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January Athlete of the Month


Allen Gaoiran!

        In fact, Allen is the athlete of the last two months since it took a while to turn this article out, December being an extremely busy month for me... enough with the excuses. The coaches were drawn to him for a few simple reasons. One - his consistency. Allen is a 6AM weekday regular in addition to making the weekend classes. We praise consistency since it’s a big part of success. Two - his willingness to improve and ability to be coached. Humble in his workouts and smart in scaling as appropriate, Allen is eager to improve technique before intensity, another big part of success. When his strength got to the point that lifting shoes were in order, he promptly picked up a pair at the suggestion of a coach. Three - you couldn’t ask for a nicer guy to be part of our community. He’s all business during a WOD but is right there cheering others on as they push through alongside him. A positive community, we believe, is another factor that lends to successes in the gym and out. Here’s your chance to get to know this quiet guy a little bit better.
*At 6am one morning I asked Allen during class if he had received my email. He said no, and I told him to get back to me later. This is his email response, copy and pasted...”WWWHHATT?!?! Holy mackerel! That is awesome! During the class I was wondering what the email was about, I thought I was in trouble. I rushed home to find out what this was about.” Am I the guy that makes people think they are in trouble?
Fox - So we finally get to sit down! Thanks for meeting me and congratulations again. Let’s start at the beginning...how and where did you start CrossFit?
AG - Thanks, it’s a honor! I actually took my first CrossFit class down in Baltimore. My partner and I were visiting his brother and his wife and we went for a run to their local affiliate. I’m not sure what the workout was. I know it involved rowing, and I was hooked.
Fox - What hooked you? And what were you doing fitness-wise before hand?
AG - The intensity of the workout and the energy from the people was infectious. I had been “going to the gym” for a while but not like that. I was always overweight as a kid so while I started working out to watch my weight, I soon came to really enjoy the mental release. CrossFit gives me far more of that mental release than the treadmill and machine stuff I was doing before. Plus, I don’t have to think about what I’m going to do when I get here. I’ve got a job thats stressful from time to time and coming to the 6am class before going to work is a great way to start my day. It kind of sets me up mentally for the challenges ahead.
Fox - That’s great, and by 7am you’ve gotten your workout done with. Less room for excuses at the end of a long work day. Where are you from originally, and how did you wind up at CFSBK?
AG - I was born in Hawaii, moved to California as a kid, then moved to New York for work out of college. I actually lived here in Manhattan for a few years before moving back to California for a while. My partner and I wanted to check out the Bay Area for a couple years. Funny thing is that I actually moved to Brooklyn in March of this year for the same exact job. I had been doing CrossFit in SF at LaLanne Fitness and when I moved here I looked up a CrossFit nearby and here you guys were. I immediately felt comfortable here and knew I had my east coast gym. The coaches and community here are so empowering.
Fox - I don’t think I’d ever leave the San Francisco Bay Area, much less Hawaii. How’d you wind up here?
AG - I work in the brand, packaging and retail design industry. I was always an artistic kid and went to the Academy of Art University in San Fransisco. A lot of the jobs in my field are here in New York so here I came. I do really like it here and although it’s stressful, I love my job. I also met my partner Justin here so, so far New York has been good to me.
Fox - Tell me a bit about you outside the gym. What are your hobbies and interests besides CrossFit?
AG - Hmmm...I’m actually pretty much a home body! Justin and I have 2 dogs that we adulate. Greta, a mini Daschund, and Pearl, a Frenchie. I like to get out to classical music concerts and visit museums when I can. Here in NY my favorite museum is definitely the Met, outside of NY the American Visionary Art Museum is pretty fantastic. I chill out at home a lot watching TV like The Real Housewives of Atlanta and Glee. I also really enjoy entertaining and cooking for friends at home. I like to deconstruct and re-create recipes into paleo friendly versions.
Fox - The Real Housewives of Atlanta...a great guilty pleasure! What about family, are they all back in CA?
AG - Yep, but I stay close with my family, too. I have a younger brother who’s a DJ in LA and my parents still live in California. They’re pretty amazing people who operate homes for the mentally challenged. Growing up around the kind of selfless care required to work in that field was a good experience and gave me a unique outlook on life. They were always supportive of me as a kid.
Fox - What fitness goals are you currently working on?
AG - Well, there’s a list: Double unders, kipping pull ups, and actually tracking my workouts. At LaLanne it didn’t seem like tracking was a part of the culture, or maybe I just missed that. I’m also continually working towards improving my squat. The shoes have helped!
Fox - Alright, Allen, last question. What should we look for in a future AOM?
AG - I’d say someone who’s committed to improving themselves and supportive of others. Those seem like qualities that folks should try and model.
        Thanks again, Allen, for doing this interview late and after a long work day. We appreciate your consistency, commitment to being a better athlete, and your gentle support of those in the gym around you. We look forward to seeing you get better and better!

