Success Stories

6
Aug

Adriana Bustillo

Q: How did you find out about Ballston CrossFit and what about it convinced you to join?

I started doing CrossFit in November 2020 when I was living in Atlanta, GA. Growing up I was in the track and field and soccer teams at my school but once I started college I completely stopped working out. Once I graduated, I started running short distances a couple of times a week but was not consistent with it. One day when I was running, I saw a sign of a CrossFit gym close to where I lived and decided to give it a try. After the first class I could not move for a week, but got really motivated to continue going. Last June my husband and I were planning to move to the DMV area and, when looking for places to live, my only condition was to be close to a CrossFit gym. Luckily, we moved to Ballston and my journey at BCF started. I honestly was a little nervous when I went to my first class, since I already had my community and friends in Atlanta, but everybody was so nice and welcoming at BCF that I felt at home right away.

Q: When did you start at BCF and what were your goals going into it?

I started in June 2022, and my goals were to continue getting stronger and also improving my running times. I ran my first half-marathon in February 2022 with a finishing time of 2:12. I have had a huge improvement since then, finishing my second race in 2:01 in December 2022, and my third in 1:58 in March 2023. Moving forward I want to continue improving my times and also run my first marathon later this year.

Q: What has helped you achieve success at BCF?

Consistent attendance to classes, having the support of the coaches and the members, and the programming. I am really happy with the improvement I have had with running, and how it keeps me motivated.

Q: What advice can you give to others that are new to CrossFit?

We all have to start somewhere, keep showing up to classes and listen to your body.

Q: Besides working out, what other lifestyle changes did you make outside of the gym to achieve your goals?

I started to take my sleep time and nutrition more serious, and while it’s not even close to be perfect, I feel I have made huge progress. 

Q: What has been your favorite thing about Ballston CrossFit?

The community and amazing coaches. I have met incredible people that I am happy to call my friends.

24
Jul

Amber Paige

I’ve never been good with consistency. Growing up, I did a bunch of different sports: gymnastics for a few years, Tae Kwon Do after that, some soccer and softball, basketball and football through middle school, and then track in high school (the team didn’t have cuts) – but nothing really stuck.

In college, I would go through periods of running at 6am every day for weeks and then be a couch potato for months. I would buy a workout program by a popular fitness blogger/influencer, do it for a few weeks, and then stop because I was overwhelmed trying to figure out how to use all the different gym equipment. If I’m being honest, I gave up whenever things became difficult or inconvenient because I didn’t want to look like I was trying. I always thought people who were fit did it effortlessly because they enjoyed it and had more time to do work out than the average person.

I found Ballston CrossFit after graduating and starting a job in the DC area. I thought that as a real adult, it was time to start showing up for myself – and if I was going to pay a premium rate for something, I was definitely going to show up for it. It only took one class for me to know that I enjoyed CrossFit. However, I continued to struggle with consistency. My goal was to go to 3 classes a week, and I didn’t achieve that for 2 years.

At the time, it was even an accomplishment for me to be inconsistent at the same thing for so long. When I went to the gym, I thought I had to put in 100% to be perfect every single time, and I would beat myself up mentally whenever I didn’t feel like I was perfect – which is a lot when you’re learning to do something for the first time! And it’s not fun to go back to a place where you usually leave feeling like you’re not good enough.

The thing that did keep me coming back was the community. Through BCF, I met so many kind, thoughtful, funny, and hardworking people who have really helped me to be a better me. It was through conversations with my fellow gym-goers that I realized going to the gym was an opportunity to learn rather than perform.

The greatest success I’ve had in the last 3 years of doing CrossFit has been changing my mindset. I went from someone who thought they were supposed to be perfect without trying to someone who is proud of themself for trying at all. I know I can’t put in 100% every day, most days I’m rocking 60-80% and sometimes it’s only 10%. Regardless, I’m here and I’m consistent.

17
Jul

Clay Rosales

Q: How did you find out about Ballston CrossFit and what about it convinced you to join?

– I used to live next door to BCF and would always walk by on my way to work. I was looking for a part-time job to earn some extra cash and walked through the door looking for a job doing anything BCF needed. I’d never done CrossFit before and the workouts at BCF looked INTENSE. I didn’t have a ton of drive to join CrossFit classes, I was just looking for a place to earn some money on the side and maybe deadlift every once in a while. As I started working the front desk, I began to notice the camaraderie in classes, something I’d never seen in a gym before. After working the front desk for a little bit, Brock threw me into Foundations and I loved it from the start.

Q:When did you start at BCF and what were your goals going into it?

– I started BCF in late 2021. Going into it, I’d never done anything remotely close to CrossFit. The snatch sounded like some kind of bad disease. My biggest focus going into it was building more strength. I’d been running for a little while so I felt I had a good aerobic base but strength was an area I was greatly lacking in.

