How did you start CrossFit? I started in January, 2017 after consistently hearing a co-worker rave about his fantastic experience at his box. I have always been a regular at traditional gyms (Gold’s etc.) working out on my own, running, or following random fitness programs. But the structure and variety my co-worker talked about was what drew me in. After switching to a Paleo diet for a few months, including awesome dinners at Red Rock, I decided to join RCF in January 2017. Before joining, I thought the diet would be the hard part… boy was I wrong…
What is your favorite part about CrossFit? Leaving the box after every workout. LOL.
What motivates you to continue CrossFit? Trying to keep up with Anna Ivanov and John Giordano (who is older than me) who kick my ass every time.
What are your favorite movements and favorite WOD? Favorite movement…burpees! No seriously. Burpees were the first movement that I felt I was actually good at. Friends and coaches early on told me I was good/fast at those and hearing that was really good encouragement. Favorite WOD…well, I try to quickly forget about them after I get through them J but I the WODs that have new or rarely used movements and exercises in them are my favorites. We all do a lot of squats, presses, deadlifts, etc. but when things like rope climbs, HSPUs, and parallettes are involved, those are “fun” for me. Plus the partner WODs…those are great and provide good comradery and motivation.
What is your favorite CrossFit memory? The WOD after the Ashland Trail Race this past Spring. After most of us ran the 5k through the woods, being there on the beach doing those WODs was just awesome! We were rock stars!
What is the best advice you can give a fellow CrossFitter? Don’t get intimidated. I tell myself this every day. Don’t get intimidated by the WOD or the boot camp. Do what you can each workout – push yourself but to a point you are comfortable. Don’t get intimidated by the tight knit community (aka the mythical “cult”). Participate and socialize if you want to – but don’t feel like you have to.
Tell us something about yourself (NOT fitness related) that others might not know. Every year on St. Patrick’s Day I dress as a leprechaun and walk in the St. Paul Minnesota parade. Let’s just say, I fit the part and the costume really well. Ask me about this years “bounce”…
How did you start CrossFit? I had a client of mine that started telling me all about this guy named "Rich Froning" and how good the guy was at CrossFit. I went on to YouTube to check out past clips of the CrossFit Games and was instantly hooked!! After about a year of watching all of the past games I decided that I wanted to get into it and found RCF, and the rest is history!!
What is your favorite part about CrossFit? It’s always challenging and you never stop learning, I'm always excited when I’m presented with a challenge, and floored when I meet that challenge! It's always interesting and I never get bored! Also, the community aspect of it, and how I've made so many friends through CrossFit already!
What motivates you to continue CrossFit? I always want to get better, and want to be able to tackle any workout with extreme confidence!
What are your favorite movements and favorite WOD? Some of my favorite movements are snatches, rowing is my jam!, and I'm crazy because I also like wall balls and burpees (just not over any sort of object).
What is your favorite CrossFit memory? Definitely experiencing my first open, such an awesome time. And not to sound like a suck up or anything, but Friday Night Lights, watching Brooks tear up 17.3 and put up a 265# snatch was insane!!
What is the best advice you can give a fellow CrossFitter? Never stop trying and never give up, things may take time, but it'll come eventually! Trust me I know through experiencing it myself with coming in thinking I was in pretty good shape going into CrossFit. I realized after Brooks tested me in my first elements class by having me attempt "Fran," at only 75#. It took me 21 plus minutes!! But I never gave up and neither should you!!
Tell us something about yourself (NOT fitness related) that others might not know. Well I talk so much in class already that I’m sure everyone knows everything about me already, but I used to be a cook at UMass Amherst for about 8 years before moving to the Boston area.
How did you start CrossFit? Mike and I had dinner with Brooks and Dan every week during which they would kindly invite me to come try CFR. It took just over a year of them telling me how much fun it is, and how much I would love it for me to finally give it a shot. I went to 'Bring a Friend Saturday,' got pulled over on the way and nearly had a heart attack that I'd be late for my first class because I knew about the burpee penalties!
