Member Spotlight: Alicia Montes


Each month, we will profile a Grand Trunk CrossFit member who has seen incredible results since joining our “box”.

It is our hope, that by showing you what can be accomplished through regular workouts and a commitment to fitness, you will be encouraged to take the leap and come in for a workout.

This month we shine the spotlight on Alicia Montes, a member since October of 2015

When did you join Grand Trunk, and why?

Alicia: October of 2015 for multiple reasons.

First, I had recently had my second baby and lost all of the baby weight plus some through an unhealthy diet and realized I needed to get stronger.

Secondly, my husband had just deployed to Iraq, and I really just needed the mental break where I could focus my attention on something besides working and caring for our two-and-a-half year-old and eight-month-old.

What do you enjoy most about GTCF and CrossFit?

The people at Grand Trunk are the best. I enjoy having like-minded people around me who push me to do things I would’ve never cared to do on my own.

What is your favorite movement?

I enjoy anything barbell-related. Deadlifts are my favorite power lift with back squat a close second. But the technical nature of the snatch makes that my favorite Olympic lift.

What is a CrossFit goal you have achieved that you are most proud of?

After four years of CrossFit, I don’t think I can pick just one. Most recently I’ve gotten bar muscle ups that I’m pretty pumped about. I back squatted 240 pounds at my first competition. And I hit a 305# deadlight that I’d been chasing since I started at Grand Trunk. I also did CrossFit throughout an entire pregnancy.

I also switched to a macro-based diet and dropped 20 pounds this year.

I even RX’d Murph and ran a half-marathon trail run earlier this year. See, too many to pick from!

What is a current goal you are working on and hope to accomplish?

My recent goals have been diet-related in hopes of bettering my gymnastics. Although I’ve gotten my bar muscle-ups, I’m not proficient at them, so I practice a few times a week. My goal is to keep getting leaner without sacrificing my strength.

What advice would you give a new member or someone who is thinking about trying CrossFit?

Set aside your fear and doubts.

Don’t worry about not knowing the movements and having to ask questions. There isn’t an athlete or coach here that would say no to helping you. It’s easy to feel insecure when you’re watching an experienced CrossFit athlete work through a weightlifting segment or WOD. Instead of thinking “I could never do that” or “this isn’t for me”, be a sponge. I had those thoughts my first few weeks until I started modeling those athletes, and I’ve never looked back.

How has CrossFit impacted your life outside of the gym?

I have the energy to keep up with my three kids. I also have the strength and confidence to approach any situation at work.

What is a fun fact that people might not know about you?

I was a HORRIBLE student. One of my good friends wrote “I honestly never thought you’d make it this far” in my senior yearbook, if that tells you anything.

If you could create your own WOD, what would it be?

I like to fight on my own terms.

AMRAP

15 minutes

7 snatches 135/105

14 dumbbell clean & jerks

28 double-unders

35 kettlebell swings 70/53

Fill in the blank: I CrossFit (because/so I can): People depend on me. My kids and husband are my world. CrossFit helps me not only be a great mom and wife, but it makes me an asset to my department and my community.

To learn more about Grand Trunk CrossFit, contact us today!

Member Spotlight: Matt Stemple


Each month, we will profile a Grand Trunk CrossFit member who has seen incredible results since joining our “box”.

It is our hope, that by showing you what can be accomplished through regular workouts and a commitment to fitness, you will be encouraged to take the leap and come in for a workout.

This month’s spotlight is on Matt Stemple, a member since December of 2015.

When did you join Grand Trunk, and why?

Matt: I joined Grand Trunk in December of 2015. I was tired of the standard gym routine and was looking for something new to try.

What do you enjoy most about GTCF and CrossFit?

It’s definitely the people, coaches and atmosphere. Brooklyn and Diana have done a great job of giving the box a family feel. I enjoy CrossFit because of the variety of workouts and the challenges that come with them.

What is your favorite movement?

Any assortment of wall balls, deadlifts, box jumps or rope climbs (and, of course, running.)

What is a CrossFit goal you have achieved that you are most proud of?

Mastering double-unders! They were such a struggle for me to string together for years. It took a lot of practice and actually my wife gave me the most tips to master them.

What is a current goal you are working on and hope to accomplish?

Muscle ups is my next goal to accomplish.

What advice would you give a new member or someone who is thinking about trying CrossFit?

Leave your fears at the door and stay with it for 30 days. CrossFit can be intimidating for someone who is new to the concept. You also tend to be sore A LOT! I remember my first week at the box and crawling (literally) out of bed in the morning after a workout because of how sore I was. If you give it a chance and stay consistent, you’ll be hooked!

