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FIT’s Rick Fath Wins Bridge to Bridge 10K Swim

12 Jul

When Rick emerged from the frigid Bay water at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge, he had a giant smile on his face. With a time of 1 hour and 40 minutes, Rick was the first swimmer to finish the Bridge to Bridge 10k swim last Saturday.

“I swallowed a lot of salt water,” Rick recalls, “But it felt really good to finish. I love the feeling of accomplishment when you fulfill a commitment.”

Rick has been open-water swimming for 12 years and is no stranger to races in through the Bay. In fact, he got started when, years ago, a friend “invited” Rick to do a group swim around Alcatraz. Once Rick got his ‘feet wet’ (pun intended) he began swimming in two to three events a year, including regular trips swimming across the Golden Gate Bridge.

When asked why he enjoys racing, Rick explained, “It keeps me focused and gives me a goal.” Each January Rick looks at his calendar and commits to a few races each year. These races help Rick plan and maintain his training regimen both in the pool and here in the gym at FIT.

For Rick, racing in these events each year is just part of his strategy to staying active and healthy. And who could question the activity level of someone whose swim workouts involve a brisk two or three mile swim? To put that in context (for us non-swimmers), that’s 100 hundred laps in the pool!

Now that may sound daunting even to the most committed weekend warrior, but Rick understands the heart of the matter: “The key is to set a goal. And then to create a plan.” For example, Rick printed swim workouts from a reliable source in order to ramp up for this long swim.

Have a plan. Wise words, indeed.

Moving forward, Rick intends to maintain a similar pattern of competing in two or three races each year, maybe travelling to other locations to race. “I’m always looking for new and fun experiences,” Rick says.

So here’s to you, Rick. Thank you for representing FIT well in the gym and in the water.

May Client of the Month Spotlight: Cheryl Kershner

30 Apr

Client Name: Cheryl Kershner

Age: 53

FIT member since: 9/15/11

Goal starting your fitness program at FIT: After over a year of competing in sports through chronic pain, in Oct. 2009, I was diagnosed with severe overuse injuries from hips through achilles. The Dr. told me to quit 70% of my activities. Not willing to give up my beloved outdoor activities, I figured I could winnow a few days, subtract a few miles & eliminate the more extreme hills, intervals & competitions. As I cut back more and more activities without lessening my pain, I realized I needed a professional to guide me. So when I started with Rick, my physical conditioning was at its lifetime worst.

Results: I am grateful to have Rick, with his vast knowledge and abilities set my work-outs. I am having a great time, wholly enjoying the uplifting, collegial atmosphere Tracey and Thom have created in FIT.

Cheryl Showing Off

Exercise Likes: All

Exercise Dislikes: None

What motivates you to come back each day? Enjoyment of the entire process.

How has your attitude towards strength training changed? As time (rarely) permitted, I used to do some resistance/weight work as rest breaks between intense aerobic activities. Due entirely to Rick, my regime with him is my priority & I fully intend for it to remain so.

Cheryl is an incredibly humble hard-worker. And if you ask Rick, she has shows up to every training session ready to work with a smile on her face. She is an excellent representative of the many hard-working people that come into FIT each day to take one step closer to their goals.

We’re proud to be a part of the process, Cheryl. 

Client of the Month Spotlight May 2011

27 May

Client Name: Tamila Sayar

Age:  40
FIT member since:  I think August 2010

Goal starting your fitness program at FIT – My goal was and is to change my life style to promote better health.  My primary focus was, and continues to be weight loss.

Results: I have lost over 60 pounds, 6 sizes, definitely made long term lifestyle changes for myself and the family, and regained some strength and endurance.

What would you consider the keys to your fitness success? Showing up, taking it one day and one habit at a time, respecting, trusting connecting with my trainer (Matt) and the FIT environment, being ready to make the commitment, and having an exceptionally knowledgeable trainer to guide me.

How did you feel about your fitness and physique before starting your exercise program at FIT? Awful!!! Terrible!!!!

How do you feel about your fitness and physique now? I feel better, stronger, more active, and successful.

 What obstacles, if any, did you have to over come to maintain your commitment to fitness?  Given that I have 3 kids and the demanding line of work I am in, remembering to put myself first in order to show up every time no matter what, fearing failure, and self-consciousness. Having patience with the ups and downs in this process.

