Coaches

George Fairley

Lead Coach

George is aware of the obstacles many people face on their quest to building fitness. The path he took from an overweight adolescent to winning a state championship in high school wrestling, informed him of the importance that hard work, family support and good coaching play in the development of an athlete.

George has worked in the “Health and Fitness Industry” since 2004 in several capacities, such as globo gym trainer, corporate fitness presenter and trainer, and most recently, director of training and head coach at CrossFit Construct in Chicago.

Helping athletes refine their technique, improve their mobility, or change their body composition, all present rewarding challenges. Being a part of the sense of empowerment that people feel when they are able to accomplish their athletic, fitness, and health goals has fuelled George’s passion for CrossFit and coaching. George has a Bachelor of Arts from Indiana University.

Events Participated in:

  • 8th place in 2012 CrossFit North Central Regionals (Individual)
  • 8th place in 2013 CrossFit North Central Regionals (Individual)
  • 2nd Place 2013 Mid-American Weightlifting Competition (94kg class)
  • 2014 & 2015 National Championship Qualifier (weightlifting)
  • 1st place and best lifter in 2014 Illinois State meet (weightlifting)  94kg class
  • Best competition Snatch: 138kg; best competition clean and jerk: 166kg; best competition total: 304

Activities outside of CrossFit:

  • Attending various performing arts shows (improv, sketch comedy, most everything from the Steppenwolf), traveling, snowboarding, and being active.

Certifications:

  • CrossFit Level 1
  • CrossFit Kettlebell
  • CrossFit Mobility
  • CrossFit Strongman
  • Poliquin’s PICP Level 1 and Level 2 Strength Coach certification
  • NASM – National Academy of Sports Medicine (2011 exp)
  • USA Weightlifting Level 1 Sports Performance Coach
  • CPR/AED

 


Jessica Fairley

 Coach

Growing up in Arizona, Jessica focused her energy on athletics. In high school, Jessica was a varsity athlete in volleyball, basketball, and track, but she was most passionate about volleyball. She and her high school team won the State Championship in 2003. Jessica continued to play volleyball throughout college, playing for the University of Arizona’s Club team that placed 2nd in the NCCS National Volleyball Championships in 2009. Jessica was introduced to CrossFit shortly after college and found that it filled the void created by volleyball.

Members of the CrossFit community remind her of old volleyball teammates, and the competitive energy she feels in the box is just as familiar. Jessica believes that with a supportive network, progress is inevitable. She hopes that the members of Hardware CrossFit will see the benefits of and appreciate such a positive, supportive community. To top everything off, Jessica finds CrossFit simply to be fun. She has never found going to a big box gym and stepping onto a cardio machine to be fun (and that’s probably the reason she paid for a year’s membership up front and only went a total of 14 times).

The real enjoyment happens the moment you walk into the gym, see familiar faces, tell some jokes, and share in the pain of a workout. Jessica has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Arizona.

Events participated in:

  • 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 CrossFit Games – Open
  • 2015 Fit Fem Summer Classic
  • 2014 Midwest Monster/2014 Wisconsin Open (weightlifting)
  • 2015 Fall Chicago Open (weightlifting)

Activities Outside of CrossFit:

  • Hanging out with Hardware’s gym dog, Reggie B. Fairley

Certifications:

  • CrossFit Level 1
  • Poliquin Bio-Sig
  • CPR/AED

Bjorn BolligDSC_0005

Coach

In fall of 2012, Bjorn was playing tag with his third grade students on the playground. After a matter of minutes, he found himself soaking wet with sweat and unable to continue. Despite playing soccer and swimming in high school, years of inactivity and poor diet left him more than 50 pounds overweight. He knew it was time for change.
Throughout the fall of 2012, he tried many at-home fitness programs. He saw some results, but these results came at the price of numerous injuries. He knew he would not be able to meet his fitness goals on his own.
Initially, Bjorn was reluctant to try CrossFit. He had heard about CrossFit  but felt intimidated by squatting heavy weights and Olympic lifting. Putting his fears and apprehension aside, he decided to try it.  Within his first week, the intimidation factor was gone, and he felt welcome in the “box” community. Over the next few months, Bjorn began to see his fitness goals realized with the help and support of the coaches and other members of Hardware CrossFit. After six months of injury free training, Bjorn pursued his Level 1 Certification.
Bjorn’s favorite part of coaching is seeing people doing things they once thought impossible: their first strict pull-up, the first time the bar flies effortlessly over their head in a snatch, or the first time the letters “RX” appears next to their name on the whiteboard.
Events Participated In:
  • 2012 CrossFit Open
  • 2012 Tough Mudder

