Lauren Mauterer

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I have always seen myself as a pretty active person.  I smoked cigarettes for years, and in 2009 once I felt it taking a toll on my active lifestyle I quit and threw myself into different fitness routines.  I started with running and wound up running several ½ marathons and 2 mDSC_0011 1arathons in the years to come.  I was also always trying to find the perfect new fitness class for me.  I did spinning, rock climbing, hot yoga, etc… and would be super into each new routine for a few months, before I got bored with it.  If I went to the gym on my own I would go on the elliptical and try to lift some weights, but would be pretty clueless about what I was doing, and intimidated by the other people there. I also never seemed to be seeing the results I wanted.  My weight always seemed to be up and down, and I would always say “I want more tone to my body”, but would never see that happening.

I had heard about Crossfit and had one or two friends that did it in different communities.  I also heard some of the stereotypes and was a bit skeptical and unsure if I would be able to do it.  But when Crossfit Caldwell opened right up the block from me I knew I had to at least try it, partly thinking that I just needed to try it to see what it was about, but didn’t really think it would be the right fit for me.

I walked in the doors during their grand opening celebration two years ago, and I haven’t looked back since.  I immediately felt comfortable and welcomed after talking to Martha, and signed up on the spot.  Once I started taking classes it just felt right. Everyone at the gym was so supportive and the coaches are phenomenal.  They really take the time to make sure you are doing movements correctly and motivating you to do your best.  No matter how many people are in the class you feel like you are getting your own personal training session.  There is a new WOD everyday so the workouts are varied and scala1ble to each individual person, and you don’t get bored as I did with other classes I took.   I found myself waking up every morning, and the first thing I would do was check the WOD for the day.

Within a short period of time at Crossfit Caldwell I started seeing the results that I had been looking for all those years doing other fitness routines. I was finally seeing tone and definition to my body, and I felt stronger.  I was no longer focusing on how much I weighed, but how my body looked, and I was happy with how it looked.  And not just that, but my motivation, confidence and attitude were all boosted.  I didn’t need to try and motivate myself to come to a class at Crossfit Caldwell, I happily walked to Crossfit at least 5 days a week.DSC_0063

On top of how I’ve seen my body and mind change in the past two years, the community at Crossfit Caldwell is not to be beat.  As a single person with no children in their late 30’s, living in a town they didn’t grow up in, it is hard to really get to know people and feel like you fit in.  I finally feel like I am part of a community here.  Everyone at the gym is so welcoming and supportive.  I recently suffered great loss in my personal life, and when I was ready to get back to normal again the first place I went was to work out at Crossfit Caldwell.  Everyone there was so understanding and made me feel so supported. I am so grateful to be a part of this wonderful community.

I will be turning 40 in a couple of years and I feel like I am now the fittest and healthiest I’ve been in my life.  I feel proud of myself for what I have accomplished and I owe that to Crossfit Caldwell.  Thank you!

Mari Milani

FullSizeRenderby Mari Milani

I grew up in a large Italian family, with many traditions that revolved around food, such as Italian pastries on Sundays and Holidays, homemade weekly pasta dinners and of course the staple of all staples: daily, crusty, Italian bread. I never understood why I became sick around the holidays? My grandfather, who was a pharmacist, would prescribe all sorts of remedies. Even at a young age, I knew the names of several medicines. Doctors told my parents that I had a virus, a stomach bug, and then, they said that I had Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). At age 20, I was finally diagnosed with an Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) called Crohn’s Disease (CD). I was never told how to eat; the doctors just prescribed medicine to “treat” my CD. It is no wonder why, at age 33, I obstructed, perforated and almost died of peritonitis. My family rushed me to Saint Barnabas Med Center (SBMC) where a surgeon removed 18” of my small intestine, part of my ileum, and my appendix. I was admitted to SBMC weighing 104 lbs and left topping the scale at 88 lbs. Needless to say, I was very sick! From there, and for the next 2 decades, I was put on antibiotics, IBD medicine, as well as steroids to treat my CD flare-ups.

