We’re excited to feature this CrossFit couple, Chelsey and Sam Dokus, as Athletes of the Month for November 2020.
In just one year, Chelsey has improved dramatically. Her consistency, positive outlook and energy is contagious. And in her own humble way, she is pretty fearless. She has been attacking exercises – like handstands, squatting, deadlifts – gaining strength and confidence every day.
Sam started with Salus during the shut down, taking classes via Zoom. When restrictions lifted, he came to Salus as an experienced athlete, yet very coachable and open-minded. Sam is often the hardest worker in the room and always willing to try new things.
Meet Chelsey and Sam, November 2020 Athletes of the Month
1. When and why did you start at Salus?
Chelsey: I started September 2019. I wanted a fresh start to the school year for myself and to have more energy since my schedule was pretty crazy. I found it hard to stay motivated at commercial gyms and needed some structure.
Sam: I started in April via Zoom after all gyms were shut down. I couldn’t go to jiu jitsu anymore and I liked what I saw from the programming that Chelsey was doing!
2. How has your performance changed since you started at Salus?
Chelsey: I feel like I have more endurance and stamina for harder workouts. Definitely my strength as well.
Sam: I feel I have a more solid base of strength, and good all around cardio.
3. Are there exercises you can do now that you couldn’t do before?
Chelsey: Pushups! And really anything with the barbell I had never done before. Still working on that strict pullup and handstand pushup!
Sam: More consistent handstand push-ups and snatch.
4. How has your body physically changed since you started?
Chelsey: Less fluffy, haha! I have something to flex now 😉
Sam: I’ve lost some weight and I’ve seen more muscle definition.
5. How has Salus changed you in other ways
Sam: I feel like I have more energy and am less lethargic throughout the day. Also it has been something to look forward to when we’re stuck at home.
Chelsey: Also a way to burn some stress and get outside and breathe some fresh air.
6. How do you describe Salus to your friends?
Chelsey: Yes, it is difficult, but it is rewarding to see what you can accomplish after the workout is done. Also the people are really welcoming and kind. The coaches are awesome and make the plan, just follow it.
Sam: Yeah yeah I know I go to CrossFit. But they basically just program all the lifting I like.
7. What keeps you motivated to continue?
Chelsey: It is important for overall health to be strong and healthy. Especially in times like these where COVID can compromise your immune system.
I do not take my health or mobility for granted and is something that deserves to have time made for it.
Sam: I like to see my training and performance translated into jiu jitsu. I also like to see my lifting numbers and totals go up!
8. Favorite lift or WOD?
Chelsey: Anything with the barbell (except overhead squatting, work in progress haha). Also rowing (I get my height to my advantage!).
Sam: Deadlift and squat.
9. What advice would you give to a newbie just joining Salus?
Chelsey: Be patient with yourself, do not compare yourself to others and keep showing up!
Sam: Don’t worry about your numbers and listen to Gino!
10. What is your next goal to accomplish?
Chelsey: A handstand pushup, and toes-to-bar.
Sam: A respectable CrossFit total.
11. If you could design your own WOD, what would it look like?
Chelsey: Something with rowing and cleans. The swimming and the tire flips were really fun this summer too!
Sam: I agree swimming was an awesome change. Also I’d say anything with deadlifts for reps and also kettlebells!
12. Favorite thing to do for fun?
Chelsey and Sam: We like going to the beach, and taking a nice walk with the dogs. Seeing a concert in the olden times.
13. Favorite healthy dish….and favorite “splurge” meal?
Chelsey: Salmon with brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes. Splurge meal- pizza and wings
Sam: Roasted chicken with rice and some veggies. Splurge – biggest steak there is. Also wings.
14. If you could be an animal, what would you be and why?
Chelsey: I’d like to trade places with our dogs for just a day. Just snooze and eat treats. On the flip side I would love to have the talent for a day to be a concert cellist and play a concerto with a top notch orchestra abroad.
Sam: Hmm, being a bird (a cool bird like an hawk or eagle) for a day. Flying seems pretty awesome.
15. Favorite motivational quote?
Chelsey: Practice makes permanent not perfect.
Sam: Character is what you do when no one is watching.
16. Interesting fact not many people know about you.
Chelsey: I play and manage a string quartet. I play the cello!
Sam: I used to play drums in a rock/punk band that played a lot around NJ and also went across the country a few times.
17. What’s one thing you say to the other to motivate them to do a workout on a day they might not feel like it.
Chelsey: “Sam, you may see Scott and he will miss you!”
Sam: “You’ll feel better afterwards so get up and go.”