August, September, October, and November 🙂 2018

This year has definitely gone by quickly. December is already practically here.

Thanksgiving provided us a reminder of how grateful we are for the community we have at Crofton Crossfit. We can not express enough how thankful we are for all our members and coaches.

As January 2019, quickly approaches we ask that everyone take the time to think about their goals for this upcoming year. Take the time to start writing down your goals and a plan to accomplish them.

November Athlete's of the Month: Alisa Palmieri and John Gibbons

November Male Athlete of the Month: John Gibbons

My name is John Gibbons. I am honored to be selected CCF’s athlete of the month. CCF to me is a friendly-supportive environment that inspires me to push myself. I am a person born and raised to humble beginnings. I enjoyed living with my grandfather; a rustic man with a 3rd grade education, who was basically a subsistence farmer and laborer. He built his 4 room house and raised and hunted/trapped the bulk of our food. Our only amenity was electricity. Seven of us slept in 3 feather beds in 1 room. Here, I learned the value of stamina and strength. At the end of a day of working in fields, it was often the cramps in my fingers that held the hoe. I made my first weight lifting set at age 13. It was two large cinder blocks with holes carefully chiseled through them. A stick served as the bar. Nails in the stick served as the collars. My bench press was a board. This was the start of my life-long exercise journey. I ran consistently for over 50 years, weight trained regularly, played baseball, soccer, and football, ran cross-country, and trained in a variety of martial arts. I like to challenge myself. I served as a paratrooper in the infantry, did sky-diving for fun, motorcycled the country, became a sport pilot, and engaged in activities that tested my will. At age 65, I hiked the Grand Canyon’s South Kaibab trail in 6 hours and 5 minutes. A hike that takes the average person 2 days and 12 to 18 hours to complete. I would drive by CCF to-and-from work, always curious about it. Finally, earlier this year, I stopped in and signed up for the introductory classes. I was immediately hooked. The supportive-enthusiastic atmosphere, and versatility of functional exercises is just what I needed. I never go to sleep without checking the blog to see the next day’s WOD. Thanks all for this honor!

November Female Athlete of the Month: Alisa Palmieri

Personally, I’m 51, married, with 6 grown kids and 1 grand baby. Yeah! I work as a gov’t contractor for an IT company. I go in early so I can get out early and make sure I make it to the gym! I’ve been doing Crossfit since 2010 and really love it. I’ve met so many nice people and look forward to the adult playground atmosphere. It really balances out the stresses of everyday life. I’m very glad I chose Crofton Crossfit because the members have a definite investment in it’s success. This adds to the community feeling and means decisions are not made strictly from a management perspective. I love that there are all levels of proficiency so there’s someone to chase (or at least be in awe of) and others to encourage as they improve their skills. The fact that the coaches do the workouts when not coaching is a bonus. It is great that the teacher is also the student. Last words of wisdom… Because nice matters… and Protect your back!

October Athlete's of the Month: Sarah Jennings and Daniel Villegas

 Sarah Jennings

Daniel Villegas

September Athlete's of the Month: Christopher Mowry and Robin Story

Robin Story

Chris Mowry

August Athlete's of the Month: Curtis Lemanski and Mayra Torres

Curtis Lemanksi

 Mayra Torres


Upcoming Competitions:

  • Granite Games Throw Down- January 12, 2019
  • Midatlantic Crossfit Challenge- April 12- April 14

Congratulations to these Athletes who competed in the Metcon Mashup at Crossfit Germantown:

All Artwork used in this newsletter is that of jsculquiart (check out instagram: jsculquiart and website:

The Summer has passed by quicker than expected. Its been a hot several months. We are now just a little past the half year mark, and we are hoping that everyone is continuing to work towards their goals for the year of 2018. If you need help trying to train for a specific goal, don’t be afraid to ask a coach for help!

June Athlete's of the Month: Micheal Nease and Julia

Julia Tsamouras (June's Female Athlete of the Month)

My name is Julia Poncharik I’m 15 years old and going into the 10th grade. I’ve always been athletic throughout my whole life. Starting at age 3 in gymnastics , but age 5 moved to competitive cheer and tumbling lessons , I did that for 8 years also during that time I had done field hockey for 4 years as well as swimming when I was younger and the school dance company though out middle school as well as a few years when I was younger. My mom absolutely loves crossfit and thought it would complement cheerleading making me a strong athlete. I started my crossfit journey about 2 years ago. I wasn’t always giving it my full effort because i still was doing other sports. My freshmen year of high school I made the Varsity cheerleading team where I had practice 6 days a week. Sense February 2018 I’ve been putting more effort into crossfit coming several days a week working out with my mom most times ! I love the community aspect of it. Being one of the younger athletes i appreciate all the encouragement everyone’s gives me. I look forward to continuing my crossfit journey and becoming a better & stronger athlete !

Micheal Nease (June's Male Athlete of the Month)

When I first saw Crossfit, I used to laugh at all the people jumping and flipping around like a bunch of idiots. Now that I have been doing it for about a year, I realized the reason why they are always jumping and flopping around because that is what I do when I struggle to finish a wod. The people and employees at Crofton CrossFit have been nothing but nice and extremely uplifting and helpful with coaching and motivation. This is probably the hardest thing I have ever done in my life but it motivates me to be better than ever before.



Micheal Nease also owns  Sit Means Sit Annapolis Dog Training. Visit their website:

July's Athletes of the Month: Kelly Stoner and Calvin Smith

KELLY STONER (July's Female Athlete of the Month)

Hi, I’m Kelly Stoner, and I’ve somehow been named Athlete of the Month. Any moment now, whoever nominated me will figure out they mixed up my name with someone else. Regardless, I’m really excited to be a part of Crofton Crossfit, and everyone has been so welcoming. The competitive, yet supportive, nature of the CCF team pushes me to work harder for myself and makes it exciting to see teammates accomplish goal after goal. I joined CCF a few months ago after my former gym closed. Lost, confused, and drowning my sorrows in chocolate teddy grahams, I leeched onto my beloved Coach Anna and pretty much decided I’d follow her anywhere. Lucky for me I found a great team of coaches and a few super friendly faces happy to sweat it out with me at 6:05 am, even though my own face is anything but friendly in the morning…or ever. Many of the crossfit movements were new to me, and it’s been humbling to get it wrong over and over again, and to spend some quality time with the training bar. But I’m getting better! And the coaching staff has been phenomenal in helping me learn the right way and forcing me to check my pride at the door so I don’t destroy my body. I look forward to the day my cleans and overhead squats won’t be horrid, but until then, I’ll try my best to coordinate my shoes with my outfit so as not to completely embarrass Coach Carl.

