O2X was founded by three Navy SEALs with a shared desire to serve others.
The O2X team is comprised of more than 150 U.S. Special Operations veterans, first responders, elite athletes, and a continually growing network of human performance specialists who are subject matter experts and leaders in their respective fields.
Rachel is an Events Coordinator here at O2X and works with the Product Team to manage the planning, logistics, and execution of events throughout the year. Rachel came to O2X after several years working on the Events and Experiences team at Fenway Sports Management, the sports marketing agency of the Boston Red Sox and Fenway Sports Group. In her previous role, she ran fan travel experiences, corporate events and brand activations for multiple FSG entities and partners, including the Boston Red Sox, the Texas Rangers, the Washington Nationals, Liverpool F.C., Jim Beam, Dunkin', and the Red Sox Foundation. Prior to her time at Fenway, Rachel received her Master's Degree in Broadcast Journalism from Boston University in 2017, immediately after finishing her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from BU in 2016. Rachel was a member of the Women's Soccer team, where she was a two-time captain and three-time Patriot League Champion. During her time as a Terrier, she traveled to Uganda with the non-profit organization, Coaches Across Continents, to help spread the power of sport for social impact and supplied donated soccer equipment to the local communities there. Once her soccer career came to a close, she ran the Boston Marathon in 2017 to raise money for the Boston Bruins Foundation. Born and raised in South Shore, MA, she developed a fierce passion for sports, teamwork and competition, and was an East Bridgewater High School Hall of Fame inductee. She was a member of the US Youth National Soccer Team and developed her love of coaching through the TOPSoccer program. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and binge watching Harry Potter movies. Fun Fact: Rachel's mom, a baker for Mama B's Tasty Treats, is always looking for volunteer taste-testers!
Gianna Roma is an O2X Nutrition Specialist. Gianna has been a Registered Dietitian since 2016. She obtained her Bachelors in Nutritional Sciences with a focus in Sports Nutrition from the University of Connecticut, while simultaneously playing Division I soccer for the Huskies. She went on to complete her Masters in Dietetics at the University of Rhode Island and her Dietetic internship in New York City. She returned to her home state of Massachusetts and began her career as a clinical Dietitian in Boston Massachusetts. In addition to working clinically, she has completed tasks with the New England Patriots, meal plans and personal training for a local gym, nutrition plans with athletes at a physical therapy site, and guest appearances for NBC/FOX segments. Gianna brings valuable experience having worked with a variety of demographics and having been an athlete herself, all of which will assist her work with tactical athletes. Gianna practices what she preaches in incorporating everything in moderation and letting food be thy medicine. Gianna loves to stay active in co-ed soccer leagues, hiking, and enjoys traveling whenever she can!
Sara Hendershot is an O2X Thrive Specialist. Sara is a lifelong athlete and competitor. She grew up in Boston, MA where she developed a love of sports from an early age. During her high school years, she moved to Simsbury, CT where she was introduced to the sport of rowing. Immediately drawn to the nature of the sport, she realized that this highly technical craft rewarded relentless hard work, and she committed herself to the goal of competing in college. This lead Sara to be recruited to row at Princeton University where she became her team's Captain, a two-time All American, and graduated with a B.A. in Psychology. Upon graduation, she earned her way onto the United States Women’s National team and became a two-time World Champion and 2012 Olympian in the Women's Pair where she finished in fourth place. Through this journey, she faced several bouts of injury, which lead her to study human movement and physiology and develop a passion for coaching and high performance. After retiring from the sport of rowing, Sara has taken the lessons she learned from professional sport and applied them to performing in business and life. She has developed a career in brand marketing for health and fitness companies, where most recently she helped build a sports nutrition brand from before its launch to its fourth consecutive year of growth. She is also a performance consultant to the Harvard Women's Rowing Team, an avid mental health advocate, and she continues to compete in athletic events like the NYC and Chicago marathon. Sara now lives in Cambridge, MA with her husband Mike, newborn son Maverick, and French Bulldog Bron.
Sean Sexton is an O2X Lead Instructor who was born and raised in Willow Grove, PA and enlisted in the Navy in February 1991. He served 20+ years in Naval Special Warfare with several deployments to include Afghanistan and Operation Enduring Freedom. Sean’s awards include the Bronze Star Medal with “V”, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, (2) National Defense Service Medals, Joint Service Achievement Medal, (2) Navy Commendation Medals, (5) Navy Achievement Medals, (6) Good Conduct Medals, SEAL Team 8 Sailor of the Quarter. After retiring in 2011, Sean continued his passion in human performance by earning his Bachelors in Health Science, Purple Belt in Jiu-Jitsu, and working as a Coach and Director Of Operations for CrossFit Stapleton in Denver. Along with various coaching certifications he has continued to serve as a Lead Combat Rifle/Pistol Instructor for The Department of Defense and Police Departments. As a self-professed “Movement Enthusiast,” he can be found SUP-surfing, hiking, hot yoga, and working out on a daily basis. He currently resides in Virginia Beach and enjoys reading and learning about anything related to diet, exercise, and longevity. “I can relate to physical setbacks and limitations and understand that (after 2 joint replacements and multiple back issues) you figure out what you CAN DO and DO IT - consistently.”
Scott Lantz is an O2X Instructor and a Captain with Loudoun County (VA) Fire and Rescue. Scott was hired in 2002 and has spent time at Engine and Truck companies, Recruit Training Cadre, Human Resources, and currently oversees the Department's Center for Fitness and Wellness. Scott has been blessed to combine his passion for fitness/wellness with his career in the fire service. Scott has successfully completed curriculum for TSAC-F, PFT, Crossfit Level 1, and FMS Level 2.
Mike Fitzpatrick is an O2X Instructor and proud United States Army Veteran, grateful for the opportunity to serve the last two decades. He completed combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. His most recent role, before completion of service, was as Platoon Sergeant within a light infantry company of the Rhode Island Army National Guard. He currently serves as a Firefighter/EMT-B for a major city fire department in the Northeast, working on an Engine company and serving as an adjunct Fire Academy instructor. Mike holds a B.A from the University of Massachusetts, Boston and considers himself a lifelong learner. He is always eager to engage in discussion and the learning process. He is also a lifelong resident of the City of Boston, where he currently resides with his wife, their four children, and beloved German Shepherd.
Michael (Mike) Daley is an O2X Lead Instructor. Prior to O2X, Mike recently completed 24 years of service in the United States Navy, ultimately retiring as Chief Petty Officer. Mike first started his career in the Navy in 1995 as a Quartermaster/Signalman on the Warship USS Elrod (FFG-55). He completed three sea service deployments to the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf. Eventually, with time off from the ship, Mike finally had the time to pursue his first goal on becoming a U.S. Navy SEAL. Passing the initial physical test in 2003, Mike made it to the U.S. Navy’s Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training and started his goal of becoming a SEAL. In 2005, he made it to SEAL Team 3 and served a tour as an instructor. Then he moved on to SEAL Team 7 and finished at Parent command Special Warfare Group One. Mike conducted two combat deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and other contingency operations around the globe. During his last two years in the Navy, Mike completed his dream of earning a graduate degree when he attended the University of Southern California in 2017 and earned a Masters of Business for Veterans. Mike's top decorations include: Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Valor; Two Combat Action Ribbons; Iraq and Kosovo service medals.
Dr. Katherine Smith is an O2X Injury Prevention Specialist. She was born and raised on Martha’s Vineyard. After graduating from Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, she earned her B.S. in Exercise Science and her Doctor of Physical Therapy, both from Simmons University in Boston. Her capstone research examined outcome measures used to assess fear of falling in older adults. Katy comes from a long line of military members and first responders. In addition to being a Physical Therapist (PT), she has been an active EMT for 5 years and was a volunteer firefighter for 3 years with the Town of Aquinnah. She currently works as a PT in the acute care setting at Beth Israel Hospital, as well as with the pediatric population in the Pembroke Public School System. Her fiancé has been in the MA National Guard for 7 years with a deployment to Iraq/Kuwait. Her special interests include working with tactical and combat athletes, amputees, and the pediatric population. She believes in the patient centered approach focusing on the whole patient and the many different aspects of wellness. In her free time, she enjoys playing pickup ice hockey as a goalie, snowboarding, hiking, and lots of tacos.
Devon Smith is an O2X Strength & Conditioning Specialist. Devon was most recently a Strength & Conditioning Coach at the United States Military Academy and has worked at several privately-owned gyms and academies in the New England area. His approach to human performance is well rounded and rests on an educational foundation of an exercise science degree, a coaching minor, and a sports psychology graduate degree. Having experience as an Orthopedic Trauma Consultant, Devon also is well versed on musculoskeletal injury from a surgical perspective. Following his collegiate lacrosse career, Devon played for a USA Select team internationally and competed in powerlifting and strongman. His certifications include: Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach, and Precision Nutrition Level-1. Since beginning his career, Devon has had the privilege of coaching thousands of individuals from the general population to professional, collegiate, and tactical athletes. When not on the field or in the weight room, Devon is out for a run with his dog, Thor, or sharpening his cooking skills in the kitchen with his wife.
Dr. Conroy is an O2X Sleep Specialist. Dr. Conroy is a Clinical Professor at Michigan Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry. She attended college at Simmons College in Boston, MA where she majored in Biopsychology. After college, she completed a Kleitman Fellowship in Human Circadian Biology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. She went on to study psychology and sleep disorders medicine while getting her PhD at The City University of New York. After graduating with her doctorate, she left the east coast for Ann Arbor, Michigan to obtain post-doctoral training at the University of Michigan department of psychiatry. There, she studied the relationship between insomnia and alcohol dependence. She transitioned to the clinical faculty at Michigan in 2007 where she has been working with patients, educating medical residents and fellows, and directing the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program. Dr. Conroy is a diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine, a diplomate of the Board of Behavioral Sleep Medicine, and is board certified in cognitive behavioral therapy by the American Board of Professional Psychology. In addition to her passion for improving sleep, Dr. Conroy has a long standing interest in health and wellness. In 2015, she received certification in health coaching by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and established a health coaching business, Happy, Healthy, Rested, PLLC. In her free time, you can find her engaging in outdoor activities and traveling.
Deb Sophier is an O2X Injury Prevention and Strength & Conditioning Specialist who received her Bachelor’s of Science in Exercise Science at Indiana University in 2006 and Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Midwestern University in 2014. She has been a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist since 2006. Deb is a Physical Therapist and works with a variety of conditions, including injuries to the shoulders, knees, feet, hips, and back. She has been performing foot and gait analyses and running evaluations for the past 7 years. She has a unique understanding of law enforcement as her husband is a Police Sergeant in the Chicagoland area.
Dave Terry is an O2X Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He is the Director of Sports Performance at Georgetown University. During his tenure at Georgetown, he has trained all 29 sports teams and is currently the primary Sports Performance Coach for the Football Program, the Women’s Crew Program, track and field athletes, specifically sprinters and jumpers, and he leads Georgetown’s Sport Performance intern-mentorship program. In addition to his position at Georgetown, he is the founder of VET MAG - a program that provides active-duty military and veteran status students at Georgetown University strength and conditioning programs, education, and training facilities. Dave was a State Department-sponsored Sports Diplomacy Ambassador to the Balkans from 2014-2017. He earned his Masters in Sports Industry Management from Georgetown University and his bachelors in exercise science from Grand Valley State University. He recently completed a program in leadership at Cornell University.
Dave Carter is an O2X Assistant Instructor. Dave is going into his 18th year as a Firefighter/Paramedic with the Portland Fire Department (ME). In addition to his regular duties he is an active member of the department's Health and Wellness Division and is continually seeking new ways to improve the health and well-being of the department. Prior to joining the fire service, Dave was a Division 1 collegiate runner at the College of Charleston in Charleston, S.C.. It was during that time he was exposed to the importance of having structured training programs and the value of taking proper care of oneself. He developed a strong interest and appreciation for all aspects of improving performance for which he continues to learn and build upon. After graduating he received his level 1 USA Track and Field certification and went on to become a volunteer assistant coach with the Bowdoin College Cross Country and Track teams. Similarly, he became an assistant coach for a local high school track team. Having completed a handful of marathons, a dozen triathlons and a number of trail races, he continues to implement the training principles he has learned over the years.
Lauren Reenstierna is an O2X Intern, providing assistance to various O2X departments and their endeavors. Lauren attended Newton Country Day of the Sacred Heart, where she graduated with Highest Academic Distinction in 2019. During her time in high school, she was Head of the school newspaper, acted as the school’s representative for a foundation benefitting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, and captained one of the two school-wide teams in pursuit of the coveted NCDS Trophy. Because she is one of three children in an active household, athletics have always been a focus. At Newton Country Day, she was part of the school’s varsity soccer, hockey, and softball teams. After her sophomore year, she was selected to play for the East Coast Wizards Junior Women’s Hockey team, which she went on to captain the following year. She and her team earned the title of U19 Women’s Hockey National Champions in 2018. Thanks to the platform that the Wizards provided, Lauren was recruited to play for the Women’s Ice Hockey team at Bowdoin College, where she intends to major in Economics and minor in English. Due to the college’s decision to proceed with online learning, Lauren has decided to defer her sophomore year until she can return in person. Though the pandemic has delayed her college experience by a year, she is very excited and grateful for the unique opportunity to contribute to the O2X organization.
Emilie Burgess is an O2X Nutrition Specialist. Emilie completed her Bachelor’s degree in Dietetics at the University of Connecticut, where she competed as a Division I tennis player. She went on to obtain her Master’s of Science in Nutrition and Food Science, and completed a dietetic internship at West Virginia University. She is also a Board Certified Sports Dietitian (CSSD) specializing in sports performance nutrition and eating disorders in athletes. Emilie began her dietetic career at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Boston as a Clinical Dietitian, and then accepted a position at the Cambridge Eating Disorder Center (CEDC) as a Registered Dietitian. Along with her inpatient and eating disorder experience, Emilie has volunteered for two U.S. Division I sports nutrition programs. Emilie has worked at Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital program, where she provided nutrition support to veterans and their families. During her time there she supported Home Base's tactile athletes who were competing in events such as the Boston Marathon and the Marathon Des Sables. She currently works as a Registered Dietitian at Laura Moretti Nutrition, MIT Recreation, and as a Dietitian in the Division of Sports Medicine and the Female Athlete Program at Boston Children’s Hospital.
Ray Norton is an O2X Instructor and Resilience Specialist. He began his fire service career in 1987 as a volunteer firefighter at Tarpon Springs Fire Rescue in Florida and was hired on full-time a year later; became a paramedic in 1989; and in 1994, he began working for the Pinellas Suncoast Fire and Rescue District. He is currently a District Chief in charge of command of control of incident operations and management. During his career he held positions as Driver Engineer, Lieutenant, Training Chief, EMS Chief and assisted with the Operations Chief position. In 1990, Ray began working as a medic in a Level 2 adult and pediatric trauma center (Bayfront Medical Center), and soon joined the crew of Bayflite, the hospital's aeromedical program specializing in trauma. It was the busiest trauma response helicopter in the nation with 97% of calls being scene responses. The program provided services for All Children’s Hospital for pediatric and neonatal transports. He also became one of the primary preceptors for the emergency room and Bayflite. Ray also worked at the Pinellas Fire academy teaching mostly live fire exercises to new recruits and coordinated with other training chiefs in the county to provide inter-agency training drills. During his off hours, Ray joined his wife to start up a nonprofit she co-founded for combat veterans where he functioned as the fitness and event coordinator. This organization utilized alternative therapies to assist Veterans with PTS transition back to civilian life and help with stress management. He also taught martial arts (Kali-stick and knife fighting) as an alternative modality to help manage stress and be present in the here and now. Ray recognized the overlapping need for these modalities and helped guide the program to provide services to first responders with PTS. Ray is a lifelong practitioner of martial arts, owns a martial arts school and has a passion for fitness. He became a yoga instructor and co-owns and manages a yoga studio with his wife Janel where they also provide services for veterans and first responders. Ray is entering his 34th and final year in the fire service and is looking forward to retirement in early to mid-year 2021.
