Need Some Inspiration? Watch Michelle’s Video About Behavior Change!

Take 11 minutes  to watch this AWESOME video that our very own Michelle Kyliavas made for one of her NAU classes last semester. You usually see Michelle working out at the 6pm class. THANK YOU for sharing your story Michelle and being such an INSPIRATION to all of US!

Paige Wayas

1274031_10202013136354458_1300594509_oEvery year my husband and I load up our 3 little boys and go cut firewood a few times a year. This pile in the picture is all oak (which is VERY dense and heavy….at least it is for me;) In years past, there is no way I could have lifted a 3 or 4 foot solid oak log. This year, I lifted almost half of this pile and loaded it into a trailer. I’ll be 42 next month and I am stronger now than I was at 22. I am by no means in “excellent”shape, BUT I can tell my back and core are stronger than they were 6 months ago, and daily tasks (lifting kids, bags of dog food, etc.) are getting easier. The point is, it’s never too late to get healthy. Just had to celebrate this little victory!
‪#‎gettingstronger‬ ‪#‎crossfitflagstaff‬ ‪#‎maybeillstartmyownloggingcompany‬


Julianne Miller

Julianne 2I love Crossfit. No I mean it – I love Crossfit. If you had asked me 3 years ago if I would ever belong to a Crossfit gym I would have said definitely no. I can safely say that prior to joining Crossfit Flagstaff I had never been fit in my entire 37 years, not even close. I had been on sports teams when I was younger but never excelled, I kinda ran some when I felt motivated but it was a chore, I got tired thinking about how I was supposed to be working out and every New Year’s resolution to exercise usually lasted about a week. My weight fluctuated with whatever fad diet I was on and I had 3 different pant sizes in my closet to accommodate my weight changes and my moods fluctuated with my pant size.

Then the stars aligned and Crossfit Flagstaff opened a new gym next door to where I work. IIMG_7292 saw people pushing tires and running in all sorts of weather and I thought they were crazy; no way would you get me to do that sort thing. I continued to think that where I was physically was as good as it was going to get and to just get on with my life. However, this was not to be as one day I joined the gym next door. Why did I do it?  I cannot say that one thing in particular made me join but it was the little things such as my pants were always a little tight, I was always tired, I was close to turning 40, and why not?. The reason is not important, everyone has different reasons for what they do but I am so thankful every day that I did it and I am still in awe that I actually followed through with it.

When I started I can safely say I had minimal muscle mass and could not even do a pull up with the largest of bands.  I was absolutely horrified at my first work out and second guessed whether I belonged there….I can only be forever grateful to the coaches that helped me stick with it. I was told with some confidence that one day I would be able to do a hand stand push up and I remember chuckling to myself thinking that would be an absolute miracle. However, now I can do 30 kipping pull-ups in a work-out, run faster and longer than I ever have before, lift weights that I would never have imagined possible, and I can actually see my bicep muscle!

Julianne 1I am still working on the hand stand push up but have gotten so close that I have tasted the miracle and that miracle tastes good. The change in my body has changed my life, Crossfit has not only given muscle strength but also mental strength and physical confidence. I am an athlete – never have I ever thought that I would ever say such a thing! That hour of working out at the gym is as good as meditating when all the stress of life stays at the door and all you have to do is trust your body to be strong.

The fitness that I have gained is incredible and empowering. I can only hope that other people can find the joy in the physical achievements that Crossfit offers because it has absolutely changed my life and my body. Anyone can do it – I am proof of that. The physical improvements at Crossfit are amazing but I feel that the most important aspect that makes me love Crossfit is the people. This is a community that supports each other and is non-judgmental. When you are working out you are all working out together and you support each other’s achievements without jealousy or judgement. It is a pure feeling of friendship.

I feel supported by everyone and get the encouragement that I need to continually strive to improve. I admire the coaches for the energy that the give on a daily basis and the dedication that they have for me to get fit and stay healthy. I give them all the credit for encouraging me to continue with the journey and not ever give-up, without them I would still be sitting in tight pants thinking about how I should be working out and then eating a pint of ice cream to drown my sorrows.

