Annie came to us about 6 months ago as an experienced CrossFitter and every single day she’s in class at 7 am is an absolute pleasure. Despite years of experience, she listens intently, is open to feedback, and makes the necessary adjustments and because of this we’ve really seen her take her CrossFit game to a new level. And, on top of that, she started with us as a Croga Nutrition client a few months ago and has been absolutely killing it on her macros and in the gym because of it. A few weeks ago she told me that she hasn’t slept this soundly in years and she has a whole new level of energy in the mornings and throughout her day now that she’s being fueled correctly and I couldn’t be happier. Annie is a wonderful athlete to honor as our Member of the Month because she is an incredible person to strive to be more like. She’s kind, fun, thoughtful, and dedicated to improving as a human daily. Congrats on your success so far at Croga, Annie! We can’t wait to see what the next 6 months and beyond hold for you. When did you join Cróga? September 2019, after almost 2 and a half years at another box. What were you doing before for fitness? 16 years as a swimmer. And then quite a few more attempting to recover from that post-retirement 🙂 What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout? At Croga? I dropped into one of Coach Hailey’s classes for a DT like WOD. Think my feelings were something along the lines of “Yes, I’d like all of the barbell please…crap, that got heavy.” First ever Crossfit WOD? I definitely remember doing Fran for the first time during my on-ramp classes. “Well that was awful…When can we do it again?” What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform? The biggest improvement I’ve seen is in my general confidence, in and out of the gym. Not being afraid to get outside of my comfort zone (embracing it, actually). The PR’s along the way are a fun bonus too 🙂 What days and times do you come to Cróga? Every weekday at 7am and Sundays! What’s your favorite WOD? Crossfit Total is fun. Or maybe DT. Who doesn’t love to lift all of the heavy things? What’s your least favorite WOD? Tommy Mac stole part of my soul. “The Annie” WOD! What would it be? Probably something with a gross amount of rowing or bike. Maybe a shoulder to overhead situation. Or a kettlebell. And not a burpee to be found. What’s your favorite post-workout routine? Sundays! Post-fitness coffee/breakfast bestie catch-up. What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga? It’s not exciting, but blending protein into my coffee in the morning before coming into the gym has been a game-changer. I’m also having fun experimenting with whatever I’ve got in my refrigerator. What’s your biggest fitness goal for this year? Gah! There are so many! All of the gymnastics, continuing to improve and get consistent with my double unders, I’d love to deadlift 300# (that’s probably more than a year goal…) Maybe the biggest one though is to refine my clean/snatch technique, especially squat cleans/snatches. I want to be more comfortable getting under a bar quickly. What do you love about CrossFit? The challenge!! Every day I know I’m going to do something that pushes me outside of my comfort zone either physically or mentally (most of the time, both). That is so empowering. What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga? Show up! ESPECIALLY on the days that you don’t want to and for the workouts that scare you. You’ll never regret it. Be prepared to try things that intimidate you, to fail, and to get back up when you do. And on the days that you’re not physically at your best, immerse yourself in lifting up someone else. You’ll be amazed at what it does for your mood (and your fitness!)
We asked Aviv for a testimonial and he wrote us a short story. Enjoy! The first cut is the deepest: reflections on my 4 month 25 lb weight-loss journey with Croga Nutrition (powered by WAG) My recollection from the initial few weeks of the cut was an overwhelming sense of relief. I was stuck in this cycle of “oh I’m so hungry, oh shoot I ate too much I’m such a slob let me eat less, oh man I’m so hungry…”. My hunger was compounded by the fact that I was training at Croga almost every day. In fact, I gained a bunch of weight during my first year of CrossFit. And I wasn’t trying to. I was trying to lose weight! I kept inexorably gaining weight no matter what I ate or did. It was like a train wreck that kept going on. In retrospect, after having quantified my intake very meticulously, I realize I was eating way too much fat and not enough protein (even though I thought I was). It was the least-clean bulk in the history of weightlifting. Sure, I gained a bunch of muscle. But what good is a bunch of muscle if it’s covered by even more fat? CrossFit was making me stronger but it sure as heck wasn’t making me any leaner. That’s where WAG nutrition came to the rescue. I was inspired to join after seeing some of the gains that other members who were on WAG were making. Losing fat, getting leaner and stronger. Once I started the nutrition coaching, I felt a weight lift from my shoulders. The responsibility of losing weight was now on someone else. All I had to do was hit my macros. I figured either it worked, and I’d get lean, or it didn’t in which case I’d complain to my coach. The beginning was a little rough. Not going to lie. I quickly learned that all those tips that you read about for losing weight (eat lots of small meals, don’t drink your macros), well, I needed to employ all of them to stay satiated. And even then, there were rough days here and there when I miscalculated how hungry I’d be after a workout and ended