Athlete Of The Month - Matt Clark


I feel honored that I was selected me for the Athlete of the Month. Thank you to all of the coaches who consistently correct my form and recommend accessory work. The coaches and the other athletes at TNT make it easy to want to come to the gym. We have a good community.
However, it didn't start easily for me. I fell into the excuse trap years ago. I started coming to TNT in 2013 for a couple of months and then quit. In 2016 after watching the Crossfit Games on TV, I knew I needed to give it another try. I was out of shape and relatively negative on the idea of getting healthy again. I told myself that I would give it 90 days. The first month was mentally challenging, but I found myself starting to look forward to coming. Now, I can't imagine not doing it. In all seriousness, it's fun to be able to mow the yard and still have the energy to be a dad.
I am probably like most people. I have a family with kids and a job that keep me busy. I travel often, and I could probably come up with a myriad of excuses that justify "I'm-too-busy." Frankly, if you're busy, Crossfit is perhaps the most natural fitness option to fit into hectic schedule-- show up, and an hour later, you're done.
At a Crossfit gym, we are all of different backgrounds and stages of life. There's a scalable fitness option for every ability (google it). Try it. It's fun.

Athlete of The Month - Mike Burkart

temp-post-imageWOW! Like most other Athlete's of the Month, I was very surprised to be selected and extremely honored. I never knew what Crossfit was until about six years ago when Sarah started Crossfit in Columbia. It took her and my nieces' about two years to convince me to try it. Needless to say, my only regret is all those years I spent in a global gym and not doing Crossfit. It was a huge waste of time, I've had more fitness gains in the last 3 years (minus 6 months hiatus for knee surgery) then I did all the years at the global gym. From my very first free foundations class, with that "damn" chipper that Courtney put me through, I new I had found my place. I'll always remember my very first WOD, doesn't everyone.

Ever since a knee injury in the Army, I have had issues with my knees which got worse of over the years as I gained quite a bit of weight because I couldn't work out, didn't really know how to work out and didn't really understand nutrition. Eventually, I was going to have to have my knees replaced and I wanted to be in the best shape I could before surgery. After my introduction to Crossfit, I knew Crossfit would be my way back to better health and the pre-hab I needed to be able to come back strong from having both knees replaced. Last year, after six months of surgery and PT, I was finally able to get back to the people and community who would really help me get back into shape, Rochelle, Oscar and the whole coaching staff at Crossfit-TNT.
I really enjoy Crossfit and want to thank the Crossfit-TNT community, especially the 6 am Dawn Patrol and my Crossfit family (Renee, Matt, Sammi, Sarah) for their support and encouragement over these last three years. After experiencing being a Master's athlete, I NEVER want to go back to just being.
See you all in class,

Athlete Of The Month - Steven Trikenskas


First and foremost, I'm greatful to be named Athlete of the Month. When Oscar let me know I was selected, I was a definite surprise. Mentally I joked, "I must have finally wore everyone down."

The according to the shreaded WOD book I still bring to class, I started at TNT back in April of 2013. I had recently completed a Physical Fitness Test for work and while passing, I was not 100% happy with my results. It was time to find something to fix that. Working out "at the gym" wasn't really cutting it. For years, I passed by TNT but didn't look that close into. At the time my knowledge of Crossfit was, "It's crazy, they flip tires and stuff." Curiosity got the best of me and I stopped in on day. A few weeks later, signed up for Foundations. There I learned Crossfit is so much more than "flipping tires" (but it still can be crazy...) Over the years Crossfit has provided me the overall fitness In was looking for and every class is a challenge. I never thought I would voluntarily wake up at 6am to workout (or even do some of the things we do that early.)

I guess persistance pays off. Thanks to Rochelle, Oscar and all the coaches you are and have been great and super knowledgeable. Also, a big thanks to those at TNT I've had class with for the motivation to keep up in both individual classes and Crossfit as a whole.

