Linda Dietenberger: May 2011 - August 2012

"I started my weight loss and healthy eating in July 2011. I joined a local gym but got very discouraged. Most don't offer personal training like I found when I joined CrossFit Fond du Lac. Nick Bloch is a very compassionate, motivating trainer that insists on proper technique. If I can do this, anyone can. I had double knee replacements 7 years ago. The workouts are scaled for each persons abilities. My goal has been to lose weight, build total body strength, and increase endurance and I could not have achieved this without the help of CrossFit FDL and Nick Bloch. He lives the life style and training methods he promotes. My before picture is from May 2011. As of May 2012 my weight loss was 70 lbs. Since working with Nick I have lost another 20 lbs. to make my total weight loss 90 lbs. My body has been transformed. Thank you Nick and I am very thankful to finally have a gym in the area of this caliber."

Jon Olszowy - 7/31/2013

CrossFit Fond du Lac has allowed me to achieve my fitness goals for the first time in my life because of the CrossFit program, the trainer Nick Bloch, and the CrossFit Fond du Lac community.

I started CrossFit in January of 2013, with my wife, after a friend recommended it, saying that it was the best work-out program around. At that time, I was 5’-11”, 188 pounds, and very much out of shape. I had recently finished college and was settling into a carrier, but no matter what I did (biking, running, etc.) I was gaining weight. To put my condition into perspective when I started CrossFit, I could only complete 10 push-ups, 3 strict pull-ups, I was unable to properly air-squat, had no vertical jumping ability, had little flexibility, and could barely clean 75 pounds. I had no idea what Olympic lifting was and was intimidated by the prospect of having to do, or rather attempt, hand stand push-ups, clean and jerks, box jumps, and wall balls.

During the following months, trainer Nick Bloch pushed me to progress little by little each day, focusing on safe and efficient movements, improving strength, flexibility, and cardio-conditioning. Nick took the time to answer all of my questions related to the physical movements as well as the nutritional requirements of an active, healthy lifestyle. He demonstrated all of the movements, highlighting proper form and technique, and ensured that I was competent to perform a given movement before doing so in a workout. I have found Nick to be incredibly knowledgeable, caring, and thorough when it comes to improving my level of fitness.

The CrossFit Fond du Lac community is incredible! Egos are checked at the door, and everyone finds a common bond while pushing and sweating their way through the daily WODS, helping each other to succeed while having fun. For example, during one of the first workouts I did with the group, I found myself to be the last one still working. I was disappointed in myself and was on the verge of throwing in the “towel”.  I expected everyone to go about their business, ignoring the guy who was still working, but instead, the entire class began encouraging me to finish. No matter what your fitness level, the CrossFit Fond du Lac community will be there to help you reach your goal.

 After seven months, I am without a doubt in the best shape of my life. As of writing this, I have lost 20 pounds. I can perform all of the body-weight and gymnastic movements that originally intimidated me, and more, such as; weighted pull-ups, kipping pull-ups, muscle-ups, burpees, push-ups, toes to bar, and hand stand push-ups. I have experienced an increased range of motion in my upper and lower extremities which has improved my ability to perform Olympic lifts. I have become much stronger, showing a 71% improvement in my deadlifts, a 93% improvement in my cleans, and a 74% improvement in my back squats. Thanks to CrossFit Fond du Lac, Trainer Nick Bloch, and the Crossfit Fond du Lac community for helping me to exceed my fitness goals!

Theron Bashaw 7/13/2014

The motivation that led me to CrossFit Fond du Lac was the “Climb for Air” race held in Milwaukee as a fund raiser for lung cancer.  Up until then I had not participated in any fitness regime since High school hockey.  I had no prior experience with Olympic lifting or cardio exercise.

After experiencing my first CrossFit Class with Owner, Nick Bloch, I was hooked!  Nick has an amazing gift of coaching all people at all levels of fitness.  I felt a sense of accomplishment and this is what sparked my desire of becoming a healthier person both physically and mentally. 

Since starting CrossFit in February of 2013 I have made not only tremendous gains of strength and endurance but have also had the chance to become part of a wonderful community. 

Previously suffering from shoulder and back pain due to years of working in construction, I can now say I am pain free and in the best shape of my life at 38 years old.  All my joint pain has disappeared, my range of motion has increased, my flexibility has increased, I have more energy, and I have willingly changed my diet which in turn has made me feel focused and energized.

My wife and I now have made CrossFit our 1 hour of time together to start our day of right and it has also become a family activity that our boys just love. 

Nick Bloch is not only a coach; he is an educator; a friend; a mentor; an advisor and an encourager!

CrossFit Builds Confidence!

“You miss 100% of the Shots you never take”~ Wayne Gretzky

Theron Bashaw

Fond du Lac

Jenn Sheahan

My name is Jenn Sheahan.  I am 34 years old and I have been a member of CrossFit Fond du Lac since October 2012.  However, I took off of CrossFit from May-Nov 2013 to focus on training for endurance racing.

Weight has always been a struggle for the majority of the females in my mom’s family.  I’ve seen a number of them follow weight-loss programs and “diets” most of my life.  When I was a pre-teen, I was on the same track which is not surprising considering it is all I ever saw.  At 12-13 years old, I weighed 145# at 5’4” tall.  Once I got in high school, I took it upon myself to make changes.  I wasn’t exactly an athlete in school, although I did play on the tennis team.  I just tried to be more careful about what I ate.  If I had to guess, my weight probably fluctuated from 115-125# from 1995-2012 and my weight was on my mind daily. 

