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News / Events

The following is the Crossfit KOA Pledge (posted on the wall in the Original Gym). It goes back to when KOA Nation was first started in Josh and Rachel's garage when Josh, Steve and I were still envisioning our KOA Nation dream. Josh used to have members sign the pledge, but that became impossible as we grew. In my opinion, the Pledge is great advise on how to approach life inside and outside of the KOA Nation gym. I thought it was time to get it posted here so that we can all reflect on its message.

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Crossfit KOA Pledge

The following is the Crossfit KOA Pledge (posted on the wall in the Original Gym). It goes back to when KOA Nation was first started in Josh and Rachel's garage when Josh, Steve and I were still envisioning our KOA Nation dream. Josh used to have members sign the pledge, but that became impossible as we grew. In my opinion, the Pledge is great advise on how to approach life inside and outside of the KOA Nation gym. I thought it was time to get it posted here so that we can all reflect on its message. Crossfit KOA has grown a lot in the past 2 and a half plus years, but we continue to strive to coach and live by these principles.
Tom
 
CROSSFIT KOA PLEDGE

  1. I will promise to do my best. My best will vary from day to day, from hour to hour, from minute to minute. But in that minute, I will do the very best I can.
  2. Lactic acid is my friend. The wind is my friend. Anything that opposes me is actually helping me to become stronger. If I had no opposition, I would be weak.
  3. If I can run I run, if I have to walk, I walk. When I am forced to crawl, I crawl. And then I rest and live to fight another day.
  4. I fear no man, but I fear my workout. If I don’t fear my workout, it isn’t hard enough.
  5. I may puke. I may cry. But I will not quit. EVER.
  6. I NEVER cheat. There is no honor in cheating. What joy can there be in a victory I did not win?
  7. The workout missed is the opportunity missed. I will not cheat myself of the opportunity to become a better athlete and person.
  8. I understand the value of the push-up, the pull-up, the sit-up, the squat, the clean & jerk, the snatch, and the deadlift.
  9. I will give everything I have, and then I will find more within myself.
  10. I don’t complain. Complaining is for crybabies. There are 11,232 babies born in the US every day. I will leave the crying to them and I will soldier on.
  11. I will bite off challenges, spit out results, and beg for more.

 
Author: Unknown

The Cranford Firecracker 4 Miler will once again take place on July 4th. KOA Nation was well represented in 2012 and we hope to see even more of you at this year's race.
July 4th, 2013 -
Nomahegan Park - Cranford, NJ
 NEW START TIMES
Fun Run: 8:30am start
Four Miler: 9:0am start
 Click here to register.

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Firecracker 4 Miler

The Cranford Firecracker 4 Miler will once again take place on July 4th. KOA Nation was well represented in 2012 and we hope to see even more of you at this year's race.
July 4th, 2013 -
Nomahegan Park - Cranford, NJ
 NEW START TIMES
Fun Run: 8:30am start
Four Miler: 9:0am start
 Click here to register.

Change in time for Memorial Day Murph - due to the parade in town the gym will open at 10:30am.

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Memorial Day Murph

Change in time for Memorial Day Murph - due to the parade in town the gym will open at 10:30am.

Hey KOA. There will be ONE WOD at 10 am Next Monday - Memorial Day (which is the day we honor / remember the men and women who have died serving our country in the US Armed Forces). The WOD will be Murph - in memory of Lt. Michael Murphy the first hero WOD was in memory of him. We hope to see you at ten on Monday. Here's a little story about How Murph died: 

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Memorial Day Murph

Hey KOA. There will be ONE WOD at 10 am Next Monday - Memorial Day (which is the day we honor / remember the men and women who have died serving our country in the US Armed Forces). The WOD will be Murph - in memory of Lt. Michael Murphy the first hero WOD was in memory of him. We hope to see you at ten on Monday. Here's a little story about How Murph died: 

On June 28, 2005, four Navy SEALs on a reconnaissance mission in the Kunar province of Afghanistan were ambushed
by an overwhelming Taliban force. Team leader Lt. Michael Murphy, unable to call for help from his location, walked
into the center of enemy fire, where his satellite phone might work. He punched in the numbers to HQ and calmly
requested reinforcements

Even after being knocked to his knees from a gunshot wound to his back, Murphy calmly sat back up, steadied
himself and continued the call, knowing that it was the only way he might save his men. Once the call for reinforcements
had been completed, he returned to the fight with an MH-47 Chinook helicopter on the way.
Outrunning its escort of attack helicopters, the Chinook rushed into the battle for a daring daylight rescue.
Attempting to set down in tremendously rugged terrain filled with hostile militia, the Chinook was hit by a rocketpropelled
grenade. The eight SEALs and eight Army Night Stalkers aboard were killed, leaving Murphy and his men to
continue the fight. When the battle ended, Murphy and all but one of his men had been mortally wounded.