When CrossFit Caldwell was under construction, my husband, Paul told me about the owners, Martha and Craig. I decided to check out CrossFit Caldwell and within 60 minutes of talking with Martha and Craig, I signed up and bought my first “CFC tank t-shirt”!! Whoohooaa!! After taking a few classes with Martha and Frank, I was hooked. Then came the 45 Day Paleo Challenge – I was probably the first in line. I was determined to set a new goal, eat clean and change my life. I was on my way – looking up and posting new recipes and pictures of my food on the 45 Day Challenge FB page. For the first time in years, I felt amazing!! I felt strong, no canker sores (common with IBD), no cramping and no diarrhea (sorry gotta keep it real). I had more energy than ever before. I didn’t even get tired during that midday, 3-4 pm slump.

When the challenge ended, all hell broke loose. Like before, I incorporated grains back in to my diet. This sent my body on a downhill spiral. I went to my IBD doctor. I was so frustrated!! I started losing weight again. I was afraid that all I built and strived for working with Martha and Craig at CrossFit Caldwell was going to be lost. My doctor put me back on steroids, ran all sorts of tests, including tests for parasites and infections. Test after test, my doctor could not understand why I was having a very serious Crohn’s flare-up. I explained to my doctor that for the past several weeks, I participated in the CrossFit Caldwell “Paleo Challenge”. During this challenge, I eliminated certain foods, like grains, legumes, sugar and dairy. This led my doctor to order blood tests. My doctor wanted to rule out Celiac Disease.

As a result of this blood test, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, besides CD. I told my sister Beth, a Registered Dietitian. First, Beth explained that I had to eliminate grains containing gluten, such as wheat, barley, and rye. Based on my history, Beth also turned me onto the FODMAP’s – an acronym for foods that contain carbohydrate that I may also be sensitive to, such as dairy, and legumes. Beth told me that one of the easiest grains to digest was rice. So slowly, I added rice back into my diet. As soon as I did, I started again with the cramping and diarrhea. Last, Beth suggested I look into the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), which I also noticed on Danielle Walker’s site www.againstallgrains.com, where I was getting most of my recipes for the challenge. Beth explained that beside my Crohns Disease and Celiac Disease, I am allergic to certain proteins found in grains, and I have food sensitivities to many of the FODMAP’s. I became completely grain free. Now, I eat a custom-tailored version of the Paleolithic Diet. If it weren’t for the CrossFit Caldwell and their 45 Day Paleo Challenge, I would never have known that I was allergic to proteins found in whole grains. Now, the real challenge, how to plan, shop, cook, and order food in restaurants, but most of all, how do I turn those wonderful Italian family recipes into wonderful grain free recipes.

I want to thank all the Coaches at CrossFit Caldwell for being so supportive, understanding, encouraging, and loving to me through this discovery. CrossFit has made me a stronger woman – physically, mentally, and emotionally. CrossFit Caldwell has helped me to be a better athlete, to be patient with myself, and to listen to my body. CrossFit has given me new friends, who care and cheer me on when I think I cannot continue. CrossFit Caldwell has helped me appreciate my new healthier self and for that I am truly blessed.

Lance Taylor

Age: 42

Height: 5’7″

Weight: 165

CrossFitting Since: Crossfit Caldwell opened

Attends Class (frequency): 6 days a week

Favorite Quote: If you can conceive it, you can achieve it.

1. How did you hear about Crossfit?

I had seen it on tv.

2. What were your goals when you first entered CrossFit?

My goals when I started CrossFit were to just try it out and see if it was just another exercise thing I would quit doing after a while. Unlike running and going to the gym which  I would stop doing after a few months, CrossFit is very addictive. Know matter how

sore I am the next day I can’t wait to get up and see the “WOD”. “I hate you I hate this place I will see you tomorrow ” this quote says it all how you feel
after a tough workout.

DSC_00103. How has CrossFit differed from other workouts you’ve tried in the past

Unlike all other workout I have tried (strength training in the gym, insanity and just running), CrossFit is always challenging you on something different.

