Success Stories


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.


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. 



Gregg Rockett

I have been active all my life.  I was an accomplished wrestler in grade school and high school.  Then I turned to running mid- to long-distances after college.  I have run in approximately 50 competitive races, with about a dozen of 10 miles or more (3 half marathons).  I turned to long-distance biking about 15 years ago and have competed in a few Gran Fondo races, the longest being a 75-mile climb from Vancouver to Whistler.  Recently, I have completed a few sprint triathlons, which has been a nice challenge.

But as I was approaching 60, I felt like I needed to shake things up and shock my body into being more fit.  I have never really done high-intensity training, nor extensive weightlifting, but thought that the CrossFit path would be a good change to my exercise regime. The sign on Glebe Road advertising the free Saturday WOD caught my attention, and I showed up for a session.

Before joining BCF a little more than a year ago, I did not know a burpee from a box jump from a double under.  Now that I do, it doesn’t mean I have to like them, but I am getting better at each.  My technique in weight training is also better and each month I feel my endurance and mobility are improving.  I am also going beyond just trying to complete the WODs and challenging myself to reach PRs and attempt Rx level routines.

My motivation comes from the encouragement of the coaches, as well as the enthusiasm shown by my fellow BCF members. I have some challenging goals for 2023, including completing a new weight training PR each month, attempting at least one Rx WOD every other month, and finding the technique to string together 30 double-unders uninterrupted.



Faith Breads

It’s always nice when our athletes make their fitness functional. Faith used CrossFit to help train for her marathon. Not only did she PR her marathon time by 39 minutes, she also maintained consistency in coming to CrossFit. Here’s what she had to say about the experience:

When I ran my first marathon in April of 2022, I just wanted to finish. I ended up running a 4:14 in Nashville, and though I had completed my goal of finishing, I was completely humbled by the experience. I hit the notorious “wall” at mile 20, decided to walk a quarter mile (worst mistake), and then really had to dig deep to get myself to run at all in the final few miles. After the race, I felt fueled by the breakdown. I knew I wanted to come back stronger and faster, and truly “race” the distance instead of just trying to make it to the finish line. BCF was a huge part in making that happen! 

Unlike my first marathon, I embraced CrossFit as part of my training as opposed to shying away from it. In fact, I even competed in my first competition, the Scaled Comp at CrossFit Route 7, throughout my training cycle! Continuing to train at BCF helped me build strength, speed, but also the community I needed to stay engaged and motivated. I’d constantly be asked how my training was going by coaches and my other BCF pals, and many of them offered to run with me throughout my training. Huge shoutout to Paul F. for running with me after work in D.C. and for Swoo for waking up for those early Saturday runs. In helping me training, Swoo even accomplished a neat feat of his own – running the longest distance he’s ever ran at 8 miles! It’s amazing to have a community that really wants to help you succeed in the gym and beyond.

I felt stronger and faster in every sense during my second marathon this past October in Atlantic City, racing it in 3:36. THANK YOU to everyone at BCF who supported me along the way. It truly means a lot! 



Kashif Khan

How did you find out about Ballston CrossFit and what about it convinced you to join?
I was always active and an athlete growing up but needed something to push my baseline fitness to the next level post college & grad school. I pushed myself a little too hard and puked after the first intro class outside of the gym. I knew that this was going to be the best thing for me :). 

When did you start at BCF and what were your goals going into it?
I started in January 2021 and didn’t know what to expect going forward. I didn’t have any goals per se but wanted to improve my overall fitness going into my late 20’s, fast forward almost 2 years later and I have seen “Tons of progress” as the coaches would say. Things to note, improvement in Olympic lifts, cardio & endurance. 
What has helped you achieve success at BCF?
Simple.  “Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success” 
What advice can you give to others that are new to CrossFit?
It’s intimidating, we get it, but dive right into it, go to the workouts that you aren’t great at and try your best. Progress comes if you stay consistent, and most importantly have fun. The atmosphere is welcoming to any level of fitness. 

