Mike O’N Named February 100% Award Honoree.

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Mike O’N marks the start of each workout with “Let’s go, 5 a.m.’ers” and a bit of unique choreography.

Congratulations to Mike O’N, the February 2016 100% Award honoree. Mike was nominated by Kelly B, Steve H, Juan & Jeff G, his fellow “5 a.m.’ers” from the CrossFit and Strength & Conditioning classes.

Mike started with EAD | CFAH in September 2009 as a member of one the first Fitness Boot Camp sessions offered, and now reigns as one of our longest-tenured athletes.

Fellow athletes describe Mike as selfless, supportive, determined, disciplined, willing, kind, considerate, tough, and inspiring.

“Mike is a true leader in the 5 a.m. class,” said Kelly B. “He has a way of pushing everyone in the class just a little bit further, without over doing it. He’s always willing to help out … he evens parks in the back in the morning so there are more spots close to the door for everyone else.”

Steve H concurs. “Mike inspires others around him; he never takes the easy way out and pushes himself to get better every day. It is usual for Mike, after he finishes his WOD, to stay and urge on his fellow 5 a.m.’ers to finish strong. He is a powerful motivator and is always there for others.” Steve also marvels at Mike’s attendance. “Anyone who makes the 5 a.m. class more than twice a week has an uncommon level of discipline … Mike usually makes the class five days a week. ”

Mike is the self-appointed Good Morning Ambassador to anyone new to the Sunrise Crew. “He always has a positive attitude at 5 a.m., which is hard to do,” said nominator Juan. Steve remembers Mike as “the first guy to come up and talk to me, and help me out with explaining the workout or parts I didn’t know. Over the past couple of years, I have seen him do this over and over again.”

“He exemplifies ‘do the most you can,’ and readily encourages others, reminding them that not everything has to be Rx,” said Juan. That’s an attributed also recognized by Jeff G. “His attention to detail, especially with lifting techniques, has helped me and other athletes. Mike encourages classmates regardless of their skill level and promotes a caring community.”

We will honor one EAD | CFAH athlete each month with the 100% Award. The award honors EAD | CFAH Athlete Malaika Corsentino who gave 100 percent to her training, even while undergoing chemotherapy and radiation for Glioblastoma. The monthly honoree will be selected from nominations submitted by EAD | CFAH athletes and evaluated by the performance coaches. The nomination deadline is for the March 100% Award is Monday the 28th. Email Coach Karen with the athlete name and a quick sentence or two describing how the nominee demonstrated commitment, consistency, camaraderie, community building, and / or the willingness to accept challenge.

Register Today! Battle Royale, Saturday, Sept. 26.

2015BattleRoyaleJoin us Saturday, Sept. 26 at 9 a.m. as we host our friends from EPIC Power & Conditioning | CrossFit EPC (owned by former EAD | CFAH athletes Heather R & Josh R) for a fun, all-levels cross-town competition & potluck cookout. REGISTER NOW.

The competition is FREE, and will feature three workouts. The workouts will be released the week of September 7. Can’t make the competition? Join us for the potluck cookout. Questions? See Coach Karen.

Coach Becky & Coach Kate Offer The Inspiration Many of You Knee’d.

This is another in a series of personal reflections contributed by Elite Athletic Development | CrossFit Arlington Heights athletes about the mental, physical and emotional changes experienced since joining our health & fitness community. We turn the blog over to Coach Kate, who reflects on the one-year anniversary of Coach Becky’s devastating knee injury, her gutsy return to competition, and how her journey can serve as a lesson to us all. Thanks to Coach Kate and Coach Becky for sharing this story. 

Why do you come to Elite Athletic Development | CrossFit Arlington Heights? To improve or maintain your health and fitness? To change body composition? To socialize and enjoy the community? For therapy? To get away? To blow off steam? To challenge yourself? For the competition? To be a part of something pretty awesome? All of the above … and more?

I come to EAD | CFAH because I like to feel empowered. “If I can squat 300 pounds, then what obstacle is ever going to stand in my way?” Not a single one. The grit and guts you need to face a workout should leave you feeling strong and capable. But lately, that’s not what I’ve overhead, and I’m getting frustrated.

BeckyDropQuote“I’m just not built to be strong (or fast).”
“I don’t really bend that way.”
“I don’t have the time.”
“I’m too old.”
“I’m not good with a barbell.
“I’m too big (or too small).”
“I don’t want (insert body part) to get too big (or too small).”
“I’ve just never been good at (insert just about anything.).”

Blah, blah, blah. It’s time to tell your little, self-deprecating conscience to shut the F*** up.

BubblesDon’t get me wrong; I get it. I’ve been there, and sometimes need to push through negative emotions. The fear of failure or the anxiety over trying something new can be paralyzing. But the best thing you can do for yourself is to bust out of your comfort zone. Breaking even one small element of your routine can create major change because it forces you to think about how and why you do what you do, rather than going through life like some mindless robot. I hate to break it to you, but life sucks sometimes. Forrest Gump was right: SHIT HAPPENS. Life can get really hard and uncomfortable, and when it does, what will the negative little bubbles that you allow to float around your head do for you?

