Summer Series 18.3 Recap

Week 3 brought us 5 tests of fitness, largely based around your anaerobic power output capacity. Short and fast: your cardio was unlikely to be taxed in this series of short sprints.

We have a large variety of folks at the top of the leaderboard for each event, and even some noobs posted fantastic scores. This is also the first week where we become sexist and age-ist: you get a scoring advantage based on your age and gender. Ladies get a lighter weight on the sled push/pull, and masters & teens get a 10% or 20% advantage. Sometimes that advantage meant nothing, and sometimes it meant a whole lot.

Women, Individual Scores: At the top of the Assault Bike Challenge, Angela D takes first, with Jenny, Leah, Alma, Alexis and rookie sensation Jen H. in the top 5. On the Shuttle Sprint, teen phenom Avery takes the top spot, with usual suspects Jenny, Alexis, and Nicole Cunningham tying for 2nd, and Kellin and Lindsay taking 5th. On the Ski-Erg, Jenny, Angela D. Alexis, Leah , Crystal, Nicole Cotnoir, and Jen H. are at the top. On the Sled Push/Pull, Crystal takes the top spot, with Alexis, Nicole Cotnoir, Nikki, Jenny, Leah, and Nicole Cunningham rounding out the top 5. Looks like having the name “Nicole” is synonymous with work capacity on the sled. There’s huge variance on the Pull-Up statistics for the women, but check this out: 13 ladies got chest to bar pull-ups, and two got chin over bar pull-ups. For a field of “regular athletes”, that is an amazing percentage! I’m proud of our ladies and their athleticism. At the top is Jenny, then Alexis, Leah, Kellin, and Alma in the top 5.

Below are the full women’s statistics. In the “Master Teen Advantage” column there will be a 1.1 multiplier for 50+, and a 1.2 multiplier for Teens and 60+ athletes (this multiplier comes into play at each event except the sled push/pull, where the advantage was given with lighter weight). Underneath the individual events are a handful of columns: your “raw score” (calories, reps, distance, or time), your score with the “advantage” taken into account, your rank relative to your gender, and then the points that you got in that event. Each event is worth 25 points potentially.

Overall, Jenny takes the top spot on the week, with 2 first place finishes. Alexis is in a close 2nd, Leah takes third, and two Nicoles tie for 4th (Nicole Cunningham and Nikki).

Men’s Individual Statistics: On the Assault Bike, Ryan takes the top with a ridiculous 52 calories. Matt Fenton, Jim Stevens, me, Shane, and rookie Ed are near the top. On the Shuttle Sprint, Dave Cummings cashed in his masters advantage to break the tie for first, with Matt D., me, and Raj tying at 2nd place. On the Ski-Erg, Matt D., Ryan, Matt Fenton, and Ed are at the top. On the sled, there’s an amazing amount of ties: Matt Fenton pulled 180 meters, and then a 6 way tie for 2nd place: Ryan, Ed, Josh P., Dave C., and rookie Matt Freniere all tie for 2nd with 160 meters. Finally on the Pull-Ups, Dave C takes the top, with me, Ryan, Jay, and Matt Fenton coming in at the top.

Overall, I end up with the most points in week 3’s tests of fitness, with Matt Fenton in a ridiculously close 2nd, Dave in third, Ryan in 4th, and Matt D in 5th.

Teams, Week 3: With such a huge variety of folks at the top of each event, we had the chance to really shake the leaderboard up this week. The Squatchers (me, Dave, Tamy, Leah) came into this week in 4th place, but claimed the top spot by a decent margin after the 5 events. However, Racks & Sacks (Josh, Ryan, Crystal, Nicole Cunningham) take 2nd, with Ajax (Jay, Shane, Alexis, Kellin) in 3rd. There were a bunch of no-shows this week, (all guys), so their scores of zero points really impacted the leaderboard as well.

Cumulative Scoring: After 3 full weeks of competition, Jenny‘s at the top of the women’s bracket, with Alexis nipping at her heels. Angela D‘s in third, Kellin in 4th, and then Nicole Cunningham, Alma, and Leah are in a pretty tight race for 5th. On the men’s side, Ryan retains his top spot, with me in 2nd, Josh in 3rd, Matt D in 4th, and Matt Fenton in 5th.

