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I decided to do something for myself, so six weeks ago I signed up for the Paleo Diet Challenge. My intention was to lose weight. That mindset changed quickly. Six weeks ago I felt terrible. I was unhappy, moody and lethargic. I knew a change in diet and exercise would help the way I felt, I just didn’t expect the change to be so dramatic. I have had a major change in my attitude that is evident to everyone in my life. I am no longer miserable and moody. You realize how much you actually were when you see yourself when you are not. Weight loss was no longer a focus but an added benefit.Initially, I had no energy. It was so hard just to get through the day and then to throw a workout into the mix – I never thought I was going to make it! I put all my faith in Alex’s words – it will get better, your body is trying to adjust from burning sugar to burning fat, your energy will come back, give it time. Thank God he was right! After the third week my energy level started to come back and I was feeling good!

The challenge has ended but I will continue eating a paleo diet. I feel fantastic!

Thank you CrossFit Bolton.

Theresa Bannister *

I joined CrossFit Bolton in early April 2013 and I have never felt more addicted to my morning workouts than I do now. I have been an athlete all of my life, but was feeling like what I was doing wasn’t moving the dial the way I wanted it to. I was very curious about CrossFit when coincidentally, I saw someone with a CrossFit Bolton t-shirt on in town. It took me a while to build up the courage to give it a try as I had never really lifted weights and was pretty intimidated by it.When I began, I felt awkward and very much out of my comfort zone. It has been almost three months now and I am already feeling so much stronger and more confident in what I am doing.

When I joined Alex spoke to me about the Paleo Challenge and I immediately thought this combination of coaching, workouts and diet/nutrition is exactly what I am looking for. I went to the Paleo challenge information session and along with the realization of how much processed food was in my diet, there was something Alex said that night that lit a fire. He mentioned that most of us would not end up successful at living the Paleo lifestyle. I like challenges.

The first week was pretty difficult as I was away at a Sales Conference where every meal is a buffet and drinks are flowing. I managed to stay as true to Paleo as I could while eating out at every meal. After that, it was all about being prepared, having the right foods in the house and packing the right lunch and snacks for myself. Even my husband has joined me and is eating Paleo now too!

As the challenge comes to a close, I have lost 11 lbs and over 13 inches. I have improved my max deadlift by 40 lbs, my burpees by 23 seconds and my row by 17 seconds. I have noticed my skin is much better, my stomach doesn’t rumble and gurgle like it used to and I am feeling so much stronger than the day I first started CrossFit. My husband and I will continue to eat Paleo and are trying to move our kids in that direction too.

Thank you so much to Jimmy, Tony, Kathy and Alex for your patience and coaching over the last three months. I know you are probably tired of telling me “knees out” or “don’t bend your arms too soon”, but it is slowly sinking in! Also, thank you to my fellow early risers for all of the encouragement you have given me – it is truly a pleasure to be in your company!

Ann Marie Kelly *

I have been eating paleo adjacent since I first joined CrossFit Bolton in December 2011 to varying degrees. Alex explained to me why I should and suggested I go do the research and try it out. I have an unhealthy relationship with sugar (to put it mildly) but the toughest part to get my head around was that dairy is not healthy!I have joined each paleo challenge since starting, but never submitted my results even though I always did well.

These past 12 months have been incredibly hard. The stress level at work was intense and remained that way for 8 months. Things finally started going back to normal when I suffered a tremendous personal loss. Even without changing my diet, I started gaining weight. Was it just the stress/cortisol? Was it that I unintentionally ate more? I’m not sure it matters any more.

So yet another paleo challenge came up and I decided that I would give it another try. I know the benefits, the stress was subsiding and I had nothing to lose.

I started off the challenge with some injuries, so my pre-challenge workouts made me sad. 155 pound deadlift? My PR was 195! I don’t hate it when I can’t measure up to others; I hate it when I don’t measure up to myself!

Eggs and avocados for breakfast, big ass salad (with meat and likely bacon) for lunch and paleo taco salad or something equivalent for dinner was the norm. I added the salmon oil in the morning and at night as per Alex’s suggestion (yuck!) and I started seeing results. I avoided the scale for the most part and focused on things that mattered, like what I was eating, how I felt, how I was sleeping and how training was going. My injuries are less nagging and my performance is increasing again, all while losing weight. What more can I ask for? Unfortunately, gone is my love for coffee. I just don’t need it anymore. I’m quite distraught.

