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Helen Bowen

March // 2018

Helen has an incredible attitude and is always very positive when she comes in the gym. She is very open and vulnerable about her struggles and why she comes to Coyote, and her openness really helps other athletes who are going through the same thing. Helen is very consistent and gives her best effort every day she comes in the gym. She also sets a great example for her family as she has gotten her husband, Alan, and her son, John-David, into CrossFit as well. We are so glad to have Helen as a part of the Coyote family.

Helen Bowen

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Tell us a little about yourself

I've been married to Alan Bowen, also a Coyote member, for 10 years and have two sons, Kelly Bass, who is married to Julia, and John-David Bass, also a Coyote member.  I'm a pianist, vocalist and have been the Director of Music at my church, St. Luke's United Methodist in Fondren for 30 years. I also accompany 3 school choirs: Olde Towne Middle School, Germantown Middle School and Germantown High School. I retired in 2012 from Madison County Schools after 27 years of teaching elementary music.  Alabama Football is my favorite sport to watch! ROLL TIDE!!  I love tennis as well and hope to start playing again soon.  I adore dogs and have 3: a Shih Tzu, who is 18, a Schnoodle, who is my baby, and a black Lab mix, who is a rescue.  

Any Special Memories from your time at Coyote?

I'll never forget the first time I was able to jump rope again.  I literally could not make my body jump off the ground at the beginning. I also couldn't do one sit up, so Chris put 50# weights on top of my feet to help me. When I did the first sit ups without the weights, I think I cried again-this time for joy!  When I lifted over 100 pounds the first time, it was so exciting and I got hooked on lifting. A few weeks ago, I was able to hang from a bar for almost 10 seconds.  That doesn't sound like a big deal probably, but it's huge for me!  There have been so many big milestones, that I can't remember them all.

has crossfit affected your life outside of the gym?

I can function so much better-physically and mentally! Life is hard! Everybody needs to workout to relieve that stress in order to find happiness!  I know without a doubt that God led me into Coyote that day in June 2015.  Chris was at the desk and the passion that he had for Crossfit reached out to me.  I didn't think I had enough money to do it, but I did it anyway and it changed my life in so many ways for the better!

What advice would you give to someone just starting crossfit?

LISTEN TO THE COACHES AND DO EXACTLY WHAT THEY SAY!  Also, get rid of negative self talk and try to be patient with yourself.  Chris told me this: "Would you talk that way to John-David or your friends? Then, don't do it to yourself."  Such wise counsel!

what were you doing before crossfit?

NOTHING!! I was depressed.  I worked 3 jobs most of my working life and was exhausted when I retired from teaching.  I basically sat down for 3 years, did my church job and ate.  I was the biggest I had ever been in my life and could barely walk up the stairs from my office at church to the organ bench in the choir loft.  It was awful!

whats something we might not know about you?

I raised horses most of my young life and really miss riding!  I loved singing in the Mississippi Opera in the 1980's.  The actor, Judge Reinhold, from The Santa Clause movies, came to my class in 1996 and helped my kids learn more about acting as we prepared our annual musical.  His nephew was my student at the time.  It was great fun!

what were your goals when you joined coyote?

Hunter told our On Ramp class that he was going to ask us our reason for joining at the end of the 2 weeks.  My reason was simply not to die young.  I wanted to lose weight and feel strong again.

have you achieved any of these goals?

Yes! I lost 45 pounds in about 9 months and felt so much better physically and mentally!  However, I have had some set backs.  I had to have emergency surgery for a strangulated umbilical hernia that I had for many years and had to have half my abdomen covered with mesh.  I was out of Crossfit for almost 4 months and got depressed again, slipped back into some old bad habits and gained some of the weight back during recovery. Chris helped me start again very slowly and little by little with much scaling to the WODS, I was back on the right path. Then in late 2017, I started having severe pain going down the back of my left leg into to the back of my knee. Chris told me to see a physical therapist, Dr. Bill Thomas, who found that my lower spine is compressed some because of a broken tail bone I got in 2009. Between that and the piriformis muscle irritating my sciatic nerve, I could not bend my leg and it would give out. I had to be out again for 3 months for treatment.  Dr. Thomas helped me so much and gave me stretches and special ab exercises to do. Once he released me to come back to class, I started over again and with Chris and Hunter's help, patience and excellent training I am able to do most things without pain!  I'm feeling strong and am starting to lose weight again!  I COULD NOT HAVE DONE THIS WITHOUT THEM AND AM SO GRATEFUL FOR THEIR HELP IN MY LIFE!

what were your thoughts after your first workout?

