December Member Spotlight!

December 21st, 2014 by admin
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Here’s Tony joining Carlos for some 30-inch box jumps

The CrossFit 203 December Member Spotlight is Tony!!!! Tony is our kind of guy. As he states below, “I was exhausted, frustrated and very determined to come back and improve” after his first workout with us last year. We LOVE this attitude. Too many people experience the challenge that CrossFit offers and run for the hills. They don’t want a challenge…..they want easy. Tony is a CrossFitter. He’s tough and loves to work hard. He came back to face the challenge to improve his health and performance. And boy has he done exactly that! Tony is tall. Real tall. At first, we couldn’t get him into good deadlift starting position. He was very tight and couldn’t get down that far, so we had to put his barbell on top of bumper plates so he wouldn’t have to bend down so low. Fast forward to today and not only can he get into great/safe starting position, his deadlift is over 300 pounds. Hard work pays off. Tony is always fun to have in class, and it’s always great to see him chew up meters on the rower (he LOVES the rower if you haven’t noticed!). Tony and his wife Kendra joined 203 together and we want to thank them for becoming such dedicated, amazing members. Keep killing it, Tony!!!!

Name: Tony Jaros

Where are you originally from? Wheaton, IL; an hour due west of the great city of Chicago.

What high school and/or college did you attend? Northwestern University for undergrad, NYU for my MBA.

Favorite sports teams: Although I have lived on the East Coast for more than 20 years, I (painfully) maintain my Chicago sports allegiances. I blame my father for this. Bears, White Sox (Cubs suck), Bulls, Northwestern football and basketball.

What do you do for work? I am the chief research officer for an advisory firm called SiriusDecisions. We provide research, models, frameworks, data and guidance for b-to-b organizations to better align their sales, marketing and product functions. I know, I know…you just fell asleep reading that sentence, but it’s actually a lot of fun to work with companies of all shapes and sizes. Plus, I’m the first employee of a company that has grown to more than 200, so it’s been a fun ride to help build this place from scratch over the past 13 years.

When and why did you start CrossFit: August 2013. I had been working out in the dank, windowless basement gym at my office and a gym in Bethel for about 2.5 years and was so tired of the elliptical and the weight machines. I had a couple friends that were CrossFitters, and thought that it looked like a challenge. I had no idea what a challenge I was in for, especially because I had never lifted weights in my life.

Favorite and Least Favorite Lift?: Power cleans are my favorite. And while I hate to be cliché, overhead squats have to be my least favorite.

What was your first workout, and what did you think after finishing? I had check my old book; it was a combination of sumo deadlift high-pulls, push presses, kettlebell swings and burpees. My form was so bad all I could do was lift the 35-pound bar. I was exhausted, frustrated and very determined to come back and improve.

Greatest CrossFit Achievement so far: Competing in October with Kendra, Brendan and Amber at the Battle for the Bell. It felt so great to know how far I’ve come from those early WODs. Oh, and finishing before Kim in a partner WOD so I could yell at her like she yells at me.

CrossFit Goal for 2015: Keep learning and getting better. And double-unders. I’m so close on those. And row a sub-1:30 500 meters…and better toes-to-bar. And get through Filthy 50. It’s gonna be a busy year!

One interesting thing about yourself not related to CrossFit: I have quite a bit of teaching experience at the university level. I’ve taught undergraduate marketing (multiple courses) and journalism at Central Connecticut State University, and in the MBA program at the University of Hartford. Schedules don’t permit me to do it right now, but it’s something I’d love to do again down the road.

Complete the sentence, “CrossFit should….” Be a part of the lives of more 40-somethings. With a murderous work and life schedule, going to 203 is the main way I manage my stress, and I’m stronger than I’ve ever been – even when I was a high school athlete back in the Stone Age. This is the only 4-5 hours during the week that I think about nothing else but surviving the WOD!

If I’m not at the box, you can probably find me….: Running around somewhere, goofing off with the kids and Kendra, or watching some sort of sporting event. Or maybe playing poker.

Other comments?: The great thing about CrossFit is that it is truly a rewarding and humbling experience at the same time. It takes a lot of patience to get better – which is not a trait I’m famous for. Thanks to Kirk, who probably thought there was no chance I’d be here today after how clueless I was in foundations classes. Thanks to Melissa, for kicking my ass from the moment I walked in the door and always challenging me to make one more adjustment. Thanks to the rest of the coaches for all of their patience. And thanks to Carlos, who makes me jump on the 30-inch box with him even though I’m twice his age.

