Brenda Forren

2019-05-07+06.30.19.jpg

Not many 0530 classes pass without a Brenda Forren sighting. Whether she’s blazing through a mile run after class or holding court with Cville Sara it’s impossible to miss her work ethic. For the past 3+ years we have been blessed by her presence and we are forever grateful we get to see her on a daily basis. Lauren has known Brenda from her very first workout at Golds Gym…she doesn’t remember exactly how long ago but she estimates it’s been close to 15 years. That’s what is so special about these relationships we build...you never know where they will lead and 15 years later it’s safe to say Brenda’s fitness has grown to new heights. 


2019-05-07+05.58.18.jpg

Name: Brenda Forren

Age: 46

Where are you from/Where do you live around here? Elkton

Tell us about yourself! I graduated from East Preaston in Terra Alta WVa. Got a degree in Cosmetology from Clarksburg. I am a small business owner of InStyle Family Hair Salon in Harrisonburg. I have an awesome husband who supports all my gym activities. He gets our daughter Alyssa, who is 14 now, to school in the mornings so I can get some gym time.

How long have you been coming to Rocktown CrossFit? I have been coming to CrossFit for 2 1/2 years.

What got you started at Rocktown CrossFit? I was a member of Valley Fitness 13 years prior to CrossFit and wanted to take it up a notch. Saw how CrossFit had changed other people's body structure and I wanted to build more muscle.

When or what was your CrossFit moment? Me as Sara side by side. It was like a 100 burpees to a target. I forget the rest of the workout. I definitely cheated but not because I wanted too. I could NOT move any more.

What are your goals for CrossFit? What are the reasons you do CrossFit? Always push myself right above being comfortable, build muscle and tone. Working out helps to reset me everyday to a healthy lifestyle.

In your own words, what is special about Rocktown CrossFit? I love the way we cheer each other on. No matter your level you belong to a group of awesome athletes. Shout out to Sara for always cheering me on. But most important I think Lauren and Nate make Rocktown special because they have a gift from God. Thanks for your passion and encouragement everyday.

Favorite Movements to do in a workout? I like to run because some people think I'm fast.


Thank you Brenda for making The Rock your home. Thank you for being a great example to all women out there that even with a family putting your health first is important.  Lastly thank you for your positive outlook and great energy you bring every morning, it does not go overlooked and we are grateful for it. 

The 2019 Graduates

Each one of you hold a special place in our hearts. I believe you've all been with us at least 3 years and we couldn't be more proud of how much you each have grown. So many great memories and milestones...from Kevin almost killing Neil followed by Nate almost killing Kevin to Zap bouncing back from a torn MCL it's been a ride. There hasn't been a visit from the Leeper family where the whole gang didn't drop in for a sweat, and Lauren and Zap pushed Townley to tears to finish a workout just a few weeks ago. I can remember Kaiden dropping in during his visit to Bridgewater his senior year of high school and has been the fittest in the gym in regards to the CrossFit Open...we'll miss him coming to the late class on hard workout days so he knew what he had to do in order to achieve the best score for the day. 

Check below for some words from them and make sure to tell them congratulations on their huge accomplishment.

-Nate


Sara Leeper

2019-04-10%2B06.07.38.jpg

Hometown: Pennington, New Jersey

Major: Elementary Education

How Long at Rocktown: I joined August 2015, so a little over 3 years

Plans after graduation:

After graduation the plan is to move back home to New Jersey, save a little money and begin my teaching career as an elementary school teacher!

What you’ll miss most about the Rock:

I am going to miss the community feel the Rock has created. Every time I walk in the door everyone is so friendly and encouraging. I’m going to miss being a member at the Rock and all the people that I work out with...special shout out to the 5:30 AM crew and a to RJ for being such a great hype man that early in the morning!

I want to thank Lauren and Nate and the rest of the Rock coaches for being so welcoming, encouraging and helpful. I also want to thank them for creating a box that pushes one another and encourages each other day in and day out, especially when Lauren tells me I need to add more to my bar lol. When I first came to the Rock my sophomore year, I lacked some confidence but over the past 3 years the Rock and the members have pushed me to be a better and stronger version of myself. Thanks for all the memories and the GAINZZZ!

-Sara


Kaiden Lewis

4TW+%2812%29.jpg

Hometown: Stafford, Virginia

Major: Health and Physical Education

How long have you been at Rocktown: All 4 years at Bridgewater College.

Plans after graduation: I am going to go back home and find a job teaching PE at a high school.

What you'll miss the most about the Rock: The friends I have made during my time at the Rock.

I have been at the Rock for four years and over those years I have grown up a lot. I feel like I am a better person today at the end of my college career than I was coming into college. The Rock has played a big part in helping me to grow from a young kid to a soon to be teacher.

CrossFit workouts are really challenging for anybody. It is hard work. However when you’re doing those workouts in a positive atmosphere with friends around you, it turns into one of the best hours of the day.  That’s what makes Rocktown so much more that just another gym. It is a family that cares about each other and because of that it makes doing those tough workouts fun!

-Kaiden


Kevin Steiner

4TW+%286%29.jpg

Hometown: Fairfax City, Virginia

Major: Political Science Major, Military Leadership Minor

How long at Rocktown: November of 2016 - 2 years and 5 months

Plans after graduation:

I commission as an officer in the United States Army on May 4th in the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. I assessed into the Engineer Corps and will start my Engineer Basic Officer Leadership Course on May 20th, 2019 at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. There, I will learn combat engineer roles (IED demolition, route clearance, urban breaching, obstacle breaching), and construction roles (mobile bridging and vertical/horizontal forward operating base roles). From there, I will have the opportunity to attend Sapper School, a 28 day school that teaches and assesses your ability to support the infantry in a combat engineer role. After my Officer basic course, I will be going down to Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas. I will work as either a combat engineer, a vertical engineer, or a horizontal engineer in the 1st Armored Division, 1st Brigade Combat Team (Stryker), 16th Brigade Engineer Battalion. I will be stationed at Fort Bliss for about 3 to 4 years. 

What you'll miss the most about the Rock: I will miss everything about The Rock, the coaches, family, and community. I will miss showing up to the best hour of the day and showing up after  along school day or PT session and being able to blow off some steam and better myself. I will also miss The Open at The Rock and the support system that shows up to every workout. 

Showing up to The Rock has been one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. I showed up for my first session and never looked back (I drank the Kool-Aid hard and still do). The Rock and CrossFit have become a passion of mine and I don't know if I will ever belong to a gym that can compare to The Rock. Lauren has been a role model for me and has guided me to being a better and more fit person pushing me in the gym and never letting me take my foot off of the gas. Showing up to the gym everyday has been the best hour of my day. If I have a tough day, I know showing up to The Rock, getting in a good workout, and being with all the positive people that The Rock fosters, will always turn my day around. 

Some highlights that I will never forget.... almost taking out Neal with a 135lb snatch that I could not get in the 2017 Open and getting lit up by Nate  (I just did a workout with 145lb snatches in it!). Hitting a 220lb clean PR during the 2018 Open at the last second with everyone in the gym cheering me on. The ROTC workout that was hosted at The Rock by Nate. Seeing coaches at Corgans and Rocktown beer fest after a few too many and yelling, "Those are my coaches!". And Lauren always in my ear (sometimes yelling like a drill sergeant), making sure I get that extra rep, round, or calorie in. The Rock is one of the few things that have made JMU what it is for me and I cannot thank Nate and Lauren enough for welcoming me into their home to make me a better and more fit person. Thank you to everyone for making my time here at JMU (the 630am class, the mom class at 9am, the noon class, and the 4:30 and 5:30pm class). Thank you, I don't know if I will ever belong to a CrossFit community like this one again.

-Kevin


Nicole “Zap” Zapparrata

0528.jpg

Hometown: Fairfield, New Jersey

 Major: Psychology, B.S. and Statistics Minor 

How long at Rocktown: Started August 2016, So about 2 years and 9 months, just shy of 3.

 Plans after graduation:

After graduation I am going to graduate school. I will either enroll into one of the master’s programs I got into or into the Ph.D. program I got into. I will most likely end up at the Ph.D. program I think, which is in New York. Although I have not officially decided yet. The field is quantitative methods in educational and psychological research. 

What you’ll miss the most about the Rock:

I will mostly miss the atmosphere that the coaches and the members create at the Rock. It is very welcoming, friendly, and supportive. The Rock creates an intrinsically motivating environment that makes working out fun every day, even if its death by burpees/thrusters/devils presses, lol.

I will miss all of the people who I work out with every day and I will miss being a part of a community. Every day I look forward to going to the Rock and getting a great workout in with great people. Overall, Rocktown provided a space for me throughout my undergrad career to handle the stress of school through working out. So I will miss the positive space and atmosphere it provided.   

I want to thank The Rock for being an outlet for me during my sophomore, junior, and senior years of college. When I look back on my college years, The Rock is going to pop into my head as one of the most memorable things from this time in my life.

Some highlights of my time at the gym:

  • My first workout after PEAK was on a hot August day, at noon, and consisted of wall balls, burpees, and running. Definitely thought I was going to die.

  • I remember the first time I suffered through thrusters. The workout was Fran.

  • The 6:30 A.M. class, which was my consistent time for a while (I miss that class).

  • The open each year, watching people PR, and surprising myself in workouts

  • The people!!! & all the new people I’ve met through The Rock

  • Learning macros: Lauren did a really great job at helping me learn how to eat properly and eat more. Freshman year is rough because your diet consists of alcohol, fries from the dining hall, and dominos. My weight was constantly fluctuating because there was no balance to my eating. So, upon my sophomore year of college (when I first started CrossFit) I didn’t know how to properly balance my eating. Macros really came in handy in order to understand how to fuel my body to be able to handle the intense workouts at the Rock. I can literally now look at a plate of food and estimate the nutritional information in my head, (I don’t know if that is a blessing or a curse, hahaha). Thanks Lauren!

  • Finally getting double unders

  • I like how I get to compete with myself every day. I did sports year-round in high school, so coming to college and not having that made it feel like there was a void in my daily schedule. The Rock definitely filled that void.

  • And my last but not least highlight is convincing Townley (my roommate) to join the Rock. It helped us both become more motivated and dedicated students, and helped us learn how to prioritize our schedules and manage our time wisely.

    -Zap


Townley Neal

IMG_2628.jpg

Hometown: Richmond, VA 

Major: Health Sciences 

How long at Rocktown: 2 years 

Plans after graduation: I plan to go to nursing school, but I am taking a year off to work. 

What I'll miss most about the Rock:

If Lauren can't talk me into staying in Harrisonburg, I will miss the people the most! I think if you ask anyone what their favorite thing is about the Rock, they will say the people and that truly says so much about this gym. College has been such a rollercoaster for me, but all of y'all have been a consistent source of love, encouragement, and support (I seriously cannot thank you all enough--not gonna lie I started to tear up writing this). There are so many people at this gym that I look up to because they are great mothers/fathers, phenomenal athletes, or they are just really awesome humans that I am so lucky to get to spend time with nearly every day. 

