Success Story – Liz Crean

By shannon
In December 9, 2018

Coach Liz

What I did before CrossFit: I played soccer throughout middle school, high school, and college, and also did TaekwonDo for over ten years. I hold a second degree black belt in TaekwonDo, competed twice at Junior Olympics, and taught TaekwonDo classes for about five years. I also played softball for exactly one day but they put me in the outfield and I was bored out of my mind so I quit.

How I found CrossFit:  After graduating college, my best friend told me she had been doing this “new workout class” the last few months and she thought I would like it. A box had just opened up near us, so I went to try it with her. I had so much fun in the class, got a great workout, and found it filled the sense of a ‘team’ that I had been missing since the end of my soccer career – despite the range of ages and abilities, everyone worked hard towards a common goal and celebrated afterwards. It also gave me some physical and competitive goals to work towards, which I had been missing as well. I joined that day and never looked back!


My First WOD: I don’t remember what I did my very first day at CrossFit, but I do remember doing Karen about two weeks in. This was my first exposure to how one simple, easy movement can become insanely hard when done numerous times at a fast pace. I was confused and intrigued and could barely walk and couldn’t wait to come back the next day.



How I’ve progressed: I have definitely become a lot more well-rounded as an athlete thanks to CrossFit. I used to be good at running and pretty much nothing else. I remember not being able to do a single pull-up, and watching someone in class do 20 pull-ups in a row mid-WOD and wanting so badly to be able to do that. I started staying after class every day not leaving until I’d done ten pull-ups – at first they were singles, then I could do two in a row a couple times then the rest singles, and so on until I could do ten in a row. Five years later, pull-ups are one of my favorite movements — my PR is 36 unbroken. That said, I still have a lot of work to do on many movements (muscle ups…..), which is one of my favorite things about CrossFit – you can never master everything so you never get bored or feel complacent. What was also a shocking improvement, and speaks volumes about the efficacy of CrossFit, is that after about two years of CrossFit, despite never running a timed mile in that time frame, or working on my running more than what was in the daily WOD, the programming included a mile for time and I got a lifetime PR (5:58). I couldn’t believe it – I spent years running up and down the soccer field for hours every day, but CrossFit had made me a better runner than that ever had.

Why I decided to become an L1 Trainer: The main reason I decided to get my L1 certification was because I wanted to learn more about the methodology behind what I had been doing in the gym everyday, aka I am still an annoying ‘why?’ kid. I decided to become a Coach because I wanted to be able to share this knowledge with others, and help improve peoples’ lives the way CrossFit has improved mine – to pay it forward so to speak. Once I started coaching, I realized how much I had missed it since stopping teaching TaekwonDo eight years ago. Coaching is now my absolute favorite hobby, and I hope it shows to all of the members I interact with. Seeing someone get a PR or master a new movement is so rewarding, and it is great to see people improving their lives through fitness while having fun.

2018 State of the Nation Competition

How different coaching is from just taking a class: The biggest difference I notice is spending an hour focusing externally on helping others (coaching) vs. taking an hour to be selfish and only focus on me (working out). However, I find both to be stress-relieving and a time when I am not thinking about anything besides what’s happening in the box. Also, I’ve never made a pain face/thought I was going to pass out/felt like my legs were on fire while coaching.

What has been my experience at Ruination: My experience at Ruination has been awesome. When I moved out here, I didn’t think I would find a gym that I liked as much as CrossFit Southie, but I did. The coaching, programming, and community are all top notch and I am proud to be a part of the team.

Fun Facts:

  • Favorite workout: Murph
  • Favorite movement: Power cleans and handstand push ups
  • Least favorite movement: Wall balls (why is a #14 squat so hard????)
  • Favorite activity outside of the gym: Cooking! Then eating what I cooked.
  • Favorite song to workout to: Most of the time I’m completely unaware that music is even on.

Accomplishment you’re most proud of: 

Getting my first muscle up. It took me eight months of literal blood, sweat, and tears to finally get one and I will never forget that moment. I had watched the CrossFit games in the summer of 2014 on TV and decided I wanted to be able to do one and it took me until the following April to finally complete my goal. I am mostly proud of myself for not giving up and saying ‘I just can’t do them’ – this is one of the many lessons CrossFit teaches that carries over to the rest of life. Funny story – this happened at Crossfit Southie and everyone had been watching me work towards getting a muscle up for so long, and one of my friends who had been encouraging me the whole time was in the bathroom when I finally got one, he heard a bunch of cheering so he sprinted out and demanded I do another one. It was hilarious and amazing, and I was somehow able to pull off a second rep.

Personal Records (PRs):

Fun fact, my bench press and overhead squat are exactly the same, #145. Other recent PR’s include a 36″ box jump, 5 unbroken bar muscle ups, a legless rope climb, #150 clean and jerk (FINALLY!), 4:31 Fran, and being able to do ring muscle ups in WODs.

Coaches/Members Who’ve Made a Difference: 

The level of support and encouragement I received from coaches and members alike when I first got my L1 and started coaching was unbelievable. Numerous people reached out to wish me luck, congratulate me, or tell me they were looking forward to taking my class, and it meant so much to me.

Goals for 2019: 

  • Specific goals:  Squat #225 and complete Amanda Rx
  • General goals:  Continue to refine my olympic lifting technique and improving my coaching skills

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