Calvin Smith (July's Male Athlete of the Month)

It’s really an honor to be chosen as athlete of the month for July. It’s really been an awesome journey for me so far as first of all I recognize that this is something that is defined not only by the major goals that you accomplish, when you hit a personal record, the first time you accomplish one of the many crossfit movements that you didn’t think that you’d ever accomplish or thought was insanity when you first started crossfit, but really the discipline to get to the gym on a regular basis, even when you don’t feel like it or when it’s a WOD that looks awful. Since I’ve been at Crofton Crossfit, I’ve found that my overall strength, core stability and especially my flexibility have improved, in measurable ways. I have some of the more advanced moves and as my “strength to weight ratio” improves I’m looking forward to accomplishing the more challenging excercises I don’t think I’d have kept to it this long without the crossfit community that Crofton fosters and the coaches that have led us. Chris, Mary, Sara, Karl, Anna, Mike, Stan and any of the other coaches that I might have missed, thanks for everything that you do. Your different styles and techniques that each of you bring in your own way help me find the strength that I didn’t even know that I had. Last but not least, thanks Greg for running such a vibrant box and supporting your coaches and the fitness community around them. Thanks again, I’m excited to see where things will be a year from here!

Hand Care

As crossfitters we at times display our blistered and torn hands as badges of honor, but the reality is torn hands can lead to infections and decrease our performance if they are not taken care of properly.

Make sure that you are moisturizing your hands. Dry skin is more likely to crack and rip then skin that is well hydrated.

Shave your calluses. We form calluses from lifting barbells, swinging kettle bells, rowing on the erg, and doing pullups. When calluses build up and start to peel that’s when it causes issues. You can buy a callus shaver as pictured below, or you can use an old -fashioned pumice stone or nail file. It is best to work on your calluses after a shower when your skin is clean and soft.

Gymnastic grips, glove, tape and chalk can help protect your hands in a workout. There is a variety of grips out there to pick from. Here are a few we like pictured below (victory grips or bear complex grips).

We like the video below that explains how to properly use grips:


If you do tear your hands, make sure to keep them clean and covered. You can use over the counter creams like bacitracin to help your hands heal. There are other products like wod welder that provide some salve to help with healing as well.

Lastly, know when to power through a workout or scale down if your beginning to rip. Its not worth ripping to then not be able to do other wods through out the week.


Upcoming Competitions:

  • Granite Games Throw Down- August 18, 2018
  • Reps for Recovery- September 9  (True Core Crossfit)
  • Battle of the Ages – September 15, 2018
  • O.C. Beach Battle Fitness Competition – September 22, 2018
  • Girls Gone RX- September 29, 2018
  • Girls Gone RX- October 6, 2018
  • Vektor Games 6- December 1, 2018

Congratulations to these Athletes who competed in the Atlas Games and took 2nd place:



All Artwork used in this newsletter is that of jsculquiart (check out instagram: jsculquiart and website:

May 2018

May has been a great month. On Memorial Day, we took some time to remember Lt. Micheal Murphy and all of those who gave their lives for our country. Thank you to everyone who came out on Memorial Day and completed Murph in their honor.

We can not say it often enough how incredibly grateful we are for our community.


AMY CRONE (MAY's Female Athlete of the Month)

By Amy Crone

I joined CrossFit when my daughter was one (she is now 6); I was ready to get back into shape and I was tired of running by myself. I had heard of it, and knew a little about it but needed accountability so signed up for the onboarding class after checking out a free Saturday class. It was a commitment – the onboarding was 8 sessions at 6am, and my workout schedule had been sporadic up to that point. I was the only woman in a group of 6, and I was also the only one who had done Olympic lifting before. I played field hockey in college, so the movements were familiar and it felt good to be lifting weights again. After completing the onboarding class I was ready to jump in – although still very intimidated by Rx weights – and quickly discovered one of the most welcoming gyms that I’ve ever been a part of (and I’ve been to a lot of gyms!). Regardless of whether you scaled, or couldn’t yet do an exercise, everyone was supportive and cheered you on no matter if you finished first or last in any given WOD. And over the years that is what has kept me coming back – the awesome community that we have at CCF and how everyone strives for continuous improvement. Two years ago I decided to challenge myself and actually sign up for the open – again choosing to hold myself accountable. I was just happy to have done all of the workouts, and not bailed on any even when they looked too hard. The year after that was challenging with back & IT band injuries, but through all of my recovery and PT everyone at the gym remained supportive – coaches willing to help me modify anything I needed, 6am crew staying strong and empathetic when I was hurting, and many offering suggestions for good chiropractors, massages, or other helpful ideas. I have become so much stronger since I joined the gym – I can now do many workouts Rx (still need to get those double-unders), and I was very happy with how the Open went this year. But what I appreciate most is the journey – from the start when I imagined carrying my kids as I did farmers carries so I could just make it through a workout to now knowing how strong and functionally fit I am – CCF is a special place where there is no judgement but only encouragement to help you reach your goals, however you define them for yourself. I have also enjoyed getting to know so many new friends, all of whom kick ass in the Box and outside it; over the years and through many changes, our CCF community has remained strong and resilient. I am grateful to the CCF community, thankful for our excellent coaches and dedicated owners, and honored to be an athlete of the month!

TOM CRONE (May's Male Athlete of the Month)

By Tom Crone

First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to the coaches for honoring me as May’s Athlete of the Month. Its hard to believe I joined just a little over a year ago. It has truly been life changing for me after about 15 years (omg!) of more or less ignoring my physical fitness. Because of the dedication of our coaches and the hard work and attitude that you fellow members bring to the box every day I know I am a better man, husband, father, and professional because of Crofton Crossfit! One last note, it is true…those sexy red and black Rogue bars do feel heavier!


