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Client Stories

Jessica Nokovic: Doctors Who Lift

Brief personal history and journey which led you to Ardent Fitness and Education:

I’m an OB/GYN who just moved to Oshkosh in August 2018 to start my first grown up job. I spent the 12 years prior to that in school/medical training in Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Ohio and Buffalo, NY. In the 4 years prior to moving to Oshkosh, I was living in Buffalo completing my residency, working 80-100 hours per week.  My life was busy, when I wasn’t working, I was studying and when I wasn’t studying I was sleeping. My fitness journey for the last 8 years was random work out videos when I had the chance, sometimes I’d make it to the JCC for a class of sorts. When I was visiting my family in Oregon, I would hike. But nothing consistent or regular.

 What brought you to Ardent Fitness and Education: Home of CrossFit Oshkosh?

My life is still chaotic and busy. Early (and I mean EARLY) mornings are the only reliable time that I can work out. After getting settled with my job (still working on that) and my puppy (we’re now teenage years/attitude) I was trying to bring physical activity back into my life. My life goals after graduation from residency were “puppy and personal trainer”. Instead I bought a large, old house and got a puppy and a very busy practice. I was doing the at home stuff but failing. I decided I needed a personal trainer…but I needed to work out at 4 am in order to ensure that I was ready for whatever work threw at me (surgeries, delivering babies, patients in clinic, etc) and who is crazy enough to train people at 4 am?! CrossFitters. So I emailed. And here we are.

 What was your first impression of Ardent?

If I’m being honest, I was skeptical of CrossFit before starting. I’ve managed injuries from people who have done it poorly, at gyms that arent in tune to proper lift technique and would rather get a PR, regardless of how it looked. But I also know of CrossFit gyms that arent that; that are supportive and motivating, but not to the point of injury. That encourage health and wellness without making people drink the koolaid. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Ardent is the latter. Austin (and the other coaches I have worked with) are kind, motivating and seem to truly care. They care more about overall health and wellness, celebrate the successes and gains and want you to keep achieving them (injury free).

 What has been your biggest hurdle since starting?

Diet. It’s surprising how much easier it is for me to get up at 320 to work out after having slept 4 hours versus eating within the macros. Protein is hard for me. I love vegetables and carbs. French Fries are life. We’re working on it.

What is your favorite aspect of CrossFit?

I like the diversity of the work outs. I get bored easily. And turns out, I like lifting really heavy shit.

 What are your current goals in CrossFit?

Ha. To be active. Austin hates that answer.

 What is something we don’t know about you?

You probably don’t know me at all. This post is likely a “does she even go here” moment. (I’m the crazy one at 4 am) (you’re welcome 5 am for preheating the gym). Random facts: My drink is a Whiskey neat. Winter is my favorite season. Reading is my favorite, I have a magnificent library in my house.

If you’re looking for the same success and flexability which Dr. Nokovic found, follow the link and sign up for our next “6 Week Journey”

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Client Stories

Jenny Faris: Crushing Kernels and Kettlebells

Brief personal history and journey towards beginning your CrossFit:

Growing up, my parents always had my sisters and me involved in sports. Throughout elementary to high school I was either playing softball, volleyball and soccer so was getting a mix of conditioning year round. When I went to college, I was working out here & there but no where near as hardcore or consistently as I used to. I gradually became a big fan of running then this past April tore my meniscus which completely threw me off. I promised my friend, who had been a CrossFit fanatic, that I would check out CF once my knee was healed. Now, here I am.

What brought you to CrossFit Oshkosh?

My friend, Jordan “JP” Pennings. He knew I was somewhat interested in joining for a while, so he was very persistent and kept on me trying to convince me to try it out. A couple minutes into my No-Sweat Intro, I was hooked & knew it was something I wanted to stick with.

 

Your first impression of CrossFit Oshkosh?

Very intense and intimidating. Starting out, I jumped every time I heard weights drop. Beyond that, the first thing I noticed was how welcoming everyone was and willing to help/answer any of my questions. A lot of times right after class (before I mustered up the courage to just ask people) I would find myself googling various terms that I kept hearing people use so I wouldn’t feel like such a noob.

