June Athlete of the Month: "Vantage Dad's"

Lucas Steever

2017-06-01

Tell us a little about yourself.
I am married to my lovely wife Lauren, and have two amazing sons, Ezra (2-1/2 years old), and Samuel (7 weeks).  I grew up in Cincinnati, OH but moved to Denver in 2006 because I was drawn to the mountains.  I work in construction, and I am a Project Engineer for a company that does interior finishes for commercial projects. My family enjoys being active and being outside as much as possible.

How and when did you get started with CrossFit?
I got started with Crossfit a little over three years ago.  I remember seeing people out on the sidewalk carrying sand bags and thought that looked pretty interesting. Soon after I decided I should try a class.  I came in for a Saturday morning class and was hooked after that.  I signed up for the Foundations class and have been going consistently for about 3 and a half years.

 What recreational activities/hobbies to you do/have?
I moved to Colorado for the mountains, and enjoy exploring this state and being active.  My favorite recreational activity is mountain biking and enjoy trails around Denver, but also like taking weekend trips to other towns and exploring trails.  I also enjoy climbing mountains and camping.

What is your favorite cheat meal?
My favorite cheat meal is a cheeseburger and french fries, and if I’m adding dessert it would be homemade strawberry pie with vanilla ice cream.

What is your favorite thing about CrossFit?
My favorite thing about Crossfit is the encouraging community.  I used to be someone who only worked out alone.  I did a lot of trail running, and liked the solitude of working out alone.  I’ve moved into a stage of life where I’ve come to really enjoy working out with others, and I benefit from the encouragement of the others in the Vantage community, the accountability, and the coaching.  No matter what time of day I come in, I can count on there being friends to workout with, and amazing coaches. It always helps put me in a positive frame of mind.

What is your favorite CrossFit WOD or movement?
“Murph” is probably my favorite WOD.  But, I have come to love olympic weightlifting and always enjoy clean and jerks, and snatches and look forward to continue working on these movements.

What kind of positive affect has CrossFit had on you and your life?
CrossFit has helped me develop confidence.  The challenges I face in the gym help me realize that I can push myself more than I thought, or accomplish something that seemed too difficult at first.  After a tough 5am workout, I feel like I can face anything else that comes my way that day.  It’s also been a great way to meet people and make friends who live in the neighborhood.  And also, having a busy schedule and responsibilities at home, it’s a great way to focus my exercise time and get the most out of a short and intense workout.  It helps me stay fit for my family so I can keep up with my boys.

June Athlete of the Month: "Vantage Dad's"

Edgar Ramirez

2017-06-01

Tell us a little about yourself, how and when did you get started with CrossFit?
I am a Denver native, grew up in Aurora, Co. Have been involved with sports and other recreational activities since I was seven years old. Eventually got involved with martial arts and got hooked. This became a passion which drove me to explore other full contact sports such as wrestling and boxing. Unfortunately had to take a break from training due to my knee injury several years ago. But when one door closes another opens. I had no clue what CrossFit was but after being on the couch for several months, I decided to check it out. And here I am, it’s been a year and several months now. And every time I come in for my wod, it still kicks my butt. I continue to learn about fitness and nutrition. All the coaches here at Vantage are knowledgeable and very helpful. Everyone involved with Vantage is great, I have not had one bad experience with Vantage.

 What recreational activities/hobbies to you do/have?
My hobbies are mountain biking, hiking, snowboarding, camping and swimming. I also have a passion for motorcycles and cars. But more then anything right now, I enjoy being a dad. Challenging at times but worth every moment.

What is your favorite cheat meal?
I love pepperoni pizza!!! Not really picky where it’s from

What is your favorite thing about CrossFit? 
One of my favorite things about CrossFit is the fact it keeps pushing me. At times I just want to give up but there’s a fire in us all and this keeps me from giving up on myself.

What is your favorite CrossFit WOD or movement?
For some crazy reason, I enjoy rope climbs. Reminds me of gym class when I was a kid. And for my favorite WOD, I have to say Murph.

What kind of positive affect has CrossFit had on you and your life?
CrossFit has giving me confidence back. After my injury, I lost something. I was unsure of what movements I was going to be able to achieve. I still have slight pain but I’m back to jogging, doing squats and even doing high box jumps. These movements alone were hard on my knee but now a year later, it feels a lot better. I also just want to thank all the coaches at Vantage for being there and helping me to reach my goals.

May Athlete of the Month "Barbell Badass"

Stephen Breeding

2017-05-01

Tell us a little about yourself.
I am originally from North Carolina (Greensboro) went to East Carolina University.  Graduated in 05, moved to CO in 07.  I am a wine specialist (Key Account Manager) for Republic National Distributing company.

How and when did you get started with CrossFit?
I got started in crossfit after Aspen Food and Wine of 2015.  The job was taking a toll on my body and I needed a serious workout regimen to help offset those effects.

 What recreational activities/hobbies to you do/have?
Avid Golfer, Play pick up B Ball, Snowboarding, Halo 5, Frisbee with the dog.

What is your favorite cheat meal?
Pizza or Buttermilk Mashed potatoes.

What is your favorite thing about CrossFit? 
Favorite movement is the bar muscle up, favorite WOD 17.4 (the snatch ladder!).  the Crossfit vantage community has been great and I can’t wait to get to do some more fun things with everyone.