Upcoming Competitions:

  • Battle of the Ages – September 15, 2018
  • O.C. Beach Battle Fitness Competition – September 22, 2018
  • Granite Games Throw Down- August 18, 2018

All Artwork used in this newsletter is that of jsculquiart (check out instagram: jsculquiart and website:

APRIL 2018

Spring is finally here (at least for now)! We hope that everyone is keeping up with their goals they set in January. Don’t lose sight of the goals your trying to achieve!

It is the perfect time to start getting outside so you might find that Wods have a few more 400 meter runs programmed in there. On your active recovery days, explore some of the local parks such as Potapsco Park to enjoy the beautiful weather and nature .



AMY LEHMAN (April's Female Athlete of the Month)

By Amy Lehman

Hello everyone! I’m Amy. I’m truly honored, and shocked, to have been selected as athlete of the month. I’ll admit that I do not feel I deserve it! Both Mary and Anna have helped me each week to achieve what I’ve done to date. They are the athlete’s of the month to me. 🙂 They deserve a reward.

A little about myself and my fitness journey. I’m a single parent to a lovely little soon to be 5 year old little girl. When I gave birth I weighed 371 pounds. I’ve been working for the last couple of years to get healthy. It’s been a legitimate struggle. But I am accomplishing that goal. I’ve lost over 140 pounds to date. Most of that has been through the help of crossfit and boxing – plus a few doctors, and dietitians. 🙂

I’m thankful to have found a community that makes me feel welcome and that helps me celebrate my accomplishments. You guys are the best. I’m able to do more and more each week. Mary and Anna help push me to notice those achievements and push me to do more. When I started my journey I wasn’t able to get down to the floor and back up again without help. (Anna remembers those days I’m sure). This morning Mary timed me hanging from a bar for 22 seconds. Being able to hold up my body weight has been a goal of mine for a very long time. Now I’m shooting for being able to do a pull up.

(NOV 2017 —> APRIL 2018)

KEITH ASHTON (April's Male Athlete of the Month)

By Keith Ashton

Thank you Crofton CrossFit for choosing me as the April’s Male Athlete of the Month. First, I would like to say its an absolute honor to both be chosen, and be chosen in the same month as Amy Lehman. She is such a hard worker and deserves the honor so much!

My CrossFit adventure began in March of 2015 at the age of 44. I was severely out of shape, lifting weights at Gold’s Gym (sporadically and by myself) and weighing almost 200 pounds in my 5’8” frame.

Being completely disgusted with myself, I decided to join this new gym in Crofton (UFC Gym) and start taking classes in kickboxing, boxing, and weight training. It was here that I met the Icelandic Queen herself, Anna Jonsdottir and met some of the greatest most motivating bunch of friends I could ever ask for. My first class with Anna was a DUT (Daily Ultimate Training) and I didn’t even make it through the warm-up without having to stop, catch my breath, get my blood pressure taken, and almost pass out. I was hooked! I started taking her classes 2-3 times a week, and supplementing with boxing and kickboxing. I noticed weight starting to come off, and I generally started to feel better both physically and mentally.

After about 6-7 months I decided to start doing personal training with Anna in a group of three. My two teammates Patrick and Scott where the best motivators and friends, and they pushed me to work hard and constantly improve. After about a year of this, I decided I was ready to step-up into the world of CrossFit. I took a one month fundamentals class at a small CrossFit box near my house and continued for about 6 months. The WOD’s were so hard, and I got hurt immediately trying to keep up with the programming. During my rehab process I met Bethany Middleton who pushed me to both heal my 3 bulging lower back discs, and to go see Chris Miller at Crofton CrossFit for personal training. Chris was wonderful, and he helped me tremendously.

Even when I thought I was ready to be integrated into a CCF class, the Coaches wouldn’t let me without his approval. Everyone there was so great and motivating, regardless of my level of fitness. I immediately became a member and was splitting my time between UFC Gym and Crofton CrossFit. Fast forward to November 2017 and I decided to devote all my fitness time to Crofton CrossFit, and I am so happy I did. I have learned so much in the last 4 months from all the Coaches and members and I couldn’t be happier.

I have discovered a passion for Olympic Lifting (HUGE shout out to Coach Jeremy for his patience and sharing his expertise) and can be found at OLY class every Tuesday and Thursday night. I recently have learned to do both pull-ups and toes-to-bars unbroken, and am still chasing those dreaded double-unders! I can’t thank everyone enough for all the motivation, coaching, and most of all friendship.

I have made some great new friends, and am very much looking forward to making many more. Thank you Greg Rhoades, for providing us with such an amazing place. I love Crofton CrossFit, and I truly appreciate the honor of being April’s Male Athlete of the Month.


Congratulations to these Athletes who competed last month in the MAAC and Festivus:

  • New Wods on the Block- May 5th
  • Granite Games-May 5th
  • East Coast Battle-MAY 19th
  • Vekter Games- June 27th


All Artwork used in this newsletter is that of jsculquiart (check out instagram: jsculquiart and website:

MARCH 2018

The Open is over! For some that might be a sigh of relief and others might be sad to see it go. We are so thankful to our community for participating in the Open this year, between our “Friday Night Lights” and watching everyone compete it was truly motivating.

On on another note, during the competitive season of the open, it becomes easy to compare yourself to others (especially with the little or big number next to your name).  If you find yourself a little dissapointed after the open, I’d like to ask: Why do you let five little workouts out of hundreds define your worth?

It’s good to be competitive, but it is time to turn off the timer for a bit and breathe again. Use the open to learn about your weakness, and take it as an opportunity work on them. Really focus on technique and improvement!

We are really proud of everyone and how they performed in the Open! Thank you to all our coaches and members who spent extra time at the box judging.

