March Featured Athlete - Gina Giambattista

March Featured Athlete - Gina Giambattista

1. What brought you into CFP?

I was looking for a gym and a community. I had been working out at a different facility that had a limited workout schedule which eventually stopped meeting my needs, and I was encouraged by several of my closest people to check out CFP. As a "Masters" participant and lifelong athlete, my fitness goals are more towards holistic wellness with a competitive edge.

2. What's your workout or athletic background?

I played basketball and ran track in high school, tried being a heptathlete in college, and eventually settled as a long-slow runner as an adult. I followed my dad into marathons for a decade, running seven with him and my brother, which was great family fun! When I moved to Ithaca, there were so many other options... as a water-lover, I soon found StandUp Paddleboarding and all of the fun that goes with it. SUP yoga, SUP time trials –on the inlet, right outside the door – and bigger races up and down the east coast and Canada. Along the way, I’ve enjoyed the Finger Lakes Triathlon, solo and as part of a team (TeamDeBoerBBQ #eatmorebrisket), and I have a long-time running group of amazing women and one dear guy, who have kept me running, humored, bolstered and nourished for many years. I’ve been very lucky and rather blessed to be parts of some amazing communities of athletes and friends!

3. Where are you from?

I’d say I’m from Harrisonburg, Virginia... we moved there as a family when I started high school, and I also went to college there (James Madison University *go Dukes!). I moved around quite a bit growing up –my dad was in the Navy when I was very young, then we moved overseas with Kimberly-Clark International for most of my youth. I lived in Mexico City and Sao Paulo, Brasil before moving back to the states for high school. All that said, I’ve lived in New York for longer than I’ve lived anywhere else! But my roots... def still in VA!

4. What do you do for a living?

I’m an administrator at Cornell. Officially I am the Director of the Office of the Assemblies,

(the shared governance groups on campus); which have been very active, given the national and global political climates. I’ve been doing that for about four years, and I’ve been at Cornell for almost eleven.

5. What’s your favorite sport other than CrossFit?

SUP!! (in any form...) Come on and give it a try!

6. What's your favorite breakfast food?

I love breakfast! I try to love eggs and veggies in the morning, but I actually love BearNaked granola, Wegmans Frozen berries and icy cold almond milk. I know, I know... it’s like dessert for breakfast. But you asked.

7. If you are a cookie eater, what's your favorite cookie?

I am a cookie eater, and I LOVE oatmeal raisin cookies. I have a family recipe that calls for molasses and blanched raisins that I make only once in a while, because I have been known to eat “most” of them.

8. What do you like to do outside of the gym?

I love spending time with my son who is a sophomore at St. Lawrence University; we go up almost every weekend in the fall to watch him play football; and I cook a lot when he’s home, (he’s an O-Lineman… my baby!) And I’m so fortunate to have fallen in love with an amazing man; he loves the water as much as I do, so we spend time on his boat or SUPping when the weather permits. I also enjoy running, theatre, yoga, shoes...

9. What do you do for self care?

Oooh... Yoga, massage, pedicures, laugh, walk on the Waterfront Trail, hang out with nurturing souls...

10. What's your favorite movement?

Well, I’m still learning them all... but so far, I’d say either the deadlift or the push-press.

11. What's your least favorite movement?

Outside of the ones I just can’t do? Box-Jumps! I don’t trust myself enough to not trip, so I psych myself out... I’m determined to embrace them though.

12. If you could write a WOD, what would it be?

Oh gosh... I don’t know all the short-hand and acronyms yet, but my WOD would be a 14-minute AMRAP which includes some number of:

ERG Rows

Feet Up the Wall (is that a thing?)

Kettlebell Swings

13.What are some goals you've accomplished at CFP?

·      I did three sets of Box Jumps one day! (#20inchsoftbox)

·      I signed up for the Open and did the first workout! (and up until late Sunday night when the rest of the world entered their scores, I was in the top 80% for my age group!) 

14. What are some future goals you have?

I really want to do a legit pull-up. I’m working on it and will ring the bell when I do! (N.B. There should be a whole lot more bell ringing in my opinion. In fact, I’ve never heard the bell rung yet. Ring. That. Bell!!!)

