Phoenix Award

One of the most important things to us here at CFCM has been the transformation of the minds of our members; that switch that gets flicked from the “I Can’t” mentality, to that of “I Can”. When people start to take hold of their own lives and health, when they realize they have far more potential and ability than they ever thought possible and everything starts to change for them. We live for that moment.

This t-shirt began as a way for us to honor that change. We wanted to be able to give someone a physical representation to honor their new commitment to themselves. There happens to be one symbol of rebirth we have always loved: The Phoenix, the firebird that dies to itself only to be reborn from the flames and ashes of its old body to become new. We find that symbolism so meaningful for what we do here at CFCM. Through the pain, the tears, the blood, and the sweat, we become new. Now, we will have a way to recognize those among us willing to make that sacrifice.

Hence, the introduction of the Phoenix T-shirt. Now this is not to be confused with our “Fire Breather” T-shirt that is earned through high levels of performance, the Phoenix t-shirt is earned through effort and commitment. The recipients may not have a sub 3 minute Fran yet, but their effort, their will power, and the change we see evident in the quality of their life qualifies them for this honor.

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Erica Hanson

When did you start CrossFit?
I started CrossFit 8ish years ago at the original CrossFit Costa Mesa in our garage. It was so different back then. I was doing jumping pull-ups, lifting with a men’s bar (and often only the bar), running and lunging down our alley, and angering our neighbors 🙂

Describe your transformation through CrossFit.
CrossFit has given me a home to work out as an adult. I always played sports growing up and didn’t know what to do with my fitness once I stopped. Going to 24 hour was boring and I didn’t enjoy it or look forward to it. CrossFit has given me a place to workout with others, constantly be challenged, and be thoughtful about how I treat my body. Looking back at when I started CrossFit, I’ve gotten so much stronger, mentally and physically, and have increased skill in so many of the movements. I’ve done CrossFit through two pregnancies and slowly clawed my way back after both.

What would you tell others about this place?
The coaches are amazing. Not only are they impressive athletes, they care deeply about the members. Just ask and they’ll help you with your diet, help you scale the workouts, or give you substitutions if you’re injured.

The members are awesome. They are kind, funny, hardworking, good people. They suffer along side of you, give you high fives, and encourage you to keep going. Oh and the owner is pretty hot too!

What is your favorite workout and lift?
Big Chippers and power cleans.

What do you love about CFCM?
I love being challenged whenever I come in. I love that the workouts are constantly varied and never boring. I love being around people who want to be the best versions of themselves and will endure hard work to get there. CFCM is my second home and there’s no place I’d rather be!

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Mary Tran

When did you start CrossFit?
I did Onboarding in November 2014.

Describe your transformation through CrossFit.
The first time I saw CrossFit was the Games on TV in 2012 and I thought “That’s nuts! Who does this?”. In August 2013, while picking up my nephew at the preschool next door and I saw 5pm’ers running in the heat and thought “crazy meatheads”. September 2014, looked in the mirror and thought “You’re going into your 40’s like that? Hitting 40 in 2015, I decided last November 2014, that I wanted change. I needed change.

A wise friend often harped upon deaf ears, “How can you take care of another, if you don’t take care of yourself?”

While perplexing many close to me, I shifted gears towards better health choices, letting go of some mental baggage, and increasing my physical activity. Along the way, I walked into CrossFit Costa Mesa knowing no one and wondered daily if anyone would notice an old Asian lady dying in the corner, but over a year later, I trudge out most days with “high fives” and “good work” from other gym buds who also didn’t die with an even stronger self – mentally and physically.

This “transformation”, has inadvertently motivated other people around me to initiate change for themselves. From older family members to friends and young staffers proudly sharing with me their stories of change in exercise or diet. “Mary, you’re all over the place and yet you’re getting it done” to “I can’t let my boss beat me.” Whatever the reason is, I’m grateful to be a part of it even though I wasn’t thinking about anyone but me.

Even though my staff says I suck now because I don’t have “Fat Fridays” for them anymore, which consisted of ordering in fatty fast foods for everyone. I feel better and overall enjoy a healthier lifestyle. It has given me a renewed energy as well as a deeper appreciation for health, nutrition and people. Moreover, I don’t need to pack extra lunch anymore because no one wants a “bite” anymore from my healthier food fare.

Some have asked, “So you’re having a midlife crisis?”
Me: “Not at all. I’m making my 40’s work for me..”

What would you tell others about this place?
Although distance was the initial factor for trying out CFCM, the deciding factor has been absolutely the community of genuine people and coaches who are invested in the support, education and well-being of one another through sweating, suffering and celebrating together. Even though, I still worry about tripping over bars or smacking my face with a wall ball, which I still do, I look forward to seeing what Coach Max has in store to “almost” kill us, how to avoid Coach Aaron’s laser eyes, or just to watch in amazement of our ladies of every level including our Coaches G, Lindsay, Chelsie, Kristina, Molly, Erin and Tiffany work and attain movements that answers my very question: “Who does that? These ladies do!”

What is your favorite workout and lift?
Slooooow PVC lifts. “Scaled love” for WOD Mary.

What do you love about CFCM?
Everything, especially the bacon scented air on our morning runs.

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Alex Kentfield

When did you start CrossFit?
I started at Aliso Viejo CrossFit in 2014 then moved to Costa Mesa and joined CFCM in early 2015.

Describe your transformation through CrossFit.
I have lost about 50 pounds since I started CrossFit. I really wasn’t working out or anything physical at all since high school and finally got tired of it. I also chose a profession that requires me to sit at a desk all day which doesn’t help at all. I had zero energy and had a pretty miserable attitude. I feel like working out in a fun atmosphere has changed that dramatically. The best part is the rare occasion when you get into the gym and you can do something you have never done before. Its a great feeling. Its also exciting knowing that there are plenty of movements I can’t even do yet and everyday I am getting closer to accomplishing something new. This isn’t even my final form!

What would you tell others about this place?
I would tell people that CrossFit Costa Mesa is an excellent place to get in shape. The normal gyms are boring for me and I have a hard time figuring out what to do and waiting for machines to open up. The structured classes at CFCM make it easy to follow and create new challenges on a daily basis.

What is your favorite workout and lift?
Cleans and deadlifts. I really like the quick barbell workouts. Oh and the knockout game.

What do you love about CFCM?
I love the coaches, the other athletes, and the programming. The coaches are always helpful and supportive. Sometimes they will be in the class to get their own workout in and go out of their way to help or encourage you which just shows that they actually care about seeing you progress. The other athletes and the community are awesome, someone has always been in your position or struggled with whatever you might be working on and is always willing to offer help and advice. I like the programming a lot because I can honestly say after about a year I have never done the same workout twice which makes it unique and challenging.

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Paul Underwood

When did you start CrossFit?
I started CrossFit first at CDR Redlands in May of 2011. I came to CrossFit Costa Mesa October 2013 after I moved out to Orange County. I did try 3 other CrossFit boxes but I did not like them at all. I felt at home right away when I found you all!

Describe your transformation through CrossFit.
I have a strong competitive side to me which CrossFit feeds! I played football in high school and a year in college so I have always enjoyed lifting weights and “competing” with others while pushing myself. I also know that there is no way I will ever work as hard at a regular gym on some Elliptical machine as we do here. Actually I like getting yelled at (encouraged!) during the WOD’s.

When I first started CrossFit in 2011 I was over 300lbs. I can’t tell you exactly because the scale only went to 300 and obviously I never really got on it much. When I first started I couldn’t even do an overhead squat with just the bar. I could barely do a pull up with the green band. I lost about 30-35lbs in the first year which was pretty good for a guy over 40. My dream had always been to do a pull-up unassisted. Once I got here to CCM I really was able to start accelerating my achievements and increase my PR’s I finally got a pull-up last year during the open and it was glorious! The best part was Max was so pumped for me because he thought I had only been doing CrossFit for a few months- it had actually been years. The biggest change I have made started in July when I went on Paleo. I had dropped about 10-15lbs after coming here but after starting Paleo I have dropped over 50lbs in 6 months. I can now do 3 pull-ups in a row!

What would you tell others about this place?
I think the quote on the building in the front is accurate. It will be hard. But it will be worth it. I would also tell others that I travel a lot and have been to many other Box’s but CrossFit Costa Mesa just felt like home the first days I started there and even more so today. Lastly I would tell the gym dudes we don’t do curls!

What is your favorite workout and lift?
Grace and my favorite lift is the Power Clean

What do you love about CFCM?
That’s easy- 2 things. It’s the Coaches and the other Members! All you coaches are so encouraging and you all really take the time to not only help us lift better with technical help but you also encourage us to push ourselves in the WOD’s. But what really keeps me going is the other members. Having a consistent group of people you work out with and push yourself against drives you to come in every day. All my buds at our little 8am group – Matthew, Sean, Todd and Marcia. It’s great being able to compare yourself and try to keep pace with even the people in the other class times like Michael, Elliot, Luis and Lewis (Even though he’s a University of Miami fan) at 9 am and even a lot of the guys at 7am like Greg, Sal and Sean. It’s those guys you coaches, and the others I forgot to name, that keep me going and what will keep others who join coming back.

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Steve Morefield

When did you start CrossFit?
I joined in early 2014. I attended classes sporadically until August 2014 and from then on I have been committed to the program.

Describe your transformation through CrossFit.
CrossFit… AMRAP, WOD, double under, E2MO2M, thrusters, fat bar… what’s all that? By chance, I ran across a CrossFit gym near my home and thought it looked like a fun workout. After looking at several locations I came to CFCM and knew I found the right gym after talking with the coaches and seeing the beautiful building and equipment. When I joined, it was with the recognition that at 56 years old, I could not continue staying in shape the same way I had in the past which was to use my passion for activities and sports as a means of training. Initially, CrossFit seemed like a great way to get stronger and be in better shape for the activities that I have been involved in all my life. Previously, I would do some gym work to prepare for a specific event but never knew what I was doing nor had any instruction to help me. Other than an occasional bench press and some curls, weights were a mystery to me. Once I committed to CFCM in August 2014, I went from 190 pounds to 180 in 6 weeks and since then have maintained my weight at 180 and gained muscle and definition that I have never had before. Now my pants do not fit anymore and I can tell you that I feel really good!

