Started at Beacon: About 1 year ago
Proudest CrossFit accomplishment: A big CF moment was when I hit a PR weight for back squat and I was able to do 7 reps.
Favorite lift or metcon: I don't have a specific favorite lift or metcon. What I appreciate most is the variety.
Hoping to improve this year: I am hoping to improve kipping pull-ups and to increase my weight in the snatch.
Biggest surprise since starting at Beacon: How quickly my old forms of exercise have become warm-ups.
Advice for new members or friends who have yet to try CrossFit: I have two pieces of advice for new members. The first is to always mind your core. I have found that the most important aspect of CF movements, similar to everyday life, is your core. In life your core is your moral compass or belief system passed on to you from your family and experiences. In exercise it is your stabilizing muscles. When things get difficult and begin to fall apart, you need to keep your shit tight or you will end up getting hurt. My second piece of advice is for guys to wear tight boxers on days with a lot cleans.
Favorite Maine thing: The opportunity for outdoor experiences. You live somewhere special when you can ski and surf in the same day.
Interests beyond working out: Surfing, skiing, hiking, and spending time with family and friends.
Additional thought: CF is one of many effective exercise philosophies. What makes Beacon special is the caring and expertise of the coaches and quality of people you workout with. span>
Started at Beacon: Just over 3.5 years - got convinced by my faux parents (Brian and Krista) to come check it out and would never leave now!
Proudest CrossFit accomplishment: I’m proud of many accomplishments in my 3+ years but the most recent and exciting one was the bar muscle-up I got during the Open this year (even if it was chicken winged and not pretty)!
Favorite lift: I love cleans!
Hoping to improve this year: This is a hard one!! There's always so much improvement to be made on anything and everything - which is something I love about CrossFit...but if I had to pick something to work on I'd have to say body weight/gymnastics movements.
Biggest surprise since starting at Beacon: It surprises me that things never seem to get easier - which is a good thing in my book! But it amazes me sometimes that even when I become really good at a certain movement, there are always so many other lifts and movements that I can work on, which is great because I love constantly being challenged.
Advice for new members or friends who have yet to try CrossFit: The best advice for my friends/family and people who are considering CrossFit is to just get in the door! Once you're there you get sucked in to the community and energy and become amazed at what your body is capable of.
Favorite Maine thing: That would have to be that we experience all 4 seasons to the fullest. Just when you're starting to get sick of one, everyone gets excited for the next season (along with a lot of complaining about the weather in between).
Interests beyond working out: I like to cook or bake, and craft - basically anything Pinterest-y, I've got it covered. And yes, I have many Pinterest fails too!
Started at Beacon: July 2015
Proudest CrossFit accomplishment: It’s a tie between my first bar muscle-up a couple of weeks ago and now enjoying squats (which I avoided before CF).
Favorite lift: Do pull-ups count? If not, cleans.
Favorite MetCon: Blake. This was my first hero workout at the very beginning of my CF experience. I think Tyson told me to do presses after watching my first failed attempt at a handstand push-up and then cut me off at 30 minutes.
Hoping to improve this year: Thrusters. They're brutal.
Biggest surprise since starting at Beacon: How friendly and encouraging everybody is. People go out of their way to introduce themselves and push you on, especially when you are new.
Advice for new members or friends who have yet to try CrossFit: Do it. It’s fun, you get fit, and everybody is friendly. How can you beat that?
Favorite Maine thing: Tough to say. I guess it’s a three-way tie between eating at all the amazing Portland restaurants, hiking at Baxter and Acadia, and sampling all the local microbrews and single origin coffees.
Interests beyond working out: Hiking, camping, fly fishing/fly tying, skiing, espresso drinks, microbrews, good food, carpentry.
Additional thought: I knew I would like CrossFit but never thought I would enjoy it as much as I do. The coaches and members have all been awesome, including by providing advice and motivation (even at 6 AM) to help whip me into shape.
Started at Beacon: January 2015
Proudest CrossFit accomplishment: I'm proud that I showed up at all the first few months after I started - not knowing any of the abbreviations, acronyms, or movements and feeling perpetually confused. I definitely PR'd at showing up, and it got easier.
Favorite lift: Overhead squat, because I can.
Favorite MetCon: I have a short memory for metcons ... I think I block them out. I like a good chipper, though.
Hoping to improve this year: Pull-ups. Definitely pull-ups, kipping or otherwise.
