Meet one of our awesome teen athletes, Katharine! She joined ardent back in August of 2019 and is currently a homeschooled high school junior. She often goes to the 11:30am and 4:30pm classes. Her favorite movements are squats and biking. Outside of the gym she enjoys painting and spending time with family. If you see Katharine around Ardent, make sure to say hi!
1. Why did you join Ardent? I joined August 2019.
2. What's been your biggest accomplishment? My biggest accomplishment is coming to Ardent in the first place! I had never done CrossFit before and it was completely new to me.
3. What are you working on now? I’m a high school junior so I’m focusing on my grades and preparing for college.
4. What's your favorite Ardent memory? My first WOD, it was a 21-15-9 with the assault bike but I went out way to hot and felt like I was going to pass out!
5. What motivates you to continue at Ardent? Seeing improvement in not only my physical endurance but my mental endurance and being able to handle more than I could a few months ago.
6. As a Teen Athlete, how do you approach every work? Honestly I get really anxious and hope I’m not last to finish.
7. What would you tell your pre-Ardent self about starting CrossFit if you could go back in time? I would say not to be so intimidated by starting something new and to have fun with it.
8. What are your favorite hobbies outside of CrossFit? Outside of Ardent Crossfit, I enjoy painting, playing Mario cart with my family, and hanging out with friends.
Meet one of our awesome teen athletes, Bella! Bella joined Ardent in 2019. Bella is currently a high school senior at Mountain View High School. She is usually a regular to the 5:30 class. Her favorite movements are cleans and rowing. Outside of the gym and school, she enjoys coaching, hiking and hanging out with friends. If you see Bella around the gym, make sure and say hi!
1. Why did you join Ardent? I joined Ardent because I needed to get ready for the swim season. My mom recommended I checkout crossfit.
2. What's been your biggest accomplishment? I think my biggest accomplishment has been doing the Flex on the Pep competition. Before, I definitely did not have the skill set or confidence to do something like that.
3. What are you working on now? I'm trying to work on gymnastics moves like handstand push ups and toes to bar.
4. What's your favorite Ardent memory? I think my favorite Ardent memory was getting a new PR for the snatch and having the coach congratulate me. I felt like I had accomplished something good.
5. What motivates you to continue at Ardent? Seeing the progress I have made is a big motivator for me; I want to continue that work. I'm also super motivated by the coaches. They have all been so encouraging.
6. As a Teen Athlete, how do you approach every work? Honestly I just think it's only 1 hr of work and when I go home, I can eat and sleep.
7. What would you tell your pre-Ardent self about starting CrossFit if you could go back in time? I would tell myself to stop being so nervous that I would be judged. I spent too much time worrying that people cared about how fast or strong I was and not actually focusing on my work.
8. What are your favorite hobbies outside of CrossFit? I like to play frisbee, coach softball, play the cello and read.
Meet Coach Jamie! Jamie is married with two kids. Kylee who you’ll see rockin it in the afternoon classes and Kamdyn who you’ll see frequently dancing in the lobby! Her husband is the Army. Jamie recently switched careers from High School Teacher to full-time mom/homeschool teacher. Next time you are at Ardent, please say hi to Coach Jamie!
How long have you been coaching CrossFit? I coached at a previous gym for about 2 years before coming to Ardent. I’ve been coaching here at Ardent for 2 years.
How long have you been doing CrossFit? I started in 2015 after my husband convinced us to give it a try! So glad he did!
What is your favorite movement to coach? I love to coach the oly lifts, but also pull-ups and band stuff.
What is your favorite CrossFit movement? I love the snatch and clean & jerk because I feel like a superhero when I can get some heavier weights up. I love handstand walking and muscle ups because they are fun and I worked so hard to be able to do them! I love tire flips atlas stones. And, while most people want to start the assault bike on fire, I actually don’t mind it!
What has been your favorite coaching moment? I don’t know that I have one particular moment, but I love so much seeing athletes have something click that they were struggling with, and being able to be a part of it!
What is your advice to new CrossFitters? Technique before weight. The weight will come, but if you are too focused on that rather than proper technique, the gains will eventually stop. It’s ok to scale! Work on flexibility and accessory work outside of the class!
What’s your favorite Ardent memory? Too many to list a favorite! A lot of them involve inappropriate humor! Haha
What’s your biggest CrossFit accomplishment? While my 200lb power clean last week was pretty awesome, some of my biggest accomplishments have been the mental battles with myself that I’ve won and the examples that I’ve been able to set for my kids.
What are your favorite hobbies outside of CrossFit? Recovering from CrossFit.
Why did you become a coach? My first gym needed coaches and approached me about taking the course. However, since then my love for The Fitness has increased and I’ve received a number of additional certifications to learn how to move better and increase my coaching abilities.
Meet Robin! Robin originally joined Ardent Crossfit in July 2014, but sadly had to leave July 2015 when she got stationed at IIMEF. Robin retired from the Marine Corps in 2017 after 38 years and now works as the Chief Financial Officer for the United States Senate, Sergeant at Arms. She attends the 5:30 PM classes except on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s when she’s in Sean’s barbell classes. She also makes most of the Saturday classes. Her favorite movements are the ones that are the hardest for her with snatches topping the list (hence why she’s in Sean’s barbell class). Outside the gym and work, she enjoys cooking and her awesome grandkids. If you see Robin around the gym, make sure and say hi! If you don’t, she will...she’s definitely not shy!
1. Why did you join Ardent? In April 2014, I met Misty Posey who coached me in doing pull-ups so I could do them for the PFT. In two short months, she got me from 0 to 8 pullups. After a successful PFT, she asked me if I wanted to go to CrossFit with her. I didn't know what CrossFit was but figured if she's doing it, it must be good. Started going in July 2014. Sadly left in July 2015 when I got stationed at Camp Lejeune; however, I would pull up their workouts and do it at the HITT Center on base. I continued doing the workouts at the TBS gym on Quantico. When the Senate went to teleworking in March, and the week after Ardent opened up in May, I signed myself up and I have been going ever since. BIG difference between doing Ardent workouts with a group than it is doing it lone ranger!! I am much happier doing it with a group.