Besides working out, what other lifestyle changes did you make outside of the gym to achieve your goals?
Focused on a healthier lifestyle, eating cleaner, focused  on mental health & spiritual/religious guidance. Also, helps with grounding yourself and focusing on the “now” rather than the things you can’t control. CF has helped me improve other aspects of my life because it’s a challenge every workout; if I can give it my all. Why can’t I give “life my all”.
What has been your favorite thing about Ballston CrossFit?
Coaching – the immersive culture and hands on approach at BCF is unparalleled amongst the boxes that I have dropped in nationally & internationally. Programming – the blocks are always changing and cycling which helps athletes reach peak performance. 

Jason Parent

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

I wish I could say I had the self-awareness to realize I needed to make a change in my life but like most dumb men in their 30’s I needed my wife to tell me to get my act together before I did anything.

Before BCF, I went to one CrossFit class in Tennessee with my sister-in-law where I was murdered by their programming. Never CrossFitted before. Didn’t scale. Went Rx. Sent it. Died. I was so dead the coach walked over and gave me HIS recovery drink. Needless to say, I wasn’t LOOKING to try CF again. 

Despite my not-so-great intro to CF, my wife had started at BCF and loved it. She told me this gym was different and she was getting a lot out of it. I was in a pretty big slump mentally and physically, but after some strongly worded suggestions I finally put my excuses aside and tried it. This is where I was introduced to one of my favorite things in the world: scaling.

I saw that BCF was actually a lot different, and they really work with you to work as hard as you can as safely as you can. That was it for me, I was in.

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

I took foundations at BCF in Nov 2020. 

My goals going in were to just get a little healthier but to be honestly I didn’t know what that meant to me when at the time. It was the thing I said every time I joined a new gym. I had done the ‘globo gyms’ before, the classic bro programs but never really saw serious results so I was curious to see how the class approach would work.

What has helped you achieve success at BCF?

The coaches.

I was a football player in high school and to me gymnastics was just something I watched every 4 years at the Olympics. If it weren’t for the coaches, I would have probably quit a long time ago.

I think every coach has given me some piece of advice that led to an instant “ahhh that’s how that’s supposed to work” moment while doing some kind of movement. You know, that lightbulb moment where all the pieces fall together and suddenly you can do something new. 

In addition to that, they have created a great environment where you feel comfortable failing, which is HUGE for anyone learning new skills. As you can imagine, I was a little intimidated when Brock told me that I had to get my 6’ 7 250lb body up to the bar for 12 pull ups in one of my first metcons AND THAT WAS JUST PART OF THE WORKOUT. Brock correctly had me scale because I am a big guy but I felt comfortable enough to think I could try and fail. That’s huge. You can only succeed if you are willing to fail. With that mentality, this big tree has fallen HARD but managed to handstand walk and get bar muscle ups- two things I would never have imagined possible.

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

LISTEN and stay humble. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve done this, how much you can lift or fast you can run, there is always something else to learn. The pride of learning (and in some cases, relearning) a skill is addicting and the only way to get to that next goal is if you are open to help.

Example: I have learned and lost toes-to-bar so many times I can’t even attempt to count them. I currently don’t have them. But that doesn’t mean I don’t stop and listen when a coach or just someone else in the class gives me a tip on improving my form.

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

Did you know sleep is … like … important? Neither did I. Also, if you just make your food and don’t order it its like waaaaaaaaay better for you. Did you know water isn’t just something fish swim in? Man, color me surprised when I learned that drinking water regularly made you feel BETTER. Oh, I also learned this cool word ‘Mobility’ from Cam and let me tell you, that is super important for anyone. In short, I changed everything ha

But in all seriousness, as I started seeing progress in the gym and in my body, I started getting addicted to feeling good. By that I mean feeling healthy. So, I chase that. I still cut loose but my weeks see more discipline, and I am working towards something important- a long term healthy me.


Beth & Simson

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

Beth: I joined because Simson was so into it and because we became social with someone else who did CrossFit. I took the Sunday yoga class for about  a year before that, so I was BCF-adjacent, kind of watching it warily. But other people convinced me that even I – middle-aged and overweight with bad knees and no flexibility – could handle it.

