At the front of the gym there is a sign that says, “Remember why you started”.

If I think about why I started, it all stemmed from the feeling of inadequacy and I know that’s something we can all relate to, whether it’s not feeling pretty enough, not feeling thin enough, not feeling strong enough, not feeling ENOUGH.

My CrossFit journey started in 2015 after I returned from my honeymoon. My best friend, said you have to try this gym. The programming is done for us and we just have to show up! I was hooked. I saw results immediately, I lost about 15 pounds and I was on a high.

Little did I know my world would be turned upside down in late 2015, with the news that we were being relocated on military orders to New Jersey that would begin a process of coming undone, and growing back together again.

When I got to New Jersey I felt lost. I had no friends or family near me, I had the hardest time finding a job and as a result I grew more depressed by the day. I used food to cope and after being in New Jersey for a year, I had ballooned to my highest weight ever at 215lbs. I winced every time I looked in the mirror, I learned to camouflage my flaws, and used makeup to hide what I hated about how I looked. I wallowed for a year and I hated myself for it.

Fast forward to 2018 and a friend told me about a gym we should come check out. I walked through the gym doors and I told myself, I was gonna try it out and see how I felt. Long story short, I never left and I never looked back. I found a home in this gym, with people who supported my wins and losses in the gym and in life. Not only did I find myself again, but I realized that my worth was not tied to a number on a scale. What became more important to me was, if I was stronger, if my body was moving faster, and if I was making progress. The second I stopped focusing on “the weight” being the problem, it started to disappear. In that first year at the gym, I lost 35 pounds, but moreover, what I gained was long term perspective that has kept me going and fueled my desire and passion for the sport of CrossFit and thrust me headlong into a coaching career.

CrossFit Renaissance has become another home for me, and I am loving every minute. My goal as a coach, is for my athletes to feel positive, safe, and worthy every time they set foot in the gym! That you are more than what you see in the mirror and for your goals to be tied to capabilities and not deficits. Of course I want for you to be the best athlete you can, to make continual progress through consistency and hard work, and to have fun! But every once in awhile it’s important to look back and analyze why you started in the first place and look forward to the future with vision and anticipation, because the future is bright, if we allow it to be!


Best In Health,

Coach Stephani

Coach Stephani