up shaky and starved. My coach put it plainly: you’re not going to lose weight without ever being hungry. It’s unavoidable, but it can be minimized. Somehow that made me feel better. I learned never to leave the house without a snack. I started eating six times a day. I started planning my meals the night before. I had actually tried tracking my macros prior to WAG and I found it time-consuming and tedious. This time around I was proactively planning rather than retroactively logging, and it made all the difference. Planning my meals became like a game or an optimization problem: how can I eat the most on a fixed budget? Advance planning became a must for me. And, since I do most of the cooking in the house it also meant that I had to take everyone else’s needs into consideration. I started a weekly menu so that I could plan in advance what to prepare each day and have the ingredients ready rather than trying to frantically pull something together at 6 pm. My five-year-old saw me trying to put together a menu for the first week, looked at me, and then asked why don’t we just have the same thing for each day of the week and then you won’t have to make a new plan each week (duh)? We agreed that Mon would be Pizza, Tue Tacos, Wed Burgers and Broccoli, Thu Asian, and Fri Frittata. It’s held ever since. Obviously, sometimes we move things around but I love having that weekly plan. That way when I shop, I just have to worry about having the ingredients for those meals plus veggies and protein for myself. Oh yeah, and I had another kid right about in the middle of my cut. To make things more interesting, my wife was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes in her second trimester and she was put on a special diet. This was initially pretty stressful for us, trying to manage two special diets until we realized that the low carb diet that was recommended to her wasn’t that different from what I was already eating. So I started making double portions of veggies and protein and she’d add some fat to it (avocado, sour cream). She was happy because she could keep her blood sugars down and she even lost a bit of weight in her last trimester which made her happy. Now I’m eating much more protein than I ever thought was possible for a vegetarian. I think it makes a huge difference for my recoveries. I
I do my best not to play favorites at the gym, but it’s pretty hard not to put a guy as kind and clever as John toward the top of the list of people you enjoy having as a member. He’s one of those people whose brain just always seems to be working faster than most and he’s always ready with some kind of quip or pun to interject into the conversation if you look his way, even when he’s close to death mid-WOD. One of the first things I remember John telling me when he joined is that he’s never been much of an athlete, but over the last 5 years, it has been a pleasure to watch him grow as an athlete and improve month over month due to his dedication and consistency. It’s also a ton of fun for me every fall to talk to him every Sunday about how many push-ups he did the day before based on how many points Notre Dame put up against one of their weak ass scheduled opponents. I think in season 1 he struggled to make it out of the first quarter doing all the reps and now he crushes 100s each Saturday with ease. Congrats on another great year, John! Keep up the good work and keep the laughs coming. When did you join Cróga? I joined in 2015 after seeing Coach Dave at Rookies & thinking, “Damn, that dude is built!” (I was having drinks with Kevin Sakai at the time, and he convinced me I wouldn’t literally die at CF.) What were you doing before for fitness? Mostly drinking Bailey’s, feeling bad, and running laps in my head. Well, that plus elliptical. What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout? It was a 6 am class, and watching guys like Doug, Ben, and Kevin manhandle weights, I thought, “My God, what have I gotten myself into?” I still feel that way roughly half the time. 🙂 But Dave pointed out that “Cróga” means “Brave,” so I suck it up and do the work. What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform? Great question. I don’t do much to quantify my progress, but as long as my feeling around the pool remains “Not Actively Terrible,” I’m doing okay! What days and times do you come to Cróga? I’ve really gotten into Ignite classes, which are no joke despite their modest origins! I try to catch 2 or 3 per week, plus I really enjoy Saturday partner WODs. The community is what keeps me engaged & motivated, so I like sharing suffering + humor with friends. What’s your favorite WOD? Pretty much any partner stuff works for me, especially if I don’t have to watch comparatively humongous dudes throw around intimidating weight. “The John” WOD! What would it be? Let’s say 10 rounds of pistols, double unders, muscle ups, and handstand push-ups. Every time it would be programmed, I would simply walk into the ocean instead of trying any of it. What’s your favorite post-workout routine? To quote Eddie Murphy as James Brown, “HOT TUB!!” What’s your biggest fitness goal for this year? I’d most like to inspire my sons, helping them overcome their fear & lethargy. I want them to see that if I can get my uncoordinated carcass moving, anyone can! What do you love about CrossFit? Making people laugh (ideally more “with” than “at”), including via ironic posters & vids for the Open, etc. What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga? As Teddy Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy,” and you’re only competing with yourself—especially the version of you that’s still on the couch.
