At CFM, we celebrate all the PRs, the attendance, the sweat equity, the smiles. Everyone is guaranteed to leave smiling! Check out some of our awesome members, their stories and their advice for anyone on the fence about trying Crossfit out!
Starting the new year can be overwhelming with all these new year’s resolutions and goal setters. Starting a new fitness program in the middle of the year can be overwhelming too, but not for our January member spotlight-er, Beth! Beth joined our new program, momMEfit back in April of 2022. She was one of our founding members and she’s never missed a class since!
Beth was about five months postpartum and new to the Mandeville area when she found momMEfit. Something she didn’t know what to expect, but something she’s so grateful for finding! Prior to starting momMEfit, Beth was low on energy and strength to not only deal with her new baby but also her toddler already at home! Motivation was low and she was seeking something to get her to the next step. The ladies (and coaches) of momMEfit helped her find that passion again. Beth says “I’ve developed a love for working out (actually an obsession) which is something I thought would never happen”
Beth has lost weight, gained energy and confidence both inside and outside the gym AND she’s gained quite a few new besties along the way. You know what they say, misery loves company so why not sweat with your best friends 😊
One of Beth’s goals is to “keep up with the real crossfitters” but what she doesn’t know is that those she thinks of as “real crossfitters” are trying to keep up with her crushing it at life!
When asked what advice she would give someone (a mom or not) thinking of starting a fitness routine she said: “take the first step and just keep showing up. I’ll forever be thankful to the momMEfit program for jumpstarting a healthy lifestyle, creating a safe place for me to workout with my littles and for the amazing people/friends I’ve met. “
If you’re looking to get started, check out all our class and program options! CrossFit, Skinnyfit, momMEfit, iFit inclusive fitness…you name it, we’ve got it!
This month we are so excited to spotlight one of the founding members of the iFit program, Miss Lauren. When iFit first started in January of 2022, Lauren was there!
While you would never know it with her sometimes bashful attitude, Lauren is quite the competitor thus CrossFit with Coach Megan is a DREAM for her! She loves the lifting that is incorporated into the iFit programming and currently she can deadlift 95 pounds! Her bench press is on up there too at 45 pounds…with a little thing like Lauren at 16 years old, those CrossFit Games athletes better watch out!
Before starting iFit, Lauren was/is heavily involved in your typical sports such as baseball, basketball, tennis lessons and of course her favorite – Miracle League Soccer.
When starting CrossFit, Lauren didn’t necessarily have specific goals in mind but now that she’s totally hooked, getting stronger is the only thing she’s got her sights set on! Well Lauren, with your discipline and determination we KNOW you will keep getting stronger!
Lauren can be an example for us all. She comes in, listens to her coach, counts all of her reps and does everything full out. If we all could just be more like Lauren inside and outside the gym, just maybe we could reach one more goal on our list and make one more person smile in our day. Thank you for being you, Lauren. We are so glad you are a part of the iFit and CrossFit Mandeville family!
Sara has been with the CFM family since April of this year. Coming from a basketball background, Sara was looking for something that reminded her of her conditioning days during basketball seasons. Well – we think she found it!
Sara started doing a lot of at-home workouts during the pandemic, but like most of us she realized that she wasn’t making the time for her workouts with no accountability. After she graduated college, she decided to take the plunge and joined CFM. She’s never looked back and can we just talk about how she’s already lost TWENTY-FIVE pounds! Our girl is totally crushing it!
Sara has goals of being able to do pull-ups one day and as she says “to be able to do more than just one double under at a time.” We KNOW she will get there so soon as she hasn’t missed a 6am class since she started!
Sara has some advice for those that are starting a new fitness routine or even just thinking about starting…”just keep showing up especially when you don’t want to” If those words aren’t true, wow! Just keeping showing up for YOU and for your best self! Way to kill it, Sara. We are so proud of you!
Our October spotlight is one of our faithful SkinnyFitters, Jan Nunmaker. While many of you know her daughter, PayPay (our iFit star of Thursday Night Lights), Jan is the mom behind the star. Jan has been coming to SkinnyFit for almost a year now and we couldn't be more pleased every time she (and PayPay) walk through the door!
"I started SkinnyFit in early 2022, so I have been working on my fitness for about seven months.
When Coach Megan started IFIT my daughter PayPay was her first athlete to participate. Watching Coach Megan work with PayPay made me realize that what my son Jake had been telling my was absolutely true. CrossFit truly can be adapted to anyone wanting to improve their level of fitness.
