May 2014 Member of the Month: Jen D.

May 2014 Member of the Month: Jen D.

Jen is one of our die hard 6 AMers and with the help of her CrossFit buddy, Melissa, she comes to class 4 or 5 mornings a week. The two came to Cróga about 6 months ago for their first intro class and I think it’s fair to say the rest is history. Jen is one of those people that likes to be prepared, she looks up the WOD every night, watches youtube videos to make sure she knows what movements she’s going to be doing the next day and she’s always ready to rock when the clock beeps 3, 2, 1, GO…

Here’s a little Q&A with Jen:

Dave(D):  When did you join Cróga?

Jen(J): September 2013.  I convinced my friend Melissa to try it with me.  After a very friendly Intro WOD & pep talk by Coach Kelly – we committed to give it a try for a couple months.  I actually finished my last intro class before Melissa & tried out a real WOD on my own – how tough could it be right?….oh, the WOD my first real day just happened to be “Kelly”.  From that moment on, I am fanatic about checking out the WODs ahead of time & getting mentally prepared via YouTube demos.


D: What were you doing before for fitness? 

J: Occasional Jogging, the elliptical trainer & a weekly pilates class.  Despite incorporating some fitness activities from time to time, I knew I wanted to be in better shape but wasn’t aware of how out of shape I had accepted being.   I now am committed to being strong to do more with & for my family but also to simply get more out of this life.  It’s so eye opening to experience how much easier so many aspects of the daily routine are w/ a stronger, fit body.

D: What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform?   

J: I’ve dropped 2 – 3 sizes (depends on the brand) – so officially no “mom jeans” for me now.  It’s really cool to see the muscle definition & to simply be more compact.  Each WOD I find not only can I do a bit more but I can push a bit harder.  There’s a number of skills that I’ve scaled to finally achieve.  Those are the best days when all of a sudden your mind and body just pulls it all together & “bam” I can jump on a box, do a pistol or get through a few doubleunders.

D: What’s your favorite WOD?

J: The ones I can put Rx next to my name.

D: What’s your least favorite WOD?

J: Was not a fan of Cindy XXX.  Anything with multiple rounds of 400m runs for time.  I can jog at a “chit chat” pace for miles.  With the sprints, I’m always the “wait for me” girl at the end of the pack.

D: What do you love about CrossFit? 

J: It not only trains my body but also my mind.  It has made me realize how much more I’m capable of doing either right out of the gate or over time.  Most all of which, I never once considered trying on my own.  Watching others do these incredible feats makes me want it too & I start envisioning how cool it will be when I get there…because there’s not stalling out at this point.  The people I train w/ are really cool.  We all know we are walking into a personal physical fitness battle & the camaraderie is awesome.   The silence before the WOD clock starts reminds me we are ALL thinking “crap – WTH am I getting myself into”.  Then we just go and push ourselves, as well as, each other through.  In the end , it’s a round of exasperated smiles, high fives & “see you again tomorrow“.  I love it.

D: What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga?

J: Sweet potato pancakes as the bun for buffalo burgers topped w/ bacon & avocado.  My stash of Paleo cook books have been well broken in since doing the Whole 30 in October.

D: What’s your biggest fitness goal for 2014?

J: Mastering Pull ups & ring dips.  It’s fun to show my girls that I can do cool tricks on the monkey bars too. 

D: What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga CrossFit?

J: Just lock in your time to be there & commit to try it out for a few weeks.  You’ll find yourself regretting the days you can’t go.   It is so varied that you can rule out getting bored.  Everything is scalable – which means you can indeed do EVERYTHING.  You will be impressed with how in tune Coach Dave is with your abilities and what he recommends you strive to do.   When I’ve wanted to RX but wasn’t sure I could go the full rounds – Coach Brit watched my form & helped talk me through how to break up the rounds so I could complete my goal.  It may intimidate but that’s what makes it that much more thrilling at the end.  You get to be proud of yourself for trying & many times surprising yourself.

D: 5,000 KB Swings @ 35 lbs or 5,000 20″ Box Jumps?

J: 5000 KB Swings.  I would undoubtedly eat it on the 4,999th box jump.

D: Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet?

J: I’m just really grateful for this CrossFit experience & realization.  Sharing it with a good friend from the start has been so cool.  It’s been awesome that Melissa was willing to try it out and is equally addicted.  Regardless of how many people are in the class, Coach Dave is really attentive and everyone walks away feeling like they were personally trained.   The energy of the gym is so positive & encouraging.   Thanks to Coach Dave & Coach Kelly for creating such a great gym, community and daily WODs!