Biggest surprise since starting at Beacon: I'm always surprised how crushed and sore I can be after a 7-minute workout. And maybe I shouldn't be, but I'm surprised how many really lovely, friendly, funny people I've met.
Advice for new members or friends who have yet to try CrossFit: It’s not as scary or as irritatingly trendy as you think.
Favorite Maine thing: Vanity plates. AmIright? Also, Katahdin is great.
Interests beyond working out: Hikin', skiin', roadtrips, wine and cheese, revolutionary politics, and music (classical and funk).
Started at Beacon: September 2013
Proudest CrossFit accomplishment: Rope climbs. Proves you are never too old. When I was a high school freshman, the rope climb was part of our P.E. testing. I failed miserably - I think I may have gotten 2 feet off the ground before I let go of the rope. The old school gym teacher took great pleasure embarrassing me by pointing out my failure to all my classmates. Fast forward almost 40 years, and I have climbed the rope to the Beacon rafters! Take thatcha bastard!
Favorite lift: The Bear Complex.
Favorite MetCon: Any partner/team workout. The collegial nature of the challenge and helping each other pull through while suffering side by side make these especially satisfying.
Hoping to improve this year: The muscle-up. Yup. That's right. I'm coming for you, muscle-up. And I am going to get you, or I will be buried in a kitty-cat onesie. I especially like this challenge because I know to succeed I have to continue to work hard in the gym as well as start working hard in the kitchen (and staying away from all of Maine's great craft beers).
Biggest surprise since starting at Beacon: That a gym could have such a profound impact on me and my family. I have worked out my entire life, but until CrossFit and Beacon, it was just exercising. CrossFit Beacon (more specifically the coaches and members) offers a dynamic that has been truly life-changing.
Advice for new members or friends who have yet to try CrossFit: Try It. Judge it for yourself. No one will judge you. CrossFit is often portrayed as a cult of exercise crazies. What I’ve experienced could not be further from that image. Come in and try it for yourself, and you will encounter a balanced and supportive fitness community where you can find your own place. While it may be intimidating at first (because it is a community and not just a gym, at first it is like starting at a new school), you’ll soon experience an incredibly supportive community that will help you lead a healthier lifestyle.
Favorite Maine thing: It may sound hokie, but it is the welcoming sign in Kittery that says "Welcome to Maine - the Way Life Should Be". Every time I come back to Maine, that sign reminds me how blessed I am to live, work, and raise a family here. Maine is obviously a place of great natural assets (the coast, the mountains, four great seasons) but the sign reminds me that Maine's greatest treasure is its people and the energy, values, and spirit we individually and collectively bring to our community.
Interests beyond working out: Cooking, golfing, and spending time with the family.
Additional thought: When people ask me why I love Beacon Crossfit I tell them it is like recess. Remember when you were a kid in school? You couldn't wait for recess because it got you out from behind a desk and out playing and running around with your friends. Recess was the best part of the day. That’s what Beacon means to me - I can't wait to get to the box and I am bummed when work/life commitments prevent me from getting in for the WOD. It is like when recess got rained out!
Started at Beacon: Fall of 2014 (though I didn’t become a full-time member until February 2015).
Proudest CrossFit accomplishment: Being selected as a CrossFit Beacon Featured Member for March. Or else listening to my body and not having any serious injuries since starting CrossFit.
Favorite lift: Running. But actually, deadlift.
Favorite MetCon: Helen! But Michael looks like a good time.
Hoping to improve this year: Pull-ups. Anything overhead. I will someday have real, capable arms.
Biggest surprise since starting at Beacon: I am totally and madly in love with this community.
Advice for new members or friends who have yet to try CrossFit: Don’t be intimidated by those who make it look easy. Be patient with yourself and celebrate the progress you make every day. If you’re resting, you should be dancing. Set realistic goals and do extra to achieve them. Buy Nike Metcons.
Favorite Maine thing: This is a very tough question. I guess it would be my hometown, Belfast, because this one time my car died and when I called AAA, it was the mayor who came to jump my car. That’s incredible. Also, Maine Maple Sunday for obvious reasons.
Interests beyond working out: Homeless healthcare, speaking French, Green Bay Packers, themed dinner parties.
Started at Beacon: February 2013
Proudest CrossFit accomplishment: Hard call, there are so many! First pull-up or first handstand probably. Although my water breaking during a WOD is my most memorable ;-).
Favorite lift: back squat!
