Jon Lord My CFMH Story

“I have gotten to know Jon over the past 1.5 years, and it has been great to see his growth. Jon is a quiet, laid back guy in the gym; and even though he doesn’t make a big fuss, he’s always ready to throw down some weight, and push himself in the workouts.
He’s eager to learn and apply what he’s given. It’s been fun to see him become more and more a staple part of our community. An avid sports fan (he works for CBS!), he doesn’t let his busy work and travel schedule keep him from making it in on the regular.”
– Coach Brianna

What was your mental and physical state like before you found CrossFit Memorial Hill? I was generally tired and stressed too often.

What did the frustration feel like as you tried to solve those issues on your own? It was very frustrating, knowing I had done it before and not being able to stick with anything.

What was different about The Hill KC than other fitness program you’ve tried? The Coaches and the Community.

Describe the moment when you realized working out at The Hill was actually helping to improve your mental state or physical challenges? It didn’t take long, going through Fundamentals with Coach Brianna was a very rewarding experience which helped get me started again. The way she coaches, teaches, motivates and cares I am extremely grateful for.

What got you through the door that first day? Honestly I’m not sure, but I consider myself very lucky for trying The Hill. I had gone to another CrossFit gym for a few years but had stopped going due to changing jobs and fitting it in a new schedule, etc. I had been trying to get back into a routine and eventually convinced myself to try The Hill.

What physical challenges were you facing? I was facing various nagging injuries (ankle, knee, back, and shoulder) at times and was never able to get into a consistent routine on my own.

What would you tell someone afraid to try CrossFit at The Hill? Try it, you won’t regret it. There’s something for everyone no matter where you are starting out.

What motivates you to work out? First and foremost I enjoy it, but also a desire to be in good health as my nieces and nephews grow up.

What is something you are proud of? I’m most proud of the progress I’ve made since I started in mid 2017.

What goals are you working towards? A lot, but probably the top goals are consistent attendance, gymnastics movements, and rowing technique.

Anything else you’d like to share with The Hill? I’d just like to say Thank You!

Gaining Independence After a Stroke

In 2016 Anita had a stroke on her right side. She went from taking care of her household and caring for her husband to being unable to walk and needing a caregiver for herself. Because of her hard work in the gym, she is walking and using her wheelchair less.

My stroke was on my right side, severely affecting my speech, arm and hand, and leg and ankle. I was in a wheelchair. 
After the stroke I had speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy; and they did an excellent job. I had to learn everything from swallowing, dressing myself using my left hand instead of my right.
But the therapist can not be permanent.  I needed a way to feel encouraged — it is amazing how much the statement “Good Job” from Coach Brianna means to me. And I feel challenged and taught to do new ways of exercises.


What would you tell someone afraid to try CrossFit at The Hill?
The staff knows their clientele and are very protective. I will try things with them, that I am afraid to try on my own, because they are there if I need help. They are very cognizant of the limits of the clients, but also what they can do. So they can challenge them. 

What caused you to walk through our doors that first time?
My son had come to CrossFit and been pleased with the facility and the physical success, and felt I could benefit in spite of my stroke. 
I was ready for challenges, I enjoy trying new things. 

I keep coming back because I feel I am visiting with friends that are helping me achieve my best. 

Some of my goals are to walk well enough to get in the car so I can drive, to strengthen my knees to prevent damage, to get out of my wheel chair easily. 
I am proud that I have started to walk some places. 

There is so much everyone can learn from Anita.
Talk about a positive attitude in the face of adversity. This incredible woman has it. From the moment Coach Brianna met her, her spark and fire to learn and be challenged was contagious.

Whenever Coach Brianna suggests they try something new, Anita never hesitates to give it her best shot. Does it always work? Nope.
But that doesn’t deter her or bring her down.
She keeps trying, telling Brianna how it feels, what she has to think about to do that particular thing; and little by little we unlock more and more movement. More of her grand potential.
We know she comes to The Hill to better herself, but we are all better because of her bravery. There isn’t one person that doesn’t feel encouraged after talking with Anita, or seeing her willingness to work hard.

