The October Athlete of the Month is our lovely ray of sunshine, Mr. Luis Beltran! He brings so much energy and fun to every class he attends. Not only do we appreciate his fantastic energy, we also appreciate the hard work he has put in over the past few months. His gymnastics movements are getting more fluid and stronger, and his lifts are getting more efficient and heavier. You can’t deny this man’s zest for life and fun and hard work. Congrats, Luis!!!
Here’s what Luis has to say about his journey…
“I was born and raised in Santa Barbara and graduated from San Marcos High in 2002. I attended college at SBCC for a couple years then moved up to Santa Maria for a few years. I wasn’t very active until I started college. I got really into the whole globo gym thing and did that for a few years but found myself getting bored. I tried the personal training route but found that not only was it expensive but I wasn’t getting the results I wanted. My job at Social Services was pretty sedentary so I was looking for something that would really challenge me. Fast forward to November 2011 when I was living in Grover Beach; one of my friends at the time told me about CrossFit. I remember it was a Saturday, a week before Thanksgiving that he told me about CrossFit. I was intrigued so that very Monday I showed up at CrossFit Five Cities and never looked back. I was instantly hooked. I enjoyed the workouts and camaraderie at CrossFit Five Cities until a back injury and necessary hernia surgery put me on the sideline for about a year. I rehabbed my injuries and went back to CrossFit on my own unaffiliated. I eventually moved back to Santa Barbara in May of 2014 and signed up at Fishers Strength and Health. At that time CrossFit SB and Fishers were sharing the same space. CrossFit wasn’t in my budget at the time but I enjoyed watching the classes and trying out some of the free community classes. Eventually I started losing motivation working out on my own and wasn’t working out as much as I should. I decided it was time to go back to working out at a box in group classes again. I knew I wanted to join CrossFit SB since I had already met some of the people. I contacted Naomi in March of this year and have been loving it ever since. This place keeps me on my toes and forces me to get better in a safe way. The workouts are fun and I’ve made friends in the process. I’m glad I get to call CrossFit SB my Home box.”
I was SO excited when Ronnie came back to join us at CFSB 2.0! He may be one of our quiet ones (which is rare at CFSB, haha!), but he always works hard and is willing to learn. Since coming back, Ronnie has put in so much work and it is definitely showing – his mobility has significantly improved, his endurance has increased, and his lifts are getting heavier. Ronnie, we are delighted to have you back and are so proud of the work you have put in and continue to put in every day! Keep it up!
Here’s what Ronnie has to say about his journey…
“I first stumbled upon CrossFit in 2013 while browsing Groupon. My best friend and I decided to try it out to get in shape before Coachella. I ended up joining the CrossFit Santa Barbara community for nearly a year but my friend quit, and I eventually quit, thinking that I wouldn’t be in Santa Barbara long after graduation. I tried working out on my own but would end up spending close to two hours a day at the gym without really gaining much progress. When I received a notification that CFSB was reopening at a new location, it made me want to get back in the saddle. New location, same great original people, plus some chill new faces.
Since my baseball career ended after sophomore year, I had felt like I had always been missing something. Not only the workout structure but the camaraderie that came from being part of a group with a collective motivation and goal. I get the same feeling from being a part of Crossfit Santa Barbara that I used to get from baseball. Everyone at this gym pushes each other to be their absolute best; not only at the gym, but in all aspects of life. This sense of community has helped me more than just the workouts. CrossFit has also helped me really get in touch with my body. I can now feel the ways in which my dietary and life decisions actually affect my body. That being said, I am making much better health choices now.
Thank you Naomi, Casey, and all of CrossFit SB because you have been my longest friends! Thank you for this great honor and all of the great things that CrossFit SB has done for me.”
I am so excited to announce the Athlete of the Month, Mr. August – David Baillargeon! His transformation is one of our biggest and most exciting. David sits most of the day studying history, which has caused his body to become tight and scrunched up over the years. After about 6 months of CrossFit, he is now able to squat and jump rope like a boss! One of my favorite things about coaching is seeing the transformations, not just weight-wise or body composition, but confidence in both how our members carry themselves and how they attack challenges. David is a perfect example of this. David, we are so excited to have you and your lovely fiancee Caitlin as part of the CFSB community. Keep up the fantastic work!
“Against my better judgment, I started CrossFit in December of last year. After years (no joke) of trying to get me to join a group fitness class and workout with her, my beautiful girlfriend (now fiancée!) Caitlin convinced me to try CrossFit after she attended some classes in Baltimore last summer. I was, of course, initially skeptical. Although I played sports growing up and in high school, I had never been much of a gym person, and from the little I knew about CrossFit, it sounded intense. I was also terribly out of shape. Even still, I decided to give it a shot. It seemed way more interesting than a typical boot camp-style fitness class, and I figured it could only help with the typical stress and anxiety that accompanies life as a graduate student (Caitlin and I are both grad students in the history department at UCSB). Plus, I could always quit. So, why not?
