Operations Manager/Coach Jordan Finlayson has been CrossFitting for six years and his goal is to turn “I can’t” into “I can.” “I want to develop confidence in each member regardless of their fitness levels,” he says. “When a member comes to you and thanks you for helping them, regardless of the reasoning, it makes the early mornings, late nights and daily struggles worth every second.”
Jordan found CrossFit in 2010 and says “Within a month of organized CrossFit, I began seeing the changes in my body composition, health and overall fitness that I was seeking. I decided CrossFit was the missing piece in my journey to being fit.”
His list of accomplishments would be intimidating if Jordan weren’t such a nice guy. They include: 2011 Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Regionals – 17th. 2012 Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Regionals – 16th. 2013 Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Regionals – 29th. 2011 Bull City Weightlifting Classic – 1st (77kg). 2012 Bull City Weightlifting Classic – 2nd (85kg). 2013 Legacy Series Competition – 1st. 2013 Integrity’s Revenge – Team Rx – 3rd. 2016 Battle of the Boro – 1st Team Rx. 2016 Wodapalooza Men’s Rx- 40th. 2016 Reignited Games – 2nd Team Rx.
Head Coach/Iron Club Coordinator Jeffrey Washington says that, as former military, he can sympathize with service members who want to be the best versions of themselves to more effectively carry out their missions. His specialty is working with tactical athletes who want to serve their country to the best of their abilities.
Jeffrey didn’t grow up playing sports and calls himself a “child of the 90s.” “I played a ton of video games and grew up fueled by Mountain Dew and Velveeta shells and cheese,” he says. “It wasn’t until I joined the Army that I began to develop my passion for physical fitness. Being assigned to a Special Operations unit and serving with several Special Forces, Ranger, and Seal teams forced me to see the true value in functional training.”
B.A.S.I.C. Training Coordinator and Coach Caroline Foresman is passionate about two things: women’s health/fitness and The Office. She discovered CrossFit seven years ago when she was struggling with post-partum depression and self-image problems. “I started CrossFit, and it changed my life,” she says.
The thing she loves most about coaching is seeing her members learn how to respect and command their bodies. Caroline was never an athlete before starting CrossFit, and she says that proves that if she can do it, anyone can do it. Her favorite quote is “You can do things I cannot. I can do things you cannot. Together, we can do great things.” – Mother Theresa
CrossFit Kid’s Coordinator Laura Novotny has been CrossFitting for seven years and aspires to encourage others, regardless of age and ability, to see themselves as athletes who are designed to move and move well. “I believe that mindset helps people make better choices across all aspects of their lives,” she says.
Laura has an impressive list of athletic accomplishments under her belt, including running marathons, twice paddling the 41-mile channel between Oahu and Molokai in an outrigger canoe, and going to CrossFit Mid-Atlantic Regionals in 2012 “back when normal people made it to Regionals.” She became a CrossFit coach after recognizing the positive impact CrossFit has made on her self-image and self-confidence because the results were tangible and objective. “If you successfully lifted 330 pounds off the floor, you successfully lifted 330 pounds off the floor,” she says. “It’s pretty tough to belittle that accomplishment.”
Coach Natana Chaney has been a CrossFitter for nearly five years and specializes in rowing and weightlifting. She’s most passionate about happiness. “If it brings me joy and I see it bring the same joy to others around me, then I am passionate about it,” she says. “For me that’s fitness, family, friends, faith and adventure. she says. “It never gets old; there is always room for improvement. And I absolutely love the sport of CrossFit.”
Throughout the years, Natana has learned that her CrossFit commitment is about more than being a coach. “These people share their lives with me,” she says. “I am blessed to be a part of their journey and to me it is just such an honor. I learn just as much from them, if not more, than they learn from me. I am grateful to just be walking down this path of their life with them.”
In her younger years, Natana could most often be found on a skateboard or a surfboard. In high school, she turned to rowing. “It was everything I wanted out of a sport,” she says. “After high school, I went to the University of Central Florida to continue my rowing career. After college, I dabbled in powerlifting and military athlete until I found CrossFit. I was instantly intrigued by the community aspect of CrossFit. I watched the coaches lead, encourage, mentor and change these people’s lives. I needed that. I wanted to be that for so many people. It was perfect.”
