Athletes Corner

“Athlete of the month/Athletes Corner”

As we progress through our fitness careers we constantly overcome obstacles. Successfully string together muscle ups, complete 50 double unders, improve on our diets, lifestyle and everything starts falling in line. It is generally a very difficult road to travel but this page will be dedicated to those who have gone from one thing to what they are now and it will be used as a way to congratulate their accomplishments as well as a way to see them in another light.


MAY 2016

Jessica Dass

1.  Name: 12823266_977212169014484_5781250264601338768_o
Jessica Dass

2.   Age:
36

3.   Background: Where are you from? What do you do? Athletic background?
I’m from Elizabethtown, PA. Since we’ve been here, I’ve been a stay-at-home mom and student.  I’ve always been active playing sports, running and working out.

4.   How long have you been drinking the CrossFit kool-aid?
3-4 years off and on, but a solid 1 1/2 years since I’ve been here.

13120561_10209354210875681_1717010476_o5.   What made you join your first CrossFit class? Why did you start?
I needed to get back into shape following our move here.

6.   What is your favorite thing about CrossFit?
The camaraderie.  The overall exhaustion you feel after a WOD. Seeing the progression of myself as well as others.

7.   What is your favorite WOD or favorite type of WODs?  What movements do you enjoy?
Anything that’s high intensity and burns my booty.

8.   What is your least favorite WOD or type of WODs?  What movements do you not enjoy doing?
Rowing. I hate rowing.

9.   When did you join Fight Tonight CrossFit? 
September 2014.

10.   What motivates you during a WOD?
My fellow CrossFitters.

11.   What advice would you give to a person just joining CrossFit?
Don’t give up and to log, log, log so you can see your progress.

12.   If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Sweets.

13.   Would you rather have a third eye or a third arm?
It depends if the third eye could be in the back of my head, then the eye for sure. Otherwise, third arm.

14.  What goals have you reached since joining CrossFit?  What fitness goals do you currently have?
Getting into the best shape of my life.  My current fitness goals are to increase my stamina and win a competition.

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JUNE 2015

Nick Jakovac

11733469_10153031876706169_1685927003_nThis Month our Athlete of the month will be the one, the only, the machine, the man that cleans 100lbs over body weight…no one other than Nick Jakovac AKA Jack.  His CrossFit journey started 5 years ago yet he only recently got his double unders and man was it funny watching that.  I kid I kid.  While here in Korea Jack found his wife Kristen and they have been supporting the FTCF community like champs.

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Jack attained his CrossFit Level 1 Certification while in Korea and has taken many classes with zest.  His unique problem solving skills and ‘energetic’ encouragement has led many of us to up our exertion during WODs.  Every one of us has been impressed by his power and work ethic.

11737145_10153031876761169_2061795580_nHe was instrumental in a bunch of events and workouts. As well as the primary programmer for Athlete of the Month program.

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He has gone to countless competitions while in Korea and hit his peak by going to 2015 CrossFit Regionals in Australia.  One thing is for sure. He does not quit or surrender to the barbell and he will take that attitude to his next duty station.  This is just the beginning for Jack and Kristen. Take care both of you!

The only other thing that is for sure is that we, Fight Tonight CrossFit, will miss Jack and Kristen.

Jared – FTCF


MAY 2015

Cheyenne Rutherford, Joel DiStefano, Kaley Kania, and Vilija Teel

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This month we decided that our AOTM would be a group (even though two were previously our AOTM…they’re just that good!).  Cheyenne, Joel, Kaley and Vilija have been staples at FTCF for the last year or two.  It’s always hard to say goodbye to anyone in the gym but we never thought that 4 would be leaving within a week from each other.

Cheyenne Rutherford was a coach here at Fight Tonight CF for the last 7 months.  When she wasn’t coaching she was usually picking up something heavy…and making it look easy.  But don’t get it twisted, her gymnastic skills are some of the best in the gym.  She has a fiery love for CF which was seen every time she worked out.  Chey had the uncanny ability to overcome failure in the middle of a WOD; this was usually accompanied by a few choice words!!!  I point this out because it was a rare sight to see Chey vulnerable during any workout.  She can pistol, muscle up (bar and rings), handstand walk, and then clean her 1RM 5 times in a row (reference a Saturday WOD a few weeks ago…them gains).  She was recently apart of our Sectionals and Regionals team where she excelled and was a crucial part of our success.  Her haircut is second to none; Our best wishes go out to her, James and the boys…Enjoy Germany!

