Coach Amanda first heard of CrossFit when a college friend tried to convince her to drop in for a class at their gym. She saw the videos and pictures her friend posted and it looked…intense. Amanda was athletic, but scared of doing anything other than back squats with a barbell (How did they do that?! How did they get the bar up over their head like that?!), and she felt like pull-ups were a prerequisite (false). She let her fear of the unknown get the best of her. So, she kept on running and repeating the same cross training exercises she had done for years.
In 2013, Amanda moved from RI to VA and, new to the area, was seeking community. She found a running club (ah, safe! familiar!), and then saw a nearby CrossFit gym offering free weekly workouts (beginner-friendly, FREE!, a great way to cross train for running…). Eager for free fitness and friends, Amanda RAN (true story) to her first class…since it was like, just lifting weights, right?
So, while Amanda never again ran TO a CrossFit class, she has been running around inside (and outside) CrossFit classes since 2013 and coaching CrossFit since 2018. Amanda fell in love with the life lessons that CrossFit reflects. From the “constantly varied” workouts, where there is always something new to learn and to challenge yourself with (a humbling reminder that, as a human, you are always a work in progress) to the “high intensity” activity, which serves as an outlet for daily stressors, boosts physical and mental health, and creates that sense of community to all who work alongside you.
As an occupational therapist (OT), she loves how CrossFit trains “functional movements”…so you can keep doing the things you love to do outside of the gym. Most importantly, Amanda saw that CrossFit was infinitely scalable: any person, of any ability, could enter a CrossFit gym and get a good workout.
Coach Amanda started to connect the benefits of functional fitness to her career as a pediatric OT. She knew the research – most children, especially children with disabilities, are not meeting the recommended amount of daily physical activity. Amanda started implementing school-wide programming to increase physical and mental health and wellness. Whether it’s training support staff how to transfer kids safely, or teaching students how to squat so they can access their community job sites, Amanda is passionate about helping all people participate in meaningful physical activity…and reducing the barriers to access. Amanda obtained her Adaptive and Inclusive Trainer (AIT) certificate in 2018 through the Adaptive Training Academy (ATA). In July 2020, Amanda partnered with ATA to certify close to 100 OTs, PTs, and adapted physical education teachers at a local public school district. In December 2020, Amanda was onboarded as a subject matter expert for ATA, where she will expand the AIT certificate course to include adaptive children/youth content.
When Coach Amanda isn’t nerding out on OT and CrossFit, you can find her doing DIY house projects, playing outside (hiking, paddle boarding), and relaxing with her husband, Dan, and their two rescue pups.
CrossFit Level 1 Trainer (CF-L1)
Adaptive and Inclusive Trainer
National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Fundamentals of Coaching
NFHS Concussion in Sports
National Board Certified and VA Licensed Occupational Therapist
Doctorate of Occupational Therapy
CPR and First Aid