December 2016

Abby Rogers

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Name:  Abby Rogers

Age:  34

Occupation:  Customer Success, Amazon

Which class do you usually attend?  5:30am or a morning class

Favorite WOD:  “Annie” and actually I like “Murph”

Favorite Lift:  “Push Press”

How long have you been a member at CRCF? Almost 6 years! Hard to believe, it has flown by!

What is your athletic background?   I played field hockey and lacrosse in high school and then I played lacrosse in college. When I left college I continued to play lacrosse on club teams and went to the gym regularly.

How has CRCF changed your life, lifestyle and level of fitness?  CRCF has been such a positive part of my life since I started. I have been able to push myself more than I ever have before, even as a college athlete.  I am more motivated, enjoy coming in and am stronger than I have ever been.  Before Crossfit I did not focus on strength and conditioning, just conditioning.

Name one personal goal that you would like to achieve at CRCF?  I would like to get stronger at all gymnastics movements and maybe even get a muscle up one day.

What is your proudest CrossFit achievement?  I will never forget how great it felt to get my first pull up! OH and beating Rob K EVERY TIME we do Annie.

Hobbies/interests outside of CrossFit?  In the words of our wise coach Erik, “I have a passion for sweating” so I do love to run, bike and be outside.

What is your food strategy? I.e. have you embraced “paleo”…I have adjusted my “diet” quite a bit since I started Crossfit and think I have finally found a good balance. At times I have been strict paleo but found that difficult to maintain and I didn’t like being a terribly annoying dinner guest . I also found it hard to be paleo while I was pregnant and now since having had our daughter. I try to maintain an 80/20 rule and that has been working for me. I am much more thoughtful about what I eat now especially if I am getting up at 5 to workout the next morning!

Any advice for new members?  It WILL get easier, never easy but easier. You will feel less sore eventually and the workouts will always challenge you but not make you want to throw up. Celebrate your successes and remember how cool it is that you can do a handstand or a pull up or a double under! MOST importantly, don’t mess with the speakers, don’t touch the heat and for the love of god don’t prop the doors if you want to stay on the coaches good sides!

February 2017

Justin Vara

2017-02-01

Name: Justin Vara

Age: 34

Occupation: Financial Analyst

Which class do you usually attend? 6:30pm

Favorite WOD: Jackie or any combination of barbells and gymnastics. Chippers

Favorite Lift: Snatch

How long have you been a member at CRCF? 5 years

What is your athletic background? I played every sport growing up and then focused on soccer and tennis in high school.

How has CRCF changed your life, lifestyle and level of fitness? I got really overweight and lazy once I started college, walking around at least 50 lbs. heavier than I am now (I have the former fat kid pictures to prove it). After a while, I tried to stay active by running and hiking but I was still eating everything in sight. It wasn’t until a friend of mine got married that I got more serious about getting back into shape. I didn’t want to be the fat kid in the wedding party, so I started dieting and working out like crazy. After a year of doing beach body stuff at Planet Fitness, I started to get really bored with the same routine week after week. I saw the 2011 Games on ESPN and thought it looked interesting, did my 101’s and have been obsessed ever since.

Name one personal goal that you would like to achieve at CRCF? Clean 300. That should go down soon.

What is your proudest CrossFit achievement? I guess snatching 225? I never thought that would be achievable when I first started, but you never get satisfied in this sport. I would like to add another 10 – 15 lbs to that this year.

Hobbies/interests outside of CrossFit? I like hiking, skiing, beaching, anything outdoors. Exploring new cities and going on adventures with my soon to be wife. Looking forward to shifting focus to more weightlifting meets this year and hopefully qualifying for American Open and Nationals as an 85.

What is your food strategy? I follow an eat to perform diet by weighing and measuring everything I eat. I did paleo for a while but found that moderation just fits me better. I make healthy food choices most of the time, but I don’t deprive myself of anything as long as it fits into my macros. I have a full blown cheat day every 6 weeks which keeps me honest and appeals to the fat kid that still lives inside of me.

Any advice for new members? Take your time to lock down technique and proper movement patterns in the beginning. Take video of yourself to get a better understanding of how your body moves. Don’t be afraid to push yourself and try things that will take you out of your comfort zone. If you’re gonna be a bear, be a grizzly.

January 2017

Frank Chan

2017-01-01

NameFrank Chan           

Age57

OccupationInsurance

Which class do you usually attend?  6:30am

Favorite WOD:  I don’t have one.  I whine about all of them .-)

Favorite Lift:  “Bench Press”

How long have you been a member at CRCF? I attended the very class held at CRCF.

What is your athletic background?   I played Hockey and Basketball, but not at a high level.  I was a Gym Rat through my high school years.

How has CRCF changed your life, lifestyle and level of fitness?  CRCF has changed my life.  I’m fitter now than I was at 20 and have the confidence that comes with it. 

Name one personal goal that you would like to achieve at CRCF?  Still working on double unders.

What is your proudest CrossFit achievement?  Getting 3 Muscle Ups during last year’s Crossfit Open.

Hobbies/interests outside of CrossFit?  My other passion is Golf.

What is your food strategy? I.e. have you embraced “paleo”… I use Paleo principals as a guide but do eat some rice and yogurt.

Any advice for new members?  Take it slow!  No shame in scaling. Avoid injuries so you can stick with it for the long haul. 

March 2017

Stacy Schwartz

2017-03-01

Name: Stacy Schwartz

Age: 48

Occupation: Professor

Which class do you usually attend? 9:30am

Favorite WOD: 12 days of christmas

Favorite Lift: Push Press

How long have you been a member at CRCF? 3 1/2 years

What is your athletic background? High school sports, avid runner, previous gym goer

How has CRCF changed your life, lifestyle and level of fitness? CRCF has provided me with an amazing community. I love being surrounded by like- minded people who are athletic, energetic, enthusiastic, compassionate and super supportive. My fitness level has changed tremendously. I am fitter, more confident, more flexible and more fulfilled in my personal fitness level.

Name one personal goal that you would like to achieve at CRCF? There are so many. I would love to get weighted strict pull ups, string together chest to bars and continuously have more PR’s.

What is your proudest CrossFit achievement? Doing 100 pull ups!!!!!

Hobbies/interests outside of CrossFit? Yoga, running, travel and hanging with my family.

