Check these amazing women!


2021 Winner - Heather Smith

Congratulations to the 2021 Swole Sisters’ Day Winner!

Heather Smith

Rockford, IL

Nominated by her Swole Sister, Jennifer 

Why do you consider the nominee to be your "Swole Sister"?*
Heather is not only literally swole goals. But soul goals. She is the most sincere and amazing person around. While all the guys will have their "bro sesh" Heather and I will have our "swole sesh". We will share a bar and weights. She will hype me up when I need it and listen when I need someone to talk to. She is one of my soul sisters and honestly probably my "swole sister" now that I think of it. Heather was the only other girl that would consistently workout at 5am at our gym. The class always has more guys than girls in it. While she throws around way more weight than I can, she never makes me feel lesser that I can't do more. Instead she is right there helping me with technique and helping me get stronger. She helps me push my limits and is the first to fist bump me when a workout is done. Heather would message me during quarantine even to see how a workout went. We would compare scores and talk about what we could have done better for next time.
How does your Swole Sister make your life better?*
Heather doesn't know this but she saved my life. During quarantine I hit the lowest of lows mentally. I honestly haven't told many about this but I often had such bad panic attacks and anxiety that I wouldn't eat and honestly couldn't even move. I would lay on the couch sometimes for an entire weekend. I had horrible thoughts and didn't know my why. Why I existed or why I even mattered. My husband was amazing through it all. He helped me the most and got me the help I needed too. But Heather has no idea how much she had a roll in helping me as well. (I talk about it more below in the next question when I talk about FedRX .. I just don't want to be repetitive.)
She is constantly thinking of others first. She is a more advanced athlete and she often competes on a team with my husband. They competed at Wodapalooza in 2020 before the shutdown. He is much closer to her level and they push each other very well. But she makes sure that I feel welcomed and often encourages me to workout with them. Or has me jump in when they need another girl to help fill in a team. Even though it is intimidating, she will help me adjust the percentages of weight in a workout they are doing so that I can get the same stimulus and won't hurt myself. I never feel like I am holding her back when working out with her. Heather, my husband and I would workout at 5am together at our box everyday for over 2 years before her recent job change.
We would do the class WOD together then stay after and do open gym for a bit and do some add on work. However, now we don't get to see her as much. Her hours at her new job don't allow her to workout with us most mornings. But we just started doing swim workouts on what would have been our rest day with her. Heather helped teach my husband how to swim (he really didn't know how to) and is even helping perfect my technique without me asking. She seriously has the most caring soul I know.
She has helped me be the best version of myself physically and mentally. She honestly is who even introduced me to Wodbottom. We were at a local competition and she was grinning ear to ear when she saw the Wodbottom booth. I was pretty new to crossfit at the time and she instantly opened with the story behind the business and told me why she supports wodbottom. And honestly, the rest is history. I'm not sure who owns more wodbottom shorties at this rate!
How does your Swole Sister impact the lives of others?
Heather is one of the few coaches in class that coaches (not just a cheerleader but a genuine coach that makes sure you are doing movements correctly and can adjust on the fly to help those that need modifications to make movements safe but effective). She keeps the gym open extra hours for those that want to put in extra work after class. She is always on time and willing to help anyone that wants help. She makes anyone that walks through the doors feel welcomed. If we are limited on equipment she doesn't mind sharing or finding a way to make the equipment share work during a WOD. Not only is she a phenomenal coach at our Crossfit Gym but she recently just started her own nutrition company, FedRX.
Heather has an office at our gym for this side business. She held a competition at the beginning of the year and helped so many start the year on the right track, including myself and my husband. With quarantine I had put weight on, lost muscle and was struggling deeply mentally. Every week we weighed in we would have a great 1 on 1 talk. There were times that the scale would suggest I needed to adjust certain macros. But Heather would talk to me to find out what was going on to see if it truly needed adjusted. It was not a cookie cutter program. Heather put a lot of work into the program. My husband and I both lost 15+ lbs over the course of the challenge and got so much stronger. And I gained one hell of a friend. Heather doesn't realize her friendship saved my life. I was at one of the lowest parts of my life and she helped me get out of it.
Anything else we should know about your awesome Swole Sister? 
Heather is a badass. She works hard for what she has. Unfortunately, right now she is going through a rough spot. Some people are jealous of what she's worked for. So she is getting the short end of the stick. She stays positive but my husband and I can see it's taking a toll on her. She previously was a dental assistant at a corporate dental office. She didn't agree with their way of business and knew she wanted to get into health more and helping others with their health.
She was invited to coach at our local box just part time. A few classes here and there throughout the week. They didn't require her to get her CFL1. But she went ahead and got it on her own so that she could be a good coach. She didn't want to teach something that she wasn't certified in and potentially hurt others. Heather doesn't half ass anything she does. She is one of the few at our box that has her CFL1. As things got worse at the dental office she started studying so that she could start her own nutrition business. She did this between training, working at the dental office and coaching at our box. She finished her program and is a PN-L1 and NASM-CPT.
She started her own business and does 1 on 1 coaching with individuals. She helps them with their macros. Even recently started cooking for her clients. Eventually she started interviewing with a few different business' in town. She spoke with the owner of our current box to get his thoughts and let him know she was doing this. He was very encouraging and let her know that she would still be allowed to coach at our box if anything worked out at the business' she was interviewing with. Long story short, she got an opportunity to work at a boot camp in town. Nothing like what we do at crossfit. She is making more money than the dental office and is doing something she is passionate about.
She's helping others with their health. She's even bringing those people over to try crossfit. Which is helping everyone. But some coaches at our box are clearly jealous of her. They took most of her hours away. And just kind of exiled her for a lack of better words. Heather is staying positive. But like I said, we can tell it's taking a toll on her. She never did any of this to harm anyone. In fact she wanted to do the opposite. She found what she was passionate about and found a way to move forward with that. I just wish others knew how hard she worked for what she got. Nothing was ever handed to her. She always puts others before herself.

