Athlete of the Month (September) – Kristen Paltz

Please join us in recognizing our September Athlete of the Month, Kristen Paltz!  She recently joined CFBF and has already proven herself to be a great addition to the community.  In the short amount of time with us, she’s already made great strides in her overall performance and brings enthusiastic energy anytime she’s in the gym.  Read more about Kristen below. Congrats and keep up the great work!

CFBF Athlete of the Month (September) – Kristen Paltz

What’s Your Athletic/Fitness Background?   

I played various sports when I was younger. The one sport that stuck, was soccer. I played through high school and joined summer leagues through college. I’ve joined different studios in the Portsmouth area for Barre, TRX, and spin. Now, I’ve joined CrossFit and when I’m not at CrossFit I’ll do yoga, pilates or go for a run.

Why Did You Join CFBF?

I get bored when I do the same type of workout all the time, and I wanted to mix it up.

Most Memorable WOD?

Well, I can’t say that I remember any, but I do like the ones where I can walk on my hands or use the rower.

Favorite CrossFit Movement? 

Split jerk

Biggest Challenge? 

Kipping movements.

Biggest Improvement?    

I would say my confidence with lifts.

Who is Your Superhero?

My mom. Her superpower? Making the best grilled cheeses when I visit.

Fun Fact about Yourself?

I like to travel to one place a year that I’ve never been. This year I was lucky enough to go to two! (England and Yellowstone National Park).

What Most Special About CFBF?

The coaches (awwwwww). I appreciate their patience, especially when I need to see a visual of a movement, a few extra times. 🙂

Any Advice for New Members?

Don’t give up! Classes can be intimidating at first, but stick with it and get into a schedule.

Athlete of the Month (August) – Dave Mercier

 

Please join us in congratulating Dave for being recognized as our August Athlete of the Month!  Dave has been working hard ever since he joined CFBF and has been a wonderful addition to our 6 am crew!  Read more about his journey below and remember, it’s never too late to start something new!  Keep up the great work, Dave!

CFBF Athlete of the Month (August) – Dave Mercier

What’s Your Athletic/Fitness Background?   

Reasonably unathletic after a couple years post-college, which is more than 25 years ago. Lots of golf, but have gone to chain gyms off and on over the years.

Why Did You Join CFBF?

Midlife crisis number two. Or 3/4 life crisis. I’m turning 50 this year and have been an insulin dependent diabetic for 17 years. Weight was up. Sugar was up. Decided that I need to do something about both. Dropped in and talked with Coach Chris. The environment is great! The coaching is tailored to beginners like me or athletes that are in fabulous shape. The encouragement and the early results keep me coming back.

Most Memorable WOD?

A few weeks ago with rowing machine—I was pretty certain I was going to puke when we were done. Wouldn’t have thought that the rowers were that tough.

Favorite CrossFit Movement? 

Not sure I have one (yet). I am seeing that I can do more—higher box on box jumps, more weight with squats, etc. I’m happy to be able to do most of the movements.

Biggest Challenge? 

Overhead movements are tough for me with a shoulder issue. Chris has been great with extra work I can do to help strengthen my upper body and my shoulder is slowly getting better.

Biggest Improvement?    

Endurance is much better. I feel better! I’m encouraged with progress and it allows me to get up super early for my hour plus drive to the gym.

Who is Your Superhero?

Coach Chris.  Anyone that can/will run around the parking lot with no shoes is super.

Fun Fact about Yourself?

I caught a pass from Drew Bledsoe. I went to a parenting seminar put on by his foundation a long time ago. I won the last prize given out and he reluctantly threw me a pass in a ballroom at a large hotel.  I could see that he envisioned me not catching the pass and knocking someone’s teeth out. The pass was at my chest so the only downside for him was me losing my breath if I missed it, but I didn’t.

What Most Special About CFBF?

I feel welcomed.  I was out of shape. Felt older than what I am, but was accepted from the beginning.  I like that the exercises are scalable and allow me to participate at my level. I’m happy to see that my level is increasing, even if at a measured pace.

Any Advice for New Members?

