Kipping it Real with Michele!

Each month, Overland Park CrossFit recognizes a member who exemplifies our values and motivates others in the gym. June’s Athlete of the Month is Michele Fazio. Michele is a regular at the 5:30 pm class. Her dedication to the sport of CrossFit is inspiring. She has been at OPCF for 6 years! Her hard work does not go unnoticed. It has been fantastic having her here, and we are excited to have Michele continue crushing it here at OPCF! Please read below to learn about Michele and what he has to say!  We could not be more proud to recognize her for our June Athlete of the Month!

How long have you been working out at Overland Park CrossFit? 6 years

What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit workout? Do you remember what it was? I don’t remember my *first* workout, but I do remember that I did Murph, unpartitioned 2 weeks after joining my first gym. 

What has been your favorite workout so far? There’s not any particular workout that comes to mind, but I love interval workouts with a mix of gymnastics, heavy lifts, and rowing. Anything but the bike.

What did you want to be when you grew up and where do you work now? I think I wanted to either be a professional basketball player or a singer. I am now a chemical engineer

What do you like to do outside of work? Coming to OPCF is the highlight of my typical day, but I also love slow days with Matt and Hattie – going to the park, going on a walk, traveling to new places with Matthew, and really just enjoying 

What advice would you give a newbie just starting at OPCF? Don’t compare yourself to where other people are at. Every single person once walked into a Crossfit gym for the first time. If you want to get the most out of it: have fun, be consistent, be coachable, be encouraging, and strive to be better today than you were yesterday!

What is on your bucket list? Visit the Holy Land

Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without? My Bible

If your pet could talk, what do you think they might say about you? “Doesn’t share her yummy food with me.”

What is your favorite random fact? I was once called a “banana” by a lady on the street in South Korea. She said I was “yellow on the outside and white on the inside”. 

What is your go-to karaoke song? [insert cliché white girl song]

Kipping it Real with Kyle!

Each month, Overland Park CrossFit recognizes a member who exemplifies our values and motivates others in the gym. May’s Athlete of the Month is Kyle Geary. Kyle is a regular at the 5:30 pm class. His dedication to the sport of CrossFit is inspiring. He drives a long distance to come and workout with his friends. He has brought such a light to the community and, overall, is a very friendly person. His hard work does not go unnoticed. It has been fantastic having him here, and we are excited to have him continue crushing it here at OPCF! Please read below to learn about Kyle and what he has to say!  We could not be more proud to recognize him for our May Athlete of the Month!

 

1. How long have you been working out at Overland Park CrossFit?
I’ve been at OPCF for 7 months and have been doing CrossFit for 3 years.
2. What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit workout? Do you remember what it was?
My first workout was a hero workout – I had no idea what I dropped into. I found out very quickly how intense Crossfit could be and was hooked.
3. What has been your favorite workout so far?
I love gymnastics and barbell work. Handstand walks, ring muscle ups, deadlifts and back squats are my favorite movements. So I always look forward to workouts with those.
4. What did you want to be when you grew up and where do you work now?
I wanted to be a reporter growing up – and I actually ended up doing TV and Radio for a few years after college. I switched careers and am now a Web Developer at Augeo (@augeomarketing on instagram).
5. What do you like to do outside of work?
Outside of work, my main hobbies are working out, playing video games and catching up on some anime.
6. What advice would you give a newbie just starting at OPCF?
Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions. We were all new once and know how intimidating it can be to learn the movements and lifts. Focus on the basics before adding weight, and when in doubt – scaling is always an option.
7. What is on your bucket list?
To visit all 7 continents – I’ve got two left. Any guesses which??
8. Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?
I usually get my caffeine fix from Diet Coke, so let’s go with that.
9. If your pet could talk, what do you think they might say about you?
My last pet was a fish I ended up with due to a white elephant gift exchange – he’d probably have a lot of questions on how he ended up in my apartment.
10. What is your favorite random fact?
The Eiffel Tower was originally made for Barcelona, but the city declined it due to aesthetic concerns.
11. What is your go-to karaoke song
Backstreet Boys – I want it that way.

