Success Stories

May BAMF: Chrissy D.



You’ve probably seen Chrissy and her husband, Jens wodding together. Chrissy’s dedication and improvement have put her in the spotlight of May Athlete of the Month.

Weight: 130 last time I checked, but  I haven’t had a scale for a year.
Career: Orthodontic resident
Favorite CF movement: Squats
Most hated CF movement:  push-ups and dips
How long have you been CrossFitting? 8 months at MBS. I also went to a place in Michigan for a couple months last winter, but not regularly.

What got you into CF?
I moved to a small town in Michigan to work for a couple months while Jens stayed in Boston to finish school.  I googled fitness places and CrossFit came up, so I gave it a try.  I loved it, but I was only able to go 2 or 3 times a week.  I didn’t really get into CrossFit until I started at MBS with Jens. I’m not sure if it was the change of scenery or that my husband and I were doing it together, but my mentality definitely changed.  When we started late last summer I was doing jumping pull-ups during a Saturday morning WOD and I remember feeling sort of mad about it.  It became my goal to get a kipping pull-up. I struggled with them for a while, then in December kipping pull-ups just clicked, although I still went to a band for a while.  I did my first chest to bar pull-up just days before 13.5.  It’s so satisfying to crush a goat.  I’ve always been goal driven, so I think that’s what I like about CrossFit, there is always something else you can accomplish.

What were your athletic endeavors prior to CF?
I’m not sure I would say I was very athletic, at least not in the traditional way.  I’m naturally a more solid body type, so I was always scared to lift weights because I didn’t want to get bulky.   I was more of the running and elliptical kind of girl.  For the past seven years I have done Bikram yoga.  I was also a cheerleader from 1st grade until I graduated high school.

Any goals or goats, athletic or otherwise you’re working on right now?

I’m working on strict pull-ups and dips.  Outside of the gym, my long term goal is to be a successful orthodontist.  I have wanted to be an orthodontist since I was in middle school, so it feels good to be this close.

Give us some insight into your life outside the gym.
It’s fairly monotonous right now.  I’m in the first year of my orthodontic residency.  While I enjoy it, I sometimes find the time is passing too quickly.  I usually leave the house between 6 and 7 am and before I know it it’s 5pm and I rush to CrossFit.  I’m lucky because my weekends are usually free, so I definitely take advantage of that time.  We see a movie, walk through Boulder, get sushi, lay by the pool, have a few drinks and basically just relax.  My other obsession, besides CrossFit, would definitely be my nieces and nephew.  I go home to see my family whenever I get a chance.

You and your husband are always in the gym together.  Who is tougher, you or him?
That’s a tough question.  I think we would both say each other.  I think mentally during a workout I usually have an advantage over him because I can sometimes just push out the negative thoughts.  He is a little more aggressive in accomplishing something, like staying after to work on a goat. He says, go do 10 toes to bar or dips before we go and I whine, but then the practice pays off.

What’s your favorite non paleo food?
Beer! No question. Real food? Soft pretzels.

What’s the weirdest dream you’ve ever had?
That’s a funny question because I have pretty weird dreams.  One that I remember is from when I was very young.  Shredder from ninja turtles was chasing me down the block and I couldn’t scream or yell.  I would look at him and say, am I going to die?  I would wake up in the morning and tell my family how I had the shredder dream again.  Yea, weird!

April BAMF

The entire DLX-Fit CrossFit group!


This month marks the 2 year anniversary that MBS has been training the good folks from Data Logix. So it’s fitting that the April MBS BAMF the Data Logix group.  The estimated 50 people who participate in twice weekly workouts where our MBS coaches bring CrossFit right to Data Logix’s front door, have lost a collective 300 pounds since starting CrossFit.  Listen to a few testimonials…


From Cheryl H.

 In February of 2011, I was working remotely from home for Datalogix when a co-worker told me about MBS coaches coming to the office twice a week to bring CrossFit in the form of DLX FIT.  She knew how much I loved working out and said I should come into the office on those days to get a great workout and also get some facetime with fellow employees, possibly increasing my chance of forwarding my career within the company.  My first workout was on February 14 and I was immediately sold! I continued to come to DLX FIT on Tuesdays and Thursdays and in August of 2011, joined MBS as a member.  Working out with co-workers is such a team building experience.  We have an opportunity to get to know people from different departments that otherwise in a company our size would not likely happen.   We look forward to these workouts and the buzz and energy around the office afterwards is contagious.  New people are always trying the workouts.  In addition, I am forwarding my career as well, so it’s been a win/win situation.


