Who are you? Please introduce yourself to us.
I’m Manfred Johnson, 31, living in Heerlen. Proud dad of Ojani and Shiyah, I like to call them “mijn etters” but they’re really the best. I have a cleaning company together with Nadesch and I think it’s really cool to do this with my wife because we we share the same work ethic and vision of life. I love having fun with my kids and wife, I don’t really care that much as long we’re having fun together. I’m really passionate about Crossfit because I love the constantly varied programming and getting unusually comfortable in the uncomfortable.”
I am Nadesch Johnson, 29 years old and I live in Heerlen together with Manfred, our two boys Ojani and Shiyah and family friend James (our dog). For work I run together with Manfred a small cleaning company and next tot that i love to coach two times a week the CrossFit Kids class in the box.
Next to CrossFit, which is our family passion… I love to spend time with our family and friends, and going on new adventures together. I really like reading but I need to find and make more time for that again😊”
When did you first hear about CrossFit and what was your first experience like at CrossFit Heerlen/First WOD?
Manfred: “I first heard of CrossFit during a family dinner with Danny and Thess. They just started in the little school gym. I did my first class together with my wife and I thought I was fit, but after Danny’s warming up I thought we were done. I was done but the class just started😅 I’m not sure about which movements we worked on during the strength or skill part, or which workout we exactly did, but I remember that we did barbell rollouts, medball cleans and floor wipers. I never been so sore but I liked it.
Nadesch: “The first time I heard about CrossFit was when Danny and Thess just started their first CrossFit classes in a tiny kindergarten gym. Manfred and I did our first WOD together in there and I remember that the workout of the day was an AMRAP 12 (As Many Round/Reps as Possible in 12 minutes) of box jumps, floorwipers and barbell roll-outs. I don’t remember the rep scheme anymore. I never felt so tired before and didn’t know what was happening to my body at that moment and the days after. I could not stop talking about it!”
How long have you been CrossFitting and what did you do for exercise before?
Manfred: “I’m doing CrossFit for 2 years now. Before I loved to ride on the Brunssumerheide.”
Nadesch: “I am doing CrossFit now for 2,5 years and before CrossFit I didn’t do any sports. I did not like exercise at all. Untill I figured out what CrossFit was doing to me. I was also not supported as a child to do sports and try things out. So a whole new world opened for me after my Trial Class, I signed up and from that moment I came two times a week with a lot of fun and I still really look forward to every class.”
How many days/week do you CrossFit and what is your normal class time?
Manfred: “Usually I do 2/3 WODs and 1 Open Gym. On Mondays we try to make it a family thing and doing a class together while the kids watch or play games and on other days I go late in the evening.”
Nadesch: “2-3 WODS is my goal every week again, but most weeks it sticks on 2 WODS and 1 Open Gym hour on Saturday. I try to go on Monday evening and Thursday evening but I have no specific time. I sign in where spots are available and it depends on what time work is done. And that’s different each day… 😊”
What’s your most recent PR/accomplishment?
Manfred: “Box jump 115,5cm”
What is your favorite thing about CrossFit Heerlen?
Manfred: “Anyone that comes to the box to train, have fun with during and after class, to compete with or cheer on to get their PR.”
Nadesch: “That every time I walk in, it feels like a second home… We are all one family with different backgrounds, needs and goals. I love to spend time together in the box, talking with different people and get to know everyone better. And ofcourse, coaching all those different people 😊
What is your favorite healthy meal? And what’s your favorite cheat meal?
Manfred: “I love the Indian cuisine with all the different flavors and colors. Actually I like almost everything🤣 and I’m always ready to try new stuff. My favorite “cheat meal” is chocolate.
Nadesch: “Wraps with Veggies and Houmous 😊 And what’s your favorite cheat meal? Fries, Chocolate and Pizza!! But fluid calories also…. Whiskey, Triple beers and Red Wine.”
What accomplishments are you most proud of (outside and/or inside of the gym)?
Manfred: “6th overall at the Beach Throwdown!!!💪🏾💪🏾😁😁 Together with my buddy Danny Plesz we both did our first throwdown. We didn’t really know what to expect but we gave it all, we died a couple of times and we even won 1 out of 4 events that day!”
Nadesch: “Outside the gym; that I am spending my life with Manfred now for 13 years and the longer it lasts the better it gets and I am thankful for every day we have together with our boys! And inside the gym; I’m really happy to notice my overhead squat improvements. It gives me a little bit more self confidence.”
What is your favorite CrossFit movement and/or Bechmark WOD?
Manfred: “This is a tough one to choose because every aspect or category has his own charm. So if I have to choose it would be the snatch, to get a great lift you have to do everything right; grip or foot position off? Fail!! Mind off? Fail!! But technics and mind on the spot? A great win!!!”
Nadesch: “Filthy Fifty, Grace, DT, the Bear Complex and Miracle mile.”
Video: Nadesch performs her first 2 strict pull-ups in 2016
What is your least favorite CrossFit movement and/or Benchmark WOD?
Manfred: “Running!! I don’t like the fact that it takes so long to do a few meters 😂”
Nadesch: “Push ups and I also don’t like snatches in a workout (I like them as skill work)”
What motivates you to keep pushing during a WOD?
Manfred: “I have a few sentences but the one that works best is: I’m doing today what others won’t, so I can do tomorrow what others can’t.”
Nadesch: “When I want to stop I say to myself: ” You felt this before, and you did this before, so just keep going till time is up!”
How has CrossFit made your life easier?
Manfred: “Yes, in many ways. I’m much fitter so I can keep up with my kids and do whatever they come up with. Also my work as a window cleaner becomes easier, because my ladder becomes lighter. And I can go on much longer without fatigue.”
