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Category Archives: Athlete Profiles

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!

February 2017 Member of the Month, Justin Permar

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CrossFit Midtown is very excited to announce our February 2017 Member of the Month, Justin Permar! From the Lurong challenge to going out to competitions and events to support other CFM members, Justin has quickly become one of our most dedicated, supporting and inspiring members. Read on to learn more about Justin and his CrossFit journey. Thank you for being such an outstanding member of the CFM community!


CF Midtown 31 Heros-101

Name: Justin Permar
Nickname: None, but my friends used to call me “Nitsuj” from time to time when I was in high school. Wait… why did I say that? Oops.
Age: You’re asking an older Crossfitter his age?! 36. That’s right... beginning with the Open this year, I’m a “Master”!
Hometown: Columbus, Ohio (or, as my wife Meredith calls it, Cold-lumbus)

How did you get exposed to CrossFit? Through my wife Meredith! Our fitness journey started somewhat accidentally in late 2014 when her oldest brother John David declared he wanted to run the Spartan Sprint that takes place every March in the Atlanta area. Not to be outdone by one of her brothers, my proud wife not only committed to running the race but dragged me along to join the team. Little did either of us know at that point that I would become obsessed with training for the race, which included the insanity of voluntarily doing burpees. I found out during the Sprint just how weak I was (I’m looking at you, Hercules Hoist!). After searching online for fitness programs that included a strength component, Meredith found Crossfit.

What brought you to CrossFit Midtown: Meredith searched for boxes online and found Crossfit Midtown to be the closest to where we lived. It was that easy!

What was your very first day at CrossFit Midtown like? I remember most of all that gym feel… of sweat, of weights thudding to the ground, and of incredibly hard work happening all around me. I hadn’t really pushed myself athletically since the first year of college (when I walked onto my university’s Division I Cross Country team). And when I started Crossfit, I was ready to work my butt off at the gym. As any CFM member knows, Coach Mike was ready to show me what the word workout really means. And I’m still coming back for more!

What changes have you seen in your overall health and fitness level since starting CrossFit? I love this question. My fitness journey definitely began as a wellness journey. In June 2014, Meredith and I took a beach trip with my sister and her husband. I remember being shocked at how lean and fit they were. I had known I wasn’t taking care of my body the way I should but I just didn’t have any motivation to do so until that trip. I saw just how healthy they looked and realized that I wanted to be just as healthy one day. So my journey began with nutrition changes. I remember my weight peaked that summer at around 195 pounds. To put that number in perspective... the aerobic and bodyweight training I was doing before I started Crossfit got me down to 162 pounds. I lost about 33 pounds of fat! But it was only after I started Crossfit that I discovered that cardio was only one of Crossfit’s ten components of fitness. With Crossfit, I learned about intensity and strength. And now I’m completely addicted to getting stronger and moving faster. Almost 2 years into Crossfit, I can definitely move weight like I never have before. And I love it!

Additionally, although I push hard when I’m at the gym to reach another PR, what’s really important to me is what I can do outside the gym. Whether it’s moving an old, heavy couch, wrestling with my nephews, or running the shopping cart uphill… what really matters to me is using my fitness to easily achieve everyday things. And knowing that in the event of an emergency, I’m as prepared as I can be to help out if needed.

JustinPermarMOM2

What kind of changes have you you experienced since starting CrossFit that were completely unexpected? Definitely the community. Anyone that has seen me around the gym knows I’m an introvert. But I’m so happy to have met all the great people at CFM. Honestly, gyms are generally pretty darned intimidating places. I’ve been to plenty that are full of people bragging about themselves and putting each other down. I’m very happy to have found CFM to be a place where those things don’t happen. Instead, the most important things happen: encouragement and a hell of a lot of hard work by each and every person at the gym. And to be perfectly honest, if CFM didn’t have such fun and supportive members, I probably wouldn’t be Crossfitting anymore.

In addition, one aspect of fitness that I’m realizing now is a tremendous asset is the mental toughness that comes from going back to the gym and pushing hard week in and week out. Pushing myself to the max in the gym makes everyday life much easier.

Favorite WOD: Is there such a thing as a favorite WOD?! For me, a great WOD is one that includes a barbell and has a variety of movements. Also, I love to work at my weaknesses (which is always my lack of strength), so I have to pick DT.

Least favorite WOD: Anything monostructural, such as a 5K or Karen. B-O-R-I-N-G! I’m laughing as I write this because I ran Cross Country during middle school and high school.

Favorite CrossFit Midtown moment: FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS!!! In case you don’t know, this is a popular event that happens at Crossfit boxes around the world during the Crossfit Open each year. At CFM, athletes complete the Open workout of the week and members and friends show up to either complete the workout or cheer on the athletes. It’s definitely a fun time for everyone but the real secret is to get up the courage to do the workout during Friday Night Lights. Sure… there are always better athletes somewhere, but the environment will probably motivate you to give 100% and it feels incredible to have everyone cheer you on. All in all, it’s insanely fun!

Hobbies, Talents and or Interests Outside of CrossFit: I’m a geek, so that means I love hanging out with my wife, watching movies, and from time to time playing games such as Magic: The Gathering.

