We’re only successful when you’re successful
Here’s our chance to share the hard work and results our athletes have achieved.
We’ll be adding to this page frequently so please check back.
- Allison Sweetman
- Chris Auxier
- Aimee Olson
- John Hand
- Tom Sweetman
- Sara Kallio
- Sarah Monzyk
- Kira Waite
- Lin Lin
- Kari Wyrick
- Heidi Pomfret
After recovering from a car accident and finishing up physical therapy, I was told I needed to continue strength training.
I was a regular practitioner of yoga and noticed this new CrossFit gym that went in next door. I was intrigued but slightly intimated thinking I needed to be ultra fit to step into a CrossFit gym.
After meeting with Matt Kirkendall and sharing my concerns, he assured me CrossFit can be for anyone at any level, so I decided to give it a try. I finished the beginner on-ramp training and never looked back. One of the best decisions of my life, making CrossFit a lifestyle. I am stronger, gained more lean muscle mass, have more energy, and my yearly physical showed improved numbers on all my blood-work.
I just turned 49 and have not felt this strong since my 20’s. My family saw the lifestyle improvements and also joined, my 17 yr old son and my husband both are Widespread CrossFit members.
What brought you to CrossFit?
I grew up in a small town in Nebraska, where sports and staying active was a way of life. There was never a need to find a gym, or to put much thought into working out because there was always basketball, volleyball or track practice to go to. After moving away from my small town, I found it difficult to find a gym routine that I could stay consistent with. I would start out very motivated , but quickly got tired of the same ole elliptical routine. My fiancé had been doing CrossFit for a little over a year and he constantly asked me to try it out, I finally agreed to try the On-Ramp class at Widespread and was immediately hooked.
What brought me to CrossFit
I was getting dressed for church one day and was down and started to complain to my wife about how frustrated I was that none of my clothes fit well. They were either too tight or to big and baggy that I just felt fat. I had tried personal training at a big gym and it worked for a while but nothing ever seemed to stick long term. I was tired of the “yo-yo” lifestyle I was living with my weight and general health. My wife suggested I give CrossFit a try because a former colleague of hers did CrossFit and he was able to completely transform his physique. So I called Matt (secretly hoping he didn’t answer the phone), set up an appointment, decided to give it a shot and haven’t looked back.
I was nervous and scared walking through the door that first day because I only knew what I saw on TV or from a YouTube video. I was expecting everyone to be in peak physical condition, lifting heavy weights and doing dozens of pull-ups or push-ups, thinking what is this guy doing here? He can’t even do a single pull-up. Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Everyone was welcoming and encouraging and nobody cared how much weight I lifted or how many pull-ups or push-ups I could do. All anyone really cared about was that you worked hard and did your best, whatever that was, and encouraged you and pushed you to keep going.
Currently Working On & How Have Goals Changed
When I started I didn’t really have any goals other than to survival. Then it became all about the weight and how much was I lifting versus someone else or whether I set a new PR this week, etc. But that all changed when I realized none of that mattered. It was about being mentally tough. Focusing on one rep at a time and doing MY best. My long term goals are to be able to start Rx’ing some of the workouts; however, in the short term I’ve really focused on improving my mental toughness, form and technique as well as working on flexibility in my lower body (hips and hamstrings) as well as in my shoulders.
Favorite Crossfit Memory
There are really two events that stand out. The first is when I was able to do an 18” box jump for the first time. When I started out I was doing just 12” box jumps and really wanted to go up in height for the WOD but was nervous. We were warming up and Matt saw me just staring at the box, afraid to jump. All I could picture was jumping, catching my feet on the box and doing a face plant right into the top of the box. Matt told me I could do it and that it was all in my head. Well I made that 18” jump and right there I knew that I could do this and that the only thing holding me back was me. The second event was from a workout during my first month there. I was starting to feel comfortable but some of the more experienced Crossfiter’s were there so was a bit intimated. I was on my last movement, box jumps, when Allen Horsnail came over and just kept encouraging me, don’t stop, keep going, one more jump. That not only made me feel good but right then I understood what Crossfit was all about.
Successes So Far
First and foremost I think what I am most proud of has nothing to do with performance or numbers but rather it’s the mental toughness and confidence you develop simply finishing a Matt Kirkendall designed WOD which I thought was impossible. Next it’s all of the firsts – first pull up; first double under; first hand stand; first rope climb.
I recall two years ago about this time, construction began taking place in the location that is now Widespread CrossFit. I would get my haircut in the months that followed in the same strip mall and take a look in the gym while peeps were working out and say to myself ….. who in the f–k wants to put themselves through that?! I even voiced my opinion to Allison, my wife who had already secretly planned to join CrossFit. I am always the last to know in our family. I am sure that surprises no one.
