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Vagabond of the Month for April: Sarah Clift

Where you are originally from and/or where you live now:
I am originally from Albany, New York but currently live in Easton.

Month you were born in:
December

What days/times you typically train at VBC:
I typically go to the 5:30 or 6:30 class, Olympic lifting, yoga, Saturday mornings and gymnastics.

Anything else interesting/unique about you that you’d like to share:
Growing up I competed in gymnastics for two different teams. I reached level 8 and was captain of my high school team. I also ran cross-country and track.

In addition to being a CrossFitter, I am…
Graduating Stonehill College with a B.S. in biology.

My proudest accomplishment(s) in my training so far is/are…
I have many proud accomplishments – both mental and physical. Mentally, I have learned to push myself beyond my comfort zone, and also to keep going even when I feel like I have nothing left.

One of my highlights is my first competition last summer at Operation Throwdown. It was a few weeks after On-Ramp, and I remember having to YouTube the movements the night before. It wasn’t until I got there that I realized what I was truly in for. I didn’t know many people at the time, yet everyone was so encouraging and would help coach me from the sidelines. I’ll never forget Mike Dillon yelling and getting me through the bear complex.

My most recent accomplishment was competing in the Opens, especially getting through 14.5! Dying seemed like a very plausible possibility at the time (really), but with Keith Derba encouraging me, quitting was not an option. The experience was motivating and overall rewarding.

Some current training goals and/or personal goals are…
I would like to get another muscle up before I leave.

What’s the best thing about Vagabond?
Vagabond is hands down incredible. It is an amazing community, where each person is an inspiration that drives me to achieve even more than I thought possible. Their cheering and encouragement push me to overcome challenges that originally seem insurmountable. This thrill of accomplishment keeps me hungry for more everyday. The coaching at Vagabond is unreal. They push you to new limits, believing in you every step of the way. It is clear they genuinely want to see you succeed, and take pride in doing so. Vagabond has made me a stronger person inside and out.

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Vagabond of the Month for March:
Matthew Auger

Where you are originally from and/or where you live now:
Originally from Brockton, now living in West Bridgewater

Month you were born in:
December

What days/times you typically train at VBC:
In the summer and school vacations I come in the mornings, ideally 6am. During the school year, 4:30 or 5:30. Plus Saturday group classes and Sunday powerlifting or gymnastics. I try to come every day, because a day away feels like a part of my day is missing.

Anything else interesting/unique about you that you’d like to share:
I’ve ridden in two PMC’s and would love to get back into cycling, especially after all of the time spent on the Airdyne.

In addition to being a CrossFitter, I am…
A teacher in Easton, so I have had some VBC kids in class and may have more as the years go by. I am getting married next April to my fiance Erin. Huge sports fan, love reading.

My proudest accomplishment(s) in my training so far is/are…
Setting new PRs lately. I’ve been a member since July and all of the coaches and fellow Vagabonds talk about consistency, patience, and dedication being the keys to success. It took me a while to build a foundation but I can see the progress starting to snowball and the PRs happen faster and more frequently. The movements are starting to click and hopefully, as I work on efficiency and the movements, the progress will continue.

Some current training goals and/or personal goals are…
I came in last place at Southie, my goal is to be competitive next year in the scaled division. I competed to set a benchmark for myself. And, while the benchmark was set as low as could be, it was great to be able to see what I needed to do to get to a place where I can compete. My other goals are to be able to do all of the movements/weights for the 2015 Opens and put on ~2lb a month (which won’t help me win any no grain challenges).

What’s the best thing about Vagabond?
There was a day a few months back when Keith said to Kevin that Vagabond has changed my life and that I owe Kevin more money. It really has changed my life and has been worth every penny (but hopefully not many more pennies) VBC is a lifestyle change that has become part of who I am. Those of you who have become “obsessed” with this, as I have, understand that it becomes part of what you do and who you are. The best thing about VBC has to be the people. It is the great coaches and amazing community. I would never do this to myself if I didn’t have the coaches pushing me and the community atmosphere we have at VBC. Plus I would look like a fool at Planet Fitness running around doing AMRAPS… We are witness to each other’s progress, we encourage each other to push ourselves, and sometimes we yell at each other to pick up the bar if our minds have tried to convince us that we cannot do another rep. The Opens have been a great showcase of our community. The energy in the gym when people are getting that muscle up, finishing their cleans, getting their first C2B, whatever it may be, we recognize the effort and give each other the adrenaline to do more. VBC is a great place, it starts at the top with Kevin and all of the coaches and continues with all of us and with each new Morrissey On-Ramp graduate. Thanks everyone and can’t wait for 15.5 burpees!

