GHF CrossFit Athlete Testimonials
What brought you to the turf?
When I moved back to Florida in 2018, I needed to find a local gym that had CrossFit. Interestingly, I had started dating my now wife, Tracy, around the same time and she introduced me to the turf, and I have been a member since.
What is your biggest accomplishment on the turf?
I met my wife, Tracy Faircloth, and gained an amazing group of friends. I can now front squat 305#, deadlift 405#, and my Olympic lifting technique has improved immensely.
What are your hobbies outside of the gym?
I enjoy playing guitar, traveling, listening to true crime podcasts, and spending time with family.
What is your profession?
I am a systems engineer for Boeing. I provide engineering services to US, French, Chilean, and Turkish customers. I retired from the Air Force in 2018.
What originally brought you to the turf as an athlete?
I’ve always been active in sports, loving the competition. When I retired from the military I continued to work out each day in the gym but missed the comradery of working out with a group of individuals towards common goals. I saw CrossFit on the Turf and watched The Open that year. I talked about it so much I was gifted an 8 pack to try it. From there I was hooked and haven’t looked back.
Why did you get into coaching?
I truly love CrossFit. I was on the Turf everyday working out, and seeing big results. Our CF coaches helped me achieve things I didn’t think possible. I wanted to help others reach their goals and see them progress.
What do you enjoy most about coaching?
I enjoy seeing our members learn new skills, but I equally enjoy learning new things as a coach. I think I’ve learned more as a coach than when I was a member because I study more to try and improve my coaching.
Outside of our current program, what are your coaching aspirations?
I’d love to get my CF level 2 and then 3!
Who has made the biggest impact on your coaching career?
There’s so many people that have made an impact that it’s hard to select the biggest. The coaches I’ve worked and trained with at GHF have been fantastic. I’ve picked up tips/tricks from each. Everything from coaching cues for athletes, ways to approach a workout, post recovery. I’ve learned from our athletes because each has their own goals and moves differently so a cue or technique for one person may need to be a little different for someone else.
What is your biggest accomplishment on the turf?
Hmmm, I’ve accomplished a lot since I started. Definitely would not be physically or mentally where I am in life without finding CF. I’ve gotten stronger, overcome a back issue (hopefully for good) gotten DUBs, muscle ups and working on handstand walks. Made great friends-we have an awesome community.
What is your training (& life) philosophy?
Celebrate your successes! Nothing meaningful in life comes easy. You have to put the work in understanding there will be tough days, days when you don’t want to go, but when you achieve something you’ve been working on cherish it. Let your GHF family celebrate with you and then start the journey again.
I’ve always been an athlete and was a competitive swimmer in college. I grew up being a part of a team. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve missed that feeling.
After I had my daughter about 5 years ago, I lost that feeling of being “me.” I had packed on the weight, no longer felt strong and lacked the energy to do much but work and be a mom.
After trying a few free CrossFit trial classes (which definitely kicked my butt), I felt that sense of team again. Each person was out there for not only their own personal gains/goals but each of you were in it together, cheering and pushing each other the whole way. I've gained strength, endurance, and confidence
Since then I’ve been hooked; never looking back.
I was bored with my exercise routine with no real plan or specific goal in mind. I would walk by the CrossFit turf on my way into the gym or watch from the second floor windows and it looked very intimidating. I eventually signed up for one on one classes with a CrossFit coach and tried a few group classes. I was surprised right away by how welcoming everyone was and how every coach made sure I was comfortable with the exercises. I was hooked.
My biggest accomplishment is just being much more confident with myself and what I can do. I have tried exercises I would not have attempted on my own. I have pushed myself to the limit time and time again and I’m seeing a lot of benefits. I’m stronger and more flexible than a year and a half ago.
By Rod V.
GHF CrossFitter and Newberry Elementary Teacher Laura Holbrook shares her story.
Why did you pick CrossFit?
I tried CrossFit for the first time two spring breaks ago- I was bored with my workout routine and thought I’d check CrossFit off of my bucket list! Ha! I loved it the first time and I have ever since!
How has CrossFit helped your everyday life (even in your job)?
Since I have joined GHF CrossFit I have loved getting stronger, not just physically, but mentally as well! It is my escape after a crazy day of teaching and it has changed my overall focus on health & fitness in such positive ways!
What is your biggest accomplishment on the Turf?
