2023 RTC Open Makes an IMPACT!

2023 CrossFit Open Makes an IMPACT!

Echoes of the cheers and slamming barbells of FNL Open 2023 have faded away, but it’s never too late to recognize the IMPACT it has left on the RTC community.  When Coach Allie requested “In the Open Impact” nominations, our members did not disappoint.  Well over 100 nominations were made for 43 different people, which goes to show the level of support and encouragement that we give one another!  Nominations were submitted recognizing not just athletic accomplishments, but many moments of inspiration and, well, people just being nice, because that’s what RTC is all about.  Below are the member and coach honorees who received the most nominations, as well as some honorable mentions and a special shout-out to the RTC Kids program: 

Congratulations to the 2023 Impact Award MEMBER honorees:

Kevin Irwin

Kevin lives for the Open, and that is not an overstatement.  He set goals for Open 2023 a year in advance, and then spent every month in between working to make them a reality. His goals were to complete all workouts at the Masters RX level and hopefully qualify for quarterfinals.  While he didn’t make it past the initial 3 workouts, he showed some serious resolve and tenacity through each, even repeating 23.3 three times to better his score! Kevin’s perseverance did not go unnoticed.  “Kevin is so mentally tough, putting his best foot forward and going until he knew he gave his absolute all,” said one member.  “It is very inspiring to see.”  Another member competed next to Kevin during 23.1, and said “she was better because of it.”  She added, “I am consistently inspired by his work ethic and determination.”  The fact that another member called Kevin “Mr. Open 2023” is full evidence of the impact he has made on his fellow RTC members!

Sydni Kidd

Everybody needs a little Syd in their lives.  She has a knack for saying just the right thing to bring a smile to your face and a lightness to your spirit.  Not only is she a fantastic human, but her athleticism has grown by leaps and bounds over the past year.  These qualities did not go unnoticed.  “I judged Syd 3 weeks in a row, and I love how she arrived sometimes not even knowing what the workout was, but then always beasted it out as though she’d been strategizing for months!” As a judge, Syd’s sweet spirit also made her mark on others.  “She laughed, was silly (counted every cal on the rower), and kept my vibe exactly where I needed it,” says a member.  Another member noted that the “sweet, subtle Sydni turned into a hollering hype girl at every rep” while Syd judged her during 23.3.  And this comment clearly shows how Sydni makes an impact in all the right ways: “Syd is just the epitome of peace and kindness and strength and I’m so glad I can call her friend!”  

Michelle Parker

Michelle is a force to be reckoned with on any given day, so it’s no surprise that many members wanted to recognize her contributions to the Open both as a competitor and a judge.  “Michelle is an amazingly strong athlete,” says a member, “and she paced herself so perfectly during 23.3.”  “I loved watching her compete,” said another.  “I love being around people like Michelle who inspire me to up my game!”  As a judge, common remarks about Michelle included, “She kept me steady,” “She kept me on pace,” and “She always made me feel good about my performance.”  Her impact is clearly shown in this comment: “Michelle was the ultimate friend and judge this week. She went above and beyond to scream for me and keep me in a positive headspace when I was really struggling. I’m thankful for her spirit and positivity.”

Holly Thomas

Small but mighty Holly was commended for “busting her butt” during Open 2023.  “She worked so hard each week and stayed super positive, which rubbed off on everyone on our team!” says a member.  Another member was impressed with Holly’s “headstrong effort” on the rower during 23.2, despite her dislike for that machine.  Members also noted that Holly was “an awesome judge” who pushed them through the entire workout. In addition, she was commended for being “not just a judge, but a wonderful cheerleader.” And these comments surely sum up Holly’s impact on others for the ‘23 Open season: “I felt so lucky to have her on Team Gym & Juice this year!” and “Holly is such a positive and wonderful human being who always makes me feel uplifted!”

Jerrica Thomas

Jerrica is rarely seen without a smile on her face, which is often accompanied by a friendly hello or a witty remark.  It was these qualities that got noticed by others during the Open. She was nominated for “always knowing how to show her support” and for her “calm, cool, and collected” judging that put others at ease during their workouts.  A fellow team member also mentioned her team spirit, saying, “Jerrica was our unofficial team captain, always rounding everyone up to participate in challenges and showing amazing creativity for our team outfits. She came with a smile and jokes but was also ready to win! She’s a true leader without even knowing it.”  Both Jerrica and Holly were mentioned for the impact they make as a couple.  Says a member:  “They were as happy as I was when I got my lift.  I thought about them the rest of the day, so very grateful for my RTC friends who celebrate others as much as they celebrate their own victories!”

