Geno Saenz

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“Let me tell you about Crossfit!” For one year I’ve been doing Crossfit and I love it.  I started Crossfit October last year after some of my friends started at another gym.  For months I had been trying all kinds of diets and home video programs and none of them were able to keep me on track.  I was 21 years old, weighed about 250, and couldn’t run more than a block without getting winded.

I decided to finally give Crossfit a chance.  My first class had runs, push-ups, and ended with a squat tabata.  I was sore for days, but I had found what I needed. Crossfit gave me structure, the attention I needed, and the great positive atmosphere to push me.  As the months passed, I started getting better and better.  Coaches Katie and Charlie helped to push me past limits I thought would destroy me.  My first front squats barely passed 100 lbs., and just recently I passed 300 lbs!!

Now one year later, I’m in the best shape of my life.  I have the confidence to finally tear off my shirts.  At least once a week I run into someone who asks me how I lost so much weight.  I simply respond Crossfit and never giving up! The butterball is gone and beast mode is here to stay!

 

 

Katie Hengstenberg

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When and why did you start CrossFit? I had been working out for a few years at the gym doing cardio and weight classes. I was under the impression that I was in good shape. Ha! After getting lost in Maui on a hike through a forest of Banyan trees where a short climb up to the highway could have been my rescue, I was proved wrong. My body, although it could do a bicep curl and a few sets of leg extensions, FAILED me when I needed it to climb out of this humid, mosquito infested jungle (yes, yes it was actually quite beautiful, but I stopped enjoying the beauty after 4 hrs without water).

I started Crossfit in June of 2012 on a mission to make my body useful.

What is your favorite CrossFit movement? Clean and Jerk (think bear crawls are super fun too!) Least favorite? 400 meter run!!

What do you feel has been your greatest accomplishment tied to your success at the gym? I started WOD’s with no weight on my bar. Today I’m a few lbs away from prescribed weight.

I started clean and jerks at a max of 75 lbs.
Last weekend I started Babes and Barbells with a 1 RM at 115 lbs.

I started lost and trapped in a jungle.
Last week I hiked/climbed up a 14er outside of Denver.

I still dread running, but my mile has gone from 11:30 to 10:00. It will still keep getting better.

How do you explain CrossFit to someone who hasn’t tried it? So, what is it? A group of incredibly supportive, fun folks who train alongside you so that you are ready for the fullness of life. Crossfit embodies both strength and endurance, both flexibility and agility, both power and technique, both competition and comraderie, both body and spirit.
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Who is your coach? Describe him/her in 5 words or less! Lori Reilly: Fully invested in your success!

If you could make your coach do a WOD of your choice, what would it be? Fran! She loves it.  Lori is an incredible athlete and it’s pretty awesome to see her at her best!

What is your favorite result of your success in the gym? This year I have experienced how directly related nutrition is to success in the gym. Learning and then committing to consistently putting clean healthy food in my body that will fuel it well is my favorite success! I still love all things sweet, but I love living healthy much more. I know I cannot continue to make the improvements I have without giving the menu each day top priority!

If you could be any super hero, who would you be and why? If there was a lady version of superman – that would be perfect! Who doesn’t want to fly??!!

Father Clint

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For the past few months I’ve been training for another “Rim to Rim” with Vic, Sr. and the 5am Masters Class.  Over the Memorial Day Weekend I led a group of 17 hikers in 2 Crossings of the Grand Canyon.  So, you could say I got in a good 30 hour WOD in a span of 72 hours!  I’ve done this trip 5 times now and this was by far the fittest and best prepared I’ve been.  The variety of terrain and the need for trekking poles means that you use a lot of different muscles.  Every squat, box step, slam ball, farmer’s walk, etc. paid off.

The Rim to Rim is on every hiker’s bucket list. It’s hard to capture in words and numbers the scope and intensity of the challenge.  So, imagine doing box steps for 3 hours (going down), then hiking with a pack for 5 hours across the Grand Canyon and then doing box steps again (going up and out) for another 4 hours! You get to recover for a day… and then you hike back across on an even longer trail; and all of this between 2,500 feet and 8,000 plus feet of elevation.

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Here are some numbers:

Day 1 hike: 21.9 miles. Roughly the distance from BCCF to Spring Cypress/Hwy 290.
You’d burn 5,000 calories if you hiked a 16-min./mile pace IF you did it on FLAT ground!

North Kaibab elevation rise = 5816 ft. Equal to roughly 9,970 stair-steps, or 550 floors. The world’s tallest skyscraper in Dubai is 2,717 ft. We climbed it TWICE, and then some! Houston’s Chase Tower? A measly 1,001 ft. We did that FIVE times, and still had the height of the Transco Tower left over.