What is your food strategy?  High on greens, complex carbs, protein and healthy fats. Low on sugar and simple carbs. Really try to eat 80-20. (80 percent healthy, 20 percent whatever I want)

Any advice for new members? This is a marathon not a sprint. Embrace every single advancement, big or small. Ask questions, participate and don’t cherry pick!

November 2016

Victor Saratella

2016-11-01

Name: Victor Saratella

Age: 38

Occupation: Fixed Income Investment Analyst

Which class do you usually attend? 5:30am

Favorite WOD: Linda

Favorite Lift: Besides bench press? Deadlift.

How long have you been a member at CRCF? 2.5 years

What is your athletic background? I played football and baseball in high school. Didn’t do much in college and then worked out at regular gym for a long time. I did mostly bench press and curls and the occasional cardio session on the elliptical. That didn’t really work and my weight got up to over 240#.

How has CRCF changed your life, lifestyle and level of fitness? I’m in the best shape of my life. Stronger and fitter than I’ve ever been. The members are great and I’ve made a lot of good friends.

Name one personal goal that you would like to achieve at CRCF? Muscle Up. The race is on between me and Charlie to see who the last member of the family to be able to get one.

What is your proudest CrossFit achievement? I never thought I would be able to do double unders or HSPU so those were big accomplishments for me. Proudest achievement was partnering with Ally and finishing 3rd in a CrossFit competition (yes she carried our team but still my proudest achievement)

Hobbies/interests outside of CrossFit? Spending time with my family. Watching my kids play hockey and coaching their baseball teams.

What is your food strategy?  I’ve done a few of the eating challenges and had great results with paleo but found that full paleo isn’t realistic for me all the time so try to eat clean most of the time but mix in some unhealthy days. I’ve cut out artificial sweeteners and haven’t had a soda in almost two years.

Any advice for new members?
• Keep good records. Workouts come up again and it’s good to have a time to shoot for. (If you don’t know the last time we did a workout ask Daryn)
• Don’t cherry pick workouts (unless it involves a lot of running, then cherry picking is allowed)
• Have fun

October 2016

Ally Saratella

2016-10-01

Name:  Ally Saratella

Age:  38 (couldn’t we have done this last week when I was still 37?!)

Occupation: Stay-at-home mom to 4 crazy kids and an even crazier puppy

Which class do you usually attend?  9:30am

Favorite WOD:  I don’t have just one – anything with all barbells

Favorite Lift:  Squat Snatch

How long have you been a member at CRCF? Almost 2 years

What is your athletic background?  I have always loved being active – except maybe in my lazy college days. Played high school field hockey & softball and have golfed since I was a kid.

How has CRCF changed your life, lifestyle and level of fitness?  Before CRCF I was addicted to a boxing & interval training gym. When that went out of business I finally decided to give CrossFit a try and haven’t looked back since. Going to CRCF has become one of the highlights of my day and it keeps me coming back 5 days a week. I often wonder what I did before barbells came into my life?! And the people, CRCF community and atmosphere are pretty amazing too.

Name one personal goal that you would like to achieve at CRCF?  So many… and it depends on the day. Today I would say getting my 1st ring muscle-up.

What is your proudest CrossFit achievement?  I think almost everyday I feel like I’ve accomplished a little something or reached a new milestone and this is what makes CRCF so great. Although I think being able to hold my own in a CrossFit competition and being referred to as “an athlete” was a major highlight.

Hobbies/interests outside of CrossFit?  Watching my kids play baseball and hockey, going to the movies, golfing, SoulCycle, hanging out with friends and family, cooking, traveling when time allows.

What is your food strategy? Everything in moderation. I love food. I try to eat pretty clean for the most part but I definitely have days where I eat nachos and ice cream and pasta. Doing the food challenges at CRCF have helped me to cook healthier for my family and cut out a great deal of sugar and carbs while still keeping it interesting.

Any advice for new members?  Don’t be intimidated or afraid. Always ask questions. No one can do everything perfectly and everyone always  has something new to learn (except maybe Brandi and Steve).

September 2016

Tom Brooks

2016-09-01

Name: Tom Brooks

Age: 54

Occupation: Financial Services

Which class do you usually attend? 6:30pm

Favorite WOD: chippers….just keep moving

Favorite Lift:  thrusters…not really but you do get your money’s worth

How long have you been a member at CRCF? 3+

What is your athletic background? Lifelong runner – sorry E. always hated lifting. Dabble in other sports ….hockey, mountain biking, kayaking, and skiing.
How has CRCF changed your life, lifestyle and level of fitness? CRCF has improved my life. I’ve lost 30+lbs and feel as good as I have in years. I not sure if I am fitter than I was in my twenties but I am stronger and more flexible.

Name one personal goal that you would like to achieve at CRCF? Continue to increase my general fitness and hope to RX an occasional wod.

What is your proudest CrossFit achievement? It was not pretty but I managed to grind my way through Murph on Memorial Day.

Hobbies/interests outside of CrossFit? I am a sports fan in general following the local teams. Also I am looking forward to more time for outdoor activities with the kids off to college – if there is any money left.

What is your food strategy?  A work in progress – I participated in the last healthy eating endeavor and found it educational. In general low carbs, identify the demon sugar and watch the beers … mmm beer.

Any advice for new members? Take it slow! Seriously this is what is meant by check your ego at the door. The only one you are competing with is yourself. Focus on mobility, form and consistent effort. The results will come. So I’ve heard.

August 2016

Aimee Sprung

2016-08-01

Name: Aimee Sprung

Age: 40

Occupation: Civic Engagement Manager at Microsoft

Which class do you usually attend? I’m a schedule roamer – 9:30AM, 12NOON, 4:30PM

Favorite WOD: Anything with rope climbs

Favorite Lift: Overhead Squat

How long have you been a member at CRCF? 5 years

What is your athletic background? I played field hockey and danced in high school and I’m a lifelong skier. I learned to love fitness in college, focused on Pilates for a number of years before moving into Crossfit, but I never described myself as athletic.

How has CRCF changed your life, lifestyle and level of fitness? Every week, I do something at CRCF that I really never thought I could do. CRCF has taught me that by trying new things and continually training, I can do anything. This state of mind has rolled over to other parts of my life and helped me be less afraid to try things that don’t come very naturally to me, for example, public speaking at work, or even playing baseball with my kids—as someone who was afraid of the ball in gym class, this is kind of a big deal for me.

Name one personal goal that you would like to achieve at CRCF? Still working on my first muscle up and I’d like to be able to do all workouts RX so I don’t have to think about how to scale the workout.

