AOTM

Ellie Robinson
Member name:

Ellie Robinson

Athlete of the month: August
Details

August CFPB Member of Month: Ellie Robinson

Rolling in everyday 1 min late to the 12pm class with her conference call on mute and headphones in, Ellie is determined to get her workout in!  She works like a boss but takes her lunch break even more seriously because that is HER time.  “Get me that report by the end of the day! Or ELSE!” she tells the guy on the other end of the line and hangs up.  She shoots the coach a sweet smile, breathes a sigh of relief and starts her warm up.  You can always count Ellie for a big smile, and to put in maximum effort! She has excellent push ups and is SOOO close to her first pull up.  Congrats to one of our favorite “Nooners” on your epic achievement as August Member of the Month!

-How did you get started with CrossFit?

I went to a CF class while on vacation in Bend, Oregon, with my aunt and uncle who are big Crossfiters and my retirement heroes.  I really liked it, but I was extremely out of shape. I hadn’t worked out in about 4 years since having my 2nd child; and I could not even do 1 push up.  It was time to get back in shape, so I decided to check out Crossfit in San Diego.

-What brought you to CrossFit PB?

I lived in PB and it was close.  I tried a few classes and really liked it.  Despite being a novice, I felt comfortable, welcome, and very safe with the awesome coaching.  I had very little experience with weight lifting but I wanted to get stronger.

-How long have you been at CFPB?

1.5 years.

-What is your favorite movement/ type of workout?

Box Jumps.  They are very satisfying.

-What is your least favorite movement/ type of workout?

Pull-Ups.  Still can’t do 1 yet.

-What is your biggest CrossFit accomplishment so far?

The Murph on Memorial Day.  I was so intimidated the first time, but have done it twice now.

-If you had to say something to someone walking into CFPB for the first time, what would you tell them?

Work at your own level. There are endless opportunities to scale for what works best for you.  Don’t be afraid to ask for modifications when you can’t do something. You will get stronger. It’s amazing!

Life outside CrossFit

-Where were you born/ grow up?

I grew up in Eastern Oregon.

-What sports/ activities did you do growing up?

Skiing was my big passion growing up.

-What are your favorite things to do outside of the gym?

Mostly work and spending time with the kids.  I’m a cub scouts den leader and that is a lot of fun.

-What is your favorite meal?

Sushi and Champagne

-What is your favorite album?

Van Morrison Moondance

-List your top 3 movies of all time:

Night on Earth, Office Space, ET

 

Ben Werner
Member name:

Ben Werner

Athlete of the month: July
Details

July Member of the Month: Ben Werner

This month’s member of the month has been through one heck of a transformation since joining CrossFit PB, losing more than 18 lbs in his first 6 months.  But it’s not just about what he lost but about the confidence, muscle mass and positive attitude he gained!  He might be a bit of a quiet guy but watch out for the beast within that comes out with every WOD.  We’re lucky to have you in as a part of our community and that’s why we are excited to announce BEN WERNER as July’s member of the month!

-How did you get started with CrossFit?

I went to a new doctor for a checkup for the first time in a few years and he told me, “you should never gain weight for the rest of your life,” and that really struck a cord. I had many years of really unhealthy habits and would go to the gym but get bored and not go back for months. Crossfit seemed like something that was way more exciting and had that social aspect to help hold me accountable.

-What brought you to Crossfit PB?

The reviews were great and Bryan and Jenny were super encouraging when I showed up for the eval and first session. Didn’t hurt that it was only a few blocks from my apartment.

-How long have you been at CFPB?

Started in Feb 2016, I think.

-What is your favorite movement/ type of workout?

Probably the power snatch, something about not being super coordinated and hitting a good rep feels great.

-What is your least favorite movement/ type of workout?

Running, absolutely hate running. I would say double-unders too but I can’t string more than 2 together yet so I don’t think it counts.

-What is your biggest CrossFit accomplishment so far?

Not really one accomplishment but Crossfit was definitely a huge factor in helping me correct some shitty habits and change my lifestyle to a much more healthy and happy one.

-If you had to say something to someone walking into CFPB for the first time, what would you tell them?

