CrossFitter of the Month

April 2015 CrossFitter of the Month

Photo Mar 29, 18 01 50 (1)When Krissi Russell was a little girl, she used to tell her parents that one day she would live in California.  Shortly after graduating from Western Washington University, Krissi came to California for a three-week vacation to Coloma and never went back.  She spent the next several years as a River Guide on the South, North, and Middle Forks of the American River.  It was here that she met her husband, Glenn, also a River Guide at the time, who “dragged” Krissi to Tahoe.  She fell in love with Tahoe, as we all do, and was lucky enough to raise her son Caleb in the mountains.  Most of you know Krissi as a Spanish teacher at LTUSD.  She has taught several of our trainers and current members through the years.  However, did you know that she is an avid singer and songwriter?  Her love of Tahoe and the outdoors inspires her to create songs and stories that encourage people to respect, protect, and appreciate nature.  She recently wrote, recorded, and self-published her first sing-along story, “Don’t Feed Our Bears” which teaches the importance of not feeding wildlife. You can purchase this book or her newest one about hiking trail etiquette at Little Bear Books Lake Tahoe ( or visit its Facebook page.

Krissi is this month’s CrossFitter of the Month at STCF.

Krissi with husband, Glenn

Krissi with husband, Glenn

Krissi has always loved hiking, nordic skiing, snowshoeing, and river rafting.  She considered herself active, but never an “athlete.” She had never walked inside a gym before until her sister-in-law, Julia Russell joined South Tahoe CrossFit.  Krissi’s husband also tried to convince Krissi to give it a try, but it wasn’t until Krissi noticed her sister-in-law’s results within the first three months of joining CrossFit that she was convinced to come in for a free session.

When Krissi first walked into STCF, she was intimidated and inspired by the other members, or “amazing athletes” that were there.  She remembers being “super scared.”  However, the positive support from the coaching staff made the WOD possible for Krissi, even though she couldn’t sit down for several days afterwards.

Krissi was chosen as this month’s CrossFitter of the Month because she is always excited about working out!  Not only does she consistently attend classes with a big grin on her face, but she is constantly improving in the gym and overall in her health!  She is stronger than ever and has more stamina to continue to enjoy her outdoor activities.  Her secret?  She doesn’t compare herself to others, just to herself.  CrossFit is competitive, but the real competition is with one’s self.

Favorite Movement:  The Power Clean!

Favorite Movement: The Power Clean!


Favorite WOD:  The Bear Complex…which is an interesting choice because it’s a WOD of strictly Olympic lifts.  Krissi explains that even though these lifts are tough, she has the confidence to try anything.  She is not afraid to fail because of her experience with CrossFit.

What does Krissi look forward to in 2015?  Being stronger in 2015 than she was in 2014 and completing a set of ten strict push-ups.  (With her attitude, we’re sure she’ll get these soon!)

What keeps Krissi coming back to South Tahoe CrossFit?

First and foremost, Krissi wanted us to know that the coaches here are amazing!  They help with form, push members to be their very best, and encourage everyone to keep improving. She also loves the camaraderie that exists with her CrossFit friends; from this year’s OPEN team competitions to people cheering each other on at the end of a workout. CrossFit has helped Krissi face and accept new challenges, and to push herself to the her best.
 Make sure to tell Krissi “Congratulations” when you see her around the box… and we’ll be right there to cheer her on when she gets those ten strict push-ups!!

Krissi completes her first set of double-unders!

Krissi completes her first set of double-unders!


March 2015 CrossFitter of the Month

Kent Wattanachinda

Kent Wattanachinda


You probably know Kent Wattanachinda from his very successful mountain bike business located in Meyers, CA.  Established in May 2004, Watta Bike has been the locals’ choice for tune-ups, custom wheel builds, and sales of the latest badass mountain bike available.  Kent has a wealth of knowledge and has created a local-based business that flourishes in the summer as well as the winter as Watta Bike ‘n Snow, with ski and snowboard rentals and gear for all levels of rider.  Originally from Bangkok, Thailand, Kent moved to the US in 1976.  After several years in San Diego, Kent relocated to South Lake Tahoe and has spent the last twenty years riding the trails in and around the Lake Tahoe Basin.  Kent married his sweetheart, Jennifer in 2000 and he has a son, Tyler who is a freshman at South Tahoe High School.  Soft spoken and always kind, Kent is the type of person that leaves an impression on you.

