BAM!

November 2017 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

Janea Ortega

Get to know Janea Ortega – our Breakout Athlete of the Month for November!

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Tell us a little bit about you…hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
This is probably going to bore some of you, but I graduated from DePaul University with a Bachelors in Accounting and Finance. I currently work as a Senior Internal Auditor at Brunswick Corporation (and no they don’t own bowling anymore, they sold it in 2014). I have a nephew at home, who most of you have probably seen in my Instagram story! I also still live with my parents in Skokie because they’re very old school and don’t want me to move out until I get married.

Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)
I was born in the Philippines and I moved to the US when I was 8 years old.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
It has officially been 2 years since October.

Something you might not know about me is…
I skipped 3rd grade when I moved to the states. Not particularly because I was super smart, it was more because of my age.

What do you remember about your first day of CrossFit? 
I started CrossFit at EPC and I was extremely nervous even walking into my first On-Ramp class that I almost drove away on the first day.

What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit?
Besides the wonderful people and relationships I’ve built since coming to Breakout, I would say constantly finding something to improve on what I love the most. No movement or lift is ever perfect, so putting in the extra time and effort in becoming better at anything and everything is why I enjoy coming so much.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
The constant support and welcoming gestures you receive the moment you walk into the door.

What motivates you to come to the box?
I have always been very active growing up and I also played in many sports in high school so I love being able to stay active and still get the feel of a team environment every day.

Breakfast Club, Lunch Bunch, or The Night Shift? (What class do you usually attend)?
I was a “Night Shifter” when I first joined Breakout, but for the past couple of months I joined the 5:30 Breakfast Club.

What is your most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
We recently tested the front squat and back squat and I PR’ed both lifts by 20lbs!

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
My favorite lift is the clean (squat, power, or hang). My favorite workout is DT.

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
My least favorite movement would have to be thrusters. They just wear me out more than any other movements/skills for some reason!

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  What is your biggest goal for the rest of the year?
I’m currently trying to learn how to butterfly both pull ups and chest to bar. My biggest goal for the rest of the year is to get a bar muscle up because apparently for someone my size, it’s supposed to be easy, but really, it’s not.

What would the perfect WOD look like?
Hang power cleans, some burpees and double unders!

What were you doing before CrossFit?
Before CrossFit I would go to the gym and try to create my own workouts or run on the treadmill. I always came out of the gym not feeling like I accomplished anything and that is why I started CrossFit.

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
I am definitely stronger compared to a couple of years ago. I have also been more self-conscious about my nutrition and my overall health.

What has been your favorite culinary discovery since starting CrossFit?
Coconut water with any protein powder and Fuel for Fire is great for on the go snacks or even a pre-workout “meal”.

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
I’ve always wanted to fly so I can explore the rest of the world and be able to go anywhere I want.

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?
CrossFit doesn’t have to be scary; just have fun and enjoy the process!

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 October 2017 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

Damiano Marchiafava

Get to know Damiano (Dan) Marchiafava – our Breakout Athlete of the Month for October!

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Tell us a little bit about you…hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
I have two grown daughters Francesca and Domenica and married to my wife Jennifer for 27 years.  They love and worship me…I have grown fond of them.

I own and operate Joe and Tony Landscaping as a Landscape Architect. I get to design and install beautiful outdoor spaces.

Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)
I was born in Turin, Italy, raised in the Chicago area, and lived in Highland Park for 24 years.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
4 years CrossFitting.

Something you might not know about me is…
I am a world class wake-boarder and Poker player.

What do you remember about your first day of CrossFit? 
I had NO idea what CrossFit was and stumbled my way through for the first 6 months.  Luckily, I had Jeff Micheals as partner and he showed me the ropes.

What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit?
I love the family.  It’s the main reason I keep doing it.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
I enjoy the comradery.  It’s like being a shitty team.

What motivates you to come to the box?
Becoming Breakout Athlete of the month was my ONLY goal.  Now that I have earned this title, I’m not sure what to do now.

Breakfast Club, Lunch Bunch, or The Night Shift? (What class do you usually attend)?
Usually 5:30am.

What is your most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
215# push press.

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Push press.

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Over-head barbell snatches. I hate them.

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  (What is your biggest goal for 2017?)
I’d like to do a bar muscle up, without wrenching my shoulder again.

What would the perfect WOD look like?
The perfect WOD starts with donuts.

What were you doing before CrossFit?
I had a personnel trainer for 4 years.

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
Stronger.

What has been your favorite culinary discovery since starting CrossFit?
I only eat steak and scotch, so not sure what you mean by culinary discovery.

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
I’d be Super Kind.

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?
Don’t give up.  Once you get a groove its addictive and motivation won’t be an issue.

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September 2017 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

Carlie Janowiak

Get to know Carlie Janowiak – our Breakout Athlete of the Month for September!

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Tell us a little bit about you…hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
I recently got married in June of this year!  We have a wonderful dog named Brody and welcomed our first nephew into our family in April.  I went to Carthage College where I played basketball and majored in Criminal Justice and Sociology.  After that, I spent a couple years coaching basketball at the high school and collegiate level before I started my career as a police officer.

Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)
I’m originally from a small town in South Jersey, approximately 10 minutes outside Philadelphia, PA (Go Eagles!).  I moved to the Chicagoland in 1994 and have been here ever since.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
I started CrossFitting about 4 years ago at a box in Carol Stream and moved to CrossFit Breakout in 2016.

Something you might not know about me is…
I am a state certified firearms instructor and enjoy teaching newbies how to shoot.

What do you remember about your first day of CrossFit? 
I remember walking in and being very intimated by some of the other members who were absolutely killing the workout they were in the middle of.  At the same time, I was very excited to try out this new approach to fitness I had heard so much about.

What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit?
This list could truly go on and on but a couple things would be the fact that I find myself consistently accomplishing and surpassing the goals I set for myself, which gives me more confidence to achieve other goals in different aspects of my life.  Also, I absolutely love the competitive nature of CrossFit, even when I’m just competing against my own scores.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
I love that all the members and coaches are very supportive and friendly. From the very first day, everyone has been very welcoming and encouraging. The whole community has challenged me to work harder and be a better athlete.

What motivates you to come to the box?
I have always loved to be active and workout.  After finding CrossFit, other types of workouts don’t even compare so it is easy to keep coming back for more.  I feel like I am missing something on the days I can’t make it.

Sunrise, Daytime, or Evening? (What class do you usually attend)?
Unfortunately, I am usually a 5:30 AM attendee. Although I do love the other members that also workout at that time, I would much rather be sleeping a little later and joining the 9:30 or noon crew again.

What is your most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
I FINALLY completed Fran Rx’d after years and years of not being able to do pull ups. Also, I was very happy to recently join the 300# club with my Deadlift.

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Wallballs!! But, I’m also a big fan of deadlifts, rowing, power cleans, and double unders.

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Ummm…Burpess, overhead squats, and squat snatch = TERRIBLE

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  (What is your biggest goal for 2017?)
Well, I need to improve on basically every gymnastic movement in the CrossFit world.  I would like to start with handstand push-ups off that long list but 2017 seems to be going by very quickly so maybe this will be more of a 2018 goal.

What would the perfect WOD look like?
Umm…Karen? Obviously :)
But if we are looking for something a little more exciting, I would say a WOD that involves a buy-in of double unders followed by rounds for time of wallballs, power cleans, and deadlifts.

What were you doing before CrossFit?
Playing basketball for as long as I can remember.  Then after college, I mostly worked out at various gyms or encouraged myself to go running by consistently signing up for distance races.

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
I feel stronger than I ever have before.  I definitely notice more endurance and speed during my workouts.  I feel like I have improved in so many different areas of my overall fitness that it just makes me wish I had found about CrossFit sooner.

What has been your favorite culinary discovery since starting CrossFit?
Hmm… I would say improvements in my nutrition are still few and far between…I have dabbled with several types of protein shakes but that’s really the best I’ve got.  Sugar is one of my favorite foods and that seems to be frowned upon in the CrossFit world.

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
I would really love to be able to teleport from place to place. I feel like I could get some much more accomplished during my day if I could take out the time it takes to get to and from place to place.

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?

# 1 rule of CrossFit: Always talk about CrossFit.

Just kidding, I would tell anyone that wants to try it out that they should not feel intimidated by CrossFit.  Workouts can be scaled to your abilities and you are really only competing against yourself.  Set individual goals and you will be surprised how quickly you start accomplishing them. Also, rely on your coaches! Ask questions if you’re unsure about movements or what the workout entails but then be sure to actually listen to what they are telling you.

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 August 2017 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

Mike Gula

Get to know Mike Gula – our Breakout Athlete of the Month for August!

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Tell us a little bit about you…hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
I am married to my beautiful wife of 9 years with two incredible kids 8 and 1 years old. I do Technical Product Support for Honeywell Analytics. When I have some free time I like to make and edit family videos. I also indulge playing a game of poker.

Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)
Born and raised in Chicago now live in Des Plaines, IL.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
Over two years.

Something you might not know about me is…
I use to breakdance when I was younger. I don’t anymore so don’t ask. But I still enjoy dancing with the right amount of alcohol.

What do you remember about your first day of CrossFit? 
Being nervous and being afraid of passing out. I remember how intense the workout was and how sore I felt the next day.

What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit?
The different movements at different intervals. Just don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
The support and motivation from the coaches and everyone. I enjoy working out with this community that doesn’t make me feel intimidated but shows encouragement.

What motivates you to come to the box?
Staying healthy for my kids is my motivation. The coaches and members just make it an easier reason for me to keep coming back.

Sunrise, Daytime, or Evening? (What class do you usually attend)?
6:10 PM.

What is your most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
Split jerking 195# – almost at the 200 club.

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Weight Lifting, box jumps and HSUP.

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Wall balls and running.

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  (What is your biggest goal for 2017?)
Unbroken double-unders.

What would the perfect WOD look like?
Cindy involving rock climbing.

What were you doing before CrossFit?
Home exercising with all the distraction.

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
Not feeling fatigue after exercising. Feel a lot stronger and endurance getting better.

What has been your favorite culinary discovery since starting CrossFit?
Sweet potato, avocado and tequila.

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
Iceman.

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?
Don’t be intimidated on what you may not know.  I still learn something new and improve on a movement every day.  The coaches here are every knowledgeable and helpful.  CrossFit may kick your ass today but you will feel stronger and better tomorrow.

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 July 2017 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

Bailey Engle

Get to know Bailey Engle – our Breakout Athlete of the Month for July!

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Tell us a little bit about you…hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
Michael (aka Beyonce), our two fur babies (a chihuahua & a yorkie), and I are beyond excited for our first human baby coming this Thanksgiving!! We just finished renovating our new home in Vernon Hills (this is flip #3 for us in just a few short years, so I guess you can call it a “hobby.”)

Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)
I was born in New York, mostly raised in Boston, lived in Savannah, GA for a little while, and now in Vernon Hills.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
3 years in August with some breaks here & there.

Something you might not know about me is…
I was a collegiate cheerleader (flyer on the coed team) and 3x Massachusetts State Champ…but in the 7 years since college, I took up running & became the least flexible person I know.

What do you remember about your first day of CrossFit? 
Not having a clue what a barbell clip was or how to get it on & off the bar.

What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit?
I like that every day is different and it makes me do things that I would normally just skip at a regular gym.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
The community & how welcoming everyone was when we first moved here.

What motivates you to come to the box?
I get cranky if I miss more than a day of working out & of course everyone at the box is so fun and motivating to workout with.

Sunrise, Daytime, or Evening? (What class do you usually attend)?
6:10 class.

What is your most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
Ring Muscle Up this spring… I thought it was never going to happen!

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
I like box jumps, double unders, kettlebell swings, handstand push-ups, and hang power cleans.

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Turkish Get-Ups and push-ups are my least favorite movements, but a max cal WOD on the bike would definitely be my least favorite WOD.

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  (What is your biggest goal for 2017?)
I want to be able to power clean a lot more weight.

What would the perfect WOD look like?
It would probably be the 12 days of Christmas with all of my favorite moves :-)

What were you doing before CrossFit?
Running & lifting my 15lb dumbbells.

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
My butt got big.

What has been your favorite culinary discovery since starting CrossFit?
Grain free hemp cookies & paleo banana bread.

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
I would be Tinker Bell — she can fly & sprinkle pixie dust!

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?
Just show up & listen to your coaches… there’s a scale or a movement for anyone. And, before you know it, you won’t have to YouTube the movement or decode the WOD before every class…instead you’ll just be excited to get it done and track your progress.

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June 2017 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

Mick Naughton

Get to know Mick Naughton – our Breakout Athlete of the Month for June!

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Tell us a little bit about you…hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
I have been married for 19 years to Mickie (yes my wife and I have the same name) and have 2 sons, Garrett (15) and Liam (11). Both of my children are heavily involved in year-round travel sports which keep us VERY busy. I have been working for 12 years at VWR (laboratory/scientific supplies company) where I am currently Director of Technology. I love music and play a little guitar. Between, work, kids, and travel…my newest favorite hobby has been CrossFit!

Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)
Born in Chicago, raised in Des Plaines, went to college in Michigan, and I currently live in Mount Prospect.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
I started in November of 2016 (7 months).

Something you might not know about me is…
I recently completed my second graduate degree (MS in Predictive Analytics) at Northwestern University this past December. I’ll be walking in the graduation ceremony this month.

What do you remember about your first day of CrossFit?
I knew it would be hard, but had no idea how hard….

What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit?
I love being NOT good at things and then being able to grow and make progress. There is a never-ending supply of that opportunity in CrossFit. I love the conceptual underpinnings of it as well. The idea of increasing your work capacity as a measure of fitness versus just simple aesthetic goals (appeals to the data geek in me).

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
It’s obviously a very supportive group. But I love the variety of people that are part of the family. I learn something new from each person and find motivation in how each of them is working to get better. I love that it is a competitive but very collegial atmosphere.

What motivates you to come to the box?
Once you start to make progress you feel a momentum build that you do not want to lose.

Sunrise, Daytime, or Evening? (What class do you usually attend)?
Mixed bag! I get in whenever I can squeeze it into my schedule.

What is your most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
I completed Karen Rx without dying…I think. My heart may have stopped once or twice.

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
I like pulls ups, rowing and sled pushes.

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
I know its cliché, but anything involving burpees (in any shape or form). They just suck the life out of me. OHS also scare me to death.

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  (What is your biggest goal for 2017?)
DOUBLE UNDERS!!!! They look so easy…but are so dang hard!

What would the perfect WOD look like?
I’m not sure? I’m always surprised by how I feel about a WOD before and after. I sometimes end up loving the ones I thought I’d hate the most.

What were you doing before CrossFit?
P90X/Insanity and Running.

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
I feel like my overall resiliency has increased. Some trouble areas, like my back and shoulders feel stronger and more stabilized. I can really feel the positive effect of the big functional movements.

What has been your favorite culinary discovery since starting CrossFit?
I eat a TON of Brussel sprouts now!

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
Captain Double Under! He can do 1000 unbroken without breaking a sweat!

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?
I forget where I heard the quote, but I think it’s spot on: “CrossFit is for anyone, but not for everyone.” Anybody can do it; you can scale/modify all the workouts to match any fitness level. But you have to be someone that enjoys hard workouts and embraces struggle…which, of course, is always worth it (in my humble opinion).

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May 2017 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

Emily Soltwisch

Get to know Emily Soltwisch – our Breakout Athlete of the Month for May!

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Tell us a little bit about you…hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
I have my bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Eastern Illinois University. I work for several police departments in the North and Northwest suburbs as a full-time police records clerk and a part-time 911 dispatcher. I LOVE all animals, especially my dog, Brody, a German shorthair pointer/Brittany spaniel mix.

Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)
I was born and raised in Mundelein but recently ventured out of my comfort zone to Buffalo Grove.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
A little over a year. I started at Crossfit Breakout in January 2016.

Something you might not know about me is…
I used to competitively horseback ride. I owned a horse, Cheska, for several years and competed with her. One day I plan to own a horse again :)

What do you remember about your first day of CrossFit?
I remember thinking, “Umm get me out of here.  “Then there was a little, “What was I thinking?”, followed by, “Wow, I’m tired.” All the while saying, “Oh, the things you do for love.”

What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit?
I find myself doing things I never thought I could like climbing a rope or doing pull-ups. It makes me actually enjoy working out, which is something I definitely didn’t say before.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
I really enjoy how supportive, friendly and fun everyone is. The whole gym is very inclusive and encouraging. It creates for a great atmosphere. This is the first time I actually enjoy coming to the gym. The coaches are also wonderful. They are so helpful, and it is very obvious they genuinely want to see their members succeed.

What motivates you to come to the box?
My wedding day! I am getting married on June 3rd and have been trying very hard to reach my wedding dress goals.

