April 2017 Newsletter

The month of May is here!  The sun is out (except for all this rain we’ve been getting), the doors are open (but it’s getting hotter and A/C is making its way back), and we’re running more and more (and also weightlifting while running)!


Before we get into all of that, let’s take a look back at the month of April.  We saw a LOT of athlete accomplishments.  At the beginning of the month we recapped all the achievements of athletes who completed the CrossFit Open and who ran the Half- and Full Marathons.  If you didn’t see that, check out the post here.


Other accomplishments throughout the month:


Alvin Manabat and Sara Uzzle took 5th place int he RXish Division at CrossFit K-town’s Spring Fling Competition.


Shaun Dunlap made the Dean’s List at South College.


Tara Hurley, Leslie and Robert James, and Adam Brophy took FIRST PLACE in the Master’s Division at River Rukus in Asheville, NC.


Don’t forget to nominate your friends!  We had some great community shoutouts this month:

I would like to nominate Erin Plyer and not just because she “podium’d” (at CFK Games) but because she embodies crossfit.  I call her my crossfit mom because she’s always prepared and ready to support and cheer you on.  Erin is always working hard and improving but she respects and enjoys the journey at the same time.  She keeps her ego in check and doesn’t rush things.  I think what makes her so awesome though is the confidence and encouragement she shows in others.  I’ve hit PR’s I was scared of with her there because when Erin believes in you it’s contagious, you just don’t doubt her.


From Brittney Crump


I want to nominate Becky Jackson; she’s shows up, does the WOD and then stays late to work on ‘something’ (I.e. Back squats, which she PR’d); this is on her own and she is totally committed to improving herself in every aspect!!
I know a lot of folks do this, but she is always smiling and is motivation for the rest of us.
Thanks – Beth

We also celebrated Earth Day!  Coach Mary got some athletes together and they went on a slightly unplanned hike!  Definitely one of the rainiest spring days we’ve seen, but hopefully a lot of us got out and enjoyed part of the day without getting too drenched.


Speaking of Coach Mary and her endurance athletes, we saw two endurance ladies not only complete the Knoxville Half-Marathon, but they went to Nashville at the end of the month to do another!  Congrats to Lizzi Neutens and Ashley McCloud!


This month we have lots of running opportunities that you can find here and one of them happens to be a mud run, but we already have a lot of athletes who complete Spartan and Tough Mudder races on the regular.  Jason Evans, Spencer Smith, Shannon McElhose, and John Hassett all got a little dirty on their runs this month.


April was a wet and competitive month, but now we really got into spring and some hotter months!


If you read the WIP this week you’ll know that Murph is coming up!  Pretty much every quarter of the year has some big, exciting workout that everyone does at the gym together.  In the fall we had Barbells For Boobs and winter was 12 days of Christmas.  Spring saw the whole Open, and it may seem like it’s right on the tail of the Open, but now we have Murph.  So start getting in some extra push-ups, warm-up with a little more running, and cool down with a longer run after class to get prepared!


In addition to Murph, we’re going to host a viewing party of Lone Survivor, featuring the story of Lt. Michael Murphy.  This will take place on Friday evening, May 26th at 7:30 p.m. out West.  More details to come!


Do you struggle with double unders?  If so, we’ve got a clinic coming up and it’s NOT with your CFK coaches!  Get a new perspective from a couple who live here in Knoxville and are actually World Champion Jump Ropers.  That’s right, World Champs.  You may have missed the blog post about them, but follow this link to check it out and get signed up!


We have some other exciting things in the works for this month, so keep your eye out!  Let’s move on to our Athletes of the Month!




Let’s here it for our Athletes of the Month!  From North we have Bill Maddox, and at West a very special AOM and farewell to Jason Salandy.  Let’s hear from Bill first!



How long have you been with Crossfit Knoxville? 


I started the first of June, 2016


What got you interested in, or made you decide to try Crossfit Knoxville?


Ross Dempster has been a friend of mine for a long time but for some reason I had not seen him in a few months and saw him at a fundraiser in last May. He looked noticeably different and he was never out of shape anyway and he raved about Crossfit. So he told me to try it and I went with him the following Monday.  I had played pickup basketball three days a week at 6 am for the last 20 years. But it was clear it was no longer sufficient. I had hurt my foot that winter and missed a month and put on weight and basketball just was not taking it off.  I had just had my annual physical and it was time to make a change.


How has Crossfit Knoxville changed you? 


Well the obvious is that I have lost 35 pounds and I am in the best cardiovascular shape of my life even going back to my high school soccer days. But I think it has changed me a lot more than that. I have made some great friends. I have a stressful job and two teenagers so literally 6 a.m. to 7.a.m. is the only hour of my day when all the stresses of the day are not on my mind. Just attacking the WOD takes up all of my attention and for that I am very grateful. I have also been really motivated by the coaches and moved to change more than just my exercise. I now find that my stress level is lower and my focus is greater on the days when I work out. Initially I thought I would use Crossfit to supplement basketball but it has completely supplanted it by now!


What advice would you give to a beginner?


