Lots of Hugs and Butt Slaps This Week

Aug 13th, 2013

Category: CrossFit

Lots of Hugs and Butt Slaps This Week

games 3  TJ thrusterteam Ateam southieTJ chainsamy and tjTJ and TinaTJ interviewCRCF throwdownTJ winter

Endurance Program is back on Starting tonight. Meet Brogan at the garage door of Southie Green at 6:30pm. This is a free class, take advantage.

Business Networking Event tonight @ 6:30 @ the Stadium

On January, 26th 2011 I walked into the gym and saw a human speciman unlike any that I had ever seen within the 4 walls of CrossFit Southie. The workout of the day was Fight Gone Bad. Fight Gone Bad is a small man’s workout. The light weight and the box jumps make it tough for the big guys to  rep out big scores. This new guy was the biggest dude that I had ever seen doing Crossfit, and he pulled out the 2nd highest score in the gym at the time with 388 reps. I went home that night and told Goose “I need this guy at our gym”. This incredible athlete was TJ O’Neil.

Prior to that day TJ had came by the box to scope it out, Goose was there to greet him. TJ asked Goose “I heard you have bumper plates here” and Goose replied, “we have a little more than bumper plates”. TJ didn’t really know too much about CrossFit, he would do some WODs with his buddy Kevin Mullins from time to time. We were hoping he would give it a chance and grow to love it, and fortunate for us he did.

TJ competed in the CrossFit Open in 2011. There was a workout that had burpee lateral jumps, heavy overhead squats, and then muscle-ups. TJ got his first muscle-ups during the open WOD, which looked like a chestsandbag run fly while suspended in the air. It was pretty amusing. TJ went on to compete for the team at the Northeast Regional in June of that year. He showed up with his American flag bandana on looking cool and confident. The thruster ladder was on Friday and he put on a show. That year they had one male and one female make their way through the Thruster Ladder for the teams, and the individuals did the same. TJ out-lifted all the teams by about 30 pounds and beat all of the individual men other than Rob Orlando who he tied. He did this with a little swoosh of the hands after each lift. Everyone that was at the Reebok headquarters wanted to talk it up with him, he accomplished celebrity status by the end of the weekend.CrossFit Southie had only been open for about 7 months at the time of the Regional and TJ definitely brought a lot of positive attention to the gym.

With time TJ became more involved at the Box with a couple hours/week of coaching. As he became more interested in CrossFit he became a better coach. When TJ expressed interest in coaching more  he went through the CFS intern program. In the spring of 2012 TJ took on 18 classes/week and has been coaching weekly ever since. TJ’s growth as a coach has been exceptional. His knowledge and his ability to teach movements is impressive. TJ’s classes are always laidback and full of jokes and laughs. For a guy that looks as intimidating as he does, he has an endearing compassion for people.

TJ is the only athlete at CrossFit Southie that competed on the Regional team all 3 years. In 2012 we finished 2nd and traveled to LA for the Finals. We put him in a hotel room with Andrea and Haley and he played them songs on his ukulele all week long. TJ is extermly musically talented, if you have not noticed. He actually helped write many of the songs for the Reggae Band Stick Figure (TJ’s best friend his the lead singer) and TJ sings some small parts on the album as well. TJ is a simple man of many talents.

This is going to be TJ’s last week coaching at CFS. TJ has accepted an apprenticeship under Strongman Rob Orlando, which is Stamford, Connecticut. Rob owns Hybrid Athletics, which is a box that specializes in Strongman Training-stones, yolks, kegs…you know, all the fun stuff that you can find around the box. This is a major opportunity for TJ and we support him 110%. Strongman training is definitely TJ’s niche, who wouldn’t want to learn from him??

TJ is an exceptional person, he has been incredibly kind, considerate, and thankful in his time here at CrossFit Southie. Words can’t express how much we will miss having TJ around the box, but we know he will be back often…lucky for us Tina-mo is staying in town.

We love you TJ! This place will not feel the same without you!

Please post your favorite TJ quotes or memories to comments. 

Strength
Deadlift
5-5-5-5-5

WOD
Every Minute on the Minute for 12 minutes
4 Sumo Deadlift High Pulls (95,65)
5 Toes to Bar
6 Alternating Pistols

Level 2 (75,55)
Level 1 (65,35) 4,4,4
ADV (115/80)

**5 burpees over the bar for every round missed**

DISCUSSION 49 Comments

  1. Mike F 08/14/2013 at 7:50 pm

    When I first started at CFS I was trying (unsuccessfully) to get overhead squats. TJ tried to explain the motion to me, and then settled on the analogy of “sticking my ass out like a stripper,” and proceeded to demonstrate the motion to me. Certainly made sure I never forgot how to start off an OHS.