From Shawn O.

Crossfit has dramatically changed my life.  I’ve been doing this since March 2011 and in the first 10 months I lost 23% of my body weight aka fat.  I’m also more limber, stronger, and have better physical endurance.  I can now do things that I wouldn’t have even considered doing prior to my exposure to Crossfit.  Thanks MBS!
What I like best about Crossfit is learning a whole new approach to exercise that I wouldn’t have thought of before.  There are so many ways to change things up you can mix and match exercises and make up your own workouts which I often do.   Exercise is now something fun and I look forward to DLX Fit days as opposed to dreading something like going to the gym.

Update: Thanks to MBS I made the cover of the New York Times Sunday Business Section for a story on Crossfit in the workplace.  Granted it wasn’t a flattering photo and it looked like I was preparing to hurl but I consider that a mark of a good workout.

Congratulations to DLX-Fit!

March BAMF: Joy Howell

Meet the March MBS BAMF, Joy Howell.


If you’ve dragged yourself out of bed for the morning classes at MBS, chances are you’ve seen Joy, the blonde, petite little powerhouse,  steadily working toward perfection.  Joy is dedicated to proper form and giving it all she’s got.  She’s so quietly busy busting her butt that you might not notice her until you see her impressive score on the white board. Congratulations on AOTM, Joy!

Vital Stats:
Height: 5′ 2″
Weight : 110’ish (I avoid getting on a scale…as long as my clothes fit, I’m good!)
Career: Sr. HR Analyst
Favorite CF move: Back Squat
Most Hated CF move: After a double wipe-out during a WOD a few months back, box jumps have moved to the top of the list!  Yes, ahead of burpees!
How long have you been Crossfitting?  I’m coming up on my one year anniversary!

What got you into CF?  I was experiencing chronic hamstring injuries, some tendonitis issues in my feet and then I had an achilles injury that completely took me out of running for a couple of months.  I was a walking injury and something had to change!  I kept reading articles about athletes that switched to Crossfit and were able to train/run less and still make significant athletic improvements it sounded like something I needed to give a try.

What were your athletic endeavors prior to CF?  I was actually trying to train for my first triathlon before starting Crossfit, but I truly hated swimming and even after working with a swim coach and making some decent improvement, I couldn’t understand why I would spend so much time doing something I disliked so much.  I was also a regular commercial gym goer ever since graduating from college.  Lifting weights definitely helped me with my power in biking and running, but the downside was how incredibly tight and inflexible it made me!  I can remember the first time we did scorpions in the On-ramp class and when I was on the floor with my arms out I couldn’t touch the ground!  It was also pretty shocking to find out that my shoulders were so tight that I couldn’t raise the PVC past the front of my face.  Oh yeah, and squats were completely on my toes!  I’ve made so much progress with my mobility and flexibility in the past year thanks to Crossfit!

Any goals, athletic or otherwise, you’re working on right now?  Right now my goals are all Crossfit related.  I’m currently participating in the Pull-up Clinic so that I can get my kipping pull-ups.  Another short-term goal is to get my handstand push-ups.  I really struggle with getting weight over my head, so I’d say my long-term goal is to improve my Oly lifting and start getting some heavier weights moving!

Give us some insight into what goes on in your life outside the gym.
I’m a total foodie and love cooking, so I’m in the kitchen quite a bit! When I joined MBS I made the decision to also give Paleo a try.  It was a gradual transition for me because I had a lot of Costco/bulk food items to work through, but once they were gone I replaced them with a Paleo alternative.  I’ve definitely got a few dishes that I make on a regular basis, but I’m constantly searching for and trying new recipes.  I also enjoy  trail running, hiking and biking.

What’s your favorite non-paleo food? Pretty much anything chocolate, but brownie sundaes are at the top of the list lately.  🙂

What was your favorite toy as a kid?  Probably my roller skates!  My mom taught skating lessons at the local rink, so I spent a lot of time skating and taking lessons.

February BAMF: Josh G.


You might have seen Josh G. in the evening classes.  He’s the one dripping sweaty awesomeness after “leaving nothing in the tank” on the WOD. On top of being MBS’ AOTM, Josh was the winner of Decembers run/bike challenge, and he’s pretty much a computer genius.  Coach Burke says this about Josh: “I’m really impressed with Josh… he’s always encouraging people… and an good team member.” Coach Bender calls Josh consistent, extremely coachable, and has a great attitude. Josh is a favorite of coaches and athletes alike. Read on and learn why.

