New Owners Profile!

Whitney Connolly
Jaime MacDonald
Kevin Phoenix
Tim MacDonald

Whitney: Whit, Whittles, Wintey, Whitley, Mrs. Phoenix, Goom, Spigot (the last 2 are my dad’s doing…)
Jaime: J, James, Jaim, Jaimers, Palomino (I have a few oldies too but these are the ones that are more currently used)
Kevin: I’ve never really had a consistent nickname. My more clever friends sometimes call me Phoenix. My daughter Willow calls me Padre (literally the only thing she learned in 3 years of Spanish in Middle School).
Tim: Tim Mac.  Timmy Mac. Tim Dog.  Dick Head (my brother’s nickname for each other), Pecker Head (other brother).  Honey (Jaime’s for me).  Asshole (Jaime’s for me – SUPER rare though).

Occupation outside of being a new CFCA owner
Whitney: Just quit my day job. Spent the last 8.5 years slinging tchotchkes (pens, mugs, keychains). Not sure what’s next from here…
Jaime: I work in insurance (boooring) In fact, Tim and I just started our own company last year! Why not add to the chaos such as life and now wear a hat of gym owner? I like being busy.
Kevin: I work for a promotional products company in Danvers. Think corporate logos on anything you can dream of, from hats and bags to boxers and condoms. Tchotchkes, cheap plastic shit, you name it, we got it. It’s not sexy, but it’s been a really fun industry to be a part of, going back to the Cyrk years for you long-time Cape Anners.
Tim: Managing General Underwriter; providing Medical Stop Loss (catastrophic insurance) for the Self-Funded Employer……zzzzzz, sounds super boring but I absolutely love it, believe in the product and what it is we do for employers and in turn, employees.  It’s a spectacular option for them to control and save on Health Care costs for their employees and their dependents/children.  I’m putting 100% of myself into working to create something special here (officially 1 year in doing it for ourselves).  I’ve got big dreams for the employees and “family” of UnityRe, LLC.  I don’t want it to feel like “work”….and I think there is a way to do that.

Whitney: Peterborough, NH.
Jaime: Doylestown, PA (home of P!NK and more…)
Kevin: My father was in the Navy, so we moved around quite a bit, but we landed in Northern Virginia for Middle and High School, so let’s say Dumfries, VA (dum-freeze, not dum-fries. Don’t piss me off.) After college (UVA, wahoowah!), headed to Gloucester, MA to chase my foam-finger and big plastic comb destiny.
Tim: Hamden, CT 06518 (home of Quinnipiac University).

Favorite Workout?
Whitney: Any Chipper. I love hammering through a list and making progress.
Jaime: Geez, I think I used to know but now I’m not so sure. I guess I’d say anything with deadlifts really excites me.
Kevin: I’ve had to answer this question once before, and I said “Jonny Cakes” which was Jon’s birthday workout. I believe it was 3 different movements (including Thrusters…gross), and the # of reps was Jon’s age. But that was in 2011, and we haven’t done it in a long time, probably because the # of reps at this point would just be flat-out dangerous! So, now I guess I’d say anything involving wall balls.
Tim: Don’t have one to be honest.  I do love any workout where it has a lift/weight training of sorts combined with a slight cardio mixed in…..kinda like a grinder but not as intense where you start telling yourself “why did I come to this class”, one where I can push myself while not feeling like I need to puke.

Favorite Lift?
Whitney: OH Squat
Jaime: Deadlift (see above ha)
Kevin: This is tough, as I can really see the value in all of them, but I’d have to say Clean & Jerk. There’s so much going on, and if you do it right you’re working a ton of different muscles.
Tim: The clean and jerk.  It’s a complicated movement, but man when you hit it right with some decent weight on it (for me)….I feel damn good.  And not to mention I think it works a ton of different muscles.  Bring on the collar bone soreness the next day from smashing the bar against it!

Favorite Tunes?
Whitney: I like anything except stuff with lots of yelling and jazz that sounds like everyone is playing a different song. I understand it’s impressive, I’m just not musically advanced enough to appreciate it.
Jaime: If you know me, you know my favorite tunes involve hip hop. Dirty, grindy, bad mouthy, get your booty moving hip-hop. The classics are by far my fave!
Kevin: I like GOOD music. Genre doesn’t really matter to me. As long as it’s got a good beat and can help me forget about the abuse I’m inflicting on myself, I’m fine. But be warned: if it’s Taylor Swift, I WILL be singing.
Tim: Old school rap, hip-hop…Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul; stuff with spectacular beats….throw in one that has a girl singing in the middle of all that, and I’m in business/that’s my jam.