I stepped on the scale on June 16th and I was down 16 lbs. I still have a long way to go, but I am excited to be back on the right path.

I am looking forward to the rest of the year with a great training program, better eating habits, and the support of the people at CrossFit Bolton and CrossFit Mississauga!

Corinna Mulligan *

I was quite a skinny child but around the age of 12 my weight started to increase. Over the next 16 years my weight fluctuated up and down (generally on the lower end of overweight). I was very active through my teens with sports and at the age of 18 I started a trade and worked a highly physical job. At 23 I moved into an office job. Over the last 6 years in the office I watched my weight climb over the 300 pound mark. A 6 month period with a personal trainer helped me drop back under 300 pounds and increased my muscle mass substantially but from the first day with the trainer I knew that it was not a long term solution for me. I found CrossFit Bolton 5 months ago and instantly realized that it was exactly what I was looking for. CrossFit has provided me with an open-ended solution and a new lifestyle. While I have found it an adjustment to balance CrossFit, work and my family; I know that it is something I will stick with and enjoy for many years.Alex suggested during my initial consultation that I keep my eye out for the Paleo challenge. I have always known that to obtain my physical goals, I would need to embrace a healthy eating lifestyle. During that first meeting I decided to join the challenge. I knew nothing about Paleo but I went into it with an open mind. I followed the meal plans and list of supplements provided at the information session as close as possible. The first week was difficult, as I was not used to the amount of work required to follow the meal plans. I found that I quickly adjusted to the shopping, prep work and cooking required. It was helpful that the payoffs were immediately noticeable. It is hard to explain but it feels like your stomach/body is lighter? I maintained Dairy free for four weeks and with slow reintroduction I decided that my body is okay with limited dairy.

In six weeks I lost 39lbs but the biggest payoff is that I found that Paleo is not a temporary lose weight gimmick but a sustainable easy to follow healthy diet. As soon as you accept that fast food or ready meals generally are not Paleo (or healthy) you can find an endless variety of food. I eat more food than I did before but by choosing a “better option” for every meal, I have watched my weight drop, my physical appearance change and overall I feel better.

I plan to maintain the Paleo diet moving forward and paired with CrossFit I believe I will reach my goals in the not so far future.

Michael McGoey *

I love being a member of CrossFit Bolton and have been training here since March 2010, but I do have one regret. That regret is waiting for over three years to participate in the paleo challenge! The impact that the change in diet has had on my performance in the gym, my physique, along with my mental and emotional well-being is incredible.I considered myself a fairly healthy person. I did CrossFit three to four times a week and ate well (so I thought). This year due to the demands of my job and extensive work related travel, I was unable to attend classes, addicted to sugar and had absolutely zero work life balance. Not surprisingly, I was an extremely stressed, fat and a miserable human in general.

In January 2013, I decided that I needed a drastic change in order to improve my well being and quality of life so I quit my job! For an overachiever like myself who places so much of my self worth in my career, this was completely out of character but a change that was undeniably necessary.

February 11th was my last official day and the road to my self-healing process began. I returned to the gym and despite sucking at every workout I was committed to getting myself back to where I once was. Alex has been telling me for years that I needed to clean up my diet and convert to paleo or I would never see the physical transformation and enhanced performance I desired. He was right! I finally realized the major role diet would play in the lifestyle shift I was working towards. I was ready to change and when the paleo challenge was posted I jumped at the opportunity.

I dove in head first with a commitment to a strict paleo diet on May 6th and haven’t looked back! It has been a tough road full of temptations. It seemed every weekend we had an event or party where everyone was eating cake or drinking beer and I was eating orange slices and drinking herbal tea! If anyone tells you that converting the entire framework of how you eat is easy, they are liars! This shit is hard! For me the first three weeks were the most challenging. I was tired and felt weak at the gym but I knew it was my body detoxing and adapting to burning fat as my major source of fuel. After that initial phase I had more energy, was faster, lighter and my skin was glowing!

The past 6 weeks have been life changing in many ways, I wanted to share a few highlights:

  • I’ve lost 10 lbs! My goal is to lose another 10lbs, but the weight loss is secondary to the other enhancements to my life.
  • I’ve over 10 inches on my entire body!
  • I started a new job.
  • Alex is ALWAYS right.
  • I realized my health is a responsibility that is completely in my control.
  • Paleo is my new lifestyle and I will never go back to feeling sick and fat ever again!
  • I was a bridesmaid in one of my best friend’s wedding on Feb 23rd, 2013 my dress size was 14, I bought a dress for my brother’s upcoming wedding yesterday and it was a size 8!
  • My workouts have improved.