15. If you could bring one piece of gym equipment to a deserted island, what would it be?

Ooh... hmmh... I think a kettlebell. Although I could probably find a couple of coconuts to do the same thing... How about the rowing ERG? That way I’d be in super great shape to row off the island in my hand-made dinghy.

16. Do you have any animals?

Not currently.

17. What's your favorite Ithaca area restaurant and what's your go-to meal?

Agava, and their Black Bean Burger with hand-cut fries. And a Zing (or two)

18. What would you tell someone that's hesitant about starting CrossFit?

Jump in!! I think CrossFit is intimidating for many because its forward faces are ultra-toned, solid-ab’ed, amazingly-fit looking folks. I was hesitant because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to keep up, or be fit enough, or have to eat kale... and then I came in! I did my Foundations course with Darrin, and joined the 6:00am crowd with Janessa and Tim –and all of those anxieties faded. It really is fine to set my own pace, and everything is scalable. I’m often not the fastest or strongest in the class, but I am always supported for doing the most I can do on any given morning. The group energy is amazing... and at 6:00am through the winter, the community is what really makes a difference. (plus, deltoid definition).

February Featured Athlete - Sue Sappington


1. What brought you into CrossFit Pallas?

I've always worked out (running, zumba, aqua classes, bootcamp, cycling, etc.) and wanted to work out using more weights so I could get stronger.  I read somewhere that when you are over 50 it's important to use weights on a regular basis.

2. What motivates you to come so regularly to the 6:30 class?

I love the 6:30 pm class!  We are just one big happy family in that class.  Plus, I love Jana, Andy, Kylie and Darin who are the coaches for that class.   I like the challenge of trying to make it through a workout having done everything on this list (even if you have to scale it).   Everyone in that class is so encouraging with each other.

3. What’s your favorite CF movements?

Back squats

4. What’s your least favorite?

Overhead squats

5. If you could write one WOD, what would it look like?

Running 400 meters, 20 thrusters and 40 squats, repeat, repeat, repeat until you can’t possibly do one more

6. What are some goals you’ve accomplished since starting CF?

When I first started Crossfit I could barely hang on to the bar for more than 2 seconds, now I can actually do a kip swing!  I also remember not being able to put any weight on the bar when we did any kind of lifting.

7. What are some future goals you have?
I want to do double unders (more than one at a time), at least one pull-up, climb the rope (at least halfway) and do a handstand push-up.

8. Where are you from?

I live in Trumansburg, NY

9. What do you do for a living?

I work at Cornell in the ILR School as a program assistant in the alumni affairs and development office.

10. Do you have any pets?

2 cats and 1 dog

11. What’s your favorite season and why?

Winter because I hate being hot unless I’m working out or at the beach.

12. Vodka, beer, wine, cider, or neither?

I'm a rum girl!

13. If you could go on vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

Greece so I could eat real feta cheese and Kalamata olives

14. Who’s your favorite author or what’s your favorite book?

Right now I'm reading The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn.  It's a really good book!

15. What do you like to do outside of CF and work?

Read and shop for things I don't need with money I don't have.  I'm a shopaholic.

16. What do you do for self care?

I go to Crossfit!

17. What’s your favorite local restaurant and what do you like to get from there?

Falls Tavern of course!  I love their breakfast on Sundays.  Stuffed croissant French toast is the best!

18. What’s your favorite home cooked dish?

Anything that someone else makes!

19. If you could have dinner with one famous person past or present, who would it be?

Richard Gere because I've got a thing for him.

20. What would you tell someone hesitant about starting CF?

Don't be afraid!!  The coaches will teach you everything you need to know!  I love the fact that at the beginning of every single class we go over the workout and I swear I learn something new every time.  Everyone is so nice and welcoming, you never feel out of place.

January Featured Athlete - Adam Gierlach


1. What brought you into CFP?

I moved to the area late May of 2016 after having done CrossFit for a couple years while I lived in Houston, TX. I researched gyms in the process of moving up to Ithaca and was impressed by the staff, the space, and the community of CFP.

2. What's your athletic background?

I played all sorts of sports growing up but focused on competitive basketball through high school. I was a student manager and practice player for the basketball team at Rice University in Houston, TX as well.

