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Aaron Kiraly

Aaron Kiraly’s legs burned as he attempted to keep his pace at one-step-per-second.The seventy-five pound weight vest strapped to him sunk into his shoulders with each step,making it difficult to breath, and limiting the oxygen his body was supplying to his legs.The burning sensation he felt with each step on the stair climber machine chipped away athis will power, he had no idea when this test would end, and therefore no way to set asidethe pain caused by this portion of the firefighter’s Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT).Before Aaron was able to complete the three minutes…

 Aaron Kiraly

Aaron Kiraly’s legs burned as he attempted to keep his pace at one-step-per-second.
The seventy-five pound weight vest strapped to him sunk into his shoulders with each step,
making it difficult to breath, and limiting the oxygen his body was supplying to his legs.
The burning sensation he felt with each step on the stair climber machine chipped away at
his will power, he had no idea when this test would end, and therefore no way to set aside
the pain caused by this portion of the firefighter’s Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT).
Before Aaron was able to complete the three minutes and twenty seconds required
exercise, he gave into the voices in his head telling him to quit. Aaron had failed the CPAT.
Aaron was born and raised in Stanley Wisconsin. He was a farm kid, early to rise in
the morning to complete chores, and late to bed at night with another round of chores to
finish after school and sports. Aaron was accustomed to hard work in the same way that
kids are accustomed to playing with friends—it’s just a part of life. After high school, Aaron
moved to Chippewa Falls and lost most of the physical routine he’d grown up with. It never
fully occurred to him that his active way of life could be lost, because it had been all he’d
known. While attending the Chippewa Valley Technical School’s Fire Medic program,
Aaron worked out sporadically. Soon he would find out that this small amount of
ineffectual training would not be enough for the demands that faced firefighters.
Two years ago, Aaron found himself on a call to Lake Hallie for a fire that had started
inside a garage. He was working for the Chippewa Fire Department. After dismounting the
fire engine, fully geared, Aaron pulled the fire hose from the truck to get into position to
begin extinguishing the flames. The explosive movements we make as human beings when
we are under intense stress and adrenaline, may seem like slow motion, but we are actually
taxing our nervous system, musculature, and cardiovascular system while under this
extreme pressure. Out of breath, Aaron thought to himself, “what if I needed to pull
someone out of this fire.” This feeling of vulnerability scared Aaron—a testament to how
seriously he takes his duty.
Aaron began working out on his own to become more prepared. After he failed two
attempts at the CPAT, Aaron knew he needed to find a training regimen that would be
effective, and just as importantly, keep him motivated. Brett and Dawn Klonecki, Brett, a
member of Momentum and Eau Claire firefighter, and Dawn, a Momentum coach, as well as
Isaac Hahn, a firefighter and Momentum member, recommended CrossFit to Aaron. He
joined in January of this year. Aaron retook the CPAT after a couple months of CrossFit,
and this time he passed! As the two evaluators watched Aaron on the stair climber, he
gazed out the window at two geese in the distance. His three minutes and twenty seconds
were up before he knew it. He then went on to crush the hose drag, ladder raise and
extension, the dummy drag, and the sledgehammer drill. “CrossFit taught me how to cope
with the discomfort caused by physical exertion,” Aaron expressed, especially in domains
that aren’t necessarily trained for.
Preparation is what makes heroes stand out in times of emergency. The drive Aaron
felt to get his physical conditioning above standard is exactly what will push him to be the
person needed when chaos ensues. The staff at Momentum Sport Fitness are honored to
have been able to participate in that readiness, and we look forward to more great things to
come from our Momentum family member, Aaron Kiraly!