What do you do for fun outside of the gym?
Whitney: I’m about to try writing a novel – GULP. I read – I’m on a Stephen King kick lately. I’m a soccer spectator extraordinaire – specifically for GHS girls varsity and Wenham mens 40+ league. In the winter I ski. When it’s not snowing I run road races – mostly 5Ks and 10Ks. I love, but am terrible at, bar trivia. I try to travel as much as time and money will allow.
Jaime: I love to row out in our harbor on the gig boats, rowing with my seine boat crew, hanging with my favorites, and I really enjoy eating food. Out. A lot (remember the busy part above?)
Kevin: When the New England weather allows, I like to be outside, whether it’s jumping on the boat and heading over to Wingaersheek (didn’t even have to look up the spelling. Killing it today.), running a road race with Whit and Willow, coaching Willow’s soccer team, or playing on my Over The Hill Soccer League team. And when the snow flies, we ski. Obv.
Tim: Cut my grass, landscape the house (feels like all I do; although, “Winter is Coming”).  I do actually enjoy the finished product, all is right in the world when it’s complete for me and my touch of OCD has been satisfied.  Absolutely love hanging with friends and family, a nice meal out and a “Timmy” (tequila drink) takes the stresses away for me personally.  Beach, boating, skiing, some mountain biking (been a while).  I do love being outside.  A night bonfire with some good peeps…holy shit, now that’s what I’m talking about.

What does a typical ‘Day in the Life’ look like for you?
Whitney: This is tough to answer as my last day of work is today and I have a whole new life! My PLAN is 4 hours of writing in the morning and then the rest of the time hammering away at new-gym-owner stuff and hunting for my next “real” job. I’m hoping to throw in a bunch of mid-week trips to the mountains, lunches at the assisted living facility with my grandmother, and long afternoon walks on the beach with the Bella-Dog and whoever else is free for long afternoon walks on the beach (hit me up!).
Jaime: First it starts with getting the girls up, the pups out, and the kids off to their schools. I’m either getting right to work for my insurance gig or getting to the gym to coach. Then flip-flopping back between both. I try to fit some time in there to work out too!
Kevin: If I’ve got my act together, I hit CFCA in the morning. Then on to the office to change lives with the power of promotional products  :). Hopefully it’s a “Willow Night” (shared custody) and we can either hang at home in Essex, or (more likely…cooking isn’t our thing) heading out for a bite to eat somewhere. And when I say “somewhere” I mean “Minglewood” 90% of the time. Where, of course, we will undoubtedly run into Jaime and Tim!
Tim: Try like hell to get a snuggle in with the wife and her boobs and butt, she most days is long gone out of that bed (she an early bird). Coffee, kids, school/bus stop drop off’s/pick up’s, try and get a workout in 8:30 or noon.  The majority of the day is working in and around the usual schedule.  But I make sure I take time for fun/take a break, hang with the dogs, sip some coffee outside on the adirondack chairs. Some weeks I could be flying and seeing this beautiful country we live in.  Bringing my 2 girls to cheerleading practice, and again, flying across the country taking them to competitions (that’s coming soon).  Minglewood for dinner (kinda have a reputation apparently of living there).  Work hard, play hard is the summary of my day.

How did you find out about Crossfit/CFCA?
Whitney: I watched Kevin Phoenix lose 30lbs+ back in 2011 and asked him how he’d managed it. At the time he was my boss, not my husband. Now he’s my husband, and I think that means I’m the boss. ;) I was living in Salem at the time, so I got my start at North Shore CrossFit in Danvers (it was near work), but I converted to CFCA when we moved to Essex a few years ago.
Jaime: Some friends had tried it and raved about it and/or I saw pictures on Facebook but mostly Heather Fraelick got me into it I’d say. She talked a good game and sold me pretty easily. It was just taking the actual plunge to do it that took me a bit.
Kevin: Back in 2011, my friends from VA told me about it, and then the Gloucester Times had an article about CFCA, so I headed down to Parker St. to check it out. Onboarding back then included the “Baseline” workout, which was super short but nearly killed me. I had “kennel cough” for hours, and nearly ran my car off the side of Rogers St. on the way home that night. Obviously, I was hooked.
Tim: The wife.  I was hitting the gym pumping iron chit chatting away, taking my time pumping out my sets…..then I watch her transform her mental status and physical…..and ummm that physical part.  A six pack, after two kids…WTF is this CrossFit crap.  Tried it, it beat the crap out of me!  But I also realized I wasn’t pushing myself at the gym.  I drank the coolaid at the Parker St. location and that’s all she wrote.