MARCH ATHLETES OF THE MONTH : Jim Vautier and Eunesa Benoman

Eunesa Benoman (March's Female Athlete of the Month)

By Eunesa Benoman


After spending some time searching for a group-style fitness program to replace the cancelled boot camp that I had been attending, I decided to try CCF in January 2013. I didn’t bother to do a whole lot of research on CrossFit in general…I actually didn’t know to.

Because I drove past CCF everyday on my way home from work, I thought to visit the website to see what it (read, CCF) was about. I signed up for a free introductory class and that was a wrap. I was both humbled and excited by the challenge of the movements and the weightlifting. I have to admit though, that I wasn’t as actively engaged in that CCF life my 1st year. I was in-and-out a bit and somewhat disconnected, namely because of my shy and reserved nature (shhh….that’s a secret part of me).

I had not established relationship with anyone, and that kept me from settling down and locking into my new workout environment. It was new and different, and I only really talked to (then) Coach Kyle (he led my foundations class). Beyond that, I really didn’t interact with anyone…I basically walked in, did the workout, and walked out. I started my 2nd year with a greater sense of commitment, and it didn’t take long for me to realize that I could eat what I wanted to eat as long as I put forth a serious effort during class.

So, I began attending the 6AM class (preparing my body for the day’s meals) and RuckFit (preparing my body for weekend binge). However comically (and/or irreverent) that may be, it is because of that misguided approach that I began to open up and develop relationships with other members, which would prove extremely critical for me in my not so distant future.

In February of 2015, I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a chronic type of blood cancer affecting the plasma cells. In my particular case, the cancerous plasma cells overproduce incomplete antibodies that, if left untreated, would crowd out the health blood cells in my bone marrow and wreak all kinds of havoc. Fortunately, Grace has kept me asymptomatic despite having had extremely high levels of cancer in my blood.

When I shared my diagnosis with the 6AM class, I was immediately surrounded with genuine concern and support by coach and class alike. As word of my situation spread, so did the concern and support. It was a transformative experience for me whereby the significance of CCF and my CCF relationships morphed into the realm of necessity in ways that I was (at that time) yet to fully appreciate and understand.

Today, now into my 6th year, post stem cell transplant (2016), and still receiving treatment (remember, it’s a chronic cancer), that same concern and support from my CCF family continues to make a significant difference in my life (in general) and my myeloma journey (in particular). Before, members brought me food, drove me to appointments, visited with me, and supported my Phoenix Rising campaign (Coach Carl).

Now, members and coaches check in with me about how I’m doing and tolerating my treatment, speak uplifting words of affirmation and encouragement that inspire me to keep living, push me (sometimes even with me) through those moments when I doubt finishing a WOD, and take care of putting away my equipment when I’m laid out in the floor trying not to die…LOL Today, now into my 6th year, I fully recognize the value of my CCF family, and I will forever be grateful your presence and impact. Thank you coaches for recognizing me as AOTM…I am humbled. CCF…YOU matter to me, and YOU make a tangible difference in my life. I am because WE are! #UBUNTU

Jim Vautier (MARCH's Male Athlete of the Month)

By Jim Vautier

I was shocked when I was told I was selected Athlete of the Month for the second time. My initial thought was there must have been some type of Russian influence.

I grew up in South Jersey and from an early age played any sport that was in season, sometime playing on multiple teams during the same season. My fitness peaked in college. My decline in physical fitness started when I traded in my uniform for a desk job.

Throughout the next 20 years I would join various gyms or try the latest home workout programs. Nothing seem to work for the long haul and I continue to get in worse shape as the years went on.

Then I hit the big 50 and knew I had to make a change. My knees and shoulders ached and the doctors told me I was showing signs of arthritis. I saw something on TV about crossfit so I ventured into Crofton Crossfit one day more than five years ago, determined to make a change.

During the on boarding classes I couldn’t believe how out of shape I was, I couldn’t do a pull-up, squat anywhere close to parallel and was unable to hold a barbell in the front rack position. I started working out 2 days a week, which felt worse than two a day practices. I was always last to finish, especially if there was any running.

Crofton Crossfit has the formula for success and it is a combination of the coaches, programming and community. I am so thankful for all the coaching expertise, encouragement and comments during the 0600 classes. The glue that holds it all together is the community. Our 0600 class is awesome and it’s great to workout with a bunch of athletes who cheer you on, celebrate your PR’s and bust your chops when appropriate. This is my favorite crossfit picture of some of the 0600 crew celebrating my 52nd birthday.




  • MAAC 2018-APRIL 14-APRIL 15
  • New Wods on the Block- May 5th
  • Granite Games-May 5th
  • East Coast Battle-MAY 19th
  • Vekter Games- June 27th


We have a couple teams competing in the MAAC this year! Please come out to watch and support them!

All Artwork used in this newsletter is that of jsculquiart (check out instagram: jsculquiart and website:


It’s February and the Open is upon us. We are so excited to have Friday Night Lights to have everyone take on the open together. The Open is truly about community and pushing yourself further than before. We hope everyone enjoys the Open this year and surpasses their expectations.

FEBRUARY ATHLETES OF THE MONTH : Mike Woodward and Leah Peah

Leah Paley (February's Female Athlete of the Month)

By Leah Paley

When Sara first shared the news that I was selected as athlete of the month, I asked her if she had messaged the wrong person by accident. After she assured me that she had not made a mistake, I got to thinking about why I was doubting myself as an athlete. I had in fact played on my middle and high school’s basketball and softball teams, and always ran in the off-season to stay in shape. But I was never the star athlete (let’s be real, I rode the bench quite a bit) and I didn’t have the “natural” ability like some of my team members. I always had to work really hard, at everything. So I never really thought of myself as an athlete. But I realize now that just because I wasn’t the MVP of a team or I didn’t play a sport in college doesn’t mean I am not an athlete. I have continued with my running over the years and more recently have added various forms of cross training, including the crossfit endurance class. I have completed close to a dozen 10 milers, and four half marathons (three out of four, post-babies). The crossfit endurance class has pushed me to try things I never would have if I was working out alone. It’s easy to get stuck in a routine; it has been a challenge to step outside of my comfort zone. What makes it fun is that I am not doing it alone; I have people there to teach and support me. I have to give a special shoutout to Gillian for being such an amazing endurance coach. She keeps me coming back week after week!! And I would be a terrible person if I didn’t thank my husband, Mat, for supporting me. He is an amazing father and partner, and I appreciate that he recognizes how important it is to me to stay fit.