Dr. Katy Tran Turner is an O2X Mental Performance Specialist with expertise in developing mental skills to optimize performance in high-pressure, fast-paced, and dynamic environments. She specializes in developing strategies to enhance decision-making, confidence, self-regulation, and present-moment focus in high-stress performance moments. Dr. Turner served for five seasons as the mental performance coach for the Buffalo Sabres and two seasons for the Buffalo Bills as part of multidisciplinary, high performance teams providing holistic training and support. Prior to working with professional athletes in Western New York, she worked with Soldiers at Fort Bragg, NC to provide mental performance training for these tactical athletes. She has worked in NCAA Division I athletics departments in student-athlete services and has experience with a variety of sports. Dr. Turner is a Certified Mental Performance Consultant through the Association for Applied Sport Psychology, and a member of the American Psychological Association Division 47 (Society for Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology). She earned her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology (specialization in Sport and Performance Psychology) from Florida State University, her master's degree in Exercise Physiology from Kent State University, and her undergraduate degrees in Biology and Exercise & Sport Science from UNC-Chapel Hill. She played in goal for the field hockey team at UNC-Chapel Hill and was the starting goaltender for three years, while earning All-America honors. Dr. Turner is also an adjunct professor and enjoys teaching and learning from others about integrated high performance and performing under pressure. Her areas of research have focused on team dynamics, specifically the development and execution of team coordination. She currently lives in Michigan with her husband, two children, and two dogs.
Jason Lacayo is an O2X Instructor. Jason has been a police officer for 14 years. He began his career as a NYPD Officer in 2005 and worked operation impact on the 4x12 tour until he transferred to the City of White Plains Police Department in 2007. He worked 18 months on patrol before he moved into the Emergency Services Unit and became a SWAT operator. His unit specializes in rope rescue, vehicle extraction, and special weapons and tactics. He is a state Certified PT instructor and runs the Cooper Standard test to screen new applicants to his unit. Being physically fit is essential to being able to effectively complete his job. However, it is not simply being physically fit that enables him to be able to complete his occupational duties. Mental fitness and wellness are largely under-valued in society as a whole, but more specifically within the first responder community. Jason is a strong proponent of ensuring that all aspects of health and wellness are taken care of in order for any individual to be functioning optimally both on and off the job. He trains hard physically in the gym and makes sure that he takes time to meditate and reflect every day. In addition, Jason has been a CrossFit coach since 2014 and takes great pride in helping others to improve their lives and overall quality of life through fitness.
Paul Blaikie is an O2X Assistant Instructor. Currently a Boston Firefighter, Paul is also a full time Exercise Health and Science student at University of Massachusetts (Boston). Heading into his 9th year of coaching high school/collegiate football, he is currently the Defensive Line Coach at Framingham State University.
Whitney Tramel is an O2X Instructor and Strength & Conditioning Specialist. She grew up in a small town east of Dallas, Texas. Whitney went to college to pursue her Bachelor’s of Science in Kinesiology from Texas Christian University. She then went on to receive her Master’s of Science in Sports Medicine with an emphasis and Strength and Conditioning from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Whitney spent time as a high school strength and conditioning and worked as a graduate assistant for UCCS where she programmed for the women’s lacrosse and softball teams. Whitney has had the opportunity to work with the 10th Special Forces Group at Fort Carson, as well as the 13th Air Support Operations Squadron (AF special warfare unit). She has also spent time volunteering for the local fire department, where she has helped implement a physical training program for individuals going through the fire academy. Whitney has an understanding of the underlying stressors to training and sees the importance of approaching programming from an injury-mitigation perspective. Whitney is interested in sports science and research and has published and presented some of her work. In the future, she would like to carry out further research as it relates to stress and load management - specifically in tactical populations. She plans to pursue a PhD so she can conduct research with populations that she works with. Outside of school and coaching, Whitney enjoys being outdoors. If the weather is nice, you can find her doing just about anything outside – from enjoying a nice day on the patio or by the pool to hiking and walking her dog. She also enjoys spending time with friends and family.
Nicholas Schumacher is an O2X Injury Prevention Specialist. Nick is a sports-medicine physical therapist and strength coach at Emerson Hospital and the founder/CEO of Schumacher PT & Performance, which developed the RehabKit and RehabPal iOS applications. Nick graduated from Boston University as a Doctor of Physical Therapy in 2016. Immediately following the completion of his doctorate, Nick enrolled in the Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Institute of Health Professions, where he received extensive training in manual therapy and the management of orthopedic injuries. He achieved board certification as a clinical specialist in orthopedic physical therapy (OCS) through the APTA in 2018. Nick also earned certification as a strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) through the NSCA in 2014. In addition to his time in the clinic, Nick assists with running-related research and teaches in MGH’s orthopedic physical therapy residency. Nick has a particular interest in treating runners and tactical athletes. He has extensive experience with treating athletes post-concussion, and he was a co-developer of the Dr. Robert C. Cantu Concussion Center Return-to-Duty Assessment. Nick ran D1 track in college and is an avid obstacle-course racer and dirt biker.
Kally Swibes is an O2X Resilience & Mental Performance Specialist. She currently works for Versado Training – a company out of Raleigh Durham, specializing in adult learning within the life science industry. Prior to Versado, Kally worked in the advertising industry in Chicago and helped start a program called Athletes Connected, a collaboration between the University of Michigan and the NCAA. Her work with Athletes Connected allowed Kally to speak to Student Athletes at the University of Michigan and around the Big Ten about her struggles around mental health. The goal of these workshops was to normalize the topic of mental health and to promote help seeking in student athletes – a group who generally does not reach out for help when struggling with mental health issues. Kally now speaks with student athletes and organizations around the country using her story to demonstrate the power of human performance and how it contributes to the success of every individual.
David Sherman is an O2X Injury Prevention Specialist. As a licensed physical therapist and certified athletic trainer, Dave offers experience with tactical and occupational athletes such as Fort Worth Police and Fire, as well as, professional and collegiate athletics. He received a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training (2012) and Doctorate in Physical Therapy (2014) from Boston University. Dave is currently a PhD student at the University of Toledo where he studies applied neuroscience in sports and exercise. His research focuses on the maladaptive brain changes that occur after musculoskeletal injury and the development of rehabilitative treatments that can target those changes. Dave has volunteered as a member of the Boston Marathon Medical Team since 2012. His passion for tactical athlete readiness was inspired by the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, when the readiness and collaborative actions of Boston Police, Fire, and EMS members on Boylston Street meant the survival of 278 injured civilians. Dave believes wellness is unique to each individual athlete, with success rooted in balanced nutrition, sleep, mental health, and physical activity.
Andrea Chapin, MS, RD, CSSD, is an O2X Nutrition Specialist. Andrea has been a Registered Dietitian since 2010, is a Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, and holds Master's Degrees in both Nutrition and Exercise Physiology. Wearing an academic hat, Andrea has taught university courses on Nutrition for Athletes (lecture) and Exercise Physiology (lab); and assists in exercise and metabolism field research on elite tactical athletes. As an educator, Andrea has been described as being approachable, engaging, bringing valuable real world experience to the classroom, and is most of all FUN. Wearing a practitioner’s hats, her professional experience is expansive, ranging from clinical dietetics, corporate wellness, and human performance: Division I Collegiate Sports, Professional (Major League Baseball), Olympic (USA Volleyball), and the US Military. Leveraging food as fuel and lifestyle medicine, she takes a realistic and individual approach to translate nutrition science to application and practice with every athlete she encounters, from the weekend warrior to the warfighter. A California native, Andrea is an avid outdoor athlete and has crossed the finish line of numerous half marathons, triathlons, 10Ks, summited Half Dome and Mt. San Gorgornio, and swam from Alcatraz.
Christina Morris is an O2X Instructor. Christina is also a wellness entrepreneur and the creator of Gypsy Fit- an online wellness platform. Her Bachelors in Education has empowered her to coach thousands of athletes and clients over the course of the past 10 years. Her coaching journey began in 2011 at a Crossfit gym in Boston and has evolved into the creation of her own brand which promotes a more holistic approach to health. She equips clients with a roadmap towards sustainable wellness for their life's journey through a variety of her nutrition and training programs. Christina is passionate about learning and evolving her coaching style as she continues to grow. Her certifications and continuing education include: Box Fit Certified, Crossfit Level 1 & 2, Crossfit Strongman, Juggernaut Powerlifting Seminar, Crossfit Mobility, Certified Physical Preparation Specialist, Precision Nutrition and currently working on becoming a Certified Transformational Nutrition Coach. As a competitive athlete, Christina has competed in the Reebok Crossfit Regional Individual and Team competitions for 4 consecutive years (2013-2016) in addition to competing in an amateur boxing match for charity hosted by Haymakers for Hope at the House of Blues in Boston in 2016. Christina wears many hats as student, trainer, coach and athlete but has also had the opportunity to work as a fitness model for some major brands like Reebok, UnderArmor and Nike to name a few. Her passion is using movement and nutrition as the catalyst for change empowering individuals to step into the best version of themselves. She is most proud about her volunteer work with The Phoenix-a nationwide nonprofit sober active community. She helped in the beginning phases of the Boston Chapter and continues to support their organization.
Lorenzo Romolo is an O2X Lead Instructor who recently finished a 15-year career in the Australian Army. He spent the majority of his career within Special Operations Command (SOCOMD), qualified as a Special Forces Operator at 2nd Commando (CDO) Regiment. Throughout his career, Lorenzo has completed multiple operational tours through Afghanistan, Iraq, and East Timor, often working alongside British, US, and other nation’s special forces groups. Lorenzo has assisted with the training of multiple professional Australian football teams with resilience training and has been competing in CrossFit since 2014. He has a passion for fitness and the outdoors, spending most of his spare time mountain biking, hiking, canyoning and water skiing.
Robert Reid is an O2X Assistant Instructor. Rob is a Captain with Roanoke Fire-EMS, located in Southwest Virginia. He’s been with the department for more than 18 years. Rob is a member of the Heavy and Tactical Rescue Team and is a boat operator for the Swift Water Team. He is also a water rescue instructor for the Virginia Department of Fire Programs. Five years prior to employment, Rob was a volunteer firefighter in his hometown. He quickly discovered the importance of physical fitness for his career after an injury. It was after this injury that he was introduced to CrossFit and became a Level 1 coach. As of late, Rob has stepped away from the CrossFit world and into the world of endurance training, more specifically triathlons. Rob has two beautiful daughters and has been happily married for over 16 years.
Brittany Petty is an O2X Yoga & Resilience Specialist who teaches yoga, mindfulness, and yoga nidra (E-500HR RYT, YACEP) to her students and as a lead instructor in Yoga Teacher Trainings. She specializes in sequencing and integrating the use of props for supporting alignment. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Brit engages her clients in body-based psychotherapy, utilizing breath work and movement to bridge the gap between the mind and body in the treatment of trauma, grief, anxiety, and depression. She is proud to put her passions into practice during her opportunities to present to Worcester school children and teens, teachers, medical students, first responders, and within her clinical psychotherapy sessions. The traumatic death of her brother Zach in 2011 propelled her on the yogic path and into service to others; into the undeniable power of compassion and patience to cultivate resiliency and inner strength. In her brother’s honor, Brit’s family established the 365Z Foundation: Commitment to Kindness (365z.org), where she serves as a board member. The foundation perpetuates the spread of kindness within Central Massachusetts by its member’s commitment to conscious acts of kindness, providing guidance and services to local schools, infants and children, elderly, and veterans. In her teaching practice, Brit invites her students to be playful in their exploration of the mind-body connection and to practice compassionate curiosity; she teaches daily accessible awareness practices to make small lasting changes over time, one day at a time. Yoga on the mat is for body health, yoga off the mat extends to the mind: to build resilience and connection, and to understand and thrive as the best version of yourself.
Michael Pimentel is an O2X Strength & Conditioning Specialist. Michael is also a varsity collegiate strength and conditioning coach at Brown University. Michael received both his Bachelors in Exercise Science and his Masters in Strength and Conditioning from Bridgewater State University. He helps oversee 38 varsity sports, and specializes in 10: Men’s Lacrosse, Men’s & Women’s Hockey, Men’s & Women’s Crew, Men’s & Women’s Water Polo, Women’s Soccer, and Men’s & Women’s Swim & Dive. Michael works with each and every one of his athletes on injury prevention, maximizing athletic potential, educating on healthy lifestyle, and giving them tools for life, ensuring that they have a positive student/athlete experience. Michael has helped prepare his athletes for several Final Fours, NCAA Tournaments, and Ivy League Championships. Along his journey he has helped produce All Americans, National Champions and professional athletes. Michael is passionate about continuing education, learning new concepts, and bettering himself and those around him. He has a strong connection with his team, and makes sure he stays current in his field in order to help his athletes thrive, recover faster, and stay ahead of their competition. Michael is certified through the SCCC, one of the highest ranking certifications in the field for collegiate strength and conditioning coaches. He is also a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength & Conditioning Association and a certified Sports Performance coach through the United States Weightlifting Association (USAW). Michael strives for excellence with his athletes in recovery, which is why he holds a certification through Reflexive Performance Reset. During his Master's program, Michael conducted a research study on concussion prevention in sports, as well as co-publishing an article on grip strength. Throughout the course of his educational career, Michael completed several internships at top strength & conditioning programs, such as University of Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Brown University. Michael has a strong sense of empathy with his athletes and holds himself as a leader, not a boss. His own experience in collegiate sports allows him to connect on a deeper level with his athletes and assist them beyond what the textbooks teach. His emphasis on mental health and living a fulfilling, balanced lifestyle, makes him not only a well-rounded coach, but a mentor to many. Michael continues to compete in powerlifting, Olympic weightlifting, prone paddling, and open water swimming, as well as participates in recreational surfing. Michael holds a healthy sense of competition, which allows him to grow as a professional and as an individual. On a daily basis, Michael is striving for excellence with the hope he can help the world become 1% better.
Mark Lane is an O2X Assistant Instructor. Mark brings a wealth of enthusiasm and knowledge to any team, but above all he brings an air of positivity. He uses his talents for good, and never evil, for the benefit of those around him. After an active childhood of team sports, Mark has spent over 20 years playing competitive rugby and almost 10 years as a CrossFit member and coach. He loves to work with others to help them realize their full potential. Mark is a U.S. Air Force veteran and professional Firefighter for an ISO Class 2 Fire Department in East Tennessee, where he serves on multiple committees and technical response teams. In 2005, Mark was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes which has given him a unique perspective on health in regards to the tactical athlete with special considerations. In his spare time, Mark enjoys life with his wife and pets (two dogs and cat), traveling, playing/watching rugby, and just about any outdoor activity.
CJ Hilliard is an O2X Assistant Instructor. CJ first entered the fire service in 2014, when she joined her high school’s Fire Explorer program. After graduating, she continued to volunteer as she went through EMT, Paramedic School, and Fire Academy. CJ was hired by her first career department in 2009, then began working for her dream department, Denton FD, in 2012. Currently, CJ works at Denton’s rescue station and serves as an instructor for the department’s training program. CJ has a B.A.A.S with concentrations in Health Promotion, Public Administration, and Emergency Management from the University of North Texas. She has been a Crossfit Level 1 Trainer since 2016 and has used that training to help men and women prepare for careers in the fire service. CJ also serves as the Grant Coordinator for 555 Fitness, a non-profit whose goal is to help first responders create a resiliency to illness, injury, and disease. In her spare time, CJ works as an Adjunct Instructor for Tarrant County College’s Fire Program and travels the world. CJ’s passion to help others with their fitness journey stems from her past. Though always active, CJ struggled with being overweight until the age of 20, when she adopted a life of healthy eating and fitness. The accumulation of small changes over time allowed her to have a career she is passionate about, adventures she will never forget, and experiences she will forever cherish. It is her goal to help others reach their health and fitness potential, so they too, can enjoy all that life has to offer.
Joe Boone is an O2X Strength & Conditioning Specialist and coach, who works to optimize training and competing outcomes for aerobic, combat sport, and strength and power sport athletes, as well as general health and fitness. His areas of specialty include sport nutrition, fatigue management, conditioning, recovery, and barbell technique. Joe is a U.S. Marine Veteran that served with 1st BN 9th MAR during the Afghanistan Campaign. He walked away from the Corps with a herniated disk in his lumbar spine but has since made a full recovery. After separating from the Marines, he earned his undergraduate in exercise science and went on to earn a master’s in exercise physiology immediately following that. Throughout his professional education he has co-authored a functional kinesiology textbook, research articles, and presented research findings at national level conferences. For his master’s thesis he studied force, power, and velocity in the vertical jump, standing broad jump, and sprint in elite, collegiate football athletes. Using his personal experiences and education, Joe has authored the book Goal Setting and the book series Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Healthy Life. The series is comprised of four books covering the topics of general nutrition, sport nutrition, training, and mindset. While Joe was earning his graduate degree, he taught classes on strength and conditioning and has also been invited to speak on topics related to sport nutrition. He has recently joined a small group of coaches, running a mobile coaching service to reach athletes and non-athletes alike in their pursuit of goals. In his free-time, you will find Joe enjoying the outdoors, reading, and fine tuning his skills as a coach.
