Athlete of the Month: Cat Galli

We are excited to showcase Cat Galli as Athlete of the Month! Cat as been a member since April 2013 and has recently shown a strong interest in Olympic Lifting. You’ll find her perfecting her lifts not only in Oly class, but basic training, too. She has even signed up for her first Oly meet in March! And like many of us, Cat has struggled with a pesky goat – double unders – so to motivate her to finally attack it, we had her sign an agreement to get them by February. And she did!!

If you haven’t been to see her yet, Cat owns her own massage business, StressFree Body  and is also a CrossFit Mobility Trainer. She also juggles being a busy parent to two crazy boys and also manages to find time to donate to the community by designing and creating magical hand-cut mosaics at Keyport’s Waterfront.

20160204_132902_7947We’re proud of all the hard work Cat puts in; check out her story below!

1. When and why did you start CrossFit?

I First joined CrossFit at 38. I was quite active for most my life and health conscious so physically I was happy how I looked, I didn’t look to do things to change my appearance. But at 38, and a mother of a 3 year old & 1 year old, inside I didn’t feel as I once did…

After having my boys I felt physically exhausted, weak and wanting to do anything but exert myself. But I was 2 months away from my 39th birthday and I knew I was at a crossroad in my life where I could just do nothing and continue on and just roll “over the hill” with age and ultimately become weaker, more tired, less fit, & less mobile with each passing year.

OR I could decide and commit to F*ck “Over the hill” and instead continue to climb up, & just keep climbing despite it being harder, I’d be getting stronger.

I knew thats what it would take for me to feel good and live as long as i possibly can as best as I can for my boys and because I do love life.

I personally CrossFit so I hopefully can sit on a bowl when I need to, on my own, for as long as I’m alive, I CF so I can run as best I can from a falling building, I CF so I can fight Disease and illness with everything I got, I CF so I can battle life and feel strong, and live my life, happy.

 I knew I was at a crossroad in my life

I CrossFit so I can battle life and feel strong, and live my life, happy.

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

I can RX WODs and the effort it takes to push through them feels more conditioned.

I also feel more confident and solid in my lifts.

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

ABSOLUTELY! Hand stand push ups, pull ups, Oly lifts, mile run.

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

More muscle definition & more muscle!

5. How has CrossFit changed you in other ways?

I roll out of bed easier and earlier & with motivation.

6. How do you describe CrossFit to your friends?

So much fun, you’ll be getting into the strongest shape of your life and the aesthetics are guaranteed to just happen.

7. What keeps you motivated to continue?

My boys, the fun I have & living the best I can.

8. Favorite WOD or lift?

Snatch & L2: Peppa metcon

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

It’s best to check your ego at the door, be prepared to crawl around on the floor like a bear, feel like a kid, feel like you have no idea what your doing and totally step out of your comfort zone.

It’s totally normal to feel awkward at first, we ALL have at some point, do it anyway! Ya can’t feel intimidated by those around you, instead feel inspired! You’re capable to do it all everything can be scaled, and eventually one day you just amazingly do your first pull up or handstand push up. We all need to learn to crawl before we walk 😉

We all need to learn to crawl before we walk 😉

10. What is your next goal to accomplish…or goat to kill?

Ten smooth linked butterfly pull ups, and dare I say muscle up 😉

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

Cat’s 300

teams of 3-30 Rounds
10 Pistols
10 Handstand Push Ups
Shuttle Sprint
10 Double unders
Shuttle Sprint

12. Favorite healthy dish….and favorite “cheat” meal.

More like a healthy bite than a dish, Bacon dates!

Ok, Avocado pesto zucchini noodles with chicken sausage & crushed toasted almonds.

Cheat-Pizza of course!

13. Create your own unique question and answer it.

-What movement or exercise is your arch nemesis and how do/did you cope?

Running and double unders! For running I just kept doing it, showed up to all running WODs & never cherry picked. I started running with my dog. It took two 1/2 long years before I felt I made it over the hump and no longer cursed each step.

Double unders I made a promise to someone other than myself, I put it in writing on the white board, so I had to buckle down & just put the time in. I basically went through a transformation where I just got sick of fighting the fight and decided the weekend of blizzard 2016 that I WOULD dominate my double unders.

It was mental and and I knew that but it had to be on my terms. You can do anything when you truly make your mind up.

