ATHLETES. THEY ARE JUST LIKE US!
At CrossFit Jaguar, we’re in the business of changing lives through CrossFit here in Tampa. So when we hear great member stories like these, we literally box jump for joy! We hope you’ll be our next success story.
I have always in the past been a weekend warrior, and amateur athlete , but in the last 6-8 years I have been a bit sedimentary as I have gotten older and busier. My career also changed and I am at a desk quite a bit more. I needed a structured way to get back in shape, and was curious about CrossFit. The reason I went to CrossFit Jaguar was location, location , location.
I have played many amateur sports, but have always had my own weight lifting equipment and believed in having it at my house for convenience, so I never really went to a gym or other more than once or twice, and have never went to anything like a "box". I had anxiety over going to my first class. The people there are so friendly, open and helpful that the anxiety lifted pretty quickly. This is probably attributed to the coaches who communicate extremely well. Now 7 weeks or so later, I want to go every day, and love it.
You will be around a group of great people. The way CrossFit Jaguar is set up, there is a place for everyone of all levels to enjoy , benefit and grow from. Get over any hesitancies you have initially and you will love it. And get ready to feel way better.
I started CrossFit in 2010 because of a pair of pants! I had gained some weight and was forced to buy a size up in work pants. It was a hard pill for me to swallow at the time, and I kept the tags on because I was so determined to return them. My coworker was a coach at a CF gym on the military base, and he convinced me to join him on his “fun” morning workouts.
Like most people, I found CrossFit intimidating at first – especially when the gym I went to was full of active duty military dudes doing the class for PT. I would get really competitive and try to keep up with them, killing myself in the end! Now, I know to stay in my own lane. The term “check your ego at the door” really makes sense with CrossFit. I learned that I need to work on making myself better, not be better than other people.
My first huge achievement in CF was getting a chance to compete in the 2012 Latin America Regionals to represent my old box in the Cayman Islands. This was back in the day where Latin America couldn’t fill all the team spots for Regionals because teams couldn’t afford to travel to the host country (that year, it was Cali, Colombia). After checking the rules, we found out we could send more than 1 team, so we had a “Varsity” team (who won every event), and our “JV” team (we were just there for the experience). Our team was definitely out of our league, but I learned so much about how far I could push myself. There was one moment where I had the entire crowd cheering for me because after over 10 failed attempts, I finally succeeded at lifting a weight I thought was impossible for me – and I did 5 times! That moment was even mentioned in an article on the CF website!
I’m working on learning to “get along” with the assault bike. It’s a horrible machine, and it beats you down mentally, emotionally, and physically…for me at least.
My favorite Jaguar memory was when we were all in Jacksonville to watch Taylar Stallings at Regionals in 2014. I was new to the gym, didn’t really know anyone, but Jess invited me to come out to Jacksonville to watch, so I did. It was a huge deal for me, because I’m actually pretty shy (at first). On that trip, I got to know everyone, everyone got to know me, and it changed my experience and love for the Jaguar family!
P.S. I returned the pants!
What first brought me to CrossFit was my family. My dad and three sisters were a part of a gym over on the East coast and they highly encouraged me to join when I went back home for family gatherings. I decided to join a gym when I moved to the Carrollwood area to be closer to work. I searched around and thought CrossFit Jaguar would be a good fit. I started the On Ramp class in December of last year and have loved CrossFit ever since.
My first impression of CrossFit was "Woah, this is intense". I remember watching the end of a class before I was going to start my first CrossFit class (after On Ramp) and telling Robby that I didn't think I was ready for the class. He told me that I would do fine and helped push me to take the class. (Thanks Robby!).
My first achievement was getting my first double under. It is still a work in progress but was a nice first step. I am currently working on getting my first strict pull up, or any pull up at that matter lol.
