SUCCESS STORIES

Kal and Ann-Marie Are The May Members Of The Month

Sticking with our theme of honoring multiple individuals for Member(s) of the Month during Shelter in Place, this month we’ve chosen the awesome couple, Kal and Ann-Marie. These two have been coming to Croga for awhile now, but where they live, traffic and their work schedules really only let them come to the gym once during the week and on the weekends. Once Shelter in Place hit though and they had nowhere to go and full access to Croga via Zoom, they both took it up a notch and started joining in Croga classes and working out together 6-7 days a week! To go along with that, the extra time spent training with their friends and working on their skills has delivered a laundry list of PRs and athletic firsts. Your hard work and dedication to improving your fitness during this Shelter in Place has been extremely motivating, Kal and AM! We can’t wait to see you back at Croga so you can show off all your new skills and increased fitness. When did you each join Cróga? Kal: CJ brought me to a few partner workouts in 2018 and early 2019, and I had a great time. During the 2019 Open season, CJ convinced me to come to a Friday night lights and do 19.5 as my first workout, under the guise that he would do it with me. Then the big jerk went to China, so we FaceTimed him in and he was whispering in my ear to stop staring at it and pick up the bar while I basically died. The energy and the camaraderie from that night instantly hooked me, so we signed up not long after that. AM: CJ also brought me to a partner WOD as a gateway drug to Croga. It was pretty fun, but super tough. I really liked the competitive aspect as that is something that really motivates me in fitness. I love competing with the big dogs, even though I’m the tiny dachshund nipping at their heels. When we went to 19.5 I really loved the community and didn’t really want to leave. We signed up shortly after to do Saturdays since the commute during the week didn’t seem possible and we’ve been hooked since. What were you doing before for fitness? Kal: As you know, I come from a very fit family, so fitness has been an integral part of my life. As a child I played hockey (A Canadian playing hockey? Shocking!) and my family would go for long bike rides or rollerblading. I got big into weightlifting in my early 20’s and did it casually until I hurt my back pretty badly, then I swam a mile every day as part of the rehab. Before joining Croga I was coming off the back injury and feeling much stronger, so I was getting more seriously into powerlifting. That’s part of what drew Me to Croga, actually, was the fact that everyone I saw was more fit than me on things like running and the rowing machine, but they were actually slinging pretty big weights around too. I thought “maybe I can be super strong but ALSO fast!” So far the fast part hasn’t come yet, but I’m hoping one day it will. AM: Growing up for me was a stark contrast to Kal’s family. As a kid I hated bikes so I roller bladed around the neighborhood and my family played badminton. The only sports I did we’re in school, but I tore a ligament in my ankle early in high school and that was the end of it till late college. I did a bit of working out then but mostly cardio and continued that trend when I started working. I’ve had a lot of injuries to my joints so I never really got momentum working out until I moved in with Kal. Kal taught me some weight lifting and I did a minor amount of weights, but not too much. Minor squats, shoulder presses, curls. I got a bit stronger, but no where near where I’m at now. Now I’m so much more comfortable with weights and have a much better fitness tool belt. What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform? Kal: I am basically an entirely new person. When I joined Croga I was about 5 months into a massive weight loss journey where I lost over 55lbs, I had terrible cardio, no gymnastic skills to speak of, and was still very limited in my mobility and strength. If you ever get a chance, look at my sign-in photo; when I took that photo I was almost 200lbs! Imagine a pudgy little pug trying to run with a bunch of dobermans and greyhounds, and you have a pretty close

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The Okumura Family – April Members Of The Month

