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Member of the Month

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

July 2016 Member of the Month, Christina De Giulio

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CrossFit Midtown is very excited to announce our July 2016 Member of the Month, Christina De Giulio! Read on to learn more about Christina and her CrossFit journey. Thank you for being such an outstanding member of the CFM community!


CF Midtown 11-14-15 Hero WOD-66

Name: Christina De Giulio
Nickname: Tina (but not at CFM, there is only one Tina at CFM!)
Age: 36
Hometown: Metro Detroit

How did you get exposed to CrossFit? My brother has been a Crossfitter since 2011, and for years I watched from the sidelines in awe as he did all of these amazing, challenging things and developed a second family among his fellow athletes. He always encouraged me to give CrossFit a try, but I was too intimidated to try it until...

What brought you to CrossFit Midtown? Sarah McColley! One day I ran into Sarah at an event at Georgia Tech - I hadn't seen her in probably a year and she looked amazing! We started talking about her CrossFit experience, she assured me that I could "do it," and she invited me to the next Bring-a-Friend Day. I don't think I can ever thank Sarah enough for introducing me to CFM and her continued encouragement and support.

What was your very first day at CrossFit Midtown like? My very first day we did A.LOT.OF.SQUATS. Lol. Sarah actually had more than one friend attend that day, so my WOD partner was Jeannette - and she was great! Patient with me and so welcoming. Jeannette warned me that I was going to be sore, and predicted I would feel one of two ways: either I would never want to set foot inside a box again, or I would (perversely?) enjoy the challenge (pain?) and be hooked. Even though my thighs were on fire for the next four days, I emailed Mike to start foundation classes the following week.

What changes have you seen in your overall health and fitness level since starting CrossFit? I think it is no stretch to say that I am in the best shape in my life. Hands down. Sure, I have lost weight - but it really is so much more than that. I am stronger, faster (shaved over two minutes off of my mile!), my endurance has increased, I have more energy, and my overall health has improved.

CF Midtown 11-14-15 Hero WOD-70

What kind of changes have you you experienced since starting CrossFit that were completely unexpected? Everyone who knows me can tell you I am not a morning person. If you told me a year ago that I would actually look forward to getting up at 5am to workout, I would have laughed in your face. But since I started coming to the 6am classes, I have found a new love for early mornings, and I have to say that is because my fellow 6am-ers are some of my favorite people. I look forward to seeing them every week, and I get sad, for example, when it is snatch day, cause I know I'll miss Dan that morning. ;P People really care about each other here - I have been overwhelmed by the level of dedication of the members and their support of one another. People are always pushing each other to do their best, cheering each other on, and motivating each other to keep moving. And knowing you have that level of support is really touching. It boosts my confidence and courage - not just in the gym - but in my daily life outside of the gym.

Favorite WOD: I really enjoy rowing, so I am happy to see that show up in a WOD. And, I know everyone hates them, but I really don't mind burpees either.

Least favorite WOD: Anything with snatches.

Favorite CrossFit Midtown moment: Friday Night Lights. It was so fun to participate in the Open this year, and I loved watching everyone go head-to-head!

Hobbies, Talents and or Interests Outside of CrossFit: I like reading, music, and art. I love exploring the outdoors and traveling with my husband and our dog. I think I am a pretty decent cook and enjoy baking. I am known to be pretty handy/crafty.

Advice for new CrossFitters: Trust in yourself. Know your limits, but also don't be afraid to be a little ambitious. Everyone starts somewhere - the important thing is that you start. And then you keep doing it. Check your ego - allow yourself to be open and really listen to your coaches. Set realistic but challenging goals, work toward them (be consistent!), and get in the habit of tracking your progress. Remember, you don't have to be the best, strive to be your best. That last one is easier said than done - I think everyone instinctively compares themselves to others. Sure, some healthy competition is good, but I really feel it is more important to reflect upon and measure your own progress.

CF Midtown 11-14-15 Hero WOD.2-23