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Vagabond of the Month for February:

Karen Condon

 

Where you are originally from and/or where you live now:

Stoughton

Month you were born in:

November

What days/times you typically train at VBC: 

Mon/Fri 4:30, Tues/Wed/Thurs 12, sometimes Saturday and most Sundays

Anything else interesting/unique about you that you’d like to share:

I’ve never really had a nickname and I genuinely like when people at the gym call me Chips.

In addition to being a CrossFitter, I am…

A business owner, animal lover, beach bum. 

My proudest accomplishment(s) in my training so far is/are…

Being Vagabond of the Month! I’ve wanted it since I started taking myself seriously at crossfit in April. Also my deadlift PR of 220.

Some current training goals and/or personal goals are…
Getting pull-ups and double unders. I can’t wait for the warmer weather so I can start running again and improve on those times. 

What’s the best thing about Vagabond?

I’m sure everyone says this but the community is the best thing about Vagabond. I would never have stuck it out here without all of the amazing members and staff. Everyone is so helpful and encouraging, I always leave the gym in a great mood. Vagabond is one of the best things that’s ever happened to me and I’m incredibly proud to be a part of it. 

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Vagabond of the Month for January:
David Echeverria

Where you are originally from and/or where you live now:
I’m originally from Brockton and still currently living there

Month you were born in:
• July 17th 1985

What days/times you typically train at VBC:
I train 6 days a week mostly in the afternoon and do double classes on Monday along with the pull up program twice a week

Anything else interesting/unique about you that you’d like to share:
I’m not sure how interesting but I’ve been told I can make or break people’s days depending on my mood

In addition to being a CrossFitter, I am…
aside from being a beast in the gym I’m also a full time trash man, father and husband

My proudest accomplishment(s) in my training so far is/are…
my proudest accomplishments so far in this gym is right being named vagabonder of the month since I started and I looked at those pictures I knew I was gonna be there, not only once but twice is my true goal

Some current training goals and/or personal goals are…
my current goals are to prove myself in the fitness phase and take my talents to competitions…I love competing

What’s the best thing about Vagabond?
best thing about this gym is definitely the people and the coaches it’s nice to be around people my age with similar goals and nobody here is a slacker or just trying to skate by

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Vagabond of the Month for December:
Jesse Ramsperger

Where you are originally from and/or where you live now:
Originally from Glendale, Az. Currently residing in Whitman, Ma

Month you were born in:
April

What days/times you typically train at VBC:
I typically train in the afternoons and on weekends when I can make it.

Anything else interesting/unique about you that you’d like to share:
I moved from Phoenix two months after graduating high school and moved in with my step brother who lived in Revere at the time. A year later he moved to Phoenix to start a business. Most people I talk too think I’m crazy for moving from Az to Ma but I love the Northeast. I graduated from Bridgewater State with a degree in Marketing and a degree in Finance. When I’m not at VBC you can catch me running my sign company, riding a motorcycle, listening to music and/or trying to push myself past my comfort zone. One of the best things in life is to be completely relaxed with a glass of single malt scotch, quality cigar, sitting around a fire. Oh baby.

In addition to being a CrossFitter, I am…

Business Owner, Husband, Music Enthusiast, Movie Buff, Sports Fan, Lover, Fighter and Vagabond

My proudest accomplishment(s) in my training so far is/are…

Beating John Morrisey in the row for time at Southie, Getting into double digit strict pull-ups and not pissing my pants as Keith Derba screamed bloody hell at me during Chippdy Do Dah and front squatting over 200lbs

Some current training goals and/or personal goals are…
Front Squat: 250lbs, Clean and Jerk: 250lbs, Efficient at Kipping Pull-ups, Improve on my overall core strength- These might be long term goals.

