Rudy Tapalla

Lead Coach, Director of Education

  • CrossFit Certifications: Level 1, Level 2, Gymnastics, Running and Endurance, Nutrition, Kids
  • HQ Staff Level 1 Seminar Trainer (2010-Present)
  • American Council on Exercise (2002 exp)
  • National Academy of Sports Medicine (2004 exp)
  • Functional Movement Screen 1&2
  • Z-Health R-Phase
  • USA Weightlifting (Sports Performance Coach)
  • American Kettlebell Certification
  • Russian Kettlebell Certification
  • Poliquin PICP 1
  • OPT-CCP Level I courses
  • Kettlebell
  • Powerlifting (Rippetoe 2007, Simmons 2010)
  • United States Marine Corps (Sergeant 98-02)

Name: Rudy Tapalla

Hometown: La Grange, Il

Position/Title at CFC: Director of Education

How did you come to find CFC?

I actually opened up a CF Affiliate named Chicago Iron Sports and took over CrossFit Chicago in July/August of 2008.

What is your favorite thing about CFC?

The people/community. Great balance of work hard/play hard.

What’s one thing you ‘d tell a new member?

Be patient, the journey is long and enjoyable. Embrace the foundations of movement.

1 year CrossFit Goal:

Snatch 240, 20+ rounds Cindy, Sub 4 Fran, Handstand walk more than 20ft, Planche push up… So many things so little time.

Events:

2009 Crossfit Games Affiliate Cup team member, 2010 CrossFit Games Sectional Competitor, 2011 CrossFit Games Competitor Coach

Favorite CrossFit Workout:

Anything heavy and short!

Activities outside of CrossFit:

Volleyball, Pool (9-Ball specific), Just starting to dabble in some photography

Mat McQueen-Crawford

Full Time Coach

  • CrossFit Certifications: Level 1, Level 2, Powerlifting, Kids
  • National Academy of Sports Medicine CPT (certified personal trainer)
  • Massage Therapist (ASMT-Arizona School of Massage Therapy)

Meet Coach Mat

Name: Mat McQueen-Crawford

Hometown: Springfield, IL

A funny fact about yourself: I once gave myself hypothermia (accidentally) after running a 50 mile trail ultra-marathon. Ice baths are NOT a good idea after running for 10 hours straight. Your blood pressure drops significantly after a sudden halt in activity and dropping yourself in an ice bath compounds that fact.

How did you come to find CFC?

My wife was a member first and coaxed me into trying CrossFit.

How long have you been coaching here?

Since 2013

What is your passion when it comes to coaching?

Witnessing a member’s growth over time while teaching them how to master the basics of movement. Sometimes people begin CrossFit with a lack of body awareness and they are able to use our program and coaching to improve that. That is more important to me than trying to mold an elite athlete.

What is your favorite thing about CFC?

Here comes the cliché CrossFit coach answer. The truth is it was the community and coaching that won me over to join CrossFit Chicago. I was a member at a box previous to CFC and never felt a part of the community. These days I’m extremely proud to call myself a coach at CFC and couldn’t think of a place I’d rather be.

What’s one thing you’d tell a new member?

Be patient. Take your time to master the basics (squats, push-ups, pull-ups, balance, static holds, etc.). Often members come in and see heavy weight being thrown around or people swinging from rings and dive right in. This is when dysfunction and injury can occur. Take your time and build a strong foundation. The heavy weights and high skill movements will come if you want it bad enough.

Randy Santiago

Lead Coach

  • CrossFit Certifications:Level One
  • National Academy of Sport Medicine – Certified Personal Trainer
  • TRX - Suspension Training Level 1
  • Intrinsic Motion – Intrinsic Biomechanist Level 1
  • CPR/AED Certified

Name: Randy Santiago

Hometown: Chicago, IL

How long have you been coaching here?

March 2010 as an assistant. April 2011 as a lead coach.

What’s one thing you’d tell a new member?

You have to have consistency before you can apply intensity. You have to move well before you try to move something faster or heavier.

 

Carrie Jean

Assistant Coach

  • CrossFit Certifications: Level 1, Defense, Powerlifting, Kids
  • Seminars: Jon North Olympic Lifting, Juggernaut Seminar
  • 2013 CrossFit North Central Regionals Team competitor
  • AED/CPR certified
  • Certified Firearms and Defense Tactics instructor with the United States District Courts

Name: Carrie Jean

A funny fact about yourself:

I was a competitive Powerlifting and Cheerleader in High School. We won the State Championship in co-ed Cheerleading at the same time I won the State Title in my weight class in Powerlifting with a Bench of 185, Back Squat of 360 and Deadlift of 335.

How did you come to find CFC?

My really good friend coached at crossfit chicago and kept telling me about how much I would love it. I finally took the plunge and don’t know why I didn’t start a year earlier!