How has CrossFit impacted your life outside of the gym?

I’ve a lot of new people and friends at the gym that I wouldn’t have known. My overall health has increased, as well. I feel fitter now than I have since I left high school.

What is a fun fact that people might not know about you?

One year in college, my roommates and I ate so much Hungry Howie’s pizza and White Castle that we were able to stack two rows of pizza boxes to the ceiling and fill one closet full of slider boxes. The smells from the closet were quite interesting that summer.

If you could create your own WOD, what would it be?

I would call it “Long and Strong.”

800M run

50 deadlifts

50 wall balls

800M run

50 box jumps

50 bar over burpees

800M run

Fill in the blank: I CrossFIt (because/so I can): It’s a great way to stay in shape, set & accomplish goals, and have fun with other members in and out of the box.

Member Spotlight: Casey Augsburger


Each month, we will profile a Grand Trunk CrossFit member who has seen incredible results since joining our “box”.

It is our hope, that by showing you what can be accomplished through regular workouts and a commitment to fitness, you will be encouraged to take the leap and come in for a workout.

This month’s spotlight is on Casey Augsburger, a member since January of 2017.

When did you join Grand Trunk, and why?

Casey: I joined January of 2017 after taking a year off from CrossFit. I missed it and wanted to find a gym with a great reputation and a fun, supportive atmosphere. I decided to try Grand Trunk since my brother and I remembered training with Brooklyn in the Livonia days. Best decision ever!

What do you enjoy most about GTCF and CrossFit?

I really enjoy the programming and the members. And the location. And the atmosphere. And the events. Pretty much everything!

What is your favorite movement?

The clean and jerk is my favorite lift. Second favorite is the Assault bike.

What is a CrossFit goal you have achieved that you are most proud of?

I placed 5th at the World Police and Fire Games 8/17 in Los Angeles. It took so much work and time to prepare for that competition but it was so rewarding. I would not have been able to compete without the dedication and help from the Grand Trunk coaches leading up to it.

What is a current goal you are working on and hope to accomplish?

My biggest weaknesses fall in the gymnastics category so I have been focusing on making those movements better.

What advice would you give a new member or someone who is thinking about trying CrossFit?

I wish I could tell all new CrossFitters to trust the process. It’s easy to look around and be intimidated by the veterans, but you will get there, too. It’ll take time but celebrate each new accomplishment — no matter how small — and you will feel and see the results.

How has CrossFit impacted your life outside of the gym?

Strength and conditioning is a huge part of my job as a police officer and I thank CrossFit for allowing me to carry out my duty with confidence. And making sure my uniform fits (lol).

What is a fun fact that people might not know about you?

I used to figure skate competitively and tried gymnastics once when I was really young. The instructor suggested to my mom that I try a contact sport.

If you could create your own WOD, what would it be?

“Thunder Thighs”

Half-mile run

50 wall balls

Half-mile bike

50 squats

Half-mile row

50 box jumps

Fill in the blank: I CrossFIt (because/so I can): I CrossFit because there’s nothing better than finishing a really tough workout with your friends by your side and seeing what your body is capable of doing day in and day out.

Member Spotlight: Scott Vermillion


Each month, we will profile a Grand Trunk CrossFit member who has seen incredible results since joining our “box”.

It is our hope, that by showing you what can be accomplished through regular workouts and a commitment to fitness, you will be encouraged to take the leap and come in for a workout.

This month’s spotlight is on Scott Vermillion, a member since 2016.

When did you join Grand Trunk, and why?

Scott: Linda (my wife) and I joined about three years ago. My knees and hips couldn’t handle running anymore and Anytime Fitness was boring the hell out of me!

What do you enjoy most about GTCF and CrossFit?

I enjoy that almost every workout takes me out of my comfort zone and helps me work harder than I would if I was doing this on my own.

What is your favorite movement?

Strict press, push press push jerk…anything to do with shoulders.

What is a CrossFit goal you have achieved that you are most proud of?

I have found strength head to toe that I have not had in over 25 years!

What is a current goal you are working on and hope to accomplish?

My goal is to simply show up three days a week.

What advice would you give a new member or someone who is thinking about trying CrossFit?

Be patient. Give yourself a few months before you judge everything. You will see results in strength and confidence that make you feel more youthful.

How has CrossFit impacted your life outside of the gym?

