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.

  • Nick M

    My wife needed intense training for an important physical exam coming up the following months. So, I decided to give her all the support that I could. We didn’t know what to expect, so I decided to join her in this new journey and train as hard as her to accomplish her goals. After doing some research, we decided to join CrossFit Jaguar and we haven’t left since.

    At first we didn’t know what to expect, we were very hesitant (since we have not done anything like that before… I mean high intensity workouts and weightlifting) but thankfully we started our classes with all the basic fundamental knowledge needed to begin our process. That was very important because as a beginner you can be so rusty that you might forget how to run! J/K. Definitely our coaches Justin and Kim have been present along the way, supporting, educating and educating us but most importantly making us believe that we can do it!!

    Achievement…let me think, no doubt about it, I believe is being persistent and positive, training four days a week for several months now is something that I wasn’t looking forward to, but now is part of us, it’s a lifestyle!!! I think that’s the most important achievement. Well there is no need to mention that obviously I have been able to run faster, longer and feeling stronger. Even though sometimes if not all the time I feel like I’m dying. Although I might feel exhausted after the workout, my mind feels extremely satisfied to see that I accomplished another WOD.

    I’m working on my technique and my inner self that sometimes wants to give up, but also I’m doing a serious effort to improve my overall performance. With that I’m sure someday in the near future I can move to the CrossFit classes and have better results.

    My favorite memory… I’m sure it was within my first month of being part of CrossFit jaguar that I had to deal with one of the toughest WOD’s at that time of course. I still remember…500 meter row to warm up, then a long WOD that included weighted walking lunges, snatches, weighted box step ups, running and push ups!!! Everybody finished before me, I felt like I was not going to make it but thanks to all the support not only from Justin and Kim but also from all the fellas who stayed besides me the whole time telling me that I could do it. It took me a long time and I didn’t know how I managed to do my 50 push ups at the end but I did it and the feeling was awesome, obviously I wanted to die again!!!

  • 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.

  • Michael A

    What brought me to CrossFit in the first place? A Groupon. That damn Groupon…gets me every time. Smh.

    Back then: My first impression was “This is a lot more fun than going to the gym for 90 min. You go through the misery of a WOD in a group setting and develop long lasting relationships because of the shared pain/experience. Repeat everyday. I’m in.” How has that changed? Now….it’s the same. Through the injuries, competitions, disappointments, failures, PR’s and personal victories…I honestly still feel the same. I love it. It’s a big part of my health – mentally and physically.

    Back in 2013, I competed in my first CrossFit comp on a whim. I walked up and they had an open spot. I took a water break in the middle of a 6 min WOD (FAIL). I also did 30 unbroken pull-ups in another WOD. Didn’t think I could do that. Finished around 60th out of 70 but had a great time. It was fun to compete and feel the rush of pushing yourself beyond what you thought possible.
    I’m working on my mobility and flexibility more consistently. ROMWOD and post WOD stretching.

    My favorite CF Jaguar memory was the 2015 Battle of the Boxes. A couple of layers. 1) A little side battle/wager developed between Team Border Patrol vs. Team Beauty and the Beast. It was close throughout and was going to come down to the last WOD. We (Team Border Patrol) came out on top in the narrowest of victories. I couldn’t have been any more proud of my teammates and how we pulled together at the end. It was fun and tense but never in a negative way. In the end, we all hugged it out and it was all love…but bragging rights are always sweet!

    2) The driving rain storm could’ve completely derailed this day. All volunteers and staff stayed on task…eyes on the prize….and pulled off a nearly impossible event. Logistically…it should’ve been a disaster but it all came together. Still one of the best run comps I’ve ever been a part of and Crossfit Jaguar as a whole should be proud of that day.

  • Caroline B

    Heart disease has run in my family for many generations so I knew I had to start working out ASAP when I started having minor chest pains back in 2013. I was somewhat overweight; my diet was and my cholesterol count was high for my age. In 2013, my brother and boss started CrossFit and kept asking me to come by and try it out. I started running instead which helped a lot for a couple years then decided it was time to go to the next level in January 2016.

    My first impression was thinking, I can’t wait to lose weight and quit because it was extremely hard. Then my stress level began to decrease and now there is no question about going to CrossFit. It is a part of my everyday routine.

    My first real personal achievement was when I could do Toes to bar. I knew that CrossFit was really working at that time. I am working on weight lifting techniques.

    My favorite memory was our internal Christmas competition in 2016. My partner Lacy and I won 3 rd place in the novice division. I was happy that I could complete all the WODs that were required. It was a good feeling.

  • 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

  • Amanda G

    My father introduced me to CrossFit when he first joined Jaguar a couple years ago. I was always an active person, but I had never lifted weights before coming to the box. My dad had wanted either my mom or I to join him at the box, so I decided to try it and I loved it.

    My initial impression of CrossFit was that it was excessive. I played tennis and did acrobatics when I was younger through high school and didn’t really understand what all the hype was about this Olympic lifting stuff. After giving it a shot, I realize that CrossFit is what you make it for yourself. Weights are also no longer intimidating to me, but a fun way to get stronger. The best part of CrossFit is how supportive everyone is of each other.

    My first achievements were hitting a 200# deadlift and doing a WOD RX for the first time earlier this year. I’m working on pull-ups! I will eventually figure out this kipping thing…

    My favorite Jaguar memory has to be joining my dad for the Jaguar Games. I was hesitant to sign up at first, but I am glad we did. We had a wonderful time competing together in such a great environment against such awesome people.