Athlete of the Month: Matt Douglas

Congratulations to Matt Douglas, our November 2015 Athlete of the Month.  Matt has made great strides in his time here at CrossFit Salus.  He never misses an opportunity to get better and puts in the time to work on what were once his weaknesses, such as mobility, Olympic lifts, and advanced bodyweight exercises like muscle ups. He is very motivated and has the drive and determination to set goals and accomplish them. Check out his story below:

Athlete of the Month: Matt Douglas

1. When and why did you start CrossFit?

I can’t pinpoint a certain day. I do remember reading about it and one day came into my old gym, telling my brother we should look into this crossfit. We modified a workout to do at our gym and slow and steady became hooked.

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

My endurance has increased with hockey for sure. Crossfit also helped me better understand my limits on how far I can push my body.

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

I never even attempted to try olympic lifts while playing sports or think it was possible to do muscle ups. Now, I can say I do both.

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

It has leaned me out and I actually have more muscle definition

5. How has CrossFit changed you in other ways?

It made me learn balance between eating, sleep and working out.

Before crossfit I was all about pushing my body to the limits, with sports and working out, but never thought about the other parts to it. Also now I am able to fall right asleep once I hit the pillow, those workouts are tough.

Athlete of the Month: Matt Douglas6. How do you describe CrossFit to your friends?

People always have misconceptions about crossfit when they ask me and all I say to them is, I can’t tell you I just have to show you. But I also tell them it has helped me get strong, have a better understand of my body.

I can do things I never thought I was capable of doing.

7. What keeps you motivated to continue?

What keeps me motivated is the people around me. Also I am very competitive so I want to beat all my old times and scores.

8. Favorite WOD or lift?

I do like Elizabeth for some reason..Once I am better at muscle ups, I would say Muscle Ups

Athlete of the Month: Matt Douglas9. What advice would you give to a newbie just joining CrossFit Salus?

I would tell them:

know your limits and soak up everything you can from the coaches about technique.

10. What is your next goal to accomplish…or goat to kill?

I do want to stay more consistent and would like to do join a team to compete with. Also I want to get more Double Unders, but need to practice them more.

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

It would be something with pull-ups, cleans and Overhead squat.

Athlete of the Month: Matt Douglas12. Best take away from the last Paleo challenge?

I do need to try the next one to see if I can be discipline with eating and to see if it helps me perform and look better.

13. Favorite Paleo dish….and favorite “cheat” meal.

I love chicken and sweet potatoes, I do also enjoy the coconut chicken from Kettlebell kitchen. My “cheat” is I love sweets, mostly chocolate, cookies and anything Reese’s pieces

I really love the community you guys have created, it makes working out that much more enjoyable and motivates me not only to be better athlete, but person.

Athlete of the Month: Chris Mulvaney

We’re excited to announce this month’s Athlete of the Month is Chris Mulvaney – also our top winner for the summertime Paleo challenge! Give Chris a chalky high five next time you see him at the box! Way to go, Chris!

When and why did you start CrossFit?

I started CrossFit shortly after CrossFit Salus opened in Middletown the end of April 2013. I was just finished with a 2-year run on antibiotics for Lyme Disease and wanted to get strong again. I was working out at home, but needed something to keep me motivated and help me get stronger.

My friend (Pat) didn’t stop talking about its awesomeness so I decided to give it a shot!

How has your performance changed since you started CrossFit?

I am way stronger now than I was before I started. I also have a better engine (but still needs work)

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

I never did a snatch a day in my life… or a muscle up. Now I can do both!

How has your body physically changed since you started CrossFit?

I am definitely more defined now than I’ve ever been with a lot less body fat to carry around.

How has CrossFit (and the paleo challenge) changed you in other ways?

I’m sleeping better because I’m so wiped from the workouts;) It’s definitely helped me de-stress and I feel that my business has greatly improved since I started CrossFit.

Whether it’s coincidence or because I can think and focus better from CrossFit, my business has been growing at a faster rate since I started.

How do you describe CrossFit to your friends?

I tell them the workouts we do, then I tell them they should do it too (and they think I’m crazy). I also talk about the community and try to describe it as much as possible, but it’s something they really need to experience to understand.

I’ve made a lot of great friends, and it’s helped me push myself harder at the box.

What keeps you motivated to continue?