First off I have to say shoutout to Zap/Nicole! She has been my roommate for the past 3 years and she first introduced me to CrossFit. I came to watch her in several Open workouts in 2017. I was in complete awe!! I had always played sports/danced my entire life and there was definitely a void when I came to college. After much coaxing from Zap, I came in to try my first workout, which ended in me throwing up my breakfast. Zap remembers my first workout but all I remember is throwing up, but that didn't stop me from coming back! When I first showed up to the Rock, I was nearing academic probation and was really struggling academically. You would think when you join a gym your results would be mostly physical, but for me, the biggest improvement has been mentally and emotionally. This gym has both matured me and taught me discipline in all respects of life. I can happily say ever since I have been a member at the Rock, I have been on either Dean's or President's list every semester! Honestly the Rock has really changed my life for the better. I am so appreciative of what the Rock, the members, and coaches have done for me and this will always be a second home to me! <3 

-Townley

March 2018 - The Snake - Kaiden

Tell us about yourself (name, age, education, family, work, etc.)

My name is Kaiden I am 22 years old. I am currently a junior at Bridgewater studying to be a physical education teacher. I got into the physical education field because I enjoy helping people better themselves. Also my dad and grandfather were both physical education teachers so I have grown up around a healthy and physical lifestyle. I am the oldest child in my family with two younger brothers (Cole 19, Blake 18) and a sister (Lexi 17). My siblings still live back at home in Stafford, VA.  When I go back home for breaks I will often work as a substitute teacher or for a construction business.

How long have you been at The Rock and what got you started?

I have been at the Rock since my freshman year at Bridgewater, which makes it roughly 3 three years. I remember coming to visit Bridgewater, as a senior in high school, and I searched for a CrossFit gym in the area.  I remember walking through the door of the Rock and seeing everyone working hard with the music blaring. I was looking for someone in charge and that’s when I met Dana.  She was very helpful, and that turned into my first workout at the Rock.

When/what was your “CrossFit moment” or have you had one? (the one where you think you may actually die)

Ummm… The CrossFit moment where I might actually pass out was during the Open last year on the first workout. On the first go around for 17.1 I did it Friday night at Staunton and it hurt like crazy and I didn’t do as well as I thought I could.  The following Monday I decided to come in for the 6:30 p.m. to just do the regular class workout, but Dana persuaded me to do the workout again. On this go round I told myself I would not drop the dumbbell until the final round of fifty snatches. I managed to do so, but when I got to the final round I was in a very bad place and wanted nothing more than to stop and pass out right there. But thanks to Hunter and Brittney cheering me on I finished with a better score. To this day I have had many difficult workouts, but never to that degree.

Favorite workout?/Least favorite workout?

My favorite workouts are long workouts with complex movements. I enjoy keeping a steady pace and doing things  such as muscleups, cleans, and most gymnastics (except chest to bar). My least favorite workouts are sprints. I do not enjoy the feeling of being perfectly fine to lying on the ground gasping for air in a span of 2 to 3 minutes. Not my favorite.

You can go to any concert of any artist (dead or alive) which one would you go to?

I went to a Dierks Bentley concert a year ago and had a blast. I would love to do that again!

What are your CrossFit goals?

Whenever I go in for a class I will eventually go to the board and look at the top scores for the day. My goal every day is to leave with the top score. I usually do pretty well, with the exception of when Luke comes back from college. It also helps that in the past I usually have gone to the 6:30 class so I get to see all of the scores for the day. Lately however I have been going to the 5:30 class a lot more for some reason (insert emoji face below).  Another goal of mine is to always be improving. One way I measure my improvement is with the Open. Every year I try to finish a little better than the previous years and so far I’ve manage to do so, but It gets more challenging each year.

What’s your favorite cheat food?

Probably bacon, if that’s a cheat food. I am generally a pretty healthy eater. Going into my 7th grade year of school I was trying to get ready for football and so I decided to stop eating junk food. That meant no more soda, chips, candy, desserts, ect. I managed to keep this up through that football season and have kept that mentality ever since.

In your own words what is Rocktown Crossfit?

It’s a big family that loves to workout. Everyone there is very nice and welcoming, It’s usually the best hour of my day. Back home I go to a Sport and Health gym, a very traditional type gym. In there, I could go the whole time without talking to anyone. The Rock is nothing like that. Everyone is very social and care about how your day is going. Over the years I’ve gotten to know a lot of people and have made some really great friends. Another part I like is the accountability, no one would care at the Sport and Health if I skip a day, but my friends at the Rock will hold me accountable and I’m glad they do. In the past there have been times where I have not been having all that great of a day, but every time I leave the Rock I leave feeling better.

Free Write: (anything you want to say about trainers/facilities/other athletes/etc)

The Rock has been great to me. I am not only in better shape from my time at the Rock, but I also think that it has made me a better person as well. That positive vibe from the coaches and the members rubs off on you. I want to thank Lauren and Nate for all the hard work they put into making Rocktown Crossfit what it is. Always trying to make the gym better by doing things like buying new equipment (like the dumbbells that are awesome) and hosting events during the holidays. I also want to thank all the coaches who have all helped me out and encouraged me.

A Note from the Rocktown Staff:

Kaiden needs no introduction.  He’s been one of the best athlete’s since the day he walked through our doors.  The crowning of athlete of the month wasn’t really a matter of “if” just a matter of “when”.  That being said, with all the gains he continues to make in the gym he is a great young man outside of the gym as well.  When I was 22 the last thing I was doing was driving 15 minutes from my college dorm so I could workout every day…its says a lot about his work ethic and how he was raised.  Kaiden is always polite, always the first to jump in and help and is always encouraging those around him to be better.  Keep killing it Kaiden…we are looking forward to one more year of you whipping up with us…but I promise the old man won’t go down without a fight   Congrats!

February 2018 - The Coyote - Wylie Powers

wylie-aotm-1024x583.png

Tell us about yourself (name, age, education, family, work, etc.)

My name is Wylie Powers, born and raised in southwestern VA.  I will be 43 in a couple weeks, and it has been an interesting 43 years.  I joined the US Navy out of high school, where I trained to operate nuclear powered propulsion and power generation plants.  My wife Shelly and I live in Broadway and have been here off and on since 1996. Our 22 year old son completed college, gotten married, and is now embracing his life in sunny southern California as an assistant pastor.   Since 2002, I have worked at ColonialWebb in various roles from field service technician to service manager.  My current role as a refrigeration sales engineer gives me the flexibility to be more serious with my health needs.  Outside of work and Rocktown, I am active in our church and I get to work with the teenagers there.

How long have you been at The Rock and what got you started?

I have been coming to Rocktown off and on for 3.5 years.  Going to the gym just did not excite me, and actually depressed me more due to travel demands.  I heard about this thing called CrossFit and it looked interesting.  After driving into the parking lot several times, I came in and picked up a card from the front desk.  I called Lauren, scheduled an appointment and asked, what do I need to do so I am fit enough to start working out here at Rocktown.  Answer: We will scale the work accordingly, come in and start now.  It took a while, but I have been seriously committed since August 2017.

When/what was your “crossfit moment” or have you had one? (the one where you think you may actually die)

I can remember many…  

So I am not a runner, though I am working on getting there.  After my first three months, keeping in mind all my workouts had been scaled, the class went for a 1 mile run.  Nate was the coach and he informed me, they are running, “I would like you to row 2000 meters”.  I hadn’t done more than 800 meters before this date.  Well, I did the row, then the rest of the workout.  When I finished, I hit the floor, rolled over and just laid there.  Then for the rest of the day, I was in a fog…lol…and let’s talk about sore…I wasn’t sure I would walk upright again.

 Favorite workout?/Least favorite workout?

I like rowing- What can I say?  Then dead lifts are always fun too.

Jumping rope is my nemesis, actually any jumping.  So, the chipper from 12-4-17 still gives me shivers.

You can go to any concert of any artist (dead or alive) which one would you go to?

The Piano Guys

What are your CrossFit goals?

Life.  That is the easiest way to say it.  Until the end of November, I had not weighed less than 300 lbs. since 1999.   My true goal is health, with a side effect of weight loss.

I adapted a saying about three years ago I found, and unfortunately until this past fall, had not made any head way…”Who wants to be spectator and watch life go by”.  I have spectated for too many years, and excited to live more.

What’s your favorite cheat food?

Cheeseburger, oh, it must have sharp cheddar cheese, dill pickle, tomato, onion, Duke’s mayo and light ketchup.  I think it’s time for a cheat meal.

In your own words what is Rocktown Crossfit?

The Rock is a place to go to lay it all down and to take a break from the whirlwind of life.  The day may have been crazy, but I can leave work in the car, burn off some of the frustration in the warm up, give in to the energy and atmosphere of the workout, and when done, it feels like a reset of the day.  Because of the people, the family, that make up the Rock’s community, I am slowly coming out of my shell.  I do not know everyone, but everyone I have met is approachable, friendly, genuine, and real.

Free Write: (anything you want to say about trainers/facilities/other athletes/etc)

BACK Story:  April / May of 2017, I spent some time with my primary physician and a nutritionist.  At 348 pounds, they both advised that I no longer do CrossFit at all.  “It is too intense, and my body was not benefitting due to chronic fatigue syndrome.”   I tried their recommendations, their food and workout plans, and ugh is all I can say.  Come August, I said enough was enough. There was not any real progress for months. I reached out to Lauren, she may or may not remember the conversation, but it was a turning point.  The conversation went like this, I am tired of listening to the doctors, I stopped coming to CrossFit because my doctor’s recommendation.  Their eating and exercise regiments are not working.   I will commit, will you help me?  We had had many discussions in the previous three years, and I am sure she thought “here we are again” but she was gracious and didn’t say it.  We talked about where to start and started counting macros.  Easy – no, worth it – yes.  And in September, Shelly even joined me.

Here we are now 70 lbs. less.  The Rock has introduced me to life without spectating.  My energy levels are higher and I can do things I have not been able to do for years.  Lauren and all the coaches have had patience with this grumpy / quiet / sometimes negative person.  If I was not able to make it to the class Lauren was coaching, the coach at the time I was able to attend was aware I was coming and had some options and great input.  Each coach has helped with scaling and it’s awesome to have the equipment for the modifications and creative ways of perform the Workout.  Even with the scaling, I am sure no one else has heard “keep your head up” and “drop lower” for the squats.

The Rocktown family is accepting, helping, encouraging, and real.  Many times I have needed and received encouragement from others in the class.  Donald, Jakob, or Sherry and others are there offering some of the much needed encouragement when I am dragging.  I have another family.  It is the people of Rocktown.  Like it or not, I claiming you.

A Note from the Rocktown Staff

70lbs.  It took 2 things…self discipline and commitment to consistency.  Wylie rarely misses an opportunity to get better, scales when he needs to and give it everything he has for 60 minutes.  But as Wylie and others can tell you, the hour you workout is important but its nothing compared to what you do the other 23 hours of the day.  The foundation is and always will be laid with nutrition.  Once we get that right the rest will take care of itself.  You can look at Wylie and clearly see the changes he’s made but more importantly its seeing how he moves is most impressive.  His speed with a barbell, his ability to move off the floor…its working.  If anyone has ever seen a coyote in the wild, you notice that he’s very quiet, keeps his head down and never stops moving.  This couldn’t be a better description of Wylie…and while he may not say much he couldn’t be a nicer guy and its been great getting to know him and his wife Shelly through The Rock.  Congrats Wylie, keep up the good work!

