This month’s CrossFitter of the Month is a fighter. Here is Lacey Leonard, as she attempts at, fights for, and then succeeds with her first bar muscle-up during last year’s Open Competition (photo credits to Christos Christoudias):
Look at that smile! Talk about sheer joy! We chose Lacey to represent us this month because of this smile, this attitude, and this level of inspiration. Her love of a good challenge keeps her fighting the good fight. Like yesterday, while most of us were barbecuing and drinking a cold one, Lacey was in the gym getting her very first set of strict ring muscle-ups! What? Yep… That’s right! Perseverance, determination, and commitment – these three words sum up Ms. Leonard.
Not sure if many of you know this, but Lacey was born in New Jersey! She moved to Tahoe when she was quite young, allowing her to develop a more west coast-accent. 😉 As an almost native Tahoan, Lacey attended Al Tahoe Elementary School (before it was an annex to the school district), South Tahoe Middle School, and graduated in 2005 from South Tahoe High School. She left Tahoe for a brief stint while she went to college in Phoenix. She received her undergraduate degree from ASU. Lacey might have been enamored by the sun of Arizona, but it was the cool mountain breezes of Tahoe that beckoned her home. She moved back after college, and then communted to Marysville, CA while working on her X-Ray license. She currently works for Carson Valley Medical Center and Barton Hospital as an MRI tech.
In and out of school, Lacey was always active. If she wasn’t swimming on the city club team, she was kicking around a soccer ball with the local AYSO. Once in high school, she turned in her soccer cleats for a tennis raquet and track shoes. After high school, she took up mountain biking and rock climbing. When asked how and why she walked through our doors, she mentioned Jenn Galea. Jenn, a co-worker and friend, had been trying to get Lacey to try out a class for a while. Lacey signed up for the Ski Conditioning Class and met Cassy Burnside. The two of them decided to see what the rest of the box was all about. That was almost two years ago. Monika Renk took these ladies through Elements, and despite being a little nervous about getting hurt, Lacey was hooked. Two years in, and she has already competed in two functional fitness competitions: New Kids in the Box. She loved these events and hopes to compete in more, especially if there is swimming involved!
Like many of our members, she has natural athleticism. However, being a natural can only take one so far. She is determined to do better, pushes herself further, and accomplishes what she sets out as her goal. She is also extremely unassuming. I wish I had recorded her reaction upon discovering that she was to be this month’s athlete. She was shocked, to say the least, and questioned our selection. She is amazing.
For Lacey, anything difficult is fun. Her favorite movements include pull-ups, handstand push-ups, rope climbs, and double-unders. Her very first WOD is still her favorite: a 30 minute AMRAP of rope climbs and push-ups. (I remember that WOD…only because my arms felt like they were going to detach from my body fifteen minutes into the workout!!)
When asked if she has any future goals, she simply stated, “To continue to have fun and improve!” That’s really why we all do this, right? Oh, and to get that strict muscle-up… (did I mention that she got it, today?)
We selected Lacey because she is a strong and determined young lady. She, like all of our past Athletes of the Month, continues to inspire all of us not only because of the work she does, but also because of her attitude and spirit of competition.
Make sure you tell Lacey “Congratulations!” when you see her!!
Our FIRST CrossFit Conditioning Class was a success! Everyone who tried it, loved it! If you’re interested, come try it on Wednesday at 10:30am! It is based on the same principles of our popular Ski and Snowboard Conditioning Boot Camp. The class begins with a warm-up, but then spends close to 45 minutes of constant core and leg-based work with a little upper body strength training for fun! This is the perfect class for those of you looking to build your cardio capacity without the use of barbells. This new class is included in our unlimited membership, but non-members can purchase a punchcard for 10 Conditioning classes at $125. It’s good, leg-burning, core-shaking, heart-pounding fun!
Please take your jump rope home this month. We are doing inventory of all jumpropes, and then creating a better hanging system in February. We need our current members to take their jumpropes home so that we can figure out how many “gym” ropes we have. Thank you for your help in this manner!
The Lift: Push Press 3-3-3-3
21-15-9 reps of:
Push Press (115/85)
Lateral barbell burpees
Click here to find out what’s in store for our first CrossFit Conditioning class! It is every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10:30 to 11:30!
Check out who this month’s CrossFitter of the Month! We’ll get a video for our Core Challenge tomorrow!! We’ll update the blog with the video once it’s complete.
Sign up now for the Lurong Living Resolution Challenge! It begins on January 18!!
The Lift: Back Squat: every 3 minutes perform 5 reps
This is basically the same as the 2 Monday’s just under a time constraint. So take your performance from last Monday in decision regarding today’s weight. Try to add 2-5lbs from last week’s performance if you were successful.
