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

crossfit picture.jpg

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.

November Featured Athlete - Mandy McConaha


1. Where are you from?

Born and raised in Indiana and New Mexico. 

2. What brought you to Ithaca? (disregard if you aren't from here)

I was living outside of LA and one day I thought to myself - it is just too sunny and too hot here. So I took a job in CNY and packed my pups in the back of the car and moved 2,665 miles across country.  

3. What do you do for a living?

Most of my career has been spent working in communications and program management in non-profit organizations in SE Asia, W. Africa and the USA. I'm a professional photographer/videographer on the side. I currently manage the in-house creative team at Cornell University. 

4. What brought you into CFP?

My sister started doing CrossFit in Indiana and had impressive results. She also started crushing me at fitness and mud runs and signing her emails: Love your sister who can do kipping pull-ups and double unders. That was the last straw!  On a more serious note, I had been struggling to develop a consistent workout/fitness routine with a busy work schedule and some old injuries started to come back to haunt me and hamper my activity. I took my sisters recommendation and signed up for CrossFit to see how I liked it. I was pretty convinced after watching some CrossFit videos that there would be no way I could do 98% of the moves, but Tim assured me I would be fine. And I LOVE it.  

5. What keeps you at CFP?

The awesome coaching! And the lovely, supportive community. There are days I walk into CrossFit feeling like I literally have steam rolling out of my ears from my brain grinding gears all day, but I always leave with a smile on my face and a happy sore body. One of the best feelings is crushing a workout (or part of one) and looking at a classmate and just acknowledging, "We are such badasses!” 

6. What's your favorite movement?

Kettle bells, power cleans, deadlifts.  

7. What's your least favorite movement?

Squat snatch - soooo hard! 

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

I wouldn't even know where to start! 

9. What's your favorite home cooked meal?

I can make a mean asian noodle/pad thai, sweet/savory salad, and Korean stew. 

10. What's your favorite Ithaca restaurant and what do you get there?

Depends on the day, but its usual asian food (Tamarind, Saigon Kitchen..etc): green curry or pho

Indian food (Mehak): pretty much anything on the menu is delicious CA-style Mexican food (Vive Taqueria & Cantina): Enchiladas or smothered burrito with a delicious goat margarita.  

11. Coffee/tea/both or neither? Toppings?

Coffee! Tea (if its in a hot totty) 

12. Liquor/beer/wine/cider or neither?

All - but mostly wine and beer

13. Do you have any pets?

2 dogs - Zoe, a 3 year old Labrador Retriever and Bella, a 5 year old lab/border collie mix

14. What's a CF goal you've crossed off the list?

I can't say they're crossed off the list - but I'm proud of the progress I've made with power cleans, snatches, box jumps, wall balls and anything that involves squatting. I have some fancy 

titanium hardware in my leg and when I started my knees were giving me all sorts of trouble. I had to stop running and limit my hiking for a time because my knees just couldn't handle it. 

After only a short time at CrossFit, I started to see really great progress in the muscle gain around my knees and and legs and now I can pretty much tackle any activity without worrying about tweaking my knee.  

15. What's a future goal you have a CF?

Mastering the illusive double unders, TTB and kipping pull-ups (partly to silence my sister ;) I'm focused on working hard at the areas and activities that I know I struggle with and sometimes that means coming in a bit early or staying a bit late to give them a little extra attention. I'm excited to continue to challenge myself at getting better, stronger, faster! 

16. What about a life goal?

Live and work in the tropics! Kidding...sorta. Someday I would like to run my own non-profit organization. Hike the Inca trail and dive the great barrier reef. Travel more. 

17. If you could have dinner with any musician, who would it be and why? 

I don't think I have a good answer for this one...

