We are happy to announce that for the month of September we have chosen Shana Hoffman (pronounced “Sh ai nah”) as our spotlight athlete! Shana is usually in our afternoon classes and over the last year has taken advantage of our specialty classes such as weightlifting and team training. Shana has been setting goals and making progress on her fitness journey in all the areas of CrossFit’s hierarchy and we couldn’t be more excited to see her grow. Shana gives every workout her very best and is easily coachable. She participates in our special events, a gracious party host, and never backs down from a challenge. Since starting CrossFit she has participated in at least three team competitions. Most importantly, Shana is supportive of her fellow members and always willing to lend a helping hand. Congratulations Shana!
WOW! Y’all, I am honored to be chosen as September Athlete of the Month. The journey has been nothing short of extraordinary, and I am so thankful for the family I have at DB.
Congratulations to Samuel Lawson on being selected as our July Spotlight Athlete of the Month! Sam has come a long way since he joined our gym a year ago. If he’s not working or with his kids, you can find Sam at any of our class times. Sam comes into the box quietly but once it’s go time, Sam’s performance speaks volumes!. He has made so much progress in his gymnastic ability, strength and endurance since he first started. Sam is extremely coachable and gives every workout 110%. Sam is supportive of our box’s activities and most importantly, supportive of his fellow gym members. Congratulations Sam!
i’m honored to have been selected to be Athlete of the Month! My experience with Drop Box the past year and some change has been nothing short of awesome!
A bit about myself—I was born in Denton, Texas which is right outside of Dallas. Growing up I was extremely active, and sports came very naturally to me. I played football all through middle school and high school and then was offered a football scholarship from NSU—which is how I ended up in the Hampton Roads area.
After College, I started going to a Mixed Martial Arts gym. I am a black belt in Muay Thai and I trained in MMA. A few years ago, I made a career change which required me to travel for work and did not allow me as much time to train in Martial Arts or stay active.
About 8 years ago, I had a friend take me to a CrossFit Gym, and I was not impressed by the gym or the community. I had a certain pre-conceived idea of “CrossFit” based on common stereotypes I had heard about in the past. I did not have a very open mind walking in and I did not return after my first experience.
Early in 2018, Martin Fulco (our fellow Drop Box Member) told me that he was joining Drop Box. I told him that if he could actually stick to it for longer than a week, I would join him as well. As soon I got back from my vacation, he was still there, so I kept my word and joined as well.
During the past year I have become extremely dedicated to working out and taking care of my body-- and have Drop Box to thank for all of my progress. The coaches have been amazing. They have helped me improve my overall strength, endurance, technique, as well as my MOBILITY. They have helped me learn more about nutrition and how to utilize the foods I eat in conjunction with my workouts. I have been able to carry a lot of the skills I have learned in CrossFit over into day to day life as well as workouts I do outside of the gym.
The gym as a whole has a fantastic sense of community and from day one I have felt welcomed. I have made several friends and enjoy the fact that everyone motivates and pushes each other to succeed. I hope that in the upcoming years I can continue to improve, but also be there to support and help others as they have helped me.
Sam started the New Year with his first bar muscle up!
We are happy to announce our very first COUPLE Spotlight Athletes of the Month...Dave and Marie Hunter! Dave and Marie are the nicest two people you’ll ever meet. You can’t help but gravitate towards them because their smiles are contagious and their work ethic admirable. Married with two children, this hardworking couple balances family, work, friends, and gym life on the daily! Even though they don’t always get a chance to work out together, they are eachother's biggest supporters! It’s been awesome to see them crush their personal goals and we look forward to watching them create new ones!! Congratulations Dave and Marie!
So, this is wicked exciting, and we can’t even begin to say how surprised and honored we are to be recognized as athletes of the month, especially as a couple.
This is Us….
If you haven’t met us - you’ll find me (Marie) at 0530 and Dave at the 1730 class, which in itself kind of describes us to a tee. Polar opposites but we balance each other out- and are legit, each other’s best friends as well as partners in life.
Dave is from Syracuse, NY and I’m a bit of a nomad having grown up in a Military family, so I claim VA Beach as home. We met at the Naval Academy many moons ago, I graduated in 2001 and Dave in 2003 (yes I robbed the cradle and proud of it!) After graduating, I was commissioned as a Surface Warfare officer and moved here to Norfolk while Dave was still finishing college. Once Dave graduated, he joined me out here for about a year before I moved to Monterey, CA for Grad School and then he headed to Navy Nuclear Power School in South Carolina. We dated for 8 years with many deployments in between before we finally got hitched in 2008. In 2009, we welcomed our first kiddo, Isla, and then in 2011, Micah joined the Hunter crew! We adopted our Wheaten Terrier, Hazel, got a beta fish named sky and our little family was complete!
How did CrossFit come to be for us?
Marie: Well for me I needed a challenge and a change in pace. If I’m not at 0530 class, I’m teaching at Onelife on Thursday mornings. I teach a 1 hr. cardio class called BODYATTACK and before CrossFit I’d also take BODYPUMP Classes on a regular basis. One day Erin (also a Drop Box member and who I teach with) were talking after class about how we’d love to try out CrossFit, so I reached out to my awesome friend Lauren O’Neil, who I’ve known for over 15 years now, and she had me meet up and take a class with her at the box. I instantly fell in love- I couldn’t walk, but I was in love. I signed up for fundamentals right after that class and here I am, a year and a half later still loving it just as much if not more! That first class was so humbling, and let’s be honest, walking in as a total newbie and seeing members throwing weight up like it was nothing while I tried to not fall over like humpty dumpty using the training bar- insanely intimidating. Everyone was so supportive and encouraging though and I quickly realized that I found my home away from home and a group of friends that I couldn’t wait to see even if it meant getting up before the sun did! In the last year and a half, I’ve grown so much as a person and as an athlete. I’ve seen my body change, I’ve seen my confidence grow, I’ve embraced challenges that once scared me, and I can’t wait to reach goals that I have for myself (and there are many). Our two kiddos have seen us both at the box and have fallen in love with it as well and asked to be enrolled in a CrossFit Kids class. Isla has competed in 2 comps and Micah is now of age to compete so they will both be rocking their DBCF Gear at the Chesapeake Kids Classic in September! It’s become a way of life for not only Dave and I but also our kids and for that I’m so grateful. My only regret is not having taken the leap into CrossFit sooner. The community in general is amazing, and the family we have at Drop Box is one in a million!
Dave: As my lovely wife mentioned above, I graduated from the United States Naval Academy a few years behind her (she wasn’t lying about robbing the cradle!) I played lacrosse in college and pretty much my whole life. As adulthood set in and life got real, I hung up my stick and traded my teammates on the field for teammates in the home (after dragging my ass for eight years before finally popping the question, thank goodness Marie waited that long.) I got into running half marathons and weightlifting again, but it wasn’t the same as lax. I never considered CrossFit until Marie started her journey. It was awesome to see my wife evolve and become stronger, more confident and basically step out of her shell to do something unprecedented for her. She’d come home with cool stories about friends at the “box” and I could see how excited she would get about finishing a WOD. It was cool to see her in competitions, but honestly, I still didn’t understand what the difference was in what she was doing compared to me slinging iron in the garage with the music blaring… until I finally gave it a try.
When I finally signed up and participated in my first workout as an official Drop Box member, I admit I was skeptical. I had snatched before, I had power cleaned before (which I love now but hated in college), I was already pretty confident in my squatting abilities and was just coming off a 16 week 5x5 strong lifts program. How was CrossFit different? Why did people (my wife included) think it was worth paying for the use of similar equipment I already had access to in my garage or a Rec Center? Was there some intangible that I could not see until I had experienced it first hand? The short answer was YES! .
I was a little nervous the night before my first class, but I also couldn’t help being a little arrogant when Marie told me the workout (I’d later realize this to be foolish). The SWOD was three rounds of Max Rep Dumbbell Bench with 50 lb.dumbbells. I thought “I got this,” especially coming off a 5x5 strong lifts program and of course, “chest day is the best day!” Then the next WOD was a timed workout of ground to overhead with a 45 lb. plate until you reached 100 reps, as fast as you could. The kicker was the WOD also had an EMOM baked into it, where you performed five plate jump burpees every minute. Again, the night before I was like “you got this Dave, you love ground to overhead. I told myself all I had to do is knock out the GTOs fast, thus minimizing the burpees. Even so, it was only five burpees. Ha… little did I know. Long story short, at some point I stopped doing burpees and forced myself to finish the 100 GTOs. This is when I experienced my first CrossFit humbling moment, finished the WOD dead last and got to mark the WOD as complete, but not Rx. This is also when I officially became a CrossFitter and became intoxicated with the sport by realizing the benefits both physically and mentally.
I’ll officially be a Drop Box Member for one year come the end of June. I’ve made some great friends and have heard a ton of inspirational stories from the members that truly motivate me to be a better person. The coaches are awesome, and I’ve never felt anything other than welcomed since joining. I’ve grown to love lifting even more than before and have seen changes in both my wife and I that I would not have expected from our old asses at our ages. I’ve seen both of my kids inspired by a pretty kick ass and strong mother (aka my wife), which not every husband is lucky enough to see, and now they both participate in CrossFit. I know there are more deserving athletes at our gym, but I am honored to be selected as an athlete of the month with my wife. More importantly though, I am thankful for have the privilege of being part of an extraordinary gym family that always brings a smile to my day. It doesn’t matter how fast you are, what you look like, how much you can lift. There’s no judgement in the community. The love and support that is received from Drop Box’s Coaches and my fellow Athletes is unprecedented and it definitely fills that void of no longer being on a sports team. Thanks Drop Box, and thanks Marie for drawing me into something I’m going to appreciate the rest of my life!
