February Breakout Athlete of the Month: Joel Fliegel

Meet Fliegel…our February Breakout Athlete of the Month!

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If you look up the definition of “family man”, Joel’s picture would be right there.  Aside from lighting the financial world on fire and rocking it in the gym day in and day out, Joel spends his free time with his family at sporting events, exploring new places, or carting his kids to and from their extracurricular activities.  The amazing thing about Joel is that he’s as dedicated to his health as he is his family, and we love that about him!

Originally from Columbus, OH, Joel started CrossFitting in 2015 and has come a LONG way since then.  Not only has he greatly improved his health by working his butt off in the box, he has also checked a few things off his “to do” list, including participating in a Spartan race last year.  We are so proud of you Joel!

Thank you so much for giving 110% each and every day that you’re here, Joel.  And thanks for being part of the CFB family. We are so happy to name you our Breakout Athlete of the Month for February.

Visit our BAM! page to read more about Joel and to see our past BAM athletes!

January Breakout Athlete of the Month: Caitlin Narantic

Meet Caitlin Narantic…our January Breakout Athlete of the Month!

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Caitlin is a native of Illinois, hailing from the south suburbs, but fear not—she was raised right: she’s a Cubs fan.  Caitlin is a former competitive swimmer and marathon runner with 2 Chicago Marathons under her belt.  But after her 2nd race in October 2014, she began CrossFitting and hasn’t looked back since.

It only makes sense then, that Caitlin’s preferred WODs are “marathons” themselves; she loves anything that is in the 20-minute range and includes a heavy barbell.  Speaking of a heavy barbell, Caitlin is working hard to hit a 180# C&J. Based on her drive and commitment, we have no doubt she’ll accomplish that goal in no time.

Caitlin, keep up the amazing work! Thank you so much for coming in every day and showing us all what dedication and ambition looks like.  We are so grateful that you are part of the CFB family and we are so happy to name you our Breakout Athlete of the Month for January.

Visit our BAM! page to read more about Caitlin and to see our past BAM athletes!

December Breakout Athlete of the Month: Jared Walkowitz

Meet Jared Walkowitz…our December Breakout Athlete of the Month!

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Jared is one of our “East Coasters”, originally from Wycoff, NJ (about 45 minutes from NYC).  He and his wife moved to Illinois about 2 ½ years ago to start, and raise, their family.  Besides singing nursery rhymes, reading books and giving baths to his two beautiful daughters, Jared’s other full-time job is with the IL Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity.  He helps build and enhance the state’s economy through business and organizational development.  Basically, Jared’s the guy who makes sure government grants are awarded to, and are being used by, local organizations and businesses in IL for economic growth.  That’s pretty impressive!

Jared started CrossFitting in 2010 and is part of the Breakfast Club (5:30am group) here at CFB.  One thing we’ve learned about Jared that’s actually pretty cool is that he has tracked his WODs since 2013 so that he can see how far he’s come and where he has yet to go.  He says this is one of the things that keeps him so motivated.  But he admits, nothing motivates him more than Bro Tank Fridays.

Jared has come a long way since his “extremely scaled” Fran (15# training bar and ring rows) in 8+ minutes.  His biggest accomplishment isn’t a PR snatch or getting his first muscle up (although snatching more weight IS something he has on his radar for 2018).  What Jared is most proud of is just learning how to alter his lifestyle to become a healthier version of himself.

And that is why we love Jared…because while having super-human strength so he can “out floor press Jeff Taylor” would be awesome, what Jared is most focused on is bettering his life and the lives around him.

Thanks for keeping it real, Jared!  We are so thankful that you’re part of the CFB family.  And we are so proud to call you our Breakout Athlete of the Month for December.

Visit our BAM! page to read more about Jared and to see our past BAM athletes!

November Breakout Athlete of the Month: Janea Ortega

Meet Janea Ortega…our November Breakout Athlete of the Month!

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Janea packs a HUGE punch in her tiny frame.  Born in the Philippines, she moved to the US with her family at 8 years old.  She skipped the 3rd grade and she says it was because of her age, NOT because she was super smart, but we beg to differ 😊.  From what we’ve seen since she’s joined our family, Janea is not only super smart, but all an around amazing human being!

Janea started CrossFitting a little over 2 years ago.  She is always raising the bar and putting in extra time and effort to better herself.  We love that she is determined to shatter her limits each and every day.  Case in point: she recently PR’d her back AND front squat…by 20 lbs!!!  Next up: butterflying her pull ups and chest to bar (you got this, girl!)

Her grit and dedication come from her many years of playing sports through school, and her compassion for everyone around her shines through non-stop.  Janea, we are so happy that you’re part of the CFB family!  We appreciate your level of commitment, kindness to everyone, and your great attitude that you bring to the box every day.  We are so proud to call you our Breakout Athlete of the Month for November.

Visit our BAM! page to read more about Janea and to see our past BAM athletes!

October Breakout Athlete of the Month: Damiano Marchiafava

Meet Damiano (Dan) Marchiafava…our October Breakout Athlete of the Month!

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Dan is one of a kind!

You wouldn’t know it, but Dan is actually a world-class wake-boarder and poker player (sounds like maybe we need a little CFB World of Poker tournament?)

For someone who just “stumbled” his way through the first 6 months of CrossFit (as he describes it), he’s definitely got the right mix of tenacity and commitment (and maybe a little bit of crazy, like the rest of us).  Dan was born in Turin, Italy, but was raised in Chicago, and lives in the Highland Park area with his 2 daughters and his wife of 27 years.

