athlete profiles

Philociraptor

Name: Philip Jimenez

Age: 28

Hometown: Sacramento CA

Occupation: Special Mission Aviator

Started CrossFit: March 2017

Favorite Girl WOD: Grace

Least Favorite Girl WOD: Fran

Sports fitness background: I grew up playing baseball a lot when I was younger but stopped playing when I started High School. Once I joined the military, I got on board the traditional weight lifting train and basically did that all the way up until I moved here to Albuquerque. A couple friends of mine did CrossFit and they seemed to love it. I was getting pretty tired of the traditional weight lifting thing so I decided once I moved to ABQ I was going to try out CrossFit. I don’t think I’ll ever do anything else.

Hobbies outside of CrossFit: Anything that has to do with eating lots and lots of food.

Go to cheat meal: Pizza and brownies.

What have you learned since starting CrossFit? Callouses and blisters are now a part of my daily wardrobe. Not every workout is a competition. You aren’t always going to have a good day of training. I’ll never be good at everything. Everyone suffering together builds a community that you will never find in any other type of gym. I’m my own worst critic. I didn’t think that I could have so much fun and enjoy the pain of working out like I do when I do CrossFit. I’ve learned that my grocery bill has gone up since doing CrossFit. I don’t know why, but I want donuts all the time now…

What would you say to people interested in trying CrossFit? Make sure you do your research and try CrossFit at a reputable gym under the supervision of a good coach. CrossFit is a very humbling experience. Don’t expect to drop into a gym and crush workouts right off the bat. Take your time, be willing to learn, and most importantly have fun doing it.

What do you like most about CFABQ? Hands down the people. The people at CFABQ are all awesome and make you feel very comfortable being there from day one. The coaches are also very approachable and knowledgable. Stepping into any CrossFit box can be a very intimidating experience, but the people here made the transition easy for me. I will always remember how my Journey through CrossFit started because of the amazing community that is CFABQ.

Beckster

Name: Becky Freeman

Age: 36

Hometown: Belen, New Mexico

Occupation: Sports Dietitian, Strength & Conditioning Coach

Started CrossFit: August 2015

Favorite Girl WOD: I honestly don’t have a favorite. They are all terrible. LOL. So my favorite is my mom’s WOD, ‘Melissa’

Least Favorite Girl WOD: See answer above.

Sports fitness background: I played/participated in numerous sports in my youth, middle school and on into high school: swimming, softball, volleyball, basketball, track, and equestrian (AQHA). In college I decided not to participate in collegiate sports and started long distance running and racing in half marathons, full marathons and triathlons. In March of 2008 I decided to quit running and start Olympic lifting with High Desert Weightlifting Club, competing locally, then nationally. After Nationals in July of 2014 I decided I was ready for something new to challenge myself….so now I am here at CrossFit ABQ seeing what I can do. 🙂

Hobbies outside of CrossFit: spending time with family, boyfriend and friends…and of course my pup, Kilo. Target shooting when I feel like it. Reading for pleasure as well as profession-gotta stay up to date on things! Off and on I do a little arts & crafts….I am pretty good at it. haha.

Go to cheat meal: I don’t really have a go-to cheat ‘meal’. My boyfriend and I have our normal eating out places we go to weekly and we still keep it healthy. It’s probably more like having a sweet tooth sometimes and making sure I handle it with something delightful. 🙂

What did you learn from going to the 2017 South Regional for the first time? For a first timer, I feel like I did a great job programming and training myself to be there and stay in the competition with the women at South Regional…. lessons learned: you have to train VERY, VERY hard and put in the time to practice as well as train for the volume & intensity the competition will ask of your body. You must also know your abilities before showing up so you don’t have unrealistic expectations of yourself; stick to YOUR strategies and plan for performing each workout. Same thought process I used getting through the open: do not let yourself get caught up in what every one else is doing-they are not you and you are not them. And upon leaving Regionals you are humbly reminded there is ALWAYS room for improvement. 🙂

What would you say to people interested in trying CrossFit? Definitely try it if you like the opportunity for variety and the challenging movements and intensity that are presented with the sport. Find someone that is skilled at coaching and willing to teach/coach you proper form. Also remember CrossFit is a learning process, so trust the process of progression and what your body can do. Don’t force things. Don’t get caught up in trying to do movements or heavy weight that you are not yet equipped to perform. We have ALL been a novice at one point in time. You do you. That’s all that matters.

What do you like most about CFABQ? I think the best part about CFABQ is its owner, Joe Vigil. He has such passion for CrossFit, the community, and coaching his classes/members. He is the man behind catching the priceless moments and PR’s at CFABQ on camera. He provides motivation and supports the athletes, including making the trip out to South Regional to cheer and support both Tylinn and myself. He works long days at this gym yet, he is always positive, approachable, and overall a great person that everyone loves being around.

What are two of your favorite memories of CFABQ? 1) The support I received within the gym’s community dealing with my mother’s death and creating and conducting a memorial WOD for her the last 2 years. 2) meeting my boyfriend 🙂

Juancito de la Papa (aka Secret)

Name: Juan Garcia

Age: 32

Hometown: Coalinga, CA

Occupation: Car salesman and track coach for St. Pius High school

Started Crossfit: May 2013

Favorite Girl WOD: Kelly

Least Favorite Girl WOD: Karen or Jackie

Sports fitness background: Elementary School, High School and College Track (16 years of track), 6 years of soccer, and 4 years of football

Hobbies outside of Crossfit: It’s a secret 😉

Go to cheat meal: It’s a secret 😉

Why did you decide to try CrossFit and who can you credit with getting started? I tried CrossFit in the summer during college when I was still competing in track and field. My friends from college got me started. We didn’t have a membership to a CrossFit gym, we just did CrossFit workouts in a gym our track and field coach owned. They were brutal! Once I finished college I knew I wanted to keep doing CrossFit.

What would you say to people interested in trying CrossFit? The workouts are going to be hard, but they are doable. The best part about joining CrossFit Albuquerque is making good friends and being part of a tight knit community.

What do you like most about CFABQ? The coaching staff and how everyone makes you a part of their family; they make you feel welcome and part of the community, especially when you’re from out of state. The reason I come to work out is because of the people that are here and workout with me. It’s hard coming from another state trying to make friends when you don’t know anyone. Everyone is really genuine, helpful, and accepting. I also like the competitiveness of the gym because that is what I’m used to, coming from a competitive athletic background, running for 16 years. It’s nice to have people pushing you and making you better everyday.

What is your favorite memory of CFABQ? My most recent birthday dinner, when my closest friends from CFABQ came out to celebrate with me at Pappadeaux’s followed by ColdStone Creamery for dessert!

JP Valdez

JP Valdezster

Name: J.P. Valdez

Age: 48

Hometown: Raton, NM

Occupation: Firefighter/Paramedic Albuquerque Fire Dept, Business Owner: Affordable Window Cleaning

Started Crossfit: Jan. 2012

Favorite Girl WOD: Isabel

Or anything with moderate to heavy snatches.

Least Favorite Girl WOD: anything longer than 20 minutes

Sports fitness background: High School football, baseball, Track

Hobbies outside of Crossfit:

Hunting, traveling and spending time with my family

Go to cheat meal: Pizza & beer

Why did you decide to try CrossFit and who can you credit with getting started? I remember talking with Sean (Elks) at the station about it at old Station 2, then Jo Marley and Jon Longdon put me through a modified Cindy workout at Station 14, and I was hooked. Since then I can honestly say that I’m in better shape now then I was 10 years ago.

What would you say to people interested in trying CrossFit? I would say it can be a life changing experience – if you take it slow, learn the progressions, listen to your coaches.  Check your ego at the door because there is always someone better than you. Remember it’s not about beating everyone else’s time or rounds, it’s about making yourself better than last year.

What do you like most about CFABQ? Like everyone else I would say the coaches and the community.  These are the people I hangout with the most, besides my family and my brothers and sisters in the Fire Dept.

What is your favorite memory of CFABQ? Training and competing in the first Barnyard Brawl. Having everyone from CFABQ, my wife and kids cheering me on was a moment that I’ll always remember.

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Sophie the Slayer

Name: Sophia Lockerby

Age: 25

Hometown: Great Falls, MT

Occupation: US Air Force

Started CrossFit: Summer 2012

Favorite Girl WOD: Helen

Least Favorite Girl WOD: Amanda (Only due to lack of current ability… Girl WODs are da bomb!)

Sports Fitness Background: Div 1 Soccer Player (USAFA), Montana State High SchoolTennis Champ, All-Armed Forces Soccer, Crossfit Level 1 Cert, Crossfit Endurance Cert

Hobbies outside of Crossfit: Soccer, drawing, traveling, eating, hop scotch, solo chess games, banana phone convos, checkers…but only at Cracker Barrell, smelling candles, bug collecting, knitting, Nintendo 64, Pogs, tandem cycling, The Bachelor fantasy league #WorstImpressionRose, Facebook stalking, actual stalking, wearing Pink…only on Wednesdays, and fishing.

Go to cheat meal: Just one? Pizza, nachos, sushi, Eggs Royale and/or lobster rolls! Food is awesome!

Why did you decide to try CrossFit and who can you credit with getting started? The summer of 2012, I was home in MT on a rare school break. My little brother told me to try a new Crossfit thing he was doing, and he promised it was brutal and that I would love it. First class was a wallball and running workout. I was hooked from day 1. #ThanksBro

What would you say to people interested in trying CrossFit? Don’t knock it till you try it, and if you decide to try it, good luck not falling in love with a brand new bod and super fun community.