4. What type of results have you seen

My results have really been progressing lately. At first I rarely, if ever, completed a workout Rx’d. Now I’m consistently completely the prescribed workout. I recently got double unders under the tutelage of coach Craig. Finally, my goal since starting CrossFit has been the elusive Muscle up, which I can proudly say I recently accomplished not for 1 but 2 reps. I have been able to maintain my weight which had always been an issue for me. At 42 it feels like I finally have control over my health.

5. How would you describe CrossFit Caldwell?

My experience has been amazing. I’ve met some of the nicest and most welcoming people I’ve ever encountered. The coaching is above and beyond. Everyone, not just the coaches, but the athletes as well, is supportive and encouraging. The coaching is above and beyond you never feel brushed off like you would in a big gym. Personal attention is a big part of development. I am glad my CrossFit experience was thru CFC. Although I haven’t tried all of the gym, I confidently believe it’s the best gym around. Easily the best facility I’ve ever been to.

6. What would you like to accomplish in your next year at CrossFit?

I would just love to continue to learn the movements and become both more proficient and stronger with all of them.

7. Do you follow and specific diet?

Try to watch what I eat. Not always easy.

8. Do you take any supplements?1:26 (4) 

I currently just take protein and several preworkout drinks. “Fabuloso” or “Putt Putt Water” as Craig calls them due to their respective color resemblances.

9. What is your favorite exercise to see come up in a WOD?

My favorite exercise is the Handstand Pushup.

10. Least favorite?

If someone stole the rowers I’d be happy.

11. Anything else?

I am truly grateful for the knowledge all the coaches share and the push they give us. Whenever you don’t think you can add ten pounds and next thing you know you add 20. In closing I am glad I have made friends here that always lend encouragement and competition. My daughter Brittney has grown to share the same love for CrossFit that I have.

Mary Murphy

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by Mary Murphy

My CrossFit journey began in early October. The kids were all settled into their school routine, and I came to the realization that I needed to do something to take back my life. I had stopped taking care of myself both emotionally and physically. I needed to figure out a way to get myself out of the funk I was in. My neighbor suggested that I get back to the gym. She knew that fitness had always been a huge part of my life, and she offered to be my partner in this mission of mine.Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

We agreed that it would be a good idea to try a couple of different gyms together and see what we liked.   Both of us signed up for some trial classes at various gyms, but nothing was really grabbing our attention. It was at this point that I asked her if she had ever tried CrossFit. I explained to her that I was a bit intimidated by it, but CrossFit had been something that had always intrigued me. We figured we had nothing to lose, and decided to give it a shot. I spent a good amount of time researching the local CrossFit Gyms and Caldwell kept catching my eye. It seemed like it could be the place for me. I liked the fact that it seemed super ‘mom’ friendly. They not only offer childcare, but they also offer classes during school hours when it is easier for me to workout.   We registered for the free class and were immediately sold- we both signed up on the spot! There is something very special about this place. You don’t feel like you are at a ‘run of the mill’ class when you are here. Craig, Martha, and their entire team are motivating and sincere. Their knowledge of movement continues to astound me. They push you to work harder, lift heavier, and do one more rep, all with the best and safest form possible. They will adjust your workout on the spot if you are having any issues. The members are awesome too. You feel like you are part of a team when you are here. Everyone is pushing each other to be their best.

IMG_4322The coolest thing about this place?? They offer something called SHRED. It is a kick-ass boot camp that will both wipe you out and make you want to come back for more. It is the perfect balance for me. I can do SHRED a few days a week, plus add some CrossFit classes as well. The beauty of a CrossFit class is that there is always something new that you can be striving for.   Whether its increasing strength, flexibility, or cardiovascular output- a new challenge is presented each and every time.

Every single time I walk through the door into this gym I feel like I am home. My life has been completely transformed. I have gained immeasurable strength both inside and out thanks to my neighbor, the staff, and members of CrossFit Caldwell. Thank you CrossFit Caldwell for helping me to rediscover my passion for fitness!!