Teams, Cumulative: Racks & Sacks (Josh P., Ryan, Crystal, Nicole Cunningham) keep their spot at the top for another week, and Ajax (Jay, Shane, Alexis, Kellin) stay in 2nd. However, the people’s choice Squatchers (Justin, Dave C., Leah , Tamy) advance another spot up to third in what could be considered the comeback story of the century.  Team Awesome (Matt D., Glen, Heather, Nikki) is in 4th, and the Cosmic Things (Kyle, Steve, Brieanne, Jenny) drop to 5th after a no-show hurt their team score. Team stats below:

We’re three weeks worth of tests complete. We’ve gotten ten data points to determine your fitness level, but every single one of them has measured your capacity in only one distinct area. No test has been a test of your cardio capacity yet. Things will undoubtedly change going into week 4. As I said, every week is worth more than the previous week. We’ve accumulated a total of 300 possible points so far, out of 825 that will be possible. So, we’re only about 40% of the way through the points in the competition. Come out tonight at 7 pm and see what 18.4 has in store for you!



On July 29, 2016, I made a decision that would impact my life forever. Of course, I did not know the magnitude of impact at the time. All I knew was that I was very unhappy with the state of my body… I had gained 35 pounds since my days as a personal trainer. I lost almost all of the muscle mass I once had. I was at a point where I had trouble getting out of low-riding cars because my leg muscles were so weak. I had a moment where I decided I didn’t care to fight the weight gain and started eating ALL THE THINGS… well, that didn’t help. In fact, I reached a point where I couldn’t fit into ANY of my clothes and mostly tried to wear spandex. At work, I only wore scrubs but those were tight too.

Instead of letting this overtake my life, something inside of me said, just ask Lexi about CrossFit and see what she says. You have wanted to do this for years, money is no longer an excuse, and there is a CrossFit down the road from you, so traveling isn’t a good excuse either. Lexi explained that because of my back problems, the best way to approach CrossFit was to do an On-Ramp program. On-Ramp is 1 on 1 coaching that would take my needs/injuries into consideration while introducing me to the core CrossFit lifting moves. I knew right away that this was definitely what I needed – which meant traveling to Epsom or Concord and spending a decent amount of money to start. It didn’t matter… I contacted Battle CrossFit in Epsom and got signed up to start working out with Danielle. I was nervous but I went.

I started out with a deadlift of 75 pounds and I could barely breathe during my first run. My knees ached and I had to walk instead of run. I could feel all my body fat jiggling. But I did it… and I came back for more. Almost immediately, I started seeing my strength grow… I could use the lawn mower because I was strong enough to dump the bucket when it was full of grass and leaves.

I have had NO BACK PAIN since the day I started CrossFit. For someone who was a personal trainer and has struggled with back pain since 2002 despite lifting weights and exercising, this has had a huge impact on the quality of my life. For the longest time, I would avoid activities for fear that I would hurt my back. Now, I only hesitate when lifting very heavy weight, but unless I am trying to get a one rep max deadlift, I do not hesitate. I confidently lift objects without fear that my back is going to hurt for days.

Speaking of confidence…when I started, Danielle (my coach) told me to do a handstand. I just looked at her. I hadn’t done a handstand since I was about a young teen. I didn’t even realize how much it scared me until she asked me to do one. I hesitated…at which point she said in “typical” Danielle fashion…”what’s the worst that could happen?” That question resonated with me…the worst that could happen is that I could FAIL. I have realized the extent that my life has been controlled by the fear of failure. I never realized just how many things I was scared of until I joined CrossFit. Well, that first day, I did a handstand. It wasn’t pretty nor did it last very long, but I did it. I overcame a fear. Then I started realizing I needed to try things whether I was scared or not.

Recently, I dared to try something that frightens me to my core (even now it still does)… I signed up for a rappelling trip as a “field trip” with a group of Battles. What was I thinking? I was thinking about the first day I started CrossFit and what Danielle said to me… what’s the worst that could happen? Although, I am terrified of heights, and I didn’t do it on my own, I was able to rappel down a 120 foot cliff with the instructor. And now that I understand how it works, I think I could do it by myself if I went again. My fellow Battles were cheering me on the whole way, encouraging me to push myself, to overcome my fears, to try even if I failed. I haven’t overcome this fear, but I am one step closer.