Probably would just say “hey” if I was forced to say something cause I’m weird and it takes me a bit to warm up. But I would be thinking “good for you for giving it a shot”

Life outside CrossFit

-Where were you born/ grow up?

Born in NJ, and raised sorta split between Massachusetts and the DC area.  

-What sports/ activities did you do growing up?

Everything – played a lot of baseball, did a lot of waterskiing at my dads. I was a really active kid. Once puberty hit I got a lot better at couch surfing.

-What are your favorite things to do outside of the gym?

I’m pretty low key. I love bbq’s, and chilling at the beach. Fishing, walking the dogs, reading/watching movies at home. Every now and then I’ll get guilted into going on a hike but I’ll enjoy it.

-What is your favorite meal?

Really tough call – blue crabs & corn on the cob or my mom’s lamb chops

-What is your favorite album?

The Last Waltz by The Band

-List your top 3 movies of all time:

Also tough, maybe:

Jurassic Park

The Big Lebowski

Jaws

 

Pete McEvoy
Member name:

Pete McEvoy

Athlete of the month: June
Details

June Member of Month: Pete McEvoy

Pete McEvoy, aka “Pure Muscle Pete” or “PMP”, is a 5PMer who has seen a great transformation since  joining last year. Pete earned his nickname by gaining 17 pounds since he joined. His transformation is a testament to the work ethic he brings day in and day out.  Pete comes into the gym everyday with a good attitude and a friendliness towards all. Congrats Pete on being June’s Member of the Month!

-How did you get started with CrossFit?

This has been my first experience so I’m still relatively new. I was a big runner and I decided that I wanted to try CrossFit for a couple of days a week with the goal of adding in cross training to help increase or maintain muscle that wasn’t being targeted by running. Ultimately, I wanted to be in overall better shape and I knew a traditional gym probably wasn’t going to work for me – I needed something with a workout plan and a sense of community and accountability.

 

-What brought you to CrossFit PB?

Fortunately, dumb luck. My office was within two blocks of CFPB and I noticed it while walking to grab a coffee one afternoon. I was intimidated at first but I did some research and decided to try out one of the “easier” sweat classes that focused more on body weight and cardio. After trying a class, I was hooked and knew it was something that I wanted to continue doing.

 

-How long have you been at CFPB?

About a year and four months.

-What is your favorite movement/ type of workout?

Anything that involves olympic lifts but if I had to choose I would say power and squat cleans. It was the first movement I learned at CFPB and I really enjoy working on the balance between strength and technique/form. To me it exemplifies both the mental and physical aspects of CrossFit and lifting in general.

-What is your least favorite movement/ type of workout?

Double unders – my coordination is terrible.

 

-What is your biggest CrossFit accomplishment so far?

I’m far from the strongest or fittest person in any given class but I’ve turned strength training into something that intimidated me into something that I genuinely enjoy doing and look forward to. That’s been a major accomplishment for me and it has also set me up to be healthier and better in other aspects of my life.

 

-If you had to say something to someone walking into CFPB for the first time, what would you tell them?

Don’t be intimidated. When I started I didn’t know anything about CrossFit and I never really worked out in any type of gym. Joining CFPB is like joining a community where there’s no judgment and everyone wants to see you learn, progress, and succeed. Just take it slow and enjoy the journey.

 

Life outside CrossFit

-Where were you born/ grow up?

I was born and raised in the very small rural town of Pen Argyl, Pennsylvania. Fun fact, the entire town has two stoplights.

 

-What sports/ activities did you do growing up?

Soccer, tennis, snowboarding

 

-What are your favorite things to do outside of the gym?

I enjoy spending time with my wife, Whitney,  and our two dogs, Beau and Rufus. Any given weekend, I can be found surfing, biking, boating, fishing, golfing, hiking, or exploring new areas. San Diego has provided me with way too many hobbies.

-What is your favorite meal?

Hands down, pizza. Depending on the toppings you can knock out most of the food groups and it pairs spectacularly with almost any cold beer.

-What is your favorite album?

That’s a really tough call. It really depends on what I’m listening to at the time but I have pretty eclectic tastes. It could be the Strokes, Radiohead, White Stripes, Foo Fighters, Rolling Stones, Queen, Beatles, the Doors, Pink Floyd, Talking Heads, Johnny Cash, Notorious BIG, Kanye. I’m all over the place and there are too many good ones to choose just one.

