ORDER YOUR TEAM FLATLINERS JERSEY!

MEET OUR GROWING HARTFIT SGX & FLATLINE OCR FAMILY!

Derrick Neil is FLATLINED. ARE YOU? All he wanted to do was to get over that 8 foot wall. What he found in addition was an unrelenting commitment to himself and the amazing people he honored with his presence. He, in turn, was blown away by the people around him who kept him pushing beyond what he thought possible. Nobody in class could catch him, and he often was burdened with the task of setting the finishing time for the class based on when he would finish. Heavy is the head that wears the crown. But as an individual that proudly served our country, no challenge could ever keep Derrick from smiling and it seems as if he is smiling as often as he is wearing Under Armour. Seriously, if Derrick can't get a sponsorship from smiling he should get one from Under Armour. Now the 8 foot wall is too small, but his heart could never grow too big. FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Derrick Neil is FLATLINED. ARE YOU?

All he wanted to do was to get over that 8 foot wall. What he found in addition was an unrelenting commitment to himself and the amazing people he honored with his presence. He, in turn, was blown away by the people around him who kept him pushing beyond what he thought possible. Nobody in class could catch him, and he often was burdened with the task of setting the finishing time for the class based on when he would finish. Heavy is the head that wears the crown. But as an individual that proudly served our country, no challenge could ever keep Derrick from smiling and it seems as if he is smiling as often as he is wearing Under Armour. Seriously, if Derrick can't get a sponsorship from smiling he should get one from Under Armour. Now the 8 foot wall is too small, but his heart could never grow too big.

FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Marianne Roszyk is FLATLINED. ARE YOU? I really don't like excuses and that's why we all really love Marianne. Through a devastating knee injury at the midpoint of our race season, she never focused on what she couldn't do only all that she still could. Despite not being able to participate in many of the activities throughout the class due to her injury and surgery, she showed up every single time and inspired us all while she lifted weights and carried a lot of really heavy things with the determination she would not miss finishing her first ever Beast. She did it. But good enough is never good enough for Marianne. Next year she plans on crushing all of the races she finished this year and then, somewhere in the near future, she's going to run an Ultra Beast. Unsolicited by me, totally her idea. Marianne sometimes trails only slightly behind our class cheetah, Derrick. Marianne scares me just a little bit. FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Marianne Roszyk is FLATLINED. ARE YOU?

I really don't like excuses and that's why we all really love Marianne. Through a devastating knee injury at the midpoint of our race season, she never focused on what she couldn't do only all that she still could. Despite not being able to participate in many of the activities throughout the class due to her injury and surgery, she showed up every single time and inspired us all while she lifted weights and carried a lot of really heavy things with the determination she would not miss finishing her first ever Beast. She did it. But good enough is never good enough for Marianne. Next year she plans on crushing all of the races she finished this year and then, somewhere in the near future, she's going to run an Ultra Beast. Unsolicited by me, totally her idea. Marianne sometimes trails only slightly behind our class cheetah, Derrick. Marianne scares me just a little bit.

FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Elizabeth Winter is FLATLINED. ARE YOU? I knew Liz was a bad ass when even before she signed up for HartFit SGX with just a few weeks before the 2016 Chicago Super, Liz told me that her first, and only Spartan Race to that point, was Chicago 2013. I was there. Before the sponsorships and the media, when Spartan was at it's raw beginnings in one of the coldest and hardest Supers to date. That's how I knew Liz would dominate this class and earn her first Tri-fecta in 2016. Surviving that race and then coming back for more requires all of the tools that Liz has and makes for one bad ass woman. Plain and simple, Liz shows up to get shit done. Her determination is unmatched and she pushes herself beyond limits only she thinks she has. But we all know different. Liz has no limits and will crush any obstacle put in her way on this flat earth including Big Foot, aliens and the illuminati. Atlas stones, sandbags, and traverse walls? Child's play to someone who's brother might quite possibly be Thor. That's no conspiracy theory. FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Elizabeth Winter is FLATLINED. ARE YOU?

I knew Liz was a bad ass when even before she signed up for HartFit SGX with just a few weeks before the 2016 Chicago Super, Liz told me that her first, and only Spartan Race to that point, was Chicago 2013. I was there. Before the sponsorships and the media, when Spartan was at it's raw beginnings in one of the coldest and hardest Supers to date. That's how I knew Liz would dominate this class and earn her first Tri-fecta in 2016. Surviving that race and then coming back for more requires all of the tools that Liz has and makes for one bad ass woman. Plain and simple, Liz shows up to get shit done. Her determination is unmatched and she pushes herself beyond limits only she thinks she has. But we all know different. Liz has no limits and will crush any obstacle put in her way on this flat earth including Big Foot, aliens and the illuminati. Atlas stones, sandbags, and traverse walls? Child's play to someone who's brother might quite possibly be Thor. That's no conspiracy theory.

FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Ginger Church is FLATLINED? ARE YOU? There is Ronda Rousey and there is Mother Teresa. God decided to fuse them both into Ginger. Pictured on the left next to her wonderful daughter, Clare, she didn't even think she'd ever run a Spartan Race but still signed up for my first ever SGX class.....the day of the class. Then again, Ginger never thought she'd work out. Now she is, without a doubt, everyone's absolute favorite. You couldn't meet a nicer, more generous, more supportive or more inspiring woman and if I told everyone they had to pick a favorite in the class, she would win unanimously. Somewhere beneath that smile is an absolute animal climbing ropes quickly, volunteering for heavier carries, running efficiently, climbing walls, but caring more about everyone else. This is a woman who's only reason for beginning her workouts with me was so that she could garden more comfortably without joint pain. She's still planting. Planting a foot in the ass of the Chicago Super and all classes she attends. With a sweet smile and a soft voice, she answers all praise with heavier praise for you and motivates everyone in the class just by arriving. Even if that arrival is usually late. FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Ginger Church is FLATLINED? ARE YOU?

There is Ronda Rousey and there is Mother Teresa. God decided to fuse them both into Ginger. Pictured on the left next to her wonderful daughter, Clare, she didn't even think she'd ever run a Spartan Race but still signed up for my first ever SGX class.....the day of the class. Then again, Ginger never thought she'd work out. Now she is, without a doubt, everyone's absolute favorite. You couldn't meet a nicer, more generous, more supportive or more inspiring woman and if I told everyone they had to pick a favorite in the class, she would win unanimously. Somewhere beneath that smile is an absolute animal climbing ropes quickly, volunteering for heavier carries, running efficiently, climbing walls, but caring more about everyone else. This is a woman who's only reason for beginning her workouts with me was so that she could garden more comfortably without joint pain. She's still planting. Planting a foot in the ass of the Chicago Super and all classes she attends. With a sweet smile and a soft voice, she answers all praise with heavier praise for you and motivates everyone in the class just by arriving. Even if that arrival is usually late.

FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Mark Reid is FLATLINED. ARE YOU? How can anyone say anything is impossible? Mark turned his life around even before finding Spartan and lost an incredible amount of weight and ran his first Marathon. Just to up the ante, he introduced himself into the Spartan world and became one of my many amazing people running his first Spartan Races while also training for his next marathon, one he intended to crush his previous time. In July, Mark decided he would go run the brutal course at the Indiana Sprint despite it not exactly fitting in to his marathon training routine. This is Mark at the finish of that race. The Marathon? Crushed his previous time. Mark went on to push forward like a champ in spite of some nagging injuries and often volunteered himself to wear the weighted vests. That might surprise someone who doesn't know Mark especially if you've never seen his beard fully grown. Mark's beard at it's peak makes the Spartans of 300 look as if they have 5 o'clock shadows. He can also carry really heavy things for a really long time and stay smiling. Fear the beard. FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Mark Reid is FLATLINED. ARE YOU?

How can anyone say anything is impossible? Mark turned his life around even before finding Spartan and lost an incredible amount of weight and ran his first Marathon. Just to up the ante, he introduced himself into the Spartan world and became one of my many amazing people running his first Spartan Races while also training for his next marathon, one he intended to crush his previous time. In July, Mark decided he would go run the brutal course at the Indiana Sprint despite it not exactly fitting in to his marathon training routine. This is Mark at the finish of that race. The Marathon? Crushed his previous time. Mark went on to push forward like a champ in spite of some nagging injuries and often volunteered himself to wear the weighted vests. That might surprise someone who doesn't know Mark especially if you've never seen his beard fully grown. Mark's beard at it's peak makes the Spartans of 300 look as if they have 5 o'clock shadows. He can also carry really heavy things for a really long time and stay smiling. Fear the beard.

FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Colleen Kennedy is FLATLINED. ARE YOU? You're not ready for Colleen. Without a doubt one of the most awesome personalities in our group is one half of a kick ass combo of sisters. Colleen's first accomplishment happened a year before we even met her, when she signed up her sister Katie for the 2015 Chicago Super. Katie returned the favor in 2016 so Colleen could just jump right in to completing a Tri-fecta. Her first Spartan ever was the Ohio Beast. If we ran the 40 yard dash by bear crawling, she would finish before the rest of us hit all fours. She brings us (low fat) ice cream at the end of a 12 week session and is generous enough to leave a water bottle for us to drink from at the top of the rope. Colleen is pretty much all three of the Beastie Boys balled up into one bad ass chick. She wears her sunglasses at night and kicks Spartan ass every day. You gotta fight for your right to party. FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Colleen Kennedy is FLATLINED. ARE YOU?

You're not ready for Colleen. Without a doubt one of the most awesome personalities in our group is one half of a kick ass combo of sisters. Colleen's first accomplishment happened a year before we even met her, when she signed up her sister Katie for the 2015 Chicago Super. Katie returned the favor in 2016 so Colleen could just jump right in to completing a Tri-fecta. Her first Spartan ever was the Ohio Beast. If we ran the 40 yard dash by bear crawling, she would finish before the rest of us hit all fours. She brings us (low fat) ice cream at the end of a 12 week session and is generous enough to leave a water bottle for us to drink from at the top of the rope. Colleen is pretty much all three of the Beastie Boys balled up into one bad ass chick. She wears her sunglasses at night and kicks Spartan ass every day. You gotta fight for your right to party.

FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Jackie Mikan is FLATLINED. ARE YOU? I literally turned my head for 5 seconds, turned back around, and Jackie had made it up the rope. Jackie does stuff like that. You'll know she can do something before she does, and then what seemed impossible to her 5 minutes ago, she now dominates on a consistent basis. She's done it time and time again in class on things like the traverse rope and wall, and at the race executing an impressive athletic move to swing across the monkey bars. Jackie probably surprised herself that she would be this obsessed with the sport of OCR after her first Spartan Race in 2016 and continued on to run both the Terrain and Savage Races. All of this while improving her weight and physique incredibly over the course of the class. Plus, if you need your hair styled before you get in the mud, Jackie will see to it you have a good hair day. Not to mention she's a Picasso with an old wooden pallet. FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Jackie Mikan is FLATLINED. ARE YOU?

I literally turned my head for 5 seconds, turned back around, and Jackie had made it up the rope. Jackie does stuff like that. You'll know she can do something before she does, and then what seemed impossible to her 5 minutes ago, she now dominates on a consistent basis. She's done it time and time again in class on things like the traverse rope and wall, and at the race executing an impressive athletic move to swing across the monkey bars. Jackie probably surprised herself that she would be this obsessed with the sport of OCR after her first Spartan Race in 2016 and continued on to run both the Terrain and Savage Races. All of this while improving her weight and physique incredibly over the course of the class. Plus, if you need your hair styled before you get in the mud, Jackie will see to it you have a good hair day. Not to mention she's a Picasso with an old wooden pallet.

FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Sally Cordes is FLATLINED. ARE YOU? Sally cooks. Both as a Chef at Whole Foods Market, and on the course at Spartan Race. As a matter of fact, you give Sally the ingredients of outside, mountains, hills, mud, and fire and she will grill you up a nice ass kicking. Her incredible positive attitude is as contagious as Zika virus, just a whole lot sweeter and without that whole mosquito thing. But don't get it twisted. Just because she doesn't bite does not mean she doesn't like to snack on a HartFitSGX workout at Mt. Hoy at Blackwell. Or serve you a side dish of 30 burpees with an amazing sunset behind her sauce. Sally appreciates being outside, moving the way we were meant to move and climbing any obstacle in her way. She does it all with a smile and is gracious enough to fix you a plate after she's handed you your ass. Eat up, honey. FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Sally Cordes is FLATLINED. ARE YOU?

Sally cooks. Both as a Chef at Whole Foods Market, and on the course at Spartan Race. As a matter of fact, you give Sally the ingredients of outside, mountains, hills, mud, and fire and she will grill you up a nice ass kicking. Her incredible positive attitude is as contagious as Zika virus, just a whole lot sweeter and without that whole mosquito thing. But don't get it twisted. Just because she doesn't bite does not mean she doesn't like to snack on a HartFitSGX workout at Mt. Hoy at Blackwell. Or serve you a side dish of 30 burpees with an amazing sunset behind her sauce. Sally appreciates being outside, moving the way we were meant to move and climbing any obstacle in her way. She does it all with a smile and is gracious enough to fix you a plate after she's handed you your ass. Eat up, honey.

FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Courtney Delach is FLATLINED. ARE YOU? She works protecting a Nuclear Reactor. Carries a big gun. Does CrossFit. I really don't need to say anymore but Courtney is too awesome to stop there. She apparently has also found the 25th hour of the day considering she's also heavy in the books studying for school. She drives a Jeep and probably doesn't like you, especially if you're driving like an idiot. She thinks she's late if she's 5 minutes early and works through injuries like they don't exist. When she reaches the bell on an obstacle, she'll kick it into next Monday. She hates Mondays so she'll kick it to Tuesday the next time. In the rare instance that Courtney fails, everybody knows it and no children should be in the immediate area or, at least, quickly provide them ear plugs. We love Courtney, we're just sometimes scared shitless when we're around her. FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Courtney Delach is FLATLINED. ARE YOU?

She works protecting a Nuclear Reactor. Carries a big gun. Does CrossFit. I really don't need to say anymore but Courtney is too awesome to stop there. She apparently has also found the 25th hour of the day considering she's also heavy in the books studying for school. She drives a Jeep and probably doesn't like you, especially if you're driving like an idiot. She thinks she's late if she's 5 minutes early and works through injuries like they don't exist. When she reaches the bell on an obstacle, she'll kick it into next Monday. She hates Mondays so she'll kick it to Tuesday the next time. In the rare instance that Courtney fails, everybody knows it and no children should be in the immediate area or, at least, quickly provide them ear plugs. We love Courtney, we're just sometimes scared shitless when we're around her.

FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Erin Midlowski is FLATLINED. ARE YOU? If you combined Valentine's and Sweetest Day together, and then gave them the fighting spirit of D-Day, you would get Erin. Nanny by day, Spartan by night, Erin will rock your baby to sleep and then carry a bucket of rocks up a hill. Probably one of the biggest hearts that exist beats inside of the chest of this woman warrior. She'll try anything once from Bungee jumping to testing for the police force, and learns to churn her doubts into successes. On the rare occasion that Erin does not believe she can do something, a small reminder of how far she's come is all that she needs. She loves carrying heavy stuff, and if she's doing something hard someone better be taking a video. She'll be singing you a lullaby or reading you a bedtime story before she ever quits. FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Erin Midlowski is FLATLINED. ARE YOU?

If you combined Valentine's and Sweetest Day together, and then gave them the fighting spirit of D-Day, you would get Erin. Nanny by day, Spartan by night, Erin will rock your baby to sleep and then carry a bucket of rocks up a hill. Probably one of the biggest hearts that exist beats inside of the chest of this woman warrior. She'll try anything once from Bungee jumping to testing for the police force, and learns to churn her doubts into successes. On the rare occasion that Erin does not believe she can do something, a small reminder of how far she's come is all that she needs. She loves carrying heavy stuff, and if she's doing something hard someone better be taking a video. She'll be singing you a lullaby or reading you a bedtime story before she ever quits.

FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Kelly McCormick is FLATLINED. ARE YOU? Some people are just really good at being really disciplined and then really stepping up their games. That's Kelly in a nutshell, and if she was actually in a nutshell, you better believe she would want someone to time her on how long it takes her to get out of it. Then, she would obsess over beating that time, pulverizing the nutshell until it was dust and then telling everyone next time she could do better. Like many gifted athletes, she understands her talents are only as good as the work she puts in to them, and work is not something she is shy about doing. She loves animals, probably more then people, and if she is focused on something it is as good as done. She even purchased my TRX S-Frame, and then set it up in her bedroom. Her bedroom. She's fast and efficient, and the Spartan Super in Chicago was too easy for her. Jumping over fire might seem like an unusual picture to most, but for Kelly, it's only unusual that she isn't wearing her White Sox hat. FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Kelly McCormick is FLATLINED. ARE YOU?

Some people are just really good at being really disciplined and then really stepping up their games. That's Kelly in a nutshell, and if she was actually in a nutshell, you better believe she would want someone to time her on how long it takes her to get out of it. Then, she would obsess over beating that time, pulverizing the nutshell until it was dust and then telling everyone next time she could do better. Like many gifted athletes, she understands her talents are only as good as the work she puts in to them, and work is not something she is shy about doing. She loves animals, probably more then people, and if she is focused on something it is as good as done. She even purchased my TRX S-Frame, and then set it up in her bedroom. Her bedroom. She's fast and efficient, and the Spartan Super in Chicago was too easy for her. Jumping over fire might seem like an unusual picture to most, but for Kelly, it's only unusual that she isn't wearing her White Sox hat.

FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Kelsey Reilly is FLATLINED. ARE YOU? I know what you're thinking. That girl must absolutely kill Spartan Races, right? What if I told you our class ninja warrior, Kelsey hasn't even run one yet? Kelsey was a gift from another HartFitSGX Spartan, Paul Piraino. Paul did what any good friend does to another, got her all hyped up for training for this insanely intimidating race while working with a bunch of insanely obsessed people and promising to be right by her side until duty calls and Paul can no longer make it to class. Luckily for us, Kelsey still could, and despite not knowing exactly what Paul had gotten her into she still showed up on day one. Also,lucky for Kelsey she realized what everyone realizes about us, we're not all that crazy. In fact, I think she kinda like us. And the race? When Kelsey finally gets to run one in 2017 my money is on her becoming as obsessed as the rest of us. Natural athleticism, fantastic strength and often the only girl to succeed at something before Derrick. That's not easy to do. Kelsey will blow you away with how effortless she can make everything look including her 30 burpees for showing up late. FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Kelsey Reilly is FLATLINED. ARE YOU?

I know what you're thinking. That girl must absolutely kill Spartan Races, right? What if I told you our class ninja warrior, Kelsey hasn't even run one yet? Kelsey was a gift from another HartFitSGX Spartan, Paul Piraino. Paul did what any good friend does to another, got her all hyped up for training for this insanely intimidating race while working with a bunch of insanely obsessed people and promising to be right by her side until duty calls and Paul can no longer make it to class. Luckily for us, Kelsey still could, and despite not knowing exactly what Paul had gotten her into she still showed up on day one. Also,lucky for Kelsey she realized what everyone realizes about us, we're not all that crazy. In fact, I think she kinda like us. And the race? When Kelsey finally gets to run one in 2017 my money is on her becoming as obsessed as the rest of us. Natural athleticism, fantastic strength and often the only girl to succeed at something before Derrick. That's not easy to do. Kelsey will blow you away with how effortless she can make everything look including her 30 burpees for showing up late.

FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Amy Galan is FLATLINED. ARE YOU? So you want to run a Spartan Race? Awesome. But when the race you want to run is in less than a month, and we're a quarter of the way through our HartFit SGX training season, it takes some serious guts to just throw yourself into that. It also takes an extremely contagious and positive attitude and, thankfully, Amy has both. Amy was part of my late arriving trio to our class but she fit in almost immediately. Partially because Spartans love new members of our family but mostly because Amy is impossible not to like. Consistent and persistent effort is never a problem with this one and their is a tremendous amount of resolve behind that smiling face. Amy will do everything asked of her and doesn't show frustration if she cannot accomplish something. She laughs and smiles and moves on knowing she will eventually conquer whatever it may be that currently obstructs her. My only criticism of Amy as that she has bad timing when having babies. Priorities, Amy! Priorities! FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Amy Galan is FLATLINED. ARE YOU?

So you want to run a Spartan Race? Awesome. But when the race you want to run is in less than a month, and we're a quarter of the way through our HartFit SGX training season, it takes some serious guts to just throw yourself into that. It also takes an extremely contagious and positive attitude and, thankfully, Amy has both. Amy was part of my late arriving trio to our class but she fit in almost immediately. Partially because Spartans love new members of our family but mostly because Amy is impossible not to like. Consistent and persistent effort is never a problem with this one and their is a tremendous amount of resolve behind that smiling face. Amy will do everything asked of her and doesn't show frustration if she cannot accomplish something. She laughs and smiles and moves on knowing she will eventually conquer whatever it may be that currently obstructs her. My only criticism of Amy as that she has bad timing when having babies. Priorities, Amy! Priorities!

FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Katie Kennedy is FLATLINED. ARE YOU? The second half of my Irish sister combo, Katie runs Spartan Races and trains in class like she was promised a bottle of Guinness at the end of the event. Don't misunderstand, she didn't come for a party. She came to push herself beyond her limits and quite possibly leave her blood all over everything. And then party. Katie is the blood and sweat without the tears. She was actually really nervous leading up to her first Spartan Super in 2015. It's hard to believe because this Military Vet doesn't fear much. Spartan Race was a gift from her sister, Colleen, and it gifted Katie with a resolve and determination she thought she had lost. Turns out, the only thing that Katie lost was a lot of weight while she gained a ton of strength. Some of the absolute best exercise form in my class comes from this one and if you throw on some gangsta rap, her efficiency increases 10 fold. I sometime picture Katie with a mini-gun fighting Predator declaring "I ain't got time to bleed". FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Katie Kennedy is FLATLINED. ARE YOU?

The second half of my Irish sister combo, Katie runs Spartan Races and trains in class like she was promised a bottle of Guinness at the end of the event. Don't misunderstand, she didn't come for a party. She came to push herself beyond her limits and quite possibly leave her blood all over everything. And then party. Katie is the blood and sweat without the tears. She was actually really nervous leading up to her first Spartan Super in 2015. It's hard to believe because this Military Vet doesn't fear much. Spartan Race was a gift from her sister, Colleen, and it gifted Katie with a resolve and determination she thought she had lost. Turns out, the only thing that Katie lost was a lot of weight while she gained a ton of strength. Some of the absolute best exercise form in my class comes from this one and if you throw on some gangsta rap, her efficiency increases 10 fold. I sometime picture Katie with a mini-gun fighting Predator declaring "I ain't got time to bleed".

FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Phil Glaeser is FLATLINED. ARE YOU? Life lesson. Don't train your competition. Not unless you are okay with said competition returning the favor and pushing you to your limits. Thankfully, I'm totally okay with that and couldn't have been more thrilled to have Phil a part of our inaugural HartFitSGX class in 2015. Phil ran his first Spartan Race in 2014 and was extremely impressive. Without any structured training plan, he was already better than me on at least three or four obstacles. With good height and strength and a natural athleticism I could only wish to have, I knew with a little instruction this guy could be dangerous. He had already gave me hell in 2014 at the Miller Park Sprint and if not for a late race recovery, I would've finished behind him after watching him nail a spear throw I had just failed. Phil nails that thing all of the time and I hate him just a little bit for it. Since that day Phil has beaten me at the Chicago Super twice and came within minutes of doing it again in Indiana in 2016. My only race I've claimed by a substantial amount was the 2015 Ohio Beast. That's only because long distance running is probably the only thing I've got left on him. He makes for a hell of a training partner and an even better friend on the course as he happily helps me assist our amazing Spartan ladies in the instance they need it. His photos have also been selected by Spartan numerous times as promotional material for both the races and HartFitSGX starting with his first ever race and this very picture. I've been a part of Spartan since 2012 both as an athlete and a Coach and still cannot say that. Like I said, you gotta love the guy. But I also hate him just a little bit. FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Phil Glaeser is FLATLINED. ARE YOU?

Life lesson. Don't train your competition. Not unless you are okay with said competition returning the favor and pushing you to your limits. Thankfully, I'm totally okay with that and couldn't have been more thrilled to have Phil a part of our inaugural HartFitSGX class in 2015. Phil ran his first Spartan Race in 2014 and was extremely impressive. Without any structured training plan, he was already better than me on at least three or four obstacles. With good height and strength and a natural athleticism I could only wish to have, I knew with a little instruction this guy could be dangerous. He had already gave me hell in 2014 at the Miller Park Sprint and if not for a late race recovery, I would've finished behind him after watching him nail a spear throw I had just failed. Phil nails that thing all of the time and I hate him just a little bit for it. Since that day Phil has beaten me at the Chicago Super twice and came within minutes of doing it again in Indiana in 2016. My only race I've claimed by a substantial amount was the 2015 Ohio Beast. That's only because long distance running is probably the only thing I've got left on him. He makes for a hell of a training partner and an even better friend on the course as he happily helps me assist our amazing Spartan ladies in the instance they need it. His photos have also been selected by Spartan numerous times as promotional material for both the races and HartFitSGX starting with his first ever race and this very picture. I've been a part of Spartan since 2012 both as an athlete and a Coach and still cannot say that. Like I said, you gotta love the guy. But I also hate him just a little bit.

FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Lissa Maratea eats lunch at HARTFIT OFFICE. DO YOU? I'm not exactly sure how she does it. Raising four girls that are balls of energy is usually tough enough in itself. But somehow she also manages to get them to eat tons of nutritious foods that don't typically find themselves as a staple in anyone's life under the age of 10. Heck, things like Doritos, Goldfish and Captain Crunch were a staple in mine. My fruit usually came in the form of fruit snacks. Maybe that's why these girls can do things like hold 5+ minute planks and climb trees as high as water towers. Maybe that's what all kids used to do and should still be doing. Maybe it's because they follow their mom's lead and possess a drive and ambition that is truly unmatched. In the time I've had Lissa as a consistent participant in my #hartfitoffice lunchtime class at ESI, she has done more than a few things she didn't think she could or ever would do. Things like her first Spartan Race which soon led to multiple Spartan Races and multiple Tri-fectas. On occasion, Lissa will still hesitate to do something that scares her, especially if it involves a lot of cold. But all you have to do is tell her that fellow ESI Spartan Mike Van Bree has already accomplished it, and she will hesitate no more. Until the arrival of Cady, Lissa was often the only girl out running with the boys and did more than just hold her own. I've never had to hunt her down in the office to persuade her not to miss today's workout. If Lissa is not working out, her office door is closed. If her office door is closed, she's tied up with something and really would rather be working out. Either that or she's tired of listening to Mike harass her. FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Lissa Maratea eats lunch at HARTFIT OFFICE. DO YOU?

I'm not exactly sure how she does it. Raising four girls that are balls of energy is usually tough enough in itself. But somehow she also manages to get them to eat tons of nutritious foods that don't typically find themselves as a staple in anyone's life under the age of 10. Heck, things like Doritos, Goldfish and Captain Crunch were a staple in mine. My fruit usually came in the form of fruit snacks. Maybe that's why these girls can do things like hold 5+ minute planks and climb trees as high as water towers. Maybe that's what all kids used to do and should still be doing. Maybe it's because they follow their mom's lead and possess a drive and ambition that is truly unmatched. In the time I've had Lissa as a consistent participant in my #hartfitoffice lunchtime class at ESI, she has done more than a few things she didn't think she could or ever would do. Things like her first Spartan Race which soon led to multiple Spartan Races and multiple Tri-fectas. On occasion, Lissa will still hesitate to do something that scares her, especially if it involves a lot of cold. But all you have to do is tell her that fellow ESI Spartan Mike Van Bree has already accomplished it, and she will hesitate no more. Until the arrival of Cady, Lissa was often the only girl out running with the boys and did more than just hold her own. I've never had to hunt her down in the office to persuade her not to miss today's workout. If Lissa is not working out, her office door is closed. If her office door is closed, she's tied up with something and really would rather be working out. Either that or she's tired of listening to Mike harass her.

FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Adam Gartner is FLATLINED. ARE YOU? Uh oh. Adam is back. If you don't know Adam, you soon will. A friend since elementary school, this guy is damn near my brother. My class of 2015 Spartans that are still with us know Adam well. If he's in the room, you'll know it. As a matter of fact, if he's within 3 miles of you you'll probably know it. An imposing force and a dedicated member of the Oak Park Police force and our National Guard, Adam can be summed up in one word. Loyalty. (Loud was a close second). No job is ever too low for this guy. In a world where everyone complains about the job market and how they can't find one, Adam has worked every job known to man since the age of 10 when he started delivering papers. He's sold vacuums, shoes, sewing machines, photo copiers, worked at a hot dog joints and Chinese restaurants, and even a liquor store. He's had businesses out of his home and been both a bartender and a bouncer. Now, besides a police officer he's also a realtor. The day that Adam can't find a job is the day he isn't looking because he'll do anything no questions asked. It's of course no surprise then that he jumped right into the sport of OCR and went right for the Ohio Beast in 2015. No questions asked. For 6 grueling hours he fought as hard as he would fight for me back in High School when he was about the only person left that didn't give up on me. Like I said. Loyalty. A true friend and dedicated father and husband, Adam is a welcome return to our HartFit SGX family! FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Adam Gartner is FLATLINED. ARE YOU?