The final nail in the coffin to my old eating habits happened after I indulged in half a bowl of pasta (only thing I really missed) on the night after the challenge. The entire night and the following morning I was nauseous and vomiting undigested pasta. I know it is gross but it was my body’s way of telling me that it deserves better and wont allow me to take it for granted anymore and I am finally listening!

I am extremely grateful to all of those individuals who supported me through this process, most especially my husband Jay! If you don’t know Jay, he is responsible for keeping all of the Taco Bells in the GTA in business. Through the challenge he has eaten all of the paleo meals and desserts I prepare without any objections and kept his daily junk food indulgences a secret Thank you to of course Alex for his guidance, support and helping me change my life! Thanks to all of the CrossFit Bolton coaches, my brother and my buddies Kendra and Sara for their constant support and encouragement.

Lisa Peterson *

Hey Alex,I went for my 3 month check in on the weight loss competition we have going on here at work.

Here are my stats:

  • Waist: 41.5″, down 1.5″, 1st place
  • Weight: 216 pounds, down 17.2 pounds, 1st place
  • Body Fat: 28.8%, down 4.7%, 1st place
  • Resting Heart Rate: 66 bpm, down 6 bpm, tied 1st place
  • Aerobic Heart Rate: 120 bpm, unchanged, 4th place

No need to say that I’m first over all at the half way point… there was no need, but sure is nice to say it! While I didn’t join CrossFit Bolton to win this competition, it sure has helped!! Keep in mind that I’m the oldest, 7 years older than the 2nd oldest.

Thanks to you and your staff for all your help… and for not giving in to my whining!! I’m enjoying it more than I thought I would.

See you at the gym.

Mario DiCarlo-Member *

I honestly wasn’t sure how I would cope without cheese, coffee and wine. I quickly found out, after week 1, that no cheese and no coffee weren’t really as big an issue as I thought they might be, but wine…. that killed me… so bottom line is, I drank red wine for the remaining weeks. Aside from that, I had no problem with sticking to the diet. I got better along the way. I searched for recipes, a bit of trial and error and I started to find the foods that I enjoyed most and basically stuck to those for most of the diet. I researched ingredients and started to get comfortable with my new shopping list.My actual weight dropped, but not as much as I hoped it would. I still have 4 pounds to lose before hitting my target. My body composition, however, must have changed more dramatically. I could see it myself but it was mostly confirmed by the many complimentary comments from coworkers, friends, family and fellow crossfitters.

Mentally, I feel that I think more clearly and maybe that is just part of feeling better physically as well. I feel lighter, more energetic and just generally healthier.

Based on all of the above, my Paleo experience will continue. I have no desire to revert back to eating like I used to (which really was probably fairly good if you asked the Canadian Food Guide folks!) I am sure that I will have my moments of wanting to have a taste of ‘this’ or ‘that’ but overall, I plan to continue the journey.

I should end by saying thank you to Alex, who introduced me to Crossfit and Paleo — THANKS ALEX! Also thanks to my beautiful daughter Heather for taking the challenge with me. She made it easier and she was impressively committed — THANKS MOLLY!

Joanne Donovan *

I have officially been a member of Crossfit Bolton for 6 months.The importance of diet along with exercise became more evident every passing week.Not only was it mildly suggested, but other members had just finished their Paleo Challenge and were raving about their success and experience. Previously, I successfully experimented with diet and exercise so this naturally sounded like something I would be interested in. So I gave it a half-ass go. I agreed ‘to go Paleo’. At this point I had done minimal reading and had not discussed any of the advantages and limitations associated with the Paleo lifestyle. I continued drinking my morning coffee (pretend its only 1) with milk and sugar and consumed other non-Paleo foods (baked goods etc). Needless to say, I didn’t notice much of a change.Enter, Crossfit Bolton’s Paleo Challenge. I don’t normally enjoy checking the Crossfit Bolton website (especially at 10pm the night before 6am class…) but I was thrilled

to see another PaleoChallenge. I figured it was my best opportunity to learn as much as I could and find out;

1. If it works,
2. If so, how well.

For me, adjusting my diet to 100% Paleo took more than the 2-hour seminar (please don’t take this the wrong way, it was a great introduction). I had to

read numerous Paleo based books, blogs and websites mostly to convince myself it was both beneficial and maintainable.

