CrossFit probably saved my life. After a heart attack, I can’t tell you how important staying in shape is to me. I was in cardiac arrest. I was dead for 10 seconds. I am stronger than ever now. Working out here is like a drug that gets you better. Four months ago I couldn’t do a pull up. Now I can do 30. I am not where I want to be yet, but the gains I have made and the confidence I now have make me realize I can go farther than I ever thought I could. My eyes are opened wider to what my true potential can actually be. Nick, I am forever in your debt. You gave me the push I needed. You might not have realized that, but you are truly someone I look up to. The community we have at 061 have become my family. We all just want the best for each other in and outside of 061. My WOD is not just my workout, it’s just a way of life now.
Zack Kidd,
Five months ago I made the decision to change my life. Not to have a sexy beach body (although I wouldn’t mind one of those), but to simply feel healthy again. I was done with not being able to catch my breath, I was done with the prescription stomach meds. I was nervous, but I didn’t care. My first week, I was unable to finish my sit-up’s because my stomach cramped (it was 20 sit-up’s!). I thought for sure the owner of the gym, Nick, would write me off. We did a pull-up assessment, I got two. Nick pulled me aside…am I getting kicked out I thought!? He said, “Tom, see all these people in here? They started where you did. You’re doing great…keep it up.” It was at this moment, I knew I was in the right place. In the last five months, the support and challenge has been tremendous. I’ve changed my diet, I’ve changed my body, I’ve changed my spirit. Nick, Tara and the other members at 061 truly care about each other, and are dedicated to helping us achieve our goals. I should also mention, that my wife Jennifer started this journey with me, a journey we are now instilling in our children. By the way…I can do more than two pull-up’s now!
Tom Kilian,
This month marks 3 years of me starting to care about my health. After having my 2nd child I decided that I needed to make some hard core changes and even though I needed it for myself, my kids were why I did it. I remember the 1st mile I ran (18 minutes and my husband, Andy, walked along side me) I was saying to myself, 'Keep moving because your kids need their mother.' I kept running and dabbled in the Insanity DVD programed which spring boarded me into working out but then that’s when I plateaued...for months.

My friends Chelssie and Nick Urankar were into CrossFit and kept encouraging me to just try it out. So I jumped and just decided that I needed to make myself at least try it out. I was originally intimidated, I didn’t want calluses and didn’t understand what lifting weights had to do with it but I simply started trying. I didn’t have to be the fastest or strongest, but week by week I started to see amazing changes. Shortly after I got pregnant with my third child and with the help of the coaches at CrossFit 061 I scaled every work out and kept moving the entire pregnancy, even getting some PR’s along the way, up until 3 days before my baby was born.

Here I am, 9 months post-partum and still in the gym every week. Sometimes I have 1 or 2, occasionally all 3 of my children with me, but I’m there, not letting the juggle of life get in the way of me trying to be the best I can be. I’m coached every single day by one of the best in the business. I’m encouraged by my CrossFit 061 family to keep moving...keep pushing during every single work out.?And I can’t tell you the last time I cared about what my hands looked like. Calloused or not, it’s not about that...it’s about what I’m doing. I’m stronger. I’m faster. I’m doing things I never thought I’d be able to do. I’m in the best shape of my life and I’m so thankful that at my unhealthiest state, I had the courage to try.

I am a middle-aged mom of three. I had put my husband and children first for years. I had always exercised but became complacent in exercising and eating and thus slowly gained weight. When CrossFit 061 opened I would drive by every day and think “I wonder if….” I talked to friends who were part of the CrossFit family but the fear of the barbell, the kettlebell, my weight, my age, and whatever other excuse I could make up convinced me not to walk through the door. After giving myself a hard look I decided I had to do something for myself. I made my first phone call to CrossFit 061and talked to Nick Urankar. He could not have been more welcoming. As intimidated as I was, I decided I could walk in the door. So 3 months ago I did. My head was telling me that I wouldn’t be able to do it. My heart said otherwise. I did the Elements class and every move felt awkward. I would glance at the class doing the WOD and think “what the heck am I doing here”. On my first day, after completing Elements, I was back to the “I can’t do it” mentality but I walked through the door to a very welcoming CrossFit family who were excited for me to join them. For weeks I continued to say “I can’t do it” (and sometimes I still do) but the family at CrossFit 061, especially Nick Urankar and Tara Olson, had confidence in me, many times more confidence than I had in myself. Three months later I still get nervous for the WOD, I am still challenged when I look at the box and rejoice when I get 1 double under for every 50 tries, but I look at this experience and think that I’ve personally come so far. I know I have a long way to go, but that concept is no longer intimidating to me.

CrossFit can’t be done alone; you need coaches to get in your face and call you out when you are taking shortcuts because you are hurting and tired or to give you confidence when you don’t think you can do it. You need your CrossFit family to cheer you on telling you that you can do it. You need a whiteboard to look at before you start so you know what you have to work toward or who you have to beat.

At CrossFit 061 I know I have a great family to support and push me. I’m a few inches smaller and many pounds lighter than when I started so I know it works. I have wonderful coaches, a wonderful CrossFit community, and my 9 a.m. CrossFit061 family to thank for that. But most importantly, through CrossFit061, I know that I have it inside of me to accomplish my goals, even at this age, whatever they are.

Layna Bender,