Athlete of the Month - Monica Balestreri

temp-post-image When I heard from Ro that I had been selected as Athlete of the month, I thought "She MUST have the wrong number!" Haha.
Back in 2016, I had been going through a difficult time dealing with my second miscarriage in just over a year. I was making all sorts of bad choices, sitting around feeling sorry for myself and just basically hating everything. I knew that I had to do something extreme to pull myself out of my downward spiral. That's when I decided to try Crossfit. I had been athletic in the past, swim team in high school and
training for a sprint triathlon in my early 30s, but it had felt like a million years since I had gotten off the couch. Could I survive?
I started off at another Box. There I was always the sweatiest, the last one to finish the WOD, and sometimes there were tears on the drive home but it had given me something positive to focus on. I was too tired and sore to be thinking or doing anything else that's for sure. I was enjoying Crossfit but I still didn't feel like that Box was the right place for me. That's when my then coworker Joe convinced me to come to TNT.
I immediately felt like TNT was home. The staff and members were welcoming, inclusive and so supportive. That was a year ago this month and I can't imagine my life without TNT. I am stronger both physically and mentally and I feel better than ever! I am finally eating pretty healthy (most of the time) thanks to Oscar's challenge last fall. My husband and I spend most of our Sunday's food prepping for the week. And I'm so excited to finally have a benchmark to compare to in June.
I think back to how I couldn't even do a lunge when I first started and it seems like so long ago. So much has changed since then, all for the better! I credit Crossfit for saving me from myself. I spend most of my time now gently nudging (okay maybe harassing) my non-Crossfit friends to join because I want them to feel just as good as I do. I still have a long way to go but I know with the amazing TNT coaches and supportive athletes pushing me forward that I will get there.
Well I guess some things haven't changed - I'm still usually the most sweaty in class! LOL

Athlete of The Month - Dan Dial


All I can really say is that I'm so thankful to be a part of such an active and supportive Crossfit community at TNT. There is no doubt in my mind that I wouldn't be where I am today in my CF journey if it weren't for the coaches and fellow athletes at our box. I'm honored that I was even considered to be Athlete of the Month after just a year of training. Every day I come in with the mindset of getting a little better and accomplishing something I couldn't the day before. There is always someone to celebrate those accomplishments with at TNT!

From my intro classes with Linda all the way to finishing my first Open, I've felt like I belonged to a part of one of the best Crossfit facilities in the country. I've done drop ins at several different facilities and I can say ours is hands down the best I've been to. From the cleanliness and space provided to the educated and disciplined coaches, TNT has set itself apart from the competition and all the credit goes to Ro and the trainers for putting the time, effort, and elbow grease into making it a truly special experience for the athletes.

In the past month I've seen a lot of my personal goals start to fall in quick succession. That first year was all about the learning process and building my body into competitive condition. Now I'm hitting new movements like strict pull ups, consecutive DU's, rope climbs, etc. every time I come to class. It's a thrilling experience to see your hard work pay off. I've recently started coming in earlier to work on technique on different movements and doing some extra conditioning. My goal for the rest of the year is to be able to be able to do at least one rep of every “Crossfit movement” like bar muscle ups, hand stand walk, etc.

Also, I wanted to say if we haven't met yet, feel free to come up and introduce yourself. I am usually in the 4 PM class so there are a lot of members I haven't gotten to know. I really enjoy the “family” aspect of our box and I'd like to get to know more of you. Finally, thanks to Kyle, Oscar, and Ro for pushing me along over the last year. The initial 5-6 months was very tough for me as I was in the worse shape of my life, but hopefully I don't require as much prodding anymore!

Athlete Of The Month - Cynthia Gieseke


I was a “drop in” athlete for about 6 years before I FINALLY committed by joining the Transformation Academy, led by Oscar. I loved the classes and the competition, but was not comfortable with the movements or what names like “Thruster”, “Snatch” or “Clean” actually meant! After the 5 weeks devoted to Transformation Academy, I decided to continue and signed up for my CrossFit TNT membership. A few of the women in my class signed up with me. We made a pact to go together to support each other. That was in July of 2016. I think I am the only one from that class that continued the membership and is still active today!

