SPARTAN PERFORMANCE                                     CROSSFIT SUFFOLK


 21-15-9 reps for time of:
225 pound Back squat
2 pood Kettlebell swing


WOD Demo with CrossFit Ranch Salinas Valley – video [wmv] [mov] [HD mov] (Courtesy of CrossFit.com)


Lisa wound up in 31st place in the Women Masters 45-49 Division of the CrossFit Games.  The top 30 women move on to the Games Competition in California in July.  Lisa has a tendency to be a bit hard on herself and I suppose that is part of what makes her such a great competitor. 

What Lisa has accomplished during the 2012 CrossFit Games Open is amazing.  Lisa has lost 30% of her breathing capacity from working at Ground Zero after September 11th 2001 and she has asthma.  She has had 8- or 9 surgeries on her right leg and foot as a result of breaks while performing her job as a police officer and subsequent breaks.  The simple fact is Lisa's right foot and leg will never be the same right foot and leg she was born with.  She'll always have problems with it.  Lisa has never used her health issues as an excuse not to do something even when I or a doctor has advised her to alter her activities.  Lisa is still one of the strongest athletes in the gym.  There were several occasions I thought she'd "throw in the towel" but she never considered it.  During the Spartan Beast it was Lisa who convinced me to continue during the treacherous sandbag carry.  I contemplated dropping the sandbag and continuing without it like so many others did.  Lisa said one thing that resonated with me, "You'll never feel good about yourself if you continue without that sandbag."  She was right and off we went.  Or the time during the Spartan Race on Staten Island when she broke her leg with about 2 miles left of the course.  When I told her I'd get her ambulance she said, "no, I have to finish this."  It was painful to watch, but she finished it.  During the Games workouts over the last 5 weeks I watched her in amazement, knowing she was in pain and wondering how she was able to be amongst the best.

There are a few people in my life I felt were truly inspirational, but none as much as my wife.  I love you Lisa and I'm very proud of what you accomplished during the 2012 Games Open, not to mention what you accomplish every day that you set foot in the gym.—–George




Dan S.



Meet Dan S.   Dan was supposed to die on August 31, 2008.  If you had the pleasure of training beside Dan you know that he is quite alive, perhaps more so than many other "living" people.  Dan was diagnosed with a type of Hemolyctic Anemia back in 2008.  What was unknown at the time was the underlying cause was something called Common Variable Immunodeficiency (CVID).  Basically, Dan's ability to produce Antibodies or Immunoglobulin, what we use to fight off bacterial and viral infections, is severely compromised.

Besides being vulnerable to infection, those suffering from CVID have a laundry list of problems with the best of the bunch being fatigue.  Part of the therapy that Dan has to go through is weekly Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG).  The side effects of the IVIG include difficulty breathing, fever, nausea, muscle aches and joint pain.

Dan is 40 years old.  He has plates in his neck and lower back and pins in his wrist from two vehicle accidents that resulted in Dan going through a car windshield and nearly being impaled by a piece of metal sticking out from the truck also involved in the accident.  Last, but not least, Dan was diagnosed with Asthma when he was 18.

Imagine for a moment, if you will, doing the workout of the day while feeling fatigue, nausea, muscle aches, joint pain, difficulty breathing, asthma, and having plates and pins in your back, neck and wrist!

Yeah…it is tough to imagine.

Quick observation—the hardest working people in the gym are often the ones faced with most adversity–Lisa, Hector (when he was training with us) and now Dan S..  Take a moment to consider that as well.

Onto the good stuff!

Dan left the "corporate world" in 2006 because he was sick, but undiagnosed.  He left good money and security.  He started his own business which he still runs today, Supreme Blends, located at 71 Main Street, East Islip.  (CrossFit Suffolk members get a 10% discount on food, by the way!!  Supreme Blends is one of our favorite eateries and how we met Dan.  You can get wraps, shakes and salads as well as supplements–the food is awesome!) 

Dan finally found a doctor that was able to get a handle on his condition.  The doctor, Doron Weiner, specializes in Hematology and Oncology, performed surgery on Dan, waived his fee and got the hospital to drop its bill from $145,000.00 to $7,000.00!  There is nothing like a doctor who has the combination of high-level competency and compassion–they are worth their weight in gold and we are lucky to have them!