I see the improvements physically. I also feel horrible when I take 1 or 2 days off which really motivates me to workout every day (either at CrossFit Salus or on my own if I can’t make it in).

Favorite WOD or lift?

Snatch! Love it!

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

You aren’t going to see improvements right away. It will take time. Learn to “eat to perform” also!

Your body needs fuel to perform so make sure you put the right kind in your body!

What is your next goal to accomplish…or goat to kill?

Handstand walk! I can do handstands against a wall, but I need to walk…on my hands!

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

200 calorie row cash in
Snatch ladder 1 min each attempt to 1rm (start at 50% body weight)
timed calorie row cash out

Best take away from the Paleo challenge?

Paleo challenge wasn’t too difficult with the food as I eat Paleo mostly anyway. The one thing that was hard was eliminating whisky and vodka! I’m not a huge drinker, but I would usually have a few drinks once or twice per week. I would then skip the day after and not workout hard or even at all. I think that not drinking at all for 5 weeks enabled me to not only shed a few pounds but also perform at a much better rate. It was also hard eating out and to know what everyone else is putting in your food. I guess my take away would be to try to limit my alcohol intake a bit when I do drink and prepare myself to recover better when I do.

Favorite Paleo dish….and favorite “cheat” meal.

My wife makes great paleo meatballs! I can eat them all day. For a cheat meal, I’ll need another blog post because the list can get big. If I had to break it down to just one thing that is accessible, give me a pizza with peppers and onions and I’m sold!

Through this monthly recognition, we are showcasing those dedicated members for their hard work and accomplishments and show the community that anyone can be a CrossFitter. All you have to do is make the choice to give it a try, set goals, work hard and challenge yourself. You may be surprised at what you will accomplish! It’s not that this person is able to RX every workout or lift the most weight. What makes an Athlete of the Month is that every time they come to the box, they try their hardest, give the workout their all, and then some. They go above and beyond by spending extra time to work on specific skills, are welcoming of others and encourage other athletes to do their best, too. They really embody what CrossFit is all about and work to make CrossFit Salus the community and family that it is. Each month we will choose a different Athlete and post some fun facts about them to help you get to know them better. Have a nomination? Let us know who!

 

Athlete of the Month Gretchen Goode

Gretchen Goode: CrossFit Salus Athlete of the Month

From the moment Gretchen walked in CrossFit Salus, we knew she would be a hard worker and dedicated to training (giving every workout her all)! You’ll find her bright eye’d and cheery every 6am class…and even the oly classes! She shows up, puts in the work and has made some amazing progress in just 9 months.

1. When and why did you start CrossFit?

I started CrossFit in September 2014. I had been going to school at night to get my MBA for the past several years and when I finished that I wanted to focus on health and getting in shape. I’d been going to SoulCycle regularly but wanted to add in some strength work and wasn’t sure where to start on my own.

I was surprised at how quickly CrossFit became my primary workout!

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

My endurance and strength has improved a lot. I could barely survive a workout when I started!

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

Many! Doubleunders, pushups, and most of the weightlifting exercises I’d never done before.

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

I’ve lost about 30lbs and have gone down several sizes since starting.

I feel stronger and more capable and am starting to see some muscle definition. Plus, I’m usually covered in mysterious bruises and callouses.

5. How has CrossFit changed you in other ways?

The 6am classes have turned me into an early riser for the first time in my life. Getting my workout finished early in the morning improves my mood all day.

6. How do you describe CrossFit to your friends?

My dad calls it the “GI Jane” workout routine. I describe it as a constantly changing combination of weightlifting, cardio, and gymnastics.

7. What keeps you motivated to continue?

I love that everything is tracked so you can see your performance improve over time. It’s hard to tell one day to the next if you’re getting any better but when you start to see the data it’s easy to remember how impossible things felt initially and how far you’ve come and how much better you can be.

8. Favorite WOD or lift?

Back squats are my favorite by far!

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

Don’t think about it too much and just do it, don’t get too wrapped up in how you stack up against everyone else. Be inspired rather than intimidated by the incredible athletes and coaches at Salus – everyone is very encouraging, welcoming, and friendly!

10. What is your next goal to accomplish…or goat to kill?

I need to get off of the baby box jumps and move up to the 20″ box. I finally moved up to the 18″ box recently so the 20″ is coming soon!