Getting to Know Joelle Gosda

CARING | HONEST | DRVEN
These are the core values that we hold as a staff and coaching team.

Joelle is incredibly passionate about taking care of people. She is willing to learn and open to anything that will improve her current skill set.

“Not only is Joelle the one who has dramatically stepped up the social media game at The Hill but she is also the smiling face who greets everyone each night. I have had the absolute joy of getting to know Joelle and her family over the last year plus at The Hill.

I have also witnessed Joelle’s care and compassion for people shine through in quiet moments when our members need a sympathetic ear after a hard day, a hard week or even a hard year. We are incredibly grateful to have Joelle as a member of our fitfam and we are very excited for her to welcome the newest member of her fitfam.”

-Matt

Let’s get to know Joelle…
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
All I wanted to be was a mom and a singer.

Where did you grow up? I was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin.

Favorite class or activity in high school? I was surprised to win the Fine Arts Award for my class. If it was music related I did it all. Musicals, plays, played the trombone in jazz band, pep & marching band, and french horn in concert band. Competed at all the state singing competitions, madrigal choir and plays, and show choir. I was even in the A/V club with all the greasy awkward boys, running cameras and teleprompter. And sometimes they’d let me fill in to report the daily school announcements.



In high school known for? I was known for playing the Innkeeper’s wife in Les Miserable my Junior year. I played opposite one of my best friends and we were disgusting. It was so much fun.

Most interesting part time job? My first real job was at a Movie Magic video rental store. VHS & DVDs for rent when that was a thing.

Movie you can quote? Don’t sit next to me while watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding unless you want a quote-along. One of my favorite lines is, “Keep your mother off my lawn, out of my basement and away from my roof!!”


Got any hidden talents? I’ve been practicing the baritone uke for a few years. And I have a handful of original songs that I’m always working on. Also I know way too much about Star Trek, Harry Potter, and I’m ashamed to admit…Twilight.

What do you like about KC? I like how the history of KC has shaped the present. It was the gateway to the West.. and ever since moving here in 2012 I feel the “land of opportunity” spirit in the air.

Your Job Title at The Hill: Social Media Curator & Front Desk Lady
How & when did you get connected to The Hill? Caitlin is a friend and told me about the front desk job. She encouraged me to put in my resume and I was lucky enough to join the team in November of 2017.

How long have you been the Social Media Curator?
I’ve been running the social media for The Hill since January of 2018. Matt saw my potential and created the role for me.

How do you approach creating content for Social Media @thehillkc? It’s all about our Athletes. You guys are so much fun to celebrate! When I look around the gym I see so many stories of ordinary people overcoming challenges and improving their lives. It’s continually inspiring. I see them helping and encouraging each other every day.

What do you love about your job?
I love our team.
We are growing together and it is so much fun to see how each one brings their talents and shares their struggles. We support each other. We learn from each other and are free to try new things. Plus I just like each of them a lot.


I love our members.
I love how our community has proven over and over that they are so willing to serve others and give back to Kansas City. When we ask, you show up and it makes a difference for real people.


I love CrossFit.
I am a socially motivated athlete. In highschool the most active I was while playing on the volleyball team. I loved that it required us to play as a team (bump, set, spike!) and being a setter was so fun. But I dropped it when it started to conflict with musicals. CrossFit at The Hill feels like a team sport. You never workout alone and the Coach is right there setting the goal and helping you win. This is the most I’ve ever worked out in my life. I am proud of how consistent I’ve been and the skills (and muscles ha)  I’ve gained. 

When I took the front desk job, I had never touched a barbell and had to google what a ‘WOD’ was. All the coaches were so patient and encouraging to me as, not just a new member of the team, but a brand new CrossFitter too.