To fear change equals an inability to grow. And don’t tell me you don’t need to adapt and grow; I don’t buy it. The time is now. No more excuses. No more negative attitudes. No more “I can’t.” You are fully capable of changing how you think, and how your body moves. I guarantee that if you really challenge yourself with a positive attitude, and commit and dedicate to improving yourself, you will find success far past a MetCon or the Barbell. How do I know that works? Coach Becky.


Coach Becky is always up for a challenge, including posing for one of Coach Jim’s recent photo shoots.

One year ago, Becky — going full-force and fearless, as usual — jumped an 8-foot wall, only to land awkwardly and tear her ACL (Editor’s Note: The anterior cruciate ligament is one of the four main knee joint ligaments that connect the shinbone thighbone). Most would succumb to their perceived reality that there would be no future fun and exciting adventures, or athletic endeavors. But not Becky. After two days of denial and facing the reality of her MRI, Becky got angry and decided to change her focus. She was determined not to let this injury get the best of her.

The radiologist who read the MRI said surgery was the best option. Several people assured Becky that surgery was the sensible decision. But Becky knew better, and instead listened to her gut. Becky believed that her athletic ability and experience creating effective rehab plans would help her get the results she wanted. Her after assessing her fitness level and leg strength, the doctor agreed; there would be no surgery for Becky.

Becky built an action plans. She wrote weekly and monthly goals pertaining to Activities of Daily Living, range of motion, and strength. She had to change her approach in the gym as well, initially focusing on upper body strength like Pull Ups and Dips. With only small episodes of frustration (obstacle, obstacle, obstacle), she stayed motivated because she decided that success was her only option. There was no giving up. There were no excuses. She gained momentum and support as she tracked her progress  via Instagram. With every milestone – bending her knee, running, box jumps, pistols, Oly lifting – she received encouragement from members of the EAD | CFAH community. Seriously, she crushed every single barrier in her way.

And, where is she now? Brand-spanking-100-percent-pain-free-good-as-new. That’s right, there isn’t a movement inside or outside the gym she hesitates to do. No fear. She knew what she needed to do to make this happen: goals, a plan, committing to it, doing to work, and being at EAD | CFAH, where the Community had her back.

So, there it is, the evidence you all seek. The recipe for success. Becky’s walking around, calling you out in the gym daily. She does it because she cares and she’s been there — through hard times and hard workouts. Just getting the chance to WOD next to her inspires me. This girl is strong and capable and it’s how she tackles LIFE. She doesn’t make excuses and she doesn’t surrender herself to that overwhelming negative chatter in her head.

So, look, maybe you are currently comfy and happy with your bubbles, and that’s fine. But you didn’t come to EAD | CFAH and you don’t stay here just to workout — you could have done that at any Globo Gym. You came to EAD | CFAH for more — just like I did, just like Becky did. So let us help you. Try something new, different, challenging. Commit. Work hard. Stay positive. Use your community. Get rid of your excuses and trust the process.

Registration Now Open! EAD Barbell Club In-House Competition.

Register today for the Winter 2015 In-House Olympic Weightlifting Competition.

Register today for the Winter 2015 In-House Olympic Weightlifting Competition.

Test your progress at the Elite Athletic Development Barbell Club Olympic Lifting Competition Sunday, Feb. 22, 10:30 a.m. The competition is open to current EAD | CFAH athletes, and no previous competitive experience is necessary.

Each registered athlete will have three attempts to max on the Snatch and Clean & Jerk. The combined total of the highest two successful lifts will determine the overall result within a body weight category. Weight categories will be determined after registration closes Wednesday, Feb. 18. Additional information will be provided to competitors the week of February 16. EAD | CFAH athlete spectators welcomed (no charge). Register today!

Questions? See an EAD | CFAH Performance Coach.

The Elite Athletic Development Barbell Club is a USA Weightlifting Club.

CrossFit Axis Invasion WOD | Sunday, May 4, 10:30 a.m.

CFAXMarketingPieceIsoGrab a friend (or two!) and join us Sunday, May 4, 10:30 a.m. for an all-levels, all-athlete Invasion WOD at the new home of CrossFit Axis, 412 East Business Center Drive, Mt. Prospect. CFAX is located a few blocks South of Randhurst Village, just off Rand Road.

We will offer a full class schedule at CrossFit Axis starting Thursday, May 1, and we’d love to give you a chance to preview the new facility … for free! RSVP | CrossFit Axis Invasion WOD

CrossFit Axis Class Schedule

  • Monday – Thursday, 5:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m. & 6 p.m.
  • Friday, 5:30 a.m. & 9:30 a.m.
  • Saturday, 7 a.m.
  • … more classes to come!


Sorry … Your EAD | CFAH class package is not valid at CFAX at this time.