When I first reached out to Kim Haggerty I was 3 months post partum with my 2nd child. I was overweight, out of shape and exhausted. Kim and Steve had run a free fitness session at the Highlands Family Success Center, where I work, and I was immediately interested. I kept in touch with Kim and began training with her out of her house (and garage) for several months before they opened the gym. Those sessions gave me a foundation for CrossFit and helped me gain back some confidence before entering a gym again. I have now been a member of 853 since they opened in June 2016. I have lost over 30 pounds and with the help of my amazing coaches realized how strong I truly am. I am also the healthiest I have ever been and have met some of my best friends at the gym. I cannot believe how far I have come physically over the last 2 years. Running a mile or even a 5k never seemed possible to me and today I hit a PR back squat at 225 pounds and know I can do more! There is also a back-story I have to share for someone to understand how truly amazing that is. June 19, 2005 I was hit head on by a drunk driver. I fractured 2 cervical vertebrae, was scalped, broke every bone in my foot, had lacerations to my knee and burns to my chest. I wore a halo neck brace for somewhere around 4 months and a cast on my leg for 3. I was lucky to be alive but even more fortunate to be surrounded by family and friends. Almost 13 years later I have found another community that has taught me to never give up and believe in myself and that I do possess the ability to push myself harder then I ever have.
Kelly Hart, member since June 2016
When I first started at Crossfit 853, I was three months postpartum from having my first son. The pregnancy wreaked havoc on my traditionally “skinny” 5’8” frame and I gained close to 77 pounds. After I had a cesarean section, and birthing an 11.5lb baby, my body was left unnoticeable and unfamiliar to me and running into Kim at The Vreeland Store early June was the first step on my CF journey. Kim was excited and enthusiastic about her new business and confident that I would be able to start working out and get “my body back”. I felt so comfortable knowing that the coaches at Crossfit 853 have been through some of the same things I have physically and knew the limitations and how to scale workouts with specific modifications. I worked my tail off to get myself down to pre-pregnancy weight. In six months I lost a total of 50 pounds and I was doing things I never thought I’d do…like deadlift almost 200 pounds, lift and carry all the groceries at once. I was going on long walks and runs and even doing WODs with friends on our own time. Crossfit makes you good at life. Getting up and down off the floor with my 9 month old was a breeze where before I would seriously struggle to stand up. My mobility, confidence, body image, and self awareness all improved tremendously. I found out I was pregnant with my second son right at the peak pf my performance and knew going through the pregnancy that I had something to go back to. I was encouraged to keep working out by the Coaches at Crossfit853 but was not allowed to as per my Dr. Now I’m five months postpartum, starting back at the gym has been life changing. Although my mind wants to do all the things I left doing, my body is still catching up and I’m a work in progress. The best part about this
Crossfit stuff is that you can set goals, and CRUSH them with a team cheering you on the whole way. I have met some of the best people I have ever known in the box and my life will forever be better because I am part of this community. I know you don’t get that anywhere but CF853 because I’ve been everywhere else and nowhere on earth comes close. I have been working out since I can remember, and I have done it all…from TaeBo to Zumba to Yoga to Pilates, hell, I was even a Piloxxing Instructor. I like my body a certain way and having my first baby was a very humbling experience for me with this new-found sense of self. Nothing has ever made me feel the way I feel after I complete a WOD at Crossfit853. I often say I feel like I have a personal trainer every time I go to workout. The coaches spend one on one time with you and watch your ability, technique, and form to push you to the next level. Hearing the coaches cheer you on as you’re dripping sweat suffering through burpees, wallballs, or thrusters is so encouraging and makes you want to make whatever movement you’re doing your best!
Miranda, member since June 2016
“I started CrossFit with my fiancé three months ago to introduce some change into our fitness routine. I’ve been your normal “gym-rat” for close to 15 years to give you some background. I quickly came to realize that all those years of lifting weights, while they made me strong, it did not make my body very capable. To get things started I began my Crossfit journey with the 6 week fat loss challenge. With all the coaches help along the way, and Coach Kims guidance on my diet, I managed to lose 9lbs of fat and 4 inches around my waist. Even though I just started, my body feels completely different. I am much more flexible, my cardio endurance increased greatly and the functional strength of my body has gone up dramatically. The community of the members and coaches is second to none. They will all push you to be your best self, and that is something truly remarkable. Now I look forward to the days I can get a WOD in. Thanks for everything you coaches have done and continue to do!”