Brien Brown is an O2X Assistant Instructor who is a Marine veteran and a Lieutenant with the Austin Fire Department. Brien has worked in the Special Operations Division of AFD for 12 years and is currently assigned to the Austin Regional Intelligence Center. Brien is a Rescue Specialist on FEMA's urban search and rescue team, Texas Task Force 1. Lieutenant Brien Brown is combat veteran of the United States Marine Corps and served in three combat tours in support of the War in Iraq and Global War on Terrorism. After leaving the military, Lt. Brien Brown joined the Austin Fire Department in 2006. In 2008, Lt. Brown was assigned to the Special Operations Battalion where he was one of the first firefighters assigned to the South Austin rescue unit. As a member of the Special Operations Battalion, Lt. Brown received certifications as a Hazardous Materials Technician, Rope Rescue Technician, Swiftwater Rescue Technician, Swiftwater Boat Operator, Structural Collapse Technician and Trench Rescue Technician, among many others. In 2014, Lt. Brown was promoted to a Fire Specialist and assigned to the Central Austin rescue unit. In 2018, Lt. Brown was promoted to his current rank and became the Training Coordinator for the Special Operations Division. Currently, Lt. Brown is a Fire Liaison Officer to the Austin Regional Intelligence Center (ARIC). In this role, Lt. Brown coordinates intelligence and information sharing between first responders and the intelligence community. Lt. Brown is also an active member of Texas Task Force One as a Rescue Specialist and has responded to multiple federally declared natural disasters both in the state of Texas and nationally.
Dr. Rich Westrick is an O2X Injury Prevention Specialist. He earned his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the U.S. Army – Baylor University DPT program and completed a Sports Physical Therapy residency at West Point, while earning his Doctor of Science degree in Physical Therapy from Baylor University. He is board certified by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties in both orthopedic physical therapy and sports physical therapy. Dr. Westrick is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston, MA. While an active duty Army Physical Therapist, Rich served in multiple assignments, including several years as the physical therapist for 10th Special Forces Group and combat deployments in support of the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force – Arabian Peninsula. Dr. Westrick is the founder and current chair of the Sports Section of the American Physical Therapy Association’s Tactical & Combat Athlete Special Interest Group supporting physical therapy for military, police, and firefighters, in addition to combat athletes (martial arts, wrestling, boxing).
Kevin Dautel is an O2X Instructor and Castleton University graduate with a Bachelor's Degree in Exercise Science. Kevin is a Crossfit Level 2 coach out of Marlborough, MA. Kevin coaches classes from 2-20 individuals, assessing proper form, mechanics, and loading. He provides one-on-one consultations on goals and habits, mobility, strength, and balance assessments to develop personalized programs. He has run an "Independence Class" offered to seniors 65 and over, instructing them in functional movements, alleviating pain from previous injuries, nutrition choices, and restoring functionality outside the gym. He has had the opportunity to coach and program elite gymnasts, hockey players, Olympic lifters, and many novice lifters over the last 6 years. Throughout his coaching career he has attended many workshops, such as Powermonkey Fitness Camp under David Durante and Chad Vaughn, both who are olympians in their sports. Powermonkey features top level coaches in weightlifting, gymnastics, programming, pre and post workout mobility, and a Business of Excellence Seminar. Kevin has worked with ActiveLifeRx, an organization of Chiropractors and Physical Therapists to help better assess and create programs for athletes that have struggled with shoulder, hip, knee and lower back injuries. Workshops include hands-on training to help athletes make better decisions and form a more accurate understanding of flexibility and mobility, as well as how movement impacts injury and performance. His passion is helping people get better every day and pushing them towards their goals.
Kent Bultemeier is an O2X Injury Prevention Specialist. Kent is a certified athletic trainer who has a history of working with tactical, college, and professional athletes. Kent has furthered his education through National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), as a corrective exercise specialist and performance enhancement specialist. Kent graduated from Purdue University in 2009, with a degree in Athletic Training. During the summers, Kent completed professional football internships with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Philadelphia Eagles. Following Kent’s undergraduate work, he accepted a graduate assistant position at Iowa State University. While studying for his Master of Education, Kent worked as the wrestling and golf athletic trainer. Outside of coursework, Kent would provide preventative, emergency, and rehabilitative medicine to the wrestling and golf programs. The opportunity for Kent to further his academic and clinical education while working and traveling directly with a sports team was a great building block. After graduate school, Kent accepted an athletic training position at the United States Military Academy, working with West Point’s wrestling and men’s soccer programs. While in New York, Kent also assisted the Army's medical staff with football and baseball coverage. In 2011, Kent left West Point and moved to Tucson where he pursued a full time football opportunity at the University of Arizona. While at Arizona, Kent implemented movement screens and injury prevention into rehabilitation. In 2016, Kent moved to Centennial, CO to work with tactical athletes. He joined the wellness department at South Metro Fire Rescue located just outside of Denver, Colorado. At South Metro, he is responsible for the rehabilitation and treatment of injuries that occur both online and offline. He is also working to improve current injury prevention tactics already implemented by the department. In his free time, Kent enjoys spending time with his wife, KellyAnne, and his two dogs, Drew and Harry. Being new to Colorado, he is looking forward to taking on new outdoor adventures.
Brandon Haney is an O2X Instructor. He is also a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute and has served as a fireman since 2009. Throughout his fire service career he has provided care as a paramedic, operated as a back step on suppression apparatus, worked as the Driver/Pump Operator, and acted as a fill-in officer. Currently, he is assigned as an Engine Company Officer with Stafford Fire and Rescue in Virginia. Prior to his most recent assignment, Brandon served two years in the Basic Training Division instructing and managing Recruit Fire Academies. It was here that he developed a passion for all things health and wellness. In 2017 he certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA so that he could better serve the tactical athlete community. Brandon was exposed to O2X in 2018 and began contracting as a Workshop Assistant in 2019. His favorite O2X pillar is Thrive. He believes this area is typically overlooked but is critical for success in all other areas of fitness and performance. O2X has impacted him most significantly in the areas of sleep performance and mindfulness.
Tara Soprano is an O2X Injury Prevention Specialist. She is an athletic trainer working in physician practice in the suburbs of Chicago. Tara is originally from the east coast, where she started working in physician practice in 2013. She received her BS in athletic training from West Chester University of PA and MS from California University of PA. Currently, Tara is working with an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in upper extremity, hand, and trauma. Tara is most passionate about helping people live a healthier lifestyle through exercise. She enjoys Crossfit, running, biking, and anything that gets her outside. Tara currently lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her boyfriend and two rescue dogs, Brutus and Caesar.
Scott Ziegler is an O2X Assistant Instructor. At 34 years old, Scott has been a Firefighter - EMTB for 15 years. Before becoming a firefighter he was a volunteer FF, worked on an ambulance, and in an emergency room as a tech. After this experience, he was hired into the City of Highland Park's Fire Department in 2009. Highland Park, geographically, is a small city completely surrounded by Detroit and has an extremely high operational tempo. Scott worked there until he was hired by the City of Detroit in 2014, and is currently stationed on the west-side of the city on Truck 25, which resides with Engine 53. Scott is a certified Crossfit coach and has coached at a local gym for 6 years as well. He spends much of his free time hunting, fishing, and camping in northern Michigan, and also works for the fire-fighter non-profit, 555 Fitness, as one of their social media managers.
Rhett Baron is an O2X Instructor who grew up playing ice hockey in San Diego. Having been raised in a military family, he moved to Virginia Beach, VA, and played hockey at East Carolina University. There, he received his B.S. in Kinesiology, and afterwards took an internship with EXOS in Los Angeles. Following the completion of the internship, he relocated to work at the University of Vermont. He also held positions at the Human Performance Initiative (VA) and Prentiss Hockey Performance (CT). He is very excited to be a part of O2X and work with the tactical population.
Dr. Rachel Markwald is an O2X Sleep Specialist providing education in sleep and circadian rhythms to enhance job performance and health. Her areas of specialization include the impact of inadequate sleep on alertness, cognition, athletic performance, metabolism, and pain. From a brain perspective, she has studied how poor sleep raises the risk for accidents and mishaps through impacts on attention, learning, memory, and decision- making abilities. From a body perspective, she has studied the impact of poor sleep on metabolism, eating behavior, and body weight. Dr. Markwald’s professional experience includes adapting effective sleep optimization strategies to meet the needs and requirements of individuals and teams performing in high tempo, dynamic environments. She has worked with military medical and line communities, competitive and recreational athletes, business executives, and the general public to accomplish the goal of better sleep. She received her Bachelor of Science in Health and Exercise Science at Colorado State University in 2004 and stayed to complete a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology in 2007. After several years of working with the CSU Clinical Health Science Laboratory, she decided to pursue a PhD in Sleep Science within the Integrative Physiology department at the University of Colorado at Boulder. During this time, she studied the role of sleep and circadian rhythms in human performance, health, and disease. After a postdoctoral appointment at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, she began a position with Navy Medicine as a civilian scientist. Currently, she is directing a team of medical researchers engaged in addressing sleep and fatigue issues during the training and deployment of active-duty personnel. Her research also spans sleep disorders facing military personnel, such as those experienced within the context of post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. She has published multiple articles in peer reviewed journals, book chapters, and technical reports, and has delivered briefs to military operational leaders and Department of Defense policy makers. Dr. Markwald likes to spend her time hiking, running, and climbing the mountains of southern California. She played high school and collegiate-level soccer and even after several injuries that she is blaming on old age, she continues to play in competitive recreational leagues.
Luke Cassada is an O2X Lead Instructor. He recently retired after 20 years of active duty military service. He started his career in 1999 shortly after graduating from high school. Soon after entering into the United States Navy he was accepted into the SEAL program in Coronado, CA. He began in Class 242, then got rolled into 243 post Hell Week for MRSA cellulitis. In 2nd phase (Dive Phase) he broke his neck in 4 places. After one year of rehabilitation he finished BUDs in class 248. Upon completion, he transferred to SEAL Team 2, Group 2, and NWSDG. After retiring from service in 2019, he moved to Nashville, TN where he joined the O2X staff. Luke enjoys hunting, rock climbing and shooting.
Kelli Reese is an O2X Nutrition Specialist. She is also a Registered Dietitian and Board Certified Specialist in Sports Nutrition. She completed her undergraduate degree at Ohio University, her internship at The University of Akron, and her master’s degree in nutrition from Arizona State University. Kelli has been with University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio since 2013 as a Clinical Dietitian and Wellness Coach, where she works with patients one-on-one and in large and small group settings. Kelli also spent seven years working at a halfway house for women recovering from drug and alcohol addiction, where she helped clients create healthy menus and taught nutrition classes. Through her work at the halfway house, Kelli has developed a true passion and understanding for the role nutrition plays during major life transitions and how nutrition affects self-identity. Kelli has been a board member of the Greater Cleveland Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics since 2016 and is currently their Chair-elect on professional issues. Earlier this year Kelli was awarded the 2020 Recognized Dietitian of the Year by the Ohio Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for her significant contribution to the profession of dietetics and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, which she has been an active member of since 2010. She has also been a member of the Collegiate and Professional Sports Dietitians Association since 2018. In addition to being a registered dietitian, Kelli is a certified personal trainer. She loves to run in her free time and has completed 2 full marathons and 13 half marathons with no end in sight. She also enjoys strength training and played rugby for 7 years throughout high school and college. When it comes to nutrition, she enjoys busting nutrition myths and educating people on proper fueling for exercise and performance. She believes healthy eating doesn’t have to mean giving up the foods we love, knowledge is power, and practice makes permanent.
Jessica Silva is an O2X Assistant Instructor. Jessica has been in the first responder world for most of her career. She started out as an EMT in San Jose and San Diego. After a military relocation to Virginia, she moved to the other side of the radio as a 911 dispatcher for the City of Virginia Beach. After receiving her BS in Criminal Justice, she participated in an internship with Virginia State Probation and Parole, and subsequently worked for the City as a Community Corrections Officer for domestic violence offenders. In 2011, she started volunteering with a Wilderness Search and Rescue team and shortly thereafter started training as a K9 handler. She and Nash, the dog, worked numerous searches for missing persons, downed aircraft, and cold case human remains searches throughout the state under the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, in conjunction with both state and local police, fire departments, and rescue personnel. In addition to raising two children and riding out 14 post 9/11 deployments, she served as Ombudsman for a SEAL command for several years, was part of the shaping of resiliency programs for special forces spouses and families, and is the author of a children’s book about deployment. She currently lives in Colorado, with her husband, who has recently retired after 27 years in the SEAL teams, enjoying the empty nest life.
Jennifer Pugh is an O2X Resilience Specialist with expertise in mental health skills training. Her areas of focus include acute and chronic stress management, emotion regulation, anger management, effective communication, crisis intervention, mindfulness, and cognitive restructuring. She currently works as a staff clinician at her local VA hospital, engaging servicemembers, veterans, first responders and government employees in a variety of mental health treatment modalities. Jennifer received her B.A. in Psychology from Boston University and her MSW with a focus in veterans and military families from Boston College. After graduation, she went on to complete an academic fellowship at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. She is currently licensed to practice clinical social work in Massachusetts and New York, and is certified in Interpersonal Psychotherapy. Her professional experience includes the provision of individual psychotherapy, group therapy, clinical case management, and psychoeducation training in both inpatient and outpatient mental health settings. With personal ties to law enforcement and the military, Jennifer appreciates that the optimization of mental wellness is an integral part of maximizing human performance. Following the same advice she gives her clients, her free time consists of eating fun foods, sharing some laughs, catching quality zzz’s, and working up a good sweat.
Dr. Jason Mitchler is an O2X Injury Prevention Specialist who is an active duty physical therapist currently serving at Fort Carson, CO. Jason has served the majority of his 19 year Army career in operational units. His enlisted career began as an infantryman and later as a Special Forces Medic with the 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) while completing two tours to Afghanistan. After being commissioned as a physical therapist, he was the lead during the implementation of the USASOC THOR3 program at the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne). During this time he oversaw the development of a comprehensive performance and rehabilitation program at Ft. Carson, CO. Following this assignment he was selected to be the Chief of Physical Therapy at the Pentagon. His most recent deployment was as the sole physical therapist for the Special Operations Task Force- Afghanistan (SOTF-A) serving both American and coalition forces. He is a graduate of the University of Northern Colorado with a BA in Kinesiology and the Army-Baylor program with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. He is an Orthopaedic Certified Specialist (OCS) and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). Jason lives in Colorado Springs, CO with his wife Erin and their two children. He is an assistant high school wrestling coach and holds a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. In his free time he is an active cyclist, runner, and skier.
Derek Petrin is an O2X Lead Instructor. Derek was born in Fall River, Massachusetts and raised in the state until joining the U.S.Navy in 1991. He retired from the Navy as a Hospital Corpsman Master Chief in 2016. He served as a Senior Enlisted Medical Advisor for Navy Special Operations assets for nearly 10 years with multiple deployments. Derek received his B.S from The George Washington University. He is a nationally Registered EMT and a Federal Law Enforcement Training Assessment (FLETA) certified trainer and Facilitator. He and his wife stay busy with six children and multiple grandkids.
Chris Warden is an O2X Instructor. Up to this point in his life, everything Chris has pursued has been of a helping nature. He spent 8 years as a personal trainer then became an EMT and later, a Paramedic. Over the last 6 years, he has been blessed with the opportunity to work for 2 full time fire departments, Waterford Regional Fire Department and currently, the City of Ann Arbor Fire Department. He is the chair of AAFD Health and safety committee with aspirations of establishing a health and wellness branch for the DEPT. He also is a representative on the Ann Arbor City Health and wellness committee. In 2019, Chris successfully passed the NSCA TSAC-F test and was granted the associated credentials.
Bruce Stockton is an O2X Strength & Conditioning and Injury Prevention Specialist. Bruce is a physical therapist who works mainly with strength and fitness athletes. After playing rugby for four years at the University of Rochester, Bruce played for Buffalo Rugby Club while working as a strength and conditioning coach. He played for a club in his hometown for two years, during which he traveled overseas to compete internationally against clubs in Wales and England before picking up the sport of weightlifting. While competing in the sport, Bruce was an assistant coach of Paradigm Weightlifting Club in Rochester, NY. Having dealt with injuries in rugby and weightlifting, Bruce decided to continue his education and pursue a career as a physical therapist. Bruce earned his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Boston University, where he gave his thesis on breathing and bracing practices in CrossFit and weightlifting athletes. He joined O2X Human Performance in the summer of 2019, with the goal of continuing to help high-performing individuals across all disciplines realize and perform at their highest potential. Currently, Bruce is a traveling physical therapist based in Hartford, CT.