Mike Woodard (February's Male Athlete of the Month)

By Mike Woodard

Thanks for the honor of being Athlete of the Month! I was not very athletic growing up—swimming was about the only sport at which I excelled. I was pretty inactive during my teenage years, ate terribly, and gained a lot of weight. I started to exercise more around the time I went to college and became a pretty active runner. I would lift weights a couple time a week, but I often became bored with training and never felt like I was getting stronger. In 2014, I started reading more and more about CrossFit online and the constant variance and high intensity really interested me. In December of 2014, I took a free intro class at CCF. I immediately signed up for foundations and have loved it ever since. I have gotten so much stronger and faster since joining and so much has to do with the amazing coaches we have here. They have helped me so much with technique and helped me safely rehab through some knee injuries. Thanks to all the coaches, especially the ones who get up early in the morning to coach the 6 am class!

Matt's Zone Diet Adventure

By Matt Titman

Hey everyone! How’s that New Year’s Resolution going? You know, the one to lose those pesky 10 pounds? This year, I decided to get started a bit earlier with my resolution. I had a significant knee injury last April and had to take 3 months off of working out to heal up. When I came back in July, I felt like I was starting Crossfit all over again. My cardio was gone, I had lost significant strength and muscle mass (14 pounds of it, ouch!), and my weight was back up to ~280 pounds. Training from July until November without adjusting my diet helped a bit, and I regained a decent amount of strength and some aerobic capacity. I PR’d my deadlift at 500 pounds (Finally!), and I was having fun in the gym again. However, I was disappointed that bodyweight movements were still very difficult. I used the Zone diet for the first time in 2015 when Crofton Crossfit ran a weight loss challenge, which I actually won (pats self on back). I knew I could use it again to help achieve my goal. I didn’t have a specific goal weight when I started, but I decided to just see where I ended up after 3 months. On 11/8/17, I used the Bod Pod and weighed in at 276.8 pounds and at 28.8% body fat. My first week on Zone was a rough transition. I had a significant decrease in the amount of carbohydrates and fats so I felt a bit lethargic and a little cranky. My body quickly adjusted, and those symptoms went away in a short period of time. I generally ate 4 meals a day, sticking to basics like eggs and egg whites, chicken, beef, sweet potatoes, avocados, and cashews. I also ate bread (whole grain), apples, and cheese everyday. I won’t lie and act like I was perfect. Sometimes you do need to have a meal to break the monotony, so I ate things like breakfast cereal, a cheeseburger with sweet potato fries, steak, ice cream, Chipotle, etc. These “cheat meals” were important, but I still made sure that they had protein, carbs, and fats, and I only had them once or maybe twice a week. My goal was to stick to the Zone plan at least 90% of the time, which I easily able to do. I used the house programming at CCF for my exercise. I didn’t make any significant changes to the workouts, and I usually did 4 classes a week. I occasionally went on walks around the neighborhood, and I would sometimes use the rower to do some short interval workouts. On 2/4/18, I used the Bod Pod again and weighed in at 252.0 pounds and 22.2% body fat. I lost 24.8 pounds and 6.6% body fat, both excellent results in my mind. Overall, I had a great second experience with Zone and would definitely encourage anyone looking to lose weight to give it a shot. It is fairly easy to get started with, all you need is a food scale and the chart of measurements for the Zone blocks. If you have any interest in getting started with it, just ask or send me an e-mail!


  • MAAC 2018-APRIL 14-APRIL 15
  • East Coast Battle-MAY 19th


Congrats to these Athletes who Competed this past month:

New Wods on the Block-The 3rd Wheel:

Granite Games Throwdown:

All Artwork used in this newsletter is that of jsculquiart (check out instagram: jsculquiart and website:


It’s a New Year!!!! There’s so much to look forward to! Whatever your goals may be for this year take the time to write them down and formulate a plan on how to get there.
We hope this year only brings the best for everyone and hope we can help everyone accomplish their fitness goals this year!

JANUARY ATHLETES OF THE MONTH: Ashley Merola and Skylar Woolman

Ashley Merola (January's Female Athlete of the Month)

By Ashley Merola

Hey all! I’m super excited and honored to be athlete of the month – and to get to use those shiny new bars!

I only began doing crossfit last April, when I moved down here from PA after receiving an Occupational Therapy job for PG County schools. After two months of driving past CCF on my way to work, I decided to stop in (and it was an awesome decision). Everyone was cool (obviously) and pretty bad*ss. After my first real class (when I realized exactly how naive I was, thinking I was super fit…) I signed up for 6 months and couldn’t wait to start making #gainz (and recently renewed my membership for a year… woo!). But outside of #gainz cue sappy music getting to know everyone at CCF has been amazingly helpful for me after moving to a new area completely alone, and has lead to some great friendships!

Annnnnnd… crossfit has completely overhauled my mindset on health and fitness. I’m by far in the best shape of my life, eating way more (and healthier) than ever, and for the first time my physical goals involve getting weights up (pun) instead of getting the weight on the scale to go down.

And of course, a big thanks to Greg and Erin for all you both do at CCF!

Looking forward to an awesome 2018 with you all!

Skylar Woolman (January's Male Athlete of the Month)

By Skylar Woolman

Thanks for selecting me as the first Athlete of the Month for the New Year! It’s an honor to set the standard for 2018 and I look forward to many PRs using the red and black, lord of the Sith, barbell. I am 25 years old and from Reno, Nevada. I grew up playing baseball and dirt biking. A little over a year ago, I moved to Bowie because I got a job at Johns Hopkins as a Lab Tech doing breast and pancreatic cancer research.


When I first did CrossFit, about 4 years ago, I hated it. There was a lot of pain and suffering in CrossFit. I hurt my shoulder after just two weeks. And I didn’t see how any sane person could like doing something that made them want to lose their lunch and left them sprawled out in a pool of sweat on the floor after each WOD. So I gave CrossFit the finger and never looked back.


