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Athlete of the Month

Rushmore Crossfit is proud to showcase their Athlete’s of the Month. These athletes are chosen by the coaches for showing determination, positive attitude, and love for Crossfit. Click on their photo to learn more. Photos by Lisa Buntrock Photography.

December 2017

When and how did you get started with RCF: February 2017. Melissa
(My sister in-law) was always telling me that I’d love CrossFit. I
hadn’t been working out since having kids so I needed to do
something for my health. Plus, my boys were clobbering me when
we’d wrestle, they were only 2 & 4 so I thought I better hit the
Occupation: West River Rep for the South Dakota Retailers
Age: 37
Favorite WOD: I like Chippers
Favorite Movie: This time of year…… Chevy Chase National
Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation!
Favorite Food: I love to eat!!!! Popcorn with Butter!!!
Goals (personal, professional, and CrossFit):
Personal: I always want to be a tidier person; my closet is out of
control! I would also love to get back into doing triathlons again.
Professional: I would love to connect with every business owner
West River and when I call the business owner says…..” I’m glad
you called, I’d love to join the Association! I love the mission of
SDRA and all the great things you guys are doing to keep this a
pro-business state!”
CrossFit: My goal with CrossFit is to be able to do all the
movements as prescribed without scaling the movement and then
work on my efficiency on the ones I can do. I would love to make
Snatches my favorite lift or something else like rowing that’s really
hard for me.
What time do you usually attend and what’s the best part about working
out with that group: I usually go to the noon or 3:30 class. Always a fun crew!
What’s in your most frequently used emoji tab? Upside down smile or
High 5!!!
What’s the first CD you ever bought– Not sure at all, probably “Jock
What’s the last thing you searched for on Google? What is a chipper?
You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and
why? Oh boy, I’d say that I would be the Kelly-green crayon. I
grew up a Lady Gov in Pierre and was a 3-sport athlete. It was
such a big part of my life growing up. I made lifelong friends with
teammates, coaches, parents, and competitors. I also learned
how to push myself and to be a competitor.
What is something we don’t know about you? I am having a
prophylactic double mastectomy in December. I have a genetic
mutation called BRCA2. This preventive surgery will greatly
reduce my risk of having cancer. AND I also tried out for the Trail
Blazers Dance team when I lived in Portland.
Advice to new members or someone looking to start CrossFit: Take it
easy on yourself. (Says the girl who had a full on adult tantrum my
first week in class) Seriously though, these movements take time
to learn. I would also say come and work out when the WOD
looks fun and come when the WOD has movements that you are
not comfortable doing. Go to different classes so that you can
work with all the coaches. The coaches are awesome!!! I always
learn something, even something little can make such a big
difference. When I started, my goal was to come 3-5 times a
week. Don’t feel intimidated, everyone has been there and are
rooting for you!!

November 2017

When and how did you get started with RCF?  I started in August of 2016. To be honest, I’m not sure what motivated me step through the doors of RCF. I think it’s because I had stopped consistently working out and I was looking for something to spur me to get back into shape. Whatever possessed me, I’m glad I did it.

Occupation:  Gas distribution engineer for Montana-Dakota Utilities

Age: 31

Favorite WOD:  Open 17.4 or Murph. I like the WODs that you read and think, “I’m not sure I can do that” and afterward, you crawl away proud of what you accomplished.

Favorite Movie:  I like to laugh, so I gravitate toward comedies, especially Mel Brooks movies

Favorite Food:  There are few things better than a perfectly grilled steak.

Goals (personal, professional, and CrossFit):

Personal:  To be a husband and father that my family is proud of.

Professional:  To be promoted to senior engineer in the next year.

CrossFit:  To perform all of the Rx movements proficiently. It’d also be awesome to snatch 200+ pounds –  I’ve got a lot of mobility & technique work to do…

What time do you usually attend and what’s the best part about working out with that group?  I’m usually at the noon class. They are a positive, encouraging group of people, and there are some incredible athletes that work out over the lunch hour – it’s motivating to work out with them.

What’s in your most frequently used emoji tab?

Face with stuck-out tongue and winking eye

What’s the first CD you ever bought?  Chris LeDoux, The Ultimate Collection

What’s the last thing you searched for on Google?  Things to do in Vegas during the NFR

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why? A warm gray (insert “not the brightest crayon in the box” joke here). I’m at home working hard in the background and like to help others shine brighter.

What is something we don’t know about you? I used to be a distance runner. I’ve run the Bataan Memorial Death March marathon three times and both the full and half marathon on the Mickelson Trail.

Advice to new members or someone looking to start CrossFit: Give it an honest try. Show up consistently for a month or two and you’ll never look back. It’s a great community of people, it’s fun, and you’ll feel great.

