SUCCESS STORIES

Justin C. Is The July Member Of The Month

Most, if not all, Cróga members know who Jose is because he’s a ball of energy that comes to the gym at all different class times and almost all of our community events. When Jose told me that his college-aged nephew was moving in with him and his wife for the summer for an internship and that he was going to join the gym, I was hoping the enthusiasm for health/fitness, zest for life and positive energy would run in the family. As we have gotten to know Justin, it is evident that they do!

Justin is a very smart, friendly and hard working young man that will be missed dearly when he heads back to school in a couple weeks. He had never done CrossFit before, but he jumped right into the deep end and really committed to improving himself as much as possible in the few short months he was in San Jose. He would come to our CrossFit, Ignite, Powerlifting and Olympic Lifting classes, always looking to learn something new and see how much further he could push himself. And at the end of class, no matter how tired he was, he always found a way to flash a big smile and head out the door with his head held high knowing he gave it his all.

Justin, it has been wonderful getting to know you and coach you this summer. We hope you find a CrossFit gym back at school and continue your training so when we see you next year we can pick up another level past where we left off this year.

When did you join Cróga?
June 1st of this year was my first intro class! I finally caved in after a year or so of pitches from José every time I saw him. It’d go something like this: usually, he’d break down the WOD and his time, complete with demonstrations of the movements and sound effects. Then I’d shake my head and say something along the lines of “Wow, that’s (you’re) crazy…” And every family dinner, CrossFit would be a hot topic of discussion (along with attempts at recruiting my dad and me). I totally understand why now! These days I have to keep myself in check at work or when I hang out with friends/family, otherwise I’ll keep blabbing on and on about it.

What were you doing before for fitness?
I was on the football team in high school, where we’d do strength + conditioning year-round; summer, in-season, school, etc. I was definitely the smallest guy on the team (think Rudy), so I had to go hard on the workouts and in the gym. Freshman year I was probably around 5’5″ and less than 100 lbs. Made some good beginner gains, but kind of stalled out in the gains department junior/senior year as I wasn’t really paying attention to my diet. I was also on the track team freshman year.

After I played my last down of football, I didn’t step foot in the gym for probably 6 months and lost a lot of strength. I’d get quick spurts of motivation and go back for a few months, but then I’d get bored or injured/sick and the cycle would start over again. 3-4 months of being a couch potato followed by 3 months of activity for a couple years. I also played hockey 1-2 times a week.

What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout?
First actual WOD was 16-20-24 of C2B PUs, Ring Dips, and Alternating Dumbbell Snatches.  Figured beforehand I could keep up with the rest of the class because I was feeling pretty decent during my intro workouts. My ego got put in check by the end of the first round, ha! I thought, “Man, this is gonna be a long summer…”

What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform?
My endurance and metabolic conditioning have gone through the roof! Sometimes I finish a WOD and just think back to how exhausted I was my very first WOD, wondering what the hell I was getting into. My strength has also noticeably improved, especially my cleans and deadlifts! Not sure what my clean max was before, but it was nowhere near 215. My deadlift was 275 and is now 315! The stamina gains have been most noticeable in other activities (hockey, Krav Maga, hiking). Where I’d feel burnt and tired before during those things, I now feel like I can go on forever.

Overall, I just feel better and more lively day-to-day! In terms of looks, my color-coordination in my gym outfits has improved tenfold (just ask Coach Brett). My family says I’ve gotten gainz physically, and though I’m not wearing a medium shirt quite yet, I’ve noticed the differences as well.

What days and times do you come to Cróga?
You can usually catch me M-F at the 7 AM class, along with powerlifting on Wednesday nights and 7-9 on Saturdays for open gym + the WOD.

What’s your favorite WOD?

Hotshots 19 was a blast.

What’s your least favorite WOD?

Anything with wall balls. They’re an easy one-way ticket for me to the 1000-yard stare post-workout.

“The Justin” WOD! What would it be?
4 RFT:
21 Burpees over barbell
15 Handstand pushups
9 Power cleans (135/95)
400m run

What’s your favorite post-workout routine?
Crack open a FitAid, hit up LeanFeast, then head home and chat about the WOD and CrossFit for 20 minutes over breakfast with the rest of the #CongCrew (José + Lina).

What do you love about CrossFit?
In no particular order…
1) There’s no thinking. You just get up, go and do the WOD. All the programming is taken care of and it never gets monotonous.
2) There’s everything! Mobility, calisthenics, lifting heavy weights, running, etc.
3) The community + coaches! We have an awesome crew + coaches at Cróga that not only works hard, but plays hard – it’s rare for me to leave the gym without a few laughs.

What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga?
Definitely the steak breakfast burritos at LeanFeast! Along with finding out that I make a mean peanut butter/banana/chocolate protein shake that hits the macros hard and is insanely delicious.

What’s your biggest fitness goal for this year?
To crush José in every WOD! Nailing my double-unders and muscle-ups should help with that. 🙂

What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga?
For new members: make sure you introduce yourself and get to know your fellow Cróganites and coaches, and start building relationships with them! Your coaches and fellow members are the greatest assets you are going to have here. Everyone here is so warm and welcoming – the people are a huge part of what gets me out of bed in the morning and excited to work out!