Q: What has helped you achieve success at BCF?

– Showing up every day. BCF does a great job of making it easy to show up every day – lots of class times and a great community to enjoy your hour in the gym. When I started showing up consistently, I saw the hard work paying off, which drove me to continue to show up day in and day out. 

Q:What advice can you give to others that are new to CrossFit?

– Show up! It’s amazing the results you can get when you remain consistent. As Brock always says to the folks graduating foundations, “If you show up consistently and give efforts, you’ll see results”…or something like that. 

Q: Besides working out, what other lifestyle changes did you make outside of the gym to achieve your goals?

– In the beginning of 2022, I participated in the Nutrition Challenge at BCF. Prior to that, I had never tracked what I ate – I tried to eat 3 square meals a day. The nutrition challenge opened my eyes to how nutrition can really affect your performance and recovery. Since the challenge, I haven’t tracked every calorie but it laid the foundation for good nutrition every day.

Q: What has been your favorite thing about Ballston CrossFit?

– Without a doubt, it’s the people and culture of the gym. Prior to BCF, I only went to LA Fitness and did some running on the side, so I’d never experienced a group class. I quickly learned that being in a group setting was not only more enjoyable but it held me more accountable. There are too many people to thank for showing up every day with me and pushing me to be the best. 

5
Jun

Zac Porter

Q: How did you find out about Ballston CrossFit and what about it convinced you to
join?

I found out about Ballston CrossFit while doing an online search for gyms in the area. I wanted to find a place that focused on weightlifting (I had never done it before) and saw amazing reviews!

Q: When did you start at BCF and what were your goals going into it?

I began at the end of August 2022, right before I was starting school, and my goal was to have an outlet that would allow me to get out of the house, meet new people, and gain more muscle.

Q: What has helped you achieve success at BCF?

Consistency has been the key driving force behind my achievements at BCF. Additionally, I believe that the habit of asking questions has played a vital role. While the instructors possess exceptional expertise, my fellow CrossFit classmates have also played a significant part in my progress. They have not only guided me in mastering proper movement techniques but also provided unwavering support and motivation during classes, making them an integral factor in my overall success.

Q: What advice can you give to others that are new to CrossFit?

It’s important to prioritize learning and mastering the fundamental movements and techniques before diving into intense workouts. Take the time to understand proper form and technique for exercises. Building a solid foundation will help prevent injuries and lay
the groundwork for progress.

Q: Besides working out, what other lifestyle changes did you make outside of the gym to achieve your goals?

In addition to my workouts, I made a conscious effort to prioritize my sleep schedule. Recognizing the significance of adequate rest, I understood that achieving optimal performance required a well-rested body and mind. By focusing on improving my sleep habits, I ensured that I had the energy and mental clarity needed to excel in my CrossFit journey.

Q: What has been your favorite thing about Ballston CrossFit?

The camaraderie! Throughout my journey at Ballston CrossFit, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a multitude of incredible individuals, and their presence has become the highlight of my experience. Every time I walk through those doors, I eagerly anticipate reconnecting with familiar faces. Although I can specifically vouch for the welcoming atmosphere of the noon crowd, I must say that everyone in those classes exudes supportiveness and friendliness, making each session all the more enjoyable.

5
Jun

Karen Cohen

Q: How did you find out about Ballston CrossFit and what about it convinced you to join?

Growing up I’ve always been an athlete. I played soccer, tennis, and ran cross country and track in high school and at the Division I level. Once I graduated college, I lost that routine and wasn’t as active anymore. Flash forward a couple of years and I saw a friend having success at a CrossFit gym, which motivated me because I wanted to find something to challenge me again. So I googled the closest gym to me which happened to be Ballston CrossFit. I signed up for Foundations and the rest is history.

 

Q:When did you start at BCF and what were your goals going into it?

I started at BCF in August 2019. My main goal at the time was to get back into a fitness routine and improve my fitness in other ways than running. I didn’t have any specific goals, but that changed over time and as I worked out more, whether to gain a skill like my first pull up or to improve lifting technique.

 

Q: What has helped you achieve success at BCF?

Listening to the coaches and showing up to classes regularly. In the beginning, I got frustrated since I couldn’t do many of the movements as prescribed when I first joined and it took me a while to get them (it took me over a year to get my first pull up).  But as I swallowed my pride, showed up more, and listened intentionally to all the coaches’ cues, I started to gain skills, get PR’s and quickly build confidence! 

 

Q:What advice can you give to others that are new to CrossFit?

Trust the process! It can be intimidating at first and I definitely felt that when I first joined, but all workouts can be modified for what you can do and what works for you. The coaches are here to help you no matter what your fitness level is. Also, make sure to listen to your body and take rest days, it’ll help you get better and avoid injuries in the long run.

 

Q: Besides working out, what other lifestyle changes did you make outside of the gym to achieve your goals?