What’s something you wish everyone knew about health and fitness? You don’t have to feel stuck. You don’t have to run in circles. You can see your body and your view of yourself change. And you don’t have to figure it out alone.
What is something you are working on improving as an athlete personally?
Now that I am pregnant and my body is changing, I’m working on being confident that no matter what the workout says, there will be a modification that I can do with the class. I don’t have to do the same thing as everyone else. I just have to keep moving and listen to my body (and to the baby’s kicks!).
What are you looking forward to? I’m looking forward to meeting the new little person that I’m growing, this summer. And I’m looking forward to seeing who I’ll be next year. I can’t imagine her or her life no matter how hard I try. Life in general and especially parenthood, is an act of surrender and sacrifice that requires you to live and do your best with the 5 minutes you’re in. 
Anything else you would like to share with The Hill family? When I think of you, I am filled with gratitude and joy. I love you all. And having the honor of celebrating you is one of the best jobs I’ve ever had.





Andrew Watson Featured Athlete of March

Coachable | Hardworking | Positive

Andrew is the poster-child for coachable, hardworking, and positive. He approaches each workout, whether it’s in his wheelhouse or not, with the same tenacity and vigor. He accepts feedback with an open-mind, and readily embraces cues. When I tell Andrew “this is the number of rounds I want you to shoot for.” “This is how many reps I want you to do unbroken.” He always smiles, gives a little laugh, and says “OK”.

His infectious smile and good attitude inspire those athletes around him. He’s here to grow as an individual and as a community member.
These are the attributes that we look for in our athletes.

Andrew’s Interview:
What is your favorite color? Blue? or a solid shade of black!

Pick a silly question or answer them all: What would your spirit animal be? If you could have one superpower, what would it be? Spirit Animal: Probably a really active sloth. Superpower: To be able to eat anything and have it count towards sick gains.

Row, Bike or Run? & Why? Run! Strange but true.

What is your favorite CrossFit Movement? Power Cleans. They need work, but are awesome when you stick them!

Favorite Restaurant in KC? Or favorite Cheat Meal? Rye the restaurant. Rye(whiskey) the cheat meal.

When did you start working out at The Hill? October 2018.

“Communities are so hard to find, especially ones that aren’t cheesy. It had been about a year since being apart of a good group of people and committing to a community is a big deal so it felt like forever since I had been apart of a group where I could just be me, have fun and work hard.

I love my job and the people I work with, but trying to find friends outside of your place of business is something I’ve always struggled with how to do. I generally just don’t attempt it because bar hopping for friends sounds pretty lame.

Since joining The Hill, I not only have the motivation to work hard on my health, but the excitement of knowing that I’ll go to class and and see genuine friends that care about working hard and having fun as much as I do.

How is The Hill different than other gyms you’ve been to?
The year I took off from CrossFit I was trying out a bunch of different ones but was just not able to find the right fit. I would Appreciate some of the people but find the workouts lacking or vice versa. The Hill combines an incredibly welcoming community with expert coaches focused on your goals and betterment and killer workouts…. for real, I think the biking might actually cause my death.

What keeps you coming back? And where do you find your motivation when the workout looks difficult? I love working out because I want to become stronger and work through my weaknesses. I come back to The Hill because I know I’ll be welcomed by people who know me and honestly want to be around me. I go on days that look hard because I know Bri will call me out later if i don’t…. It’s a happy shame.

How do you make working out fit into your busy schedule? I just do? I’ve found that working out, like having a baby or buying a house, is rarely convenient. The feeling of making it though a workout at 6am after getting 2 hours of sleep or working a full day and still powering through sprint intervals is the best.

What would you say to someone thinking about starting CrossFit? Keep going. No one started being great at anything! Know that you can and will get better the more you work, and rely on the help and encouragement from the people going through it with you.

What are some of your goals in or out of the gym? Personal Records or achievements that your proud of? I landed my first Bar Muscle-Up this month!!! Still working on the RMU.

What would your dream workout be? (list your favorite movements) A plate of donuts sprinkled with brownies and marshmallows? A FitAid first of course. But for real probably some combo of 400m run, power cleans, push jerks and pull ups.

