Our Athletes

Jeff

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DSC_0616I joined CrossFit on Labor Day 2013 after a friend involuntarily signed me up for ramp.  I had asked how he was getting in shape and I hadn’t made any progress all summer on my own.  Not one to back down, I showed up knowing it wouldn’t’ stick.  I hate push-ups; pull ups etc. and I wasn’t eating salads for anyone. The truth was I had done all the usual tricks to get “back in shape” and getting nowhere.

I had nothing to lose.

I showed up for the 3 week ramp class and had to be voted “least likely to ever be seen again”.  I came in last at everything. I played along and just kept showing up every day, with my only goal, just show up. After the first week I had a streak I didn’t want to break.   I followed the work outs and coaching and started noticing some days I felt great and some days I was in quicksand.  I tied it back to what I ate the day before and ate more of the stuff that gave me the good days with the help of the nutrition coaching.   I heard, “we don’t diet and exercise, we fuel and train”.   I found it absolutely true and good days are a lot more fun.

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Since joining, I’ve run 5k’s, 10k, 10 mile and both ran & rowed a half marathon. I’ll never be a runner, but CrossFit has given me the freedom to do whatever I want. I’ve dropped 48 lbs to date and 8 pants sizes.  Most of my power lifts have doubled or tripled and cardio is exponentially better.  For an hour a day, my only regret is not starting sooner. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for year 2.

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Kerri

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I’m not one of those people who has always been in shape; I don’t have a sports or fitness background. In fact, I spent my entire 20s largely inactive and at a weight and body fat level far from healthy. I started running in my early 30s and even completed a half-marathon but it wasn’t until I started Crossfit that I really changed the course my life was on. I have an old co-worker to thank for that. Everyday, he’d come into the office and describe to me his workout of the day, and everyday I’d tell him how horrific it sounded and ask why I’d ever want to put myself through that. I was perfectly happy running and going to Zumba classes two or three times a week. Or so I thought. That co-worker of mine gave me a gift certificate good for two weeks of Crossfit for Christmas that year. And so two days after Christmas in December of 2011, I found myself in a cold warehouse gym at 6AM, terrified of everything and everyone around me.

image3I am not gifted with natural athletic ability. I didn’t discover I was really good at Crossfit after a few months at it; in fact, I was really bad at it. It took me nine months to get a kipping pull up and to this day, I can only do double-unders when the planets are perfectly aligned and no one is looking at me. Olympic lifts are just now starting to click for me. You get the picture. But the one thing I can do is work really hard. And when you put in the work, you start to achieve things you didn’t think were possible. There is no better feeling than that.

I can honestly say I am a completely different person than the one who walked into that gym nearly three years ago. I don’t mean just physically, though my body has certainly transformed. Crossfit has changed who I am mentally as well. It has given me confidence and taught me perseverance and instilled in me an indomitable will to conquer the challenges I am faced with, be they in the gym or in my everyday life.

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You don’t expect the average person to look and feel better in their late 30s compared to their late 20s, but I’ve proven to myself that it’s never too late to change your life.

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Ariana

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I began CrossFit as a preseason training with the Amoskeag Rugby Club. At the time, even stairs was a challenge for me. Walking into this large, bright, empty room was, to date, the hardest thing I’ve ever done, well that was until the WOD started… As my lungs burned and my vision began to blur only one thing ran through my mind “DO.NOT.STOP!!!!!”

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CrossFit has taught me a tremendously valuable lesson which is this: Stop making excuses. Do things. Try things. Even if it’s not happening now, it will. It totally will. I have learned to trust myself to work hard and when I want to quit, I must go on. Constantly learning lessons and winning my own battles is what keeps me coming.

 I can’t express enough gratitude both CrossFit and myself for how much I have and will continue to accomplish.

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Bai

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“… I want to begin by saying that CrossFit is a completely unique fitness program and it fits my personality perfectly.

