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September 2018 Member of the Month, Kathy Rupar!

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CrossFit Midtown is very excited to announce our September Member of the Month, Kathy Rupar! Kathy has been a member of CFM for over a year! She has been crushing WODs, growing a human, rocking the beginning of the motherhood transition, and is so supportive of everyone here at CFM and we couldn't be more proud to call you Member of the Month! Read on to learn more about Kathy and her CrossFit journey. Thank you for being such an outstanding member of the CFM community!


Kathy crushing some thrusters during 31 Heroes


Name: Katarzyna or Kasia – neither of which is easy to pronounce
Nickname: Kathy
Age: Masters Athlete 35-40; (oh fine, I’m 37)
Hometown: Rzeszow, Poland

How did you get exposed to CrossFit?
One of my fitness instructors got into it and kept posting crazy pictures on Facebook. Every time I saw one I thought: I want to try that, so I did!

Making wallballs look easy


What brought you to CrossFit Midtown?
I moved to Atlanta last year and sampled a couple of gyms in the area. I thought the coaching was excellent so decided to join.

Strong from head to toes! Kathy in a rock solid squat position to support weight overhead.


What was your very first day at CrossFit Midtown like?
It was a drop-in workout about a month before I moved to Atlanta: all the running and all the rowing. I was quite grumpy throughout it all as I had just put in some 30,000 steps that day looking for an apartment in Midtown. However, everyone was quite welcoming and as usual I felt much better for taking the class.

When you're trying to stay ahead of Kathy 5 months pregnant but she's that fit mom to be though.


What changes have you seen in your overall health and fitness level since starting CrossFit?
CrossFit began as a supplement to my typical globo gym routine and quickly turned into a second home. It’s led to numerous changes both inside and outside the gym. Fitness wise, I slowly began seeing some physical changes in body composition but more importantly in terms of my abilities and performance. I learned that I enjoy the challenge of mastering a new movement (no matter how many years that may take – yep, my first muscle up was a very long-term nemesis) and that’s led me to improve my rowing and running techniques as well as take on a long-term fear or swimming in open water (still working on making that more manageable). I also learned that I truly enjoy the competition side of CrossFit – both in terms of participating in competitive events but even more in terms of seeing progress in and competition with myself. Healthwise, performance in the gym quickly led way to an increased interest in my nutrition and eventually into other habits that have made me better (i.e. focus on sleep and some dabbling in meditation).

What kind of changes have you experienced since starting CrossFit that were completely unexpected (ie. new friends, “family”, the community, more self confidence, etc)?
I think the community aspect of CrossFit is hands down one of the main reasons I love coming to the gym each day – why it is a second home and why I know, regardless of current mood, I’ll leave feeling better. The folks who select themselves into this lifestyle are some of the most driven yet humble and genuine individuals I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know. They make a hard day at work a mere memory and push me to do my best with just the right amount of humor, tough love, and motivation.

Also, one of the more freeing changes I saw within the first year or two of CrossFit was viewing food as fuel. I didn’t always have the healthiest perception of nutrition and often felt down on what my body had too much or too little of. Once CrossFit took over, all of a sudden my body’s goal was performance rather than looking a certain way. To perform better I needed to feed it the right mix of nutrients which means I needed to learn what that was. This seemingly small shift led to a more positive perception of myself and the motivation to learn all I could about what a healthy lifestyle should consist of – I’ve been evolving on both fronts ever since.

And absolutely, seeing progress in the gym and showing myself I could do what I before couldn’t even imagine went a long way to increasing self-confidence in other aspects of my life as well.

Favorite WOD: Annie (dubs are my favorite)

Least favorite WOD: Karen (it’s unnatural to be forced to do that many wall balls in a row) and 7min of burpees (just evil)

Kathy gettin' it with Thors hammer during our Marvel Galaxy WOD


Favorite CrossFit Midtown moment (doesn’t have to be during a class, just any favorite moment at CFM)
There are so many to choose from: barbell club, movie outings, competitions in and out of our gym, and various celebrations of our awesome members. I certainly love any competitive event that includes a big portion of our CFM community and I’d say the CrossFit Open is one I excitedly look forward to each year. This past year’s open was no exception and although I needed to sit this one out, cheering CFM on from the side-lines was no less enjoyable. I got to see some insane feats of determination from our coaches and members, and more than one person face a movement or weight they thought they couldn’t handle (yet kicked butt on). Honestly, if ever you feel down on yourself, just visit a CrossFit box during Friday Night Lights – one of the most inspirational things you can do for yourself.

Easy DB Snatches #strongmom


But by far my favorite was learning that so many CFM ladies got together to sign a card and gift upon learning I was getting married this past March. It was something I attempted to do very much under the radar so the sweet well wishes and truly genuine gesture left me a bit speechless. Thank you CFM for such incredible friends <3.

Hobbies, Talents and or Interests Outside of CrossFit:
Definitely not a talent but something I keep working on: my tennis (also love watching the pro’s go head to head).
I’m a proud cat lady >^^<
I love reading or better yet jigsaw puzzling while listening to audible and drinking a glass of wine (I get crazy)

All the smiles after a tough WOD with friends.