Sunrise, Daytime, or Evening? (What class do you usually attend)?
I’ve been to a little bit of everything. I love the noon class but now I am a 6:10 PM attendee or if I can get out of bed, I join the breakfast club at 5:30 AM.

What is your most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
This list is ongoing! Completing in my first CrossFit competition (which I never thought I would do) and the CrossFit Open. Getting my first pull-up and then actually stringing some together! And the same thing for T2B!

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Deadlifts, KB swings, snatches, power cleans, and back squats.

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Wallballs, thrusters and burpees. These will always be the death of me.

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  (What is your biggest goal for 2017?)
Handstand push-ups! A bar muscle-up would be nice but maybe I should save that for 2018.

What would the perfect WOD look like?
8 min AMRAP of back squats, box jumps, lunges, KB swings.

What were you doing before CrossFit?
Ummmm… Just a lot of failed attempts to “get into shape.”

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
I am stronger then I have ever been. Overall, I have more endurance and energy during all my daily activities.

What has been your favorite culinary discovery since starting CrossFit?
Strawberry banana protein smoothie. It makes for a delicious breakfast on those days where I actually do make it to the 5:30 am class.

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
To freeze time. It would be amazing to be able to stop time in the middle of the day and take a nap. Then pick right back up where you left off, refreshed, and not missing a minute of time.  It could also be used for other cooler things than taking a nap.

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?
Don’t knock it until you try it! I was always a CrossFit critic until I actually tried it out for myself. Also, give it a chance for a couple weeks until you can become more comfortable with the movements and terminology. You will be shocked at how much improvement you will see in such a short amount of time.

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April 2017 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

Jessica Wiebesiek

Get to know Jessica Wiebesiek – our Breakout Athlete of the Month for April!

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Tell us a little bit about you…hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
I have a degree in Interior Design, and I work at an architectural firm.  When I am not working or at Breakout, I enjoy snowboarding, hiking, rollerblading, wakeboarding, wake surfing and about any outdoor activity.  On a warm sunny day, I love spending time on my boat.

Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)
I was born in Sioux Falls, SD; raised in Sioux City, IA; and moved to Chicago when I was 20.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
1 year – I started in April 2016.

Something you might not know about me is…
I race standup Jet Skis.  My race number is 411 (my height). If you ever see a magenta jet ski, with a short rider, on the Chain of Lakes or river, than there is a chance it is me.

What do you remember about your first day of CrossFit?
How nice everyone was and thinking, “Ummmmm how long will it take me to become remotely as good as the people around me?”  I was also thinking, “What was that movement again and what you do mean by ‘thrust?’”

What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit?
I love how my body responds to CrossFit, I get tone and lean without bulking up too much.  I get a great strength work out while getting in cardo.  It is so fast passed that I don’t get bored.   I also like the community of CrossFit – there is always something to strive for, someone that inspires you, and possibly someone that you inspire.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
The coaches and the “Breakout family”.  I don’t have any other CrossFit experience to pull from, but I think Breakout has an amazing group of people that I get to see on a daily basis.   I also think Breakout has a great gym, with a great color choice and logo :).

What motivates you to come to the box?
The results and technique coaching!  I can tell that my workouts impact all of the activities I enjoy.  I also push myself harder when I have a group around me.

Sunrise, Daytime, or Evening? (What class do you usually attend)?
6:10 PM and Saturdays if I am around.

What is your most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
I am most excited that I can do kipping pullups without assistance and I can do handstand push-ups without any mats. I also managed a 200# deadlift and 135# back squat, which, for me, is a good amount of weight.

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Rowing, GHD, handstand pushups, and squats all rank high on the list.

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
WALLBALLS!  So Frustrating – as much as I practice an 8lb wall ball can still crush me.

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  (What is your biggest goal for 2017?)
Double unders, Pistols (the ankle I broke is not a fan of this movement), muscle ups, and strung-together toe to bars.  Improved form is always on the list.

What would the perfect WOD look like?
Anything without Wallballs.  An AMRAP of back squats, HSPU, meter rowing or outdoor running.  Cash Out: GHD back extensions and GHD sit ups.

What were you doing before CrossFit?
Aside from my outdoor activities I typically Rollerbladed 10 miles a day or did Beachbody workouts at home… Insanity, ChaLEAN Extreme, PIYO.  After I broke my ankle, I joined LA Fitness because my doctor wanted me to row, bike, swim and slowly put strength back in ankle.

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
Increased endurance, increased strength, increased balance, fat loss, and increased energy.

What has been your favorite culinary discovery since starting CrossFit?
When you are eating really clean, chocolate protein power can become a good dessert.  You can also make a good dessert out of pretty healthy items.

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
I think flying would be since, so Superwomen.

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?
Don’t be intimidated by new or unknown movements and don’t feel that you are not as good as the people around you.  We all start somewhere and with time, practice, and dedication you will understand the form, gain the strength, gain the endurance, and understand all the crazy acronyms. HAVE FUN and enjoy the team around you!  While you are looking at someone as your inspiration, someone may be looking at you as their inspiration.

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March 2017 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

Sammie Doro

Get to know Sammie Doro – our Breakout Athlete of the Month for March!

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Tell us a little bit about you…hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
I’m currently double majoring in accounting and business. I work as an after school counselor at the elementary school I attended as a kid. I volunteer every week as a special friends buddy at Willow Creek Community Church. I am an avid adventurer and currently in the process of becoming open water scuba certified.

Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)
Born and raised in Arlington Heights, IL.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
I started CrossFitting at CrossFit Breakout in July of 2016, so I have been CrossFitting for about 9 months now.

Something you might not know about me is…
I have a nine month old rescue puppy named Yoda who I am training to become a certified therapy dog.

What do you remember about your first day of CrossFit?
Not much, I’ve pretty successfully repressed the memory of my first time CrossFitting.

What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit?
I love how dynamic it is. There are so many movements to learn that it seems almost impossible to become bored with.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
The camaraderie and great energy of the group.

What motivates you to come to the box?
Bettering myself and trying to master new skills keeps me pretty motivated to show up. The seriously amazing coaches and friendly environment don’t hurt either.

Sunrise, Daytime, or Evening? (What class do you usually attend)?
Either 9:30 or noon depending on the day.

What is your most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
My biggest accomplishment so far is probably being able to string together some kipping pull ups.

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Double unders!

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Until recently getting hand stand pushups (modified with an abmat) it was definitely doing modified handstand push-ups on the wooden boxes with abmats. As a vertically challenged person mounting and dismounting the box never went smoothly. I either fell off the side, slid off the front while trying to complete a rep, or occasionally even got stuck with half of my body on the box and the other half off the box. My hatred for this scaled movement was my sole motivation for getting handstand push-ups with an abmat. With that out of the way I can now better focus my disgust toward the airdyne.

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  (What is your biggest goal for 2017?)
The skill I am working towards now is a freestanding handstand. My biggest goal for 2017 is just to maintain consistently attending classes.

What would the perfect WOD look like?
The perfect WOD would be a twelve minute AMRAP of 20 burpees, 30 box jump overs, and 40 double unders.

What were you doing before CrossFit?
Before CrossFit I was a competitive fencer both domestically and internationally.

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
I am noticeably getting stronger, however the biggest change I’ve noticed is actually in my mood. Getting a great workout in always seems to clear my head and leave me leaving in a better headspace than I was in when I showed up.

What has been your favorite culinary discovery since starting CrossFit?
I have nothing beneficial to share here as my nutrition admittedly needs some serious revamping.

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
I would love to be able to communicate with animals.

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?
My advice to any newcomer is simply to try doing what you think you cannot do, you’ll probably surprise yourself.

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February 2017 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

Joon Hwang

Get to know Joon Hwang – our Breakout Athlete of the Month for February!

 JoonFebBAM2017

Tell us a little bit about you…hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
I was born in Korea, moved to Canada when I was 12 years old, came to Chicago for college, and never left.  I always wanted to go back to Canada, but I have been living here in Chicago for 19 years. When I finally realized I might not go back, I decided to be naturalized, so I got the citizenship last year and got to vote for the first time in my life! I am married to Julie and we have been together for 15 years. We have 4 kids: Isaiah (12 yrs), Malachi (8 yrs), Abigail (5 yrs), and Haven (1.5 yrs).

I am a pastor of a church called New Life Covenant Church in Palatine, IL. I started this church 6 years ago and it has been a wild journey.  I like playing sports, eating all kinds of different ethnic food, and drinking good coffee.

Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)
I consider Welland, Ontario, Canada my home town, although I only lived there for 7 years. Those years were formative years for me.  I don’t remember much about Korea, though I was born there.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
Since 2009, but I took a break for a couple of years in 2011. Then I started again in 2013. I got serious with CrossFit after meeting Josh at Lifetime then here at Breakout.

Something you might not know about me is…
I like doing stand-up comedy, although I am VERY amateur at it. I just love doing it. When I am bored and have nothing to do, I go to open-mics and practice my set.

What do you remember about your first day of CrossFit?
I was doing a boot-camp and a group of people were doing a weird, but interesting workout. I asked the owner what they were doing and she told me they were doing CrossFit.  I wanted to try it, so I did and it was the hardest workout I have ever done for a long time. I don’t remember the WOD, but it was long and very hard. I wanted to quit so bad, but I couldn’t. I barely finished the WOD. I got challenged so much that I joined it that day.What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit?

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
I love our coaches. I came from another CrossFit box so I know what it means to have good or bad coaches. We have AWESOME coaches. Not only they know their stuff, they are also nice.

What motivates you to come to the box?
I want to be healthy so I can do what I love to do well for a long time. If I am not healthy, I cannot do what I love to do. This motivates me to workout.

Sunrise, Daytime, or Evening? (What class do you usually attend)?
I am all over the place, but never early in the morning.

What is your most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
My kipping pull-ups are getting better. That is my biggest accomplishment.

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
I love Olympic lifting movements, especially clean and jerk. My favorite WOD is Grace.

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
All gymnastic movements, especially pull-ups, ring dips, and toes-to-bar. I hate running too.

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  (What is your biggest goal for 2017?)
All gymnastic movements like pull-ups, toes-to-bar, muscle up, handstand walk, and ring dips.

What would the perfect WOD look like?
10 minute AMRAP of
10 Pistols and 10 hand stand push-ups

What were you doing before CrossFit?
My background is Martial Arts. I did 8 years of traditional Tae-Kwon-Do (not the watered down Olympic style Tae-Kwon-Do). I did Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and the Mixed Martial Arts before I switched to CrossFit. I switched to CrossFit because I was tired of getting choke marks on my neck.

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
Of course I got stronger, but my cardio got way better since I started CrossFitting. I still have a long way to go, but I thank CrosssFit for incorporating the cardio portion in the workout.

What has been your favorite culinary discovery since starting CrossFit?
RX Bars and the UR Unbreakable.

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
I love Hulk! He is my favorite super hero.

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?
Listen to your coach and do what he/she says.

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January 2017 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

Feray Duman

Get to know Feray Duman – our Breakout Athlete of the Month for January!

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Tell us a little bit about you…hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
I LOVE dogs and Ricky Martin, and I love 80’s music…and I love to dance and I do love to travel.

Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)
I grew up in Des Plaines and now live in Buffalo Grove.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
2 years and 3 weeks to be exact.

Something you might not know about me is…
I am a kidney donor for my brother. : )

What do you remember about your first day of CrossFit? 
I was really nervous. I’m surprised I didn’t walk out. But couldn’t wait for the next class.

What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit?
Every movement can be modified.  YES!

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
I enjoy my 5:30 am crew. They are all the best! Of course the coaches too.

What motivates you to come to the box?
I truly enjoy working out and want to keep being active at my age! LOL

Sunrise, Daytime, or Evening? (What class do you usually attend)?
Sunrise.

What is your most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
Power Clean.

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Barbara.

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
BURPEES, CAL ROW, BEAR CRAWL, OHS, PUSHING THAT SLED! I think that’s it.

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  (What is your biggest goal for 2016?)
Double Unders. I will get them. And toes to bar, maybe.

What would the perfect WOD look like?
Sit ups, squats, lunges, power cleans.

What were you doing before CrossFit?
I LOVED to run 4 days a week.

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
I have upper body power now.  I’ve also learned how to say no to certain foods.  Well…..sometimes.  : )

What has been your favorite culinary discovery since starting CrossFit?
Sweet Potato!!!! OMG!

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
Wonder Woman! She is a woman and she is bad ass!

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?
CrossFit is intimidating because you haven’t tried it. Once you have, it’s pretty cool.

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December 2016 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

Nina Zimmerman

Get to know Nina Zimmerman – our Breakout Athlete of the Month for December!

 ninazimmermandec2016bam

Tell us a little bit about you…hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
I moved back to Illinois at the end of June after living in Sydney, Australia for almost two years. Reading, running, and spending too much time on the Internet are my main hobbies. I currently work for the Australian Baseball League as the US Communications Manager. I have two parents, an older brother, and a dog niece who gets jealous whenever I hug my mom in front of her. I’m also moving to Miami at the end of the month, for an internship with the Miami Marlins.

Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)
Northbrook, IL, born and raised.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
I joined CFB at the beginning of July this year.

Something you might not know about me is…
Despite never studying it in school, I’m a massive geology nerd. I’ve collected rocks since I was a kid, and love learning about the different types of minerals they’re made of and processes that form each one. I used to live about 45 minutes from a volcano, and would go there often to hike around the rim.

What do you remember about your first day of CrossFit? 
My parents have been training with Josh for a few years now, and I went with them a few times. The first time, I remember the insane soreness afterwards, but it was some of the most satisfying soreness I’ve ever felt.

What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit?
The diversity of movements. I like using new muscles and strengthening ones I already knew I had.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
The camaraderie in class. This is my first experience working out in a group setting, and I’m loving it.

What motivates you to come to the box?
I just enjoy it, all of it. It’s fun to try new things and improve upon existing skills, and the community here makes that all the more fun.

Sunrise, Daytime, or Evening? (What class do you usually attend)?
6:30am, usually. Morning workout gets you up and at ‘em. I also usually go for a 2-3 mile run after class.

What is your most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
My deadlift PR. It was the first time lifting more than I weigh, and it felt amazing. Also, after almost dropping bars on myself a few times, I’m really proud of the ability to bail properly. That’s clutch.

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
I really like ring dips, not sure why.

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Still haven’t mastered those wall balls. And I’m not the biggest fan of bear crawls. But it’s slowly getting better.

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  (What is your biggest goal for 2016?)
Anything gymnastics related. I’d like to (eventually) be able to walk on my hands. Baby steps.

What would the perfect WOD look like?
This’ll be fun. I think it’d be some kind of AMRAP with alternating pistols, ring dips, handstand push-ups and a lap around the building. Just movements I enjoy, regardless of whether or not they complement each other.

What were you doing before CrossFit?
Mostly running and hiking. When I move somewhere new, I use exercise as a way to explore my surroundings, running along beaches and trails and going to national parks and nature reserves. I’m still an avid runner, no matter where I am.

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
I’ve developed definition in muscles I didn’t realize existed, which is cool. It’s also been a solid confidence booster, in terms of being able to do things I didn’t think I could.

What has been your favorite culinary discovery since starting CrossFit?
Dek posted a recipe for paleo pumpkin pancakes on Facebook the other day – tried them and loved them.

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
Always wanted to fly.

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?
When you’re doing a WOD, there’s always a little left in the tank, even when you don’t think there is. Don’t be afraid to surprise yourself with what you’re actually capable of, beyond what you thought you could do.

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November 2016 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

Adam Ciganek 

Get to know Adam Ciganek – our Breakout Athlete of the Month for November!

 adamcignaeknov2016bam

Tell us a little bit about you…hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
When not making Coach Josh/Brady’s coaching jobs easier and a delight, I work in finance for a pharmaceutical company.  I just recently (well 3 months ago) moved into my own place right around the corner from Breakout and am STILL not done furnishing it (procrastinate much?).  I am a big reader, movie goer, sports fan (playing volleyball and playing/watching most others), and an avid Cubs fan (yes that was redundant but I don’t care).  I try to spend time with my Dad at least twice a week (this past MLB playoffs was truly special with him) and also enjoy hiking/being outdoors although admittedly don’t do that often enough.

Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)
I’m from Barrington originally, but now live in beautiful, scenic Wheeling.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
I can’t believe it’s been 2.5 years since I started… and yes it took me that long to get (manageable but still working on) my DU’s!

Something you might not know about me is…
I used to play offensive line in football (I used to be bigger weight-wise too.  Ok, well that’s two technically…that one was a gift).

What do you remember about your first day of CrossFit? 
A work buddy of mine invited me to this CrossFit thing and I figured “why not—I lift 7x a week and am super fit. I will show them how it’s done!”.  He then described this workout to me and I figured I was in pretty good shape… it didn’t sound too bad and what was the worst that could happen?  Oh how naïve I was; I didn’t know the full breadth of what I was getting myself into. To make a long story short, my first CrossFit workout was the famous “Murph” (run 1 mile, do 300 air squats, 200 push-ups and 100 pull-ups, and then run another mile…and I’m tired just typing that).  That workout is one of the toughest workouts I have ever done relative to my fitness level.  This was the first time I underestimated a workout (definitely not the last, as I still do this, with devastating results), and I fully appreciated the “beauty” of a workout. I couldn’t believe how effective the combination of a few basic movements could be.

