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Stephanie Hunt

Meet the Queen of the Hill for May 2017!

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We are jazzed to announce our Queen of the Hill for May 2017:  Alex Kilgore!  This month marks a year that Alex has been training at CrossFit on the Hill (Happy Fitnessversary!), and we are so lucky to call her ours.  Just last month, Alex competed in her first ever Powerlifting Competition.  Our gal PR’d her squat (297#!) and deadlift (375#!).  These incredibly accomplishments reflect the hard work she puts in, day in and day out.  She never cherry picks her workouts, is receptive to suggestions and feedback, and always supports her fellow athletes.  Alex is lovely – inside and out – and is so very deserving of the throne.  

Keep reading to learn more about the Queen!


What brought you to Boston?

I moved to Boston in August of 2014 for a job at Northeastern.

What drew you to CrossFit?

After collegiate rowing, I really missed the team aspect of working out. Lifting alone at lunch was getting pretty boring! I turned to CrossFit because I love the variety and intensity of the workouts, and the fact that I get to do them with a group of awesome people cheering one another on!

What keeps you coming back to COTH?

The people! I love the COTH community so much. Everyone is so friendly, encouraging, and just downright awesome. It’s a group I’m proud to be a part of.

Biggest improvements/struggles with CrossFit?

I’ve added a ton of strength and become a much more well-rounded athlete since joining COTH. I think my biggest struggle now is mastering how to breath correctly and keeping my form tight during metcons.

If you could create your own WOD, what movements would you use?

Rowing, heavy deadlifts, and maybe some dumbbell snatches for fun.

Meat head nickname (with explanation)?

Well, an old rowing buddy called me “Killer Kilgore” on my most recent CrossFit Instagram post, so I’m gonna go with that!

 

Thanks for being the GREATEST community!

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Dear Friends,

It is with a heavy heart that I write you and share that I will be transitioning out of my role as Coach at CrossFit on the Hill.  Changes at work (positive + exciting ones!) will require a lot more of my time and energy, and it is important that I fully embrace these new responsibilities and opportunities.  I’ve been thinking about this for weeks – and have tried to figure out a way to continue doing both – but I would never want to be in a position where I couldn’t give you (or my high schoolers) the attention, dedication, and passion that is deserved.

I have loved my role as Coach at CrossFit on the Hill.  I cannot imagine that there is another community as dynamic and loving as ours, and it has been an honor to guide and support you all in your fitness journey.  But, even before that, I loved being a member/athlete.  I still remember my first CrossFit class – a Saturday morning Partner WOD with Coach Javy – and it featured Wall Balls and Burpees.  I left class that morning cursing whoever invented those “dumb” movements.  Fast forward a year, and they became (and still are) two of my favorite things to do.  It is the neat thing about what we do/what we have.

Thanks a million to everyone who supported and aided my transition from athlete to coach.  Five years ago I never would have even considered taking a CrossFit class, nevermind leading one.  It has been a super fun road, and one that I’m sad to step away from.

Thanks a trillion to the COTH community – past and present – for being such terrific people.  I’m so grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to build and foster friendships with so many of you.  You all have pushed me to be a better athlete and coach, and the lessons I’ve learned about myself – through our shared fitness journeys – are invaluable.  

So, while May 26th will be my last official day as Coach, I’m not swearing off exercise or moving away.  I will certainly be around, and look forward to sweating it out alongside of you all.  Until then, I hope to see as many of you at my May 6ams as possible!  (But, please, sign up! :))

Sincerely,

Steph

Meet the King of the Hill for April 2017!

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We are so thrilled to announce Nick Preiss as our King of the Hill for April!  We are fortunate to be such an integral part of Nick’s life in Boston.  When he isn’t studying (our boy is wicked smaht!),  Nick can often be found at the box, usually doing something ferocious and superhero-like with his partner-in-crime (and competitions!), Derek.  And, in between rounds and reps, if the tunes are right, you’ll see Nick bust out some of his sick dance moves!  We are so lucky to be able to call Nick family, and so happy to honor him this month!

Keep reading to learn more about Nick!


What brought you to Boston?

I came to Boston in 2012 to pursue undergraduate studies at Northeastern University.

What drew you to CrossFit?

I started doing some CrossFit style workouts during track in high school to help develop explosiveness. Once I got to college CrossFit gradually became my staple competitive outlet.

What keeps you coming back to COTH?