How long have you been coaching here?

Since March 2013

What’s one thing you’d tell a new member?

While you might be sore at first, move through the soreness with walking, swimming, yoga or biking on your days off of crossfit and stick to it. The community and long term functional fitness are what keep bringing me back day after day.

 

 

Alex Nettey

Lead Coach

  • CrossFit Certifcations: Level 1, Gymnastics, Olympic Lifting
  • Games Athlete 2013, 2014

Name: Alex Nettey

Hometown: Western Springs, IL

A funny fact about yourself:

Favorite food group is gummy bears!

How did you come to find CFC?

I googled Crossfit Chicago in April ’08 and emailed the owner about joining the gym. Got a response from Rudy 2 months later (after he took over ownership of the name) and joined shortly thereafter

How long have you been coaching here?

since ’09

What’s one thing you’d tell a new member?

The onething I’d tell a new member – try to learn 1 new thing and meet 1 new person every class and you’ll quickly understand why CFC is such a special place

Joel Rivamonte

Assistant Coach

  • CrossFit Certifications: Level 1, Powerlifting
  • ACE IAFF Peer Fitness Trainer Certificate
  • Firefighter 3 Certificate
  • EMT/B Certificate
  • Bachelors of Science in Fitness Management/Physical education from DePaul University 2008
  • CPR/AED Certified

Name: Joel Rivamonte

Hometown: Chicago

How did you come to find CFC?

Through other Chicago Firemen who saw the benefits of CrossFit and how it applies to the fire service.

How long have you been coaching here?

Since 2013

What’s one thing you’d tell a new member?

To stay humble and be patient with everything. CrossFit should be a tool to improve your quality of life.

Karen Cason

Assistant Coach

  • CrossFit Certifications: Level 1

Name: Karen Cason

Hometown: Western Springs, IL

A funny fact about yourself:

I’m extremely good at movie trivia.

How did you come to find CFC?

Back in 2009, I googled crossfit after seeing a friend on facebook post a picture. Crossfit Chicago just so happened to be a few blocks from me, so I went and checked it out!

How long have you been coaching here?

Since 2013

What’s one thing you’d tell a new member?

If you’re overwhelmed with how many movements there are to master, pick one and make one goal at a time.

Nicole Schaffel

Front Desk Manager, Fundamentals Coach

  • CrossFit Certifications: Level 1
  • CPR/AED certified

Name: Nicole Bourbon

Hometown: Chicago

Position/Title at CFC: Front desk manage, Fundamentals Coach

A funny fact about yourself:

Sometimes when I have “not so healthy” food at work, I secretly eat it really fast so Bryce doesn’t judge me.

How did you come to find CFC?

I had heard of Crossfit through a friend of mine and I was always interested in trying it out, but it wasn’t until CFC was looking to fill a full time position for the front desk that I actually did. Let’s just say after my first noon class, I was hooked!

How long have you been working here?

Since 2013, time flies!

What is your favorite thing about CFC?

Definitely the community and the environment! I’ve met so many different types of people, people that I would probably never get the chance to meet if it wasn’t for Crossfit. I get to work at a place that people want to be at. Everyone’s friendly and encouraging, it makes my day enjoyable. I also get to wear workout clothes everyday, so yea, that’s definitely a bonus.
What’s one thing you’d tell a new member?

It can be very intimidating but try not to worry. No one cares how strong or fast you are, just that you’re giving it your all and you’re willing to push yourself past your comfort zone. We’re all in this together.

Ben Llames

CFO

  • CrossFit Certifications: Level 1, Nutrition, Oly, Gymnastics

Name: Ben Llames

Hometown: Chicago, Roscoe Village… before it became a suburb

Position/Title at CFC: CFO

A funny fact about yourself:

I always win the first round of every workout.

How did you come to find CFC?

I’ve known Rudy since high school, and he’s always kept up with the fitness industry since he finished his military duty. When he started a boot camp, I jumped on; and when he opened up CrossFit Chicago, I jumped in too with my wife.

How long have you been working here?

Since 2008

What is your favorite thing about CFC?

Definitely the community

What’s one thing you’d tell a new member?

We’ve got a great staff here, definitely take advantage of your team coach, and pick their brain or attend their skills seminars.

Mia Morris

Front Desk

Name: Mia Morris

Hometown: Kansas City, MO

Position/Title at CFC: Front Desk Staff

A funny fact about yourself:

I’m extremely terrified of worms

How did you come to find CFC?

I started learning about CrossFit from a lifestyle blog that I read, and did a Google search for boxes in Chicago. CFC was the box that stood out the most, and after my intro class with Sara I was hooked!

How long have you been working here?

Since 2014

What is your favorite thing about CFC?

The coaches and the community

What’s one thing you’d tell a new member?

You are capable of doing more than you think you can!