What is your favorite Barbell lift or movement?
SNATCH

What kind of positive affect has CrossFit had on you and your life?
Besides getting stronger and healthier, it is the best way for me to MELT STRESS.  No matter how bad the day, month or year.  A hard ass WOD, at least for a moment, melts it all away.

May Athlete of the Month "Barbell Badass"

Marina Tricarico

2017-05-01

Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born and raised right here in Denver, only a few blocks away from Vantage.  I am currently a sophomore at MSU Denver studying nutrition, a waitress, and now also an intern at Vantage. I was a competitive cheerleader and dancer for 14 years before I found CrossFit, but then decided that I didn’t want to continue my cheer/dance career in college so that I could dedicate more time to CrossFit.

How and when did you get started with CrossFit?
I first discovered CrossFit a little over two years ago. I watched the 2014 CrossFit Games with a friend of mine and I knew right then that I wanted to be a part of this sport. My cousin was a member at Vantage and brought me to a Share the Love WOD on Valentine’s Day of 2015. I was instantly hooked, and now two years later it is pretty much my main focus in life.

 What recreational activities/hobbies to you do/have?
I don’t really have a lot of hobbies outside of CrossFit and weightlifting, but I do enjoy really anything that involves being active. I am lucky to live in a state that has the most amazing hiking trails which I take full advantage of during the summer.  I also love baking and creating paleo recipes!

What is your favorite cheat meal?
My favorite cheat meal is anything with a lot of frosting or icing. I discovered the cinnamon roll at Denver Biscuit Company this past weekend and that might have been my favorite cheat meal ever so far.

What is your favorite thing about CrossFit?
My favorite thing about CrossFit is that it not only builds physical strength, but mental strength as well. It has really shown me that my body can do more than what I think it is capable of. My favorite WOD is Murph because it takes a ton of physical and mental strength to finish it. I only do it once a year and I look forward to that day all year long.  

 Why do you want to be a CrossFit coach? 
I want to be a CrossFit coach because I have a huge passion for this sport and want to help people become healthier, happier versions of themselves. I want to be able to impact people’s lives just like the coaches at Vantage have impacted mine.

What is your favorite Barbell lift or movement?
My favorite lift is the clean and jerk. I spend a lot of time working on technique for this lift and watching videos about it to see where I can improve.

What kind of positive affect has CrossFit had on you and your life?
CrossFit has had such a positive effect on my life, especially since I found it at such a young age. I have stayed away from excessive drinking and partying because I know that I need to take care of my body as best as I can in order to achieve my CrossFit goals. I have made so many new friends and have noticed that I just am just more of a positive person overall since I’ve started CrossFit.

April Athlete of the Month "Class Clown"

Anabeth Morgan

2017-04-01

Tell us a little about yourself.
I am from Memphis, TN and have lived in CO for almost 6 years.  I am married to Kyle and we have 1 little girl named Jovie 🙂  I am a musician and oversee the worship community at a local church called Mile High Vineyard.

How and when did you get started with CrossFit?
I started CrossFit in November 2012 because my husband had wanted to do it and I gave him a gift card for his birthday to a gym called Vantage.  Then, he came home talking about it and I started Foundations the following month and fell in love 🙂

 What recreational activities/hobbies to you do/have?
I enjoy skiing, hiking, SpikeBall, playing music, writing songs and basically anything with a good group of people.

What is your favorite cheat meal?
I LOVE gluten-free pizza from Right Coast in Wheat Ridge.

What is your favorite thing about CrossFit? 
My favorite thing about CrossFit is the way that it challenges me outside of what I think I am able to do.  It forces me to prove that I am stronger to myself every day.  My mind is always telling me what I can’t do, but CrossFit physically pushes me past my mental beliefs.  My favorite movement is double-unders!  My favorite WOD is any that don’t involve running 🙂  My favorite thing about Vantage as a community is the welcome and warmth of the gym.  It is a place for any level athlete to grow and embraces the journey along the way with support and modifications, but also pushes you to be better.  I also love how the coaches run the classes as a group instead of as an individual experience and then coming together just for the WOD portion 🙂

 What were you most looking forward to in this year’s Open?
I had never done the Open before, so this year I am looking forward to celebrating the PRs and completing something I have always been intimidated by.  I also look forward to realizing areas to grow in from what I struggled with during the workouts as well!

What kind of positive affect has CrossFit had on you and your life?
CrossFit has given me deep friendships as well as given me mental clarity so that I can be more present throughout my day as I work with people all day.  It is good to know that I have pushed my body physical and therefore can also choose to push myself mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  It is a gift to me 🙂

March Athlete of the Month "Spirit of the Open Pt. 2"

Jon Yagos

2017-03-01

Tell us a little about yourself
Born and raised here in Colorful Colorado. I lived in San Diego for 4 years, but quickly moved back (turns out, it’s rarely snows on the beach)! I’m an engineer for a global software company, just a typical computer nerd.

How and when did you get started with CrossFit?
I started with CrossFit last fall, mostly giving into peer pressure from a friend of mine. I met Vantage at the Highlands street festival last summer – Zach made me do pushups for a free week. It was love at first sight.

 What recreational activities/hobbies to you do/have?
My wife and I love to camp, hike, explore, travel, and ski – well, she stays in the lodge and drinks while I ski.