IMG_7289Where else can you go where you are going to find people that really honestly care about your health and want you to feel and perform to your best? It is an awesome feeling to walk into the gym and get greeted with smiles and hugs and have people truly care about you. I have become the stereo-typical Crossfit junkie but I don’t care because in case I have not mentioned already – I love Crossfit. Why not try it? What can it hurt and it might just change your life………………………

Paul Brown

My wife Tish and I first moved from New York to Tuba City in autumn 2011 shortly after getting married.

Paul1We previously belonged to a typical gym with tons of equipment where no one knew or spoke to each other. When we arrived, we learned that there isn’t a gym in Tuba City so we went shopping for a one in Flagstaff. I looked up Flagstaff gyms online and we visited a few. One of the gyms I read about was CrossFit Flagstaff and it sounded really interesting (we had never heard of CrossFit before). I called and learned that we would have to go through several weeks of pre-training before we could begin the regular workouts. After some debate, we decided to give it a chance and now we can’t imagine ever belonging to any other kind of gym.

I’ll never forget my first WOD – prowlers. Yes, like many CrossFit stories, I threw-up afterward. The next day I came back for more. I was a slow learner too. Executing proper technique was really challenging for me the first year, but with repetition and reflection I’ve been able to improve and see real progress. A major turning point for me was entering the 2013 CrossFit Games. I didn’t think I was performing at a high enough level to compete and I never would have considered it had it not been for the encouragement of the coaches. I rarely RX’d a WOD, but in the competition, we really didn’t have a choice but to go for it. I learned each week that I have a lot more strength and ability than I had given myself credit for. Ever since then I find myself RXing more and believing more in my abilities. Like so many of us, CrossFit has become a very important part of my life.

What motivates me to keep growing as a CrossFit athlete?

1. Tish. She constantly pushes me to be the best athlete I can be. I couldn’t ask for a better partner or cheerleader. It’s awesome that we love CrossFit together.
2. PR’s and Gains. Getting better, faster, and stronger is incredibly motivating.
3. Team CrossFit. The support and encouragement of both the coaches and the other athletes is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before.
4. Bacon. ‘Nuff said.

The community that Lisa Ray has built here is unbelievable. I started out looking for a gym, but today I belong to a fitness community. I am so grateful to the coaches for all their encouragement (and patience), and also to all the great friends we have made here. I take the life lessons I learn in CrossFit with me every day. Thank you CrossFit Flagstaff, I am a better person because of all of you.

Mia Armstrong

I still remember my first CrossFit class.

Mia1 Five years ago, I was an insecure, shy 10 year-old who showed up to a strange gym because my mom was making me. But then the class started. Our workout was a circuit of sit-ups, squats, push-ups and running.

I fell in love immediately. The workout kicked my but, but afterwards I felt amazing. That was five years ago and I haven’t stopped coming to CrossFit since.

CrossFit has made me strong. It has made me healthy. It has made me capable of things I couldn’t have dreamt of doing without CrossFit. It’s helped me climb up sheer rock walls, hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and the top of the San Francisco Peaks, run 5Ks and 10Ks and Half Marathons, and compete in triathlons. Mia2But CrossFit has given me more than just athletic ability.

CrossFit has also given me confidence. Today, I’m not the shy 10 year old I used to be, and that’s thanks to CrossFit. CrossFit forces you to believe in yourself, to take action. CrossFit forces you to make yourself the person you want to be–physically and mentally. I look forward to going to the gym. Yes, imagine that. Having fun at the gym, being excited to go to the gym.

CrossFit Flagstaff is a community of people who love you and support you every single day. CrossFit has changed my life and made me who I am today.

Mia3It’s so much more than a gym.

Liz Miller

As I type this up, I’m avoiding Pre Calc, AP US History, and AP English homework.


I hope you guys realize how special CrossFit is to me because of this, and if you don’t know, I hope you will by the end of the story.

