Tom Swanton
CHC Member since 2012

I am a 51 year-old with no history of athletics other than running for pleasure and the occasional lapsed gym membership. In fact, as a child I was that guy who was usually chosen last for playground pickup games. Goaded by my CrossFitting friends, I approached the sport with no small amount of intimidation. 

My wife and I attended an Open House held just before the opening of College Hill CrossFit. Seeing a demonstration of the “Burpee Challenge” – a seven-minute AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible) of Burpees – the intimidation reached a new level.  Still, after discussing it with my wife – and against my better judgment – we signed up for the “CrossFit Fundamentals” class.

That first class ended with a WOD (Workout of the Day) consisting of one movement – wall balls. In three minutes I was reduced to an old man gasping for breath. I left that night vowing not to return.  Yet something happened to me on the drive home – I began to feel the effect of the endorphins.  I felt just a little bit fitter than when I had left the house. By the time I got home I had resolved to give CrossFit a try.

That resolution was one of the best decisions of my life.  Coach Pam and the staff at CHC brought me along slowly, carefully, scaling workouts and building my strength and endurance. There were days when I didn’t think I could complete the workout, but Pam or another coach would be standing there encouraging me to keep pushing through.

That was nearly two years ago.  In the interim I have discovered every weakness I have. But I have improved.  Sometimes that improvement has been in leaps and bounds; sometimes it has been extremely hard-won. But as my strength has grown so has my confidence. That confidence has extended to other areas of life.

CrossFit is the first exercise regimen I have ever encountered that has kept my attention for this long. I love the way it makes me feel.   It comes with the added benefit of a built-in community of people who encourage and accept all levels of athleticism. And if you don’t show up to the box for a week, you will get a call or a text from someone asking how you’re doing. 

Thanks to Coach Pam, Coach Tracy and the rest of the staff and athletes at CHC, I have found a way of life that I hope I never leave. Thanks to College Hill CrossFit I can say four words I never dreamed would leave my lips – I am an athlete.


Rob DuPuis
CHC Member since 2012

For over a year, I heard my wife go on and on about CrossFit. Fourteen months after a hip replacement, Sheri signed me up at the new College Hill CrossFit box. I thought I had rehabbed my hip to a decent level, but little did I know at that point. College Hill CrossFit continues to encourage and push me to heights I never thought possible. I can now do more at 51 than I did in my 30’s, and I know I will do more at 52. With College Hill’s programming and motivation, you will continue to improve every year, no matter your age. When I first got to College Hill, I could not jump. I spent the first six months stepping up on the box. Finally, I jumped to the 12” box, then the 18” box, then the 20” box, and ultimately the prescribed 24” box.

I look forward to the next workout, and miss doing it when I can’t work College Hill into my schedule. I no longer notice that my hip was replaced. My flexibility and strength have improved more than I ever thought possible. I can play basketball and football with my kids, which I thought I might never be able to do again. College Hill CrossFit has had a very positive impact on me. The community of friends is also a plus. Support for worthwhile causes, birthday WODs, and parties all help make College Hill CrossFit special. Now I know why Sheri was so excited about CrossFit during that 14 month period. I am equally excited and we have a great time discussing the finer points of the day’s WOD!


John C
CHC Member since 2012

Let me tell you how I went from skipping PE class at 16 to getting up before dawn for Crossfit at 36.

I was a pretty nerdy kid with nerdy interests – most of my D&D group was in a punk band, if that gives you any idea. I never liked sports, or exercising, or any of that. When I was in high school, the only class I skipped was P.E. I met the love of my life smoking outside of computer science classes.

I met College Hill Crossfit when I was outside smoking, too. I was at about a pack a day at the time, so I spent a good portion of my afternoons on the patio with a book. It seemed like every time I looked up, another group of people ran by: running, but cheerful. I'd never seen the two activities go together before, so after week or so of watching the runners, I tracked the cheerfulness to its source – a little building with a big banner across it.

Around three months later, I'd quit smoking, and my girlfriend and I had found the perfect couples' hobby. College Hill Crossfit provides us a caring, supportive environment that has helped us move from people who lived in our heads to people who love our bodies.  But this isn't done with platitudes and group hugs; the coaches at College Hill Crossfit teach us to move safely, and exactly, through our workouts.  Before each move with the weights, the class is re-taught, and examined. The level and quality of personal attention I receive is incredible.  

What's more incredible, and what keeps me coming back, is that College Hill Crossfit has opened up a whole new world to me and my girlfriend.  


