In 10 short months, a shy kid working out in a baggy sweatshirt in the middle of the Summer, transformed into a lean, confident teen. We are incredibly proud to name Chris Maurantonio as Blackbird CrossFit’s April Athlete of the Month! We are not quite sure how we got so lucky, but we have been blessed with the honor of working with a large handful of incredibly impressive youth. The millennial generation has gotten a pretty bad rap, but these are not the types of kids at BBCF. Our teens come to us a bit unsure, but ready to work. The next thing we know, they become our most dedicated members. We have seen CrossFit touch so many young lives and light a fire. We’re not 100% sure if Chris always wanted to go to college for Physical Therapy, but I assure you his life goal wasn’t always to become a CrossFit coach one day! This kid is a rock star.
If Chris can’t make it to his usual 4pm class, he’ll attend the 1st or last class of the day. Most seniors I knew weren’t waking up at 5am to work out or prep their own food. But Chris has dialed in his nutrition and slowly lost over 20lbs. He’s achieved definition and is crushing his lifting and conditioning sessions. He has added 85lbs to his deadlift, 80lbs to his back squat, 50lbs to his clean, and 35lbs to his shoulder press. He participated in his first CrossFit Open this year. He was able to Rx 3 out of the 5 WODs!
Coaches Justin and Steve also have Chris as a student at Century High School and have seen the tremendous change and growth.
“Chris is a role model for students his age with his dedication to the gym. He’s even dialed in his nutrition by bringing his own healthy lunches to school while his peers consumer copious amounts of sugary sweetened beverages and processed food.” –Coach Steve
“•His hair is gorgeous
•He works out with a sweatshirt on even in the summer
•He eats his “tray” during AP Statistics because his teacher is the best
•He learned to snowboard this year and is now quite good
•He is a positive influence on his family, friends, and everyone at Blackbird
•He was a key low points scorer of Justin’s Clique in a Box (which is a good thing!)
•He is dedicated and motivated young man that continues to impress others
•When he started in the HS only program, he couldn’t kick up into a handstand on the wall… look at him now!” –Coach Justin
MEET CHRIS MAURANTONIO…
My name is Chris Maurantonio, I’m 18 years old, and go to Century High School. I plan to attend a 4-year University next fall majoring in kinesiology and then becoming a Physical Therapist and coaching CrossFit. I have a twin brother and a younger sister who are also a part of Blackbird.
2. WHAT MADE YOU START CROSSFIT?
Funny story, in 2016 (my sophomore year in high school) Coach Justin was my geometry teacher. We all know how hilarious he is, so when he wasn’t teaching or roasting me or my fellow classmates, he would talk about CrossFit. I remember talking to him and asking him questions about Blackbird, but never going and attending a class. Later in the same year I saw Jack Del Nunzio (now Coach Jack) walking around Century HS with a gallon water jug and thinking to myself I need to start doing whatever he’s doing (he is huge!). I later found out that all he was doing was CF and I finally decided to give the CF thing a shot. After my first WOD I remember coming home and laying on the ground for at least an hour not wanting to move or do anything. After my three trial classes, I convinced myself and my dad that I could just do CrossFit on my own and that I didn’t need to be a part of an Affiliate to do CrossFit style workouts. Oh was I completely wrong…fast forward to this past summer I decided to give Blackbird another shot with hopes of getting in shape for my senior lacrosse season, but I inadvertently stumbled upon something much greater, a second family, and ultimately making one of the best decisions of my life.
3. WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED SINCE JOINING BLACKBIRD?
Since joining Blackbird I’ve learned that diet is just about everything when it comes to fitness. I never realized how much sugar and other terrible processed foods I was consuming on a daily basis. Other than diet, I learned that its important to give every workout and lift everything I’ve got, if I want to see improvement overtime.
The people! Growing up I’ve always been fairly quiet in new unfamiliar environments and would just keep my head down, get done what I needed to, and then be on my way. If it wasn’t for Kacie Nemeth yelling my name and drawling all the attention in the room to me I would have never realized how awesome and welcoming everyone is.
5. WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST CROSSFIT MOMENT?
My proudest CrossFit moment is getting my first ever pull-up. Brian (my twin) could always string together multiple pull-ups from a young age and I was always unable to get just one. I can now say I can do more strict pull-ups in a row than he can. Sup @Brian
My favorite CrossFit movement is burpees, call me crazy but I love seeing burpees come up in any WOD. Favorite lift would have to be deadlifts and I absolutely despise Turkish get-ups. My favorite WOD’s are the “get work done” AMRAPS that are multiple rounds and consists of a few movements that you perform in one minute intervals.
My lifting goals are to be able to Squat 300 pounds, Deadlift 400 pounds, and Clean 250 pounds, the typical high schoolers goals I know. For the skill and technical movements I want to be able to do 100 unbroken Double-Unders and string together 5 Bar Muscle-Ups. I got some ways to go, but hopefully within the next year I’ll be able to cross those off the goal card.
8. WHAT IMPACT HAS BLACKBIRD HAD ON YOUR LIFE IN AND OUT OF THE GYM?
CrossFit has allowed me to meet new people and give me something I look forward to everyday. Walking through the front door and seeing everyone out on the floor is honestly the highlight of my day.
9. WHEN YOU’RE CROSSFITTING, WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO?
When I’m not CrossFitting you can find me watching past games documentaries or the CrossFit Podcasts on YouTube. I also like to go bass fishing in nearby ponds and go kayaking at Piney Run.
Just go for it. Don’t be intimated or afraid to give it a shot. For me CrossFit is one of those things that I wish I had known about and started doing it way before I actually decided to give it a shot. The CrossFit you see on TV is only a small 1% of the world and doesn’t make up the majority of the community. You can scale any workout to fit any level of fitness which makes CrossFit so great.
11. WHAT IS YOUR DIET LIKE? HAS IT CHANGED SINCE STARTING CROSSFIT?
Ever since I started CF in late June I’ve been meal prepping. I cook all my meals for the week at once and portion them off into 6-12 containers. A container consists of Rice, ground beef or ground turkey, and some veggies. I have oatmeal with a half a serving of peanut butter and a serving of powder peanut butter for breakfast every morning and typically 2-3 hardboiled eggs as a snack after school. My favorite WOD fuel would have to be a toasted English muffin with a little bit of peanut butter. If you’ve never had it before you’re missing out.
I weighed 187 pounds back in June and so far have lost 32 pounds while continuing to get stronger every day. But besides the scale results, I now can walk up a flight of stairs without needing to regain my breathe at the top and have built up an engine that allows me to perform at a level I’ve never been able to achieve in the past.
-Thank you Matt and Rebekah for opening your doors in 2014 and doing everything that you two do while making countless sacrifices to provide us with this amazing place. I would have never found the importance of nutrition and fitness without you guys.
-I’d also like to thank everyone at Blackbird for welcoming me with open arms and especially the other high schoolers and older beasts, such as Stephen White, Justin Meeks, and Oscar Callejas for not only giving me someone to chase after during workouts, but for inadvertently pushing me to be a better athlete.
-Lastly a huge thanks to my parents for giving me the opportunity to be a part of Blackbird and the endless support you both have given me over these last 18 years.