Joel’s sexy face;)

In all seriousness, it’s a real pleasure to combine athletic and social endeavors daily. The environment at COTH provides an incredible catalyst for forging new friendships and promoting physical improvement. There is no shortage of advice, motivation or camaraderie, and you will always be held accountable to your potential both on and off the floor.

When I started at COTH my middler year at Northeastern (yeah we are weird and do five years of undergrad) I hadn’t really settled into Boston. The community at COTH helped immensely with helping me settle in. I can honestly say that when I leave Boston COTH will be one of the things I miss most, if not THE most.

Biggest improvements/struggles with CrossFit?

Gymnastic movements have always been my Achilles heel.  I still struggle a lot with ring muscle-ups and HSPU- and who uses a single leg to do squats? We have two legs for a reason. I have been incorporating these movements into my training two or three times a week each and am seeing improvement as of late.

I think my olympic lifts have improved most. A year ago I did a competition and I couldn’t hit a 135# snatch during the workout, that situation has since been remedied.

If you could create your own WOD, what movements would you use?

Running, rowing, powercleans, KB swings (american).

Meat head nickname (with explanation)?

Guns Thunderbuns- It’s not my nickname, I just want it to be a thing. I don’t care if we give it to someone else but I think someone should get it.

 

Fresh Face on the Hill: Arnee Martin

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This month, we are excited to feature Arnee Martin as our Fresh Face on the Hill.  Arnee has been sweatin’ it out with us for three months, and we love seeing her tackle each workout with determination and intensity.  In addition to puttin’ in work at the gym, she is also participating in our current nutrition challenge!  We love that she has embraced all aspects of our community!

Keep reading to learn more about our new athlete!


Where do you work/go to school?

I work at Ivy Street School in Brookline and go to school at Lesley University for a MEd in Teacher of Visual Arts, PreK-8th.

What brought you to COTH?

I was looking for a new gym to join and my friend suggested that I join her at Crossfit. I’ve always been interested in weightlifting, but never had the opportunity to join a program or class I felt comfortable to continue participating. I think diversity in communities is really important and I saw that at COTH.

What is your favorite CrossFit movement and why?

HAHA! Wallballs, they’re just fun. IDK why. I feel accomplished when I’m able to continuously get the ball high.

Any other fun fact you want to share? (favorite sports team, food, hobby, etc)

I love yoga too!!! Favorite foods are southern or Asian. Hobbies are photography and teaching myself Spanish.


Be sure to give Arnee a “Hi!” and a high-five when you see her around!

 

Meet the King of the Hill for March 2017!

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We are so happy to announce that Jordan Koloski is our King of the Hill for March!  Even though he’s only worn the badge of “COTHlete” for 6 months, he has made a name for himself on the leaderboard and has become an irreplaceable fixture in the evening classes.  As a coaching staff, we are impressed by Jordan’s commitment to his mobility. While he stretches (both before and after class), Jordan excitedly provides his fellow athletes with tips and words of encouragement and motivation.  Oh, and the box dogs LOVE him.  No sense in trying to get their attention or adoration when Jordan is around!  We are so grateful that Jordan has become part of our family!

Keep reading to learn more about our King!


What brought you to Boston?

I graduated from St. Lawrence University in May of 2016. Living in upstate New York for the past four years was, in all honesty, was pretty miserable. There wasn’t really anything to do. So when I applied to pharmacy school, I knew that I wanted something different and more exciting, so I applied to Northeastern University right here in Boston. In addition, my brother attended WIT for his undergraduate degree, so I felt like I was comfortable enough with the area that it wouldn’t be too overwhelming of a change. So here I am.

What drew you to CrossFit?

I used to play soccer, but, for personal reasons, I did not play in college and instead focused on my grades. However, like many others, I felt like something was missing from my life once I no longer competed in a sport. I started looking into some HIIT programming and doing some basic workouts. About two years ago, I tried my first Crossfit class. I remember it like it was yesterday. Benchmark girl: Barbara. At this point, I had thought that I was in fairly good shape. I worked out everyday and I thought I would be fine. I think I made it through three rounds, and then I had to stop. I nearly fainted; I was hooked. I had never had such a humbling experience in my life. But I also knew that with hard work and dedication, I could be really good at this sport. In addition, I like the community (cult) that is Crossfit. Although there is a competitive sense among individuals, many people are there just to improve themselves. But, perhaps unknowingly, are subconsciously adopting a “one more rep” mentality, where they start to push their boundaries and learn what they are truly capable of. These people and the overwhelming support from those within the Crossfit community and in your local box push you to be better every day. That is one of the best things about Crossfit: surrounding yourself with individuals who make yourself better everyday; this is what draws me to Crossfit.

