Meet our Featured Athlete!


The Spycher Family

The Spycher Family

Shirley Spycher

When did you join CrossFit ParaBellum?

November 2013

Favorite WOD?

I like any WOD that has “1  minute @ each station” in it.  Since I normally modify the weight on most movements, that WOD gives me the opportunity to work on a movement at the prescribed weight without having to do a set number of reps.  So, whether it is 1 rep or 20 reps in that minute, I feel accomplished!

Least favorite WOD?

Oh “KAREN”  how I don’t like you.  150 wall balls…….do I need to say any more!

shirley5Favorite lift?

I feel strong when I do that lift.  My first recorded deadlift weight was on 11/18/13 and it was 63 pds.  I have now worked my way up to a 3 rep max weight of 143 pds.  I love watching and recording the progress that I have made over the last three years.

Least favorite lift?

Shoulder Press
I hate not being able to use my legs, that’s where all my strength is!

Tell us a little bit about yourself (family, job, sports, military, interests, etc.).

I am a wife of 26 years, mom of two kids, and a first time grandmother to a beautiful baby girl!  My husband and I love traveling and have had many adventures around the world.  I would rather be outside then inside…..from gardening to hiking and everything in between.  I have a love/hate relationship with running.  I finished my first (and only) 26.2 marathon in February of this year and have ran several 1/2 marathons.  But the most important thing to me above all else is my relationship with Jesus Christ!

What were you doing before CrossFit?shirley4

I have always been “active”, from traditional gym settings to outdoor activities.

What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit workout?

WOW!  That was hard!  But, I enjoyed the challenge!

What were your goals when joining CrossFit?

In 2007 I became very, very sick.  After many tests the Doctor  found the cause of my illness and it was because of a little mosquito, I had contracted    West Nile Virus.  During that time, I was unable to really do much of anything for almost a year.  I gained weight, lost the little muscle I had and was miserable.  When I started to feel better, I was determined to lose the weight, get back to being outdoors and doing daily exercise.  That is when I started to get into running.  In 2013 I knew that I needed to incorporate strength training to feel stronger all over.

shirley3Have you achieved any of those goals?

Yes I have!  Not only do I see some muscle definition, I feel stronger and better than ever.  My running times got better also!

Has CrossFit affected your life outside the gym?

Without a doubt.  Not only has it improved my health through exercise, it also makes me think about what I eat.

What achievement are you most proud of inside the gym?

The first time I did a WOD Rx’d.  That was so exciting for me!  I thought I would have to write “modified” in my book forever!

Do you have any other special memories/ achievements during your time here?

The first time I made it to the top of the rope.  That was a biggie for me, I am extremely afraid of heights.

What advice would you give to a newbie just joining CrossFit ParaBellum?


Go everyday and do your best.  Don’t compare yourself with others!  About the first six months after I joined Crossfit, I would have “butterflies” in my stomach when I pulled into the parking lot.  I was hard on myself because I couldn’t do the weight that everyone else was doing.  The day that I realized that it is OK to just do what I can do, the butterflies went away and gradually the weight on my barbell started to go up.  I love what another Featured Athlete said  “It never gets easier, you just get better”.

What is your favorite thing about CrossFit ParaBellum?

Hands down the people that come to this box!  I have met some of the kindest and most helpful people here.  Scott and Renee have done a great job in creating a “family” atmosphere.  Speaking of Scott and Renee……they are just great!  Their knowledge, encouragement and belief in you to accomplish your goal (no matter how little or big it is) is something I have never experienced at any other gyms.  I couldn’t imagine going anywhere else!

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