CFSC Member Stories


Inspiring Members of the Month- April 2017

Mike & Xinia

Name: Mike Bolt
How long you have been a member at CFSC:
About 7 months.

How you got started at CFSC: I was not happy at the Box I was going to.  I was driving down the road and saw the CFSC sign.  I joined the next week.  One of the best decisions I’ve made.

Favorite CrossFit movement: Rowing

Least favorite CrossFit movement:
Buck Furpees!!!

Favorite healthy food/meal: Project Lean Nation.

Favorite part about CFSC: They accept me for who I am.  I walk in beat down from a hard day, and walk out strengthened physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Something we don’t know about you: I am a recovering drug addict and alcoholic.  3 years ago when I got sober, I was lying in bed shaking and sweating with DT’s.  Jesus spoke to me and said life is not about you Mike.  You must serve and love others like I did.  From that moment on, I made it my life’s mission to make people smile, encourage them, and help them to make a positive change in their lives.  That is why I love CrossFit so much.

Words of wisdom for people who are new to CrossFit or interested in trying it: CrossFit is for everyone, but not every CrossFit Box is for everyone.  That is why I love CFSC.  No matter what level you are at, you fit in.

Name: Xinia Rubio
Age: 27
How long you have been a member at CFSC: 3+ years.  I believe.

How you got started at CFSC: Groupon! Funny story. It was originally for a different CrossFit but somehow ended up at Steele Creek. Met Brian and I saw it in his eyes that he wanted me stay, so I did 🙂

Favorite CrossFit movement: Anything with a barbell.. DUH!

Least favorite CrossFit movement: Definitely deadlifts and wallballs.. and anything that jacks my heart rate up!

Favorite healthy food/meal: Whatever Ann Maree makes me!

Favorite part about CFSC: Few things here:
-Seeing Ann Maree’s face light up when I actually wake up in time to workout with her.
-Deuce sayin.. “proud of ya” when I do something cool!
-Burt yelling.. “X BAG” right when I walk through the garage doors.
-Beating Chubby (Keith) in workouts.
-Calling Brian “BRI BRI” at any given time!

Ok ok.. Of course being surrounded by so many positive, motivated, encouraging, chiseled, beautiful human beings. Y’all da bomb!
Something we don’t know about you: I really am a princess.

Words of wisdom for people who are new to CrossFit or interested in trying it: JUST DO IT and when you do DON’T BE STUPID! Seriously though… put work in, trust your coach, trust yourself, and don’t rush the process. Make sure to have fun and laugh along the way too! 😉


Inspiring Members of the Month- March 2017

Mark & Melyssa

Name:  Mark Dillenbeck
How long you have been a member at CFSC: 
4 years

How you got started at CFSC:  I was getting pretty bored with the typical “gym” routine and wanted to try something different.  After learning that CrossFit is high-intensity and competitive, I googled “Charlotte CrossFit” and CFSC was the first one to show up.

Favorite CrossFit movement:  Snatch/handstand walks/handstand pushups/duck duck goose.

Least favorite CrossFit movement: 
Burpees/double unders/running.

Favorite healthy food/meal:  Eggs, spinach, and avocados.

Favorite part about CFSC:  The tight-knit community, and a coaching staff that knows what they’re doing.

Something we don’t know about you:  I’ve been to 31 of our 50 states, and I’ve jumped out of an airplane.

Words of wisdom for people who are new to CrossFit or interested in trying it:  Listen to the coaches and trust the process.  Also, if you don’t return the weights/equipment back to where you found them, you will be called many unpleasant names.


Name:  Melyssa Fleming aka “Sunny”
How long you have been a member at CFSC:
Over 5 years… that’s what Brian told me

How you got started at CFSC:  I was getting a pedicure and Lisa Strump brought in brochures to the nail place. I picked it up and immediately went and checked out the gym.  I started there that Monday.

Favorite CrossFit movement: overhead squats

Least favorite CrossFit movement:

Favorite healthy food/meal:

Favorite part about CFSC: It’s a place where I can just be me: get a good workout, have fun and laugh.  But then there are times where I have just broken down and cried, and there’s always a member or coach that is willing to listen and give advice and more so, I get great HUGS here!!!  The best is when I make “the hot new guy” give me hugs!  I also love that everyone is always so willing to help me with my CrossFit MATH!

Something we don’t know about you: I have lived with 5 different foster families in my life. When I was a junior in high school, I found a family who actually wanted and loved me, but I was too old to be adopted so I asked them if I could change my last name to theirs and could they be my parents and they said “yes”. I’m the oldest of 12: my parents have 3 biological kids and adopted 9.
I learned to survive and never give up on life!!

Words of wisdom for people who are new to CrossFit or interested in trying it: 
Be yourself, believe in yourself and mostly love yourself!!! If you believe and do these things you will be able to do anything!!!!


Inspiring Members of the Month- February 2017

Billy & Jess


Name: Billy Wolf
Age: 34
How long you have been a member at CFSC: Whole half of a decade.

How you got started at CFSC: I was watching ESPN and the CrossFit games came on. I thought to myself, those guys are ripped what in the world are they doing. That’s when I googled CrossFit and found a gym half a mile from my work (CFSC).

Favorite CrossFit movement: ring muscle ups/ ghds

Least favorite CrossFit movement: DEADLIFTS

Favorite healthy food/meal: Everything! But if I had to choose one I would go with watermelon.

Favorite part about CFSC: I have been going to the 11oclock class for almost 5 years. So when I go to the gym, it’s like a fun family reunion every day.

Something we don’t know about you: I used to play ping-pong every day for 1-2 hours for two years straight.

Words of wisdom for people who are new to CrossFit or interested in trying it: LISTEN TO YOUR COACH! They are there to help you not to hurt you.

Name: Jess Randall
Age: 32
How long you have been a member at CFSC: 20 months

How you got started at CFSC: Passed by the street sign for almost 2 years and decided to email and ask about it. Was tired of paying for YMCA or Planet Fitness and not actually going. I had no idea what Crossfit was, Olympic lifting, or anything.
Favorite CrossFit movement: Deadlift, Pistols, Toes 2 Bar, Back Squat, Air Squats, GHD, lol….the list goes on.

Least favorite CrossFit movement: Overhead Squat/S2OH

Favorite healthy food/meal: Paleo Mug cake or Protein Pancakes, Chicken, Sweet Potato anything.

Favorite part about CFSC: The variety it offers, the support we get, the friends we make. Every day I have the opportunity to try new things, try a heavier weight or more reps; to just do better than the day/week/month prior. It’s something that I have managed to stay committed to and hope to keep it as a part of my life.
Something we don’t know about you: I still eat standing up a lot, from when I was in the military. I was in regular active duty Army in 2002, had honorable medical discharge after suffering 3 pelvic fractures. I also have major untreated ADD lol…JK most of you already know that!

Words of wisdom for people who are new to CrossFit or interested in trying it: Don’t make excuses. Don’t compare yourself to others, understand that it will take TIME. Be patient, appreciate your progress, give high fives to everyone, and keep working hard. We all have to start somewhere. Onramp class was definitely night and day to where I am at now. I embrace the progress and truly take every day as a challenge to get better. You will get as much out of it as you choose to put into it. Be careful though, it’s addicting.


Inspiring Members of the Month- January 2017

Nate & Kate


Name:  Kate Siegel

Age: 29

How long you have been a member at CFSC: 4 years

How you got started at CFSC: I just moved to the area from Boulder, CO and I was looking for a place that would keep me motivated every day. I knew about CrossFit from friends at Georgia Tech so I thought I’d try it out.

Favorite CrossFit movement: Deadlifts! And anything from the “hang” position, especially hang snatches.

Least favorite CrossFit movement: Anything narrow grip overhead (especially jerks, and wall balls!!)

Favorite healthy food/meal: Spaghetti squash with sautéed shrimp and pesto sauce. Yummmm!

Favorite part about CFSC: The people. When I moved to Charlotte I was having a really tough emotional time. Even without trying, the amazing and supportive people at CFSC are what got me through it.

… Oh, and I met my husband, Jordan, here. So, I have that going for me…
Something we don’t know about you: I still sleep with a creepy looking knit stuffed doll that I got from my preschool when I refused to leave without it on “graduation” day. Her name is “Softy”.