October 2017

When and how did you get started with RCF: I started at RCF in February 2017. I was looking for more of a challenge and structure in an exercise program than what I had previously experienced, which typically consisted of me trying to figure it out on my own in a standard gym setting. I was intimidated to join at first but after a few workouts with Adam, I decided to try it out. At first I was only here to get in shape but it’s been so much more than a good workout; I have made amazing friends, learned how far I can push myself, and discovered what my body and mind are capable of accomplishing.
Occupation:  Probation Officer
Age: 27
Favorite WOD: I can’t think of my favorite WOD ever but I like anything with burpees, box jumps, running/rowing/biking, or deadlifts… mainly because I don’t have to think too hard about the movement 😛
Favorite Movie: I’m more of a TV show person – The Office, Parks & Rec, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black. If I had to pick a favorite movie, I’d probably pick Mean Girls or Pineapple Express.
Favorite Food: 
 Grapes. Or jelly beans. Better yet: grape-flavored jelly beans.
Goals (personal, professional, and CrossFit):
Personal:  My personal goals are to travel the world, read all the books I can, study meditation and yoga, and become fluent in French.
Professional: I have a lot of ideas for what I want to do professionally but haven’t narrowed it down yet to one thing. 
I will be graduating with my Master’s in Public Administration in December of 2018. After that, I may pursue another degree and become a professor or find a job in public administration, preferably policy making in the criminal justice sector with an emphasis in alcohol and drugs/addiction.
CrossFit:  My main goal in CrossFit is to be able to do all the Rx movements. To get there, my short-term goals are to get stronger by eating well and taking care of myself, maintain consistency in number of workouts each week, and to keep pushing myself out of my comfort zone.
What time do you usually attend and what’s the best part about working out with that group: Recently I have been attending the 5:30 classes after work because of my schedule this semester. Usually these classes are quite large in number but there is always a lot of energy and positive vibes. I like attending classes I’m not usually at every once in a while just to see new people and experience different coaching styles.
What’s in your most frequently used emoji tab? The upside down smiley face.
What’s the first CD you ever bought? Britney Spears. Still have it in my car. You never know when you’ll need some throwback Britney.
What’s the last thing you searched for on Google? “Curry and LeBron’s tweets at Trump.” Probably my favorite thing ever.
You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why? Overthinking Orange. Because I overthink everything, including this question.
What is something we don’t know about you?  Drinking used to be an integral part of my lifestyle but I decided to quit 5 months ago for reasons too complicated to discuss here. It’s truly been the hardest but most gratifying thing I’ve ever done for myself and my well-being.
Advice to new members or someone looking to start CrossFit: The only way you can get better is to put yourself in situations that are outside of your comfort zone. Fear is an indicator that you’re doing something right. Also, embrace failure; it’s unavoidable when you try something new. As my favorite blogger/writer Holly Whitaker says, “The only thing to be scared of is not trying something in the first place. To evolve, we must dare to fail.”

September 2017

When and how did you get started with RCF

I started Rushmore Crossfit in April of 2014.  Shelly Pfisterer asked me if I’d do it with her.

Occupation:   I was once a high school speech/debate teacher, but now I own and manage Skyemad Properties.  I have apartments and commercial properties.

Age:  54

Favorite WOD: I like WOD’s with situps and kettle bells, everything else is hard!  But I like all of them once they’re done!

Favorite MovieI love movies.  So many.  One favorite is “It’s Complicated”

Favorite Food: Pork Carnitas Tacos (ask me and I’ll give you a great recipe)

Goals (personal, professional, and CrossFit): 

Personal:   I’m going to lump all of these together.  I love having an active lifestyle and I want to continue to hike, surf, and crossfit for many more decades.  My husband and I love to travel and I am lucky that I can do my job from anywhere.  I want to remain healthy and have fun.


What time do you usually attend and what’s the best part about working out with that group  I love working out at the 8:30 time.  Everyone is so friendly and supportive.  I’m much more motivated to work out in the morning.  I have great respect for those that workout after a long day at work.

What’s in your most frequently used emoji tab?  Crying Laugh Face

What’s the first CD you ever bought  Wow, that was a long time ago.  My favorite singer when I was in high school was David Bowie (and it was a cassette, not CD!)

What’s the last thing you searched for on Google? What can I do to get rid of wrinkles around my mouth. LOL.

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?  Sunflower Yellow.  I just love that color and it makes me happy.

What is something we don’t know about you?   I took up surfing when I turned 40.  Since then, I have surfed in the following places:  California, Oregon, Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Barbados, Ireland, Portugal, Australia, and New Zealand. 

Advice to new members or someone looking to start CrossFit:   Really commit to coming regularly the first month.  You’ll be super sore and maybe intimidated by the weightlifting, but after one month you will be hooked.

August 2017

When and how did you get started with RCF ~ I started at RCF July 2015. I had my first
baby a year before and I was looking for something to get me back in shape. In the past
I would go to gyms and workout on my own but had difficulty getting motivated. My
friend Lee Hanssen convinced me to join him to a class and I have been hooked ever
Occupation: I am a Registered Nurse and used to work in the ER at RCRH and teach at
SDSU. Then I started to raise, and train barrel horses and compete on them. I am a full
time Mom of 3 year old Oliver and 3 month old Alex.
Favorite WOD: I love Deck The Halls (we go through a deck of cards with a partner) I
think it’s festive and fun!
Favorite Movie ~ I am more into TV series and really liked Breaking Bad and Grey’s
Favorite Food: PIZZA!
Goals (personal, professional, and CrossFit):
Personal: To be the best Mom I can be!
Professional: To compete in barrel racing again!
CrossFit: To Rx each day always makes me feel great all day afterwards!
What time do you usually attend and what’s the best part about working out with that
group ~ I am normally at the 8:30AM class, love to get the workout done in the morning
so I can feel good for the rest of the day. I am always in a better mood after being there.
I have made some really good friends in the morning class and feel it also aides to a
social hour with adults!
What’s in your most frequently used emoji tab? Happy Face!
What’s the first CD you ever bought ~ I don’t really remember, but back then I had
anything from rock to country
What’s the last thing you searched for on Google? How to deal with a toddler, LOL!!!
You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why? Dark Blue,
always has been my favorite color
What is something we don’t know about you? I play texas Holdem Poker and have been
to Vegas many times with my husband to play in big games. I also am a hunter and
have shot an alligator with a bow and arrow and a caribou with a gun in AK.
Advice to new members or someone looking to start CrossFit: This has been by far the
best thing I could have ever done for myself. Not only do you get yourself stronger
mentally and physically but you get a second family out of RCF. Every person that I
have met in the gym is happy and motivated to push and cheer you on to become
better. I love this place!

July 2017

When and how did you get started with RCF?  I started at Rushmore Crossfit in January of 2017. I had been doing crossfit for a few years, but I wanted to change my routine.

Occupation: I am a 7th grade ELA teacher at Douglas Middle School.