 

 

 

Tracy Altemus

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“Leading by example” by Tracy Altemus,

Just last summer, I was purposely hiding from summer clothes – dreading bathing suits, shorts, sleeveless shirts…. Middle age attacked me. My body was changing and my metabolism was slowing down, fast! I just didn’t look and feel like myself.  Sadly, what had formerly kept me fit (yoga, running, various gym memberships) wasn’t working any longer.

 

My husband kept insisting that I look into Crossfit, but I was completely intimidated. It looked so scary, so hard-core, and I would say “I’m just not the lifting type…” or “I don’t want to get big…” My friend finally pushed me to try a class at Caldwell Crossfit. I was surprised at how fun (yes, fun!) the class was. Don’t get me wrong, it was hard, but the encouraging coaching, the non-threatening atmosphere, the loud music, was not at all what I had pictured in my mind. We joined on the spot. I was so relieved to learn how each workout is infinitely scalable to each athlete’s ability – and you are not judged at all if you do need to scale down. Actually, many athletes do need to scale down some part of the workout. It’s all part of the journey to get stronger, to get better, to reach your personal goals, whatever they may be.

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Since joining Caldwell Crossfit in January, I’m truly amazed at the transformation. My overall strength has greatly improved in such a short period of time. I love the varied workouts, the ability to scale, and not get frustrated or feel ashamed to do so. I have also been inspired to change my eating habits and focus more on good nutrition.  I’ve never felt so healthy and nourished. I also cook differently and offer healthier options to my family. I’m happy to say that this summer I embraced my summer clothes again, even dusting off a few bathing suits that I didn’t even dream of wearing last year. Yay!

 

Martha, Craig, Tierney, and the rest of the coaches are so patient and helpful, constantly offering tips and suggestions to help you succeed with a movement or a workout. And the community at Caldwell Crossfit is amazing; such a great group of real, down-to-earth people – a pleasure to sweat, grunt and groan with!

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Most importantly for me, my family notices a difference in me. They see me getter stronger, eating better. I’m indirectly teaching them an important lesson to work hard and take care of yourself.  Through Caldwell Crossfit, I’m part of a community devoted to fitness, health and nutrition — and I plan on being a member for a long time.

 

Betsy Mackin

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“The Orchestra” by Betsy Mackin

Me……. Barbell Club ?????? I don’t think so…..I’m too old…….

First of all, my perception of weightlifting was way off. I thought you had to be very muscular, a man, willing to make strange faces and grunt…a lot….I’m not kidding here! But the biggest myth, I thought weightlifting was pulling as hard as you can on a bar loaded with weight. That could not be further from the truth.

Weightlifting is more like an orchestra, parts of
your body and mind working together to create this amazingly fluid movement.. and we DO get to grunt and make faces if we want!!! Our community is amazing, there is incredible support, cheering for each other, and plenty of laughs along the way.

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In January of this year I took my first Barbell class at Crossfit Caldwell. Secretly I wanted
to learn how to lift heavy weights and become a bit “jacked”, but I would never ever tell anyone
that, it was my little secret. My minds reality was I assumed that I would stick with the light weights “due to my age”. After all, I am 55 and there is only so much I can do… well, once again I was wrong. Our club coach Joe, taught me the basics of each movement, and we practice, practice and practice on our technique while adding weight over time. The feeling I get when hitting a lift correctly is indescribable, it’s empowering both physically and emotionally.

Joe believes in me which in turn allows me to believe in myself. I don’t know many places that you encounter people that become so invested in your abilities. Weightlifting has given me a new respect for my body, I am truly in awe of what it can do. Barbell Club constantly challenges my mind and body..my mind frequently will say “oh no I cant do that”. Then I am reminded by my coach that I absolutely CAN! In every class I am reminded the proper way to lift, I am given everything I need to accomplish each goal given every time I lace up my lifters and I physically feel better than I ever have. There is some kind of perfect release from the world around me when I am at Caldwell Barbell Club, I always walk out feeling better than when I walked in.

