Meet a Member – Amy Capolupo

Meet Amy!!

Hi Amy tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, job etc.
I am 36 years old and grew up in Rockland County, New York. Rockland is a suburb located about 30 minutes from New York City. My parents, older sister and her family still live there and it is great to go back and get my big city fix every couple of years. I also have a younger brother who lives in Florida and I enjoy visiting him too, especially when Missoula is gray, cold, and rainy. I originally, came to Missoula in 1998 to finish my undergrad and I totally fell in love with Montana. I didn’t know anyone here at the time, but this was truly the place I had dreamt about since I was a kid: mountains, rivers, star-filled night skies, rainbows etc. The fact that I could go hiking and float the river without having to get in the car was mind-blowing and it something I will never take for granted. When I am not staring off into the sunset, geeking out about cooking, minimalist living, or CrossFit, I am busy at work at the University of Montana in the Disability Services for Students office. I am going into my eleventh year there and it is really a fantastic place to work.

What kind of exercise or sports were you doing pre-CrossFit?
In high school I spent a couple years on a canoe racing team, and I did roller derby when it first started here in Missoula. Beyond that, my exercise really just consisted of taking my dog, Moses, to all the regular Missoula spots: Blue Mountain, Waterworks, the North Hills, Pattee Canyon, and to the Bitterroot Valley on the weekends.

What made you decide to give CrossFit a go and how long have you been at it?
I was with some friends in Portland that were there for a Spartan race, and I asked them about their training. They said they did CrossFit-style workouts and that I should look into it if I was serious about improving my fitness. Later that evening I was at an outdoor cafe in Northeast Portland, and this group of men and women walked in and sat at the table in front of me. They made have well as been the poster children for CrossFit – knee socks, tee-shirts about the types of “cleaning” they were into – and they appeared to have just left the gym . I took it as a sign to get myself moving, and when I got back to Missoula I called around to a few CrossFit gyms and got signed-up with 5 Valleys. That was a year and seven months ago.

Amy I know box jumps used to be your nemesis but you’ve been practicing hard and are now knocking them out on a box instead of plates which is super rad!! How much extra practice did it take to get better and what other movements are you working on?
It took a lot of extra practice! Physically, at first, and then it was all mental. For other people box jumps were so simple but not me! I stacked plates next to the box, jumped on curbs, park benches, hay bales, and even my couch. Hell, I even led myself through a guided meditation. Then one day I just said to myself, “screw it, enough already!” and I jumped on the damn box. Coach Emily was pretty helpful and got me over my final box jump flaw (hopping before actually jumping). In total it took me a year and five months to get that jump, but now it’s mine! The next movement I would like to get is a pull-up. I plan on practicing negatives and going from two red bands to one, knowing it is going to take me a while to be able to get the prescribed reps. But no worries, I will get there.

Are there any members at 5 Valleys that inspire you to keep working hard?
All of the members have inspired me, at different times, and for different reasons. For example, last week Carol’s “moderate” row pace for the 8 minute row was a sub 2, Katie and Whitney’s one max rep on the clean and jerks was impressive, Brad was nailing the clean and press, and when I came in on Friday night I saw Meredith pulling hard to get through the last set of wall balls. The week before that, it was Steve and Liz with muscle-up’s, the week before it was watching people training for the CrossFit open. Sue always pushes me to add just a little more to the bar and got me to sign up for a 10k in effort to learn to love the run. Also, I am inspired by what people are doing outside of the gym, things like RATPOD, The Rut, or when I hear people talk about things like being good parents, partners, and students. When I was working on my run this weekend, I thought about someone who is strong enough to do eight continuous handstand push-ups. I used that thought as my motivation to push through for another 30 seconds.

What is your favorite place to eat in Missoula and why?
I really like cooking for myself, but when I go out I like Scotty’s for brunch. They have great outdoor seating plus they have seared greens – seared is not steamed, and they know the difference! I like the Red Bird wine bar for fancy burgers, salads, or house-made sausage. Plus, they have cider that is made in the Bitterroot and it’s delicious. When I’m short on time, I like Good Food Store or Five on Black because you can make some pretty good “fast” food choices. That said, if you want something that is just good because it is bad, I’d choose Flippers: pitchers of beer, greasy bar menu, TVs, and watching your sport of choice, enjoy!

