Athlete of Month

Caitlin F.
Member name:

Caitlin F.

Athlete of the month: January 2020
Details
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF. WHAT DO YOU DO OUTSIDE OF THE GYM?
 
Professionally, I am a buyer for a food service distributor in Rosemont. In my free time I play ice hockey and softball, go to see live music, and read.
 
 
WHAT INITIALLY GOT YOU INTO CROSSFIT AND WHAT KEEPS YOU COMING BACK?
 
I have a lot of friends who do or have previously done CrossFit, and encouraged me to try it out. It took a while for me to actually walk in the door, but once I did I was hooked.
The two things that keep me coming back are the community and the tangibility of progression in CrossFit itself. I think having something that is so easily measurable in so many different ways pushes me to constantly focus on something new to improve upon. Also, it is great to have friends around who constantly push you to do your best and cheer you on. At the start, I found both of these things intimidating–I thought that there was this endless list of skills to learn before I’d become comfortable in classes, and I would get stage fright whenever someone cheered me on in the middle of a workout. Now I see these things both as positives that have motivated me to continue pushing myself harder.

WHAT ARE YOUR CROSSFIT GOALS? HOW CLOSE ARE YOU TO REACHING THEM?

UGH SO MANY! As I said above, the beauty of CrossFit is that you always have something new to work on, but that makes setting and sticking to goals difficult sometimes since I have the attention span of a golden retriever puppy when it comes to athletics. My ultimate goal is to be able to try anything. If I have a friend who invites me to do an activity I’m not familiar with, I want to be able to jump in trusting that I may not have the technical skills necessary to be an expert, but have the basic athleticism to not hurt myself.

On a more short-term scale, I realized this last open that I need to work on my upper body strength and my gymnastics, so I am focusing on working on extended time hanging from the bar, toes to bar, and anything with a dumbbell/barbell that involves upper body, especially overhead. I am hoping by the middle of the year to start Rx’ing some workouts that require overhead squats, thrusters, and the like, and by the end of the year to have comfortable working sets of major gymnastics movements.

 

WHAT’S AN ACCOMPLISHMENT OR GOAL YOU’VE REACHED DUE TO CROSSFIT THAT’S MADE YOU THE MOST PROUD?

I am most proud of being someone who prioritizes fitness in my life, and no longer hesitates or looks for reasons why I should not go work out. On a more measurable level, I am pretty proud of getting my first unassisted pull ups this year.

 

FAVORITE WOD/MOVEMENT?
I like long chipper WODs, because I like the idea of being finished with a movement and not having to go back.
LEAST FAVORITE WOD/MOVEMENT?
 
Wall balls.
 
ANY ADVICE FOR SOMEONE INTERESTED IN TRYING OUT CROSSFIT?
When you walk in for the first time, and for each time after that, don’t compare your day one to someone else’s day 600, or even someone else’s day 15. This community has been so helpful for me because it helped me move my focus from all the Instagram/”Health and Wellness Industry” noise and focus on my own goals and my own process. Keep showing up, keep putting in the work, and keep giving high-fives and you’ll surprise yourself this time next year.
Mélon D.
Member name:

Mélon D.

Athlete of the month: December 2019
Details
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF. WHAT DO YOU DO OUTSIDE OF THE GYM?
Outside of the gym, I am a UPS Account Exec and part time day trader. When I’m not working or at the gym, I’m home with the wife and kid.
WHAT INITIALLY GOT YOU INTO CROSSFIT AND WHAT KEEPS YOU COMING BACK?
At work, I went from being a very active dock worker to spending most of my time sitting at a desk or sitting behind the wheel. I quickly gained weight and before I knew it I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic. My blood work showed signs of hyperglycemia and high cholesterol as well. What really influenced me to try Crossfit was being told by my family doc that I would have to take statin pills for the rest of my life. I remember the conversation vividly. She wrote the prescription and gave it to me. I asked her, ‘How long will I have to take these pills? She looked at me confusingly. She responded, ‘For the rest of your years.’ I simply was not going to accept that as my reality. A day or two after my diagnosis, I walked into a CrossFit gym and signed up. Shortly after, my wife Torry signed up. I quickly took to CrossFit. I loved playing sports and being active so CrossFit gave me the perfect outlet. About six months after my initial diagnoses, I got my bloodwork tested again – everything was fine. No longer considered pre-diabetic, no signs of hyperglycemia, and cholesterol levels were normal. Doc thought it was the statin pills, but I knew better. A few months later, I was off the pills.

WHAT ARE YOUR CROSSFIT GOALS? HOW CLOSE ARE YOU TO REACHING THEM?