Words of wisdom for people who are new to CrossFit or interested in trying it: Be self-absorbed. (I know, sounds wrong, right?) But, in this case, I mean don’t worry about what anyone else around you is doing. Just show up and do the best that you can each day. Some days you’ll feel like you’re going backwards, but those are often the days right before a major breakthrough. As long as you keep showing up (note: that part is key) and doing your best for you, you’ll be stronger/faster/more fluid in your movements than you were yesterday. And that’s really all that matters.
Name: Nate Shellenberger
Age: 38
How long you have been a member at CFSC: 3 years

How you got started at CFSC: My wife talked me into it when we were in Charleston for our 10 year anniversary.

Favorite CrossFit movement: Deadlift & Power Cleans

Least favorite CrossFit movement: Ring Muscle Ups

Favorite healthy food/meal: Steak and broccoli

Favorite part about CFSC: The best parts about CFSC are the members and staff. I have met a lot of great people, and started some really good friendships.

Something we don’t know about you: I served in the Marine Corp from 1998 – 2002.: I would say that you need to listen to the coaches and your body. The coaches will work to teach you the proper techniques, and all you need to do is be willing to listen. It is much easier to go slow at first and develop proper form because it is very hard to break bad habits once they start. Also you need to listen to your body. It is great to push yourself hard during the workout, but you need to make sure you are giving your body the proper rest.

Inspiring Members of the Month- December 2016

Jayne & Jason


Name: Jayne Alston
Age: 50
How long you have been a member at CFSC: A little over 4 years

How you got started at CFSC: My husband, Patrick, was doing CrossFit at a different gym and encouraged me to give it a try.  I’m glad I did.

Favorite CrossFit movement: Deadlifts (abmats are pretty great, too)

Least favorite CrossFit movement: I really dislike the snatch. There’s too much thinking involved on that one.  But, rowing does hold a special place of suck in my heart.

Favorite healthy food/meal: Baked spaghetti squash with ground turkey meat sauce.

Favorite part about CFSC: Other than the obvious answer about liking the community (which I do), I like the varied workouts that the coaches program.  There is always something challenging to look forward to (or dread, depending on the day).

Something we don’t know about you: Don’t laugh – I had a very brief stint as a foot model.  You might have seen my feet (and maybe a little calf, too) in a Belk ad for LA Gear back in the early 90’s.

Words of wisdom for people who are new to CrossFit or interested in trying it: This is such a great place!  The coaching staff is very knowledgeable and they’ll work with you as an individual to make sure you work at a level that’s right for you.  The workouts can be challenging at times, but, that sense of accomplishment after completing it is such a great feeling.   Give it a try and then stick with it; you won’t regret it.
Name: Jason Hoover
How long you have been a member at CFSC:
3 years

How you got started at CFSC: My lovely girlfriend Sarah.  She had to literally drag me off the couch to get me to work out.

Favorite CrossFit movement: Clean & Jerk

Least favorite CrossFit movement:
Overhead Squat

Favorite healthy food/meal: Anything protein related, sweet potatoes

Favorite part about CFSC: The people!  This place is more than a gym, both the coaches and members become family.  That’s hard to find anywhere else!

Something we don’t know about you: Besides working out, I love to spend my free time building jeeps, there is something about it that helps me disconnect from the “real world”.  I blame my dad for getting me into cars before I learned to walk.

Words of wisdom for people who are new to CrossFit or interested in trying it: Just give it a shot!  CrossFit has a unique way of making everyone feel awkward, uncomfortable, and downright silly at times but it’s these things that make you grow as a person and as a community.  I know I feel this way every time I attempt a handstand.  Give it a month and see how addicting the atmosphere really is!


Inspiring Members of the Month- November 2016

Christy & Josh


Name: Christy Rossi
Age: 32
How long you have been a member at CFSC: 2 years

How you got started at CFSC: A few months after my family moved to Charlotte from Seattle I was bored with running and was struggling to find friends.  One day I saw a fit girl on the side of the road in my neighborhood so I stopped it talk to her.  It was Ann Maree!  She told me about CFSC and the rest is history.

Favorite CrossFit movement: Running & handstands

Least favorite CrossFit movement: wallballs, burpees and DUs

Favorite healthy food/meal: sweet potatoes roasted with pumpkin pie spice and steak

Favorite part about CFSC: The community. There’s a social group for everyone here and better than that, there’s a support group for everyone.  My best friends, business partners and supporters all started from CFSC.  Icing on the cake is that my kids have some pretty kick ass role models in the other members.

Something we don’t know about you: I’m a member of the Half-Fanatics Club (no, I didn’t make that up) and I ran 12 half marathons the year before I joined CrossFit.

Words of wisdom for people who are new to CrossFit or interested in trying it: Give it 21 days. In shape or not, the first month is going to hurt and you’ll probably want to give up.  Go 21 times before you throw in the towel.  I’m happy I did J Oh, and when you need new shirts for your banging body check out

Name: Josh Hardin
Age: 21
How long you have been a member at CFSC: 3 years

How you got started at CFSC: My friend Goku

Favorite CrossFit movement: muscle up
Least favorite CrossFit movement: thrusters

Favorite healthy food/meal: pizza… I’m allergic to vegetables, especially anything green

Favorite part about CFSC: the people

Something we don’t know about you: I’m a firefighter

Words of wisdom for people who are new to CrossFit or interested in trying it: Just start!


Inspiring Members of the Month- October 2016

Peter & AnnMaree


Name: Peter Sullivan
Age: 25
How long you have been a member at CFSC: 1.5 years

How you got started at CFSC: Planet fitness wouldn’t let me take my shirt off.

Favorite CrossFit movement: Tire flips, dumbbell curls and Thursday workouts
Least favorite CrossFit movement: Hollow body rock/holds/rolls… make me feel like a fish out of water

Favorite healthy food/meal:  Post workout smoothies!  1 cup milk, ½ cup greek yogurt, vanilla whey, 3 frozen strawberries half a frozen banana…  it’s a staple.  Nom nom.

Favorite part about CFSC: I love the energy I have from training first thing in the morning. I find I have much better days at work on days I workout.  Better focus, sharper, much high energy level, etc.  Great training partners and an enthusiastic coaching staff make getting out of bed for daily body torture much easier! Thanks!
Something we don’t know about you:  Andrea and I ran track together in middle school.  She used to kick my ass at the 200m.  Three knee surgeries for her and 13 years later… I finally have my revenge!
Words of wisdom for people who are new to CrossFit or interested in trying it:  Compete with yourself and push YOUR boundaries everyday/every workout. You will be amazed at what you are able to achieve in a few weeks.  Don’t ever let the workouts become easy; you will learn to enjoy the suck.


Name: AnnMaree Feuss
Age: 40
How long you have been a member at CFSC: 3+ years

How you got started at CFSC: I got a punch card to do the crazy long endurance WODs with Jenny Wilken on Sundays. Then I eventually just joined.

Favorite CrossFit movement: Rowing, Thrusters, Burpees, Cleans, Rope climbs, GHD situps and FOAM ROLLING.
Least favorite CrossFit movement: Dips

Favorite healthy food/meal: Lamb, Steak, Vegetables

Favorite part about CFSC: The people and the hugs that come with them.

Something we don’t know about you: I had a car accident when I was young that broke C1 & C2 in my neck and caused a major facial laceration. I learned to walk again, then had 2+ years of facial reconstruction surgeries.

Words of wisdom for people who are new to CrossFit or interested in trying it: Everything can be scaled or modified, so don’t fall into the trap of not coming because you’re worried about the WOD or one of the movements. I promise good things will happen when you show up!


Inspiring Members of the Month- September 2016

Chris & Meri

CFSC Member of Inspiration PHOTO

Name: Meri Faulkner
Age: 35
How long you have been a member at CFSC: 2.5 years
How you got started at CFSC: Peer pressure. My husband, Lloyd, and my brother-in-law, Frank, were already members and 2/3 kids were in CrossFit Kids with Kyra. Plus I was a patient of Brian’s for my knees from running. I had just finished my first marathon (Madi was 9 mos old) and needed to do something different.

Favorite CrossFit movement: Deadlifts and cleans

Least favorite CrossFit movement: Always thrusters. And wallballs. And stupid double-unders.