For me personally, I would have to say that this crazy gym has a big impact across not just how ‘fit’ I am but it’s helped me change the lifestyle I lead as well.

Pay attention, though, make sure you don’t hear me wrong: Bai Chen is not here to tell you how good or fun it is, or amaze you with what I’ve learned about fitness along the way.

All I can say is the experience makes just trying it, even only once in your life, absolutely worth it. I will bet crazy loot that those who do give it one taste will never look back!

I wouldn’t say that I am an ‘athlete’ but just like everybody else who works out in a gym or a club these days I thought I was at least in shape. It blew my mind how little my old workouts prepared me for this; I wasn’t in shape at all. I came into the program assuming that each class would be like any other traditional group fitness or club program where we could just go in and do our thing whenever we wanted.

Guess what? I was completely wrong.

I still remember my very first class back in 2010 where I met Dan and Samy; the workout wasn’t even with any weights, just basic bodyweight squats in a 4 minute test that I accidentally felt would be easy… 5 days later I had no idea how my legs were so sore without even touching a weight?! And four minutes!? I couldn’t believe it.

But I wasn’t afraid of the hard work ahead, I went every chance I got and the more involved I became the more CrossFit felt like the lifestyle I needed to be focusing on living. Before long I was awake each day at 4:30am ready to brawl with whatever WOD was ahead… Monday through Friday, I couldn’t get enough. These days, if I miss even one day of training or if I accidentally oversleep I’m crushed in my mind– I would be like {insert strange Bai Chen original comment about party bars that serve chocolate and sad people}.

CrossFit is not just awesome because it fits my personality and my lifestyle, but more importantly I have to say this is truly a community, a family environment where everyone has grown close. We all push each other to the limit, and we do it because no matter how competitive we get it’s about caring and backing up our crew here as we all struggle through WODs together.

I could go on and on but I’ll cut this off with a final point: In my mind CFNH has the best crew (athletes/members) and the best trainers. Samy and Tiffany just are so crazy about CrossFit they will do whatever they can to pass on knowledge; but it’s up to you to use it and make something with yourself day in and day out.

They don’t push you, although it may seem like it, they just show you how to bring yourself to the limits you’ve got; until you’ve learned you don’t have any after all.”

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Marilyn

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“… Aug 30th, and to me Joining CrossFit was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I am a 50 year old working mother of 2 boys 10 and 12. I always have considered my self in shape, having successfully run 12 marathons over the last 10 years. But the reality of my fitness level came crashing down on fathers day 2011.

My husband, myself and our boys accompanied our good friends Laura and Jeff, both cross fitters, and their children on a hike up Mount Washington to one of the huts to stay overnight. I had noticed how in shape Jeff and Laura were, and particularly noticed the gradual change in Jeff a colleague of mine who I see at work almost everyday. Well, I was an ANCHOR on that hike, Laura basically ran up the mountain! I thought, I need to figure out what they have been doing and get in on that action. When we got to the top and settled in at the hut they told me about Cross Fit NH. I had never heard of it. They described what the work outs were, tough but efficient, as they had demonstrated as they smoked me up the mountain. I joined the following week.

I met Samy and the crew who instantly made me feel welcome and at home. Entering in the morning to Samy yelling MARILYN! YESSSS! is the motivation anyone would need to show up day after day. Samy’s knowledge of the nutrition and its impact on your fitness level is exceptional, he can stand there and review the Kreb cycle to discuss how energy is made off the top of his head (weird yes, but impressive).

Cross Fit pushes you beyond your physical and mental comfort zones and shows you what you are truly capable of.

It not only makes you a better athlete but puts you into a different mental category of what you believe your limits can be. There is a tremendous amount of confidence that is built through achieving a tough workout. The workouts are meant to be achievable at many different fitness levels and scaled to help to build upon your base then to exceed to the next level. I do things today that I never would have imagined a year ago.

