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
When we meet potential new members at Croga I often ask them why they want to do CrossFit. For many of the members at Croga, the reason is often to be able to do more activities with their kids and to know they are doing something to live a longer life so they can spend more time with their loved ones. And as you will read below, Courtney is one of those members who has a very strong will to improve so she can be the best mother to her children and wife to her husband. She is such a great example of strength, persistence, will power and love. We couldn’t be happier than to honor her with our member of the month award and to let her tell her story because we know it’s one that a lot of people can identify with and is one of empowerment through hard work and dedication. When did you join Cróga? I think it was late in 2016 for the first time. I’m a boomerang as some would say (at least in my work world). I wasn’t consistent back then though. I had just gone back to work after staying home for a few years and was figuring out how to balance work, 3 kids, a marriage, home, etc. This time around I came back in October 2018. A little over a year ago, a very good friend of mine had a heart attack. Since October 2018 alone, I have had 2 friend’s husbands die in their sleep from heart attacks. Due to that and the fact that coming back this time around was about 1000x harder physically than the first time I joined, I promised myself I would set aside 3 days a week and really commit to these workouts. Overall, with a few exceptions, I’ve kept that promise. For the month of June, I’m trying to make 4 classes a week as my kids’ schedule lightens up a bit. What were you doing before for fitness? Sadly, the last 2 years nothing. I just worked a LOT, came home, drove kids to practices and appointments of all sorts, ate dinner then went to sleep. Did that on repeat and felt pretty awful. I would wake up achy for no good reason which is another reason I came back. I figured it’d be better to be muscle sore than joint sore. Previous to that I did quite a few things. I grew up riding horses and competed pretty heavily in my 20’s. Then I had kids and took some time off. I went back to it for a bit after having my 3rd child but it was too time-consuming. I also had a new(er) fear of getting hurt that I didn’t have before I had kids, getting thrown off horses is no joke! Around the same time I started riding again, I also joined a local bootcamp 3 days a week and picked up running 2-3 days a week as well. I did a couple of half marathons and decided I really didn’t like running THAT much. The last race I did was a 10-mile race over the Golden Gate bridge. I did it for my daughter Kendall, who happens to have special needs. She was turning 10 that year and I thought it was a very fitting way to end my few years of running. It turned out to be the easiest and best long run I ever had. Somewhere around that same time my youngest son wanted to try karate. I sat in the waiting room watching him for a few months. I thought this was one of the few sports that I could do (equally) with him so I started taking classes with him. Let’s just say kids make everything look easy! It was much harder than I originally thought. Part of the deal in karate is that you also have to spar eventually so I jumped in and took classes for that as well. It was super intimidating but really empowering and I loved it. Soon enough I had earned my first belt then another and another etc. Before I knew it both Chase (my youngest boy) and I ended up with our purple belts after a pretty grueling 4-hour test. What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout? I have no clue what it was back in 2016, it’s all a blur. This time around I still don’t know what it was but I know a farmers carry was involved and that was a modification. I’m pretty sure the entire thing was modified and I didn’t record it because I was so frustrated that I was so out of shape. I thought I was going to die. I remember my husband, Dan, telling
I don’t want to put words in Rob’s mouth, but this might have been the greatest month of Rob’s life so far. First, he won the Croga Member of the Month award for his hard work, dedication and consistent focus on incremental progress, and then, he became a dad!!! It doesn’t get much better than that if you ask me. And what a dad he is going to be to his little boy, Lincoln. Rob always has a smile on his face, is an eternal optimist, never backs down from a challenge and is a ton of fun inside and outside the gym. Congrats on the MoTM, Rob, but a bigger congrats to you and Wendy on the newest addition to the family! When did you join Cróga? Wendy tricked me into competing in the 2017 Open without knowing what I had signed up for. I loved the challenge