My favorite Jaguar memory would have to be when I did the 17.1 workout. The workout was very intense but I had a lot of encouragement from Carl who judged me and from Kim who was my coach for the open. They helped push me to complete the scaled workout under the time cap. I realized then how important it was for me to set goals in the gym and how that could transfer over into my personal life as well.
I started Crossfit because I was getting bored of doing the same old things at Shapes Total Fitness. I spoke to my friend Nikki and she convinced me to try a class. It took a lot of convincing though because I read about CrossFit before and it seemed so intense.
The first time I came was a Wednesday and the skill was deadlifts. I was able to do it so it wasn't so bad. I was so amazed with what the members in the regular CF class were doing. They looked like bad asses. So I decided to come back one more time but this time it was a Saturday. My husband came with me that day and we both felt like we were about to die. Oh My God! It was intense beyond anything I have ever experienced. I told Nikki, "later for this sh*t, this is crazy!" However I was reassured that not all classes are like that. It was a while before they ever saw my face again though.
My first achievement was the rope climb. It took me a whole year to get that skill down and I was beaming from ear to ear when I finally did it. I was so proud of myself.
I am currently working on learning how to do a proper handstand without any assistance. I had a few private lessons and I know what I need to work on but I am still a little bit scared. Eventually I will get it though. I am not a quitter!
My favorite Jaguar memory would have to be when Nikki and I participated in the Jaguar competition last December. Three WODS in one day? It sounded like death, but I did it! I was sore for several days though. I love the fact that my son loves CF too and I have seen the difference it has done for him playing baseball. The boy is a beast!
My sister was the one who got me into CrossFit. She started and told me how great it was. I was a little hesitant at first because of how crazy everyone made it sound. But in the end I decided to give it a try and I fell in love and haven't looked back!
At first I was very intimidated. I saw all these people doing these crazy lifts and these crazy work outs, I thought I would never be able to do what they were doing. Now I see that CrossFit is for everyone no matter what skill level you may be at. There is no need to feel intimidated ever. Everyone is like family and they treat you as so.
I think my first achievement was getting a strict pull up. When I first started I couldn't do one to save my life!
Right now I'm just working on being consistent with my workouts and my overall lifestyle, or as me and my sister Tiff like to call it #GetRight2017.
I think my favorite Jaguar memory is competing in my first competition at Battle of the Boxes. It was a great overall experience and definitely something I'll never forget!
I had been exercising at a local gym since 2014 and I was looking for the next evolution in my fitness journey. I had a friend that was going to CrossFit Jaguar and he said good things so I figured I’d give it a shot. Best decision of my life.
My first class was the 5:45am class with Coach Melissa. I was also greeted by Coach Pete who gave me a quick rundown of the box. First impression was great people, an attentive and involved coach, and a high intensity workout. Now it feels like a family. I have gotten to know amazing people and be involved in the community. I enjoy the atmosphere the most. The encouragement from the coaches pushes me to be better than my last workout.
My first achievement I would say I was proud of my power clean and push press at 125 lbs. Coach Kim and Coach Antonio were there to celebrate after. Awesome.
Overhead squat and double unders are my current focus.
My favorite Jaguar memory was when I was doing my On-ramp and learning how to hang clean. Coach Dan was teaching us his magnificent dolphin technique. It was funny and definitely made CrossFit fun.
A friend of mine back in 2011 introduced me to “CrossFit” and explained it as a class where you do all different kinds of movements really, really fast. I agreed to join in on a class mostly to just spend time with my friend and found out right away that his description was pretty spot on, but after the first class I was pretty much hooked. I continued to enjoy CrossFit because it was constantly a new challenge for me but I mostly never took it too seriously because it was a social time for me. I met most of my closest friends (and future husband <3) from that gym. Over the years, CrossFit has become more and more of a lifestyle and something I am pretty competitive in now (although I still love the social aspect of it too! #community).
When I first started CrossFit, everyday was a PR for me, as I had never lifted weights, did real push ups or pull ups or anything besides jogging or a class at LA Fitness. But I think the first real achievement for me was making a top 10 finish in a WOD! When that became more consistent, I started taking the workouts more seriously and started pushing harder. Learning double unders was another huge achievement.