Favorite healthy food/meal: Cake? Cliché – but salads. I love to throw leftovers in them and try new flavors. I’m on a Brussel sprout and kale kick now.

Favorite part about CFSC: I love that it’s all planned out. I can just show up, do the work, and go home accomplished. I love that we have coaches who want to coach.  And who can forget the people – 9AM SHOUT OUT WHOOHOO! Met Christy, my bestie and biz partner of Snatch & Run, at CFSC too, all by chance.

Something we don’t know about you: I’m not married to Frank? No idea… After high school, I didn’t exercise regularly until January 2, 2011. I wanted to run a 5k for my 30thbirthday because I was tired of the stairs making me tired.  Made my goal that March and started running long distance and lifting at a local gym. I had terrible sciatica with Madi’s pregnancy, so I couldn’t do anything strenuous (even walking was hard). I vowed to run a marathon shortly after her birth… so I ran two! And two ultra distances (30+ miles). My knees are awful, but the hell if I’m going to huff and puff up the stairs again.
Words of wisdom for people who are new to CrossFit or interested in trying it: Don’t have kids. Seriously though, don’t let your kids be your excuse. Make your kids the reason.


Name: Christopher Ladika
Age: 34
How long you have been a member at CFSC: 7 Months

How you got started at CFSC: I was getting bored with going to the gym and running, so I knew I needed to switch something up. I stumbled across Crossfit when I saw the sign out front and did some research on what Crossfit is. After months of debate, thinking I could never do this… I decided to give it a try… and I have been going strong ever since.

Favorite CrossFit movement: Wall Balls & anything with a barbell.
Least favorite CrossFit movement: Burpees…duh! But I hate double unders…it’s a simple movement but it’s the devil.

Favorite healthy food/meal: Peanut butter on banana slices with a little honey drizzle

Favorite part about CFSC: I know this has been said a million times and the statement stands true to me too – the coaches & members. Without the amazing coaches and the people, this place wouldn’t be as awesome as it is. Everyone is so encouraging and supportive that it is more than just a gym.
Something we don’t know about you: If I didn’t go into the field of Art & Design…I was going to go into culinary. I love to cook!

Words of wisdom for people who are new to CrossFit or interested in trying it: Come to class and do the work, you will quickly realize you can do this and it pays off mentally and physically. You may say to yourself…you’re going to die or I cannot do this, but that fact of the matter is you can do it and you won’t die! Crossfit is nothing without the coaches and the members that give constant support, but the real challenge, that you quickly come to realize, is what makes you walk through those garage doors everyday: you, your determination, your will power, your spirit! You will impress yourself if you put in the time and come to class.


Inspiring Members of the Month- August 2016

Matt & Smitha


Name: Smitha Kurup
Age: 38
How long you have been a member at CFSC: 2 years

How you got started at CFSC: Anand, my husband, had been a member of CrossFit Steele Creek for almost a year when he talked me into joining. I was having issues with my knee at that time and wasn’t sure if I was able to do all the movements. Surgery was the way to go according to doctors. After much deliberation I decided to give CrossFit a try and I have been hooked ever since. My knee feels great and I can stay in squats longer than ever!

Favorite CrossFit movement: Back Squats, Sit Ups

Least favorite CrossFit movement: Snatch – Thanks Kyra and Deuce for trying!

Favorite healthy food/meal: Lamb/Goat – Any style.

Favorite part about CFSC: This can’t be said enough – The coaches and members of CFSC being very supportive, inspiring, and friendly make it such a welcoming place. The variety in WODs make it challenging and interesting to workout every day of the week. I also like the additional programs and recovery classes they have. Kyra’s Yoga sessions are my favorite!

Something we don’t know about you: I can eat a lot of chocolates!! A LOT!!!

Words of wisdom for people who are new to CrossFit or interested in trying it:  Like the wall of CFSC says: “If you let it, this place will change you!” You will never know your limits unless you push yourself to them. Very true in my case!

Name: Matthew Burkhard
Age: 31
How long you have been a member at CFSC: Almost 4 & ½ years

How you got started at CFSC: Used to swim for exercise and was ready for something new; stumbled across CFSC with a friend and have been doing it ever since

Favorite CrossFit movement: Snatching and anything overhead (Overhead Squats, Jerks, Handstand Pushups)
Least favorite CrossFit movement: Deadlifts are up there, but who seriously likes burpees?

Favorite healthy food/meal: Avocado, Peanut Butter, and local Honey

Favorite part about CFSC: Great coaches and people; everyone cheers each other on

Something we don’t know about you: I spent many years in Japan and, while not as much anymore, I used to be pretty fluent in reading, writing, and speaking the language.

Words of wisdom for people who are new to CrossFit or interested in trying it:  Interested?  Try it.  You’ll know pretty quickly if it’s for you or not.  New?  Technique over weight – get good form them work on adding lbs to it.  Also, while we have great coaches, you’re the only one who’s in charge of getting better at any movement.  Once you have something you want to get better at – get obsessed with it.  Watch YouTube videos, read articles online, do research on ways to get better, and constantly attack it.  That’s the fastest way to get better!


Inspiring Members of the Month- July 2016

Ryan & Tracey


Name: Tracey Stafford
Age: 43 and feeling good
How long you have been a member at CFSC: 3 years

How you got started at CFSC: I was about to turn the big 4 0 and I saw Rachelle, my old ROTC buddy (she goes to another CF gym) post something on facebook about CFSC and I thought I come in and try it since it was really close to the house and the workouts were short.

Favorite CrossFit movement: PUSH PRESS, I just love them, the Push and the Press!!!!

Least favorite CrossFit movement: OMG Wallballs, Once you get punched in the face by the ball, the relationships suffers. I hate, hate, hate those, who made those up?

Favorite healthy food/meal: Almond butter, avocado and plantain chips

Favorite part about CFSC: The free parking, great DJs and free photo sessions posted on Facebook

Something we don’t know about you: I had brain surgery in high school and I had to get 48 staples in my head with one side of my hair shaved off. After all of that, I broke the school record for women’s 200 meter sprint later that year.

Words of wisdom for people who are new to CrossFit or interested in trying it: Find a buddy/mentor that will support you, encourage and look for you when you miss Crossfit. I call Kelly VanSickle my CF buddy/mentor; she has taught me a lot about CF and she told be a long time ago that I was strong and CF will change your body to the way it was intended to be. Thanks Kelly!!!

Name: Ryan Boehm
Age: 29
How long you have been a member at CFSC: 9 months

How you got started at CFSC: I started CrossFit in January of 2014 after my parents got me a trial membership for Christmas. By the time my lovely and tolerant fiancé Erica and I moved to Charlotte I was hooked on CrossFit and had already program-stalked CFSC for a while and was excited to join.

Favorite CrossFit movements: All barbell movements (preferably heavy), handstand walks, and occasionally toes to bar.

Least favorite CrossFit movements: Pistols (they make me sad because I fall a lot), Bar Muscle Ups (something I can sometimes do), Ring Muscle Ups (because I’ve only done one to date), and Box Jumps (because Danny is better at them then me).

Favorite healthy food/meal: Meat in all of its many delicious forms and tequila

Favorite part about CFSC: How welcoming everyone is and the overwhelmingly amount of handsomeness when Chuy and Deuce coach a class together

Something we don’t know about you: I decided to propose after doing a squat clean and over the bar burpee AMRAP

Words of wisdom for people who are new to CrossFit or interested in trying it: Don’t be afraid to get in over your head; this is an effort-based thing. No one has ever judged anyone in this environment for trying and struggling. You have permission to be strong and you shouldn’t allow anyone, especially yourself, to take that away from you.

Most importantly, the scores and times of your workouts don’t matter- nobody remembers them and they don’t count. (Unless it’s something you are good at then it totally counts and it’s super important)


Inspiring Members of the Month- June 2016

The Beatty’s (Charles & Angela)

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Name: Charles Beatty
How long you have been a member at CFSC:
3 ½ years

How you got started at CFSC: A dare from two co-workers

Favorite CrossFit movement: Overhead squats

Least favorite CrossFit movement:  

Favorite healthy food/meal:  Chicken – any way.