  2. Tamara Wyzanski 08/14/2013 at 6:31 pm

    Thank you for your coaching and being the only coach–after almost 2 years of X-Fit–to successfully teach me the rope climb!! Much appreciated!! ~ Tamara W

  3. Kate Connolly 08/14/2013 at 2:31 am

    Congrats TJ good luck ill miss taking your classes you’re awesome!

  4. Evan O 08/14/2013 at 1:54 am

    Reggae tunes, hilarious jokes, and endless movie quotes; warm-ups with TJ couldn’t have been better. Thanks for keeping it fun and the great coaching. Enjoy your next adventure, TJ!

  5. Schurko 08/14/2013 at 1:20 am

    TJ, I’m so happy for you bud. You are a great coach and even better person. I wish you nothing but the absolute best. See ya around my man.

  6. nicole dholakia 08/14/2013 at 1:18 am

    Brogans Endurance WOD
    Deadlift: 195×5
    WOD: 1 round missed 65/knees to armpits/AP
    I did 4/5/4.

  7. Mullins 08/14/2013 at 1:00 am

    T, you will be missed bud. Didnt tell you I was leaving because I thought you would be disappointed and now this…wtf?

    Remember when you were hesitant to start crossfit because you thought you would get puny. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bp3j8yMPN5U

  8. Tom Bavin 08/14/2013 at 12:58 am

    One of the funniest people I’ve ever met. Picking out my favorite TJ quote is impossible as most of his lines were really part of an entire comedy act. However, the “if you ever get in trouble in Bulgaria, you can make friends if you know how to do Bulgarian split squats” routine is clearly a standout.

    Good luck bro!

  9. jason barrow 08/14/2013 at 12:41 am

    Deadlift: 325×5 (wanted to match Quigs)
    WOD: 5 Missed Rounds (4 pistols per round instead of 6)

    A few of those rounds I completed but into the next minute, 2 rounds I took off entirely. I did all 25 burpee lat jumps. Didn’t see too many other 5’s on the board…or a single other one…

  10. Jason 08/14/2013 at 12:13 am

    The most commented on post so far, at least that I’ve seen. That says something for sure. TJ we’ll miss you, 5:30 HTK won’t be the same. Good luck, and hope to see you around!

  11. tinamo 08/14/2013 at 12:00 am

    can’t help myself but contribute to this amazing “wall of tj”. like i’ve said it before- he’s like a true modern renaissance man. nothing the kid can’t do. lift heavy shit- done. play a musical instrument- bam. sing- look out johnny cash. can freestyle like it’s nobody’s business. cooks dinner- like a pro. eats like it’s his full time job. and his part time job. it’s a shame he doesn’t get paid overtime for it. yardwork- yeah he likes to get his hands dirty. tim the tool man pales in comparison. he’s like a dodge pickup- grabs life by the horns and owns it. such an amazing individual and his presence will greatly be missed around southie.
    it’s hard to write just one quote because there are so many…. but one of my all time favorites….. “wanna snuggle?”

  12. goose 08/13/2013 at 10:15 pm

    TJ$ – the bro-Montana of all the bros… There will always be a home here for you at CFS.

  13. Meg P 08/13/2013 at 10:06 pm

    My favorite things about TJ have to be his impersonations of the 5:30am class (the skunk story still kills me), his eating habits – the morning bag of eggs and realizing the proper way to order a burger at b.good is with 5-6 patties, being introduced to Dr. Dre radio on Pandora, the nicknames (completely agree with Bazooka Joe on this one), his wardrobe selection – dude has some of the best t-shirts, hats and Converse I’ve ever
    seen, and the contagious laugh that goes along with just about every story he
    tells. I don’t think there was a single day that I left class without some sort of crazy TJ story.

    Today’s parting words…. “it’s only cheating if you get caught bro”

    Favorite quote… “2 poods for the dudes!”

    Best of luck TJ!!!
    You will be missed!!!