Being a mom is the greatest gift I have had in my life, my children are now adults and no longer need me like they used to. I have been terrified of this time in my life, I did not believe that I could be as happy and satisfied as I was when my children were small. But I am happy to report that on some days I feel a little guilty about how incredibly happy I am and this is absolutely due to Caldwell Barbell Club and Crossfit Caldwell. I take classes five times a week, you could call me obsessed, in fact, I would be proud to be called obsessed. I work really hard to get the results that I am getting today…My age is merely a piece of the orchestra now.

Jeff Logan

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“Overcoming Genetics” by Jeff Logan

Life was great! I recently married my amazing wife and best friend, we just bought our first home together, and I was passionate about my career. Everything on the outside seemed to be going my way, however on the inside my biggest insecurity was beating me. I was struggling with my weight and physical appearance and couldn’t find the motivation or confidence to turn it around.

Obesity is a disease that runs in my family and at 30 years old I started to hit a downward spiral. I was afraid that if I didn’t try to stop what was happening and focus on my health, I would let obesity run my life as well.

For the past year Martha and Caesar had been trying to get me to join Crossfit Caldwell. I always had an excuse. “I just want to lose 10 pounds and then I will join” or “The people that do Crossfit are in the best shape and there is no way I can work out or keep up with any of them.” were just two of the many excuses I was giving them. I was running away from my insecurities and cheating myself of a healthy life. At over 200 pounds and the heaviest I could ever remember, I finally realized I needed to overcome my fear and take control of the only part of my life that wasn’t making me happy. It was in November of 2014 when I physically and mentally knew I needed to make a change, and finally gave Crossfit a try.

Many workouts where a challenge for me. During those first few classes I remember thinking to myself “Are you kidding me, I can’t do this!” I felt like a failure and wanted to give up. Deep down inside I knew if I quit after only a few classes I was giving into my insecurities and would never beat this. I eventually realized the coaches and other athletes were not judging me but there to help and guide me to become healthier and stronger. As many times as I was in pain and wanted to quit halfway through, the encouragement and support from everyone started to turn my thoughts of giving up into wanting to succeed. Within a few weeks I started to become addicted to CrossFit. I began taking classes 5 to 6 times a week. I started to ask a lot of questions and began to see a change in my body and feel healthier.

Although I still have a long way to go, every class I find something that I have improved on from the first few weeks of joining CrossFit. I feel a sense of pride when I improve on a specific workout or increase the amount of weight I lift. My insecurities have turned into a feeling of self-accomplishment. I find myself only wanting to talk about CrossFit, not to brag, but because I feel so good about where I have come in just a few short months.

CrossFit has changed my outlook on health and working out. I now enjoy working out. I find myself looking forward to the WOD and being able to improve myself. In the past 4 months I have started to make a lifestyle change. Eating healthy and working out on a regular basis, I am committed and headed in the right direction. I now realize you have to set aside time and stick to a schedule. I enjoy working out and spending time with fellow athletes and coaches. I truly have met some great friends along the way that have helped me build my confidence and motivate me along my journey.

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I am becoming more confident in my body both physically and mentally. Albert Einstein once said, “Failure is success in progress.” We must work at failure and eventually we will succeed. For all the times I have fallen, felt I couldn’t finish, or thought I can’t do this, the failure was worth it. I now can see the progress, know I can accomplish goals, and to me that is my success. I can’t wait to see my new achievements in the months to come.

Matt Conlon

10492095_661992140554391_1947142442270237394_n“Just Show Up” by Matt Conlon

Age: 51
Height: 6”
Weight: 180 lbs

I was asked by Craig and Martha to share my thoughts about my Crossfit Caldwell experience…the why, what, how, goals, diet, etc.

I’m happy to and have plenty of good things to say about it. However, I want to first set the stage with one of my favorite quotes – “90% of success is just showing up”. My story is only one of many of fellow athletes (as they call us) at Crossfit Caldwell, each with their own story and their own motivations for showing up for an hour of hard physical challenge several times a week. In this respect, we’re all the same – we show up.