What is your proudest CrossFit achievement? The fact that I can do pullups still surprises me and completing all five 2016 Open workouts at RX. Mostly I’m super proud that my kids see me as strong and active.

Hobbies/interests outside of CrossFit? With two kids, a husband and a full time (and very flexible) job, Crossfit is my hobby!

What is your food strategy? I am not strictly paleo because I can’t wrap my head around the no beans part of the diet! I don’t eat dairy or gluten, but I do eat some carbs. While I love the competitive nature of Crossfit, I’ve found it isn’t helpful for me when it comes to food. I try to eat well in general, and find that changing my diet a little at a time is more sustainable for me. Right now I’m trying to reduce sugar.

Any advice for new members? Remember this is all for fun! And keep good records—you will be glad you did!

July 2016

Bruce Karten

2016-07-01

Name: Bruce Karten

Age: 46

Occupation: Sales

Which class do you usually attend? 6:30am

Favorite WOD: MURPH

Favorite Lift: Bench, Baby!

How long have you been a member at CRCF? 3 Years

What is your athletic background? I’m a competitive tennis player and I use Crossfit to stay in shape for singles tennis in my advanced years.

How has CRCF changed your life, lifestyle and level of fitness? I don’t know where I would be physically or mentally without CRCF and all of the coaches. CRCF is unlike any other crossfit box or gym. The coaches have a vested interest in our well-being and continue to push me to new heights. My children are also members of CRCF and love it for the same reasons that I do. There’s nothing better than crushing a WOD with your children.

Name one personal goal that you would like to achieve at CRCF? My personal goal for Crossfit is to be able to do RX for an entire Crossfit Open. I’d also like to be able to walk on my hands.

What is your proudest CrossFit achievement? Finishing Murph in under 60 min.

Hobbies/interests outside of CrossFit? Outside of Crossfit I enjoy time with my family and playing tennis on a competitive team. I also enjoy travel with my family and good times with friends.

What is your food strategy? I’ve been described as a human roller-coaster because of my dramatic fluctuations in my weight. My goal is to become a freight train instead of a roller-coaster by embracing 100% Paleo 100% of the time. This past food challenge has helped me a lot.

Any advice for new members? Enjoy the ride, enjoy every single class! Get to meet all of the members and coaches and soak up the knowledge of the group. This is a team sport and it’s important to support your fellow teammates. Don’t put away your weights without cheering on the last person finishing a WOD.

June 2016

Emily Isman

2016-05-06

Name: Emily Isman

Age: 31

Occupation: Stay-at-home mom

Which class do you usually attend? 6:30am

Favorite WOD: I like a partner WOD

Favorite Lift: Back Squat

How long have you been a member at CRCF? 2 years

What is your athletic background? High School volleyball captain! Since then I’ve always been a gym go-er.

How has CRCF changed your life, lifestyle and level of fitness? Since having my son Henry, CRCF helped me lose 30lbs, has encouraged me to push harder and has become one of my favorite activities of the day!

Name one personal goal that you would like to achieve at CRCF? Do more RX workouts.

What is your proudest CrossFit achievement? My first pull up in April 2016!

Hobbies/interests outside of CrossFit? Hobbies? Interests outside CF? Who has time for that? I feel lucky that my schedule allows me to get to the gym! Besides the gym, I’ pretty into my baby, hanging with my friends & family and watching trashy tv.

What is your food strategy? My weight has fluctuated several times over the past few years. What works best for me is portion control and tracking calories. I’m not huge into eliminating a specific food group but generally eat healthy. Also, froyo.

Any advice for new members? Don’t be intimidated! The best part of CRCF and crossfit in general is that everyone of all sizes and ages can do these workouts. Also, embrace burpees. Once you do, they aren’t as scary.

May 2016

Eric Farkas

2016-05-01

Name: Eric Farkas

Age: 37

Occupation: Unemployed GIS Analyst

Which class do you usually attend? I used to be a staple at the 6:30pm class, lately I’ve been going 9:30am or noon.

Favorite WOD: Cindy

Favorite Lift: Snatch Grip Push Press/Squat (because it’s fixing my posture)

How long have you been a member at CRCF? 4-5 years? 6 years?

What is your athletic background? Practically nothing. I used to swim, and I did yoga in High School, but I spent my 20’s very sedentary in front of computers, resulting in 2 herniated discs in my neck. The bulging discs were pinching my nerves and I was losing feeling/sensation in my hands and arms. The doctors told me surgery was a temporary fix, that only exercise would give me proper posture thus guaranteeing a remedy to my ailment. So I found Steve, who coaxed me into CRCF. We worked one on one until I got the courage to join group classes.
How has CRCF changed your life, lifestyle and level of fitness?
CRCF seriously changed my life. I lost 40lbs and then gained back about 25lbs in muscle, my waist went from a 38 to a 32. I am much more confident in myself emotionally, yet much more positive in terms of physicality. While I didn’t know the difference between a deadlift and a box jump, nor how to accomplish them, when I first started, I progressed to the point where I have entered 5k races, climb a rope, and do a handstand. I’m not the same person I was, the old me would have never gone rock climbing, or buy a bike and go for a whole 200k weekend ride.

Name one personal goal that you would like to achieve at CRCF?
I’d like to get up on the board for highest reps of something, but I look forward to getting my first ring muscle up.

What is your proudest CrossFit achievement?
Honestly, walking in the door, and putting aside my timidness, irrational thoughts, and my concerns of others judging me for my inability to keep up with the group or the lack of strength to lift what the other guys are lifting. I mean, it’s pretty daunting to have low self esteem, but the coaches seriously had to talk me through some panic attacks at times.
That, and getting not 1, but 4 muscle-ups during the CrossFit Opens. Oh, and competing in the Opens!
Actually, there have been too many achievements, like meeting great people you’d never thought you’d connect with, and letting them into your life. Or getting my first pull up after trying for a year or 2. Or doing that rope climb, that we all couldn’t do in elementary school.

Hobbies/interests outside of CrossFit?
Too many! I’ve gone on vacations, and I’ve been to CrossFits in France, Denmark, Cali and Miami. So working out has become a hobby. But it’s led me to Rock Climbing, biking (I even have 2 bikes), running, and the most surprising one is cooking (which is the next question!)

What is your food strategy?