September 2017 - The Hustler - Rob Lynch

rob-768x1024.jpg

My name is Rob Lynch and I will be 57 in December.  I have a degree in Electrical Engineering from VA Tech (Go Hokies!).  My wife Carmen and I have 2 sons, 3 daughters, one grand daughter and another on the way.  I am the Manager of Design and Construction at Sentara RMH Medical Center.

How long have you been doing crossfit?

This is my 3rd year of crossfit.

When/what was your “crossfit moment” or have you had one? (the one where you think you may actually die)

If a crossfit moment is when you think you are going to die, there is not enough room here, that happens every week.  My real crossfit “moment” is at about 6:25 in the morning when everyone is on their hands and knees in a pool of sweat gasping for air. There is no better feeling than knowing that while 99.9% of people are still in bed, you have done what you needed to do to take care of your body.  THAT is a crossfit moment.

What are your favorite crossfit movements?

I’m not sure “favorite” is the right term to use here, but don’t get too worked up about wall balls or cleans.

What movement makes you look at the white board and want to walk back out the door?

Riding the bull (aka rowing).  It used to be really bad, but I think I am at peace with it now.  Rowing really takes it out of me though, so any workout with rowing involved takes it to another level.

What are your goals?

I have always had to battle being overweight, so I have to work out.  While I enjoy lifting a little more each week and doing things like kipping pull ups that I never thought I could do, the real goal is to just eep coming to the gym and doing the work.

What motivates you to continue coming back?

Since my eighth grade football coach built us a bench out of treated wood and dug up some rusty weights from the varsity fieldhouse, I have always been a gym rat. 

I love being in the gym.  Since now I am usually/always the oldest person in the class, I just enjoy being with a bunch of young people who share a passion to stay fit.  That happens because of the atmosphere and attitude that is prevalent at the “ROCK” – get the work done, have a good time, encourage and help each other.

What’s your favorite cheat meal?

Chocolate cake with a tall glass of milk!

In your own words what is Rocktown Crossfit?

Crossfit is really a different experience for me.  I have mainly worked out with a partner or alone before crossfit, but seldom in a class environment.

There are a few things that make the ROCK special for me:

  • All the coaches do the workouts and suffer with the rest of us.
  • No one is finished until everyone is finished.  You don’t like being the last one to finish, but at least everyone is cheering you on and not putting away weights and walking out the door.
  • Every workout is hard no matter what level you are at.  Everyone is a different size and at a different level of fitness, but with scaling, we are all equals.

Free Write: (anything you want to say about trainers/facilities/other athletes/etc)

I really enjoy the Rock!  All the coaches are great and help in different ways.  Having lifted weights all my life, I really like the fine tuning that I get on a daily basis.  It’s very subtle- move your knees back an inch, keep your eyes forward, your butt is coming up before your chest, drop under the weight more.  Then there is the illusive but always appreciated “that looked really good”!  Thank you Lauren, Nate, Rat, Laura Lee, Dana, Wayne, Scrub and all the coaches for everything you do.

A Note from the Rocktown Staff:

It’s very rare that Rob ever misses a “Ride the Bull” day!  It’s been awesome getting to know Rob these past few year.  As most of the morning crew knows Rob makes the commute to The Rock all the way from Greene County…and he’s typically the first one in the parking lot every morning.  I would say on average I open the doors about 15-20 minutes before class time and for Rob he gets straight to work.  A series of warming up and stretching to get the most out of the morning.  It’s very much the same as soon as the workout is done…Rob has his stuff put away and it’s on to some accessory work on the rig, the jump rope or he’s out the door on a run.  Rob is by far the most efficient person to walk through that door day in and day out.  And if you get the chance in between everything he’s doing, pick his brain on some hokie football or just life in general.  Rob is continually lifting up those around him and praising their efforts.  It’s been awesome having you as a staple in class at 5:30am…thank you for making The Rock your home!

July 2017 - Mission Possible - Tara Roe

image1.jpg

Tell us about yourself (name, age, education, family, work, etc.)

Hey y’all!  My name is Tara Roe and I’m 35 years old.  I live in Bridgewater with my husband and our beautiful & sassy 5 year old daughter, Elizabeth.  I work in HR at James Madison University.  I graduated from Eastern Mennonite University and am currently working on my MBA from JMU.  I also coach Special Olympics for Harrisonburg/Rockingham county athletes.

How long have you been doing crossfit?

6 awesome months – since January 2017

When/what was your “crossfit moment” or have you had one? (the one where you think you may actually die)

I think I saw a bright light at the end of the tunnel a few times during Christmas in July….lol!  It was brutal!  There was also a time rowing that I had to jump off the rower and puke – fun times (yes, I still finished the workout!)

What are your favorite crossfit movements?

I complain about them A LOT, but I really like wall balls.  And anything with the bar – there is literally no better sound than the weights slamming to the ground when you need to relieve some stress!!

What movement makes you look at the white board and want to walk back out the door?

RUNNING!!  Ugh! No other move makes me cringe like running– which is why I make myself do it as often as possible!

What are your goals?

I’ve lost 30 pounds since starting at The Rock and although I still have some weight to kick to the curb I am now more focused on the weight on the bar as opposed to the weight on the scale.  Of course I want to be able to do pull-ups, handstand pushups, double unders, etc….and I know I will get there eventually….but right now I appreciate being able to move better and feel stronger.  But most important, I want to set a good example for my daughter and instill healthy behaviors and healthy living in her at a young age.  She’s already doing burpees and wall walks at home with me so she’s off to a great start!

What motivates you to continue coming back?

The people – hands down!  Regardless of what is going on in my life, I know I can come to The Rock and leave feeling amazing (maybe a little like I just died….but still amazing!)  The coaches and other athletes are so positive and encouraging – it’s addicting to be around this group!

What’s your favorite cheat meal?

Anything with cheese…..or whiskey 

In your own words what is Rocktown Crossfit?

Rocktown Crossfit is a place where you can come in feeling like a lazy heffalump and leave feeling like Wonder Woman!  There is nothing the day can throw at you that some sweat, loud music, heavy weights and lots of screaming won’t fix.  It’s a place that doesn’t require you to think (well, unless we have to do math – but don’t worry, they have calculators!) – you can just come in, be told what to do, when to do it and when to stop….and then lay in a puddle of sweat next to your buddies being proud of how hard you all worked.  It’s one of the best things that has happened to me!  Rocktown Crossfit is a family that I am thankful for each and every day!

Free Write: (anything you want to say about trainers/facilities/other athletes/etc)

I had been asking my co-worker, Stephenie Williams, about CrossFit for a while – then one day I decided I wanted to try it out.  She arranged for a few of us from work to drop in.  I remember walking in and feeling SUPER intimidated….for about 5 seconds.  Then it seemed like everyone was coming up and talking to me, welcoming me and genuinely seemed happy that I was there.  So we went through Peak and I was hooked.  I started with 3 days a week and quickly moved up to 4 or 5 (sometimes 6) times a week.  I felt (and still feel) like I just can’t get enough!  The workouts are hard – no doubt….and they will challenge you physically and mentally – but there is always an awesome & supportive coach right there encouraging you to pick up the bar or jump back on the rig at the moment when you feel like giving up.  Every single coach at The Rock seems to genuinely want to see us succeed and push past any barriers we think we have.

I truly love and appreciate each and every coach….but I really need to give some love to Lauren…..man….where do you start with her?  She is AMAZING!  Her accountability groups have taught me how to eat, how to meal prep, how to get out of my comfort zone, and how to make health and fitness a lifestyle and not just a fad.  She is always there to give a high five or a “hell yeah!” when the number on the scale goes down or when I kick butt in a workout.   One thing is for sure – she will not give up on you and she won’t let you give up on yourself.  The world needs more people like Lauren Black!!

I’m also very thankful for the other athletes and friends I have made at The Rock – y’all are some of the most awesome and badass people I have ever been around – the energy is so positive and contagious.  I love that we all encourage each other through the most difficult workouts and celebrate our successes.  I’m so thankful for Rocktown – my only regret is not having this awesomeness in my life sooner!  Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this family!

A Note from the Rocktown Staff:  32lbs folks…Thirty. Two.  In 6 Months.  Tara is a beacon of hope for the hundreds out there who keep saying, “it’s not for me” or “it will make you bulky”.  Her story and journey are as real as it gets.  I can remember Tara’s first week of doing PEAK, she came to me saying she had goals and was very clear in what she wanted to accomplish and she has made the necessary sacrifices.  Sometimes its eating before you join your coworkers for el charros, sometimes its ordering the fajitas instead of the burrito…but as she has shown every time you make that choice it makes it that much easier the next time you have to make it.  Tara is so humble and one of the sweetest soul’s you’ll encounter.  No matter how long her day or what she has going on no doubt you’ll be greeted with a warm smile.  Her commitment to being the best athlete she can coupled with her dedication to tracking her food is 100% what it takes to make changes…she never asks questions just takes what she’s been giving and delivers time after time.  Thank you for trusting us with your fitness…we can’t way to see where this journey continues to take you and the example you can set for those around you.  It’s plastered all over the campus of JMU where Tara works but it’s clear it’s something she lives by, “be the change you want to see in the world”.  Congrats Tara!

May 2017 - Captain Consistent - Shane Smith

shane1.png

Tell us about yourself (name, age, education, family, work, etc.)

Hey! My name is Shane Smith and I am 40 years old. I grew up in Bath County but nobody but Nate would know where that’s at. I graduated from Radford University and started grad school at Virginia Tech. After one semester,  I enlisted in the United States Coast guard where I was a machinery technician and boat engineer on search and rescue operations in NY. After my 4 year enlistment was up, I did an outdoor educator course with NOLS, was a crewmember on the tall ship HMS Bounty, a raft guide on the Nantahala River in NC and a snowmaker at Wintergreen Resort. I’m now the purchasing supervisor at Rosetta Stone where I’ve worked the last 9 years. I had only planned on being there for one year and then move on to the next adventure, but three kids, two dogs and a beautiful wife later, here I am. I met Jasmine at work and somehow she conned me into getting married and having kids. It’s been one big adventure ever since!

How long have you been doing crossfit?

I’ve been doing crossfit a little over a year now.

When/what was your “crossfit moment” or have you had one? (the one where you think you may actually die)

There have been many workouts where I thought I was going to die or at least puke!  After listening to Jasmine talk about it for a whole year not to mention that by the time I started she was doing everything at about 6 months pregnant.  I went into PEAK thinking “this can’t be that hard” but I soon found out that an empty barbell and a 200 meter run damn near killed me. A chipped tooth from an empty bar in a shoulder to overhead warm-up, a strawberry on my chin from the laces of an out of control wall ball, and eating it on the box during the open have all been moments that make me question why I’m there but “I trust the process” and continue to come back for more!

What are your favorite crossfit movements?

Clean & Jerks, Deadlifts, Pull-ups, Rowing

What movement makes you look at the white board and want to walk back out the door?

Thrusters (I hate them with a passion)

What are your goals?

When I started crossfit, my goal was to drop some weight and get some energy back. I remember hearing Nate say during PEAK to “trust the process”. As I continue to get stronger and a little better each day, I always think of him saying this. I’m on my third session of Laurens Accountability Group and with her help and extra push I’ve met many goals. My goal this round is to work on building up my strength and skill with the barbell movements.  I know I need to be “more aggressive”, easier said than done!

What motivates you to continue coming back?

