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Big ups to Josh Howey and Danielle Worden!

Josh finished 4th in the state for wraastling and Danielle finished 3rd in the state for powerlifting

Entries in aaron sexton reads sisterhood of the travelling pants (18)

Senior Tribute 2018

by, Danielle Worden...

Jennifer Banet aka Jen

One of the most hard working athletes I know. She never gives up especially when it comes to breaking records. Off days you ask? Jen doesn't know what those are. Not only is she a top athlete but she enjoys what she does. Whenever I see her in the gym she never fails to have a smile on her face. She shines bright and inspires those around her. Overall she is an amazing person and I can't wait to see what the future has in store for her!! Good luck girl!

Jennifer's first day at the Champions Club - Summer 2014

Brendan Crawford

I honestly didn't know his first name until a month after meeting him; I only knew him as Crawford. Oh boy where do I start...besides calling everyone a "Jew" Crawford is a pretty good kid and actually quite intelligent, outside the gym. But in the gym he works hard until the work is done and from there on out it's all fun and games. He is definitely the goofball of the gym yet his dumb jokes never fail to put a smile on someone's face. The gym will be much quieter without him but overall his work ethic and personality will be missed. Good luck at Macomb and Lawrence Tech!

Crawford and his 11 am goobers from Summer 2016

...and Carter the Blob

Aaron Sexton

Aaron is one of the weirdest people ever. He can roast you and then be cool with you. A big part about what kept me trying to compete with the rest of the people in a workout is just to beat Aaron a brag to him(never beat him). He has this weird catchphrase that makes no sense whatsoever but is just so odd and catchy that Chris and I both say it. Holy potatoes Jim, its been awhile since you been in the gym.  (That rhymes, I'm a poet and I didn't even know it)

7th grade Aaron Sexton - Summer 2013

Dawson Bielski

I was hella impressed ever time I saw dawson play football and he'd be out on the field. Crossfit has worked wonders on him and from a perspective of a younger highschooler it was interesting to see someone built to be a jock be so chill and relaxed. I would always laugh when he pulled up with the purple Dodge Charger. That was so funny to me.

Super Gump in the flesh with his first double under. Summer 2016

Kenny Jensen

KENNYYYYY. By far one of the quietest people in the gym but that's ok. He works his ass off any work out I've seen him in. I remember the good ol' no on squad with Crawford, Kenny, and the little short kid(matt?mike? Something with an M). That was fun and I'm glad Kenny would be one of the few i tried to keep up with. He always gives his full and I'd like to see him back in the gym some day.

Kenny's death stare in his rookie class at Summer 2016

Walk-off for Aaron Sexton

Since the weather all week was crappy, Aaron Sexton's game on Friday against Seaholm played at Jimmy John's Stadium was postponed and moved back to yesterday. I went down to check out the first one and it did not disappoint. With the score tied 2-2 in the bottom of the 7th, Aaron walked up to the plate with no outs. He connected with the first pitch he saw and lined it down the first base line. Ball game!

In related news, the entire Troy team was featured on State Champs the other day. You can check it

And no, he still hasn't cut his hair...

Aaron Sexton on the Big Stage

By all accounts, Aaron Sexton has been taking care of business on the baseball field this spring - especially on the mound. This Friday, him and his Troy Colts are taking on Seaholm in a double header starting at 6 pm.

What's even cooler is the game will be held under the lights at the new Jimmy John's stadium in Utica. He will not be pitching either game as far as he knows, but he'll be at short and batting at the top of the order (he claims he has a "swag" walk-up song, but I'm guessing it's Call Me Maybe).

Anyway, if anyone wants to go with me after the 6:30 pm session on Friday let me know. Admission is free. Hope to see you there.

Mobility Day Highlights - Dodgeball Mashup

Last Wednesday I left halfway through the mobility session as usual to help Matt with his basketball camp at the Warren Rec center. When I talked to Shannon after, she said the kids stayed an extra half hour to play dodgeball. Apparently Mr. Fitz got the entire thing on camera and did a trippy mash-up. Check it out.

Aaron Sexton was obviously prepping for the upcoming baseball season, seeing as he left giant welts on Katie Shakes and Elizabeth that are not going away any time soon.

Hard Routine Check-in + New Editorial Alert

My first editorial of the new year will be posted Tuesday at 7 pm. It's called More Program than Gym. I think it's a good one (obviously), hope you do as well.

Today is the last official day of our Hard Routine. We asked for one week of three CrossFit sessions, 8 hours of sleep, 2 meals per day balanced P/C/F, and 6 minutes of mobility.

"I feel like a new man" - Aaron SextonHow have we held up? Mel, Mr. Carey, Fry, Bubs? Did you stick to it?

