Athlete of the Month: Alyssa Anderson “It’s been life-changing.”

In just over one year, this Athlete of the Month has made some serious strides. Although she claims not to be a morning person, she has been consistently crushing the early morning classes. She is stronger, more confident and now even motivating her boys to join in on the fun with CrossFit Teens and CrossFit Kids classes!

Meet Alyssa Anderson, October 2020 Athlete of the Month:

1. When and why did you start at Salus?

I started in August of 2019. My buddy Alicia Zink, who I worked with, would always tell me that I should come to Salus. After thinking about it for a year, I decided to take the leap. I’ve been a life-long runner, but had really lost the desire to physically push myself in my workouts, and I was starting to put on some pounds. It felt like my body just wanted me to slow down.

I knew I needed something completely different. Lucky for me I found it!

2. How has your performance changed since you started at Salus?

The biggest change for me has been improved flexibility and strength.

I’ve been running in a straight line (sometimes an oval) since 1989. Not so great for the hips. Right before joining Salus, I had so much chronic pain in my hip and low back that I thought I’d have to give up running forever. But Coach Gino took one look at my squat and said, “You need to push that right knee out more and activate the muscle. The more you work on that, the stronger it will get.”

After a few months of building up that strength, my pain has disappeared and I’m back to running 10-milers. It’s been life-changing.

3. Are there exercises you can do now that you couldn’t do before?

Overhead squats! They were so scary to me because I thought that I could never get into that deep squat. But now that I have greater flexibility and strength, I have the confidence to go a little heavier each time.

4. How has your body physically changed since you started?

I’ve lost weight (thank you, metcons), which is great. But just as important, as a physically-active woman in her mid-40’s, I can trust my body more. I can lift things, jump, twist, and balance without the fear that I’m going to hurt myself.

It’s an overall functional change in my body.

5. How has Salus changed you in other ways?

I’ve never been a morning person, but I know now that if I’m in bed early enough, I can actually wake up for the 6:30 class.

It’s such a great way to start your day–my brain is happy all day long.

It’s also a great group of people, so the laughter therapy is an added benefit.

I also focus more on recovery than I ever did in all my years of running. I stretch, I ice, I roll out. I invest the time in these things to be ready for the next workout.

6. How do you describe Salus to your friends?

Salus is like being back in college, working out with your team–but even better because everyone is super supportive and your goals are your own.

7. What keeps you motivated to continue? What’s your “why”?

I have 3 boys and we’re a very active family. I want to be in the best shape possible to keep up with them–whether it’s surfing, skiing, or hitting some tennis balls. I don’t ever want to get to a point when I say “I can’t” to them.

8. Favorite lift or WOD?

I love clean and jerks. That lift is not too technical, but you just feel like such a beast doing them.

9. What advice would you give to a newbie just joining Salus?

Just keep showing up. The more time you devote to it, the more you will improve. When you first show up, you look around and think “Oh I’ll never be able to do that.” But if you just keep chipping away at it, all of a sudden you’ll surprise yourself.

10. What is your next goal to accomplish?

I’m working on kipping pull ups. Honestly, I’m a little uncoordinated–so it would be a huge accomplishment!

11. If you could design your own WOD, what would it look like?

Metcon:

Buy in: 20 box jumps
600m run-60 sit ups-6 clean & jerks
400m run-40 sit ups-4 clean & jerks
200m run-20 sit ups–2 clean & jerks
100m run-10 sit ups-1 clean & jerk
Cash out: 20 box jumps

12. Favorite thing to do for fun?

Skiing. It’s beautiful. It’s dangerous. It’s cold. I love it.

13. Favorite healthy dish….and favorite “splurge” meal?

Favorite healthy dish is grilled fish over quinoa.

Favorite splurge is definitely a Barnacle Bill’s cheeseburger, french fries, and a pint of Carton beer. So bad…but so good.

14. If you could be a superstar who would you be and why?

I’d be Lady Gaga. She’s totally outrageous & so opposite of the nerd that I am.

15. Favorite motivational quote?

“The only way out is through.”

This is a quote from a Robert Frost poem, but it speaks to WODs and every other challenge in life.

16. Interesting fact not many people know about you.

I honeymooned in Cambodia.

June Athletes of the Month: Jess & Stephen on Staying Motivated Home During COVID

In this interview, Jess & Stephen share how they have been staying motivated at home by dialing in their nutrition and at-home workouts with Salus Nutrition Coach Angela over the past three months.