What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit?
I enjoy the variety.  It doesn’t get boring and keeps things fresh for me.  It also makes me do the things I hate… although I know I need to do them and they’re good for me.  Would I do burpees, the Airdyne bike or HSPU on my own? Not likely…

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
I like the support and drive from the Breakout family. I feel that everyone helps push me to my limits (or shatter them…) and makes me a better CrossFitter overall.  My first official day at Breakout, after the workout a few of the members asked if I wanted to do another workout to work on lagging skills… I started breathing heavily with wide eyes and knew I had found the spot for me (that was until they mentioned it was burpees and Airdyne bike).

What motivates you to come to the box?
Just. Beat. Phil. Which I do every day of course.

Sunrise, Daytime, or Evening? (What class do you usually attend)?
Evening… I like to have a good 20 cups of coffee flowing through me by the time I start class. The only workouts I can do at the early classes (5:30/6:30) are deadlift workouts.

What is your most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
I FINALLY hit 300 for my back squat… I’ve been chasing that one for a while. Next up: 400 deadlift (5lbs short).

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
I like rope climbs.

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Least favorite WOD: Nancy (did it 2x in 1 week once…the second being 5,800 ft higher than Chicago = shoot me).  Least favorite movement: Airdyne bike. You just sit there. In pain. And time goes backwards.  (Runner-up to least favorite WOD: 3 times of 2min max cal Airdyne bike–thanks for that gem Coach Brady).

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  (What is your biggest goal for 2016?)
I have a little under 2 months…so…survive 2016?  I’d like to reach that 400 deadlift though (and I am of the opinion that deadlift PRs only count if it’s a multiple of 5, so 396 wouldn’t count and would be a chump move) and start the building blocks for muscle ups (haven’t done bar muscle ups since the open).

What would the perfect WOD look like?
I am so excited for this question… I keep hoping this will be on the board every day:

4 min wall sit buy-in

Then…

20 min AMRAP:
2 rope climbs
15 front squats 95/65
200m run

Obviously all things I’m not good at and need to focus on… really not sure why Coach Josh/Brady don’t consult me on programming…

What were you doing before CrossFit?
I was a globo-gym bro-lifter since high school. Typical bench, curls, dips and maybe the occasional leg day (let’s be honest… leg day turned into arms day #2 quite often). I also used to run 5 miles 3-4 times per week. #boring.

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
I believe I am now more functionally fit.  Before when I would work out, I would brag about how much I can bench… but when am I ever going to need to do that in real life, or in any other situation other than bench press?  Now I feel my body and fitness level is more balanced and it is a noticeable difference for me.  Irony: the last CrossFit competition I did had bench press. Of course it did. Annnnd I got rocked in that event.

What has been your favorite culinary discovery since starting CrossFit?
Crockpots. Game changer for me and made meal prep Sunday much easier…which I need to start doing again.

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
Batman. Because he’s Batman.

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?
I would say don’t underestimate your abilities. Too often I have thought/said I couldn’t do or complete something, to which a coach or member has said “why not?” To which I respond “Well that’s a very good question… My mind is literally the blankest it has ever been and I can’t come up with a legitimate excuse to not, so I guess I am doing this now. Perfect”. And I end up surprising myself.  On a related note, however, it would be to know when to check your ego at the door.  While there is a time/place to stretch yourself and your abilities, sometimes you need to scale things back.  I struggle with this mightily still (in fact I had a nice little chat with one of the coaches a few days ago about this…to which I promptly ignored the following day and paid the price—they might know what they’re talking about).  As the old gym adage goes “do it light, do it right”.

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October 2016 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

Wende Rudnick

Get to know Wende Rudnick – our Breakout Athlete of the Month for October!

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Tell us a little bit about you…hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
I’m married and have 3 daughters, 15, 12 and 10, a golden retriever and mini-golden doodle.  I love CrossFit (of course!), paddle boarding, spending time with family in Union Pier, MI, cooking and eating, true-crime podcasts, and taking meditation/mindfulness classes at Full Bloomed Lotus in Wilmette.

Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)
Arlington Heights, IL

How long have you been CrossFitting?
Approx. 2 years

Something you might not know about me is…
I’m taking courses to become a Reiki Healer.

What do you remember about your first day of CrossFit? 
Thinking, “what have I gotten myself into” and how welcoming and supportive everyone was.

What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit?
Where do I begin?? So many things: the workouts and programming are challenging, fun, highly efficient and effective physically and mentally. The coaches and participants are all fun, friendly, supportive down-to-earth people interested in fitness and health, yet don’t take themselves too seriously.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
Getting to know different people and continually learning new information about CrossFit, nutrition and overall health.

What motivates you to come to the box?
I know that whatever is going on in my life I always leave feeling healthier mentally and physically, more grounded and happier than when I walked in.

Sunrise, Daytime, or Evening? (What class do you usually attend)?
I usually attend the 9:30am class.

What is your most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
Being able to do a HSPU once in a blue moon (with a kip and abmats for my head).

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
LOVE Wallballs!

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Barbell snatch.

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  (What is your biggest goal for 2016?)
Be able to do T2B consecutively.

What would the perfect WOD look like?
Wallballs, slamballs, back squats, GHDs, waling lunges.

What were you doing before CrossFit?
Running and weights on my own at first, then personal training with Dani—she introduced me to a different way and a lot of CrossFit moves.

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
More muscle definition.

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
Paleo banana bread and anything wrapped in bacon.

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?
CrossFit is one of the most fun, effective and challenging workouts—be patient with yourself;  you will eventually learn what all the moves are and the Coaches and members of CFB could not be more supportive or helpful!!  Keep moving and don’t give up!

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September 2016 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

Doug Frederick

Get to know Doug Frederick – our Breakout Athlete of the Month for September!

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Tell us a little bit about you…hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
I have a beautiful wife, Jen, and two wonderful children Evan (7) and Grace (9).   I am currently working as the Aircraft Quality Control Manager at Chicago Executive Airport.  I love spending time outdoors.  In no particular order, I enjoy fishing, hunting, shooting, camping and mountain biking.  I also really enjoy traveling, and the best is being able to combine travel with an outdoor adventure.

Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)

Small town about an hour south of Kankakee called Hoopeston, IL.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
7 months.

Something you might not know about me is…
I used to be an F-16 Fighter Jet Mechanic.

What do you remember about your first day of CrossFit? 
INTIMIDATION, nervous, anxious.  Then, after Josh had his way with me, exhausted…and in serious need of oxygen.

What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit?
I love the fact that every day is different, it’s mentally and physically challenging.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
The people [and the] coaches.  The instant camaraderie and motivation from others.  It is very gratifying to come in and see the people that want to help me be a better all-around person!

What motivates you to come to the box?
Seeing improvements.  I love the way I feel after class and knowing what it will eventually lead to keeps me coming back.

Sunrise, Daytime, or Evening? (What class do you usually attend)?
Evening.  I’ll mix it up every now and then for fun.

What is your most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
Athlete of the month, HA, JK.  I wish I could say something cool like muscle ups or handstand pushups, but I am not quite there yet.  I would have to say the simple fact that I am still showing up and never quitting would be my biggest accomplishment so far.

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Murph, one day I will be able to RX it.

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Overhead Squats, burpees.

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  (What is your biggest goal for 2016?)
Overhead Squats.  Currently working on my kip and pull ups, which will hopefully lead to a bar muscle up.

What were you doing before CrossFit?
Professional couch potato and a little mountain biking.

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
Too many to list really…just about everything I can think of has improved in some form!

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
Not a superhero kind of guy. If I had to choose one, Superman I guess.

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?
Have FUN.  Always listen to your coaches, learn the movements and proper form and give it your best effort!  Stick with it, even though you may feel like you want to run away and never look back.

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July 2016 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

Melissa Frank

Get to know Melissa Frank – our Breakout Athlete of the Month for July!

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Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)
I grew up in a small town called Plainview, which is in Long Island. I went to school at the University at Buffalo and moved to the Chicagoland area from Buffalo about a year and a half ago with my husband and two dogs.  I work as a physical therapist in an outpatient clinic and I love to go to the beach and just veg out in my free time.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
I have been CrossFitting since October and am totally addicted!

Something you might not know about me is…
I absolutely hate the cold and snow, so don’t ask me why I moved from Buffalo to Chicago!

What do you remember about your first day of CrossFit? 
I remember at my first day of CrossFit being totally intimidated. I remember watching as people were working on their muscle ups and all I could think of is, “What am I doing here?!”

What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit?
The thing I love most about CrossFit is how much of a challenge it is. I am a perfectionist and love that you constantly are striving to get better at every movement.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
I love the people at CFB.  I truly feel like I am a part of a family here and that is what keeps me coming back for more!

What motivates you to come to the box?
The great coaches and members are what keep me coming back to the box every day!

Sunrise, Daytime, or Evening? (What class do you usually attend)?
I usually am a 5:30 am-er but you can find me at the 5:00 pm class on some nights based on my work schedule.

What is your most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
My most recent accomplishment is finally mastering the kip. It seems so simple but it took me months to finally comprehend how to do it, thanks to Coach Brady!

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
My favorite WOD would be Helen. That was my first named WOD and second workout when I began CrossFit and it was such a challenge. I can’t wait to re-do it and compare my times!

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
My least favorite WOD would definitely be Jackie. I did it right after I got back from vacation and it was not a fun way to come back to reality!

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  (What is your biggest goal for 2016?)
In 2016 my biggest goals are to get pull ups and toes to bar!

What would the perfect WOD look like?
The perfect WOD would be anything that doesn’t include the rower, wall balls, or thrusters!!

What were you doing before CrossFit?
Before CrossFit I was doing a lot of running, spinning, and boot camp classes. They just didn’t keep my interest like CrossFit does.

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
Since beginning CrossFit I feel like I have more energy. The best feeling is looking in the mirror and seeing definition in muscles that I never had before.

What has been your favorite culinary discovery since starting CrossFit?
My favorite culinary discovery since beginning CrossFit is learning how many different ways you can use protein powder. My new favorite recipe though is Hoodie’s protein pancakes…they’re awesome!

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
If I were a super hero I would be Wonder Woman. She seems like such a badass!

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?
I would tell anyone new to CrossFit to just keep with it!  Don’t be scared to be the last one to finish, we have all been there! You just have to remember that the only person you are competing with is yourself!

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June 2016 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

Jonny Schram

Get to know Jonny Schram – our Breakout Athlete of the Month for June!

JonnySchram-June2016FINAL 

Tell us a little bit about you…hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
I’m a firefighter/paramedic. I love everything about fitness and exercise, RC planes, guns, and outdoors.

Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)
I grew up in Buffalo Grove and settled in Arlington Heights.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
A little over a year.

Something you might not know about me is…
I am a 2002 Illinois state champion in golf.

What do you remember about your first day of CrossFit? 
Foundations exposed poor technique in lots of movements I’ve been doing.  Also the “lingo” for workouts and movements.  Examples: WOD, Hang power clean, AMRAP, EMOM, SDHP, S2OH, T2B = WTF?!?

What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit?
There is always a skill, a lift, or a workout to improve upon…could be strength, efficiency, or a benchmark.  Everything is measurable.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
Lots of good people and support here.  Coaches are excellent…they always point out and explain how to improve.

What motivates you to come to the box?
The results.  CrossFit and strength training work.  Lifts and Benchmark workouts continue to improve.

Sunrise, Daytime, or Evening? (What class do you usually attend)?
Either the 10:30/Noon or 3:45/5 class times.

What is your most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
Our team in the last competition had to perform a 3 rep max snatch without dropping the bar.  Hit 170 for 3 and was very happy with that.  That movement is was completely foreign to me when I started.

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
“Fight Gone Bad.”  The workout name caught my attention as soon as I saw it.  It has variety but requires some mental toughness to get through.  It’s basically an AMRAP EMOM: 3 rounds- Wall balls, SDHP, Box Jumps, Push press, and Rowing.  Each movement for a minute.  Rest 1 minute after a round.  Total up your reps.  You’ll understand why it’s called “Fight Gone Bad” once you’ve started.

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
I hated Deadlifts when I got here.  Never really did them before joining Breakout.  It took a long time to feel comfortable doing the movement.  Now I like them and continue to see bumps in PRs with it.

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  (What is your biggest goal for 2016?)
Having participated in some competitions, you compare yourself to others out there.  My Cleans and Chest to Bar pull-ups need work.

What would the perfect WOD look like?
“MURPH” is already the perfect workout.  It can be scaled up or scaled down.  With all the variations you can really see progress if you choose to take it on more than once a year on Memorial Day.   I like longer WODs with several movements that make you sweat and will challenge you mentally.  There’s a big reward at the end of those. The ideal WOD would look something like this:

“SCHRAMBO” – AMRAP: 30mins
5 Power Snatches  (95lb)
20m Back rack walking lunges  (95lb)
10 Hand Stand push ups
2 Rope Climbs

What were you doing before CrossFit?
I was athletic, playing hockey, typical boring weight training splits at a gym mixed with running and biking.

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
Probably strength and lung capacity.  Hitting new PRs during benchmark workouts shows improvements in both these fields.  Remembering how a workout went the previous time and recognizing that point where I would have dropped a barbell or put my hand on my knees to breathe and then power through that shows improvement.

What has been your favorite culinary discovery since starting CrossFit?
Pancakes made from bananas, eggs, almond flour, coconut flakes, cocoa powder, vanilla extract and protein powder.

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
Flying.  Just google video of Yves Rossy flying over Dubai and you’ll understand why.

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?
Don’t get overwhelmed by the amount of movements and terminology.  There’s a learning curve but it will most definitely come with results.  Give it a chance.  Don’t become upset or turned away when a workout or movement kicks your butt.  Do NOT compare yourself to someone else.  Everyone has stronger and weaker movements.  And most importantly, be prepared to get excited about going to workout everyday!

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May 2016 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

Ashley “Hoodie” Hood

Get to know “Hoodie” – our Breakout Athlete of the Month for May!

HoodieBAMMayFINAL 

Tell us a little bit about you…hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
I am one of four kids, am an auntie, and will gain a brother in law in June. I am a high school nurse and couldn’t be happier with the career I have chosen.  I have three roommates: one of them is my sister and the other two are my fur babies: cat and dog!  It’s quite an entertaining mix.

Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)
I am from the area. I grew up in Prospect Heights and I have lived in Mount Prospect for the past 5 years.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
I’ve been CrossFitting since July 2015. Not too long, but long enough to know I can never go back to a ‘regular’ gym.

Something you might not know about me is…
I use to LOVE running.  MK and I use to run against each other (Wheeling vs Hersey).

What do you remember about your first day of CrossFit? 
I was scared to death. I was shaking, nervous, and wondered, “What did I get myself into?”.

What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit?
The community. I never feel like I am competing against someone. I’ll admit I watch people’s technique in hopes of gaining a pointer or two from them. So when you think I am being creepy, it’s just me trying to improve. : )

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
EVERYONE IS AWESOME!!!!!!  I can’t thank Breakout enough for the amazing friendships I have made and continue to make. Everyone has been so welcoming, entertaining, and helpful.

What motivates you to come to the box?
I love how much stronger I have become. CrossFit is addicting. Again, the people who CrossFit at Breakout make me want to come back every day!

Sunrise, Daytime, or Evening? (What class do you usually attend)?
Definitely evening! 6pm and occasionally 5pm, but when I attend the 5pm WOD I feel guilty for leaving my 6pm crew.

What is your most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
Competing at the Athena Classic and finishing 13th!  AND…getting my very first rope climb just this past Saturday!  I couldn’t have completed this goal without the help of many CFB athletes. They helped me get through the hardest part: climbing down!!!

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Rowing and power cleans.

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
I dislike ring dips with a passion.  Seeing ring dips in the WOD puts me in a sassy/bad mood.

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  (What is your biggest goal for 2016?)
Too many!!!!  Climb a rope, not be afraid to go upside down (yes, still), a real pull up, and be able to WOD without a band for push-ups (so close)!

What would the perfect WOD look like?
Rowing, power cleans, and bear crawling.

What were you doing before CrossFit?
I lifted weights and for cardio would use the Stairmaster. The only thing I miss about going to regular gym is the Stairmaster!

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
Stamina and energy.

What has been your favorite culinary discovery since starting CrossFit?
Salted caramel protein banana pancakes!!  I could eat them every single day!  With a side of scrambled egg whites and bacon please!

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
My super power would be to read minds!

