CrossFit Great Bridge Athlete Spotlight:
We are so happy to announce that Alex is our first featured athlete at CFGB! Alex mostly attends the evening classes, as well as Saturday mornings. She has been putting in some major work so far in 2016 and continually challenges herself. We love her positive attitude and are so excited that she has been hitting some PRs on major lifts. Congrats, Alex!
I’ve lived in Chesapeake, VA my entire life. I am super excited to be graduating from Great Bridge High School this year!
How I was introduced to Crossfit:
My mom first introduced me to Beginner Level Crossfit when I decided to take a break from my previous ten years of playing soccer. I’ve stuck with Crossfit ever since because I’ve loved it so much!
First ever WOD:
All I remember is that my first WOD was brutal: there was a whole lot of running involved and Mark yelled at me for not eating a good breakfast.
My Favorite WOD/Exercise:
I love back squatting because it makes me feel badass/fierce.
If I never had to do this exercise again I would be psyched:
My sports/fitness background:
When I was younger I alternated between soccer, softball, and horseback riding. Now, I stick to Crossfit, running, and kayaking.
My Favorite Cheat Food:
Mexican Food (Can lattes also count as a cheat food?)
My 6 month goal is:
I’d like to be able to get a pull-up without any assistance.
If I created a WOD:
It would be a “Dog WOD” where you could work out with your favorite four-legged friend.
Changes in your life that you or others have noticed after starting CrossFit:
In general, I’ve noticed that I have been a lot more positive towards myself and others since I started doing Crossfit.
What I love most about CFGB:
I love the people at Crossfit Great Bridge–everyone is always so kind and supportive towards each other!
Any advice to people just getting started:
Don’t worry about throwing a ton of weight on your bar, just nail down your technique first!
It’s time to shine some light on one of our awesome-amazing-outstanding-strong-team player-goal crushing athletes! Once again, if you are DYING to receive some recognition all you have to do is be consistent, have a good attitude, and try your freaking best… and wait your turn 🙂
DRUM ROLL PLEASE……
September’s athlete of the month: LISA HELMS!
Lisa’s day entails rolling out of bed at 0500, pounding her SPARK,, and heading to the gym! She then heads home, gets ready for work, and hits her work grind. Coach Loretta suggested that she start hitting the morning classes and she loves it. 0515 class… GAME CHANGER.
Her favorite memory from her CrossFit journey so far was about a month ago. She was struggling during a crazy workout (aren’t they all crazy?!) and she wanted to quit. She was the last person working out and wasn’t even close to being finished. No one started cleaning up. No one started stretching. No one left.
Everyone, coaches and other crossfitters, cheered her on. They told her she could do it, not to give up, reminded her to breathe, and counted down her reps. When she left the gym that day she knew that she had found the gym for her. A group of people that believed in her more than she believed in herself.
When Lisa first started CrossFit she just wanted to be skinny and fit tiny clothes. Now she’s stoked as she works on her pull-up progression! Fitting tiny clothes is great and all but being able to do a pull-up?! A real one?! That means she has gotten stronger and that means more than any dress size.
She doesn’t want Mark and Vince to know but her favorite workouts involve strength movements.( Sorry Lisa, secrets out!) Her least favorite movements are wall balls and burpees. Duh.
Her favorite cheat food? CHEESE! She really likes cheese… the stinkier the better… let’s just take a moment to reflect on the goodness that is Havarti. (Lisa’s words, NOT MINE) haha.
Lisa’s favorite quote: “Just Do It.”-Nike
“I joined CFGB in early June so I’m 4 months into this journey and I love it. I was sick and tired of being ashamed of my body and allowing myself to make excuses for being out of shape. The one piece of advice that I would give to new members is to COME BACK. Day 1 is overwhelming. Day 2 you’re sore. Day 3 you think “”I’ve done this two days already! Isn’t that enough?!”” Just come back. Eventually you’ll be relieved to know that it DOESN’T get easier and you’ll love it! You didn’t start CrossFit to breeze through a workout. You joined to kick ass! The coaches push you to be the best you can be- even though you may not realize it yet, but you’re totally worth it.” –Lisa Helms
We’re excited to announce that we’re starting up something that we think is going to be pretty cool! CrossFit Great Bridge has some amazing athletes and we think you guys are pretty freaking awesome and you deserve some recognition. ATHLETE OF THE MONTH! The first of every month we will be featuring a new athlete for the previous month.