3.  Where are you from?

I’m kind of from all over, but if it had to be one place, it would be Houston, TX. I lived in North Jersey (Summit) until I was 9. My family then moved to the San Francisco Bay Area (Moraga) through my sophomore year of high school. I spent my last two years of high school in South Jersey (Moorestown) before moving down to Houston for college. I spent four years after college in Houston as well.

4. What do you do for a living or study?

I’m an assistant men’s basketball coach at Cornell University.

5. You recently set an incredible Fran PR, what was it and what was your previous PR?What attributed to the PR?

My previous Fran PR was 3:45 and during our recent testing week, I finished in 2:40. I think with something like this, it’s really easy to focus on one thing, but it’s really been a lot of things (both from a macro and micro standpoint) that went into the jump.

Technically speaking, it was going unbroken on the thrusters (hadn’t done that previously), fast and unbroken butterfly pull-ups (again hadn’t done that previously), and somewhat fast transitions (still room for improvement obviously).

More importantly, I’ve recently focused on shifting my priorities around a bit in life, and health and wellness is now one of the things that come first. So it’s partly due to a combination of being in the gym a lot and putting in a lot of work. A lot of it is due to a new focus on nutrition. I’m lighter than I’ve been in a long time and that helps for sure on the pull-ups.

Most importantly, there was just some real positivity and support from the community and some special people that day. I struggle a lot with self-doubt and self-worth, and some key people really believed I could achieve a better time than I thought I could.

6. What’s your favorite movement?

Pull-ups. If there’s a workout with pull-ups in it, I’ll probably have a faster time.

7. What’s your least favorite movement?

Heavy kettlebell swings (32 kg). Anything on the heavier end I typically struggle with.

8. If you could write a wod, what would it be?

I like workouts with running and one to two other movements. A workout my eyes would light up a bit at would like something like:


400m Run

15 Pull Ups

10 Power Cleans 135/95

9. What are 5 words that describe 2017 for you?

Painful, Self-Reflection, Learning, Growth, Progress

10. What do you do for self care?

This is an area I’ve really struggled with, but there are definitely a couple of things I do on a daily and/or weekly basis. Most of these have less to do with the physical aspect and more to do with being in a good head space.

The first is sleep. It used to be a badge of honor for me to operate on little sleep. If anyone reading this has a similar line of thinking, I would recommend experimenting with getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night and just seeing how that feels. Getting at least 6 and a half hours (preferably 7-8 hours) of sleep every night makes a huge difference in every area of my life.

The second is tracking my nutrition. I use MyFitnessPal to log everything I eat. When my nutrition is dialed in, I perform better in all aspects as well.

I read every morning while drinking my coffee and every night before going to bed. This allows for self-reflection and puts me in a calmer, more reflective state of mind focused on perspective getting.

I try to go out for a hike every weekend (less so now with the weather). Similar to reading, being out in nature (there are so many beautiful spots in Ithaca) just allows for a better state of mind for me.

Cooking is also very therapeutic for me. I love to cook (specifically breakfast food) and meal prep and it really helps put me in a good place mentally.

And no matter what I”m doing, if Odesza’s newest album (A Moment Apart) is on, it’s going to put me in a better place.

11. If you saw a bear in the woods, what would you do?

There’s a strong possibility I might scream and yell and run away immediately. Hopefully I would stop and assess the situation a bit. Figure out if the bear saw me, what the bear was likely to do next, etc. Probably depends some on the size/type of bear, if there is anyone with me, what resources I had, etc.

12. If you could only use one piece of gym equipment for the rest of your life, what would it be?

This has less to do with my favorite piece of equipment and more to do with what I think would be most useful…a 32 kg kettlebell. You could just do a lot of different exercises with it (swings, snatches, squats, deadlifts, etc.) and still be able to do bodyweight movements, running, etc. to keep things constantly varied.

13. What’s your favorite season and why?

Fall is a really special time up here (especially the fall we had this past year) with the weather and leaves changing, all the assorted apple-type foods, and the start of the school year, etc.

However, our schedule with basketball picks up as the fall begins so I would have to go with Spring. Similar weather, opportunities to do things outside, days are getting longer (it’s not pitch black at 4:30 PM), and our schedule with basketball starts to get a bit lighter as well.

14. What’s your favorite food and favorite place to eat in ithaca?

I love bacon and doughnuts (two foods I know), but I haven’t found a really good doughnut spot in Ithaca yet (any suggestions?). So I’d have to go with bacon.

