Athlete of the Month 2017

Meet Erika Orris Athlete of the Month of February. She is a staple to the 4:15 class. A creative thinker with a lucky ankle that has not held her back. I appreciate eveything she does for our gym including being that determined athlete that doeson't let her luckiness get in the way of greatness!

Occupation: None because I am lucky enough to stay home and play with my son, Trent, all day.

Hobbies: (when I have time) cooking/baking, cake decorating, crafts, sports

Up Coming Adventure: Well every day with my son is a new and very unpredictable adventure that has me on my toes always. My family is trying to plan a trip to Marco Island once again this year so that will be a great time to spend with my parents, siblings, sibling in laws, and nieces/ nephews.

Favorite Quotes: 'Be stronger than your excuses', 'It's not that I have failed, but rather I have found 100 ways that didn't work so keep persevering', 'You only have so many heartbeats in a lifetime so why rush them', and 'If you got a lot to do today, get your nap done first' - my grandpa

Tell us something we don't know about you: I have donate more than 100 inches of hair to the charity 'Locks of Love' and had no more than 15 haircuts since I graduated high school in 2001. This is mostly in part because I am too lazy to get a regular haircut and partially because I might be scarred from when I was little my older sister and her friend stuck a huge glob of tar in my hair.

When and how did you get started with us? I started at CHCF less than 2 years ago after deciding to ignore all the nay sayers and try the Kool-aide myself. I was hooked right away because there was a new challenge each day to push through and the way everyone pushes to each other through each WOD.

What has been your biggest improvement while at CHCF? I guess I would have to say its a tie between my overall health and my DL PR.

Your proudest CrossFit accomplishment is: My biggest accomplishment although I can't consistently string them together was when I got my first double under because the plate and 8 screws in my ankle makes thing a little harder to move.

What do you like best about working out with noon and 4:15 classes? I love that you don't have to tip toe around the people that are WODing with because with a joke or a sarcastic comment they gladly move or help out.

What’s your favorite Cheat meal? cereal and Lou Melnatie's Pizza

Favorite recipe: Chicken Taco Chili Just like in Crossfit even some recipes need to be modifications or scaled. My suggested modifications are to only use to chicken breasts and the cook time is 4-6 hours depending on the temperature and if chicken is frozen or not. ENJOY!

You are a new addition to the crayon box, what color and why. My new addition to the crayon box would be... Sarcoline. After starting crossfit I was introduced to quite a few new colors and out of them all sarcoline is my favorite. This is the pale tone we see on many competitors faces when they push themselves to their limits or the color of the gobs of skin when you tare your hands in the middle of a WOD before they start bleeding.

Meet Kim Martin Athlete for January 2018. She is one of those dedicated 5am athletes that I really miss seeing on a regular basis. She adds a 'yellow tint' to 5am class. Enjoy reading her bio.

Occupation: I am a State Conservation Program Specialist with the Farm Service Agency. I work with conservation and environmental programs such as the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and conservation compliance for Illinois.

Hobbies: When I have time, I like to bake and sew.

Upcoming Adventure: I am hoping to go somewhere warm in March. My husband and I are trying to decide if or where we will go. Until then, the Junior High volleyball season has started and I will be busy with that.

Favorite quote: There are several, but two that come to mind - (1) Aim for the moon, if you miss, you may hit a star, (2) Wake up with motivation, go to sleep with satisfaction.

Tell us something we don't know about you. I grew up in Quincy and moved to Jacksonville with my husband in 2001 when I graduated from college. We have been married for 16 years and have 2 kids - Cassidy is 14 and Tanner is 11. They both attend Our Saviour School.

When and how did you get started with us? Paitra invited me to a Saturday WOD. From there, I convinced a friend to join with me and after trying several classes, we settled on the 5am workout.

What has been your biggest improvement while at CHCF? I can't think of just one improvement. Everything I have done since I first walked through the door is an improvement.

Your proudest CrossFit accomplishment is: Completing any WOD that includes running.

What do you like best about working out with 5am classes. Early mornings are often the only time I get to myself so the 5am class seemed to fit my schedule best. But really once I got to know everyone in out class I was hooked. Their motivation and encouragement get me through every workout.