What type of music do you most like to workout to?
Generally I like to workout to the cardio-versions of what is popular on the radio, right now that would be Pit-Bull, Ne-Yo, and Maroon 5. I am happy with the 70’s and 80’s cardio rock you guys play too.

Tell us what an ideal Saturday would look like for you?
Depends on the season, but basically it involves waking up early and getting in a good work-out, then stealthily sneaking around town getting my chores done, be it gardening, hiking the dog, farmers market, cleaning the car – ideally all before 10am. From that point, the plan would be to have no specific plans. I may end up meeting friends, I may end-up going for a hike and laying on a rock in the sun with a good book, heading to the river, or something even more impromptu like heading to Glacier or Seeley for the weekend. No matter what, the ideal Saturday always leaves a fair amount of room for the unexpected, so basically the exact opposite of me on every other day. I have got to balance out the routine somehow!

Meet a Member – Tobin Shearer

Meet Tobin!

Hi Tobin tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, job etc.
I’ve been Cheryl’s life partner for just shy of thirty years. We have two wonderful sons – Dylan and Zachary – now graduated from college and living in Chicago and Flagstaff at the moment. I’ve worked as a history professor and director of African-American studies at the University of Montana for the last seven years.

What kind of exercise or sports were you doing pre-CrossFit?
For several decades I ran 5-6 times a week, having picked up the habit after running cross-country in high school and for a short-time in college. I did a bit of wrestling, volleyball, and pole vaulting in high school as well, but didn’t pursue those sports later on. I’ve run a couple of marathons, a handful of half-marathons, and a bunch of 5-Ks, but my competitive running days are now past.

What made you decide to give CrossFit a go and how long have you been at it?
I damaged my right foot by running in “barefoot shoes.” While going through physical therapy for that injury, I tried long-distance biking, but never felt like I was getting a good workout. Friends from Seattle suggested that I give CrossFit a try. That was three years ago. I’ve enjoyed every day since.

Tobin I know you like to tell your wife all about your CrossFit workouts. How interested is she and do you annoy anyone else with all your CF talk?
Cheryl tolerates my recitation of the daily WOD – with a few eye rolls in the process. We enjoy dinner with a group of friends each week and the minute I say something like, “Well, today in Crossfit . . . .” I am greeted by good-natured howls of protest. They enjoy teasing me about whether I “did” Cindy or Grace or Fran that day.

You travel quite a lot and have visited lots of different CrossFits all over. Besides us of course, tell us about one or two of your favorite ones and why you liked them so much?
A box in New York City impressed me with how many people they could fit into very little space; a box in Jackson, Mississippi, amazed me by how they were able to sweat out intense WODs in the midst of a sweltering, un-air-conditioned gym; I really enjoyed working out with folks at a San Diego box where they had set a gym-wide group goal of improving their push-ups. Of the three-dozen or so boxes I’ve worked at across the country, I’ve been welcomed and included at every one.

What is your favorite place to eat in Missoula and why?
Caffé Dolce on Brooks has won a soft spot in my heart. Not only is it a wonderful, airy place, but the food is incredible. A former Five Valleys Crossfit member used to give me a glass of champagne every time I visited, but – alas – she moved to Philadelphia.

Tell us what an ideal Saturday would look like for you?
Getting up and completing an 8:30 WOD, having a big breakfast, going for a hike with Cheryl and our dog Jenny, and finishing the day with dinner at Caffé Dolce with friends.

Do you have any fitness goals or targets you would like to hit in 2015?
Working out five days a week is my first goal. I’d like to get past 200# in my clean and past 150# in my push press.

When we don’t see you at the gym what are you most likely to be doing?
Lecturing in class, working at my computer on my current book project, or riding my bike – my students call it my “freedom ride” in honor of the research and teaching I do on the civil rights movement (and which my sons call the “nerd-cycle”) – to and from campus.

