Success Stories

18
Feb

Umair Ghazi

It’s quite fitting that I am writing my CrossFit story in February as it was exactly two years ago that I started my CrossFit journey here at CFR7 and what a journey it has been. I still remember the day I showed up at CFR7 for the free CrossFit class and even though it was a relatively simple workout, it made me realize how far from being physically fit I was.

I wasn’t sure what I was getting into back then, but I knew I wanted to get better and I immediately signed up for Foundations and a few weeks later I was hooked. Prior to CrossFit, my relationship with work-outs and physical fitness has always been on-and-off. I would work out for a few weeks, other things will take priority, and I’d loose the motivation. CrossFit has inspired me to show up at the gym despite how my schedule is, how I am feeling or how tired I am. The competitive/fun nature of the workouts and the fact that there’s something to learn and improve every time I enter the gym is what makes me keep coming back. It is something I look forward to and am excited about and is usually the highlight of my day! A lot of credit for this goes to the coaches at CFR7 who not only great coaches and CrossFit athletes but also inspire you a great deal, make the workouts fun and are always ready to work with you on your strengths and weaknesses and constantly push you to do the best every time. The smile and encouragement you see on their face when you hit a PR or your first handstand push up or a muscle up or a double under says it all. The community at CFR7 is equally amazing and very welcoming. You will usually find me hanging at the gym after my workout with the 5:30/6:30pm crew! 


After 2 years, 295 classes, I can say that coming to CFR7 was one of the best decisions of my life (and I’ve lost 15lbs and gained a lot of muscle!). I am in great shape – physically and mentally, stronger, fitter, faster and I am just getting started! The benefits of CrossFit are not just limited to the numbers I mentioned above, the spirit of never giving up and doing the best I can especially when I am almost about to give up during a workout has transferred into other aspects of my life and I just like to give my best to whatever I am doing. It’s something that’d stay with me wherever I go. Here’s to more fitness, self-improvement and friendships!  Thanks CFR7!

1
Jan

Athlete Spotlight: Bill Baker

Congratulations to 7-Fit Program member, Bill Baker, on losing 20 pounds since he began with us in October 2018! Through hard work and consistency, he has not only improved his endurance and strength dramatically, he has also reversed disease. His blood sugar levels used to be pre-diabetic and his cholesterol was high, but now both are in the normal range. In less than three months, Bill has changed his life and he plans on continuing to attack his future goals with the same tenacity in our 7-Fit Program. Want to be like Bill? Sign up for our 6-Week Fitness Challenge! Read his interview below!

Q: How did you find out about the 7-Fit program and what about it drew you do join?

“My wife, Rhea, has tried various fitness and physical rehab programs because of residual issues from auto accidents. She loved the variety of CrossFit and was asking me to join her (for a long time). I said yes just so she’d stop asking. So, yeah, I wasn’t so much drawn as dragged.”

Q:When did your journey with 7-Fit begin and what were your goals going into it?

“I had my own accident issues (centering in my lower back) that had been getting progressively worse over the course of a year or so. I went to see a chiro/rehab specialist for a couple of months to get in shape so I could start to get in shape at CrossFit Route 7. When I felt it was time to move up to a more intensive workout I started with 7-Fit; that was in the last week of September.”

Q: What has helped you achieve success in the program?

“Without sounding too much like a Nike commercial – just do it. Be consistent. There’s a saying that if someone tells you, “You have to eat a frog today” you should eat the frog first. Carve out the time – I do it first thing in the morning (7-Fit!) and go through the rest of the day knowing I’ve accomplished something that was completely out of reach a just few months ago. I am 62, and 5’10” and was 220 lbs. when I started. Just a couple of months later I’m down to 201 lbs. I’m trading fat for muscle. I’m moving more. (Sweating way more.) And my most recent physical showed my blood sugar normal vs edging into diabetic – that’s a change that is primarily due to the weight loss and exercise. My cholesterol & BP are so far into the normal range that my doctor is considering lowering my meds dosage.”

Q: What advice can you give to others coming into the program with similar goals?

“The gym is deceptively simple – weights, bands, balls – no complex machines. These are exercises you can lean at the gym, follow up at home, and reinforce by coming back to class to learn more. The classes are different every time. You can scale the exercises to fit what you can do – but push to do the best you can, and keep going. More than once I’ve been on the floor trying to catch my breath and have made myself get up and crank out 2 or 3 more reps. And don’t worry about whether you can do this because you think you’re too old, or because you’re too big now, or not strong enough now. The people in 7-Fit are all ages, demographics and body types… and if you see someone in great shape you need to remember that a lot of them got there by starting where you are now.”