Favorite part about CFSC:  Camaraderie of the people; great coaches; working out with my wife.

Something we don’t know about you:  I was skinny as a young child.

Words of wisdom for people who are new to CrossFit or interested in trying it: 
Remember that you are paying for this shit; you don’t have to do everything the coaches say.


Name: Angela Beatty
How long you have been a member at CFSC:
2 ½ years

How you got started at CFSC: Charles kept asking me to come try it – he’s persistent!

Favorite CrossFit movement: Box jumps

Least favorite CrossFit movement:
Wall Balls

Favorite healthy food/meal: Anything w/sweet potatoes

Favorite part about CFSC: Very Friendly People / Great coaches /New Muscle Tone I’ve never had!

Something we don’t know about you: My boyfriend of 30 years is still my favorite play-friend.  We’ve had four babies (3 boys 1 girl).

Words of wisdom for people who are new to CrossFit or interested in trying it:
Keep coming! The first year was intimidating; it felt too difficult for me. I did not preview the WOD for one year because I was afraid I would chicken out.


Inspiring Members of the Month- May 2016

Danny & Hanna


Name: Ryan…. I mean, Danny Meyers

Age: Actual age: 31, Age I’m perceived as: 14
How long you have been a member at CFSC: Dag-um 3 years or what not.

How you got started at CFSC: One day I was at work weighing in at a solid 311 pounds and I looked in the mirror and was like, “Bro, you look like garbage sauce.” And then my image in the mirror was all, “Brah, lets like do some workouts and such.” “But where, and how?” I replied. “Cha, like, we could totes do some crossfit and what not at the police academy.”
So then I did that for about 3 or 4 months making positive improvements until I plateaued forcing me to look into a reflective puddle which told me, “Hey folk, you are liking this whole Crossfit thing, maybe you should join a gym, I mean box, since you really don’t know what the heck you’re doing.” So then I got on a googler machine and found the closest gym, I mean box, to me and went to a work out thinking, “working out at 6 a.m. is a completely normal thing to do and the people will surely be nice, to which my reflection replied, “I bet they are nice, and don’t ever call me Shirley.” The end.
Favorite CrossFit movement: So I like rest days and breakfast on Saturdays. If I have to do work I guess I like any kettlebell work, Oly lifts like deadlifting, and any movement where I have to ask Deuce if it’s a full squat or not. Rowing is ok too. I also really like curls, lat pull downs, and anything where I can quarter squat on a Smith machine. Preach.

Least favorite CrossFit movement: Devil climbs AKA wall walks. Seriously whoever came up with that God forsaken bull crap movement can eat a bag. And whoever programs it into the workout is equally as irritating. I also hate running. God made me to block 10 yards down field not run fly routes. I like everything else though, except pistols (how do we make squats harder???? Do them on 1 leg; F’n Dave Castro).

Favorite healthy food/meal: I can eat 50 eggs.

Favorite part about CFSC: So if you think that I am going to write some heart felt thing about liking the members, coaches and community you’re wrong. Truth of the matter is, I don’t like any of you. Burt is scary, Kyra is a communist, Brian refuses to get a basketball hoop, Dawn kicks me out of the gym constantly, Tim cusses me out, and Deuce and Chuy are too good looking. The only reason I’m here is for GAINZ, murdering weights, and protein……

Something we don’t know about you: I’m pretty much an open book. I have no shame. I was a cheerleader in high school, I was in several musicals, I was once in an infomercial, I coached high school football, I have a very hairy back and chest, I fell off a horse when I was a small child and fractured my skull and had to be carried by inmates who were nearby picking up trash to where the helicopter landed to fly me to the hospital, and my real name is Fat Patricia. Other than that I’m pretty boring. What I want people to know is that if I talk too much or I become a bit “extra” just think that I only say half the things that I am thinking. Imagine how hard it would be to hear twice as much as I say and you can imagine how hard it is to be me. Also for the love of God people, load the weights from the bottom of the weight tree and take off from the top! Also, tens go on the ten stack, and fifteens go on the fifteen stack. Science.

Words of wisdom for people who are new to CrossFit or interested in trying it: Have fun, engage with the people in your class and cheer them on. Always remember that regardless of someone’s skill level in your class, the workout is going to suck just as much. A smart man told me once that they don’t pay us to be here, we pay them so get whatever you want out of the work out. If there is a wod programed where you can only do 50% of the prescribed weight, lift the crap out of that 50% so next time you can do 60%. The amount of gain and improvement you make during a workout or programing cycle is not reflective on the amount of weight you may or may not be able to lift or the speed that you can run because I guarantee that if you give 100% effort from the time the clock says go until the workout is over you will be successful. I’ll take someone who finishes a run in 30 mins and collapses though door over someone who finishes in 20 who can have a conversation as they come in any day. Basically what I’m saying is, “You do you boo boo.” ~FBMM~

Name: Hanna Smith

Age: 28

How long you have been a member at CFSC: Almost 1.5 years.

How you got started at CFSC: Prior to CF, I did high intensity interval training and spin classes at the YMCA, but never really saw results and quickly became bored. My fiancé, Matt Burkhard, is a member of CFSC and talked me into giving CF a shot. Even though I was in graduate school and had very little free time, I decided to start CF over my Christmas break 2015. After a couple of weeks I felt a difference in my energy level and overall mood. After that I was hooked!

Favorite CrossFit movement: Anything with a barbell, but if I had to choose one it would be the snatch.

Least favorite CrossFit movement: Wallballs

Favorite healthy food/meal: Ahi Tuna, brussel sprouts

Favorite part about CFSC: There are many things about CFSC that make it a perfect fit for me. First and foremost, the programming is already done; all I have to do is show up and put in the work. How much easier can it get? Second, there are endless amount of CF movements and WOD formats, so I never get bored. Last, but not least: THE PEOPLE. The members and coaches make our box special. Matt and I have been to other affiliates while traveling and it makes us appreciate CFSC much more!

Something we don’t know about you: My first car was a 5-speed Jeep Wrangler. My dad taught me how to drive it when I was 14 years old. Every car I’ve owned since then has had a manual transmission.

Words of wisdom for people who are new to CrossFit or interested in trying it: CF athletes are not just the people you see on ESPN so please don’t be intimidated. If you look around our box you will see people of all different ages, fitness levels, motivation levels, and abilities. Athletes lift one another up and the only competition we have is with ourselves.

Do not let your fear of failure keep you from trying CF. Everyone has been a new member at some point. I love seeing new members join CFSC and watching them improve.

Stick with it. Some days you PR and some days you barely make it through the WOD. Just embrace it! I made a lot gains over my first six months of CF, then my progress plateaued. This was extremely frustrating for me. Keep the bigger picture in mind! Although I may never be on the podium at Carson, or qualify for regionals, or even win SuperFit…. I am so much happier, stronger, and healthier than I was a year and a half ago!


Inspiring Members of the Month-April 2016

Larry & Andrea

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Name: Andrea Hilderbrand
Age: 44
How long you have been a member at CFSC: Almost 4 years


How you got started at CFSC: I’ve always loved trying new sports / fitness routines and when I heard the term crossfit it definitely sparked my interest.  I took a couple of classes at the old CFCharlotte gym back in 2007 but being a diehard endurance athlete at the time the short workouts didn’t really click for me.  It wasn’t until the summer of 2012 when I was looking to add some variety to my running and biking that I revisited it and was instantly hooked.
Favorite CrossFit movement: Cleans…anyway I can get them!
Least favorite CrossFit movement: Snatch…def, def, definitely my snatch.

Favorite healthy food/meal:  This is a tough one for me. I’ve always been a foodie with a huge appetite and will eat just about anything…even some creepy crawlies on a visit to China once. J  However, I love, love, love burgers so I would say maybe a healthy / gourmet version of one.

Favorite part about CFSC:  The people, the variety and the frustration that I can’t be the best at everything out of the box…it keeps me motivated and gives me the ability to have constant goals and little successes every day…Type A much?
Something we don’t know about you:  Why I’m really called Iron woman or Iron Maiden…

In 2003 I was diagnosed with Hereditary Hemochromatosis or iron overload disease.  It may not seem like a big deal but it definitely turned my world upside down.  At the time I had just turned pro in mountain biking and felt like I was in the best shape of my life.  However, some vague symptoms and a simple blood test proved otherwise.