Age: 45

Favorite WOD: Fight Gone Bad

Favorite Movie: The Devil Wears Prada

Favorite Food: anything sweet

Goals (personal, professional, and CrossFit): Personal: My personal goals are to continue to focus on the good parts of my life and to not worry about things I cannot control.

Professional: My professional goal is to survive another 12 years as a public school teacher.

CrossFit: My crossfit goals are to continue with the sport for as long as I can and to connect 10 double unders. (Ok, maybe just 2)

What time do you usually attend and what’s the best part about working out with that group? During the school year, I’m a 4:30 regular. This summer I’ve been going to the 6:00 a.m. class. The 6:00 a.m. is usually a smaller group than the 4:30, but both groups are fun to work out with.

What’s in your most frequently used emoji tab? My most frequently used Emoji tab is the smiling face with the tongue out.

What’s the first CD you ever bought? I think it was The Counting Crows.

What’s the last thing you searched for on Google? The last thing I searched on Google probably had something to do with shopping.

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why? I would be ocean blue because I like to just go with the flow.

What is something we don’t know about you? I’m a classic introvert. Give me a good book or movie and a few close friends and I am set.

Advice to new members or someone looking to start CrossFit: Crossfit can seem intimidating, but it really is for everyone. Show-up and don’t cherry pick your workouts. Every time you attend a class, you are improving in some way.

June 2017

When and how did you get started with RCF?

I started with the Gym in February after dropping in a few times in January. I had always wanted to be a part of a gym and due to my job it wasn’t going to happen unless the class times worked out. When I saw the 0500 class at RCF I knew it was a perfect fit!


Aircraft Maintenance Officer, USAF



Favorite WOD?

I like the long grinder WODs, 95lbs or less with some body weight/gymnastics/burpees. The ones that really suck but you feel great about in the end. Also, Hero WODs are great (especially MURPH). I think my role in the military just makes me feel closer to them.

Favorite Movie?

Tommy Boy, Talladega Nights, We Were Soldiers…

Favorite Food?

Christmas Dinner (I’m a proud Norwegian Minnesotan)


Personal: I want to read more and spend more quality time with my kids. Work gets in the way, or I let it get in the way. I’d also like to shoot a huge Bull Elk/Mt. Goat someday, they’re on my bucket list!

Professional: I’m starting a new job on June 1st so really I just don’t want to get fired! Hoping to be selected for Major this summer and maybe command a squadron in a few years.

Crossfit:  Get to know more gym members I haven’t met yet! Ring Muscle ups, string bar muscle ups, clean 200lbs, Snatch 175lbs

What time do you usually attend and what’s the best part about working out with that group?

I’ve been a little all over the map since our daughter Oakleigh was born which has been great for meeting more people however I’m most at home with the 0500 crew. It’s a great group of dedicated folks who smoke and joke right up until we hear 3..2..1.. GO! Then we get after it! Except Stephen, his attitude is the worst; )

 What’s your most frequently used emoji tab?



What’s the first CD you ever bought?

Garth Brooks / The Hits

What’s the last thing you searched for on Google?

Black Hand Thumbs Up emoji… Or Medora North Dakota Camping

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?

Cash-Money Green, because I always buy in all the way…

What’s something we don’t know about you?

The only thing I’d rather do than spend time with my family is hunt, I love being in the woods/hills at sunup looking for antlers or freezing my butt off chasing coyotes.

Advice to new members or someone looking to start CrossFit?

Just walk through the door OR just keep walking through the door. I read once that the biggest transformation isn’t necessarily to your body but rather to your brain. You’ll make amazing friends, learn to push yourself beyond what you think you can do, learn to appreciate what your body is capable of, and become part of an amazingly supportive and caring community! (oh yeah, and you’ll look and feel great too)



May 2017

When and how did you get started with RCF? I started at RCF in February after attending Colter’s Lifting Clinic. I really respected that the coaches were dedicated and invested in helping their members in their CrossFit journey. It seemed like to cool place to be….and indeed it has been!

Occupation: NICU nurse…soon to be Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (3 months to go…but who’s counting)


Favorite WOD: I enjoy the chipper style workouts, but I really want to be strong. So I am learning to love the heavy weights

Favorite Movie: The Sandlot

Favorite Food: Bacon

Goals (personal, professional, and CrossFit):

Personal: Embrace self-love

Professional: Survive Graduate School

CrossFit: Give 100%, trust the process, and hope to see improvements.

What time do you usually attend and what’s the best part about working out with that group? 0830: Everyone is always so positive and kind and encouraging.

What’s in your most frequently used emoji tab? A turtle?! Most likely in response to how fast I run or the way people drive.

What’s the first CD you ever bought? I think it was USHER….ahahahahaha!

What’s the last thing you searched for on Google? Beach vacation hot spots…day dreaming of “Grad School completion” trips.

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why? Scarlet: To me, the color red, signifies strength and confidence and passion. All things I hope to embody.

What is something we don’t know about you? I am not as shy and quiet as most think. It just takes me a bit of time to be comfortable in new environments.

Advice to new members or someone looking to start CrossFit: Trust the journey. Although it’s scary and challenging, pushing past comfort zones is SO rewarding.

April 2017

When and how did you get started with RCF?
C.- I started at Rushmore Crossfit shortly after we moved back to Rapid City from Denver. I had started CrossFit at a small gym while living there, and I wanted to continue when we came back to SD. Eventually, I convinced Kyle to give it a try, and he was hooked!
K. – Chelsey talked me into it- 2015

C.- I am a Registered Nurse at Rapid City Regional Hospital in Pre Op/Recovery, and am currently in Grad School to become a Nurse Practitioner.
K. – Rapid Fire Protection

C. – 30 yrs old
K. – 31 yrs

Favorite WOD:
C. Partner WODs or Murph
K. Anything with pistols

Favorite Movie:
C. The Big Lebowski
K. probably the same as Chelsey

Favorite Food:
C. Tacos

Goals (personal, professional, and CrossFit):

C. – Continue learning and doing new things
K. – Be kind to others and stay healthy

C. Survive Graduate school and practice here in Rapid City
K.- Make sprinklers great again

C. Keep pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. Getting better at Hand stand pushups and snatches are goals of mine
K. – Don’t get hurt!

