April's Member of the Month - Newark

We'd like to take this moment to thank our very own Michelle Renner Massey for being the fire that wakes us up, keeps us motivated and offers to run an extra 800 meters after our 6AM crew wraps up.  Michelle checks in on everyone, each morning, asking how you're doing. And if you are polite enough to ask the same thing, she always replies…

"I'm fantastic!" with the biggest smile on her face.

And I swear every time she is telling the truth. Her optimism and enthusiasm throughout the class is contagious, and I know members and coaches alike appreciate it. She is a warm spirit, who is always bragging (and rightfully so) about her amazing boys and her husband, who Michelle claims has got nothing on her gymnastics skills! She's even helped several 6AMers who are still waking up as they walk in stretch out with some of the techniques she does prepping her sons and husband for their MMA training!

Michelle has also been progressing so well over the past few weeks, as all the gears start to shift together in the right direction, she is jumping leaps and bounds from where she has started with the movement standards. As coaches, one of the most satisfying feelings is when an athlete finally understands how to perform a movement that had once had left them scratching their head. Some times better than any lifting PR or best time in a workout we did a few months ago. So when Michelle got her first handstand push up this year, we were all ecstatic. No one wants to work on the things they suck at. It's fun to try and PR your deadlift, but nobody wants to go and practice wall balls to improve efficiency in open gym. Michelle (as well as several other 6AM members) work on those weaknesses… those scary concepts like flipping completely upside down and legit shoulder pressing your body weight! But the time was put in, and the rewards were earned! Michelle is now an advocate for practicing pistols, so we all know she will be showing us how to string together alternating pistols in about 6 weeks.

When you first walked in you were a ray of sunshine, and now you are a bad ass laser beam from outer space that leads the class with your attitude and amazing ability to learn quickly from our coaches. Michelle and I were speaking last week, and she said to really make a change in your life you have to find your why. Why do you want to change? And is that why strong enough to make you want to change for the better. I think for some of our members, a big reason why, is because we strive to be like you. Thank you for always starting our days with positivity, and knowing just how to pick us up when we're down!

April 10-14 Hell Yea!

This week's Hell Yea! goes to Kendal Scott!  

Kendal was all business from day 1 and she brings a relentless combination of intensity and positivity to each class.  Although saying she'd never done CrossFit before, I'm pretty sure she was kipping her first week without a problem and has a habit of making things look easy.  

All of our coaches have recognized Kendal's positive attitude and her willingness to push herself.  She put in extra work during our skill sessions a few weeks back and was brave enough to sign up for her first CrossFit comp at the Festivus Games in two weeks!   We can't wait to root her on.  

Although we had decided on Kendal as this week's Hell Yea before class this week, the icing on the cake was watching her speed away from class on her motorcycle.  All around badass chick, just watch out for her during the pizza pie abmat warmup game.... Hell Yea Kendal!

April 3-7 Hell Yea!

Whether she's making sure our coaches are explaining the workouts clearly, cracking jokes in class, or just coming in and brightening up our classes, Sarah Schlute has become a rock star member who's tenacity is paying off!

Sarah was part of our first 6 week group, and since she started it's always been an open dialogue between her and the coaches. Sarah has specific, measurable goals which is a huge step in moving towards the results you want. I urge each of you to take a minute and take a page out of Sarah's book and define exactly what you want over the next month, 3 months, 6 months and even year if you can! With these goals in mind, you're setting yourself up for success!

17.1 was no problem!

17.1 was no problem!

This week Sarah crushed it… getting her hands on a barbell and moving extremely well through the RDL's and the cleans. As we begin to shift gears from more endurance based training from the Open to more strength and technique, it's crucial that we emphasis good form and have our members executing the movements as safely and efficently as possible.

Sarah, keep up the good work, keep asking great questions and keep bringing that positive attitude! If you see Sarah this week be sure to give her a HELL YEA!

That feeling when you know you put in the work!

That feeling when you know you put in the work!

March's Member of the Month - Newark

Over a year ago, squatting before coaching volleyball!

Over a year ago, squatting before coaching volleyball!

As the Open season comes to a close, it's a great time to take a minute a reflect on the year you've had. The changes you've seen in and outside the gym, the new feats of strength or endurance you just discovered, or the great friends you've made within our community. Our member of the Month has always been one of our favorite athletes to coach, and she will be one of our members who we will miss the most as she embarks on a new chapter of her life down in St. Augustine, Florida! Ashley Ford is March's member of the month! Ashely will be moving down with her boyfriend Tyler at the end of this Month, and while we are extremely proud of her, we are going to miss her greatly.

Ashely's been with Nick since the beginning, as a volleyball coach in our FIRST facility, a longtime high school friend, Nick invited Ashley to just come try out CrossFit. Since then, Ashely's been a presence at the gym who always brings up her A Game along with the FRESHEST shoes (personally a big fan of the Buzz Lightyears). Her hard work and attitude are a coaches dream, and is notorious for saying that's too heavy and killing all the lifts!

Best of luck to you and Tyler going forward! We hope that you continue to bring light into everyone's life that you meet, and that you'll continue to do CrossFit from time to time. Just know the bay doors will always be open, and you'll always have CrossFit Petram to call your home!

March's Member of the Month - MOT

There’s “NOOOO!” better way to say this than, Hell Yea!