and inescapable feeling of death when I finished the workout. Became official member in October 2017. The real date that’s important is the first day I beat Jose Cong in a workout, Dec 3rd, 2017. My proudest moment as a member. What were you doing before for fitness? Primarily the shake weight, thigh master, and dabbled in jazzercise but it didn’t really feel right, I think it was the leotard. My main background would be as a long distance runner. But I had been lifting weights on my own since college. Averaged about one leg day every 10 years or so. Pretty good base for Crossfit. What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout? Wendy told me we were going to get ice cream and buy a puppy but instead, she brought me to Croga and I did the open. So I guess 17.1 or 17.2. I think deadlift, weighted lunges, and pull-ups? What I do know is that I stared off into the distance for a while trying not to puke after that one. What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform? I’ve found something I’ve only heard of before. I think it’s called a butt? Whatever it is, it pushes up on my jeans in the back of pants now. I can proudly say that my usual medium shirts that in my opinion used to make it look like i didn’t work out at all (tiny forearms and hidden biceps) which transitioned to a snug Smedium, to now super tight. NEW goal is to get them to the holy grail “deuchebag tight or creepy weird guy at the gym tight” size, which is where it’s obvious I could/need to buy a larger shirt, but I’d rather show off that muscle tightness. Then repeat this process with a size large shirt. Then get where I’m so swole I don’t need a shirt.—-insert any CJ Vincent shirtless joke here— Honestly: This is the strongest and most fit I’ve ever been, never would I have thought that’d I’d be able to deadlift and squat as much as I can now. Body composition has completely changed. I am the heaviest I’ve been, but in a gainz and muscular way that I have never been before. I can also say that I have been surprised at how well my cardio (running) has been even without running a lot. Because I am stronger, I am significantly more powerful running and in softball. What days and times do you come to Cróga? I have been pretty consistent with hitting Croga in the afternoons, 5:30 on most days, and weekends at 9 am. What’s your favorite WOD? Anything where I can beat Jose and CJ. Which usually means something longer in the 15-20 minute range, body weight or lightweight barbell activities and medium reps 10-20, and having a run in there absolutely helps. What’s your least favorite WOD? Overhead squats, snatches, handstand push-ups… anything overhead. Large amounts of thrusters are miserable as well… like 19.5, horrible. “The Rob” WOD! What would it be? Rob WOD would look like this: Backwards hat ✅ Africa on repeat performed by WEEZER on speakers ✅ In 5 minutes: Chug a “Bang” energy drink, rub Icy Hot all over body… Then for time: 40 double unders 20 burpee box jump overs 20 chest to bar pull-ups 20 toes to bar 400-meter run 5 bar muscle ups 400-meter run 20 toes to bar 20 chest to bar pull-ups 20 burpee box jump overs 40 double unders What’s your favorite post-workout routine? Beer, ibuprofen, whiskey in that order. Physical Therapist answer: Stretching, soft tissue massage, cupping, icing, heat… Any or all of this should be a part of everyone’s routine in some regard before and after workout out to prevent injuries. What do you love about CrossFit? The competition and camaraderie are something I haven’t had
If you swing by Croga in the early evening for Ignite at 4:45 or CrossFit at 5;30, 90% of the time you’ll run into one of our friendliest and most outgoing members, Preet. She showed up one day last spring with a CrossFit Nola tank top on and a huge smile and I immediately knew she was going to fit right in. Most of our members say hi to new faces and introduce themselves and then give the new people a high five at the end of class, but what I love about Preet is that she is the one that takes it a step further. It’s rare that a class ends with someone new in it that she doesn’t end up chatting with them for 15-20 mintues about who they are, what they do for work and fun, and becoming instant friends. For this, as well as how consistently she attends and works hard in class, Preet is one of the people that I would consider “model members” for the gym and the community we have always been working to build at Croga. Thank you for being awesome, Preet! Congratulations on being our Member of the Month for March 2019, you definitely deserve it. When did you join Cróga? I joined in March 2018 – so just about a year ago. When I moved from New Orleans, one of the first things I wanted to do was join a gym here. I was a little worried that I’d end up in too big a community and not find