Congratulations to Amber Perrick on being Drop Box’s April Spotlight Athlete of the Month! If you don’t catch this woman at the box killing a workout in our afternoon class, you can find her filling her day as a full time mother to her son Brantley. Amber also is in the United States Navy and works as an Aviation Ordnanceman. It has been over 2 years since she first stepped into our box as a new CrossFitter and since then we have seen this woman catapult in confidence, strength, weightlifting/gymnastics skills, and endurance just to name a few. Amber is dedicated, consistent, and extremely coachable. She is willing to work hard to reach goals and this year she hit some big ones! Additionally, she is highly supportive of her fellow members and always willing to help others around her.
First, I can’t believe I’m being recognized for athlete of the month it’s such an amazing feeling! I’m so grateful to be apart of a community like Drop Box and for everything everyone (coach and members) have done for me. I’ve made some of my best friends at the box and was blessed with a family while I’m away from my real family for myself and my son Brantley (also known as King B).
My journey into CrossFit feels like a pretty typical story as to why someone tries to gym...they want to feel better about themselves! I had just returned back to Sea Duty after having Brantley in the Navy. I was so excited to see what my new command had to offer and to finally get back into my job after being pregnant. I hadn’t worked out at all, I ate pretty poorly, and feared not being able to pass my PRT (Physical Readiness Test). I was asked to pick up an ammo can and move it. I went over happy to do work but I couldn’t pick it up! I couldn’t even slide it across the floor. Every single person laughed at me and cracked jokes. I couldn’t be proficient in my job or pull my weight and that was my wakeup call. After a year of going out to sea and doing silly workouts called “bye bye mom bod” with no idea what I was doing, we finally pulled in for good. I went home and immediately googled CrossFit.
Drop Box was the first gym that showed up and they offered a free intro class. I said awesome and told them I would be there the next day. Coach G held the class and asked me what I thought about CrossFit. All I said was “I heard it’s an expensive cult”, he just laughed. We then did a quick workout which felt like death, but I immediately asked when I can join. Fast forward to fundamentals and my first in house competition only 2 weeks later, I didn’t think I was going to make it. Now, I’m just thinking this is an expensive cult and they’re trying to kill me.
A few months later once I got used to living sore, I fell in love. I looked forward to hitting a new PR, OLY class through the week, and open gym on the weekends. All the members and coaches welcomed me in with open arms. CrossFit has been the longest that I have ever consecutively committed to something and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. My health has become so important to me and being at Drop Box has helped me in so many ways. If I’m not at the gym, I am somewhere talking about CrossFit. If I’m not talking about CrossFit, I’m thinking of CrossFit. Thank you DBCF for making me the best version of myself!
We begin the New Year with a hardworking athlete whom we couldn’t be more proud of. JC’s committed effort and dedication since joining Drop Box have been impressive to watch. His constant desire to attack his weaknesses are evidenced by improvements across the board over the last year. JC has made leaps in everything from strength to gymnastics to aerobic conditioning. He partipates in all our events, brings a constant positive attitude at every class, helpful, and is very supportive to his fellow members. Congrats JC for being chosen as our January Athlete of the Month!
I never expected to be selected Athlete of the Month. Thank you!!! I am honored to have been chosen. From the rookies, like me, to the multi-year vets, never a WOD goes by that I am not in awe and inspired by all of the other athletes. I am definitely motivated by the DBCF coaches and athletes! It is a great feeling be a part of such a dedicated group of athletes at DBCF.
I grew up in VB (kindergarten to high school: PAHS 1991). I spent a few years at college before joining the the Navy (D.C., San Diego, and Bahrain) for 3 years. I left the Navy and I finished college in 2000. After college I moved to Houston to work as a Software Engineer at NASA. Eventually I returned to Virginia. I spent time in Charlottesville working in avionics, contracted with the Department of Defense in Norfolk and then with the federal government in Northern Virginia. In 2017, I made a permanent move back to VB to be closer to my family, my girlfriend, and her family.
Throughout my life I have been physically active in some aspect. In school and college I participated in various sports (baseball, football, wrestling, basketball, etc) at some level. In the military, I focused on general PT and weight training. But as time went by and life happened, I drifted away from working out and took up recreational and competitive softball. Eventually I stopped playing softball and joined Planet Fitness for GAINZ and not the free pizza. When work moved me to Northern VA, working out stopped. I became sedentary sitting at a desk.
Despite positive feedback and encouragement from close friends to try CrossFit, I never walked into a box. It wasn’t until the winter of 2017 that I realized I was not heading in a healthy direction. I found it difficult to help care for my dad who has hemiplegia due to a stroke. I weighed 235+ lbs and struggled to lift/hold my 180 lbs father. I knew I needed to do something. It was a random conversation about an old friend that led me to DBCF.
My DBCF Journey
At dinner with high school classmates, one friend mentioned that Coach Art co-owned DBCF, which happened to be close to my house. Art and I played Little League Baseball together. (If you ever watch the Little League World Series and see those kids throwing 70+mph and striking everyone out, that was Coach Art. I was the brave/dumb kid who volunteered to catch his fastballs.) I stopped by DBCF one day looking for Art and talked to Coach Stephanie for a few minutes. I hung out to watch the class start warm-ups and prep for the WOD. CrossFit definitely got my attention and I signed up for an intro class with Coach G the very next Saturday.
I will never forget that intro class, February 10, 2018. Coach Art popped in as Coach G was putting/pushing me through the intro WOD. It was on this day that I developed an extreme dislike for the Air Assault Bike and literally left my feelings of exhaustion and disgust in the parking lot afterwards. But I didn’t die!!! After fundamentals the following week, my DBCF journey has been continuous and rewarding. I know that CrossFit has become a part of my life because:
I talk about CrossFit
I have 3 pair of shoes for CrossFit and want more
I check the daily WOD before the world/national/sports news
I use words like ‘PR’, ‘spicy’ and ‘beast’ as part of my daily vocabulary
I have travelled and completed hotel WODs and/or dropped in at another box
I have several PVC pipes, foam roller and bands in my living room
I have rips and calluses and show them to everyone
I am eating healthier and feeling/looking better
I am trusting the process and definitely want to get better/do more
I came to DBCF for fitness, I stayed for the friends/family!
It is hard to believe that it has almost been a year since I started at DBCF. It has been an amazing experience. I cannot THANK the DBCF coaches and athletes enough for being a part of this journey with me. Hopefully, I am able to reciprocate the inspiration and encouragement I have received from all members of the DBCF family!
We are pleased to close out 2018 with a member who has been incorporating CrossFit as a lifestyle for 10 years! He goes back with co-owners G and Art before Drop Box was even a reality. A former US Navy Pilot with over 20 years of service to our country, husband, and father of two, MIKE AMOS shows no signs of ever slowing down. He gives 100% to every workout and continues to get stronger and faster with each passing year. Most importantly, he’s supprtive of his fellow members and always willing to help those around him.. Congratulations Mike for being our December Spotlight Athlete of the Month!!
I'm honored to be selected as the Athlete of the Month! This box is fantastic and learning and working with all of you is what makes it special. So if you have a minute, I'll share more with you than I've probably shared over the past few years.
I grew up playing multiple sports with great enthusiasm, but had pretty middle-of-the-road skills. Parlayed that into being a mediocre high school soccer, track and cross country athlete and went on to (mandatory) intramural college glory. I'm thankful that the culture in the Navy kept me interested in maintaining a decent level of fitness until I finally heard about CrossFit in late 2008.
At that time I was being moved to Central America and only had the internet and CrossFit.com to rely on as a teaching aid. First official WOD - Murph. Solo. In my Salvadoran condo gym. After dying from that, I decided that there must be something to this CrossFit stuff. Fast forward about two years of solo CrossFit WODs and I'm at the NAS Norfolk Marine gym and I keep seeing these guys at lunch also doing CrossFit WODs. Only they looked like they knew what they were doing and they had a group of 5-10 other people with them.
One day I started chatting with these guys (G and Art) and G invited me to join their group. After that, I’d eagerly await G’s daily WOD email and got excited about my lunchtime escape to the gym. Of course, they opened Drop Box and I followed them over here.
The best part by far about Drop Box is the people. Coaches, athletes young and old, new and experienced, kids and families are what make this place special. The positive, welcoming, encouraging, humble servant atmosphere is the magic sauce.
Since this is supposed to be a profile, I’ll get back to the subject. I’m well into the masters category, but have not yet attained Gil and Trish status. I like running and metcon WODs, and try to keep up with Bill and Sergei; I struggle with snatches and heavy lifting and am always in awe of April and Kim; and I’m thankful that I can try and keep up with fellow masters Art, G, Nando and Eric x2.
The box is a refuge, butt-kicker, and escape from reality. Hard work in the box = LIFE. Despite being fairly private and absent from many social functions, the people of Drop Box have helped me in more ways than could describe. Thank you for your kind words, encouragement and smiles. Thank you Drop Box!
Gangs of the Mid-Atlantic, 2015- Mike in the red shirt...G and Art were also his teammates
Our November Spotlight Athlete of the Month goes to Jamie Dize! A veteran, physical therapy assistant, and mother to three beautiful girls, Jamie is no stranger to waking up very early. She kick starts her mornings at the 0530 class and is one our most consistent attendees. Jamie comes to every class with the mindset of growth and improvement. She is supportive of her fellow athletes and inspires others with her hard work, grit, determination, and love for team competition! Congratulations Jamie!
