Archive for the ‘Beyond the Athlete’ Category

Eno

1. Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Cazenovia, Ny. 20 minutes outside of Syracuse

2. What is your athletic background?

Jack of all trades master of none. Lacrosse in college (elmira), football, hockey, golf, soccer, ski/snowboard, USMC

3. How did you get started with CrossFit?

I had the typical “journey” of self realization… I was still on the “monday = mandatory chest day” routine and closed minded to any other forms of physical fitness. I watched as my brother took up a new diet and a new workout… crossfit. He transformed his muffin top frame in a matter of weeks and had me really questioning just what it was I was doing in the gym. I went in for a “test work out” with Dan. I felt humiliated, and embarrassed, but not for being out of shape, I felt embarrassed of what I considered to be in “good shape”. A very humbling experience

4. How long have you been at CrossFit 717?

Oct 17, 2013

5. What are your favorite exercises/WODs?

Power cleans, shoulder presses , and pull ups. Favorite WOD’s? I guess I love a lot of them… when I read them the night before, and then I hate them just before starting, and then I love them again. It’s a vicious cycle

6. What exercises/WODs do you dislike?

Burpees. OHS. anything over 500m on the rowing machine

7. What are you goals with regards to CrossFit?

To have a solid foundation and maintain a healthy lifestyle, to find holes in myself and repair them, have a good sense of community, and have fun

8. In your perfect world, what would you be doing in 10 years?

Nothing. No cell phone, no calendar, no plans… just me and my family

9. Where did you go to high school/college?

Cazenovian HS,  Elmira College, Utica College

10. What is your current occupation?

A manufacturer’s representative for industrial… yawn. Umm I sell things. Gear boxes, drive chain, couplings, etc

11. If you could eat dinner with 3 people past or present, who would you choose?  Furthermore, what would you order for dinner? 

George Washington, Ernest Hemingway, Captain Cook. 3 men who either shaped this country, lived extraordinary lives and lived life to the fullest. I’d order a filet medium rare with another filet on the side.

12. Who is your celebrity crush?

Mila Kunis

13.  What is your favorite movie?

Blow. It’s a great American tragedy, rising and falling from power. and the soundtrack.

14.  What is your favorite thing about CrossFit 717?

I love the community. It really is a great group of people who have a lot of the same values, and invite everyone in with open arms.

15.  If you could have any car, what would you choose?

1956 chevy C10

16. Tell us something interesting about yourself that we would be surprised to know.

My wife and I had our first kiss during our wedding ceremony… It’s a long story

17. What kind of shampoo do you use and why?

The same one I use on my body (dove men care). Is that weird? It feels like i just divulged too much information

18. Have you ever been out of the country? If so, where and what was your favorite place?

Canada, Mexico, Kuwait, Iraq, Japan, Philippines, Korea. I loved the Philippines, I went on a humanitarian mission during a typhoon and fell in love with the lifestyle, optimistic attitudes of the people and the culture.

19. What were your best and worst subjects in school?

Best- history… worst- math

20. What would you say is your worst personality trait?

My procrastination. I put stuff off until the last minute

21. If you won $100 million in the lottery, what would you do with the money?  What is the first frivolous thing you would buy?

Pay off student loans first. call a financial consultant, lawyer and delete my facebook account. After acting responsibly, I’d go out and buy a big log cabin in Lake Tahoe for vacations

22. You are banished to a deserted island for a month and can only bring one person (fictional or real) and one album with you.  Who do you bring and what album do you choose (keep in mind I said album, not song)?

Led Zeppelin Mothership is the album and Robinson Crusoe… you can’t beat experience

23. Who do you consider your role model or inspiration?

I had always looked at Doug Flutie as inspiration. It didn’t matter that he was too short, his heart was too big to fail.