a gym I felt at home in. I ended up just googling “Crossfit San Jose” and Cróga was the first one that popped up and I signed up for a free workout. It was like going on a blind date :). My first class at the gym, everyone was so welcoming and encouraging that I knew it was the right fit for me. I never even tried any other gyms. So began my relationship with Cróga. We’re going on a year now! What were you doing before for fitness? I was living in New Orleans and going to a box there – Crossfit NOLA. I also was an avid spinner, so I would do both throughout the week. I also trained for a half marathon and even though I don’t love running, used it as a challenge. I try to keep active by doing anything that gets my body moving. What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform? Over the course of the last year at Cróga I’ve seen myself get stronger and have pushed myself to do more than I thought I could. Even though I’ve been doing Crossfit for five years now, it was my first year participating in the Open. That had a lot to do with the encouragement of coaches and fellow gym goers. I’m so glad I did it as for the first time ever I was able to do handstand push-ups. What days and times do you come to Cróga? You can usually catch me at Ignite and a 5:30pm class. What’s your favorite WOD? Murph (as a partner WOD), Cindy or Angie. What’s your least favorite WOD? Anything with Squat Snatches “The Preet” WOD! What would it be? My favorite WODs include burpees, kettle bells, box jumps, HPCs, dead lifts and push jerks. What’s your favorite post-workout routine? Besides wanting to pass out sometimes, it depends on the workout. Since I take evening classes, I usually go home and cook a healthy dinner. Cooking is my hobby and if I wasn’t a Social Worker, I’d probably be a chef! What do you love about CrossFit? The community it’s built. I don’t know how many Crossfit conversations I get into with complete strangers when Crossfit is mentioned. What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga? Asian Box! Thanks for the rec! What’s your biggest fitness goal for this year? I’d like to be able to get some toes-to-bar and pull-ups. I feel like I’m so close, but just need that final push to “get” each of them. What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga? Come take a class and feel how great the community is. Coaches are amazing and are always encouraging. You get to start your fitness journey exactly where you are at and watch it go from there. No one makes you feel like you have to do more than you are able. Give it a shot, you have to start somewhere! Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet? When I’m not at Cróga you can catch me hanging with my family, cooking, traveling the world, hiking, watching sports and being an avid social justice warrior. I’m
When someone told me that Ben had never been our Member of the Month, I almost fell out of my chair. Not only was Ben one of our very first members (I think he joined in our first month of business, 6 years ago), but he’s one hell of an athlete and is consistently in the gym day in and day out unless he’s on a well-deserved vacation. Ben is one of the hardest working, smartest, kindest, friendliest and most genuine people I’ve ever met and I feel blessed that when I was 18-years-old I just happened to be assigned to him as his summer intern. He is someone that I have always enjoyed spending time with and learning from and the only reason I can think of that he’s never been given this honor is because he’s just the most consistent person you may ever meet. There are only a few people in this world that I look up to as role models and Ben is most definitely one of them. Ben, please forgive me for not giving you this award sooner, you are on the shortlist for member of the decade. When did you join Cróga? I started working out at Croga before the doors opened by helping Dave install some flooring. Don’t inspect the floor too closely. You will quickly see why I am in the management side of construction. What were you doing before for fitness? Just normal life stuff. I am a horrible self-motivator when it comes to fitness. What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout? That was too long ago. I can barely remember what Monday was. I do remember that even though I thought I was in good shape I was totally surprised how much it hurt. What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform? Look, I don’t think I have gotten any better looking. Feel, my hands are much rougher. Performance, up significantly. I bounce back faster from injuries, don’t get winded with outdoor activities and enjoy beating my kids at everything including handstands. What days and times do you come to Cróga? I try avoid the judging eye and critical comments from Steven in the afternoon, so I