Member Spotlight: Alex Fleming

We remember it well.

Fresh out of Foundations, Alex Fleming faced his first WOD head-on; braving the blazing sun with a partner for a 200m, 400m, 600m sprint sesh. Because he’s a natural-born champion, he and his partner wrapped the workout ahead of time. After confirming that he was, in fact, still alive, he noticed the last team struggling with the sprints. So what does he do? He jumps in for more; using the last of his energy reserves to run alongside his classmates and help encourage them across the finish line.

And that was the last time he ever went to a 5:30pm class.

Here are some more cool things about Alex Fleming, Patron Saint of Sprints:

Q: What made you want to start CrossFit?

A: I needed something that would push me to workout on a consistent basis. Before joining Renew, I would workout maybe once a week (big fat “maybe”) and it was probably a lame workout at best.

Q: What has been your favorite workout and your least favorite workout so far?

A: Favorite… haha, you must be crazy! Maybe any that haven’t included burpees (looking at you, Brett). And of the ones I’ve done, Filthy Fifty is by far my least favorite.

Q: What is the strangest food you’ve ever eaten?

A: Oh man, I’ve eaten some weird stuff… probably cow brains.*

Q: If we got our hands on your old iPod, what’s the most embarrassing song/artist we’d find?

A: What’s worse, Destiny’s Child or Uncle Kracker? #noshame

Q: If you were an animal, what kind would you be and why?

A: Let’s go with the elusive Honey Badger. I’ve heard he’s a badass so i’ll roll with that.

So, in summary:

Sir Alex Fleming, the cow brain-eating Honey Badger who will serenade you with “Survivor” from the sidelines of Filthy Fifty.

Keep up the good work, Alex. We love having you around Renew!

*Gross, Alex.

Member Spotlight: Michelle Kwan

MichelleKwan (1)

**Refraining from Michelle Kwan figure skater references and jokes because our Michelle Kwan probably gets 24/7/365 and is already rolling her eyes**

She’s quiet.

She’s quick.

She’s deeply loyal to her 8am ex-BVMer class (and often leads the pack!).

She’s… Michelle Kwan!

Q: When did you start CrossFit?

A: I’ve been CrossFitting (can that be a verb?) on and off for three-ish years.  I hope to keep the “on” streak going for awhile.

Q: What is your favorite thing about CrossFit?

A: Some days, CrossFit inspires me to dig deep, test my mental and physical fortitude and push myself to new levels.  Other mornings, my favorite thing is just jaw-jacking with the 8am’ers during the post-WOD pigeon stretch.  Either way though, I’m always glad that I showed up.

Q: What are your favorite ways to pass the time?

A: Hanging out with my daughter is at the top of my list for how I like to spend my free time.  (She’s twelve; I’m not sure she’d give the same answer.)  My second choice is hanging out with our puppy.  (She’s one; I’m more confident that she feels likewise.)  I also like to read, travel and occasionally binge-watch Netflix.

Q: What is one thing about you that would surprise us if we knew?

A: I’m a pretty private person; I’m actually kind of shy.  People who know me would be surprised I agreed to answer these questions.

Q: Please describe the craziest thing you’ve ever done.

A: I dove the Blue Hole in Belize as a newbie scuba diver (and lifelong scaredy-cat).  I descended 130 feet into the deep, dark abyss of a giant sinkhole, just to impress a boy.  I’m wiser now.  I might still do something crazy like that, but not for the same reason.    

There you have it, people. A little glimpse into Michelle Kwan. You’re probably wondering if she ended up marrying that boy for whom she dove into the abyss…

The answer is I have no idea but love is crazy amirite?

Michelle, we are so glad you are a part of our community. See you at 8am!

Member Spotlight: Michael Vasko

Every month, we’re going to be spotlighting one of you guys. Maybe you’ve been a member since the Renew dawn, or maybe you just finished foundations — no one is immune to our public displays of affection. To kick off our new segment, we thought we would start with one of our beloved veteran members…

Vasko

Michael Vasko

AKA the old(er) guy who claps during his workouts. Let’s jump in!

Q: How long have you been doing CrossFit?

A: I have been doing CrossFit for 6 years! Easy question!

Q: How many marathons have you run?

A: Philadelphia 1/2 Marathon, Austin full Marathon with my daughter Noelle, and Austin 1/2 Marathon with my son and my son-in-law. Oh yeah, a 10 mile beach race in Wildwood NJ with Noelle.  They said running on the hard sand by the ocean would be easy. They lied!

Q: What do you love about CrossFit and why do you clap so much?

A: Crossfit is like church, yes I said that, and it is why I love it soooo much. When I started Crossfit I was broken and there was no shame attached to the fact I could not do what everyone else could. The coaches led me, mentored me, were patient, kind and motivated me to be a better version of me. They took 2 years of patient mentoring, after 2 years of training I could finally do 1 overhead squat with a PVC pipe. They applauded and my classmates cheered.

I have always been humbled by the care shown to me and I love to return that care to others. I clap because I am so grateful that I can be at the gym, that I can participate, that I can make those that are new to Crossfit Renew feel welcomed. I also want them to know that, just as I was cared for, that we will care for them as well. I will tell them about Burpees later. I enjoy and admire what the young people can lift, can move, can leap and be pregnant at the same time. It is great watching people mature into wonderful athletes. I clap because I know I will never catch up to everyone’s athleticism and their strength, but I also know that they will catch up to me! Yeah!

Q: What is one thing about you that would surprise us if we knew it?

A:  He gave us a huge list (of course) so we narrowed it town to our favorites!

  1. I am an ex-con in Mexico. I was arrested in Mexico city at age 14 and put in jail (and lived).
  2. At age 13, I was stabbed in the back, and the Catholic Church gave me Last Rites (but I lived).
  3. I once passed out in 120′ of water while wreck diving off the Long Island (but I lived).

Next time you see Vasko around the box, give him a high five and a few extra claps during his workout. His positive attitude and impressive endurance should be motivation for all of us.

Clap on, Vasko! We can’t wait for more stories from you.