But after moving to Bowie I considered it again. I felt like I had to, since I drove by CCF every day after work. So in a way CCF chose me. Six months ago I gave it another shot. Since being here, I cannot thank the coaches enough! Crazily, it seemed like every one of the coaches had a shoulder issue that they dealt with and got though. They all had great guidance and gave me a lot of hope. With the rotator cuff exercises from coach Tori and all the other coaches helping me modify the WOD, after a few months my shoulder was no longer an issue. I now feel like an athlete again.


One of my favorite things about CCF is Oly class. If you’ve ever been you know what I mean. Jeremy is fantastic and so are the people who show up to class. I cannot think of any other environment where the entire class is rooting for and excited to see another person throw around heavy weight and make improvements. It’s a very addicting environment! After months of showing up late to class, I went from getting 65 pounds over head in a movement that somewhat resembled a snatch to 95 pounds that I am proud to call a snatch. It’s such an awesome accomplishment that I’ve considered stopping CrossFit to focus entirely on Oly class.


I’m really thankful for CCF. The coaches and members are awesome! I know I wouldn’t be able to complete many of the WODs without you guys. CCF gives me something to look forward to and gives me my sanity back after a long day at work. Most importantly, it gave me my ability to workout pain free.

"I started Crossfit more than 10 years ago..." By: JC Kaboom


(Left is 11.4 body fat May 2017 vs right is 9.2 percent body fat as of November 17)


I started Crossfit more than 10 years ago at the Golds Gym in Crofton. One of the trainers there asked me if I would be interested in doing a crossfit workout. He told me that the actors that played in the movie 300 were primarily doing Crossfit workouts and that got me really intrigued. Who doesn’t want to look ripped right?

He gave me the details of the workout, 20 min AMRAP of 5 pull ups, 10 push ups, 15 air squats. Sound familiar? Thinking to myself I was like he must be joking. Only 20 minutes, I got this. 10 minutes into the workout I am gasping for air. I believe I stopped at the 15 minute mark and physically could not continue. From that point on I fell in love with Crossfit. I was 5’8 barely 165 lbs at the time.

Looking back now it is crazy to see how much my body has changed from a physical standpoint. My technique and performance has also changed for the better. I am at a bodyweight of 192 lbs. and in the best shape of my life. But during this process a lot of changes have happened. I have a become a father, a police officer, and soon to be husband. Although these life changes have happened, I still try to train when I can.

Staying in peak shape is essential in the line of work I am in. Police officers have one of the highest mortality rates after retirement, so I am determined to beat those odds. As you all know, training has its ups and downs. 2017 was probably the hardest year from a performance standpoint. I don’t know how many times I wanted to just stop training altogether when a training session would not go as planned.

My biggest problem was comparing myself to other high end Crossfit athletes. I never thought I was fast enough, strong enough or coordinated enough. But then I realized that those attributes do not define me as a person. As many failures that I have had, I have learned to get back up, and learn from those failures. From an athlete standpoint, these failures are a humbling experience. Be content and never be satisfied.

Look at failures as learning experiences. You are perfecting your craft by being consistent and putting in the hard work. Yeah there is going to be days when you don’t want to train or slack off on your nutrition, but those are the days you have to prepare yourself mentally. Fighting those urges and telling yourself that YOU will not let up. That is how you attack life. Not only has Crossfit changed me physically but also mentally and psychologically. I attack life like I attack my training sessions. Positive reinforcement and never quit mentality. I have a lot of aspirations, and although sometimes negativity gets in the way, I look at the greater picture. I will fight not matter what.

I have been blessed with having my fiancé Rachel helping me along the way because like I have said before, I have considered quitting many times. I know I am meant for greater things, so my mindset is made up. FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION.

CCF athletes you all are meant for greater things, not just at the box, but in life. “Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life.”

I think this quote says it all. You all motivate me to be a better athlete, better coach , and a better person. On that note make 2018 your best year to date. Tell negativity to F**k off this year.


  • 2018 SuperFit Games Championship- JANUARY 27, 2018
  • MAAC 2018-APRIL 14-APRIL 15

All Artwork used in this newsletter is that of jsculquiart (check out instagram: jsculquiart and website:


December brings a closing to the end of the year of 2017. We have a lot to be grateful for this year. We’ve had a lot of changes, and can’t wait for an even better 2018!

With 2018 looming around the corner, we look forward to a New Year with new goals in mind.  What are you trying to accomplish in the year of 2018? Remember a goal is just a wish without a plan. Really take the time to write up a plan on how to accomplish your goals. Create baby steps or “baby” goals that you can reach in between.


December Athlete of the Month by Elizabeth Asche

 Hi everyone!  Liz here.  I’m very excited to be named CCF athlete of the month for December.  While I have only been at CCF for a little over a year, the box has already become a second home to me.  All the athletes and coaches are strong and encouraging and really fun to be around.  Coming from an endurance background, it has been great to gain strength and coordination through the Crossfit programming and I can’t wait to be able to dive back into non-modified training next month.  As you have probably noticed, I’ve been packing around an ever-growing medicine ball under my shirt for the last 9 months—Crossfit has been a great way to stay strong and fit throughout my pregnancy and the athletes at CCF have been incredibly supportive despite my need to modify many movements… especially burpees!

When I’m not at the gym, I run an analytics and policy branch for the National Flood Insurance Program at FEMA, which is why many of you have probably noticed the phone plastered to my face or the emails between sets over hurricane season. At home, I have two awesome dogs and an amazing husband who I’ve been trying to badger into joining CCF since I’ve been here.  When we aren’t working or working out, we like to make beer, grow things in our garden, spend time on or in the water, or just hang out at home.

BABY IT'S COLD OUTSIDE- How to Dress for Outdoor Running -By: Gillian Werner (ENDURANCE COACH)


My son’s preschool has a philosophy that there is no such thing as bad weather for outdoor play just bad clothing.  The same can be said about cold weather running. If you know how to battle the elements you can escape the doldrums of running on a treadmill, missing your training runs or skipping out on those wonderful CrossFit Endurances Classes (Monday and Wednesday nights at 6:00pm!). Here are a few tips to keep you outside and running this winter.