Q: Besides working out, what other lifestyle changes did you make outside of the gym to achieve your goals?

“I’m working on getting the diet under control, eating more veggies and cutting out unnecessary sugars and starches. No soda. But I’m eating normal food – not a diet of paleo-Atkins-South Beach-shake-protein bars, fads or fasting. The main thing that has made a difference is the exercise – M-W-F at 7-Fit.”

Q: What has been your favorite thing about 7-Fit?

“7-Fit is not a lonely grind or a solitary quest. You have a coach, you have classmates or a partner or a team and you have a daily plan that varies what you do, how much you get done, and the way you do it – in nearly 3 months I don’t think we’ve done the same routine twice.”

5
Nov

Brianna Barbaro

I’ve always been relatively active from an early age, but like many people I struggled after college to incorporate a healthy amount of exercise into my increasingly busy routine.  This past year, though, I decided to make a promise to myself to prioritize and invest in what matters most – my health. A coworker of mine heard me vent one day about my frustration with my lack of progress in my fitness routine, and suggested I try CrossFit.  To be honest, I had always been a little intimidated by the idea of CrossFit; in my mind, there was no way someone like me would ever be fit enough to handle it, let alone keep up with the other athletes. I protested his suggestion, citing all of my preconceived reservations,  but he corrected me, pointing out that everyone starts somewhere, that it’s about competing with yourself and pushing yourself to do better rather than comparing yourself to other people,  and that he’s never met a more supportive community of people. 

So I did it. I took the plunge, came in for a free class, completed foundations, and signed a membership contract. It was hard – I’m not going to lie about that. My body was more sore than it had been in a long time during those first few weeks, and it was tough for me to accept that I was the last one – by a long shot – to finish most workouts. But my coworker was right about the support, and the warm, friendly, welcoming people I worked out with each class quickly reminded me that it wasn’t being last that mattered – what mattered was I still finished the workout. Overall, what keeps me  excited to come to classes each day is supportive and encouraging people, the awesome coaches that help me find the balance between pushing myself to my limits and ensuring personal safety and good form, the variety of movements that keep me from getting bored, and the fact that I can consistently measure my progress, even with just the smallest of milestones. 

The most noticeable accomplishment by far is that I’ve lost 20lbs. For me, though, as awesome as that physical change is, it isn’t my only accomplishment. I’m happier and more comfortable in my skin, I feel healthier and have so much more energy than I did before, and I’m learning to listen to and understand what my body is telling me – both from a exercise and a diet perspective. Perhaps the biggest shift of all, though, has been in my mindset – the amazing coaches at CrossFit Route 7 have been instrumental in helping me with that. I previously felt guilty about eating ‘badly’ or not working out, and I was constantly beating myself up mentally for not being fit enough or healthy enough or ‘good enough’. Since starting CrossFit, I’ve learned to celebrate my accomplishments for what they are, instead of what they’re not. I’ve learned that it’s not about feeling guilty, it’s about wanting to feel the good, clean energy from eating healthy, and that rush after an awesome workout. Am I finishing the workout to the best of my ability? Am I challenging myself to increase intensity? Am I making progress? If my answer to any of these questions is yes, I walk out of the gym proud after each workout, happy with who and where I am in my journey towards a healthier me. 

10
Oct

Danielle Sanguanboon

 
 
Danielle began her fitness journey with CrossFit Route 7 on July 30, 2018 in our new 7-Fit Program. Our 7-Fit Program introduces fundamental fitness training concepts in a fun bootcamp style class with a strong focus on core strengthening and fat burning exercises. Our 7-Fit members have been seeing incredible results through this program and we are happy to share one of our many success stories with you!
 
Danielle has been consistently attending class 3-4 times per week since July 30th. She has such an infectious positive attitude in class and is always eager to learn. In every one hour class you can see that the determination in this woman cannot be stopped. She pushes herself incredibly hard in every workout, usually at 6 o’clock in the morning before most people are even out of bed, and she has become stronger and faster every week.
 

 On top of the hard work in class, Danielle has dialed in her nutrition and water intake. The positive affect that all of this dedication is having on her performance, energy, and body composition is undeniable and we cannot wait to see her continue reaching her goals in 7-Fit! Read more about Danielle below:


1. What is your Athletic/Fitness background?
When I was in school, I was a runner and a soccer player.  That was 20 years ago!
 
2. Why did you join The 7-Fit Program?
After having 2 kids in the last 4 years, I wanted to get fit to stay healthy.
 
3. Favorite 7-Fit Movement?
 I love the rowing machine.
 
4. Biggest Challenge?
Push-ups
 
5. Biggest Improvement?
I feel great overall, and have more energy every day.
 
6. Fun Fact about yourself?
 I designed and built an orangutan habitat at a rescue center in Thailand.
 
7. What is most special about 7-Fit at CrossFit Route 7?
The people (both coaches and members) at CrossFit Route 7 are awesome.  Everyone is welcoming, kind, and will push you to reach your goals.
 
