February 4th, 2023

J.J. shifts into a new workout environment where he can see genuine improvement.

“I am coming up on my 6th year anniversary for being a member at FTX. I was working out inconsistently before joining FTX, and I realized that I needed a different workout environment. I had stopped working out at my previous gym because it wasn’t fun anymore, and I needed a change. I got out of shape and felt tired most of the time. I decided to try FTX because coach Heather, and her husband Jeff, are my friends, and that is where they are members.

One of the things that I really like about FTX is that there is always something that I can be working on to improve and challenge myself to get better at it. I am thankful for the progress that I have made since joining FTX. It is encouraging to me when benchmark workouts come up in the programming, and I can see my improvement from workout to workout. Overall, I am very happy with my time at FTX and I look forward to getting more personal bests at FTX as time goes on!”

Mood follows action

I love this concept. When it comes to coming to FTX. You’re tired. There are days you don’t want to go. You don’t really feel like it, right? Science shows that if you simply show up and start doing some exercises, even if half-motivated, your actions will increase your mood to a more positive state. It is hard to have the self-discipline every day, but the phrase “mood follows action” is so true. Hence Nike’s motto is so genius – Just do it.

Christina finds a new CrossFit family and does a 200# back squat.

“A friend told me about CrossFit 8 years ago, and I thought, “Oh why not, what do I have to lose?” Never did I imagine I would be here almost 8 years later and still loving every minute of it. Most people would have bet I would have never shown back up after that first class. I was right there with them. I spent 5 ½ years at the same box, but when COVID hit, I was at a loss as they did not offer anything at all. I have Sarang to thank for bringing me to FTX, because we were family at my previous box. Of course I was intimidated to be the new kid again, but what did I have to lose, CrossFit is CrossFit. Everyone welcomed me right away, which is an awesome feeling.

I have overcome a couple major medical set-backs in the past year which in both cases started me right back at the beginning of “the basics”. After both set-backs, I have come back stronger mentally and physically as well as finally hitting the 200# in my back squat. My form and cardio (which we all know I HATE) have improved greatly. Since being at FTX, I have hit a PR in every lift. The support that is provided by the members and coaches is simply amazing. The 5:30am and 6:30am regulars have been a fabulous cheering squad and of course I have to mention my Meatheads who push me to go above and beyond because they know I can do it especially when I don’t want to.

FTX is not a community…it is FAMILY and I am proud to be a part of it.”

Corinne is an Olympic Weightlifting hall of famer. She continues to pass on her legacy at FTX.

“I started CrossFit in 2015 after a very long recovery post knee replacement. Joining CrossFit helped get me back into shape quicker then if I had just trained in Olympic weightlifting. CrossFit also helped me get my competitive edge back, which I lost during recovery.

With Olympic lifting and CrossFit combined, I was able to compete one more time before my hip replacement in 2018. I joined FTX after my former CrossFit gym closed. I was fortunate that some of my friends came with me, and I have made some new amazing friends here as well.

Since being here, I have continued to try and gain as much strength and mobility that I lost from all my athletic injuries. Most of my time is spent here at FTX before and after work, and I’m hoping that one day I will be able to compete again.

What I am very grateful for is that FTX has allowed me to help the coaches and the members learn proper form of the Olympic lifts. I am honored to have the opportunity to teach what I have learned from being in this sport for 42 years. Thank you FTX!”

Stephanie comes back from a CrossFit hiatus and finds a new home to get her PRs!

“Late in 2021, I took a break from previous CrossFit gym for a few months. There was a lot going on, and I needed some time for me. When I decided to come back, I knew where I was meant to be. After my intro class and talking with Andres, he said “we always want you to leave here feeling better than when you came in”. I walked out a member, and it felt like weight was lifted off my shoulders. I have never felt more at home.

Since being at FTX I have PR’d my deadlift and been able do a few strict HSPUs with two abmats. I now push myself harder in workouts. I have more endurance and stamina with my OCR’s. Most importantly, I have gained a better perspective on life and made a lot of new friends along the way here!”

