The before picture below is July 2013, three months before eating Paleo and working out at CrossFit Beverly. I was around 255 lbs and over 35 % body fat.  I had sleep apnea, GERD(chronic heartburn) which required a daily pill, high cholesterol which required two different statins daily, allergies that required another daily pill and seborrheic dermatitis(an auto-immune skin condition). At 37 years old I was on four daily prescription meds and used a machine to force me to breathe while I was sleeping. All of this was causing some pretty severe depression as well. My doctor advised an anti-depressant medication, and that’s what I think finally pushed me over the edge to say “The hell with this” and start figuring out how to help myself. Some research into auto-immune disorder led me to Paleo and then to CrossFit. 

I walked into CrossFit Beverly on a Wednesday night in October 2013, just after my 38th birthday to do my free intro class with Julie. I did the baseline workout and had to run out to the alley just before the pull-ups to vomit. I was out there for a long time and when I finally came back in she made me finish the pull-ups. Gotta love Julie. What I also saw that night was John, Fred, Jackie and a few other people working out together, laughing and having a good time. A completely different atmosphere than those I had experienced in traditional gyms where everyone has their headphones on and doing their own thing. Not judging them but that wasn’t for me. The community environment was much more appealing. I was instantly hooked. a

The after picture was November 15, 2017. I haven’t needed any of the prescription medications or apnea machine in over three years. I’m down a total of 60 lbs and cut my body fat percentage by more than half. I am stronger, faster and fitter then I have ever been in my life at age 42, that’s including my time in the military. I am more active, sleeping better and my relationships are outstanding because I am no longer as depressed or reactive as I was back when I felt terrible every day. My family has joined me at the gym, and we now have a common interest that we can talk about at home. I genuinely believe that CrossFit, CrossFit Beverly and Paleo have saved my life.

--- Ron Reed

Ron Reed before & after

My husband, Shawn Coffey has always been a tad more physically fit than me, he was the one who nudged us to get an LA Fitness membership, he has run marathons, and he started to CrossFit first.  I had no intentions of following; I was a new mom with barely enough time to shower, how was I ever going to find time to attend with him spending two hours a night at the Box and still have time for me to get in before bedtime?  Impossible.

After some time participating, he signed up for his first CrossFit competition, and like any supportive wife, I went along to cheer.  He was a part of a four-person team where I witnessed he and a teammate, Jenny kick ass at Fran (21-15-9 Thrusters and Pull Ups.)  At the conclusion of his workout, he quickly fell to the floor and began crying.  I remember thinking he much better conditioned than I am and if this is beating him up, no way in hell can I do this.  These CrossFit people were some weird elite mutation of humans that I could never become.

Another CrossFit competition, The Trodo Games, came along and once again Shawn was part of a four-person team.  We carpooled to the event, and I remember talking in the car about the competition and life in general.  Everyone was so welcoming, they all seemed genuine and fun.  It was here that I witnessed Debbie and Maria (Shawn’s female partners) struggle through a workout of push-ups.  I thought to myself; if these ladies can do this, which obviously is not easy for them, I might be able to give it a try.  CrossFit finally started to seem realistic to me.  This event is where Shawn’s team won “The Grit Award,” an award to the team who showed the most spirit, drive, and tenacity.  That award is still hanging in the Box as a testimonial of the team's character.  They exemplified the spirit of CrossFit; they cheered for each other, they literally jumped for joy when each teammate PRed their lifts.  This was the point I realized not only were the exercises doable, but the community is there to support me along the way.

After The Trodo Games, the bug was in my ear.  I went to a CrossFit Beverly sponsored White Sox outings and social gathering where people showed me just how fun and friendly these people are.  I could comfortably be myself around everyone even though I had just met them, a difficult thing for me to do most times. So, as with all my research, I decided to go to Pinterest and look up all the fun outfits I could wear and all the workouts and lingo I would have to learn.  I was ready to take the leap.  I signed up for the next On-Ramp.

On-Ramp was a small, intimate group; only four of us, three of which are still members today.  We learned the lingo; we learned the lifts.  I learned that I could tell my body to do something and it will laugh at me.  I learned I liked deadlifts.  I learned that strict presses make me cry.  I learned that one of my coaches, Sam, was young enough that he could have been in my student teaching class.

At the conclusion of On-ramp the time had come for my first unassisted class.  It was on my wedding anniversary, and Shawn and I were going to do this together (how romantic.)  It started with an Indian run (A group run with a medicine ball where the ball gets thrown to the person behind.) Are you kidding me? I hate running!  How was I going to run with a group of people and then take the ball and run to the front of a line?  In the group was Tricia, about eight months pregnant, and kicked my ass.  Here is where the doubt entered my brain.  What had I gotten myself into? How was I going to keep going? How can I get out of this?  What are people going to think of me?  I couldn’t tell you what the actual workout was that day, but I survived…. at least long enough to move on to our next anniversary activity a wine and paint night.

I am a bit of a regular at CFB now, and by regular I mean 2-3 times a week on a good week when I am not swamped with school stuff.  I am truly glad that I have joined this community.  They have taught me more than I could have every learned on my own.