Advice for new CrossFitters:
Give yourself at least 7 to 10 classes before you make up your mind about this crazy CrossFit thing. A few things will happen in that time: 1) you’ll see the full range of athletes that workout along-side you – that is motivating, 2) if you’re initially feeling humbled, you’ll become a bit more comfortable with the movements you’ve never seen before and if you’re feeling like a badass you WILL be humbled – both perspectives are quite motivating, and 3) you’ll see what your body is capable of with a bit of consistent practice – likely even more motivating. Most importantly though, you’ll get to better know some really cool folks and they will make coming back something you look forward to (well unless the WOD is Karen or something of the sort😉, but they’ll at least make that more bearable).

August 2018 Member of the Month, Chris Brasher!

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CrossFit Midtown is very excited to announce our August Member of the Month, Chris Brasher! Brasher has been a member for a year this month! He comes in and works, hustles and kills WODs and lifts. Read on to learn more about Brasher and his CrossFit journey. Thank you for being such an outstanding member of the CFM community!


Dumbbell Front Squats are fun...said one man once


Name: Chris Brasher
Nickname: Brasher, The Brash
Age: 37
Hometown: Smiths Station, Alabama!

How did you get exposed to CrossFit? A guy I used to work with, Koon. He was as a collegiate level baseball player, quite an athlete. Stopped showing up for lunchtime basketball during the week, saw him one day and asked why. Told me where he had been going, invited me for a Friday Hero Wod, “Carse”. The rest was history..

“Carse”
21-18-15-12-9-6-3 Reps for Time
Squat Clean (95/65 lb)
Double-Unders
Deadlift (185/135 lb)
Box Jump (24/20 in)
Start each round with a 50 meter Bear crawl

Head with the band. wrist with the wraps. Brasher got low, low, low.


What brought you to CrossFit Midtown? The company I work for opened an office in Midtown and asked me to move. I was hoping there would be a CrossFit box nearby, so of course you know my excitement when I saw you across the street on google maps!

What was your very first day at CrossFit Midtown like? Pure pain and misery. I let out my Spartan battle cry and was only on like the 18 rep round. Seeing spots all the way through, almost passed out.

Brasher sitting in the pain cave during 18.2.


What changes have you seen in your overall health and fitness level since starting CrossFit? I don’t get tired as easily anymore, especially when it comes to lifting. Was always more of a runner, never been very strong but now the strongest I’ve ever been, can lift things I once not thought possible. More muscle, Crossfit added 20# to me but my BMI has stayed about the same. I am heavier but can still run long distances at a decent speed without getting too tired. Have a lot more energy, more drive.

Last event at Graveyard Games 2017


What kind of changes have you you experienced since starting CrossFit that were completely unexpected (ie. new friends, “family”, the community, more self confidence, etc)? I have connected with so many people that have the same interests. Before, felt like I was all alone on an island when I first started getting into fitness. Gym was always kinda boring to me. CrossFit feels like I was the lost sheep that finally found his fold, like this is the way it was supposed to be all along. Feel like I can take on anything now.

Favorite WOD: “Nukes”
8 mins to run a mile, max 315# deadlift with remaining time, immediately into
10 mins to run a mile, max 225# cleans with remaining time, immediately into
12 mins to run a mile, max 135# ohs with remaining time

Least favorite WOD: Anything with pistol squats

Focused, geared, and ready to work,


Favorite CrossFit Midtown moment (doesn’t have to be during a class, just any favorite moment at CFM): Everyone meeting down at the park to do “Murph” together in May was a cool experience. The whole box showing up, suffering together for a good cause, everyone staring at us in disbelieve, amazement..really felt like family that day, then hanging out for brunch afterwards. The Lurong pool party a close 2nd.

Hobbies, Talents and or Interests Outside of CrossFit: To be clear, never have categorized myself as a “Crossfitter”. Have always said I am a runner, who likes to crossfit on the side.. 😉 I love to run. I like to play football Besides sports, I enjoy strategy and RPG type games.

Advice for new CrossFitters: Never give up. I meant every word when I said I can do things I once thought impossible. Just be patient, don’t rush the process, don’t rush your body. If you give it what it needs to repair, nutrition and rest, it will pay you rich dividends in the end. No other feeling like achieving a new lift PR or gymnastic move after months or years of work.

The CFM Fam Bam

July 2018 Member of the Month, Cary Burke!

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CrossFit Midtown is very excited to announce our August Member of the Month, Cary Burke! Cary has been a member since the beginning and has always brought the positivity, looks at everything as a possibility and crushes every single WOD! Read on to learn more about Cary and his CrossFit journey. Thank you for being such an outstanding member of the CFM community!


Cary, the man with the shades.


Nickname: CB7, Brother Burke
Age: 32
Hometown: Edina, Minnesota

Putting in work on 17.1 during Friday Night Lights


How did you get exposed to CrossFit?
I'd seen recaps of the games on TV and I'd seen a couple of broskis pretended to rep out Murph over Memorial Day on the track in Athens. Fortunately those guys doing quarter squats were not representative of CrossFit as a whole.

