I recently received this unsolicited email from one of the quiet heroes of the 5am class, Phedra Hamilton.  There is no doubt that Phedra has made incredible progress over the last 15 months, and I’m always humbled to have such sincere attention and compliments directed at the gym, myself and the staff.  In my opinion though, who is really being acknowledged is the Arsenal community.  Each person named in this note makes as much effort as myself and the coaches to make this program the support structure that it has grown to be.

So thank you Phedra, Arsenal.  There is no us without you.  Congratulations on all you have and will achieve.

-Jason G

Enter Phedra Hamilton-

It has been a year plus since I’ve joined CFA, and it’s been a life-changing experience that has impacted all channels of my life. As I’ve shared with you, before coming to CFA, I was very active; running 1/2 marathons, lifting weights and eating pretty well. My weight fluctuated by 15 pounds, and it was a struggle to maintain. Despite my activity level, I was not optimizing my body, I was just griding it. I needed a change, and quite frankly, I wanted someone else to tell me what to do.  I hesitantly joined CFA knowing that I wasn’t familiar with a lot of the lifting techniques and was very intimidated by being the new person in the class and just sucking at everything.

My first class was January 6, 2017, with Jamie and Yoshi.  I did back squats and some rowing.  Both, Jamie and Yosh, were very encouraging and welcoming. Jamie was patient and walked me through technique, gave me pointers and made me feel like 65lbs was amazing. I walked out of class still feeling doubtful, but I returned.  Fast forward to November 10, 2017, the class was just the three of us again, me, Jamie and Yosh, and I back squatted 165lbs, but now feeling confident and proud.
Your coaching team has been amazing.  They each bring their unique characters to class and share daily stories about what’s going on in their lives. Despite each athletes capabilities, you and your crew are consistently motivating, educating, constructive and patient.  Each coach is always on time and is respectful to each athlete.
The CFA community is open, non-threatening and inspiring.  I’ve made so many friends and personal connections with CFA classmates– Holly is my partner in crime and steady. Lenny is my open judge and pushes me. I aspire to be as humble and strong as Lucy. Peppin and I had a 5-minute heart to heart one morning where we exchanged stories about our physical evolutions with our bodies.  And it goes on… Comical Facebook posts with face-beards, to daily posts of athletes working out and the ongoing and unique competitions for all to join in on.  CFA is a true representation of what a community resembles, and I couldn’t be more honored to be part of it.
As I said, this year has been life-changing for me.  Not only am I more mentally focused in the workplace, I have more endurance during the day and with my kids at night. Emotionally, I feel confident from learning different skills and techniques which contributes to how I carry myself. Physically, I’ve lost over 25lbs and my body is strong and functioning better than it ever has.  I can do multiple toe-to-bars.  When I first started I could barely do knee raises. Progress!  Being part of CFA has been humbling, motivating and one of the best decisions I’ve made.  Each day feels like my first day in that I know I’ll be challenged by my classmates and coaches.  The WOD’s scare and intimidate me, but I know now that I’m competing with myself to win at life.
From one professional to another, you’re doing a stand-up job, Jason, and you have yourself a strong business.  You’re humble, proud and continue to evolve to make CFA an even tighter community.  Keep on kicking ass!
All the best,
#nomorefeelings #elite