Spotlight On: The Orser Family



Tell us your basic Bio in a few sentences? 

Marken is originally from Montana, the state that stands as the last line of defense against the Canadian invasion.  He is a major in the Army Corps of Engineers; he rides motorcycles, plays guitar and drums, and builds cool stuff out of wood.  Christy is from Massachusetts, a state that taxes its residents excessively because they waste consonants in words like “Worchester” (pronounced “Wusta”). She is also a major in the U.S. Army and is currently serving as a Military Legislative Fellow on Capitol Hill. She loves to travel and to plan house projects to keep Marken busy.  They met while serving in the Army at Fort Lewis, Washington and have been married since 2004. William joined the family on their 7th wedding anniversary, and turned one this past August.

What is your athletic background?

Marken raced mountain bikes in high school and college.  He is an avid snowboarder, trail runner, and softball player.  Since joining the Army in 2003, daily workouts have pretty much been the norm.  Christy was a cross-country runner and swimmer in high school, she stayed fit doing Army Physical Fitness training for the last decade, and also enjoys hiking and anything that involves being outdoors. She tries to keep up with Marken, but this usually results in scars for one of the two.  William tries to stay fit to impress the ladies, but has developed quite the “milk-gut” over the past few months. Despite Christy’s insistence, he claims broccoli isn’t Paleo.

How long have you been doing CrossFit?

Christy and Marken: Just a year now, we began CrossFit for the first time when we joined CrossFit Liberation in December of 2011. We both needed to get in better shape and get out of the house after moving across the country, starting new jobs, and adding William to the mix. William: Since I was this many, pretty much my whole life.

What is your favorite thing about CrossFit? 

Marken: The fact that the workouts are constantly varied.  When I worked out at conventional gyms, there were days that I had to force myself to go in.  Now, I have to force myself to take a day off. Christy: The workouts fit into my schedule and keep me interested. I like the challenge to improve my technique, and we can spend time at the box as a family. Since we both work outside the home, our family time is very limited during the week. With CrossFit, we get a great workout, that we can do together, and it doesn’t feel like a chore or work. William: After some workouts, mommy and daddy are too sore to chase me, so I can get away with eating the dog food and they let me watch Animal Planet.

What is your favorite thing about CrossFit Liberation? 

Marken: We love the coaching staff and the fact that our family of athletes is tight knit. Christy: We moved to the area when I was nine months pregnant, and we didn’t know anyone or have any family in the area. We’ve met people through work and other activities, but the people at CFL are awesome. We’ve made some lifelong friends, and we regularly interact with other athletes outside the box. They are people we can count on, and as an added bonus, when we go workout, we get to see our friends! William: They have a water fountain and hula-hoops.

Why do you choose CFL as your training facility? 

Christy signed us up for the free class last year.  Marken had been talking about getting into CrossFit and CFL is close to our house.  That first class we met Carrie, Mark, and Tat and knew we’d made the right choice. Since then we really feel like we’ve become part of the CFL family, when we travel, we visit other CrossFit locations, but we are proud to call CFL home.

Do you consider yourself an athlete? Why?

We have both been active physically since we were young; I think CrossFit has redefined what an athlete is to us. We are pretty committed to that definition, and we are actively working towards making ourselves better, so yes, we are athletes.

Favorite benchmark or CFL WOD?

We participated in Atom’s memorial WOD as a family; I don’t think we’ll do another event that will top that one or a WOD that we will do that will be more meaningful.

Favorite/most hated CrossFit movements?

Marken hates wall balls and thrusters. Christy enjoys (I don’t know if that is the best word for it) ruck-runs, and is beginning to like deadlifts, but dreads double-unders and pull-ups. William is also working on his double-unders and will probably get them before Christy.

What is your Short term goal/Long term CrossFit goals? 

Marken: I want to get my Fran time down to sub 5 minutes; my deadlift above 400; get 200 double unders unbroken and get my level 1 certification.  Long term, I will continue to challenge myself with perfecting my technique in the Olympic lifts, and trying to learn to hate wall balls less.  I also intend to keep going shirtless during WODs.

Christy: I am working on double-unders, pull-ups, and handstand push-ups. I just set my deadlift goal as 250# after setting a 210# PR this past week. Long term, I would like to improve my strength across the board.

William: I am working on eating with a spoon. Long term, I would like to master the staircase.

What is your favorite Musician/band to listen to while doing the WODs?

Marken and Christy: Anything fast and loud! William: You should play more Rob Zombie, and The Wheels on the Bus.

Favorite Atom or Coachism? 

Marken:My favorite Atomism is in my head.  Whenever I think I’m starting to hit redline on a workout, I picture him sitting and watching with a look that says, “Stop feeling sorry for yourself.  You can do this.  Get back on that bar!”  It works every time. Christy: I have several bad habits – looking up at the ceiling, or down at the floor, shrugging when I’m not supposed to, and failing to shrug on the lifts that need it. Atom always had great visuals that would remind you not to keep looking at the floor or the ceiling, I think of them any time I catch myself with bad form. Coach Vivian is more direct and just threatens me whenever she catches me shrugging. Coach Carrie is the best at explaining the different lifts to me, when she demonstrates and describes what her arms and legs and muscles are doing during each part of the lift, it just makes sense to me. I can’t always replicate it right away, but if I follow her directions, I am always able to get the lift down with a little practice. William:

What is your choice of CrossFit Shoe?

Marken: Inov-8. Christy: Anything minimal, but I run in Adidas. William: Stride-Rite or barefoot baby!

Finish this sentence:

I hope that CrossFit…continues to change folks lives for the better the way it has changed ours.


Comments on Spotlight On: The Orser Family

  1. Nonna Orser says:

    I loved my grandson William’s comments the best!

  2. Shavaughn says:

    I have been tossing around the crossfit idea for awhile, after reading this… I’ll be at the free class in a couple weeks!! Cant wait to meet you guys!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>