  14. Shamwow 08/13/2013 at 9:07 pm

    Favorite TJ story:

    At Regionals in 2011, post thruster-ladder fame, of course, TJ and I are goofing off talking about Buffalo Bill with a couple other folks. The entire day people had been coming up to TJ and congratulating him on the show he put on. We start to notice these two girls milling around about 20 feet away from us. They keep looking our way…OK, TJ’s way…and whispering to each other. Finally the girls come over and one sheepishly asks in her best Valley girl voice, “Um, are you TJ O’Neill?” TJ replies, “Yes,” as if you would mistake someone else at Regionals for him. The girls were already giddy before they even came over, and once TJ answered them they began to giggle aloud. The girl was so star struck that all she could muster as a response was, “…you’re such a beast.” “Yeah! You’re such a beast!” her friend chimes in, lest she go unnoticed by TJ. As polite and as appreciative as can be, TJ thanks the girls. They kind of awkwardly linger for a few more seconds then leave. We have been making fun of this encounter for more than two years now.

  15. Patrick V 08/13/2013 at 7:58 pm

    Ahhh the Split Jerk days…”You don’t want a weak-ass base like you’re an infantry dude with a rifle, you want a strong, wide stance like you’re the dude holding the bazooka!”

    We will try to mash in a 5:30am Ragu Festival music sesh every once and a while in your honor. Good luck big man! -Vetter

  16. dudley 08/13/2013 at 7:43 pm

    Last summer, TJ would transition his t-shirts into bandanas – to either absorb sweat or keep his flowing locks in order. I subsequently forgot to bring a baseball cap to the beach one day that summer and proceeded to do the same w/my t-shirt for fear of burning my scalp. I now employ that same strategy when I leave the cap at home. So, thanks to TJ, my scalp will be eternally sunburn-free. Many thanks, TJ! And good luck, if anyone has a calling for Strongman, it’d be you.

  17. Michael McGuire 08/13/2013 at 6:59 pm

    Good luck TJ!

  18. Mike Quigley 08/13/2013 at 6:37 pm

    Best of luck TJ, sounds like a great opportunity. You will be missed. The music seems to be a running theme below – and all this time I thought it was just us old bastards in the 5:30am crew that were fans of your playlists.
    A quick story from just this morning….background is that TJ brings about a dozen (or more) hard boiled eggs into the 5:30am most mornings:
    I said to TJ this morning “TJ, the local egg economy is taking a huge hit with you moving to CT” right as I’m saying that he’s pulling something out of his bag with a sly grin – it’s an 18 pack of eggs. Never even seen one of those in my life! – looks like a dozen, but with an extra row of six. He told me he’s got an egg guy. I’m still laughing a few hours later.
    325# x5 DL, did the WOD RX without missing a round….there was maybe 5-10 seconds of rest each round.

    • amy 08/13/2013 at 6:57 pm

      Well, you would have laughed even more later when he pulled them out to eat them thinking that they were hard boiled and they were 100% raw. Must have grabbed the wrong 18 pack!

      • LJ 08/13/2013 at 7:56 pm

        which makes you wonder how many 18 packs of eggs TJ has in his fridge at any given time.

  19. Jacqueline Doyle 08/13/2013 at 3:52 pm

    Damn, this is a big loss for us here at Southie… TJ will you be greatly missed.

    TJ by far has the best music selection, somehow he always ended up playing some Michael J when I was in class since I once told him I knew the whole thriller dance…

    I will never forget his humor, old school hip hop, converse swag and Rasta sweatshirt. TJ always pushed me to work hard. I also will never forget his keg blog post (so funny) and his “beer complex” with the kegs. Wishing you all the best, you are definitely a Strongman!

  20. Bazooka Joe 08/13/2013 at 3:21 pm

    Say it ain’t so! I’m going to miss TJ’s jams at 6:30am and the way he broke down every movement by telling an awesome anecdote. I’ll always remember chipping my tooth during keg cleans and how TJ made me feel like a rockstar for finishing the WOD. Also the nicknames he came up with for everyone were amazing and made it feel like a big family.

    As Dantastic always says when it comes to TJ’s classes, “You come for the WOD but you stay for the entertainment.”

    Good luck TJ!

  21. Mark Rollins 08/13/2013 at 2:48 pm

    Good Luck TJ. You will be missed!

  22. Shamwow 08/13/2013 at 1:59 pm

    So you’re telling me that Mullins is responsible for not only bringing TJ to CrossFit Southie but also saving CrossFit from financial ruin?

    • amy 08/13/2013 at 3:00 pm

      Mmmm yes. And mullins actually is leaving us also. This is a rough month.