Tony's better half, Kendra

Tony’s better half, Kendra


Friday 9 am crew starting the snatch/OHS/T2B WOD

Friday 9 am crew starting the snatch/OHS/T2B WOD


Nick H. standing with an OHS rep

Nick H. standing with an OHS rep


Aaron throwing around 135# Friday

Aaron throwing around 135# Friday


The Saturday competitors class in the middle of the brutal DB C&J WOD

The Saturday competitors taking on the brutal DB C&J WOD


Michelle C. locking out the dumbells

Michelle C. locking out the dumbells








Sunday Partner WOD

Sunday Partner WOD



Holiday Schedule

December 18th, 2014 by admin

We will have a modified schedule next week for the Holidays. We will have a regular schedule through Monday’s classes. From there, the schedule is below…

Tuesday, Dec. 23 – 6 am, 9 am, noon, 4, 5, 6 pm classes. We will be doing our annual 12-Days of Christmas workout at every class throughout the day. If you haven’t met this workout yet, you’re in for some fun! And, it might just be your first time working out to Christmas music.

Wednesday, Dec. 24. – 1 class at 9 am. We will WOD, then enjoy some coffee, Baileys, and a little pot luck to celebrate the Holidays. Feel free to bring something to munch on after class. Coffee and Baileys are on us.

Thursday, Dec. 25 – CLOSED

Friday, Dec. 26 – 2 classes, 9 and 10 am only.

**There will be no childcare this Sunday 12/21, sorry for the inconvenience.

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Alexis, Jane, Rita and Mary with some heavy jerks on Tuesday

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Mike L. getting that bar over head

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Seth throwing the atlas stone around

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Amber getting to know the stones

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Babs in good position with this lunge

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It’s always a good day when Rachie visits!!!!

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CLOS, Dave and Brian enjoying the 11-foot target













December 15th, 2014 by admin

Folks, THIS is the time of year that you need to focus on getting to the gym. We are well into the Holiday season and everyone is super busy. Parties, shopping, your kids have all kinds of stuff going on, more parties and more shopping. Before you even know what’s happening, you haven’t been to the gym in days, you’ve been eating everything in sight, and you feel like garbage. Is it just me or does it seem like cookies are literally growing on trees? You can’t escape them. They are everywhere.

You have two parties to attend this week and you treat them like a wedding….you eat anything and everything without thinking twice. It’s the Holidays and you can eat whatever you want, right? Sure. But then the avalanche starts and you can’t even remember when you ate something healthy. “Eh, I’ve been eating bad all week, what’s another 5 cookies, right? I’ll start eating healthy again in January.”

January!?!?!?!? By then you’ve just gone on a month-long binge. There are only 12 months in a year, folks. The damage has been done. I think we’ve all had that internal battle; do you push away the cookies, or have “just one more.” Did you have the conversation once? Twice? 15 times? How often did you just take the cookie? Think about how much that adds up to.

Yes, it’s tough to keep good nutrition during the Holidays. But the real disaster is when you combine horrible nutrition AND not going to the gym. You’re busy and it may be tough to get here. But it’s not impossible. Make It happen. Get your cookie-eating a$$ to the gym and start sweating. Trust us, you’ll feel like a million bucks even after the most brutal workout.


We have a CrossFit Kids class for ages 10 to 14 up and running at 5 pm on Tuesdays. They had a great time last week with some front squats and burpees, so if anyone wants to jump in, let us know and we’ll give you the details!!!!

Barbell Club will meet Tuesday at 6 pm. We may be able to make Wednesday evening at 5 or 6 pm happen. We will let you know by Tuesday evening.












Snow, Ice and More Snow

December 11th, 2014 by admin

Just a quick post for tonight. We want to remind everyone here to find CrossFit 203 on facebook and to get familiar with our blog on The dreaded winter is here, which brings class cancellations and other changes because of the brutal weather. If there is inclement weather, your best bet is to check our facebook page to see if we had to close the gym. If we have to make any changes to our schedule, we will post it on facebook.

Our main goal here is to keep all of you, and our coaches, safe. That goes for inside AND outside of the gym. If the roads are messy and a coach does not feel safe traveling to the gym, we will close. Sometimes it’s better to stay home and avoid the roads. Be sure to actually check our page. With new facebook guidelines, our posts might not show up on your news feed all the time. Thanks everyone!