2. What's been your biggest accomplishment? My lifts and the assault bike. I really needed the coaching for my lifts, and I am getting so much out of Sean's class. I'm very focused on form over the amount of weight right now and I LOVE when the coaches correct me. Coaches, please keep correcting me when I'm not getting low enough on my squats or I'm not getting under the bar fast enough. Rowing is fun, but the assault bike isn't. Because my achilles tendon has been a problem, I've been substituting the assault bike for runs. As a result, the assault bike and I have had a much better relationship with each other.
3. What are you working on now? Snatches and anything overhead, which means I need to also work on my shoulders and thoracic spine mobility. So I've been working on that because I really want to increase the weights on my overhead lifts. I also need to get better at working on kipping for both my pull-ups and toes 2 bar. For right now though, I'm focused on form....and the coaches will correct me if I'm sacrificing form for speed. At the ripe old age of 29 (for the 31st year), I need to be careful not to injure myself!!!
4. What's your favorite Ardent memory? Kasey Fulwider providing me much needed encouragement on the overhead lunge workout we did back in 2015. She posted about it back in April and that made me more determined than ever to get my butt back to Ardent.
5. What motivates you to continue at Ardent? The coaching is truly phenomenal. Each coach at Ardent truly cares about you and I have learned something to make me better from each of them so thank you Ardent for having such professional, caring coaches. Just as importantly, the people who go to Ardent. My daughter Tara moved about 2 hours away, joined a CrossFit box out her way. She was very disappointed at how cliquish it was. She wishes she was closer in so she could be back at Ardent. The great coaching and great camaraderie exist because of the Ardent leadership. So hats off to Ryan and Kasey for making this possible.
6. As a Master Athlete, how do you approach every workout? Especially as a Master Athlete, you have to be consistent and show up as often as possible. I took 2 months off of working out at the beginning of the Pandemic and when I started back at Ardent after that amount of time off, I was incredibly upset with how much endurance I lost. I also think I am much more appreciative of pre-workout stretching and mobilization than I was when I was younger. I encourage all you young folks to focus on that, you will thank me when you get older!
7. What would you tell your pre-Ardent self about starting CrossFit if you could go back in time? I definitely wished I had known about it sooner and I wished the Marine Corps had embraced HITT, CrossFit by another name, sooner. Ryan posted something one time about how CrossFit was functional fitness that focused on 10 areas: Cardiovascular/respiratory endurance; Stamina; Strength; Flexibility; Power; Speed; Coordination; Agility; Balance; and Accuracy. These 10 areas become even more important as you get older. I am excited for all the young athletes at Ardent because you guys will all be kicking it when you become 29 (for the 31st time) like me!
8. What are your favorite hobbies outside of CrossFit? Cooking - because of love food!
Meet Joe! Joe joined Ardent Crossfit in 2017. Joe works for the Marine Corps at the Network Operations Center. He’s a regular at the 5:30am class during the week and most Saturdays he enjoys working out with his fellow Masters ++ athletes (recent team of 3 combined age 167!). His favorite movements are heavy cleans and most barbell complexes. Outside the gym and work, he enjoys being outdoors and spending time with his mostly grown kids. If you see Joe around the gym, make sure and say hi!
1. Why did you join Ardent? I had been retired from the Marine Corps for about 10 years, obviously getting older, I realized that I had lost the dedication needed to workout on my own consistently. I started noticing some friends my age losing mobility or just accepting “getting older”. I knew I had to do something or it would only get more difficult so I took a chance and responded to an ad for a six-week “New You” challenge. During that challenge, Coach Heather and the other members were so incredibly positive and encouraging. I soon realized that the concept of scaling was key and made this something I could grow into. I just hit my 3rd anniversary at Ardent in early Oct.
2. What's been your biggest accomplishment? Being consistent. My original challenge class was at 6:30 in the morning. As we waited to start, I remember watching the 0530 class (I thought they were crazy) finishing up and doubting that I’d be able to make the transition to regular classes. Besides just showing up, I’m glad I’ve challenged myself to compete in some competitions and the Open (50% percentile and Rx workouts last year). I’m also really happy that my daughter’s gotten into CF too and enjoy working out with her when she’s home from school.
3. What are you working on now? Pacing myself to keep moving during longer WODs. I used to take breaks that were way longer than they should have been. Now I just glance at the clock and pick a number to start moving again. Near term goals include learning to string together pull-ups into small sets (5-10) and hitting a 200# clean. Nutrition – I know what to do, I just have to do it.
4. What's your favorite Ardent memory? I really enjoy the Opens, competitions, and Saturday workouts. It is great to see people besides the early crew and cheer everyone on.
5. What motivates you to continue at Ardent? The people! Initially, I picked Ardent because of its location. I live farther south and the 0530 class was convenient on my way to work. Never looked at anything closer.
6. As a Master Athlete, how do you approach every workout? I think there should be a Masters+ category! There is a big difference between 35 and 55+. I consider every day I show up a win. That’s helped me get comfortable doing what’s good for me and listening to my body to include the occasional unplanned rest day. I really like when the workout or coach describes the intended stimulus (unbroken or big sets) to help me select an appropriate weight. I also stopped avoiding the workouts I don’t like and actually force myself to go to ones I would normally dread (running and the assault bike).
7. What would you tell your pre-Ardent self about starting CrossFit if you could go back in time? Just do it! Getting started is the hardest part. It’s much easier to continue doing nothing. I like motivational quotes. Two in particular related to health/fitness: “Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.” and “If I quit now, I will soon be back to where I started. And when I started I was desperately wishing to be where I am now.”
8. What are your favorite hobbies outside of CrossFit? I really enjoy doing anything outside and spending time with my kids (now adults). Two years ago, I finally got my motorcycle license (maybe a mid-life crisis) and ride as often as I can. It’s been a great escape during this crazy year.
Meet Coach Kami! Coach Kami is about to finish her bachelors degree in Elementary Education. She was a gymnast for almost 10 years before becoming a CrossFitter. Kami is a newlywed and met her new husband Cole at Ardent. She and Cole got married a little over 5 months ago. Cole is joining the Army, so Kami is about to begin her journey as an Army wife. She is excited to begin this new adventure with her new husband and dog baby, Zuko. Next time you are at the gym, say hi to Coach Kami.
How long have to been coaching CrossFit?
I started coaching CrossFit at Ardent, and I was officially an Ardent coach on July 27th, 2018. So, just over 2 years!
Why did you become a coach?