What has been your biggest hurdle since starting?

Being patient with the movements. I see so many other people mastering the moves so I get eager to try to do the same but need to do better at taking my time to learn & do everything correctly. Also, I suck at pull ups and double unders (probably because of the patience thing).

What is your favorite aspect of CrossFit?

Versatility. Before CrossFit, I would always get so bored with the workouts I was doing, so the fact that everyday is something different makes it really intriguing and exciting to me.

What are you current goals in CrossFit?

Pretty blah but I really just want to do better. I’m very competitive so when I see other people lifting heavier weight than I am or completing moves that I can’t do or finishing faster than I am then it motivates and pushes me to figure out how I can be better. Specifically though, if I could do a couple pull ups, muscle ups, or double unders then that’d be pretty neat.

What is something we don’t know about you?

Somethings:

When I was 9, my sister threw a softball at my nose & broke my nose. It was her birthday so whatever I guess.

When I was 16, my dad and I had the idea to start a gourmet popcorn company. It’s quite possibly the best popcorn you may ever taste (Faris Gourmet Popcorn).

When I was 20, I impulsively got a puppy. Somehow he’s still alive & thriving.

When I was 25, I bought my first house with the intentions of painting a couple walls. I ended up gutting almost the entire house and redoing it.

I talk a lot (if you couldn’t tell by my lengthy responses) so if you want to know anything about my life, I’ll gladly share.

If you’re looking for the same success and community which Jenny found, follow the link and sign up for our next “6 Week Journey”

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Client Stories

Collin Birkholz: Trusting The Process & Seeing Results

Brief personal history and journey towards beginning your CrossFit journey:

I was always active growing up. I grew up on a Dairy farm so there was always something to do. In high school I was a 3 sport athlete all 4 years, playing football, basketball, and baseball. When I moved to Oshkosh, my active lifestyle started to fizzle away as I became less and less motivated to do anything. I struggled to motivate myself to run a mile on a treadmill. As time went by, and my pants size started to increase, I knew it was time to take responsibility and make a major change to my lifestyle.

 
What brought you to CrossFit Oshkosh?
I had seen the Crossfit Games on TV before, so I had somewhat of an idea of what it was and it did seem like something fun to try. After doing some research into Crossfit Oshkosh before contacting them, I could tell it was the best fit for me. Between the weightlifting, nutritional help, and classes with a coach and other people to enjoy workouts with.
 
Your first impression of CrossFit:
I came to Crossfit knowing I was out of shape, but boy oh boy did I prove myself right after my first WOD. I was gassed. When I saw people that were proficient at movements and lifts I told myself I wanted to be able to it as well as them someday. However, I knew change wasn’t going to happen overnight. I did a 6 week journey and lost almost 12lbs and 5% bodyfat. I was hooked after that. It was nice to see the hard work pay off and I only wanted to get better.
What has been your biggest hurdle since starting?
I would say my toughest hurdle was to stop stepping on my scale everyday and letting that dictate my crossfit success. I knew if I was nutritionally sound, the number on my scale meant nothing. Over the past month or so, I think I’ve stepped on the scale maybe twice and focused more on getting better at movements and that’s made my crossfit experience much more enjoyable.
 
What is your favorite aspect of Crossfit?
I love the people! I struggled to make friends before I came to Crossfit Oshkosh but now, I have gained so many friends through Crossfit that would drop anything to help each other out and they do so much to help out the community. They are some of the greatest people I have met and I thank them for pushing me to be a better person everyday. You all are awesome!
 
What are your current goals in CrossFit?
My current goal is to get better at my ring/bar muscle ups and high volume double unders. I have trouble not doing my bar muscle ups chicken winged and I am still pretty green at ring muscle ups but they can only get better! I can handle 30-40 double unders at a time but they deteriorate pretty quickly and if anyone has seen my double unders I rotate to my right as I do them and I’ve tried everything to get rid of it. I would love to also do a competition someday!
 
What is something we don’t know about you?
My other hobbies include golfing, snowmobiling, and traveling the country with my dad tractor pulling during the summer.
 
