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Athlete spotlight: Joe M. We started training Joe in 2009. His fitness increased substantially from 2009-2013. However, it wasn't until he really focused on his nutrition until he unlocked his potential. CrossFit combined with our unique specialty programs are proven to be the most effective for reaching the highest of levels of fitness. Although, this is just further proof that those things can only take you so far. We've been involved with fitness for over 20 years and we've seen first hand that regardless of how you train, you must eat right in order to look and feel your best. If your mindset is "I train this hard so I can eat what I want", then we have news for you. Genetics and/or age only lasts so long. Whether you are blessed with one or both of these, it will catch up with you sooner or later. Either change your behavior towards eating, or suffer from never looking and feeling your best. #FoodForThought #Nutrition #CrossFit #SHRED #BaseFit #Oly #Endurance #Mobility #Yoga #Pilates #CrossFitCrownTown #Gym #Fitness #Corona

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Taline Vartanian


CFCT: Why did you join CrossFit CrownTown?

Taline: One day I walked into Trader Joes and someone approached me, asking if I need any help. I said, ‘’No thank you’’ rudely, because I was on the phone. The employee repeated, ‘’Are you sure you do not need any help?’’ I was so annoyed I looked up and said, ‘’Yes, I am sure!’’ Then I realized it was my old friend, Larry. I was shocked at the new Larry I was looking at. He was slimmer, built, younger looking, simply amazing. It was as if Larry had transformed into a new looking person. I asked him ‘’what have you been doing?’’ To which he responded ‘’what have you not been doing?’’ Obviously noticing my appearance, Larry was not use to seeing me this overweight. He told me I should join CrossFit and I should wait until Wayne Willette opens up his own gym because he is the best coach around. Once Larry explained to me how CrossFit works, and that it is a community I realized, this is the kind of environment I would need in order to be successful. Thank you Larry for convincing me to join I owe you big time!

CFCT: What was your life like prior to CFCT? How did you feel emotionally? Physically? Mentally?

Taline: Prior to CFCT, my life within the past four years consisted of: eating heavily once a day and watching television. There was zero activity; I was living a sedentary life-style. Throughout my life, I’ve always been active, went to the gym, and watched what I ate. Now, you can imagine why Larry was shocked to see me balloon up to 312 lbs and the last time he had seen me I was 160 lbs. Emotionally, the last four years had been very rough for several reasons and it manifested into extreme weight gain. Physically, I couldn’t move, I was ashamed of the way I looked, and never wanted to go out. I didn’t want to be seen so I hid from life, friends, and family, which only made the situation I was going through worse. Mentally, I had completely shut down. I did not want to think about what I was doing to myself.

CFCT: What results have you seen since starting CrossFit?

Taline: I have seen incredible results since I’ve joined CrossFit. In every aspect of my life there has been a complete change; physically, mentally, and emotionally. I have lost 128 lbs in 10.5 months since starting CrossFit at CrossFit CrownTown, my joints no longer hurt, I’m faster, stronger, healthier and I feel good about the way I look. It’s wonderful being able to do daily tasks without having to think twice about it. I have dieted and worked-out before but hands down, since I started CrossFit, I have never felt as strong as I do now. CrossFit Taline is a hundred times stronger and can kick the old Taline’s butt that went to the gym at LA Fitness.

CFCT: Has CrossFit helped you break through any mental barriers?

Taline: I remember when I was doing ‘On Ramp’ and Coach Wayne got out the box jump and demonstrated the ’Box Jump’. I thought, ‘’this guy is crazy I will never be able to do that.’’ Coach Wayne assured me, in time you will. Sure enough, two months ago I did my very first box jump. To be able to do the ‘Box Jump’ lifted so many mental barriers. What I thought I couldn’t do I was able to do. Now I look forward to what else I’ll be able to break through. This must sound like a cliché, but with hard-work and dedication there is no limit to what you can achieve. Joining CrossFit has proven that to me every day. I am so grateful that Coach Wayne constantly pushed me to better myself when I so desperately wanted to stop. I also have a wonderful and loving CrossFit family community, who supports me and pushes me into the right direction when my body wants to quit. I wouldn’t be where I am today without all your help and support thanks to all of you CrossFit CrownTown family!!!