That’s what CrossFit is all about…being the best version of yourself. If you never start, how will you be the best version of yourself? As overwhelming as it was (and sometimes still is), I go to class with the goal of beating my last PR (personal record). And usually, I succeed at this but sometimes I still fail. However I have learned in the past 9 months, that if I never try, I will never know.

I even started changing my eating habits. I only cook/prepare whole foods. I literally threw everything out in my house that did not meet this standard. I have never been successful at dieting (as a strategy for long term weight loss). I lose and gain it back plus some. I can’t say that I will stick with this way of eating for the rest of my life (I will let you know later in my life if I stuck with it), but I can say that I have never felt so good with the changes I have made. My GI tract is actually functioning again… it took a break for a while much to my despair. I can think more clearly. I have lost inches. ALL of my clothes I was wearing 2 years ago (that have not fit since then) fit again! ALL OF THEM! I decided nine months ago, that I was not going to buy any larger clothes… and with exception of a few items, I didn’t. Now I don’t need those clothes and I am confident I never will again.

So what is next? I will continue the new way of eating I have adapted with the goal of seeing even more improvements to my mental and GI tract function. Even though I have seen an improvement, I am far from optimal health. I am hopeful that this will help me continue to lose inches, have lots of energy, and help me with a few other health issues I struggle with. I am now deadlifting 200 lbs and have a goal in the upcoming weeks to try another 1 RM at 210-215. I now push press 105, but feel fairly confident that I can do 110 the next time I try. Lastly, the thing I love the most… I started running again. It has been a long time, but yesterday on my 9 month anniversary of making the BEST life change I have EVER made, I ran. It might have only been for 1 mile, but I ran the whole mile. The goal is to run a 5K this year and a 10K the year after that and maybe at some point my confidence will grow so much that I will do a Tough Mudder/obstacle race. I also want to master multiple “toes to bar” by my one year anniversary and by my 2 year anniversary, I want to be able to do a pull-up.

I am so grateful to Battle CrossFit, the trainers and the members who have made me feel welcome and accepted. I did not think the changes I have seen in myself were possible. Since my first class, you have been encouraging me to do my best and to not put a ceiling on my abilities. Looking forward to spending many more months/years ahead getting to know you better and getting stronger with you guys!


Emily K.

Committed to Improvement (while ignoring the numbers)
by Emily Killinger

This is the story of how CrossFit helped change my life. It had been seven years since our daughter was born, and other than going on family hikes, canoe paddles and an occasional bike ride, I hadn’t made any extra efforts to lose the “baby weight”. At that point I couldn’t even claim it was baby weight anymore, as each year my weight increased little by little, until my clothes had to be replaced with even larger sizes (repeatedly). I stopped weighing myself at 190 pounds, as I was scared and feared it had crept up to 200 or even more (eeeek). So I stayed far away from scales and the ever increasing numbers. At the time, I believed I ate fairly healthy, was active enough and was in ok health for my age. Not to mention I had convinced myself that I didn’t even have an hour to spare in the day to workout at a gym.

That summer after seeing photographs of myself, I started realizing what the years of increasing weight gain really looked like on me. I knew I could no longer ignore the truth; I was unhealthy, uncomfortable in my own skin and desperately needed to make a change for the better. As I saw it God only gave me one body and if I wanted it to take me well into the future I needed to start taking better care of it. So the search for a gym began. I knew from previous experience that a typical gym would not motivate me, nor would I be able to guide or push myself through workouts that would maximize the results I desperately wanted.  I was familiar with the high intensity that CrossFit offered due to my best friend and her husband being owners of a CrossFit box in Florida. I began by looking at the list of approved gyms which my insurance company would give me membership reimbursement, if I attended at least 8 times a month. Lo and behold I found Battle CrossFit on that list! I called the number listed and scheduled my first visit with Coach Justin.


The day I walked in for my “Fit-Test”, I instantly knew I was in the right place. I could feel the encouragement and the support that swirls around the athletes, coaches and owners of Battle CrossFit. I committed myself to it and worked hard to complete my on-ramp training and join the regular classes. I met many new friends that all cheered me on as I would finish the WOD after everyone else. Everyone at Battle CrossFit made me feel like I was part of a big supportive family. Eventually people started seeing results from my hard work, as they began asking how much weight I had lost. I would simply say “I don’t know,” as I continued to stay away from the scale. The number didn’t matter to me; all that mattered to me was that I continued to make improvements to my body. Each PR (CrossFit lingo for Personal Record) was a new accomplishment, an improvement from before – a step in a better direction. The body I had become ashamed of, and was scared to take forward through the rest of my life was getting better (for a long future). My consistency and hard work was slowly paying off! The loads of encouragement from my Battle-Family kept me motivated.

