Success Stories


At CrossFit Jaguar, we’re in the business of changing lives through CrossFit here in Tampa. So when we hear great member stories like these, we literally box jump for joy! We hope you’ll be our next success story.

  • Dana N

    A friend of mine back in 2011 introduced me to “CrossFit” and explained it as a class where you do all different kinds of movements really, really fast. I agreed to join in on a class mostly to just spend time with my friend and found out right away that his description was pretty spot on, but after the first class I was pretty much hooked. I continued to enjoy CrossFit because it was constantly a new challenge for me but I mostly never took it too seriously because it was a social time for me. I met most of my closest friends (and future husband <3) from that gym. Over the years, CrossFit has become more and more of a lifestyle and something I am pretty competitive in now (although I still love the social aspect of it too! #community). When I first started CrossFit, everyday was a PR for me, as I had never lifted weights, did real push ups or pull ups or anything besides jogging or a class at LA Fitness. But I think the first real achievement for me was making a top 10 finish in a WOD! When that became more consistent, I started taking the workouts more seriously and started pushing harder. Learning double unders was another huge achievement. Right now I am really enjoying being where I’m at! I feel like I am finally in a good place where I can push the limits of being comfortable with the uncomfortable during a workout and am enjoying those “pain cave” type of WODs more and more. I would LOVE to PR my snatch at #135 and even more so I would to love to accomplish muscle ups, bar and rings! My favorite Jaguar memory is not one particular moment but really the combination of them all and all the new friends I have made! It really is the people that make Jaguar so great. I love that Jaguar is a place where I am pushed physically and mentally every time I come but it is also the place that restores my energy with everyone’s witty humor and amazing personalities. Winning 3rd place in RX at Jaguar Games with Justin Massey is another memory that sticks out!

  • Michele R

    I’m probably one of the few who can say that CrossFit came to me and I am grateful. We had a health fair at work and of course me being me, I’m going to gravitate to the exercise tables, because who really wants another sample of a protein shake or granola? My body clearly needed something else.

    I had been wanting to get back into a workout routine but the location of my work place and my home are not in the same county. As with most people, I have done boot camps, instructional DVD’s, running, walking…you name it, just trying to fit something into my day but due to my poor time management, all it did was add unwanted stress.

    Thanks to Jaguar, I have been able to turn my lunch hour into my workout hour and what a difference it has made. Life is good!
    I was very apprehensive at first. I wondered, what am I getting myself into? You walk in, you realize you’re not in a typical gym. There are no treadmills, fancy weight machines or TV’s. It was just the basics, a couple different cardio machines, weights in many different shapes and sizes, a funny looking contraption w/rings on strings hanging from it, a whole bunch of boxes to sit on and ropes hanging from the ceiling that I can only assume are there to assist you off the box that you are sitting on.

    I have learned that you don’t need any of that fancy equipment. When I walk in now I see an opportunity. An opportunity… to add on more weight during the workout if I want to, to jump over that stupid jump rope without stepping on it or getting whipped in the shins, to pull that pull up bar under my chin without the use of bands, to push that plate down the turf as fast as I can even when it’s trying to bring me to my knees midway through. But most of all, I see an opportunity to improve my health while strengthening my body.

    I guess my first achievement was kicking into a handstand. Although everyday seems to have some sort of an achievement whether it’s big or small. It’s those achievements that make me want to come back class after class and see what else this old body can do. It’s exciting!

    Thanks to the Cross Fit Jaguar, I am working on everything. Even though I have so much to work on, I am happy with my progress and can’t wait (really I can) for the Open next year.

    My favorite memory is the day I became a true CrossFitter which is when I signed up for the CrossFit Open! I would always joke with my workout buddies about how we are not true CrossFitters because of our limitations during a workout. We started treating it like a game of hangman. If we did the workout as intended or if we improved, then we get to add a letter C R O S SF I _ _ _ _. Needless to say, it’s been fun trying to fill in the blanks.