First off I want to start off by saying how truly thankful I am. I am very shocked and humbled. I have never in my life been called and athlete, so that itself is a shock. I am just a mother of three girls; Madison 19, a sophomore at East Carolina, Allanah 14, and Dakota who is 3. I am not the best writer so bear with me.
My CrossfFit journey started 5 years ago. I was attending PTA school and started at Hybrid CF. Wasn’t able to fully commit secondary to finishing my clinical internships. Fast forward to 3 years later I was finally ready to commit and change my lifestyle. Before that, I was on the fitness roller coaster, could never stick to any program for more than 6 months. I have always struggled with some type of body dysmorphia/eating disorder and rode the cardio train for a long time. I thought the best way to get fit was to eat barely nothing and run my ass off. I was always tired and hungry. I didn’t know any better. When I joined Drop Box, Dakota was about a year, really wanting to lose my baby weight. The first person I met was Coach Stephanie. I observed a class and I knew I belonged there. Stephanie offered me a trial class and I refused. I didn’t need a trial, I needed to be a member. The rest is history, I found a home. Within my first month I was approached by G... “Hey wanna do a comp”, everyone was about to head to Gangs, I was not ready. A few weeks later Stephanie introduced me to Kelly and I did my first in house competition. I will never forget that, I felt so bad for Kelly. I was so not ready and struggled but I still had fun. Kelly is the reason I am now a morning person, she convinced me that I should start going to the 0530 class. Never in my life have I been a morning person and now I have all 5-6 of my alarms set to get my workout in early. CrossFit has changed me in so many ways. I have lived in Virginia Beach for 14 years and I have not made a whole lot of friends, but since joining DBCF I have made some life long friends (Love you Anna you are forever my sister). Shout out to my gym husband Gil for participating in many races, including Spartan with me. Even when I am on the struggle bus, he always motivated me. I want to also thank all the coaches who have helped me along my journey.
I have been a member of Drop Box for over 2 years now, so you can say I am finally committed. The 0530 class always sets the tone for my day. If I am not there call the police!!! I am hoping to continue to be a good role model for my girls. I asked what sport Allanah wanted to play and she said CrossFit! Hopefully soon we will be able to workout together. I am proud that Strong is the new Skinny!! I have no plans on slowing down and look forward to many more competitions. I am hoping I can only get better and stronger, with the support of the coaches and members. I am confident that will happen! Again, thank you to the coaching staff for always believing in me and making me the “athlete” I am today!
Our October Athlete of the Month goes to DeAndre Coke! DeAndre has been with Drop Box for the last 2.5 years. If he’s not off traveling to some fabulous place for work, you can often find him working hard at our 0630 class. It’s been great to see DeAndre succeed in all his personal goals that he has set for himself! Most importantly, DeAndre is very supportive and helpful to those around him. He’s community driven and an overall fun guy to be around with. During the CrossFit Open season, DeAndre also took time to DJ our Friday Night Lights! Very cool of him! Congrats DeAndre!
Wow thanks for selecting me for the Athlete of the Month. I’ve always admired the stories of previous featured athletes and I’m honored to be considered amongst some other great members of our Box. I guess a little bit about me first. I’m 29 years old and I’m from Chesapeake originally. A year ago I bought a condo and live right in the heart of Downtown Norfolk with my 7 year old Pitbull Storm, and absolutely love it. By day I have a wealth management and financial planning practice where I help people and individuals plan for retirement, save for college, life insurance planning, etc. I also do a lot in the community on a few boards, the one I’m most passionate about being the Boys & Girls Club of Southeast Virginia. Outside of CrossFit and work I enjoy Snowboarding, DJing, and Dancing.
My CrossFit experience started long before I actually joined the gym. I had been “working out” for years, which really just meant going to Planet Fitness twice per week, going straight to the weights (I hated cardio), doing a set, check Facebook for 5 minutes, do another set, check Instagram, and so on and so forth. I wasn’t seeing any progress, nor was I really looking to, I just liked the feeling of saying “I work out”. Through those years I had many friends who were hardcore into CrossFit and I always thought they were crazy. “I’ll never do that,” I always said, or “you’re just going to injure yourself, all that work is just stupid.” Well that happened for a few years, despite them trying to get me to join. At one of our conferences in Dallas they had all got together to work out and I joined them. It was a basic chipper with bodyweight and dumbbells… Well at the time I could barely walk for a week after that workout. “Never again,” I said. Well one thing I hated about Planet Fitness was how PACKED the place was during January (not to mention Pizza Mondays once a month). I basically never worked out the beginning of the year because I hated waiting for equipment. Well one December I finally got tired of doing that and I googled the closest CrossFit gym to my office and on January 1st 2016 I walked into Drop Box and never looked back.
2016 I became more athletic and started improving on my form and progressed from scaling everything to starting to RX more things, and my cardio ability improved significantly, but not much changed physically. I also entered my first competition (Gangs) where we came in dead last but I loved every minute of it. January of 2017 we did a nutrition challenge for 8 weeks and that changed everything for me. I had never tried eating healthy before, but when forced to do so, and with the help of Coach Stephanie I learned how to actually eat the right foods. I lost over 10 pounds in that 8 week period and dropped another 15 pounds the rest of the year and 5 inches on my waist. Now I know how to eat healthy consistently but still enjoy junk when I want to. I still do a 4 week cleanse a couple times a year to shred when I feel it necessary. 2018 has been a breakthrough year of maintaining my health, getting better with my lifts and workouts, and accomplishing new things (I FINALLY got Double Unders and HSPU this year!!)
Overall CrossFit and Drop Box specifically has changed my life for the better. I’ve never felt/looked better, I’ve built the best relationships (Shout out to my gym wife Lauren!!!), and I have created a lifestyle that will stick with me forever. It definitely hasn’t been easy, it’s taken patience, and has been a pretty humbling experience, but to Coach G, Art, Stephanie, Twitch, Beth, Kim, and everyone else who’s played a role in my CrossFit development over the last 2 ½ years I am forever grateful. Thank you.
We are excited to announce that Patricia Rarick is our July Spotlight Athlete of the Month! She is a mother, soon to be grandmother and one fierce MASTERS 55+ athlete! Patricia is a regular at the gym in the evenings and rarely misses a day. She always pushes hard, never gives up and accomplishes something each day she steps foot inside our gym! Her drive to reach her goals is beyond impressive and we look forward to seeing her get there! Congratulations Patricia!!
I am the "Old Lady" at the box. I am a mother of four grown children, a 33 year old son, twin almost 32 year old daughters and an almost 21 year old daughter Clarissa who has been a drop in at the box a couple of times. I expect to become a first time grandmother at the end of August. My fitness journey began in February of 2015. I started outgrowing what I called my "fat" clothes and refused to buy clothes any bigger. I come from a family with a history of severely overweight to obese people, and realized it was time to make a change or two.
1. I cut soda out of my life (which was really hard cause I could drink a ton of diet coke in a day).
2. If I needed to go somewhere that was within 4 miles of my house I either walked or rode a bike.
By July I had lost 27 pounds and was down a little more than one clothing size. I happily continued my way through the summer, then came the fall, the weather got cold, the holidays came, and I lost traction. By September of 2016, I had regained 17 of the 27 pounds I had lost, and was back in my "fat" clothes.
Here begins my CrossFit journey. I saw a post on Facebook for an "Over 50 – 6-week challenge" posted by another CrossFit box. I filled out a form and went. Their challenge required that I be available for a specific class, three set days a week. This did not fit my schedule was told I could join their regular CrossFit instead. I had remembered seeing one closer to my house, and figured with it being closer, I would have less of a reason to find excuses not to go (ie. traffic) so I decided to check out the internet. I found the name of the one close to my house was Drop Box, so I went to the website to find out more. That is when I discovered that it was owed by my co-workers Art and G. Needless to say I was very surprised. I filled in the contact information for an intro class. Art and G were very surprised that I was checking out CrossFit. They weren't scheduling an intro class any time soon, so Art told me I could drop in to one of his classes. I dropped into a class after work the last week of September when Art was coaching. I was impressed with the ability to scale any workout to the athlete’s level. Believe me there was a lot of scaling that day. I loved that there was variety in the movements during the class, and that the classes were different every day. I figured it would never get boring. Needless to say, I was very sore two days later, but scheduled the fundamentals course. I was so out of shape it took me three sessions over multiple days to finish the class with Coach Stephanie, but I did manage to get through it, and I was sore every day. On my final day, I met Jamie who was finishing fundamentals as well.
At the time I joined, I hadn't picked up a jump rope in probably 30 years, and I could barely jump onto a 10-pound plate. I could lift the trainer bar but couldn't get the 35 lb bar out of the rack, there was no up in my pushups and air squats were a challenge. I'm pretty sure Art and G figured I would give up and quit at some point. I am not a runner, but Art talked me into the Surfin’ Santa race in 2016. I was interested in being part of a Guinness Record, and I hadn't seen the lights at the beach in a while, so I registered with my daughter. Everyone from the box finished way before us, but we had a great time and that was my first of many races for a "non-runner".