With her consistent attendance, preparation and hard work when she’s at the gym, Jen has made some significant physical changes in the last 6 months as well as knocking down PRs & tackling RX’d movements on a regular basis. Next up is her first unassisted pull-up. We know you can do it Jen, keep up the hard work!

Jen showing off her new found level of fitness with a double daughter carry

April Member of the Month: Todd

April 2014 Member of the Month: Todd L

Todd is one of those people that always come to class with a positive attitude, ready to work hard and learn and all three of these qualities have helped him be very successful in a short period of time. He is one of the few that has come to Cróga with some CrossFit experience under his belt, but he kept an open mind and listened to our coaching and he is taking his game to a whole new level. Congrats, Todd, you have made some enormous strides in a very short period of time, keep up the good work!

Todd Muscle Up

Here’s a little Q&A with the Todd:

Dave (D): When did you join Cróga?

Todd (T): I joined December 5th, 2013. It was a cold and lonely night and I had been roaming the mean streets of Willow Glen, looking for a Box to call home.

D: What were you doing before for fitness?

T: I’ve always been athletic but before finding true fitness I like a lot of people would bounce around to different Globo-gym’s expecting to get results.

D: What improvements have you seen in the way you look feel and perform?

T: I feel great! I look like I’m carving myself out of myself always improving. My performance is insane! I’m stronger, faster and all around better at age 36 then I was at 26 kind of a Benjamin Buttons effect.

D: What’s your favorite WOD?

T: Anything that involves pushing weight.

D: What’s your least favorite WOD?

T: Anything involving burpees. I don’t hate many things in life but I hate burpees. Seriously though. They suck.

D: What do you love about CrossFit?

T: I love the competitiveness of the workouts of course however I also love the community as well. In no other competition will you see the first person to finish cheering on the last person to finish.

D: What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga?

T: I would have to say combining my paleo waffles with pulled pork. If heaven was a diner it would be on the menu.

D: What’s your biggest fitness goal for 2014?

T: I want to compete!

D: What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga CrossFit?

T: You will never find a workout program that is as rewarding as it is hard. You get what you put into it and you’ll have a community of great people will lift you up and help you find your greatness.

D: 20,000 Thrusters @ 95 lbs or do 10,000 toes-to-bar?

T: 20,000 thrusters @95lbs cuz this aint your momma’s jazzercise class!

D: Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet?

T: I would like to say that Coach Dave and Coach Kelly are pure awesomeness! Thanks to them I have crushed more PR’s and become a better athlete in the 5 months I have been here then in the whole 2 years I have been doing Crossfit! I’m very thankful to be a part of their gym and have them in my life.


March Member of the Month: Doug

March 2014 Member of the Month: Doug L

Doug Thruster

When we first met Doug, it was obvious that he took good care of himself and enjoyed working out. We saw that he was coordinated, athletic and driven and we were very excited to see what he would be capable of with some coaching and our programming. So far the results have been outstanding and with only 7 months of CrossFit under his belt, we’re just starting to crack the surface.

Here’s a little Q&A with the Doug:

Dave (DWM): When did you join Cróga?

Doug (DL): I I joined in September of 2013.

DWM: What were you doing before for fitness?

DL: Before CrossFit, I was just running to try to stay in shape. I had tried P90X, Insanity and things like that, but I got bored quickly, lost motivation and eventually stopped. I was in decent cardio shape from the running, but had lost the muscle tone I used to have. As I turned 40, I was afraid that I would never again be in what would be considered “good shape.” It was depressing. I started doing CrossFit at another local box in June 2013 at the urging of my wife, who knew that I was not happy, but still had the potential to get in shape. It was okay, but I was turned off by the large class sizes and lack of instruction on the technical stuff. I knew I would like CrossFit, but I needed a different box for me. Then I discovered Cróga, and I knew I had found the right box. From the beginning, Dave and Kelly provided me with the kind of one-on-one coaching that I needed to learn the technical movements, and to get in shape without hurting myself. It also didn’t hurt that it was less than a mile from my house!

DWM: What improvements have you seen in the way you look feel and perform?

DL: CrossFit at Cróga has changed my life. I have gotten myself back into the shape that I was in in my twenties–I’m in the best shape since college, when I lifted and played sports. And because of this, I feel so much better about myself psychologically. It has improved not only my fitness, but also my overall happiness. I’m better at work, a better husband and a better father. I really can’t say enough about it. And, I had a blood test done in late January, and my cholesterol had dropped from 206 the previous year to 158. And my Triglycerides dropped in half. No wonder I am feeling better!

