I started my CrossFit Journey along with a bunch of friends in December 2015 in Schaumburg (IL), which introduced me to barbell lifts & CrossFit WOD’s. In mid-2017 I moved to Austin, which is a completely new place for me. To overcome that I started exploring the food places & bars Austin has to offer. The Austin move combined with work pressure & unhealthy/out of control eating made my weight shoot up. I wanted to get back to CrossFit, but lack of motivation made me quit each box I went to.

In December 2017 I stepped into CrossFit Round Rock. During my fundamentals Coach Matt gave me a lot of information about the workouts, mobility and tailored the workouts for me to get used to them again. Not only did he work with my crazy schedule to make sure I got my sessions in, but we also had many motivational talks to make me maintain consistency & show up to the workouts.

At first, I was nervous, intimidated looking at the people doing all the lifts & WOD’s. On top of it, I talk less (still now) & I don’t interact much, which made me think of quitting. What helped me hang in there were the CFRR coaches & Ambassadors helping me scale down the workouts, correcting my form, keeping me injury free & cheering me on.

The 6-week nutrition challenge, Operation Caveman, at CFRR familiarized me with a lot of information about nutrition, quality, and healthy eating and tracking what I eat. It helped me lose 10 lbs. in body weight & 2 lbs. in body fat. Also, I did my first CrossFit Open at CrossFit Round Rock. I transformed from making excuses to doing workouts.

CrossFit made me realize fitness/working out is a way of life, a daily routine. It’s not just hitting the gym when it’s New Year or when your scale says, “Damn!”. Thank you CrossFit Round Rock for being part of my fitness journey and always filling up me with new information about health, WOD’s & nutrition.


Crossfit Round Rock has been my stability in life since 2010 and now at the age of 42, I am just starting to feel like i am seeing major results from all the hard work and commitment that Iʼve put into over the last 8 years.

Yes, it has taken me this long to finally feel like I am reaching the goals I never thought I could especially when youʼre not getting younger. Boy have I proven myself wrong!! I have been able to set more PRʼs in the last 2 years than ever before and scratch off goals I never thought I would reach plus more!!!

The coaches at CFRR have always been there for me even when you think they arenʼt, you get that text,

“Hey, you okay? Missed you today?”

They hold you accountable and in turn, you hold yourself accountable.

CFRR has taught me so much about myself. Taking care of yourself through a well-balanced diet and with the evolution of Crossfit you’re constantly learning new movements, new techniques and always setting yourself up with new goals! I strive for the daily motivation in seeing what else I can accomplish. To be able to hold my head up high and think “Yeah! I just did that!”

Having your fellow Crossfit members cheer you on even when youʼre struggling to get that last set or last rep. I owe so much to everyone who has come along my path at CFRR cause without this community I wouldnʼt be the person I am today..strong, healthy and happy 🙂



In 2011 I walked into a CrossFit gym for the first time. I almost couldn’t believe what I was
seeing: a group comprised almost entirely of “soccer mom” type women, most of them, older
then I was, doing things I had only ever thought professional or collegiate athletes could do.
They did pull-ups that looked effortless. They lifted huge barbells over their heads again and
again and let them crash to the ground. Although I was awed, I was also disappointed. “I’ll
never be able to do that,” I thought. “I’m not like them. They’re so amazing and I’m just. .
.me.” I had been a student all my life up to that point. I had never been an athlete and fitness
had never been a priority. Four years of college, four years of medical school, and three more
years of specialty training in emergency medicine had left me physically weak as well as
chronically tired and anxious. Like many people who spend a lot of time taking care of others, I
had completely neglected to take care of myself.