What’s your favorite Cheat meal? Pizza and on occasion cookie dough

You are a new addition to the crayon box, what color and why. Yellow. I think it's a cheerful and uplifting color.

Meet Jolene Athlete for the Month of November. She is one of our orginal CrossFit Athletes from the garage days and became our first coach. She was also our first athlete to sign up and compete in the open. Burpees and snatch? Thanks for being so helpful in coaching and keeping us all inspired to do more!

Occupation- Legal Assistant at Bellatti, Fay, Bellatti & Beard, LLP (pushing 22 years); Group Fitness Director/Instructor/Personal Trainer at Fitness World Health Club; Co-Director of Jacksonville Network Volleyball Club

Hobbies – volleyball, riding the Harley, anything that is outside, coaching, riding a four-wheeler

Upcoming Adventure – I'm going to have to lean towards TJ on this one. TJ is the head volleyball coach for West Central High School and Bluffs Junior High School. His high school season just ended (27-10); however, his Junior High season is about to begin. The goal for this year is to win another regional title for the 8th grade. Being a 'coach's wife' is a crazy job, as some of you know (Padilla, Gray, Graham, Scott), but the gratification of knowing you have helped the girls reach a goal with them, is what matters most.

Favorite quote: 'You put in what you want to get out of it.'

Tell us something we don't know about you. I was a gymnast for 13 years. I play the piano, flute and piccolo. I sing. I was raised on a farm; living in the 'city' is a total switch for me. Country girl at heart. I broke my leg when I was 8. I was on a three wheeler with my brother coming back from frog giggin'. We had to meet the bus to find out what time it would be at our house to pick us up for school the next day. Needless to say, we didn't start school on time. We flipped the three wheeler and both of us were in the hospital for several weeks with broken legs. I was lucky enough to have Dr. Scott (Dan's father) as my surgeon. Everyone asks when TJ and I are going to have kids - guys, I have several kids, actually over 200! They are all of our Club kids, and I can send them home after every practice when I am done with them. 😉

When and how did you get started with us? A little over 5 years ago, KO asked me to go with her to a class in the garage. She kept on talking about crossfit and how she enjoyed it. So, I thought I would give it a try. It was time for me to be told what to do. I have instructed others for years - it was time for a change. I told myself I would go maybe once a week - ha, I think I was back the next day after I started. I was addicted as soon as I picked up the barbell.

What's your most memorable workout and least favorite workout? I don't remember the actual name of the wod, but it was a run, MU, and DU. I was working out with Steve and Curt at the time. This wod was the first time I could actually put an 'RX' behind my name because I could complete the MU portion. It was such a thrill! I don't think there is an actual wod that I have a least favorite. Over time, they just blend all together. Of course, anything with running is awful for me (but I'm slowly getting better).

What do you like best about working out with evening classes? I'd have to change this to 'morning/5:30/6:00' class. I am a morning person it seems anymore because of everything else I do of an evening. I have to make time to get my workouts in before I work for others. The best part of the morning crew is the constant motivation, encouragement, and determination of each and every one of them. I don't wod with them because seriously, I am not going to get up at 4:30 a.m. just to wod with a class, sorry! I will go in on my own and die amongst the others that are just leaving. Some mornings when I get there, they are already on the floor in the fetal position; other times they are just getting started. They give me the courage to go after whatever I have planned for the morning. I figure if they can do it, then I can too. Thank you 5:00 a.m. crew! You guys rock!

What would you tell newbies? Always put in a faithful effort and never think that you will fail. The only time that you will fail is when your mind tells you that it will. It is scary at first, but trust your body. Believe in yourself and concur. Confidence is key. Just because somebody finished before you does not mean that you finished last! You finished first in your book because you completed it. You never know what you can do until you try.

What’s your favorite Cheat meal? Pizza and Mexican

You are a new addition to the crayon box, what color and why. Green because green is the color of life and growth. Over time, as you continue to put in work every day, you grow into a stronger person and endure life a bit different.

Meet October's athlete of the Month Jeff Austiff. He is an original Carriage House Athlete that began with us in the garage. He is Jolene's uncle and they share that tenacity that is takes to develope stamina and skills. He fearlessly faces any wod we throw at him and he rarely misses comng in 5 days a week. He is definitly an inspiring assest to our community!