2020 Winner - Michelle Larson

Congratulations to the 2020 Swole Sisters’ Day Winner!

Michelle Larson

Bluffton, SC

Nominated by herSwole Sister, Mandy Howard

What does being a Swole Sister mean to you?

Being a Swole Sister means being a motivator, a supporter, aco-competitor, a post-WOD celebrator, a friend to go to during WODs and outsideof WODs. Swole Sisters push each other in the gym but are there for each other24/7, even for the tough stuff.

Why does your Swole Sister deserve to win?

My Swole Sister has been my best friend ever since Irelocated to this new state over four years ago. She pushes me and competeswith me. She puts up with my ridiculous matching outfits even though she's myopposite when it comes to clothes. Our favorites are the WodBottom dinosaurshorties with our team names: Trapasaurus and Cardioraptur. People ask us if weplan our matching outfits...the answer is YES!!

Michelle supports me in whatever challenge I pick up.

I decided to run my first marathon, and she trained longruns with me every Sunday, no matter what she was doing (even in the snow) anddespite having no desire to run a marathon. On the day of the marathon, sheshowed up with a made-up bib that said, "Mandy's Support Runner," andbrought my favorite flavor of Gatorade. She held that Gatorade and ran with mefor 6 miles out of my marathon. That support was so huge and was one of thebest days of my life, which was mainly special because of the support I had.

She's there for me at odd hours with little notice. Forexample, she judged me for 20.5 at 10 pm on a Thursday night before I had tojump on a plane out of the country.

She's my COVID support. During quarantine conditions, shewas my garage workout partner and competitor. She still came to work out withme and listened to my frustrations over the long work hours we wereexperiencing at my job due to COVID.

There are many in-depth conversations that happen at ourbarbell and on the floor of the garage or gym. We supported each other duringthis tough time, and we continue to do so no matter what life throws at us.She's better than a best friend; she's my SWOLE SISTER - and yes, we even havematching Swole Sister tanks, of course!

How does your Swole Sister impact your or others’lives?