What is your favorite part about CrossFit? Aside from the awesome community I really like the accountability, the structure of a class, and the tips from our coaches. All I have to do is show up and I know that once I'm there I'll be pushed harder than I'd push myself.
I also find that I laugh a lot there - feels good to be silly with friends.
What motivates you to continue CrossFit? I have seen improvements in my body comp and strength more in CrossFit than I have in any other fitness regimen. I've also been able to continue working out through all different phases of my life bc the workouts have adapted around my lifestyle - whether I'm rehabbing from an injury, growing a human, or trying to focus on improving specific areas.
What are your favorite movements and favorite WOD? I love cleans! I've been able to continue those the longest throughout my pregnancy ...even though they may be looking more like reverse curls at this point. I'll correct it when I'm back :) I love/hate the bike and burpees because they're THE WORST but I notice such an improvement in endurance when I incorporate them more. Stretching and mobility- it feels so good and I don't do it enough and it seriously improves my form.
What is your favorite CrossFit memory? The excitement of getting up the rope the first time and then realizing I didn't know how to get down.
What is the best advice you can give a fellow CrossFitter? Get comfortable being out of your comfort zone. Refresh your workout wardrobe with new stuff regularly because you'll feel like a badass and you'll stink less. Clock anxiety is a real thing. We're all there to improve upon something.
Tell us something about yourself (NOT fitness related) that others might not know. I took fencing lessons back in the day.
How did you start CrossFit? Since before we were married, my wife Gabby and I always did some form of regular exercise. We ran outside for years, but once the kids arrived, we moved mostly to using exercise equipment in the house. A little over four years ago, Gabby told me that her sister had starting doing something called CrossFit and she wanted us to try it. Always ready to try something new, I of course said: "No way!” But, persist she did, and the next thing I knew we were in the Elements Class with Brooks Farrar. That was when I first uttered my now most-used expression: “Wait, what?” And yet, since I so easily mastered the snatch and clean on the first attempt, I agreed to join.
What is your favorite part about CrossFit? Hands down — it is the community. Over the last four years, I have made so many new friends — and not just the casual-at-the-gym kind. No, I am talking about the kind of friends that you truly love and know you will treasure always. Did these friendships develop serendipitously because there are so many wonderful people at CFR? Perhaps. No doubt wonderful people is the required ingredient. But I think working really hard to do your best while others are doing the same thing around you, and helping each other along the way — I think that is the magic recipe. And that is what CrossFit is all about.
What motivates you to continue CrossFit? Besides the community, it is my desire to age as slowly as I can. Since, I am far from perfect with my diet— the only answer is continued exercise. Crossing that age 60 line also made me more keenly aware of the fact that I will have to work harder to maintain my functional mobility. As long as I adjust to my changing capability (not easy — and we have to help our fellow masters to feel good about themselves when they do this), then I hope to be able to continue until Gabby says it is time to go.
What are your favorite movements and favorite WOD? OLY lifts with less complexity such as back squats and deadlifts, and pretty much every body-weight exercise. And any WOD that has a partner or two always makes me smile.
What is your favorite CrossFit memory? Talk about a difficult question! I have so many— from doing competitions with friends to competing in the Open with everyone. If I had to pick one though— it would be the time that I was doing (or attempting to do) cleans in a WOD. Drew Carnase walked over and stood in directly front of me— and with a look that was somewhere between very serious and something else— said: “You’ve been coming here for almost four years now, don’t you think it’s time you got this?” It absolutely cracked me up and warmed my heart at the same time. And it demonstrated just how in tune with each of the members all of the coaches at CFR are. Would that have been the right thing to say to anybody else but me and would Drew have said it to anyone else? Absolutely not! Was it perfect for me? Without doubt!
What is the best advice you can give a fellow CrossFitter? Always be mindful of your current health and capabilities and don’t reach beyond either.
