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Alter Egos: Kenichi (Kenny) Kato

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Our finest investigative reporter uncovers the secret real life identities of people you’ve only ever seen in sweatpants for our documentary series ALTER EGOS. For this installment @spensermestel finds out a few things about @kenichikato77!

🏋 GYM LIFE
:: Usually Attends: 7:00am L2 (and a “nooner” when he can be).
:: Started CrossFit: At CFV.
:: Years of CrossFit: 1.5.
:: Origin Story: A CFV member, who shall remain nameless, worked as a trainer at the Globo Gym where Kenny was a member and encouraged him to jump ship.
:: Athletic Background: Collegiate swimming.
:: Gym Superpowers: Thrusters, which he finds “organic and fluid,” so much so that he stood up and demonstrated during our interview.
:: Gym Kryptonite: Stringing together ring muscle-ups.
:: Favorite Workout Music: DJ Morgan. Kenny loves grunge and California pop-punk. He says, “I usually find myself singing along during the workouts, which is why I occasionally lose count of my reps and rounds…lol.”
:: Loves Most About CFV: Beefing up. Since Kenny joined CFV in September of 2015, he’s gained 16 pounds of muscle.

…keep reading for Kenny’s real life identity!

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Alter Egos: Sandee Shin

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Our finest investigative reporter uncovers the secret real life identities of people you’ve only ever seen in sweatpants for our documentary series ALTER EGOS. For our sixth installment @spensermestel finds out a few things about @sandeeshin_was_taken!

🏋 GYM LIFE
:: Usually Attends: 7:00am L2.
:: Started CrossFit: At CFV.
:: Years of CrossFit: 4.
:: Origin Story: Sandee’s husband, David, started at CFV in 2012 and encouraged her to join, but she was too nervous about getting bulky. She doesn’t worry about that anymore.
:: Athletic Background: High school volleyball and dancing.
:: Gym Superpowers: Cleans and double-unders.
:: Gym Kryptonite: Deadlift, though she’s very proud of her 188 one-rep max. It’s four years in the making.
:: Favorite Workout Music: DJ Joey. Favorite song: “Peaches & Cream” by 112.
:: Loves Most about CFV: The intensity. Though she’s gotten better about taking rest days, Sandee once went two weeks straight without a break.

…keep reading for Sandee’s real life identity!

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Alter Egos: Nina Meijers

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Our finest investigative reporter uncovers the secret real life identities of people you’ve only ever seen in sweatpants for our documentary series ALTER EGOS. For our fifth installment @spensermestel finds out a few things about @nina_meijers!

🏋 GYM LIFE
:: Usually Attends: 6:30pm or 7:30pm L2.
:: Started CrossFit: At CFV.
:: Years of CrossFit: 2.
:: Origin Story: Nina knew Coach Kyle from a nearby gym. When he moved to CFV, he encouraged her to join.
:: Athletic Background: Competitive gymnastics and soccer.
:: Gym Superpowers: Toes-to-bar and handstands.
:: Gym Kryptonite: Double-unders (she overthinks them).
:: Favorite Workout Music: DJ Mike. Nina likes the rock ballads that she’d “never listen to in real life.”
:: Loves Most about CFV: Currently, it’s how she feels from the Whole30 Challenge. “Even when you’re feeling awful during a workout, it isn’t as awful as you know it should be.”

…keep reading for Nina’s real life identity! >

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Alter Egos: Wissam Mrabi-Jaugeon

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Our finest investigative reporter uncovers the secret real life identities of people you’ve only ever seen in sweatpants for our documentary series ALTER EGOS. For our fourth installment @spensermestel finds out a few things about @wissammrabi!

🏋 GYM LIFE
:: Usually Attends: 12:30pm CrossFit L2.
:: Started CrossFit: At Brooklyn CrossFit South Williamsburg the day of Murph (Memorial Day), 2016.
:: Years of CrossFit: 3/4.
:: Origin Story: Wissam was looking for a program that would constantly change.
:: Athletic Background: Roller hockey, track and field, and fencing (florette).
:: Gym Superpowers: Handstands and anything on the rings (an Iron Cross is his 2017 goal.)
:: Gym Kryptonite: Cardio.
:: Favorite Workout Music: DJ Mike (Wissam grew up listening to Blink-182, Green Day, and the Offspring and digs Mike’s 90s playlists).
:: Loves Most about CFV: Posting beefy pics to his Instagram.

…keep reading for Wissam’s real life identity! >

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Alter Egos: Derek Godwin

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Our finest investigative reporter uncovers the secret real life identities of people you’ve only ever seen in sweatpants for our documentary series ALTER EGOS. For our third installment @spensermestel finds out a few things about @dergod!