For people considering: the WODs may sound intense and scary, and they are. But everything can be scaled no matter your fitness level. Before you know it, you’ll be kicking butt alongside some awesome people and coaches, while being in the best shape of your life.

Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet?
Just in case we haven’t had this conversation (which I’ve had many times, ha!) and are still wondering, I am José and Lina’s nephew 🙂

HUGE thank you to everyone at Cróga for an amazing summer and start to my CrossFit journey! It’s been a blast and I’ll miss you all at school.

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Emilie S. Is The June Member Of The Month

If you’ve been to our 3:30 class at Cróga, then you definitely know Emilie. She is a die hard 3:30er now and rarely misses a class unless she’s out of town doing something cool like camping in the desert for a week while off-roading. She’s one of those members that listens well, puts in the time and hard work, kind of flies under the radar and then you look up one day and she’s doing something she’s never done before and it kind of catches you off guard.

The progress we’ve seen Emilie make over the last 3 years is absolutely fantastic and I know that she takes pride in how her hard work has paid off and the constant progress she makes. She is just another outstanding example of how when you put in the time and do the work you will be capable of things you never thought possible.

Congratulations Emilie, this recognition is well deserved!

When did you join Cróga?
I joined Cróga in July 2015

What were you doing before for fitness?
I’ve done a lot of things to maintain fitness, but just previous to Crossfit, I was swimming laps 3 to 4 times a week.

What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout?
The first Crossfit Workout I completed was front squats and running. Just a squat by itself was difficult, and I quickly figured out my mobility was pretty bad and my running worse.

What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform?
It’s easy for me to know that I am way stronger. Looks are something we all struggle with, but I know in general I hold my posture better, and a small thing like just standing and putting my hands on my hips, I can feel something other than mush now :).

What days and times do you come to Cróga?
I really loved going to the 0500 and 0600 class because it gave me the energy to get through the day. Work has changed that and I have to be at the airport two hours before that now, so for the last 15 months, the 3:30 class has become my home and I love it too. I think that getting to the 3:30 class after work (as most do in that class) has made me a bit stronger and reduced how much I grumble about the WOD. I make the choice to go, and I have rarely heard anyone else complain, so it’s basically time to suck it up and work through it.

What’s your favorite WOD?
A long Chipper.

What’s your least favorite WOD?
Well, I like to say my least favorite WOD has a lot of rowing. That is because I’m short and slow. Haha!

“The Emilie” WOD! What would it be?
A Chipper with 200 run, push presses, Sit Ups, 200 run, toes to bar, push-ups, 200 run, dumbbell snatches, burpees, cleans….blah blah blah until you can’t or times up, lol!

What’s your favorite post-workout routine?
My routine is usually stopping at the produce stand on the way home, watering plants in the backyard, then getting ready for the next day. 0330 is usually about 9 hours away at that point.

What do you love about CrossFit?
I’ve played many competitive sports over the years including tennis, volleyball, softball, soccer and competitive sailing. CrossFit is by far the sport that will take you through the years healthy so that everyday functions become so much easier.

What’s your biggest fitness goal for this year?
I think that I have gotten somewhat stronger over the last year or so, and I still wish I could attain those goals like an unassisted pull-up or a handstand. I do have an everyday goal though, and that is to lift half of what Kristi lifts…haha. True though, and still difficult or not possible at times.

What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga?
Oh, I just love watching new people join Cróga and get through their first WOD, first week, first month. I just want to encourage this is for everyone, and absolutely everyone is welcome at Cróga. I don’t know if it gets old saying it, or hearing it, but CrossFit with Dave, Cody, and the whole Cróga community is the best thing you could do for yourself.

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Sean C. Is The May Member Of The Month

As I’ve gotten to know Sean over the last few years I’ve enjoyed having him in class more and more and in what seems to be a recent theme, he’s one of our long-tenured members that I couldn’t believe had never won member of the month before. Sean is one of those guys that always makes it to the gym, morning or night, whatever is necessary with his schedule that day. He always comes to work and to give it everything he’s got. His journey has been absolutely awesome to watch. On top of all of this, he loves bringing his daughters to the gym to hang out and do a little functional fitness, which has been very inspiring and cool for me as a new dad of a little girl. Congratulations on many months of success and a bright fit future ahead, Sean. Thanks for being such an important part of each class you’re in and setting a solid example for all us dad’s of little girls out there.

When did you join Cróga?
I think I joined in May 2015 after talking with a member, Mark Imelli. I think Mark has moved on to be an Orange Theory guy.

What were you doing before for fitness?
I was at PayPal at the time so I was going to the gym on campus, mostly doing the elliptical and watching TV, not very effective. I started doing some boot camps that were offered and realized that I needed someone to provide the workout for me otherwise I was inherently too lazy to do anything of substance. I would use my 3 ACL reconstruction knee surgeries as an excuse to do low impact workouts.