They felt “stuck in a rut” and not getting the results they wanted. Their goal was to push out of that plateau and shred for an upcoming vacation…but then it became so much more than that.

It became “Life Changing!”

Mind and Body Transformation

Even though they were already a fit couple to begin with, they have still experienced a transformation in body composition, gained strength, and reduced pain levels…all while at home.

Switching up the exercise routines dialing in their nutrition at home resulted in tremendous results. Seeing those results is keeping them motivated for more!

Ready for the Smart Cut?

If you’re finally done looking for the “short cut” and ready for the “smart cut,” these two will definitely inspire you to get started on your journey.

Meet Jess and Stephen, our June athletes of the month:

Athlete of the MonthJune

Jess & Stephen

Jess & Stephen share how they have been staying motivated at home by dialing in their nutrition and at-home workouts with Salus Nutrition Coach Angela.

In this interview, Jess & Stephen share how they have been staying motivated at home by dialing in their nutrition and at-home workouts with Salus Nutrition Coach Angela.

Even though they were already a fit couple to begin with, they have still experienced a transformation in body composition, gained strength, and reduced pain levels…all while at home.

If you’re finally done looking for the “short cut” and ready for the “smart cut,” these two will definitely inspire you to get started on your journey.

Athlete of the MonthApril

Hardie Kressler

Career: Student

Years at Salus: 1

What he didn't expect is how much it would impact his perseverance and mental fortitude - preparing him not only for the unknown but for the unknowable as well.

Just over a year ago, Hardie came to CrossFit Salus with the motivation to try this new “sport of fitness.” What he didn’t expect is how much it would impact his perseverance and mental fortitude – preparing him not only for the unknown but for the unknowable as well.

This strengthened perseverance has become very clear. This past March, Hardie competed in the CrossFit Games Age Group Online Qualifier among the top teen athletes in the World.

…and then he was faced with a life changing accident.

Just weeks after the competition (March 24, 2020), he was in a paralyzing bicycle accident. The accident fractured his neck with compression damage of his spinal cord. Hardie is currently in in residential rehabilitation center in northern NJ and has now completed his second week of rehab, making incredible progress, but he still has a long road to recovery.

However, one thing is clear…

…when Hardie wants something, no one and nothing can stop him from reaching it.

Hardie is such a great inspiration to so many people out there. More than he’ll ever know… Just like him, as long as you give it your best shot, you can go far in your journey.

Make sure to follow his incredible recovery on Instagram: @gohardforhardie

Meet Hardie:

How Did You Get Started?
I started shortly after I watched a YouTube video of Rich Froning. He was dominating in one of the events in the CrossFit Games and I thought, “I want to do that!” It looked like so much fun! So I did... It was one year this past March.
How did your performance change once you started CrossFit?
For me, it was my mental side that improved the most. I feel like I gained a lot of confidence in what I was capable of doing. That helped a lot in every CrossFit movement individually.
What were some of your most exciting moments/PRs?
Definitely the Clean and Jerk during the Age Group Online Qualifiers! Also when I hit the 195 pound snatch at a local fundraiser. Funny story - I thought it was 185 but I did the math wrong. It was 195 and I did it! I got under it!
Favorite lift or WOD?
Diane for sure. Favorite lift is the Clean. Love heavy cleans!
How did CrossFit impact your life?
I was always a lot happier after doing CrossFit. Before, I used to feel grumpy at least once a week. But once I started doing CrossFit, it became a big stress reliever for me. Something I looked forward to knowing I was coming to class every day!
How would you describe CrossFit to your friends?
It’s everything you love and everything you love to hate. It’s strength, endurance, gymnastics and a lot of cardio.
What message do you have for individuals who are just starting out with CrossFit or are maybe too afraid to try?
Just give it everything you've got. It will give you so much more in return.
Hardie, what happened to you last month is heart wrenching… we are all praying for you and can’t wait to visit you as soon as COVID-19 passes. In the meantime, what message do you have for your Salus Squad? How can we help?
Everyone is helping so much. I’ve gotten letters and snacks from everyone. I’m hanging in there just trying to stay positive. In fact, I’m scaring some of the nurses because I’m cracking so many jokes. But you just have to go through with a smile.
What keeps you motivated to keep fighting, pushing yourself in therapy?
Just the hope that I’ll be able to walk again!
If you could design your own WOD, what would it look like?
It would include cleans, pullups and double unders!
If you could be a superhero who would you be and why?
I’d want to be superman. He’s the total package. He’s strong, he can fly. He looks great. And...I don’t know any other guy who can pull off such tight clothes like he can.
Favorite quote?
'Forget plan B. To test yourself and grow, you have to operate without a safety net.' Arnold Schwarzenegger

Hardie Kressler, Athlete of the Month April 2020

Just over a year ago, Hardie came to CrossFit Salus with the motivation to try this new “sport of fitness.” What he didn’t expect is how much it would impact his perseverance and mental fortitude – preparing him not only for the unknown but for the unknowable as well.