I could hardly breathe, had to take my inhaler for asthma and was disgusted with myself.  I couldn't believe that I had let myself get that way. I cried because I felt so terrible about myself.

what is your favorite workout?

I guess I should say "Helen" of course! 

When did you start Crossfit?

June 2015

what is your favorite cheat meal?

Papitos Fiesta Chicken at Margaritas and chocolate

What is your least favorite workout?

One with a lot of Wall Balls

What is your least favorite lift?

Snatch

what is your favorite lift?

Back Squat

 

Sam Riden

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When did you start doing CrossFit?

I really can't remember.

What were you doing before Crossfit?

Nothing, I was in awful shape and Nothing the 5 years before

Tell us something we might not know about you.

The first time I attempted a squat max, I folded like a paper napkin under a 185 lbs bar.

What advice would you give someone just starting at Coyote?

Just show up! You will miss days, maybe months, but keep going and don’t get discouraged. If you average 2 classes a week, you will accumulate 520 hours of exercise over 5 years. 520 hours will make a huge difference!

Do you have any special memories/achievements during your time at Coyote?

When I beat Ty Owen head to head in Badger. 

 
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Has CrossFit affected your life outside of the gym?

Kelly Jo and I met a lot of the group we do life with at Coyote. I’ve personally learned more about genuine authentic community because of Coyote than anywhere else. 

 

Tell us a little about yourself (family, job, sports, interests, etc.)

I’m a follower of Christ, Husband, Father and serve a great team in the promotional and print advertising space. My favorite hobby is probably  Duck Hunting or Realestate. 

 

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What were your thoughts after your first WOD?

Why is this so hard!

What were your goals when you joined Coyote?

To take care of myself and be healthier.

Have you achieved any of these goals?

Yes, I’m in the best shape of my life.

What is your favorite cheat meal?

Bag of Double Stuffed Oreos 


What is your least favorite WOD?

Anytime I have to go against Ben Derrick.

What is your favorite WOD?

18.1, Murph or Badger

-What is your least favorite lift?

Thruster

 

What is your favorite lift?

Clean 

 
 

Kenny Hall 

 

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When did you start doing CrossFit?

3 years ago in October

What were you doing before Crossfit?

Sitting on the couch and eating everything

Tell us something we might not know about you.

Don’t listen to the people who say you can’t do it or you will get hurt

What advice would you give someone just starting at Coyote?

Don’t listen to the people who say you can’t do it or you will get hurt

Do you have any special memories/achievements during your time at Coyote?

The workout we did for Katie Allen’s pregnancy where we taped wall balls to our stomach

 
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Has CrossFit affected your life outside of the gym?

Totally, my energy level has completely changed and I feel so much better

 

Tell us a little about yourself (family, job, sports, interests, etc.)

Wife-Stacey Kids-Seth and Mollie.  We own Cypress Depot.  I love watching my kids compete in sports, and I play a lot of softball

 

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What were your thoughts after your first WOD?

I’m about to puke! What have I gotten myself into?!

What were your goals when you joined Coyote?

To get in any sort of shape and feel better

Have you achieved any of these goals?

100%

What is your favorite cheat meal?

Kenny politely declined to answer this part of the questionnaire.  


What is your least favorite WOD?

“Fran” (1st workout-1st day ever)

What is your favorite WOD?

“Annie” (I can’t do double unders)

-What is your least favorite lift?

Deadlift, Overhead Squat

 

What is your favorite lift?

Power Clean

 
 

Trey Pittman

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When did you start doing CrossFit?

April of 2015, so 3 years ago.

What were you doing before Crossfit?

Nothing, I was in awful shape and didn’t take care of myself.  Every year or so I would tell myself I was going to get back in shape.  I would join a local gym and go for about 2-3 months then fall off.

Tell us something we might not know about you.

I am a bit of a closet nerd.  I love videogames and reading about theoretical physics.

What advice would you give someone just starting at Coyote?

Listen to the coaches.  It’s really that simple.  Don’t worry about how much weight your moving or how many reps you’re doing just focus on technique and mobility.

Do you have any special memories/achievements during your time at Coyote?

This is an easy one.  Seeing how encouraging and excited everyone gets for you when you hit a new personal best or when you are grinding out a tough workout.  This really stands out to me because the enjoyment of these experiences would be pretty mediocre without the people around you.

 
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Has CrossFit affected your life outside of the gym?

Yes, I used to have back and hip problems from sitting all day in my office, now all of that is gone.  I can also notice a huge difference when playing with my kids. 

 

 
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Tell us a little about yourself (family, job, sports, interests, etc.)

