’s best to just jump in before you can scare yourself out of it. It’s not as scary as it might look and you will gain more than just strength, you will gain a community of people who want you to succeed probably more than you want.

Coach’s comments: Celestina started with us in the late spring of 2015 and seemed very content to just show up to a few classes a week for that first 18 months.  If I had to mark it with a specific date, I would point to the Fall Festivus Games in October of 2016 where Cele and her teammate, Anna, finished on the podium at their first novice competition.  That seemed to flip a switch in her because during the last six months, she has rededicated herself to training completing much of the extra daily work and cleaning up her diet.  Oddly enough, she has put 30 pounds on her deadlift and back squat, 20 on her snatch, and 15 on her clean all while losing weight and body fat.  She completed her first CrossFit Open this year and was able to do four of the five workouts as prescribed all while helping her team finish first in our intramural competition.  As she mentioned, Cele has been picking up more complex gymnastics movements and improving her work capacity along the way.  And, oh by the way, she is a full-time teacher and is also pursuing her Master’s in Education at the University of North Florida.  Cele has a great attitude, is very coachable, and has become a real ambassador for the program.  We look forward to continuing to help her along her path to excellence (and getting that first bar muscle up) in the coming year!

Catalina Vargas
Member name:

Catalina Vargas

Athlete of the month: June 2017
Details:

What made you decide to start CrossFit?

Andres….. he would not stop talking about it…

What results have you seen or goals have you achieved?

I was never really the athletic type. I danced in college and “worked out” a little but nothing like what I do now. Pull ups, chest to bars, DUBS (before Andres – burn!), running a 5K, and handstand pushups are the things I am most proud of.

What do you like best about the gym?

The support I get from people. It is really exciting/motivating when people cheer you on as you are struggling to finish a workout.

What is your favorite exercise or WOD?

Handstand pushups J

What is your least favorite exercise or WOD?

Wall-balls – they are stupid and not intended for short people.

What motivates you to show up day after day?

I love carbs and don’t want to get fat… Also, I want to be healthy and I love hanging out with my hubs and friends at the gym.

What negative thoughts hold you back from being your best?

Not being confident enough and thinking I can’t do something. We are our worst enemy.

What has been your most memorable moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

During the open 17.5 workout I got 35 unbroken DUBS for the first time ever… I was so excited I wanted to cry; unfortunately, it was only on my second round. Andres had to yell at me to keep it together and I was able to finish the other rounds unbroken which made it that much sweeter J.

What has been your least favorite moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

My first ever CrossFit workout. It was a partner chipper and lucky for Andres he got paired up with me. He did like 80% of the work out and I still felt like I wanted to pass out and throw up the entire time.

What’s one thing that no one at the gym knows about you?

I crave chicken wings and fries ALL THE TIME

What is your favorite quote from Strongpoint CrossFit?

Kevin – “No, I am not going over there. I don’t want to be mommed!”

What do you want to accomplish with your training in the next year?

I want to improve my endurance, I want to continue to get stronger so that I can Rx more workouts, and I would love to learn how to walk on my hands.

What advice would you give to someone who just started out?

Be patient. It will take time before you understand the terminology and even more the actual movements.

Be proud of yourself. Joining CrossFit can be very intimidating and taking that first step is already an accomplishment on its own.

Enjoy the process!

What advice would give to someone who was on the fence about starting?

Just do it. You won’t regret it.

Coach’s comments: I still remember sitting down with Cata and Andres for her intro.  I asked, “So what brings you into CrossFit?”  And she replied something along the lines of, “I don’t want to die.”  I pulled the thread a bit and figured out that she was concerned about becoming unhealthier as she grew older, being too sedentary, not eating right, etc.  I still think about that conversation just about every time I see her and it still makes me laugh.  Cata was pretty timid when she started out and did not exhibit a lot of confidence in her abilities.  Since that time, she has progressively learned new skills, gotten much stronger, and most importantly, developed a much greater sense of self-confidence than she had before she walked in.  Cata has been able to learn and execute pull ups, handstand pushups, toes to bar, double unders, and chest to bar pull ups in the last six months alone in addition to seeing very steady progress on her lifting.  This is largely a result of her dedication to completing much of the extra work outside of classes since the beginning of this year.  She participated in her first CrossFit Open in 2017 and is registered to compete in her first Rep Your Box in July.  It has been exciting to be a part of her fitness journey to date and we look forward to continuing to work with her in the future!

PS: The wall balls in the workout today were a total coincidence.
PPS: Or were they?