The healthy eating (or paleo) lifestyle, has really helped focused me when I cook. Sure my ingredients and more limited, but it makes it easier for me to experiment with taste and texture through process and spices. I also have a greater understanding from where my diet intersects with my vegan friends. And also a knowledge from where and why cultural dishes evolved.
Sure my friends make fun of me cause I’ll tell them that I’m keeping paleo cause my hot trainer told me to, but I’ve seen and felt the results in my body to know that it isn’t some made up science. Literally, you are what you eat.

Any advice for new members?

We’re all here for the same reason, to get results. If anyone is going to make a comment about what you’re doing, it’s because they actually care and not because they’re judging you.
The best thing about CRCF, which is different from even a lot of CrossFits, is that the trainers, and members, put an emphasis on form. It’s better to go light and not injure yourself, than get temporary results. And we seem to do more warm up stretches for that reason, but we’re all the better for it.

April 2016

Elizabeth Burkhart

2016-04-01

Name: Elizabeth Burkhart (aka Kentucky)

Age: 41

Occupation: CPA

Which class do you usually attend? Hmmm, this is a tough one. I used to go to 5:30am religiously, but now I am kind of all over the place

Favorite WOD: Murph

Favorite Lift: Split Jerk

How long have you been a member at CRCF? 5 years

What is your athletic background? Gymnastics when I was young, then High School volleyball, gymnastics, cheerleading and indoor/outdoor track, then cheerleading after High School

How has CRCF changed your life, lifestyle and level of fitness? I’ve always been into athletics and doing something to stay in shape, but other than organized sports when I was younger, I have never stuck to anything like I have Crossfit. I have also come to realize that the number on the scale does not really measure the shape I’m in, but rather the number of the barbell and the time on the clock at the end of a WOD.

Name one personal goal that you would like to achieve at CRCF? Body weight snatch consistently

What is your proudest CrossFit achievement? Sticking with it for 5 years and continuing to improve!

Hobbies/interests outside of CrossFit? Outside of Crossfit and my job, the only other thing I really have time for is watching Abby participate in her gymnastics.

What is your food strategy? I.e. have you embraced Paleo? A work in progress. I’ve found I enjoy the Zone because you can basically make anything fit into The Zone, it’s really more about portion control and it forces you to make better choices or be hungry. I also like using My Fitness Pal for tracking â it really does help you keep things under control.

Any advice for new members? Don’t be afraid! We were all new members at one point. Don’t be afraid to go a little heavier, even if the WOD takes you a little longer to finish and don’t be afraid to put some weight on the bar. That’s how you keep getting stronger! You’ll be totally surprised when you stop telling yourself that you can’t do something how much you are able to accomplish. Oh, and take some time to talk to people before and after class and get to know them. This is a great community!

 

March 2016

Ian McMakin

2016-03-01

Name: Ian McMakin

Age: 36

Occupation: Firefighter

Which class do you usually attend? 9:30am

Favorite WOD: I don’t have a favorite. My least favorite to date is Workout 16.1 AMRAP 20: 25-ft. overhead walking lunge, followed by 8 burpees, 25-ft. overhead walking lunge and 8 chest-to-bar pull-ups.

Favorite Lift: Back squat.

How long have you been a member at CRCF? I started CrossFit in July 2015 and joined CRCF at the end of October.

What is your athletic background? I have 5 older brothers, so I got beat up regularly growing up and was good at running away from them. I played baseball in high school and rugby in college. Before finding CRCF, I was doing some running but nothing consistent.

How has CRCF changed your life, lifestyle and level of fitness? I finally found a gym and a workout that I enjoy and look forward to every day. Exercise and eating right have (finally) become priorities in my life. Through changing my eating habits and working out consistently, I’ve lost 20lbs and feel healthy.

Name one personal goal that you would like to achieve at CRCF? Doing all workouts Rx.

What is your proudest CrossFit achievement? My first muscle up (it wasn’t pretty).

Hobbies/interests outside of CrossFit? Does yelling at my kids count or should that go under occupation? I enjoy being active with my kids.

What is your food strategy? I use My Fitness Pal to track my food intake. I focus on calories and the correct ratio of Carbs/Protein/Fat.

Any advice for new members? Don’t be intimidated. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses and no one is good at everything. No matter how long you’ve been a member, there will always be things you can improve upon and a great community to cheer you on and support you.

February 2016

Mike Isman

2016-02-01

Name: Mike Isman

Age: 33

Occupation: Software Developer

Which class do you usually attend? Used to be 6:30am, now it’s whenever I can get there after work, unless I work from home and come in during the day

Favorite WOD: Anything with low reps and heavy weights

Favorite Lift: Back Squat

How long have you been a member at CRCF? 2 years

What is your athletic background? Played a lot of sports as a short, fat kid, then exclusively slow pitch softball and golf until I found CrossFit

How has CRCF changed your life, lifestyle and level of fitness? Coming to CRCF almost every day is something I really want to do, it’s never felt like a struggle, which is different than any other thing I’ve done in my life. Having the early mornings got me used to going to sleep earlier, and now the evening workouts helps me make good choices with food and drink at night. The changes in my fitness level amaze me almost every day, going from never doing any weightlifting or gymnastics before I started CrossFit to being in good shape, able to move a lot of weight and do a lot of gymnastics and bodyweight movements.

Name one personal goal that you would like to achieve at CRCF? Being able to do handstand pushups in a WOD

What is your proudest CrossFit achievement? Doing all of the Open workouts Rx in 2015

Hobbies/interests outside of CrossFit? My life is pretty much family, work and CrossFit these days, but I do love a round of golf, the Bruins, Red Sox, and drinking good beer
.
What is your food strategy?  I am paleo leaning, I try to avoid bread, pasta, dairy, and sugar, but I don’t hold to that when it’s inconvenient or if there are dumplings involved.

Any advice for new members? It never gets easier, but it’s always fun! Just remember to breath and listen to your body, and you’ll be amazed at what you’ll be able to accomplish!

 

January 2016

Mary Bryant

2016-01-01

Name:  Mary Bryant        

Age:  30

Occupation Mental Health Counselor

Which class do you usually attend?  Noon or 6:30 pm

Favorite WOD:  No favorite but I do like a long chipper

Favorite Lift:  Clean

How long have you been a member at CRCF? 3 1/2 years

What is your athletic background?   High school track & soccer, then just basic gym stuff (elliptical, running, etc.)