I married my high school sweetheart, Lauren.  We have been blessed with two awesome kids, James and Elizabeth. We are members of Madison Heights Church.  I try to play golf every once in a while, although it’s not very pretty.

 

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What were your thoughts after your first WOD?

It was 4 rounds of 400m runs and some box jumps.  I think I laid on the ground after the 2nd run and couldn’t finish.  I remember laying on the ground and realizing how bad of shape I was in.  I also realized that an all-out sprint on the first 400m was a terrible strategy.

What were your goals when you joined Coyote?

My primary goal was to try to meet new people as I moved here from Dallas and didn’t know a lot of people.

Have you achieved any of these goals?

Definitely, I have a lot of friendships that extend outside of the gym and as a side benefit I’m in the best shape of my life. 

What is your favorite cheat meal?

Tie between Chips and Queso, or a pizza


What is your least favorite WOD?

Anything that involves the assault bike…

What is your favorite WOD?

Diane

-What is your least favorite lift?

High-Rep Back Squats

What is your favorite lift?

Clean & Jerk

 
 

Shelly Webb

 

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When did you start doing CrossFit?

September 2013

What were you doing before Crossfit?

Running a few miles here and there

Tell us something we might not know about you.

I used to be a cheerleading instructor for UCA and I still like to impress my kids by flipping around in the backyard and at the trampoline park

What advice would you give someone just starting at Coyote?

To stick with it and don’t hesitate to ask the coaches for help if you are struggling!  Even if you can only come once or twice a week at first, keep doing that consistently!! Celebrate even the smallest improvements that you make.

Do you have any special memories/achievements during your time at Coyote?

I competed in the Open for the first time this year and it was an awesome experience!

 
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Has CrossFit affected your life outside of the gym?

Absolutely.  I feel much more confident facing a challenge at work or in my personal life than I used to.  My perspective seemed to change when I realized that I was physically capable of so much more than I thought.

 

Tell us a little about yourself (family, job, sports, interests, etc.)

I am a pharmaceutical sales rep and I have three young girls and a husband named Richard.  We love Mississippi State sports, road trips and fishing with our kids.

 

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What were your thoughts after your first WOD?

I’m glad I didn’t throw up or pass out because that would have been embarrassing!

What were your goals when you joined Coyote?

I wanted to find a workout that I enjoyed doing so that I would stick to it!

Have you achieved any of these goals?

Yes.  I have been doing CrossFit pretty consistently for about 5 years

What is your favorite cheat meal?

Bop’s Ice Cream


What is your least favorite WOD?

Anything that involves running

What is your favorite WOD?

Anything that involves a barbell

-What is your least favorite lift?

Bench Press

 

What is your favorite lift?

I have two!  Overhead squat and front squat

 
 

Juli-Ann Marquette

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When did you start doing CrossFit?

2011ish

What were you doing before Crossfit?

Running half-marathons

Tell us something we might not know about you.

I hate having my picture taken.

What advice would you give someone just starting at Coyote?

Take it slowly. Leave your ego at the door and develop the basics of movement from the get-go. The rest will come eventually.

Do you have any special memories/achievements during your time at Coyote?

The friendships that have flourished while competing and training in CrossFit will last a lifetime.

 
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Has CrossFit affected your life outside of the gym?

Absolutely. I was able to utilize my strengths in gymnastics to overcome a wall in an obstacle course at a retreat. Felt pretty proud of myself.

 

Tell us a little about yourself (family, job, sports, interests, etc.)

Married to Chris, and mom to Austin, both of whom are members. I work for a wealth management firm. I played some high school basketball and co-rec softball. We like to woodwork and make furniture. 

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What were your thoughts after your first WOD?

"Chris Allen is Satan. I hate him."

What were your goals when you joined Coyote?

To be a more all-around fit person.

Have you achieved any of these goals?

Most definitely! I love the gymnastic movements and feel that CrossFit has helped me develop those skills immensely.

What is your favorite cheat meal?

Gumbo


What is your least favorite WOD?

Fran

What is your favorite WOD?

Annie

-What is your least favorite lift?

Clean or Thruster

 

What is your favorite lift?

Fran

 
 

John Calvert

 

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When did you start doing CrossFit?

Feb 1, 2018 (and 6 months during 2014)

What were you doing before Crossfit?

Casually running around the neighborhood.

Tell us something we might not know about you.

I enjoy wood working and doing home improvement jobs.

What advice would you give someone just starting at Coyote?

No matter how many names are up on the whiteboard, the biggest competition you have is yourself. Once you embrace that, every day you come to the gym will be rewarding.

Do you have any special memories/achievements during your time at Coyote?