Nadesch: “Especially in our job where we are moving all day. It helped me to move well. It helps picking up things easily, but the biggest change is the one in my head.. 😉 I feel so much happier and stronger!”
What is one goal you would like to accomplish in the next year?
Manfred: “Taking THE podium of the Beach Throwdown with Danny!”
Nadesch: “I really want to grow as a coach. There is so much to learn as a coach next to being an athlete. Sometimes it even makes me a little bit frustrated… that feeling that there is so much to learn but just not enough time. But I keep going and I want to get better every year 😊 As an athlete I want to stand of my hands without a wall. Not much people know about this, but I am very afraid of being upside down. Also with a wall, but without a wall is just not an option in my head! But one day I will get there 😀 Thats my Goal! And if I made it, I can practise my handstand walk!”
Fun Questions: These are to answer about each other!
Describe each other in only 3 words.
Manfred: “Pff I can’t choose, non of them covers it all, but mostly: hottie, sweet and supermom.”
Nadesch: “Lief, oprecht en een échte doorzetter.”
If your partner could have a superhero power, what would he/she pick?
Manfred: “See through eyes”
Nadesch: “The strength of Hancock.”
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about each other?
Manfred: “We’re bad in keeping good habits😂😂”
Nadesch: “That we start every week again making the appointment to only drink beer, wine or whiskey in the weekend, and also leave the chocolate for the weekend, but we are failing for 12 years now… ”
Final Question: What advice would you give to someone just starting at CFH?
Manfred: “Listen to the coaches. It really helps 😁 Scaling isn’t failing! Nobody wants to do shitty reps so take that weight down!! If you can’t do the movement right, adjust it together with the coach. And remember that training isn’t competing. And most importantly; HAVE FUN!!”
Nadesch: “Read the awesome member handbook, and be patience… I think walking around in the box, doing you first WODs and all the information you get when you start CrossFit can be overwhelming. If you see other people do movements that amazes you, then know that most of these people work on these movements for a long time, sometimes for years, and they also started with pvc pipes, light weights and modified workouts. If you want to learn new movements or getting better, than pick just 2-3 and focus on these. Practise, practise, practise with lighter weight so you can make look your movements very well when you can go up in weight! Don’t stare yourself blind on RX, because modified is not easier. It fits where it needs 😉 Everyone needs their own level, and the good news is; you can go up in level!
Listen to the coaches, when they are explaining you the stimulus of the workout, because every workout is designed to make you better! And most important… HAVE FUN!”
The CrossFit Heerlen Staff Team about our CrossFit Couple of the Month
Thessyana: “Nadesch and Manfred are such a warm and welcoming presence. Their cheerful attitude and positivity are a wonderful addition to the CrossFit Heerlen Community. They set a great example of hard work and leaving it all out there. They are constantly working towards their goals during classes and at open gym and they are pretty dedicated on reaching them. I love how they both take what they get from the gym and use it to enrich their life outside of the gym together with their two amazing kids. They have shown consistency, grit and a lot of growth. Keep up the good work darlings. We are super proud of you! ♡”
Coach Valerie: “While Nadesch and Manfred are hard workers both in and out of the gym, their humble character is evident every day by the big smiles on their faces. They not only encourage each other to push themselves further than they thought possible, but they also encourage everyone else at the box to finish the workout strong. With a friendly and approachable demeanor, Nadesch and Manfred lead by example and are willing to help out anyone who asks. Keep up the good work and congrats on being named the CrossFit Heerlen couple of the month–a well-deserved titled!”
Coach Jos: “Nadesch en Manfred. Super koppel. Allebei verslaafd aan de sport CrossFit. Nadesch, naast CrossFit Level 1 trainer en CrossFit Kids coach ook altijd zelf fanatiek bezig. Manfred, ook altijd fanatiek aan het CrossFitten. En daarnaast bekend als dé Dancing King van CrossFit Heerlen. Jullie zijn een top en graag gezien stel in onze community!”
Coach Armand: “Nadesch, de altijd gretige, leergierige en onvermoeibare powervrouw en CrossFit Kids Heerlen coach. Elke training geeft ze zichzelf helemaal, even alles vergeten en alleenmaar aan CrossFit denken. En daarnaast Manfred waarvan het lijkt alsof hij gewoonweg niet serieus kan doen totdat je tegenover hem staat in een wedstrijdje. Dan is ie een killer! Zijn dance moves zijn onvergetelijk net zoals zijn drijfveer om zichzelf elke keer weer uit te dagen. Ik geniet er elke keer van om ze in mijn les te hebben!”
Video: That feeling when Manfred walks into our gym.
Coach Stephanie: “Als ik aan Nadesch en Manfred denk, dan denk ik direct aan FUN!!! Ook als ze samen de box binnen komen lopen, de manier waarop ze met hun kids omgaan; straalt gewoonweg goede energie en hele fijne vibes vanaf! #goodvibesonly Jullie zijn twee super lieve mensen die altijd hard aan het trainen zijn, samen en apart. Keep up the good work! #couplegoals Daarnaast zie ik ook hoeveel jullie voor de community en Danny en Thessyana doen. En dat siert jullie! #workhardstayhumble
Coach Danny: “Nadesch als CrossFit coach: professioneel, ambitieus en altijd goed voorbereid, als CrossFit atleet: vooruitstrevend, een perfectionist, een doorzetter, als moeder: een voorbeeld. Manfred als CrossFit atleet: prettig gestoord, supergemotiveerd, van rubber, (ongeremd) sterk, een teamplayer, als vader: superman. Manfred en Nadesch als koppel: ijzersterk. Ik heb niet alleen als coach, maar vooral ook als vriend enorm veel bewondering voor Manfred en Nadesch. Ze geven elkaar het respect dat ze verdienen. Twee toppers in de box, en twee hele mooie mensen zowel binnen als buiten de box.”