CFCT: What are you going to achieve over the next year?

Taline: I currently weigh 184 lbs, my goal is to weigh 140 lbs by December and to hopefully RX all future WOD’s. I need to start pushing myself even harder during WOD’s in order to drop these last 44 lbs. I’m happy that I lost 128 lbs but I will not be satisfied until I reach my goal. I can do this. My advice to anyone is: listen to your coach, do what they tell you to do, eat what they tell you to eat, and workout how they tell you to workout. Don’t second guess them, I didn’t and look at my results. CrossFit has become my healthy obsession.

I would also like to add a few thoughts of my own. Because of the life changing impact of this story, I altered Taline’s accomplishment from “Athlete of the Month” to “Athlete of the Year”. I recall the day I met her and accepting her payment of $149 for the On-Ramp fee. I told her right away, “there’s no turning back now. The payment went through.” jokingly. She looked me in the eye and told me she was committed. I was confident in the system we have at CrossFit CrownTown knowing that no matter how out of shape someone was that if they just followed the system they would reach all of their goals. What I wasn’t confident in right away was Taline’s level of commitment. However, she quickly instilled confidence in me through her actions. She would show up to class like clockwork (3 X p/ wk). Every day she would ask me more and more about nutrition. I didn’t want to scare her away by having her go completely strict right away. I asked her questions to see what her nutrition was like. I made small adjustments here and there. For instance, it started with no sugar. She could eat anything she wanted as much as she wanted, just no sugar. Gradually, I started cutting out dairy (she loved cheese by the way), then breads, rice, and, grains. Eventually, I started talking about frequency, portion size, and balancing macronutrients. Then it got to switching to all organic sources, grass fed meats and wild caught fish. We even talked about the importance of her balance of omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acids. This all happened over the course of 4-6 months. I gave her just enough to see some positive changes from manipulating her nutrition, but not too much to overwhelm her. She kept asking for more info. So,…I figured it was working perfectly.

Working out was the same. She started with wall push-ups instead of push-ups from the knees. As she mentioned, jumping on a plate instead of a box. Holding on to a post to be able to squat. I never pushed her. I only encouraged her. She would do things and you could tell she wanted sympathy, as it was extremely difficult for her. I did not give her any. I treated her the same as any other member. I told her to keep going. I was testing her work ethic. Taline wanted it and you could tell it was obvious. She would always say, “I bet you I’m the only person like me (referring to her size) that is doing CrossFit”. I didn’t acknowledge what she said (but I remembered it), I just told her to keep going.

Taline’s story is one of my proudest moments as a coach. Don’t get it twisted though. She’s not content with her current level of fitness/appearance. She is adamant about getting down to 140 pounds. Evidenced by compliments she receives and she answers quickly, “thanks, but I’m not happy yet. I’m still going.” Although, I don’t promote setting goals according to the scale just seeing that she is still motivated to get better is awesome. Taline is awesome. She has proven that anyone can do CrossFit. It takes hard work, dedication and consistency. Taline has it all. I use her as an example all the time when people say that CrossFit is intimidating, or too extreme. If Taline can do it, anyone can. Don’t look for an excuse why you aren’t involved. Instead, commit yourself to put in the hard work, dedicate yourself to reaching your goals and don’t stop until you get there. Just like Taline.

By the way, I’d like to publicly thank Larry Cacao (who is now a coach at CrownTown) for referring Taline and being the reason we had the opportunity to change her life. Thanks, Larry.

Sincere regards,

Wayne Willette Owner

Jeff Cariker

October 2011

“10 years ago my Father died of complications from Hemochromatosis, which is a hereditary disorder that prevents the body from assimilating Iron into the system. This in turn overloads the body with Iron and attacks the vital organs such as the liver, heart and kidneys.