Uh oh. Adam is back. If you don't know Adam, you soon will. A friend since elementary school, this guy is damn near my brother. My class of 2015 Spartans that are still with us know Adam well. If he's in the room, you'll know it. As a matter of fact, if he's within 3 miles of you you'll probably know it. An imposing force and a dedicated member of the Oak Park Police force and our National Guard, Adam can be summed up in one word. Loyalty. (Loud was a close second). No job is ever too low for this guy. In a world where everyone complains about the job market and how they can't find one, Adam has worked every job known to man since the age of 10 when he started delivering papers. He's sold vacuums, shoes, sewing machines, photo copiers, worked at a hot dog joints and Chinese restaurants, and even a liquor store. He's had businesses out of his home and been both a bartender and a bouncer. Now, besides a police officer he's also a realtor. The day that Adam can't find a job is the day he isn't looking because he'll do anything no questions asked. It's of course no surprise then that he jumped right into the sport of OCR and went right for the Ohio Beast in 2015. No questions asked. For 6 grueling hours he fought as hard as he would fight for me back in High School when he was about the only person left that didn't give up on me. Like I said. Loyalty. A true friend and dedicated father and husband, Adam is a welcome return to our HartFit SGX family!

FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Mike Van Bree eats lunch at HARTFIT OFFICE. DO YOU? At HartFit SGX, we've got a lot of cool stuff. A full sized Traverse Wall with an attached vertical Peg Board, 2 rope climbs, multiple lane turf for sleds, a Z-Wall, a multi-use rig, and rope ladder just to name a few. All of the construction was custom designed and built by this man here. He's not even finished. Soon we will have a climbing wall that will not only be detachable from the rig, but will also be able to be easily converted from 4 - 8 feet high. We will also have a Hercules Hoist and and Ape Hangar. To say that I owe a great deal of my success to my amazing people at ESI would be an understatement. To say that my Hart Fitness LLC studio would be anything near what it is today without Mike would absolutely ridiculous. The only thing that I admire more in Mike than his talented engineering and construction skills is his ability to do most of it on his own. He also told me that the only thing he desires in return is my friendship. Well Mike, trust me when I say that you have a friend for life as well as a lifetime pass to #hartfitsgx. Mike is the comic relief in our often grueling #hartfitoffice workouts and isn't bashful about enjoying a good butterburger from Culver's. We of course assume that in the rare instance he misses class that is where he must be. In reality, however, Mike is the steadiest force of nature you've seen on the training ground or Spartan Race course. He's never moving fast, but he's always moving. Sometime you can't figure out how, as fast as you're running, you still see Mike every time you turn around. He's incredibly predictable like that. He's also incredibly predictable in bothering Judy and Lissa, but we won't go there. We owe Mike a lot at HartFit SGX, so we all tolerate Mike's humor accordingly. FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Mike Van Bree eats lunch at HARTFIT OFFICE. DO YOU?

At HartFit SGX, we've got a lot of cool stuff. A full sized Traverse Wall with an attached vertical Peg Board, 2 rope climbs, multiple lane turf for sleds, a Z-Wall, a multi-use rig, and rope ladder just to name a few. All of the construction was custom designed and built by this man here. He's not even finished. Soon we will have a climbing wall that will not only be detachable from the rig, but will also be able to be easily converted from 4 - 8 feet high. We will also have a Hercules Hoist and and Ape Hangar. To say that I owe a great deal of my success to my amazing people at ESI would be an understatement. To say that my Hart Fitness LLC studio would be anything near what it is today without Mike would absolutely ridiculous. The only thing that I admire more in Mike than his talented engineering and construction skills is his ability to do most of it on his own. He also told me that the only thing he desires in return is my friendship. Well Mike, trust me when I say that you have a friend for life as well as a lifetime pass to #hartfitsgx. Mike is the comic relief in our often grueling #hartfitoffice workouts and isn't bashful about enjoying a good butterburger from Culver's. We of course assume that in the rare instance he misses class that is where he must be. In reality, however, Mike is the steadiest force of nature you've seen on the training ground or Spartan Race course. He's never moving fast, but he's always moving. Sometime you can't figure out how, as fast as you're running, you still see Mike every time you turn around. He's incredibly predictable like that. He's also incredibly predictable in bothering Judy and Lissa, but we won't go there. We owe Mike a lot at HartFit SGX, so we all tolerate Mike's humor accordingly.

FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Dale Edwards has eats lunch at HARTFIT OFFICE. DO YOU? I want to be like Dale when I grow up. Trust me when I say that you should too. I'm not joking. Dale is one of my two men in my ESI #hartfitoffice#hartfitsgx group that should make many half his age reconsider their health and fitness priorities in life. Seriously this guy is hard for me to keep up with sometimes. I used to tell myself that I needed to get better at burpees considering how close Dale trails behind me on them when we knock out 30. I've since come to realize that Dale is just really good at them too. And push-ups. And Bench Press. And Apes. And Bear Crawls And....well you get the point. I'm pretty sure that Dale was transported to us in a time machine, because either we've gotten really old really fast as a society, or they just don't make 'em like this anymore. I'm fairly certain it's the latter. If I can be half as good as this guy 22 years from now I think I'll still be on the right track. This guy throws the spear so hard and so straight that we should probably exchange the hay bail for a tank at the race. With all of this ability and plenty to feel proud about, one might assume Dale to have a bit of an ego. He certainly would be entitled to it. But, you probably can't meet a more modest or humble guy. Dale is as kind as he is strong and never ceases to impress the rest of the class. FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Dale Edwards has eats lunch at HARTFIT OFFICE. DO YOU?

I want to be like Dale when I grow up. Trust me when I say that you should too. I'm not joking. Dale is one of my two men in my ESI #hartfitoffice#hartfitsgx group that should make many half his age reconsider their health and fitness priorities in life. Seriously this guy is hard for me to keep up with sometimes. I used to tell myself that I needed to get better at burpees considering how close Dale trails behind me on them when we knock out 30. I've since come to realize that Dale is just really good at them too. And push-ups. And Bench Press. And Apes. And Bear Crawls And....well you get the point. I'm pretty sure that Dale was transported to us in a time machine, because either we've gotten really old really fast as a society, or they just don't make 'em like this anymore. I'm fairly certain it's the latter. If I can be half as good as this guy 22 years from now I think I'll still be on the right track. This guy throws the spear so hard and so straight that we should probably exchange the hay bail for a tank at the race. With all of this ability and plenty to feel proud about, one might assume Dale to have a bit of an ego. He certainly would be entitled to it. But, you probably can't meet a more modest or humble guy. Dale is as kind as he is strong and never ceases to impress the rest of the class.

FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Rob Simon is FLATLINED. ARE YOU? Rob shows up. No, literally he just showed up. Rob had emailed me about trying out a Flatline OCR Saturday class and then, just a few weeks later, he just rolls under the garage door. It's like he knew the door was locked and that's just how I was requiring people to enter that day. Then he proceeded to roll over every obstacle that day like it was no big deal giving our typical class cheetah, Derrick Neil a run for his money. I've had my own experience against Rob and, trust me, you'd better not make a mistake on the course or he will overtake you. He throws the spear like a pro and will make you pay if you go 0 for 7 like me. He also leads tremendously by example and has some sort of deal with the burpee train as it seldom shows up on a Saturday that Rob joins us. Despite his considerable ability, he is incredibly humble and good-natured and has rolled into our Flatliners Family as easily as he rolled under that door the first day that we met him! FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Rob Simon is FLATLINED. ARE YOU?

Rob shows up. No, literally he just showed up. Rob had emailed me about trying out a Flatline OCR Saturday class and then, just a few weeks later, he just rolls under the garage door. It's like he knew the door was locked and that's just how I was requiring people to enter that day. Then he proceeded to roll over every obstacle that day like it was no big deal giving our typical class cheetah, Derrick Neil a run for his money. I've had my own experience against Rob and, trust me, you'd better not make a mistake on the course or he will overtake you. He throws the spear like a pro and will make you pay if you go 0 for 7 like me. He also leads tremendously by example and has some sort of deal with the burpee train as it seldom shows up on a Saturday that Rob joins us. Despite his considerable ability, he is incredibly humble and good-natured and has rolled into our Flatliners Family as easily as he rolled under that door the first day that we met him!

FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Jason Zielinski is FLATLINED. ARE YOU? Looks just like his brother Phil, right? Ok maybe not, but he's as tough as a competitor. A seasoned runner, Jason was introduced to OCR a few years ago at Warrior Dash, like many of us. And, like many of us, he was hooked. It took him a few years to upgrade to Spartan but he went right for the big one with the 2016 Ohio Beast. He returned this year to improve upon his first performance and did he ever. Could it be that he joined us for a few Flatliner OCR classes before the race? Maybe. Could it be that he's Phil's brother and athletes grow on trees in that family? Possibly. Most likely, however, it's the fact that Jason comes to play and play hard each and every time. He's used the skills he's already acquired as a respectable runner and adapted them nicely into the world of OCR as he has committed to improving his strength and athleticism to compliment his running. Jason, like all of the Flatliner men make room for effort by leaving ego out and moving himself forward in his progress blazing a trail for others to be inspired by and follow. FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Jason Zielinski is FLATLINED. ARE YOU?