Vital Stats: 

Height: 6’2″
Weight : 174
Career: Research Assistant at University of Colorado at Boulder
Favorite CF move: Turkish Get-up. I don’t know why but I just think they are really fun.
Most Hated CF move: Anything involving a full-depth squat! (wall ball shots, goblet squats, thrusters, etc.) I would love them if it weren’t for my serious mobility issues. I work on my mobility everyday to improve. One thing I love about CF is it forces me work on my weaknesses like this all the time. If I went to a “normal” gym I would likely avoid movements I was terrible at, but CF forces me to better myself and I love it!

How long have you been Crossfitting?

For about 5 months.

What got you into CF?

My little brother, Brandon, is going to school for exercise science and had just completed his Crossfit Level 1 certification. He developed a CF based (bodyweight only) training program to prepare me for the last race season; incorporating a lot of elements from CF endurance to build my strength on the bike. I was completely hooked and as soon as race season ended I immediately started doing CF full time.

What were your athletic endeavors prior to CF? 

 I did Judo on and off in middle/high school, but nothing physical whatsoever before or after that until about 3 years ago. I started biking to school and that turned into several century rides. After losing 75 lbs I felt like I was fast enough to try out racing and this past year I raced with the CU cycling team.

Any goals, athletic or otherwise, you’re working on right now?

 I am currently working writing my dissertation and finishing my PhD. My athletic goals are to take first in a criterium and a road race this season and to get better at lifting. I have never done any form of lifting whatsoever until I started CF a few months ago and as such I have a ton to learn.

Give us some insight into what goes on in your life outside the gym.

Well as far as a job goes I am a PhD student at CU Boulder. So most of my day is spent thinking about Chaos theory, nonlinear time-series analysis and Information theory. When I am not nerding it up, I am training to race with the CU cycling team; either on the bike or at MBS.

Tell us about your cycling career with the CU team.

I’m entering my second race season now and it’s an absolute blast! Last year I was able to take first place in every team time trial as well as have several top 10 finishes in criteriums, road races and time trials. Last season I raced in the Beginners category as I had only been biking for a couple years but this season I plan to “cat-up” to the intermediate category. I truly believe that doing CF will be an integral part of my ability to make that transition successfully.

What’s your favorite non-paleo food? 

Oh man … SOOO many, probably either burritos or cheeseburgers, but I also really enjoy chocolate.

What was your favorite toy as a kid?

Probably my Nintendo.  I was a huge gamer as a kid.

