Athlete of the Month - Amy Babiak

Tell us a little bit about yourself! 

 I have to start out by saying that I get a little uncomfortable when I'm asked to talk about myself. I'm just a wee bit shy and of the "NOBODY LOOK AT ME" mentality, lol so this questionnaire is a little difficult. So, I've lived in Havertown for the last decade with my husband of 12 years, Nick, who is also a DelVal member (he's the cute blonde that frequents the 7 pm classes). We met and started dating in high school and have been together for 20 years. He's my best friend, the cheese to my macaroni, the peanut butter to my jelly sandwich. We have a blast together without having to do anything at all. I am 36 and still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up, but in the meantime, I work for a school portrait company and draw things.

How did you hear about Crossfit Delaware Valley?

 An old friend from my childhood directed me to Coach Chris' kettlebell club in the park, which I enjoyed very much. Chris talked a lot about CrossFit, which made me curious. I stalked DelVal's FB page and website and when KB club moved from the park to DelVal, I got to see firsthand what CF was like. I got over my fears and finally went to a free trial and that was decision EVER.

We can usually find you at the evening classes. Tell us a few of your favorite memories from that class. 

 I have countless unforgettable memories, but I'll never forget my first official class with Coach Colleen. The workout was Dirty Thirty and I was terrified but Colleen was so sweet and stuck by me the entire time. She scaled everything to suit my skill level and even ran the 400 with me during warm up. Everyone at DelVal, coaches and members, were so welcoming and made me feel at home right away and that is a big part of what got me hooked.

What are some short term goals that you have recently achieved and some long term goals that you would like to achieve? 

 The biggest achievement for me, especially in the last 6 months, is having been able to do more and more WODs RX, which is partially the result of consistently working on bodyweight movements. I'm able to string together more strict chin-ups, and my kipping pull ups have become so much stronger and more efficient, which has had a huge impact during workouts. My list of long term goals is ENDLESS, but one movement I'd like to conquer is the pistol....I've been working and struggling and getting super frustrated but I WILL get it.

We always see you doing extra work at Del Val. Tell us about your extra programing and what goals you are trying to reach through it. 

 My extra programming is a mixture of strength accessory work, some skill work and always ALWAYS deadlifting and squatting. My underlying goal is to just keep getting stronger and stay consistent with my lifting while learning some new skills and improving others. 

Speaking of extra work, we know you participated in Coach Jacki's 'Nutrition Reset' challenge this past spring. Can you tell us a little bit about the challenge and the results that you saw? 

 The challenge was all about cleaning up my diet and learning how to properly fuel my body through a 6 week elimination process. I've done several challenges through the years and have had some success with all, but with this recent attempt, something just clicked for me and I finally figured out what works for me. The number on the scale didn't change but I lost 8.5" total. I feel great and have been performing so much better at the gym because of what I eat and when I eat it. I highly recommend anyone who is looking to make a change to work with Jacki; she knows what she's talking about because she's been though it herself.

What is one piece of advice that you would pass along to a new athlete who is just starting Crossfit?

 It may be hard, but try not to feel intimidated by the workouts; everything is scalable, that's why CrossFit is so great...anyone can do it. Be consistent, and keep coming back, that's the only way you'll see progress. 

You did our annual Memorial Day workout Murph RX this past Monday. What was your strategy going into the workout and what was going through your mind during?
 This year was my 5th time doing Murph and I went in excited that I could finally do all of the movements as written; in years past, I've had to scale the pull ups and push ups. But, I was expecting to do only half the reps, as I assumed I'd lose my pull ups and push ups at some point....that didn't happen. I was actually arguing with myself in my head; part of me wanted to stop, because it was taking forever and I was last, but another part of me was screaming to JUST FINISH IT! Shout out to Jacki for doing the last 8 rounds with me so I wasn't alone!!

Tell us something we don't know about you... I love to dance and sing along to good songs. I'm absolutely terrible at both (ask Nick), but it puts me in a good mood.

Fill in the blank:
In the summer I like to...avoid wearing bathing suits.
My favorite hobby is to...draw because it's fun and makes me happy.
I really want to travel to....Ireland
My ideal weekend includes...hanging out with Nick and friends, nothing fancy. I'm easy to please.
My favorite thing to do with Nick is...hang at home, laugh, meal prep and annoy him with my terrible singing, lol.
He makes me happy because... he can make me laugh like no one else can and because I know without a doubt he always has my back.

