Fire of the Gods Member Stories

CrossFit Fire of the Gods Athlete: Matt Carr

Matt Carr

I came to CFFOTG due to peer pressure from a couple colleagues who had recently joined and, honestly, didn’t expect to stay long. It had been over a decade since I had made any serious attempt at physical fitness, and my day-to-day work had become considerably more sedentary. I had the stereotypical image of what CrossFit was in my head – very fit people lifting and working out dangerously at furious speeds – and figured I’d put my obligatory month in and then hop back on my merry-go-round of mediocrity and excuses.

Then I met Paul and Janet, along with the early members of their gym – who, surprisingly, seemed very much like me. There was a variety of skill and fitness levels and an incredibly welcoming and encouraging environment, led by friendly, experienced coaches who understood how to work with me at my fitness and mobility level. Their straight forward, common sense approach based on sound fitness and nutritional science was refreshing and incredibly effective. After I re-learned how to drag myself out of bed when I was sore from a workout , I quickly became hooked and have never looked back.

Being a part of CFFOTG has been a life-changing experience for me, physically and mentally. I move in a safer manner in daily movements, have more energy, am considerably stronger, more mobile, can perform physical work much longer, eat better, and have regained my desire to crush challenges. I now crave the soreness that comes with pushing my body to new limits and love monitoring my progress over time. I’d encourage anyone who is ready to shed the common American excuses that lead to a lack of real fitness, strength, mobility and poor diet to come to CFFOTG – you won’t regret it!

Ellen Golding

I am a 43 year old with my share of health issues including an autoimmune disease and a bout of cancer, I know how important it is to stay healthy in order to keep my ailments at bay.  Prior to joining CFFOTG my health strategy was to limit calories, hike, play field hockey, and run. I am in the healthcare field and went from an active job to a desk job, I was struggling with my body image as I began to put on weight regardless of how much I ran. Running also became boring for me and I often talked myself out of it not exercising at all.  It took paying for races like 5ks and fun runs to keep myself engaged.  These struggles lead me to cross-fit, I went to various classes and locations feeling intimidated by the class sizes and the lack of knowledge. These classes had me intrigued but very nervous about hurting myself.  I was unsure about proper technique and body mechanics feeling like I was not getting the right kind of coaching for the type of wellness I was looking for, I will never be a competitor and this was certainly not my goal.   I was finally convinced by a close friend (almost two years ago) to try CFFOTGs,  Janet and Paul were so welcoming and encouraging.  I am now hooked and this has not wavered since the day I walked through their door, not only do I feel comfortable, I am excited to go to class and sad if I can’t fit it in.

At CFFOTGs we learn how to be healthy and strong.  The coaches have created an environment where members learn the importance of variation in exercise using the cross-fit philosophy while making sure members are safe in their practice. Technique and body mechanics are as important as the gains. We warming up, lift weights, and workout together.  Each day is different and always scale-able, challenging, and exciting.  Whether we scale a workout lifting a little less due to injury or lift more to challenge self goals completing the workout is the goal.  My personal ailments require me to adapt the workout, my coaches know these limitations as well and provide me with ways to meet my exercise goals in a safe way.  Classmates and coaches not only support one another but celebrate successes at all levels.

For me this has not just been about exercise but overall health including nutrition.  Options to join health challenges, learning about food and its impact on health conditions, and sharing struggles and accomplishments with classmates and coaches have added to the experience. Cross-fit is more than just exercise which is not lost at CFFOTGs.  Though my career, children, and busy life sometimes get in the way and I do not always eat the right way or .make it class as often as I like I have made gains and I always feel like I am home when I walk through the doors.  My pants fit better, my self-esteem and body image have improved, and I am visibly stronger!  I can lift, pull, tug, run, jump, with the best of them.  I have accomplished several goals including a pull-up or two, climbed a rope touching the ceiling, conquered handstands, push ups, and lifted more weight than I ever imagined.  I still have several goals to accomplish like the dreaded double-unders but I know with the help of CFFOTGs these will come.

CrossFit Fire of the Gods Athlete: Ellen Golding
CrossFit Fire of the Gods Athlete: Ryan Card

Ryan Card

I came to Crossfit two years ago, when my wife proudly announced she had signed both of us up after doing a beginners class with Janet.  Add this to the long list of things that I have to thank her for.  I started Crossfit one year removed from a heart attack, at the ripe old age of 43, having lost 25-30 pounds through diet alone but flailing miserably finding an approach to fitness and nutrition that was effective and, more importantly, sustainable.  I was an athlete as a younger man, majored in Exercise Science in college and have worked in healthcare for two decades and can’t believe how much about the definition of “healthy” I hadn’t learned or had completely forgot about.  The Crossfit approach to fitness and nutrition, and its effectiveness, became immediately apparent.

Through Crossfit, the variety, the intensity and the confidence it instills…I found, and continue to find myself doing things physically, at the age of 46, that I couldn’t do in my 20’s.  I can’t begin to thank Paul and Janet enough for their guidance over the past two years.  The people I have met, and have had the privilege of exercising and competing with at Fire of the Gods, have had an enormous and immeasurable impact on my life and my health.

Samantha Garvey

Before CrossFit, I was NOT fit. Seems intuitive, but I have heard from countless friends how they shouldn’t start CrossFit because they aren’t fit enough. If I had had stopped myself from starting because of this mentality, I’d be in a much different place.

Before CrossFit, I was a year out from having a stroke. Yes, a stroke.

I was left me physically impaired, and 20lbs heavier than I had been my entire life. Tired with my physical state, I said “hey, why not”, and sold my soul to CrossFit. It was immediately addicting. Despite slow progress initially, I fell in love — I loved the incredible variety of movements from basic to challenging, I loved how body weight movements could leave you on-your-knees-tired, I loved how humbling seemingly easy workouts were, I loved feeling healthy and active again. A year later, I have seen unbelievable changes in my musculature, my overall mentality, my physical capabilities. I have managed to shed those 20lbs I started with, but despite being lighter, when it comes to Olympic Lifting I can throw up anywhere from 85-120% of my bodyweight. I have become strong enough to deadlift 2.6X my bodyweight. I have learned how to do a variety of technical bodyweight movements, including multiple consecutive pull ups and handstand pushups. Looking at my current abilities, I know now that, as cliche as it sounds, anything is possible, regardless of where you are starting from.

CrossFit Fire of the Gods Athlete: Samantha Garvey