Activities Outside of CrossFit:

  • Spending time outdoors: fishing and camping
  • Graduate Student: Master of Arts in Teaching

Certifications:

  • CrossFit Level 1
  • CrossFit Kids
  • National Soccer Coaches Association of America Advanced Regional Diploma
  • CPR/AED

Owen DaviesDSC_0546

Coach

An Australian-born Canadian, Owen has been active and played sports most of his life, including hockey, soccer, field hockey, skiing (downhill and cross-country) and other outdoor activities. He also played rugby competitively until a recurring shoulder injury and a less resilient body pushed him to the sidelines, where he discovered the rewards of coaching.
This resulted in a more sedentary lifestyle and a whole lot of white bread and butter (and bacon of course) started to take a physical toll until Owen discovered CrossFit after reading the transformative The Omnivore’s Dilemma (Michael Pollan, 2007) and resolved to make positive lifestyle changes. In 2009 Owen and some friends began doing CrossFit main site WODs in a variety of non-box environments – including his basement gym. CrossFit’s variety, open-source methodology, science and structure has filled a hole for Owen and coaching has provided Owen with additional growth opportunities on his quest for virtuosity. He loves that everyday is an opportunity to learn.
Owen and his wife, Laura, live in Rogers Park with their 2 cats.
Events Participated In:
  • 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 CrossFit Open
  • 2013 CrossFit VisOne Turkey Takedown
  • 2013 CrossFit Freedom Fitoberfest
  • 2013 Amplify Garage Games

Activities Outside of CrossFit:

  • Traveling and “dropping in”
  • Project/product manager at CampusGuard
  • Politics, current affairs and news junkie
  • Friend to all souls (men, women, children and animals)

Certifications:

  • CrossFit Level 1
  • CPR/AED

Tommy Doyle DSC_0466

Coach

Tommy has always loved and participated in sports. As a youth, he played hockey, water polo, and was part of the swim team. In high school he focused primarily on water polo and swimming. During his junior year, Tommy helped lead his water polo team to the high school state tournament, but ultimately fell short and finished 3rd place in state overall. In short, Tommy is a competitor, and feels his best when being active with others.

Since high school, it was hard for Tommy to find a fun way to stay fit. He tried joining LA Fitness, but quickly found himself bored with the little variation in his daily routine. In the winter of 2013 Tommy walked into Hardware CrossFit, nervous but more so excited, for a private introductory class with Head Coach/Owner George. After his session with George, and participating in a free class, Tommy was hooked (to say the least), he signed up as a member of the Hardware community and we haven’t been able to get rid of him ever since.

Tommy sees CrossFit as an empowering community. As a coach, he is excited to have the opportunity to help his piers reach, and surpass their goals.

Activities outside of CrossFit:

  • Traveling
  • Discovering New Restaurants ( I love food)
  • Watching/Playing Sports
  • Shenanigans

Events participated in:

  • Numerous triathlons, 5k’s, and 10k’s
  • 2014 CrossFit Open
  • 2014 Midwest Monster
  • 2014 Wisconsin Open
  • 2015 Chi-Town Throwdown

Certifications:

  • CrossFit Level 1
  • CPR/AED

Katy Wesemanunnamed

Coach

A former competitive swimmer, Katy has always loved the challenge of setting and achieving fitness goals. Cleaning through her childhood bedroom recently, she found a notebook listing target benchmarks that she set, at age fourteen, for her future high school and college swimming career. Little did she know that twenty years later goal swim times would be replaced by similar aspirations in CrossFit.

Throughout her life, Katy has found that working with others to reach their goals is even more rewarding than meeting her own. Her professional life has taken several twists, but teaching, learning, and community building have been constants. Before pursuing her current career in higher education, Katy worked in recreation management as an aquatic director at a YMCA. In that role, she particularly enjoyed teaching adults how to swim, helping them work through their fears and over-thinking of the movements.