Joel DiStefano, the West Virginia native, was an athlete here at FTCF for about 10 months.  “Big Guy” DiStefano was one of the most powerful athletes to throw weights around at FTCF.  He’s currently working on a 300# clean, not bad, and has improved all aspects of his fitness.  Whether it’s a bar muscle up (HIS FAVORITE MOVEMENT) or a 500+ deadlift, Joel made it look easy.  His ability to wear a sweatshirt and still workout without overheating still boggles my mind but he does it.  The first time I ever saw this guy workout he was doing butterfly C2B pull ups…#jealous.  Hat backwards, thumbless S2O grip, and that mustache will always be remembered here at FTCF.  Dean and I will see you soon buddy, good luck!

Kaleykins Kania…enough said…just kidding!  Don’t put that extra “y” in her first name, she may be small but she’s quick to tell you how it is…haha!  But seriously, Kaley is a freak of an athlete.  She played college sports and has been very successful in Crossfit.  Kaley recently placed third at the North Sectional during the Asia Championships and was a member of our Regionals team.  If you haven’t heard she did all 50 muscle ups during event 6 at the Pacific Regionals, a task that has yet to be recreated ;).  Like Chey, Kaley is quite the spark plug.  She feels very strongly about certain things and conversations between her and Jared have been some of the best events that I have witnessed.  There’s nothing like a 5’2″ female debating with a 5’10” ginger haired burly chested man and then usually coming out on top…LOL!  Anyways, Kaley is returning to the states where her journey to regionals starts as soon as she is on ground.  You will be missed and hopefully one day you can hug that koala.

Vilija Teel, the double under master who had an engine like no other.  Vilija was a coach at FTCF for about 7 months.  You could usually find her running the 0900 class with a big smile on her face and an eagerness in her eye for Crossfit.  9 times out of 10 she would example the movement for our athletes while talking through it…that’s on a whole different level of energy.  After class she would usually do the WOD herself and 9 times out of 10 her time/score would be near the top.  Unlimited potential; these two words have been uttered by Jared and myself for months.  That potential has sometimes translated into action/success and every time she meets a goal of hers or surprises herself…priceless.  She usually stops what she’s doing and will then start in a conversation with us in the middle of her WOD, at which point we yell and try to get the bouncing red ball back on track…haha, I know the struggle Vilija!  I know great things are in your future for Crossfit, just keep on keeping on.  Good luck in the future and your awesome attitude and smile will be greatly missed.

Finally I would like to end on a high note.  The WOD which was conducted for these fine athletes was a great thing to witness.  We kind of took a page from GRID and our experiences from Regionals to make the perfect WOD for these awesome athletes.  All of their favorite movements were included and they had the great honor of having Jeff on their team…BTW, he did all the bar muscle ups, just saying…haha.  The energy on that day followed into the BBQ at which point Vinny and myself started burning the meat…#fail.  But thankfully Taka and Terry came in and saved the day.  We sent Chey off with her sign from sectionals, Joel brought his pies, Kaley brought spoons/plates and Vilija was late…lol.  All in all it was a great sendoff to a great group of people!  Thanks for all the great memories…especially them protein balls Chey…LOL

~  Jack


APRIL 2015

Vilija Teel

Lithuanian Costume

Snatch: 95
Clean and Jerk: 130
Back Squat: 185
Front Squat: 150
Overhead Squat: 115
Deadlift: 260
Favorite WOD: I have quite a few girls  – Angie, Karen, Nancy, Annie, and Murph!
Favorite Movements: Double Unders, Wall-Balls, Pull-ups, Deadlift, Air Squats, Running

I moved to Korea in July 2013 with my husband Mark and our two young kids, Darius, 5, and Elia, 2. By happenstance I met Cheyenne (Coach at FTCF) who had recently started Crossfit and, every time we’d meet, she would keep tell me how much she was enjoying it. We became friends on Facebook and I kept seeing her WOD photos, reading all her inspirational posts and indirectly learning about Fight Tonight Crossfit and its community. It totally got my interest and I was very eager to try it myself. It was not until December 2013 that I finally took the Fundamentals Class and tasted my first sip of Crossfit Koolaid. And did it taste good! Needless to say, I was instantaneously hooked. I hate routine and I love trying new things. Crossfit was just a perfect blend for me – constantly varied functional movements! Each day you get to do something new, something different – how cool is that!

