May Featured Athlete - Flo Mielke

1. Where are you from?

I’m from the eastern part of Germany. The last city I’ve lived in was Leipzig.

2. What brought you to Ithaca?

I’m the Anderson’s Au Pair. So I mainly hangout with Lindsay and Chris’ kids.

3. Do you plan on staying here?

I’m definitely staying here until mid October. I’m not sure what’s going to happen after that. I’ll probably explore a new place in the U.S.

4. Do you get back to Germany often?

I’m not planning on going back to Germany until summer next year. That would be the longest I’ve been away from home. My family is going to come and visit me this summer. They’ll bring a little bit of Germany to me.

5. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

If everything goes according to plan I’ll have my Bachelors degree in Sports Management and I’ll be working for a cool women’s soccer club somewhere in the world. However, my life rarely ever goes according to plan, so I’ll just roll with whatever is going to happen.

6. What brought you into CFP?

Lindsay always told me to try it out. I signed up for Foundations one day and never looked back.

7. What are some CF goals you’ve accomplished?

I think one major accomplishment was that I was able to Rx some stuff in this Year’s Open. Other than that it’s just small things like using a heavier wallball or being more comfortable on the Assault Bike. Even though I don’t think the word comfortable can actually be used for the Assault Bike.

8. What are some future goals you’ll like to achieve?>

Pull ups and double unders are definitely on top of my list.

9. What are your favorite CF movements?

Box jumps and wall balls.

10. What are your least favorite movements?

Kipping knees to chest. Just because I can’t seem to get a rhythm.

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

It would be a longer AMRAP. I like those. Throw in some box jumps and lifting. Oh and some of those fast lateral burpees over the bar.

12. If you were stuck on a deserted island, what is 1 piece of CF equipment you would bring?

One of the kids told me to just bring the gym. Which would technically be one item with all the other stuff inside. But since that is kind of cheating I would probably bring the Assault Bike. That’s one of the few things that would be really hard to build out of stuff I would find on an island. That’s of course only for working out. I would take a kettlebell if I needed something for survival purposes. Easy to hit stuff.

13. What about one book you’d bring?

The 6th Harry Potter book. Or anything by Jodi Picoult.

14. What’s your favorite thing to do in the area?

I love to longboard and now that it’s getting nice out I’ll definitely explore all the cool falls and gorges. I’m also going to take advantage of the lake.

15. Beer, liquor, wine, cider, none or all?

Definitely a cider girl.

16. Best meal you’ve ever had?

My mom’s potato salad. My favorite food in the whole wide world.

17. Favorite thing to cook?

German beef rouladen. It’s onion, pickles, bacon, and mustard wrapped into thinly sliced beef. It goes really well with my mom’s potato salad.

18. What’s one thing you’d tell someone hesitant about starting CF?

I would tell them that it’s not as intimidating as it seems. Every movement can be scaled according to your skills and fitness. It’s also the only thing that I’m happily getting up for at 7 in the morning.

April Featured Athlete - Jeff Lower

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1. Where are you from?
Born and raised in Ithaca.

2. (If you aren't from Ithaca) What brought you to Ithaca?
Family  brought me back to Ithaca.

3. What do you do for a living?
I am a property manager and a freelance cinematographer.

4. What brought you into CFP?
The friendly atmosphere of course.

5. What are some CF goals you've crossed off the list?
My two favorite.  Legless rope climbs, and a bar muscle-up.

6. What are some goals you've got your eyes on?
Gymnastic stuff has always been out of my comfort zone and I dream of being able to walk on my hands someday.

7. If you could write a workout, what would it look like?
It would have rowing, rope climbs, and box jumps.

8. What do you like to do outside of the gym?
Photography, and going to the range.

9. What's your favorite thing about Ithaca?
The beautiful green natural areas around us in the summer.

10. Wine/liquor/beer/cider/all/none?
Guinness, and other very very dark beer.

11. Favorite home cooked meal?
My wife Julie makes a wonderful Tandoori Chicken with Mango Chutney.

12. Favorite meal or place to eat in Ithaca?

13. Favorite season?

14. Most important CF accessory?
The gloves I use for rope climbing.

15. What do you do for self care?
Stretch every night before bed, try to get good sleep, and hop into a hot tub once in a while.