What keeps you coming back to COTH?

When I came to Boston, I looked at a number of different Crossfit gyms before choosing COTH. Beyond being less than 500ft from my apartment and a really good price, I think COTH has a really good community and good coaches who emphasize technique over anything else. The Olympic weightlifting side of the gym is also a huge plus to COTH because any technique that you can learn during barbell classes can be transferred over to Crossfit and vice-versa. I’ve noticed that my Olympic weightlifting has got a lot more proficient since being at COTH.

Biggest improvements/struggles with CrossFit?

I’d say my biggest improvement with Crossfit has come through my gymnastics. Being a smaller athlete, I worked really hard to get good at body weight movements. My two biggest struggles with Crossfit are the jerk due to my overhead mobility and mental toughness. Sometimes, the only thing you want to do during a workout is stop, but finding the inner strength to continue on and learning to be comfortable being uncomfortable, i.e. “the dark place” is something that I still have to work on.

If you could create your own WOD, what movements would you use?

Ring muscle-ups, running, and power cleans.

Meat head nickname (with explanation)?

My nickname at my other gym is “Tug Boat”. When I go home, I work out with four guys, one of which is the head coach and a master’s division athlete. In other words, he’s kind of old. One day, one of my friends said something and Ralph, the head coach, misheard it as “Tug Boat”. So now that’s my nickname at that gym. He tried to make it make sense, but I still think it’s a little random.

 

Fresh Face on the Hill: Cameron Fear

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This month, we are honored to feature Cameron Fear as our Fresh Face on the Hill.  Cam has been a COTHlete for just 4 months, but has already become a staple of our community.  Additionally, he is fully embracing the current nutrition challenge – with all of its good feels and obstacles (What up, team “Beets Don’t Kale My Vibes!?”).  Cam is humble, hard-working, supportive, and a loyal member of the BeyHive.  We are so happy he has joined our community!

Keep reading to learn more about our new athlete!


Where do you work/go to school?

I work at with an organization called Scholar Athletes at Madison Park High School.

What brought you to COTH?

I had been wanting to try CrossFit for awhile and finally worked up the nerve to try the first class once I moved to Roxbury. Everyone has been really humble and welcoming and that’s what keeps me coming back, especially my faves in the 6AM class.

What is your favorite Crossfit movement and why?

My favorite Crossfit movement is one I can’t do yet – double unders, but I’m determined to master them soon.

Any other fun fact you want to share? (favorite sports team, food, hobby, etc)

I played rugby in college and am currently a women’s rugby coach at Brandeis University.


Be sure to give Cam a “Hi!” and a high-five when you see him around!

Meet the Queen of the Hill for February 2017!

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We are excited to announce that Amanda Weinberger is our Queen of the Hill for February!  Amanda has been a member of our community for over two years.  When she isn’t crushing WODs at COTH, she is juggling (and meeting!) the demands of a student-athlete at Wentworth Institute of Technology.  We’ve been fortunate to be part of Amanda’s fitness journey during her off-seasons, and are so pumped every time she returns to us.  Amanda shows up everyday ready to work and eager to learn.  She faces her weaknesses head on, and continues to improve upon her strengths.  If you’ve taken class with Amanda recently, then you’ve probably seen her latest challenge:  max effort pull-ups following every MetCon.  That’s right, regardless of how physically (or emotionally) taxing the WOD may be, Amanda will hop on the rig and challenge herself to perform more pull-ups than she did the day before.  Her drive and hunger are awesome to watch and infectious when you’re nearby.  We are so lucky to have her as part of our family!

Keep reading to learn more about Amanda!


What brought you to Boston?
Wentworth brought me to Boston, it has my major and I was able to play soccer for a few more years.
 
What drew you to CrossFit?
I started CrossFit because it seemed like the obvious next step for me. I have always worked out, lifting in gyms and doing stuff for soccer. But I needed something to keep me going during the winter when I have zero motivation to workout because of the cold. A few people had recommended CrossFit to me and we didn’t have it in my hometown so I thought Boston would be a good place to try it.
 
What keeps you coming back to COTH?
I keep coming back to COTH because it is close and convenient, I love CrossFit, and its like a little family. It doesn’t matter how long I leave for, whenever I come back everyone welcomes me like I haven’t left.
 
Biggest improvements/struggles with CrossFit?
My biggest improvements have definitely been my flexibility. When I first started coming 4 years ago I could not squat properly because of the lack of flexibility in my hips and ankles. I still struggle with a lot of movements overhead and that is my biggest pain point, but overall I have improved so much and for that I am so thankful.
 
