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Todd was one of the very first people that ever trained with Adam and then ultimately with us at CrossFit Culver City (CFCC).  When the news spread quietly at CFCC that Adam and I were going to open a new gym, Todd was the one who decided he wanted to be our first client. 
I remember vividly, sitting at Versailles Cuban Restaurant down the street from where DogTown was going to be, with him and a couple other members excitedly breaking the news of DogTown CrossFit's birth.  His immediate response was, “I want to be number 1.”  Since then, Todd has been #1.  
We have seen him through career changes, relationships, a ton of Weightlifting and Gymnastics and to me, Todd truly embodies all that is great about this place.  He is a solid human who has enjoyed his hard work and contributed immensely to the community at DT.
Thanks,
Coach Dusty
 

Q: How long have you been doing CrossFit and what inspired you to start?
A: I’ve been doing CrossFit for just over 10 years now and actually fell into it by accident. I was interested in Krav Maga and noticed there was a gym opening up on Washington and Higuera in Culver City. A few days after that, I decided to pop in and see what it was all about. I remember talking to the co-owner, John, about the programming and he introduced me to his partner, Adam. Adam was building a CrossFit gym in the back and he showed me around the space. I had no idea what CrossFit was, but it honestly sounded way more interesting than Krav Maga. I wasn’t too into the mass-market gym model and Adam was a pretty good salesman haha. At this point, the gym wasn’t built yet, so Adam encouraged me to schedule some training sessions with him at his house (he had a whole setup in his garage). After a few intro classes, I was hooked and never really looked back.
 
Q: What was your fitness like before CrossFit?
A: I would wander around a globo-gym aimlessly, really not knowing what to do. I followed a few workout templates I picked up online, but the entire process seemed so isolated. I think I had always been looking for the fitness community that CrossFit eventually provided. 

Q: What changes have you experienced since starting CrossFit?
A: I lost a good amount of weight prior to CrossFit, but once I started things went into overdrive. There have been some gaps in my ten years where I took a break and decided to do more cardio (gasp!), but I eventually wised up haha. I feel great and I’m constantly sore, but you know, the good kind of sore. 

Q: What are you favorite movements and workouts and what are your least favorite?
A: Anything rooted in gymnastics has always been my favorite. Toes-to-bar, muscle-ups, handstands…it all takes a level of concentration and precision that fascinates me. My least favorite? Snatches ;) 

Q: When you are not at CrossFit, what are you up to?
A: I like to travel as much as possible, I’m a sucker for a good brunch, and I’m usually tripping around the city with my fiancé, Jacob, looking for new adventures: concerts, art shows, plays, new restaurants…we like to dive into it all.  

Q: What are your CrossFit goals?
A: I’d like to get back into the shape I was when I first started CrossFit. Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels haha. 

Q: What are two of your most proud CrossFit moments?
A: I would say the first time I got a muscle up is up there on the list. I’d been practicing after class for weeks until I finally got one. Second would be the first time we all competed together at UCLA (was years ago) for I think CrossFit Regionals? I mean this was back when cyborgs weren’t competing and we actually kind of stood a chance at being competitive. Doing things as a DogTown community in general has always been some of my fondest memories.  


Q: Can you share a more humbling experience you have had at CrossFit and what you learned from it?
A: I’m a decently confident person and CrossFit has a way of putting everyone on the same playing field and really just leveling things out. CrossFit has certainly taught me my weaknesses, both mentally and physically, but it’s also made me more in touch with my strengths…I love it for that. 

Q: What advice do you have for a newbie at DogTown?
A: I would say don’t get discouraged, come often, and have fun. If you aren’t having fun then what’s the point? Results will follow. 

Q: What 2 things can you share with our DogTown family that they may not know about you?
A: Although I don’t play as much as I’d like, I’ve been golfing since I was 5. 
I’m getting married in May 2019!

Q: If you could do a drop in to any box around the world, which would you pick?
A: I try and drop in to a CrossFit gym each time I travel, but if I could choose right now, I’d say some place tropical…Bali would be cool. 
 

Keston reached out to us for online coaching / programming in early 2015, and Coach Mike V started programming for her.  She then began coming to DogTown in September of 2015, while she worked in Long Beach at another CF Affiliate.  That season she qualified for the 2016 Regionals and afterwards made the move to LA and became part of our coaching Staff.  In 2017, she travelled and competed at the Dubai Fitness Championship and returned to the CA Regional.  This year is her third straight trip to Regionals! 

