SYDNEY HARRELL

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How has training at Elite helped you become the person you were meant to be?

Before I started CrossFit, I had been working out on my own and started to get bored and unmotivated. I had lost a decent amount of weight and didn’t have any clothes that fit. I made a bet with my dad that if I went to class 3 times in one week, he would take me shopping. So, I took that bet not knowing I would still be here 4 and a half years later. Since I started, all of the coaches at Elite have always been so supportive and encouraging, even on days that I’m just not feeling it (which I’m sure isn’t the easiest at 5:15 in the morning).  I feel like the coaches believe in me more than I believe in myself most, if not all, of the time. The coaches aren’t the only ones who have impacted me from Elite though. Luckily, I’ve been able to interact with a good amount of members whether it be at class, competitions, or other social events. I’ve seen the community grow so much in my time at Elite but there’s consistently been a sense of camaraderie with everyone. I think the biggest way it’s helped me become who I’m supposed to be, though, is by teaching me that asking for help and failing at something happens and there is nothing wrong with that. 

What adventures, events, trips, races do you have planned? 

Cancun at the end of November for my work retreat, Vegas in December to see King George, Vegas again in February or March for a girls trip with my mom, aunt, and cousin, and Nashville next November for my 30th birthday. 

What would you do and where would you go if time / money were not object?  

Italy to eat all the food/see all the architecture, somewhere to zip line through a rain forest, or somewhere to stay in one of those glass igloos to watch the northern lights! 

Goals

Fitness - so many things but a BMU would be nice

Something that most peoplE don’t know about me:

I am a crazy organized planner and absolutely LOVE planning/hosting events (hence why I already have my 30th birthday trip planned over a year out). 

DANIEL MARTINEZ

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How has training at Elite helped you to become the person you were meant to be?

A wellness professional once said, “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you!”

Becoming the best and healthiest version of yourself happens through consistent effort, hard work, good choices, and support from others. The environment cultivated at Elite CrossFit is one which challenges its members to give it “all you got” and in doing so, guarantees to change your life. My life was changed for the better the day that started at Elite. I never considered myself an athlete, and never in my wildest dreams thought I could do CrossFit. Thanks to the Cortez family (longtime members of Elite) I gave it a try. I started my journey with 1:1 lessons with Jeremy, and continued my personal training with Jacqueline. The time and attention provided by these coaches allowed me to gain confidence, make gains, and start to believe in myself as an athlete in a way that I had never done before. Since completing the onboarding lessons, I have since transitioned to a hybrid program where I maintain weekly personal training sessions and attend community classes. I have now been a member of Elite for 6 months and during this time I have run my first 5K, 10K, 10K trail run, participated in a sports/social club, and become a more active person all around. I have made gains that I didn’t think were possible. I have lost 85 pounds and have 15 more to go to reach my goal weight, all of this plus the fact that I have gained muscle and lost fat from the time I started to today is pretty incredible. Whether texting the coaches questions about nutrition, proper stretching techniques, what purchase to make for my first trip to Lululemon (J), or anything else, the Elite family is there for you!  I am excited about my journey and understand that this is only the beginning.  By continuing to live a healthy lifestyle with balanced nutrition and exercise, I am excited to see the gains I will make in the future. I love the new opportunities Elite has provided for me to meet new people, have new experiences, enjoy all that life has to offer, and extend my family/community. My greatest wish is that I started sooner but as Socrates once said, “The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new…” and I look forward to continuing with the new me! Thank you, Elite Nation!

What adventures, events, trips, races do you have planned?

I am excited to complete my first 5K obstacle race on November 10th, the Rugged Maniac in Austin, TX. Rugged Maniac combines the physical challenge of completing a 5K stacked with an epic 25 obstacles along the way. Some of the obstacles seem more intense than anything I have done in CrossFit, but I am confident I will complete this 5K obstacle run or die trying!


NATALIE HOUSTON

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How has training at Elite helped you become the person you were meant to be?

CrossFit has changed my life in so many ways. I never really had a lot of self-esteem and I don't like to be out front. CrossFit helped me to be more confident and believe in myself. I am feeling stronger mentally and physically and I feel like I can do anything. The coaches are the greatest, always encourage us to do more. 
        
