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: www.jsculquiart.com


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: www.jsculquiart.com



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