Success Stories

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Success Stories and Testimonials From Clients of XLR8 Athletix - ellen1Ellen Wierzgac


When I first heard I had invasive breast cancer, my world was rocked. I quickly found myself going to consult after consult with surgeons, plastic surgeons, oncologists and radiologists. It was overwhelming, to say the least. There were so many unknowns, other than the fact I had double mastectomy surgery in my near future. The reality of it all would hit me at the oddest moments and I felt like I would break. I had to be strong for my husband and sons, so they wouldn’t break.  


I had been involved with CrossFit for 1 ½ years at the time of my diagnosis. Not only did I feel physically stronger than I had in years, but CrossFit made me mentally stronger. I had incredible support from my husband and close friends, but it was CrossFit that I turned to most often. Before my surgery, I pushed myself even harder, testing my resolve. My workouts and the coaches were my lifeline. I had a mountain in front of me and I wanted to be absolutely certain I could climb it.  


After surgery I could barely use my arms. I never felt so physically weak and it was humbling. But in my head I heard Coach Kate say “you can do anything five more times.” So every day I pushed myself to do more regardless of how uncomfortable I was. I pictured myself doing five more deadlifts, five more wall balls, five more Godforsaken snatches beyond what I thought I could do before my surgery – and every day I accomplished more than the day before.  


While recovering, my husband went to CrossFit and would come home and tell me about the workout. I would sit there, with my T-Rex arms and envision ME doing the workout. I thought, NO WAY am I not returning to my workouts for 6-8 weeks (like the doctors said)! My doctors don’t know me – they don’t understand how mentally important it is for me to get back to class! 


At 3½ weeks, I walked into Hines Park CrossFit. I was a bit nervous to see just how much endurance I had lost. I was scared because I couldn’t do anything heavy with my arms, and certainly nothing overhead. But, there were my coaches – my saviors – helping me to modify so I could get a solid workout and begin my journey back to health. 



I remember the first time I tried to do a bench press and couldn’t even lift an empty bar off the frigging rack. It scared the hell out of me and almost in tears I went to Coach Lynn and told her I was afraid I’d never be able to do it again. She gave me that “Lynn” look and reassured me that my muscles would eventually remember what to do and, in time, I would build up those muscles that were cut in surgery. Of course, Lynn was right. 



My doctors were amazed at my recovery! My coworkers said they never would have guessed I had major surgery. I always told my boys that if you take care of your body, your body will take care of you. Nutrition…fitness that pushes your mind and body to new limits…truly, that is the key. I am living proof. What I have learned about nutrition and fitness from my coaches at Hines Park CrossFit saved me, and no matter what lies ahead I am forever thankful.

Success Stories and Testimonials From Clients of XLR8 Athletix - victoria"I have struggled with my weight my whole life, as well as many self esteem issues. I started running in 2013 and lost about 30 pounds. In July of 2014 I came down with a kidney infection and was hospitalized for a few days. They overloaded me with fluid and I had a hard time getting back in to running after that.

I ended up being diagnosed with depression about a year and a half later. I was at a point in my life where I was gaining back the weight I had lost and couldn't seem to keep it off. It put me in a very low spot. 

Christmas of 2015 is when I had first heard about CrossFit. I was immediately intrigued and decided to try it. After my first on-ramp class, I was hooked!

I have been doing CrossFit for almost 6 months now. I haven't taken my anxiety/depression medication for 5 months and have never felt better. Every CrossFit class pushes me to my limits, to try things that I never thought I'd be able to do. Even on my off days, I am so proud of myself and how far I've come. 

My self esteem has never been better. I have more energy and I've been eating healthier. I feel so comfortable in my body now and I love it. I have also made some amazing friends because of CrossFit. 

Everyone is always cheering you on and telling you good job. It is truly a place where everyone is made to feel welcome and that is truly amazing. I have gotten out of my comfort zone and competed in a competition (and I am just itching to do more)! 

CrossFit makes me feel so strong and so empowered, like I can do absolutely anything. I am so thankful that I have CrossFit and I'm very happy that I took the leap I did. CrossFit has truly changed my life."


"I started doing CrossFit at the end of 2012. Prior to then I had been into running and had never really done any type of lifting. My wife and I were looking for something new and came across an ad for the on-ramp classes. We decided why not. I remember very clearly going through my first on-ramp class. I had no idea what the difference was between a clean and a snatch, let alone a power clean vs a hang clean. I just remember thinking it was fun learning the different lifts. At the end of class we did my first ever WOD. I don’t remember what it was, but I am going to guess it probably lasted 3-5 minutes long.

During the WOD I remember thinking I was never going to make it to the end, which I did. After the, WOD I looked back and realized that I did survive it. After on-ramp we decided to try our first “real” class. Again, I don’t remember the WOD, but do remember being in the back corner of the class, with my training bar with not weight on the bar. I looked around the class to see people with all different amounts of weights on the bar. I soon realized that everyone in class was at different levels of abilities. I enjoyed the fact that each day I was challenged with something new, and became a little better at what I was doing. Whether it was doing a pull up, jumping rope or doing a deadlift, I saw progress. I really enjoyed the challenge of the WODs.

Over the years I have always been amazed at how great the “Community” aspect of CrossFit is. After a couple of days and weeks of being in class, you start seeing the same people in the gym. Over time a quick chat during the warm up or after a WOD, turns into a group getting together for drinks, to having people over to the house for dinner. Planet Fitness talks about being a Judgment Free Zone, but they have nothing on CrossFit. I have done a WOD next to someone who is using twice the weight I am, and finishes in half the time I do, but they are still cheering me on to the end. Or having someone who can lifts significantly more than you still scream encouragement and give you a high five when you PR a lift that was probably their warm-up.

I can’t say enough about the coaching staff either. All of the coaches are willing to spend some extra time after class to help you on whatever skills you are working on. If still want more, they offer personal training. I gotta give a shout out to Dennis for the PT we have been getting from him. It has been great!!! He has gone over and above what we expected. The night before PT he sends us the plan for the following day. The stuff he has us working on is focused the weaknesses that he has been able to ID while we have been working with him. But it doesn’t stop there. Based on what we need to work on, he will slightly modify the programming while we are in class to again target the weakness. For example, instead of having us do squat cleans from the floor, he had us do the squat cleans from the hang as our problem was getting under the bar. He will also provide us with accessory work to do over the weekend when we come into the gym.

What I soon realized was that my progress in class and surviving the WODs was having an impact outside of the gym. It provided me with a level of confidence that spilled into my professional life. To this day, no matter how bad the day is, or what issue is at hand, the fact that I made it through class in the morning gives me the confidence to know that there is nothing that can’t be overcome."

~Nolan V

“Not your ordinary CrossFit experience, dedicated coaches, comprehensive & well thought out programming, and the best group of real, down to earth people of all skill levels that help encourage each other.”

- Melissa K

“Not just a workout, but a lifestyle.”

- Jackson C

“Absolutely love it!!! Staff is fantastic and set the tone for a fantastic CF community!!!”

- Don C

“Love love love this gym! I'm new to crossfit and everyone here is super welcoming and supportive. The workouts are challenging and fun too! You don't always find that at typical gyms.”

- Kari S

“Invigoration Justified! I'm all in! Lifestyle programing at its best on health, wellness, and fitness!”

- Christian D

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