Spotlight Archive

Battling Boredom (June Crossfit Athlete Spotlight: Abbie)

Courtesy: Jake’s Takes Photography

Some athletes have a specific memory that sticks with them in their Crossfit career but not Abbie.

“I feel like everyday you get to the gym is a good memory.”

Abbie started working out regularly at Crossfit Praus in 2015 without any previous crossfit experience. She played soccer in high school and started running in college for fun. This includes her participating in the 2006 Chicago Marathon but she kept getting bored, until she walked into Crossfit Praus.

“My neighbor asked me to go and I thought it was ridiculous. I didn’t like how they abbreviated everything. I also thought it was ridiculous to climb ropes and lift weights. Then I started going more and I noticed that I was getting stronger. So I decided to join because you get hooked on it like everyone says.”

With the fight against boredom, Abbie thinks she found the perfect opponent.

“Crossfit was the hardest thing I’ve ever done when I started. It doesn’t feel hard to me now but it feels like a challenge. Everyday I look at the board and I’m not thrilled but then you do it and you feel great about how you finished. I love the variety of it because in my past experiences with fitness I got bored really fast.”

She describes herself as a housekeeper, line cook, and a bus driver. With her busy daily grind, Abbie uses the box to get away from her responsibilities.

“Other than being in much better shape and with me being on such a set schedule with the kids, Crossfit gives me one hour to myself. If I don’t get to do it then I am not a happy person because mentally it changes the whole day for me. I don’t know if it is the people, the workout or everything in between but that one hour every morning changes the way my day goes.”

Now that she’s been at the box going on three years, Abbie has found a few movements she enjoys.

“I love anything that involves gymnastics. I love being on the rig, I’m starting to enjoy double unders and I love muscle ups. I feel like I can do everything now, I just have to get better at everything.”

Abbie, like many if not all of the athletes at Praus, loves the people and the atmosphere.

“We have a lot of good athletes but I don’t feel like we are always trying to beat each other. I also know that I’m not going to be going to the Crossfit Games anytime soon so I go to not only make myself better but to also encourage new people. I’m always honest with new people, you have to give it time to love it. In the beginning I thought it was always about being the best but as I continued doing it, I learned that I just need to get the best out of myself. The people truly make the box.”

While Abbie continues to better herself, she also sees another role, being a motivator.

“With me being 40, I want to be an inspiration for those who think they can’t do something because they’re a certain age, run fast like a guy or even do a pull up. I always say yes you can, all you need to do is put in the hard work and then you’ll see the results.”

Abbie shares her getaway time with her husband, who’s also a member at Praus.

“I didn’t know if I wanted my husband to start working out with me. We actually sat down and talked about it and he’s like do you care if I start doing this with you? Because it was my me time. So now when he does workout with me, it’s awesome. He realized why I love doing it everyday. I think I am a better wife because I get to escape to the box sometimes.”

Abbie’s children, Gus and Clara, go with her to the box almost every morning and she hopes to motivate them to stay active.

“I am not only doing this for myself but also for my kids to show them that being strong is cool. I don’t care what they choose to do, whether it’s Crossfit or something else but staying active will always be a part of our lives. Having our kids try and do some of the movements we do is really exciting.”

Pushing Herself from the beginning (Amanda Benz, May Athlete of the Month)

Courtesy: Jakes Takes Photography

Not many Crossfit Praus athletes can say they’ve been at the box from the start, unless you’re Amanda Benz.

“Shane and Amanda were friends of ours before we even tried Crossfit,” Amanda said. “We were actually in a Bible study with them when Crossfit was just a dream. Then Crossfit Praus was opened in their garage.”

Both Amanda and her husband Joel have worked out at Praus since 2012 but her love for physical activity began years before she became a Crossfitter.

“I’ve worked out my whole life,” Amanda said. “I ran and also kickboxed all through high school. But before I started, I had never done a lot of bar work.”

For the past seven years, Amanda has been a professor at the University of Saint Francis. Previously she worked in the Emergency Room at Parkview for 6 years. She says she’s always asked how she has time to work out with her job, family and other extracurriculars.

“I always put it on my calendar like any other appointment and I make sure that I keep it,” Amanda said. “One of my goals for myself is never missing a Monday because you really want to start your week out right. Because it really sets you up for success for the rest of the week.”

When she started Crossfitting, Amanda says it was really challenging.

“Coming off having a baby and jumping right into Crossfit it was very slow going at first,” Amanda said. “I also did it while I was pregnant with my third child.”

Crossfit has also had a positive impact on her life.

“I tell people all the time, even though it doesn’t make sense, Crossfit gives you more energy,” Amanda said. “I normally go to a afternoon class, which is when I am really tired and it gives me energy to finish my day. You sleep and eat better when you’re working out. You also gain mental and emotional strength along with the physical attributes.

With more than six years under her belt, Amanda has found a few favorite movements.

“I love anything with kettle bells and I really love power cleans,” Amanda said. I really don’t like bar over burpees. I just don’t like burpees and jumping over a bar. I also don’t necessarily like, running but I know it’s good for me.”

Amanda has also put her skills to the test in in two competitions.

“It was very nerve-racking,” Amanda said. “It makes you realize that you have a lot of growth but it is really good to push yourself. I’ve also only done the open three times. With any competition, it is so many workouts crammed into a short period of time and that’s more mentally exhausting whereas the open is spread out over five weeks, you have time to kind of regroup and get ready to go the following week.”

Still Amanda says she still has more to learn.

“Recently I got handstand push ups and I’ve been working on those for a really long time,” Amanda said. “Also after years of doing Crossfit, I can finally string some double unders together. This year I am working on getting a bar muscle up and getting more efficient at double unders.”

When asked what her favorite part about Crossfit Praus is, her answer is very familiar.

“I really like the friendships there honestly,” Amanda said. “Workouts are great but when it’s family that just keeps you coming back. Challenging yourself and kind of being pushed by other people. I truly love the whole atmosphere.”

Amanda also see the great work the coaches do.

“I really like the individualized coaching we get,” Amanda said. “Even there might be 10-15 people in your class, the coaches take really good care of new people and really spend time with them to make sure they’re doing movements correctly. At Praus we want people to feel like family. I’ve been told by people who come that they felt really welcomed.”

With her husband also attending Praus, Amanda says they keep each other in check.

“Challenging each other is hard because of the male and female aspect, but we keep each other accountable to go to the gym,” Amanda said. “I don’t like working out with Joel as my partner though. I don’t like the way he counts the movements and I just want to be left alone when I am working out usually. We kind of just like to do our own things.”

She even sees her kids following in her footsteps in the near future.

“My kids mess around doing little workouts in the living room,” Amanda said. “They will ask me to do push ups and jump rope in the living room all the time. I know they love it too.”

Winning the day by bettering yourself (Joe Secrest, April Athlete of the Month)

April Athlete of the Month, Courtesy: Jake’s Takes Photography

Working out is nothing new to Joe Secrest, but this past year has changed the way he looks at pushing his body to the limits.

