My goal has always been to help people. When I was young, my initial idea was to go into ministry or become a doctor. I pursued a degree in ministry and was trained in how to manage and care for groups of people and to teach them. However, after finishing my degree, I realized that ministry might not be the best application of my skill set. Nonetheless, the idea of interacting and communicating with people to better themselves has been a constant goal. I have always loved sports and athletics.
After discovering CrossFit three and a half years ago, I instantly fell in love with all aspects of the program. I loved the actual CrossFit classes and community, but I also loved how it affected every aspect of my life.
CrossFit means so much to me because it changed my life, and I want to pass on my experience to others. Money and fame are all things that can come and go, but the opportunity to change peoples’ lives is something that will stay around forever.
I love this city and want to put down roots in Lincoln Park and create something amazing for this city.
I have always been involved in competitive athletics from a young age, but found myself without an outlet after my college baseball and golf experiences. I took up bodybuilding until I burned out from the constant dieting and injuries and after a friend introduced me to CrossFit in 2010, I could finally say I found a healthy solution to competition and fitness together.
I see myself as a coach first and athlete second. I truly get more enjoyment from one of our members hitting a PR or making great progress than I do for my own successes.
I grew up in a musical household, studying violin and piano intensively. Prior to CrossFit, my only interest and experience in sports was my time as a goalie from age 5-18. I enjoyed the game, the practices, the comradery and the overall competitive aspect.
In 2006, I began attending the DePaul School of Music as a violin performance major. Throughout my college career, I attempted to stay active by visiting the gym, but had no idea how to motivate myself. My eating habits were terrible, and it was beginning to take a toll. The following year, I took on another major in Music Education and juggled private violin and piano students.
In the summer of 2012, I spent a summer at a CrossFit gym in the Loop where Noah was currently working. I absolutely hated it. I would only attend classes he was teaching, cherry picked so I would not have to run, and generally felt unwelcomed. I know now that most of this was my own problem. I was convinced people were judging me, and I let that eat away at me and I discouraged myself. After that summer, I swore my brother and sister-in-law were crazy and I would never do CrossFit.
When I took on my first teaching job in 2012, I was the most unhealthy I had ever been. Regularly eating out for at least two meals in a day, I had managed to gain 70 pounds since beginning college, and I was overwhelmed by the stress of teaching. In 2014 when Noah opened Goose Island CrossFit, I had to start over. Through the next two years, I saw my life transform. I lost 50 pounds through consistent time in the gym, learning how to prepare quality meals quickly and weekly, and fell in love with the community we had built at Goose Island.
In 2016, I became interested in coaching and took on more responsibilities at the gym, and I earned my Level 1 certification in March of 2017, and my CrossFit Kids certification in 2018. Today, I handle our social media accounts, events, and other administrative tasks, but enjoy coaching the most. I love to welcome people into our amazing community and show them that no matter where they are on their fitness journey, it is never too late to change. It will be difficult, but I promise it will always be worth it.
Outside of coaching, Rachel handles the Goose Island CrossFit social media pages, photography, member relations and event planning.
I grew up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago and for most of my life, athletic activities weren’t really something I cared about. I figure skated until I was 13, but until I eventually found CrossFit I really had no idea what I was doing with fitness & nutrition.
I discovered CrossFit through a few friends on posting on social media, while I was living in central Virginia. After a few months I was surprised to find out I had access to a local box, so in May 2013 I immediately joined and never looked back.
The next year I moved back to where I went to college in Lynchburg, VA, and I switched to another box that had an unforgettable impact on me. The athletes there were more competitive, and the community consistently inspired me to work hard and chase my goals…most of which probably wouldn’t have ever become a reality if I hadn’t also discovered flexible dieting and the serious power that mindset can have on performance, both in and outside of the gym. These two things changed my whole approach to life, and I started to think about coaching so that I could share with others the same experiences the CrossFit community has given me.
In the summer of 2017 I moved back to Illinois and finally took my L1 course later that year. I moved into the city in 2018 and since I’d known Noah years ago, I found myself at Goose Island CrossFit with the opportunity to coach. One of my favorite quotes is, “Difficult is not bad. Difficult is not impossible. Difficult is just difficult, and you can do difficult things.” I’m so excited to be here, to learn from the GICF community, and encourage my fellow members to feel awesome about themselves for all the difficult things they can accomplish.
I’m not really sure when you could say my connection to fitness started. My parents were fit people when I was born with my Dad idolizing Arnold at East Bank Club back in the 80s. Mom frequently competed in disco and ballroom competitions. The spirit of that healthy life was forever damaged when I told them canned Chef Boyardee ravioli was the best meal I ever had. I wasn’t the healthiest kid through my junior high and teenage years but I always enjoyed sports, competition and playing baseball for most of my life. I loved watching Strongman competitions on ESPN which I would later think of as the original CrossFit to some degree. In high school I would enroll in “Athletic PE” even when I wasn’t playing a sport, which gave me an early exposure to Olympic and Power lifting.
In 2006, after years of training and schooling to become a Firefighter/Paramedic, I was as out of shape and unhealthy as I’d ever been. This ultimately drove me to dive into the world of fitness, which at that time was giving birth to P90X. About 2 months into that, a couple of my fellow firefighters showed me the CrossFit main site and I was hooked. We would check the main site for the workout and then like clockwork start razzing each other that we weren’t going to finish. I was always up for the challenge, the crazier the better. I started off working out either at work or from my garage gym, but it wasn’t until I saw an old buddy that I joined an actual CrossFit Gym. After that, it wasn’t long before I got my Level 1 in September 2011 and started coaching at CrossFit Resurgence.
I currently work as a full-time Firefighter/Paramedic, coaching CrossFit classes at Goose Island CF on my off days. Having my fitness rooted in CrossFit has allowed me to complete marathons with 6 weeks preparation, a ToughMudder Full, and a GoRuck Heavy.
Just a few of the most important lessons CrossFit has taught me…
-Consistency and quality will always be greater than volume.
-When you don’t want to come to the gym, or do certain movement, those are the days you should absolutely come in and those are the movements you should do.
-What happens in the gym is about 85% mental/emotional and 15% physical.
-Nothing will rob you of your ability to complete a task efficiently and effectively faster than 1) sleep deprivation, 2) bad nutrition or 3) insufficient recovery.