The 2019 Croga Member of the Year was an absolute no brainer, it HAD to be Meghan Pierce. Her decision to take a leap of faith and trust the process, her commitment to going all in, her enthusiasm along the way and the progress she’s made not only physically, but mentally, are nothing short of incredible and have inspired not only other members to follow in her footsteps, but even the coaching staff to break down barriers and do things we all never thought possible. As you read through Meghan’s answers to our year-end questions below you’ll get some pretty good insight into how awesome her journey has been to be a participant in, but some of the things she doesn’t mention that made choosing her such an easy decision are below: She lost over 40 lbs in 7 months and when you see her now she looks strong, confident, and happy – ALL THE TIME. She reached countless physical milestones including getting her first pull-up, toes-to-bar, pistols, handstand push-ups and made it through The Open with multiple workouts completed RX’d, all things that weren’t even on her radar at The Open in February/March. She raised $1,060 for Barbells for Boobs in the month of November and did 1,060 burpees along the way as a thank you for every dollar donated. All because Cody and I peer pressured her to set up a page on our weekly Fast Times at Croga CrossFit podcast. With all that said, thank you, Meghan, for such an amazing year. It has been a ton of fun being your coach, cheerleader and mentor and we’re all looking forward to watching all that you’re able to accomplish in 2020. What are some new things that you have learned about yourself since starting CrossFit?There are two things that immediately come to mind – that might seem contradictory, but I think actually make sense together. I’m capable of more than I ever thought – Even though I played some sports growing up, I was never very good. So while I secretly harbored dreams of being super fit, I had convinced myself I just wasn’t very athletic and couldn’t do certain things. CrossFit has decimated those mental limitations for me. I’ve done things that I never thought I could and I’ve become so much less fearful of trying (even if it means risking failing)! I can’t do it all on my own – To be honest, I dragged my feet on really going all in on the gym and joining a nutrition program because I just kept telling myself I should be able to do it on my own. I kept saying “you know what you should eat” or “you know what to do at the Big Box gym down the street” – and kept trying to white-knuckle through it with sheer willpower. It wasn’t until I admitted to myself, “You need others to help you do this – both for the accountability factor, but also for their experience,” that I finally was able to get things to click. So in short – I can do hard things, but not without others! 🙂 You made an enormous amount of progress in 2019, what fueled you to keep going when the going got tough?There’ve been two phases that have been the toughest. The first was the first three months when I really committed to the gym and started nutrition-coaching – Aprilish to June. During that beginning time, I think it helped a ton that I only focused on process goals. I didn’t set any expectations for myself regarding outcomes (times or weights to hit, numbers to see on the scale, etc); I just said “Show up to class at least 5 times a week, work hard, eat to your numbers and trust Cody & Dave. Keep your head down, do what you’re told, trust the process, and it will work.” That was hard because I am a big numbers person, but it kept me going because it guaranteed I could see “wins” no matter what the short-term outcomes were. Lately, the last two months of this year, post-open, when, from my perspective at least, it’s starting to feel like visible wins and growth are coming much more slowly (probably because from July to October, basically everything I did was a PR lol). So in addition to reminding myself to continue to trust the process, I’ve been reminding myself to enjoy the process. A quote I saw recently said “Before you dream about the view from the summit, ask yourself if you’re willing to keep your head down and spend your life walking up a very big hill. It can take years of walking to earn a minute at the top.” I figure I’ve got a lot of walking ahead of
Oh, Whitney… There’s a few members at Croga that are chronically “late” (we start every class 3 minutes late on purpose so that these people are on time), and Whitney is one of them. However, sometimes I wonder if these people are just really good at being on time and since they know we’re going to start 3 minutes late, they don’t want to waste those 3 minutes leaving their house early. Is that the case, Whit? Either way, I find it amazing when you walk in the door at :03 every single day, especially since I’m the guy that walks in at :48 usually because I’m always worried I’ll be late. When Whitney walks in the door right on time for every class, it doesn’t seem to phase her. When I tell horrible jokes, she always gives me a courtesy laugh. When I tell her to row faster even though she’s the shortest one in the room, she humors me and pulls harder for a few seconds even though she knows her legs aren’t going to get longer, and on top of all of this, she quietly kicks ass in every single class she is in. Whitney is an anaesthesiologist and when I found that out about her, it explained a lot. She is always as cool as a