December’s Member of the Month

Once a month, our community votes to recognize a single member who embodies the spirit of CrossFit Center City. He/she is someone who has a good attitude, even on the toughest days, is always there to lend support to fellow athletes, and generally goes the extra mile to help build our community to become even more awesome. When it’s time to vote, we send a reminder email out to the entire crew, but if you ever see another member do something really cool for you or the gym in general, feel free to shoot us an email at to tell us what happened! 

Our Member of the Month is always awarded a FREE month of membership to CFCC.

Rounding out 2013, this month’s Member of the Month is certainly a CFCC mainstay. One of the earliest members, he has been with us since we were lugging sandbags on Camac St. He is always there with a kind word, witty quip, and welcoming greeting — its no coincidence that he was cited by nearly every contributor as their “first CFCC friend.” His work ethic also does not go unnoticed.He is here plowing through each and every workout with crazy intensity and drive that pushes everyone else in the class to go hard. He has made incredible gains in his years here, and we know he’ll continue to make them with the same level of snark, charm, and dedication.




Mr. Papianou’s friends had a lot to say…


“JPap joined the gym around the same time I did when we were back in the little alleyway of Camac above that hair dresser who was very unappreciative of the constant noise. He was and still is, the first friend I can say I made at the gym. His general excitement and enthusiasm for CFCC is true source of inspiration to myself and the members around him. He freely shares mildly awkward compliments and they always make me laugh. Look, I’ve been lobbying for a JPap Member of the Month for roughly a year now. It’s just nice to see a long time, dedicated member receive deserved recognition. Keep JPappin’ JPap.”


“FINALLY! JPap is one of my first CFCC friends and a fellow (sometimes) 8 amer. He somehow gets away with saying the most ridiculous things you can imagine without ever losing a place in my heart. He can make me smile when I am having a crappy day. He can motivate me to get in one more rep, go 10 lbs heavier, and push through one more round. JPap will always fist bump everyone in class at the end of every WOD. He introduces himself to every person and really embodies the spirit of CFCC – have lots of fun and be really strong while doing it. Oh, and he has monogrammed shoes. Congrats buddy!”

“JPap is one of the most consistent and consistently awesome parts of CFCC: he’s been a member since basically the beginning, but hasn’t become jaded, disheartened, or discouraged with any part of the gym; and he’s done a lot to make it a better space. Every class we’re in together becomes more fun because he’s there. I’m glad I no longer have to live in a world where JPap has not been recognized as MotM.”

“JPap was one of the first people to introduce himself to me when I joined CFCC, and always went out of his way to make conversation when I was new, didn’t know anyone, and was terrified of everything. He ALWAYS has something nice to say about everyone – like the time that he sent my friend, whom he works with, an e-mail that said nothing except for “Your friend Chrissey is a beast.” He’s constantly cheering everyone else on while trash-talking himself to get just one more rep. And also…how many people can say that their dad is a legit lawyer (seriously, check out how many time he’s been named a PA Super Lawyer/Rising Star) who can do muscle-ups?? WILLIAM, that’s who. ”


Here’s what the coaches had to say.

“JPap is one of the best dudes CFCC has known. He has always been very supportive of the gym and everyone around him. JPap has also come a very long way in his fitness levels, and I’m very proud when I see his name next to one of the top scores. Rock on JPap.” – Gro

“Jpap is a fun loving guy. He would definitely be that guy to help motivate me through workouts. Great job Jpap!” – Basa

“Congratulations JPap! Always easy to coach, and so supportive of other members, he is always pushing people to be better!” – Record


