Success Story-Paula Zdziarski-West


Paula-HB-CrossFit Spero - Crossfit Gym In Oak Park

Name: Paula Zdziarski West

Age: 57

Occupation: Veterinarian

What is your athletic background?

Competitive swimmer and softball player until college

What was your workout routine prior to CF Spero?

I worked out at the Y about 3-4 times a week. I would run on the treadmill for about 45 minutes and lift weights about 30 minutes. I also cycled and ran outside on a regular basis.

How much weight have you lost since you began? 10-15 pounds

How has CrossFit influenced your mental health?

CrossFit always pushes me to do more, so I feel good about myself when I’m done. What is probably more important to me, however, is the sense of camaraderie and the feeling of belonging to the Spero family. That makes it easier to get to the gym and take on the WOD.

How has CrossFit impacted your physical health?

CrossFit has made me more body aware in a positive way. I’m certainly more sore all the time, but I also feel better physically.

What positive changes have you noticed in your life since starting CrossFit?

I have more energy. I feel better about myself.

What was your first experience with CrossFit?

OnRamp classes with Coach Amy

When did you start CF?

November 2017

Why did you choose CF Spero?

Mary Ann and Janet spoke very highly of CrossFit Spero so I signed up for the OnRamp classes. I was hooked after that.

What keeps you coming back?

I like working out with a group of like-minded people. Progress has been slow, but I have improved since starting, and I like the way I feel.

Where do you live and why?

I live in Oak Park because it is an open-minded, progressive and caring community.

What do you do for a living?

I am a veterinarian specializing in surgery and I work at a veterinary referral hospital in Buffalo Grove.

How do you like to spend your free time?

Most of my free time is spent with family, but I also read, cycle, and play guitar.

What do you like about Oak Park?

I love its trees and the fact that neighbors know and look out for each other.

What are one or two improvements you have seen in your life since starting CF?

I am stronger and my sense of balance is improving.

What are your CrossFit goals?

To be able to do double unders, a strict pull up, a handstand push up and climb the rope!

What would you say to someone thinking about starting CF?

Just do it and never give up!

What’s your favorite and least favorite CF movement?

My favorite CF movement is Kettlebell swings and my least favorite is wallballs.

What’s your favorite meal?

Breakfast

Anything else you would like to share with the Spero family?

I would like to thank everyone for all the smiles, fist bumps, and words of encouragement waiting for me every time I come to CrossFit Spero.

Success Story-Jason Jaffrey


CrossFit Spero - Crossfit Gym In Oak Park

Name: Jason Jaffrey

Age:  Holding on to 45 for just another couple weeks…

Occupation:  Metro Market Sales Manager for GOLF Business Services (Golf Channel)

What is your athletic background? Extremely active growing up – baseball, basketball, martial arts, volleyball (court and sand), and passionate about snowboarding.

What was your workout routine prior to CF Spero?   Aside from the occasional park workout and run with Jess, it was sparse, and lacking.  Glad to be back doing CrossFit again.

How much weight have you lost since you began?   About 12 lbs

How has CrossFit influenced your mental health?  It’s certainly an outlet. When I’m in the middle of a tough workout, I find this to be a great place to be mentally.  While I like to joke and have fun, there is a serious side of me that never forgets about other people (there or not) that are fighting tougher battles than just a bunch of burpees or a heavy barbell.  This motivates and humbles me.  Because of this, I am a huge advocate for people to do challenging things, and push themselves to do things they may not have otherwise tried.

How has CrossFit impacted your physical health?  Love to be able to keep up with my kids, and push myself to be a healthier person.

What positive changes have you noticed in your life since starting CrossFit?  Certainly the ability to I am usually more mindful of what I eat.  Usually.

What was your first experience with CrossFit?  Started at a box out in the West Burbs.  One of my favorite memories was my first on-ramping workout; basically some air squats, push ups, and we had to try to handstand against the wall (and try wall walks).  I flailed around, fell on my head, it was humbling of course, but since that day have always loved the variation of movements and workouts.

When did you start CF?  Originally started in late 2012. Took a break, and came back just over a year ago.

Why did you choose CF Spero?  Chose Spero over another box because of the sense of community, coaching, and overall environment.

What keeps you coming back?  The fact that Dave bought 2.5 and 1.25 lb plates. Seriously, they remind me that progress doesn’t always have to be measured 10 or 20 lbs at a time.  From a broader standpoint, I do like that I have seen Spero grow in size with the new location, and grow in other aspects (all the ancillary classes and workshops, added equipment, more Sweat classes, eager to try Ruck and Field, etc).  Of course the people are what make Spero great.  I look forward to forging more friendships while becoming healthier people.

Where do you live and why?   Oak Park.  I love the diversity of OP, and the inherent values that are at the core of the people of OP align with the way I was raised.  Plus, we can get to/from Wrigley Field easily by train.  Go Cubs Go!

What do you do for a living?   I work directly with golf courses to help them connect better with golfers through applying the right solutions (services, technology, etc).

How do you like to spend your free time?  We like to travel and be outside as much as possible.  When I’m not making Jess laugh and roll her eyes at me, I am heavily involved in my boys’ lives and their sports, which is where I spend a lot of my time.

What do you like about Oak Park?  City feel but a slower pace.  Culturally, I like the diversity and how cool people are.

What are one or two improvements you have seen in your life since starting CF?  More mindful of what food, and drinks <sigh>, I put in my body.  Also have become much more educated on self-care, stretching, etc.

What are your CrossFit goals?  Just want to become stronger, fitter, and healthier, while ideally becoming a bit lighter overall.

What would you say to someone thinking about starting CF?  CF can be for everyone, because of the scalability of every movement.  Also, you’ll end up with a t-shirt collection that you never thought possible.

What’s your favorite and least favorite CF movement?  Favorite: Dumbbell snatches.  Not good at them, but strangely like when they’re incorporated into a WOD.  Least Favorite:  Thrusters…those things are disgusting.

What’s your favorite meal?  Sushi – going out for it, and doing homemade rolls, spicy poke, etc.

Anything else you would like to share with the Spero family?   I always root for the underdog.  I cheer hardest for the person who might feel shy, or embarrassed or intimidated to walk in to a gym, for whatever reason.  I like to give the thumbs up to the person who is out walking for exercise, because perhaps that’s all they’re able to physically do right now.  CrossFit is a great reminder that everyone deserves a positive and encouraging environment, and simply showing up is half the battle.

Success Story-Charlie Yingling


Charlie-HB-CrossFit Spero - Gyms In Oak Park

Name: Charlie Yingling

Age: 41

 Occupation: Nurse Practitioner/ Nursing Professor

What is your athletic background?

For most of my life I have kept all things athletic in the distant background

What was your workout routine prior to CF Spero?

Running to catch the Blue Line

How much weight have you lost since you began?

I have lost a significant amount of shame and guilt as well as a pants size. I actually don’t know how much that weighs on the bathroom scale because I’ve decided that number has been distracting me from my primary goal of feeling healthy and strong.