Meet a Member – Nick Benson

Meet Nick!

Hi Nick tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, job etc.

I’m originally from Illinois, where my parents currently still live. I have one older brother who lives in Sandpoint, ID working as a firefighter/EMT. Last fall semester I finished up school at the University. In May I will graduate with University honors and a degree in Geography and a double minor in Mountain Studies and International Development Studies. Currently, I work at the new City Brew on Reserve and Brooks, and in a couple weeks I will start training at a group home with the Partnership For Children. I also recently applied to the Missoula Rural Fire Residency Program, with hopes of pursing a career in EMS/Firefighting.

Now looking at that old photo of you seem quite hungry. Have you changed your eating habits since starting CrossFit?

Big time. I used to eat a lot of carbs, pasta, breads, and cereals. Food that’s good, but really doesn’t do much. When I first started Crossfit I did a Whole 30 challenge. That got me eating the right food, and eating at a higher volume. My typical morning breakfast is a large pan covered in bacon with eggs and a handful of mixed veggies cooked in the bacon grease (my mom wants me to get my cholesterol checked).

What kind of exercise or sports were you doing pre-CrossFit?

I grew up mostly playing soccer and basketball. I did a couple seasons of track (1600m and 800m), and a season of lacrosse. In high school I really didn’t play many sports at all, but instead was really involved in music. I played in the Symphony Orchestra, pit orchestra, and even sang in choir my senior year. Since coming out to Montana I’ve been doing a lot of skiing and hiking.

You are doing the CrossFit Open for the first time this year. What do you think of it so far and what advice would you give someone who’s thinking about doing it next year?

It’s been awesome! I would suggest that everyone do it regardless of skill level. After two events I already have multiple things I would like to work on. You do a workout and then think, “man if only I had (insert movement; snatches, C2B) down better I could have scored so much higher!” It’s an awesome Saturday morning where everyone is cheering on everyone.

Tell us what your absolute least favorite workout would look like?
I couldn’t tell you. I think I like it all. Maybe if there was a metcon with a strict shoulder press. There’s a lot of hero WODs I still need to try, I’m sure it’ll be one of those. Most likely, Fran.

What is your favorite place to eat in Missoula and why?
I love the Good Food Store. It’s pretty much the ultimate one-stop shop. Coffee, smoothies, pre-made salads, grass-fed beef, organic veggies. Yum..

What is your top choice for workout music?
Underground hip-hop. Jedi Mind Tricks,Mobb Deep, GZA, Masta Ace, Living Legends, anything along those lines.

What about 5 Valleys keeps you training hard and coming back for more?
Above all else, the people! I love the coaches and members. I’ve dropped in at a couple gyms while traveling, and 5 Valleys has the best community of people. I’ve met a ton of awesome people while Crossfitting, and a lot of them push me everyday to work harder in and out of the gym.

Do you have any fitness goals or targets you would like to hit in 2015?
Oh man.. you bet. I could probably give you a weight for every Olympic lift. Plus, I’m always trying to get better at gymnastic movements. I recently watched a documentary about Mikko Salo. He’s one badass dude. I would love to develop more mental strength, and be able to push myself hard in that “dark place,” like he does.

When we don’t see you at the gym what are you most likely to be doing?

Hanging with my lovely lady friend Alexis Schreder 🙂 And we’re mostly likely watching Crossfit Youtube videos.

Meet a Member – Christine Hutchison

Meet Christine!

Hi Christine tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, job etc.

I’m a Montana native. I grew up just outside Helena and have been living in Missoula for about ten years now. I went to the University of Montana and majored in Enlgish Literature and minored in Spanish. One summer I decided to work for the Forest Service as a wildland firefighter figuring I would just do it for a year or two until I graduated, but now I’m going into my fourth season and still love it (most of the time!). It’s definitely a long way off from English Literature, but I enjoy it. This winter I’ve been working as a nanny for two little kids, a 17 month old and a 3 year old. They’re awesome, active kids and it’s been an enjoyable change of pace from fire.