Red’s Place is my favorite spot to eat in Ithaca. There are some sentimental reasons associated with Red’s, but the Aurora Street Burger and an Allagash White is a hard combo to beat.

15. What’s your biggest goal for 2018? In life and CF?

I have a couple huge goals for 2018 that I’m still trying to work through some of the specifics of, and I’m not quite sure where they will take me yet. More importantly, they have to do with living out my new value set every day and kind of answering the question, what does living a good life mean to me? So for me, that means:

-Being active and healthy (sleep, nutrition, working out, mental health)

-Being with good people (positive, supportive)

-Constantly learning & seeking new perspectives (reading, asking questions)

-Enjoying each day (doing things that make me happy)

-Being a good person

-Supporting those I care about

-Helping others

So I guess my biggest goal for 2018 is to do those things every day.

In CrossFit, there are some strength and movement related goals, but the biggest thing I hope to achieve is completing my Level 1. I hope to do this before April.

16. Vodka? Wine? Beer? Cider? Or none of the above?

No all of the above option? Definitely a beer drinker first. I enjoy good wine. Vodka is the liquor I’ll drink if beer/wine isn’t available. And I’m learning and experimenting with cider more given the area of the country I find myself in.

17. What’s your dream car?

I’m not a huge car person, so my answer might be fairly uninteresting.

If it gets me from point A to point B and I can connect my phone to the stereo, that’ll work for me. I like mid-sized SUV’s…and with traveling for work sometimes, I try to rent a Ford Edge whenever I can. A Jeep Grand Cherokee would also be nice.

18. What’s your dream vacation?

Being outside, in the mountains, near water, with my loved ones, no cell phone access, working out at a CrossFit gym every day, great food (cooking and/or restaurants), great coffee, stack of books.

19. Do you have any siblings or pets?

I have an older brother (2 years older), Peter. I do not have any pets in Ithaca. My parents (who now live outside of Seattle) have a dog and a cat that they had when I lived with them as well. We had all sorts of pets growing up…birds, snakes, dogs, cats.

20. What would you tell someone that’s hesitant in trying CF?

I would try to listen to them and explore their hesitations and fears about CrossFit first. It’s hard to come in guns blazing and convince someone off the bat to try something they are scared of or not prioritizing (or whatever the reason may be) to make this type of change. Hopefully we could work through some of that stuff together (currently trying this with my own parents).

CrossFit has some great resources (they just put up this link: if anyone is in the process of trying to convince someone to start CrossFit) that are very helpful for this question. I think the perception of CrossFit as so intense and so physically demanding and the image people have from seeing the CrossFit Games leads to some hesitations for others. These articles do a great job of presenting what CrossFit is more about: health and wellness, nutrition, an awesome positive community, and a really powerful keystone habit that has positive ramifications across all aspects of life. So I would point someone to that link and let them discover some of the positive benefits themselves.

Additionally, I would encourage them to just go try out and find a great, supportive gym. Find a gym with great coaches, a supportive community, and an extensive on-ramp program and personal training options if the person needs it. The great thing about CrossFit is it’s infinitely scalable and emphasizing that to someone new to CrossFit is important, I think. Reassuring someone that they don’t need to be fit to start CrossFit. A great

December Featured Athlete - Dylan Major

Dylan AOM.jpg

1. What brought you into CFP?
I had heard a lot about it and had just moved to the area. I thought it would be a good time to try it out and see if it was something I wanted to get into. 

2. Where are you from?
I grew up in London, and then moved to NYC for high-school. 
3. What do you do for a living?
I’m in my first year at Cornell Law School.

4. What makes you keep coming back to CFP?
 The versatility of the workouts is great. I also love that they are preplanned and I don’t have to think about anything but the exercise while I am there. Also it is a great way to get exercise but keep the time down so I can go on with my day and still get an effective workout.

5. What are some of your CF accomplishments?
I’m just proud that I keep coming in to be honest.

6. What are some of your CF goals?
To try Rx a bit more often when I feel like I can do it. I’m still scaling quite a lot.  