Occupation- I am a Product Service Technician at Dickey-john Corporation In Auburn. I do component level repair on customer units and warranty repair.

Hobbies – CrossFit

Upcoming Adventure – Riding bike trails

Favorite quote: Referring to Matthew 26:41 “The mind is willing but the flesh is weak”. My mind bites off a lot more than my body can deliver. Also “Made it through another one”

Tell us something we don't know about you. I farmed and worked as a mechanic till I was 35 when I went back to school.

When and how did you get started with us?
Jolene was the one that got me started with CrossFit.
I think my first day at the Carriage House (Garage) was 27 mar 2013 it was a sunny and a little bit chilly but a beautiful day. The first thing I remember doing was running out the driveway turning south on Prospect then west on Grove St then back south on Gladestone around the tree and back this is the only street in Jacksonville that I know of that has a tree in the middle of it. Nat showed me how to do wall balls and took an inventory of my skills.

What's your most memorable workout and least favorite workout?
The first Murf at our current location is both most memorable and least favorite. I started out way to strong I was pretty well beat up by the end. But I made it with the encouragement of a lot of friends.

What do you like best about working out with evening classes?
Not having to worry about getting finished so the next class can get started.

What would you tell newbies?
Don’t get stressed out when you walk into the Gym to get ready for your class and the previous just finishing and they are all on the floor in the fetal position.

What’s your favorite Cheat meal?
A good movie and a tube of chocolate chip dough.

You are a new addition to the crayon box, what color and why.
A bright happy orange being anything less than the best that you can be is a waste of precious time.

The CrossFit family has been a wonderful addition to my life. I thank everyone for their love and support through the trials of the last year. Coming to the gym and walking through the door is something I look forward to. It is a release for the day and an escape that I can’t get anywhere else.

Meet September's Athlete of the Month: Amanda Surratt

Occupation- School Counselor at Triopia (Ed's Favorite School)

Hobbies – ...IDK...trying to lift heavy and not permanently scaring my children

Upcoming Adventure – This is my oldest's Senior Year and she is off to Carbondale next Fall, so I am trying to soak up all the times we have together. However, she is not a big fan of that so it's going as well as me trying to do a muscle up.

Favorite quote: 1 of 2: 'What's comin' will come, and we will meet it when it does' - Hagrid 2 of 2: 'Once you are real you can not become unreal again. It lasts for always' - the Velveteen Rabit

Tell us something we don't know about you. I pretty much say anything that is on my mind, so this is a difficult question. My dad passed 10 years ago 2 days after Christmas and I have been digging myself out of that hole since.

When and how did you get started with us? - I started in November 2015 after I came in 10th from last in a Biathlon. I figured that I would work out at CHCF in the winter months when I couldn't ride, and then in the Spring quit. But you crazies sucked me in and I can't leave.

What's your most memorable workout and least favorite workout? I have two memorable WODs and ALL of the WODs are my least favorite. Memorable #1: 1776 (4th of July WOD 2016) It was a long and awkward one, the kind where you realize that the only way out of it, is just to keep moving. It was a turning point for me as far as mentality. Memorable #2: 17.4 Rx (55DL, 55WB, 55 Cal Row, 55 HSPU 13m cap) Obviously, I didn't do any HSPU, but I made it to that point. It was my first Open WOD that I Rx'ed...also my only I think...

What do you like best about working out with evening classes? I tend to 'take my work home with me' mentally. The evening class allows me to completely rid my mind of all the other junk going on in my head. Because concentrating on trying not to die and trying not to suck takes up a lot of brain space. I also like that I can take my time to do some extra lifting or accessory work...oh, and talk! During the summer, I love the noon class and when wrestling season starts the 6:15 class is my haven.

What would you tell newbies? Sometimes you need to let yourself be human and remember how far you have come, not just how far you have to go. It's true you are not where you want to be, but remember that you are also not where you used to be.

What’s your favorite Cheat meal? Mustard Cheese Bread. It's an invention of my dad's. Large french loaf, butter both sides, cheese whiz on one side, yellow mustard on the other, add red onion and banana peppers, cover in foil, warm on the grill. Paired with BBQ chicken legs was his favorite.

You are a new addition to the crayon box, what color and why. Chartreuse (that weird yellow/green) that is initially revolting, then oddly alluring.
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