Level 1 Seminar 2At the end of Fundamentals I did a 5 minute AMRAP. Remember, I also said that I hardly ever got sore from exercise? Well, let me tell you, after that 5 minute WOD, I had to support myself to sit down on a toilet for the next two days! My legs were hurting that much! Did I get discouraged? No! The opposite happened! I got so encouraged by this that I could not wait to go back to the gym on Monday! I immediately became hooked on this sport. A month into it, I started to keep a WOD journal, I started eating better, I wanted to lift more, I wanted to become better at air squats and to get those kipping pull-ups! Well, I sort of became a true Crossfiter! I kept coming every day, so the coaches kept “prescribing” me rest days because I would not take them voluntarily and then, Crossfit Open 2014 came… What a euphoric experience! At that moment, I realized that the love for this sport was getting serious, so I started to think about doing something more with it. On August 31st, 2014, I took Level 1 Crossfit Trainer Course and received a Level 1 Trainer Certificate. I have been so fortunate to start coaching in December 2014 and it has been such a privilege to coach the athletes of Fight Tonight Crossfit. It is a fine group of enthusiastic and supportive people that provide me with continuous inspiration and admiration! The support and encouragement I get from my peer athletes is beyond words to describe. Fight Tonight Crossfit family strives me to be a better athlete, a better coach, and a better human being in general.

I just reviewed the first few pages of my old WOD journal. One of the first WODs that was logged in there was Nancy. It’s 5 rounds of 400 meter run and 15 OHS. I started with a 22lbs bar for this WOD and finished it with a PVC pipe. This happened in January 2014. While I still struggle with OHS, I can proudly say that I am improving quite a bit. Just a little over a year later, in February 2015, I logged 115lbs as my one rep max for OHS! When I started Crossfit, lifting weights and any barbell movement was my least favorite. While I still prefer body weight exercises, with burpees, wall-balls and double-unders being among my favorite movements, I often find myself voluntarily loading that barbell trying to master the technique of snatch or clean and jerk. And I started to love loaded squatting! Back squat, Overhead squat, Front squat – I enjoy them all! It is a work in progress, but I keep making small baby steps forward!

I get very sad and anxious when I think about our upcoming move in June back to the US (we go back to Washington, DC area). It will be hard to leave my dear friends at FTCF, but I think it will be even harder, if not impossible, to find a Crossfit community like the one we have here on Yongsan. You guys are truly amazing and I will miss each and every one of you! But rest assured, FTCF family will always have a special place in my heart! Thank you! Aciu! Danke Schon! Gracias! Spasibo! Grazie! Dziekuje! Aitah! Paldies! Gratias! and Kamsamnida! to all of you for this amazing and life changing experience! I love you all!


MARCH 2015

Taka Beal

Taka collage

Snatch:  125
Clean and Jerk:  130
Back Squat:  175
Deadlift:  295
Favorite Movements:  Dead lifts, cleans, back squats
Favorite WOD:  Any partner WOD

Taka served in the Air Force for 20+ years and just recently retired in 2013 from Osan Air Base (You know where that other CF gym is at…ha).  After retirement she took some time off and then flew back to Korea at the end of 2013, working as an Accounting Tech here on USAG-Yongsan.  She married in August 2014 to her spouse who also works here on USAG-Yongsan.  Taka has been doing Crossfit for about a year now and her hard work and dedication have paid off.

Taka Beal is an athlete that you see at the gym everyday.  She comes to class early to mobilize, does the WOD and then goes to basketball practice.  That adds up to about 3 hours…A DAY, which is impressive no matter who you are.  She has a knack for power movements like the deadlift and squat, and you can count on seeing her name on the top of the whiteboard when these movements are programmed.

Taka credits Crossfit for taking her to a level that wasn’t possible with everyday military PT.  Her life has completely changed and she has found something that she truly loves to do everyday.  Her change in fitness has greatly improved her activity level, health, strength, flexibility (hips), and endurance. As time goes on she wants to continue to learn more about CrossFit and what it has to offer.  She thanks all the coaches and athletes that have been there during her time with Crossfit and we hope to continue to see her progress and reach her goals!

“CrossFit we never quit.”


FEBRUARY 2015

Kristen Blake

Kristen Blake

Front Squat: 125
Deadlift: 175
Back Squat: 135
Clean & Jerk: 110
Favorite Movements: Anything Handstand related, Box Jumps, Toes to Bar

Kristen is Mom to 8 year old Jackson and 9 month old Ainsley. Her husband, Cody, is responsible for introducing her to Crossfit. She had previously been a competitive gymnast and a runner, but had never lifted a barbell before coming to Fight Tonight Crossfit. Cody had been doing Crossfit for years and, with her background, he thought Kristen would love it too. In spite of her fear of lifting a barbell, Kristen gave it a shot. She completed fundamentals class in August 2013 and started attending classes right away. Her husband knows her well…she was hooked immediately! Just two months later Kristen found out she was pregnant with baby Ainsley, but she didn’t let that stop her. She got the okay from her doctor to continue her current exercise regimen, as long as she was comfortable, and she continued doing Crossfit (with the help of FTCF coaches and “Crossfit Mom” website) up until week 31 of her pregnancy. She returned to Crossfit, gradually, when her daughter was three months old and is now stronger than ever. Kristen is a regular at the 0900 class and says she continues to love Crossfit more all the time!