DWM: What’s your favorite WOD?

DL: My favorite WOD would be something that hits my strengths—running, front squats, shoulder press and some sit-ups. What’s that one called? I’ll call it “The Dougie.”

DWM: What’s your least favorite WOD?

DL: Anything with Overhead Squats in it. I need to work on my ankle and shoulder flexibility!

DWM: What do you love about CrossFit?

DL: I love that it involves other people, and that it has a competitive nature to it. I’ve got great Coaches and I get to compete against great people every class. Those coaches and people hold me accountable. It’s what gets me up in the morning to go to class. If I miss, I feel like I’m letting others down. Exactly what I need to stay motivated!

DWM: What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga?

DL: My favorite culinary discovery has to be a new way of eating. I did the Whole 30 on my own in January and lost 12 pounds. But more than that, I felt great! I wasn’t hungry between meals like I always have been, and my body felt better than ever. I’ve stuck with most Whole 30 principles since then, and am still feeling great!

DWM: What’s your biggest fitness goal for 2014?

DL: My early goal was to compete in the CrossFit Games Open and to finish in 50th percentile or higher. Even after a rough start with Snatches, Double-Unders and Overhead Squats, three of my worst movements, I was able to finish in the 59th percentile overall and the 65th percentile for my age group. Next year, I’m shooting for the 75th percentile in my age group. My goal for the rest of the year is to work on my weaknesses and be able to do all movements that I might see in a CrossFit competition. Gotta get a Muscle-Up!

DWM: What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga CrossFit?

DL: Just do it, it will change your life. It really doesn’t take that much time (classes are only an hour) and you will get the most intense workouts of your life. And that intensity leads to results. And Dave and Kelly are the best coaches around and really care about their members. The Box feels like a family.

DWM: Row 1,000,000 meters or do 50,000 wall balls?

DL: Wow! That’s a tough one. I’ll row the million meters, as long as I don’t have to hit it exactly like Rowling!

DWM: Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet?

DL: Funny story about my first real WOD at Cróga. It involved Deadlifts, and I was still using my “un-coached” form from my previous Box, especially when I got tired. About halfway through the WOD, I lost concentration on my form and I hurt my low back and couldn’t finish. I had to lay down on the floor! I was so embarrassed in front of Dave and Kelly, and that has been extra motivation for me to prove my potential to them (and myself). Fast forward six months, and Deadlifts are now one of my strengths, and my low back feels better than it has in years. And more importantly, since Dave won’t let me use bad form, I have been injury free since!

Congratulations, Doug, you really are someone to look up to as an athlete, husband and father. We enjoy having you as part of our community and look forward to watching you crush milestone after milestone during 2014 and beyond!

Doug Tired

February Member of the Month

February 2014 Member of the Month: Ann M

Ann McKinney Smile

Ann is one of those people that always seems to have a positive attitude and a fresh outlook on life and the challenges it presents. These are two very important traits that have made her successful at CrossFit since the day she showed up for her first class with her daughter and son in law last fall. The amount of progress Ann has made in what we would consider a short period of time (barely being able to finish a scaled version of her first workout to 351st in the world in her age group after Open WOD 14.1) is astonishing and we think the sky is the limit.

Ann McKinney Overhead

Here’s a little Q&A with the one and only, Ann:

Dave: What kind of shape were you in before you joined Cróga?

Ann: I weighed a lot more than I wanted, I was carrying weight around my middle and couldn’t seem to take it off. My diet was high in carbs and sugar and I was drinking Diet Coke (ugh!). So glad that is off the grocery list.

D: What were you doing before for fitness?

A: I have been a swimmer all my life. I was swimming a mile 2x/wk at the Campbell Community Center and jogging about 3 miles around the neighborhood but very inconsistently.

D: What improvements have you seen in the way you look feel and perform?

A: I have lost 8lbs and I have much better muscle tone in my upper body. My midriff bulge is gone and I am more comfortable in my clothes. The biggest change is really in how I feel. I am not as stressed out as I used to be and I am putting my health and fitness as a priority in my weekly schedule. I am important!

D: You seem to be constantly making huge strides forward, what drives you to get better everyday?

A: I love the way I feel physically, emotionally and spiritually and I want to keep my life on that track. My greatest motivation comes from Dave and Kelly, my coaches, who believe in me whole heartedly. I strive to learn all the CrossFit movements and improve from week to week. The atmosphere is fun at Cróga and everyone strives to achieve their personal best on each WOD.

