Aquila Community Blog

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Carol Penney
MomI have struggled with my weight my entire life.  As a little girl, I was chubby or as my mom would say “solid”.  My step-grandfather referred to me as “Carol the Barrel” and he suggested I should purchase my clothes at “Lane Bryant”, which I eventually did.  In high school I started swimming laps in our 34’ long pool and started counting calories.  (Since this was 40 years ago, and most of you were not even born yet, it was not common for adults to “work out” and the only exercise most kids got was in P.E.)  My little routine got results and soon became an unhealthy obsession of over exercising and starving myself.  The day I married Pat at age 25, I weighed 118lbs and  I remember thinking that I felt fat and disappointed in myself.

Five years later, when I became pregnant with Alice, the starving stopped, but I continued to work out off and on for most of the years raising the kids and occasionally dieting.  I hated working out, so boring!!  I think I created excuses not to work out.  It wasn’t enough to have three kids going three different directions with all their various activities, so I became a professional volunteer.  I was always a President or Chairman, rarely the more sensible “worker bee”.  It made for a great excuse to not eat right or have time to work out.   My body paid the price as shown in my before photo taken in July 2007.
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Cortney Martellucci
Picture 2 So what is the secret to getting fit… could it be the penalty burpees for being late? I could make a good argument for that!

When I started CrossFit in March 2009, I was stuck in a rut, working a ton, and missing out on the feel good that come from living life out-loud. This is my story…

As a kid, I was of the generation that road their bikes outside all day and played in the neighborhood, running house to house, having never made it home until 5 minutes later than my mom had set the curfew. (hey, maybe that’s why I do so many burpees every morning!) I started swimming when I was 6 and I played school sports as soon as I was old enough. I loved to work hard and play even harder! In time, I decided to dedicate my efforts to swimming. I loved swimming and found that the hard work, competition, and friendships that were a part of that world were my passion. I became a confident, strong, and determined young woman. Swimming has opened doors that serve me to this day. In college, my willingness to work hard and my love of the sport earned me success in the water and in the classroom and the experiences and memories have I hold tight!
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The Nabetas
Picture 1 A couple months ago Kaleo turned 6 years old and we decided to watch the video taken at the hospital shortly after his birth.  A few minutes into the video Kaleo innocently asked “who is that big lady?”  Brian tried not to laugh when he told Kaleo “that’s mommy.”  I was 185 lbs and apparently big enough for my own son not to recognize me.

Brian was smart to TRY to keep his laughter to himself as he had gained more than a few pounds during my pregnancy and was up to 235lbs and a size 36.  It was about that time when he got an urgent call from the doctor upon blood test results that his cholesterol levels were crazy high and had to go on medication right away to get it under control.

Over the next few years I lost some weight after being pregnant but was probably still about 145lbs and wore a size 12.  We both got some exercise in through tennis & swimming and eventually made it into the weight room for some typical 3 rounds of 10 reps type workouts.
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Cori Mering IMG_4380
I have been a CFES member for over a year now. I have always been an active person, but when I joined I never imagined I could learn to do some of the things that I can now do – pull ups, clapping push ups and a variety of Olympic weight lifting exercises. It’s kind of addictive.  Maybe that is just my crazy personality but it seems many have caught the bug!  My husband is also a member and it has been fun to watch him improve and accomplish new things. The coaching is outstanding. Justin, Travis, Chris and Brooke encourage people to excel while fostering a safe and fun environment. The personal training with Justin has also really helped me understand and better learn the technique, which has helped me build confidence on some of the more tricky lifts.  At 42 (43 now) am fitter than I have ever been.
-Cori Mering

Kenso Kagawa

IMG_1577 When I first saw an ad for CrossFit, I thought, “How is this any different than what I already do at the gym?”  It seems simple enough: lift, jump, and run, as quickly, safely, and efficiently as possible.  I felt I already had that figured out in my normal routine. Additionally, I was running around 20-30 miles/week and was convinced that anything but would result in weight gain and loss of cardiovascular ability.

I dropped into CF East Sac after my regular routine just to check it out.  No big machines, no cardio equipment, some pull up bars, and a big tire in the parking lot.  Wasn’t impressed.  To be honest, I thought there was no way I could get a workout from 20 min.  A conversation with Justin sparked my curiosity and I decided to give it a shot.  Six months later, I have let go of the mainstream chest/tricep, back/bicep days at 24 Hour and am 100% addicted and committed to CrossFit.  I truly feel that I do more in a 5-20 minute WOD than most people do in 1-2 hours at the gym.
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Pete HarIanIMG_3913

I’m 46 years old and in the best shape of my life. If you asked me a years ago to help you move a couch, I’d have told you about my bad back and knees. If you asked me to go on a run, I’d have mentioned my weak ankles. And if you asked me to go on a hike, I’d have just said “No thanks.”