What adventures, events, trips, races do you have planned?

Besides doing the CrossFit Open and June Jorts I am considering doing some kind of running event since I hate to run. 
        
What would you do and where would you go if time / money were not object?  

Any place that has warm weather and a nice beach.

Goals
Fitness: I would love to do a bar muscle up and work on my handstand walk
Personal: Getting out more and enjoy life. 
        
Something that most people don’t know about me:

I like to bass fish and belong to the Universal City Bass Club...lol

I am so glad I joined Elite CrossFit 2 years ago. It took me about a year of convincing to finally sign up. I kept telling myself that I was too old and I couldn't keep up the pace. I love the challenge and it never gets boring. It makes me feel good inside and out. Thanks for all you and team do. 

PATRICK SHAFER

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How has training at Elite helped you become the person you were meant to be?

This is kind of a tough question. I mean, am I faster than last year? Yes. Am I stronger than last year? Yes. Do I have more endurance and stamina? Yes. To date I've lost close to 40lbs with you. Are all those things a positive thing in my life? Of course. But, I think the most important way that Elite has helped me was to get me in the right mind set, to have a better attitude about life. I tend to get very frustrated with myself when I fail at something. Elite has taught me that failure is part of the process and even when I fail it doesn't mean that I'm not progressing. Elite has helped me build confidence and translate that attitude to my personal and professional life. I couldn't be happier with what Elite and Crossfit has done for me. I'ts been a great year and I hope for many more.

What adventures, events, trips, races do you have planned?

Nothing major planned but, I am visiting my family for Thanksgiving.

What would you do and where would you go if time / money were not object?

Scotland! I've always want to visit Scotland.

Goals

Fitness - Overall goal is to just get better. Specifically, skills I would like to obtain next year. HSPUs, Bar MUs, DUs, and Snatch (get really consistent with that lift).

Professional - What ever it takes to keep my here in TX.

GINA JOHNSON

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Do you have any nicknames?  No
Where are you from?  Born and raised in St. Louis, MO; moved to San Antonio 20 years ago for my job.
What is your fitness background?  Not athletic in high school or college; my only form of exercise was walking 5-7 miles/week.
How long have you been CrossFitting?  5 years only at Elite
What made you want to start?  In discussing the need for a bone scan, my doctor asked my about exercise and I described my walking.  He said OK that's cardio, but you need to add weight bearing exercises to increase bone strength.  Elite ran a Living Social deal, CrossFit sound interesting and I purchased.  The introductory sessions almost killed me.  We did step ups on a 20" box and the next day I could barely walk.  I thought I had made a mistake, but Jeremy and Brenda assure me they would customize to my level.
What is your favorite part of Elite CrossFit?  The variety of workouts and the people/coaches in the 5:15 am class at the Pawlin location.
What progress have you made since joining the gym?  This 59 year old former couch potato can lift the trainer bar with weight on it over her head.
What is one thing you would like to improve on over the next few months?  My goal is to one pull-up or chin-up by my 60th birthday in June, but I need to start trying every time I'm in the gym.
What advice do you have for people just starting out with CrossFit?  Anyone can do it, but be honest about where you are starting from.  Work at your own pace, but continue to push yourself.
If you could design your own workout for the class to do, what would it be?  Front squat, back squat, dead lift, then foam rolling for 30 minutes!
Favorite cheat meal?  Pizza
Which is your favorite Fast & Furious movie?  I've not seen any of the Fast & Furious movies.
What music do you like to listen to when working out?  Music from the 70's and 80's.

MARK SHAW

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Do you have any nicknames?

Besides the ones I give myself, no

Where are you from?

Born and Raised Austin, Tx

What is your fitness background?

Three sport athlete in HS. One yr of college football, and Crossfit since 2013

How long have you been CrossFitting?

4 YEARS

What made you want to start?

The Crossfit games back in 2008 that was televised on ESPN got me interested in the sport.

What is your favorite part of Elite Crossfit?

My favorite part of Elite would have to be the coaches. They all have a different experience with crossfit, so they all have a different perspective on "HOW TO" go about doing something. Its great!

What progress have you made since joining the gym?

