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Category Archives: Athlete Profiles

June 2018 Member of the Month, Cary Burke!

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CrossFit Midtown is very excited to announce our May 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!

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'.