Occupation: I create website content and YouTube marketing videos for product reviews – fun, but all pretty sedentary stuff!

What brought you to CF? I was mesmerized by one of my friend (and mentor’s) enthusiasm for CrossFit, and was extremely impressed at how strong and fit he had become. Also, his girlfriend had started working out as well, and loved it. At a conference in Orlando this last October (2016), they both encouraged me to at least have a look at CF since I was desperate to find a physical activity to help me get back in shape – but that didn’t bore me to tears. They assured me that CF was NOTHING like the boring gyms and fitness centers that I don’t care for.

As soon as I got to town for the winter, I began looking for local gyms, and on Sunday, November 6, 2016 I got up the guts to visit CFPO. I was going to put it off for “a better time” since it was a Sunday (I was still looking for excuses!).

The moment I walked into the gym, I liked what I saw – nothing pretentious, no boring routines – just people working out and laughing, pushing themselves, and being friendly. Coach Dave welcomed me and introduced me to Kyle who made me feel like there was hope for me and didn’t condescend at all – I felt genuinely encouraged.

I started the very next day, 11/7/16!

What was your first impression? My first impression was that this was a welcoming, non-judgmental place. I felt safe. Of course, I was a little intimidated by seeing how fit everyone seemed to be – and I hadn’t done strenuous physical exercise in a good 20 years. I didn’t know a thing! I was nervous – but everyone was so encouraging and supportive that it was hard NOT to feel like I could “do this CrossFit thing!”

What’s your biggest accomplishment so far? Oh my gosh… There are so many accomplishments! In less than 6 short months, I have gained so much strength – both physically AND mentally, because even finishing a workout is an accomplishment.

But, if I had to name just one huge accomplishment, it would be that I’m really proud of myself for sticking to it without fail, even on the most difficult days. I think I’ve become a bit hooked on CrossFit.

A “side” accomplishment is my confidence levels are increasing in all aspects of my life!

Of course I’m only 6 months in, and I have a long ways to go, but really love it here!

What are your favorite and least favorite workouts and/or movements? My favorite workouts include anything that makes me feel like I’ve really made progress to gain lean muscle and burn fat: Rowing, wall balls, lots of reps with the barbells – stuff like that! I love being able to go home and tell my husband, “Wow! I wound up doing 90 wall balls, 90 squats…etc!”

My least favorites – for now, anyway, are burpees because I just can’t seem to do them! I modify them and jokingly call them “burpee inchworms.” Maybe when I come back next fall I’ll have graduated to doing real ones!

What are you working on now? I have a serious desire to do a real pullup! Every time I do a ring row or a knee raise, I can feel my muscles getting stronger, and I just KNOW that I’ll be able to do one. Once I can do one pull up, I know I’ll be able to graduate to stuff like Toes to Bar and more!

What’s your favorite CF Port Orange story? LOL… probably when we thought Louie-puppy ate my sock. I was only about 2 weeks into coming to CFPO, so I was just beginning to learn the ropes and get to know a few people. Then, one day I had my sock off because a chiropractic intern was checking out some tendons in my ankle that had troubled me for a long time. Louie and Thomas-puppy were playing and having fun, and Louie grabbed my sock. We thought for sure he ate it.

I was absolutely mortified a week later when Julie (Louie’s mamma) found the sock out back, down towards a little ditch. Louie HADN’T eaten it after all…

But the moral of the story is that everyone there is so good natured and friendly, and seriously acts like everyone is part of a big, supportive family.

Any final things you’d like to add? Only this: If you want to work at improving your overall fitness – both physical and mental – while getting to know fabulous people of all ages who you know you could be friends with, I’d recommend CFPO. I am serious when I tell you that you guys have changed my life, and I hope to return in the fall! I love you all!

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