Katy found CrossFit late in 2011 and joined Hardware as a member shortly after the gym opened in 2012. The thing she loves most about the experience is learning new skills that she had never been able to do before. During workouts she often thinks to herself “I can’t believe I can actually do this!” She is thrilled to have the opportunity to coach others and to help foster an awesome community of athletes!

Events Participated In:
  • 2014, 2013 CrossFit Open
  • 2014 WorkingOut: Chicago’s First LGBTQA CrossFit Competition
  • 2013 No Baby, Leave the Socks On
  • 2013 Athena Classic
  • Countless Triathlons and Running Races

Activities Outside of CrossFit:

  • Advocating for LGBTQ college students
  • Trying out new Paleo-inspired vegan recipes
  • Urban gardening

Certifications:

  • CrossFit Level 1
  • CrossFit Endurance
  • CPR/AED

Anthony Nguyen
DSC_0190

Coach

Anthony started to participate in competitive Tae Kwon Do in early elementary school. He competed in numerous local and state Tae Kwon Do tournaments, winning in both forms and contact sparring. Once in college, Anthony stopped competing  due to an undiagnosed illness that made staying physically active very painful; the loss of mobility and unbearable pain drastically changed his life. After being properly diagnosed and treated for ankylosing spondylitis (a form of rheumatoid arthritis), normal physical movements that were once painful such as walking and running became pain-free.

With diminished strength, mobility, and lack of self-confidence, Anthony started back on the track to athleticism by enrolling into a big box gym. The multitude of machines and lack of guidance left him with little motivation to improve his physical limitations. Upon discovering Hardware CrossFit, coaches George and Jess reassured him that workout programs can be scaled for athletes of all abilities. With George and Jess’ strong support and coaching, his strength, mobility, and self-confidence have all greatly increased. Anthony looks to “pay it forward” in the community by helping all athletes attain their fitness goals.

Events Participated In:
  • CrossFit Open 2013, 2014, 2013
  • Tough Mudder 2013
  • Fight Gone Bad 2013 for The Busted Foundation
  • Galt Games 2014
  • Chi-Town Throwdown 2015
  • Working Out 2015

Activities Outside of CrossFit:

  • Trodo Games Judge for the Trodo Box League: Chicagoland CrossFit Community competition league
  • Outdoors: Biking, Hiking, Boating, & Fishing
  • Adventure Sports: Paintball, Skydiving, & Snowboarding
  • Museum Enthusiast

Certifications:

  • CrossFit Level 1
  • FMS/Functional Movement Systems Level 1 & 2
  • CPR/AED

 


Tommy YamaokaDSC_0040

Coach

Tommy hails from the great state of Michigan where he spent his youth participating in all sports, eventually focusing on competitive golf and swimming. While at Hope College, Tommy focused only on golf leading his team to multiple conference titles and national tournament appearances. After college he moved to Chicago to begin a career and the break from competition was nice but eventually created a void that city life did not fill.
After a couple years of no fitness regimen, a failed at-home fitness program, and a globo gym membership that was greatly underutilized, he knew he needed to try something different. He had heard about Crossfit from a co-worker and was very interested in trying it out. He reached out for the intro class at Hardware and after a few classes decided to sign up.
CrossFit is extremely empowering and also very humbling. Tommy has certainly experienced life-changing results from his time at Hardware, both physically and in personal growth. The community is what makes Hardware special and getting to see the results of all the members’ hard work is extremely rewarding as a coach. There is nothing better than hearing the PR Bell ring!
Events Participated In:
  • 2014, 2015 CrossFit Open
  • 2015 Chi-Town Throwdown
  • 2015 WorkingOut
  • 2015 Spring/Fall Chicago Open (Weightlifting)

Activities Outside of CrossFit:

  • Travel
  • Cooking
  • Wine
  • Collecting Vinyls

Certifications:

  • CrossFit Level 1
  • CPR/AED

Gillen Witherspoon

DSC_0351

Coach

Born into a competitive family, Gillen always enjoyed the thrill of competition. Growing up, Gillen focused all of her attention on soccer. As a goalkeeper and team co-captain she helped lead her club soccer team to 5 state championships and several regional appearances. Gillen decided to forego collegiate soccer at the University of Iowa, but still needed a competitive outlet. To fill the void, she played intramural soccer and flag football representing her sorority, Chi Omega.