This quote goes out to all the Paleo Challengers:
"Don't mistake pleasure for happiness. They are a different breed of dogs."
- Josh Billings

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    Crossfit South Brooklyn - Workout of the Day - January Athlete of the Month

Reader Comments (40)

Congrats to Allen!
We have not met, but you sound like a solid dude.

Note on the privacy article. If FB sends drones into my backyard, I am buying a shotgun.

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered Commenternywineguy

Allen, congratulations!! We have also not yet met... the idea of working out at 6am is something I was happy to drop when I got out of the military! I look forward to meeting you.

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDmak

nice one allen. excellent choice for a fellow 6 am'er.

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMcGrath

Yay Allen.... great AOTM choice....

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarc "Goose" Mess

Great Interview! I love reading AOTM every month :) Congrats Allen

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLana Z

Alright, Allen! Well deserved AOTM.

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDan B

Nice pic! Congrats Allen!

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDeb

I haven't met Allen but have seen his big smile on my way into the 7 AM class quite a few times. Congrats!

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStella

Anyone wanna go halvsies on the Meat CSA?

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJason Fidler

I am so honored to be the AOTM! Thank you CFSBK community! All of you are incredible, thanks for the support and look forward to future WODs with all of you!
FYI, that pic was shot pre-crossfit. You can definitely see that CFSBK has helped a lot! :)

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAllen

YEAH ALLEN! It is always a pleasure to be in class with Allen at 6am; I have never seen him show up to the gym grumpy, and he always gives it his all.

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

Congrats Allen!

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLK

Excellent choice with Allen!

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoy

ALLEN!!! super solid choice. he is, as the kids would say, the shiznit. he has brightened many a morning class for me.

also: first day back at the gym in over a month. to say I'm deconditioned is a gross understatement. but at the end of a scaled and modified workout, my leg seems none the worse for wear. so I will consider that a victory!

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteryosh

Congrats, Allen! Hoping to working out with you one day when I'm capable of using my muscles before 8am.

Still in Miami enjoying the beach and working out at CFA1A. Got in some fun beach WODs, lotsa farmers carries, epic metcons (New Years WOD was "Bull" - ouch), and still getting the time to squat. Looking forward to getting back to SBK next week.

I just realized I'm not going to be in town to pick up my CSA beef tomorrow. Any chance anyone has a little extra freezer space and can store my share until Sunday, 1/8? Pick up is tomorrow (Wed) from 12-1pm or 6-8pm. I can compensate you for the storage with your favorite cut (assuming you don't like porterhouse, of course). If you can help me out, please email me at rmananzala at gmail.com. Thanks!

January 3, 2012 | Registered CommenterRickke

YOSHI! You're back! That's awesome.

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStella

Congrats to the always-smiling Allen! Excellent choice.

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlady fox

Great choice! Congrats Allen - who knew when you moved into my old pad you'd become an SBK superstar :)

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMargie


Would you consider half meat/half chicken?

-Kate B

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate Brash

Dear Crossfit,
I really miss you. I'm going to see you tomorrow, but I think it only fair to warn you: I've gotten a little puffy since the last time we got together. I hope that doesn't make things awkward. See you soon!
Warm regards,

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJeff Brenner

6am is not 6am without Allen. It's great to spend the early morning with such a likeable, friendly and coachable SBKer. Not to mention he's a fellow "Dream Team 17" FGB member and proud dachshund owner. (Herschel approves this AOM)

Thanks to members of all the epic classes yesterday, the 34 top noon class and 24? top 5pm class did an awesome job. There was also a record setting 7pm class with ZERO people showing up.

January 3, 2012 | Registered CommenterDavid Osorio

Well deserved, Allen! Congrats! David is right, 6am wouldn’t be the same without you.

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGina Cole

Congrats Allen!

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKeith W


Chicken is not on right now. It will return in the spring.

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMargie

So great to honor Allen as AOM! I hadn't had him in too many classes so it was also nice for me to get to know him as well. Of course he's a dog person ;)

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFox

Allen. Congrats!