7. What’s your favorite movement?
Either cleans, or toes to bar on the rings. 

8. What’s your least favorite movement?
Front squats suck.

9. If you could write a wod, what would it look like?
8 rounds, 8 cleans, 8 deadlifts, 8 squats. 

10. What’s your favorite local restaurant?
Asia Cuisine had great Korean food. 

11. Favorite swimming spot in Ithaca?
I’m not a swimmer. 

12.  What do you do for self care?
I do a lot of bread baking and am working on making perfecting my pizza skills. 

13. What do you like to do outside of the box?
I play guitar and banjo and love seeing live music. 

14. Cider, wine, beer, liquor or neither?
All of the above. Although I’m partial to IPA’s and red wine. 

15. Do you have any animals?
Not in Ithaca. At home, I have two old dogs, a pitbull and a black lab. 

16. If you could bring one book and one piece of workout equipment to a deserted island, what would they be?
I'd bring On Beauty by Zadie Smith, and a shakeweight. 

17. Why did the chicken cross the road?
Hey don’t call me that! Im just trying to run a 400. 

18. What would you tell someone that is hesitant about starting CrossFit?
Don’t be intimidated, the coaches are awesome and they’ll tell you what to do every day. Also drink a lot of water.

November Featured Athlete - Teri Hornsby

Teri AOM.jpg

1. Where are you from?

I grew up in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania and I've lived in Ithaca for just over 10 years. Ithaca is home.

2. What do you do for a living?

I'm a massage therapist. I specialize in deep tissue, sports massage and injury recovery.

3. What brought you to CFP?

I have several clients that would always talk about CF and the WODs. I was intrigued, but also thought they were totally nuts. My long-time friend Kelly Skeval finally convinced me to join.

4. Do you have any animals?

Yes! I have 2 cats, Luna and Piper, and the two greatest dogs on the planet: Taylor Sue (Golden Retriever) and Peanut (Boston Terrier). My dogs are my babies.

5. Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall?

Summer. I don't like being cold.

6. Wine? Beer? Cider? Liquor or no?

Um, all of the above..Just no tequila!

7. What’s your athletic background look like?

I was athletic as a kid, but as I got older I wasn't a fan of participating in group sports. I'm obsessed with yoga, especially hot power yoga at Blackbird Studio and I love hiking with my dogs.

8. Who’s your favorite CrossFitter?

I think all the stong Moms at CF are such an inspiration. I admire women who can hold down the fort at home, raise amazing children and still find time for self care and their own well-being. I wouldn't mess with a bad ass Momma Bear!

9. What’s your favorite CF movement?

Wall ball shots - they're great for the booty.

10. What’s your least favorite CF movement?

Snatches. Ugh. I give myself an extra pat on the back when I show up on a day snatches are in the wod. And running.. I hate running.

11. If you could write a WOD, what would it look like?

Well part of what I like about CF is I don't have to think about what I'm going to do that day. I just show up and get a kick ass intense workout. I'll leave the programming to the pros.

12. What’s your biggest CF accomplishment?

Generally my goal is to show up and try not to die - so far, so good. I still have a lot of room for growth, but I've definitely noticed an increase in my strength and endurance since I started in April.

13. What are your future CF goals?

To continue focusing on proper movements to build strength so maybe someday I won't have to scale as much. And I'm determined to master dubs.. nothing frustrates me and makes me swear more than that effing jumprope.

14. What drives you to come into CF every week?

Well I've never looked at the wod and thought "oh boy this looks like fun". But seeing progress and feeling good in body makes me want to keep working at it. I need a class with structure to stay motivated to work out; I would never do any of this stuff on my own. Sometimes I surprise myself.. I didn't expect to like Crossfit as much as I do. And the CFP community is really supportive.

16. What’s your favorite meal?

Salmon. Or sweet potato fries with honey mustard. Or anything with avocado/guacamole.

17. What’s your favorite restaurant?

Probably Tamarind - I eat so much Thai take out. I'll also find any excuse to hit up Madeline' s dessert case!

18. Froyo or ice cream? What flavor?

Vanilla ice cream with peanut butter sauce. mmm.

19. What would you tell someone that’s hesitant to start CF?

I get that its intimidating, but everyone starts as a beginner. You don't have to be a super athlete to join, (I most certainly am not!) because all the movements can be scaled to your level of fitness. You'll never know if its for you if you don't give it a try. The community at CFP is incredible and the coaches are excellent.. they're here to help you figure it all out! Keep an open mind and the ability to laugh at yourself and you'll be just fine.