January BAMF




Vital Stats:
Height:On the shorter side of 5’9 🙂
Weight :135
Career:Visual Merchandiser for Madewell and Bartender/Server at CB & Potts
Favorite CF move: Clean & Jerk
Most Hated CF move: I’m trying to convince myself I don’t hate anything!
But I highly dislike back squats, front squats, mainly squats of any sort.
How long have you been Crossfitting? About 7 months
What got you into CF? My good friend Coleigh Patrick introduced me.
What were your athletic endeavors prior to CF? I played basketball, volleyball, softball, track (mainly long distance) my whole life. I participated in swim team until I was 15 , but I focused mainly on basketball and volleyball. In my early years of college I was involved in some intramural athletics before moving to Colorado in ’04.
Any goals, athletic or otherwise, you’re working on right now? My main goal athletically is to stay dedicated to CF and push myself as much as I can. My senior year of high school, I developed shin splints, and as a result, running was no longer something I enjoyed doing. With hard work and determination I’m hoping to surpass my fear of running and know that anything is possible. I remember when Coleigh had told me about Crossfit, I thought he was crazy! Although I have had a pretty athletic background I had been out of the game in so long, I was highly intimidated but I was ready for change and motivation. I immediately fell in love after completing my first intro CF class. In the beginning I remember feeling so weak and kind of hopeless, but Leah reminded me that everyone has to start somewhere.  I wouldn’t be where I am without her and the rest of the MBS. The MBS coaches and athletes do a very good job at making you feel comfortable, supported and they push us to succeed. I’m that girl that could barely warm up with the trainer bar without feeling incredibly exhausted, and now just a few short months later I can do a pull-up. I still have a long way to go, but I’m excited to reach my goals and set new ones.  I thank God every day for this gym and for the opportunity that was given to me. Not only do I have an awesome gym to call home but I am apart of a community that I’m happy to call my family ! My goals aside from athleticism would be to continue to work hard but learn to relax and above all strive to be a better person physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Give us a little insight into what goes on in your life outside the gym.
Well, anybody who knows me, knows I work.. a lot. I have been privileged enough to be working for the same restaurant/brewery (CB & Potts) for over 7 years. When I graduated college I thought I was ready to move on and leave the restaurant industry. However, 3 years later I’m still loving every second of it. I also have another job in my career field as a Visual Merchant. I worked in the local fashion industry for some time and I had the passion to make it something more meaningful so a girlfriend and I decided we wanted to start a clothing line that we called the.lost.n.found.pile. We worked along side local designers and held a fashion shows and silent auctions to raise money for charities. It was one of the best and most accomplished feelings I’ve ever experienced. Maybe one day I will get the chance to do this again. I hope to work with children, maybe start a non profit, or incorporate fashion with CF. Aside from all of that, I enjoy meeting new people, love watching movies, camping, hiking, hunting, fishing; anything outdoors. I have an amazing support system from my family, friends, and boyfriend, any chance I can get to make them laugh or vice versa its a good day!
Congratulations on your recent completion of a WOD as RX’d for the first time! Tell us about that.  To do an Rx WOD has always been really important to me. It’s a goal I think everyone wants to achieve. Until then every WOD I did involved some sort of scaling. A big thanks to Cheryl Hill who was right a long side and told me that I could definitely do it. The WOD was AMRAP of 9 55 lb Thrusters, 9 30 lb ball slams and a 250 row. I completed 4 rounds and I just remember thinking the whole time, “Holy cow! I am conquering this workout and I’m doing it RX!”  Afterwords I’m pretty sure I yelled across the room “OMG I just did an RX workout!” Lots of cheering and congrats from everyone. It was an awesome feeling, and it pumped me up to want to work that much harder. I can say I feel proud and accomplished and wouldn’t change this new “healthy” addiction for anything in the world. Not just Crossfit, but MBS has helped me to change my life for the better ! I’m so thankful for all the coaches and athletes. I couldn’t have done it without you!
What’s your favorite non-paleo food? Oh boy, I could go on for days but I’d have to say pepperoni & banana pepper pizza , and ice cream of course. OR does a nice cold Amber Ale beer count?!
What was your favorite toy as a kid? LEGOS, or those little army figurines. I have 3 brothers and we spent a lot of time playing Cowboys & Indians!


December BAMF: Sonja L.

She bounces into the gym with her blonde pony tail and her illuminating smile.  Sonja is MBS’ December Athlete of the Month.  No one makes sweating look cuter.

Sonja’s Vital Stats
Height – 5’4″
Weight – 115 lbs
Career – Professional nerd (AKA: Aerospace Engineer)
Favorite CF move: Toes to Bar
Most Hated CF move: Wall balls

How long have you been Crossfitting?
Off and on for 2 years – pretty consistently for the last year at MBS!

What got you into CF?
My sister – she is an avid CrossFitter, and now a coach and gym owner.

What were your athletic endeavors prior to CF?I was a ballerina! I actually took a month off of CrossFit in December 2011 to dance in the Nutcracker ballet again. It was interesting to see how my body had changed going back to ballet after doing Crossfit for a year. Some things I was actually better at, like jumping.

You’ve competed in some lifting meets, tell us more about that.
Olympic lifting is a LOT of fun. The lifts are amazingly technical, and take a lot of practice. I’d recommend anyone giving a meet a try. You’ll definitely push yourself. Coach Rich and Coach Bender have both done Oly meets as well, and have some great programming. Having something to train for is a good motivator. I also did a team CrossFit competition (Girls Gone Rx’d) with Emily Pieper and Amanda Russell this year which was so much fun!

Any goals you’re working on right now?
I spent a lot of time this last year working on Olympic lifts, but have recently been focusing on more gymnastic stuff – handstands, muscle-ups, dips, etc. I have a goal of being able to do 3 ‘strict’ pull-ups in a row, and would really love to be able to walk a gym length on my hands.

Your performance in the Bear Complex portion of the 2012 Turkey Challenge was inspiring. Tell us what was going through your mind and what pushed you through.
I really can’t even tell you how much I wanted to put that bar down after the 2nd front squat. I think the mental side won because I heard my husband Brian and Coach Shirley screaming at me to keep going, and also the knowledge that if I put the bar down, I’d just have to pick it up and start all over – and would get zero credit for all the work I’d already done! It was pretty rewarding to finish it.