October 2011

After my Fathers Doctor told me it was Hereditary, I underwent the necessary medical test and was informed that I had Hemochromatosis.

October 2011

So for the rest of my life I’m told it will be necessary do a series of Phlebotomies every 4 to 5 month. Phlebotomies are a blood draw that removes the blood from the body to rid the excess Iron. The series consist of (Blood Letting) once a week for four consecutive weeks, which leaves me sluggish for a day or two each time.

Here is where CrossFit CrownTown and The Paleo Diet come into play.

late February 2012

Vegetables of all kinds and red lean meats are high in Iron foods. Avoiding these or limiting the intake will greatly reduce the amount of Iron stored in my body. As a result, I’d have fewer Phlebotomies, less weakness and better health quality.

late February 2012

With all of this said and mentally accepted, I joined CrossFit CrownTown in October 2011. I had two goals in mind, which were to get fit and as healthy as possible at 56 years old.

late February 2012

After completing the “On-Ramp course”, trainer Wayne Willette spoke with me and shared the concept of the The Paleo Diet. I changed my eating habits to The Paleo Diet and began to consume organic vegetables, grass fed lean meats, organic chicken, turkey, fish, uncured bacon and organic fruits and nuts in moderation.

Jeff about to jump onto a 24″ box

Setting my mind to just accept that I would begin to suffer the consequences of this diet and understand that I would have to undergo the Phlebotomies every 4 months while having to endure the physical side effects, I jumped in feet first.

After 5 months of CrossFit and The Paleo Diet I’m 33 pounds lighter. I recently went in for my lab work. With all of the vegetables, bacon, lean meats I expected my Doctors chin to hit the floor when he read my lab results, because I expected to hear that my Saturation and Ferritin Levels would be off the charts.

To both the Doctors and my surprise, my levels were all within normal range, there was no need to do the Phlebotomy this time. This caused him to ask, “What lifestyle or diet changes had I made that would result in losing 33 pounds and keeping my levels within range?” I told him about CrossFit CrownTown and The Paleo Diet. His response was, “Keep doing what you are doing because it’s working and that he will see me in 4 or 5 months to re-check.

Needless to say about Wayne Willette, the staff at CrossFit CrownTown and the Paleo diet – “I’M SOLD”. My personal goal is to keep working hard to improve my diet, overall health and fitness. I feel better and healthier than I have in years.”

I’d like to add that Jeff is the classic example of someone who is not afraid of a little hard work, as the saying goes. He listens to what the coaching staff tells him, doesn’t doubt our advice and puts in the work. He never complains about anything. He shows up for class like clockwork 3-4 times per week. Jeff is a soldier and embodies all of the qualities for a member that gets results. Keep up the hard work, Jeff. We look forward to continuing to hear about your successes. – WW

Joe Merriam


Yes, that is Joe Merriam, during his bodybuilding days before he found CrossFit.

I joined CrossFit because I had heard a lot about it and was feeling bored with my current gym routine. I started working out when I was 15 years old and have had some sort of workout routine ever since. Before CrossFit CrownTown I felt physically fit, but I wanted to be more flexible and I also wanted to lose that bodybuilder look.

Since joining CrossFit CrownTown not only do I have more flexibility, I feel stronger, leaner and the competitive aspect of CrossFit has really helped me push myself mentally. I’m excited to work out again. CrossFit CrownTown makes me look forward to the challenge of the workout. Working out with Cammi (my wife) and Dylan (my son) is fun because as you all know, when you CrossFit, it seems like all you want to do is talk about your workout, and unless you do it…you don’t get it!

I look forward to getting stronger and faster in the upcoming year. Thank you CrossFit CrownTown and thank you Wayne!