Ive accomplished my goal of multiple Ring Muscle ups, and I can definitely see progress in my handstand. Hopefully I will be walking. 

What is one thing you would like to improve on over the next few months?

I would like to see improvement in my stamina and I know it all starts with me. 

What advice do you have for people just starting out with Crossfit?

Stay motivated, and give it your all everyday. Take care of your body WE only get one, haha

If you could design your own workout for the class to do, what would it be?

Ummm Im not sure on a WOD. lol probably something involving pull ups, running, some kind of ab, and rope climbs.

Favorite cheat meal?

Favorite cheat meal BBQ all day 

Which is your favorite Fast & Furious movie?

Lol there are way to many and I dont have a favorite one.

What music of you like to listen to when working out?

Mostly rap/hiphop, however I do enjoy classic rock, and rock/ pop music from my teen yrs (2003 - 2007)  

JESSICA BANDA

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Do you have any nicknames?

Most people just call me Jess, but people call me JB, Banda, or J Benzo.

Where are you from?

I am from the 2-1-0, home of the San Antonio Spurs! I grew up and lived on the Northwest side until recently.

What is your fitness background?

I started swimming since I was 4 and eventually ended up going to college on a swimming scholarship. I wasn't much of a "land" workout kind of person...I would rather be in the pool, but if I hadn't broken my collar bone in middle school I probably would have continued playing soccer. It is funny because I hate running, but that's all you do in soccer! 

How long have you been CrossFitting?

I have doing Crossfit for about 5 years, although I took a break for about a year when I moved to the 281 area.

What made you want to start?

Well I actually tried out Crossfit in 2009 with a friend at Alamo City Crossfit, back when it was on Blanco. During that time I got a job, which was 100% travel, so I was never home during the week to commit to a box. And with that being said, because of that traveling job I gained almost 65 pounds in the 3 years I worked out of town. I ended up getting a job back in San Antonio and realized I needed to get my health under control. I couldn't even walk up a flight of stairs without being out of breath. I started to work out with a couple friends in a garage before I committed to a box. I liked Crossfit because it kept me in that competitive mindset for every workout. I am not one to go to Gold's and workout on my own...let alone lift heavy weight. I personally need people to push me and I found that with Crossfit. 

What is your favorite part of Elite Crossfit?

When I moved to the 281 area I was sort of nervous to try out the box's in the area. My friend Adrian and I would always have conversations about Crossfit and he told me stories about Jeremy and how I should try out Elite. It is always tough moving boxes, but after my first week I knew it was a place I wanted to stay. The coaches and members brought me in with open arms and it felt like home. 

What progress have you made since joining the gym?

I was on a year break from Crossfit when I joined Elite 6 months ago, and since then I have matched my PR's in my clean and jerk, snatch, and bench. Not only that, but I have improved my running and DUs. Hoping to get back to my weight pre-traveling job in the next year.

What is one thing you would like to improve on over the next few months?

I would like to get my back squat PR back and also be able to string DUs for a workout.

What advice do you have for people just starting out with Crossfit?

Go at your own pace, but at the same time push yourself. Stretching and using the foam roller is key. And push through the soreness, you WILL feel better. :) If you Crossfit regularly, eat healthy, and stretch...you will not only see results, but you will feel better.

If you could design your own workout for the class to do, what would it be?

It would probably include either snatches or overhead squats with box jumps and maybe a 200m row. I like any workout with a barbell.

Favorite cheat meal?

A huge weakness of mine is CHEESE and mexican food. I would say cheese enchiladas, Chachos nachos, and fideo. That is of course more than one cheat meal. lol

Which is your favorite Fast & Furious movie?

I’ll watch a Fast & Furious movie, only because it has the Rock and Paul Walker. I am more of a Marvel and Disney kind of movie watcher. Ha!

What music of you like to listen to when working out?

Anything gangsta! jk I usually listen to Bey, Kanye, and Drake. Definitely nothing rock. I like a good beat and not loud noise/yelling when working out. lol

 

KEITH AND PIE BRANGAN

Pie and I have been married for 35 years and have two children, son Keith Jr., daughter, Lyndsey and 7 grandchildren.  Two grandsons are currently serving in the military.