Want motivates you through your workouts? It’s the only hour in my day where I can just listen and do what I am being told to rather than giving the directions. I enjoy the discussions with my trainer and others as well as the challenges that each work out presents.

What motivates you to come back each day? For me, there’s no other option, I like to be challenged, I know I have to do it to continue to get results, I like the results I am getting and look forward to my sessions. I enjoy the environment and people at FIT, and LOVE  the post work out feeling.

Exercise Likes: Rowing, push ups and most other exercise activities.

Exercise Dislikes: That roller wheel thing Ab-Wheel

Personal Best:

  • PR 500 meter row: [1:53]
  • PR push ups: started at level 9 in the squat rack last August and is now performing pushups in sets of 10 from the floor with full range of motion!

What is your favorite workout music/song? Not sure since Most of the time I’m talking and not listening to music. I like a variety of songs.

What is your favorite healthy snack? Mixed nuts and berries with plain yogurt

What is your favorite non-gym physical activity? Swimming, walking on the beach

Trainers Comments: Matt – Tamila was a little bit intimidated when she first walked in the door, as this was something that she was wholly unfamiliar with.  While the first few sessions started out slowly, as soon as she started to see results, the enthusiasm increased, and now she’s more gung-ho than ever.  Missing a workout is not an option for her!  We have really tested her physically and mentally, taking her to new depths of what she thought she was physically capable of doing.  Really, there is nothing that she can’t do if she puts her mind to it.  It is great to have a client who won’t back down from a challenge and will fight a workout until the end to make sure she completes it.  Her hard work and dedication have definitely paid off.  Tamila has made amazing progress, and continues to improve every day – both in performance and in physique.

April Client of the Month Spotlight

3 Apr

Client Name: Deanna Williams

Age: 31

FIT member since: 07/01/2010 (I think)

Goal starting your fitness program at FIT: When I first started at FIT my goal was to look great in my wedding dress.

Results: I think you will have to ask my husband.

How did you feel about your fitness and physique before starting your exercise program at FIT? I thought was in good shape until I did my physical assessment test with Matt. 

How do you feel about your fitness and physique now? I am really proud of how far I have come in the last ten months. I have not only seen a physical change, my strength training has improved as well.

What would you consider the keys to your fitness success? Crossfit, the trainers, and my commitment to living a healthier life style.

What obstacles, if any, did you have to over come to maintain your commitment to fitness? My alarm clock, 5:30 a.m. Crossfit is early in the morning but worth it.

What motivates you through your workouts? The more

experienced crossfitters and not wanting to finish last.  

What motivates you to come back each day? The people in the Crossfit classes.

Exercise Likes: The crazy named WODs. Nothing is more satisfying then saying I just completed the Filthy Fifty.

Exercise Dislikes: Rowing

Personal Best: in most weight lifting exercises I no longer have to use the training bar. This is a big accomplishment.

PR Deadlift: 60kg

PR Push Press: 30kg

What is your favorite workout music/song? 90s Hip Hop

What is your favorite healthy snack? carrots, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes.

Do you have a favorite recipe? If so, would you like to share it with us? Peasant Stew from Cooking Light

Trainers Comments

Jimmy: The key to Deanna’s success has been her training consistency and more importantly her tenacity.  Her determination to improve, finish workouts, and push herself beyond her comfort zone has not gone unnoticed by any CrossFIT coach or member.  She started completely new to training and in a short period of time has become proficient in all the movements CrossFIT employs, including weightlifting (clean and jerk and snatch).  She is an inspiration to both CrossFIT beginners and veterans alike.  I see a confidence in Deanna that wasn’t there when she first came to FIT and it shows as she flashes her smile more and more!

Client of the Month Spotlight March 2011

25 Mar

Client Name: Rajesh Vashist

Age: 53

FIT member since: 2001

Goal starting your fitness program at FIT: Get Lean & Strong

Q. How do you feel about your fitness and physique after starting you exercise program at FIT?
A. In better shape/condition now than when I was 20!

Q. What obstacles, if any, did you have to over come to maintain your commitment to fitness?
A. Carving out a regular schedule and sticking to it.

Q. What would you consider the keys to your fitness success?

A. 1.    Eating right – Go Paleo! 2.    Wanting to do 20 pull-ups.

Q. Want motivates you through your workouts? And, what motivates you to come back each day?
A. I’m motivating by the thought of seeing the last of Coach Rob and I’m motivating to come back because of Coach Rob.