So, Allison is now doing CrossFit. I am hearing about the daily WODs ….. WTF is a WOD? Her energy is off the charts, I am sitting on the deck drinking a glass of wine and smoking a cigar …. contemplating, I am going to be 50 in 3 months and I am just like my dad…..Belly and all. I am 237 pounds, I lack energy, my ankles hurt walking stairs, my knees hurt carrying too much weight and my back can’t get through a round of golf without spasms……I go to a spine specialist and their suggestion is to stick a needle into my spinal column and shoot meds for the pain. After holding Allison and watching while the doc gave her an epidural when she delivered our first child, NOT going to happen! The timing was perfect. At the same time as my doctor’s appointment and being scared …. Allison was doing a nutrition challenge thru CrossFit. I ate what she ate. I walked when she walked. I walked when she ran. I walked when she did burpees. You get the picture. I dropped 12 pounds in 6 weeks. Then I went to the Halloween CrossFit work out – 2015. I watched guys my size carrying pumpkins and running 200 meters. O.K. I can do this.
I joined CrossFit in November of 2015. I have lost 25 pounds, my waist size has gone from 40.5 to 37, my blood pressure is under control due to consistent exercise and nutrition, my ankles don’t hurt, my knees don’t hurt and my back is fine whether I play 18 or 36 holes in a golf tournament which I recently had to do. That would not have happened 5 years ago. After wearing clothes that I had in my drawer from 2002, thinking it would not last ….that I would gain it all back, I haven’t. CrossFit is now a way of life for me and my family as all of our kids do it as well. Nothing more fun than working out with a family member. I finally went out and purchased some new clothes because it will stick.
Matt and Kari, I appreciate your encouragement every day. I also appreciate that you recognize what I am there to accomplish. I am looking to build strength, flexibility, mobility and most importantly, be around for our kids and grand kids to come. CrossFit and disciplined nutrition are allowing that to become a reality for me because 8 months ago, I did not think it possible.
I started my CrossFit journey a little over 3 years ago. I liked CrossFit in the beginning, but didn’t LOVE it – the first 2 years, I still dabbled in other things and went to CrossFit 2 or 3 days a week. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always thought it was a great work out, I just wasn’t motivated to actually go or I would make excuses that I was too sore or tired or the WOD was stupid. However, when Matt opened Widespread CrossFit, his coaching, passion and fitness knowledge were so motivating that I started doing CrossFit 4-5 days a week. While I still have lots of room for improvement (pull-ups are my nemesis), I’ve made gains in almost every area. Physically since starting at Widespread CrossFit, I’ve lost 4% of my body fat which I think is a pretty big deal considering I’ve worked out almost my whole life and I’m not in my 20s any more (or my 30s, but we can just forget that part). Honestly though, there are so many things that make me love Widespread CrossFit more than any physical changes that I’ve experienced. The people in the gym have become my friends and working out is actually fun. I love seeing everyone make progress and it motivates me to become better and stronger both physically and mentally. CrossFit also allows me to be fit enough to continue to do the outdoor activities that I love when I get the chance – I hiked two 14ers last summer and they were relatively easy; skiing has always been a challenge for me, but this season was different and I felt more comfortable than ever on the slopes. Most importantly, CrossFit has allowed my kiddos to see me as a strong role model. Matt has created a community where we have family-friendly workouts for certain holidays and celebrations. We also had an intramural competition at the gym for the CrossFit Open where families and friends could come to watch athletes participate every Friday night. My kids watched me do 16.5 and the other day I said something about me being lazy to which my daughter replied, “Mom, NO WAY are you lazy, I saw you lift that bar over your head with those big weights on it again and again.” Getting out of my comfort zone and doing a workout in front of everyone in the gym was hard, but knowing that my daughter was watching and saw me as the furthest thing from ‘lazy’ made it all worth it.
I’ve never been more terrified than the day I walked into my first WOD; but it quickly became clear that people weren’t there to judge me; in fact every single person high-fived me after the workout. In my mind, I was losing it; “are they gonna go talk about my cellulite in the bathroom behind my back now?” I was amazed that there was a place in the fitness world where everyone is viewed as an equal and encouraged, even though there are vastly different fitness levels in each class.
I was hooked as soon as I realized I wasn’t going to be frowned upon for my struggles, but rather, would be applauded for my efforts. I always hated getting on the elliptical for hours (while the chick next to you silently judges your resistance setting and speed – how dare she!), and CrossFit suddenly provided me an outlet to lift heavy shit, curse like a sailor, be social, and have a blast….sans judgment.
I was a competitive cheerleader in high school (I was cheer captain…no big deal), so I thought I had a fairly decent understanding of Olympic lifting and gymnastics, but Crossfit has a way of humbling you. Slowly, but surely, my power clean increased from 85# to 110#; nowadays I’m able to power clean more than most ladies in the gym. I started with a deadlift one rep max of 195lbs and a few months ago, I rep’d 220lbs three times. On the flip side, I just got my first kipping pull up two weeks ago, struggle to snatch 95lbs on a good day, and don’t even get me started on my mile time. There is always room to grow in CrossFit. I hate running and cardio with the passion of a thousand burning suns, but force myself to the gym on metcon days, solely to work on those weaknesses.