My GI doctor informed me that had my general physician not caught it and at the rate the iron was absorbing in my system I wouldn’t have lived much longer than 5 or 6 more years.  At the time many people were misdiagnosed and it would progress until the patient developed other terminal conditions…hence it’s nickname ‘the silent killer’.

The only way to get the iron out of my system was through phlebotomies so for the next year I had a pint of blood drawn every week…yes every week.  Needless to say my racing career was over.  After this first year was up and my stores were down I went on a maintenance program that I still do today and will have to do the rest of my life.

As an athlete especially with endurance this was really hard for me to come to terms with.  It’s a huge rollercoaster ride constantly because giving blood makes you tired and robs you of the oxygen you need to perform but the iron stores make you even more tired along with other symptoms that make it hard to perform.

It took me about 3 years to get through the initial shock, treatment and depression to get back to a place where I thought I could workout consistently and then another 4 years before I attempted racing again and I haven’t looked back.  I may not be able to do things as well as I once did, but I can still do them and that’s all the matters.  If you’ve ever wondered what the tattoo on my wrist means it’s a tribute to this journey, how far I have come from that ‘dark’ time in my life and that it’s all worth the struggle.
Words of wisdom for people who are new to CrossFit or interested in trying it:
JUST DO IT!  Don’t be scared to try new things.  Change and placing yourself in uncomfortable positions may be scary at first but it’s the only way we grow and realize our true potential.  Just remember that there is no harm in trying to better oneself and that you will always have support along the way.

Name: Larry Kuhn
Age: 47
How long you have been a member at CFSC: 4 Years

How you got started at CFSC: Was bored with traditional gym and looking for a challenge to improve my health. I definitely found it and haven’t looked back!

Favorite CrossFit movement: Kettlebell work & Shoulder to Overhead

Least favorite CrossFit movement: Double Unders!
Favorite healthy food/meal: Grilled Chicken & Veggies, Sushi

Favorite part about CFSC: The great coaches and people that are part of CFSC. I’ve been to other Crossfit boxes when traveling and can say we have something special.  Great environment, supportive/positive athletes and the best coaches anywhere!

Something we don’t know about you: Prior to starting CrossFit, I took blood pressure meds for 7 years, had high cholesterol, and needed to lose a few pounds. I now don’t take ANY meds, cholesterol is well below 200 and I feel better than I did 20 years ago.

Words of wisdom for people who are new to CrossFit or interested in trying it: Come in with an open mind and listen to the coaches! Your level of fitness doesn’t matter if you check your ego at the door and put in the work. You will be amazed what you can accomplish.


Inspiring Members of the Month-March 2016

Jordan & Linda

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Name: Linda George
Age:  66
How long you have been a member at CFSC: I cannot believe it will be 2 years in May!

How you got started at CFSC: My daughter talked me into trying it!!

Favorite CrossFit movement: It is a toss up between deadlifts and bench press.

Least favorite CrossFit movement: It is definitely between wall balls & burpees… it’s probably burpees!!!

Favorite healthy food/meal: Any veggies stir-fried.

Favorite part about CFSC: The amazing people and coaches that inspire and motivate me to try my hardest!! I love CFSC!!

Something we don’t know about you: I used to be a marathon runner. My two favorites were New York City and The Marine Core Marathons. My goal was always to finish under 4 hours which somehow I always did.  Columbia was my 1st which was the coldest; when we started it was 17 degrees and it didn’t get above freezing the whole race.  I ran 5 total and the Charlotte Marathon was my last! I promised the good Lord to let me get up Morehead Street and I wouldn’t ever run it again!

Words of wisdom for people who are new to CrossFit or interested in trying it: Make sure you finish On Ramp and take the Athletic Recovery class taught by one of our awesome coaches. When you are 66, your body especially needs this to keep from getting injured!

Name: Jordan Minutola
Age: 29
How long you have been a member at CFSC:  Over 4 years

How you got started at CFSC:
After getting back from overseas I fell off the workout wagon. My Mom actually told me about CFSC and said it would a great fit

Favorite CrossFit movement:
Double Unders, Wall balls, Handstand walks/holds, and attempting to do gymnastic movements
Least favorite CrossFit movements:

Deadlifts, Pull ups and AMRAPs

Favorite healthy food/meal:

A mix of white rice, hardboiled eggs, and Franks Hot buffalo sauce (add some cheddar for added amazingness)

Favorite part about CFSC:

Other than meeting Kate aka future Mrs. Minutola =P
It has to be the people and coaches. Everyone is very supportive and here to have fun while working out. Shout out to the 6 am crew.

Something we don’t know about you:

When I started at CFSC, I weighed just over 260 lbs. and had a body fat % of 30+.

Words of wisdom for people who are new to CrossFit or interested in trying it:

Come in with an open mind and don’t judge after just one workout. There will always be that one workout that is “stupid” or “boring”….like AMRAPS….and deadlifts.


Inspiring Members of the Month- February 2016

The Burgers; Cindy & Jason


Name: Cindy Burger

Age: 46

How long you have been a member at CFSC: Since April 2013 (almost 3 years!)

How you got started at CFSC:
A friend from TN told us how addicted she had become to CrossFit and wanted to work out at CFSC when she was visiting.  When I realized how close we lived to the gym, I started to do some research and felt like it would be something Jason and I could start together.

Favorite CrossFit movement: Deadlift

Least favorite CrossFit movement: WALLBALLS

Favorite healthy food/meal:
If beer and cheese did not exist, I would be a whole lot healthier.  If fruit did not exist, I would not care.  I hate most fruit. However, I just discovered cauliflower and all the wonderful things you can make.  My next experiment will be zucchini pasta.  I have to get the whole family on board.

Favorite part about CFSC:
I know everyone says this, but my favorite things about this gym are the people.  I have never experienced such positive, motivated, supportive, friendly, and inspiring people.  I miss my 6 am crew, but am so grateful for my 5 am crew and Freddie who is willing to open up so early for us.  I can’t compare our coaches to any other gym because this is the only one I have ever belonged to, but I feel pretty confident that you (all coaches) would be considered some of the best.  Your dedication to making this place so great is noticed and appreciated every day.

Something we don’t know about you:
Since Jason and I are the “members of inspiration” for February (my valentine)…We met while working at Alpine Ski Center in 1996.  Jason had just moved back from Jackson Hole WY and I was working there full time and going to school to be a teacher (did not make it through student teaching).  Jason proposed at the top of Alpine Meadows Ski Resort in 1999. (Got down on his knee and everything!)  We celebrated the New Year in Lake Tahoe and married later in 2000.  On our honeymoon in Jamaica, Jason had to spend one night alone because I thought I could drink 10 frozen margaritas in one afternoon.  Guess where I spent most of the night?

Words of wisdom for people who are new to CrossFit or interested in trying it:
Don’t be intimidated by other people in the gym.  It is all about your goals and what you want to accomplish.  Try to push your limits, using the proper technique, and be safe.

Name: Jason Burger

Age: 46

How long you have been a member at CFSC: Since April 2013

How you got started at CFSC: My lovely wife made me do it.  Took me out of my lovely recliner.

Favorite CrossFit movement: Deadlifts and Kettlebells

Least favorite CrossFit movement: Thrusters and Burpees

Favorite healthy food/meal: Salad, Steak, Loaded Baked Potato.  Did you say healthy?

Favorite part about CFSC: Atmosphere, Coaches, and the People

Something we don’t know about you: Born in Highwycombe, England.

Words of wisdom for people who are new to CrossFit or interested in trying it: Give it a try and you will love it.  If I can do it, anyone can.

Inspiring Members of the Month- January 2016
Dave and Rachel


Name: Dave Herald
Age: 66 years and 275 days
How long you have been a member at CFSC: 5yrsHow you got started at CFSC: I knew Brian and Lisa before CFSC openedFavorite CrossFit movement: My favorite workout is
“The Gauge”
500m row
40 air squats
30 situps
20 pushups
10 pullups

Least favorite CrossFit movement: Burpees (buck furpees!)