Murphy was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions that day. Among those
killed in the rescue attempt were Petty Officer 1st Class Jeff Taylor and Lt. Michael McGreevy. Both SEALs were posthumously
awarded Bronze Stars for Valor and Purple Hearts. These men were fathers, husbands and sons. They were
brothers to their fellow SEALs. They were also CrossFitters. In their actions, these men embodied the values and spirit
of true heroes, and to immortalize their courage, bravery and self-sacrifice, the CrossFit Hero workouts were created.
This was written by Russell Berger CrossFit Hunstville"

KOA Nation was represented well in the qualifying round of the SuperFit Championships with 6 KOA athletes qualifying for the championship. Ashley Casimir, Rachel Syko, Jamie Kallinosis, Marissa Levine, BrieAnn Szatkowski and Jill Bonafide will head down to the beach for the finals. The SuperFit Championship will take place at Jenkinson's Beach in Point Pleasant on Saturday June 22nd.  The first event will begin at 8:30am.

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SuperFit Championship

KOA Nation was represented well in the qualifying round of the SuperFit Championships with 6 KOA athletes qualifying for the championship. Ashley Casimir, Rachel Syko, Jamie Kallinosis, Marissa Levine, BrieAnn Szatkowski and Jill Bonafide will head down to the beach for the finals. The SuperFit Championship will take place at Jenkinson's Beach in Point Pleasant on Saturday June 22nd.  The first event will begin at 8:30am.
If you want to head down to the beach to cheer them on you will need to pruchase spectator tickets. Tickets can be purchased in advance on the SuperFit website for $25 or at the door for $35.
 
 
 
 

KOA Nation if you plan on walking on Saturday how about we meet at the refreshment stand at 10am. This is a great event in which to bring the kids as they can participate and walk too. If you are not familar with this cause it is to raise money to help a 4 year old boy from Cranford who has a rare form of cancer called Adrenal Cortical Carcinoma. Click on the link to learn more, donate and to register for the event.  
http://www.practicehard.com/EventView.asp?eid=1041

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Walk4Will

KOA Nation if you plan on walking on Saturday how about we meet at the refreshment stand at 10am. This is a great event in which to bring the kids as they can participate and walk too. If you are not familar with this cause it is to raise money to help a 4 year old boy from Cranford who has a rare form of cancer called Adrenal Cortical Carcinoma. Click on the link to learn more, donate and to register for the event.  
http://www.practicehard.com/EventView.asp?eid=1041

Well this is it.  My final blog post for CrossFit Koa.  When I first posted a blog on our old website, I had no idea people would actually read or even care to read what I wrote.  I am still not sure if anyone reads it, but I have come to really enjoy writing these blogs.  I enjoyed writing them most of all because I was writing for Koa, for all of you.  If people outside the gym could relate and gain smoe perspective than that was a bonus but my objective has always been to reach the minds, hearts and souls of our members here at CrossFit Koa.  I will continue writing now for a different a

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The Grand Finale

Well this is it.  My final blog post for CrossFit Koa.  When I first posted a blog on our old website, I had no idea people would actually read or even care to read what I wrote.  I am still not sure if anyone reads it, but I have come to really enjoy writing these blogs.  I enjoyed writing them most of all because I was writing for Koa, for all of you.  If people outside the gym could relate and gain smoe perspective than that was a bonus but my objective has always been to reach the minds, hearts and souls of our members here at CrossFit Koa.  I will continue writing now for a different audience, and hopefully be able to share my knowlede and thoughts with an even larger population.  But always and forever will I have CrossFit Koa in my heart, and hopefully you will continue to read my writings.
For my final blog post here, I want to end on a positive note.  Or should I say a happy note.  I am trying not to be sad about leaving all of you, because I know our bond and our relationships that we have developed in and outside of the gym will carry on no matter where I go. 
   But still…. It kind of sucks. 
   I want to leave you with a few final words, coming from not only the man who has been your trainer and coach, but as a person who has come to know all of you and honestly and truly want nothing but the best for you all.  So here you go, my final instructions:

  • NEVER EVER QUIT.  If you do I will haunt you forever more.  I am not kidding.  Remember that today’s failures become tomorrow’s success.  If you want something – I mean really want something – commit yourself right this second to putting the time and effort to acquire it.  You wouldn’t want results any other way than through hard work, effort and dedication.  Why do you think so many lottery winners end up going broke a few years later?  Success without the requisite time and effort is often nothing more than fool’s gold.  Do not look for shortcuts.  Embrace the daily grind and the seemingly endless road towards reaching your goals, always believing that one day soon you will get what you want.  I promise. 
  • A coach who will not listen is a coach who cannot teach.  Communicate your issues and your problems with your coaches whenever you feel necessary.  Something hurts or something just doesn’t make sense, ASK your coach (not the person next to you!) If you slept 2 hours because you were up with a screaming baby and now at 6AM we are asking you to back squat 95% of your max for three sets of one, please tell us so we can help adjust the numbers for you!  Assume nothing and let us help you by always communicating with us each and every day.
  • Get better.  Always.  Never be satisfied with the status quo or your current situation.  It’s easy to see progress in the beginning and then get complacent once the plateaus hit.  Complacency is usually followed by frustration and then frustration usually leads to quitting.  Never let it get that far by walking through the gym doors EVERY SINGLE DAY with the mindset that you will be a little bit better today than you were yesterday.  Whether it is improving your technique in a lift, adding some weight to your back squat, or even mobilizing a little more during warm up, never allow yourself to walk out of the gym the same as when you walked in. 
  • Try new stuff!  Go hiking.  Run a race you never ran.  Play a sport.  Challenge someone to an arm wrestling match.  DO SOMETHING NEW!  CrossFit is about general physical preparedness, AKA train you to be able to do awesome stuff!  Ever go ice skating?  Try it.  Go do cartwheels on your front lawn.  Have you ever just run as fast as you can for as long as you can?  Just because?  Do it.  Always seek out new challenges.  Or else complacency comes… then frustration… then you - know- what.  See?  We are learning here!
  • Every once and a while, do something you are awesome at.   If you go through a series a workouts where the movements have been difficult for you and the weights just a bit too high, don’t be dejected.  Pick a movement that you know you can crush and DO IT.  Do a 102 KB swings (love ya Amy!) or climb the rope or rip off fifty double unders.  Remind yourself of how awesome you are and then get back to work. 
  • Last one… run to your dreams and LIVE THEM!  I don’t want to say “chase” your dreams because the reality is your dreams are not running away from you.  They are not afraid of you… you are afraid of them!  It’s a classic piece of advice but just presented in a different way.  Too often we see our dreams and hopes as getting “away” from us and as time passes we feel more and more distant from those dreams.  That is (excuse my language) bulls***.  Your dreams have gone nowhere, it is YOU who has turned and started walking away.  Make today the day you start walking TOWARDS your dreams and although I cannot promise you when, I can promise you that someday you will get there.  Trust me… I am living proof J
  • Never forget me dammit.  Seriously. 

   Ok no sappy goodbyes because I will see you all again.  Please – and I can’t stress this enough – remember that I will FOREVER be your coach and your friend.  Call me, message me, email me any time you want and I will always be there to help any way I can. 
   If I have impacted your lives 1/100000000000000000000000th as much as you have all impacted mine over the years, I know I have done my job well.  Thank you for the greatest three years of my life.  Thank you for helping me make all of my dreams come true.  And in the words of the “Golden Girls” theme song: “… thank you for being a friend.”
(TRIVIA: Name all four “Golden Girls” stars and the state they lived in.  Ten burpees for each incorrect answer.)

  I am not sure how much longer I can sit here and stare at a blank screen getting all emotional and upset.  I guess – like ripping off a band aid – the only thing to do is come right out and address it.
   At the end of this month I will be moving to Charlotte, North Carolina to begin a new adventure running the CrossFit facilities at Attitude Nation Gym with Jon and Jessica North.
   Yes, that Jon North.  The same Jon North I became a huge fan of a little less than a year ago. 
   And now, I will be working with him.  
   Amazing how life can change.

