The Lang Family

The phrase, “the family that plays together, stays together” must have been written for the Lang family, our newest Featured Athletes.  Robyn, Scott and Asher have been coming to CFE individually and as a family, depending on their hectic work schedules, for over a year.  With their challenging careers in rescue / emergency medicine, working varied and demanding shifts, they still carve time into their schedule to be at the gym as the original “no excuses family.”   When it comes to working out, the Langs hit the WOD’s with gusto, improving their strength & endurance as a big part of their lifestyle in work and in play (zip line adventures as well as racing in the mud are a few of the things they do when they’re not at work or the gym).   If you think of the many gifts that a parent can give their child, we can think of none better than being a role model of health, wellness and just plain having fun in life.  Asher is a wonderful reflection of the parenting that both Robyn & Scott are doing – when you see him at the gym, he’s always in motion, trying new things with enthusiasm, laughing & smiling, taking it all in while imitating the push-ups, burpees and pull-ups he sees.  He is one of the most physically coordinated and strong ‘almost’ two-year olds that you’re ever going to met.  The Langs are a great part of the CFE family and if you’re ever in need of a ready smile, just say Hi to Robyn, Scott or Asher and you’ll get them in spades.


Q&A with Asher:
What fitness improvements have you experienced as a result of doing Crossfit?
When I first started CrossFit, I couldn’t even walk! All I could do is crawl around the floor and cry. Now, I can do Jesse-assisted pull-ups, Billy-assisted rope climbs,  Rx Burpees, and I’ve rowed a total of 21 meters on my own!

What changes have you made in your nutrition program? What has been the hardest part of these changes for you?
My mom says I need to eat more, but I’m pretty much Paleo except for the graham crackers, goldfish, granola bars, and milk…

What keeps you coming back to CrossFit?
It feels like a scene out of “Cheers”… I stroll in and everyone yells my name! I have to keep coming back to keep my fans happy!

What do you like the least about Crossfit?
I don’t like that Jesse gets a cool crash pad, then breaks it, and won’t fix it for me to play on!

What is your most favorite lift?
Deadlift… Or whenever someone picks me up!

Favorite WOD?
Anything with pull-ups, rope climbs, burpees, rowing, or a skateboard!

Least favorite WOD?
Anything that requires me to stay off of the black mats… All I want to do is cheer people on!

What advice do you have for others that are looking into CrossFit?
Start small and work your way up in weight… That’s what I’m doing! And, I’m up to a 7lb kettle-bell!

What do you think about the trainers at CFE?
I think they are awesome and I look forward to a lot more training with them! Jesse is a great encourager, and continually pushes me to improve. Randy has helped me a lot with my rowing form, and is always looking out for me!

What do you like most about CrossFit Everett?
I really appreciate how everyone accepts me as a part of the family at CFE. I know that I get in the way sometimes, but I never feel like I’m bothering anyone, except for the occasional poopy diaper!  Crossfit Everett is one of my favorite places and I like everyone who I hang out with there!

 Q&A with Robyn:
What fitness improvements have you experienced as a result of doing Crossfit?
I would have to say without a doubt that I am stronger than I have ever been in my life, I weigh less than I did when I got married, and I don’t fit any of my clothes anymore! Since starting CrossFit, I’ve lost about 20 pounds, and I find my body changing and remaking itself every day.  Instead of looking at a WOD and being intimidated, I look at it and think, “I can TOTALLY do that!” It’s been neat to watch myself change from someone who couldn’t do pull ups, push ups, or 20 inch box jumps into someone who can do all three – and be competitive!  I’ve never been a wilting flower of a girl, but there is a part of me that loves the fact that I’ve been referred to as ‘beastly’!

What changes have you made in your nutrition program?  What has been the hardest part of these changes for you?
In January, Scott convinced me to try the Paleo Challenge that Jesse had going on.  After that month, I convinced Scott to continue it!  The weight melted off of me with seemingly little effort, I felt better than I ever had before, and since I have stopped eating grains and dairy, my seasonal allergies have lessened enough that I don’t have to take any allergy medications anymore!  I still haven’t given up diet soda, I still do indulge in dark chocolate, and I have figured out how to make paleo ice cream (among other guilty pleasures!), but overall I feel that the paleo diet has actually freed up the way that I eat.  Within the general guidelines of the diet, I eat what I want, until I’m full.  I don’t count calories, and I look and feel better than I ever have before.  How amazing is that?!

What is your athletic / fitness background?
I was never, ever involved in sports in high school.  I was always too self-conscious and too afraid of failing to put myself in a place where confronting either was a possibility.  In college, I started running, and ran on and off throughout the years, including when I was pregnant.  I considered myself pretty hard core because I could do a Jillian Michaels workout with the best of them, and I did spinning classes at the Y, but I still had never been involved in anything remotely competitive. Enter CrossFit. I find it ironic that the thing that has driven me the hardest in my life is a workout in which I ‘compete’ with my class-members, my husband, and myself.  Sometimes I beast it, sometimes I don’t.  But it’s still so satisfying – and every day I get stronger – mentally and physically!

