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Client Stories

Brandy Hargett: Crushing Goals & Gaining Confidence

Brief personal history and journey towards beginning your CrossFit journey:
While I was always a big kid, I grew up playing soccer and volleyball, which kept me in [relative] shape. When I moved back to Wisconsin in 7th grade girls’ soccer and volleyball were the same season, so I had to choose, and I ended up choosing volleyball. I ended up playing part way through high school (school and club). Once the school sports stopped I found myself going to traditional gyms independently for a few months each year and dieting. I would then fall off the wagon and try again the next year. Even when I was in the gym I was not pushing myself and the diets I tried left me hangry, so I continued to slip further out of shape each year. That in partnership with seeing people around me deal with chronic illness that was exacerbated by obesity and sedentary lifestyle, I knew I needed to make a permanent change if I wanted to live my best life. This lead me to checking out different programs, and spoiler alert, into CrossFit Oshkosh with my friend, Ashley. We started with 2 – 6 week sessions of the SWEAT class and then transitioned into regular CrossFit classes. I have officially lost 50 lbs, I am eating so much better, I continue to get stronger each month, and I don’t use the word diet anymore, I am in this for the long haul now.

What brought you to CrossFit Oshkosh?
The Facebook Videos/Ads highlighting Sweat class. I knew I was ready to make a lifestyle change, but I didn’t feel ready to jump into the fancy barbell movements.

Your first impression of CrossFit Oshkosh?
TERROR, seriously, walking into the gym last July was one of the hardest/scariest things I have ever done. But, as soon as you get yourself through the door everyone is so supportive and welcoming and you will start to build confidence. Over time, the nerves have subsided and I am excited to come into class (eve

n though I still get the Pre-WOD “scaries” some days).

What has been your biggest hurdle since starting?
Nutrition. It always has been and probably always will be. CrossFit has given me the tools to be successful, I just need to be diligent to live by the 80/20 rule and not let it slip to 70/30.

What is your favorite aspect of CrossFit?
Community and Competition!

What are your current goals in CrossFit?
I have a lot of goals, like not being terrified of jumping or being upside down. I keep calling them 2020 goals, but that is coming in very quickly, time will tell! Also, it’s going to be real neat when I can do a pull up, but that is probably a 2021 goal for me.

What is something we don’t know about you?
I like to think that it isn’t obvious that I am an only child 😊
Also, I lived in 5 states by the time I was 19 (Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota, Kansas).

 

Want to be as AWESOME as Brandy?

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Client Stories

Molly Maggay: Engineered & Calculated to Improve Exercise Performance

What brought you to CrossFit Oshkosh?
Reagan May. Period. It pays off to have friends that are so persistent 😂 I’ve always enjoyed working out and being active. I ran cross country and track through middle school and high school and only did strength training when they programmed it for us. During college I tried to do more strength training on my own with my running, but felt I wasn’t getting anywhere. After Reagan asking me a million times (and I don’t think I’m exaggerating) to join or at least check out CrossFit, I came to a Wine and WOD and watched a FNL to see what it was about. It took more convincing from her, but I knew it was inevitable and I would join 🤷🏽‍♀️ The community atmosphere, the push, the drive; I love it all.
Your first impression of CrossFit Oshkosh?
I came to my first class and left loving it but thinking “Holy shit. I want to be as badass as these people! How will I ever get there?” It was a little intimidating, but you have to learn so quick you can’t compare yourself to anyone else there, it’s you against you. And being a newbie in the class, I was welcomed in immediately. That is such a relief, especially when it comes to physical fitness. To not be made to feel like you are weak or can’t do anything gives you so much more confidence.
What has been your biggest hurdle since starting?
CONFIDENCE! I’m told by many they wouldn’t know I have confidence issues, but I doubt my abilities A LOT. It has been hard for me to mentally prepare for attempting a new PR or going higher in weight for a WOD. The coaches and other members have helped so much in bringing that confidence up, pushing me to new limits, and having faith in me; not letting me give up. I want to thank everyone for all their support and push. You guy are making me fit AF. 🙂
What is your favorite aspect of CrossFit?
The mix of movements. That I get to do cardio, with strength, and gymnastics movements; it keeps it interesting and always fun (using fun loosely, it’s a love-hate relationship 😂). It’s pretty cool to see how each movement works to improve other movements. Like building up strength in one area to perform gymnastics movements easier. Ya know, just working out that whole body.
What are your current goals in CrossFit? 
My current goals in CrossFit are focusing on sleep and nutrition more. Sleep is a major one and I can tell how exhausted and burnt out I get in a workout if I had a bad night of sleep. So these goals aren’t necessarily CrossFit specific, but I know they’ll translate to my workouts and improvements.
What is something we don’t know about you?
Four things:
1. I am a Test Engineer and graduated with my Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering, but was originally going to school for marketing and management before switching. I’m happy I made the switch because my job is pretty baller.
2. I hate pancakes but love waffles. And no, I don’t want to explain how this works or why, just don’t feed me pancakes.
3. I’m terrified of frogs/toads. So if you want to see me cry, bring them by, otherwise please help me steer clear of them!
4. When I hit a PR, especially squatting, I think I have the record for worlds slowest movement. No kidding, ask Ali, I go into ‘snail moving through molasses mode’.
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Client Stories