Kent is this month’s CrossFitter of the Month at STCF.

Four years ago, Kent Wattanachinda was talked into checking out South Tahoe CrossFit by Del Lafountain, a long time friend and endurance athlete.  Kent had known that Monika Renk, another mountain bike enthusiast like himself, was also a trainer at STCF.   However, he was never one to really embrace the whole weightlifting scene.  He’d always liked exercise, having been an avid mountain biker in San Diego and then South Lake Tahoe for many years; he enjoyed more of the endurance and cardio-type of activity than weightlifting.  He decided to give it a try…and here he is four years later! Stronger and faster!

15.1a - 1 RM Clean and Jerk

15.1a – 1 RM Clean and Jerk

Like so many people, Kent had been curious about CrossFit.  According to Kent, his first impression of STCF was that of “Energy…Good Energy.  Everyone looked like they were really enjoying [the WOD]”  Once he became hooked, he realized that it’s the natural “competitiveness within that comes out in everyone!  That’s why it’s fun!”

Kent was chosen as this month’s CrossFitter of the Month because he is consistently hard working and positive.  He has a great attitude, even at 6:00AM, his preferred time to WOD!  He exudes a quiet confidence and ability to accept any WOD, even those weightlifting WODs!

Favorite Movement:  Enthusiastically, Kent told me that Handstand Push-ups are his favorite movement in the gym.  Then he realized that he also really likes rope climbs, oh, and pull-ups, too!  “I can do these really well; lifting, not so much!”  However, moments later, Kent realized that he really enjoys the Deadlift.  I reminded him that that is indeed a lift… Yea, but he likes it.

Favorite WOD:  “Fight Gone Bad!”  oh, and “Diane!”  (Deadlift and Handstand Push-ups – 21-15-9 – because he likes and is great at both movements!)

What does Kent look forward to in 2015?  Kent actually has seen an improvement in his strength due to the weightlifting he has to do at STCF, but he’d like to continue working on the Olympic Lifts.  He also really wants to improve his consistency with Double-unders.  Like many of us, Kent can get a good set, and then one or two.  He also would like to become more proficient in his muscle-ups.  He has done a few in the past, but continues to struggle with this bodyweight, gymnastic movement.  Good luck Kent! We’ll be cheering you on when you get them!!

Congratulations, Kent!  We are honored that you are a part of our CrossFit Community of athletes! 

March's CrossFitter of the Month - Kent Wattanachinda

March’s CrossFitter of the Month – Kent Wattanachinda

Also, if you haven’t been into Watta Bike, you should go in and say hello to Kent!  He knows his bikes!


February 2015 CrossFitter of the Month


Lisa Malone: “Remind yourself that you CAN do this!”

Lisa Malone completed her Elements course at South Tahoe CrossFit in March of 2014 with STCF Trainer Dylan Yuzbick. Her husband, Chuck Malone, had purchased a punchcard for Lisa as a Christmas present. Lisa had given birth to their second child six months prior, and Chuck knew that Lisa wanted to get back in shape. After talking with Melanie Turner, who was also newer to CrossFit at the time, she decided to attend her first WOD. Melanie told Lisa that she would work really hard and be “super sore” at times, and she was right! As a former ER nurse at Barton Hospital, Lisa was used to working hard, but she also witnessed chronic sickness and people who continued to make unhealthy choices, so she was committed to getting physically fit again. She had been a consumer of nutritional products from Arbonne for many years and she found that these products helped her stay active and healthy, and soon she realized that CrossFit aligned well with her desire to live a healthier life. Shortly after joining the gym, Lisa quit her job at Barton Hospital and became a Regional Vice President with Arbonne International.