What do you like most about CFABQ? OMG, the people win first prize! They are the best. (Second place would definitely go to the innovative hashtags.)

What are you most excited about for the 2017 Open?
-Watching CFABQ peeps own face!
-Dave Castro
-A repeat burpee/thruster wod
-Facebook and Insta posts increasing by 34%
-When the 2017 Open closes

 

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Marquis

Name: Marcus Adams

Age: 23

Hometown: Lincolnton, North Carolina

Occupation: U.S. Air Force Military Police

Started CrossFit: 2013

Favorite Girl WOD? Karen

Least favorite Girl WOD? Eva

What is your sports/fitness background? I played football from the time I was 8 until graduating high school. I also wrestled for 2 years and ran track for 4 years.

What is your go to cheat meal? Pizza, donuts, and brownies

Why did you decide to try CrossFit and who can you credit for getting you started? I’ve always had a passion for fitness and sports. I started on my own at the base gym then signed up for CFABQ 6 months later. I fell in love with the competitive atmosphere and haven’t looked back since.

What do you like most about CFABQ? Amongst the plethora of different reasons I love CFABQ, I would say the coaches are what I love most. Never have I met such a genuine group of individuals who I can call family. Any adversity or troubles I have wether it be crossfit related or personal, the coaches never fail to mentor me with their own experiences in the right direction.

What are your favorite memories at CFABQ? So many memories! But if I had to chose one it would be the weekend of Boxtoberfest(my first competition). Prior to the first event I chugged my Blue Raz C4 pre-workout pumped and anxious, thinking I had 30 minutes left. Right after I clicked the shaker bottle closed Coach Joe and I had to run down to the field for the first event. After the finish of event 1, I ran over to the hill and laid in a fetal position, puking up C4 in a grocery bag for an hour lol! All in all, Joe and I earned a first place finish in the competition so it was all worth it!

Favorite quote? My favorite quotes are always changing, but right now it’s definitely, “You wanna play? Let’s play…” -Lanx Castle

What keeps you motivated? I’m constantly surrounded my motivators each and every day some positive and some negative, but my ultimate motivation has always been my family and friends. Nothing feels better than to see them proud.

What makes you most excited about The Open? What makes me the most excited about The Open is definitely the atmosphere. Everyone is so in tune and focus. It’s also great seeing how far everyone has come since the previous year. The coaches are always stressed out, but stay composed so it’s always a good time.

fullsizerender Mandy

Name: Mandy Medoro

Age: 37

Hometown: Gallup, NM

Occupation: Doctor

Started CrossFit: 1.5 years ago

Favorite/Least Favorite WOD- I love them all and don’t hate any. The more challenging the better

What is your sports/fitness background? Running and swimming before CrossFit

What is your go to cheat meal? Pizza, but I really try not to cheat.

Why did you decide to try CrossFit and who can you credit for getting you started? Myself, I saw a gym and walked in. My coaches from a former gym got me hooked and CFABQ keeps me hooked

What do you like most about CFABQ? The owner and coaches really are amazing, they create a friendly environment of health and fitness and attract a great group of individuals. They also know how to push us to make us stronger and healthier and better.

What are your favorite memories at CFABQ? The day I thought I couldn’t do a pull up and Joe and Pat put me on the spot and I did one (I didn’t believe I could and they didn’t believe I couldn’t). For the first time in my life (and continued doing them). Another great memory was similar situation with HSPU and rope climbing. Also really enjoyed Bugaboo. Love the friendships I have made.

Can’t quit, won’t ever quit, #addicted! Healthier and stronger every day.

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Matt

Name: Matt Garduno

Age: 26

Hometown: Albuquerque, NM

Occupation: Manuels Lawn Service

Started CrossFit: 1 year ago

Favorite gymnastic skill/lift: Deadlift

Least favorite gymnastic skill/lift: Overhead squats

Sports fitness background: Personal trainer/ baseball/ powerlifting

Hobbies outside of CrossFit: Spending time with family

Favorite meal: Chicken fried steak

Why did you decide to try CrossFit and whom can you credit with getting started? My girlfriend, Jen, got me into CrossFit.

What would you say to people interested in trying CrossFit? Do it, it’s a challenge every time.

What do you like most about CFABQ? The environment and the coaches.

What keeps you coming back to CrossFit? I can see results both physically and mentally.

burnsyBurnsy

Name:Daniel Burns

Age: 24

Hometown: Springfield, IL

Occupation: Electrical and Environmental Specialist on MC-130Js and HC-130Js (Airforce)

Started Crossfit: February 2015

Favorite Girl WOD: Diane

Least Favorite Girl WOD: All of them

Sports fitness background: Varsity baseball and wrestling in high school. I did speed skating for Capital City Speed Demons.

Hobbies outside of CrossFit: ‘Merica and guns

Go to cheat meal: Buddha Bowl w/ chicken from Flying Star

Why did you decide to try CrossFit and who can you credit with getting started? Patrick Bollotta got me started. I decided to try CrossFit because Pat was the only one that could score what I scored on the PT test (for the Airforce) and his body aesthetics.

What would you say to people interested in trying CrossFit? Come in the gym and give it a try. If you don’t like it you don’t have to stay, although I think they will like it.

What do you like most about CFABQ? Camaraderie and the way they treated me when I was deployed. They sent me care packages while I was deployed and continued to talk to me.

What are two of your favorite memories of CFABQ? One of my favorite memories was my first competition at Duke City the year I started because of the family atmosphere. Although we were competing against other teams, everyone was there for the same reason, we were like a big family, and we had fun and meshed well while hanging out at the tent. One of my other favorite memories was the first time I went to dinner with some of the other members after the gym on a Friday night. A lot of people think CrossFitters are crazy and only talk about CrossFit. Having dinner with them shed light on the fact they are just like everyone else and are normal people; they eat normal food (not Paleo), they talk about things other than CrossFit, and they like to have fun.

Lynn LazerLynne Lazer

Name: Lynne Rogerson

Age: 53

Hometown: Lexington, SC

Occupation: Expert Procrastinator

Started CrossFit: 1 year ago!

Favorite lift/skill: Dead lift

Least favorite lift/skill: Snatch

Sports fitness background: Trail running

Hobbies outside of CrossFit: Hiking with my dog and family, yoga, ballet, painting, cello, napping

Go to cheat meal: Chocolate almonds

Why did you decide to try CrossFit and who can you credit with getting started? When I moved here last year I had trouble running because of the altitude. I came to CFABQ’s beginner class and liked pushing myself to learn different skills. I was apprehensive about my first class. Joe said I was ready. Everyone in the class was encouraging and I didn’t suck. So, I came back and then I was addicted.

What would you say to people interested in trying CrossFit? Come give it a try! Then come back!

What do you like most about CFABQ? I like the coaches – they have been helpful at scaling WODs and being supportive while making me work.

What makes you come back to CFABQ each day? I like the 9:00am class. They encourage me to do my best.

Eric Turner

ET

Name: Eric Turner

Age: 50

Hometown: Golden, Colorado

Occupation: Insurance agent

Started Crossfit: April of 2013

Favorite Girl WOD: Grace and Isabel

Least Favorite Girl WOD: Mary

Sports fitness background: Cyclist and mountaineer way back when

Hobbies outside of Crossfit: Outside of CF I like to backpack and hike or stay at home and read with my cats piled on top of me.

Go to cheat meal: Five Star Burger.

Why did you decide to try CrossFit and who can you credit with getting started? I decided to try CrossFit on the advice of one of the UNM tennis coaches, Kelsey. It was love at first sweat! I had been doing P90x and liked how CrossFit was always different instead of the same thing every day in the gym.

What would you say to people interested in trying CrossFit? Don’t be nervous or scared, just dive in! You will not find a more supportive, friendly group of people. If you’re out of shape, older or have other difficulties to overcome CrossFit is perfect because you can modify to suit your level and our coaches are completely awesome at helping you out in any way you need!

What do you like most about CFABQ? I like CFABQ mostly due to the great people who go there and the amazing coaches. You read things online about some gyms and NONE of them have ever been true here at CFABQ. Everyone has always made me feel like I’m a part of the group, not just some overweight old client, but someone who matters. That’s so awesome.

What are two of your favorite memories of CFABQ? Memories: there’s so many. First I guess is how welcome I felt from some of the fittest guys in the gym like Pat, Gavin, Rudy, and Butters. That made me feel great. The other was when Joe took the time to be concerned about my overtraining and mention it to me. I always felt that he went above and beyond with that little piece of coaching. I guess in general, no matter how I’m struggling there’s always someone to tell me “good job, ET”. CFABQ inspires me to be a better person in all areas of my life, every day.

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C.Dill

Name: Caitlin L. Dillon (a/k/a C.Dill)

Age: 28

Hometown: Anthony, NM

Occupation: Assistant District Attorney, Crimes Against Children

Started Crossfit: April 2011

Favorite Girl WOD: “Helen”

Least Favorite Girl WOD: “Fran”

Sports fitness background: Basketball and Lacrosse

Hobbies outside of Crossfit: Books and Records

Go to cheat meal: Rebel Donuts

Why did you decide to try CrossFit and who can you credit with getting started? My Dad was going to a spin class at CrossFit El Paso, and he watched one of the classes and signed me up for a trial. My first WOD consisted of wall balls, running, and deadlifts. I DNF’ed, and was completely trashed afterward, but I couldn’t wait to try it again.