Dr. Alia Elias is an O2X Nutrition Specialist who is also a Naturopathic Doctor with a passion for health, nutrition, and fitness. Her overall goal is to make a larger impact on people’s health and performance through empowerment for each individual. Dr. Elias specializes in gut/brain health and nutrition. She is a Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) certified practitioner. Dr. Elias also devises meal plans and coaches clients on food and eating habits. She helps clients deal with emotional eating and stress and anxiety. Dr. Elias also consults for nutrition with gyms and fitness centers. She is a writer, blogger and speaker which are all centered around food, eating, gut health and self-worth.
Jason Silva is an O2X Lead Instructor who recently finished a 27 year career in the United States Navy as a Master Chief. He completed Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training in 1992 and went on to become qualified as a Special Forces medic at Fort Sam Houston, TX and a paramedic in South Central Los Angeles, CA with the Los Angeles Fire Department. He served on SEAL Team Five, Naval Special Warfare Development Group, and Special Operations Command North. Throughout his career, Jason has completed 17 combat deployments in support of several operations worldwide, to include Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Jason’s awards and commendations include the Silver Star, three Bronze Stars with Valor, a Purple Heart, and two Defense Meritorious Service Medals, among others. Jason has a passion for woodworking, having learned from his father who was a Master cabinetmaker, and spends his free time creating pieces of art in his mountain woodshop in Colorado.
Mike Rice is an O2X Lead Instructor. He recently retired after 24 years of active duty military service. He started his career in 1991 shortly after graduating from high school when he enlisted in the US Marine Corps. He was an 0311—Rifleman—and his first military unit was 3rd Bn 5th Marine on Camp Pendleton, CA. After four years, he successfully passed the 1st Force Reconnaissance Company screening process and transferred to that unit. He served with the Company from 1995 until 1999, when upon his return from a CENTCOM deployment with 1st Force Recon, he was selected for an Officer Commissioning Program. Attending George Washington University in DC, he graduated in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in Finance. Choosing to accept a commission in the US Navy, he was accepted into the SEAL Program and traveled back to the West Coast to attend Basic Underwater Demolition / SEAL (BUD/S) training on Coronado Island, CA. He started and finished with Class 243, and after completing the rest of the SEAL training pipeline, was transferred to SEAL Team ONE. From 2003 to 2015, he served with SEAL Teams ONE and THREE, attended the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, and finished his career as the SEAL Advisor to NAVCENT in Bahrain. Retiring from active service in 2015, he moved from Bahrain to Abu Dhabi and worked as a civilian advisor for the UAE Special Operations Command for the next three years. Moving back to Washington DC to be with his wife—herself an active duty Chief in the Navy—he joined the O2X staff in December 2019. Mike enjoys weight training, swimming, road biking, and mountaineering. In July 2019, he climbed Mt Rainier with a small team of friends. A lifelong pursuit of physical perfection has utterly failed—but he’s still trying…
Tiffany Batsakis is an O2X Nutrition Specialist, who is a Registered Dietitian with a passion for health and wellness. She earned her Master’s Degree from the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas and completed her dietetic internship there as well. She served in the United States Army for six years, and as a result, she is familiar with the needs of the tactical athlete and maintains a high level of physical fitness in her day to day life. Upon completion of her degree, Tiffany worked for the non-profit organization, Meals on Wheels, in San Antonio, Texas, where she planned the menu and conducted nutrition analysis for the meals served to over 3,800 homebound seniors daily. While at the organization, she also counseled clients, worked with kitchen staff and food vendors, maintained the site’s blog, conducted surveys, and mentored student interns. In 2016 Tiffany left her job to travel for two years. When she returned, she started her own business as a consultant dietitian, with a focus on healthy living, nutritious meal plans for clients, menu planning and nutrition analysis for non-profit organizations, general nutrition education, and nutrition during recovery from substance use disorders. In addition to being a registered and licensed dietitian, she is also a personal trainer and remains active in the fitness industry in the San Antonio area. She is a member of the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), the Texas Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics, and the Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Dietetic Practice Group (SCAN) through the AND. She has attended various sports nutrition conferences and stays up to date with the latest and greatest in the world of nutrition via webinars, conferences, and training events.
Jeff Martin is Operations Coordinator for O2X Human Performance. He's responsible for managing all O2X travel, lodging, equipment, and deliverables. As O2X grows, Jeff creatively finds ways to improve processes and sharpen the O2X brand. Prior to O2X, Jeff grew up playing a variety of sports in his hometown of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. As Captain of the team in high school, he won both the Michigan Hockey and Lacrosse State Championships and was nominated Athlete of the Year. After high school, Jeff played 2 years of Junior Hockey in Odessa, Texas where he led the North American Hockey League (NAHL) in penalty minutes. In the off-season, he worked a lot with kettlebells as a Strength & Conditioning Coach (Strongfirst Level I Certified). He made it out of Texas and was recruited to play hockey at Tufts where he would spend his next 4 years studying Biology. After a career-ending hip surgery Junior year of Tufts, Jeff was forced to hang up the skates and redirect his energy elsewhere. Jeff spent 4 months in Bodh Gaya, India where he practiced 2 hours of daily meditation under the guidance of recognized Buddhist teachers. Following his return to the United States, he then met "The Iceman", Wim Hof and routinely practiced his cutting-edge breathing and cold immersion methods. Following graduation in May of 2019, Jeff trained professional hockey players for Prentiss Hockey Performance, but quickly parted ways in pursuit of something that better aligned with his curiosities. Shortly after leaving, Jeff caught wind of O2X from a friend and frequently spends the night in the office. He's not going anywhere anytime soon.
Coleman Ruiz is an O2X Leadership and Resilience specialist. Coleman is also the Co-Founder and Director of Performance at the Mission Critical Team Institute. The MCTI develops research and practice for the Selection, Training, and Professional Development of Mission Critical Teams, defined as small (4-12 agents) integrated groups of organically trained and educated experts dealing with complex adaptive problems. Mission Critical Teams operate in immersive, but constrained (300 seconds or less), temporally constrained environments where the consequence of failure can be catastrophic. Mission Critical Teams, as examples, include Wildland and Urban Firefighters, Trauma Surgeons, Hostage Rescue teams, elite sports teams, Special Operations soldiers, etc. Coleman is also an Advisor and Partner at the Liminal Collective, reimagining the future of what is possible as a Human 2.0, Humans 2.0, and Humanity 2.0. The Collective helps create, plan, organize, and execute against some of humanity's boldest endeavors ranging from space flight and deep-sea exploration to reimagining the future of national security and elite sport. The Liminal Collective serves as the operational planning arm for “never been done” events, and serves the individuals training for performance under pressure in high consequence environments. Coleman is a U.S. Naval Academy graduate and former Naval Special Warfare (SEAL) Officer. All-together, he served six operational combat deployments in both Afghanistan and Iraq. He’s served as troop commander, joint task force commander, and executive officer at various levels of Naval Special Warfare and served in U.S. Embassies in both Yemen and Kenya working directly with the Ambassador’s country team. Coleman also served as a Training Officer at both the basic and advanced Naval Special Warfare (SEAL) training schools. Coleman has served as a trainer, educator, and advisor for over a dozen collegiate teams, and professional athletic organizations. He serves as a US Naval Academy Trustee for Athletic and Scholarship Programs and serves as a Senior Fellow at the US Naval Academy’s VADM James B. Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership. Since completing active duty service in 2011, Coleman has also served as the Executive Director of Carry the Load in Dallas, TX, a 501(c)3, as a board member at Tip of the Spear, a veteran-focused non-profit, and member of the Station Foundation’s veteran transition programs. Lastly, he often serves as a Mentor at COMMIT Foundation transition workshops, where senior retirees or high-potential veterans are creating their path into the private sector. Coleman graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a B.S. in Mathematics and earned an MBA in Finance at the Government School of Business & Public Policy from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. He lives in Annapolis, MD with his wife Bridget Ruiz and their three children, Coleman (age 16), Ben (age 14), and Oliver (age 10).
Ryan Kirby is an O2X Strength & Conditioning Specialist. Ryan was born and raised in Dallas, Georgia where he grew up with his two brothers and two sisters. He comes from an athletic family that has always been involved in sports. Ryan and his brothers were top athletes at the state and national level growing up. This is what led him into his career in the Marine Corps. It was that sense of purpose and unity that made the Marine Corps, especially the infantry, the only place that he wanted to go after high school. After multiple tours in Afghanistan, Okinawa, South Korea, and Thailand, Ryan decided that he would pursue other endeavors that he never thought possible before the military. After getting out of the Marine Corps, Ryan started school at Kennesaw State University, where he has received both a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Exercise Science and Exercise Physiology. During his time in school, Ryan had the opportunity to work with multiple sports teams on campus. His passion in life is working with and educating athletes. Ryan also plays and writes music, loves the outdoors, and loves Georgia Football.
Benjamin Toderico is an O2X Resilience Specialist. Benjamin earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise and a Master’s of Science in Muscle Physiology and Biochemistry from Virginia Tech. After graduating, he worked for a busy urban police department for 18 years in various assignments including patrol, street level gun and drug investigations, property crimes, robberies, aggravated assault and sex crimes, crimes against children, Crime Stoppers, and was assigned to the department SWAT Team for over 7 years. Benjamin has been a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with the NSCA for over 20 years. He has also held certifications in personal training, kettlebell instruction, natural movement, functional movement screening, and blood flow restriction training. Benjamin’s career and life path were drastically altered when his wife, Denise, was struck from behind by an SUV while she was running. Once she was discovered in a farmer’s field and EMS was summoned, she was flown by helicopter to the regional trauma hospital. Denise spent the next 40 days in the hospital recovering from several strokes, a severe traumatic brain injury, a severe brachial plexus injury (paralyzing her arm), several broken vertebrae in her neck and back, and other orthopedic injuries and internal traumas. Benjamin’s unique background enabled him to become the best advocate, coach, trainer, and partner for his wife and their family. With the lessons learned and skills developed, Benjamin changed his career path to be able to help tactical athletes become 1% better through resiliency, strength and condition and mindset.
Warren Skinner is an O2X Lead Instructor. He is also a retired U.S. Navy Independent Duty Hospital Corpsman with nearly a decade of Special Operation Force medical and combat support experience. Though he has been assigned to multiple duty stations in his 24 years of active duty in the Navy, he excelled in the Special Warfare Community. He has been assigned to SEAL Team 8 twice and the Naval Special Warfare (NSW) Advanced Training Center Detachment (ATC) Fort Story, formerly Detachment Little Creek, VA, serving as the Medical Department Head. While Warren was assigned there, he attended several Human Performance courses, such as the NSW Group 2 Human Performance Initiative Coaches Course (was the only non-SEAL to attend at that time), the EXOS, formerly known as Athlete’s Performance, Military Mentorship for the Tactical Athlete two times, as well as numerous medical and human performance based training within the Special Operations Command (SOCOM). Warren also served as an Aerospace Physiology Technician working at the Aviation Survival Training Center in Norfolk, VA, prior to becoming an IDC. He taught pilots and aircrew about hypoxia, parachuting, how gas laws affect the body, DCS, and water survival (EGRESS, swimming, navigating blindly from the HELO Dunker). He has a B.S. in Health Sciences and currently holds several certifications: NSCA Tactical Strength and Conditioning Facilitator (TSAC-F), NASM Certified Personal Trainer (CPT), USAW Sports Performance Coach Level 1, SMART TOOLS Blood Flow Restriction Certified (BFR LVL 1), BFR LVL 1, former Crossfit Level 1 Coach, and NAVY Command Fitness Leader (CFL) for multiple commands. Warren currently works out of ELEV8Fitness Virginia Beach, VA.
Emily Cook is an O2X Mental Performance Specialist. Emily never let go of a dream to compete in the Olympics. Sidelined by two broken feet only days after making the 2002 Olympic Team, Cook watched her hometown Olympics from a wheelchair, and missed three World Cup seasons while healing. She persevered and returned to compete, reaching the top of the World Cup podium numerous times as well as reaching her Olympic dream three times: 2006 in Italy, 2010 in Vancouver and in 2014 in Sochi. After retiring from Olympic competition, Emily joined the audio brand, Skullcandy to design and bring to life the Skullcandy Human Potential Lab. In The Human Potential Lab Emily spent time with some of the world's top athletes helping them pursue their individual dreams and contribute to the communities around them and investigating the science between music and human performance. Today, Emily is traveling the world with the US Ski Team, coaching the next generation of champions to reach their own Olympic goals. She has coached our country's best including guiding World Champions Ashley Caldwell and Jon Lillis to the top of the podium at the 2017 World Championships. The highlight of her coaching journey was accompanying the team to the Olympic Games in PyeongChang, Korea.
Christina Wehry is an O2X Yoga Specialist. Christina has 23 years of yoga and meditation experience, and is a Holistic Health Practitioner specializing in the treatment and management of pain. She is the granddaughter of three WWII veterans, her grandmother was among the first women to join the Marine Corps, sister to an Army veteran, niece to a Marine veteran, and is MILSO; she has a deep appreciation for the veterans of our country. Christina founded Complete Wellbeing, San Diego’s first fully holistic pain clinic, nearly three years ago. She serves the MIL, LEO, and first responder communities of San Diego through free classes and pain relief services in her clinic. She is a thought leader in holistic pain treatment and expert in using yoga and meditation to decrease pain symptoms. Please ask her any questions about what is going on in your body.
Dr. Tina M. Burke is an 02X Human Performance Sleep Specialist. She specializes in providing skills for sleeping better and techniques on how to increase your performance when working round the clock shifts or working with sleep loss. Dr. Burke earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Kent State University in Kent, OH. She then earned a Master’s of Science in Integrative Physiology from the University of Colorado – Boulder, followed by a dual Ph.D. in Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience from the University of Colorado – Boulder. Her research aims at developing our understanding of mechanisms by which photic (light) and non-photic stimuli (e.g., exogenous melatonin, caffeine) can be used as countermeasures to improve sleep, alertness, performance, and overall health. Currently, Dr. Burke is the Sleep Research Team Chief at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and provides oversight for the Sleep Research Center and Operational Research Team. Dr. Burke is a professional member of the Sleep Research Society, American Academy of Sleep Medicine, Society for Biological Rhythms, and the Society for Neuroscience. Dr. Burke has had the pleasure of the support and companionship of her husband for the past 10 years. As a professional road cyclist, he was one of her first clients that she was able to instill the importance of sleep and circadian alignment on performance.
Robyn Tiger is an O2X Yoga Specialist. She is a physician and certified yoga therapist. She founded Yoga Heals 4 Life, a private yoga therapy practice, integrating western and eastern philosophies for complete physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Robyn is on the faculty and Medical Advisory Board of Trauma Informed Yoga Therapy. She is certified through Warriors at Ease, serving military and veteran communities, as well as the Integrative Restoration Institute, leading iRest® yoga nidra guided meditation. Robyn specializes in stress management and is deeply passionate about guiding individuals to holistically achieve optimal health and become the best version of themselves.
Pete Kadushin is an O2X Mental Performance Specialist. Pete also is a lecturer in the Sport Psychology Specialization within the Department of Counseling and Human Development at Boston University. He received his B.S. in Psychology at Penn State and his M.A. in counseling and Ph.D. in Sport and Exercise Psychology from West Virginia University. As a Mental Performance Consultant, Pete has worked in a variety of settings, including high performance athletics, rehabilitation, and exercise promotion/weight management. Clients he works with focus on two key areas of growth: dialing in their ability to learn and refine lessons quickly and the capacity to apply those lessons under pressure. He’s worked with performers, teams, and organizations across the country with the goal of helping them develop the mental skills that will allow them to more consistently achieve their best. Even though it sounds like a bad infomercial, his core passion is to help people perform at their highest level so that they can live a more fulfilled, meaningful life. Pete is hyper competitive, and has been known to watch any sport or recreational activity he can. He continues to push his own boundaries by rock climbing, summiting mountains, and trail running. If you’ve got any suggestions for races or trails, make sure you share!
Pat Sandora is an O2X Strength & Conditioning Specialist and a Metabolic Specialist at Lifetime Athletic in Chestnut Hill, MA. His Strength and Conditioning career stated in 1993 as an Intern at West Virginia University. From there Pat moved into professional baseball, first as a Minor League Strength Coach for the Texas Rangers (Savannah Sand Gnats and Tulsa Drillers) and later as the Minor League Coordinator for the Phillies. Pat returned to West Virginia University as the Associate Director of Strength and Conditioning, overseeing the Olympic sports program. After helping the Mountaineers Men’s Basketball team to the reach the Elite 8 (for the first time in 50+ years), Pat returned to professional baseball as a Minor League Strength Coach for the Brewers (Brevard County Manatee) and Indians (Akron Aeros). Pat joined the Boston Red Sox in 2006 as the Minor League Coordinator, a position he held for 6 years before being named the Head Major League Strength Coach for the Boston Red Sox in 2012, a position he held until 2015. During his strength and conditioning career, Pat had been blessed to worked with many elite athletes which included All-Americans, All-Stars, World Series Champions, and Hall of Famers. Pat’s primary focus is to improve mobility and functional strength; this can be done by creating a stable base of support through which energy can be transferred and movement efficiency enhanced. He uses traditional and non-traditional methods of training to improve mobility, strength, and movement efficiency. Pat has a Bachelors Degree in Physical Education from West Virginia University, a Masters Degree in Athletic Coaching Education from West Virginia University, and started on his Doctorate in Coaching and Teaching Studies also at West Virginia University.
