SUCCESS STORIES

Erin W. Is The September Member Of The Month

Erin’s story is one of those CrossFit stories that I absolutely love to tell. It’s a story that we’ve heard a thousand times, but to me, it never loses its significance. Erin didn’t consider herself much of an athlete or a gym rat before she decided to head into Croga because a friend of hers was one of our members.

Over the last 2 years, we’ve slowly watched Erin pick very specific and individual goals, set her mind to them, do everything we asked and then some to target those goals and proceed to smash them. And in the process, she has come to love spending time at the gym and has become an inspiration to many others at the gym to commit to more consistent attendance and effort.

Thank you for all your hard work, your big smile and your commitment to constantly improving Erin. You have made a big impact on our community and we love having you as an integral part of our Croga Crew.

When did you join Cróga?
Right after Thanksgiving 2016.  I noticed how fit Stacey Cast was… and she told me her secret as she showed off the callouses on her hands.

 

What were you doing before for fitness?
I loved running and would do half-marathons  (Las Vegas strip at night was my first and my favorite), but I never belonged to a gym before.

What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout?
Don’t remember but I know that I almost died.  I had never done an air squat before.  Every muscle hurt the next day and the day after that.

What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform?
I’ve experienced such confidence in physical activities — I love to travel and now I’m more apt to choose an outdoor activity.  I’ve done tons more hiking and biking on vacation.  I’m also a lot more willing to try things and trust that my body will support me.

What days and times do you come to Cróga?
I mix it up.  I am trying to be consistent with 6 a.m. at least 3x a week, but I also love Ignite, so I do that too.

What’s your favorite WOD?
I love running and rowing — so I’m always happy when they are included.

What’s your least favorite WOD?
Anything with box jumps.  I still can’t get the hang of them.  But I keep trying and I’m so grateful for the soft boxes that have saved my shins!

“The Erin” WOD! What would it be?
4 RFT:
400m run
30 abmat situps
20 push ups
10 deadlifts

What’s your favorite post-workout routine?
I head straight home for Greek yogurt and blueberries and make sure my kids have gotten themselves up for school.

What do you love about CrossFit?
I love that such a physically demanding workout has options for every skill level.  I love that I have been able to try new things that are really difficult and feel supported and encouraged.  I love the upbeat, fun community of people and their pets.

What’s your biggest fitness goal for this year?
I’m really focusing on consistency.  I was a very casual crossfitter until I decided to get serious at the end of the summer.  In August I made it to 7 classes. I hit 18 for September and am working on even more for October, November and December.

What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga?
I always hear from friends that they are afraid to try CrossFit, but if this 47-year-old mom who never really was much of an athlete can do it, anyone can.  You’ll get lots of friendly help, make tons of new friends, and develop so many skills you never anticipated.  There’s room at CrossFit for everyone from elite athletes to those of us ready to learn and develop.  The coaches (who I thought might be intimidating) are phenomenal — kind, helpful and encouraging.

Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet?
Super grateful that you thought of me and even more grateful that I have found a place that has made such a positive impact on my physical (and mental) well-being.

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Lina R. Is The August Member Of The Month

When I taught Lina during her first intro class, one of the first things she told me was that she was fiercely competitive. This did not surprise me knowing that she was Jose’s wife, another member of ours that is also very competitive. Because of this, I knew their little in-house rivalry was going to be fun to watch.

Lina and I would chat regularly to make sure that she was comfortable with the movements and weights she was using, and then we would let her chase Jose down and really push her limits. She has done an absolutely fantastic job of easing into the world of CrossFit while also getting the most out of the program by pushing the intensity level in each workout.

On top of all her hard work in class, she also does extra credit skill work after class. She makes sure to show Jose that with a little practice, she can handstand walk better than him.

Keep it up, Lina. You’ve been a ton of fun to watch and we can’t wait to see what’s next for you.

When did you join Cróga?
I joined just before the 2018 Open started. Literally, I had my intro just a few days before 18.1.

What were you doing before for fitness?
Prior to Croga I was doing HIIT training, running 10k trail races almost every weekend with Jose and was also going to NC30 (similar to Ignite). Oh and resistance training walking our 2 crazy dogs.

What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout?
I honestly don’t remember my first workout because it was so close to the Open and that’s what I remember. I had only done a couple of sessions before jumping into the Open. I had asked Jose “What is the Open? Should I do it?” His response was “Just do it”.  I didn’t know what I was getting myself into.I remember my first Friday Night Lights with the group…I was feeling intimidated seeing EVERYONE there watching everyone compete. Especially since I was new to cCossfit and didn’t really know what I was doing. Everyone was super friendly and made me feel very welcomed. I hadn’t done a clean before, so I had quickly asked Cody to show me what to do. I learned how to do a clean within 20 seconds. Thanks Cody! Once the buzzer sounded, I jumped in and my intimidation fell away. I was hooked on Crossfit!

What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform?
I’ve definitely gotten stronger and have more stamina in general and have also seen improvement in running.

What days and times do you come to Cróga?
I usually go Mon – Sat at 7am (Sat at 8am) along with Ignite and sometimes the evening classes if I didn’t make it in the morning.

What’s your favorite WOD?
My favorite WOD’s are the Hero WODs. I like that we’re representing fallen hero’s and remembering them. They are also fun!

What’s your least favorite WOD?
Anything with Wall Balls!

“The Lina” WOD! What would it be?
4 rounds FT:

400 meter run
15 handstand pushups
10 deadlifts
10 cleans

What’s your favorite post-workout routine?
Getting breakfast!  Especially with fellow Crognites on the weekends.

What do you love about CrossFit?
Hands down the family community!

What’s your biggest fitness goal for this year?

To beat Jose in walking handstands. 🙂

What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga?
There is no better way to get into a training routine and feel great than having wonderful coaches with personal attention to improving our athletes and the most amazing community of fellow members to support you at every turn of your fitness journey.

Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet?
Yeah. Love the outside events we participate in as team Croga!

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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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