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?
Smile, have fun and come in with an open mind.  When you want to quit, that is the time you need to get in and fight through!  Finally, NEVER EVER ask someone if they take fish oil!!

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April 2016 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

David “Gentleman Dave” Stern

Get to know “Gentleman Dave” – our Breakout Athlete of the Month for April!

DavidAprilBAM2 

Tell us a little bit about you…hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
I work for the world’s largest chocolate, cookie and candy company (30 years) crunching numbers, which I love. Some of you may know my wife, the delicate flower Cindi, or have heard about my water-walking son Dylan. I trade stock options for fun and (sometimes) profit because, again, I love numbers.

Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)
I grew up in the birthplace of American liberty Lexington, Massachusetts. After school I lived in New York for 20 years before moving out here.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
Exactly 2 years now.

Something you might not know about me is…
When Josh and Cindi opened the box back in 2013, I didn’t even know what CrossFit was.

What do you remember about your first day of CrossFit? 
Not being able to catch my breath, and shocked that I wasn’t in nearly the shape that I thought I was.

What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit?
Discovering that I can do things that I never thought I could but, mostly, how capable, strong and healthy it makes me feel.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
Seeing friends, meeting new people, and sharing the CrossFit experience. Honestly, some days I’d be perfectly happy to just hang out talking to folks before and after they WOD. (I’ve heard some people actually do this!)

What motivates you to come to the box?
A lot of things – a skill I want to work on, a WOD I think I’ll do well on, people I want to see, or just knowing I’ll feel good when I’m done.

Sunrise, Daytime, or Evening? (What class do you usually attend)?
Not a morning person; 5pm for me. I consider the Saturday team WOD “Sunrise”.

What is your most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
The last round of 1 RMs I got 10 PRs in 10 days – I was insufferable.

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
GHD sit ups, but partial to most body weight movements.

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
I gotta say Wall Balls. At the end of Foundations, I tried to get 100 wall balls in 10 minutes.  Needless to say, I didn’t make it, and I think I’m still scarred by it.

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  (What is your biggest goal for 2016?)
DOUBLE F-ING UNDERS!!

What would the perfect WOD look like?
Rope climbs, GHD sit ups, rowing (and rest between rounds).

What were you doing before CrossFit?
Running, doing the same lifts (10 reps, 3 sets) year after year.

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
Better stamina, mobility, strength… and attitude!

What has been your favorite culinary discovery since starting CrossFit?
I can still eat like a pig every night.

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
Batman – the original cerebral superhero.

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?
Just show up and listen to the coaches. Whatever’s on the board, there’s a movement you can do. And, before you know it, you’ll love it just like we do!

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March 2016 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

Lyubchik “Luby” Poha

Get to know “Luby” – our Breakout Athlete of the Month for March!

LubyBAMMarch2016v2

Tell us a little bit about you…hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
Hockey, volleyball, tennis.  Work part time in construction.

Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)
Ukraine.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
More than a year.

Something you might not know about me is…
I love CrossFit.

What do you remember about your first day of CrossFit? 
It was very interesting.

What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit?
Communication…when you [CrossFit] you forget about all your problems.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
Every one very is friendly.  And the coaches are not just coaches, they are like friends.

What motivates you to come to the box?
I want to be a professional, like [Coach] Josh!

Sunrise, Daytime, or Evening? (What class do you usually attend)?
Sunrise and evening.

What is your most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
Back squat 315#.

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Cindy.

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Wall balls.

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  (What is your biggest goal for 2016?)
Gymnastic [movements].

What would the perfect WOD look like?
Bar muscle up for 7 mins.

What were you doing before CrossFit?
Free fight, hockey, street work out.

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
It changed everything!

What has been your favorite culinary discovery since starting CrossFit?
Broccoli.

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
Hulk!

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?
It is not just a gum, after joining CrossFit Breakout, it becomes your family.

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February 2016 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

Taryn Samples

Get to know Taryn – our Breakout Athlete of the Month for February!

TarynBAMFeb2016v2

Tell us a little bit about you…hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
Hmmm, hobbies…CrossFit! Hahaa! I love to be active and outdoors! Hiking, running, skiing (one day I will master snowboarding), camping, I love it all!! Not sure how I planted roots in Chicago, being that there are no mountains or oceans.  One day I’ll move back west. Colorado to be exact :-)

Family: I’ve been married for two years and have a one year old son, Noah :-). He’s been to the box a couple times.  Being his mom is by far the greatest gift! Nothing compares to the experience of bringing a child into this world and watching him/her grow and sharing in their experiences.

Work: I am currently a sales consultant for a space and defense company and a PCT (or patient care technician, aka CNA). I worked on the oncology unit at a local hospital for about 3 years and loved it!  In fact, I just had an interview for a tech position in the emergency room, which is where I’ve always wanted to go. So, fingers crossed! My goal is to start school again in the fall and finish my degree in nursing.

Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)
I’m from San Diego California!  However, my dad was a pilot in the military for most of my childhood so I’ve moved around quite a bit.  We moved about every two years.  I’ve lived in Texas, New Orleans, Florida, Japan, spent some time in the Philippines, and Chicago. I’ve been here for over ten years and am getting antsy to move again :). I just want to travel and see the world!!!!

How long have you been CrossFitting?
I started CrossFit about 6 months ago.

Something you might not know about me is…
I have a teeny, tiny obsession with owls. I have owl coffee mugs, salt and pepper shakers, an owl kitchen timer, and the list goes on!

What do you remember about your first day of CrossFit? 
I wanted to die.  I could barely breathe and my legs were on fire for days.

What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit?
I love the camaraderie!! Everyone pushes and supports each other.  I love that!!

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
Breakout has, by far, the best coaches and I love the people and friendships I’ve made.  I’ve tried the intro class at other boxes and nothing grabbed me and the people weren’t very friendly.  At Breakout, everyone was so welcoming, right from the start. It is always awkward to be the “new kid on the block”, and especially awkward when you’re the last to finish a WOD and are obviously struggling.  But, when you’re here, people cheer you on and it makes you push even harder.  You feed off that energy!

What motivates you to come to the box?
I love seeing everyone. When you miss a day, the 5:30am crew will let you have it! Haha!

I’m stronger than I have ever been, both physically and mentally. The coaches and the people have helped me get out of my head and believe in myself. I was terrified when I first started. A lot of, “Oh, I can’t do that!” and “What am I doing here?” But, as I mentioned before, the support and encouragement you receive makes it all seem possible. It is truly amazing to see what your body can do when you put in the work!

Sunrise, Daytime, or Evening? (What class do you usually attend)?
I’m a morning person. I go to the 5:30am and occasionally the 5pm. I have been known to pop in at 9:30am or noon though! :-)

What is your most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
Hmmm, I just did a kipping pull-up for the first time.  The funny thing is, I didn’t actually realize I had done one until people told me, hahaa! I also managed to break a 100lb on my back squat, 105 to be exact. Boom!

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
I love the rope climbs, toes to bar, pull ups, power cleans, push jerks, and box jumps.

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
WALL BALLS will be the death of me! I’m so clumsy and have been known to fall when trying to catch the ball. Grrr!
Double-unders are a struggle for me as well.

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  (What is your biggest goal for 2016?)
The snatch! My goal is to get to 55lbs.

What would the perfect WOD look like?
A “For Time” WOD with power cleans, shoulder to overhead, rope climbs, and toes to bar.  In the beginning, I hated the timed WODs, mainly because I was always the last one to finish. Now, I don’t mind as long as I know I pushed myself.

What were you doing before CrossFit?
I’ve always been pretty active. I was an ice skater from grade school through high school. Then, I started doing a lot of races, 5 & 10ks, and even did the Chicago half marathon. Boot camp and spin classes were also thrown in the mix. But, I never quite felt like I was getting stronger.

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
My strength has noticeably increased. I have more energy than ever before too, which is funny because I always leave the box completely drained. But, I always go back for more! :-)

What has been your favorite culinary discovery since starting CrossFit?
Hmmm, I’m a pretty healthy eater. That hasn’t changed. But, I will say, the amount of food I eat has drastically increased since starting Crossfit. I have to eat about every 2 hours or I get hangry.

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
I would definitely be able to fly!  I’m always flying in my dreams. Weird!

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?
Allow yourself to get out of your comfort zone! Get uncomfortable!!  I heard Josh say this a lot when I first started and once I took that to heart, magic happened!  I feel like that is what Crossfit is all about.  It’s about digging deep.  Find the strength, the will, to keep going!  I promise, you will surprise yourself with your accomplishments!  It won’t be easy, but nothing worth it ever is!  Just DO IT!!  Shatter your limits!!!

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January 2016 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

Roger Olsen

Get to know Roger – our Breakout Athlete of the Month for January!

RogerBAMJan2016v2

Tell us a little bit about you…hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
I am an Operations Manager in the insurance industry by day and a DJ on the weekends. I enjoy playing hockey and softball. I am a big Bears and Blackhawks fan.  I have been a Bears season ticket holder since 2003.  I am the oldest of four siblings (one of twelve if I count Mary Kate’s family).  I am married to the OG BAM, Mary Kate Olsen. We have a nine year old black lab, Devin, who thinks he is still a puppy. MK and I are very excited to welcome our first kiddo into the world this year!

Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)
I am originally from Wheeling and currently live in Arlington Heights.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
I had never tried CrossFit before I joined CFB in January of 2015.

Something you might not know about me is…
I originally went to school to be a Veterinarian and then changed my major to Criminal Justice after I decided I wanted to be a police officer.  Immediately after graduating, I was offered a job in the insurance business and 9 years later I sit in front of five computers every day and have twenty five direct reports. I also recently obtained my bachelor’s degree from NIU.

What do you remember about your first day of CrossFit? 
I remember how friendly all of the people in my foundations class were and thinking that my heart was going to explode. I quickly came to the realization that I needed to make some life style changes if I ever wanted to have any chance of one day working out on the level of all of my new found friends (and my wife too!).

What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit?
PR’s! There is no better feeling than beating your former self!

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
I love the tight knit group of people and the friendly competitive environment.

What motivates you to come to the box?
The main thing is the people but I also love to come in to “better” myself.

Sunrise, Daytime, or Evening? (What class do you usually attend)?
5:00 during the week, Oly and team on Saturdays.

What is your most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
I would have to say winning the Reindeer Games [December 2015] because I never thought I had a chance to win knowing the excellent athletes I was competing with.

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Clean & Jerk.

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Dem Damn Dubs.

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  (What is your biggest goal for 2016?)
Double Unders and Muscle Ups.

What would the perfect WOD look like?
Any AMRAP, preferably under 10 minutes that doesn’t include a jump rope or running. I’d like to see rollerblading become part of the arsenal of CrossFit movements.

What were you doing before CrossFit?
Playing roller hockey, softball, and watching a lot of TV.

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
I have lost over twenty pounds, feel a lot better about myself, and have notice I have significantly better stamina during hockey games.

What has been your favorite culinary discovery since starting CrossFit?
Quinoa, kale, and grass fed butter.

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
Bruce Banner aka The Incredible Hulk.

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?
I remember how intimidating it was day one but don’t let that deter you. You have made one of the best decisions of your life by joining this family and you won’t regret it!

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December 2015 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

Carolyn Bunnell

Get to know Carolyn – our Breakout Athlete of the Month for December!

CarolynBAMDec2015v2

Tell us a little bit about you…hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
I’m married for 8 years and live here in Wheeling.  No kids, but two cats. I love to golf, sew, quilt, cook and travel. Oh…and I’m a little interested in CrossFit.  I’ve been a 9-1-1 Dispatcher for 30 years (I lied about my age to get the job when I was only 10).

Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)
I grew up in Beach Park (and succeeded in spite of it).

How long have you been CrossFitting?
I’ve been CrossFitting for exactly one year…came for the free Wednesdays last November and you guys haven’t been able to get rid of me ever since.

Something you might not know about me is…
November 1st was my 1 year anniversary of losing 100lbs. It’s a struggle everyday.

What do you remember about your first day of CrossFit? 
Watching Dek do wall walks…thinking, NFW will I ever do that! Not walking yet but kicking up and holding, and inching my hands about 3 inches!  Also, staring down the 18” box, Jesse standing there saying: “you can do this”!

What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit?
I LOVE how I feel when I’m done; either exhilarated that I completed it, fighting back the tears because it was so hard but I finished it, or regret that I went “too light”.  Pretty broad range of emotions, but all of them make me stronger both inside and out.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
No judgements.  And also that it truly is a family. I love all you guys!

What motivates you to come to the box?
See previous two answers.

Sunrise, Daytime, or Evening? (What class do you usually attend)?
0930 is my usual, but I’ve been known to show up at 0630 or noon.

What is your most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
When I started, even though I’d been with a personal trainer for about 9 months, I had no upper body strength at all and was nursing a torn bicep. I could not even hang from a bar or do a wall kick-up. Now I can even kip a little with hanging knee raises, I can do banded pull-ups, move a couple inches on a wall-walk and I’m pretty sure I rocked those rings with some kipping knee raises about a month ago. My mobility is better than ever (getting below parallel) and getting those lifts overhead without pain.

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
My favorite WOD would be any WOD w/o Burpees or running.

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
See last question.

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  (What is your biggest goal for 2015?)
Toes to bar and unbanded pushups.

What would the perfect WOD look like?
Snatches, sit-ups, wallballs, and pull-ups. (Or actually anything that I could “RX” and not have to scale.)

What were you doing before CrossFit?
I love riding my bike in the summer, so I did a lot of riding…and working with a PT at F.I.T. Boutique in Deerfield. Nice place and people there.

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
My cardio stamina has greatly improved, as has my mobility. Eating clean has also played a huge part. Before I lost weight, I was on several medications for Hypertension, acid reflux, and asthma. I’m now medication free (except for the occasional exercise induced asthma issues, for which I do keep an inhaler on hand). But between diet and exercise (I sound like a PSA) I truly feel great, inside and out.

What has been your favorite culinary discovery since starting CrossFit?
Cauliflower mash and Paleo sloppy joes…oh, and Banana pancakes… (Sorry Jordyn, but they are sooooo good!)

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
If I could have just one superpower, it would be the ability to make all veterans whole.  Make sure they have jobs, homes, education, medical and never have to worry about anything the rest of their lives.

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?
Yes, it’s as hard as it looks, but you’ll be a better person for it.

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November 2015 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

Alan Baar

Get to know Alan – our Breakout Athlete of the Month for November!

AlanBAMNov2015

Tell us a little bit about you…hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
I am a CPA in Northbrook. I’m a Cubs and Hawks fan…and basically a fan of all Illinois sports teams. I like hanging with my dog Charlie (aka Charles Barkley), and hitting bombs in 16 inch softball on the weekends.

Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)
Wheeling, although I lived in Gurnee for most of my childhood.  I moved to Champaign for school, and now I’m back in Wheeling.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
Since February 2015.

Something you might not know about me is…
I played club baseball at U of I, and I have the best Jeep Wrangler at Breakout.

What do you remember about your first day of CrossFit? 
Realizing just how bad my mobility was and Josh doing his best to kill me during my first WOD.

What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit?
Being able to quantify the progress I’ve made and getting my ass kicked every day.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
Seeing everyone else come in and work hard makes me want to so the same.

What motivates you to come to the box?
Seeing how much more fit I am already makes me excited to see how far I can go.

Sunrise, Daytime, or Evening? (What class do you usually attend)?
Wish I was still a nooner but I’ve had to start coming at either 5:30am or 6pm.

What is your most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
400 lb deadlift club.

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
I don’t hate rope climbs or rowing.

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Overhead squats.

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  (What is your biggest goal for 2015?)
Make my squat numbers not terrible. Also, double unders.

What would the perfect WOD look like?
AMRAP Deadlifts, rope climbs and sit-ups.

What were you doing before CrossFit?
Treadmill and bicep curls.

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
Lungs are definitely better.

What has been your favorite culinary discovery since starting CrossFit?
None I still don’t eat clean.

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
The Hulk probably has some big PRs, so I would be him.

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?
Do what the coaches tell you and work hard and you’ll be amazed at what you can do.

_______________________________________

October 2015 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

Andrea Wehrle

Get to know Andrea – our Breakout Athlete of the Month for October!

DreaOct2015

Tell us a little bit about you…hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.

Right now I’m working as a medical assistant for NorthShore in Deerfield. I’m also applying to grad school with hopes of becoming a physician assistant. I currently live with my parents and I have an older sister who is a speech therapist. I love playing volleyball and soccer or any sport in my free time and running with my dog Mila. When I can, I like to volunteer for NWSRA which is an organization that coordinates activities for individuals with disabilities.

Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)
Mount Prospect, IL – grew up there and am still living there.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
I started in July of 2014, but I’ve been at Breakout since December 2014.

Something you might not know about me is…
I used to German dance. Hard to believe considering I’m the least graceful person.

What do you remember about your first day of CrossFit? 
I remember being nervous, but I also remember being welcomed by everyone at Breakout. I remember how great Josh was at explaining the movements in my free trial class and I knew that I was at a gym that focuses on doing the movements correctly.

