Archives for Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight: Clifton Goins


“At a 30 thousand foot level, CrossFit is the best fitness modality that I could have found…ever. Having said that, I feel like CrossFit found me as I searched for a way to capitalize on losing 100 lbs. There are so many of those stories in CrossFit and stories like that kept finding their way to me…

I’ve never been a natural athlete – anything I’ve ever been good at has come with significant effort – so I WOD 5 days a week where on most days the programming kicks my tail. In spite of that I am a devotee, period. A devotee of CrossFit, CrossFit South Bank and of my coaches. They know my goals, they never let me get away with less than 100% effort, or perfect form.

You may think thats commonplace but I’ve dropped in and worked out with several affiliates and have discovered how very exceptional Jeff and Lisa are. The longer I’m a member of CFSB the luckier I feel.

Objectively (when I’m not being incredibly hard on myself) I have progressed. I’m able to do more “in the suck” – I am learning to pace myself – and I am getting stronger. I’m seeing the value in the little things like mobility, crossover symmetry and the integration of more cardio.

Most of all, I am learning patience, that CrossFit is a journey and the incredible value of coaches who call BS on you when you’re focused on the wrong stuff. I am a CrossFitter for life and I freaking love it!”

Member Spotlight – Courtney Martin


Courtney is one of our Foundation members and has been with CFSB from very early on! Courtney is passionate about our community and makes sure the 5:30pm class is never boring. Keep up the great work Courtney!

“One day I saw the Reebok Crossfit commercial and thought “ no way in h*ll could I do that “ but deep down I wanted to do it. I had my usual everyday work out routine at a local gym and it worked for me. Then my trainer moved away and I quit going to the gym for 8 months. I gained weight and lost all the muscle I worked so hard to get. I have never liked working out alone and needed something I could do with others. I tried different bootcamps and they were ok but not what I was looking for. Then Coach Jeff came into my office to visit his brother in law and I was introduced to Crossfit once again. After about another month of doing nothing I decided to give it a try and see just what it was all about. Crossfit Southbank had just opened and was offering a week free to try Crossfit. I talked a co-worker into trying it with me……if I was gonna die I didn’t want to die alone lol….. I will never forget my frist crossfit work out …….. TABATA!!!! Coach Lisa was my coach and I did tabata wall balls, sit ups and push ups. There was no in between for me or debate. I was immediately hooked and haven’t looked back since. I have met so many great friends as well as persuaded some old ones to join me in my Crossfit journey. I love everything about crossfit and what it has done for me. I have never felt better physically and each time I put the bar in my hands I only get stronger. Crossfit has pushed me further physically than I could ever imagine and I am grateful for that. I am grateful for my Crossfit family as well, they are truly the best part about walking through those doors everyday. So I guess you can say I drank the Kool-aid and it was more than just a glass!”



CFSB Member Kelly Robinson gives a great account of her first 6 months at CFSB!

“Before joining CFSB 6 months ago, I was a “regular” at a local
healthclub. I was doing the same classes and routines 2 hrs per day
3-4 times per week and thought I was in moderately good shape. I did,
however, hit a plateau in my physical fitness and overall
energy level about a year ago.

Last summer my husband, Chris, came home and said that he was going to
try out Crossfit. I was so excited for him because I had been wanting
him to take up some type of workout routine so he could gain some
energy and have a place to de-stress. He came home from his first day
at crossfit and looked liked he was going to die! I thought ,” now
reallly, it can’t be that bad!” I’m the one that had been working out
for the past 2 yrs, so surely it wasn’t that crossfit was so
challenging; it had to have been because he was so out of shape,
right?! Well, let me just say that when I joined a couple of months
later and came home from that first day, I thought I was going to die!
That’s all it took to hook me! From then on, I wasn’t at the gym
for 2 hrs a day and yet I felt like I had done a total body workout.
My core was being worked like it had never seen before! I was getting
sore, getting toned, getting strong, getting sweaty and I LOVED IT!

Thru crossfit, I have never felt more challenged or more excited to
hit the gym! I love how each day is a different workout and plan. I
don’t look up the WOD before I go because I like the surprise of
it…or maybe it’s because I might talk myself out of going if it’s a
tuffy! Seriously, with the encouragement of the coaches and fellow
members, I have never pushed my body to do the things I ever thought
was possible. The changes I see in my stamina, strength, and musculature are
amazing to me. I’ve seen muscles appear in places I didn’t know I
had….especially the ones you see in anatomy books but don’t actually
think they exist on you! Ha!