24. What do you feel is the most important invention in the past 100 years?

The cell phone/camera! Were a lucky generation,  we get to delete all the horrible pictures of ourselves with the same device we call each other on

25. What are your favorite sports teams (you can list all teams for all sports you are a fan of)?

NY yankees, Montreal Canadiens, NY giants, Syracuse Basketball

26. What are your hobbies and interests outside of the box?

With small kids it’s hard to have hobbies, so most of the time its playing “monster”, watching the same disney/pixar movies over and over and early saturday mornings I get to play golf and when the weather is nice

(more…)

karen podium

1. Where did you grow up?

I’m a West Coast girl. Born on Kauai. Spent several years in California, part of it on to a cattle ranch in the mountains near Paso Robles (kid heaven!), and finally ended up north of Seattle in the 8th grade.

2. What is your athletic background?

I was always outside as a kid, riding bikes and horses, building forts, exploring. I played high school sports but never focused on one discipline enough to see how far I could take it. Since college I’ve continued the jack-of-all-trades approach: cycling, running, swimming, water and snow skiing, windsurfing. Almost forgot…I played intramural inner-tube water polo in college!

3. How did you get started with CrossFit?

I can blame it all on Kara Shiffer! She posted something about this crazy gym on FB. Showed up for my intro class and was hooked.

4. How long have you been at CrossFit 717?

Just hit my 3 year anniversary.

5. What are your favorite exercises/WODs?

Snatches, toes to bar, handstand push-ups – because I’ve worked hard to get them. And I do love a long chipper.

6. What exercises/WODs do you dislike?

Front squats and deadlifts!

karen press

7. What are you goals with regards to CrossFit and what accomplishments/PRs are you most proud of?  

Continue to increase my Oly PRs, score a 300+ FGB, and give a Games slot my best shot within the next couple years. Not sure if it’s an accomplishment but I’m happy to have made it this far without any major injuries.

8. In your perfect world, what would you be doing in 10 years?

I’ll be running a summer camp for adults with diabetes (supported by the millions that Sean will give me later in this interview) with full immersion in the Paleo/Primal lifestyle.  This will leave plenty of time for CrossFit training with an annual trip to Carson as a 60+ masters, tending the garden and spending time with family. And I’ll head for my second home in Austin, TX once the snow started flying.

9. Where did you go to high school/college?

High school: Burlington, WA

Undergrad: Washington State University

Masters: California University of Pennsylvania

10. What is your current occupation?

Diabetes educator/nutritionist for Summit Endocrinology in Chambersburg

11. If you could eat dinner with 3 people past or present, who would you choose?

* My dad, who passed away in ’92, because I still have so many questions for him and am finally old enough to understand him a little better.

* My high school biology teacher because I didn’t make it back before he passed away to tell him how profoundly he influenced my career path.

* Daniel Craig – see #12 below. If he’s busy then Leonardo da Vinci because he had his fingers in so many fields of interest and was brilliant at them all.

Furthermore, what would you order for dinner? 

Thai curry with shrimp and Bonefish Grill’s coconut pie for dessert. No it’s not Paleo but it’s amazing!

12. Who is your celebrity crush?

Daniel Craig. Can’t wait for the next 007 movie!

karen rings

13.  What is your favorite movie?

Princess Bride. Witty dialogue, great characters and a ton of classic lines. An “inconceivably” awesome flick!

(more…)

I will admit, I haven’t formally met Jon yet but I see him all the time in the morning classes kicking butt. Read Jon’s interview and witness his amazing transformation through his photos.  Great job Jon and keep getting better each day!

jon 4

1. Where did you grow up?

I was born at Fort Lewis Washington. After moving around a good bit my family settled in Harrisburg and have been here ever since.

2. What is your athletic background?

Does competitive duff sitting count? On a serious note thou, I played little league football, gave power lifting a shot, went to a couple of wrestling camps sponsored by the local high school.

3. How did you get started with CrossFit?

I had set a goal for myself that I wanted to do a 100 mile charity bike ride, and was struggling to get past a certain point. I had read some stuff about crossfit and figured I would give it a shot. Then later that day my wife and I were heading some where and we drove past the front of the building and saw the sign. Yep, a sign, that weekend I was in the Saturday Sweatshop class.

4. How long have you been at CrossFit 717?

I started June of 2013.