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDH3

Congrats, Allen.

I'm in LA where I dropped in at a gym I'm not going to name because it kind of sucked. The WOD involved 100 push presses and 1000m row, which, fine, but this was followed by an attempt at a 1RM back squat. Maybe there is some logic to attempting maximal lifts after 15-20 minutes of aerobic hell, but it seemed to me like a good way to get hurt. There was no group shoulder mobility work,either People were walking weights out backwards, squatting well above parallel, no one was getting good cues.

I only went once, so maybe this was an off day, but if you're going to LA hit me at jdzevin(at)me.com and I'll tell you where to avoid.

Whenever I drop in at random boxes I realize how spoiled we are at CFSBK.

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJZ


Thanks. Seemed like a good plan, but clearly I failed to properly research my proposal.

I am sorry, I have to rescind my offer. No chicken till spring, apparently.


January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate Brash

Congrats, Allen! I look forward to working out with you on a day that you oversleep.

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChris A.

Did yesterdays workout but with cleans due to elbow and wrist issues (yay for issues!).

Kept it at a very manageable 135 working on form. Felt good about 70 percent of the time.
Then the slam ball/dumb bell thruster/sit up WOD - 3 rounds, 1 minute each, 1 minute rest between rounds.
72, 62, 60 (192) - the thrusters became hard very quick. Nice little burner.
And nice to do a workout with Sagacious Leader D.O. - that hasn’t happened in a very long time!

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDmak

255x5, 295x5, 335x9
Front Squat
135x8x3 (will probably do 10 at 155 next week)
Power Shrug/Clean Pull (blocks were a little too low for me)
275x5x5 (with about 45-60 second rest between sets)
Plank Work
65m sprints x6 (rest about 30sec, way less when freezing manboobs off at 3rd ave)

also, congrats allan. 6 am is a time I only see once every few months, and its for all the wrong reasons

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered Commentergabrus

5pm class with Jeremy

2 Rounds of Warm-Up 1
Then 1.5ish Rounds of the new Warm-ups which I was supposed to be doing but forgot

Hang Snatches

Would have liked to go a little heavier but we ran out of time

Slam Ball @ 30lbs
DB Squat Clean Thruster @30lbs
Sit-Ups -

First Round 56? reps
Second Round 52??? Reps
Third round probably less?

total fail in trying to keep my count on this. Each time I transitioned I would start a new count before realizing what I was doing and then having to remember where my last one was.. total math mess in my head. Ill just say that I averaged about 15ish slam balls and 10 or so BDSCT which were the hardest bit.

Afterwards took Active Recovery.

Finished with a Paleo Kit

January 3, 2012 | Registered CommenterDavid Osorio

Congrats, Allen. See you at 6 tomorrow

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJason

I've had the pleasure of coaching Allen in his famous 6AM classes. The guy is amazingly consistent and trains smart. Allen, it's been great to watch you improve. You're incredibly nice and unfailingly cheerful, all true. But man, you're all business when you hear, "3! 2! 1! Go!"

Great stuff. Congrats!

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNick Peterson

Active Recovery is fucking *magic.*

We spent the majority of the hour on the upper back and shoulders; I always need to work on these, but I wouldn't call this area my biggest goat. Like the other strength cyclers Who Shall Remain Nameless, I've got an ever-present crisis in the hamstring/hip area - just frozen, all the time.

However, when I settled in to squat after the shoulder session, I *flew* in and out of the hole. I was gliding like.. like... LIKE A SUPPLE LEOPARD!

Thanks Fox!

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermichele

Congrats to Allen, even though I haven't met you yet! Puppies and Housewives and Glee, oh my! I love how amazingly diverse our gym is.

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTraci T.

@ Rickke

I've got plenty of freezer space and will be making the 8pm class tom. call/txt me 631-804-4630 if you want me to help you out. I only live 2 blocks away from CFSBK so it's very convenient.

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJason Fidler

Forgot - the WOD was with 30# slam ball and 30# dumb bells.

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDmak

I've only had a few morning sessions with Allen and he always has that big smile going, so nice that early. Congratulations!

Yoshiiiiiiiiiiii!!!!! YES!

Traci T! So glad you liked meal one!! Now on to pork loin and braised greens. Exciting stuff, I love it.

January 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJules

Can I make the same offer as Rickke, meat based remuneration? I'm looking at you Rob/Michele/DH3 given living proximity.

January 3, 2012 | Registered CommenterJoel Wertheimer

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