go when he and my kids are still asleep at 5:00 a.m. You probably won’t see me in the afternoon or on a weekend (Family Time!). What’s your favorite WOD? Besides the warm-up, anything with gymnastic movements. I also love chippers. What’s your least favorite WOD? Probably one with heavy weights and prescribed rests. I would rather get to work and get done. “The Ben” WOD! What would it be? 100 Air Squats – 90 Sit-ups – 80 Double Unders – 70 Walking Lunges – 60 Push Ups – 50 Box Jumps or weighted step ups – 40 Wall Ball – 30 Hollow Rocks – 20 Pull-ups – 10 Hand Stand Push Ups What’s your favorite post-workout routine? As I stretch out and wait for my heart rate to slow down I enjoy a little humor. Have you ever seen Kevin Sakai (try to) stretch or (try to) understand the WOD description? It’s comical and makes me feel better about myself. What do you love about CrossFit? Show up, do what you’re told and get work done. It’s an hour out of my day when I don’t have to think or worry about anything. What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga? Sorry, but Croga doesn’t introduce me to any culinary discoveries. I do this so I can eat what I like. I tried to do the whole 30 once and lasted about a week. I was pissed, I skipped out one day on an Ice Cream truck and quit the next day. What’s your biggest fitness goal for this year? I would say 42 unbroken pull-ups, but I think that ship has sailed. I don’t know. I guess it would be good to have one. Should it be something I like or getting better at something I really suck at like Pistols? What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga? Don’t over think it, show up and get to work. It will change your life in one way or another. Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet? Nah, just that I love you guys! You’re working hard to impact people’s lives in a positive way!
Kezia has been a really fun athlete to coach for a few different reasons. She loves to have a good laugh, she’s a quiet competitor, she is stronger than a large percentage of the male athletes in our gym and she feeds off of positive results and increasing her fitness. In addition, she is a great athlete to coach because she listens well and takes the slow and steady wins the race approach, which means she’s always safe and is comfortable slowly making progress so that she never has to take a step back. We have watched her attendance increase month over month repeatedly and her fitness has improved right along with it. We are very excited to see what 2019 brings for Kezia as she continues to push herself to try new things outside her comfort zone like gymnastics and olympic weightlifting. Watching her deadlift 380 lbs (yes, three hundred and eighty pounds) and soon hopefully 400+ is something that will never get old. Keep up the good work Kezia and congratulations on being our Member of the Month for January 2019! When did you join Cróga? I joined October 2, 2017. What were you doing before for fitness? I signed up for CrossFit at another gym for the year prior but had been going only a few times per month max, so I was basically doing nothing. What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout? According to BTWB it was Back Squat every 2 mins for 20 mins then AMRAP 5 mins of Air Squats and Burpees. I think I didn’t realize that this app was public at first, because my notes for the squat was “took everything out of me”. To be honest I don’t even know how I squatted the weight in the app being so out of shape but it looks like I didn’t come back for 3 days so I guess I paid for that afterwards. My notes for the air squats and burpees say “felt like crap”. I am pretty sure that I would still think that today. 🙂 What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform? Well, anytime I can increase my lifting weight on any exercise that is pretty awesome. 3 years ago when I used to powerlift consistently I needed a belt to squat and deadlift so I am pretty shocked that even though I am older I am able to get close to some of my previous high scores without any belt at all. I never knew that was even possible to be honest. I also didn’t do any olympic lifting before I joined Croga and because I have had some issues with my shoulder and back, I am pretty excited when I see any improvements in those movements. For example, when I first started doing overhead squats, which is probably the most challenging movement for me, I was on a pvc pipe for awhile so being able to transition to a bar and then to be able to build weight on that bar has been really great. This month I was able to do a handstand wall walk all the way to the wall and I pretty much shocked myself that day. Later on I did fall on Digby so there is still some work to do. 