I am not going to sugar coat this (pardon the pun), but the first 2 weeks were not easy. I stared at my refrigerator and EMPTY cupboard wracking my brain as to

what to feed myself each day. Luckily I enjoy cooking and am open to experimenting with food, otherwise I would have been eating hardboiled eggs for every meal. I discovered many new recipes, both from books and blogs, some of which have become weekly staples.

Confession: I am a commuter and there are days where all 3 of my meals are consumed in my car… Definitely not something to brag about but this is the kind of planning that I have to consider when I cook. Gone are the days of simply ‘packing a lunch’. I literally have to pack an entire days worth of food.

Solution: LEFTOVERS RULE. This is the only way I survived/thrived throughout this challenge, even though it took me 2 weeks to figure it out! I constantly cook with the intention of eating the entire meal or portions of it again the next day.

I shocked myself mostly with my improvements in the benchmark workouts and the number of PR’s I accomplished throughout the challenge. After completing the challenge I; lost 9lbs, lost 12”, took 31 seconds off my 2000m row, added 30lbs to my deadlift, and took 20 seconds off my 50 burpees.

# 1 Accomplishment: I CAN NOW DO DOUBLE UNDERS. Not one, multiple.

Above and beyond the results mentioned above, I noticed my energy was far more consistent throughout the day. As some of you know, I attend the 6am class and my day does not often finish before 8pm. As the challenge continued I noticed my energy patterns were more consistent and the desire for a 4pm nap dissipated. Also, during the challenge, the morning class changed from 6:30am to 6am. I definitely thought losing a half an hour of sleep was going to affect my motivation to continue regularly attending morning classes. However, I actually noticed that it was much, much easier to get out of bed, whether it was for 6:30am class or 6:00am class (morning folk -> sorry if this doesn’t help your case for class to return to 6:30am…).

Friends and family were surprisingly supportive during the challenge and didn’t pester me much about the Paleo lifestyle (likely because they always had a DD), but that only lasted as long as the challenge. It surprised almost everyone (muggles – not Crossfit or Paleo related) that I wanted to continue with Paleo. But why?

  • I lost weight, gained muscle and have a better quality energy throughout the day
  • My PR’s and WOD times have improved significantly
  • I no longer struggle with what to feed myself on a daily basis
  • I have become a menu-altering Ninja
  • I feel like the smartest, most knowledgeable person in any butcher shop
  • Shocking muggles with Paleo recipes has become a hobby
  • Oh and I eat bacon and eggs… regularly

I have to thank all the Crossfit Bolton trainers; Alex, Dillon, Kathy, Jimmy, Tony and Elora who tirelessly show up every morning to coach, support and cheer us on. I still have a lot to learn and I plan on it by continuing to set goals and allowing the Paleo lifestyle to help me!

Thank you Crossfit Bolton!

Kim Passmore *

I started CrossFit in March 2010. I first heard about it through my brother in law Jimmy Schutz. After a year of constant harassment I finally tried it and have been hooked ever since!I have so many fond CrossFit memories, it is hard to choose one. A few special ones that come to mind are Friday night clubs, participating in my first team CrossFit competition and witnessing my brother Adam’s incredible transformation after joining our gym.I am working on improving my gas tank and snatch. My future fitness goals are muscle-ups and improving my snatch by 20 lbs. My favourite workout is Grace and my least favourite workout is anything with burpees. My favourite lift is the power clean and my least favourite lift is the snatch balance.

I would tell someone who is thinking of joining CrossFit Bolton that you are going to sweat your guts out, hurt in places you never knew existed, have fun and most importantly become stronger and more fit than you have ever been. I know it is intimidating but don’t let your fear deter you! What sets our gym apart from any other gym, is the people. Alex, along with each and every coach and member is 100% committed to teaching, challenging and inspiring you to be the best athlete you can be!

Word to the wise… don’t eat three hours before working out or Alex will inspect your puke and discover you ate french fries for lunch.