I started CrossFit at the end of May 2012. Before that, I did Young Athlete classes and dropped in every once in a while, but because of my hectic schedule I was able to test in to adult classes. That was probably one of the best things that has ever happened to me. But let’s fast forward to the good stuff: November 2012, after 5ish months of CrossFitting, I decided to do a competition. I’ve always played competitive sports, and as much fun as competing against yourself is, I wanted to see where I was against others. Luckily, it was the partner competition at CrossFit Fury. I was blessed to be partnered with the lovely Sarah Bremer. We all know how this competition ended up: I ran into a huge wall. Literally. I couldn’t get over both walls in the police WOD and from that point on I had people coming up to me asking, “Hey, you’re the girl who cried on the wall right?” Yes, yes I am. But I learned some amazing things about CrossFit that day that I’ve carried into my training every day since:

1. The CrossFit community, in all of its “cult” glory, is a beautiful thing. People always say that, but I don’t think anyone understands that until they hit their wall (For me, it happened to be a real one). I remember my dad encouraging me through the whole thing, my mom videotaping the struggle and jumping up and down every time I got close, Tara Ross coaching me the whole way through, Sarah hugging me as I cried afterwards, Zach Wilkinson talking to me about staying positive, and Jesse Prescott coming up to me and yelling at me for almost making him cry. The list goes on and on.

The most incredible part of this community is that EVERYBODY wants you to succeed. The next WOD was a CrossFit chipper with yet again, another movement I wasn’t able to get at the time: a 95# clean and jerk. I was embarrassed that I couldn’t get it, but when I looked up after the work out I saw dozens of people I didn’t know, cheering me on and crying with me. I had Michael Moseley tell me he was proud of me for never giving up. It was the best feeling in the world.

2. The second thing I learned is that you are never allowed to give up. It’s called “training” for a reason. You train and practice every day to be the best you can be. Because of the community, because of the adrenaline that comes with WOD’s, and because of the amazing feeling of getting stronger, you have NO excuse to not train to be your best. Never give up and never stop training.

3. It’s all about your mindset. Whether it’s a regular day at the gym or a competition, or really anything else in life, if you go into something thinking, “this is gonna suck,” it’s probably going to suck. Congratulations, you’ve already set yourself back for the day. I’m not saying that I always have the best attitude, because I don’t. But I do know that when I have a positive attitude I always accomplish what I wanted to do. Plus, with people like Nick Clack always reminding you to “Go for Gold” it’s kind of hard not to.

4. I love CrossFit. Everybody asks me why I’ve cried after every work out I’ve done in competitions, and I don’t know how to explain to them that it’s a happy cry. Plus, I’m a little low on oxygen and a teenage girl… I’m allowed to cry a lot.

Liz3These lessons are only a few things that make my CrossFit story, and the Furious Five Fundraiser was only a fraction of it. I went on to compete again in December at AC^2 (with tons of PRs and winning the AMAZING “spirit of the games” award), I’ve hit that 95# clean and jerk, I did The Open, but most importantly, I’ve met sooooo many amazing people. I know I’ve named names in this, and if your name isn’t in it: don’t fret. I wish I was able to write about all the amazing people I’ve met through CrossFit Flagstaff, but that would be a novel, and I’ve already written too much as it is.

I can’t wait to get stronger, both physically and mentally, every day. I love the people I train with and my coaches are the best I could ever ask for. The beautiful thing about CrossFit is that it is ever changing and evolving, and that means I can change with it. The most important part to this CrossFit Story is that it isn’t ending any time soon. This won’t be the last time you hear from me!
With love,
Liz Miller

Krista Sullivan


So let’s face it. Those of you who know me well and those who don’t, know that what I have to offer the world is a largely unfounded over inflated ego and an inappropriate amount of sass!

This is how I’ve always wandered through life. Take me or leave me. This is what you get and I’m proud of it! ☺ But for the last many years even MY unflagging confidence had started to wane. I had 3 beautiful health children and a good life, seemingly no reason to complain right?

Unfortunately I was floundering. In my infinite wisdom I used pregnancy as an excuse to let myself eat what I wanted. All the experts and those skinny people were right!?! If you eat ad nauseam and don’t work out you get FAT! Who’d a thunk it☺? After my last kid I was 100 lbs. over weight and taking it off was a much bigger challenge then putting it on. I’d try changing my eating habits for a while and work out a bit, but nothing stuck and I didn’t see the immediate results I needed to keep trying. Here’s where the story improves, enter CrossFit stage left.