I grew up racing motorcycles and skiing and continue to enjoy these and other activities. I have to say that CrossFit has changed my level of endurance and fitness as I know I am strong and fit which makes a huge difference in the fun factor and my results. Originally, CrossFit was a means and a method to become stronger for sports outside of the gym. I have found that along the way, CrossFit became its own sport for me and I look at it as a primary activity which makes every class really fun! When anyone asks me how often I work out and hear that I go 5 days a week they reply by saying they would like to be that committed. My reply is the same every time, I love the workouts and the people that surround me and could not imagine missing a class.

What would you tell others about this place?
I feel at home here and look forward to showing up early to class. There is something about receiving encouragement from everyone to finish a lift or WOD that makes me work even harder. Being surrounded by people that lift more, have better technique and make movements like a muscle up look easy actually drive me to be better and learn as much as possible. When I was first going to class I would get home and my wife would ask how class was and I would reply “I was beat by a pregnant girl”. Seriously!! Peer pressure is kind of like competition for me but here everyone works just as hard, suffers the same and still encourage me to perform better and this inspires me!

What is your favorite workout and lift?
My favorite workout would be Angie because it was really hard for me and I beat the time cap! I have to say, when I started coming to CFCM all of the gymnastic movements were new and foreign. Handstand? Yah, right!! Well, I am not walking on my hands yet but I know that I will soon along with being able to do a muscle up–these are definite goals for me in the near future and I know they are attainable with our coaches’ help.

For my favorite lift I would have to say the snatch. It is the most difficult for me and I groan when it is on the schedule but this is the lift where I am seeing the most improvement in technique and increase in weight which is super exciting.

What do you love about CFCM?
All of the coaches. That’s a no brainer as every one of us is here because of the personal attention and genuine care that we receive in every class. The gym is also pretty awesome and I am grateful to have found CFCM and the community that surrounds it. Everyone knows this but I have to say it anyway–the 6:00am class rocks!

Yen_Phoenix
Yen Nguyen
“You can never have too much chalk.” -Yen

When did you start CrossFit?
I started CrossFit in August 2012

Describe your transformation through CrossFit.
Oh gosh, so many parts of my life have been transformed through CrossFit. Namely, most people I am friends with on social media have become sick of me since most things I post are about CrossFit haha. CrossFit is one of those things that just takes over your life (in a good way). Once you find some kind of avenue or outlet where you’re constantly being challenged, constantly improving, having fun and feeling healthier and better about yourself, it becomes a self-fueling fire. It’s an addiction. It was the first time I ever truly thought… maybe I really can do that. When I first started CrossFit, I told myself and everyone around me all the things I couldn’t do… I can’t do pullups. I can’t do handstands. I can’t snatch. I basically couldn’t do anything except squat (Team Thighs, baby!!!). And even then what I could squat was tiny compared to what I can squat now. I was convinced if I kept saying that I can’t do any of these things, I would never have to work hard, and I would never disappoint anyone, especially myself. But then I asked myself… why am I even here? What’s the point of doing any of this (not just in CrossFit, but in life) if it doesn’t make you happy or improve the quality of your life, or help build strength and character? I admit I joined CrossFit because it seemed like the latest fitness fad and I wanted to shed some weight. But since then it’s become so much more. It’s become a way of life. Now instead of making excuses as to why I can’t do something, I try to find solutions. I make goals. I work on gymnastics skills, my lifts, my conditioning, and my nutrition which has been the biggest challenge for me. I’m down 15 lbs and still have a long way to go, but if it wasn’t for the encouragement of the coaches and my friends here, I don’t think I could’ve done it.

What would you tell others about this place?
I would tell others that CFCM has, hands down, the best coaching and best programming in Orange County. I’ve cyberstalked quite a few CrossFit boxes in my day. When I first started CrossFit, I was hungry for knowledge. I wanted to know what are other boxes doing? How do other coaches help their athletes advance? What kind of scaling options or progressions do some gym owners teach to their members? There are certainly a lot of different methods and techniques. But the thing I tell everyone when I talk about our programming is that Max programs with purpose. I love that we have strength/endurance cycles, that we have certain goals or movements that we are working on for a certain period of time. I love that we do the OG bar warmup all the time, even on days that we don’t clean. Most boxes don’t understand the importance of a good barbell warmup. A lot of boxes I’ve been to don’t even understand the importance of a warmup. At CFCM, you’ve got the best coaches (who are all badass athletes themselves) pushing you to your fullest potential while enforcing good form and technique to keep you safe.

What is your favorite workout and lift?
My favorite workout is Diane. My favorite lift is the very technical and challenging double fisted donut to mouth lift. It took me years to master.

What do you love about CFCM?
CFCM has become my home. It’s so much more than a gym. It’s the place I go after a long and stressful day to unwind, to connect with my friends, to be inspired, and to do some work. Speak of inspiration… I encourage our members to look around you and look beyond athletic accomplishments. Of course what we do in this gym is so awesome and incredible. But I love talking to people here and hearing their stories outside of the gym. You can find inspiration in so many different and unexpected places. I look at our members and gosh, you’ve got parents who are balancing their careers, their kids’ busy schedules and somehow find time to make it into the gym day in and day out. You’ve got entrepreneurs, firefighters, doctors and nurses who are saving lives everyday, engineers (whoop whoop!), teachers shaping the youth of today through education. I mean, the Phoenix award is a great honor for me, I’ve never really been given any kind of award except for winning Class Clown in high school… but if there was an award for “Smashing It In Life,” there’s so many people in this place that I would give it to. Honestly and truly, I commend everybody who comes in here with the goal of improving themselves. No matter how fast you run, how much you lift, or how many pull-ups you can do. You’re here, and that is a testament to the great coaching, programming and the commitment of all of our members.

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Lauren Kim

When did you start CrossFit?
When I first started college four years ago, I would read those articles bashing the CrossFit movements, programming, culture, etc and think “who would ever want to do that?!” I had been physically active my entire life, I loved playing sports, and for the most part I am super competitive, but the idea of CrossFit did not really appeal to me at all. Throughout my first and into my second year at UCI I struggled with maintaining a balance between school and physical fitness. During that same time is when my family (my mom and her sisters) really started getting into CrossFit, and my opinion of it began to change. I first tried it out because my family were major enthusiasts, but I eventually stuck with it for how good it makes me feel. So thinking back, I believe I “started” CrossFit winter of 2013. I only did it on my school breaks (which barely counts) until I started at CFCM the end of January of 2013, so about a year ago officially!

Describe your transformation through CrossFit.
My transformation through CrossFit… Well, for a fact I can say I am physically stronger than I’ve ever been in my entire life. At first CrossFit was just a way to get in a great one hour workout that easily fit into my schedule, but after a few weeks I realized I was getting out so much more than I’d originally planned. With the stress of being a full time student and with an occasional part time job, CrossFit became a lifeline. It gave me the energy to not be crushed under the mountain that is school, and also confidence, optimism, and stress relief. A lot of the people I know constantly bargain with themselves when it comes to a healthy diet and exercise, but at this point this is not something that I can relate to anymore. I respect my body much more now that I’m cognizant of how much it can be taken for granted, since every time I walk into the gym I’m performing things and lifting weights that would have seemed impossible a year ago. What I love about CrossFit is that there is so much opportunity for personal growth and achievement; it just depends on how much effort you’re willing to put in.

What would you tell others about this place?
What I’d tell other people about CFCM is that being here is what I look forward to in my day. Working out shouldn’t feel like a chore, and here it doesn’t. If they were looking for something new, something to be inspired about, trying CrossFit at CFCM is the way to go!

What is your favorite workout and lift?
Hmmmm I’m not sure if I have one particularly favorite workout or lift. I really like longish AMRAPs with a combination of movements like handstand pushups, pistol squats, pull-ups, and adding anything with the barbell. As for lifts, it depends on the day but I really like both the clean and jerk and the snatch. The C&J because it makes me feel strong and the snatch because it makes me feel awesome (when I can get it right!).

What do you love about CFCM?
What I love about CFCM is how supportive everyone is. Whether it is a hi-five on a run or words of encouragement during a workout as they’re working right along with you, there’s something about it that makes you dig a little deeper. And of course the coaching. I could go on with individual monologues about each one of you, but I won’t because that would be long and super cheesy. What I will say is that the encouragement, attention, advice, patience, and tough-love you all give each and every one of us is what makes this place special. Without you guys, I don’t think I’d be nearly the CrossFitter that I am today.

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Steven Mendez

When did you start CrossFit?
I started CrossFit December 2, 2013 at CFCM.

Describe your transformation through CrossFit.
My biggest transformation has been in my mentality and the discipline I have developed in life because of CrossFit. I had gone to the gym for years (24 hour), but I never really saw the results I wanted, which was to be fit in all areas of my life. I have seen CrossFit transform my mind and helped me develop discipline in my life that I was sorely lacking before. I have learned to push myself beyond what I thought I was capable of doing.

The other thing that has transformed is my endurance. I thought I was in reasonable shape before starting CrossFit, but boy was I shocked when I completed my first WOD. I realized how out of shape I was. After that first WOD with Coach Lindsay I was hooked. I realized this would be the best place for me to get in shape, but I didn’t realize at the time it would transform all areas of my life. I am truly grateful for what CrossFit has done for me, especially every one at CFCM and how they have encouraged me along the way. It’s been a great year so far and there is so much more that I can learn and do to become a better athlete and person.

What would you tell others about this place?
I would tell others that if you are looking for a community that goes above and beyond in making you feel welcomed and apart of the group, then CFCM is where you should be. Not only will you get in shape, you will have the encouragement and love from a community that wants you to get better. The community is so strong here. It is what has helped me come back again and again and not want to miss any WODs. Also if you want top tier coaching then this is place to be. The coaches are awesome and are willing to spend the extra time with you if you are having trouble with a lift or certain technique.

What is your favorite workout and lift?
I like any workout with some combination of muscle ups and weightlifting. My favorite lift would have to be squat cleans. I feel like I really struggled with squat cleans when I first started and it has been awesome to see the little progress that I have made in these two movements. The moment I finally broke that 200lb barrier in my squat clean was the day it became my favorite. I couldn’t break that barrier for so long and it would frustrate the hek out of me, but once it happened I wanted to do that lift more and more.

The toughest workout and one of my favorites is from the Open this past year, 14.5. This one was brutal and I thought I would never finish, but when I did I felt relieved and stoked that stuck with it to the very end. It was awesome.