How has CRCF changed your life, lifestyle and level of fitness?  I always tell people that I thought I was in shape until I started crossfit. CRCF has completely changed not only my level of fitness but how I view fitness in general. I used to judge how fit I was by a number on the scale and now I judge how fit I am by the number on the barbell. I’ve gone from not being able to do a pull-up to being able to do a muscle up and from never back squatting in my life to back squatting double my body weight. These are just a couple examples of the growth I’ve experienced as a member of CRCF and its thanks to the community and coaches at CRCF that I’m more fit now than I’ve been at any point in my life.

Name one personal goal that you would like to achieve at CRCF?  Body weight snatch

What is your proudest CrossFit achievement?  Muscle ups!

Hobbies/interests outside of CrossFit?  Does watching Bravo count as a hobby or an interest? Both? Other than that, biking/hiking/anything outside.

What is your food strategy? I.e. have you embraced “paleo”…I try to eat like a normal human being within the parameters of ETP (Eat To Perform). By that I mean I’ll make sure to hit my macros by eating mostly healthy foods but not going crazy if I’m five grams off my total carb intake or something. I know that when I eat better I feel better and therefore perform better so I keep that in mind when I’m making my food choices. I also try to be honest with myself when I make a food choice that isn’t the best….it’s easy to talk yourself into eating anything because this week has been hard, or you deserve a treat, or it’s the holiday, or, or, or. There’s always going to be an excuse to eat poorly just like there’s always going to be an excuse to skip the gym. I know I want to feel a certain way so I eat a certain way.

Any advice for new members?  Have goals! Don’t just come into each workout without a goal in mind. Whether that be to hit a certain time, try the WOD RX, or PR your snatch, having goals in your head before you come to the gym is important. It’s easy to continue to use the same weights and the same scaling day after day but the goal of crossfit is growth so don’t be afraid to reach for something new. Also, embrace the CRCF community. Come to events; get to know people in your class. Not only does it make the classes more enjoyable, it helps you get more from each workout to have someone to push you.

December 2015

Michelle Solek

2015-12-01

Name:  Michelle Solek

Age: 27

Occupation Teacher

Which class do you usually attend?  6:30am or a night class, occasionally 5:30 am.

Favorite WOD:  Anything with rowing, wall balls, KBS, or pull-ups.  And strangely I really liked Nancy last time we did it; I think my love for overhead squats beat out my hatred for running.

Favorite Lift:  “Snatch”

How long have you been a member at CRCF? 2 and a half years

What is your athletic background?   Basically nothing, I wasn’t consistently active until I was about 23; I started going to the gym regularly and really got into running, then I boxed for about a year, and then once I found crossfit I knew that was where I wanted to be.

How has CRCF changed your life, lifestyle and level of fitness?  I had wanted to join CrossFit a while before I actually did but it always sort of intimidated me but I’m so glad I decided to go for it because I think it’s one of the best things that I’ve done for myself.  The person I am now is someone that 10 years ago I would never imagine I could be.  I love our community and the support it provides.  I love getting stronger, and I love setting goals and meeting them; and watching others meet theirs.

Name one personal goal that you would like to achieve at CRCF?  Still working on my double unders, some days I have a bunch and some days I have a few!  I’ve been able to link together almost 20 at a time but I really need to work on them to be more consistent.

What is your proudest CrossFit achievement?  Pullups- kipping and strict. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for years, even before crossfit and I still struggle with both now but they’re getting better!  Jeremy can attest to my disbelief when I got my first strict one.

Hobbies/interests outside of CrossFit?  Outside of CrossFit I’m a teacher and I try to bring my love of fitness to the kids at my school.  I volunteer and run the reebok BOKS program two mornings a week before school starts. I also have two dogs, Jasper and Ellie, I try to take them on hikes whenever I can.  And of course just hanging out with friends whenever possible.

What is your food strategy?  I have done paleo in the past and it worked to drop a few pounds but it was when I was not as invested in my performance and improving my skills as much as I want to now so I basically do paleo with grains and very little dairy.

Any advice for new members?  Watch others around you to learn, but not to compare yourself.  Only compare yourself to your past performances.  Listen to your coaches and ask questions!

 

 

November 2015

Eric B.

2015-11-01

Name:  Eric Biegeleisen (beagle-eye-zen)

Age:  35

Occupation:  Financial Services

Which class do you usually attend?  Noon (obviously and without question the most difficult class of the day to attend what with it being in the middle of the day)

Favorite WOD:  Anything allowing me to attempt to keep up with Rob K (pretty sure it hasn’t happened yet).  I do love a good Hero WOD though; Murph, 12 days of Christmas, to name a couple.

Favorite Lift:  HSPU / Rope Climbs / Anything on the bar (notice none are lifts – if forced to pick a lift, it’s a toss up between a Dead Lift or Power Clean).

How long have you been a member at CRCF? Gave it a try in March 2013 using a groupon (or livingsocial, is that company still around?) and never stopped going!

What is your athletic background?   High school and college swimming, then eating copious amounts of pizza & pasta, P90X, CRCF

How has CRCF changed your life, lifestyle and level of fitness?  Having already lost 50 lbs doing P90x, starting CrossFit was an attempt to fix my fitness boredom; and it has! The idea that I don’t have to plan my workout and that there is a tough strength and WOD exercise ready everyday is great. I am constantly challenged by myself to improve and sometimes by others as well!  The CRCF family has been and continues to be incredibly supportive in so many ways making the experience very inviting (although I am still shocked at the lack of winter hat availability).

Name one personal goal that you would like to achieve at CRCF?  In general, most exercises involving heavy weightlifting are not my strong suit (sadly, pun intended).  Continuing to work on form and probably to a higher degree confidence on the various weight-lifting moves is something that will help me progress.  Beyond that, it would be awesome to string together multiple ring muscle-ups and of course do a handstand walk across the gym.

What is your proudest CrossFit achievement?  Achieved in this years open – 185 power clean, and 4 ring muscle ups (not at the same time).  Also recently, was hitting a 345 deadlift and being able to string together multiple bar muscle ups. Thank you all for your help in achieving it!

Hobbies/interests outside of CrossFit?  Spartan Races – as long as I don’t cramp up, which always happens. Perhaps, I am not properly hydrated.