The entire community at CFNH has also contributed hugely to my development as CrossFitters as well. I have continually been amazed at the level of commitment and dedication CFNH members have displayed in their own personal endeavors but most importantly their support of the community both inside and outside the gym.

One morning I had to sneak a peek at the work out … and my rant began,

‘S*$%!, I hate kettleball swings, and %!#% oh %! I hate wall balls… WHAT THE $%%! Why Pull-ups?!’

Someone overheard me and asked point blank,Well, what exactly do you like?’

My answer?

‘The People.’

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Derek

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“…I had my first exposure to CrossFit in 2007. I had been doing the typical bodybuilding style programming, which I took mostly out of the pages of different fitness magazines. I had always taken my fitness seriously, however I knew that there was something lacking. A shoulder injury that lingered for most of 2006 made me start thinking that I needed to change something. It was at that time that a co-worker told me to check out CrossFit. I would love to say that from that moment on I was hooked but it took me a while to fully understand what I was missing.

I began by perusing the CrossFit website where I was introduced to foreign terms such as WOD, AMRAP, Tabata, thrusters, and the list goes on. And what the hell were the “girls” that everyone on the website spoke about? I began by trying a few of the workouts but without a true understanding of the intensity that was truly required to get the most out of the programming. I spent about a year picking and choosing workouts that were suited for me. I did a lot of power cleans and pull-ups during that year but continued to neglect those movements that I struggled with. One thing was consistent during this time however, no matter what I did I was drawn back to what is now referred to as the “mainpage” but
at the time was really the only page. I read article after article and began to get an understanding of what CrossFit was all about. I was also noticing at this time that workouts were fun again. Each day I was left lying in a puddle of sweat wondering what the hell had just happened to me and I loved every minute of it.

This took me up to the fall of 2008. I continued to read articles but still had trouble following every mainpage WOD either due to lack of equipment or inability to do the rx’ed exercises. I was now torn between laying down money for equipment and a level one certification or finding a gym. Naturally I looked on the CrossFit message boards for a gym in New Hampshire. It was at this point I stumbled across this guy named Samy. He had a skull and crossbones profile picture and was part of a small group attempting to assemble for some workouts in New Hampshire. I still remember Samy referring to himself as “a shy little bastard” who liked creeping around where no one noticed him. I have to say this described me perfectly. (Editor’s Note: Soulmates)

That is when my “blogstalking” began. I read almost everything that Samy posted, along with several others to include Melissa Urban/Byers at the short lived 603 CrossFit. I
began to get stronger and eventually started doing my best to follow the programming on the “Savage Society’s” webpage. At this point I still had never stepped foot in a CrossFit box or had coaching on anything. I would workout alone either at home or in my police department’s gym. Occasionally I would convince a co-worker to try a workout with me, no one ever stuck around though. Most said I was crazy or that it ruined their back and bi split that they had been doing for years.

So with no coaching or exposure to a true CrossFit gym I made the decision to lay down some money and create my own “basement gym.” I had read every article associated with creating a garage gym, as well as Samy’s trials and tribulations with stocking his own gym. I figured that if I couldn’t buy it I could probably make it. I made my order with Rogue Fitness and less than a week after that my equipment arrived. I now had a fully stocked gym that included rubber flooring, bumper plates, a pull-up rig, kettlebells, and rings. I have added several other pieces of equipment since then but it was that original shipment of equipment that became my gym. Equipment was no longer a limiting factor for me. I had no excuses now when it came to workouts and it was paying great dividends. My fitness was improving in leaps and bounds. The old injuries that had limited me in the past were non-factors. I was getting stronger in all areas, even those that I had neglected at one time.