Jessica Polimeni
Member name:

Jessica Polimeni

Athlete of the month: July 2017
Details:

1. What made you decide to start CrossFit?

Well my husband, Matt, had been doing CrossFit for a while and kept telling me to join but it wasn’t until my bestie, Teresa, said she would try it with me. Teresa and I had been doing a variety of odd exercises (stand up paddle yoga, belly dancing, aerial yoga, adult gymnastics, biking, workout DVDs) but found our true love when we started at Strongpoint in May 2016.  Even though I still feel like I’m going to die after every workout, we love it and still keep coming back for more!

2. What results have you seen or goals have you achieved? 

I’ve always thought of myself as being pretty physically fit, but after doing this for a year, I am so much stronger and can see muscles that I’ve never had before. I’ve accomplished a lot of goals that I set out to do in the beginning, with the biggest being pull-ups, but I still have so many left to achieve.

3. What do you like best about the gym?

Talking, laughing and joking around with my 6am crew! Who knew you could have so much fun that early in the morning!

4. What is your favorite exercise or WOD?

Anything with rope climbs, pull-ups and running. I really enjoyed the White hero WOD in honor of U.S. Army First Lieutenant Ashley White.

5. What is your least favorite exercise or WOD? 

Wallballs!!  I hate when you misjudge the catch and the wallball punches you in the face (yes, that’s happened a few times). That being said, my least favorite WOD would have to be Karen with 150 wallballs. It makes me cringe just thinking about it.

6. What motivates you to show up day after day?

Seeing all the badasses at the gym. I want to be like them when I grow up.  #goals

7. What negative thoughts hold you back from being your best? 

The thought that I will never be able to accomplish certain goals like a ring muscle up.

8. What has been your most memorable moment at Strongpoint CrossFit? 

There have been so many…the first time I RX’d a workout, when I did my first pull-up, when I did like 10 double unders in row (that still might be my max but who’s counting), when I did the Open competition this year and my first bar muscle up last week (with a black band of course). But I think the biggest moment was on Monday when Liz was coaching someone on form, and told them to watch my Clean. Say what!?!

9. What has been your least favorite moment at Strongpoint CrossFit? 

I’ve done some goofy things during the workouts, but I blame them on not being very awake at 6am. For starters, I yelled “TIME” as loud as I could halfway through a 15 minute AMRAP.  Seriously, what was I thinking?  I also fell in slow motion during a running WOD recently.  The sidewalk is still undefeated.

10. What’s one thing that no one at the gym knows about you? 

I used to be a Pilates instructor.

11. What is your favorite quote from Strongpoint CrossFit?

“My ass is outrageous!” I might be a little biased because it came from my hubby, Matt, on the whiteboard.  LOL.

12. What do you want to accomplish with your training in the next year?

I just want to continue working hard and getting better. I’d like to be able to a bar muscle-up, hand-stand push-up, consistent double unders, and be able to lift heavier weight in order to start doing workouts as prescribed. I think I might be a little obsessed, but I’m so excited to see where StrongPoint takes me next.

13. What advice would you give to someone who just started out?

It might seem a little intimidating and overwhelming right now because there’s so much to learn, and you may feel like you’ll never get it. But, don’t give up! Everyone starts out at their personal bottom, so you just have to keep giving it your all and you’ll work your way up. Guaranteed. I still might be using the 22lb kid’s barbell when I do Snatches, so there’s that.

14. What advice would you give to someone who was on the fence about starting?

Just Do It! I put off joining for so long (as in 5 years!!) and I only wish I’d started earlier. I was scared, didn’t know if I could do it, I don’t have the time…excuses…excuses.  The hardest part is getting started, but once you’re doing it consistently and you see/feel the results, I guarantee you won’t regret it.

Coach’s comments: Jessica started her second stint with us in the spring of 2016 after briefly training with us in 2012.  Her effort and performance to date have been nothing short of outstanding.  We have seen massive improvements in her technique and strength over the past year.  Jessica has added thirty pounds to her snatch, thirty-plus to her clean, thirty five pounds to her back squat, and forty pounds to her deadlift!  She routinely attends classes 4-6 days per week despite a very demanding schedule outside of the gym.  Jessica works full-time, is a mother of two, and wife to one of our longest standing members himself.  Additionally, she took up Spartan racing last fall and has completed several on her way to a double-Trifecta in 2017.  For those that don’t know, one who completes the Spartan Trifecta must complete a race of all three distances (Sprint 4-5 miles, Super 6-10 miles, and Beast 13-15 miles) within a one-calendar year period.  Why do one Trifecta when you can go ahead and do two???  I regularly hear prospects and members tell me they don’t have time to exercise.  Well… very few people that I know have more on her plate than Jessica and she not only finds the time, she excels at it!  We have thoroughly enjoyed working with her to date and look forward to continuing to help her meet her goals in the future!