Athlete of the Fall: Rachael Kroll

In my last Building a Champion post that highlighted the parents, Mrs. Anderson’s section talked about how sometimes being taken for granted isn’t a bad thing. It means you’re reliable and generally easy to be around and help make things run smoothly. But there is definitely a point where you ignore someone’s impact for so long that there needs to be some kind of consequence. Such is the case with Rachael Kroll, who has been with the Champions Club for six years and still does not have an Athlete Profile. That should be a criminal offense. Chris freaking Binno got a profile and he was here for like 3 months.

Rachael, if you could ever forgive me, that would be cool. Here, here’s the Athlete of the Fall award. I humbly present this peace offering on my behalf as to appease your scorn henceforth. Take it!

Sometime around the late winter/early spring of this year Kelly Starrett came out with an MWOD episode that showed the Voodoo Backpack mobility drill to help shoulder position. Rachael, bless her, has been patient enough with me trying out every single mobility drill I came across in an attempt to restructure her jacked-up shoulders. I almost had it this one time but after some improvement I immediately made it worse by having her lay on a double lacrosse then do some handstand push-ups. Again with the sorry thing!

But anyway this Voodoo backpack actually worked really well and helped us realize that most of the problem was coming from the upper back and shoulder blades. So with more and more attention to these drills, Rachael’s shoulders really started to handle increased load and more dynamic movement. Mix that in with good attendance towards the end of the Summer and a work schedule that doesn’t make her only training time being a half-hour late to the 8:30 am session and good lord do we have an athlete on our hands. You know this because she is the person Shannon always looks for on the board before or after her workouts. And there were plenty to compare to.

Other than those highlights, Rachael has displayed a very well-rounded expression of a CrossFit athlete. Her bodweight movements have always been on point, but things like heavy deadlifts, push presses, and even clean and jerks are becoming more manageable for her in workouts. Everyone has a weakness, and most people have many. Kroll definitely has her fair share, but they are steadily leveling out with the rest of her athletic repertoire.


It’s weird, man. You guys know the format. Usually around this point in a mini-editorial I bring up some random thing then work my way back around to the main theme or person for the post – like The Hill and swear words or Shakes and THAT FREAKING CRICKET SOUND. But most subjects that get mini-editorial treatment on this site are very dynamic in their nature. Or a manmade death mound. But Rachael Kroll is the first thing I can remember writing about where I go into it thinking, $@#%... how am I going to do this? The hill was easy to write because it’s The Hill. Shakes is easy to write about because she is always in the gym and easy to relate to. Rachael Kroll is always in the gym too, but sometimes it’s hard to see her behind the 24” box she somehow gets overlooked. For real though, she drives 45 minutes past 13 different CrossFit gyms to hit a session that is her best option but is never at a perfect time for her (either an hour and a half early or 30 minutes late), does the full warmup like she’s asked (as long as Mama V isn’t there), works out with very good form, supports other athletes, pays ahead of time, and is compatible with any program or athlete arrangement in the gym. Rachael Kroll is the epitome of low-maintenance, and there is no trait that makes a coach happier with an athlete.

Stationed behind Mama V in a workout is not desirable and sometimes dangerous. But Kroll does not complain.

I think it a testament to how good our gym is where someone like Rachael can and will always be taken for granted. And I think it’s even more of a testament to how good of a person Rachael is that this has been going on for more than half of a decade without anything but great results. A follower she is not. She’s just KROLL on the whiteboard in small handwriting. Always there and never drawing attention to herself; sooner or later the numbers next to her name do that for her.


The fall at the Champions Club is usually the down-time of the year, but this time around it seemed like we were busier than usual. Despite missing a few big names (Andersons, Wonsil/Riha, Banet x4, Cross Kids), our sessions numbers seemed to be pretty consistent and mobility days were even more attended. Rachael Kroll was the obvious standout and judging by her August performance was the leader for Athlete of the Fall as soon as Summer ended. But special mention should be given to Aaron Sexton – who put in his best season of work in his 3 year Champions Club career and also to Reggie – who is the sane thread that keeps the Ellsworth family a strong presence in the gym.

Finally, Shannon Marchant has been more helpful this fall than any of you can imagine. She is progressing as a coach about 4 months ahead of where I thought she would be at and has been a godsend behind the scenes in helping me get the future of our gym on track.

Congratulations to Rachael and I am genuinely excited for where the winter is headed – which is something I don’t think I’ve ever said about months that come with snow.

Let’s have a good one!

PS. Athlete Profiles are almost up to date. Once Bubs comes back for more than one day we’ll finish them up. But here’s Rachael’s...

Rachael Kroll Athlete Profile

New Graduate: Aaron Sexton

Yesterday at the 6 pm session, Aaron Sexton got his first pistol while practicing for the workout.

It was not the prettiest but he still got up from it. But the strength to hold this position is something that will definitely carry over to the baseball field. With more training he should be able to do these in workouts with low reps.

Aaron has put in a good fall of training and I'm hoping that carries into the winter.