8.  Any advice for new members?
Show up and work hard.
1
Oct

Daniel Mills

The idea of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro came out of a gathering with my college buddies last year in Tahoe. At that point I looked at the whole process of getting ready physically and mentally as part of the journey. None of us had any previous mountaineering experience beyond day hikes and a few camping trips years ago. But Kili is a manageable climb that doesn’t require ropes, ladders or technical skills. It just requires that you keep going up – to the thin air of 19,341 feet which is the highest point in Africa.

Altitude is probably the biggest challenge and there isn’t much that can be done to prepare for that. Altitude sickness can affect anyone regardless of fitness level, including one person from our party who had to go back down early. But I also knew that it would be a lot of time on my feet 0n uneven terrain with a pack in unpredictable weather. So to prepare as much as I could, I joined CrossFit to add strength, range of motion and stamina that I wasn’t getting from the road cycling that I’d been doing for years.

One memory from the climb stands out.  After five days of climbing, on the morning of the push to the summit, we started at midnight to get there at the optimal time shortly after sunrise. We were on an extremely steep section, in the pitch dark, grinding up a seemingly endless number of switchbacks for about 3,000 feet of elevation gain. It seemed like it would never end. I remember at that time channeling my WOD survival mentality to just keep moving, and giving myself a little cheer at every switchback with a push to the next one. Mental toughness!! Eventually we were at the top.

So thank you to BJ and all of the coaches for pushing me along, especially when I was recovering from a fractured ankle in the spring and having to modify everything. I just needed to keep moving to get to the top.  And I plan to keep involved in CrossFit because the muscle development and resiliency it gave me could come in handy for the next life challenge!

9
Aug

Ashley Latiano

I joined CrossFit Route 7 January of 2018 and in just a few short months, the coaches, workouts, and community have impacted my life more than words could properly describe. I have never been an athlete and struggled greatly trying to find a gym that could help me achieve my fitness goals. I also never really enjoyed fitness, I just knew it was something that I had to incorporate into my life. A longtime friend invited me to attend a beginners Foundations class at CrossFit Route 7. After graduating from Foundations, it took only one week of attending workouts to become addicted!!

The coaches at CrossFit Route 7 are truly exceptional and of the highest quality. Their passion and love for what they do is contagious. They genuinely care about your progress and success and are constantly watching out for correct form while pushing you to reach your fullest potential, regardless of all the times I have whined to them! They don’t let you quit and share your excitement when reaching a new PR! The community at CrossFit Route 7 is also extremely welcoming and supportive. Everyone pushes you to succeed and there is never any sham for shortcomings. Everyone is a part of the team!

Working out is no longer a chore or something I have to do. It is now something I love to do, something I can’t miss and look forward to every single day. I have thoroughly enjoyed being able to test out my body’s capabilities and to be able to see results in such a short period of time gives me the motivation to keep coming back!! I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish this without CrossFit Route 7 and look forward to see how far my athletic accomplishments can go. Thank you to the community at CrossFit Route 7, and a huge and special thanks to Coach Tucker, Coach BJ, Coach Crystal, Coach Mike, Coach Nicole, Coach Gary and Coach Addie!! I wouldn’t have these accomplishments and this confidence without you!!

 
30
Jul

Ashish Gour


It’s been just over a year since I first started with CrossFit and I am pleasantly surprised that I am still working out and in fact look forward to the next WOD. I had tried various places and plans to work out but always used to drop out or get injured and quit.

This time it is different and it is all thanks to the community at CFR7 and more importantly the excellent coaching staff. The moral support that the community provides has allowed me to come back week after week and the personal attention of the coaching staff has helped me scale everything to my fitness level and stay away from major injuries.

I am specially thankful to have Coach Mike as a part of the coaching staff. He has been instrumental in my personal progression in the past few months. Some of the key changes that he helped me make were very simple but very important:

  1. Shoes – I used to wear running shoes that were affecting my stability and posture. Mike identified the issue and had me try different shoes that helped me improve on my stability and also feel comfortable during other movements.
  2. Diet – Being raised in India, my regular diet  is different than what is regularly recommended. Mike actually took the time after a class to speak to a group of us (mostly Indians) to help us understand how we can adjust our diet to get the best results.
  3. Scaling – I have had a kidney surgery when I was young and hence I am slower than most. Mike again understood my limitations and has scaled most of the WODs to fit my needs.. I have also seen him do the same for a lot of others members of the gym.