I’d like to add that Joe is an extremely dedicated athlete (47 years young – don’t trip!) Since starting at CrossFit CrownTown I can count on one hand how many times he hasn’t showed up for his workout. And, those times he didn’t show up I knew about it weeks in advance, as it was only due to him being out of town for his son’s motocross racing. You better believe that he asked me to program a travel WOD for him during those times. I appreciate Joe’s positive attitude, his dedication and consistency around the gym. He fits right in the culture here. – WW

Sonia Johnson

Sonia in summer of 2009 before CrossFit

“Prior to joining CrossFit, I was a busy wife, mother of three and working full time. I did not exercise. I discovered CrossFit by accident, my boys were involved in martial art classes which happened to be affiliated with a CrossFit gym. I sat on the sidelines and watched the CrossFitters workout. I did this for a few months, in admiration of the women, thinking to myself how awesome they …such strength, power and endurance. I was terrified to join, it seemed too hard and I didn’t consider myself athletic enough to be able to do it. With some encouragement, a little push and the reality of “The Big 4-0” around the corner I finally decided to get off my butt and join.

When I started I couldn’t even do a sit up without something holding my feet down. Now I am doing sit ups, push-ups, pull ups, weight lifting and it feels amazing! Since joining I’ve lost over 20 pounds, 10 inches and several pant sizes! I was never over weight just sedentary and out of shape…kind’a soft all around. Now I get comments on how much smaller I am, more toned and defined. I feel physically fit, have a ton more energy and way more motivation to get things done. I am stronger and healthier than I’ve ever been. I have more confidence to try new things in all aspects of my life.

Sonia in April of 2011 just over a year of CrossFit

After seeing my results and changes, my husband got back into working out as well. Although he does not CrossFit with me due to his crazy schedule, he started working out on his own and changed his eating habits. Now we are both committed to continuing a healthier lifestyle for ourselves and our family.

I strive to get stronger every day. The workouts are always challenging but with the help of my fellow CrossFitters alongside me and a great Coach I push through them, both physically and mentally. I am working towards increasing my strength, stamina and conquering some of my weaknesses.”

Sonia supporting her entire bodyweight doing some Wall Climbs

We are very proud of Sonia and her accomplishments. There is no secret to her success. She is very dedicated (i.e. she felt bad she missed class because her family took her out to dinner for her 40th birthday). Sonia is consistent with her training, listens to the direction we give her in nutrition and properly recovers her body when it needs rest. If you see Sonia at the gym make sure you give her props. Congratulations, Sonia, you are CrossFit CrownTown’s October 2011 Athlete of the Month! – WW


4 months and 30 lbs lighter! But more importantly, more toned, stronger, healthier, far more confident in my own skin, and loving life! A true CrossFit CrownTown success story!


CrossFit CrownTown and Women’s CrossFit (WCF) Coach Rose, have changed my life!

“What a cliché!” you may say, but nothing could be truer of my experience over the last 17 weeks! I am so grateful to have found the CrossFit CrownTown family and the 3 day a week workout ritual I have become accustomed to……..no wait, let me rephrase that,…………. become ADDICTED to!

I’ll admit, before I began crossfitting, I was aware of the whole crossfit experience, had been for a few years, but always thought of it as a workout regime for the extremely physically fit, those people who spent their lives at the gym, people who slept, ate and breathed exercise. I really never thought of it as an option for me.


To be honest, I’m not sure where I found the courage to overcome the total intimidation the word “CrossFit” always instilled in me, but on January 27th 2013, I walked into my 1st Women’s CrossFit class, weighing a relatively unfit, “clinically overweight”, 186 lbs! I had reached a point where I just could not control my constant weight gain, which seemed to be speeding up! I was totally disgusted with my body and couldn’t walk past my reflection without feeling totally depressed and hopeless. I needed something to change, I was desperate!