Take the coaching. Try things that you don’t think you can do. Be humble enough to understand what you can’t do and give yourself a goal to do more. Show up!

Athlete of the Month (June) – Jill Portnoy Donaghy

Jill joined our community less than a year ago and we’re so proud of the progress she’s made since—and not just at the gym! She’s trail running, hiking mountains and competed in her first ever CrossFit Open.  Everyone has an athlete within them and Jill rediscovered hers this year! Congrats Jill, keep up the great work!

CFBF Athlete of the Month (June) – Jill Portnoy Donaghy

What’s Your Athletic/Fitness Background?   

I was never much of an athlete….I played tennis in high school but mostly kept the bench warm! I never worked out consistently until I started CrossFit.   I decided to try CrossFit one day on a whim.  It was one of the best decisions I ever made!

Why Did You Join CFBF?

When I moved to Portsmouth from Connecticut last September, the first thing I did was look for a new CrossFit gym.  My friend had recommended CFBF and I am so grateful that he did.  Moving to a new place is not always easy, but finding this community has made all the difference.

Most Memorable WOD?

18.3.  When the workout was announced, I was bummed because the scaled version involved pull-ups.  Before this, I had only ever been able to do 1 pull-up (on a good day).  Somehow, I was able to get 17 in the workout!  They weren’t pretty, but I did it!

Favorite CrossFit Movement? 

Box Jumps 

Biggest Challenge? 

Double unders!

Biggest Improvement?     

My mindset.  I have done things that I would never have believed were possible when I started CrossFit on day one.  CrossFit has given me so much more confidence in all aspects of my life—from work to hiking with my husband.  I figure that if I can do CrossFit WODs, I can do anything!

Who is Your Superhero?

The coaches at CFBF are incredible.  Their dedication and hard work is inspiring.  Also, my husband who puts up with listening to me talk about CrossFit!  He is also the real athlete in our relationship and his work ethic is an inspiration! 

Fun Fact about Yourself?

I have spent a lot of time in jail…but never as an inmate (I’m a criminologist)!

What Most Special About CFBF?

The community! I am truly so grateful to have found CFBF when I moved to Portsmouth.  Everyone is so supportive and welcoming!  Even though I don’t love finishing workouts last, there is no better feeling than when the whole group cheers you on to the finish.  The amazing morning crew is what gets me up and going to the gym every morning! 

Any Advice for New Members?

Just keep showing up! If I can do this, anyone can! I couldn’t do a single push up when I started! Try not to compare yourself to other people.  It’s all about trying to be better than you were yesterday. And start writing down your times and weights so you can see how much you are improving! I wish I had done this when I started!

Athletes of the Month (May) – Tony & Lyndsey Bouzakine

Tony & Lyndsey are one of the OG couples of CFBF!   Since 2015, their humor, hard work, and infectious energy have made them a huge part of the CFBF family.  You’re guaranteed to have a fun time when they are around and they make the workouts that much more enjoyable (at least for everyone else). 🙂  We applaud their commitment to getting stronger and healthier and they are great role models for their daughter, Kennedy and everyone else they interact with.  Work hard, play hard are what the Bouzakine’s are all about and we couldn’t be happier to celebrate them as our May Athletes of the Month!  Congrats!  Learn more about their journey below.

CFBF Athletes of the Month (May) – Tony & Lyndsey Bouzakine

What’s Your Athletic/Fitness Background?   

Tony: I played soccer, tennis, and swam all through high school. Then when college came about, I discovered beer and my athletic pursuits became much less intense and more focused on 16 oz curls. I’ve never really “worked out” or went to the gym on any sort of consistent basis before CFBF.

Lyndsey: I was a basketball player until I wasn’t the tallest one anymore, I was a field hockey goalie until I dislocated my knee, and I played every other sport in order to keep up with my brother. I am also a flip-cup champion.

Why Did You Join CFBF?

We joined with a friend during a special promotion in 2015 and haven’t stopped since!

Most Memorable WOD?

Tony: 17.5! This was the first time I was able to string together more than a few double-unders in a workout and I was pretty happy with that. I also puked halfway through the thrusters on round 6 or 7 and somehow finished the workout so that is pretty hard to forget.