Did you play sports back in the day or is this athletics stuff all new to you?
Whitney: I did play sports, though not particularly well. I’ve skied my whole life – like since I could walk – so I am pretty decent at that. I played high school soccer and hockey but wasn’t great at either. I was also on the cycling team. I’m not sure if you can be bad at riding a bike… But I wasn’t very fast.
Jaime: I played tennis mostly but also played soccer. I was a dancer for most of my life as well.
Kevin: I played organized soccer and baseball growing up. My friends and I also played every game and sport known to man, plus a few that we invented, pretty much from sunup to sundown. Whether bike riding, playing football on the golf course, swimming in the lake, or having dunk contests on Mike Scherk’s 8 foot rim, we lived a super active life (cue nostalgic 80’s tune). Thankfully Fortnite hadn’t been invented yet, although we did manage to burn some hours playing Pitfall (Atari 2600) and Castle Wolfenstein (Commodore 64). Go ahead youngsters, google that shit.
Tim: I had a hint of soccer in middle school – that’s IT!  I was always working my ass off working for my dad in the insurance world and my brother cutting lawns….snow day….F that, my ass had to go to work.  Half day of school, right to the office.  All good as I’m pretty sure it gave me my work ethic and appreciation of a dollar I have now.  Thanks dad.

What and/or who motivates/inspires you? 
Whitney: ALL the CFCA women. The guys are great too, of course. But the ladies I get to surround myself with on Monday nights, or on hiking weekends, or at Booze – I mean BOOK – Club are so special and strong and they all make me want to be a better human.
Jaime: Sorry bro’s you have your inspiring moments for sure, but the ladies just take the cake for me in the inspiration department. And sure, I’m biased as I’m a lady myself, but there is just something to be said about the capacity a woman can hold on her shoulders and still give so much of themselves.
Kevin: The members and coaches at CFCA have motivated and inspired me since day one. Especially outside the gym. Since joining CFCA I’ve tried so many different things, whether it’s mountain biking, paddling an outrigger canoe in the Blackburn Challenge, climbing, surfing, eating right, listening to Joe Rogan, you name it. Not that I do many of these things on an ongoing basis, but the folks that I’m around every day made me want to try new things and see what’s out there. And it may sound weird, but father time motivates me. My father died when he was 62, and I definitely am not ok with being done that soon. Controlling the parts of my health that I can, and hopefully setting myself up for a long, ACTIVE, life with the people I love, is hugely motivating.
Tim: Hummm, good one.  I’d say anyone who sees the positives in life rather than harping on all the negatives going on.  WAY better energy with seeing the bright side so to speak.  Crazy respect and good on ya taking control of your own life and pushing forward!  Take some risks in life!  Why I think we all have crazy love for CrossFit and the people in it.  We are there to work are asses off, we show up and get it done….all because I feel we are making it a point to take care of ourselves.  I get all kinds of motivated watching a newbie (who I’m sure is certainly a bit nervous/intimidated) just showing up….getting comfortable and getting healthier and making improvements.

What are your current goals ITG and OTG?
Whitney: In the gym – I’d like to return to a place where a strict pull-up wasn’t a distant memory. Out of the gym – I have a marathon in my future, just not sure when. More immediately, I want to actually write that book I keep talking about…
Jaime: My current goal ITG: to get a 300# deadlift. OTG: to get to yoga more often, row and also get my nutrition in check! Abs are made in the kitchen!
Kevin: Inside the gym, my real goal is to just get back to the consistency I once had. I used to be on that “been to the gym more than 15 times this month” list pretty often, but it hasn’t happened in the past 9 months or more. Just kinda got in a rut. But I know from experience that just getting my ass out of bed and showing up at the gym is 90% of the battle. Even if I don’t kill the workout, it doesn’t matter. Outside the gym, I’m just trying to adapt to a new job (our company was acquired last year) and make sure that my work/life balance stays healthy.
Tim: Ohh yeah, ITG is show up more often.  It’s pretty crazy how the longer you don’t go, the easier it is to make another excuse.  However, when I show up a couple times the first week back…I get addicted and it’s WAY easier to show up.  I want to either show up or have the ability to push myself more when I’m in the “excuses” space.  OTG is more outside activities and more fun!  Since summa is ova, I want to get out and do more skiing this year.  More time with the family together…before I know it, they will be off and in college.