JANUARY 2015

Joe Pak-Blyzniuk

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Snatch:  145
Clean and Jerk:  175
Back Squat:  225
Deadlift:  255
Favorite WOD:  Annie
Favorite Movements:  Pistols, HSPUs, and Clean and Jerks

Joe is one of our younger athletes, he goes to school at Seoul American High School here on USAG Yongsan. For what he lacks in age he makes up for in dedication and drive. Joe started Crossfit with a fundamentals class at FTCF in July of 2013. It took him a few months but by October of 2013 there was no going back. Joe came to us a very talented gymnast and body weight movement aficionado but worked very hard to develop his other Crossfit skills.

Joe is a swimmer (it’s hard to tell, haha) and was getting bored with the monotony of laps at the pool. Crossfit brought new dimensions to his fitness routine by replacing routine with constantly varied functional movements at high intensity… I went there :-). Outside of Crossfit Joe is a third degree black belt in Taekwondo, has been swimming for 13 years, 11 of them spent in competition, and has dabbled in Baseball and Soccer. Joe has a very supportive and athletic family so Crossfit is a natural fit for him.

Ever since he climbed out of the pool he’s begun to lift heavy things. And he liked it. A lot. Pound for pound Joe is one of our strongest athletes. With so many great years ahead of him we cannot wait to see Joe develop as an athlete and move forward in his Crossfit career. You can see his endless muscle ups in action at FTCF almost daily.


DECEMBER 2014

Allegra Ramirez

Allegra selfie

Allegra army

Snatch:  100
Clean and Jerk:  135
Back Squat:  225
Deadlift:  255
Favorite WOD:  “Diane”
Favorite Movements:  Barbell (anything), pull ups and BURPEES (not a typo)

Allegra has been here at FTCF since December of 2013. She started her Crossfit journey in 2009 and hasn’t looked back since. You can usually find her squatting something at Collier Field House at any time of the day (Coach Dean has given her the nickname “legs”). During her time at FTCF her PT score has gone up by 40 points, her deadlift and backsquat have gone up 40 and 20 pounds respectively, her snatch and clean and jerk have also gone up by 15 and 20 pounds. She has represented FTCF at several throwdowns including helping her team take home the winning trophy at the Girl Fight all female throwdown last August. Outside of Crossfit she enjoys camping, hiking, fishing, mountain biking, and anything involving being in the great outdoors. Allegra is a medic at the 121st Combat Support Hospital and is on her way to Fort Bragg after she leaves us here in Korea. There she will be assigned to the 18th Airborne Corp. where hopefully she can use her skills and strengths from Crossfit during her airborne training. It’s been a short year but during that time Allegra has shown great improvement anda strong desire to better herself and contribute to her team. We will be sad to see her go but we know that she has many great things in store for her at Fort Bragg and wish her all the best in her military career.

Allegra teamFEET AND KNEES TOGETHER!


NOVEMBER 2014

The Andersons

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Adam Anderson
Snatch:  205
Clean and Jerk:  245
Back Squat:  345
Deadlift:  440
Favorite WOD:  “Nancy”
Favorite Movement:  OVERHEAD SQUAT!!!!!!!!

Tiffany Anderson
Snatch:  115
Clean and Jerk:  145
Back Squat:  225
Deadlift:  260
Favorite WOD:  All Team/Partner WODs
Favorite Movement:  Back/Front Squat

Tiffany and Adam have been married for 8 years and have been in Korea since April of 2013.  They have two awesome kids; Rock who is 4 and Cali who is 2.  Adam works for a company called CH2M Hill, they have the contract with the US and ROK militaries to relocate Yongsan to Camp Humphrey’s.  Tiffany and Adam come from athletic backgrounds having both been very active in high school.  One cool tidbit about Tiffany is that she was a pole vaulter in high school (along with playing every other female sport there was in high school).

