2017 Member of the Year
My CrossFit Story
I had been doing boot camp for some time and a few of the boot camp members had talked about going to CrossFit. I had also talked to my good friend, Shane Franz while I was getting adjusted and he highly recommended that I start CrossFit and it sparked my attention. I called and left a message on the answering machine in mid February of 2013. I received a call back from the owner, Monty Stapp, stating that the 5 a.m. class was full, but thought that in a couple of weeks I could try it. After some discussion, we thought that I could start on March 18, 2013 after I got back from vacation. I walked through the doors of the CrossFit Colby gym on March 18, 2013 at 4:45 a.m. and weighed 242 lbs. I didn’t know what to expect; however the only fear I had was doing a pull-up. Sure enough the first work out, there was pull-ups. The first half of the work out was:
5 rounds for time:
200 meter run
I had to use the biggest band they had in the gym at that time. I must point out that when I walked in the gym I was greeted by lots of men and women in the community that I respected (Gabe, Shane, Luke, Mike, etc.). I had completed about 3 pull-ups when everyone else was done with all 12 pull-ups and out the door running. I was just going to quit and go run with my friends. Heather Stapp, owner, stopped me and explained that I needed to complete all 12 pull-ups before starting the 200 meter run. I was crushed and devastated. I knew and this point I was out of shape and had a long journey ahead of me. Heather and Amanda Wahlmeier helped me on Saturday’s after class until I got my first pull-up, which took me approximately 6 weeks. I started in May, going 5 days a week and also decided to participate in my first nutritional challenge through the gym. I learned a lot about myself and eating right and won the nutritional challenge. I participated in two running tests through the gym in 2013 in the spring and then summer in which we ran 2 miles. This was the most I had ever run in my life. Then Monty told me about a Rock n’ Roll Marathon (half) in Las Vegas in November 2013. I decided to jump on this opportunity and train with a large group from the gym and head to Las Vegas. The day we ran the marathon was almost 8 months exactly from the day I walked into the gym and I weighed 188 lbs. I was able to run with my good friend Monty and we carried on a conversation the entire 2 hours. In 2014, I competed a few times in Crossfit competitions and a Hard Charger obstacle course. I have been fortunate enough to attend regionals once in Dallas, Texas and two Crossfit Games in Carson, California that I feel greatly influenced and motivated me. I was participating in things that I would have never of been able to complete without Crossfit in my life. I have had my luck with the nutritional challenges; however I have also had my significant. struggles. It is very easy for me to complete a 30-day nutritional challenge and be successful; however it is just as easy for me to fall off the wagon after the challenge is over and lose everything I had just gained. My daily obstacle is the maintenance of the lifestyle change. I lean on the support of the members in the gym to help guide me through the hard times. In the course of the time that I have been at Crossfit Colby gym, I have suffered my fair share of self-inflicted injuries. The silver lining to that is that I have learned to work within my limits and I have made significant gains when doing this. Over the 5-year course, I have met some amazing people. Some have moved on and many are still here. But I have grown significantly from the time spent with each one of them. I still have a lot of goals I have not accomplished, but feel that I can achieve them with the influence from the CrossFit community and culture.
2016 Member of the Year
CrossFit has been life changing for my husband, my kids and myself. I’ve always been the one who avoided athletics of any kind. I was headed in a direction of taking multiple medications for depression, blood pressure, diabetes, etc. Not something to really look forward to. Fast forward to April 2014, it was Buddy Week at CrossFit Colby. I had heard of CrossFit, but knew nothing about it. I got tagged on Facebook to try it, which happened to be an accident because the gal who tagged me was trying to tag someone else. I thought to myself what do I have to lose so I went to a 5:30 am session. I thought I was going to die, but I went back. My body for at least a month was sore, but I didn’t want to quit. There was something pulling me back for more. I had never in my 36 years lifted any sort of weight. I’m still working on the courage to get heavy weights over my head, but I’ve come so far. It’s amazing to see how my confidence has grown. I never thought I would be seen in a tank top, but I’ve worn one. I never thought I would go to the pool with my kids, but I did. I never thought I would run a 5K, but I’ve done several and signed up for a 10K. My husband and I also did a month of strict Paleo eating, which was eye opening and so good for me. I cooked like I’ve never cooked before. It was fun and actually tasted good. I’m still eating Paleo most of the time because it makes me feel so much better. I don’t even want to think about where I would be if I had decided to not walk through the doors of the gym. I literally started from ground zero, but I’ve worked my way up in a year. My biggest challenge going forth is my mind, but I know my body has already proven my mind wrong several times. I’m so grateful for the coaches I’ve had at CrossFit Colby. They have challenged me to keep going when I wanted to stop, to push me when I think I can’t and to give a hug when I succeed at something. I’ve got a long ways to go, but I want to be able to motivate someone who thinks they can’t do it, because they can. You just have to give it a try. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made to better myself. I’m so thankful for CrossFit Colby.