Hardie Kressler Athlete of the Month

This strengthened perseverance has become very clear. This past March, Hardie competed in the CrossFit Games Age Group Online Qualifier among the top teen athletes in the World.

…and then he was faced with a life changing accident.

Just weeks after the competition (March 24, 2020), he was in a paralyzing bicycle accident. The accident fractured his neck with compression damage of his spinal cord. Hardie is currently in in residential rehabilitation center in northern NJ and has now completed his second week of rehab, making incredible progress, but he still has a long road to recovery.

However, one thing is clear…

…when Hardie wants something, no one and nothing can stop him from reaching it.

Hardie is such a great inspiration to so many people out there. More than he’ll ever know… Just like him, as long as you give it your best shot, you can go far in your journey.

Make sure to follow his incredible recovery on Instagram: @gohardforhardie

Meet Hardie:


1. When and why did you start CrossFit?

I started shortly after I watched a YouTube video of Rich Froning. He was dominating in one of the events in the CrossFit Games and I thought, “I want to do that!” It looked like so much fun!

So I did… It was one year this past March.

hardie kressler

2. How did your performance change once you started CrossFit?

For me, it was my mental side that improved the most.

I feel like I gained a lot of confidence in what I was capable of doing. That helped a lot in every CrossFit movement individually.

3. What were some of your most exciting moments/PRs?

Definitely the Clean and Jerk during the Age Group Online Qualifiers!

Also when I hit the 195 pound snatch at a local fundraiser. Funny story – I thought it was 185 but I did the math wrong. It was 195 and I did it! I got under it!

4. Favorite lift or WOD?

Diane for sure.
Favorite lift is the Clean. Love heavy cleans!

5. How did CrossFit impact your life?

I was always a lot happier after doing CrossFit.

hardie kressler

Before, I used to feel grumpy at least once a week. But once I started doing CrossFit, it became a big stress reliever for me. Something I looked forward to knowing I was coming to class every day!

6. How would you describe CrossFit to your friends?

It’s everything you love and everything you love to hate.

It’s strength, endurance, gymnastics and a lot of cardio.

7. What message do you have for individuals who are just starting out with CrossFit or are maybe too afraid to try?

Just give it everything you’ve got. It will give you so much more in return.

hardie kressler

Life Changing Accident

8. Hardie, what happened to you last month is heart wrenching… we are all praying for you and can’t wait to visit you as soon as COVID-19 passes. In the meantime, what message do you have for your Salus Squad? How can we help?

Everyone is helping so much. I’ve gotten letters and snacks from everyone. I’m hanging in there just trying to stay positive. In fact, I’m scaring some of the nurses because I’m cracking so many jokes.

But you just have to go through with a smile.

9. What keeps you motivated to keep fighting, pushing yourself in therapy?

Just the hope that I’ll be able to walk again!

10. If you could design your own WOD, what would it look like?

It would include cleans, pullups and double unders!

 

See the #GoHardForHardie WOD here >>

11. If you could be a superhero who would you be and why?

I’d want to be superman. He’s the total package. He’s strong, he can fly. He looks great. And…I don’t know any other guy who can pull off such tight clothes like he can.

12. Favorite quote?

‘Forget plan B. To test yourself and grow, you have to operate without a safety net.’
Arnold Schwarzenegger

13. Interesting fact not many people know about you.

I went to the Galápagos Islands when I was younger for a family reunion.

 

Eric Burke, Athlete of the Month March 2020

Every month we highlight a different Salus athlete. This person has something special. They give their best in every class (and then some), they are hungry to learn and always ready to do the work without complaining. Not only that, but this person supports their fellow classmates and encourages them to reach their goals, too. This athlete embodies what we believe the Salus Community should be all about.

Eric Burke athlete of the monthOur March 2020 Athlete of the Month is Eric Burke. Eric came to CrossFit Salus in 2017 looking for a change of pace for his workouts. Now, you’ll find Eric crushing the early morning WODs bringing his positive energy and sense of humor with him to class. In fact, he’s also training to compete at The Asbury Park Summer Games with his team: “Dad Bod” along with TQ and CJ.

