We are family. Really, we are a local, Grafton family of 6! That’s 5 GIRLS and 1 boy to be exact:)
We had a strong desire to open a gym because we both have seen and learned so much through our own fitness journeys that we wanted to be able to help others start, or continue on theirs, sharing what we live everyday. We know what we have to offer works because its changed our own lives and we’ve watched the lives of others change with the same guidance. We chose Ozaukee County because we love it. We live here, we chose to buy a home and raise our children here, and we wanted to start a business that would allow us to be more involved in this community and allow us to give back! Most importantly we wanted to foster an environment filled with people who truly support and care for each other because that is a huge key to fitness success!
Let’s start off with a quick background. I am a mom of 4 girls! I recently left my job as a circulating nurse in the operating room at Children’s Hospital of WI (which requires call and holidays and the occasional sleepover). Four years ago as a single mom of 3, I moved over an hour away from pretty much everyone I knew to be closer to work. I moved to Ozaukee County, particularly, to ensure my girls the best future within the amazing school systems.
Alright on to the fitness part… First off I never grew up with exercise being a part of daily life. So after high school sports were over I didn’t fill my time with any fitness. I come from a family who loves to eat, butter and salt were 90% of our main ingredients;) and let’s face it genetics…not on our side. After my first daughter was born my journey with fitness was always some sort of a roller coaster… to the extreme. I started with running on my own, to at home workout videos, to trying out the 24 hour fitness gyms with machines. I needed the “cheap” convenient alternative. I was a single mom of 3 after all. Didn’t have the time, didn’t have the money. You know those pretty legitimate excuses. My health and fitness at that time were not an “investment” to me and I definitely wasn’t going to put the effort into a healthy balanced diet, I was just living…boy was that the wrong mindset. I’d do these things for a while, but reality was…it got BORING and there was nothing to keep me motivated for the long run. And so the 30+lbs of pure body FAT I found myself holding by the time my youngest was 3.
It wasn’t until I came to the conclusion I knew I had the motivation and determination to do something, but I need to take the leap and “invest” my money into my health. Skipping a few of those nights out a month drinking and brunch could easily get me the CrossFit gym membership I convinced myself I couldn’t afford the year prior, as a single working mom of 3. Yeah, that year I committed to 2 years at that 24 hour gym membership that I maybe went to 4 times and was still paying for…
So I “invested.” I signed up at a local CrossFit gym all on my own. How did I fit this in before my three 12 hour shifts at the hospital…hello 5am class. I always start with, and will never forget, my first 5am class. That was the day I met one of my many great friends, Patty . Her strength and positive attitude were so impressive. She was beyond welcoming, took me under her wing and I did my first partner WOD ever. One of the next days that week I remember being the very last person to finish the WOD where I had to do knee raises and everyone was there cheering me on.
After the initial feelings of uncertainty went away, and, what’s the best way to put this, the “mild discomfort” wore off, I began to get sucked in. I was accomplishing things I never had before in my life, however little they may seem to others. I remember my first RX WOD with a 65# bar two months after starting, first rope climb a few days after that…coolest thing ever, right? 😉 To hitting my first 200# clean. Now comes the nutrition…After consistently working out for 3 months I was at a plateau and when I finally started taking my nutrition serious the results spoke for themselves. Are those abs for the first time in my life???
It’s never been easy, I don’t eat perfect all the time. I have great WOD’s and I have days I wonder why I showed up at all, but that’s it, I still showed up. I did whatever my body was capable of that day. Even if it’s a lot shorter time or a lot lighter weight than the norm. I’ve had plenty of times when I struggled, when I’ve felt tired, sore, and weak. I’ve also had plenty of days/weeks I’ve eaten like crap. To which I now coin them as #gainzweek . But you keep showing up, you keep putting in the hard work and get back on track with nutrition. There’s plenty of muscle and strength to be gained in those weeks…trust me!
But CrossFit has been so much more than just drinking the Kool-Aid and jumping on the PR train…and a new first time in my life set of abs;) Overall I just feel so much better. I have more energy to spend doing things with my kids. I continued to workout through my 4th pregnancy (never would’ve dreamed of expending energy in my previous 3), my blood pressure remained at a low and healthy level and I have had the quickest postpartum recovery of all of my children. I’ve given my girls a new healthy lifestyle to grow up with instead of struggling to find it 28 years into their life and shown them you really can do anything you put the HARD WORK in to do. I’ve also found myself and my girls with not only a huge group of new friends (not only here but around the country and even the WORLD), but also now a new place to call home filling up with people we love like family, which is a great comfort being so far from the ones I love of my own back home.
I would’ve never dreamed I’d spend a weekend working out instead of going out to do something else…bloody mary’s anyone??? Now there’s not a day I could imagine NOT being at the gym. Somehow getting a quick WOD in the morning with my CrossFit family has become a holiday tradition and I wouldn’t want it any other way. And this was where I found someone who fit into the lifestyle that allowed me to be the best version of myself. My fiance, Joe, father of my soon to be youngest daughter. Who has proven to be a great, positive and fun influence for my three girls, and for me, someone who pushes me to be my best and, honestly, whose athleticism I have always looked up too. Most importantly he’s always just there, supporting me.
And that’s what I’ve found through my fitness journey. It isn’t about competing and trying to be better than others. It most definitely is NEVER about comparing yourself and your accomplishments to others because we are all different. We need to learn to find the best version of our own selves. Whatever that version of yourself may be that makes YOU happy. And surround yourself with a group of people who truly support and care for you. As for the 0400 mornings before my 12 hour shifts, the 6 training days/week, the drop-in WOD’s every morning of vacation…worth it.
I’ve been into sports and exercise my whole life. Little league baseball, football and soccer made up the majority of my childhood in Johnsburg, Illinois where I grew up. I moved to Wisconsin to attend Concordia and study education and coaching but also to play football. Once school was over, I stuck around because of the great friendships I made and was the general manager of a local restaurant, Zaffiro’s.
During my time at Zaffiro’s I began coaching the Concordia football team, once I was finished playing. I developed a passion for mentoring younger people and helping people achieve goals for themselves. I then transitioned into the Concordia weight room and helped strength coach, Rustin Clewien, with the high volume of college athletes, developing them in speed and strength training.
I found CrossFit after realizing my career path was meant for something different then what I was doing at Zaffiro’s. My brother, Tony, had a wild and crazy idea that we should look into this fitness methodology, CrossFit, and take the level 1 trainer’s course. That was about 5 years ago now. After passing the exam, him and I built “Moro Performance” in Mequon and then I shortly moved on to take a job in Cedarburg as a part time CrossFit coach. This is where I met my beautiful and wonderful fiance, Hali.
I was realizing I really found something of purpose in helping others by coaching CrossFit, so I expended my skill level to CrossFit L-2 and I kept taking on more and more responsibility. Throughout the years of head coaching and general management of the gym I knew I wanted so badly to be able to pour everything I have into helping people get healthier.
So in April of 2019, when Hali expressed wanting to open her own gym right here in Grafton, where we bought our first home together, I couldn’t have been more excited. She has such a passion and fire for helping and motivating others to find a healthy lifestyle, like she has, that I wanted to support her and help her live out this vision, we both feel so strongly about. So we built AMRAP Method and are now providing excellent fitness and customer service to each and every different type of fitness level.