DJ, member since December 2017
As a football player in college, it was perfectly fine for me to be heavy since I was an offensive lineman. Not only was it OK but it was expected and encouraged. However, upon graduating and entering the workforce in the real world, I continued to eat the same amount of food I was consuming in college when it was my job to push around 300 lb men and I was not working out nearly as much as I was when I was playing football, in fact barely working out at all. In the years since I would notice the belt getting tighter, the number on the scale never going down, and I felt more and more out of shape as time went on. I joined a few gyms in an effort to get into shape but it just never worked for me. Walking into a gym, doing a few sets of this, a few sets of that, and some cardio on a treadmill never did anything for me as far as losing weight, increasing my endurance, or improving my overall health. Along with the absence of any results, it was also tedious and monotonous to walk into the gym and wait around for machines and benches to be freed up. Eventually, I just threw in the towel and stopped the whole gym scene all together. I tried some home workout regimens for a while that included running, push-ups, sit-ups, etc. but that also did very little for me. Out of ideas and sick of feeling like a washed up, out of shape "has been" with his belly hanging over his belt, I decided to give CrossFit a shot almost a year ago. In that time, I have seen nothing but results. I have gotten a lot stronger, regaining a lot of the strength I had when I was playing football. My endurance and my cardio not only improved but are at an all-time best. I have more endurance now than I did was I was 22 and playing college football. I have lost over 40 lbs as well. I've also had to buy new pants and belts since my waste line has shrunk so much. The CrossFit experience is also much more enjoyable than the typical day at the local gym. There is a team and a family atmosphere that you'll never be able to capture at a standard gym. There is endless encouragement, coaching, and support. Its an environment of enthusiasm and energy.
Mark, member since July 2017
“When I first met you and signed up I honestly thought the same thing, that is was expensive. I had never joined a gym and I did ask a few friends what they were paying so I would have an idea of what going to the gym would cost. But after my first class I knew I made the right choice and I know my monthly fee is worth every dollar. My friends go to a gym and do what they think is a work out, are unsupervised and sometimes get injured. I have one friend who pays an additional $100 a month for 4 "small group" sessions of no more than 10 people per session. That is on top of the monthly membership fee, plus I read the gym reviews and it's almost impossible to cancel your membership there. Cross fit 853 gym offers different daily workouts, weight lifting 🏋 yoga moves, cardio, and so much more. The class size is small, the coaches are always watching and making sure we are properly executing each exercise. Plus the motivation, group support and genuine camaraderie you have cultivated at your gym is the main reason I keep coming back. You all inspire me to want to be a healthier and fitter version of myself! I am becoming hooked! Thank you Kim and Steve and all the coaches and members!” Helen, member since July 2018
Joan is one of our CrossFit trainers at CF 853! She has always been an avid runner but you can see that adding CrossFit, weightlifting, and following a macro balanced diet she has been able to get to her optimal body composition. At CrossFit 853 we work with all levels of athletes to help them get to their goals!
My initial goals when I walked into WM Strength and Conditioning, CrossFit 853 were to strengthen the muscles in my back, improve my balance, and lose some weight in hopes of slowing down the aging process. While I knew I was signing up for a no-nonsense fitness program I did not realize that I was also signing up for membership in a thriving community; a community of coaches and fellow athletes who routinely offer motivational support and encouragement which provides additional momentum as I work to achieve my goals.
In addition to CrossFit expertise the coaches possess the instinctual ability to unite with the athletes, identify strengths and weaknesses, and systematically move them forward on individualized paths toward improved strength, nutrition, and overall level of fitness. Over the past 6 months, through utilization of the various workouts and attentive coaching available at WM Strength and Conditioning, CrossFit 853 I have gained a significant amount of overall strength while losing 15% of my body weight. I feel 10 years younger and have a newfound sense of what I can accomplish as a women approaching age 60. From the perspective of a mental health professional as well as my personal experience, I wholeheartedly recommend this program.
Pamela French-Stern, Ph.D.