Gabby Merritt
CHC Member since 2012

Crossfit is for everyone! I started really committing to College Hill Crossfit the summer before my senior year. To say that it had an impact in my lifestyle was an understatement! Prior to Crossfit, I had developed a passion for running. The summer after my junior year, I began to think about my future college decisions. As I continued to run more and train harder, running formed a new spot in my future. I began to consider possibly looking at running in college. Before I joined College Hill Crossfit, it had always been "maybe I would join the club team." But as time went on, I truly developed my passion for it. With the help of the trainers at CHC, I worked to drop an entire two minutes off of my personal best from the previous season by the first race of my senior season! It was then that I truly considered running in college. The trainers at CHC always motivated me to do my best and worked with me to find the appropriate weights and the most efficient training to help me reach my desired goal (to run faster!). I truly believe that Crossfit is something for everyone! If it weren't for CHC, I don't believe that I would be where I am today, a Division I college athlete! Thanks so much CHC!!


 Jeff Davis
CHC Member since 2015


After spending several years going to a big-box gym, I walked into College Hill Crossfit in July 2015. I was largely unfamiliar with the Crossfit movements and the vocabulary. Needless to say, I was intimidated and anxious. A couple of things that started to put me at ease were the structure and the organization of the classes. The coach started the class on time, explained the workout, welcomed questions, and warmed up the class together. There was instantly a sense of togetherness and comradery. We were in this together. The coach then walked the class through the various movements in the workout, as well as the progressions for each movement that we would use in the class. The coach educated us and provided guidance. During that first workout, I struggled mightily, but the coach and several other members of the class came and cheered me on until I finished. The sense of comradery was real because we were in this together. Afterwards, several members of the class and the coach talked about the workout and the areas that were the most challenging. We had persevered and accomplished together.

Two years later, that sense of comradery and community gets stronger with each passing week. I’ve formed friendships and found a real sense of belonging. The folks at CHC push each other to get better, we lift each other up when we are slacking, we praise each other when we accomplish goals, and we celebrate life achievements together. We do this because we are in this together. We are in these classes together, we are in this Crossfit community together, and we are together in our pursuit of our better selves.

Are the workouts hard? You better believe it, but I’m in the best shape of my life and my mental toughness improves with each class. Working out at CHC has become the happiest hour of my day, and CHC has become my happy place where I escape from the stresses and pressures of life.


 Alex Parks
CHC Member since 2015


I was very overweight, couldn’t walk more than a mile without getting out of breath, on medication for Gout, blood pressure and my cholesterol levels were going up, and the doctor was starting to throw around words like “pre-diabetic”. In short, I was a mess and I didn’t see it getting better on its own. I had to make a change. Not one for doing things half way, I decided that I was going to join a Crossfit affiliate.

See, I had heard about Crossfit years before about the time the movie 300 came out. Reading about how those actors got into shape for the movie led me to There I saw video after video of people getting absolutely crushed physically by these crazy workouts. However, at that time there were no “boxes” anywhere close to where I lived. Fast forward to 2015 and me stepping through the doors of CHC the first time to take the Fundamentals class. An hour later I was completely spent after only a 4 minute workout. I knew I was in horrible shape, but that workout put an acute point on it. There were 6 people in that class and at the end of it, you couldn’t tell who was in the worst shape. We were all gasping for breath and I was hooked.

I walked into my first real class on October 2nd, 2015 and haven’t looked back. Within a year I was 40lbs lighter. No gout medication. Blood pressure is normal. Cholesterol levels are normal and the words “pre-diabetic” are no longer mentioned by my doctor. What you’ll get from a membership at CHC is more than a gym membership. You don’t just get access to a facility where you can work out. You get Pam and her team who will work with you every step of the way to help you achieve your fitness goals. I tore my hamstring trying to sprint one day (warmups are your friend kids), and was looking at several months of recovery and physical therapy. Pam told me to come to classes anyway. Every day I showed up, and I came 5 days a week, they had a workout that I could do with the class. Even if it was a small modification like arms only rowing or calories on the assault bike instead of running, or just a ton of seated upper body work, they had something for me. If you invest, they will invest.

Then you have the CHC community. Probably the most awesome group of people you’ll have the pleasure of sweating with. They will cheer you on, fire you up, give you a hard time, and push you to your limits. Best of all, they know how to eat and have a good time. I love them like an extended family.

I continue to make strides everyday. Building myself up physically to the person I want to be. I’m not there yet, but anything worth having is worth working for, and there’s no better place to do it than CHC.