What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit?
The variety of lifts, movements, and WODs. There’s always something to work on and improve. I’m never bored.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
My favorite part is how motivating everyone is. I always know that I’ll get pushed and cheered for throughout a workout. I can always count on others to keep me going when I’m struggling. I also love coming to the gym early just to talk to everyone.

What motivates you to come to the box?
Definitely the community. When I know that other people are going and working hard, it makes me want to come and do the same. Also knowing that the coaches sincerely want you to improve and get stronger.

Sunrise, Daytime, or Evening? (What class do you usually attend)?
Usually 5pm… I give a lot of credit to the 5:30am people!

What is your most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
I would have to say running a 400m in 1:18 or rowing a 500m in 1:45. I was never the fastest person in sports, but I was proud of this.

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Power cleans or back squats.

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
I would have to say burpees or wallballs. Those two movements have yet to get easier for me…

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  (What is your biggest goal for 2015?)
Snatches, pull ups, and rx HSPUs. Once my shoulder gets better!

What would the perfect WOD look like?
It would be long, it would be partner, and it would be something you never thought you could finish when you looked at the board.

What were you doing before CrossFit?
I was doing unproductive things with dumbbells and running 3-4 times per week. I don’t think I could ever go back to that!

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
I didn’t think my legs could get any bigger! I’ve definitely noticed I’m more mentally happy with myself. I’m really starting to become aware of my strengths and weaknesses and how to listen to my body.

What has been your favorite culinary discovery since starting CrossFit?
Realizing how much I need to eat to throughout the day to feel energized for a WOD and to replenish after. No complaints about that. :)

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
To be able to fly so I can see more places around the world.

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?
Stick with it. Most of the movements and workouts won’t come easy, but one day you’ll realize how far you’ve come and that the hard work is worth it. It will change your life. Get ready to become addicted.

Finally, what WOD will the coaches being doing in your honor? 
Filthy Fifty because this was one of the first WODs I did and I wasn’t sure if I was going to survive.

______________________________

September 2015 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

Dana Lichtenberger

Get to know “Lil D” – our Breakout Athlete of the Month for September!

DanaLichtSept2015-FINAL

Tell us a little bit about you…hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.

I’m finishing up my political science major at DePaul this year, with concentrations in environmental policy and peace and social justice studies.

I’m very interested in finding solutions to food desert areas of the city.  When it’s warm enough outside I volunteer in a community garden in East Garfield Park where we try to engage the surrounding community in creating their own resource for produce since grocery stores are few and far between.  I also helped build and volunteered at a for-profit hydroponics plant in the same neighborhood that employs people from the local homeless shelter, which attempts to solve the issue in a different way.

I work at ivivva.  I have also nannied forever. I love it to death.  I have one brother who just moved to Atlanta from LA and now surfs river spillways, and a sister that is actually an Australian Sheppard.

Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)
I was born and raised in Wheeling.  When my family talks about “going home” though, we always know it means to Fairfield, in Southern IL where my dad is from.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
Actually, in some form or another since 3 years ago this month.

Something you might not know about me is…
I’m a super serious cupcake baker.

What do you remember about your first day of CrossFit? 
I did my first CrossFit workout in my small group personal training class at the Ray (DePaul’s gym).  Our trainer also coached at the local box.  He made us do 7 minutes of burpees as a test, claiming it was what everyone did for initiation at his gym.  Mean! haha.  I couldn’t figure out how to put on a long sleeve shirt the next day (and for a few thereafter) because my arms/chest/god knows what were so sore.

What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit?
Weightlifting!

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
The support we give each other is tremendous.  We are kind to one another while pushing each other to be better, and fiercely look after our own.  We are family in the truest sense of the word.

What motivates you to come to the box?
Honestly, I usually just to hang out and catch up with everyone!  Lately, to stay on track with the lifting programming Jordyn, Mike and I have been working on, because I don’t want to waste all my hard work from previous weeks!

Sunrise, Daytime, or Evening? (What class do you usually attend)?
I’m usually a nooner!

What is your most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
This wasn’t my most recent but probably my happiest moment of CrossFit thus far: when I got my bodyweight snatch.  I guess you shouldn’t really happy cry for yourself, but I basically did.

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
I actually really enjoy when we do partner hero WODS.  In trying to keep up with my partner, I end up doing things I never thought I could do!

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
What Josh said is so true, things I don’t like are things I can’t do!  Found out toes to bar were the hidden enemy after that last competition [at Amplify Open].

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  (What is your biggest goal for 2015?)
I really need to work on gymnastics.   Handstand walks, toes to bar, muscle-ups, etc. so that I can do competitions Rx.

What would the perfect WOD look like?
It would be long, it would be partner, and it would be something you never thought you could finish when you looked at the board.

What were you doing before CrossFit?
Before CrossFit I did lots of HIIT training, ran a ton more distance, did yoga, and random weights things I remembered from high school strength and conditioning.  I didn’t have any programming or goals in mind really, just tried to feel like I killed it every day, and it wasn’t much fun.  I also still took dance at that point, which was definitely the highlight of my week’s workouts.

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
Too many to count.  I think the positive vibes that come from feeling strong and powerful every day are what affected my quality of life most though.

What has been your favorite culinary discovery since starting CrossFit?
Bulletproof coffee.

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
I would be Batman, except I could fly on my own.

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?
Baptism by fire.  Your body will be really sore at first, but that doesn’t mean don’t come the next day!  If you suck it up for a month or two, physically your body will start to adjust to the volume, and mentally, CF will become a habit!

Finally, what WOD will the coaches being doing in your honor? 
Can we do one together? :)

______________________________

August 2015 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

Niki Cardi

Get to know Niki Cardi – our Breakout Athlete of the Month for August!

NikiCardiAugust2015 - FINAL

Tell us a little bit about you…hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
Well, I’m pretty quiet until I get to know you.  I’m an Ultrasound Technologist for Advocate Health Care by day. Newbie CrossFitter by night. :)  I’m a huge dog nerd.  I used to work for a local vet and am very involved in dog obedience training. I have three pups: a pit bull, a pug, and a French bulldog.

Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)
I was born in Chicago and moved to Prospect Heights while in high school. Moved around the northern suburbs a bit and am now back in Prospect Heights!

How long have you been CrossFitting?
I completed my foundations course in December.

Something you might not know about me is…
Most people are very surprised to learn one of my hobbies is riding my motorcycle. I own a 2014 Harley Davidson Sportster Forty Eight.

What do you remember about your first day of CrossFit? 
I came in on a Saturday morning for the intro class with Jordyn. I got there early and was watching the 9:30 class do a Hero WOD. I remember thinking: “Niki, what have you gotten yourself into…” After the class with Jordyn, I couldn’t move for at least five days and knew it was something I was going to have to do.  :)

What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit?
I love the variety, I love seeing results. As a girl, it’s very empowering to be able to come in and kick ass in a WOD that you’re scared to death to attempt.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
It really is the sense of ‘family’ that you get. From that first day, everyone was very welcoming and made me feel at home.

What motivates you to come to the box?
The coaching and sense of team that I get there. I love seeing the old PRs that I’ve recorded in WODhopper, knowing that I tried my best at that time, and blasting past them to set new ones. It’s a huge sense of accomplishment.

Sunrise, Daytime, or Evening? (What class do you usually attend)?
I’m normally at the 5pm class.

What is your most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
Recently, I hit 200# on my deadlift!

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Love deadlifts and power cleans.

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
I know I’m supposed to say burpees, but honestly, it any kind of running or jump rope.

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  (What is your biggest goal for 2015?)
I’d love to do an unassisted pull up! Someday… soon… 😉

What would the perfect WOD look like?
I’m a big fan of AMRAPs.  Anything with toes to bar or deadlifts.

What were you doing before CrossFit?
I’ve completed a lot of the Beachbody home workout programs.  P90x and Turbo Jam were my favorites.

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
I have so much more energy and have a better outlook of my day. I’ve lost weight and gained muscle.

What has been your favorite culinary discovery since starting CrossFit?
The nutrition challenge in January allowed me to really get a visual breakdown of where my diet lacked important components. I’ve changed a lot of my diet needs to see results at the box.

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
I always wanted to be able to freeze time. Sometimes you need a pause to take a breather… or an opportunity to smack someone in the head without being caught…

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?
Just get in and do your best. The coaching is amazing and the team aspect cannot be beat. If it’s out of your comfort zone: good! Sometimes you need to be pushed to realize just what you can do.

Finally, what WOD will the coaches being doing in your honor? 
Um… probably my namesake? NICOLE! Running and pull ups… oh my!

______________________________

July 2015 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

Johnny Angel

Get to know Johnny Angel – our Breakout Athlete of the Month for July!

Johnny2b_Fotor

Tell us a little bit about you…hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
Well for those of you who are wondering, who’s that tall drink of water?  I’m Johnny Angel.  I’m 39 years old, am married to my best friend Ursula. We have two dogs Motts (the pug) and Bow (the boxer).  We have just moved down here from McHenry, IL. Besides watching sports and movies I’m getting into this thing called CrossFit. Have you heard of it?

Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)
I was born in Illinois, but moved up to Wisconsin when I was about 11. So I consider my roots to be in the small little town of Williams Bay, WI (which is the bay of Lake Geneva).

How long have you been CrossFitting?
Technically I just had my one year anniversary being a CrossFitter, but I only count my time at CFB, so in that case I’m heading into 7 months.

Something you might not know about me is…
Hmmm, let’s see, I love to camp, hike, and canoe. I was also a youth coach for a flag football team. I am a cupcake connoisseur. Oh yeah I’m allergic to cats, so naturally I’m not a fan.

What do you remember about your first day of CrossFit? 
That I was extremely nervous and all I wanted to do was run away, and that was before I got out of my car. Everything else I don’t remember because I was just trying to survive.

What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit?
What do I LOVE?  There is so much about CrossFit that I love…1) The benefits of believing in yourself; 2) The constant challenges you face; 3) The people you meet, bond with, and become not only friends but family; 4) The gear/apparel (I’m a sucker for that stuff; 5) The PRs of not just yourself, but more importantly your CFB family.  There is nothing like watching someone succeed, where they once have failed.  I could go on but I think you get it.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
The Community!!!! You guys are apple pie. There is something special here. I have never been around a bunch of people that makes me feel at home, and truly brings out the drive to not only be a good CrossFitter but a better person.  I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!

What motivates you to come to the box?
LOL…I think I answered it above.

Sunrise, Daytime, or Evening? (What class do you usually attend)?
I usually attend the 5:00pm class, but I’ve been known to arrive a little early and stay late working on stuff.

What is your most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
It would have to be competing. I never thought I would actually do it.

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?

Favorite WOD would have to be Grace.
Favorite Skill would have to be Muscle Ups.
Favorite Lift: Snatch.

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Running!!! But I intend to change that. Right, Mary Kate?

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  (What is your biggest goal for 2015?)
LOL…Honestly all of them! No joke this stuff is hard! I don’t think I will ever consider myself a master of any of them.

What would the perfect WOD look like?
Something that gets you out of the gym, like swimming, Trail running, beach stuff.

What were you doing before CrossFit?
I did every DVD workout, the P90X’s insanity, and yes Tae-Bo!

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
Before CrossFit, I had an extremely weak lower back that would pull on a moment’s notice, setting me back at least a week. It made me feel old and scared to move at times. Since joining CrossFit I have had no lower back problems. Thank you CrossFit!

What has been your favorite culinary discovery since starting CrossFit?
LOL…Kill Cliff.

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
Captain America…Duh!

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?
I would tell them: Leave the ego at home. Embrace the process not the results. Relax. Have fun. Workout.

Finally, what WOD will the coaches being doing in your honor? 
Frantasy Land, you’re welcome! (Scale accordingly)

______________________________

June 2015 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

Kim Hawkins

Get to know Kim Hawkins – our Breakout Athlete of the Month for June!

Kim Hawkins - June 2015_Fotor

Tell us a little bit about you…hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
I have two kids, Teddy and Avery.  My life mostly revolves are them, work, and CrossFit!

Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)
I’m basically a townie. I grew up in Lincolnshire and still live there.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
That’s always a tricky question.  I guess I have been doing legitimate CrossFit for about a year and a half. Before that I was doing a CrossFit style boot camp.

Something you might not know about me is…
Hmmm….I used to be a group fitness instructor. (As in the totally embarrassing stereo-typical kind you picture in your head when you hear the term “fitness instructor!)

What do you remember about your first day of CrossFit? 
I remember that we did deadlifts and I felt like a total bad ass. Followed by the feeling of not being able to sit down or stand up for a week.

What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit?
I am super competitive by nature so I love that you can compete with yourself. Everything is measurable in a real and quantifiable way so you know exactly where you stand and can push to beat your previous best.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
I love that we are so supportive, dedicated, and inspiring. I may be biased but I also think that we are the most inappropriately hilarious group of bad asses!

What motivates you to come to the box?
I think that being physically fit is super important and I want my children to see me living a healthy lifestyle. Also, my life is crazy, so coming to the box and seeing my box family helps me clear my head and remember the important things in life.

Sunrise, Daytime, or Evening? (What class do you usually attend)?
I like to come to the 5pm class but life has been hectic so sometimes I have to settle for open gym (which  sucks because I hate working out alone!)

What is your most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
I think my biggest accomplishment lately was doing Murph by myself.  It was more of a mental struggle than anything else and that’s saying something because you all know how physically challenging it is!

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
I love the EMOMs with 100 reps of a movement broken up by some burpees or DU’s.

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
I hate any WOD that has heavy front squats in it.

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  (What is your biggest goal for 2015?)
I would like to improve my power snatch.  I can tell there is something wrong with my bar path. I think if I can sort that out the gains would follow.

What would the perfect WOD look like?
I like Helen. There’s lots of cardio and the weight isn’t too heavy.

What were you doing before CrossFit?
I was doing boot camp at Lifetime and training/racing triathlons.

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
I am soooo much stronger than I used to be.  I’m fairly certain now that if there is an apocalypse I will be able to survive.

What has been your favorite culinary discovery since starting CrossFit?
Bun-less burgers and sweet potatoes, I could eat them twice a day.

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
Ummmm…Wonder Woman, is there anyone better!?!

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?
Stick with it. You have to work hard for it but the gains are so much fun!

Finally, what WOD will the coaches being doing in your honor? 
100 slam balls for time, 5 burpees EMOM.

______________________________

May 2015 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

Phil Ryu

Get to know Phil Ryu – our Breakout Athlete of the Month for May!

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Tell us a little bit about you…hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
My name is Phil Ryu.  I enjoy watching sports, drinking whiskey, and working out.  I enjoy live music and playing music.

Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)
Deerfield.

How long have you been CrossFitting?Phil Ryu - May 2015 BAM
Since September 2014.

Something you might not know about me is…
I am somewhat of a starving songwriter/musician… probably starving because I’m still not very good at it. :)

What do you remember about your first day of CrossFit? 
I just remember going home thinking how much fun it was to work out.

What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit?
The people.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
It’s always great to surround yourself with supportive people who will encourage and push you to do better and be better.

What motivates you to come to the box?
To be the best me that I can be.

Sunrise, Daytime, or Evening? (What class do you usually attend)?
I usually attend the 6PM class.

What is your most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
195# clean!

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Cleans.

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Burpees.

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  (What is your biggest goal for 2015?)
Ring muscle-ups.

What would the perfect WOD look like?
Something with ice cream or beer?

What were you doing before CrossFit?
Just the usual weight lifting at a gym.

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
My stamina and endurance have gotten better.  Cardio has improved also.

What has been your favorite culinary discovery since starting CrossFit?
None yet. :(

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
Iron Man.

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?
You might want to invest into a foam roller. :)

Finally, what WOD will the coaches being doing in your honor? 
Diane?

______________________________

 

April 2015 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

Kimberly “Kimmy” Corsini

Get to know Kim “Kimmy” Corsini – our Breakout Athlete of the Month for April!

AprilBAM2015

Kimmy looks STRONG working on her bar muscle-ups!

Tell us a little bit about you…hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
Hi. I’m a hair stylist and love it…I don’t have to sit and I get to talk with my clients throughout the day.  Love it.  I have the best wife in the world and together we have 5 beautiful doggies. My parents are retired and now live in Tucson. I have a younger brother who lives in the area.

Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)
I grew up in Deerfield, IL and we currently live in Wheeling; 1 minute from the box!!!

How long have you been CrossFitting?Phil Ryu - May 2015 BAM
1 year and 3 months.

Something you might not know about me is…
I volunteer at a local animal shelter, Orphans of the Storm. In a perfect world, every dog would have a home.

What do you remember about your first day of CrossFit? 
I could not wait to do a handstand push-up.

What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit?
I love the challenge each and every day.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
I love that everyone encourages each other and helps each other get through the WOD.