    I want to give a big THANK YOU to Paula, coaches Kim, Melissa and Kelly and my work out buddies for getting me started and keeping me going. I am truly blessed to be a part of the Jaguar family.

  • Dick D

    I signed up for CrossFit for a couple of reasons, one, I have always been interested in the CrossFit/Spartan idea, watching competitions on TV, etc, which inspired me to enter my first Spartan competition at age 60, two years ago. This was not one of my better ideas (right up there the Mount Rainier expedition), but with a lot of help from Josh in the office, we both finished (found out later my wife made Josh sign up because she was worried about me, thanks!). The second reason, every summer we have our family reunion at the beach for a week and my niece and her husband are in to CrossFit training and would make me come with them to the nearest CrossFit class every morning, I enjoyed the classes which made me start looking for an alternative to the exercise class I had been participating in for the last few years. I just needed more of a challenge than what I was doing and I was very familiar with Paula since I worked out with her at her old location on North Dale Mabry around 15 years ago, so I paid my friend a visit and she signed me up for the CrossFit Lite Class. Almost said “old” friend but Paula would kill me.

    My first impression was a little bit of intimidation, the first thing you see when you walk in is all of the young men and women performing CrossFit exercises “as seen on TV” so I began thinking I may have made another bone-head choice but I quickly realized my sanctuary was in the back corner and soon Justin and Kim showed up and all was good. Now with a few months under my belt the CrossFit Lite Class seems like a perfect fit for me and still gives me the challenge I was looking for. Maybe the CrossFit class is in my future, we’ll see.

    My first achievement was simply, understanding all of the acronyms; AMRAP, WOD, EMOM, but I think I got it now.

    I’m not sure what I’m working on now (I just do whatever Justin & Kim tell me), I think I’m mainly trying to improve my endurance and slowly work on learning some of the new skills for the other classes. I do tend to catch myself staring at the CrossFit class wondering how in the hell they perform some of the exercises, great job guys!

    My favorite Jaguar memory is the great people in all of the classes, I enjoy working out with the younger crowd, it keeps me motivated, a little competition is good for everyone.

  • Jess R

    Groupon and the need for some positive change in my life. My first impression was “CrossFit is badass”.
    And it hasn’t changed.

    It’s hard to remember my “first” achievement because it’s been nearly 5 years and there has been so many, but the achievements I remember being really excited about were my first bar muscle, and a 5th place finish in my first RX competition at WOD JAMZ with my badass teammates Mighty Mite “Melissa” and Nicky! More recently, I’ve been super excited that I can FINALLY do multiple strict pull ups…Thought that would never happen!

    I am working on staying focused…not missing, eating right, putting in extra work, and doing MORE pull-ups. By doing these things, since August 206 I have lost 20 lbs while continuing to get stronger!

    My favorite Jaguar memory is all of them…all the memories! There are sooooo many! And…beating Kimberly at arm wrestling

  • Madison G

    What brought me into CrossFit was trying to find something to fill the void of not playing softball anymore. I needed something that was slightly competitive and would keep pushing me every single time I came in to workout.

    My first impression was that I was a little intimidated but anxious and excited at the same time. I love trying new things and I knew that this was going to be a good fit for me. I don’t think my first impression has changed at all except for being intimidated. I find myself looking forward to each workout even if they are movements I’m not entirely good at.

    I would say my first achievement was having completed my first workout RX and also competing in my first competition. It took me some time to get acclimated but I was finally able to do it!

    I am working on making each workout more intense for myself. To keep pushing whether it’s choosing a higher weight or increasing my speed throughout the workout. I love to see changes within my body and myself so when I see results it makes me feel accomplished.

    My favorite Jaguar memory would have to be when we were doing the last Open workout I believe and I had to complete the workout on my own. Everyone stayed to watch and cheer me on. It made me feel supported and pushed me harder!