What do you love about CFCM?
Everything! The people here are amazing and so kind. The one thing I really do love is the awesome coaches we have. Max, G, Lindsay, Aaron, Dakota are all wonderful people and know what they are talking about when it comes to CrossFit. When I find myself talking about CrossFit, which usually is all the time, I always want to brag on how great our coaches are and how much they make coming to the gym enjoyable. CFCM you guys rock!

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                                                                                 Keith Covey

When did you start CrossFit?
2010

Describe your transformation through CrossFit.
I started CrossFit back in 2010 having no real athletic background other than being generally active and working out at the local 24hr fitness a few days a week. I had no clue what CrossFit was at the time. My friend Steve Barry had kept asking me to try out CrossFit with him and join the gym. After months of resistance I finally decided to give it a try and I went through on boarding with Gillian. The onboarding experience was definitely challenging. It was my first time ever doing a squat, wall ball, box jump, using the rower and doing any type of Olympic lifting movements. I liked it though, but it was rough for me and I was sore after every session! It was also a very humbling experience for me because up until then I had never tried anything physical like that where I was so naturally bad at it.

So in the beginning I was intimidated by the movements, heavy weights, and intensity of the WODs. But I wasn’t going to be a quitter so I kept at it and very quickly became addicted to CrossFit. I started ramping up my workouts schedule from 2 to 3 to 4 days a week. My mobility, strength and skills weren’t there yet but I was having fun.

Then after about 6 months I hurt my shoulder at work lifting some heavy equipment. I actually remember working out that afternoon that I hurt it and doing a bunch of pull ups in the WOD (stupid!), not realizing how severe my injury. The next morning I woke up and could not raise my right arm above my shoulder. I had zero strength in my right arm. I never went to see a doctor about it (again stupid!) but I believe I partially tore my rotator cuff. The injury forced me to stop going to the gym. In retrospective, I should have told the coaches there about my arm and they could have helped me with an active recovery; but being quiet me, I just kept it to myself and was a no-show at the gym for about 8 months. Luckily, the time off allowed my shoulder to heal enough for me to return to the gym and start working out again.

It took me some time to get back into the routine of going back to the gym but once I did the spark for CrossFit came back quickly. Again it was a frustrating experience because it was like starting over again. All my strength and skills that I had developed during the first 6 months were all gone. My right shoulder was also very weak and actually hurt during the WODs. But I pushed through the pain (being careful not to push too much and re-injure it) and eventually the strength in my right arm came back and the pain went away. I became very addicted to CrossFit again and diligently began WODing four to five days a week. I became a 6AM regular and focused on building my strength and getting better at all the movements. I started to see progress and gains and felt the next step for me was to join the Ox program. In early 2013 I joined the Ox program for one week with my friend, Wen Lai, but again life got in the way and I was forced to drop out in hopes of returning to it in the future. During 2013 I remained focused on continuing improving and getting stronger, basically coming to the gym as much my schedule would permit. I set some goals for myself after the open and remained a diligent “6am”er. 2014 came around and after experiencing some changes in my personal life and I had the opportunity again to try and rejoin the Ox program. I was able to rearrange my schedule and fit the extra hour at the gym in after work. It has only been a few months, but I actually look forward to getting my butt kicked every week by the extra workload. The extra lifting we do in Ox has also improved my lifting movements significantly and fixed a lot of problems I had always had since I started. Ox isn’t for everyone and is a major commitment in terms of time and energy, but I love it and definitely will keep at it as long as I can keep life from getting in the way. 😀

I am thankful that CrossFit came into my life. Through the ups and downs of life, CrossFit (more specifically CFCM) has been there for me to lean on and literally keep me sane. It also gives me something to look forward to when I get out of bed knowing I can train that day. I am grateful for all the really cool and passionate people that the gym and CrossFit have brought into my life. It is like an extended family, and although there definitely is a love hate relationship with it at times, I can’t imagine my life without working out at this level of dedication and passion.

What would you tell others about this place?
CFCM is a great gym for all levels of athletes or people just looking to get fit. The coaches are all really cool and strive to help people improve and emphasize safety, which is important. The gym is like one giant support group and everyone helps push each other in a positive way. Also, Max’s programming can work wonders with anyone, but it will kick your ass in a good way!

What is your favorite workout and lift?
WOD: 30 muscle ups for time
Lift: Snatch

What do you love about CFCM?
CFCM is always improving whether it comes to classes, scheduling, equipment or programming. The gym is a great facility and continues to evolve as it grows. Everyone at CFCM is awesome in my book.

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 Madelyn “Maddy” Cusimano

When did you start CrossFit?
I started CrossFit February 9, 2012 at CrossFit Tustin. I then switched to CFCM in October of 2012…

Describe your transformation through CrossFit.
My biggest transformation besides not being able to fit in my small jackets anymore has been my mental focus and mentality. It has taken me literally 2 years and this recent Open to be able to stick to a game plan! Working past my comfort zone is terribly hard for me in CrossFit and in life in general. Taking risks and failing was unheard of for me before I started CrossFit. I played soccer my whole life as a goalie so I would either make amazing saves or be able to say that my defense sucked so that’s why they scored… which I know is a horrible outlook but it saved me from looking like I was a “failure”. Then with life in general I always work in teams at my job, so if we screw up it’s all of our faults and not just mine. So basically what I am trying to say is that I have always gotten away with everything without “failing” until CrossFit and now I really get away with NOTHING at CFCM. They hold me 100% accountable for everything I do which could be being late, not consistent, calling me out on not sticking to a plan, trying to get away with not RX’ing, not being positive, not eating right, or trying to do a heavier weight cuz my ego gets in the way and then my form sucks. Aaron always says “Leave your ego at the door or you’ll never get better.” After being beat down and built back up by our wonderful coaching staff, I now think it’s refreshing to be able to leave all your bullshit at the door and be able to just be vulnerable and really be the best version of yourself. Thank you CFCM for taking the time to make me into a better person. I will forever be grateful for that.

What would you tell others about this place?
I would tell others that this place is a circus and they should join! I’ll never forget my first week at CFCM, I walked in and I was mouth to the floor in shock because I had never in my CrossFit life seen a girl do a muscle up… and there they were Lindsay, G, and Chelsie just taking turns cranking them out. I can’t tell you enough how lucky we are to have women coaches at our gym that are good. You know, you see a guy do a movement and you’re like “Whatever it’s cause you’re huge”, but then you see G snatch 900lbs and you’re like “Wholly moley I have to start taking protein supplements.” Our lady athletes at CFCM are so inspiring. Nothing seems impossible anymore and they will always remind us that they once started where we are but it takes time. Our guy athletes are obviously amazing too but they’re dudes doing their dude thing. Oh and I almost forgot… they put time caps on everything!!! I just recently started making it under the time caps. My first year at CFCM I was like what the hell this is impossible! Now I’m finally making it under the time cap by the skin of my teeth and I’m like oh yeah I’m killlllling it!!! They also have no problem no repping the hell out of you. They are dedicated to making us proficient CrossFitters. Thank you for caring about us.

What is your favorite workout and lift?
My favorite workout is anything long and not an AMRAP. I like the ending point of a workout and a home stretch. I like the feeling of crossing a finish line. I love doing MURPH. It’s so grueling…your hands are ripped and your arms feel like they are going to fall off and then you can’t move your legs anymore but you have to run that last mile… I love it so much. I also love any workout with box jumps. My favorite lift is a deadlift, mainly because I can lift pretty heavy and it surprises me every time that I’m actually standing up with this amount of weight. I also love doing cleans and every time I think I’ve got my form down, Aaron tells me something is off so there I am back at the bottom of my pulling position. Lol.

What do you love about CFCM?
What do I love about CFCM….. the people and the coaches. I love coming in for chitty chat time during the warm up. Our community of people is so diverse. We could run the world. We have doctors, lawyers, nurses, accountants, correctional officers, teachers, moms, Olympic athletes, hairdressers, makeup artists, florists, massage therapists…. the list goes on. We come in all different shapes and sizes but we all come together to make CFCM as special as it is. The coaches… this is my time to thank you. Dakota, for your most beautiful gymnastic movements I have ever seen and for always being the nicest guy with the sweetest smile. G, for being the most honest and direct person I have ever met, your strength as an athlete is insane and your ability to stay calm is so admirable, and of course for always allowing me to do a little extra chitty chat time. Max, the passion that you put into programming and coaching is unreal. It took me awhile to realize that you weren’t yelling at me but rather just excited to give me pointers. Linds, you have become a true mentor in my life, you have taught me how to believe in myself, to live life to the fullest, and to be able to laugh at myself. Aaron, you have completely restructured the way I think, you have pushed me to and past my limits, you are a constant reminder that I can do anything if I don’t say “I can’t” before I try and for seriously just putting up with me. All of you… you have all made me so grateful to be a part of CFCM. And a shout out to the 7amers, 8amers, and 9amers who cheer me on to watch me almost get a muscle up everyday.

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Christopher Aquino

When did you start CrossFit?
A colleague gave my number to Max and the next day Max called me and we talked about what CrossFit could do for me and what I could do for the community. And with nervousness and fear, I walked through that bright yellow door and began my journey February 2013 at CrossFit Costa Mesa.

Describe your transformation through CrossFit.
This is what CrossFit Costa Mesa has done for me thus far:
o CFCM has helped me lose 50 lbs in one year
o CFCM had helped me make better nutritional choices
o My back and core are stronger so I don’t complain or have difficulty playing with my two girls
o CrossFit has helped me get off high blood pressure medication
o The magnitude of my snoring has decreased (so says my wife)
o I have more energy throughout the day
o I have a reason to actually look forward to doing some form of physical activity every day
o CFCM has helped me drop 3 pant sizes and 6 inches off my waist
o I’m more comfortable with being in front of the camera
o CrossFit has encouraged my wife to say “I love you” more (ok that’s a joke, but I feel more confident in my own skin)
o CFCM has helped me develop friendships that will last a long time
o CFCM has made me a believer; a believer in myself, that no matter how difficult the WOD, how much I may hate the movement(s), I am still capable of doing it, and therefore mentally I am even stronger
o CFCM has changed my life for the better, and for that I am forever thankful to the people of CrossFit Costa Mesa!

