Member Spotlight: Aaron & Lisa


Aaron's Journey

My fitness journey started later in my life than I would like to admit. After college I found myself at 250 lbs and hated it. I ended up joining weight watchers and had great success with it, hitting as low as 163 lbs, but I did not incorporate any kind of physical activity. So, once I stopped watching what I ate I would balloon right back up. This went on for over a decade - gain weight, lose weight, then gain it all back. Craft beer and pizza were my priorities, health often didn’t even factor in.

Fast forward to 2014 - I was 230 lbs (again), most of my clothes were tight and I hated the way I looked. Then, Lisa and I met a 50-year old amateur bodybuilder with a passion for helping others get into shape. We started working out with him at the Hoover Reservoir that spring, and by the fall we had both noticed significant changes. The workouts were grueling - the first one lasting only 20 minutes before we had to stop. That next week I could barely move. But, we were determined to make a change and kept going back. After a few weeks he added in a nutrition challenge. He gave us a new diet to follow for 6 weeks. It was bland and repetitive, but it worked. By that fall I was down 20 lbs!

Over the next three years we continued to workout at Hoover, joined a gym, did two Tough Mudders, ran four 5Ks, a 10K and a half-marathon. While I enjoyed lifting and running things always seemed to go stale after a while. I would feel like my progress was plateauing and I could never quite get down to the weight I wanted to be at.

Lisa had said she wanted to try CrossFit a number of times over the last few years. I wasn’t enthused by the idea. I watched some videos and thought there was no way I was going to do that. Snatches looked impossible, the pace was ridiculous, and I had no idea what was up with those kipping pull-ups.  We watched some of the 2017 CrossFit Games - I had to admit I like watching the athletes compete, but still never thought it was something that I would want to do. Then, Lisa told me she was going to sign up for a 101 class at CrossFit Clintonville. It was March and my weight had actually increased (not it a good way) despite my focus on HIIT training and attempting to lose weight since January. I was also getting tired of doing the same things over and over again. So, I reluctantly told her I would do the 101 class, but wasn’t promising her that I would join the gym after that.

My mind was changed after the first class. I was surprised by how much I actually enjoyed the workout. It was refreshing to be doing something new and different. I also liked the competitive, yet encouraging nature of the WOD’s (I pushed myself to the brink of hyperventilation just to win the first min-WOD). Sam and Ali were the coaches for the 101 series and made me feel like I could do the movements and WOD’s (even if my kipping looked more like full body dry heaves).

Since joining I find it hard to sleep at night if I don’t know what the next day’s WOD is going to be, I get upset if I know that I’m going to miss a day, and I have even declined meetings at work if it would make me late to a class. I continue to see changes and improvements in my body and performance also. Since joining I have lost over 25 lbs and have actually RX’d several workouts. The staff and members at CFC have been great - everyone is welcoming and supportive - even when you are the last one trying to finish a workout! I look forward to the hero WOD’s (Murph!) and have had my enthusiasm for working out renewed again (I have the urge to do some power cleans as I write this). I have gone from not being able to imagine myself doing CrossFit to not wanting to even think about not doing it. I look forward to every workout and can’t wait for the next one…unless it involves wall balls - they are the worst (seriously, stop with the wall balls…please?!).


Lisa's Journey

I’ll just say it. I was getting fat. No excuse really. I kept rolling through my 20’s and 30’s shoveling whatever I wanted into my face hole. In my late 30’s I hated how my body had plumped up into someone I no longer recognized.

Aaron mentioned that fateful day at Hoover in 2014. It was 20 minutes of hell on the stairs—I didn’t know if I’d puke or pass out. I’m pretty sure I remember making Aaron go get the car and pick me up as close as he could to the bottom of the stairs. Our trainer friend met us at Hoover every single Saturday and Sunday at 6am for a year. I loved the grueling work and the fast pace. It was intense and I started craving it. My mentality, physical ability, strength, and overall lifestyle changed drastically that year.

Since then I’ve continued working out six days a week with nutrition being a high priority. I can enjoy the occasional pizza now without falling off the wagon and being run over by it. The types of workouts I do vary based on what I’m training for. I love high intensity workouts and get bored pretty quickly just going to the gym to lift weights. I’m usually the one to find the next thing Aaron and I train for. He loves hearing me say, “Hey, I have a great idea, let’s try…” and then he hesitantly agrees. I’m working us towards a Spartan race and another half marathon some day—he doesn’t know it yet!

So how did we end up at CrossFit Clintonville? My love for weekend workouts on the stairs at Hoover and the need for the same intensity during the week. I was also hoping to find other people with a common interest, a genuine consideration for others, and a positive vibe. All roads kept leading to CrossFit. I resisted the urge for a long time because I didn’t want to succumb to the fad. Earlier this year, I decided to give it a try and see how it would go. My only regret is having not joined sooner.

We checked out the websites of some of the local CrossFit gyms and are so glad we chose Clintonville. The coaches are supportive and each has a unique style that makes it worth showing up. The people in class are welcoming and encouraging.

I’m five months in and already trying to find some sort of newbie competition. I love it. I admit to frequently being the last person to finish a WOD and my brain can’t comprehend snatches and jerks, for some reason. And don’t get me started on the math! Nonetheless, every day I look forward to the sweat, hard work, and the fist bumps at the end when bodies are spread out all over the floor. Those are the best days.