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Michael Topinka


Michael Topinka

In early May of 2013 I can distinctly remember standing outside of Brazen Athletics CrossFit Link in Fairfield NJ, it was a beautiful day and I was watching roughly 20 members while they did rounds of a 400 meter run followed by overhead squats.  A friend of mine had told me to come in and speak to a coach about CrossFit to see if this was something that would be of interest to me and I had purposely arrived a little bit early to see what a typical class experience would be like.  As the workout was ending there was 1 lady who was finishing up behind everyone else and as she approached her bar to start her last round of overhead squats I witnessed something truly inspirational.  Led by Coach and Owner Jason Schroeder, the entire class gathered around this one individual and cheered her on so loud that it drowned out the sound of the music that was blasting from inside the gym.  Once she completed her squats, Jason wrapped his arm around her and proceeded to express to the entire class that this specific woman had received back surgery not more than 9 months ago and since then had lost close to 20 pounds and was doing things that most people couldn’t even dream about.  Even though she was still trying to catch her breath, the smile that lit up her face was electric.  The words spoken by Jason Schroeder where heartfelt and sincere, and the energy and emotion that exuded from the class was intoxicating, I joined immediately.

After 6 months of being a member at Brazen Athletics, I have lost over 20 pounds, gained more muscle then I had when I was in my early twenties, and I am hands down in the best physical condition of my entire life. Being that the coaches at Brazen Athletics also worked with me so closely on my dietary needs, my cholesterol dropped from 198 to 136 and I was actually able to determine that I had some food intolerance that plagued me with stomach pains for years.  My physical core has gotten so strong, that my chronic back pain that would be crippling at times is literally subsided to the point where I no longer have to worry that I am going to be at the chiropractor three times a week from picking up a laundry basket.    The coaching staff led by owners Kristy Link and Jason Schroeder are so caring and attentive to all the members in the Brazen family, and they teach us to strive to step outside of our comfort zone and be the best possible version of ourselves that we can be.  If you choose to take that leap of faith it is truly amazing to see what you as an individual are capable of, I still can’t even believe the things that Brazen Athletics and CrossFit have enabled me to learn, things I would have never imagined in my wildest dreams.  So when you chalk up and stand over that bar and “10 seconds on the clock” echoes throughout the box, a chill runs down your spine and you have butterflies in your stomach, what are you going to do?  I am going to be better than I was yesterday!  Change your Thoughts, Change your World, Thanks to the owners/coaches Kristy and Jason, and the coaches Alex, Carolyn, Brittany, Greco, Rebecca, JD, Jecki, and all the other members that have pushed me over the last 6 months!

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