SUCCESS STORIES

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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Sierra S. Is The September Member Of The Month

Sierra is one of those athletes that has somehow flown under the radar for MOTM, but when I look at her “resume”, her selection this month seems like a no-brainer. She’s got an extremely consistent attendance record, she is dedicated to her goals and becoming the best version of herself possible, she is constantly looking for movement tips and takes instruction very well, she regularly does extra credit, she shows up for open gym on Saturday’s to work on areas she needs to improve, and she does all of this with a big smile on her face when she walks in the door every day (even though sometimes she leaves unhappy if her double unders don’t go well, haha).

Being a happy and focused athlete and doing the extra work is exactly what we look for when we decide on who should be our member of the month and I think it’s more than safe to say that Sierra is deserving of this month’s award. Congratulations, Sierra!

When did you join Cróga? 
I joined Cróga almost a year ago when Ryan (August member of the month, woohoo!) and I relocated to Willow Glen from Seattle. Cróga was the closest gym to our house, so I tried it first out of convenience. After my first class, I knew I had to be a member. Finding my “home” so quickly really made me feel like a part of the WG community so quickly, which helped my transition to the South Bay Area.

What were you doing before for fitness? 
I was a competitive swimmer and tennis player most of my childhood and into high school. Once I graduated, that tapered off. I was feeling sluggish and out of shape and decided after 2 years of toying around with trying Crossfit that I would quit being intimidated and give it a try. Getting my foot through the door at my first box was harder than any WOD I’ve ever done, but I haven’t looked back.

What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout? 
Oh boy, I can’t remember. I do remember there being “a lot” of air squats and feeling like I was going to keel over and die. I thought how am I ever going to put weight behind this?! Let’s just say I’ve come a looooong way.

What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform? 
I have more energy, but more importantly, I’ve had a big change in my attitude. If I’m having a bad day, getting to Cróga and doing a WOD with my fellow Cróganites instantly improves my mood. Additionally, since I started the RP strength meal plan 9 months ago, I feel like I’m making gains way faster than I used to. Still tiny…but mighty!

What days and times do you come to Cróga? 
I come about 5 days/week and used to be a regular 6AMer. A few months ago I had to switch to 3:30 PM to accommodate my work schedule. I love being able to leave the bike shop and come straight to the gym in the afternoons. FYI ya’ll, I do not work at Highland Bikes like Marcus and Dave may say. I work for a design firm above the bike shop, so don’t come looking for me for discounts on your dream Schwinn!

What’s your favorite WOD? 
I love DT. Obviously modified in weight and with my bum shoulder I just modify with dumbells, but it still works.

What’s your least favorite WOD? 
Any WOD with long distance rowing…ew

“The Sierra” WOD! What would it be? 
15 min AMRAP of 10 cleans, 40 double unders, 10 TTB

Side note: Anyone who’s done a double under WOD with me in the past year knows how frustrated I can get (sorry Justin for all the cursing), but I FINALLY can do them fairly well, so any WOD with double unders is my jam!

What’s your favorite post-workout routine? 
Ryan and I love our post-workout waffles and life aid.

What do you love about CrossFit? 
I feel like everyone says this, but the community and support. Crossfit has really given me a diverse group of friends both here and in Washington that I would have never met otherwise, and I think that’s incredible. And of course I love getting my ass kicked daily, it always keeps my ego in check and I love the constant reminder that I can ALWAYS improve.

What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga? 
RP strength and timed nutrition. It’s the best, try it!

What’s your biggest fitness goal for 2017? 
To hopefully get some more muscle on these ole’ bones of mine and really hone in on improving my lifting form.

Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet? 
New members, you won’t be sorry you joined. I’ve felt so fortunate to join a gym with top-notch coaching. I’ve never made so much progress in such a short amount of time. The knowledge and compassion in this gym are incredible. Thank you to all the coaches who have been helping me with this progress (and let’s be honest, putting up with my whining). You all are awesome!

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Ryan S. Is The August Member Of The Month

When I think about Ryan, there are three things that really stick out to me that make him awesome.

First, he’s got an amazing attitude and always comes to class with a big smile and ready to do the work. He’s very deliberate about what weights he chooses and how he attacks workouts, but not to the point where he sacrifices intensity (I’ve literally seen him puke twice from going so hard, which is very uncommon).

Second, he’s got a great sense of humor, even when the laughing involves me giving him a hard time about the Indian Clubs that he uses to improve his shoulder stability and mobility.

And third, his attention to detail and focus on the specifics of movements and why we’re asking him to do certain things to improve his efficiency. This focus and attention to detail is what has allowed him to make huge strides quickly, but also safely and we love seeing that from our athletes.

Congratulations Ryan, this is an honor that is well deserved!

When did you join Cróga?
After moving back to CA from Seattle, WA. My wife, Sierra, found the gym and tried it first. She loved it so I came in soon after.

What were you doing before for fitness?
Nothing…

What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout?
The first one that sticks out is Fran… I threw up… 🤢

What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform?
My favorite improvement has been in the technique work the coaches have been helping me with, from trying to learn double unders and butterfly pull-ups, to practicing better lifting form on deadlifts and snatches.

What days and times do you come to Cróga?
I’ve been a time-slot nomad so far in my Cróga career. I started at 7am, but have since switched to 6am and now 3:30pm. A nice benefit is that I’ve been able to meet more members that way!

What’s your favorite WOD?
Karen, love to hate those wall balls.

What’s your least favorite WOD?

Isabel or max calorie assault bike 🤢

“The Ryan” WOD! What would it be?
EMOM alternating heavy Power Clean + Hang Squat Clean and double unders.