I became a gymnastics and dance coach/teacher when I was 15 just because that’s what all the upper-level gymnasts and dancers did when they reached that age. So, I just joined the group and started coaching. I stopped coaching gymnastics/dance at 19 mainly because I wanted a break from the gymnastics and dance studio drama.
When I joined Ardent, I had already begun my “coaching break” and I hadn’t coached in a few months. 3 months after I became an Ardent member, Kasey asked me to take the “Ardent Coach Prep Program” they were offering for members who were interested in being a coach. But, in new environments, I’m pretty shy, so the idea of coaching a bunch of people I hardly knew (who are adults... I’d only ever coached kids) freaked me out!
One of the requirements to get into the class was to have been an Ardent member for at least 4 months. So, my response to Kasey was, “I can’t. I haven’t been a member long enough” hoping she would drop it. She didn’t. She said that it was fine and they would let me take the class anyway. I still didn’t apply for the class. A week or so later Kasey asked me to take it again. I told her maybe (thinking to myself “no”). She brought it up a couple more times. I just kept saying “maybe” and then not applying. Then, the day before the application for the class was due, she reached out to me again over FaceBook. I got brave decided to just do it.
I was scared going into the class because I hardly knew anyone who was in it or who I’d be coaching but by the end of the few week-long class, I really wanted to coach at Ardent! I became an official coach just a few months later! Now, I absolutely LOVE coaching and I’m so happy Kasey kept reaching out to me. I especially love coaching the kids!!
How long have you been doing Crossfit?
Just over 4 years. I wanted to start earlier, but I started right when I turned 18 because I didn’t have to have to get a parent to come with me to sign the permission form.
Favorite CrossFit movement?
Anything gymnastics that doesn’t involve the rings. Handstand push-ups, handstand walks, pull-ups, bar muscle-ups, rope climbs, toes-to-bar, and pistols. I also love power snatches.
Favorite Crossfit movement to coach?
Probably handstands, muscle-ups (ring and bar), and kipping swings.
What has been your favorite coaching moment?
The kids and teens! Just them in general! But, to be more specific, any time I can get one of the kids to really enjoy a hard workout. I love watching them all learn body awareness. I love seeing the growth in them as and learn to love moving (even though it’s not always super fun mid-workout). I love the kid’s community and friendships that are built as they cheer on their classmates. I love seeing the joy in their sweaty faces when they get a new skill or crush a workout. I love watching their confidence grow as they believe in themselves more. I love it all! I’m so happy these young members of our community are learning that fitness can be fun!! I hope they all continue this journey as they grow up!
What is your advice to new CrossFitters:
Stick with it for at least 3 months! In the beginning, the whiteboard, movements, and environment can be a little overwhelming (it was for me) but, if you stick with it for those three months, it becomes so fun and the community can be so uplifting!! I’m so happy I stuck with it!!
What’s your favorite Ardent memory?
I have so many great memories, but getting to meet Cole, my husband, is probably my favorite. We had briefly talked at Ardent once or twice before we really got to know each other. Cole has been going to Ardent for many years, but he was at college when I became a member. Everyone knew him, but I didn’t. At one Friday Night Lights for the CrossFit Open, Matt called me over to judge Cole on the workout. Apparently, as I was walking over he looked at Cole and said “you’re welcome.” After that, Cole and I talked to each other at the gym for the rest of the night. That is the real moment that Cole and I became friends. Because of Ardent, I met my best friend and husband. 🧡
What’s been your biggest Crossfit accomplishment?
Probably beating the unbeatable Kasey at the 2017 Fredericksburg Sectionals competition. I haven’t done it since...she was 5 months postpartum...it was a lot of gymnastics...but I still beat her!
What are your favorite hobbies outside of CrossFit?
Rock climbing, paddle boarding, hiking, playing with my doggo, binge watching TV, listening to books, and food!
Meet Coach Dustin! Coach Dustin is a MV-22 helicopter mechanic and crew chief. He has been in the Marine Corps for 13 years. Coach Dustin is married to Tiffany who is a microbiologist and cell scientist at ATCC. Coach Dustin and Tiffany have no kids, but we have two dogs (Coffee Bean and Sierra). If you haven't met Coach Dustin, say hi next time you are at Ardent!
How long have to been coaching Crossfit? I has been coaching CrossFit since Sept of 2018.
Why did you become a coach? I became a coach because I like helping others to reach their goals.
How long have you been doing Crossfit? I have been doing CrossFit for eight years.
Favorite crossfit movement? Any type of muscle up is my favorite type of movement.
Favorite Crossfit movement to coach? I enjoy coaching any movement.
What has been your favorite coaching moment? I remember coaching one morning class and there was rope climbs in the workout and one of the athletes told me that they had never done them before. That workout they ended up getting nine rope climbs because they refused to give up.
What is your advice to new CrossFitters? My advice to new CrossFitters is to be humble, but hungry.
What's your favorite Ardent memory? My favorite Ardent memory was the open workout 20.5, so many people ended up getting their very first ring muscle up that workout.
What's been your biggest Crossfit accomplishment? My biggest accomplishment is happening right now. I had shoulder surgery five months ago and to be where I am right now is unreal.
What are your favorite hobbies outside of CrossFit? My favorite hobbies outside of CrossFit are woodworking and hiking with my dogs.