“I am more concerned with the quality of the movement rather than how much I can lift or do,” Joe said.

He came to Crossfit Praus last year after he saw one of the Open videos. At the time he was working out at the YMCA and decided to put himself out there to try something new.

“I really became bored of working then I popped into Praus on a Saturday,” Joe said. “I liked the feeling of the place and thought everyone was pretty close without any cliques.”

Throughout his life Joe has always tried to stay in shape. He played football, basketball, track and baseball. Then he enlisted in the army. Joe trained all over the United States, Ireland and Germany. He also was deployed to Kuwait. His experience in the Army fuels his drive to become the best Crossfit athlete he can.

“In the Navy Seals they have a motto: it pays to be a winner,” Joe said. “Our unit kind of adopted that motto and it’s been ingrained in my mind. It isn’t about necessarily winning a competition or being the best in the gym but I want to win the day. I want to be better than I was when I wake up in the morning.“

Joe says Crossfit helps make his day easier. As a furnace operator at Steel Dynamics Inc., he’s always walking around. Joe says he has more energy now than when he was in the army.

“Everyday I go into the gym trying to improve on something whether it is at strength or a faster time or not breaking during a movement,” Joe said. “I want to get better both mentally and physically.”

There are a few workouts Joe loves and hates to see on the whiteboard.

“My favorite workout is Isabel (30 snatches) because I love snatching,” Joe said. “I love the unknown of popping the bar up, are you catching it or do you have to make that split second decision to bail on it. I also love the assault bike. It hurts so bad but when you’re done, it feels so worth it. I dred Cindy, because it’s 20 minutes of pull ups, push ups and squats.”

With anything in life there are stereotypes, and Crossfit is no different. But Joe doesn’t listen to them.

“I laugh at all the stereotypes involved with Crossfit because we are taught technique,” Joe said. “If go into any other gym, you see people doing movements all the time with the wrong technique. If anyone doubts that Crossfit is beneficial, I’ll tell them they just have to try it. I’ve gone to the YMCA a couple of times since I started Crossfit and I can’t stand being there.”

He’s also sees the family aspect of Crossfit Praus.

“Everybody wants to help everybody,” Joe said. “Each person cares about everyone’s well being, not just in the gym but about their life in general.

Recently Joe got his first muscle up and was able to do five handstand push ups but he isn’t stopping there.

“I really want to be able to put 15-20 pull ups together and be able to string together double unders,” Joe said. But my biggest goal is working on my nutrition. I have been working with a nutritionist. It’s helped me with my muscle ups. I want to lose weight so I can move better. If I do it, my joints and back would feel a lot better.”

Joe has even gotten his wife to come with him on Saturdays.

“She was really nervous to come and try it,” Joe said. “She loves to run but she’s really only been a one or two movement person, running and squats. She’s getting into her comfort zone especially with moving the bar bell.”

And he has no doubt his kids will pick up the sport as well.

“My son just recently was like, look daddy I am doing push ups,” Joe said. “He asked the other day if we wanted to do Sally because obviously they can hear the music while they’re in the kids room. I told him no but I let him and his sister do it while I played the song.”

Joe sees how much Crossfit has changed his life and he’s the positive impact it’s having on his family.

The Drive to Be Better (Samantha Hans, March Athlete of the Month)

March Athlete of the Month, Courtesy: Jake’s Takes Photography

From her first day at Crossfit Praus, Samantha Hans fell in love.

“My sister, Kristina Hans, had done it for a few years,” Hans said. “She suggested it to me and I loved it.”

Sam is a RN at the Parkview Regional Medical Center. She says while she’s at work, the box keeps her going throughout the day.

“It gives me something other than my family to look forward to at the beginning of the day or the end of the day.” Sam said. “It really gives me something to strive for. Not only am I in better shape and have more energy but I am happier.”

When Sam found out she was going to be the March Athlete of the Month, she couldn’t help but think of her family.

“I was very surprised and honored,” Sam said. “It made me think of a lot of other people who deserved this as much as me. I am very excited that they decided to give me the opportunity to step in the spotlight.”

Sam says she’s seen progress in her performance every day she goes to workout.

“I remember on my first day, Shane had me do ring rows and I could only do a couple in a row and in the Cannon Brawl I was doing pull ups consecutively for the first time. So that to me is a really big jump from where I started to where I am now.”

Sam has only been at Praus since January 2017 and in her most recent competition all the hard work she’s put in, day in and day out, paid off.

“My best memory was Cannon brawl when I got my pull ups because up till the competition I had not been able to get them done consecutively. At the competition, I was able to knock out four or five in a row. It completely blew me away.”

Sam even gets excited for movements that continue to challenge her.

“I look forward to rope climbs because when I saw people climbing the rope I thought I would never be able to do it. Now I can do multiple in a row. Seeing the progress that I’ve made makes me excited to be able to do them.”

Sam realizes she still has a long road ahead of her, especially with snatching.

“It is such an awkward movement and it’s all about technique,” Sam said. “While some things you can muscle up or power through, you have to rely on your technique if you want to be able to snatch. It’s just one of those things when you’re doing Crossfit, you’re continuously improving on.”

She says seeing her progress everyday continues to motivate her.

“I want to always push myself, I don’t necessary have a PR that is my biggest thing but I want to continue to push myself day in and day out and continue to improve.”

Another push for her is the group of people she sees almost every day.

“I go to the same class a lot so I get to know those people really well but I have had great encounters with everybody,” Sam said. ”I get really excited when I see someone do something they’ve been struggling with. To me Crossfit is more than just a gym to workout at. For Praus for me it’s very family oriented because it’s very close net.”

Sam says she sees the true meaning of Crossfit in every member at Praus.

“It’s really true what they say, we cheer the loudest for the person last,” Sam said.

The atmosphere is one of the reasons she will have her daughter take up the sport.

“I love Crossfit because it gives me the chance to still have that competitive edge but it’s more with myself and I can continuously push myself,” Sam said. “I was very competitive as a kid; I’ve played sports my whole life. I was always competitive against other teams. I hope to get her (my daughter) in sports and Crossfit.”

Always Chasing Rabbits (Ryan Fruchey, February Athlete of the Month)

When it comes to working out, Ryan Fruchey isn’t a stranger to pushing his body to the limit.

“I had worked out at a bunch of different places around town, I had been working out with a trainer before coming to Crossfit Praus,” Fruchey said.

Once a few friends got him to try a Crossfit workout, he was hooked.

“You can kind of get the flavor of a place pretty quickly and it (Praus) seemed to fit my personality,” Fruchey said.

Ryan is the President of Don R. Fruchey, a industrial service company in Fort Wayne, and one of his favorite aspects is getting to know so many people from different backgrounds.

“The people are fantastic,” Fruchey said. “In my work, I talk mostly with engineers and construction guys so it’s fun to meet a guy who works in news, it’s fun to meet people in the medical field, people in business, attorneys and other areas. There’s a variety of workouts in crossfit and there’s a variety of people so you just get that extra flavor in life.”

