Justine Brown

Athlete of the Month

Justine Brown aka “Bad A$$”

NAME: Justine Browngainz_enpowerment_hi_contrast[1]
BIRTHPLACE: Long Island, NY
BIRTHDAY: 6/2/81
OCCUPATION: Art Therapist

1. FOR HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN CROSSFITTING:
I started Crossfit briefly over two years ago; Due to a difficult pregnancy, I had stopped. I began going to Crossfit Breed a year ago but have been really consistent the last seven months

2. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WOD OR MOVEMENT AND WHY
I really like to do Clean and Jerks. Whenever they are a part of the daily workout, I get super pumped. I like this movement because it makes me feel like a bad a$$ and I feel like I do it well.

3. WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE WOD OR MOVEMENT AND WHY
I hate running. It takes me longer to recover from running around the block then it does after a WOD. I hate it because it makes my body hurt and reduces me to tears. Oh and wall balls. They are awful, and really good at making me feel like a puddle on the floor.

JB14. HOW DID YOU GET INTO CROSSFIT
I got into Crossfit about 2.5 years ago, I was intrigued by the community aspect, and how there were just as many ladies as men working their butts off. Once I did my first workout, I was hooked. I had never challenged myself to that level.

5. WHAT FITNESS PROGRAM WERE YOU DOING BEFORE CROSSFIT AND HOW DO THEY DIFFER
I literally never worked out till my late 20’s. I dabbled in DVD workouts, and never felt that same drive as I do when I workout with other people. I would go to a box gym and mess around with an elliptical and free weights. I was familiar with squats and deadlifting before Crossfit but I never felt excited about doing them. (I probably was not even doing them properly). Crossfit does more than give you a workout- It teaches you about your body and how it works.

6. HOW HAVE YOU CHANGED SINCE JOINING CF BREED
I have begun really challenging myself since joining CF Breed. I have taken risks and changed my perspective on things. When I get up at 5am, or get my butt at the box after a long day at work so I can get a workout in, I am investing in myself, in my overall health and that is not something I prioritized before. I allowed myself the opportunity to join in nutrition challenges, workout competitions, (Woohoo! Yum Delicious Gangstars!). I come in on my own to work on my squats (I am getting better!). Being strong and healthy is important to me, especially since my son Quinn was born. I know when I work hard and set goals, it makes me a better mother and a better partner to my husband Scott. I am proud of the example I am setting for Quinn.
At CF breed, I really learned that despite what I may think…. I can do it!
Oh…. And I got stronger!!!!

7. WHAT ADVICE CAN YOU GIVE TO NEW COMERS TO CROSSFITJB2
Show up. That is the hardest part.
Introduce yourself to the other people at the box, they are all awesome.
Drink water and stretch!

8. WHY DO YOU LIKE TRAINING AT CROSSFIT BREED
Well…… I do like the cheering as people walk through the door! There is something magical that happens when people shout your name as you come in. I love CF Breed because I feel myself growing there. I am surrounded by people who are striving to be the best versions of themselves, inside and outside of the gym. I am supported in my goals, I am challenged by coaches and other members, I feel that CF Breed is the most supportive atmosphere I have ever worked out in.

9. DO YOU PLAY ANY SPORTS? WHICH?
Air hockey and claw machines. That is the extent of my regular sports activity. I played softball and basketball when I was younger. I am really great at chasing my 15 month old son Quinn around, and I am going to count that as a sport. #chasing toddlers

10. WHAT ARE YOUR FITNESS GOALS FOR 2016?
I want to do a perfect pushup and I want to solidly squat 1X my body weight. Be more Bad A$$! I would also like to perfect the “squirmy toddler carry” while going up a flight of stairs.

Paula Medard

My age?  Must I disclose, let’s just say my birthday is July 29th and I will forever be 21.  I am a Lioness.  I pay the bills by being an Administrative Assistant and I’m aspiring to be an Occupational Therapist, meaning I’m a full-time OT studepaulant.

What peeked my interest in Crossfit is the obvious, I wanted to lose weight. I initially observed some Crossfitters in action from a local box while at work. Man, man I saw these athlete putting in real work, workout routines that I’ve never seen before. I observed these Crossfit athlete everyday like a private investigator and said this looks like torture and fun at the same damn time. No offense to the local gyms, but this didn’t look like the typical boring routine workout at the local Bally’s, NYSC, Planet Fitness or from your typical trainer.  I hesitated for a few months, thinking that I could never do what these CrossFit athletes were doing, but I finally gave in. I was literally sick and tired. My doctor was on the verge of putting me on high blood pressure medication and I said hell to the NO to that recommendation. So I finally built up the guts to ask one of the Crossfitters near my job about Crossfit. He shared the deets with me regarding Crossfit and told me about a park WOD each and every Sunday.  I was introduced to Hutch and Liz Valentin and there my Crossfit journey began. My first Park WOD, I was scared as F!@k, I said to myself, I’m not going to be able to do any of these movements and for the most part everyone looked in shape. I can’t recalled the exact WOD I did on that day, but I know it involved running  and Burpees. I made it through the park WOD and I kept on going back each and every Sunday.

Transitioning to the actual Crossfit box (Crossfit Breed) became more challenging from the Park WOD as it became a daily ritual for me taking only one rest day , I had a Crossfit OBSESSION. Although , I was sore and in pain, I still wanted to go back for more. I went from a size 16 to a size 14 from August to October 2013. I wasn’t really worried about or paying much attention to the scale, but took great noticed in my clothing. I felt awesome, my confidence and energy level went up immediately. I received numerous  compliments regarding my weight loss from my family, friends, face-bookers and Instagram. It’s a great feeling when your neighbors takes notice of your accomplishments, they yelling out  “hey slim” every time they see me.  It was no longer a recommendation to be on blood pressure medication. My blood pressure numbers were reading normal and healthy at each doctor visits and to top it off, my blood work showed I was in the best shape ever, free from any ailments.

In addition, to kick it up a notch the box ran a Paleo challenge, which I had no idea what that was… Paleo WHAT! Through the guidance of my coach, I took that Paleo challenge and ran with it. I learned how to eat clean and healthy, the caveman way.  I loss even more weight while on Paleo, became stronger, obtained the energy that I needed to perform better in my daily training (WODs). My sleeping and energy level was spectacular. I was able to focus better on my school work and studies.  I was in the best mood and felt refreshed each and everyday, ready to take on the big apple!

Life has dephoto (1)finitely taken me down a few unexpected roads. I would never have believed at this stage of my life  I would be presented with an opportunity to follow my heart and feel passionate about my fitness journey.  Just the thought of now being able to Deadlifts 235 pounds, do Burpees, power clean and WOD confidently in my sport bra excites me. I went from a staggering 260 pounds (heavyweight) to a solid strong 185 pounds Crossfitter in less than a year (10 months to be exact) and I now wear a size 10. One thing to keep in mind about weight loss and being fit, don’t worry about your appearance…getting started is key, it’s a process, there’s no over night success, if you want result you have to work hard for it, be open minded, there’s always room to learn, believe in yourself, don’t doubt yourself, keep pushing, have fun along the way and be prepared to do some epic $h&t. Not bad for a girl who thought she could never do what she saw these Crossfit athletes were doing. I am now a CrossFit athlete myself and I’m a Crossfit addict!