I started coming to the gym three days a week, even if it meant coming straight from an
overnight shift in the ER. It didn’t take long for me to realize that my body was capable of
things I never could have imagined. It was incredibly motivating. I got measurably stronger. I
overcame my psychological limitations time and time again and pushed through workouts I
didn’t think I could finish. My thinking began to change: “What if I am like those women?”
In 2013 my husband and I moved to a different part of the city and both joined CrossFit Round
Rock. The coaches emphasized nutrition as an indispensable part of fitness. I was pretty sure
we were already eating “healthy”, but we decided to give their advice a try even though most
of it sounded like utter nonsense to us. Once again, I couldn’t believe the results. We had
more stamina for workouts. Our mental energy skyrocketed. Our clothes fit differently. We
found that we didn’t miss the foods we cut out and instead discovered new foods we loved.
We even learned to indulge ourselves occasionally without losing our newfound good habits.
Some problems that I had long accepted as part of my life—chronic nausea, headaches,
indigestion, acne—gradually evaporated.

My resolve was put to the test in 2014 when I was diagnosed with severe degenerative arthritis
of my right knee as the result of an injury I sustained in college. I underwent surgery and spent
the next six weeks on crutches. The six months that followed made me more grateful than ever
to have found CrossFit. In addition to physical therapy, I trained an hour each week one-on-one
with Coach Landon which helped me stay fit during my recovery. Instead of surrendering to a
life of chronic pain and disability, I learned the proper body mechanics I needed to be able to
return to CrossFit classes and, most importantly, live my life without fear of reinjury.
I can honestly say that nothing about my life now is the same as it was back in 2011.

Now I am the one doing effortless-looking pull-ups. I am the one under the big barbell who lets it crash to
the floor and then goes back for another rep. The only thing that has not changed is that I am
still every bit as awed as I was that first day by the people I see around me in the gym. They are
people with stories just like mine who have been transformed and rehabilitated by CrossFit
Round Rock. I feel so lucky to be a part of a community where we celebrate each other’s
successes while inspiring each other to keep reaching for the next challenge and the next
opportunity to become even better. I can’t imagine wanting anything less.


  It started with just some mild lower back pain. I’d woken up at around 3:00 AM on October 31st 2016.
Go back to sleep, you still have some time before having to get up to head to the 5AM Hardcore Cardio
class was what I was thinking. About an hour later I was curled up on pain on the floor desperately
trying to get my wife Shawna’s attention without waking the kids. I had no idea what was going on, but
it felt like someone was sticking a knife in my lower back and twisting it just to make sure I knew it was

  Turns out a kidney stone about the size of a grain of sand was what brought about the start of
my REBORN journey. Prior to that day, I was your typical gym goer. I had started at CFRR 3 years prior
and was continually trying to work harder in the gym, believing that was the best way for me to get the
results I so desperately wanted. Run faster, lift heavier, take more classes was what I kept telling myself.
All the while completely ignoring what it was I was putting in my body to fuel it and keep it in good
working order. Three days before my 40th birthday it seems my body had finally had enough, it was
going to make sure I had plenty of time to formulate a new plan and accept the choices that needed to
be made.

It was a real eye-opener for me because it was the first time I really felt vulnerable and helpless.
Nothing I could do at that moment could fix what the previous years of poor nutritional choice had
caused. I knew full well that something had to change, and it couldn’t be a small change either. It had
to be drastic, immediate and enduring. In the weeks and months that followed I completely changed
my diet and cut out the crazy amounts of sugar, I was consuming. Shawna and I began meal prepping
every week and we consistently review what it is we’re eating and work to find healthier alternatives.
My kids have learned about reading nutritional labels, to the point that they know when something has
a lot of sugar chances are good they won’t get to eat it. The results for me have been well worth the
effort. I feel better in and out of the gym, my energy level is higher and my sleeping is better too.
“This place will change you if you let it.” Can’t think of a better way to describe my time at
CFRR. I’m as stubborn as they come but the coaches, especially Kali, have been nothing but patient,
encouraging and understanding. They all truly want you to live the best life possible both inside and
outside the gym. Over the past 5 years, my weight has gone down 15 lbs and my total body fat has gone
down 25 lbs. I’ve also dropped 2.5 minutes off of my mile time and squatted heavier at 41 than I did in
high school. However, those are just numbers on a piece of paper, what has really changed for me is
between my ears. I’m no longer obsessed with the number on the scale, the time on the clock at the
end of a WOD or the weight on the barbell. Those are just numbers to use as a measurement of
progress, what really matters is that I have changed my health to ensure that I am here with my family
and friends for as long as possible.

