Antonio Pestello: Time for a Different Hat

January 13th, 2015, I joined the gym because I saw a Rich Froning video on YouTube and thought that CrossFit looked cool. At the time, I had no idea that Sanitas would have such a positive impact on the next five years of my life. It’s time for the next step, and as of December 21st, I’ll be leaving CrossFit Sanitas to join the Navy.

This note is to say thank you to everyone who has been there along the way. There’s no way that I will be able to list everyone, but here’s an attempt at saying thank you, something that I admire about you, or just my favorite fact about you. 

  • Andy Knight – Incredibly kind. Once tactfully told me to smile more. It was good advice. 
  • Aaron Steiner – Coachable meat missile that did 100 unbroken push ups 
  • Adrienne Hedrick – Not impressed with my cookie baking ability 
  • Alex ScottI hope those sweet puppers still know me as godfather Tone
  • Arlo Corwin – I think he has a bike ride in a couple weeks 
  • Ahmawn Romby – “Who is that on your shirt?”
  • Andrew Keesee – I can hold my breath as long as I can because of Andrew
  • Ashley Cohen – Loves the squat warm up where you hold the 10 pound plate out in front
  • Ahne Simonsen – Caring and nurturing mother hen
  • Alex Detweiler – In the top 3 coolest people that lives in my house. What are you hiding in your room? 
  • Alex Osias – Kept me accountable on my swimming.
  • Mia Paruchuri – Positive, calm, even keel personality
  • Amy Skaife – Agreeableness. Google the definition. 
  • Andrea Maxhimer – Toughest lady around and birthed sweet, sweet Peyton
  • Annie Tuck – Even if you’re pity-laughing at my jokes, I appreciate it just the same 
  • Ben Stock – Sorry I challenged you to do a behind the back clapping pushup that resulted in you splitting your chin open. And I’m sorry I just shared that with everyone just now.
  • Beau Bryson – Learn from Beau what he doesn’t say vs. what he does. Did 40 pushups in 30 seconds.
  • Bob Aaraas – Its impossible to feel awkward around Bob
  • Brad Hilton – I once spent hours trying to break into your house. 
  • Bruce Oliver – Strong glutes, subtle sense of humor and introduced me to the STAR method
  • Blake Maxhimer – Best of luck to the Colorado Broncos in their next hockey match against the other local sports teams. Once told me I look like Post Malone. 
  • Bella Mobilian – Loves sweet, sugary candy 
  • Carlos Tamulonis – Showed me this sweet warm up move where you go wide with your feet, turn your toes out, and do really fast shuffle steps while simultaneously doing slow arm pumps. 
  • Carissa Harlow – Behind every average man is much smarter, beautiful lady
  • Connor Thompson – Silent giant with a monster bench press
  • Carson Morford – Can do actually athletic things like backflips and ski spins, but won’t do 300 calories on the assault bike for time when challenged. Psh. 
  • Chad Walker – Most stylish guy in the gym, responsible for my 2nd favorite coffee mug and 3rd favorite hat. 
  • Chelsea Shettler – Also from GJ. It’s a bond you city folk wouldn’t understand. 
  • Chris Chase – The only person that can ask what the workout is 50 times in the span of one class and I don’t mind answering every time. I don’t know why. 
  • Claire Mulholland – When I got a haircut she said “Can I start calling you big hair cut?” 
  • Courtney Chiu – Queen of the baked goods, and I think she is Chinese. 
  • Doug Wood – Still waiting on that copy of Undertow
  • Dan Mcllroy – Co-coaching 5:30 is great because I know I’ll get some good hang time with Dan. 1st priority is to have a good chit-chat, 2nd priority is to exercise. 
  • Dani Rosenthal – Usually seen being dragged by large injured dog. Always making people feel welcome in the gym. 
  • Dave Hartzell – I would like a ride in your airplane please
  • Dave Glasser – 10/10 handstand walks 
  • Debbie Atwell – Pretty good roommate, focused worker, great friend
  • Dave Gerlitz – Deals with the challenges of life while staying dedicated to getting into the gym. 
  • Daniel Brack – I usually have to help Dan with his math homework 
  • Daniel Epstein – Epstein didn’t kill himself.  