How different my crossfit experience was, from what I was expecting! The women I met on walking through that roll-up door, were totally cool! They were down to earth, totally accepting of me, encouraged me, and welcomed me to their WCF family with open arms! Some, I could tell, were definitely very physically fit as I had expected, using Rx weights for mostly every WOD where I could just lift the 15 lbs bar……, and the rest, to my surprise, were all at various different levels and difficulties in their training, each of them able to modify each WOD according to their capability. That idea was totally novel to me and gave me hope that maybe, just maybe, I could do this crazy crossfit thing! Slowly but surely, week after week I got stronger and more confident in the workouts, and now here I am, May 28th 2013, 17 weeks later, on my first “Nutrition Challenge” (albeit a slightly modified one), weighing 30 lbs less, clothes fitting so much better (a bunch even too big), no more muffin top or back fat rolls, I can walk past my reflection without cringing, and just feel like I have my life back!


Don’t get me wrong, I am nowhere near where I would like to be, both strength wise and weight / tone wise, but I am well on my way, and enjoying the heck out of the journey as it unfolds. I find myself looking forward to workout days, excited to see what challenge the next WOD will present, and whether or not I will get to better my times, increase my weights and rounds, actually run that last leg of the mile instead of having to walk part-way up the hill………..ADDICTED I TELL YOU!

One thing I can always be sure of, every day I’m at the gym is………the awesomeness of my fellow WCFers. The amazing women in my class are a constant inspiration, pushing me to always try my hardest and to do my best! Them, along with the unwavering standards and encouragement of Coach Rose, who, though strict about doing each exercise or lift safely and effectively, will not allow slacking off, making sure that when you are there, you are there to work, and work hard!


In her words: “You will thank me for it later, ladies!”

Coach Rose, I am thanking you for it now! I am very happy with my results thus far and have had the best fun getting there. I look forward to the journey ahead!

My Stats

January 27th 2013, 186 lbs

May 28th 2013, 156 lbs and counting (backwards)…….
In 17 weeks, I have lost:

  • 4” off my chest
  • 5 ½ ” off my waist
  • 3 ¾ “ off each upper thigh
  • 2 ½ ” off each middle thigh
  • 1 ¼ “ off each lower thigh
  • 3” off my hips and butt
  • 30 lbs in total weight

I have gained:

  • Strength
  • Tone
  • Confidence
  • Calluses and a few “rips”(I now see mine as badges of accomplishment)
  • Bruises on various parts of my body……..sometimes I don’t even know how!
  • Muscle pain (in areas I never even knew I had muscles)! Mmmm, Hurts so good!
  • Knowledge
  • Skill

Smart Goal: To do pulls ups, unassisted by my 40th birthday, August 26th 2013. (Currently using Red and Pink band together)……….3 months to go!

This is REAL! This is do-able! And results are totally attainable!

Thank you to everyone at CrossFit CrownTown.

You guys are AWESOME!

Written by: Angie Ellis

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you, Mr. Chris Olson. CrossFit CrownTown’s May 2013 Athlete of the Month.

We asked Chris a few questions:

CFCT: Why did you join CrossFit CrownTown?

Chris: I started CrossFit CrownTown because I was tired of feeling weak, out of shape and I just needed a change. I had heard about CrossFit for the past couple of years before I actually started, and with some nudging by a few, I gave it a shot. After my first workout I understood why it had such a great reputation.

CFCT: What was your life like before CrossFit CrownTown? How did you feel emotionally? Physically?

Chris: Before I started CrownTown I didn’t do that much, and had years with nothing. Going to a gym or cycling once in a while was about it. I had torn my ACL and MCL years ago riding dirt bikes. It has since worn through to bone on bone and arthritis has set in. My back is stiff from spinal scoliosis, which is an unnatural curve of the spine. I’ve never had any pain from it, but it definitely feels like it limits my range of motion. Needless to say when I started I was weak, and had some bad mobility issues.

Chris before joining CrossFit CrownTown in July of 2012 weighing 172 pounds at 27% bodyfat.


Chris now weighs in at 136 pounds at a lean 11% bodyfat.


CFCT: What results have you seen since joining CrossFit CrownTown? Has it helped you overcome any mental barriers?