Favorite healthy food/meal: Cioppino

Favorite part about CFSC: Duh, the people

Something we don’t know about you: I could run a 400m sprint in 49 seconds in high school

Words of wisdom for people who are new to CrossFit or interested in trying it: It will take you less time to get in shape than it did to get out of shape!

Name: Rachel Tanis
Age: 35
How long you have been a member at CFSC: 10 months

How you got started at CFSC:
I had been a runner prior to becoming a mom in 2012 and knee pain was preventing me from running long distances when I tried to start up again after my daughter was born. My chiropractor suggested I do some strength work to help support my knees and I love a challenge so I decided to give CrossFit a try. It had been a very long time since I had done any kind of strength work. I tried my first class at CrossFit Harrisburg (NC) in August of 2013 and was immediately hooked. I worked out there for about a year and a half and then we moved to Fort Mill in March of 2015, which meant I needed to find a new box. I was sad to leave CFH but I visited my first 6am class at CFSC and was immediately taken by the craziness. 🙂 I visited a couple other places in the area but I knew that CFSC was the place for me.

Favorite CrossFit movement:
It’s a toss-up between the snatch and the squat clean.

Least favorite CrossFit movement:
The pull-up. I will NOT let it get the best of me…

Favorite healthy food/meal:
PaleOMG’s Almost 5 Ingredient Pizza Spaghetti Pie – delicious and easy!

Favorite part about CFSC:
The top-notch coaches and the community! Everyone is so nice and encouraging of one another.

Something we don’t know about you:
Before I went to nursing school I graduated from Winthrop with a degree in Dance Performance.

Words of wisdom for people who are new to CrossFit or interested in trying it:
Don’t be embarrassed or ashamed of your current abilities because everyone starts somewhere! Ask the coaches for help – that is what they are there for. Go for form first, then once you’ve got that down push your limits (wisely!) and start adding weight. You’ll surprise yourself by finding out what your body is actually capable of. Make eating well and getting plenty of sleep a priority.  It makes a huge difference in how you’ll feel in the workouts.  Finally, CrossFit works if you work at it! Work hard, set attainable goals for yourself, and most importantly: HAVE FUN!

Inspiring Members of the Month- December 2015
Kelly and Patrick

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Name: Kelly Meyers
Age: 28
How long have you been a member at CFSC: A year and a half

How you got started at CFSC: My husband (Danny) had been doing CrossFit, and was a member of CFSC for over a year before I joined. After running a marathon (and then taking lots of exercise time off), I decided I would try out CrossFit and see if I liked it. I had basically no muscle on my body (especially my arms) so this would be something completely out of my element.  I got hooked after my first on-ramp class

Favorite CrossFit movement: Cleans

Least favorite CrossFit movement: Pushups – long monkey arms don’t help the matter

Favorite Healthy food/Meal: Salads. I eat them all the time; you can change them up so much, I never get tired of the same thing.

Favorite part about CFSC: The community. I love how everyone is so supportive of one another. My coaches, fellow members and friends make me want to be better person. I have found my best friends in the short time I have been a member here. We know how to put in hard work at the gym but also know how to goof off have a great time anywhere we go. CFSC members are my family.

Something we don’t know about you: I moved to Charlotte when I was 18- almost 19, starting my sophomore year at UNCC. I transferred from a small school in Pennsylvania (University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown). I knew in the beginning of my second semester there that a small school, in the mountains in the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania, was just not for me. I did some research- found UNCC- came down to visit- and never wanted to leave. At the time, with a major in Finance, Charlotte was a great city to be moving to- but other than that it was completely random and a new adventure for me. I didn’t know a single person or have family anywhere close, but it taught me to really put myself out there. I am so glad I made the decision to move here and never look back!

Words of wisdom for people who are new to CrossFit or interested in trying it: Don’t give up and don’t quit! CrossFit is not an easy, casual, hour chill workout- and it never gets easier- but that’s what makes it so great. It can also be intimidating in the beginning, not knowing everyone, as well as not knowing all of the movements- but that part becomes easier. Everyone here is so kind and friendly, I promise you if you just start talking to someone at the gym you may not know, you will instantly make a friend. Try it- I dare you. As for all of the CrossFit movements, that comes with time and hard work. When I first joined I think it took me at least 3 months to remember what all of the movements were called- snatch, clean, thruster- what is that?- but you will get it!  When I first joined CrossFit I was thin with barley any muscle on my body. I could barely use the 15# barbell– and I am not ashamed of it, nor will I ever be. Everyone has to start somewhere. I have put in lots of hard work and dedication, a positive attitude and surrounded myself by supportive people. That’s the recipe for success.  Because of that I have become a stronger more confident me.  Now that I have given away all of my secrets I challenge you to do just that.

Name: Patrick Alston
Age: 40
How long you have been a member at CFSC: 4 years

How you got started at CFSC: It was the most convenient gym to home and I liked the longer on ramp compared to other places.

Favorite CrossFit movement: Deadlifts

Least favorite CrossFit movement: Any movement with my shirt on

Favorite healthy food/meal: Jayne’s Turkey Meatloaf w/ Mashed Cauliflower and Green Peas

Favorite part about CFSC: The different energies at different times of the day – 6am, Endurance, Yoga: all feel like separate and unique spaces to workout.

Something we don’t know about you: I write bad unshareable poems.

Words of wisdom for people who are new to CrossFit or interested in trying it: Be consistent, patient and curious. Proper technique and frequency are better than “RX” injuries and sadness.

Inspiring Members of the Month- November 2015
E.J. and Tami

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Name:E.J. Carico
Age: 54
How long you have been a member at CFSC: 2+ yearsHow you got started at CFSC: I knew very little about CrossFit prior to my first On Ramp class.  I was looking for a workout that varied the routine and was challenging.  It turned out to be so much more!Favorite CrossFit movement: They’re all great if you relax and do the best you can.  The best part about all the movements is to watch how you improve over time.  Listen to the coaches and concentrate on your form.  It’s a fun and amazing journey.

Least favorite CrossFit movement: I guess anything overhead is a challenge.  But again, the coaches are great.  In a short period of time, if you’ll put in the effort, you’ll be doing things that you previously thought were impossible.

Favorite healthy food/meal: Spinach salad

Favorite part about CFSC: The people and the environment.  It’s all extremely positive! Having a bad day? Get to CFSC and your day will improve exponentially. Fellow crossfitters are always encouraging. And the coaches are second to none.  If “CHEERS” were a CrossFit box and not a bar, it would be CFSC.

Something we don’t know about you: During the month of November, I’ll be celebrating 7 years cancer free.  I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in 2008.  When you hear me say, ‘Hey, every day is a gift’, I mean it!

Words of wisdom for people who are new to CrossFit or interested in trying it: It’s one of the best decisions I’ve made.  No question about it. I’m better physically and mentally.  I have more energy.  I’m in a better mood.  I think I’m a better father, husband, and person with CrossFit than without it.  If you let it, this place will change you!

Name:  Tami Campbell
Age: 45 for a couple more weeks
How long you have been a member at CFSC: Since Oct 2010

How you got started at CFSC:  A friend of mine recommended I try it.  I wanted to know how it was different from a regular gym.  She explained that everyone talks to each other and that it is a very encouraging atmosphere. I did some googling and ran across CrossFit HQ.  Looking at their website and the workouts I thought there is no way I could do all of that stuff.  I hadn’t been to a gym or even worked out on a regular basis for quite a few years.  However, after continued encouragement from my friend, I gave it a shot. I’m not going to tell you that it was love at first WOD.  It took me quite a few months to become comfortable, especially with the weight lifting movements. There were times when I didn’t think I was ever going to get comfortable with the movements.  Then one day, it all clicked and I have been hooked since.  My biggest motivation for working out is being able to get out of a chair unassisted when I’m 70.

Favorite CrossFit movement: Back Squats

Least favorite CrossFit movement: Thrusters

Favorite healthy food/meal: Quinoa Chili

Favorite part about CFSC: The community. It is nice to walk into the gym and people acknowledge you and say hello when you make eye contact. This is one of the biggest things that keep me coming back.