What kind of exercise or sports were you doing pre-CrossFit?

I was obsessed with soccer growing up. Both my brother and I played since we were little, and my mom coached and refereed for a while. During college I got into trail running and backpacking. I also have done a lot of biking, both mountain and road biking and have done a few long distance cycling tours. Other than that, I did some circuit training and cycling classes at the gym.

What made you decide to give CrossFit a go and how long have you been at it?

I had been curious about it for quite a while. This year I decided I wanted to try and get on the Lewis and Clark Hotshots and knew I needed something a little more structured that would push and challenge me. It’s been about two months and I love it. It’s still early on, but I definitely think this is the strongest I’ve ever been, and I’ve still got a long way to go.

CrossFit has a bit of a cult reputation. Are you like most CrossFitters and annoy all your friends by talking about it all the time?

Ha! Sometimes. If you run into me right after working out I’m usually pretty obnoxiously wound up. I try to only talk about it to friends from fire, or friends I’ve worked out with for years who actually have some interest in it. I definitely don’t use crossfit acronyms and lingo like “WOD” or “AMRAP” talking to people, but most friends and family definitely know I do it!

You got your first toe to bar the other day way to go!! What’s the next movement/exercise you want to be able to check off the list?

Thanks! I’ve been trying to get that one for a while. Next is definitely strict pull-ups. I have been trying to get them for years. That’s the big one, but I would also like to get handstand push-ups and get better at the Power Snatch.

What is your favorite place to eat in Missoula and why?

I love the Redbird wine bar. I don’t go there often, but they have great food and wine and I like the mellow atmosphere. On the cheaper end, Five On Black. Their food is delicious, cheap, and pretty healthy.

What is your top choice for workout music?

I tend to listen to music I wouldn’t listen to outside of working out. It’s a weird mix of pop and rap and lots of Girl Talk.

Do you have any fitness goals or targets you would like to hit in 2015?

I just want to get faster and stronger. I feel pretty comfortable pulling out long distance runs, but I’m pretty slow at any distance. Pretty basic I guess, but that’s what I’m focusing on.

When we don’t see you at the gym what are you most likely to be doing?

Probably doing something outside, reading a book, or drinking coffee at Le Petit Outre.

Meet a Member – Kim Foiles

Hi Kim tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, job etc.

I grew up outside of Chicago and moved to Colorado at 19 where I received degree in wildlife biology and started working seasonally for the Forest Service fighting fires, inventorying timber and riding the range. After 9 years I turned down a smoke jumping job in California to take a permanent job in Idaho with the Forest Service and shortly thereafter in Wyoming where I managed the wilderness. A few years later I landed in Missoula as a computer/biological scientist in GIS.
I met my hubby of 32 years right out of college and we worked summers together and travelled in the winters. We backpacked 3 months in New Zealand, visited Fiji, spent a winter camping in Baja, another in the Yucatan and Belize and another crewing a yacht and traveling to the Bahamas
After being married 12 years I decided I wanted a kid, luckily it didn’t take too long to persuade my hubby and now we have a 20 year old son taking chemical engineering in Bozeman and 15 year old daughter in JV volleyball attending Sentinel. My hubby retired from teaching 7th grade science year and a half ago. I followed him last June J

What kind of exercise or sports were you doing pre-CrossFit?

I’ve always loved lifting weights. I started in a weight room when I was 20 but there was no one to show this girl what to do. I subscribed to muscle and fitness magazine to get an idea and have been messing around with weights ever since. I didn’t play any sports in high school or college (was too shy) but played some softball and volleyball in my 30’s and 40’s. When I turned 50 I decided to try running marathons. I ran a couple that summer, including the first Missoula marathon. After a year I decided I didn’t like running at all 😛

What made you decide to give CrossFit a go and how long have you been at it?

During my year trying marathons, I was working out at the peak and one of the trainers suggested I might like CrossFit. I checked it out on the web and started doing the workouts at home. About 6 months later a friend mentioned she joined a CrossFit gym in town, I was surprised there even was one. I signed up and have been going ever since. I still love it after 7 1/2 years.