What motivates you to come to the box?
I love how I feel when I finish the WOD and the results I have achieved.

Sunrise, Daytime, or Evening? (What class do you usually attend)?
5pm.

What is your most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
My power clean 95#, hope to have better form very soon!!!!

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Ball slams, burpees, back and front squats.

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Snatches. It has been a very difficult movement for me to understand the proper form. Hopefully my tutor, Coach Jordyn will successfully correct this!

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  (What is your biggest goal for 2015?)
My goal is to master snatches. (Please don’t tell my wife!!) LOL

What would the perfect WOD look like?
Love them all.

What were you doing before CrossFit?
I worked out with a trainer at my house twice a week and the rest of the week myself. I also ran much more than I do now.

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
I have gotten stronger.

What has been your favorite culinary discovery since starting CrossFit?
Supplements and eating clean again.

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
Iron Woman.

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?
Get your form right.   Never quit and never say you can’t.

Finally, what WOD will the coaches being doing in your honor? 
50/50.

______________________________

March 2015 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

Ken Bruckner

Get to know Ken Bruckner – our Breakout Athlete of the Month for March!

KenMarch2015BAM.jpg

Tell us a little bit about you…hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
I will be married 20 years this November, 1st.   I have a daughter (Ellie), 3 dogs (Shiner, Butch and Otto), and 2 horses (Comet and Sampson).  I am a partner in V&L Red Devil Mfg., Inc. in Wheeling.  I like all things hockey.  I played when I was a kid and I coach now.  Hockey is my true passion.  If there was a way to have inadequate skill but still make a buck doing it I would be doing it for a living.

Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)
I was born and raised in Mt. Prospect.  I live in Deer Park now.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
I started CrossFitting a couple of years ago.  I’ve been at Breakout since last August.

Something you might not know about me is…
Despite living in the Chicago, area I would much rather live in the country.  Crowds make me a bit itchy and I like the solitude of the woods or the farm vs. the hustle and bustle of city life.

What do you remember about your first day of CrossFit? 
2 things: First was the energy in the building.  It was obvious that everyone there wanted to be there vs feeling they had to be there.  Second was the awe in watching one of the brothers that owned the first CrossFit gym I went to, a relatively diminutive guy, squatting 500 pounds.

What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit?
The variety.  It’s really easy to find yourself stuck in a rut doing traditional powerlifting but there is a myriad of exercises with CrossFit, as well as several variations of those exercises, that keep the monotony at bay.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
Just that…the feeling of family.  You can immerse yourself in it as deeply as you want to.  There is a genuine feeling of camaraderie at Breakout.

What motivates you to come to the box as often as you do?
Aside from the obvious fitness benefits, the coaching and friendships.

Sunrise, Daytime, or Evening? (What class do you usually attend)?
I am a serial nooner.  There are some remote sightings in the morning or evening but the gym is less than 5 minutes from my shop so it is easy to get there on the lunch break.

What is your most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
405# deadlift.

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Deadlift, back squat or power cleans…take your pick.

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Overhead squats.  They are the great equalizer of CrossFit…

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  (What is your biggest goal for 2015?)
DOUBLE UNDERS!!!!!!  Having to do 3 singles for every DU programmed is a killer.

What would the perfect WOD look like?
No bodyweight movements…LOL!

What were you doing before CrossFit?
Sitting around getting fat and wishing I was more active.

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
Stronger, faster, leaner.  Exactly what I was looking for!

What has been your favorite culinary discovery since starting CrossFit?
Meat, meat, and more meat.  A carnivore’s delight.  We did a nutrition challenge beginning early this year and I have learned an immense amount about the kind of calories going in vs the amount of calories going in.  I’m kind of a science nerd too, so having it presented to me with facts and then applying it and observing the results appeals to me.

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
I have an intolerable hatred for ignorance so I guess it would be to eliminate stupidity from the world.

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?
#1: DON’T QUIT!!!!!!!  Stick it out, ask questions, and you WILL see results.

Finally, what WOD will the coaches being doing in your honor? 
I’ve been lobbying for stationary log rolls for a long time but I keep getting overruled so that would be a waste of time.  I kind of like the feeling of complete exhaustion at the end of a good WOD so I would say some incantation of “Filthy Fifty” would be good.

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February 2015 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

Renee Nickele

Get to know Renee Nickele – our Breakout Athlete of the Month for February!

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Tell us a little bit about you…hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
The immediate family consists of my husband, Papa Horton (Chris) and our two children, Pup (Reno) and Aryana.  Being Italian and Irish, the extended family goes on forever which makes for lots of laughs. Creating gifts with my sewing machine brings me great joy.

Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)
That toddlin’ town.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
Seven months.

Something you might not know about me is…
Being older than Title IX (Educational Amendment of 1972), my formal childhood sports training consisted of some unqualified observer telling me, “you’re doing it wrong.”  That wasn’t very helpful.  Luckily, my mom still encouraged me to participate in every sport.  She would say, “If I can do it, you can.”  I did not find out until adulthood that my Mom couldn’t swim, skate, ski, etc.  It was just one of her ways to offer me the world.  Nike should pay my Mom royalties for “just do it.”

What do you remember about your first day of CrossFit? 
Butterflies. They dissipated, however, once the coaches started the class and somehow made me believe that I belonged here.

What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit?
The thing I most enjoy about CrossFit is the community.  Not just at Breakout, where the best people in the world come to train and be trained, but the worldwide population of CrossFit.  Now wherever we travel, we stop at the local box to work out.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
Family is the ideal word to use when referring to Breakout.  It is a pleasure to be welcomed every time one comes to the box.  Members are truly glad to see each other. This atmosphere is seeded and perpetuated by Coaches Josh and Jordyn. Beyond this, both coaches are extremely knowledgeable in the field of exercise science. Each has a dynamic character and works to continually grow themselves and their skills. These attributes all work to our benefit. Josh and Jordyn have patience and a true desire to help each member improve. Activities inside and outside the box (pun intended) are just plain fun.

What motivates you to come to the box as often as you do?
Results!

Sunrise, Daytime, or Evening? (What class do you usually attend)?
9:30 am.  Attending in the morning sets the tone for my day.

What is your most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
My most recent PR was today (2/3/15): 50# power snatch!

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Throwing weight over my head, when I get it right!

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Pull ups.

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  (What is your biggest goal for 2015?)
Hand Stand Push Up.

What would the perfect WOD look like?
Any WOD where each movement is a challenge but the beginning of the following movement actually feels like rest (for a little while).  Josh and Jordyn design these types of workouts so I’ll leave that to their expertise.

What were you doing before CrossFit?
Biking (which has been my one of my favorite activities, since forever) and running.

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
CrossFitting regularly has lessened the frequency and intensity of my headaches while increasing my confidence and energy level. My diet is pretty clean. I cook constantly and always use fresh and varied ingredients. Still my diet has improved because of the new exercise plan. Snacks, especially sugar and excess carbs are unappealing because they’ll negatively affect my next workout.

What has been your favorite culinary discovery since starting CrossFit?
Protein shakes. Shout out to Reno, my first and absolute favorite physical fitness instructor! Reno encouraged me to start cleaning up my diet three years ago. Then when he started CrossFit, back in Norway, Reno started coaching me on some movements, pushups and squats for example.  When Chris and I attended Foundations, Josh explained the importance of recovery fuel but I thought, yuk, “I’m not eating that!”  Seeing me drag around the house, Reno set me right.  Now I love that post workout aid, no more dragging about.

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
Elastigirl (a.k.a. Mrs. Incredible) because she is a super hero and a terrific Mom.  Plus she has mad mobility.

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?
Welcome, it just keeps getting better.

Finally, what WOD will the coaches being doing in your honor? 
The Education WOD:  Rx 135/95
For Time:
30 cal Row
10 Snatch
20 OH Walk Lunge
10 Squat Clean
20 GHD
10 Press
30 Burpee
10 Thruster

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January 2015 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

Hideko Szymanski

Get to know Hideko Szymanski – our Breakout Athlete of the Month for January!

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Here’s “Dek” stretching out those shoulders and arms during a road trip pit stop.  She never misses a chance to get a little mobility in…

Tell us a little bit about you…hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
Well, believe it or not I do have a few other interests besides CrossFit.  I love to cook, craft, decorate our home, sing and dance with the kids (even though I’m not the best).  There is no better way to spend down time than at home with my kids and hubby!  Our home is my safe place. Cozy, comfy and perfect to me.

Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)
I wish I had some really cool story, but I don’t.  I was born and raised in Lake County, IL and still live there.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
This is a funny, complicated and loaded question.  I like to tell people that I have been CrossFitting since the start of Breakout, but I guess that would be a flat out lie.  I have been “full time” CrossFitting since December 2013, but I was introduced to it in 2011.  At that time I was a member at LifeTime Fitness and did a Bootcamp 3x a week.  We did a lot of CrossFit type movements and workouts. I also tried a few boxes in the area, but never felt the fit was right.

Something you might not know about me is…
Let’s see………I’m going to be the big “40” this summer.  I know, I know you all thought I was 25 (wink wink) YUCK!  Not ready for it, but no way of turning back the clock.  I’m going to try and embrace it and make my 40s better than my 30s.

What do you remember about your first day of CrossFit? 
I remember being very scared and intimidated by it.  All these strong people, mostly woman killing the workouts.

What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit?
CrossFit has really helped me find my strength.  I had always worked out but never really felt happy with how I looked.  I was very hung up on my weight.  Ever since starting CrossFit I have learned to like my new self.  To forget about the numbers on the scale or how my jeans fit.  Who wears jeans anyway?  Don’t we all live in Lulu?  I never in a million years thought I would be one of those strong women who could actually do a pull up.  Wouldn’t you know it, I can now.  I LOVE my new strong self :).

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
Where do I begin?  The community, the coaches, my best friend Cindi! It’s my home-away-from-home.  I can’t tell you how much I enjoy being surrounded by so many strong people inside and out.  I’ve never had so many friends in one place.

What motivates you to come to the box as often as you do?
Some might say I have an obsession, but really? It could be worse.  I need to, want to, love to workout!  No other way to put it.

Sunrise, Daytime, or Evening? (What class do you usually attend)?
I normally hit the 9:30 or noon.  Wish I could do evening, but with kids and being a taxi driver, it’s nearly impossible.

What is your most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
I guess my most recent accomplishment would have to be cleans and snatches.  I’ve been working on hitting at the right points.  It’s amazing how easy they feel when you do them correctly.  Thanks, Coach J!

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
My favorite movement would probably have to be squats.  Shocker right? It’s one of those movements that just comes super easy and I can do well.

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Now for the least… Double Unders!!!!!!! They will be the death of me, but one day, hopefully soon I will be able to keep up with the big dogs: Jordyn, MK and Josh.  I’ll just be all stealth about it! Hopefully.

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  (What is your biggest goal for 2015?)
Biggest goal for this year is going to be the muscle up.  It has to come back.  Need to get out of my head about it and JUST DO IT!!!!

What would the perfect WOD look like?
I guess maybe a wod with handstand pushups, deadlifts, squats. I have to admit anything besides a double under.

What were you doing before CrossFit?
Before I started CrossFitting I did Bootcamp 3x’s a week, ran and biked.

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
Overall I would have to say my appearance.  Always wanted some nice defined arms.  Be careful what you ask for!!!!!

What has been your favorite culinary discovery since starting CrossFit?
Schmidley’s Chocolate Chip Cookies and Paul and Anna’s Chorizo stuffed bacon wrapped dates!!!! Both are the bomb.

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
I don’t want a super power – I just want to be 5’6”!!!!!!!! Wait…..I am, never mind.

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?
That it’s the BEST PLACE on EARTH!!!!  Give it a chance and it’s life changing.  Stay patient and have fun.

Finally, what WOD will the coaches being doing in your honor?
Air squat race! But I want in on the action so I can actually beat Josh :)!

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December 2014 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

Amy Grossman

Get to know Amy Grossman – our Breakout Athlete of the Month for December!

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Tell us a little bit about you…hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
My name is Amy Grossman and I am going to be 40 years old in January (AHHH). Working out has always been a part of my life; it has just looked different through the years! I was a competitive Gymnast from the age of 6-18. I went to Stevenson High School and was on the Varsity Gymnastics Team all four years. I was also on student council and class board. I went to Northern Illinois University where I was a Stunt Cheerleader for two years. I was also in the Delta Gamma sorority for all four years I graduated with a degree in Elementary Education and taught at Jefferson Middle School in Waukegan Illinois to 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students. I taught Math, Communications, and Health.

I married Brad Grossman in 2003 and had David in 2005. He is now 9 years old.  In 2011 I had Ellie. She is now 3 years old (and NOT potty trained, so if anyone has any tips, please let me know).

I went from the classroom to Administration after receiving my Masters in Educational Leadership in 2007. I still work in Waukegan Public Schools, but now at the District Office. I am the Middle Level Program and Professional Development Coordinator, which mean I work with the Middle School Admin and Staff on Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment AND plan Professional Development Workshops District-Wide PreK-12.  I have passed all my tests to become a building principal and I hope someday I will be able to do that.

Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)
I am from Buffalo Grove Illinois and still live there with my husband and two kids.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
I tried “real” Cross Fit at KILTER in July 2013, but only made it to class every Saturday. Since Breakout opened in December 2013, I have been going to classes on average 4-5 times a week!

Something you might not know about me is…
I am really 6 feet tall!! Ha, J/K…I’m really an open book.

What do you remember about your first day of CrossFit?  
The sense of community, everyone encourages everyone else.

What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit? 
Being coached… little tips that make me better AND getting stronger… the feeling I get after I hit another benchmark.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
Feeling the support in and out of the Box. I have been through a lot in the last 5 months. My Breakout family has sent messages, texts, and always asks about things when I see them.

What motivates you to come to the box as often as you do?
The coaches, the workouts, the people!! I love it all! :)

Sunrise, Daytime, or Evening? (What class do you usually attend)?
5:30AM Baby!!!! (Some days, 5:35) BURPEES!!

What is your most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
Probably Deadlifts… Before Breakout, my max was 175. During this last round of PRs I hit 210.

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
I love Deadlifts or Handstand Push Ups.

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Wall Balls… Boo!!!

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  (What is your biggest goal for 2014?)
I would love to get a muscle up on the rings, double unders, and/or climb the rope!

What would the perfect WOD look like?
HA, Perfect WOD… Is there such thing?? I love any WOD that I can do Rx! Oh… and NO running, rowing (meters or calories), wall balls, burpees, or anything for distance that I am at a disadvantage!

What were you doing before CrossFit?
Alpha Bootcamp at Lifetime 3x a week. Cardio, yoga, isolated body parts :)

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
I am a lot stronger, muscle mass is coming back!

What has been your favorite culinary discovery since starting CrossFit?
Hmmmm… Well, I know you want me to say (Spunky Dunkers), but I still haven’t tried them.

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
Wonder Woman… cuz she is one BADASS WOMAN!

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?
I am always trying to tell people how amazing it is at Breakout. The workouts are hard as hell, but fit into one hour’s time… warm-up, mobility, strength, WOD… and even though I have been a part of the community for about a year, I still love when the coaches give me tips. They watch what we do and correct us so we are more efficient and don’t get hurt. They also are genuinely happy when we reach a new PR or accomplish something we have been trying to get… It’s ALWAYS having someone there for you!

Finally, what WOD will the coaches being doing in your honor? 
Wait, I get to create a WOD…. Just for Silver and Jordyn??? Pressure is on… Let me think about this one!

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November 2014 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

Steve “ESTIF” Ferrer

Get to know Steve Ferrer – our Breakout Athlete of the Month for November!

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Tell us a little bit about you…hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
I’m 28 years old, I work at Architex Intl. (in customer service), I have 2 daughters that are 99.9% of my LIFE (Yaneliz & Kamila), and I love to play softball.

Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)
Chicago, IL – Northside LOGAN SQUARE.

 How long have you been CrossFitting?
5 Months and I LOVE IT!!!!!!!

Something you might not know about me is…
I enjoy cooking for the family and I love dancing and singing.

What do you remember about your first day of CrossFit? 
Coach Jesse kicking my ass (TABATA).  From that moment on I knew what to expect from CFB.

What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit?
I enjoy the pain & soreness.  CrossFit makes me do things I’m not good at; it’s fun.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
I love the coaches first of all (J, JOSH, JESSE) – you guys are more than AWESOME!!!  The excitement and motivation everyone brings to CFB.

What motivates you to come to the box as often as you do?
The intensity of the WODs.

Sunrise, Daytime, or Evening? (What class do you usually attend)?
Evening.

What is your most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
My recent PR is a 415# deadlift.  My biggest accomplishment is DUs.

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
S2O and Deadlifts.

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Thrusters and Burpees.

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  (What is your biggest goal for 2014?)
I want to back squat 405# by the end of the year.