Day 3 hike: 23.5 miles (roughly BCCF to Woodlands Parkway). Bright Angel elevation rise = 4,380 ft. So once you’re good and worn out, the final challenge of the trip is to climb the equivalent of the Empire State Building (1,250 ft) … three-and-a-half times on tired legs!

~ Father Clint

Jenn Buntin

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When and why did you start CrossFit? I went to my Intro Class on April 21, 2012, and then took the Fundamentals Class immediately following. After a break of a few weeks for school, I started One-on-One sessions with Charlie. I was intimidated by the classes, and more than a little out of shape. Prior to starting CrossFit, I didn’t have an exercise habit. I walked my dogs, and occasionally did yoga, but I hadn’t lifted weights since a Freshman year “Female Weightlifting” elective to fill some credit hours. After reading about CrossFit and having it recommended by a coworker, I decided to try the Intro class. Practically everything was unfamiliar to me, but I was almost immediately hooked. During the on-ramp class, I was struggling with pretty much everything except the Overhead Squat; that’s when I decided I would stick around – there was one move I didn’t completely suck at, and that was enough.

What is your favorite CrossFit movement? Least favorite? My favorite CrossFit movement is the Back Squat, because I’ve seen so much progress and it doesn’t take much coordination. After several weeks of consistently working on my Back Squat with Charlie, I increased my 1RM from 80# to being able to do a couple of reps at 105#. This is especially satisfying because I had an awful air squat when I first started CrossFit, and then wasn’t allowed to squat past parallel or with weight for a couple of months. My least favorite CrossFit moves are Wall Balls (require too much hand-eye coordination and rhythm) and running. I also really hate the Airdyne. Really.

What do you feel has been your greatest accomplishment tied to your success at the gym? My proudest accomplishment from CrossFit is having the courage to go from 10 months of One-on-One sessions with Charlie to joining Katie’s 4:00 class. I used my 26th birthday as impetus to take what felt like a huge step. Thanks to the encouragement of some awesome people in that class, I thought I’d be okay. Due to the self-confidence gained at the gym, from seeing myself get stronger all the time, I’ve also developed more confidence and assertiveness at work.

How do you explain CrossFit to someone who hasn’t tried it? I always tell people about how I’m doing things I never thought I could do, and how powerful I feel after a WOD. When I come into the box, I can let everything else go; I love how you can’t possibly think about anything but the WOD while you’re working out.

If you could make your coach do a WOD of your choice, what would it be? Watching Charlie do 13.3 and getting to yell encouragement at him was really satisfying. I was pretty excited to be able to turn the tables and yell at him during what looked like the worst WOD ever.

What is your favorite result of your success in the gym? My favorite result of my success in the gym is going from a 12:30 mile, probably the first mile I’d run since the President’s fitness challenge in elementary school, to sub-9:00 mile. Because Charlie made me run, and I kept getting better, I felt good enough to sign up for a ½ marathon in August (in Vancouver, not Houston!). In March, I ran my first 5k, and at the end of April, I’ll be running a 10k. I even joined a Tuesday night running club. I NEVER would have thought I could do that without CrossFit.

If you could be any super hero, who would you be and why? If I could be any super hero, I’d be Superman, because completing the Superman checklist is on my list of near-term goals! Superman’s muscles would probably make that easier.

~Jenn Buntin

Heather Dimaggio

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When did you start Crossfit?
I started Crossfit in August of 2012, and was immediately obsessed. The day after my intro class with Katie, I could barely walk or stay on the back of a horse. It was awesome!

Why did you start Crossfit?
I was looking for something that would get me into shape without being repetitive or boring. And by “in shape,” I mean strong, not skinny. A couple of my coworkers are members at BCCF, and suggested I try it out. After a little research and urging from my husband, I scheduled my intro class.

What is your favorite movement? WOD?
I love heavy Prowler Pushes! Deadlifts are a close second though. And I like tire flips. And atlas stones. So yeah, the strongman stuff.

What is your least favorite movement? WOD?
Box jumps are my least favorite, although I’m currently working on conquering them. Backwards bear crawls are pretty miserable. Does that movement even exist in the wild? If you’re not familiar with them, feel free to drop in on Andrew’s 8:30 class. Tap into your power animal.

Describe Crossfit in 5 words.
Strength, confidence, perseverance, athleticism, community.