What would you say to people interested in trying CrossFit? Show up, smile, work hard, and keep an open mind.

What do you like most about CFABQ? I love CFABQ! The community is amazing, and I’m so grateful to be a part of it. I didn’t know anyone when I moved here for law school in 2011, and now the gym is my second home, and my extended, very fit family. It’s wonderful to be surrounded by such rad, hard working people. WOD o’clock is my favorite time of day!

What are two of your favorite memories of CFABQ? Twenty-four hours of rowing and Boxtoberfest 2011.

Kelly picJilly

Name: Kelly Butterfield AKA: Jilly

Age: 22

Hometown: Bartlesville, Oklahoma

Occupation: Air Force Security Forces Officer

Started CrossFit: May 2014

Favorite Lift and Skill: Snatches/hand stand push-ups

Least Favorite: Thrusters!! This exercise was designed by Satan himself.

Sports fitness background: I tried to run a mile once in high school…

Hobbies outside of CrossFit: Yeah…no, I only do CrossFit.

Go to cheat meal: My whole life is a constant cheat meal.

Why did you decide to try CrossFit? My husband, Justin, forced me to go one day and I haven’t looked back.

What would you say to people interested in trying CrossFit? It’s addicting…honestly, every WOD is the most fun you’ll never want to have again…expect you just keep coming back for more.

What do you like most about CFABQ? I’m a firm believer in “misery loves company” and the athletes/coaches here are the best to sweat it out with!

What are some of your favorite memories of CFABQ? I really enjoy watching others meet goals and move right on to the next one. The desire and excitement is contagious and influences me to work harder!

Sean T. Elks

STElks

Name: Sean Thomas Elks

Age: 38

Hometown: Albuquerque, NM

Occupation: Battalion Commander, Albuquerque Fire Department

Started Crossfit: October 2008

Favorite Lift and Skill: Lift- Power clean, Skill- Double unders

Least Favorite: Heavy AF deadlifts

Sports fitness background: Prior to high school, I played baseball, basketball, karate and wrestling. In high school, I played football.

Hobbies outside of Crossfit: Golfing. All the time, in our living room, in our bedroom, in the gym…

Go to cheat meal: Burritos and Mint Oreo DQ blizzard, double oreo.

Why did you decide to try CrossFit? I was interested in something other than traditional weight training and I saw an article in Muscle and Fitness magazine about CrossFit. It looked like something I would be interested in.

What are some of your favorite memories of CFABQ? For the 2010 CrossFit Games season we decided to put a team together in January. We competed at Regionals in March 2010 and earned ourselves a spot at the very first CrossFit Games at the Home Depot Center. Event 1- Dave Castro didn’t know who we were and we came out and got second place in a stacked heat. On the max shoulder to overhead, I yelled at the girls because they didn’t know “bro math” and didn’t know how to put 225# on the bar. On the final, we had a plan, then the girls immediately aborted and grabbed the wrong sandbag right from the start so we had to formulate a new plan, mid-workout (the sandbags were much heavier than we thought). Ultimately, all the training, suffering, execution (and sometimes lack of execution) leading up to and during the CrossFit Games in 2010 are fond memories of CrossFit that I will always have. Another favorite memory of mine is during the time I was courting Whit and was spotting her at Regionals in 2011 because she couldn’t jump into the muscle up rings for the CrossFit workout “Amanda.”

What would you say to people interested in trying CrossFit? Just come in and give it a try. Know that there will be a learning curve in the beginning. Stick with it and focus on the basics. You won’t regret it. Most importantly, you will not get in shape for CrossFit by not doing CrossFit. So just do CrossFit.

What do you like most about CFABQ? Whit. And the fact that my girlfriend works and trains there so I never get in trouble for being at the gym excessively.

How have you seen CFABQ grow and what are you looking forward to in the future for CFABQ? I have had the fortune to watch CrossFit Albuquerque grow. We were initially the first CrossFit gym in town and now, 7 years later, we are still standing strong. We have experienced coaches and a solid group of members.

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Rose

Name: Rose Ronquillo
Hometown: Santa Fe
Age: 38 going on 28 lol
Occupation: Retirement Planner
Started Crossfit: November 2015
Favorite Lift and Skill: Bar Muscle Ups
Least Favorite: Not sure yet
Sports fitness background: Gymnastics, NPC Figure Competitor
Hobbies outside of Crossfit: Love trying new things and going new places!
Go to cheat meal: Pizza and Chocolate
Why did you decide to try CrossFit? Thought I’d try something I’ve never done before.
What makes you come back each week? I know that everyday is a new challenge.
What would you say to people interested in trying CrossFit? Not for the faint of heart.
What made you decide to participate in your very first Open? I didn’t know what I was getting into really… Haha. I wanted to see where I ranked up in the World of CrossFit!
What did you learn from doing the Open? I learned I can lift more weight than I thought, I can do a bar muscle up, and also what I need to improve on. I also came to realize how vast the CrossFit community is!

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JM

Name: John Mark Warren
Hometown: Grew up in Albuquerque and moved back here about two years ago from NYC.
Age: 35
Occupation:  I help manage a small family oil and gas business.
Started Crossfit: December 23, 2015
Favorite Lift and Skill:  I like deadlifts and front squats because I am seeing steady improvement
Least Favorite:  Overhead squats and burpees.
Sports fitness background:  Golf, and I was a pretty fearsome foos-ball player in my prime! So in other words, I don’t have much of a fitness background.  I did start working out semi-regularly about a year and a half ago.
Hobbies outside of Crossfit:  I love playing golf, cooking and watching my Arizona Wildcats play football and basketball.  I have a three year old daughter and 2 year old son, so lots of time reading Frozen books and playing with trucks and trains as well.
Go to cheat meal:  I can’t answer this with a straight face…way too many meals are cheat meals…I’m working on it.  But anything with red meat and red wine tops the list.
Why did you decide to try CrossFit:  Last fall, I was trying to work out on my own at a local gym but it was always a drag to get there and my workouts weren’t very efficient.  Around that time CFA popped up in my instagram feed and I kept seeing how much fun everyone was having and how strong everyone was and decided to dive in and see if it was for me.
What makes you come back each week:  The rush I feel after a workout is awesome.  It’s been cool to do things I didn’t know I could do and see progress with different lifts and skills.  People have been so encouraging since the day I walked in, and it has been fun to get to know more and more of you.  I’m looking forward to getting my first pullup, toes-to-bar, rope climb and someday a long time from now, a muscle up…maybe before I’m 40.
What would you say to people interested in trying CrossFit?  For someone like me with no background in weightlifting, I’d tell them it doesn’t matter where your starting point is, because you’ll start seeing consistent progress right away if you’ll come regularly, ask questions and try anything.  If you want to truly become more fit and strong and are cool with leaving your pride at the door and pushing your limits, you’ll love it.  Plus CFA has cool t-shirts, so there’s that.
What made you decide to participate in your very first Open?  About 3 minutes in to 16.1 when my legs were already screaming, I was asking myself this very question.  I like competing and it sounded like fun to see where I ranked among my fellow scalers.  It will be really fun to compare this year’s results to next year’s results.  And the energy and excitement at the gym on Friday afternoons has been a blast to be a part of.

 

Brawl - Rope Climb

 Cathy the Katana

Name: Cathy Nishida
Hometown: Saratoga, CA
Age: 45
Occupation: Wildlife Biologist
Started CrossFit: 2012
Favorite Lift and skill: Snatches (when all the stars align and somehow I get it right), Double Unders, and Handstand Pushups
Least favorite: Wall Balls
Sports fitness background: I played volleyball and softball in high school, and gymnastics before that.
Hobbies outside of CrossFit: Snowboarding, Hiking, Traveling, Bird watching
Go to cheat meal: I have a weakness for cheese and all things caramelized in butter.
Why did you decide to try CrossFit? One of my best girlfriends is a CF coach in WA. While visiting her, she convinced my husband to check it out. I agreed to “try” it to support him. But then I ended up loving it.
What makes you come back each week? Being stronger and in better shape makes me a happier person. I love the sense of accomplishment from learning new skills or finally getting a new PR after a plateau.
What would you say to people interested in trying CrossFit? Do it! Everything can be scaled. And the results in how you look and feel are worth all the effort.
What do you love most about CrossFit? I love the supportive community CrossFit fosters.

Lucas Rose PicNo Thorns, Just Lucas Rose

Name: Lucas Rose
Hometown: Albuquerque, NM
Age: 13
Occupation: Student
Started CrossFit: August 2015
Favorite Lift and skill: Deadlift and pullups
Least favorite: parallette holds and thrusters
Sports fitness background: Basketball
Hobbies outside of CrossFit: Basketball
Go to cheat meal: Brownies
Why did you try CrossFit? To get in shape
What made you come back? My dad!