Something we don’t know about you:  I have bad knees (which most of the people that I work out with know).  The thing you don’t know, is when I started I was taking a prescription anti-inflammatory 2x/day to help manage the knee pain. I started working out and building muscle, and working with Brian on the Chiropractor side, and within 6 months of starting CFSC, I had stopped taking them on a regular basis.  After the 1st year, I was only taking them every couple of months. Sitting here writing this up, I’m can’t remember the last time I took one.   I no longer wear my knee brace, and in the last 6 months, I have starting running versus rowing in the WOD.

Words of wisdom for people who are new to CrossFit or interested in trying it:  Be smart about what you do.  It took me a long time to learn that just because I can, doesn’t mean I should. Scaling is your friend.

 Inspiring Members of the Month- October 2015
Dave and Laurin

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Name: Laurin Villeda
Age: 36. YES 36 I can’t believe it either.
How long you have been a member at CFSC: 1 yr and 6 months.
How you got started at CFSC: Recommendation from a family member.

Favorite CrossFit movement: Deadlifts

Least favorite CrossFit movement: Wallballs (either the walls are too high or I’m too short…not sure yet…)

Favorite healthy food/meal: broccoli and baked chicken, I could eat that all day long!

Favorite part about CFSC: CrossFit Steele Creek is not an ordinary gym or box. We are a tight family that looks out for each other.  Everyone is friendly and is always willing to help.  I like the community more than anything.  No matter where you finish, everyone is cheering you on, even the ones who have already finished… and it’s the same in competitions. I remember my first wod, I was looking around and admiring all the movements and how hard people were working.  I never thought I could do any of that…how could they do pull ups, t2b, deadlifts? I kept asking around…how long it took you to do this or that? Honestly I was in shock and I never thought I could EVER do any of that!! But here I am a year and a half later, doing those movements I thought were impossible, and it’s all thanks to the amazing support and great coaches we have.  They are always here to give us the best advice and push us to do our best on every single wod.
Have you heard the saying…Surround yourself with people who will support you and believe in you?  …CrossFit Steele Creek: it’s that place.

Something we don’t know about you: I did a TV commercial for Time Warner Cable. (warning… it’s in Spanish)

Words of wisdom for people who are new to CrossFit or interested in trying it:
You are sore? Your everything hurts? You think it’s hard? We all started there…Just hang in there, you will be great at it, you will LOVE IT, you will see results very soon, and you won’t be able to stop talking about CrossFit.
Just go for it. What can you lose…besides fat :)? You will be sexier and stronger.
And NO, You don’t have to be in shape or get in shape to start CrossFit, that’s a huge misconception.
I love that I’m stronger.  I love that I am more aware of what I put into my body and what I cook for my family on a daily basis.  I love that it has given me problem-solving abilities that I have never had.  I’m 100% more confident, and I love the way my body is looking.
There’s something satisfying about working so hard at something, even just for a few minutes, that brings me an incredible feeling of self-satisfaction that’s pretty unmatched in other aspects of my life.
All that… is thanks to CrossFit.

Name: David Ballauer
Age: 51
How long you have been a member at CFSC: Almost 4 years!
How you got started at CFSC: Came in to check it out & ask questions… Brian handed me a wallball to carry to on ramp & I was hooked

Favorite CrossFit movement: I don’t think I have a favorite. I suck less at body weight movements, than anything involving a bar

Least favorite CrossFit movement: Thrusters

Favorite healthy food/meal: Lasagna…..anything Mod Paleo puts out!

Favorite part about CFSC: I love my people!  I love my coaches and the community we have at Steele Creek; they make me want to be a better me.

Something we don’t know about you: I was incredibly dyslexic growing up and it’s still something I struggle with today.

Words of wisdom for people who are new to CrossFit or interested in trying it: The hardest part about CrossFit is coming to the gym the first time to get past that fear that you may not be able to do it.  But you can… everyone can.  You get exactly what you put into it & you will never believe what you can do until you take that chance.


Kelly F. – I wanted to thank you and your staff for pushing me to get strong and in the best shape I’ve ever been in.  As a 34 yr old mother of 2, I’m more than thrilled with the progress I’m making.  I didn’t look this good in high school!

In 2011, I lost 20 pounds by switching to a Paleo diet.  While I was happy with my size, it was clear I needed to tone up desperately.  I was running 4 miles a day and while it was mentally nice, it made no noticeable improvements physically.  It was very frustrating.  I had some CrossFitting friends who were pushing me toward it but, like a lot of girls, I was afraid to weight train.  I was afraid of “getting bulky” and terrified of adding a pound.  Fortunately, a few scary articles on “skinny fat” bodies was enough to get me signed up.   Since joining CFSC, I’ve been literally dropping inches (totally wasn’t expecting that) and toning up and adding muscle and it’s been a beyond awesome experience.  I look and feel great.  I’ve never said that before in my life.  I can’t wait to see what the next 4 months will bring!


Lis D. – On December 18, 2010 I decided that I needed to take control of my health. After many discussions and inspiration from friends, I took a leap and walked in for my first day of Crossfit. This was the progression I made between week 2 and week 15 of exercising regularly and cleaning up my eating. Thank you CrossFit Steele Creek – you changed my life. One month later, I found out I was pregnant…

…Now, at week 53 of Crossfit, and week 32 of pregnancy, I still do not weigh as much as I did when I walked through those doors. I have had a happy, healthy pregnancy, and have continued with CrossFit throughout. As much as I loved losing the weight, gaining it again has been the best part of my year. And thank you to all of my CF buddies who have encouraged, supported, and laughed with me


Paul C. – I came into CrossFit Steele Creek with my wife, Megan, around mid October, 2010. Having heard about CrossFit from a bunch of my prior military friends I wanted to give it a shot as well as do something active that I could share with my spouse.  I decided to let her have a go first as I was still a little reluctant and I kept working out with my buddy at work in our ‘traditional’ gym.  After a few visits back to CFSC during this time I just fell in love with it.  CrossFit reminds me of working out in the military, it was something I enjoyed, everyone embraced the suck and just pushed through it, kept on going saying “we all are in this together”.  That communal mentality is something I had been missing and it helps push me further and harder every day. So with that I found myself signing up as well on Nov 1, 2010, and took the top 2 photos you see.  I don’t remember the exact figures but I was over 30% body fat and out of shape, unless you count round, it is technically a shape. I quickly and vehemently sought the teachings of the coaches for everything in and out of the gym.  We had a ‘Zone Diet’ challenge which got me heavily involved and now fully entrenched into eating the ‘Zone’ 24/7, and I LOVE IT.   I am now; the bottom 2 photos, down from a 40″ to 32″ pant size, down from XL (or XXL in some cases) to just Large shirts.  I’ve lost roughly 50 lbs over the last year!

Thank you to the coaches: Cory, Brian, Aaron, Dave, Lisa, Dawn, and Kyra.  You have all helped me in some way over the past year and I wouldn’t be where I am today without your continued motivation, pushing, form correction, and most of all passion for what you do.

If this picture inspires at least one of my friends to get out and live a healthier lifestyle then I’ll be happy. You can do it people, just get out there and ‘Do work’. You’ll be happier because of it!
This is only the beginning, I’ll keep working, keep pushing, and keep striving to be a healthier me for my wife and my son.

Norelle I

Norelle I. – I have been with CFSC since they opened their facility. I have enjoyed watching our crossfit family grow. This place is amazing and the energy is always exhilarating.The coaches are very knowledgeable and motivating. especially, when I wasn’t feeling like working out. This place is more than just a gym, its a family. It has truly changed me and I love everything about it. When I first joined CFSC I was 50 lbs over weight and was not happy about my physical appearance. I kept working hard and kept on the regiment that the very helpful coaches of CFSC had made for us. within a few months I started noticing changes not only physically but also confidence in myself. I felt relieved after seeing results since I had tried so many things that never worked for me. now i am 50 lbs lighter and in the best shape of my life. After this accomplishment, I feel extremely motivated to keep striving forward to get even more fit.


Adi I. – I am in the army and my motivation to join crossfit was to get in better shape. I was just planning to come in for a little while and get in shape, but once I started doing crossfit at CFSC, I noticed that it was more than just the workouts, it was being in the presence of a great crowd. I was like some other people who say that ” we can just look at the workouts online and do it at a gym” but when I tried that, I noticed it wasn’t the same as i wasn’t as motivated to workout by myself, I got funny looks in the gym as i grunted trying to do my power cleans as they were strolling on their treadmills. The atmosphere at CFSC makes me workout harder and push myself even harder. The coaches at CFSC are very knowledgeable and helpful. I have approached all of them to get some advice about work outs and diets.