Chris: In my first 6 months I’ve lost 25lbs since I’ve started. I’m stronger, leaner, more flexible and more confident since I’ve joined Crossfit CrownTown. I’m amazed but not surprised with how I’ve been progressing because I’ve been dedicated to working hard, following instruction from the fantastic coaching staff, and eating properly. Due to increased strength in my legs, my knee doesn’t hurt consistently like it used to.


CFCT: How has pushing yourself and challenging yourself in your daily workouts translated to your career? Your family life and relationships?

Chris: I’ve noticed by challenging myself in the daily workouts that I have changes that need to occur in my personal life, because of how much more I can push myself. I recognize that I’m improving and that I’m stronger, mentally and physically, than I used to be. That’s what keeps me coming back. I’m confident that with more hard work, dedication, and persistence I will continue to progress.


To add a few comments of my own, I selected Chris as the Athlete of the Month for several reasons. Chris obviously has had life changing results and that’s enough in itself. However, this guy is always positive, never gives up, roots on everyone else, stays after class to work on weaknesses, stretch, and, sometimes hits another workout with the BaseFit crew. Needless to say, if you’ve worked out in the evening you know who Chris is. He’s that guy who is never in a bad mood, he never makes excuses and he always gives it 100%. He’s got some physical limitations, as he mentioned, but that doesn’t slow him down. Chris is an inspiration to us all and he’s a cherished member of our tight knit CrownTown community. I’d also like to give a shout out to Coach Sarah for working closely with Chris these past 7 months.

Your coach,


Chris doing a workout we put together for him with Deadlifts, Kettlebell Swings, and Sit-ups, some of his favorite movements.

(Kim on the left, Kristina on the right)

Why did you join CrossFit CrownTown?


My husband had been doing CrossFit for a year and a half. I was really interested but afraid; I was completely out of shape, unhappy with my weight, and wanted to be healthier and happier. Seeing the extreme changes in my husband’s life made me see I needed to do the same. We moved to Riverside, which forced my husband to leave his previous CrossFit gym. Needing a new place, he asked for a recommendation from his previous gym who then suggested CrossFit CrownTown. My husband called that week, took me in to check it out, and the following week I began the On Ramp classes.


In January of 2012 I made a New Year’s Resolution to start going back to LA Fitness. I’ve had a membership there for about 18 years and had fallen out of going to the gym. Five months later I still hadn’t stepped a foot in the gym. I would start the day planning to go, but by the time I came home from work, I had talked myself out of going. I knew I wanted to change, but I just couldn’t get myself to the gym. Then I started seeing Facebook posts by one of my former students, Kristina LaRochelle. She was one of my favorite students from my very first year teaching fifth grade. She began posting comments about something called On Ramp. I knew her husband, Matt, had been doing CrossFit and had amazing results. A couple of weeks went by and I was intrigued by her posts and by the fact that the place she was going to was in Corona. Finally I decided to send her about CrossFit. I told her I was out of shape and hadn’t exercised in about a year, but she assured me that she was no athlete and that if she could do it, so could I. She gave me CrownTown’s phone
number and the website and encouraged me to sign up. I wasn’t sure what CrossFit was, but this place was 3 miles from my house and Kristina was there!

(Kristina with her husband, Matt, prior to CrossFit)

What was your life like before CFCT?  How did you feel emotionally? Physically? Mentally?


Prior to joining CFCT, I was physically out of shape.  I was not happy with my weight or the way I looked.  Weight had been something I struggled with pretty much since graduating high school.  I had lost a lot of weight prior to having my son, but then gained most of it back.  After he was born, I honestly did not do anything to watch my diet or exercise until joining CFCT.  I was emotionally and mentally stressed out and tired all of the time. I desperately needed to change some things.