  • Robert V

    I had started CrossFit while in the Marines. A few of us would just get together and do whatever WOD was posted on the CrossFit website that day. I really enjoyed it, but after my EAS and coming back to Tampa, I wasn’t sure how to keep it up. Luckily, my friend, Alyssa, started at Jaguar, and convinced me to come in for an intro class. Thanks, Alyssa!
    My first impression was “Woah! This place is intense.” That was my initial thought. I was probably a bit overwhelmed for those first few minutes. It can still be intense at times; however, you learn to swim pretty quickly, and that “overwhelmed” feeling goes away in the middle of that first AMRAP.
    My first achievement? Can I say, “Walking in the door that first day?” If not, it was definitely getting my first Muscle Up a few weeks back. It was a movement that Carl and I had been working on since the Open. That felt like my first real achievement.
    I am currently working on handstand walks, ring muscle ups, cardio, flexibility and mobility…the list is long. I’m just trying to get a little better than I was the day before, at everything.
    My favorite Jaguar memory is getting through 17.5, RX. I think it was this one, at least. At this point, I couldn’t string together more than 3 or 4 double unders at a time to save my life. So, 10 rounds of 35, was going to be a pretty interesting adventure. I warned Paula beforehand that she should grab a chair. She was my judge, and I knew we were going to be there awhile. It took me 40 minutes, I hit the time cap at 9 rounds and some change, I struggled for each and every rep. I wanted to quit, I sat down for a second and thought, “That’s it, that’s all I’ve got.” I got up though.  I’m really happy I finished it, even though I felt bad for Paula, who had to stand there for the whole 40 minutes.
    I would also just like to say thanks to everyone that has been so helpful and friendly, each and everyday. My life is better for this place, and that’s because of all of you. Kim and John, I want to call you out in particular for taking the time to work with me on all of my back issues. Giving me tips and advice, most times when you aren’t even coaching, just to help me be better. You both have helped me a lot and I really appreciate it 🙂
  • Alyssa K

    What first brought me to CrossFit was my family. My dad and three sisters were a part of a gym over on the East coast and they highly encouraged me to join when I went back home for family gatherings. I decided to join a gym when I moved to the Carrollwood area to be closer to work. I searched around and thought CrossFit Jaguar would be a good fit. I started the On Ramp class in December of last year and have loved CrossFit ever since.

    My first impression of CrossFit was “Woah, this is intense”.  I remember watching the end of a class before I was going to start my first CrossFit class (after On Ramp) and telling Robby that I didn’t think I was ready for the class. He told me that I would do fine and helped push me to take the class. (Thanks Robby!).

    My first achievement was getting my first double under. It is still a work in progress but was a nice first step. I am currently working on getting my first strict pull up, or any pull up at that matter lol.

    My favorite Jaguar memory would have to be when I did the 17.1 workout. The workout was very intense but I had a lot of encouragement from Carl who judged me and from Kim who was my coach for the open. They helped push me to complete the scaled workout under the time cap. I realized then how important it was for me to set goals in the gym and how that could transfer over into my personal life as well.

  • Jose B

    I was able to lose over 100 pounds doing the normal “globo gym” routine & occasionally running, but after several years that got boring. A friend of mine who is super fit told me about this new gym he started going (Jaguar), invited me and several other friends to join the On Ramp via the Groupon special, so I said why not. As they say, the rest is history, as I felt in love with the community, the workouts and everything CrossFit (I drink the Kool-Aid as my wife would say).

    My first impression was that the workouts are challenging, but fun, and the camaraderie in the gym was incredible. Not much has changed for me, the workouts are still super fun, challenging and I love the community we have. I love coming to the gym each day and get on the struggle bus with other members so we can have a laugh at the end :).

    To me one of the first things I consider an achievement was participating in the 2015 Open where I learned a lot about my work capacity and to trust the process. I’ve also improve my Olympic lifts tremendously thanks to great coaching from all the coaches and our Barbell Club.