Q. What is your favorite workout music/song? None – I don’t need any music to have a good workout.

Q. What is your favorite healthy snack? Walnuts, cranberries and coconut milk

Q. What is your favorite non-gym physical activity? Reading & traveling

Exercise Likes: any back exercise

Exercise Dislikes: running

Personal Best: PR chin-ups: 12

Trainers Comments: From Coach Rob
Rajesh’s commitment to his fitness is an inspiration to anyone! He has been completely committed to making positive changes into his already active life style. He has changed his eating habits by following the Paleo diet, which, in combination with his 4 workouts a week, has resulted in losing 20+lbs, as well as increased muscle mass and strength levels.  Additionally, Rajesh has lowered his cholesterol, and increased his overall fitness and energy level. He has been great to work with. He is always willing to try something different and takes every challenge on with a smile.

Thanks for making my job more enjoyable Rajesh.

January Client of the Month Spotlight – John Chang

26 Jan

John Chang
Age: 41
FIT member since: 10/2009

John’s goals starting his fitness program at FIT: I wanted to lose some pounds and inches.  I also wanted to get stronger.  In a word – get Fit!

John’s results: To date, I’ve lost 20 pounds of fat, definitely getting stronger – can actually see a muscle or two in my arms and shoulders!  It’s amazing the difference in situps, push ups, assisted pull-ups (at least for now they are still assisted!).  There is still a lot more to do…

Q. How did you feel about your fitness and physique before starting your exercise program at FIT? How do you feel about your fitness and physique now? I felt like I had let myself turn into a tub of goo.  It was harder to compete in sports, my injuries took longer to heal and I’ve had some back and neck issues over the last few years.  Now – I’ve lost 3 inches on my waist, 20 pounds of goo and have a lot more energy overall.  I do feel stronger and look forward to continued progress!

Q. What obstacles, if any, did you have to overcome to maintain your commitment to fitness? I travel a fair amount for business – which means missed workouts and dinners with customers…  I have to admit I’ve missed more than one wake up call for the 6:00am workout!

Q. What would you consider the keys to your fitness success? I think it’s been absolutely key to have workout partners.  I don’t want to let Josh and Karen down by not showing up and going through the pain together!  They keep me motivated, as does our great trainer, Jen.  Jen keeps things interesting by mixing things up and pushing us.  Lastly, commitment to making workouts a routine has made it easier.  It’s finally getting to the point that I miss it when I don’t work out!

Q. Want motivates you through your workouts? And what motivates you to come back each day? The goal of getting healthier / my trainer / my partners.  The results I’ve seen motivates me to keep on going.  It’s amazing how many people have noticed – and I have to admit it’s nice to hear the compliments.

Q. Are there any exercises you enjoy: Squats, kettle bell work, slams, any kind of stretching

Q. Are there any exercises you dislike: Decline situps!  Clean and jerk – haven’t figure that one out yet. That fourth set of rowing!

Q. What is your favorite healthy snack? Greek yogurt with blueberries and raspberries

Q. What is your favorite non-gym physical activity? Road cycling and volleyball.  Does golf count as a physical activity?  ☺

From John: I’ve really enjoyed the FIT community.  The support from the various trainers and early morning regulars is great.  We keep it going for each other.  Thanks!

From his Trainer – Jen: If I remember correctly, after an initial invitation it took about 6-12 months for John to make the decision, or should I say commitment, to come to FIT.  Around his birthday I received an email with all these overweight cartoon characters struggling to lift weights: he said he was ready to come in.

If you’re in the gym at 6am on Monday or Friday, you have met/heard John Chang!  He is always joking around, laughing or yelling about whatever exercise is coming up next.  Some would say we have way too much fun in that hour but Josh, John and Karen just make working hard as fun as it can possibly be.  John is always ready for a challenge and I think what is most admirable is that he is always trying turn a weakness into one of his strengths.  Whenever he comes to me with a new goal, it is not about improving something he is already good.  Rather, it sometimes involves his least favorite exercises.  It’s the things he sees value in improving and he is willing and ready to dive in and tackle them.  John has a very busy lifestyle (as does the rest of his workout crew), however he has made his health and fitness a priority, and has made huge lifestyle changes that I truly feel are permanent.  John is committed to his workouts and eating healthier in and outside of FIT and on and off the road.  Congrats to John and all his hard work!!

Client of the Month Spotlight – Sunny Evans

21 Dec

Sunny’s Goal starting her fitness program at FIT: My goal was to be stronger and push myself harder.