Confidence. Getting old is a bitch. Right before joining GTCF, I was starting to think that I needed to slow down because I was feeling my age. I think differently about life now. I’m a bit more optimistic and I feel like I can handle just about anything that is thrown my way.

What is a fun fact that people might not know about you?

I have run a marathon, two half-marathons, and 10 sprint triathlons. I have also played in the World Series of Power twice.

If you could create your own WOD, what would it be?

Definitely NO burpees. Wall balls, kettlebell swings, push jerks and Assault bike.

Fill in the blank: I CrossFIt (because/so I can): I CrossFit to make me feel better about all of those beers I drink!

If you’d like to schedule a free, no-sweat intro, sign up today!

Member Spotlight: Shawn Penrice


Each month, we will profile a Grand Trunk CrossFit member who has seen incredible results since joining our “box”.

It is our hope, that by showing you what can be accomplished through regular workouts and a commitment to fitness, you will be encouraged to take the leap and come in for a workout.

This month’s spotlight is on Shawn Penrice, a member since June of 2017.

When did you join Grand Trunk, and why?

Shawn: I joined Grand Trunk in June of 2017. I’d been doing CrossFit for five years and had transitioned to training in my garage gym. I missed the community aspect of a box and the competitive push, which I found at Grand Trunk.

What do you enjoy most about GTCF and CrossFit?

The people. I’ve made some great friends at Grand Trunk, and I find this group to truly support people achieving their goals.

What is your favorite movement or lift?

I love barbell work. Cleans are my favorite movement.

What is a CrossFit goal you have achieved that you are most proud of?

My first year of CrossFit, I did Murph heavily scaled with banded pull-ups. The following year I beat that time RX with a 20 lb. vest

What is a current goal you are working on and hope to accomplish?

Currently training for Ironman. CrossFit is playing a huge role in core strength and ability to recover.

What advice would you give a new member or someone who is thinking about trying CrossFit?

Let go of preconceived notions and try a few workouts. One of the awesome things about CrossFit is that workouts can be modified to your current ability while still giving you a great workout.

How has CrossFit impacted your life outside of the gym?

CrossFit and fitness have become a way of life for me and my family. Fitness is part of our daily lives, and it’s awesome to see my kids embracing fitness. I have also developed some of my closest friendships with people I met through CrossFit.

What is a fun fact that people might not know about you?

In April 2017 I completed the 50+ hour SealFit Kokoro camp which is modeled after Navy SEALs Hell Week.

If you could create your own WOD, what would it be?

21 clean & jerks

50 double-unders

15 clean & jerks

50 double-unders

9 clean & jerks

50 double-unders

Clean & jerk weight increases each round.

Fill in the blank: I CrossFIt (because/so I can): Be active with my kids and continue to push the limits of what I am capable of physically and mentally.

If you’d like to schedule a free, no-sweat intro, sign up today!

Member Spotlight: Lisa Cornejo


Each month, we will profile a Grand Trunk CrossFit member who has seen incredible results since joining our “box”.

It is our hope, that by showing you what can be accomplished through regular workouts and a commitment to fitness, you will be encouraged to take the leap and come in for a workout.

This month’s spotlight is on Lisa Cornejo, a member since 2015.

When did you join Grand Trunk, and why?

Lisa: I joined four years ago. My cousin, who worked out with Brooklyn and Diana before they opened Grand Trunk, shared information about the grand opening event. I had been running long distance races for a couple of years and I was really struggling with keeping myself motivated to run. It felt more like a chore instead of something I enjoyed doing. Everything fell into place, something new to try, right down the road from me, awesome workout, great people…it only took a couple of workouts and I was hooked!

What do you enjoy most about GTCF and CrossFit?

I love the constant variation of workouts and the feeling of accomplishment after each one. But what I enjoy the most is the community and friendships that have been made! I love my GTCF family!

What is your favorite movement?

This should come as no surprise to those that know me…back squats!

What is a CrossFit goal you have achieved that you are most proud of?

Breaking 250 on my back squat and pull-ups! I worked on pull-ups every day after class for months, that first pull-up was a wonderful feeling!

What is a current goal you are working on and hope to accomplish?

I’d like to get more consistent with my double-unders. Sometimes it’s 15 and sometimes it’s two with a lot of whip marks. Less whip marks and more double-unders is the goal.

What advice would you give a new member or someone who is thinking about trying CrossFit?

