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Champions Club Summer 2018 Dream Team + Athlete of the Summer

While not quite as difficult as 2015, this Summer was a two-person race similar to 2014's between Jason and Lauren. Jennifer Banet vs. Erica Krueger: workout domination vs. Most Improved Player. Since early July, it seemed it would come down to these two, and neither budged. Jennifer slipped in attendance towards the end, and I was hoping she would make it to at least 70%. Meanwhile, Erica ran into a little dry spell during the workouts in late-July. Still both kids put up very impressive bodies of work this Summer, and made this decision difficult for me.

The Athlete of the Summer 2018 goes to Jennifer Banet.

For Jennifer, it really came down to performance, and she set the tone with the first two workouts of the Summer. From that point on I really kept a harsh eye on her for every session. And I have to say this is the first time I can remember where there were truly no off-days. Not a single one. We all know Jennifer's track background and how well she performs in the running/light weight workouts, but this Summer she really got challenged with heavier weights - whether it was the heavy dumbbells on Erin, 65-lbs. on the snatch/double under couplet, 45-lb.plate on the Overhead lunge workout, 125 lbs. on the deadlift/burpee classic, or 95-lb. sdhp's on the late-July sprint WOD. Her impressive performances on these "weakness" workouts, coupled with her usual dominance in workouts like Gunny earner her this award.

Congratulations Jennifer! Be on the lookout for her Feature Editorial coming soon.


Jennifer Banet was the headliner for what proved to be one of the top 3 Summers the Champions Club has ever seen (2015 and 2013 were probably 1 and 2 respectively). We saw lots of new people, the return of some old people, and most importantly, we saw the attendance back on track.

Here's the complete Summer 2018 Dream Team (attendance percentage in parenthesis):

  1. Ashley Fry (100)
  2. Cecilia Steinwascher (93)
  3. Katie Shakes (86)
  4. Danielle Worden (84)
  5. Josie Junkin (82)
  6. Nick Bewick (73)
  7. Erica Gibbons (70)
  8. Lindsey (68)
  9. Mrs. Bennis (68)
  10. Jennifer (67), Mrs. Colussi (67), Ally Kauzlarich (67)

Ashley Fry. For the first time since Katie Bromm's legendary 2013 Summer, we had a perfect attendee in the books. We officially counted 73 days of possible attendance, and Ashley Fry was at every single one. The only day she was absent for was a random Saturday on June 16 where nothing of any importance happened whatsoever, and we did not count that weekend or Monday anyway. Fryday came into the Summer on a 3+ month hiatus, and it took her a minute to get her fitness and strength back where it was, but she closed out really well and is looking to have a great fall.

Record signup. We finished with 94 freaking people signed up for the Summer. Our previous record was somewhere in the 70's. During the winter my goal was to have a 100-person Summer about 2 or 3 years from now. Hopefully this Summer is a sign that I may have been too conservative with my wish. This, of couse, made attendance-keeping very difficult, as many of the new kids came on as the Summer was already in progress. Thankfully, Jacob came through and helped me get the numbers on record. I'm fairly certain that the numbers aren't off my more than a percent for anyone, if at all.

Rookies. Going into the Summer I basically had to make the choice between our current people and prospecive new people. I chose the new people and while it definitely hurt people like Reggie, Mr. Auggie, and Shannon, it helped bring on our most populated Rookie session of all time. We had 24 rookies split between the 10 am and 5:30 pm sessions. Coach T brought in a fair amount, Shakes and Jacob each brought in one, and the rest seemed to straggle in from recommendations from you kind folks. It was awesome, and it looks like we're going to have a pretty good carryover.

Parents. The thing that spearheaded our Summer 2015 was the influx of awesome parents; the Andersons, Mr. Auggie, Mr. WA, and Mrs. Kroll all joined that May and it set us up for a great Summer. This time around we had two very crucial families join: the Benni and Colussis.

I'm telling you all right now, we are really lucky to have these two families with us. They buy in to everything we do, they spread the word, and, most importantly, they show up a lot! Their presence made it easy for other new parents like Barry, Angie, and Schornack to blend it, and also brought some life to our ancient elders like Mrs. Carey, Mr. Wonsil, Reggie, and crew.