If you could create your own WOD, what movements would you use?
WOD: Amanda 2.0 (since Amanda is already one of the nasty girls)
AMRAP 20 mins
20 box jumps
10 front squats
10 strict pull ups
5 hand stand push ups
 
Meat head nickname (with explanation)?
I think my meathead nickname would be A-train. I was on a volleyball team out in Cali and they came up with that when I was hitting killer serves. Idk if thats meathead enough but thats all I got.

The CrossFit Open: What it is + Why it is for YOU

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While we hit benchmark workouts and complete fitness tests throughout the year (1RM back squat, 2min ME burpees, 2K row, “Fran,” and “Cindy”) the CrossFit Games Open is the time to see how we perform compared to other CrossFitters in our region and around the world.

WHAT IS THE CROSSFIT OPEN?

The Open is comprised of five workouts over five weeks, and it starts with 17.1. Open workouts are identified by their year and the order in which they appear. The workouts will be released every Thursday (8pm EST) during the five weeks of the Open, and you can watch the live announcement of the workout that will be streamed on the CrossFit Games website.  The announcement will take place at a different location each week, and two athletes (or more) will perform the workout live. After the workout is released, any athlete who has registered for the Open will have until 8pm (EST) on the following Monday to submit their best score online.

The Open workout will be the featured programming every Monday at COTH during the Open.  So, you’ll be doing the workout anyways.  Why not make it official?

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE CROSSFIT OPEN?

The Open is the first qualifying stage of the CrossFit Games. Any athlete who wants to compete at the Games must first make it through the Open in their region.

While the purpose of the Open is to find the fittest athletes in each region to move on to the regionals, it’s also an opportunity for any athlete at any level to participate in the competition. It can add meaning and purpose to your training while also bringing our community even closer together. (As a rule of thumb, the Open is the time of year where we see many people achieve important firsts: muscle-ups [Yeah Sudie, Jake, Dan R., and Fitz!], toes-to-bars, handstand push-ups, double-unders, etc.)

Most importantly, the Open will also give you some interesting data on your performance in the gym, which can be a guide for setting realistic goals for the following year.

THAT SOUNDS GREAT, BUT WHY SIGN UP? I’M NOT GOING TO THE GAMES…

Only a very small percentage of athletes will make it to regionals, let alone the Games. While we can understand the sentiment of “Why bother?” we really encourage you to think about participating because you will be part of a very big international event that represents your affiliate. Every affiliate in the world can take part in the Open, which is amazing, and we don’t want you all to miss out on the fun!

It’s much easier to stay motivated during the Open (and with CrossFit, in general) if you are actually committed to tracking your progress.  What’s most useful about participating in the Open is having a complete record of your past performances. Writing down your training results is a huge (if not the biggest) component for seeing consistent progress in the gym.  (So, please, post on the blog!)

YEAH, BUT I DON’T KNOW. I’VE DONE CROSSFIT FOR A FEW YEARS ALREADY. WHAT’S THE POINT?

If you’ve been doing CrossFit for a year or more, all it takes is a little competition to really bring out the best in you. It’s easy to lose intensity in your workouts if you are never pushed past what you think you can do.

It can also be a harsh reality check if you’ve been coasting in class this past year or not really sticking to standards for the sake of speed. All those times you wrote Rx’d next to your name on the whiteboard, maybe it wasn’t the case. Perhaps your takeaway will be that you need to count your reps properly, work towards virtuosity in your movements, or at the very least, achieve full range of motion on your reps!

Finally, consider that the Open is simply a snapshot of your fitness at one point in time. A snapshot that you can refer back to six months, a year, five years down the road to gauge your progress and track your journey.

WHAT ABOUT ME? I’VE ONLY BEEN DOING CROSSFIT FOR TWO WEEKS!

Even if you are a complete beginner, you can participate in the Open. Every Open workout will feature a scaled workout option.  Think of this Open as an opportunity to set a performance baseline for CrossFit. We promise you that you will be amazed at your progress if you continue with your CrossFit training and retest the following year.

OK, I’M CONVINCED! HOW DO I REGISTER?

On the CrossFit Games website, you will see a big red register button. Click it, and you’ll be directed to a login page where you will be prompted to enter your existing CrossFit ID. If you don’t have one, you’ll need to create an account.