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

21-15-9
Back Squats
Double unders
Clean & Jerk

12. Favorite Paleo dish….and favorite “cheat” meal.

My favorite paleo dish is definitely bacon and eggs with berries on the side. I’m always starving after I workout in the morning and I love breakfast. The best cheat meals are comfort foods – grilled cheese with broccoli cheddar soup is one of the best.

 

Athlete of the Month: Brian Lligui

This month we’re excited to feature Brian as our Athlete of the Month! Brian started CrossFit less than a year ago and has embraced it wholeheartedly. You’ll find him at the box every 5pm class plus Oly and Basic Training as he’s “working on becoming the best version” of himself daily.

Give Brian a chalky high five next time you see him at the box!

1. When and why did you start CrossFit?


I started CrossFit in December of 2014

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

I feel my performance has improved and I feel more comfortable doing the movements.

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

Yes! Muscle Ups, Snatch, HSPU (hand stand pushups) and Clean & Jerk

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

My body is always sore now (LOL). Really though, I have more mobility in my body in general.

5. How has CrossFit changed you in other ways?

It’s always helpful after a stressful day at work or school.

I love challenging myself and CrossFit does that every day

6. How do you describe CrossFit to your friends?

You either love it or hate it.

7. What keeps you motivated to continue?

Seeing high quality performances and wanting to be at that level.

8. Favorite WOD or lift?

Squats, Snatch, Overhead Squats

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

Don’t be afraid to fail and always give it all you got.

10. What is your next goal to accomplish…or goat to kill?

10 muscle ups unbroken, butterfly PU, hand stand walk, and be the best version of me that I can be

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

21-15-9: squat at 185, box jumps, wall ball….with a 200m run in between each set

12. Favorite Paleo dish….and favorite “cheat” meal.

Paleo dish: salmon with any veggie.
Cheat Meal: Pizza!!!

Athlete of the Month: Jacquie

We’re excited to announce Dr. Jacqueline Gallello (who we all know as Jacquie) as our CrossFit Salus April Athlete of the Month! Jacquie has gotten so much stronger since she started and is one of our most virtuous members because she focuses on such good form on everything she does. She offers a wealth of knowledge to our community as a Physical Therapist at Sports Care next door and is extremely supportive of each and every member.

Learn a little bit more about Jacquie (and why she’s so amazing) below:

 

1. When and why did you start CrossFit?

I started CrossFit last April because I was getting bored with my normal workout regimens at the gym. I did gymnastics for 19 years and when I found out that part of CrossFit consisted of gymnastics type strength training, I was definitely motivated to give it a try! I’m the kind of person that likes to be pushed by experienced coaches and also motivated by watching driven athletes, so I thought that CrossFit would be the perfect fit for me.

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

I have definitely gained more mobility and strength overall since I first started. I knew nothing about the correct techniques for the Olympic lifts when I first started, but I now feel more comfortable and confident when performing each lift.

I have definitely gained more mobility and strength overall since I first started.

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

I was amazed at how quickly I was able to regain my strength with the body weight exercises that I used to do everyday in gymnastics, and I can now do ring muscle-ups which is a huge accomplishment for me. I was very cautious about lifting heavy when I first started CrossFit because of an old back and hip injury, but I’ve noticed over the past couple of months that I am more confident and much stronger to be able to lift heavier with proper body mechanics.

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

I haven’t lost any weight, but have definitely gained more muscle mass overall. I’ve noticed more definition in my arms and finally have my 6 pack back, so I’m looking forward to the summer…Bye Bye Beer Belly! I also noticed that I have more endurance to be able to get through those longer WODs without feeling like I’m going to pass out!

5. How has CrossFit changed you in other ways?

I’ve always been a light sleeper, but I’ve noticed that I am able to sleep much better on the days I workout. I work two jobs that are both physically demanding and I need to be in good shape so that I can be a good role model to my patients and also the children I coach. Being the Director of my facility and also the special needs gymnastics program I run can be very stressful at times, but I’ve noticed that doing CrossFit has definitely helped reduce my stress levels.

I’ve noticed that doing CrossFit has definitely helped reduce my stress levels.