However I still didn’t want to be ruled by the numbers on a scale and beat myself up when those numbers would fluctuate. I knew that my new lifestyle of working out with intensity (WOD-ing) wasn’t enough to get me back to a pre-pregnancy weight, which I desired. So just after the New Year, I signed up to participate in a Paleo eating challenge with Battle CrossFit, through Lurong Living – A sort of New Year’s resolution to continue to improve my body.

I continued to not care about “the numbers” from the beginning weigh-in all the way through to the ending weigh-in. After the five week challenge, the results were in and they were dramatic. Even though I had hoped for a larger decrease to my overall weight, I was excited to be down 2.25 lbs. on both my waist and hip measurements. The numbers had given me a confirmation of what I was noticing in the mirror and the change that others were noticing in me as well. So for all you number crunchers out there this is a quick look at my results:


The clothing sizes still continue to go down. In fact I finally had to get rid of much of my clothing as it was simply sliding right off of me (yeah!). After that first Paleo challenge I reflected and thought about how many years it took me to build up to my maximum weight (approximately seven years), and then I looked at what I was able to accomplish in less than two years and I was impressed with the 180 degree U-turn I had made in my overall body and my health. I am so proud of what I have accomplished and each and every PR I experience. Because a new PR, no matter what the number is, is an improvement! I now bask in the glory of any and all improvements, no matter what the number is because I still don’t pay attention to “the numbers”. I couldn’t have achieved any of it without my support team: my family and my Battle CrossFit-Family!  Thank you to everyone for all your support and for continually cheering me on. I am devoted to the continual improvement of my body and mind. I will continue to not allow numbers to rule me or my life. I am constantly reminded it’s not about how I compare to others at the gym or others in life (in regards to looks or workout results), it’s about how I feel about myself and the daily choices I make to be the best that I can be. I’m going to continue improving this body of mine until the day I die and I know Battle CrossFit and my Battle-Family will be by my side the entire way.

IMG_0609 IMG_0719



Tom H – A Short Story

A Short Story

Thinking of a way to start my story I first had to come up with a title. I am always the shortest person in the room and this shouldn’t take very long what better title than “A Short Story”. Over the years I have realized that there are no short cuts to getting in shape. Trust me I have tried them all: beginning years ago with lifting weights, where I could lift plenty but would pass out running to the mailbox. There is always the treadmill, but I hate that thing. The exercise machines in the house are something we don’t talk about because they never get used.Screenshot_2

Another New Years comes and goes with the faint thought of eating better and doing something to get into shape and of course I’m not getting any younger. Looking forward to what would be next in my attempts to break through the fat I decided to visit the local “box” (that’s CrossFit lingo for the local CrossFit gym.) Mustering up the courage to step outside my comfort zone I contacted Battle CrossFit and committed to learning what the hype was all about. It’s probably a good thing I didn’t look at YouTube before I started or I would have made excuses why it wasn’t for me. The lingo was a bit overwhelming and the enthusiasm everyone seemed to have was also a little intimidating. Beginning my 15 classes of “On Ramp” was eye opening to say the least. Being guided by Raj who pound for pound is unusually strong, we worked to get my journey off with a bang. As I worked on the side lines watching the groups do some unusual exercises I felt a little out of my league; at one point I asked Raj if I had bit off more than I could chew. He reassured me that while everyone starts somewhere it wasn’t about how well you do it was all about how well you improve. During On Ramp I found myself going home after each workout and falling into the hot tub or not having the energy to get out of the car. Over the six weeks things improved and I began to feel like, “I got this.” After finishing my introduction to CrossFit I began joining the regular classes only to find out Raj was being kind to me. While my workouts are not breaking records it’s more about my personal growth and improvement. The encouragement from the class and both Justin and Rae make you feel good about finishing the WOD. Last week I finished one workout with everyone cheering me on, only to discover that was because I was the last one to finish.