-Written by Coach David Carlson

Laurie Schlachtenhaufen

1) How/when did you start your CrossFit journey? I started working out at MO about 5 years ago. 2) What made you start your new lifestyle? I had been working out off and on for several years. I worked with Craig at Golds gym when he trained me for the Kortelopet. When he left Golds he encouraged me to go to Momentum, however I was unsure about joining a small gym. It is easy to be invisible in a bigger one. I stopped working out again. Jackie walked into my office one day at school and talked me into coming in and checking out Momentum. I've been here ever since. 3) How have your eating…

Laurie SchlachtenhaufenLaurie Schlachtenhaufen

1) How/when did you start your CrossFit journey?
I started working out at MO about 5 years ago. 

2) What made you start your new lifestyle?
I had been working out off and on for several years. I worked with Craig at Golds gym when he trained me for the Kortelopet. When he left Golds he encouraged me to go to Momentum, however I was unsure about joining a small gym. It is easy to be invisible in a bigger one. I stopped working out again. Jackie walked into my office one day at school and talked me into coming in and checking out Momentum. I've been here ever since.

3) How have your eating habits changed? (how much weight have you lost?)
The eating habit thing is so important. I have never been good at disciplining myself on proper diet and still struggle. In November Rachel started a nutrition challenge and I took her up on that. It worked! I have been able to make better choices and have lost between 15 and 20 pounds. Steady work outs and making better choices is the key for me! I have a ways to go on this journey but I am encouraged by the results thus far.

4) What is one goal you have reached and another goal you are working towards?
My goals have been weight loss and toning. I have made a good start at that but I wouldn't say I've reached it yet! I will keep working on that. Maybe someday I will do a pull-up!

5) What are some of your favorite things about working out at Momentum?
I love working out at Momentum because of the people! I have never worked out so consistently and I owe that to my coaches Jackie and Rachel and the 9:00 AM people. I have made great friendships here and we do things outside of the gym like a book group and travel. There may or may not be beverages involved occasionally.

6) What is one thing you have done here that you never thought you could do?
I never thought I would enjoy working out and bring consistency to it. I have done that here and I love it!

7) What is your advice to people starting out?
My advice would be to focus on the nutrition side of working out as much as the physical side. I think many people think if you just workout then things will magically change. Not so. It took me a long time to figure that out!

Laurie Schlachtenhaufen

Jasie Mullen

1) When did you start your Crossfit Journey?  

   I did my first Bootcamp(#14) January of 2018. Then I did the 45 Day Summer Challenge starting in May of 2018. I signed up for membership after that! 

2) What made you start your new lifestyle?     

 Jasie Mullen

1) When did you start your Crossfit Journey?  

   I did my first Bootcamp(#14) January of 2018. Then I did the 45 Day Summer Challenge starting in May of 2018. I signed up for membership after that! 


2) What made you start your new lifestyle?     

   I started because a gal friend of mine in Idaho started doing Crossfit, and she was more out of shape than I was, so I figured if she could do it, so could I! A gal at work found out about Momentum's Bootcamp and said we should do it together. I signed up, and she bailed, but I still came. Before Bootcamp I had just been doing the elliptical/cardio 2-3x a week at Planet Fitness. I was looking for something different and ready for more of challenge.


3) How have your eating habits changed?(How much weight have you lost?) 

   From the first InBody to the most recent (Jan 19) I have lost 7% body Fat, lost 2.3lbs and gained 6.2lbs of muscle! Of course it is March now and I know I have lost inches since then, so more than that now! Originally I just wanted to lose weight - I didn't care about gaining muscle. I went from a greasy fast food eating girl to: not perfect eater, but so much better!
   
   The things I do now are: Utilize My Fitness Pal App, don't eat fast food daily, eat less fried foods, replaced greasy sides with vegetables, drink less alcohol, and replaced some of my unhealthy PM habits with Crossfit class. In the evenings, I used to chain smoke, eat unhealthy foods and work remotely on my computer on my front porch. So yes, I do so much better than I used to. 

    Now I care about the muscle I have gained. I have gained muscle, strength and lost many inches everywhere. I am ok not being super thin, I am enjoying being strong. 


4) What is one goal(or several) you have reached and a goal you are working towards?

    #1) I wanted to do a pushup, period. Then do a "legit" pushup. I can now do several in a row!