      • Shamwow 08/13/2013 at 3:26 pm

        There must be something in the water in Duxbury. T.S. Elliot was wrong: August is the cruelest month.

        • JeffSully 08/13/2013 at 8:19 pm

          First TJ, next Mullins next your going to tell me that there will be no more social wods, such a huge loss Congratulations TJ! Best of luck dude see you again real soon!

  23. Andrea Cooke 08/13/2013 at 1:47 pm

    I always knew TJ as the cool, ridiculously strong, long haired man of mystery. Sharing a hotel room with him and Haley for 10 days showed me that TJ is also the fucking funniest dude ever, super nice, and can come up with the best lyrics to be paired with his ukulele playing.

    I am going to miss the random dinosaurs placed around the gym.

    TJ, you may see me in Stamford… I have a SMALL crush on Rob Orlando…put in a good word!

  24. jason barrow 08/13/2013 at 1:39 pm

    I guess it’s time to look into a pair of headphones. I was just telling TJ last week that the only thing that gets me through the Top 40 Dance-Pop WODs is knowing that come Thursday night he’ll be kicking out the jams.

    Some random TJ thoughts:
    – I’m sure there are plenty of Crossfit coaches who bust out the robot when they’re feelin’ a song, no way there is another coach who does an authentic crip-walk around the gym though.
    – Dude has an eidetic memory for movie quotes, but not the same old quotes you heard a million times. Movies everyone has probably seen but NOBODY but TJ would ever remember quotes from. Can’t tell you how many times during class TJ busted out a quote from MUPPET TREASURE ISLAND or HOOK.
    – Also can’t tell you how many times TJ has said something completely inappropriate that made the 7PM Thur class lose it for minutes after he said it.
    – Sometimes we catch TJ and Tina-Mo doing a workout after class. You look at that and just think What the F am I even seeing here. There’s TJ, who could star in a Thor movie if Chris Hemsworth ever turns the role down, and there’s Tina-Mo who looks more like a model every day. They’re never doing anything routine either, pullups are always weighted pullups, running is always with some heavy object. It’s an awesome sight.

    Question for the other coaches. There are 10 parts to Wu-Tang’s ‘Triumph’. Who is going to step up and be able to sing along to every word in TJ’s absence?

  25. Alden 08/13/2013 at 1:31 pm

    Big T, it was great getting to know you, you, your personality and music selection will be missed for sure. Looking forward to seeing the TJ and Rob action figures come out. One of the great TJ moments was the invention of the “Danstand push-up”.

    Good luck bra!

    Rastafari

  26. C. Rusty 08/13/2013 at 1:30 pm

    Humble dude, humbling strength numbers via “barbellius”, articulate
    coach, colorful storyteller, broad comic range & delivery. TJ$ for Stamford mayor.

  27. Whisler 08/13/2013 at 12:34 pm

    TJ is the man for sure. I will definitely miss West Coast Wednesdays. Best of luck dude!

    • jason barrow 08/13/2013 at 12:41 pm

      I was always jealous hearing about West Coast Wednesdays. I got Throwback Thursdays which was cool, but ‘south central does it like nobody does’.

  28. Kara 08/13/2013 at 12:06 pm

    TJ, good luck in CT! Your new gym is lucky to have you. You always managed to make the early morning classes so fun that it was easy to forget how hard everything was.

  29. Babz 08/13/2013 at 7:51 am

    T.J. – what will we do without your stellar music choices? I am so happy for you. Congratulations, but I am so going to miss you and I won’t be back in time to give you a goodbye hug! I loved being in your classes ’cause it was always a great combination of humor and kick ass coaching!

  30. Manny Rodriguez 08/13/2013 at 6:59 am

    I always looked foward to Thursday 7pm with Tj,when i first saw this guy i was like jesus christ this guys is huge, so I was impressed that u can still be big doing cf, great coach laid back funny..good luck bro u’ll be missed!

  31. AliMinton 08/13/2013 at 3:14 am

    Oh wow! Good luck to you TJ! It was a pleasure to be on the 2011 Regionals team with you. Have fun lifting heavy shit!
    Best,
    Ali

  32. Tom Kuchenreuther 08/13/2013 at 2:17 am

    Great coach awesome dude, making me laugh at 7am is pretty tough and he did it every time I was there. Best of luck TJ!

