Athlete of the Month - Erin Tobin

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Tell us a little about yourself!

I live in Havertown with my husband, Rob, and two dogs, Chase and Ollie. Our dogs are pretty much our children, for now. I teach second grade at Radnor Elementary School and I consider myself really lucky because I love my job. I am really close with my parents, brother and sister, and besides Rob, they’re my favorite people to spend time with. Except for my brother who lives in New York, my WHOLE family lives in Delco (aunts, uncles, cousins, and all)!

How long ago did you join Del Val and how did you find out about us?

My one-year anniversary is coming up this month! My cousin Kelly joined about two years before me, and she said it was okay. Then, my future cuz Emily joined and she said it wasn’t bad. They kept talking about it nonnnnstopppp and I was like what are they talking about? Who is AMRAP? So, a few months later I figured I would see what it was all about. I was a little hesitant to make the commitment because I always jump on the fit wagon, but then ALWAYS fall off. I’ve never been in a fitness routine for more than a few months, so joining a place that I was told I would love and want to come to each day (that’s what they really said ;)) was what really intrigued me.

Do you remember your first class or first workout?

Oh, yes. It was Angie. I remember looking around and thinking that these people are definitely on something. Nobody can actually do 100 pull-ups, pushups, sit-ups, and squats in one workout. I scaled everything and Julie stuck with me the whole time. I also remember thinking that I will never be able to do all of this stuff and it seemed so out of reach, but this past summer I RX’ed Angie. Everyone there was so welcoming and encouraging. I’ve never been at a gym or really any place at all where everyone is introducing themselves and happy to have you there.


What made you want to continue coming back after that?

Well, I really liked it, so I told Rob I would get the 10-class package that he was offering at the time. The next day, I went to the Y with my Rob, and right away I was like wow, this really sucks. I emailed Rob right away and asked if it was too late to change my 10-day package to a full membership. There was something about the workout, people, music, place, etc. that had me dying to get back there. 
 

We love how quickly you embraced our culture and community. Since joining you've competed in numerous competitions. Can you tell us what made you want to start competing and what you experience during? Any memories that stand out? Do you have any other competitions coming up?

I started competing because it simply looked fun. Girls on Girls at KOP with Katie Deaner was my first, and we both weren’t too worried about winning, let alone coming close. We both agreed to have fun and maybe hit a PR if we were lucky. We were successful and accomplishing both of those, and after that I knew I would do any other competition that came my way! As far as memories, when I recently did Girls on Girls with Erin (my CrossFit bff, please don’t marry Alex!) at DelVal we were both super proud of ourselves and that was a great feeling. The first workout was brutal and I had it in my head that I was not finishing it, but I did with time to spare, and Erin cleaned and jerked 115# close to 20 times, so cheering each other on that day was really the best part. I don’t have any competitions coming up as of now, but I am definitely looking forward to doing more in the future! 


After only a few months of doing CrossFit, you achieved a bar muscle up! One of the most advanced gymnastic movements. But we know it didn't come to you over night. We watched as you came in early before classes and on the weekends to relentlessly work on progressions. Can you talk about this process and share with us your game plan for achieving this movement?

Jacki once told me that hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard and that always stuck with me, especially when I was starting to think bar muscle ups just aren’t for me. I started working on the bmu consistently in May, and mid summer I was ready to give it a break. A few of the coaches told me that it wasn’t time to give up, but to go back to basics. For a few weeks I just worked on getting my hips to the bar and did not attempt one time. Then for a few weeks I started to use a band or a box to work on my hands and the aggressive head butt. After that I was able to put it all together, and after 2 attempts one September morning, I got it! I really believe that if I kept attempting I still would not have one, breaking it down so much is what really worked for me. Also, in the meantime, I was lucky enough to be on summer vacation so that I could go back to the gym in the afternoon and just work on my base strength. I think that was really helpful as well. I have to credit every single cfdv coach for this (Jacki, Travis, Chris, Kyle, Julie, Rob, Justin). Everyone took the time to give me tips and encourage me to keep trying.


Tell us about another important recent accomplishment!

Well I recently hit a one rep back squat at 175. In February, my one rep back squat was 125 and I thought that was great. Any number near 200 was just insane to me, so the fact that I was able to come close to it was pretty awesome! I also RX’ed a workout recently with a 95# clean and jerk, and that was a big deal for me. I really struggle with any sto, so being able to complete this felt pretty good! 


What are some short term and long term CrossFit goals you have?

Long term I would really like to develop more upper body strength so that sto doesn’t make me feel like I’m dying. I kind of get a bad feeling in my stomach when it’s in a wod because I know I am going to struggle. I am also working towards doing more workouts rx. When I don’t complete a workout rx it is usually because of weight, so working towards those weights has been a goal of time. Short term I would like to get a butterfly pull-up. I am doing the pull-up challenge now and working on it, so hopefully that comes soon!


After a few months you convinced your husband Rob and your brother to try Crossfit with you! Can you tell us what it's like to share this with your family? 