What is your food strategy?  Upon finishing my final 101 class with Coach Jeremy, which not shockingly ran a little late, he circled us up to attempt at brainwashing so that we’d all eat Paleo.  I recall leaving and thinking to myself, “Alright take it easy guy, I’m just thinking about starting this CrossFit thing…I’m not buying into your Paleo cult”…cut to me being almost entirely Paleo now for 2 years.  If you need convincing, ask Jamie P for some Paleo approved treats – or just know that you can get away with eating eggs and bacon…everyday…for all meals! And according to Jackie, if it contains a Paleo ingredient then it is in fact Paleo.

Any advice for new members?  Like learning or doing anything new, 80% of your gains will come initially with 20% of your effort; the final 20% of gains will require 80% of your effort. Don’t get discouraged when the gains slow or stop altogether.  Take that as a sign that you’ve reached a great foundation from which to really focus on. As is fabled, slow and steady wins the race. I recall obliterating my back in the early days because of poor form and wanting to go Rx.  Nowadays, I have no problem scaling the workout if it is just too much to handle. Take it easy!

Any regrets? My only regret is not making it into the box more often, although I do enjoy the genuine and touching auto-generated emails from Coach E that motivate me to come back in if enough time has lapsed.  (Also, I added this question specifically to mention the emails).

October 2015

Ellen Carita

2015-09-01

Name​: Ellen Carita

Age​: 40

Occupation​: Lawyer

Which class do you usually attend? ​9:30am or 12:00pm

Favorite WOD: ​Annie

Favorite Lift: ​Clean or snatch

How long have you been a member at CRCF? ​4 years

What is your athletic background? ​High School swimming and track, College
intramurals

How has CRCF changed your life, lifestyle and level of fitness? ​CRCF has
definitely made me more confident and willing to try new things. I’m fitter than I
have ever been, and I love being able to keep up with my kids. I can do things
that I never thought I would be able to do, and am still finding new challenges.

Name one personal goal that you would like to achieve at CRCF? ​5 strict pullups
What is your proudest CrossFit achievement? ​Kipping pullups, time improvement
for Annie, double unders, each personal record (pr), too many to list

Hobbies/interests outside of CrossFit? ​Spending time with my family, swimming,
boating, reading.

What is your food strategy? I.e. have you embraced “paleo”… ​Trying the
paleo/primal diet pushed me try lots of foods/spices that I had never even heard
of and I discovered some great recipes. I am trying to stick to 80/20 and some
weeks are better than others.

Any advice for new members? ​Don’t be intimidated, and if you are unsure about
something, ask one of the coaches. I have found all the coaches and members to
be helpful and supportive. I try not to worry too much about being the last one
finished or get too disappointed if I have a less than perfect day. Even on my
“bad days” I walk out feeling accomplished.

September 2015

John Komola

2015-09-01

Name: John K
Age: 49
Occupation: CFO for a cloud-based SaaS company
Which class do you usually attend? 6:30 pm
Favorite WOD: Anything bodyweight, especially if it involves a pull-up bar and a rope

Favorite Lift: Deadlift (even with my chicken legs)

How long have you been a member at CRCF?
Since December of 2011
What is your athletic background? Although I played sports in high school, I was the scrawny kid who spent more time in the emergency room than on the field. I’ve remained active in my later year’s mountain biking, road biking, and playing squash.

How has CRCF changed your life, lifestyle and level of fitness?
I plan my schedule around CRCF, which means more time spent working out and less time indulged in bad habits. I’m conscious of what I eat and how often I exercise. I supplement CrossFit with 30 minutes of cardio five to six days a week. And I no longer travel without work-out clothes.

Name one personal goal that you would like to achieve at CRCF?
Strict ring muscle-ups

What is your proudest CrossFit achievement?
Continuing to be committed to CrossFit four years after joining CRCF; especially considering how challenging it was when I first started. It’s been the small accomplishments, like kipping pull-ups, double-unders, and bar muscle-ups, that keep me striving for more.

Hobbies/interests outside of CrossFit?
When not at CRCF, you’ll find me on the golf course, or in Maine, enjoying time with family and friends. In the fall I’m tailgating at Gillette Stadium.

What is your food strategy? I.e. have you embraced “paleo”?
I’ll never embrace paleo, but I do follow a paleo-like diet which consists of proteins (lots of chicken and fish) and fresh vegetables. I try to avoid carbs and sweets, in favor of a glass of wine or two with dinner.

Any advice for new members?
CrossFit is a marathon not a sprint. Don’t expect to crush it overnight. Set achievable goals for yourself and build off your accomplishments. You’ll quickly progress, giving you the confidence, strength, and technique(s) to take on greater challenges. And most important, ask questions and accept advice. There is no room for egos.

 

August 2015

Rob K.

2015-08-01

Name:  Rob Kaufman

Age:  38

Occupation:  Commercial Real Estate Lending

Which class do you usually attend?  5:30 a.m.

Favorite WOD:  Partner WOD’s

Favorite Lift:  Clean (Power or Squat)

How long have you been a member at CRCF?  Since September of 2011

What is your athletic background?  I grew up playing a number of sports, including varsity tennis throughout high school. I always have been a workout enthusiast, and have been a member of various gyms where I had to exercise independently.

How has CRCF changed your life, lifestyle and level of fitness?  Becoming a CRCF member has changed my life in so many positive ways. Nearly four years ago, I walked into the box for my first CF 101 with an open mind, and I keep that mindset to this day, as I know there are always areas for improvement, no matter your level.  CRCF has made me stronger (both physically and mentally), more balanced, and overall healthier. Its members make CRCF a truly remarkable place, as everyone is supportive and pushes each other to reach for their best every day. This support motivates me to never quit (even when I feel defeated), and to push through whatever obstacles the day presents.  Being a member at a regular gym would not have given me this community.  I consider CRCF my second home, especially after getting my wife to commit over a year ago. Plus, my two daughters love the environment, already have learned many of the CF movements, and are always asking when they can start CrossFit Kids at CRCF.

Name one personal goal that you would like to achieve at CRCF?  Ring Muscle-up (Strict or Kipping)

What is your proudest CrossFit achievement?  There are many to list, but offhand:  learning to kip, first Handstand Hold/HSPU, first TTB, and stringing together Double Unders.

Hobbies/interests outside of CrossFit?  Spending time with family, craft beer, grilling, reading, yoga, hiking, snowboarding, golf, tennis, and basketball.