Give it two weeks at least. You will be miserable the first two weeks unless you are already in great shape. Clearly I was not but I made myself tough it out. I remember telling my kids I need a few minutes just to stand up those first few weeks, especially getting out of the car after a leg day.(I still have days like that). Secondly, embrace what you don’t like at Crossfit. Challenge yourself. I used to really dread the days which were mainly running but I just ran the first 5k of my life last week. No way could I have accomplished that a year ago but all of those days of multiple 400s etc were preparing me for it. Just let it expose your weaknesses and gain from it.


What’s your favorite Crossfit movement, and why? 


That is hard to pin down. I generally like all of the squats because, well, I am better at them than anything overhead. Truly what I enjoy most though are the mixed movement AMRAPs. The variety of movements is always challenging and never gets monotonous, and you always have to keep up with the pace. My favorite WOD of all the days here was the 12 days of Christmas.


What’s your least favorite Crossfit movement?


Burpees just seems a too obvious no? We also have a joke at the 6 a.m. North class that anytime the exercise has an East European/Asian name in it: Bulgarian, Turkish, Russian…watch out!  I would also be tempted to say overhead squats because it is by far my worst movement, but I don’t dislike it. I just wish I was better.


I will share this: one day last summer, when I was still new, I had to come to a later class in the morning, not the 6 a.m. The warmup was hungry, hungry hippos. There were exactly 3 people there. That experience was…um…below average.



I am just so humbled to receive any recognition. I am never near the top of the Whiteboard and I can barely overhead squat a PVC pipe. But I do think I can speak to what makes Crossfit work for me and my buddies at 6 a.m. north (and my surrogate crew at 5:30 a.m. west), is the culture of Crossfit Knoxville created by the coaches.  The atmosphere is one of support and camaraderie and not competition and comparison.  They know when to push me when I need it (always) but with Johnny, Kate, Rick and Scott (and Cassidy and Jonathan before them), I feel like I have personal trainers that tailor workouts that are customized for me to make the biggest gains. And that keeps me coming back every day. Not to mention all of the knuckleheads that are with me every day. Love you guys!



It’s great hearing that from Bill.  Now a man that truly needs no introduction, but who has always shown up and worked hard – at least by the time we call 3, 2, 1, go – and has brought an amazing spirit to the CFK community.  This next month we will be losing him as he moves on to a different job.  So here’s to Salandy!



How long have you been with Crossfit Knoxville? 


I have been with Crossfit Knoxville for 3 years now.


What got you interested in, or made you decide to try Crossfit Knoxville?


I was going to the Rush and just got mentally bored from doing the same thing over and over. Then one of my co-workers who was going to CFK gave it great reviews, so I decided to drop in one day, and I think I signed up that day.


How has Crossfit Knoxville changed you? 


Many may not believe it but Crossfit Knoxville has actually made me become more social,  and it has also made me more confident. When growing up as a husky kid you are self conscious about your body image, so taking my shirt of was always awkward. Now it’s pretty much second nature.


What advice would you give to a beginner?


Just show up and try as many of the different classes that are offered.  You’ll be surprised by the people you meet and the encouragement you will get from the members. Like having you run a 1/2 marathon.


What’s your favorite Crossfit movement, and why?


Butterfly pull-ups, hence the nickname #blackbutterfly


What’s your least favorite Crossfit movement?


Bar muscle-ups, only because I was able to get one and then they disappeared on me.


One last thing many of you may know already but my time at CFK is coming to an end in the near future. I wish I was able to give an individual bye to everyone, which may not be possible, but I want to let everybody know how much I have enjoyed my time at CFK. From running with Mary’s Miler’s to hanging out at the many Crossfit competitions, to the weddings I have been able to attended (invited and uninvited) it was all great times. Until the next time we cross paths at a Crossfit competition, marathon, or special life occasion, #blackbutterfly out.



Jason, from everyone at CFK, you will be missed!


We love celebrating habits as well, and that’s why we have the 20 committee!  The list got a little shorter over the last month, so if you fell off, get back on it!  May has just begun!

Reece Foster, Becca Bowen, Donna Dossett, Evelyn Shockley, Georges Brandan, Bill Maddox, Cameron Rayment, Erin Plyler, Jeffery Dix, Jennifer Brody, Matt Garrett, Mike Sheleton, Rachel Holland, Spencer Smith, Terry Keltner



Let’s call this next section Get Even Better.


Here I want to post some things that go a little beyond what we do in the gym.  It may be nutrition, mobility, or some philosophies about training.


First up, do you struggle with a front rack position?  You probably do.  And probably some overhead mobility as well.  Check out this video from Barbell Shrugged about how to assess your front rack mobility and see where you really need to be working.  If you have more questions, talk to a coach!


This next article comes from CrossFit.com, the original place for CrossFit.  Did you know there are 10 physical skills considered to be the basic components of fitness according to CrossFit?  They are great fundamentals and all work together when it comes to sport.  This article outlines just one, often the most neglected in our sport, accuracy.  Give it a read and challenge yourself to make very rep count!


That’s it for this month!  Keep your eye out on the Facebook page, Instagram, and our blog for more updates!  If you have any questions or comments, please share them with us!  Leave a comment below or on our Facebook page.


See you on the floor!


-Coach Scott