Rob was about ready to break up with me because I was teasing him about his gym routine (which was very consistent and he was really dedicated to it) and talking about Crossfit a little too often. He literally told me he was going to try it so that I would “shut up”. Well, his plan didn’t work so well, because now we are both obsessed. My brother would totally be a member if he lived around here, but he knows when he’s home where he can get his butt kicked! I am super lucky that not only do I get to workout with Rob, but that I also have 3 cousins there. There is nothing better than waking up at the crack of dawn to get your ass handed to you with your fam members. Love yas!


Tell us something we don’t know about you!

I am obsessed with 20/20, Dateline, 48 hours, or any other twisted mystery type show.


Fill in the blanks:

Aside from Crossfit, my other passion is… Teaching. As I mentioned above, I really love my job. I have a knack for helping those kids that are “different” and finding what’s going to work for them. 

 
If I could be transported to anywhere in the world right now, it would be
Sea Isle’s beach (I’m not fancy).

 
The best concert I’ve ever been to was Backstreet Boys when I was 10 because I don’t really go to concerts. 


If I was stranded on a desert island with only one person, one type of food, one drink and one song to listen to it would be…Rob, mac and cheese, La Croix coconut, and Africa (Toto), or anything by Wale!


My favorite movie:  Stepbrothers!

 
My ideal weekend includes Crossfit, coffee, donuts, dogs, and Netflix. 

 
Any extra comments:

This place is life changing! I am so lucky cfdv found me. It’s brought me a lot of happiness and friends. I can’t thank the coaches enough all of their encouragement, but also the members. If it weren’t for some of you, a lot of workouts would have been cut short! This is really an honor and I cant express in words how grateful I am.

DelVal Holiday Schedule

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Here's our Holiday schedule for this year. Out-of-towners can do $20 single drop-ins or $50 for a week of training. 

Wednesday 11.22
No 7pm class. BBC at 5:30pm

Thursday 11.23 (Thanksgiving)
0630 CrossFit (Kyle)
0800 CrossFit (Kyle)
0930 CrossFit (Kyle - NO Babysitting)

Friday 11.24 (Black Friday)
0630 CrossFit (Jacki)
0800 CrossFit (Jacki)
0930 CrossFit (Jacki - NO Babysitting)
1200 CrossFit (Erin)
1600 CrossFit (Erin)

Monday 12.25 (Christmas)
AM Open Gym (TBD exact hours and coach)

Monday 1.1 (New Year's Day)
0930 CrossFit (Jacki)
1045 CrossFit (Jacki)
1200 CrossFit (Jacki)

Athlete of the Month - Jordan Baskins

Tell us a little about yourself!

 I work for a German engineering conglomerate, Siemens AG. I currently work in their Human Resources as the Learning & Education program manager for finance, accounting, business management and strategy topics and job families. Before this role I was an accountant and an analyst for Siemens. My back ground is accounting and finance. I have an active CPA license, have a Bachelor's in accounting and a masters in business administration. So if you ever want to talk about corporate accounting and finance then come to me and I will talk your ear off. I live with my wonderful partner of almost 10 years, Jason Roberts (also a Del Val member) and we live in Drexel Hill with our doggo and two kitties. 

How long ago did you join Del Val and how did you find out about us?  

Originally I joined Del Val in May of 2013 on a 3 month trial basis. However, after the trial I did not renew, primarily because I did not have the proper mindset at the time to be consistent with CrossFit. My real start date was January 2015. Joe Buchanon, a Del Val member and friend of mine informed me that Del Val was offering a New Year's Comeback Special. I was floundering at LA Fitness and tired of my routine so I started back at Del Val and have stuck with it. I am very happy that Joe spurred me on to rejoin. I found out about Del Val on Google when I searched for my nearest CF gym. I really got lucky to have found a great gym on the first try. I had done CrossFit informally with some Marine officer friends of mine at their Marine recruiting depot in Orlando, FL back in 2008-2009 and really enjoyed it. I liked the social or team atmosphere of those workouts and was hoping to find that again. I was successful at finding that, Del Val had plenty of it. 

What brings you back every day after day? 

The other athletes at Del Val bring me back day after day. I love the people. I work at home alone 99% of the time and I also work a sedentary desk job, so Del Val provides much needed social interaction as well as needed physical activity. I also like the competitive atmosphere although I don't take the competitive side to extremes. I have a few unsuspecting (and some suspecting) in house competitors that I compete with each week.

It is no surprise that you will always be an Early Bird! Can you share with us a few memories from the morning classes that stand out to you?   