Favorite MetCon: Probably “Annie,” but I started to really like the hero wods this past summer. And I loved “Death by Backsquat” during it, but not so much in the 2-3 days that followed.
Hoping to improve this year: I have a long-term goal of doing Murph Rx’d.
Biggest surprise since starting at Beacon: When I started at Beacon I was new to CrossFit, and I was really apprehensive about being the new person who struggled to do the moves properly or at all - especially since everyone's scores went on the board, and I envisioned a completely competitive and cutthroat atmosphere. But really, on a day-to-day basis, you're competing against yourself, trying to improve on your last lift or your last time. I have never once heard a derogatory comment about 'x person can only do x amount' or anything like that. Everyone is helpful, encouraging, and genuinely happy to see others improve.
Advice for new members or friends who have yet to try CrossFit: Don't settle into the frame of mind of “I can't do that” or “I always use a certain amount of weight.” It's amazing what you can do when you try, and over time as you get stronger, you eventually CAN do those things you couldn't at first. But you'll never know that if you never attempt it.
Favorite Maine thing: The beach is my happy place.
Additional thought:I used to be a non-CF gym rat, but I don't think I can ever go back to that now!
Started at Beacon: Mid-November 2015
Proudest CrossFit accomplishment: How far I’ve come in such a short period of time. (thanks Tiffany, Ben and Tyson - you guys are great)
Favorite lift: Push jerk. I like working my shoulders.
Favorite MetCon: Too early to call...I look forward to each workout and the challenge it brings. I was a little concerned about the team workouts early on as I didn’t want to slow down my partner, but now I enjoy the camaraderie and push that you give each other.
Hoping to improve this year: I want to be able to do kipping pull-ups and double-unders. Oh yeah and that damn climbing rope! It’s kicked my ass twice but no more.
Biggest surprise since starting at Beacon: The community! Everyone! I mean everyone has been so welcoming and supportive from the great coaches to the fellow athletes. I’m addicted to this place. I’ve never found any type of workout that keeps me wanting more. I’m in the best shape I’ve been in since I was in my late 20’s, which is probably before most of the members were born!
Advice for new members or friends who have yet to try CrossFit: I’ll repeat what Greg D. told me the first time I met him: “pace yourself.” Thanks for the great advice Greg. It takes time, and if you learn the moves the correct way proper pacing will help keep you healthy and safe.
Favorite Maine thing: Long Island, Maine in the summertime. Best beach, laid back, great people and the beautiful Atlantic ocean all around! My favorite place on earth.
Additional thought: Quick story…early in 2015 stress was causing some minor health issues for me and I would sit and wonder what am I waiting for? A heart attack to get me? So I had to find something to get me healthy. I started the Google search “best workout for 50-somethings,” and lo and behold CrossFit came up. As they say the rest is history. Now I’m happier and healthier training at CrossFit Beacon!
Started at Beacon: 2 and 1/2 years ago
Favorite lift: Front squat
Favorite MetCon: None, but I get through them
Hoping to improve this year: Burpee speed and endurance
Biggest surprise since starting at Beacon: That I continue to get stronger and reach personal records pretty much every month
Advice for new members or friends who have yet to try CrossFit: Just show up to Beacon. Unlike other fitness routines or programs, motivation with CrossFit is not entirely from within. The coaches and community will help you stay motivated and improving. That is probably why I have stuck with CrossFit for over two years. You just need to show up!
Favorite Maine thing: Skiing down Spillway or Narrow Gauge at Sugarloaf. The rush and "living in the moment" can't be beat.
Additional thought: Diet and CrossFit are intertwined. When you eat well, CrossFit and life go better. This is a lesson I hope to keep firmly in mind in 2016!
Started at Beacon: December 2012
Favorite lift: Front squat
Favorite MetCon: The one that's over. I have a healthy dislike for metcons - but I realize that I wouldn't push myself to complete them with any intensity if I wasn't in a class at Beacon.
Hoping to improve this year: Since becoming pregnant this past summer I've seen my strength numbers improve greatly. (Mass moves mass, right?) I'd love to retain some of that strength when I come back after baby... Without the additional mass 😉
Biggest surprise since starting at Beacon: I've always been a runner and I can't believe how close my untrained running times are now to times that I trained for before. It's fun to see how well CrossFit translates to other sports.
Advice for new members or friends who have yet to try CrossFit: Just try it - you have nothing to lose and you might be surprised how much you like it!
Favorite Maine thing: I can see the ocean whenever I want to. It always makes me smile!