After college, Gillen realized that it was being part of a team that drove her joy of competition. Working out alone and struggling to stick to a routine, she started working with a trainer who introduced her to CrossFit. While the training style piqued her interest, it wasn’t until she moved to Illinois that she was introduced to a true CrossFit community. The friendships, experiences, and opportunities afforded by CrossFit have kept her coming back almost every day since. Gillen loves seeing growth in herself in those around her. “CrossFit has helped me become a stronger person both mentally and physically. The confidence I gained in the gym has translated into my everyday life at work and at home.”

Events Participated In:
  • 2014, 2015, 2016  CrossFit Open
  • 2014, 2015 Amplify Garage Games
  • 2014 Galt Games
  • 2014 Granite Games
  • 2015 Wodapalooza
  • 2015 Chicago Open (Weightlifting)
  • 2016 Illumine Open (weightlifting)

Activities Outside of CrossFit:

  • Spoiling her dogs, Sneakers and Sperry
  • Collecting sneakers
  • Traveling to visit family and friends

Certifications:

  • CrossFit Level 1
  • CPR/AED

Dana FullerDSC_0131-1024x678

Coach

Growing up in Nevada & New England, Dana always played organized sports (football, wrestling, track). Never the best athlete on the field, mat, or court, Dana excelled at practice and especially loved the conditioning that everyone else seemed to hate. Shortly after moving to Chicago to pursue his doctorate, though, a knee injury and the bad habits of graduate school (not sleeping, heavy drinking, literary theory) caused him to give up the gym & turned him into an unhealthy adult. Having hit a low point around 2005, he worked his way back into a little better shape doing the globo-gym thing on his own. However, in 2009 while taking a long kayak trip on his honeymoon with Melissa diLeonardo (aka, Hardware’s yoga coach & the Chicago Reader’s Best Personal Trainer of 2013), Dana quickly realized he would have to up his game if he was going to keep up with her for the next several decades. A little internet research led him (and Melissa) to CrossFit Chicago where he rediscovered his passion for fitness (and met George). Six years later, Dana is a part-time personal trainer, a full-time dad, and the happiest he’s ever been.

As a coach, Dana is especially interested in helping people achieve their best balance between challenge & sustainability, between working harder than you ever have & having a whole lot of fun. As a proud member of the smart, diverse, and hilarious community that is Hardware, Dana is humbled by the opportunity to help make—and keep—you stronger & healthier.

Events Participated In:

  • 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 CrossFit Open
  • 2011, 2012, 2014 Chicago Indoor Rowing Championship
  • 2013, 2014 Men’s Health Urbanathlon
  • 2012, 2014 Barbells for Boobs

Activities Outside of CrossFit:

  • Walking the dog & collecting beach glass
  • Baseball
  • Movies
  • Books (especially about baseball & movies)
  • Food & nutrition

Certifications:

  • American Council on Exercise, Personal Trainer
  • CPR/AED

 


IMG_6334-2Ozzie Ganet

Coach

Ozzie was on the Evanston Township High School basketball team in 1975. As was common in the era he grew up in, he spent his entire youth as an athlete playing all sports; baseball, basketball, football and even hockey. Basketball was his favorite. Mostly all of the athletics were “play”, for fun.

He remained athletically active even as he pursued his career as a professional rock pianist. Also, formerly a teaching staff member at the Old Town School of Folk Music.

Move ahead 35 years or so, sore calves and all, and we see the fitness-crazed 58 year old. Ozzie specializes in helping people through exercise, diet, and a peaceful mind and spirit, to discover their “will to be fit”.

Ozzie started his Crossfit journey 7 years ago at Evanston Ultfit, and after 4 years subsequently became a CrossFit Level 1 Instructor and began to teach classes there. Ozzie has a passion for teaching and an obsessive nature that that goes along with his belief in the concept of striving for perfection and virtuosity. Those are concepts that unite his musical ability and his fitness life. Ozzie likes to emphatically say, ‘“if anyone tells you cannot get stronger as you get older, they are wrong.” Ozzie believes in being fit over 50.

Events Participated In:

  • 2016, 2015, 2014 CrossFit Open
  • PowerFit Games Masters Finalist 2014

Activities Outside of CrossFit:

Music, piano, golf, going to theatre, White Sox, socializing with friends, cats, family, spending time with wife Cheryl.

Certifications:

  • CrossFit Level 1
  • CrossFit Scaling