Carmen R. is the September Member of the Month

Croga Fitness
October 17, 2022
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One of the strongest momma’s to ever momma aka Carmen Romano!! Carmen is a staple at our 7am (Who’s also been known to make guest appearances at the 3:30 and 5:30.) But one thing’s for sure though, no matter what time she’s at the gym she’s always good to have in class!

There are so many cool and unique things about Carmen, but two special ones are her consistency and her love of life outside of the gym. Over the last year Carmen’s name has been on the PR board multiple times every. single. month! And it’s been on there for so many different things! From weightlifting PR’s to gymnastics improvements, Carmen has done it all. She makes the joke that our coaches are the ones making her muscles pop out of her shirt but she’s the one putting in the work. We’re just the ones enjoying the ride!

Outside of the gym Carmen is a working mom who absolutely loves her kids, while also making time to have a little fun!! You can catch her watching her husband’s band play or accompanying friends to shows on the weekends! The balance is incredible, and admirable to see.

We’re so lucky to have someone like Carmen at Croga. She’s a gift to our community.

When did you join Croga? What were you doing before for fitness?
I joined Croga in October of 2020 as the previous CF gym I belonged to had shut down for COVID.  Before that I was an amateur boxer and WAY before that a competitive swimmer, water polo player and Equestrian.  

What was your first workout? First reaction to your first workout?
I don't recall the very first CF workout but do remember standing under the rig looking up at the pull-up bar thinking, "Oh, I'm just supposed to jump up and grab that???" I also remember taking issue with the differences between the genders.  Bar size / weight, box height, caloric requirements, etc...that was until I started.  I thought, I'll just stick with the lady bar and feel sorry for the suckers (men) and their taller boxes and targets.

What improvements have you seen in the way you look, feel and perform?
The most significant improvements I've had since being a part of Croga are in my strength/power.  Most, if not all, lifts have increased and although my form is a work in progress, it's MUCH better now than 2 years ago.  

Another change...size.  My secret life as a crossfitter is harder to hide.  I joke that it's Ari's fault my shirt and jacket sleeves no longer fit but I'm not going to be shy about gaining muscle.  Now if only I could tell my brain and scale to think of this as a positive!

What days and times do you come to Croga?
I usually attend the 0700 classes 4 days/ week with a bonus Saturday partner WOD. YAY I love me some partner WODs.  

Favorite WOD: those that last no more than 9 minutes and make you lift heavy and quickly.  

Least favorite WOD: those that make you run >800m, have no baked in rest and/or have the strict press...BLEH.

'CARMEN' WOD: buy in: 10 synchronized partner push-ups (had clap if agreeable) then something like jumping lunges, HSPU, single leg RDL with a KB, HSPU, box step ups with a db, HSPU and hopefully a buy out of some sort.  

Favorite post work out routine: after peeling myself off of the gym floor...stretching then an epsom salt bubble bath soak and maybe if I'm feeling girly, some hand callus de-bulking. Then eating.

What's been your favorite culinary discovery since joining Croga?
I've discovered the almond flour mug bread made in the microwave and of course, tried my first ever energy drink.  Thanks Kal for the intro to the dark side.  

Fitness goals for 2022: DL 300#, and some version of a muscle up, without a band or a box, but maybe a's so high!

What do you love about this type of fitness?
Some reasons I love doing this type of fitness are the group setting with knowledgeable coaches and having someone else be bothered with programming.  You know sometimes you just want to be told what to do.   Finally, the CrossFit style of workout changes to address the major components of fitness and all in about an hour.  That's lovely.

Words of advice:
1. Yeah it's hard, it's hard for all of us.  Keep it up and worry about you and your goals/purpose.  
2. NEVER wear lace undies on sit-up days
3. Invest in grips and everyone has an opinion so just keep trying, you'll find yours
4. Figure out the hook grip and don't let go
5. Push yourself to try harder, you'd be surprised how much stress the body can take
6. Keep showing up.  Keep encouraging others.  
7. DO YOUR MOBILITY WORK!!!  this becomes more and more important and the benefits are worth the time and patience.

Anything else you like to say?
Croga is/has been a significant part of my fitness journey and helps me to carry on.  After workouts outside in the parking lot before sunrise, masks while doing double-unders, and encouragement to participate in challenges such as holding a plate for fun (or was it for time?), this Croga family has been there for me and my pursuit on this fitness journey. Thank you to the staff, members and a special shout out to 0700 - see you tomorrow morning!

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