Athlete of the Month: April ’20

Dawn Bakazan!

About Dawn:

Age: 42

Occupation:  Air Force Spouse/Mother/Front Office Clerk at Grafton High School

Fitness background: 

I was a cheerleader in High School, but then after that spent many years doing absolutely nothing!  In 2010 I began to get healthy and started running. In 2012 I was peer pressured into trying CrossFit with some friends.  It was free and on base with my girlfriends so I gave in and began my first journey with CrossFit. Sadly after moving from that base in 2013 to the Northern Virginia area we found that the cost of CrossFit was more than we were willing to pay at that time and I slipped back into a period of not being active.

Hobbies: Spending time with family

Favorite pre/post workout: I love all food!  But if I need a quick snack before a workout I like a vanilla greek yogurt with some fruit and a sprinkle of granola for crunch.

What is your spirit animal?

Probably a dog, loyal and  loving but loves a good nap! Ha!

What Super Power would you want to possess?


What is your favorite “Cheat Meal”?


What 3 Things would you bring with you to a deserted island?
I’m a realist so I need a water purification system, a machete, and a blow torch!

What are your top 3 most frequent Emojis?

When did you start Crossfit and why did you choose OP?

My journey at CFOP began in late September.  My son Calvin joined first, and because he was just 15 at the time I had to drive him there.  After a week or two of driving him there and sitting in the car for the hour I realized that it was a special kind of lazy that drove all the way to the gym and then didn’t go in!  I was still way too afraid to jump back in to regular CF but I figured I could give OP30 a try. After a couple months of that, several of you encouraged me to jump on over to the other side of the gym and give the group classes a try.  Calvin really provided that last push and encouragement to make me brave enough to take the leap. The week of Thanksgiving was my first week of “real” CrossFit and I have been pretty faithfully attending ever since. As to why we choose OP…….We did reach out to another box first to get Calvin started and they wanted him to participate in the kids class.  He tried it once, and was the oldest kid in the class by at least 6 years! They were unwilling to allow him in the adult classes so I started researching other boxes. After reading all of the amazing online reviews I reached out to CFOP. We received such a warm welcome and felt at home immediately. Everyone from Di to Sandi to Faunt were encouraging Calvin and telling him how much he was going to love it.  It was amazing! We knew we were where we needed to be.

January 7th, 2020

What was your first workout/most memorable workout?

I’m not sure what my first WOD was, but I think my first OP30 class was just me and Eric was coaching.  We were outside and it involved the ski erg. All I remember is thinking I was going to die and that my head was going to explode! HAHA!


What were/are your goals and how has Crossfit and OP helped you accomplish them?

My goal is really just to be healthy and strong.  I would really like to get an unassisted pull up one day but I know I am still a long way off from that goal.  CFOP has already helped me so much in pushing me outside my comfort zone regularly to make me stronger. Honestly sometimes pushing me to prove to me how strong I already am.  My downfall is lack of self confidence and loving to stay in my comfort zone. Having coaches and fellow athletes encourage me to step out of my comfort zone and lift heavier and jump higher than I ever thought I could is a gift I can’t ever say thank you enough for.  Literally brings tears to my eyes as I type this.  


What are your favorite Crossfit movements and why?

I love jumping rope even though I still can’t string my double unders together.  I also really like Push Press because I have improved SOOOOOOO much on them since I started.  It reminds me that I am getting stronger and that I can do hard things if I just keep working hard.

What is your proudest Crossfit accomplishment?

I think getting a 24” box jump in sets of 5 in a warm up we did a month or so ago.  I NEVER thought I would be able to do that.


What’s something memorable you’ve realized or learned while being at OP?

I think the most important lesson I have learned is how important an encouraging word from someone can be.  I have seen the impact it has had on Calvin and felt the impact on me as well. Having someone who isn’t obligated to even speak to you, actually encourage you and cheer you on is really meaningful.

More from Dawn:

I guess just THANK YOU!!!!  To all the coaches and athletes who make CFOP such a special place.  The commitment to community and the high quality coaching is what sets OP apart from all the rest.  We feel blessed to be a part of this special community.