  33. Ribeiro 08/13/2013 at 1:45 am

    My favorite thing about TJ is how he made every single day at Southie a blast. Whether it was putting up some serious weight, doing some “front squizzies” or just rolling out, every day was always something to look forward to. I’ll definitely miss the karaoke mid-WOD when a song TJ liked came on, or just sharing some funny stories while we warmed up. I’ve improved beyond what I thought possible with his help and can definitely say I wouldn’t be where I am at now without him. I wish you the best of luck and hopefully see you again soon buddy!

  34. Kendra 08/13/2013 at 1:45 am

    No! I’ll miss your classes — the jokes and old school hip hop made the wod go by a little easier. Best story is the one about why you can’t go to south america anymore. laughed the whole time. best of luck TJ.

  35. sammy belton 08/13/2013 at 1:29 am

    My story is from the Saturday I showed up for the intro class. I arrived early so there was still a class going on in Green. Weights dropping, hip hop blaring, pure chaos to the uninitiated. I wander over towards the desk and the Toasties are doing keg drills. In my mind I’m thinking this place is nuts. Then I’m directed over to Orange and who do I see, TJ. Standing like The Mountain (Game of Thrones was still on) in sunglasses and a bad ass Afro Brutality shirt… “I’m here for the intro class”…”All right Bro” *Fist Bump*

    I was born and raised in Connecticut. Best of luck down there Bro!

  36. Mike Green 08/13/2013 at 1:16 am

    Will miss the spider-man theme song, the PVC pipe huck-finn stretch, the occasional Johnny Quest reference and,the west coast hip-hop. Best of luck dude!

  37. shelby 08/13/2013 at 1:11 am

    noooo 🙁 Ill be sad to have TJ leave but yes fortunately Tino Mo lives right across the street from me so I know Ill be seeing him around. My first few memories of TJ started last summer before I had even come to southie. My Bf started taking the morning classes, with TJ as the coach and every time I asked him about it- he would tell me it was great! But i warn you- there is this big..really big dude that teaches- he is intimidating! My reply: my dads 6’6, my grandfather 7 feet tall- how intimidating can this guy be? Sure enough- my first class once I moved to Boston was at southie- and TJ was intimidating as sh** Until he opened his mouth! What a jokester to say the least and such a positive supportive person- let’s just say my fears quickly diminished. TJ’s classes were by far the most entertaining and fun and I’ve enjoyed the time I have gotten to know him. Such a great opportunity though- so hope you have fun at your new place TJ!

  38. Barry 08/13/2013 at 1:10 am

    News like this makes a crappy Monday even crappier. Bad for us, but good for you TJ! When I first started coming to CFS I thought the dude that would ride in on the sputtering Harley was one scary Mo Fo…until I got to know him.

    Favorite quote was when he was intro’ing 2for1 wall balls and surrounded by a green, blue, red and black med ball: “I’ve got a menagerie of wall balls here so come try one out”. Watching him ride around the box on his imaginery PVC-pipe-horse was always a good time.

    Best of luck TJ!

  39. Shannon Massey 08/13/2013 at 1:06 am

    I hope you have a uniform at Hybrid, and I hope it’s cut-off overalls. (I’ll miss your classes)

  40. Dale 08/13/2013 at 1:01 am

    WOW! Such a nice dude to talk to. Best of luck on the new gig T J you big teddy bear/ grizzly monster

  41. Guest 08/13/2013 at 12:50 am

    Favorite TJ moment was this picture on the white board.

    p.s. I did everything to make this picture appear straight.

  42. papa schurk 08/13/2013 at 12:36 am

    WOW, what can i say, but SON OF A BITCH! TJ it’s been a pleasure taking your classes, laid back, effin damn right! thats what made the classes so cool to take. T you’ve helped me more than you’ll know. anytime i needed a critque on my technique he was always avaialable. my 1st TJ encounter was my 1st real day at CFS, I got there early for the 4pm and amy and goose were having their staff meeting. i wasn’t sure where to go to kill the 40 minutes until class so Amy said why don’t you go roll out and stretch down back by TJ. I made my way to the back of the box and there was TJ doing pull ups and ring dips with a weighted flak jacket on. I was like HOLY SHIT! IS THIS WHAT THEY’RE ALL LIKE? they aren’t, cuz TJ is an original. good luck bro and see ya around!

  43. Marc Piccuirro 08/13/2013 at 12:16 am

    “135lbs for dudes, 95 for dudettes”