Tell us something about yourself (NOT fitness related) that others might not know. I once crashed a car into a telephone pole and flipped it over because I watched a painted turtle confuse the passenger-side floor mat for the turtle rest room. So now, although I prefer that you wait until we get to a rest stop, if you don’t, I will still keep my eyes on the road.
How did you start CrossFit? By happenstance…a friend at work was all fired up about CrossFit. Showing me videos, talking about workouts, bragging about being in the best shape of their life. Naturally I ignored it…until they put me to shame in a 10K race that I’d easily won the year before. By sheer coincidence CFR was having their Grand Opening and I stopped by, gym clothes in hand, for a workout. Two smiling coach, Brooks and Dan, gladly kicked my ass and the rest is history. Now…I’m that friend at work that can’t keep quiet about CFR.
What is your favorite part of CrossFit and what motivates you to continue? Hmm. The challenge, the competitiveness, the results…but most importantly of all the incredible athletes and coaches that show up and perform every day. Being surrounded by a community that is positive, supportive, encouraging, talented, incredibly fit…and just damn amazing is the drug we call CrossFit.
What are your favorite movements and favorite WOD? Anything but THRUSTERS!! It’s humbling how what seem like a basic movement get the best of you 30 seconds into a WOD…and I love it. My favorite, hands-down are burpees. They are absolutely pure fitness, packaged in a perfect compact movement, that anyone can do…but have the ability to kick your ass in every form. Never pass up and opportunity to do burpees….every rep makes you fitter.
What is your favorite CrossFit memory? Well….it involved a box, a dumbbell and gravity. Perhaps Drew will share the tape….
What is the best advice you can give a fellow CrossFitter? For anyone getting started. Show up, embrace the soreness, focus getting the best workout…not the weight, listen to your coaches, ask for help and be patient. I guarantee you will look in the mirror in a year and not recognize yourself.
Tell us something about yourself (NOT fitness related) that others might not know. I enjoy craft beer…but that’s not much of a secret...I make some damn good hickory-smoked BBQ Ribs….and I haven’t missed a Jimmy Buffett concert in about 20 years (see you on August 19th).
How did you start CrossFit? I started at the CFR last January with the bootcamps as part of the weight loss challenge for the Hopkinton Public Library Foundation – I thought it wouldn’t hurt to lose a few lb and help a good cause! At the time, I was working out at 4 different gyms (I needed the diversity, haha!). After the challenge was over, I decided to try the ‘real CrossFit’ – and signed-up for 2 classes per-week membership. A month later I had to upgrade to 3 classes per-week, as I was running out of classes, and when the following month I asked Drew to charge me for the ‘unlimited’ he didn’t seem very surprised. ;)
What is your favorite part about CrossFit? My first WODs at Crossfit was an experience I’ll always remember as a very humbling, but yet extremely motivating. I thought I was in a very decent shape coming in, and was not worried or intimidated in the least… But then I saw what RX WODs look like – and the skills they required, such as DUs, rope climbs, TTBs, kipping, not to mention the scariest or all, the BARBELL! It was overwhelming (and it didn’t help my self-esteem to pair up with Carly for my 1st WOD either) – but I soon realized that almost NO ONE comes to the CrossFit with the full package of skills – they developed them with time, hard work and commitment. And that’s my favorite part about CrossFit – you don’t need to be a super athlete to start the CrossFit, but with effort and dedication you can become one.
What motivates you to continue CrossFit? Crossfit is a constant challenge. That’s the most motivating part for me. You set a goal, you work on it, and when you reach it – you feel great about for a couple of days, till you get tired of patting yourself on the back and then you move on to set your next goal! And there is no end to it, because you can ALWAYS work harder and do better next time!
What are your favorite movements and favorite WOD? I like box jumps and don’t mind wall balls (sorry Maria!). As far as the strength, I guess it’s a deadlift – the least technical of all (still working on my OLY moves with Carly!). My favorite WOD would include the combination of front squats, burpees over the bar, box jumps, and possibly some running.