The thing that motivates me the most is seeing the physical change in my body and how I feel throughout the day. I’ve dropped 27 pounds in the last year and I’m probably in the best shape I have ever been in because of crossfit.

The coaches and members also motivate me. To see the coaches’ doing the same workouts and leading by example is an awesome thing. The encouragement and the excitement from everyone when you hit a PR or you just need that extra push is truly amazing and that is what keeps me coming back for more.

What is your favorite cheat meal?

Pizza and Ice Cream!!!

In your own words what is Rocktown Crossfit?

I never considered myself an athlete. I played a few sports growing up but snowboarding was the only thing that I was half way decent at. I had gym memberships over the years but I didn’t put much effort into working out or my diet. Even as I got older I didn’t have the motivation or desire because I never saw results. Rocktown Crossfit has helped me gain the confidence to want to get better and has given me that extra push and motivation that I hadn’t found before. The most impressive thing about Rocktown is the people, both coaches and members. Everyone is so genuine. In today’s world where people are so self-absorbed, it’s refreshing to belong to a place where you don’t have to deal with it.

Free Write: (anything you want to say about trainers/facilities/other athletes/etc)

First, I have to thank my wife Jasmine for all of the nagging she did to get me to try crossfit. Every day I had to listen to her talk about her snatch, or her jerks and all the weights I would think to myself “that’s not for me”?  With her being pregnant and continuing to show up every day left me with no excuse to not at least try it.  Once again, she was right and I’ve been hooked from day one! I still can’t understand how something that hurts and sucks so bad in the moment can leave you feeling so great and accomplished for the rest of the day.

Thank you Lauren and Nate for all of your help and advice you have given me this past year and for creating such a welcoming environment that keeps me and a lot of other people coming back each day. I have a huge amount of respect for you both and I love knowing that our kids have a place to get their fitness on as they grow up and so many great people to look up to.

Thanks to all of the coaches who have offered advice and pushed me to do things I never thought I would be capable of doing! Whether it’s telling me to stop before I hurt myself, helping me with the same techniques and movements, over and over again and of course Dana who is always there to tell me that I need more weight on my bar. All of you guys are the best of the best!

A Note from the Rocktown Staff:

27lbs ladies and gentlemen.  This is from someone who did not look like he had 27lbs to give up!  But he’s never looked faster or stronger.  Shane is one of the most humble guys you will ever meet.  Not once has he ever questioned anything a coach has asked him to do and it’s paid off.  Whether it’s been just swinging from the rig practicing the kip, scaling specific workouts and weights or even what to add to his diet Shane has been very diligent and understands that things do not happen overnight.  When Lauren recently started her new accountability group she had at least 2 guys sign up and when asked what their goals were their response “we want to do whatever Shane has been doing.”  And as hard of a worker Shane is you won’t find a nicer guy…he’s the Peyton Manning of Rocktown, you can’t help but love the guy.  He’s been a great role model for all of us CrossFit Dads…Piper, Greycen and Reef have someone great to look up to.  Congratulations Shane, keep up the good work…and stay just a few reps ahead of Rob 

and Go Chargers!

April 2017 - Chyna 2.0 - Kim Constable

Tell us about yourself (name, age, education, family, work, etc.)

My name is Kim Constable, and I am 41 years old. I am a full time working mom of 2 awesome kids Ava and Parker. They keep me on my toes and very busy always. I have learned so much about life from raising them.

How long have you been doing crossfit?

I have been showing up for 3 ½ years. Thanks to the sisterhood (aka Allyson and Kellie) if I could insert heart emoji’s I would.

When/what was your “crossfit moment” or have you had one? (The one where you think you may actually die)

The “moment” hits me on most days. I almost died during the Open, the 17.5 workout had me looking for oxygen. 10 rounds of Thrusters and conquering double unders (finally), had me wondering if I would live. I had to apologize for my actions after that one.

What are your favorite crossfit movements:

I like handstand pushups, heavy squats and anything I can push above my head!

What movement makes you look at the white board and want to walk back out the door?

Squat snatches and overhead squats, these are by far my weakest movements.

What are your goals?

My biggest goals are to conquer all of my weak movements and be good at them.  Pull ups, getting better at pull ups, that’s the biggest goal!  Also to breathe while working out, it’s a work in progress.

What motivates you to continue coming back?

I have always loved working out, but The Rock is the only place I want to continue my fitness. The coaches, the people I get to see every week take me to a place I need to be at the end of the day. Everyone is so encouraging and really the best group of people out there.  It’s amazing to see how hard everyone works at all different ages and levels, that’s the part I love most.

What’s your favorite cheat meal?

Oh, wine of course. Is that a meal? If I had to pick food, basically anything with cheese.

In your own words what is Rocktown Crossfit?

It’s a place where I can relieve stress and see my friends, those are both important things to me.  I have to relieve the pressure of life in order to be a better mother and wife (right Will?).  It’s a community of good people, really! I have really gained strong friendships just from coming to Rocktown, that’s pretty amazing!

Free Write: (anything you want to say about trainers/facilities/other athletes/etc)

In the beginning I was so nervous about Crossfit and honestly was hesitant about starting.  Thank goodness I took the chance and didn’t look back.

I am so proud to be apart of Rocktown, I have never lost interest, gotten burned out and actually can’t wait to get there as much as my schedule allows. The fact that my kids have been involved in such a great program, makes me so happy. Lauren has been amazing with my kids, and they have become stronger from it. I love that they love it as much as I do. I appreciate the time the coaches have taken to help me learn each time I show up. I love the energy in the room, it’s so exciting to me. Thank you Nate and Lauren for an awesome place we can all show up to. Thank you to all of the coaches, you all are inspiring, so sweet and amazing individuals for dedicating your time.  I love my muscles and I thank you for helping me gain them. It’s fun feeling strong and pretty empowering.  At 41 it feels awesome to lift heavy weights and occasionally keep up with so many strong people!

P.S. I can’t wait for the Christmas Party!

A Note from the Rocktown Staff:

You know you’re doing it right when Kim is slinging a few swears your way at the end of the workout.  But I’ll be honest I’d have it no other way.  We love her passion and the example she set’s for her kids.  This past March marked our 5th year participating in the Open…one of my top 3 favorite moments of all time was 17.3 while Kim was on the Rower while Parker and Ava were by her side cheering her on…to see the pride on their faces when she was done gives me goosebumps.  They see her hard work on a daily basis, and its an example I hope to be for my son one day.  But it would be remiss if we didn’t share all the laughs from the past few years…whether its Will at the Christmas party stealing the show or Kim’s hair going crazy when the moisture pops off at the gym or how ridiculously similar she looks like the WWF wrestler Chyna.  Thanks for making The Rock your home, sharing your family with us and the tons of laughs and all the fitness along the way!

March 2017 - The Puker - Jen Kline

jen1.jpg

Tell us about yourself (name, age, education, family, work, etc.)

I’m Jen, and I’m 32 years old. I’m a stay at home mom with three little kids, (whom I adore), but also take me forever to buckle and unbuckle in their car seats, when I’m trying to avoid the late burpee penalty.

How long have you been doing crossfit?

2 years and 9 months.

When/what was your “crossfit moment” or have you had one? (the one where you think you may actually die)

I’ve had a lot of those moments, but the most recent one was this year’s Open during the dead lift, wall balls, and rowing.  I remember yelling for a bucket because I was afraid I would lose my breakfast in front of everyone, but I was even more afraid I would pass out and my score wouldn’t count!

What are your favorite crossfit movements?

I love rowing, squats, and pretty much anything involving a barbell in my hands. There is something about that barbell that’s magical and makes you feel like a badass. Like Cinderella putting on her glass slippers, it just transforms me.

What movement makes you look at the white board and want to walk back out the door?

Box jumps! Anyone who has worked out with me, knows how much I fear them.

What are your goals?

I don’t think there is enough time to list all of them, because there are so many, but I’m still chasing my first pull up, and I also want to try and hit a 300# squat this year. Overall, I want to get more confident and efficient at all the movements.

What motivates you to continue coming back?

Seeing personal progress, not only with fitness, but with my mental health as well. I’m in such a bad mood if I can’t come to The Rock for a couple days. Dana told me before I started, “Lookout, it’s addictive” and I remember thinking that was the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard. Who gets addicted to working out when it’s such a chore?  Now I get it! The adrenaline rush after completing a hard workout, that cloud 9 feeling you get after hitting a PR after you have been working for weeks and weeks, or the high five from a friend who collapses on the floor next to you – it’s the best feeling ever!!

What’s your favorite cheat meal?

Cheeseburgers, Coca Cola, and ice cream!!

In your own words what is Rocktown Crossfit?

Everyone says it, but it’s FAMILY to me! When I walk in those doors, I feel at HOME and that’s something I NEVER, ever, thought I would say about a gym. I love the smell of iron, and the sound of the weights hitting the floor.  It’s my safe place, and my support system. I’m a stay at home mom, and after my first baby, I found myself disconnected and lonely. I used to see friends maybe once a month or every couple months. At the Rock, I get to see friends almost every day, and because of that, they know what my day-to-day battles and struggles are that I am dealing with, and we support and encourage each other inside, and outside, the gym. I think that’s really special and I don’t take it for granted. Shout out to my #MomSquad ladies!

For the first time in my life, I appreciate my body for what it can DO, not for what it looks like. I hated my legs growing up, because they were so much bigger than the other girls, but now I appreciate that I can squat,  and now I love my legs. It also makes me appreciate the different sizes of the others ladies. Instead of resenting them for being smaller or different than me, I’m cheering them on, because I’m so proud and impressed with their gymnastics or other skills that they are working hard at too. Rocktown Crossfit has just transformed the way I think about body image and what “healthy” looks like.

Free Write: (anything you want to say about trainers/facilities/other athletes/etc)

I was never a good athlete, and always struggled with my weight. I had extremely high blood pressure with my first pregnancy, and was diagnosed with gestational diabetes with my second baby.  After those health risks, I decided I needed to change my life style. I was petrified to go to the gym, but I was determined to change. One day, I overheard Dana talking about coaching and asked her about it. I had never even heard the word “Crossfit” before and as she started talking to me, Lauren Black walked through the door, right at that very moment, and to this day I feel like it was fate. Both of them invited me to come to a class, and I said I would try it. After walking through the doors, I almost walked right back out, because the things people were doing looked impossible to me. I’m so glad I didn’t, because it has changed my life. I had three kids in three years, but only worked out with the third baby, and it made such a huge difference! It’s taken me some time to get back in the swing of things, but I’m the strongest I’ve ever been in my life. All the coaches are wonderful and I’ve learned something from each of them. Lauren has been my primary coach at 9am and I’m always so impressed with how she personalizes the workouts and remembers so many personal record numbers. It really shows how much she cares about your progress and wants you to succeed.

Shout out to my husband who always supports my fitness goals and encourages me to go to The Rock (especially since he knows I’ll be in a bad mood if I can’t go, haha). I love my Rocktown Family!