I began Crossfit in March when my daughter, Melissa, bugged me to go with her to the free intro class. She had done Crossfit at college and all I knew was that it was somehow different from anything else. Although I had a gym membership, I hadn’t used it much since my last back surgery around 3 years ago. I pretty much used the back condition as an excuse and started to settle into middle-agedness. With an ideal weight of around 180#, I was flirting with 210# and would once in a while try to get back into a routine at the gym, but it just wouldn’t stick. I found myself rattling around the gym until I worked up a satisfactory sweat…and calling it a day. I wasn’t motivated and really didn’t know how to set myself a pace and goals to get back into shape.

Going into the free class I really didn’t know what to expect and was only there to get Melissa my daughter off my back. We worked on some technique stuff for most of the class and then finished with an 8 minute workout. Just EIGHT minutes? Pshh! Well, those were probably the roughest 8 minutes of my life. I think I made Martha (co-owner) nervous as I lay on the floor afterwards, beet red, and trying to breath. It woke me up to the fact that I was, indeed, settled into a middle-aged-dom. For the next several weeks my only goals for each workout were 1. Show up 2. Not pass out…literally…I was light- headed the first few workouts and had to learn to pace myself to just not pass out, and 3. FINISH.

I learned firsthand and pretty regularly, about that Crossfit sportsmanship thing where the last one finishing the workout gets the loudest support from fellow athletes. I’d come home beet red and wiped out and my wife would say, “I thought you were supposed to feel GOOD after a workout!” When it came time to start lifting weights, I’m pretty sure I showed each coach the “zipper” scar on my back to remind them that I was partially disabled. They weren’t buying it because I think they pretty much know that everyone has some sort of limitation or fear that is overcome and worked through by learning proper technique and scaling to their ability. And that’s what they do really well…coach you through those things. I never feel pressured into doing anything that I don’t feel safe with but the coaches find a way to work you through those fears. I was surprised that I was nervous as hell about getting myself up

into a handstand on the wall, for example. As a kid I used to skateboard in a handstand and walk across the room on my hands. Now I was afraid to stand on my head! To me, THAT was confirmation of being “old”! Only in the past couple of weeks did I manage to just dive right into it from a standing position and do a couple of handstand pushups. Sit ups and pull ups…same…ten max. I learned the pull up kip within a couple of months, and now feel pretty bad-ass when I can get through 100 pull-ups in a workout. Burpees – when a new member asked what they were, I told her I call it the “drag your ass up off the floor” move. I still only drag my ass off the floor with burpees..just a little faster now.

DSC_0036As far as my weight goes, in March I signed up for the 30-day paleo diet challenge. It took me a few days to figure out what the hell I COULD eat, and bought some of the Paleocuisine meals to help get started, and settled into it – really without ever feeling hungry but maybe missing a few favorites for a little while. I lost around 15 pounds within the first two or three weeks and started feeling really good. Paleo is basically meat, fish, fruits, and vegetables…cutting out all the grains, sugar, and dairy, and drinking lots of water. I’ve since lost another ten pounds to bring me down to 180 lbs where I’ve been steady for the past 3 months or so, by eating around 80% paleo. It’s really amazing how much of my diet was “filler” kind of empty carbs. I make up for the “filler” stuff with bigger quantities of paleo foods. I even stopped taking the prescription acid blockers that I’d been on forever. I don’t worry about it when paleo isn’t convenient, but when

I stray too far or too long from it, I feel it. So, lots of eggs, bacon, chicken, beef, and salads. I don’t go “strict” with the coconut oil and all that just because it makes it overly complicated for me. Basically, everything we were told “back when” is out the window in terms of healthy eating. Grains are the new “cholesterol” and sugar is the new salt. As far as supplements go, I’m only worried about having enough energy for my workouts and am just learning what works best for me before or after workouts – like a banana or a protein shake – but I have new religion on the benefit of lots of water throughout the day. I’ll guzzle a couple of 16oz bottles of water a few times a day just to get it done.