I have learned SO much from the coaches in my almost 2 years being committed to CrossFit! I have participated in 2 Lurong challenges and finally figured out meal prep and healthy eating habits. During the last challenge, I saw some incredible results and am now even more committed to CrossFit and my health. I am now participating in my first CrossFit Open and LOVE the competition! It is fierce, but at the same time, I am amazed at all the support from ALL the athletes and coaches.

In about 6 weeks I will be turning 49! (I know – old, right?) I feel like I am in better health than I was at 30, and am committed to improving every day. My new year’s resolution was to RX every workout that I am CAPABLE of doing. Still working on my double unders, rope climbs, pull ups and muscle ups, but with the hard work and dedication I am investing, I hope to reach those goals by the end of this year.

I want to send a HUGE thank you to the Coaches at CrossFit for this honor! And another shout out to all the athletes, and now friends, that have pushed me to be the best I can be! I LOVE being a part of the CrossFit Family! And lastly, LET’S GO NIGHT FLIGHT! We got this Open Challenge in the Bag!!!

January's Athlete Of The Month- Sammi Burkart


As weird as it is to say, I started Crossfit because of my Dad. About two years ago, my Dad found Crossfit TNT, after my sister/cousins sparked his interest in the sport Crossfit. Liking the facility and community, he talked to me about giving it a try. At first I was against the idea, thinking that it wasn't for me. But He insisted, getting me in contact with Courtney for foundations. Listening to him, I finished foundations over the next couple weeks, with group class to follow. The feeling I had when I left that first group class, a mixture of nervous excitement to do it again and regret of the soreness I would soon be feeling, was something I wanted to feel again.

I have seen my progress grow these past two years, not only in my impro...

Athlete of the Month - Mark Griffin


First off, thank you for the honor. It will be two years this January that I choose to get away from the failed, inconsistent attempts at the regular gym that I started Crossfit and I love it! I enjoy the sense of community and the teamwork and motivation from the other athletes. I have had the opportunity to travel and drop-in to dozens of other gyms around the midwest and I believe that TNT has the best facility, coaches, and members I have seen! Thanks.

Athlete of the Month - Kate Davis


I do not, nor have I ever, considered myself an athletic person. When we were newly married, Michael tried to be my personal trainer and motivator. He has always been passionate about fitness and was sure he could teach me. He quickly learned that he could not hold both the title of husband and trainer! Thankfully he chose husband and left me alone to enjoy my couch time! Two years ago, in a last-ditch effort, he goaded me into trying CrossFit as part of his birthday present. I was sore for a week. I very hesitantly signed up for a punch card knowing that it very well may take me the whole year to use those 10 visits. But during that time something changed, much to my surprise, I actually began to enjoy working out.
Over the last two years, I have accomplished things I never thought possible. My favorite achievement has been running. Track was my family’s sport but I didn’t make it past 7th grade because my knees hurt and no matter how long I practiced I always felt like I couldn’t breathe. I have always wished I could be that person that enjoys running but for the longest time running has been synonymous with torture. I signed up for the Runner’s High class last summer and it was a game changer. I learned the correct way to run and how to better control my breathing. Now I look forward to running in class and have even gone on a few mile runs at home, for fun!
There is something special about CrossFit TNT. The coaches, the friendly faces, and the never-ending encouragement have allowed me to simply be me and work on bettering myself. CrossFit has changed my perspective on fitness. It isn’t about being the fastest or the strongest or the fittest. It’s about me. It’s about doing more than I did yesterday; it’s about struggling through a WOD but not giving up; it’s about becoming the best version of myself and having fun doing it.
I am truly grateful to Michael for pushing me to join CrossFit TNT. Thank you to the coaches for taking the time to invest in me and helping me improve. And thank you to all the other athletes for always pushing me and not letting me give up.