🏋 GYM LIFE
:: Usually Attends: Movement (6-7:30pm on T, W, Th) and 6:30pm CrossFit L2.
:: Started CrossFit: At CrossFit Virtuosity in January, 2014.
:: Years of CrossFit: 3.
:: Origin Story: Derek and Inna, his wife and fellow CFV member, heard about CrossFit from their friends and stopped by. They were hooked after an intro class with Coach Joey.
:: Gym Superpowers: Kipping ring muscle-ups and anything core. Partly thanks to CFV’s core and strength work, Derek didn’t have to see a physical therapist once last year, the first year since he injured his back playing soccer in England.
:: Gym Kryptonite: Single-arm chin-ups and forward rolls.
:: Favorite Workout Music: DJ Kyle’s “sexy selections during spinal waves.”
:: Loves Most about CFV: What he loved when he played elite soccer in England – the community and the sense of competition.

…keep reading for Derek’s real life identity! >

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Alter Egos: Gabi Affonseca

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Our finest investigative reporter uncovers the secret real life identities of people you’ve only ever seen in sweatpants for our new documentary series ALTER EGOS. For our second installment @spensermestel finds out a few things about Gabi!

🏋 GYM LIFE
:: Usually Attends: 7:00am CrossFit L2.
:: Started CrossFit: At CrossFit Virtuosity in 2012.
:: Years of CrossFit: 4.
:: Origin Story: Gabi, whose athletic background includes volleyball, running, swimming, and tap dancing, was curious about CrossFit. She looked it up online, liked what she saw, and found CFV.
:: Gym Superpowers: Pull-ups. A few months ago, Coach Joey saw Gabi do a strict pull-up and suggested she try to kip, a skill she’d been working on for over three years. He helped her with the beat swings, and she ended up kipping for all four sets of 10.
:: Gym Kryptonite: Handstands (she recently learned to kick up against the wall, but her New Year’s resolution is free-standing).
:: Favorite Workout Music: DJ Mike or DJ Joey.
:: Loves Most about CFV: Encouraging others and being encouraged.

…keep reading for Gabi’s real life identity! >

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Thank You

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To all of you who train with us:

Thank you for letting us guide you on this crazy fitness journey, and share in your victories as you get stronger and fitter, reimagine what your body is capable of doing, and accomplish goals both large and small.

Thank you for the days you come in full of energy, give us your best effort and let us watch you shine, and thank you for the days you come in tired, stressed, or anxious and let us help you sweat some of that out.

Thank you for being a part of the most amazing, diverse, fun, and caring community around. We never stop feeling incredibly lucky that each and every one of you for some reason decided to walk through our front door.

And thank you for all the times you say thank you: your appreciation means the world to us.

We are so grateful that you give us the opportunity every day to do our dream job.

❤️ Team Virtuosity

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On The Ground At The 2016 Subway Series

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Every Sunday in August, a small but mighty team from CrossFit Virtuosity competed against seven local CrossFit gyms in the Subway Series, an annual competition that crowns the “fittest box” in New York City. Hoping to earn Virtuosity its sixth Series title, our athletes took on four weeks of tough workouts in the Rx and Scaled Divisions. It all started on our home turf in week one.

During the last heat of the last event, a ring of athletes formed around Stephen Moss, the only Virtuosity man brave enough to do “Karen” in the Rx Division. He’d just finished his 125th wall ball shot and was trying to catch his breath. He had 25 more to do in less than a minute. “Alright, pick up the ball,” Justin Fansler yelled. Stephen did, and as he finished five more unbroken, the crowd clapped.

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On The Platforms with Ariel Fernandez

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In between his clean and jerks, I ask Ariel how much longer he needs before our interview. “Now is fine,” he says, loading 10-lb plates on each side of the bar. I tell him I can’t interrupt. “No, no, no, not a problem,” he says, “I could use the company.” The 12:30 class has just finished, and on this day, one of the muggiest of the summer, we’re alone. Ariel already worked out in the morning, and I watch as he grips the bar, 155 pounds, hoists it to his hips, whips it up to his shoulders, squats, and then presses it above his head.

When the weight’s back on the ground, I ask him what program he’s doing. “I guess I’m always training for the Games,” he says a little sheepishly, walking toward the stacks of rubber plates. “Which means I have to train what I’m worst at.

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Ivan Dimov’s Ambitious Plan To Change LGBTQ Lives In Bulgaria

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By Spenser Mes

Last summer, CrossFit Virtuosity member Ivan Dimov was at a party in his native Bulgaria. “I’m outspoken,” Ivan says, “and it became kind of obvious that I’m gay.” Later that night a teenager approached him, fumbling, nervous. He said he was gay too, and that he didn’t have anyone to talk to. “I was probably the first person he ever told,” Ivan says.

The moment was pivotal for Ivan, who left Bulgaria after high school to attend Williams College in Massachusetts and has since spent more than 20 years living and working in the United States. “Of course I knew that Bulgaria is not an easy place to be gay,” says Ivan, “but that was when I started to think seriously about what I could do to make things better.”

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