Michael Jacobs: Joining The Right Community & Seeing Major Success

Brief personal history and journey towards beginning your CrossFit journey:

-I’ve tried working out at other gyms by myself and participating in their classes, but I was missing the community and motivation to go and be better. CrossFit is exactly what I was looking for and needed to become healthier.

What brought you to CrossFit Oshkosh?

-I watched Robby during the open last year and was interested in joining. It took me a while, but finally joined that summer (6 months ago). I wanted a community of people that would support and challenge me to be better all around.

Your first impression of CrossFit Oshkosh?

-Watching the open, I thought it looked tough and fun. I knew CrossFit would be something I would be challenged in, but also successful.

What has been your biggest hurdle since starting?

-My biggest hurdle since starting would be double unders….I still can’t get them very well.

What is your favorite aspect of CrossFit?

-My favorite aspects of CrossFit is that it’s a different workout everyday and it’s a great, supportive community.

What are your current goals in CrossFit? 

-Continue going to 6am WODs.

-Work on my nutrition.

-Master doubleunders.

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Bryan Carter: “Don’t Let Fear Hold You Back!”

Brief personal history and journey towards beginning CrossFit:
Hi! I am Bryan Carter. 22, and a senior at UW Oshkosh studying Theater Performance & Political Science. I rejoined CrossFit Oshkosh in June of 2018 after feeling that I had plateaued in my own individual exercise.  I desired an extra push, and a community to be a part of while on this journey to self improvement. Needless to say my consistency, drive & support of the Ardent Fitness staff and community have gotten me this far. There’s nowhere to go but up.

What brought you to CrossFit Oshkosh?
One of my fraternity brothers was on the coaching team and really encouraged me to do it. He is someone I really value and trust so I took him at his word.

Your first impression of CrossFit Oshkosh?
I was MORTIFIED. I walked in and saw people dripping as if they had just ran out of the shower!  But I had no idea how welcoming and supportive everyone would be through the process of learning movements, understanding the jargon but also just feeling more comfortable being in the room. Don’t let fear hold you back from this experience.

What has been your biggest hurdle since starting?
I have struggled with pushing myself in the workouts! It is so intimidating moving so much weight but with the encouragement and expert teaching from the Ardent Fitness staff & community I have been working more and more at my actual level and the results are rewarding!

What is your favorite aspect of CrossFit Oshkosh?
I love the relationships that I have with each of the coaches! To this day, they are still pouring encouragement and knowledge into me on how I can be better. It’s pretty hard to plateau at CFO. They remember when they were in your shoes and they desire for you to succeed. Also I can be a bit of an amateur comic and they always laugh at my jokes, so they’re all good with me.

What are your current CrossFit goals?
Continuing my nutrition journey into 2019 stronger than ever. If i eat like crap, I will not see much progress but great nutrition guarantees results.

What is something we don’t know about you?
A year ago I had a size 41 waist, now I am a 33… nutrition plus Ardent Fitness…NUTRITION + ARDENT FITNESS!!

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Ella B. – Building Strength with the Support of Her CFO Family!

1.Brief personal history and journey towards beginning your CrossFit journey:
For a long time I tried to stay active, but each time, after a few weeks or months, my enthusiasm would decrease to the point where I eventually stopped working out. I like running, swimming, and cycling, so I found the most success in training for triathlons because the training plans were different enough that I didn’t get bored with the same workout every day. However, eventually I did stop. I heard about CrossFit from multiple friends and I was definitely interested, but I felt that I wasn’t “there” yet. I worked on my consistency (showing up to the gym every week) for almost a year and after a few wine and WODs at CFO, I decided to join. I haven’t looked back since.