Right now I am really enjoying being where I’m at! I feel like I am finally in a good place where I can push the limits of being comfortable with the uncomfortable during a workout and am enjoying those “pain cave” type of WODs more and more. I would LOVE to PR my snatch at #135 and even more so I would to love to accomplish muscle ups, bar and rings!
My favorite Jaguar memory is not one particular moment but really the combination of them all and all the new friends I have made! It really is the people that make Jaguar so great. I love that Jaguar is a place where I am pushed physically and mentally every time I come but it is also the place that restores my energy with everyone’s witty humor and amazing personalities. Winning 3rd place in RX at Jaguar Games with Justin Massey is another memory that sticks out!
CrossFit has exceeded my expectations, I was a bit intimidated when I first started but everyone at the gym is always so motivating and welcoming that it made me want to go more and I no longer feel intimidated.
Go in with an open mind. CrossFit, it’s a lot different from workout you would get at (any other) gym.
What brought you to CrossFit in the first place? I just moved to Tampa to work for VF and I didn’t know anyone. I swam in college and loved the team aspect so I wanted to get into something similar without having to stare at the black line at the bottom of a pool anymore. I was always intrigued by CrossFit but I was honestly a little scared to get into lifting since we didn’t do a ton in school. When I heard work was doing a 12 week challenge at Jaguar I finally bit the bullet, took a tour, signed up, and started doing the VF lunch class twice a week.
What was your first impression? How has that changed? I remember the first class we had a TON of ring rows programmed and when I woke up the next morning I couldn’t extend my arms all the way. I walked around work like a T-Rex for almost 2 weeks. I busted my ass for 17 years swimming but I had never been sore like I was the first couple weeks of workouts. We were doing exercises and movements that targeted muscle groups I had never used before. It took me a while to feel comfortable doing the movements and lifts but I enjoyed learning so many new things. Not much has changed because I still enjoy learning new and better ways to do things, I just feel more comfortable with the workouts and pushing myself to new limits.
What was your first “achievement”? I would have to say doing the open this last year was my first big achievement. I got pushed to do it with a few ladies from the VF class. I ended up doing 17.5 RX.
What are you working on now? My goal for 2017 is to do a muscle up. I am still working on it but I hope I can get one really soon.
What’s your favorite Jaguar memory? My favorite and most painful memory was doing 17.5 RX. Those grueling 40 minutes made me realize the progress I had made in the two and a half years of coming to the gym 3-4 times a week during lunch.
I started exercising at CrossFit Jaguar because I had been having difficulty with my general mobility. I am a retired Physical Therapist. Somehow I didn’t take the time to practice what I preached to the people who I worked with over the years.
Weight gain, diminished mobility and joint pain made exercise very challenging for me. I had tried going to regular gyms; but that didn’t work for me. I’d start and stop and so on. I knew that I needed to do something much sooner than later. I also knew that I wasn’t too old to get started.
My daughter, Kimberly Suarez, introduced me to CrossFit. She is an amazing athlete and a great coach. She encouraged me to give it a try. I was nervous about doing something so outside of my comfort zone and embarrassed about how I had let myself go. I found nothing but encouragement from everyone I met at CrossFit Jaguar.
My first coach was Kelly Gardner. We had a group called The Silvers. It was a group people around my age and ability. She pushed me to try even though I felt that I couldn’t do anything. Kimberly is my current coach. She tells me that when I feel that I want to quit, “do just one more”. It works. I use this mantra every time that I
feel like giving up. I do “just one more”.
My first achievement would be seen as a very simple act to someone else; but to me it meant so much. I was finally able to get onto and off the rower without help. That was huge for me that the time. My first PR was a 200 lb deadlift – twice!
My current goal is to complete one chin up (with or without help) and favorite memory would be the day that I decided to join CrossFit.