What time do you usually attend and what’s the best part about working out with that group?
C. I have ZERO consistency with my varied work hours and school! I typically come in the afternoon or the 0830 class. I attend pretty much anything except the 0500/0600 classes…I’m not a fan of working out that early….hahaha
K. – Inconsistent for the most part. I enjoy the 6:00am class. The group is relatively small, laid back, and awesome

What’s in your most frequently used emoji tab?
C. Well, that’s a tough one. I would have to say the thumbs up…or the beer mug
K. not a big emoji user

What’s the first CD you ever bought?
C. Green Day – Dookie
K. Garth Brooks….I think

What’s the last thing you searched for on Google?
C. Super boring, but how to format part of a research paper
K. Friction loss of fire hose

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?
C. Sunshine yellow….(if that’s not already an option)..I’m ready for nicer weather
K – Is sunrise a color? If not I would be sunrise.

What is something we don’t know about you?
C. I have an identical twin named Kelsey
K – I have ridiculously terrible eye sight.

Advice to new members or someone looking to start CrossFit:
C. Keep pushing yourself and get out of your comfort zone. It is the only way to grow! You will have a community of great people there with you every step of the way to guide and encourage you. Don’t be afraid to start because everyone was new at one point in time.
K – check the pride at the door

March 2017

When and how did you get started with RCF? I started December 2015 because my wife made me.

Occupation: Financial Advisor

Age: 38

Favorite WOD: Any partner WOD

Favorite Movie: Dazed and Confused

Favorite Food: Pizza

Goals (personal, professional, and CrossFit):

Personal: Try to be a better person every day

Professional: Continue to enjoy the balance of work and play!

CrossFit: To be more like Ryan Hansen😂😂

What time do you usually attend and what’s the best part about working out with that group? Noon class because it’s a cool group of people.

What’s in your most frequently used emoji tab? 👍

What’s the first CD you ever bought? Biz Markie?

What’s the last thing you searched for on Google? Steamboat snow conditions.

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why? I have no idea how to answer that.

What is something we don’t know about you? Chasity and I spent 10 years in NY/NJ where I worked on the New York Stock Exchange.

Advice to new members or someone looking to start CrossFit: Give it a month and you’ll be hooked.

February 2017

When and how did you get started with RCF?

November 2016, thanks to Allison Wiley. I was going to another gym and wasn’t getting the results I wanted anymore. I felt stuck.

Occupation: Cardiac Nurse

Age: 37

Favorite WOD: Filthy 50

Favorite Movie: Dirty Dancing

Favorite Food: NY style pizza, huge slice, folded in half

Goals (personal, professional, and CrossFit):

Personal: to consistently be the encouraging influence in someone’s day

Professional: to obtain my Master’s degree in nursing

CrossFit: to stay healthy and master kipping pull-ups

What time do you usually attend and what’s the best part about working out with that group?

5am always!! They are all such awesome motivators and of course, Allison and I’s “white girl dance for time”

What’sin your most frequently used emoji tab?

Eye rolling or middle finger

What’s the first CD you ever bought?

Def Leppard Hysteria

What’s the last thing you searched for on Google?

Paleo recipes for dinner

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?

Summer grass…. it’s so bright, happy, and I’m really sick of winter.

What is something we don’t know about you? I’m a left handed only child.

Advice to new members or someone looking to start CrossFit:”don’t listen to anyone or ask too many questions, just start!”

January 2017

When and how did you get started with RCF?
-I started on ramp the first week in October of 2015. I just walked in one day and started asking questions.

Occupation: Automotive Tire, Lube, Express Department Manager at your friendly neighborhood Wal-Mart.

Age: 28

Favorite WOD: Anything that doesn’t involve the bike. Lol

Favorite movie: Princess Mononoke

Favorite food: Phó and pizza.

(Personal, professional, crossfit)

Personal: To get down to 15-18% body fat by the end of the year.
Professional: To work for and towards a better career.
Crossfit: To get my strict pull-ups down

What time do you usually attend and what’s the best part about working out with that group? 6:30 class. The best part about the late class is that it’s usually pretty small and we can get a little more coaching advice than bigger classes.

What’s in your most frequently used emoji tab? 😂😎👊🏼

What’s the first CD you ever bought?

What’s the last thing you searched for on google?
A Day to Remember

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?
I’d probably be transparent, because it doesn’t even matter what color I am, it’s what’s on the inside that counts!!! 😀

What is something we don’t know about you?
I played Softball for 6 years and was a band geek.

Advice to new members or someone looking to start crossfit:
Come every day no matter what because you’re stronger than you think. Everyone has to start somewhere.

December 2016

Member Since: April 2016

Occupation: Studying mechanical engineering
Age: 24
Favorite Quote: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose” – Jim Elliot,
Titus 2:11-15
Favorite: Movie: I don’t sit still long enough to watch many movies, but I enjoy a movie that makes me think. Liked watching Inception, The Prestige etc. 
Favorite Music: Been on a Citizens & Saints and We are the Messengers kick lately. This time of year I really like the Pentatonix Christmas stuff. I can find something to appreciate about most music. 
Favorite Food: Tacos, Pizza…I’m a pretty simple eater, like things pretty plain. If I could live on ice-cream, I would probably try to do that…
Favorite WOD: Don’t really have a favorite, but Murph for the first time this year was a great workout to fight through and experience with everyone. 
Personal: 2 Peter 1:5-8
Professional: Finish my degree, then be dedicated while remembering the quote from above. 
CrossFit: Continue to focus on efficiency. I would love be proficient at double-unders and butterfly pull-ups.
Achievements: One time I used a whole tube of chapstick without it going through the washing machine. 
Hobbies and Interests: I love to be outside. Biking and skiing are what I enjoy most. 
Something we don’t know about you: Hmmm, there are probably many things, ask whatever you want to know!
Advice to new members or someone looking to start CrossFit: If you want increased health, strength, endurance, and flexibility, it works. CrossFit is not about drinking the Koolaid, but being consistent and persistent. The combination of coaching, physical environment, and group encouragement make staying healthy and meeting goals a joy. Don’t base your opinion on the internet (or even what I say), come and try it for yourself. 
New members, don’t get blinded by your goals, but enjoy the process of improvement. Never stop learning. Take time to encourage each other. 