Meet Matt! Matt (along with his wife Coach Niki) is one of Ardent Crossfit's Founding Members. Matt works for the Federal government. He loves the Assault Bike and anything Power (Power Clean/Power Squat). You will find Matt at all classes because of his schedule. When he isn't at work, at Ardent, you can find him doing something outdoors or spending time with his family (Patrick & Rileigh).1. Why did I join Ardent Crossfit? Well that is a good question, I have an answer, but it is two parts. I had just come off of medical retirement from the Army, if you want to know you can ask me, but I won’t go into that here. I was very fat and out of shape. During my post-deployment/post-injury recovery, I was depressed and gained a ton of weight and did not exercise as much as I should have. I blamed a lot of it on my limp, the pain, and even on other people's influence. What it really was, was laziness and depression. The depression was easy to overcome, the laziness took a long time. I started Crossfit shortly after my rehabilitation leave. I was on leave for about 60 days and I didn’t do much but sit around and eat. Niki had started Crossfit while I was deployed and continued it after I was Medevac’d home. I watched her get fitter and stronger, while I got fatter and lazier. She asked me a few times to come with her and after constant nagging (kidding) I agreed to give it a go. Now let me explain to you it was a 0900 class at the only gym on post and it was with all moms. I had those women beat me daily and I had guys walk by and make fun of me for it, to include some of my friends thus I didn’t try very hard. This was partly due to laziness and the other part due to pride, what if I gave 110% effort and the girls still beat me? Well, I couldn’t get it through my head that this was ok, and it just meant they were amazing and that is ok. So, I retired, and we moved back to NC. Niki kept at the Crossfit and I would come in a couple of days a week with her and suffer. I ended up taking a job in DC and commuting 7 days on, 6 days off to my family in NC. It was hard and I needed something to keep me focused. I lived in my sister’s basement/gym, was eating terribly and still depressed (not long due to War reasons but I also wasn’t living with my family). My brother-in-law and I decided enough was enough, we would take on the Crossfit and diet journey together. We joined Crossfit Lorton, it went well-ish. It was very different than any Crossfit gym I had been to yet. We struggled and worked every day to get back to our lean fighting Army days. I was losing weight and getting the hang of the fitness, but I was lacking in my home life, which was keeping me depressed and unhappy. I had a long talk with Niki, and we decided the family needed to be in VA with me. She came up the next weekend and we started looking for houses (a Crossfit gym actually but that’s weird to say) in the Woodbridge, Dumfries, and a Stafford area. We hit a couple of the local gyms but just didn’t get the feeling of being home with like-minded people. We found a lot of extremely fit people and a lot of great gyms, but they just weren’t for us. We were driving down 610/Garrisonville Rd on Niki’s last evening here to look at a house to rent and I was surfing the internet looking for any other gym opportunities, when I stumbled onto the Ardent Crossfit site. We got the address and realized it was two blocks away. The site was cool and the description of the Phoenix and how it pertained to Ryan and Kasey was interesting. We found the location, but it wasn’t open. There was a sign on the door, that said they were opening soon and nothing on the inside but a torn apart building location. Well I wanted to know what the time frame was, as well as talk to the owner to see what kind of person he was. Ryan had his number on there so I decided I would just give him a ring. What a mistake that was to leave your number here so Matt Dane could access it! Well he answered after calling twice, I am persistent, and we had a chat about us moving to the area, his outlooks on like, gym mentality, life in general and so small debate on if hook grips was better than no hook grip on snatching. Ok that’s not true, our talk was not that amazing but it would have been so awesome if it had!! He told me the gym would open in the next few weeks and they would have a pre-opening night to join. Well we came to the pre-open, again still not really a Crossfit gym but the skeleton was there as well as the passion for fitness. After talking to Ryan and Kasey; meeting the original coaching crew, Rebecca, Andy and Gabe. Also meeting Sean, Kelly, Roy and Fawn (Roy almost ruined it); we decided to bite the bullet and join as Founding Members. I can tell you this, it is one of the top 5 best decisions I have ever made in my life. The friends, community and family I have made while being at Ardent for the last 6 years (almost 7) have helped me heal, grow and become a better person.2. What has been your biggest accomplishment? Any of you who know me, I mean really know me, know I have struggled at Crossfit. I began this fitness journey limping, fat and terribly out of shape. I was depressed and lazy with a terrible chip on my shoulder. I got into this due to Niki (Thank you Niki, it has truly changed my life) and stayed because of you all, the community is so amazing. The people that make up Ardent are truly what make it so special, even those that have left. I am so proud of where I have made it coming from where I have been. The biggest accomplishment though is I have humbled myself in this journey. I have realized it is ok to be beaten, it is ok to lose, it is ok to not RX a workout, and it is ok to scale it so much you feel like a beginner. Women (Mommies too) will crush you, kids will beat you, and your friends will win; this is all ok. Choosing to come back each day, beaten, sore and humbled is what drives us to do better, work harder and be better people. This has been my greatest achievement at Ardent.
3. What are you working on now? Well I would love to squat clean and squat snatch in some fashion, so there is that but you all know I love power so we will see if I stay focused on that one.
4. What’s your favorite Ardent memory? I know all of you have seen the video of me doing my first muscle up, it was amazing, everyone freaked out and were so proud but that’s not it. That one is up there but it is not the most amazing. Doing the open with my family, watching them push, struggle and fight for every rep is my most favorite memory. Sharing that with my family/kids daily and seeing my kids push because Niki and I push. Seeing them want to be stronger, because we want to be stronger and seeing them become outstanding members of the Ardent community because we love the community so much, that is amazing!
5. What motivates you to continue at Ardent? THE COMMUNITY, you are my driving force!! KEEP IT UP ARDENT!!
6. What would you tell your pre-Ardent self if you could go back in time? I would try and let myself know that its ok to struggle, fail and be beaten. It's ok to lean on the friends you have and will have to help you push to new limits. Also don’t be a punk, listen to the coaches, they know what they are doing, trust the process.
7. What are your favorite hobbies outside of Crossfit? Well anything outdoors… Mountain Biking, paddle boarding, kayaking, swimming, hiking, soccer (Ardent Soccer Team), running and my Family.
Meet Coach Jen! Coach Jen has a Bachelors degree in Business Administration and a Masters degree in Education. She works for Stafford County Public Schools in the Department is Student Services and Special Education as an Educational Diagnostician. Coach Jen was a special education teacher for 10 years and before that worked in business management. Her favorite CrossFit movement is power cleans. If you haven't met Coach Jen, say hi next time you are at Ardent!
How long have to been coaching Crossfit? 4 1/2 years
Why did you become a coach? Kasey asked me too!!! My kids were old enough that I had a little free time (not much, but some) so I decided it was time to help some other people love CrossFit as much as I did.
How long have you been doing Crossfit? 10 years on Jan 11, 2021 so 9 1/2 years!
Favorite CrossFit movement? If I have to pick one movement then Power Cleans! (but I also love Double Unders, Rowing, and Pull-ups!)
Favorite Crossfit movement to coach? Clean & Jerk, Double Unders, and Pull-ups!
What has been your favorite coaching moment? First Pull-ups!! All of them!!
What is your advice to new CrossFitters? Listen to your coaches and take the time to learn the technique. Don't worry about what weight the folks around you have on their bar! Also, take rest days!!!
What's your favorite Ardent memory? All the Superfit Competitions and Masters Nationals Weightlifting Competition.
What's been your biggest Crossfit accomplishment? My almost Muscle Up in the Open!
