SUCCESS STORIES

Whitney O. Is The November Member Of The Month

Oh, Whitney…

There’s a few members at Croga that are chronically “late” (we start every class 3 minutes late on purpose so that these people are on time), and Whitney is one of them. However, sometimes I wonder if these people are just really good at being on time and since they know we’re going to start 3 minutes late, they don’t want to waste those 3 minutes leaving their house early. Is that the case, Whit? Either way, I find it amazing when you walk in the door at :03 every single day, especially since I’m the guy that walks in at :48 usually because I’m always worried I’ll be late.

When Whitney walks in the door right on time for every class, it doesn’t seem to phase her. When I tell horrible jokes, she always gives me a courtesy laugh. When I tell her to row faster even though she’s the shortest one in the room, she humors me and pulls harder for a few seconds even though she knows her legs aren’t going to get longer, and on top of all of this, she quietly kicks ass in every single class she is in.

Whitney is an anaesthesiologist and when I found that out about her, it explained a lot. She is always as cool as a cucumber and her calmness and poise even when she’s dying from crushing the workout are incredible. And to top that off, she worked out throughout her whole pregnancy and was the same way all the way through a few weeks before the baby was due. You wouldn’t have even known except when she turned sideways.

Whitney and her husband, Kenny, are just two absolutely wonderful people that I like more and more every month and year that I get to know them. They’re great parents and examples for all of us and I’m glad we chose to honor one of our new moms as our MotM. Congrats, Whitney!!!

When did you join Cróga?
November 2017

What were you doing before for fitness?
I was eating ice cream on the couch and watching reality TV. I was not athletic by any means, nor did I do any exercise on a consistent basis. However, I needed a way to get in shape before my wedding and there happened to be a CrossFit box half a mile away from my apartment in Baltimore. I did not know ANYTHING about CrossFit before my first class. The orange theory fitness/yoga classes were a ten minute drive away which was too much effort in my books. I gave CrossFit a shot and I’m still here today.

What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout?
My first foundations one had wall balls, burpees and box jumps. By the fifth wall ball I remember wanting to curl up in the corner and die. Unfortunately, it was a one on one foundation class so there was pressure to not just quit then and there. To this day whenever I watch someone do wall balls for the first time and have the same look that I did of “wow this sucks,” I feel for them.

What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform?
Pre-CrossFit, Kenny (my now hubby) could not get me to row faster at the gym if my life depended on it. I would tell him if he wanted to hang out with someone who could row faster he should go find another girl. It was all too ironic I started CrossFit by myself. When he joined me in a CrossFit class three months after I had started he could not believe the difference in ability and attitude I had when it came to working out. Gainz since then only continue, especially as I have been more serious about the nutrition piece.

What days and times do you come to Cróga?

I’ve come to every class time since I’ve joined. Thank you to everyone, especially the coaches, who have tolerated my little sidekick tagging along.

If I’m at class now one of the following conditions are met:

1. The baby is in a good enough mood to take her out in public (9:30am, 3:30pm, 4:45pm)
2. The baby kept me up all night and I’m awake anyway (5am, 6am)
3. I have someone to co-watch the baby with or someone is watching the baby (7am, 5:30pm, 6:30pm, weekends)

What’s your favorite WOD?
Anything with movements that I can more or less do without too much scaling (sit-ups, burpees, jump rope).

What’s your least favorite WOD?
Anything with handstand push-ups. I really hate the feeling of being upside down.

“The Whitney” WOD! What would it be?
The pyramid WODs are my favorite.
For time:
10 DB thrusters
20 DB hang power cleans
30 burpees
40 sit-ups
50 doubleunders
40 sit-ups
30 burpees
20 hang power cleans
10 DB thrusters

What’s your favorite post-workout routine?
Being 3 minutes late to my next appointment after Croga =). My profession effectively involves multiple shots of adrenaline during the day. Likewise, when I am not at work, I find it boring if I am not constantly rushing around. I consider it a victory if I am the last person on the plane right before the gates close.

What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga?
I love peanut butter so PB2 has been the latest game-changer when I’m looking for a snack. I’ll even try to eat the powder without adding water because water is too much effort – it does not always end well. Other very close seconds – perfect bars (I refused to eat any protein bars before), food scale (I realized that at work I would easily eat 12-16oz of red meat in one meal).

What’s your biggest fitness goal for this year?
With the baby/work the short term goal is to try to keep consistently coming to class. A pull up would be otherwise my next biggest fitness goal.