Dr. Samantha Riedy is an O2X Sleep Specialist with expertise on the effects of sleep loss, shift work, and circadian misalignment on performance in operational settings. Over the past eight years, she has conducted operational research with police officers, cargo pilots, nurses, ultramarathoners, and workers in other operations, as well as in-laboratory research with shift work and sleep deprivation protocols. Samantha earned her master’s degree and PhD in Experimental Psychology with an emphasis in Statistics from Washington State University in Spokane, Washington. Samantha completed an internship during her master’s studies in the 711th Human Performance Wing, the Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. During her doctoral research, Samantha examined and modeled how sleep loss, shift work, and fatigue impact police performance and police-community relationships. Samantha is also a Registered Polysomnographic Technician, with experience running clinical diagnostic and titration sleep studies and scoring polysomnographic records for research laboratories. Samantha is a member of the Sleep Research Society, Australasian Sleep Association, Working Time Society, and European Sleep Research Society. She has published her research in top journals, presented her research at government institutes, universities, and companies around-the-world, and her research has been picked up by a number of policing magazines.
Nicole Farnsworth is an O2X Nutrition Specialist. Nicole’s expertise is in sports nutrition; she is a Registered Dietitian who specializes in working with athletes for optimal health and performance. She is additionally an NASM-certified personal trainer. Nicole began working in sports medicine as a Clinical Research Coordinator at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. She received her Master of Science degree in Human Nutrition at Columbia University’s Institute of Human Nutrition and completed a dietetic internship at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center. Upon completion of her internship, Nicole began working at Van Dusen Nutrition, a group nutrition practice specializing in performance nutrition and the treatment of eating disorders. There she assisted in developing a movement-based curriculum for eating disorder clients to help them redefine their relationship with exercise. She additionally provided nutrition counseling, developed marketing materials, and conducted outreach for the practice. Nicole is a Clinical Nutrition Specialist with the Female Athlete Program and Division of Sports Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital. She is additionally the consulting sports dietitian for Wheaton College. As a former track and field athlete at Harvard University, Nicole enjoys working with athletes at all levels to help them perform at their best. She has a special interest in working with athletes with low energy availability, disordered eating, and eating disorders. Nicole is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutrition Dietetics Practice Group, Collegiate and Professional Sports Dietitian Association, and Multi-Service Eating Disorders Association.
Dr. Nick Barringer is an O2X Nutrition Specialist. Nick currently researches and serves as an assistant professor at the United States Military Academy. Previously while working at the United States Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine he researched Warfighter nutritional requirements in differing environments to include deployed Special Operators. Prior to that, he taught performance nutrition at the Army-Baylor Graduate Program in Nutrition. Nick served in the 75th Ranger Regiment as a member of the Ranger Athlete Warrior (RAW) program where he oversaw the nutrition and aspects of the physical training of Rangers. Nick received his undergraduate degree in dietetics from the University of Georgia, his master of science in exercise science from California University of Pennsylvania and his doctorate in kinesiology from Texas A&M. Nick is passionate about improving nutrition and performance in tactical athletes and has the unique perspective of a researcher, teacher, and practitioner who has gone through physically demanding courses such as Ranger School, Survival Evasion Resistance Escape (SERE), Airborne, Air Assault as well as having deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan so he best understands both the academic and applied demands of the tactical athlete. Nick has presented at both national and international conferences on tactical athlete nutrition and performance and his research has appeared in multiple media outlets such as Science Daily and Men’s Journal.
Dr. Lauren Polivka is an O2X Injury Prevention Specialist and a licensed physical therapist, holistic health coach, and movement specialist. She studied at the University of Florida in Kinesiology and received her doctorate degree in Physical Therapy from Northwestern University. She has been practicing in the field of sports medicine since 2008, diagnosing and treating elite and collegiate athletes and fitness enthusiasts. In 2010, Dr. Polivka started her own business through her experience in sports, working specifically in CrossFit and weightlifting sports after noticing a large gap in the medical fields and gyms when treating and preventing injuries. She began [RPR] - Repair. Perform. Recover. in order to bring her experience into gyms and evaluate members movement patterns on a total body scale. Her treatment approach stimulates the client's body to heal themselves, allowing for faster results. She provides the education and instructional warm-ups, cool-downs, and daily practices that will allow change to happen in the body and last through training and work requirements.
Lauren D’Angelo is an O2X Yoga Specialist. Lauren found her way into her first yoga class after years of playing sports, participating in triathlons, and running marathons. From the first class, she was hooked and knew instantly that she wanted to be a yoga instructor. Lauren’s classes are an active, powerful, movement-based vinyasa, and they are crafted and created to be accessible for all. She has crafted her own unique style that incorporates strength and stretch, but also mindfulness that allows the student to feel and move in a safe way. In her 11 years teaching, she has taught in settings such as the UnderArmour world headquarters, Oakley world headquarters, the Boston Common, Yoga Reaches Out, and as an E-RYT 500, has participated as a Lead Trainer in 4 different teacher trainings. Lauren is the founder of Lola Yoga, "whereimat" podcast, and is an avid blogger. She is dedicated to continuing to learn and grow and bring her knowledge to her students.
Josh Lamont is an O2X Strength & Conditioning Specialist from Baltimore, Maryland. He is a Certified Athletic Trainer and Strength and Conditioning Coach who owns AthletEdge, a company that specializes in assessing, training, and educating athletes of all ages in order to improve their performance and increase their resiliency. Josh attended Towson University in Baltimore where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Athletic Training. From there, he went onto University of Delaware for his Master of Science degree in Exercise Physiology and worked with the Strength and Conditioning staff, training the school's athletic teams. Following graduate school, Josh had the opportunity to live out a childhood dream as he spent many years in professional baseball. Although his dream was to be a player at that level, he spent his time training and rehabilitating the ballplayers in order to improve their performance and help them decrease their chance of injury. Working in baseball offered Josh the opportunity to travel the country, which is how he met his amazing wife in Chicagoland, and began working with Tactical Athletes in Arizona. Since moving back to Baltimore so his children could grow up near family, Josh has been able to return to playing 'old-man' baseball. His desire to be competitive and avoid injury has driven Josh to train consistently for performance and to keep up with his children while, at the same time, be a role model to the athletes he works with.
Jennifer Emberton is an 02X Injury Prevention Specialist. Jen was born and raised in Georgia and received her B.S. in Dietetics from the University of Georgia in 2006. In 2009, she received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Armstrong State University. She is a Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopedics, holds additional certification in the Mckenzie Method for the treatment of Spine and Extremities, and is a Strength and Conditioning Specialist. She has had experience treating firefighters, active duty service members, and civilians with orthopedic and neurological conditions for over 10 years. Currently, she is a Research Fellow at Fort Stewart, GA supporting research projects aimed at reducing injury and improving return to duty after injury for soldiers. In addition to work, Jen is an avid CrossFit Athlete and prides herself on balancing regular CrossFit workouts with consistent range of motion/mobility training and cardiovascular training for a well-rounded physical training routine. Her husband, Steve, has been a firefighter for 15 years and is the Captain of a Rescue Unit that operates in Downtown Savannah, GA.
Hunter Barnhill is an O2X Resilience Specialist and a former U.S. Air Force pilot with over 700 hours logged in the B-52H Stratofortress, and over 600 hours in the T-6A Texan II. As a B-52H pilot, Hunter led his crew in accomplishing a variety of missions. Missions including nuclear deterrence, close air support, air-to-ground, direct attack, and counter-drug. In 2015, Hunter volunteered to be an Instructor Pilot and was thus tasked with the crucial and vital role of instructing and producing the Air Force’s next generation of highly skilled and capable pilots. On Easter Sunday 2017, Hunter suffered a seizure caused by a previously undetected brain tumor which required immediate surgery to remove. Hunter was subsequently diagnosed with malignant brain cancer, thus cutting short his military aviation career. The diagnosis led Hunter to develop a deeper respect for resiliency and a new-found passion for teaching others how to implement the life-saving and life-enriching skills into their own lives: “I had received hundreds of hours of resiliency training from the Air Force for the purpose of instructing other Airmen. Even in passing along those resiliency skills to others, I had failed to internalize and apply those skills myself, but that all changed when I received my cancer diagnosis.” The skills and techniques he once used to teach undergraduate pilots now enables him to teach and instruct thousands in developing and building their own resilience. Hunter resides in Columbus, Ohio with his wife Crystal, son Nolan, and dog Riley. Despite being found medically unqualified to fly, his passion for aviation continues. He enjoys studying leadership, is a proud Ohioan, and a die-hard Ohio State Buckeye athletics fan, especially football and hockey. Most of all, he loves seizing opportunities to strengthen his faith and spending quality time with his family.
Dr. Katie O’Bright is an O2X Injury Prevention Specialist. Dr. O’Bright is a board certified orthopedic Doctor of Physical Therapy. As a Buffalo, NY native, Katie is a proud graduate of the University at Buffalo, where she earned a B.S. in Exercise Science, and hopeful fan of the Buffalo Bills. She is also a veteran of the United States Army, where she served as a Captain for 4 years. While on active duty, Dr. O’Bright was a primary care physical therapist to soldiers with musculoskeletal complaints; she was also active in the development and implementation of the reconditioning physical readiness training program at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. After completing her active duty service obligation, she became the lead therapist at the University of Oklahoma’s Stephenson Cancer Center, where she enhanced her clinical practice skills in the cancer population. She was an active provider in the “prehab” programs, which educated individuals in the importance of exercise throughout cancer treatment, most notably in those preparing for bone marrow transplants. She is currently the lead therapist in a multidisciplinary private practice in Pittsburgh, PA. Dr. O’Bright has special interests in lumbopelvic and hip disorders, as well as dry needling. She takes a comprehensive approach to the care planning of her patients, ensuring that they understand the intricate neural dependency of mind on body, and body on mind. She is also passionate about teaching students and serves as an adjunct instructor for the University of Pittsburgh’s DPT program. In her spare time, she enjoys exercising and spending time outdoors with her husband, 2 sons, and chocolate lab. She dabbles in painting, practices hot yoga as often as possible, and loves live jazz music.
Kayla Schmit is an O2X On-Site Specialist for Frederick County, MD. Kayla was born and raised in a small town in Southeast Minnesota. She grew up playing sports and spending time outdoors. Kayla has always had an interest in health and wellness and staying active. She graduated from Winona State University in 2016 with a B.S. Exercise Science and a minor in Nutrition. Her experience in human performance started on the athletic side working with athletes of all ages and ability levels. From there, she wanted to expand her experience and knowledge in the human performance field and became involved with the tactical side of human performance. Kayla then went back to continue her education and graduated with a Masters of Science in Kinesiology and Outdoor Recreation: Sports Performance & Conditioning from Southern Utah University in 2019. She chose to complete her master thesis research within the tactical population. Her research was focused on identifying the significance of the relationship between the physical demands of firefighting and the physical fitness qualities of firefighters. Her research was then published. Kayla began working with the fire service early on in her career. She got started with the Rochester Fire Department through a private Sports Medicine facility. Kayla spent 3 years implementing a human performance program for the career department that included annual movement screenings, pre-habilitation programs, tactical strength and conditioning programs, and developing an overall health and wellness program for the whole department. From there, her career with O2X began. Outside of work you will find Kayla spending time with her family and friends, enjoying the outdoors. She enjoys fishing, camping, hiking, hunting, and staying active with her dog Koda.
Parker Cornell is an O2X Lead Instructor. Parker is a southern California native who grew up with a deep passion for helping others. From a young age there was one factor that drove his life choices: he wanted to become a superhero. After learning that wouldn't be an option, he became a Navy SEAL. Parker humbly served at SEAL Team 5 where he was a Sniper. In 2016, Parker’s sniper partner connected him with O2X Founder, Adam La Reau's charity - One Summit - giving him the opportunity to help pediatric cancer patients build resilience through mentorship and climbing. After falling from a helicopter in 2017, Parker spent some time in the hospital where he was found not only to have sustained a traumatic brain injury, but was also diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis after a spinal tap. Parker believes to his core in the importance of what O2X offers. What O2X teaches is not just something Parker urges others to do, but he a philosophy he lives every day. After leaving the Hospital, due to a neurological flare and cerebral spinal fluid leak on April 11, 2019, Parker ran the 123rd Boston Marathon just 4 days later to raise money for kids with Cancer via One Summit. Multiple Sclerosis is something that he does not let define him; instead it is something he works incessantly to redefine. Parker strives to inspire others to take control of their lives and conquer the challenges they face. Parker's 'Why' is to achieve the unattainable and inspire others, so that our limitations may only be determined by what we can envision. Parker is a wrestler, skydiver, hunter, spearfisherman, musician, and sushi chef.
Eamonn Burke is the Director of Sales and Marketing at O2X Human Performance, starting his tenure at O2X in April 2016. In this role, Eamonn oversees the company's revenue generating business functions, as well as client retention and management. Prior to O2X, Eamonn was an Account Executive at security startups Resilient Systems (acquired by IBM in 2016) and Rapid7 (IPO 2015). Eamonn attended The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC where he played baseball from 2007 to 2011, and has since taken up running and endurance sports. He has run 9 marathons, a half ironman, and 3 Pan Mass Challenges. Eamonn lives in Quincy, Massachusetts with his wife, Kelly, and dog, Darcy.
Meaghan is the Relationship Manager here at O2X. Meaghan received her Masters of Education in Coaching from Boston University in 2016. She also attended Boston University as an undergraduate student where she competed on the BU Swimming and Diving team as a distance swimmer. Meaghan is a former USA Swimming Senior National Qualifier in distance freestyle and backstroke. Before her time with O2X, Meaghan managed the swim school for Boston University's Fitness and Recreation Center, which won the Best of Boston 2017 award for best swim lessons in the Greater Boston area. Meaghan has a family history of first responders and this was finally the opportunity to give back to their years of hard work and sacrifice protecting the health and wellness of others. Her great-grandfather was a firefighter in Lowell, MA, her grandfather is a retired Captain of the Massachusetts State Police, her cousin is a police officer in Boxborough, MA, and her uncle is a firefighter in Dracut, MA.
Justin Herzog is an O2X Lead Instructor who is a full time firefighter with the San Diego City Fire Department. He has 9 years of experience with San Diego and 3 years of volunteer experience prior to being hired there. Justin grew up in the Washington DC area, played sports through high school and joined the fire service after his athletic career ended in college. Justin Herzog has been an O2X Lead Instructor since the fall of 2018 and is a full time firefighter with the San Diego City Fire Department. Justin has over 14 years of both career and volunteer experience in the fire service. Originally from the Washington DC area, Justin played sports through high school and joined the fire service after his athletic career ended in college. In 2001, he moved to California, settling at the beach in San Diego. When he’s not riding Engine 12 or Truck 12 in Southeast San Diego, you can find him hanging at the beach, in the mountains of the west, chasing snow with his snowboard, or training at Crossfit Invictus in downtown San Diego. Contrary to popular opinion, he actually DOESN’T want to talk about crossfit. But if you bring up hip hop music, the NBA, or Game of Thrones, he’ll talk for hours.
Dave Nelson is an O2X Resilience Specialist. Dave is the survivor of a near-death experience, as well as an endurance race competitor, former Silicon Valley sales director, and a leadership mindset, mindfulness, and human motivation teacher. He’s also a husband and father. From 2006 to 2016, Dave worked with companies like EMC, Dell, Nimble Storage, and Rubrik to help them build successful sales teams and build new markets for their products. In 2016, he founded Milestone Mind, which provides leading-edge mindset and mindfulness training for high-growth people and organizations. Dave studied Sociology and Anthropology at Lafayette College, where he served as the Co-Captain of their 2005 championship football team. He's the recipient of the ECAC Award of Valor as well as recipient of the inaugural Lafayette College David Nelson '06 Award of Valor, established at the school after Dave's return to the gridiron after being dead for 7-minutes just two-months prior to the 2005 Championship season. Dave has received executive business education from Harvard Business School, undertaken deep meditation practice and education training from Kathmandu University's Centre for Buddhist Studies at Rangjung Yeshe Institute, and is a certified ICF NLP Master Practitioner, Life Coach and CMA Meditation Teacher. These days, Dave is a coach, mentor, podcast host, and teacher who understands what individuals and teams need to grow and thrive – and helps individuals and organizations create customized training programs that improves their results and creates undeniable personal satisfaction and team cohesion through that process. He has had the opportunity to interview and get to know thought-leaders such as Spartan Race Founder, Joe DeSena, Leading Meditation Teacher and Founder of the Insight Meditation Society, Sharon Salzberg, O2X Founder, Adam La Reau, PIVOT Founder, Jenny Blake, Green Beret and Author of Game-Changers, Scott Mann, IronmanTM World Champion and USAT Paratriathlete of the Year, André Kajlich, and many more.