The member of the month for March goes out to none other than Kandra Dickerson. Kandra has been sipping the Kool-Aid since January 2nd, and she hasn’t looked back since. Each day she is in the gym, Kandra not only allows us coaches (and Marcy) to push her, but she pushes herself to the limit. Her persistence, passion, and (though sometimes reluctant) positive attitude are clearly primary drivers in her success.

Don’t underestimate this fiery lady - SHE IS SMALL BUT MIGHTY!

In addition to being an awesome athlete, Kandra has also been an awesome contributor to the Petram family.  She brought awesome paleo friendly snacks to 17,1, she provided the coolest cornhole boards for 17.5 and rarely passes on a Sunday open gym.

Congratulations Kandra. Continue to motivate yourself, others, and all of us coaches here to work harder, do better, be better! Hell Yea!

March 21-24 Hell Yea!

This week's Hell Yea! goes to Scott!  Scott's been with us from Day 1 at MOT, and we couldn't be happier to have him in our community.  

Not only does he always show up with a smile, he's very coach-able.  He's willing to put the work in and listen to our coaches when they give him feedback.  In addition to working on his own fitness, he's gotten his teenage daughter Julia involved too (she took on 17.4 last Friday night with a proud dad by her side).  

Scott's made huge progress 3 months in... and all the coaches look forward to working with him every time he signs up for class!

If you see Scott in class over the next week be sure to give him a HELL YEA!

March 13-17 Hell Yea!

Before we get into the Hell Yea for the week, today is March 16th, which as you should all know is Stone Cold Steve Austin Day! The weekly hell yea actually stemmed from this, as Nick and I would scream Hell Yea to each other after big lifts. Little did he know I got this some several Stone Cold Steve Austin promos.

There is a point where an athlete who has committed to CrossFit breaks through their first ceiling, and it is obvious to myself and the other coaches that this week's Hell Yea goes to Gail King at our Newark location!

Gail started with us in January and has been coming every week like it was clock work. Last Friday night, she came to Friday Night Lights on the fence about whether or not she would do the workout! I believe she changed her mind a few times, deciding whether or not to come back on Saturday. But after much deliberation, Gail joined the last heat of the night and put on a CLINIC! To see her overcome her nerves and JUST DO IT was so inspiring for us all to see!

But the real break through moment was this past Monday… the 3, 6, 9, 12 ladder of thrusters and toes to bar. Gail had been using the training bar and making sure her form is down pat. This workout, I saw her grab the 35 LB Bella bar, put on 55LBS of weight, and finish the round of 15 thrusters! Gail did not stop moving the whole time and broke her work up into smart sets! We are exciting to see you break through more Gail! The sky is the limit! We don't have any pictures to share, but Gail is always smiling ear to ear and it a great presence in our afternoon classes!

If you see Gail this week be sure to give her a HELL YEA!

February's Member of the Month!

I thought about who deserved our Member of the Month shout out over and over again for the past week. At the end of the day, I always came to the same conclusion. We have to recognize Vince Disabella as February's Member of the Month!

I think everybody knows Vince, because he's been to pretty much every class time! The thing we love about Vince is he makes this portion of his life a priority in the sense that regardless of whether or not he's driving to Vineland, NJ (about a 1.5 hour drive one way) or coordinating his schedule so he can come in and work out with his daughters, Vince makes time to come in no matter what. No excuses, ever. If he is alive and breathing, you can bet your bottom dollar that Vince is going to do whatever he can to get into the gym that day.

Vince is one of our most welcoming members! While he may come off strong to some, he is still one of the first guys to get up and shake someone's hand when they first step in the gym, something I know that the coaches value and that I valued when I first started CrossFit. He is someone who's "tell it like it is" attitude and wealth of experience I hold with the upmost regard. Sometimes you have to filter through what he's saying, but the meat and potatoes of his points are always extremely helpful, and sometimes downright hilarious. Not to mention the power felt from the occasional Vince yell mid workout!

The Don holding court for post workout hydration!

The Don holding court for post workout hydration!

The gym is a family affair for Vince and his daughters. We've all had the pleasure of meeting and/or working out with these amazing young women. Seeing him miss a beloved 6AM class to know he is trying to come in with his mini tribe is a sight to be seen. I'm fairly confident that any opportunity Emily has, she asks me for her dads score so she can push it to the limit… although, I can't seem to recall who had the better score in 17.1.

Emily, Vince, Mark and Reagan post workout! Little did Vince know the monster he created!

Emily, Vince, Mark and Reagan post workout! Little did Vince know the monster he created!

If your hurt or sore, or just unsure of how your body is supposed to be feeling, you can always count on Vince to go out of his way and make sure you are ok. I had badly hurt my shoulder/back before 17.1. Vince took time out of his day to check my back and adjust it, gave me sound advice, and checked in on me everyday to make sure I was doing alright, constantly telling me not to worry about it and try to keep a clear mind. I said thank you several times, but I don’t think words can truly express how much that meant to me as a member, coach and friend. And this is not the first time! I know a few of you have had our Doctor onsite take a look at you and make sure everything was in check. That's just the type of guy Vince is, willing to help by any means necessary.

So thank you Vince… you’re a stud member, the gym chatter box and the person we all want on our team. Looking forward to seeing you progress more and more, while improving the culture of our gym with it.