  • Dhari Almanai – Got a nice little puppers named Mingus. Favorite song: Monster by Kanye West
  • Danielle Corwin – If I’m ever going to a party where the average age is somewhere around 40, I always hope Danielle and Arlo will be there. 
  • Dan Dodot – When I get back, I expect you to have a handlebar mustache and hair past your shoulders. 
  • Danielle Breedlove – Always says thank you, never complains, joy to be around 
  • Dave “D-Money” Warfel – Runs real hot from 5:30-6:30pm. Infectious attitude and loves to help out. 
  • Derek Leslie – The man responsible for the name-all-endurance workouts idea
  • Dwight Upshaw – Cares more about the gym than anyone else. 
  • Eben Clark – Rocks those sweet Danskos every morning
  • Eric Roza – Cares to invest his time and money in the growth of other people without expecting anything in return and is the reason we have Sanitas. 
  • Eric Meyer – Hardest charger in the gym. Best hair. 
  • Eric Mallon – Ol’ 4-shirt Eric over here: little jerry, basketball guy, purple sanitas one, and I forget the last one.
  • Erica Freed – Bada** farmer
  • Erica Van Steenis – Taught me about pedagogy
  • Elissa Morello – Likes gangster rap, will tell you if you’re cutting reps, and birthed sweet little Brody
  • Ellie Graeden – Humble and smart with a no excuses kind of attitude. 
  • Elliot Browning – He’s pretty handsome like Tyler Edens.
  • Eden Mallon – Best dang ’70s lip syncer I have ever seen
  • Erin Quinn – Best rule follower in the gymnasium 
  • Emma Gury – She’s got a fancy british accent and her catchphrase is  “OMG I’m wrecked”
  • Elisa Schauer – Shouting PANDA at the rear end of the worm and crushing pedals and deadlifts at regionals: two of my best memories in crossfit. 
  • Emily McMurray – Always smells like what I imagine a fancy boutique smells like and calls me Antwon which is pretty cool
  • Emily Puetz – Has high standards for herself. Always smiling. 
  • Faisal Al-Mutawa – Disciplined som bish who looks 43
  • Fred Cook – For a while I didn’t know if Fred liked me, but now I know that I am his best friend
  • German and Iggy Nunez – Wise, genuine, hardworking father son duo
  • Grace Reynolds – Younger version of Julie Maximon, and abides when I make her grab heavier weights. 
  • Harleigh Stewart – Did the last 18 hours of 24 hours of fitness when we needed her and works with special needs kids. Mad respekt. 
  • Heidi Godsil – Kind and social who cares about her children. 
  • Heidi’s Husband – loves to listen to TOOL and Primus 
  • Jennifer Love – She’s just at kind at my aunt Vicki (Vicki is very kind).
  • Jenny Smith – Your butt cheeks are going to be so strong at the end of this endurance cycle. 
  • Jake Rehmeier – Takes smack talk like a champion. Can be easily roped into workout challenges. 
  • Jake Corley – Thanks for touching my muscles when I needed it the most
  • Jeff Mullen – Got an excellent laugh and I think you might be a genius, but I’m going to have to give you a swirly for being a home-schooled nerd. 
  • Jenna Zwaanstra – Sweet, sweet Jenna. I wish you the best in finding a fair-faced, tall, slender boy to marry one day. 
  • Jeremy Rosenthal – “Sup TONE” and hits me with a ferocious fist bump. Loves to bench. 
  • Jeff Mac – Phenomenal beard always uses your name when he speaks to you.
  • Jeremiah Sullenger – Soft spoken, strong weightlifter, with bada** unexpected tattoos
  • Jil Stephens – Great conversationalist. LOVES to chat. 
  • Justin Maxhimer – Prefers to be called Dr. Justin. Send all clown pictures to his cell (452-564-3089). Tells me to F off 3 times per week, is generous and sincere and has a work ethic that I admire. 
  • James Barry – showed me this cool video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fISgKl8dB3M
  • JB Cannifax – Real laid back
  • John Herndon – Sassy boy Herndon goes dark in workouts, and when your broken foot heals you best come back. 
  • John Holshey – Tenacity. Guy came back to the gym after dealing with his health. 
  • Josh Rollins – Cyst buddies
  • Jessie Akos – Cares about other people a lot
  • Julie Forbes – Is the wonderful nice aunt we all want to have. We have different tastes in music. 