Lisa Peterson *

To give you an idea about myself before the Paleo 6 week challenge, I am 38 year old female who is relatively active person. I worked out 2-3 times a week and tried to eat healthy. I have experienced weight gain quickly with various foods and was always playing around with my diet to at least maintain my weight and decrease cravings. I didn’t have many health complaints just typical life aches and pains. I started this challenge wanting to learn more about the science behind it and to lose a few extra pounds. But I was really surprised by the overall results.I achieved my goal of losing weight; I lost 9 lbs and will continue to lose as I continue to follow this diet after the challenge. This is a diet I can easily stick to. On this diet I got to eat foods I had been avoiding for a long while including fatty meat like bacon, sweet potatoes and cooking and eating salads with olive oil. Along the way I was tempted by bread and processed food a few times and when I ate them, for some reason, they didn’t taste the same. They are no longer the foods I enjoy and the day after I eat them my body does not feel right. That’s just more incentive to really stick to it.

What I also noticed was the bad headaches I used to have during my periods are now completely gone. I haven’t had one since starting this diet. My complexion was improved (no pimples in 6 weeks)!! I used to be one of those girls who was cold all the time. I stayed under a blanket or a sweater whenever possible. But now I am so much warmer; at times I feel too warm. Maybe it’s my metabolism changing or the summer weather? My initial blood work showed borderline anaemia and my doctor told me to not do this challenge. I didn’t listen…….what do doctors know anyways???? At the end of this challenge my Hemoglobin is now within normal limits; no longer anaemic.

But what you’re probably wondering most of all is the physical results. I started the challenge being able to back squat 65 lbs and now I can back squat 100 lbs. My deadlift weight increased from 90 lbs to 135 lbs. My push press from 45 lbs to 70 lbs. My 50 burpee time improved by 30 seconds. Finally, my 5 km run time was over 5 mins faster.

So there it is, all my experiences summarized into this testimonial to help you decide if this way of life is for you. I plan to continue and I really hope you give it a try and experience the same or better results. Good luck!!

Rachel Enright *

Hana and I had started at Crossfit a couple of weeks before the challenge in part because we had heard about – and seen the results of – Kim Nelson’s experience at Crossfit and with the Paleo Challenge. So when the next challenge was announced I was definitely going to participate. What an excellent decision it was, the Paleo Challenge has been a phenomenal experience.I have participated in various workout programs throughout my life from strength and speed training for football and track to typical cardio and weight regimens in the local gym; and have tried many different supplemental products from the typical protein powders and creatine to Isagenix. There has been nothing that has given me results like the combination of Crossfit with a paleo diet. My body reacted to it like it was craving it all its life – I nearly instantly started losing weight, gaining strength, and feeling great. When I started at Crossfit I weighed 198 pounds and was having a tough go making it through the workouts, now – only 3 months later – I weigh 175 pounds, feel great, and look forward to getting in the gym.

I would absolutely recommend both crossfit and a paleo diet to anyone who is serious about weight loss, their health and fitness, or just wants to feel good. I certainly plan on sticking with both!

Thanks to Alex and everyone at Crossfit Bolton for a great experience.

Todd Bryson *

Six weeks ago I decided to take part in the 2012 CrossFit Bolton Paleo Diet Challenge. The first information session with Alex was truly eye-opening. It was there that I not only learned how to carry out the diet properly, but also how foods affect the human body, and just how detrimental bad eating habits are to overall health and well being. Before I started out, I had no idea just how essential the Paleolithic diet would be to achieving optimal health, physical composition, and overall state of mind. I came out of that initial meeting certain that I would notice some improvement if I followed the diet and continued to work out regularly as prescribed. I noticed more than just some improvement. I noticed that my life had drastically improved in just six short weeks.I began working out at CrossFit Bolton in March, and at the outset, I was as weak as a kitten. With some determination and training I was able to make relatively large strides in overall strength and endurance with the help of the amazing trainers, as well as phenomenal support from my fellow members. Despite my improved physical abilities, I was not seeing very much improvement in terms of weight loss or body composition, and my energy levels were still lacking. I was 191 lbs and not eating a healthy diet. I was someone that woke up feeling drained; I was moody and not sleeping well. I suffered from fatigue throughout the day and my overall unhappy disposition owed a lot to ongoing discomfort with my physical appearance. I once had an athletic build, but had slowly but surely allowed myself to turn into someone who could no longer fit into clothing that was once comfortable, who did not want to be approached before a morning coffee, and who had lost much in terms of concentration and mental focus. The cause of all of this was my terrible eating habits. As I would learn from Alex, I was depriving myself of essential proteins, healthy fats and vitamins, while eating way too much sugar, dairy and bad carbs. My diet was wreaking havoc on my body!