6. How do you describe CrossFit to your friends?

I tell my friends and patients that CrossFit is a combination of endurance training, Olympic lifting, and bodyweight strengthening. It may look intimidating from an outsider’s perspective, but it is a great workout for EVERYONE. I inform them that it’s not about competing with other athletes in the box; it’s about doing your personal best! I encourage all of my patients to give it a try after they make a full recovery in therapy!

it’s not about competing with other athletes in the box; it’s about doing your personal best!

7. What keeps you motivated to continue?

Seeing the progress I’ve made over the past year has definitely motivated me to continue. I look forward to working out each day, even when it’s a challenging workout for me. Another motivation for me is watching the show my 600-lb life! I think to myself you have one life and one body, so don’t destroy it by making poor choices!

8. Favorite WOD or lift?

My favorite WODs are the “gymnasty” type of WODs. I’m still working on the technique with all of my lifts so I can’t say that I have a favorite yet!

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

The advice I would give to a newbie is that you’re going to love it! Don’t be intimidated by how much others can lift or do, just do your personal best each WOD and you will feel a sense of accomplishment. Every workout can be modified to your ability. Gino and Ang are amazing coaches and are always there for you when you have questions or need a little motivation! And all the athletes at CrossFit Salus become like a second family! They are a huge support and are always there cheering you on when you learn a new skill or get a PR!

all the athletes at CrossFit Salus become like a second family!

10. What is your next goal to accomplish…or goat to kill?

I’ve learned a lot about myself from doing the Crossfit Open this year. I knew going into it that I wasn’t going to be at the top of the leaderboard, but I gave it 110% each week and was proud of the progress I made. I learned that I’m a lot stronger then I could have ever imagined, and I need to start pushing myself more and more each WOD. Doing the Open has motivated me to want to participate in other small competitions throughout the year, so that would be my next goal!

Doing the Open has motivated me to want to participate in other small competitions throughout the year, so that would be my next goal!

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

If I could design a WOD it would it would consist of strict pull-ups, v-ups, handstand walks, and rope climb without using your legs!

12. Favorite Paleo dish….and favorite “cheat” meal.

I don’t normally do the cooking in my house, but I do like making paleo stuffed peppers when I get the chance! And my favorite cheat meal is PIZZA!

Thank you to my CrossFit Salus family for always inspiring me to do my best!

 


Athlete Of the Month: Kelly King

We are beyond excited to announce Kelly King as the CrossFit Salus March Athlete of the Month. In our eyes, Kelly is a super star! She’s consistent, she puts in the work, she’s progressing in her lifts, she is ALWAYS cheering on others…and….she’s preggers (due in August)!!!

Find out a little more about Kelly (and why we think she’s so awesome) below:

1. When and why did you start CrossFit?

I started Crossfit in September 2013. The reason why I started Crossfit was because I needed a change in my workout and lifestyle routine. I went to 3 different boxes in the area and Crossfit Salus was the best fit 🙂

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

My performance has changed a lot!! I’m faster & stronger and try to do my best in every WOD even if I have to modify/scale with a lighter weight or use a band. I love the Wodify tracking system to see how my performance has changed since I stepped foot in the box back in 2013.

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

I did gymnastics when I was younger and remember some of the “gymnasty” exercises. Most of the Olympic weightlifting exercises were new to me when I started. I could never do a pull up, ohs, snatch, clean & jerk, rope climb, etc. As of today, I can do most of the Olympic weightlifting exercises and at times I hit a PR or RX!

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

I feel fit, have more energy, & have muscles!!

I feel fit, have more energy, & have muscles!! I did have some abs in the past, but now that I’m PREGNANT I have a belly 🙂 My body has changed a lot but in a good way! I’m going to continue with CrossFit throughout the pregnancy and hope to bounce back afterwards.

5. How has CrossFit changed you in other ways?

My weight always fluctuates, have good blood pressure, & I love to sleep and take naps when I can 🙂 This past year I got married, started a new job, house hunted, and now we’re starting a family so I’m STRESSED; However, it depends on the week but I’ll always fine time to get to the box even if it’s 2-3 days – the other days I go to the gym in the early am. My mentality is to tackle the WOD anyway that I can (scaled or not) & leave feeling that it was the best workout I’ve ever done in an hour.

6. How do you describe CrossFit to your friends?

You’ll start to do things that you’ve never done before…

CrossFit can be intimidating and nerve wrecking in the beginning, but after you complete the on ramp everything changes. You’ll start to do things that you’ve never done before and you’ll continue to want more & push yourself harder. It’s the best workout & everyone should give it a shot – don’t be afraid!