18. If someone was hesitant to start CF, what would you tell them?

I would tell them to jump in and give it a try, that you don't have to be an incredible athlete to participate in CrossFit. The coaches really go above and beyond to make sure everyone is scaling the movements appropriately. Some incredible perks of CrossFit (at least at CrossFit Pallas) is that there is always someone watching you during the class making sure you're doing the movement mechanics correctly to ensure you don't injure yourself.  And you will literally NEVER work out at home by yourself has hard as you will in a CrossFit. class. Also, the CrossFit community/family is incredible. Everyone is welcoming, encouraging and supportive - there is nothing quite like it. 

October Featured Athlete - Chris Anderson


1.  Where are you from?
I am Canadian – happy Canadian Thanksgiving BTW Monday October 8th -  I spent most of my formative years in the province of Ontario – in the general area between Detroit & Toronto.

2. What brought you into CFP?
Lindsay, my partner in crime started a few months before I did and it sounded pretty cool! I was participating in endurance events at the time -  my body needed a change and I really didn’t have the time anymore for 5 hour bike rides.

3. What do you do for a living?
I am a faculty member at Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration.  I broadly work in the area of data analytics and spend most of my time on pricing related problems. 

4. What's your best CF accomplishment?
Not sure if I have any of those, just happy to make it to class every day and avoid (exercise related) injuries.

5. What are some goals you have at CFP?
Overall fitness I guess, ideally make some progress on gymnastics related movements, keep up with my kids.

6. What's your favorite CF movement? / What's your least CF movement?
I will answer these questions as one as the great part about CF is that every movement should be your favorite movement - you just need to scale it appropriately so you get a good workout.  I really suck at anything that involves heavy weight but I am OK with because I just focus the correct movement with lighter weight.  Clearly wallballs, rope climbs, and rowing are tall-person friendly so are good for me, whereas movements that require more coordination are not!

8. If you could write a workout, what would it look like?
I am a big fan of grinders – any workout in the 30 minute window that doesn’t involve me trying to go to fast on any single movement; make sure there are some wallballs, burpees and pull-ups in there – box jumps are OK as long as there is a soft box (remember the coordination comment!)

9. What do you do for self care?
Try to hit yoga w/ Lex but that is pretty challenging on weekends as we seem to be always taking one of our kids somewhere for some kind of event.  I have an exercise ball and Interstuhl (google it) stool in my office to work on core and posture while I am pontificating at work.

10. What's your favorite Ithaca (area) restaurant?
The Pines – we live just down the road so it’s an easy & regular stop.

11. You're a regular 6am'er- what motivates you to come that early?
As you get older you find a need to ‘schedule’ exercise. With both Lindsay and I at Cornell plus three boys with their own busy schedules – 6 am is really the only time that I know I won’t have a meeting or don’t need to drive our kids somewhere (not quite true, we drop one off at crew practice on the way to 6am class). Plus, it is great to have it out of the way and makes the rest of day easier …. That said,  6am classes are getting busier so everyone else should go later in the day – I hear 8:15 is excellent!

12. You also come pretty regularly to Thursday mornings at 6am, what drives you on "off days to workout?
At some level it is just a pattern, get up early, have coffee,  go to gym – kind of like the old dunkins commercial where with the dude making the donuts ( ).  Thursday are great though – either makeup a missed workout from the week, work on something specific, little extra time rolling out the hammys…or like this Thursday going in to do some wallballs, pull-ups and box jumps just because they are fun!

13. What's your favorite season?
Summer and Winter are great as I find it easier to go out and do something w/ the kids, we live on the lake so in the summer there is lots to do, and in the winter you need to get outside and hit slopes to keep your sanity – these all seem to get harder as our kids get older and have their own agendas though.

14. Liquor, beer, cider, wine, all/none?!
Bud Light all the way no question!  If I know I am only having one, then a stout.

15. You've made great strides to improve at CF, including your squat! What measures have you taken to improve it?
Mostly just time and persistence, foam roller on the hamstrings and keeping the weight lighter to make sure I get full range of motion.

16. If someone was hesitant to start CF, what would you tell them?
It’s a great way to start the day! There is always a way for everyone to participate in every WOD, I had a 6 stiches in my index finger a few weeks back and I was still able to workout just needed to scale, well I always scale, just a little more that go around.