Well, things didn’t exactly start great. During my first fundamentals session, Naomi had us jump rope to warm up. “Jump rope?,” I thought. I hadn’t jumped rope since I was a small child. After thoroughly embarrassing myself (before we even lifted a bar!), we continued on practicing the kinds of movements and lifts I would come to learn over the ensuing months. Needless to say, I was terrible. My form was bad, I couldn’t keep my back straight, and I could barely lift the bar. Although I had always considered myself to be somewhat athletic, or at the very least coordinated, this was a different ball game. It was a humbling experience.
But, I kept at it. Thanks to the amazing support of all the coaches at CFSB (especially, in those early days, Naomi, Casey, and Janyce!), I continued working on my form one day at a time, and gradually, I got better and better. Fundamentals turned into WOD’s, and after a couple weeks of extreme newbie soreness, I started to feel stronger and more confident in my lifts. Although there are plenty of things I still need to work on (you’re next, HSPU’s…), I’m amazed by how far I’ve come over these past eight months and, in particular, how I seem be enjoying it more and more every week. Considering I never expected to try something like CrossFit (never mind that I would “like” it), the fact that I’m still going seems like something of a minor miracle. And now I can jump rope and lift things and stuff!
I go to CrossFit for many reasons. I go to get in a good workout, to take a break from the books, to feel stronger, and sometimes (still) because Caitlin makes me (although, it should be noted, I rally her to go these days too – how the tables have turned!). But, perhaps most importantly, I go because of the amazing community of folks who coach and work out at CFSB. If not for the patience and guidance of all the coaches who have worked with me, as well as the encouragement from my fellow CFSB members (noon class represent!), there is absolutely no chance I would still be doing this or that I would be having as much fun as I am doing so. You’re all the best!”
Ms. July – Kelly Scott!
Our latest Athlete of the Month is the one and only Kelly Scott! We love having her at our gym. She brings a level of focus, drive, and desire to learn that we as coaches love to see. Congrats, Kelly! Here she is in her own words:
“My introduction to CrossFit happened when my co-worker, Casey Nelson, began to question (or ridicule) my choice of long distance running as my primary exercise. Sure, I was dealing with knee injuries most of the time which often prevented me from playing my competitive sport of choice (tennis), but I really figured as a 40 something year old athlete I’d already seen my best years, physically speaking, and I should just be happy to be competing in races and tennis tournaments sometimes. Eventually I dropped in to a community class or two but in early 2015 I started CrossFit in earnest and was immediately hooked by total inability to do pretty much all of it! CrossFit has a unique way of exposing all your weaknesses and boy were there many. As Casey loved to regularly point out – I couldn’t even squat to parallel for the longest time!!
But I was determined to meet this challenge and over the course of the next couple of years I slowly improved, and I discovered that CrossFit made me a better and healthier athlete. With all the strength training I found I was running faster, was stronger on the tennis court, and injured a lot less. When I started to dial in my nutrition earlier this year with the help of so many at CFSB (Ashley, Julian, Janyce, Casey, Naomi) I really started to see my performance improve.
The coaches and community at CrossFit Santa Barbara have been such an amazing support to me and all the athletes who choose to get their sweat on at CFSB. I love that there’s no judgment about where you are on your fitness journey, and that everyone is encouraged not to compete against the person next to you but to just get a little bit better than you were yesterday. For me, CrossFit and weightlifting have become an essential part of my life both physically and mentally. What better way to get through a work day then to lift heavy stuff during your lunch break or after a day at the office! So, a big thanks to all y’all at CFSB for being awesome and helping me to get a little better each day. I still have so much to improve upon (ahem, gymnastics skills….), but I can now squat for real!!”
Congrats to our Athlete of the Month for June, Mr. Jared (aka ja’Red) Naito! We are so honored to have him as part of our community. Continue reading to see what he has to say about his journey and experience so far…
“My CrossFit journey began in December 2015, a few months after I returned to Santa Barbara after living in South America. No longer reliant on walking places and once again able to indulge in all my favorite (read: “not the healthiest”) foods, I found myself quickly putting on weight. Wanting to nip that trend in the bud, I knew I had to eat better and exercise.