“My experiences with JPap have mostly been as a fellow athlete, as opposed to his coach, and I consider myself luckier for it. When I joined, he was one of the first members to consistently greet me and show a sincere interest in my involvement and progress in his CrossFit world. His daily greetings quickly transitioned into playful expectations: “how was your weekend?” turned into “so, are you going to get 15 rounds today?” His motivational taunting, little did he know, sparked an urge in me to do well- holding me to a higher standard than I would have set for myself. When Erin announced the debut of her Coach’s Apprenticeship program, JPap emailed me immediately to say I should go for it- having faith in me even before I had mustered it up myself. JPap is a founding figure in the close-knit, family-like community that CFCC boasts, showing resilience and consistency not only in his own training, but in the encouragement of others. I consider myself extremely lucky to have ever stumbled upon training with him, and am convinced that he is one of the major reasons I am a coach and member at CrossFit Center City today. ” – Morgan

“JPap is also known as the godfather of the gym.  His wisdom and dedication far surpasses most, and his laid back attitude makes him a doll to coach.  Congrats on winning member of the month!!” – Tim

“JPap has been a member of the CFCC family for as long as I can remember. He’s always friendly and supportive of everyone he meets and it’s a pleasure to see how he continues to progress day after day. Congrats, JPap! This is a much deserved honor!” – Meg

“I consider J-Pizzle to be one of the leaders of the AM crew.  He is always cheerful and ready to go hard during any workout.  JPap is also known for taking THE BEST pre-workout supplement known to mankind.  ” – Danny

“JPap aka Long Jack has been a cornerstone for the CFCC community; thus making this award a well deserved honor. Congrats to JPap!” – Chris

“As the newbie, I have not had the pleasure of coaching JPap yet, but we have shared some great moments together. Actually, just one to be exact. Recently he informed me that my doppelgänger was walking around Las Vegas last month, so that was cool. In all seriousness I’ve heard a lot about John’s consistency to his training and commitment to CFCC and I look forward to coaching him in the future!” – Perrin

“It’s really hard to sum up what the one and only JPap means to me, and to CFCC. He has been a critical part of its livelihood, he has competed, and he has trained through tweaks, through crazy cycles, through hilarious gym adjustments (the hobbit hole – a racquetball court foray – and many ceiling and wall repairs mid-WOD). In his own way he is definitely one of the friendliest people in the gym and somehow always aware of what is going on in people’s lifts, and lives. He is a positive force in Philadelphia, a Father, a very fit and very effective litigator, and someone I am so proud to know and inspired to Coach and train beside. If I ever get half the work-ethic, generosity of spirit, and consistency of JPap, I’ll consider myself to have arrived at something very special. He has more than merited MOTM for a very long time.” – Erin


In his very own words…


1. What do you when you’re not here? Your profession?.
When you don’t see me at CFCC I’m probably practicing law, spending time with my wife and son, or grilling on my Big Green Egg (everyone should invest in one).

2. How did you find out about CF?
A very good friend of mine introduced to me to CrossFit. I went to his bachelor party (in Vegas) in the summer of 2009. I hadn’t seen him in a little while as he had moved out of Philadelphia about a year earlier. He was way more jacked than when he left. And I was getting bored with my normal gym routine. I was going every day but felt like something was missing. I asked him what he was doing. He said CrossFit. I googled it when I got back to Philadelphia. CFCC’s Web site popped up. The rest is history.

3. What makes you come in and train on days when you don’t want to?
There really isn’t a day I don’t want to train. That’s the truth. With a new WOD every morning, every morning is like Christmas morning.

4. What’s your favorite movement and/or met con?
I go through phases. Nancy, Helen, Cindy, and Fran are all great. You didn’t ask, but Karen is my least favorite. As for my favorite movement, I’d have to put the OHS at or near the top. It tests strength, stability, and mobility. I like thrusters as well. It’s a very powerful movement. Muscle ups as great too. And HSPUs. I like them all.

 5. What’s one thing you would like to accomplish within CF in the next year?
I’d like to stay healthy first and foremost. Other than that, I’d like a sub-5 Fran. If I hit that, I know I’m firing on all cylinders.

6. Name something about yourself that’s a little known fact.
I graduated college with a 4.0 GPA.





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