   #2) My next goal is to get a Pullup, Handstand Pushup, and a Rope Climb


5) What are some of your favorite things about working out at Momentum? 

People and the Community - it's great to be surrounded with people that support you. 
The fact that I can bring Jeremiah(my son) here and he is never bored. 


6) What are some things you have done here that you never thought you could do? 

   Double Unders! Just started to link them! I never thought I'd compete - ever, and I am doing my first Friday Night Lights(Crossfit Open). Never thought I'd be the one to make the Consistency Club or invest in all of the equipment(the shoes, barbell, band, jump rope). You could say I've bought in! 

7) What is your advice to people starting out? 

  Stay consistent and find a buddy to hold you accountable. Don't be afraid to make friends, most likely they need a consistency partner too. Don't be afraid to reach out to a Coach or other members for guidance, they want you to succeed. 

Denni Backstrom

1) How/when did you start your Crossfit journey?Bootcamp #1 October 2015. 

2) What made you start your new lifestyle?

   We had a vacation coming up in Hawaii in the Spring of 2016 and I even though I had a Gold's membership at the time, but I was not seeing the results I wanted. Jen Thyssen and I were workout buddies at Gold's for years and I would not have done Bootcamp if Jen hadn't forced me to! I was reluctant to do Crossfit again because I had been injured when I tried a 6 Week…

 Denni Backstrom

1) How/when did you start your Crossfit journey?

Bootcamp #1 October 2015. 


2) What made you start your new lifestyle?

   We had a vacation coming up in Hawaii in the Spring of 2016 and I even though I had a Gold's membership at the time, but I was not seeing the results I wanted. Jen Thyssen and I were workout buddies at Gold's for years and I would not have done Bootcamp if Jen hadn't forced me to! I was reluctant to do Crossfit again because I had been injured when I tried a 6 Week program at another gym a few years before. But Jen paid for my Bootcamp ticket, so then I HAD to do it! After Bootcamp I quit my Gold's membership and I have been here ever since.

3) How have your eating habits changed? (how much weight have you lost?)

    I didn't really change much starting out when it came to my eating. In Summer of 2017 to 2018, but unlike most of our success stories here, it just wasn't the right fit for me. I felt too full and uncomfortable and found I was not very regimented with my food quality. In the summer of 2018 I went to the Gilmanton Fair and ran into an old friend who looked amazing. I asked him what he was doing and he told me about Dr. Usher and the Keto Diet. 

   So yes, I am Keto - meaning her body runs off of fat and operates in a state of Ketosis. Ketosis can be acheived by eating 50-20g of Carbs per day. Any more and your body cannot burn fat as energy. So that meant all of the sweets and grains I was eating had to go. I have no willpower around sweets so I think removing them completely was the best move for me. 

  When I first met with Dr. Usher he had me go through an InBody, bloodwork, and EKG to make sure we knew how to treat my body. I had a goal of weightloss so I started at 20 grams of Carbs per day. When I am in more maintenance mode I can have 20-40 grams of Carbs per day. The majority of my carbs come from Greens and Vegetables. I also meet monthly with Dr. Usher to tweak things and keep me on track. 

Here is what Denni eats in a day to give you an idea how Keto works:
Breakfast: 2-3 eggs+spinach+bacon(She NEVER skips breakfast and neither should anyone else!)
Lunch:Big salad with chicken and dressing is black pepper and lime mix
Snack: 1 Avocado
Dinner: Vegetables and a Meat(organic or range fed, or fish)

   As you can see she eats quality meats so the fats in the meat are high quality and not from the grain fed animals. You can do Keto very wrong and eat bad sources of fat, which has the opposite effect Keto wants - which is to decrease inflammation in the body. Also, all of the vegetables tend to be those that are very leafy and light in the carb department. Carrots, squash, beets, tomatoes, etc tend to be too sugary for that low of carbohydrate levels required for Keto. Keep in mind that Keto IS NOT FOR EVERYONE!  But if done right, and if it promotes healthy habits you can SUSTAIN and MAINTAIN it could be right for you. If you're not the cold turkey, all or nothing person, or weekend celebratory eater, this is not right for you. 