The thing that I would tell anyone considering crossfit is that you
just have to start. Get thru day 1 ( hell day), then day 2, then week
3 gets better, then month 4 gets better and so on. Why not start a
workout regimen that is different everyday and exciting…gone are the
days of the boring biceps curl and step aerobics ( not to offend
anyone who still loves that!) You just have to be persistent and stay

At CFSB it feels like one big family. I appreciate the friendly
greeting from the coaches and other members when you walk in the
doors. Everybody in there is at a different physical level, but it
feels like we all are stiving for the same goal! Thanks, CFSB”

Member Spotlight! Marjorie Broussard


I joined CFSB last summer and I have to admit I did so mostly out of curiosity, since my neighbor Lisa was one of the owners I decided to “check it out” one Friday afternoon, I was very pleased with the group class concept and was “hooked on” from the beginning since it’s nothing like a “regular gym”. I have never being athletic growing up, but for the past 3 years I’ve started running mostly to loose the “baby weight” after my last pregnancy and mostly running on the treadmill at home (Boring! with capital B) I had just completed my first 10K race and was inspired to continue to bring my running to “the next level” and I knew I needed cross-training and I have to say crossfit was the missing piece in “my” puzzle. As a busy full time physician and mother of two I do not have 2 hours a day to devote to my daily workout but I can definitely “squeeze” an hour most days of the week and CrossFit gives me that high intensity full body workout I was looking for.

Then I joined CFSB Endurance program and that has brought my running to a whole and “exciting” new level, as I was recently able to complete my first half marathon in less than 2 hours and cut my 5K race time by over 3 minutes (sweet!) Now the sky is the limit!
Now don’t get me wrong, the first WODs(Workout of the day) were challenging, specially the Olympic lifts, since I had no power-lifting background ; at the beginning I was only able to make most of the lifts with an empty bar (that is the 15 pounds one folks! yikes!) but only 6 months later and with the careful supervision of our great coaches I can death-lift more than my body weight, push-press over 40 pounds and able to complete unassisted pull ups and push ups; my overall fitness level has grown exponentially in a very short period of time and that translates in an overall feeling of well-being that I was missing for many years.

But the “cherry on top” of it all is the wonderful people I have met, the new friends I’ve made and the sense of community of our “box”; We do yoga together, we do fund-raising workouts, we get educated on nutrition and injury prevention, we run races as a team. We all have different levels of skills and fitness but we all encourage and push each other on every WOD to do the best we can…and more.
Thanks to my wonderful coaches and fellow athletes at CFSB I can lead other professional mothers in our community by example “Yes, you can work full time and be fit after 35 and still have enough time to spend with your families and friends!”
Thanks Jeff and Lisa for helping me give my family a happier and healthier super mommy!

January Member Spotlight! India Vermaelen

A regular at 5am – India is always up the challenge of the daily WOD! Keep it up India!


“I joined Crossfit South Bank last spring with a group of friends. I don’t think I would have ever joined on my own. I was intimidated and I knew it would help to join with those familiar to me who offered encouragement and motivation. Since I have been at South Bank I have continued to be surrounded by people who offer encouragement, motivation and drive. All members are at different levels and they all challenge and inspire me every day. We are all trying to be better versions of our self. And the coaches are there to help us achieve our goals – they are knowledgeable and caring. They believe in me, they teach me, they push me.”

“I have played tennis for several years and I can see how Crossfit has benefited my game – my agility, speed, and endurance have all improved. I can also see the benefits of Crossfit in the way my clothes fit, which is always a nice perk!”

“I am not the strongest or the fastest, by far. I have to scale many of the WODS but I know that I am stronger and faster than I was when I first walked through the door at Crossfit. And I know that I will continue to get stronger and faster. And for that I am proud and thankful.”


Member Spotlight Returns! Patty Starkey is amazing and we are so pleased she gave CFSB a shot. You surely make us smile Patty so thank you for being such a positive part of our community!

“I have been working out for years trying to lose weight, gain muscle tone, and increase my energy. I tried several different types of workouts, along with calorie counting, only to become more discouraged and frustrated at the lack of results I was getting. My doctor told me that weight gain and loss of energy were normal due to my age and stage of life. I knew I didn’t have to accept “normal”, that there was something out there that could help me reach my goals. I didn’t want to give up.

