Values

We believe that every person’s health and wellness are priorities. We believe that mental health is just as important as physical health, and physical movement promotes mental health. We feel strongly that every person should have equal access to health and wellness, regardless of income or social status. 

We think that keeping the small family feel is important and promotes a strong sense of community and commitment to that community.  We want each and every person that steps through our front door to feel welcome and embraced with our coaches and members. 

We foster kindness and respect.  We shake hands, we hold doors for people, we take care of our gym space, we inquire about how things are going with members and we listen. 


Name and Logo: CrossFit Vertical

CrossFit is functional fitness. Its primary goal is to improve the health and quality of a person’s life through constantly varied movements that aim to make everyday tasks, like carrying groceries or getting yourself up from the floor, manageable, even as we age. 

Vertical stems from several different aspects of who we are. 

The five peaks… Jana and Andy are fortunate to have three amazing, intelligent, funny, charismatic and spirited children.  The five peaks represent their family of five.


Meet Team Vertical

Jana’s dad used to say: “You’re only as good as the company you keep.”  We think we’re keeping some good company with these solid humans…


Jana Leyden

Co-Founder, CrossFit Level 2 Trainer

When I found CrossFit in 2013, I experienced a paradigm shift that was life-changing. Exercise became a “team” sport again.

When I found CrossFit in 2013, I experienced a paradigm shift that was life-changing. Exercise became a “team” sport again. Working out to “stay thin” became working out to gain muscle, get strong, fight the aging process, feel empowered, and move my body in order to live well. Experiencing this personally was (and continues to be) rewarding and refreshing. However, helping others discover this through coaching them has been the ultimate reward. I consider it a gift to work with athletes through CrossFit, and I’m grateful for the opportunity every day.

When I’m not doing CrossFit-related things, I can likely be found trying to keep up with our three very busy kids.  Outside of CrossFit and being a mom, I am passionate about traveling (domestically and internationally), hiking in the Adirondacks with our Topsail Tribe, planning an adventure with Andy, and diving into a book to relax for a few minutes.  

Welcome to CrossFit Vertical and our gym.  We are thrilled to be beside you as you experience this lifestyle.   

Certifications: 
CrossFit Level 2 Trainer
Adaptive & Inclusive Trainer Certification
CrossFit Scaling Certification
CrossFit Kids Certification
CrossFit Spot the Flaw Certification
CrossFit Gymnastics Certification
CrossFit Masters Certification
CrossFit Nutrition Level I Certification
First Aid/CPR/AED

 


Andy Lonsky

Co-Founder, CrossFit Level 2 Trainer

CrossFit has now become less of a competitive nature and more of “How can I use this functional fitness in my daily life?” “Move well to live well” emphasizes this, as CrossFit Vertical wants you to not only become fit but to use that fitness in your daily lives.

Fitness. It has a different meaning to everyone. I found CrossFit in 2013 and it became another outlet for not only overall fitness but competition. CrossFit became a source of daily competition between just myself and those in class. As time went on, I found a coaching role in 2014 and began to realize there was another side to CrossFit. Coaching allowed me to be more involved with athletes whether they were there for the best hour of their day or to push themselves through a challenging workout. 

CrossFit has now become less of a competitive nature and more of “How can I use this functional fitness in my daily life?” “Move well to live well” emphasizes this, as CrossFit Vertical wants you to not only become fit but to use that fitness in your daily lives. Whether it’s out playing a sport, picking up your groceries or out hiking a high peak, this is something we believe in and want you to be a part of.

When I’m not coaching, I can be found working for Cornell University in the Alumni Affairs and Development division researching for prospective donors to help the university. Jana and I have three talented kids. I love spending time with our 2 dogs and 2 cats, hiking the local gorges or high peaks in the Adirondacks along with traveling for new adventures!

I look forward to meeting each of you that comes through our gym doors and helping you along your fitness journey!

Certifications: 
CrossFit Level 2 Trainer
CrossFit Gymnastics Certification
CPR/AED
CrossFit Scaling Certification
CrossFit Masters Certification
Adaptive & Inclusive Trainer Certification



Laura Hayduchok

CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

Every day, I’m blown away by the determination shown by every member who walks through the door.  There’s nothing like seeing a room full of people dig deep and find the will to do one more rep when their lungs are on fire and muscles are screaming. 

