Three years ago I joined a big box gym after receiving a generous gift certificate for personal training sessions from Kim and Russ for Christmas. I walked in one cold January afternoon with much trepidation, since the extent of my fitness experience was limited to high school track, soccer and basketball, an occasional Gloria Stevens (OK, I’m dating myself!) class, a summer recreational tennis program and a few adult education exercise classes. But I was ready.

My weight was the highest it had ever been – yes, even pregnant – and I refused to buy bigger clothes. So started my exercise program. I went three or four days each week, used the personal training sessions and bought more.

I logged lots of hours on the step mill, elliptical and virtual bike, and participated in Group Power, Pilates and Bosu classes. I met a host of great people, learned a lot and enjoyed the camaraderie. I felt good.

Last spring I started to plateau. Routine had settled in. It was hard to motivate myself to get to the gym, but I kept going to the classes. I purchased additional personal training sessions and did enjoy being exposed to alternative ways to get a good workout.

On November 15, 2008 I wandered into the weight room at the gym where Kim and Russ were doing their WOD. Being aware of their involvement in and dedication to CrossFit, I was curious and wanted to see firsthand what all the excitement was about.

I watched them both in awe. One thing led to another and I was introduced to the CrossFit Warm Up. I did three rounds and by far, the jumping pull-ups were the hardest… I couldn’t stop swinging! But I liked it. I wanted to do more. As a precursor, Kim and Russ put me through a tabata squat sequence. They told me I had good form.

And I wanted to do even more. I logged on to the CrossFit website and started watching the exercise videos and navigating around the site to familiarize myself with the program. I was interested, intrigued and inspired.

Two days later, I did my first WOD, Helen (modified), at the gym with Kim and a couple of her friends. Even though running was involved, it was great! The exercise was short in duration, but intense.

I liked how I felt having completed it. And I love how I feel nearly two months later. I am excited, energized and empowered. A very special added bonus is having my daughter, Kim share her passion and knowledge of CrossFit while teaching and coaching me through challenging, varied regimes.

It has been so exciting to watch the development and progression of CrossFit Persevere become a reality. This is Kim’s dream come true. With great pride I’ll be there for opening day! 3-2-1-GO!!

What can I say? My background is that I have NEVER been much of a gym person, I’m more of a crunchy “let’s go hiking” kinda gal. However, since moving back east (6 years ago) and being a stay-at-home mom, the hikes, climbing and paddling don’t happen much or EVER.

After trying the gym thing for the past couple of years, I realized that it really wasn’t working for me. I would pay the money, skip the whole summer and only use the elliptical, NOT very practical. My membership at the gym expired on December 25th and I found myself beginning the New Year out of shape and at a higher weight than I would like to be.

I was ready to explore some other options but had no idea what to do, when along came an email from Kim describing her experience with CrossFit and her plans. Being a big believer in fate AND in Kim’s ability to teach even a non gym gal like myself, I called Kim and said “SIGN ME UP!”

I had concern that a new workout program would aggravate my back and plantar fasciitis but happily, the back and the foot are not an issue at all. Who would have thought that a Cross Fit WOD would be easier on my back and foot than going for walk? It has been GREAT and I feel great, sore but eager to learn more!

~Melinda Kuzmak-Carlson

I was introduced to Crossfit at my gym from Kim and Cindy Malz some time over the last 8 months (Kim, I honestly can’t remember whan I started dabbling; can you? You are better with dates, times, so you can fill in this blank!!). I started by incorporating some of the WODs into my normal daily workout schedule. I liked how they were short and intense.

I was, however intimidated by the whole concept of Crossfit at first, mainly due to a lack of understanding what the whole thing was all about. I was intimidated by watching Kim and Cindy do these intense runs on the treadmill, then going to the next station to do “box jumps” , pull ups, and whatever other crazy exercises were built into the particular WOD they were doing that day.

I was afraid to deviate too much from my normal exercise routine, which consisted of working out Monday through Friday, doing a few different classes each week, or doing 30 minutes of cardio on the eliptical machine or treadmill, and lifting weights on my own before or after class.

The more exposure however, that I did get to the different WODS (by Kim coming to the gym in the morning and saying, “hey, you want to join us; today’s workout is XYZ”….) the more comfortable I became.

I was also tired of my same exercise routine and wanted to mix it up and try some new things, and I loved the fact that most of the Crossfit routines took under 30 minutes to complete. So I decided to give it a try, to dedicate at least six weeks to following this new exercise regimen.

Since doing Crossfit on a regular basis I have noticed a remarkable difference in my strength; I can now do 5 “real” pull ups whereas before Crossfit I could barely get my head to the bottom of the bar!!

I have also noticed a change in my biggest trouble spot, my midsection (the typical post-childbirth belly flab); by losing a couple inches there and have increased my core strength immensely! Other than the physical changes that I have noticed, the one that I am most excited about is my renewed excitement and energy that I have about exercise.

I am so excited to wake up in the morning and check the Crossfit website to see what kind of workout has been posted for the day. I am now less intimidated by some of the harder workouts than I used to be, and look forward to doing it better than the time before.

I am also so excited to share in this experience with my friend Kim as she builds this fantastic new business which has renewed my love for exercise and will for the new Crossfitters to come!!

~Pam McGraw