cucumber and her calmness and poise even when she’s dying from crushing the workout are incredible. And to top that off, she worked out throughout her whole pregnancy and was the same way all the way through a few weeks before the baby was due. You wouldn’t have even known except when she turned sideways. Whitney and her husband, Kenny, are just two absolutely wonderful people that I like more and more every month and year that I get to know them. They’re great parents and examples for all of us and I’m glad we chose to honor one of our new moms as our MotM. Congrats, Whitney!!! When did you join Cróga? November 2017 What were you doing before for fitness? I was eating ice cream on the couch and watching reality TV. I was not athletic by any means, nor did I do any exercise on a consistent basis. However, I needed a way to get in shape before my wedding and there happened to be a CrossFit box half a mile away from my apartment in Baltimore. I did not know ANYTHING about CrossFit before my first class. The orange theory fitness/yoga classes were a ten minute drive away which was too much effort in my books. I gave CrossFit a shot and I’m still here today. What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout? My first foundations one had wall balls, burpees and box jumps. By the fifth wall ball I remember wanting to curl up in the corner and die. Unfortunately, it was a one on one foundation class so there was pressure to not just quit then and there. To this day whenever I watch someone do wall balls for the first time and have the same look that I did of “wow this sucks,” I feel for them. What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform? Pre-CrossFit, Kenny (my now hubby) could not get me to row faster at the gym if my life depended on it. I would tell him if he wanted to hang out with someone who could row faster he should go find another girl. It was all too ironic I started CrossFit by myself. When he joined me in a CrossFit class three months after I had started he could not believe the difference in ability and attitude I had when it came to working out. Gainz since then only continue, especially as I have been more serious about the nutrition piece. What days and times do you come to Cróga? I’ve come to every class time since I’ve joined. Thank you to everyone, especially the coaches, who have tolerated my little sidekick tagging along. If I’m at class now one of the following conditions are met: 1. The baby is in a good enough mood to take her out in public (9:30am, 3:30pm, 4:45pm) 2. The baby kept me up all night and I’m awake anyway (5am, 6am) 3. I have someone to co-watch the baby with or someone is watching the baby (7am, 5:30pm, 6:30pm, weekends) What’s your favorite WOD? Anything with movements that I can more or less do without too much scaling (sit-ups, burpees, jump rope). What’s your least favorite WOD? Anything with handstand push-ups. I really hate the feeling of being upside down. “The Whitney” WOD! What would it be? The pyramid WODs are my favorite. For time: 10 DB thrusters 20 DB hang power
Johnny is one of those guys that always walks in the gym with a big smile on his face, ready to work. He then proceeds to read the workout and has one of two responses “Hell Ya!” or “Ahhhh, shit!”. Watching Johnny check out the whiteboard, process what’s written up there, and then react to it is always a highlight for me when I get to coach him. In all seriousness though, Johnny is just one of our young guns that works hard, listens well, is competitive with himself and the other guys in the gym and when he sets his mind to something he goes and does it. He’s always got something funny to say and is always up for a good laugh. And he always makes sure that I’ve got a good “banger” playing on the speakers when the WOD is about to start. Thanks for the years of hard work and positivity Johnny. It has been fun to watch you grow as an athlete over the last few years. I can’t wait to see you get that 225 clean and that muscle up in 2020! When did you join Cróga? I joined Cróga in the fall of 2017, so about two years now. What were you doing before for fitness? Before Croga I went to American Barbell 5 times a week doing the same workout over and over again, I got bored af! What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout? I forgot what my first workout was but I remember feeling like shit afterwards, I thought I was in amazing shape until I got my ass kicked at a 5:30 class. I had to show up the next day to try to redeem myself from the day before, and two years later, here I am. What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform? Since joining Cróga, I feel like I am way more flexible and mobile. I focused mainly on my upper body before CrossFit, so I definitely feel a balance in my overall strength and energy levels. My back has gotten a lot stronger from all the pulling work and variations of pull-ups, I have a better wind from all the high-intensity training as well, which has translated to my overall energy at work. Ohhh and my Olympic lifting skills are way better, I can snatch a decent amount of weight now. What days and times do you come to Cróga? I usually come on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and some Fridays for an ignite class and the 5:30 WOD right after. What’s your favorite WOD? My favorite WOD would have to be the one we do every year at Christmas time. It is a fucked up way to start the holidays