Success Story - Steven

One of our first members, Steven, possibly the friendliest person you will ever meet has quite an amazing story. It is our pleasure to share his story with you. It may seem a bit dramatic to say my life is changed, but it’s true. My life today after a year and a half at CrossFit Deep Ellum is quite different from when I started.

I had always considered myself “somewhat active”, and for most men of my age, I certainly was. I backpacked, hiked, and camped. I own two kayaks, which I used when I could get some time off from work. I even dabbled in rock climbing and rappelling, but my weight kept creeping up. I was flabby with extra body fat. I was tired during the day. I had huge mood swings. My nutritional habits were a disaster. My battle with sugar addiction was consuming my life and ruling my days. I took fistfuls of prescription medications daily to ward off a list of ailments and conditions common to my age.

I had always hated gyms. I felt awkward, old, and out of place. I never felt I knew what/when/how to do things. One time I even spent $1200.00 for three months with a “personal” trainer. At the end of it, I just felt confused and frustrated.

Then, one day I was discussing this with my chiropractor, who is also a close friend of mine. He asked if I knew what CrossFit was. I’m sure I rolled my eyes because I remembered stacks of old VCR tapes of The Jane Fonda Workout littering my old New York apartment many years ago. But as he described it, I was intrigued. He said, “Steven, if you try this, and dedicate to it, you won’t ever have to see me in this office again.” As it turns out, he was right.

So I did some research and thought I’d try CrossFit Deep Ellum. Intimidated? Scared? Yes, and that was just to write the email to the coaches. Later that week, when I came by the gym for the first time to sign up, I actually sat outside in the parking lot for 10 minutes trying to talk myself into coming inside. It did not look like some place I belonged. I had told myself that I was too old and too out of shape for this kind of place. This looked like a “serious gym”, but my emails with Eric had been encouraging, and already I knew something was different with these guys. So, I told myself “Okay, Steven, just go in and sign up for Elements Class. No harm in that”.

The minute I walked in, I felt at home. I was immediately and warmly greeted by Coach Russell who introduced me to some of the people standing around. I signed my waiver, paid my money, and began the most amazing, fun, and rewarding fitness journey of my life.

I’m doing things today I never dreamed I could do. With CrossFit coupled with Paleo nutrition, I’ve slimmed down, leaned, and toned up for sure. And I’m stronger, faster, and have more energy as you might expect. But something else happened quite unexpectedly. I have more confidence in myself in my daily life than I have ever felt my entire life. Yes, I am the fittest, most confident man I have ever been in all my 52 years. Those fistfuls of prescription drugs? Down to a few pills a day. My doctor is starting to ask more and more questions about what I’m doing. My friends are amazed at how I look and how much energy I have. And yeah, I get “checked out” in public like never before. (I’m still not quite used to that one.)

Now, through this year and a half, I have seen firsthand many other CrossFit gyms, and I can tell you that what we have at CrossFit Deep Ellum is something pretty special. The owners and coaching staff are dedicated to having everyone, regardless of fitness ability, achieve their individual visions for themselves. I’ve never seen a gym where I get calls or emails saying “Hey, where ya been? We miss you” if I’ve been slacking off on attendance.

And there’s something else that I couldn’t quite put my finger on, but it hit me the other day in class. Spencer was coaching on proper air squat form (yet again for the thousandth time!) and said something that sums up the CrossFit vision beautifully. He said, “People, I’m not trying to be mean about this. I just want so badly for you to be able to get up and out of a chair when you are 70!” I had heard something similar in my Level One Certification, but that day with Spencer it hit me hard. I know 40-year-old men who have trouble with that. For a fitness philosophy to have that much of a far-reaching vision is pretty profound.

CrossFit Deep Ellum is so much more than just a gym. It’s a community of people who are dedicated to improving their lives and helping each other do the same. Yeah, I can write that with a straight face ‘cause it’s true, not some silly slogan. I’ve made some amazing and deep friendships at CFDE. I wouldn’t give that up for the world.

If you are new or considering CrossFit Deep Ellum, just remember:

  • Everything, and I mean everything, is scalable to your physical abilities.
  • Every workout’s movement is retaught, practiced, and coached before each workout. These guys are maniacal about safety and proper form!
  • You will make some of the fastest improvements in your physical (and mental!) abilities you have ever seen.
  • The coaches are dedicated to having you achieve your individual goals, whatever those may be. You won’t believe how much harder you can push yourself when your class buddies are cheering you on.
  • You always have workout buddies and individual coaching attention every time, every class.

I love CrossFit and especially CrossFit Deep Ellum. I want to thank the Coaches and my friends and workout buddies in the evening classes for helping me dream and achieve so much more than I ever knew was possible. I can’t wait to see what this year brings!


Steven Cralle

Here is Steven today!