Getting my first ring muscle up about a month ago was a great feeling.

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Has CrossFit affected your life outside of the gym?

Yes, I feel much better in my daily life and my clothes fit better than before.

 

Tell us a little about yourself (family, job, sports, interests, etc.)

I am married to my fantastic wife, April. I am an avid player of tennis and golf. I am a huge sports fan of both college and pro football, basketball, and baseball. My wife and I enjoy spending the weekends on our boat out at Lake Caroline.

 

 

What were your thoughts after your first WOD?

Man, this is going to hurt tomorrow.

What were your goals when you joined Coyote?

Lose weight and get in overall better shape.

Have you achieved any of these goals?

Yes, but there is always more progress to make.

What is your favorite cheat meal?

Ice cream

 
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What is your least favorite WOD?

Fran

What is your favorite WOD?

The Chief

-What is your least favorite lift?

Thrusters

 

What is your favorite lift?

Hang Cleans

 
 

Bridgforth Rutledge

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When did you start doing CrossFit?

About two years ago

What were you doing before Crossfit?

I was working out in a traditional gym, which I had done since I was about 19 years old.

Tell us something we might not know about you.

The first time I attempted a squat max, I folded like a paper napkin under a 185 lbs bar.

What advice would you give someone just starting at Coyote?

It may be painful at first as your body adjusts to the new movements, but stick with it and don’t miss workouts because you are sore. Your body will adjust and it will feel much better after you have being doing it a while. I was really surprised that merely continuing to work out actually caused my aches and pains to go away rather than get worse. I’m sure that this is not always the case depending on the nature and severity of the pain, but this was the case for me. The first two months caused my body to hurt pretty badly (including my knees), but I now have very little pain at all, at least not on a consistent basis. Crossfit caused me to think of my pre-CF body as somewhat of a rusty bolt, and doing all of the stretching, lifting, and new movements help break the rust away and cause the bolt to be able to move like it was designed to do. Looking back now, although I have worked out for years in traditional gyms, I think of all of the movements that my body would likely have never done without Crossfit and how that sedentariness would have detrimentally affected my body and health.

Do you have any special memories/achievements during your time at Coyote?

I remember when I was first able to do a relatively long string of double-unders. And, by “relatively long,” I mean “pretty short, but better than two.” I think I told the instructor to watch as if I was a 9 year old kid. Unfortunately, the skill leaves and returns on a regular basis.

 
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Has CrossFit affected your life outside of the gym?

It has reduced my anxiety and stress levels.

 

Tell us a little about yourself (family, job, sports, interests, etc.)

I enjoy eating while laying on my side resting on my elbow, much like the ancient Greeks and Romans did while wearing loin cloths. I also sometimes wear a loin cloth while doing it.

 

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What were your thoughts after your first WOD?

Literally, can I handle this kind of suffering on a regular basis?

What were your goals when you joined Coyote?

To reduce my body fat percentage, get in better overall shape, and reduce anxiety.

Have you achieved any of these goals?

Absolutely. I am not where I want to be, but CrossFit has forced my body to do things that it would have otherwise never done.

What is your favorite cheat meal?

A giant, juicy hamburger.


What is your least favorite WOD?

Anything that includes thrusters.

What is your favorite WOD?

Workouts that include moderate weight lifting, but a good bit of aerobic work. I don’t have one particular workout that is my favorite.

-What is your least favorite lift?

Thruster. It hurts.

 

What is your favorite lift?

I like the clean-and-jerk.

 
 

Laura McMaster 

 

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When did you start doing CrossFit?

2013

What were you doing before Crossfit?

Was a member of Fitness Lady and D1

Tell us something we might not know about you.

I’m competitive! Anytime we play a game for warm-up at CF i really want to win 😬

What advice would you give someone just starting at Coyote?

Start slow and scale movements until you’re ready

Do you have any special memories/achievements during your time at Coyote?

I’ve loved getting to meet new people at the gym.

 
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Tell us a little about yourself (family, job, sports, interests, etc.)

Been married to Ron for 14 years and we have 3 kids...Will (12) Livie (10) and Charlotte (7)

 

What were your thoughts after your first WOD?

It was one of the best workouts I had ever had.

What were your goals when you joined Coyote?

I wanted to stay in shape

Have you achieved any of these goals?

Yes...I’m in some of the best shaped I’ve ever been in.

What is your favorite cheat meal?

Cheeseburger and French fries 


What is your least favorite WOD?

Anything with thrusters

What is your favorite WOD?

“Anything with burpees and box jumps

-What is your least favorite lift?

Snatch

 

What is your favorite lift?

