May 2019 Athlete of the Month - Joni Gibaldi


Our May Athlete of the Month is very well known in our community. She is one of the most welcoming and encouraging members your will meet. If you see her regularly at 6am class, you may hear her say “good morning doll,” “how are ya gorgeous?” when she walks in the gym or “thanks, have a great day” on her way out. Thank you Joni Gibaldi for being our May Athlete of the Month.
Joni was the first member to reach out to me when I came to this community in January 2016. We had previously at a few competitions where I competed against her daughter and now son-in-law. Joni sent me an email or facebook message welcoming me and letting me know how excited she was to have me as a coach. That was awesome. Joni has come a long way since I came to Island Park over three years ago. She has become more aware and proactive of her health in and outside the gym as well as a very consistent member. In turn, her performance in the gym has improved drastically. After Joni got hurt during the 2018 Crossfit Open, Dr. Jeremy and I have had numerous conversations how to keep her in class and motivated. Regular visits to Dr. J and rest were a big part. From there, Joni stuck to her plan to get better. It’s awesome to see improvement first hand. I remember Joni struggling to squat even near parallel and not quite make it there. Now, I watch her crush front and back squats at full depth. Joni is taking advantage of all the opportunities to improve herself and she’s enjoys every bit of it. She has lost a noticeable amount of weight over the last couple months. Keep up your hard work doll! It’s always a pleasure to have you in class.

Written by: Coach Rob Moloney

Why you started Crossfit?
I started CrossFIt because I was looking for a new workout after total knee replacement and my daughter had started and I went and did a workout with her and was immediately hooked. 

What’s your background? (Athletic)
I was a swimmer when I was little. Due to an accident at 10 I didn’t do anything athletic until my 30s I obtained a blackbelt in kenpo karate.

How long have you been a member and how long have you been doing CrossFit? 
I was just here 4 years in January I started CrossFit 5 years ago when I lived out east.

What is your favorite thing about the gym?
I have multiple favorites :
1. 6 am classmates that always push me and each other to work hard and be your best.  
2. All the events we have that bring all of us together.
3. My coaches have always been amazing but I have to give my special thanks to Jeremy Todd who has worked with me and continuous to work for the past 4 years. Not only does he coach he has taught me to understand the movement of my body. How it works and what I need to understand about my limitations but always pushing and supporting my growth.   If you put in the work you will see the results

What is the biggest challenge you have overcome since joining the gym?
Getting older. I’m not getting younger and I need to understand this it’s important for movement

What is your favorite moment at the gym so far?
Bench press because I’m good at it.

What's your favorite "cheat" food?

What would you say to someone who is thinking about starting?
Run in, don’t walk. It’s the most exciting thing you can add to your life. You will become fitter, you will make lifelong friends and you will see yourself differently and have a feeling of pride.

What drives you?
Keeping my weight off not ever going backwards or stopping 

What is you biggest fitness goal right now?
Handstand & toes to bar I was just at Granite Games watching masters athletes doing the things I want to obtain if they can do it so can I!