May Member of the Month- Eleni Marsh

Coach Abbie
May 30, 2024
May Member of the Month- Eleni Marsh

Client Success Story Questionnaire  

Name: Eleni Marsh

Age: 49  

Occupation: Social Worker

What is your athletic background?  

Very little! Played tennis in jr high/high school. Did some 5K's here and there.

What was your workout routine prior to CF Spero?  

I took classes and used the weight room at the Pav YMCA.  Iyengar Yoga 2-3 times weekly

What was your first experience with CrossFit? 

I did an introduction class waaaay back in May 2016 during a month of Oak Park fitness centers offering free classes. I signed up for the on-ramp that July back when Spero did group on-ramps!

When did you start CrossFit?

I was looking for something more than what I was doing because I was outgrowing the classes at Pav and there were yoga poses I wanted to try that I needed so much more strength and coordination for than what I had

Why did you choose CF Spero?  

Not gonna lie, the first reason was that it was the closest to my house in Cicero!  The next was that I saw members who were like me: working parents and individuals who weren't super athletic but were working hard in the classes and having fun. My experience with trying new things that require strength, coordination and stamina/endurance was a lot of belittling, etc, and that has NEVER happened here. I've just received good instruction and encouragement from coaches and members. It helps that there are many ways that movements can be scaled.

What keeps you coming back?  

The community!  Everyone I encounter at Spero is just so cool and I've made some wonderful friends here. I'll admit, I first wanted more strength and coordination and hopefully tone up and lose weight. But, while increasing strength and coordination is still something I go after, the toning/weight loss is not so much of a focus as it is chasing bigger weights with kettlebells, barbells and nailing difficult movements for me, like finally getting a handstand.  I also want to give a shout out to Ruck and Field Fitness: since starting this in January/February 2019, I have discovered loving being outside, even in the brutal cold. Mostly because there's other people out there. I also must say that this community kept me going during some tough times I've had, such as a cancer diagnosis and surgery in 2019. I felt so supported.

Why do you live in the Oak Park Area?

I live in Riverside. Moved during the pandemic from Cicero. I've lived in the west suburbs since late 2005. I love it here and will probably spend the rest of my life here.

What do you do for a living?  

I am a psychotherapist for a group practice and a behavior health consultant at a medical clinic.

How do you like to spend your free time?  

Reading and drinking coffee. Also, hiking. Being with my pets. I would say being with my kid but he is a teenager and it's not cool to hang out with your mom.

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

Wow...where to begin?? I mentioned some physical changes above. I lost 15 pounds, dropped 2 clothing sizes, stamina and endurance have improved so much, my eating has changed a lot (thanks to Nutrition Challenges) and I have so much more self-confidence and better focus. The changes went beyond the box and being outside with RuFF:  I realized that if I could make these changes, I could leave a job I'd had for 18 years that I'd outgrown and move on to something I had always wanted to do but did not think I was ready for. I also left a relationship that was no longer good for me as well. I also think I'm a better parent in that I am leading by example by my activity.

What is the biggest change you have seen since starting CrossFit at Spero? 

For me, increased self-confidence overall. I am not afraid to try new movements in the box and outside with the RuFF crew, even if it's initially a fail. Another change is willingness to keep trying something and I can usually get the scaled version

What are your goals for 2024?  

Toes to bar and getting that 35# successfully overhead. Also, increasing my handstand hold past 30 seconds

What's your favorite and least favorite movement?  

Favorite: Pretty much all kettlebell work

Least Favorite: Snatches. It's a complicated relationship: there are so many pieces to focus on and so physically/mentally demanding for me.

What's your favorite meal?  

Any salmon dish

What would you say to someone thinking about starting CrossFit at Spero?  

Give it a try: if I can do it, you can do it. And I believe you'll really enjoy the process and results.

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

I love this community and am so proud to be a part of it!!

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