In recent years Dan has become certified in Scuba Diving and has gone Sky Diving.  He now believes there is nothing he can't do and eventually he'd like to help others believe that of themselves as a motivational speaker.

Dan has been CrossFitting with us for 3 months.  Two weeks ago his doctor told him his asthma was gone and he no longer needs Asthma medication.  He told the doctor about CrossFit and the doctor said, "Tell your coach not to go easy on you."  There's no chance of that happening!

Dan states, "CrossFit has allowed me to live life to live and live life to truly LIVE!  I can play with my daughter and her friends and not feel out of breath. Your mind tells your heart that you can do anything and in turn I teach this to my daughter, Kaelynn, who is my main source of motivation."

In the nicer weather Dan can be found making the 9 mile trip from Supreme Blends to Spartan Performance by bike, do the workout of the day then ride his bike home.  Dan always gives everything he has.  There are no half-hearted performances for Dan.  Dan understands better than most that no day can be taken for granted. 

By George




10 Stubborn Exercise Myths That Won't Die, Debunked By Science

"It seems there are more questions and half-truths in the market about healthy exercise than there are clear, definitive facts—but the exercise industry is a multi-billion dollar business in the United States alone, built partially on selling gadgets and DVDs with incredible claims to people desperate to lose weight or look attractive. Meanwhile, good workout plans and simple truths lurk in the background waiting for their time to shine. All of this results in a ton of misinformation about exercise in general, and while the reality is different for everyone, we're taking some of those commonly held exercise myths to task, and we have science to back us up."—–Alan Henry for Lifehacker.com

16 Responses

  1. George

    Thanks Lauren!
    Go back….I added the Lisa story as well. I found out after I did the website the first time. So I went back….

  2. Amie a.k.a. Mrs. Bronco

    Awesome stories George. I have tears in my eyes. Dan is such an inspiration. Lisa is an amazing woman your are a lucky man.

  3. lisa

    I get my inspiration from the people I train with you , our clients, ,other injured pple like we got Joe with a bum knee and Ryan M who battles bad asthma as well and that girl never complains! she does her workouts, like me, with her inhaler besides her and she pushes herself hard even thou she fights the wod and to get a breath in!we have mommies like Amie and Lauren, and Kyrene with lil toddlers they struggle with sitters to come in just to be able to work out- life is a battle..and we got the warriors ..we are Spartans at heart! keep up the good work everyone…keep inspiring..whether you like it or not you all are role models to the others besides you they just don’t say anything,… 🙂

  4. Lauren

    Lisa’s story brought a serious tear to my eye.
    Lisa, you are by far the strongest woman I know. You are the epitome of the saying “strong is beautiful”, inside and out. I am very proud to say that not only are you one of my trainers, but most importantly, my friend. Love you!

  5. Dan B

    Great post George. I didn’t know about most of that stuff until I read it today. Lisa and Dan S, y’all rock and I am humbled and also proud to train alongside you guys at Crossfit Suffolk. Y’all are nothing if not pure inspiration!

  6. Ana A.

    Very inspiring articles George!! I love reading these stories of awesome people that we interact with almost every day of our lives and like what Lauren said we consider our friends. It is such a gift to have that source of inspiration right before our eyes. They remind us of what we can be if we possess the same heart, soul and mind. Lauren, I agree with everything you said! Great job Lisa and Dan!

  7. George

    Thanks for the kind words everyone!
    Part of what makes this a great job is EVERYONE has a great story, but most don’t think so. I’m fascinated whenever people share a glimpse of their life.
    It’s difficult to describe how rewarding it is to get to coach you all. I really feel honored!

  8. lisa

    Dan B..the best part of reading your comment was the southern draw! xoxo
    thnk you for those kind words..I love training with you ..ur a beast!

  9. I can def speak for all of us when we say “the honor is ours”.
    — Its like when Leonidas is dying in ‘300’ and one of his Spartans says “my king, it is an honor to die by your side.” And he replied, “it was an honor to have lived by yours.”– GO SPARTAN PERFORMANCE! AHOO AHOO AHOO!!

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