We are both retired and living La Vida Loca. For the past year we have been planning our daughters October 2017 wedding.  While planning the wedding we decided to work on reducing our weight and get back into shape.

The problem is we are both in our mid sixties and have not worked out in 35 to 40 years. Speaking for myself, over the years my weight ballooned to 360 lbs.  Through only dieting I was able to drop to 278 pounds.  After our 2017 physicals, Pie and I joined Elite Crossfit on January 25, 2017. Since joining Elite Crossfit, in the last four months I have been able to lose an additional 41lbs (237lbs).  As this is still a work in progress, my goal is to weigh 195lbs by my daughter’s wedding day, October 14, 2017. In the same time period Pie has lost 18 lbs.  The only thing that slowed her down was the Texas Two Step which resulted in injury. 

Seeing that we were both dealing with existing physical injuries, it was important to find a gym that could work with people in their 60’s with injuries. We spoke with many gyms and workout facilities we found online, Elite Crossfit being one of them.  We read about Crossfit online and in talking to people, we were worried the workout regiment might be to extreme for people in their sixties.  After listening to our family and friends we decided to call Jeremy and just talk.  After a couple of phone conversations, Jeremy asked us to come in and meet a coach he thought would be a great match for us. He introduced us to Carly Baldwin-Brown.  

Carly worked with us privately for about a month and a half. After making us feel confident in our abilities, she kicked us out of the nest into normal workouts that she modified due to our physical limitations. Carly is a great coach!!  She is always positive and always pushing to get more out of us. Along the way we were starting to meet and workout with very special people, most being half our age. These wonderful people take a little time out of their workouts to pump us up to finish our WOD. The encouraging atmosphere is intoxicating at Elite Crossfit. We have enjoyed making many new friends in the short time we have been going.  

Not only have Pie and I worked with Carly. We have had the great opportunity to work with Annie and Katie. All three coaches have the best attitudes and are very knowledgeable and helpful. They keep us going!
 

DANNY BOES

Do you have any nicknames? Boes, DB… The guys I work with from Mexico call me “Cool Arrow”  

Where are you from?  Texas baby! Born and raised.  I’ve spent most of my life here in SA.

What is your fitness background?  I dominated High School dodge ball.  Aspired to be a body builder early on, growing up in the Arnold era and all, but quickly figured out you have to work out something other than your arms to be successful.  Quit organized sports in the 10th grade when I made the Vasity Baseball team and found out you had to practice every day after school.  Eff that.   

How long have you been CrossFitting? 6 yrs.  I joined Elite, much to the dismay of Jeremy, in June 2011.  (He thought I was crazy, I drove by once out of nowhere, no calls or emails, asked a few questions, went back a few days later and said “sign me up”)


What made you want to start? See picture above. Not looking too much like Arnold… I had for years struggled with my weight, lose 5 lbs gain 10 back.  I did the mega gym thing.  I have bought and sold a lot of garage weight lifting equipment over the years. I could never stick to anything.  A Vendor of ours at work, would drop by every so often, I hadn’t seen him in like a year, he shows up and had lost a bunch of weight and just looked good.  I said, what the hell you have been doing, he said Crossfit. Long story short, did a little research and found Elite, they were the only one fairly close to where I live back then, the rest is history.   5 days a week for 6 years… 5:15AM  

What is your favorite part of Elite CrossFit?  The part when the timer goes off and the wod is over.    

What progress have you made since joining the gym? You name it.   I’m 46 yrs old and I am in the best shape of my life.  The only thing is I’m not as fast as I used to be. 

What is one thing you would like to improve on over the next few months? Sweat control. Seriously, I think I can cure the world’s water shortage by just ringing out my shirt.   


What advice do you have for people just starting out with CrossFit? Stick with it.  Don’t get frustrated.  The OLY movements take a lot of effort and practice. Hell, all of it takes effort and practice, but if you stick to the program, you will see results.  And it is a program; you have to show up regularly.  The more you go the stronger, faster, etc. you will be.    

If you could design your own workout for the class to do, what would it be?  Doesn’t matter, I hate them all.  But if I had to choose it would be something with a 500m row, kettle bell swings, and anything with a barbell except thrusters.  Grace is my favorite wod…. 2:43...what’s up bitches??