What would the perfect WOD look like?
No perfect WOD; I enjoy every WOD.

What were you doing before CrossFit?
Xsports.

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
I’ve noticed my strength has increased.

What has been your favorite culinary discovery since starting CrossFit?
Spunky Dunkers.

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
Flash.

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?
“Welcome to the CFB family.”

Finally, what WOD will the coaches being doing in your honor?
29KB swings (70#)
4 rope climbs
25 deadlifts (185#)
86 S2O (95#)
29 pullups

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October 2014 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

Chris Horton

Get to know Chris Horton (or as we like to call him “Papa Horton”) – our Breakout Athlete of the Month for October!

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Tell us a little bit about you…hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
As Reno’s Dad, my nickname, “Papa Horton,” was something that was started sometime this past summer by Coach Jordyn and it stuck.  I liked it, and made it official by changing my profile name in WODHOPPER a couple months ago.

Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)
The place I consider my hometown is McLean, Virginia, which is inside the Capital beltway outside of Washington D.C., only because it is the place I lived the longest as a child. I grew up as an “IBM” brat, and had the pleasure of living in Arlington, Virginia, Sacramento, California, Tokyo, Japan, McLean, Virginia, Munich, Germany, and back to McLean just around my 10th birthday!  I continued to live in McLean until I graduated from high school.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
Renee, my wife, and I started CrossFit Foundations in April of this year at CrossFit Breakout…so, only 6 months.  Some days it seems longer, and other days it feels like I’m just starting – especially when I am very sore after a workout.  Does that ever stop!?

Something you might not know about me is…
My family and I lived in Norway from January 2012 to September of 2013.  Norway has a great culture, a coveted work ethic, and it is a wonderfully scenic country, and certainly well worth visiting.  Just save your pennies, it is an expensive country.

What do you remember about your first day of CrossFit? 
I don’t, since I probably wouldn’t have come back!  LOL! Seriously, what I do remember are wonderful coaches, patient instructions, and thinking – did I really sign up for this class?

What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit?
The drive to improve my strength and flexibility is something that I enjoy.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
Everyone is wonderful to be around, and that positive attitudes fill the space!  We all speak of the difficulties within a particular WOD, or limitations we individually have to overcome, but the discussions are always framed by “how can I improve.”

What motivates you to come to the box as often as you do?
My health – and the fact that Reno just keeps getting stronger – and we all know that the “Dad” has to be stronger than the son.  (Don’t tell him, but I think he is already stronger than me!)

Sunrise, Daytime, or Evening? (What class do you usually attend)?
Interesting question.  After completing Foundations, I was in search of a new career, so Renee and I came together to the 9:30 AM class.  Once I got a job, I attended the 6:00 PM class, twice a week, and also attended the Saturday 9:30 AM session to complete my 3-a-Week ticket.  As of today, I am back to mornings with Renee.  Hopefully I will soon be back to evenings and Saturdays….

What is your most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
I had two most recent PRs.  They were the Push Jerk and Split Jerk, at 165# and 170#, respectively.   However, what I consider my biggest accomplishment is getting more flexible throughout my shoulders and my hips.  It is making the movements easier – and I’m all for easier.

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
One that I can do without Josh saying to class, “If you are doing this….”  I know that all he is doing is telling the class what I am doing incorrectly, and telling everyone to learn from my poor form and techniques. (LOL)

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
In general, any exercise in which I need to hang from a bar, or rings, are my least favorite, including Toes-to-Bar (T2B), Pull-Ups (you pick), etc.  Hanging is difficult, since I have had two major injuries to my left shoulder and surgery on my right.  I try to work within my “safety zone” and not let it bother me.  I know certain movements are – let’s just say – a dream.

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  (What is your biggest goal for 2014?)
As someone that would qualify for the Masters age group, my goals are about form, flexibility and health, and not if I can win it all.  My overall goal for 2014 and beyond it to stay fit, active, strong, and to stay healthy by learning how to perform the movements better all the time – and to occasionally do as well, or better, than the young guns.

What would the perfect WOD look like?
It would have a variety of movements rather than just a couple, which affords you the opportunity to move around some and it may have a movement, lift, etc. that you enjoy more.

What were you doing before CrossFit?
For years I had been running, but always had difficulties because of plantar fasciitis.  Despite the foot issues, I enjoyed running because of the silence it provided, the opportunity to be outside, in all kinds of weather, and to clear your head.  Over the last year and a half, Reno had been suggesting more CrossFit type exercises for Renee and me to do at home.  However, no matter how well I did them at home, it did not prepare me enough for the transition to Breakout.

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
I feel better, and most importantly, Renee says I’m snoring less!  So, I’m getting punched less while I sleep – and probably sleeping better because of it.

What has been your favorite culinary discovery since starting CrossFit?
Amino Energy drinks during the WOD, and protein powder shakes afterwards.  If I miss either, I can tell the difference.

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
As a child, I always enjoyed watching Ultra Man, and as a teenager I read Spiderman in the daily newspapers.  However, as for now, I would have to say that the ability to magically fix or clean up would be great – a cross between “Bewitched” and “I Dream of Jeanie.”  Anything to free up time from the daily chores we all have would be more beneficial than some amazing super powers that you could only use to fight evil.

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?
Have fun.  Work hard.  Listen to the coaches, and don’t be late for class unless you like Burpees!

Finally, what WOD will the coaches being doing in your honor?
On Reno’s birthday the coaches chose the “Deck of Cards” WOD, but I was unable to participate.  I thought it was a fun way to compete as a team, and randomly complete different movements.

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September 2014 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

Sandee Lindorfer

Get to know Sandee Lindorfer – our Breakout Athlete of the Month for September!!

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Tell us a little bit about you…hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
I love to travel as often as possible for vacation with family and friends. My hobbies are skiing, rollerblading, pub crawling and hanging out at the beach. My son, Freddie, he’s 24 and my pride and joy. My husband Dietz, is awesome and we will be celebrating our 4 year anniversary on Oct. 16th. I will be celebrating my 18th year with Allstate Insurance on Dec. 2nd. My dog, Foster, is a 9 year old Wheaton Terrier.

Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)
I was born and raised in Chicago – moved to the ‘burbs 21 years ago.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
Started in December when the box opened.

Something you might not know about me is…
I am a girlie-girl even though I have 3 older brothers and no sisters…and I am deathly afraid of heights.

What do you remember about your first day of CrossFit? 
The voice in my head kept telling me “Sandee you are way in over your head here…”

What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit?
All the wonderful people that make up our community.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
The friendships I have made and the inspiration that all of you give me each and every day!

What motivates you to come to the box as often as you do?
I want to improve my skills and my form…and see Tucker :).

Sunrise, Daytime, or Evening? (What class do you usually attend)?
Evening.

What is your most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
Reduced my time for Annie by one minute.

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Toss up between dead lifts and cleans.

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Burpees!

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  (What is your biggest goal for 2014?)
Squat – good form…and pull up – no bands.

What would the perfect WOD look like?
NO burpees!

What were you doing before CrossFit?
Training with Josh and classes at Lifetime.

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
My endurance, strength and balance has improved.

What has been your favorite culinary discovery since starting CrossFit?
Zucchini Noodles, Cider and Kill Cliff.

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
Thundra.

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?
Listen to our coaches.

Finally, what WOD will the coaches being doing in your honor?
Fight Gone Bad

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August 2014 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

Jessica Schmidley

Get to know Jessica Schmidley – our Breakout Athlete of the Month for August!!

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Tell us a little bit about you…hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
I have 4 siblings: 2 older brothers and 2 younger sisters, and 3 awesome nephews.  We are all very different, but find a way to get along…most of the time.  I’m the favorite.

I met my husband Phil when we were in college (we’ve been together for 9 1/2 years).  We worked at a coffee shop together – I was his supervisor and we had to keep our relationship a secret for a long time, very scandalous.  It wasn’t really love at first sight; I was typically annoyed with him because all the girls at work were always crowded around him, giggling and no one got their work done.  At least that’s how I remember it.  (Um, hi, this milk isn’t going to steam itself!)

Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)
I was raised in Grayslake, IL in a roughly 100 year old home until I went to college.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
Since January Foundations this year, so about 7 months!

Something you might not know about me is…
I teach Pilates for a living.  I have been a certified Pilates Apparatus Instructor for about 8 years.   I love my job.  I have the best clients in the world, and I just love going to work every day!  CrossFit was a big challenge for me, especially when I spend my whole day telling people to keep their shoulders down and release their traps.  But I’ve learned to keep my Pilates in the studio and shrug when I need to at CrossFit.  I also have a pretty dark twisted sense of humor.  Phil is usually one of the only people who sees this side – he just shakes his head and says, “I wish other people could hear what you just said, because no one would ever believe me if I told them.”

What do you remember about your first day of CrossFit? 
We came to one of the Saturday trial classes.  Pretty simple: it was air squats, burpees, wall balls, pullups (with lots of help from bands), kettle bell swings and situps.  I have exercised and participated in sports my whole life, but this was different.  I was really winded!  How can you get out of breath in a workout that only lasts 15 minutes or so?  Basically I was hooked. I couldn’t wait to get started with Foundations as soon as possible.

What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit?
The confidence it gives me!  I feel so strong and healthy.  I have never been so comfortable in my own skin in my whole life. I was always worried about what I weighed, how my clothes fit, what size jeans I wore, obsessed over food.  Now I worry about getting the proper nutrition to fuel my workouts, because it does make a difference.  I don’t worry about my butt being too big…because it’s a point of pride for most female CrossFitters!  All those silly worries have floated away because I am aware of what my body can do now, versus what it looks like.  I looked at our wedding picture not that long ago and said to Phil “ugh, my arms were so tiny, gross”.  So that shows where my mind is at now.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
Everyone is so different, such a diverse group, and yet everyone gets along so well! I love that we all motivate each other. Lisa and I are constantly checking in, wondering what the other one is doing/lifting…she kills me on bodyweight movements because she’s just so quick, but I have a bit of an edge on strength. So we are able to push each other in our own ways.  I love that.

What motivates you to come to the box as often as you do?
I want to get better at everything!  I never want to miss a chance to work certain movements that are difficult for me, like snatch and overhead squats.  But I also love coming in and working on something that I feel strong at, like front squats or rowing.  There’s nothing like leaving at the end of a class and knowing that you did well.

Sunrise, Daytime, or Evening? (What class do you usually attend)?
Mostly evening, but I try to sneak away at lunchtime for a “nooner” when I can.  We always try to come to the Saturday open gym – that’s always one of my favorite workout sessions of the week.  We do WODs that we missed during the week, work on skills, make up some silly EMOMs…it’s a good time.

What is your most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
My biggest accomplishment, by far, has been handstand pushups.  When I started foundations, I would not do a handstand. I would sit and watch and shake my head, no no no no.  I was so scared to fall.  About 2 months ago, I was sitting at home and decided that it was silly to be scared.  I gave myself the afternoon to fret about it, and then said to myself, “alright, enough is enough, quit being a baby.”  And I kicked up to the wall, in my dining room!  I practiced that for a long time, then tried out the negatives.  Two days after I tried negatives for the first time, we worked on HSPU as the skill of the day.  I watched others lower down, kip and press back up to their handstand.  I committed to try but I was nervous and scared, and I got my HSPU on the third try!  Paul, I will always love your BDay WOD because it was the first time I ever got a HSPU.  I was so excited!  To this day I get a little pumped anytime I see this skill in a WOD, because I’m so happy to have overcome this fear.  I can do 3 unbroken, with 2 ab mats now.

The Total was an interesting benchmark WOD too, I PR-ed my back squat, deadlift and strict press all in one day, and got a feeling for how to “game” your workout when you are working within a strict timecap.

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
I like Helen (running, KB swings and pullups).  I’ve done it twice and felt so much stronger and faster the second time.  I want to be able to do that one prescribed by the end of the year, but it’s such a grip burner!  (I struggle with the Rx pullups.)  Also, handstand pushups (see above): love them.  And rowing. Schmidleys love rowing.

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
GHD hamstring torture…I mean curls…and 14.5.

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  (What is your biggest goal for 2014?)
I’m currently working on Snatches. I would like to get my double unders by the end of the year, too.  I’m not even thinking about muscle ups yet; maybe at the year mark I’ll revisit that.  I need to work on my pullups and chest-to-bar pullups first.

What would the perfect WOD look like?
Front squats, HSPU, rowing, slam ball, situps.

What were you doing before CrossFit?
I always went to the gym, ran on the treadmill, lifted weights, was active outdoors, but struggled to challenge and really push myself. I’ve always incorporated my Pilates work into some of my personal workouts as well.

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
Definitely an increase in muscle.  I feel more agile, stronger and able to survive if I ever found myself among The Walking Dead.  I want to learn how to use a crossbow to give myself an edge.  Mike, you want to get crossbow lessons? (Cue Mike’s super psyched face!)

What has been your favorite culinary discovery since starting CrossFit?
I use the PaleOMG blog for lots of fun recipes. We are definitely not strict paleo, but most of our meals during the week are pretty clean, grain free and paleo-friendly.  I’ve discovered that I don’t worry about getting doughnuts on Sunday mornings anymore, because I probably got my butt kicked on Saturday and will again on Monday.  Still waiting for Spunky Dunkers to make some kind of Bacon & Dark Chocolate doughnut.  (No need for that to be Paleo though. Some things are sacred!)

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
She-Ra. Duh.

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?
Everyone was in your position at one point…except maybe Josh.  I’m pretty sure he figured out a way to do met-con in the womb.  Everyone was a newbie at one point and has felt like they were just trying to get by as best they could.  Take the time to really learn the movements.  Start light with the weights. Be prepared to be at the bottom of the list for a while in Wodhopper…it’s just the way it is.  Heck, I’m still at the bottom a lot!  There is no sense in increasing weight before you have the proper form.  Nip bad habits in the bud right now and you’ll set yourself up for greater success in the future.  Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions, the coaches are truly skilled and can help you figure it all out.

One of my favorite Jesse-isms was one day I commented on how the workouts must be so easy for (insert name here). Jesse turned to me and said something like “it should be equally difficult for everyone, as you get stronger you use more weight, move quicker, take less rest, you get more efficient”.  The workouts are all proportionate to the level the athlete is at.  That put it into perspective for me.

Finally, what WOD will the coaches being doing in your honor?

Fight Gone Bad

…with a doughnut cashout!

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July 2014 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

Paul Konjuch

Get to know Paul Konjuch – our Breakout Athlete of the Month for July!!

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Tell us a little bit about you…hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
I own my own company (started when I was 18) – basically a technology consultant. I’m a closet nerd…can’t help it.

Hobbies are what I spend the most money on sooooo…CrossFit???  I just bought two pairs of Nanos right before I wrote this bio. Don’t judge…one pair is for Anna. Gotta keep the lady happy.

I do love cooking and baking ‘cause I love eating the results…even if it doesn’t come out perfect each time.

I have a pretty basic family, though they made me who I am. I have an older sister, who basically got me involved in sports and exercising when I was younger. She played basketball during middle school and high school and I always looked up to her. She’s a hard-nose player and didn’t mind giving me an elbow or two.

My Mom, who’s been a secretary all her life, taught me how to survive and how to be on my own at a very young age.  She made sure I respected people and to always be kind; she took the time to make sure I could fend for myself.  She was pretty hard nose also…might have not been elbows but definitely soap in the mouth. Thanks MOM… 😉

My Dad definitely taught me business. He’s great at his job and had it since he was young man. He would make sure I knew how to take care of clients and respect their needs without acting out of line. He also stressed the fact that not every client is worth it and you might have to let them go sometimes. His line: “kill um with kindness”.

Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)
I lived in Des Plaines growing up and moved to Rolling Meadows, and now live in Arlington Heights.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
I’ve been CrossFitting for about two years. Got about 2 years left and then retirement…JK

Something you might not know about me is…
I used to have shoulder length hair…ha! Don’t know what I was thinking in high school. I guess I thought it was cool to look homeless. I’ve already been made fun off plenty for that one…Hanson seems to be the going word to describe what I looked like.

What do you remember about your first day of CrossFit?  What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit WOD?
My first CrossFit workout was a triple Murph…what a way to jump into CrossFit huh?  I knew I’d survive it at the time ‘cause I was about 15 pounds lighter and could run all day. Let’s just say the next week after was the worst.  I had to brace myself against the sink to lower down onto the toilet. What a mental picture, but we’ve all been there.

What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit? 
The fact that even without being the best, I can help and show people things that can make them better at the sport.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
I love the fact that it’s like having a family that you always find something to talk about with. We all have something in common when you’re with CrossFitters. Always a laugh.

What motivates you to come to the box as often as you do?
So I can plow down Spunky Dunkers right after???…wait, no that’s not all. I’m motivated by the fact that I can see myself get stronger and smarter about workouts and movements. It’s fun to see those PRs but it’s more of a thrill to go RX Plus and see if I can make it the entire workout at that weight.