Anything else you would like to share with our #fitfam? I can’t say enough how grateful I am to everyone at The Hill for being so welcoming, hard working and motivating. I’m excited to go because of the people!

Getting to Know Coach Leyton

Caring | Honest | Driven

Leyton is a great addition to the coaching staff at The Hill. He has new games to play and a southern charm that you just can’t teach. Leyton loves CrossFit and it shows. With a low-key and approachable attitude, Leyton’s ability to provide individualized coaching is outstanding. He takes the time to explain the small things and help each athlete improve.

Let’s get to know Coach Leyton:

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Lawn and Landscape worker like my Dad. I often would say that I wanted to be a lawnmower. But often my teachers would say I couldn’t actually be that. Haha!

Where did you grow up? Greenwood, AR

Favorite class or activity in high school? Football.

Voted in high school most known for ? Known for being goofy and easy going.

Most interesting part time job? Demolition for a contractor during undergrad.

Share a movie or show you can quote and/or list songs you can rap/know all the words to etc.. The Lord of the Rings, Dumb and Dumber, Christmas Vacation, The Office and I know all the words to most Blink-182 songs.

Got any hidden talents? I can get 1 tee remaining on the triangle peg board game every time. (commonly played at Cracker Barrel.) I can walk on my hands thanks to CrossFit. I also have a pretty good Gollum/ Smeagol voice. 

What do you like about KC? You don’t have to travel that far to do anything. It’s a way larger city than I am used to, but it isn’t too big.

Your Job Title at The Hill: Coach

How & when did you get connected to The Hill? I dropped in to The Hill the summer before my senior year of undergrad when I came to look at graduate schools.

How long have you been coaching? About 4 years.

Why Coach? – what motivates you personally? I love to teach people new things. I love seeing people realize how much they are really capable of.

What do you love about your job? I love getting to interact with people and build relationships. I also love to see someone do something they have never done for the first time. (ex. 1st pull-up or muscle up).

What certifications do you hold and which are you most proud of? CF-L3 and Gymnastics; definitely most proud of the CF-L3.

What continuing ed are you planning or currently doing? I am currently in Physical Therapy school at Rockhurst University. I plan to attend the CrossFit Competitors, CrossFit Masters, CrossFit Aerobic Capacity, and CrossFit Gymnastics Level 2 at some point.

How would you describe your coaching style? I would describe my coaching style as very individualistic. I enjoy to getting to catch up with each person in my class each day and learn what motivates them. I am also very relentless. I continue to ask for more from my athletes.

What’s something you wish everyone knew about health and fitness? That it is the most important long-term investment that you can make. Paying for a CrossFit gym membership and healthy foods will save you lots of pain, time, and money in the future. Also, that it’s a process. Start by “getting off the carbs and off the couch” then go forward from there.

What is something you are working on improving as an athlete personally? I am currently trying to rehab my knees to where I can squat pain free again.

What are you looking forward to in 2019? I am looking forward to the launch of The Hill KC 2.0!!! I am also looking forward to my first clinical rotation in PT school.

Anything else you would like to share with The Hill family? The Hill has truly been a blessing to Hannah and I both. We have truly found an awesome group of like-minded people to share life with. We feel like we have been working out here forever! The Hill family rocks!

Laura Snyder : Featured Athlete of February 2019

Coachable | Hardworking | Positive

These are the attributes that we look for in our athletes. Each month we like to Feature an athlete who exemplifies these core values.

Not every CrossFit Coach is lucky enough to have such an athletic and dedicated partner as Coach Josh does in Laura.

She is ALWAYS positive, ALWAYS works hard, and is ALWAYS coachable. We can’t believe it’s taken this long to make her featured athlete. Humble to the core, she tried to wiggle out of it at first but she is such an amazing part of our community we insisted. She leads with kindness and encouragement to her fellow athletes. And is an amazing example to learn from too.

As a physical therapist, she will always help a friend find a new way to mobilize a sore wrist or back. Laura you uplift the environment every time  your walk through our doors. And we are so glad to have you at The Hill.

