T2’s Athlete of the Month – November : Lara Mercolini

1. Tell us about yourself: I am married to Michael for 14 years. I have two children, Louis (8) and Helena (5). My full time job is a stay-at-home mom. However, I still work several days a month at UPMC Mercy Hospital as a licensed social worker.

2. How would your best friends describe you? They would say I am dependable, empathetic, trust worthy and detail oriented.

3. What is one thing that people find surprising about you? I played the piano and took ballet for 13 years.

4. How long have you been doing CrossFit? 13 months

5. What made you start CrossFit? After my daughter was born in 2012, the baby weight was not coming off. I found myself making up excuses for my health, “It’s too hard”, “I am too tired”, “I’m scared”, “I’ll start tomorrow, next week, next year”. My husband had been doing CrossFit for several years but I felt I could never do it. If it wasn’t for Brad Tobias and Dana Tecza, I probably would not be here today. On 9/7/2016, I received the worst and best text message from Dana: “Lara, Brad wants to know when you are coming in for your 1:1? I will be there with you. Give me a day and time.” Ugh … I was out of excuses. On 9/13/2017, I attended my first 1:1 with Brad (and Dana) and the rest is history.

6. What is your favorite thing about CrossFit? The friends I have made at T2. They are there when you need emotional, physical, or mental support. They are there when you need a prayer, a laugh, or when you need a push during a really hard WOD. The people at T2 are like our family.

7. What is your favorite movement? Shoulders to Overhead

8. What is your least favorite movement?  Tie between rowing and wall balls.

9. What is your biggest accomplishment to date, both CrossFit related and non-CrossFit related? My biggest accomplishment CrossFit related is the weight I have lost and the strength I have gained. I am down 20lb since last September. My non-CrossFit related goal is being a mom. It is by far the hardest job, but most rewarding.

10. What is your next goal? 1) Getting a PR on the 1-mile run; 2) Double-unders.

11. What is your favorite WOD you have done so far? Anything that involves shoulder to overhead, power cleans and kettle bells.

12. Free Write: Thank you to the coaches and members of T2 for pushing me beyond my comfort zone and for supporting and encouraging me along the way.


Coach Anna and Daniel Blevins who is heading up Task Force Phoenix

Veterans Leadership Program is excited to announce the launch of our new program, Task Force Phoenix. The mission of Task Force Phoenix is to improve mental and physical health, reduce substance abuse, and promote a higher quality of living among veterans. This program will allow Veterans to receive a year of physical training, tailored to their individual needs and limitations, at no cost to them.

There are currently six CrossFit gyms participating in Western PA and T2 is proudly one of them. If these Veterans happen to be in your class, please extend to them a very warm T2 welcome. The program begins at T2 on Monday, 6 November.


In summary from this week:

Coach Brad & Mini-Brad (Halloween – #fearthebeard)

Monday: T2 Kids & Teens: Bring a Friend and Halloween costumes. For anyone observing who didn’t know what was going on, they would have seen chaos. However, because of our magical unicorn coaches Dana and Jax, we managed to successfully and safely channel 41 children through a CrossFit workout. And even better, they all went home with huge smiles on their faces.

Tuesday: Halloween: A good number of members wore costumes and avoided burpee penalties. Thank you for entering into the spirit of the day, which included a phantom visit by Hugh Hefner.

Wednesday: Bring A Friend: thank you also for making our visitors feel welcomed.


Saturday: 9:00am Free Community Class. Maybe invite back the friends who came on Wednesday. Or invite a different friend – no experience needed and all levels of fitness and abilities accepted.

Saturday: 10:30am Members’ WOD

Monday-Thurs: 6:00-7:00pm new Intro Class begins. Or arrange a 1-on-1 with Anna. Click this link to contact her.

Monday: Task Force Phoenix begins


Good luck to anyone and everyone who might be competing this weekend whether CrossFit related or other.

Congrats to the Astros. Go Steelers.

Have a safe and wonderful weekend.


T2 Team


Author jtunnicliffe

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