What is your favorite cheat meal?
My favorite cheat meal is anything comfort food, baked mac and cheese. Bread and cheese, so good.

What is your favorite thing about CrossFit? 
My favorite thing about CrossFit is the variety in movements – I never thought it would be as focused on gymnastics as it is. It’s a lot of fun. The community is great and push me to overcome my doubts about myself.

 What are you most looking forward to in this year’s Open?
For this years’ open, I’m looking forward to surviving. And it’ll be a good baseline on where I am not only physically, but mentally as well.

What kind of positive affect has CrossFit had on you and your life?
CrossFit has pushed me to exceed barriers that I set up for myself. I’m my biggest enemy and the community and coaches here have broken those down many times.

March Athlete of the Month "Spirit of the Open Pt. 2"

Terra Anderson

2017-03-01

Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m from a small city called Champaign, IL. My third “Deniversary” is in August. With a background in the fine arts, I spent several years running pizza joints and partying. Thankfully I now make my living as a hair and makeup artist. I’ve been happily doing this for the last seven years

How and when did you get started with CrossFit?
I read exactly 4 books, including “Weightlifting for Dummies,” and did some weightlifting on my own for about a year. I loved that but I didn’t know how to progress and/or was afraid to push myself. I always wanted to do CrossFit, so when my business proved it was stabile, I signed up. A friend was the actual catalyst when she announced she was going in for foundation classes.

 What recreational activities/hobbies to you do/have?
If I had it my way, I would always be camping. Although I don’t think it would be as romantic as it sounds in my head. Cooking is my favorite part of camping, and so it is in normal life. Sewing is cool! I look forward to Halloween every year for the costuming. I cannot go a day without reading something. I love science fiction and fantasy. And I of course love music. I feel so lucky to live in a place where it is so easily found in great quality. I totally find recreation in my career. Styling for weddings, photo shoots, music videos, etc! It’s all a dream! I’m a feminist. I am a civil rights advocate. And I want to be an agent of change.

What is your favorite cheat meal?
To say pizza seems too (ch)easy, but it’s the truth! Pepperoni pizza in large quantities: Ian’s, Marquis, Two Fisted Mario’s…all acceptable venues. There must be dessert: Ritter Sport milk chocolate hazelnut bar…the whole thing.

What is your favorite thing about CrossFit? 
IT IS A STRUGGLE EVERY SINGLE TIME. I love proving the resistant voices in my head wrong every time I do something that they say I can’t. I have never been on any kind of team sport (except bowling!) so I have no experience pushing and fighting like this. It’s seriously such a magical feeling finishing a wod. And this community! It definitely takes more than a great workout to keep me coming back everyday. The constant culture of support puts this over the top for me. Of course CrossFitters want to talk about it all the time; It’s the shit.

 What are you most looking forward to in this year’s Open?
I am so excited to be a part of our whole group’s effort. And I’m excited for my boyfriend to see what I’ve been up to for the last 5 months.

What kind of positive affect has CrossFit had on you and your life?
There are so so so many ways! I am ALWAYS looking forward to the next workout. Mentally, it’s impossible to be wrapped up in daily life dramas and stressors. It gives me a place to be present. Physically, I feel more substantial and capable. I am also very excited to see that I can in fact grow my quads!

February Athlete of the Month: "Spirit of the Open"

Tim Herbst

2017-01-24

Tell us a little about yourself:
I grew up in the Winter Park area.  I actually graduated from Middle Park High School in Granby with 59 kids in my class.  When my parents moved up there in the late 60’s, Winter Park was actually called Hideaway Park (there’s a little known fact for ya:) )
I’ve done lots of different things through the years (high school English teacher briefly, hardware engineer for a tech company, owned a plumbing company with a buddy, was an Arborist in Oregon swinging from big trees with chainsaws (that’s scary by the way). Anna and I met in Oregon going to a Naturopathic Medical school called NCNM.  It was there that I started welding, etc. in our basement b/c I was burned out.  Little did I know at that time it would turn into my career.  Ultimately, I started making large wall sculptures out of aluminum, copper, etc. and that’s led to being a professional artist for the last 10 years or so traveling around the country doing fine art shows.

How and when did you get started with CrossFit?
Anna and I both started CrossFit 2.5 years ago – we’d been threatening to do it for a year or so and finally pulled the trigger in June of 2014.  X was our foundation coach.  I started full bore from the beginning trying to do classes 5 days a week.  Needless to say, I thought I was “hurt” about 70% of the time.  My body was beat up!!  I was definitely hooked though.  I had wrestled for a lot of years up until the 2nd year in college.  CrossFit was the closest thing to that experience and I loved it.  Hard work with a community of people you grow closer to every time you suffer together.

What is your favorite thing about CrossFit? 
At this point, the community is probably the most important aspect to me.  I love heading in each evening and seeing all my friends.  I can honestly say that Crossfit has been one of the most influential and positive experiences I’ve ever done.  Lots of things come and go but I can’t see ever stopping this CrossFit ride I’m on. I never get tired of studying mechanics or trying to get better at movements.