All those fears you are feeling, we all had them. I was so nervous every day driving to the box for a few months. It’s totally normal. Don’t give into those fears and self-doubt, just keep coming. It’s ok to be the new person and need extra help. It’s okay to ask questions because you don’t know what you are supposed to do. Let the coaches and other members help you and before you know it you’ll the be the one helping a new person!

How has CrossFit impacted your life outside of the gym?

I’m stronger than I’ve ever been in my life but the greatest impact is definitely the friendships made! Shout out to my 6:15 girls, Angel and Katie, for keeping me accountable and motivated!

What is a fun fact that people might not know about you?

I love to read. My Kindle is always filled with books. It’s my preferred relaxing time activity! I am also a huge Harry Potter fan, I’m currently wrapping up my 6th (or maybe 7th) time through the books. My husband, Rich, likes to joke that I can read a book faster than some people can eat a sandwich.

If you could create your own WOD, what would it be?

For sure it wouldn’t have any snatches, overhead squats or handstand push-ups. My favorite WODs are the 10-15 minute ones that have smaller rep counts.

Fill in the blank: I CrossFIt (because/so I can): stay healthy, both mentally and physically. My job can be very stressful and I have three kids, so getting up early and starting my day at GTCF is great for managing my stress and my overall mental well-being.

If you’d like to schedule a free, no-sweat intro, sign up today!

Member Spotlight: Jeff Beier


Each month, we will profile a Grand Trunk CrossFit member who has seen incredible results since joining our “box”. 

It is our hope, that by showing you what can be accomplished through regular workouts and a commitment to fitness, you will be encouraged to take the leap and come in for a workout. 

This month’s spotlight is on Jeff Beier, a member since January of 2018.

When did you join Grand Trunk, and why? 

Jeff: I joined just over one year ago. I had been at another CrossFit box prior to this, but making the switch to GTCF was easy and needed. The proximity to my house allowed me to come to the gym multiple times per week. But the best part is the fact that my wife & kids are now active at GTCF, so my plan to convert the whole family worked!

What do you enjoy most about GTCF and CrossFit? 

This gym has become our family tribe. Everyone is like-minded, works hard, competitive and passionate about fitness. And we live close to each other, so getting together is easy, too.

What is your favorite movement? 

It’s not what I’m best at, but I LOVE snatches. Because they use every muscle for strength and stability. It truly is the perfect move to test your all-around fitness.

What is a CrossFit goal you have achieved that you are most proud of? 

Two moves that are really hard, that I worked hard to improve, is the bar muscle-ups and double-unders.

When I started, I couldn’t do either. Now I can string five muscle-ups together and 100 DUBs together. So that was a goal that now I can look back on and be proud of.

What is a current goal you are working on and hope to accomplish? 

Overarching goal is to compete in local throwdowns. To do that, I have been trying to keep my diet on point, constantly changing macros to dial it in. And with that, work on my weaknesses. This is mostly related to upper-body strength. I work hard to NOT have a wheelhouse.

What advice would you give a new member or someone who is thinking about trying CrossFit? 

I’ve always “worked out,” but was never super-motivated, nor was my diet great. What initially attracted me to CrossFit was exercising by doing fun, new things: sled pulls, flipping tires, climbing ropes. All of that in a competitive environment.

What I didn’t know that surprised me about CrossFit – and that I’ve come to realize I’m most passionate about – is how CrossFit is so accepting of new people & scalable workouts.

CrossFit isn’t just for the fittest people on earth. It’s for the masses who want to get healthier.

So if you want to get healthy, find a group of like-minded people to have fun with, CrossFit is it.

How has CrossFit impacted your life outside of the gym? 

Since starting CrossFit, my entire family does it: wife, kids, brother, and brother-in-law.

I’m happy that my obsession with functional fitness is spreading to the people I care about. But personally, losing 30 pounds and adding muscle mass has made me more confident, both personally and professionally.

What is a fun fact that people might not know about you? 

Prior to moving back to Michigan, I had a career in the golf business. I was a PGA Professional and lived all across the United States running golf courses.

If you could create your own WOD, what would it be? 

It would be for time: 21-15-9

Squat cleans – 135/95

Burpees

Pull Ups

Fill in the blank: I CrossFIt (because/so I can): Live forever. (Just kidding.) But live a long time and be active for my kids.

If you’d like to schedule a free, no-sweat intro, sign up today! 

Member Spotlight: Kevin Babcock


Each month, we will profile a Grand Trunk CrossFit member who has seen incredible results since joining our box.

It is our hope, that by showing you what can be accomplished through regular workouts and a commitment to fitness, you will be encouraged to take the leap and come in for a workout. 

