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Entries in new kids (16)

New Kids on the Block: The Miranda Family

We have a new family on board at the Champions Club, courtesy of a recommendation from my Uncle Mike and GA softball/basketball. Mrs. Vickie (mom), Alicia (7th grade), and Eirene (10th grade) have joined fundamentals and started their first session this weekend.

What started as a private basketball session for Eirene (pronounced ee-re-knee) turned into the entire Miranda family signing up for Fundamentals. The sisters are constantly bickering back and forth, which provides a lot of entertainment, and Mrs. Vickie just sits back and laughs. 

Eirene is the most serious of the group, and is set on getting herself stronger and more conditioned to be a better basketball player. Mrs. Vickie has never really done a formal workout program before and wants to improve her health. Alicia seems to just be along for the ride; her attention span wonders as much as her knees on squats. But as a 5'9 7th grade basketball player, there is a lot of upside here for sure!

We'll check back in after they finish up. But in the meantime, I'm definitely excited to coach this group!

New Kids on the Block: Summer 2018 Rookies

Replacing our usual 5:30 session with an additional rookie session was something I was going back and forth on a lot, but I had a feeling we would get a lot of carryover from our spring middle school session. We did not, really, but got lucky and about 15 referrals later, we have our biggest Summer rookie class we've ever had. Here we go:

Abby and Emily Walker

This duo came on late in the spring to our middle school session and has been among the most consistent attendees in our Summer rookie class, despite the 40-minute drive from Clarkston. Abby is going into her freshman year in high school, and Emily is going into 6th grade. Both count tennis as their primary sport and hope to keep up the training in some respect through the fall.

Anthony Saffar

Anthony is the brother of Andre - Summer 2017 rookie and leading attendance person - and came on along after track season. He's going into his senior year and has already started training for cross country.

Devan Coates

Devan was one of the longtime favorites from the track team the past three years at Mott - not only because of his hair, but also due to his work ethic and lack of complaining. And he was really good, topping off at a 50-flat 400m in his final race. He'll be running at Macomb next year and hopefully we can keep him on board.

Emily Gurney & Jessica Suchta

Emily Gurney was a member of last Summer's rookie crew who repeated with the session this Summer because she wasn't here all school year. This time, she brought her friend Jessica, also from Stevenson, to join her. The sophomore-to-be duo both are soccer-first athletes and have been among the most impressive in this group. Jessica has a really good balance of strength and endurance and is already showing signs of a Erika Banet-style athlete, while Emily has a lot of potential on the endurance side of things. We need them for the fall for sure!

Milo and Gideon Baran

Milo started off with me in the spring with private basketball sessions, then was convinced to join our middle school crew. Soon after, he brought in his brother, Gideon. Both have done well this Summer and we want to keep them going through the fall, where Milo will be entering his freshman year at Seaholm and Gideon will be entering 7th grade.

Mateo Pesaros

Mateo might be the reincarnation of the lost 9amers in terms of sheer sass and insubordination. I do not know how old he is, or what grade he's going into, all I know is he's the grandson of Foley wrestling coach Berney Gonzales. I also know he's one of the most entertaining young kids we've had in the gym since Carter's middle school days. He's had a wide range of highs and lows this Summer (from locking himself in the bathroom for about 15 minutes to randomly being able to spot someone not unweighting correctly) and I've enjoyed every bit of it. He's a must-have for the fall for pure entertainment purposes at the middle school session.

NuNu Diattarra

Oh boy, not sure where to go with this one. NuNu is going into his 8th grade year at Page and will be headed to Lamphere eventually. He is definitely lacking in the coordination, strength, mobility, conditioning, speed, and nutrition components of fitness, but maaaaan he just keeps showing up. I am trying to make fun of him as much as I can now, because if he keeps his attendance going through high school he might end up being one of the strongest kids we've ever coached. Both Coach T and I got our eyes peeled for this kid to breakout in the next few years.

Sam Butcher

Sammy is the ring leader of the rookie crew, mostly in part because she was our first one. Back in January, this 8th grader was the only kids at our middle school session for about two weeks, but I knew we had to start somewhere. Within about a month that session grew from 1 to like 9 kids, then 19 when the softball girls came in. As far as this Summer goes, Sam has come a long way in her midline stability and running. She even got her first rope climb. Going into Lamphere next year, she'll play basketball, volleyball, softball, and her main activity is karate, but she plans to keep with the Champions Club in some way.

Suyailim Nasim

Suyailim (pronounced Sue-lum) is by far the most polished out of the rookie group as far as movers go. He ran track at Mott the past few years and approached me about training this Summer. He's going to Michigan State next year and hopefully we'll have him back for the holidays.

Alexis Anthes

Alexis is the most accomplished athlete in our group as far as outside-of-the-gym accolades go. She's coming off a freshman year where she made All-State honors in Class A for singles tennis. Much like our other tennis athletes, the Walkers, Alexis is coming from a 40+ minute drive, seeing as she goes to Utica Eisenhower. She came in July as a recommendation from Coach T, who had been working with her the past few years. So far she's been great to coach and plans to take the training on through the school year.