We are very proud of Keston's growth as a human, a coach and an athlete.  We are looking forward to seeing her crush her third trip to Regionals for the 2018 season.

But first, a few fun facts you should know about our little Keston:

Nickname: Dozer as in “Bulldozer”

Middle Name: Mary Catherine

Favorite Meals: Chicken Nuggets and cheeseburgers

Also, sometimes you might think she looks upset, but really she is just squinty from not wearing her glasses. Or she might just be super fired up.


Q: How did you get into CrossFit and what has been your journey that has lead you to Regionals?

I randomly discovered CrossFit through YouTube. I was watching gymnastics videos, and in the suggested video about CrossFit popped up. It looked like something I would enjoy, but because I'm from a smaller town in Texas, I didn't think that there were any boxes around. Then, one day when I was driving, an ad for a local CrossFit gym came across the radio. I called my best friend at the time and insisted that she go check it out for me (I couldn’t get there myself). After going, she reported back that, "Yea, there's crazy people yelling and sweating in there so you'll like it."

The first time I made it to the gym my mom actually had to go with me because I wasn't 18 yet. From there I just started working out and taking class every day. About two months later I was talked into signing up for my first open. I then did my first competition with a team, but had no idea what I was doing. I was filling in for a girl that dropped out.

To give you a perspective on how much I knew at the time, I remember being at the athlete briefing and someone asking if it was okay if they did butterfly pull-ups. I turned to my partner and asked, "What's a butterfly pull-up?" He just laughed and told me not to worry about it.

My fascination with competing didn’t really begin until I went to go watch my first regionals in 2013. I had no idea that there were girls that good at this stuff! I felt like I had been living under a rock my entire life.

From there the rest is history. I moved off to college and was surrounded by more competitive athletes. Fun fact about myself, I'm very zero or one hundred. I'm in it or I'm not. So my obsession with competing just took off. I knew I wanted to move to California to work with the best coaches and athletes, so I did. I competed in my first regionals in 2016 with the help of Dusty, and my second in 2017. Now we'll see what 2018 has to offer. It's been a challenging adventure, but also a very rewarding one.


Q: You’ve talked about how you want to not take the Regionals so seriously this year that you lose sight of enjoying it. What is your mindset and
how do you maintain that on those rough days that challenge you mentally?

Last year going into regionals, I put a lot of pressure on myself, so much so that I ended up wanting to just get through it as fast as possible to get it over with. This year, since I put so much effort into enjoying my training again, it's important for me to remember why I'm doing this. I don't want to get caught up in all of the pressure and lose track of my love for training and competing. My goal is to take regionals one workout at a time and do the absolute best I can in every single workout.

This year I also took a different approach with programming and decided to program for myself. It is forcing me to live everyday with integrity. I am responsible for my work and my effort. When I am out on the regionals floor, there is not going to be anyone holding my hand. I have to compete, and I want to know that I did everything that I could to have to best possible outcome that I can provide for myself. If I mess up, or didn't focus on something enough throughout the year, then it's on me.

Q: What are you most excited about and what makes you the most nervous about Regionals?

I'm both the most excited and the most nervous for event one, right when the start buzzer goes off. After that moment I get to prove how hard I have worked all year long to myself for the rest of the weekend.

Q: What advice do you have for the athletes at DogTown?

If you have an attainable goal, know that with enough hard work it's possible to reach it. Even if it takes you 10 years to get there, keep working for what you want and do not give up.

Q: What are two common mistakes you see people making when they CrossFit?

For one, lifting technique is definitely a common area where everyone can always make improvements on. The most common mistake I see actually happens outside of the gym. Most people, not everyone, put a lot of work into working out but eat like poop outside the gym. They become discouraged because they aren't seeing any changes in their body. If you want to lose weight or lean out, nutrition is key.

Q: What is life like for you outside of the box?

My life outside of the gym is very similar to my life inside the gym, especially during competition season. I seriously have a pretty boring life. I still have to constantly watch what I eat and can't drink or go out and party. Usually on the weekends, I go down to long beach to hang out with my friends and binge watch TV shows. Seriously. Boring I Know. Life of an athlete.

Q: Last question: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

This is such a hard question. I seriously think about this all the time and I still have no idea. I would like to say I hope I'm still training and enjoying CrossFit! If I wasn't competing anymore though, I would probably be back in school finishing my degree and enjoying the journey with my doggo!

GO GETTEM DOZER!