What do you love about CrossFit?
The variety, the intensity and the fact that I don’t have to run very long distances. Self-motivation was clearly not working for me before CrossFit. Doing a similar workout with intense, motivated and fit people challenges me to work harder than I would on my own. It is nice to know that when I am randomly up before my alarm goes off and the sun comes up there is a special place where there are (perhaps crazy) people that are ready to get a good workout in.

What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga?
Just do it! I was about as un-athletic as you could get before I started CrossFit at all and it many times is the best hour of my day. Each WOD is a unique challenge vs going to a fitness class that is a “routine” so it is difficult to get bored of going to CrossFit. This cannot be said enough – the coaches at Croga are AMAZING! They actually care about you and make sure that you’re doing movements correctly. I have now tried out a few other CrossFit gyms when I was looking for a gym in the area and on vacation and this is definitely not always the case.

Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet?
Nothing! If you’re reading this I’m glad you made it to the end of my ramblings. This was not Whitney in 100 words.

Johnny M. Is The October Member Of The Month

Johnny is one of those guys that always walks in the gym with a big smile on his face, ready to work. He then proceeds to read the workout and has one of two responses “Hell Ya!” or “Ahhhh, shit!”. Watching Johnny check out the whiteboard, process what’s written up there, and then react to it is always a highlight for me when I get to coach him.

In all seriousness though, Johnny is just one of our young guns that works hard, listens well, is competitive with himself and the other guys in the gym and when he sets his mind to something he goes and does it. He’s always got something funny to say and is always up for a good laugh. And he always makes sure that I’ve got a good “banger” playing on the speakers when the WOD is about to start.

Thanks for the years of hard work and positivity Johnny. It has been fun to watch you grow as an athlete over the last few years. I can’t wait to see you get that 225 clean and that muscle up in 2020!

When did you join Cróga?
I joined Cróga in the fall of 2017, so about two years now.

What were you doing before for fitness?
Before Croga I went to American Barbell 5 times a week doing the same workout over and over again, I got bored af!

What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout?
I forgot what my first workout was but I remember feeling like shit afterwards, I thought I was in amazing shape until I got my ass kicked at a 5:30 class.  I had to show up the next day to try to redeem myself from the day before, and two years later, here I am.

What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform?
Since joining Cróga, I feel like I am way more flexible and mobile. I focused mainly on my upper body before CrossFit, so I definitely feel a balance in my overall strength and energy levels. My back has gotten a lot stronger from all the pulling work and variations of pull-ups, I have a better wind from all the high-intensity training as well, which has translated to my overall energy at work. Ohhh and my Olympic lifting skills are way better, I can snatch a decent amount of weight now.

What days and times do you come to Cróga?
I usually come on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and some Fridays for an ignite class and the 5:30 WOD right after.

What’s your favorite WOD?
My favorite WOD would have to be the one we do every year at Christmas time. It is a fucked up way to start the holidays to say the least.

What’s your least favorite WOD?
My least favorite is anything with pull-ups.

“The Johnny” WOD! What would it be?
The Johnny WOD would be a Fat arm Friday: Some nice curl sets, a little bench press, and finish it with an AMRAP of something like wall balls and hang cleans.

What’s your favorite post-workout routine?
My post workout routine during the week is change my shoes, go on a cool down run or jog, and come home and make a protein shake before dinner. I eat late around 8:30-9 every night.

What do you love about CrossFit?
I love the competitive nature of CrossFit. I grew up playing sports and always thrived in a competitive environment. When I was working out at 24, I was losing that competitive instinct because I was isolated by myself with my headphones on. When I’m in an active environment I will go harder because of my competitive nature. The workouts are far more intense as well, which is good for the brain.

What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga?
Mush, perfect bars.

What’s your biggest fitness goal for this year?
My fitness goals for the year are to get 225 up on a clean, hit a ring muscle up, lean out, and just feel as healthy as I can be. I’m a firm believer in the saying health is wealth.

What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga?
Just go for it! The coaches will not make you do anything you aren’t capable of and they will guide you so you’re doing it right. Just be prepared to sweat and grind.

What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga?
Thanks for welcoming me to the gym family, it’s been a great two years. Can’t wait to reach my goals with you all in the future. Shake and Bake.