P.S. 
Thanks again to Austin for bringing me in and of course the coaches that have gotten me to where I am now. I am forever in debt to all of you! This is one of been the best decisions I have ever made in my life!
Ready to start your journey and see results like Collin?
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Client Stories

Ashley Schlosser: Channeling Her Inner Badass

Brief personal history and journey towards beginning your CrossFit journey:
Contrary to a lot of other members, I did not grow up an athlete (Seriously. I cannot make a ball go the direction I intend to save my life). I really found that I enjoyed fitness in my early twenties through running & a few group workouts/boot camps that I was in. Fast forward a few years later – I fell out of my fitness routine, I was going out a lot and not eating well. It all was catching up to me and I eventually felt terrible and admittedly, was really self-conscious about how I looked. I tried a couple different fitness routines & memberships, but none of them did much for me. I didn’t know my way around a weight room and I enjoyed working out with others, so it was hard to stay motivated.

What brought you to CrossFit Oshkosh?
I was always curious about CrossFit because of the overall intensity and “badassery” surrounding it. When looking into finding a different fitness routine, I knew that I wanted to learn more about weightlifting as well as be a part of a group workout again. I also wanted to meet new people & surround myself around those with healthier lifestyles. CrossFit & the community here checked all those boxes.

Your first impression of CrossFit Oshkosh?
MORTIFIED. People were letting barbells slam on the ground and others were “flailing” on the rig doing some kind of pull-up that I’ve never seen before in my life (pretty sure they were C2Bs lol). I also remember seeing Mary flipping the tire outside and I thought she was the most badass chick ever. I recall thinking to myself, “So if I stay here long enough, I can do something like THAT?”.

What has been your biggest hurdle since starting?
Heavy barbells and Olympic lifts, for sure. Unlike many of my fellow CrossFitters, I am such weenie when it comes to heavy lifts. I complain about cardio, of course, but I’m way more in my element.

What is your favorite aspect of CrossFit?
The community here always deserves a shout out. It’s so cool to be a part of a community that has fun & supports each other’s goals, no matter where they are in their fitness journey. My favorite aspect of CF though would be the balance it’s brought to my life. It’s exactly what I needed to keep myself on track & living the healthier lifestyle I was wanting for myself.


What are your current goals in CrossFit?
Get better at Olympic lifts. I’m also trying to learn how to pace myself & control my breathing through movements like T2B and Double Unders. I can do them straight out the gate, but mid-WOD I have a hard time keeping up with the movement.

What is something we don’t know about you?
Hard question – I’m a pretty open book. I guess for those that don’t know, I have a younger brother with autism. Between the two of us, he is definitely the cooler sibling!

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Client Stories

Desiree Nerenhausen: From Pointe Shoes & Evening Gowns to Lifters & Weight Belts

What brought to you CFO?

I’ll be honest… my husband! I was completely against CrossFit because I had heard some negative talk regarding it. He ended up seeing an ad on social media and convinced me to go and check it out with him. After our first on ramp class, I completely fell in love

Your first impression of CFO?

Our initial meeting was with Austin and not only did he invite us to a box potluck they were having that weekend, he also asked us if it was ok that he swore and I immediately knew we were in the right place. Since day one everyone has been welcoming and motivating!

What has been your biggest hurdle since starting CF?

I have had three big struggles: my mindset, my lungs and my extra long “giraffe” legs. I was a competitive dancer my entire life and competed in the Miss America system so competition definitely drives me, but I can also over think things and get down on myself. I had to learn very quickly that everyone is at a different chapter and are exactly where they are meant to be. I struggle with asthma and long femur bones (it’s weird that my doctor measured that…). Therefore, I do get quite frustrated when I literally can’t breath during a workout and anytime we have to squat since my giraffe legs have to work a little bit harder.

What is your favorite aspect of CF?

The people and getting the opportunity to improve mentally and physically every single class. I am so thankful to have such inspiring people from all facets of life around me. CrossFit has become my stress reliever and happy place and I feel pretty lucky to have that in my life!

What are your current goals in CF?