Kipping it Real with Stephanie!

Each month, Overland Park CrossFit recognizes a member who exemplifies our values and motivates others in the gym. April’s Athlete of the Month is Stephanie Cruz. Stephanie is a 5:30 am regular. She walks in ready to work, and with a smile on. A fun fact about her is that she has a ton of experience with kettlebells(you won’t want to go against her in a workout with kb in it;)). She has also been running for a few months now and has run some of her first races. She was also one of our team captains for the Crossfit Open…this girl is an amazing leader! Her hard work does not go unnoticed. It has been fantastic having her here, and we are excited to have her continue crushing it here at OPCF! Please read below to learn about Stephanie and what he has to say!  We could not be more proud to recognize her for our April Athlete of the Month!

How long have you been working out at Overland Park CrossFit? 

-I joined in Aug 2022, 4 months after moving here from NY.

 

What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit workout? Do you remember what it was?

-I was petrified to walk into the gym.  After I did an intro session, my first class included thrusters and jumping over the bar.  I didn’t know what was happening, but I definitely wanted to go back!

 

What has been your favorite workout so far?

               -Anything kettlebell!  Back squats and hang cleans are also my favorites!

 

What did you want to be when you grew up and where do you work now?

            -I wanted to be a veterinarian, but I soon realized I would not be able to save all the animals.  After a long and winding road, I am now a Senior Corporate Recruiter for Elevance Health, which is one of the leading health insurance companies.

 

What do you like to do outside of work?

            -Anything with my bulldog, Cece.  We go on walks, hikes, swimming, and exploring KC.  When I am not with her, I will write poetry, tinker with my plants, go shopping, or hang out with family and friends.

 

What advice would you give a newbie just starting at OPCF?

               -Just go for it.  Just try.  It might seem scary and that’s okay, you can still try it.  You won’t regret it!

 

What is on your bucket list?

               -Solo trip to Puerto Rico!

 

Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?

               -Music!  Whether its in class or while working, music is always on around me.

 

If your pet could talk, what do you think they might say about you?

            -If Cece could talk, she would say that I spoil her and always make sure she has tons of treats.  She’d also ask you to talk to me about getting her more treats. 

What is your favorite random fact?

            -I have clairaudient and clairsentient skills.  Clairaudience and clairsentience are the abilities to hear and sense things outside of our five senses.  I have had many instances where I will hear and sense things in advance of them actually happening.  

 

What is your go-to karaoke song?  

               -I have yet to actually do karaoke, but I have done quite a few concerts in my car.  There is a tie between “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell and “Someone To You” by Banners.

 

Kipping it Real with Will!

Each month, Overland Park CrossFit recognizes a member who exemplifies our values and motivates others in the gym. March’s Athlete of the Month is Will Walls. Will has been at OPCF since 2021 and is part of the 5:30 am gang. Will is the jokester of the class. He typically shows up right at 5:30…or a few minutes late;) He has improved tremendously. His work does not go unnoticed. It has been fantastic having him here, and we are excited to have him continue crushing it here at OPCF! Please read below to learn about Will and what he has to say!  We could not be more proud to recognize him for our March Athlete of the Month!

 

How long have you been working out at Overland Park CrossFit? 12 days of Christmas ‘21. Liz was the coach!

What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit workout? Do you remember what it was? Great community!

What has been your favorite workout so far? Prob commando pull up

What did you want to be when you grew up and where do you work now? Candy chef & heavy duty parts manufacture.

What do you like to do outside of work? Hang out with my littles or MTB

What advice would you give a newbie just starting at OPCF? Just breathe

What is on your bucket list? Sell my start-up

Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without? Celsius

If your pet could talk, what do you think they might say about you? what in gods name…

What is your favorite random fact? There is a percentage of the population that think chocolate milk comes from brown cows.

What is your go-to karaoke song? Faithfully

Kipping it Real with Katie!