And the people at Praus help give Ryan motivation.

“It’s hard to go into a CrossFit gym and not do your best”, Fruchey said. “If you see everybody else struggling beside you, you’re not going to put the bar down. You want to get the last couple reps in as soon as you can. It’s just that extra push at this stage of my life that benefits me.”

When Ryan found out he was the February Athlete of the Month, he stayed humble.

“I thought there are about 50 other people who you should talk to before you talk to me, there are so many inspiring stories at Praus,” Fruchey said.

Ryan says the true spirit of CrossFit is alive and well at Praus.

“There are bigger gyms, and smaller gyms, [but the spirit is alive] in terms of the way the people are together and just the sense of community,” Fruchey said. “It is competitive enough but not the end all be all. Praus focuses on improvement wherever you are, rather than some loftier goal. It’s really based on where the person is and trying to get them to achieve their next goal.”

He credits the coaches for helping him with his Highlight of the Year.

“I’ve been chasing muscle ups for a long time,” Fruchey said. “We had gymnastics practice for ring muscle ups recently and I was able to get three more than usual. Then during the workout last week, I actually got my first bar muscle up, another benefit. You learn to ask questions, then you try to learn the movement and then the pay off is really satisfying. The Open is a great time of year, you get to see how far a lot of people have come during the the CrossFit Open, it (the Open) really is a fantastic experience. It is scheduled into classes, so, everyone is going to be there for it and doing the work. It’s a highlight of the year really.”

Ryan’s attitude towards Crossfit has also been contagious to others in his life.

“I have a cousin who lives in New York state, who’s been doing it for probably a year and a half and her husband just started,” Fruchey said. “Even my mom when she went to that master’s competition, kind of hinted around that she would like to try it.” The ability to be able to modify CrossFit for anybody is really appealing to me.”

Fruchey says one of his favorite workouts might surprise everyone.

“This might sound weird but I really like the named WOD “Fran” because it’s a good way for me to measure my progression,” Fruchey said. “It’s really one of those workouts that gives you a good feel of how far you have come, from when you started.”

Still Ryan does have a few that he’s not thrill with when they’re on the board and he uses that as motivation.

“If it’s a movement I struggle with, that kind of bums me out,” Fruchey said. “I know you’re not required to RX everything,but I like too as much as I can. If it’s a handstand push up, a muscle up, pistols, they still challenge me. I would like to be able to kip handstand push ups better, get my toes-to-bar to be better and maybe learn to not despise burpees so much.”

Ryan says he would always recommend everyone come to Praus.

“The coaches are fantastic at praus. There’s a lot of that bad publicity in the world about crossfit because people get injured but as you watch the Olympics they’re talking about athletes doing crossfit training. It really comes down to quality instruction and the coaches care about the athletes and I think that’s a big selling point and strong point for Praus.”

Ryan does have some advice.

“There are so many rabbits to chase, you just gotta pick one,” Fruchey said. “Don’t chase them all at the same time otherwise you’ll go crazy.” (referring to setting goals and achieving them in the gym).

Ryan has been a member at Praus for several years, he is consistent in his training, dedicated to improving his own fitness level while also supporting those around him. He not only continues to strive to reach his own goals, but Ryan is steadfast in his commitment to improving the lives of others around him while working hard to expand his knowledge about CrossFit. He is diligent about share this knowledge with his “Praus Family” and looks for ways to support and give back to the community around him. Ryan is an asset to the Praus House and although he does not feel like he should be the “Athlete Spotlight” that is just one more reason why he should be.

ATMOSPHERE OVER SIZE (Trevor Derby, January Athlete of the Month)

January’s Athlete Spotlight

When you move to a new city, it can be a scary time. For Trevor Derby, his gym helped adjust to the new environment.

It provided him something on which to focus, other than moving and it provided him a community.

“Look at the WOD (Workout of the Day) and strategize all day, Derby said. “Then you get there and you completely blow it up and your game plan goes right out the window.”

Derby moved to Fort Wayne in 2017. He found out about CrossFit from one of the coaches at his gym in Ohio that he refers to as “Globo Gym”.

“They had a CrossFit class and I asked the coaches if they mind if I jump into one of them.  So ever since then, I thought this is more fun than just doing bench press or just doing squats or a set of five at a gym,” said Derby.

Trevor’s job requires him to use a standing desk throughout the day and looks forward to getting to the gym as soon as he gets off of work.

“At the end of the day, everybody has stress that they have to deal with. For me it’s like, sweet works done. I can take a break and relax at the gym. It’s a lot more fun and it’s a pretty large stress relief for me just to work out, get sweaty and have fun with all the good people at the gym.”

Finding a gym proved not to be a difficult decision for Derby when he moved to the Summit City. He visited a couple CrossFit boxes but there was a distinct difference between the two in his mind.

“I just liked Praus’ feel. It was smaller, everyone knew everyone, whereas the other box was still smaller than those “Globo Gyms” but Praus had more of a smaller and more relaxed feel.”

Trevor got the feel that this is why the coaches liked Praus as well. One of the coaches told him, a gym with more than 150 members has too many cliques being formed, where at Praus it continues to be different.

“There are tons of people helping others work out or giving tips or anything like that. You can go any hour of the day, find a friend and be able to help. It’s a pretty awesome feel for people coming in brand new. They feel welcome, they don’t feel intimidated. There’s that stigma that with crossfit, everyone is crazy, super fit, super tough, loud music, throwing weights around but at Praus you know it doesn’t feel like that at all.”

Derby said his mind has definitely changed from his previous thoughts on anyone who crossfits.

“I was a big non believer in it. With the amount they’re paying you could go to any “Globo Gym” and do the same exact workouts and be as fit. But I think what gets people to join is the atmosphere.

When it comes to the workouts, Trevor loves the gymnastics aspect of CrossFit.

“Anything on the bar, pull ups, muscle ups any of the gymnastics stuff I like. I wish there was hand stand walks incorporated into the workouts. (Some of the) things I don’t like are double unders and deadlifts.”

Derby says doing sports in high school and college helps him get through the workouts.

“I played hockey and tennis throughout high school then I played tennis at Trine University. (There’s) not a whole lot of lifting in tennis but there was endurance.”

Trevor has been a CrossFitter since 2016. He loves to get better in any way he can. Every year he plans to improve. In 2017, he set a goal to Snatch 185 pounds and Clean 225 pounds, both of which he’s accomplished. But this isn’t the end for his journey.

“I would like to snatch 195 in 2018. Cleaning 235 would be great. I’ve never done the open officially last year I was in Ohio kind of traveling a lot so I wasn’t able to. I did the workouts but it was nothing official. So my goal would be to do the open and to do it well.”

Derby says now that he is determined to continue his CrossFit career, there’s no stopping him.

“It’s what I look forward to when I wake up in the morning. I love it and don’t want to stop.”

