December 2014 Member Accomplishments

You guys had another AMAZING month! Here are your accomplishments for December:

  1. Jay and Marissa had a chance to re-do their very first workout and they absolutely CRUSHED it!
  2. Jay has a new deadlift PR of 325 (x1) and a push press PR of 155 (x3)
  3. Marissa has moved up to the big tire and the big sledgehammer for her workouts
  4. Jordain has a new backsquat PR of 123 lbs
  5. Lauren has a new backsquat PR of 98 (x3) and a deadlift PR of 155
  6. Dorrey had another big month full of PRs: backsquat PR 153 (x3); deadlift PR 185 (x5); push press PR 103 (x3); shoulder press PR 78 (x3). Dorrey also did box jumps (not step ups) for a whole workout and has moved up to using the big sledgehammer for the whole workout.
  7. Foss has a new backsquat PR of 300.
  8. Barb has a new backsquat PR of 153 (x3)
  9. Mark had a big month of PRs too: backsquat PR 315 (x2); deadlift PR 345 (x5); front squat PR 225 (x1); hang power clean PR 185; push press PR 185 (x3); shoulder press PR 155 (x2). Mark is also proud to announce that he’s increased his ShakeWeight time to 4:15!
  10. Nelly hit a new front squat PR of 105
  11. Pete has a new deadlift PR of 385 (x1)
  12. Phil has a new deadlift PR of 375 (x1)
  13. Coach SqWatts even joined the fun and got up to a 375 deadlift for 2 and a 345 backsquat. Not PRs, but he’s back lifting again!
  14. And lastly, Dorrey and Jordain did NOT flake out on the Ugly Sweater 5k despite the nasty cold and rainy weather (like Barb and Robyne did)…

Keep up the good work and keep writing down your accomplishments!

I started my CrossFit journey on December 27, 2013.  I would love to say it is because I was inspired to do something about my health and my weight, but it was really because Robyne Gioco had been pestering me for two months to come with her to class!  I had every excuse not to come…..I was going on vacation, I needed a shot in my hip, it was Thanksgiving, it was Christmas…blah, blah, blah.  Robyne told me she loved it and kept saying how great everyone there is, especially Coach SqWatts, so finally I was out of excuses and came to class.  My first impression was that everyone there seemed really nice, but there were a lot of weights and ropes and bands and balls and kettlebells and things that scared me tremendously.  My first WOD was so hard, but…..I loved it.  I felt great.  I could not believe what I had just accomplished… I came back.  That was five months ago! When I started I said I wanted to lose weight and fit into my “goal jeans”.  I have done that and then some!  Not only have I lost weight (16 pounds so far!) and fit into my goal jeans (with a little room!) but I have changed my eating habits (thanks in part to the Paleo challenge), I am stronger, I feel better and I truly enjoy coming to CFZ.  The icing on the cake is a great group of new friends.  I am currently not as focused on weight loss, although I would like to lose a little more, but really on getting stronger and my form and fitting into all the summer clothes that I have had packed away for the last 3 years because they didn’t fit anymore.
My favorite CFZ moment specific to a WOD is the change I saw in my Fight Gone Bad scores, and the runner up favorite moment is the time I was the ONLY person who showed up to do “Fran” (that’s what I get for not looking up what it meant first!).  However, any day that Barbara repeats what Jon is saying in Italian without knowing what dirty or inappropriate word she is repeating is also a very good day.
Thank you for everything….more to come!!