Simson: I posted on Facebook that I had broken three ribs and been diagnosed with osteoporosis. Many friends warned me about taking the bisphosphonate drugs that my endocrinologist wanted me to take. My doctor suggested running, but I found it boring. One of my former students saw the post and suggested that I try BCF—my student knew Tucker and said he had a good operation. So basically, I started going to BCF because I was tired of breaking my ribs.


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

Beth: I took the Foundations class twice in the summer of 2019, and even before that I trained with Coach Brandon twice a week for 10 weeks just to get to the point where I could even do Foundations. I had no idea what my goals were, except somehow to be fitter and maybe do something about my knees.

Simson: I took Foundations twice in August and September 2017. I was still having issues, so I took a month of personal training in October 2017. Fortunately I didn’t need to take Foundations for a third time. My first regular class was October 14, 2017.


Q: What has helped you achieve success at BCF?

Beth: Fear. Most days I still come in terrified about the WOD, afraid I’m going to make a fool of myself – or fail completely, be last, or injure myself somehow. But I just keep coming, modifying the heck out of a workout if I have to. The immense pride and exhilaration I feel when I do better than last time, or get Fx on a METCON, or just transcend my own physical and age-related limitations keep me coming back (so does the competition with Simson).

Simson: Fear of breaking more bones.


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

Beth: Don’t quit! Believe in yourself and your abilities. Most of the time you can achieve more than you think you can. Also, ask the coaches how they can help you stay focused, competitive and safe. They are amazing resources.

Simson: Number 1 rule: Don’t get hurt. Number 2 rule: Form matters more than weight.


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

Beth: I lost about 15 lbs. in 2021, and I’m still working on that. I try to get 8 hours of sleep every night. Right now, I’m trying to understand macros, particularly how to get more protein without a lot of fat and without whey protein and chicken breasts, because I’m not a fan of either.

Simson: I lost 10 lbs in 2021 and I’m trying to lose more. I try to get 6 hours of sleep every night.


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

Beth: Do I have to narrow it to one thing? The workouts are never boring. I am constantly challenged without feeling shamed. And I feel so proud of the people around me becoming fitter and stronger, particularly when they join right out of Foundations.

Simson: The coaching is superlative. I’ve dropped in on perhaps six other CrossFit gyms, and BCF is the best. I also find that the people are amazingly friendly.


Stephanie Remrick

CrossFit never crossed my mind as a workout regimen that would appeal to me. I was always cardio heavy, having run track in high school and then marathons as an adult. Once I achieved my running goals, though, I fell into a workout rut.

 The workout rut intensified when I got pregnant in 2018. My husband and I had to do in-vitro, so I was super worried about anything happening to my body. It was 9 months of little to no activity.

 After my son, Scot, was born in July 2019, I did want to get back in shape. I didn’t want to hang on to any pregnancy weight! Through Mothers of Northern Arlington (MONA), I met Heather and she organized a yoga class at BCF for the MONA group. She’s the one that convinced me that BCF was a great option for anybody and it was at least worth trying. She came with me to my intro session, helped me get signed up for Foundations, then was my accountability buddy for making sure I went to class.

 That was over two years ago and now I’m a mom of two! My daughter, Ruth, was born in February 2021. Unlike my first pregnancy, I continued to workout. I did CrossFit through week 36 of pregnancy and I was less uncomfortable in my second pregnancy because of it. With both pregnancies, CrossFit got me back to a physical state that was stronger than I had been before and I was able to lose all my pregnancy weight.

Now my goals are just to keep showing up and BCF makes that easy! The coaches at 5:30am make mornings fun and relaxed (which is kind of an oxymoron given what we’re doing). And the group of people is very consistent, so we have a very supportive environment. I have yet to wake up at 5am and dread going to CrossFit. This definitely is a testament to the variety of the workouts and the people with whom I do those workouts.

 My advice for newbies is to not look at the workouts before coming. Well, at least this works for me! I think it would be easy for me to see “squat snatches” or “rope climbs” and be like, no thanks! But if you just show up and do what you can, you will see dividends in your fitness. Every move has a modification and there’s no shame in the Fx- approach!