Athletes of the Month (July) – The Flintosh Family (John, Juliana & Caleb)

What an amazing thing to witness…a family (mother, father and son) working out side-by-side day in and day out. Through some of the hardest workouts, they grind, push limits, overcome, support and cheer each other on.  What a wonderful example John and Juliana are for their son and all of us!  Caleb, always amazed by his determination, commitment and drive.  You’ll go far!  These 3 always work HARD and are such a big part of the CFBF community.  Always there to help out and support everyone that walks through our doors.  It’s our honor to recognize them as our July Athletes of the Month.  Great job Flintosh family! #fitfam #momstrong #dadstrong #sonstrong #community 

CFBF Athletes of the Month (July) – Juliana, John & Caleb Flintosh

What’s Your Athletic/Fitness Background?
John: I have played 30 years of soccer and I do outdoor sports like skiing and hiking when I have the time.
Juliana: I don’t really have much athletic experience prior to joining CFBF. I played lacrosse in middle school, but didn’t do much more than that.
Caleb: I run track and cross country and play basketball at school.

Why Did You Join CFBF?
Juliana: I joined because I was feeling pretty lonely and sedentary after moving here, I had heard that CrossFit was a good way to meet people and get in shape so I decided to take the plunge.
John: My wife!
Caleb: Because I was bored sitting at home when everyone else was at the gym.

Most Memorable WOD?
John: Every WOD is memorable (ha), but my most memorable was the second time I did Murph, because I shaved 12 minutes off my first time.
Juliana: Mine was 17.5. I struggle (hardcore) with double unders and it kicked my ass. I plodded through the entire thing, but I finished. It was ugly but it was done and I was glad that I did it.
Caleb: My most memorable WOD was one that I didn’t participate in as an athlete but did participate as a sandbag. Bryant, Chris and Addie had to run a mile using me as their 50# weight.

Favorite CrossFit Movement?
John: Overhead Squats!
Juliana: Handstand Pushups or  Cleans
Caleb: Deadlifts

Biggest Challenge?
John: Consistent double unders
Juliana: Not panicking!
Caleb: gaining weight.

Biggest Improvement?
John: Gymnastic movements
Juliana: I didn’t cry once during the open!
Caleb: Cleans

Who is Your Superhero?
John: My Wife
Juliana: In all honesty, my family, they are pretty awesome!
Caleb: Tiny Dog!

Fun Fact about Yourself?
John: I am an excellent whistler.
Juliana: I am a very good rollerskater (I think, I haven’t been in a long time!)
Caleb: I’ve lived in three states.

What Most Special About CFBF?
John: Sense of community!
Juliana: CFBF is one of the most supportive group of people I have ever been a part of. Every time you come to the gym and work out, there is someone there cheering you on, supporting you and pushing you to do your best, it is amazing. Everyone becomes like family, we joke that Caleb has about 15 extra parents looking out for him all the time.
Caleb: Being part of an awesome group of people.

Any Advice for New Members?
John: Don’t be intimidated by the work load, just do what you can and get better every day.
Juliana: Listen to the coaches!!! They 100% have your best interest in mind and if you listen, you will have pretty amazing success.
Caleb: It might be hard but, you should just keep on pushing.

Athlete of the Month (June) – Shea Cook

We’re proud to name Shea Cook as our June Athlete of the Month!  Shea joined CFBF 1.5 years ago and she’s had a BIG impact on our community.  She works hard and knows how to have fun and, as a result, those around her work harder and have more fun too!  She’s a joy to coach because she is a coach (high school girls basketball team) and an athlete and she wants to get better every day.  Keep it up Shea!

CFBF Athlete of the Month (June) – Shea Cook

What’s Your Athletic/Fitness Background?

Played High School and College Basketball. I was never the fastest or strongest, but I was always the most competitive.

Why Did You Join CFBF?

I had just moved to Portsmouth and having trouble finding a new gym community and routine. I was curious about the “CrossFit craze” and decided to give it a try. Although I was unsure about it during the intro classes, by the first month I was hooked. I loved the competitive yet supportive environment. It quickly became the highlight of my day.

Most Memorable WOD?

Definitely, The Lumber Jack 20! It was my first competition and I was so fortunate to have such an awesome partner, Becky! She was incredible and really got me to push myself the whole time. I never thought I could to an overhead squat till that competition.