One last thing. I will be remiss if I didn’t thank a few people that have supported me throughout this
journey. My loving wife Shawna who has been on board since her first “Free for All” WOD 12 weeks
after Tommy was born. All the coach’s past and present at CFRR. Coach Kali who gets up every morning
to meet me at the gym at 4:50 AM with a smile on her face and an unshakable positive attitude. Coach
Marcus who continually gives me advice on nutrition and alternative food choices. Last but not least the
entire 5AM crew. These folks grind out work before sunrise than most people do in an entire day.
Thank you all for holding me accountable and helping me through this crazy journey.

-Bill U’ren

Do you still do that Crossfit thing?  

I can’t even count the number of times I’ve been asked this question or one very similar to it.  What does this question really mean anyway? My thoughts usually go straight to, “I must have gained weight.”  With some hesitation and awkwardness, I let them know I do still do that Crossfit thing. While the question is somewhat curious, my answer is not.

These are my people.  My Crossfit family is the biggest reason I keep coming back for more.  In the wee hours of the morning, we visit about our families, jobs, celebrations and the struggles of daily life.   We miss each other when someone is on vacation. We notice when someone isn’t showing up. We hold each other accountable. We rally in silent support and drag each other to the finish line on days when the workout is getting the better of us. We spend the first hours of the day together. In fact, my 5 am crew sees me as no one except family ever would – no makeup, messy hair, sheet marks still on my arm.  These friends get the rawest, truest version of me. I adore these people. I admire their strength and perseverance. They are my family. They are my friends.


We have a running joke…are you here for fitness?  Do you want to get better? The honest answer is a resounding YES!  I am always in the gym for the fitness. I am extremely hard on myself, and I fight with my inner-voice on a daily basis (as we all do).  The good news is that I have come a really long way. When I started Crossfit Boot Camp in my neighborhood park (yes, that used to be an option), I couldn’t do a sit-up or push up.  With dedication, time, persistence and the encouragement of many great coaches along the way, I can do those movements and much more. I know myself, and I know I’ll never be satisfied.  Each big win, like doing consecutive pull-ups or double-unders for the first time, makes me want to keep pushing toward the next goal. Luckily we are blessed with amazing coaches at Crossfit Round Rock who not only have the skill and patience to take us to the next level but who also bring their “fitness A-game” every single day.  A special thank you to Coach Kali for seeing things in me I can’t begin to see in myself!

A moment of clarity hit me about a year and a half ago.   Even though I had been a Crossfitter for a long time and participated in many initiatives, it didn’t really click for me.  A potential health situation forced my hand. My nutrition and fitness goals aligned, and suddenly it all made sense. Fine-tuning in a few areas not only changed my perspective but also the ability to step up my game.  My health issue completely disappeared after 3 years of worrying. I feel better than ever, and I am excited to see what the future holds. I am determined to age gracefully with fitness and health at the heart of it all.  

I am a 43-year-old mother of three.  I started Crossfit 7 years ago with some very simple goals in mind.  I wanted to fit into my clothes, and I wanted to make sure my arm would stop waving when I did.  While these same goals still make the cut, I’ve come to appreciate so much more about my personal Crossfit experience.  I have more goals than I can count, some of which I am not ready to say out loud.