Growing up, sports were always my main after school activity.  I enjoyed learning new skills and working together during matches or to survive a grueling practice.  Following college, I suddenly found myself in a much more sedentary lifestyle and missing the team camaraderie when I did make it to the globo gym.

After a few years of failing to keep up with a running program, I was encouraged to try CrossFit where I found the same physical, mental, and social stimulation I had missed from team sports.  While I was initially intimidated to join, I quickly got hooked on challenging myself during workouts (to the best of my ability; CrossFit can be for anyone, given good coaching and the right scale) and the downright outstanding community.

Wanting to give back to the community that has given me so much, I completed my L1 in 2018 and began coaching.  Every day, I’m blown away by the determination shown by every member who walks through the door.  There’s nothing like seeing a room full of people dig deep and find the will to do one more rep when their lungs are on fire and muscles are screaming.  I’ve found the incredible grit that CrossFit builds in people translates beyond the gym.  It squashes that self-doubt and proves you can do more than you ever thought you could.

Outside of CrossFit, I work as a Software Engineer, primarily coding in C++ and C#.  I have two dogs, Callie and Tucker (fondly called Thing 1 and Thing 2), and like to spend my time in the vegetable garden or tending my chickens.

Certifications: 
CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
First Aid/CPR/AED
CrossFit Scaling Certification


Jon Husson

CrossFit Level 2 Trainer

I look forward to being part of this community’s fitness journey and helping every member conquer their own unique challenges.

I first learned about CrossFit back in 2015 from one of my strength coaches at Ithaca College.  In my off-season from swimming, he suggested I come give it a try.  I immediately found a place in the sport.  When I completed my undergraduate degree in Clinical Health Sciences in 2016 I began to take more time to learn the CrossFit movements and found that I was really enjoying it.  I got my CF-L1 in Fall 2017 and began working with personal training clients as well as using these new skills to coach the strength and conditioning programs for the men’s and women’s varsity swimming and diving teams at Ithaca College.  I have continued to further my education in this sport as well as Olympic Lifting since then and have gotten to the point of receiving my CF-L2 and USAW-L2 back in the Fall of 2019.  Due to COVID, I made the decision to move some of my time away from my coaching hours and this eventually led me to my current position as a Fire Fighter for the City of Ithaca.  I have continued to work with many of my personal training clients and cannot be happier to be getting back into coaching CrossFit in the group setting with CrossFit Vertical!  I look forward to being part of this community’s fitness journey and helping every member conquer their own unique challenges at our gym.

Certifications: 
CrossFit Level 2 Trainer
USA Weightlifting Level 2
First Aid/CPR/AED
CrossFit Scaling Certification 


Heather Cooper

CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

I am excited to know that with CrossFit, I will be able to take care of and play with my grandchildren without the typical limitations that aging can impose.

I’ve been involved with some type of fitness for my entire life and have engaged in almost every fad fitness that has spanned the last 30 years: high impact, low impact and step aerobics, Bootcamp, kickboxing, P90x, Spartan races, long-distance running, etc.. But as with all fads, they come and go when the shininess wears off and that brand of fitness gets monotonous and uninspiring. That is what is completely different about CrossFit and why, even after 7+ years of experience, I am still excited to engage with, talk about, read about, learn more about, coach, etc. CrossFit. It has completely flipped the mindset of what I thought fitness and working out should be and what the results of fitness should look like. I am excited to know that with CrossFit, I will be able to take care of and play with my grandchildren without the typical limitations that aging can impose.

Certifications: 
CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
First Aid/CPR/AED
CrossFit Scaling Certification


Melissa Brechner

CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

I always walk out of the gym happier than when I walked in, and it is because of the people that are there with me. As a coach, I love to watch people work hard and make progress regardless of the amount of CrossFit experience they have.

I’ve been involved with some type of fitness for my entire life and have engaged in almost every fad fitness that has spanned the last 30 years: high

I grew up on a farm and had to have functional strength to move hay bales and other tasks that are involved in having farm animals.  I played sports in high school and college. When I moved to Ithaca for graduate school and tried to find something for exercise, I floundered. I tried long-distance sports like road biking, running, and triathlons but I was not able to be competitive in those sports, and I didn’t love them enough to embrace them just to have something to do.