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Hardest... blog..... ever....

  I am not sure how much longer I can sit here and stare at a blank screen getting all emotional and upset.  I guess – like ripping off a band aid – the only thing to do is come right out and address it.
   At the end of this month I will be moving to Charlotte, North Carolina to begin a new adventure running the CrossFit facilities at Attitude Nation Gym with Jon and Jessica North.
   Yes, that Jon North.  The same Jon North I became a huge fan of a little less than a year ago. 
   And now, I will be working with him.  
   Amazing how life can change.
   It is a dream come true… an opportunity that I once would have never thought possible.  I will be a part of the Attitude Nation; I will have a chance to be on “Weightlifting Talk” representing this community and sport of CrossFit we love so damn much.  I will have a huge platform to share with people what we here at CrossFit Koa have come to just know is true: we can change more than your weight, more than your waste size, and more than your 1 rep max back squat… we can change your whole life.
   But as I sit here typing these words, I can feel – literally feel – my heart breaking.  CrossFit Koa has been my life.  Since meeting Josh in his garage back in the summer of 2010, my entire life changed.  His offer to join him, Steve and Tom as a trainer in this new CrossFit gym was just as exciting and exhilarating to me then as moving to Charlotte is for me now.  They opened the door for me to pursue something I was sincerely and deeply passionate about.  I had been training CrossFit for a while and had truly come to love it.  But it wasn’t just about getting people fit that motivated me and it definitely wasn’t money.  To me, it was all about bringing people into CrossFit Koa and helping them become something they never knew they could be.  It was about connecting with people and letting them know that I would do whatever I had to so that they could meet their goals, and letting them know my investment in them was real and unconditional.  It was about being more than a coach, a trainer, an instructor… it was about being a motivator, a mentor, and most importantly a friend. 
   CrossFit Koa allowed me to do all of these things and it has been nothing short of magical.  The people I have met along the way have made me feel like I truly am the luckiest man in the world with the greatest job in the world.  Some have stayed, some have gone, but every single person in one way or another has made an impact on me during their time at CrossFit Koa.  The memories, the experiences, the relationships… how on earth could I possibly put into words how valuable those things are to me?  How they have shaped my life and provided me with a sense of value and self-worth that wasn’t always there for me?  How could I thank Josh, Steve and Tom and every single one of you enough for what you have done for me?  Anything I could write or say just seems so inadequate but you have to know it… I need all of you to know how much I care about you and appreciate every single day I was able to be with you.  I know non-CrossFit Koa members might be reading this and think “This guy is nuts!  It’s just a gym!” but for all the members of CrossFit Koa, you know exactly what I am talking about.  And that is fine because this blog is and always has been for all of you and nobody else. 
   Phew.  I have got to wrap this up because sitting at the Clark Public Library sniffling and fighting back tears in front of two librarians and an old guy reading what appears to be a dictionary (strange…) is just not a good look.  Seriously what must I look like right now… tattoos, backwards hat, rippling muscles (hahahahaha) bottle of Spark by my side, and snot and tears on my face.  Ridiculous. 
   This is not a good-bye because I will never ever separate from CrossFit Koa.  I will never miss a chance to come back and visit and I will never stop being friends with all of you (Facebook and Twitter WHAT WHAT #gettwitterifyoudonthaveit).  I hope that you will not forget about me although I am sure that will be unavoidable once I am replaced… but I do not want to even think about it.  Right now, the thought of someone taking my place is like thinking about seeing your significant other kissing someone else… just aint right!!  But I digress…
   I want to thank each and every one of you at CrossFit Koa for changing my life for the better.  Thank you Josh, Steve and Tom for never acting like bosses but always being my friends.  Thank you to all of the members for laughing at my stupid jokes and bearing with me when I ran out of Spark and got a little cranky.  Thank you to the police guy who wrote me all of those parking tickets for being a few minutes over… actually, there really is no need to thank you. 
   I can leave at peace knowing that I am leaving you all in good hands.  Josh - the Godfather of it all - will still be running the show.  John, Mike, Joe, Megan, Paula, Marissa and Brie are all outstanding coaches and are going to continue to do an amazing job. 
   Time to go out like ROCK STARS!  Let’s have as much fun training as possible in the next two weeks.  I promise to give you all everything I have right up until the very last day.  And I expect you guys to do the same!!  For now, I will leave you with this one quote.  I think it sums things up perfectly…
“Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting.”
― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

Attention KOA Nation - we need to mobilize and not with bands and foam rollers this time. We need to join together and Walk 4 Will. A few members of CrossFit KOA are friends with the family and we have offered to volunteer at the event and walk.