 What are you most looking forward to in this year’s Open?
Anywhoo – I’m rattling on at this point:)  The Open is coming up in a month or so and I’m excited to see how I’ve grown both physically and mentally in the last year.  I love trying to find an approach to each workout so I don’t blow up.  It’s so enjoyable to cheer everyone on – it’s like recess in elementary school.
Our lil’ dude is due Feb. 23rd so he’ll get to see his first Open.  We’re getting him his own set of special ear-muffs so the rockin’ tunes and me yelling cuss words won’t spook him 🙂

February Athlete of the Month: "Spirit of the Open"

Anna Arenz

2017-01-24

Tell us a little about yourself:
I am originally from Dubuque, IA where I grew up on a farm with cows (beef), horses, occasionally a pig or 2, barn cats, and dogs.  I went to college at both Iowa State and University of Iowa.  I graduated with a BA in Art History and spent a few years in Iowa before moving to Denver to become a Vet Tech (animal nurse).  I work in a small animal clinic in Littleton and work with cats and dogs only for now.

How and when did you get started with CrossFit?
I was first introduced to crossfit by my cousin who had me watch crossfit regionals and games replays then suggested I try it myself.  I laughed thinking I am not that crazy.  Then, in the fall of 2012 after watching these crazy crossfitters on my way to work, I decided to give in and give it a go.  My first class was all I needed and I was hooked.  I still have the unforgettable image of Coop with the creepiest mustache as he taught me the foundations course (it was in November).

 What recreational activities/hobbies to you do/have?
My hobbies other than crossfit….. I like to climb 14ers (if you ever want to go feel free to hit me up my mom likes it when I climb with people and don’t go solo).  I enjoy rock climbing, but it’s been awhile since I’ve gone.  I like to bake and I hope to work on and get better at cooking as well.  I love petting all furry creatures and occasionally watching them too.  I like to play with different types of art, mostly pencil and charcoal, but I need to work on painting too.

What is your favorite cheat meal?
I don’t have a special cheat meal… I love milk, chocolate, and fried chicken and I’ll eat it however I can get it.

What is your favorite thing about CrossFit? 
I love how crossfit isn’t just a place to workout; it’s where I hangout with friends and it’s where I work through the stress in my life.  Vantage is where I work on bettering myself from my mind to my body to my soul.
 What are you most looking forward to in this year’s Open?
I am looking forward to applying the skills I’ve been working all year to these crazy, scary, nerve-wracking, yet amazing workouts.  I look forward to the challenge and finding the inner drive to finish.

What kind of positive affect has CrossFit had on you and your life?
Well, the open will highlight your strengths and weaknesses.  When the workouts are in my favor I feel almost invincible; yet, the workouts can seem like they are out to kill my spirit. I have learned (still learning) to not take it personally and work on my weaknesses as opposed to just saying “F#*% !&” (although there are times where that’s my answer to the workout). I’ve learned to use the open (and competitions) to pick up on all of my strengths and all my weaknesses, not just the obvious ones.

October Athlete of the Month

Bill Penney

2016-09-26

 Tell us a little about yourself? 
I was born and raised in Arvada, Colorado and spent a couple years working in Latin America after school. After coming back to the U.S., I worked in energy for a few years until I changed careers to be a teacher. This is my tenth year teaching at North Star Elementary in Adams 12 and I’m currently teaching First Grade.

How and when did you get started with CrossFit?
About two years ago, my wife and I were busy finishing our basement on our new house.  I kept throwing out my back first on framing, then drywall, then sneezing…I know, embarrassing.  About half-way into this project, the school I work at received a wellness grant that was designed to teach and support healthy lifestyles for children living in poverty.  One component was a CrossFit coach from a box in Thornton would come and run us teachers around the gym.  I loved this indoor recess, so I finally decided to look up CrossFit locations near us.  Brandon coached my first class (ropes day!) and X ran my foundations course right before his California journey.

What recreational activities/hobbies to you do/have?
I currently chase my 3.5 year-old preschooler around while blowing zerberts on my 6 month old’s belly.  Outside of the flexing and headband festival that is the 5 am Vantage class, I read a lot…about as much as I can keep my eyes open.

What is your favorite cheat meal?
Pizza: green olives, pepperoni and pepperoncinis with a cesar salad and cold beer.  Shnikes, that just triggered a craving.

What is your favorite thing about CrossFit?
I’ll just say it up front: the ropes and bars make me feel like Batman and seeing other people do this stuff makes me think ninja school.  Obvi!

 What kind of positive affect has CrossFit had on you and your life?
I’ve never been on the athletic side of life.  I’ve held gym memberships, spent time watching Game of Thrones on my phone while pretending to workout on a home gym and walk-jogged most of the Tennyson area.   Yet somehow, I have been going to the 5 am class now for a little over one year and it is one of the best parts of my day.   The coaching has kept me growing, the workouts challenge me every time and the people are great.  Also, I’ve had zero back issues since starting and I’ve been able to manage Multiple Sclerosis successfully in large part because how Coop, Amanda and the other coaches have helped me.  CrossFit Vantage, I think you might be my boo.

October Athlete of the Month

Noel Carron

2016-09-26

 
Tell us a little about yourself?

I am from California originally. I moved to Colorado almost 7 years ago! I came to visit a few times and never wanted to leave. I couldn’t get enough of the outdoors and the mountains so I made the move. I graduated college with a degree in Psychology. I haven’t pursued anything with my degree yet. I became a bartender for the past years. I love the social environment and my flexible schedule where I can have my days off to enjoy the outdoors.

