Athletes of the Month (May) – Anne & Joe Persechino

Ok, we’re doing something a little different this month.  We have some amazing families at CFBF, and this month, we thought we’d highlight one super strong pair, Annie & Joe!  Not only are these two extremely dedicated, strong and focused athletes but they are actively involved in our CFBF community.  They are always there to help out, cheer on and support in any way that they can.  They have made such an impact on everyone that enters our gym and are great role models for all of us, including their two kids.  Congrats to Annie & Joe on being named our May Athletes of the Month!  Read their interview below to get to know them more. #fitfam

CFBF Athletes of the Month (May) – Annie & Joe Persechino

What is your athletic/fitness background?

Annie: I have always enjoyed being active!  As a kid, I grew up biking, swimming, skiing, and enjoying the outdoors in NH.  In high school, I played field hockey, and was very involved in the nordic ski community, skiing for both my high school team and a private club team on the weekends.  As an adult pre-children, I spent most weekends hiking in the White Mountains with Joe and our dog, Wiley.  Joe and I have also done some rock and ice climbing together, our biggest adventure (again, pre-kiddos) being a mountaineering trip in Peru where we summited Pisco Este, an 18,600 foot mountain in the the Cordillera Blanca. 

Joe: I played youth soccer and hockey for one year each. After being a bit intimidated by group sports (was it because I was always picked next to last for kick-ball?), I went off on my quest to be a ninja. Six years of Kenpo Karate later, I decided the outdoors was a better place to find my spirituality and fitness. Backpacking lead to rock and ice climbing, which then lead on to full-on mountaineering. After having kids, and realizing day-long trips were hard enough, never mind weeks-long expeditions, I needed to find something else. Running wasn’t the answer.

Why did you join CFBF?

Annie: I came to CFBF somewhat reluctantly, and after much urging from my husband.  He had started it a few months prior, and was immediately hooked. I was skeptical, and nervous!  As a new mom, I had stopped exercising almost completely, and after three years of virtually zero unnecessary physical activity, I felt out of shape, unprepared, and intimidated!  That all changed, though, the minute I walked into the box. The coaches were warm, welcoming, and encouraging, and the community was diverse, supportive, and inspiring.  Needless to say, I am now hooked, too!  I can honestly say joining CFBF was one of the best decisions of my adult life. Not only do I feel like my active self again, I am also mentally and physically stronger and have more confidence than ever before!  And I have made so many amazing friends!

Joe: One of my co-workers and fellow CFBF member, Brad kept prodding me to try it. After he organized a trial class for a bunch of us at work, I was hooked.

Most Memorable WOD?

Annie: Probably 17.2 in this year’s Open.  I did my first muscle-up the day before, and then I was able to get 6 muscle-ups in the workout.  It feels amazing to be learning new skills and applying them to competitions at age 35! You CAN teach an old dog new tricks. 

Joe: Oh, there’ve been many! Bergeron Beep Test, The Seven, 16.1, 17.1, the list could keep going. However, one of the ones during my first month sticks with me. It was super simple: 4 rounds for time, 400 m run, 40 air squats. The coaches encouraging me to go all out was what made it memorable.

Favorite CrossFit Movement?

Annie: Pistols!  I’m still waiting for Dave Castro to announce 100 pistols for time. Maybe next year???

Joe: Snatch.

Biggest Challenge?

Annie: Definitely double-unders!  I was proud of myself for completing the entire open Rx for the first time this year, but I barely finished 17.5 under the time cap.  Anyone who was unfortunate enough to witness me bumble through this can attest: it was NOT pretty.

Joe: Snatch.

Biggest Improvement?

Annie: I’ve made a lot of progress this year with gymnastic movements.  From handstand push-ups to muscle-ups, a lot is finally beginning to “click.”

Joe: Deadlift.

Who is your superhero?

Annie: My grandmother. Whatever she set out to do in life, my grandmother did with a quiet, determined passion. A first generation American, she was captain of her high school’s women’s diving team, and a dedicated violinist. After she was decorated for her services as a field hospital nurse in WWII, she went on to raise three children and provide love and inspiration for her three grandchildren. Although she lost her final battle to cancer when I was thirteen, she lived a full and meaningful life, and was the epitome of strength and grace. 

And speaking of strong women, another superhero of mine is Coach Addie Rae!  Addie is an amazing athlete, coach, and friend, who inspires me every day to be the strongest and best version of myself. 

Last but certainly not least, is my husband, Joe.  He works his butt off in at the office, in the gym, on the little league field, and around the house to make sure everyone in our family is happy, healthy, and loved.  He has seemingly endless amounts of energy, and a contagious enthusiasm for life in general.  I am a truly lucky woman; I couldn’t hope for a better life partner!

Joe: My children. Their courage, persistence, and kindness inspire me to be a better person every day.

Fun fact about yourself?

Annie: I love to read and write and hang out with teenagers all day (seriously!), but I also love almost any and all activities that yield tangible results.  I am pretty crafty!  I used to paint houses for a summer job, and I really enjoy painting. I think I’ve painted every room in our house at least once.  I also enjoying quilting; I’ve made quilts for friends and family, including baby quilts for both of my kids.

Joe: I spent a summer on the Big Island of Hawaii studying Hawaiian ‘Ohana, while living in a guest house at a Buddhist Monastery. I commuted to school in a matte black 1979 Chevy Nova, and worked at a local dairy milking cows to help pay the bills.

What is most special about CFBF?

Annie: The coaches and the community make this place great.  I have never been excited to go to a gym until joining CFBF.  Now I literally look forward to it all day.  I know I’ll get to challenge myself in new and fun ways, but more importantly, that I’ll get to do this while having fun with my friends.  I can be having the worst day in the world, and then I go to the WOD, and it’s like I’ve hit a reset button.  It recharges me and enables me to kick ass at parenting, teaching, and the rest of my life!

Joe: It’s truly been life changing for me. The coaches, community, triumphs and challenges are something I look forward to everyday.

Any advice for new members?

Annie: Just do it!  Don’t be nervous or intimidated, and stop making excuses! This is seriously the best and most supportive community I’ve ever been a part of.  As a new mom and a full time teacher, I spent years listening to my own excuses.   I “didn’t have time” to fit in an exercise routine, CrossFit was too expensive and too intense, I was too out of shape.  For the first year, my goal was just to show up three times a week and do the work. Now, I’m coming in 4-5 times a week, doing competitions, and working on my weaknesses in open gym.  I can’t NOT afford to come, and neither can you!  We all want to see every member succeed, and if you commit to this gym, you will be amazed by the results and friendships that will ensue!

Joe: Trust the coaches, be patient and just keep showing up!