Dave is a well known name in just about every class.

“I started coming to FTX CrossFit because a former neighbor of mine bought a Groupon and asked if I was interested. I gave it a shot and never looked back. That was in 2014. After 3 sessions, he stopped coming and said it wasn’t his thing. I didn’t because I loved it. This gym has been a blessing to me.

I’ve accomplished many things, including personal PRs and finishing Fran in under 5 minutes. Also, I think the mental aspect of completing WODs when I want to stop has translated to other areas of my life.

But the best part of my time here has been the members. I’ve formed so many friendships because of FTX. I pay to be here and make new friends, but it’s worth it! 😂

Keira improves as an athlete and gains wonderful relationships along the way. She will be headed back to college at the end of this week so be sure and wish her luck!

“I joined FTX in 2018 after I realized I had a love and desire to lift and do intense conditioning. I remember being the only one who enjoyed track lifting sessions and always asking if we could do more. I then had to leave due to my house catching on fire and relocating in Naperville. I started at a gym down there but they did not have the acceptance for more serious athletes, and the community was nothing compared to that of FTX. I started back at FTX in fall of 2020 after working out in my garage for months. I didn’t realize how lonely it was to train alone everyday until I came back to FTX. Needless to say, I found my second home. My family likes to joke saying I spend more time at the gym than my own home.

There are many achievements I am proud of but they are all related in that I improved so much since I walked in. I am way stronger, I am way happier, I am reaching my goals, and I am more sociable. I never thought I would be in quarterfinals 3 years into the sport, and I could not have done it without the push from fellow athletes, and the wonderful coaches. I also surprised myself with all the friendships I made. When I first came back in 2020, I spent my time working hard and then I left. There was no social time. I slowly started talking to more people and eventually, I found my spot in the FTX family.”

Emma overcomes self depreciation and learns to love herself. She also heads to college next week!

I was a competitive gymnast for 9 years. It was my life. Unfortunately, during my freshman year in high school, I suffered an ankle injury that resulted in 5 different surgeries and a hospital stay over the course of a year and a half. I was forced to quit gymnastics and didn’t do any physical activities for that time period. I felt lost without gymnastics, and it was very painful having to give it up. In my sophomore year, my mom forced me to try a CrossFit class because she had read it was good for ex-gymnasts. Reluctantly, I showed up for my introductory class and got destroyed by a five minute amrap of assault bike and wall balls. It took me a long time to really get into CrossFit because I was so embarrassed at how out of shape I was and intimidated by all of the great athletes in our box! By junior year, I became friends with others my age, which motivated me to start going daily. I did the 2021 open that year and wasn’t the happiest with how I had done so I decided shortly after I wanted to be as good at CrossFit as I could be. Fast forward to now and I try to spend a couple hours in the gym each day becoming a well rounded athlete and love chasing lofty goals and bettering myself physically and mentally!

There are 2 major accomplishments I’m most proud of. First, I went from the 71st percentile in the 16/17 year old division in 2021 to the 86th percentile in the women’s division in 2022. It fired me up to see that my work paid off and also showed me I still have so much room to improve! Second, and my biggest accomplishment, was finding confidence in myself and bouncing back from the tough loss of gymnastics. I’ve always been shy and not comfortable in my own body, but seeing the community at FTX rally around each other at various times has been inspiring. Doing CrossFit shifted the way I think about myself from all the flaws and negativity to loving who I am. I’ve become the best and happiest version of myself through Crossfit and have learned so much. I can’t thank FTX enough for all they have done for me.”

Shelby overcomes some of life’s most difficult challenges.

“2020/2021 were very difficult years for me. I was a new mom, in the midst of the pandemic, working a very demanding job, and to top it all off, my marriage was falling apart. In the midst of all of the chaos, taking care of myself was last on the priority list. In 2021 I signed up for and trained for the Chicago marathon as a way to slowly but surely get back into fitness, but also to overcome everything I had lost. With every run, I was working through my pain and stress as well as gaining a renewed love and passion for fitness. I relearned how important it was to make myself and my health a priority, not only for me but for my little girl.