I know you retired not too long ago, can you tell us if being retired is everything you thought it would be?
Yes! It’s awesome, and very weird. You work 40 years or so and all of a sudden you don’t have to set an alarm – crazy! Unfortunately I still hear my daughters alarm every morning at 6 J

Kim I often see you smashing out kipping pull-ups during open gym. How did you get so good at pull-ups and are there any other movements you really want to work on this year?
Wow thanks. I was stuck on the purple band doing pull-ups forever and one day a new girl walks into the gym and within a few months she was off the band. So I thought to myself I am going to do that too. I took January a few years ago and told the coach I was not going to use the band that month and see if it would get me anywhere. I’ve been kipping ever since but have to do a few each time I’m in the gym or I lose them quickly.

What would you rather do 200 Burpees for time or a 20 minute AMRAP of only Toe to Bar?

No question, toes to bar any day.

What is your favorite place to eat in Missoula and why?

I love HuHots. It’s my whole family’s favorite place. I was a vegetarian for almost 35 years before starting paleo about 4 years ago. HuHot can be pretty paleo friendly. I’m certainly not 100% paleo but getting closer all the time. It’s hard to give up the occasional microbrew and dark chocolate.

What is your top choice for workout music?

Hm. My favorite singers right now are Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith and Hozier, not exactly workout music… so I would prefer something like Daughtry, Nickelback and Eminem (my son’s influence). My daughter’s pop music usually has a great beat for workouts too. My old gym played head banger music all the time, it got old. I love the variety at 5 valleys!

Do you have any fitness goals or targets you would like to hit in 2015?

Oh boy, too many!
I’d like to work towards a muscle up (in my dreams), so 3 strong ring pull-ups and 3 deep ring dips would be a good start.
I’d like to kip my toes to bar, kip 12 pull-ups in a row, try a handstand push-up (not sure why I’ve never even tried…).
Oh and a 10 second L-sit and new PR’s for my deadlift, clean, shoulder press and snatch. I was able to PR my clean and deadlift last year so I’m happy to say I can still get stronger – yay!
It would be fun to qualify for CrossFit regionals again.

When we don’t see you at the gym what are you most likely to be doing?

Art. Getting ready for a couple shows at the ZACC. Right now I am into relief printing, carving on wood or linoleum and printing, (I post my art on FaceBook).
…And filling out that bucket list, starting with a trip to Alaska this summer, backpacking in Yellowstone, motorcycle trips, and seeing Europe next year.

Thanks Kim!!

Friday, January 23rd

Meet a Member

Kevin Martello


Hi Kevin tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, job etc.
I was born and raised here in Missoula, my family has owned and operated the Silver Dollar Bar since 1935, I am the 4th generation to run our family business, along with my father and two brothers. I have been married for 22 years( sorry ladies) and have two daughters, ages 18 and 14. I graduated from loyola high school in 1985,

How did you first get involved in CrossFit and how long have you been CrossFitting?
I first saw a small two line ad in the newspaper and tried to call the number but never got an answer or a call back, I was at work one day talking about it and a friend said that him and some others were gonna start , their own crossfit gym ( they had been doing crossfit at the main peak) and I told them to let me know when they got it going that I would like to try it
. So in january of 2005 or 2006 I went to my first class at crossfit montana, and after alot of icy hot and advil I’m Still Doing it. ( alot slower and mostly scaled)

Now I know you and your family own and operate The Silver Dollar Bar. Can you tell us the wildest or one of the wildest things you’ve seen there?
I could tell alot of stories but the difference between a good bartender and a great bartender is that a great one knows when to keep his mouth shut

Have you ever tried to convince anyone from the bar to come CrossFit and how did that go over?
I tell anyone who will listen, but most of my friends are not willing to do it, I think that they are afraid, or they enjoy riding a treadmill for hours every day, they may like the mirrors on the wall too.

What would your dream CrossFit workout look like?
Well I’m game for anything, I not a good runner so probably not much of that.