Ally Kauzlarich

Ally came in as a recommendation from Katie Shakes, as the two go to the same church. She's going into her junior year at Eastern Michigan and wants to become a better overall athlete and add more to her workout routine. She's one of the only people I've heard in person who stutters worse than I do, but unlike myself a majority of the people that meet her would call her a "nice person." She's got a good balance of strength and endurance, which has showed out well in workout. She also got her first pull-up this Summer! Be on the lookout for her to come back during the holidays.

Andrew Baumert

Andrew (left) was another private basketball training kid who I convinced to join our middle school session. He's going into 8th grade and is part of Romeo schools, meaning he's got about as far of a drive as the Kroll family to get here. He's among the laziest athletes we have, but also very fun to have in a session. There's a good athlete somewhere in there that we hope to find in the coming years.

Ben Pauly

The surprise of the Summer rookies has to be Ben, who came in from a recommendation of the Colussis (along with his sister, Kayla, who's a beast at the Babies session). Ben's a baseball/basketball kid who's going into 6th grade. Look out for this one if he can keep his attendance up.

Cameron Byrd

Cam was one of the most promising Summer prospects of the spring middle school group, but has not been able to get his attendance on point yet. The incoming 7th grader was showing great signs of weightloss, strength gain, and conditioning while with us. The jury's still out on this kid!

Dakarai Rogers

Dakarai is another recommendation from the Colussi family, as he was part of Coach Casey's basketball team. He's a little guy going into 7th grade and has a lot of skill and potential. He's a basketball player who I'm trying to convince not to give up soccer, as it helps with footwork, speed, and conditioning. He's really picked up his attendance towards the end of the Summer, and hopefully this carries into the fall.

Dylan Colussi

Rumor has it that Coach Casey and Mrs. Tara were praying for a daughter before they had their first child, so God gave them Dylan - miniature, complaining 7th grader who throws tantrums when he has to run. For real though, Dylan has been, without doubt, or most improved rookie this Summer - especially in the running category. He's a basketball junkie (he probably gets that from his mom) who also proves to be a good lefty pitcher when the season calls for it. Even though his younger sister, Mallory, can beat him up, Dylan is my main man! Look for him at a mixture of the regular and middle school sessions this fall.

Johnny Cohoon

I am mad I didn't get a picture of Johnny while he was here, but he was another incoming 7th grader who worked out at another CrossFit gym in the area before his mom signed him up here. Unfortunately, he was only here on a rental basis; he moved to Michigan from Alabama last year, and at the end of July his family moved out to California. While he was here he was kind of soft, and was accused by the little girl listed above of cutting reps, but he was easily one of the hardest workers in our group. And when you're going that fast, it's definitely difficult to keep track. I hope Johnny finds a good gym in California and enjoyed his time here!

Luke and Noah Heide

The twins were another late-Summer pickup from the hands of Coach T... kind of. Luke (right) is Cecilia's boyfriend and was coming off his senior year at Ford where he excelled as a Tight End. Cec dragged him in to try out a session, and Coach T took it from there. Soon after, Noah, the school's record-setting quarterback, followed. They were the most coachable kids at the session and rumor has it they're working on their mom to join. Both twins are off to Adrian College this fall, and last I talked to them they were both on the two-deep at their positions.

Mrs. Nevarez

Boy was this a familiar site this Summer. Mrs. Nevarez came in as a recommendation from Mrs. Bennis, but was concerned that she didn't have anywhere to babysit her kids. "Bring them in!" I said, and just like that, we were blassed with four baby monkeys every time Mama Nev came in the gym. She got her first rope climb, her first pull-up, and is definitely going to find somehow, some way to keep some kind of training going through the fall.

Owen Munk

Owen is going into his junior year at Bishop Foley, and is actually the first Foley kid we've had in a long time (hopefully more to come soon). He came in as part of a recommendation from Jacob and the head basketball coach there whom I've got to know recently. Owen is just an old-fashioned worker; he does what he's told, asks good questions, and has a well-rounded capacity that lends itself very useful in CrossFit. He's basketball-first, but also runs cross country in the fall. He's on the top of my recruiting board for people I want to stick around.

Onyeka Ojinnaka

By far the ugliest of our Summer rookies, Onyeka came in the first week of August and made himself right at home by making fun of my butt-chin, calves, and overall appearance. He and I go way back to the Lifetime Fitness classes at Mott, but also he was a member of the first two track teams I coached there (he was lazy this year and didn't run). Along with Mateo, O is easily one of the most entertaining people we have not only in the session, but in the gym in general. He's also very community-oriented in the sense that he says hi to people and has no problem talking with younger kids or parents. Strength is not much of an issue for him, but conditioning is, and I really hope we can keep him on board for the fall so he can improve. Onyeka is going to Wayne State this year where he hopes to work his way onto the football team at some point. He also claims he can play basketball, but I made sure to crush those dreams early on.