Clean and jerk

 
 

Savannah Davis

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When did you start doing CrossFit?

January 2016

What were you doing before Crossfit?

I played several sports in high school, but I didn’t do much in college or thereafter until I started biking on the Trace trails a couple years before I started at Coyote.

Tell us something we might not know about you.

I’m actually a nerd... and collect coffee mugs from places I’ve traveled 

What advice would you give someone just starting at Coyote?

It’s really not scary, just be consistent and open to advice... and the people are really what make it awesome 

Do you have any special memories/achievements during your time at Coyote?

I did my first competition here with only 5 months of CrossFit behind me. Also, I recently pr’d my Fran time by a good bit, so that was fun

 
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Has CrossFit affected your life outside of the gym?

Absolutely, I am much more confident now in being able to do things, and I have so many awesome friends I have made here

 

Tell us a little about yourself (family, job, sports, interests, etc.)

I am the graphic designer across the street at First Baptist Madison, and I have a rescue dog named Reo

 

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What were your thoughts after your first WOD?

I’m just gonna lay here for a little while... but I’ll be back tomorrow 

What were your goals when you joined Coyote?

I don’t really think I had any specific goals. That quickly changed to things like do a pull up, run the full 400m without slowing down, etc. 

Have you achieved any of these goals?

I have exceeded them and accomplished things I didn’t think I would.  

What is your favorite cheat meal?

Depends.. anything from pizza to queso smothered stuff 


What is your least favorite WOD?

Anything with wallballs or running 

What is your favorite WOD?

I’ve grown to like anything with double unders and snatches 

-What is your least favorite lift?

Thruster

 

What is your favorite lift?

Snatch 

 
 

Sarah Elizabeth Scales

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When did you start doing CrossFit?

I started CrossFit in June 2014. 

What were you doing before Crossfit?

I played softball in high school and competitively in the summer. I did strength and conditioning for school ball and spent the better part of summer weekends in a squat. 

Tell us something we might not know about you.

That’s interesting? Hmm. I have an extra bone in my right foot. 

What advice would you give someone just starting at Coyote?

I’m convinced that if you can find a church or a CrossFit box, you can find a sense of community. WODs may be rough or you might not be feeling it on any given day, but the community of folks at Coyote make those days worth it. Lean into not only the fitness aspects of CrossFit but the character of the community of which you are a part! 

Do you have any special memories/achievements during your time at Coyote?

One of my favorite memories is from January 2016. I got my first strict hand stand push-up without a plate on my 20th birthday which also happened to be the day West Virginia beat #1 ranked Kansas in men’s basketball. It was a fun day all around. There was one day I was the only one doing the workout in the class so I did it with a couple of the competitor guys. They kicked by butt, but it was a lot of fun!! 

 
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Has CrossFit affected your life outside of the gym?

Definitely. One of my dad’s favorite sayings is “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” In a workout you have to judge how hard you can push but still be able to maintain the overall pace you want to keep for the WOD. That translates so well to life. Whether it’s getting through a week of tests and presentations or just day-to-day things, I find the logic and approach to CrossFit helps me take things one bite at a time. 

 

Tell us a little about yourself (family, job, sports, interests, etc.)

I’m from Madison, and I just graduated from Millsaps College with a major in biochemistry and minor in history. I played softball through my sophomore year of college and spent many a weekend with my mom and dad traveling to tournaments around the southeast. Now we like to take day trips to Baton Rouge and Tuscaloosa to watch games when we can. I’m on only child, so my mom, dad, and I are a close bunch. Mrs. Carrie and I frequently talk about our love of Hamilton and the West Wing when we are in the gym at the same time. I am a proud West (by God) Virginia mountaineer!

 

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What were your thoughts after your first WOD?

I breathe really loudly, so I was really worried about what the other folks in the box would think when they heard me breathing. 

What were your goals when you joined Coyote?

I wanted some form of conditioning that would hold me accountable and have me prepared for conditioning tests in the fall. Beyond that, I had seen the enthusiasm that friends had for CrossFit, and I wanted to experience that for myself. 

Have you achieved any of these goals?

For sure. I was ready for most anything that coaches pulled out of their hats for conditioning in college. I love CrossFit more now than when I started, and I am no less enthusiastic about getting to go in for a WOD. 

What is your favorite cheat meal?

I’m a sucker for a peanut butter and jelly on raisin bread. Or waffles. 


What is your least favorite WOD?

Any workout with wall balls. 

What is your favorite WOD?

I like Fran or anything with heavy weight. 

-What is your least favorite lift?

Snatches

What is your favorite lift?

Cleans!