    As most CrossFitters, I’m a work in progress and there will always be areas we could improve upon. For me, I’m always working on endurance and aerobic capacity since those are huge deficiencies along with all things gymnastics. CrossFit forces you to be balanced in all areas including nutrition, mobility and recovery.  I need to be more consistent in those things too.

    The Open season is by far my favorite time of the year, and each year it’s better than the last. From my first year in 2015 while doing 15.5,  and thinking I was going to die but everyone kept encouraging me to finish under 10 minutes which I did; to this year, where I loved going to Friday Night Lights and doing the workouts as a community. The energy and camaraderie in our gym was incredible with everyone supporting each other.

  • Arianna S

    My sister was the one who got me into CrossFit. She started and told me how great it was. I was a little hesitant at first because of how crazy everyone made it sound. But in the end I decided to give it a try and I fell in love and haven’t looked back!

    At first I was very intimidated. I saw all these people doing these crazy lifts and these crazy work outs, I thought I would never be able to do what they were doing. Now I see that CrossFit is for everyone no matter what skill level you may be at. There is no need to feel intimidated ever. Everyone is like family and they treat you as so.

    I think my first achievement was getting a strict pull up. When I first started I couldn’t do one to save my life!

    Right now I’m just working on being consistent with my workouts and my overall lifestyle, or as me and my sister Tiff like to call it #GetRight2017.

    I think my favorite Jaguar memory is competing in my first competition at Battle of the Boxes. It was a great overall experience and definitely something I’ll never forget!

  • Brandon

    [My wife] Brea talked me into trying CrossFit actually, I was hesitant to try it out. The YouFit scene was getting old and boring.

    My first impression was that I enjoyed it a lot. We were tired during the warm up and I saw how unfit I actually was. I continue to enjoy it and I love seeing the progression of lifts, gymnastics, and cardio. It is a great feeling to see change.

    I’m not really sure of my first achievement. I remember doing Helen for the first time and got a time that I have yet to beat. I think I can smash it now. I also did 1100 burpees in one month.

    Right now,  I am getting ready for the Grid competition in May! Silverback Gridillas are gonna go ape!

    I really enjoyed his past open with the Friday night lights and the team competitions. I also had fun doing the Lift Off a couple months ago, hit some big pr’s.

  • Brad C

    I quit smoking a few years back, and I eventually ended up putting on quite a bit of weight. I saw some pictures of myself around the holidays in 2013, and it was a wake up call that I needed to start taking better care of myself. I wasn’t sure what to do at first, as the globo gyms were never a good fit for me, so I spent the first few months of 2014 training for and running a 5k.

    As I was approaching the race date, I wanted to figure out the next step. I searched around for different kinds of classes, or adult sports leagues, but still wasn’t sure. I had always been intrigued by the obstacle races like Tough Mudder and Spartan, and in reading the FAQs on one of their sites, it said that many participants were active in CrossFit, and so I decided to look into it. Found the Groupon for Jaguar, and decided to check it out. I also promised myself that good, bad, or ugly, I was going to stick it out for the full two months and then make a decision about whether this was something I wanted to continue with.

    My first impression was that I bit off way more than I could chew. I was a mess. I couldn’t do a pull up, I tapped out at about three pushups, and I was hopeless when it came to the Oly lifts. I really had no idea what I was doing. And I still felt like that for awhile. But I liked what I saw going on around me. There seemed to be lot of camaraderie when I looked over and saw the group working out, and it seemed like it was a motivated group of people who enjoyed a challenge, and that really appealed to me.

    In time, I slowly developed confidence in what I was doing and became more proficient with my lifts. In 2016, I wanted to step up my game a bit more. I was only coming three days a week before, but now I average five days a week. I participated in some of the challenges, and got to where I was down about 30 pounds from where I was when I first walked in the door. I pushed myself to try to get some of the movements I wasn’t capable of before, and didn’t think I’d ever get – legless rope climbs, handstand pushups, toes-to-bar, double unders, ring dips, etc. And, I think that’s carried over to other areas of my life as well.