2015 Member of the Year
I started CrossFit in January of 2015. My first WOD was in Elements. I will never forget ‘AMRAP.’ I didn’t have a clue what that meant. 10 box jumps, 10 power cleans, 10 front squats. Shawna was the coach and she asked me for my nickname. So, she made up Big O and wrote it on the board. Away we went with the WOD.
I did step ups on the box, a PVC pipe, and squats. It kicked my ass. Now, in that WOD I would do a 24” box, a 145# clean and 135# front squats. NOW…that a RUSH, believe me.
My body weight is down 20 pounds. My cholesterol is under control. All of this just by eating correct and doing a daily WOD. I cannot tell you how much better I feel and the energy I have all day long.
Heather, Monty, coaches, and members have helped me with correct form for lifting and are always there to help. I go to CrossFit five days a week. I just love the rush of 15-30 minutes workout. My wife said to me one day, “Steve, you didn’t drink a glass of the Kool-Aide. You drank the whole pitcher.”
I’m looking forward to reaching my goas this year: deadlift 400#, Handstand push-ups, and figuring those damn overhead squats and double-unders.
I challenge anyone to come try a WOD. Believe me, if you are wanting to drop that unwanted weight and meet great people, CrossFit is the place to do it.
Steve O “Big O”
I started Crossfit in January 2014 when Elements began. I thought that I was in alright shape since I grew up playing sports and rodeoing year round… I’m not wrong too often, but I was NOT in shape at all when I walked in those doors for the first time.
I packed on way more than the freshman 15 during college, try tripling that, I’ll let you do the math YIKES! I had some ups and downs that contributed to that, we found out we were expecting my first year of college, the stress of telling my parents, and then ending up having a miscarriage put a lot of guilt on me, and the way I dealt with it was to eat.
After moving back to Colby for work, I knew I wanted and needed to do something for myself as I was tired of carrying the extra weight I had put on. My boyfriend had mentioned he’d help pay my crossfit for my birthday if I wanted to try it. So I did! There was no looking back after that first day! I’ve been hooked ever since, even if it does hurt to do little things like crawl out of bed the next day! I love it!
Some of my best moments may seem small but they’re pretty big for me. Losing 25 pounds, getting my double unders down, doing my first open in 2015 (talk about being a nervous wreck the first WOD!) running my first 5ks in preparation to our big trip to Vegas for a 10k in November! I never would have done these things if it hadn’t been for CrossfitColby and their amazing support system. Something I really admire about the group is that we’re always cheering each other on and if you happen to be the one still working at the end others pitch in and finish it out with you.
My next goals are: do a pull up without a band, complete the 10k in Vegas without dying, and to continue working on losing more fat and in return gaining more muscle.
Nick Quenzer/ 2013 Member of the Year
“The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.” ― Jordan Belfort
From a gym owner’s perspective one of the most satisfying aspects is getting to witness our member’s achievements. It is rare that we ever go a week without seeing somebody reaching some new max lift, getting their first pull-up (which for some reason somebody always happens to record and pandemonium erupts in the background), finally getting double-unders, getting a muscle up, etc. However, very few accomplishments are as worthwhile as a recent milestone that is worth great recognition.
Nick has been coming to the gym for a little over one year now. After he had been coming for about a month we noticed his hard work and ambition. We knew that we needed to get some “before” pictures.
“I remember when Nick pulled up one evening asking if we thought he could do CrossFit. I didn’t have any doubts that he would be able to just as long as he was willing to put in the work. And, he put in the work.” -Monty Stapp
In the last year Nick has lost over 200 pounds by eating right, showing up consistently and working hard. Nick is proof that anything is possible if you want something bad enough and are willing to work for it.
“I remember a few months in to CrossFit Nick coming to Saturday partner endurance WOD. He and I were partners doing 400 m lunges (and other crap). They sucked! I’m sure I was whining, but Nick never complained. I thought to myself, why am I the one whining? This guy, carrying extra weight, has lots more work to do than me. Since that day Nick has inspired me to work harder and give more of myself. He is a constant reminder nothing worth having comes easy. He has earned every pound of fat lost; every pound of muscle gained and deserves to be considered one of the best athletes to have ever come through the door.” – Heather Stapp
After he had been coming for a few months, one of Nick’s employers mentioned how she had noticed a difference in Nick in a positive way.