Gabi L. Is The September Member Of The Month

Gabi and her husband, Cliff, joined Croga a few years ago when they moved from San Diego and they have been a wonderful addition to our community since day 1! Gabi is another one of our athletes that is so consistent, even with a busy work travel schedule. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t see multiple times in a week, she’s amazing. She always asks the right questions in class and you can tell that she’s looking to push herself and improve each time she’s in the gym, which makes her a ton of fun to coach.

Congratulations, Gabi, this is well deserved and I’m very happy we could acknowledge all your hard work and consistency! Now let’s go get that pull up!!!

When did you join Cróga?
2016

What were you doing before for fitness?
Crossfit in San Diego, and running. I like swimming, too.

What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout?
Intro class in San Diego. Reaction: I could not straighten my arms even after three days.

What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform?
I feel more fit and healthy. And I have more of a “you can do it” attitude.

What days and times do you come to Cróga?
Usually twice a week, 5:30 pm, and the Saturday partner WOD!

What’s your favorite WOD?
Chippers with a good mix of activities.

What’s your least favorite WOD?
Assault bike, without a doubt.

“The Gabi” WOD! What would it be?
Rowing, clean and jerks, sit-ups.

What’s your favorite post-workout routine?
Hot tub!

What do you love about CrossFit?
The community and the high level of attention every member gets to ensure that they perform at their best.

What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga?
Peanut butter

What’s your biggest fitness goal for this year?
A pull up!

What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga?
Just do it.

Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet?
Looking forward to more fun and fitness in the coming years.

Rysen O. Is The August Member Of The Month

Rysen is one of my favorite lead by example athletes at Croga. He always comes to the gym ready to work, stays focused the whole time, gets the work done even when it’s not his favorite type of workout and then often stays after to work on something he’s not as good at or do some stretching so he feels good to go again the next day. I also enjoy pointing him out to some of our newer members because of how smooth and effortlessly he moves and how mobile he is. He’s a much better example than I am for these two things, so he makes for a good coaching tool, haha.

He’s a little shy, but once you get him going he comes out of his shell and he can hang with the best of them. I also love the fact that Rysen and his older brother, Jordan, are from Maui so I get to stay fluent on my island slang whenever they’re at the box.

Congratulations on the MoTM, Rysen! Your hard work, consistency, and dedication are inspiring. I can’t wait to watch you hit that 225 C&J and 185 Snatch!

When did you join Cróga?
I joined Croga in June 2018.

What were you doing before for fitness?
I was mostly Olympic weightlifting a few times a week with a few friends when I was still in school.

What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout?
I remember my first workout at Croga pretty vividly because the assault bike was involved. The first part of the workout was back squats and the second part was a 1-minute sprint for calories on the assault bike. After that, I could barely walk for about an hour. Shoutout to Cody for making sure I wasn’t actually dead. Also shoutout to Jordan for warning me beforehand. Unfortunately, I didn’t take him seriously. It felt terrible, but I liked the atmosphere at Croga. So, I knew I would come back.

What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform?
I think the biggest difference that I notice is the way I feel. I didn’t really take conditioning too seriously before I joined Croga, and it is nice to walk upstairs without getting winded. I am also a little less afraid of running.

What days and times do you come to Cróga?
I am at Croga on most weekdays at the 5:30 pm class!

What’s your favorite WOD?
I’m not sure if I have a favorite WOD. Workouts with double unders, handstand push-ups, and pistols are usually pretty fun.

What’s your least favorite WOD?
Workouts longer than 15 minutes are usually not too fun for me. Also, anything with the assault bike, wall balls, or thrusters are also terrible.

“The Rysen” WOD! What would it be?
Buy in of 100 double unders and 30 pistols followed by 21-15-9 of hang power cleans (115lbs/75lbs) and handstand push-ups.

What’s your favorite post-workout routine?
I like to stretch, foam roll, and voodoo floss. I’ve noticed that at least doing one or two of these after a workout helps me feel less sore the next day.

What do you love about CrossFit?
I love the variety of CrossFit. There are so many movements and ways to structure a workout that I never feel bored. I like that I can feel confident about a movement, finish a workout, and realize that I actually need to be more proficient at it because I didn’t realize how bad I am at something when I am tired. I think those kinds of things are what make CrossFit fun. I also love the community. People are usually really encouraging and genuinely happy to see others improve!

What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga?
It’s not really a culinary discovery, but Francis and Cody got me to try pour-over style coffee. It’s amazing!

What’s your biggest fitness goal for this year?
I think it would be cool to hit a 225lb clean and jerk and 185lb snatch.