What’s the best thing about Vagabond?
If I had to choose just one thing I’d have to say the best thing about VBC is the community. Whenever I talk to someone outside of Vagabond my main point of emphasis is on how unique and embracing the people are within our community. I have played on a lot of different teams and I’ve never been more impressed with how this gym has a community in which every member wants to see its fellow members improve (and conquer whatever torture routine Kevin lays out.) We might not know each other outside of the gym, but that won’t stop us from fist pounding and congratulating each other after killing a workout. Of course you can’t mention the community without mentioning the coaches. I firmly believe attitude (in this case the community’s attitude) is a reflection of leadership. Every coach has a different approach to teaching that has in turn helped me get stronger at different movements or exercises. The wealth of knowledge between all our coaches is impressive and it shows when you are not doing something correctly. Thank you to the coaches and the Vaga-family, I look forward to getting to know everyone better.

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Vagabond of the Month for November:

Lisa Flaherty

 

Where you are originally from and/or where you live now:

Brockton

 

Month you were born in:
April

 

What days/times you typically train at VBC:
6am during the week, Olympic Lifting on Monday nights, Saturday AM, gymnastics on Sundays when it is offered, and I should probably start going back to Yoga on Wednesday nights! Basically, Vagabond has become my second home.

 

Anything else interesting/unique about you that you’d like to share:
I’m a ginger, that’s unique enough isn’t it?

But seriously… I’ve been studying American Sign Language for a few years. I am hard of hearing in my right ear, which led me to want to learn ASL. I want to become a more fluent signer and I’m currently looking into taking medical ASL classes.

I was also a majorette (baton twirler) growing up. No one ever seems to know what that is, ha! I’ll sometimes try to use the PVC pipe as a baton… doesn’t really work though.

I also love participating in obstacle course races! So far I’ve done 2 Tough Mudder’s, Warrior Dash, Zombie race, & 2 Ruckus Bostons. I usually run at least one a year with my brothers.

 

In addition to being a CrossFitter, I am…
A student service aide at Mass Hospital School where I assist a non-verbal child diagnosed with cerebral palsy with daily living tasks and educational programming.
Part time employee at Whole Foods Market as a Specialty team member (coffee, cheese, beer & wine department)
Proud aunt to my handsome nephew and 3 beautiful nieces!

 

My proudest accomplishment(s) in my training so far is/are…
There are so many accomplishments that I am proud of in my training. Most recently, I hit a PR with a135# clean. It has been on my goal list since June when I wasn’t able to make the lift during the Garage Games competition. It felt amazing to hit that lift and to cross it off of my goals list.

 

Some current training goals and/or personal goals are…
I’m constantly creating and adjusting my goals. Thanks to a goal setting seminar that Kevin had recently, I know how to properly create and attack my goals. I love focusing on strength goals such as increasing my numbers in all compound lifts and strict pull ups! For anyone who wants to do pull ups, I highly recommend the pull up program. I also want to improve my skills. I’m focusing on pistols and eventually hand stand walks. A personal goal of mine is getting into nursing school!

 

What’s the best thing about Vagabond?

Everything about Vagabond makes it great; it’s hard to just pick one thing. The community of coaches and people are truly inspiring and are a constant reminder of why I am proud to be part of Vagabond. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for being part of this community. I am continuously becoming stronger, and if it wasn’t for all of the coaches, I wouldn’t know my true potential. But the great thing is that an extended family was formed, and I know I have a group of people who genuinely care about me and want me to be successful. I recently went through a tough time in my personal life which negatively impacted my time and performance in the gym. I just recently got back on track and I owe it to Kevin for all of the pep talks and encouragement he gave me. For someone who has so much on his plate already, he took time to make sure I was okay and that really meant a lot to me. Everything from the coaches, programming, community, specialty classes, and more make Vagabond a special place that no other Crossfit gym can even compare.

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Vagabond of the Month for October:

Jessi Haynes

Where you are originally from and/or where you live now:

I grew up in a small town called Hazen…it is in the artic tundra of North Dakota, however I still consider it God’s country! Today I live in Easton and only minutes from my sanctuary I call Vagaband.

Month you were born in:

JULY

What days/times you typically train at VBC:

I am a nooner….occasionally you’ll see me at the 635pm class and once soccer is over I’ll be back at the Saturday workouts with everyone!

Anything else interesting/unique about you that you’d like to share:

I can speak 4 languages, not including English, so make that 5! I have traveled the same path as the Titanic by paddle boat with only a parka and a bag of cheeto’s and I cry every time I watch the Little Mermaid!