 


Mitch-the-machete
Mitch the Machete

Name: Mitchell Skroch
Hometown: Albuquerque, NM
Age: 21
Occupation: Student at UNM, studying  political science and criminology.
Started CrossFit: August 2015
Favorite lift and skill: My favorite workouts would be deadlifts and anything that involves gymnastics movements.
Least favorite: Overhead squats are the worst.
Sports fitness background: Prior to high school I was a competitive gymnast. During high school I played football and wrestled as well. As far as fitness goes, I have been weightlifting since high school.
Hobbies outside of CrossFit: Hunting, shooting, almost anything involving guns, mountain biking, Nacho Libre, cotton candy, puppy days, and long walks on the beach.
Go to cheat meal: Pizza and Buffalo Wild Wings
CrossFit milestones/memorable moments: Everyday is a milestone.
Why did you try CrossFit? I tried CrossFit because my friend Josh Mora recommended that I try it. I came in once and fell in love with the style of training.
What made you come back after your first WOD? I came back because I really enjoy the workouts that make you dig deep and push yourself past what you thought your limits were, and that happens a lot during CrossFit workouts. I returned to keep pushing myself in order to gain a higher level of fitness.

Jonah Beeson pic for newsletterThe One, The Only, The Jonah Beeson

Name: Jonah Beeson
Hometown: Albuquerque, NM
Age: 17
Occupation: I am in high school
Started CrossFit: I started CrossFit in February 2015
Favorite lift and skill: Everything but running
Lease favorite: Running
Sports fitness background: I have always done sports and have been working out since I was 14.
Hobbies outside of CrossFit: I like to spend time with my family and I do Special Olympics outside of CrossFit.
Go to cheat meal: Everything
CrossFit milestones/memorable moments: When I back squatted 205 pounds and when I finally got one pull-up.
Why did you try CrossFit? I tried CrossFit  because it looked really fun and I wanted to push myself to new limits.
What made you come back after your first WOD? What made me come back was after the workout was over I felt like a new person and it was really fun.
What would you suggest to people new to CrossFit? I would suggest people new to CrossFit to take it slow and pace yourself with the workouts.

Margaret Garcia de Duran

Name: Margaret Garcia de Duran
Hometown: Santa Fe/ Albuquerque
Age: 52 and holding
Occupation: Professional mother/caregiver/volunteer
Started CrossFit: 2013
Favorite lift or skill: I like mostly all skills although I do favor the rowing machine.
Least favorite: Any WOD that involves long runs!
Sports fitness background: High school track and field but that was so long ago I don’t know if that even counts. Enjoyed Spin for many years and all kinds of group exercise.
Hobbies outside of CrossFit: Yoga 4 times/week. Spectator at my 13 year old’s sporting events.
Go to cheat meal: Chocolate cake/ french toast/ ice cream- Not all at once maybe?
CrossFit milestones/ memorable moment: Memorable moment was when I brought my 25 year old daughter with me last summer and I could squat more than her. She said I was a beast! She thought I would be offended by saying that, but I wasn’t. Milestone: Not sure that this is a milestone, but I don’t see my age when I am in the gym. Not to worry, I don’t plan on coming into the gym on birthday. Nobody wants to do that many burpees unless its in the WOD.
Why did I try out CrossFit? I trained with Whitney at another gym and her workouts were so great. Nothing like I had ever done. I felt so accomplished when I was done and realized then I was doing CrossFit and I also realized that everything in CrossFit is functional and helpful in my everyday life. I was hooked. I left my old membership without looking back and made my way over to CrossFit Albuquerque.
What made me come back after my first WOD? All WODs are doable but the main reason I came back wasn’t about the WOD, it was more about the people. Everyone was welcoming, encouraging, and non judgmental. In addition I’d have to say it’s an addiction that keeps me returning and yet I know at my age it is the best thing I can do for my health.
What would I suggest to people new to CrossFit? It’s really fun. It’s not like what you see on TV. Keep coming back you will see improvements. Don’t give up. Don’t be afraid of the workouts. If I can do them, everyone can do them. It’s totally worth it!!!

ViviCFKids Bad Mamerjammer Vivian

Name: Viviana Grace Sallee
Hometown: Albuquerque, NM
Age: 8
Occupation: 3rd grade student at Mitchell Elementary
Started CrossFit Kids: May 2014
Favorite Lift or Skill: Rope Climbs
Least Favorite: Burpees because they hurt super bad
What are your favorite sports or outdoor activities? Swimming and mini golf
Hobbies outside of the gym: Cheerleading, singing, and dancing
Favorite meal: Spaghetti
Favorite moment at CrossFit Kids: The first time I did a rope climb.
Why do you like CrossFit Kids? Because its exercising and it’s healthy.
Who is your favorite coach? It’s hard to say. I love them all. I can’t choose just one.
What would you suggest to other kids that want to try CrossFit Kids? Try it out and it’s going to be amazing and fun!

Darian Athlete ProfileCrossFit Kids Champ- Darien Kaskalla

Name: Darien Kaskalla
Hometown: Albuquerque, NM
Age: 9 years old
Where do you go to school? Tierra Antigua Elementary
Started CrossFit Kids: I started CrossFit Kids July 2013
Favorite Lift or Skill: My favorite lift is thrusters and box jumps
Least Favorite: I don’t like burpees
What are your favorite sports or outdoor activities? I like playing with my friends and my dog taz
Hobbies outside of the gym: I like to read
Favorite meal: Chicken and rice
CrossFit Milestone or Favorite Moment at CrossFit Kids: When I was in CrossFit Kids I was able to do a handstand without help
Why did you like CrossFit Kids? So I can meet new people
Who is your favorite coach? All the coaches at CrossFit are my favorite
What would you suggest to other kids that want to try CrossFit Kids? I would tell them it is a better way to make your body grow stronger and faster.

CorreenCorreen Bales

Name: Correen Bales
Hometown: Happy Jack, AZ
Age: 48
Occupation: HR at Sandoval Regional Medical Center
Started CrossFit: 2012
Favorite Lift or Skill: Deadlift
Least Favorite: Front Squat
Sport/Fitness Background: Barrel racing
Hobbies outside of the gym: Horses, triathlons, being a grandma
Go to cheat meal: Chocolate milkshake
CrossFit Milestone or Favorite Moment at CrossFit ABQ: During the 2014 Open, we came to CFABQ to do the workout because the gym we were going to cut us off after a certain time. I wanted to finish it. While trying to do the burpee thruster workout, I didn’t think I could 65#, so my son, AJ, took the 10# plates off and put different 10# plates off, making me think I did 45#. I completed the workout at 65#.
Why did you decide to try out CrossFit? You can’t be AJ’s mom and not do CrossFit, whether you want to or not.
What made you come back after your first WOD? AJ
What would you suggest to people that are new to CrossFit? You can do it. Anybody can do it. Everything can be scaled. If I can do it, you can do it.

Nick1_Crossfit_abqSouza the Tsunami

Name: Nick Souza
Hometown: Honolulu, HI
Age: 24
Occupation: Crew Chief for the Untied States Air Force
Started CrossFit: January 2015
Favorite Lift or Skill: Jerk
Least Favorite: Over Head Squat
Sport/Fitness Background: Track and Cross Country in High School, and baseball as a kid.
Hobbies outside of the gym: Snowboarding and hiking
Go to cheat meal: Cheeseburger
CrossFit Milestone or Favorite Moment at CrossFit ABQ: In general, learning the different Olympic lifts.
Why did you decide to try out CrossFit? I wanted to try something different. Running wasn’t really working, I plateaued and wanted to try something else and see some gains. So far I’ve liked it.
What made you come back after your first WOD? The feeling of exhaustion and feeling of accomplishment. I wanted more of it, I wanted to see where this could go.
What would you suggest to people that are new to CrossFit? Don’t believe naysayers. Go to the classes and have people around you that push you. It’s about the community. Don’t just put your music in your ears and rely on yourself to motivate yourself. You get a lot more out of the workout being around others.

brittany AndersonBrittany Anderson

Hometown: Evansville, Indiana
Age: 34
Occupation: Stay-at-home mom (I’m also a registered nurse by degree).
Started CrossFit: July 2012
Favorite Lift or Skill:  Double unders and snatches
Least Favorite: Seriously?  Isn’t it thrusters for everyone?!
Sport/Fitness Background: I did running sports and played basketball in my high school days.  Between high school and Crossfit I just ran on my own.  I thought I was a pretty athletic gal…until I started Crossfit and realized I was living a lie!
Hobbies outside of the gym:  I’m a mom of 3 (almost 4!) busy little kiddos (I love it:) and most of my hobbies right now are doing things for my family (cooking, reading, sewing etc…).  But, some hobbies I’d someday like to get into, or back into, are playing guitar, writing calligraphy, and riding horses.
Go to cheat meal:  A slow-cooked roast and REAL mashed potatoes and gravy.  Or a peanut butter & jelly sandwich, believe it or not.
CrossFit Milestone or Favorite Moment at CrossFit ABQ:  Lots of good moments!  The  times I’ve shouted for joy were when I got my first pull up, did more than 10 double unders in a row, and broke 70 lbs on my snatch.

chipperlavChip Laverty

Name: Chip Laverty
Hometown: Angel Fire, NM
Age: 34
Occupation: Electrical Engineer
When can we find you at the gym? 5am or 6am classes
Started CrossFit: Oct 2013
Favorite Lift or Skill: Squats
Least Favorite: Burpees
CrossFit Goals: Still working on my first strict pull-up without the help of bands.
Sport/Fitness Background: I have skied since I was three. In high school I played basketball, ran track and cross country. I Played various recreational sports throughout college and after until I dislocated and tore ligaments in my ankle requiring me to stop playing sports.
Hobbies outside of the gym: Carpentry/Woodworking, spending time with my family and friends, playing with my one year old son, Bodi.
Why did you start Crossfitting: I joined CFABQ just before my son was born because I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol and was way overweight after I could no longer play sports due to having ankle surgery. I was looking for something to help me get back in shape and lose the weight I had gained since surgery.
What have you gained from doing CrossFit:  Crossfit has got me back in shape and wanting to work out more. It has made me want to be healthier in all parts of life and given me the energy to keep up with my son.
CrossFit Milestone or Favorite Moment at CrossFit ABQ: Winning totals week for beginners during my first totals week.