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I obtained my Level One Certification in 2010. It was a great weekend that I still am in awe of. When I walked through the doors of the Maine State Police Academy in Vassalboro, Maine I had butterflies for the first time in a long time. I had studied and researched CrossFit for years at this point but still had never experienced the community that is CrossFit. Of course I had read Samy’s blog and liked to think of myself as a member of the Savage Society but they didn’t know that. I still had not visited the gym or even posted on their site. There were several big names in CrossFit at the time and as I walked into
the cert I realized that many of them would be instructing me that weekend. I hoped that all the time I spent alone in my basement attempting to perfect moves such as the air squat would pay off.

The certification went very well. I was extremely happy to learn that the work I put in had paid off when I was complimented on my squat form on the first day but I still had butterflies, we would be doing a group workout in the afternoon. This would be my first taste of what it was like to workout in the atmosphere of a CrossFit gym. The workout was a variation of Fran. We were divided into teams and had to complete a 400m run, a combined 250 thrusters, another 400m run and a combined 250
pull-ups. Only one team member was allowed to workout at a time. Once I got into the workout I realized that I had been missing out on a huge part of what CrossFit truly is.

There is nothing like the feeling of being cheered on by others who are experiencing the same pain that you are. To be around people that share the same outlook as you is an amazing motivator. I left my certification with a new respect for CrossFit and all those that take part in it.

The CrossFit community still continues to amaze me and yes I have finally stepped foot in the Savage Society. Samy has even given me the honor of helping to coach some of the On-Ramp Programs. I would like to think that I add a unique perspective to coaching due to the path that I took to get here. While I do not get to CrossFit New Hampshire as much as I would like I consider many members as part of my family. I learn something new every time I step foot in the gym whether from one of the trainers or from one of the athletes working out alongside me. I am truly amazed at the accomplishments I see on a daily basis, whether that is the person putting up a PR or just completing that extra rep before putting a bar down.

I encourage all new CrossFitters to take the time to explore the message boards and the CrossFit Journal. These were invaluable tools to me during my CrossFit journey. At the same time I hope that all CrossFitters embrace the community and remember how it
was when they first started. Challenge yourself and those around you every time you step foot in the gym.”

 

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Anne

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“…My journey started about two years ago when my husband introduced me to the basic fundamentals of Crossfit. We have a gym of our own, however as stubborn as I am, I wouldn’t listen to a damn thing he said. I was embarrassed that I couldn’t lift any weight, I hated “the Snatch” and I just wasn’t getting any of the fundamentals down. At least that is the way it was in my brain. He got fed up with me and introduced me to CrossFit New Hampshire, where he said that I would like it. He was following this “Samy” person for years and thought that I would be a good fit there. I signed up for the On Ramp class, where I thought I would be making a fool out of myself. I was hoping to show Derek that I am not incapable of learning, and I wanted him to know that this is something that we could do together. CrossFit IS fun he kept telling me, but I was lost of self confidence. I didn’t want to be a failure in my husband’s eyes.

So On Ramp I went – and got my butt kicked, yet I returned day after day after day. I met some really great people there, and they quickly became friends. In August, of last year, I found this program that is specific to “Females on the front lines”. In this program, we live with the Special Forces. It’s a groundbreaking program, and I was going to attend an Assessment and Selection. I went to Samy with the idea, knowing he was part of my new found family, and that he is full of experience in his past career. To help me prepare for selection, Samy hosted a 24 hour open gym session where we did a WOD every hour on the hour. This helped me find my inner drive and realize that my body may be tired, yet my mind is stronger and I need to press on. I drove on through CrossFit New Hampshire’s training, rarely missing a day. Selection occurred in September, and during this hell, all I could think about was “Don’t quit” this is easy for you. I went on numerous unknown distance rucks, runs and all sorts of things. Believe it or not, it was a vast array of fundamental movements, from squatting this log, and carrying this awkward piece of equipment so on and so on.

All I can say is that here I am, today in the lovely mountains of AFG. I made it, and to know that with CrossFit New Hampshire, and my husband Derek’s drive, I can keep up with some of the most elite forces in the Army.”

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