Favorite cheat meal? Really?? We have access to the best Tex-Mex food in the world.  Also Whataburger.  

Which is your favorite Fast & Furious movie? I can’t say that I have ever seen a Fast and Furious movie.  Smokey and the Bandit is as close as I can get.

Would music do you like to listen to when working out?  Anything from Nickleback or Creed… What?... Party in the USA by Miley Cyrus is my jam.  

ARNALDO MIRANDA

Do you have any nicknames? - Not yet.  Arnaldo is difficult for some people to say, so I am open to suggestions.  

Where are you from? -Perryton, Tx 

What is your fitness background? -Mountain Bike, Road bike, obstacle course racing/trail running.  Basically anything to keep me outside! 

How long have you been CrossFitting? -About 10 months.  Joined my first crossfit box, Elite Crossfit, June 2016.  

What made you want to start? -My awesome girlfriend, Marisa. 

What is your favorite part of Elite CrossFit? -The community!  Everyone who works out here are hard working and fun loving people.  Surround yourself with people who have the same goal as you, and Elite Crossfit does that.  

What progress have you made since joining the gym? -Learning how to lift weights.  Before crossfit I mostly did endurance and body weight workouts.  I have learned a lot of complex lifts and OLY has been a fun journey.  

What is one thing you would like to improve on over the next few months? -OHS and full snatches!  My mobility is horrible, and these lifts are my most difficult.  

What advice do you have for people just starting out with CrossFit? -Leave your pride at the door.  We have girls and guys older than you who will out lift, run, and out work you.  Compete against yourself and continue with small goals.  

If you could design your own workout for the class to do, what would it be? 

15' EMOM 15 Box jumps 5 Clean and Jerk 1 rope climb 

Favorite cheat meal? Wings and sweet potato fries! 

Which is your favorite Fast & Furious movie? The original first OG Fast & Furious ever to come out!  I owned a Ford Lightning so I get excited seeing it on the big screen, haha.  

Would you rather work out to Taylor Swift or Justin Bieber? Neither, but if I have to choose.  I PREVAIL cover to Taylor Swift-Blank Space.  Look them up 😈

TIM PILINCSAR

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Do you have any nicknames? Tim
Where are you from? College station
What is your fitness background? I love playing, watching, and talking about all sports
How long have you been CrossFitting? 4-5 months
What made you want to start? I needed something to replace smoking
What is your favorite part of Elite CrossFit? 5am classes
What progress have you made since joining the gym? I feel great, stopped smoking cigarettes
What is one thing you would like to improve on over the next few months? Improve my diet
What advice do you have for people just starting out with CrossFit? Just keep showing up
If you could design your own workout for the class to do, what would it be? Power snatches and rope climbs
Favorite cheat meal? Jimmy johns and bundt cakes
Which is your favorite Fast & Furious movie? 
Tokyo drift
Would you rather work out to Taylor Swift or Justin Bieber? The sound of silence

KATHLEEN BAILEY

The my nickname is Kat. I'm from Corpus Christi, TX. Crossfit makes up of my fitness background. I've been crossfiting for almost 2 years now. The best part of Elite Crossfit is getting a good workout around good people. I started because I wanted to really become committed to something that was both fun and challenging. Since joining I have grown from a couch potato to someone who really loves the sport. Over the next few months I am hoping to improve my endurance. My advice for new comers to crossfit is to keep up with crossfit and give it a chance. If I were to design a workout it would include a mile run and back squats. My favorite cheat meal is pizza. I haven't seen the Fast and Furious movies yet. I'd pass on both Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber.  

JOSH COFFEY

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Do you have any nicknames? Coffey/Hot Coffey
Where are you from? Santa Fe, TX
What is your fitness background? Tae Kwon Do....20 years ago!
How long have you been CrossFitting? ~5 months
What made you want to start? Over-packed gyms, friends' success.
What is your favorite part of Elite CrossFit? The people
What progress have you made since joining the gym? I'm stronger, my clothes are baggier, and I sleep better.
What is one thing you would like to improve on over the next few months? This feels like a trap. Like you want me to name a body part or exercise so you can torture me. Nice try! Diet. Final answer.
What advice do you have for people just starting out with CrossFit? Don't give up. If you still have an ego, leave it at the door.
If you could design your own workout for the class to do, what would it be?
A) 1" AMRAP
  - Burpees
  - Rest 1 minute while clock resets
B) Death by burpees
  - Work your way up and try to beat score from A.