Raised in South Lake Tahoe, Lisa competed in soccer and state championship levels in swimming through her high school years. Recently, she picked up the book, Training Camp: What the best do better than everyone else, by Jon Gordon and began exploring the mentality and psychology of sports and success. Lisa has learned not to take herself too seriously and strives to have fun everyday in the gym. She knows that more than likely she will never be a CrossFit Games Athlete. Yet, she reminds herself daily, especially during those gruelling WODs, that she has no excuses! When she feels like quitting, she digs deep and reminds herself that although whatever she may be doing is difficult, she CAN do it…

Lisa’s first impressions of STCF were opposite of what she had heard outside of the “box.”  Instead of being pressured to lift heavier loads, with the possibility of getting injured, Lisa found that the trainers at STCF were supportive and advised her to go at her own pace. She especially appreciated how co-owner Del Lafountain took her “under his wing” and helped her get stronger and more fit. She found the community of South Tahoe CrossFit “super-welcoming” and not quite as “cultish” as the general public likes to describe it as…although, Lisa admits all the Nanos and Lululemon sportswear in the gym could be mistaken for cultish behavior. She still doesn’t own anything Lululemon! Imagine that!!

Lisa was chosen as STCF’s February CrossFitter of the Month because she represents how hard work can pay off in one’s life, in and out of the “box.” She recently took the holidays off from the gym to spend time with her family, but since the beginning of January, Lisa has been working overtime on her healthy living choices. She attends CrossFit as often as a young mother of two can, while continuing to use her Arbonne products for improved performance and recovery in her workouts. She has lost pounds and inches since returning to the gym, and she feels “fantastic!”

Favorite Movement: The Power Clean AND Bar-Facing Burpees!

Favorite WOD: “Hope” (FGB-style of WOD that includes Chest-to-Bar Pull-ups and Snatches among other things!). She was able to get her first set of Chest-to-Bar Pull-ups in this WOD!

What Lisa looks forward to in the New Year?: Athletically speaking, Lisa would like to compete in STCF’s annual Fittest of the Sierras competition this summer and/or Carson City CrossFit’s Chlorine and Kilos event next December. Career-wise, Lisa is working on earning her next promotion with Arbonne!

Lisa wanted to send a special Thank You to all of the trainers at STCF!

Congratulations, Lisa!

Here’s Lisa in a recent WOD:

January 2015 CrossFitter of the Month

Photo Dec 31, 17 30 36

“One Pull” Charley Brown

Charley Brown joined South Tahoe CrossFit on November 6, 2014 and went through the Elements course with STCF Trainer, Tara. He wanted to get stronger and to be better in his job. At twenty-two years old, Charley is the “Sawyer” (the one who runs the chainsaw) on the El Dorado Hotshots Crew. Originally from Bishop, CA, Charley has lived and worked in South Lake Tahoe for the past four years.

When Charley first walked into the gym, he was intimidated by the “badass” girls with whom he was training. He also remembers how many people questioned him about his name when he first joined. (Actually, we teased him quite a bit!) He learned that the expression, “Leave your ego at the door!” is essential when it comes to CrossFit. He also discovered that no one is going to be the best immediately. Everyone starts somewhere. However, progress is inevitable if one continues to work for what he wants.

Charley was chosen as STCF’s first CrossFitter of the Month because he already embodies the spirit and attitude of our community of athletes. He consistently shows up with a smile on his face and an eagerness to learn more.  He thanks all of the trainers at STCF for supporting him these last few months as he progresses toward his goals of strength and fitness for his job.

Favorite Movement: The Clean and Jerk
Favorite WOD: The 12 Days of Christmas!
What Charley looks forward to in the New Year?: Attending next year’s STCF Christmas Party!

Charley getting his Back Squat on!

Charley getting his Back Squat on!