Advice for new CrossFitters: Eat right, keep going back to the gym and give 100% each time you go! Over time, you will be able to do things you never thought possible and will look amazing too!

JustinPMOM2

January 2017 Member of the Month, Sarah McColley

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CrossFit Midtown is very excited to announce our January 2017 Member of the Month, Sarah McColley! Sarah has been a member at CFM since 2013 and has become an inspiration to many in and out of the gym. Read on to learn more about Sarah and her CrossFit journey. Thank you for being such an outstanding member of the CFM community!


sarahmom4

Name: Sarah McColley
Nickname: Sasquatch; my mom calls me Sarah-Beara. Still.
Age: 29
Hometown: New Palestine, Indiana

How did you get exposed to CrossFit? A few friends from Indiana did CrossFit temporarily, and once I realized how much I hated running “for fun,” I decided to try it. I was worried about the weightlifting component because I wasn’t experienced with it, but I got over that pretty quickly.

What brought you to CrossFit Midtown? I live and work in Midtown, and I passed by the gym one day running errands. I asked my friends about their experiences with CrossFit, scheduled my group intro class, and I joined right after class.

What was your very first day at CrossFit Midtown like? The intro class was a good eye-opener for CrossFit and for how out of shape I was; I was sore from the Baseline for a solid 4 days. My first official WOD was Mary-Anne. I remember seeing the website, and thinking, “They want me to do HANDSTAND PUSH-UPS? Pistols sound super violent. What the hell is a double-under?” I was nervous, and probably nauseated, walking to class that day. I could barely jump a rope, so the coach had me do tuck jumps in place, and of course, I scaled pistols and HSPU. With my infinite coordination, I lost balance on the box HSPU and almost fell over, but luckily my mediocre gymnastic days kicked in, and I somewhat gracefully rolled out of it. Obviously, I loved it, and I came back. I enjoy testing Mary-Anne every quarter for nostalgia’s sake and to see how much I’ve improved.

What changes have you seen in your overall health and fitness level since starting CrossFit? In addition to the aesthetic changes, and what I like to call, “reorganizing” my weight, I can DO things I never thought were possible. I never thought I’d be able to do a strict pull-up, especially not multiple in a row, or climb a rope, or lift a bunch of weight (and put it back down, gently, of course). I’m much more cognizant of what I eat, and I can definitely feel a difference in my performance after eating unhealthy food. I’ve expanded my sense of empowerment and changed my perception of beauty through gaining muscle and physical strength. #gainz

sarahmom3

What kind of changes have you experienced since starting CrossFit that were completely unexpected? CrossFit has completely changed my life. I was a workaholic - I know, I know; I seem like such a calm, non-stressed person these days that it’s hard to believe. 😉 In all seriousness, I rarely had much outside of schoolwork or my job that made me want to stop working, except friends and family. I chose a career that I love, which also incorporates my hobbies, so I usually kept working because I enjoyed it despite the stress. CrossFit has helped me to create a balance, to establish my health and fitness as priorities, and to fit them into my schedule. Each Sunday, I plan my workouts with my work schedule for the week to ensure that I can do 5-6 WODs. I look forward to leaving the office to come to the gym, work out, and see my friends. Speaking of, I’ve made wonderful friends since joining CFM. I’m extremely grateful for the people I’ve met and the camaraderie at the gym, even among strangers. I love our gym-wide social events and the ladies’ nights with the awesome women who have become my close friends, even if I had to force my friendship upon a couple of them. 😉

Favorite WOD: “Favorite” is an interesting word. I always like to re-test Mary-Anne, Sage at 20, and Star Lord. I like longer WODs with multiple movements (3+), particularly if those movements include front squats, cleans, pull-ups, or tire flips.

Least favorite WOD: My least favorite WOD is one that we do in the summer with 40-30-20-10 TTB and 800m – 600m – 400m – 200m running. Talk about a mental struggle through my weakest movements during the hottest f***ing time of the year. For some reason, I still always come back for it, though…just to see if I survive.

sarahmom

Favorite CrossFit Midtown moment: I have so many favorite moments from my 3+ years here. The gym has become quite intertwined with my life. However, I love competitions, especially if we have multiple teams participating. I also really enjoyed Friday Night Lights for the Open this year.

Hobbies, Talents and or Interests Outside of CrossFit: My hobbies include spending time with friends / family, brunch, traveling, going to concerts (yeah, Justin Timberlake!), painting, drawing, and laughing. Many members have heard me get on my soapbox about public transportation and walkable communities, so I should mention city planning and public policy, too. 😉 …Which ties into my greatest and most notorious talent of all: walking REALLY FAST.

Advice for new CrossFitters: My main pieces of advice would be to let go of your ego (listen to the coaches and know your limits), track your workouts (at least the WODs we’ll repeat) and lifting numbers, make friends at the gym, and don’t become discouraged about a bad day / work out. Bad days will inevitably happen, and they don’t define who you are as an athlete; going to the gym was a good decision in the first place. Finally, be proud of scaling movements – you’re being smart. You can develop a great sense of accomplishment when you’re progressing through the movements, consistently attaining new skills or skill capacity, and tracking your progress.

sarahmom2