After six months of regular CrossFit, instead of thinking what a drag it would be to help someone move something heavy, I think “I’ll bet I can do that.”

For the first few months I was miserable during every class. I really hated it. But I believed that what wasn’t killing me would make me stronger, and gradually I saw myself improve in strength and cardio.  Being able to run 200 meters without stopping was the first improvement I saw, and gradually everything started to improve.
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Ruth McGloughlin

IMG_1577 Just over a year ago, Chris Lene strongly encouraged me to give CrossFit a try. He had been talking about it during my workouts and even included a “WOD” every now and then during training. I must admit it all seemed rather odd to me and my workout partner Joan. Quite frankly we felt a little more than strong encouragement from Chris to give it a try. We felt like we were getting kicked out of our comfortable gym nest! I made my way over to CrossFit feeling sheepish, scared, nervous and uncomfortable. I remember telling some friends that it was a little too “meat heady” for me and that I didn’t like all of the weight lifting. Justin and Travis were more than encouraging and patient as I attempted to translate the strange language of CrossFit into something that made sense to me.
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Masson Prowse

IMG_8327 Lets imagine a 6 ft 3 inch 17 year old that weighs roughly 155 pounds. He is made up of soft tissue and fat (very little that he had). His arms are twigs and he can barely run up and down a basketball court a couple times with out being winded. Well, that was me about a year ago.

I was one of those kids that would just sit around and not really do anything. I loved basketball back then but just never got in the shape for it because I was more interested in hanging out with the wrong people and smoking all day (as much as I hate to admit it). Then I quickly shaped up my attitude and began the process of transforming my body into a basketball players body. My grandpa who I had just moved in with had suggested I try a gym called CrossFit. I thought it would be a waste of my time and after a couple of weeks of putting it off I finally attended a class. I fell in love right off the bat!
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Linda GatesIMG_4420
At age 50, I found myself out of energy, over weight, and waking up most every day with back pain and headaches.  My doctor placed me on medications for high cholesterol and high blood pressure.  I have been a active person all my life in a recreational sense, but had little understanding of fitness.  I came to a place in my life where I knew it was time to make some changes, so I made the commitment to myself to start doing CrossFit to never give up, no matter what.


I really didn’t think I could do the things my son Justin said were possible, but as we say at our house, “I drank the juice.”  After 7 months of blood sweat and tears I have turned the corner thanks to trainers at CFES and their never ending commitment to excellence.  All my blood work from the doctor is good.  My blood pressure and cholesterol are back to normal and I am medication free.

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Jennifer Reynaga

0045  About two years ago I became a runner. I ran on my own and worked up to my first race, a half marathon. That same year I trained on my own and ran three marathons in five months, qualifying for the Boston Marathon on my second race. Never having done much athletically before, I just kept doing what I was doing and expected to get faster. But I had stalled and was getting nagging overuse injuries. I ran fifty miles a week for two months before the Boston Marathon and did not improve my marathon time. I was hurting more and not getting faster. I needed to do something different, but was not familiar or comfortable with fitness communities.
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Jeff Frost 6a010534fc7768970b0133ecbdb749970b-300x225.jpg
I’m 38 years old and have been riding and racing motorcycles for about 26 years.  This sport has left me with several nagging injuries including some extra hardware in my leg, foot and shoulder.  I found CrossFit in February of 2009 while I was searching for body weight exercises.  At the time, I had a broken foot and had been told by the doctor that I can do anything as long as I wear that brace they put me in.  At the time, the main site had a run of body weight WODs and that’s how I got started.

In the summer of that same year, my friend Brendhan suggested that I check out CrossFit East Sacramento.  For the rest of 2009, I spent lots of time doing personal training sessions with Justin as the regular class times didn’t fit my schedule.  I participated in the FGB IV event on my birthday as well as a few other group workouts and realized how great the sense of community is at CFES.

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Sabrina and Trey Teller
6a010534fc7768970b0133ec98f0df970b-300x225.jpgTrey and I joined CFES in May 2009 and since then have become some of your most vocal ambassadors to our family and friends.  We’ve both been active and athletic all of our lives, but were never able to find, until now, the fitness program we wanted to stick with for the rest of our lives.  I’ve been an equestrian, a distance runner, a kickboxer, and a boxer, but I was always plagued by repetitive stress injuries that made me frustrated and led me to look for something different to stay in shape.  (That, and I also decided that receiving repeated blows to the head was really not a smart, long-term work productivity strategy.)  Trey has been a BMX racer, basketball player, kickboxer, runner, and now a mountain biker, but he too suffered repeated injuries that forced him to lay off his favorite activities to heal up.  Add to that the fact that we both have sedentary, but stressful jobs that require us to have a physical outlet if we want to stay healthy and productive.