A Note from the Rocktown Staff:

Its been almost 3 years since the first time Jen walked through our doors and she has not looked back!  She was one of our pioneer pregnant mamas and set the standards as high as you can for so many to follow.  She showed that its ok to be pregnant and workout, and how much easier it made the bounce back once she was able to return.  But it did not stop there…her example at home is what will really turn your head.  She is constantly sharing photos of her kids being active, doing burpees or practicing handstand holds in their basement, one of their favorite moves from crossfit preschool!  Being the mom that she is its important to her to maximize her time in the gym.  If Jen gets there early, she will do 50 wall balls and some assault…class ends early?  You’ll find her doing a mile run.  Some of our favorite moments though come when Jen leaves “the comfort zone” which is commonly accompanied with a bucket or a trip out to the grass   As her journey continues the strength and confidence continue to shine through.  Congrats Jen and we can’t wait to see that 300lb squat very soon!

February 2017 - Ms. Hyde - Kendall Valente

image1-1024x768.jpg

Tell us about yourself (name, age, education, family, work, etc.)

My Name is Kendall Valente and I am 24 years old. I grew up in Massachusetts but moved to Harrisonburg about two years ago to pursue a graduate program at James Madison, in Higher Education and Student Affairs. I work in Residence Life and also in the Office of Student Accountability and Restorative Practices at JMU. When I first joined the Rock, I had no clue what I was getting into, I was looking to get in shape and for something to get me off campus and involved in the community. I can easily say that was the best decision I have made here and I couldn’t imagine my life without it.

How long have you been doing CrossFit?

One year and 2 months!

When/what was your “CrossFit moment” or have you had one? (the one where you think you may actually die)

I don’t remember the workout exactly (I might have blacked out) but it was a Saturday morning in my first month at the Rock, there were cleans, barbell burpees, and running with a partner (Marcella’s encouragement and not letting me quit is the only reason I got through it!) I remember thinking that was the end and I would never be going back… but somehow I ended up in that Monday’s 6:45am class, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

What are your favorite CrossFit movements?

Snatches, handstand pushups, burpee box jump overs- I also have a love/hate relationship with double unders.

 What movement makes you look at the white board and want to walk back out the door?

Running (especially a long run at the end of a workout) and dips!

What are your goals?

I have a lot of goals…I’m slowly working on my squat snatch and overhead squats- making them both more stable and smooth! I’m also working on kipping pull-ups and toes to bar. (But there are so many, as I accomplish one I want more, it is addicting!)

What motivates you to continue coming back?

I love the enthusiasm from people when I get a new PR or new skill and I love watching other people grow and achieve new feats that they didn’t think they could. I think a lot about where I was when I started and where I am now, doing things I never thought possible. I never thought I would be able to do most of what I have accomplished over the last year, and I know I could not have done it without the push to do better and motivation I get from everyone at the Rock. The community is the most welcoming, accepting, hard working, and motivational group I have ever been a part of.

I go to bed thinking about the next morning’s workout, and although some mornings I am pulling myself out of bed, once I get there I don’t want to leave. The struggle of getting up only lasts a couple of minutes, but the energy and satisfaction of starting my day at the Rock is endless.

What’s your favorite cheat meal?

El Charro’s Vegetarian Quesadilla! And anything with peanut butter!

In your own words what is Rocktown CrossFit?

Rocktown CrossFit is where you make dreams your reality. At the Rock you are willing to put in the time and effort, you really can accomplish amazing things. People come in and push themselves to places they didn’t think they could go, and thrive off others doing the same. I am always so amazed by the amount of effort and dedication that is put in everyday, and if you have an off day you come back and work harder the next- it is as though there is no failure, rather just another day to get better.

Free Write: (anything you want to say about trainers/facilities/other athletes/etc)

 THANK YOU. I am so grateful to be a part of the Rock community and that I get to start my mornings with some of the best people in town! Since day one I have felt nothing but welcomed and inspired by every single person that comes through the door. Thank you to all of the coaches- if it weren’t for the all of the times you have pushed me further than I thought I could go, and your belief that I can do more, even when I don’t think I can, I would not be where I am today. Shout out to the 6:30am crew, thanks for being my motivation to get out of bed so early every morning-I love seeing everyone accomplishing their goals and setting new ones daily, you’re all incredible!!

Honestly there are not enough words to say how much I love Rocktown and the community it created. It is because of the Rock I believe that with a lot of hard work, persistence, and patience anything is possible- I see it happen every day and I am so excited to see what is next!

A Note from the Rocktown Staff:

The quiet, soft spoken JMU student has morphed into a full blown CrossFit machine!  When it’s go time its almost like the flip of a switch and the kind, upbeat Kendall morphs into the equivalent of Ms. Hyde…destroying the barbell or anything else in her way!  Kendall has always been a hard worker but the diligence she has shown over the past 8 week during Lauren’s accountability group has really bled over into her performance in the gym.  It seems like every week she’s obtaining a new skill or hitting a new PR.  Not to mention she has lost close to 20lbs during her challenge and has no signs of letting up.  Kendall has also shared the gift of fitness with several of her friends…they have seen her success and seeing Danielle and Isiah throwdown with her every morning has been fun to watch   Kendall, thanks for making The Rock your home away from home…we are lucky to have you!

January 2017 - The Sideways Stalker - Jasmine Smith

jasmine-768x1024.png

Tell us about yourself (name, age, education, family, work, etc.)   

Hey guys, it’s Jasmine (WHAT? SERIOUSLY? ME?) Before joining The Rock I would have never put the word athlete with my name! I am a 35 year old wife and Mama to 3 great kiddos.  My amazing husband is Shane and then there’s Gracen aka Tiny Cake who’s 11,  Piper’s 4 and Reef is 6 months. They definitely keep me busy but I wouldn’t have it any other way! We are quite the Rocktown family, besides Reef, we all go and love it and even Reef went up until he was born. I talked Shane  into starting this past May and that makes it even better. He goes at 5:45 am (miss you guys) since I had Reef so he gives me the “time to beat” or “reps to beat” when he gets home and then I give it my best shot when I go to the 9. Nothing like a little healthy competition!

How long have you been doing crossfit?

I have been doing crossfit for a year and 7 months. My journey has been a little different though since I had a baby in there. I had been doing crossfit for about 6 or 7 months when I got pregnant so luckily I had already come a long way personally and was able to continue where I was. I also had the awesome example of  2 amazing pregnant women doing the same thing right in front of me so that helped!

When/what was your “crossfit moment” or have you had one? (the one where you think you may actually die)

Hmmm, what was my crossfit moment? Decisions, decisions… I think the morning that I did the mile and Nate was literally peeking out the door ready to send out a search party for me. I came in only to do what I remember as an obscene amount of air squats and row I think 2000 meters or so. There is actually a picture somewhere with I think Luke and Dana cheering me on because they and everyone else were done. I made it though that day and many others that were questionable at times! I’m always so pumped afterward when I hit that point and keep going anyways. I always think of Dana telling me when I first started “Don’t worry, you will pass out before you die”.

What are your favorite crossfit movements?

Probably jerks, overhead squats, squat snatches and ball slams. Oh, and running, just kidding that’s the next question.

What movement makes you look at the white board and want to walk back out the door?

Running, long rows, burpees and even worse barbell burpees!!!

What are your goals?

Wow, I have so many! Everyday I go and see these incredible people doing awesome things so the list just keeps getting bigger.  I worked out up until the day before I had Reef (and he came 4 days late.) I had planned on coming that day too but my water broke while Shane was there in the morning. When I came back after 6 weeks off I felt like I was literally at square 1 again after feeling oddly strong during my pregnancy I felt pretty defeated for a little while. Lauren, was so wonderful about telling me to just keep going and it would come back, just keep working. Of course she was right!  I have in just the last couple months started reaching a few big goals. I have envied Toes to bar, pull-ups and handstand pushups since I started and have recently gotten all of them. (that’s right I’m 35 and got my first EVER pull up whoop, whoop) They all definitely need more work but I have them. I really want double unders and to not want to run away from running in general. Ultimately I want to be healthy and be a good example for my kids especially my girls. Forget skinny! Be STRONG because that is way more awesome!!!

What motivates you to continue coming back?

The Rock is my “me time”! I drop my kids off with the wonderful staff at Valley Fitness Kid Zone and know that they are safe and loved and it’s OK to focus on ME.  I love that I can actually go and unwind with friends while pushing my limits and be proud of myself and maybe even just a little bit better every time I walk out the door! I am looking forward to testing myself by participating in the Open.  Maybe a little nervous too, YIKES!

What’s your favorite cheat meal?

Oh my, I love food! If I had to pick I would say chocolate but I don’t discriminate against any sweets!!!

In your own words what is Rocktown Crossfit?

Quite simply Rocktown is just the best of the best!  You can walk in and just feel the good vibes. Don’t get me wrong it’s hard work but the amount of encouragement, excitement and joy shared by coaches and members is such a cool thing to be a part of!

Free Write: (anything you want to say about trainers/facilities/other athletes/etc)

Ever since my first day at The Rock I felt like I belonged there! I debated and quite possibly stalked crossfit for a while before trying it for myself.  That’s probably the only thing I would change, I would have just done it sooner! I told Lauren my first day that I liked it so much because yes, it sucked but only for a short time. Sometimes the “sucky part” is 20+ minutes but sometimes it’s only 8. I have made so many friends at The Rock from the 5:45 am and of course my 9 am Mom Squad.  I’m so thankful for all of the encouragement that I get no matter what someone is always there with a high five. The coaches are always knowledgeable and available for questions and they are always watching when you’re 2 second air break somehow turns into 10 seconds they will let you know! I definitely need the extra push and am always appreciative of hearing “Jasmine, get back on the bar”. My girls love the kids programs and I’m so happy to be able to bring them up in a place with such genuine and  strong men and women. The Rock is like a family without the drama. The character of everyone there speaks for itself. To sum it up it’s is a happy place and it is my happy place!

A Note from the Rocktown Staff:

Jasmine…one of my most memorable moments was a workout when you were at the pinnacle of your pregnancy.  It was a cool morning and you insisted on doing the mile run to finish the workout.  You told me that it might be slow but that you knew you could do it.  I stood by that door looking out that window and when I finally decided I was coming after you there you came around the building grinning ear to ear.  First thing you said was “I told you it wouldn’t be a problem”.  I learned that day to never question your determination and you have never slowed down since.  To say you’re an inspiration to these mom’s at Rocktown would be an understatement.  To see how hard you worked through your third pregnancy to then see you bounce back postpartum has been awesome…I’d say its been amazing but with your determination it seems like just another task to be completed.  Thank you for sharing your family as well…you and Shane are two of the hardest working people we know…selfless to each other and to your family, you always put your kids and each other first but understand the importance of taking care of yourselves, something I wish the world could see.  On a lighter note, be sure to take note of Jasmine’s rowing technique…you know she’s getting after it when you can’t tell if she’s rowing or getting ready to spend a night at the Roxbury!

Last but not least, remember the name Gracen Smith…I don’t think there’s any doubt we will be watching her on TV one day at the Crossfit Games.  Congrats Jasmine…you’re an athlete and a person that we should all inspire to be inside the gym and out.

October 2016 - The California Kid - Jen Sodikoff

Tell us about yourself (name, age, education, family, work, etc.) 

what up Rock family?! Jen here aka J Carter or Jen Soda. I’m 28 and was brought to the Burg and the Rock by my awesome husband Jake who imported me from California 5 years ago. Went to THE U of A (Beardown) and now work in marketing and am most recently the co-creator of Sub Rosa Supper Club. Shameless plug: check us out subrosasupperclub.com. We’re a good time. I love food and love to travel but always fear coming back to the rock after long spans of time away. I am also staying away from the drinking fountain for as long as possible  and am always down for a beer and a ball game. So hit me up!