How and when did you get started with CrossFit?
I started CrossFit when Vantage was at the old location. I used to go to 24 Hour Fitness where I would just use the stair stepper or go to their classes they had to offer. I wasn’t seeing any results and the classes were very routine. I became bored and unmotivated. I did not know what to do to on my own to actually see any positive results. CrossFit seemed like the best option for me.

What recreational activities/hobbies do you do/have?
I am very active. I love anything outdoors! During the winter I spend most of my days on the mountain snowboarding. I mountain bike uphill and downhill when it isn’t snowing. I try to keep up with running since I run at least one half marathon a year. If I wasn’t in Colorado enjoying the outdoor activities, I would be traveling the world. I am hoping to make that a dream come true in the near future.

What is your favorite cheat meal?
My favorite cheat meal would have to be mac and cheese! Or just anything with cheese. I could eat cheese everyday all day!

What is your favorite thing about CrossFit?
My favorite thing about CrossFit is everything as a whole. The coaches, the people who come in, the support from everyone. I like how the workouts are always different, and how at the end of the week you feel like you have worked out everything. I love the challenge where you feel like you can’t go any further, but in the end you finish no matter what. I enjoy the high intensity workouts because they never get boring. My favorite CrossFit movements are dead lifts, rope climbs, and handstand pushups. I look forward to the day I can do a strict pull up and a muscle up. I love how CrossFit Vantage holds events inside and outside of the gym, as well as fundraisers. It is nice to bring people together,  not just in support with working out but support outside of the gym as well.

What kind of positive affect has CrossFit had on you and your life?
As for the positive impact, CrossFit has made me feel a lot better about myself. It is a great feeling getting stronger and achieving new goals. It is nice seeing positive changes on your body as you progress. Sometimes it is hard for me to make it to classes as often as I would like, but results come quick with hard work! The energy of the coaches and the people in the classes make CrossFit addicting and very enjoyable. One of the most positive things about CrossFit is that everyone works together and supports everyone to finish.

September Athlete of the Month

Hunter Dunham

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 Tell us a little about yourself? 
I grew up in Houston, TX but came out to Colorado for school. Left for a couple years when I graduated, but came back as soon as I got the chance. I currently work for Noble Energy as a wellbore integrity engineer (basically ensuring safe hydraulic fracturing in and around Greeley)

How and when did you get started with CrossFit?
I got started with CrossFit right before Memorial Day. I’ve had friends active in CrossFit for a few years and only recently when I had some back pains, did I really start looking into ways to be healthier. CrossFit was honestly the first thing I wanted to do once I got healthy enough to move.

What recreational activities/hobbies to you do/have?
I enjoy getting out and about in Colorado. My wife and I have 2 little pups (Pomeranian and Mini-Aussie) that we like to take out on hikes, bikes, and walks on the beach.

What is your favorite cheat meal?
I will eat just about anything. If I’m in Texas, I’m having What-a-burger. When I visited Las Vegas recently, I had a juicy In-N-Out burger. So sounds like I eat fat burgers for my cheat meal!

What is your favorite thing about CrossFit?
My favorite thing about CrossFit is getting up early and working out with a bunch of other weirdos. I love working out in groups and especially before the sun comes up. My favorite movement so far is the back squat. That gets me pumped every time we do it in a WOD.

 What kind of positive affect has CrossFit had on you and your life?
CrossFit has given me life again. For the past 4 years, I have been battling back pain. I can now move, bend over, pick up my dogs without being in complete and utter pain. Just the ability to put my shoes on has been a hassle for a couple years, so now I can do the simple things without worrying that I’m going to be out of commission for a few days.

September Athlete of the Month

Erin Wills

2016-08-24

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Tell us a little about yourself?
I was born in the UK and lived there until I was 5, when my parents decided to move back to the States. I grew up in the Chicago area. I then went to college in Michigan and eventually started travel nursing and have lived all over, including New Zealand. I’m a nurse by background (Pediatric Intensive Care) but now work in the IT/Informatics side of healthcare.

How and when did you get started with CrossFit?
I got started with CrossFit in April when I decided to join CrossFit Vantage. I’ve always been curious about it and since I drive by Vantage every day on my way into work, I figured I’d give it a go! I needed a way to step up my workout routine, too!

What recreational activities/hobbies do you do/have?
I love to do anything outside – hiking, camping, and snowboarding especially. Traveling is my biggest passion. I also love to find live music and try my hand at cooking.

What is your favorite cheat meal?
If I can get my hands on it, a good Chicago style deep dish pizza with tons of veggies, meat, and cheese!

What is your favorite thing about CrossFit?
I love that in CrossFit, you’re truly only competing against yourself. Seeing my progress over the past few months has been awesome. I’m learning new skills – my new favorite is the handstand push-up. I can’t quite do them just yet, but I’ve given them a solid try!

What kind of positive affect has CrossFit had on you and your life?
CrossFit has given me a new community. I love coming in for the WOD and seeing familiar faces. It’s also such a great end to my day after a tough, long day at work!

August Athlete Of The Month

David Sudduth

2016-08-01

David Sudduth 

Tell us a little about yourself? 
I’m originally from Steamboat Springs but went to high school in Colorado Springs.  I’ve been in Denver (mostly) since I got my Masters at The Leeds School of Business at CU.  I currently have been launching my own accounting and finance firm with two partners in Boulder but I consider myself more of an artist and free spirit.  I really just want to live the 4-hour workweek life.  I have taken several 10-12 month backpacking trips through Mexico and Central America (#1) and South America (#2).  I speak fluent Spanish and Portuguese although they both are a bit rusty.  I also have a yellow lab named Lucy and live in a little ranch house in the neighborhood.