December 2017 Athlete Spotlight…Paula Mamani,
The Beauty of the Unknown

Courtesy: Jake's Takes Photography
Courtesy: Jake’s Takes Photography

 

When it comes to CrossFit, Paula Mamani’s motivation is selfless.

“Even though I’m older, my youngest two children are just 8 years old,” Paula said. “I still can’t really deteriorate because I have little children of my own. I just need to stay healthy so that motivated me.”

Paula has been at Crossfit Praus for a little more than a year.  She’s an early childhood teacher. She learned about CrossFit from a parent who dropped off her daughter at Paula’s for daycare.

“A parent (Lucy Cardenas) in my early childcare home told me that her and her husband made a commitment that they would support each other to exercise everyday,” Paula said. “My home was near their gym and I thought ‘wow.’”

So, Paula decided to throw herself into something new and see what happened.

“I sort of had faith that it was a good thing to do,” Paula said. “Then, when I got here, I was overwhelmed with all the people who were like Lucy. They were so fit but you also saw people on many levels. Everyone had made me feel really comfortable.”

After being introduced to her first class, Paula realized just how difficult this would be.

“I had done a lot of walking and lost a lot of weight a couple of years ago,” Paula said. “The first WOD (Workout Of The Day) we ever did was a sit up, I couldn’t even do a sit up.”

Paula didn’t let this obstacle overtake her. She was determined to succeed even at the age of 54.

“I was pretty frail but the coaches taught me how to do the movements just like any other person,” Paula said. “I thought, ‘It is OK, I’ll just do my best and it will be nothing.’”
Even after being at Praus for over a year, Paula says she’s still growing.

“I feel like my body, is still the same body that I’ve had but now it’s kind of protected by a layer of muscle,” Paula said. “I am stronger in everything I do and I feel better both physically and emotionally.  Your body becomes better including your brain.”

She feels closer to even the strongest and most accomplished athletes at the gym.

“Even when I watch the best CrossFit athletes in the world do a WOD, I can still relate to what they’re doing,” Paula said. “You all do something hard and everyone gives it their all and it’s something really good and really positive.”

Paula says she hasn’t been able to succeed on her own; she still credits all of the members at CrossFit Praus.

“If it’s really hard, people will do it anyway,”Paula said. “Then it spills over into other things that they’re able to accomplish. Every single person who is here is so highly accomplished. “

Paula says she is nowhere close to the end of her journey. She wants to be able to do the prescribed movements and weights for every single WOD.

FAVORITE WOD:

“I think that Murph is my favorite workout because it’s just crazy but everyone is there together doing it together. That’s what makes CrossFit fun. All the people are doing something that hard and all of the people are like, ‘Yes, let’s get this done.’”

March 2015 Athlete Spotlight…Lori Faurote!

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Lori started at the Praus House through a New Years Special we offered in 2014.  We offer a 3 month membership, versus a 1 month, on purpose…hoping it will help people get past the New Year resolution “bump”.  What we didn’t know about this “Lori” lady who signed up is that she would become one of our most driven, determined, dedicated athletes.  Lori went from wanting to be healthier to wanting to be stronger to wanting to master all things CrossFit over the course of her first year with us…to say the least it was inspiring to watch.  Lori also happens to be incredibly funny and is a blast to be around.  We are thrilled she is a part of the Praus family and can’t wait to see what the future holds for her…both inside and outside the box.  #neverfinished

When did you start CrossFitting? Who/what got you started?

I started at Praus in January, 2014. I was Facebook friends with Praus and saw the New Year’s foundation special. Since I had been here on a free Saturday and was wanting to get into Crossfit, I thought it was a great opportunity to begin.

What is your favorite/least favorite WOD?

I like chippers. My goal is to chip away at the benchmark Lady WODs because I have yet to record any of my scores from the ones I have done. My least favorite WOD is anything that has movements that I have yet to conquer such as; HSPU or rope climbs. It is frustrating to me to not be able to do these WODs RX, however, #neverfinished#strongerthanyesterday, and I will get them soon, hopefully.

What is your favorite/least favorite movement?

My favorite movement would be Oly lifts partially because they are still a challenge to me and I am determined to master them!! (See above for least favorite)

Tell us a little bit about yourself (family, job, sports, interests, etc.)

I am 34 years old; I have no kids and have never been married. I have 2 fat cats. They are my babies. I have been an X-Ray tech at Parkview Hospital for 12 years. I am an assistant track coach at Lane Middle School. I played softball in college at IPFW for 4 years and still enjoy playing on leagues during the summer. My 3 nephews and my family are my pride and joy.

What was your workout routine before CrossFit?

Before CrossFit, I ran mini marathons for many years. I have been into strength and weightlifting ever since high school bodybuilding. I participated in spin and Les Mills classes at Max Fitness for years as well. I had a personal trainer that first introduced me to some CrossFit. It was after this that I fell in love with it.

What did you think after your first CrossFit workout?

I knew I had a lot of exciting challenges ahead of me, and I still do!!

What were your goals when joining CrossFit?  Have you achieved any of those goals?

My original goal was to lose weight and get back into shape. After starting, I realized that with a clean diet, the weight loss/body comes along with CrossFit pretty easily. Now, after achieving my original goals, my focus is more on strength and Olympic lifting and gymnastics movements.

Has CrossFit affected your life outside the gym?

Yes, Crossfit is a cult, <cough>; I mean a complete new way of life. I don’t care what anyone says, the atmosphere, supportive community and relationships gained at Praus/CrossFit are indescribable. It isn’t mind boggling to get myself to the gym every day anymore. Now, all my friends are here and we are doing what we love, together. I have more energy and am happier than I have ever been. I’m so excited to see what is yet to come.

Do you have any other special memories/ achievements during your time here?

We make memories everyday here! I’ve never laughed as much as I do when I’m around these people! My biggest achievements so far would be getting 3rd in Scaled at the Summer Mayhem, and 2nd in Scaled at the 24 hour competition this summer and lately being in the top group of the leaderboard at Praus for the open WODs.

What advice would you give to a newbie just joining CrossFit Praus?

Stick with it. Once the initial pain wears off, and your start seeing results, it becomes an addiction that you will never regret. Drink lots of water, and eat clean food to fuel your workouts. The family atmosphere is one that you will not find anywhere else.

Something you might not know about me is?

I used to ride a Harley. I owned a Softtail NightTrain that I absolutely loved. My dad is a triplet, my nephews are twins, and my great grandmother was a twin. If I should happen to procreate, there is a good possibility for multiple births.

January 2015 Athlete Spotlight…Jaer and Lucy Cardenas!