The best part about Coach Mike is that he does not make it easy for anyone. He pushes us to our limits while making sure we bend but do not break.

So a BIG THANKS again to CFR7 coaches and community! I am not the best athlete but that doesn’t matter as I am certainly a much better version of myself from last year! The only decision I made was to show up consistently and everything else was taken care of by the great team at CRF7!

28
May

Dominique Rivera

 

It’s crazy to think that my CrossFit journey started exactly a year ago from today. If you would’ve asked me back then if I could see myself doing pull ups or squatting 285 lbs, I would’ve laughed at the question. Fast forward a year later and not only am I capable of pull ups but so much more than I ever could’ve imagined.

There are a lot of stigmas associated with CrossFit regarding the risk of injury and attitude of the community – all of which had crossed my mind before joining CrossFit Route 7. Although I was very athletic in high school and played intramural sports in college, I wasn’t sure my body could handle the workouts and on top of that, with the worry of being injured or not welcomed. Nonetheless, I dragged myself to attending an information session for a 6-week body transformation challenge to find out for myself what CrossFit was all about. The rest is history.

During my talk with BJ Peyton, I shared how my college lifestyle had reduced my level of physical activity (apparently Beer Olympics didn’t count) and how I slowly was starting to feel less confident in myself. To my surprise, I found out I wasn’t the only one in this boat. BJ explained that a lot of people around my age were dealing with the same feelings and many found success by just starting with the CrossFit Foundations beginners program. I left the box that day with newfound hope that I could turn things around, especially since beach/music festival season was right around the corner.

Foundations not only eased me into the box but also introduced me to other athletes and welcomed me into the CrossFit community. The conditioning was amazing. I was learning proper lifting techniques and getting my body prepped for the next step. I’ll never forget the first day I finished Foundations with BJ on a Friday night. Typically, my Friday nights included me and my closet friends at local bars Spider Kelly’s or Whitlows in Arlington for happy hour. Now I found myself doing burpees and snatching weights with the latest Mega Workout Mix playing in the background. Talk about a complete 180. I could feel myself having more energy at work, a more positive attitude and the best part, seeing results! I wasn’t the only one seeing results either. Even my friends and family members started noticing positive changes and it made me want to work that much harder. There is no better feeling than finishing a WOD, lying on the ground panting and saying to yourself, “Yeah, I just did that.” It’s something you need to experience for yourself and few things come close to that feeling.

Since then, there’s no workout class I’ve found more challenging and rewarding than the WOD at CrossFit. I had tried other studios and gyms but fell short of my goals and with hundreds of dollars out of my pocket. Every WOD is new, exciting and strengthens you mentally as much as physically. Just today it was awesome to workout next to coaches like owner Tucker Jones and having everyone else cheer you on to finish. I firsthand can attest that the CrossFit Route 7 staff does everything in their power to teach correct form to avoid injuring yourself and are the most welcoming group of people. No matter at what stage of your physical prowess you are in, CrossFit will take you to the next level both mentally and physically. I’m only a year in and have been in the best shape of my life and only getting stronger. CrossFit has changed my life in the most positive way and this is just the beginning!

8
Mar

Don Parnell

I started CrossFit 6 plus years ago on my 50th birthday.  It was my version of a “mid-life crisis” 🙂 It has totally changed my life in more ways than I could have ever imagined. Little more than a year ago I had a my left hip replaced.  I had “bone on bone”and I was in a great deal of pain and discomfort.   I continued with my CF WODs up to the day before my surgery and was back at CFR7 a few weeks later. My excellent fitness level for my age significantly helped me breeze through the surgery and recovery.  The  ability to “scale and modify” WODs combined with great coaching allowed me to recover quickly and effectively with my “new body part.” Though I’m not as strong in some areas as before, I’m back on my feet with very little discomfort.  Everyone is different in how their body adjusts and recovers from this type of surgery. I’m still going through that process and it will probably never end but CrossFit has been my guiding light.
 
I love the 6:00 AM WOD and the morning crew!   I feel like I get a “head start” on the day and I’m able to keep my “edge.”  I love the energy of the box and working out with folks of all ages.  You guys energize me and it keeps me young!
 
CrossFit allows us to keep our physical but more importantly our mental edge. Something overlooked at times but there is no doubt that maintaining a high level of physical fitness will spill over to your professional life.  You will be more confident and have more energy. Lord knows there are a million things I need to improve on but that’s part off the challenge. If this were easy, anybody could do it. It has to be a challenge – in order for it to be worth it and gain these incredible results.
 
Semper Fidelis!
Don Parnell