Lyndsey: We had just started CrossFit the month before and went on vacation right after our Beginners Course. We came back to the gym right in time for the Open to be our first group classes at CFBF (15.5).  Thrusters and rowing were extremely hard!  It was also the first time I met Josh Jasper, we judged for each other and we both almost died but somehow got through it!

Favorite CrossFit Movement? 

Tony: Clean and Jerk.

Lyndsey: DB Snatches and Double-Unders

Biggest Challenge?

Tony: My stamina. I love quick/short/heavy workouts, but anything that just keeps going is super difficult for me to keep my energy up and not take too many breaks. Also trying to not throw up.

Lyndsey: Pull-ups. My goal was to get 1 strict pull up by end of 2016, then 2017, and now 2018.

Biggest Improvement?  

Tony: Double-Unders. I spent a long time being very frustrated with doing sets of 2-3 doubles and then whacking my legs with the jump rope. Then something just clicked one day. No idea what it was that got me over the hump.

Lyndsey: Double-Unders and handstand push-ups (even with all the cake stacks Chris!).

Who is Your Superhero?

Tony: Our daughter, Kennedy. She’s constantly moving and playing and keeping us on our toes. Her single-minded determination is amazing, even though it’s usually focused on sweets and ice-cream.

Lyndsey: My mom. Even though she passed away last year from cancer, she is a very big motivating factor that pushes me to try new things and always work hard and party harder. Tequila burpees for all!!!!

Fun Fact about Yourself?

Tony: I moved to the US when I was 13 from Russia.

Lyndsey: I got certified as a Scuba diver when I was 11, but I will only do it in warm waters now so you’ll need to ask Tony to get you scallops!

What Most Special About CFBF?

The people. You can go get a workout at any gym, but the atmosphere and the community at CFBF is what got us hooked and has kept us coming back day after day.

Any Advice for New Members?

Even when you are feeling sore, get back in the gym! It gets better much quicker if you just keep moving. Also if you see multiple coaches around the gym in between classes and they ask if anyone wants to do a workout, the answer is always no. Yet we all say yes. 🙂

Athlete of the Month (March) – Hattie Johnson

Hattie is a rockstar mom of three and former Olympic athlete.  She’s responsible for corralling daily her two boys Lawson and Clayton and her daughter, CFBF kiddo athlete, Jenavee.  She was also an Olympic shooter who unknowingly brought Jenavee to the Olympics in 2004–she competed in the Olympics with little Jenavee in her STOMACH!  Hattie recently suffered a stroke but she’s not letting that stop her!  Her mom-strength and determination have been evident throughout her recovery.  She always comes in ready to work with an amazing attitude and that is why she is our March Athlete of the Month.  Please join us in congratulating Hattie and read more about her journey below.

CFBF Athlete of the Month (March) – Hattie Johnson

What’s Your Athletic/Fitness Background? 

My journey with fitness really started in High School. I had a really cool gym teacher that started a weight lifting class. The girls in the class didn’t want to “get bulky” so I lifted with the boys. I would work so hard in that class and when the boys would yell for me to spot them I felt so honored…..I still hold the girls bench press record!

Why Did You Join CFBF?

We moved to NH almost two years ago and every time I would pass CFBF on the highway its like it called my name (lol). I missed the gym I came form in North Carolina so much. It was a small functional fitness gym that concentrated on kettlebells and barbell work. It was more than a gym though, it was my family and my tribe. So, I decided to get brave and reach out to CFBF (WOW, I was going to try CrossFit!!) A meeting was scheduled and BAM, I got the pleasure of working out with the early birds. From that day, I could tell it was a special place and would be the place for me; I really should say my family.

Most Memorable WOD?

The most memorable for me was Festivus because I got to share that moment with Jenavee. BEST teammate EVER!

Favorite CrossFit Movement?

This is a tough one for me. I’m going to go with the clean and jerk.

Biggest Challenge? 

PULL-UPS. There will be a very serious taco party the day I get those darn things!!

Biggest Improvement?

Over all core strength, endurance and mental toughness!

Who is Your Superhero?