What would your nightmare workout look like?
It would have alot of burpees and running

What is your favorite place to eat in Missoula and why?I like the Dino cafe in charlie Bs bar. It’s just an easy, basic place, plus it’s inside a bar that’s not real fancy.

What is your top choice for workout music?
Well I like the heavy stuff because that’s what was played when I started, but I also like the 80s too, so I
I guess anything is better than hearing myself huff and puff

Do you have any fitness goals or targets you would like to hit in 2015?
I would just like to be able to continue crossfit and clean up my diet.

What is your favorite way to spend your time outside the gym and work?
I like to hang out with my kids and family doing whatever we all enjoy

Thanks Kevin!


A1.) Handstand Holds or Walking Practice 4 x 30 sec. for holds or 60-90sec for walking practice
alternate with
A2.) Kipping Toe to Bar Practice 4 x 60 to 90 seconds

B.) 8 Minutes AMRAP of:
8 Front Rack Reverse Lunges Alternating (8 total reps, 4 each leg) @ 115/75
8 Ring Rows
8 Abmat Situps

Rest 4 minutes

8 Minute AMRAP Ascending reps of:
2,4,6,8,10,12……continuing by 2’s
Alternating Kettlebell Snatch

Wednesday, December 17th

Meet a Member – Walker Milhoan


Hi Walker tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, job etc.
Well, I am 34 years old, married to Whitney (who is also a 5 Valley’s CrossFit Member) and I have three children: Gunnison (5), Augusta (3), and Cap (1). Needless to say, these three keep me very busy during the day. I also have a startup software company called Ranchlogs ( for livestock and pasture management that I work on during the early morning hours and late at night. Getting to 5 Valley’s for an hour and a half offers me a little bit of peace and quiet!

Now I doubt many people know this but you started one of the first 50 CrossFits (there are now around 10,000) in Bozeman. When was that? How did you get involved and what was CrossFit like back when you started up?
That was in 2005. I was called CrossFit 4800 and I started it with a good friend named Jeremy Henrichon. He still owns the gym, although it’s now called Gym 4800. Back then people were like, “oh, CrossFit, you mean like the training that the guys on the the Movie 300 did?” And I would be like, “yep!” No one really knew what CrossFit was, which was kind of cool in a way.

Did you have any idea back then that CrossFit would be as big as it has become?
Not at all. I first got into CrossFit back in 2001 because my good friend at the time was close friends with Kelly Starrett (you know, The Supple Leopard guy) and we made a small crossfit gym in our garage. Kelly actually became a good friend of mine and was very instrumental in helping CrossFit 4800 get off the ground. Kelly told me over and over again, “stay with it, you’re going to make a nice living for yourself.” I sure wish I would have because he was obviously right about that!

What is your favorite exercise?
The Oly lifts for sure! The Clean and Jerk and the Snatch are my all time favorites, mainly because they are so dang hard to get good at. Anytime you work on oly lifts you are going to get challenged, it doesn’t matter if you’re Pyrros Dimas or a total newby!

What is your least favorite?
Anything that has running in it!

What is your favorite place to eat in Missoula and why?
That would have to be Caffe Dolce. Whitney and I don’t get out much, but when we do, Caffe Dolce is always a great spot. Great food, beer, wine, coffee, and desserts!

What is your top choice for workout music?
Waylon Jennings.

Do you have any fitness goals or targets you would like to hit in 2015?
I’d like to squat clean 300. I’m at 225 right now, so I have some serious work to do, and I’d better lay off the beer and cereal if I’m going to hit this mark.

Do you get upset if your wife (Whitney Milhoan) beats you in a workout?
That’s not something i’m prepared to talk about, no just kidding, absolutely not. Who wouldn’t want a wife who is more fit than yourself?

What do you most want for Xmas this year?
Good health for my family…and beer, Ale preferably!


A.) 5×3 Hang Power Clean
Rest 2 minutes between.

B.) For Time:
50 Double Unders
50 Air Squats
40 Double Unders
40 Air Squats
30 Double Unders
30 Air Squats
20 Double Unders
20 Air Squats
10 Double Unders
10 Air Squats