Favorite cheat meal? Local Coffey sells these pop-tarts from Bakery Lorraine that will change your life.
Which is your favorite Fast & Furious movie? Can't beat the original.
Would you rather work out to Taylor Swift or Justin Bieber? No. 
 

AARON MARUQUIN


I joined CrossFit about 4 years ago because I wasn’t happy with my appearance, I was out of shape and at risk for diabetes. My first class was the hardest work out that I have ever endured, I was exhausted after the first trial but very happy I finished it. I continued my work out regime at CrossFit and after a month I had noticed great improvements, I had lost weight and improved my work out times gradually through out the course of time, with these positive changes in my life my confidence gave me a great sense of accomplishment. After the first month my coach at the time Cyndie suggested I set goals for myself to improve and so I made a goal to increase my back squats to the weight of my body and by the end of the year I had met that goal proudly. I think what keeps me coming back is the interaction with the people, everyone I work out with I see on a weekly basis and it’s fun to work out with the same folks daily. I think my funniest moment at CrossFit is when I was doing my first front squat and no one told me it was going to be significantly less than my back squat so I loaded the bar up with 250 pounds and failed immediately but my proudest moment is my running since I have flat feet so it hurts to run, with that being said my first mile took me 19 minutes and 45 seconds but after hard training and repetitive work I am now down to 7 minutes and 19 seconds. I continue my work out regimes at CrossFit because I can see the improvements all my hard work has produced through out time and I really enjoy the challenges.

RYAN WILEY

I joined Elite in August of 2016, not knowing a single thing about Crossfit.  I had always worked out in big gyms in the years prior, however I was never able to stick with it.  I definitely didn't know what to expect coming into the box for the first time, but after my first class, I was hooked.  Things were very hard for me in the beginning (not to say that they are easy now), but the coaches and community kept me motivated and I have been able to see myself progress beyond what I thought I was capable of.  I've thoroughly enjoyed my time training, competing and just hanging out with everybody and look forward to many more hours of it.

BRIAN CAIN

What brought you to Elite CrossFit?

I was watching the CrossFit Games on TV and searched for one near me, luckily I found Elite.

-How often do you CrossFit?

5x/week

-What have been the benefits of your CrossFit training and how has it changed your health/life?

Since the beginning of the year I'm down 50lbs, my energy level is up, and I am stronger. I pay close attention to what I'm eating and make better decisions regarding food.

-What is your favorite part of CrossFit? Any advice for someone thinking about joining?

My favorite part is the positive attitude everyone has. They're there because they truly want to be better and the coaches want that for you as well. My advice, never get discouraged about not being able to lift a certain weight or perform a certain technique. You WILL get it. Once you do, you'll have a new goal to replace it.

BRANDON PIXLEY

What brought you to Elite CrossFit?

I had been to CrossFit at another gym, but when I found Elite, it fit me.

-How often do you CrossFit?

5-6 times a week.

What have been the benefits of your CrossFit training and how has it changed

your health/life?

I was medically discharged out of the military in 2006 for back issues. I couldn't run a mile

without it locking up. Now, my miles are faster than before I joined.

-What is your favorite part of CrossFit? Any advice for someone thinking about joining?

My favorite part of CrossFit is the community aspect behind it all. Everyone works together, day in and day out. My advice to a "newb," don't be discouraged by who can lift more. Push yourself to your own individual limits.