This month’s spotlight is on Kevin Babcock, a member since January of 2017.

When did you join Grand Trunk, and why? 

Kevin: I joined in January of 2017. I was looking to try something different with my workouts.

What do you enjoy most about GTCF and CrossFit? 

I really appreciate the people at GTCF. The owners, coaches, members and families are great. Just really good, down to earth people. I really enjoy getting to know the other members and their families. I can say that a foundation is being built for solid friendships.

CrossFit is challenging, rewarding and humbling. For about an hour a day, you can forget about the day-to-day grind and focus on workouts that will push you to be better and you can do it with other people.

What is your favorite movement? 

My goal was to build leg strength and my core. I can’t say I enjoy all of these movements, or even like them. But I’m seeing results and hitting my personal goals.

What is a CrossFit goal you have achieved that you are most proud of? 

Couple of months into training we had a day of 1 rep maximum on shoulder press, deadlift and back squat or combo along those lines and I was able to hit the 1,000-pound mark.

What is a current goal you are working on and hope to accomplish? 

I’m going to figure out kipping.

What advice would you give a new member or someone who is thinking about trying CrossFit? 

There are a lot of preconceived notions about CrossFit. I’m not sure why and really don’t care. It is great to get out of your comfort zone and know that you can modify or scale to your ability and nobody is judging you. It has been great personally and the people have gone out of their way to help, teach and encourage.

If you want to challenge yourself and know you will be working with people around you that are going through the same challenge, at their own specific level of experience, it is an unbelievable experience.

Again…challenging, rewarding, humbling.

How has CrossFit impacted your life outside of the gym? 

I would again go back to meeting great people. The individuals and families are great. I really appreciate seeing all the kids and pets at the gym and social events. I also like when I’m traveling for work, or on vacation, and can go to another CrossFit gym and instantly fit in.

It becomes about the respect you have for others that are working through the same challenges and recognizing that everyone is working to better themselves while also be willing to help and encourage others.

What is a fun fact that people might not know about you? 

I’m one of six boys in my family and we are a very close family.

If you could create your own WOD, what would it be? 

It’s called “The Bab” and it’s for time:

25 pull-ups

50 deadlifts (135 LB)

50 bench press (135 LB)

50 24’ box jumps

50 T2B

50 kettlebell clean-and-press (35 LB)

25 pull-ups

Fill in the blank: I CrossFIt (because/so I can): Challenging, rewarding, humbling.

If you’d like to schedule a free, no-sweat intro, sign up today! 

Member Spotlight: Paula Mercieca


Each month, we will profile a Grand Trunk CrossFit member who has seen incredible results since joining our “box”.

It is our hope, that by showing you what can be accomplished through regular workouts and a commitment to fitness, you will be encouraged to take the leap and come in for a workout.

This month’s spotlight is on Paula Mercieca, a member since February of 2016.

When did you join Grand Trunk, and why?

Paula: I had gone to a Saturday class with my sister, Stephanie. Then I met her there the next Monday and the rest is history.

What do you enjoy most about GTCF and CrossFit?

The people, hands down! From the coaches to other members, it really is a family! I love that I get to work out with my sister, too. I do enjoy that the workouts are already planned.

What is your favorite movement?

I do love when I see deadlifts or handstand push-ups.

What is a CrossFit goal you have achieved that you are most proud of?

To continue to get stronger and do things I never thought I could. I am proud that I completed the Murph this year. I thought about doing only half but I am way too stubborn and had to finish.

What is a current goal you are working on and hope to accomplish?

Hmmmm, this is a tough one…honestly to just keep pushing myself.

What advice would you give a new member or someone who is thinking about trying CrossFit?

Stick with it and don’t be intimidated! Everyone there is willing to help and cheer you on.

How has CrossFit impacted your life outside of the gym?

What a question! CrossFit came into my life at just the right time; it was my escape from life. Now, it is still my escape but on a different level. It is my stress release and something I do for me. I can have a crappy day and head to the gym and everything just changes.

I can shut off my brain and not think of the million things I have to do or what I didn’t do. I show up and do what is planned for me. I learn new things along the way and always have at least one laugh. It is my me time!

What is a fun fact that people might not know about you?

Hmmmmm…

If you could create your own WOD, what would it be?

Whatever Brooklyn says! It would have deadlifts and handstand push-ups!

Fill in the blank: I CrossFIt (because/so I can): It makes me happy and pushes me to be better!

If you’d like to schedule a free, no-sweat introsign up today!