16. Favorite Harry Potter character?

17. Favorite HP book?
The first one.

18. If someone was hesitant about joining CFP, what would you tell them?
I would show them the support video we put together for Tim for the 2018 games.  I would show them how much people at our gym cheer each other on.  It doesn't matter if you are getting your first pull up, or you are a games athlete, we celebrate each others successes.

March Featured Athlete - Karen Prosser


1. Where are you from? 

York, UK

2. What brought you to the US? 

Cornell, initially for 3 years…….it’s been almost 19!!

3. What brought you to Ithaca?

Same as #2

4. Do you plan on sticking around here? 

Yes I do :). 

5. What do you do for a living? 

I work in budget and finance for the College of Engineering at Cornell

6. What are some CF goals you've hit? 

Strict pull up

7. What are some future goals? 

There are many that I am very slowly chipping away at, but the main goal is just keep showing up and having fun!

8. What's your favorite movement? 

I actually like cleans, though they still need work

9. What's your least favorite movement? 

THRUSTERS. I get totally stuck at the bottom. 

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

Some DUBS and box jumps. 

11. What do you do for self care? 

LOL - I am terrible at this in terms of stretching etc. 

12. What do you like to do outside of CrossFit? 

I like to ski in winter and in summer I like being outside. 

13. What's your favorite restaurant around here?  

Rosalie’s in Skaneateles. Great food and atmosphere. 

14. What's the best meal you've ever had? 

I don’t think I have a best meal

15. Do you have a favorite author or book? 

I’ve read so many great books, I have numerous favorites. 

16. If someone was hesitant about starting CrossFit, what would you tell them? 

Just do it. It’s an amazing, supportive group of people. The personal growth is incredibly satisfying and rewarding. I love that it is always challenging, pretty much every day. 

February Featured Athlete - Jon Sornberger

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1. Where are you from?

Harford, NY originally but we just bought a house in Newfield.

2. What do you do for a living?

I’m an equipment tech for the Wilson Synchrotron Lab at Cornell.

3. What made you start CrossFit?

Cathy and Phil talked about how much fun it is and brought me to a bring a friend class. I started foundations shortly after that.

4. What are some goals you've achieved since starting CF?

When I first started Crossfit I could barely do a single pull up, almost a year later I got my first bar muscle up!

5. What are some future goals that you have?

Just to keep showing up consistently and improving.

6. What's your favorite movement?

Handstand walks!

7. Do you have a least favorite movement?


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

A short AMRAP with dumbbell clean and jerks, double unders and pushups.

9. What do you do for self-care?

I try and ROMWOD a few times a week.

10. Any big events coming up?

Sabrina and I are getting married in October!

11. Where's your favorite place to eat out?

The boat yard.

12. What's your favorite thing to eat in?

Homemade pizza

13. Do you cook?

Only the grilling!

14. Liquor, wine, beer, cider- all, some or none?

I enjoy an occasional Busch Latte haha

15. Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall?


16. If you could only use 1 piece of gym equipment for the rest of your life, what would it be?

A pair pf dumbells.

17. Are you excited for The Open? Any goals related to it?

This will be my first one so just getting through it, trying to Rx as much as I can.

18. If someone was hesitant about starting CF, what would you tell them?

I would tell them every WOD can be scaled to your ability and if you put in the work and listen to the coaches you’ll see results.

January Featured Athlete - Dana Pajerski


1. What brought you into CFP?

I was Janessa and Jana’s guinea-pig for their first Birthfit post-partum series. It was amazing and reminded me how much I enjoy working out. I went from being very physically active in my teens and 20’s to being a mom in my 30’s (and not making physical activity a priority). When the series was over, I planned to try CF and see what I thought of it. A couple classes in I was hooked!   