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The 7 pm crew always seems to produce the best “after” photos

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James throwing around a 155# thruster at the end of Wednesday’s WOD

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Welcome back to Meg!!!

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Damon locking out a heavy thruster

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Kate P. loving the thruster workout!

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Liz going strong at 6 am

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Jax with a front squat PR baby!!!!!

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After doing so well in the nutrition challenge, Mousse had little trouble with his C2B pull-ups

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The 4 pm crew starting Monday’s WOD








Bye Bye 5 am, But Hello Barbell Class!!

December 8th, 2014 by admin

A couple of schedule announcements for you tonight. First, we are putting a hold on our Tuesday 5 am class for the winter. For you early risers, we still have 6 am classes every day Monday through Friday.

Second, we will be holding TWO barbell classes this week. Meet in the side room, which we will now call the lifting room, at 6 pm Tuesday and also 5 pm Wednesday. If you are interested, it will be important for you to attend one of those days to see what kind of program will be offered. Again, you can choose to start a specific lifting program that you need to keep up with from week to week, or you can treat these classes as an Open Gym for lifting. If you recently missed a lift and want to make it up, these classes are an option for you.

Let us know if you have any questions about these barbell classes.

Sorry, forgot the camera. More pics to come Tuesday!!!

Sorry, forgot the camera. More pics to come Tuesday!!!

Challenge Winners!!!

December 7th, 2014 by admin

After numerous delays, some in our control, some not, we finally have the winners of our latest Nutrition Challenge. Congratulations to Team 1….Mousse, Seth and Michelle B! Their team scored first or second for all four of our categories, including weekly point totals, challenge WOD results, and body fat and lean body mass percentage change. They will each earn a portion of the cash pot!  Congratulations to Team 2 (Nicole H., Malu, Kate T) and Team 5 (Terri, Bob and Rita), they placed 2nd and 3rd respectively.  We’re awarding the second place team double their buy-in back, and the third team wins their buy-in money back! We’ll have the winnings on Monday. Come and get your cash!!!!!

A few details about their challenge. Mousse took 9 percentage points off of his body fat, while losing seven pounds and adding 58 reps to his fight gone bad score. Seth lowered his body fat by 8 percent, while staying at basically the same weight, signaling the addition of major muscle mass. With numbers like that, it’s no surprise that he added 52 reps to his FGB score. Meanwhile, Michelle B., who has been killing these challenges for years and doesn’t have much more to lose, still dropped her body fat by 3 percent. Amazing job by that crew!

Congratulations to everyone who did this challenge. We made it more difficult and maybe scared some people away by asking for only “serious” competitors. With the smaller team format, each mistake cost your team more. We saw some amazing results. Please ask Kirk if you want to see your numbers.

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Papa John looking good with the barbell Sunday morning

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Marie setting up for a clean

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Melissa F. rolling through her C&J’s

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Ashley getting great extension on this jerk

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Mike D. finishing up Sunday’s partner workout

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Anna starting Sunday’s partner WOD

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Coach Mikey repping out deadlifts over twice his body weight during Saturday’s competitors workout

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Dave, CLOS and Brian using up most of our weights

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Kendra, Amber and Everett with some KBS’s at Fridays’ noon class

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Welcome to Kristen!!!!!










Rowing and Lifting

December 4th, 2014 by admin

One last reminder about Sunday’s rowing clinic. After taking this clinic a couple of weeks ago, it’s clear even the best rowers at the box could use a few of the tips you’ll receive from Matt McNeil. Please sign up on the board at the gym, or contact Kirk or Melissa if you won’t be able to get to the box to sign up before Sunday. Don’t worry, it’s actually not a lot of rowing. I have a feeling some of you think you’ll be doing a 20K row or something. You won’t. What you’ll be doing is learning how to maximize each stroke on the machine. He will hold sessions at 10:30 am and 11:30 am.

In other news we are going to unveil a dedicated Barbell Class once a week, on Wednesday evenings at 5 pm. Depending on interest, we will add classes in the near future. For people who can commit to this class, you will be put on a specific program. It can also be for anyone who missed their favorite lift and you want to make it up. Consider it an Open Gym for heavy lifting!!!! Coach Brian will run the show and get you off and running with the program. For anyone who wants to commit to this class, please get in touch with Coach Brian.

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Amber praying that this burpee box jump ends well… did

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Kate T., Teresa and Jess A. working through their burpee box jumps

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Mike and Mike

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Jimmy nearing full extension of this “evil wheel”






When I’m 90

December 2nd, 2014 by admin

As some of you may have heard, my grandmother passed away late last week. When something like that happens, my mind wanders and I start thinking a lot about life and death and all kinds of crazy, random things in life. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about what my life will be like when I’m 90. Yes, I plan on living that long!