The kids are the picture and the parents are the frame. When we have a strong parents crew, seasons go from good to great really fluidly.

Is this a liability? Probably. One of the most important things the Benni brought to the gym was their son, Josh. Not to the babies sessions, but to the regular ones. See there are two of them, and one Josh, and if they wanted to work out then Josh needed to come to or else their house would be a wreck when the returned. I never saw a problem with it, and soon Mallory Colussi joined in, as well as Kayla Pauly. But the most entertaining crew, by far, was the Nevarez family! Every day the five(!) of them would walk up to the gym and Mrs. Nevarez would do her thing while Natalie, JT, El, and Johnny J would run (or crawl) around the gym. It definitely added a lot of life to everything and I even opened the invitation to the rest of the crew.

Summary. Like I said before, this was really a great one. We introduced the SpongeBob workout, had Coach T help out 3 days per week, housed the entire Junkin family, produced high attendance numbers, and had a good variety of people at each session. I hope you guys enjoyed it as much as I did. There will be two editorials coming out soon: the first being a new installment in the Building a Champion series that will talk in detail about what was going on behind the scenes during the Summer and where we are going from here, then Jennifer Banet's Athlete of the Summer feature (which I haven't started yet) will talk about... well... Jennifer. And some other symbolic stuff. But before that - or maybe after, who knows? - I'll post the final attendance numbers and the results of the Summer 2018 Draft. So plenty to look out for in the coming weeks.

Thank you guys again for a great Summer! See you guys next year (or tomorrow, or whenever).

Beast Mode: Parents Park Workout

On Wednesday, the parents went on a little field trip around the corner to Exchange Park to do a little improvised workout. The goal was to experience finding a way to get a good workout in with the best possible situation around you. Parks provide a great opportunity for this. Check out the highlights:

Along with the video, there is a photo gallery to go with it that can be seen here. Great job guys!

Athlete of the Week: Schornack

On May 5, Danielle Schornack started Fundamentals and I honestly did not think it was going to be a good fit. About three months later she's our Athlete of the Week. I love being wrong!

She started things off great this week with a 1 rep max deadlift of 155-lbs. Then her highlight came on Tuesday when she hit two consecutive 800-meter prs within about 15 minutes (though the form in the picture above does not make me happy). Her and Barry put on a good showing at the parents team workout on Wednesday, and she toughed out a lingering pinched nerve in her shoulder by doing one-arm cleans on Thursday. Friday's leg burner was just rough for just about everyone.

What was the most impressive to me, however, was not her times or scores, but the habits she's setting for herself. On Tuesday she did both runs without clinging to her inhaler like my grandma clings to her rosary. Also, the May-June Schornack would have sat out after the doctor told her no more CrossFitl the August version is treating herself like an athlete by modifying around a tight spot and still getting a great workout. In short, Daniele Schornack is getting confident. This, of course, is not okay. I won't have it! A Danielle Schornack with confidence means I'm going to have to buy more weights for the gym, so we need to stop this before it becomes permanent. Coach T - make sure to ridicule Schornack in some way on Monday. I'll make fun of her glasses or something. But in the meantime, enjoy this now while you can!

Also, this was a really close one. Ashley Fry had a great week and is looking like she's back in lafe fall/early winter form. It took me all day to decide, but Schornack got the nod. Keep up the good work both of you!

Parents Team Workout Reminder

Just a reminder that tomorrow is the 80s Theme Workout for the parents. And if you're wondering if you should dress up...

...the answer is yes!

Tomorrow at 6:30 pm! See you guys there!

Pics of the Week: Parents at the Hill and Junkin Jive

Our first candidate for Pic of the Week is one of many taken from the parents team workout at the hill on Wednesday.

The full array of pictures taken can be found in the July '18 Daily WODs gallery.

Lastly, we are blessed this Summer with all 5 Junkin kids in attendance, and we had them at the same session on Friday.

