Member of the Month - August 2022

Congratulations, Mike!

Mike is PUSH511's August Member of the Month! Mike is a regular in our group CrossFit classes and also helps organize social events for the gym community! This is why the PUSH511 coaches voted Mike August Member of the Month:

Mike comes into class and gets work done! You can see the determination in his eyes to continue to grow as an athlete.

What a well-deserved athlete of the month! Mike has made such an impression ever since he started at Push. He is such a bright light in every class and love working out with and coaching him. Any time there is a new person in class he makes them feel at home by introducing himself and introducing them to others. He may not be aware that we see this but his friendly demeanor and kindness to others does not go unnoticed. He’s made huge strides since he first began and his hard work continues to pay off! I’m so glad he found Push and happy to call him a friend in and out of the gym!

I love having Mike in class! He has really been giving it his all lately and made huge gains in his fitness by working on his form. He takes coaching cues well and works hard to get better at movements that he uses to struggle with. Just as important, he has been getting more comfortable with the uncomfortable both mentally and physically - realizing that his body or lungs can hold out a little longer on a lengthy workout, or not letting a daunting workout get the best of him. Mike is always cheerful when he comes to class and makes a point to engage with other classmates. He has come so far in his fitness journey, this is well deserved!

Always comes with the energy in classes ready to rock the WOD. Mike has shown great improvements since joining us. Has gained a lot of muscle and lost a good amount of weight shows he puts the work in- in and outside the gym. Looking forward to seeing how much he’ll progress within the next year.

I’ve been coaching Mike since day 1 of his journey at Push and it’s amazing to see how far he’s come. Mike is eager to learn and laughs along the way, and he always makes sure the fans work as well, which is very nice of him. 10 out of 10 would recommend him in your class!

Now, let's get to know our August Member of the Month!

When did you start CrossFit? May 2021

What's your fitness background? A bit all over the place. I struggled to maintain a consistent workout regimen prior to joining PUSH. I used to do some group classes at Merritt (spin, body pump, yoga, etc.), but didn’t quite know how to challenge myself on my own. Sports-wise, I played soccer and baseball as a kid, then swam and played water polo for a bit in high school. I currently play some social sports (kickball and beach volleyball) to stay active outside the gym, and also enjoy Peloton.

What's your favorite CrossFit movement? I like the squatty stuff…Front Squats, Back Squats, Wall Balls. Toes to Bar are fun too!

What's your least favorite movement? Strict Ring Dips, Bench Press…things where I can’t use my legs!

What do you do for work? I’m a product manager for a company that builds marketing automation software for distributors of print and promotional products. My primary function is to plan our releases of bug fixes and improvements and oversee our development roadmap, but I do everything from support and implementation/training to sales demos and marketing.

Tell us a little about yourself and your family. I’m the youngest of 5 children (4 older sisters.) Grew up just outside the city in Catonsville. My family is a bit scattered now, especially since my parents retired to the Eastern Shore. I have 17 nieces and nephews! I currently just have one pet…a fat cat named Rikki.

Tell us something we don't know about you! I’m obsessed with Autumn. The cooler temperatures, the smells, the food, the colors. All of it. I’m also a huge shark nerd. I did a cage dive in Hawaii years ago and got to see some cool species, but would love to do an open water swim with a Whale Shark and a cage dive to see some Great Whites.

How has CrossFit affected your life outside of the gym? PUSH has completely changed me. I was in a pretty rough place physically and mentally prior to joining after a year in quarantine. I’ve gotten so much stronger, healthier, and more confident in my skin since starting CrossFit. I’ve gone all in with an overhaul of my nutrition and lifestyle habits and am feeling much better. Not to mention, I’ve gained a bunch of awesome new friends! It’s been great to be surrounded by like-minded people who similarly prioritize their physical and mental health.

What do you enjoy most about PUSH511? The community really is spectacular. The coaches and fellow members have all been incredibly supportive. I love that I don’t have to think about what I’m going to do when I walk into the gym, and that there’s no shortage of people to help make sure I’m moving safely and to cheer me on!

What tips would you offer someone who is just getting started with working out? Set your ego to the side. Listen to your coaches and work out near them if possible so you can watch how they move. (One of my favorite things about PUSH is that there are often coaches taking the classes, so you have bonus people looking out for you!) Also, track your progress…it’s really helpful to be able to look back on your previous PRs for different movements, and fun to see how far you’ve come!

What's your favorite song to work out to? Anything Nicki Minaj. Probably Monster by Kanye West. (Specifically Nicki’s verse.) Also, Work It by Missy Elliott.

What's your favorite restaurant? In Baltimore, I’d have to say Cosima overlooking the Jones Falls in Hampden. Great Sicilian/Southern Italian food and beautiful atmosphere, especially if you can sit outside.

Who's your hero (real or fictional)? All of our PUSH coaches! Without getting too sappy, the PUSH team has helped me a ton. I’m continually impressed and inspired by you guys.

What does your frequently used emoji tab look like? 

Words to live by or favorite quote? “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?” - Rupaul

What's your favorite travel spot? Provincetown, MA at the very tip of Cape Cod. I want to move there one day. (If anyone has a few million dollars to fund this dream, my Venmo handle is @Mmannone06.) It’s beautiful. There’s nature, great food and nightlife, art, culture, history. Fun fact, the pilgrims landed in Ptown before ultimately settling over in Plymouth.

If you could win an Olympic gold medal for any sport, real or fake, what would it be? Flonkerton. (IYKYK.) Or more realistically, some sort of eating contest.

What's your hidden talent? Communicating exclusively using memes/GIFs. I specialize in The Office and Rupaul’s Drag Race content.

What are your top five favorite movies? I don’t have a set “Top 5”, but some favorites, in no particular order are: Bridesmaids, Drop Dead Gorgeous, The Goonies, Steel Magnolias and The Harry Potter Series. I’m also a sucker for all the holiday favorites I grew up watching, from classics like It’s a Wonderful Life and White Christmas to all the kids’ specials like the Charlie Brown and Rankin/Bass movies.

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