So, back to the original question.  Yes, I still do that Crossfit thing and I intend to keep on doing it.  I hope you are asking because you notice my fitness and not the lack of it.  Keep those questions coming. I’m learning to take them as a compliment


-Beth Wilhelmi


“You’ll just quit again. CrossFit is intense—are you sure you can do this? Look at your body—*sigh*. Why are you setting yourself up for failure again?”
These were the panicked, negative thoughts swirling through my head as I sat in my car outside CFRR that first day. Fight or flight reflexes primed, I wanted to drive away—fast. As desperately as I wanted—no, NEEDED to change my life, there was safety in what I knew about myself and how I had lived my life so far.
Overweight my entire life, I paid dearly for it in the self-esteem department growing up. As an adult, changing my lifestyle always seemed impossible. I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at age 27 and struggled to accept it and adhere to my treatment. I’d quit whatever current diet, exercise plan, or medication I was on if things got tough. I became hyper-focused on the scale; when it didn’t move, I lost all motivation. I was shy and self-conscious about my body and did my best to hide it. But worst of all, after so many failed attempts at weight loss, I no longer trusted myself or believed a change was possible. After a lifetime of yo-yo dieting and disordered eating, my spirit was broken and I was exhausted.
In November 2015, I decided I couldn’t face another holiday season of overeating followed by another empty New Year’s resolution. Something had to give—now. My five-year-old daughter was learning from me and I didn’t like what I was teaching her. I wanted to be an example of strength rather than shame; resilience instead of defeat. I wanted to teach her how to love herself instead of to loathe herself. But I was lost. I needed help. Dear friends of mine, CFRR athletes, invited me to try it out. I called and made an appointment to meet with Coach Kali.
So there I sat in my car outside the gym—terrified. I was a 35-year-old wife and mom with Type 1 diabetes, zero confidence, and not even enough mobility to do an air squat. Thinking about my little girl is the only way I willed myself to put one foot in front of the other and walk through the door. I had no idea what to expect but managed to summon enough courage and trust one more time.
What I found was a community of people who are invested in being the best possible version of themselves—spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Moreover, I learned that the athletes and coaches were equally as invested in helping ME reach my goals and holding me accountable. With every workout, fear turned into determination and doubt turned to hope. From loneliness, I found camaraderie and a family who accepted me—right where I was, no judgment. They saw grit and potential in me that I couldn’t see for myself. And the belief others had in me gave me the courage to press on and challenge myself to do more than I ever thought possible.
I now workout 3-4 days per week in the 5 a.m. class. I’ve taken advantage of nutritional coaching and PT sessions with Kali, attended Oly classes and started meal prepping consistently. My lab work looks phenomenal and I no longer need insulin. At everybody comp., I’ve gained muscle, lost fat, and my mobility and strength have progressed as well!
Don’t get me wrong; I’m no flashy athlete and still have a long road ahead. I scale WODs like a boss and rarely get the opportunity to click the RX button in Wodify. But I’m happier and healthier than I’ve ever been in my adult life and I’m doing my best to set a good example as a mom.
Being part of the CFRR community has been nothing short of life-changing—not only for me but also for my daughter (who also does CF Kids). I am forever grateful for the opportunity to continue to learn and grow in this amazing family. For anyone on the fence about CrossFit, I’m a living testament to the healing power of this community. Even if you’re scared, just put one foot in front of the other, walk through that door, and make the choice to trust that change IS possible. Your best self is waiting here and we can’t wait to cheer you on!
– Laurie
 Laurie was featured in the CrossFit Journal last year because of her amazing story. She shared her struggles, her fears, and most importantly her path to living a healthier lifestyle.

My CrossFit journey did not start because of a health situation. I’ve been blessed with good physical health throughout my life so far *knock wood*. I was moderately active throughout my school years, but because I have asthma, was pretty limited in what I could participate in.

After marriage, my husband and I settled into a fairly sedentary lifestyle and our nutrition was pretty crappy. We dabbled in the globo gym thing but neither of us enjoyed it. Then kids came along and our focus completely shifted. As the babies grew and I went back to work, we still knew we needed to make a change and set a good example for them. I just really wanted something different, something to give me a good kick in the ass. I heard about CrossFit and was intrigued. I told my husband about it and we decided to give it a try.