How and when did you get started with CrossFit?
It all began when I put “Get in Shape” on my New Years list of resolutions for 2008.  Seven years later and a 24 hour fitness membership which I didn’t use I finally got out the door and started running a little.   While eventually I completed several half marathons and a full marathon, the running lacked a sense of team as well as strength and speed conditioning that I really wanted.  I asked a personal trainer friend if she had any references and she asked if I’d heard of CrossFit.  I hadn’t and just thought she meant Cross Training.  I stopped by for a class and my first contact was none other than coach X.  I immediately liked it and over the next three months changed my physique, my eating, and health in general.  The rest is history.

What recreational activities/hobbies to you do/have?
I have lots of interests: Life Drawing, Toastmasters, hiking, kayaking, camping, running, languages, travel, kite-surfing

What is your favorite cheat meal?
A big bacon cheeseburger with fries and a milkshake

What is your favorite thing about CrossFit?
I love the variety and sense of team most of all.  The coaching and community has pushed me to work harder and improve every step of the way.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought that it was impossible for me to get through a workout only to hear the encouragement from everyone else.  The gymnastics are fun, the skills requiring coordination are fun (e.g. double unders), and surprisingly to me the Olympic Lifting has been really fun.  This is a historic sport celebrated around the world that we only have a little exposure to.  Speed, coordination and strength.  Overall it has been a fun journey of constant improvement.
Plus…you know…the people are pretty good to 🙂

 What kind of positive affect has CrossFit had on you and your life?
I’m stronger and more fit.  It helps me keep an even keel on my emotions and my head on straight.  It has influenced me to make positive improvements in other areas of my life (e.g. I eat better and drink less).  It has also introduced me to Olympic Lifting which is a fantastic sport.

August Athlete Of The Month

Ruthie Kolb

2016-08-01

Ruthie Kolb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tell us a little about yourself?
I grew up in Nashville, TN, but then I’ve lived a nomadic adulthood in which I moved to San Francisco, Switzerland, France, Indiana, and finally Denver — with the intent that Denver is a permanent stop.

As for my day-job, I started my career as a math and physics teacher who always had interests in reproductive health and justice. Those two interests morphed into sex education. Now, I work all around the state for a non-profit called Colorado Youth Matter, teaching adults (parents, teachers, other youth-serving professionals) about how to talk with young people about sex. I love making sure that youth have accurate information, skills, and resources to make decisions for their own sexual health. I love helping adults be straight-forward and unashamed about sex when talking with teens. It all makes me happy.

How and when did you get started with CrossFit?
I started with CrossFit shortly after I moved to Denver, in November 2013. I have always been really good at building muscle (my dad was a professional wrestler, if that gives you an idea of my body-type), and I was self-conscious about that. So, I tried for years to exercise in ways that wouldn’t accentuate my muscularity. Then one day, I went to a Halloween party at my brother’s CrossFit gym, looked around, and said “these people look like me!”. After that, I decided to get over myself and do what I do best — lift heavy shit.

What recreational activities/hobbies do you do/have?
I also swim on a local swim team — SQUID. I like getting into the mountains for hiking, back-packing, snow shoeing, etc. And it would be dishonest if I didn’t admit that I knit somewhat obsessively. Like an addicted fanatic.

What is your favorite cheat meal?
A Reuben.

What is your favorite thing about CrossFit?
I visit many other gyms when I’m traveling, I’ve never found a more awesome CrossFit class than the 6 AM at Vantage. They keep me coming back because they’re just. so. fun.

Additionally, while I get a bit miffed every time there’s a movement written into a WOD that I still cannot do, I love that CrossFit is so varied that there are things that I suck at despite being 3 years in…and there will always be things that I will suck at. And there are times where I excel and other people suck. I like that CrossFit challenges all of us….always. (PS. I <3 the barbell, I hate moving my own bodyweight.)

What kind of positive affect has CrossFit had on you and your life?
We jokingly-but-kinda-seriously budget CrossFit under “mental health” because I am a much more pleasant and happy person when I’ve left behind some of my angst by throwing weights around at the gym. I also feel as if I’ve found my physical niche in CrossFit because I am able to do physical movements that I never thought possible.

July Athlete of the Month

Leo Bortolotto

2016-06-29

Tell us a little about yourself? 
Hi, my name is Leo Bortolotto and I live right around the corner from Vantage with my lovely wife Shannon. We’ve lived in the neighborhood since 2012 and LOVE the area. I moved to Denver from Michigan just over 20 years ago – I can’t believe it’s been this long! Mountain biking was my original draw to Colorado and over time I’ve become somewhat of an avid road cyclist and exercise enthusiast. I own and operate a boutique wine shoppe in Lower Highland and have been doing that for just over six years.

How and when did you get started with CrossFit?
I started with Vantage about 3 years ago. I was previously involved in a “boot camp” type exercise program and decided to check out Vantage, after all it’s three blocks from my house! I started with some foundation classes and was immediately hooked.

What recreational activities/hobbies to you do/have?
I thoroughly enjoy road cycling although I have never pursued racing as an option. I enjoy hiking our Colorado wilderness as often as I can, and I enjoy incorporating yoga into my fitness routine.