2. What have you gained from joining CF?

I’ve definitely been getting stronger physically but also learning to listen to my body and taking things down a notch if I’m not feeling 100% (usually due to lack of sleep from being up with kiddos in the night). Slow is fast :)

3. Have you passed on anything from BirthFit/CrossFit to anyone outside of the gym?

I’ve shared the functional progressions with my sisters and friends who are pregnant/post-partum.

4. What’s your favorite movement?

The squat. So good for so many reasons!

5. What’s your least favorite movement?

Probably burpees in large quantities. Oh and split jerks. Maybe I’ll learn to love them?

6. If you could write a wod what would it look like?

I was an endurance athlete in my 20’s so I tend to like longer workouts. My WOD would probably include rounds of rowing and/or running, wall ball shots and kettle bell swings.  

7. What are some goals you’ve crossed off your CrossFit list?

Core rehab after 3 babies has been a big one, still in progress but much improved.

Rope climbing, box jumps, learning to kip are a few specific ones.

8. What are some future goals you have?

Become kickass at push-ups, be able to do pull-ups and just keep lifting heavier.

9. What do you do for self care?

I go to CF! I actually have a babysitter one morning a week so that I can come to CF alone and then just have a few hours to myself. Best thing I ever did.

Cooking with a glass of wine is a close 2nd.

Watching Ozzy Man or something on Netflix with Jan (my hubby) is a close 3rd.

10. Where’s your favorite place to eat out in the area?

Agava and Viva. I just realized both of these places have good margaritas. Coincidence?

11. Winter, spring, summer or fall?


12. Liquor, wine, beer or cider?

All of the above but not at the same time

13. What do you do for a living?

Pediatric Registered Nurse. Although the majority of my time right now is being a momma to my three sweet (but wild) boys (ages 6, 4 and 1).

14. Where are you from?

A tiny town in NW Ontario, Canada. It’s a pretty spectacular part of the world, but winters are harsh and it’s crazy remote. It is fun to go back in the summers to visit though. I spent my college and early working years in Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta. Jan and I came to Ithaca in 2011 with a 3-5 year plan...haha.

15. What’s a random fact you hold that you can share with the CFP community?

Lobsters pee out of their faces.

16. If someone was hesitant about trying CF, what would you tell then?

Any exercise can be scaled and the people are amazing! What are you waiting for?

December Featured Athlete - Theo Ross-Johnsrud


1. Where are you from?

I grew up in Ithaca.

2. What do you do for a living/go to school for?

I run an installation crew at Renovus Solar.

3. Do you have any siblings?

I have 2 brothers- one is old and the other is my twin!

4. Do you have any pets?

No pets!

5. What brought you to CFP?

I came to CFP because I was looking for a new physical challenge and had heard good things about it from Janessa

6. What’s your favorite CF movement?

The clean!

7. What’s your least favorite CF movement?

My least favorite is the Assault Bike!

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

15 cal row 10 TTB and a heavy clean for rounds

9. What do you do for self care?

I try to go for a hike in the woods at least once a week!

10. What’s the best concert you’ve been to? 

Rubblebucket at The Haunt about 4 years ago.

11. What’s your favorite tv show? Or movie?

My favorite movie is The Big Lebowski

12. What’s your athletic background?

I wrestled in high school and I've been practicing martial arts since I stopped wrestling. My main focus in martial arts has been Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

13. How’d you get so good at body weight movements?

I've been working on bodyweight exercises for about 6 years. I think that the key to progressing in bodyweight work is to approach it from a quality first perspective. 

14. What’s a goal you’ve hit?

400# deadlift

15. What’s a goal you’re gunning to hit in 2019?

Freestanding Hand Stand Push-Up

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

You’re going to get out of CrossFit what you put in to it. If you show up ready to learn and put in the work it will definitely be worth the effort.