I joined CFRR in 2011, 10 months after I turned 40. A very happy coincidence I must say. Turning 40 was never an issue for me; I was actually looking forward to it. However, I was still in a rut emotionally. A string of layoffs, bad jobs, and other life events left me in a slump. Soon I found myself losing all confidence in my abilities.

I will never forget the first time walking into CFRR feeling a bit nervous and intimidated. It quickly went away after I was greeted with Coach Adrien’s big beautiful, welcoming smile. I haven’t looked back since.

CrossFit quickly re-ignited the fire within me I knew I had but didn’t really have an outlet to truly nurture and build on. The coaches at CFRR taught me to be comfortably uncomfortable and more importantly, to accept my vulnerability; something I was never comfortable doing. Resilience became the norm.

This August will be 6 years at CFRR. I’ve done roughly 10 competitions and I’m going into my 4th year of The Open. I’m in the best shape at age 46 than I’ve ever been at any other age, doing things I never DREAMED I’d be able to do. It’s definitely been a process and has not been easy. But in the immortal words of Denzel Washington, “Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship.”

The pursuit of health and fitness transformed everything for my husband and me. This is our way of life now and it will never change. We sleep better, we are healthier, we feel better (of course, we’re sore all the time but it’s worth it), and our mental health is better. And although our children don’t do CrossFit (yet), they still see our commitment to health and fitness every day, which influences how they see things. And the fact they see a mother who is both mentally AND physically strong means the world to me.

I’m forever grateful to all the coaches at CFRR, Coach Adrien in particular, for believing in me, seeing what I was capable of before I did, and plucking me out of the fear cave. All the fellow members (shout out to the 5 am crew!) are a source of inspiration daily. And especially to my husband Marcos, I wouldn’t want to be on this journey with anyone else.




I joined CrossFit Round Rock in August of 2011 at the age of 55. After visiting my son in Seattle and going to a CrossFit session with him I knew this was something I would love to do. At the time, my cholesterol was high and my doctor said I could do one of two things. I could either take meds OR I could change my diet and exercise. I chose the latter and it worked.

The first few months at CFRR were really rough. I couldn’t finish a complete workout but I was always encouraged by everyone around me. I have had several gym memberships. It always seemed that I stuck with it for a few months at a time and then quit.

CrossFit Round Rock is different because of the community you train with and the friends that you make. The support of the Coaching staff was another reason why I’ve called CFRR home for 7 years now.

CrossFit really works and the community keeps you coming back. Since I started in 2011 is because more of a lifestyle than just a chore to fit into your day. It’s now a way of life that is addictive, in a good way of course.

Today I am able to finish most workouts, reach new PRs, and I’m very blessed to have a group of friends to workout with no matter our age difference.




My name is Helen Butler and I am a stay at home mom. Growing up, I always thought I was fat. Looking back at pictures, I have no idea why I ever thought that. Like a lot of kids, I went through different phases of being “pleasantly plump” to being thin. I am only 5’ tall so 5lbs of weight on me seems to be more obvious then it is on someone who is 5’5” tall.

It seems my metabolism started slowing down when I was around 25 or 26. I couldn’t lose any extra weight as quickly as I did before, and the weight was starting to pile on. I was able to get back on track with a diet change.

In 1999, my husband Jason and I decided to try and have kids. I didn’t have the easiest time with my pregnancies. I was pregnant 4 times and have 2 healthy girls. While we are blessed with our daughters, they did a number on my body. They also didn’t make it any easier to get back in to shape.

I tried going back to the gym, but that didn’t last very long. Every time I started working out, I would get paged by the daycare because my kids would not stop crying for me. Then I thought I would try training for a marathon because I could run while pushing a stroller. I was doing great with this training and started seeing results. I was able to run 7 miles without stopping but was told by a couple of doctors to stop because of problems with my knee. Frustrated, I just stopped trying. I decided to just focus on my kids and to help my ailing parents.