How long have you been doing crossfit?

A little over two years. Just hit my anniversary in September.

When/what was your “crossfit moment” or have you had one? (the one where you think you may actually die)

Luckily I have really only had one I can recall where I almost quit midway through the workout. I did the conditioning during strength which was the devil incarnate sled pushes. I was gassed then went on to the workout with basically 30 seconds to recover. Laken looked quite concerned but I pulled through. Oh and every time I come back from a long vacation it’s rough but as I continue I seem to be able to get back in the groove quicker.  I think I’ve only puked twice and once was my first day of PEAK. Yippee!

What are your favorite crossfit movements?

Loading up the bar thinking I’ll take off weight halfway through the workout and I make it through no problem. Hitting my split jerk PR, doing Murph for the first time, recently graduating off all bands for pull ups and generally just starting my day at The Rock. It’s the best part of my day.

What movement makes you look at the white board and want to walk back out the door?

Thrusters. Wall balls. Rowing.

What are your goals?

Double unders and hand stand push ups….and to sign up for this year’s CrossFit Open!

What motivates you to continue coming back?

The way it makes me feel, how it enables me to eat what I want  within moderation, it is something that I get to share with my husband and the fact that I have met so many awesome people that I consider my friends. It’s a fantastic community that champion each other to doing the best that they can and constantly push to grow.

What’s your favorite cheat meal?

Love ice cream, especially when Jake makes it. Also can’t function without my daily coffee. I try to eat relatively clean but I’ve never met a twix I didn’t like.

In your own words what is Rocktown Crossfit?

A great place to sweat your ass off, socialize with people I am in awe of everyday, and feel good about the work you put in and the results it brings. It’s a great place to start your every day.

Free Write: (anything you want to say about trainers/facilities/other athletes/etc)

Frankly, I’m in love. It’s the best workout I’ve ever had. I am amazed at what I am capable of doing and that hard work does pay off ten fold. I’m in love with all the people and the coaches. They truly care and engage, working with you to meet your goals. I have heard “things” about the other gyms in town but my loyalty will always be to The Rock.

A Note from the Rocktown Staff:

From the quiet girl at 6:45am who often appeared to still be asleep as she warmed up (occasionally still does) to Athlete of the Month!  The evolution of this bearcat has not happened overnight and I’m sure she would be the first to tell you that it takes consistency and hard work to get anywhere, be it the gym or in life.  Jen has been a staple to the 6:45am class since day 1 and even though some of her early partner workouts with her then boyfriend were a little tense she managed to tame him and the rest of us and we couldn’t imagine The Rock without her!  As hard as Jen has worked at The Rock getting to know her has been equally as great.  Her and Jake are very selfless people and are always looking for ways to help others…as Lauren calls it, “she’s a good soul”.  Jen, thank you for making Rocktown CrossFit your home, thanks for talking baseball with Nate and sharing your west coast roots with all of this…its safe to say we are the lucky ones!

Bear Down!

 

September 2016 - Queen Consistency - Katie Welborn

Tell us about yourself (name, age, education, family, work, etc.)

My name is Katie Welborn and I am 34 years young!  I’m originally from Mechanicsville, VA but I moved to Harrisonburg in 2000 to come to JMU and I never left!  I fell in love with the area – and a townie (my wonderful husband Chris), so I decided to make the valley my home.

I am a wife and mom to two precious CrossFit kids – Collin, age 11 and Addison, age 5.  I have a direct sales business that allows me to work part-time from home and my crazy family fills up the rest of my time!

How long have you been doing crossfit?

One year and one month!

When/what was your “crossfit moment” or have you had one? (the one where you think you may actually die)

The 2016 CrossFit Open 16.4 – the workout was 55 deadlifts, 55 wall balls, 55 cal row, and 55 pushups.  Rowing is a serious weakness for me and rowing for calories takes me to a dark place each and every time.  Add to that the intense atmosphere of the open and…..yea.  I can say that I have officially experienced the “pain cave.”

What are your favorite crossfit movements?

Squats – alllllllll the squats.  Front squats, back squats, overhead squats, air squats, lunges…

What movement makes you look at the white board and want to walk back out the door?

Rowing for calories!  And running with the wall ball – ugh, that’s the worst!  I also really struggle with squat snatches (ok, snatches in general but my squat snatches are a serious mess) but I want to get better so I keep showing up and putting in the work!

What are your goals?

I have SO MANY goals.  My biggest goal, the one that brought me to The Rock in the first place, is strict pull ups.  I am still working for that first strict pull up and I guarantee that the whole world will know when I finally get one!  I want to back squat #200+, power clean my body weight, RX hand stand push ups, learn to kip toes to bar, get faster with double unders, row for calories without feeling like I am going to die…  Overhead lifts are not my strength but I want to keep improving and increasing those lifts also.

What motivates you to continue coming back?

I think it’s a combination of the people and the addictive nature of the sport.  I have a really competitive personality and CrossFit gives me a healthy way to channel that energy.  The coaches and athletes at The Rock are the best around, and I consider myself blessed that I get to do this crazy fitness thing with such amazing people!

What’s your favorite cheat meal?

Tacos!!!  Or any variation of tacos…  Just give me a big plate of Mexican food!  Or wings and beer!

In your own words what is Rocktown Crossfit?

Home.  Family.  My sanctuary…  I feel like CrossFit is a metaphor for life.  Show Up – Work Hard – Every Day.  Some days are awesome, some days suck, lots of days are just average – learn from them all.  There is a lesson in everything, something that can be improved.  But you can’t be afraid of the hard work, you can’t be afraid of the pain.  You have to get in there and get comfortable with the pain and let it change you.

I’ve never really talked about this at The Rock, but when I started a little over a year ago, my father was dying of cancer.  So many things in my life felt out of control.  The Rock gave me a reason to get dressed and leave my house every morning, and each day I did something positive for ME.

Joining Rocktown was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!  It has changed my life for the better in more ways than I can count!!

Free Write: (anything you want to say about trainers/facilities/other athletes/etc)

Given the amazing group of athletes at The Rock, it is an unbelievable honor to be recognized in this way!

Coaches, thank you to each and every one of you.  You all care about this sport and the athletes at The Rock and that really shines through in everything you do, in every class you coach.  That is the essence of what makes Rocktown so unique.  I have learned something from each of you and I am so grateful for your advice, constructive criticism, and even that “omg what is she doing” look on your face (Nate) when you see me perform a movement with less-than stellar form.

Lauren, thank you for always seeing me as coach-able.  I may not put up the biggest numbers or the fastest times, but you see me as worthy of your time and energy just the same and I appreciate that more than you will ever know.  You are SO good at your job (this is worth saying over and over  ) and you clearly love what you do.  Thank you also for your dedication to the kids programs that you run at Rocktown – I want my kids to learn at a young age that fitness can be fun and you have started them both on that path.  There are no words to describe how much that means to me!

To my 9 am ladies…  You all are my tribe!  There is something magical about women who gather to celebrate and encourage one another!  You all make me want to be a better athlete and a better human!

To my family…  Thank you for seeing that ME taking care of ME is an extension of ME taking care of YOU!  Chris, thanks for not fussing when I buy new workout clothes or new shoes.  Collin & Addison, thanks for not fussing when Mom replaces your chicken nuggets and mac & cheese with grilled chicken and apple slices.  You’ll thank me one day!

To my business team, thank you for enduring my endless “your commitment to your business is a lot like a commitment to a exercise program” analogies.  See above – show up, work hard, every day!

To all Rocktown athletes, you are simply awesome.  We all lead busy lives, but we make fitness a priority and we are all better for it.  Keep crushing it!

A Note from the Rocktown Staff:

If Nate had a dollar for every time Lauren mentioned how hard Katie works, how consistent she is, and how she does what is suggested…he would have a lot of dollars   So many people ask “whats the secret, how do I get stronger, lose weight, get better at double unders?” but when they find out the secret is to practice or put in the effort Katie Welborn answers the bell.  She comes to class early and practices her double unders every day, she practices her pullups regularly and she never misses a Monday.  To say that in the past year that Katie has been an influence to The Rock is an understatement.  When we hosted our first “bring a friend day” Katie brought 3 people to class that day, who are now regular members and we are blessed to consider friends and part of the community.  If there is a female out there who is looking for inspiration or motivation I suggest you get to know Katie Welborn.  She is a busy mother of two, a wife, a businesswoman and an athlete.  She makes time for her self, she promotes good health in her home and has a positive outlook on any situation.  She lights up every room she walks in and her energy is contagious.  Thank you Katie for being a great ambassador of not only The Rock but to busy woman out there everywhere…you’ve shown them the importance of self worth, you’ve shared The Rock with so many of your friends and you continue to inspire Lauren and I on a daily basis and we are forever grateful.  Keep up the good work and have an extra taco this Tuesday…you deserve it!

August 2016 - BrittleBean - Brittany

Tell us about yourself (name, age, education, family, work, etc.)

My name is Brittany aka Brittle (I think Nate started calling me this bc he couldn’t ever spell my name right;)). I am 25 years YOUNG and have lived all over (TX, VA, WV). My parents- Sara and Charlie loved me so much that they went with the saying- “one and done”. I am an only child but they have 2 dogs (Quigley and Spooner) that have since filled their void.

Before I became a grown-up, most recently, I lived in Roanoke, VA where I graduated from high school at WIlliam Byrd. After graduating I decided to go to JMU where I completed the 5 year Master’s program to become an elementary school teacher. I decided to stay in Harrisonburg after graduating to pursue a career in teaching and to hang out with some guy

(Neil- crossfit lovers is definitely a thing at The Rock) ;)). For the past 2 years I taught in Greene County and this year I will be teaching third grade at Pleasant Valley Elementary. I absolutely love kids so it goes without saying that I love my job! Maybe one day I will open up my own Rocktown daycare if the demand is still there (don’t drink the water).

In my spare time, I workout with my friends, hang out with my little from Big Brothers Big Sisters, get cuddles from baby Jett, and annoy Neil (usually with Steph) to the point where he apologizes for my behavior :D.

My athletic background includes swimming (for 6 years 4 hours a day :/), group fitness classes (JMU boxing class was my fave), and now crossfit.

How long have you been doing crossfit?

Around 3 years I think.

When/what was your “crossfit moment” or have you had one? (the one where you think you may actually die)

14.5 Thrusters+rowing= DEATH (this was written before “Monday Mixer 8-22”)

What are your favorite crossfit movements?

I love burpees (I know….who says that?), running, push jerks,  double unders, abmat sit-ups (all the cardio <3)

What movement makes you look at the white board and want to walk back out the door?

Snatches, overhead squats, front squats, squat cleans, back squats, rowing, thrusters (pretty much everything with a barbell EXCEPT for push jerks). Also- toes to bar can be pretty frustrating for me.

What are your goals?

To stop looking like bambi when I squat.  But really I would like to improve my squat technique and work my way up to a heavier weight. I’ve overcome my fear of getting upside down on the wall so now a goal is to be able to do handstand push-ups rx in a workout before the open comes around. Also I would really like to learn how to do a bar muscle up and kip toes to bar before the open. Non crossfit goal- To help each child I teach to feel loved, wanted, smart, and be able to see their full potential.