Laura’s Interview:

What is your favorite color? Navy.

What would your spirit animal be? My dog, Lily. She’s an awesome cuddler, loves to sleep and be around people!

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? Flying. Because I have very little patience when stuck in traffic, and I love seeing a bird’s eye view of the world.

Row, Bike or Run? & Why? Run- I feel like I’m putting myself through torture instead of a dumb machine.

What is your favorite CrossFit Movement? I am copy catting Dan’s response and saying cleans or burpees. Kicks your ass but such a good workout!

Favorite Cheat Meal? Pizza! Breakfast, lunch or dinner.

When did you start working out at The Hill? Springtime 2015.

What were some of the emotional or physical challenges you were having before you started at CrossFit Memorial Hill? I came from the typical big box gym, bodybuilder-training mentality and my boyfriend at the time was coaching at The Hill. We are both pretty stubborn and thought we knew more than the other, so it was hard for me to give into the framework of CrossFit style workouts. I super sucked at all the gymnastics movements (still do), and I let my ego get the best of me at times. But I love the challenge and now I could never go back to the Globo gym life.

How have you seen challenges improve since joining The Hill? I’ve taken the time to realize what I am good at and what I definitely still need to work on. It’s a long process, but it’s a fun journey!

What keeps you coming back? And where do you find your motivation when the workout looks difficult? The people and the workouts. Plus my hubs and puppy are usually there 🙂 When the workouts look super intense I try to remind myself to keep a good pace and just get through it.

How do you make working out fit into your busy schedule? I just make it a priority. I bring my clothes/lunch/snacks to work with me and head straight to the gym afterwords.

What would you say to someone thinking about starting CrossFit? Every single movement can be modified to your ability. So just do it because it is so much damn fun!

What are some of your goals in or out of the gym? Personal Records or achievements that your proud of? My same goal for the last 3 years- getting double unders down! And handstand push-ups. This is the year I am finally going to stop talking about it and Do It!

Anything else you’d like to share with our fitfam? I feel so proud and lucky to be a part of this amazing community. Personally, I know how much work the staff and coaches put in to making this place truly one of a kind.  They go above and beyond every day to help the needs of their athletes and that is something you don’t often see in a typical gym. Also, I cannot wait to see what the new space brings in 2019!!!

My CFMH Story.. Gus Drosos

When we were first introduced to Gus he was working through a bilateral hip replacement that left him with chronic pain and limited range of motion.  Gus would never tell you, but this limited his abilities and was a constant reminder of getting older.  However, when you have an athlete like Gus the only thing needed is a little spark to ignite an inferno.

Now 1 year into a CrossFit regimen Gus is completing things he admittedly, “…would never have been able to do.”   Gus recently has reintroduced box jumps into his life which he has not done since his collegiate basketball career.  This gives him a sense of pride that he carries with him outside of the gym.

Gus also completed his first “Fran” workout a couple weeks ago and when I asked him how he felt afterward his response was classic Gus, “I can do better.”  For the future Gus has 2 goals: to eventually join group classes and have a deadlift and bench press that he can brag to his kids about.

With the constant care of Dr. Heather at @unbrokenchiropractic and the team @thehillkc Gus continues to improve and kick ass.  We are so proud of his hard work and dedication and cannot wait to see where this journey takes him. -Coach Josh

Gus’ CrossFit Memorial Story…

What was your mental and physical state like before you found CrossFit Memorial Hill?

I was in a healthy state of mind mentally before coming to the Hill, but physically, not so much. Aside from occasional walks, light treadmill or elliptical machines, I was pretty inactive. I was 2 years removed from total hip replacement on both hips and not happy with inactivity.

What got you through the door that first day?

I knew I wasn’t going to get motivated without help and encouragement. My coworker Al Lampier gave me the push to come in and meet Matt and Josh.

What physical challenges were you facing?

I was facing the following physical challenges: total hip replacement in both hips, weak quads, poor mobility, weak hip flexors, weak knees, poor stability, weak core.