What would you tell others about this place?
If you have never done CrossFit, if you are just curious about what all the hoopla is about, if you have plateaued with your current training routine, or as in my case trying to make a lifestyle change so you have more stamina to play with your kids and live a long happier life and watch your children grow, then CrossFit Costa Mesa is a good start! But do me a favor; check your ego at the door. Be open-minded and listen to what the coaches have to say. Be patient, practice, and be positive.

The honest truth is: you will sweat, you will be sore, you may even cry or bleed, but at the end of the day, the community around you has endured with you, and by choice you did do it, and the next day you will be stronger because of it, guaranteed!

What is your favorite workout and lift?
Oh man, I love anything with running, rowing, wall balls, or box jumps. NOT! I’ll never forget getting a sore throat from just the warm-up run because I was breathing so hard! I’m still a newb, so there are a lot of workouts I have yet to experience. But if I have to choose one, I guess it would be CrossFit Total. Moving heavy loads, quickly, and in my case literally a short distance 🙂 I’ve done Total three times so far. The first time I remember I hit a heavy squat, somewhere around 365, but then all my other lifts were significantly low. My core was weak, my mobility was poor, and I had a pre-existing low back issue so the other lifts suffered (it was something like 95 for the press and 225 for the DL). The second go around I PR’d every lift! I don’t recall the numbers but the total was easily over 1000 and both my press and DL were much improved. My core is stronger now, my shoulder doesn’t bug, my mobility is not as supple as it could be, but its better, and my back doesn’t give me the same issues. So all in all, everything is just getting better!

What do you love about CFCM?
That’s easy! The coaches and the community! If I didn’t, I would not be here, and that’s the truth! Alec Hanson has truly assembled an awesome coaching staff (Gillian, Max, Aaron, Lindsay, Dakota). Although I consider them as friends, they still keep me in check; they are motivating and knowledgeable; and they want you to succeed safely. Within the walls of CFCM, lives a strong and friendly community. There’s no judgment, no ego, and no BS. What I have found is a family; one that likes to compete, see you do well, and most of all have fun in training to survive the zombie apocalypse. The coaches at CFCM steer this ship, but the members keep it afloat, and together we are on a journey to better our mind and body!

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 Scott Braunsdorf

When did you start CrossFit?
I started CrossFit August 28, 2011. I went in to the old gym on a Wednesday evening to check it out after hearing about it from a friend a couple times. I knew he was all into fitness and everything so I went to see if it was that great. I remember the workout being 10,9,…2,1 of double-unders and mountain climbers. I watched from start to finish and it was a quick one but it was plenty to get my attention. I was so intrigued by what I saw, 5 days later I was in the next onboarding group with Lindsay and you know the rest from there. I was absolutely hooked. The CrossFit methodology made sense to me and I wanted to start pushing myself and see what was possible immediately. I drank the kool-aid… haha.

Describe your transformation through CrossFit?
When I started CrossFit I had never done any of the lifts so it was completely new to my body.I was weighing about 175 and soon realized I needed more bodyweight to be able to handle the heavier barbell movements we do.So over the past 2 years I’ve put on about 20 pounds and its helped a lot. Another transformation of mine was my outlook on working out. Of course at 24hr Fitness it was about trying to make my body look good. Now when I workout its all about what can my body do. Looking at it this way has allowed me to do things I never would’ve thought possible.

What would you tell others about the place?
I would tell someone that at CFCM there is a strong community. I mean with 300 or so members there’s got to be. Having that camaraderie with people while you’re all going through the same grueling thing is something special to be a part of. The coaching and structure behind the programming is something that doesn’t compare to a lot of gyms out there, and its just a lot of fun.

What is your favorite workout & lift?
I like every workout we do from strictly bodyweight workouts to a single heavy lift, I enjoy them all, but a couple that stand out are ones like “Amanda” with two high skill movements or something like “Nate” thats longer where you have to mentally just settle in and go. My favorite lift is definitely the snatch. I like this because it seems to take everything we do and pack it all into one movement. Strength, speed, power, balance, accuracy, flexibility are all required to execute this lift and the technicality of it makes it the best. It purely defines the mechanics of the human body. I knew this was my favorite when I kept missing snatches one day and it clicked that this just wasn’t about being strong and putting it overhead. It was about being so precise that it was pretty much a 50/50 chance of making it. I compare it to doing a technical trick on a skateboard, in this case a 360 flip down a flight of stairs. You will not succeed in landing the trick unless your feet are perfectly positioned and the correct timing and amount of power is used. Exactly like the snatch.

What do you love about CFCM?
What isn’t there to love about CFCM? All the people I’ve met that have the same craziness as me to do all the stuff we do is pretty awesome. Im stoked on the new Spikeball league/group we’ve got going on too. I love that we can all have a good time together right after trying to smash each other on a workout 10 minutes earlier. I think its great how a gym atmosphere equalizes everyone no matter who you are or what you do. We’re just there to get fit! Thanks CFCM!

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 Jen McClure

When did you start CrossFit?
I started CrossFit March of 2012 at CrossFit Costa Mesa.

Describe your transformation through CrossFit?
In a word: grateful. I grew up playing tennis competitively, and continued an active lifestyle well into my adulthood, mainly with cardio workouts and light strength training. In 2008, for unknown reasons, I was diagnosed with Costochondritis (Inflammation of the cartilages that joins the ribs to the sternum). With two years of painful flare-ups, frustration, and anxiety, I quit exercising and focused my efforts towards addressing my physical ailment. Needless to say, leaving my active regimen in exchange for sedentariness was extremely difficult for me, especially with the prospect of Costochondritis becoming my new norm, permanently.

Fortunately, my body eventually healed enough, and soon thereafter I was introduced to CrossFit. A friend warned me of its addicting qualities, and while I wasn’t really sure what to expect, I knew I wanted to try it. After my first night of onboarding I was intrigued. However, I was hooked once I was physically able to do more and more of the workouts pain-free.

The physical transformation I have undergone is nothing I could have ever imagined. I’m the strongest I’ve ever been and in better shape than in my tennis days. I’m extremely grateful to have found something so fulfilling.

What would you tell others about the place?
CrossFit Costa Mesa is an outstanding gym for people who want to learn, work hard, and have fun in the process. The environment at CFCM is both cohesive and welcoming. People are friendly and encouraging; motivating and cheering each other during and post workouts with fist bumps and high fives. Regardless if you’re fresh from onboarding, or a seasoned CrossFitter, you will learn invaluable knowledge from the coaching staff at CFCM. Not only are the coaches committed and experienced, each possess a passion for CrossFit. Furthermore, there is a strong emphasis and focus on technique and form, which is continuously and patiently taught.

What is your favorite workout & lift?
I love “chipper” style workouts, especially in a team or partnered effort. I like the mixture of endurance and strength, while testing and pushing my limits. I also enjoy workouts with Olympic lifts and pull-ups. As far as my favorite lift, it is the snatch. It takes me a bit out my comfort zone and happily challenges me.

What do you love about CFCM?
I love CFCM for all it encompasses. From the coaches, the programming, its diverse members, the amazing friendships I have made, to the state-of-the-art facility, I feel so fortunate to be part of a fantastic community.

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 Brittany Vander Kooy

When did you start CrossFit?
I started CrossFit October 2012 after running my first full marathon in June and getting married in August of that same year. My wife had worked with Alec at Countrywide when she first moved out to CA and had heard that he had started CFCM Coming off of running a marathon and wanting to do something athletic together, Shana reached out to Alec about CrossFit and he invited us to a Bring a Buddy workout. That was it. We were hooked.

Describe your transformation through CrossFit.
When I began CrossFit my body and mind were conditioned for endurance from months of marathon training. I had to reprogram my brain to step into the strength realm so I’d say that my overall physical strength has been the biggest transformation for me. I started Onboarding using a green and blue band for pull-ups and now am able to do bar muscle-ups. This is just one example but I would say that for every movement we do at CrossFit my strength has grown exponentially. Next big goal is a muscle-up on the rings!

What would you tell others about this place?
I would tell others that CFCM will change you for the better in every way. If you make the commitment to show up, work hard, and stay focused, you will do things you may not have ever thought possible.

What is your favorite workout and lift?
One specific workout doesn’t stand out in my mind but I like the hero workouts. They tend to be longer workouts with multiple movements and high volume. I also like any workout with some running incorporated. As for my favorite lift, probably cleans.

What do you love about CFCM?
Even though CFCM is the only CrossFit I have ever worked out at, our coaches are hands down the absolute best. Each one of them has made me feel like anything is possible. They keep working out safe and fun with the right amount of competition. Along with all the coaches, each member has played a part in my transformation and love for CrossFit as well. The cheering and encouragement is powerful and I feel fortunate to be a part of this community.

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 Joey Bush

When did you start CrossFit?
I started CrossFit August, 2012 at 16 years old.

Describe your transformation through CrossFit.
When I first came to CFCM I thought I had a pretty solid fitness foundation considering I am an athlete and attended a gym regularly. Right off the bat I realized my biggest weakness was my lack of strength. Modifying every strength related movement during onboarding frustrated me and revealed to me that I had a lot to work on. After consistently coming in I saw immediate progression which kept me excited to come back each day. I set small goals for myself such as making it on the fire breather board and getting my clean & jerk to 200lbs. Focusing each day to achieve these small goals lead to the bigger picture of being a better wrestler.

After attending CFCM my entire junior year of high school I felt extremely prepared for my senior year wrestling season. My junior year season ended on a pretty bad note and I knew I had to put in the work in order to catch up. I had gained a considerable amount of strength, yet without gaining too much weight which was key for me. I felt extremely well conditioned and my diet was in-check. After just the first week of this season I saw my results when I beat 2 returning CIF placers. These wins ranked me #2 in Orange County. As I continue this season I have high expectations for myself and I know CrossFit plays a big role in that.

What would you tell others about this place?
For the most part I don’t tell people about this place to keep my competitive edge. But if you’re not someone I may wrestle in the future, I would say this place is awesome. The coaches are extremely motivating and knowledgeable and everyone is super friendly. This gym can definitely help you reach your goals but you have to be consistent. After coming here for a year and a half, I still catch myself thinking and getting excited about my 4PM workout while I’m sitting in physics class.

