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If you’ve ever seen Erik Gustafson at MCCF then you are sure to know that he is very flexible, agile and strong. He’s a humble athlete that comes in and does his thing. He never looks for recognition or praise, he’s just there to get better, stronger and stay in shape. However, lately, Erik has been putting in more and more work and it shows. We could not be more proud of Erik and so this is why he is our June Athlete of the Month.

I asked Erik to write a few words about his MCCF journey and this is what he said:

“My brother in law, Todd Aiken, is who first introduced me to MCCF a few years ago. It seemed like something I would like because I’ve always enjoyed staying physically fit but never enjoyed sports like football or baseball etc. Running and body movements like pull-ups etc. were ways I stayed in shape. I did these all on my own for years but as I’ve gotten older I’ve felt the need for proper instruction from knowledgeable trainers. MCCF has given me that and a whole lot more. I have become much stronger and flexible and even gained close to 10 pounds in muscle, which was a goal of mine.

Joining MCCF has also taught me something I wasn’t expecting, and that is how encouraging it is to work out with such a great group of people. There are so many nice people at MCCF that are filled with so much spirit. It’s way more fun and motivating to exercise with them vs. by myself. I tend to be quite and standoff-ish at times but I do truly appreciate everyone at MCCF. I never dread going to the box”.

…….and we NEVER dread having you there! We couldn’t be more happy that you chose MCCF as your place to workout!
Congratulations Erik, you are the MCCF Athlete of the Month!

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Every month we pick an athlete to have the honor of Athlete of the Month. We always look at the athlete’s accomplishments and attendance and all of the hard work they put in every time they are at the box. This month is no different, however this month…..we chose a coach.

Kristin Thomas has always been a dedicated athlete. She was a member in a “crossfittish” class that I taught in the big local gym in town before opening MCCF. When MCCF opened, she was one of the very first members through the door to sign up before that door even opened. She loved it from the start! Quickly understanding the movements, the members and the passion for CrossFit, Kristin got certified and went on to get her Endurance certification. We were so excited to bring Kristin on as a coach and she has been one of the most loved, respected coaches with an amazing attention to detail and a way to make the “pain” fun!

Earlier this year, Kristin announced her pregnancy and as we have watched that baby grow in her belly, we have also watched her absolutely annihilate WOD’s! The strength that she has displayed since the beginning of her pregnancy is unbelievable. I think she is actually stronger now than she was before! Her PR’s have skyrocketed and her ability to still be high up on the leader board is nothing short of amazing!

Kristin, you are not only a role model for all of our members and coaches, you are setting a beautiful foundation and example for your son (who, by the way I CAN NOT wait to hold while you workout)!!!!

Congratulations, Kristin, you are the first coach and the most deserving person for the May Athlete of the Month! We all just love you!

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In the past month, I think it is safe to say that if you have not seen Sandi at MCCF, at least a few times a week then YOU have not been coming! She has come back with a vengeance and some goals and we all noticed how insanely hard she has been working and that is why Sandi Tanasi is our April Athlete of the Month!

I asked her to tell us a bit about her fitness journey and she spoke of her upbringing and how her parents came over from Greece in 1974 and worked hard to chase the American Dream, but fitness was never really a part of their regular life. She said she had good genetics and was blessed with a great metabolism and did do gymnastics and distance running when she was younger. But then…. life started to happen (marriage, kids, full time job) and things started to slow down in the way of metabolism. (A part of life many of us can relate to)!

Sandi was brought to MCCF by her good friend Michelle Michaud and the rest…..I’ll let her tell you……

“Michelle and I have been friends for almost 30 years and when she moved to Old Saybrook, she found MCCF (she used to do crossfit in Wallingford).  She would talk about MCCF and how awesome the community was and how invigorating she felt after a “WOD”.  But Michelle is very competitive and I am not…..I thought she was crazy!