November 2016

Member Since: December 2015

Occupation:  Wellness Center Coordinator and Intramural Director at SD Mines
Age: 26
Favorite Quotes: “Strong People are Harder to Kill and More Useful in General” “Variety is the spice of life”
Favorite: Movie: Harry Potter, Lord of The Rings, Monty Python, Les Miserables, Star Wars…. Seasonal
Favorite Music: Pearl Jam…. #NoonBeats (I created this Chris)
Favorite: Food: Pancakes and Bacon…..Seasonal
Favorite WOD: Anything but running
Personal: I WILL have a French Bulldog 
Professional: Finish my Master’s Degree within 2 years
CrossFit: Open SD Top 50 
Achievements: Lost 25lbs in 6 months
Hobbies and Interests: Hiking, watching Netflix/Movies, Crossfit, golfing
Something we don’t know about you: I want to sing in a Christmas choir ensemble 
Advice to new members or someone looking to start CrossFit: Don’t be afraid to try something new. Don’t quit!

October 2016

Lisa Buntrock Athlete Bio

29yr old
Member since:
Lifestyle Photographer
Words to Live By:
Crossfit: “The Magic is in the MOVEMENTS, The Art is in the PROGRAMMING, The Science is in the EXPLANATION & The FUN is in the COMMUNITY”-Greg Glassman
Life: “Everything happens for a reason, and though you may not understand it right now, you will eventually.”
Current Personal Mantra: “Do more of what makes you happy, F everything else!”
Favorite Movie:
White Christmas..or any old black and white movie for that matter. 
Favorite Music:
Dave Matthews Band 
Frank Sinatra
Favorite Food:
Mashed Potatoes hands down! Otherwise really any good home cooking always hits the spot. 
Favorite WOD:
Filthy 50- Just have to get down and dirty and grind it out! 
Personal Goals:
Take one adventure at a time. 
I’d love to say my goal is to worry less but if these last 9months of pregnancy have taught me anything it’s that you can never not worry a little. So I want to focus on being in the present every single day. No two days are the same and you have but 24 hours to piece each moment together to create something so special. Not everyone gets that freedom or opportunity.   
Professional goal:
I want to continue to grow, learn and develop my business and skill set to share with others. This next year will be about balancing my drive to be out in the community locally and regionally documenting adventures while having my little one in tow.  
CrossFit Goal:
Keep form in the fore front of all my work. Stay humble but driven. Keep setting small goals to accomplish in the bigger picture of a WOD or movement. But what I’m looking forward to most is seeing how the work I’ve done for the last 9months has developed me physically and mentally for accomplishments post pregnancy. 
Hobbies and interests:
Anything that gets me outdoors obviously and staying active because I don’t sit still well…hiking, running, backpacking, snowboarding, camping and golfing with my hubby of course. If I’m stuck inside I’m usually baking or scheming for a future travel plans. 
Some days it’s just remembering where I put my car keys or if I put deodorant on when I left the house…..
It’s not perfect but what I’m most proud of is my relationship with my with my husband. He’s allowed me to always stay true to myself in my career, crossfit and through this process of growing our little nugget. 
Something we don’t know about you:
Some day I’d like to be a AGMA certified backcountry split board guide. 
Advice to new members or someone looking to start CrossFit:
Check your ego at the door when you walk in. Everyone started somewhere and uses CrossFit for different reasons. Don’t give up or give in, just ask for help and be patient with yourself. I’ve never been in a place where you can walk in the door just to do something for yourself but be apart of something bigger.

September 2016
Member Since: June 2016
Occupation: Student, Senior at Stevens High School
Age: 18
Favorite Quote: Keep Trying
Favorite: Movie: How to Train Your Dragon II
Favorite Music: Elvis
Favorite: Food:  Pizza
Favorite WOD: Box Steps
Personal:  Finish School and someday have an apartment with a weight room and a disco ball.
CrossFit:  20 push ups
Achievements: 3 Varsity Letters and gaining self confidence to work independently.  
Hobbies and Interests:   Swimming, drawing, dance, power-lifting, Cross Fit and RUSH Hockey.  
Something we don’t know about you:  Performed in 2 plays through Black Hills Works “OSITY” and “ABLE” that will be televised on SD PBS.
Advice to new members or someone looking to start CrossFit:  Practice Practice Practice

August 2016

Member Since: May 2016

Occupation: Administrative Assistant
Favorite Quote: Nothing is impossible the word itself says I’m possible!
Favorite: Movie: Dirty Dancing
Favorite Music:All but favorite group- Sublime
Favorite: Food Avocados
Favorite WOD: Tabattas 
Personal: To be the best mom to my kids and be the strong woman I know I can be! 
Professional: own my own business
CrossFit: HSPU DU T2B
Achievements: To finally accept and love myself for who I am and embrace it! (I owe that to my CF family) 
Hobbies and Interests: Crossfit, Running, 
Something we don’t know about you: I wanted to be a teacher
Advice to new members or someone looking to start CrossFit:


Try your hardest and don’t give up! We are all here to support you in your goals and if you ever feel like giving up we are all here to cheer you on! 