to say the least. What’s your least favorite WOD? My least favorite is anything with pull-ups. “The Johnny” WOD! What would it be? The Johnny WOD would be a Fat arm Friday: Some nice curl sets, a little bench press, and finish it with an AMRAP of something like wall balls and hang cleans. What’s your favorite post-workout routine? My post workout routine during the week is change my shoes, go on a cool down run or jog, and come home and make a protein shake before dinner. I eat late around 8:30-9 every night. What do you love about CrossFit? I love the competitive nature of CrossFit. I grew up playing sports and always thrived in a competitive environment. When I was working out at 24, I was losing that competitive instinct because I was isolated by myself with my headphones on. When I’m in an active environment I will go harder because of my competitive nature. The workouts are far more intense as well, which is good for the brain. What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga? Mush, perfect bars. What’s your biggest fitness goal for this year? My fitness goals for the year are to get 225 up on a clean, hit a ring muscle up, lean out, and just feel as healthy as I can be. I’m a firm believer in the saying health is wealth. What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga? Just go for it! The coaches will not make you do anything you aren’t capable of and they will guide you so you’re doing it right. Just be prepared to sweat and grind. What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga? Thanks for welcoming me to the gym family, it’s been a great two years. Can’t wait to reach my goals with you all in the future. Shake and Bake.
Gabi and her husband, Cliff, joined Croga a few years ago when they moved from San Diego and they have been a wonderful addition to our community since day 1! Gabi is another one of our athletes that is so consistent, even with a busy work travel schedule. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t see multiple times in a week, she’s amazing. She always asks the right questions in class and you can tell that she’s looking to push herself and improve each time she’s in the gym, which makes her a ton of fun to coach. Congratulations, Gabi, this is well deserved and I’m very happy we could acknowledge all your hard work and consistency! Now let’s go get that pull up!!! When did you join Cróga? 2016 What were you doing before for fitness? Crossfit in San Diego, and running. I like swimming, too. What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout? Intro class in San Diego. Reaction: I could not straighten my arms even after three days. What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform? I feel more fit and healthy. And I have more of a “you can do it” attitude. What days and times do you come to Cróga? Usually twice a week, 5:30 pm, and the Saturday partner WOD! What’s your favorite WOD? Chippers with a good mix of activities. What’s your least favorite WOD? Assault bike, without a doubt. “The Gabi” WOD! What would it be? Rowing, clean and jerks, sit-ups. What’s your favorite post-workout routine? Hot tub! What do you love about CrossFit? The community and the high level of attention every member gets to ensure that they perform at their best. What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga? Peanut butter What’s your biggest fitness goal for this year? A pull up! What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga? Just do it. Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet? Looking forward to more fun and fitness in the coming years.
Rysen is one of my favorite lead by example athletes at Croga. He always comes to the gym ready to work, stays focused the whole time, gets the work done even when it’s not his favorite type of workout and then often stays after to work on something he’s not as good at or do some stretching so he feels good to go again the next day. I also enjoy pointing him out to some of our newer members because of how smooth and effortlessly he moves and how mobile he is. He’s a much better example than I am for these two things, so he makes for a good coaching tool, haha. He’s a little shy, but once you get him going he comes out of his shell and he can hang with the best of them. I also love the fact that Rysen and his older brother, Jordan, are from Maui so I get to stay fluent on my island slang whenever they’re at the box. Congratulations on the MoTM, Rysen! Your hard work, consistency, and dedication are inspiring. I can’t wait to watch you hit that 225 C&J and 185 Snatch! When did you join Cróga? I joined Croga in June 2018. What were you doing before for fitness? I was mostly Olympic weightlifting a few times a week with a few friends when I was still in school. What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout? I remember my first workout at Croga pretty vividly because the assault bike was involved. The first part of the workout was back squats and the second part was a 1-minute sprint for calories on the assault bike. After that, I could barely walk for about an hour. Shoutout to Cody for making sure I wasn’t actually dead. Also shoutout to Jordan for warning me beforehand. Unfortunately, I didn’t take him seriously. It felt terrible, but I liked the atmosphere at Croga. So, I knew I would come back. What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform? I think the biggest difference that I notice is the way I