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Walk for Will

Attention KOA Nation - we need to mobilize and not with bands and foam rollers this time. We need to join together and Walk 4 Will. A few members of CrossFit KOA are friends with the family and we have offered to volunteer at the event and walk. Details are to come on how we can volunteer etc. Below you will find more info on Will, the event and a link to register and commit to a number of laps. Let's help them get to their goal of 1,000 laps, Right now they need about 200 more laps to get to the goal. 

The Walk for Will event will take place on May 18th at David Brearley High School in Kenilworth.

Will is four years old. He lives in Cranford. He likes pirates, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, dinosaurs, and the New York Giants. 

Will also has a rare form of cancer called Adrenal cortical Carcinoma.

Will is a hero. He has committed to fighting cancer. Join us by committing to walk laps on the track for him. Our goal is to walk a total of 1000 laps for Will! 

http://www.practicehard.com/EventView.asp?eid=1041

 

May 18, 2013 from 9-12 come walk for Will! In addition to the walk there will be activities for the kids, snacks and entertainment. The walk will be held at David Brearley High School in Kenilworth NJ.
Description
Here is some background information from his CaringBridge page posted by his mom:

In July, Will and I went to his pediatrician for a routine physical with, among other things, a concern about his belly looking a bit distended. His trusted pediatrician, with a look of concern, said to get blood work, an ultrasound, and make an appointment with an endocrinologist. Two of the three appointments were made when I received a call the next morning. Dr. Luke couldn't sleep bc he just couldn't figure out Will's prognosis and suggested we head to the ER. We went and immediately had bloodwork and a CAT scan. The results were that Will's distention was due to a large tumor growing in that little belly of his. We were transported to Morristown Memorial and the many specialists in pediatric oncology, endocrinology, radiology, and surgery were in and out monitoring Will, and helping us feel secure in their hands. Will was operated on July 27th by Dr. Jacir and he removed the entire mass and the adrenal gland it was growing from too.

Will bounced back from surgery like it was nobody's business! He was such a rock star! 

Will's tumor was Adrenalcortical Carcinoma stage 2 and malignant, however at that time it was still unclear whether chemotherapy was needed. Numerous pathology labs looked over his labs, including CHOP, and had the same determination. The lymph nodes did not have any of the disease which was great news. 

After visiting CHOP for a 2nd opinion to meet Dr. Mustafi (the oncologist/endocrinologist), and meeting back at Morristown with Dr. Jacir (Will's surgeon), Dr. Halpern (his oncologist) and Dr. Silverman (his endocrinologist) in mid August it was determined that Will did NOT need another surgery. His blood levels were already where they needed to be just 7 days after surgery, so they will continue to monitor him every month. This is what helped to make the decision not to do the surgery, amongst other things.

Over the weekend, Will had another visit at CHOP and an MRI scheduled at Morristown. We learned that Will has abnormal cell growth on his lungs and liver. Chemotherapy will begin Nov 13th.

Thanks for the love and support!! Will is a fighter and the most determined little boy I know!!

Come help support Will!

 

CrossFit KOA will be sponsoring two upcoming 5k races. One is the NJ Miles with Moms 5k and Fun Run on Saturday, May 4th. Here is the link if anyone from KOA Nation wants to register or learn more.

http://cnj.motherscenter.org/5k/

 

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Upcoming 5k's Sponsored by CrossFit KOA

CrossFit KOA will be sponsoring two upcoming 5k races. One is the NJ Miles with Moms 5k and Fun Run on Saturday, May 4th. Here is the link if anyone from KOA Nation wants to register or learn more.

http://cnj.motherscenter.org/5k/

 

The other is the Bloomingdale Ave. School/Orange Ave. School 5k. This will take place in Cranford on Sunday, April 21st. This was originally scheduled for November 4th, 2012 but had to be rescheduled because of Hurricane Sandy. KOA Nation this is perfect for an active recovery Sunday. Below is the link to register.

http://www.bestrace.com/Bloomingdale5k

 

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