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Jaer and Lucy had very different approaches when they first came to Praus.  Jear was ready to master everything the first day, while Lucy was hesitant to get started and cautious with every step.  Fast forward a year and a half and Mr and Mrs Cardenas have become two of our most dedicated driven athletes at the Praus House.  Jaer brought his soccer-based engine and over time has improved his technique to become a hard driving CrossFitter…even breaking down and buy Oly’s and wrist wraps!  Lucy, as you can see, has placed a high priority on her health, so much so that she continued WODing through her entire pregnancy…and was even seen at the box within weeks after giving birth doing accessory work to stay on track.  All that aside, these two are two of the nicest, most genuine individuals you’d ever meet.  If you haven’t had a chance to get to know them outside the realm of CrossFit, you’re missing out!  Thanks for being such an awesome part of the Praus House!

When did you start CrossFitting?  Who/what got you started?

Jaer started CrossFitting at a friend’s gym in Texas about a month before we moved to Indiana in 2013. He saw a difference in his physique in a month and was hooked. When we moved to Indiana, Jaer looked for CrossFit gyms and found Crossfit Praus after hearing an endorsement from Kilee Fackler (thanks Kilee!). When the weather turned chilly and I didn’t want to run in the snow, Jaer persuaded me to try CrossFit. I was so sore the first few Saturdays that I was convinced I was out of shape and should join.

What is your favorite/least favorite WOD?

Jaer: Favorite: Randy…Least favorite: Nicole

Lucy: Favorite: Karen or Cindy…Least favorite: Annie

What is your favorite/least favorite movement?

Jaer: Favorite: Squats…Least favorite: HSPU

Lucy: Favorite: T2B…Least favorite: Double Unders

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

Jaer is a Houston native and currently works as a lab tech at Trelleborg. He is a soccer fanatic – he played for IU in college and follows La Liga (Barcelona) and the Premiere League (Manchester United).  I grew up on a farm north of Fort Wayne and am currently Editor of the Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly. I am a bit of a news junkie and love to cycle when the weather is nice.

We met at IU and lived in Texas for eight years before moving to Fort Wayne. After six years of marriage, we welcomed our first child, Alessandra Starr on Dec. 4, 2014.  Our main hobby, or rather project, lately is the 1880 duplex in West Central we purchased last year.

What was your workout routine before CrossFit?

Jaer: Running and soccer games

Lucy: Running, biking and swimming

What did you think after your first CrossFit workout?

Jaer: It hurt good.

Lucy: The coaches’ 5-year-old son can lift as much as me; I have work to do.

What were your goals when joining CrossFit?  Have you achieved any of those goals?

Jaer: Lose weight and get cut – check and check

Lucy: Stay in shape – ended up getting in even better shape

Has CrossFit affected your life outside the gym?

Other than annoying family members because we never shut-up about CrossFit? CrossFit helps us remain focused and provides us with renewed energy to get through each day. It’s also given us a social circle that we cherish. It’s a lifestyle.  We have always believed in exercising, as it gives us more energy during the day. CrossFit really made a difference for us during pregnancy as Lucy was able to continue working out despite the weight gain.

Do you have any other special memories/ achievements during your time here?

Jaer’s first muscle-up after months of trying was a great victory.  The best memory so far, for me, was pregnant Fran. At 36 weeks pregnant we (Jaer had a 6-pound ball stuffed under his shirt) completed Fran together.

What advice would you give to a newbie just joining CrossFit Praus?

The more you come, the less it hurts and the better you look and feel.  It is 90 percent mental.

Something you might not know about us:

Jaer – plays the alto and soprano saxophones (friends call him “G”…as in, Kenny G)
Lucy – loves Michael Jackson…like loves!

May Athlete Spotlight…Annie Giddens!

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Annie came to us as a referral from a personal trainer in town.  She knew she loved working out, but on day one told me she wanted to do more.  What she had been doing wasn’t quite what she was searching for, and she also had the itch to compete.  What few of us knew at that time was that Annie had already won.  She had beaten the battle over obesity, and wasn’t looking back.  Her before and after pictures are the type where you search for a tattoo (of which she has a few, so there’s no denying), just to make sure its even the same person.  Annie is dedicated, driven and fairly bull-headed (in the best possible way), and will stop at nothing until she reaches her goals.  After which I’m sure she’ll simply set new ones.  We are blessed to have Annie at the Praus House and can’t see what the Sport of Fitness holds for her in the future!

When did you start CrossFitting?  Who/what got you started?

I started crossfitting slightly (about 5 or 6 wods) in May of last year, but then had surgery and picked back up full force August 3rd, 2013.  I had been working with a personal trainer, and had asked her to work some CrossFit into my programming, so she referred me to Praus, and this is where I’ve been since.

What is your favorite/least favorite WOD?

Favorite:  Randy

Least Favorite:  Anything with pull ups since I can’t do them RX.  LOL.

What is your favorite/least favorite movement?

Favorite:  Anything with a barbell

Least favorite:  Lunges of any type… even with a barbell. 😉

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I’m a single mother of two boys that are 14, and 18.  I’ve been single for a REALLY long time.  I’ve been a nurse for about 17 years now.  I’m an RN Case Manager at Visiting Nurse providing hospice care to patient’s in their homes.  It’s a hard career, but it has it’s own rewards.  I used to be a swimmer, diver, and tennis player.  I started running a couple of years ago, but don’t have a particular love of it, it was a means to lose weight.  I haven’t really participated in any sports since college… until I found CrossFit that is.  I love to read.  I started college as a music education major so I have a passion for music of all kinds.  I also love to cook!!

What was your workout routine before CrossFit?

As I mentioned previously I worked with a personal trainer who programmed strength followed by cardio sessions.  I still worked out 6 days a week, and frequently did two a days.

What did you think after your first CrossFit workout?

“YES!!!” (One of my favorite responses to date.  You could just tell Annie had found what she’d been looking for.)

What were your goals when joining CrossFit?  Have you achieved any of those goals?

First goal was to become stronger, faster, and fitter.  I’m seeing improvment in all of those areas.

I also want to lean out more.  I’m still working on that.

I unofficially had a goal to compete, and I’ve started doing that now. (Since typing this Annie won her first CrossFit competition in the scaled division at GLOC…we are extremely proud of her!)

I also want to become a coach, but my goal is to achieve pull ups before I do my level 1.

Has CrossFit affected your life outside the gym?

I’ve found an incredible new group of friends, and a support system that is beyond describing!!

Do you have any other special memories/ achievements during your time here?

When I got my first T2B during the open workouts!!  I cheered, and I saw several people who were doing the workout, judging or cheering look my way.  They all had their own way of celebrating with me, whether it was a smile and a nod of the head as they judged their competitor, or verbally cheering me on.

What advice would you give to a newbie just joining CrossFit Praus?

Anyone can do this.  It doesn’t have to be all out, all at once.  It takes time to build, and we will always be building.  And persistence is key.  I don’t have something like pull ups yet, but I’m going to keep working until I do.  Nobody walks into a box being able to do everything. (Amen!)

Something you might not know about me is?

Eh…  I’m pretty much an open book.

November Athlete Spotlight…Tina Keffaber!