About 2 years ago (I think), she dragged me in for a Saturday Master’s class and I was hooked. I had never had so much fun exercising as I did that day! The people were amazingly friendly (and sweaty) and extremely happy all at the same time. I had to find out why, so I joined. Over the last two years I have been coming to work out on and off. Sometimes I’d come for long stretches but I’d also take long stretches off. Each time I came back from an absence, the MCCF family embraced me and pulled me into the fold.
Over the last 6 months some life changes have occurred that have necessitated me to step back and decide what’s important to me….my health, family and friends. So at the end of February, I made a promise to myself to begin my journey to be come healthy, starting with helping my mind and body de-stress at MCCF. Out of the last 35 days I have been at MCCF 27. I feel so good after every workout.
The biggest impact MCCF has made on me is being part of this unbelievable awesome community. The MCCF community amazes me. I have never been a part of group of people from such varied backgrounds and ages who are so genuinely kind, caring, supportive and so enthusiastically encouraging.
I know very well that I am always one round behind, the slowest runner and the last one to finish. I have one speed and it is slow! There is never any judgement, no one minds that they have to wait for me to finish and most of the time, friends dive in and finish that last round with me. It’s truly the most heartwarming feeling. After every WOD, no matter how tired I am or how sore I am, I have the biggest smile on my face!”
She also mentioned that some of her favorite moments at MCCF are the charity WOD’s, getting an 85lb Push Press PR and finally doing a handstand after 20 years!
Sandi, we all think you are one amazing lady and we could not be happier to name you as our Athlete of the Month! Congratulations!!!!
Sandi and her beautiful family!
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  I remember the day Beth walked through the door of MCCF! It was November 11th and she told me it was her 64th Birthday. She said she likes to take on a new adventure every year and this year, it was CrossFit! I asked her what she did for fitness, she told me about her climb up Mt. Washington, her marathons, her cycling adventures with her husband and her few adventure races. After seeing the extremely impressed look on my face, she said “you know, you just have to keep moving.”We asked Beth to tell us a bit about her fitness journey and what MCCF has done for her. Her story is amazing. Here are Beth’s words…..

“I have always been active, but two years ago, I had surgery during which I had major life threatening blood loss and a full body infection that often takes the lives of even the young and healthy. I was very lucky to survive, but every surgeon, nurse and specialist pointed to my fitness level as the key to my happy outcome. I realized then I was given a second chance and I wanted to make the most of every moment and not only recover, but get stronger, faster, wiser and kinder with every decade I was given.

My daughter became involved in CrossFit as part of her marketing position and had observed firsthand the energy, results and excitement all the way to the World’s. She told me it would provide me with the challenge I wanted, but that I should research area boxes because they were each very unique.  After checking out a number of CrossFit options, I selected MidCoast because of their focus on building a positive environment while providing sound instruction and safe challenging balanced workouts.
I already have had so many special moments here, being welcomed by fellow members. cheered on when finishing a tough workout, but mostly being coached, pushed and valued as an athlete, regardless of my age and ability.
I am stronger and more confident and feel ready to take on new challenges.  Already my new CrossFit friends have inspired me to do the January Winter Warrier Challenge, the CrossFit Opens and an upcoming GORUCK event.  It’s really all about the spirit here at CrossFit and in just a few short months I feel right at home”.
You are at home Beth and all of us here at MCCF are so proud of all your hard work and the amazing spirit and smile you bring us every time you’re here!
Congratulations Beth, you are the MCCF Athlete of the Month!
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You are sure to know this months Athlete of the Month not only by her super athletic abilities but also by her super positive personality and infectious smile! (Also maybe by her workout sweater which is awesome)!

Casey O’Brien is such an awesome addition to our box. She comes in ready to take on any challenge as well as crush anything she takes on! Her drive, spirit and positive attitude are what makes Casey the perfect pick for our featured athlete this month!

I asked Casey a few questions about her journey thus far at MCCF and here is what she had to say:

“I tried MCCF with my friend Alisha and we both loved it from the first day. I love the energy as well as working on the different skills when I come in and look forward to improving at all of them. As much as I love the workouts and feel amazing and strong when I leave – it’s the people that I love the most. Everyone is friendly and encouraging.  I am so grateful for finding the perfect fit for me. Now my daughter Maeve works out with me and we cannot get enough – she loves it just as much as I do.”

Well we love you too and we are so happy that you have found a happy place at MCCF!

Congratulations Casey, you are the February Athlete of the Month!

casey