I tried a free class one Saturday morning after driving by and curiously surfing the website.  I had read all about WODs, the CrossFit Games, and the philosophy behind CrossFit, but I still wasn’t quite sure what I was in for.  I was treated to an awesomely challenging but fun workout and came home bright red, sweaty and exhilarated.  When I walked in the door, I told Trey, “I found a place we’re both going to love.  You’re coming with me next Saturday.”  He tried it the following week, loved it like I did, and we both joined up immediately.
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Joan Abate 6a010534fc7768970b012876fe6dfd970c-300x225.jpg
Over the past several years I spent plenty of time in various gyms and always found myself getting bored.  I never really pushed myself as hard as I could or should during instructor led classes or my own less than challenging workouts.  So when I was approached by my friend Ruth to share a personal training session with Chris Lene, I jumped at the opportunity.  As Chris pushed us to do things that we had never done before, he kept talking about CrossFit.  Chris introduced us to WOD’s and strongly suggested we give CrossFit a try.   So we decided we would, not knowing exactly what we were walking into, and that is when we met Justin and Travis for the first time.

At first, I was a bit overwhelmed with what was going on, but Justin and Travis broke everything down in steps making it easier to understand what I was supposed to be doing.  Some things I could pick up faster than others, like double-unders, but other things were extremely challenging.  Early on, I had a high level of frustration because I couldn’t do the basic movements let alone the fact that I had never done any type of weightlifting prior to CrossFit.  I was my own worst critic.  I kept asking myself for example, how hard can it be to do an air squat?  How can I move on and do front or back squats if I can’t even do an air squat.  Justin and Travis never gave up on me and continued to coaching and encouraging me to keep at it until I got it right.  Everyone else in the community was very supportive which was also very helpful.  I feel myself getting stronger with each and every front and back squat, and my next goal is to master that ever so frustrating overhead squat.
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Bryant Harris

Picture 1 I’ve been had.  I’ve been took.  I’ve been HOODWINKED, BAMBOOZLED, led astray, run amok!  How’d I end up here?!?!?  To be honest, I knew nothing of CrossFit, let alone had any intentions of joining CFES.  I had recently moved to Sacramento and was trying to build my business in East Sac and was going to local business trying to get brand recognition and stumbled into CrossFit East Sacramento – at the time I thought it was another gym.

Unbeknownst to me while I was trying to market myself and Chiropractic to Justin, he had been able to flip the script and proceeded to tell me the philosophy behind CrossFit – constantly varied, high intensity, functional training; and it peeked my curiosity.  Although I remained a skeptic, I was interested in giving it a try – hold up, how’d the tables get turned, I was trying to get business from him and he turned me into a client; DAMNIT! It was suggested that if I could come in on a specific Saturday to do a workout that I should  – WHAT DID I GET MYSELF INTO?!?!  I arranged my schedule so I could come and I was welcomed by…::drum roll please::……FILTHY FIFTIES!!!!  WTF is this?!?!!?  I’ve been set up and this man was trying to kill me!!! Right then I realized that CrossFit was something different, even more so CFES.
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Ryan Lippman (before and after 8 months)
Picture 2
My parents always instilled the importance of eating right. I was never allowed to leave the table until I ate everything on my plate. Steak, no problem. Salmon, great. Salad, hell no! Little did I know that these habits would come back in a huge way later in life.

Through my college years, I strayed away from high intensity sports and focused more on what was important at the time – girls, parties and all of the “other things” that come along with them. I grew into a big, fat, boozy mess of a college kid. From time to time I would do strength training – you know, bench presses, curls, military presses, the standard 24hour fitness routine – yes, “mirror staring” is considered a workout there. All I saw was a more swollen tubby dude staring back at me. To give you some perspective – throughout high school I weighed no more than 160#. When I graduated college I had ballooned up to 210#. I was a mess. Upon graduating college, I immediately focused on my career. Gym? Who has time for that – I need to make that money! Over time, the stress of a messy personal life as well as the demands of a job that was out of town had me falling back into old habits. I was constantly tired, ate like crap, slept a ton and couldn’t figure out why I was always tired and why I looked like crap. The answer was staring me in the face the whole time – I needed to get back to who I really was.
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Posted by Justin Riley

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