Nicole Leahy invited me to try SkinnyFit which is scheduled right before IFIT. I tried it and realized, although it was not an easy workout, it was a good fit for me. From that point on, I have attended SkinnyFit and then PayPay does IFIT, which has become our daily routine.
Before SkinnyFit, I was running or walking, but not consistently. I had never been interested in weight training, didn’t know what a box jump or kettle bell was, and certainly saw no reason to ever do a push-up.
Since starting SkinnyFit the biggest goal I have achieved would be a recent personal best in dead lift. However, there have been other smaller improvements along the way that have given me confidence and kept me motivated, like increasing reps with sit-ups and push-ups, using a higher box for step ups, and gradually adding weight. For me, this steady improvement has encouraged me that I can do more with commitment and Coach Lisa gently pushing me along. My goal is to keep surpassing my personal bests.
For someone who is thinking about trying SkinnyFit or is new to the program, my advice would be to talk with Coach Lisa about your concerns. You will be pleasantly surprised by the wealth of information and expertise she has and amazed at her ability to modify a workout especially for you.
I cannot thank Coach Megan, Coach Lisa, and Coach Lacey enough for their constant support from the day PayPay and I walked into CrossFit Mandeville. The kindness we have been shown from this CrossFit community has been a blessing to our family. We didn’t realize how much we needed this in our lives.
Thank you all!"
Thank YOU Jan, for allowing us to be a part of you and PayPay's family. We can't wait to see what 2023 brings for you both in your fitness and personal lives!
We are pleased to honor our September spotlight, Ms. Tori Liberto! Another 5am-er, but when there’s so many of them chances are one of our spotlights will be a 5am-er!
Tori came to us a couple years ago when CFM did our first annual “Vinnie WOD and Fundraiser” in 2020. 2020 marked the 1-year anniversary of the passing of Tori’s dad, Vincent Liberto a Mandeville police officer. The event was to bring awareness to the foundation the family had put into place which supports organizations like Tunnels2Towers. The entire Liberto family showed up and participated in the workout, Tori included. However, it wasn’t until our second annual Vinnie WOD and Fundraiser that Tori decided to make CFM and fitness her home and a priority.
Tori was a cheerleader throughout her school days, finding that while she would participate in your average fitness (cardio mostly) she knew that weight training was what she was missing, was what would get her to reaching her goals and was what CFM had to offer her that no other place had offered her before. She says CFM was the right choice for her for so many reasons but mostly,
“I knew CrossFit Mandeville would be a good way to start my fitness because of what I noticed from the Vinnie WOD. There was a strong present of a family and empowerment. I also was very interested in weight training and the different type of barbell workouts I have never done before. I knew with the best coaches I could get back to being my strongest self. Having the ability to have coaches to train, encourage, and push you to a goal while holding you accountable was something I was looking for in my journey.”
Tori has some goals just like the rest of us. Although, when you show up to 5am consistently every week we aren’t sure you need any more goals than that other than maybe to drink 4 cups of coffee a day (but we feel like the dental hygienist in her would disagree 😊 ). Tori, like the rest of us, would love to master that darn jump rope and get free-flowing double unders. She says one of her goals, also, is the kipping pull-up – but girl, you got those already! Tori appreciates the functional movement and range of motion that these movements, as well as so many others, offers to your fitness – spoken like a true cheerleader!
When asked any advice you’d give someone looking to start CrossFit, looking to continue CrossFit or looking to just start a fitness routine in general here is what she had to say:
“Don’t give up. Everyone starts somewhere. I knew nothing before walking through those doors besides just one workout. I had no idea what an AMRAP or EMOM was before then. After a couple of weeks, I quickly learned the lingo. It is so easy to compare yourself to others and where they are in fitness, but the best thing to do is to set goals and to go to the coaches for questions and modifications. The only way to be better is to show up. One thing I have enjoyed the most about CrossFit Mandeville is not only the coaches but the members we have. There is always a laugh or two being made at 5am even if it is too early to breathe. The team atmosphere is everything I could ask for in a gym and I am so glad I chose CrossFit Mandeville to be my home. “
Well Tori, we are glad you chose CFM to be your home too! 5am wouldn’t be the same without you, we’d be one less girl-power queen in the gym and Richard would have one less person to ask questions to 😊 We love having you and we can’t wait to see what the future brings for you!