In January of 2017, I entered my first nutrition challenge, and in February my first CrossFit Open. I think it was the first time the box had a 55+ open participant. That is when I found out I was the oldest person at the gym. I learned in my first nutrition challenge that sugar and processed foods are not optimal for the diet. Sugar was one of my favorite food groups, so I had to work hard to reduce the sugar. I lost 20 pounds during the challenge and was comfortably out of my "fat" clothes. They have been put away now for over a year. In October, I entered my second nutrition challenge. I had gained about 8 pounds back and needed a jump start. During this challenge I learned to drink black coffee. I had been working on lowering my coffee additives since January, as they all have sugar, but made the leap in October to no additives. The challenge was a team challenge and required a little more participation in WOD workouts. In, January I entered my third nutrition challenge, and in February my second CrossFit Open. I knew my skill level was higher this year than last but I still had a long way to go. In April, I entered my first CrossFit competition “Festivus”, my fourth nutrition challenge, the 5K run challenge during which, I participated in a 5K race and the Life's a Beach Triathlon but was out of town for the actual DB 5k Challenge race. In May, I participated in the gymnastics course where I achieved my first kipping hand stand push up.
1st Competition in April 2018, Festivus Games at host box CrossFit Cafe.
What I have learned during my journey is that in order to make gains, I need to exercise 5 to 6 times a week. Stephanie says, "you have to plan your cheats". If I want to make gains, I have to limit my cheats. I love cake, but cake doesn't love me. I loved the last challenge because we had a daily tracker log. I wanted to meet the challenge so I made sure I followed the plan to WOD 5 times and week and have an active "rest" day 1 day a week. It forced me to make time to go to a WOD. I have achieved a lot in the last 21.5 months, I went from a 15 pound weakling to being able to push press 75 pounds my new PR. I still have a long way to go and a number of goals yet to achieve. I want to be able to rope climb well during a WOD. I can climb, but it is still a struggle to be consistent. I am working on pull ups and hand stand push ups. From not being able to jump on a 10 pound plate, I can box jump 15 inches, but I still have 5 more inches to get up to. I am getting way more consistent at double-unders and this week achieved my first official WOD where I didn't scale the doubles, but I have to do single double single double. I haven't mastered a double double yet. From my first class, I drank the kool-aid. My muscles have complained a lot, but I have loved every minute of the last almost two years. I look forward to the day when I can RX every WOD. It may not be tomorrow, but it gets closer every class. I have made some great friends at the box. I love the partner WODs and the chance to meet new challenges. I appreciate all the hard work the coaches put into our classes, the encouragement and corrections they offer and the support all Drop Box members provide each and every class. I wouldn't have gotten where I am today if it wasn't for the constant encouragement.
What CrossFit has taught me:
· New acronyms: DU, SU, HSPU, SDLHP, PR, …
· Age is a number, not a limitation.
· We are not defined by our physical capabilities but by our determination to overcome and concur them.
· Change does not happen overnight, but with continuous work and effort it does happen.
· Set small goals and achieve them, with each goal achieved a once out of reach one will move into reach.
· Scaling isn’t a sign of weakness, its an opportunity to do the workout at a better skill level and master form.
· Don’t give up. Be patient. Keep coming to class.
Feb 2017, her first CrossFit Open
Congratulations to RICKY TIMMS our June Spotlight Athlete of the Month! Ricky started CrossFit less then a year ago and since then has raised the bar for himself and those around him. Ricky is a guy who puts full effort into each WOD continually challenging himself and looking for ways to improve. His competitive nature inside shows every day in his desire to be the best. Most importantly, Ricky is a great guy to have around the box genuinely encouraging others and always willing to give a helping hand.
Wow, I am so honored and humbled to be selected as June's Athlete of the Month, there are so many amazing and inspiring coaches and athletes at our box and I appreciate the opportunity to tell you a little about my CrossFit journey. Just a week ago I was scrolling through our Facebook group and telling my wife about how amazing the community is at our box. We really have something special and I want to thank Coach G and Art, and all the other coaches and athletes for working so hard to create such an awesome place.
My CrossFit journey started at Drop Box a little under a year ago, and I can quite confidently say that it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. My brother, who was in North Carolina at the time, started CrossFit a month before me and would call every night and tell me all about his WOD, I tried to sound interested, but I couldn't really understand what he was so excited about. So I Googled "CrossFit" and stumbled upon Drop Box's website and thought I would check it out. During fundamentals Coach Kim asked why I was starting CrossFit and I said to be able to keep up with my 3 year old son, and I am definitely able to do that and I a lot more since then.
Here is a little more about myself. I grew up in South Africa (hence the weird accent) and was always active, playing a wide variety of sports like cricket, soccer, tennis, and squash. In college I really missed that active, team environment and started lifting with my buddies, as an outlet for that. However, after graduating college, getting married, having kids, and starting a demanding career, exercising and staying active fell by the way side. For about 5 years I barely exercised and I really felt like I was losing a part of myself. Then I started CrossFit and was hooked right away. I remember dying my first week and wondering when it got fun. That's when I started noticing the community at Drop Box. I remember people walking up to me that first week, encouraging me and telling me how great I was doing, even though I knew I was doing terribly. Since then I have come a long way as an athlete and that is all thanks to all the coaching and support at the box. The programming is fantastic and the coaches do a phenomenal job making sure the classes are a success.
Some of the reasons I love Crossfit and DropBox:
- CrossFit has given me a hope for staying in shape and aging well. Before joining I knew I was starting to put on weight and was becoming less active, but I didn't have the drive or discipline to go to the gym or push myself to train. Now I look at all the athletes that are 10, 15, 20 years older than me and still crush me in WODs and it excites me to think that I can also be like that in the future, so thanks for all the inspiration.
- I have a stressful job that requires me working 60+ hours a week for about 5 months out of the year, and I work from home, so I don't get much people interaction. Going to Drop Box every day is what has kept me sane, because of the great people I get to interact with and the opportunity to push myself harder each day.
- CrossFit has helped me become a better human. Every day we push ourselves in the box and accomplish something difficult. We don't have to do it, but we do it because it's fun and we know how great it's going to feel afterwards. I have started looking for similar opportunities in life that are hard and decide to attack them instead of shying away from them because I know what is on the other side if I persevere.
- Being a Type A personality, I love how measurable CrossFit is and that there are always so many areas where we can better our performance, whether it be in reps, weight, time, movement, etc. We have an amazing coaching staff that are always involved and offer tremendous advice and guidance. I would recommend that everybody take advantage of that. Ask lots of questions, because there is a wealth of knowledge that they are more than happy to share.
- CrossFit has helped me become a better father. I used to think that going to exercise was selfish because I was doing something for myself when I could be doing something with my family, but I've since realized that going to the box and investing in my health is also an investment in my family. Every night my son asks me "if I rode the bike or jumped on the box or swung on the rings", and I know that he is watching me stay active and realizing the importance of it. I also know that my family is getting healthier because of all the knowledge I have gained from the nutritional challenges has influenced what we eat as a family and what groceries we buy. So thanks Coach Steph for heading all of that up!
In summation, I am so grateful for what Drop Box and CrossFit has added to my life. I don't think this little piece could do justice to fully convey how thankful I am for our community and all the love and effort that everyone pours into the box, you guys are awesome! Thank you!
Ricky worked hard and finished Dec 2017 with a deadlift PR and got his 1st bar muscle up! He didn't stop there...Jan 1 got his first ring muscle up and on Jan 2 snatch PR! What a way to end and start a new year!
Congratulations to Chriss Sullivan for being April's Spotlight Athlete of the Month! Chriss started CrossFit with Drop Box over a year ago and has been crushing her personal goals ever since. It's been awesome to watch her progress. She gets in on a regular basis and you can often find her at the 8:30 AM class right after working a 12-hour NIGHT SHIFT at the hospital where she takes care of pre-term infants in the NICU at the hospital! After killing the WOD, Chriss often sticks around to work on other skills and its truly showing in her performance. She has an engine like no other and is an athlete you will want to keep your eye on in class for the time to beat! :) Most importantly, we very much appreciate the support she gives to her fellow gym members and especially the community at large.
How do you start writing about yourself and fitness when the two weren’t even a thing a year ago? I’m sooooo beyond surprised to be selected as the spotlight athlete! There are so many amazing and talented athletes at the gym. I’m so thankful for the recognition and opportunity to tell y’all a little about myself.
First, I was born in Lima, Peru (no I’m not Filipino). I moved here when I was 7 with my brother and mom. My mom worked her ass off to provide for my brother and I grew up in the FC district. Graduated in '99 . Intentions were to go college after a year off but surprise, surprise…I fell in love and got pregnant! I have two boys, Nathan 16 and Ayden 14. I’ve been married to my husband, Chris for 10 years. He also has 2 boys, Dylan 16 and Anthony 14. I work at Princess Anne hospital. I am a registered nurse in the neonatal ICU. I drifted from job to job for a while, not really knowing what I wanted to do. Sometimes it takes something drastic to happen for you to really know your place in life. The father of my kids passed away 11 years ago. There’s nothing worse than losing someone you love at such a young age but if anything, it taught me that life is precious and worth living fully! So…that’s a little background about me, now onto how the heck a miracle happen, and I am now an “athlete!”