7. What keeps you motivated to continue?

The amazing coaches – Ang & Gino and friends at CF Salus! They keep me motivated and wanting more…I wouldn’t be able to do it without you guys especially now and the months ahead. In my head I have to be at the box 2-3 days out of the week. Overall – it’s addicting!!!

8. Favorite WOD or lift?

Love me some GRACE (30 clean and jerks for time) & Overhead Squats

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

Do what you can and do the best at it…

Take your time and modify whatever you need. Do what you can and do the best at it — even though in your head you might say you can’t do it but add a little more weight!

10. What is your next goal to accomplish…or goat to kill?

My goal is to stick with CrossFit all the way until Baby King is born & after 🙂 My goat to kill is getting butterfly pull ups and/or a headstand push up (which will take time).

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

2 rounds: 800 run; 25 sit ups; 10 pull ups

12. Favorite Paleo dish….and favorite “cheat” meal.

Paleo dish: I need to start the kettlebell kitchen. I usually try and eat healthy, but I have all different cravings right now because I’m feeding for two:) Cheat meal: I always cheat 🙁 BUT I’ll always work harder when working out to make up for it 🙂

“Thanks again to Ang & Gino for always pushing me to the next level!!!”

 

No, thank you Kelly for being an inspiration to all of us!!

Athlete of the Month: Ed Morton

This month we are excited to feature our first brother/sister duo as the Athletes of the Month! The drive they both have is inspirational and we want to spread that good positive vibe all over the box by showcasing their stories! Give Ed and Dana Morton a chalky high five next time you see them at the box! Here’s to an awesome 2015!

1. When and why did you start CrossFit?

I started CrossFit this past August.  My oldest daughter jumps on team for ETA, so she gets CrossFit once a week with her training.  I watched her gain so much confidence and strength in the time she has done it.  I decided it was time for me to stop watching and start doing when I heard about the Lurong Living Paleo Challenge.

I wanted something that would help hold me accountable in the beginning, so I wouldn’t give up.

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

Since I’ve started CrossFit, I would say that my performance has definitely improved. I could hardly move after my first day of On Ramp, and while I still get really sore after a tough WOD, I know it’s because I’m getting stronger, not because I’ve never used those muscles before.

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

Yes, there are plenty of exercises I can do now that I couldn’t before. In fact, I would say all of the exercises I can do now I couldn’t do before, and if I could they weren’t being done properly.

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

I’ve lost more than 25 lbs., 2 pants sizes, and 1 shirt size.

I’m thinner, stronger and faster than I’ve been in years.

5. How has CrossFit changed you in other ways?

So far, the biggest change I’ve seen is in how my daughter Raegan looks at me. She loves asking me about what I did in CrossFit, and commiserate with me when I am exhausted after an especially brutal workout. Also, I have a pretty physical job, and I have noticed that I can work harder for a much longer period of time without needing to take a break.

6. How do you describe CrossFit to your friends?

I tell my friends that don’t know about CrossFit that it’s the hardest thing I have ever done each time I go. I also say that everyone should go to at least one trial class, because if you come to one, you’re hooked.

7. What keeps you motivated to continue?

In the beginning, my motivation was in getting healthy for my kids. While that is still true, I am now also motivated by the almighty PR, in outdoing myself every time I’m working out, and getting every last rep out of my body (no matter how much it might hurt).

8. Favorite WOD or lift?

My favorite WOD is the 9/11 tribute WOD because I grew up went to elementary and middle school with a guy who worked for Cantor Fitzgerald and was 23 years old when he died that day. As far as lifts go, the deadlift and the back squat are my two favorites.

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

The only advice I could give to a newbie would be to keep showing up, especially on the days when you look at Wodify and all you see is running (or whatever the thing you hate the most is). Sooner or later, you are going to realize that your weakness has become a strength, and that’s awesome.

…Keep Showing Up…

10. What is your next goal to accomplish…or goat to kill?

Dubs. I really want to kill that goat.

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

If I could design a Wod, I would want it to be: Fighting 44
For Time
44 backsquats 135/95
44 burpees
44 deadlifts 155/115
44 cal row

12. Favorite Paleo dish….and favorite “cheat” meal.

When it comes to paleo, I stick with easy, steak with fresh veggies and a sweet potato. My favorite cheat is beer. Bad, right?