I always stress to my kids how important it is to eat healthy and exercise. The best way to teach them is to lead by example. When my youngest daughter was finally old enough to start school, I made the decision to try again. I went to the gym and took different classes like Zumba and Body Pump. These were a lot of fun, but the classes would fill up fast, so I couldn’t always get in. If I was lucky enough to get in, it was hard to find a spot because of the class was full, and it was only good if the person teaching the class was good. The turnover rate for these instructors was high. After a few years of doing that and just working out on my own, I needed a change. I tried the video’s P90x and Insanity. These videos were great for the 1st couple of times, but I got bored. Not to mention, because I did them from home, my workouts would get interrupted by someone at the front door, a phone call, or if my kids were home they would walk in on me.

Jason mentioned some friends that did this thing called CrossFit and they seemed to enjoy it. I happened to have a friend who also did Crossfit and she encouraged me to give it a try. The idea of small class sizes, a different workout every day, and personal guidance from a coach was really appealing to me. I Googled CrossFit in Round Rock and low and behold CrossFit Round Rock appeared.

At the time, CFRR had a program called Elements that everyone wanting to join had to go through to start classes. I signed up and met Coach Landon. He took me through the basics of the different powerlifting movements, talked about posture and form, and the different exercises that I would encounter during an actual class. Once Elements was over and I was ready for class, I couldn’t wait to start.

My 1st day at CFRR was January 02, 2012. The workout, 5K run. I didn’t run (because of my knee problem) so I rowed the 5K. The whole time, I thought to myself, “I paid for the month. Let me just get through this month and I will find something else.” Not the best 1st day ever. By the way, I finished in 29:38. The workouts after that day were a lot more fun and I decided to stay and have been doing CrossFit on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 8:30 am ever since. In fact, I consider this to be my time. I do not schedule appointments or plan anything during this time if it can be avoided.

I was getting physically and mentally stronger and my clothes started fitting me better. I’m not sure how many pounds I may have lost at that time because I didn’t ever weigh myself. I judged everything on how my clothes felt. After a couple of years, I wasn’t noticing any more changes. I knew I was still overweight, but it wasn’t until Coach Landon recommended a body comp to get a better idea of where I was on the charts. It wasn’t good. Exercise alone is not going to get me back to a healthy weight. I needed to change my eating habits.

The food I ate was not necessarily bad food. I ate a lot of lean cuts of meats and veggies, but I also ate rice, pastas, bread, and I tended to snack on things, even if I wasn’t hungry. I thought that if I just cut down on the amount of those foods, I would lose weight. In other words, I wasn’t ready to make the commitment and change my eating habits. It would take a couple more years of body comps going down and up in body fat % for me to finally commit to making the changes in my diet I needed to get the results I wanted.

The summer of 2016, after doing Crossfit for 4 1/2 years, I made the commitment to make the change in my diet. Landon helped me by putting me on a 1200 calorie a day diet (doesn’t sound like much, but remember, I am only 5’ tall). My diet consisted of 30% fat, 30% carb, and 40% protein. The carbs were mostly from veggies and fruits. This was not an easy thing for me to do. I’m half Filipino, and grew up eating rice for practically every meal. Controlling the amount of rice to eat was too hard so I had to cut it out completely and eat cauliflower rice instead. I also cut out pasta and bread and learned that I wasn’t eating enough fats and protein.

My journey has not been easy. I have had a couple of set back’s. The holidays are particularly difficult and this past holiday, I had surgery on a pre-existing condition and felt the pounds creeping back on. My husband and Landon both told me not to beat myself up. Don’t go crazy, but enjoy the holidays, heal from surgery, and get back on track when I get back to the gym. It turns out I only gained a couple of pounds, so I am relieved and now back on track.