How did you find or learn about CrossFit?
I had heard about CrossFit from friends at work and at church, but I didn’t think much of it until Emily Aichele tempted me with the “the first workout is free!” line. I went to have a good time with a friend, and after completing the Foundations Class and seeing the improvement I had made in the one month since doing my first workout, I was hooked. That was a little over a year ago, and I keep coming back for more!

What keeps you coming back to CrossFit?
The thought that every day I meet a challenge in which I can exceed.  A little over a year ago, I couldn’t do a pull up – now I can do 5 in a row. I couldn’t do a push up – now I can do 10. I couldn’t climb a rope, couldn’t do double unders, and I had no idea what a Turkish get-up was. It’s incredible to see what I’ve learned and how I’ve changed, and wondering where I’ll be at this time next year is what keeps me coming back again and again.

What do you like the least about Crossfit?
The bruises – and the calluses. There’s nothing sexier than bruises on your collar bones and running your callused palm down a man’s arm… Is that sarcasm I hear?

What is your most favorite lift?
Overhead squats. We have a love/hate relationship, in that I love to hate them. But for some reason, I also love the challenge that they present.

What is your least favorite lift?
Anything that has the potential to make me fall on my butt. Which I have done a lot lately. Just ask Randy, Jesse, or Matt.

Favorite WOD?
The WOD we did recently with running, rowing, and double unders kicked my butt, but I really loved it. I like anything with running, double unders, and rope climbs.

Least favorite WOD?
Anything with handstand push ups. There is something deep within me that is convinced that HSPUs = head injury.

What advice do you have for others that are looking into CrossFit?
DO IT! You have no idea what your body is capable of until you give it an avenue to exceed.  Have faith in yourself, take it one day at a time, face your fears and don’t worry about falling on your butt!

What do you think about the trainers at CFE?
I think that the trainers are awesome. I love that they meet people of every fitness level and encourage them to do their best. I love that workouts are modified for body types, injuries, and skill levels in such a way that it is less a modification and more an empowerment. I am greatly appreciative that Jesse continues to push me in ways that I never even thought I could attempt – like Olympic Lifting. Who would have thought that a girl who never ever competed on a sports team could ever lift weights like the guys she used to watch across the gym while she was running on the treadmill?

What surprises you most about your fellow CrossFitters?
I look around at the people I work out with, and I am amazed at the cohesiveness of the group.  Aren’t the ‘beautiful people’ with the six-packs who lift every day supposed to be concerned with no one but themselves? Yet I look around and see people of all backgrounds and workplaces laughing together, sharing stories, and playing with an almost two-year-old in a way that is truly uplifting to my heart. When the timer starts, we all start on the same line. And whether it be helping Asher row (Jesse, Randy), entertaining him while I’m WOD-ding (Jesse, Randy, Megan, Tracy, Billy, Rick, Colleen and Cherie), finishing his snacks (Jesse, Rick) or checking to see if the hot water in the water dispenser is really hot (Tom), it’s great to be part of such an accepting family. You all not only encourage Asher, but you encourage me each and every day, and I credit each and every one of you for helping us reach where we are!

Q&A with Scott:
What fitness improvements have you experienced as a result of doing Crossfit?
A few years ago, I injured my back pretty bad at work. I’d like to tell you it was something heroic like rescuing a litter of puppies from a raging river… But it was from moving a 15lb shelf! Anyway, I was out of commission for a while. Ever since then, I have had issues and recurring injuries of my back. It even worse at work now, because as a Paramedic, I am in a lot of situations where I can easily injure my back… pulling someone out from a cramped single-wide trailer, or hiking a few hundred feet into a ravine while carrying heavy packs. My back hurt all the time! And, I knew what the problem was… I was overweight and out of shape. Joining CrossFit, and following the WOD’s and nutrition program has addressed both of these issues. I’ve lost a considerable about of weight, and my core strength is better than it has ever been! Sure, I can lift weights I never thought I could… I can do Rx handstand pushups… and I’ve run the fastest mile I have ever run since junior high.  But, that’s not what I get excited about. I get excited about not having recurrent back injuries, about not always having my back hurt.

What changes have you made in your nutrition program? What has been the hardest part of these changes for you?
When we first joined CrossFit, Jesse introduced the “Paleo Diet”. I honestly thought he was joking. Seriously, give up dairy and bread and refined sugar? Who does that? But, in January he challenged all of us to give the Paleo lifestyle a try for 30 days. I figured we could do it for 30 days… I had to also talk Robyn into doing it, she wasn’t excited about it. At the end of January, we had each lost a significant amount of weight, and I was ready to go back to eating like I had prior to the challenge… But Robyn insisted on sticking with the Paleo lifestyle. As much as I miss pizza and cupcakes, I am a wonderful and loving husband who will support my wife in all her decisions. So, we stuck with the Paleo diet… We are now 9 months of Primal eating! Although we enjoy the occasional piece of cake or cookie, we have stuck with it and have no desire to go back to pre-paleo eating! (Plus, Robyn is really good at making Paleo-friendly food, and we enjoy paleo ice-cream, paleo pancakes, and other tasty food!)