feel. I didn’t really take conditioning too seriously before I joined Croga, and it is nice to walk upstairs without getting winded. I am also a little less afraid of running. What days and times do you come to Cróga? I am at Croga on most weekdays at the 5:30 pm class! What’s your favorite WOD? I’m not sure if I have a favorite WOD. Workouts with double unders, handstand push-ups, and pistols are usually pretty fun. What’s your least favorite WOD? Workouts longer than 15 minutes are usually not too fun for me. Also, anything with the assault bike, wall balls, or thrusters are also terrible. “The Rysen” WOD! What would it be? Buy in of 100 double unders and 30 pistols followed by 21-15-9 of hang power cleans (115lbs/75lbs) and handstand push-ups. What’s your favorite post-workout routine? I like to stretch, foam roll, and voodoo floss. I’ve noticed that at least doing one or two of these after a workout helps me feel less sore the next day. What do you love about CrossFit? I love the variety of CrossFit. There are so many movements and ways to structure a workout that I never feel bored. I like that I can feel confident about a movement, finish a workout, and realize that I actually need to be more proficient at it because I didn’t realize how bad I am at something when I am tired. I think those kinds of things are what make CrossFit fun. I also love the community. People are usually really encouraging and genuinely happy to see others improve! What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga? It’s not really a culinary discovery, but Francis and Cody got me to try pour-over style coffee. It’s amazing! What’s your biggest fitness goal for this year? I think it would be cool to hit a 225lb clean and jerk and 185lb snatch. What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga? I would say that consistency and having fun during workouts is key! All the members at Croga are really encouraging and friendly. The coaches at Croga are great and always help you with your goals! One subtlety that I appreciate is that the coaches know almost every member’s name. It’s awesome and shows the effort they put in to make classes great. Anyone considering joining Croga should at least try a few classes. It is the most fun I have had working out since I stopped competitive swimming after high school!
Meghan has been with us for almost a year now and the progress she has made has been nothing short of fantastic and all of it is due to her hard work and dedication to trusting the process. Each month that has gone by, she has made an effort to attend more classes than the last. She is consistently asking for tips on how to help herself achieve new levels of the progression of each movement. She was one of two of our members to complete all the extra credit required to complete a Croga Bingo Blackout. And, over the last few months of being signed up for Croga Nutrition and following the guidelines of Coach Cody to a T, even with travel for work and an often unpredictable schedule, she has already lost nearly 20 lbs in 3 months. She is a fantastic example of how hard work and focus are key to helping you achieve your goals. Congratulations on all your success so far and this Member of the Month, you deserve it! When did you join Cróga? My first class ever was Sept 24, 2018. But I can be a slow starter, and for the first 6 months I only went 1-2 times a week. So I really consider my Croga “birthday” to be April 2019. That’s when I started going regularly – 5 to 6 times a week as long as I’m not traveling for work. What were you doing before for fitness? For the past 8 years I’ve been in and out of pretty much every fitness routine you can imagine – spinning, yoga, marathon training, HIIT circuits – I’d get really into something for a while and then fizzle out. But, for the year before Croga – really I was doing nothing. I was probably at the lowest level of fitness (and confidence) I had been for almost 10 years. Then I finally got fed up and promised myself I’d stick with something for at least 6 months – and signed up for 6 months pre-paid after talking with Coach Dave. What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout? My first workout was an Ignite workout – I don’t remember exactly what it was but it involved box jumps which I had to scale to step-ups. And then could barely walk up the stairs for the next few days! What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform? There are too many to list. It sounds like an exaggeration, but I literally feel like with Croga and Coach Dave & Cody, I have really transformed. I’m lifting more and moving faster. I started WAG nutrition coaching with Coach Cody at the end of May and in 12 weeks have lost almost 20 pounds and a bunch of inches. I’ve definitely upped my mental fortitude – I walked into Murph on Memorial Day planning on only doing half – and ended up doing the full (partitioned) thing! I wouldn’t have believed I could – and then I did. I feel so much better physically, have more endurance, more strength, and feel way more in control of my nutrition. Really – it’s just been all good things! What days and times do you come to Cróga? I try and make the 3:30 class every weekday. And sometimes stay for Ignite. 