An Email From Cami B. Subject “Two Surprises” –
Surprise #1:  I just attempted to wear a pair of slacks that have not seen my rear end in well over 18 months!  They slide on without effort and with LOTS of comfort!Surprise #2:  I found $46 in the back pocket!Thank you for all you do for me!  I APPRECIATE you and Brian immensely!Have a great weekend,

From a happy mom-

-I just wanted to say THANK YOU.   It dawned on me that Kendall has been coming to Crossfit for over a year now.  During that time she has experienced health issues – appendicitis and mono – that kept her out for several weeks, Doubt – she chose to quit for a month because it was “too much” with swim team practice and then recently summer time camps/vacations that have kept her away, but in the end she always WANTS to come back.     She has changed so much over the past year.  Obviously some of that has to do with maturity and puberty J but the changes I have seen are because of Crossfit.    She went from being a unhealthy, self-conscious, non-athletic teen to a healthy, athletic and CONFIDENT teen.   I don’t mean to be cheesy, but it really brings tears to my eyes to see the positive changes she has experienced.    The fact that she WANTS to come is really what amazes me.   Being a teenager she could easily have a million excuses NOT to come, but typically she is hurrying me to be sure I am home from work in time to get her there.  If she misses it is usually because it conflicts with my work schedule.   Anyway, THANK YOU!   I constantly have people tell me how good Kendall looks and how much she has changed.  I let them know it is because of CrossFit!!

Aarick H.- A chiropractic Groupon is actually what brought me to CF. I had torn my interior core muscles in 2012, and after a long rehab process, was still in need of serious help. I saw an offer online for a chiropractic package I could afford and decided to give it a try. After just a month of adjustments I felt well enough to try to start working out on my own again. I failed. I quickly learned that its hard to motivate yourself for yourself all by yourself.  After a few more adjustments and some encouragement from Dr. Brian I decided to try CF. BEST DECISION EVER! I’ve lost 40 lbs in the last 2 months or so, and I can’t remember the last time I’ve felt this great.

Prior to CF is wasn’t doing much at all (if any thing). If I actually was able to force myself to go for a jog I would kick myself afterwards because I would realize just how far out of shape I had gotten. It wasn’t good enough for me that I was trying, the only thing I could think about was how much farther I used to be able to run and how much easier it used to be. I think the biggest thing that CF has changed for me is my mindset. I stopped worrying about what I can’t do and started to focus on my personal growth. Everyday I go to CF I’m only concerned with doing the best I can, and working to improve everyday.

My first impression of CF….. NO WAY IN HELL I’M DOING THAT!!! Needless to say the workouts are a bit intimidating at first. My first impression of the people was that everyone was super nice and encouraging. Being in the type of environment where everyone supports one another is an amazing feeling. Its that support that helps motivate you to keep going, and encourages you to do your best no matter what. Now a days it doesn’t really matter what the WOD is, I show up knowing that I have the support of everyone working out with me, and the helps push me through the tough, grueling times when I would usually want to just quit.

The next movement I am going to learn is the kipping pull up. After that its on to double unders, hand stand push ups, and eventually rope climbing.

Simone J.-

What brought you to CF?

My initial intention was to just find some exercise that was close enough to my house where I would be able to go 4-5 times per week and when you moved into your current location I thought that criteria was met and I should be able to stick with a program like that. At that time I had no idea what Crossfit was.

What were you doing prior to CF?

I was going everywhere and doing everything, different “globo” gyms, YMCA, small gym, kettlebell studio, aerobics classes where I live, only running, swimming, yoga studio, but mostly after a few months at one of these places something didn’t work out (too far away, not enough classes/wrong time, got bored) and I moved on to the next thing. Except I still do yoga.

What was your first impression? How has that changed?

I was so excited and couldn’t wait for on-ramp to be over so I could get into the regular workouts. I’m still excited since every workout is different.

Kelly W.-I joined CFSC in August 2012. Before this time…I had no regular workout or exercise routine. I spent a lot of time trying diets I would read about for a few days. My husband and I joined as a couple. He loved it right away. Me…not so much. For the first several months I would walk in the door, look at the white board and walk out.
Sometimes I would pull in the parking lot and then just leave.My initial impression was “I cant do this” “I don’t know what any of this stuff is” I really wanted to just quit. One day I was talking to Brian and he said I might actually want to go and try some classes instead of paying for a membership. So I decided try and after a while I realized my first impression was off base.I realized there was nothing to be afraid of…the coaches are awesome! They are all very friendly and they really care about helping you and making sure you understand the movements. I also starting making friends ….it feels like a family.I need to improve every movement..but right now I am working on my overhead square and running. I have only had 2 RX’s in 15 months!!! I finally got double unders and that feels great!

Joining CFSC had been such a wonderful thing for our entire family.  My husband and I always talk about our workouts…we try go beat each others times. We also encourage each other!! Our kids are 7 and 4 and we love the positive influence CFSC has had on them.They love watching us workout. They love all the coaches and are always talking about “growlng their muscles”.

We are so grateful to be a part of such a wonderful place!

Malachi M.(After 6mons. @ CFSC)-First off, I want to thank all the coaches, my friends, and Dr Brian Strump at CrossFit Steele Creek! I know I am the one who did the work but you guys were there to push me, joke with me, make sure my form and techniques were where they were supposed to be so that I did not injure myself and I am very grateful. I would also like to thank my wife Michelle Scott for sticking with all of my boring workout stories, helping me with all of my goals with my shoulder surgeries, and being awesome. I just got back my blood work and my cholesterol went down from 232 in November to 159 today! w00t-w00t!! Triglycerides went from 230 then to 126. LDL went from 159 then to 104. HDL could use some work, but it went from 15 to 29. Thank you guys so much!!!

Estevan T.-
After six months of joining CrossFit Steele Creek,  I was trying to find a way to say thank you for everything that each coach has given me. I recently started my new career and the same time joined CFSC to improve my strength and build. I had no idea that this gym would change my life forever. Starting CrossFit on Saturday for an introduction class (On Ramp) I immediately fell in love with the gym, the environment, and the people! After the first two weeks of On Ramp I decided to have a taste of a WOD or Work Out of the Day. This day was honestly the best, I felt like I was really working out every second the clock was ticking. This was a huge energy boost that I never experienced any where else before in my life and I had such a hunger for it that I kept coming back. Now six months into CrossFit Steele Creek I can not imagine going to any other gym, it just would not be the same.  The trainers and Dr. Brian Strump have been so kind, respectful, and welcoming that this is honestly the whole reason to join CrossFit. Every time I see Brian he is greeting someone and being an amazing owner to such a great gym. By creating a gym environment that is fun, clean, fully stocked with supplies and equipment it is truly a young mans dream workout place! Dr. Strump has clearly worked extremely hard on creating a gym atmosphere that is perfect for someone to come in at ANY Level. Kyra Severson, oh my goodness I just have to say how much I love working out with Kyra! She is so awesome, sweet, and energetic! She has allowed me to see my progress and gains in a timely fashion while having fun and acknowledging my efforts. Not to mention her Yoga classes are the best way to keep stress away and improve flexibility, best part of my weeks. Dawn, Deuce, Tim, and Shelly are always great trainers that really spend time to show you proper form and have all been there for me when I had a question about my progress and performance. Dave, Aaron, Burt and,  Jayme are truly great at pushing me harder then I ever thought I could when lifting. They are always there with an awesome sense of humor that makes you enjoy their company.  The people and trainers I have met at CFSC have all pushed me and shown me that pain only last a few moments, that “This Gym will change you if YOU let it” I can’t wait to see more progress as time goes on, and I am sure I will meet more outstanding people in the the meantime. I don’t know how else to tell you that this gym is truly the best place to change yourself for the better.
Thank you!
CrossFit Steele Creek Members – We want you ALL to be featured on this page!  If you would like to share your story please email us your story at or even just leave us a comment on this page on how CFSC has helped you!



9301C  Forsyth Park Dr. | Charlotte, NC 28273 (Off of Westinghouse Blvd just West of S. Tryon)



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