We’re honored to have Eric be a part of the community! Enjoy his entertaining interview.


1. When and why did you start CrossFit?

I started in March 2017. I heard a lot about CrossFit and was looking for a change from my normal routine at the gym. In one of my first 6am classes I remember mentioning that I might scale the WOD. Jeff McGoey uttered the words “no you’re not.” The rest was history.

2. How has your performance changed since you started CrossFit?

Cardio and legs weren’t part of my vocabulary prior to joining CrossFit. I quickly realized that was a major disadvantage. I still have a way to go, but I’ve seen significant improvement in those areas.

3. Are there exercises you can do now that you couldn’t do before?

Way too many to count. Muscle ups, snatches, handstand pushups, double unders, etc.

4. How has your body physically changed since you started?

Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Eric Burke athlete of the month5. How has CrossFit changed you in other ways?

I’ve always been a glass half full kind of guy. My mindset will always be positive, but it doesn’t mean life is stress/worry free.

David Goggins (Former Navy Seal) talks a lot about “callusing the mind.” He explains that if you view every difficult situation as an opportunity to “callus your mind”, you will be prepared for difficult moments in life, rather than letting them drain you. CrossFit helps me do just that. I feel 10x better mentally/physically walking out of the box.

I have the actual calluses to prove it.

6. How do you describe CrossFit to your friends?

CrossFit is the perfect mixture of competition and community.

I like being able to compete with others who push me past where I thought I could go before. Ang and Gino have built a great community at Salus and I’m happy to be a part of it.

7. What keeps you motivated to continue? What’s your “why”?

My wife – She’s my “why” for everything.
I need to be prepared for when my daughter brings her first male “friend” over.

8. Favorite lift or WOD?

19.5. The day I felt like I was circling the drain. I’ve never been more exhausted in my life. I hated everything about that workout. That’s what I love about CrossFit – it’s humbling.

Eric Burke athlete of the month9. What advice would you give to a newbie just joining CrossFit Salus?

Take it one day at a time, learn proper technique, and listen to the coaches. Oh and buy a foam roller.

10. What is your next goal to accomplish?

Becoming a great father.

11. If you could design your own WOD, what would it look like?

Coach lead warm-up:
————————-
With a running clock
00:00-10:00 – 1 full rum bucket at Donovan’s
————————-

“Dad Bod”

For Time:
15-12-9
Muscle ups
Hang Cleans (155/105)

50 DU’s between each round

Eric Burke athlete of the month12. Favorite thing to do for fun?

Spending time with family/friends, going to the beach, and CrossFit.

13. Favorite healthy dish….and favorite “splurge” meal?

Healthy – Grilled chicken and grilled zucchini
Splurge – The “Jersey Shore” panini and Fried Ravioli from Taliercios

14. If you could be a superhero who would you be and why?

“Superman so I could beat Hardie [and CJ] in all the WODs without almost killing myself”

15. Favorite motivational quote?

“Don’t give up, don’t ever give up” – Jim Valvano

16. Interesting fact not many people know about you.

M&M’s are made in my hometown (Hackettstown, NJ). You’re welcome.

Athlete of the Month: Nina Gettings

Each month we spotlight a different Salus athlete who stands out and shows just how awesome they are. What is it that makes up an Athlete of the Month? It may not be the person that finishes the fastest, Rx’s every workout, or gets a PR every week. Although we love and celebrate when those things happen, the Athlete of the Month is made up of much more than physical ability. This person shows up to class, gives their best, and then gives a little more. They are hungry to learn and always ready to do the work without complaining. They support their fellow classmates and encourage them to reach their goals. This athlete embodies what we believe the CrossFit Salus Community should be all about.

Our February 2020 Athlete of the Month is Nina Gettings. Nina came in with goals and came out surpassing them. From banded pullups to many body weight pullups, added weight on the barbell and increased confidence, she has improved her overall strength dramatically. Her positive energy is contagious and we’re honored to have her be a part of the community.

We’re excited to share her story.


1. When and why did you start CrossFit?

I started CrossFit December, 2018 after seeing how much my dad liked it. His improvement inspired me to give it a try.Nina Gettings Athlete of the Month

2. How has your performance changed since you started CrossFit?

I have definitely seen improvement in my technique and have more confidence during lifting weights. Also, when I first started, I was just trying to finish the workout and survive, now I am pushing myself.