What is your favorite workout and lift?
My favorite workout is definitely the “Texas Chainsaw Cardio Massacre.” This was a long 40 minute AMRAP we did in mid-November and I loved it. It consisted of unique movements we don’t incorporate in our workouts very often like bear crawls, sand bag runs, and sled drags. I find myself getting bored in workouts when the movements get repetitive but I was focused the entire 40 minutes. Also cardio is my strong point and I was able to take advantage of that in this workout.

My second favorite workout is probably the ultimate test of fitness, the Fish Game. I’m easily one of the worst rowers in the gym yet when I see this as our warm-up I get pumped. When I finally hit 2,000 I was super stoked and I’ve been addicted ever since.

My favorite lift is definitely the clean and jerk. I just love pushing heavy weight above my head and hitting a PR just feels so good.

What do you love about CFCM?
Definitely the entire CFCM community. Everyone is extremely supportive and the facility is amazing. It’s awesome to be able to push each other and hit new goals. I’m a pretty quiet guy but I can get really competitive and there’s nothing better than crushing your buddy on a workout. After competing in my first CrossFit competition in October, I became even more motivated. It was an 18 years old and under competition and after seeing what some of these kids are capable of, I was hungry for more. I was the only one from our gym competing but I still had 2 CFCM coaches and 2 other gym friends in my corner. This made me realize how much our community really cares about each other and how supportive they are. I am able to push myself relatively hard but without the support and drive of the CFCM staff and community I would not be where I am today in the world of fitness.

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 Jeff Schuil

When did you start CrossFit?
Lindsay and I moved to Costa Mesa at the start of 2009. She’d been interested in CrossFit for awhile and was excited to find a garage gym down the street from our new place. To be honest, I didn’t understand what was so special. Working out was working out, right? Even so, I let her occasionally drag me over to Alec’s where I would vainly try to prove I wasn’t in that bad of shape. For the next year and half I would insist that I didn’t need to spend money to be healthy. I would go through short bursts of motivation, running or doing push-ups, but I wasn’t enjoying myself and I was gradually losing ground. Meanwhile I’d been spending more and more time with the growing CFCM community and liked the people (though I didn’t know who or what they were talking about half the time). When Lindsay began coaching, and the gym had since moved to a warehouse on Placentia, I decided to stop giving excuses and to dive in. I signed up for on-boarding in June 2010. Three hard introductory months later I found myself admitting that I really liked, dare I say loved, CrossFit. I haven’t looked back since.

Describe your transformation through CrossFit.
Slow and steady. Before I started, most people would assume I was in OK shape, but I was definitely soft and had poor body awareness. I’d grown up running around and swimming, but wasn’t comfortable with with a barbell or with putting myself in a position to lift weight safely and efficiently. Despite constant reminders to not round my back or keep my chest up I eventually hit the limit of what my body was willing to put up with. Nagging low back pain forced me to take a step back and re-evaluate how I was accustomed to moving through space. I’d tried to do everything the coaches were telling me, oftentimes I thought I was, but poor awareness and mobility left me unable to make more than temporary, cosmetic corrections. Pain is an excellent motivator, however, and I started working on my posture and positioning, recognizing how it looks and feels to move correctly. So much of this was re-mapping my brain and undoing years of sitting hunched at a desk typing on a computer. It was, and remains, challenging, but also very rewarding. People often talk about CrossFit being both mental and physical. The physical transformations are easily identifiable and measurable. They are probably what initially drew us in the doors and are what our family members will comment on over the holidays. The mental transformations are subtle but profound. For me it’s come in the form of increased awareness. While it doesn’t sound like a big deal, it’s helped anchor me in the present moment and amplified the enjoyment found in everyday activities.

What would you tell others about this place?
CrossFit Costa Mesa is for anyone who wants to work hard, have fun, and learn something new each day. Someone on the outside observing via social media might think the people are one dimensional, but this is very far from the truth at CFCM. I have met lots of talented and successful people at various stages in life. Yes, we may be excited to talk about our new PR in gym but that’s a testament to the rewards of hard work, rather than diminishing our other pursuits. CrossFit is fun and easy to talk about, so it’s common to overhear conversations about lifts and workout times. Dig a little bit, however, and you’ll find a wide array of interests, careers, and backgrounds. I’m a bit biased, but I think CFCM has a unique and welcoming community second to none in Orange County.

What is your favorite workout and lift?
Filthy Fifty is a bit of love/hate thing, but I like chipper workouts where you get through a movement and move on. My favorite lift right now is probably the clean. My (squat) clean is finally catching up to my power clean after 3+ years. Slow and steady right?

What do you love about CFCM?
It’s been said before, but it’s the coaches and members that make CFCM special. The CrossFit paradigm is what it is, whether you’re alone in your garage or at another gym. Working out in a class setting with the people at CFCM transforms exercising into something that I personally enjoy more than I ever thought I would. Enjoyment is so important for creating habits that last. There is no way I would be able to get up at 6am day after day for something I knew was good for me but didn’t like doing. Going to CFCM is like returning to the days of running around on the soccer field with my friends. Sure we were exercising, but it wasn’t the reason we played. I also love how I’m inspired and pushed by so many different people. Whether it’s the studs on the competition team who show me what’s possible; or the guys around my level who I try to beat (you know who you are), or the veteran members who keep pushing into new frontiers, or the new up and comers who are just figuring things out. Hard work and determination are contagious and those are the people I want to be around. You can find them in abundance at CFCM.

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 Tracy Kubas

When did you start CrossFit?
January 2012

Describe your transformation through CrossFit.
I am not sure if I have had a “transformation” yet, but I have defiantly seen an improvement in all aspects of my fitness. When I first started I felt incredibly awkward with most of the lifts, I had a hard time just getting into the bands for pull-ups, and I repeatedly whipped myself with the jump rope through every Buddy Lee warm-up. Actually, I still do most of those things, but now I feel better about it. Despite still needing to sub down many of the movements, I can feel myself getting just a little bit better every month and getting closer to all those small and big goals.

What would you tell others about this place?
From the very first onboarding class I was very impressed by the level of attention to proper technique and the overall structure of the programming. I came through the doors looking for a change of pace and a challenging workout and I found a lot more. CFCM has amazing coaches, a great facility, and an excellent community.

What is your favorite workout and lift?
I really love any of the “chipper” style workouts. Anything longer than 30 minutes makes me smile. I think I may have been one of the few that totally loved that day we had a 12K row. As far as lifts, it’s all about the front squat.

What do you love about CFCM?
I love the vibe of this place. The coaches are motivating without being aggressive and supportive without sugarcoating it. Also, the community is the right amount of competitiveness mixed with encouragement. I feel motivated to push myself to rise to level that others are working at, but I never feel pressured if I need to back off a little. Nearly a year after starting, I am still excited to walk through the doors for every workout.

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Molly Felix

When did you start CrossFit?
February of 2012 is when I finally sucked it up and took a sip of the kool-aid. It took me 9 months to go in for the kill and join the community of CrossFit Costa Mesa. Iʼd say it was a pretty good decision 🙂

Describe your transformation through CrossFit.
My transformation…I guess Iʼve transformed enough to receive this award! My view of everything has changed… literally, everything. When I first started, I was around 110 pounds or so, a little shrimp, bar warm-ups crushed me… you get the idea. Since then my views on body image, my diet, my career/life goals, short-term goals, how I take on daily tasks, my thoughts (carrying bags, books and food to class…farmer carry to class for time!) have all transformed completely. I have found out more about myself in the past year and a half from starting CrossFit than I ever thought I would, both mentally and physically. One of the biggest transformations for me would definitely be gaining 30-35 pounds, I can finally fit into my “big girl” pants… said no girl who doesnʼt do CrossFit ever. And I could not be happier.

What would you tell others about this place?
Right when you walk in and experience CrossFit Costa Mesa, it speaks for itself. People are always surprised when they walk in during a warm-up being led by one of the coaches, because they all go above and beyond in all that they do, including teaching proper movement. People ask a lot about CFCM, theyʼre very curious. Itʼs something they need to come and experience for themselves. Weʼre all one BIG, strong family.

What is your favorite workout and lift?
My favorite lift is the snatch. I wouldnʼt say that I have one favorite workout, but I do love when it involves a “heavy” barbell, or relatively heavy for me. A workout like “Holleyman” comes to mind, it is 30 rounds of 5 wall balls, 3 handstand pushups and one heavy power clean.

What do you love about CFCM?
The strength of the community, the friendships, cheering for each other after workouts, the amount of fun that we have, how knowledgable the coaches are, how everyone is supportive of everyone, how much CFCM has grown, being surrounded by awesome people, celebrating with one another, the hard work and dedication… this all only brings us that much closer and stronger as a whole.

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Miles Kushin

When did you start CrossFit?
Almost exactly a year ago, September 2012.

Describe your transformation through CrossFit.
When I started CrossFit I was a smoker, and pretty much a go-out-most-nights-and-drink kinda guy. I knew nothing about CrossFit other than what I’d been watching on YouTube, and my physical activities consisted of trying to run every now and again and mountain biking, which was pretty brutal given my smoking habit. Looking back now, I don’t really know why I smoked when it hindered that aspect of my life so much. I wanted a change, because I felt like I was not in control.

I was really, really nervous going to onboarding… I think I sat in my car for about 15 minutes trying to gain the courage to walk in. Lindsay and Chris were awesome though, and made me feel much more comfortable. I started realizing CrossFit is actually not just a “workout method”, but also really fun. After the second or third day’s workout (Elizabeth, it may have been), I went home and threw away my cigarettes, and haven’t touched one since.

This trend has only continued, and my desire to be better has been cultivated more and more through CrossFit and CFCM. I go to the gym 4 times a week now, and mountain bike or cycle on the weekend. I did my first competition in August, and I learned so much doing it, and will definitely be doing more. I discovered what it really means to “leave it all out on the floor” at that competition! The nerves that I experienced my first time walking into the gym haven’t necessarily gone away, but I now try to use it as fuel and motivation instead of a hindrance.

I still enjoy an adult beverage here and there, and I love food (and CANDY!), but CrossFit has given me what I need to balance all of that out, and enjoy all aspects of my life in a healthy way. I love it, and I can’t imagine my weeks without it!