For a lot of people the cooler temperatures are a welcome break from the hot humid days of summer and early fall running. However, for some, those chilly temps are just unbearable so choosing your outfits and gear is key. The most important thing to remember, when bundling up for your run, is once you start moving your body will heat up quickly so avoid dressing too warmly. Your body will start to overheat leaving you feeling uncomfortable. The opposite can be said once you stop moving. You will cool down fast so be prepared to get out of those sweaty clothes right away! If possible keep an extra set of dry clothes with you for a quick post run change.  I like to start and finish my runs at a local coffee shop so I can use their restroom to change and grab a warm cup of coffee after I am done.

To dress for a successful winter run utilizing multiple layers is key.  With layers you can begin your run feeling nice and toasty then easily shed layers as your body warms up.  The first layer should always be your base layer; as you strip off the excess clothing your correct layer is underneath.  I recommend using a moisture wicking base layer rather than a cotton one.

To determine what layers you need there is a “running temperature” formula you can use to figure out what to wear for your run. The formula is simple, add 10-20 degrees to the outside temperature to calculate your running temperature.  You should note that this number is dependent on your body size, running pace, and the distance you’re running.

So lets say you are going on a short run, running at an easy pace, or you are of smaller stature, you will want to add 10-15 degrees to the outside temperature to estimate your running temperature.  If you are going for a long training run, tackling a tough workout, or are a runner resembling Ndamukong Suh, defensive tackle for the Miami Dolphins, then add around 20 degrees to your run.  For a 60 degree run it is recommended that you wear a short sleeve base layer and shorts. At 50 degrees go for a long sleeved base layer and shorts or tights (gloves are optional). 40 degrees, layer up with a base layer and vest or something that zips allowing you to open up the extra layer for ventilation, wear tights and gloves. 30 degrees, run in a base layer, add an insulating layer, something made of fleece is best, then a jacket, tights, hat and gloves.  Below freezing, grab that base layer, (2) insulating layers, a jacket, thicker tights that are meant for colder temps, gloves, hat, and neck warmer.

You should also give your feet some love during the chilly winter months. Skip those cotton socks and upgrade to socks made from wool or synthetic materials.  If you find your self in super cold weather you can also invest in running shoes with Gore-Tex or similar materials designed to block wind and keep your toes comfy and cozy.

Ok, so now you are all ready for those temperatures to drop and to hit the road running. Better yet join us for our Endurance Class because yes we run all year round!

CROSSFIT : Changing Women's perspective on Body Image

Body Image and Crossfit BY: Mary Cavanagh

Every girl wants those six-pack, rock solid abs and visible muscles and to look like a goddess when exercising. With Crossfit, every woman sees those other women such as Katrin Davidsdottir, Brooke Wells, Tia Toomey, and Annie Thorisdottir with amazing abs that make them look so fit. The hard standard now to be elite in crossfit, is you have to have visible abs.

A lot of young girls see women on social media flaunting shredded abs and wonder how they could be able to get a stomach like that. This type of social media content and young girls being told that they need to eat less to look a certain way to fit societal standards. As a senior in high school, I was one of those girls who admired the six-packs and flat stomachs. I got to a place where I refused to eat bread and I focused on eating lots of fruits and vegetables. I was still healthy eating at that point and starting to become a better athlete. Once I went away for my semester at college, I became addicted. I would barely eat breakfast, lunch, or dinner and would try to go to bed hungry. I would workout three times a day, training to be the best athlete on the lacrosse team. This seemed healthy, I was getting a flat stomach and a six pack, but was I happy?

Fast-forward a year to 2015 and I had started eating better for my health and I had just started crossfit after moving back home. I was happy again, but seeing all the elite crossfit women look the way they did, I went back to thinking eating less would make me that way. I ate less and less thinking that that would make me like those athletes; but why when I did that, did I feel dizzy and tired all the time.

Many men and women believe that in order to be a top level athlete, one must have visible abs. I have noticed that as my performance has been going up, I have been thinking about eating for performance. Teaching girls that you have to eat so little to look a certain way. Now that crossfit is leaning to this way of eating so little and so strict, it is making women have hormonal problems and they do not think about eating to perform anymore.

Understanding to eat to increase athletic performance should be what crossfit is about. Telling a woman that she needs to drop weight and look a certain way can really mess with someone’s mindset. Body image in crossfit is very prominent with women, and I believe that we have to stop this notion that in order to be fit women have to look a certain way.

I am happy with how I look and my performance.

Crossfit - Women - Body Image BY: CRIS BARRETT

A lot of girls grow up playing with Barbie’s – engraved in our minds is an unrealistic understanding of body image and what society considers beautiful. The media often glamorizes a very thin body for women. Crossfit has obliterated any belief I once had of an “ideal” body image. Strong is beautiful and healthy is beautiful. No one can tell you what you should or should not look like – we come into Crossfit and push ourselves harder than we ever have before. Every day we step through those doors we are here for the same reason, to better ourselves.

Crossfit has brought together a community of like-minded individuals, from teens to grandparents, that all support one another. Over and over again – I see that our members push and believe in each other, usually more than we believe in ourselves, myself included. Over and over again – I see that our members push and believe in each other, usually more than we believe in ourselves, myself included. Crofton Crossfit is unlike any other place I have been. I have discovered endless amounts of support, love and friendship that I could never give up.


Crossfit, the long acclaimed cult of fitness. But what is Crossfit, how do you explain it to the average non- crossfitter without scaring them away? Let me take a stab at it for you. People get intimidated when they see the crossfit games or walk pass a crossfit box with all the muscle body men and women lifting. To be fair, the crossfitters we lovingly refer to as “meatheads” dont help the cause when they’re screaming crossfit is life while chugging down protein powder lol. Let me be clear, we are not all like that, remember everyone has different fitness levels and goals, Crossfitters are no exception to that rule. While Crossfit is not for everyone, everyone can do crossfit, no matter the age or fitness level. Crossfit is a series of high intense movements that incorporate weights, cardio, other sport, and gymnastic techniques. Dont let that scare you though, it’s really not as complicated as it sounds. For example, a basic class could be you doing 30 seconds to a minute of rowing, then switching to air squats or lunges. You can do that in a high intensed aerobics class at your local gym right? Again…anyone can do this, you can scale everything down to your fitness level, take it from the recovering brain tumor patient lol.