 
2. What brought you to CrossFit Oshkosh?
I found CFO because of Coach Mary. Her enthusiasm and dedication inspired me to join her box.
 
3. Your first impression of CrossFit Oshkosh?
At first I was a little intimidated, but I was also surprised to see “normal” people like me doing extraordinary things and that really motivated me to commit.
 
4. What has been your biggest hurdle since starting?
Proper nutrition is my biggest hurdle. I know what I am supposed to do, but it is hard for me to cook consistently to hit my macros.
5. What is your favorite aspect of CrossFit?
I love feeling welcome and supported by the coaches and by everyone else at the gym. It feels like a big family, rather than a gym where people compete against each other (I do like the competitive side of it, but it’s done in a positive way).
 
6. What are your current goals in CrossFit? 
I want to get stronger to Rx workouts and I want to keep getting better at Olympic lifts.
 
7. What is something we don’t know about you?
I grew up in a warm place, but I learned to ice skate when I was 5 years old. My fav winter activity is ice skating on a lake!
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Rob Hackbarth: Feeling Better at 50 than 20, Thanks to CF!

Brief personal history and journey towards beginning your CrossFit journey:

Before CrossFit, I was what I would call functionally unfit.  I’ve been blessed with a fast metabolism, so I never had to worry about what or how much food I should eat.  An active family means we’re always on the go. I didn’t look out of shape. As a result, exercise, formal exercise, wasn’t a priority for me.
I did try periodically to exercise, but nothing ever stuck. The problem?  Nobody to push me. I could always win an argument against myself. P90X and P90X3? Started it probably five times; even took the before pictures. The Y?  Same story.
In my 30’s and into my 40’s, my weight roamed around 195-199 lbs.  Entering my upper 40’s, that 200 number appeared on the scale more and more often.  I looked fit enough but was sensing the signs of getting older. It was time for a change.

What brought you to CrossFit Oshkosh?

Ever since it opened, I would drive past CrossFit Oshkosh each day on my way to and from work. It took me a few years to register it was there. Once I knew what it was, an internal debate ensued with my lazy side until I finally called and booked the no sweat intro.

Your first impression of CrossFit Oshkosh?

The power, if that makes sense.  Walking in that first time there was a flurry of activity.  There were athletes lifting these big black round things in the back of the gym.  There was a class, and everybody was jumping up and down.  It’s called a what, a burpee?  Tony Horton never called it that.  It was powerful.

What has been your biggest hurdle since starting?

November is my two-year anniversary at CrossFit Oshkosh.  Hurdles in CrossFit are relative.  They continuously change.  Some of mine.

  • Almost quitting during the first couple months: There were several times those first couple months when I thought to myself, “WTF did I get myself into?!” Those initial workouts were so hard and the effort so intense.  My mind kept screaming STOP.  My advice for those reading this; don’t stop. Get past those first couple months and magical things happen.
  • Olympic lifts: CrossFit has very technical elements and as a beginner, the Olympic lifts can be frustrating.  The barbell classes that CrossFit Oshkosh conducts are awesome.  The coaches breakdown the lifts and teach proper form.  The Olympic lifts are now my favorite part of CrossFit.
  • Injuries: As my body adapted to working out 4-5 times per week, I experienced several minor injuries.  Whether my knee, shoulder or back, I felt like I was always battling something. The coaches do a great job of scaling or changing the workout to accommodate the injury.  As I got stronger though, the injuries went away.

 

What is your favorite aspect of CrossFit?

No way to pick just one.

  • No thinking involved: Open Zenplanner, schedule appointment, arrive at gym, and do what I’m told.  Underrated aspect for those with busy lives.
  • How I look and feel: People say vanity shouldn’t be the primary motivator for exercising.  Don’t listen to them.  I’m 50 and I look better now than I did in my 20s; well, except for my hair.  I started CrossFit at 198 lbs. Dropped down to 191 as I lost fat.  Added muscle and now at 202 lbs; heavier than ever before, but much, much healthier.  Magical things.
  • The coaches: I’ve been to several CrossFit gyms around the country and we have some of the best in the industry.  The gym wouldn’t be the same without coaches like Ali, Mary, Reagan, Heather, and Tony.
  • The 5am crew: The culture and people at CrossFit Oshkosh are awesome.  I’ve been attending the 5 am class with the same group of people for well over a year.  You gain an affinity for a group of people you see almost daily.     
  • I can eat more.  I can eat more.  I can eat more.  I can eat more.  Did I mention?  I can eat more.