-List your top 3 movies of all time:

Goodfellas, Catch Me If You Can, The Big Lebowski. I could do with those three movies for a while without getting bored.

 

Katie Kryder
Member name:

Katie Kryder

Athlete of the month: May
Details

May Member of the Month : Katie Kryder

You might not know Katie by name, because when she’s in the gym she is all business.  If you come to night classes, you have most likely seen her in the back getting her STRONG program on.   Everyday Katie walks in, puts her head down and headphones in then gets to work. She has been religiously following the STRONG program since it started and the results show.  Congrats Katie on being the May Member of the Month!

Q: How did you get started with CrossFit?

A: I joined a CrossFit gym that my brother was going to back in NY. Before that, I was going to a generic gym, which involved mostly doing cardio and being afraid of the free weights. I instantly fell in love with CrossFit, the variety it gave my workouts, and the confidence I gained.

 

Q: What brought you to San Diego Athletics?

A: When I first moved to San Diego, I dropped in at a few local boxes. It only took one drop in at SDA to make up my mind. I got really good vibes from all of the members and coaches and it had the best programming out of any gym I’ve been to before. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made because I ended up meeting my amazing fiance and a lot of my best friends here. Dawww.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Q: How long have you been at SDA?

A: My three year anniversary is coming up this July!

 

 

 

Q: What is your favorite movement/ type of workout?

A: I really love power lifts. Squats and deadlifts. The kinda leg day that makes you limp around for rest of the week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Q: What is your least favorite movement/ type of workout?

A: Anything involving running. Last year I ran a half marathon to see if it would make me hate running less. It didn’t work.

 

Q: What is your biggest CrossFit accomplishment so far?

A: When I walked in to SDA, I couldn’t even do one strict pull up. Now I rep out weighted pull ups and I can do bar muscle ups. That’s pretty cool because I love to track my progress. I also look at all of the knowledge I’ve gained as an accomplishment too; I’ve learned so much about my body, what it’s capable of, and how to properly fuel it. It’s given me a lot of respect and love for myself!

 

Q: If you had to say something to someone walking into SDA for the first time, what would you tell them?

A: Don’t be intimidated by all the super fit people, they had to start out somewhere too. You just have to show up, have fun, and trust the process. Also, celebrate small personal victories… You don’t need to finish first in a WOD or have a huge PR to be proud of yourself.

 

Life outside CrossFit

 

Q: Where were you born/ grow up?

A: I was born and raised in Upstate NY. The snowy part. Hence why I moved to San Diego.

 

Q: What sports/ activities did you do growing up?

A: I played soccer most of my childhood. I was in ski club. I also dabbled with track & field and cheerleading for a bit.

 

Q: What are your favorite things to do outside of the gym?

A: Spend time with my two fur babies, Archie and Livy. I love anything involving the beach and outdoors. I’m a low key book worm. I try to travel as much as I can.

 

Q: What is your favorite meal?

A: PIZZA! Or Lasagna. I love Italian food.

 

Q: What is your favorite album?

A: This is difficult. I laugh because when I listen to my headphones at the gym, it can vary from death metal to Taylor Swift to gansta rap to country. It depends on my mood. I don’t really have a favorite.

 

Q: List your top 3 movies of all time:

A: I grew up in the 90’s and I don’t really think anything compares to those comedies. I’m going to go with Dumb and Dumber, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Ace Ventura Pet Detective.

Matt Downey
Member name:

Matt Downey

Athlete of the month: April
Details

April Member of the Month: Matt Downey

For those of you who dont know Matt (most likely because you like your sleep), he is a staple of the 5:30am class.  I can always count on Matt greeting me with a smile and positive attitude in the morning. For those of you who do know Matt, you know that a 5:30 class without him feels empty.  Over the past couple months, Matt has made improvements unheard of by someone who has been a member as long as he has. Matt told me that he just wants to look better naked.  I cannot attest to this, but I will say he looks a lot better in gym clothes.  Congratulations Matt on being Aprils Member of the Month!

 

Q: Where did you grow up?

A: Plymouth, MA

 

Q: How did you get started with CrossFit?