5. What are your favorite exercises/WODs?

I LOVE deadlifts! Looking back I would have to say Fight Gone Bad. It was the first benchmark WOD that I had done.

jon 1

6. What exercises/WODs do you dislike?

I have not found anything that I do not like Just things I am not proficient at. /cough split jerks /cough

7. What are you goals with regards to CrossFit?

I have a bunch of benchmarks I want to accomplish but it all gets wrapped up under the idea of being “be better than yesterday”.

8. In your perfect world, what would you be doing in 10 years?

To be done with college, get a better job. Hopefully that will allow me the time to travel.

9. Where did you go to high school/college?

High school I went to Dauphin County Technical High School. For college I am a current student at HACC with plans to transfer to a 4 year school.

10. What is your current occupation

I currently work in network security for a broadband providers Abuse Desk.

jon white shirt

11. If you could eat dinner with 3 people past or present, who would you choose?  Furthermore, what would you order for dinner? 

There are so many different people that I would love to pick their brain about things. I would have dinner with would be Themistocles. He is credited with being the savior of Athens. He was instrumental in the building of the navy that defeated the Persians. He then gets exiled from the city. The second would be J. R. R. Tolkien. The third was fairly tough one to pick. I would have to go with Leonardo da Vinci. I would order Blackened Catfish.
12. Who is your celebrity crush?

Christina Hendricks

13.  What is your favorite movie?

There are a number of movies that I love to watch. Top spot on my list is shared between Army of Darkness and Aliens (the second movie in the series). They are both great movies filled with one liners.

(more…)

Next up is Lauren Salerno (nee: Frankford).  I can remember Lauren’s first week at the old location.  To say she has come a long way is an understatement.  Even up until recently, Lauren admittedly had a hard time with pull ups and push ups.  Just 3 weeks ago I saw her knock out 12 strict pull ups like it was nothing.  If she continues at this pace, the sky is the limit.

Sometimes, Lauren works out in the same 5:30 class that I do.  The difference is that after the workout I go home.  Lauren stays to do the endurance WOD at 6:30.  Furthermore, Lauren competed yesterday in the Nittany Bar Tour which just shows her amazing fitness level.

I know I am very interested in this BTA and I think others are as well.  Plus Deanne said she wouldn’t do hers unless Lauren’s was right after.

lauren dee

1. Where did you grow up? 

Harrisburg, PA

2. What is your athletic background?

Played youth sports growing up.  Ran XC and track and played soccer and basketball in high school (played soccer and ran track in the same season).  Played basketball and soccer (2x All American) at Gettysburg College.

3. How did you get started with CrossFit? 

I wanted to try it, but was scared of the “heavy weights” so I talked Deanne into trying it with me and we were hooked after Day 1!

4. How long have you been at CrossFit 717? 

My first regular CF class was the Monday after St Patrick’s Day in 2012.

5. What are your favorite exercises/WODs? 

For some reason I love to snatch!  Barbell or dumbbell snatches it doesn’t matter to me!  As for benchmark WODs…Helen would probably be my favorite.

6. What exercises/WODs do you dislike? 

I am not a big burpee fan (who is?!) and most days I could do without front squats and double unders.

7. What are your goals with regards to CrossFit? 

I want to continue to improve on my skills and get stronger every day, I enjoy the reward of improvement.  It’s also important to me that I am able to do everything that I ask of my players during their workouts.  It gives them a gauge of where they should be!

Lauren lunge

8. In your perfect world, what would you be doing in 10 years?

I would be on a beach with my husband, throwing Rosco’s wubba into the ocean after my WOD.

9. Where did you go to high school/college? 

Central Dauphin HS, Gettysburg College for undergrad, Millersville for my Master’s.

10. If you could eat dinner with 3 people past or present, who would you choose? Furthermore, what would you order for dinner?  

My father (who is deceased), my mother (can’t see my dad without my mom being there!) and Thurman Munson (dad’s favorite baseball player).  I would order crab cakes, sweet potato fries and brussel sprouts with bacon.

11. Who is your celebrity crush?

Ryan Dungey (Most people, except Chris Monasmith, probably don’t know him, but he is a motocross racer.  When I started dating my husband I had to find the cutest racer to cheer for so that I wouldn’t mind watching it on TV!)

12. What is your favorite movie?

Remember the Titans, loved the way the team came together!