Michael DeVries is an O2X Resilience Specialist. He is an Army Psychologist with over 18 years of experience working with high performance teams in the military and civilian sectors. Michael has his Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Counseling Psychology from Western Michigan University. Prior to the military, he worked as a facilitator for corporate team building events. For the past 11 years, he has worked with Special Operations units across the Department of Defense. Michael is board certified in Organizational and Business Consulting and is a certified business coach. His areas of expertise include executive coaching, leader coaching and development, assessment and selection, training support, performance psychology, and program evaluation through data analysis.
Dustin Allen is an O2X Strength and Conditioning Specialist. Originally from Springfield, Missouri, Dustin Allen played basketball at the University of Central Missouri while obtaining his undergraduate degree in Exercise Science. This background led him to the field of athletic performance where he eventually worked with the Harvard Strength and Conditioning program, developing their student athletes. This passion for human performance ultimately guided him to move to North Texas in 2012 to pursue his master’s degree in Exercise Physiology at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). At UTA, he gained valuable research experience in both pulmonary and cardiovascular physiology while working on several projects as a research assistant. In 2018, Dustin earned his PhD in Applied Physiology in the Integrative Physiology Laboratory at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. While there, his primary research focus was on the autonomic control of the cardiovascular and thermoregulatory systems in health and disease. Since the completion of his PhD, Dustin has accepted a faculty position at Boston University’s College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. His combined knowledge of human performance and exercise physiology provides him with a unique perspective on training tactical athletes for performance and longevity.
Dr. Karrie Fitzpatrick is an O2X Sleep Performance Specialist. Dr. Fitzpatrick earned her Ph.D. in neuroscience from Northwestern University and her B.S. in psychology from The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She is currently a staff scientist and government contractor in the Biological Technologies Office at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), where she supports programs aimed at developing breakthrough technologies and capabilities for national security, incorporating the unique features of biology. Her research has spanned a wide range of topics that affect brain functions including sleep, circadian rhythms, mental health, resilience, genetics, hormones, and gut microbiota. Dr. Fitzpatrick is passionate about community outreach and mentorship, and has long been an advocate for presenting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) topics in more engaging and relevant ways to better foster interest among kids and adults alike. She has given several interactive demonstrations and presentations at public schools and community colleges across Chicagoland, and has mentored several students at various stages throughout her career. Dr. Fitzpatrick firmly believes that getting good quality sleep is essential to maximizing performance, because sleep affects everything and everything affects sleep!
Dr. Ian Connole is an O2X Mental Performance Specialist. He is a Certified Mental Performance Consultant from the Association for Applied Sport Psychology with over a decade of experience. Dr. Connole has advanced degrees in Sport Psychology (Ph.D.), Kinesiology (M.S.), and Counseling (M.A.). Prior to being named a partner in the mental training firm, Vision Pursue, he worked as the Director of Sport Psychology for Kansas State University’s Athletic Department, delivering comprehensive mental training services. Dr. Connole is an accomplished speaker, including a TEDx talk entitled, “Fueling Human Performance.” He was also awarded the United States Army’s Civilian Service Achievement Medal for teaching mindfulness meditation for optimizing performance to Best Ranger competitors. In 2013, he completed his first ultra-marathon and continues to find ways to challenge his mind and his body to reach new limits.
Joe McCullough is the Sales & Marketing Coordinator at O2X Human Performance. Prior to O2X, Joe received a conditional appointment to the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) upon the successful completion of the sponsored preparatory program at the New Mexico Military Institute. In the summer of 2014, he joined USMMA Class of 2018 as a member of the Maritime Logistics and Security Program. During his time at the Academy he was a founding member of the Kings Point Endurance Club, served as a 3/C Petty Officer to the Regimental Commander, and sailed as a cadet aboard the S.S. Horizon Pacific. In June 2016 he sustained a cervical level spinal cord injury which ended his tenure at the Academy. Since then Joe has served in both the role of Operations Coordinator and Experience Coordinator for O2X.
Dr. David Meyer is an O2X Resilience Specialist who is also a licensed psychologist with a focus on PTSD/trauma. While attending college for environmental science and psychology, he worked as an EMT/firefighter with the US Forest Service. In his 14 years of fire/EMS experience, he served as a wildland firefighter, EMT, engine foreman, and helicopter rappeler with the Jackson Helitack before deciding to shift his career toward psychology, with an emphasis on trauma and work with first responders and survivors of trauma. Dr. Meyer earned his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of South Dakota with a specialization in Disaster Psychology through the Disaster Mental Health Institute. He responded with the American Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Team and worked with the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center in Thailand. Dr. Meyer completed his internship with the Salem, Virginia VA and postdoctoral training through the Boston VA Healthcare System and Boston University. For his postdoctoral fellowship, Dr. Meyer served as the project director of an NIMH funded longitudinal study focused on risk and resilience in firefighters, working with recruits throughout the US and Canada to identify potential factors that increase resilience. Dr. Meyer went on to work with the Maine VA Healthcare System as a member of the PTSD Clinical Treatment Team for five years, where he offered trauma focused treatment to military, veterans, and first responders. Today Dr. Meyer is part of Health Psych Maine, a group practice in Waterville, Maine, where he works with clients on managing stress, treating symptoms of PTSD, and mood disorders. He specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and empirically supported treatments. He has worked with multiple law enforcement agencies and corrections facilities as well as being included in a Maine Public Broadcasting documentary, A Matter of Duty. In his free time, he enjoys exploring the outdoors with his wife and two daughters, running, carpentry, and making maple syrup.
Dr. Ira Martin is an O2X Mental Performance Specialist. Ira received his Doctoral and Master’s Degrees in Counseling and Human Development with a specialization in Sport Psychology from Boston University. He received his bachelor’s degree Summa Cum Laude from Suffolk University. He also completed a personal and executive coaching program with the Institute of Professional Empowerment Coaching–IPEC, and is a Certified Professional Coach. Ira became interested in performance psychology as a collegiate ice hockey player, and over the past several years has worked with numerous youth, high school, and college athletes, as well as coaches and referees. He is passionate about educating teams, executives, coaches, and parents, in group and individual settings. Most recently, Ira served as the Leader in Residence at the United States Coast Guard Academy Institute for Leadership, translating leadership research into practice, while actively engaged in the curriculum development, implementation, and assessment of an academy-wide leader development strategy. While at the Academy, Ira spent time in the classroom as an assistant professor of Organizational Behavior and Leadership. Ira has teaching experience at the undergraduate and graduate level at schools such as Boston University, Connecticut College, and Suffolk University.
Rachele Pojednic is an O2X Nutrition Specialist. She is an Assistant Professor of Nutrition at Simmons College and is currently conducting her research at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Pojednic’s work has a specific focus on physical activity and nutrition interventions for the prevention and treatment of non-communicable chronic disease. Dr. Pojednic received her PhD from the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy in Biochemical and Molecular Nutrition & Exercise Physiology. Her research at Tufts was completed in the Nutrition, Exercise Physiology, and Sarcopenia laboratory at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts. She was awarded the Ruth L Kirschstein National Research Service Award by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. While at Tufts, Dr. Pojednic examined the molecular interaction between human skeletal muscle and vitamin D, as well as novel contributions of speed and velocity to overall muscular power with aging. Dr Pojednic also holds a masters degree in education in Coaching and a bachelor's degree in Cardiopulmonary and Exercise Science. She has been certified as a Certified Sports and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and has worked with Division I college teams at Boston University, MIT, and Northeastern University. Dr. Pojednic serves on the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), Exercise Is Medicine® education committee, The American Council on Exercise (ACE) Industry Advisory Panel, and the council of the True Health Initiative. Dr. Pojednic has also been an active member of the fitness industry for the past 15 years. She is an indoor cycling instructor at Flywheel Sports in Boston, as well as an ambassador for Specialized Women. She has been a consultant and writer to several organizations, including Joy Bauer and the Today Show, Huffington Post Healthy Living Blog, Women’s Health, Self Magazine, Boston Magazine, and Runners World.
Dr. Mike Donato is an O2X Foot and Ankle Specialist who is an owner/podiatrist at Rappahannock Foot & Ankle Specialists in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He is board certified in Forefoot, and Reconstructive Rearfoot and Ankle Surgery from the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery. He is a fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons and has served as a spokesperson and as a past chairman of the managerial board for Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery. He is a member of the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine. He has been named among Northern Virginia Magazine's Top Doctors for 2015, 2016 and 2017. Mike grew up in Boston and graduated from Catholic Memorial High School in West Roxbury prior to attending Princeton University where he played baseball and hockey. He is a graduate of the California College of Podiatric Medicine, San Francisco, California and did his residency at the Yale New Haven Hospital-VA Connecticut Healthcare System. He has a passion for sports and brings his expertise of foot and ankle mechanics and proper shoe wear utilized for various athletic/tactical activities. He is a regular medical volunteer at the Marine Corps Marathon and the other associated Marine Corps Marathon Race Events. He is a USA Hockey level 4 hockey coach and after years of being a head coach he currently serves as an assistant coach for the Piedmont Predator Youth Hockey Club. He is an avid crossfitter and hockey player who participates in masters crossfit competitions and adult hockey tournaments.
Major Allison Brager is an O2X Sleep Specialist. Allison is the Director of Human Performance Operations and Outreach Education for the Army E-Sports and Warrior Fitness teams of the United States Army Recruiting Command. She is also one of the elite CrossFit athletes competing for the Army. Allison sits on fatigue management working groups for the Office of the Army Surgeon General, Special Forces, and NATO. Previously, at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research; she and her teammates leveraged groundbreaking sleep discoveries to deliver knowledge products and material solutions to the Army. Her discoveries have most recently been delivered during Operation Spartan Shield. Allison holds an Sc.B. from Brown University and a Ph.D. from Kent State University. Her popular science book, Meathead: Unraveling the Athletic Brain, debunks the myth of "the dumb jock" and chronicles her time as a two-time CrossFit Games team athlete and two-time Regionals athlete. She was also a four-year varsity Division I collegiate track & field athlete. Allison still competes as a Master's athlete, having recently won 8 gold medals, 1 silver medal, and setting a new women's pole vault record at an international competition in Paris. She believes the key to success in life is planning your career around your lifestyle not your lifestyle around your career.
Brice Long is the Director of Human Performance Experience at O2X. In this role, Brice leads the HQ-based team, responsible for the company’s digital and print content, partnerships, as well as communications and client sustainment. He works alongside a team of US Special Operations veterans; Olympic, professional, and collegiate athletes; and a network of more than 100 human performance experts to provide education and training that helps tactical athletes finish their careers as strong as they started. Before joining the O2X team, Brice was a career firefighter in Northern Virginia. Brice spent several years assigned to a busy truck company before a transfer to the training division placed him in charge of recruit academies, company officer development programs and field training, as well as conditioning programs for the academy and for firefighters in the field. His work there has been recognized by national fire service organizations and published in the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s (NSCA) peer-reviewed Tactical Strength and Conditioning Journal. Prior to the fire service, Brice worked as a senior aide to former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, managing his DC office, communications, and the rollout campaign for the release of the New York Times Bestseller Known and Unknown. The international book tour included more than 100 events over its first year and raised over $750,000 for military charities supported by the Rumsfeld Foundation. Brice is a graduate of Roanoke College and an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He lives in Hingham with his wife, Amy, and their English Bulldog, George Washington.
Dr. Kelly Bennion is an O2X Sleep Specialist. Dr. Bennion received her Ph.D. in Psychology with a concentration in Cognitive Neuroscience from Boston College, and is currently a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Neuroscience and Biopsychology at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, CA. Her research uses a combination of behavioral, eye tracking, polysomnography (overnight sleep monitoring), and neuroimaging (e.g., fMRI) approaches to understand the effects of sleep and stress on memory for negative and traumatic experiences. She has published several peer-reviewed articles on sleep and emotional memory consolidation, including showing that those with higher stress levels at the time of a negative experience have better subsequent memory for that negative information, but only following a period of sleep. As Dr. Bennion’s research has important implications for understanding PTSD and other clinical and affective disorders, she has received grants supporting her research from sources including the US Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, American Psychological Association, and Psi Chi. She has also spent time at the Duke- National University of Singapore Medical School as a visiting scholar, researching the effects of sleep restriction on adolescent cognition. Dr. Bennion has been passionate about teaching and education for as long as she can remember, and has an Ed.M. in Mind, Brain, and Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her commitment to teaching has been acknowledged by her receipt of the Professor of the Year Award (College of Liberal Arts, Cal Poly), the Teaching Excellence in Psychological Science Award (American Psychological Association), as well as the Donald J. White Teaching Excellence Award (Boston College). Dr. Bennion is also passionate about mentorship and outreach. She has founded three mentorship programs for psychology and neuroscience students at Boston College and Cal Poly, coordinated neuroscience outreach events throughout the greater Boston area for children, college students, and older adults, and has organized several events promoting Women in Science. Dr. Bennion feels strongly that one should value health, fitness, and work-life balance, and she has accomplished this largely through fostering her love for dancing. Dr. Bennion has been an avid dancer since age 7, and danced professionally in the Boston area from 2010 to 2016. She was a member of the Adagio Big Band Jazz Company, the Boston Cannons Dance Team, and was a New England Patriots Cheerleader – ending her tenure as an NFL cheerleader with the Patriots’ Super Bowl XLIX victory in her home state of AZ in 2015 until this year when she tried out on a whim for the San Francisco 49ers Cheer squad and made it. Dr. Bennion’s scientific commitment to researching the importance of sleep on cognition and emotional well being, and her personal commitment to maintaining a healthy, physically active lifestyle makes working with O2X a perfect fit.
Becky McClelland is an O2X Injury Prevention Specialist who received her B.A. in Athletic Training from Messiah College in 2003, M.S. in Kinesiology from University of Kentucky in 2006, and her Master of Physician Assistant Studies from the MGH Institute of Health Professions in 2017. She has been a Certified Athletic Trainer and CSCS since 2003, and a Certified Physician Assistant since 2017. Following her degree at the University of Kentucky and work at Monmouth University in NJ, Becky accepted a position at Boston University where she stayed for 6 years. While there, she worked as an athletic trainer with varsity and club sports teams as well as the on-campus ROTC, including all military branches. As a faculty member she taught in the undergraduate athletic training and doctorate of physical therapy programs. Throughout her career she did multiple original research projects, becoming an expert in shoulder and scapular kinematics, kinetics, injury prevention and rehabilitation. Since becoming a Certified Physician Assistant, she has been working in Cardiac Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital. There, Becky is involved in surgery as well as coordinating the medical care of patients after surgery, ensuring they are prepared to live healthy lifestyles when they are discharged home. She also has a faculty appointment at the MGH Institute of Health Professions where she teaches in the PA program. Becky is an avid runner and enjoys races of all sizes. She has volunteered at athletic events throughout the country, including the finish line of the Boston Marathon since 2003. In her free time, she enjoys being active with friends, cooking, and spending time with her multiple nieces and nephews.
Dr. Jess Harmon, Psy.D., is an O2X Mental Performance and Resilience Specialist. She has a foundation in clinical psychology and works as an operational psychologist in the United States Army. She specializes in personnel selection, advanced behavioral consultation, and resilience and mental performance training for special operation forces. She has provided individual and organizational consultation for military personnel in both training and deployed environments. Her training focuses on a resilience based model of performance enhancement in high stress, fast-paced environments to prevent and mitigate the impacts of work and familial related stressors in these settings. Her work focuses on education, self-awareness, and advanced resilience training, for individuals and teams, in order to build and foster a culture of well-being for continued peak performance over time in high stress environments. Dr. Harmon has been working with the military for the past seven years. She has multiple combat deployments and has spent over 24 months in combat environments, providing psychological support, including traumatic event management to individuals and teams in both Afghanistan and Iraq. She works with service members and their families to provide preventative stress management training, as well as teaching individuals how to develop and maintain resiliency and growth in the aftermath of trauma and loss. Her interests expand to working with those in demanding environments to develop and maintain peak psychological performance over the course of their career and beyond retirement or job transition. She was born and raised in Colorado, but currently lives in Tennessee, where she continues to work with service members and their families.
