Athlete of the Month

Meet some of the hard-working members of our community

March 2019


Valerie Fernandez

Why CrossFit , and what has it done for you?
I have always been a competitive athlete. Growing up I swam, played basketball and softball.  Then as an adult, I fell into that typical gym routine of exercise equipment and classes with mirrors – I hate working out in front of mirrors!  When I found CFE 4 ½ years ago, it tapped into that inner athlete that I missed for so many years.  When I walk into the gym, I now feel a sense of empowerment (along with jitters, depending on what the WOD is) and I pride myself on being strong and continuing to test my own boundaries.  It’s exciting to me to now be able to do movements that I didn’t think were even possible 4 ½ years ago and perhaps inspire others who are doubtful like I was.  What I love the most about Crossfit is what it’s done for my family.  My husband joined the gym with me 4 ½ years ago and it’s brought us closer together. My children watch our workouts in awe of the things that we do and it supports my constant drilling in them that anything is possible with hard work.  The Crossfit journey has taken me many places - from doing my first rope climb and box jump, completing crazy WODs like Clovis and the Murph and even training for 9 months while pregnant for the hardest WOD of all: life with 3 kids.  Being a Crossfit athlete is so much more to me than burpees and barbells.  It’s given me a sense of pride and accomplishment that I didn’t know was possible.  It’s also given me a home to truly be myself and an extended family that I cherish so much. 

I have 3 children – Maya (8), Michael (6) and Nicholas (2)

Director of Sales Operations, KPMG

Favorite move / least favorite move?
Favorite move – ANYTHING WITH A BARBELL!  If I had to choose, I’d say cleans, although a close second lately would be deadlifts (which I used to despise)
Least favorite move – WALL WALKS! 

Favorite workout?
Being the barbell girl that I am, my favorite workout is THE BEAR COMPLEX

February 2018

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Kaylie McGivney

How long have you been CrossFitting? 3.5 years

Why CrossFit?
It satisfies the competitive, but team work mentality that sports used to fill. It constantly challenges me to chase faster times and lift heavier weight.

Starting medical school Fall 2019.

What, if anything has CrossFit done for you?
It has broadened my workout routine, introduced me to new skills, pushed me out of my comfort zone, and kept me in shape!!! Also, met awesome people who provide tons of encouragement and have the same goals and motivation as me.

Favorite workout? BURP (sorry)

Favorite move? Handstands 

Least favorite move? OHS

December 2018


John Bannan

How long have you been with CFE?
A few months shy of when CFE opened. At first I was going 2/3 days a week. Lenny and Mary Beth are good friends and when friends open business you support them! But it quickly grew into my wanting to do CFE for me!

Why CrossFit?
It was the combination of things that got me hooked; Endurance, speed, strength, and athleticism. They all play a part in being really good at CrossFit. Coming through the doors of CFE opened my eyes to just how hard it is to combine all of those and compete at a high level.

The other great part of CrossFit is with setting goals and constantly measuring them to track your progress and make sure you are getting better. 

Why CrossFit Escalate?
CrossFit Escalate is a great community. The coaches are sticklers in regard to technique. They push you when you need it. They are 100% positive and everyone feeds off that. The thing I like most about CFE is the atmosphere. You feel welcome from day one and we all help each other constantly. When someone does their first double under, muscle up, or hits a PR on a movement, it is greeted with a cheer and lots of high fives. 

A little bit about yourself
Family- wife, 5 children, mother-in-law, 2 dogs, and a cat. 

I am a Financial Advisor with ABMM Financial. I help people plan and save for many different goals; first house, college and retirement. I focus on helping teachers, police, and fire fighters. 

Favorite workout/movement
My favorite workout is the Burp. While it doesn’t have any skill movements it is still a brutal WOD.  It reminds me to stay focused and to keep moving and that you can continue to push yourself even though you can barely breathe!
Favorite movement is squat clean. 

Least favorite movement
Least favorite movement is double under. Mostly because I STILL can’t do it!!

November 2018

Jency Calderon

What made you stick with CrossFit?
I chose CrossFit because it helps me to overcome my obstacles and I like it a lot, especially the way that each class works. My family is everything to me and the support I receive from them is very important. I’m very happy with the classes Coach Lenny teaches everyday.

Time CrossFitting: 2 years, 3 months

Least favorite movement: Burpees