What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout?
I can’t remember yesterday’s workout let alone the one from years ago, but I am positive it kicked my ass. For some reason, I decided to keep coming back. I guess I enjoy punishment. I do remember a time when I was performing a WOD when there was an 8 AM class and I was the only person in the class (probably why it is gone now) and Dave literally thought I was going to have a heart attack and quite frankly so did I. I wish I could remember that workout. He probably has not programmed it again since it almost killed me.

What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform?
Believe it or not, I have seen improvements in my golf game even though I don’t get to golf that often but my ball striking has definitely improved. You play better golf when you workout, who would have thought. When I was younger it was always a function of how many greyhounds I had to loosen me up.

What days and times do you come to Cróga?
I usually try to come to the 5 AM class to get the workout out the way. But I will mix in some evening classes depending on how the work schedule is going.

What’s your favorite WOD?
Even though I cant finish it, I look forward to the 12 days of Christmas workout.

What’s your least favorite WOD?
100 burpees, it is a long way down to the ground and back up for me.

“The Sean” WOD! What would it be?
Something like 21-15-9-6-3 deadlifts, power cleans and thrusters.

What’s your favorite post-workout routine?
After 5 am class….coffee!

What do you love about CrossFit?
I like that the workouts are determined for me (I mentioned I was lazy right), the workouts typically involve a large number of muscle groups and I don’t feel cheated after a workout (usually I am gasping for air when I am done).

What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga?
I wish I had one…see my biggest fitness goal below.

What’s your biggest fitness goal for this year?
Trying to be smarter about the way I eat and drink (need to reduce my alcohol consumption). Being a bean counter typically leads you to needing a cocktail on a regular basis.

What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga?
Hi, I’m Sean Cook, member at Cróga Crossfit and I’m here to tell you, you’re perfect just the way you are. But if you feel like losing a few pounds, getting healthier and making some great friends in the process, then Cróga is the place for you. I had to steal a line from Dodgeball, A True Underdog Story. I like quoting movies.

Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet?
I would like to thank Dave and his staff as well as the rest of the Cróganites for making getting my ass kicked on a regular basis a lot of fun and allowing my girls to workout with me every once in awhile.


Jill Parker
Operations Assistant

Cróga CrossFit
1547-40 Meridian Ave.
San Jose, CA 95125

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Jenny L. Is The April Member Of The Month

Over the past year, it has been a ton of fun to watch Jenny go from the girl who was al because she had been to a couple other CrossFit gyms and didn’t really like them to the girl that asked for Olympic Lifting in the AM classes because she couldn’t make the evenings. She sometimes comes to the gym twice in a day to do some extra credit work.

She has been a fantastic addition to our community with her quick-witted personality and her evolution as an athlete in a year has been impressive to watch. Her dog Leo has also become a regular, always by her side.

Congratulations Jenny, this acknowledgement of all your hard work is well deserved!

When did you join Cróga?
I wasn’t sure so looked back at emails and I believe May 5th was the 1-year anniversary of my “no sweat intro”.

What were you doing before for fitness?
I have always been active but hit a lull in late 2016 early 2017. I would find excuses for everything, so I knew I had to find a place that felt like a second home. I tried multiple CrossFit places, HIT places, etc and couldn’t find a fit. In the middle of last year, I finally started looking at places close to my home (to limit my excuse factor), saw Cróga on yelp and decided I should check you it out. Dave’s loud ass “JENNNNNNNNNYYYYY” was a lot first thing in the morning, but I knew right then it could be a second home 😉

What was your first workout?
Hmmm, not sure I remember. I think a baseline type of workout.

First reaction to your first workout?
These people must think I haven’t worked out a day in my life.

What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform?
#1 – How I feel. When I workout with people I enjoy being around I am just happier and as Adam (my husband) would say, I am a lot more pleasant to be around 😉

#2 – Performance – CrossFit is humbling. I am the most uncoordinated person EVER!!!!! I have always been active but I had never enjoyed CrossFit because coaches were never patient enough to help coach me through the movements until I started coming to Cróga. I still struggle with a lot of movements but I feel much more confident and know that the coaches are there to help.

What days and times do you come to Cróga?
I started with a 3x a week membership and moved it to Unlimited because I started waking up wanting to go to the gym. Typically I go 4 – 6x a week @ 6 am or 7 am but this past month I have gone to a few 5 am and a few 3:30 pm classes as well!

What’s your favorite WOD?
I don’t know if I have a favorite WOD, but I love back squats & box jumps – probably because it’s what I am most confident in. I also really love a WOD with a strong focus on core, glute and some running – not too much running 😉

What’s your least favorite WOD?
Lately, anything overhead because of my lame ass shoulder.

“The Jenny” WOD! What would it be?
Not sure but these are my favorite things:

  • Box Jumps
  • Core
  • Burpees
  • Run
  • Back Squat

What’s your favorite post-workout routine?
Putting my shit away and getting my Rubel Roasting coffee at home!!! I am trying to get better about staying a few minutes and stretching/rolling out, especially with my shoulder. Not my favorite but has helped the most – having someone put a 45lb weight on my shoulder.