What’s your favorite food?
This is an unfair question for an Italian from New Orleans. Way too many options to choose from! I can give you a top three: cheesecake, tomatoes, and baked macaroni.

What is one of your recent accomplishments at the gym that you’re proud of?
I can do unassisted pull-ups! Thanks to my coach, Andrew! I finished the skills to join the Superman Club in March 2013. I wanted to challenge myself as a new Crossfitter, and the Club was the perfect way to do that. At first, I doubted myself. But by the time I finished “Christine,” I thought “Hell yes, I’m finishing this checklist!” And I did.

What are your hobbies/interests outside of Crossfit?
I love horseback riding, reading, travel, cooking, and vegetable gardening.

How has CrossFit affected your daily life?
Extremely positively! I eat mostly Paleo, and I make fitness a daily priority. Being an ER nurse, a lot of strenuous tasks are now much easier for me. Also, my husband and I drop into other boxes when we travel.

What is one of your goals you are currently working towards?
Muscle ups! I would love to get them this year. Watch out, world!

Heather Dimaggio

Tony Rangel

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Hello my name is Tony Rangel and I am in the Vic Sr. masters class at Bayou City Cross Fit. You may not know me but I am the big guy that has taken some Faith Filled steps as to getting his life in order-healthy order that is!

While I was living in the ATX, I began giving serious thought to my health. I found myself being diagnosed with Diabetes and I started taking meds and I began walking Town Lake almost every day. I repeatedly, month after month would check in with my Doctor only to find myself being scolded every time i went for a visit-ugh!

My company offered me a position in Houston and since I was going to be headed home I began looking for something different to get my health right, so, I looked up Crossfit gyms in Houston and I looked at so many gyms but was afraid that because of my weight I was not going to be able to keep up with the younger crowd!  I then saw Bayou City Crossfit Gym and thought it was in a good location for me only living a few miles away.  The next thing that caught my eye was that BCCF had a Masters class and as I looked into it I sent Vic Jr. an e-mail and then he called me and said I want you to meet my father Vic Sr..  I explained my reasons for wanting to join and Vic Sr. said “come on”! Ha!  He still says that!

I started with the Masters in August 2011 and I worked out for 3 weeks and then came up with excuses and I missed two months (sept-oct.) of working out.  Its a good thing that Coach Vic believed in me and called me every week to see when I was coming back! I came back in November and began to take this Crossfit lifestyle by the horns.  There was so much encouragement when I came back and I can’t stop saying thanks to everyone for doing their part to keep me.

After about 3 months of staying faithful to the workout I went back to my Doctor and I saw all of my numbers fall into the Normal range and after being out of range, my numbers were sky high, my blood sugar was in the 250 range and my BP was also high, cholesterol was out of control.  With only 3 months of working out I saw what I considered a miracle! I even brought my paper work to show coach!

When I left Austin I weighed a slim 425 and i have dropped to 370 since being here, I have a few more things to do but I believe I am on my way to EPIC status!

My phrase that pays is found in The Book of Luke 9:23 which states-“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their Cross and follow me” paraphrased-“I am here getting Fit to carry my Cross”ala Crossfit!

Thanks to all the Coaches and to My Coach Vic Sr.,
Tony Rangel

Robin Borthwick

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What was your fitness like before Crossfit?
I’ve been pretty active my entire life-I’m from the generation when we played outside until dark when our moms would call us home for dinner. I played competitive softball in my 20’s and 30’s, started logging miles at Memorial Park since 1975 and participated in my first Bayou City Fun Run in 1975 (still have the bib number). I completed one Houston-Tenneco Marathon in 1988-one’s enough-and just last spring completed the Rhythm and Blues Half. Lifting is my favorite method of training, and before BCCF I had been working with a personal trainer every week for the last 3 years.

What have you gained since joining Crossfit?
I’ve gained a new community of like-minded people who are committed to improving their level of fitness. The camaraderie is wonderful; the support I get from everyone is so inspiring and motivating. I started out in the masters group last September, and after four months of pushing myself through their WOD’s, I decided I wanted more lifting and greater challenges. I love pushing myself, and seeing just how far my mind and body can go.

How has it changed your life?
My body is tired and sore about 5 days a week, and I love it! Crossfit has given me a new focus on my personal fitness commitment and stretch-goals into my senior years. The intensity, community and passion resonate completely with me and what I want from life. I walk into the box and feel energized and ready to give it my all.

Any goals you want to achieve?
Yes, my current goals are to complete Babes and Barbells, improve my understanding and execution of the mechanics and lift more weight! I attend the evening 7:15 class which is fantastic-great group of folks who were supportive from the start.