I love being an Early Bird and love the 6:30am class. I have so many memories from our morning classes that I don't even know which one to cite. One of the more memorable ones for me was when I had been at Del Val for a few months and I wasn't able to Rx most workouts. One day I scaled the workout by using the women's Rx weight. I believe it was either C&Js or snatches in the work out and Lauren Foehl was in that class. She beat me so badly using the same weight that day. Lots of memories of Chris....he really pushes me to do better, it is very much appreciated. He will "no rep" me during workouts, which is frustrating but needed. I feel that most “no reps” are on shoulder to overhead movements and air squats. I get in a hurry. One of the memories I have of Chris is him not letting me quit the DT workout. I tried it at the RX weight and my forearms burned out in the hang cleans. He told me to rest a few minutes, unload 20#s and retry. I tried to quit at that weight too, but he kept pushing me along until I finished. 

Over the past few months we’ve noticed your pull-ups have developed into beautiful butterfly pull-ups! Can you talk about this process and share with us your game plan for achieving this movement?  

Oh wow, I didn't even know anyone noticed. Pull ups are a goat for me, probably 2nd to running. I started learning butterfly pull ups because I thought they may be easier than regular kipping. Justin Marriott sent me a YouTube video of a lady instructor showing how to do butterfly pull ups with a PVC pipe. I watched that video and would do some practice here and there until I got a decent movement pattern down. Volume is still an issue; I don't have a lot of pull up volume. I am trying to learn to butterfly CTB, but that seems to be very difficult. Anyways, still a lot of work to do with pull ups and CTBs.

Tell us about another important recent accomplishment! 

I was very pleased to hit a 405 pound 1 rep max back squat in June 2017. I set a goal in 2016 to achieve that although I did not think it was possible at my body weight of 175-180 pounds to back squat 405. That really pleased me when I completed that rep. 


What are some short term and long term CrossFit goals you have? 

Short term goals: conditioning, conditioning conditioning! I hate conditioning but it is the one thing I need the most. I have decent strength numbers but my lungs can’t keep up. I also would like to be a more proficient Oly lifter. Long term goals – I would like to marry my strength with better conditioning to finish more Rx+ level workouts while also keeping my body healthy and injury free. Some more specific goals for me: finish DT Rx, still never have done that due to the hang cleans killing me, 225# snatch, 275# C&J, 40 unbroken pull ups, sub 6.5 min miles consistently (probably the most difficult goal for me), butterfly CTB and ring muscle ups. I still can’t get ring m/u’s, but I also don’t practice. I also would like to dial in my nutrition, mainly around optimizing intake. Some days I don't eat enough, others days way too much.

Does nutrition play a big role in your life and if so, how does it affect your CrossFit performance? 

HUGE role. Poor nutrition leads me to poor workout performance. The biggest goat in my nutrition is alcohol. I don’t have a sweet tooth or drink sodas, but I love gin, bourbon and beer. My breakfasts and dinners are solid, but my lunch time eating is opportunistic, just whatever I can find. I really need to meal prep for lunch.


Tell us something we don’t know about you! 

Before my job at Siemens, I qualified for the the U.S. Marine Corp’s Officer Cadet School. I was scheduled to start boot camp in Quantico, VA but then was bumped from my original start date to one 5-6 months later. In that 5-6 month period, I met Jason and was hired on at Siemens. So I asked to have my application withdrawn for OCS. Had I not been bumped, I would most likely be a Marine and not here with you guys at Del Val. No regrets though, life worked out just great.

 

Fill in the blanks:

On the weekends you can find me at happy hour on Friday afternoon, college football on Saturday and bootcamp on Sunday.

The best concert I’ve ever been to was Dolly Parton because my partner Jason is a huge fan and he got to meet her.

My favorite CrossFit workout is Bradshaw (for time, 10 rounds, 3 HSPU, 6 deadlifts (225/155), 12 pull ups, and 24 dubs).

If I was stranded on a desert island with only one person, one type of food, one drink and one song to listen to it would be Jason, Sushi, Tired Hands Beer, Free Bird (duh). 

My next vacation is to Montreal.

You can always find me at Sunday boot camps because it is fun, no scores, just work out. 

November Pull-Up Challenge

The Pull-Up. Along with the Press, this humble movement is probably the most important thing you can do for your upper body strength. Pull-Ups will strengthen your lats and arms, improve your posture and tighten your core. And once you have CrossFit's kipping variation, many of our benchmark workouts (Fran, Jackie, etc) will suddenly 'take meaning' to you in a whole new way. 

Our standard class programming includes a lot of Pull-Ups. But for many of you, this (on average) twice a week dosage may not be enough to get REALLY good at Pull-Ups. That's where our November Pull-Up challenge comes in!

During the month of November, you'll strive to complete 12 Pull-Up workouts, typically done before or after class. These additional workouts will be fifteen minutes or less and shouldn't interfere with your regular workout schedule. The cost is $25 and you'll receive a t-shirt at the end of the challenge. Pull-Up workouts will be emailed to you each week.

If you're interested in participating, please complete this Google form. Indicate whether you're a) trying to get your first strict Pull-Up, b) trying to get your first Kip or c) just trying to get more Pull-Ups. 

Oh, by the way: we want you to declare your 'team' for the Pull-Up challenge. DelVal Coaches Jacki, Chris and Rob will each field a squad. May the best team win!