What do you love about CrossFit?
The family/community aspect. I think we all have days we don’t want to workout but I know I enjoy seeing everyone at Cróga and always feel amazing once I finish my workout….especially if Leo is there!

What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga?
Not sure its considered culinary, but Rubel Roasting!!!! Adam and I are hooked.

What’s your biggest fitness goal for this year?
I can list a million things but at the end of the day I just want to feel good and keep enjoying working out. However, dropping a few lbs and gaining strength never hurt either 😉

What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga?
Laugh. Enjoy the company and check your ego at the door. If you workout for you and don’t focus on anyone else you will LOVE it. Don’t give up when you feel defeated, utilize the coaches!!

Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet?
If someone is new to Cróga and starts to feel defeated, DON’T look at the WOD’s the night before!! I realized I would try making excuses for myself if there was something I thought I couldn’t do, I didn’t want to be a pain in the ass and have coaches adjust the workout, etc…. DON’T LOOK and go enjoy the workout!

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Richard N. Is The March Member Of The Month

If you ask any of the members at Cróga CrossFit who the most spirited member is 100% of them will respond with Richard. Not only is he the loudest person cheering for his fellow athletes during The Open, but he’s up there in the most improved category as well. Richard is also our most active member in the local community, so I like to call him The Mayor when he’s in class, which always makes him laugh and deny that he’ll be running in the future. I’m still holding out hope. It has been a pleasure to watch Richard improve as an athlete over the last couple years and become an integral piece of our community in the process. Congrats Richard!

When did you join Cróga?
I joined the summer of 2016!

What were you doing before for fitness?
I went to a local gym but was unfocused and unmotivated. I didn’t know many exercises so I just did the little I knew over and over again, which was boring. I also stopped working out whenever I started to sweat.

And that’s if I made it inside. There were multiple times I got dressed to workout, drove to the gym’s parking lot, saw people legit exercising through the window, said “NOOOPE!” and drove back home.

What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout? 
I think my intro class had a combination of rowing, hand-release pushups, sit-ups and band-assisted pull-ups for time.

There was another new member, and I felt determined to finish before him (sometimes I can be competitive), so I really pushed myself. Good news: I accomplished my goal! Bad news: I was dying on the gym floor for the next 25 minutes. At one point, Coach Kelly politely asked me to find another place to lie down, because I was literally in the way of the next class’ warmup.

And I’ve been back ever since.

What days and times do you come to Cróga?
I try to attend night classes on Mondays, Wednesdays, or Fridays, as well as a weekend session.

What’s your favorite WOD?
The ones in which good 90’s R&B/pop music is playing and none of my least favorite movements are involved. Bonus points if the WOD is a partner-workout.

What’s your least favorite WOD?
Anything involving snatches, cleans, thrusters, barbell front squats, and wall balls.

“The Richard” WOD! What would it be?
Walk to Rite Aid, buy and eat ice-cream, and walk back to Cróga for time!

It’s Coach Preston-approved, so it’s totally a legit WOD.

What’s your favorite post-workout routine?
I love-hate lying on the floor, gasping for air after a hard workout. It’s not physically pleasant, but I love how any stress cluttering my mind clears out because all I can think about is breathing for dear life.

What do you love about CrossFit?
Being part of the Cróga community. The people at Cróga are so supportive and friendly, cheering you on and giving you helpful tips. And I enjoy hanging out and chatting with everyone.

What’s your biggest fitness goal for this year?
Winning the Ugly Sweater Rowing competition, so I have another Cróga victory over Steven S. this year.

What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga? 
You get so much more than just a good workout at Cróga. So jump in and experience it for yourself.

Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet?
With the hectic-ness of life, Cróga has become an escape of sorts for me. Some days working out at Cróga has been the highlight of my day. So thank you to everyone who makes Cróga awesome.

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Allie U. Is The February Member Of The Month

Allie, aka Albert, has been a steadfast member of our community for a few years now, but has somehow flown under the radar and eluded recognition as our member of the month. I don’t really know how that is possible with how often we see her at the gym and community events, how great of an athlete she is, and how friendly and welcoming she is to new members. But, as the saying goes, better late than never.

It has been an absolute pleasure getting to know Allie as an athlete and a friend over the last few years and Cróga would not be the same without Sparky Bear. If you ask anyone that comes to afternoon classes, they all know who she is and enjoy having her in class. She brings the laughs during the first half of class and the intensity during the WODs, but don’t you dare tell her to run a lap and expect a smile, haha. Enjoy her answers below, I promise they’ll make you giggle.

When did you join Cróga?
I unofficially joined Cróga during The Open in 2015 when Kristi invited me to Friday Night Lights. What she told me about it was probably a better sell than what I heard, which was ” Cróga does The Open on Friday nights, and everyone works out then drinks beer and hangs out afterward”, so of course I was in. After my first FNL, I knew I had to change gyms immediately because what I figured out was that Cróga definitely had the most fun and most welcoming members and coaches of any gym I had been to and that the drinking beer part was actually just a bonus of being a part of it.