PS: This is two months in a row that the Spotlight Athlete has said that their least favorite movement was wall balls and we had wall balls the next day.  Weird…  #savethewallballs

Matt Polimeni
Member name:

Matt Polimeni

Athlete of the month: December 2017
Details:

What made you decide to start CrossFit? 

I played football all growing up and in college.  Working out was more of a job once I was in college, and it became much less fun.  Once I graduated and went into law enforcement, I was introduced to CrossFit for the first time at the police academy.  I really enjoyed it.  I was very impressed with how hard the workouts were, even though they were much shorter than the conventional workouts I had been used to.  I also liked how quickly the results seemed to come versus the old style of working out.  Lastly, I truly enjoyed the variety in the workouts and the competitive component of CrossFit.  I stopped doing CrossFit once I graduated the police academy.  Over 7 years later, I was bummed because I really out of shape.  My buddy knew Ryan Miller and told me about his gym.  I decided to sign up because I knew I would enjoy it, I knew it would be hard, and I knew I would likely get immediate results.

What results have you seen or goals have you achieved? 

So, when I first signed up (a few years ago now), I didn’t get lasting results because I just didn’t stick to a consistent schedule.  I would come a few times a week, then stop for a few months, and then start back at the bottom again.  However, over the past year and a half, I have reached the goal of averaging at least 3 times a week in the gym, I have rearranged some body weight into a much leaner, and more fit frame, I feel much healthier than I did 7 years ago as a police officer, and lastly, I have improved in many of the exercises that I wouldn’t dare try before CrossFit.

What do you like best about the gym? 

Everyone is very encouraging, no matter what your skill level is.  Everyone knows I really don’t get bothered by what folks think, so it doesn’t affect me too much either way.  But, at some gyms people can be very cliquey and not welcoming at all.  That can be a huge turn off for people trying something new.  Here at Strongpoint, everyone has your back and is always looking to motivate you.

What is your favorite exercise or WOD? 

I would say full snatches.  Probably because it was the most difficult and foreign exercise to me when I started out, but now I have improved on this lift quite a bit.

What is your least favorite exercise or WOD? 

Back squats.  It brings me back to college football when back squat day would be like a whole afternoon or morning workout, and it always takes so much out of me.  I do have a long way to go down you know…

What motivates you to show up day after day? 

Knowing that my wife is better than me at CrossFit and I need to try and keep up.  I am also motivated by the fact that once you start making personal gains and changes to your body, you don’t want to lose them by not showing up.

What negative thoughts hold you back from being your best? 

Not so much thoughts, but my lack of preparation before my workouts.  This includes lack of sleep, bad eating habits, and not drinking enough fluids.  These are such huge factors that I take for granted too often, and pay for them when I’m struggling in the gym.

What has been your most memorable moment at Strongpoint CrossFit? 

Beating Stephan in the Open competition last year.  Just kidding man.  Now he’s really going to be ticked off.  He’s way better than me.  But seriously, my most memorable moments have probably been just doing well in a couple of the WOD’s in the two competitions that I was in this past year.  I was surprised by performing better than I expected.

What has been your least favorite moment at Strongpoint CrossFit? 

Being injured recently and not being able to train like I want.  The injury was my fault too, not because of CrossFit.

What’s one thing that no one at the gym knows about you?

I took tap, jazz, and ballet dance for several years when I was younger.  Yeah, yeah.  Go ahead and laugh at me.

What is your favorite quote from Strongpoint CrossFit?

“Or just do whatever you want!”  -Ryan Miller when he’s grumpy and trying to coach folks that might not be paying attention like he wants them to.

What do you want to accomplish with your training in the next year?

I would like to be able to do some consistent bar muscle ups, and maybe a ring muscle up.

What advice would you give to someone who just started out? 

Just show up!  Seriously.  If you just keep coming, you will absolutely get better, no matter what.  The CrossFit model is made for you to improve as long as you just keep coming.

What advice would give to someone who was on the fence about starting? 

Don’t let the seemingly intimidating, weird “cult-like” atmosphere keep you from starting on a personal fitness journey that will instantly improve your health and physical fitness.  It can seem intimidating by all the crazy movements, the equipment, the clothes, and all the dumb jargon and competition talk.  But, if you simply show up and give it a shot, you just might get hooked yourself.  Oh, and your body will absolutely thank you.  So may your husband, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, or future significant other.  See you at the gym!!

