We’re only successful when you’re successful
Here’s our chance to share the hard work and results our athletes have achieved.
We’ll be adding to this page frequently so please check back.
DO NOT enter your coaches information here. Instead use the “Coaches” link in the left admin panel under “Stacks”.
- Ilana Kaufman
- Matt Gallo
- Peter Marconi
- Brad Maltby
- Beth Santo
- Jacqueline Bouley
- Stacy Schwartz
- Lisa B.F.
Participating in the CRCF Summer Body Challenge successfully changed my body as I hoped it would, but in reality, it changed my whole self and got me on track for a lifetime of healthy eating. I have more energy to play with my kids, enjoy the great outdoors, and perform WODs to my truest potential. I feel totally prepared to make appropriate food choices during summer barbecue season, and take full advantage of the amazing array of fresh fruits and vegetables available during the coming months. Tracking my diet on Myfitnesspal, is not only addicting and something I plan to keep up with long-term, but it is truly educating me about the nutritional content (or lack thereof), of everything I eat, and has already provided me with knowledge that will help me long-term. During the challenge, I achieved two personal CrossFit goals that I had been working on for a longtime (rope climb and double unders), and along with the fabulous coaching, I owe a big part of it to my new found energy levels and the way my body feels by adhering to the diet. It wasn’t until the last year or so that my body ever changed as a result of what I ate, so I never had much willpower or interest in special diets. Now I truly appreciate whole foods and love the way they make me feel. Beyond my own tracking and adherence to the diet, the CRCF coaches were top notch in providing me with guidance and support along the way. I am glad I participated in the challenge, plan to do so again in the future when I need a reboot, and more importantly, I am so lucky to be part of the amazing CRCF community!
My CrossFit journey started in 2012. Just after my 40th birthday, I found myself weighing in at 245 lbs., unhealthy and unmotivated. Being a former college hockey player, I never thought I could fall into such a rut. In an effort to change things, I had signed up for pretty much every gym or fitness club in Massachusetts and saw little-to-no results. During a business meeting, Charles River CrossFit (CRCF) member Bruce Karten told me that he was extremely excited about this new workout program and community heâ€™d recently found and suggested I look into it. Bruce was so enthusiastic about CRCF (despite being so sore he couldnâ€™t get out of his seat during our meeting), that I signed up that night. The journey that followed led to a profoundly positive change in my life. I currently weigh 205 lbs., have lost 7 inches off my waist, am stronger, sleep better, and havenâ€™t felt this good since those hockey days.
In addition to introducing me to a new and fun workout program, CrossFit and CRCF facilitated other life changes for me, too. With the proper guidance from Coach Erik, I underwent a dietary overhaul. In order to discover the best nutritional game plan, I have participated in several Paleo challenges, completed a Whole30 challenge, and decided to go dairy-free, which has been a great change for me. I also am involved in a nutritional case study, which is ongoing as of August 2015.
Although Iâ€™d say discovering CrossFit generally has changed my life, I have dropped into other CrossFit facilities and know not all boxes are created equal. Not one compares to what we have at CRCF. From the facility to the programming to the coaching and members, itâ€™s a welcoming environment for all skill and fitness levels.
One thing I did not anticipate when I first began this journey is that I would develop some awesome friendships at CRCF. Simply put, CRCF has great coaches, great people and is a great gym. I highly recommend giving it a try.
I’ve been a member of Charles River CrossFit since August, 2011. During this time, I have visited many other CrossFit boxes while traveling and continue to find CRCF to be one of the best. Erik, Steve, and Jeremy are skilled coaches and always deliver 60 minutes of intense and challenging work. I logged 253 workouts in 2013 and continue to look forward to the next one. CrossFit at CRCF has driven me into the best shape of my life. I adopted a Paleo diet and dropped 18 pounds, even though I didn’t consider myself overweight when I started. I continue to learn something new every day. As a former professional workaholic, I now have more balance in my life and have made some very close friends. Charles River CrossFit is a supportive, challenging, and addictive program that has been life-changing and even life-saving!