Sonny’s Results: I have definitely gotten much stronger!  I like that Kevin keeps pushing me a little harder each time, getting me to do things I never thought I could.

Q. How did you feel about your fitness and physique before starting your exercise program at FIT? How do you feel about your fitness and physique now? I feel like I’ve come a long way, and I still have a long way to go (pull ups, anyone?)…

Q. What obstacles, if any, did you have to over come to maintain your commitment to fitness? Disc degeneration and stenosis in my back and neck keep me motivated to keep a strong core, and Kevin reminds me to maintain good form so I don’t get injured.

Q. What would you consider the keys to your fitness success? It’s all about personal success – always improving on my own time/weight/reps/strength.  I like to train with Barb because she motivates me to work harder, but I don’t see any point in comparing myself to her.

Q. Want motivates you through your workouts? And what motivates you to come back each day? Kevin is such a great trainer – keeps things super fun while kicking my butt!  And also working out with my “workout wife” Barb.  I couldn’t do it without her!  Someday I might be able to keep up with her…

Q. Do you have any exercise likes? Being done

Q. Do you have any exercise dislikes? Kettle bell hell, PVC

Q. Do you have any Personal Best? I have no idea about my personal bests – I just do whatever Kevin tells me to do.  Every once in awhile I’ll give him  “the look” (which he always calls me on!) when I don’t want to do something, but for the most part, I just do it!

Q. What is your favorite healthy snack? Fermented grapes…

Q. What is your favorite non-gym physical activity? I like to hike/walk – my husband and I have participated in the Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk 8 times.  I also like to ride my bike.

From Sunny: I’m excited that my 15-year-old son Kyle started at FIT at the beginning of the year with Frank, and he loves it!  He went from a complete couch potato to loving being fit and working out hard – and I’m so proud of him!

From Kevin: Since joining FIT, Sunny has displayed nothing but a great attitude and work ethic.  She always works hard, regardless of whether she “likes” the exercise or not, and inevitable ends up with a smile on her face.  Her hard work has made her stronger in all aspects of fitness.  She has participated in fight gone bad, did a sprint triathlon, and the 3-day walk covering 60 miles, without any problems.

Client of the Month Spotlight October 2010

20 Oct

Client Name: Patrick Wai
Age: 44
FIT member since: February 2010

3 years ago I was working constantly and never had time to exercise or eat well. My body weight climbed to 197.  Then, in November 2009 I hurt my back.  The pain was so severe that even with medication I couldn’t drive.  It took over 2 months of intense therapy and exercise before I felt better.  During that time Tony from Agile Physical Therapy introduced me to FIT and I started working with Danielle Durante.  It took a lot of time, sweat and tears, but gradually my core strength increased and my stamina improved.  I never want to experience that back pain again.  My goals are to remain pain free, become stronger, and have more energy.

I have been pain free for 8 months.  I am also stronger, have more energy, and (the best part) I can lift and carry both of my kids at the same time without straining my back.

Exercise Likes: push-ups and the elliptical machine.

Exercise Dislikes: “man maker” workouts, and any exercise involving the gymnastic rings.

Personal Best: 15 pull-ups, 50 push-ups in a minute, and successfully climbing the rope on the first try.

What do you enjoy about training at FIT? Everyone is so friendly at FIT.  They are never too busy to say hello or offer assistance with an exercise.

Challenges Patrick’s faces: It’s never easy to find the time to exercise, but I consider my health one of my top priorities.  Also, when I am busy it’s difficult to eat right.

Key to Patrick’s success: There are no short cuts – at the end of the day the key to success is hard work and consistency.

Want motivates Patrick to keep coming back, and adopt a healthier lifestyle? I want to remain healthy for my loved ones.

In Patrick’s words:

If I had known how much of a difference having a trainer would make in my exercise regime, I would’ve hired one ten years ago.  It’s has made a world of difference having a professional provide guidance so I don’t hurt myself, motivate me when I am feeling sluggish, and change the workouts to keep the routines interesting.  Danielle and FIT have played a key role in my recovery from back pain.

Patrick’s favorite workout music is Top 40 remixes.

Patrick’s favorite healthy snack is fresh fruit.

When Patrick is not working hard in the gym he enjoys playing outside with his kids.

