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Entries in the freaks are going to college (11)

Bye Bye Saporito

Today marked the last day here for fan-favorite and AOTS contender David Saporito... well, last day for now, I suppose. Sap is moving back to Eastern Michigan this weekend and will probably continue something resembling CrossFit out there, but I'm sure he'll be back to visit more often than not.

Div has been one of the most enjoyable people to coach in the gym this Summer despite the contant annoyances, like eating all the Fruit Roll-ups or claiming Lil' Wayne is "one of the GOATS". He's made himself right at home after his hiatus and got along well with the likes of Mrs. Kroll, Mrs. Fitz, Shakes, and  Sabal, and picked up right where he left off with the Banets and Ricky.

If you have been in a session with him, the thing that stands out even more than his unique personality is his fitness level, which is currently up there with JZ Winter 2014-15, Erika early-Summer 2015, Jason Summer 2014, and Murley early-Summer 2016 as far as the best we have seen. Sap's ability to go to "that place" on workouts gives him an advantage, and his strength relative to his size and background helps him keep close to the rx'd standard. This kid can just plain go, man. Definitely fun to watch sometimes - especially when he keeps the form tight.

David opted against running Cross Country and track this year so it will most likely be improvised workouts or another CrossFit gym for the ginger. But either way, we definitely hope to see him back here when he's home.

Thank you for a great Summer man. And you are jetting just in time because you'd probably catch a whooping from Mr. Z and Arlene for making everyone do the Filthy Fifty.

Athlete of the Week: Ricky Carey

"Chris, I've decided to be the Athlete of the Week this week."

- Ricky Carey at last Sunday's mobility session.

Ricky Carey is a ladies man, he's a visual cue on Olympic lifts, he's the wackywavinginflatablearmflailingtubeman, and now he is a Seer worthy of an O in Professor Trelawney's class. Or we have just sunk that low... apparently all you have to do is tell me you're going to be the Athlete of the Week and I'll cave in if it's August. Either way, Ricky was on point all week.

On Monday Ricky posted a good time while doing the double-up climbs each round. On Tuesday he looked every bit as good as Sap on the torturous slow front squats using 145 lbs. On Thursday Ricky surprised everyone by doing unassisted pull-ups and topped it off by doing full-ROM GHD sit-ups. His best workout of the week, in my opinion, was at the 5:30 session on Friday's thruster/double under workout; he finished in 14:48, showed great form on double unders, and probably should have been bumped up to 95 lbs.

As a cherry on top, Ricky's team won the Army Workout today!

Ricky is definitely one of those kids that flies under the radar here, and has been since he joined in 2011. Think about it: this is Ricky's 7th Summer with the Champions Club. His high school career was marked by a very drastic uptick during the Winter of the Freaks (2013-2014) that continued through his senior year, and since he's gone away to college he's still managed to keep a steady increase in his fitness. He's training for a half marathon in October, so hopefully he finishes the Summer strong before heading back to Central.

Athlete of the Week: David Saporito

...or "Div" as Mrs. Fitz to elegantly created for him. But yeah, I know we could probably give this award to David every week, but this week, man, he was hitting on all cylinders.

When you say the word "overhead," Sap immediately says, "pissed". It's an instinctive reaction and serves as a protective mechanism for both his shoulders and his pride. Yet, Monday starts things off with a 7 minute workout including overhead squats and (for Sap at least) a brief rest station for more overhead squats. So basically David sis 7 minutes of Overhead squats with an empty 45-lb. bar. The cool thing was, he slowed the movement down, kept his knees back, and did a good job managing his shoulder position to boot. Then things started to play to his favor.

On Tuesday we had strict pull-ups and med-ball cleans - which, again, he showed a great ability to go fast and keep form around 90% good. Then Thursday and Friday really showed the true fitness levels of this former track athlete. Thursday's run, L-pull-up, and hip extension workout was a rough one, indeed. Sap did the full 1200-meters on the run, and managed to hold a pretty solid "L" shape on pull-ups until the final round. Then yesterday he used 50-lb dumbbells on the workout and still finished in a time that made me rethink that he should have gone to 60's (again, with respectable form). This week, Sap did overhead on Monday, overhead on Tuesday, overhead on Thursday, and overhead on Friday and still managed to show improved form and his traditional motor.

Do we have an Athlete of the Summer candidate? Has his attendance been good enough? Who knows, all we know is David Saporito killed this week and he can take this award to Red Oaks and demand a pay raise for his caddie services.


... okay, I'll give in. And on top of all this, his farmer's walks didn't look how they did back in April.

That improvement alone should be good for Athlete of the Week.

Pic of the Week: Freaks Hangout

The Freaks worked out at the 4:30 session on Monday (which coincidentally had 16 people in it). This was the scene at 8:30 pm.

Four hours after their session started, they were still here doing absolutely nothing productive, yet enjoying every second of it. Ashley Fry even jumped in. As I wrote about before, the days are just packed during the Summer. There is nothing like it!

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.