I came to Charles River CrossFit looking for a structured workout program tailored to challenge you mentally and physically. Boy did I come to the right place. Erik Miller has built a community at CRCF who are dedicated to fitness want to be a part of. Truly, it is a place “where everybody knows your name.” Erik has a long proven background in exercise science which is evident in his programming that produces results. I have never before expereinced a place where everyone works so hard for results and where fitness is a lifestyle and not some isolated event. Each member helps one another through support and friendship.
The coaches at CRCF all take your progress seriously and want to help at every opportunity. They will support you in your efforts to achieve your goals. Whatever your skill level is, the coaches will help you get to the next level. I came into CrossFit as a “runner” participating in road races and doing targeted weightlifting on a weekly basis. The lower half of my body was weak and I had no idea what a total body workout truly was. My body was used to routine. With CrossFit, nothing is ever the same. The workouts and movements are constantly varied and you can achieve extraordinary results by combining them with proper nutrition. In a year and a half, I’ve put on over 15lbs of muscle and now have strength in the lower half of my body. Now, I call myself a devoted “CrossFitter” and I’m proud to call Charles River CrossFit home.
I came to Charles River CrossFit on Saint Patrickâ€™s Day 2013 a sad, shy, insecure person and the heaviest Iâ€™ve ever been in my entire life. In my fitness past, I used to go to a boot camp every summer. The workouts were challenging, and I floundered in the back struggling to keep up with the pack, but stuck with it for three years. Every summer I loved boot camp, or I thought did. While I loved the people and loved that I was able to do more than I expected, I always felt like the fat kid in the back who was basically ignored because I wasnâ€™t the fastest and strongest.
The winter before I joined CRCF was cold and long and I really fell out of shape. Boot camp was starting up again in the spring; I paid the coach my money, and felt excited, but unprepared. One day I saw an Amazon Local deal where I could sign up with CRCF for a month. Perfect! I can get my butt kicked a little bit and get ready for boot camp. Expecting an eye roll when I walked in the door for the first time, I was instead treated like an athlete. I was respected and encouraged and never ignored. The members I thought would intimidate me with their strength and athleticism turned out to be the nicest ones, cheering me on and telling me how strong I was. They would help me with certain movements and share their struggles. When the end of month came, I just couldnâ€™t leave.
I embraced CrossFit and what it did for me. There were some things I wasnâ€™t good at, but then there were some things I excelled at. I embraced the good and worked on the bad. I dropped weight. Then I did a nutrition challenge and dropped more weight. I fell in love with the coaches, the members and the way I felt. My confidence grew. My shyness started waning. For the first time in my fitness life, I was happy.
Then on July 21st, 2015 my world came crashing down.
Invasive ductal carcinoma. Breast cancer. â€œHow is this possible???â€ I thought to myself as the radiologist was reading me the pathology report. I was in the best shape of my life. Iâ€™m healthy, strong, and I have no family history. But there was no mistake. 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. It has no specific target. My surgeon said â€œCancer threw a dart into a crowd and hit you. A healthy, relatively young woman with no history. Thatâ€™s what it does.â€
I remember standing in the surgeonâ€™s office like it was yesterday. The nurse handed me some brochures, one of them from the YMCA Livestrong program. Smiling people dressed in yellow Livestrong shirts. But Iâ€™m not one of those people!! Am I now one of those people??? â€œFree 12-week group exercise program that helps adult cancer survivors reclaim their health and well-being following a cancer diagnosis,â€ the brochure read.
So what did I do that night after receiving my diagnosis and meeting with my surgeon? I went to Charles River CrossFit. I knew I could sit at home and cry in despair, or get out and go to the place that makes me feel strong and in control. I already let my coaches know what was going on earlier in the day, warning them that I might look at one of them and burst into tears for no reason. I walked in there feeling like a different person. Having cancer makes you feel like youâ€™re on an island with a vest made of dynamite strapped across your chest as people pass by you. That night was box dips. Coach Steve came over to fix my form, making it much harder. Jokingly I said â€œLook, Steve, I had a bad day.â€ He laughed. When I told him he should be nice to me, he replied,â€œNo f’ing way. You wouldnâ€™t want that.â€
And thatâ€™s how it was for the three weeks that preceded my surgery. I would cry on the drive over, and I would cry on the way home, but when I was at CRCF, cancer didnâ€™t exist. I was treated no differently by the coaches and all of my focus went into to the task at hand. There was a new “PR City” (Personal Record City) board up on the wall. I was going to put my name all over that thing. I am here. Iâ€™m strong. Iâ€™m going to get through this. I donâ€™t know when my name is going on that board again after surgery, so letâ€™s do it. FU cancer.