Favorite CrossFit Movement?

Wall Balls

Biggest Challenge?

Still working on the strict pull-up!

Biggest Improvement?

I’ve learned to love my muscles and not worry about the number on the scale.

Who is Your Superhero?

All of the coaches. They care so much about every member and are cheering for you during every class! They inspire me each to work harder.

What Most Special About CFBF?

The community. Each member has helped make Portsmouth feel at home. I genuinely look forward to seeing the people more than the workout!

Any Advice for New Members?

Pick a time and make it happen! Each class has a core group of great people that will push you each and everyday to be better. I would be a much grumpier teacher if I didn’t have my 6 am crew!

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!

Athlete of the Month (April) – Lillie Hua

Congratulations to Lillie for being named CFBF Athlete of the Month for April.  Lillie is one strong lady and is constantly pushing herself to new levels.  Having her friendly smile and outgoing personality in class certainly makes even some of the toughest workouts more enjoyable. Keep up the great work, Lillie!

CFBF Athlete of the Month (April) – Lillie Hua

What’s Your Athletic/Fitness Background?   

Not much. I was a pretty inactive kid growing up. I played a little bit of softball as a youth. Some tennis and sprinting in high school intermittently, and free group exercise classes in college. In 2015, I accidentally signed up for and ran two half marathons 4 weeks apart through my company’s running club so there’s that too. I still hate running to this day, though.

Why Did You Join CFBF?

I was going to “shop around” but then I had my first one-on-one with Addie. After that, I was sold on the box. She’s still the most impressive athlete/coach I know, and it’s inspiring on so many levels.

Most Memorable WOD?

I’m so bad at remembering WODs. However I had a lot of fun last summer during a Saturday team WOD where there was a snake involved and we all squatted it.

Favorite CrossFit Movement? 

Definitely the clean! Or the back squat…basically anything with a barbell is my jam.

Biggest Challenge? 

Anything gym-nasty! Sigh. Working on it though!!

Biggest Improvement?    

Double unders, for sure!

Who is Your Superhero?

My mom! She’s awesome and somehow survived raising me.

Fun Fact about Yourself?

I have 8 siblings.

What’s Most Special About CFBF?

The community! I’ve made so many friends who are all around amazing and supportive.

Any Advice for New Members?

Just keep coming back! Life will get busy and you might not feel like you’re up for the workout but you’ll be so amazed at what you can do if you just stick with it and stay consistent.

Athlete of the Month (March) – Chet Ersoy

Congratulations to Chet for being named our March Athlete of the Month!  His positive attitude and dedication are two major ingredients to his success!  He’s a joy to coach and a great member of the CFBF family.  We look forward to seeing his smiling face everyday at 5am!

CFBF Athlete of the Month (March) – Chet Ersoy

What’s Your Athletic/Fitness Background?  

I wasn’t really active throughout my teenage years. It wasn’t until my mid-twenties when I took up running and started going to the gym. 

Why Did You Join CFBF?

I’ve heard about CrossFit from podcasts I was listening to and then saw the games on TV.  I was also getting tired of the “typical” gym scene.   I always wanted to try CrossFit, and luckily I had a gift card to CFBF that I could use toward first month of my membership.

Most Memorable WOD?

All of the hero workouts I’ve done last year, in honor of our fallen heroes. “1775” U.S. Army’s Birthday Workout was the most remarkable. 

Favorite CrossFit Movement?

Squat Cleans

Biggest Challenge?

I have many…I am currently working on my kipping pull-ups and double-unders, snatch is next. 

Biggest Improvement?

Handstand push-ups.  From hardly getting into inverted position, to do a few kipping handstand push-ups, I feel I have come a long way.

Who is Your Superhero?

Coach Bryant, although it was a tough pick among other coaches, Addie and Chris.  As I walk in the door at 5:00 AM in the morning, it is very common to see Bryant finishing the WOD already.  There is no doubt he puts max effort into all his workouts.  The movements look so easy and effortless when Bryant demonstrates them, yet they are so difficult when I try.  He’s a terrific coach and an invincible athlete.

Fun Fact about Yourself?

I had long curly hair and played the bass guitar in a rock band during my college years.  We never became popular, but we had great time!

What Most Special About CFBF?

It’s definitely the atmosphere.  All CrossFitters at CFBF are super-friendly.  Coaches are well informed, offer lots of progressions for all movements, and most of all, they are connected with athletes on a personal level.