Kevin Dillon is an O2X Footwear Specialist. He is the assistant general manager of Marathon Sports, the leading run specialty retailer in the Northeast. As AGM, Kevin covers all matters related to recruitment and staff training and development. Originally from Donegal in the northwest of Ireland, he moved to Boston in 2001, where he began working for Marathon Sports. Growing up as a soccer player, running was always a supplemental part of his overall training – but working for Marathon Sports changed that mindset. He developed a passion for running and completed the Boston Marathon in 2004, and since then has added several half marathons to his list. Upon returning to Ireland in 2007, Kevin followed his passion for health and fitness, becoming a certified strength and conditioning coach by the National Council for Exercise & Fitness (NCEF). He later went on to complete a BSc in Sports and Exercise Science with a concentration in running biomechanics at the University of Limerick. Before his return to Boston in 2012 Kevin worked as an academy sports scientist for West Ham United Football Club in London. Then, Kevin returned to Boston and took on his current role with Marathon Sports.
Josh Stuart-Shor is an O2X Lead Instructor. As a member of O2X, Josh’s focus is ensuring that the needs of all our tactical athletes and organizations are met through regular engagement and face to face coordination. Prior to O2X, Josh served in the United States Army, first as an Infantry Officer in the 82nd Airborne Division and then as a Green Beret in the 3rd Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, NC. His time in the military spanned multiple combat deployments across Iraq, Afghanistan, and Central Asia. His service includes several combat awards and decorations. From 2015 to 2016, Josh spent much of his on-duty time recovering from injuries sustained overseas at his unit's Tactical Human Optimization Rapid Rehabilitation & Reconditioning Program (THOR3). It was here that Josh found his passion not just for maximizing his own performance, but helping others get back into the fight both physically and mentally. After almost a decade in the United States Army, Josh decided to leave the Army in pursuit of new opportunities. In addition to his passion for working with Tactical Athletes, Josh works as a Firefighter for a major Metropolitan department and holds a M.A. from the University of Massachusetts at Boston. He resides in Boston, MA with his wife, Jessica, their four children, Camden, Abigail, Harrison and Anne and their dog Charlie. They spend their free time skiing, hiking, and fly-fishing in the mountains of Vermont.
Janel Norton is an O2X Yoga and iRest Specialist. She is also a veteran, having served in the U.S. Air Force as a combat photojournalist. She was also a press information officer and photojournalist for the United Nations, spending her early career documenting crises in Panama, Bosnia, and Liberia. After 20 years as a photographer, Janel returned to school for her master’s degree from the University of South Florida. Facing a difficult job market upon graduating and discovering how yoga helped her maintain balance, she enrolled in a yoga teacher training program. Janel explained, “I managed to trade my photo and marketing skills for a 200-hour yoga teacher training and began teaching a few classes at the studio where I practiced near my house.” Her newfound love of yoga—and teaching it—quickly turned into ownership of Trinity Yoga Studio. Janel credits the leadership and work ethic instilled during her military training as a large part of how she formed her path from U.S. Air Force to business owner: “Once you enter into the ranks, there’s constantly a push for growth. Making rank and supervising others is just part of the natural progression of things—the nature of how the military operates instills confidence, a sense of purpose and direction.” Eventually, Janel wanted to give back to other veterans like her, which led her to co-found the Veterans Alternative, a non-profit organization designed to serve Veterans experiencing trauma incurred while serving in the military by training the mind, body, and spirit to heal after returning home from military service. Janel travels nationwide to provide yoga and iRest as part of the O2X Human Performance team, co-founded by two former Navy Seals, and for the Brian Bill Foundations Special Operations Warrior Healing Program.
Dr. Michael Hamrock is an O2X Medical Professional, former firefighter, and department physician for the Boston Fire Department. He now also provides primary care to many Massachusetts firefighters at Steward St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Boston, MA. Dr. Hamrock attended University of Massachusetts Medical School. He has over 23 years of experience and specializes in internal medicine.
Dr. Tracy Heller is an O2X Mental Performance Specialist whose expertise is in providing mental skills training for optimal performance in high-pressure scenarios. Her areas of specialization include goal-attainment, stress management, attention control, mindfulness, relaxation strategies, mistake management, mind-body recovery, biofeedback for self-regulation, and breathing training. Her professional experience includes working with individuals and teams within Division I collegiate sports, high school athletics, recreational sport, executives, corrections, and the military. She also provides educational workshops for professional development. Dr. Heller enjoys working in a multidisciplinary team atmosphere to meet the multifaceted needs of clients. She received her B.S. in Psychology from St. Lawrence University, M.A. in Sport Psychology from McGill University, and Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology with a specialization in Sport Psychology from Florida State University. She is licensed to practice psychology in Virginia and California and is a Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC) through the Association for Applied Sport Psychology. She is a member of the Association of Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback and is Board Certified in Biofeedback (BCB) through the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance. Dr. Heller likes to spend her free time exploring restaurants, reading, practicing yoga, hiking, and picking things up then putting them down (she likes to start her week with squats). She was introduced to sport psychology as a junior athlete at the Olympic Training Centre, where she trained for luge. She learned how to systematically develop the cognitive side of her training to improve her performance. It made such a huge impact that she decided to pursue it as a career!
Amy Koren is an O2X Injury Prevention Specialist who received her Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training in 2007 from Duquesne University. Sports medicine was a natural fit for Amy, as she started teaching strength and conditioning classes at area colleges and for Division II basketball and wrestling teams. After gaining experience working as an Athletic trainer for the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball club, Amy moved to the upper peninsula of Michigan where she worked at the United States Olympic Education Center, as she was earning her master’s degree in Psychology at Northern Michigan University. At the USOEC Amy worked with the US Short Track Speed Skating team, US Greco Roman Wrestling team, US Women’s Freestyle wrestling team, USA boxing and USA weightlifting teams. While working in the US Olympic Committee system, Amy gained international sports medicine experience, having worked with the Chinese Greco Roman and Women’s Freestyle Wrestling teams, the Australian Boxing team, and the German Greco Roman wrestling team. Amy went on to teach in an Athletic Training program at the University of Charleston and was an Athletic Trainer for Division II sports teams before taking her skills to the general population. Amy moved on to work as a Physician Extender with Orthopedic surgeons and Neurosurgeons, specializing in Spine care. In 2018, Amy started her own business, 3KG Consulting, working with Orthopedic and Pain Management Clinics helping them offer new, more conservative treatments and at home exercise programs run their patients. Amy is completing her third degree, a Bachelor of Science of Nursing. In her free time Amy enjoys skiing, running and traveling.
Laura Moretti Reece is an O2X Nutrition Specialist who completed her Master’s Degree in clinical nutrition as well as her didactic program in clinical dietetics at New York University. She previously worked as the Primary Nutrition Therapist at Columbus Park Collaborative and Appleman Nutrition in New York City before relocating to Boston in 2015 to join the Female Athlete Program and Sports Medicine/Orthopedics Team at Boston Children's Hospital. As a Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, Laura specializes in sports performance-based nutrition, as well as treating low energy availability, disordered eating, and eating disorders in athletes. Laura has an extensive amount of experience in consulting and collaborating with Olympic and professional athletes, local colleges and universities, as well as professional sport and dance facilities. She is the consulting dietitian for the Boston Ballet Company and Schools, US Rowing, and is an instructor at the Institute for Rowing Leadership in Boston. Laura previously served as the Co-Chair of the International Academy of Eating Disorders Sport and Exercise Special Interest Group, as well as the co-chair of the Boston Children’s Hospital Female Athlete Conference. Laura is also the owner of a Boston based private group practice Laura Moretti Nutrition LLC. She is also a competitive triathlete and a two-time Boston Marathon qualifier and finisher.
Ana Tocco is an O2X Strength & Conditioning Specialist. Ana is also the Associate Head Strength and Conditioning Coordinator at St. Johns Preparatory in Danvers, MA. In her role, she assists with development, implementation, and oversight of all strength and conditioning programs for students, faculty, and staff. Prior to SJP, she worked as the Head Strength Coach and Site Director at Innercity Weightlifting, a non-profit organization that works to reduce youth violence by connecting proven-risk young people with new networks and opportunities in and beyond personal and group training. After graduating from University of Massachusetts Amherst with a Kinesiology degree and as captain of the Women’s Rowing Team, she got her start at Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning (MBSC) in Woburn, MA. The growth-focused environment at MBSC motivated Ana in a way she had never experienced. After a few short years, she went on to earn her Master’s in Coaching Education at Boston University and worked as a Graduate Assistant in BU’s varsity weight room. Currently, in addition to her time at SJP, she works with O2X to help tactical athletes maximize human performance through a curriculum that provides concrete ways to make incremental changes that lead to sustainable improvements. Ana enjoys using strength and conditioning as her platform to work with others to develop life skills. She specializes in getting athletes to set goals that focus on the process of training rather than only on the outcome. She enjoys helping athletes increase and improve the likelihood that they will reach their true athletic potential. Ana continues to further her education by attending conferences and seminars each year. Her certifications include: SCCC (Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Certification) Functional Movement Screening (FMS) Functional Range Conditioning (FRC) Precision Nutrition- Level 1 USA-Weightlifting Coach Strong First Certified Kettlebell Instructor Level 1 Certified Wellness Coach through American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP) Postural Restorative Institute (PRI) Altis Speed and Sprinting Mechanics Mentorship Program
Ali Levy is the Director of Product at O2X and a Mental Performance Specialist. In her role at O2X, Ali works with leading researchers and educators around the country to create tailored, integrated programs designed to meet the unique demands facing tactical athletes and elite organizations. She holds an M.Ed. in Counseling and Sport Psychology and a Precision Nutrition Level 1 certification. She is a Colorado native and grew up chasing her brother down the ski hill. Prior to joining O2X, Ali skied as a member of the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team where she competed at the World Cup level and was crowned 2 x North American Cup Grand Prix Champion. After finishing her ski career in 2005, Ali attended Middlebury College where she earned a B.A. in Geography and was a member of the Track and Field team (hammer and javelin thrower). She went on to study Sport Psychology and Counseling at Boston University. As a mental performance coach, Ali has worked with elementary age students to teach emotional regulation all the way up to Division I college athletes, coaches, and Olympic hopefuls trying to optimize performance on and off the field through mental skill development. In 2015, Ali was inducted into the Ski & Snowboard Club Vail Hall of Fame, Wall of Excellence. She has always been passionate about testing her own limits and challenging herself to get out of her comfort zone. That has led Ali to do all sorts of things including co-leading an 1,100 mile self-supported bike ride from Seattle to San Francisco, learning to play guitar, and most recently training for and finishing her second 50-mile Ultramarathon.
Gabriel Gomez is a Co-Founder of O2X and a graduate of the United States Naval Academy. After graduating, he completed Navy Pilot training and became an aircraft carrier pilot based in Virginia Beach. After flying operationally for two more years, he requested and received an opportunity to attend the U.S. Navy's Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training. He completed training as Class Leader. Gabriel is only the second person in the U.S. Navy to have been an aircraft carrier pilot and then a Navy SEAL officer. After successfully completing BUD/S and advanced training, he spent his career with SEAL Team Four. Over the next five years, Gabriel deployed multiple times to South America in support of Foreign Internal Defense (FID) and other contingency operations mostly in Latin America. These strategic-level deployments directly resulted in the disruption of narcotic drugs entering the U.S. Having left active duty in 1996, Gabriel attended Harvard Business School (HBS) and received a Master of Business Administration. After HBS, Gabriel worked at Bowles Hollowell Conner in Mergers & Acquisitions, Summit Partners and the last 9 years at Advent International in private equity. In 2013, Gabriel left Advent to run for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by John Kerry. After winning the Republican Primary nomination in the special election, he lost the general election. After the special election, Gabriel followed his passion and co-founded and runs a company called O2X, an education and training company for first responders. Gabriel is married and has four kids ages 14 to 19. His awards and decorations include: Navy Commendation, Joint Service Achievement, among others. In addition, he is a co-founder of the Navy SEAL Foundation New England and serves as a Trustee on the board of Noble & Greenough School.
Adam La Reau co-founded O2X Human Performance in 2013. Under his leadership, the team continuously evolves its program offerings and products to meet the ever-changing demands placed on tactical athletes and elite organizations. Adam helped lead the team from a regional startup to scale the operations management system to include over one hundred human performance specialists that implement programs to tactical athlete units across the nation. Adam strives to continue to serve others by providing world class training and integrated educational experiences that improve the health, safety, and performance of our nation’s tactical populations and other elite organizations. Prior to O2X, Adam was a former Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy who began his military career as a Midshipman at the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) in Kings Point, New York. After graduating and earning his commission in 2002, he became the first U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Midshipman to report directly to--and successfully complete--the U.S. Navy's Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training to earn the title of U.S. Navy SEAL. His efforts helped develop a pipeline for future U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Midshipman to pursue goals of serving their country as U.S. Navy SEALs. After successfully completing BUD/S and advanced training, he spent his career with East Coast based Navy SEAL Teams. Over the next decade, Adam conducted numerous overseas deployments. Having left active duty in August 2013, Adam attended the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and received a Master of Public Administration. Following his passions, he created a non-profit called ‘One Summit’ to help build resilience in children with cancer that has helped hundreds of children, spread to three major cities, and the results are being utilized in post-traumatic growth studies.
Paul McCullough co-founded O2X Human Performance in 2013. In addition to his role as a co-founder, Paul continues to play an active role in the growth strategy at O2X. Paul oversees all areas of business development and continuously strives to bring O2X’s world class training and education to those who are looking for ways to optimize performance as individuals and at an organizational level. Paul is driven by the goal of continuing to serve others by improving the health, safety, and performance of our nation’s tactical populations, top tier corporations, and other elite organizations. Paul guides the process of customizing O2X’s proven training methodology to meet the unique demands of every client. Prior to creating O2X, Paul served eleven years in the U.S. military as a Navy SEAL. He spent his career with SEAL Team Eight and Naval Special Warfare Development Group. Throughout his service, Paul conducted numerous combat deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and other contingency operations around the globe. Paul left the Navy as a Chief Petty Officer and his highest awards include a Silver Star Medal, 2 Bronze Star Medals with Valor, and 2 Joint Service Commendation Medals with Valor. After leaving the Navy in 2012, Paul was hired at Eaton Vance Investment Managers where he worked in the Institutional sales team. He left Eaton Vance in 2014 to follow his passion for entrepreneurship and Human Performance. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing from American Military University and resides in New England with his wife and four kids.
Dr. Christine Sanchez is an O2X Mental Performance Specialist with expertise in mental and cognitive skills training for achieving optimal performance in high pressure scenarios. She has over 14 years of experience working with athletes and other elite performers who desire to unlock their true potential. Dr. Sanchez is best known for her work targeting mindfully performing under pressure, maintaining situation-awareness, and rebounding quickly from performance errors. She routinely integrates biofeedback technology for facilitating optimal psycho-physiological regulation of performance states. Mental skills training programs consist of group workshops and individual consultations focusing on rapid skill acquisition, performance enhancement, and performance recovery. Over the years she has had the opportunity to consult domestically and internationally with junior elite and collegiate athletes, first responders, and military personnel. Dr. Sanchez received her B.S. in Ocean Engineering from Virginia Tech, M.Ed. in Kinesiology (Exercise & Sport Psychology specialization) from Temple University, and Ph.D. in Educational Psychology (specialization in Sport & Performance Psychology) from Florida State University. She is a Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC) through the Association for Applied Sport Psychology. In addition, she is a member of the Association of Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback and is Board Certified in Biofeedback (BCB) through the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance (BCIA). Dr. Sanchez completed her 200 hour Registered Yoga Instructor (RYT-200) training and routinely integrates yoga and mindfulness into her mental skills training plans for recovery. While swimming and rowing collegiately at Virginia Tech, Dr. Sanchez sought the expertise of a Sport Psychologist to help her through a performance slump. The positive impact this training had on her own athletic endeavors allowed her to realize her true passion - to assist others in achieving performance excellence while living a high quality, balanced life. In her free time Dr. Sanchez competes in Stand-up Paddle Board (SUP) races, and enjoys surfing, yoga, swimming, and biking. Her most recent watersport to pick up is the surfski.
Shane O’Hara is an O2X Movement & Footwear Specialist. Working in the running retail world for more than 25 years, Shane has seen every foot shape, type, and mechanics. He can keep you cool in the hot, summer months and warm in the frigid months. He has seen, heard, and even had, all of those running injuries. Shane’s passion has never changed: to help anyone that wants to better his or her life, achieve better health, and hit goals. It doesn’t matter whether you are an experienced marathoner or just trying to complete your first mile. He is so pleased to hear when a customer completes a first mile or a first marathon, is running more comfortably, or just having fun. Shane believes this is why he works at O2X; the organization’s mission to make a safer, healthier work environment and help you make better and wiser choices outside of your job, as well. Shane says, “It has been an honor to do my part by helping you understand your foot shape and mechanics and, hopefully, get you into a good shoe and perhaps one day, make you into a marathoner!”