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Tina is quite possibly one of the most inspiring people I know.  If you have been around the box in the last few months you’d notice the grit and determination on her face to battle through every single WOD.  This isn’t extremely unique because the Praus House has lots of athletes who share that description…however, Tina is battling through post-leg/foot surgery with a cast–boot–brace along for the ride.  The first day she could get back into the box post surgery she was there, begging for a WOD she could do with her upper body…anything, she didn’t care, she just wanted to get back at it.  Tina is also one of the most generous people I know.  When she says, “Call me if you need anything at all”, she absolutely means it.  She has a tough exterior necessary to excel at work, with a heart of gold and a sense of humor that puts a smile on my face everyday.  She also happens to be an amazing baker who makes killer pumpkin bars!  God blessed us all the day Tina walked through the front door!

 

When did you start CrossFitting?  Who/what got you started?

My first WOD was in March of 2013, I went for my birthday with Juan and Jennifer Barrientes and have been going since.

What is your favorite/least favorite WOD?

I like all WODs, honestly not sure there are any I don’t like.

What is your favorite/least favorite movement?

My favorite are kettlebell swings and deadlifts, I loooooooath burpees

Tell us a little bit about yourself (family, job, sports, interests, etc.)

I am 48 years old and have worked for the Allen County Sheriff’s Department for over 9 years.  I used to play on the Fort Wayne Flash semi-professional football team.  My favorite sports are field hockey and football.  I like to read, hike, take pictures, cook, bake and do things for others.  I love animals, my favorite are wolves, with dolphins being a close second.

What was your workout routine before CrossFit?

30 minutes on an elliptical and machine weights

What did you think after your first CrossFit workout?

I loved it, it challenged my ability…couldn’t wait for the next class!

What were your goals when joining CrossFit?  Have you achieved any of those goals?

To have more mobility. I have increase my mobility a little, but have increased my strength more…which has led to me actually being able to run (which was something I was told would never happen again).

Has CrossFit affected your life outside the gym?

It has helped me do a lot more in life without all the back pain I was having before.

Do you have any other special memories/ achievements during your time here?

I have lots of memories from the box with all of the fantastic/awesome people.  It is awesome to feel a part of a family which is exactly what I have at CrossFit Praus.  I also got my first RX WOD 11/2/2013…which ironically had running in it, it felt great!

What advice would you give to a newbie just joining CrossFit Praus?

Never give up and never quit.  And that they joined the right box, Amanda and Shane and the other coaches are awesome.  The biggest thing…never say “can’t”

Something you might not know about me is?

According to Amanda, I’m just a big teddy bear.

September Athlete Spotlight…Misty Wallin!!!

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We first met Misty through a mutual friend, but at the time she was an avid runner and wanted to stick with that…little did she know she would change her mind less than a year later!!  Misty came in in great shape, but not CrossFit shape as is the case with all of us!  She pushed through every WOD, scaling when necessary and was very smart about her training.  She knew was she was capable of and “chipped” away at developing her “CrossFit shape”, then it got really fun to coach her!!  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve given her the stare down when she reached for a weight that was too light…then exchanged it for a heavier version and never looked back.  Misty is not only a great asset to the Praus House, but our community as a whole…Fort Wayne is lucky to have the Wallin family!

When did you start CrossFitting?  Who/what got you started?

May of 2013 is when I started. A friend introduced me to Shane and Amanda (about a year ago), my hubby was going out of town for 10 weeks, so I had to have somewhere I could go that had child care. Time is also a HUGE thing for me, so I couldn’t spend HOURS in the gym. So, why not try CrossFit Praus??

What is your favorite/least favorite WOD?

Fight Gone Bad is my favorite…so far…I don’t have a least favorite. To me it is just what needs to be done today.

What is your favorite/least favorite movement?

Running if you consider it a “movement” and least favorite movement is snatch, because I just can’t get it right!

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself (family, job, sports, interests, etc.)

I am married, four kids, work 2 jobs and home school my kids. We just bought a “farm” a couple years ago and there is always a project to be done. I love animals and being able to have my kids out of a subdivision. I enjoy organizing the Defenders Dash; a little passion of mine. It combines things that are important to me…running (fitness), honoring our men and women who serve our country and community daily & bringing people together!

What was your workout routine before CrossFit?

Running: some would say an “insane” amount of miles…but …. 🙂

What did you think after your first CrossFit workout?

I was hooked. I knew I needed to do it for a long time, working out the logistics was my problem.

What were your goals when joining CrossFit?  Have you achieved any of those goals?

Biggest goal was to lose weight and fit in my skinny clothes again… I have not lost all the weight, but I am wearing my clothes again (most of them).  But I know part of not losing all the weight I want is because I am building muscle.  Since joining CrossFit I have changed how I set goals. It’s more about completing a specific movement (double unders, hand stand pushups , etc.) hitting a new one rep max, or RXing another WOD. I didn’t know what any of that was before I started CrossFit.

Has CrossFit affected your life outside the gym?

Definitely, I push myself beyond my limits more. It has given me more confidence in different areas of life and I have a ton more stamina when doing “chores” around the farm.

Do you have any other special memories/ achievements during your time here?

Loved the Saturday we did the Hope for Cures WOD. What an inspiring day. CrossFitting with our community for a great cause. What could be better?

July’s Athlete Spotlight…Andrea Roth!

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We have had the pleasure of knowing Andrea longer than her CrossFit days, in fact I can remember apologizing on multiple occasions for too much CrossFit talk around a bonfire or kitchen island…then the day came where she said, “Ok, I’ll try it!”  I was thrilled!!  But, it wasn’t until the past few months than Andrea really shifted from an occasional CrossFitter, to someone determined to be better and stronger than yesterday’s version of herself.  She walks in the box, often late cause her husband never seems to be able to pull himself away in time for her to get to class, quietly…ready to work.  Her desire to CrossFit threw her entire pregnancy should be a testament to us all about what it means to prioritize our health and the health of those we love (even in utero).  Andrea challenges herself everyday, somedays even shrugging off my idea of a “pregnancy modification”.  Joe and Andrea will be welcoming sweet baby boy Roth into this world tomorrow, and we couldn’t be more excited for them!  No doubt he’ll be a future CrossFitter!  We are thrilled to have you both at Praus, and blessed to call you friends.

When did you start CrossFitting?  Who got you started?

I started CrossFit about a year ago, but really got into it once I joined at Praus! The community at Praus is just amazing! I like the “team” atmosphere during the workouts….everyone is pushing one another to do their best.

As for who/what got me started with CrossFit…..that’s an easy one….my husband Joe Roth!!  I joke that I really didn’t have a choice! J  He was so consumed with it that it made me curious what all the hype was about.  I was intimidated at first with the movements, but once I got over that fear and was introduced to the community at Praus I was obsessed as well!!!

 

What is your favorite/least favorite WOD?

Favorite: Fran

Least Favorite: Anything with burpees

 

What is your favorite/least favorite movement?

Thrusters would be my favorite!