  • JP Reinhard – Bilingual doctor who can smoke you on the rower
  • Julie Maximon – Julie is the closest thing we have to an angel. 
  • Julia Hill-Wright – I think you’ll make a really good mom
  • Katy Fassett – Skills like John Wick
  • Kris Davidson – Master of his craft and eager to learn 
  • Karl Thompson – Keeps it lighthearted 
  • Kelly Hendershot – Only has one real knee
  • Katie Fischer – Likes to copy-cat Mike’s clothing style 
  • Karen Crofton – Knowledgeable no-nonsense gal who has the most intense mid-workout face
  • Kathleen DeHaven – When you talk to her, you feel like you’re the only person in the room. 
  • Kirsten Gillespie – Takes any free moment to hit some very intense stretches, always comes in with a smile. 
  • Korri Thompson – I once told Korri she had strong shoulders and she said, waving one finger at me in a very Jersey accent, “You don’t say that.” Behind her tough exterior is a soft center. Like a jelly donut. 
  • Kyle Doman – Specializes in canoe building
  • Kyle Rogers – He embodies the book “How To Win Friends and Influence People”
  • Tingle – Calling you Laura felt too weird. Probably stretching her right hip flexor somewhere. Always genuinely encouraging. 
  • Lila Donahue – Infectious smile
  • Lindsey Jenks – Listens to music that is embarrassing enough to keep it a secret from everyone for 2 years, and will buy shots if you ask. 
  • Lindsay Long – Bought a rubber spanking paddle as a gift for Secret Santa 
  • Lindsey Hartsfield – Loves ankle stretching. Says hi to you every-time she walks into the gym.
  • Lydia Phillips – Inspiring power-walking machine
  • Leticia Reyes – Kind, caring, welcoming, and warm
  • Lisa Doman – When I told her I was leaving she said “I feel like the rug has been ripped out from underneath me.” (aw) Your work ethic in the gym over the last year has been inspiring to watch. 
  • Laura Lochmann – Stellar sense of humor. Tied for 1st best female regionals teammate. 
  • Louis Stodiek – Dedicated CrossFitting aerospace engineer at the age of 60. #goals
  • Lydia Lavigne – Usually points out how hard workout is going to be, but always shows up and does the work. 
  • Maddy Mines – Prettiest squat clean in the gym
  • Maria Wik – Eric’s hair is beautiful 
  • MC Horgan – She once told me she felt like I was really watching when I coached. I appreciated that, and since then I have tried to hold that standard. Also, I listened to a podcast about a serial murderer in Alaska, please get yourself a home defense shotgun before you go. 
  • Matt Parker – Analytical dude who does things thoughtfully
  • Max Stock – We have jiu jitsu match scheduled for November 9, 2029.
  • Matt Gross – Told me my running form was bad. Accepted my 300 calorie interval bike challenge. 
  • Matt Seldin – Generous dude with a killer work ethic for fitness
  • Morgan Scott – Manages a lot. Mother, marathon runner, GSP owner, and busy business woman.
  • Matt Slaughter – *wide eyed stare deep into my soul* followed by “Hey buddy”
  • Melissa Schmierbach – I can always count on you to be the last person out of the bathroom and loves to negotiate mid-workout about shortening the workout. Also made a very handsome baby. 
  • Meg Guenther – Doesn’t take any crap from anyone
  • Meg Tufo – Never hear her complain about the music
  • Mike Aidala – You’re really strong and thanks for inviting me to your birthday party
  • Michael Butts – Great calves
  • Michael McGowan – Gives me financial advice and sh** for my push up form
  • Milton Jaimes – 2nd most stylish guy in the gym
  • Mitch Watkins – Deep soulful Louisiana accent. Coachable as heck and loves to go hard. 
  • Molly McCall – You’re the reason I have eucalyptus in my bathroom. 
  • Melissa Roza – Very busy mother and gym owner who dedicates her time to selflessly growing an orphanage in Haiti. 
  • Niki – Smallest lady, biggest heart
  • Nolan Parker – You’ll never replace me…. JK with those baby blues you’ll do just fine
  • Nicole Greenland – No one transitions between movements with more conviction than Nicole.