What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga?
I would say that consistency and having fun during workouts is key! All the members at Croga are really encouraging and friendly. The coaches at Croga are great and always help you with your goals! One subtlety that I appreciate is that the coaches know almost every member’s name. It’s awesome and shows the effort they put in to make classes great. Anyone considering joining Croga should at least try a few classes. It is the most fun I have had working out since I stopped competitive swimming after high school!

Meghan P. Is The July Member Of The Month

Meghan has been with us for almost a year now and the progress she has made has been nothing short of fantastic and all of it is due to her hard work and dedication to trusting the process. Each month that has gone by, she has made an effort to attend more classes than the last. She is consistently asking for tips on how to help herself achieve new levels of the progression of each movement. She was one of two of our members to complete all the extra credit required to complete a Croga Bingo Blackout. And, over the last few months of being signed up for Croga Nutrition and following the guidelines of Coach Cody to a T, even with travel for work and an often unpredictable schedule, she has already lost nearly 20 lbs in 3 months.

She is a fantastic example of how hard work and focus are key to helping you achieve your goals. Congratulations on all your success so far and this Member of the Month, you deserve it!

When did you join Cróga?
My first class ever was Sept 24, 2018. But I can be a slow starter, and for the first 6 months I only went 1-2 times a week. So I really consider my Croga “birthday” to be April 2019. That’s when I started going regularly – 5 to 6 times a week as long as I’m not traveling for work.

What were you doing before for fitness?
For the past 8 years I’ve been in and out of pretty much every fitness routine you can imagine – spinning, yoga, marathon training, HIIT circuits – I’d get really into something for a while and then fizzle out. But, for the year before Croga – really I was doing nothing. I was probably at the lowest level of fitness (and confidence) I had been for almost 10 years. Then I finally got fed up and promised myself I’d stick with something for at least 6 months – and signed up for 6 months pre-paid after talking with Coach Dave.

What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout?
My first workout was an Ignite workout – I don’t remember exactly what it was but it involved box jumps which I had to scale to step-ups. And then could barely walk up the stairs for the next few days!

What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform?
There are too many to list. It sounds like an exaggeration, but I literally feel like with Croga and Coach Dave & Cody, I have really transformed. I’m lifting more and moving faster. I started WAG nutrition coaching with Coach Cody at the end of May and in 12 weeks have lost almost 20 pounds and a bunch of inches. I’ve definitely upped my mental fortitude – I walked into Murph on Memorial Day planning on only doing half – and ended up doing the full (partitioned) thing! I wouldn’t have believed I could – and then I did. I feel so much better physically, have more endurance, more strength, and feel way more in control of my nutrition. Really – it’s just been all good things!

What days and times do you come to Cróga?
I try and make the 3:30 class every weekday. And sometimes stay for Ignite. 8AM Sundays have also become a habit. Recently, because of work, I’ve begrudgingly been making more frequent cameos at 5 AM.

What’s your favorite WOD?
I like longer WODs (it’s that slow starter thing) – anything with push presses, box jumps, burpees, squats or rowing I tend to like. Recently I’ve been strangely enjoying the Sunday endurance WODs – in a love/hate way!

What’s your least favorite WOD?
Well I tend not to like things I’m bad at, so usually if I don’t like a WOD, it means I need to work the movements more – and therefore should be grateful to Cody for programming it. (Even though that’s usually not what’s running through my head in the moment 🙂 ) Wall balls, snatches, toes-to-bar, sumo deadlift high-pulls and KB swings come to mind.

What’s your favorite post-workout routine?
Either a cold brew after the 5 AM class, or a grocery shopping trip after Sunday class.

What do you love about CrossFit?
It’s infinitely scalable – there’s any entry point for anyone. Consistency and dedication pay off  – generally in life but especially in CrossFit. And I especially love that I actually have to think and focus to do it – it forces me to take my mind off everything else and just be in the moment.

What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga?
A food scale!!!!! (Thanks Coach Cody!! I promise I’m going to sleep as soon as I finish this questionnaire 🙂 )

What’s your biggest fitness goal for this year?
I have some more goals for WAG I’d like to get to. For fitness – generally get stronger and faster. Specifically – get a pull-up or two, continue my ongoing battle with stringing together double-unders, and improve my Oly lifting form.

What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga?
Totally, totally do it! The coaches are amazing, the people are great, Murph is a perfect gym dog, and you’ll get so much out of it. I waited so long because I was scared I wasn’t going to be perfect right away – which, spoiler alert, I wasn’t! But as Coach Dave says “Progress not Perfection” is the best way forward!

Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet?
Really just how grateful I am to be a part of Croga. I knew (and Dave & Cody knew) I wasn’t coming frequently enough those first 6 months, but not once did they make me feel bad about it. They just always greeted me with smiles, encouraged me when I was there, and gently nudged me when I needed it. I’ll always remember the first week of April, which was the first time I came every day of the week. I sat on the ground after 3:30 on Friday and said to Dave “I came every day this week!” And he just smiled at me and said “I know! We’re so happy to be seeing more of you!” BIG THANKS Cody & Dave – I’m happy to be seeing more of you too.

Mike D. Is The June Member Of The Month

If there was a list of Croga Legends, Mike D would most definitely be on it. He has been around since the beginning and our friendship has grown to include our significant others and our children now, which has been a ton of fun. For 6 years I joked with Mike that I was never going to give him Member of the Month because he’s always complaining about the programming and how we never program the “perfect” workout for him, but I finally gave in when he bought a new house and moved further away from Croga, but went out of his way to become more committed to getting in the gym.

With a wife, two kids and very busy days running around selling “RE” (Mike’s slang for Real Estate), I am always impressed with Mike’s ability to participate in tons of networking and charity events, as well as help the other agents in his office, spend time with his extended family that all live in the area and get to the gym regularly. Congrats on finally achieving MOTM status, Mike. Don’t hold your breath for Member of the Year…

When did you join Cróga?
A long time ago (5+ years?)…shortly after the gym opened up and Dave was coaching every class, every day…he was always a treat.

What were you doing before for fitness?
I was doing personal training with some Crossfit type functional stuff. Also, running on my own. Did a few half marathons, one full marathon and then I retired from running.

What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout?
I can’t remember fully, it had some overhead kettlebell lunges and other stuff. All I remember was trying to beat my best friend Big Mike, who introduced me to Croga. Mike, Dave and I go a long ways back to high school (Mitty is better than Bellarmine btw).

What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform?
I’m definitely more ‘jacked’ than I was before, I still have to work on my eating habits and therefore my ‘Dad Bod’ is in full force. I’ve noticed how the ‘functional’ part of Crossfit helps me in everyday life.

What days and times do you come to Cróga?
This is a loaded question. Before my son was born (baby #2) it was 6 AM class and at least 4 times a week. Now, it’s whenever I can make it. It’s usually in the afternoon, and I’m late to class or workout on my own on the side.

What’s your favorite WOD?
Anything with DEADLIFTS and ROWING!

What’s your least favorite WOD?
I hate ring dips…absolutely hate em! Muscle Ups too…so I guess that means anything that requires gymnastics and body weight?

“The Mike D” WOD! What would it be?
Rowing, Deadlifts and bicep curls! Program it Cody!

What’s your favorite post-workout routine?
I try to fit in some ab mat situps to make myself think if I do enough of them, I might get a six-pack at some point in my life.

What do you love about CrossFit?
All of the components that go with Crossfit…weightlifting, cardio, gymnastics, etc. The community. The coaches. I do love competition with some of my buddies there too. I don’t fully believe in ‘competing with yourself’…I like it when I kick someone else’s ass in a workout.

What’s been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Cróga?
It took me a long time to catch onto all of the different types of diets that correlate with Crossfit. I do like Keto. I have not been perfect at it, but it has driven me to try and cut out sugar/carbs more than I ever have in my life and I have been seeing the results.

What’s your biggest fitness goal for this year?
It’s actually not setting any PR’s…really I’m just trying to get back to a regular schedule at the gym, and going to the gym more. Having a busy work schedule and family life has made it tough and I’m determined to get back to my gym routine.

What words of advice do you have for new members or people considering joining Cróga?
If you have the time, I highly recommend taking the Crossfit Level 1 course. It’s an action-packed 2 days full of information and fitness and only going to make you a better Crossfitter. It also allows you to potentially coach if you wanted to someday…I’m still waiting for Dave to ask me if I want to coach for Croga haha jk

Anything to add that we didn’t touch on yet?
Getting Gamesbound doesn’t just pertain to Crossfit…it can pertain to all parts of your life.
Also, I’m not going to lie, this MOTM award for me is definitely not from my performance last month or even in 2019. I appreciate Dave and the team considering me for this for all of the years I’ve been a part of this great community. I have friends that own other Crossfit gyms, and have visited other gyms out of area…and none of them compare to the people that run Croga and the members that go to Croga. Love, Mike D

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