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Category Archives: Athlete Profiles

May 2018 Member of the Month, Carey Bald

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CrossFit Midtown is very excited to announce our May Member of the Month, Carey Bald! Carey has been a member for a little over a year and has been crushing the WODs! Read on to learn more about Carey and her CrossFit journey. Thank you for being such an outstanding member of the CFM community!


Name: Carey Bald
Nickname: CB, Care Bear.
Age: 29
Hometown: Ocala, Florida

How did you get exposed to CrossFit?
My sister brought CrossFit to the Bald Family in 2011 and slowly but surely convinced everyone to drink the Kool-Aid. I abstained for a year, but eventually caved in 2012.

What brought you to CrossFit Midtown?
Proximity to home/work.

What was your very first day at CrossFit Midtown like?
I came into CFM off a year-long hiatus after breaking my foot. I had been “working out” but was super out of shape. I don’t remember what the workout was exactly but I remember that there were push-ups (spoiler alert: I am notoriously bad at push-ups). As we were getting ready to start the workout I assumed I could do them on my knees as I had at other CF gyms and did a few reps as a warm-up. A very pregnant and glowing Brianna Thomas was coaching and just casually walked over to me and said “we don’t do that here”, flipped a box up for me to do incline. I have quite literally been working on mastering push-ups every day since.

What changes have you seen in your overall health and fitness level since starting CrossFit?
I am stronger and fitter than I have ever been but am also nowhere near where I want to be. CrossFit has showed me what I am capable of but has also taught me to constantly reach for a better, fitter, happier version of myself every day.

Carey crushin some DB Front Squats during 18.2

What kind of changes have you you experienced since starting CrossFit that were completely unexpected?
CFM has completely changed Atlanta for me. When I joined CFM I was still pretty new to the city, didn’t know a lot of people outside of work and was desperately searching for a tribe. Fast forward a full year and I cannot even remember life before finding fellow unicorn (& partner in pizza eating), Elana, trying to out-Rogue Pat, ALL CAPS group chats with #TeamThirdWheel, rolling my eyes at Paul’s lame dad jokes, watching Kathy walk circles around the gym with a kettlebell in the air, arguing with Peach about absolutely everything, and trying to force Michael to tolerate me (I’ve made very little headway here).

Walking into the gym is the very best part of my day every single day. I am so thankful to everyone at CFM who has made me feel like part of the family from the very start.

"So you going to pass out again on this workout?"

Favorite WOD: Anything with squat cleans, double unders, box jumps or tire flips (FarmFit, y’all)..

Least favorite WOD:
Giraffe-nastics of any kind. This girl was built to stay on the ground.

Favorite CrossFit Midtown moment:
Holiday Party 2K17. I have memories (& photos) to last a lifetime and can’t wait for this year.

CFM 2017 Holiday Party!

Hobbies, Talents and or Interests Outside of CrossFit:
Friendship, various forms of nerdery, corgis, cycling, golf, tennis, spending all my free time at the pool and lighting up 2nd base on my company’s slow pitch team.

Advice for new CrossFitters: Nutrition, guys. It’s so important. For the first 3 years of my CrossFit journey I didn’t make any changes to my diet and sure, you’ll make gains, but when you dial in your nutrition AND train hard? It’s magic. If I could go back and do it all over again I would make that change so much sooner

#CFMStrong

April 2018 Member of the Month, Liza Akins

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CrossFit Midtown is very excited to announce our April Member of the Month, Liza Akins! Liza has been a member for a litte over a year, has been crushing the WODs, and placed first overall for the scaled women at CFM this year in the Open! Read on to learn more about Liza and her CrossFit journey. Thank you for being such an outstanding member of the CFM community!


Name: Liza Akins
Nickname: Liza is a nickname.
Age: 32
Hometown: Atlanta

How did you get exposed to CrossFit?
One of my bosses was and is obsessed with CrossFit.

What brought you to CrossFit Midtown?
After hearing about CrossFit for 6 months, I thought it would be a great workout for ... my husband. I showed up to the intro session as moral support.

What was your very first day at CrossFit Midtown like?
Humbling. Having been a barre addict for 5+ years, I thought I was in pretty good shape. I quickly realized that I had zero upper body strength and I needed to keep coming back.

What changes have you seen in your overall health and fitness level since starting CrossFit?
I'm much more well-rounded in my fitness these days. In the past, when I wasn't training for a race, even going on a three mile run was a challenge. Now when I occasionally get outside for a run its not a struggle. It's also helped mentally. If I can get myself through half an hour of whatever hell Mike has programmed for Part B, I can probably get through whatever else comes up in my day.