What did the frustration feel like as you tried to solve those issues on your own?

Post-surgery, I did not feel like  what I envisioned it would be like. I let the 2 years go by, thinking I’d get stronger passively rather than actively. I was very cautious of overdoing things w/ my hips which led to in-activity. As a former athlete, this was unacceptable.

Describe the moment when you realized working out at The Hill was actually helping to improve your mental state or physical challenges?

I knew when I met Josh, he listened and understood my frustrations. He immediately assessed my weaknesses and put a long-term plan together to take steps to improvement. They were baby steps, and I knew this wasn’t going to be a sprint but a marathon.

What was different about The Hill KC than other fitness program you’ve tried?

The difference in the Hill compared to other fitness programs is in the flat-out GREAT PEOPLE that comprise the essence and vibe of the Gym. It’s about health and well-being…it’s not a competitive environment or a forum for a popularity contest. Staff and members care about each other, everyone works hard and has a heck of a lot of fun in the process…as painful as it seems at times, it’s always fun and sense of accomplishment when you walk out the door after a workout.

What motivates you to work out?

I’m motivated to work-out because I’m seeing improvements in my strength and mobility that I didn’t think I could get back. The encouragement of the staff and fellow gym-mates makes it a team environment…it’s hard not to root for each other.

What goals are you working towards?

My goals are to continue to increase my strength and mobility and more cardio. Although I work-out off the main floor with Josh, I look to a moment when I’ll join the larger classes and participate with them.

What is something you are proud of?

I’m proud that I’m investing time for my health and for what I’ve accomplished in the first year working with Josh and excited for what year two will bring. I’m also proud of Josh for hanging in there with me and pushing me to do things I didn’t think I could do.

What would you tell someone afraid to try CrossFit at The Hill?

I would tell someone afraid to try CrossFit at the Hill that their health should be a top priority in their well-being…easier said than done. I’d also tell them that there are many gyms and trainers out there, but the environment of caring, camaraderie, and genuine interest in YOU, is what separates the Hill…a very simple recipe that feeds success.

Open Comments:

I’m thankful for Al Lampier encouraging me to step through the door. I am thankful for Joelle who greeted me at the door when I was getting started and spoke kind words of encouragement and accomplishments. I am thankful for Matt who visited our office with Mindy and other coaches and shared his passion for what health and well-being means and how it can change moments in our day-to-day lives. I am thankful for Holly and Liz who are exemplary gym-mates and make the environment friendly and without judgement. Lastly, I’m thankful for Josh who has taken this old John Deere tractor, knocked off some rust, and got the oil heated up to get the engine fired-up to be useful again! Appreciate his genuine care, research on hip mobility, working with Doc Heather (and Laura), his motivation, and for just being real…no agenda, not a fake…just a coach who’s always learning and looking to help make a difference in one’s well-being. Lastly, looking forward to the new space!

 

Getting to Know Kim Lacy of Premier Nutrition

Caring | Honest | Driven

Having Kim offer Nutrition Coaching at The Hill is such an asset to our community. Plus she’s a dedicated CrossFitter and we love having her on the team. Kim recently launched her business Premier Nutrition KC and offers simple honest and informed advice for people living in the real world.

Let’s get to  know more about Kim…

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? A veterinarian 

Where did you grow up? Omaha, Nebraska.

Favorite class or activity in high school? I loved my marketing class and being apart of DECA. I actually went to nationals one year too!

Voted in high school most likely to? To succeed (hopefully it comes true!)

Most interesting part time job? Worked part time at a Cryotherapy company. Was able to do the cryo booth for free every time I worked, and I actually think it worked.

Song you can rap? Pop Bottles by Birdman ft. Lil Wayne.

Got any hidden talents? I’m really good at the limbo. 

What do you like about KC? I love how it has big city attractions and things to do, but doesn’t have big city traffic.

Your Job Title at The Hill. Nutrition Coach.

How & when did you get connected to The Hill? Started coming to the Hill in October of 2016.