Extra comments:

 I am eternally grateful to Rob, all of the coaches and athletes who have helped make DelVal feel like a second home to me. The positive impact CrossFit has had on me, both physically and mentally, is immeasurable and a direct result of the endless amounts of support and encouragement I have received from this amazing community of people. I can't imagine my life without DelVal and I thank you all for making this journey I've been on so special and rewarding. CHEERS!!

Athlete of the Month - Greg Thomas

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family!
I have a beautiful wife Joi and 2 children: CJ (10) and Little Greg (9). I love my family. We are very busy.

How did you hear about Crossfit Delaware Valley and what made you want to join?
I was watching a YouTube video on weight loss and came across a video series by Crossfit called Killing the Fat Man. 13 years ago I had weight loss surgery and lost over 150 pounds, but after letting myself go, I gained 50 back! I became obsessed with looking at the videos so much that I decided to do my own killing my fat man. I looked on and saw a link to find an affiliate near me. CFDV found me. I didn't find it. 

We can usually find you at the 5:30am class. Tell us a few of your favorite memories from that class.
Every day is a new journey but my favorite memory was when I ran my first Broomile, and today during the 30 Snatches for time workout.  I've been working on my snatches and I finished so well that I surprised myself. Everyday is a new memory. I have not been at a class that I honestly have not enjoyed. 

Can you share a tip that one of our coaches told you that helped you with a skill?
Everyone is great! But Chris showed me to utilize my arm length to widen my grip on my snatches. It now forces me to use my hips. He told me to use my broad shoulders. The wider your grip is, the shorter the bar has to travel. 

What are some short term goals that you have recently achieved and some long term goals that you would like to achieve?
30 pounds in 1 month and 3 weeks! I was fortunate enough to go on vacation over spring break to Mexico for a week! That kinda put a damper on my training. My long term goal is to lose 80 pounds and to possibly be good enough to compete in the Masters Open next year. 

We know you've also been working on your Nutrition. What about it have you changed since starting Crossfit?
EVERYTHING! No eating after 9. Eat as little carbs as possible. Drink a gallon of water per day. 1 cheat meal per week and it's still something healthy. My wife and I share meals when we go out to dinner. The portions in America are ridiculous! 

What is one piece of advice that you would pass along to a new athlete who is just starting Crossfit?
Having an open and willing mindset is paramount! The moves in Crossfit can be very intimidating (especially doing it next to some super fit Early Birds!) but if you are willing to do the workout and not be afraid or too proud to scale it, you will get results.

What excites you most about Crossfit and what keeps you coming back every day?
I've been to plenty of gyms and I've done every Beach Body video (I broke the p90x bar I was so heavy) that it gets boring after 2 weeks. With Crossfit, you don't get a chance to get bored ever. What keeps me going is the accountability that CFDV provides. It truly feels genuine when I'm running up that hill and someone passes me and says "Good job, let's go!!" It truly feels like family of like-minded individuals with different goals but expecting the same results.

Tell us something we don't know about you... 
I serve in ministry at my church. My faith and a healthy mindset helps me to handle the stress that comes along with life. I also play 3 instruments (piano, organ, and drums). Playing since I was 9. 

Fill in the blank:

The last thing my wife said to me was...
"Babe I'm so proud of you, but I'm tired of salad!"

My favorite type of music is...
Gospel (I play piano at my church), jazz & classical.

My favorite movie is... 
Coming to America, Brewster's Millions, Trading Places. Master of the Game. (I'm an 80's baby)

I look forward to ... seeing myself progress during a Crossfit workout. 

If I could go anywhere in the world it would be to.. Hawaii. (Went to Costa Rica last year. I heard Hawaii is even better)

My favorite quote is..  

1. "If you don't have confidence you are twice defeated in the race of life. With confidence you have won even before you have started." - Marcus Garvey

2. "The loudest in the room is the weakest."

My 2017 goal give my best in everything I do. To get stronger than the day before. It may sound corny, but I genuinely believe that if we all set an expectation to give our best in everything, we will surprise ourselves. 

Extra comments:

Thank you so much! I'm grateful to really be apart of something! I really feel like this is such an amazing honor!!!!