Shana Boyle

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Shana is a Florida girl through and through. She was born in Vero Beach and grew up in Jensen Beach. An interesting fact about her is that she have a twin sister. Growing up, she dabbled in some sports, but honestly was never really an athlete, in all reality she was a band nerd in high school. She's always kept active doing something, whether it was running, golf, mountain biking, or going to the gym. After high school, she moved to Gainesville, FL for college and earned her Ph.D. in Pediatric Psychology. Gainesville is where she also met a strapping young lad named Geoff Boyle. They actually met at American Eagle, where they both worked part-time jobs. They got married in 2013 and she dragged him to Delaware for 2 years where she finished her psychology residency and fellowship at Nemours. During that time, they added their first-born to the family; Radar Adam Boyle. He is a pit mix and is often mistaken for the "Target" dog. Fast forward, and here they are back in Florida now with a 2-year-old daughter Avery. She's still working for Nemours as a psychologist and love what she does!

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You recently completed a full cycle of Barbell Club. What was your interest/reasoning to try it out and what did you learn/gain from it?
I had been thinking about joining Barbell Club for quite some time before taking the plunge. I'll be honest- I was intimidated. I sort of told myself, "I need to get better at CrossFit before doing barbell."  As I continued with CrossFit, I noticed that I was being challenged by coaches and members to lift more weight (in an encouraging way). I also noticed that I was stuck. I was trying to "muscle" a lot of lifts, and I was hitting a wall. I also was sacrificing form for time. So, that's when I decided that the only way I am going to improve my lifts is going back to square one and taking the time to learn the fundamentals. I also needed to learn to stop comparing the weight on my bar with others. I would highly recommend barbell club to ANYONE- whether you are new or a seasoned athlete. Yee was so incredibly helpful, patient, and encouraging. She is spot on with her feedback. Before barbell, I was intimidated by lifting. It really helped improve my strength and confidence. I am definitely applying what I learned in Barbell to WODs.

You have a sweet little girl Avery and a full time job, how do you manage your time to be consistent with the gym and still do everything else you need to do?
I'm sure a lot of us can relate- but it is hard (and sometimes impossible) to balance parenting, work, and the gym. Our family has a bit of a routine during the week, which helps. I am grateful to have a partner who also is invested in fitness. There are definitely sacrifices we have to make, but we also realize that the gym is sort of our time to decompress and work on our health. When Avery gets to join, it's always fun. It's really awesome having such supportive and family-friendly people in the gym who are looking out for us if we need an extra hand.

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Who wins more workouts, you or Geoff?
Do you think Geoff actually had a shoulder injury? I think he just needed an excuse.

I saw you recently booked some flights to Europe for a big trip. Is traveling something you've always done, or wish you could do more?
Yes, we just booked a summer trip to Paris and London! We rarely get a chance to travel with our work schedules and now with being parents. This will actually be our first vacation since our honeymoon 5 years ago (during which there was a tropical storm). It is something we have always wanted to do! We've already looked up CrossFit Gyms. We are officially brainwashed.

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Who in your life is somebody you aspire to be like and why?
Geoff is probably going to hate me for this, but I actually aspire to be a lot like him. He has so much patience and is the most humble person I know. He also has a very competitive nature and is always looking for ways to better himself. I also aspire to be like my dog- a life of spoon-fed peanut butter and naps around the clock.

What are some hobbies you enjoy either personally or with the family?
Aside from Crossfit, I love going to the beach and pool when I can. I also love to check out new restaurants, breweries, and markets/festivals around town. I have a MAD sweet tooth, and so I also have to say ice cream is a solid hobby of mine. 

I saw that you registered to compete in a local event coming up in February. What made you want to sign up?
You're right- I just signed up for my first ever competition- the CF904 Valentine's Day Massacre! Geoff did Rep Your Box this past year, and he really seemed to enjoy it. After watching him and other friends compete, I told myself I would do a competition some day. I am really excited, but also a little nervous. I feel like I am at the point where I won't make a total fool of myself, so why not?

You have really come a long way since training with us. I know there's so much more growth we will see over time but we wanted to acknowledge you and your efforts in the gym. Do you have any closing thoughts or comments you'd like to share?
Coming from another awesome gym (shoutout to NorthJax CrossFit) and still being relatively new to CrossFit, I am just so thankful that we have found a home at SoFit Athletics. The community is really something special. I am constantly challenged every time I step foot in the gym. I hate that CrossFit sometimes gets a "bad rap." I think our gym embodies what CrossFit is all about- improving health, encouraging and motivating each other to be better, and having fun while doing it. I really appreciate all the coaches and members who have made me and my family feel welcome. I have made a lot of gains since starting in June and am excited to set new goals for this year!