D: What do you love about CrossFit?

A: I love the variety and the repetition. Sounds weird but I love that I can be super sore in one muscle group then go the next day and that muscle group recovers and another one gets challenged. I really like the Exercise of the Month because I can see great improvements by the end of the month. For example, February was Handstand Month. At first I learned to walk backwards up the wall and hold, then I was able to kick up and hold, then I was able to do a Hand Stand Push Up (HSPU). I was so excited I said “Dave, Dave, Dave watch me!” and I did a second one. Dave laughed and said “Dad, Dad, Dad watch me”.

D: What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga?

A: I did the Whole 30/Paleo Diet in October and I am just starting it again in March. The no Sugar is a challenge but I can do it!. I make a stir fry with zucchini, yellow squash, asparagus, red peppers, garlic and chicken and it is divine. Simple but I could eat it every day.

D: What’s your biggest fitness goal for 2014?

A: I set a goal to do a CrossFit Competition and I am participating in the CrossFit Games Open now. My goal is to be in the top 30 in my age group in Northern California.

D: What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga CrossFit?

A: CrossFit makes everyday movements so much easier because your muscles are toned and stretched. It is not just for athletes or weightlifters, it is for everyone since your only competition is with yourself. Anyone can do it and get the results of total body fitness in a relatively short period of time. Many of us will live to be 100 or older and there is no better time than the present to get started living healthier. At Cróga CrossFit, there are people of various body types and fitness levels. We all do the workouts together and Dave and Kelly take the time to make sure we know the movements and that we are using proper technique. It is like joining a family at Cróga. It is a lot of fun and you get so much encouragement.

D: Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet?

A: Even though I may be one of the oldest members of Cróga CrossFit at 58yrs old, the environment is very inclusive and inspirational. I love it and I am getting compliments from lots of my friends about looking very good these days. I look good and I feel good. Thank-you Dave and Kelly

Congratulations, Ann, on all you have achieved so far. We are looking forward to you only getting more fit with age!

January Member of the Month

As Kelly and I looked back on 2013 and thought of things that we wanted to do in 2014, a Member of the Month spotlight was at the top of the list.

With that being said, we will be featuring one of our awesome members each month, writing a blog post about them with some Q&A and giving them their very own RPM Speed Rope as a gift.


For our very first month, January 2014, we are proud to announce our Member of the Month is Sam L!

Sam has been a member for more than six months now and we have had the pleasure of watching him lose a substantial amount of weight, continue to add strength to an already very strong frame and become much more flexible at the same time. Sam and his girlfriend, Pareesa, have become a very important part of our community through outstanding attendance and participation in all our events and we are happy to see them each and every time they walk in the door with a big smile on their faces and ready to work.

Now for some Q&A with the man of the month:

Dave:  What kind of shape were you in before you joined Cróga?

Sam:  I would have to say I had a pretty good workout routine but a horrible diet. I was going to the gym 5 days a week but not pushing myself hard as I worked out. I thought my cardio was good until I got hit with the Cróga reality that I was not at all as fit as I thought.

D:  What were you doing before for fitness?

S:  Weights for 30-45mins and then 1 hour of some type of cardio.

D:  Your attendance has been awesome and you love hitting a “burner” bodyweight WOD after lifting sessions, what drives you?

S:  Beating my coach at a WOD motivates me. I would just have to say that since I have started CrossFit I have noticed such a good change in my body, mind, and choices as far as health that doing extra keeps me going harder. I like the way I feel after a workout even though it hurts. I don’t push myself enough so the people and WODs at Cróga do it for me.

D:  What improvements have you seen in the way you look feel and perform?

S:  I’ve dropped 30lbs, learned how to fuel my body properly and I’m so much stronger then ever before. I just feel better all around.

D:  What do you love about CrossFit?

S:  The community and the ever changing workouts. It’s everyday cardio and movements that I’m doing and it’s made into a kick ass workout.

D:  What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga?

S:  Spaghetti squash. I had never heard of it before the Whole30.

D:  What’s your biggest fitness goal for 2014?

S:  Possibly compete in some type of CrossFit event. But I really want to improve all my times, scores and max weights of lifts.

D:  What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga CrossFit?

S:  Stick with it, try your best and you will see results and have fun doing it.

Congratulations again, Sam! We love having both you and Pareesa as members and integral parts of our community. We are looking forward to watching you continue to progress throughout 2014 and will be there to push you to new heights and support you in that first CrossFit competition.



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