July 2016

Occupation: Network Administrator

Age: 30

Favorite Quote: “Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing, moderation is for cowards.” Frogman’s Ballad (Navy Seals)

Favorite: Movie: The Labyrinth

Favorite Music: Rise Against

Favorite: Food: Sushi

Favorite WOD: Murph


Personal: To continue improving as an athlete, father, and husband.

Professional: Finish my degree in Networking and Security and eventually oversee security operations for a major firm.

CrossFit: Get HSPU’s and Double Unders.

Achievements: Losing over 100 lbs. and quitting smoking.

Hobbies and Interests: Hiking, Fishing, Billiards, and Video Games.

Something we don’t know about you: I am a licensed Piercist.

Advice to new members or someone looking to start CrossFit: Ask all the questions, we are family no need to be shy!

June 2016

Occupation:Behavioral Psych Tech

Age: 26

Favorite Quote: ” Band aids dont fix bullet holes” – T Swift (Circa J Bauer)

Favorite: Movie: The Goonies

Favorite Music: Blink 182

Favorite: Food: Pizza and Tacos

Favorite WOD: Murph



Professional: Become my own boss.

CrossFit: Figure out double unders down and compete in a competition

Achievements: Collegiate All-American

Hobbies and Interests: Snowboarding, Rock Climbing, Hiking, and Mountain biking.

Something we don’t know about you: I used to make fun of cross fitters, Now I am one.

Advice to new members or someone looking to start CrossFit: Try It before you knock it.

May 2016

Member Since: July 2015

Occupation: I work at Napa
Age: 23
Favorite Quote: “Live life to the fullest, and focus on the positive.”
Favorite: Movie: The Conjuring
Favorite Music: Rock
Favorite: Food: Cheeseburgers!
Favorite WOD: My favorite WOD was the one we did for Halloween.
Personal: To become more active outside of work and CrossFit.
Professional: I want to be the best employee that I know I can be. 
CrossFit: To be a better athlete than I was yesterday. And try not skip classes that much.
Achievements: Right now, I would have to say becoming a crossfitter.
Hobbies and Interests: Watching horror movies, going to the races, and I have a bad shopping habit.
Something we don’t know about you: I love dirt track racing!! Almost every Friday night during the summer I’ll be at BH Speedway. Sometimes I’ll go back East for the races in Huron.
Advice to new members or someone looking to start CrossFit: Just try it out. You may actually like it. Everyone is really friendly and nice. Most of all EVERYONE is encouraging. It’s a good way to make new friends. 

April 2016

Member Since: March 2015

Occupation: Registered Nurse, working in the ER

Age: 41

Favorite Quote: Life without ups and down…means you’re dead

Favorite: Movie: The Blind Side

Favorite Music: Enjoy all music

Favorite: Food: Asian, BBQ

Favorite WOD: Can’t really say that I have a favorite


Personal: Always put my marriage first, teach my children to be good human beings, keep life fun and never stop laughing.

Professional: I just started Grad School, I’m looking forward to being done and starting a new chapter in life as a Nurse Practitioner.

CrossFit: Keep myself injury free and always make it fun

Achievements: my children! I have 3 amazing kids, my biggest goal in life is that my children are smart, happy and healthy. My son is 22, in college working on becoming a Doctor. My oldest daughter is 17, already graduate high school and will be heading to college in CO this summer. My baby girl is 12, a 7th grader and busy being a pre-teen. I am so proud!

Hobbies and Interests: Wake Surfing, Stand up Paddle Boarding, Kayaking and Dance

Something we don’t know about you: I have cabin at Angustora that I like to call “my little slice of heaven” I spend as much time as I can there in the summer and encourage all my friends to come play. You never need an invitation just wear your party pants!

Advice to new members or someone looking to start CrossFit: Do it!! I was terrified because I was so out of shape and overweight and so thankful I did.


March 2016

AOM_Hansens-4This month’s Athlete of the Month’s, is really Athlete’s of the Month. Ryan and Melissa have been here since the day Rushmore CrossFit opened.

Ryan and Melissa are always the first to introduce and welcome new faces, they are always so supportive and encouraging to everyone who walk in the door. Over the last 2 years we’ve watched Henry and Frankie grow up at the gym, as well as see Melissa workout through her pregnancy with Winnie, and see her turn 1 last month. Henry and Frankie are now in CrossFit Kids, and Winnie won’t be too far behind! We think the Hansen’s truly live by their favorite quote, “Work Hard, Play Hard.”


Member Since:
The first day Rushmore CrossFit opened! Thanks Heather!

Ryan: Physical Therapist
Melissa: Stay at home mom plus a little work at Hansen PT

Age: both 34.

Favorite Quote:
Hmmm… We both don’t really have one. I guess “work hard, play hard!”

Favorite: Movie:
Ryan: “The Departed”
Melissa: “Goonies”… Know about every line

Favorite Music:
Alternative rock, 80’s anything, rap when the kids aren’t in the car, really anything but country… But even that is growing on us.

Favorite Food:
Ryan: Melissa’s cooking
Melissa: avocados, rice

Favorite WOD:
Filthy Fifty


Ryan: climb and travel more
Melissa: Eat cleaner- envious of all of you that have that figured out. Also to get to know God better each day through his words.

Ryan: balancing all of his hobbies with work and family. He keeps busy!

Keep having fun while staying in shape and injury free.

Best achievements are our 3 kids Henry, Frankie, and Gwendolyn. We feel very blessed.

Hobbies and Interests:
Snow skiing/boarding, rock climbing, golfing, hiking, mountain biking, biking with kids, reading
Melissa: all of above plus organizing, cleaning, decorating/designing, and yard work (I know I am a little atypical here)

Something we don’t know about you:
Ryan and I met at SDSU our sophomore year the first week of school… But I knew of Ryan Hansen in grade school because whenever Pierre would play Rapid City in traveling team basketball tournaments, my friends would say they thought Ryan was “hot” and had “nice calves”. Those calves didn’t let me down 10 years later.