What would you tell others about this place?
I always have a hard time explaining what CrossFit is when people ask me. “Constantly varied, functional movement at high intensity” doesn’t mean much to my friends, so I just tell them the story about when the spirit and camaraderie of CFCM first became evident to me. The last workout of onboarding was “Fight Gone Bad”, and a couple rounds before we finished, Aaron stopped the noon class and brought all of them over to cheer us on. As I finished my last round of wall balls, I had Aaron and a couple other noon regulars encouraging me and it felt amazing. I have never forgotten that.

What is your favorite workout and lift?
It’s funny… I remember telling Lindsay at onboarding that I was interested in CrossFit because I hated running. Boy was I ignorant about what CrossFit was! Running is definitely still one of my weak points, but I’ve grown to appreciate it as part of training as I’ve committed to improving that skill. I have really grown to love the “chippers”, and pull-ups have become more fun for me as I work more and more on my butterfly. I love lifting days where we work up to 1RM on something technical like the clean or snatch.

What do you love about CFCM?
Above all, the people – my fellow members and my coaches. I love that all of my coaches work out beside us every day. I love that my coaches are such bad asses and give us something to shoot for. I love that everyone I’ve met at the gym is cool. I love the healthy, competitive atmosphere, and I love that if I miss a day, people care. I love that the environment is always a positive, encouraging one, and I love that CFCM is always improving, and that it’s always in the best interests of the members. That and so much more!

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Mark “Yeti” Yeterian

When did you start CrossFit?
January 2011

Describe your transformation through CrossFit.
When I started Crossfit, looking back, I was a total spaz. I was the kid who would go out as hard as I could in the first 2 minutes of a workout and be totally spent. I had no concept of scaling and wanted to do everything RX and heavy because I wanted to lift that heavy weight! I would wear headphones to the gym (yes during the workout, I was trying to be Spealler before I even knew who he was) and constantly checking the white board comparing my score with others, even with those people who had been doing CrossFit for years, and be frustrated with where I was at. I had a realization that I had to learn new motor pathways, gain ALOT of endurance (ugh!) and understand that just being athletic wouldn’t help me too much. I had to check my ego and pride at the door and take my time to learn how to CrossFit. I started working with Max on my olympic lifts before I would do the class workout 2-3 times a week, I started scaling weights big time and concentrated on moving through the workout instead of just lifting the heaviest weight possible and just know that I was building a base. When I would lift during those extra sessions, I would lift next to some powerlifters that were at CFCM at the time which helped a lot as well. They were my first training partners even though we were an odd mix. A couple of massive powerlifters and little ol’ Yeti. But it worked out really well, and they really helped to open me up as we would talk a lot and I got more involved with the community and wouldn’t be as shy with talking to other members who had been CrossFitting for awhile. My patience with scaling my weights began to pay off as well as my lifts started to go up, my times went down, and my confidence grew and began to think maybe I could be pretty good at this CrossFit thing after all! Because of CrossFit I have changed all aspects of my life. From how I think and approach work and problems, my confidence, how I talk to people, to what I eat, how I live my everyday life, and where I see myself in the future. I’m still a spaz, high energy, all or nothing, lifter/athlete/person. That can never change and wouldn’t want it too but CrossFit has helped me to learn to calm down, analyze, have patience, and just keep steadily working for what you want.

What would you tell others about this place?
Its a place where people come to get better and change themselves. They come to lose weight or put on muscles or for a new challenging workout, and then they find out that this place is so much more than just a gym with barbells. You find a community and new friends, new relationships, and it happens without you even realizing it. One minute your concerned with just learning the movements and getting through your first WOD alive, to finding yourself cheering on your new friend through their first CrossFit Open and watching them realize at the end while you give them a high five that this is awesome.

What is your favorite workout and lift?
My favorite workout now is probably a Snatch Ladder or a Clean and Jerk Ladder or the CrossFit Total. A ladder is great, NO RUNNING, just lifting. Its either you can do it or you can’t. During a ladder of either of the olympic lifts it truly exposes your weakness. Are you just not strong enough yet or is there a flaw in your technique. If there is a technical flaw, than nothing will get you more motivated to get back to doing more barbell work to correct that flaw. The CrossFit Total was my JAM though! I wanted to do that every other week! Pure raw strength, strap on that belt, get a couple good yells in, and squat, press, and pull that bar for all your worth! My favorite lift is probably the Snatch, pretty standard. But for me the snatch represents my journey through CrossFit. I really had to be patient and work at it. I came in an hour early everyday for months and worked on my bar path and bar complexes. First with the PVC, then with the bar. Then I would work on mobility in my hips, back and shoulders. Then the lift started to come together and I started to hit it with more consistency and new PRs started to come. When its all said and done nothing beats hitting that lift and standing up with that barbell over your head!

What do you love about CFCM?
I love that I can come in and be myself. That I can talk to myself and yell and curse during workouts. I love the intangibles of CFCM that makes this place the best. I love that Linds is there with a smile everyday making everyone feel welcome. I love that G rattles my cage and lets me know that every kilo and every second count especially when she beats me. I love that Aaron is good at everything, you can come in and find him juggling flaming bowling pins on a unicycle blindfolded and not be too surprised. I love that Max is louder and curses more than me, and keeps me in check. I love watching members make progress, like getting that first pull up, pulling that first double body weight DL and be giddy with excitement. Seeing things like that or coaching someone and watching them nail a lift gives me energy and gives me the desire to do that much better. I love that we put on the best events like the Pink Bra Tour and Friday night lights and do them better than anyone else! And I love lamp.

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Jeff Edwards

When did you start CrossFit?
I started CrossFit in January 2012.

Describe your transformation through CrossFit.
CrossFit has been a life changing event that goes beyond physical. I grew up a fat kid and so many aspects of my life were influenced by that: the biggest being low self-esteem. I was forever the guy that convinced himself he wasn’t good enough. That winning wasn’t everything because, “well, you tried kid”. There’s nothing wrong with trying, everyone should at least try. But never try and sell yourself short; then it’s not worth trying at all because you sabotage your own potential.

CrossFit has challenged every aspect of my adult life. My personality, my self-confidence and most importantly, my outlook on life. It’s forced me to look within and ask myself what do I really want out of this? That’s the great thing about CrossFit, you get what you put into it. And that’s what life should be. Pushing ourselves in ways we never thought possible or even considered. The only thing holding you back is your mind, so stop over thinking it and get on it. Every once in awhile that little fat kid shows up. Now instead of letting him convince me I can’t do something, I hand him a barbell and tell him to get on it!

What would you tell others about this place?
I never tell people CFCM is better than others because quite honestly I’ve never trained anywhere else. But I’ve heard enough horror stories from other boxes to know that I’ve never encountered their problems at CFCM. I think that says a lot and is a testament to the team of coaches and Alec’s leadership as owner.

What is your favorite workout and lift?
For pure raw strength, CrossFit Total. Foundation movements that carryover to so many other lifts. From a technical standpoint, the snatch. Hard as hell, but when it sticks, you feel it.

My favorite WOD though is Fight Gone Bad. The first WOD out of onboarding and it damn near killed me. Literally sitting in my car for 15 minutes afterwards coughing up a lung. So there’s a major love/hate relationship every time it comes up because it reminds me of where I started. No matter what your skill level, you can do FGB!

What do you love about CFCM?
This community! Bar none I have never encountered a greater sense of community and support for one another. We don’t see it every day, but stick around for the Open and you’ll see what camaraderie truly is. It’s amazing! Personally, I can’t not mention Max for everything he’s done and continues to do for me. Like a lot of people, early on I asked for more. I didn’t know what but I just wanted more of it. He was willing to show me but make no mistake, he wasn’t going to hand it to me. Not a day goes by he doesn’t call me out or put me in check. That’s when you ask yourself, how badly do you want it? Hence the lesson learned: accountability. There are no free lunches here. There’s no magic wand that turns you into Firebreather or special pill that takes you to regionals. I may never get to either, but I know I wouldn’t have made it to where I’m at today if it wasn’t for Max and his guidance.

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Dave Snyder

When did you start CrossFit?
I on-boarded in July of last year (2012).

Describe your transformation through CrossFit.
Prior to starting to CrossFit I would run (not far) or work out at a chain gym or go to spin classes. My weight would yo-yo depending on my focus and intensity. During this time period my weight would hover between 245 and 230 with my lowest weight achieved being 216. When i joined Cross-fit was right about 240 with my weight and I am now hovering between 215-220. However, as the people reading this probably know, weight is only one factor in the equation. Additional factors are strength and endurance.

The gains that I have made in relation to strength and endurance are the most memorable for me. In fact, I have often reflected that I never understood how truly weak I had become. Thus, the weight that the scale shows is not truly a measure of my weight loss but is more an indicator of my improvement in skill, strength and endurance. Today I did 13.4 and only scored 35 but 9 months ago I would have scored 0. I would not have been able to clean 135 or jerk 135 and I know I could not have a done a single T2B without standing on the ground and getting a running start.

What would you tell others about this place?
CrossFit Costa Mesa is fantastic. The trainers, the members and the facilities.

What is your favorite workout and lift?
This is tough. I like working on things that I am not good at from the stand point of I can feel that I am getting better. That being said, I really do like it when we do the Olympic lifts RFH. These movements take such a high level of skill as well as strength that is feels like a great accomplishment when I finish the workout.

What do you love about CFCM?
Everything. The coaching, the team atmosphere, the fellow members etc. I look forward to going to the gym everyday.

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 Sal Munoz

When did you start CrossFit?
I started CrossFit at CrossFit Costa Mesa in July 2011.

Describe your transformation through CrossFit
CrossFit has made me physically and mentally stronger and it’s introduced me to an amazing community. I can easily say I’m in the best shape in my life. I randomly found CFCM and I was pretty nervous my first day of onboarding. I even considered not showing up. During my first WOD I tore both my hands pretty bad doing pull-ups. Regardless of the pain I was in, I was hooked. Crossfit had definitely made me a different person, for the better. Besides getting me in great shape, I believe Crossfit has a therapeutic element. Like most people, I endure challenges, struggles, stress, and all the B.S. that life brings. For one to two hours a day Im able to do something that I love and be in a fun and positive environment. Crossfit to me is a release, an escape, a way to forget. It’s hard to remember a day when I felt like not going to train. Through Crossfit, I’ve become smarter, more disciplined and matured. I drink less, choose to stay home over the nightlife, eat clean, sleep more, and approach life in a more positive way. I don’t get sick with colds or the flu as much as I used to. I have more energy throughout the day and in a way its made my career easier.
I took a trip to South America last year and I had the opportunity to drop in on some boxes. Most non-crossfit people thought I was crazy for working out while vacationing. CrossFit is a universal language and I was embraced at each box. I was humbled by the opportunity to do a WOD at a box in Santiago, Chile. While their equipment was very minimal and old, the spirit of its members was strong and exciting. This made me appreciate CrossFit even more.
I’ve become become even more committed to CrossFit since joining the competitors program. The team environment definitely makes me work harder. The support and encouragement of my teammates is greatly appreciated and I encourage anyone to join the team. Im looking forward to another year at CFCM. I’d like to thank all the coaches at CFCM for all their dedication, hard work and generosity.