With all of this in mind, I began eating a strict paleo diet. Alex had armed me with all of the knowledge and tools that I needed to successfully take on the challenge, and it was up to me to implement the necessary lifestyle changes. As someone who drank too much beer on the weekend, and ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted it; initially, the task seemed daunting. How would I be able to make such a radical change? Would I have the will power to deprive myself of all the sugar and salty snacks that I loved so much? With my trusty paleo handbook in tow, I began eating lean meats, and an abundance of healthy fruits and vegetables, with some nuts and seeds thrown in here and there. I cut out coffee, juice and pop entirely, and drank only water and green tea. I was amazed at the ease with which I was able to carry this out. The cravings for bad foods were no match for the amount of energy and balance that I was getting from eating paleo. The changes were immediate. I quickly became addicted to sleeping like a baby through the night and waking up feeling rested and full of energy. I was no longer moody or unhappy and I became excited to put my new found energy to work in the gym in attempting new personal records. I found myself enjoying my meals, feeling nourished and full instead of bloated and tired. After the first week, I had lost 9 lbs, and my physical appearance continued to improve over the course of the challenge. I was shedding more weight and inches with each passing week, and by the end I had lost 20 lbs and over 8 inches. I am now 171 lbs and my body feels like I have relieved it of an enormous burden. It feels clean and energized, and I have gained plenty of lean muscle along the way. I cut the time it takes for me to do fifty burpees by fourty-three seconds, and I added fifteen pounds to my max deadlift, increasing it to 315 lbs.

Additionally, my mental focus has increased tenfold. During week four of the challenge, I was actually promoted at my workplace and I owe it all to paleo. The confidence I had gained, paired with my increased concentration and energy landed me a new job. I found myself presenting and communicating at work with more vigor and enthusiasm than ever before. My ideas were more concise and creative, and it made me stand out in a positive way. I no longer feel groggy or require coffee to get me through the afternoon. I have never felt better and I owe it all to eating a clean, healthy paleo diet, and CrossFit Bolton.

I have made some great progress over the last four months in my pursuit of optimal fitness and health. I still have a long hard journey ahead of me, but I would not have been able to achieve any of the progress that I have made already without the fantastic group of people at CrossFit Bolton. The six week challenge was made far more rewarding and enjoyable through the support and motivation offered by all of the trainers and members. I want to thank everyone for helping me set my life on a new path, based on healthy eating and striving for elite fitness. I have made so many new friends at the gym, and I want to thank all of them for inspiring me to get better every day. Thanks to my sister Lisa and my brother-in-law Jay for convincing me to join the gym and consistently helping me to get better with each W.O.D. I want to say a special thanks to all of the trainers, Jimmy, Tony, Dillon, Kat and Elora for always providing awesome coaching and incredible support. And lastly, a huge thank you to Alex, all of your knowledge, guidance and training has literally been life changing for me. I can’t thank you enough.

I want to assure anyone who is considering taking on the paleo diet that it is the best and most efficient way to dramatically change your body composition and energy levels. Whether you are taking part in a paleo challenge at the gym, or just trying it on your own, you will find the results to be staggering.

Now let’s go crush some W.O.D’s, and in the words of Jimmy, “Stay rock solid tight”

Adam Peterson *

Six week ago I decided to participate in the Paleo Challenge at CrossFit Bolton. I had started following the Paleo ways a few weeks before the challenge started and was feeling great. SO why not throw a little competition into the mix? In the past six weeks I have lost 17.5 inches and 13 pounds. My row time improved by 34 seconds, my burpee time by 27 seconds and my 1 rep max deadlift by 20lbs!!! I am amazed at the results I have seen and felt so far. I have so much more energy than I used to and most days I just don’t know what to do with myself. I never thought I would be able to go with out bread or sugar (since it is in everything!) for this long. Now I can’t even imagine eating it or some of the other foods I used to love. I no longer feel bloated, heavy or tired. Instead I feel light, energetic and happy. I must thank Alex for pushing me to do this and being there along the way to answer any questions or provide me with information. I have been doing CrossFit since November and cannot believe how far I have come. Of course none of this would be possible without the wonderful support, encouragement and motivation from ALL of the trainers. I cannot thank you enough for everything you have done for me. You have pushed me to do things I never thought were possible. Also, all of the members who are always there to encourage and push me when I feel like I couldn’t possible do one more rep or lift anything heavier. Thank you! I look forward to continuing my journey and am excited to see what changes the coming weeks and months will bring. – Jessica Mocha