Geoff Krill is an O2X Resilience Specialist. Geoff is also an adventure athlete, professional skier and public speaker, who first found skiing when he was 12 years old when his family moved from Georgia to Connecticut. He continued to ski recreationally through college until suffering a spinal cord injury in a snowmobile accident in New Hampshire in 1995. As soon as he received the “ok” from his doctor, he learned to ski sitting down. Geoff went from student to instructor that first season with New England Disabled Sports at Loon Mountain in New Hampshire. He now serves as the Executive Director of Eastern Adaptive Sports. Geoff is a member of the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) National Demonstration team, which allows him to travel across the country to share his work at other mountains. He is also a PSIA examiner in the Eastern Division and spends much of his time leading clinicians and training others in the sport he loves. Some of Geoff’s important wheelchair “firsts” include being the first mono skier to tackle Tuckerman’s Ravine on Mt. Washington and the first hand-cyclist to travel the three notches (Franconia, Crawford and Bear notches) and 100 miles in one day. He currently lives in North Woodstock, NH with his wife, Heather and two children, Carver and Greta. As his wife puts it, you can always find him out trying to save the world one wheelchair at a time.
Annie Okerlin is an O2X Yoga Specialist who presents yoga, sleep, resiliency & iRest Yoga Nidra (C-iRest, C-IAYT) to tactical athletes & first responders nationwide. Annie has been a yoga teacher since 1999. The daughter of two World War II and Korean War veterans, Annie has a deep appreciation for the veterans of our country. Her passion for helping the wounded warriors of today’s wars led her to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, DC in 2006 where she has worked with the traumatically injured, including amputees, burn victims, those with orthopedic poly-trauma, traumatic brain injuries, spinal-cord injuries, as well as unseen injuries such as PTSD and moral injury. Annie founded Yogani in Tampa and was the owner of this successful yoga studio for over 18 years. She continues to share yoga and meditation with the military community of Tampa by teaching classes at the VA hospital, local studios and in retreat settings. As one of the nation’s leading experts on Adaptive Yoga, Annie teaches nationally and internationally with The Exalted Warrior Warrior Foundation, a non-profit organization she founded in 2010 to support wounded warriors with the seen & unseen issues of traumatic injury. In addition to her extensive yoga training and experience, Annie is a Certified iRest® teacher & has also co-authored the book Best Practices for Yoga for Veterans.
Rebecca Pacheco is an O2X Yoga specialist, award winning yoga and meditation teacher, acclaimed author, inspiring speaker, and creator of the popular yoga and wellness blog OmGal.com. Her first book Do Your Om Thing was published by HarperCollins in March 2015. Its warm, personal, and often hilarious prose translates yoga tradition for real life, for students of all levels. She’s also a former marketing executive and current creative entrepreneur known for inspiring new business ideas, building brands, and supporting strong leaders. Described by bestselling author and pioneer of the modern mindfulness movement Jon Kabat-Zinn as “a fresh new voice on the yoga scene, reminding us of what balance, flexibility, strength, humor, and yes, integrity and wisdom, are all about,” Rebecca appeals to a broad audience, from curious newbies to celebrated experts. Her fans comprise an exciting range: from Olympians, NBA players, and professional ballerinas to VCs and CEOs, all in search of their highest levels of performance. She motivates thought leaders as well as college students, is entrusted by former Navy SEALs and current Boston Firefighters, and makes plain that mind body health is more than a perk—it’s a personal and professional asset resulting in an undeniable performance boost. In addition to teaching internationally, Rebecca has had the honor of leading the first-ever yoga class on the field at Fenway Park. She is also a longtime runner and two-time Boston Marathon finisher, as well as a contributing editor for Runner’s World magazine and creator of its Yoga for Runners DVD. She lives in Boston with her husband, running coach and co-owner of Heartbreak Hill Running Company, Dan Fitzgerald.
Dan Cnossen is an O2X Human Performance Resilience Specialist. Dan was raised on a 5th-generation family farm in Topeka, Kansas. After successfully completing SEAL qualification training in 2003, he deployed numerous times in support of global special operations. As a SEAL platoon commander, he was severely injured in 2009 in Afghanistan, resulting in the amputation of both legs above the knees. Turning to sport for recovery, Cnossen eventually began training full-time for the US Paralympic Nordic ski team. He has since competed for Team USA in the 2014 and 2018 Paralympic Winter Games and is the first male athlete to win a gold medal for the United States in biathlon, a sport that combines cross-country skiing with precision target shooting. Cnossen holds a BS in English from the U.S. Naval Academy, MPA from Harvard Kennedy School, and MTS from Harvard Divinity School. He has been working with O2X since 2018 as a resilience specialist.
Matt Cady is an O2X Strength & Conditioning Specialist with expertise in physical performance and strength and conditioning. He has been training traditional athletes, military, and first responders for 15 years. Matt has been certified through the National Strength and Conditioning Association, USA Weightlifting, Precision Nutrition, and Functional Movement Screen. He has authored articles, spoke at seminars, and been a guest on various podcasts. Matt was a 4-year college ice hockey athlete at Miami University where he received a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and a minor in Coaching. Upon graduating, he was a member of the University of Denver hockey coaching staff, where the team won the National Championship. Matt returned to Miami University to continue his strength and conditioning career and earn a Master of Science degree in Kinesiology. Matt was a collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coach for 8 years. His teams won world medals, national championships, and league championships. His individual athletes earned All American honors, became league MVPs, and received the Hobey Baker (the highest individual award for men’s collegiate ice hockey). Many of the athletes he has trained have also competed at the professional level. In 2016, Matt took his expertise and collegiate experience to the military where he was a Tactical Human Performance Specialist for 7th Special Forces Group. There, he was privileged to train and educate some of the military’s finest soldiers on smarter ways to train. He created specific programming to prepare them for deployments and specialized selection courses. Matt now works in the private sector for Mercy Elite Sports Performance, a division of Saint Mary’s Hospital. He trains, advises, and educates youth to professional athletes on performance measures such as strength, speed, and explosiveness, as well as, rest, recovery, nutrition, hydration, and mental toughness. When Matt is not at work, he enjoys spending time with his wife and dog. He enjoys reading articles to continue his learning and stay up to date with current events and training trends. Matt stays active by working out in his garage, mountain biking, and stand up paddle boarding.
Dave McQuade is an O2X Human Performance Specialist and Footwear Guru. He is also the co-founder of Real Strength Guys, a resource dedicated to efficient real world strength training for the everyman and athlete alike. Before entering the Health & Wellness industry, Dave was a mutual fund broker at John Hancock and worked in higher education at Suffolk University. Dave is an avid marathon runner specializing in functional strength, conditioning, and exercise mechanics coaching. He once ran two marathons in two weeks as part of a bet (and won!). He is open to innovations and variations in distance running and recently tested minimalist training by ‘cold running’ a marathon – focusing less on running volume and more on mechanics, strength and conditioning, and mobility. He beat his former marathon time by 30 minutes, injury free, and feeling stronger than ever. Dave has been featured on CBS, International TV outlets, and consulting with the Huffington Post and other publications regarding running and sporting trends. Dave grew up in Arizona, currently lives in Boston.
Dr. Maria Urso is an O2X Nutrition Specialist. Dr. Urso is a scientific advocate for optimal health and nutrition. She followed her passion for science and health and obtained her PhD in human physiology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. While that degree led her to a career as a scientist, first as an Active Duty soldier in the Army, then in Medical Affairs for industry, she continues to follow her passion for health and nutrition by serving as an advocate and educator. Her philosophy is that nutrition and fitness should be for life, not a single event (or outfit). To do this, we need to follow scientifically-sound and sustainable practices, not the latest story or fad from the media. Maria uses her education in biochemistry, physiology, and nutrition, as well as personal experiences with competitive running, to develop nutrition and exercise plans that make sense and allow her ‘students’ to eat and train for life. She understands that this is an ever-changing field, and staying on top of the latest research is critical. She has published over 30 papers in scientific journals and several book chapters, but she is most comfortable when using her scientific background to write or speak about nutrition and fitness practices. In her free time, Maria loves to run, swim, hike, adventure travel, and read.
Adrian Wright-FitzGerald is an O2X Injury Prevention and On-Site Specialist with Boston Fire Department. Adrian completed her Doctor of Athletic Training in May 2020. She received her Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training from Duquesne University in 2009 where she was a member of Duquesne’s NCAA Division I rowing team. Adrian received her Master of Science in Anatomy and Physiology from Boston University in 2011 and has lived in Boston for over 10 years. She has experience working clinically as an athletic trainer at Bentley University, as well as teaching as a faculty member at Boston University in the Sargent College Physical Therapy and Athletic Training Department. Over the past ten years, Adrian has worked as a licensed health care professional, providing emergency management, injury evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation for countless injuries encompassing almost every part of the body. Adrian has a strong passion for injury prevention, health and wellness promotion and education, and performance enhancement. Adrian is most proud of her service providing medical care at the finish line of the Boston Marathon every year. An avid runner herself, Adrian has completed five marathons and is still chasing down the ever-elusive Boston Marathon qualifying time. She competed in Haymakers for Hope in 2017, fighting in an amateur boxing match at the House of Blues while raising money for cancer research at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
Maria Trozzi, M.Ed., is an O2X Resilience Specialist. She is an assistant professor of pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine, Director of the nationally renowned Good Grief Program at Boston Medical Center, a consultant to the Child Development Unit at Children’s Hospital, and an author. Her credentials and expertise have established her as one of the foremost experts on child and family bereavement in the country. Most recently, at the request of the Pentagon, she has been hired as the special resilience consultant to the Naval Special Warfare Development Group. She has provided consultation at Littleton, Colorado, at Ground Zero in the aftermath of 9/11 and in Grenada following Hurricane Ivan. Since 1991, she has lectured nationally to professional audiences in every major city with Dr. T. Berry Brazelton as a regular faculty member of the National Seminar Series. For nearly 20 years, as Director of the Good Grief Program, her training for educators and health professionals focuses on promoting resilience in the face of loss via strategies that strengthen coping skills for families, institutions, and communities. Immediately following 9/11, Trozzi’s principal work expanded to care for the loved ones and their families of the victims of the two planes that had emanated from Boston. Trozzi’s interest in bereavement expands to the grief families experience when a child is diagnosed with a disability, a grief that keeps on giving. Her research is focused on identifying grief touch points – predictable times in a disabled child’s development when parents’ grief is exacerbated. Trozzi’s model for professionals and parents has taken this grief ‘out of the closet’ for both affected families and clinicians that treat them. She is a frequent contributor to both print and electronic media. She has appeared with Dr. Brazelton as co-host of his national television show “What Every Baby Knows” multiple times, as well as several national news programs including “Larry King Live”, Early Show, CNN, NBC, ande ABC. Her first book, Talking With Children About Loss, was published by Putnam-Penguin and continues to be an essential reference for parents and professionals. She has also authored several chapters in pediatric and academic textbooks. She is the parent of two adult daughters and lives in Boston and West Yarmouth. She maintains a private practice dedicated to issues of loss and provides consultation to families facing stressful life events.
Mike Sanders is an O2X Strength & Conditioning Specialist. He received his master’s degree in Exercise Science in 1999, from the University of Nebraska-Kearney and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist from the National Strength and Conditioning Association. As a strength and conditioning coach, he has been blessed to be part of many athletic team successes, including back-to-back national championships in D-I Collegiate Men’s Ice Hockey. In 2010, he moved from the sport athletics world to working with tactical athletes, physically training military and consulting with fire fighters. He has extensive experience and knowledge physically preparing Division-I athletes and tactical athletes for the rigors of competition, combat, and work. He is also the founder and president of Junto Tribe Ministries, a ministry committed to helping people achieve their highest potential in spirit, mind, and body. He is a speaker, author, and coach, and is currently working towards becoming a certified chaplain for first responders, police, and military. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends and loves to read, learn, write, think, and train. It could be argued that he has a slight addiction to coffee and believes outdoors is always better than indoors. To unwind, he enjoys going paddle boarding, sitting quietly in the great outdoors, and watching movies. Mike is married to his wonderful wife, Julie, and has two daughters and a fur ball for a dog.
Arno Ilgner is an O2X Resilience Specialist with expertise in stress management, resiliency, and all things mental training for tactical athletes & first responders nationwide. Arno distinguished himself as a pioneering rock climber in the 1970s and ‘80s, when the top climbs were bold and dangerous first ascents. These personal exploits are the foundation for his unique physical and mental training program--The Warrior’s Way ®. In 1995, after a thorough search of the literature and practice of mental training and the great warrior traditions, Arno formalized his methods, founded the Desiderata Institute, and began teaching his program full time. Since then, he has helped thousands of students sharpen their awareness, focus attention, and understand their athletic (and life) challenges within a coherent, learning-based philosophy of intelligent risk-taking. Arno considers the joy and satisfaction in the effort – the “journey” – intimately linked to successful attainment of goals, the “destination.” Arno has taught clinics across the U.S.A. and abroad. He holds a BA in geology, spent several years operating his own geological consulting firm in the Wyoming oil fields, acted as Chief Financial Officer for an industrial tool distribution company, attended the Army Ranger School, and served a non-combat tour of duty in Korea. He currently resides with his family near Nashville, Tennessee.
Andy Haffele is an O2X Resilience Specialist and former Navy SEAL. After graduating from high school in a small-town in southern Wisconsin, he was appointed to attend the U.S. Naval Academy. While attending the Naval Academy, Andy studied Computer Science and participated in intercollegiate boxing. He graduated from Annapolis in the spring of 2001. Upon his U.S. Naval Academy commissioning, Andy received orders to Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL(BUD/S) training in Coronado, CA. He started the SEAL training pipeline in the fall of 2001 and earned his SEAL Trident approximately 2 years later. Andy’s first duty assignment was to SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team ONE (SDVT-1) in Pearl Harbor, HI where he reported in November 2003. After only four months of training in his first SEAL platoon, he was critically injured during a training exercise in Hawaii on March 18, 2004. He was accidentally shot in the upper right chest from approximately 15 feet away with a military assault rifle. Despite the near fatal wound, he survived the initial injury but sustained severe nerve damage to his entire right arm/shoulder. Andy continued therapy and received numerous surgeries to improve the function in his arm for nearly four years while remaining on active duty. The injury resulted in permanent nerve damage and he was subsequently medically discharged from the Navy. After leaving the service, he has worked in the Information Technology sector. Andy currently works for a law enforcement agency in the Rocky Mountain region, where he assists the agency with technological needs and is involved with their special tactics unit. Since his time in the military, Andy has felt very fortunate to get a second chance at life through his unique experiences. He looks back on everything that took place in a positive aspect and shares his story with military personnel, first-responders, and Christian organizations around the country. Andy and his wife have been blessed with three wonderful sons and currently reside in the mountains of Colorado.
Dylan Polin is an O2X Movement Specialist. Dylan is also a parkour and movement coach based out of Boston, MA. With over 15 years of training movement disciplines like parkour, BMX, acrobatics combined with 10 years of professional level coaching, he is the foremost expert at applying parkour and movement principles to the tactical athlete population. Dylan owns and operates a gym, HUB PARKOUR, in Massachusetts which is known as the premiere training academy for parkour, freerunning, and Ninja Warrior in New England. His professional accolades include campaigns with Blue Cross Blue Shield, Reebok, Nike, and competitive achievements as a finalist in International Parkour Competitions at Red Bull Art of Motion and the North American Parkour Championships.
Antigone Vesci is an O2X Injury Prevention Specialist. Antigone is a Sports Certified Specialist, currently working as the Director of Performance Therapy at The Edge in Glenview, IL. Antigone received her Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training in 2012, and her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2014 from Boston University College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College. She then completed the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Fellowship in Orthopedic Manual Therapy in 2017. Antigone is a member of the National Athletic Training Association (NATA), American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), and American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Therapists (AAOMPT). Antigone is also a certified health care provider for World Rugby. Antigone has worked across the country from Boston to L.A., with all levels of human performance, from a spinal cord injured veteran to professional athletes. She is dedicated to providing evidence-based and patient-centered care to all age groups and demographics, but finds working with tactical athletes, the aging athlete, and patients in chronic pain the most professionally rewarding. She has been with O2X since 2015. In her free time, Antigone likes to paint, sing and play music, and volunteer as a medical health professional. Antigone has volunteered for the Boston Marathon and many other local and national sporting events since 2010. Antigone currently resides in Glenview with her husband, Brian.
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