“The BIRMINGHAM’S!” Janine, Scott, and Patrick

1. Tell us a little about yourself?

Janine- I live in Norwell with my wonderful and funny husband of 24 years, Scott.  My son Patrick is a magnificent young man who brings joy and makes me so proud. I have a beautiful Basenji dog named Sally who completes our family.   Born and raised in Pennsylvania, I earned a degree in Psychology from a small all-girl’s school (Rosemont). I met Scott during the Villanova NCAA victory celebration in 1985 (please don’t ask him HIS version of that encounter).  We got married and I headed to Boston.  I spent many years working in the insurance industry, however decided to shift gears and “pay it forward” after Patrick was diagnosed with autism.  I am employed by Quincy Schools to provide therapeutic services for children with intensive special needs. THE most important thing I’ve accomplished in my life is learning to be a mother to Patrick, a one-of-a-kind “angel”.  I’ve been lucky enough to travel all over Europe and even lived in London for a semester while in college. In my down time, I am usually playing some sort of word game while happily listening to 80’s music (my guilty pleasure).   I love spending time with my family, whether it be at the pool, movies, dining out, playing a game, learning golf, hanging out at home, or going to RCFBC together!

Patrick- I am a 20 year old student at the Riverview School in Sandwich, MA that teaches me many skills to succeed as an adult with autism. I learned to play the piano when I was three and can play anything by ear. I’d love to become a professional musician someday. I also enjoy reading and drawing. I know every Disney fact there is to know – it is my passion.  My favorite food is pizza! My favorite band is U2 and my favorite movie is The Lion King. I LOVE Christmas; my parents call me Buddy because I am just like the main character in Elf (all the time)!  

Scott- I grew up in Wellesley and we have been in Norwell for about 16 years. I love golf, basketball, reading, and along with my son, I am a music junkie. Janine and I met in 1984 at the Sarajevo Winter Olympics.  We were both pairs figure skaters; me for the U.S. and Janine for Polish National Team. We were both out of medal contention early so we spent all our time together at the Olympic Village. We stayed in constant contact afterwards and eventually Janine was able to defect to the U.S. and we were married shortly afterwards.

2. Tell us your CrossFit story (where were you before RCFBC and where are you now?)

 Janine- I have exercised sporadically over the past decade, typically going wild over one particular mode (step class, spinning, power yoga, etc.) however I usually burnt out and had a difficult time sticking to a consistent, well-rounded plan and routine. As a last ditch effort to lose weight and finally get in shape, I decided, no matter what the cost, I would hire a personal trainer to whip me into shape (even though I had already tried this).   While researching this online, I came across CrossFit and recognized it because of a friend’s obsession with the sport.  Scott suggested I check out the box in Hingham.  He offered support by going too. Before our first session, I watched endless videos about what to expect and was completely terrified.  The on-ramp classes kicked my butt It didn’t feel like a comfortable or reasonable fit for me, so I continued my search.  One day after a visit to Planet Fitness, a strange force pulled me into RCFBC and I met a charismatic and wonderful Mike LeJeune.  I instantly knew that THIS was it.  Scott joined with me, as a built-in, highly motivated workout buddy to help me stay on track.  Unbeknownst to either of us, our lives were about to change in so many positive ways! 

Patrick- I would use the treadmill and nautilus machines at the Y and at my school before CrossFit.

Scott- I had been playing hoops and using free weights at Family Fitness for a decade. I’m embarrassed to say I joined planet fitness next door when I was in talks with them to buy a franchise for the Norwell area ( we wanted a local business we could have Patrick involved in). I actually thought RCFBC was a Reebok Clothing Outlet!  Around the same time, Janine wanted to find a personal trainer and I was open to something new as basketball was killing my knees ( too much dunking) which led us to CrossFit Hingham and then eventually to Bare Cove.