What kind of changes have you you experienced since starting CrossFit that were completely unexpected?
Definitely the community. I love how supportive everyone is, whether its in class, at Friday Night Lights, or one of the hero workouts. Also, the minor injuries. My mother has stopped asking why I'm so bruised all the time.

Liza completing 1 more snatch at the end of the workout!


Favorite WOD: Anything with toes to rings or burpees (seriously).

Least favorite WOD:
Anything with wall balls. It's bad enough when you're short, but getting smacked in the face with a wall ball really solidified my dislike.

Favorite CrossFit Midtown moment:
Friday Night Lights. I love getting the opportunity to hang out with everyone, especially the people that I don't normally get to see in class and I love the feeling of the entire gym pulling for those people who are struggling through whatever hell Dave Castro has come up with.

Hobbies, Talents and or Interests Outside of CrossFit:
I love creating - whether it's making candles, cooking, or building something.

Advice for new CrossFitters: Allow yourself to be a beginner. No one expects you to automatically know what you're doing, so listen to the coaches and ask when you have questions.

March 2018 Member of the Month, Alex Buhler-Rose

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CrossFit Midtown is very excited to announce our March Member of the Month, Alex Buhler-Rose! Alex has been a member for almost two years, has seen awesome gains, and competed in his first CrossFit competition this past year! Read on to learn more about Alex and his CrossFit journey. Thank you for being such an outstanding member of the CFM community!


Name: Alex Bühler-Rose
Nickname: Alex or Bühler
Age: 28
Hometown: North Brunswick, NJ

How did you get exposed to CrossFit?
Originally some of my friends from soccer started crossfitting, but I resisted and stuck to my LA Fitness routine for some time. Eventually my girlfriend Camille and a 60 minutes special convinced me to finally join.

What brought you to CrossFit Midtown:
I had recently moved to a new apartment that was pretty much on the same block as CFM so going in to discover what goes on inside was just natural.

What was your very first day at CrossFit Midtown like?
Lots of deadlifting and an immediate embrace from the CFM community. I was surprised as to how quick and easy it was for me to get partnered up and receive some valuable coaching advice from Pietsch on the form of my deadlifts. I was immediately sold.

What changes have you seen in your overall health and fitness level since starting CrossFit?
The natural answer is that I'm stronger and able to lift more than ever, but I think the real results I've seen outside of the gym. My endurance for biking or soccer has reached a new high. I'm also much more nimble. I went to a trampoline park the other day and was jumping up and down for an hour and was totally fine. 2+ years ago I probably would've left that place with knee pain and some sort of back spasm.

What kind of changes have you you experienced since starting CrossFit that were completely unexpected?
The community at CFM. Being new to Atlanta when I first joined this community has definitely helped me get integrated into CrossFit, but also our great neighborhood of Midtown Atlanta. The community is an eclectic bunch that spans across occupation types, but what I love is that everyone is able to leave that work life behind when they step into the gym for a WOD.

Favorite WOD
Anything with Toes to Bars and Double Unders

Least favorite WOD
Anything with sumo deadlift high pulls

Favorite CrossFit Midtown moment
I loved the Graveyard Games. I was always a competitive guy and grew up playing tons of sports, but wasn't in that competitive setting for quite a long time. Being able to have a team to represent and go out there and give it your all was a great feeling to finally have again. Now whenever I see a competition I want to enter it because I love having that target to work towards and that team competition setting.

Hobbies, Talents and or Interests Outside of CrossFit:
I am a big music fan and like to go to shows pretty often all around the city. I also like to go on hikes with my girlfriend and our two dogs.

Advice for new CrossFitters
Every weakness is an opportunity. You may not start CrossFit being able to clean and jerk or do any of those other Rx movements, but by listening to the coaches at CFM and creating incremental and achievable goals you'll be able to do that Rx movement in no time!

February 2018 Member of the Month, Adam Reinke

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CrossFit Midtown is very excited to announce our February Member of the Month, Adam Reinke! Adam has been a member for a little over a year and has seen awesome gains in his fitness and life! Read on to learn more about Adam and his CrossFit journey. Thank you for being such an outstanding member of the CFM community


Name: Adam Reinke
Nickname: None
Age: 30
Hometown: Naples, FL

How did you get exposed to CrossFit?
I was looking for a way to get back into shape after a few years of laziness and struggling to motivate myself to work out. A friend of mine who lives out of town knew some people who were into CrossFit and suggested I give it a try. I did a little research and found CrossFit Midtown. I wasn’t sure I would physically be able to keep up with the workouts at first, but after my first day of Foundations, I was hooked!