“Since joining CrossFit he is happier and more energetic at work! He definitely has a higher level of confidence in himself which has helped him immensely as a salesman. It has been fun watching him transform into a new healthier happier person! We are so proud of his accomplishments.” – Kami Booi
We hear from people all the time that they want to try CrossFit. But, they can’t because of an old high school sports injury, too hard on their shoulders, bad knee, too out of shape or whatever excuse they can think of. People come for a week or two and then quit because it is just too much work for them. They aren’t willing to do the work. That is not Nick! Since day one Nick has not had one excuse no matter what the workout was. If for some reason he couldn’t do the prescribed movement in the WOD we would modify it to where he was still able to do the workout. One year and 200 pounds later we modify very few workouts for him!
Janelle Barrett/ Year One
Head Trainer at CrossFit Colby
Just a little less than a year ago Janelle Barrett and her husband Justin walked into CrossFit Colby to sign up for a membership. We let them know that they didn’t have to sign up right away, they were welcome to come in and try out a class for free to see if they liked it before committing to a membership.
Justin (to Janelle) “What do you think”
Janelle “I know this is what I want to do”
Needless to say they ended up signing up that day and have never looked back, classic Janelle!
This past year has been a huge success for Miss CrossFit (her gym nickname, MC for short). Over the past year Janelle has lost over 20 pounds, has lost over 10 percent body fat along with gaining muscle and most importantly just being overall healthier.
Surely she has been taking some new magic weight loss pill, a weight loss-shake or using some body wrap, right? Wrong! Doing CrossFit and living a Paleo lifestyle. Shortly after MC joined the gym we had a Paleo Challenge. This was new to almost everybody in the gym and was new to Janelle. As you can probably guess, MC doesn’t half-ass anything. Janelle was strict for those 30 days and yes, she won the first ever Paleo Challenge at CrossFit Colby, quite a huge honor I’m sure. Janelle’s before and after pictures for that challenge were pretty darn impressive. Janelle realized the benefits of Paleo and has made that a huge part of her life along with CrossFit. On average, Janelle attends 4 WOD classes and one strength class per week along with eating paleo 80-85% of the time. That computes to only about 3 to 4 hours per week spent in the gym!
Janelle has received her Level 1 CrossFit Certification and has become a part of our team at CrossFit Colby as one of the strength/lifting trainers. It has been a pleasure seeing Janelle transform during this past year from her first time walking into the gym to now living up to her name, Miss CrossFit. She continually achieves new goals and PR’s. It will be exciting to see where she will take herself in the future.
I started 2013 without any real resolutions for getting back into shape. My daughter had just turned one and I knew that my ‘I just had a baby’ excuse was running out but I just wasn’t motivated to do anything about it yet. In April, my good friend Sherri started telling me a little bit about CrossFit. I never considered it to be something I would do. But then she started telling me about her Paleo lifestyle and I thought “This is something I could try”. So on May 18th I decided to try it for a month and I started doing some workouts and running on my own too. I had such amazing results in my first month that I decided to keep going. And then Sherri asked me to come to buddy week at CrossFit. I thought I would do the week and then be done. But then the week ended and I decided to finish out the month. I fell in love. I am sore everyday. I am constantly pushed past the limits that I thought I had. I feel amazing. In my first 3 months I lost 36 pounds. My body fat percentage went from 38.4% to 19.6%. My body has definition and my muscles are growing. Yes..I am a girl and I have muscles. And I LOVE it. On my birthday, 2.5 months after starting CrossFit, I did my first unassisted pull-up. Now I can do them in the WODs. Can I lift the most weight? No way. But I can lift more than the bar and I’m getting stronger every day. Is my technique perfect? No. But it’s improving all the time. I am so thankful to my CrossFit friends for pushing me, teaching me and helping me to become healthy. I absolutely love my class. Monty encourages me daily. Sherri calls me to tell me how amazing I am. Heather is not shy about telling me when my form is bad or when I need to change something up. I hear more encouraging words every day before 7am than I used to hear in a week. I am so excited about my accomplishments this year and I cant wait to set some goals for 2014 and push some more limits!