    The first one that really stands out to me was one Saturday, we were doing CrossFit Total and before that day, I’d worked up to a 395 pound deadlift, but I was a little nervous about going heavier than that and messing with my back. I partnered up with Connor and Michael, and they both seemed far better at any of this than me. We worked up to the 395 lb mark, and I was still feeling good, so I decided to go for it and push past the 400 lb mark. Soon, we were moving past both of their PRs as well, and were all pretty excited about it. We kept going and all three of us tapped out at 455 lbs that day. I think that was the moment when a lot of things started to click for me in terms of confidence and encouraged me to start pushing myself harder.

    While I still need to conquer the elusive muscle up, I have made quite a bit of progress in other areas. I’m trying to focus on improving my technique with double unders and hand stand pushups. In addition, I’m working to make sure I’m prepared for my first competition at Battle of the Boxes. After watching from the sidelines from the past two years, I decided it’s time to participate. I’m really looking forward to it.

    There’s so many favorite moments choose from – I get really happy watching people hit a new PR or finally get the hang of something they’ve been working on for awhile – but I think my favorite recent memory was this past August when a bunch of us from the Breakfast Club decided to participate in the Siesta Key Triathlon just two week prior to the race. It was a physical challenge for us, which we all certainly enjoyed, but I also liked getting a chance to spend a day with Tom, Sarah, Karyn, Matt, Tyler, Rebecca, and Danny. For as much as we’ve bonded in the mornings, when the workout ends, we really only get a few minutes to talk before we have to part ways and get ready for work. So, it was really nice to spend a day with each other at the brewery after we’d spent the morning working hard. I’m pretty sure it won’t be our last adventure as a group.

  • Suzette A

    Two years ago a co-worker introduced me to Paula and we decided to start a 3 month challenge just for VF associates. We started with 6 associates that first challenge and then we were hooked. Five of the original six are still working out together today.

    When I started, I needed a CrossFit dictionary: WOD, EMOM, T2B….What the heck does that mean? The workouts were challenging and I had to modify a lot. With each workout I got better and stronger (it was NEVER easier)! Now I can read the board without a dictionary! It is motivating to work out with friends and co-workers and awesome to see how each of us have progressed. I will say though, I hated burpees from the start and that has not changed!

    My first real achievement was the deadlift. It was unbelievable that I could PR at 225. My favorite achievement was being able to kick up into a handstand.

    I am basically working on everything! Trying to go heavier in weight during WODs or trying a newer more challenging modifications. The one thing I am practicing to achieve is Toes to Bar. I am close!

    I really love the coaches for the motivation and encouragement they give. Especially Kim! But my favorite memories are with my workout friends who have seen me at my worst and my best. They keep me motivated and I will always cherish our time together and those goofy after workout pics.

  • Toby R

    I had been exercising at a local gym since 2014 and I was looking for the next evolution in my fitness journey. I had a friend that was going to CrossFit Jaguar and he said good things so I figured I’d give it a shot. Best decision of my life.

    My first class was the 5:45am class with Coach Melissa. I was also greeted by Coach Pete who gave me a quick rundown of the box. First impression was great people, an attentive and involved coach, and a high intensity workout. Now it feels like a family. I have gotten to know amazing people and be involved in the community. I enjoy the atmosphere the most. The encouragement from the coaches pushes me to be better than my last workout.

    My first achievement I would say I was proud of my power clean and push press at 125 lbs. Coach Kim and Coach Antonio were there to celebrate after. Awesome.

    Overhead squat and double unders are my current focus.

    My favorite Jaguar memory was when I was doing my On-ramp and learning how to hang clean. Coach Dan was teaching us his magnificent dolphin technique. It was funny and definitely made CrossFit fun.


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