Athlete of the Month- Bri E.

Name: Bri English      Age: 31                From: Kalamazoo

How long have you been with CrossFit Torrent and what made you decide to start? 

I’ve been at Torrent for 11 months. I started in January 2019 when I saw an ad for the six-week challenge. 

To be honest, I only started to lose some of the weight I had gained from eating so many Christmas cookies, and I never planned to become a member after the challenge. However, the coaches, atmosphere, and workouts at Torrent completely changed my opinions about CrossFit, and I’ve loved the progress I’ve made so much that I can’t imagine not being a member.


What do you do when you’re not at CFT? 

I teach English at Loy Norrix High School, so I spend way too much time grading papers. I also play soccer 2-3 times a week and try to keep up with running – I’m currently training for my first full marathon. I try to spend a lot of time with friends. I love traveling, taking naps, and relaxing with a book and my cats. I also sew my own clothes, though my gym wardrobe definitely needs some work!

When did you realize that CrossFit is right for you? 

Probably after three or four weeks of the six-week challenge when I started to see real progress. I have been a runner for years, but had never done any weightlifting before or anything with the intensity of CrossFit, and I was so impressed by how effective the workouts were at building muscle.

What were your thoughts after your first WOD?

That I would be sore for a week (and I was).

What is your favorite or least favorite WOD/movement?

I think everyone knows that running WODs are my favorite! But I’ve also grown to look forward to doing the things that challenge me, like kipping pull-ups, toes to bar, and rope climbs. I also like most lifts that are not overhead.

I hate the assault bike. I don’t love snatches and I’ve said more swear words while doing wallballs than probably anything else.

What is the one thing you have done at CFT that you never thought you would do?

There are SO many things, but probably the biggest one is wake up at 4:30 a.m. on a semi-regular basis to work out.

What motivates you during a tough workout? 

I’m naturally competitive, mostly with myself, so I’m motivated to keep pushing through to get the best score I can. The coaches are also incredibly supportive – I want to work out harder and stronger to impress them and show them that the work they’ve put into helping me has made a difference. I also assume that the harder I workout, the more food I can eat after.

unnamed-2What’s your favorite thing about CrossFit?

I have two: the supportive atmosphere, both from the coaches and the other athletes, and how challenging it is. Every day is something new and different. It works parts of my body I didn’t even realize existed.

What are your short term and long term goals? 

Short term, I’d like to do a strict pull-up, do more workouts at Rx, and get through an entire wallball workout without hitting myself in the face with the ball on its way down. Long term, I want to continue to build tone and muscle so I can be healthy and happy throughout my adult years.

How have you seen yourself change- mentally and physically since joining Torrent? What impact has CFT had on you in and out of the gym?

The physical changes are HUGE. Even after my first few months at Torrent, I had toned my arms and shoulders enough that my coworkers and friends were commenting on it. I lost a significant amount of body fat during the challenge and sticking with CrossFit has allowed me to keep it off even when I’ve resumed normal eating habits. I kind of have abs now! All of my clothes from last year are too big, which means I’ve had to sew a lot of new things this year.

Probably what has impacted me the most is how the workouts at CFT have improved my abilities in other sports. I’ve become a much faster runner because of the high speed, high-intensity workouts we do, and ran my two fastest half marathons last year. I’m also a stronger soccer player because I can now sprint fast enough to keep up with most of the other players on the field.


Do you have any advice for people just getting started at CFT?

I would advise that they stick with it. Progress looks different for everyone, but what you put into it, you get out of it. The workouts are very hard, but all of them can be scaled in ways that make them possible for anyone with enough dedication. Also, remember that the coaches are there to help you. I know I shot Morgan and Brandon plenty of dirty looks during my first few weeks for correcting my form in the middle of a hard workout, but ultimately, they have your back and are there to help you achieve your goals.

Quick Questions


 Favorite Cheat Meal: I don’t believe in cheat meals because eating is my favorite part of every day… but I am well known for my love of Heath Klondike bars.

Favorite Musician/Band: I’m big into classic rock and indie rock, so maybe Led Zeppelin, the National, the Decemberists, and Sufjan Stevens.

Favorite Sports Team: I don’t watch or care much about sports… so maybe my Friday co-ed recreational league soccer team? 

Favorite Tv Show/ Movie:  I like true crime documentaries, The Great British Baking Show, and occasionally a good comedy show like The Good Place or Parks and Rec. 

Favorite CrossFit Athlete: Morgan Vandenberg 😉

Coach’s comment:

Looking back to Bri’s first few weeks with us makes all the coaches chuckle. Most of her comments were something like “I don’t like lifting weights at all and I’m hungry.” Week by week, day by day we saw her hate grow to love.  We (Morgan and Callie) also vividly remember the day she walked in wearing a tank top and we both said “HOLY COW BRI! You’re looking JACKED!” Bri has the perfect personality to be a successful member of CFT.  She is always striving to get better and though her looks could kill she is very coachable and actually puts adjustments or teaching moments to action. She has a sarcastic sense of humor (That’s a positive in our book) and is able to roll with the punches when skills or movements don’t go as planned. Humble, humble, humble. Bri is very hard working. Recently she said she was excited to do rope climbs because she knows they are hard and wanted to do them. She works to build a solid foundation in her skills and progressively build, she gets quality over quantity! She has calves for days and we all believe it would be a great accomplishment to keep up with her in a run. Athletes of the Month, don’t make excuses, Bri knows and practices that better than anyone.

Congratulations on becoming Miss December, Bri. You deserve it and we are so proud of you!

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