Coach’s comments: Matt (a.k.a. Meano, a.k.a. Captain Meno) originally started with us during the winter of 2012 in the fabled “old building” thus qualifying him as a Strongpoint OG.  While always athletic, he was never able to train as consistently as he wanted due to work and family obligations.  That is, of course, until about the last 18 months when he really renewed his commitment to fitness.  Oddly enough, he’s probably made more progress in terms of strength, ability, and body composition than he did during his first four years.  We have seen his max lifts steadily increase and he has developed much greater capability with his gymnastics skills.  Additionally, he used to refer to himself as “Dead Last Meano,” but his improved attendance has also improved his ability to perform on conditioning workouts as well.  He competed in the 2017 CrossFit Open this year, which was his first venture into competitive CrossFit, and was able to complete most of the workouts as prescribed.  Above all, Matt has a great attitude and has always been very coachable.  There is never any ego when one of the coaching staff is working with him.  He has a genuinely warm personality and is one of those people that simply never complains or quits.  He’s become a real ambassador for the program and we look forward to continuing to work with him and his family in the future!

Carly Hudson
Member name:

Carly Hudson

Athlete of the month: November 2017
Details:

What made you decide to start CrossFit?

My friend Alli did. She had invited me to bring a friend day for at least a solid year before I decided to come on a whim. I was out of shape and lazy and thought maybe CF would be motivating, especially with a friend there. 

What results have you seen or goals have you achieved?

Next month I will have been a Strongpoint member for a year. In that time I have made a lot of progress with weightlifting. I had never touched a barbell until CrossFit and holding it makes me feel like a badass, even if it’s only #50. I also have learned movements I never thought I could do like toes to bar and handstand pushups (with mats, but working on it!) I’ve also lost ten pounds which is pretty cool.

What do you like best about the gym?

Blitz.*

What is your favorite exercise or WOD?

I really like sumo deadlift high pulls, handstand pushups, rope climbs, and rowing. I enjoy chipper WODs.

What is your least favorite exercise or WOD? 

Karen. Anything with wall balls, running, or thrusters.

What motivates you to show up day after day? 

Probably the text Alli sends me everyday that says “4:30 CF?”. She holds me accountable if I take more than a day off. If I take too much time off, I feel stressed and feel like I need to exercise. It’s therapeutic to be there.

What negative thoughts hold you back from being your best? 

Sometimes I get discouraged by movements that seem too complex or require more strength than I have. Sometimes I get really behind in a WOD and it gives me anxiety that I’ll be dead last. Both of those things get in my head occasionally and psyche me out.

What has been your most memorable moment at Strongpoint CrossFit? 

Competing in Festivus. Having other members show up and support with the element of competition made it super fun and encouraged me to push myself. It was cool to represent Strongpoint and we placed 4th!

What has been your least favorite moment at Strongpoint CrossFit? 

When I ate a fish filet meal from McDonalds ten minutes before class (sorry Liz).

What’s one thing that no one at the gym knows about you?

I’m an avid letterboxer. It’s like a worldwide hide and seek thing. I’ve been doing it for over ten years and it’s one of the coolest hobbies ever.

What is your favorite quote from Strongpoint CrossFit? 

“This is an elegant triplet” -Ryan, introducing any triplet**

What do you want to accomplish with your training in the next year?

I want to string double unders, be able to do pistols, and get kipping pull-ups.

What advice would you give to someone who just started out?

Take your time and try to get the form down. Don’t worry about using lighter weights or going slow. Don’t compare yourself to others.

What advice would give to someone who was on the fence about starting?

Just come! Everyone will be nice and everything can be scaled to your level. Don’t be intimidated.

Coach’s comments: As she mentioned, Carly came to Strongpoint on a bring a friend day about a year ago.  I very distinctly remember her looking like she was very near the point of passing out or death and continually checking on her throughout the session.  Surprisingly, she emailed me within a couple of days to find out more about membership and getting started.  Her first couple of weeks in the gym brought similar results, but she persevered and has developed so significantly in her fitness that she was able to compete for the first time last month. Her hard work also paid off last month as Carly was able to set new personal records in the snatch, back squat and deadlift.  Additionally, Carly always has a positive attitude and willingness to try new, more difficult skills.  It has been rewarding to watch her progress so far in a year and we look forward to seeing her continue to grow in the future!      

*This is at least the second time Blitz was named as a Spotlight Athlete’s favorite part of the gym (among numerous mentions).
**An elegant triplet refers to a three-exercise workout that includes one monostructural aspect, one weightlifting aspect, and one gymnastics aspect.  Ryan does not introduce every triplet as an elegant triplet, but does generally point it out when a triplet is, in fact, elegant.

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