What were you doing before for fitness?
Before Crossfit, I was doing my signature college routine of running 2-3 miles a day. If you know me at all, it is probably shocking to hear that I actually used to willingly go on a run…but going to the campus gym was sometimes even worse because it would normally result in me doing nothing other than talking to my friends and not actually really working out.

What days and times do you come to Cróga?
I used to be every day 5:30-er. Now that there is Ignite, I tend to switch back and forth between that and 5:30. I would not be caught dead at a 5 or 6 am class, and if I do go to a morning class it’s my once-a-month appearance at Saturday class because I’ve decided that I didn’t work out enough that week.

What’s your favorite WOD?
Anything that is shorter than about 8 minutes and has movements in it that might actually give me a chance at beating Megan or Kristi.

What’s your least favorite WOD?
Anything that is long, has wall balls in it or involves running. And as everyone knows, completing a warm-up as written is definitely not my strong suit.

“The Allie/Albert” WOD! What would it be?
It would probably be something like an 8-minute AMRAP and would definitely include overhead squats and pull-ups since those are my favorite movements. The Open workout from a few years ago that was a ladder of these two movements was I think my favorite workout they have ever and will ever put in The Open – that would probably be the perfect Albert WOD. Power cleans would be good too. NO RUNNING.

What’s your favorite post-workout routine?
If you ask Mason, he would probably say “lingering”. 🙂 I don’t actually do anything after a workout (even though I know I should) besides hang around and talk to everyone.

What do you love about CrossFit?
The community aspect of CrossFit is by far the best. People being so happy for other people when they do well in a workout, hit a PR, or even beat you is something that I really don’t think can’t be replicated anywhere else. I also love that every workout is different and that you’re never really doing one movement for very long in a given workout. I get bored way too easily, so it’s great that as soon as I’m tired of doing one of the movements I get to move on to the next. One of my other favorite things, of course, is that it’s basically like you get to hang out with your friends while working out.

Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet?
Of all the CrossFit gyms I have been to and belonged to over the years, there is nowhere that even comes close to Cróga. I have never been to a gym that has such welcoming, helpful, and genuine people. The community that we have at the gym is one-of-a-kind, and the only thing I regret about joining Cróga is that I didn’t change gyms sooner. I am so grateful for the environment and the family that Cróga has created, and that I get to be a part of it. There are so many ways I could say why Cróga is so great and why I love it so much, but the only true way to understand why it is the best is to come and see for yourself. Oh, and GO FIGHTING IRISH!!! (See that, Jose Cong? 😉 )

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CJ V. Is The January Member Of The Month

It’s not often that we see a list of potential member of the month names to choose from and everyone agrees on one specific person because they have blown everyone else out of the water that month. However, this month, that is exactly what happened. CJ signed up for our Uplift Program in December and since then he has been absolutely KILLING IT on the fitness front. He has been attending class or hitting the gym or track 7 days a week, has done all the WODs he can make it to and then does Uplift homework before or after class. He also did his first CrossFit competition in the middle of all of it. When you talk about someone putting their head down and doing the work to accomplish their goals, CJ is a poster child. He always wants more work, he always wants to get better, and he’ll do the grunt work (Assault Bike Intervals/Sprints) and the boring stuff (30-minutes of mobility a day) to get him there. Congrats on an awesome start to 2018, CJ, we are very excited to see what is ahead for you this year.

When did you join Cróga?
I joined in June 2017, but had a business trip immediately after I signed up, so my first real class was in July.

What were you doing before for fitness?
I had been training mostly power lifts on my own a few times a week, but was struggling with consistency in 2017. I also played Ice Hockey once a week or so.

What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout?
10RFT: 5 Hang Power Cleans and 5 Push Jerks @ 155 lbs. I remember thinking I should be able to Rx and hang with the class. I did the first two rounds Rx and got completely gassed and had to scale back. Only did 7 rounds by the time the clock stopped I think. VERY humbling, but also impressive to see the kind of shape the regulars were in. I’m pretty sure Coach Danny knew that was going to wipe me out quick but he let me learn the hard way.

What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform?
I’m very slightly leaner, but I am trying to eat more to compensate and keep my weight up (admittedly this is a problem I share with not a single other person). I feel so much better for the rest of the day/night after an hour of intense work at Cróga. My performance in WODs is objectively better – Strength is marginally better (I started with a reasonably good strength base), but my aerobic fitness is so much improved, and my movements are smoother (still working on this). I’m MUCH better at the things I had not been doing prior, and I’ve kept or increased my major lifts (my Deadlift has gone up by 60 lbs this year!).

What days and times do you come to Cróga?
I’m a regular at the 7 am class, but I’ve also done 5 am’s (so early!) if I have to be at work early. I typically show up early to Cróga to work on flexibility or skills (Double-Unders FTW!) so the 6 am class knows me pretty well. I also do powerlifting on Wednesdays whenever I can. I come to Cróga just about every day now, sometimes twice a day for PowerLifting, except sometimes I will skip Sunday to run instead. If I didn’t have a demanding job or a wife and dog at home, I would be at Cróga at least two or three times a day.