During their 8 years of marriage they’ve gone on spurts of eating clean and working out, but each time they would quickly get bored and fall back into bad habits, never really maintaining something for too long.  However, on July afternoon in 2013, Tiffany came home from the Crossfit fundamentals class and said “Adam you have to do this”.  She was hooked.  However, it took him a few more months (until September of 2013) to try it out for himself.  Adam’s first WOD was Nancy.  As Adam recalls, “I don’t think I had ever done an overhead squat before then.  You can imagine how that turned out. It was brutal. I think by the end I was barely doing the bar”.  Two months ago Adam hit a PR of 245 pounds on his overhead squat!  Tiffany’s first actual WOD was filthy fifty, she remembers it being “brutal”, rightfully so.  But after both of their first times they were hooked.  Since that time both have seen tremendous gains in their strength, mobility, flexibility, and in overall health.  When Adam started Crossfit he was on high blood pressure meds, and for the last 5 months has not needed to take that medication.   “I guess better eating and regular fitness does make a difference” he says.  “Who’d of thunk it huh?”   Both of them have had ACL replacements done on their right knees.  Before Crossfit they had all sorts of flexibility issues and discomfort in those knees. Crossfit has fixed that. “No more pain!” say the Andersons.  “All around, across all the activities (wakeboarding, golf, snowboarding, chasing kids) that we do we have noticed a huge improvement in our ability and stamina.

Crossfit has made their family more active and has helped to live life to its fullest.”  The Anderson family has shown FTCF that you can always improve yourself no matter what injuries, lack of time, or boredom with conventional diet and exercise that may be impeding your progress.  Keep up the awesome work guys; and Adam, stay FRONING classy my friend!

Kapshi Kapshida!


OCTOBER 2014

Gordon Craig

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 Deadlift:  185
Fran:  9:45
Favorite movements:  Deadlift, Power Clean, anything bodyweight

Gordon is no stranger to the ROK, this is his third stay here as a senior auditor for the Korean Field Office here in Seoul. He also served in the U.S. Navy Reserve as a Seabee from 1996-2004. Despite his busy schedule, Gordon makes time to balance work, his family consisting of his wife Yonjung and his son Leo, along with his passion for Crossfit. He started training at FTCF about a year ago, and came to us with no prior experience. Since then he has seen significant improvements in his overall health and fitness; he has continually stood out amongst the FTCF athletes due to his motivation, perseverance, and is living proof that Crossfit has something to offer everyone no matter where you start in your fitness journey. For example, Gordon’s deadlift progression has gone from using a PVC pipe to deadlifting 185#. We always look forward to seeing Gordon every day at the box, giving it his all and inspiring all of us to reach our fitness goals.

Kapshi Kapshida!


Daniel Boesen

Dan before AfterSnatch: 135
C&J: 185
Fran: 8:15
Back Squat: 260
Favorite WOD: JT

Daniel Boesen has came a very long way.  11 months ago he weighed 25 more pounds than he does now.  Through nutrition, girlfriend guidance and hard work he has put himself into a better condition of fitness. He has effectively became more fit by anyone’s definition.  He has been doing CrossFit for over a year and has attained his CrossFit Level I Certification, CrossFit Kettlebell Certification and CrossFit Gymnastics. His mobility and strength have come a long way as well.  He is still sticky in his ankles but he is attacking that.

He still continues to work with mobility issues and pursues knowledge of physiology everyday as he wants to become more confident and thus a better coach.

You can usually find him assisting form in others or putting in work at the 1800 class.  Obviously, he will be the one with his shirt off cooling down.

Thanks for all you do Dan!


Cheyenne Rutherford

Cheyenne collageSnatch: 105
C&J:140
Deadlift: 250
Back Squat: 200
Fran: 7:43
Favorite WOD: Diane

Cheyenne Rutherford, 28, has been doing CrossFit for a year now and has come a long way. While juggling 2 young boys, an active-duty husband, and all the responsibilities and commitments that go along with being a mil-spouse, she still finds the time and prioritizes her evening CrossFit classes religiously. If there is one face you can count on seeing, it is this one. Except for when the coaches mandate that she take a day off.

She is constantly improving on her weaknesses and has recently attained the coveted Muscle Up. Some of her favorite movements in CrossFit are handstand walks, double unders, & snatches, and “Diane” is one of her favorite WOD’S. She is usually smiling and extremely approachable, & her workout ensemble is usually matching down to her RX jump rope.

She is constantly inputting into Fight Tonight with helpful CrossFit related articles and nutritional articles. If you have any questions about the paleo cookbook or tips and tricks about eating a little better she is the one to go to!

Finally, expect to see her at the next CrossFit Level One course!  Good luck to you!