You’ll then be prompted to select your division, which is going to be either “Male” or “Female,” your location, and agree to the competition rules and waiver.  You’ll also be asked to pay a $20 registration fee.

Lastly, don’t worry about signing up for Rx’d or Scaled workouts. Everyone competing in the Open has the option of performing a scaled version of the workout in any given week. If you are a complete beginner, this is great news! It ensures that the experience will be even more inclusive.

WAIT – YOU STILL HAVE RESERVATIONS?

What if we told you there will be a HUGE bash on March 25th to celebrate the end of the Open and all of your hard work?  Y’all know that we can throwdown, cut a rug, and party hardy, and this will certainly be a celebration you won’t want to miss!  Save the date, Workhorses!


Adapted from Avery Wittkamp, Head Coach at CrossFit NYC

Fresh Face on the Hill: Zoe Estabrooks

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This month, we are super excited to feature Zoe Estabrooks as our Fresh Face on the Hill.  Zoe has been with us for 3 months and, as a coaching staff, we could not be more impressed with her progress.  When she encounters a new or difficult movement, the challenge fuels her to work even harder.  Her drive and determination are inspiring, and we are so happy she joined our community!

Keep reading to learn more about our new athlete!


Where do you work/go to school?

I work at a small contract research organization, where I specialize in cell culture based biological assays.

What brought you to COTH?

When I was younger I defined myself by my athletic ability; I spent all my free time improving my kickboxing and no-gi jiu jitsu. However, when I was about 20 my neurological health began to decline and so I started decreasing my training load. Eventually I lost all feeling in my hands and feet, and became pretty much sedentary. In May 2015 I had surgery to alleviate the problem, and while I regained almost all my neurological function, I was strongly encouraged not to return to contact sports. I made some half-hearted efforts at working out on my own, however I missed having a gym community to help motivate me. Thankfully I eventually found Crossfit and COTH, and am finally starting to get moving again!

What is your favorite CrossFit movement and why?

At this point I don’t think I can truthfully say I have a favorite movement. I find wall balls the most challenging, so I appreciate them in a sick sense.

Any other fun fact you want to share?

I am an obsessive planner. I keep a bullet journal, and I design my own meal planning and wod tracking notebooks in PhotoShop!


Be sure to give Zoe a “Hi!” and a high-five when you see her around!

Meet the King of the Hill for January 2017!

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We are stoked to announce that Sam Langrock is our King of the Hill for January!  Sam has been a dedicated COTHlete for a year now (happy anniversary!), and we are so excited to honor such a hard working athlete.  You’ll often see Sam working on skills, specifically double-unders, before and/or after the evening class.  While they continue to frustrate him (read more about that below), Sam doesn’t shy away from the challenge; instead, he consistently works to improve.  Moreover, Sam remained a COTH fixture while rehabbing a sports-related hip injury.  Rather than shy away from physical activity, Sam communicated with the coaches and found smart and effective ways to scale and alter WODs.  Now, Sam is healthy and pretty much unstoppable!  We are so lucky to have him as part of our family (even if he doesn’t share all those beers he strolls in with ;))!

Keep reading to learn more about Sam!


What brought you to Boston?
I’m a senior at Northeastern University.
 
What drew you to CrossFit?
I played hockey, soccer, and baseball at a high level through high school so while I still play ice hockey for the Northeastern Club team I needed something else to fulfill the competitive drive. I was sick of going to the gym and doing the same thing every week. About a year and a half ago I took a co-op at Reebok where I worked in product management on the CrossFit apparel (including all the gear you see in the Games). There I fell in love with CrossFit while working out at Reebok CrossFit One, and have never looked back.
 
What keeps you coming back to COTH?
Ever since I began at COTH last January I’ve always felt embraced as a member of the community. To feel so comfortable coming to each class makes it exciting to go to the gym everyday. In short the coaches are awesome, the people are great, and it’s a convenient walk from my apartment to the box.
 
Biggest improvements/struggles with CrossFit?
Biggest improvements are definitely with my gymnastic skills and kettlebell work. Struggles are double unders, wall balls, and rowing. A year and half of doing CrossFit and I still struggle with stringing together Double Unders. Unfortunately, I think I’m going to continue to struggle with Wall Balls until I grow a couple more inches, or the target gets lowered.
 
If you could create your own WOD, what movements would you use?
Definitely something with push-ups burpees, and pull-ups.
 
Meat head nickname (with explanation)?
I don’t know that it counts as a meat head nickname, but most of my friends call me Langer. Typically hockey players end up with a nickname thats some version of their last name with -er or -y attached to the end.