Truthfully, any woman of any age who is chasing down her dreams. There is such a bright light that shines from them that its contagious and inspiring!

Fun Fact about Yourself?

I was a 2004 Olympian for rifle shooting while I was in the Army. I found out I was pregnant with Jenavee two weeks before I flew out to compete in Athens Greece!

What Most Special About CFBF?

There are seriously so many special things about CFBF. The camaraderie and pride are unlike any place I’ve been. When you can be in EMS next door during Friday night lights and hear the cheering coming through the walls…seriously, who else has that much team spirit and support!?

Any Advice for New Members?

Don’t be afraid to try CrossFit. Forget about your age, forget about how in or out of shape you feel, forget about the fact that you might feel intimidated, forget about the fact that you might have physical limitations because guess what, there is a place for you at CFBF. I’m not going to tell you it will be easy because it will definitely challenge you. I want you to remember this though, when you are doing a WOD and you are really feeling challenged, pause for just a second and know that the person to your left and right, front and back are feeling the exact same thing as you because they are all pushing their own limits and the WOD wont last forever.  You can do anything for 3,5,7,10,12,15,20 minutes!

Athlete of the Month (February) – Brianne Perry

Please join us in congratulating Brianne Perry as our February Athlete of the Month!  We love Brie’s energy and enthusiasm every time she comes into the gym!  Keep up the great work!  We also love this quote from Brie,”I used to workout to burn off stress and stay ‘thin’; now, I absolutely love getting stronger and pushing my mental and physical limits”.   Keep reading below to hear about Brie’s experience at CFBF this past year.  And if you’re interested in trying CrossFit our next Beginner’s Course starts on February 6th!

 

CFBF Athlete of the Month (February) – Brianne Perry

What’s Your Athletic/Fitness Background?

I danced competitively and played travel soccer year-round growing up. I also attempted volleyball for a bit and ran cross country. Once in college, I played pretty much every intramural for fun. Broomball for the win!

Why Did You Join CFBF?

I received an email at work advertising the beginner’s course and I had completely misinterpreted it as a 30-day fitness and nutrition program (and neglected to realize it was CrossFit, despite the location quite literally having the word CrossFit in the name). At the time, I was struggling hard to find a workout routine that stuck and was mostly running and taking occasional kickboxing classes. I figured I’d sign up, use what I learned and then get back to going to the gym. Four weeks later, I was hooked on CrossFit and the CFBF community.

Most Memorable WOD?

My first open workout, 17.1. So. Much. Adrenaline. I definitely blacked out. Also, how could I forget my first tequila burpee afterward?

Favorite CrossFit Movement?

All the burpees. Handstand pushups are also WAY too much fun.

Biggest Challenge?

Snatches, my nemesis.

Biggest Improvement?

This is going to be really corny, but quite literally everything. Even my mindset with fitness completely shifted. When I started, I could barely back squat with weight and after the coaches corrected my form, I couldn’t do a single push-up properly (I quite literally flopped on my face). Last summer at a race, I was able to help someone else flip a 200 lb. tire when they couldn’t on their own. I had been in their shoes a year before and it was pretty darn exciting to be on the other side lending a hand. I used to work out to burn off stress and stay ‘thin’.  Now, I absolutely love getting stronger, pushing my mental and physical limits and genuinely cannot wait to go to class because it’s a blast.

Who is Your Superhero?

Batman, obviously, and definitely my parents. My mom is the definition of selfless and my dad has such an incredibly strong work ethic.

Fun Fact about Yourself?

I’ve danced on stage in Disney World.

What Most Special About CFBF?

The community, without a doubt. CFBF feels like my second home. I’ve dragged my mom with me to class when she’s visiting from out of town and as someone who never used to be into working out, she typically despises group settings. Even she absolutely loves it here because the members and coaches are so welcoming.

Any Advice for New Members?

Compare against yourself and keep coming! My first couple of classes were INCREDIBLY intimidating, but that quickly subsided. The workouts never get easier, but things start to click and the sense of accomplishment and progress you’ll make along the way is indescribable.