Ok…seriously….I have played piano since the age of 6, I am an 8 time Track and Field All American and I do seriously cry every time I watch The Little Mermaid!

In addition to being a CrossFitter, I am…

A wife, mother to 2 gorgeous little rugrats, daughter, professional, and a fan of the American Ninja Warrior

My proudest accomplishment(s) in my training so far is/are…

I don’t think I have that 1 thing that I could say today is my proudest accomplishment because there are so many things I’ve accomplished that I’ve wanted too…I would say my highlights are that I am stronger today then I was 15 years ago when I was competing. I think the fact that I didn’t die during the lunge workout at Mass Mayhem or break down and cry when Mike Dillon was yelling at me to not stop, is right up there too.

Some current training goals and/or personal goals are…

One thing to know about me is I always have goals that I am looking to achieve…so here goes some of them…MUSCLE UPS, Rope climbs (multiple times), Consistent on my double unders, help the strong sassy women at VBC make it to Regional’s as a team, always show a positive attitude because you never know who is watching you and finally, continue to step out of my comfort zone and push the limits because I’ll never know how good I can be unless I keep pushing.

What’s the best thing about Vagabond?

COMMUNITY.COACHES.COMPETITIVE

VBC is my sanctuary…it is the one place I can go to when life presents its ups and downs and clear my head, clear my soul and put everything back in perspective. The people that make this place work are all inspiring in their own ways, and I draw energy from everyone here. These people are also the ones that are picking me up when I’m feeling as if I can’t push it any further! They are the ones high fiving with me at the end of a ‘BLOOD BATH’, and all of us feeling that incredible high of getting through something that a year ago, I would have said I could never do! It’s all of you at VBCthat make me want to come back every day and tackle another insane workout because I know you are all dying with me, next to me!

The Coaches at VBC are another BEST thing at VBC. As much as I want to punch Kevin in the head most days, he can see potential in each and every one of us to go farther, be stronger, and is leading us to tackle our goals and challenges even if that means ‘picking’ on me during a workout. Heather will always be my rock…the fact that she could have taken off at Mass Mayhem before the final workout was to be performed, but chose to stay and give me a crash course on rope climbs, HSPUs, and pistols will never be forgotten. This is a coach that is unselfish in her ways and truly wants the best for us. Bainge…if it wasn’t for his constant yelling at me every time I work out, I’m not sure I would have found my competitive edge again. If he can’t get you motivated, not much else will. Mike D. has helped me tremendously with all of lifts and is the best at handing out ‘tough love’ when you just want to quit. He was also a great inspiration at Mass Mayhem during all of the workouts and is someone again that truly believes in all of us. Dunlap, flat out intimidated the hell out of me from the get go…still does on occasion. I strive to have the same work ethic and dedication as him. He is someone to aspire to and shows us that it’s all possible no matter what.

Lastly, maybe the BEST thing about VBC is that I finally get to share something with my husband, Mike. I love our chats at night about the workouts, I love that he is my biggest fan and I am his and I love that he pushes me everyday to be better than I was yesterday.

 

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Vagabond of the Month for September:

Steve Johnson

Where you are originally from and/or where  you live now:

From North Dakota but grew up mainly in Easton.  I now reside in Mansfield

 Month you were born in:

December

 What days/times you typically train at  VBC:

I train Monday-Saturday making it to 5, sometimes 6 classes.  Depending on my schedule I will go to the 6am most of the time.  If I can’t make that I will go to the 430pm or 530pm.

 Anything else interesting/unique about you  that you’d like to share:

I can cook, sort of…Give me enough time I can draw almost anything…I’m good with numbers,  not rainman level but close. And for some reason my brain remembers what year movies were made.

 In addition to being a CrossFitter, I am…

A father, a brother, a son…and a financial advisor

 My proudest accomplishment(s) in my  training so far is/are…

I am most proud of the recent garage games.  #1:  I was lucky enough to be on an awesome team. #2: I didn’t think I would have enough stamina to do that much in one day.  I hurt my back a week before the games and Kevin did a great job getting me healthy and ready.

 Some current training goals and/or personal goals are…

Currently doing the 30 day burpee challenge (ending with the burpee mile). …I have a lot of things to work on.  I need to get better at most of the Olympic Lifting, double unders, etc…I would like to weigh around 185lbs.  When I started in April I was around 230-235lbs. I am now in between 210-215.  I would also like to increase my endurance during specific workouts.