Any Advice for New Members?

Come to the “box” as often as you can and practice. High-skilled movements may seem intimidating at first, but as you practice, you’ll see a big difference over the next few months. Coaches are extremely patient and always there to help you attain the correct form.

Athlete of the Month (February) – Laura Halsey

CFBF Athlete of the Month (February) – Laura Halsey

We are so proud of this strong mama’s commitment, drive and strength!  She continued to come into CFBF for workouts before, during and after her first pregnancy and always works hard. Congrats Laura on being CFBF’s Athlete of the Month and Happy Birthday!  So honored to have you part of the CFBF community.  Read more about Laura below…

What’s Your Athletic/Fitness Background? 

I have always been active and made physical fitness a priority. Prior to joining CFBF in February of 2015 I was really into running. I logged many training runs with Brad (where he frequently talked about CrossFit). My favorite race length was a 5k and I was fairly competitive in the local races.

Why Did You Join CFBF?

I was really intimidated to try CrossFit. Once I finally started, I was immediately hooked. My knee was bothering me running and CrossFit was a new challenge. I really like competing with myself. CrossFit is a great place for this.

Most Memorable WOD?

There have been a lot of memorable WODs. I really enjoy the Hero WODs. They are challenging and it feels good knowing you are doing them in honor of someone who has served our country.

Favorite CrossFit Movement?

Burpees

Biggest Challenge?

Snatches

Biggest Improvement?   

Pull ups

Who is Your Superhero?

All of the athletes at CFBF that push me each and every WOD.

Fun Fact about Yourself?

A couple years ago I came in 2nd place in the Seacoast Road Race Series. But more importantly I’m pretty good at making drinks.

What Most Special About CFBF?

I’ve been a member for 2 years and love it!  The coaches are amazing. They are extremely knowledgeable and know what is going on with each member. I have always loved the positive atmosphere at CFBF and it really feels like a second family.

Any Advice for New Members?

Just keep coming!

Athlete of the Month (January) – John Slattery

CFBF Athlete of the Month (January) – John Slattery

What is your Athletic/Fitness Background?

I have a limited fitness background. I played football in high school and performed basic military training.

Why Did You Join CFBF?

I joined CFBF because I hit a plateau doing bodybuilding workouts. I was also bulking up not gaining much functional strength while losing foot speed and flexibility.

Most Memorable WOD?

My most memorable WOD was my first Fran. It took me just under an hour. Seriously.

Favorite CrossFit Movement?

My favorite CrossFit move is currently the bar-muscle up.

Biggest Challenge?

The biggest challenge for me right now is training the handstand walk.

Biggest Improvement?

The biggest improvement I’ve seen is in my Olympic lifts and my flexibility.

Who is Your Superhero?

My superhero is Josh Bridges. He represents the limits for a man my size.

Fun Fact About Yourself?

A fun fact is that I’m a very funny person. Just ask me.

What is Most Special About CFBF?

The thing that sets CFBF apart from other places is the nonjudgmental atmosphere created by the coaches.

Any Advice for New Members?

My advice for new members is “the reason you have two ears and one mouth is so you can lift more.” Just kidding, listen to the coaches, you will always learn something.

December Athlete of the Month – Gail Knowles

gailk

CFBF December Athlete of the Month – Gail Knowles

What’s Your Athletic/Fitness Background?

I was very active in my youth, playing sports and riding bicycles everywhere. After I was finished with my misspent youth at 29, I spent a few years lifting a lot of weights, which I loved. Then I did practically nothing for 24 years.

Why Did You Join CFBF?

My friend Kathleen went from being VERY heavy to a healthy weight and she loved Bonafide. After caring for my parents at the end of their lives I could see how their sedentary lifestyle added to their unhappiness and ill health. It was a wake up call that took me 4 years to answer.

Most Memorable WOD?

I don’t really know the names of things yet. Or I might never because I’m 61 years old! Since I lift much less weight than many of the folks there, I usually use my own bar. I was working on back squats, during the Strength building part of the WOD. I managed to get 2 reps of what I thought was 90 pounds and was very excited. Coach Addie came over, glanced at the bar and said, “Gail, that’s 100 pounds.” I’m glad I didn’t know, because I might have psyched myself out! Everyone gave me high fives and whoops like I got a gold in the Olympics. Brought a tear to my eye.

