Lunara and Leandro Pessoa
Q:How did you find out about Ballston CrossFit and what about it convinced you to join?
When my husband was told in February 2022 that he was selected by the Brazilian Army to represent the Institution at the Inter-American Defense Board, in Washington DC, we were very happy and excited with the opportunity to live in a foreign country. This is something that we had always dreamt of. I remember one of the first things that concerned us was where we would workout. CrossFit is more than a sport for us. It is a lifestyle. While in Brazil, we started researching CrossFit gyms around some areas where we thought we might live. We Googled and found many gyms in Maryland, DC, and Virginia. We went to trial classes at seven different CrossFit gyms, checking the community, programming and the facility itself. I remember that Ballston CrossFit was left last because when we saw pictures on the internet and had the feeling that Ballston CrossFit was the best. We signed up for a free trial class on Saturday. When we got to the gym and entered we felt surprised because it was better than we imagined. We met Tucker, the owner, and he was so gentle and welcoming that we just fell in love. When the class started, we were introduced to the community. It was an awesome reception, everybody was so friendly that my husband and I looked at each other and said: We found it!
Q:When did you start at BCF and what were your goals going into it?
I started at BCF in July 2022 and my goals were to increase my performance because my prior experience at a gym in Brazil was not so good. We actually lost a lot of performance because the workout program was not very challenging for us. So at BCF we set some goals for ourselves: handstand walking, RMU, heavier olympic lifts, butterfly pull-ups, and for all the PRs.
Q: What has helped you achieve success at BCF?
Three things helped me achieve success at BCF: Programming, coaches, and community. The workout program is hard, tough and very well designed for all levels of members. We really feel challenged every workout and it definitely increased our performance in CrossFit. We have set many PRs in our lifts and our gymnastics skills! Coaches are one of the best parts. They are very attentive and professional, always correcting our positions and demanding the best from us. This is really important to help push us to another level. The community of BCF is also amazing. Friendly, nice, and gentle people that really made us feel like home since the very first moment we walked into BCF. We’ve made really good friends at BCF and we love them.
Q:What advice can you give to others that are new to CrossFit?
Take your time, listen to the coaches and pay close attention to them. CrossFit is a very good sport to practice: It really works the whole body, but it demands patience, dedication and caution. Set some goals and work to achieve them, step by step, brick by brick. Never skip stages! Aside from building a strong body, also build a strong mind!
Q: Besides working out, what other lifestyle changes did you make outside of the gym to achieve your goals?
In order to achieve our goals, we made some changes to our lifestyle that really helped us. First of all, we changed our nutrition. We looked for a nutritionist and started following a nutrition plan to lose weight and we learned how to eat healthier. This change was key in our lives and helped us gain more performance and improve our body composition!
Q: What has been your favorite thing about Ballston CrossFit?
Our favorite thing about BCF is the experience of making real friends and having the opportunity to share our culture, lifestyle and also to learn much more about the USA. At BCF we feel at home, we feel that we are surrounded by family. Of course the workouts are awesome, challenging, and the coaches are very professional/reliable too! The community for us is the best part. It is not easy to name one favorite thing about BCF because we just LOVE everything.