How long have you been a nutrition coach? 5 years.

Why Nutrition? What motivates you personally? I love when I’m able to positively impact someone’s life. And make them feel their best!

What do you love about your job? I get to talk about food! I love food!  Oh and making people healthier and happier 🙂

What certifications do you hold and which are you most proud of? Precision Nutrition Level One, ACSM Personal Trainer. 

What’s something you wish everyone knew about health and fitness? Dieting is terrible for you and doesn’t work! Slowly start to removed the common processed foods in your diet with whole foods.

What is something you are working on improving as an athlete personally?  Working on improving my pull-ups, and maybe getting a muscle up in 2019!

What are you looking forward to in 2019? My business!  I recently switched full time jobs so I now have more time to service clients and create new content.  Hopefully by the end of the year Premier Nutrition KC with be my full-time job!

Is there anything you would like to say to the team or #fitfam? I appreciate you guys so much!! I would not be able to do this job that I love without the support from all of you!!

Dan Heizman: Featured Athlete of January 2019

Coachable | Hardworking | Positive

These are the attributes that we look for in our athletes. Each month we like to Feature an athlete who exemplifies these core values.

“What should I do today Coach?” Dan asks Coach Brianna nearly every workout. He is eager to be coached and always ready to work hard. Dan is always ready to work hard and game for anything we throw at him. He wants to learn new skills, and is open to the cues and feedback of his coaches and peers. Dan LIVES the community, not just in the gym, but out of it as well. He is a core part of our tribe at The Hill. It is an honor to know him and coach him.

Plus he did the Boo Bash Pumpkin WOD in a full gorilla suit last October. (pics below)

Let’s get to know more about Dan…

What is your favorite color? Blue.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? One superpower, I’d probably pick teleportation or flying if we can’t figure out the physics of the teleportation. I waste so much time getting from one place to the next. If I could just snap my fingers and be there I would have so much more time to actually be productive.

Row, Bike or Run? & Why? I’m not a fan of any of these really… but I guess I’d take row. Although I will add in that I don’t despise the AB anymore. I still don’t like it, but I’ve busted out a lot of calories on the bike over the past 6-8 months (thanks Josh) so I guess I’m finally getting to the point that it doesn’t completely destroy me.

What is your favorite CrossFit Movement? Cleans are the bees knees.

Favorite Restaurant in KC? I don’t go out to eat too often, but I do like to hit up Jax and see how many oysters I can eat in one sitting.

When did you start working out at The Hill? September 2016

What were some physical challenges you were having before you started at CrossFit Memorial Hill? Prior to joining I had made some significant lifestyle changes and dropped about 50 pounds so I had reached my goal there, but I had plateaued on my lifting strength. So after coming to the Hill and talking to the staff I have been trying to actually eat more so that I can continue getting stronger and add some lean muscle mass, at least that is the goal.

How have you seen those challenges improve since joining The Hill? What does life looks like now? I have made pretty significant improvements on all of my lifts. I’ve put back on about 15 pounds, most of which is the good kind. The last year was pretty awesome actually. In addition to increasing my strength on the barbell I was finally able to consistently get Muscle Ups. I had the goal to learn butterfly PUs last year but I didn’t really commit the necessary time to it so that is (one of) my goals for 2019.

How is The Hill different than other gyms you’ve been to? Everything they do really. Scanny and Coach Josh are never satisfied with anything so they are always trying to improve the things they are doing currently. Furthermore, they are not afraid to try new things. They always analyze and keep the stuff that works and toss the stuff that doesn’t. Because of this the gym is always improving and always offering new value to us athletes. Other than that I’d say the community aspect of The Hill is just incredible. Everybody is supportive and has bought in to the the “fitfam” concept, so whenever you happen to show up to WOD, you feel welcome and at home.

What keeps you coming back? And where do you find your motivation when the workout looks difficult? We have a pretty solid and consistent group that come in at Noon, so if you don’t show up you will get some “encouraging” texts from the guys letting you hear about it. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t throw a shout out to Coach Bri and her amazing skills. As crappy as a workout looks and as much as I might want to die during the workout, I know that I always feel better on days that I hit the gym.

