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Entries in new graduate (232)

New Graduate: Danielle Schornack

Yesterday afternoon Danielle Schornack finished her 7th and final Fundamentals session with a good effort on Helen, modified with 150m runs (200 on the last round), 8k kettlebells, and ring rows.

Danielle has had a very productive set of sessions with me and managed to do better than I was expecting. The skill side of things is looking good - including kipping, Pose, and unweighting; the strength is there too, especially lower-body. The stamina and endurance is not, but will come in time. The thing I've seen improve most, though, is her mentality and toughness.

CrossFit makes you uncomfortable, and at the Champions Club we don't really bias towards what people are good at. If you are bad at something, you best believe we don't skip it - at least too often. Over the course of Fundamentals, Danielle has been presented with opportunities to do many things she's not good at: rope climbs, push-ups, multiple reps of squats, etc. It seemed at the beginning she reached mental fatigue before her legs and arms did, and she would talk herself out of something. But especially after her last couple sessions, this has not been the case. So here and now I'm putting this out in public that Danielle Schornack is an athlete and is strong and will not be settling for anything less! She's officially getting the Shaka/Arlene treatment. Welcome to the Champions Club kiddo!

Ghosts of Champions Club past: Erica "EP" Potter

New Graduate: James Simasko

Country Day freshman James Simasko finished his final Fundamentals session on Saturday by doing a modified version of Fran instead of Helen due to the torrential downpour we were witnessing at the time of the session.

James really made some great strides in his body control and coordination over the course of our Fundamentals sessions. His squat and midline stability improved a lot, and he even managed to get the rhythm for 12 kipping pull-ups in a row with a skinny green band.

The most difficult part about his Fundamentals was actually getting him in the gym. He lives in St. Clair Shores, goes to school in Beverly Hills, and spends a lot of time making sure his homework is on point. But the school year is winding down and I have high hopes that James will be able to make it to the gym consistently. If that can happen, I think we're going to see the biggest athletic transformation at the Champions Club since Carter the Blob turned into a more opaque solid in 2015-2016 (which he has since reverted, but that's a different story). I'm also looking forward to seeing his grandpa dropping him off and getting to hear those cool Tennessee stories.

Either way, welcome to the Champions Club James!

Ghosts of Champions Club past: Joe Wonsil

New Graduate: Cecilia's Rope Climb

To round off our week of graduations, New Kid on the Block Cecilia Steinwascher got her first rope climb today during the warmup of our morning session.

Cecilia has about as much Champions Club hype as any New Kid since David Saporito back in 2013, and while she's early in the process, she's been impressing so far. Keep up the good work kiddo!

New Graduate: Cecilia

Yesterday morning, Cecilia Steinwascher finished her last Fundamentals session with me and will be ready to join the group.

Over the course of our condensed Fundamentals we spent a lot of time on midline stability - especially correcting overextension - and skill. With the latter we hade a good amount of progress on the final day with Pose running and unweighting. She also got the hang of kipping pull-ups after a few days.

Her final workout was Helen, modified to 200-meter runs, 12k kettlebell swings, and skinny green band kipping pull-ups with a slight assist from me. On a side note, I think I might be opting for that more in hopes of bringing on kipping pull-ups quicker. But anyway, this was a great Fundamentals block from my perspective. Cec shared some goals she has about soccer for the next year, as well as the possibility of playing beyond college. She seems to be completely on board and bought in on both the fitness and nutrition side of CrossFit. I have a great feeling about this kid - we might find her on the Summer 2018 Dream Team. But until then, welcome to the Champions Club!

Ghosts of Champions Club past: Lauren Higgins

New Graduate: Barry

I thought we were done with the graduations after the eventful 4:30 session. But it appears I was wrong. So there I was spotting Angie on another great handstand during the warmup of the 5:30 pm session; my full attention on her, I had no idea that her husband, Barry, was climbing the rope behind me.

When I turned around I saw something like this:

During Fundamentals, Barry was crazy proud of himself for going three pulls up on a rope - which is something that eluded him dating back to his grade school P.E. days. So for him to do this now at the oldest member of our regular group is really awesome. And for him to wander off on his own and attempt the single most risky thing in the gym when he was supposed to be doing the warmup with me is so spot-on with my Mr. Warthman comparison!

Seriously though, Barry is that dude! Determined to do whatever pops in his head. I can always work with that. Great job my man!


And this concludes our New Graduate Rope Climb onslaught from May 1, 2018. Scroll down for Coach Casey and Mr. Bennis.

New Graduate: Mr. Bennis

So after the chaos with Coach Casey finishing his first rope climb was in the books, I came to a sudden realization... why the hell hasn't Mr. Bennis climbed the rope yet?! Naturally I made fun of him in front of everyone and he promptly made his way to the rope, wrapped his feet the wrong way, and ran out of steam about 4 inches from the top.

The next round of the warmup he tried it again and climbed it like a seasoned vet.

Mr. Bennis is the second in his family to climb the rope, which is expected considering Baby Josh spends more time hanging off the ground than hanging out on it. He's a secretly strong and competitive dude, so we can't be surprised to see this so soon in his Champions Club career. In all honesty, he probably could have tricep-extensioned his way up there but used the foot wrapping to make all us feel better. Him and Reggie should arm wraastle. But that's besides the point. Great work neighbor!

New Graduate: Coach Casey

We had three new rope climbers at the sessions today, and would have probably been a 4th if Bewick wasn't a pansy, so I figured I'd give them each their own post in the order they happened. The first is Coach Casey Colussi.

Yes you are seeing that correct; not only is he wearing the classic Brian Scalabrine's, but after relocating his body 15 feet off the ground for the first time in his life (also about 7 feet higher than his shoesake ever touched), he proceeds to remove not one but both hands from the thing that he used to get up there in the first place. I can't say I recommend that, but I can say that I'm very impressed! Just during Fundamentals around a month ago he could barely do the 3-second hang test from the rope. On the first attempt of the warmup he made it straight to the top with ease!

Great work Coach! The entire session was rocking with you on the way up. Now you got something on your entire family. I'm predicting Mallory is the next to follow...