My least favorite movement is more of a love hate relationship with snatches….I think I will like them once I can wrap my mind around the “jump down” movement. J

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I have been married to my wonderful husband Joe for about 4 years now.  We have little girl Annabelle who is 1 ½ and a little boy who is due to arrive at the end of July. I enjoy wakeboarding, wakesurfing, pretty much anything on the water!  I work at Automation Engineering as the Office/HR Manager.  One of the perks to my position is that I am tasked with heading up our wellness program which allows me to encourage others to lead healthy lifestyles (i.e. try out CrossFit).

 

What was your workout routine before CrossFit?

Bootcamps, yoga, and stadium workouts with friends.

 

What did you think after your first CrossFit workout?

I was intimidated after the first workout!  However, I soon realized people were not there to judge my time or how much weight I was lifting but to encourage and push me to my limits.  The community and encouragement from others is what got me hooked.

 

What were your goals when joining CrossFit?  Have you achieved any of those goals?

My current goal was to continue CrossFitting through my entire pregnancy and, after completing Fran today…the day before I go to the hospital, I made!!  Most people do not realize that you CAN continue a workout routine while pregnant. Pregnancy does not make you fragile; if you worked out before you got pregnant you CAN continue to workout throughout your pregnancy! My advice to those concerned about CrossFitting while pregnant is to LISTEN TO YOUR BODY, you are the best judge of what your limits are.

 

Has CrossFit affected your life outside the gym?

YES!  Inside the gym CrossFit teaches you to push yourself to break through your preconceived limits….this has translated outside of the gym for me as well.

 

Do you have any other special memories/ achievements during your time here?

I Rx’d my first WOD while pregnant…I was pretty pumped about that 🙂

 

What advice would you give to someone just joining CrossFit Praus?

Do not be intimidated by the movements or the white board. Everything can be modified and scaled to fit your own fitness level.  Most of all HAVE FUN!

 

Something you might not know about me is?

Can’t think of anything for this one…..I am pretty much an open book 🙂

June Athlete Spotlight…none other than Rachel Dirig!

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Like Rachel mentions below, we were lucky enough to meet her because her friend won a contest we ran at a Health Fair…at the time we didn’t know how blessed we were to have her (and her family) walk through our doors.  Rachel started CrossFit with looseness in her form and a lack of kinesthetic awareness…but those “aspects” of her approach to training would quickly find their way out the door.  After being with us 5 months her form, function, dedication and determination are the most notable “aspects” of her approach.  She is a pleasure to coach, and an extremely selfless person…working at least 3 shifts a week in our childcare room…now that’s dedication 😉  Thanks for being a part of the Praus Family!

When did you start CrossFitting?  Who/what got you started?

I started CrossFitting in February.  A friend of mine won a month’s free membership to Praus in a contest.  She is a personal trainer and belongs to a few other gyms so she offered it to me.  We had been considering getting a membership to the Y, but I thought I would try this CrossFit thing out for a month first since it was free.  I’m so glad I did!

 

What is your favorite/least favorite WOD?

I think I have two favorites so far.  Kelly and Murph.  I really can’t say what my least favorite WOD is.  The Lumberjack 20 is not one that I’m excited to do again anytime soon though J.

What is your favorite/least favorite movement?

This is easy.  I love box jumps and kettle bell swings.  Overhead squats are by far my least favorite.  I am so terrible at them.  I make myself do 20 at home with dumbells before I can go to bed every night.  I call it my daily cash out and hope someday this leads me to not hate them so much!

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself (family, job, sports, interests, etc.)

I somehow lucked out and married the most incredible person I have ever met (also my high school crush), Justin.  We have two amazing and spunky daughters.  Layla is four and Cordelia is one.  Right now my girls are my full time job and I love spending my days with them.  I am a licensed school counselor and plan to go back to counseling when my girls are in school.

 

What was your workout routine before CrossFit?

I have tried lots of different things.  I have quite a collection of workout DVD’s!  In the past, I would start a new program or type of exercise and stick with it for a few weeks and then quit or try something else.

 

What did you think after your first CrossFit workout?

I loved it!  I was hooked from day one.  I remember being extremely intimidated at first because I had no idea what CrossFit was, I was never an athlete, and I never really lifted weights, but I knew that I would work through that stuff because I absolutely loved the workouts, the coaching, and the sense of community.

 

What were your goals when joining CrossFit?  Have you achieved any of those goals?

When I started, I was just looking to lose the remainder of the baby weight I was carrying.  I achieved that pretty quickly after joining Praus.  My goals are completely different now and have nothing to do with how much I weigh.  Feeling strong is one of the greatest feelings!

 

Has CrossFit affected your life outside the gym?

Absolutely!  CrossFit is all about digging deep and pushing yourself to be better than you were yesterday.  It’s pretty obvious that you can apply that concept to all areas of your life as well.  I’ve really started to challenge myself to be a better wife, mother, and community member.  I used to settle for “good enough,” and that has completely changed.

 

Do you have any other special memories/ achievements during your time here?

So many!  My favorite one has to be from Murph.  I had never run a mile in less than 10:30 and as I ran through the door after my first mile in Murph, the clock said 8:32.  I couldn’t believe it!  The Endurance classes are really paying off.  To date, I have only RX’d one WOD and the feeling of getting that first RX was pretty awesome too.  Now, back to chasing the next one!

 

What advice would you give to a newbie just joining CrossFit Praus?

Give yourself credit for small gains and victories, but push yourself really hard.  Lately, I’ve been trying to focus on one thing I’m bad at and requires a lot of effort for me to improve (pull ups for example), and one thing I feel I can easily improve upon (running for example).  Also, ask for help if you need it!  Everyone wants to see you succeed and is happy to help.

 

Something you might not know about me is?

I love acting, singing and dancing.  My favorite roles are ones where I get to use an accent.  I’m hoping to get back on stage in the near future!

  Meet Rob(ert) Warstler…May Athlete Spotlight at CrossFit Praus! 

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Rob and Angela started with us back in the garage to squeeze in their foundations sessions prior to our official launch.  They were very committed even though they had to drive to the other side of town and freeze their fingers off in our non-heated garage box.  That same dedication shines through 6 months later.  Rob is one of those guys who sets his mind to something and doesn’t quit until he achieves it.  Time is often spent getting frustrated with double unders, trying to launch himself on the wall and always improving his lifting technique.  Speaking of technique, Rob’s is impeccable!  Not only can he back squat 355#, but he can do so at full depth every rep.  He is an excellent example of what it takes to constantly be better than yesterday’s version of you!

When did you start CrossFitting? Who/what got you started?  

I first dabbled on my own about 5 years ago and loved it, but without coaching I didn’t experience the full benefit. Then little over a year ago Anthony Shefferly, a certified instructor, began offering classes to his co-workers; I was hooked once under his instruction.

What is your favorite/least favorite WOD?

I haven’t done too many of the benchmark WOD’s yet, but out of those I have done, my favorite would have to be “Karen”. I look forward to doing the “Lumberjack 20”, maybe that will be my new favorite. My least favorite would have to be “DT”. I really didn’t mind it so much at first, until I smashed my face with the bar on one of the push jerks.