George Roland

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George grew up as a military kid. His father was in army intelligence and worked in an underground snoop facility in Germany. They lived in Europe until he was seven years old and then moved back to the states to a small town in southern Georgia. George was an only child and played basketball in high school until he realized he was the same height as Michael Jordan, who was in his prime at that time, and the realization came that Ihe was only an okay basketball player, so his efforts would be better spent focusing on academics. George went to high school in Bainbridge, Georgia, just north of Tallahassee. He wanted to go into the military when he was younger, but because of a bad motorcycle accident and being the last male Roland in his family, the military was not an option. He started college at the local college in Bainbridge and that is where he met Dawn. After a couple of dates, they knew that we wanted to get married. Because they would be attending schools in different states, they agreed to get their degrees first and then get married. At the time, they did not realize that would be a 5 ½ year process. George and Dawn have been married for 21 years. Since the town where he went to high school was within 90 miles of Florida State University, they accepted him as an in-state resident, and he got a BS and MS in civil engineering from there. George has worked for the same company, Kimley-Horn and Associates, for over 21 years, and now is a part owner.

How long have you been doing CrossFit and who/what originally got you started?
This is a long answer for a short question but I think the details are important. As mentioned above, I was in a bad motorcycle accident when I was 14 years old. I was hit by a drunk driver car that came over a hill on the wrong side of the road. It took over two years before I was able to walk on my own. I had a lot of injuries, and I died on the emergency room surgery table for a short period of time. Because of what had to be done to bring me back to life and because of severe concussions, I how to endure surgery without pain medication. This was definitely a life changing event. In learning to walk again, I did the rehab when I had to, but I would not do it when I could get away with it. Bad move on my part.  Fast forward to later in life, approximately four years ago, I had been having back pain for about two years, and I was in the process of getting ready to look into back surgery. Issues from the accident were starting to manifest. I work with Wendy Krehbiel, who along with her husband Josh own Crossfit 904. She knew about my back pain and invited me to come work out and see if we could mitigate the pain with exercise. I owe her a great debt because it worked. The reason I think the details are important in this question is that I had plenty of excuses I could have used not to start working out. Was I scared to start CrossFit? Sure, but going under a knife was scarier. This is why I am always smiling and laughing. I know it can always be worse.

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Recently you've hit a number of goals and PR's. Is this just improvement over time or what do you feel like you have been doing lately to see some improvements in your fitness?
This is a great question that I have not really thought about. Until you had us set a movement goal, I had not purposefully set any goals with working out. I really thought about why I have hit the goals and PR’s, and I kept coming back to the Thursday upper body focused workouts. They are not fun but they have had a dramatic difference on my upper body strength and that has helped with the improvements. You have been providing these classes for several months and the results have really come on in the last few weeks. I believe everyone should be doing this particular class.

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I remember hearing that on the side you really enjoy GORUCK. Can you tell us how you got started doing those and how many you have done to date?
At CrossFit 904, a member over there was in the Navy and wanted to do a GORUCK event. A group of us agreed to do it with him. I had been doing CrossFit for about a year and wanted to see if it had paid off. Plus, it is put on by members of the special forces and that has always been an interest of mine. I have done four different events. If you want to see if you are mentally tough, this is the event for you. You can’t out-train what the Cadre has in store for you and after 14 hours of being put through different scenarios, you really start having a frank discussion with yourself. What got me through to the end was knowing that I was doing this for one day, and the men and women who protect us do this every day. I have the utmost respect for the men and women who serve. The events have taught me that it can always be worse than what you are experiencing at that moment. The other major thing GORUCK and my grandfather have taught me is that quitting is never an option. The are many times, usually most of the time, I am the last to finish the workout. That has never been an issue for me in that if I finish I win the mental game, and that is what is most important.

Growing up did you have any inspiring people or mentors that offered you some life lessons you still apply today, or do you have anyone in your life currently that you see in that way?
My grandfather has always been my mentor and life coach. He turned 92 on December 5, 2017. He taught me that being a good mentor is not telling someone what to do but to show them how you would approach the issue, what factors you would look at, and how you would process the information. He taught me never to ask a question that I was not ready for the answer. The final thing I will pass on is probably the hardest to put into practice. He taught me that you always do what is right, even if you disagree or don’t want to. If you do this, you will always be able to look in the mirror and be proud of the person you are without regret.

One of the Cadres at GORUCK made a statement that has stuck with me for several years. In answering a question about how civilians can help support the military, Cadre Garrett said, “Just be an American worth dying for.” The answer was only seven words but if you truly think about the answer, it is deeply rich.

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When did your love for FSU start and would you say you're one of their biggest fans?
The love of FSU didn’t start until I knew I was going to go to school there. Since then, I have been a true fan and supporter. I don’t know if I am their biggest fan, but I do bleed garnet and gold.