We have one of the most unique, thriving CrossFit communities and we are grateful for everyone that is part of it. While it is your job to show up to DogTown and get a kick ass workout, it is our job to keep you all safe and our space functioning efficiently and safely as well. Here are some things we want to remind everyone of because we know that it is easy to lose sight of them when you are coming in and out of the pain cave.


1.    Our equipment has feelings too.
We want our equipment to have longevity and we want all of it to be able to work for you. Please be considerate when using, putting down and putting away ALL equipment. Dumbbells for example, prefer to be placed on the floor, not tossed. Empty barbells should NEVER be dropped.  *Of course if you are ever in a situation where your safety is compromised, do what you must if it prevents injury and harm to you or someone else.

Also, just like people, the equipment takes pride on being clean and hygienic. Wipe down equipment for the next person.

Jump ropes should ALWAYS be returned NEATLY to the rack next to the cage. They get really angry when they are left tangled and haphazardly thrown onto a hook.

2.    Being spatially aware can save you a few hundred dollars.
No one wants someone else to drop a plate on their toe or get smacked in the face by someone’s foot in toes-to-bar.  We also want to steer clear of spontaneously doing a pull-up on the rig where another bar is right above it and land ourselves in Urgent Care to get stiches to sew our forehead back up (and a $900 Urgent Care bill).

It is so important to pay attention to our surroundings and other athletes, especially when we are all moving around from station to station. This may mean you have to wait a few seconds to do a movement. It is not the end of the world.

Having said that, once you pick your area you are working in, STICK TO IT. If someone is lifting and you switch locations to do double-unders for example, you are putting both of you at risk because the other person is not expecting you to be there.

3.    It is not cool to be fashionably late to class.
DO NOT be late to class. Not only is it disruptive to the class and disrespectful to the coaches, it could be detrimental to you. The classes are designed to have a dynamic warm up with stretching, which you should always do prior to jumping into the workout. If anything, come early to class to get in extra mobility work.


4.    Nobody likes a chalk whore.
The chalk is in buckets for a reason: to prevent it from flaking all over the floor. Please be kind and keep it in there. When you need it for your hands, just chalk up over the bucket. DO NOT take out pieces and leave it on the j-cups or by the rig.


5.    Selfies can wait.
Phones should be off limits during class for old school activities like texting, messaging, and calls. It is too distracting and takes your focus off what you are doing.

It is acceptable to use your phone for things like calculating your 1RM percentages, checking your log of past workouts and post workout photos/videos. See #2 above about being spatially aware.


6.    Listen up, Buttercup.
This is an entire blog in and of itself so stay tuned on that. We will say this: LISTEN TO YOUR COACHES! We know you have waited all day to tell your boxmate about the awesome PR you hit the other day, but tell them after class. NOT while your coaches are going over the movements.

You are paying for guidance and that’s what we are doing for you, which quite simply put, requires you to be good listeners. We want you to get stronger but more importantly, we want you to stay safe.



A few other items that fall under “House Keeping and Logistics”.

1.    Surprises are not always a good thing.
You should ALWAYS sign in to class prior to coming. Not only do we use it to shame you when you come back after taking a hiatus, but it helps the coaches plan for larger class sizes. We rather know in advance if we are going to have 20 people show up than it be a surprise so we can plan for necessary safety adjustments.

2.    We are not a frat house.
There is no eloquent way to write this one so here it is. Treat the bathrooms like you would at your own house (not a frat house). Please be sure to be clean. You know, like the old adage “Please be neat and wipe the seat.”

**DO NOT FLUSH ANYTHING BESIDES TOILET PAPER AND HUMAN WASTE DOWN THE TOILETS**
We do not want another overflow situation.

3.    Don’t be “That Guy” when you park.
The spots, especially the compact ones, are TIGHT. Be kind and make sure the neighboring cars can get in and out. Also, DO NOT block the DogTown coach spots. We are going to institute a 100 burpee penalty if you do.


 
4.    It is rude to leave the dinner table before everyone has finished eating.
Everyone at some point has been or will be the last person to finish a workout. And there is nothing more annoying and discouraging than having another person interfere with your final reps because they are stepping in front of you and getting in the way so they can put their stuff away.

Instead of getting in someone’s space, or bolting from the box completely when you are done, it will go a long way to give that person still going some encouragement and cheers. Tell them to keep pushing instead of chit chatting with someone coming into the next class.

Thanks everyone!
DogTown Staff