3. Are there exercises you can do now that you couldn’t do before?

When I started, I could barely do a pullup with a green band. Now I can do several strict ones! This will come in handy when taking the Candidate Fitness Assessment for West Point.

4. How has your body physically changed since you started?

I have seen a significant improvement in my mobility and overall flexibility, as well as continue to increase in overall strength.

5. How has CrossFit changed you in other ways?

I think CrossFit helps me do better in school, because it has taught me how to keep on going even when I really want to stop and give up.

6. How do you describe CrossFit to your friends?

During the workout it is super intense and challenging, but once you are done, it is the best feeling ever!

7. What keeps you motivated to continue?

I love the feeling you get after class, and being able to see ongoing improvement.

8. Favorite WOD?

“Murph”

For time:
1 mile Run
100 Pull-ups
200 Push-ups
300 Squats
1 mile Run

9. What advice would you give to a newbie just joining CrossFit Salus?

Break down the number of reps in your head. For example, if you need to do 20 wall balls, just make it to 10, and then break the last 10 into sets of 5. Never look at the total amount of reps and slowly chip away.

10. What is your next goal to accomplish?

Get into college!!!

11. If you could design your own WOD, what would it look like?

3 rounds:
Mile run (slow)
25 sit ups
5 pullups (green band if needed)
4 thrusters
25 box jumps

12. Favorite thing to do for fun?

Walking/ going on hikes with my family and friends. I also like fast roller coasters (i.e., Kingda Ka), playing soccer, and tennis.

13. Favorite healthy dish….and favorite “splurge” meal?

Healthy dish: Poke bowl at JJs Delicacies in Red Bank.
Splurge Meal: Mac and cheese and coffee ice cream for dessert.

14. If you could be an animal what would you be and why?

I would be a flying squirrel because they can climb up trees, are fearless and jump from branch to branch.

15. Favorite motivational quote?

“Discipline equals freedom” -Jocko Willink

16. Interesting fact that not many people know about you.

When I was in China I ate a scorpion.

Athlete of the Month: Cherie Crocker on Being a Strong Mom for Her Family

If you ask anyone at CrossFit Salus how they would describe our community, many of them would call this a family. We’re a pretty tight knot group of people, not only sharing physical struggles (hello burpees) and triumphs (how about that first pullup feeling?!), but supporting each other through emotional experiences, too. As coaches, we get to see the beauty of this community in an even bigger way – in the way our members impact their kids and their families outside the four walls of our box. And, as a strong mom, Cherie Crocker does just that.

Cherie has not only displayed that she is a strong mom with muscles, but that her strength extends beyond her newly shaped biceps (that helped her get her first pull up this year). Her influence radiates through to her family and has inspired them to make healthy changes, too. She even motivated her sister and daughter to participate in the recent Foundation Nutrition challenge!

This is why we’re excited to announce strong mom, Cherie as our January 2020 Athlete of the Month.


1. When and why did you start CrossFit?

I was bored with my gym and workouts and mentioned to my husband I was intrigued by CrossFit…well he surprised me with a gift certificate for Christmas…

I’ve been hooked ever since!

2. How has your performance changed since you started CrossFit?

Well I’m not physically shaking and petrified of the workouts as I pull into the parking lot anymore! Overall I’m not scared to try new things as I was initially but more excited to see what I can do.

Cherie Strong Mom Athlete of the Month

3. Are there exercises you can do now that you couldn’t do before?

Yes!! I can do pull-ups, toes to bar, and double-unders!

Although I don’t lift the heaviest, I lift heavier for many exercises than I ever could imagine.

4. How has your body physically changed since you started?

I’m definitely leaner, my arms are more defined, and my stomach is flatter.

5. OK, strong mom, how has CrossFit changed you in other ways?

I look forward to the workouts everyday since it’s the best way to escape and reduce stress.

Cherie Strong Mom Athlete of the MonthAfter tackling some of the WODs, during the rest of the day I feel like I can handle anything (well, some days!)

6. How do you describe CrossFit to your friends?

Haha I always start out saying “I don’t mean to sound corny but,” and then describe it as

…the most positive group of people who genuinely enjoy seeing each other get better and stronger mentally and physically.

I also describe the workouts as a combo of weight lifting and gymnastics.

7. What keeps you motivated to continue?

For the most part, my children are my why. I want to be a strong mamma physically and mentally.