A: I had a few friends in other parts of the country who had joined and were talking about it.  I had moved about a year prior to San Diego from the Washington, D.C. and really needed to lose some weight and be healthier (was about 250lbs upon arriving in San Diego). At the time the gym was at the old Fanuel location.  I walked by a number of times and definitely did not think I belonged working out with that group, so I didnt go in.  Instead I hired a personal trainer in an attempt to get in shapefor CrossFit.  I kept talking about it until Angela, my then girlfriend and now wife, finally told me to just go in (I assume because she was tired of me talking about it).  I signed up for the one on one intro classes shortly after. Note: the personal training sessions did not get me in shape and I still nearly died.

Q: What brought you to San Diego Athletics?

A: I knew I wanted to try CrossFit and did some local Yelp reviews, and CrossFit PB looked like a good place to try.  I didnt know many people in San Diego at the time, so I didnt have any personal recommendations on where to go.

 

Q: How long have you been at SDA?

A: Started in September of 2012, so 5+ years.

 

Q: What is your favorite movement/ type of workout?

A: I like workouts and WODs with olympic lifts.  For the WODs I like a goldilocks of weight, not too light and not too heavy.  I also like WODs with HSPUs a lot. Unlike most, I kinda like burpees.

 

Q: What is your least favorite movement/ type of workout?

A: The workouts and WODs without chalk!  Seriously though, split squats, I feel like my legs are about to fall off . I also am not a big fan of pistols but at least my legs stay attached and they are doable.  

 

Q: What is your biggest CrossFit accomplishment so far?

A: I would say my biggest accomplishment is building a lifestyle around being healthy and active.  I work a desk job in IT with lots of hours and stress. It is really easy to lose sight of taking care of your own health in the name of meeting some deadline, or eating out and drinking day in and day out with coworkers.  I know because I did it. Having a supportive community, especially making so many friends through the gym, has enabled me to set better priorities and maintain a lifestyle that makes me much healthier, and more importantly much happier.  Also, another huge accomplishment is talking about CrossFit enough to get my wife to join and stick with it also for over 2 years!

Q: If you had to say something to someone walking into SDA for the first time, what would you tell them?

A: Dont hesitate to have fun.  I have seen so many people come through the gym over the past 5+ years and 99.9% are not tip top shape athletes.  No-one is judging, no-one is laughing, no-one wants you to fail. Everyone wants you to be there, everyone wants you to have fun, everyone wants you to succeed in your goals.  We all started from somewhere, maybe you cant do a pushup or a pull up . . . yet.  You will, and it will happen sooner than you think.

 

Q: What sports did you play growing up?

A: Football and wrestling.  

 

Q: What are your favorite things to do outside of the gym?

A: I like to travel, though lately with grad school this has been non-existent.  More frequently, I like to enjoy new food with my wife and friends. I also really like spending time with my dog, going on walks or just hanging out on the couch, she is pretty cool.

 

Q: What is your favorite meal?

A: Really depends.  I really like a good sandwich, all in the bread.  I also really enjoy a nice ribeye, especially the ribeye cap, of course from the Heart & Trotter butcher in North Park.

 

Q: What is your favorite album?

A: This is tough.  I grew up listening to a lot of Beatles in my household as a kid, and Sgt. Peppers was always a big favorite to this day (I can feel Dave Anderson judging me). My parents were both musicians, so there was always a lot of music from all varieties growing up. Probably one album I have listened to since it came out fairly frequently that is not from my parents collection as a kid (i.e. I discovered) would be Nirvanas MTV Unplugged album (I can still feel Dave Anderson judging me).  

Q: List your top three movies of all time:

A: 1) Jaws.  This has been a favorite since a kid, which put me in a phase where I was obsessed with learning about sharks. My grandmother was kind enough to get every book from the library on sharks along with letting me watch Jaws on repeat.  My wife dislikes this movie, but she was kind enough to go see it with me in the theater a few years ago.

2) Primer.  I think I have watched this 4-5 times and still am not sure I completed understand.

3) Love Actually  This just makes you feel good.

Also, not sure if this counts, but I am generally a sucker for a documentary (especially a history or science), if it is on I will get sucked in.