New Graduate: Mr. Bennis

The reigning Athlete of the Week just got another boost to the ego. While going over rope climb modifications during the 4:30 session, Mr. B was the demo for the modified rope pull-up, and performed one with very little of a jump. Both me and Erica looked at each other and instantly said, "It looks like he's got a pull-up in him!" So I grabbed the camera and applied peer pressure:

Mobility PSA for the Champions Club Parents

Here are the current parents on our Summer 2018 roster:

  • Crystal
  • Mama V
  • Mrs. Bass
  • Mrs. Bennis
  • Mrs. Carey
  • Mrs. Colussi
  • Mrs. Fitz
  • Mrs. Kroll
  • Mrs. Nevarez
  • Mrs. Pip
  • Schornack
  • Bewick
  • Coach Casey
  • Mr. Auggie
  • Mr. Bennis
  • Mr. Carey
  • Mr. Maslowski
  • Mr. Wonsil
  • Mr. Z

Here are the parents on the roster who have not complained about some kind of ache or pain in the last 3 months:

  • Mrs. Carey

Yup, that's it. I will never call you guys old - especially considering you can climb ropes, do handstands, and lift more then high schoolers. But dude, the way your bodies have been acting lately seems to indicate that your lifestyle is catching up with you. Which means you're old.

Luckily, none of the issues you have brought to me is unfixable, and even more luckily, most of the fixes are what most people would consider low-hanging fruit.

DO STUFF!!! Mr. Maslowski, Mr. Z, Mr. Carey, and the others who spend all day at a desk are literally doing the exact opposite of promoting healing. Evolution has made it so moving around is the single thing that promotes healing above all else, and that makes perfect sense when you think about it. If your back is aching, sitting in a chair and watching TV is going to do nothing to help. In fact the opposite. Taking a walk, cutting the grass, swimming in a pool (for your shower), or even hanging out on the ground will all go a long way to promote healing.

DON'T DO STUFF!!! So now that I think about it, the segment above is incorrect. The single thing that promotes healing more than anything else is sleep (with movement coming in a close 2nd place). And yet here I am with a sore ankle/Achilles at 11 pm staring at a computer screen typing this post. I am guilty of neglecting sleep - especially on College Football Saturdays, and you probably have your phone right by your bed, or that TV in your room. I am not a sleep scientist, and I don't even know the word for sleep scientist, but I do find it absolutely amazing how every single human being's body on the planet forces them to sleep every day. This can't be a coincidence. There are times we can get away with it; when you are dinged up is not one of them.

I really should end the post here, but I know Mr. Carey is going to sit at work tomorrow, and Coach Casey is going to stay up till midnight and watch re-runs of the Powerpuff Girls on Cartoon Network, so here are a few other things that will help you heal.

Come to the Champions Club. Literally just come to the gym. You have me, Coach T, Shannon, and Murley at your disposal, and Shakes, Elizabeth, Danielle, and just about everyone else that's been here for over a year has a pretty good idea of how to mash. Heck, Nick Bewick might be the best joint mobilizer in the gym. "Hey Mr. Bennis, can you mash my quads?" or "Yo Lindsey, can you step on my calves?" should be things said in daily converation. And if they can't fix it, the coaches probably can. Shannon's track kids go to her before they go to their trainer. Shakes's entire softball team mashes. If we can't fix you, you probably need surgery. We also have two days of the week dedicated to mobility, and you're invited to both.

Squat. There is one thing that separates Mrs. Carey from every other parent on the list above:

She is the First Goddess of Squats. If you are not Mrs. Carey and reading this, then you are not the First Goddess of Squats. You're probably a pooping dog, or a peeing platypus. Being able to casually hang out in the bottom of a squat shows a good capacty in the hips, knees, and ankles - which also leads to supported back and shoulders. Spend 10 minutes per day in some kind of a squat - doesn't have to be all at once - and you will see a big difference.


You're body's resting state is supposed to be pain-free. Think about that! You are also supposed to have full range of motion in all your joints. What does that look like? Come to a Babies session on Sundays. Or just watch Josh or Mallory swing and jump around the gym during your session. You were born with that capacity too, and you should still be able to do that. The difference is your inactivity has lost it for you.

I'm sure I didn't invent this saying, but I've come to realize that nothing we are doing in the gym is about gaining strength, endurance, or mobility; what we're really doing is reclaiming some of the capacity we've lost due to our lifestyle. If we weren't sedentary, we wouldn't need pull-ups or couch stretches. But we are, and you guys are lucky enough to find the best solution for this problem. So let's use it 4-7 times per week and try to get out of our body's way in the meantime.