I especially want my daughter to see how fierce woman are?I also know at this point in my life that if I don’t take care of myself, I’m not going to be a good mom or wife. My husband certainly doesn’t complain either lol

8. Favorite lift or WOD?

I don’t know them by name but I love any combination of gymnastics type stuff, like handstand push-ups, pull-ups, and a (short) run in an AMRAP

9. What advice would you give to a newbie just joining CrossFit Salus?

Ooh it’s still hard but don’t compare yourself to others!

Try to focus on yourself, never doubt that you can accomplish something and don’t be scared to try something new (such real life lessons wow)!

10. If you could design your own WOD, what would it look like?

Something like:
AMRAP in 15 minutes-200 m run, 5 pull-ups, 10 toes to bar, 20 box jumps

11. Favorite thing to do for fun?

CrossFit isn’t it obvious?! Haha…

I also love the beach, going on vacation with my family, shopping, going to the park and getting pedicures

12. Favorite healthy dish….and favorite “splurge” meal?

I love mixing veggies with some kind of protein and brown rice or quinoa. Pizza or a turkey sub on really good Italian bread are splurges

13. If you could be a superhero, who would you be and why?

Wonder Woman…obvious physical reasons- she’s super sexy, strong, and can get anyone to do practically anything!

14. Favorite quote?

Not really a quote but I believe in karma, especially good karma (I try to instill this in my children).

I also believe you should never burn bridges because everyone is connected in some way and you never know when your paths will cross.

16. Interesting fact not many people know about you.

Not sure if these are interesting but I’m super stubborn, have a weird obsession with my teeth and my favorite thing in the world is getting a pedicure.


Every month we spotlight a different athlete at Salus who stands out and shows just how awesome they are.

What is it that makes up the Athlete of the Month?

It may not be the person that finishes the fastest, RX’s every workout, or rings the PR bell every time they walk in the box. Although we love and celebrate when those things happen, the Athlete of the Month is made up of much more than physical ability. This person shows up, displays grit, and then gives a little more by supporting others in their journey to reach their goals, too. And they extend their motivation beyond the box.

They are hungry to learn and always ready to do the work. This athlete embodies what we believe the CrossFit Salus Community should be about.

Athlete of the Month: Benny Gonzalez “Consistency is Key”

Back in June 2017, Benny walked through our doors feeling intimated and unsure if CrossFit was the right fit. But she got hooked…and FIT along the way! Eventually her fear turned into excitement and when she started coming consistently, her results shined!

Last year, she participated in her first CrossFit Open as a master’s athlete and finished 2050th place in her age group. This year she crushed every WOD as RX and bumped her final score to 738th place! She’s proof that consistency is key!

Benny always has a smile on her face and is there to cheer other’s on with a WOOT WOOT!

Please meet Miss December: Benny Gonzalez!


1. When and why did you start CrossFit?

I started 2 1/2 years ago. I read an article written on CrossFit and was very curious about it. I wanted to challenge my body more.

I was mid 50’s at the time and saw that my body was changing, my routine exercises were not helping anymore.

CrossFit is not just one routine over and over, it is cardio, lifting, gymnastics, stretching and more which piqued my interest.

2. How has your performance changed since you started CrossFit consistently?

I had never held a barbell before in my life, never done a hand stand, could hardly jump rope, or anything else that is usually done in a class.

My growing strength is now visible in the other activities that I do, so CrossFit truly spills into other areas of my life which is great.

3. Are there exercises you can do now that you couldn’t do before?

Just about all of them, kipping pull ups, all lifting, double unders (12 is my max and I’m thrilled), rowing, assault bike, handstands, toes to bar shall I go on? I have more, but I’ll stop here. If I can just master the snatch lift…

4. How has your body physically changed since you started?

I have always had love (hate) handles, I still have them but they are much less noticeable. I can wear my shirts tucked in now.

For the first time ever, I have something to flex with.

I thought that the changes in my body would only go down hill from 50 on but I can honestly say that while my body is not swim wear condition yet – I have never felt better about it.

5. How has CrossFit changed you in other ways?

I like anything that helps with my memory and focus. There are so many little things one must remember for the proper technique but no matter how many times our wonderful CrossFit coaches explain it to me, I forget.

Also, I have always had bad posture, I find that I am sitting a little more erect.

6. How do you describe CrossFit to your friends?

I tell them that CrossFit is hard, but you start with training wheels.

One is never thrown into a WOD without guidance. I started with an empty 15 lb barbell (heavy for me at the time).

Every step you take is one step closer to your goal however big or small those goals are.

It is like the hardest work out you will ever enjoy.