What is your food strategy? I.e. have you embraced “Paleo”…A work in progress as I love dairy (mostly cheeses and Greek yogurt). Completing several CRCF Paleo Challenges over the years has taught me that strict Paleo is not for me, and that I enjoy Paleo modified with more starches (oatmeal, rice, sweet potatoes, etc.) and modest dairy intake.

Any advice for new members?

  • Don’t be scared, start light, go at your own pace, and perfect your form and technique on all movements, so you can eventually ramp up the intensity/weight of your workouts.
  • Be a sponge, listen to your coaches (utilize them before and after class as they are the experts), and ask experienced members for tips!  Everyone is extremely supportive and here to help members achieve their goals.
  • Keep everything on record so you can track your progress. Seeing how you personally have improved over time is what it’s all about.
  • Smile, make friends, embrace the community, and enjoy the ride!

July 2015

Judy Ravech

2015-07-01

Name:     Judy Ravech

Age:   51

Occupation: Commercial real estate investment sales

Which class do you usually attend? 5:30 a.m. on weekdays and 8:00 or 9:00 a.m. on weekends

Favorite WOD: I like partner WODs and anything with rope climbs – one of the few CrossFit things I can do relatively easily 😉

Favorite Lift: Jerk – for some reason these make me feel awesomely strong and powerful (even without a lot of weight!)

How long have you been a member at CRCF? I’ve been a member for almost 3 years – I joined after I signed up for the first Fenway Spartan race in 2012 with a group of work colleagues and decided I needed to get into better shape so I didn’t totally embarrass myself. I love the always-varied workouts at CrossFit and the motivation that the class provides – working out at a regular gym and doing the elliptical or something now seems so boring, and I push myself way more than I ever could on my own.

What is your athletic background? I’ve never been an athlete in terms of team sports however I’ve led an active lifestyle for most of my adult life including skiing, hiking, running, yoga, working out and more recently, mud runs.

How has CRCF changed your life, lifestyle and level of fitness? I am probably in the best shape of my life at age 51 in terms of my overall fitness, and this has given me the confidence to keep staying active and challenging myself physically in new ways.

Name one personal goal that you would like to achieve at CRCF? Kipping pull-ups

What is your proudest CrossFit achievement? Getting my first double-under! It took me about two years – I still can’t do them consistently but I’m finally able to string a few together with singles in between. Getting it was a great lesson in perseverance.

Hobbies/interests outside of CrossFit? Skiing, food, traveling, reading, synagogue leadership

What is your food strategy? I.e. have you embraced “paleo”…I have definitely changed my eating habits significantly since joining CRCF – I eat a lot of protein and fruits and vegetables and try to avoid gluten, sugar and processed foods. I did a 6-week CRCF paleo challenges last year – giving up the alcohol and ice cream was the tough part! Generally I try to achieve a diet which is about 80% paleo.

Any advice for new members? After almost three years I am still regularly one of the “least fast” (especially with the hard-core 5:30 am group!) but I’ve learned not to get discouraged about it because after all, I am here and working hard! I try to remember the motto: “DFL is better than DNF, and DNF is better than DNS”. If you are here making the effort to improve your fitness, you are already way ahead of so many other people and you have a great community supporting you.

June 2015

Jamie

2015-06-01

Age: 38

Occupation: Scientist/Professor

Which class do you usually attend? I usually go to the 4:30 and 5:30 PM classes. Someday I’d like to transition to the morning classes. All of you who make in at 5:30AM, you are my heroes!

Favorite WOD: Lately I’ve enjoyed WODs with bodyweight; so Cindy, Angie, etc.

Favorite Lift: The deadlift has always been my favorite; I have long-ish arms and short-ish legs so I have a mechanical advantage.

How long have you been a member at CRCF? I’ve been training at CRCF for two and half years. I began CrossFit thinking that I would just try it for a month. Then I walked into CRCF and watched folks work through a WOD together. I saw friends encouraging each other, coaches helping, and barbells bouncing around. There was good music playing. I had found my people!

What is your athletic background? I never considered myself an athlete. I always liked “outdoor” sports like hiking and mountain biking.

How has CRCF changed your life, lifestyle and level of fitness? 

Every WOD is a new challenge, and most of the time when I’m getting started, I don’t know how it’ll go, or if I’ll get through it. Then, along with my friends and coaches, I make it to the end. Training at CRCF has reframed the way I face many of life’s challenges. I’m not afraid to fail. I fail all the time, and it is wonderful! When I fail, I have a new goal to work toward.

Name one personal goal that you would like to achieve at CRCF? I’d love to one day capture a strict muscle-up. From there, some cool ring tricks. Oh, and a perfect handstand.

What is your proudest CrossFit achievement? It was fun to do kipping muscle-ups in the 15.3 Open workout. I had been working toward them at CRCF for a long time and the extra practice paid off. However, my proudest CrossFit achievement is that the added strength, mobility, and endurance carry over into other parts of my daily life. When my 4-year-old daughter runs up to me, and I can squat down and lift her into the air, and then give her a big hug without any pain; that feels like a very worthwhile result.

Hobbies/interests outside of CrossFit? Nerdy things and arty things

What is your food strategy? I.e. have you embraced “paleo”… I use paleo as a general framework for my eating, but I deviate from that framework when it is beneficial for my training. I add oatmeal, rice and dairy to make it easier to add calories. I time my eating and macros to align with training whenever it’s possible.

Any advice for new members? Consider your “long game.” What happens on any one given day is far less important than the cumulative effect of your work. When you come across a workout that highlights all of your weaknesses, don’t let it bum you out, it’s just one day!

May 2015

Katie Regan

2015-05-01

 

Name: Katie Regan

Age: 28

Occupation: Finance – Private Equity

Which class do you usually attend? Evening classes – 5:30 or 6:30pm

Favorite WOD: Partner WODs! I always love the CRCF environment, but during partner WODs everyone is cheering on their partners and it’s really fun. I also find I push myself harder to make sure I don’t let my partner down.

Favorite Lift: Snatch.

How long have you been a member at CRCF? About a year and a half.

What is your athletic background? I played sports when I was younger and in high school, but I was never really in shape. Same story with college – I worked at a gym, but wasn’t really that active. After college I ran a few half marathons and worked out a bit, but it wasn’t until I started crossfit that I realized how out of shape I was, and how awesome crossfit makes me feel now. It’s really empowering. Crossfit makes you feel like you can do anything!

How has CRCF changed your life, lifestyle and level of fitness? CRCF has pushed me to do things I never thought I’d be capable of. I feel stronger than I ever have – physically and mentally.