Looks just like his brother Phil, right? Ok maybe not, but he's as tough as a competitor. A seasoned runner, Jason was introduced to OCR a few years ago at Warrior Dash, like many of us. And, like many of us, he was hooked. It took him a few years to upgrade to Spartan but he went right for the big one with the 2016 Ohio Beast. He returned this year to improve upon his first performance and did he ever. Could it be that he joined us for a few Flatliner OCR classes before the race? Maybe. Could it be that he's Phil's brother and athletes grow on trees in that family? Possibly. Most likely, however, it's the fact that Jason comes to play and play hard each and every time. He's used the skills he's already acquired as a respectable runner and adapted them nicely into the world of OCR as he has committed to improving his strength and athleticism to compliment his running. Jason, like all of the Flatliner men make room for effort by leaving ego out and moving himself forward in his progress blazing a trail for others to be inspired by and follow.

FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Noel Manuel is FLATLINED. ARE YOU? Pardon the "Non-OCR" pic but it just wouldn't have done this man's accomplishments justice. Make no mistake, Noel has done a few OCR's, and has joined us for a few Flatline OCR classes up at Mt. Hoy...which he flies up like a bottle rocket shot out of a propane tank. He's also a regular in my HartFit OFFICE OCR group, and is always full of wonderful ideas for new and challenging things, often to the dismay of his piers. This pic, however, shows Noel as we see him today, after the incredible transformation he endured by losing a significant amount of weight and achieving some very impressive fitness feats. Noel is literally one of the nicest people you could ever meet. I seriously wouldn't believe that there is anyone out there who doesn't absolutely love the guy is you've had the pleasure of meeting him. He comes packaged with a natural athleticism that often has even myself a bit envious of his form and the harder things get, the more he seems to smile. He is exactly what every coach wants when they set aspirations for people to achieve and conquer. The sky is the limit for this guy, even if he is too humble to realize it most of the time. FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Noel Manuel is FLATLINED. ARE YOU?

Pardon the "Non-OCR" pic but it just wouldn't have done this man's accomplishments justice. Make no mistake, Noel has done a few OCR's, and has joined us for a few Flatline OCR classes up at Mt. Hoy...which he flies up like a bottle rocket shot out of a propane tank. He's also a regular in my HartFit OFFICE OCR group, and is always full of wonderful ideas for new and challenging things, often to the dismay of his piers. This pic, however, shows Noel as we see him today, after the incredible transformation he endured by losing a significant amount of weight and achieving some very impressive fitness feats. Noel is literally one of the nicest people you could ever meet. I seriously wouldn't believe that there is anyone out there who doesn't absolutely love the guy is you've had the pleasure of meeting him. He comes packaged with a natural athleticism that often has even myself a bit envious of his form and the harder things get, the more he seems to smile. He is exactly what every coach wants when they set aspirations for people to achieve and conquer. The sky is the limit for this guy, even if he is too humble to realize it most of the time.

FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Elizabeth Scott is FLATLINED. ARE YOU? Wow, she looks happy in this pic! That's Liz all of the way once she accomplishes something, especially if doubt found a way to creep into her mind. In the event that happens, a simple nudge or reminder of what she is capable of is all she needs to get out of her own way. Then, you better get the f&$k out of HER way. If this pic here doesn't sum Liz up, than maybe this will. Her first Flatline OCR session was quite possibly our most brutal of 2017. On a freezing cold and rainy night, a nervous Liz Scott walked into HartFit SGX not knowing what to expect. Team building was on the menu that night and Liz fit right in as she didn't let down her newly found Flatliner family by never once setting her bucket of rocks down, saving the rest of the team the misery of doing more squat jumps than our legs would've been happy about. This was a night that went almost 2 hours and had most of us who were wearing gloves barely feeling our frigid fingertips from crawling around the puddles on the freezing blacktop. Liz wasn't wearing gloves. She never stopped. She never complained. CrossFit had obviously gifted us one tough chick because she came back for more when many would've ran far, far away. She is, after all, incredible. FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Elizabeth Scott is FLATLINED. ARE YOU?

Wow, she looks happy in this pic! That's Liz all of the way once she accomplishes something, especially if doubt found a way to creep into her mind. In the event that happens, a simple nudge or reminder of what she is capable of is all she needs to get out of her own way. Then, you better get the f&$k out of HER way. If this pic here doesn't sum Liz up, than maybe this will. Her first Flatline OCR session was quite possibly our most brutal of 2017. On a freezing cold and rainy night, a nervous Liz Scott walked into HartFit SGX not knowing what to expect. Team building was on the menu that night and Liz fit right in as she didn't let down her newly found Flatliner family by never once setting her bucket of rocks down, saving the rest of the team the misery of doing more squat jumps than our legs would've been happy about. This was a night that went almost 2 hours and had most of us who were wearing gloves barely feeling our frigid fingertips from crawling around the puddles on the freezing blacktop. Liz wasn't wearing gloves. She never stopped. She never complained. CrossFit had obviously gifted us one tough chick because she came back for more when many would've ran far, far away. She is, after all, incredible.

FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Sherri Boganski Hamilton is FLATLINED. ARE YOU? Sherri is absolutely awesome. After emailing me with interest in only working specific obstacles, I invited her to join us for one of our Flatline OCR Saturday classes. There, she could not only incorporate many of the obstacles she was concerned with, but do them while both her aerobic and anaerobic systems were getting quite the challenge. This, in turn, would allow me to determine just how much she was really working out on her own and if it indeed was sufficient preparation for her first Spartan Race. It was. After the initial first class jitters subsided, (30 burpees will do that) Sherri took to the class like she had been there before. In fact, upon bringing Sherri to the infamous Mt. Hoy for her first week at that location, she made it seem like that what an all too familiar challenge as well. Sherri, not only survived the brutality of that monstrous hill, she thrived there. Constantly running up the side upon being directed to complete some intense rounds of hill repeats. She always stays positive. she never seems to crack. And there is absolutely nothing that she seems to struggle with long enough for it to be considered a nemesis. Her determination to ring the bell at the top of the rope climb had her climbing ropes in her back yard. Even better? She could probably teach me a thing or two about throwing the spear. So humble she is however, she actually asked if it would be ok that she purchases a Flatliners Jersey, seeing as we only see her on the weekends as if some how that doesn't qualify her as part of this amazing family. Well, Sherri, you ARE a part of this family, and you're welcome to keep coming to kick a$$ here anytime you like!

Sherri Boganski Hamilton is FLATLINED. ARE YOU?

Sherri is absolutely awesome. After emailing me with interest in only working specific obstacles, I invited her to join us for one of our Flatline OCR Saturday classes. There, she could not only incorporate many of the obstacles she was concerned with, but do them while both her aerobic and anaerobic systems were getting quite the challenge. This, in turn, would allow me to determine just how much she was really working out on her own and if it indeed was sufficient preparation for her first Spartan Race. It was. After the initial first class jitters subsided, (30 burpees will do that) Sherri took to the class like she had been there before. In fact, upon bringing Sherri to the infamous Mt. Hoy for her first week at that location, she made it seem like that what an all too familiar challenge as well. Sherri, not only survived the brutality of that monstrous hill, she thrived there. Constantly running up the side upon being directed to complete some intense rounds of hill repeats. She always stays positive. she never seems to crack. And there is absolutely nothing that she seems to struggle with long enough for it to be considered a nemesis. Her determination to ring the bell at the top of the rope climb had her climbing ropes in her back yard. Even better? She could probably teach me a thing or two about throwing the spear. So humble she is however, she actually asked if it would be ok that she purchases a Flatliners Jersey, seeing as we only see her on the weekends as if some how that doesn't qualify her as part of this amazing family. Well, Sherri, you ARE a part of this family, and you're welcome to keep coming to kick a$$ here anytime you like!

Kyle T. Birdsong is FLATLINED. ARE YOU? So i get a call from my old Personal Training School, NPTI, asking if I would be interested in taking on an intern, who is as passionate about OCR as myself. Being a one man show, it's a thought that never crossed my mind. However, being that Kyle was coming highly recommended from the place in which I hold my certification and diploma and hearing of his love for all things OCR, I jumped at the chance. Thankfully, Kyle jumped right in as well, providing me a much needed hand as the Flatliner family grew more rapidly than I was prepared for. He had a hand in that, whether he realizes it or not. I was on an island with my OCR Training and Kyle's connections around the OCR community helped to get the HartFit SGX Flatline OCR program noticed. Not only was kyle instrumental in class organization and planning including the infamous memory tests, but he proved to be especially inspirational as a coach to both Brenda Arnold-Johnson and Ramiro Duenas often convincing them both of their abilities. As an athlete, Kyle is a grinder, wearing down terrain and obstacles set before him before they can have that effect on him. Rope climb with no legs? No problem. And his Spartan ink might just be cooler than mine. He's moved on to Personal Training at River North Chicago, but he always has a home here. His extra set of eyes are as invaluable as his persistence to achieve a task at hand. He's also the only other person that heard the calls of that strange animal beneath the pool tarp at the Days INN that was populated by many of the Spartan community the weekend of the 2017 Ohio Beast. Dude, seriously. WTF was that? FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Kyle T. Birdsong is FLATLINED. ARE YOU?

So i get a call from my old Personal Training School, NPTI, asking if I would be interested in taking on an intern, who is as passionate about OCR as myself. Being a one man show, it's a thought that never crossed my mind. However, being that Kyle was coming highly recommended from the place in which I hold my certification and diploma and hearing of his love for all things OCR, I jumped at the chance. Thankfully, Kyle jumped right in as well, providing me a much needed hand as the Flatliner family grew more rapidly than I was prepared for. He had a hand in that, whether he realizes it or not. I was on an island with my OCR Training and Kyle's connections around the OCR community helped to get the HartFit SGX Flatline OCR program noticed. Not only was kyle instrumental in class organization and planning including the infamous memory tests, but he proved to be especially inspirational as a coach to both Brenda Arnold-Johnson and Ramiro Duenas often convincing them both of their abilities. As an athlete, Kyle is a grinder, wearing down terrain and obstacles set before him before they can have that effect on him. Rope climb with no legs? No problem. And his Spartan ink might just be cooler than mine. He's moved on to Personal Training at River North Chicago, but he always has a home here. His extra set of eyes are as invaluable as his persistence to achieve a task at hand. He's also the only other person that heard the calls of that strange animal beneath the pool tarp at the Days INN that was populated by many of the Spartan community the weekend of the 2017 Ohio Beast. Dude, seriously. WTF was that?

FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Crystal Hart is FLATLINED. ARE YOU? It's been said before and it is so very true. Behind every great man, there is an even greater woman. While my greatness is debatable at best, there is no question about the the excellence of the woman that I get to call my wife. Carrying the weight of this sandbag with a smile the way she often must carry the weight of our family, she is undeniably the foundation of my entire world, and why I can spend so much of my time passionately devoted to Building Better Humans. Because I have the support of this most amazing woman, I have been able to build much of my dream into a reality. While often I hear of husbands speaking of their biggest obstacle with their OCR obsession being their wives, mine stands for ten hours beneath the sleeting skies of Lake Tahoe, so I can climb a mountain to get hypothermia and a belt buckle. When I say that there is a race in Indiana that I'd really like to do last minute, she tells me that she's already purchased my hotel room. And, while not necessarily an OCR addict like the rest of us, her nutritional advice and expertise has proven invaluable to both myself and my clients. Make no mistake however, she's been known to just show up to 10 mile races, Spartans and Warrior Dashes and get sh&t done. She'd rather do a million burpees than receive any help on an obstacle, and her love of yoga has her moving more fluidly than myself on any given day. A dedicated mother and step-mother, she keeps education as a high priority throughout the year, summer included. I honestly don't know how she does it, or why I would ever be so lucky as to call her mine, but she is more than just my wife, she's my best friend beast. When things get tough for me, or I begin to doubt myself, all I need are those three words from her to keep me going. "F%cking Spartan Up!" FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Crystal Hart is FLATLINED. ARE YOU?

It's been said before and it is so very true. Behind every great man, there is an even greater woman. While my greatness is debatable at best, there is no question about the the excellence of the woman that I get to call my wife. Carrying the weight of this sandbag with a smile the way she often must carry the weight of our family, she is undeniably the foundation of my entire world, and why I can spend so much of my time passionately devoted to Building Better Humans. Because I have the support of this most amazing woman, I have been able to build much of my dream into a reality. While often I hear of husbands speaking of their biggest obstacle with their OCR obsession being their wives, mine stands for ten hours beneath the sleeting skies of Lake Tahoe, so I can climb a mountain to get hypothermia and a belt buckle. When I say that there is a race in Indiana that I'd really like to do last minute, she tells me that she's already purchased my hotel room. And, while not necessarily an OCR addict like the rest of us, her nutritional advice and expertise has proven invaluable to both myself and my clients. Make no mistake however, she's been known to just show up to 10 mile races, Spartans and Warrior Dashes and get sh&t done. She'd rather do a million burpees than receive any help on an obstacle, and her love of yoga has her moving more fluidly than myself on any given day. A dedicated mother and step-mother, she keeps education as a high priority throughout the year, summer included. I honestly don't know how she does it, or why I would ever be so lucky as to call her mine, but she is more than just my wife, she's my best friend beast. When things get tough for me, or I begin to doubt myself, all I need are those three words from her to keep me going. "F%cking Spartan Up!"

FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Yvette Hansen is FLATLINED. ARE YOU? A successful career woman and a dedicated mother of three, Yvette was attracted to Spartan Race by watching Spartan Ultimate Team on NBC. Always an efficient runner, she wanted to expand to new challenges because that's how this woman rolls. Ask her, however, and she'll tell you that it's only because she doesn't roll alone. This born-again Christian has God on her side at every step of the way. No, seriously, every step. It's because of that I tried to limit my amount of expletives when I train her one-on-one but I unfortunately do not know how to speak the English language without them. Thankfully, Yvette is as cool as she is faithful and only passes judgement on herself when she believes that she could do better. And better she does. Instead of signing up for her first Spartan Race as an Open Sprint, I convinced her to go for the competitive Super. The smile on her face in this pic tells you everything you need to know about how that decision went. This woman amazes me with her willingness to take on new challenges because she always seems to have something to prove. She even got her oldest son to join us at Flatline OCR and deserves a lot of credit for all of the success he has had with stepping out of his comfort zone into something he now loves as well. She won't take the credit, however. She'll hand it over to God, as humble as ever and claim that He has taken the wheel. But we all know the truth. She's the one who has her foot on the gas. FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Yvette Hansen is FLATLINED. ARE YOU?

A successful career woman and a dedicated mother of three, Yvette was attracted to Spartan Race by watching Spartan Ultimate Team on NBC. Always an efficient runner, she wanted to expand to new challenges because that's how this woman rolls. Ask her, however, and she'll tell you that it's only because she doesn't roll alone. This born-again Christian has God on her side at every step of the way. No, seriously, every step. It's because of that I tried to limit my amount of expletives when I train her one-on-one but I unfortunately do not know how to speak the English language without them. Thankfully, Yvette is as cool as she is faithful and only passes judgement on herself when she believes that she could do better. And better she does. Instead of signing up for her first Spartan Race as an Open Sprint, I convinced her to go for the competitive Super. The smile on her face in this pic tells you everything you need to know about how that decision went. This woman amazes me with her willingness to take on new challenges because she always seems to have something to prove. She even got her oldest son to join us at Flatline OCR and deserves a lot of credit for all of the success he has had with stepping out of his comfort zone into something he now loves as well. She won't take the credit, however. She'll hand it over to God, as humble as ever and claim that He has taken the wheel. But we all know the truth. She's the one who has her foot on the gas.

FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Ramiro Duenas is FLATLINED. ARE YOU? The dunk wall. Similar to many people at their first Spartan Race, they don't know quite what to expect upon coming out from underneath the water on the other side of those immersed wooden planks. The prospects of going under seem a little scary, and the dirt and muck of the disgustingly dirty water seems incredibly uninviting. Ramiro's journey with us, to the Flatline OCR class, to his first Spartan Race and to the man he is becoming is quite symbolic of the challenges when faced with this very obstacle. When his mother, Yvette Hansen, first signed him up for Personal Training with HartFit SOLO, he had absolutely no intention of joining us for Flatline OCR. Absolutely no intention. Upon convincing him (or dragging him) to his first class with us, he still had absolutely no intention of actually doing a Spartan Race. Absolutely no intention. But as the weeks went by, and weeks turned to months, out from underneath those doubtful waters emerged a strong, confident, and excited OCR fanatic on the other side of his own proverbial wall. Now Ramiro embraces the dirt, the muck and the uncertainty of life in general far more courageously than ever before and with the help of our winter intern, Kyle T. Birdsong, transformed his own approach from "Can't do it" to "Can do it". The kid has more heart for all of those around him than he often has for himself, and his "Never leave a Flatliner" behind attitude is both infectious and admirable. Absolutely anything that he cannot do today, rest assured he is only a few pushes from accomplishing it tomorrow. Absolutely anything. FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Ramiro Duenas is FLATLINED. ARE YOU?

The dunk wall. Similar to many people at their first Spartan Race, they don't know quite what to expect upon coming out from underneath the water on the other side of those immersed wooden planks. The prospects of going under seem a little scary, and the dirt and muck of the disgustingly dirty water seems incredibly uninviting. Ramiro's journey with us, to the Flatline OCR class, to his first Spartan Race and to the man he is becoming is quite symbolic of the challenges when faced with this very obstacle. When his mother, Yvette Hansen, first signed him up for Personal Training with HartFit SOLO, he had absolutely no intention of joining us for Flatline OCR. Absolutely no intention. Upon convincing him (or dragging him) to his first class with us, he still had absolutely no intention of actually doing a Spartan Race. Absolutely no intention. But as the weeks went by, and weeks turned to months, out from underneath those doubtful waters emerged a strong, confident, and excited OCR fanatic on the other side of his own proverbial wall. Now Ramiro embraces the dirt, the muck and the uncertainty of life in general far more courageously than ever before and with the help of our winter intern, Kyle T. Birdsong, transformed his own approach from "Can't do it" to "Can do it". The kid has more heart for all of those around him than he often has for himself, and his "Never leave a Flatliner" behind attitude is both infectious and admirable. Absolutely anything that he cannot do today, rest assured he is only a few pushes from accomplishing it tomorrow. Absolutely anything.

FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Al Lewandowski is FLATLINED. ARE YOU? Where would we be without Al? Picking up where my foundational builder, Michael Van Bree left off, Al (Pictured on the left of this pic) has absolutely proven that, not only do hard working and generous people still exist, but that they keep finding their way to Flatline OCR. I have to admit, the day that Al first walked in, I thought he was there to yell at me about our infamous parking situation at Hart Fitness. Dressed in jeans and a flannel shirt, he fit right in with the blue-collar grinders that populate the surrounding area of our gym. Turns out, Al was looking to do his first Spartan Race, and had come looking for coaching. But packed inside of this incredibly friendly and unassuming gentleman is an absolute animal. Al needed virtually no coaching right out of the box on rope climbs, monkey bars, traverse ropes and walls. He built us a 6 foot wall and then muscled up over it. His Z-wall construction has some nasty angles, and we owe it to him that we finally have a spear throw. The struggle with Al is real. A type 1 diabetic, he has never once let that stop him or hold him back in anyway in class or in life. For good measure, he decided he'd make his first Spartan weekend a double, similar to how he doubles up on classes. Running the Super on Saturday and the Sprint on Sunday, he is now just a Beast away from his first Tri-Fecta the year of his inaugural race. This man is one of the most fantastic human beings that I know, and is as loyal as he is talented. Hell, his license reads "YESDERE" and I've been known to return on a Monday to find new things built within our gym. But do not take Al's kindness for granted. When the bell sounds, Al becomes our Quiet Riot. Wild, wild, WILD! FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Al Lewandowski is FLATLINED. ARE YOU?

