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!

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!

Athlete of the Month (September) – Mark Chateauneuf

CFBF is proud to announce Mark Chateauneuf as CrossFit Bona Fide’s September Athlete of the Month!  Mark’s positive attitude and sense of humor make him a wonderful member of the CFBF family.  As you can tell from his responses below Mark has a knack for the written word and we hope others will find his experience honest, refreshing, and motivating!  Congrats Mark and keep up the great work!

 

CFBF Athlete of the Month (September) – Mark Chateaneuf


What’s Your Athletic/Fitness Background?

None really. You know the kid in your school who always got picked last in gym class? That kid would have been picked before me. I was never much of an athlete growing up and never exercised at all until I joined the Army and for the record, joining the Army when you’re not physically fit is an awful idea. I was in terrible physical condition but my recruiter told me not to worry, Basic Training would get me into shape. What he neglected to tell me was how miserable it was going to be and that more than likely I wouldn’t survive the physical training. During PT, I would often bounce back and forth emotionally, first fearing that the running would kill me and then five or six miles later wishing that it finally would. I survived, but I developed a deep-seated hatred for working out. Short of lifting weights every now and then, I stayed away from physical activity as much as possible.

Why Did You Join CFBF?

Years of avoiding exercise finally caught up with me. I was close to 235 pounds and I realized (possibly too late) that I needed to make a change. After trying a number of different things, a friend of mine recommended a nearby CrossFit gym. I checked it out and found I liked the idea of constantly varied, functional fitness and even though I knew I would not be very good, I signed up. I discovered I loved CrossFit even though I sucked at it. Then I started a new job here in Portsmouth and I couldn’t attend classes there anymore so I had to say goodbye to my old gym and find a new home. It’s tough to leave a CrossFit box after you’ve been there for a while, but since I literally had to drive by CFBF to get home every day, I stopped in to visit and try a class. I think in my life I’ve only made eight really good decisions. Stopping in to CFBF that day was one of them. I’ll tell you about the other seven some other time. 

Most Memorable WOD?

The Filthy Fifty last January is the first one that comes to mind. I did it on my 50th birthday as a benchmark so I could see how much improvement I could make after a year of training. It was awful and I couldn’t finish in the time cap but l did discover how comfortable a concrete floor could be when I was done. I plan on doing the “Filthier Fifty-One” this January (see what I did there?) to see how much progress I’ve made, and you’re all welcome to join me if you’d like. I wouldn’t if I were you but the invitation is out there.

Favorite CrossFit Movement?

The Dead Lift. I’m pretty good at it because I’m short and the barbell only has to come up off the ground a couple of feet. Not only that, it’s a lift that doesn’t require a lot of thought. You pretty much just grab the bar and you stand up or you don’t. I’m all about simple things.

Biggest Challenge?

The Pull-up. It has eluded me for quite some time, but I think I’m gaining on it. 

Biggest Improvement?

Attendance. CrossFit is very effective, but it’s not magical. If you don’t make the effort to come in you will not see any improvement and as I mentioned before, I struggled with that in the past. Now I try to make sure I come in at least four times a week and the results have been remarkable. Looking back, I wish I had figured this out in high school, would’ve helped a lot.

Who is Your Superhero?

My wife Lori. She is incredible and the hardest working person I know. For the last 28 years she has supported me in every foolish endeavor and stupid idea I’ve come up with. Without her I would have probably turned out to be a fat old drunk, instead of just fat and old.

Fun Fact about Yourself?

Back in the 80s, I was singer in a heavy metal band named Arson. You may have heard of us, we were pretty Awesome. I’m available to sign autographs if you want one.

What Most Special About CFBF?

I’m sure you could guess the answer to this question but I’ll say it anyway. It’s the people. The people here are simply amazing. The support and encouragement from coaches and the members here is nothing short of Awesome. If you have never been to another CrossFit affiliate and believe they are all like this one, you’re wrong. CrossFit Bona Fide is special, and it’s because of all of you.


Any Advice for New Members?

Just stick with it! Making the decision to do CrossFit was a big step but after a while you may start to get into a rut or life could start to get in the way. When this happens, magically a hundred reasons pop up why you can’t make it in. You don’t have time, you’re too busy, you need to get home and cook dinner. Blah blah blah… In the past I did this all the time and the result was making a little bit of progress, then having to start over when skipping one day turned into weeks and months. Don’t be like me! Schedule class into your day, make it a priority and get your butt in here! All you need to do is show up, the coaches will provide the training and we’ll all provide the support. There is no better feeling than walking out of the gym with the sense of accomplishment knowing that you just kicked butt and crushed a WOD. Many times that’s the best feeling you’ll have that day. Do it for you, you deserve it!

Athlete of the Month (August) – Tietjen Hynes

Tietjen is one tough and determined lady!  She never gives up and always works hard to accomplish her many goals—getting double-unders or that strict pull-up (chest-to-bar up next)!  She always cheers on and encourages other athletes and even helps us accomplish any engineering project around the box.  She’s one of the OG’s of CFBF and an integral member of our community.  We’re happy to recognize her as our August Athlete of the Month! Congrats, Tietjen and keep up the awesome work!

CFBF Athlete of the Month (August) – Tietjen Hynes

What’s Your Athletic/Fitness Background?   

As a kid, I was super uncoordinated (ok… not much has changed there). I didn’t really dig into fitness until high school, when I discovered rowing. I competed as a rower in high school and in college. After that I just worked out casually in normal gyms until I walked into Bona Fide.

Why Did You Join CFBF?

I won a free month at a health fair at work!

Most Memorable WOD?

Filthy Fifty was the first WOD I ever did Rx. I finished the workout 4 seconds before the time cap and I was so excited! I definitely didn’t think I would make it right up until I hit the last double-under.

Favorite CrossFit Movement? 

This may not be a sexy movement like snatch or HSPU, but… definitely box jumps. I love box jumps, I feel like they never let me down and whenever I see them in a workout I know I’m going to have a great day.

Biggest Challenge? 

Strict Press. My strict press has gone up by a whopping 1.5 pounds since my first year of CrossFit. Before we got the fractional plates, I once added 6 clips to a bar just to hit a PR.

Biggest Improvement?    

Probably my bicep veins, they have really become outstanding in the last year or so.

Who is Your Superhero?

Rogue

Fun Fact about Yourself?

I enjoy home renovation and I have a barnful of tools.

What Most Special About CFBF?

The community. I’ve been to a few other boxes since I drank the koolaid, and people will smile at each other and say hi. I haven’t been to any others where they have the kind of tight knit and caring community that the CFBF coaches have nurtured here. I love seeing you guys every day, and there’s no better feeling than cheering someone on when they are crushing a workout or hitting a new movement or a PR. Having my “crossfriends” around makes difficult goals seem achievable every day.

Any Advice for New Members?

Scale for success. Everyone in the gym has struggled to finish a warm up, or been totally crushed by a workout with the training bar. If you pick the right scale for your body and the goals of the WOD, you will get stronger every day and you will be amazed when you look back at how far you have come!

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!