What is your favorite cheat meal?
Pizza is definitely the one item that can knock me off my healthy eating path!

What is your favorite thing about CrossFit?
Community is one of the main factors that keeps me engaged with CrossFit. I’ve made so many good friends and acquaintances through Vantage. The sense of accountability and the positive environment here are just a few reasons I enjoy working out at Vantage. I enjoy the varied workouts! It’s so rare to repeat a workout and every WOD is well-thought out and structured.

 What kind of positive affect has CrossFit had on you and your life?
CrossFit has definitely elevated my fitness and stamina and has helped me add the few extra pounds of muscle I’ve been chasing after. Working out with friends and enduring a challenging WOD alongside others is something that inspires me and keeps me motivated and striving for improvement. I genuinely enjoy being part of this community. Chris and Amanda run a great program, the coaches are inspiring, positive, friendly, and motivational, and the people are supportive and encouraging. CrossFit has taken the fitness and exercise component of my life to a whole new level!

July Athlete of the Month

Becca Fogg

2016-06-29

Tell us a little about yourself?

Well I’m a Colorado girl. I grew up in Littleton, went to college in Boulder, then went back to nursing school in Denver and here we are. Now I’m an oncology nurse at Children’s.

I started at CrossFit Vantage almost 3 years ago. Crazy how fast that went! We started so Kade and I could work out together but mostly so I could force him to workout…still an ongoing battle 🙂

What recreational activities/hobbies do you do/have?

Oh everything Colorado…Hiking, camping, skiing, running, traveling, and of course taking pictures as I go.

What is your favorite cheat meal?

Mmm anything Asian, especially sushi, rice cakes, or the spicy chicken at Hop Alley.

What is your favorite thing about CrossFit?

My favorite thing about CrossFit is always seeing improvements in my skills. I also love being apart of the Vantage community 🙂

What kind of positive affect has CrossFit had on you and your life?

It has made me push myself, try things I never would by myself, allows me to work out with great friends, and have a routine. Lots of positives!

June Athlete of the Month Sean

Sean O'Donnel

2016-06-09

 Tell us a little about yourself? 

I am from Westchester PA but have lived in Detroit, Minnesota, Philly, DC, back to Philly back to Detroit, then Hawaii, then New York and finally Denver. Denver is the 8th and as of now Final home. I work for Bubba Gump Shrimp and have worked for them for that last 16 years, you could say I’m in the Shrimpin’ Business. I started with them right out of college they moved me and all my stuff to Maui right after college, which is where I met my wife Kristen (who was his employee) and lived there for 6 years.

How and when did you get started with CrossFit?

Kristen started at Vantage first, I was into the fitness thing, but had never tried CrossFit.  Kristen drug me in and that was it. Started in Oct 2014!

What recreational activities/hobbies to you do/have?
Surfing, snowboarding, mowing the lawn, vacuuming, I have two dogs and of course hanging out with the 5am crew.

What is your favorite cheat meal?
Not really a cheat, ahi poke-

What is your favorite thing about CrossFit?

It’s like recess for adults!

 What kind of positive affect has CrossFit had on you and your life?

A lot, not only from the fitness perpective but how you eat and the positive associations with life and the people.

June Athlete of the Month

Pamela Scharf

2016-06-09

IMG_4198

Tell us about yourself?
I am a native Coloradan.  I was born, raised, and went to college in Colorado.  I went to CU-Boulder for school, where I obtained a degree in mathematics, and I have worked for a management consulting firm, Willis Towers Watson, for 16 years.  I live in Wheat Ridge with my beautiful partner of 23 years and our three adorable four-legged dog children.

I started CrossFit at Vantage 2.5 years ago!  Amanda was my awesome Foundations Coach (poor woman) and I’ve been a CFV junkie ever since.  Huge thanks to Lara Davies for recommending CFV and encouraging me to join (I was totally terrified).

What recreational activities/hobbies do you do/have?

I’m up for almost anything, but I love hiking, skydiving, concerts, art exhibits and playing with my dogs.

 What is your favorite cheat meal?

I don’t diet or follow any particular nutritional program, at all, hence the ever-present Pooh-Bear belly.  I love everything, but my favorites are pasta, grilled fish, Mexican food, potatoes in any form, and ice cream.

What is your favorite thing about CrossFit?

First and foremost, I love the people and community.  It’s consistently a great group of really intelligent, fascinating, fun and kind people.  My favorite movements are thrusters, pullups, and box jumps.

What kind of positive affect has CrossFit had on you and your life?

I joined CrossFit just before hitting 40 after putting on good amount of weight in the year or two leading up to joining.  I have always been pretty active and athletic, but my same old, boring gym workout obviously just wasn’t cutting it anymore and I didn’t have the organization to break out of my rut.  I wanted something challenging that changed every day and enabled me to workout with others, both for the sense of community and for the extra push to go harder than I would ever push myself on my own.  As a result, I have lost weight, am much healthier, have experienced growth in my movement/skill set and I feel both mentally and emotionally balanced.  It’s my favorite part of every day.