Where would we be without Al? Picking up where my foundational builder, Michael Van Bree left off, Al (Pictured on the left of this pic) has absolutely proven that, not only do hard working and generous people still exist, but that they keep finding their way to Flatline OCR. I have to admit, the day that Al first walked in, I thought he was there to yell at me about our infamous parking situation at Hart Fitness. Dressed in jeans and a flannel shirt, he fit right in with the blue-collar grinders that populate the surrounding area of our gym. Turns out, Al was looking to do his first Spartan Race, and had come looking for coaching. But packed inside of this incredibly friendly and unassuming gentleman is an absolute animal. Al needed virtually no coaching right out of the box on rope climbs, monkey bars, traverse ropes and walls. He built us a 6 foot wall and then muscled up over it. His Z-wall construction has some nasty angles, and we owe it to him that we finally have a spear throw. The struggle with Al is real. A type 1 diabetic, he has never once let that stop him or hold him back in anyway in class or in life. For good measure, he decided he'd make his first Spartan weekend a double, similar to how he doubles up on classes. Running the Super on Saturday and the Sprint on Sunday, he is now just a Beast away from his first Tri-Fecta the year of his inaugural race. This man is one of the most fantastic human beings that I know, and is as loyal as he is talented. Hell, his license reads "YESDERE" and I've been known to return on a Monday to find new things built within our gym. But do not take Al's kindness for granted. When the bell sounds, Al becomes our Quiet Riot. Wild, wild, WILD!

FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Mary Beth Carlson-Haugh is FLATLINED. ARE YOU? Physiquemom3. (Physique-Mom-3) is her Instagram handle. But can you handle her? I think not. So incredible is this woman, her chiseled physique would make it hard to believe that she struggles with much of anything. That's because she doesn't seem to struggle with much of anything. Always soft spoken and one of the sweetest people you could possibly meet, her quiet determined approach to any task at hand is a virtual death sentence to any obstacle that stands in her way. Don't believe me? Just check out the incredible transformation this woman has achieved. And now she has targeted OCR. Starting with her first ever Spartan Sprint, she crushed the course the way she crushes Flatline OCR. Steady, focused, and without any unnecessary fluff. She's so modest that you could almost be fooled into thinking that she doubts herself when approaching something new. That is, until, she works the obstacle like a pro with the humbleness of someone who has done it before. Her athleticism is spectacular and she has videos to prove it. Sometimes she makes something look so easy I think she should be the one Coaching me! On one such occasion after a brutal Flatline workout that consisted of everything you can imagine to weaken your grip over the course of an hour I completed my last set on the ascending monkey bars like a floundering fish out of water. Not only did Mary Beth appear to not even be fatigued, she asked me to take a video of her doing said monkey bars backwards after the class. Had I asked the same of her that night, it would've been of me falling from them. She's phenomenal both as an athlete and a person, and an absolute honor to have in class anytime she can make it. She was getting ready for OCR. Now OCR better get ready for her! FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Mary Beth Carlson-Haugh is FLATLINED. ARE YOU?

Physiquemom3. (Physique-Mom-3) is her Instagram handle. But can you handle her? I think not. So incredible is this woman, her chiseled physique would make it hard to believe that she struggles with much of anything. That's because she doesn't seem to struggle with much of anything. Always soft spoken and one of the sweetest people you could possibly meet, her quiet determined approach to any task at hand is a virtual death sentence to any obstacle that stands in her way. Don't believe me? Just check out the incredible transformation this woman has achieved. And now she has targeted OCR. Starting with her first ever Spartan Sprint, she crushed the course the way she crushes Flatline OCR. Steady, focused, and without any unnecessary fluff. She's so modest that you could almost be fooled into thinking that she doubts herself when approaching something new. That is, until, she works the obstacle like a pro with the humbleness of someone who has done it before. Her athleticism is spectacular and she has videos to prove it. Sometimes she makes something look so easy I think she should be the one Coaching me! On one such occasion after a brutal Flatline workout that consisted of everything you can imagine to weaken your grip over the course of an hour I completed my last set on the ascending monkey bars like a floundering fish out of water. Not only did Mary Beth appear to not even be fatigued, she asked me to take a video of her doing said monkey bars backwards after the class. Had I asked the same of her that night, it would've been of me falling from them. She's phenomenal both as an athlete and a person, and an absolute honor to have in class anytime she can make it. She was getting ready for OCR. Now OCR better get ready for her!

FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Krista Ward is FLATLINED. ARE YOU? Krista is an all too familiar story of an athlete who arrives at Flatline OCR nervous and unsure of what to expect. It's always surprising to me especially for women like Krista, who like many of my first timers, already does CrossFit. What could she possibly be unsure of? Turns out, not much. She showed up to her first class and, not only was competent on obstacles she had never seen, but downright dominated a few of them. Good thing too, with her first Spartan Race coming in June, that she hired not one, but two, Spartan SGX Certified Coaches. Though we didn't have the pleasure of seeing Krista as often as fellow Coach John Hayley from Unbreakable Fitness did, she joined us on occasion and even brought her kids who were obviously following in their Mother's footsteps. Krista also joined us for one of the coolest and most challenging small scale obstacle runs with Strong As Oak, carrying a 40lb wreckbag for 3 miles with her assigned teammate, Mark Hineman. She was nervous about that one too, and in typical Krista fashion, turned in another impressive performance. This all lead up to her completing her first ever Spartan Sprint, seen here jumping over the fire at the finish of that race. In fact, not only did Krista finish her first Spartan, she placed 2nd in her age group in the competitive division. That's not something that many can say about their first Spartan Race. Was she surprised? Probably. But I definitely was not. FAILURE IS D.O.A.  

Krista Ward is FLATLINED. ARE YOU?

Krista is an all too familiar story of an athlete who arrives at Flatline OCR nervous and unsure of what to expect. It's always surprising to me especially for women like Krista, who like many of my first timers, already does CrossFit. What could she possibly be unsure of? Turns out, not much. She showed up to her first class and, not only was competent on obstacles she had never seen, but downright dominated a few of them. Good thing too, with her first Spartan Race coming in June, that she hired not one, but two, Spartan SGX Certified Coaches. Though we didn't have the pleasure of seeing Krista as often as fellow Coach John Hayley from Unbreakable Fitness did, she joined us on occasion and even brought her kids who were obviously following in their Mother's footsteps. Krista also joined us for one of the coolest and most challenging small scale obstacle runs with Strong As Oak, carrying a 40lb wreckbag for 3 miles with her assigned teammate, Mark Hineman. She was nervous about that one too, and in typical Krista fashion, turned in another impressive performance. This all lead up to her completing her first ever Spartan Sprint, seen here jumping over the fire at the finish of that race. In fact, not only did Krista finish her first Spartan, she placed 2nd in her age group in the competitive division. That's not something that many can say about their first Spartan Race. Was she surprised? Probably. But I definitely was not.

FAILURE IS D.O.A.

 

Bridget Plekavic is FLATLINED? ARE YOU? Bridget is like that family member that you don't see every holiday, but only because she has a couple of families that really want her around. When she is around, however, her attitude is absolutely awesome and she always has a place at our table. In fact, Bridget has been known to bring a friend or two which is totally cool, because Flatliners always havea folding table and chairs in the basement to accommodate guests. Bridget's fitness commitments to CrossFit, are about as deep as her resume of OCR Races with the Midwest Vikings, who have custodial custody over her along with fellow SGX Coach Sarah Pozdol. That's totally cool, though as Flatliners have no problem providing our child support to someone as fun to be around as Bridget. She'll just pop up at races as often as she pops into our gym and has a few personal goals concerning walls that she's steadily progressing on getting passed. Bridget is free to continue to work on those goals with us, like everyone, as long as they bring that same positivity and smiling face to the table, or dance floor, if you know anything about Bridget.  FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Bridget Plekavic is FLATLINED? ARE YOU?

Bridget is like that family member that you don't see every holiday, but only because she has a couple of families that really want her around. When she is around, however, her attitude is absolutely awesome and she always has a place at our table. In fact, Bridget has been known to bring a friend or two which is totally cool, because Flatliners always havea folding table and chairs in the basement to accommodate guests. Bridget's fitness commitments to CrossFit, are about as deep as her resume of OCR Races with the Midwest Vikings, who have custodial custody over her along with fellow SGX Coach Sarah Pozdol. That's totally cool, though as Flatliners have no problem providing our child support to someone as fun to be around as Bridget. She'll just pop up at races as often as she pops into our gym and has a few personal goals concerning walls that she's steadily progressing on getting passed. Bridget is free to continue to work on those goals with us, like everyone, as long as they bring that same positivity and smiling face to the table, or dance floor, if you know anything about Bridget. 

FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Viktoras Rusenas is FLATLINED. ARE YOU? Finding the guy we know as Viktorious is a story of fate, success and absolute failure. I walk into a bowling alley fresh off of my double lap at the 2017 Ohio Beast with my family, get challenged to eat a 5lb burger that was on the menu, fail miserably after being defeated by a mere half of the caloric behemoth, and draw a lot of attention from the crowd while attempting such an idiotic feat. Thankfully, as fate would have it, Viktor was the manager on duty that night and was curious enough to come chat with me while I took a few years off of my life. He could've walked away right there, especially after learning that the guy trying to do this claimed to be a Fitness Coach. Instead Viktor was only interested in training for his first ever Spartan Sprint, and wanted to give Flatline OCR a try. He's been a Flatliner since. But not just any Flatliner, mind you. This guy has already qualified for the OCR World Championships, and he's just barely getting started. One of the nicest guys you could meet, Viktor is quick to compliment and encourage others even while he endures the brutality of Mt. Hoy, or pushes to complete the most rounds at a Flatline class. Even better, he's never too intense to show that he's having a blast doing it. I've no doubt that Viktor's future as a Special Education teacher is as bright as his future in this sport and that if WWE's "The Heartbreak Kid" Sean Michaels ever needs a stand-in, Viktor has got first dibs. FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Viktoras Rusenas is FLATLINED. ARE YOU?