I have learned discipline.  I can meal prep and make smart choices even when I can’t make it to the gym.  I can force myself to walk through the box doors because I know I will feel ten times better about my day after I have done the WOD.

I have learned that it is possible to see an ab.  I mean people do it all the time.  Look at all the shirtless wonders at the gym.  CFB ran a fitness challenge and to get accurate measurements we went in a hydrostatic tank to measure body fat I even saw an ab in the mirror when getting into the tub.  Just one little baby one.  But it was there, and I would love to see it again.

I have learned how it feels to feel strong.  I was never one to feel proud of myself.  I am not one to ring the PR bell to celebrate a new personal best.  But now and then I will make a lift, string together a couple of double-unders, run a full 400 meters without stopping, or even add weight to my deadlift and walk over to Shawn for a high five.  I have seen growth in my athletic abilities and my mental strength, and that is something nobody can take from me.

My Crossfit experience is about so much more than just fitness.  I have made so many friends at CFB.  The type of friends you can call when you want to go out for a drink and escape reality for a while.  The ones that will come over to your house to swim.  The ones that come to family birthday parties.  The ones you can complain about work too.  The ones that try to help you figure out what you want out of life.  The ones you can text when you are ugly crying in your bathtub and feel like nobody else will understand.  The ones that treat your daughter as if she was their own and welcome your family into theirs.  The ones who don’t judge when you run to their bathroom to puke, because chances are they are just a drink or two behind you.

Some of my best memories over the past three years involve the people of CrossFit Beverly!

--- Marianne Coffey

I’ve been a part of CrossFit Beverly for over a year now, and while initially being a runner, CrossFit was very intimidating for me. The people at CrossFit Beverly made me feel welcome and right at home from day one! The staff is amazing and the members are all cool down to earth people. CrossFit has changed the way I look at fitness forever. For anyone looking to change it up or get in the best shape of your life, I highly recommend CrossFit Beverly.
— James Narbone

I chose CrossFit Beverly for the community and the coaches. Every coach is encouraging and offers cueing and correction to ensure that I learn proper techniques, set up, modification of loads to avoid injury. I like that the commitment to safety is so strong. Before joining, I attended a 12 class series “On Ramp” where we learned proper position and alignment in preparation for the Workout of the Day (WOD.) I am a recovering couch potato so I also deeply appreciate the attitude of the other members. Without exception they are encouraging, supportive and welcoming. When I was struggling to finish a WOD every single person in the class was waiting for me and cheering me on. Finally, I am impressed by how the community extends beyond itself and retains a consciousness, care and respect for all those who serve daily to protect our lives, property, and freedom as teh membership is comprised by a lot of Police, Fire, Medics, Nurses and teachers. When I think I can’t do something the reminders of this broader community and their sacrifices help me keep going.
— Brigid Wolf

I came to CrossFit Beverly looking to push my body to the limit. After being fairly athletic throughout my youth and adult life, working long hours in IT began to take its toll. So to augment my martial arts training and improve my overall conditioning, I tried boot camp training at CrossFit Beverly. To say that I have been more than happy would be an understatement. Since joining CrossFit Beverly at 50, I have shaved off 30+ pounds, improved my overall conditioning and athletic ability as well as gotten stronger in ways I wouldn’t have imagined at this age. All of the coaches here are great and I have learned a great deal from each and every one of them.
— Faarooq Lowe

After having a baby and losing 30 lbs. over a year period I was ready for a change. I was extremely bored going to the gym and frankly was not pushing myself. A friend suggested looking for a CrossFit Box and it led me to CrossFit Beverly. It was initially a little intimidating because I had not considered myself an athlete since high school, but the intensity of the workout was something I had not experienced in YEARS. I did the “On Ramp” an introduction to the basic moves of CrossFit and it was an invaluable experience. I was taught the core moves of CrossFit and in turn felt more confident walking into the WOD’s. The thing that kept me coming back and keeps me coming back is the overwhelming sense of community. I have never belonged to a gym where it was so supportive and encouraging. I look forward to challenging myself to constantly improve and I get to see people I now consider friends. I love that there’s always room for improvement. On a superficial note, I have lost 10 more pounds and have actually seen my strength improve. I am extremely grateful to have CrossFit Beverly in my life. Thanks, John and Staff!
— Erin Doyle

It took my husband an entire year of telling me how great CrossFit is and how great and encouraging the athletes were at CrossFit Beverly before I would go near the place. I was actually terrified to start. But, very hesitant I did On Ramp coached by John and learned a ton in those 3 weeks. I learned that I was stronger than I thought I was. I learned I hate med ball cleans and I really wanted to learn how to do this CrossFit stuff! Watching all of the other athletes is so inspiring you guys are so amazing, accompanied by the BEST coaching staff made joining a no-brainer. That decision really has changed our lives and we are forever grateful. One of my favorite things at the gym is all of those future athletes that come in with their parents, who once in a while gaze up from their phones/ tablets or stop mid-play to see all of us encouraging each other while we absolutely destroy a WOD. I smile when I think of the stories they will have.
— Sarah Reed