 

Athlete of the Month: Dana Donovan

This month we are excited to feature our first brother/sister duo as the Athletes of the Month! The drive they both have is inspirational and we want to spread that good positive vibe all over the box by showcasing their stories! Give Ed Morton and Dana Donovan a chalky high five next time you see them at the box! Here’s to an awesome 2015!

1. When and why did you start CrossFit?

I started CrossFit in May of 2013. In 2010 I had a personal “aha” moment and I realized that I needed to get healthy. I worked hard to lose over 50 lbs, and while I felt great, I still wasn’t really enjoying my workouts. I had a college friend who used to post things on Facebook about CrossFit and I was intrigued. I had been sort of doing my own thing-workout DVDs and some kickboxing, but was looking for something different. I have probably tried every kind of exercise class or personal training out there, but nothing really stuck. I was a bit intimidated by CrossFit initially, but…

once I tried it, I was hooked.

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

I am at my strongest and fastest since I started. I had an injury that sidelined me for almost six months, and since that time I have seen a big difference-especially in the last three months.

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

Yes! When I started, I could barely hold on to the bar, and now I can hang on for a little bit and even do toes to bar. I started with a 12″ box jump and have worked up to 20″. I consistently seeing progress in my lifts as well.

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

I can see muscles that I never knew I had! My arms have definition and I actually have abs-still a work in progress, but they are there! I no longer want to wear baggy clothing when I work out.

5. How has CrossFit changed you in other ways?

I never thought that I would or could enjoy working out. I didn’t realize how much I need my workouts until I was injured and couldn’t do anything! If I go too many days between workouts, I just don’t feel well-mentally and physically. When I am at the box, I can focus on myself and not worry about other things that might be going on in my life. It is important to me that my son see me taking working hard and taking care of myself. For a very long time I was not living an active lifestyle and I make that a priority now. For the first time, I’m no longer trying to be skinny, but to be strong.

When I am at the box, I can focus on myself and not worry about other things that might be going on in my life.

6. How do you describe CrossFit to your friends?

I describe it as a kind of addiction! In all seriousness, I usually show them the workout on Wodify and explain what we do.

7. What keeps you motivated to continue?

The way I feel after I finish a WOD. Even when I finish last.

8. Favorite WOD or lift?

I like the WODs that are a bit gymnasty because they bring out my inner ten year old. I also like dead lifts.

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

Keep coming back.

Work hard, and remember that everyone has been new before so don’t feel bad about scaling or finishing a WOD last. Your only competition is with yourself.

10. What is your next goal to accomplish…or goat to kill?

Unassisted pull-ups! My goal is to get them before my 40th birthday.

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

It would be all running. Just kidding. 🙂
My 40th Bday WOD
AMRAP (13 minutes)
3 Burpee Box Jumps
13 Toes to Bar
75 Double Unders

12. Favorite Paleo dish….and favorite “cheat” meal.

Favorite : Paleo chili. Cheat: Wine and cheese-that’s a meal, right?

Athlete of the Month: Jessie Sickler

December’s Athlete of the Month has been with us since October 2013. Her hard work ethic and positive attitude has carried her through almost 100 enjoyable WODs (read below, she really enjoys them!). Jessie Sickler is determined…and she is one strong mamma of three (who, by the way, also enjoy CrossFit Kids). The amazing influence she is for her family and the amazing inspiration she is at the box are just a few awesome reasons why we choose Jessie to be our December athlete of the month. Give her a chalky high five when you see her and read her story below:

When and why did you start CrossFit?

My Journey started on Sept 13, 2013 when I reached out to an old friend, Pat, with a Facebook message that started out like this “Hey PC, your out of shape and overweight friend has a few questions for you……” Growing up I was athletic, I played a sport in every season, went to college on an athletic scholarship, I was always doing something. Then I hit the corporate world, sat at a desk for 8+ hours a day, still ate and partied like I was in college, only difference was there was no more sports. Slowly the weight started piling on. Add to that a medical issue which didn’t help matters and I started to make excuses for myself. I have tried every diet out there, paid for personal trainers multiple times. All very short term fixes. I heard about CrossFit, read about it and started seeing Pat’s postings on Facebook. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about being the “fat girl” of the box.

Looking back I now laugh at how much unnecessary anxiety I had about that.