🙂 I also did the Whole 30 and it was the best I felt consistently for a long time so I think it’s time for me to get back on Paleo train. What days and times do you come to Cróga? Initially, I came to the 6 am class but since I have been off from work, I have been coming mainly 9:30am M/W/F and 3:30 on T/TH. Over the last few months, I have been trying to incorporate a weekend class as well. What’s your favorite WOD? I think any of the WODs with lifting in them because I can more easily see those gains over time, plus I like to quietly try and match some of the man weight around me. But I guess that will be a little less of a secret after this post. What’s your least favorite WOD? I am sure anyone who does a class with me knows the answer to this, but basically anything with burpees in it. I will happily do anything else in order to not do burpees. I think for most people burpees are ok and they get worst the more you do. For me, it sucks from the very beginning and just gets worst. Burpee workouts used to give me anxiety and so I used to avoid the workouts but my new thing is to do a weekly burpee workout to earn credit for yummy decadent treats, seems like the right kind
If you had told me that one day we’d have a member attend more than 400 classes in a year, I would’ve called you crazy. Not that it’s impossible, but I never knew that a normal, everyday member, who has a wife and a job, would carve out that much of his/her time to spend at our gym. Although, now that I think about it, I’m not exactly sure you can call Jose “normal”. Besides our staff, he is easily the most recognizable face at Croga CrossFit. Jose attended 408 classes in 2018, often multiple a day and all while also traveling to Europe for significant chunks of time this past year. It is no wonder everyone knows him, he’s ALWAYS in the box if he’s in town! The great part about that though is that Jose is the perfect model for success in CrossFit. He always smiles, he works hard, he never complains about the workout (well, until it’s over and he’s tired or sore the next day), he does extra credit to improve the things he needs work on, he stays after class to stretch, he eats well and he is a motivator and always cheers for athletes of all levels. In addition, he pushes his fellow Croganites to get out of their comfort zone and try things they’ve never done or to get out and use their fitness (as evidenced by spearheading our Largest Team award at the San Francisco Spartan Race and getting 10+ athletes to compete at local throwdowns when they didn’t plan to ever sign up). With all of this considered, there really was no other option for our 2018 Member of the Year awardee. Congratulations, Jose Cong, we couldn’t have asked for a better person to crown as this years MOTY. Keep up the good work, our gym would not be the same without you! Can you tell us a little about yourself (family, work, hobbies)? The parts you may not know about me: I am half Chinese – half Mexican who has lived in the Bay Area since 1982, grew up in SF and East San Jose and now home literally is a few blocks behind Croga (for as much as I love to train, it is interesting that I don’t find myself walking or jogging to Croga). I have been a TV producer for a morning live talk TV show where I doubled as an on-screen lifestyles reporter who also has worked on music videos and one B slasher movie a long long long time ago (all while in High School then a couple of years after graduation). I have designed and ran sales and operations for a few gyms in the past while in college before finding my calling in the world of recruiting and talent management aka HR. I have helped build and org design teams with companies like Apple (early iPod and super early iPhone), Nest Labs, Google, and now with my own startup where we are attempting to productize a philosophy developed to build and drive high impact in teams over my career (as well as advice and angel invest in startups). I travel more than I care for and I came close to actually being liable in Europe for taxes due to my extended scheduled across the pond. I give speeches and write a few blogs about the future of work in my free time. The parts most of you may know: I am married to the amazing Lina Rizzo, another member of our fantastic community at Croga. Justin makes up the Cong clan trifecta during summers and other school breaks from Yale. Contrary to popular belief, he is our nephew, not our son, though we love him just like one. We also have two dogs, one neurotic and a perpetual puppy staged one in Jake & Kiki, they drive us crazy at times but we love them like our children! We are actually excited about the arrival of the next clan member in March of 2019. When possible, I love attending sporting events and will do anything to experience top events like Super Bowls, NBA Finals, World Series, World Cups, etc. Love food, all kinds, a great bottle of wine, bourbon, or nice spicy and dry mezcal. I enjoy traveling just not the short work trips across the Atlantic which literally reduce my lifespan each time. I don’t mind if I can spend a little bit of time soaking in the culture and the food of my destinations. I am about to get my 3rd passport and it is mostly because I am constantly running out of room for stamps. Enjoy playing sports and if I had my way, I would be kitesurfing daily but my beach bum days are long gone. Favorite Pizza is