-Lauren Storer

I started with Zenith as it was across from my office.  I thought it was going to be hard work and it is, but having a great coach like Brian, made a BIG difference.  He always takes the time to show us the proper techniques for our workout and that is priceless.  I have been to CrossFit gyms in Jersey City and Penang (Malaysia) and I must say Zenith has the best place.  It has room to exercise and it has all the equipment needed for your workouts. I am moving to the West and I will definitely miss Zenith and all its people. It was fun being part of Zenith!!
–Alvaro Toro


I woke up one day and found myself to be two things:  Forty and fat.  I couldn’t change the fact that I was forty, but I could change the fact that I was fat.   While it may seem silly, I strongly believe that fate brought me to CFZ.  I had always been intrigued by CrossFit, so I gave another local box (that shall go unnamed) a try.  It just wasn’t for me.    After my first, less-than-positive experience with ‘that other’ CrossFit, I just happened to run into a friend who mentioned his co-worker and her husband were opening a CrossFit. After an email exchange and a phone call with Barb, I decided to try a WOD at the Grand Opening on October 14, 2014. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

My first impression of Brian was that he was very genuine and not a “meathead, cocky, a-hole.”  He immediately put me at ease (as ease as you can be when you hear words like, 400 meter run and wall balls) and made me feel very welcome.  I also couldn’t help but notice the incredible turnout at the Grand Opening.  It was clear that there must be something special to both Brian and Barb that so many people would turn out to support this new CrossFit.  The atmosphere felt positive and welcoming rather than intimidating and ‘you’re not one of us’.  I joined CFZ that night.

I can’t think of one accomplishment that I would consider “the biggest”  but I would say the fact that I LOVE working out now is pretty high up there on the accomplishment meter (even though I do whine a lot…and I still hate burpees).  I’m also proud of how much stronger I’ve become, the confidence I’ve found and how much happier I am now.  I do things that I never thought I could do, or would want to do!  And most importantly, I’ve made great friends at CFZ, which is just such a happy bonus!
My next CrossFit goal is to continue to get healthy and strive toward being better, faster and stronger.  I would also really like to survive the Tough Mudder in August, and I believe my continued training at CFZ will help me toward that goal.  My favorite CrossFit Zenith memory has to be walking through that purple door for the first time and being terrified of what awaited me, and then walking out through that same purple door two hours later as a new member of CFZ and feeling motivated and excited.  Little could I have known then of all the wonderful things CFZ had in store for me.

I am now no longer forty and fat:  I’m forty-one and well on my way to getting fit.  Thank you Coach SqWatts and CFZ!
–Robyne Gioco


I knew I wanted to try CrossFit, so I scouted out a few different gyms (boxes for the aficionados) to see the right balance of price and workouts, and Zenith was a really good fit for me. I started ‘CF-ing’ around November 25th, 2013…so I’ve been at it almost 6 months. The big changes I’ve seen since starting at CrossFit Zenith were the amount of lbs I shed! 30 and counting! My back and knees are thanking me. I thought I would return to eating fast food or anything I felt like after our last clean eating challenge was over, but the truth is when I tried some of those foods, they made me feel terrible. My next goal is to obviously keep working on strength and fitness, but I also really need to live a tobacco free life, and it ain’t easy…
–Jon Leone

My wife, Kelley, and I started at CFZ about two months ago after crossfitting in the past, but taking off about a year after moving to Wallingford.  We both drive down to New Haven so we saw your billboard and thought we would check out a new CrossFit as we had enjoyed it in the past.  One of the turn-offs at other CrossFits that I found was the quality of the coaching and that is what keeps us coming to CFZ.  Brian knows what he is doing and keeps the quality of CFZ consistently good.  He also gets us to wake up at 5:40 in the morning, so that is a feat and accolade in itself : ).
–Greg Smith

Happy Birthday Brian !! I hope this year is a great one  I just want to say thank you for Zenith !! I really enjoy coming to the gym and just feel so comfortable there … I love the people, the little get-togethers we have, the little group on face book- it is just awesome … I look forward to coming to the gym all the time (even when there are front squats and burpees :)) and feel like I can push myself and feel better after. You are an inspiration yourself !! … I can’t stay away even though I should sometimes (you know what I mean) – thank you for all of your encouragement  and advice – and especially with your help these past couple of weeks before the race – you and Barb have been so great –   I hope you have a great day  You deserve the best !!
–Kristine Conlon

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