Athlete of the Month

Chris Austin

Chris Austin


I’m humbled and honored to be named CrossFit Papio’s Athlete of the Month. There are many athletes out there more deserving than me…but I’ll take the “15 minutes of fame” and run with it while I still can!

At 44 years old, I never thought I’d be able to do the things I can do today, which include actively coaching two soccer teams, climbing 14’ers in Colorado, training for my first half-marathon, playing and keeping up with my three kids and all their other activities, and the endless amount of honey-do’s in and around the house. I give ALL THANKS to CrossFit Papio!

Until I was introduced to CrossFit, I didn’t know how out of shape I truly was. I love the outdoors, hiking, climbing, water skiing, etc., and I grew up playing competitive soccer from an early age up through my early years in college, but I never had much experience with Olympic lifting, let alone intense endurance workouts that CrossFit delivers. So I’ve always considered myself relatively athletic…was I ever wrong!

I started out as a CrossFit Papio Founding 50 member, and I’ve been doing CrossFit for a little over two years now, and I absolutely love it! CrossFit constantly tests my limits, pushes me harder, making me better, faster, and stronger not only in fitness, but as a person as well. I take the things I learn about myself from the gym and apply it to the real world.

CrossFit has taught me humility, patience, and dedication. CrossFit has taught me that it’s ok to fail. You know why? Because it motivates you! There’s nothing more humbling than failing over and over again. I go to CrossFit when I’m tired and SORE, when I have a good or bad day, and even when I feel like I’m too busy…because I know it’s making me a better athlete and a better person. There is always strength to be gained and skills to acquire. Time and again, CrossFit has reminded me that I need to walk before I can run, which has kept me grounded in life outside the gym to. I now recognize that I’m putting in the time to build a sustainable lifestyle that will continually reward me day in and day out.

My CrossFit Papio family is the best! I don’t think I have ever felt so much a part of a community as I do at CrossFit Papio. The amazing coaching staff and my awesome 5:00 AMers all push me through tough workouts. That perfect balance of competitiveness and support that you feel during a WOD is something you can’t get anywhere else!

They all believe in me when I doubt myself. They celebrate my victories. And I do the same for them. I have enormous amounts of respect for every person who has ever completed a CrossFit workout! I know there are athletes that can lift a lot more and move a lot faster than I can, and I know there are athletes that can’t do as much, but I respect all of you and your abilities.

I’m so amazed at CrossFit Papio’s sincere love for people and their belief that we all can be better than we are today. CrossFit has allowed me to connect with so many different people that I probably would never had the chance to meet. You all give me the motivation, encouragement, and drive to help me be my best.

My hope is to inspire others, especially other 40+ year olds, to continue to better themselves through CrossFit, and to continue advocating fitness and diet to everyone I know and meet as I wished I would have started my CrossFit journey 20+ years ago!

I’d like to finish by sharing one of my favorite motivational quotes that always keeps me going…

Your biggest challenge isn’t someone else. It’s the ache in your lungs and the burning in your legs, and the voice inside you that yells ‘CAN’T”, but you don’t listen. You just push harder. And then you hear the voice whisper ‘can’. And you discover that the person you thought you were is no match for the one you really are.” – Author Unknown

Thanks again to all the AMAZING CrossFit Papio coaching staff, and to all my AWESOME 5:00 AMers!


Chris Austin

Andrea Kloppel

Andrea Kloppel


Hard work, consistency and a positive attitude… all that adds up to one thing… gains. And gains, are exactly what Andrea Kloppel has been seeing over the past few months.

When Andrea first came to CrossFit Papio, she was a talented athlete who lacked confidence in her own abilities. The last few months, her willingness to push herself beyond her comfort zone has led to weekly PR’s in every area of her fitness. She is pushing more weight than ever, and finding herself on the verge of accomplishing things she used to think were impossible.

The biggest reason Andrea has found so much success of late is her humility and coachability. She listens to instruction, and applies what she is learning. The result… more efficient movement leading to accomplished goals. Great work Andrea, you are an awesome example to our community of what it means to be an Angry Baboon. Keep up the phenomenal work!

March Athlete of the Month

Shawn McGregor


This month’s “Athlete of the Month” is none other than Shawn McGregor!  Shawn is a coaches dream.   He’s committed, consistent, and focused on improving his over-all health and fitness.  Speaking of consistent, Shawn is one of our most consistent members.  As you all know, we use WODIFY for almost everything, including to monitor our member’s attendance.

Over the past 6 months, Shawn has been our MOST consistent member!  In addition to just ‘sticking to it’, Shaun has managed to avoid many of the pitfalls that many of us have fallen prey to:  doing too much, too hard, too soon, irregular attendance, over-training, not setting goals, hitting metcons but avoiding strength days (or vice versa), doing little to no mobility, and the list goes on and on.  He’s been smart in his approach to his training and he’s stayed determined.  Shawn’s a strong dude…strong enough to do many WODs RX’d.  But that’s another pitfall Shawn has managed to avoid.  He listens to his body and works at his technique…doing it the right way, even when he knows he can do RX (just maybe not as ‘cleanly’ as he’d like).  He’s got the big picture in mind…focusing on the right technique and correct form instead of developing bad habits.