What advice would you give to people intimidated in starting CrossFit or any fitness program that you either wish you knew when you started or benefits that came you didn't anticipate?
I believe the best advice to someone wanting to start CrossFit is not to YouTube it or watch the CrossFit games. What you will be watching is such a small percentage of the people who actually do CrossFit. They should walk into the gym and watch actual normal people doing the workouts. They will see that CrossFit can meet you where you are and then you can grow.  There will always be an excuse not to start, and the hardest part is actually driving to the gym. The greatest benefit of CrossFit is the people you get to meet and work out with at the gym. Everyone seems to enjoy working out with each other. I guess the adage misery loves company is true.

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We really appreciate you as a person and having you around the gym. It's an added benefit that you work hard and we're happy you have achieved a few milestones (so far) in being with us. Do you have any parting comments or thoughts you'd like to add?
Dawn and I really appreciate what you and Reuben are doing with the gym. You really work hard to meet people where they are and then you incrementally push them at the pace they are comfortable with moving. I have done movements this year that I had written off as ones that I would not try. We are excited to see how much more the gym grows and the great things that you have in store for the members.

Kory Chaumley

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Kory Chaumley was born in Pontiac, Michigan which is 10 minutes outside Detroit, Michigan. He has 5 brothers and 3 sisters and comes from a sports fanatic family.  The 4 boys on his dad’s side were named after great sports athletes. David (Dave Bing), Orlando Jerome (OJ... you know) and Kory, Kurence Ali (Muhammed Ali). Kory played sports all his life but he never lifted weights until he was 25. He volunteered with inner city youth and didn’t want them to beat him up because he was so skinny, so he trained like a bodybuilder for about 10 years. He loved lifting but stopped because he stopped working with youth back in 2013. Kory is an avid snowboarder. and he travels out west once a year, twice if he's lucky, to hit the slopes. He works as a computer professional but is not a "nerd" by any stretch. We asked Kory some questions to dig a little deeper into his goals and success with CrossFit, here's what he had to say.

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What or who made you originally want to try CrossFit?
I started back lifting as well as meal prepping about 100 days before I tried CrossFit.  After finishing a 90 days program, I didn’t have the motivation to take the next step in the program.  I’d seen footage of past CrossFit games and I thought they were pretty strong and it seemed to have a competitive element to it.  So, I found the nearest Box which was SoFit and came in.  I met John and he chatted with me.  I also met Rodney; he told me how much weight he lost and my son and I were blown away.   

What were some goals you had initially coming in?
I was approaching the big Four-Oh and I wanted a six pack for the first time since I was 18 in college.  All the CrossFit games athletes had them so I said maybe this will keep me motivated.  

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Who are you outside the gym?
My son takes up a huge part of my life.  He lives in Orlando so my commute to get him eats up a huge chunk of my time.  We travel out west together for snowboard trips.  I used to be a public figure in Michigan so I enjoy not having anything to do and going places without people recognizing me.  So, privacy is what I enjoy the most.  

Who is someone who inspires you?
I’m inspired by anyone who is willing to take risks.  People inspire me who don’t allow fear to stop them from completing their goals.  People who will not give up no matter how hard things get motivate me as well.  

What is something you're afraid of?
I have a common fear that I don’t trust people with because its easily manipulated.  But if I get to know you and know you will not try to play tricks on me then I’ll tell you. 

How do you find the time or make the time to be consistent every week?
A person told me that “You cannot succeed without an obsession”.  The obsession with CrossFit as a sport causes me to make time no matter how inconvenient it is.  Another motivation is that I don’t want to continue to scale all the time.  I know I’m older than others but that doesn’t mean I must use that as a crutch.  I’ve been coming enough that I should get closer to what you prescribe more than scale.  I need to continue to improve and gain the techniques I need to be a respected CrossFit athlete.  

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I know you recently got a Bar Muscle Up and I saw you squat 235 for reps on the pause squat day. What are some other accomplishments you're proud of and what are some movements or milestones you have your sights on?
What I’m proud of is the days I am not dying after the workouts.  For the first few months, every workout I thought I was going to die.  I was breathing so hard. Now that only happens half the time so I know I’m getting fitter. 

I have a huge problem with mobility.  I broke my leg and severely injured my ankle many years ago and I have very limited mobility in my right ankle.  It makes it hard on overhead squats and front squats.  So, I would love to overcome that so I can start seriously working on Snatches and those moves where great mobility is required.  Also, I need to learn how to do double-unders.

We really enjoy and appreciate you as a member. You come in, work hard, listen, are consistent and always have a great attitude. Do you have any closing thoughts or comments you would like to add?
I just want to say that SoFit is a Top Notch, Premium CrossFit Box.  You and Ruben are excellent coaches.  The more experienced members are great in encouragement and they are your second set of eyes on us.  I’ve visited a few boxes in Orlando and they are nowhere near the quality of SoFit.  You guys coach everyone no matter their skill level so I always feel safe no matter what we’re doing.  People have given CrossFit a bad name.  They say it’s dangerous and this and that.  I think it’s because there aren’t coaches like you guys everywhere.  I also want to thank everyone who is so nice and cool to me there.