How do you make working out fit into your busy schedule? I am, for the most part, in control of my weekday scheduling luckily. So I try to block off 11:30-1:30 and commit to being at the gym for that time. It helps that I don’t eat lunch at the normal noon time like most people so while I’m at the gym most people are taking their lunch hours anyways.

What would you say to someone thinking about starting CrossFit? Don’t think about it, just do it. Then I’d get them in touch with Scanny for a much better pitch.

What are some of your goals in or out of the gym? Personal Records or achievements that your proud of? As previously mentioned, butterfly pull-ups will be checked off this year. I aspire to squat like Sleeter and crush a Metcon like Coach Josh. But honestly, my goals are: stay healthy, improve on my barbell strength, and continue to develop my very mediocre gymnastics skills.

What would your dream workout be?  Cleans and burpees maybe? I think I’m the only person in the gym who doesn’t mind when a WOD has burpees in it.

Anything else you would like to share with our #fitfam? I’d like to thank all the coaches and staff at The Hill for everything they do to improve our gym and our community and I’m really looking forward to moving into our kickass new space upstairs in the coming months. Oh, I’ll go on record stating that David Curry wishes he was as strong as I am.

 

 

Getting to Know Coach Jay Alexander

Caring | Honest | Driven

These are the values we hold as a team.

Jay exemplifies “Caring, Honest & Driven” with authenticity and grace.
Jay started coaching at The Hill in May and he couldn’t be a better fit for our team. He opens the doors for our 6am crew and makes sure to have them ready to take on the day. Jay loves yoga, a good dance party and his rambunctious puppy. We are so lucky to have Jay coaching at The Hill!

Let’s get to know Coach Jay a little better…

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?  Olympic speed skater, but I probably should have learned how to skate to make that one happen.

Where did you grow up? Overland Park, KS

Favorite class or activity in high school? Broadcasting.

Voted in high school most likely to..? Most likely to change the world (high expectations, I know…).

Most interesting part time job? I worked as a camp counselor in northern Wisconsin one summer in college.

Got any hidden talents? I took a hip hop dance class in college, so I’ve got a few moves I can pull out if the right song comes on. And  I can rap all the words to Baby Got Back and HeadBands, and probably most other 2000’s hip hop.

What do you like about KC? BBQ, Boulevard, and the people that call it home!

Coaching: Your Job Title at The Hill. 6am Group Coach

How & when did you get connected to The Hill? When I moved back to KC after college in May of 2018 I knew I wanted to keep coaching and I instantly felt at home with the community at The Hill so here we are!

How long have you been coaching? Since May of 2017.

Why Coach? – what motivates you personally? CrossFit was the first thing that made me think I’m strong, and the physical and mental benefits of that realization have changed my life.

What do you love about your job? First and foremost, the people that I get to work for and with. Seeing people wake up early to work hard in the gym inspires me to be the best coach I can be for them that day. Also, I get to dance and listen to music during work, so that’s pretty awesome too.

What certifications do you hold and which are you most proud of? BS in Kinesiology, CF – L1 and RYT 200. Probably should say I’m proudest of the degree since it cost by far the most!

What continuing ed are you planning or currently doing? Currently completing my Doctorate of Physical Therapy at KU Med, and aiming to get my CrossFit Level-2 by the end of 2019.

How would you describe your coaching style? Laid-back, personal, and encouraging.

What’s something you wish everyone knew about health and fitness? I wish everyone knew that you don’t have to be the fastest or the strongest to fit in at the gym. No one is judging you because we’re all just trying to become the best versions of ourselves, and even just showing up proves that you’re already a badass.

What is something you are working on improving as an athlete personally? Focusing on weightlifting currently, and having a positive mindset going into every workout and lift.

Anything else you would like to share with The Hill family? I’m a new dog dad to a black lab, so if you have any tips on how to get him to stop chewing on everything please let me know.