My name is Jennifer Burns. I am 50 years old, and I started CrossFit three months ago.

I was overdue for a lifestyle change – not just to lose weight, but to get healthy, and tone and strengthen my body. Yes, any gym, any workout place, will offer tools to help with that. But I also wanted experts to work with me. And by work with, I don’t mean set me up on a machine, or count off my reps, or charge me by the hour to stand next to me while I walk on a treadmill. I wanted real coaches who would get to know me and help me advance every time I showed up – whose success was reliant on, and celebrated by, my own.

And that’s exactly what I got at CrossFit WCG.

I was overdue for a lifestyle change – not just to lose weight, but to get healthy, and tone and strengthen my body…I wanted real coaches who would get to know me and help me advance every time I showed up – whose success was reliant on, and celebrated by, my own.

Jennifer Burns and WCG CrossFit owner Bill Colavito.

Three months ago, I walked in on a random Tuesday evening hoping to get some information and maybe watch a few minutes of a session (what I later learned was a WOD – Workout Of the Day). Instead, I received 90 minutes of individualized attention. The owner of the Crossfit “box,” Bill Colavito – who is three years older than I am – took me aside and dedicated his evening to me. He taught me all kinds of CrossFit movements with the few essential pieces of equipment – weights, bars, boxes, balls – and most of all, he helped me learn the essential squat. That night, I went from doubting I could do anything (CrossFit? Are you kidding?) to accomplishing more than I ever thought I could for my first time. I was thrilled. And sore.

And sold. This was for me. All of it: the fun but challenging exercises, the camaraderie among all the wonderful members (of all ages and shapes and sizes), and most of all, the individualized attention that this inexperienced CrossFitter so desperately needed.

Three months later, and that individualized attention has not wavered. Bill is a sincerely dedicated CrossFit expert – and so are all of his coaches! Every one of them knows all the members not only by name, but also by level and skill. They know what challenges and motivates each of us, and they are ready with guidance if we need it during every WOD. They will walk around throughout the sessions, encouraging all of us – by name – correcting our format or helping us make adjustments if something does not seem to be working. The WODs are tough, but my confidence – which Bill calls stubbornness – keeps me motivated. And that confidence builds every day from the support I get at the Box. I have never seen that anywhere else.

But it’s easy to trust these coaches. They will stand beside you as you do a little more, and they will stop you if your struggle is too much.

Bill likes to brag too – not about himself, but about his members. He is genuinely proud of what we all do. You will hear him as he walks around the Box, talking about one of our specific accomplishments: “Christine lifted prescription weight today!” “Michelle lost 15 pounds!” “Cindy had surgery but didn’t miss a day here!” “Gina (Bill’s wife, who keeps him organized!) does that format perfectly!” Some days at the Box are more chaotic than others, but the coaches will always find a moment to tell each one of us what a great job we did – with a high five or pat on the back. Especially Bill, who is like a proud father. Where else will you find such support?

As the weeks turned into months for me at CrossFit WCG, I learned to do more and to push myself a bit, guided by Bill, Mike, Michelle, Adam, Cara, Scott, and Michael – and by some members as well! Sometimes it’s scary to go beyond what you think you can do if trust is not there. But it’s easy to trust these coaches. They will stand beside you as you do a little more, and they will stop you if your struggle is too much. Because of this, I have become pretty good weightlifter. And more importantly, I am doing it all in the right formation. They won’t let me do anything without the right footing and format. Before CrossFit, I did not even know about formation for any exercise. Now, if I feel I was off with my format, I will do the rep again (there’s my stubbornness!).

Another impressive aspect of this Box: these coaches don’t just tell us what to do – they show us. They will do the WODs beside us every day – even work out with us during partner WODs. They won’t let anyone get lost or left out – new and seasoned members alike

Everyone matters at CrossFit WCG. To me, there is no better inspiration to motivate this 50-year-old to get in the best shape of her life. And I am in the right place to do just that.


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