After I completed the marathon, I knew I needed a regular fitness regimen. I loved the intensity, competitive nature, and community aspect of CrossFit as I had done it before. Right off the bat, I loved that FTX offered a huge range of class options, giving me the ability to fit in a workout in the middle of my workday while my daughter was still at daycare. For a single mom, this is a game changer for me.

It is hard to summarize all that I’ve gained by joining FTX. I’ve gained a strength mentally and physically that I never knew I had, but more importantly, I’ve gained a great community of wonderful people. Very thankful to be a part of it.”


After being diagnosed with pre-diabetes, weighing 260 lbs., and wearing a 40-inch waist, it was time to make some lifestyle changes. I started with dieting and working out in the basement. During this time, I had four persuasive friends and one coach who all attended FTX. They kept talking about how great it was and how I should give it a try. As soon as I finished my dissertation, I decided it was time and have never looked back.

2. I am no longer prediabetic or 260 lbs. or have a 40-inch waist, but more than that I feel fit and can be active in my everyday life. For example, I was just able to stand on a wakeboard and run a 5k with my sister without thinking about how my fitness might stop me. But much more than that FTX and CrossFit has helped me with my mental health and being able to clear my head after a busy day or just leave my problems at the door for an hour, this was particularly important during the pandemic. I can focus on myself and improve one aspect of my life.

Amanda is going hard!

I joined FTX after being a member at a different local gym for about three years. My schedule changed, and I wasn’t able to remain as consistent in my training as before. When I was looking for a new home gym, I found FTX had the most diverse class times of any of the boxes in the surrounding area. I’d been here before to watch a competition and remembered being amazed by the amount of equipment and how nice the facility was. I stopped by for a drop-in class and really enjoyed the programming and coaching, and quickly decided that FTX was the right fit for me!

In my time at FTX, I surpassed 100# mark for my shoulder press and have added 45# to my back squat, after having a fairly long plateau with both of those lifts. I have continued to work on those moves that really challenge me, like double-unders, box jumps and wall walks and I’m getting more consistent with those movements. It’s been really cool to incorporate those skills into my WODs more often.


“I started at FTX nearly 3 years ago. I had tried several things, from long distance running to circuit training, but it was my husband’s idea to give CrossFit a go.

There are many personal accomplishments I never imaged I’d be capable of at my age. From rope climbs to kipping pull-ups, handstand walks to heavy lifts. Each hurdle provides a sense of pride, but the most rewarding part of FTX are the friendships made along the way. Coaches and members alike are invested in being the best versions of themselves and supporting one another in doing the same. The continued guidance and support is the driving force for achieving my individual goals.”

Who is at the gym? Tori Fricke is a staple at the 3:30pm class. She shares her story below.

I was introduced to FTX by my former boss. She was a member at the time and had been trying to get me to check it out. I finally gave in and attended an intro class in January 2017. Within three months, she bailed on me and moved out of state! Five years later, I’m still here.

Due to having my daughter, which was immediately followed by the pandemic and lack of child care that came with it, I was unable to workout at FTX for about 20 months. When I was finally able to come back last September, it was like I was starting all over. My squats were shallow, and the weight I could lift was dramatically less than it was before I got pregnant. But now, I am able to get my squats to full depth, and I’ve even PR’d several different lifts lately. And most importantly, I have more energy to run around with my daughter now!

Court sent us a blurb about his time at FTX.

“Working out has always been important to me. But I am a guy who needs to play a game or be with people when I work out. My ankles gave out on me from years of playing basketball when I turned 50. So I stopped in at FTX and tried it out. I have never looked back. Great people, team, atmosphere, improvement as an individual, and it’s not competitive. Plus, people cheer each other on!

The coaching at here is fantastic. Real pro’s work with you and help you advance at your own pace. I have been at FTX for over 3 years now, and I couldn’t be happier! (and stronger 😊) I couldn’t recommend FTX highly enough.”