How has CFCA changed your life outside of the gym? 
Whitney: There’s life outside the gym? I kid, I kid. I can do things without worrying about whether or not I’ll be too sore/slow/feeble. Tough Mudders and Spartan Beasts? Sure. Sprint Triathlons that finish at the top of a 4,000 footer in the White Mountains? Sure. Half marathons? Sure. Dancing at a music festival in the woods of Michigan for 3 straight days? Sure.
Jaime: Gosh, in a ton of ways. CFCA has opened doors for me by way of friendships made, new hobbies, and just healthier in mind and body so that I can enjoy my family and life to the fullest.
Kevin: When I started at CFCA, I was overweight, out of shape, and didn’t know how to eat right. Showing up 3 or so times a week started helping with the first two, and then after a year we did a “Paleo Challenge” at the gym, which helped with the third. And that honestly has been more important than the exercise component of the gym. Figuring out that by cutting out certain foods, focusing on the right foods, and not drinking 100 beers a week (exaggeration? You decide), I could lose weight, look and feel much better, and not have to starve myself, was huge for me. I didn’t win that Paleo Challenge (I finished second to an English guy. I think it was mostly because chicks dig accents, but whatever, I’m not bitter at all 6 years later. Kidding! Mike crushed that Challenge and completely transformed himself!), but the lessons I learned put me on a food path that will definitely be with me for life.
Tim: Sincere thoughts coming here….seriously…I’d say friendships we’ve made, community it brings and then a healthier me (that comes automatically by showing up).  I remember when we moved here and didn’t know many peeps.  Sooo, I can get my body feeling and doing what it was intended AND create spectacular friendships….whaaaa.  Brilliant!  It’s changed my life way more than just health and fitness for me.

What’s your first (&/or favorite) CFCA memory?
Whitney: The first time I really hung out with the CFCA crew was before I was a member. I came with Kevin on the boat cruise. It was also one of the first times I met Jaime. She told me my butt looked amazing in the pants I was wearing. Pretty sure butt complements are the way ALL great friendships/gym owner partnerships should be born!
Jaime: Ahhh there are so many memories. I guess one of my favorites would be our old gym and working out in the back by the water. Wall balls, buddy carries, tree stump carries, etc. all on the pier. Or it could have been that time when we went to GHB for a field trip and pushed a car as part of the WOD? That might have to take it!
Kevin: Other than the aforementioned “Baseline” night, I’d say just the general feelings of that first year, learning all of the new things, being inspired by kick-ass OG Members like Ross, Jenny, Meg, etc., getting my first callouses, getting my first hand rips (the worst), and seeing Jon and Karen slowly but surely build this amazing community that we all get to enjoy today.
Tim: First memory was taking the leap after watching the wife kick ass…knowing I need to try this crap and thinking I was in pretty good shape from pumping iron.  And I had my intro session where Karen and Jon got to judge “Jaime’s” husband…so I of course went all out and almost died/puked.  I got a couple positive marks on my report card but thought WTF, this is nuts.  Kept at it and quickly understood why I needed to be there and never looked back.  Not to scare anyone here…just some motivation for ya.  It’s all worth it in so many ways and I realized you can’t go balls to the wall if a long workout – although you can get there if ya want!

What’s your most embarrassing moment at CFCA or will you take it to the grave?
Whitney: Um, if you’ve met me you probably know that it takes quite a bit to truly embarrass me, though I’ll turn bright red for almost no reason at all. I did fall super hard on the hill loop and get all sorts of bloodied up in the spring. But Willow was the only one with me, and bless her sweet little heart, she didn’t laugh. I’m sure I’ve farted too… but YAY for loud music!
Jaime: Soooo many I can’t count. I undoubtedly mess up time or stutter at least once in each class haha…… Also, one time was cheering folks on and walked backwards into a tire…..scared the living day lights out of me at first, then I couldn’t stop laughing!
Kevin: I’m sure there are many, but I actually can’t think of one. I’m sure I’ll find a way to do something embarrassing very soon, don’t fret!
Tim: Well I never shit my pants so I think anything else outside a squeaking out an accidental fart; I’m in good shape.  Did join the cookies board once (made it to the bathroom).