Each month, Overland Park CrossFit recognizes a member who exemplifies our values and motivates others in the gym. February’s Athlete of the Month is Katie Smith. Katie has been at OPCF for five months and is part of the 5:30 pm gang. Katie comes in with a smile, and is ready to work hard. She has the world’s fastest double-unders and amazing stamina. Without a doubt, Katie is a motivation to all. It has been fantastic having her here, and we are excited to have her continue crushing it here at OPCF! Please read below to learn about Katie and what she has to say!  We could not be more proud to recognize her for our February Athlete of the Month!

How long have you been working out at Overland Park CrossFit?

Almost 5 months.

What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit workout? Do you remember what it was?

I don’t remember what the workout was, but I knew I had to come back and keep doing it.

What has been your favorite workout so far?

Any workout where I get to stand in front of a barbell and not do any gymnastics.

What did you want to be when you grew up and where do you work now?

I wanted to be a firefighter. I now work in project management in the construction industry.

What do you like to do outside of work?

So many things: Pickleball, cycling, and going to Kansas City Current games, to name a few.

What advice would you give a newbie just starting at OPCF?

Don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone at some point started from day one.

What is on your bucket list?

Hiking/Skiing the Alps in Europe.

 

Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?

Is coffee a necessity? If not, coffee. 

 

If your pet could talk, what do you think they might say about you?

That I don’t share enough of my food with him. 

 

What is your favorite random fact?

Hippos can’t swim.

 

What is your go-to karaoke song?

…Baby One More Time – Britney Spears

 

Kipping it Real with Cody!

Each month, Overland Park CrossFit recognizes a member who exemplifies our values and motivates others in the gym. January’s Athlete of the Month is Cody Kreutziger. Cody has been at OPCF since 2022 and is part of the 5:30 pm gang. One person every day will walk in lip-syncing to whatever song is playing in the gym…Cody K. He is someone who brings a smile to everyone’s face. He has progressed so fast and continues to get better. Cody also always welcomes a new face to the gym, making sure they feel welcome. It has been fantastic having him here, and we are excited to have him continue crushing it here at OPCF! Please read below to learn about Cody and what he has to say!  We could not be more proud to recognize him for our January Athlete of the Month!

How long have you been working out at Overland Park CrossFit?

Since June 2022


What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit workout? Do you remember what it was?

That it was way harder than I thought it would be and that I was not as in shape as I thought I was. It was also the start of my disdain for burpees. The open workout 22.2 ; 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 deadlifts/bar facing burpees.

What has been your favorite workout so far?

I’m not sure I have a specific favorite workout but I really like long grindy chippers and gymnastic workouts

What did you want to be when you grew up and where do you work now?

I wanted to play some type of professional sport like football, baseball, or basketball but I work at Country Club Bank.


What do you like to do outside of work?

I like playing cornhole, doing puzzles, playing video games, watching football, and going for walks with Abby and Honey.


What advice would you give a newbie just starting at OPCF?

When you see someone doing something really well, like pretty bar muscles up or handstand walks or hitting a weight total that you think you probably never could hit, it’s because they practiced. Everyone starts off in the same place but you have to put in the work. 

What is on your bucket list?

I would like to scuba dive the Great Blue hole in Belize

Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?

Honestly the gym. After a long day at work, the gym is the best place to de-stress and do some fitness with everyone.

If your pet could talk, what do you think they might say about you?

That even though she may act awkward and like she doesn’t like it, she loves when I pull her in close to snuggle with me

What is your favorite random fact?

That the eyes have their own form of immune system

What is your go-to karaoke song?

Real World by Matchbox 20

 

Kipping it Real With Lori!

Each month Overland Park CrossFit recognizes a member who exemplifies our values and motivates others in the gym. December’s Athlete of the Month is Lori Hayden. Lori has been at OPCF since 2022. Lori is part of the 5:30 am gang. She walks in, ready to get to work. She has a very caring personality, which shows through her interest in hearing about things going on in other members’ lives! She is also powerful, and an amazing runner! It has been amazing having her here, and we are excited to have her continue crushing it here, at OPCF! Please read below to learn about Lori and what she has to say!  We are so happy to have Lori with us at OPCF, and could not be more proud to recognize her for our December Athlete of the Month!

