Noah LaPorte - Head Coach

Noah LaPorte

My goal has always been to help people. When I was young, my initial idea was to go into ministry or become a doctor. I pursued a degree in ministry and was trained in how to manage and care for groups of people and to teach them. However, after finishing my degree, I realized that ministry might not be the best application of my skill set.Nonetheless, the idea of interacting and communicating with people to better themselves has been a constant goal. I have always loved sports and athletics.

After discovering CrossFit three and a half years ago, I instantly fell in love with all aspects of the program.  I loved the actual CrossFit classes and community, but I also loved how it affected every aspect of my life.

CrossFit means so much to me because it changed my life, and I want to pass on my experience to others. Money and fame are all things that can come and go, but the opportunity to change peoples’ lives is something that will stay around forever.

I love this city and want to put down roots in Lincoln Park and create something amazing for this city.

Certifications: CrossFit L1, CrossFit Coaches Prep, CrossFit Kids, CrossFit Competitors Course, CrossFit Football, CrossFit Mobility, CrossFit Strongman, CrossFit Striking, CrossFit Defense, CrossFit Kettle-bell, USAW L1 Coach, USA Track and Field L1 Coach.

Johnathan Huggett - Director of Training and Programming

Johnathan Huggett - Director of Training and Programming

Johnathan Huggett

I vision life as an opportunity. Choice is the greatest gift life has given us. Every day I have concisely made the decision to take the path that will best benefit life as I view it.  It was with this vision I joined the Navy right out of high school. Prior to joining the Navy, all choice I had made only had impacted me, the individual. My first taste of carrying myself for others came during my first day of INDOC. I was one of 80 men across the United States who had been selected to a submarine unit out of Groton, CT. It was this moment when I discovered that my life’s choices impact those around me. The choices I would make throughout the next four years constituted survival at a depth of hundreds of feet below the surface.

Upon discharge from the Navy I enrolled in the University of Connecticut. Having acumen for fitness, I took to the study of Kinesiology. Through work-study I was tasked with developing a in-season program for the girls lacrosse. Additionally, I had the opportunity to intern with Parisi Speed School out of Bristol Ct. In the spring of 2010, I was approached by an athlete who was an avid CrossFitter. He drew the comparison to my programming and the workouts typically seen in a CrossFit environment. This was the very first exposure I had to CrossFit.

Oddly enough, the idea of joining a CrossFit gym first crossed my mind while I was training with my best friend at a local globo gym near the University of Connecticut. We would both challenge each other and often times be approached by members of the staff whom which would claim that we were being too intimidating and needed to stop olympic lifting because we were scaring others! We both contemplated buying a bar and weights to train in my basement, since olympic lifting was the foundation to our programming. After scratching that idea due to limited space, we decided to check out the local box, CrossFit Storrs. Now being full time college students, and holding full time jobs bouncing at a local bar- the price of admission was in our own right..intimidating. The owner of the gym understood and offered us both a one week pass to try it out to see if we could justify the expense. To this day, it was the best decision I have ever made.

I have been CrossFitting since the Fall of 2010. I obtained my CF-L1 and CrossFit Strongman certifications in the spring of 2013 and plan to pursue many more certification in the near future. However, it is my ability to teach and convey concepts that allows me the privilege to coach.

Certifications: Bachelors of Sciences in Kinesiology: Exercise Science, CrossFit-Level 1, CrossFit Level 2, CrossFit Strongman, USAW L1

Alex Carrion - Coach

Alex Carrion - Coach

Alex Carrion

Born in Chicago and raised in Miami, I was like any other kid. Video games and junk food but it was through video games that I developed my competitive tendencies. At 16 I started training martial arts, soon after I itched to learn more which led me to mixed martial arts.

MMA changed me. I still and will always love a good video game but I immediately fell in love with this new craft. It wasn’t long before I was fighting in rings, cages, and a few backyards. It felt incredible to be in an environment where my competitive nature was praised. The years I trained and traveled the east coast fighting were some of the hardest and most rewarding years of my life. Fighting has epically colored my human experience and I am grateful for it daily.

 During my training, I knew i needed to be stronger and faster I became obsessed with getting stronger and that’s what ultimately led me to CrossFit in 2010. Three years later I earned my CrossFit level-1 certificate and since have competed with elite level athletes in 10+ CrossFit and strongman competitions in South Florida.

As a coach, I’ve always set out to introduce people to sides of themselves they’ve never met. That small part of you that really wants to grow, that last rep you pulled out of nowhere, that steady flame that burns in the deepest corner of your gut; I want to capitalize on that. You gather all your courage and all your light, you bring it to class, you put in the work, and WE will grow. Every time.

Certifications: CrossFit L1

IMG_2729.JPG

Megan Benzik

I was diagnosed with lupus when I was 12 years old. It was at that point that I realized I had 2 choices. I could choose to let Lupus control my life or I could choose to fight it.
 
I chose to fight. I am so lucky to have an amazing mom who made sure she was guiding me in the right direction. She bought me a gym membership as soon as I was healthy enough to function again. I would go to the  gym with her before school on most days and, at 12 years old,  I rocked that elliptical machine! =D haha She listened to my complaints of achy joints and pain, but gave no sympathy. She helped me realize that the best thing I could do was go to the gym and MOVE, despite the pain. This is when I learned to never use my Lupus as an excuse.
 
After getting extremely sick my sophmore year in high school, my mom hired a personal trainer to help me get back on my feet. That’s when my life really changed. He motivated me to want to eat healthy, he proved to me that working out could be fun, and his program made me feel strong again. He changed my perspective on fitness and showed me that I was in control of my life and health. This was when I decided I wanted nothing more than to change other people’s lives the way he changed mine. I wanted to prove to everyone that they are in control of their health.  I became a personal trainer straight out of high school.
 
I went to college as a Biology major, looking to possibly go to graduate school as a physical therapist. That was until I found CrossFit. I will never forget watching the 2010 CrossFIt games on TV and being amazed at what these people were capable of. It was at this moment I decided that I would do whatever it would take to one day make it to The CrossFit Games. What better way to win over my Lupus than competing alongside the fittest on earth?
 
The next day, having zero athletic background and no CrossFit experience, I walked into a CrossFit gym to try it out. 
 
It was love at first WOD. =] I started CrossFit in October of 2011 and was level 1 certified by the next June. I loved how instead of influencing one person in an hour, I was able to influence a whole class of people. I fell in love with the excitement of hitting a new PR, the closeness of the community, and the constant encouragement to push the boundaries of what is possible. I found my true passion and calling in life and have been following it ever since. 
 
This past year, after 5 years and a ton of trial and error, I finally qualified and competed the Central Regional. Being out on that floor motivated me more than ever to keep reaching for the ultimate goal of competing at The CrossFit Games. I hope to show everyone that no matter what stands in your way, if you want something bad enough, you can make it happen. 
 
Certifications: CrossFit L1, CrossFit L2, CrossFit Gymnastics, ISSA Fitness Trainer, Strength Specific Seminar Oly Cert.