Give us a little insight into what goes on in your life outside the gym.
I love to hang out with my husband, Brian: we enjoy snowboarding, rock-climbing, camping, and gardening. Our dog Dakota is pretty much one of the family! My job keeps me on my toes for sure, but I love it. I try to make time to do some crafty things, like crocheting, sewing and beading. I also enjoy paleo cooking.

What’s your favorite non-paleo food?
Neon sour gummy-worms, and pizza.

What was your favorite toy as a kid?
Legos!!! (my nerd status was established early in life…)


So you’ve probably seen Julie kill WODs and throw some serious weight around. What’s interesting about her, is that lifting was not always something Julie was into, even after doing CrossFit for a while. She describes feeling how so many ladies do, afraid to get bulky, or just not being motivated by going heavy. But, Julie is, without a doubt, tapping into some serious talent. And it makes me think how unfortunate it would be if she hadn’t. She is a great example of not letting all the voices, whether your own, the media’s, or your non-CrossFit friend’s, get in the way of kicking ass.


Julie, watch out boys, she is probably outlifting you.

5′ 9″
Don’t know – usually somewhere around 155-160
Licensed drug dealer – aka pharmacist
Benchmark Lifts

Backsquat: 200
Deadlift: 265
Press: 100
C & J: 160
Snatch: 115

How long xfitting?
I started crossfit in March of 2010 in Tucson, Arizona at the encouragement of my older brother.  His theory was that I would make a good crossfitter because according to him, I am fairly strong for a girl and I have short arms. After much discussion, he said something about short arms being an advantage for things like pullups and pushups, but I’m still trying to figure out how being built like T-Rex is advantageous for anything. I always figured I would try it out for a few weeks to see if it was a good fit, and never expected to drink the kool-aid so quickly.

Do you have any athletic background prior to finding CrossFit?
I was a swimmer from an early age in a summer league in Montana and swam for a year in college. I attended a summer sports camp in Canada for 7 weeks that focused on swimming, but also had numerous sports including soccer, tennis, volleyball, fencing, war canoe, kayaking, and archery to name a few.  I tried basketball and track in junior high and played soccer and volleyball in high school.  I picked up ultimate frisbee in college and joined any intramural team that involved a ball.

You were CrossFitting before you came to MBS. What brought you to our gym, and what do you like about this gym?
I joined MBS in October of 2011 after moving to Westminster for my current job.  After spending a year at Front Range CrossFit, I was certainly sad to go, but had heard nothing but great things about MBS.  I remember my first workout was a team workout with two girls that had just joined about a month or so before I showed up.  Admittedly, I was just coming back from taking ~ 4 months off from CrossFit, so I was feeling a little sluggish.  These two girls were enthusiastic, energetic, and nothing but supportive as we gutted out our team workout.  I remember thinking that feeling like a part of the community has always kept me motivated and coming back for more over the many grueling crossfit workouts and this was no exception.  As a member at MBS, I have continued to see improvements in my numbers, which was a pleasant surprise. I didn’t expect to continue to move my numbers as much as I have at MBS. I am no doubt my biggest critic, but having a group of like-minded people who continue to cheer you on goes a long way when you think you can’t lift a certain weight or do another rep, not to mention 5.

How has CrossFit changed your life? Physically, mentally, spiritually.
Crossfit has physically changed me in a way that I was hesitant to accept. I have always had a sturdy frame, but I was the girl worrying about building too much muscle when I first started.  As I continued to see improvements in both my 1-rep max weights as well as being able to do workouts prescribed, I became excited about being stronger and getting in better shape. I don’t own a scale and I don’t care what the number is on the scale as long as I feel healthy and continue to improve.

What I have had to learn over the years is that crossfit is very much a mental exercise.  The number of times I have thought that something was too difficult or too heavy held me back and created a wall that appeared impenetrable.  When I started at MBS, I had been stuck on a 1RM deadlift for over a year, and came to realize that it was much more of a mental game than anything else when I tried to lift just 5 more pounds. I would fail and someone would say, “the bar was moving, you should have kept going”. In my mind, it didn’t feel like it was even budging, but if I had stopped thinking “I’m at the max weight and this is all I can do” and instead thought “I can get this one – I’m stronger than I was 1 year ago” it should have been easy.  Instead it took me watching a girl who likely weighs 40-50lbs less than I do hit the same 1RM as I did and deciding that I was going to do better!  I’m not saying you should compare yourself to other people in the gym, but I found it inspiring and motivating to watch her hit the same weight.  I’ve since added 20 lbs to my 1RM deadlift and I’m confident that I can do more!