October Featured Athlete - Kat Martin

Kat & Lauree.jpg

1. Where are you from?

I am from this region of NY - I grew up in Odessa and Watkins Glen, attended Ithaca College, and have lived in the Ithaca area on and off ever since.

2. What brought you to CrossFit Pallas?

After hearing about the transformative powers and general badassness of CrossFit for years, my good friend Lauree Myler finally convinced me to attend a "bring a friend" class last year. I signed up right after that and I've never looked back!

3. What do you do for a living?

Right now I work at GreenStar and as a K-5 afterschool program counselor at Fall Creek Elementary. I also maintain a side-hustle caring for peoples’ animals and houses while they are out of town. For the past few winters, I have traveled to northern Minnesota to work as a sled dog handler at a women's dog sledding and nature retreat! I originally worked there to fulfill my senior year internship requirement as a Recreation Management major, and have returned most years since! Before coming back to Ithaca, I also worked for two AmeriCorps programs that had a profound effect on my life: The National Civilan Community Corps and the Western Colorado Conservation Corps. Currently, my dream job is a surfing and snowboarding instructor, or something else that keeps me active and outside engaging with people and/or animals.

4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Next month I am moving to Bend, Oregon in the 14 ft camper that I have been working on for the past 2 years, and am stoked to see where this adventure takes me! In 5 years I see myself still "living tiny," learning how to surf and play the harmonica, adopting a dog, and continuing to learn, grow and challenge myself by getting comfortable with the uncomfortable.

5. What’s your favorite vegetable?

Snap peas.

6. What’s your biggest CF accomplishment?

Competing in the I-Town Throwdown with Lauree! I also did The Open last winter - both of these events were totally pushing my comfort zone, but I had a great time and grew from the experience.

7. What are your future CF goals?

I am striving to make every rep a conscious, quality movement. I would also love to finally master consistent double unders, toes to bar, and pull ups! More so, I would like to continue with CrossFit throughout every stage of life - it’s awesome to workout along side athletes of all ages and abilities. The badass CrossFit mommas inspire me the most!

8. What do you do for self care?

Put on a face mask, drink tea, laugh, stretch in the sun, listen to music and podcasts (Wild Ideas Worth Living is my newest jam), dance, and spend time outside.

9. If you could write a WOD, what would it look like?

A partner workout with many rounds of 200m sprints, plank holds, and over head squats.

10. Does everyone in your family have gorgeous hair like you?!

Haha thanks! I get it from my Momma.

11. If you could bring one piece of gym equipment with you on vacation, what would it be?

A kettle bell - they are fun and versatile!

12. What’s your favorite season and why?

I love winter! The gray days are brutal, but the bright, snowy, sunny days are so wonderful and energizing. Weirdly, I like when my face feels numb and I enjoy being a little chilly (but who knows what I’ll say this spring after surviving a winter living in the camper). Winter is also a great setting for feasting on hearty meals with lots of bread, cheese, heavy soups, and basically anything hobbits eat.

13. Beer, cider, liquor, wine or neither?

Beer! Or dry red wine.

14. Favorite restaurant in Ithaca?

Just A Taste, but I don't go out to eat very much because I work at a grocery store so I am always inspired and surrounded by new foods and I love to cook.

15. What’s your favorite meal?

Tacos have always been #1.

16. What motivates you to come to CrossFit?

Every day I go to CrossFit, I am building on what I have accomplished before. With each workout, I grow closer to reaching and achieving my personal fitness goals, whether it be gaining a new movement, completing more quality reps, or lifting heavier weight. The days I reach a new accomplishment, I celebrate quietly and then raise the bar and set new goals. CrossFit provides endless challenge and opportunities to grow. This has had a profound effect on my physical health, and also my self-esteem and confidence levels navigating everyday life.

17. What’s your favorite thing to do on a fall day?

Go for a hike and have a picnic.

18. What would you tell someone that’s hesitant to start CrossFit?

Go for it! You will be surrounded by a friendly, supportive, positive community that will inspire you to challenge yourself and put forth your best effort each and every day, both in the gym and out in life. Starting CrossFit was such a great decision and I plan to keep it up!