I began thinking about it because I looked at my grandparents and the fact that they still lived together and basically self-sufficient even as they neared 90 years of age. Sometimes months would pass between visits with them, and I was always amazed at how strong they were and how good they looked. My grandmother remained strong even during her long, courageous fight against cancer. She set the bar for strength, toughness, courage and dignity.

That’s my goal. I want to be strong when I’m 90. My greatest fear is to be too feeble to take care of myself as I advance in age. And that’s a big part of why I do CrossFit. Am I weird for looking THAT far down the line? Maybe. But the bottom line is this; I want to be able to play with my GREAT grandkids. I want to be able to bend down and pick them up and hold them while I walk down the stairs.

What will help me reach that goal? Doing this CrossFit thing for as long as I possibly can. To stay strong and healthy.

When I’m 90, I want people to look at me and say, “man, I hope I’m like THAT guy when I’m 90!”

That’s right. It may be 60 years down the road, but I’m already preparing to be an ass-kicking 90 year old. If that makes me strange, so be it.

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Kaitlyn going RX today!!!

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Nathaniel with his usual rock solid back squat

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Brenden was throwing some serious weight today

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Lou and Mindy teaming up for the Sunday WOD

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Dave and Tanya demolishing Sunday’s partner workout

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Jess D. and Stacey working on some T2B reps









Rowing Clinic!

November 29th, 2014 by admin

We have enjoyed a great turnout here at 203 over the past couple days! It was great seeing so many new faces during our Free WOD for Small Business Saturday! As always, we thank you all for your continued support, we are the luckiest small business owners in town.

We are busy working out the final scoring for our Nutrition Challenge and should have the winners announced this coming week! Stay tuned, the results so far have been awesome, and it’s shaping up to be a tight race for the top spot.

In other news, we are excited to announce that we have set up a rowing clinic for next Sunday, December 7th. Space is limited to 7 people per class, and we will host a couple different times throughout the day, starting at 10:30 am and running through 1:30 pm. Cost will be $10 per person. Please pay and then we will get your name on the sign-up sheet. This clinic will be hosted by Matt McNeil. Matt began rowing in 2009 with the Fairfield University Men’s Rowing Team and was team captain his junior and senior years. He holds a MA in secondary education and a BA in History from Fairfield. He is currently aspiring to make the U.S. National Team and is training and coaching at Maritime Rowing Club in Norwalk, CT. Matt has a passion for rowing as well as teaching and sees coaching as a wonderful marriage of the two.

We had all of our coaches at 203 take part in a 2-hour clinic with him last weekend and it was great! You don’t want to miss this!

The rowing clinic is designed to accomplish two goals. The first is to offer athletes a strong fundamental understanding and grasp of the rowing stroke. The second goal is to offer athletes the technical training to most optimally apply their fitness and strength to the rowing machine so they can better compete as CrossFit athletes. Let us know if you are interested. We highly recommend it!

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Great turnout for our Small Business Saturday WOD!!!

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Mike S. going with KB thrusters

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Mike T., Mindy and some of the 9 am crew

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For some, this is the best part of the WOD. For others, it’s the worst. Which are you?




Weekend Post

November 28th, 2014 by admin

Don’t forget that Saturday is Small Business Saturday! Get out there and support local small businesses as much as you can this weekend!  We are inviting anyone in the community to come down for a free workout, tomorrow (Saturday) at 9 am. The workout will be beginner-friendly, yet still a good test for any of our current athletes. Help spread the word and support Small Business!

As for Thanksgiving, well, the tribe has spoken. We had an amazing turnout for our first-ever Thanksgiving morning workout, so we will continue that tradition moving forward. And, of course, the annual “Turkey’s Revenge” WOD on Friday didn’t disappoint. Anyone who came to the box during the past two days can rest easy knowing you earned that Thanksgiving meal…..and the leftovers.

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The aftermath

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Chops locking out a push press

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Great to see Carolyn back in town visiting!!!!

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Amy looked great with her pull-ups today

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Watching Daddy (Alberto) attack a set of wall ball

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Nicole Q. during the Thanksgiving WOD

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The Thanksgiving morning crew


Thanksgiving WOD

Thanksgiving WOD


Turkey's Revenge WOD

Turkey’s Revenge WOD