Congratulations to the 2023 Impact Award COACH Honorees:

Coach Jenny Dobrea

Coach Jenny was recognized not just for her leadership as a coach and team captain, but also for her amazing gymnastics skills and an Open performance that qualified her to the quarterfinals.  “She’s an awesome coach and leader who really pulled the team together,” says one member.  Others noted how she “has the ability to get everyone pumped up,” and how she “made the open so much fun.”  “She was a rockstar team captain!” said another.  “She has done a great job rallying our team and helping us to be unified!”  Jenny’s “steady and consistent presence” was noticed as both a leader and a judge.  In addition, the grit she showed during 23.3 did not go unnoticed.  Said one member, “Every handstand push-up started with her elegant gymnast toe point followed by the snarl of a bad bitch ready to crush the workout.”  The RTC community is better because of Coach Jenny’s impact!

Coach Allie Sholley

No “Impact” awards would be complete without recognizing all of the ways that Coach Allie positively impacts the RTC community.  Even more than being the “ringmaster of the chaos that is the Open,” Coach Allie is a “top notch” coach, competitor, and leader.  “She makes it all possible,” says one member, while another says, “Her coaching is intentional and encouraging, wise and authentic, focused…all the good things.  To give as much as she does, on top of running the events and competing herself, is quite remarkable and extremely generous.”  Allie keeps everyone organized during the Open, which a member noted “is no easy feat, but Allie did it amazingly, keeping us on a schedule and making the competition fun!”  Coach Allie deserves our praise for constantly investing so much of herself in RTC.  It is her impact that has created the thriving community that we all call home.

Congratulations to the 2023 CrossFit Kids Program!

The CrossFit Kids program has grown by leaps and bounds, and nowhere was that more apparent than during the Open 2023.  The kids and their coaches (the amazing “J” trio of Jenny, Jenna, and Jeanine) put on quite a show each week, participating in their own Open workouts tailored from the adult programming.  They dressed up according to the FNL themes and were judged on their performances in true Open style, with parents acting as rep counters.  The studio was filled to the brim with family and friends cheering and applauding their efforts.  It was quite a sight to behold!  Coach Jenny reported that 23.2 was a “much tougher WOD than they were used to, but they persevered!” and that 23.3 “showcased their awesome partner skills and was a crowd favorite.”  All of the coaches were proud of the kids who “worked hard, took it seriously, and adapted to the chaos.”  A strong sense of community is being built through the CrossFit Kids program, and the Open was a spectacular experience thanks to the efforts of the coaches and parents involved.

Congratulations to the 2023 Impact Award Honorable Mentions:

Krystal Allen

Krystal once again put her talents behind the camera to work, capturing the many feats of strength, the grit and determination of our members, and the moments of joy and celebration.  Says one member: “Not only does everyone appreciate Krystal taking photos so we can remember the Open, but you can tell she really enjoys the experience it provides for her. Running through equipment, judges, bystanders, and other chaos, she does it with a smile!”

Olivia Ferrante

Olivia is everyone’s favorite cheerleader, and her energy level was off the charts during the Open as she yelled encouragement to everyone around her, not just at FNL, but many times each week Thursday-Monday as various members completed their workouts.  She also took her own workouts RX!  As one member put it:  “Her selfless, community-focused mentality paired with putting her game face on and getting after it during her own workouts are why she’s my pick for an Impact award!”

Kenzie Szczepaniak

Kenzie was commended not just for taking on all of the Open workouts RX, but also for her kindness, friendliness, and her commitment to her health and well-being.  One member had this to say about Kenzie: “It has been so wonderful to see Kenzie’s transformation over the past year, as it is a transformation that comes from within.  Watching her take on all of the Open workouts RX was truly inspirational.  Her transparency in regards to her sobriety journey just makes me admire her even more, because that requires much more than physical strength.  She is one tough woman who has just come into her own.  What an amazing human!”

Congratulations to all of our honorees for the tremendous IMPACT they have made on the RTC community! Congratulations to all of our members who participated in the 2023 Open and gave every workout their best effort!  Congratulations to our athletes who moved on to the quarterfinals! 

 Here’s to the year ahead, as we all get faster and stronger and ready to crush the goals we have already set for Open 2024!