Like I mentioned before, fitness and I were not such good friends till last year. I’ve always enjoyed playing volleyball and I would enjoy a run from time to time. When I was first introduced to CrossFit was the first time I can say I truly started enjoying fitness…that’s when I started drinking the juice! A close friend recommend CrossFit to me. She had been doing it off and on for a few years. First we dropped in to her gym and then we dropped in to DBCF since we both were friends of Coach Stephanie. I went… I sucked… but I was challenged and curious! I believe it was a day that snatches were programmed. I could tell by the look on Steph’s face that I was not doing them right. They are still my enemy!! But she continued to encourage me and continued to push me to keep trying. That’s all I needed to be convinced! I have to back track a little and be honest, I did try One Life gym about 2 years ago. I signed a year contract and went for about 3 months. I had no idea what I was doing. I had no direction. I walked from one equipment to the next not knowing what I was doing or what muscle I was even working out. The fact that there was a coach guiding me through the workouts and that the workouts were programmed, was a game changer! I didn’t have to think what I was going to “work on” because someone told me what to do. I didn’t have to think if I was doing it right because I had a coach correcting me the whole time. “Form first, weights later.” I remember every coach drilling that into me! I would be in the back with my trainer bar for a good 6 months while everybody was lifting these crazy weights and I’m so grateful that I did!
My one year anniversary of joining Drop Box is coming up. In that one year, I’ve challenged myself, and I have accomplished so much more than I thought my body was capable of doing. I’ve competed in one group competition and will be doing the Festivus Games on April 21. I participated in my first CrossFit Games Open this year. I don’t know if doing the workouts or watching everybody else do the workout was more exciting for me. I can actually do a pull up now! I can lift heavier than just the trainer bar...yeay! Still working on those snatches! It always amazes me what my 37 year body can do now. Everything I do in life, I do for my family. During the Open, the only person I looked for was for my husband and my boys. I wanted to get that hand stand push up but more importantly, I wanted them to see me fight for them. I think the best compliment my son gave me was when I came home and they said that I looked “swoll!” For the older generation, like myself, its the new term for looking muscular. They were surprised that I could lift their body weight. My oldest came home one day and said I saw you flipping tires today.
I’ve met some amazing people at Drop Box. Everyone at the gym is so encouraging and are genuinely happy for you to accomplish a new goal, whether its a new PR or even just finishing a workout. I have never felt so excited to get up and go to a gym EVER till now.
Thank you again for this amazing recognition! Thank you to all the owners and coaches that have made DBCF not only a gym but an amazing group of people going after the same goal….to be a better a version of ourselves! We all have our own stories and our own struggles but we all come together when we walk into those doors. We fight to beat our own times. We fight to lift heavier, to get our form right. Everyday we learn about ourselves. I truly feel like I have a gym family!
Chriss 20lbs heavier before CrossFit/childhood pic growing up in Peru/with husband Chris and kids
Chriss with Coach Stephanie and DBCF co-owners Coach Art and wife Anna. This month marks her one year anniversary with CrossFit. Coach Stephanie taught her Fundamentals!
Chriss RN, with her co-workers at Sentara Princess Anne Hospital
We close out 2017 with a member who is one of our hardest working athletes at our box! We are happy to announce FERNANDO QUINONES as December's Spotlight Athlete of the Month!
In our CrossFit world, his age puts him in the masters division, but his wheelhouse of gymnastic skills and his unrelenting will to hit those big lifts would make you think you were looking at someone in his twenties. It is not unusual to hear of Nando working out at the base gym during lunch and then again at Drop Box's afternoon and evening classes. A lifelong athlete, Nando knows how important hard work is to excelling in a sport. Most importantly, Nando is very supportive of his fellow members. He is the first one to throw you a high five when you finish first and the last one to cheer you on when you don't.
Nando has served our country for 18 and half years and is a Senior Chief Petty Officer in the United States Navy. He holds a Bachelors Degree in TV and Radio Communication from the University of Puerto Rico and a Masters Degree in Human Resources and Development from Webster University. When he's not killing workouts, you can find him spending quality time with family in Puerto Rico or with his mini me 8 yo twins Camilla and Marcell.
The Q & A format and all the questions were uniquely chosen by Nando himself... Enjoy!
Ay Dios mio!!!!!!! I can’t believe this. I am honored, astounded, and thrilled to be selected as December Athlete of the Month. It is an incredible honor to be recognized by an amazing DBCF FAMILIA...... There are so many great individuals that deserve to be recognized and I am beyond words.......... Thank you for letting me share my story........
Well, most of you know me to certain extent. However, I like to do things differently so here we go...
State your Name and/or Nickname please:
Fernando Juan Quiñones-Pérez, Moña, "Q", Senior, Nando
Quote or words to live by?
“Anytime you have an opportunity to make a difference in this world and you don’t, then you are wasting your time on Earth.” -Roberto Clemente Walker
"Challenge yourself everyday, be better than yesterday and leave your Ego at the door"
What is your fitness background?
I played different sports growing up such as baseball, softball, boxing (ran 6 miles to the gym to get myself a nice whooping), track and field, basketball, volleyball (too damn short for those two), and surfing. However, I do owe baseball and softball a lot. It gave me the opportunity to receive a full scholarship to attend the University of Puerto Rico Arecibo and earn my degree. So the gym life was ingrained in me at an early age.
How long have you been CrossFitting?
I started CrossFit while stationed in Guam around 2013. However, I did start something similar to Crossfit while stationed with the Navy Elite Force (HPP). I do love working out, but Globo Gym was so boring and you did not have that sense of community. A friend of mine was going to Crossfit Latte Stone (CFLS) and I decided to give it a try and drink the Kool Aid even when I did not HAVE AN IDEA what I was getting myself into. Squats, what is that? Love at first sight!!!!!!!
Take us back to your first day of CrossFit, how did you feel? How do you compare it to workouts today?
My first CrossFitting day was at CFLS and that is when I met Cindy. Ohhh, she was so adorable!!!! 5 Pull ups (strict), 10 pushups, and 15 Air Squats. I thought I was in great shape, but I died. I did accept the challenge to learn one new skill every time I showed up. Workouts today are more complex and heavier!!!!! I do have a long way to go to reach my fitness goals, but I’ve come a long way so far.
What’s your favorite part of Drop Box CrossFit?
Everything!!!!!!! The positive vibes, smiles, the dedication of every Athlete and the encouragement. It has being an amazing ride since day 1 in February 2015. The way "G" greeted me and the looks I received. The Coaches!!!! You guys are so, so, so, so great, your patience to teach us different ways and every single one of you challenged me to be a better Athlete. But most importantly, "La Familia", you guys/gals inspire me in a different way. I do look forward to WOD, talk, share ideas with every single one of you on a daily basis (Not on Sundays)......
Current Training Goals/PRs?
I am almost at a 100%. It has being a difficult year as I am aging and injuries are happening more often. Here are some goals - I want to be able to snatch 185 lbs (I am allow to dream), clean and jerk 225 lbs, back squat 300 lbs and do 50 pull ups unbroken. I am not anywhere close to those numbers right now, (some of them) - I need a miracle!!!!!!!
- Snatch: 150 lbs
- Clean & Jerk: 215 lbs
- Back Squat: 280 lbs
- Deadlift: 365 lbs
What advice do you have for folks just starting out in CrossFit?
Stay focus! Keep grinding!!!! Most of us are terrible at CrossFit when we first start and I truly believe that’s kind of the point. The simple workouts seem impossible your first month. You’ll end up scaling the workout and struggle through it. That is ok, we all have done it, even the Games Athletes. You’'ll be sore in places that you didn’t think could be sore and eventually you end up doing the WODs as written by our amazing coaching staff. Then, you’ll surprise yourself with what you can do. Hint; just show up, set goals, and work on your weaknesses. We all have them and you will get better every day!!! Become a better version of yourself everyday!!!!! Look up to someone and learn from everyone.......
What about your Crossfit Athletes crush?
Of course I do, Chris Spealler is my male Icon.... 7 Time Crossfit Game Athlete, Spirit of the Games Winner & Peoples Champion (It is not The Rock anymore).
Brazilian super beauty Carolinne Hobo, Team Moema - Phenomenal
"Nao Importa quantos treinos
Voce Ja Tenha Feito
Quanto ainda pode aguentar
Nao, voce Nao esta aqui
Perdendo o seu tempo
Esqueca a dor ela E passageira
E Vai la buscar sua recompensa
Porque hoje o dia vai ser diferente"
Who is your Gym crush?
This is a difficult question, but I have to say Mr. Scott (I would love to show up to the box and work out at the age of 70) and everybody's favorite April (girl stop getting PR's, nahhhhh I know we will see you at the Regionals soon).
What is your cheat meal go to?
There are so many, food is so delicious and we have different options. I can't say NO to the Puerto Rican "Sabrosuras" temptations. I don't eat a lot of fried food. But come on, have you ever tried an Alcapurria? (fritter made of green bananas and stuffed with meat), Shrimp, Chapin (Fish) & Lobster Empanadas, Cuajito (Hog Maw) with tostones, Lechon (Pork), and Morcilla (blood sausage). I really want to say pizza, but that’s way too easy. Can't wait to go to Puerto Rico for New Years........ Diet, what diet???
Tell us about a moment you felt most proud of yourself during a workout.
Anytime we have a workout that includes heavy squatting, I’m proud of myself if I can get through it because it takes a toll on my tiny legs. I’m hoping one day, I can squat heavier............
If you could create a WOD and name it for yourself, what would it be?
21-15-9 squat cleans (135), ring muscle ups and run 400 meters between sets.
What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?
I do love spending time with my kids, Traveling, watching baseball games, drinking beer, skydiving and playing dominoes just to name a few.
Tell us something we don’t know about you
Why I do work out? My response should go like this: To feel better, to look fabulous, some gainz or maybe to stay healthy. That is so easy, nice and dandy. Well, I do have two reasons, the first and main one is to last/live longer for my little ones. I know it is not guaranteed, but at least I am doing my best and it will give me the opportunity to play, chase, and have fun with Camilla and Marcell, my lovely 8 year old twins .