(Kim right at the beginning of CrossFit)


Prior to starting CrossFit, I was overweight, and unhappy with my appearance.  About a year and a half before CrossFit, I stumbled on to the Belly Fat Cure and learned about hidden sugar in foods.  I started cutting out sugar and lost weight.  But eventually, my eating wasn’t as good and my weight started to creep up.  I would watch the Biggest Loser and wish I could make a change like that.  I was basically unmotivated to exercise. Part of that came from the fact that even when I did exercise regularly I didn’t see huge results.  The scale would fluctuate 5-10 pounds and I’d firm up a little but nothing really worth all the work.  So it became easy to do nothing.  The less I did, physically, the more tired I was. I had pretty much given up on the idea that I could get my body back. After all, I was 46!

What results have you seen since starting CrossFit?


The first night of on ramp was the scariest thing I had ever done.  I have never been an athlete, and never have liked to exercise until now.  I could not even run 400 meters without walking and being completely out of breath.  I was so scared and not confident in myself at all.  I felt like the weakest, slowest, out of shape person, and was embarrassed to be there.  I went home crying thinking it was too hard and I couldn’t do it.  I went back, however, and by the third class felt like I could do this the rest of my life.  It was extremely hard mentally and physically.  I immediately started following the diet and lost weight.  I have lost 41 pounds, and 5 dress sizes.  I have muscles for the first time in my life. I know that my husband and I are setting a good example for our son to live a healthy and active life.  I still stress about everything, but I handle it much better now that I am healthier and working out.  I am addicted to CrossFit and can’t stop talking about it everywhere I go.


I am amazed by the changes I have seen in myself, physically, mentally, and emotionally since starting CrossFit and eating Paleo.  I’ve lost 32 pounds of fat and cut my body fat percentage in half!  In August 2012 I was at 36.5% body fat.  In June 2013 my body fat was 18.9%.  I also gained 12 pounds of lean mass and dropped 4 dress sizes.  This past summer I even bought my first bikini in over 20 years!  I have gained so much physical strength!  When I first started I had to do jumping pull-ups.  Now I can do them unassisted.  In the beginning, I had to walk up the hill on our runs.  Now I can run up and down that hill multiple times without stopping.  I can do handstand pushups, climb up and down the ropes, do double unders, and jump on a 30” box.  I continue to lift heavier weights.

How has pushing yourself  and challenging yourself in your daily workouts translated to your career?


Pushing myself has made me stronger mentally and physically.  I am getting better in my workouts all of the time.  I still have a long way to go, but I have come so far.  I am also able to push through circumstances at work that seem impossible because I have more energy and confidence.  I am a much more active mom than I probably ever would have been had I not started CrossFit.  I will work all day, workout at CFCT, then go home and go on bike rides, walks, play baseball, and many other activities with my son, which I may not have done if I was out of shape like I used to be.

(Kim in the present)


CrossFit has helped me become a better teacher. One of the things that fuels me during a workout is the encouraging words from other members and the coaches, especially when I’m really struggling.  It reminded me that my students need this same type of encouragement in the classroom.  Learning new skills in CrossFit has helped me remember what it is like to be a student.  I also have lots of energy now. I’ve taught many students over the last 24 years.  They are all important, but some hold a special place in my heart. When Kristina was in my fifth grade class, she was very shy. She was new to the school and was so very sweet.  I wanted to take care of her! It has been great to get to know Kristina as an adult and to see what a wonderful, competent, caring teacher she has become as well as a loving mother and wife.  I’m thankful to call her my friend.

What is the benefit for the both of you to do CrossFit together? How has it changed your relationship?


She was my all time favorite teacher, and the reason I wanted to grow up to be a teacher. As a child, I felt that I had a special bond with her.  Years later, I was a substitute teacher at my elementary school where she worked.  I remember her walking into the teachers lounge, and me asking her if she remembered me. Of course she did. When I left she wrote me a long card that I still have encouraging me to be a great teacher.  Eight years later, we found each other on Facebook and she messaged me asking what CrossFit was all about.  I told her I was only in the on ramp classes but that it was already changing my life.  She then told me there was one right down the street from her house.  Ironically it was CrossFit CrownTown.  Although we are not able to workout in the same class daily, we do find time when we can.  I now consider her a friend, and am so thankful that I still get to have a relationship with someone I have looked up to since I was 10 years old

(Kristina and Matt in the present)

What are you going to achieve over the next year?