The combination of weight lifting, gymnastics and cardio really mixes it up; every work out is different and challenging. I have learned more about the importance of what goes in your body as well as exercise. Starting with the five-week Lurong Challenge I have lost over two percent body fat and over four inches off my waist, chest and hips. Being the cook in the house this has also impacted my family and moved them into a leaner and cleaner life style. While the story is a short one for now I know it’s only the beginning of a healthier and longer journey, yes I said journey. It is still a struggle to pull myself away from the day to day and show up but once I’m there it’s worth it.
The owners and trainers at Battle CrossFit have inspired me to look beyond the quick answers to losing weight and getting in shape. It truly is a life style change that includes your diet and exercise combined with enthusiasm. I definitely feel this time I will make a difference and get myself into the best shape ever.
To Be Continued…Tom Hageman



I’ve tried various forms of exercise and workout routines in past years to try and get in shape but I would always burn out after a short time and go into a slump. This resulted in many fluctuations in my weight and general level of fitness. Now, at 38 years old, I’ve been a member of Battle CrossFit for one year straight and I can say with confidence that I’m in the best shape of my life and still improving.

There’s a simple explanation for why Battle CrossFit has worked for me where other routines and gyms haven’t: the people. It sounds cliché, but you can’t argue with the results you’ll see when you combine intense CrossFit workouts with the unconditional support and encouragement of the coaches and the rest of the Battle CrossFit community. It becomes addictive.

Once you come in the gym will speak for itself and you’ll be hooked like the rest of us – fighting off daily muscle soreness and taping up your hands so you can get back in for your next workout. Though I do remember feeling a bit intimidated about getting started. I didn’t know any of the members and I wasn’t in the greatest shape. In fact, I couldn’t do a single pull-up. However, it didn’t take long to realize that the members are an extremely welcoming and supportive group of people. Most of us started in the same place (at the bottom) and all of us understand the initial challenges.

For example, during my On-Ramp program I remember struggling to do a pull-up while surrounded by members that were effortlessly doing multiple sets of pull-ups. However, I never felt embarrassed and was never made to feel inferior. Nobody was judging me for my inability; instead, they offered advice and shared experiences about their own struggles.

I also specifically remember my last day in the On-Ramp program when I finally managed to do one strict pull-up. I’m not sure who was more excited, me or my dedicated On-Ramp coach, Nikki. But it wasn’t just the two of us celebrating. There were other members there that had just ended a class. I’m not sure if they had witnessed my earlier struggles with the pull-up or maybe just realized from our reaction that I had just overcome a challenge. Either way, they clapped, came over and gave me the traditional fist bump and offered sincere congratulations. These members didn’t even know my name, yet they were genuinely excited for me and their gestures lifted me up even higher. It was only one pull-up, but I walked out the door that night feeling like I could throw a car across the street and I couldn’t wait to get back in there to see what else I could do.

So, I kept going back and I kept achieving more goals I never thought were possible. It’s been a year and I still look forward to seeing what I can do each class and I’m still fueled by the support of the coaches and other members.

In fact, I recall a recent workout that challenged us to do hand-stand push-ups and deadlifts, in sets of 21-15-9. Halfway through the second round I was short on breath, my muscles were on fire, and my arms were shaking with each hand-stand push-up. There was a voice in my head that told me there was no way I could finish the workout without using a modification to make the movement less challenging. Luckily, the voices of my fellow members were louder and they assured me that I could complete the remaining reps. I dragged myself forward with several people cheering me on and one member standing by my side, counting down my reps and offering words of encouragement. Meanwhile, the coach was right there advising me on my form to make each effort more effective.

I finished the workout, collapsing to the floor, gasping for air, and feeling like a million dollars. This is why I’m addicted to Battle CrossFit. I pushed myself, got an amazing workout, and accomplished something that I couldn’t do months earlier. It was amazing and it happens regularly. But, there’s no way I would’ve finished that workout if I were at home or at some other gym trying to do it by myself. Not a chance.
Sometimes it’s a few words of praise after a workout, other times it’s someone clapping and cheering you on as you struggle through the last few minutes. But the overall result is an uplifting and supportive environment that provides everyone the confidence they need to complete the intense workouts. Once I walk through the doors to workout with this group of people, I’m stronger, faster and at my absolute best. It’s a truly unique and amazing community and I can’t imagine working out with anybody else or having such success anywhere else.