What’s your favorite WOD?
I tend to like short, heavy, moderate to sprint-pace workouts with two or three movements. “Deads and Dubs” is my current favorite. 😉

What’s your least favorite WOD?
Any of the “chipper” style workouts. Murph, the Christmas WOD, the Caitlyn WOD… all are well outside of my wheelhouse. Anytime when I have to move my own heavy butt (burpees, push-ups, pull-ups, etc) instead of a barbell, I get super tired super fast.

“The CJ” WOD! What would it be?
If I had to program something other than “Deads and Dubs”, it would be something like:
Buy-in of 30 Bench Press @135/95, then 3RFT of 400m run, 75 Double-Unders, 10 Ground to Overhead @ 135/95. The score is total time inc. Bench Press.

What’s your favorite post-workout routine?
Drink a FitAid, Protein Shake, and Coffee, drive to work, shower, and start my work day. Not super exciting, but that’s my routine and it works for me. Also, no protein post-workout clearly equals zero gainz after all that work. Definitely must have two-scoops just to be safe.

What do you love about CrossFit?
I love that there is always something to work on, some weakness to improve (Overhead Squats in particular), or some skill to learn. I’ve done really well on some workouts compared to the rest of the class, and I’ve finished dead last in others. My workouts are much more interesting since joining Cróga and starting Crossfit, and I love that our coaches genuinely work to get you better in some way every workout. Crossfit and Fitness are really about what you put in. If you put in the work, if you show up and put in some effort, it pays dividends in a number of ways and that’s what I’m all about.

What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga?
I’ve been eating like 90% clean for a couple years since I started getting serious about health and fitness, so nothing from Cróga is really new to me since joining. Mostly Meat, Veggies, and some Starch (rice or potatoes) but I have been frequenting Bagel Guys after Saturday/Sunday morning WODs for breakfast sandwiches and I must say I have a weakness for them.

What’s your biggest fitness goal for this year?
No specific goals for this year I don’t think. I want to increase my Bench, Squat, Deadlift and Overhead Press, as well as my aerobic capacity, but I’m more focused on the process right now than the numbers. Steady improvement is what I’m all about right now. Maybe OHS more than 65lbs?

What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga?
Come for the workout, and stay for the people. There’s really nothing to be intimidated about – everyone scales something, and many people scale or modify all things. People straight up get more fit here, and if you can manage the cost (one of the biggest barriers to joining for myself) it’s totally worth it. ALL of the coaches are great, and everyone is generally very friendly and welcoming, regardless of your fitness level or your goals. Do what you’re comfortable with in the gym and the rest will take care of itself.

Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet?
I count joining Cróga last year as one of the best decisions I have made in my life. I have been “into Fitness” for a while now, but didn’t pull the trigger on Cróga or Crossfit until last year, and boy am I glad I did. I have met a lot of great people, gotten a whole lot more fit, and just found this whole other “gear” in life that I don’t think I would have if I hadn’t joined this particular gym. I feel better, I have more energy, I am more focused and productive at work, and I genuinely treasure this community of people. I used to live very close to Cróga, and I’ve since moved about 12 miles away, but I’ve managed to still make Cróga part of my everyday routine so that I can continue to be a part of the amazing place that coach Dave has created. I am unbelievably thankful for this place and all of the people (coaches and athletes) that are part of it.

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Julianna Is The Cróga Member Of The Year!

The list of reasons why Julianna is our choice for 2017 Cróga Member of the Year is long and we couldn’t be more proud to celebrate such an awesome person and athlete.

Not only did she attend an astounding 292 classes this year, which is an unbelievable accomplishment in and of itself, but she also did all of the below:

Attacked her weaknesses weekly at Open Gym on Saturday

Was a team captain during The Open

Made sure the new athletes that came to 6 am felt welcome each time she saw a new face

Volunteered her time during our holiday volunteer day

Helped organize our Cróga baby shower

And, even watched Cróga Murph one weekend when we went out of town

Her hard work and dedication to becoming the best version of herself possible is inspiring and are the exact qualities we strive to instill in all our members.

Congratulations Julianna!

There was no question who deserved this award this year and we couldn’t be more proud of all that you accomplished!

What are some new things that you have learned about yourself since starting CrossFit?
Since I started CrossFit a few years ago, I’ve learned that I actually love to move and sweat. Growing up, I never participated in any organized sports and PE was torture except for during the Presidential Fitness Test (when I could do the bent arm hang forever) and rope climb days. I’ve never been particularly coordinated or athletic, but when I joined Croga to address some health issues, I discovered that there is a kind of gracefulness that comes along with developing strength, particularly in barbell movements. I am proud of the fact that I was able to make such a drastic lifestyle change at this point in my life.

What’s the best part of working out with the 6 am crew?
Except for Saturdays, I rarely stray from 6 am, so maybe they’re all like this, . . . but 6 am is a great mix of personalities, no big egos and no whiners. We love to laugh, but we get down to business. There’s lots of encouragement, and the only shaming is good-natured. There are athletes of all ages and levels of experience, but it’s a very inclusive group. And you know it’s got to be great when my 15-year-old, Ethan, is willing to wake up at 5:30 to work out with this group.