My results? For me, yeah, the physical thing is really rewarding…I feel good, look better, lost the frumpy clothes, fired my landscaper with energy to do my own yard work…but what keeps me hooked with Crossfit Caldwell is this drive to get back in there and tackle, conquer, improve upon one of the many technique-dependent moves that are holding me back from the next best weight or time. Some of it has to do with ability and coordination, like a non-golfer learning to swing a club, and that comes with coaching and practice at the weights that work for you to be able to nail the technique first. But I think most of it is mental; being too tentative/afraid in kicking yourself up

onto the wall in a handstand or pulling hard enough to bring the bar up onto your shoulders…or telling yourself that you WILL survive the next 30 seconds of hard rowing. When Craig first had me do an overhead squat with a 45 pound empty barbell I told him pretty plainly that that was one move that just wasn’t going to work for me – that my shoulders don’t work like that. I think he took that as a personal challenge because last week, after months of sessions with twisting limbs in directions and degrees I didn’t think possible, he had me do 75 overhead squats with 85 pounds. We looked at each other with smirks on our faces like…BOOM!

I competed alongside Martha last week in my first individual competition and pushed that weight to 95 lbs. Is that a big deal in the world of Crossfit? Not at all, but it was a big deal to me and was just as big a deal to Martha when I nailed it. That’s why she’s always saying “I love my job!” And every single coach,

each with their own style, brings the exact same enthusiasm for helping each athlete progress. Honestly, I don’t know how they make you feel like you’re the only one in the workout, but they do. I read an article recently that explained the Crossfit
addiction as the “game-ification” of health & fitness. It’s like Words-With-Friends, except with a real benefit. I think there’s something to that, and it’s genius! I compete with myself but also keep a competitive eye on my fellow athletes, including my daughter who seems to be right on my tail every time I reach a new PR (personal record). Most others probably don’t, but I watch others’ weights and times who are in my general range and it motivates the hell out of me to keep progressing. A few weeks ago it was just me and Jason, my 15 year old neighbor, in a pretty grueling WOD, side-by-side, with coach Drew stirring the pot between us. I led most of the way and then Jason caught up near the end and looked like he was going to beat me. I just wasn’t letting it happen… and I banged out 15 pullups in a row at the end to just edge him out. I think “Mr. Conlon” pissed him off enough however, to never let that happen again. I think that was the last time he’ll lose to me.

This is what it all comes down to for me….the PEOPLE! The coaches…my fellow athletes…we just all seem to like each other and we support and encourage each other through even the most miserable workouts, with plenty of time to laugh at ourselves too. I know I’ll catch some shit for this at the next men’s night where we lift and then eat dead animals and drink beer, but I think I’ve met some life-long friends at this place. So, when you ask me about my “results”, it’s so much more than physical results, for me. I thought the pounds and inches and abs and guns was my objective

DSC_0058going into Crossfit, but that’s really not what makes me show up every day. Don’t get me wrong, me and my mirror have become close friends lately, but that’s just a great by-product of the challenge of getting to the next level, weight, time, or nailing a technique. The “results” that I’m mostsatisfied with are energy, greater confidence in every part of my personal and professional life, friendships, and an overall sense of achievement. In July, I did a team competition with Leah, Doles, and Kerry at our place in Caldwell. We competed against ANIMALS from other gyms in the area and had every reason to be intimidated. We weren’t. We had a lot of fun. In my competition with Martha last weekend, I came in second place (of two people in my division…yeah, you could call that last place…but it came with a trophy!), and had my daughters and total strangers cheering me on from the sidelines to hit one more rep, do one more box jump. I don’t know…the Jersey in me has me waiting for the downside of Crossfit, but all I see are good, regular people, supporting each other and having lots of fun doing it. I’ve suffered through ass-burn (you’ll know it when you get it), tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, and a box-jump shin cut….and will still show up tomorrow.