One pound plates. Two pound plates. It didnâ€™t matter how small the PR was. The bell was rung and my name went up there. And when I thought I couldnâ€™t achieve anything else PR-wise, I did something I thought was never going to happen. Toes to Bar. Thank you Coach Jeremy for looking me in the eye and telling me that I was flexible enough and strong enough. It turns out I was. So thatâ€™s how it was until surgery day. CrossFit is designed to prepare you for lifeâ€™s challenges so here we go.
Some of the members cooked for me. The night before surgery I brought home more food than I knew what to do with. Offers were coming at me left and right. Did I need anything? Did I want help with anything? Iâ€™m praying for you. Iâ€™m here for you. My phone exploded with messages the day of surgery as well as the days afterwards. My CRCF family was checking in on me. Wanting to know I was ok. Missing me.
The surgeon told me that he usually tells people that they can resume their normal activities after a lumpectomy, but he couldnâ€™t tell me that. He didnâ€™t really have many patients who could lift ridiculous amounts of weight over their heads, so he told me no lifting for 3 weeks. I really think it was some arbitrary number he threw out there. I then met with my oncologist and radiation therapist. I learned it didnâ€™t travel in my lymph node, but I could have a test done to see if it would be beneficial for me to have chemotherapy. If the cancer were to come back and metastasize in another part of my body, thatâ€™s it. No cure. Of course I was going to have the test. Waiting two weeks for those results was the darkest time through my entire ordeal. I couldnâ€™t even lift weights to alleviate the stress because of the post-op period.
So what did I do? For three weeks I still went to CRCF. Just like the Livestrong brochure said, it was time to reclaim my health and well-being following a cancer diagnosis. My membership was frozen, but Coach Erik said I was welcome to come and do anything I wanted. He was just happy to see me come in. I warmed up with the group, rode the Airdyne, and practiced lifts with a PVC pipe while cheering on the members. I tried to not think about the future, and went to the place where I could forget. And when I learned I didnâ€™t need chemo, I was greeting with huge smiles and hugs. Off to radiation therapy I went.
Radiation therapy went on for 5 days a week for 4 weeks. All of the side effects were explained to me, but one of prominent ones was that it would make me tired. The good news was, I was physically fit, and because of the nutrition challenges, I had healthy eating habits, which included plenty of protein. If I essentially continued with my CrossFit lifestyle, it would offset the tiredness. The arbitrary three-week waiting period was over, so work out I did.
Back to lifting and handstands and push-ups and all things painful and awesome and fun. Back with the group, moaning and laughing and cheering. Sometimes I was tired and wanted to crawl into the corner and take a nap, but I was able to work through it. The light was shining at the end of the tunnel. Every day I would lie in a dark room on the radiation table in my workout clothes telling the radiologists that I was heading over to CRCF afterwards.
October 20th, 2015 was the last day of radiation therapy. On the wall is a bell, just like the one you ring at CRCF when you hit a PR. Youâ€™re supposed to read a plaque and ring the bell three times. Cancer is done. Their bell has nothing to do with hitting a PR, but to me it did. I couldnâ€™t read the plaque because I couldnâ€™t stop crying. I had hit the greatest PR of my life!!
The journey is not over. I was very, very lucky, but I will always be a high risk patient with a future of MRIâ€™s and biopsies. Even though the cancer is gone, it remains in your soul and is a part of you always. Iâ€™m grateful I now have a place to go to forget about it for a while, as I do amazing things with amazing people. Thanks to Coaches Erik, Steve, Jeremy and the rest of my CRCF family, I am not the sad, shy, insecure person that walked through the doors that Saint Patrickâ€™s Day. I am strong, happy and am more than ready to take on any challenges life throws at me.