My Crossfit goal for 2020 is to be in the top 2500 in the world for my age group in the open.

 

WHAT’S AN ACCOMPLISHMENT OR GOAL YOU’VE REACHED DUE TO CROSSFIT THAT’S MADE YOU THE MOST PROUD?

I started CrossFit to lose weight and get off the statin pills, but I’ve become involved in something more – I’m part of an awesome community and we have a great, supportive coaching staff. The community and staff has had a significant impact on my well-being. I’m extremely grateful. November marked 1 year of not smoking. That was a tough habit to break – I don’t think I could’ve done it without being surrounded by our inspirational, supportive athletes & coaches.

FAVORITE WOD/MOVEMENT?
Murph.
LEAST FAVORITE WOD/MOVEMENT?
 
Thrusters.
 
ANY ADVICE FOR SOMEONE INTERESTED IN TRYING OUT CROSSFIT?
Give it 3 months, 3-4 day’s/week. Work hard at it. Listen to the coaches. And  it can change your life.
Jana M.
Member name:

Jana M.

Athlete of the month: November 19
Details

Tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you do outside of the
gym?

I was born in Slovakia where I studied medicine but my
curiosity to learn new things and explore other options brought
me to US. I have been working as a physician since I landed in
Chicago. I recently became part of a distinguished medical
group where I provide a patient center healthcare.

Besides work, I love spending time with my family, whether it’s
a crazy hip-hop dancing with my daughter or playing a zombie
game with my son. Otherwise I love theater, good food, coffee,
travelling, hanging out with my friends and a good night sleep!

 

What initially got you into crossfit and what keeps you coming
back?

It was my curiosity that got me into crossfit and it was actually
my husband who dragged me in one Saturday morning to try out
a class. My sister in law, who lives in Panama, highly
recommended Hardware Crossfit to me when she was visiting.
She has been doing crossfit for many years and it was an
inspiration for me to see her transformation. I was thrilled to
find out myself what the deal is and what crossfit is all about.
There are so many things that keep me coming back – the sense
of being part of something bigger than the box. It’s about the
community, tons of positive energy that everyone brings to the
table no matter the time of the day or the day of the week. Our
excellent coaches and programming of the classes that have
been evolving tremendously since I joined the box.
I am always excited to see the new WOD and the ever-growing
variety and combination of crossfit movements that give me a
mind-blowing rush.

 

What are your crossfit goals? How close are you to reaching
them?

I would like to continue to improve my fitness and building up
strength. I strive to have an excellent technique in the basic crossfit movements and would like to get some of the more advanced movements like muscle ups mastered at some point. I am not sure how far or close am I…. we did a lot of muscle up drills and progressions in the classes so I think that with a little extra time and effort I will get there in 2020! One of my ultimate goals is to build a strong body and stamina so I can go on for decades.

 

What’s an accomplishment or goal you’ve reached due to crossfit that’s made you the most proud?

Beating my own times in work outs that I thought were
impossible to beat! I even made it to the white board for Karen and Helen in the past
which was very exciting! I am very proud that I have been able to be consistent with coming to the gym and being able to balance it with my busy schedule outside of the gym.

 

Favorite WOD/Movement?

Murph. It has all the elements I love! Speed, endurance,
calisthenics… I also enjoy tabata type of workouts. I like thrusters, kettlebell movements and burpees. (I know about half of the gym hates me right now)

 

Least favorite WOD/Movement?

Bike for cals. It hurts just to think about it….

 

Any advice for someone interested in trying out crossfit?

Go for it! It’s not what you think it is…. it’s better than that! It’s for everyone who is up for a great change in life, having fun, embracing a challenge, celebrating little victories and share it with the others. Think about it as an opportunity to try something new and you
will be rewarded. There is no loser in crossfit, everyone is a winner. You can always beat your times if you work hard!

So come on in, chalk up and get ready to pull up a bar and load it with bumper plates!

Eddie C.
Member name:

Eddie C.

Athlete of the month: October 19
Details

 

TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF. WHAT DO YOU DO OUTSIDE OF THE GYM?
I work in financial regulation. I try to make sure trading firms comply with government and stock exchange rules and regulations when they trade stock.
Outside of the boring 9-5 stuff, I spend most of my time with my pup, Thor. I also try to get out to concerts and music festivals as much as possible and in the summer I play softball on Sundays. I’m also obsessed with all things drag/Rupaul’s Drag Race.
WHAT INITIALLY GOT YOU INTO CROSSFIT AND WHAT KEEPS YOU COMING BACK?
I started hearing about CrossFit from a coworker. I actually used to make fun of her because she would come to work and talk about these crazy things she did in her nightly CrossFit classes. I looked into it some more and saw how incredibly fit some of these people were and that people of all shapes and fitness levels could do it. I really hated going to the gym solo, but I desperately needed to make a change because I was terribly unfit, so I finally decided to give my local box a try. I quickly fell in love with how challenging and rewarding it was as well as the amazing friendships that I developed, so, that’s what keeps me coming back. (Kristy Bowman’s daily threats via text also force me to keep coming back, lol!)