What is your favorite CrossFit memory? That would definitely be the day I figured out DUs! I always thought of DUs as something only top athletes could do, and I sort of put it on the back burner. That is until my sister managed to do them during our vacation and as I watched her do it, it suddenly became my #1 priority. So I picked a day and decided that it would be the day I’ll conquer DUs – and I actually did it, it just sort of ‘clicked’ and I think went from zero to 30 that day. The entire neighborhood must have heard my wild screams of triumph – scared my kids half to death too.
What is the best advice you can give a fellow CrossFitter? Don’t be afraid to scale! When I just started I thought trying to do heavier weights is the right things to do, that’s how you build strength, right?! But that’s also how you get injured when your form is far from perfect, and you’re trying to pile up the weight that you’re not ready for! I managed to hurt both my shoulder and my elbow doing cleans and snatches without the proper form, and was forced to modify most workouts with barbells for 6 months until it finally got better.
Tell us something about yourself (NOT fitness related) that others might not know. I have one sister (my twin) and one cousin, who lives in France. Between our 3 families we speak 4 languages – English, Russian, Greek and French. I speak English and Russian fluently, and Greek and French in emergency only.
How did you start CrossFit? Rich: I started CrossFit because I needed more structure in my training. I've worked with a personal trainer in the past with inconsistent results, ran 2 half marathons, then the Boston marathon, and was ready to move on to something that would give results but also fun and gave the structure and direction I needed. Becca: We'd heard about CrossFit through friends - Rich joined first and I was soon to follow after hearing about not only the great workouts, but also seeing the results Rich was getting, and the community. The community aspect was very clear during Dan Atkinson's (first) going away party and I wasn't even a member yet. I recall thinking that even in my experiences as Zumba instructor, yogi and Gold's Gym rat -- this type of community was on another level.
What is your favorite part about CrossFit? Rich: Crushing workouts with so many people that are all there for the same reason is an awesome feeling. Seeing others so passionate about getting better and succeeding creates a positive culture at CFR. Success breads success. Becca: It's hard to pick just one, but I love the structure and the coaching (sorry - that's two...see? It's hard!).
What motivates you to continue CrossFit? Becca: The possibility that you can be even fitter and stronger tomorrow than you are today. The results I've seen in my first year are just awesome - rope climbs, pull ups, being able to lift and squat more than I would have ever attempted.
What are your favorite movements and favorite WOD? Rich: Too many. Cleans, sumo deadlifts, burpee box jumps, rowing, rope climbs. Partner wods with a good combination of barbell movements and cardio that requires strength and stamina. Becca: I actually get excited about pull-ups because I can finally do them - and I don't mind burpees (I'm insane). My favorite WOD is really any of the hero WODs. They're so intense and push your limits -- but it's nothing compared to the sacrifice given for those they honor.
What is your favorite CrossFit memory? Rich: Thinking back to the first time consistently doing rx wods. Becca: Getting up the rope first time...probably CFR's slowest rope climb EVER. I never thought I'd ever do it, but having everyone around cheering you on to get up there was motivating.
What is the best advice you can give a fellow CrossFitter? Rich: Ask questions Becca: Anything's possible -- know your body, but push your limits and your potential. You've got the best coaching staff around to make it happen.
Tell us something about yourself (NOT fitness related) that others might not know. Rich: ….. knows the entire dance to Canned Heat featured at the end of Napoleon Dynamite. Becca: I turn into a total nerd around celebrities and say ridiculous things to them...I've told Beyonce that she's an inspiration women around the world, and tried to have a heart to heart with will.i.am about how normal he is....neither were interested in my opinion. And sadly, these are just two examples.
How did you start CrossFit? A trainer at Golds Gym in Millis suggested it to me one day so I gave it a shot. After a short session with Brooks I was hooked.
What is your favorite part about CrossFit? The variety of lifts and workouts we do. When I went to the gym prior to CrossFit I did the same boring lifts multiple times a week with little to no progress. After every work out I am excited to check the website to see what we are doing the next day.
