Testimonies

I admit that I am an eccentric.  My close friends forgive and love me for it.  So, I like to see how hard and how far I can take myself.  About five and a half years ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I had always taken my luck and health for granted.  I never had too many problems, I have all my senses (more or less), and all my limbs.  A couple of years after my treatment I found that I had lost confidence in my body.  So, I left my physical training and concentrated on being happy to have the strength to work at my job.  Then in October of 2009 I found a class at the YMCA called back to boot camp and I plunged into it.  I was scared that my arm would be too weak so I started out very slowly.  My pushups consisted of leaning against a stair rail and moving at an angle and back.  I found myself being encouraged to continue by my stubbornness and my red headed instructor.  She was in the process of becoming a CrossFit instructor and she believed that being a girl or an older one should not stop me.  So I found myself trying to do things I did not even do as a kid.  She started to teach us how to do handstand.  It was and still is great.  I felt like I was eight years old again.  Ever since then I wanted to follow her to the next level.  The next level was CrossFit.  I am in my first year of training but I feel better and stronger than I have been since I was in real boot camp.  My pushups are on the floor and I also do pull ups.  She encourages me to work on my weaknesses.  Oh, I suffer from asthma and allergies and I do a 400 meter run as part of a warmup, pushups and shoulder mobility.  I have no limitations on the side I had breast cancer and reconstruction.  
 
 I thank God for showing me the way to my personal friend and trainer, Natalie Lira, who just happens to do CrossFit.   CrossFit and Natalie have helped me to enter the last half of my life without fear and worry.  Because of my vocation as a registed nurse I see just what can happened if one does not take care of themselves. Thanks to CrossFit I feel like a little kid and not a old lady.  I have opened my mind to all kinds of adventure, bike riding, running, sewing and pottery.  Give CrossFit a try.  Who knows you might even be lucky enough to have a Natalie like me.  

Chris Potter  




I was born and raised a farm girl and throughout my youth I was strong and athletic.  I was used to lifting heavy things and had great stamina and endurance.  However as I have aged, I have lost the opportunity or time to stay active and strong.  Exercising for the sake of exercise on a consistent basis didn’t seem to be a priority for me.  Over the course of almost 25 years since high school my weight has fluctuated as much as 40 pounds as I bounced from diet to diet.  My muscle tone was gone long ago.  A friend convinced me to try CrossFit at Natalie’s for a change of pace.  From the moment I stepped into her gym, I was inspired.  Natalie taught me how to do exercises that I never dreamed were possible for me.  Many of them like handstands; I hadn’t done in years and years.  Some I had never done.  By the very name, one can tell CrossFit is designed to work all areas of the body.  I started this program in January of 2010 with the idea that I would learn the techniques and exercises and continue them on my own.  However, with Natalie’s guidance and encouragement, I have pushed myself beyond my perceived limitations.  The psychological benefits of CrossFit are wonderful.  I have started weight lifting under Natalie’s direction and I can now dead lift 8 pounds more than I weigh.  Together, we have set a goal of 1.5 times my body weight.  I also have started running and plan to be in my first race (as a runner) in a few weeks.  CrossFit is the first workout that I have ever done that leaves me energized and empowered.  No matter how hard we work, or what challenges we face in the workout, I am always thrilled that I went and did it.  My focus is no longer losing weight.  Instead, I want to be strong, powerful and healthy.  If I am those things, my weight loss will take care of itself.  I plan to CrossFit train for the rest of my life.

Jill D.


Saturday, August 24, 2019





Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Stacy 9:24am
It has been over a year and a half since I joined our CHCF community, and let me say there is NO other like this box-our members are so encouraging, tough and inspiring at all levels and all ages. We have the BEST  trainers with lots of experience and training to help us all be our BEST! I'm 55 and  not one of my CHCF family members make me feel my age!:) they are more than encouraging to me- thank you all for that! Love you guys!  I can do more than I ever thought about doing- handstands, lifting, running better, overall better endurance. I can honestly say this is the 'BEST' I think I have actually ever felt in my life.  My RA doctor has been More then happy with my results and tells me 'Keep it up!!'  He is totally impressed with my mobility- and he has seen me at my complete worse. 'Thank you Natalie and Pete for giving me this awesome opportunity to become a better me , person and the freedom to keep moving!! You guys are the BEST!! Looking forward to many more years with all of the CHCF family!


Sunday, May 18, 2014


Casie 1:12pm
I have heard from several members of our CrossFit family that they know people who are interested in joining, but are hesitant to join for different reasons. I believe my story may help with this.
My husband introduced me to the world of CrossFit in November of 2012.  At the time, I remember thinking that it was an unnecessary expense. He already had a gym membership to the local gym, and he was reaping the benefits of a healthy diet and consistent exercise. So, why CrossFit?  It was not until I attended my first competition to see him compete that I truly understood why going to the local gym was no longer an option.  Carriage House/CrossFit is like having a personal trainer, a second family and a cheering section to help you reach YOUR personal best.
I did not join Carriage House until March 2014. I thought it was a great option for my husband, but I did not think it was the right fit for me.  First of all, I have always had lower back and knee problems. Lifting and running did not seem like something I would be able to do.  Second of all, if you know me at all, I am not a competitive person. I have never been involved in sports or an athlete of any kind (With the exception of our local park district TBall team at the age of about five. As my mom tells the story, when the ball came to me, I raised my Barbie instead of the mitt. As you can imagine, this was a very short-lived TBall career). Lastly, I have a history of an eating disorder… something I have worked very hard to overcome over the last few years. I was not interested in eating healthy fats or eating to perform in anyway. In my mind, working out at the local gym was a perfect option… in and out, done.
Now that you know all of my reservations in joining Carriage House, here is my testimony…
In the two months that I have attended Carriage House, because Natalie, Pete and the other coaches focus on proper form, stretching and scaled movements appropriate for my skill level, I have not had ANY back or knee problems.  As a matter of fact, lifting my residents at work has become easier and no longer straining.  
I now know, you do not have to be competitive to do CrossFit, and you do not have to have any previous experience. I have found that it is simply about improving yourself, and watching those around you improve. The coaches and other members are there to guide you and encourage you every step of the way.
As far as eating goes, CrossFit has taught me that your body is an instrument that needs to be taken care of. I find myself having an appreciation for my body type and increased self confidence. I no longer look at food in a negative way; I look at food as a necessity.
In only a two month time period, this is what Carriage House/CrossFit has done for me.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012




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217-370-7543
1845 South Main street
Unit A
Jacksonville, IL 62650 (view larger map)