13.  What is your favorite thing about CrossFit 717? 

Supportive community, awesome coaches…they must be doing something right to motivate me to get up at the crack of dawn every morning to punish my body!

14.  If you could have any car, what would you choose? 

Two door Jeep Wrangler…I don’t want anything fancy b/c my dog needs to be able to tag along!

Lauren row

15. Tell us something interesting about yourself that we would be surprised to know. 

In January of 2011 I was 40 pounds heavier and very unfit.

16. What kind of shampoo do you use? 

Whatever big bottles I can buy at Costco, it’s cheap!

17. Have you ever been out of the country? If so, where and what was your favorite place?

Yes…Portugal, Bermuda, England, Italy, Bahamas, Grand Caymans, Mexico, St. Lucia, Costa Rica, Canada…Italy was my favorite, traveled there with Dee and saw my brother who was studying abroad, food and wine were amazing and Florence was gorgeous.

18. What were your best and worst subjects in school? 

Worst subject was Philosophy, and best subjects were math and my health sciences classes.

19. What would you say is your worst personality trait and?

Well I have a lot of them so it’s hard to choose from…but I would have to say impatience.  When I want something I have a very hard time waiting for it so I usually find a way to get it on my own!

20. When/if you go out, where is your favorite place to go?

I don’t go out a lot, but if you’re talking dinner I am a big Chalit’s and Home231 fan.  If you’re talking drinks, probably Troegs!

21. You are banished to a deserted island for a month and can only bring one person (fictional or real) and one album with you.  Who do you bring and what album do you choose (keep in mind I said album, not song)? 

I would bring my friend Maria with me…we have been inseparable since 7th grade and she currently lives in Tampa so I don’t get to see her enough and when I do our visits are always too brief!  I would love to have a month of her all to myself, and I would probably bring the Thriller album.  We danced to Thriller in a flash mob at my wedding so it would remind me of one of the best days of my life!

Lauren clean

22. Who do you consider your role model or inspiration? 

Hands down it’s my mother…she is such a strong and caring woman, if I grow up to be half the person that she is I will have succeeded!

23. What do you feel is the most important invention in the past 100 years? 

The internet…you can get real time answers to any question that you have!  Remember the days of looking things up in the World Book Encyclopedia?!

24. What are your favorite sports teams (you can list all teams for all sports you are a fan of)?

I don’t have a team that I am die hard about, but I work at Lebanon Valley College so I enjoy supporting all of our sports teams!  And of course Women’s Soccer tops the list!

25. What are your hobbies and interests outside of the box? 

#1 is my dog, Rosco.  Beyond that I enjoy cooking (and eating)!  I have the best family and friends in the world so I really enjoy just hanging out with them (vacationing, playing games, cooking, you name it!).

Well, after a long layoff I have been trying to crank up the content lately.  My favorite segment of this blog is the “Beyond the Athlete” interviews but even more than that, I love when i get some time with our sport’s best athletes to ask them the same dumb questions I ask you all.  I do change them up a bit and make them more CrossFit oriented so we can learn from what makes them so great.  This time, I was able to get in touch with one of CrossFit’s most famous athletes, Chris Spealler.  For those of you who dont know about Chris, he has competed in every one of the CrossFit Games and has never finished out of the top 25 and has 4 top 10 finishes to his name (3rd, 4th, 7th and 10th).  He is most famous for his incredible size/strength ratio (he is 5’4″ and weighs around 150 lbs) and unrelenting endurance.  Google “Spealler butterfly pull ups” and prepare to me awestruck as he reels off 96 in a row.

I even asked Chris to give us an intro and, in his own words: “Outside of CrossFit I am a husband and dad of two amazing kids, Roark (2), and Myla (5 days!)  My wife Sarah is incredibly supportive of all that I do.  I grew up in Pennsylvania playing a bunch of different sports but stuck with wrestling the longest and was fortunate enough to go to a Division 1 school and be ranked in the top 20 in the nation… that was a while ago now 🙂  I also own and train at CrossFit Park City as well as travel with CrossFit HQ teaching at Level 1 Seminars, Coaches Prep Courses, and help with the development of some new material. ”  

Truly one of the greats so hopefully this is both fun and educational for you all to read.  Also, make sure you click “read the rest of this entry” to see the entire interview.  Duh.