Before you get too excited… before you go nuts with a million questions asking what the heck you can do to become the athlete of the month… SLOWWWW DOWNN!! CONGRATS! It’s not TOO complicated. So, if you’re sitting and reading this dying to be next months athlete of the month pay attention! Go grab your iPhone to take a note, grab a pen and paper, whatever you need… just read VERY CAREFULLY.
Athlete of the month requirements:
Be awesome. Be a beast. Be respectful. Be a team player. Be a bad ass. Crush your previous goals. Most importantly do your best every time you walk through those doors and never give up! (We’re thinking about adding SWIPES CARD IN AT FRONT DESK… but that would eliminate half of you and that probably wouldn’t be fair 🙂 haha)
So enough small talk! We would like to introduce you to our AUGUST athlete of the month!
Kevin found CrossFit Great Bridge through a living social deal three years ago. He was hooked from the start! His greatest memories will always be all of the friends he has made the last three years. A life in the day of Kevin is spent being a fire fighter and if he’s not working that job he’s working another one (he’s kind of a super hero). He spends time with his son and is always doing projects on his house. He always finds time to work out! If Kevin were to win the lottery he would make sure that all of his family is taken care of. If he has any advice for new athletes it would be to not get discouraged and never give up. Some of his future goals are to have all of his debts paid off in three years and to become an engine operator in the fire department. His favorite thing is lifting weights but snatches are his least favorite lift. He loves ice cream and if he could be any animal it would be a bird! A quote from his favorite book is “you are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it come true- you may have to work for it however.”
Kevin, you are awesome. We are lucky to have you around! Keep up the good work and keep rockin it out!
Need an example of what hard work and dedication can do for your fitness? Look no further than Luke Krantz. His story is one of those that inspire you to stop making excuses and get moving. CrossFit Great Bridge prides themselves on their awesome CrossFit Kids and Teens programs. In a world where child obesity is at an all time high we believe that our kids can learn at a young age the importance of a healthy, fit lifestyle. Luke Krantz is a teen athlete of CrossFit Great Bridge. You wouldn’t know from just looking at him but the kid has more fight and determination than most adults.
Luke played baseball and football since he was young. He grew up with really flat feet, which may not seem like a problem but as an athlete over time it began to cause him a lot of issues. Over years of playing sports the bones in his feet began caving in and were slowly breaking. At just 15 years old, the doctors informed him the only way to correct the issue was through surgery. Any athletes worst nightmare. Luke had his right food corrected February 2014 and the left foot corrected May 2014. They told him he could expect to be able to resume sports in May 2015. He made it through physical therapy and a year of no sports.
In June 2015 he joined CrossFit Teens at CrossFit Great Bridge where his dad, Steve, is an athlete. He is also back on the field playing baseball. Within the three months that he has been doing CrossFit he has become a better athlete than he ever was. Thanks to the surgery he doesn’t have to worry about breaking both feet and being injured forever. Thanks to CrossFit his conditioning has gone through the roof and he can pitch harder than ever before. He has become more flexible, making him more loose on the mound to pitch. His legs and core have gotten stronger, which have helped him to become a power house pitcher.
If Luke can teach us anything, it’s to never give up. When life knocks you down physically or emotionally you can come out better than ever before.
“CrossFit has improved me as an athlete all around. I will keep doing CrossFit because it will help me be the best pitcher and athlete I can be.” –Luke Krantz
Inspire, motivate, encourage, influence, rouse, move, stir, energize, incite. Kris Hall and Steve Gulakowski are two athletes known not only for their determination and performance but for the encouragement that they give others. They registered for the 2015 Open and after a series of WODs they qualified for Regionals. They have a plan of attack and are working on their weaknesses with plans of making it to Carson in 2016. With their fight and determination CrossFit Great Bridge stands behind them knowing they will never be satisfied and we are excited to see where this next year takes them.