In Danielle’s words:

The keys to Patrick’s success lies in his consistency, coming to FIT twice a week for half hour sessions, and his diligence to training on his own two to three times per week.  Patrick also pays close attention to eating a healthy diet, getting adequate sleep, and managing stress.  When Patrick started training at FIT in February, he had a couple of goals in mind: 1) he wanted to be free of back pain free, 2) improve overall fitness (increasing strength, muscular and cardiovascular endurance, and flexibility), and 3) to develop the stamina to keep up with his children.  With a lot of hard work and dedication, Patrick is now pain free!  We really focused on building his core strength and improving his muscular and cardiovascular endurance.  Patrick can now do strict pull-ups and push-ups for multiple repetitions, back squat and bench press his son and daughter’s weight, and is starting to learn more complex movements such as olympic weightlifting cleans.  Having a healthier lifestyle has enabled Patrick to keep up with his kiddos and loved ones.  Patrick is always a pleasure to work with and we are proud that you are part of FIT.  Good work!

September 2010 FIT Member Spotlight

11 Sep

Linda Hinton

Age: 47

FIT Member Since: 4/2005

Goals Starting at FIT: To get ripped!

Results: “On my way! I have the guns, now I need the rest of the arsenal!”

Exercise Likes: Weigthlifting

Exercise dislikes: Burpees

Personal Best (PR): Clean & Jerk 47.5kg   Snatch 35kg

Keys to Linda’s success: “Knowing what time I’m going to train and never missing the session”.

Challenges Linda faces: “Bad knees and a repaired Achilles tendon, plus old age”

What motivates Linda to continue adopting a healthier lifestyle and keep coming back to FIT? “Being able to lift more than Mariko, my 14 year old daughter and of course the FIT trainers”.

Linda’s favorite workout music and artist is Eminem

Linda’s  favorite healthy snack is fruit

Favorite non-gym physical activity? When Linda is not working out in the crossfit class, she enjoys Kayaking

In Linda’s words: It took me 45 years to learn and realize that you just have to do it! You have to workout and make it as important as anything else in your life.

In the Trainers words: Linda was one of, if not the first, CrossFIT client at FIT.  She began in personal training and now trains solely in our CrossFIT program.  When Linda began her training program, her knees would not allow her to run.  She had difficulty squatting and you couldn’t get her to jump!  Now, her favorite mode of exercise is weightlifting.  She is sprinting and racing her daughter Mariko during workouts, and jumping on the 18” box. She has changed her diet, lost weight, gotten stronger and more powerful, and even got a great new haircut! Linda’s dedication and hard work combined with her great attitude has made a huge impact on her life and has earned her Client of the Month at FIT. – James Noriega

FIT Member Spotlight August 2010

14 Aug

Charles (Van) Van Wagner

Age: 78 years young

FIT Member Since: Oct. 6, 2009

Goals upon starting at FIT: To continue to feel physically stronger and be able to walk farther without stopping due to leg pain related to P.A.D. (peripheral artery disease)

Results: When Van first stated his exercise program at FIT, he was walking on the treadmill at a pace of 1.5 mph for an average of 2 to 3 minutes before reaching the pain scale threshold. Currently, Van is walking 9 to 10 minutes continuously at a varied pace of 2.1 mph to 2.3 mph before reaching the pain scale threshold.

Besides a circuit of various strength training activities, Van has also added rowing to his workout routine.  His current rowing PR is 400 meters with an average watt of 57.

Likes: “All exercises that have been introduced are OK with me”

Dislikes: “I am not fond of the leg press, due to a knee problem.”

Key’s to Van’s Success:
“Van comes in with a “can do” attitude.  He is open and willing to try new
activities and pushes himself a little more each session”. – Karen

“Van is the man!  He has never missed a session and always arrives on time and ready to go.  Van is always willing and ready to be pushed just a little further but loves to jokingly complain that every time he accomplishes a goal that I’m going to “write that down with a big smiley face and tell Karen all about it” knowing that he’s just progressed a little further.  His walking has improved tremendously but he has made one thing very clear: “I will never, never want to take a treadmill home with me.” – Jen

In Van’s Words:

What has your experience at FIT been like?
“Aside from greatly improving my body physically, I’ve had fun, lots of good
conversations and laughs with the wonderful staff at FIT. Like Thom said, ‘this
isn’t the YMCA.’ I know, I tried the Y for 3 months.”

What motivates you to come back?
“Karen, Jen and the staff that make me feel so good.”