Jessica Mocha *

CrossFit Bolton – A Sacred SpaceI started CrossFitting in June of 2011. I will be forward and state that prior to my membership with CrossFit Bolton it took me a good month or so to build the confidence to contact coach Alex Possamai. I do not mean to give the wrong impression as you read this but CrossFit is a pretty serious thing and it would be fair to suggest not enough people have the courage to endure the realms of CrossFit (however, when one does, it is truly an amazing life changing experience).

Before entering CrossFit I had been competing as an amateur Muay thai boxer for several years. I truly believed I was fit…but boy, was I ever wrong. My very first CrossFit workout was called ‘Cindy’ (5 pull ups, 10 push ups, 15 air squats-as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes). After the third round I was completely GASSED-not too mention I could not do a proper kipping pull up. Now for an amateur boxer, this was unsettling and very discouraging. After my first workout I was SORE for a solid 3 days but I was up for another challenge and I have to say…MANY beautiful things have ensued. What I sincerely thought would be impossible is now possible. Today I am able to execute consistent kipping pull ups. Lifting the 45lb barbell, which was once an exhausting task has transformed to many amazing progressions: 95lb thrusters (may I add consistent reps in workouts-not my heavy single); deadlifts are increasingly past 200 lbs. Oh, and push ups got real easy these days so now I am doing hand stand push ups. Bizarre! Anyway, I can list everything I could not do but this would be a really long testimonial, and, well, I hope by this point I have convinced you how great CrossFit Bolton is. CrossFit has become an integral part of my life; it has conditioned me to be a better, faster and stronger individual, mind and gym.

CrossFit Bolton is truly a sacred space; the coaches and members are a family to me. I am very fortunate to train with such beautiful individuals. It doesn’t get any more real than this people! If you are seeking for validation, guidance, equality, sincerity and an incredibly strong and motivational team of individuals, than CrossFit Bolton is the place for you. There is only room for improvement here, FACT.

Coach Alex and fellow CFB leaders, thank you very much for believing in your athletes. Although you all put us through hell with these workouts, I think we can all agree that you have sincerely improved our lives, one WOD or another


Mary Ann Marsala *

CrossFit for me is something that just felt right. I have trained in conventional gyms for several years but I have never seen or felt anything that CrossFit offered. I found that through the high intensity functional workouts that CrossFit provides, I have become better at pretty much everything I do. This is true not only with physical tasks but psychological ones as well. CrossFit has taken me far beyond the limits of what I thought I could do and made me into a highly capable, adaptable individual.I attended my first real CrossFit session in January of 2010. The first thing that came into my mind was “this is hard”. I had no idea what the workouts consisted of and how some of the people in the gym were doing what they were. But as with most things in life, it takes time and practice to become better at something. I began to notice significant changes within three months. I was shedding fat and putting on muscle faster than I ever have before! After about a year of consistent CrossFitting I decided to get my Level 1 CrossFit Trainer Certificate to further enhance my understanding of the CrossFit principles. It is honestly amazing how so many people have such misconceptions about what being “fit” actually is.

A few months into my new regime I began to experience the Nay-Sayers. These are the people who notice you changing and are quite frankly jealous of your progress because they do not have the drive or determination to do what CrossFitters do. The remarks and comments they make become repetitive and predictable. Once you talk a few Nay-Sayers it reaches a point where all you can do is tell them to do some reading and laugh knowing that you are the one who is in shape and not just chirping.

This January will mark two years of CrossFitting for me. I can’t imagine what I would be like if I didn’t start CrossFitting. My only regret is that I didn’t start sooner. I have friends and family tell me how impressed they are with the way I look but I always give a response along the lines of: “Yeah, but you should see what I can do now!” This is usually followed by a few handstand pushups or muscle ups on monkey bars but I don’t like to show off too much…

I read a quote once by Ernest Hemingway that said: “ There is nothing noble about being superior to some other man. True nobility is in being superior to your previous self.” This describes my CrossFit experience to a tee. CrossFit allows it’s patrons to quantify their performance with actual numbers i.e. load, reps, time. I found this to be the most useful tool because it allows you see gains and results via your own data. It’s never about what they guy or girl beside you is doing. It’s about beating your previous self. Everyone comes into CrossFit with their own set of strengths and weaknesses but I have yet to see someone who finds a workout easy.