I did a lot of walking for exercise up until 2007 when a friend convinced me to take up running.  After getting my husband to start running with me as well, we focused on 5ks for a couple of years and, to be honest, we both got very good at it and were able to be somewhat competitive in the local 5ks that we participated in.  Eventually we increased to 5 miles and 10ks and then did our first half marathon in spring of 2012.  It was also around that time that I became somewhat obsessive about counting calories.  I had a set number of net calories that I allowed myself in a day and if I wasn’t where I needed to be, I either exercised that much more or ate that much less the next day. 

In fall 2012, I saw some pictures my friend had posted on Facebook of an event called Barbells for Boobs at CrossFit Fond du Lac.  I asked my friend about it and she told me the event was part of her cousin’s new gym that had recently opened.  She knew fitness was a big part of my life so she invited me to attend a class.  I honestly don’t remember what the WOD was but I do remember that I could not do it anywhere close to the “prescribed” level.  In fact, I wasn’t even able to use the 33# women’s bar with no weights on it; Nick gave me 10# dumbbells to use instead.  Even though I don’t recall the actual WOD at all, I will always remember that that is where I started.  Even though it was really hard, I was immediately hooked and I started attending classes a couple of times a week. 

At first, I was ridiculously sore after every single class but I realized that the more I went, the less sore I would be between classes and the better I would get.  However, I was also still doing all the cardio I had been doing prior to starting CrossFit and I was still eating for a cardio program rather than a strength program so, while I did improve, it wasn’t nearly as much as I expected myself to improve – especially when seeing the improvements all the other girls (my size) were making.  I let that get in my head – a lot.  I am a competitive person and I was so used to being near the top of female finishers in races that it was hard for me to handle coming in nearly last, if not last, in every WOD while using the lightest weights.

In May 2013, my husband and I needed to start training for the half Ironman triathlon we were doing that summer.  I just could not manage to do all the training required for the HIM plus give CrossFit the focus it requires for true improvements.  So, I let Nick know that I would no longer be coming to CF at all until mid-July.  After the HIM, with all the obsessive calorie counting and extreme cardio training, I was down to 108# (at 5’4”) at my lightest.  After being away from CrossFit and any kind of strength training for about 3 full months, I really felt like I was starting completely over (which I really wasn’t but I definitely had lost some of the gains I’d made over the previous winter).  Just as things were starting to come back, I decided to stop going to CF once again in order to train for a full marathon in fall. 

I finally truly went back to CrossFit in November 2013.  I made a lot of improvements in winter and early spring.  I even did a half marathon in April with MUCH less running training than I would have done in the past and was still only off my half marathon PR time by one minute.  However, even though I was improving, I wasn’t getting stronger at the rate I had expected to and I was still comparing myself to the other ladies at the box.  After talking to Nick and also to my husband about it, I realized that if I truly wanted to get better at CrossFit, I had to back off the running and start following Nick’s programming (no cherry-picking WODs so that I avoided things I don’t like to do or that I am not good at).  While I could be okay at both by doing both, I wasn’t going to be able to be really good at one or the other.  This was a very hard decision for me to make mainly because racing was a big part of what my husband and I did together but my husband fully supported me in making the change which meant a lot to me.  I also needed to change my diet.  I definitely don’t eat 100% clean and don’t follow a paleo diet but I do try to make good choices and focus on getting in protein rather than focusing on getting in carbs (which I needed when I was doing so much endurance training).

When I was just running, I’d try to run 100 miles per month; when I was in the height of HIM training, I was running about 85 miles, biking about 300 miles and swimming about 10 miles per month.  By backing off cardio (I now run 10-15 miles per month and do not bike or swim), following the strength program Nick has us on, not cherry-picking WODs, using weight that is going to be hard for me in the WODs – even though it probably means I am going to finish last or with the least amount of rounds (but that doesn’t matter anymore), changing the focus of my diet – and NOT counting calories, I am back up to 125# (but with a different body-type than when I was at 125# and my main source of exercise was walking and a very different body-type than when I was 108# and doing literally a couple of hours of hard cardio a day) and my one-rep-max on all the Olympic lifts has improved significantly in just 6 months or so.  My snatch has gone from 53# to 73#; thruster from 63# to 83#, overhead squat from 73# to 93#, push press from 90# to 108#, clean from 108# to 123#, back squat from 138# to 168# and deadlift from 228# to 243#.  My original ORMs are now weights I can do for multiple reps.  Don’t be afraid to lift heavy ladies!  My gymnastics (which is a little bit more skill than strength) have also improved including double-unders, pistols and kipping hand-stand pushups. 

I will admit, being a female, gaining weight and having your clothes get too small can be very intimidating and it can get in your head.  I’m constantly reminding myself that there is no way I could do the things I can do now with the body that I used to have.  I am in no way saying that there is anything wrong with that body – it helped me be quite a good runner.  But, being strong and being able to handle things on my own outside the box (afterall, CrossFit is functional fitness) is worth the amount of speed I have lost (which really isn’t all that much when I really think about it).  I’ve learned that as long as you are eating the right things to fuel your body, you don’t need to worry about counting calories – and you should ignore the scale.  Athletes don’t diet and exercise, they eat and train.

While I am obviously the one putting in the physical effort, I owe a lot of my gains to the support system that I have – to my husband for always encouraging me to push harder and be better no matter what I am training for, to my coach for always believing in me, helping me realize day after day that I can do more than I ever thought I could and teaching us to celebrate every accomplishment no matter how small and to all my boxmates and friends for offering support and encouragement every time I step in the box and for helping me be better by signing up for competitions together and practicing the hard things until they become easy….or at least easier.  And, most of all, to everyone for helping me realize that it does NOT matter what anyone else can do.  It only matters that I am giving it everything I have – as long as I can say I did that, it doesn’t matter where I finish because it is just me against me out there.  I have a long way to go and a lot of things yet to accomplish but I know that as long as I have my amazing coach and CrossFit Fond du lac FRamily, it will all happen in due time!

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