  • Peyton Maxhimer – If anything ever happens to Peyton. *insert entire Liam Neeson monologue from Taken here*
  • Paul Lipton – Name another old guy that lifts weights and rides motorcycles
  • Paul Sussman – Coffee buddies
  • Reed Pennell – Phenomenal Arnold Schwarzenegger impression. He’ll say he doesn’t want to do it for you, but he does. 
  • RJ McLennan – Keeps it real. Probably had a couple midterms this week and loves his “8am”
  • Rich Chenowith – Dependable endurance-r who is responsible for 100% of the DMB CDs I own. 
  • Riley McNamara – Will make eye contact with you in the middle of pull-ups
  • Robby Crew – We really should consider asking him to write all of the trap hypertrophy programming for the gym
  • Wags Wagner – Most disciplined dude I know. Has high expectations for the people he cares about and invests in their growth. Will help out even when it’s inconvenient and he introduced me to TOOL. 
  • Rory Korpela – Guaranteed to cheer you on the end of your workout with his big deep voice. 
  • Ryan Contillo – Ginger boy Contillo (said with soft I’s): Excellent jokes, but can’t even squat 400. 
  • Ryan Lewis – Sets a good example for his boys
  • Ryan Martin – The only thing that exceeds your height is your positive attitude
  • Sam Reid – Follows through on his word
  • Sam Jordaan – She’s the reason I set up an automatic payment of $50 into my Roth IRA
  • Sara Metzger –  Smart, independent and sticks to her guns. She’ll tell you how she feels too. Maybe it’s a Sara thing. 
  • Stacey Heronema – She’s just like Grace and Julie 
  • Sara Malang – Infatuated with dinosaurs, eclectic taste in music, not afraid to tell you how she feels. Don’t change the last one. 
  • Shayna Fontaine – When it doubt, hit some D-ball squats.
  • Scott Jeffords – Like Scott is now, I hope I’m just as fired up and disciplined to workout 20 years from now. 
  • Shawn Mauritz – Quiet man with a level head. Carries his own weight, and doesn’t ask for sympathy. 
  • Sini Bergius – Disciplined, quiet, great biceps
  • Sol Halpern – Male version of Julie Maximon
  • Steve Hatzis – Best dude to talk to: always makes you feel heard
  • Susan Twetten – Very good at crossword puzzles
  • Suzi Bahnsen – Can always count on you being “happy to be here”
  • Teresa Flannagan – Donated money to a charity and in exchange got a gift basket of coffee, and then gave me the entire gift basket.
  • Trish Gerlitz – Always first to answer when I pose an indirect question to the class. Strongly appreciated. 
  • Tom Ferland – When I asked what life was like after Justin left for college he said, “Sex, drugs, and rock and roll.” That was pretty cool. 
  • Tim McMurray – If you stick with the fitness track for long enough, you’ll eventually make it to performance. Sorry it took me so long to finally watch that Dan Akroyd movie. 
  • Tom Baker – Impressive ability to listen to people’s plights. Can dead-hang for like 4 minutes. 
  • Trina Ruhland – Astronomer, Lawyer, Mother, Athlete… I’m intimidated 
  • Tyler Edens – Probably the most handsome guy in the gym and current Operation BEEF athlete. (Tyler please leave your testimonial here.)
  • TJ Vondra – Call me things like ‘playa’ and ‘homie’. ½ of the reason for sweet, sweet Brody
  • Tyler Bingham – His entire athletic wardrobe is composed of orange and grey lacrosse gear. 
  • Ziad Alwazzann – Dives headfirst into workouts with little regard for his comfort level. 
  • Violeta Chapin – Told me to deny everything when questioned by the police. This is a thank you in advance, because there is no way this isn’t going to come in handy. 
  • Vanessa King – Clever woman raising a unicorn loving little girl with a sweet haircut. 
  • Vasco Chaves-Molina – I took a hot tub with one of his grad school professors
  • Zoe Warren –  I would like to adopt you as my little step sister, but if you do air karate at me one more time…

I guess that rounds out the sappiest thing I’ve ever written in my life. If you aren’t listed, I am genuinely sorry that you didn’t make a bigger impact on my life. Just kidding, thank you all.

Now watch this video, you turkeys. 

– Antonio

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