It is with great pleasure that I get to announce our first multi-person Member of the Month award, as we chose to honor the entire Okamura Family! Shawn has been a stalwart of the 6 am class for years now and is a model athlete when it comes to consistency, focus, and hard work. We have watched Shawn make consistent progress month over month and year over year and with the current Shelter in Place order, he was able to convince his family to join him daily at noon for our Zoom workouts. There’s nothing we love more than watching our athlete’s significant others and children join them on their health and fitness journey and having the entire Okamura fam in class every day is as good as it gets. Congratulations on an awesome month Shawn, Dori, Joey, Jack, Jayden, and Jessie! What are the names of each family member? Dori (my wife), Joey (18 & senior at WGHS), Jack and Jayden (13 & 8th grade at WGMS), Jessie (11 & 5th grade at Booksin Elementary). What’s the order of family in height, tallest to shortest? I am the tallest (barely), then my son Jack (I pray he keeps growing… he sleeps so much lately that he had better be going through a growth spurt!), then Dori (barely) over middle daughter, Jayden, then Joey (our oldest daughter who hasn’t grown since her freshman year) and then Jessie. What days and times do you usually join a Cróga OTB class? Noon class, try to make it 2x/week. Aside from me, no one in our house is an early riser by choice. Noontime works best. We get a great workout in together and then enjoy lunch as a family. The 6 am class would be my first choice, but given we do it outside in our backyard, I don’t want to disturb our neighbors. What is each kid’s favorite exercise? It wouldn’t be accurate to describe any of the exercises as their “favorite”. However, they prefer the workouts with ab exercises. Mainly because they are not disciplined to do them on their own. Jayden (my middle daughter) struggled with situps in the beginning and is now proud that she can do a few good ones in a row 🙂 Oh… and they like happy penguins. For whatever reason, they amuse themselves by creating their own version of “happy penguins”. What is each kid’s least favorite exercise? Joey and I were literally stiff-legged walking after the 1st week. One of the 1st classes w/ them was something like 50 burpees and 100 air squats. After that, they tell me “no leg workouts Dad, I want to be able to go for runs”. Has anyone learned any new skills or gotten better at something during the Cróga OTB classes? In all seriousness, I really appreciate the stretching before and after each workout. It has helped with their overall flexibility. 3 of the 4 play basketball and I believe the workouts are helping them tone and their increased flexibility and strength will help their game. What are your biggest fitness goals for the rest of this year? Hah! Like everyone else, we are just trying to get through the shelter in place! Ironically, the stay at home order has helped bring me back to Croga. I was on a 5-month “vacation” from Croga prior to April. Honestly, doing the Ignite workouts has already helped me achieve some goals: spending quality time together as a family and getting back into shape. What’s your family’s favorite post-workout routine? I’m not sure what my family’s favorite routine is, but I know mine is eating the lunch that my oldest, Joey, prepares for me after each workout! Which family member is the funniest? It depends on who is in the most pain during the workout. We tend to keep our Zoom attendance on mute. We don’t want everyone else to hear our groaning and (sometimes) the kids complaining. The kids do seem to get a kick out of me when I am really struggling… somehow they find it very amusing when I am in pain and struggling through the workout. That’s love for you, right? What is each person’s favorite pizza topping? Jessie loves artichokes on her pizza. All of them enjoy loading up on veggie (arugula and spinach) and meat toppings when we hit MOD pizza. What words of advice do you have for people considering joining a CrógaOTB class? Just show up… through all this craziness, it doesn’t matter as much how hard you go. What matters is that you show up, get some endorphins flowing, maintain some semblance of normalcy with a good workout, and connect with everyone else on the call. Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet? I’m grateful to the Croga

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Rocky Q. Is The March Member Of The Month

Since Rocky showed up at Croga late last year, he has been Mr. Consistent and has been an incredibly positive force on our 7 am class that has helped take everyone that attends that class time to a whole new level. Rocky walks in the door every day with a big smile on his face, something fun to laugh about during the warm-up and then when it’s time to hit the WOD he’s all business. Then, when the workout is complete, he’s back to his fun-loving and hilarious self. And since we were all forced to shelter in place this last month, he has only taken his positivity and hard work to another level with his 7 am crew becoming even more consistent and crushing it daily with CJ and Annie on video. Thanks for always working hard and having fun Rocky! We can’t wait to see you back at the box at 7 am in May!!! When did you join Cróga? Oct 2019 What were you doing before for fitness? Bro workouts. Mostly weights, no cardio, no mobility. Chest day was the best day. What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout? The first session had a load of wall balls. I thought I waited long enough between lunch and gym time. I thought wrong…anyhow, post-workout was great, the atmosphere was good, and I wanted more. What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform? Morning workouts @ Cróga are what sets the tone for the day, be it weekday or weekend. I look leaner, feel stronger, and come back wanting to get better each time. I’ve chosen to eat cleaner and reduce alcohol intake, mainly so I don’t feel so sluggish for the workouts. It’s been small habits that I’ve been changing for the long-term. What days and times do you come to Cróga? Most Days minus Sunday @ 7am. 7am solidarity crew. What’s your favorite WOD? DT, so far. What’s your least favorite WOD? WODs that contain wall balls and thrusters! “The Rocky” WOD! What would it be? Cal Rowing, Clean & Jerk and… I ran out of ideas. What’s your favorite post-workout routine? 1. Drink protein shake 2. Drink some coffee 3. Probably not in that order. If it’s the weekend, I like getting the outside chores done immediately after coming back from the workout(s). What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga? I’ve relied on eggs, every which way, for meals throughout the day. The ease of making them and adding whatever I need, greens, other proteins, etc. Oh, and the air fryer is so useful! What’s your biggest fitness goal for this year? There’s a lot of goals, but one my bigger ones that I’ve focused on was getting under the bar for my Oly lifts. I realized I can’t power everything and avoid my weakness lol What do you love about CrossFit? 1. Albeit, Cróga is my first CF gym, the camaraderie and sense of community is unreal. Iron sharpens iron. 2. The variety of workouts. If you have a strength, good. If you have a weakness, good. You’re in good company. What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga? Commit. Commit to showing up, and do the work. Your mind and body will appreciate it in the long run. Some days will be bad, some days will be good. Keep it positive. Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet? During this shelter-in-place, I’ve seen the leadership of Cróga shine, from coaches to members. From Cróga adapting all workouts to virtual to the members loaning gear to one another and organizing workouts with others to keep each other motivated, these are the moments that I’ll remember for a long time. Proud to be part of this group of amazing people. Thank you to the Cróga coaches and members, current and former, and I look forward to our next workouts together. There is no quit in this group, and I’m happy to have found Cróga.

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Annie S. Is The February Member Of The Month

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!)

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Croga Nutrition Journey – Aviv B

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

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John N. Is The January Member Of The Month

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.

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Meghan P Is The Cróga Member Of The Year!

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

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Whitney O. Is The November Member Of The Month

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

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Johnny M. Is The October Member Of The Month

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.

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Gabi L. Is The September Member Of The Month

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.

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