Athlete of the Month (December) – Aishling Falzone

Please join us in congratulating Aishling Falzone on being named our December Athlete of the Month!  Aishling has made a ton of progress over the past 2.5 years while working full-time, raising a family, training through a pregnancy, recovering from a C-section, and suffering a foot injury!  She doesn’t give up and we couldn’t be more proud to recognize her efforts this month!

CFBF Athlete of the Month (December) – Aishling Falzone

What’s Your Athletic/Fitness Background?

I played multiple sports in high school (ah, the Glory Days. . .) and skied competitively after college, but exercise took a back seat to other commitments when I was in my late twenties.

Why Did You Join CFBF?

I liked the idea of CrossFit because it incorporated so many different aspects of fitness. I also really liked the idea of having accountability during a workout. When I visited CFBF for a trial session, I found it to be a very welcoming place. There was no judgment about where I was fitness-wise, but instead a desire to know how CFBF could help support me in reaching whatever goals I set for myself.

Most Memorable WOD?

I was still a relatively new member (maybe three weeks in) when I showed up at a 5 AM on a particularly snowy morning to find “Filthy Fifty” written on the whiteboard. Not having any knowledge of what the WOD entailed, I waited for other members to roll in. At 5:04 AM, I realized I was the only one who was going to be there. Just me. And the coach. And the Filthy Fifty. For those of you familiar with the Filthy Fifty, you know that this is not necessarily a time when you want the undivided attention of your coach.

Favorite CrossFit Movement?

Strict Press or Front Squat

Biggest Challenge?

Any and all gymnastics movements.

Biggest Improvement?

Rope Climbs

Who is Your Superhero?

Without question, my mom. She is the most selfless person I know. 

Fun Fact about Yourself?

I am a ridiculously good backward roller skater.

What Most Special About CFBF?

Definitely, the relationships you build with your coaches and the other members. It’s not easy to set that alarm for 4:00 am to get up to face a 5 AM WOD, but at CFBF you are not just some unknown person who plugs along on an adjacent treadmill. If I don’t make it to a class, I have fellow members checking in with me to see where I was and when I will be back.

Any Advice for New Members?

When you are new, some of the movements and even the terminology can seem intimidating at first, but just keep showing up. The coaches will meet you wherever you are fitness-wise and help you work with any physical limitations you have. I was able to attend CFBF throughout an entire pregnancy (during which I achieved some PRs), the coaches helped me work my way back after a C-section, and they modified workouts so I could keep coming when I tore a ligament in my foot. I am still working to improve many of the movements, but each day that I show up, I am better than I was the day before.  Also, find a class time that works for you and stick with it. You will be rewarded with an amazing community of people who support and challenge each other during each WOD. Shout out to the 5 AM Crew here — they are the bomb!

Coach Spotlight – Logan McColl

This week, we’d like to highlight one of our new coaches, Logan.  Logan is originally from Kittery, Maine and has been an avid athlete all of his life.  He enjoys hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, golf, street hockey, and skateboarding.  After high school, he moved to Myrtle Beach, SC for school and to pursue golf.  While there, Logan won the school’s tour championship his second semester, took 2nd place in the matchplay championships.  He found CrossFit while in Myrtle Beach and instantly fell in love with it.  He became obsessed with constantly getting better and watching other people break their own PR’s. After graduating college Logan moved back to the North East and decided to get his Level 1 Certification to start coaching. Logan loves the CrossFit methodology for fitness, all the benefits the style of training provides and how it translates into the real world.  Take a minute to get to know Coach Logan more below. 

Coach Spotlight – Logan McColl

What’s Your Athletic/Fitness Background?   

I played Basketball up to senior year of high school.  I also did track and cross country. Outside of school I regularly played street hockey, tennis, ultimate frisbee, golf and skied. My First year of college I joined a gym that had a CrossFit side. That’s when I found out about weightlifting and got hooked.

Why Did You Join CFBF?

When I started CrossFit in South Carolina during college, the gym became one of my favorite places to be. Since I moved back to Maine I’ve been training primarily by myself, at regular gyms, and I really missed the community and good people that CrossFit gyms produce. So I looked around at a couple different CrossFit gyms and CFBF just seemed the best.