 

What are your current goals in CrossFit? 

Get to the box more regularly than I have the last couple months, set an occasional PR and prepare for the 2019 open.

What is something we don’t know about you?

I am a family man.  I married up when I married my beautiful wife Carla.  We have a 16-year-old son Jaden.  When he was 14 yo, (and I was 6 months into my CrossFit journey) I challenged him to Murph, without the vest.  My plan was to let him get ahead in the first mile, then crush him during the pull ups, push ups, and squats, then gloat as he tried to catch me in the last mile.  That plan lasted until the first pull-up.  He beat me by 9 minutes.
Our 14-year-old daughter Gabby wants to be Sara Sigmundsdóttir.  If she wasn’t spending 15 hours per week at gymnastics, she’d be a CrossFitter.
Then there is Will.  At 8 years old, a day is unsuccessful unless he’s covered in dirt, doesn’t have a new bruise, or hasn’t ripped a piece of clothing.

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Jessica Pinkall – Deadlifting The Stress Away & Inspiring Us All With Her Strength

What brought you to CrossFit Oshkosh?

It started out as an activity my husband and I could do together.  We both work full time jobs and have four children, plus a Goldendoodle puppy, and two bunnies and various things we do as a family and individually, but we both felt this was something we could experience and learn together as a couple.  I personally wanted to lose some unwanted pounds but also gain some muscle- both of which I have already accomplished, so I can’t wait to see what the future holds!

Your first impression of CrossFit Oshkosh?

One thing that has really impressed me is the feeling of belonging.  All of the coaches are sincere, the other members are welcoming and supportive, and the environment is fun and challenging at the same time.  I really feel like I belong, and even on my worst day, I can come to the box and forget about the stresses of daily life.  The coaches expect a lot, but no pain, no gain, right?

What has been your biggest hurdle since starting?

Right now, at this point in time, it is trying to find the energy to get to the box.  I was recently diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer and it came as a complete shock- I am 37.  It was not on my radar in any way, so now that I have started chemotherapy, I am trying to figure out when I can make it in and still heal from therapy.  CrossFit has become therapy for me the past couple of weeks so missing my weekly evening classes has been a struggle. Plus, I just got brand new Reebok Nano 2.0’s that I have worn only once- they need to get worn in!

And PSA:  Ladies AND gentlemen- make sure to check your breasts- it can save your life!  

An overall hurdle has been dealing with my competitiveness with myself.  It is humbling when I try a new lift and do not do as well as I thought I would, but the coaches are always supportive and providing modifications or things to practice so I can perform the lift properly.  Current hurdles:  overhead squats, low box squats, pull ups, handstands…. just to name a few 😉

What is your favorite aspect of CrossFit?

Just one?  I love coming in and just getting away from it all.  I have made so many friends that only want the best for you and are supportive every step of the way.  You build a camaraderie with those who are going through the same joyous hell – you suffer together, but you also grow together.  Anyone can walk into a gym, but this is the first time in a long time that I have been pushed as hard and walked away still smiling after.

What are your current goals in CrossFit? 

A basic goal:  continue getting in as much as my health allows.  CrossFit has been good for my soul and people that started off as strangers are now friends and family.

Specific goals:  overhead squat with more than an empty barbell, completing a pull up unassisted, and doing a handstand with the assistance of the wall.  I also have to mention my favorite thing to do: deadlifts.  They are my absolute favorite. By far. I love’m.

What is something we don’t know about you?

A couple of random facts about me:  I have two older sisters and I’m the shortest sister (I’m 5’10”).  In 2nd grade I won the City Wide Free Throw Contest.  I love dinosaurs and zombies.  My favorite color is red.  I’ll read books any day.  My senior year of high school, I won Best Supporting Actress in Drama Club.  I teach 5th Grade at Merrill Elementary.  It took 10 years of bow hunting and gun hunting before I shot my first buck last gun season, still waiting for my first bow buck…

That’s about it.  I’m just a hometown girl who loves CrossFit.

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Sarah Schommer – “CrossFit Is Just What I Was Looking For”

What brought you to CrossFit Oshkosh?

I was looking for something new to add to my fitness routine and thought that CrossFit might be just what I was looking for. 