Now that’s out the way, let’s talk about the women of Crossfit. I hear the stories all the time how woman are afraid of crossfit because they are scared they will bulk up like a man. This is completely false. Women do not have up like a man. This is completely false. Women do not have the same dynamic body build as men. Sure, you may see a woman totally muscled up in body building competitions, but what you dont know is the diet, workout routine, and supplements they take to alter their body chemistry to achieve that look and build. Their goal is to bulk up and build massive muscle, this has nothing to do with women of Crossfit, however, some body builder to participate in Crossfit workouts. Ladies, sure if you’re consistent, you’ll start to see changes to your body, like toned skin and muscle, more definition, and weight loss at a healthy pace along with good nutrition. The goal is to be fit, healthy, and like what you see.


The best advice I can give you is to find yourself a good Crossfit box. Go in, talk to the coaches, get a feel for the community at the box. A good box along with their coaches, will sit and talk to you, understand your goals, and help you achieve them. Remember, EVERYTHING is scalable and a good box will offer beginner classes. If you can’t find that in the box you visit, walk away and keep looking until you do.


  • TEAM Superfit Delaware 2018- JANUARY 13, 2018
  • 2018 SuperFit Games Championship- JANUARY 27, 2018
  • MAAC 2018-APRIL 14-APRIL 15


All Artwork used in this newsletter is that of jsculquiart (check out instagram: jsculquiart and website:



November is a time of thanks. One thing Crofton Crossfit is thankful for is the community we have built. We are so grateful for all the help our members have given us (volunteering their free time) as we make some transitions in the box. We are grateful for our members who have served, and are currently serving to keep our country safe. We at Crofton CrossFit would like to take a moment and acknowledge those whom are currently serving, and those who have served this great nation. In celebration of all the things to be thankful for, we want to thank everyonone who joined us for our  “Thanksgiving Potluck” on Saturday evening of, November 18, 2017.


Sup fellow Crofton Crossfit peeps! My name is Patrick Ropisan and I’m truly honored to be selected as the November athlete of the month. I’m 28 years old and grew up in Waldorf, Maryland. I love sports, especially playing soccer and snowboarding, and seeing my teams lose in fantasy football (Sacko 2017, here I come!)

I joined Crofton Crossfit 2 years ago in October 2015. I remember watching all these jacked male and female athletes on TV competing and throwing weighted balls in the air. I was like, “Man, I wanna do that!” But really, it was my boy John B. who convinced me to join him at Crofton Crossfit. Thanks again, dude! It was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. No more waiting for machines to be free at Planet Fitness for me.
I also recently gained a new passion for Olympic lifting. Shoutout to coach Jeremy for improving my snatch and clean & jerk lifts. When I first started, I remember I could barely snatch 95 lbs, but just a few months ago, I hit a new PR of 159lbs! I can’t wait to keep improving on my lifts and hit new PRs soon.When I first started doing Crossfit, I fell in love with the sport immediately. It was the first time that I worked out with other people and pushed myself to the limit, eventually collapsing on the floor. Like the great Tony Horton always says, “I hate it, but I love it!” The whole atmosphere at Crofton Crossfit, with the people always motivating me and coaches consistently critiquing my form/teaching me new things, is amazing.

I just want to say thanks again to all the coaches and members! You guys have been so supportive since day 1 and I can’t wait to compete more and represent Crofton Crossfit!


It is amazing what a community of people can accomplish! We were able to raise $1200 for Anne Arundel County SPCA. We would not have been able to do it without our community. Thank you so much to all the volunteers, athletes, participants, and Greg Rhodes for putting together such an amazing event. We hope to have more events like these making each one better than the next. Thank you again for everyone who participated or helped in anyway. You guys are absolutely amazing.  A huge shout out to Eric Tipton for coming out and taking so many amazing pictures of our athletes!

The Mid-Atlantic Affiliate Challenge, (MAAC for short) April 14 - April 15, 2018

The Mid Atlantic Affiliate Challenge if a four person team competition (two female, two male) that the Crofton Crossfit community has continuously participated in from when the competition first began. It is a very well run competition that has slowly grown over the years to the size it is now.  Even if you have never competed before, it is an excellent experience and a great first competition. It’s a two day competition which can be grueling, but rewarding. They have an Elite/Rx/Scaled Divisions. Even though the competition is several months away, I recommend to start planning now. Think about a team you might want to be on where you all compliment each others strengths and weaknesses. Try training with your team now, maybe once a week. Training now will assist your team in gaining an understanding of how to work together and have a rewarding competition experience.

The Mid-Atlantic Affiliate Challenge, (MAAC for short) April 14 - April 15, 2018


  • Vektor Games IV-DEC.2
  • MAAC 2018-APRIL 14-APRIL 15
  • TEAM Superfit Delaware 2018- JANUARY 13, 2018
  • 2018 SuperFit Games Championship- JANUARY 27, 2018


Are you struggling with your Front Rack position?  Most folks immediately point to their wrists as the main issue when it’s most likely tight triceps and/or lats.

 Here are 2 stretches that I’ve found to be the most beneficial to getting the barbell properly supported by your shoulders and out of your hands:

This stretch will primarily focus on your triceps but can also get into your lats if they are extremely tight.

Points of focus:

  • Position the band so that it’s about waist high
  • Slip the band over your elbow
  • Maintain a hollow position (no arching)
  • Allow the band to pull your elbow back by relaxing at the shoulder

This stretch will primarily focus on the lats.

Points of focus:

  • Loop the band around your wrist
  • Step back away from the pull up bar
  • Get into a lunge position with the straight leg being on the same side that we are stretching
  • Turn palm up toward the sky to externally rotate at the shoulder
  • With the arm straight, focus on making your body as long as possible.  Really reach toward that pull up bar