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Jill H is hands down one of the kindest and sweetest ladies you’ll ever meet in your life. She and her husband, Frank, are loyal 5 AM members of ours, but he only shows up at that time because she brings him along with her ;). When you read through the answers below you’ll quickly notice that Jill is extremely selfless, gets along with everyone and is inspired by many in our community, but I don’t think she realizes how inspiring she is to the group! Her consistent positive attitude, her ability to push herself when the going gets tough and her constant encouragement of her fellow athletes really make her the perfect choice for our Member of the Month. Congratulations Jill, I couldn’t be happier with our choice for this month, you represent our gym extremely well and I love being able to call you and Frank friends of mine and members of our gym. When did you join Cróga? I joined Croga in June 2017, but really wasn’t able to be consistent until March of this year. What were you doing before for fitness? Nothing really. I’ve gone on various trends – personal trainers, running, gyms – but nothing has made me feel like I do with CrossFit. What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout? I don’t remember the workout, but I do remember Danny asking me to tell everyone about myself. I was so nervous I rambled on about how I was trying to fit into this dress for my niece’s wedding and how many kids I have and how old I was. I’m sure that’s not what he was wanting/expecting to hear! What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform? The coolest thing is how strong I feel. It’s such an empowering feeling. I love recording my workout in the app and seeing how much stronger I actually am. (Thanks Kristi!) In addition to seeing the weight on the bar increase, this year I learned how to do box jumps and handstand holds. On top of all that, I’ve lost close to 20 pounds, which always feels good. And yes, I finally fit into that dress! What days and times do you come to Cróga? I’m a 5am’er. I had a short stint at the 3:30pm class and still miss my friends there, but I find fewer excuses to miss 5am. What’s your favorite WOD? I love the hero WODs. I get pumped to do something in honor of inspiring people. What’s your least favorite WOD? I don’t really have a least favorite. I do have a ‘least confident’ WOD – that would be anything hanging from the bar. I look forward to the day I do my first pull-up. 😉 “The Jill” WOD! What would it be? Well, it would have to be a hero workout of course! I was born in ’67; married the love of my life when I was 29; have 6 amazing children; am one of 7 kids; have 3 wonderful parents, and was born and raised in the 408. So here goes: 3 RFT: 67 double-unders, 29 thrusters, 7 box jumps, 6 handstand push-ups, 408m run. I guess I’ll have to go do something heroic now!! What’s your favorite post-workout routine? For those that know me, I am not one to swear. But, when the workout is crazy hard, I love to get in my car, feeling proud and astonished, and yell, “What the *#@$ did I just do?!?!” Then drive home smiling, knowing I’m a badass because I just did CrossFit. What do you love about CrossFit? I love being inspired by a completely diverse community of amazing people. I love when I don’t think I can finish someone yells out encouragement. I love that everyone helps everyone put their weights away. I love when someone younger and stronger doesn’t mind being my partner. I love working out with a partner who encourages me to push myself. What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga? After completing the Whole Life Challenge earlier this year I reduced my flour and sugar intake to 2/week. It’s made a huge difference in how I look and feel. What’s your biggest fitness goal for this year? For 2019 I would really like to consistently jump on a 20” box, get closer to doing a pull-up and master double-unders. What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga? Don’t compare yourself to anyone else – simply focus on being the best version of yourself and be super proud of that. Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet? I want the Croga family to know how much they inspire me – Frank, Emilie, Franny, Kristi, Steve, Dave,
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