What motivates you to continue CrossFit? It didn't take long to see drastic improvements in my body and overall health. I just don't see any other way to get in the best shape of my life to be honest besides CrossFit.
What are your favorite movements and favorite WOD? I love muscle ups/pull ups...basically any body weight exercise. My favorite WODs are usually on Saturdays. If a WOD makes me feel like I could potentially have a heart attack it's a good one. The harder the better.
What is your favorite CrossFit memory? The nutrition Challenge. Prior to the challenge I didn't eat any vegetables and basically funneled down sugar with all my meals. This made me look at what I was putting in my body and get a better grasp on what I should be eating. I was shocked to see I lost almost 5% body fat in 5 weeks by making simple changes to my diet.
What is the best advice you can give a fellow CrossFitter? Just like with everything else in life the effort you put in will dictate the results you get. Always push harder and never give up. If you do that you'll be happy with what you see.
Tell us something about yourself (NOT fitness related) that others might not know. I’m a huge foodie. I love trying new places all over the state. I'll drive anywhere for good French toast, pizza, or steak tips.
What is your favorite part of CrossFit? I like the fact that there is no hiding, your coaches and team mates call you out and push you harder. The competitive spirit and constant push for progress makes me better. I also like the variety of CrossFit and challenge of always learning new techniques or advance movements.
What motivates you to continue to CrossFit? I am seeing continued progress with my general fitness, health, energy level, etc. The community at our CrossFit also has a lot to do with it. I have developed some amazing friends through this community who share a similar passion. I love that I start my mornings with some amazing people who push me to be better!
What are your favorite movements and favorite WOD? My goal when joining CrossFit was to do pull ups, which I can now successfully do. My favorite movements include squats, cleans, body movements (Pushup, pullups, etc.). One of my favorite WOD’s is Murph both for what it stands for and for the mental challenge of finishing.
What is your favorite CrossFit memory? Watching my daughter compete in the kids CrossFit competition held at CFR.
What is the best advice you can give a fellow CrossFitter? While it’s good to push yourself, don’t compare yourself. Everyone is at different levels. If you put in the time, you will see the impact.
Tell us something about yourself (Not fitness related) that others might not know? I was raised in Hopkinton, have worked for EMC (now Dell EMC) for 19 years in Hopkinton and now live here with my family. My husband (Scott) and our two kids (Ryan -7 and Taylor - 10) all do CrossFit at CFR- it’s a family activity!
How did you start CrossFit? A family affair, both son and daughter attended Crossfit Teens at CFR.
What is your favorite part of CrossFit? The never-ending challenge, the people I workout with and the coaches who train me.
What motivates you to continue to CrossFit? Results. After every class I feel like I am creating a better version of me.
What are your favorite movements and favorite WOD? Power-clean for weightlifting and for the WOD, Jailbreak For time: 400 Meter Run 20 Power Clean (115, 65) 20 Front Squats (115, 65) 400 Meter Run 15 Power Clean 15 Front Squats 400m Run 10 Power Clean 10 Front Squats
What is your favorite CrossFit memory? Getting proficient at kipping pull-ups.
What is the best advice you can give a fellow CrossFitter? Be patient and just keep going!
Tell us something about yourself (NOT fitness related) that others might not know. I have an identical twin.
How did you start CrossFit? It was actually because of my kids. My son (in high school at the time) and some of his hockey/lacrosse buddies started doing CrossFit at a gym in Boylston. He would tell us about the WODs over dinner, and then my daughter (just starting high school at the time) told me that she saw that a new CrossFit gym (CFR) was opening up in Hopkinton. She and I visited CFR one evening and met Drew. He gave us a quick tour and I signed up as a "charter member". Did my first WOD a couple days later...and I was hooked.
What is your favorite part of CrossFit? I like the fact that - no matter what your skill/strength ability level is - you get an absolutely killer workout in an hour. I also like the fact that classes are scheduled at specific times, which is a motivator to show up.