500 meter row
50 wallballs (20/14)
Happy New Year’s to You!! Here’s this year’s first CrossFitter of the Month: Jennifer Sacoolas! Our first Core Challenge for 2016 will be revealed on Sunday or Monday! Keep working on last month’s core exercises as you await the new ones…
We have a new and exciting change at STCF for 2016! Starting Monday, January 4th, we will be adding a CrossFit Conditioning class at 10:30 to 11:30am. This class will be more of a core and leg-based workout with less upper body strength-training. It will be like our popular Ski and Snowboard Conditioning Boot Camps held every fall. We will offer this class every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10:30-11:30 and it will be included in STCF members’ current membership with no additional charge. Non-members may simply purchase a punchcard for $125 to attend this class for 10 sessions. We hope you get a chance to try this class!
Do you still have some resolutions to take care of? Do it today and join the Lurong Living Resolution Challenge! Registration has begun but the Challenge begins on January 18th! Prizes, recipes, nutrition guides, gym-wide fun, and camaraderie await… Join now under Team South Tahoe CrossFit!! It’s going to be amazing!
25 min EMOM of:
1st min- 8 toes to bar
2nd min – 10 push press (95/65)
3rd min – 12 wallballs (20/14)
4th min – 10 sumo deadlift high pulls (95/65)
5th min – 8 bar facing burpees
Repeat 4 more times
Choosing a CrossFitter of the Month is not an easy task. Our community of athletes here at South Tahoe CrossFit is rich in talent, strength, and determination. This month’s CrossFitter of the Month fits all three of these descriptors, but with a dose of unassumed humility and focus. Justin Kaplan comes to us from Princeton, New Jersey. He’s a young man with vision and drive. After attending business school, Justin decided to open his own restaurant. He became a restauranteur at the age of 26, when he opened Palate, a fine dining establishment in Newtown, Pennsylvania. Instead of relaxing and enjoying the fruits of his labor, he then decided to sell his very successful eatery and head west. According to Justin, he wanted to “experience life before settling down.” So, that’s what he did and the Lake Tahoe region seemed to satisfy the life experiences he envisioned! Three years ago, he was hired as a chef for Martis Camp, a private community located in Truckee, California. While a resident of our neighboring community, he became a member of CrossFit Avalanche and trained with Travis and Myles.
Shortly thereafter, he met Debbie Brown, the owner of Cold Water Brewery. Not surprisingly, Justin was hired to open the new restaurant on November 21, 2014 as its Head Chef. It’s here that he met October’s CrossFitter of the Month, Nick Hunter. Nick had recently joined South Tahoe CrossFit and told Justin about it.
Even before his stint at CrossFit Avalanche, Justin was active and athletic. In his youth he wrestled and ski raced. It was in his twenties that he began competing in mud runs, like our local “Tough Mudders.” While participating in one of these, he met some of the guys from CrossFit Newtown. After a while, Justin joined Carousel CrossFit in Wrightstown, Pennsylvania. When Justin moved to the West Coast, he stopped at several boxes along the way. Overwhelmingly, the different CrossFits he visited were open and friendly. He enjoyed each of them for their individual styles. Justin’s first impression of South Tahoe CrossFit was that the community was super-welcoming and open to even the newest members. He immediately jumped in and joined our unique community of athletes. Since joining our community, Nick and he have successfully completed several Spartan Races, like the Spartan Trifecta a few weeks ago. They have more Spartan Races planned in their future in Temecula, California and Seattle, Washington. Recently, they competed in a competition at a local “gym” where they both came in the top three places! When asked what they do for training, Justin answered, “CrossFit.”
Justin was chosen as this month’s Crossfitter of the Month because he is an amazing athlete with a huge heart. He is super friendly and is willing to help out in any situation. Currently, he is a volunteer wrestling coach at South Tahoe High School. He has helped STCF at a volunteer aid station for the Rock Tahoe Half Marathon. Recently, he helped us raise over $12,000 to fight breast cancer at our Barbells for Boobs event by donating gift certificates and apparel from The Cold Water Brewery. He also attended the event in further show of support of our athletes and our efforts.
Justin is a fantastic athlete. His very first CrossFit WOD back in 2010 was “Fran,” 21-15-9 thrusters and pull-ups. His first Fran time was a little over six minutes. Now, he can easily do it under 3:30! Oh, did I mention that his favorite WOD is Fran? Go figure! 😉 The secret to his success is the mastery of body control. Without the ability to control one’s own body weight in movements like handstand push-ups, ring dips, or squats, then more advanced movements will become elusive. The strength one builds in the gym translates to both physical and mental strength outside this place. He is all about “not quitting,” but rather focusing on a goal and achieving it. Justin also enjoys the camaraderie here that is inherent to most CrossFit gyms.
We are lucky that Justin walked through our doors ten months ago. We look forward to cheering on his future endeavors!
Make sure you tell Justin “Congratulations” when you see him next!