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Welcome to the Champions Club Summer!

See schedule here.

Entries in the freaks are going to college (7)

Beast Mode: College Freaks

The Freaks are in college now, let that sink in for a minute.

Ricky Carey and crew just finished their first collegiate year and are now back at the Champions Club for the Summer. The 9 am session from last Tuesday featured Slick, Elizabeth Banet, David Saporito, Katie Shakes, and Mrs. Fitz. They put in a great performance on the wallball/box jump ladder. Check it out.

What Are They Saying vol. 10: Summer Teaser

This picture was taken post-workout at our annual Hawaiian/Shark Week Theme from last July.

What were thay saying? Post your captions to comments.

The Dinner Table Rule

I’m pretty much the oldest cousin on both sides (oldest on dad’s and oldest in Michigan on my mom’s) and I think being around younger kids my entire family life has helped me in coaching all the different age groups I’m involved with. You think Carter was bad? My cousin Mary bit me on the butt when I wasn’t looking. She was in 5th grade at the time. Needless to say there’s plenty of entertaining stories from Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners.

Within the last few years since being an actual business owner, the normal topic of conversation usually starts with someone asking me about how said business is going. If this is a one-on-one conversation then it usually goes smoothly. But for whatever reason, I feel very uncomfortable when this gets brought up in a group setting like the dinner table. Uncle Steve might ask me something about going to Miami for the CrossFit Running thing, or Uncle John might ask if Alex Faust is still training at the gym. They’re intention is no doubt good. But to me it’s weird because nobody else at the table can relate to it. I know from experience that sitting through conversations about things like fixing cars or drinking beer make me feel like the oddball because I have no experience in either. So my default when someone asks me about CrossFit or The Champions Club in a group setting is to answer the question in a generally positive manner then change the topic as quickly as possible.

I know I’m probably not the best person to take social advice from (Mr. Wonsil is probably the guy to talk to in that respect), but I think casual conversation topics in a group setting should generally be about things everyone can relate to. Sidebars can come at a different time.


There is nothing better than a Champions Club Summer, but the Christmas break is really sweet. It’s like a 2 week family reunion with all the people you missed from the Summer. We have the Christmas Workout and Lifts 4 Gifts, plus all the daily sessions that prove a social hour can end in a sweat angel. I love every second of it. Even the Aly seconds.

But this time around there is the possibility that the College Kids crowd might get out-numbered. That is not to say we are pushing the adults and College Kids out of the way, but we have a new wave of younger kids involved that I am really trying to mesh into the regular group – because we all know the magic of our community is what keeps people here for the long haul. It might be the Goobers like Crawford, Hickey, and Kenny, the “Kiddies” like Brendan, Charlie, and Trips, or even the “Babies” like Jacqueline, Hailey and Kyle. The tentative plan is to see if we can involve them in some events like the Christmas Workout Spectacular and occasional Sunday team workouts. But even if those plans don’t work, there will probably be plenty of younger kids in and around your session. And more importantly, their parents. In this case, the Dinner Table Rule applies very strictly; if you can’t talk about it in front of a 13 year old, then you can’t talk about it, period.

Katie Bromm and Katie Kav taking some time to talk to then-7th grader Maddy after her first day

However, I think this can also apply to our regular, middle-of-the-year sessions. I’ll see former classmates Jack, Mikey, and Kroll talking amongst themselves while Erica from Henkel and James just kinda sit there on the side having no clue who Shaub and Mrs. Welicko are, or JZ and Jackie doing their thing while Robert Kroll left with me to talk to (not desirable for anyone). I know it's not as fun for you but it's even worse for Alyssa Jabara to sit at a session with me and Carter reciting Outkast lyrics and leaving her clueless.

Our words can either help bring in a new person, or help separate them; it’s rarely a non-factor. The simple act of involving someone in your conversation can immediately make them go from feeling like the Island of Misfit Toys to feeling like they belong in our amazing group and changing their fitness habits for a lifetime. Ironically one of our quietest members, Crystal Reed, does this as well as anyone. Jacob, on the other hand, is not a natural by any means but I did notice he made a good effort with a new kid named Ryan Anderson in the spring of 2015 and I think it helped lead Ryan to liking the place, and the rest of the Anderson crew followed. I notice this stuff more than I notice feet straight and elbows in.

I think Bromm notices too!

I’m definitely not saying that we have to be PC Principal, or only talk about a list of 10 CrossFit-related topics, but I think the crowd in our session is something we should be aware of when we are talking. A good Champions Club member tries to keep everyone involved.