What brought you to CrossFit Midtown?
Coach Ellen! I'd just moved back to Atlanta for work and was looking for a place to work out. Ellen told me she really enjoyed CFM, so I went to baseline day and almost vomited. The rest is history.

"I wear my sunglasses at WODS"


What was your very first day at CrossFit Midtown like?
Humbling. I remember thinking I was in shape because I was running a good bit and doing arm curls. I don't remember the workout; just feelings of inadequacy.


What changes have you seen in your overall health and fitness level since starting CrossFit?
I have experienced constant and continuous improvement. Also, with some nutrition tweaks, I've had a consistent, positive change in my body composition, too. CrossFit has also completely changed my relationship with fitness. Before I was only doing things I knew I could already do, which made working out tedious and boring. Now there's always some new movement or standard that forces me to step outside of my comfort zone in order to grow.

Bar Facing Burpees


What kind of changes have you you experienced since starting CrossFit that were completely unexpected?
I am more confident and comfortable in my own skin. CFM has given me the skills to respond to the unexpected, and I use those skills in myriad ways all the time.


Favorite WOD:
Any long chipper that takes 30-40 minutes.

Box Jumps during 31 Heroes

Least favorite WOD:
Not applicable. Either I had fun or I got better at something

Favorite CrossFit Midtown moment:
One of my favorite moment was my first Murph. I really enjoyed seeing everyone encourage each other and be so positive through a tough workout.

Post WOD laughs with some fantastic people.


Hobbies, Talents and or Interests Outside of CrossFit:
European soccer, drinking beer, and bike-riding around Atlanta (ideally together).

Advice for new CrossFitters:
Don't worry about looking silly. CrossFit is hard and technical, so commit to the fundamentals first. And have fun! CrossFit is like recess for grownups, and there's beer there sometimes, so enjoy the workouts and the people present with you.

Get "Cary'd" away

June 2018 Member of the Month, Kevin Bond!

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

31 Heroes 2017


Nickname: Mr. Bond, Smiles
Age: 28
Hometown: Somethings need to be kept a secret.

CFM 6th Anniversary Party


How did you get exposed to CrossFit?
I enjoyed lifting weights and distance running, so several of my friends insisted I check CrossFit out. I was hesitant, but after a couple of false starts, I finished the intro classes (on the second try) and was hooked.

What brought you to CrossFit Midtown?
Location. I spend a lot of time in midtown and it's great that the gym is always just a couple of minutes away. Convenience makes a huge difference. I would miss way more classes if it was further away.

Odd object WOD during Graveyard Games 2017


What was your very first day at CrossFit Midtown like?
My first day at CrossFit Midtown was actually as a drop-in. I was visiting from out-of-town and it was the closest gym to my hotel. I arrived right as class was finishing and just remember seeing how happy (and tired) everyone was. I remember thinking if I ever moved to Atlanta, this is where I would want to work out.


What changes have you seen in your overall health and fitness level since starting CrossFit?
I have experienced constant and continuous improvement. Also, with some nutrition tweaks, I've had a consistent, positive change in my body composition, too. CrossFit has also completely changed my relationship with fitness. Before I was only doing things I knew I could already do, which made working out tedious and boring. Now there's always some new movement or standard that forces me to step outside of my comfort zone in order to grow.

Kevin climbing ropes during 31 Heroes.


What kind of changes have you you experienced since starting CrossFit that were completely unexpected?
I have enjoyed getting to know the CrossFit Midtown community. Whether it's trying to keep up with Paul in open gym or discussing the movement mechanics with Carey and Pat or laughing with Holland, the community definitely makes the experience.


Favorite WOD:
Ummmm... maybe Grace? (short and sweet)

Kevin crushing some cleans during 18.2


Least favorite WOD:
Definitely Fran (also short and sweet but tough) or Nancy

Favorite CrossFit Midtown moment:
I really enjoyed watching Michael crush 18.2(a) and then fall into what can only be described as a WOD coma. I hope someone can post a picture of that here. I hope one day I can go into a WOD coma too!

After we go hard in the paint during part A, we go into a WOD coma for the majority of part B.

Hobbies, Talents and or Interests Outside of CrossFit:
I'm trying to get into cooking more. I tend to just cook plain stuff to save time but have sort of been working on making things that meet my nutritional needs and are tasty.

Advice for new CrossFitters:
My favorite thing about CrossFit is how time efficient it is. It's only for one hour a day and basically all you have to do is show up. Of course, you have to try once you do show up, but I think showing up is 90% of the battle. Once you do, the coaches help take it from there. I think this is especially important for days where programming includes movements you're not good at. Showing up for your weaknesses can yield a lot of unexpected, positive results if you're willing to put the time in. I should take this advice with pistols.
Also, the first year of CrossFit is marked with significant improvements but at, some point, the gains may taper. For me this was initially frustrating, but I now look forward to whenever it feels like I’m plateauing. It’s sort of like a puzzle. At these times, I’ve found that the coaches are incredibly helpful in figuring out the next steps.

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!