So that's that; a 2,000-word New Kid post has to be an all-time record for this site. It was really a good group to coach and one that could not have been possible without the help of Coach T and, more importantly, everyone who does the recruiting for me. Let's hope we can keep these kids around for the fall!

New Kids on the Block: The Gardner Family

In March, Myron Gardner signed up for Fundamentals and has been in full Aaron-Sexton-Part-Time-Mode. With the most recent Fundamentals additions, hopefully we'll see that improve. Let me introduce Dawn and Malon Gardner.

Mrs. Gardner always dropped off Myron at the gym, and about two weeks ago while she was waiting in the parking lot I joked with her and asked when she's going to work out with her son. Surprisingly she didn't totally turn down the idea, and after talking with Reggie, Mr. Carey, and Mrs. Carey, she came in the next day to try it out and brought her daughter, Malon, in with her. Now they are our newest family going through Fundamentals.

Dawn is a senior in high school with a background in dance and Mrs. Gardner is one of those moms who claims to be out of shape but is really a beast. They finished Day 3 yesterday and are looking like they'll be all done by some time next week. We'll check back in soon!

New Kids on the Block: Angie and Barry

The randomite bug seems to have caught the Champions Club, first with Medieval Mike, and now with our new kids. Angie and Barry Brunke are Madison Heights residents and were told by a family member to check out a CrossFit gym. They dropped in last Monday to check out the 5:30 session and it happened to be 100 wallballs for time. They saw that, liked it, and decided they wanted to try out a workout the next day - which happened to be that miserable farmer's walk in the rain hero workout. "Welp," I thought, "this will be the test to see if they really are Champions Club material. No good to sugar coat anything."

Some how, some way after that workout, they loved it and decided to sign up for Fundamentals.

We finished three days so far and it has definitely been a good fit so far. Barry is coming in with some fitness experience (goes to the gym sometimes, and plays tennis), while Angie is pretty out of shape - as she will be the first to admit. But as most new people will realize, nobody really is "in shape" when it comes to their first few CrossFit workouts, no matter what the athletic background is.

Both Barry and Angie are very patient and willing to learn the basics of hollow body, push-up, squat, and jumping. We're three days in so far, and like I said, no complaints on my end! I'll check back in after Day 7, but judging by how they responded after their trial session, the rest of Fundamentals should be smooth sailing.

New Kids on the Block: The Bennis Family

Josh Bennis is the crazy monkey ninja of the babies session who also has the coolest parents in the world. Well, they managed to get even cooler because both of them just signed up for Fundamentals.

Mr. and Mrs. Bennis have both been debating on joining for a few months now, and after the birthday party last week they decided to pull the trigger. So far we have finished 2 days of Fundamentals and are set to meet later this week as well. They have been nothing but a pleasure to coach and I can't see any reason for that to change in the near future. I'll check back in with you guys after Day 7.

New Kids on the Block: Marines + MLK Sessions

The 8:30 am session on Monday will be moved to 10:00 am so you lazy high school kids can sleep in a bit. Other sessions will go on as scheduled.


While I was meeting up with a prespective athlete and her kids last week, I heard the door open and saw two fully uniformed Marine officers walk in. Not really sure what to expect, I greeted them, and they told me they were in charge of a group of young Marines in training based out of Madison Heights, and they needed a place to work out once a week. So we settled on Thursdays at 3:30 pm. Yesterday was their first day.

Izzy, Erica, and the rest of the 4:30 crew were shocked when they walked in to see this crowd before their workout, but it was definitely cool to watch. I think we have our routine figured out with them, so I think this is going to be a thing for the next few months at least. Also, we might see a few of them trickle into our group classes if they can't make their set time on Thursdays. So be on the lookout for that as well. The two guys in charge - Sgt. Keller and Sgt. Woodside are really cool dudes so hopefuly you'll get a chance to meet them and the rest of the crew at least once while they are calling the Champions Club their home.

New Kids on the Block: Troy Lax Bros

If anyone remembers last year we tried to get the Wayne State club lacrosse thing going, and it ended up fizzling out after the athletic board cut all(!) club sports, not just lacrosse. Luckily, I kept in contact with coach Matt Kassa (who works with Shannon's husband) and it turns out he's coaching the varsity lacrosse team at Troy High now. So what does that mean? Welp, it means 19 lax goons in our gym every Wednesday night.

Last night was their first workout at the gym and I thought it went really well. They have a very good blend of joking around and then getting serious when they need to. As a coach, this makes things very fun. The challenges mostly came with trying to figure out equipment and space, but the team workout at the end went smooth after they got the hang of it.

We went over the 4 building the house movements yesterday - hollow hold, push-up, squat, jump - and they picked up very well. Lastly, I also wanted to give a shout to Coach Matt. I have been in on a lot of high schools, and the one thing I never see is the sports coach actually put his words to the test and work out with the kids (the exception being Coach Kim from back in the day). I think it's really important that Coach Matt is right in the middle of the session, getting his form critiqued, sweating, and learning just like everyone else. Oh how I with this was the norm.

Hopefully there will be many highlights to keep you posted on. Looking forward to next session kids!