Dan has been CrossFitting for 4 years and shows NO signs of slowing down. Not only has he recently PRd with a 215# push press, his “never give up” attitude shines through each morning.  The Breakfast Club wouldn’t be the same without him.

Thank you so much, Dan, for what you bring to the box every day.  We are so happy you are part of the CFB family and we are so proud to call you our Breakout Athlete of the Month for October.

Visit our BAM! page to read more about Dan and to see our past BAM athletes!

Come to CFB On Labor Day!

Join us for a Team Hero WOD on Labor Day (Monday, September 4) at our 9:30am class.  (This will be our only class of the day).

Friends and family welcome!  Hope to see you there!

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September 2017 Breakout Athlete of the Month: Carlie Janowiak

Meet Carlie Janowiak…our September Breakout Athlete of the Month!

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What can we say about Carlie…not only is she a kick-ass basketball player (she played in college and coached high school and college ball), she’s also just an all-around awesome person.  I mean, come on…she’s a police officer and a certified firearms instructor!  Carlie just got married in June (CONGRATULATIONS, Carlie!), and welcomed her first nephew in April!

Carlie started CrossFitting 4 years ago and joined our family in 2016.  It’s hard to imagine Carlie being intimidated, but she admits that her first reaction to CrossFit was being intimidated.  Of course that feeling was quickly followed by excitement.  That excitement still shines through 4 years later and we see it every day!

Watching Carlie power through all types of WODs is amazing, but what’s most amazing is seeing her focus and determination during Named and Hero WODs.  One of her most recent accomplishments that she (and WE) are proud of is completing Fran Rx’d.  Carlie had spent YEARS trying to master her pull up and she FINALLY got it…talk about determination!

Carlie, thank you so much for being part of the CFB family!  Your commitment to your health, your support of all of our athletes, and your enormously positive attitude are every day inspirations to us all.  We are so proud to call you our Breakout Athlete of the Month for September.

Visit our BAM! page to read more about Carlie and to see our past BAM athletes!

August 2017 Breakout Athlete of the Month: Mike Gula

Meet Mike “Mr. Consistent” Gula…our August Breakout Athlete of the Month!

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We call him “Mr. Consistent” because it seems like whenever you turn around, he’s there. Mike has been CrossFitting for over 2 years now, and if there’s anything we’ve learned about the guy, it’s that he is dedicated to his health and becoming the best version of himself that he can be for his wife (of 9 years) and 2 kids.

You don’t necessarily hear Mike yelling during WODs at the box (like some of other you crazy kids :), but that doesn’t mean he’s quiet.  There’s nothing quiet about a 195# split jerk (his most recent PR…way to go, Mike!), are we right?

And there’s also nothing quiet about some good old fashioned breakdancing – which Mike used to when he was younger.  Apparently he doesn’t do it anymore (so he says), and he said we couldn’t ask him to, but…COME ON MIKE…DO IT! DO IT! DO IT! Seriously though, we want to see…

Mike, we are so happy that you’re part of the CFB family!  We appreciate your dedication, kindness to everyone, and your great attitude that you bring to the box every day.  We are so proud to call you our Breakout Athlete of the Month for August.

Visit our BAM! page to read more about Mike and to see our past BAM athletes!

July 2017 Breakout Athlete of the Month: Bailey Engle

Meet Bailey Engle…our July Breakout Athlete of the Month!

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Bailey is one bad-ass CrossFit Chick!  She and her husband, Michael, are expecting their first child around Thanksgiving, and at 5+ months pregnant, Bailey continues to tear up the CFB leaderboard.  Being a collegiate cheerleader and 3x Massachusetts State Champ has certainly helped Bailey excel in gymnastics movements.  One of her most recent PRs was finally getting her ring muscle up (way to go Bailey!).

But Bailey is no “one trick pony”…in her own, unassuming way, Bailey pretty much OWNS each WOD, whether that be during a class or competition.  She packs a serious punch, especially when she sees a movement or skill programmed that she’s trying to improve on.  Her focus and competitive nature are contagious and when she’s in class, her energy helps to motivate each and every athlete.

We are so thankful that you’re part of the CFB family, Bailey.  We love your spunk, your positive attitude and your overall determination that you bring to the box every day.  We are so proud to call you our Breakout Athlete of the Month for July.

Visit our BAM! page to read more about Bailey and to see our past BAM athletes!

June 2017 Breakout Athlete of the Month: Mick Naughton

Meet Mick Naughton…our June Breakout Athlete of the Month!

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Mick is a Chicago native who started CrossFitting by joining the Breakout family 7 months ago.  He’s a proud dad of 2 sons who keep him and his wife (Mickie – yes…they have the same name!) VERY busy (they’re in year-round travel sports).  And if driving hundreds of miles a month to and from games isn’t enough, he also spends his time working, playing guitar, and traveling (besides throwing down at the box during the week).

The thing Mick loves the most about CrossFit is the self-competition.  He has an incredible attitude when it comes to facing challenges.  Watching Mick tackle his own CrossFit goats, like Karen (which he recently finished Rx!) or DUs, it’s hard NOT to become as fired up and determined as Mick is when you’re faced with your own.  And if there’s one thing that’s constant about Mick, it’s his SMILE; no matter when or where, he’s always smiling!

We are so thankful that you’re part of the CFB family, Mick.  We truly appreciate your incredibly positive attitude and the great example of determination you show us every day.  We are so proud to call you our Breakout Athlete of the Month for June.

Visit our BAM! page to read more about Mick and to see our past BAM athletes!