Our August member spotlight is Miss (5am momma) Leslie. She may be tiny but she is fierce and will be real quick to hold you accountable! Leslie started coming to CFM back in June of 2021 after her hubby (fellow member spotlight from May, JB) decided he loved us! Thanks JB!
Before Leslie started setting her alarm for 430am every day, she was a part of your typical fitness routine during the pandemic times, cross training videos at home and the occasional spin class or time running outside. Now she’s one of the 5am staples, making sure everyone is having a great morning and that everyone heard the coach when they called out the next movement in the warm-up :-)
Leslie wanted to find consistency and accountability in her workouts (one of the main reasons she started CrossFit)…well now she’s the one helping us stay accountable! With her consistency, Leslie has established some goals with her fitness. Leslie wants to master those pull-ups and double-unders one day. We know with her go-get-em attitude and faithfulness in showing up every morning that she will be there in no time! I mean have you seen the girl’s V-ups? She looks like a gymnast!
When asked her advice for someone thinking of starting CrossFit we couldn’t have summed it up better: “I would say just try it, and keep showing up. One of my favorite things at the gym are the coaches! They help to modify workouts if we need it, or push us a little when they know we can do more. I would also say that you are not alone! You’ll find a family here. I love my 5 am crew. We work hard but play hard, too :-) “
We broke down some of the details about our July member of the month, Mr. Tim Smith (Sir Trainer Tim as he refers to himself). Tim came to us back in 2019 when CFM hosted a bootcamp. We remember him sticking out of the group and telling ourselves, this dude is going to stick it out for the long haul. After 3 years, a pandemic and a job transition – he did! He stuck it out and he’s making more gains now than he has in his whole life! Did we mention how Tim kept us all smiling during the brief gym’s shutdown in 2020? This dude is a character and that was only the beginning of us falling in love with him!
“Everything I had seen & heard about CF is what I wanted & needed. The camaraderie and community environment are what I needed and had been missing since I left the military, ~20 years earlier.” We agree, Tim. The community and camaraderie are top notch!
Tim told us that prior to starting CrossFit in 2019 (and being out of the military for 20 years or so) that his physical activity consisted of mostly nothing; cutting the grass consisted of sitting on the mower and riding it around. “I had ballooned up to ~250 pounds and became a shell of the man I use to be”
Tim keeps us on our toes with which classes he will attend, but it’s always a pleasure when he shows up. Recently Tim picked up another hobby, Jiu-Jitsu with our friends down at Vida Jiu-Jitsu. He’s gotten so good in such a short period of time (props to his CrossFit game he says) that he podiumed at a recently competition. Talk about progress and determination! He says his goals for 2022 are to just keep improving and being the best version of himself. Well with an achievement like that, we KNOW that he will just keep climbing up!
His advice on starting CrossFit? It’s simple – JUST DO IT! “Stop thinking about it and just walk through that door! My only regret is that I waited so long to walk through that door. Everything is scalable, so don’t be intimidated and think you will have to climb a rope or run a mile on day one, that’s not how CrossFit is.”
The music to our ears at the end of our chat was this “CrossFit is one of the best things to ever happen to me.” Well Tim, you’re one of the best things to every happen to CFM!
Orlan has only been with us for 9 short months. Starting back at the beginning of August 2021, Orlan had some athletic ability that all the coaches spotted instantly. Even though his abilities were beyond your typical rookie, his coach-ability was excellent. When any cue is given in the technique section, a drill performed during the warm-up or the casual note mentioned in passing over the loud music – Orlan tunes in and applies everything he can!
Orlan started Crossfit out of curiosity of the sport while looking for a more well-rounded fitness regime. Prior to walking in the doors of CFM August 9th, he and his wife were enjoying lots of cycling. Fitness is a huge part of his family so occasionally they would sprinkle in some weight training during their week. Orlan knew he wanted something more intentional if he were to reach the goals he knew he wanted (and is fully capable) of reaching. Thus August 9th he started his first class with us at CFM.
Orlan has gotten to work quickly and already mastered the bar muscle-up! When asked what his other goals are in the fitness arena, they are aggressive! But mostly he’s checking out those “pesky” (as he puts it) double-unders and looking to get 100 unbroken one day. They are coming for you, Orlan! We have NO doubt!
When asked for his advice on someone thinking of starting CrossFit he had to say: “Well I feel I'm just starting myself so don't feel qualified to answer this one, but what I can say is that I have not found a better community to be a part of, in or outside of athletics. The tailored challenge that is complimented by a positive team atmosphere is incredible and I am truly grateful to be a part of CFM. I think there are a lot of misconceptions about CrossFit. I was initially intimidated and did not understand the focus on overall functionality and general health. Once I met the incredible coaching staff and other members, it became clear I was just misinformed.”