Working at a startup, there’s never enough time in a day. After putting in long hours at the office, it can be difficult to find the motivation to work out. The problem with the activities I liked was that they took too long to get a good workout in or they just didn’t work me hard enough. I didn’t want to ride my bike for hours just to get home and have to go to sleep. I wanted something more intensive than climbing. Then I heard about CrossFit.
Admittedly, I was skeptical. CrossFit has a stereotype – one I wasn’t especially keen on. I wasn’t a bro looking to get jacked; just a guy with a slowing metabolism who wanted to get back into shape. But my roommate, coworker, and friend Ryan wanted to join a gym, and I figured I’d be held more accountable if I worked out with him. The concept of HIIT workouts was intriguing to us both, so we signed up and scheduled our movements classes.
I remember my first day at the Gray facility. Julian was going ape shit per usual, people were hucking themselves up and over bars, and everyone was sweating and breathing hard. It looked intense – maybe too intense. But you have to give things a shot, so I did. I will say that the first few months weren’t all that enjoyable. I’ve always been a competitive person, and though I can’t say I’m athletically proficient, I like to think I’m coordinated and hold my own. But with CrossFit, I struggled; my form was never quite right, my timing was always a bit off, and I would finish dead last in most workouts. In most environments, I would have been dejected and demoralized. But not at CFSB.
Looking back, I probably wouldn’t be doing CrossFit today had it not been for the extraordinary coaches and community at our box. Though I was constantly being corrected, criticisms were constructive and tips were encouraging. Fellow members were always there to support and encourage me to do things I didn’t know I could do. I’m still getting those corrections and I’m still receiving that encouragement, and that’s why I love CrossFit so much.
To me, it’s not about getting huge. It’s not about having a six-pack, lifting more than the next person, or being #1 in workouts. In my eyes, CrossFit is about continually striving to be better than you were the day before. There’s something about working your ass off for an hour every day to discover you can do things you didn’t know you could the day before that is immensely satisfying. And when you lift, sweat, swear, tear, fist bump, and drink beer with friends, you’re always looking forward to the gym. So thanks everyone! I couldn’t ask for a better place or group of people to spend my time with.”
Jared, we are so proud of you and your work ethic, and the determination to grow every day. Congrats and we love ya!
We are so pleased to announce our first Athlete of the Month of 2017 – Miss Jaimie Kostiuk! How we choose our AOTM is we look at the previous month and pick the athlete that has demonstrated exceptional hard work, discipline, and dedication to their fitness. Although we are well into February, Jaimie wins the award for January.
Jaimie is part of our small but sassy 6am crew. Even though it’s early, she comes in with her trademark smile and great attitude and does the work. She is admired by many in our community for her beautiful lifts and strength.
Jaimie, we are so excited to have you (and that Kevin guy) as part of our community!
Here’s what Jaimie has to say about her journey through CrossFit…
In early 2009 a CrossFit box rented space in Kevin’s office building. He started immediately as it was a work perk from his boss. When he first told me about what they were doing in the gym I thought, “this sounds really dumb.” I figured there was no way anyone could get into shape doing a 3 to 12 minute workout each day. He drank the Kool-Aid quick and after six months attempting to convince me to try it I finally caved and started on-ramp September 14, 2009. I quickly fell in love. I loved the competitive aspect. Having been a gymnast and competitive cheerleader my entire life I struggled to fill that void once I graduated from college. I didn’t have the daily routine, the competition and camaraderie, or the discipline. I found what I had lost when I found CrossFit.
For years before CrossFit I had been going to a globo gym off and on but I would always lose interest. I loved that with CrossFit my goal each day was to be better than the day before. My first competition was 4/10/10. I competed in the Rx division because in those days that meant you could do chin-over-bar pull-ups and double unders. There were 11 other girls in the division including Kris Clever (who went on to win the games that year), Lindsey Valenzuela and Becca Voigt. I think i finished last or second to last but that didn’t discourage me at all. It fueled my desire to get back in the gym and improve. I was so in to CrossFit by that point that for our wedding gift Kevin surprised me with a Level 1 cert which I received in June 2011.
In the seven years that I’ve been CrossFitting we’ve lived in 4 different cities. One thing that made the moves more tolerable was knowing that we would have a CrossFit family every where we went; people with shared interests and an instant social network to make fitting in so much easier. This was no different when we made the move to SB last summer. After looking at a couple local gyms I came home from work one day and Kevin said he had found our gym. He said they were our people (e.g., swear too much, have a gym beer fridge, and don’t take themselves too seriously) and the new space and equipment was great. I couldn’t agree more. Everyone at CFSB has been so welcoming. I love my small but awesome 6 am crew. I love that even after all this time I still have so many skills to learn and improve upon and look forward to a lifetime full of CrossFit!