How long have you been working out at Overland Park CrossFit? – Since October 2022

What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit workout? – I remember it being a lot different than I thought but in a good way! Do you remember what it was? – no idea, it was too long ago!

What has been your favorite workout so far? – hmmm….there have been some good ones but I like the longer, chipper metcons (as long as it doesn’t involve the bike!).

What do you like to do outside of work? – Spend time at the lake

What advice would you give a newbie just starting at OPCF? – It’s tough at first but gets better.

What is on your bucket list? – travel the southern coast

Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without? – Monster!

If your pet could talk, what do you think they might say about you? They would say I leave them too much.

What is your favorite random fact? Key West doesn’t have natural sand beaches.

What is your go-to karaoke song? Journey – Don’t Stop Believin’

 

Kipping it Real With Zach!

Each month Overland Park CrossFit recognizes a member who exemplifies our values and motivates others in the gym. November’s Athlete of the Month is Zach Lieberman. Zach has been at OPCF for 6 months now. In the few months that Zach has been here, he has managed to improve his aerobic and anaerobic capacity and gain strength. He has also cracked some great Dad jokes.It has been amazing having him here, and we are excited to have him continue crushing it here, at OPCF! Read below to learn about Zach and what he has to say!  We are so happy to have Zach with us at OPCF, and could not be more proud than to recognize Zach for our November Athlete of the Month!

 

How long have you been working out at Overland Park CrossFit?  I have been working out at OPCF since April of this year.  November will be 6 months participating with any type of CrossFit organization!

 

What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit workout? Do you remember what it was?  My very first CrossFit workout was with Coach Anthony.  I had a few sessions with him before I started to take classes in April.  The first thing he had me do were stretching exercises.  I thought I was going to get sick during my first “World’s Greatest Stretch.”

 

What has been your favorite workout so far?  Well, I haven’t found a favorite workout so far.  I do like Back Squats and Kettle Bell Carries.  My most memorable workout was the 40-minute row.   It was just us versus the rower versus the clock – have never done anything like that before!

 

What did you want to be when you grew up and where do you work now? When I was a kid, I always wanted to be a game show host.  I thought it would be fun to give prizes and money away.  I work for KMBC Channel 9 where I am the Local Advertising Sales Manager.  I have been with this company for 15 years.  It’s my fault if you have ever been sick of watching commercials during the Bachelor or Shark Tank. 

 

What do you like to do outside of work?  Life is busy.  Both my son and daughter go to Mizzou.  Besides going to MU Football games, We all like to travel.  Our next trip is to Mexico in January.  We also like live music – Knuckleheads is our favorite Venue.

 

What advice would you give a newbie just starting at OPCF?  As a newbie myself I’m still growing and learning.  What I’ve learned so far is that the coaches and classmates really care about your personal success and all work hard to encourage you to be the best that you can be.  I also learned that you have to play your own game and work hard and recognize your own accomplishments.  Don’t compare your performance to your classmates but compare yourself to where you were one week, one month and one year ago and you’ll be surprised at your own development and growth. 

 

What is on your bucket list? Speaking of traveling – I’d love to go on a yearlong RV road trip across America.  I’m also trying to talk my wife into going to Japan. 

 

Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?  Coffee…..Every Day No Matter what.

If your pet could talk, what do you think they might say about you?  I wish he would drop more food on the floor.

What is your favorite random fact?  I know the planets as well as the first 10 presidents all in order. 

What is your go-to karaoke song?  ‘I Love a Rainy Night’ Eddie Rabbit

Kipping it Real With Lakshmiteja Yarlagadda

Each month Overland Park CrossFit recognizes a member who exemplifies our values and motivates others in the gym. October’s Athlete of the Month is Lakshmiteja Yarlagadda . Lakshmiteja  has been at OPCF for 7 months now. She has improved tremendously. Her drive, determination, kind heart, work ethic, and positive attitude is so contagious. It has been amazing having her here, and we are excited to have her continue crushing it here, at OPCF! Read below to learn about Lakshmiteja and what she has to say!  We are so happy to have Lakshmiteja with us at OPCF, and could not be more proud than to recognize Lakshmiteja for our October Athlete of the Month!