1. Where did you grow up and where do you currently live?

I grew up in Paoli, PA which is about 45 min NW of Philadelphia.  I currently live in Park City, UT and have been here for around 10 years.

2. What is your athletic background?

Primarily wrestling.  I started when I was 6 yrs old and went through till the end of college.  I also played a handful of other sports growing up including soccer, lacrosse, track, and even golf!

3. How did you get started with CrossFit and how long have you been doing it?

A friend of mine in the Marines told me about while I was on a trip with Young Life kids and told me to give it a shot.  I found it online and hit up “Cindy” for the first time in late 2006.  Haven’t stopped since.  

4. What mistakes did you make early on that held you back from improving?

It was different when I stared.  There wasn’t even an affiliate in Utah.  I think the closest one must have been in Colorado.  So I was on my own.  A friend of mine, Eric O’Connor, also a great competitor and previous games athlete, just found our way through it.  If I started right now I would jump into an affiliate and learn as much as I could as fast as I could.  For what we had, I think we did a pretty good job, as crazy as we must have looked in the start.

5. What are your favorite exercises/WODs?

I love technical movements that are coupled well.  Workouts like “Amanda” are some of my favorites.  I think it allows for some great competition and really test the athleticism behind the work capacity which is a huge part of what I enjoy.  Snatches, muscle ups, and double unders are just a few I can think of now.

6. What exercises/WODs do you dislike?

I try not to dislike anything.  I think it puts you at a disadvantage thinking of things that way.  But surprising to some I really dislike l-sits.  And “Karen” is my least favorite workout.  


7. What are your current goals with regards to CrossFit? Any weaknesses you are trying to improve?

Right now I am really focused on winning my Region and qualifying for the games since I have to go through that process now.  I am focusing a tremendous amount of my time on heavy barbell movements and complexes that really take me super far outside of my comfort zone and wheelhouse, as well as the recovery behind these things.  

8. Through your experiences, what has had the most impact on making you a better CrossFitter (endurance, strength, Oly lifting, etc.)? Furthermore, what advice would you give novice CrossFitters looking to improve their WOD times/rounds?

For me personally I think it has been my strength.  I think too many people fall into thinking this is right for them though.  If I could give any advice to every newbie out there it would be to work on your technique and mechanics as much as you can, then consistency, then intensity. To many people want to do things as rx’d and they end up fighting through it and creating bad habits that force plateaus later in their training.  

9. In your perfect world, what would you be doing in 10 years?

Continuing to travel for CrossFit to teach but not quite as often.  I would also love to build my own facility in Park City and step back a bit more from the every day operations of the gym and spend some time just getting back to teaching.  Possibly even coaching a small crew of athletes at that time.  

10. If you could eat dinner with 3 people past or present (besides Jesus who is overused), who would you choose and why?  Furthermore, what would you order for dinner?

1.  Jesus,  I’ll overuse it.  Don’t really care if people hear it too much.  For me, that’s a no brainer.  To experience his presence, grace, and what I think is often misunderstood about him would be such an amazing experience that I would never miss it.

2.  King David.   He was a screw up but somehow had it all together at the same time.  Whether you believe the story of his battle against Goliath or not is a cool freakin story and I want to know was going through his head when he went after a 9 foot giant with a rock and sling!

3.  Any veteran who was a prisoner of war.  I think it would be amazing to sit down and hear their story.  What they went through, how the persevered, what motivated them and drove them to keep going, and how it made them who they are today.

11. Who is your celebrity crush?

Honestly don’t know enough celebrities to know.  I’m out of the loop these days.  I’m stuck watching Bob the Builder and Cat in the Hat, neither of which I have a crush on.  

12.  What is your favorite movie and why?

Depends on the category but Tommy Boy comes to mind.  There’s nothing like a good stupid comedy to get you to relax a bit.  

13.  What is your favorite book(s) and why?

Big fan of the Vince Flynn series.  I’m way into the CIA special op stuff.  Keeps me hooked and I love that stuff!

(more…)