What is your favorite/least favorite movement?

Favorite movement…I cannot choose just one, I love deadlifts and back squats equally. Renegade rows would definitely be my least favorite.

Tell us a little bit about yourself (family, job, sports, interests, etc.)

I have been married to Angela for 12 years, we have two children. Brady, age 4, and Grace, 1. I have been a Fort Wayne police officer for 8 years. Outside of work, and family, I love to play softball and deer hunt. I have been a long-suffering Cubs fan as far back as I can remember. Next year! I have competed in a couple of half marathons and Tough Mudders.  CrossFit has definitely helped me maintain my endurance without having to log as many miles.

What was your workout routine before CrossFit?

I ran consistently and followed a traditional weight lifting routine, with forays into P90X and Insanity. After Crossfitting for a few months last summer, the facility we were using was no longer available and I had to go back to a traditional gym where I could not match the same intensity workout on my own in that environment. My results suffered.

What did you think after your first CrossFit workout?

I don’t remember my specific thoughts, but after being under an instructor I knew this was how I wanted to pursue being fit.

What were your goals when joining CrossFit? Have you achieved any of those goals?

My goals when starting CrossFit were to gain strength and endurance, while dropping a few pounds. Since joining CrossFit Praus my back squat has improved from 295# to 355#. My deadlift has increased from 365# to 415#. (those are HOLY COW! numbers for those who don’t have a reference point…(added by Amanda))

Has CrossFit affected your life outside the gym?

I feel stronger and more equipped to handle my work responsibilities.

Do you have any other special memories/ achievements during your time here?

I’ve really enjoyed getting to know everyone in the community environment we have. It has been neat watching CrossFit Praus grow by leaps and bounds since we were first there on opening day. My future goals are to deadlift 500# and to back squat 400#.

What advice would you give to a newbie just joining CrossFit Praus?

Don’t sacrifice quality to be first on the whiteboard. (AMEN!  (again, from Amanda))

Something you might not know about me is?

I have lost over 70# and maintained that loss for the last 5 years.

Congratulations to Audrey Andersen…our April Athlete Spotlight recipient!

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Audrey started with us the very first day we officially opened at 4106 Merchant Road.  She came in nervous, but excited to see what CrossFit was all about.  We did our benchmark workout that day and if memory serves she was exhausted but hooked from that very first WOD.  In fact, she came back 3 more times that week and hasn’t looked back since.  The mother of 4 awesome kids, Audrey first started with the goal of losing baby weight…but if you watch her in action today it is very obvious she has much bigger goals than that now!  With several RX’d WODs under her belt, she has that spark in her eye every time she walks into the box.  It is that kind of attitude of constant improvement that made her an easy choice for Athlete Spotlight.  Her “can do” attitude is contagious, as well as that smile she gets when she’s just concurred another skill…or throws up a huge Strict Press 1RM on her first attempt!  We are so thankful the Andersen family calls the Praus House home…even little Josiah loves to “go to Praus House…workout!”

When did you start CrossFitting?  Who/what got you started?

Started on January 7, 2013 (the day Praus opened). A few people saw some of the games on tv and thought of me, so I started checking it out years ago. Just finally made the decision to do it this year.

What is your favorite/least favorite WOD?

I don’t know…I love and hate them all!

What is your favorite/least favorite movement?

I LOVE deadlifts but I’m definitely still working on the snatch, that’s probably my least favorite.

Tell us a little bit about yourself (family, job, sports, interests, etc.)

I’m married to the most amazing person I know, mother to the best kids in the world, and I love to be active and creative.

What was your workout routine before CrossFit?

Lifting the potato chips to my lips and chewing. 😉

What did you think after your first CrossFit workout?

I somehow got hit by a train and didn’t know it.

What were your goals when joining CrossFit?  Have you achieved any of those goals?

I wanted to loose the baby belly. I’ve come a long way but still have some tummy to loose. I’m excited to see where I am in another 3 months. I’ve been working on my weights and have come so far since the beginning, I’m thrilled thus far!

Has CrossFit affected your life outside the gym?

Absolutely. I feel so much stronger, not just physically, but overall as a woman. I am able to look at things in a more positive light. I know I’m an overcomer of obstacles in and out of the box.

Do you have any other special memories/ achievements during your time here?

A favorite memory would be when Amanda added up my weight on my first strict press. The look on her face made me feel like I was on top of the world! HA! It was so encouraging.

What advice would you give to a newbie just joining CrossFit Praus?

Have fun! I love that it’s a judgment free zone, everyone works at their own pace and it’s the best community you’ll ever have. Praus is awesome!

Something you might not know about me is?

Since I was in 5th grade I’ve wanted to build an orphanage in Africa. One day we’ll get there, and it’ll be awesome.

Congratulations to James Ryland…our March Athlete Spotlight recipient!

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James started with us back in the garage through the encouragement of his wife, who had already developed a love for CrossFit.  He was a little reluctant at first, battled a painful lower back, and got frustrated with the complexity of some of the lifts.  (though he could hammer out wall ball shots and box jumps like it was his job!)  Watching him just a few short months later, James’ technique is improving with every class, as is his intensity and love for the Sport of Fitness.  He is a pleasure to coach and always has a positive attitude…James we are thrilled that you have decided to call CrossFit Praus home and can’t wait to see what the future holds; both inside and outside the box!

When did you start CrossFitting? Who/what got you started?

End of November 2012. My wife, Tracy, convinced me to try it. She had been going and felt fantastic. I wanted to get in better shape
but I never enjoyed going to a conventional gym.

What is your favorite/least favorite WOD?

I haven’t done all the benchmark workouts. So far, even though she kicks my tail, I really like Fran.

What is your favorite/least favorite movement?

Thrusters for both!

Tell us a little bit about yourself (family, job, sports, interests, etc.)

Tracy and I have two daughters, Brady and Adrian. I’m in sales and a real estate broker.

What was your workout routine before CrossFit?

Run occasionally at home and play soccer.

What did you think after your first CrossFit workout?

I had never been that whipped after a workout before.

What were your goals when joining CrossFit? Have you achieved any of those goals?

My goal when I joined was to simply get in better shape. I feel great and have noticed changes in just a few months. I finally learned to do a kipping pull up. I feel good about that.

Has CrossFit affected your life outside the gym?

Yes, I feel motivated to do better in all aspects of my life.

Do you have any other special memories/achievements during your time here?

All those times when the person finishing last, myself included, is getting cheered on by those who are already done. The members here are great and everyone helps each other.

What advice would you give to a newbie just joining CrossFit Praus?

Don’t feel like you have to use the prescribed weight. Just work on learning the movements.

 

Congratulations on your hard work and accomplishments…and for making The Praus House a great place to be!

If you happen to notice someone making notable progress, pushing extra hard, exemplifying strength under control or any other characteristics which stand out to you feel free to nominate them!!

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