Name one personal goal that you would like to achieve at CRCF? Kipping pull ups! That’s next on my list.

What is your proudest CrossFit achievement? I actually have 3 that I’m really proud of and they’ve all happened pretty recently. My first strict pull up was huge for me. I’d been working on my “hanging” for a minute a few times a week and trying for months and one day I was just able to do one. I was so happy and surprised that I was almost too excited to do the rest of the workout! Another proud moment was FINALLY being able to string together double unders (even though I still have the lashes all over my arm every time we do them), and climbing the rope all the way to the top.

Hobbies/interests outside of CrossFit? Running (slowly), skiing, grilling and being outside enjoying the sunshine.

What is your food strategy? I.e. have you embraced “paleo”… I started paleo about 6 months ago to try to avoid gaining weight over the holidays. And just 2 months ago I started counting my macros and eating a low carb, moderate protein, high fat diet. It has made such a difference. I’ve lost almost 20 pounds and a lot of inches, but most importantly I feel stronger than ever and can feel myself getting a little better at the WODs as time goes on.

Any advice for new members? Don’t ever be nervous or intimidated when you’re here. Always try to work on proper form (I’m working on this!) because it makes everything easier when you’re doing it right. And have fun!

 

April 2015

Jeff Goldberg

2015-04-01

Name: Jeff Goldberg

Age: 41

Occupation: Senior Software Enterprise Architect

Which class do you usually attend? I’m all over the map.  Mostly 6:30 am.

Favorite WOD: Any WOD with rope climbs

Favorite Lift:  Power Cleans…no seriously.  I can’t do them, but I love them.

How long have you been a member at CRCF? Almost exactly one year

What is your athletic background? I started participating in athletics about 3 years ago when I started crossfit.  Before then I played recreational hockey, but I was not much of an athlete as a kid, unless you count competitive eating.

How has CRCF changed your life, lifestyle and level of fitness? CRCF has changed my life by really getting me to remove fear as an obstacle.  I love the push, and it motivates me to break boundaries in all aspects of my life.  As far as fitness goes, I’m in the best shape of my life because of CRCF.

Name one personal goal that you would like to achieve at CRCF?  First strict pull-up.  Coming soon!

What is your proudest CrossFit achievement?  Rope climbing is a huge achievement for me.  I could not do it as a kid.

Hobbies/interests outside of CrossFit? Baking, cooking, and cars.

What is your food strategy? I.e. have you embraced “paleo”… I Eat to Perform.

Any advice for new members?  Have fun! Get involved in the community.  Trust the process, crossfit is hard work and it takes time.  Don’t be intimidated by the person next to you crushing a WOD, watch what they are doing and work toward emulating it.

March 2015

Sarah Rose

2015-03-01

Age: 41
Occupation: Admissions Associate
Which class do you usually attend? 9:30am; 8:00am Sundays
Favorite WOD: â€œChristine”
Favorite Lift: Deadlift
How long have you been a member at CRCF? Since June of 2011, almost 4 years
What is your athletic background? I grew up swimming and skiing.  I played field hockey and lacrosse in high school and college.  I also participated in several triathlons, but it has been several years since doing one.
How has CRCF changed your life, lifestyle and level of fitness? I am stronger than I have ever been.  And I love being strong.  What I like most about CRCF that every workout challenges me in a different way.
Name one personal goal that you would like to achieve at CRCF? There is so much for me to learn at CRCF, and I wish I had much more time to spend there practicing!  I would like to continue improving on my strict pull ups.  At this point, I’d like to do 3 in a row, then increase to 5, and so on.  My eventual goal is to do Chest To Bar pull ups.
What is your proudest CrossFit achievement? Climbing a rope.  I remember when I began CrossFit telling myself that I had no interest whatsoever in climbing a rope.  (I must have had a poor experience as a child which I blocked out!).  Anyway, almost two years ago, rope climbs were in the workout for the class that I was going to the next day.  I was so nervous that I didn’t even sleep well.  Anyway, with the careful guidance of the coaches and encouragement from other members, I made it to the top of that rope!  It felt like such a great accomplishment.
Hobbies/interests outside of CrossFit? Anything outdoors: hiking, camping, fishing, skiing.  Also reading and baking.
What is your food strategy? I.e. have you embraced “paleo”… This continues to be a challenge for me.  I have participated in some of the nutritional challenges through CRCF, and they do work well for me.  It’s just hard for me to keep it up all the time.  Unfortunately, my sons don’t love “paleo” all that much, and I don’t enjoy cooking two dinners every night.  My goal each day is to eat at least 80% “paleo”.  Somedays I do better, and some days I do worse.
Any advice for new members? I remember being so nervous every time I walked through the doors the first several classes.  Nervous that I wasn’t going to be able to do the WOD or nervous that I wasn’t going to finish.  That nervous feeling didn’t last long, though.  The coaches and the other members made me feel welcome from the beginning.  The support and encouragement that I hear from the coaches each time I’m there just makes me want to learn more and work harder.  Don’t hesitate to ask for advice or help.  Practice, practice, practice.  And have fun.  It’s been a wonderful journey for me with many surprises along the way.

 

February 2015

Dillon Cooney

2015-02-11

Age: 11

Which class do you usually attend?

4:30pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays

Favorite WOD:   â€œThe one where we were on a team and we were racing”

Favorite Lift: Push Press

How long have you been a member at CRCF?

Since April 2014

How has CRCF changed your life, lifestyle and level of fitness?

I have improved as a sports player, it’s made me stronger, I feel capable of doing things, and I have increased my endurance level.

Name one personal goal that you would like to achieve at CRCF?

I want to be capable of doing a mile in 6:30.

What is your proudest CrossFit achievement?
I am able to put weight on a barbell now.

Hobbies/interests/sports outside of CrossFit?

Basketball, baseball, two hand touch football, tennis camp, playing in the snow, hanging out with friends, playing video games, drawing, playing madden mobile, and making funny trailers and movies on iMovie.

Any advice for new kids?
You should always push yourself, but not to your breaking point, you should always be confident, you should always be sweating, and don’t misbehave because you’ll have to do burpees.

When crossfit kids started in April 2014 Dillon was the first and only kid in class for the first few weeks. He has been great to work with and watching him progress in class as well as in other sports has been a pleasure. I’m excited to see how far he will grow because of this program.