A few months ago, I signed up for my first competition (for intermediate and beginner athletes). My one goal going into the competition was not to finish last. As it turns out, I finished fourth in the intermediate division which was probably one of my proudest accomplishments to date…in my life. It’s up there with getting my Masters degree – seriously. My absolute favorite thing now is seeing new people in the gym because they have absolutely no idea what kind of psycho-obsessed, addictive, spiritual, love-fest journey they are beginning.
The best benefit, besides being super good looking? I’m now able to carry both of my cats with one arm; a true feat of strength. What more could you really ask for?
On my first day, Matt asked me why I wanted to do CrossFit. I said “I wanted killer abs.” I was being sarcastic (sort of, haha). What I really wanted was to be challenged again. As a former gymnast in China, I spent over a decade of my childhood pushing my limits. Gymnastic required an un-paralleled level of flexibility, balance and body control, so I was a little skeptical that CrossFit would really fill that void. It didn’t take long for me to realize, I was wrong. CrossFit challenges me in every single way physically and mentally. It was more than just my performance of skills or movements, it challenges the way I feel about myself and live my life.
After training with Matt five times a week for six months, I’ve gone from dreaming about doing a single pull-up to finishing “Murph” (1mile run, 100 Pull-ups, 200 Push-ups 300 Squats 1 mile Run) in under 52 minutes; from not being able to do 50 single rope-jumps to knocking out 20 unbroken double-unders; from lifting only the bar to RX-ing almost everything in the daily WOD. I always hated running but now it’s one of my favorite exercises. I am a healthy eater, no longer a carbohydrate addict. I’ve gained 15 pounds of muscle and dropped 2 sizes.
I can’t count how many awesome friends I’ve made through just doing CrossFit. Every single one of them is a role model for me in some way. We encourage each other to keep going, even when we are suffering through a workout ourselves. We race each other but never leave anyone behind. We hang out as close friends outside the gym. We talk about the WODs we love and hate. We cheer for our teammates. We walk around in our soreness like we are swaggering. We talk to people proudly about Crossfit. Most importantly, we take great post workout selfies!
Through CrossFit, I have learned that there is more to achieve in life. CrossFit pushes you to your limits – proving what you are really capable of.
CrossFit has changed my life in more ways than I can count. When I began CrossFit I didn’t have a regular exercise or nutrition routine. I did boring daily runs to stay in shape and my nutrition was lacking and inconsistent. I was very skeptical of CrossFit when I walked into my first class and then I saw 3 minutes of jump roping in the warm-up and thought “um I haven’t jump roped since the fifth grade…this is probably going to be embarrassing and won’t last long at all…” Because who likes to go in and have their ego handed to them in front of a class full of strangers? But that’s one of the wonderful things about CrossFit, I have come to learn, is that EVERYONE has to leave their ego at the door and EVERYONE struggles. It’s one of the many things that brings us crossfitters together, the struggle that we all go through together.
Long story short I quickly became an addict and it’s tough to get me out of the box these days. Since starting CrossFit I try to constantly work on getting out of my comfort zone, which includes signing up for CrossFit competitions and most recently a half marathon. I placed 2nd in my most recent individual CrossFit competition and finished my first half marathon in 1hr and 52mins. I had a goal of 2hrs and 15mins, so to beat my goal by almost 20 minutes was very surprising and exciting. I also improved my overall regional standing in The CrossFit Open by 94 spots from 2014 to 2015. These small victories are all due to my programming and training with head coach and owner of Widespread CrossFit, Matthew Kirkendall. Without consistent CrossFit training and nutrition counseling, none of these fitness goals would have been accomplished.
I was a certifiable CrossFit skeptic for years thinking “what’s WITH the stupid people tricks?” But, as fate would have it – over the winter of 2014 I met 3 very tough, VERY fit women who all had one thing in common – they all did CrossFit.
I had played competitive sports my whole life but my career had taken me away from organized fitness for over a decade. When I started CrossFit, I could barely do a chin-up, had never done a true Olympic lift, and felt old in my body.
Then, I started CrossFit and a month into it met Coach Matt Kirkendall. From the get go, I was hooked. I literally learned something new from Matt every day. And every day, he pushed me (and all the athletes in class) to work harder, run faster, and lift more strongly and safely. I started making gains immediately. Before winter hit, I had dropped 15 lbs. and cut 30 minutes from my half marathon time and by January banged out 10 pull-ups in row – more than once!
But the numbers tell only half the story. With hard work and a daily dose of CrossFit endorphins, I felt better not just in the gym but also at work, parenting, and with family. Best of all—I found myself again among a community of teammates. Teammates who celebrate you just for showing up – who support you the more you sweat, the harder you breath, the harder you try. Teammates who still giggle almost a year in at “snatch” jokes and just are there to give you a hug or high five in moments of doubt. Teammates who just make you better, faster, stronger – inside and out.
No longer a skeptic… though likely certifiable – its a privilege to be a part of the CrossFit community through Widespread and have Matt Kirkendall as a coach.