Bollota-picBobo 2.0

Name: Patrick Bollotta (aka Pat, aka Uncle Bobo)
Hometown: Bloomfield, NJ
Age: 23
Occupation: Aerospace Propulsion Journeyman in the United States Airforce
Started CrossFit: 2012
Favorite Lift or Skill: Snatches and muscle ups
Least Favorite: Overhead Squats and box jumps
Sport/Fitness Background: Played baseball all through childhood and high school. Winter track in high school to stay in shape (not for the women)
Hobbies outside of the gym: Going on long walks with Marvin (Matt Booth’s puppy), tanning, and laundry.
Go to cheat meal: Pizza (he’s Italian, go figure)
CrossFit Milestone or Favorite Moment at CrossFit ABQ: Winning first ever competition at the Barnyard Brawl in 2013.

ButtersButters

Hometown: Bartlesville, OK
Age: 23
Occupation: Aerospace Maintenance Journeyman
Started CrossFit: October 2012
Favorite Lift or Skill: Cleans
Least Favorite: All gymnastics
Sport/Fitness Background: Football
Hobbies outside of the gym: shooting guns and meticulously sculpting his hair
Go to cheat meal: “My whole life is a cheat meal”
CrossFit Milestone or Favorite Moment at CrossFit ABQ: Testing into WolfPack and “working out with Matt Booth”

 

Danielle J.

Hometown: North Plains, Oregon
Age: 23
Occupation: Educational Assistant
Started CrossFit: January 2013

Favorite Workout of the Day (WOD) or Lifts: I think my favorite lifts are cleans and squats.  I also really enjoy the WODs that are endurance based, they suck but I always feel a huge sense of accomplishment after finishing one.

Least Favorite: Snatches and overhead squats.

Sport and Fitness Background: I played soccer and ran cross-country and track through high school.  Post high school was mostly running, different training programs/classes offered at school, some weightlifting, and playing IM sports.

How were you first introduced to CrossFit and what was your first WOD?
A roommate in college was the one who introduced me to CrossFit.  I went to a couple classes with him throughout college but it never really stuck.  I honestly can’t remember what my first WOD was but I do remember it involved A TON of burpees and having to jump on a weight plate at the top of each burpee.  It sucked!!

What changes have you noticed in your body, health, and fitness since starting CrossFit ABQ?
My fitness level has increased so much in just the short time I have being doing CrossFit.  I can see improvements, some small, some bigger, in almost every WOD I do.  It feels great knowing that I am working hard to improve my lifestyle and become healthier. I have definitely gained muscle and I feel stronger.  I definitely feel like I am in the best shape I have been in in a really long time and it feels great!

What are some things you have experienced from CrossFit that were unexpected?
Probably the friendliness of pretty much everyone in the CrossFit community, it’s really amazing.  I also didn’t think it would be SO addicting.  I love CrossFit and I can’t imagine myself being happy doing any sort of other workout program.

What are some of your favorite memories at CrossFit ABQ?
Everyone is so supportive of one another.  No matter what level of experience or fitness you come into CrossFit with everyone is always willing to help you and encourage you.  It is such a great environment and community to be a part of.

What advice would you give to someone considering starting CrossFit?
Definitely track your workouts from the beginning; it’s something I wish I had started right away.  It’s awesome to see the progress you make. As with any workout regimen, you get out of it what you put into, so if you work your ass off you’re going to see amazing results.

What are some of your hobbies outside of the gym?
I like spending time outdoors with my two dogs, reading, shopping, and spending time with friends and family.  I am new to the area so I am really enjoying exploring Albuquerque and seeing what all it has to offer.

 

Amber M.

Hometown:  Farmington, NM
Age: 29
Occupation: Dentist
Started CrossFit:  Aug 2012
Favorite Workout of the Day (WOD):  Overhead squat and snatch
Least Favorite:  Thrusters/wallballs 🙁
Sport and Fitness Background: Triathlete in college, cheerleader (middle school-high school)

How were you first introduced to CrossFit and what was your first WOD?
I was first introduced to Crossfit through a colleague.  Honestly, I cannot remember my first WOD but I remember thinking that it was incredibly tough.

What changes have you noticed in your body, health, and fitness since starting CrossFit ABQ?
I have become a well-rounded athlete.  I have much more strength than I had previously, which has helped in many different areas of fitness.  I have made more of an effort to “eat clean” since starting crossfit.  Overall, I feel great!

What are some things you have experienced from CrossFit that were unexpected?
I came into crossfit already having participated in a similar program so I really didn’t think I would experience the “soreness” that comes along with starting new fitness programs…well I was wrong!  I think I was sore for close to a month before my body adjusted to the changes.

What are some of your favorite memories at CrossFit ABQ?
Boxtoberfest and 2013 Open

What advice would you give to someone considering starting CrossFit?
Expect to work hard and perhaps not see immediate changes but know that it will eventually payoff.  From the beginning, write down the WODs, your PR’s and times…the changes over time will amaze you!!

What are some of your hobbies outside of the gym?
Skiing, wakeboarding, swimming, running, cycling, camping, shopping, playing violin, watching movies.

 

 

Erin G.

Hometown: Raton
Age: 21
Occupation: Student
Started CrossFit: September 2012
Favorite Workout of the Day (WOD): I really like to clean and squat, they were the first lifts I felt successful at.  I also love body weight WODs such as Cindy.
Least Favorite: My least favorite moves are probably man makers and snatches.
Sport and Fitness Background: Throughout my life I have participated in some type of physical activity. In high school I just about did everything volleyball, basketball, track, tennis, and cheerleading. I tried staying active throughout my time in college participating in pilates, zumba, running and yoga. I was never one to lift weights and always shied away from it. I guess you can say I was the typical “cardio queen”, that is until I started CrossFit.

How were you first introduced to CrossFit and what was your first WOD?
I was introduced to CrossFit by my big sister Jacy. Jacy had been doing CrossFit for a few months and loved it and she was convinced I would love it too. She wanted me to try it out. I was extremely hesitant at first. Not only was I scared to death of becoming “bulky” but I was also horrified by some of the lifts and movements which CrossFit involves.  Jacy finally convinced me to give it a try. The first WOD I participated in was something like toes to bar and pull-ups, I’m unsure what else. As we drove away I told her I could not see myself doing such a workout all the time or ever being successful at it. None the less she convinced me to go back two days later. The WOD was box jumps, double unders, and 400 m runs. It was awful I wanted to stop but knew that I needed to finish the workout, I did, and then I got sick. It was then that I started to fall in love with CrossFit. I loved how hard it made me push myself and how proud I was of myself for finishing the workout.

What changes have you noticed in your body, health, and fitness since starting CrossFit ABQ?
I have witnessed an array of changes since I have started CrossFit. Of course my strength improvement has been amazing, my endurance, and my overall fitness level has increased substantially. My health overall has increased both mentally and physically. I feel that I am mentally stronger than I have ever been. My body has seen changes in appearance because I am more fit now than ever before. I have not become “bulky” at all, simply toned and have actually gained weight yet dropped size. Due to CrossFit I am more confident in myself than ever before.

What are some things you have experienced from CrossFit that were unexpected?
One thing that I have experienced from CrossFit which was unexpected is the overall increase in my self-efficacy. Another and one of my favorite aspects of CrossFit is the sense of community which I have gained from the box. I absolutely love the people at our box, from our wonderful trainers to the athletes. Even when I am having a bad day I am always excited to go do the WOD simply to see everyone because I know they will make my day so much brighter.

What are some of your favorite memories at CrossFit ABQ?
Oh goodness, where to even begin… Well as I stated earlier my big sister does CrossFit with me and when you put the two of us together anything can happen. Most of my favorite times are with her by my side joking, laughing, and pushing each other to do our best.  As well as all the times I spend joking and laughing with other members and coaches.

What advice would you give to someone considering starting CrossFit?
My advice would be not to let it intimidate you but embrace the fact you’re doing something totally new. Embrace the personal challenge CrossFit presents and enjoy each stepping stone you conquer throughout your journey with CrossFit.

What are some of your hobbies outside of the gym?
Hobbies I enjoy outside the gym are hanging out with friends and family. I also love being outdoors especially when the weather is warm.

 

 

Jacy G.

Hometown:  Raton, NM
Age: 24
Occupation: Chemical/Materials Engineer
Started CrossFit: August 2012
Favorite Workout of the Day (WOD) or movements: Cleans and Squats
Least Favorite: Double Unders
Sport and Fitness Background: I have always played sports of some type, volleyball, basketball, track, soccer and have always had some sort of workout routine

How were you first introduced to CrossFit and what was your first WOD?
I was introduced to Crossfit by Whitney, finally I gave in and came to see what it was all about. My first WOD was in bootcamp, I am not sure what it was but it was love at first WOD. I could not remember being that sore after the first week. That weekend was Bugaboo, there I was introduced to the true atmosphere Crossfit has to offer (people everywhere, cheering each other on). I knew after that I would never turn away.