3. What does being part of RCFBC community mean to you?

Janine- I heard the whole “cult” thing before joining and didn’t really know what to expect.  I never imagined just how significant and meaningful being a member of RCFBC would be.  I love the diversity of the community, yet we all share this one thing in common and it creates a special bond only CrossFitter’s truly understand.  Everyone is positive, encouraging and supportive of each other.  It’s indescribable when someone stands by your side, cheering and encouraging you when you are in your “darkest WOD place” and helps see you through it to the end!  To everyone that has done that for me…I thank you! The women at the box are phenomenal – so strong, beautiful, kind and badass!  I admire each and every coach and member of the box and feel blessed to have formed many special friendships.

Patrick- I like meeting new people, learning new techniques and getting high –fives from Mike LeJeune.

Scott- We did not know there was a community component to CrossFit. During our on ramp at CrossFit Hingham, it was only the 2 of us so we never saw a class or met anyone else. It was a pleasant surprise to come to RCFBC and to meet so many outgoing and energetic people. Unlike a typical gym, every time you go to CrossFit, its like your working out with a dozen teammates-just great. I love the crew at 5:30 pm- always ready to grab a beer post WOD. 

4. What accomplishments are you most proud of?

Janine-  I am thrilled to have finally found THE exercise program that works for me and am proud of anything and everything I do at CrossFit!  While there are many physical achievements  (competing in the 2014 Open and surviving), the most important ones have occurred mentally.  I have stopped telling myself I can’t do something and/or that I’m not good enough.  I now know that I am strong and able to do anything I set my mind to – including tackling head-on a decade long struggle with my weight. I’ve lost 45 pounds and 50 overall inches with an eating plan that helped me get there.  I know that the reason it finally “clicked” was because CrossFit gave me the confidence, stamina, endurance and determination.   I am going to kick-it up a notch at the box and am already seeing many PR’s and the development of skills I could never do!  I feel terrific and am so grateful for all of the wonderful things that have happened in one short year! 

Patrick- I am most proud of my burpees and running.  I enjoy jumping rope and will remember to tie my shorts tighter next time I practice. Ooops, sorry Kaylee!  That was embarrassing.

Scott- I finally have a very rough version of a kipping pull-up, looks similar to a turkey taking flight – not pretty, but I’ll take it. I’m down to my high school weight so that feels pretty good. If only I had kept my “Frankie Goes to Hollywood” T-shirts.

5. What are your challenges and goals going forward?

 Janine- I am determined to get one real push-up and pull-up in the next year and am going to bravely and consistently jump on the 20-inch box.  I will learn to string together my double-unders very soon!  Like the positive affirmations? Other than that, my goal is to try whenever possible to do the least amount of scaling and challenge myself to come out of “the comfort zone”!   

Patrick- I’d like to improve my pull-ups, push-ups and just about everything as I’m still a rookie.

Scott- Double-unders drive me absolutely crazy so that’s a big goal. After that it would be handstand push-ups and handstand walks. Being able to hear the phrase “14.5” without breaking into a cold sweat would be nice as well.

6. How has CrossFit had an impact on your family? 

Janine- CrossFit has changed our lives for the better and has become our passion (possibly obsession).  It is great to have a shared interest that helps us spend time together, stay healthy and get excited about! We are especially thrilled that Patrick has been able to join in the WOD’s, thanks to the special attention and modifications from dedicated coaches.  The community has welcomed him and all of us with open arms like a second family.  And what’s better than hearing Mike scream “THE BIRMINGHAM’s” everytime we walk through the door?    : )

Patrick- It is fun to go to the box as a family with my Mom and Dad.

Scott- It’s had a life altering effect on the way we look at fitness and what you’re capable of, especially for Janine, but:

  • I now have to share my protein shakes.
  • We fight over “Perfect Bars”.
  • I have to worry about my wife getting double unders before me.
  • My son, Patrick, actually likes burpees. It’s alarming.

The BIRMINGHAM’s bring a ton of character and creativeness to RCFBC.  We love that they have a place where all three of them can workout together and share the same feeling of a WOD.  Patrick is a pro at burpees and definitely learned his lesson with double-unders 😉  They have drank the kool-aid and have seen awesome results.  Keep it up “Team Froningham” 

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