So, if you’re serious about getting fit and you’re willing to put in the work, you shouldn’t hesitate to come give Battle CrossFit a try. There’s an entire community of people here that want to help you get your first pull-up (or whatever your goal is). You will get it, we will cheer, and you will be back for more.


Peter’s Fight

Battles – only a handful of you know this already, but our longtime Battle Peter has been fighting with Stage IV cancer. One of the most inspiring things that I’ve seen this year is watching him start putting goals up on the Goal Board. He’s a fighter. Read and be inspired.

I should have been suspicious when I was able to climb the rope and hit the easy button for the first time.  It wasn’t that I was all of a sudden stronger, it was because I was losing weight every day.  About a month later I was diagnosed with stage IV cancer of the stomach/esophagus.  By that point I was not able to climb any rope, even though I had lost 60 lbs.  However, I have gotten better, and recently Justin asked me to tell the story of how that came about, and I would add how Battle CrossFit helped me get healthier.

IMG_6580 IMG_9212 IMG_6482

Last September was a rough time.  I couldn’t eat, barely slept, and I was undergoing bi-weekly chemo treatments.  I tried to acclimate to the periodic nausea, cold hypersensitivity, dry mouth, neuropathy, etc.  This past winter was bitter, but I attempted to walk everyday around home, first just short walks, working up to 1 or 2 miles.  Eventually I asked Rae & Justin if I could work out at Battle CrossFit in the background, at my own pace, to build up my strength further.  Sort of a second on-ramp.

I should add that my Battle buddy Jeff Shute and wife Anne, and Michael and all the trainers were encouraging, and did their best to help me come back.  Finally, I reached the point where I could try to participate in WOD’s again.  Despite having little strength or endurance, I was making progress again, very slow progress, but progress.

Then a setback.  The chemo toxic agents that were doing a good job killing my tumor cells also killed my bone marrow cells that produce blood components.  My levels of platelets and neutrophils decreased to the point that my doctor could not safely give me the chemo infusions.  In desperation, I asked what could I do to encourage my bone marrow to start making blood components again.  A nurse practitioner said there is anecdotal evidence that exercise helps stimulate platelet production.  (A paleo type explanation is that if you are using your muscles strongly, that means you are out possibly hunting and are at greater risk of getting wounded, so platelets increase to handle any wounds that need clotting.)

So I started walking up the 7 flights of stairs at the hospital for appointments and blood tests.  Here at home, I push myself to come to Battle and do the WOD’s as best I can, even if I do not quite feel alright or energetic.  My WOD’s are no doubt ugly, but they help me sweat out the toxins and boost my blood components.  For the last several months my platelet levels and other blood components have increased, even after infusions.  I have not had to skip any more infusions.

I appreciate Rae, Justin, Anne, Jeff, Michael, and everyone’s encouragement at Battle.  My tumor has shrunk so that it cannot be seen anymore on the scans.  And I feel better and somewhat stronger.  And I know even if it is anecdotal, that exercise is helping my blood to continue the treatments.

Thanks for sharing Peter, and for being such an amazing member of this team.


Jenn & Matt

I feel inclined to write of my experiences at Battle CrossFit despite only being a member for 4 months. I hope that by sharing my story, it can give someone else the confidence to walk through the Battle CrossFit doors and, at the risk of sounding hokey, start a completely life changing journey.
I didn’t join Battle CrossFit because I needed a new athletic challenge. Quite the opposite, actually – I haven’t considered myself ‘athletic’ in over 20 years. I sent an email to Battle CrossFit to see if it would be something my husband Matt and I could do, knowing full well there was no way I would be able to do it. I am used to that since I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia, there is not a lot I could do physically due to pain and inflammation. I had a total knee replacement, take daily corticosteroids and other medications to treat my autoimmune disease, routinely get cortisone injections in painful joints and was woefully out of shape.
Despite my inner critic saying I couldn’t do it, Justin, perpetually positive head coach and owner responded to that blind email with an emphatic ‘awesome!’ and invitation to come by their convenient location in Epsom. I would classify my first visit as nothing short of terrifying, but I came back for the next session. And the next after that, because of Justin, the coaches and members of Battle CrossFit. Prior to beginning CrossFit, I was overweight and out of shape. I almost passed out doing 4 squats during my initial fitness test. I could not jump rope. I could not run more than 10 meters without a lot of trouble. But I got better, slowly, through the guidance and support from all (and I mean all) of the coaches and members of Battle CrossFit.
There are a few major things that set Battle Crossfit apart from other fitness establishments:
1. There is truly no judgment and they cultivate relationships. You will not be just a member number to the coaches and members – they become your friends and family.
2. They take the time to teach you the movements one on one before moving into regular classes. Getting comfortable and competent with challenging movements is vital to protect against injury and ensure success.
3. Scaling – I would not be able to a lot of the things I can do now without scaling the movements to make them doable and challenging to me. I know if there is a component of a workout I cannot do, I will be able to modify it to my ability. The best thing about scaling is when enough strength and endurance has built up that the movement no longer needs to be modified.
I’ve certainly made huge progress in the past four months and am confident Battle CrossFit will continue to challenge and support me as well as celebrate with me when I achieve my goals.