I first heard about CrossFit in 2009 while teaching an athletic performance enhancement class at YMCA where I had very little equipment and searched the internet for bodyweight workouts. I stumbled upon a compilation of CrossFit bodyweight workouts that looked impossible! I started CrossFit in 2010 when I was pregnant with my second child and wanted to be active throughout that pregnancy under the guidance of a coach. I loved the diversity of exercises. It gave my inner athlete something to strive for again. There is always something new to work on because even when you can perform any given exercise, you can progress to more repetitions, or a heavier load, or doing the same work faster. 

The community that is created in most CrossFit gyms and especially at CFV makes it such that I happily attend classes even when my body and mind would rather skip it. I always walk out of the gym happier than when I walked in, and it is because of the people that are there with me. As a coach I love to watch people work hard and make progress regardless of the amount of CrossFit experience they have.

Outside of the gym I work for Cornell at the research greenhouses. I live in Newfield with my husband and three children. Our family hobby is exploring theme parks and finding new favorite roller coasters. I love outdoor sports like hiking, bike touring, backpacking, cross-country and downhill skiing, snowshoeing, and climbing mountains.

Certifications: 
CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
First Aid/CPR/AED
CrossFit Scaling Certification


Stacey Caskey

CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

My goal in becoming a coach was to expand upon my knowledge of functional fitness so that I could enhance my own programming but in doing so I am now inspired to share this wealth of information with people like me, people who might be intimidated to take that first step.

My functional fitness journey began in September of 2020 when I started personal training sessions with Jana at her home gym. I realized, mid pandemic while working at home sitting in front of a computer all day, that I needed to actively focus on my health and well-being and personal training was the best option since most gyms were closed. To say that this journey has been life-changing and eye-opening is an understatement. I barely made my way through the warm-up during my first session and debated whether or not I would come back. I honestly thought I would go for a few sessions and that would be it but the inner athlete in me wouldn’t give up and I stayed on for seven months. I quickly discovered that I am stronger than I gave myself credit for. In watching my coach inspire others to become one percent better day after day I was inspired to do the same. My goal in becoming a coach was to expand upon my knowledge of functional fitness so that I could enhance my own programming but in doing so I am now inspired to share this wealth of information with people like me, people who might be intimidated to take that first step.

CrossFit offers a built-in community of support that has now become like family. I have reconnected with classmates from high school and college as well as old colleagues I have not seen in several years. This community inspires me to be the best version of myself that I can be for my family. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker living in Ithaca with my husband of 21 years and our 2 kiddos. My daughter, Isabella is 15, nonverbal, and has Down syndrome. My son, Caleb is 13 and has Autism. I am a mama bear who is an advocate for the special needs community and I love how functional fitness is being incorporated into rehabilitation programs for individuals with disabilities. Every move and workout program we do in CrossFit is scalable to meet the ability of the athlete which is what keeps me coming back day after day.  

My goal is to have the most positive impact on the lives of the people that I work with; helping them become the healthiest, happiest versions of themselves. This goes beyond the physical benefits that CrossFit has to offer and encompasses a healthy balance between performance, mindset, motivation and lifestyle. I am honored to be part of the CrossFit Vertical coaching staff and can’t wait to be a part of your own health and wellness journey. 

Certifications: 
CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
CrossFit Scaling Certification
CrossFit Spot the Flaw Certification
Adaptive & Inclusive Trainer Certification
First Aid/CPR/AED 


Lisa Snyder

CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

The friendships I’ve made are lifelong, and the comradery that comes from within the four walls of the gym is unlike anything I have ever experienced.

I was introduced to CrossFit in 2012 while working out with a group of friends at my local gym. Picking through hero work outs that we found online, we decided to try incorporating a CrossFit workout to our routine once a week. I was intimidated and nervous to perform the workouts but intrigued and up for the challenge. At that time, I was 50 years old and a trainer at the gym said to me “CrossFit is only for athlete-athletes”, in other words “not for you”. That was just the push I needed to prove that CrossFit was for all ages! Since then, I’ve been devoted to CrossFit and have surprised myself both physically mentally with what I have accomplished. The friendships I’ve made are lifelong, and the comradery that comes from within the four walls of the gym is unlike anything I have ever experienced.

In 2022, after a career shift, I decided I wanted to take my passion a step further and help people in their fitness journey to find functional fitness through CrossFit. CrossFit has done, and continues to do, that for me, so why not share that love with others?! When I’m not at the gym you’ll find me being a wife, a mom, and a Nana to four wonderful grandchildren. I love cooking, reading, laughing and being outdoors.

Certifications
CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
First Aid/CPR/AED

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