What motivates you to continue to CrossFit? At present, I am actively engaged in a significant weight-loss and general fitness push. My wife and I are booked on a trip to New Zealand for the first two weeks of February. Among other adventures, one of the highlights of the trip will be an opportunity for us to swim with Hector Dolphins in Kaikoura bay. So, my mantra at the moment is, "Get thin for the Dolphin!" After achieving that goal, I plan to continue with CrossFit to help STAY in shape.
What are your favorite movements and favorite WOD? My ideal WOD would include rowing, wall balls, sit-ups and maybe some kettle bell swings. There would definitely NOT be any running of any kind, but I've actually gotten to the point where burpees no longer freak me out.
What is your favorite CrossFit memory? I have been doing CrossFit since CFR opened more than four years ago. As noted above, my daughter started at the same time. She is away at college, so she's not an active CFR member at the moment, but it has become a tradition for us that she joins me for a WOD every Thanksgiving morning - a little pre-feast prep. This year was particularly great because it was a 'partner-WOD', so we got to work as a team.
What is the best advice you can give a fellow CrossFitter? Have FUN with it. Yes, the WODs are hard work, and you get out of them what you put into them. But, with the right mental attitude, you can enjoy every minute of it.
Tell us something about yourself (NOT fitness related) that others might not know. I am a cancer survivor. A little over 7 years ago, I was diagnosed with testicular cancer and had to undergo two surgeries to have the tumors removed - one in my man-jewel and the other in my abdomen. The surgeries were successful and after 5 years without any recurrence, I was pronounced cured! Compared with others who have battled cancer, I had a pretty easy road, all things considered. Nevertheless, it was an impactful moment in my life, and my most poignant memories from the event are the love and support of my family and friends.
We want to congratulate Niall Kenneally on becoming CFR’s Athlete of the Month for November. Niall is a long time member of CFR. In fact he is one of our Founding Members having joined CFR on 9/16/2012. He has always been an exceptional athlete, but he continues to work hard and improve daily. He has made terrific strides in all of his technical movements and his cardio is now amongst the best in the entire box. Niall’s social nature also helps to make our community great. He is always present at social gatherings, and continuously stays after class to socialize with fellow members. His outgoing personality helps to make our community more entertaining and engaging. Additionally, he was part of the winning “Blues Brothers” team in our costume contest at the Resilience Rumble. Congratulation on your nomination Niall, we’ve made you wait long enough!
We would like to congratulate Leo on becoming our athlete of the month! Leo's road to achieving this award has been piling up quickly over the past few months. Leo has been stepping up his gymnastics game by taking the gymnastics class consistently with Bre for about a year. When he first started classes he had a wall walk handstand. He had never done a kick up or a free standing handstand. With his constant drive, hard work and extra gymnastics time, Leo achieved his 5 yard handstand walk in August. But he didn't want to stop there. He still attends gymnastics classes consistently and keeps striving to get better. His latest achievements include a strict muscle up and a 15 yard handstand walk! We know everyone marvels as his pursuit of perfecting form and technique, even with his remarkable mobility and level of athleticism as it is already. Thank you Leo for becoming a big heart in our community. We can't wait to see your continued progress and which peak you will be summiting next! Congrats again Leo!
Chris' CrossFIt journey started long ago in the CFR Teens program in May of 2013. He came to us as a young buck, having little to no experience with any kind of weight training whatsoever. Although he has a quiet personality, you could tell he was ready to keep his head down and work hard. Sometimes pushing himself a little too hard, to the point of throwing up a few times (haha). But that did not deter him from pushing himself even further every time he stepped back into the gym. All of his hard work over the past few years has paid off big time. Chris can now be seen crushing WODs, often at the Rx level. But what's more than his athletic accomplishments, is seeing him gain confidence and grow as a man. We wish Chris all of the best as he heads off for his first year of college this Fall. Good luck Chris! We know you'll make us all proud. And CONGRATS again!