Advice to new members or someone looking to start CrossFit:
The family is worth it alone. Such great people that you will become so close to!

February 2016

February Athlete of the Month is Nikki W! Nikki is humble and very STRONG! She is constantly improving her movements and working towards her goals. She recently accomplished her goal of kipping pull-ups and has been able to do them consistently during WODS. She always shows up ready to work hard and is friendly and positive. When she’s not at the gym she is running or volunteering in the community. Her normal class time is 8:30 AM and is inspiring many!


Member Since: Started CrossFit in February 2015, came to Rushmore CrossFit in October 2015.

Occupation: Home Management Specialist ~AKA~ Mom

Age: 36

Favorite Quote: Don’t stop when you’re tired. Stop when you’re done!

Favorite Movie: Sweet Home Alabama

Favorite Music: Country

Favorite: Food: Tacos

AOM-FebFavorite WOD: Hmmm.. I really like them all (even the ones with burpees) because each one brings a different challenge.. But if I have to pick just one it would be Kelly.


Personal: I hope to be the best mom and role model I can be for my kids. I want them to see what can be achieved in life with hard work, determination, dedication & a positive attitude.
My running goal is to complete a full marathon by the end of this year.
My life goal is to stay physically fit and active so I can live a long and healthy life.

CrossFit: My CrossFit goals.. Well that is a rather long list as there is so much I am not able to do yet.. Double unders, ring dips & strict pull-ups just to name a few…I know that I can not complete these all in one day and it will take time and patience! But I will get there!

Achievements: My most recent & exciting CF achievement was being able to do a pull-up…
My running achievements, after months of training were completing my first 10k (summer 2015) & my first 1/2 marathon (Fall 2015).

Hobbies and Interests: I like quilting when I have time. Most of all I like outdoor activities with the family.. Hiking, shooting, going for bike rides, walks & of course a good run!

Something we don’t know about you:
I am a military wife of 17 years.. I’ve been a stay at home mom for the last 8. Our family is always on the go! I’m a soccer & basketball mom, a key spouse for my husband’s squadron, parent volunteer for my kids sports teams & volunteer for the feeding SD backpack program. If I’m not running I’m at CrossFit & if I’m not at CrossFit I am running. The best part of life is family time and cuddling with my kids on movie night!

Advice to new members or someone looking to start CrossFit:
Don’t be afraid to give CrossFit a try! You never know you might just Love it! If you want to be part of an amazing community of athletes & coaches, with workouts that are both fun and challenging but never boring you are definitely in the right place!!

Strength doesn’t come from what you can’t do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t! So don’t be afraid to give it a try!

January 2016
Lauren Brandt: Lauren Brandt

Lauren Brandt: Lauren Brandt

January Athlete of the Month is Lauren Brandt. Lauren has a goal of WODing until her due date in February. Lauren shows up and is always positive about working out. If you haven’t been to a class with Lauren, she usually WOD’s at 4:30PM, she’s found ways to modify most movements. We love her drive to have a healthy pregnancy. We can’t wait for Baby Girl Brandt to make her appearance and be a future CrossFitter with her mom.

Member Since: Rushmore Crossfit since Spring 2015, however I started Crossfit in 2013

Occupation: Physical Therapist

Age: 27

Favorite Quote: “Surround yourself with those who make you happy!”

Favorite: Movie: Any love story…

Favorite Music: Country

Favorite Food: Peanut Butter

Favorite WOD: 12 Days of Christmas


Personal: I have been trying to stress less. Being a perfectionist, that is not always the easiest, however stress is no good for the body!

Professional: To continue to make my patients’ lives less painful and more enjoyable by helping them stay mobile and active.

CrossFit: Currently my main goal at the gym is to return to my previous level (and hopefully stronger, more PRs, etc) after I have this baby!!

Achievements: Graduating with my Doctorate of Physical Therapy and having a job i really enjoy each day!

Hobbies and Interests: Other than exercising (running and Crossfit), I really enjoy traveling and cooking/baking!

Something we don’t know about you: I married my high school sweetheart, we are both from Iowa and have already moved across the country twice! (To Texas and now to South Dakota)

Advice to new members or someone looking to start CrossFit: Don’t give up!! It’s going to be hard at first, that’s a given, however stick with it and keep in mind you can modify everything! (I’m 8 months pregnant and still doing WODs but with lots of modifications!)

December 2015
Michelle Ell

Michelle Ell

December 2015 Athlete of the Month is Michelle Ell! Michelle started in June during one of our first On Ramp classes and the improvements she has made since that day have been awesome! Michelle is always positive about the workouts no matter how hard they may look, and she has quite the humorous personality. Her favorite movement is a burpee, just kidding!  Michelle is usually here in the evening, at 5:30PM, maybe once in awhile at 5:30am if she misses a workout, she likes to keep her routine!

Here’s Michelle’s Bio-

Member Since: June 2015

Occupation: Advertising Consultant with Midcontinent

Age: 54 soon to be 55

Favorite Quote: The Pain You Feel Today Will Be The Strength You Feel Tomorrow.

Favorite: Movie: I like a good love story a couple favorites are The Notebook and Silver Linings Playbook

Favorite Music: Country

Favorite: Food: Seafood

Favorite WOD: Most Recently Battle Buddy in honor of Sergeant Colton Levi Derr

Personal Goals: To stress less and to take more time to do the things I love

Professional Goals: To continue to help local businesses be seen and grow their business with effective marketing

CrossFit Goals: My main goals are to get healthier and stronger

Achievements: Most proud of being happily married to my high school sweetheart for 36 years and raising 3 amazing daughters together.