Finding the guy we know as Viktorious is a story of fate, success and absolute failure. I walk into a bowling alley fresh off of my double lap at the 2017 Ohio Beast with my family, get challenged to eat a 5lb burger that was on the menu, fail miserably after being defeated by a mere half of the caloric behemoth, and draw a lot of attention from the crowd while attempting such an idiotic feat. Thankfully, as fate would have it, Viktor was the manager on duty that night and was curious enough to come chat with me while I took a few years off of my life. He could've walked away right there, especially after learning that the guy trying to do this claimed to be a Fitness Coach. Instead Viktor was only interested in training for his first ever Spartan Sprint, and wanted to give Flatline OCR a try. He's been a Flatliner since. But not just any Flatliner, mind you. This guy has already qualified for the OCR World Championships, and he's just barely getting started. One of the nicest guys you could meet, Viktor is quick to compliment and encourage others even while he endures the brutality of Mt. Hoy, or pushes to complete the most rounds at a Flatline class. Even better, he's never too intense to show that he's having a blast doing it. I've no doubt that Viktor's future as a Special Education teacher is as bright as his future in this sport and that if WWE's "The Heartbreak Kid" Sean Michaels ever needs a stand-in, Viktor has got first dibs.

FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Melissa M. Heeres is FLATLINED. ARE YOU? To say that Mel injects a healthy dose of personality into the FLATline team would be a gross understatement. The first time I met her at the Lambeau Field Spartan Sprint, she was wearing Wonder Woman tights while coming off with the playful exuberance of a ballet dancer wearing a tutu. But don't be mistaken, Mel is one of our OCR Championship Qualifiers and one of the most driven and competitive people you'll meet and a Wonder Woman in her own right. So competitive, in fact, that she drives all of the way from Chicago to train with us at HartFitSGX so she can continue to improve her already impressive skills. In fact, that's where I believe Mel's greatest strength may be. Behind that exuberance is a sword that she'll use to chop the head of her competitions hopes of defeating her. No seriously. She also fights with swords. So the minute you think she's tinker bell she'll totally Game of Thrones you. And then blow you a goodbye kiss. FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Melissa M. Heeres is FLATLINED. ARE YOU?

To say that Mel injects a healthy dose of personality into the FLATline team would be a gross understatement. The first time I met her at the Lambeau Field Spartan Sprint, she was wearing Wonder Woman tights while coming off with the playful exuberance of a ballet dancer wearing a tutu. But don't be mistaken, Mel is one of our OCR Championship Qualifiers and one of the most driven and competitive people you'll meet and a Wonder Woman in her own right. So competitive, in fact, that she drives all of the way from Chicago to train with us at HartFitSGX so she can continue to improve her already impressive skills. In fact, that's where I believe Mel's greatest strength may be. Behind that exuberance is a sword that she'll use to chop the head of her competitions hopes of defeating her. No seriously. She also fights with swords. So the minute you think she's tinker bell she'll totally Game of Thrones you. And then blow you a goodbye kiss.

FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Jeff Maynard is FLATLINED. ARE YOU? You might think that a guy that has his background in bodybuilding might not have any interest in OCR, right? But not Jeff. Jeff knows there are cameras at OCR's and if he can LOOK as good as he performs well then that's just gravy. Thankfully, Jeff knows nutrition, weight lifting, cardio AND how to pick girlfriends. Thanks to the latter he found our longtime FLATline sister, Jackie and then we found him. A serious and Professional Fitness Coach, Jeff is also a sponsored Athlete with Clique Nutrition and is only scratching the surface of both his career and his accomplishments in the sport of OCR. After all, biceps win races, bro. And Jeff's got some friggin guns. 

Jeff Maynard is FLATLINED. ARE YOU?

You might think that a guy that has his background in bodybuilding might not have any interest in OCR, right? But not Jeff. Jeff knows there are cameras at OCR's and if he can LOOK as good as he performs well then that's just gravy. Thankfully, Jeff knows nutrition, weight lifting, cardio AND how to pick girlfriends. Thanks to the latter he found our longtime FLATline sister, Jackie and then we found him. A serious and Professional Fitness Coach, Jeff is also a sponsored Athlete with Clique Nutrition and is only scratching the surface of both his career and his accomplishments in the sport of OCR. After all, biceps win races, bro. And Jeff's got some friggin guns. 

Brenda Arnold-Johnson is FLATLINED. ARE YOU? It happens every single day. Someone wants to make a change in their life and start living a healthier and more active lifestyle. With the best intentions, they take that first walk into the gym full of treadmills, stair masters and bikes and, not knowing what they just got themselves into, blindly begin their journey that so often ends in futility. But NOT Brenda. Brenda took a different walk, albeit motivated by the same goals (and Elizabeth Winter) and walked into our gym. No treadmills or stair master just ropes, rigs, walls, tires, buckets, sandbags and burpees. I could see the fear on her face when she REALLY didn't know what she got herself into. Well, the good news is, what Brenda got herself into was a new outlook on life, a new attitude, a group of the best new friends AND the beginnings of a whole new her from the toes up. Never once, NOT ONCE mind you, have I ever had to worry about Brenda's effort or attitude. The battle she fights is often 2 to 3 times more difficult for her, and it's a hard battle for all of us. But Brenda is only interested in getting better. Watching her progress can be summed up in her struggles and achieved success on the traverse wall. Coming into class at her highest weight, Brenda began needing to step up on a small bench to even attempt to just hold onto the traverse wall for as long as she could. Within weeks, Brenda was beginning to move to the next set of blocks. Along her way, she hired the services of Hart Healthy Zen to assist with her diet and nutrition. Brenda knew that a slimmer Brenda would bring her goal of getting across that wall and a host of other things closer to reality. Every day, just like Brenda's weight loss, a little farther. Every day just a little more possible. Every day, just a little closer until she finally hit that bell with authority just a few weeks before I wrote this post. She's remarkable and her journey is one that demands the upmost respect. Could it be that Brenda just happened to walk into the right gym with the right kind of people? Possibly. But I believe more that it's because this gym and these people were awarded the right kind of person.  FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Brenda Arnold-Johnson is FLATLINED. ARE YOU?

It happens every single day. Someone wants to make a change in their life and start living a healthier and more active lifestyle. With the best intentions, they take that first walk into the gym full of treadmills, stair masters and bikes and, not knowing what they just got themselves into, blindly begin their journey that so often ends in futility. But NOT Brenda. Brenda took a different walk, albeit motivated by the same goals (and Elizabeth Winter) and walked into our gym. No treadmills or stair master just ropes, rigs, walls, tires, buckets, sandbags and burpees. I could see the fear on her face when she REALLY didn't know what she got herself into. Well, the good news is, what Brenda got herself into was a new outlook on life, a new attitude, a group of the best new friends AND the beginnings of a whole new her from the toes up. Never once, NOT ONCE mind you, have I ever had to worry about Brenda's effort or attitude. The battle she fights is often 2 to 3 times more difficult for her, and it's a hard battle for all of us. But Brenda is only interested in getting better. Watching her progress can be summed up in her struggles and achieved success on the traverse wall. Coming into class at her highest weight, Brenda began needing to step up on a small bench to even attempt to just hold onto the traverse wall for as long as she could. Within weeks, Brenda was beginning to move to the next set of blocks. Along her way, she hired the services of Hart Healthy Zen to assist with her diet and nutrition. Brenda knew that a slimmer Brenda would bring her goal of getting across that wall and a host of other things closer to reality. Every day, just like Brenda's weight loss, a little farther. Every day just a little more possible. Every day, just a little closer until she finally hit that bell with authority just a few weeks before I wrote this post. She's remarkable and her journey is one that demands the upmost respect. Could it be that Brenda just happened to walk into the right gym with the right kind of people? Possibly. But I believe more that it's because this gym and these people were awarded the right kind of person. 

FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Etan Reklats is FLATLINED. ARE YOU? If there was an award for a guy that could hold a full conversation with you while simultaneously kicking ass, Nate would dominate. Seriously, Nate is the guy that you want with you when you're outnumbered in enemy territory simply because you know he'll both have your back and find something hilarious about an otherwise dreadful situation. A Veteran of the Military and of Tough Mudders, Nate is a stand up guy that loves a challenge and took to our Flatliner family with incredible ease. His lighthearted spirit is the perfect compliment to his never-say-die approach to any obstacle he fails to succeed upon the first time. With relentless pursuit, Nate will become obsessed with completing and then dominating that obstacle yet somehow have the wherewithal to find enough humor in it to crack jokes all of the way. Listen closely, however, and you'll find some valuable teachings between the Hoorah's and the humor that just might make you a better human. Nate is as wise as he is hilarious and is one of the best combinations of kick ass and comedy that you can find. Always admire and respect the guy that can make light of anything. Even the "burpee test muthaf#cka!" FAILURE IS D.O.A.

Etan Reklats is FLATLINED. ARE YOU?

If there was an award for a guy that could hold a full conversation with you while simultaneously kicking ass, Nate would dominate. Seriously, Nate is the guy that you want with you when you're outnumbered in enemy territory simply because you know he'll both have your back and find something hilarious about an otherwise dreadful situation. A Veteran of the Military and of Tough Mudders, Nate is a stand up guy that loves a challenge and took to our Flatliner family with incredible ease. His lighthearted spirit is the perfect compliment to his never-say-die approach to any obstacle he fails to succeed upon the first time. With relentless pursuit, Nate will become obsessed with completing and then dominating that obstacle yet somehow have the wherewithal to find enough humor in it to crack jokes all of the way. Listen closely, however, and you'll find some valuable teachings between the Hoorah's and the humor that just might make you a better human. Nate is as wise as he is hilarious and is one of the best combinations of kick ass and comedy that you can find. Always admire and respect the guy that can make light of anything. Even the "burpee test muthaf#cka!"

FAILURE IS D.O.A.