What are your favorite hobbies outside of CrossFit? Running, knitting, and watching soccer! Now also puppy training 🤣!
Meet Aislin! She is a 19 year old Mechanical Engineering student at Old Dominion University. She's been at Ardent for about 4 years. She loves workouts that don't include running! Her favorite movements are squats and cleans. You can find her in just about any of the classes because her schedule is a little crazy right now. Say hi next time you are at Ardent and in a class with Aislin!
1. Why did you join Ardent? I joined because my friend Becca invited me! She is also an adaptive athlete and told me how awesome and encouraging ardent is!
2. What's been your biggest accomplishment? I think my biggest accomplishment is any movement that is getting a handstand! It took a lot of open gym classes and asking people for ideas before I figured it out. Coach Niki was super encouraging and helped me test out ideas!
3. What are you working on now? I'm currently working on building up pull-up strength! I think it would be really cool to get a pull-up after doctors told me I would never be able to move my arm!
4. What's your favorite Ardent memory? It's really hard to choose a favorite! One of them is finally being able to deadlift thanks to Coach Sean! He built me a deadlift harness so that I could deadlift without putting strain on my arm!
5. What motivates you to continue at Ardent? The people definitely motivate me! All the coaches and members have been nothing but uplifting! I love the Ardent community!
6. What would you tell your pre-Ardent self about starting CrossFit if you could go back in time? I would tell pre ardent Aislin to not be nervous to try new things! I was anxious at first but now I'm willing to try just about anything!
7. What are your favorite hobbies outside of CrossFit? Outside of CrossFit, I really love to read! I love reading anything by Ray Bradbury or Philip K. Dick!
Meet Coach Daniel! Coach Daniel is an analyst who is in the US Air Force. He is married to Ardent member Kristen, has little Kinsley (1) and baby boy Leland on the way. Coach Daniel is currently attending Penn State studying Economics. His favorite crossfit movements are Snatching and the C&J. When Coach Daniel isn’t working out or coaching at Ardent, he is at work or hanging out with his family.
How long have you been coaching Crossfit? I have been doing Crossfit for 3 years this month and coaching a little over a year.
Why did you become a coach? I felt I could help others be better. I experienced how crossfit impacted my life and want to pass that on.
Favorite crossfit movement? The Snatch and the Clean and Jerk
Favorite Crossfit movement to coach? The Snatch
What has been your favorite coaching moment? Anytime I see that little light go off over someone's head when they figure it a movement.
What is your advice to new CrossFitters? Two pieces of advice for those new to crossfit: 1. Ignore everyone working out around you and compete against yourself to get better. 2. You will get better, but don't be satisfied. Keep pushing even when progress seems out of reach.
What’s your favorite Ardent memory? I will never forget participating in my first open. The energy with everyone cheering and pushing everyone else to do their best was amazing.What’s been your biggest Crossfit accomplishment? Biggest accomplishments would be competing in crossfit and oly events.
What are your favorite hobbies outside of CrossFit? I enjoy playing drums and spending time with my family.
Meet Marissa! She is a 40-year-old full-time wife, part-time mom and some-time student. She’s been at Ardent for 18 months and is a regular at the 5:30 AM class. Her favorite wod is a triplet with running. Say hi and introduce yourself if you don’t know Marissa the next time you are at Ardent! 🧡
1. Why did you join Ardent? I wanted to be the fittest on earth. Ask Adam - on day 2 of Crossfit at Ardent, he asked me that question and that was my response. I'm petty realistic.
2. What's been your biggest accomplishment? My biggest accomplishment is getting Aaron to join me at the 5:30 am class.
3. What are you working on now? While doing at home work outs, my daughter has been joining me, and if I can beat her I feel pretty good about myself.
4. What's your favorite Ardent memory? My favorite moment at Ardent was when a drop in athlete walked in and started talking to me and asking me questions because he thought I was the coach. Also, anytime I can get Sean to laugh.
5. What motivates you to continue at Ardent? Results motivate me to continue at Ardent. Two things I know, I need movement and community and Ardent does an excellent job of providing the best version of both.
6. What would you tell your pre-Ardent self about starting CrossFit if you could go back in time? We were in New Jersey just 18 months ago, and I would love to tell myself "when you move, you will get to go to a Crossfit gym". It is a dream come true! I am beyond grateful that I get to be a part of Ardent.
7. What are your favorite hobbies outside of CrossFit? I am currently getting my masters degree in Nutrition Education if you'd like to call that a hobby, and when I am avoiding doing my assignments I love to sew quilts, read and mountain bike ..if the conditions are optimal.
Meet Carlos! He is a 39 year old Systems Engineer with the Marine Corp Systems Command who started CrossFit in 2011. He’s been at Ardent for a year and a half. He is married and his wife Leslie is also an Ardent Crossfit member. They have 3 beautiful children: 15 year old son, 7 year old son and a one month old daughter. His favorite movement are power cleans and deadlifts. You can normally catch him in at the 5:30AM or 5:30PM classes depending on work/family schedule. If you don’t know Carlos, say hi and introduce yourself once we are open again! 💪😎
1. Why did you join Ardent? I introduced Leslie to crossfit when we were together. For a good 3 years, we took advantage of the free crossfit facility at Fort Belvoir while we worked in that area at the time. When we moved to Stafford and got settled, I recommended we go to an actually crossfit gym because my first experience with crossfit was back in 2011 for a good year in San Antonio, Texas. What I loved was the coaches attention to detail and care but the best part was the community and events we did. I wanted Leslie and I to share that here. So logistically, since we lived in Aquia Harbor, we went to Ardent Crossfit. Upon the first visit, right off the bat, we felt welcomed. We loved how everyone was welcoming and introducing themselves. Since early 2019 to now, we have grown together to get to know everyone even more and continue to support Ardent and the community.
2. What's been your biggest accomplishment? Not forgetting to drop the barbell and Sean not yell at me. But honestly would be my squat and deadlifts max weight has been increasing without compromising my Army run time.
3. What are you working on now? Double unders and power snatches have been my weakest movements and most discouraging ones. Now I'm learning to love power snatching but DU not so much. That speed rope really makes me hate it still.
4. What's your favorite Ardent memory? Registering with my wife for our first crossfit open. I never would imagine I would have the confidence but Ardent sure motivated me. Despite there were many areas I need to improve on, it was a great memory.