I was able to lose over 100 pounds doing the normal “globo gym” routine & occasionally running, but after several years that got boring. A friend of mine who is super fit told me about this new gym he started going (Jaguar), invited me and several other friends to join the On Ramp via the Groupon special, so I said why not. As they say, the rest is history, as I felt in love with the community, the workouts and everything CrossFit (I drink the Kool-Aid as my wife would say).
My first impression was that the workouts are challenging, but fun, and the camaraderie in the gym was incredible. Not much has changed for me, the workouts are still super fun, challenging and I love the community we have. I love coming to the gym each day and get on the struggle bus with other members so we can have a laugh at the end :).
To me one of the first things I consider an achievement was participating in the 2015 Open where I learned a lot about my work capacity and to trust the process. I’ve also improve my Olympic lifts tremendously thanks to great coaching from all the coaches and our Barbell Club.
As most CrossFitters, I’m a work in progress and there will always be areas we could improve upon. For me, I’m always working on endurance and aerobic capacity since those are huge deficiencies along with all things gymnastics. CrossFit forces you to be balanced in all areas including nutrition, mobility and recovery. I need to be more consistent in those things too.
The Open season is by far my favorite time of the year, and each year it’s better than the last. From my first year in 2015 while doing 15.5, and thinking I was going to die but everyone kept encouraging me to finish under 10 minutes which I did; to this year, where I loved going to Friday Night Lights and doing the workouts as a community. The energy and camaraderie in our gym was incredible with everyone supporting each other.
What brought me into CrossFit was trying to find something to fill the void of not playing softball anymore. I needed something that was slightly competitive and would keep pushing me every single time I came in to workout.
My first impression was that I was a little intimidated but anxious and excited at the same time. I love trying new things and I knew that this was going to be a good fit for me. I don't think my first impression has changed at all except for being intimidated. I find myself looking forward to each workout even if they are movements I'm not entirely good at.
I would say my first achievement was having completed my first workout RX and also competing in my first competition. It took me some time to get acclimated but I was finally able to do it!
I am working on making each workout more intense for myself. To keep pushing whether it’s choosing a higher weight or increasing my speed throughout the workout. I love to see changes within my body and myself so when I see results it makes me feel accomplished.
My favorite Jaguar memory would have to be when we were doing the last Open workout I believe and I had to complete the workout on my own. Everyone stayed to watch and cheer me on. It made me feel supported and pushed me harder!
[My wife] Brea talked me into trying CrossFit actually, I was hesitant to try it out. The YouFit scene was getting old and boring.
My first impression was that I enjoyed it a lot. We were tired during the warm up and I saw how unfit I actually was. I continue to enjoy it and I love seeing the progression of lifts, gymnastics, and cardio. It is a great feeling to see change.
I’m not really sure of my first achievement. I remember doing Helen for the first time and got a time that I have yet to beat. I think I can smash it now. I also did 1100 burpees in one month.
Right now, I am getting ready for the Grid competition in May! Silverback Gridillas are gonna go ape!
I really enjoyed his past open with the Friday night lights and the team competitions. I also had fun doing the Lift Off a couple months ago, hit some big pr’s.
Groupon and the need for some positive change in my life. My first impression was “CrossFit is badass”.
And it hasn’t changed.
It’s hard to remember my “first” achievement because it’s been nearly 5 years and there has been so many, but the achievements I remember being really excited about were my first bar muscle, and a 5th place finish in my first RX competition at WOD JAMZ with my badass teammates Mighty Mite “Melissa” and Nicky! More recently, I’ve been super excited that I can FINALLY do multiple strict pull ups…Thought that would never happen!
I am working on staying focused…not missing, eating right, putting in extra work, and doing MORE pull-ups. By doing these things, since August 206 I have lost 20 lbs while continuing to get stronger!
My favorite Jaguar memory is all of them…all the memories! There are sooooo many! And…beating Kimberly at arm wrestling.