What special skills do you bring to Team Save the Empire?
Whitney: According to the annoying corporate “Find Your Strength” quiz I had to take at work, my top strength is my ability to creatively solve problems. Which, I hate to admit, is super accurate. Hopefully that skill will lend itself to finagling some exciting new ways for everyone to get the most out of CFCA. Other than that, I can curate one hell of a Spotify play list, my organization skills could almost be qualified as a “disorder” which lends itself well to cruise-directing large group activities, and I make really good granola.
Jaime: Gosh its hard to assess yourself! This one left me hanging for a bit. I usually have the mindset that there is always something I could work on to better myself. I think we all certainly bring unique contributions, but if I have to pinpoint something, I suppose it would be my passion for the people at CFCA and their journey inside and outside of the gym walls.
Kevin: Not sure, but I’ve had a ton of different roles over my career, and while I’m sure I haven’t seen it all, I’ve seen a lot. So I’m hopeful that I can apply some of those lessons to situations as they come up at CFCA.
Tim: I hate talking myself up or brag, but if I have to…..I think I’m best at taking emotion out of everything, I feel I make a decisions based on all the facts/circumstances and not letting my ego get involved.  Level headed I guess.  Positivity, I am WAY over the top on the glass is half full type attitude.  Thus, I bring good energy for sure.  When I go for something, I’m 100%, so at the very minimum, you’ll get someone that will make every attempt to try my best for this gym.

How do you hope to motivate/inspire?
Whitney: Oh. Is that part of owning a gym? Yikes. I’m not sure that I know how to be inspirational. I do know how to keep working really hard at really hard things, even when they seem impossible. So if anyone wants advice on that, I might be moderately qualified to give some.
Jaime: Geez, another hard question! I hope to motivate/inspire people by being the best version of myself every day. That best version could look like; the one that can embrace changes as a growth opportunity, learn something new everyday, just showing up even when things are messy and complicated, being open in mind and heart, and lead with love. (if you didn’t know by now, I’m the more sentimental and gushy one of the bunch haha)
Kevin: Hmm. Not sure. I guess I’d like people to feel like it’s never too late to start. Start what? Anything. Start coming to the gym, start eating right, sure. But also to start trying new things, or start doing old things that you haven’t done in a while. I want people to live like me and my friends did back in the day – PLAYING as much as possible from sunup to sundown. Just because we’re adults doesn’t mean we have to act like it.
Tim: Super cheesy, but I think the only way to do that is lead by example, strive to be the best version of me….and that has everything to do with me being happy.  The only power I have to offer anything good for anyone needs to come from a place of me being in a great place (emotionally, physically, present)….I’m no good to anyone if I’m coming from a crappy, unhappy miserable place right.  Maybe that will be enough to motivate and inspire…

Ms. Whitney: Rumor has it you went the same High School as Jon… have you been plotting this takeover since then?  I wasn’t even plotting a takeover a week before we decided to take over! But it does make sense. Our high school was a weird little place (way too much to get into here) and it doesn’t surprise me that two people who had their young minds “molded” at Holderness would end up with converging paths (even though we were there at different times – insert joke about Jon being older than I am here). And hey, we’ll finally have a good story for our Class Notes publication to break up all the “I got married”, “Look at my cute baby”, and “Congratulate me on my big fancy job in a big fancy city” submissions.

Ms. Jaime: You’ve been known to cut a little rug during class when your favorite song comes on, if you were to lead a dance skills class for those of us with two left feet, what moves would you most like to teach us? I think I could teach all you knee knockers how to “Drop it likes it HOT”

Mr. Kevin: Has correcting poor grammar at CFCA (in the newsletters, in the FB group, on the House Rules board) always been a passion of yours? Can you promise the CFCA community that they will never be subjected to disturbing grammar again? I’ll restrain myself for making a crack about the value of that Holderness education that Jon’s parents paid for! Seriously, it’s a blessing and a curse. I’m fully aware that people know what you’re trying to say, even if you say “your” instead of “you’re”. But my brain sees that stuff and freaks out. It’s very hard to not react to it. It helps at work when editing copy for our website or something, but in different contexts it can just make me look like a douchebag. What can I say?

Mr. Tim: We know there’s a drink named after you at Minglewood already, so if a “the Timmy” workout was created at CFCA, what would it involve? The “Timmy” drink is a sort-of “healthier” drink option, that causes no hangovers and produces a lot of fun while on it…..soooo.  It would have to be a workout that you wouldn’t be sore/miserable the next day, fun yet productive workout that isn’t too tough….  Body movements with one lift in there….  Deadlifts, followed by pushup burpee over the bar and some of those ab rolling things with the barbell…..Okay, sooo that doesn’t sound like I described but I like it.

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