Athlete Spotlight: Shawna Gray

Name: Shawna Gray

Age: 45

Occupation: Nonprofit Grant writer/Women’s Lacrosse Official

Hometown: Marlton, NJ

Which class time do you usually attend? 8am

Favorite WOD: Any that don’t involve burpees or bear crawls

Favorite CF Movement: Back squat

Least Favorite CF Movement: Burpees and bear crawl

3RM Back Squat: 175

1RM Deadlift: 235

Favorite Food: Sushi

Favorite Movie: The Princess Bride (because I couldn’t submit without picking one)

Favorite Athlete: I honestly don’t have one

Dream Job: Retired

Dream Vacation Destination: Maldives

If you could have any super power… a high metabolism

Favorite Motivational Quote: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Theodore Roosevelt

How long have you been doing CrossFit?

August 2018


How did you first discover CrossFit and what made you decide to start?

I had a roommate that was very into CrossFit and a good friend from NJ was also big into it. Actually, it was trying a WOD in NJ that made me not want to do CrossFit for years! I was a complete hold off on wanting to try it. Then my world got turned upside down and I needed to try something different. My husband did a search for CrossFit gyms near us, and No Excuses was at the top of the list.


Tell us about your fitness/sports background:

I have been an athlete my entire life. I grew up playing soccer, then picked up lacrosse. I continued lacrosse in college where I still hold a career record for the university as well as having earned regional all-American honors. I picked up running in 2011 and ran my first marathon in April 2012. Running was a huge savior for me. In 2013 I was feeling stagnant with running and a friend talked me into trying a sprint triathlon. I was hooked as I loved the variety of training for the three sports and the new people I was introduced to through it. In 2014 I won a Facebook contest for an Ironman entry and completed my first Ironman. I’ve completed 3 Ironmans, 4 half-irons, countless half marathons, and 10 marathons (2 while pushing an athlete in a wheelchair). The dumbest thing I ever did was The Walt Disney World Dopey Challenge which is a 5K, 10K, 13.1, 26.2 mile races back to back. I was dumb enough to do it 2 years in a row (obviously I’m a slow learner.)


What sorts of positive changes (mental, physical, emotional) have you noticed in your life since getting involved at No Excuses?

I have surely gotten physically stronger. I’ve always been head strong, but endurance training really taught me how to enter the pain cave and stay there for a while.


Who or what keeps you coming back and motivated?

The people. I’m not going to list the 8am-ers because I’ll miss someone and feel bad. But it’s the people. There are mornings I don’t want to come, but then I realize I haven’t seen my friends in a while and I drag myself in. Only twice have I regretted a workout.


In what other ways do you use your fitness?

I referee women’s lacrosse at the collegiate level. I’m more than 2x the age of the athletes on the field.


Please share with us a favorite CrossFit or No Excuses moment.

I don’t know that I have one. I would love to flip the question on to the coaching staff and ask them their favorite moment of me.


Name one goal you would like to achieve in the next year (doesn’t have to be CrossFit related, but it can be)

I want to get back to running pain free and having a half marathon in my pocket at any time. A kick up on to the wall could be fun, but that may take more than 2020 to achieve!


Tell us about your hobbies and interests outside of the gym:

I work for The Kyle Pease Foundation ( and some of it is job and some is passion. We do inclusion through sports. If you ran the Annandale Village 5K Extra Mile, you saw about 10 of our athletes out there. I do grant writing, programming, logistics, and anything else that needs to be done to help the Executive Director make things happen. I try to help him keep all the plates spinning. I am a stepmom to a 7 and 10 year old. They can be seen at the gym with me and they keep me busy when they are with us. I LOVE to be in the kitchen. I don’t produce Yessica quality cookies, but I love to bake and cook. My competitive drive sometimes wanders off, so I love volunteering at triathlons, running races, or most recently at the Granite Games in September. I love the environment of race day or competition day, and volunteering allows me to be part of it without the anxiety of competing.


What advice do you have for someone just starting CrossFit or is on the fence about starting?

Show up and keep showing up


What do you love most about No Excuses?

Fischer, Glen, and the 8am crew.