Success Stories Athletes

Athlete Success Stories

An athlete is somebody who sees and feels their journey within their heart.  An athlete understands that they place a high priority on their fitness endeavors.  An athlete is excited to put in the time when nobody is watching.  The stories of athletes don’t capture your attention because they ended atop the podium.  Their stories resonate with you because they sacrificed and fought tooth and nail to earn their ascent to the top.
OPEX and Coach Michael Bann has been an integral part of my physical, personal and professional growth. I believe people arrive just when you need them, this just so happens to be the OPEX community.

Live a Larger Life

Laura Dickerson

I had a friend with whom I was about equal skill level when it came to gymnastics movements. She had left our previous gym about 3 months before I did.  All was good until she posted a video of her doing 30 muscle ups for time in less than 15 minutes. At that point, I would’ve been ecstatic to complete 30 in 24 hours. I knew if I didn’t make a change in my training, my goals weren’t going to be reached. I reached out to OPEX and selected Mike Lee as my coach.


OPEX Athlete Laura Dickerson Clean and Jerking

Hank Carl

After training for a couple of years in the sport of CrossFt, trying to climb the ranks in the sport, I had a few of questions that would later lead me to OPEX.  I wondered, growing up as a runner could I really have been a better runner if I would have just trained at high intensities for every session?  Were my fourteen mile runs every Monday at an easy effort just a waste of time? 


OPEX Athlete Hank Cark

Gabrielle Andrews

I have been with OPEX since December of 2013. I knew after 2012 Regionals I needed to make a change in my training and I decided to go with OPEX. Going with James was the best decision I could have made and what has evolved from that decision I could have never dreamed. 


Marcus Filly

I’ve been working with OPEX in some form for over 6 years. From the Big Dawgs Blog, to CCP courses, to Athlete Coaching with James himself, I’ve always felt like I was getting the best the industry has to offer. OPEX was the foundation of my coaching education knowledge and therefore I couldn’t imagine practicing a different system for my own fitness. James Fitzgerald was my first coach for 3 years before switching to Mike Lee who I work with currently.


OPEX Athlete Marcus Filly

Chelsea Nicholas

Back in 2014, I competed on a team at the Northwest Regional.  It was a great experience but my ultimate goal was to compete as an individual.  That year I had placed 115th in the open.  Leading into the season I was training a lot but doing whatever I felt like; basically looking at several blogs each morning and picking the one that looked the most fun.  Clearly that wasn’t enough to achieve my goal so I started asking some of the individual competitors about their training. 


OPEX Athlete Chelsea Nicholas

Lindsay Marshall

I have always been drawn to OPT/OPEX since I discovered the big dawgs blog 4-5 years ago. Even after I no longer followed the blog, I still found myself at the website occasionally and following their athletes. The training was just so different from anything else I was seeing and the culture was something I knew I wanted to be a part of.


OPEX Athlete Lindsay Marshall

Andrew Rape

I began CrossFit in 2007, affiliated in 2008, and opened my gym in 2009. This comes along with the usual type of story you’d expect from a CrossFit gym: I was a firefighter before then and once I started the gym, it became my main focus.


OPEX Athlete Andrew Rape

Ashley Wagner

hen I first started OPEX I wasn’t sure where I wanted this to take me I just wanted to be better. And finally attack my weaknesses instead of continuing to run away from them. Was that scary? Yes! Do I regret it? Hell no!!!


OPEX Athlete Ashley Wagner

Nina Arezina

I was a CF Regional athlete that needed a more personal direction when it came to training.  I was a victim of following a few of the free online blogs for competitive athletes and was constantly overtrained when it came to competition time because it was based toward the general public and not towards my needs, weaknesses, abilities, body…etc.


OPEX Athlete Nina Arezina

Chris Daly

I’ve been with OPEX for over 4 years.  I started following the OPT Big Dawgs Blog and then found my way to individualize, remote coaching. As a CrossFit coach and trainer, OPEX made the most sense when I discovered it.


OPEX athlete Chris Daly

Kevin Schuetz

Everything that OPEX stands for resonates with me. I’ve always believed that there are optimal approaches to fitness, training and lifestyle in general. I have always been looking for better and better ways to approach these things and OPEX has greatly helped me improve all these aspects.  I am now working with Matt Bryant.  My goal when I first started with OPEX was to take my fitness to the highest level possible. My ultimate goal is to qualify for the CrossFit Games.