Natana paired her interest in sports physiology with her open heart has never looked back. “I knew right away this was where I needed to be.”
Coach Barbara J Gouillon has an alter ego named Bricks Hithouse that plays roller derby. Barbara specializes in rehabilitation from orthopedic and neurological injuries. Her passion for life drives her to pursue a number of interests. “The world has so much to offer in terms of people, places, and activities,” she says. “I just want to see and do as much as I can.”
She’s always been interested in coaching, so when the opportunity arose to coach, she jumped at the chance. “It was a great decision, and I look forward to furthering my knowledge as a CrossFit coach,” she says. Her favorite quote is “Tomorrow is the most important in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself into our hands. It hopes that we’ve learned something from yesterday.” – John Wayne
Coach and Personal Trainer Deb Batchelor enjoys coaching smaller group classes and Fundamentals because she loves giving members one-on-one attention. In particular, she wants to teach kids to eat right and exercise. “I think it’s super important to start them at a young age knowing what is healthy to put in their body and what is unhealthy,” she says.
Deb discovered CrossFit after getting out of the Army but still having the desire to train people, but she couldn’t picture herself doing regular training at a globo-type gym. “I love seeing people improve and accomplish things they didn’t think they could do,” she says. Her favorite quote is “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”
Personal Trainer Kate Meador knew from a young age that she wanted to be a coach. It started with basketball and developed into fitness before she found CrossFit four years ago. “It allowed me to be competitive with others and myself,” she says. “I really tried the whole globo gym thing for a while, but I knew I needed more when I would catch myself trying to outrun the person on the treadmill next to me.”
Kate specializes in team sports, kids and poorly timed jokes. She loves watching her members progress and getting to know them “behind the barbell.” One day, she wants to swim with Orcas. Her favorite quote is “I pray to be like the ocean, with soft currents, maybe waves at times. More and more, I want the consistency rather than the highs and the lows.”
Rileigh Denis specializes in clinical nutrition, sports nutrition, and holistic health. She started CrossFit six years ago as her first athletic journey, and she was instantly hooked. Seeing members reach their goals is her favorite part of coaching.
Marketing Director KaryAnn Hull specializes in “keeping Jordan organized,” digital and social media marketing, event planning, managing the IFA website, and answering all the questions about IFA. Her passions include fitness and wellness, helping people, the Patriots, and elephants. KaryAnn calls herself a “glutton for punishment,” which is why she’s participated in multiple OCR events, GORUCK Toughs and Lights, and other endurance-based events. Her favorite quote is “Now I’ll be bold, as well as strong, and use my head alongside my heart.”
Yoga Instructor Laura Mathieu has been practicing yoga for more than 10 years, and she’s been an active CrossFitter for four years. She specializes in Vinyasa flow yoga with an emphasis on stretching and mobility. “I love sharing yoga and its benefits with fellow CrossFitters,” she says. “It is a great complement to the lifting and endurance work and has improved my mobility in CrossFit.” The yoga she teaches here is “not your typical yoga class” and includes a laid-back atmosphere and music like Pink Floyd and The Doors.
Laura was a swimmer from age 8 all the way through high school, and fell in love with CrossFit because it keeps her interest piqued. She earned her RYT in order to open her own yoga practice but quickly realized she could help others in the CrossFit community with better mobility and balance through yoga.
Yoga Instructor Amanda Shepard specializes in mental health and substance-use disorder therapy with yoga and meditation for stress and tension release. Her passion is helping others live a balanced and happy life worth living. Her goal at Iron Forged is to give members a different way to gain mental and physical strength that increases their performance in their workouts as well as their personal lives. Her favorite quote is “Feelings of heat and cold, pleasure and pain, are caused by the contact of the senses with their objects. They come and they go, never lasting long. You must accept them.” – Bhagavad Gita