Krista2My dear friend Heather told me about this crazy gym where you “lift heavy stuff” and do all sorts of crazy acrobatics. She said she’d heard about it from a few people and asked if I wanted to give it a shot. At that point I was pretty deflated and thought; “What do I have to lose?” Heather and I forked out the cash and walked into this cavernous building with seemingly medieval torture racks along the walls and lots of grunting folks running about. I was thinking; “What in the hell have I gotten myself into.” Then I met Tara our Trainer. She painstakingly and with infinite patience for 6 sessions took Heather and I through our paces. I learned about Snatch, Push Jerk, Front Squats, etc. In these sessions I laughed, felt goofy, failed, sweat, laughed and felt goofy all over again. I giggled at all the inappropriately named movements and felt strange, but already the hook was starting to sink deeper. After 6 sessions this savage was set loose on Crossfit and two years later I haven’t looked back. I have accomplished things I never thought possible. I lost 86 lbs. in two years and have pushed myself beyond what I could do and then gone a bit further.

Krista3I have met magical people from all walks of life. I have failed at things I tried but still not quit. I have NEVER in all my team sports or activities felt more a part of something. This place and these people remind me daily that the only limit is my willingness to try and try again☺ so here is goes… Queue the Rocky music I’m at the top of the stairs arms in the air hopping about. It took two years and will continue to take more, but I have MY sexy back.

Thank you Crossfit and all that go there. Words will never adequately describe my gratitude. ‘Nough said…

Molly Wilson

Molly Wilson


I started my first year of middle school on prescription diet pills.

My pediatrician deemed me “morbidly obese”, so after I looked up “morbid” and felt horribly embarrassed, I agreed to start taking appetite suppressants. For two months, the medicine worked, but after I was weaned off of the pills, I spent the following year gaining back double the weight I lost. By ninth grade, I was a size 20. The next year, I joined Weight Watchers. The best thing I took away from the group was the idea of lowering my portion sizes. The worst part was my obsession with the number on the scale every week. I came back to a size 16, and stayed there for about 9 years.

Now, I’ve never been athletic. It doesn’t run in my genetics, and the closest I came to sports was as a statistician for high school teams. I was forced to play softball briefly in my youth, where the coaches stuck me in a made-up, outfield position called “Rover”. I’m not competitive by nature, and I’m used to finishing last. The point of my backstory is to setup my mindset when I walked into my first CrossFit introductory class.

Saying I was terrified is an understatement.

After barely making it through a set of 10 squats (all 10 way above parallel, and I needed a water break), and other various CrossFit movements, I left the gym with a feeling that is still difficult for me to explain: basically, despite the awkwardness and pain of the new movements, I could not wait to come back. What I’ve realized since is that my body is begging me to work out. My muscles love to be stretched, and my heart enjoys pumping blood rapidly through my system. However, like most humans, my mind controls my body, and my mind was not immediately convinced that working out was such a great idea. “We flee from pain,” my mind would cry. “Stop torturing us!” it would plead. “You are not an athlete!” My mind flipped out. But the voices of the coaches began to silence my basic mental doubts. I had complete strangers cheering for me the first time I finished a modified WOD, and for each workout after that.

molly2Slowly, I learned tricks from the CrossFitters about how to make it through a workout: “Just hit the ground and get up” (burpees); “Count down from big numbers” (sit-ups); “Swing your arms and JUMP” (box jumps). I learned how to focus on the small moments of success, like the first time I ran 200m without stopping, then 400m; or when I went from box-jump pull-ups to using the black band.

As the year went on, and certain workouts were repeated, I saw greater strides in progress. This week I went on a 5k run (with the future goal of running a 5k without stopping) and did a total of 2 miles in a sprinting WOD. For the girl who used to get panic attacks a week before the required run of the mile once a semester in P.E., the fact that I’ve run 5.2 miles in the last four days is insane to me. I tell my mind whatever tricks I need to in order to finish a WOD: “Focus on round one”; “The length of this WOD is less time than it takes to make dinner”; “This is just a bar that needs to be picked up”.

My mind has trouble comprehending what my body has done, and can do. Sure, it’s nice to be a size 10 and about 50 lbs. lighter. But CrossFit has taught me that the goal above all else is to be healthy, and it has given me the tools and methods to stay consistently in a healthy zone.

Currently, my body is incredibly excited about exercise in a way that makes no sense to my mind. As long as I make it through the door and see the white board, I know that I’m in for an incredible workout. And, albeit begrudgingly, my mind is just as pumped when I leave the gym, because I know I’m leaving as a stronger, healthier woman. That’s a feeling not found in any diet pills.
– by Molly Wilson