What changes have you noticed in your body, health, and fitness since starting CrossFit ABQ?
The changes I have seen in my body have been great, I feel strong when I do things, whether it is movements in a WOD, or going and playing basketball. I feel that I am finally on a road to having a healthy lifestyle that I will be able to hold on to for life. And of course, my fitness levels have increased greatly.

What are some things you have experienced from CrossFit that were unexpected?
Camaraderie, Community, and Infatuation. The camaraderie is people cheering each other on to finish one more rep, knowing the person next to you is pushing your limitations but you both keep moving.  The community is the friends that I have made because of Crossfit. And the infatuation is the love I have for the WOD’s, time spent in the box, and the ideals that keep me coming back for more (it’s very addicting).

What are some of your favorite memories at CrossFit ABQ?
I have a lot of good memories at Crossfit ABQ, but some of the best would be the time spent with my sister and friends, when we all start giggling over what someone said and we just cannot stop. When Brain got his first muscle up, it was awesome. I love to see people PR or successfully get a movement they have been working on.

What advice would you give to someone considering starting CrossFit?
Do it now, stop waiting. Get to an intro and get started. You will not regret it. You will be challenged and you will find something out about yourself that you didn’t know when you started.

What are some of your hobbies outside of the gym?
Hanging out with my family and friends, traveling, reading, cooking (lots of cooking).

 

Chris G.

Hometown: Los Lunas, NM
Age: 25
Occupation: Corrections Officer
Started CrossFit: February 2012
Favorite Workout of the Day (WOD): Fight Gone Bad
Least Favorite: Anything with snatches or airdynes
Sport and Fitness Background: Football, basketball, and track in high school.

How were you first introduced to CrossFit and what was your first WOD?
My friend Nick Wilhelm spoke to my brother and I about Crossfit. I tried it out and was immediately hooked. I don’t remember what my first wod was though.

What changes have you noticed in your body, health, and fitness since starting CrossFit ABQ?
After being there a while I find I have more energy, confidence, stamina, and strength than when I worked out on my own at a generic gym before.

What are some things you have experienced from CrossFit that were unexpected?
I always thought I was in pretty good shape at least endurance-wise until I got to CrossFit Albuquerque. Now I have much more respect for real athletes with Crossfit endurance. Even to this day I find myself gasping for breath and not wanting to move after wods, but I’ve gotten much more endurance and strength than when I started. Also the intensity of the workouts is something I’ve come to love. 10-15 minutes on a tough wod at CrossFit will wreck me for days now while before I’d workout for up to 2 and a half hours at another gym and be no worse for wear the next day.

What are some of your favorite memories at CrossFit ABQ?
Doing my first muscle up, and the comraderie of course. It’s very motivational to have the support of everyone at the gym, especially when you’re the last one still gutting out the wod and everyone is yelling for you.

What advice would you give to someone considering starting CrossFit?
I would tell them about my experiences and growth that comes with it, and let them know that after CrossFit I will never join a ‘regular’ gym again because of what CrossFit does for me.

What are some of your hobbies outside of the gym?
Hanging out with friends and family, hiking, and most sports.

 

Cynthia M.

Hometown: Albuquerque, NM
Age: 35
Occupation: 1st Grade Teacher
Started CrossFit: May 2011
Favorite Workout of the Day (WOD):  I really do not have a favorite WOD.  I do like to be challenged and how the workouts consistently change provide me the opportunity to see my growth when a similar WOD comes back around.
Least Favorite: Burpees!
Sport and Fitness Background: I never played any sports when I was younger.  I do like to swim, snowboard, and do small fun runs. As for working out, I was one that went to the gym for a bit and then would stop for a bit because I got bored.

How were you first introduced to CrossFit and what was your first WOD?
I was first introduced to CrossFit through my husband James.  He started it back in 2008-2009.  I went with my husband and Sean Elks to the 2009 Crossfit Regionals in Flagstaff, AZ.  It was there I first saw Chris Spealler and I was amazed by his athletic ability.  Looking back at that “Reginals” compared to now, it is crazy to see how small it was back then. My very first WOD was on May 4, 2011.  I had to do 5 rounds for time of the following:  20 air squats; 10 deadlifts (only used 55lbs); 20 double unders (which I had to do 20 singles with 10 burpees instead).  I finished it in about 7+ minutes. 

What changes have you noticed in your body, health, and fitness since starting CrossFit ABQ?
I have seen so many changes in my body, health and fitness levels.  When I first started Crossfit, I weighed around 170lbs at 5’1.  Now I weigh between 135-140.  I couldn’t do any pull-ups and I had to use the thickest band to do pull-ups.  Now, I can complete a couple chest to bars without bands.  I feel much stronger and I feel better.  CrossFit ABQ has really changed my life and how I look at fitness. I use to be a person to make the excuses for food and working out.  Now, this is the most consistent I have ever been in working out and eating more healthy. CrossFit ABQ has taught me how to make healthier food choices in a way that I can maintain and how to push myself to the next physical level.  It has taught me that it is ok to have a hard day with eating and or working out, but tomorrow is another day and to keep moving forward.  I have learned that it is important not to give up and that changes don’t happen overnight.  It is about changing your lifestyle and the people at CrossFit ABQ have taught me how to make healthier food choices.  It has also taught me that strength is not just about the physical aspect, but it is also about strengthening your mind.    CrossFit has taught  me that it is important to live in a more balanced lifestyle by incorporating healthier food choices, working out, and still enjoying your free time. 

What are some things you have experienced from CrossFit that were unexpected?
I have experienced many positive things at CrossFit ABQ.  I have formed positive long lasting relationships with the people I work out with, the coaches, and the owners.  I have learned how far I have become with what everyone has taught me, but I have also learned that I will continue to grow.  CrossFit isn’t just about working out physically, but it is about the balance of being healthy, and strengthening your physical ability and mentality. 

What are some of your favorite memories at CrossFit ABQ?
Some of my favorite memories at CrossFit ABQ are all the times the people at the gym get together outside of working out and let loose.  The many times I have been able to be “the #1 spectator” at the Regionals and different competitions.  It makes me feel good to be able to support my friends and be a part of their encouragement to push themselves to their limits.  

What advice would you give to someone considering starting CrossFit? 
I would tell the person to try their best and don’t get discouraged.  I would recommend that they have a WOD journal, so they can keep track of the weights used, the bands used, and how well they performed for each WOD.  I would recommend taking each workout one step at a time and focus on the technique, but never forget how far they have come.  If you get upset about how you performed in a workout, just be reminded that “you are stronger then yesterday.”

What are some of your hobbies outside of the gym?
My hobbies outside of the gym include traveling, arts and crafts, painting, Do-it-yourself projects, watching movies, and just having fun while enjoying food and a good beer.   

 

 

Kim B.

Hometown: G-town U-S-A!!! (Gallup)
Age: 24
Occupation: Full time PA student
Started CrossFit: January 2012
Favorite Workout of the Day (WOD): I can sadly but honestly say that I’ve only done 2 ladies (gigitty), but I’m crazy and love the torture. As far as moves go: I love me some manmakers!!! Especially when I see all the “men” on the floor after :P. Call me crazy but I also really like burpees, box jumps, and double unders!
Least Favorite: Just sayin…eff you toes to bar!
Sport and Fitness Background: I grew up in a really active family so I was always participating in sports: soccer, basketball, racquetball, track, etc. The majority of my youth, though, was spent doing Tae Kwon Do. I was the first one in my dojo earn their black belt at the age of 14. If you know me, you know that I cannot sit still…I even do situps, stretch, or hula-hoop with my 5# hoop while I’m studying. So when I’m not at crossfit you can find me: swimming, running, or lifting with Trevor. Sgt Veitz’s methods are pretty brutal, but he knows how to motivate me-tell me I can’t do it because I’m a woman. Yoga is also my icing on the cake.

How were you first introduced to CrossFit and what was your first WOD?
I met Chris Bettis through the PA program and was introduced to it through him. He said that he thought it would be perfect for me because I “had that kind of crazy in me.” Looks like he was right! My first WOD was the intro WOD…Joe V can tell you how well that went. Cliff notes were: I couldn’t do 10 pushups to save my life, and the guy that came with me threw up on the way home. I was so tired but hooked from the get go!

What changes have you noticed in your body, health, and fitness since starting CrossFit ABQ?
I’ve always been a competitor and used to put my body through heck. I didn’t have good nutrition habits, didn’t rest enough, and was constantly riding weight loss/gain waves. I can honestly tell you that crossfit has completely changed my life. I no longer feel like I have to workout as punishment…I now reward myself with exercise as a stress reliever and for my peace of mind. In my first 6 months I was incredibly inspired by all the amazing athletes in our gym but I was frustrated on how slow my progress was going. I finally asked Whitney how she got to be so strong and she said “you’ve got to eat a $%*^ load” and that statement completely changed my outlook on nutrition for athletes. Since I made the change to eating more and “cleaner” foods I’ve noticed a huge difference in my fitness.

What are some things you have experienced from CrossFit that were unexpected?
Realizing that strong is the new skinny, inheriting a new family, and doing things that I never thought I would be able to do (i.e. pullups).