5. What motivates you to continue at Ardent? Being able to be around like minded people who love agonizing, painful, and, at the same time, rewarding workouts. Not being ashamed of being ourselves in class, making jokes and cheering one another on is awesome.
6. What would you tell your pre-Ardent self about starting CrossFit if you could go back in time? I had a long time stigma that crossfit was ridiculously dangerous. I'd be like that batman meme smacking Robin and tell myself just go. You will experience far more than when you go to the gym with people who have headphones on or people, who like to chat all day and not workout, all while they hog the equipment! Lol!
7. What are your favorite hobbies outside of CrossFit? Leslie and I loved doing obstacle racing, specifically Spartan races. We did them for 3 years in a row and even traveled out of state to go to these races. It was a fun adventure to try and include our other obstacle races as well. It got expensive and so our other cheap hobby has been trail hiking around parks in NOVA. On rainy days or cold ones, we are in our garage gym that we have invested little by little on. Still need a rower and echo bike to be complete though!
Meet Kalyn! She is a 24 year old recent graduate of JMU. She has a Bachelors degree in Anthropology. She started Crossfit at Ardent in 2016. Olympic lifting is her favorite part, so any workouts with barbells, you can catch her doing. She also loves workouts with any gymnastic movements like toes to bar and pull ups. Kalyn is normally lifting in the back during the 9:30AM class, but attends the 6:30PM class! Want to grab coffee? Kalyn is always down to, so don’t hesitate to say hi!
1. Why did you join Ardent? I played soccer for half of my life until I was told I couldn’t play anymore. I was always an athletic person. My dad talked a bit about CrossFit, but I never thought much of it until I attended a Friday Night Lights at a CrossFit box. It was scary to watch, but I was all for it. I researched for CrossFit boxes near Stafford and Ardent was the first one to pop up. My first day was so scary, to be honest, but once I settled into my 1st class, everyone was so sweet and welcoming. The feeling of a close knit community made me really happy with my decision to join Ardent.
2. What's been your biggest accomplishment? My biggest accomplishment... That’s a hard one! I feel like I’ve accomplished so much with Ardent. My capability to lift heavy things and do gymnastic movements I never thought I could stem from the confidence I have gained over the years! And that’s a big accomplishment for me. I’ve always been timid and never want to go for things that put me out of my comfort zone, but CrossFit does that and I love it.
3. What are you working on now? I’ve transitioned more into full time weightlifting. So, I’m working on making more gains and qualifying for more events! Even under these circumstances, you have to work with what you got.
4. What's your favorite Ardent memory? Oh man... There’s a lot, but my all time favorite memory is probably 17.1. Such an awful workout, but a bittersweet beginning to the many accomplishments I would be making with Ardent. It was my very 1st open workout and I remember many of our members being so proud of me for finishing the workout under the time cap. It made me feel more proud than I already was of finishing because of everyone’s support.
5. What motivates you to continue at Ardent? There’s always room to grow and improve! And Ardent always has a way to challenge us and make new goals.
6. What would you tell your pre-Ardent self about starting CrossFit if you could go back in time? Step out of your comfort zone and try new things. Stop doubting yourself because if you do, you’ll never be able to see what you’re truly capable of.
7. What are your favorite hobbies outside of CrossFit? I love reading! My collection of books is growing. I love thrift shopping with my best friend, Chellsie. And I love spending time with my family, Chris, and our pup, Smokey.
Meet Tim! He is a 27 year old Program Manager for GSA. Tim started crossfit with Ardent in 2015. Favorite movements are cleans and snatches. Tim bounces around classes around his work schedule but mostly comes to 9:30am and 3:30pm. When not at the gym, Tim is working on the house, spending time with family, or at a rehearsal somewhere.
1. Why did you join Ardent? I had just graduated college and my girlfriend, now wife, was already a member. I already knew after graduating I needed to find something to stay active.
2. What's been your biggest accomplishment? We got married in 2015 and I weighed in at 215 and really was not in shape. For so long I was worried about the scale and getting it to read 190 or 180. I did reach that 190 and have maintained it. The true accomplishment is realizing its not about what the scale reads but how I move, lift, and feel. That realization has been the best accomplishment.
3. What are you working on now? Well under the circumstances, quarantined with an 18m old where my wife and I both work, I am just trying to MOVE and not get lazy.
4. What's your favorite Ardent memory? The workout before my wife's water broke. It was August 22, 2018 at the 3:30pm or 4:30pm class that we did a million squats. Kasey and almost everyone else well like, "whelp this is gonna do it!" Shayna's water broke that night and Everleigh was born on the 23rd.
5. What motivates you to continue at Ardent? My motivation is to continue working on quality over quantity. Reminding myself of that keeps me pushing hard.
6. What would you tell your pre-Ardent self about starting CrossFit if you could go back in time? Hit the ground running sooner. I was hesitant starting crossfit and that even followed me for like a year before I got serious about it.
7. What are your favorite hobbies outside of CrossFit? I majored in Music and Arts Management. So I sing in a few choirs throughout the year. I also try to play golf and a huge Pittsburgh sports fan.
Meet Coach Allison! Coach Allison is military wife and mother of two adorable kids, Riley (5) & Nolan (1). She is originally from Mobile, Alabama but calls Indiana home. Coach Allison has a Bachelors degree in Psychology and one day hope to finish a Masters in Speech Pathology. Coach Allison moved to VA from NC in April 2017. Her favorite movements are deadlift and/or thrusters. When Coach Allison isn’t working out or coaching at Ardent, she is hanging out with her family.
How long have you been coaching Crossfit?
I started coaching CrossFit in October 2018. I took the Level 1 in 2013 while out in Okinawa. But, failed the test. It was a blessing in disguise because John had just deployed to Afghanistan, I had recently started a job at the gym on base, and was taking classes online for Speech Pathology. I could not have balanced all that while also coaching. But, the failure of it hit me hard. So, I decided it wasn't something I was supposed to do. During John's next deployment, I made my best friends come over to workout. Mostly because I needed social interaction. Riley was only 18 months at the time! It definitely wasn't coaching - I was babysitting our kids (four of them, 2 and under at the time) while they did the workout I programmed for them. But, it gave me the confidence to try the Level 1 certificate again. After moving to Stafford and asking Ryan and Kasey if they needed more coaches, I signed up for the course. I passed this time! Obviously. After just over a year of coaching, I got my Level 2.