The second one is a promise that I made a long time ago once I served as a volunteer in a unique summer camp. We are so fortunate in so many ways and we forget about it. In a small town of Puerto Rico, a young summer camper is experiencing a thrill familiar to outdoor enthusiasts everywhere. He just got in the pool for the first time ever. It might sound like a typical experience, but this camper has muscular dystrophy. We all know what that entails, it's a muscular condition in which your muscles progressively weaken. He's spending a week at a camp run by amazing people and this camp offers the chance to bond with peers, try activities that might normally present accessibility barriers and connect one-on-one with a volunteer camp counselor who provides care and friendship throughout the week. It is a week full of great memories and experiences but most importantly meeting phenomenal individuals. That is the reason why I work out, I do it for them, I do it for Keishla, Joslin, Noel, Pedro, Rosa, Pepo, Leslie and so many other amazing individuals that will do anything just to try that.
They watch my steps while I run, they motivate me to make that lift, they inspire me to get better, when I am down they cheer me on!!!!! To Camp Arawak and Sin Paredes YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST!!!!!!! Thank you for the best experience ever and every workout it is dedicated for you all.......
Los veo en el Box
September's Spotlight Athlete of the month goes to Stacey LeGrand! Since joining Drop Box she has made huge strides in her fitness and nutrition/weight loss goals. Stacey is hardworking and positive each time she walks through our doors. Her dedication has rewarded her with impressive results which have been noticed my many of our members and coaches. She is also quick with the cellphone camera too and captures many cool WOD moments of her fellow athletes which she shares on our member's group. Most importantly, we love the fact that she has a very supportive mom who has been with her throughout her CrossFit journey.
I would like to thank Drop Box for selecting me as September’s Athlete of the Month! It means so much to me to have my life progress noticed by this wonderful community. For those who don’t know, I work at Newport News Shipbuilding as an Apprentice Engineer and I’m working on my Mechanical Engineering Bachelor’s degree at ODU. I plan on taking my Fundamentals of Engineering exam and graduating this fall.
I started my CrossFit journey 20 months ago at the start of 2016. I had an uncle in Illinois who owned a gym and a co-worker in Newport News who would talk about his own CrossFit experience over at CrossFit Oyster Point. After a year of hearing great things, I figured it was about time to turn my life around and start feeling better about myself. I convinced my mom to go to a few gyms in the area and get a feel for them. We stumbled upon Drop Box because it was only a block away from our house. Art immediately greeted us and gave us the official spiel on CrossFit, nutrition, and the origins of Drop Box.
Mom and I decided to take the plunge and take the intro classes. We also decided to take body measurements instead of weighing ourselves. We wanted to get over that feeling of hopelessness you can experience when you first start a new regimen and your body is building up muscle while reducing body fat but maintaining the same weight. We just wanted to feel better about ourselves and not stress about a number.
When the Open 2016 came around, mom and I were convinced to participate. The energy from everyone in the gym was extremely encouraging and every Friday night, we showed up and we persisted. It was one of the most up lifting moments in Drop Box. One of my favorite stories to tell anyone who asks about CrossFit (or anyone I can corner!) is about one Saturday partner WOD. My team was the last team to finish. The last hill was to run 400m sharing the slam ball. The other two ladies took the ball and ran. Meanwhile, I, probably the slowest runner in the gym, was huffing and puffing trying to keep up. I made it to the half way mark, turned around, and noticed that -everyone- who was at the gym, who finished the WOD already, who were there for open gym, was with me, cheering me on. It brought tears to my eyes. That sense of community has been key to my journey.
Most recently, my progress has been very noticeable. Daily, I’ll come into the gym and people will compliment me on how I’m looking. I’ve participated in every nutrition challenge since I’ve joined, and the two this year have really helped me reach my best physical fitness level thus far. Coach Steph did an amazing job putting together her challenges where I lost 35 lbs, 4.7% body fat, and several inches all over my body. I started this journey wearing XXL pants. I’m currently down two sizes to a Large. The worst part is having to spend so much money on new clothes! There are good months and there are not so good months, but every day you have the chance to start again. Every meal you have the opportunity to make a healthier decision. It’s a never-ending battle, but be persistent and results will follow.
Outside of weight loss goals, I’ve also achieved some other goals. I went from a headstand to a handstand in 3 months. My front squats and back squats have gone up significantly. My run times are down and I also managed my first few double unders as well as box jumps at 16 inches! Before he left, Coach Cody encouraged me to do a few box jumps in his last WOD. Then a few days after that, Coach Kim helped me do a few handstands during her WOD. Next, Art wants me to try and reach a new goal of 125 lb power cleans by December. I’m looking forward to achieving this and several other goals because Strong is Beautiful!
I would like to thank the amazing coaches of Drop Box for helping me every step of this journey. And I would also like to thank the wonderful community at Drop Box for being so welcoming to new members and encouraging their progress. You guys are the best!
He is a member who gives every workout more then 100%. He often finishes high on the leaderboard but not without supporting his fellow CrossFitters with loud cheers and encouragement along the way. His trust in CrossFit and appreciation for our box family was so strong that he even got his entire family to join; younger siblings Mary, Connor, his mother Laura, and father Mike. He has consistently shown progress in all the domains of fitness which made it easy for us to pick him for this month's spotlight. We introduce to you our July Spotlight Athlete of the Month,
MICHAEL "TWITCH" MCMAHON!
Soooo, if you can't catch this member in the mornings killing the Workout of the Day at Drop Box, you can find him saving lives out in our community. "Twitch" (as he likes to be called) works as a paramedic for the Chesapeake Fire Department and volunteers as a paramedic for the City of Virginia Beach. He is also a lifeguard for the Virginia Beach Lifesaving Service, a company contracted by the City to provide lifeguards at the beach. A former Virginia Tech Hokie with a degree in Biology, Twitch took his education further and recently graduated in June with his Masters Degree in Public Health. It's safe to say that our members are literally in good hands when Twitch is around!
Well this is definitely a surprise and an honor to have been chosen as the spotlight athlete! I don't really know what to included in this so I'll probably just ramble a little bit, talk about gettin' gains, then end it.
I started CrossFit roughly 5 year ago? I think? Whatever, it was a while ago. Prior to CrossFit, my only form of exercise was swimming. Its what I'd done since I was a kid and its what I was comfortable with. It's great for cardiovascular endurance and staying healthy, but it was definitely not the way to build muscle. And this bothered me. I'd never had much experience in a gym with weights so I had no idea where to start, till a buddy of mine suggested CrossFit. Now I had heard all the s**t people would say about CrossFit, but this bro swore by it and his physique made it look like he knew what he was talking about. So I took the plunge and joined the small gym down the street from me.
I'll admit that the first few weeks were rough due to the constant exhaustion and total body soreness I'd feel all day, everyday, but I loved it! I was hooked right away. So for the next couple/few years I'd be in the gym almost every day it was open. And as time progressed, I supplemented my CF/swimming routine with free weight work as well. Fast forward to the summer of 2015 and I was a totally different guy. Physically that is. I'd put on about 10 lbs of muscle (it takes a while for me to build muscle, don't judge), my lifts had gone up significantly, and my resting heart rate was lower than it had been at any point since high school swim season. When I moved home to Virginia Beach for school I wanted to find a new gym immediately so I could continue to improve.
This is where Drop Box came into my life. I initially chose DBCF because it was close to where I was living and because it was a new gym. I did not walk in that first day with the intention of joining right away, but after that first workout, I asked G to add me to the family. DBCF was, and still is, the best gym I'd been too and I knew its where I wanted to workout. The biggest reason for that is the people. Y'all rock! Everyone there my first day was so friendly and inviting that I didn't feel like the new guy or the drop in! It was great! I even got sucked into doing my first comp after only being there for a few weeks. Thanks Anna, Marissa, and Rah for being my teammates by the way!
Now on to the other reason I love DBCF: the coaches and workouts. The coaches are phenomenal and the workouts suck. But they suck in a good way! I've noticed huge improvements in not only my strength and endurance, but also my form. Y'all coaches have helped me so much in improving my form and I can't thank y'all enough! My lifts feel so much better than before. And I believe that is a major reason why my lifts have increased so much.
DBCF has also gotten me hooked on comps. I missed competitive sports so much since I stopped after high school and they seem to be a huge part of the DBCF culture. From The Open, and the shenanigans DBCF has for that, to the local comps (Team Grit, Gangs, etc.) there never seems to be a shortage. And its never hard to find teammates for those events either!
I think I'm done meow. I don't want to keep rambling and I don't know what else to include in here. I hope that covers everything. So in summation, y'all are the bomb. The cat's pajamas. The bee's knees. DBCF rocks! May gains be with y'all.
This month's Spotlight Athlete of the Month goes to Melissa Nassar, a woman who demonstrates a drive to better her fitness and life! Since restarting her CrossFit journey, she has shown great determination, growth, and overall will to do her very best. A consistent morning class attendee, Melissa comes in smiling, does work, supports her fellow CrossFitters, and leaves ready to take on the day. Most importantly, Melissa is a mom, wife, and serves in the United States Navy!
First, screammmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!! Thank you for thinking I am awesome enough for this honor, you guys are amazing.