My goal is to get stronger and faster in all my WODS.  I want to be at the point where I am physically able to do some WODS prescribed.  I look forward to sharing my CrossFit story with more people I come in contact with, in the hopes that they can make the change too!


This next year I will celebrate my 48th birthday stronger than ever.  I’m competing in my second “friendly” competition in November.  I will do ring dips without a band and will get a muscle up.  I will do more WODs Rx’d.  I will continue to eat clean.  I hope to be an inspiration to others who are considering making a change in their lives.

Some words from the Owner and Head Coach Wayne Willette:

I met Kristina first, and before I met Kristina, I had already been training her husband, Matt. He came from another CrossFit gym where he had started his journey. Then he moved to the area and the drive to his old gym was becoming a burden, so he asked his gym at the time for a recommendation. Fortunately, CrownTown was referred to Matt and that’s how he started. Matt had been trying to convince Kristina to start CrossFit for awhile. She realized the benefit, since she saw first hand how it changed Matt’s life. She was interested, but based on the schedule we had at the time it wasn’t going to work for both of them. Well, then we added another class and that is exactly when Kristina started. As you read, she has never really been into exercising or eating right. She was completely unconditioned and lacked even the smallest amount of strength and endurance.

The good news is CrossFit, if taught correctly, is modifiable and scalable for all levels of fitness, even somebody new to it like Kristina. Plus, I knew when she came to the gym that she would get the support from the coaching staff and community that she needed to stay motivated. Although, I think a huge factor in the equation is compliments to her husband. She only spent 3-4 hours per week with us at the gym.

Due to Matt’s willingness to help his wife, his dedication to the program, how well he listened to the coaches and how consistently he showed up and worked hard, I was very confident Kristina was going to have a life changing experience, too. Fast forward to today and look how much she has changed. She’s got plenty of strength and endurance. She’s also got some mental toughness and fortitude that gives her a positive attitude to overcome even the hardest of workouts. Thankfully, they have both made their health and fitness a priority in their life.

Their son Kolby who is a future CrownTown CrossFitter will only know how to be healthy and fit. I’m proud of the LaRochelle’s, especially Kristina, for working her butt off (literally and figuratively) over the past year and I look forward to continuing to help her and her family reach all of their goals. Furthermore, this is a special version of our Athlete of the Month. This time it’s Athlete(s) of the Month. By now you’ve recognized how Kristina and Kim tie together.  And, to me, it makes complete sense. Kim was referred to us by Kristina shortly after she had started our program. Kim was a hard one to read, since she was rather quiet. Although, I noticed one thing quickly. She showed up consistently early, worked hard and listened to exactly what the coaches told her. For lack of a better phrase, she was a perfect candidate to have a life changing experience. Before she started she had the motivation, but just didn’t have the right plan. She needed the structure that we offered. We took the guessing and the thinking out of it for her.

She was excited about the opportunity at CrownTown and her positive attitude fueled her to work hard day in and day out. It’s funny, Kim and Kristina have many things in common. The obvious ones are they are both teachers, Kim taught Kristina and inspired Kristina to become a teacher, they both CrossFit, eat Paleo and enjoy everything the do. The similarities that not everybody sees are the reasons they are successful in life. They are positive, like-minded, women with tons of work ethic. They only need to be told one time
what to do. They both never miss a class (I can count on both hands how many classes they have missed between both of them), they work really hard and they push their limits daily. I think since they are teachers themselves it makes them really good listeners and learners. They listen to the coaches very well and because of those main three reasons they are very successful.

I’m proud to have been trusted with such an important part of their life. These are the stories that fuel CrownTown to continue to provide the highest level of quality coaching in the area.  So, I want to end by thanking Kim and Kristina for being model members and following the plan. They are evidence that we can all be successful, if we just do the small things over and over and over again. We are very proud of the both of you. Congrats on being Athlete(s) of the Month.


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