My daughter suggested I try Crossfit, but from what I had heard and seen, it looked intimidating. As a 51 year old, non-athlete, I thought Crossfit was only for young athletic and competitive people. I am proof that is not true! One day I decided to go check it out, and I haven’t stopped going since. From the first day, I was treated like part of the CFSB family. Everyone was so welcoming. It didn’t take long to become hooked. It’s been one of the best decisions I have made for my health. The workouts are challenging and sometimes exhausting, but I always leave feeling stronger. The coaches have been extremely helpful and encouraging. They always push me to give my max effort but will scale the workouts if something is too difficult. After months of going, I have completed workouts that I never would have dreamed of doing before. I have truly seen a difference in body and energy!

Shortly after joining CFSB, I began the Paleo diet. This new way of eating, coupled with the intense workouts, has impacted my life in a drastic way. Since I started, I have lost 10 pounds and dropped 3 pants sizes. A friend recently told me, “You are a walking advertisement for Crossfit”. I know that I’m healthier than I have ever been and my friends are noticing a difference in me. After years of unsuccessful workout programs, I’m finally reaching goals that seemed impossible to achieve. Crossfit and Paleo have helped me feel better than I have ever felt. It’s no longer just working out for me, it’s an addiction! I plan on being a part of CFSB as long as it’s around!”

Our Athlete of the Month is now Member Spotlight! Look for even more frequent posts about our amazing members. We are so proud of what each of you is accomplishing at CFSB. The best is yet to come for all of us!

Chris Naalbandian’s journey at CFSB began earlier this year with a simple goal. But for him it has become so much more. Read what Chris has to say:


What does Crossfit mean to me?

Crossfit began as a way to help me quit smoking. It was my after work stress reliever that would help me quit the big desire to have that cigarette, but after a crossfit workout it felt that if I went and started smoking a cigarette the entire workout would have gone to waste.

I did not have any goals set when I started. I just went Monday through Friday and that was it for me. I didn’t realize how deep the sport of crossfit went and where it would take me.

Quitting smoking became a part of the past. I came to realize that it wasn’t just smoking that was destroying my body. It wasn’t smoking … it was my lifestyle. I decided that from that day on – my body and my health – would be my priority.

Whole 30 went by, I began obsessing over eating clean and adapted to Paleo, and crossfit began to become my addiction. I craved it. Going once a day was not enough for me. Thoughts of possibly competing in the future and making it more than a day to day activity are set in my sights.

Crossfit to me is not just an activity … its not a hobby that I do once a day. Crossfit has become more of a lifestyle. Discipline, dedication, perseverance, ability to keep going and not letting pain be the reason for quitting … Are a few things crossfit has taught me not to just become a better athlete. Its made me a better person, a harder worker, a better father. These are things that going to a gym simply cannot accomplish.

What does CFSB mean to me?

Southbank is a very unique. It’s not full of beginners. And its also not full of veteran athletes. It has a special mixture from top to bottom. Never have I once felt that I wasn’t good enough to be in the gym. In fact I was pushed to my limit to where I realized I was good enough, but that I was even better than I thought. I have watched myself grow. Get stronger. Get faster. And I have been able to do so along side my coaches and along side everyone who has slowly started to become more of a family to me than just someone I worked out with. We go through our ups and downs together. We pick each other up when were down, we push each other, we want nothing but the best for each and every one of us. It has become a special part of my life and holds a place in my heart that I do not think could ever be replaced. I don’t know where I would be today if I wouldn’t have stepped through the doors of CFSB.


CFSB’s August Athlete of the Month is Jamie Smith

This decision is getting more difficult each month for the coaches at CFSB. But we think it’s a good problem to have. Jamie is a “lead by example” member who has dedicated herself to solid technique and giving 100% at every workout. And that is what a true crossfitter does to reap the benefits of our program. Thank you Jamie for allowing CFSB to be a part of your journey!