MANDY FLORES

My husband and I joined Elite in February of 2014. I had attended a USAW cert there about a year earlier and was impressed by the coaches. Our first coach was brenda. Brenda is extremely knowledgeable and I credit her with a lot if my improvement in gymnastics and Olympic lifting. My favorite movement is pull ups. Manny enjoys the powerlifting aspect of crossfit. Since starting crossfit manny has noticed his core and back are much stronger. We both love named wods, our favorites would include DT, Fran and Mary. It's easy to get "addicted" to working out, uou have to make sure you rest appropriately to avoid injury. I have injured both shoulders due to over use. My coaches pointed I was doing too much volume, and now I don't experience any pain. Manny has an old shoulder injury and a plate on his collarbone so he avoids Kipping and does everything strict. When I began my crossfit journey in 2012 I was overweight. After 3 years I'm stronger, faster and in the best shape of my life. Manny and I really enjoy working out together, and he even doesn't mind when I beat him.

THE CORTEZ FAMILY

My name is Ana Cortez; I am the mother of a 21, 20, 15, and 13 year old. I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 22 years. For most of my life I have done some type of exercise be it running, jazzercise, kick boxing or bike riding. My motivation for exercise was always to be “thin.” I never considered myself to be an athlete. So how did I end up in cross fit? Well it all began in August 2008, my husband and I were working out at UIW and I saw Jeremy working out with a few people and they were doing some CRAZY work out. My first thought was, yea right, I could never do that! I looked on in amazement. My husband took the bait first, and after he was done with the work out of the day (WOD) he could only say, out of breath, “that was tough!” He was ready to sign us up after that first WOD. I, on the other hand was a bit apprehensive. What if I can’t do this…? What if I can’t do that…? My husband reminded me that we were looking for something different, in terms of a workout routine and we wanted something challenging. Of course my motivation to work out was still- to be “thin.” Well, I am here to tell you that what I got from cross fit what so much more. The beauty of cross fit is that you are working out for YOU and you are going to get better, stronger, and faster when you are ready; physically and mentally. I am doing things now, like dead lifting 200 lbs that 3 years ago I could never dream of doing. My motivation changed from, I want to be “thin,” to I want to be FIT, and at 43 be able to call myself an Elite cross fit athlete. I didn’t get here by myself though. I think Elite has the best coaching staff in all of SA, and it starts with Jeremy, who I call “Coach.” He motivates, pushes, encourages… and pushes some more. He truly believes in all of his athletes and he knows and respects our strengths and weaknesses. Everyone that joins Elite becomes part of the growing Elite family. We sweat together, push each other, high five each other and pick each other up when we’ve got nothing left. Some say that I am “obsessed with cross fit” and that’s ok, maybe I am, but I feel great! I get to work out with some amazing people, including my husband, and I can actually say (blushing) that I am Elite cross fit athlete. I have accomplished a lot, in terms of what I can lift and in my times, and I am determined to keep working to get better. I’m not going to lie, the WOD’s are hard!! I have cried a few times, and have cussed Jeremy out (in my mind) a time or two, but after I am done, the sense of accomplishment is so rewarding. Three years of x fit has changed my life and has become a Cortez family affair. (FIVE x fitters in the houseJ.) So I leave you with a few closing thoughts:

To coach-”The strength of the group is the strength of the leaders.”- Vince Lombardi

To all other athletes- “Improvement begins with I.” –Arnold Glasow

My definition of an athlete: anyone who works out hard and comes back for more.

JACQUELINE LYONS

After starting CrossFit in September 2012 I fell in love with the sport of fitness, not necessarily the box in which I started. After trying different CrossFit gyms, I was disillusioned and even though I had passed the CFL1 in September 2013, I quit and went back to my previous globo gym. In October 2013, I caved in when a friend convinced me to give it one more shot with Elite CrossFit, since it's pretty close to where we both work. After one class, I remembered why I love the sport, why I got my cert, and why I want to coach. Since the end of October, I have continuously gotten stronger, both physically and mentally, and made progress in every aspect of the sport in which I came so close to quitting. Elite welcomes everyone who walks through their front doors with open arms and makes them comfortable in their own skin. In addition to being friendly and welcoming, Elite has some of the most knowledgeable coaches I've ever met or come in contact with. Whenever I have had questions on a movement or skill, the coach was ready with an answer or alternative that I greatly appreciated. For those new to CrossFit or who have never even thought CrossFit was for them, I challenge you to try Elite. Not only will you get great one on one fundamentals teaching, but you will become part of a community committed to its people and the betterment of everyone who walks through its doors.