What would you tell others about this place?
I would tell others that CFCM is a place where anyone can workout, have fun, and leave satisfied. I would tell them the coaching staff is great. They treat everyone equally and make an effort to teach proper form and also push you to work harder. The atmosphere is competitive and enjoyable. I’ve come across a good amount of people (friends, family, Facebook, coworkers) who are critical of crossfit. Deep down inside I wish these people would fall off the face of the earth. Most of the time, I try to explain my experiences with CrossFit and CFCM. I tell them I workout amongst people of all ages, sizes, abilities, male or female. Its more than just a gym. It’s a place where people make new friends, laugh and have a good time. But its also a place people work their asses off, experience discomfort, make sacrifices, and encourage one another to improve.

What is your favorite WOD and lift?
My favorite WOD is Crossfit Total. I like it because its simple but demands a lot of effort and energy. And it’s always a great feeling PR’ing on any of those lifts. And like most, Fight Gone Bad or any variation of it.
My favorite lift is the clean. I have a love/hate relationship with the snatch.

What do you love about CFCM?
I love the coaches, the facility, members, equipment, and the community. Maybe I’m easy to please, but I cant think of anything that I would change about CFCM. I hope to be at CFCM for many years.

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Kristina Sernett

When did you start CrossFit?
I started Crossfit in December 2011.

Describe your transformation through CrossFit?
It has changed my life in every aspect! When I started Crossfit, I was a huge party girl and a smoker. I had been smoking about half a pack a day since age 16, and at 24 I decided I’d had enough. I wanted to quit, but the addiction was so strong. I got winded from walking up the stairs. A good friend finally convinced me to try Crossfit at a bring-a-buddy workout. That first workout I will never forget- I almost threw up because I could barely breathe and was incredibly out of shape. Everyone in the class was so supportive, and at the end of the workout everyone kept saying, “You have to come back for more!” So I did.

Now, I regularly go to Crossfit 5 times a week and have been cigarette free for just over a year! I did my first Crossfit competition in August 2012 at Lindsay’s encouragement, and have participated in one every 2 months since then. I am signed up to get my Level 1 Certificate at on May 25-26. My new Zone-Paleo style diet helped me go from a size 8 to a size 4, and it gives me the fuel I need to get through the toughest WOD’s. I am much more self-confident and out-going than ever before. I used to be such a perfectionist, but now have learned to be okay with failure and discomfort because it is part of the learning process- you must fail and be uncomfortable to get better. I have made so many amazing friends that are such a positive influence in my life as well. I want to go to regionals next year on the team, and eventually become a Crossfit coach to encourage others that if I can do it, anyone can do it. I went from a total couch potato party girl with black lungs to a Crossfit athlete, and hopefully one day a coach and an inspiration to others. I never imagined that I could be this happy!

What would you tell others about this place?
The community is what sets CFCM apart. I have made so many friends and felt so much support anytime I am around this group of people. But you have to put yourself out there and be willing to fall down. You are going to get sweaty and out of breath and be in pain, but that’s okay: you are not alone. There are 20 other people right alongside with you in the trenches. They will be in pain with you, they will fight with you, and they will conquer that WOD with you. Some of my favorite moments are those wordless high-fives and fist bumps after an intense workout; you can’t even speak, but you look at your friend next to you and that look says it all- “We did it!!” I could not have done this alone, and I feel such gratitude and appreciation for all of the amazing coaches and members.

What’s your favorite workout and lift?
My favorite lift is the clean because of how explosive it is and how strong I feel when I hit it. My favorite workout is any AMRAP that combines pull-ups with Olympic lifting. Before CrossFit I couldn’t fathom doing a pull-up, and now that I can I love any chance I get to work on this skill. I love Olympic lifting because it makes me feel so strong to lift a huge barbell with all of that weight.

What do you love about CFCM?
The people of course!! I couldn’t imagine being with a more supportive group of coaches and friends. Beyond that, the facility is amazing. It has so much space, including the Olympic lifting area and even the killer ice baths. I also LOVE the outside rig and workout area—it’s perfect for outdoor workouts all year round. It’s a great day in SoCal when you can work out with your friends and work on your tan at the same time!!

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Cooper Briscoe

When did you start CrossFit?
I started CFCM at the end of April 2012 after sampling a couple other local boxes.

Describe your transformation through CrossFit?
In a word, dramatic. I’ve always been the skinny kid that could run but have never been strong. I remember being in grade school trying to do legit pull-ups and maybe being able to do 1 or 2. This was no different when I started here at CFCM. I grew up playing sports in high school and college and then played some casual sports (does Men’s softball count?) for a number of years after finishing my degree. I’ve dealt with back pain on and off since I was 14 and this ultimately made me quit my biggest passion, soccer 5-6 years back. I even had to quit softball for the same reason because I don’t really know how to play for “fun” and not dive into a fence with a 15 run lead. Needless to say, I had a huge hole in my life due to this and took up cycling and did a few triathlons. Although I enjoyed them (the actual event), it was very boring and I trained alone. It was always the same training. I needed more.

Starting CrossFit first humbled me, then motivated me to do more and get better at anything I could. I felt for the first time since college soccer that I belonged to a team, even though I was competing with myself. I love the “people helping people” mantra and live by it. Why do some people suck and complain all the time? Enjoy life. As I started to get some of the more difficult movements, I only became more motivated. I have never been as stoked as when I got that first muscle-up (Chris forced me to do it in front of the entire class and took video). I know where my weaknesses are and am not afraid of them. I have a long way to go but love that in my 30s, I’ve found something athletic that I am so passionate about. After countless back procedures, injections, nerve root blocks, chiros, surgeons, etc, I am happy to say that I no longer live in pain at all times during my day. CrossFit, not pills, not a Chiropractor, not a steroid injection, is what I have to thank for that. I did my first competition last month and it is just the beginning. Oh yeah, my wife says I don’t look too bad with my shirt off either. Nice to hear when you previously lived in fear of being that skinny fat guy with the pot belly. You know what I’m talking about.

What would you tell others about this place?
That you get out of it what you put in. That if you aren’t just as excited to watch someone else PR as you are when you do it, that it’s not the right place for you. I love the people, the coaches, the atmosphere, and the entire way the place is organized and run. I love that I smile just thinking about going in for the day’s WOD. I instantly forget about how bad my day has sucked at work when I walk through the doors and I have grown to love so many of the people that I consistently see. Go Nooners. If you have an ounce of competitive spirit, or the desire to improve the way you look and feel, you’re in the right place at CFCM. It’s true what everyone says about their CrossFit Journey and weird at the same time. Who would have ever thought that I would change my eating habits, focus more on my career, plan for my next one, and want to be a better husband and father just because I started doing CrossFit? You just can’t describe in words where your journey will take you until you start it for yourself.

What’s your favorite workout and lift?
This is a tough one because there are some that I love because I know I need to get better at them and some that I like because they play to my strengths. Fight Gone Bad has to be close to the top just for the absolute pain it puts you through. I think it is one of the workouts that most typifies the CrossFit experience. I absolutely was not lying when I said that it was the toughest workout I had even done after finishing it the first time. I would say that my second favorite would have to be Diane (21-15-9 / Deadlift @225 and HSPUs). I only list this because it was one of these famous benchmark WODs that I never thought I’d be able to do. I remember about 4-5 months ago doing a chipper and having to ask to sub down the weight (to Max nonetheless) because I couldn’t do 10 @ 225. Fast forward a little and I did Diane Rx. Sure it was 12:16, but I did it Rx. Something I just couldn’t fathom when I started or even a couple months earlier. These are the things that will always keep me coming back for more.

What do you love about CFCM?
I think if you haven’t gotten it from the above, you weren’t reading. In short, it is the people’s willingness to help each other and their genuine desire to want to see people improve. It’s the community and team aspect that makes everyone tight. The fact that I can call or email anyone about anything at any given time and get a reply by or before the next day. Thursday Throwdowns because why wouldn’t you push yourself through some silly static hold as long as possible just because? And… if you beat one of the coaches, how much cooler do you feel? Small Goals, so that you can stay varied but focused all at the same time. The website is the best around by far and Lindsay’s blog always moves me. I’ve said it before but who else has the guts to put herself out there like that? Just awesome. The space we have is great, the coaching and staff is fantastic, and the resources and knowledge at our disposal is just ridiculous. How cool is it that I can pick the brain of an Olympic level athlete in Max and get advice for no extra charge? I’m hooked. I am so happy I chose CFCM. I’ll let you get back to your day. Sorry for the length. This stuff gets me going.

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Chelsie Morter

When did you start CrossFit?
I started Crossfit in January of 2012.

What was your 1st WOD and what were you thinking/feeling before and after it?
The first workout that I remember was “Fight Gone Bad” the last workout of Onboarding. I remember thinking that a minute is much longer than it seems and I can’t breath, but above all I knew that I found what I needed, a good ass kickin’.

Describe your transformation through CrossFit?
I started CrossFit all I wanted to do was get in shape, and feel better about myself. The first few months I came only in and out of gym, not having much to do with it. I soon realized that there was something different about this place, something that I wanted to explore. As I became more involved with the gym, my love and commitment grew towards it, so much that I began creating new life goals. I love the impact that CrossFit has on peoples lives, both physically and mentally, empowering them to become better people inside and outside of the gym. I truly want nothing more than to be apart of that transformation in people’s lives. I am very excited to see where my journey in CrossFit takes me on both a training and career level.

What would you tell others about this place?
I always tell people how amazing CFCM is. The coaches and staff are phenomenal and always there to help you meet your goals, whatever they may be. CFCM is much more than a gym, it’s a community and these people are your family. Above all I would tell people to put themselves out there, work hard and make the most of it.