What motivates you to continue coming back?

My Crossfit Family- I love catching up with all of you after a long day of teaching kiddos. It is nice to have that adult time and workout any stress from the day. It is so awesome to be able to cheer on your friends and even be cheered on when you are the last one finished because you keep tripping on your rope (personal experience). Also- one of my favorite things is when we get behind members and support them in a time of need- from preparing meals to giving clothes to a family whose house burnt down.

Helping people makes me happy and you all make me happy SO it’s a win win.

The Open Struggles- In 2014 I was convinced (forced) to participate in the Open by Neil. It really helped me goal set. I did pull-ups for the first time in a workout in the open- singles the whole time. Then it became my mission to learn how to kip pull-ups. This past open I had to stop workouts before the time cap because I couldn’t get a muscle up and couldn’t complete a handstand pushup so presently my goal is to get better at handstand push-ups then I will focus more on the muscle up. So i guess what they say is true- “Respect your elders.” Thanks Neil!

What’s your favorite cheat meal?

Pizza and Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Ice Cream from Klines

In your own words what is Rocktown Crossfit?

Rocktown has become my Harrisonburg family. It is an awesome feeling to see how many people truly care about you and have your back when times get rough. From Sherry giving me Red Sox bandaids for my classroom to all of the kind words when my Grandpa passed away; there isn’t another Crossfit Community like it. I’ve dropped in to a couple other gyms and none of the gyms I have been to even compare to what we have at The Rock. People that love and care for one another and coaches that push you to become a better athlete and person- what more could you ask for?

Free Write: (anything you want to say about trainers/facilities/other athletes/etc)

I want to thank the coaches- Dana, Sarah, Rat, Lauren, Nate, Wayne, Laura Lee (and future coaches Hunter (ladies?! He could be your crossfit lover) & Scrub). Thank you for pressuring me into lifting more weight constantly- even when I get frustrated. Thank you Nate for giving me constructive feedback on every lift so that I can become a better lifter and not look like Bambi. Thank you all for making sure I am properly stretched and giving me modifications when something hurts. I might be a little partial on the next list of thank you’s–Thank you cleaners (Beth, Justin, Neil)!

You clean a lot (powerclean & the other clean)! I have been in gyms that aren’t very clean and that makes me so thankful that we have a clean facility to do what we love. Finally- thank you to all the members at Rocktown. You are my inspiration and I am so thankful to have each of you in my life. Thank you for pushing me through workouts, talking to me during runs, and being my friends/family. Seeing you PR is more exciting to me than getting my own PR. I can think of about 50 other people that deserve this more than me, but I guess if I get this, Nate just wants to program A LOT of BURPEES! 

A Note from the Rocktown Staff:

Brittany!  It only took Nate 3 years to spell your name right…so its fitting your Athlete of the Month title reflects the nickname you acquired via Tosh.0’s “brickleberry”.  But if you have met Brittany at The Rock by now you know she’s one of the most selfless people you will ever meet.  When she’s free she’s either volunteering for a good cause, babysitting, etc and expects nothing in return…its refreshing in a world where everyone wants something.  I don’t think I’ve seen a baby come through those doors that at some point she hasn’t held or helped with…to say she’s a natural with children of all ages is an understatement.  But don’t let the smile fool you…when its game time the tongue is coming out and things are going to get real!  I can remember the early days at The Rock…Brittany was famous for doing a lift, and looking around to see if any of the coaches saw her technique…the reaction at times was and still is priceless.  But on any given day you can count on Brit to throw an RX on the board along with an all out effort.  She continues to get stronger, both physically and mentally and we can’t wait to see her hit the Open in 2017.  Congrats Brittle, put the Tastey on ice and celebrate…you’ve earned it!

June/July 2016 - The Shredder - Julie Elsea

ell us about yourself (name, age, education, family, work, etc.)

Hi,  I’m Julie!  I’m 34 years old, graduated from Radford (many years ago).  I have 1 daughter named Hannah, and a furbaby named Diesel.  I am a customer service rep at an ink company in Weyers Cave.  I am originally from Winchester and have lived in the Harrisonburg area for about 6 years now.

How long have you been doing crossfit? 

I’ve been doing crossfit since December of 2013, so about 2.5 years.

When/what was your “crossfit moment” or have you had one? (the one where you think you may actually die)

Honestly, I feel like I have a crossfit moment at least once a week.  But probably the first one was my first time doing the 12 days of Christmas- The Rock style. I had been doing Crossfit approx. 3 weeks at this point.  After what felt like the 1000th burpee I thought I would never make it.  I have actually come to use that workout each year as my reference point of how far I have come.

What are your favorite crossfit movements?

Probably Cleans and Rowing.

What movement makes you look at the white board and want to walk back out the door?

Pull ups!  They are my nemesis.

What are your goals?

Goals huh?  Well, currently my goals circle back to getting my double unders strung together, and getting more than 2 pull ups unassisted.  For a long time I only wanted to be strong, but I’ve come to really understand that I want to be good at the things I’m not good at right now.  So I guess my goals are really to just be better at everything gymnastics related.

What motivates you to continue coming back?

The thing that motivates me to continue coming back is the feeling I get when I walk in the door.  When I walk in, somebody always says hello!  We have created this beautiful little community in which we suffer together, and laugh together, and sometimes cry together.  I cannot begin to tell you how much that has meant to me especially in the last year and half.

What’s your favorite cheat meal? 

Depends on the day, but probably pizza, or chips.  I can kill a bag of chips in a sitting.  I’m kind of embarrassed to admit that.

In your own words what is Rocktown Crossfit?

Family.  I know some of the people at Rocktown better than my own family. This place is such a happy safe space.  Some days are more grueling than others, but I cannot imagine pushing myself to the extent I do, with any other group of people.

Free Write: (anything you want to say about trainers/facilities/other athletes/etc)

I am so very thankful that I found my way to The Rock.  When I started I was very out of shape and had a 4 month old baby at home.  I hated the way I looked, and felt.  As I’ve gotten stronger, and the weight has fallen off, my self doubt, and poor attitude have also gone away.  I still struggle from time to time with those 2 things, but I can tell you, I have come a very long way.  I attribute 100% of that to the Rock.  The friends I have made, and continue to make here have at times been the only thing keeping me sane (if you can call me sane).  There was a point in my life that I can quite literally say that The Rock saved my life.  If I hadn’t been able to come in and squat away all of the outside world I’m not sure what I would have done.  I’ve gone from someone who never thought I was good enough, to someone who has seen what hard work can do.  All the coaches have been patient with me when I needed patience, encouraged me when I needed encouragement, and pushed me farther than I ever thought possible.  All of the things I have accomplished since starting has been a testament to the coaching staff and programming at the Rock.  Trust the process!

A Note from the Rocktown Staff:

If Julie isn’t one of the greatest examples where persistence and consistency will pay off I don’t know what is.  I don’t know the total amount but as the picture below will show you, Julie has lost a ton of weight.  She didn’t run 15 miles a day, she didn’t starve herself, she strengthened her body and her mind.  Julie will be the first to admit early on there were times of self doubt…and today I’m happy to say those moments are few and far between.  As much as Julie had to train her body to do things the right was it takes the training of the mind to complete the tasks at hand and she’s done a great job with both.  Julie has also done a great job of knowing where to draw the line when it comes to weights and movements, she knows when to try for a little extra but also knows when to lay off the gas just a little which have kept her healthy for almost 3 years.  Keep shredding Julie…always remember its not the end result but the journey that changes us!

May 2016 - The Grinder - Lindsey Winchester

Tell us about yourself (name, age, education, family, work, etc.)
My name is Lindsey Winchester, I’m 30 years old and work as a loan processing analyst at a bank outside of Charlottesville. I have a wonderful boyfriend that has tolerated me for 9 years, you all know him as Terry aka TP.

How long have you been doing crossfit?
I started Crossfit the 2nd week of the Rock being open so 3 years.

When/what was your “crossfit moment” or have you had one? (the one where you think you may actually die)

Let’s see if I could really narrow it down to just one, haha…the one I will never forget is Renee Whitmore’s AOTM workout which involved thrusters, shoulder to overhead and something else. Believe me….it was horrible!! Also the open workout (16.4?) Which was the handstand pushups, calorie row, deadlifts and wallballs…that was pure pain for hours!

What are your favorite crossfit movements?
Double unders, pistols, power cleans, push jerks and anything cardio really

What movement makes you look at the white board and want to walk back out the door?
Deadlifts and squats

What are your goals?
I just want to have a healthy and fit life by doing workouts with a group of athletes that I am blessed to call my friends. I want to become stronger so when I compete in my first crossfit competition, I won’t be the weakest link 

What motivates you to continue coming back?
The results from the hard work put in each and every day, the people that workout at the Rock and the gym itself!! I’ve never been to a gym where it feels like home and look forward to going to every day, even when the workouts make me want to leave, haha!!

What’s your favorite cheat meal?
Omgoodness….pizza, ice cream, sour patch kids (lately for some reason), pasta…honestly anything that’s bad for you I like…other than fried foods.

In your own words what is Rocktown Crossfit?
My 2nd home! It is by far the best crossfit gym I’ve ever been to that treats every individual with the same respect and no big egos. The athletes and coaches is what makes the Rock successful!!

Free Write: (anything you want to say about trainers/facilities/other athletes/etc)
I want to say a huge thank you to all of the coaches. You all have seen me every way possible…where I’ve been broken down & crying, frustrated, happy, loud, quiet, everything!! Thank y’all for putting up with my crap and pushing me to do more weight on certain workouts where I doubt myself. Each one of you have been so supportive and help motivate me to become a better athlete each day. The 5:45 and 6:15 crew have been my main squeezes but I love everyone at the gym! Each one of you is awesome and bring so much personality to the gym! All of you is what makes working out enjoyable…with some aches and pains of course!

A Note from the Rocktown Staff:

Lindz!  What a climb you have been on!  It felt like yesterday you were trying to figure out how to get your toes to the bar and now, with the help of your special jump, you’re nailing them no problem   A lot of you that come in see the color coordinated, mostly quiet fit girl…but whats not forgotten is how hard she has worked and how consistent she has been the past 3+ years.  Even with little bumps along the way Lindsey has been smart in her training, listened to her body and its been a lot of fun to see her become the athlete she is today.  I don’t think Lindsey has missed a partner workout since we opened our doors…and I’m honestly not sure anyone has been lucky enough to be her partner besides her loving boyfriend Terry Patterson   Another great thing about Lindsey is believe it or not she does have a sense of humor…She puts up with a lot of ribbing during the 5:45am class, but hopefully she knows its always in good fun!  Congrats Lindz…I’d say keep up the hard work but we know that’s the only way you roll!

April 2016 - The Jedi - Luke Burns

Tell us about yourself (name, age, education, family, work, etc.)

My name is Luke Burns. I am currently an 18 year old senior at Eastern Mennonite High School and plan to attend VCU next year. I am the youngest of three in my family, but have surpassed both of them in strength, no matter what they may believe. I do not have a job right now, but this summer I plan on continuing my summer training program, focusing on improving the fitness and athleticism of athletes at my school.

How long have you been doing crossfit?

I have been doing CrossFit for exactly one year (literally a year ago this Thursday).