Why did you become a coach?
I have a teachers heart. I love people. I love helping people. I love getting to know people. I love watching people get better at something that they have been working on. I also love CrossFit. I love that everyone is different and the challenge that it presents. Everyone requires a different cue to help get things click for them. There's nothing better than watching an athlete do something for the first time!
How long have you been doing Crossfit?
I started CrossFit in March of 2012. One of my dearest friends got her Level 1 and asked a group of us to do a workout. The workout was Fran. I remember thinking (judging) "Aw, how cute? CrossFitters name their workouts." I agreed though. Leigh Ann walked us through the movements - the thruster and pull up. The thruster made me laugh ... because I have the sense of humor of a twelve year old boy. She introduced me to the kipping pull up - which I thought was cheating because I could do a strict pull up and had worked hard at getting it! So...25 minutes later I collapsed onto the ground. I had "done" Fran with a 45# bar and strict pull ups. I hated it and I was hooked.
Favorite crossfit movement?
Either the deadlift or thruster. I love any workout that has deadlifts in it. But there's something about thrusters that make me feel so accomplished at the end of it. I think I have a pretty good handle on breathing while doing thrusters -- unfortunately, there are normally a ton of thrusters in a workout and mentally, that's tough for me!
Favorite Crossfit movement to coach?
I love coaching gymnastic movements! Toes to bar might be my favorite, though.
What has been your favorite coaching moment?
I absolutely love coaching Open workouts on Friday mornings. There's SO much energy in the room! I love watching people push themselves outside of their comfort zone!
What is your advice to new CrossFitters?
CrossFit is for life. We're training you guys to use the functional movements in everyday life. Luckily, we do it in a fun environment. It's easy to look at where others are in their athletic journey and compare them to where you are currently. But, remember everyone starts somewhere.
What's your favorite Ardent memory?
Right now. I've been wracking my mind for a memory that trumps what we're doing right now in our community. Does it suck we aren't at the gym. ABSOLUTELY! But, I've seen so much growth and friendships forming in our Ardent family in the last week.
What's been your biggest Crossfit accomplishment?
My first reaction was to say that I was on a team that qualified for the CrossFit Games back in 2014 and while that is quite an accomplishment, I don't think it's my biggest one. I did CrossFit through both of my pregnancies and now get to show my kids what a healthy mom looks like. Before CrossFit, I was a runner - I ran numerous 5k's, 11 half marathons, and 3 full marathons. I was active, but I was not as healthy as I am now.
What are your favorite hobbies outside of CrossFit?
I am a giant introvert. I love audiobooks (in this season of life) and podcasts! I also love making yearly memory books for my family.
[caption id="attachment_2720" align="alignnone" width="300"] Coach Allison in 2012[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_2722" align="alignnone" width="199"] Coach Allison with her team when they qualified for the 2014 Crossfit Game in Seoul Korea.[/caption]
Meet Kevin! He is a 43 year old crossfitter who is originally from Puerto Rico and moved here 23 years ago. Kevin is a Market Manager with Drees Homes. Kevin joined Ardent about three years ago. The distance between Ardent and his Drees Homes model home office at Embrey Mill is very convenient. He mostly attends the 5:30am & 9:30am classes. Kevin prefers WODS that have lots of cardio & gymnastics. When Kevin isn't at Ardent, he loves to travel the world visit all its beaches.
1. Why did you join Ardent? I was invited to visit and was very impressed. I had always had lower back pain and was trying several ways to get rid of it. On the first visit, I noticed the coaches would breakdown and explained each movement very detailed. The box was very cleans and organized.
2. What's been your biggest accomplishment? Ring Muscle Ups! LOL
3. What are you working on now?Improving my clean and jerk. It is a very complicated lift that requires several movements at the right time, but I enjoy learning everyday.
4. What's your favorite Ardent memory? Definitely my first Murph. It was an adrenaline rush and I could not walk or move my arms the next day.
5. What motivates you to continue at Ardent? Just staying fit and living a healthy lifestyle. Once you start noticing the self-improvement and results, it really motivates you to become better at it. You also start watching what you eat.
6. What would you tell your pre-Ardent self about starting CrossFit if you could go back in time? If you want to workout hard and see results, plus meet a whole bunch of awesome friends, just go check it out!
7. What are your favorite hobbies outside of CrossFit? Definitely traveling to new beaches I have never seen before. Just getting out and seeing new places.
Meet Virginia! Virginia originally started CrossFit with Ardent in November 2013. She comes to a variety of classes but mostly 5:30pm. Ardent is often the much needed end to a long commute. Olympic Lifting is her favorite part of CrossFit, although she is slowly learning to appreciate the gymnastics and cardio pieces. When she isn’t commuting or at Ardent, you can find her hanging out with her husband and three kids.
1. Why did you join Ardent? I have actually joined Ardent twice. First because it was near where my had kids activities going on. I use to watch from the window and was fascinated by the workouts. Somewhere along the way I let the excuse of life creep in and took a break from CrossFit. After about a year break and working out off and on, on my own my husband encouraged me to go back. I needed the accountability and missed the community and as he said I was never as happy as when I worked out at Ardent.
2. What's been your biggest accomplishment? The biggest would be competing in my first Olympic Lifting meet. Since joining CrossFit I have always been drawn to lifting and after getting pretty sick about 18 months ago I knew it was an area I wanted to focus. It is where I was most comfortable when I was able to start working out again. It was a slow go to get back to working out much less in a position to compete. I have great coaches that pushed me and put me in the best position to go out there and represent the Ardent Barbell Club. The second would be working on my nutrition. I worked with an Ardent nutrition coach for about 6 months and have been maintaining on my own for almost a year now. It is amazing to see what that little bit of accountability can do. I didn't make huge changes but I learned how to eat for me.
3. What are you working on now? Everything. It doesn’t matter what the movement is, whether I am working on my first pull up or fixing my form in my lifts I am always trying to be better.
4. What's your favorite Ardent memory? Favorite is difficult. Anyone who hangs around the Ardent Barbell Club is bound to have some good gems to pull from but one I think about a lot is working with my nutrition coach. I remember our first meeting I told her I didn't like salad and she said so don't eat salad. I knew this was the nutrition plan for me.