I’ve focused more on eating better by working with nutritionists. They’ve helped me tremendously with how I should be eating (which was not enough at first) and other things like stress management and getting enough sleep, which had a major impact on my performance. Outside of the gym, I also have learned to not beat myself up when I’m struggling with a new skill, and realizing that I’ve just started it and will get better as I do it more.

 

Q: What has been your favorite thing about Ballston CrossFit?

The fact that every workout is different and challenges me. After 3.5 years of CrossFit there are still workouts that make me collapse on the floor when I’m done. I also love seeing how much progress I’ve made. It’s really cool to see a one rep max lift end up being something I can do multiple times during a workout, it goes to show how far I’ve come. All in all, I feel so lucky to be a part of an incredible gym with amazing people who motivate and push me to be a better athlete than I thought possible.

Q:What has been your favorite thing about Ballston CrossFit?
 
Coaching is incredible. I’ve been to a few gyms via moving and work travel and the coaching at BCF is the best I’ve come across.  
17
Apr

Mike LaCroix

Q:How did you find out about Ballston CrossFit and what about it convinced you to join?

I’m probably one of the only people that studied themselves into CrossFit. I’ve been pretty athletic my whole life – growing up, played sports every season in high school, and football in college. Tried running some longer distances – did the Beachbody programs (P90X, Insanity), but struggled to find something that was holistic. I stumbled across Glassman’s What Is Fitness article and was sold when I realized he was the founder of CrossFit.  When I finally moved close enough to a box to make it worth it I joined right away. 

Q:When did you start at BCF and what were your goals going into it?
 
I technically started in June of 2021, but had persistent back injuries for a while that kept me in-and-out for probably 6 months or so. 
 
Between finding a solid PT and Cam’s persistence to not let me give up – seriously, major shout out to Cam! – I slowly found exercises to rehab and strengthen my back to the point I could work out consistently. From there it became a matter of consistency and sustainability – keep showing up and don’t get hurt. 
 
My goal from there was simple – consistent workout for a year with no injuries. 
Q:What has helped you achieve success at BCF?  
 
Same mantra – Keep showing up. Don’t get hurt. 
 
I personally needed to work a lot on my mobility. But once I swallowed any remaining pride I had about not being anywhere near one of the top athletes in the box and realized this was entirely personal – it was a lot easier to have patience with myself and just consistently show up, put in the work (mobility work that is), and listen to my body about when I could push it and when I needed to ease up. It’s so much better to ease up in any given workout and be able to show up again for the next one rather than being overly sore or hurting yourself and needing an extended break. 

 

Q:What advice can you give to others that are new to CrossFit?  

Keep showing up. Don’t get hurt. 

Q:What has been your favorite thing about Ballston CrossFit?
Coaching is incredible. I’ve been to a few gyms via moving and work travel and the coaching at BCF is the best I’ve come across.  
9
Mar

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.

9
Mar

Stephanie Gonzalez

How did you find out about Ballston CrossFit and what about it convinced you to join? 

I discovered BCF via Google search. Ballston CrossFit was voted as best CF locally and its proximity to my apartment was what initially made me reach out. I reached out to Tucker and after a 1:1 session we would gauge how much of the CF standards I was able to complete successfully.  He was patient, and was as excited that I was able to pick it right up.  He gave great direction and at one point said I was “very coachable”, which meant a lot. Meeting the coaches at my first few classes and the friendliness of the members was really the key to my desire to fully commit to BCF.

When did you start at BCF and what were your goals going into it? 

I started July 2022.  My initial goals were to lose weight, decrease body fat (BMI) and increase muscle mass, and to seriously improve my health overall.  I have a family history of diabetes and it is important to me to be as healthy as I can possibly be. 

What has helped you achieve success at BCF?  

The coaches are great, so helpful and knowledgeable, fun, and caring.  They notice your progress and improvements, even when you think no one does.  After one class recently, a coach said to me “Hey Steph” and made an hourglass motion with her hands and said “looking good”.  I almost cried, as I have lost 20 lbs and was so happy someone noticed.  It was a great feeling. Getting “fist bumps” on SugarWOD is pretty awesome too.

What advice can you give to others that are new to CrossFit?  

KEEP AT IT!! DO NOT QUIT!!  Scaling part of the workout is never, ever a bad thing or something to be embarrassed about.  

Besides working out, what other lifestyle changes did you make outside of the gym to achieve your goals?

Changing my eating habits, tracking macros, drinking enough water, rest days, and getting enough sleep. 

What has been your favorite thing about Ballston CrossFit? 

Where do I start??  Tucker is great, his initial meeting with me was instrumental in my decision.  The coaches are wonderful, funny, engaging and do not let me “sandbag” the weights LOL!!  Knowing there are members I connect with who help keep me accountable, we share and celebrate our progress, and give encouragement to one another.