Most Memorable WOD?

This one would have to be the first Open workout I’ve ever done. I was only a month into CrossFit and not technically sound yet, and I forget the workout but it was a lot of hang power cleans and I think pull-ups? Not really sure. But everyone was being “judged” and our scores counted for something so I just red-lined the workout. And next day I had purple and black bruises all over my quads from the power cleans.

Favorite CrossFit Movement?

This is a hard one because I like a lot of them. Right now, I would have to say kipping handstand push-ups because I’ve never done them before and HSPU have always been a big struggle for me! So, right now it’s kipping HSPU.  But I’m sure my answer tomorrow will be one of the two Olympic lifts. Which is what I like the most.

Biggest Challenge? 

Getting Stronger. Coming off cross country and never touching a weight growing up wasn’t a great combo for moving big loads. So that has been and is currently my biggest challenge.

Biggest Improvement?  

Again, this would have to be getting stronger. When I first started lifting, a 135 pound back squat buried me. I was not very strong. 3 years later I squatted 210 pounds for a set of 20! 

Who is Your Superhero?

Albus Dumbledore and Severus Snape.

Fun Fact about Yourself?

I was undefeated in badminton all 4 years of high school.

What Most Special About CFBF?

The relationships between the coaches and members are really cool. There is a lot going on and it seems like and CFBF just emits a certain level of energy and fun. So it’s an awesome place to better yourself and get fit.

Any Advice for New Members?

I was really nervous when I first started CrossFit because I didn’t know anything. But CrossFit is really fun and exciting and is literally for anyone. The community is great and pretty soon you’ll be doing things you never thought you could. It’s a good place to come for an hour of the day, let everything else go, rock out for a bit and better yourself!

Quote: Do or do not. There is no try.

Coach Spotlight – Shelby Hall

Shelby recently joined the CFBF coaching team this past fall.  She’s been a wonderful addition and this week, we highlight her experience, workout tips, and fun facts! Coach Shelby comes to us with a background in dance, a degree in Kinesiology, and her CrossFit L1 Training certification.  She discovered CrossFit over 4 years ago and hasn’t looked back since! CrossFit has helped change her mindset in all areas of life. She loves sharing her passion for health and fitness with those around her and supporting others in their journey.  

Coach Spotlight – Shelby Hall

 

What’s Your Athletic/Fitness Background?   

I was a non-competitive dancer for 15 years (4 years old until the end of high school) and had played several sports in high school (field hockey, lacrosse, cross country, cheering). I also did two years of high school gymnastics. But I had never been involved in anything that I was 100% focused on. I enjoyed trying everything out.

Why Did You Join CFBF?

Coach Lance told me how amazing the community and coaches were and because it is so close to work I should check it out. He was 100% right!

Most Memorable WOD?

14.5 aka 16.5 aka death by burpees and thrusters… still has a piece of my soul.

Favorite CrossFit Movement?

Handstand walking!

Biggest Challenge? 

Realizing I needed to back down the weight on the bar until I learned to move faster.

Biggest Improvement?    

Diving headfirst into my weaknesses weekly instead of avoiding them.

Who is Your Superhero?

My mom. She taught me my work ethic and has shown me that no matter what life throws at you-you can survive and grow stronger.

What Most Special About CFBF?

The community. Everyone is so welcoming and enjoying their time at CFBF.

Any Advice for New Members?

Don’t let it all overwhelm you. Rome wasn’t built in a day. But each day you can lay down a new stone. I am constantly learning new things and I have been doing this for 4 years.  Ask a TON of questions and always remember to have fun. Remember why you started 🙂

Thanksgiving Holiday Schedule Changes & Hours

**Please note the following CFBF schedule changes over the Thanksgiving holiday!**

Wednesday, November 22nd – (closing early) last class of the day will be 3:30 pm WOD.

Thursday, November 23rd – (Thanksgiving Day) CLOSED ALL DAY! Enjoy!

Friday, November 24th – 9 am class ONLY (family & friends welcome)!  Closed the remainder of the day!

Saturday, November 25th – Regular schedule resumes!