I would like to thank everyone at CFRR for their encouragement while on my journey, especially Coach Landon for not giving up on me. I’m sure it is frustrating, as a coach, to try and help someone who is not ready to do what it takes to reach their goals. Thanks to my daughters for their understanding with my diet changes. Most of all, I want to thank my husband for his love and support in everything I want to do.


My CrossFit Story

Growing up in athletics from a very early age, 5 years old, I’ve had a good strength and conditioning foundation for most of my life. I’ve worked out, off and on, for 50 years. There was a time just after college, between ages of 24 and 34 when I did not. During this time, I gained 40 to 45 lbs and found myself with little muscle and a lot of fat, reaching about 230 lbs. My doctor told me I needed to start losing weight and get in shape because my blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels were very bad. I started working out in our office gym and placed myself on a low-calorie diet, about 1800 calories per day. The workouts were your basic bodybuilding workouts with some cardio. Doing basic squats, bench, deadlifts, and auxiliary movements like curls, triceps extensions and calf raises. This worked for a while, I lost about 20 lbs, getting down to 210 lbs and my doctor was pleased. Once I dropped weight I started eating more trying to eat between 3000 and 3500 calories per day. This is what I estimated I was burning and through I need a little more to gain muscle.

This lasted for about 6 or 7 years and then I had to move office locations. The new office did not have a gym and I stopped working out again. This lasted for 4 or 5 years. I gained weight and my doctor told me again I needed to lose weight and get myself in shape. About this time, we moved offices again to a new facility. This facility had a gym. I started working out again, however this time I studied. I had spent some time working out a CATZ where I learned a lot about athletic training and I started studying for my National Academy of Sport Medicine certification. I did this because I was coaching workouts for my fellow Emerson workout enthusiasts and I coached baseball and wanted to be able to provide my players good conditioning, instruction, and advice. I went back on a low-calorie diet, about 1800 cals a day because it seemed to have worked in the past. Over the next year or so, I lost the 25 lbs and got below 200 lbs, to about 190 lbs. I decided to stay on the 1800 per day calorie diet because it seems to be working.

Flash forward to 2012, about 8 years later. I was weighing around 200 lbs. I was working out 4 days a week in our gym (think of CFRR’s Strength Agility Classes), having baseball practice Tuesday and Thursdays and coaching games most weekends. During these practices and before games I was throwing batting practice for about an hour each session. This is an hour of non-stop, 200 plus pitches per session. Your heart rate gets up and it is a very cardio intensive workout. However, with all this activity I noticed I was putting on belly fat. I couldn’t believe it, but over time I kept putting on more and more body fat.

In 2012, we moved offices again. We moved to our current facility just off highway 45 in Round Rock. When moving buildings, they did not have our gym finished out. Our facilities personnel said it would be about 6 months before it opened. Most of our Emerson team did not want to wait 6 months so I recommended that we look for a local gym to work out in. I had been studying and reading about CrossFit and liked their programming. From my training and studying for my certification, I had developed my own beliefs on conditioning. I believed that high-intensity circuit training that combined weights and cardio with a much-varied programing plan was the best for a truly functional overall condition plan for life. With that knowledge and my beliefs (born through a lot of study and coaching of my own), I recommended to our Emerson workout crew, that we consider joining a CrossFit gym and I explained to them why.

I walked into CrossFit Round Rock in February of 2012, during one of their coach’s workouts, for a visit. Adrien stopped her workout to meet with me. I told her what we were looking for and I was bringing a team of 10 with me, many are still with us today. She explained CrossFit, however, I was already sold on the idea and knew I wanted to try it. I just need to make sure the coaches were sound and they could teach us good technique while providing good programming and safety. Safety is something I think a lot of people underestimate in their workout journey. If you are injured, you will go backward in conditioning and reaching your goals.

After our elements classes, Adrien and Landon started the 4:30 M, W, F class for us, the same one many of you are in today. Coach V was our coach at the time, I’ve provided a picture for your amusement.