What are some of your favorite memories at CrossFit ABQ?
I had been going to crossfit for about a month when this guy comes up to me and tries to “teach” me how to do pullups better. I rolled my eyes thinking, “check out this meat-head…cute, but still a meat head” and naturally began making fun of him. This “Meat head” and I have now been together for about a year now 🙂 It’s hard to nail down best memories because I’ve met so many amazing people and we always have such a blast together. PS…I miss you Laura Owens!!!

What advice would you give to someone considering starting CrossFit?
Just do it…it’s hard to explain it without it sounding really intimidating and cult-like, but I promise that it will be the best decision you have ever made for your health and fitness.

What are some of your hobbies outside of the gym?
Let’s be honest with ourselves here…PA student= no life in general, but if I do get away I love: snowboarding, running, rock climbing, skydiving (even though I’ve only been twice), shooting guns, any kind of dancing, and talking nerdy about medicine.

 

 

Tony A.

Hometown: Los Lunas, NM
Age: 27
Occupation: Financial Management Analyst
Started CrossFit: January 2011
Favorite Workout of the Day (WOD):  Wall balls, Box Jumps, Squats, and Pull ups
Least Favorite: Double Unders!!!!!!
Sport and Fitness Background: I have/still do play(ed) several sports: basketball, baseball, soccer, track, golf, snowboarding, skiing, cycling, and tennis.

How were you first introduced to CrossFit and what was your first WOD?
Jason Gallegos and Nick Wilhelm told me about CrossFit and I would more than likely enjoy it.  On my first day, the skills part of the WOD was hand stand pushups.  I couldn’t get up into a handstand.  Emily tried so hard to help me up and after like 10 mins she finally said why don’t you just try using the box.  The WOD was 21-15-9 deadlifts and burpees.  I loaded the bar up with 225 lbs and Joe must have walked by like 5 times to try talking me into lowering the weight.  I have no idea how long it took me to finish but it seemed like forever.  Then Joe walked up to me and asked how it was, after I had told him I had no idea it would be that hard, he had that look in his eye that said you should of listened to me when I told you to go lighter.

What changes have you noticed in your body, health, and fitness since starting CrossFit ABQ?
I was a fairly healthy eater before I started CrossFit, so my diet hasn’t changed that much.  My overall fitness level has gone way up.  My willingness to come workout every day has gone up.  The biggest improvement to me is my flexibility.  When I first started, I had trouble holding a squat at the bottom of a Russian Baby Maker.  I am now bending in ways I never thought was possible.  My muscle endurance has also increased since I started.

What are some things you have experienced from CrossFit that were unexpected?
The family atmosphere was the biggest shock to me.  When I first started I assumed it was going to be just like any other gym.  But it is completely different, the coaches and other members actually care and want you to improve.  I was never taught proper lifting form growing up, so I was surprised at all the technicalities involved with each lift.

What are some of your favorite memories at CrossFit ABQ?
The thing I enjoy the most is seeing the improvement all of the members day to day.  Boxtoberfeast and Bugaboo were fun weekends as well.  And meeting people from various backgrounds that are all interested in CrossFit.

What advice would you give to someone considering starting CrossFit?
Come into CrossFit with an open mind.  It can seem intimidating at first, but keep in mind that everyone isn’t prefect at everything.  Everyone needs to get better at one thing or several things.  And plus there is going to be several people that will be happy to give you a few pointers.

What are some of your hobbies outside of the gym?
Spending time with my family and friends, camping, hunting, reading, and cooking.

 

Morgan H.

Hometown: Bolinas, California
Age: 27
Occupation: EKG Tech Presbyterian Health Services
Started CrossFit: 1/2011
Favorite Workout of the Day (WOD): anything involving fast passed body weight movements…and double unders. I’m a fan of “Cindy” too.
Least Favorite: “Karen”
Sport and Fitness Background: I started playing soccer when I was real young then moved into Track and Field, mainly sprints and 400m hurdles. In college I belonged to the local “Globo Gym” and thought I was getting myself in shape. It wasn’t until CrossFit that I really understood what it meant to push my limits.

How were you first introduced to CrossFit and what was your first WOD? I was first introduced to CrossFit in college during my Sports Strength and Conditioning class. We never did a WOD because our professor was only interested in teaching his own version of functional movements and Olympic lifting. It wasn’t until last year that my fiancé and I decided to try it for ourselves. Our first workout was a modified Karen. It was the hardest workout I had ever done, but I’ve been hooked ever since.

What changes have you noticed in your body, health, and fitness since starting at CrossFit ABQ? I have had sports induced Asthma most of my life, and now with the combination of Paleo and CrossFit I virtually no longer have symptoms. My fitness level and neuromuscular control has improved immensely, which has allowed me to see significant strength gains, muscle endurance, fat loss and above all improvement of my daily activities.

What are some things you have experienced from CrossFit that were unexpected? I wasn’t expecting to make so many awesome new friendships from CrossFit. But it was apparent from the beginning that everyone at the gym was there to support each other and push themselves further than they thought possible.

What are some of your favorite memories at CrossFit ABQ? Some of my favorite memories from ABQ would be the day to day things, like watching someone work at one movement for a week after class and finally get it one day, or watching someone struggle for that last 30 seconds to finish a WOD and then collapse on the floor, or the little side competitions that happen and the “nice jobs” passed around after WODs, its all the little things that make ABQ great.

What advice would you give to someone considering starting CrossFit? Some gyms can be intimidating for some, but if you just give it a shot, not matter what your athletic background you’re going to get stronger, faster, and see huge improvements in yourself, and once your in, you’ll find a niche and get hooked just like I did.

What are some of your hobbies outside of the gym? I enjoy helping people at the hospital, running with my dogs, cooking, riding my bike, a tall mug of Guinness every now and then, and since I’ve been in New Mexico I’ve gotten more into hiking and snowshoeing in the mountains.

 

Renee G.

Hometown: Corrales, NM
Age: 28
Occupation:  Mechanical Engineer
Started CrossFit:  January 2012
Favorite Workout of the Day (WOD): Fran (I love Fran because your growth is so easily reflected each time you do it.)
Least Favorite: Karen (I’ve eaten too many wall balls to like Karen.)
Sport and Fitness Background: I played water polo in high school but wouldn’t call myself an athlete. I also cycled and attempted to regularly go to the gym before CrossFit.

How were you first introduced to CrossFit and what was your first WOD? I work next door to the old CrossFit Rio Rancho location and my coworkers encouraged me to try it out. Unlike most people I had witnessed my fair share of WOD’s before partaking in one, which definitely added to my hesitation. Luckily I tried it because I haven’t missed a week yet. My first WOD was modified Karen, 85 wall balls at 8 lbs, and after that I couldn’t sit down for a few days.

What changes have you noticed in your body, health, and fitness since starting at CrossFit ABQ? In May after just five months of CrossFit and eating Paleo I was given a clean bill of health after seven years of fighting thyroid cancer.  Apart from adding CrossFit four times a week and eating Paleo my lifestyle hadn’t changed. I’ve also lost weight which for anyone without a thyroid is extremely challenging. My doctors are constantly impressed with the improvements in my health and are now doing research on suggesting CrossFit to other patients since they hadn’t previously heard of CrossFit.

What are some things you have experienced from CrossFit that were unexpected? The great friendships I’ve gained with my trainers and colleagues were definitely unexpected. At CrossFit ABQ I’m surrounded by people that inspire and push me. I couldn’t imagine going back to exercising alone. I also gained mental strength that allows me to push myself more than I ever thought possible.

What are some of your favorite memories at CrossFit ABQ? Some of my favorite memories at CrossFit ABQ are getting a movement for the first time.  I can still remember the first time I graduated from using a PVC pipe when doing overhead squats. AJ had worked with me at CrossFit Rio Rancho but my flexibility was limiting. I told Joe I couldn’t use a bar when doing OH squats and of course he wouldn’t have that. My favorite memories are all linked to my trainers helping me grow by giving me the bar when I pick the PVC pipe.

What advice would you give to someone considering starting CrossFit? To anyone considering starting CrossFit I would say just don’t be intimidated. Most people I talk to are either intimidated by the new atmosphere or the idea of CrossFit. I always say that I was intimidated at first too but I’ve only had great experiences with other CrossFit athletes and my trainers have always scaled each workout so it is challenging, never impossible.

What are some of your hobbies outside of the gym? Outside of the gym I love to garden, bake, fish, travel, and spend time with our two dogs.

 

 

Sam L.

Home town: Albuquerque, NM
Age: 29
Occupation: Corrections Officer
Started CrossFit: July 27, 2012
Favorite Workout of the day (WOD): Every workout because it utilizes every core muscle group, and you get out of the workouts what you put into it.
Least Favorite: Any workout that does not kill me afterwards.
Sport and Fitness Background: Football, Wrestling, Track and Field

How you were first introduced to CrossFit and what was your first WOD? I was introduced to CrossFit by my friend Chris Gallegos at Metro Politan Detention Center’s employee gym, we did a Hero WOD. The Hero WOD was the worst workout I’ve done in over ten years and I was hooked.

What changes have you noticed in your body, health, and fitness since starting CrossFit ABQ? When I started CrossFit I weighed 248 lbs. and it was difficult to do anything in life, I could not breathe right, sleep right, and now three months later I’m weighing 205 lbs. and I’m a whole different person. Eating wise and in every other aspect in life I got my second chance here at CrossFit ABQ.

