In the summer of 2014 Hard Rock dropped by CrossFit Empower looking for a change of scene and in the years that followed became a fitness machine!

I remember her saying to me, “If I am investing in it, I will use it.”  This nurse, with a husband and two teenage girls, always finds a way to fit in her workouts.  You never know what time you will find her in the gym. It might be the 5am class, could be the noon, maybe the 9:15am or 5pm, but find her you will (sometimes walking on her hands).


Truth is, her consistency and “work around” nature has paid her great dividends. This March, at the last minute, she decided to compete in the CrossFit Open, and made it to the age group qualifiers.  If you follow the competitive side of CrossFit you will know this feat is a big deal!

In addition, Hard Rock is known for giving the guys in the gym a run for their money.  Try as they might, she is a hard cookie to beat in a workout and it is the rare lad that gets the job done.  Don’t let her name mislead you.  She is a kind, caring soul, a mother to all in the gym if you will.  While I was compiling this post in the gym last night, Iron Dam wandered by me and asked what I was doing. “Writing about Hard Rock”, I said, “for the gym blog. You can read it tomorrow.” “The gym blog?” She looked at me inquisitively. Once she learned that the gym blog is a daily must read and I’d send her the link so she’d never miss a post, she described how much she appreciates Hard Rock’s supportive nature regarding her fitness efforts. “She is always so helpful. Just the best,” gushed Iron Dam. “Tell her how much I appreciate it!”

We all do Hard Rock. Keep on crushing it and giving us all a high bar to aim for.

Read on for Hard Rock’s report on the role CrossFit Empower has played in her health and well-being.

What brought you to CrossFit?

I lived just up the street and passed it almost every day. I thought that it would be something that I would enjoy. I had just changed from a full time work schedule, which made it possible to exercise more regularly. I had always liked ‘boot camp’ style workouts, and I thought that maybe weightlifting would be fun.

What was your first impression?  

In my intro with Corey (owner) I was super intimidated as he seemed to know a ridiculous amount of anatomy and physiology. Now, I realize he does know a ridiculous amount of A & P, but I’m no longer intimidated 🙂

In my first class with the Touch I was freaked out because one of the members (Special) was giving him such a hard time during the warm up. Crazy banter and wild put downs. I came from a TaeKwondo background where you would never back talk your instructor, so I was floored. Now it’s more of a sport to see if we can get past the first two minutes without the insults flying.

What was your first bright spot (win/positive experience)?

For sure it was getting my first unassisted pull up! I found out that one of the other women I worked out with had just gotten her first. I thought pull ups were only for the ‘skinny ladies,’ but she was built more like me so I was flummoxed. She encouraged me to give it a go right then and there. It was super ugly, with lots of leg flailing, but I got my chin over. I think it took me 2 years to get that first pull up. After that I had to challenge myself to try to stay away from the bands in a workout.

What are you working on now?


My ring muscle up…sigh. I feel like I have been kind of neglecting it and not working on it enough as it was ‘too hard’. Consequently Electric, Silk and Smash (other Empower members) have all gotten theirs and have left me in the dust. So, I am trying to be disciplined and work on it during rest days instead of doing a workout. Just working on a skill and not breaking a sweat is hard for me, but I know I’ll never get better unless I put in the time.

What’s your favourite Empower memory so far?

Hmm, I don’t think I can isolate that. I can tell you that coming to the gym is often the highlight of my day (unless it’s a 10 K run). I feel like working out is almost forced meditation. If the workout is challenging, and you are fully engaged, you don’t have time to dwell on your problems. I have struggled with anxiety my whole life and I was surprised to realize a few years ago that I was free from the constant worrying that had always been my baseline. If I made it to the box regularly it was like a magic pill, I could manage almost everything. Ultimately the gym gives me a place to be selfish, where I can ‘work on me’ and be free from the roles I play as wife, mother and nurse. I am incredibly grateful to all of the members and coaches at Empower who make the gym the phenomenal place that it is.