Laura Koller

I used to be the “chubby” one in my family. It wasn’t until I was 28 and had 2 children that I got frustrated enough to even try to exercise. I did several different things, and they were very time consuming. The only thing that really lasted was running. I even got in to running Marathons.


At this point, I’ve been running Marathons for several years – 2 per year for the last couple of years. But, I’d gotten so ingrained in the “more is better” training theories, and ended up giving up all other forms of training to focus solely on running. Yet, I began gaining weight – a total of 15 pounds in about 4 years. That may not be a lot, but on a 5 foot 1 woman, 15 pounds shows and it is frightening to keep gaining weight even with running 30-40 miles a week for most of the year. Not to mention I began getting slower and slower, and hurt more and more each year and with each marathon.

That is why I got a gym membership and began trying to get other forms of fitness back in to my life. I realized that when I began running and first had the dream of finishing a marathon, and was running my fastest, was when I lifted weights, took classes like step, muscle works, kick-boxing, and anything else I had time for. I spent nearly 2 hours a day, 6 days a week in the gym. I was pretty darn fit – I could leg press 415 pounds for 3 sets of 12 reps. I was about 17% body fat, my clothes hung off me, and nobody could believe how “small” I was. It was great. But, I lost all of that when I focused on only running!

I found CrossFit through my trainer, Jerome, when I signed up for personal training at Gold’s Gym. I could only afford 1 day per week (it was over $100 a month for that 1 day a week), so I wasn’t getting a lot out of it physically but I was starting to enjoy it and it made me realize that I really missed other forms of fitness. Running was great, but I was really missing the other stuff A LOT!! In training with Jerome he started talking CrossFit and explained that a lot of the workouts he put me through were similar to CrossFit. I especially loved the Kettlebell. Jerome tried to get me to do pull ups, but I wasn’t strong enough. I could do almost everything else he threw at me, but I just couldn’t get those pull ups.

In the fall I started working out with Jerome 2-3 days a week (because I was using my husband’s unused sessions). With that I finally started to see some results and started to drop some body fat. In late December, I found out about No Excuses Athletics, so I went by to check it out. Ben told me about CrossFit, the gym, and then put me through a 20 minute workout called Cindy (5 pull ups, 10 push ups, and 15 squats). I think I managed 10 or 11 sets, and I had to use one of the assistance bands. I went home and was on a fitness high for HOURS – it kept me awake until about 2 am even though I had worked out at about 4 pm. I was totally hooked.

It didn’t take long to quit working out with Jerome at Gold’s (but he followed me to NEA), start working out 4-5 days per week, and even go get my CrossFit Level I certification. I knew it was the most fun I’d ever had working out, and the fastest results I’d ever had, and I didn’t have to workout 2 hours a day, 6 days a week!!! By mid March I was doing pull ups without assistance bands, and I was starting to see muscle definition unlike any I had ever had – even when I could leg press over 400lbs!!!

In June, we did a gym challenge where we followed religiously and followed the Paleo Diet. I also did CrossFit Endurance 3 days a week during this challenge (and continue to do so). That one month was what made the most impact in the shortest amount of time. I lost 8.5 lbs of body fat, and gained 2.5 lbs of muscle, putting me at 14% body fat. I was even showing abs – which I’d NEVER had in my entire life or during any of my 10+ years of fitness. I was getting ready to turn 40 and had the best body of my life.

And I still have the best body of my life, and it keeps getting better and better, and I keep getting stronger and stronger, and faster and more fit. I’m amazed daily. The effects are not even just physical. I’m now able to push myself harder on my runs because of the intensity I can give in the gym. I’ve made some great friendships – we are like family.

CrossFit has changed my life!!