I have always been a “big guy” and always athletic. I would not say I grew up being in shape, but I always thought I was fit. I was a fast runner, wrestler, football player. After high school, I got married and with each new baby I gained weight with my wife. She would always work the baby weight off, but I didn’t. I was tired of her being fit and not me. She was my inspiration to get in real shape. I will always remember January 14, 2013. It was my first WOD, ‘Karen’ (150 wall balls!) I thought I would be able to do it, no problem at all. I was sore for two weeks. It hurt to sit, walk, and even sleep. But, I wanted more. I knew I finally found something that could push me to my limit everyday. It turns out, I was not lazy, I was just bored. I wasn’t being challenged. One of my favorite parts of this program is its competitive nature. I strive to be the best I can possibly be everyday. I want the fastest time on the board. But, so does everyone else. I have to work hard because everyone is trying to always be the fastest. I work on being the best I can be everyday. Looking back to my first lifts my max back squat was 185 lbs. Now I can do almost 2 times that amount. I am more motivated than ever before and feel amazing everyday. It is almost like I’m a new person and I love it. I know I will not always be the fastest or the strongest but it’s about fitness for life. I started my journey at 233lbs, 23% body fat. I am now healthy, strong, and feel like a 18 year old in bed! On October 30, 2013 at the end of the last paleo challenge I was 7.7% body fat and weighed in at 185.5 lbs! I could not be happier with my crossFit experience. The coaches are inspirational and very knowledgeable about all of the movements. They have inspired me to run my first half marathon. Next year I would like to complete the full marathon. My goal is to be compete at a professional level with my coaches by my side someday.
Dr. Shane Franz D.C.
Doing CrossFit I have lost a few things: inches off of my waist, notches in my belt, skin off of my shins (box jumps), my man boobs, and pounds of fat. I have found a new appreciation for what a workout should be. Monty and Heather remind me of my drill instructors in the USMC, in a nice way. A lot less yelling but they make sure you do every exercise in the Workout of the Day properly. They scale the workout to your ability. I have recommended CrossFit to my patients and friends. It will improve strength, mobility, and confidence. Everyone needs a mentor or a coach. Example: Michael Jordan was in a playoff game and was shooting free throws, missing like five in a row. He looks over to his coach and gives him the look of “what am I doing wrong.” Michael’s coach, Phil Jackson, looks over to him and says, “Bend your knees.” Michael’s next shot – swish – a smile returns to his face. It taught me everyone needs a coach. If you are working out and you don’t have a coach, you are limiting your success. CrossFit teaches me what to do today what others won’t, so tomorrow I can do what others can’t.
I started crossfit a year ago and was in what I thought was pretty good shape from exercising several times a week. I was a scale watcher though and tried to keep my weight in a certain range, but over the last few years it started to creep up. I decided that it was all part of the aging process and that I would just embrace it. I really didn’t think I could do anything about it. I was approaching 40 and decided that I needed to learn to slow down and live like a 40 year old-whatever that meant. After a few months of crossfit, my attitude changed. I quit trying to be skinnier and decided I wanted to be stronger. My first crossfit goal was to be able to do a pull-up before I turned 40 and after a few months of hanging from a bar and lots of calluses, I did a pull up after class. I almost hate to admit it, but I bet I watched the video of my first pull up 100 times that night. I have tried things in the gym that I never thought I would try; some have been successes and many have been not so successful. I’ve been knocked down by my own wall ball, dangled from the pull up bar by the red band until Heather came to untangle me, and nearly knocked myself out with a dumbbell, but I’ve surprised myself more than once. The most surprising thing to me is how much better I feel because of what I have learned. I’ve learned to push my body while working out but more importantly I’ve learned how to fuel it to feel better. I’ve made simple changes over the last year and no longer have to be a scale watcher. I still love to eat and those of you who know me know that I still enjoy a drink or two every now and then, but I realized that I do have control of how I feel and that I don’t have to feel crappy just because I’m getting older. I’m not the strongest person at the gym-far from it! But, I am the strongest I have ever been and feels great to be able to say that.
Walking into crossfit for the first time is intimidating for sure. The music is blaring, everyone is working, people are cheering and yelling for each other, wall balls are flying and there might even be a crazy, short-haired blond lady tangled in a red band on the pull up bar, but when the WOD is over we are all the same. Anyone can do it and everyone leaves feeling like they have accomplished something good for their body. At any given workout I can have a high school kid on one side of me and my own mom on the other side of me and all of us are tackling the same WOD. What I’ve learned is that age doesn’t matter and that ability is simply related to effort. I love feeling like all of my “effort” is paying off and the rush I get when I get to check off a goal. Now, to tackle FRAN……….
Last year I wrote the following on the Resolution Board: “To be writing on this board again next year.” It was a realistic, yet safe goal for myself. But over the course of the past 12 months I have learned that goals should be neither realistic nor safe. Goals should push you beyond your limits…and that’s what Crossfit has done for me. The physical benefits/accomplishments have been great…but the mindset I have developed has been life changing. These physical and mental changes have enhanced all aspects of my life. I feel I am a better at my job…at being a husband…as a parent…and overall as a person.
The biggest reward reaped in 2013 has been getting my wife on board for this journey. She saw the changes in me and decided that she wanted the same for herself. Watching her bust her ass…and more importantly, seeing her self confidence build…has been a huge motivation for me.
I’m excited for 2014…and can’t wait to be writing a similar piece at this time next year…detailing changes and revelations that we have yet to realize.