4) What is one goal you have reached and another you are working towards?

#1) Pullup - I actually got several! I also wanted to do a Rope Climb and did that as well much to my surprise!
#2) My goal was to be in the 150's for lbs by 50, did not make that so aiming for 150's by the end of my 50th year - I am 3lbs away! 
#3) I will sneak another goal in there: I want to age healthily. I have seem family members age and not care for their bodies. It's hard to watch and I don't want to be like that. 

5) What are some of your favorite things about working out at Momentum?
   
   Oh gall, there's alot! I feel like I can do anything  - because of the support of Craig and Jim, the Coaches who see me and know me best. They know what my weaknesses and strengths are. They know when to let me be and when to push me. Also the community - My friends who aren't afraid to call me out and hold me accountable. Also root for me and cheer me on. 

6) What is one thing you have done here that you never thought you could do?

   I got two - A Pullup and Handstand Pushup! I remember after finishing up Bootcamp Jen Thyssen and I decided to jump up on the Rig and try to do a Pullup. We hung off the bar for a few seconds and that was hard! Silly of us to think that after just 6 weeks of Bootcamp we would be able to do a Pullup! 

7) What is your advice for people starting out? 

It is not for the faint of heart. You got to buckle in, keep coming back, and believe in yourself. 

 

Sarah Ward

1) How/when did you start your Crossfit journey?   A little over a year ago I moved from a job that I was on my feet a lot to one where I was sedentary at a desk. My friend Iris Lang worked out at SWEAT and told me about it. I joined shortly after that.

2) What made you start your new lifestyle? 

Like I said above, I moved from an active job to an office job. I still work every other weekend on my feet but that did not make up for all the sedentary time during the week. My first weekend…

 Sarah Ward

1) How/when did you start your Crossfit journey?
   
A little over a year ago I moved from a job that I was on my feet a lot to one where I was sedentary at a desk. My friend Iris Lang worked out at SWEAT and told me about it. I joined shortly after that.



2) What made you start your new lifestyle? 

Like I said above, I moved from an active job to an office job. I still work every other weekend on my feet but that did not make up for all the sedentary time during the week. My first weekend working on my feet after 2 weeks of the office was rough! I had also fallen into unhealthy eating habits. 


3) How have your eating habits changed? (how much weight have you lost?)

At first I thought I could continue to eat poorly and exercise was sufficient; boy was I wrong! I did the Whole Foods Challenge Fall 2018 and started tracking my calorie intake and improved my eating habits.(Sarah actually was our 3rd place winner: Gaining about 2lbs of muscle mass and losing  2.5% body fat!)

 

4) What is one goal you have reached and another goal you are working towards?

I feel so much better about my lifestyle and I feel stronger!  But, I still have improvements to make when it comes to my eating habits, you can always do better! 

 

5) What are some of your favorite things about working out at SWEAT? 

I love the structure, group workouts, and getting to see the same faces at each class. It is a lot of fun! 

 

6) What is one thing you have done here that you never thought you could do? 

Previous to joining SWEAT, I had never stuck with a regular workout routine and didn't think it was something I was capable of committing to; but I did! 

 

7) What is your advice to people starting out? 

Stick with it and don't forget to have fun! 

Stephanie Ische

1) How/When did you start your Crossfit journey?

   6 weeks post partum with my 3rd child. I decided to come try out SWEAT. I've known Alicia since Kindergarten but she didn't even know I was going to show up! Surprisingly she did not have to harass me to get in and try it!

2) What made you start your new lifestyle? 

   I used to play sports in high…

 Stephanie Ische

1) How/When did you start your Crossfit journey?

   6 weeks post partum with my 3rd child. I decided to come try out SWEAT. I've known Alicia since Kindergarten but she didn't even know I was going to show up! Surprisingly she did not have to harass me to get in and try it!