7. What keeps you motivated to continue?

I am a mother of 2 boys, a wife, a sister, a daughter, an aunt, friend and a lover of life. I try to stay healthy for them. I know without a doubt that if it weren’t for this particular group of coaches and fellow CrossFit Salus peeps, I would have quit.

My “why” is them and the results that occur when you do continue.

8. Favorite lift or WOD?

I like dead lifts the best but I am hoping to make all of them my favorite (do you hear that snatches and thrusters? – I’m coming for you!).

I’ve also become very fond of the endurance classes. The breath is an important component to the whole workout routine and I just feel this class helps me with that.

The weight lifting class is also a great tool for me to hone those lifting techniques.

9. What advice would you give to a newbie just joining CrossFit Salus?

So easy to answer because I remember vividly walking into my first class and thinking, “what am I doing here?” It was intimidating for sure but if you stick with it, it does get easier.

Learn at your pace and eventually, your fear turns into excitement.

Only compare yourself to yesterday’s you, you will feel amazing.

The best advice given to me was to be consistent. If you can be consistent, positive changes will take place in your body and mind.

10. What is your next goal to accomplish?

One of my wonderful coaches always has me think of a goal which is great because it is so satisfying when one is reached.

I am not sure of my next goal but my previous goal was to just to finish at least one place ahead in the CrossFit Open standings and I did do better. I would not have been able to do it without my coaches, Angela, Gino and Steven who prepared me well, my fellow CrossFitters who cheered me and each other on no matter what place we are on the white board, and some of my family members who took time out of their day to root for little old me.

11. If you could design your own WOD, what would it look like?

Benny Athlete of the Month CrossFit MastersI’m not sure of the amount but I know it would include all the things that I struggle with like pull ups, snatches, hand stand push ups, and the ASSAULT BIKE (ugh).

Oh and the deadlift, the tire and the big block that we had to jump over ( that was so much fun, but also difficult)

12. Favorite thing to do for fun?

I come from a huge crazy family and my family is everything to me so going away for a weekend and enjoying my family without a time clock is the best thing ever.

Wilson and I have never really had a common activity but with CrossFit, we can discuss the WODs, our progress, our failures, etc. What a treat to be able to do that with him, so much fun.

13. Favorite healthy dish…and favorite “splurge” meal?

I am not a very healthy eater to be honest (gasp), I was raised on fried everything but I am learning and my new favorite food is brussel sprouts (thanks Coach Angela). My splurge meal is everything else I eat.

14. If you could be a superhero, who would you be and why?

I think we are all our own superhero. If we put our minds to it, we could do just about anything as long as we do not give up.

Having said that, I am all about woman power so it would be great to be DC’s superhero, Katana for about a week, I am so certain that she would be able muscle ups without a problem.

15. Favorite motivational/Inspirational quote?

This is a quote I must remind myself often for I do have quitting tendencies but I am trying to change that even in my old(er) age:

“It’s a slow process but quitting doesn’t speed it up.”

16. Interesting fact not many people know about you.

My favorite sound is the sound of laughter. So I do love to look at anything that makes me laugh especially news bloopers.

Athlete of the Month: CJ on Embracing a Healthy Mindset

CJ, November 2019 Athlete of the Month Talks About Embracing a Healthy Mindset

Put any challenge in front of CJ and he will try it without hesitation. Since starting CrossFit Salus, he has displayed a strong work ethic and endless progress. He pushes himself to be better every day is always there to cheer on those who are working alongside him. He has not only improved physically over the past two years, but has embraced a healthy mindset along the way.

CJ Athlete of the Month Healthy MindsetNow, with a baby on the way, CJ is focused on perfecting his #dadbod… oh, and beating Hardie in every WOD he possibly can.

We’re so happy to have CJ as our November Athlete of the Month and as an awesome part of the Salus Community. PS, stop hiding those dance, moves CJ!

Meet CJ…

1. When and why did you start CrossFit?

I finally drank the Kool-Aid in June 2017. I had been intrigued by CrossFit for years before joining, but was apprehensive. Looking back, I was more intimidated than anything else. I pictured CrossFit gyms being overrun with juiceheads sweating all over each other in a constant battle to be the alpha. My apprehension was somewhat justified when I showed up to my first class as Greg and Pat were finishing up their workout. They were both shirtless and dripping with sweat.

I was about to bail when I saw Greg and Pat dap each other up…

and then focus on motivating other members to finish.

It was my first indication that there may be more to this CrossFit thing than meets the eye.

CJ Athlete of the Month Healthy Mindset2. How has your performance changed since you started CrossFit?