  • Vantage May Member Highlight Joe Galera

    Joe Galera
    Joe has been around the world and back again, but he will always consider Minnesota home! He graduated from Minnetonka High School and went onto study at Miami University.  After college and some traveling he went to study Law at Temple University in Philadelphia! After working for some time as a public defender he decided to open up, The Law Office of Joseph W. Galera, LLC where he focuses on criminal defense and family law. He works hard to ensure that his clients get treated fairly and that he is the best advocate for his client. During the summer Joe and his wife, Laura like to spend time outdoors with their two children Sofia and Juaquim. Now that their kids are older they may even get to camp with them soon! They went to Spain last year with little Sofia and will be taking a trip to the Jersey Shore this summer with both kiddos this time around! He might just be taking part in a cheat meal of lasagna or cheesecake while there! He did not originally start at Vantage, but came to us from another gym after speaking and working with, Coach Kat. One of his favorite things about CrossFit Vantage is the community. Vantage has become like family to him and he loves how positive everyone is! He is doing things that he didn’t think that he would do and he loves the challenge! He loves that here you really can, “claim your own experience” and make it what you want it to be! Through his experience here he has his confidence has gone up and he has lost a total of 34lbs through CrossFit and taking part in the Whole Life Challenge! His energy level has increased and he can see a noticeable difference in his overall life. He is very proud that he decided to take part in the CrossFit Open 2016 because it was a challenge he would have never thought of doing and of course having Amanda as your judge isn’t all that bad either!
  • Vantage May Member Highlight Ketra Dawson

    Ketra Dawson

    Ketra grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and went to school at TCU (Go Frogs)! She came to Colorado 5 1/2 years ago. She recently just started working for Global Down Syndrome Foundation in Development. She loves going to sports events, anything outdoors and hanging
    with her friends and puppies! When she has a cheat meal it’s Mac & Cheese all the way! She started at Vantage at the end of October after she was working with a personal trainer for a few years. She started looking into CrossFit because personal training no longer fit into her budget. She spoke with her friend and Vantage Coach, Jared Scott about it and he had nothing but great things to say, so she started a few days later. CrossFit makes her do things that she wouldn’t normally do in a workout and she has made some great friends since joining Vantage! I get happy when I see dead-lifts in a workout (although 16.4 might have changed that). Although she has never been a fan of cardio she has seen
    a huge improvement since starting just a short time ago. CrossFit has helped hold her accountable for making it to the gym and it’s something
    she actually looks forward to coming in every day for. She has also found that it’s been a great to set little goals for herself along the way or for the WODs and be able to achieve them and improve!
  • Whole Life Challenge Wrap Up

    8 Week Wrap Up for the Whole Life Challenge

    Congratulations to ALL the Whole Life Challengers and a Big Congrats to the top overall Winners, Morgan Wolfgang, Joe Gallera and Coach Kat ! The challengers saw great results, from increased energy to some major changes in body composition! Joe Gallera lost a total of 30 lbs. and check out these photos from Coach Kat’s Success!

    katchallengephoto So proud of all of you for all of the great choices you’ve made to improve your health and nutrition over the past 8 weeks! If you missed the chance to participate in this Whole Life challenge, no worries! There will be another in April! You can learn more about the program here.

  • March Member Highlight Mike Donovan

    A little bit about Mike!

    I am a Colorado native and I have lived in north-west Denver for the last ten years. I went to school at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley and after graduating I started working in restaurants. I have been working for an independent bar owner for over ten years and I am now the general manager of Hopper’s Sports Grill. CrossFit Vantage is right down the block from where I live and after checking it out, it seemed like a perfect fit for what I needed. I needed a change and CrossFit was the beginning to a bunch of changes!  Bar life takes its toll long days and late nights start to add up and after a couple of years of dating I decided to ask my girlfriend, Kari to be my wife. She deserves more than an out of shape bar tender. When I have some spare time I enjoy the mountains as much as I can. The bar I work at has volleyball leagues in the summer so I try to get involved with at least one team. In the winter Kari and I usually hit up a few concerts around Denver. It takes a lot of self-control for me to avoid all the bar food that I am around pretty much all day every day.  When I cheat it usually has something to do with fried food. CrossFit works great for me because of the class structure and the easy schedule. I appreciate the group motivation and constant coaching help from the great staff at Vantage. CrossFit has helped me get out of the day to day grind at work. A more active, healthier lifestyle has become a habit as opposed to the exception that it used to be.
  • Meet Morgan and hear her story!

    My name is Morgan Wolfing. I am 28 yrs. old, and was born and raised in a small town in Utah. I am a wife, and a mother of 3! I have always struggled with my weight, self image, and being upset with myself 90% of the time. In May of 2015 I decided that it was time to make my health and fitness a priority! I started with a little weight lifting at my apartment gym, and added in some running and bicycle rides during the week. I stuck with it, and lost some weight! I started BaseCamp at CrossFit Vantage in October, and can’t even tell you how much I love it! Welcomed with open arms, and pushed to my limits….I am learning so much about myself. It has been a wonderful experience. My body is changing, and getting so much stronger. I’ve noticed so many benefits, and feel like I can do anything! I ALWAYS look forward to class on Tuesdays and Thursdays! The fact that I can bring my kiddos to the gym with me, is the icing on the cake. I appreciate that SO much! Since May, I am down a total of 45 pounds, AND can see muscles all over the place that were never visible before!  I have goals now, that never would have been imaginable before I joined Vantage! I love being part of the Vantage Family and hope everyone knows how much I appreciate all of their support!