  • Gabrielle P

    After having my third child early last year, I noticed how incredibly weak I was. While I’ve never been a strong person, I just felt pathetic; there were simple things I couldn’t do by myself and it really aggravated me. About this time last year, I was also 20 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight and figured I needed to do something about that as well. That’s when I started working out at a local gym. Before then, I could probably count how many times I had worked out since high school, which is pretty sad.

    My main goal was to get stronger since that’s what I felt I needed the most help with, I figured losing the extra weight would happen as a result of the strength training. Unfortunately, I didn’t make much progress on my own. I always saw people at a CrossFit gym near me outside doing bad-ass exercises and I thought “I wish I could do things like that!” In January of this year there was a family fitness night at my daughter’s school and I met Paula and Melissa! I also ended up winning a free month from a drawing. It was FATE! That’s where my love for CrossFit began.

    I chose to do CrossFit lite. After my first week at Jaguar I could barely move, my first thought was… “Oh hell no! I have to do all of this to get in shape?!?!” But I did have a whole month free so I stuck it out. By the third week I LOVED it! One of my greatest obstacles with trying to get in shape is just getting there! Coming to Jaguar felt like an appointment that I had to keep so it got me going consistently. I didn’t have to think about planning my workout, all I had to do was show up and someone would tell me what to do.
    After my free month I took a break. I thought “I can do this by myself.” Plus it wasn’t exactly in my budget at that time. Going back to my gym was hard. I had to go back to planning my workout, AND I had to basically fight to get to the ONLY squat rack that was available. After several months of that I was tired of it and I MISSED CrossFit. I missed how great I felt after a workout, it always gave me a sense of accomplishment. I came back to Jaguar in May and have been going one to two times a week since then. Plus, I enrolled my daughter in CrossFit kids so we could both get a good workout.

    My first achievement was feeling comfortable wearing shorts. My legs have more shape than they ever have, and while I still have a lot more work to do, it feels great to feel comfortable in my own skin. I also have a greater sense of self confidence. Finishing a really hard workout or being able to increase the weight I lift makes me feel proud of myself.
    I don’t have anything I’m focusing on now, but I’d like to increase my overall strength. One of my goals is to be able to do a pull-up. I haven’t gotten it yet, but I also haven’t really been focusing on it either. In the near future, I’d like to start going to CrossFit more often to be able to improve quicker.

    My favorite Jaguar memory was volunteering for the Battle of the Boxes 2016. It was inspiring to be around a lot of great athletes; it made me want to improve myself to one day be able to join a CrossFit competition.

  • Nghi L

    A few of my friends (Kevin, Shaina, and Pierce) were already working out at Jag and I saw big results. These guys looked great and I knew I had to do something about my health. I was 36 yrs old, 230lbs, and never worked out a day in my life.

    My first impression of CF was horrible. I came in to do a fitness test of like 20 sit-ups, 20 push ups, and run 400 meters. I remember throwing up and I didn’t come back for months. I eventually came back and it was one the best decisions I’ve ever made. Over the past years I’ve become a lot stronger mentally and physically.

    My first achievement would have to be doing unbroken double unders. I remember trying for so long that I got shin splints.
    I’m still working on my mental game. I’m constantly doubting myself. I’m trying to work on approaching WODs with a more positive attitude. My favorite memory was competing in my first CF competition at Battle of the Boxes this year.

  • 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.

  • Stephanie L

    I started Crossfit about 7 1/2 years ago. I was looking for a change in my already (what I thought was vigorous) packed workout regime. I was running, doing group classes at a gym and really getting bored.

    I fell in love with CF right away! I loved the diversity of the workouts and I loved how I could push my body to places I never dreamed of. I saw other women doing things that I REALLY wanted to do. I was hooked and loved the changes that I saw in my body and mind.
    My impressions of CF have not changed all that much. What has changed is what I can still do. I am 47 and realized it was time to start listening to my body more and treat it with a little more care. I am still very active at CF Jaguar but I have changed my workouts to better suit my needs.

    Everything was my first achievement!!! I think when I was able to my pull ups without a band and deadlifting over 200 lbs.
    I am currently working on building my strength. I still believe that I have more in me as far as weight load is concerned. I am using a program called Jacked Street that focuses mostly on strength. I am a CrossFitter at heart and do occasionally do a WOD as a reminder of how it feels to get my ass kicked and keep up with the 20 somethings!

    Every time I am in the box I am creating memories. I love my training partners and I love the CF community at Jag. Favorite memories probably include the support and confidence I get from others who are training. We push each other to new PR’s and new techniques. I am so blessed and proud to be a part of this box. I truly can’t imagine my life without these people and CrossFit/Jacked Street.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Brea C

    I started CrossFit because globo gym wasn’t cutting it for me anymore. Two of my friends had been suggesting for years that I give it a try, and I was finally ready to listen. I really wanted to be challenged in the gym and was over running on a treadmill like a hamster!
    My first impression of CrossFit was that it was going to be a really fun challenge…. But that has changed because it has become so much more. I can confidently say that CrossFit will always have a place in my life!

    My first achievement in CrossFit was going from being able to do 1 strict pull up when I started, to 10 strict pull ups six months in. It was also a huge achievement when I was finally able to string double unders together, after weeks of shin splints from practicing way too much! Right now, I’m still working on recovering from knee surgery in January and my next goal will be getting my gymnastic skills to a level that I can be a competitive athlete at local competitions.

    My favorite Jaguar memory is doing Battle of the Boxes with Derien and Connor last year. It was a huge leap out of my comfort zone to be on a team with people I didn’t know very well, but I’m so glad I did it, because I gained two friends I will have for a lifetime!


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