8AM Sundays have also become a habit. Recently, because of work, I’ve begrudgingly been making more frequent cameos at 5 AM. What’s your favorite WOD? I like longer WODs (it’s that slow starter thing) – anything with push presses, box jumps, burpees, squats or rowing I tend to like. Recently I’ve been strangely enjoying the Sunday endurance WODs – in a love/hate way! What’s your least favorite WOD? Well I tend not to like things I’m bad at, so usually if I don’t like a WOD, it means I need to work the movements more – and therefore should be grateful to Cody for programming it. (Even though that’s usually not what’s running through my head in the moment 🙂 ) Wall balls, snatches, toes-to-bar, sumo deadlift high-pulls and KB swings come to mind. What’s your favorite post-workout routine? Either a cold brew after the 5 AM class, or a grocery shopping trip after Sunday class. What do you love about CrossFit? It’s infinitely scalable – there’s any entry point for anyone. Consistency and dedication pay off – generally in life but especially in CrossFit. And I especially love that I actually have to think and focus to do it – it forces me to take my mind off everything else and just be in the moment. What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga? A food scale!!!!! (Thanks Coach Cody!! I promise I’m going to sleep as
If there was a list of Croga Legends, Mike D would most definitely be on it. He has been around since the beginning and our friendship has grown to include our significant others and our children now, which has been a ton of fun. For 6 years I joked with Mike that I was never going to give him Member of the Month because he’s always complaining about the programming and how we never program the “perfect” workout for him, but I finally gave in when he bought a new house and moved further away from Croga, but went out of his way to become more committed to getting in the gym. With a wife, two kids and very busy days running around selling “RE” (Mike’s slang for Real Estate), I am always impressed with Mike’s ability to participate in tons of networking and charity events, as well as help the other agents in his office, spend time with his extended family that all live in the area and get to the gym regularly. Congrats on finally achieving MOTM status, Mike. Don’t hold your breath for Member of the Year… When did you join Cróga? A long time ago (5+ years?)…shortly after the gym opened up and Dave was coaching every class, every day…he was always a treat. What were you doing before for fitness? I was doing personal training with some Crossfit type functional stuff. Also, running on my own. Did a few half marathons, one full marathon and then I retired from running. What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout? I can’t remember fully, it had some overhead kettlebell lunges and other stuff. All I remember was trying to beat my best friend Big Mike, who introduced me to Croga. Mike, Dave and I go a long ways back to high school (Mitty is better than Bellarmine btw). What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform? I’m definitely more ‘jacked’ than I was before, I still have to work on my eating habits and therefore my ‘Dad Bod’ is in full force. I’ve noticed how the ‘functional’ part of Crossfit helps me in everyday life. What days and times do you come to Cróga? This is a loaded question. Before my son was born (baby #2) it was 6 AM class and at least 4 times a week. Now, it’s whenever I can make it. It’s usually in the afternoon, and I’m late to class or workout on my own on the side. What’s your favorite WOD? Anything with DEADLIFTS and ROWING! What’s your least favorite WOD? I hate ring dips…absolutely hate em! Muscle Ups too…so I guess that means anything that requires gymnastics and body weight? “The Mike D” WOD! What would it be? Rowing, Deadlifts and bicep curls! Program it Cody! What’s your favorite post-workout routine? I try to fit in some ab mat situps to make myself think if I do enough of them, I might get a six-pack at some point in my life. What do you love about CrossFit? All of the components that go with Crossfit…weightlifting, cardio, gymnastics, etc. The community. The coaches. I do love competition with some of my buddies there too. I don’t fully believe in ‘competing with yourself’…I like it when I kick someone else’s ass in a workout. What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga? It took me a long time to catch onto all of the different types of diets that correlate with Crossfit. I do like Keto. I have not been perfect at it, but it has driven me to try and cut out sugar/carbs more than I ever have in my life and I have been seeing the results. What’s your biggest fitness goal for this year? It’s actually not setting any PR’s…really I’m just trying to get back to a regular schedule at the gym, and going to the gym more. Having a busy work schedule and family life has made it tough and I’m determined to get back to my gym routine. What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga? If you have the time, I highly recommend taking the Crossfit Level 1 course. It’s an action-packed 2 days full of information and fitness and only going to make you a better Crossfitter. It also allows you to potentially coach if you wanted to someday…I’m still waiting for Dave to ask me if I want to coach for Croga haha jk Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet? Getting Gamesbound doesn’t just pertain to Crossfit…it can pertain to all parts of your life. Also, I’m not going to lie, this MOTM award for me is definitely not from my performance last month
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