Spiritually, I think crossfit makes me feel more alive.  For 1 hour, I get to focus on nothing but my ability to challenge myself to be tougher, stronger, or faster, and somehow still be breathing at the end of it.  I also enjoy the great people I have met at the gym.  It’s incredible to me to think that 1 year ago, I didn’t know any of you but have come to build some great friendships from having struggled and supported one another both in the gym and outside the wod.

Favorite WOD/least favorite WOD?
Favorite wod – anything that plays to my strengths which have thankfully continued to expand over the years.  I started off with an advantage to wallballs (sorry to those who are a little more vertically challenged) but I’m happy to add double unders (which at one time I thought I would never be able to do), anything that requires lifting heavy weights, and rowing thanks to some excellent coaching over the years.

Least favorite usually involves something with body-weight exercises – toes-to-bar, running, burpees (although they are growing on me), and rope climbs

Most important CrossFit accomplishment?
Difficult to list just one as I love being able to see improvements.  For example, I struggled with pullups for months. I had to use bands to do pullups for the better part of 6 months. At the time, I was told that to get my pullups I had to do 10 pullups with a band every time I came to the gym.  Progress was measured by changing to a thinner band each month almost like clockwork.  So much of my problem was timing with the kipping part of the pullups. I was willing to take advice from anyone that was willing to give it to me. Just continuing to try different techniques and hear what worked for other people kept me motivated until I finally got my first kipping pullups.  In true crossfit fashion, then next workout had 100 pullups in it.  While I shredded my hands on that workout, I’m proud to say I finished it without a band.  It was the same with double unders. I’m sure it looked like I had been whipped by someone based on the welts I use to leave the gym with, but I was determined to link double unders. Continuing to pick up the rope after every workout and attempting double unders for 15 minutes or more helped me figure out the timing and ultimately link them together.

Any big goals you are going for right now?
I really want to figure out muscle ups.  I’ve been working on dips and false-grip pullups, but anyone that has seen me after class knows I’m still painfully far away from getting one.  While it seems like the most challenging movement in crossfit, I’m convinced that it is like everything else.  I may not be the person that can get it on the first or even fifteenth attempt, but I’ll get it someday.

What/who inspires you?
I’m inspired by watching other people continue to challenge themselves and improve over time.

Most valuable thing you’ve learned through doing CrossFit.
Keep challenging yourself – you might be surprised when you look back and reflect on what you thought was hard or maybe impossible and realize it has become doable or even easy over time.

What’s the best thing that happened to you last weekend?
Getting to spend time with family who all live in different states.  I may feel like I’ve had enough quality time with the family for now, but sometimes it can be hard being so far away from everyone all the time.

What was your favorite TV show when you were growing up? What is your favorite TV show now?
My brother and I used to watch cartoons after school which included Duck Tales, Darkwing Duck, and TailSpin to name a few.  Favorite TV show now is Modern Family.

Last book you read?
Technically, its a review guide for a big exam I have to take in October (how boring!)

Advice for new CrossFit athletes? 
My favorite thing at crossfit is changing my 1RM on the white board and my best advice to any newbies out there is to add your name to the board and watch your numbers move.  I was hesitant to put my name on that board at first, but it has been one of the most motivating things I use at MBS.  While it can seem discouraging or intimidating at first, my favorite thing to say (and in my mind the most important part about crossfit) is that we all had to start somewhere.

July BAMF: Rick Decker

Okay, so Rick is leaving MBS next month. But, the cool thing about Rick is that he is all in. As he moves to Steamboat, CrossFit will continue to be a part of his family’s life. And it started here. Why Rick? The guy is relentless. He is consistent, driven, and the change has been evident. 4 linked muscle ups and 35 less pounds later, this guy is tearing it up. We’ll miss Rick’s WOD dances and hair, but he’ll be carrying the torch. Steamboat CrossFit Revolution is underway. 

Surprisingly, you can’t see Rick’s hair in this picture! This was taken on a recent trip to Iceland!

Age: 29
Height: 6′
Weight: 180
How long xfitting: 5 months
Benchmark lifts: (whatever you have) 295 Squat, 335 Deadlift
Career: Software Engineer
Family: My Bad A$$ wife, Mariah and Koa the golden retriever.