What’s your favorite workout and lift?
I like any workout that requires a great deal of mental fortitude. When I am able to finish a workout and be proud because I was able to overcome something that wasn’t only physically hard but mentally, I take much more pride and satisfaction in what I am doing. Recently Amanda (9-7-5 Snatch (95lb), Muscle-up) was one of those workouts for me. I went in that morning planning on only doing 85 for my snatch, because 95 was too close to my 1 rep max, and in face was my 1 Rep max that I had met far too many times. I told myself I just needed to work on my technique, and learn to better manage 85, but because of coaches who know better then me and friends that see more in me, I did it at 95lbs. That day I had a huge breakthrough with my snatch and it was one of those moments when it just clicks. Since then I have had 3 PR’s in my snatch. I’m chasing that elusive bodyweight snatch and should be there soon! ☺

What do you love about CFCM?
I love everything about CrossFit Costa Mesa, and I am so thankful that out of all the gyms in Orange County I stumbled upon CFCM!

Jon Byars

When did you start CrossFit?
I started CrossFit late in October of 2011.

What was your 1st WOD and what were you thinking/feeling before and after it?
After onboarding my first WOD was 3 rounds for time of 8 heavy back squats (165# RX, I did 105#), 400m run with 2 minutes of rest between rounds. Before, I was intimidated. I was not very experienced with back squats. After, surprisingly, I felt like I crushed it. It was awesome.

Describe your transformation through CrossFit?
The first three months were rough. I’m pretty sure I came in dead last in every WOD. I was constantly sore in strange places and got every flu and cold that came around. My body was so broken down. I think the turning point was getting kipping pull-ups. After that everything was gravy. I’ve made huge gains physically in every conceivable way but that’s not the most important aspect of the ‘transformation’. Mentally, fitness has become integrated into my personal philosophy. Before CrossFit my priorities in life mostly revolved around my career (and maybe beer). I realize now that my life was seriously lacking balance. That realization is the most important aspect.

What would you tell others about this place?
It’s worth it. Your health is worth it. The people are cool and supportive. Try it for at least three months. Be intimidated, but don’t let it beat you.

What’s your favorite WOD and lift?
We did a WOD a few months back with 50 double-unders, 40 sit-ups, 30 med ball cleans, 20 pull-ups, and 10 hand-stand push- ups, 3 RFT. I killed it.

My favorite lift is the clean. I’ve made huge gains, easily doubling my max in the last year.

What do you love about CFCM?
People, coaches, and it’s baller.

 

Nathan Contreras

When did you start CrossFit?
I started Crossfit in January of 2011.

What was your 1st WOD and what were you thinking/feeling before and after it?
My first workout was Jackie. I did the workout with 25# dumbbells and used a band for pull-ups. I didn’t think this workout would be very bad and I totally went after the row. Needless to say anyone who has done Jackie can tell you that’s a huge mistake. The workout totally crushed me! After the workout despite being completely out of it I knew I had made the right decision starting Crossfit because it was way better then being at the gym for an hour doing chest and cardio.

Describe your transformation through CrossFit?
My transformation through Crossfit has been a big one. I have had a lot of physical changes such as lost weight and body fat. I think the biggest transformation has been what I have learned a lot about myself as a person and an athlete. When I started Crossfit I was in average shape meaning I could do most things in workouts and was pretty strong but was by no means crushing workouts right out of onboarding. I was curious about competing when I started but didn’t really think I would reach that level of fitness to even want to try. The OC Throwdown took place during my first month of Crossfit and needless to say I was in awe of the workouts and didn’t really see myself doing them. I participated in the open two months later just to try the competition side of Crossfit. After it was all said and done I finished somewhere in the high 400’s I think in the region. Fast-forward to a year later and I placed 9th in the intermediate division of the OC Throwdown and finished 130th in the Region during the Open. My finish in the open gave me the chance to participate in Regionals on the CFCM team, which was a great opportunity. This year I have set my sights on bigger goals and look forward to what’s to come.

What would you tell others about this place?
I always tell people it is the best facility in Orange County and it keeps getting better. I also tell people that our staff is great and they shouldn’t feel intimidated walking into the gym because I know whoever is at the desk will welcome them in and make them feel at home in our gym.

What’s your favorite WOD and lift?
My new favorite workout is King Kong. It was one of my “I’ll never be able to do that” type workouts. Doing it RX’d was a big accomplishment for me and showed me the progress I have made.

Favorite lift hands down is the Snatch. Hitting a snatch PR is one of the best feelings and I don’t think any other lift compares.

What do you love about CFCM?
Everything. I love that members seem to always be willing to help each other out. I think that this extends beyond the walls of the gym as well. Clearly, our coaches are great and I would not be where I am now as a member of this gym without the great coaching. I also would not have taken the quick interest in participating in the competition side of Crossfit without a little nudge from G (Thank you G!).

I am happy to say that I was a part of the gym at the Placentia location because I can say without a doubt the gym has the same vibe it always has. It’s always about the members, and above all else its about having fun. Thanks CFCM!

 

Alicia Crawley

When did you start CrossFit?
I started CrossFit at CFCM September 2010, almost two years! Wow.

What was your 1st WOD and what were you thinking/feeling before and after it?
My first real group workout was:
In 15 minutes, accumulate as many points as possible on the two following implements: Concept 2 Erg and Dumbbell Push Press (20/10 lbs.)
1 Point = 1 Calorie on the rower
1 Point = 1 Push Press, both dumbbells locked out overhead
Link: http://crossfitcostamesa.com/fitfoods/september-20th-2010/
I think I was most nervous about getting out there amongst all the veterans rather than the workout itself. Shocking I know. I’m sure afterwards I felt like death but I was proud of myself for actually getting it done and excited because it was unlike anything else I’ve tried.

Describe your transformation through CrossFit?
At first CrossFit was a way to get back into shape but it didn’t take very long for me to realize it was much more than that. I started to see all the RX’d movements and wanted to be able to do them all so badly! Especially kipping, I went on a mission to get the hang of that and once I did, I started a new mission for something else. I was always wanting to improve or learn something new. The more time I spent at the gym, it became not only about physical goals but social ones too. People don’t really have to know me to figure out I’m somewhat of a hermit. I set a new goal to step outside of my social boundaries and went to Kristan’s Canada Day party last year and had so much fun. Ever since then I’ve wanted to become more involved in the CFCM family so I’ve forced myself to get out there and that push has helped improve other parts of my life as well. I’m still fairly quiet but without CFCM and all the amazing, welcoming people I would have never stepped out of my shell and to me, that’s a bigger accomplishment than any amount of weight.

What would you tell others about this place?
I get asked about CrossFit and CFCM all the time and the first thing I say is, “it’s definitely not easy”. But quickly reassure them it’s a lot fun, describe to them the best I can what CrossFit is and what our gym does. I always emphasize the community feeling inside and outside of our gym because that truely makes all the difference.

What’s your favorite WOD and lift?
Easy, my favorite workout is Fight Gone Bad (hint hint, Max). I like workouts that keep me moving. It’s hard for me to stay stationed in one place for very long or my mind starts to wander. My favorite lifts are deadlift and back squat. I feel comfortable pushing the limits with these two and always seem to PR and who doesn’t love that?!?

What do you love about CFCM?
I love the people at CFCM the most by far. In these two years I don’t think I’ve met one unfriendly person. Everyone has always been so nice, helpful, supportive, and yelled at me, or anyone else, in times of need (in a good way) whether they were a coach or not. I’m continuously able to grow and improve upon my CrossFit skills and look forward to what else I can achieve. Even the thought of competition was unobtainable and probably wouldn’t have taken that step without the positive persistance of the coaches (especially Lindsay). Additionally, I can say the social events outside of the gym are always fun and entertaining to say the least, and appreciate there are so many of them. CFCM has enabled me to grow as a person which I guess haven’t really noticed until recently. With confidence I can say we have the best gym out there.

Lastly, I want to extend many thanks and gratitude to the coaches and staff. This sort of thing never happens, probably because I’m always in the background. The fact that you’ve chosen me and what this recognition encompasses means more than you’ll ever know and it definitely will provide reassurance when things get tough. I hope I’ll be able to pass along insight and encouragement to other members just as I have received and continue to get more involved with CFCM because it’s where I love to be.

Mike Perez

When did you start CrossFit?
Around July 30, 2011

What was your 1st WOD and what were you thinking/feeling before and after it?
First WOD was Fight Gone Bad on the last day of onboarding. I thought I was going to die during and after. My knee was sore for days after that WOD and I honestly was debating if CrossFit was right for me, but I didn’t give up.

Describe your transformation through CrossFit?
Let me start way before CrossFit. At my heaviest, which was around 2003, I was at 312 pounds. At that point I decided it was time to make a change. I changed my eating habits and worked out consistently and dropped to 190 lbs in roughly 2 years. Then we moved to California from Chicago in 2005 and were surrounded by so much good food. The weight started to creep up and I eventually got to 270 lbs. by 2010. I made a change in my eating habits again and started doing Kickboxing. When I started at CFCM I was around 230 lbs. and since then I’ve dropped 40 pounds, gained more muscle and can do movements that I never thought possible.

CrossFit has allowed me to get out of my comfort zone and has allowed me to do things I never thought I could do. Oly lifts, pull-ups, 5K’s, rowing are among things I thought I’d never be doing a year ago. I’ve never been athletic growing up and CrossFit has given me an opportunity to do that and open up possibilities to go beyond what I think I can do.

What would you tell others about this place?
The coaches and members make up a really good CrossFit gym and CFCM has exceptional ones. No matter what level you are CFCM will help you get to where you want to be.

What’s your favorite WOD and lift?
I really love anything dealing with Olympic level lifts so Grace and Isabel are fun, but challenging. Favorite lift would have to be the Clean.

What do you love about CFCM?
The energy of the community at CFCM is what I love most. When you’re doing a WOD and you feel like you have nothing left to give and one of the coaches or members yells “you can do it”, you find that extra push to power through it. The coaches and members at CFCM make it worth coming in everyday and giving it your best.

Can’t forget the love of soreness from heavy squats, ripped up hands from 100 pull-ups, bruises on your collar bone from cleans and the pain of sneezing after doing way too many GHD sit-ups.