Stephanie Feeney is not new to this cult of ours. She was a member of the East Coast CrossFit scene at North Haven CrossFit since December, 2012. She enjoyed the challenge, the workouts, and the community back east, but had to take intermitten breaks due to school and work. (Stephanie has her Masters in Social Work and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, LCSW.) However, she often came out west to visit her “cousin,” Erin MacCarry. (The two grew up together in Connecticut!) When she did visit, she would drop in to South Tahoe CrossFit to get a WOD in, or two.
Stephanie had a choice of CrossFit gyms when she finally moved out here in November of last year. However, after having dropped in to South Tahoe CrossFit prior to moving out west, she realized that the community at STCF was similar to the one she had left in North Haven. In Stephanie’s words, “South Tahoe CrossFit looked like a place where people busted their asses, but still had a lot of fun.” The members were a “good and supportive group of people” with one goal in mind: improve their fitness! Since becoming a member, she has seen improvements in many of the Olympic lifts, as well as certain gymnastics movements. She was pretty excited to have competed in this year’s OPEN Competition for the Reebok CrossFit Games. This was the first time she has competed in this type of competition. She is still contemplating if she will compete in this year’s New Kids in the Box comp slated for mid-July.
You can’t miss Stephanie in the gym. She prefers bright neon-type colored tanks, and/or crazy pants. It’s fun to hear her cousin give her grief when she walks in and sees how brightly Stephanie is dressed that particular day. I’ve witnessed the bantering. It’s pretty great! So, Ms. Feeney, you were not chosen as this month’s CrossFitter of the Month because of your apparel, although you definitely lighten up the place with your colors and your smile! However, the owners chose you because you consistently show up, do the work, and then do some more, and you have a great attitude. You have improved immensely since joining eight months ago. Your “Sure! I can do that!” attitude is contagious! Even with two jobs, she manages to get to the gym as often as possible. She especially likes Sunday Fundays with Dylan Y and/or Weldon… but not Weldon’s choices of music… ha ha!
Stephanie’s Favorite Movement(s): Cleans and Kettlebell Swings. Recently, with Del’s help, she PR’ed her clean at 115 lbs! Not too many people mention Kettlebell swings as a favorite movement, so, like her apparel, she is special. 🙂
If Stephanie had to pick her Favorite WOD, it would be a “Chipper.” Chippers are those workouts which you “chip away at,” never having to go back and redo a movement you completed in its entirety. There’s something satisfying about this type of WOD… even if it’s a tough movement: once you’re done with it, you can “put it to bed” unlike other WODs that repeat movements over and over and over again.
What does Stephanie look forward to in the remainder of 2015? This was an easy answer: She wants to improve in EVERYTHING. More specifically, however, she’d like to improve her double-unders, learn how to do muscle-ups (hmmm, I’ve heard that one before), continue doing mobility work. Finally, Stephanie looks forward to hydration. Yes, that’s right, she doesn’t drink much water during the day. So, she would like to drink at least 2 Nalgene bottles of water a day! (Sounds like something for the Goal Board, right?)
Congratulations for the work you’ve done here with us on the West Coast. I’m sure North Haven CrossFit misses your smile and your clothing choices! Stephanie thanks the trainers and owners for all of their support! They have helped her improve in different ways. She especially wants to thank her “cousin” Erin, as well as Michele, for her mobility-goddess-ness, and Del for helping her get her recent PR in the Clean.
When you see Stephanie, make sure to point out where the water cooler is! Remember, she has two bottles of water she has to drink daily! 😉
JuanCarlos Camacho first started South Tahoe CrossFit in 2012. However, as a young man supporting himself through junior college, he was unable to continue his membership for more than six months. Born and raised in South Lake Tahoe, Juan had played soccer competitively and wanted to play for Santa Rosa Junior College and then transfer to Sonoma State. Unfortunately, plans didn’t exactly work out. His brother, Jair who had been a member of STCF for a few years, told Juan to just give CrossFit a try. So, six months ago, Juan revisited STCF and attended a Sunday Share the Pain class. He was hooked!
When JuanCarlos first walked into the gym, he thought, “This is sick!” It was completely different from any other gym he had ever attended. When he first joined six months ago, Juan weighed a spritely 129 pounds. He didn’t want to get “big,” but strong, like when he used to play soccer. Today, he weighs in at 141 pounds and is stronger than he has ever been. He is working on his Olympic lifts and has recently accomplished 13 unbroken muscle-ups (his goal is to get 15!). He is proud of his accomplishments so far, but says that he owes it all to his brother, first, for introducing him to this place, but also to STCF trainer, Justin Bruce who almost immediately befriended Juan and introduced him to other like-minded crossfitters. Juan loves his CrossFit community and thanks Justin, Jack, Dylan Yuzbick, Monika Renk, and Tara for helping him every day! He pushes himself harder because of them. He especially appreciates how Del took him under his wing. Juan believes that if you never try CrossFit, you’ll never know the impact it may have on you.
JuanCarlos was chosen as this month’s CrossFitter of the Month because he exudes what CrossFit is all about: consistency, determination, attitude, and effort. All the owners agreed that Juan is a super young man and great addition to the South Tahoe CrossFit community. According to Del, “Pound for pound, I think he’s one of the best men in the gym.”
Favorite Movement: According to Juan, “Muscle-ups are pretty FUN!” Okay, so we know he has had a little too much crazy crossfit Kool-aid! But who’s judging? Oh, just those of us who still have problems with this very difficult movement, that’s who! WOW!
Favorite WOD: Any Chipper! Juan loves Chippers because they are a mental challenge more than a strenth or cardio challenge. And, Juan loves mental challenges… We agree, CrossFit is completely mental! (and yes, that should be taken both ways! ha ha)
What JuanCarlos looks forward to in 2015: Juan really wants to get his Level 1 Certificate and then help others find their true potential. He really loves the people of South Tahoe CrossFit and hopes to one day become a trainer. He believes that it’s not how good you are, but how you believe, support, and push yourself that gets results. Ultimately, you also need the support and encouragement from others to truly succeed. That’s what Juan would like to give back to this community of CrossFitters.
Congratulations to JuanCarlos!!
This summer, Juan will be competing in the New Kids in the Box event! Let’s make sure to support JuanCarlos and all the newer members as they continue their efforts to become the best athletes with the best attitudes around! This is what the South Tahoe CrossFit community is all about!
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 (www.littlebearbooks.net) or visit its Facebook page.
Krissi is this month’s CrossFitter of the Month at STCF.
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 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!!
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!
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!
Also, if you haven’t been into Watta Bike, you should go in and say hello to Kent! He knows his bikes!
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!