Sunrise, Daytime, or Evening? (What class do you usually attend)?
When I’m lucky, I start and end my day with working out. So I suppose sunrise and evening.  I’m in and out at different times in the day but for sure you’ll catch me at the 5:30am WOD with Renee, Amy and Anna…Dawn Patrol!!

What is your most recent PR, or what would you consider your biggest accomplishment since starting CrossFit?
My most recent PR that I’m proud of is being able to do Strict HSPU. A year ago I couldn’t even kick up to the wall.

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
My favorite workout one day will be King Kong…once I can do it RX. I’m pretty close.

1 Deadlift- Rx is 455
2 Muscle ups
3 Squat cleans Rx is 250
4 HSPU

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Ask Josh…hahaha. Or actually you probably could ask anyone. I hate HSPU!!!

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  (What is your biggest goal for 2014?)
A short term goal would be double-digit Muscle Ups without getting off the rings. It’s just a pretty fun movement once you get it.

What would the perfect WOD look like?
Any workout where I know I went as hard as I could and didn’t look back with regret.

What were you doing before CrossFit?
Boot camps, for the most part, with a lot of running mixed in. I always told myself I wouldn’t start CrossFit till I had a solid foundation to build on. What I did leading up to joining my first CrossFit gym kept me from hurting myself. I can be a little reckless sometimes.

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
The one thing I notice the most is my flexibility. Being able to overhead squat and not be on my toes is a major improvement for me.

What has been your favorite culinary discovery since starting CrossFit?
Making ice cream with just some almond butter and frozen bananas. Toss it in the blender with a little almond milk and you’re good to go.

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
Being a closet nerd, I always liked Batman. Thought it was always cool to just be an average guy (but also rich) who had some fun toys and could still kick some serious butt. Batman worked for his strength so he gets my respect for sure.

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?
Dive in and have fun with it, but make sure you have some solid coaches. I never learned so much, so fast, in the couple years of doing this, thanks to the great coaches I’ve had along the way.

Finally, what WOD will you be selecting for the coaches to do?  (It can be one of The Girls, a Hero WOD, or something you make up completely on your own!)
Me and the boys need to do some rucking, so how about we load up some bricks and just go!!

AFAP…As Far As Possible.

 

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June 2014 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

Lisa Kurgan

Get to know Lisa Kurgan – our Breakout Athlete of the Month for June!

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Tell us a little bit about you…hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
I am the oldest of 3 girls, but everyone always tells me I look the youngest.  I have been married for 4 years to my husband Mike, and we have a 2yr old, Ayden, who you see at the box all the time with me.  Thank you to everyone for being so nice to him and helping out when I am in the middle of a WOD or lift. We have an English bulldog named Tank.  I work for Riddell where I do administrative work and scheduling.

Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)
My hometown is Des Plaines, IL. I went to Elk Grove High School and stayed around the area for college. I currently live in Wheeling so I have pretty much lived in the area my whole life.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
I took the foundations class in January and loved it so I have been CrossFitting for about 6 months now.

Something you might not know about me is…
I am a big TV person.  I can get into almost any show that I flip on.

What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit?
I love the community at Crossfit everyone at the box makes it a great place to come and workout.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
I love that everyone is out to cheer each other on and push others to do better.  That has helped me a lot in the WODs.  It also helps that the coaches make it a fun place to be.  You are coming to work out and get beat up but they make the time there enjoyable.

What motivates you to come to the box as often as you do?
The changes I have seen in myself as far as getting stronger and more overall energy.  And that someday I hope to be doing most of the WODs Rx…and try and catch all the great girls we have at the box now.

Sunrise, Daytime, or Evening? (What class do you usually attend)?
Evening, 5pm is what I have been attending, come summer it will probably be more 6pm.

What is your most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
My most recent PR is the power clean. My biggest accomplishment is just getting a lot stronger.

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
My favorite lifts are power clean, back squat, and deadlift. I like double unders, GHD sit ups and slam balls as well.

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
My least favorite lifts are thrusters, and overhead squats.

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  (What is your biggest goal for 2014?)
I am trying to work on being more comfortable with having weight over my head so I can get more comfortable doing overhead squats and snatches.  I would really like to accomplish ring dips without a band, and getting better at my kipping so I can do a ton of pull ups in a row.  Also to increase my backsquat weight since I like that lift a ton.

What would the perfect WOD look like?
My perfect WOD would incorporate power cleans, situps or GHD’s, with some pull-ups or slam balls in there…so 3 or 5 rounds for time of those movements.

What were you doing before CrossFit?
Before CrossFit I was going to a place called 9 Round which was more about boxing and aerobic work.  I did not really like it so finally my husband, Mike, convinced me to try CrossFit and I have loved it since.

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
I have noticed that my body is getting a lot stronger.  I am starting to gain some muscle which is great!!  Overall I just feel like I have more energy throughout the day.

What has been your favorite culinary discovery since starting CrossFit?
Well, I am a very picky eater and do not like to try a lot of new things…my husband can attest to that.  But I have been trying to eat more meat for protein.

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
I would like to be able to fly.

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?
Don’t be overwhelmed by everything.  Do your best the right way and do not be afraid to try something new and push out of your comfort zone.

Finally, what WOD will the coaches being doing in your honor?  
21-15-9
Squat cleans
Ring Dips
GHD sit ups

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May 2014 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

Philip (Phil) Schmidley

Get to know Phil Schmidley – our Breakout Athlete of the Month for May!

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Tell us a little bit about you…hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
I have been married for nearly 4 years to my awesome wife Jessica (J Bomb – start calling her that, it’s a thing). We have a super cool (and super neurotic) puggle named Panda. I work for JPMorgan Chase in financial crimes compliance. I like to golf, read, play video games…but really, Crossfit is my biggest hobby right now.

Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)
I was born and raised in Rockford, IL. I then went to Illinois State University – where I met my beautiful wife Jessica. We moved in together in Barrington and that’s where we’ve been ever since.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
4 months. I took the foundations class here at Breakout in January.

Something you might not know about me is…
My favorite animal is the Giant Panda. My grandmother gave me a stuffed Panda when I was a baby (still have it) and now have a small collection (5 or so) of stuffed pandas…and also our dog named Panda.

What do you remember about your first day of CrossFit? 
My first official WOD after Foundations was the MLK Jr. WOD (1963m Row, 64 Hang Power Snatches, 64 Box Jumps, 65 Slam Balls, 68 Front Squats). I don’t think climbing the stairs to our third floor apartment had ever been so difficult. But, I was hooked and couldn’t wait to get back at it.

What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit?
There are a few things 1) I have been able to accomplish things I didn’t imagine I would. I had a significant back injury a little over 2 years ago. I basically stopped doing squats and deadlifts as a result. In just 4 months of Crossfit I set a PR in the Deadlift that I would have never tried before, which brings me to number 2) My confidence outside of Crossfit has grown exponentially as my confidence at Crossfit has. Whenever I have something difficult to tackle, I just envision the 10 second countdown and I know that I can handle whatever comes next. 3) None of that would matter nearly as much if I wasn’t experiencing this with our community. The people here are so great, it makes working as hard as we do that much more worthwhile.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
Two words…DATE NIGHT! I think it embodies what makes Breakout special. We get in and hear Jesse’s familiar refrain “Hey Schmidleys”, then get to work on our strength/WOD, stick around to work on skills, and then just hang out and shoot the breeze…Sometimes we get together at Beer Market after. What could beat working hard and playing hard with great friends? I do realize that was more than two words…

What motivates you to come to the box as often as you do?
Well, my goal is to catch Paul someday, so I have a lot of work to do. Plus, putting in the work and seeing everyone just makes me feel better.

Sunrise, Daytime, or Evening? (What class do you usually attend)?
Evening. I tried one 5:30am class and it was for the birds…never again.

What is your most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
The previously mentioned deadlift PR would probably be the biggest accomplishment. Though, I did just get my first RX HSPU, which was something I’ve been working towards.

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Wall balls, squats (front or back), cleans, rope climbs, deadlifts.

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Toes 2 Bar. Man, I hate them. Not only am I painfully slow, but I tear or get blood blisters every time!

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  (What is your biggest goal for 2014?)
So many to choose from. I will continue to work on HSPUs, but I think the next focus will have to be bar muscle ups with an eye towards ring muscle ups.

What would the perfect WOD look like?
My favorite format is 21-15-9…so maybe 21-15-9 of Power Cleans and Box Jumps.

What were you doing before CrossFit?
Running and traditional strength training.

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
I am definitely stronger than I ever have been in almost every lift. I also feel like my body is adapting better to the workouts. It used to be very difficult to go back to back days, but now we routinely WOD three plus days in a row.

What has been your favorite culinary discovery since starting CrossFit?
My diet hasn’t changed a ton, but I used to eat a ton of rice. I have since traded that in for additional veggies and protein.

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
Definitely teleportation.

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?
That it is a lot of hard work and you will probably have to get out of your comfort zone, but the rewards are immense.

Finally, what WOD will the coaches being doing in your honor?
In preparation for Regionals, you will have this partner WOD. 8 minutes, max power snatches, pick your own weight. Your score will be the total amount of weight moved. Reps will not count unless your partner is in a handstand walk.

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April 2014 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

Marc Steve

Get to know Marc Steve – our Breakout Athlete of the Month for April!

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Tell us a little bit about you…hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
I’m a Filipino. I’m a movie buff and a big foodie. All of my family is in my native land but we see each other almost everyday through Skype. I’m a physical therapist in a skilled nursing facility and used to work with an early intervention (0-6 y/o) facility as well.

Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)
I was born and raised in the Philippines. I lived in Northeast Arkansas for almost 6 years before I moved to Illinois last August 2013. Now, I live in Wheeling. So far I like it, even with the cold and snowy weather. We’ll see after 5 years if I will still like it.

How long have you been CrossFitting?
I started January of this year so I’m still a newbie.

Something you might not know about me is…
I might be very quiet in the Box but I’m loud and talkative when I’m with my family and close friends.

What do you remember about your first day of CrossFit? 
Since my move I was very inactive so my first day was terrible. After my first WOD, I remember Jesse was talking to me but all I can think of is I need to go home because I don’t want to throw up while I’m in the Box.

What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit?
I love how it motivates and pushes me beyond my limits. That everything can be achieved with proper technique and pacing. But most of all, the community is so amazing.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
I don’t think I would have enjoyed CrossFit if it weren’t because of the Breakout family. Everybody is so encouraging and they are not intimidating. I’m always the last or have the least AMRAP but everybody makes me feel like I did great. The coaches are very approachable and good motivators.

What motivates you to come to the box as often as you do?
That someday I can be as good as Mary Kate so I can catch up with her during our 6 pm class.

Sunrise, Daytime, or Evening? (What class do you usually attend)?
I usually go for the 6pm class.

What is your most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
My biggest accomplishment is my first rope climb. I didn’t even feel the burn on my shin because I was so overwhelmed that I finally achieved a PR since I started CrossFit.

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
I like rowing, box jumps, back squats and deadlifts.

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
I would say wall balls…I told my good friend I am calling her by her second name from now on because I did not like Karen at all!

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  (What is your biggest goal for 2014?)
Hopefully, I can do pull ups without the band, handstand push up and the overhead squat.

What would the perfect WOD look like?
I would say 14.3. It was perfect for me. It made feel like one of the athletes in The Open.

What were you doing before CrossFit?
Though I don’t talk a lot in the Box, I’m a social person. I like to be in a group so I usually go for a group class whenever I go to the gym like spin class and a boot camp. But 5 months before CrossFit, I lived a very sedentary lifestyle.

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
I lost a good amount of weight. My strength and endurance has really improved.

What has been your favorite culinary discovery since starting CrossFit?
I’m Asian so rice is a very challenging factor in my diet, so I started looking for replacements. I learned quinoa and cauliflower are great substitutes. And I like them both.

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
I would say Batman because he relies on human strength, ingenuity and intelligence. And in our culture, we have this saying “bahala na si batman” which means we’ll leave it to batman.

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?
You are in a good place and in good hands so you will do great. You can be a Breakout Athlete of the Month not because you are better than the rest but because the community will encourage you to be better like them. Don’t forget to have fun too.

Finally, what WOD will the coaches being doing in your honor?
Honestly, I don’t really know yet because I have done 2 of the girls and both are very hard. But I prefer it’s a WOD that is an AMRAP so that I will finish at the same time with others.

 

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March 2014 Breakout Athlete of the Month:

Mary Kate Olsen

Get to know Mary Kate Olsen – our very first Breakout Athlete of the Month for March!

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Tell us a little bit about you…hobbies, interests, family, job, etc.
Let’s see, I am the sixth of eight kids so I have total middle child syndrome which is why I talk all the time.  I have been married for almost three years and we have a wonderful black lab named Devin.  By day I am a high-school culinary arts teacher.  I also coach cross country in the fall and track in the spring so I dig running.

Where are you from? (Where is your home town?)
I have lived in the Mount Prospect/Arlington Heights area most of my life.  I went to Wheeling High School which means I am officially a local J.  I went to Illinois State University for my undergrad and got my graduate degree from Concordia so I have never lived outside of the state!

How long have you been CrossFitting?
I initially started at a CrossFit gym in the fall of 2010 without even knowing what it was.  I signed up for their bootcamps and had no intention of ever going to the other side of the gym where they were throwing weights over their head like crazy people!  A coach there persuaded me to try it after about a year and I was immediately hooked.  So I guess you could say in the fall of 2011 I started CrossFit?

Something you might not know about me is…
I LOVE puzzles!  Seriously love them.

What do you remember about your first day of CrossFit? 
The first WOD I ended up doing was Fight Gone Bad…I remember thinking I wish I could have done RX (although at the time I had no idea what RX was so I thought I would like to do it again with the heavier weight).

What do you LOVE (or most enjoy) about CrossFit?
I love that each day is different and varied, although we might do similar movements the workouts are all varied so it keeps me interested.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Breakout family?
The community here is amazing.  Everyone is out for each person to get better and improve.  The energy in the gym is always positive, which I attribute not only to everyone that trains here, but the coaches who genuinely care about each person as an individual.

What motivates you to come to the box as often as you do?
There are multiple reasons for this…mainly the reasons stated above.  I also love coming in and seeing familiar faces, like when Cindi pops in at night just to say “hi”.  Watching Sandee work on burpees, Hideko, Tara and Phil work on double unders, Anna on her muscle ups, Marc on his pull-ups, Paul coming in for the 2nd time of the day to lift, and everyone else’s hard work ethic motivates me.  I just feel better after coming in.

Sunrise, Daytime, or Evening? (What class do you usually attend?)
I’m an evening girl 6 PM!

What is your most recent PR/biggest accomplishment?
My most recent PR was Fran, improving by 17 second, although I have been really excited about a lot of the gains I have made in lifts and workouts lately.  My biggest accomplishment since starting has really been becoming stronger and improving my skills which has enabled me to be able to do workouts prescribed.  There are still a lot of things I need to work on though!

What is your favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
I love Double Unders, rope climbs and deadlifts.  Favorite girl is Annie.

What is your least favorite WOD, lift, movement, or skill?
Rowing!!  I’m also not a fan of picking up and moving the boxes for box jumps or handstand pushups.

What skill, movement or lift are you trying to accomplish or master?  (What is your biggest goal for 2014?)
If I got a muscle up people who aren’t in the gym at the time would know because of how loud I would scream!

What would the perfect WOD look like?
It would have a combination of any of the following: double unders, running, situps, rope climbs, kettle bell swings, power cleans or deadlifts.

What were you doing before CrossFit?
I would run somewhere between 4-5 miles and then wander around the weight machines, sometimes doing one or two movements at a very low weight.

What changes in your overall fitness and/or health have you noticed since you’ve starting CrossFitting?
I’ve definitely started taking care of myself better after getting more into CrossFit, doing things like cleaning up my diet and actually getting a good night’s sleep.  I also feel like I have more energy during the day.

What has been your favorite culinary discovery since starting CrossFit?
I used to think I hated sweet potatoes but I actually really like them!  I am also obsessed with plantain chips, I was introduced to a spicy variety and I have been hooked ever since!

If you were a super power (or a super hero) what (or who) would it be?
The Flash.
(Oh, you didn’t catch my response?)

What would you tell a newbie just joining CrossFit Breakout?
I can say don’t be scared or intimidated, however I know that many of the movements and workouts we do are just that.  Just know you are not doing it alone and you have a fantastic community to support you.  Also, be patient…it takes time to learn movement standards and to build weight!  Don’t forget this is FUN!

Finally, what WOD will the coaches being doing in your honor?
I’m going to combine 2 of the worst not only EMOM’s, but workouts that I have ever been a part of in my life.  Both of these have been performed at Breakout:

EMOM 10 x 18-20/12-15 Cal Row

Rest 5 min or so

EMOM 10:00 10 KB Swings 70#/55# 5 Burpees