Here is what Jamie had to say about being selected as our August Athlete of the Month:

“Wow, what a great surprise and honor to be chosen from our crew of amazing athletes! I heard about CrossFit from friends a few years ago and have been encouraged to join in the past but it always seemed too intense for me. I became curious enough to give it a try when the South Bank location opened next door to my gym, where I was losing interest due to boredom with my usual routine. Coach Jeff met me at the door the day of my first WOD with a burst of energy and excitement that immediately got me pumped up and made me feel right at home. I left that day with a sweat-soaked shirt and smile on my face, knowing that I was already hooked. I came to CrossFit with chronic knee pain and a weak upper body that I worried would hold me back during the workouts, but I learned quickly that every move can be scaled back to meet your level of fitness. After endless squats and lunges these past few months, my knees feel better than they have in over a decade. That alone has had me singing the praises of CrossFit to anyone that would listen. But on top of a feeling of improved physical health and confidence, I love CFSB for the people that make up our community. Whether it’s staying after a class to re-demonstrate technique or offering bonuses like free community WODs, mobility training, endurance training, or barbell club, our amazing coaches are dedicated to providing the best all-around approach to fitness. And I can’t say enough about my fellow CrossFitters who inspire me every day with their dedication and athleticism and help push me through to the end of every workout. Coach Lisa has been known to point out that CrossFit is family. Needless to say, I am extremely proud to be a part of the CrossFit South Bank family!”

Richard Emberly – Our July Athlete of the Month is CrossFit South Bank through and through! Whether it’s the daily WOD, CFSB Endurance, or recruiting friends to the community WOD – Richard can be found in thick of it!

“I can’t say whether I found CrossFit … or CrossFit found me, but I’ve been completely hooked since my first Saturday Community WOD back in May. I heard about CrossFit here and there over the years and I was always scared to death to give it a try until one of my friends from high school started talking about how much fun it was and I was like, hey I took physics with her and she was human just like the rest of us, so I’m gonna give it a try! It’s been the best decision I’ve ever made and I look forward to every workout! I came to CrossFit primarily as a cyclist, and I noticed my mountain biking improve almost overnight…all the squats and core exercises have made a noticeable difference in my explosiveness on the trails and while riding hills. I love it! But I’m also glad to be getting introduced to everything else that goes on at CrossFit…as Lisa says, “We do it all”! I love the WOD’s, but I save most of my excitement for the 5am Endurance classes twice a week! If you think there’s nothing exciting about getting up to run at 5am …then you haven’t been to one of Marshall’s classes yet! My favorite thing about CrossFit South Bank by far has to be the relationships formed here. It simply doesn’t compare to a “gym” or the traditional way that I’ve always viewed “working out”. It truly feels like a family at CFSB. I’ve met more awesome people working out at CrossFit South Bank in the past couple months than I have in the past couple years! And I look forward to catching up with them every day at the gym. Coach Jeff, Lisa, and Marshall all do a super job at preparing the workouts every day and helping each of us through them. The atmosphere every day at the gym is always super motivating and it’s great to have coaches that work side by side with us and offer tips and stretches and meals to help with recovery, and who are always listening to our feedback and giving us more classes and activities that we want! Keep up the Awesome Work Jeff, Lisa, and Marshall! CrossFit South Bank is here to stay! You’re stuck with us now!”


Chris Chelette is our June Athlete of the Month at CFSB! Chris always brings his best effort to the WODs. But more importantly Chris and his family are a strong and positive presence in our CFSB Community! Congrats Chris! Keep up the great work!

Here is what Chris has to say about CFSB and being chosen Athlete of the Month:

“I have to first say it is such an honor to be selected as the Athlete of the Month for June. CrossFit means a lot to me personally. Of course you have the getting in shape and feel better stuff, without a doubt. Even doing CrossFit half way you will see some results. But it means so much more to me. It means friends, family, and community. I have been doing CrossFit since the beginning of May. I have lost weight and toned up; but the thing that means the most is the relationships I have built. From my fellow CrossFitters to the Coaches. I have met new people while working out that I may have not meet if it were not for CrossFit. It has been something that I wanted to do for a while, but for some reason or another never joined. My wife, Tiffany, happened to come home one day and said “oh by the way, I signed us up for Crossfit today,” and that is how I got in CrossFIt. Being from this area I knew several people in the gym already, some friends and some acquaintances and some completely new. One of those new ones for me was Coach Marshall, he was filling in as Coach in my very first class. I got to meet him that day and talk with him about CrossFit and the ups and downs of it all. I could really see the true passion for CrossFit in him, which help spark the true interest for me. I have always had an issue with doing things half way. I tend to go all out or not at all, which lends to my competitive nature. I love to compete, whether it is horseshoes or at the gym. I am always looking to find the next thing that is going to push me to be a better person, both mentally and physically. For those that know me, the mental may never happen, but the physical has already begun, Thanks to CrossFit. Thank you for all your motivation and support Lisa, Jeff, and Marshall.”

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