I was nervous to start working out – let alone start CrossFit. It was intimidating. I didn’t think I could be someone who could do this. I knew I needed to do something after asking an elderly man in my neighborhood to help me get a blade off my lawn mower that I couldn’t budge – and he did it quite easily. After that (and some encouragement and support from my wife) I joined Bear Arms CrossFit in the beginning of the summer of 2018 and could not be happier that I did. I’m stronger, I’m more fit than ever before, and I’m getting to where I’m comfortable and happy with myself. Plus, those lawn mower blades pose no problems anymore. Bear Arms CrossFit has been instrumental in helping me achieve my goals – the workouts, the coaches, and the community are amazing. Looking back at pictures just a few months old, I can’t believe how much I’ve improved because of what I’ve been able to do with Bear Arms CrossFit.


After working out on my own for a while, I felt that I was missing something. I wanted to know what my body was capable of outside the typical workout schedule. I found Bear Arms CrossFit and fell in love. There is no better feeling than throwing around a weight you never thought possible to move. Your body is capable of amazing things. Unleash it here with us at Bear Arm CrossFit.

The first time I came to CrossFit, I attended Ladies Night. It was nice to see a few familiar faces. The workout was intense and a challenge in a good way. I learned quickly that everything can be modified for my fitness level. Throughout the year I’ve attended classes typically 3 days a week. I’ve seen a major improvement in my fitness. When I started my fitness journey I was 7 months postpartum with my youngest son. I was so uncomfortable in my own skin. I literally wrote down the reasons I wanted to loose the weight and very few of them were about me as they were more focused on my family. I want to be able to play with my kids, and be in my best to avoid obesity related health issues. Everyone gives you you the excuse “but you just had a baby.” Yes, I did have a baby, but I knew the longer I held onto the weight the harder it would get to take it off. And let’s be honest, my “baby” was 7 months old. I started dieting and was successful but I wanted more. I still didn’t feel strong. I was winded easily and felt tired all the time. CrossFit is something that always piqued my interest. When I lived in Augusta, I drove past a CrossFit location every day but was always too intimidated to check into it. So when I had the opportunity to attend a Bear Arms CrossFit Ladies Night (free, no obligation, and with a familiar face or 2) I felt like I owed it to myself to check it out. I’ve never been more pleased. I dropped over 25 lbs of documented body fat based off of the In-Body Analysis which was dropping about 12 % of body fat and my entire body is changed by gaining muscle on top of that fat loss. I feel more like myself than I have in a long, long time. Even better.​

Ashley Parker


I started my CrossFit journey a little over a year ago at the age of 46. I had recently gone through a round of physical therapy for a forearm injury, and I was the youngest person in the clinic. I had been running my own business for 14 years, working 12-16 hours per day, 7 days a week. I worried about my physical fitness almost all the time, usually while falling asleep from exhaustion, but I never made it a priority to work on my fitness. While in physical therapy, I saw a lot of elderly folks that could barely go. Of course, I had no idea what their particular stories were, but I knew I didn’t want to end up like that. You could say it was my “scared straight” moment. I was released from PT on a Friday, and I showed up at Bear Arms on the following Monday. I’d be lying if I said it was easy to start. I was overweight and very out of shape. I easily quit most workout regimens before. I could barely make it through most of the CrossFit workouts at first, but being able to scale the workouts helped a lot. I had always enjoyed lifting weights, but when I did make time to try to take that back up, I saw no progress because I basically ended up doing the same routine every time I went to the gym. Honestly, I had never really heard of CrossFit, and I had a vague impression that you just flipped really big tires around. For me, the best things about Bear Arms CrossFit is that each workout was different, so your body stayed pretty confused and the fitness gains came quickly. That was extremely motivating for me. It’s really just like having a personal trainer in a group setting. I was seeing progress like I had never seen. About 6 weeks in, I knew I was in the right place. The community at Bear Arms is very welcoming, no matter your fitness level. I really enjoy working out with everybody and have made really great friends there that I believe actually care whether I’m there or not. I’m one of the older athletes at Bear Arms, but I enjoy still be able to compete with people literally half my age. Sometimes, I beat them, and that’s a great feeling. I’ve dropped about 15 body fat percentage points, put on over 30 pounds of muscle and I’m stronger than I’ve EVER been in my life, including when I was lifting weights heavy during high school football. Every workout can be scaled to your ability, and no one cares if you have to scale the workout. They care that you’re there trying to get better. If you take it seriously and put in the work, you WILL see the difference. I certainly have and will NEVER go back to the way I was before. My next goals are 15% body fat, a 300lb bench press, and a 400lb dead lift and back squat. Those are crazy numbers, considering where I was at first, but they’re totally within reach for me now. It’s a great feeling to see other people my age and know that I’m in better shape than most of them, and I owe that to the hard work I put in at Bear Arms CrossFit

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