What’s the best thing about Vagabond?

The best?  Jeez…it is tough to narrow it down so I will just regurgitate how I feel.  I used to go to the gym…started 4-5 days a week out of college.  That turned into 2-3 days a week.  Then 1-2….No plan, no accountability, no programming. Boring.  As a result, I was slowly gaining weight every year.  Before joining Vagabond I didn’t know if I was going to join a CrossFit gym.   Or if I was, which one would I go to.  One day I was fortunate enough to be talking to Keith Derba  who walked me down to meet Kevin.  I signed up then and there.  Then, during my On Ramp, I got to experience the workouts and fell in love.  I played football for 14 years and it was the first taste of real workouts since college.  I also quickly realized how much I didn’t know about exercise and fitness.  The atmosphere at Vagabond is addicting.  Everyone I have met is awesome and it is part of the reason I show up as often as I do. The coaches are really unbelievable.  From their attitudes, to their knowledge, it is really a luxury you can’t get anywhere else.

Vagabond of the Month for August:

Larry Fleischman

Where you are originally from and/or where you live now:

From Stoughton, Live in Easton

Month you were born in:
November

What days/times you typically train at VBC:
Usually hit the 9AM during the week, I shoot for 6 days

Anything else interesting/unique about you that you’d like to share:
I like to cook.

In addition to being a CrossFitter, I am…
a father, husband, business owner

My proudest accomplishment(s) in my training so far is/are…
It’s not just any one thing, I’m happy / proud that I continue to make slow and steady improvements in the various workouts

Some current training goals and/or personal goats are
Getting better at double unders, mussel ups, clean technique, sub 4 Fran, and eating better (need a lot of work here)

What’s the best thing about Vagabond?
Well its more than just a gym. The best part of it is the people, the community, there is a real camaraderie with all the members / coaches. When I’m in vagabond, I feel like I am part of something special, and only people there understand. When I tell “outsiders” about it, they just don’t get it. At Vagabond, everyone is always positive and pulling for each other, helping each other get through workouts, be it with some cheering on, or a little friendly competition or both. Trying not to repeat what others have said, but I have to mention the coaches, everyone of them has helped me out one time or another, making me better and keeping me safe (thank you for that). As far as working out, I love coming in every morning and working out, the workouts are always challenging, and I always leave with a sense of accomplishment.

Where you are originally from and/or where you live now:

I’m originally from Upstate New York and currently live in Easton.
Month you were born in:
September
What days/times you typically train at  VBC:
 
I try to be there Mon-Sat and run on Sundays
Anything else interesting/unique about you that you’d like to share:
I’m planning on doing the burpee mile in September….any takers??
In addition to being a CrossFitter, I am…
A teacher, lululemon addict, paleo eater and non-paleo baker
My proudest accomplishment(s) in my training so far is/are…
Making it through 13.1 without dying is probably one of the highlights of my Vagabond career so far.  I thought there was no way I would make it through the snatches since 45 lbs was a lot for me but I managed and realized sometimes I am stronger than I think.
Some current training goals and/or personal goats are…
To do a pullup without “a little kip”, earn my way back into the fitness phase and to just keep getting stronger in general.  I have come a long way from the girl who could barely hang on the bar but I still have a long way to go to get to the yearlong goal – Opens 2014…RX!!
What’s the best thing about Vagabond?
Aside from the obvious answer to this – the airdyne – I would say hands down the best thing about Vagabond is the people.  The coaches and fellow Vagabonds have made me love working out not just for the results, but for the sense of community within the gym.  I look forward to going every day, even if I know the workout is going to be super tough so I can join in the misery with my fellow Vagabonds.  There’s nothing like trying to get that last rep and having people cheering you on so you don’t quit.  This sense of community is something that I have never experienced at a gym before and I feel very lucky to have walked in the door 8 months ago.   The coaches push everyone with their own brand of encouragement…which may include insults, but it is clear they want the best for everyone in the gym.  I have never been the most confident person in the gym and my Vagabond experience has really taught me to believe in myself more than I ever have.   I credit the Vagabond community for making me into not only a fitter person on the outside but a better person on the inside.  Thanks Vagabonds!