WHAT ARE YOUR CROSSFIT GOALS? HOW CLOSE ARE YOU TO REACHING THEM?

There are SOOO many, and they’re constantly changing as I improve! I guess the biggest ones for me currently are to get my first muscle up and to get better at endurance and cardiovascular types of workouts. 

 

WHAT’S AN ACCOMPLISHMENT OR GOAL YOU’VE REACHED DUE TO CROSSFIT THAT’S MADE YOU THE MOST PROUD?

I’ve recently begun to be able to string kipping pullups together and have been improving my handstand pushups as well. Double unders are also a goal I had that I recently have somewhat mastered and that was huge because I’ve been struggling with those for close to 3 years!

 

 

 

FAVORITE WOD/MOVEMENT?
I’m a big fan of chipper style WODs, but I can’t think of a favorite one off the top of my head. Most people will think I’m insane, but I’m one of few people that LOVES thrusters.
LEAST FAVORITE WOD/MOVEMENT?
Burpees. Any WOD with burpees is also something I probably won’t be a fan of, lol.
ANY ADVICE FOR SOMEONE INTERESTED IN TRYING OUT CROSSFIT?
Just give it a shot, you’ll be surprised at what your body is capable of! Also, don’t be afraid to scale appropriately and listen to your coaches! I never would have thought a few years ago that daily CrossFit classes would be something I’d look forward to or that it would be my favorite part of the day, but it quickly became exactly those things for me!
Gizem S.
Member name:

Gizem S.

Athlete of the month: September 19
Details

TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF. WHAT DO YOU DO OUTSIDE OF THE GYM?

I am a licensed real estate agent in Illinois and Michigan and support a team of talented field agents and introduce our company to new clients.

As a kid, I loved all types of different sports: basketball, volleyball, table tennis and some soccer. Still love to shoot hoops behind Senn High School.

Outside the gym, I enjoy spending time with my husband and our 5 year old son. During warmer months we like to go down to the beach, and ride along the bike path. In the colder months, I like to catch a play in one of our local theaters. Other times, you can find me experimenting in the kitchen: baking and creating new recipes.

 

 

WHAT INITIALLY GOT YOU INTO CROSSFIT AND WHAT KEEPS YOU COMING BACK?

Prior to discovering Crossfit, I mostly jogged. But I would get minor injuries and be discouraged, and yo-yo exercise again. One day, I was reading an article that talked about benefits of strength training for runners. It made sense that a strong core and leg muscles would reduce risk of injury. I was sold. Soon after, I watched Crossfit Games on Netflix and started learning about the sport and the amazing athletes (like Tia T. and Matt F.) that inspire us all; I was hooked at first sight. What keeps me coming back is how inclusive and welcoming Crossfit community is.

 

WHAT ARE YOUR CROSSFIT GOALS? HOW CLOSE ARE YOU TO REACHING THEM?

There are so many movements that I want to improve on. Top of my list is chaining together my double-unders, followed by 10 unbroken pull-ups in a row (currently at 7). It might be few months away or few weeks away. Not so sure…

WHAT’S AN ACCOMPLISHMENT OR GOAL YOU’VE REACHED DUE TO CROSSFIT THAT’S MADE YOU THE MOST PROUD?

I am most proud that I have been so consistent with coming to the gym. I chalk it all up to how supportive this community is. Recently was shocked to see that I could do a hand-stand push-up against the wall. Thought I could maybe do just 1, then I ended up doing 4 in a row, that was an exciting day!

 

FAVORITE WOD/MOVEMENT?

It’s hard to choose, I have so many favorites: Toes-to-bar. Box jumps, and back squats.

LEAST FAVORITE WOD/MOVEMENT? Squat snatch, because my wide grip is a work in progress, due to having smaller wrists. Anytime I squat low with a wide grip, I’m scared to fall back. Just need to face this fear and work on wrist strength.

 

 

ANY ADVICE FOR SOMEONE INTERESTED IN TRYING OUT CROSSFIT?

For someone who is considering trying Crossfit for the first time, I would recommend speaking to a coach. All the heavy lifting can seem scary but coaches will help you make the best choices whether it’s scaling down or altering an exercise so we are safe and yet still able to perform all the fun workouts. You will love having a community to cheer you on!

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