We are glad you are a part of our family now and we can’t wait to see you continue this fitness journey with us on your side!
Let’s hear it for our Mississippi-twang 530pmer, JB, for making our May member spotlight! JB has been with the CrossFit Mandeville family for almost 2 years, but his journey started in 2017.
When JB first heard about this CrossFit thing, it was during the Open of 2017. He decided to give it a shot, a rookie and novice candidate for the Open’s luxurious “fun.” Even though he was a non-crossfitter at a time, as soon as the Open was over, his Koolaid cup was empty for he had drank the Koolaid and was ready to dive in! A humbling experience he called it, he signed up immediately to get to work!
In 2019, he join Bossier City CrossFit and within a couple months, the pandemic struck. Keeping his goals in mind, once gyms opened back up he found CrossFit Mandeville and they all lived happily ever after.
“Initially I really wanted to get into Olympic lifting. I was trying to learn it on my own at a non-CrossFit gym. Needless to say that didn’t work! Once I tried the open workouts at a CrossFit gym, I knew I was in the right place.”
Prior to finding his other tru- love (his first being his lovely wife, Leslie who is a 5amer) he would try HIIT, running and some traditional weightlifting. None of which gave him the rush and success that CrossFit did. JB has some goals just like the rest of us, being able to RX more and more workouts when his shoulder allows, improve his OLY technic and lift heavier and of course get the bunnies back! JB recently started following “Knees Over Toes Guy” and has been putting some extra work in after class.
When asked his advice for those thinking of starting CrossFit, “Just show up and work! Everyone comes in a little intimidated at first. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing or how much better or faster they are. Work on you and do the best you can. I guarantee you that crossfit will be the best thing you’ve ever done to impact your overall health and wellness.”
Thank you JB, our Britney Spears number 1 fan, for being such a pivotal piece of our CFM family!
Billy started CrossFit with us just under a year ago, July of 2021. He knows fellow member, Joe DiTommaso, from the business world. Joe had bragged enough about CrossFit Mandeville to Billy (because you know the first rule of fight club is to not talk about fight club, right?!) that Billy decided to give it a shot. “I wanted to get in shape and start a healthier lifestyle. Joe encouraged me to give it a chance and I haven’t regretted it one day (except for maybe on days with the assault bike).”
Billy was like most of us when it came to fitness before CrossFit, part of a local gym that he hardly frequented. Now he’s at CrossFit Mandeville 3-5 days a week setting BIG goals for his future self! Billy has such a coachable attitude, listens intently and puts in the hard and necessary work. One day he’d like to do the big movements like muscle-ups and toes-to-bar, but his main goal is to just improve day by day.
When asked what advice he would give someone considering CrossFit, he had quite a bit to say: “My advice would be to just give it a chance! I put it off for over a year because I felt it would be intimidating, but it never was. The coaches at Crossfit Mandeville all have the same goal and that is to encourage you and help you to improve your technique and get better, and the members couldn't be more supportive of each other. I couldn't have found a better place to start Crossfit.”
You can catch Billy in the evening classes, but if you’re ready to jump in now – come to ANY class you can!
Richard has only been with us 11 short months, but what an impact he’s brought to our little family at CFM! Richard started CrossFit back in April of 2021 when his daughter’s boyfriend, Jake (Coach Bill’s bestie) and Coach Bill challenged him to a friendly AMRAP of wallballs, biking, rowing and burpees one Sunday. “I don’t like to lose; I thought I had a chance, OUCH!” That’s where it all began for Richard and his CrossFit career!
Before CrossFit, Richard enjoyed running, light lifting and recently had picked up cycling when the pandemic first struck. While nothing is like a HIIT workout or an intense AMRAP, Richard says the only thing from his past that can compare SLIGHTLY to what he now does every morning at 5am was water skiing or snow skiing. As we all know though, there is NOTHING like the intensity, community and #sweatequity that CrossFit provides!
When asked what advice you would give someone who’s thinking about starting CrossFit, Richard responded with the following explaining how he originally viewed CrossFit versus what is actually was for him:
“I spent years being very critical of CrossFit. Partly my fault, for just thinking I could walk in and sign a waiver and get started with no foundation skills. I’m thankful now to know that the CrossFit family is just the opposite of my first impression. My experience has also made me always reach out to the new members and drop ins. I love CFM top to bottom. Everyone in the box has truly been a blessing to me!”