What is your athletic / fitness background?
I participated in a lot of sports as a kid. I played basketball, baseball, soccer, and ice hockey. When my family moved to San Diego, I got involved in surfing which made an easy transition to snowboarding when we moved to Seattle.  But, once I got into high school, I stopped playing sports (other than snowboarding, which I still enjoy). In high school, I was far too interested in academics (nerd). I didn’t play sports in college because I jumped around to six different schools before I graduated with a degree! However, I took a few weightlifting classes in college which were taught by a guy who was more interested in flexing in the mirror than instructing us on proper technique. After college, I joined a couple of Globo-gyms, but found that the elliptical machines and treadmills were always taken, and I was too intimidated by the free weights to use them. Then I turned 30 and decided it was all downhill from there… My wife made me do video workouts at home, and the Wii-Sports was a fun toy, but I had about resigned myself to getting old and fat! Thank God that wasn’t the end of the story!

How did you find or learn about CrossFit?
I had heard about CrossFit at work. I’m a Paramedic and the firefighters I work with are always looking for the next great way to stay in shape. A lot of them do P90X or Insanity or some other variation of do-it-yourself intense home workout. But, they always compare those workouts to the workouts they had done at some time at CrossFit. One day my wife said that her friend goes to CrossFit Everett and had invited us to attend.  A way to do something better than my coworkers, and get back in shape… Sign me up!

What keeps you coming back to CrossFit?
The challenge keeps me coming back. We’ve tried a few different things to get in shape over the years… Globo-gyms, workout videos, running… But it all gets boring. CrossFit always has something new to try, be it  a new WOD, or a new lift, or a new way of doing things. The design of CrossFit challenges me to do things better, and I enjoy that challenge. I want to have better form on my lifts so that I can lift more. I want to Rx more of my WOD’s so I can do them faster, or more reps. And, I swear I will conquer those dang double-unders one day…

What do you like the least about Crossfit?
Okay, let’s get this straight… CrossFit makes you faster, stronger, and able to perform longer… But I have to shave calluses off of my hands? Gross. Seriously, gross.

What is your most favorite lift?
Overhead squats. Why? Because they are my litmus test for how well I stretched. Can’t squat with the bar over your head? Maybe you need to stretch some more…

What is your least favorite lift?
Sumo deadlifts.

Favorite WOD?
Fran… Yes, I like to do Fran. Comparing Fran times is CrossFit’s way of asking “How much can you bench press?”. I have coworkers who go to other CrossFit boxes and I like to be able to compare my time with them.

Least favorite WOD?
Anything that involves running. Running is important when you are in Greece and need to deliver a message of wartime victory… or when you are being chased by lions. But, I find that I hate running for any other reason.

What advice do you have for others that are looking into CrossFit?
Go check out Globo-gyms. They might be shiny and big… The girls have their makeup on while running on the treadmills… And the guys are busy leaning across the free weights to talk to each other. But, there’s a reason it’s so shiny and clean looking… no one really breaks a sweat there. When you’re done with your tour of the pretty gym, come back to CrossFit and ask to do the fitness assessment (Run, Pushups, Pullups, Squats, Run). Push yourself to do it as fast as you can. I promise you will sweat and gasp for breath, maybe even puke, and then you’ll go home and hurt. And then, you’ll want more! It’s like crack. The first one is free, but you’ll keep coming back!

What do you think about the trainers at CFE?
Jesse is the glue of the entire place! I enjoy his approach to teaching people how to work out. He gives us the tools and instructions on how to do it, and doesn’t let us screw it up! He lets us know when we are doing it wrong, and when we can step up and do better. But, he also understands that each person is different and has their limits. He seems to see everyone at the same time, even if the gym is full. And, he’s able to critique and encourage at the same time.  I also have really appreciated Randy’s instructions at times. He has given me a lot of pointers on my lifting and encouragement when I needed it.

What do you like most about CrossFit Everett?
Anyone who has ever worked out with Robyn or I know who Asher is… He is our 22 month old son. He comes to almost every workout session that we go to. One of the values that Robyn and I work hard on is making sure he knows he is loved and so we take him with us everywhere we go, including CrossFit. We brought him in on the first day that we started (back in June 2010), when he was still crawling! I had assumed that we wouldn’t be able to let him stay while we worked out, but Jesse immediately picked him up and let him be a part of the CFE family! As long as Robyn and I are there, Asher is welcome. Some have even taken to calling him “Coach Asher”, as he does have the best squat form in the place! Jesse has taken it upon himself to teach Asher how to do pullups, and has taken him on round-the-block runs while we are warming up! And, I know everyone has taken the time to play with him and laugh with him. My hope is that one day when he’s the coolest kid in school, someone will ask “How long have you been Oly Lifting?” And, his answer “ Since I was only a year old and all those people at CrossFit Everett taught me how to do it”.  Thank you everyone who has helped us in raising Asher by simply watching out for him, or playing with him while we were working out!

Special thanks to Colleen Robinson for her contributions / photos! 

CrossFit Everett - 1302 Hewitt Ave - Everett, WA 98201 - c:425.328.6941 o:425.212.9944 - info@crossfiteverett.com

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