Pat had nothing but great things to say and assured me that it would be something I could do. So I did a Friends on Friday WOD with him and even though I was sucking wind I knew this was a journey I wanted to take.

How has your performance changed since you started CrossFit?

It has been a slow and steady race for me. My endurance has definitely improved, still a long way to go but I can definitely go harder and longer than I could before. I have made gains in my weightlifting.

I am amazed when I look back at where I started and what I can lift now.

Every now and then I even get a chance to click that RX button and it’s all thanks to the great coaches at CrossFit Salus !

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

I am able to do more push up’s without my knees :o) I never did a box jump before I started CrossFit so you can add that one to the list. We did weight training in college but mostly with machines so most of the Olympic lifts were new to me.

How has your body physically changed since you started CrossFit?

I am much stronger. At the risk of sound silly, when I first started, running was terrible for me. Yes, I couldn’t breathe but it was mostly because I couldn’t stand the feeling of fat moving. In some places, I don’t feel that jiggle anymore which is nice because it was in places where I shouldn’t have felt it to being with. I can see definition in my quads and my arms are starting to thin out and I am working on bringing my booty back lol. I have a long way to go but instead of focusing on the scale I focus on how my clothes fit and how I feel.

How has CrossFit changed you in other ways?

Mentally I have grown.

“Check your ego at the door” is no joke. Once I learned to just focus on me and how I can improve rather than being frustrated at the things I can’t do or should be able to do, that is when I started to see progress.

It’s tough, I am a mother of 3, I work full time and I am very active in my children’s school but CrossFit is something that I want to do and that I enjoy doing which is a change for me. I used to dread going to the gym. It was a chore and who like chores? CrossFit is the complete opposite and I actually get upset when I have other obligations or schedule conflicts that prevent me from going.

How do you describe CrossFit to your friends?

It’s always something different and it’s always something challenging.

Even if you are doing a WOD where you can’t do all of the exercises as prescribed you are still challenged to improve yourself.

It’s an extremely motivating and positive environment. You don’t have to be in tip top shape to start, everything can be scaled. Even scaled it’s the hardest version for you so you are putting in 100%.

What keeps you motivated to continue?

Great coaches and an awesome group of motivating people. Those are my top two. When you have a strong support system it helps you to keep your mind focused on what you need to do. Of course seeing progress motivates me but I wouldn’t see that progress without great coaches and there have been many times where I felt there was no way I could finish a WOD and my coaches and fellow CrossFitters were right there cheering me on.

Everyone wants to see everyone succeed.

Seeing people succeed is motivating!!

Favorite WOD or lift?

Any WOD heavy on lifting. I like to lift, probably because it comes a bit easier than burpees and box jumps. My favorite lifts so far are back squats and overhead squats. I like back squats simply because it’s a comfortable position for me. I like overheads because of the challenge. They really force me to focus on a tight core and shoulder stability.

I look back and my first 1 rep max was 55 pounds, and most recently I did 2 reps at 105.

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

Don’t be afraid ! If you come with a positive open mind and eager to learn you will do well.

Don’t get caught up in your own metal defeat, it can be your worst enemy.

What is your next goal to accomplish…or goat to kill?

Double Unders. I have to get these. I also need to work on my dips and put more time in on improving those. I think getting that shoulder mobility in my dips will help translate into improvements in other exercises.

Tell me your experience with the Paleo challenge.

It was definitely a challenge. The hardest part is finding the time to prep. I was not 100% compliant during the challenge. Most of the time when I wasn’t it was because I wasn’t prepared.

When I was compliant, I felt so much better, less lethargic.

When you do have a cheat you feel it. Sometimes, depending on how much of a cheat, that “blah” feeling may have lasted a day or so. I need to make some more changes in my house to help continue down on this path. As we approach the holidays I need to really focus on not giving into the temptations all of the time. For me it’s not just about the food and I still have to work on “food for fuel” vs “food when stressed”. One thing I did realize during the challenge is that when I am knee deep in a project or working to meet a stressful deadline I crave things that crunch. Instead of grabbing something from the vending machine I grabbed cups of ice. People may think I am a little crazy at work but at least I was helping increase my water intake while satisfying that urge to crunch. Although the challenge is over I do want to continue to move myself and my family further away from the SAD (Standard American Diet) and into better clean eating habits.