Angela & Dion

I have my husband to thank for getting me involved with CrossFit. He emailed me one day at work and said he signed up. I emailed back, not knowing anything about CrossFit, asking him if I could do it too.  We both started on July 5th of 2012.

I started at almost my heaviest weight ever (232lbs), and boy On-Ramp day 1 was a night I would never forget. The movements were awkward. It was tough. I thought I was going to die (not really, but you get the picture). I finished. I remember getting in the truck after class and telling my husband about how tough it was, but that I already loved it. I wanted to get better at movements, I wanted to become stronger than I was, I wanted to lift weights (something I had NEVER done), I wanted bonding time with my husband. It really was a win-win situation.

Fast forward to a year and a half later. I’m down about 25-30 lbs. It wasn’t easy. I’ve cried, I’ve pushed past things I never thought I could (Justin, remember hand stand push ups and how they made me cry because I was so scared to throw my legs up against a wall? Angela: I remember it well, and now it makes me cry. – Justin) I’ve overcome that fear along with many others. It’s not easy, and some days you just want to throw in the towel and be done. I’ve completed 2 paleo challenges, came in first in one and second in the other. I struggle with my eating on a daily basis. When I’ve got my game face on, it’s on, but when I don’t…well, let’s just say I’m a work in progress. I am strong. Yes, I am strong. I look back to when I first started and look at my numbers, my reps, my weights, my repeat workouts. Everything points to a better, faster, stronger me.  Dare I say I actually have tricep muscles? They are there, but they weren’t when I started. I completed a Tough Mudder with the Battle CrossFit family, something I was very scared to do. However it seems when there are events that we have teams for, I almost always jump on board and give it a try. There’s nothing like stepping out of your comfort zone, and falling back on your second family. 

Lastly, the biggest reason I continue to come to Battle CrossFit….the people. We have some of the best coaches around. They take time to explain things. Make sure your form is correct. They cheer you on, they support you, they sympathize with you. They help when you’re down, when you need to recover. They fist bump you. They love you. I mean… really. And the other CrossFitters that are part of the BCF family, well that’s the thing…..I feel like they are now part of mine as well. I’m not sure what I would do without you all!


Alexis L.

Editor’s Note: There’s a bit of controversy surrounding CrossFitting during pregnancy. To be more accurate, individuals who are ignorant of the implications of exercising while pregnant are judgmental of those who continue to exercise during their pregnancy. As a gym, we’ve now had 4 women continue their training through their pregnancy…and we collectively have 3 “buns in the oven” at the moment. Something in the water?

Despite all the controversy, yes I did it for all 9 months. I CrossFitted three times per week at Battle CrossFit through my entire pregnancy. I pushed myself as much as I was allowed and even PR’d a few things. I decided that I wasn’t going to let anything stop me.

This was my second pregnancy – during my first one I worked out and stayed healthy and in shape but nothing like this time around. I consulted my doctor, my coaches, and my family and friends. I had the support of everyone that I needed in order to continue CrossFitting. I followed all the rules, and the awesome coaches watched every move and modified my movements and workouts appropriately. They made it easy for me to stay safe but still get in a great workout.

I had been CrossFitting for 2 years before I became pregnant with my 2nd child. With my first child, I had knee and back pain throughout the pregnancy; this time around I had neither of these two problems. I have been able to keep up with my 5 year old at home without skipping a beat; my blood pressure has been great this whole time and my blood sugars stayed in check. I felt great every day. I even ran a 5K at 7 1/2 months pregnant without any trouble.