What did you want to be when you grew up and where do you work now? – While growing up I wanted to be a Civil servant and help people.Currently I am working as a techie in the IT department. 

What do you like to do outside of work?  I love to go hiking with my husband and explore new places and try different cuisines.And i also love cooking and experimenting on desserts.

 

What advice would you give a newbie just starting at OPCF? I would advise them to follow the coach and learn the proper techniques, and be consistent. What seems impossible in the beginning will one day become your warm up.  

What is on your bucket list? Traveling to all the national Parks and wanting to experience different kinds of adventures. 

Long term bucket list is to visit Venice,Paris and Switzerland.  

Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?Usually I start my day with yoga. So making it part of my day to day life will help me stay focused and calm.

If your pet could talk, what do you think they might say about you? Sorry I never had a chance to raise a pet. But if my plants are considered as pets then they would say ‘They look more radiant than me because my husband is taking care of them

What is your favorite random fact? I felt that I am more creative and think outside the box in the shower than outside.

What is your go-to karaoke song? Left And Right (feat. Jung Kook of BTS)

 

Kipping it Real With Kory!

Each month Overland Park CrossFit recognizes a member who exemplifies our values and motivates others in the gym. September’s Athlete of the Month is Kory Robertson. Kory was a Crossfit coach in the past, and it shows! He is always cheering on people around him, and always has a positive attitude and a growth mindset. He has been with us at OPCF for a couple of months and it has been amazing having him here. Read below to learn about Kory and what he has to say! Another unique thing about Kory is that he has a garden and makes some bomb pickles(ask our members)!!  We are so happy to have Kory with us at OPCF, and could not be more proud than to recognize Kory for our September Athlete of the Month!

How long have you been working out at Overland Park CrossFit?

– I started going full time back in May of 2023, which is crazy to think because I’ve been welcomed by so many people and have created several awesome relationships in my short time. 

 

What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit workout? Do you remember what it was?

– My first CF workout was back in 2010 and I remember it had to do with doing tire flips, slam balls, and wall balls. That workout kicked my butt and I was hooked because I was fed a big ol’ piece of humble pie!

What has been your favorite workout so far?

– I really enjoyed the workout with 5 reps of muscle up + 2 ring dips because, again, that humble pie tasted bitter sweet. 

 

What did you want to be when you grew up and where do you work now?

– I remember wanting to be a veterinarian when I was young, then I when to college to be an engineer (for half a semester), then I did Kinesiology. I am now a firefighter for the City of OP after my 10 years of coaching fitness. 

What do you like to do outside of work?

– I love to golf, hunt, fish, take my boys places to run around and spend time with my beautiful wife, Carissa. 

 

What advice would you give a newbie just starting at OPCF?

– Remember to challenge yourself. That doesn’t mean you have to “kill” yourself every workout. It just means be consistent, ask the coaches for guidance and give yourself small wins with the occasional failure to keep your hunger for humble pie. The big wins will come when you least expect them. 

What is on your bucket list?

– A bear hunt, a Canadian moose hunt, and shooting a 160+” deer in KS

 

Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?

– I couldn’t go a day without Jesus. I don’t deserve the life I have. I’ve messed up so many times and probably should have died at least 5 times by now, but by the grace of God I have a wonderful family, an awesome job, something to work toward and eternal life with my Creator. If you are wondering what that is like, come talk to me. 

If your pet could talk, what do you think they might say about you?

– My lab would tell me I stretch myself too thin sometimes and I forget to stop to give her snuggles. Life gets crazy with kids and I don’t really remember life without them so it is nice to be reminded to slow down and love on my pup that’s been my shadow for almost 9 years. 

What is your favorite random fact?

– Pain will always go away. Whether it be the pain of your lungs and muscles burning during a workout, or pain from life beating you up; all pain will cease. The workout will end and you WILL recover from the workout, I promise. All other pain will cease when Jesus returns and finally brings His people home. Again, if you don’t know what I mean, please come ask me. 

What is your go-to karaoke song?

– I’m not a great singer at all but if I had to pick one it would have to be “Chicks dig it” by Chris Cagle. You’re welcome.