Amalia Suarez

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Amalia was born in Bogota, Columbia and lived there for most of her life. She is the oldest of three (one brother and one sister) and was very big into family growing up. After High School Amalia went to design school for clothing and soon after met her husband. Through work, Amalia and her husband left Columbia and moved to New York where she spent three years. She has always been into working out but not necessarily sports, she just enjoys being healthy. After a short stint in New York her and her husband moved to Jacksonville FL where she found SoFit Athletics. Amalia primarily speaks spanish but still wanted to join the gym and see what CrossFit was all about.

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When you joined the gym, what made you feel comfortable enough after fundamentals to actually be a member, especially one that primarily spoke Spanish?
When I came into the gym for the first time people were very friendly to me. Even though I don't speak much english and most of them don't speak spanish they would still try to help me and would say hi to me. It made me feel comfortable and Ruben and Ryan also worked hard to make me feel comfortable.

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What are some things you enjoy doing outside the gym?
I like to go to the beach, restaurants and to travel around. Jacksonville is a very peaceful place and I enjoy the nice weather here compared to New York which was very cold, and people weren't as friendly as they are here.

What's your favorite restaurant?
I like Ruby Tuesday because of the Salad Bar. I like to eat healthy.

Do you have any quotes or phrases of inspiration that you live by?
I am a Christian so I use the Bible to give me strength especially in being away from my family. I really like Philippians 4:13 which says "I can do all things from Christ who gives me strength."

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What are some things that you have liked about SoFit Athletics?
I have worked out at a lot of different places and it got so boring riding on a bike or elliptical for an hour and then lifting weights alone. This gym feels like a family and I like the competitiveness in the gym that pushes me. I have a lot of fun when I'm there and it works the entire body. I am sad that I have to leave.

You have been a real inspiration to us. You came in to a new place not speaking the same language a majority of the people in it, but you trusted us to be able to help you. We really appreciate the opportunity to work with you and that you gave to us to help us grow as coaches. We're sad to hear you're moving but only wish the best for you! Do you have anything in closing that you would like to say?
The gym has been one of my favorite places to go and it feels like a family to me. I am really going to miss it and am sad I have to leave. Thank you to everybody for being so friendly and thank you to Ruben and Ryan for working with me!

Zack Haygood

Zack is originally from Tampa, FL but spent some time living overseas as well. In high school he was big into basketball, traveling up and down the east coast playing in tournaments and out of state schools. After high school he went on to college in South Carolina, but got bored and joined the Army where he spent the next 8 years as an Infantryman at Fort Drum, NY. Currently, he is a Financial Analyst for MGA, but recently got accepted to a position in D.C. with the Capital Police. 


This has been a big year for you. Can you tell us about some goals you have achieved recently?
This has definitely been a crazy year. This year I was able to compete more than ever, received my MBA from Liberty University, and most importantly, tried a ton of donut shops.


Competition seems to be something you enjoy very much about CrossFit. What can you tell people that don't compete the importance of potentially entering a local competition one day?
In the words of the late Shia Labeouf, "Do it!" Competition brings out the best in you and shows where improvements can be made. Don't worry if you don't think you'll win, that's not the point. Get out and push yourself. You might just be surprised at what you can do.


What's your favorite Donut Shop?
Hands down Donnies Donuts in Daytona Beach. Pretty sure it's the stuff unicorns are made from.


Why are you trying to ruin a good thing and move somewhere else?!
I've always loved D.C., and who doesn't love a new adventure?!
 

When you leave and enter local competitions in other places, are you going to fly Taylor to visit so she can do all the weightlifting portions of the event?
Absolutely! You don't expect me to lift anything heavy do you? The first team competition we did, the judge told me to just stand there and let her do all the lifts!

If you had a billboard that you couldn't use for advertising, what would you want it to say?
Look in the mirror. That's your competition.

What do you think you'll miss most about Jacksonville?
Honestly, the gym. Hands down the best group of people I've ever known. I've been to many gyms, but none have been as great of friends and community as it is here. 
 

The world wants to know... what's realllly going on with you and Taylor???
That's my donut partner in crime. We know how to push each other to bring out our bestin one another.

We're really sad to see you go but wish you the best of luck. We'll continue your billing cycle in your memory and incase you ever decide to come back. Do you have any final thoughts, comments or words of encouragement?
Thank you for everything over the past year. I've learned so much from all the coaches and have learned to push myself harder because I don't want Jen or Charity to yell at me. The biggest thing that I can say is to have fun, stick with it, eat a donut, and do it again the next day.