I am a much more well rounded athlete.

CrossFit forced me to face my inadequacies and improve them in order to hit the RX button, which I have to do, all the time, no matter what.

3. Are there exercises you can do now that you couldn’t do before?

My ego will not allow me to list all the exercises I could not do before coming to Salus. Most of the exercises I now perform on a daily basis I never even attempted.

Also, I have improved movements I thought I was doing right, like squats and deadlifts.

4. How has your body physically changed since you started?

This sounds counter-intuitive, but I look worse now than I did before joining Salus. Before this gets misconstrued as a knock against CrossFit, let me explain…

CJ Athlete of the Month Healthy MindsetBefore CrossFit I was only focused on aesthetics. The ultimate goal was to look good naked. This caused me to spend two hours in the gym where I would barely break a sweat. I also developed unhealthy eating habits. I ate twice my bodyweight in protein and probably half my bodyweight in carbs. I looked damn good, but I felt fatigued and all my lifts had plateaued.

Through CrossFit, I’ve developed healthy eating habits and a healthy mindset pertaining to exercise.

I perform better at 12-15% bodyfat, compared to the 8-10% I tried to maintain in the past.

Plus, I am married now with a kid on the way so I need to develop the perfect dad-bod.

5. How has CrossFit Impacted a Healthy Mindset?

My definition of happy hour has changed drastically after joining Salus.

I very rarely drink during the week and have tempered my drinking significantly on the weekends. Also, CrossFit is the second best stress reliever around, Giggity.

6. How do you describe CrossFit to your friends?

CrossFit is, without question, the most efficient workout I have done. It might be hard, but you will feel great after. It is nice to share your agony with a group of people who are all pushing for you to succeed.

CJ Athlete of the Month Healthy Mindset7. What keeps you motivated to continue?

I want to be a DILF/silverfox. I need to keep my wife happy with the goods.

8. Favorite lift or WOD?

18.4/20.3

18.4 is my worst performance in an open workout. I was no-repped on HSPU, justifiably, more times than my total score. I never wanted to see this workout again…

Fast forward to 20.3. I had more success, but I struggled with my HSPU technique and I hurt my back on the 315# deadlift because I broke form.

This is now my favorite WOD because it shows my inadequacies and forces me to improve them.

9. What advice would you give to a newbie just joining CrossFit Salus?

Sign up and buy in, you will be happy you did.

Also, realize that you are joining an inclusive community that encourages its members to reach and exceed their goals. You do not need to be everyone’s best friend, but check your ego and attitude at the door.

10. What is your next goal to accomplish?

Personally:

Dedicate more quality time to my wife and help alleviate the burden of household chores. Also, prepare to be a kick-ass father.

In the gym:

Focus on strength/form. Improve all my lifts by 10%

11. If you could design your own WOD, what would it look like?

I really like/hate Van Damme:
For Time
30 Snatches (135/95 lb)
10 Muscle-Ups
30 Clean-and-Jerks (135/95 lb)
10 Muscle-Ups
30 Thrusters (135/95 lb)
10 Muscle-Ups

12. Favorite thing to do for fun?

Before getting married I had a motorcycle (Kawasaki ZX10r), I was an avid skier, and would always be up for a night out.

Now, I enjoy doing what my wife likes to do.

13. If you could be a superhero, who would you be and why?

Superman so I could beat Hardie in all the WODs without almost killing myself.

14. Favorite motivational quote?

I am not motivated by quotes.

I was not the easiest person to deal with throughout my teens and early twenties. I cost my father a small fortune in lawyer fees and probably took a few years off my mothers life with all the worrying I put her through. I can never repay the monetary or emotional debt I have accumulated with my parents, but I try to conduct myself in a manner that makes them proud today.

That is my motivation, along with a need to provide for my growing family.

15. Interesting fact not many people know about you.

I quit varsity football my senior year to join the dance team! My excuse was that I had already committed to a University for lacrosse and did not want to get hurt.

The truth was that I just wanted to dance…


Every month we spotlight a different Salus athlete who stands out and shows just how awesome they are.

What is it that makes up an Athlete of the Month?

It may not be the person that finishes the fastest, RX’s every workout, or rings the PR bell every time they walk in the box. Although we love and celebrate when those things happen, the Athlete of the Month is made up of much more than physical ability. This person shows up, displays grit, and then gives a little more by supporting others in their journey to reach their goals, too.

They are hungry to learn and always ready to do the work. This athlete embodies what we believe the CrossFit Salus Community should be about.