What kind of athletic background do you have?
I played soccer growing up and into college.  Three years ago I decided to get serious and became a sick P90Xer.  Mariah then also got me into running and I’ve now ran a couple half marathons and a full.

How did you find CrossFit and what made you stick with it?
Looking to take my P90X abilities to the next level I started searching the internet for my next workout program.  I came across the word CrossFit a few times, but never understood how it worked until I saw the CrossFit games on ESPN in the fall.  After seeing those workouts, I knew it was what I needed.  It’s easy to stay with it when there’s something you want to get better at every day.

You have been eating paleo. What changes have you experienced? Advice for keeping consistent with it?
Yes.  Mariah and I started eating paleo 5 months ago when joining MBS.  I think I’ve lost about 35 pounds and feel great.  My advice for keeping consistent is to always plan ahead.  I will plan a weeks worth of meals and will even look up a menu before going to a restaurant with friends and family.

Have you been harassed by the 6 AM class? What advice do you have for the fellow harassed?
I didn’t get harassed too bad by the 6 AMers, but I was prepared.  My advice would be to treat it the same way you would when going to prison.  The first day, walk in and get in a fight with the biggest guy in the room.

How did you get a muscle up so fast?!
I watched the slow-mo YouTube video of Camille Leblanc-Bazinet a few times and just tried to do it the same way.  Shorts and all…

Favorite movements/wods/least favorite?
After linking four muscle ups, I’d have to say those are my favorite.  I do like the strongman movements like the Atlas Stone and farmers carry.  The overhead squat is my least favorite movement, even though I keep telling myself I love it.

Does your hair improve your performance?
Of course!  Sometimes when it’s a tougher wod I’ll forget the headband, so it flows in the breeze for extra power.

Favorite activities outside of CrossFit? 
Kayaking!  There’s no other place I’d want to be than on the water.  But when there isn’t any water, we’re out skiing, mountain biking, camping…anything outside.

Book or movie?
I love movies, but the book was always better.

Hike or run?
Trail run

Coffee or tea?

Which cartoon character best represents who you are?
A cross between Animal from the Muppets and Chip from Chip n’ Dale Rescue Rangers.

If you could eliminate one thing from your daily schedule, what would it be and why?
I’m not sure there is one…Maybe shampooing my hair when my hands tear.  That sucks.

What’s your pet peeve?
I can’t stand people smoking in their cars…driving in Colorado with my windows down taking in the fresh air and in comes someone’s cigarette smoke.  Not awesome.

What’s your motto in life?
Take chances. Do what you love and love what you do.

Success Story: Leah Buff

Age: 22
Height: 5’6″
Weight before MBS CrossFit: 211.5 lbs
Weight May 1st: 191.3 lbs
Total Weight Loss: 20.2 lbs and who knows how much muscle gain
Favorite Part of Crossfit: Lifting, hitting those PR’s shows how far
you come every day.

Leah Before

Leah After

CrossFit helped me start the process of becoming the fittest person I can. My friend Doug had been pushing me for months to come to the gym and experience CrossFit to see the difference between my lame, boring workouts and MBS workouts. After finally convincing me, I came to a weekend WOD to participate in honoring his fallen friend. Not to
mention this was probably the hardest WOD ever (at least to me when I started), I did complete it with my group and couldn’t move for the next three days. After that I realized that crossfit was what I needed to become fit. CrossFit is a new challenge for me at every WOD. Whether is is to get a PR, work on my endurance, get a faster time on a previous WOD, or even work on my technique. It’s not only a challenge physically every day but mentally too. Everyone can grow physically but when you add the mental growth, that is when you see the difference.

The transformation for me began right from the beginning with on-ramp. After every on-ramp class I felt worked and some days it was difficult to move. I couldn’t get enough of CrossFit at this point. I had started CrossFit after being accepted into Louisville’s Fire Academy. I had passed the physical agility test, but had the slowest time out of all
the guys. I knew that I needed to be getting full body workouts with high intensity to prepare myself for the physically demanding academy. I started a month before the academy started; which wasn’t enough time to see transformations before classes begun. But as the academy went on and continued religious workouts everyday, I started to notice the changes. My clothes were fitting differently all over and I was able to lift more weight and push longer than I could before. I have since graduated from the fire academy and couldn’t have done it without the MBS gym and community.