What brought you to CrossFit Midtown?
Initially, the location. I live and work in Midtown so it’s very convenient. But it is the great coaches and the great community that keeps me coming back!

What was your very first day at CrossFit Midtown like?
Brutal. The first time I did the Baseline workout (in my first Foundations class) is (thankfully) the only time a workout has ever made me sick. But even though that part wasn’t fun, I knew from Day 1 that sticking with it would be rewarding, and I’m so glad I did.

What changes have you seen in your overall health and fitness level since starting CrossFit?
I’m in much better shape now than I was when I first started. For one, doing the Baseline workout no longer makes me sick (and I can do it a lot faster). But CrossFit has also inspired me to adopt a more healthy lifestyle, including exercising more regularly and eating healthier (or at least trying to, though there is still plenty of room for improvement!). Because of CrossFit, I feel better at 30 than I did at 25, and that is a great feeling!

What kind of changes have you you experienced since starting CrossFit that were completely unexpected?
I think the biggest thing is the community. I knew CrossFit would be a great workout, but I didn’t expect that I would also meet and get to know so many great people!

Favorite WOD
Anything with a barbell

Least favorite WOD
Anything with double unders (although I’m working on them and hope to change that!)

Favorite CrossFit Midtown moment
31 Heroes. It was awesome to see the group come together for such a great cause.

Hobbies, Talents and or Interests Outside of CrossFit
Working as a lawyer and going to Crossfit keep me pretty busy, but when I have free time, I enjoy spending time with friends and family, playing golf, and traveling. I’m also a huge college football fan. (Go Gators!)

Advice for new CrossFitters
CrossFit may seem intimidating at first (it definitely did for me), but CrossFit Midtown is full of great coaches and great members who will do whatever they can to help you improve and meet your goals. So stick with it! It will get easier and you will be amazed by how quickly you progress.

January 2018 Member of the Month, Steve Kerr

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CrossFit Midtown is very excited to announce our first Member of the Month for 2018, Steve Kerr! Steve is one of our oldest members at CFM, but doesn't let let his age get in the way of his fitness. What an inspiration to our community! Read on to learn more about Steve and his CrossFit journey. Thank you for being such an outstanding member of the CFM community

Steve mobilizing for front rack position

Name: Steve Kerr
Nickname: Pete
Age: 63
Hometown: Wilmington DE

How did you get exposed to CrossFit?
I had been hearing about Crossfit for years when i lived in Roanoke VA. I was always interested in it.

What brought you to CrossFit Midtown?
In June 2015 i moved to ATL. Neal Jamison told me about CFM and I gave it a try.

What was your very first day at CrossFit Midtown like?
The first couple of WODs were overwhelming. It struck me how, on paper, they didn't look that hard. But, once I was doing the WOD, it could get real 'spicy' real quick, to the point were i didn't think i would be able to finish.

What changes have you seen in your overall health and fitness level since starting CrossFit?
More flexibility. Increased endurance.

What kind of changes have you you experienced since starting CrossFit that were completely unexpected?
Cross Fit makes fitness fun. The longer i do CF, the more motivated i am to make improvements in my overall fitness.

Favorite WOD:
Anything with power cleans.

Least favorite WOD:
Anything with box jumps.

Favorite CrossFit Midtown moment:
Doing Murph at Piedmont park on Memorial Day of 2016.

Hobbies, Talents and or Interests Outside of CrossFit:
Like watching college football. Like collecting Taco Mac beer glasses.

Advice for new CrossFitters:
Take it slow. Give yourself 3 months to get acclimated to the WODs. If you hang in there, you will get 'hooked'.

November 2017 Member of the Month, Ryan Rogers

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CrossFit Midtown is very excited to announce our November 2017 Member of the Month, Ryan Rogers! He started his CrossFit journey here at CFM a little over a year ago and has improved and progressed so much! Read on to learn more about Ryan and his CrossFit journey. Thank you for being such an outstanding member of the CFM community


Name: Ryan Rogers
Age: 31
Hometown: Buffalo, NY

How did you get exposed to CrossFit?
I moved to Atlanta after finishing my residency. I had been ignoring my own health and fitness for awhile and needed to make a change. I have a buddy back home who told me about CrossFit and I figured I'd give it a try.

What brought you to CrossFit Midtown?
Originally for the location. Came for the proximity, stayed for the awesomeness.

What was your very first day at CrossFit Midtown like?
Intimidating, honestly. I'm not much of a natural athlete and I had a preconceived notion that the "box" would be filled with a bunch of unapproachable muscle-heads. I found out I was wrong pretty quickly. My husband Dave and I started the intro course together. He had the movements down pretty quickly. I struggled for a bit.