Kristin Pelosi, Andrea Perry, Candace Hiddlestone, Adriana Wright, Sarah Aguirre, and Mellisa Christopher
Member name:

Kristin Pelosi, Andrea Perry, Candace Hiddlestone, Adriana Wright, Sarah Aguirre, and Mellisa Christopher

Athlete of the month: December
Details

Left to right: Sarah, Kristin, Candace, & Adri (and all their beautiful babies)

Left to right: Sarah, Kristin, Candace, & Adri (and all their beautiful babies)

Candace Hiddlestone first caught sight of Andrea Perry at G3 Kids, a gymnastics, parkour, and tumbling gym for kids.

She went home and told her boyfriend, “I have a girl crush. Her body is insane,” Candace said.

Candace finally worked up the courage to ask Andrea what she did to work out, and that’s when Andrea told her the secret: a mom’s class at San Diego Athletics, with workouts specifically tailored for the group by owner Jenny DeVeaux.

And the best part? Candace could bring her kids.

Full Body Transformation

San Diego Athletics is primarily a CrossFit gym, but at 10:00am on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday the gym hosts a group of four to six women and their children, mostly infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.

Andrea, the woman Candace saw at G3, has been coming to the class for one and half years. She has a two year old and a four year old, and is due with her third child at the end of November.


Andrea (6 months pregnant) and her daughter Sage.

“I’ve never felt stronger,” Andrea said, “and Jenny is the difference.”

“My body changed,” she said, I have more muscle tone, and I’ve never felt more fit. My body feels optimized.”

Adri and Owner/Coach Jenny

Jenny’s class incorporates light weights and high reps into an hour and half of high-intensity training.

“She’s so creative in her approach,” Andrea said about Jenny’s workouts, “and every workout is different. It’s fast-paced, but it doesn’t feel like you are working hard. It’s like personal training,” she said.

Kristin Pelosi, a cross country runner in high school and college, has been coming to the Mom’s Class for two years, and she said it’s changed her body in ways running never did.

Kristin getting her workout in while her oldest son Braden watches a movie with the gym dog.

Candace said after coming to the Mom’s Class for six months, her strength and endurance are through the roof.

“I run outside the gym, and it’s crazy how much my cardio has increased,” she said, “and I’ve always had a bad back—this has made me stronger, and I have less back pain. Getting this all done in an hour is amazing—it would take me six hours on my own!” Candace said.

Adri and Candace enjoying each others company.

Candace, who has two boys ages three and six, said her increased strength comes in handy when she’s lifting kids in and out of the car.

“It totally reshapes your body,” Andrea said about the class, “for the time and effort it’s the best value.”

Setting an Example

Many gyms offer childcare with the kids stashed away in a kid’s club. At San Diego Athletics’ Mom’s Class, the kids are part of the experience.

Adri with her youngest (of 3 girls) Sierra.

Andrea said she thinks it’s important for kids to be exposed to fitness.

“It’s imprinting on your kids,” Andrea said.

“My son loves it, and it’s like my therapy, connecting with other moms, she said.

“It just works,” Candace said about having the kids there. At the end of the day, (the kids) are so happy to be there with their moms. It is really cool for the kids to see ‘mommy is doing it.’ Logan (her son) is so proud. He sits on my back during the plank workout!” she said.

New mom Melissa with her 9 month old son Ford.

It’s great to have other moms there, and getting to work out and bring the kids is even cooler, it changes the whole dynamic,” Kristin said. “The kids have fun too. They all get along,” she said.

Kristin said she feels a huge sense of accomplishment after every class.

I worked out, I took care of the kids, and I set a good example, she said.

“It’s the holy grail for a mom,” Candace said. “It’s like nothing I’ve ever done workout-wise.”

If you’re a mom of young children and are interested in joining the Mom’s Class,  call (858) 412-6012, email info@sandiegoathletics.com or visit sandiegoathletics.com.

Kristin and Candace grinding through a band workout.