You attended nearly 300 classes this year, what was your driving force for spending so much time here?
I’m a creature of habit, so once I decided that I wanted to go 5-6 times a week in 2017, I just put it on my calendar and showed up. But what inspired me to do it was the idea that I never wanted to tell myself, “I really should get to the gym more.” I wanted to see what would happen if I was relieved of any of that guilt and what my body would feel like if I was truly getting as much exercise as I could. Now, with that experiment over, I’m telling myself, “I really should go to the gym less!”

What’s your biggest fitness goal for this upcoming year?
I have several, but the overarching goal is to recalibrate. This year, at 48, I discovered that it takes a little while for me to recover and I wasn’t very good about listening to my body when it was screaming it needed rest. I’m starting the year off with a little break, then I’m going to build in more rest. I also am going back to basics–sometimes I got caught up in trying to go as heavy as I could and my form would suffer and recovery would be harder. Now I’m going to try pretending like I’m new to CrossFit and really pay attention to my form and how I’m moving and be more deliberate. Going a little lighter, hopefully, will allow me to go a little faster, too.

What is one thing about you that people may not know?
I want to compete on the Amazing Race. My oldest son, Jim, and I want to do it together so I have to wait a few more years until he turns 21, but I’ll only be in better shape for it then, right?

If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy?
After sizable contributions to numerous philanthropic causes, of course, I’d then spend half the year traveling the world and the other half on my private island somewhere cold, maybe off the coast of Scotland. My husband, Steve, is only down for this island plan if we have an excellent internet connection, so a chunk of money will have to go to laying undersea cables.

If you could have one meal for the rest of your life what would it be?
I’m a big fan of chopped salads. I like a little bit of everything. I could also eat a great crusty loaf of Italian bread with butter every day. And then I’d have to finish the meal off with See’s peanut brittle or bridge mix. Or Peeps.

If you could have a conversation with anyone that ever existed, dead or alive, who would it be?
I’m a big history nerd, so there are so many questions I have for so many historical figures that it would be impossible to pick one, so I have to say my dad. He died almost 21 years ago, before I had kids, so I’d love to catch up with him and talk to him about what my boys are up to.

Anything else you would like to add?
Thanks to all of the coaches for helping me be my best and to the 6 am crew for making Cróga such a fun place to go. And a big thank you to Dave and Kelly for creating, growing, and sustaining this cool neighborhood gym. It’s clearly a big part of my life and I’m always happy to be there.

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Audrey H. Is The November Member Of The Month

Audrey has been with us for a few years now and has always been a great athlete to coach and an important part of our early afternoon crew. Recently though, she has really stepped her game up! Along with almost never missing a class, she now consistently pushes herself to go a little heavier during the WOD’s and then often stays late to work on her gymnastics. She also frequently takes her awesome vizsla, Buddha, for a run afterward. With her great attitude and dedication to taking the next step, choosing her as our November Member of the Month was an easy choice. Keep being awesome, Audrey!

When did you join Cróga? 
I joined in January 2016.

What were you doing before for fitness?
I was swimming and going to the globo gym. I had done CrossFit a year earlier and loved the challenge and what it did to my body so I knew I needed to find a box again.

What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout?
I wish I could remember my first workout..but I’m sure I knew I was going to die afterward! Which is why I keep coming back for more, the challenge.

What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform?
I feel like CrossFit has given me muscle in places I didn’t think I could build it! It makes me want to eat better as well as push myself just a little bit more each workout I do.

What days and times do you come to Cróga?
I normally come Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday either at 10:30 or 3:30.

What’s your favorite WOD?
I love anything with wall balls or box jumps, snatching is a good contender as well just because it’s a difficult movement that I’d love to master at some point in my life.

What’s your least favorite WOD?
We don’t do it too often but I’m not a big fan of overhead squatting. It’s just my mobility that I need to work on making me better at it. Oh and burpees!! They are good alone but in a WOD I totally suck!

“The Audrey” WOD! What would it be?
Something with rowing, wall balls, and box jumps would be a fun!

What’s your favorite post-workout routine?
A good protein shake and some mobility, however, I’ll tell you I don’t get to the mobility as much as I should.

What do you love about CrossFit?
I love the challenge as well as that it’s kind of addicting. No matter how hard or how much I want to vomit in a WOD I can’t get enough! I also love the community! Everyone supports and pushes each other to succeed. Btw…Shout out to the Smiths! Kristi and Steven, you always know how to motivate me! Thank you!

What’s your biggest fitness goal for next year?
Hmmm as many of the coaches know I really need to work on stringing my movements! Toes to bar.. kipping pull-ups.. double unders geeze I’m sure the list could go on. I would also love to get handstand push-ups – one of my greatest fears… going upside down! lol.

What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga?
Just do it! You won’t regret it. The workouts are and suppose to be challenging but every accomplishment makes you want to continue. Plus the Cróga family is awesome!