I am so happy I found CrossFit and I’m grateful for the support I had during my pregnancy from my coaches and CrossFit family. I will support any and all women who are CrossFitting and pregnant, keep it up and stay healthy. You will undoubtedly receive backlash from bystanders (non-CrossFitters) who think that exercise is unsafe, but don’t let it bother you. The Battle CrossFit coaches will help to ensure that you are doing everything appropriately and safe.

Editor’s Note: Below is Alexis’ original testimony, preserved for posterity.

Hi my name is Alexis, I’m 32, a wife and mother a of wonderful 3 year old little boy. I started at Battle CrossFit in June 2012. I had heard about CrossFit from a few co-workers. I looked into it to see what it was all about, and after reading up on it and looking into a few gyms, I thought that it wasn’t for me – I didn’t want to get “Jacked” as I had heard people say. Also, I didn’t think there was anything wrong with my workouts and the thought of having a coach always watching me scared me a bit.

One day as I was driving home from work, I noticed a sign outside a new building right down the road from my house: the “Battle CrossFit”  logo caught my eye. A nautical star, if you know me than you know why I say that.. I love those stars. That sign made me go home and look up this gym. I liked what I was reading on the website and still the logo was sticking out.. LOL.

So I figured, why not lets try it out, it couldn’t hurt.. okay that was a lie, it hurt real bad the next day, but it was worth it because I went back for more..

Now 8 months later I’m hooked and couldn’t believe I waited so long. Since I started at BCF I have seen such a difference in my energy level, shape, weight and eating habits. I always have been into sports, running and working out on my own but this is different. The coaches are amazing, they give you the confidence to push yourself harder than you ever would on your own. What I really appreciate about their training is the way they break it down for you, step by step so you know that you are doing it right and you wont get hurt trying to push yourself to that next level. They make sure that your technique is to a “T”. This makes it so comforting and challenging at the same time. Also the other athletes in the gym are right there beside you cheering you on as you work towards your individual goals, everyone helps each other out and makes them feel at home, this isn’t just another gym, it’s a Battle Family. I look forward to each day I go, I never get bored and it’s always a challenging workout. Thank you Battle for everything you have “MADE” me do… 🙂

Tracy C.

I have been at Battle CrossFit since June 2012 and it has changed my life!!! As a Physical Therapist, I have always tried to be good about working  out and eating well, however I often got bored with my workouts and never stayed consistent. Then I discovered Battle CrossFit!

I will always remember my first “introductory workout” at BCF. I had emailed Justin back and forth inquiring about CrossFit, what it was, and how I was not sure if it was for me. He convinced me to come in on a Saturday to open gym and see what it was all about. I agreed but was very nervous about walking in that door. My first workout was with Rae and we did lunges, dumbbell overhead press and some ab work on the boxes. It was 10 reps of each for as many rounds as possible in 7 minutes. It was the longest 7 minutes of my life and I couldn’t walk for days afterward!!! I still remember my family making fun of me for having difficulty getting up from sitting and walking up/down the stairs. They never thought I would go back… but I did. It was the best decision I ever made!

One of the things I enjoy most about CrossFit is that every workout is different and challenging which makes it impossible to get bored! The coaches are phenomenal and do an amazing job of both supporting and pushing every individual athlete. They take the time to teach everyone proper technique and during every workout they closely watch your form and positioning to ensure that you are safe! I am often pushed beyond my comfort zone but it has allowed me to do things I never thought I could which is an amazing feeling. With a little bit of peer pressure (thanks Rae) I was convinced to explore the Paleo way of eating last October. Although I did not compete in the actual Paleo Challenge I did change my eating habits to about 80% Paleo. I have actually stuck with the 80/20 and that, in combination with the workouts, have helped me lose over 25 pounds since June. I have also improved my strength, flexibility and most importantly my self-confidence. For the first time in my life I have remained consistent and dedicated to my workouts and I feel great. I actually look forward to working out! One of the other things I love about BCF is the atmosphere and camaraderie of the other athletes in the gym. It is such a welcoming atmosphere and it is great being in a gym where everyone supports and cheers one another on. It is like a second family! I am forever grateful to the coaches and everyone at BCF for having such a positive impact on my life and helping me become the person I have been longing to be.
page 1 of 2