Michelle is always supportive of me and others during toughtimes. My dog has been hospitalized with heart failure a couple of times thispast year, and she is always immediately available to come by and support me.

We get our emotions out with our WOD and conversations.She's also a coach and helps many athletes at our gym. She works particularlywell with one of our special needs athletes due to her ability to be calm andgain rapport with others. She takes coaching to a whole other level by tapingworkout programming for senior citizens at her work during COVID in order totry and help others but also maintain social distancing. This is not her mainjob function, but she did so on her own time in order to help better thecommunity she works for.

Michelle is kind and selfless, and we are lucky to have herin our lives!!

CrossFit Gym: May River Fitness in Bluffington,SC

2019 Winner - Shannon Greenwald

Congratulations to the 2019 Swole Sisters’ Day Winner!

Shannon Greenwald

Louisville, KY

Nominated by her Swole Sister, Deanna Maxwell

What makes your Swole Sister so amazing? 

Shannon. Where do I even begin in trying to describe her and why she is amazing? Shannon is over 50. She played college volleyball and STILL continues to play on a league which competed for the national title this year. She is tall and blond and beautiful and has absolutely no idea. She is gentle in spirit yet fierce in her determination to better herself. Shannon. There is none quite like her. We both met at a different gym. It was a gym full of people in their 40's. Soccer mom and dads who wanted to get fit, but honestly wanted the camaraderie more. We all hung out together after class, did things together on weekends and generally enjoyed each others company. The issue was that the coaching was non-existent, we injured ourselves often, and there was a general pervasive feel in the gym that we weren’t doing enough. No one made gains and no one really cared to get any better. 

I left the gym and sought out a new one. Shannon stayed. She was terrified to lose her friend group, to have them talk about her the way they did me when I left. I understood, it's hard to make changes when you are our age. Needless to say, a year later, Shannon left too. She finally understood that bettering herself was more important that staying comfortable. She left her friends and her comfort zone and entered our new gym which was quite a bit for intimidating as she became the oldest female in the gym. She was terrified. I will never forget how intimidated she was, how nervous and how she struggled every day to stay positive when she realized how much she had been doing wrong. Technique was now King, and she was a mere peasant lacking much of the basics. 

Over the last 6 months that she has been with us, I have watched as her self esteem has soared, her determination never waning. Last month, she came to class in her brand new booty shorts. The first she has ever worn. She had always said she wouldn't be caught dead in them as she was too told and "couldn't pull them off". I literally had tears in my eyes as I watched her embrace her age, her body, her image of herself. It was as if the clouds parted and she finally saw who she really was and was proud of it. A month later and she now owns 3 pairs and her collection is is her self confidence. 

Why does your Swole Sister deserve to win? 

CrossFit, and most fitness companies in general, continue to highlight athletes who are younger than us. Mid 20's early 30's girls and guys who are killing it in the gym. Don’t get me wrong, they deserve all of the recognition with their incredible accomplishments. But there as SO many of us in the over 40 and over 50 crowd that are trying to stay healthy, trying to challenge ourselves, and it is that much harder when we are constantly in comparison to the younger ones. It’s that much harder to walk into the gym every day surrounded by "the kids" as we lovingly call them. Shannon not only has overcome her hesitation and self esteem issues, but she has mothered on these "kids" like they were her own. 

She recently organized a canoe trip for the gym. Four of the gym members, in their early 20's, wanted to go but simply couldn't afford it. Two were new parents of a 5-month-old and 2 others were barely making ends meet at the beginning of their careers. Shannon reused to let them pay. She covered all of their trip fees and told them to pay it forward one day. She is not rich by all means, just a solid middle class mom. But, she is the most giving and loving woman around. You will see her cuddling the gym dog, playing with the other members kids, holding a members crying baby so they can finish their workout. Every day, she loves on the community and never asks for anything in return. 

How does your Swole Sister impact your life? 

Shannon truly gives me inspiration every day. She is there anytime I need her, and many times there when I don't even know I need her. She pushes me to be the very best I can, she gives our gym community someone to look up to, and I simply can't imagine my life without her.