To get out of my head, complete some butterfly pull-ups, a muscle up, work on my squats and get under the fricken bar! (And so much more!!) 🙂

 

Start your own CrossFit journey by signing up for a free No Sweat Intro:

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Allen Straka: Sweating For The Wedding, & A Life Full Of Adventures!

Brief personal history and journey towards beginning your CrossFit journey:
I’ve always dieted / exercised back and forth I’d get lazy get up to a weight that I was truly unhappy with workout and diet, get down to it near a goal or reach a goal get content and then within a year be back where I started
What brought you to CrossFit Oshkosh?
I had a little experience with CrossFit and the community surrounding it so I knew it was something I enjoyed and needed
Your first impression of CrossFit Oshkosh?
Loved it, immediately felt like I was accepted into the “family”
What has been your biggest hurdle since starting?
Cardio… I gas our FAST and pacing i need to learn to pace better so that I don’t gas out as quickly
What is your favorite aspect of CrossFit?
The community and heavy lifts
What are your current goals in CrossFit?
I just want to get fit and stay fit. I’m getting  married next August and I want to be around for a long time and have nothing hold me back in our adventures going forward

 

Looking for a fitness program that will prepare you for life’s adventures, just like Allen? We’ve got you… sign up for your FREE No Sweat Intro today.

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Zak Parker: Making Gains Through Consistency & Hard Work

What brought you to CrossFit Oshkosh?
I grew up in Green Bay playing soccer pretty much not non-stop from first grade through college. After college, I was finding myself out of shape. I moved out to Colorado for two years and that’s when a friend of mine suggested I try CrossFit. I was instantly hooked.
After moving back to Wisconsin I wanted to continue with CrossFit, I had visited a few different gyms in the area but the friendliness paired with the professionalism of the CFO coaching was what really won me over.

Your first impressions of CrossFit Oshkosh?
My first impression of CFO was that I was impressed. Everything was clean and organized.

What has been your biggest hurdle since starting?
My biggest hurdle since starting CrossFit is consistency. But having so many friends at CFO makes it really easy to make sure I make it to classes.

What is your favorite aspect of CrossFit?
My favorite part of CrossFit is the people. I had the opportunity to compete in my first competition and every single competitor was super friendly and supportive.

What are your current goals in CrossFit?
My current goals are to start building up muscle. It’s pretty hard for me to put on any weight, but since starting with CFO I have noticed results that I am excited to build upon, as well as getting to the gym 4/5 times a week vs my usual 3/4.🤘💪

 

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Kennady Otto – From Competitive Swimmer to CrossFitter

What brought you to CrossFit Oshkosh?
I was always in sports growing up. It started off with me watching my two older brothers swim competitively and thinking how fun that looked. I swam competitively for 10+ years and loved every second of it. I enjoyed how competitive the sport was and how the team felt like family. In between seasons of swimming, I played club volleyball for the top two teams in the Fox Valley for 2 years. After realizing how much I missed swimming, I dropped volleyball and made swimming my primary sport again up until my junior year of high school.
I was initially drawn to CrossFit after seeing a small clip from the 2016 Games. I liked how it was more than just simple movements, it was movements that involved your entire body and movements that I didn’t know were humanly possible (handstand pushups). I watched some more videos and did a little bit of research and found CrossFit Oshkosh!

Your first impressions of CrossFit Oshkosh?
“What am I getting myself into?!” was definitely my first thought I had when I first walked in the gym. I didn’t know anyone that did CrossFit at the time and had no clue what I was getting myself into so I was very hesitant. After watching a small portion of a class, I knew I’d like it after watching the camaraderie between everyone, even after a burpee workout.

What has been your biggest hurdle since starting?
My biggest hurdle since starting CrossFit is hands down ALL the gymnastics stuff. I came from a sport that only involved water, so having to learn movements that involved me “swinging” on a bar made me feel like a fish out of water flopping all around…literally.

What is your favorite aspect of CrossFit?
My favorite aspect of CrossFit is that people will always be there for you no matter what. Whether you’re doing a workout or performing a lift, you’re going to have people cheering you on.

What are your current goals in CrossFit?
My current goals are trying to eat healthier and work more on gymnastics, two things that don’t come easy for me lol.