Your first impression of CrossFit Oshkosh?

It was a little scary walking into the gym for the first time and seeing all of the equipment and thinking that I may have gotten myself in over my head. But Ali and Mary were awesome with working with me those first few sessions and really helped to put me at ease. All of the coaches and other members have been so great to get to know and really appreciate all the support I get from everyone each time I come in for a class!

 

What has been your biggest hurdle since starting?

Sticking with a consistent schedule of classes each week. Between my 2 jobs and being in school it can be hard to find the motivation to make sure I get to 3 classes each week. But I’m working on it.

 

What is your favorite aspect of CrossFit?

That each class offers a new challenge for me to overcome. Even when I don’t meet the goal of the workout I know there will always be another chance for me to crush it the next time.

 

What are your current goals in CrossFit? 

To become stronger both physically and mentally, build my stamina and to be able to do a pull up without a band. 

 

What is something we don’t know about you?

I am terrified of spiders!! HATE THEM!

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Lauren Hollingsworth: Focusing On The Details, & Getting Better Every Day

What brought you to CrossFit Oshkosh?

 

I moved here 2 years ago for work and struggled looking for a gym that had a fun environment as well as one that pushed me physically and mentally. I signed up for CF Oshkosh after attending the fall 2017 Wine and WOD with Andrea Saccardi. I immediately connected with people who valued their health, fitness and also enjoyed having a good time. This was difficult to find when moving to a new place where you don’t know anyone. It was really nice to meet like-minded people!

 

Your first impression of CrossFit Oshkosh?

I was really excited to be pushed by the workouts. It is always an amazing environment with high energy and really awesome people. The best part was that even though I was nervous to start, there were always options for scaling to my ability. And I think that is one of the best parts – anyone can be confident they will get a great workout, whether they are advanced or just beginning.

 

What has been your biggest hurdle since starting?

 

I played soccer for over 20 years competitively and had a serious injury. I’ve had several surgeries for a kneecap dislocation and was told I probably would not be able to run again, let alone lift weights. When I first started, I was hesitant to do certain movements such as heavy squats or lateral jumping for fear of dislocating my knee again. However, Crossfit has given me the ability to do so much more than what I thought possible. Now, I realized that most of my fears and hesitations were in my head. That’s the biggest hurdle for me, getting out of my head.  I can do so much more when I think positively and stop overthinking.

 

What is your favorite aspect of CrossFit?

 

I love the energy at Crossfit. I love that it feels like a family. People are willing to help each other out and work together to a common goal. There is competition and drive, but not at the expense of each other. I love that people can work hard and compete during class but then support each other outside of the gym. I also love that I have been able to visit Crossfit gyms around the country when I go visit family or go on vacation and while they all have different vibes, I have a great experience at every single one of them. 

 

What are your current goals in CrossFit? 

 

My current goal is really to keep improving. Sometimes, it feels like I’m not improving or that I’ve taken a step back one week. But then, I just keeping checking my benchmarks, logging my scores and over time, start to see drastic improvements. Just last week, we repeated a WOD from April. I checked my score and I was about 7 seconds slower than I was in April but then realized I increased the weight by 20 lbs to RX the workout! So you have to keep track of the details and realize you are getting better and stronger. 

 

What is something we don’t know about you? 

 

I was on my shooting team in college and was nationally ranked as the 9th top skeet and trap female shotgun shooter some time between 2012-2014. It was fleeting but I will hold on to that glory for the rest of my life. HA! 

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Amanda Bunton: Passionate about Fitness & Family

What brought you to CrossFit Oshkosh?
Les Mills always played an active role in my fitness routine, but I was looking for a new challenge!

Your first impression of CrossFit Oshkosh?
It was intimidating at first – but the coaches and CrossFit community were very welcoming.

What has been your biggest hurdle since starting?
Proper form and technique slowed progress at first. Realizing this, I enrolled in Level 1 Barbell class CFO was offering, and I could immediately see the changes by getting one-on-one time with the coaches!

What is your favorite aspect of CrossFit?
Checking my Fit-bit for those peak minutes after a tough WOD; “Embrace the Suck!” I am also very proud to say that I am a CrossFitter!

What are your current goals in CrossFit? 
Improving on proper form and technique. Also, getting over my new fear of box jumps after taking a nasty digger, I used to love them!

What is something we don’t know about you?
As busy as I am with my family, work, and fitness; I love being home. And I’ve never cut the grass!

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