Hobbies and Interests: GOLF, I enjoy art and craft projects, spending time with family and friends

Something we don’t know about you: I ran my first marathon at 40 years old

Advice to new members or someone looking to start CrossFit:  Be patient, don’t be to proud to scale and always remember you’re competing against yourself.

November 2015
November Rushmore CrossFit Athlete of the Month is Cher Daniel. Cher was chosen for her drive and her positive and welcoming attitude. Most recently Cher has endured an injury, but it hasn’t slowed down on her commitment to working out. Cher is always working on that next goal in the gym and we wish her a quick and speedy recovery in December so she can meet her goals in 2016. Cher is usually WOD’ing at 4:30 or 5:30 PM during the school year and when she’s not leading a school full of students and teachers she can be seen at 8:30AM (usually!).
Here’s Cher’s Bio-

Cher Daniels

Member Since: July 2014
Occupation: Elementary Principal
Age: 44 and soon to be 45!
Words to Live By: Oh my so many…”Life is amazing. And then it’s awful. And then it’s amazing again. And in between the amazing and the awful it’s ordinary and mundane and routine. Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary. That’s just living heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary life. And it’s breathtakingly beautiful” LR Knost-my new favorite
Favorite Movie: Dead Poet’s Society
Favorite Music: Just about anything depending on my mood-current favorite is Florence and the Machine
Favorite: Food: A really good pizza-Chicago Style and popcorn
Favorite WOD: I think I will go with the 12 days of Christmas. Probably the most exhausting thing I have ever done, but I LOVE Christmas so it is part of the Christmas season package.
Personal Goals: I always hope to be the best I can be at anything I try, with the understanding that I may not be perfect at it or THE best compared to others, but am I truly giving what I can. I always have to add the disclaimer though that I can’t be balls to wall with everything ALL the time, we all need allow ourselves some forgiveness now and then.
Professional Goals: In my work as a school leader for students, parents and staff it can be tough. I don’t always have all the answers and can make everything better in some situations. I hope to always have empathy and see the bigger perspective of any given situation and always enjoy children-I will always be that special education teacher at heart.
CrossFit Goals: I am always hoping to improve on form and meet personal goals that I have set, sometimes it may be to rx a wod with movements that I haven’t rx’ed or it may be to get a PR. The overhead squat is definitely my nemisis!
Achievements: Personal….being a mom is the biggest achievement to date, other-I am proud of the work I do as a principal and hope someday it will make a difference in the lives of the children I have worked with.
Hobbies and Interests: Camping-with or without the fishing, hunting, love my dogs, love to read, love quotes-reading them over and over
Something we don’t know about you: I love to sing in the car, in the dark really loudly. I will drive around the block to finish the song. Did I say really loudly?
Advice to new members or someone looking to start CrossFit: Don’t get discouraged, even though you might. If YOU leave sweaty and out of breath then it was just what YOU needed. It is easy to get caught up in the whiteboard and focus on all the things you may not be able to do, while it seems it is easy for everyone else. Set a personal goal and ask a coach or another member how to get there, focus on something you do really well and take pride in that.

October 2015
Shawn McColley

Shawn McColley

Rushmore CrossFit would like to introduce our very first Athlete of the Month, Shawn McColley. Shawn was chosen for many reasons including his dedication to perfecting his form in every movement, his consistency in performance, and his positive attitude and enthusiasm. Shawn is a 5:30 PM regular,  if you haven’t had a chance to WOD with Shawn, come to an evening class and you’ll see why he is the Rushmore CrossFit Athlete of the Month.

Member since: May 2014
Occupation: Manager – Rushmore Honda Body Shop
 Age: 44 years old
 Words to Live By: “Whatever the needs of the moment, I have a choice: I can do what is required calmly, patiently, and attentively, or do it in a state of panic. Every moment of the day – indeed every moment throughout one’s life- offers an opportunity to be relaxed and responsive or to suffer unnecessarily.” – Sam Harris
 Favorite Music: Old school rock (The Who, Doors, Eric Clapton, Credence Clearwater Revival, Van Morrison, etc)
 Favorite Food: Filet Mignon – seared and finished in a 200 degree oven to an internal temp of 135 degrees
 Favorite WOD: Murph
 Personal Goals: Personal goal is to be present. In the past I have always measured my success by productivity – how much I could get done each day. Now, my goal is to always be present in the moment. To not always be thinking about what is next on my list.
 Professional goal: is to remain self-aware. Understanding oneself is absolutely necessary in the business world. I plan to continue to bet heavily on my strengths and to avoid professional situations that play to my weaknesses, which sounds easy. But, you have to admit that you have weaknesses. That is the difficult part.
 CrossFit Goal: In terms of CrossFit, I want to begin to use it as a tool to enhance other activities. For the most part I’ve been CrossFitting to CrossFit and its been fun and productive. Now I want to see how CrossFit transfers to other activities (cycling, running, skiing, etc). Also, I want to use CrossFit to generally be a more competent human being. I want be stronger and move better. Two things that we tend to lose as we age.
 Hobbies and interests: Obviously includes physical activity: cycling, running, skiing, hiking, etc.
 Other interests include reading and researching. I have an academic background so I really enjoy diving deep on a topic. For example, I have been researching all aspects of nutrition as it relates to health and performance (not the same thing) for about 10 years. I’m also interested in cooking, which was sparked from all of the nutritional research I’ve done.
 Finally, I dabble in some writing. Have had a blog and have done some other recreational writing.
 Something we don’t know about you: Something you don’t know about me…..I worked as a staff scientist for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory taking pictures of the surface of Mars.
Advice to new members or someone looking to start CrossFit – Don’t get overwhelmed. Be patient. Take your time and enjoy the learning process. Place HUGE emphasis on doing things correctly. Stick with it. I’m a better, more functional human being because of CrossFit and the people I’ve met while doing CrossFit.