I have always been an athlete, growing up I was a competitive swimmer, I ran track, and I danced for a little while. However, my dance with CrossFit has been a brief but very fulfilling one, before joining Drop Box I did CrossFit for six months about a year and a half prior. It was good, and I had tons of fun, but it was mainly because we ran a lot and ‘I LOVE RUNNING.' Due to deployment, being pregnant and other reasons, CrossFit and I had parted company. As soon as my little man made his way into this world and I started feeling like myself again I started seeking out CrossFit gyms, I was new to VA, so I googled it, three popped up, and I decided I was going to do a walk thru and see what they are like. I went to the first one, it was super quiet (no music, no talking, no nothing) so I left, and it was onto the next one. That’s when I happened up on “Drop Box CrossFit’, I walked in, immediately greeted with warm welcome and smiles, music going, people working, socializing, cheering each other on and it was at that moment I knew I was home 😊.
I started two weeks later, eager and wide-eyed ready to do the all these amazing things I see everyone else doing, completely forgetting that I am 40lbs heavier and have been out of commission for a year and a half. That was a wake-up call I’ll never forget. However, I kept at it, and it has gotten a thousand times better, slowly growing and improving, and that is all I can ask for. I try to get in the box four days per week but sometimes I fall short, on the days I don’t make it I try to go for a run just to keep active. I am most proud of how strong I have gotten and that I am able to keep up with some of the superhumans at the box. You guys are all my motivation, love and appreciate you all. My favorite lift is the deadlift, and my one rep max is 225lbs, never dream I would be able to do that 😊. My top goals are to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight of 145 but with more muscle definition, learn and improve my skills and gymnastic moves like, double under, pull-up, a maybe a muscle up (one day).
Something unique about me is that I am always looking for ways to improve, be it at work, in the gym, as a mother, wife or just at life in general. Currently working on my MBA, so that is a milestone I’m looking forward to meeting.
My advice for the new member would be to walk in with an open mind, have fun, work hard and be consistent. I promise it will pay off.
Video: Melissa at the Gangs of the Mid-Atlantic competition, Nov 2016
The conclusion of the CrossFit Open last month also signified the end of our 3rd nutrition and weight loss challenge! For 8 weeks, under the guidance and support of Coach Stephanie, 39 DB athletes committed themselves to healthy cooking, eating, food journaling, and planned CrossFit workouts. As a gym, we had a total weight loss of 221.2 pounds, 229 inches and 78.75% body fat! Great job to all our members!
A special CONGRATULATIONS to Lauren and Jeff on their successes! They both had drastic results! Keep up the hard work, keep trusting the process, and keep striving to be the best version of yourself.
Thank you everyone for participating and supporting your fellow challengers. I personally know the journey is rough and it takes constant mindfulness, so keep your head in the game and remember that good nutrition enhances performance!
-Coach Stephanie Cravener
Top Female and Male LOSERS! Lauren O'neil and Jeff Gelle
This year's first spotlight goes to a member who came to us with prior CrossFit experience. What impresses me about Alex besides his strength and athleticism is his commitment to CrossFit. He puts in the work and he is so focused. I definitely see the change in how he approaches a workout and how he lifts. You can also count on Alex to show up at competitions to support his fellow members. His wife Amber is just as awesome and we are fortunate to have them both as part of the DB family! -G Ocampo
First I would like to say that I am honored for being chosen as the Spotlight Athlete of the Month. I would not be where I am today without the support of some of the amazing coaches and athletes at Drop Box CrossFit. The intense comradery, competiveness, and having fun from every single person at the gym continues to be a part of the driving force to excel as an athlete. I also would like to thank my wonderful wife, Amber Wilbanks, for supporting me through my entire lifting phases and being my lifting partner. “Lift Together Stay Together!”
I first started my CrossFit career in the summer of 2011, at Hybrid Training Center. The initial reason for joining a CrossFit gym was not only to get into shape (210Lbs of round) but to be able to do anything I wanted physically. I then followed one of my coaches to CrossFit Oceana in the summer of 2012. I started taking CrossFit more serious as an athlete instead of just a fitness routine to lose weight. In the summer of 2013, Amber and I were both still at CrossFit Oceana but then wanted to take our fitness in a different direction. We both got a membership at Onelife Fitness and we both started to get stronger by following “Strength Training 5x5” then “Madcow 5x5 advanced” then finally “Wendlers’ 5/3/1.” I ended up still doing CrossFit workouts at OneLife, since the trainer had a book of them to use, even though it was called ‘Functional Fitness.’
In the summer of 2014, I started a new job which happen to be where Gerry and Art worked. I eventually found out they did CrossFit but they also worked out during lunch at the USMC gym on base. I then started following Gerry’s program at the USMC gym during lunch and I was hooked once again to CrossFit. When Gerry and Art opened up Drop Box CrossFit it was only natural to start working out at their Gym. Then the day came to join so Amber and I both signed up as Drop Box Athletes. Currently Amber and I both love going to the gym to not only lift but to see everyone as well. I have competed in more competitions with Drop Box then I ever have and continue to improve upon myself with the help of all Drop Box Coaches. CrossFit for me started off as a simple weight loss program but as time went on CrossFit became a lifestyle change, an athlete in training, a therapy time, family time….
Thank you all for allowing myself and my family to be part of Drop Box Family! #DBCF #ATEAM
We couldn't be more pleased to end the year with a spotlight on a member who we cannot help but admire her tenacity for CrossFit. In such a short amount of time we have seen KC grow in strength, skill, speed and competitiveness. When KC comes to the gym and does a workout she is all business. Every time she steps foot into the gym she is always working on something to better herself. With a humbling attitude which we love, KC is constantly surprising herself and us with her feats of strength and perseverance in WODs!
ABOUT TIME! Haha, just kidding (totally & 100% kidding)! I am more than honored to be chosen as December’s athlete of the month. Because:
1. I’m an athlete?
2. There are so many individuals whom I feel are more deserving than me. Those people who have families, kids, work multiple jobs, are in school but still make it to the box at some point or another in their day even if it is at 5:30am. Those people have so many more life-excuses (I just work 8 hrs a day lol) to miss a WOD but they don’t. They show up. They go hard. Fitness is more of a mental challenge than a physical challenge for most but they suck it up, put on their “work-out clothes” and kill the WOD. Those athletes are the ones that inspire me. (Luckily, I love CrossFit so much that it isn’t a mental challenge whatsoever!)
My story isn’t tear-jerking, special, or crazy by any means, but I think it’s a relatable one. I would be happy if my story opened the eyes of a CrossFit-hater because that used to be me.
Long ago in a not-so-far-away-land, where excessive booze & partying were socially accepted, I managed to graduate with a degree in Exercise Science knowing that I didn’t want a career in that field. Through the process, I gained-lost-gained-lost-gained weight but at least I left with some knowledge of exercise that I could use for my own personal fitness goals.
Key Note: During this time, CrossFit still had a very bad reputation. Exercise Science Professors and my Strength & Conditioning Internship Coaches completely bashed CrossFit. This mindset was ingrained in me; “CrossFit? No, I don’t do that.” was basically my response to anything CF related.
I’m working back in Virginia Beach – bored. I always worked out (even though my appearance may not have shown it) so I got a gym membership and began strength training & doing cardio on my own; Again, bored and missing something. I realized I wanted a “fun” workout where there was a sense of community; which reminded me how much I loved Muay Thai in high school. I joined a local MMA gym who offered CrossFit but it never seemed appealing to me. At the time, I LOVED going and participating in the Muay Thai and Boxing classes. As time progressed, I got bored again. I could see myself plateauing in skill & fitness and I knew I needed a change. I just didn’t know what the new replacement activity would be!
Meanwhile during my skepticism of continuing MuayThai, here comes my mother….
Noticing how much fitness has become a part of my lifestyle within the past year, she tries to get me to drink this so-called “Kool-Aid”.
a. She had previously dragged me to some of the fundamentals classes when Drop Box first opened. Asked if I wanted to join with her. I said no. – FAIL
b. She sent me random texts/group chat messages asking if I wanted to try Drop Box and join. I said no multiple times. – FAIL
c. She brought me to Gangs of the Mid-Atlantic 2015 to spectate thinking that it would spark some sort of interest (I didn’t admit it but it WAS a little cool). She pointed out April (I think because her muscles were supposed to hypnotize me). She introduced me to Connor and Twitch (like they were going to convince me ?!?! j/k). Still a no from me (Little did I know that I would be competing in that same competition the following year in the RX division on a team with those exact individuals). – FAIL
We should all know by now that no one listens to their mother and we need to hear it from someone else:
a. I’m watching TV and ESPN does some sort of CrossFitevent re-cap (Games? Regionals? Wodapalooza? Who knows – I was a total CrossFit noob at the time). All I know is that these girls are RIPPED and RIDICULOUSLY STRONG. I’m pretty sure it was Brooke Ence & her crazy body who triggered my initial “spark” of interest.
b. This bodybuilder I follow, Steve Cook, does a special YouTube episode about CrossFit. He tries his first CrossFit WOD (and he still WODs to this day) and it just happens to be with Brooke Ence! He mentions that CrossFit athletes are basically stage-ready bodybuilders year-round. They don’t have an off-season and they look great all the time. It’s a great video for skeptics:
After that video, I’m about 50% convinced that CrossFit might be the next move. Daniel, my boyfriend, who at the time was not a CrossFit-hater like me was about 95% convinced. Between him, my mother, and my aunt, they all convinced me to join. Within the next 2 weeks I joined CrossFit (that YouTube video was published 1/13/2015 & I did my first “real” WOD 1/25/2015).
