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Posted: October 17, 2015

October Athlete of the Month

Name:   Chad Laborde                

Age: 35

Occupation: Insurance Agent- Farm Bureau Insurance

Deadlift Max: 425 lbs        

Backsquat Max: 315lbs

Favorite PR (Personal Record):  Everytime I get a new one, it’s my favorite (If I had to choose I would say the first time I did a ring  muscle-up)

Favorite WOD: I get excited to do any Hero WOD.  It allows me to put into perspective how enjoyable the “pain and suffering” of CrossFit really is compared to what some go through on a daily basis. 

How long have you been CrossFitting? 2 years

Which class time do you usually attend? I like to switch it up.  I mainly train with the competitors group at 5:30, but its awesome being able to meet other members at different times.

How did you find CrossFit? I was one of the early Lose Dat competitors of Franco’s and my trainer and friend, Chris Perez, was one of the original coaches of CrossFit Franco’s and he talked me into it as a good transition to continue my progression of fitness. 

What is your athletic background? As a kid, I grew up swimming year round and playing golf.  I went on to play high school and college golf(yes it is a sport)

How has CrossFit changed your life, lifestyle, level of fitness?  CrossFit has changed every aspect of my life.  Physically, my strength and conditioning is better now than at any point in my life.   CrossFit has become part of my family’s everyday life.  My wife and kids enjoy it and we enjoy the family that we have gained in our CrossFit community.  I would have to say however the biggest change has been in my mental strength.  CrossFit trains you to be unconquerable; to be positive in adversity.  There is support and people to keep you accountable and together you learn to overcome those “postures of defeat” and it is that mental strength, confidence, and positivity that has transcended to every area of my life.  CrossFit has given me more than I will ever be able to give back to it.

What is your proudest (CF) achievement?  My proudest achievements are competing in the competitions with my box family.   Competing in the Rx division at the Pensacola Beach Brawl and being able to do all of the movements as prescribed (including some of the muscle-ups) was really an awesome moment for me.

Name one goal/personal achievement that you would like to achieve through CrossFit. My competitive side says that I want to be a Masters Regional competitor one day.  I still have 5 years and the rest of my life to train for that opportunity. 

Hobbies/Interests outside of CrossFit? I still occasionally like to play golf and Michelle and I love to travel and eat good food and drink good wine.  With 4 kids though, their sports and extracurricular activities become my favorite weekend events.

What is your favorite cheat meal?  Pizza (from anywhere) and ice cream. 

Any advice for new members?  My advice to new members is to embrace everything that happens in the box.  The idea to lose weight or get in shape is what drives people in, but it’s the community that will keep you coming back.  Go do things outside of CrossFit with the people that you train with.  Don’t ever let your ego or self-esteem stand in the way of your goals.  There was something that we all couldn’t do when we started, but with persistence and the desire and passion to get better, we did and so will you.  Finally, listen to your coaches.  They will put you in the best possible situations to succeed and always have your best interest in mind.


Posted: September 7, 2015

September Athlete of the Month


September Athlete of the Month - Kirsten Burckell

Occupation: Wife and Mom

Deadlift Max: 183 lbs               

Backsquat Max: 143lbs

Favorite PR (Personal Record): running 800 meters in 2:55

Favorite WOD: I don't have a favorite. I just do whatever is on the board that day and hope I like it!

Class time I usually attend: I usually attend whatever time works with my day because sometimes the struggle is real.

How I found CrossFit: My sister in law invited me to a free demo class at Franco's . I was sick to my stomach just thinking about going to the class  because you hear how awesomely fit everyone is and how it's an intense workout. However, after that initial class I was hooked because I felt like that was a seriously good workout that I would never do on my own!

My athletic background: I played a little bit of everything growing up, cross country,swimming, gymnastics and a lot of Tennis. My mom made us try different things which is probably why I like crossfit.

How has CrossFit changed your life, lifestyle, level of fitness? Crossfit has been amazing for many reasons in my life, the first being that I finally found a workout and healthy lifestyle I had always wanted. I learned how to workout consistently and got encouragement from coaches and fellow crossfitters  to push myself athletically. Secondly, I learned good lifelong eating habits by doing a paleo challenge. I will never forget talking to one of the coaches and they told me in order to be physically fit it is 80% what you eat and 20% exercise. After working out so intensely and realizing that if I didn't eat right, I was basically  wasting time and energy. So once I embraced the healthy eating I was finally able to lose all my baby weight after having three children and felt positively about my body image and physical fitness. Lastly, I have met some pretty awesome people who inspire me everyday to do better!

My proudest (CF) achievement:  The first time I was able to do a handstand push up was one of my proudest  CF moments.

One goal/personal achievement that I would like to achieve through CrossFit: One day I dream of doing a muscle up. I know it may take forever to get there but it's kind of fun having a Mt. Everest goal  like that to strive for.

My hobbies/interests outside of CrossFit: Right now my family is my hobby, time with them is precious and fleeting as they get older. When I'm not with them it's relaxing reading a book and drinking a good cocktail.

My advice for new members:  My advice to new members is to try to be consistent in coming to crossfit because even if your stiff and sore which I'm sure we all have been, going to the workout diminishes the pain and eventually becomes less and less over time. Also I highly recommend eating healthy because it will definetly improve your level of fitness.


Posted: August 15, 2015

August Athlete Of The Month