2) What made you start your new lifestyle? 

   I used to play sports in high school and I had always been active. The first 2 pregnancies my body bounced back quick and all I did was run and eat a little bit better. But this last one felt different and I knew I needed to work harder. So originally I joined to lose the baby weight, but now I continue to do it because of many more reasons than just to keep off the weight.

3) How have your eating habits changed? (How much weight have you lost?)

   I have lost 32lbs total, and unlike previous post pregnancies, I definitely gained muscle. The pictures don’t really show it, but I am so much smaller, and much more muscular and defined. Especially my shoulders and arms. I have never had defined arms until now. It is SO true when they say you can't out train a bad diet! I ate quality Whole Foods and focused on getting in protien. My whole family's eating habits have changed due to my switch, we all eat better. To maintain myself I eat really good 4 out of the 7 days. For the most part I don't crave as much unhealthy food and I really noticed a big difference once I focused on post workout protein. 


4) What is one goal you have reached and another goal you are working towards?

#1) Losing the baby weight was my original goal and that has been accomplished along with gaining muscle and so much more.

#2) I would say what I am working on now is challenging myself more when it comes to lifting and to become more coordinated. I really want to get better at Overhead Squats. I used to never be the person to do more or push myself, but I want to now.


5) What are some things you like about working out at Momentum? 

   I like that the Coaches care about the movement standards and form; I like to know that I am learning to do something the right way. The Coaches are also so encouraging. I have crossed paths with so many people I wouldn't have otherwise met and I have met some really great people here. Also, I am 100% a better Mom when I workout. I feel better, less stressed and the time for me to work on myself is what I need to recharge.

6) What is one thing you have done here that you never thought you could do? 

   Just coming in and doing it! I honestly never thought I'd be a workout person looking for a challenge. I never thought I'd ever jump on a tall box or do a Clean & Jerk with the Barbell. It's very empowering!  I also haven't felt comfortable wearing a regular swim suit bottom after kids until recently. The lifting shapes your body in different ways than just running and I feel strong and confident. 

7) What is your advice to people starting out? 

   Again, I never thought of myself as a person to challenge myself. I am the first to say "I can't do that”, but I somehow decided to try it. So, once you just give it a try, you will keep coming back! 

Jason Faanes

1) How/when did you start your Crossfit journey? 

   I actually worked out with Kurt in middle school when Momentum was at the Sports Center. Then I met Jim because he coached my football team in high school and he also coached me in strength and conditioning at UWEC in college. I was a defensive end in college and when I graduated college it made sense to stay in shape (get in better shape) and continue by doing CrossFit. I didn't take much time off after football because it is hard to start over. I come to class 3x a week at…

 Jason Faanes

1) How/when did you start your Crossfit journey? 

   I actually worked out with Kurt in middle school when Momentum was at the Sports Center. Then I met Jim because he coached my football team in high school and he also coached me in strength and conditioning at UWEC in college. I was a defensive end in college and when I graduated college it made sense to stay in shape (get in better shape) and continue by doing CrossFit. I didn't take much time off after football because it is hard to start over. I come to class 3x a week at least. 

2) What made you start your new lifestyle?

Well obviously after Football I needed that structure and competitive environment. So it was a natural progression from Football to CrossFit. I used to just lift (Bench, OLY lifts) and play Football, so my Cardiovascular endurance has gotten so much better. I can't quite squat or bench as much as I could, but I also weigh 25lbs less. My Oly lifts are the same or have gone up, and overall I feel much healthier and in better shape. 

3) How have your eating habits changed?

My eating habits have definitely done a 180 degree turn around. In Football I pretty much had free range to eat whatever I wanted. I would eat a whole frozen pizza as a snack! When I stopped Football and focused on getting healthy I went from 240 to 215. I watch what I eat by sticking to meat and veggies, and try to be very strict during the week knowing that I like to enjoy myself over the weekend. I do travel for my job, which can make it hard to be consistent. But I eat as good as I can when traveling so as not to throw myself off. I also come to 5am classes a few days a week if I know I will be traveling for work that week. 