Favorite CrossFit Movement? 

Burpees! No, I’m lying. Totally deadlifts. Why? A few weeks ago I deadlifted 140#, when I started I could only do 65# and that was hard!

Biggest Challenge? 

Burpees! Pull-ups! And I get all confused when I think too much about OH squats, my fear of my knee buckling keeps my max low, but I’m getting there.

Biggest Improvement?    

Everything!! I’m so much stronger than I was in August when I started. I still can’t do pull ups, real push ups or a non-scaled burpee, today. Tomorrow is another story!

Who is Your Superhero?

My daughter Grace signed up with me in August. She has stayed with the program while juggling senior year in HS, working at Target, and varied and sundry after school activities. She’s amazing.

Fun Fact about Yourself?

I spent much of my misspent youth hanging out with outlaw motorcycle clubs and wrenching bikes and cars. I celebrated 31 years clean and sober in September, but under al the tattoos and piercings? I’m a rough, tough, cream puff.

What Most Special About CFBF?

The people. The coaches really look after us. They push those who need to be pushed, they keep an eye on me to make sure I don’t hurt myself. It’s great because I really need adult supervision. The other members are so supportive and friendly. It’s getting to feel like a second home. Plus? They have a physical therapist and a nutritionist that come in and you can make an appointment and get advice and help. Included in the price of your monthly membership! That’s some value added!!!

Any Advice for New Members?

Just come. There will be muscular manly men with no shirts on, carrying around chunks of cement. But they are nice. Any activity can be scaled to your level of fitness, so you can keep going throughout the hour. The coaches care about you, believe in you and will listen, their job is to help you get stronger and they pay attention. They is always a coach there when you are working out. If the price is daunting (it ain’t $10 a month), I just think of how much it would cost me to take a month off from work to have a triple bypass. Looking at it that way? It’s a steal.

November Athlete of the Month – Brad Mezquita

10845959_353647804814874_4872091776646483068_n

CFBF November Athlete of the Month – Brad Mezquita

Previous Fitness:

I have been involved in sports all my life.  I participated in football, baseball, and track.  After college, I concentrated on running races and triathlons.

Why CFBF:

I have relatives that were doing it.  They had been after me for a few years to try it.   Finally, Karen (my wife) noticed CFBF while out shopping and told me that was my birthday present.

First Memorable WOD:

So many to choose from!   I would say 15.1 during the Open.  Karen and I went down to CrossFit One to see the Froning vs. Frasier WOD, then I did the WOD at CFBF the next week.  It was amazing to get back into something competitive like that. 

Favorite CrossFit Movement:

I really like pull ups, C2B, toes to bar etc.  I would like to add a bar muscle up to that list.

What motivates you the most:

The easy answer is getting older and overweight, but once I enter the box, it’s everyone around me busting out a WOD.

Biggest Challenge:

Age.   It seems to be a constant battle between older = slower vs. stronger = faster.   I know that I am improving in a lot of the movements, but after age 45, I have noticed that I can’t do some of the things I used to be able to do.  I  really wish I had started CrossFit back in my 20’s. 

Biggest Improvement:

Strength.  I was never very strong.  I had been concentrating on marathons and triathlons, so I was staying pretty lean.  I now consider lifting weights fun, something I never thought I would say.

Advice for New Members:

I get the whole intimidation thing walking through the door the first time.  We have all been there.  I remember watching Bryant do a bar muscle up workout my first week.  What he was doing was so far out of reach for me.   I still haven’t got a real bar muscle up (the ones in the open were really ugly), but I can see it happening this year.  So my advice is to take your time, it will all come together if you let it.  I don’t know anyone who could do double unders on their first try, but if you look around the box, a lot of people can do them now.

Who is Your Superhero:

Not to be a kiss-ass, but I’m going with Coach Addie.  I have seen her start off as a timid athlete/coach and transform into what she is now.  Anyone who has seen Addie doing an Open WOD and start crying because she is pushing herself so hard, knows what I am talking about.   It really has been impressive to see her progress both as an athlete and a coach.   She is my superhero….all she needs is a cape.

Fun Fact about Yourself:

I have run four marathons, completed a half ironman triathlon, ran several 200 mile relays and ran the Mount Washington road race six times.  I will also challenge anyone to a trivia contest on classic Christmas specials or 80’s music.