I would say my biggest accomplishment on the turf to date is staying consistent as well as recently making some jumps in weight lifting, especially overhead movements that were more intimidating when I first started! I am definitely a work in progress, but I love the path I’m on.
What is your profession?
I am a kindergarten teach at Newberry Elementary School (13 years)
At the beginning of the year I set a goal of logging 50 visits to the gym in the first six months of the year. At the end of June I had exceeded that goal, but was not seeing the results I wanted. I came to the turf to get results by having a structured plan for working out, learning from coaches, and taking my consistency to a new level. In the last 6 months of the year I’ve logged well over 120 visits to the gym and have the results!
My biggest accomplishment on the turf is pull ups! I can do four unbroken pull ups now. The first time I got to do them in the strength part of a workout was really exciting. And a 205+ lb deadlift — seeing a number in the 200s was surprising!
My wife and I do CrossFit together and enjoy making friends on the turf. The sense of camaraderie and accomplishment make the hard work worth it!
A few years ago I saw a picture of Camille LeBlanc on a magazine cover. After reading the article in the magazine about her I promptly told my older daughter Kimberlee about this sport called "CrossFit" because I thought she might be good at it. She loved it so much that she inspired my younger daughter Katrina and me to try it and I definitely got hooked! i was doing 8 classes a month and now I average about 8 classes a week!
Two of the accomplishments that I'm most proud of are pull-ups and double unders. I've had to work really hard to learn both of these skills.
Joining CrossFit has been life altering. It makes me feel younger because it's given me the confidence to believe that my body is capable of doing anything! As a masters athlete I've made gains in strength, conditioning, gymnastics and flexibility/ mobility, plus I have a strong desire to continue improving.
I love the attitude of my fellow classmates on the Turf and the coaches are super knowledgeable, fun, and all-round great people. When you step on the Turf you're not just a gym member- you're an athlete!
My Son Has A Strong Mom
I lost my 6 year old daughter at the end of 2015 and I needed to throw myself into something. I had always been an exerciser and played sports but had let it slip as a priority for me. I started back at the gym, running and lifting weights, and my good friends suggested I try CrossFit. I took one of the intro classes and immediately fell in love. It was a great outlet for the anger, emotions and energy I needed to expend and it gave me a new network of friends and support.
I have dropped over 50 pounds, put on muscle, and am down 5 sizes. At 42, after having two kids, I feel like I'm in the best shape of my life. I am also proud to show my son, Tyler (age 7), he has a strong mom with energy to keep up with him.
I Was Dreading My Own Workouts
I was dreading a workout on my own when I saw that CrossFit was having a Free Trial Day. The music was pumping and the coaches were welcoming so I tried it. I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to hang with these amazingly athletic people, but there are always scaling options so you can work out at your own level.
The structured workouts were a perfect fit for me because I never had a good plan or pushed myself when working out alone.
The camaraderie has been amazing. I am surrounded by people who believe in themselves and push themselves daily to new limits and that has been so motivational to me.
Welcomed, Encouraged, And Confident
I am a nurse on a Neurology Unit at the Veterans Hospital. CrossFit has made me better able to care for my patients physically. I am stronger and feel more capable of protecting my back while moving or assisting my patients. CrossFit also burns off the stress that can build up with such a hectic job.
About 5 years ago, I started feeling not quite right. I was slowly declining but wasn’t sure why. I would find that my back hurt, I was tired, and just generally not feeling well. As a nurse in my 40’s, I thought that maybe it was being overweight, my job, etc… Things got to the point that I was missing work some days and that’s not me, I’m usually the overtime person.
After 18 months of doctor visits and testing, I was diagnosed with AS (Ankylosing Spondylitis). It’s an autoimmune condition where the body attacks itself, specifically the spine and hips. After I got started on medication and feeling better, I promised myself that I would take care of my body. CrossFit has helped me do that. My Rheumatologist is pleased (and somewhat shocked) that I can do CrossFit with such enthusiasm. I am actually stiff and uncomfortable when I don’t go to class.
Besides making my job easier, I think CrossFit saved me from a nasty fall and possibly some broken bones. While helping paint my neighbor’s stairwell to her loft this summer, the ladder I was steadying came towards me. I was able to brace myself and the ladder. I believe if I hadn’t gained strength from CrossFit I would have been at the bottom of the stairs with broken bones.
My biggest accomplishment on the turf? Finding my strength, both physically and mentally.