Anything else you want to add?
Yes……..I would love to compete on the master’s level. One final long-term goal: to be the oldest crossfit masters competitor. They may have to scale a bit more, but I’m good with that, too!

~ Robin

Andrew Fuhrmann

-How long have you been doing Crossfit?  I started April 2012

-Which class do you take? M, W, F 5:30pm

 -What made you want to start Crossfit? I have done “normal” workouts for years and had gotten really bored and lost a lot of my motiviation. I love working out but when it began to become a chore, I knew I needed to do something else. Crossfit was a way to completely change up what I was doing.

-Have you notice any changes/benefits from doing Crossfit? Absolutely. As opposed to increasing my strength in one area like bench press or mile time, I’ve noticed an increase in my strength, endurance, and overall athletic ability.

-What are your favorite aspects of a Crossfit WOD? Every WOD is designed to push you. Because of the variety of movements, your heart rate stays high as well as your work output. For example, the muscles you use to do KB swings get a chance to rest while you do box jumps but you continue to push your cardio. Almost every WOD has that “gut check” moment. It is amazing the kind of workout you can get from 10-15 min.

-Favorite movements? Power Cleans

-Least favorite movements? OHS

-Crossfit in 5 words! Team environment, Fun, Challenging, Rewarding

Cullen Sorrells

Coming out of college, I was pushing 290 pounds.   I was working out
on my own by running a couple of miles trying to work my way through
painful shin splints and occasionally going to the gym. With the help
of a nutrition center I brought myself down to 260.

But, that wasn’t enough for me.  I realized I needed a new pace in my
life and a new challenge. After asking around and looking into
programs I stumbled upon Bayou City Crossfit. Since joining I have
lowered my weight to the 230’s; a weight that I have not been close to
since high school.

In addition, I can now run 10 miles without any body or leg pain, I
have more discipline in my workout schedule and eating habits, and I
feel more motivated to challenge myself through every workout.

Crossfit not only gives you a cardio workout but it gives you a full
body workout strengthening your core. Also, you’re not doing the same
routine workout in every session, which keeps my workouts fresh and
enjoyable. Because the classes are not large you also receive
individual support from your coach and teammates as a community
working together.

I have been in the program for over a year and I am
about to run in Tough Mudder and I’m looking into future marathon or
race opportunities.

-Cullen Sorrells

EMILY AND ANDREW

Andrew and I discovered BCCF 4 years ago and it’s made a huge impact on our lives. Sports were my life growing up – I rarely had free time between all the practices and games. Once I got to college, I took a long break from exercising. It wasn’t until I got my first desk job that I started noticing the toll that a lack of exercise was taking on me. I tried going to the gym on my own but without the coaching atmosphere I had trouble staying motivated. Andrew’s sports experience was a little different. After being picked for the C team in 8th grade basketball, only because he had big feet, he decided sports weren’t for him. Andrew slung some weights around with work buddies at the Y but never really saw the results he was hoping for.

Andrew heard about Crossfit from a military friend and started looking into the local affiliates. Bayou City had just moved into their 20th St. box when we contacted Vic for our first Crossfit class. These were the days before intro. sessions so we showed up at the next 6am class. I still remember the WOD like it was yesterday: 50-40-30-20-10 Box Jumps – Situps – Pushups – we couldn’t walk for the rest of the week. Despite the extreme soreness we knew this was something we wanted in our lives. At that time, the 6am class was only offered twice a week but we were able to talk Vic into adding two more days, as long as he got to sleep in on Wednesdays. It was often just the three of us in the first few months…along with the rats that hung out in the rafters. It didn’t take long for Bayou City to grow which led us to move to a bigger building on 25th St. After we were kicked out of that box, due to building permits, we found ourselves working out in the parking lot of 20th St. (the city was on to us). Even though the facilities at Ella and Golf St. are much nicer and more accommodating some of my fondest BCCF memories go back to working out at 20th St. as the sun rose.

Bayou City has positively impacted us in numerous ways and will continue to do so for the rest of our lives. I thought my physical fitness had peaked long ago but Crossfit pushed us
both to new limits. Nutrition is now a part of our daily routine, maybe more for Andrew than me, but our diets are both completely different from 4 years ago. One of the greatest aspects of Bayou City is the community where we’ve met some of our closest friends. Our path may be taking us away from BCCF, although we will be dropping in during our trips to Houston, but we plan to build on the things we’ve learned and gained from this box. Thank you to Vic and Katie for pushing us along with all the people that make Bayou City the amazing place it is.

~ Emily & Andrew