I have lost 20 lbs of fat and who know how much muscle gain. Even though I do not know how much muscle I have gained, I can see the muscle definition coming in and the
increase in how much I can lift. From barely having the muscle strength to do very many push-ups on my knees, I am now able to do true push-ups. I have gradually moved down in resistance bands for pull-ups and I am finally days away from getting my first kipping
pull-up. If you hear someone screaming and yelling in joy it may be that I have gotten my first pull-up. I am moving on the the big kids club of pull-ups. I have also got faster in my running and have begun to not hate running.

The future can only hold more improvements in my strength and weight loss. There are so many goals that I look forward to and they are always changing after completing one. Crossfit leaves a never ending future of what can be accomplished.

June Bamf: Amanda Ruley

Amanda keeps her running technique in check!

June’s BAMF (Best, Amazing, Male or Female) is Amanda Ruley. I am always amazed by all you mothers who crush it at the gym. It’s usually a woman with incredible tenacity that can get through a pregnancy, give birth, and then get even stronger physically. Amanda if often bringing her young daughter to the gym. Since coming to MBS she has really begun to shine! This girl is a gymnastics natural, linking toes to bar and chest to bar pullups like a pro!

Age: 27
5ft 1
How long xfitting: off and on for 4 years
Career: full time student, and part time customer service associate at Shane co.
Family: just me and my Aylah girl.

What was  your fitness background before coming to MBS? What has made you stick with it?
My entire fitness background started at a CrossFit facility in Washington. When I moved back to Colorado, I started working out at 24 hour fitness and it was really boring. I really missed not only CrossFit WODS, but the entire camaraderie that comes with it. So I looked up the closest place I could start doing CrossFit again and it led me to MBS. And for me it’s easy to stick with it because I actually love the way I feel after a really tough WOD, it’s very addicting. And I also know what it feels like to be overweight and unhealthy and I NEVER want to go back!


What changes have you seen physically, mentally, spiritually?
The changes I have seen are dramatic! I was at 165lbs after I had Aylah and hung out at about 145lbs for over a year after she was born. I also couldn’t lift a 45lb barbell without really struggling. I was extremely tired all of the time and hated seeing myself in the mirror. Since CrossFit I am stronger happier, and I love the way I feel in my own skin! I have more energy than I have ever had, it’s amazing!

Favorite/least favorite WODs/movements?
I love doing pull ups and more recently toes to bar. I really am struggling with my deadlifts and other oly lifts. However, I can’t say I don’t like them I just need to practice.

Tell us how your Whole 9 journey is going…have you experienced any change?
It has been extremely difficult and I have given up and started over twice, still on my second try.  I’m about 2 weeks into it and the changes are starting to prove worth the struggle. I’m seeing definition where I didn’t know I had muscles and my energy level is finally up. I’m sleeping better and no longer craving the foods that were making me unhealthy… Except chocolate, but I haven’t given in!

You are a single mom and student. How do you manage it all?
Commitment seems to be one of the hardest things to overcome on the road to fitness.  I don’t feel like I have any other choice but to keep on going. My genetics are against me in all directions and I want to be as healthy as I can for my little girl. I am never going to say it isn’t hard, because it is. But no matter how hard it gets I constantly remind myself how far I have come already, it would be silly to give up now. I always like to set tiny goals for myself so that I always am working for something. That way I get that sense of accomplishment and it keeps me motivated.

What benefits have you seen from the strength class?
My new pr’s have recently happened during strength class. I get so excited and can’t wait to try again the next week. My form is also beginning to improve which is one of my main goals right now.

Advice to new CrossFitters?
Don’t give up, and try really hard to get the “can’t” in your head to shut up. Until the can’t is gone you will never be able to truly experience what you can do. This was/is my daily struggle and it’s amazing how fast things change when you believe you can.

Favorite thing to do in the summer?
I love everything about summer, but at the top of my list would be concerts at Red Rocks, so much fun!

Favorite place you have traveled to?
I really enjoyed the botanical gardens in Victoria Canada, breathtakingly beautiful!

Who is your hero?
I actually can’t say I have a hero, just very enspired by other female athletes in general. What punctuation mark best describes your personality? Why?
Probably a ? Because sometimes even I don’t know why I do certain things. I like to live in the moment, rarely plan out things. I am extremely easy going, and who knows what is next… I sure don’t!

If I wasn’t afraid I would _________ (What?)
go rock climbing… Me and heights do not mix!