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Destiny Pavlak: Finding Her Tribe At CrossFit Oshkosh

What brought you to CrossFit Oshkosh?
Over the years, I have known quite a few people that had worked out at CrossFit Oshkosh. I was always hesitant to try it, yet remained intrigued. After numerous invites from Molly and Reagan, I decided to check out a Wine and WOD and loved it! From there, it didn’t take more than a few days to schedule my No Sweat Intro and here I am today!

Your first impressions of CrossFit Oshkosh?
“OMG, these women are BEASTS!” I remember starting to come to classes and being so excited to see so many strong women who weren’t afraid to pick up a barbell and just crush their workout. I couldn’t stop telling my husband about how amazing it was to find a gym where I could fit in, and didn’t stand out for being a female who loved lifting weights and having muscle. The gym was filled with athletes of all ages and fitness backgrounds, who care about making each other better and were doing things I always wanted to learn!

What has been your biggest hurdle since starting?
Prior to joining CrossFit, I had spent years focusing on eating for a lean physique instead of focusing on eating for performance. The concept of adjusting my macros and increasing carbs instead of my traditional higher protein ratio has been a huge mental hurdle for me. Food is fuel and if I want to continue to have enough energy and strength to be successful, I needed to get past the number on the food and bathroom scale! In addition, I am extremely competitive and have high standards for myself, that often leaves me frustrated when I can’t yet do something in a WOD. I often need to remind myself to trust the process and be ok with my current level. With the right nutrition, form, practice and amazing support from the awesome coaching staff, I know that I can accomplish anything I set out to do!

What is your favorite aspect of CrossFit?
My favorite aspect of CrossFit Oshkosh and Ardent Fitness is that they truly care about educating their athletes on what I believe matters most; proper form and technique, nutrition and self-care. I am very passionate about wellness and have never found a gym filled with so many athletes and coaches that care about you, your health and well-being. Not to mention an entire group of women who love their dogs as much as I do! My favorite aspect of CrossFit is that it feeds my drive for competition and targets every component of physical fitness. I am turning 30 this year and after only 6 months at this gym, I am in better physical shape now than when I ran track in college or was bodybuilding and training for fitness competitions. CrossFit prepares you for “not only the known, but also for the unknown”, proves that you can push yourself further than you ever thought you could, surrounds you with an amazing group of like-minded athletes and friends, and provides you with a ton of fun and great memories along the way.

What are your current goals in CrossFit?
Speaking more generically and cliché, my main goal is to be better than I was yesterday. Every day, I want to be stronger, faster and healthier than the day before and continue to grow, strengthen and empower those around me to do the same. Iron sharpens iron and the CrossFit environment and culture is a living example. More specifically, my current goal is to learn to kip, complete unbroken toes to bar and get a muscle-up before I turn 30 on August 2nd!

What is something we don’t know about you?
My husband and I bought an orchard without even knowing it, I have two insane blue Weimaraner’s, I grew up on a farm and have unknowingly been dominating Strongman activities since I was 5, and there is a pretty neat story about why my name is Destiny.

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Lisa Wegner: Staying Consistent & Working Hard To Reach Her Goals!

What brought you to CrossFit Oshkosh? 
I have been wanting to try out CrossFit for awhile. I found CrossFit Oshkosh on Instagram. I told myself this was my next step in my health journey. I lost 40 pounds since Oct 2018 and wanted to see if CrossFit would help me gain muscle and definition. I was mind blown by my results.
Your first impression of CrossFit Oshkosh? 
No joke… bad ass and scary at the same time. My first class was so much fun! I’m addicted now!
What has been your biggest hurdle since starting?
Being patient with gaining muscle. I was reminded that it will take time but consistency.
What is your favorite aspect of CrossFit?
The community is amazing! Everyone there is so helpful! When you have that person asking if you are going to be at tomorrow’s class… it just makes you smile!
What are your current goals in CrossFit? 
Little more weight to loss
Keeping on track with nutrition
Muscle definition
Show up to class 4 times a week
Love Saturday classes!
What is something we don’t know about you?
I was diagnosed with MS back in 2010.
I bow hunt
Carp shoot
I love “ I Love Lucy”
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