CrossFitter of the Month Archives - Strongpoint CrossFit

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Blog Archive

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!

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.

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

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?

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!

 

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! 

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!   

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!

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!

What made you decide to start CrossFit?

I was very into home-fitness programs and that’s how I started my fitness journey. After a while, I got tired of the monotony and it really is tough to challenge yourself when it’s just you at home, so I decided to give CrossFit a try after binge-watching the CrossFit games.

What results have you seen or goals have you achieved?

Other than a significant increase in strength and stamina, I really enjoy my change in mindset and the way I approach fitness and nutrition now. Before CrossFit, my main motivation for exercising was a “good” physical appearance; this led to an unhealthy diet restriction which in turn affected my mood. When I joined CrossFit I was at 160# body weight and a body fat percentage of 14%; 1.5 years later I am 171# and a PBF of 15%. Now my nutrition is geared more towards performance and I enjoy not having so many restrictions (makes going out to eat way more fun). Now I LOVE being at the gym and is one of my most favorite daily activities.

What do you like best about the gym?

I love that there is like an almost perfect (unspoken) balance between competitiveness and friendliness. You want the person that’s next to you during a WOD to do well, and you want to see them get better and improve, so long as they don’t beat you =) I think it helps us push harder to become better athletes. I love how we all cheer when someone hasn’t finished a WOD or is fighting to get that PR.

What is your favorite exercise or WOD?

Any combination of OHS, toes-to-bar or pull-ups.

What is your least favorite exercise or WOD?

THRUSTERS!! And their mean baby sister, wall-balls.

What motivates you to show up day after day?

I just love being at the gym. The environment, the friendships, pushing my physical boundaries, and just learning new ways to get faster and stronger. I really enjoy doing things that I thought would be impossible for me to do when I first joined; I remember when I first watched someone do a muscle up and thinking “not happening in a million years.”

What negative thoughts hold you back from being your best?

It’s really easy to forget everything you’ve accomplished when you’re focused on someone else’s accomplishments; I do this sometimes, but I’m getting better at seeing how far I’ve come and using that as motivation to keep pushing.

What has been your most memorable moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

Too many. When I learned to walk on my hands, my first MU, but my all-time favorite was getting those stupid DUBs (my nemesis for over a year!). Also, watching my wife do her first WOD; fitness is so much better when you can share it with your significant other (just ask Kyle and Pete).

What has been your least favorite moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

Although it didn’t really happen at the gym, it started there: getting obsessed with handstand walks and then going to my apartment to practice and falling on the dogs’ crates while doing so, and puncturing a hole in my shin (not fun at all).

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

Just a few of you know. When I was in middle school I belonged to a club called the “Monkey Monkeys” and we used to climb tall trees and jump from branch to branch. That’s how I fractured my left heel-bone (now I’m a bit less than 1/2cm taller on my left side haha) and my right wrist.

What is your favorite quote from Strongpoint CrossFit?

“Your comfort zone can suck it!” Ryan (to Michelle I think)

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

Just want to focus a bit more on strength and be able to lift heavier.

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

I’d tell them to not listen to me!! I will tell you to just go for it and that some movements are easier than they look. Sometimes this is true, other times is not 😉

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

“People criticize what they fear, and they fear what they don’t know.” Don’t let other people deter you from trying something new out; it may turn out to be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made (it was for me). And if it’s not other people, and it is you getting in your own way, remember “you can’t keep doing the same things you have been doing, and expect to get different results.”

Coach’s Comments: Andres joined us in the spring of 2015 as a relatively fit individual.  He immediately impressed us as a “good mover” his first official class when he was able to effortlessly learn and execute toes to bar, which is a movement that many people struggle with for months after joining.  He continued picking up basic and intermediate gymnastics movements really easily, but struggled more with barbell movements as he was starting out.  Gymnastics movements came so easily to him that we kind of figured he was a gymnast as a kid, but nope!  He was a dancer through college and that background really seemed to give him the basic strength, mobility, and coordination to pick body weight movements up quickly.  In fact, he participated in Rep Your Box 4 just a few months after joining the gym and did great!  He went on to take second place in the intermediate division of the Fall 2015 Festivus competition after only about six months of training.  Despite some innate natural ability, Andres has a tremendous work ethic.  He is generally at the gym 5-6 days a week and routinely does extra work on his own, which has really paved the way for his dramatic improvements over the last year.  And he has done all this while continuing to intern and working toward finishing his PhD!  His resolve was tested, but not broken, when he bruised his patella recently and was unable to squat for a period.  He continued training almost daily working his upper body and pretty much any other movement that he could.  Besides being a standout performer, Andres is simply one of the nicest and most welcoming members of the gym.  He routinely goes out of his way to introduce himself to new members and help them feel welcome.  Andres has also volunteered for several of the competitions that Strongpoint has hosted in 2015 and 2016.  He also referred in his wife, Catalina, who has become an outstanding member in her own right.  We have really enjoyed working with Andres and look forward to helping him continue moving toward his goals in the future!


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