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Marc V. Is The October Member Of The Month

Marc V has got to be the most under the radar STUD athlete we’ve ever had at Cróga. He’s been with us for more than 3 years now, he consistently attends our late night classes and puts in the work, and he’s tough as nails. I’m not going to tell you how old he is (I actually I don’t know – I’m sure it’s in our software somewhere) but one of my favorite reoccurring conversations with Marc revolves around how a bunch of his buddies are old and falling apart and he comes to the gym so that won’t happen to him. Not only does Marc look great (he’s pretty jacked, check out his picture) and move extremely well for any age, but he’s made progress on all his lifts, gymnastics skills and endurance month over month since I first met him a few years ago. Keep up the hard work Marc, you continue to get younger physically as the years go by and you inspire me to be like you when I grow up, haha.

When did you join Cróga?
I don’t really remember – it’s been a few years now, but I haven’t been as consistent as I would want to be, so I like to think I get a discount on the time I’ve been doing CrossFit.

What were you doing before for fitness?
I was on and off at a few different gyms here and there. I would typically go to the gym, hit the weight section (and only do the stuff I liked to do) and maybe (almost never) get on a treadmill and do a little cardio work. I found I was incredibly bored with working out, which made it easy to not go, and really wasn’t putting much into it and was also not getting much out of it. I also enjoyed trail running but after a while, especially with getting older, I felt I was doing more damage to myself than good with the long runs.

What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout?
I remember there were three or four of us in an intro class and it involved, I think, wall balls, some burpees, sit-ups, running and then more burpees, then even more burpees…I can recall that when I finished the class I remember thinking; wow, that was a shockingly tough workout, way harder than anything I’ve done in years. It was also unusual for me to have a coach telling me what to do, which I liked since it took the guesswork out of trying to decide what I was going to do at the gym.

What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform?
I can honestly say I am much stronger than I have ever been, even in my younger days when I was working out quite a bit, based on what I’ve managed to deadlift and squeak out in the Oly classes. My cardio, which was never great, has gotten a lot better. For example, on a ski trip last year with a group of people, everyone else ran out of gas by the end of the day and was complaining about their legs hurting and I was still feeling pretty good and still had some skiing left in me. I also recently did the 10k “Run through the Redwoods” in Felton and finished before the rest of the group I was with by a minute or so. Of course, I told them I had been waiting for them for 20 minutes…

What days and times do you come to Cróga?
I typically try to go to the 7:30 classes and try to go three times a week and get in the Wednesday 6:30 powerlifting class. I’m looking forward to trying the new 30 minute classes at 4:45 pm that I understand will be starting up mid-November.

What’s your favorite WOD?
I really do enjoy the Oly classes, (other than doing overhead squats), and any kind of general strength workouts.

What’s your least favorite WOD?
Anything that includes burpees over a barbell or any workout with the number “100” in it.

“The Marc” WOD! What would it be?
I’ve always liked the EMOM’s or the “do as many rounds of XYZ in 12 minutes” type of workouts. As for the Marc workout, how’s this:
“Row 200m, run 100m then 7 medium weight thrusters and do as many rounds as possible in 12 minutes”

What’s your favorite post-workout routine?
I can’t say I have any kind of a post-workout routine. Depending on the workout, my routine is to get off the floor and try to drive home.

What do you love about CrossFit?
After seeing people doing CrossFit on tv and thinking I need to see what this is about, I remember popping into some of the local cross fit gyms, I mean “boxes” and eventually going into Cróga. Coach Dave was there at the counter and we talked for a bit and I got some info on a pending intro class. I can remember there was a real feeling, almost an aura, of positivity about him which gave me the courage to try this out. That and the encouragement from Coach Dave and all the other outstanding coaches at Cróga make going there and getting through a tough workout a lot easier.

As for CrossFit itself, I love that you never get bored as the workouts are all very different and that you end up working much, much harder than you would if you were on your own in a regular gym. Also, I’ve found the other members to be all very encouraging and have learned that it’s ok to scale back a workout if needed.

What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga?
I’m reminded of the old joke about being on a “seafood” diet, I see food and then I eat it. This is one of my perpetual goals and something I need to dial in as my diet/healthy eating has been lacking.

What’s your biggest fitness goal for 2017?
My main goal is consistency and making a point of getting down to Cróga – sometimes the hardest part of the workout is just getting into the car and driving down. It’s been too easy for me to let work get in the way of working out and how skipping a few workouts can easily turn into a week off (or more) which makes getting back into the groove that much harder. That and trying to clean up my diet.

What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga?
I think the biggest issue for new people is how tough the workouts are and how that can be a real shock to the system. It’s really easy to say to yourself that “I can’t do this” and that “CrossFit is way too hard” and that it’s made for someone who’s in good shape in their 20’s. I would tell a new member to give it at least 30 days for their bodies to get used to the stress of the workouts and to ease into it. Perhaps a two week check up to see how they are doing and let them know that it’s ok to use a lighter weight and/or rest a bit if you need to in order to get through a workout.

Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet?
See you at Cróga Crossfit!

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