When/what was your “crossfit moment” or have you had one? (the one where you think you may actually die)

I have had a couple of moments where I have felt like I was entering a black hole. The first one being one workout this past fall involving cleans, pull-ups, squats, and running. I enjoy all of those movements for the most part, but what made it so awful is that Lauren challenged me to finish the workout in under 20 minutes. Of course, my competitive spirit pushed me to accept her challenge, and 18 minutes later my head was in the sink under running water while I tried not to lose consciousness. The other very dark and painful moment I have had was at this years SuperFit Championships when I decided it was a good idea to go as hard as I could on the assault bike for 5 minutes. I remember looking at the clock thinking I was almost done, only to see that I was not even halfway. Despite the physical agony, it was a positive experience because of the mental challenge.

What are your favorite crossfit movements?

I love all gymnastics and conditioning movements except for jumping rope. I have no rhythm. Basically I really enjoy anything that just involves your own bodyweight. Some of my favorites would be muscle ups, burpees, running, toes to bar, and rowing.

What movement makes you look at the white board and want to walk back out the door?

I wouldn’t say there is one particular movement that makes me not want to come in. If I know I am not good at performing the movement, then I know it will be a challenge for myself and that gets me excited to attempt the workout.

What are your goals?

I have a lot of little goals that I have written down somewhere in my notebook, but my ultimate goal is to improve each day and to stay healthy. I also make sure to remind myself that it is not all about making it to regionals, even if that is one of my main goals. It is about enjoying the journey and doing something I love to do with incredible people everyday.

What motivates you to continue coming back?

I am determined to improve and be the best athlete I can be, and I know that putting in the hard work is the only way I will reach this goal.

What’s your favorite cheat meal?

I have a crazy sweet tooth so any kind of desserts. My favorites would be dirt cake, blueberry and peach cobbler, molasses cookies, coconut creme pie, and of course the Cupcake Company’s cupcakes…OMG.

In your own words what is Rocktown Crossfit?

I like to think of Rocktown as my safe place. When I am stressed out with school or anything else, I know that going to Rocktown will get my mind off of things and allow me to enjoy myself. The people here are honestly some of the nicest and caring people I have met, and I truly think of all of you guys as my family away from home. It was not until I attended a few other gyms that I realized how lucky I am to have found this place. I will miss it very much next year, but you can definitely count on me dropping in whenever I come back home!

Free Write: (anything you want to say about trainers/facilities/other athletes/etc)

I want to thank all of the trainers who have put so much time into helping me. Whether it is advice on technique, tips on how to prevent getting injured, or keeping my belongings safe when I frequently forget them at the gym, I am very grateful for it all. You guys are what make that one hour (maybe sometimes a little longer) the highlight of my day, and you have helped me not only improve as an athlete but as a person as well.

A Note from the Rocktown Staff:

From Day 1 we knew he was a different breed.  I remember thinking, “this kid has no clue how to pace he just blows out of the gate”…well the joke was on me!  If you have had the honor of working out with Luke, simply put its impressive and there is no doubt he has a future in this sport.  What’s even more impressive is the brain and heart that this kid has at the age of 18…to see him and his dad spending time together in the gym can bring a tear to your eye.  I’d be lying if I haven’t said to myself 100 times “I hope that one day Jett and I can have a relationship like Jeff and Luke have.”  Its been great getting to know them along with Eva and Joesph and sharing their family with us.  On a lighter note, the running joke in the mornings is “what will Luke leave behind today?”  Most recently it was his car key…which we had the pleasure of watching Luke tear through his bag in the parking lot determined that it was in there.  When I finally knocked on the window his only comment was “I told myself I wasn’t coming back inside”.  None the less, this kid has probably been the Athlete of the Month since the day he walked through our doors, and he has the maturity to back it up.  Luke, thanks for making The Rock your home, it will be a sad day seeing you head to school in August but we know you’ll be in good hands.

March 2016 - The Sweat-Seekeer - Jake Sodikoff

jsoda-126x300.png

 

Tell us about yourself (name, age, education, family, work, etc.)

Tell us about yourself (name, age, education, family, work, etc.)
My Name is Jake Sodikoff, I’m 27 years old, turning 28 this month. I
grew up in Harrisonburg, went to HHS, played football throughout high
school. After HHS, I graduated from The University of Arizona in
Business Management where I met my lovely soon-to-be wife Jen Carter.
From there I went to culinary school and received an Advanced
Certificate European Cuisine from DCT  in Switzerland. Steven Kia
helps pay for my passion of traveling and cooking.

How long have you been doing crossfit?
I was recruited by Ricardo in November of 2014. I’ve suckered a few
others into trying it since then too. Notably Andrew Brown,
affectionately known as The Scarlett Knight.

When/what was your “crossfit moment” or have you had one? (the one
where you think you may actually die)
I think I have a “moment” during each workout. There are times I tell
myself I can die when I finish and even tell myself that if I finish a
particular movement, I can stop at the end of the round. It never
really works out that way. I think I became an official crossfitter
the first day that I wore shorts into the gym. I went a solid year
before doing so and everyone thought I was nuts.

What are your favorite crossfit movements?
I enjoy body weight movements, wall balls, rowing, running, and most
workouts that don’t include a barbell. Wayne got me hooked on Romwod
and I enjoy that time daily.

What movement makes you look at the white board and want to walk back out the door?
Anything heavy. Or super long workouts that seem like they should be
split up between partners but aren’t.

What are your goals?
I’m already in what I would consider to be the best shape of my life.
I would like to continue to slim down and work on my endurance. I’ve
got about 46 weeks until the Open so I can nail double-unders when
they come up. I’m also working on running to target and back in under
7 minutes.

What motivates you to continue coming back?
The feeling of accomplishment after each workout. I feel that if I can
handle whatever the workout throws at me so early in the morning, I’ll
be ready for anything throughout the day. I like knowing that I’ve
worked harder by 7:45 A.M. than any of my competition will throughout
their entire day.

What’s your favorite cheat meal?
I like to eat. A lot. I can gain 10 lbs in a weekend of traveling by
trying new restaurants. I’m into anything ethnic and homemade.

In your own words what is Rocktown Crossfit?
The Rock is a community of hard working individuals. It’s a place
that I’m able to show up half asleep and have my ass kicked each day.
It’s nice to have the difficult programming and all the peers push
each other to be the best they can be.

Free Write: (anything you want to say about trainers/facilities/other athletes/etc)
I’m very appreciative of all the coaches and the encouragement to get
better. Thank you guys for convincing me to try the Open. It was a
tough 5 weeks but a great opportunity to get 6 workouts in each week
and to put me in great wedding shape. The highlight of the open was
doing it during the live announcement of 16.4. Nate and I rocked it
out together.

Here’s to the next two years!

J.Soda
A Note from the Rocktown Staff:

Man its been a fun ride!  Getting to know Jake and his friends/family has been a great experience.  One of my favorite memories was our first Christmas Party at 3 Brothers.  Jake had been telling me he had a friend who wanted to join (which he had bailed on PEAK 2 weeks prior) but then asked if he could come with him to the party.  Jake had mentioned he wanted to shed a few pounds and at the party him and his friend (Andrew Brown) were quietly in the corner eating wings by the dozen (they had no less than 30 each).  Jake then looks at me, covered in wing sauce and says “I know I said I want to lose weight, but I like to eat…alot”.  But since that time Jake has been whittling away at his former self and over the past 6 months really gone above and beyond.  We aren’t sure if its Jen encouraging him or the taste of success he has had but we like it.  Very few folks go to what we call “the dark place” each day…the place where you’re not sure if you’re still conscious…the place where you get every last drop out of your workout; Jake Sodikoff goes there just about every day and we have noticed.  His weight has gone down and his lifts have gone up…its funny how that works.  The guys has also turned into a gazelle as he is closing in on a sub 7 minute mile….do not run to target with him for a leisurely jog, you’ll regret your decision.  Keep grinding Jake…you’ve come very far but the journey has just begun…we are very thankful to have you at The Rock and we look forward to a summer filled with shorts and short sleeve t-shirts.

February 2016 - The Little Engine - Alisha Lagent

alisha-200x300.jpg

Tell us about yourself (name, age, education, family, work, etc.)

My name is Alisha Lagent.  I am 24 years old,  I am a BC alumni, I am now currently getting my masters at Shenandoah University. I work for Rockingham County Public Schools helping children that make me laugh everyday. I have an amazing husband that encourages me to be a better me on the daily, I have two best friends that I am lucky enough to call my sister and brother! My mom and dad have been my rock since day one, telling me that I can do anything that I set my mind too.

How long have you been doing crossfit?

I have been at The Rock for a little over a year now.

When/what was your “crossfit moment” or have you had one? (the one where you think you may actually die)

My first “crossfit moment” would have been last year during the open 15.5 I will never forget it! You had to do 28-21-15-9 reps for time of rowing and thrusters. I don’t know about you by my short legs were burning like no other! I do believe that the pain cave was a real  during that workout! All I remember is people yelling and encouraging me to finish.

What are your favorite crossfit movements?

My favorite crossfit movements are anything on the rig (pull-ups, toes to bar, and chest to bar) also squats they make my heart so happy!

What movement makes you look at the white board and want to walk back out the door?

If I had to pick a movement that would make me look at the white board and turn around I would have to say ROWING! It doesn’t matter if it is calories or meters my 4’9 body cannot hang!

What are your goals?

I look at my goals based off what I need to work on. I honesty need to learn how to drop under the bar! It scares me so much and that mental block has kept me from doing a lot of things in the gym. Snatching is another movement that I am going to try and focus on and put on top of the list more than other movement. Snatching and I have a love hate relationship (again dropping under the bar plays a big part in this). Another goal of mine is not to rely on the chalk bucket to find my strength. I literally believe that chalk help me lift heavy things!

What motivates you to continue coming back?

What motivates me to keep coming back is the feel I get once I have completed something that I never thought I could do. The power, energy, and motivation that radiates off the people at the facility.The Rock is amazing and I have never felt more satisfaction in my life.

What’s your favorite cheat meal?

Oh goodness this question is fully loaded! I do not just have one cheat meal… I have a lot! My favorite cheat meals of all time are chicken nuggets covered in sweet and spicy bbq sauce and pizza!

In your own words what is Rocktown Crossfit?

In my opinion, Rocktown crossfit is a home away from home where you are family with the biggest variety of people. People who encourage, push, and strive to make you better than what you were when you walked in the doors. It does matter what time you come you will always feel that you have a whole sideline cheering for you. I want to give a shout out to Stephenie Williams for telling me to stop being scared and try something new. If it wasn’t for her friendship and compassion for crossfit I would probably have never stepped through those doors a year ago.

Free Write: (anything you want to say about trainers/facilities/other athletes/etc)

I want to say with the biggest thank you possible to the trainers at the rock,  taking the time and spreading the love for lifting to every heart that walks into the gym. You all have spend numerous hours making each athlete a better one.

A note from the Rocktown Staff:

I can’t believe its already been a year since you came through those doors!  Its amazing the difference can make and its been a great reflection on your fitness.  I can remember the early days of you not knowing what shoes you should wear or how much weight you should do…now its the heavier the better   Aside from being great on the rig, Alisha has also acquired the ability to sing her favorite rap songs from start to finish…not that this takes as much skill as it does courage to sing it loud enough for the entire class to hear!  Thanks again for making The Rock your home, we are so glad Stephenie brought you along for the ride!