4) What is one goal you have reached and another goal you are working towards? 

I'd say my goal was to get in better shape overall - which means getting a better engine, more athletic and well-rounded, I can say I have definitely accomplished that. Now, I am working towards getting a Muscle Up(any kind) hopefully soon.

5) What are some of your favorite things about working out at MO?

I like the people here. The coaches and members keep you motivated to get better. I also have a group of college buddies to workout with and push each other. We come in and compare times and compete together. 

6) What is one thing you have done here that you never thought you could do?

I never thought after Football I would still be lifting even close to the amount I used to. Even after losing so much weight, I can still lift. 


7) What is your advice to people starting out?

Make CrossFit, coming to the gym part of your routine. 

Don't get discouraged if it doesn't go well right away, because it won't, it will get better and you will get better. Be patient and enjoy learning and pushing yourself. 

Jared Swyter

1) How/when did you start your Crossfit journey? 

Bring a Friends Day in 2016 with Kayla Simmons, I remember the warm-up made me tired, I died a little(haha). November 2016 I signed up for the Foundations package and I remember I did the Baseline WOD and definitely puked after(I didn't let Coach Jamie know until a few months later)! Love at first puke!

2) What made you start your new lifestyle? 

I was the person that would start a new gym membership every year. Nothing could capture my attention…

 Jared Swyter

1) How/when did you start your Crossfit journey? 

Bring a Friends Day in 2016 with Kayla Simmons, I remember the warm-up made me tired, I died a little(haha). November 2016 I signed up for the Foundations package and I remember I did the Baseline WOD and definitely puked after(I didn't let Coach Jamie know until a few months later)! Love at first puke!

2) What made you start your new lifestyle? 

I was the person that would start a new gym membership every year. Nothing could capture my attention that long, I got bored of the repetitiveness. I have been a member at Highland, then went to 9 Round, then started at Momentum and have been a member here now for over 2 years! I like it here and I like Crossfit because there is a new challenge every day. Every day is "fun" and different. I have made many friends here at the gym as well so it helps to have a group to hangout with.

3) How have your eating habits changed?(how has your body composition changed?)

When I first started, I noticed that I was stronger and felt stronger, but I did not notice a difference in how I looked. The Coaches are actually right when it comes to nutritional advice! You cannot out train a bad diet. What really got me results is the 2018 Summer Member Shred Challenge(he was a winner by the way). My wife Karen and I are very competitive so we made small changes and it helped me to gain 7lbs of muscle, lose about 5lbs of fat, and 2lbs of body weight. We also were redoing the kitchen at that time and had a new baby at that time. So if we can do it, you can too. That could have been an easy excuse to not try to change our diets, but we were determined and put in the hard work. With that said I will still NEVER give up pizza and ice cream (preach!). 

4) What is one goal you have reached and another goal you are working towards?

One goal I have reached was an over 200lb Power Clean, I actually surprised myself by getting a 215lb P.C. I am working towards getting Pullups and always working on getting better at my Overhead Squats.

5) What are some of your favorite things about working out at Momentum?

The community and environment here, I know everyone says that but it's true! 

Everyone knows everyone and everyone cheers on each other. It is nice to have the accountability check from the people you WOD with and the Coaches. 

6) What is one thing here that you have done here that you never thought you could do? 

Pretty much everything to be honest, me working out and being an athlete is going against the forces of nature. I am shocked to have done: 30in box jump, over 200lb Power Clean, doing any Oly lift period! I always come in and look at the workout and go: "I can't do this" but then I do. If I can do Crossfit, anyone can. 


7) What is your advice to people starting out? 
Keep at it. 

NOBODY is good at Crossfit. Even the best person in the gym, they still suck at something. 

Also, don't compare yourself to others - we all start out in different places. Everyone's journey is different.