In conclusion, CrossFit has made me healthier, stronger (both physically and mentally), leaner, faster, less prone to injury, less prone to illness, and has given me a new definition of what it means to be “fit”. I am a CrossFitter for life.

Fedon Orfanidis *

The first time I walked through the doors of Crossfit Bolton was on December 1st 2009. I came in to my first session scared, insecure and unsure if I was capable of completing a single workout, as the last time I was physically active was as a dancer over 13 years ago.I’ve made numerous attempts to train at conventional gyms, but there was never a sense of community or guidance, just “trainers” who wanted your hard earned money and didn’t really care if you had made any improvement. At Crossfit Bolton, I watch men and women of all shapes and ages walk through that door standing side by side as equals, day in and day out giving it their all, no matter how many days they have worked out that week or how sore they are or what injury they may have and still find the strength to fight through the WOD. You are all truly inspiring! You make me want to be better, faster and stronger.

Crossfit Bolton is not just a location, it is a family; a family which congratulates, inspires and encourages one another not only in times of great victory, but when we need it the most, in moments where we feel defeated. In those moments we continue to push each other to points we otherwise could never reach alone. Every member has at one time or another given me words of encouragement when I had no words to give myself. Whether it being “You got it, Sonia!” “How many reps do you have left? OKAY LET’S HAVE ‘EM!” or “Mind over matter” they DO in fact work and I appreciate it! Never would have I received that support at another gym.
To all the trainers, it’s because of your passion for Crossfit training and your level of commitment to the Crossfit Bolton family that keeps me coming back! It is because of you all that I walked in 18 months ago barely able to dead lift 95 lbs to now dead lifting 245 lbs and getting my first pull-up EVER!

Alex, a special THANK YOU for believing in me and introducing me to your crazy world! It is because of you and all that you have done to make Crossfit Bolton a success that I can walk out that door each night with a newfound confidence that I never thought possible! I owe being in the best physical and mental shape of my life to you. You are second to none.
For anyone who is considering joining our family, come prepared to work hard, sweat and puke (possibly-lol). Most importantly, come prepared to laugh and have a good time! (I suggest attending our “Friday Night Club” sessions!) What are you waiting for? 3-2-1…Go…Go…Go!

Sonia Giorgio *

On July 15th of 2009, I stepped into a gym for the first time. Yes, a gym for the first time! I was extremely intimidated, I did not feel strong. I was determined to get into the best shape of my life. After a few months I was dedicated to CrossFit and going to the gym became less intimidating. The encouragement from the community at CrossFit Bolton made me feel comfortable. CrossFit has taught me so much about myself that I did not know. I set goals for myself and once I started meeting them I set new ones. In October 2010 I became a Certified Trainer. Looking back in my trusty CrossFit notebook reminds me of where I started. I have tracked my progress and am amazed that I can back squat 165lbs. today when I could only do 95lbs. when I first started, or how in July of 2009 I could barely push 55lbs. over my head and now I can push 115lbs.! Not only has CrossFit made me a stronger person physically it has strengthened my confidence. I learned that I am capable of doing more than I ever thought possible. CrossFit is a place where strong women are welcome, encouraged and applauded. CrossFit helped me balance school, a part-time job and of course, my life. My family has seen a huge difference in me both physically and mentally. I feel like I clear my mind at CrossFit, when I hear the clock count down I forget about my essay on Dante’s Comedy or about my car that constantly breaks down. Best of all, CrossFit is a place where you can have fun. There is a regular crowd at our Friday night session and we have affectionately called ourselves the ‘Friday Night Club’ (I didn’t say we were the most creative bunch).You will always hear people laughing at CrossFit Bolton, it is truly a place to have a good time. I hope to reach more people and educate them on the benefits of CrossFit for body, mind and soul. In the future I hope that I am training athletes from all walks of life. I want to see everyone from the eighteen year old hockey star to the 50 something stay-at-home mom.When I hear the clock count down in the gym 3…2…1…I think: this is your chance to give it all you have. The same applies when I open my eyes each morning…Go!

Sara Segat *

* TESTIMONIAL DISCLAIMER: Individual results may vary, no results are guaranteed.