Coach V and Adrien started consulting with me on my diet and activity level, also doing body comps. At the time, I was about 205 lbs and had 23% body fat. They asked how many calories I estimated eating per day. I told them 1800. They were shocked. Then they asked how long I had been eating 1800 calories per day. I told them for about 7 or 8 years. Then they were afraid for me. I could see it in their face. The shock and disbelief that I could be on such a low-calorie diet for so many years. They then explained to me that a man (this is true for most men about my size) will burn roughly a minimum of 2000 calories per day at rest. That’s if we did nothing but lay on the couch with a remote in our hand and watch television all day. Then they explained since I was on a diet that was under that 2000 calories per day, I was starving myself, I was malnourished. My body had gone into starvation mode and was trying to hold onto body fat. My body had started breaking down muscle to feed itself, which meant I had less muscle and more body fat. That’s why I was getting more and more belly fat.

The solution: Since I had been working out four days a week and coaching 2 to 4 days a week they estimated my total calorie burn at 3000 calories per day. They formatted a diet plan (mostly a Paleo menu) for me to eat up to 2500 calories per day, roughly 500 calories less than my maximum estimated daily calorie burn. Then they ask me not to work out on the same day I was coaching. So basically, they told me if I wanted to lose body fat and some weight to workout less and eat more. MIND BLOWING! All this time I thought I needed to eat less and move more. NO, THEY ARE TELLING ME TO EAT MORE AND MOVE LESS. Crazy! It took a while to wrap my mind around this.

I took their advice, went by their plan and I started losing weight, about 1 lbs. per week. I lost 22 lbs., I got down to 183 and had 17% body fat. After 22 weeks, I needed to stop losing weight. They then communicated a plan for me to gain muscle and to continue to lose body fat, I needed to eat between 2800 and 3000 calories per day. I did this for the next 2 years and got back up to 205 lbs. and dropped down to 11.9% body fat.

Within three short years, the team at CFRR totally transformed my body, conditioning, strength, and knowledge of diet. I started CFRR squatting 240#, now 355#. I was deadlifting about 300#, now 400#. I couldn’t even do a snatch because of flexibility and mobility, now I can. My overall movement skill, regarding Olympic lifting, was pretty much nonexistence and now they are some of my favorite movements. My knowledge of diet that CFRR has taught me over the years has changed my life and my families. It encouraged my daughter to major in nutrition at the University of Arkansas. She wants to be a registered clinical dietician and help girls with eating disorders.

Flash forward to 2015, this was a rough year for me. In February, I had a seizure which sent me to the hospital. During testing, they performed a CT Scan of my stomach and found a golf ball size tumor on my kidney. They also found two kidney stones the size of marbles, one in each kidney. They were too big to pass so they required surgery. My Urologist diagnosed the tumor and said based on its size and composition there was a 90% chance it was cancer. He recommended removing it immediately.

God bless me in two ways, he allowed me to find one of the two or three Urologist in Austin that can perform a partial Laparoscopic Nephrectomy with the robotic da Vinci machine, see image below. He also blessed me with a seizure so this tumor could be found. Most kidney tumors go undetected because they do not have any symptoms until the cancer metastasizes and spreads to other parts of the body.


In preparations for the surgery to remove the tumor and kidney stones, the doctor told me I should breeze through the operations because I was so healthy. He told me he rarely sees a man my age in his office that is in as good of shape as I’m was in. THANKS AGAIN CFRR!

In April of 2015, I went into surgery and removed the tumor. It went very well, they did not have to take the kidney, only about 10% of it and I’ve remained cancer-free since. Later in the year, I had the two kidney stones removed. After the last surgery, I developed Sepsis and was in the hospital for another week. This was a very physically challenging year and much of the success is accredited to my Lord, my wife, my family for never leaving my side, and to CFRR for helping me to be in the best shape of my life before having to enter this very challenging year.

What a blessing the coaches and the entire community at CFRR have been to me and my family.

-Bill Beane