What’s your favorite post-workout routine?
Taking my shoes and socks off 🤣.

What do you love about CrossFit?
I love the variety: I always hated weightlifting at gyms in the past because it felt so same-y. It also helps that our coaches are excellent!

What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga?
Pre-workout OJ+protein and post-workout waffles.

What’s your biggest fitness goal for 2017?
Butterfly pull-ups in a WOD, for sure.

What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga?
Cróga is the most welcoming gym I’ve been to yet, just swing by to meet Dave and crew and I’m sure it’ll be your next gym.

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Caitlin Z. Is The July Member Of The Month

Although our 6 am class isn’t filled with a bunch of “fire-breathers”, it does have some pretty loud personalities and it takes a special person to hop right into that class time and get a word in. When Caitlin joined us last November, she fit right in and immediately held her own, instantly making friends and adding to the laughter that usually fills that class for the 30 minutes before the WOD starts.

She has had stellar attendance for her first 10 months of CrossFit and because of that, she’s made some fantastic strides in all areas of her fitness, including going from not being able to do a single pull-up to cranking out 5+ in a row, repeatedly. She’s a ball of energy, has a positive attitude, works hard and always pushes herself, which are all attributes that not only make for a good CrossFitter, but a good person. She’s also a University of Colorado at Boulder Alum (Go Buffs!), so it’s safe to say we love having her as part of our awesome family of athletes and we’re looking forward to seeing what she’s going to accomplish in year 2 of CrossFit and beyond.

When did you join Cróga?
Last November, so coming up on a year soon. It feels like forever since everyone is so awesome.

What were you doing before for fitness?
I play indoor soccer with my company, One Workplace. An avid runner, yogi, skiing, gym sessions and a short love affair with Orange Theory.

What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout?
How about how I felt the next morning… I remember not being able to feel my arms and yelling something like “Dammit Dave” once my alarm went off.

What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform?
I have been a runner my whole life but I could never do a single pull up. I wasn’t getting the strength based work out that I was looking for before CrossFit. I was intimidated because I didn’t think I could ever lift heavy weight or really anything over 20lbs. 10 months later and I feel stronger than I ever have before. Who cares if you fail or if you look like you can’t lift a box off the ground. Every single person in my morning class pushes me more than I have gotten in any other workout class. I can now do push ups and pull ups. I’m finally hitting triple digits in some of the power lifts and I couldn’t be more excited to see what comes next. I feel strong and challenged!

What days and times do you come to Cróga?

6:00 AM with my favorite morning crew! I try to come 4 days a week or more.

What’s your favorite WOD?

Anything with Clean and Jerks, pull ups or running.

What’s your least favorite WOD?
Rowing and overhead squats.

“The Caitlin” WOD! What would it be?

AMRAP of 15- 20 minutes
Run 200
10 power snatches
20 air squats
10 pull ups

What’s your favorite post-workout routine?
Power Breakfast- I LOVE FRIED EGGS AND BACON!

What do you love about CrossFit?
The people and overcoming something you didn’t think you could do. I played competitive soccer growing up and I feel a part of a team every morning.

What’s your biggest fitness goal for 2017?
Muscle Up and beating Joel more than once in the warm ups.

What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga?
Make it fun! Laugh and make fun of yourself. Fail and then get up and try it again.

Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet?
I’ve been watching Survivor since its creation. I’ve applied and probably won’t stop applying till I get on the show. 🙂 Maybe Wendy and I will be on together!!!!

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Cliff K. Is The June Member Of The Month

Every class that Cliff and his wife, Gabi, walk in the door for is instantly a good 20-25% better than without them. Not only does Cliff ALWAYS bring solid effort, but he’s constantly looking to improve himself by paying close attention to the details that will help him hone his technique and make him more efficient. On top of that, one of my favorite things about Cliff is that he spreads the love by attending classes at all times of the day. With his consistent energy and positive attitude, Cliff is a solid addition to every class and we look forward to having him and Gabi with us for years to come.

When did you join Cróga?
In September 2016. My wife, Gabi, and I just moved into the neighborhood from San Diego.

What were you doing before for fitness?
I was doing CrossFit in San Diego at CrossFit Del Mar. Prior to that, I did just about everything… Running, swimming, yoga, weights, other HIIT programs. I’ve been an athlete my entire life.

What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout?
I can’t recall the exact workout, but I remember I couldn’t walk down stairs the next day.

What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform?
All the benefits you would expect from doing CrossFit. When you’re a more “mature” athlete, you measure success a little differently.

What days and times do you come to Cróga?
I go whenever I can or need to. The 4:30 pm is probably my most frequent. We always try to make the Saturday morning class when we’re in town.

What’s your favorite WOD?
I don’t have a particular favorite. I tend to like chippers and WODs with running.

What’s your least favorite WOD?
I like all WODs, but for different reasons.

“The Cliff” WOD! What would it be?
Something that’s easy to count the reps. My math skills seem to deteriorate when I’m working out.

What’s your favorite post-workout routine?
A soak in the hot tub followed by a dip in a cold pool.

What do you love about CrossFit?
The comradery of the Box and the chance to compete in the Open.

What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga?
I haven’t really gotten into CrossFit cuisine. I just try to eat real food.

What’s your biggest fitness goal for 2017?
Mobility, mobility and more mobility. The expected result is the ability to do Toes-To-Bar and Chest-To-Bar Pullups

What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga?
Make it a habit.

Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet?
It’s great to be a part of the Cróga family. Thanks!!!

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