Christina Barnard



Before joining CFRL what was your biggest struggle? What were your biggest frustrations?

My biggest struggle has been balancing my time. I work full time as a teacher and am a mother of four. Carving out time for myself (without feeling guilty) has been an issue. I actually suffered with asthma when I was a teenager and that kept me from participating in sports. I started exercising by walking a few times a week when I was 17. Over the years working out became a huge part of my life. It’s helped me feel better both physically and emotionally. Before I had my children, I would walk miles to stay in shape. Some days I’d walk for 6-9 miles. But I had to stop those marathon walks once I had my first child. I had to find other ways to stay in shape that didn’t take up such a huge chunk of time each day.

Confidence has always been a personal issue for me as well. I was a very timid and shy child. Working out makes me feel better about myself and I believe that helps me in all aspects of my life.

How did your struggle and frustrations affect your life? What did you feel like before joining CFRL?

When I was younger I struggled with the typical low self-image issues all too familiar to many women. I was always trying to exercise to lose weight whether I needed to or not. As I got older I started to try new things. After having my second child, I decided to try Pilates. After my third child, I started doing kettle bell DVDs at home. After my fourth, I decided to try spinning. Then something happened that was truly life changing. What started as numbness in my left leg led to frequent falls and limping. It was very hard to walk. I did my best to continue exercising by using an elliptical trainer. After a few months, an MRI revealed a tumor on my spinal cord. My neurosurgeon recommended surgery as soon as possible for fear that it would cause permanent damage or even paralysis. After an eight hour surgery most of the tumor was removed and I was able to slowly return to my active lifestyle. It was an eye opening experience and one that left me grateful for the the ability to walk. Then came Crossfit! About 7 years ago a friend convinced John to try it out. I thought he was nuts and told him he was joining a cult. Three months later I joined him. I started doing it a couple of times a week in addition to spinning. However, it became difficult to follow a schedule and find someplace close enough to home while working and keeping up with my children. I needed to find a better way. Around that time, CFRL opened its doors and my husband joined. He raved about the facility and, most importantly, the coaches! It also helped that it’s literally 3 minutes from our house. I took a class and started to come regularly. Now I’m an addict. I hate taking days off and missing out on all the fun wods!

What was it about CFRL that made you join?

There are so many things I love about CFRL! Charly is a phenomenal coach. He has the ability to instantly put you at ease. He knows me so well! I’m never afraid to ask him a question or ask his opinion on how I should handle the workout. He believes in me and gives me me the courage to try things I never thought I would. I love the variety of the wods and the fact that I can get a great workout in less than an hour a day. I also love that I don’t have to plan the workouts myself-I just have to show up and do my best.

What made you stay with us? What do you enjoy the most about CFRL?

In addition to the amazing coaches, I love the athletes I get to work with regularly. It is the most accepting and encouraging place! It’s my happy place. I love starting my days at 5 am. I can leave my house and get back before my children get out of bed. After working out I have a positive outlook and am ready to face my day. I feel accomplished and that’s a great feeling!

How did our program help you? How is Life different for you now?

Life is different. I am stronger and more confident than ever. I’m proud of myself. I’ve also been able to share my love of CrossFit with my children. I wish I had started this type of program when I was in my teens or twenties. All three of my boys have taken classes and one is currently working out regularly with a personal trainer here. He’s building himself up both physically and emotionally. Recently, after a grueling session, he said, “Mom, I know what you mean now. I got that feeling during the wod that made me want to keep going.” It’s helped him become a better athlete. I love that my kids get to see their almost 50 year old mom lifting heavy weights, running, rowing and biking. I’m hoping my daughter will see that being strong is much more important than being skinny.

Were there any specific goals that you reached that you are particularly proud of? How did it make you feel?

Since joining CFRL I’ve improved all of my lifts and broken many personal records. I love that Charly schedules time to work on particular skills in addition to the wods. Some of my goals in particular include consistently using an rx wall ball and dabbling with double unders -still a work in progress. I’ve also been able to do body weight pull-ups which is something I never thought I would do. Every time I reach a new goal or take a little step toward achieving that goal Charly is right there with support and encouragement.

What would you tell someone interested in joining CFRL?

I tell everyone to come to CFRL! Every single member has something to offer. It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned athlete or someone just looking to get started this is the place to be! You will feel better about yourself after day one!

Is there anything personal you would like to add?

I’m truly honored to be a part of this incredible group. It’s a huge part of my life! Thank YOU!