So, I would like to give a special S/O to my mom, Maricel Oida-Soliven for her INCESSANT nagging to join CrossFit. I would have never been a part of this incredible community, I wouldn’t be this strong/athletic, and most of all I wouldn’t have this inimitable family at DropBox CrossFit.
After joining DropBox to the present day:
I remember when I could barely do double-unders. I remember how cool people looked doing them so gracefully. I remember the painful whip-bruises on my arms I would get from practicing them. I remember when I would throw my rope in anger because my rope wasn’t working right. Now I love double-unders! I remember the first Olympic Weightlifting class where the movement of the “snatch” finally clicked and I finally understood what it was supposed to feel like. I hit 95# that day and it was magical. I remember when I read the SWOD was a 1mile run for time. I remember not wanting to go that day but I knew I needed to. I ran my fastest mile ever at 7:32; I was finally one of those fast cool kids I envied in 5th grade with a 7min mile. I remember doing a WOD with Turkish Get-Ups. I remember surprisingly being able to complete the entire WOD with 1 pood. I remember waking up the next morning with the most defined abs I had ever had; finally, I have the sexy-body I’ve always wanted! JUST KIDDING!
CrossFit enables you to do things you never thought you could do with encouraging family/friends to support you.
I love CrossFit.
I love how challenging it is.
I love being faster.
I love being better.
I love being stronger.
I love the friendly competitions.
I love how humbling CrossFit is as a sport.
I love the CrossFit community.
I love Drop Box.
I love my Drop Box family.
This month's recognition goes to Carl Apelizan, a member who has inspired us with his strength, determination and commitment to his fitness and overall health! If you don't find him at the tennis courts working up a sweat against his opponent with his killer forehand and backhand swings, you can find Carl and his daughter at Drop Box getting served the Workout of the Day!
I am honored and humbled to be selected as Athlete of the Month. I am usually the person in the back trying not to be noticed. There are a lot of individuals in the box I know that are much more worthy of this honor. I am very happy to be a member of Drop Box CrossFit because it has changed my life. The box is a place where I can go to escape the chaos of the world and where everyone is welcomed with a smile. It is nice to come in and have people call you by your name and cheer you on. I have always wanted to try CrossFit ever since I saw the CrossFit Games on ESPN. Just like most people that watched the games, I wanted to have the physique of the athletes I saw. My wife would always say that those athletes “stole my body". I researched on-line and noticed many boxes nearby, but I never went to check them out for four years. A few of my friends started posting on Facebook about a new CrossFit box opening in January 2015. It so happened that it was located in the Pembroke area, not too far from my home. I told myself that this is my chance to finally try it out. I believe the grand opening was on Saturday, January 25, 2015. I walked in and was hoping to recognize one or two people there. To my surprise I noticed a few people from my old neighborhood in Norfolk. One of those people was Alma. Alma’s family and my family have known each other since we were kids. I used to hang out with Alma’s brothers all the time. Talk about peer pressure, everyone that I knew there was asking me “Have you joined?” My response was no, and that I was there to just check it out. They responded,"You should join now!” as they pointed to Anna (Chevalier) sitting behind a table. Alma got her hands on me and escorted me to Anna. That day, I signed up for the 3 month Introductory/Fundamentals Class.
I should have said that my CrossFit journey started a couple months prior to me signing up. You see, in November 2014, I had my annual check-up at my doctor’s office. My lab work came back abnormal, but that was no surprise to me. Ever since 2000, my labs had been abnormal. Around 2010, my labs were getting worse. By 2014 my doctor prescribed the right combination of medications for me to take to control my high blood pressure and high cholesterol. My doctor and I had noticed that I had gained a few pounds every year during my check-ups. According to the BMI scale, I was 2 pounds from being categorized as obese. I thought she was going to say overweight, but she said obese. An image of a typical Filipino dad with a big beer belly popped into my head. My doctor at that time suggested more exercise. I told myself there was no way in HELL I am going to be obese. I wanted to join a gym, join the YMCA, join the VA Beach Rec Center, anything so I wouldn’t be categorized as obese during my next check-up. Thank goodness Drop Box CrossFit came into my life.
I told myself that at the end of my 3-month trial, just like every other gym membership that I had, I would stop going. I was going to settle being the dad with the beer belly. Well 3 months have turned into 1 1/2 years. Within that time, I have participated in two nutrition challenges, two Opens, one competition, a few drop ins in California and Georgia, and a few PR’s.
Ever since I joined, a lot of people I know have told me that I look better and look physically fit. I have lost 20 pounds and three inches off my waist since joining the Drop Box. I owe all of my success to all the coaches and people at the box. Without all of you, I wouldn’t be the person you see today. Looking back at my CrossFit journey, joining was one of the best decisions that I have ever made. I have made some new friendships and reestablished old ones. I’ve told everyone that the Drop Box has changed my life, because it truly has. At my last doctor’s appointment (November 2015), my doctor did a double take when she saw me. She was surprised at the way I looked. She asked what I was doing and I told her CrossFit. She smiled and told me to sit down. We went over my lab results and she said she wanted to retake my labs, but after looking at me she said there was no need. My blood pressure and cholesterol were below normal. She said I could stop taking my prescribed medications and see if I could get my blood pressure and cholesterol within normal limits. I’m happy to report that my blood pressure and cholesterol are within normal limits without the need for meds. CrossFit has given me a better outlook on life and a much needed slimmer wardrobe to my wife’s delight. Thanks goes out to all the coaches for instructing and encouraging me during and after each WOD. Thanks also goes out to those who walk through those box doors and share the same excitement, encouragement, and exhilaration for CrossFit. I have come to the realization that the DropBox has become a second family to me. Thank you again for choosing me for this great honor.
This member joined us only 7 months ago and since then we have seen her more times at the PR bell then we can count. No matter what the WOD is, she comes to the box with a huge smile on her face, gives everything she has and leaves looking forward to coming back for more. She loves CrossFit so much that if you go on her Facebook you can read numerous posts on her progress! We are happy to recognize Judith Coreas as our August Spotlight Athlete of the Month!!
I am truly honored, flattered, and humbled that you would choose me as the August Spotlight Athlete of the Month. Growing up, I played soccer, softball, swam, and ran cross country. After a few weeks, I would lose interest more often than not and either make up reasons as to why I couldn't go to practice or just quit. In 2014, I weighed a personally embarrassing 200 pounds (that’s a lot of weight for someone who is only 5’1”). That following summer, I decided it was time to do something about it, so I signed up at good ol’ Planet Fitness. I was so out of shape and lazy I would go for 15 minutes and leave. I gradually started to stay a little longer and eventually incorporated running. After three months, I had lost 35 pounds and was running half marathons around my neighborhood for fun. I told myself that this would be the one thing I didn’t quit and that I’d never gain the weight back.
Fast forward to 2015: I was so bored with the same old lifting and cardio routine. I started to venture out and look for something else--anything else--to keep me fit and interested. One day I noticed my friend kept posting online about this crazy thing called CrossFit and all the gains she was making. I was curious, so I messaged her and asked if I could come check it out. Fridays at her box was bring a friend day so I joined her. Little did I know that my first WOD would be Fight Gone Bad. I pretty much DIED that night; it was by far the worst thing I had ever done in my life. I remember thinking to myself, “…and you thought you were in shape.” At this point I wasn’t too fond about this whole CrossFit thing, but I knew that I wanted to get better at it. After I managed to scrape myself up off of the mat (still my signature post-WOD pose by the way), I ended up signing up. However, that was short lived; after a few weeks, I didn’t think it was for me and stopped going all together. I then fell back into bad eating and bad drinking habits as 2015 ended up getting the best of me unfortunately. By New Year’s Eve, I ended up gaining back more than half of the weight I had worked so hard to lose.
On January 25, 2016, I decided to give CrossFit another go and walked through the doors of Drop Box CrossFit. I didn't know anyone coming in so I was extremely nervous. However, as soon as I walked in, I found everyone so friendly and welcoming. So many people came up to me and introduced themselves that I completely forgot about how nervous I was. Instead I found myself trying to figure out a way to remember so many names.
I soon learned where #gmademedoit came from. I hadn’t even been there a month before I was conned into signing up for the 2016 CrossFit Open. It was during the Open that I knew CrossFit was for me. Before the fifth and final work-out of the Open, I decided to go RX (I blame the pre-workout for this rash decision). 16.5 is 21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps for time of thrusters (65 lb. for ladies) and bar-facing burpees. That's 84 reps… of each. It was actually way worse than it sounds. I have never pushed myself physically or mentally as much as much as I did that day. I was a little more than half way done when I started contemplating ways to fake an injury. By this point everyone in my heat had finished, and the entire box had made their way to my lane--all eyes were now on me! They all cheered me on until the very last rep, and let me tell you: it’s almost impossible to quit when you have that kind of support.
The camaraderie, energy, support that all of the coaches and athletes show for one another is one of a kind at Drop Box. I'm thrilled to say that not only have I lost all the weight I had gained back, but I have lost a ton of inches as well! This is the strongest I have personally felt--both physically and mentally--and the happiest I have ever been. CrossFit has become a huge part of my life and is actually something I enjoy and look forward to every day... well for the most part; I still die after every workout.
I would just like to say thank you for recognizing me as the August Spotlight Athlete of the Month. I seriously couldn’t ask for a better community to be a part of. I am so thankful for my Drop Box family and the support you all have shown me.
Video: 125# Clean and Jerk PR!, 7.28.16