Guest Post vol. 37: Preparation Is a Major Key

by, Alyssa Jabara

30 August 2016

So as many of you know, last week I moved into my dorm at Concordia University Ann Arbor and was going to continue to play softball there.

The first practice/conditioning was this past Monday and was pretty easy on my part. I was flying through the workouts that my Coach has prepared for us to do. That's when I realized that all of the conditioning I’ve been doing at The Champions Club has prepared me for this moment. My coach today told me to slow down during a workout today and was thinking that Chris would be telling me to go harder or push through it.

These past three years of training is the best thing I’ve ever did and would recommend it for every athlete wanting to pursue their sport in college. Thanks for getting me to where I am today Chris and Murley and everyone I worked out with! See you all soon!


Bye Bye Alyssa

At the end of Summer 2013, a kind gentleman named Mr. Jabara walked through our pull-up-barless garage doors asking about the possibility of his daughter, Alyssa joining the gym. It was a team workout, if I'm not mistaken, and the Banets had given me the heads up that he would visit - seeing as they talked to Alyssa during softball and volleyball. I heard really good things about Alyssa and was eagerly awaiting her to join.

5 months later, it happened. Alyssa Jabara and her brother, Tyler, signed up for Findamentals. They instantly became the worst jump-ropers I had ever seen in my life (an accomplishment only recently beaten by Robert Kroll and Parker Forrest.)

Nearly three years later, Alyssa is leaving us today marginally better at jumping rope and an envy to every girl in here who wants to lift heavy weights and sprint fast. In plain terms, Alyssa is a beast!

The sad thing is despite being as strong and fast and friendly as she is, Alyssa has managed to fly under the radar almost all of her time here (at least, from my perspective).

See, our gym is absolutely stacked with young girls who are fit so far beyond their peers. The Emmas, and Shannons, and Elizabeths, and Laurens, and Shakeses have been on top of that list at one time or another and received a lot of the spotlight - rightfully so. But unfortunately that means people like Murley, Kroll, [insert any other Banet here], and the Kavanaughs sometimes get the short end of the attention stick. Alyssa Jabara might have it the worst.

She came in during the generation of The Freaks and resided in the infamous 1:30 sessions of Summers past - filled to the brim with Banets, Bromms, and other burly beasts. They are a loud and exuberant group, so Alyssa's quiet nature often hid in the background until we looked at the whiteboard like, "Damn Alyssa... 165 lbs?!?" The Summer is where most of The Freaks shine, but this is also right in the middle of Alyssa's prime travel softball season; tournaments every weekend, trips out of state, showcases, and the daily practices have kept her from being as consistent in the gym as the rest of her session. So from this perspective we see the limitations, but if we look past this gym to what really matters - the softball diamond - we see another story entirely. I have been to probably 6 or 7 games since she's been here. I don't know much about softball, but her excellence is obvious. Everyone else on the diamond is playing catch-up. In that world, the does everything but fly under the radar. She is a standout.

However, this winter/Summer showed Alyssa at her CrossFit best. We wratched up the intensity during December/January/February, and now that she's been consistent with her attendance the heavy weights are rolling in just in time for her head off to Concordia.

Alyssa, keep up the great work and I know I can speak for everyone else in saying that we look forward to having you visit whenever you can and we'll be keeping up with your softball season.

Thank you for everything!

Throwback Thursday: DT

For some reason, DT always comes up after a rough couple of workouts, so we don't always treat it as a Fran or Elizabeth. A lot of times, DT is used to really hone in that technique at a little lighter weight. It's always fun to raise the stakes though, so this was one of the first workouts that the accountabilibuddy system was introduced. At the beginning of this workout, the session was divided into partners. If your partner messes up, you have to stop the workout and do burpees (I believe 5). So unless you want Elizabeth to kill you with her eyes, you keep your reps good. 

(Yet Another) Where in the World is the Champions Club: Ricky

Not to be outdone by Lauren, Ricky Carey has also left the country. Before he leaves the Champions Club for college at (!!!!), everyone's favorite ladies man headed off to Krákow, Poland. He'll be there for week or two for World Youth Day, which is pretty much where all the baby Catholics go and the Pope tells them they are awesome. 

If you haven't seen much of Ricky yet this summer, make sure you do when he gets back. He'll be heading back off to Central Michigan in less than a month! The babies are growing up...