What changes have you seen in your overall health and fitness level since starting CrossFit?
-Night and Day. I've never felt better, I've never been this strong. I've never been able to do a lot of what I can do now. I wish I could have found CrossFit earlier in life!

What kind of changes have you you experienced since starting CrossFit that were completely unexpected?
I've always thought of fitness/working out as a solitary thing. Go to the gym, put your headphones in, head down, and do your thing. This is totally different. We come to make ourselves better but we do it as a team. It's pretty phenomenal.

Favorite WOD
We recently did "Glen". That was so awful. I loved it.

Least favorite WOD
Anything with handstands/HSPUs because I'm terrified of them.

Favorite CrossFit Midtown moment:
Awhile ago in an open gym I got my first muscle up. I got down, started celebrating like an idiot, and turned to Pietsch standing behind me. Stern faced, he looked at me and said "Now do two".

Hobbies, Talents and or Interests Outside of CrossFit:
Does drinking scotch count?

Advice for new CrossFitters:
You know when Mike walks around during a WOD and stares at you, so you check yourself and move better because you're kinda scared of him and don't want him to see you sucking? Pretend he's there all the time.

September 2017 Member of the Month, Shannon Kelardy

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CrossFit Midtown is very excited to announce our September 2017 Member of the Month, Shannon Kelardy! She is consistently in the gym, always willing to learn, always encouraging others all while being pregnant! What an inspiration! Read on to learn more about Shannon and her CrossFit journey. Thank you for being such an outstanding member of the CFM community!


Name: Shannon Kelardy
Nickname: I don’t have one
Age: 34
Hometown: If I were to call anywhere “home,” it would be NC. But I have moved so much, I don’t think I really have a hometown.

How did you get exposed to CrossFit? I read about CrossFit in some random magazine I picked up in a coffee shop in 2008. It wasn’t until months later (Feb. 2009) until I checked it out at a gym in Raleigh, NC.

What brought you to CrossFit Midtown? I moved to Atlanta for work in 2016. My office is in Midtown. I googled gyms near my office and Midtown was one that came up. I e-mailed the gym and Michael responded almost right away. I knew from his response that I was going to like it before I ever came in.

What was your very first day at CrossFit Midtown like? OMG! So many things, it was fun, humbling, and very challenging. Everyone was extremely nice and welcoming. I misread the WOD and ended up doing extra burpees. I finished last. Everyone cheered me on. And Darcy finished the WOD with me so that I wasn’t alone!

What changes have you seen in your overall health and fitness level since starting CrossFit? I started CrossFit in 2009, when I was only 26 (i.e. “in my prime”). But I am stronger and faster now than I have ever been, and I contribute that completely to the coaching and programming at CFM.

What kind of changes have you experienced since starting CrossFit that were completely unexpected? CrossFit is so much more than a fitness regime - if you want it to be. CrossFit has gotten me through the worst times of my adult life, I know that sounds cheesy, but it is 100% true. I didn’t expect that I would develop and gain just as much (if not more) mental strength as physical. I didn’t expect that CrossFit would be so damn therapeutic! And I really didn’t expect that I would gain the friends and family that I have, especially at CFM! CFM is truly special. I have been to a lot of gyms since 2009, and I can attest that CFM is truly unique and has some magic happening. If I don’t come in for a few days in a row, more than one person has sent me a message to check up on me; I mean come on, that is pretty awesome! And I also have to say that especially as a woman, it has been an unexpected and welcomed change that instead of focusing on the numbers on the scale or my clothing size, I now don’t give a $@!* about those numbers and instead care about the numbers on the board next to my name!

Favorite WOD: Anything with heavy lifting or tire flips.

Least favorite WOD: Anything that involves running.

Favorite CrossFit Midtown moment: I have to give 2 (sorry, you should never cheat at CrossFit, but this is technically not CrossFit….). 1) Competing at the Graveyard Games with Darcy and everyone else. I had so much fun! 2) When my 3 year old son came to watch one of the Friday Night Light events this past Open and gave out stickers to everyone. Not only was everyone really sweet with him, but almost everyone actually wore their sticker, even during the WOD! Seeing how everyone welcomed my son into the CFM family and made him feel included at only 3 made my heart melt. Dewey, my son, has been to several CFM events, he now calls it “my gym.”

Hobbies, Talents and or Interests Outside of CrossFit: My son, soon to be sons (I am almost 6 months pregnant) and reading (I love to read!).

Advice for new CrossFitters: The coaching at CFM is world class, top-notch, just the damn best; trust the coaches and do what they tell you. Ask for help. Be humble. And most importantly – have fun!