Tappan Zee High School wrestling coach Peter Dene was looking to do something different with his team for a practice, and luckily for him, one of the school’s art teachers reached out.
Leigh LaBrake not only teaches art at Tappan Zee, but she’s also a coach at Crossfit Momentum in Nyack, which held its grand opening on Saturday. She invited Dene to check out the grand opening, and he asked if he could bring some of the wrestlers.
And so on Saturday at the grand opening, most of the varsity wrestling team went to the grand opening and received a brief tutorial on some of the training offered at Crossfit Momentum.
“I’ve done some crossfit in the past and some of the guys on the team had as well,” Dene said. “I think crossfit is the best realistic training for athletes. It helps them work on their strength, speed and endurance. I can’t think of anything better for wrestlers.”
Dene said he’ll absolutely tell members of the team to take up crossfit on their own to help improve as well.
Crossfit Momentum was opened by Stephanie Vaughan, Matthew Apol, Brian Aherne, all from Nyack, and Peter Sunden from Park Ridge, NJ. Sunden and Apol started another crossfit program out of a different location, leading to the four to start training together. Back in June of last year, they started looking for their own space.
“We wanted a big open space, and we found it here,” Aherne said. “Crossfit isn’t a normal kind of workout. Sometimes we’re doing gymnastics moves and other times we’re doing Olympic-style lifting, and so you need room for all of that. The last place we were had wood floors, which can dangerous for the type of stuff we do.”
Aherne started training with Apol and Sunden, and said within three months was hooked on crossfit.
“It was unlike anything I’d experienced before,” he said. “It wasn’t just the weight loss, but I as running faster and my endurance improved. I was really excited about the program and told them I’d like to help find another space with them.”
For a while, the program didn’t have a location, leading to Apol training people in Memorial Park Saturday mornings at 6 a.m. using kettlebells. Another location also rented out space to them.
“Crossfit is a community,” Aherne said. “It’s a community in your join gym, or box, but also as a whole. So when we needed space, another place helped us out.”
It’s that community vibe that has led Irene Tenenbaum, of Blauvelt, to train with Apol and Crossfit Momentum for more than a year.
“I really enjoy working out with everyone,” she said. “It’s nice to just go to a class and have this whole workout planned. If you go to a gym alone, you have to think about what you want to do that day. Here, there’s a workout of the day and you go to class and just do that workout.”
She’s also happy to see the trainers get a new space.
“It’s got room for everything,” she said. “It has room for all out equipment and gear, and it’s set up for more stuff than the last place.”