James Polanco
Member name:

James Polanco

Athlete of the month: August 2016
Details

James Polanco joined San Diego Athletics in April 2015 and began following the bodybuilding program, which at the time was offered in addition to the CrossFit program.
It was difficult at first.
“I tried to do a lateral raise, and (the coach) said, ‘Dude, just stop,’” James said. “My right shoulder was in my ear. I had shoulder and back issues, and my pecs were so tight my scap was useless,” he said.
James’ shoulder was so messed up he couldn’t do a push-up.
So James, at age 40, committed to fixing his body. He started doing the bodybuilding program three times a week and went to physical therapy one to two times per week.
James works from home in software development. While working from home has many perks, it also can lead to a lot of sitting and the temptations associated with unlimited access to the kitchen.
As with many people, James got out of the habit of being regularly active after college. The years of inactivity were immediately apparent in James’ movement patterns.
“That first week (of bodybuilding) I was in the worst pain ever,” James said, “but after a couple of weeks I got used to it.”
When the bodybuilding program ended, James moved right into the CrossFit program and said it was a smooth transition. He said he’s loved learning the more technical Olympic lifts and also getting to know more of the members now that everybody is doing the same programming each day.
The progress James has made in about a year and a half is impressive.
When he started, he bench pressed about 75 lb. He’s now up to 196 lb. James could not properly do an air squat in April of 2015, and now he can back squat 270 lb.
James made all these strength gains while losing 30 lb.
A few years before joining San Diego Athletics, James and his wife went to see a nutritionist to get a handle on their eating habits.
“We ate fast food on a regular basis,” James said. Not in the habit of planning their meals, they would discover at the end of the day they had nothing to eat for dinner. The prospect of figuring out what to eat, driving to the store, and then coming home and cooking the food was too exhausting, so they would just head to Taco Bell.
At the advice of the nutritionist, James and his wife started to plan meals, which then led to having healthy leftovers for lunch. Now, when James and his wife do eat out, they avoid fast food in favor of healthier options.
James is a regular fixture at the 8:00 am class at San Diego Athletics. His goals for the future include getting a muscle-up, stringing together 15 pull-ups easily, and bench-pressing 220-lb.
What keeps him coming back day after day, however, are not these goals. Not only does James not need help from his physical therapist, he said he’s in the best shape of his life.
“This is top notch,” he said about San Diego Athletics. “The facility, the people and the coaches.”

By Hilary Achauer

Shawn Paone
Member name:

Shawn Paone

Athlete of the month: September 2016
Details

After college Shawn Paone, 25, stopped working out.

“I had a really unhealthy relationship with fitness,” Shawn said.

She struggled with an eating disorder in college and became obsessed with running and working out, so to break that cycle she stopped exercising completely.

Originally from New Jersey, Shawn moved to San Diego two years ago. That’s when she returned to fitness and ran her first marathon in May. A month later she was looking for a new challenge, and tried out a class at San Diego Athletics.

“Halfway through my first class I knew I was going to join,” she said.

Shawn works in software development in Mission Valley, and she usually comes to the 5:00 pm class on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. An avid photographer, Shawn frequently heads to the beach after class to take photos of the ocean and surfers. You can check out her work at www.shawnpaone.com.

Many people come to CrossFit never having lifted weights, but Shawn played soccer and ran track in high school, and back then her training included squats, deadlifts, and cleans.

“I haven’t done that in eight years, but it felt familiar. I missed it,” she said.

The one thing she had never done was snatch.

“The first time I snatched, Bryan said I looked uncomfortable,” Shawn said with a laugh.

Now, just six months later, she can snatch 90 lb.

Bryan told her he can’t believe how far she’s come in such a short time. Excited about the progress she’s made, Shawn said she hopes to get a strict pull-up soon, which she said she hasn’t been able to do since elementary school. She also looks forward to completing the workouts as prescribed.

“The community, the people have motivated me to keep coming,” she said. “The coaches are awesome at San Diego Athletics. Bryan and Jenny are so helpful. They spend so much time correcting my form, telling me I need to slow down, and making sure I’m doing this right before I put more weight on the bar.”

More than anything, Shawn said she loves working out at San Diego Athletics, and how she feels after doing CrossFit for six months.

“I look in the mirror and I’m super proud of who I am and how far I’ve come,” Shawn said.

By Hilary Achauer

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"This place has changed my life! It has given me so much confidence in my body, my balance, and my ability to be active.”
- Chris Madsen, CFPB member since 2010

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1827 Garnet Ave
San Diego, CA 92109

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