And most importantly, he’s just a good dude!  He’s a great cheerleader of his fellow baboons and an awesome part of our community!  Every gym needs a Shawn and we’re no different.  We’re happy to have him as part of our community.  Take a bow, Shawn!

February Athlete of the Month

Kelcy Melrose


Congratulations to Kelcy Melrose on being our February Athlete of the Month!

Kelcy has a history of athletics as a child and young adult, she began CrossFit with a dedicated and athletic work ethic.  Kelcy has been one of our most consistent athletes and it has shown.  Kelcy works with the coaching staff very well, she communicates what her body is telling her and she works with it.  You see, being an athlete is only a sliver of who she is.  Kelcy is a stud, a wife and a mother of 3 busy kiddos with a little one on the way. Yes, Kelcy is pregnant and is only 1 week away from her due date!  Even with her rapidly changing body, during pregnancy, Kelcy remains a CrossFitter who pushes herself to her own comfort level.  She has continuously seen improvements, even while being pregnant.  She demonstrated these improvements as she PR’d her clean and jerk during 15.1a with 120lbs, a 10lb PR since November!  Yes, she is a stud!  Kelcy continues to complete the workout of the day, modifying as necessary.

  We are grateful to have Kelcy as part of the community.  Her effort and fun, upbeat personality is exciting and contagious.  The CrossFit Papio Community is eager to meet Baby Melrose very soon and we look forward to working with Kelcy after she recovers.

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CFP Dec Athlete of the Month

Michael Rooks


Congratulations to Michael Rooks for being our Dec Athlete of the Month!

Michael tore his Bicep at CFP several months ago and had surgery to repair the damage. It was only a few weeks later that this stud stepped back into our BOX and starting crushing WOD’s with one arm! Michael is an inspiration to us all and motivates us to have no excuses in our training.

We are excited to see your recovery process and look forward to seeing you back to 100%!

At CrossFit Papio we believe our athletes should not be isolated from their workout buddies or allowed to give up. They need to get back into action.

“Continuing to CrossFit while you have an acute injury can actually promote healing”- Kelly Starrett- owner of San Francisco CrossFit and a Doctor of Physical Therapy.

You had a surgery on Friday? Take a couple of days off. See you on Monday, The key is modifying the program. Grace can be done with dumbbells. If a limb is injured, don’t use it. But keep working out. It’ s best to train through and around injures. Otherwise, the “ghosts” of injuries can remain for years and negatively affect athletic performance.

We hope Michael will help to inspire you to never be afraid of a workout.  Your coaches are hear to help you be successful no matter your physical needs.



November's Athlete(s) of the Month!

Brea Sabatka and Justice Ross


This month, we had to have two “Athletes of the Month” because with these two, it’s a package deal.  You can’t have one without the other.  They are always together and they help push each other every day.  These two BFFs are also full-time college students and still find the time to come in and crush workouts at CFP.

Justice is an amazing basketball player at the College of St. Mary.  She’s a stone cold WOD killa, which is why her name should be pronounced, ‘Just-Ice;.  She is in the full swing of college basketball AND school and STILL makes it in for her SECOND workout of the day, with us at CrossFit Papio!  Justice has always been an athlete but since joining CrossFit Papio, her stamina, strength, and mobility have greatly improved.  Let’s wish her luck this basketball season as she puts all this CrossFit  training to use and helps College St. Mary crush the competition!

Brea is also a full-time student and goes to the University of Nebraska at Omaha where she’s pursuing a degree in bad-assery.  Yet somehow, she still finds the time to make it into the gym almost every single day!  Brea is dedicated to CrossFit and is making huge gains every week.  Brea has a very athletic background including gymnastics and it shows with her ability to do bar muscle-ups, handstand push-ups, and pistols.  With her dedication to the sport of fitness, she will no doubt be a force to reckon with during the upcoming CrossFit Open!  Remember, you can’t spell “beast” without Brea Sabatka!

October's Athlete of the Month!

Jake Brower


As a youngster, Jake was a top notch gymnast.  If you’ve seen his pull-ups, handstand walks, and pistols, this probably doesn’t surprise you.  You all know how much we emphasize technique and Jake is moving with great form.  His intensity levels are improving too because his bar is getting heavier with each passing week.  But, his work ethic and willingness to help benefits more than just Jake.  He can be seen cleaning and doing handyman things around the gym.  Remember ‘The Lego Movie’ we watched outside last month?  Jake brought and set up the big screen and projector.  And how many members can say that they ‘married’ two of our coaches?!  Not many…but Jake can! 🙂  Keep up the good work, Jake!

September's Athlete of the Month!

Nicole Shoemaker


If you’ve seen this #angrybaboon around the gym, it was probably while she had 4 little soon-to-be #angrybaboons in tow!  She’s been a dedicated CFPer since we opened, even helping watch other CFPer’s kids, while the parents do the WOD!  She’s also been seen helping clean the gym, after hours.  She’s got crazy, monkey strength (see her near 90% bodyweight power clean!!) and will only continue to get stronger!  She’s an OG member of #baboonnation…she is Nicole Shoemaker!