Q. How did you find CrossFit and when did you start?
A. Kris- Started and found CrossFit thanks to mark and Loretta Richardson. They started experimenting with some CrossFit WODs a couple years ago and let me join them.
A.Steve- We saw it online and tried it on our own.
Q. Is there anything that you don’t like about CrossFit?
A. Kris- I don’t like how I perform often, but that is what keeps me coming back and wanting to better myself.
A. Steve- Burpees.
Q. CrossFit sometimes gets knocked for people getting injuries, what are your thoughts on this? Have you ever been injured?
A. Kris- One has a chance to get hurt with whatever it is they choose to do. Unfortunately, with CrossFit being so huge that is the focus.
A. Steve- Those are the same people who say guns kill people. CrossFit is a sport and injuries happen. Some responsibility relies on the coaches to scale appropriately and provide a safe environment to complete the WOD. That said, it is the athletes responsibility to rest and recover when they’re not feeling up to par. I have been injured, but not by CrossFit. My injury occurs while snowboarding.
Q. How do you modify your training to accommodate an injury?
A. Kris- I have been injured from time to time and the key to recovery has been our coaches. They help me modify and give great advise for recovering.
A. Steve- Complete rest and modifying WOD’s to not use the injured body part.
Q. Do you struggle with recovery and taking rest days?
A. Kris- I do not do well with those. I feel like I am cheating by taking a day off. At one time I went a couple of years without missing a day of running so it is very difficult to break that mindset even when my body is beat up.
A. Steve- Only taking too many.
Q. The Paleo diet is popular in the CrossFit community, what is your approach to nutrition?
A. Kris- I started Paleo almost 4 years ago doing the 30-day challenge. I tried it hoping to eliminate some stomach issues I have had for years that doctors have not been able to do so. Since then my stomach issues have decreased tremendously and I continue to follow Paleo around 90%+ all the time. During challenges I will go 100%.
A. Steve- I try to minimize cheat meals and keep to the Paleo routine.
Q. What is your favorite cheat meal?
A. Kris- I don’t have a cheat meal, but frozen yogurt is my cheat snack.
A. Steve- Calzone and cheesecake.
Q. What’s the hardest WOD you’ve ever done?
A. Kris- 15.5. I have not been to that “dark place” in a long time and I found it during that WOD.
A. Steve- CrossFit Team Series WOD when I was paired with Kris Hall and had to keep up with her. I thought my lungs were going to explode!
Q. What’s your favorite and least favorite exercise?
A. Kris- Team or partner WODs. I love that. “Cindy” was my favorite individual WOD. Not sure it would still be. It just happened to be a good day for me when we did it awhile back.
A. Steve- Favorite- wall balls, least favorite- burpees; although everyone tells me I like thrusters.
Q. What are some extra things you do to train besides the daily WOD?
A. Kris- I try to get extra skill work in when possible and am pretty faithful about getting extra cardio in a coupe times per week as that is the easiest to so of I can’t get into the gym for a second time that day.
A. Steve- Real life.
Q. What does it mean to you to be a regionals athlete?
A. Steve- It was my goal this year. Last years open I was just coming back from shoulder surgery and didn’t participate in the open. Next year I have to trail to qualify in a position that will give me a chance of making it to Carson.
Q. What will you do differently next year in your training to better prepare you for the 2016 Open?
A. Kris- I will be sitting down with my coaches and making a plan. I have too much to work on to not have a plan of attack. I want to get better. I want to get stronger. I just need to have they map to get me there.
A. Steve- Spend some extra training time on my weaknesses.
Some random facts about Kris and Steve:
Steve finished a 20 minute AMRAP in 5 minutes.
Death once had a near-Kris experience.
Steve is the only person to ever tame a live dinosaur.
Kris can make tears cry.
Steve doesn’t need a hammer. The nails drive themselves into the wood to get away from him.
Kris eats pain for breakfast.