Leslie’s Journey

Insight to some of the hero’s you will be inspired by at Bedlam.

I have struggled with my weight for the past decade. I tried many types of exercise and various diets. I would find small short-term success, but nothing lasting, and eventually I would return to where I began. I started at Bedlam CrossFit in July 2014, and the last 10 months has completely changed my life. My body is not only physically healthier and stronger, but my outlook on life more positive. My success can really be attributed to the positive culture that exists at Bedlam.


From the first day, I was greeted by attentive coaches that met the needs of my fitness level. I thought I needed to “get in shape’ before starting CrossFit, but that was not the case. Coach John Austin Emmons and Coach Brian Zigrang were the coaches I worked with most when I first started. They modified movements, distances, or amounts of repetitions. They set me up to succeed from the beginning so that I would not get discouraged and quit. As I got stronger, those modifications became fewer. Coach JA was always positive about my abilities, and Coach Zigrang always pushed me to try more than I thought I could do. He always tells me not to be afraid to fail – that it is the only way to get better. It would seem impossible to me at first, but when I proved to myself that I could actually do it, my confidence was built up, and it helped challenge me. The more I worked, the more improvement I saw, and in turn, the more I WANTED to work. As time went on I worked with various coaches, and no matter who the coach is that you work with – they are ALL knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and genuinely care about the success of each member. That is a huge motivating factor.

In addition to the workouts, Coach JA spent a lot of time with me at the beginning talking about proper nutrition. I’d never really had that guidance before. Despite the intense workouts, I would not have been as successful as I have been without changing my mindset about food. He took the time to really teach me what I need to eat to properly fuel my body. The changes in my daily diet definitely fast tracked my success.

Bedlam doesn’t just have amazing coaches, the members quickly become like family. They are always supportive, motivating, and friendly. They support you inside the gym and care about you outside of the gym as well. I’ve developed many great friendships through Bedlam.

10 months of work. 62 pounds and 4 sizes lost. Muscle gained. All positives. But the physical changes are just the result of the positive culture of Bedlam. Bedlam is a place where you WANT to be, where you WANT to work hard, and because of that, Bedlam is the place where you WILL have success.

Leslie C. Fitness Journey Update – May 2016
In June of 2015 my fitness journey took a new path. Being a teacher with the summer off gave me more time, so in addition to class WODs, I began doing private coaching sessions with Mitchell Bolivar 3 times a week.  I signed up for 2 competitions (one in June and one in August) so I had motivation to train and prepare. I wanted to get stronger and continue to lose weight, but also become more proficient with OLY and gymnastic skills. Also (whether I wanted it or not), my conditioning needed improvement as well. Doing private sessions gave me personalized attention towards my specific goals and accelerated my progress.  I thought my first year of CrossFit was rough, but over the course of the summer, Mitchell worked me HARD! When someone is right there with you – slowing down or quitting when it gets tough is not an option. Through this intense work, in addition to the physical progress, I also became mentally stronger. Every day was challenging, but every day I survived. I proved to myself over and over that I was capable of more than I thought. By the end of the summer I saw huge progress on everything, so even though I had to go back to work, I wanted to continue with the individualized path. In September 2015, we switched from private coaching to individual program design. Mitchell created programming for me to complete on my own that was still geared towards accomplishing my specific goals. Over the last 8 months, again there has been significant progress. Mitchell’s programming has grown and changed right along with me, and although the design is his, Mitchell always listens and reflects on my ideas and input. He is as dedicated to my goals and journey as I am and I would not be where I am now without his patience, guidance, and care. So, here I am 1 year later. 78 total pounds lost now. Even more muscle gained. Every lift performed heavier, skills increased, and have developed an engine that performs more proficiently. I’ve come to know myself well and I am better at acknowledging my strengths. But one thing hasn’t changed – Bedlam is still the place filled with people I love that motivate and push me, and Bedlam is still the place I want to be. Also, got my first PULL-UP and TOES-2-BAR.
Leslie C.


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