Not only has Richard become a regular 5amer, but he’s roped his daughter, Natalie, into joining him EVERY morning as well! The two are fixtures of that class and when one is missing, the other must hear the 27 questions of where the other is and why they are missing! That’s what you call accountability and a FAMILY!
Richard has some lofty goals for his CrossFit career, but we know with his dedication and discipline he will achieve them all! For 2022, he has only two goals – Double Unders and a Muscle Up! He likes to add “I didn’t put bar on that.” 👀We see you Richard👀 and we can’t wait to watch you kick some butt in your SECOND year of CrossFit!
Bryan has been with us for SEVERAL years, circa 2014/2015 ish (time flies when your sweating fat away, right?!). He was talked into trying us out after his wife, Rachel, had been doing it for a bit and thought he could really benefit from it. Bryan jokes and said “Personally, I think she just wanted another person to beat at the gym.” If you know Rachel, you know the funniness to this statement! *We love you, Rach!*
Before CrossFit, Bryan wasn’t doing much in the fitness department. He played high school football and did shot put/discus so much of his routine was weight room based. After high school, like most of us, he slid away from the weight room and started real life. Real life started when he joined the fire department as a full-time professional firefighter. He was mostly running and doing some light body-weight exercises, the occasional push-up here and there, but nothing like CrossFit. Thankfully Rachel got him to join our family and it’s been “all she wrote” ever since!
Recently Bryan has taken a turn of a new potential profession and gone back to school. He’s been working so hard toward his goals for the future, both inside and outside the gym. With his new schedule, he’s been hitting two-a-days frequently at the gym. Bryan has progressed so much with his lifts, with his weight-loss and with his overall fitness! Bryan said that one of his goals this year in CrossFit (inside the gym) is to get a ring muscle-up and “maybe go from beating Rachel at a workout once a year to once a month.” Your coaches are definitely here for the friendly competition and we are DEFINITELY here to watch you explode in the CrossFit Open this year and move to the next level with a quarterfinals performance, possibly with Rachel by your side competing as well!
When asked what advice Bryan would give to someone thinking about starting CrossFit he said, “Don't be in a hurry. I didn't Rx a workout until months into CrossFit. The fitness will come. Also, if you find yourself struggling, you have a great community that will help you along.” We agree with having a great community to help you along. It’s because of people like Bryan, his wife Rachel and all of our fantastic members and coaches that we have this phenomenal community!
We wish Bryan all of the luck in school, in fitness, in life and in beating Rachel in one more workout each month! 😉
Jerry comes to us from the world of college sports! A former recruiter and baseball coach at the University of Alabama and a former collegiate athlete himself, Jerry joined CrossFit Mandeville in October of 2021!
Jerry recently moved to the Northshore from Alabama after spending years away from home. His dream as a child from Chalmette was to live on the northshore, now he's living the dream! When asked why he started CrossFit Jerry said,
"I was able to reconnect with and old buddy of mine PJ.. who has trained at CFM for a long time. He raved about it and said it would be good for me.. So I gave it a shot. Showed up on a Saturday Morning to meet Coach Lacey and Coach Lisa and did about a 100 burpees.. I couldn’t move for 3 days. Coach Lacey said to just make sure to keep showing up so I did. That is what got me in the door. Why I do it is simple. I have done all kinds of training and have never been challenged like CrossFit. I don’t have to think about workouts. At CFM there tremendous coaches that won’t let you do any technique wrong and are filled with encouragement."
Jerry's advice for those wanting to start CrossFit, those thinking about starting CrossFit or those just wondering what it's like to 'drink the Koolaid'...
"If your thinking of joining this gym then it’s a No Brainer! 1) Coaches are off the charts- Lacey, Bill, Jacob, Lisa. There was zero judgement towards an overweight former athlete. They encourage/challenge you and keep it really fun. 2). Understand that workouts and some movements are really tough! So be patient with yourself. 3.). You are going to be really sore for a while when you just start- Just keep coming! Keep Moving. Lol. 3.) Other members are awesome! The 6 am class rocks. - What I have learned in a short time is no matter why you want to come into the gym - you can Accomplish it through CrossFit! "
We are excited to watch Jerry flourish in the gym with us and to achieve his big time goals of getting more RX workouts under his belt, become more efficient with toes-to-bar and double unders and OF COURSE to watch him do a muscle-up...one day!