What are some things you have experienced from CrossFit that were unexpected? First of all to finish a WOD, to drop weight so fast, the camaraderie, and the way you get addicted to CrossFit.

What are some of your favorite memories at CrossFit ABQ? On my first day when I walked into the gym and saw all different age groups of men and women standing side by side getting ready to start a WOD, and me finishing last after all these other people and I was half their age. I thought to myself if they can do it I can do it. I remember hearing all of them finish and come and encourage me to finish the WOD. The best of all is that nobody gives up on you.

What advice would you give to someone considering starting CrossFit? I would tell them that this is their second chance at life, and an opportunity to live the life they’ve always wanted. This is the cornerstone of all the basic fundamentals in life were you can start a goal and accomplish it with plenty of support, and no one tells you, you can’t do it. We all start off at different levels some of us prior athletes and some of us not but here we are all considered equal. We all finish exhausted and regardless of what level we are we all feel the same at the end of the WOD. Some of us accomplish goals and some of us with new goals to conquer.

What are some of your hobbies outside of the gym? I enjoy fishing and new found hobbies in hiking mountains and learning how to swim. My biggest hobby is helping my father run the family business, cooking is my biggest passion in life to make something from raw ingredients and watch someone else’s expressions from what I cooked.

 

Stew A.

Hometown: Ogden, UT
Age:  32
Occupation:  Dentist (DMD)
Started CrossFit (Month/Year):  (July/2011)
Favorite Workout of the Day (WOD): I really enjoy the challenge and technicality of Olympic weightlifting.
Least Favorite:  Any WOD with long runs.
Sport and Fitness Background:  Football & Baseball

How were you first introduced to CrossFit and what was your first WOD? Introduced by my brother who lives in Utah who had been nagging me for a years to try. First WOD, was at Whitney’s Boot Camp and it was 10 minutes of Cindy.  I remember having to scale significantly with banded pull-ups and knee push-ups.

What changes have you noticed in your body, health, and fitness since starting CrossFit ABQ? I have lost a significant amount of weight while gaining lean muscle mass.  My strength has increased significantly and I feel like at a moments notice I can enjoy any life activity, which requires fitness.

What are some things you have experienced from CrossFit that were unexpected? The community and camaraderie is second to none.  There truly is a symbiotic relationship with everyone at the gym and I love the new friends I have made along the way.

What are some of your favorite memories at CrossFit ABQ? 5 AM classes.  My first year of CrossFit, I was limited to only 5 AM because of schedule so I will always remember waking up real early and sweating with the regulars.  Also, my first muscle-up was very memorable as well.

What advice would you give to someone considering starting CrossFit? Give it a few weeks.

What are some of your hobbies outside of the gym? My family and 3 wonderful, busy kids.

 

 

Catherine H.

Hometown: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Age: 43
Occupation: Real Estate
Started CrossFit: December 2011

Favorite Workout of the Day (WOD): I really like days when we do the rope climb. I had not done one since grade school and the first several times it was in the WOD I could not do it and had to pull the rope from the floor. I am somewhat afraid of heights as well. When I finally figured out the best technique that worked for me and I got to the top of the rope, I was ecstatic. I also really enjoy the feeling of a dead lift. There is something really wonderful about lifting a lot of weight off the floor. I also read an article about how beneficial the dead lift move is for women in strengthening the lower back muscles in order to keep us strong and stable in our elder years.

Least Favorite: Running. Which is funny because that was my only source of exercise before I found CrossFit and I still participate in running races. I do believe that running is still very important to our overall endurance…I will do it but it does not mean I like it!

Sport and Fitness Background: At a very young age I was a figure skater and soccer player but never continued sports in High School or College. I have always by nature been an active person. I married into a running family so I picked up running 4 years ago. I’ve participated in many 5k running races but never placed, also a few yoga classes here and there.

How were you first introduced to CrossFit and what was your first WOD? One day my brother-in-law handed me a PVC pipe and challenged me to do a passover. When I did it, first try, he told me I should look into CrossFit. Both my brother and sister-in-law do CrossFit in Santa Fe. I had no knowledge of CrossFit so I looked it up on the internet and read every word of the CrossFit Albuquerque web site, watched a few You Tube videos and thought… this is just the adrenaline rush I have been looking for. My first WOD was with trainer Joe Vigil, 100 pull ups, 100 sit ups, 100 push ups. I scaled back huge, did pull ups with the green band, push ups on my knees and sit ups with lots of rest.  I wanted (and knew I could) to do better than this so I signed on!

What changes have you noticed in your body, health, and fitness since starting CrossFit ABQ? The most noticeable change since I have started CrossFit has been everyday tasks that require physical exertion are not an issue for me anymore. I hurt my back badly several years ago and vacuuming or walking up a flight of stairs with something heavy, hurt. Never has CrossFit caused me injury. There is a big difference between being injured and being sore. Sore? Yes, I am, but in a good way, a strong way. My kids have gotten used to the sounds I make getting out of my truck due to sore quads from the morning WOD. I have learned that a sore body today is a stronger body tomorrow! This is what keeps me coming back for more. On a fitness and endurance level, my running before I started CrossFit was never improving. I thought maybe I should try running longer distances but this only increased the amount of time my workouts would take to complete with no improvement in my time, fitness, strength, or weight loss. Since doing CrossFit I have knocked a full minute and a half off my running mile, lost all the weight I need too and gained muscle mass. When people see me now they are amazed at the change that has taken place in my body over the past 9 months and they ask what I am doing. CrossFit!

What are some things you have experienced from CrossFit that were unexpected? The level of improvement in my overall fitness level and the importance of good nutrition. For the first couple of months doing CrossFit my body was sore from head to toe and I was tired. My body was screaming at me. This is where I learned how important it was to continue with what I was doing. My mind continued to try to tell me to stop, this hurt, you’re tired, you suck, but my body continued to out perform my mind. Every time I showed up for the WOD I was amazed at how much fitness and strength could take place in such a short amount of time and how over this short amount of time that I have been doing CrossFit, the massive amount of progress I have made. This said, I could never be where I am today if it was not for the amazing trainers at this CrossFit gym. Joe, Whitney, Emily and Matt have coached and corrected me every step of the way. Now I do strict pull ups with no band, real push ups, higher than 24” box jumps, I can climb that rope to the top, I can lift more than I ever expected with correct technique, I don’t get tired as easily, and I can do double unders! I have also learned the key link between exercise and good nutrition. What you put in to your body is what your body will give back to you. I have learned to eat foods that have purpose. Foods that give the most nutritional bang for the buck. I trained my eating habits to fuel my body and not to fatten it. But I am not so strict that I don’t indulge because I can never give up chocolate and red wine.

What are some of your favorite memories at CrossFit ABQ? My favorite memories are watching other CrossFitters reach their goals. I once witnessed a guy do his first muscle up and the smile of joy coming from him reaching that personal goal is unforgettable. I really like the ‘family’ of CrossFit. I have never participated in a work out regimen where the loudest cheers you hear are words of encouragement from other CrossFitters towards the last person trying to finish the WOD.

What advice would you give to someone considering starting CrossFit? If you want to change your life, try CrossFit. Commit to it for 6 months and show up on a regular basis. You will see such amazing results and changes in your life and in your body that you would have never believed possible. Don’t compare your level to others. Work at CrossFit at the pace you are at with your own self. We are all at different levels and strengths and the best way to get better at CrossFit is to focus on your own technique and abilities and build upon these.

What are some of your hobbies outside of the gym? Cooking and melting chocolate (you would not believe how calming it can be). Throwing the ball for my corgi, Maggie, at the park. When that fluffy white stuff falls from the sky, I really love skiing on it at every opportunity, while savoring the doughnut I hid in my ski jacket on the lift to the next run with the most wonderful human on earth, my husband!

 

 

Jason G.

Hometown: Los Lunas, NM
Age: 26
Occupation: Orthopedics
Started CrossFit: December 2011
Favorite Workout of the Day (WOD): “Nasty Girls” or anything with power cleans
Least Favorite: Anything with thrusters
Sport and Fitness Background: Football, basketball, and track in high school

How were you first introduced to CrossFit and what was your first WOD? I was first introduced to CrossFit by a current member (Nick “The Wonderboy” Wilhelm). My first WOD was muscle-up progressions, handstand pushups, and double unders. I felt completely smoked at the end, but was immediately hooked.

What changes have you noticed in your body, health, and fitness since starting at CrossFit ABQ? I feel much healthier overall and have noticed a big difference in my fitness level since starting CrossFit. My overall strength (especially my legs) has increased dramatically.

What are some things you have experienced from CrossFit that were unexpected? The camaraderie and supportive atmosphere of CrossFit ABQ was something that was unexpected and unlike any other gym I previously attended. Also, there is a spirit of competition present that is motivational.

What are some of your favorite memories at CrossFit ABQ? Hitting Personal Records (PR’s) on lifts and movements. Also, getting my first muscle up.

What advice would you give to someone considering starting CrossFit? I would tell them to definitely try it. There are progressions and ways for everyone to do the WODs. No one is excellent at everything and everyone is constantly trying to improve. I would encourage people to not let pride get in the way and just come in and give it a shot. No one judges at CrossFit ABQ and it is a very supportive and encouraging atmosphere.

What are some of your hobbies outside of the gym? I really enjoy playing beach volleyball and snowboarding.

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