5. What motivates you to continue at Ardent? The coaches and community. Getting to the me today has taken a lot of work and I couldn't have done it without the people that push me out of my comfort zone.
6. What would you tell your pre-Ardent self about starting CrossFit if you could go back in time? Probably nothing. I had no idea what CrossFit was until construction on Ardent started next to Power Kix. I would tell the person who took a break to not let your excuses get in the way of your health. Find that hour.
7. What are your favorite hobbies outside of CrossFit? I have three pretty busy kids so anytime outside of CrossFit is spend with them. Watching their games, doing something outside or playing a board game.
Meet Train! Train is a 45 year old Electronic Security Technician for JCFS, assigned to DEA. He started CrossFit, at Ardent, in July of 2018. Train had years of being in and out of traditional gyms before joining Ardent. Weightlifting is definitely his favorite part of the CrossFit “trident”, but he also enjoys the gymnastics and cardio pieces too. When he is not at Ardent, you can find him playing softball, or any outdoor sport, spending time with his kids, or at an event for them or just at home.
1. Why did you join Ardent? I first walked into Ardent to see what CrossFit was all about. In the past I had heard some pretty terrible things about it, but it wasn’t until a close friend of mine (who had the same opinion of CrossFit as I did) started it, and he said that I needed to go and research it beyond what we had heard and knew it to be. I did and found that it was something that might be really beneficial to athletes. I consider myself an athlete, just one that was in terrible shape. I walked into Ardent to try CrossFit and see if I might enjoy it. Also, I needed some other form of a workout. Going to the “bro gym” anymore was boring and terribly stressful at time because I was trying to write my own program.
2. What's been your biggest accomplishment? There have been so many that I don’t even know where to begin. When I started I could barley hold myself up on a bar for 10 seconds. Now I can do bar muscle ups. First time I tried a max back squat, I barely got up 265. Now I just hit the most I’ve ever done in my life at 410. I’m happy with my weight loss, my body fat percentage decrease (which I still need to get down more, to get where I’d like to be, but a big piece to that is my nutrition).
3. What are you working on now? Cardio, cardio, cardio...but mainly just working on just being better than I was the day before. Trying to improve everyday and find something else I can say that I have noticed to have improved at. If I can notice it in myself, then I know others can see it as well.
4. What's your favorite Ardent memory? Not sure it’s my favorite, but its one that I will never forget. My first ever CrossFit workout after meeting with Ryan. In our discussion we agreed that I could probably lift some decent weight, but have to get some of the techniques of some of the movements first and then I’d be ok. So my first workout, when I walked in...Karla was coaching the class and wouldn’t you know it, it was a 1 minute on/1 minute off chipper workout consisting of rowing, wall balls, burpees and pull-ups...Not a single weight to be lifted. When I was finished, I was flat out dead, but about 15-20 minutes after, I felt great. Ryan said to contact him when I had recovered and he’d try and get me into a class where there was some lifting involved. That was a bout a week later and the lift was snatching. Never had done it before, but I loved it and I was hooked on CrossFit.
5. What motivates you to continue at Ardent? First and foremost the community. I’ve never met a group of people that are from all walks of life, but come together and talk like they have been friends for years. Outside of that, I want to keep getting better and be a roll model for my kids and be able to keep ups with their busy lives and be able to be on the field with them some day playing softball.
6. What would you tell your pre-Ardent self about starting CrossFit if you could go back in time? I wouldn’t have listened to all the crap that was talked about CrossFit in the early days. I didn’t do my own research on it and form my own opinion. I listened to others, for what ever reason. Now that I have found CrossFit, I regret not doing it sooner. 7. What are your favorite hobbies outside of CrossFit? Slow pitch softball, sports in general and anything where I can be outside and no freeze...lol
Meet Katie! She is an 42 year old Air Force wife and mother of 6. Her kids range from almost 16 to almost 1. Katie officially started CrossFit 3 1/2 years ago when she moved to Hawaii and she instantly knew she’d “found my jam”! Katie’s favorite movements are “Squat Cleans and Ring Muscle ups...even though I’m not that good at them”. She also enjoys long cardio wods. When she isn’t at the Ardent working out, Katie enjoys being with her family, going to Costco and baking.
1. Why did you join Ardent? I dropped in at a few different boxes when I first moved here to find the right fit. I was drawn to Ardent immediately by the warm welcome I received. People were friendly and positive and I was impressed by the quality of coaching. I also appreciated that the business side was run in such a professional and organized manner.
2. What's been your biggest accomplishment? During this last Open I finished 267th in the world in my age group at 5/6 months postpartum.
3. What are you working on now? Lots of things I want to work on but trying to find extra time in the gym is difficult. I really want to improve my gymnastics skills and my jerks specifically.
4. What's your favorite Ardent memory? Participating in the Open with my new Ardent family! I loved watching everyone push harder and accomplish things they didn’t think they could. It helped me break the ice and feel more at home here.
5. What motivates you to continue at Ardent? Seeing my progress since coming back after having a baby and being surrounded by some amazingly strong ladies that inspire and push me to work harder and be better!
6. What would you tell your pre-Ardent self about starting CrossFit if you could go back in time? To stop being so hard on myself and appreciate what my body can do. I have to retell myself this often, haha!
7. What are your favorite hobbies outside of CrossFit? Does sleeping count?! I love baking treats and decorating (and eating) cakes. I also love spending time with my family playing games and watching movies.
Max Rounds in remaining time:
10 Wall Balls
5 DB Deadlifts
Max Rounds in remaining time:
20 Wall Balls
10 DB Deadlifts
Max Rounds in remaining time:
30 Wall Balls
15 DB Deadlifts
Rest 3min. (27-30min.)
10 DB Lunges (L+R= 2 reps)
Min. 1) Max Cal Row
Min. 2) Max Push Press
Min. 3) Max American KB Swings
Min. 4) Max Double Unders
Min. 5) Max SDHP's
Min. 6) Max Sit-Ups
Min. 7) Rest
8 Min. AMRAP:
8 Alt. DB Snatches 50/35lb
8 Cal Assault Bike
8 Min. AMRAP:
8 DB Power Cleans 50/35lbs
8 Cal Row
8 Min. AMRAP:
8 DB Thrusters 50/35lb
8 Cal Row
5 Barbell Sit-Ups
10 Barbell Reverse Sit-Ups
15 Russian Twists with a 5lb. plate