I’m a former fat kid. It’s true. And for the rest of the years up until this point, I’ve gained and lost the same 20 lbs repeatedly. I’ve tried so many things ranging from vegan cleanses to boot camps to triathlons to keep my interest to keep the pounds off. But my heart was never in them. The only thing I knew I liked doing was lifting weights, but I was scared to go into a gym and throw around plates with a bunch of guys. I decided to sign up for an intro class when I heard about CrossFit from a female patient of mine.
I didn’t sleep during the first 2 weeks of my 101 classes because I was so nervous and excited about the possibility that this might be what I had been looking for. Not having to be a drone on an elliptical and feeling strong lifting weights is what I had always dreamt of.
I had a gut check on the way to a workout three weeks after starting. I cried because I knew I was going to a hard and grueling workout that would be my most challenging to date. I worried that I most likely would be the last to finish. I went anyways…because showing up is half the battle. I was performing burpees near the end of the workout when another CRCF member, who had just finished her workout during the previous class, got on the floor and did the burpees with me until I finished. It was at that moment that I knew no one would let me fail and that I was truly entering into a CrossFit family at CRCF.
One of the main reasons I joined CRCF are the coaches. Erik, Steve, and Jeremy are ever-present during the workouts, always correcting form, and emphasizing proper movements. It is this attention that sets CRCF apart from other boxes. There is always something to improve on whether you have been there for only 2 months or as long as 2 years. The coaches make sure you are moving correctly to prevent injury and to get the most out of your workout. Not to mention, the gym space is really clean, big, and has great quality equipment.
I started with attending 3 classes per week and quickly ramped up to 5-6 classes per week because of how good it made me feel. I also started eating cleanly the day I started CrossFit. I tell you, NOTHING has ever gotten me more excited to move, I have never looked forward to a workout in my life. There was always the “should” or “have to” so I can say “I did”. Now, I crave going and can’t wait go back the next day.
As a nutritional health coach and avid exerciser, it is both a job and a hobby for me to know what is out there in terms of exercise. I can honestly say I have done or tried almost everything; from bootcamps to yoga, running to rock climbing, pilates, barre classes, spinning, stepping, trampolining, etc. The list can go on and on. You name it…I have probably tried it. In addition to all of the excercises, I have also been to several CrossFit establishments in the Boston area.
I started at Charles River CrossFit this past July and have never been happier. The coaches are absolutely spectacular. I am constantly learning from them and they are SOOOO patient with me (I am not always a fast learner and I ask way too many questions). The facility has state of the art equipment and is clean, the people are super friendly and the atmosphere is just magnificent. Charles River CrossFit is the perfect combination of intensity and enjoyment all at the same time.
I leave the gym feeling really good about myself, my workout and my accomplishments. I am consistently lifting more weight, doing more burpees and running faster as time goes on.
Although I will continue to seek out what else is out there for the sake of expanding my knowledge base and for research…I know I am not going anywhere. Thank you Charles River CrossFit for giving me the challenging and new athletic experiences that I encounter each and every day I am there.
Charles River CrossFit has changed my life. Being a member has substantially improved my level of fitness and health, and has unexpectedly taught me many lessons about how to deal with life outside the gym. The coaches are extremely knowledgeable, responsible, caring, and dedicated. I trust them implicitly. The gym itself is an open, inviting space with great equipment and a motivating atmosphere. The community at CRCF is friendly, supportive, and loves to work and play hard together.
I often say that CrossFit has become a metaphor for my life, particularly when it comes to accepting weaknesses about myself and dealing with failure. CrossFit and CRCF constantly show me that weakness is a part of life. We can’t be good at everything, but we CAN work hard enough to be our best at what we struggle with. I have trouble accepting failure, but it becomes a part of daily life at CRCF because you have to actually fail to get better. You aren’t trying hard enough if you never fail. The failures teach you lessons and introduce you to new goals.
CrossFit at CRCF asks you to try new things, to push past your “limits”, to fail, get back up, and try again. What is sometimes scary can become a powerful and fun experience once you put trust in your coaches, your training, and yourself.
All that being said, CRCF is a place where people happily go to improve and sustain general fitness. My experience and relationship with CRCF is unique from what others, including my husband, have experienced. CrossFit and CRCF’s community – and it’s a great one – provide an individual journey. You compete against only yourself and your own mental and physical obstacles to achieve your fitness goals.