Coaches Comments: Pam Criscuolo-Savejs is our pick for February. Pam is the first person to come over and cheer on our athlete's when they are finishing up their WOD. Pam works extremely hard in everything she does not just in Crossfit but life. She is not afraid to find her weakness's and attack them. Her desire to improve everyday is shown from her attention to detail and asking questions about what she can do to be a better Crossfitter. She shows us all that fitness is not just physical but also mental toughness as well!
Giana G " We all want to be her when we grown up"
How did you hear about Crossfit?
I had read about CFME in our local newspaper, but didn’t consider joining because I was a member of a small gym in Berlin. I left that gym and began searching for another place to work out. I knew I wanted a gym with group classes because I don’t like working out by myself. My daughter, Christina, joined CFME and liked it. I asked her if she thought I would be able to do the workouts. She told me there were other woman in my age group and told me to give it a try. I sure am glad I did.
What is the biggest change you’ve seen in yourself since you started Crossfit?
Physically I’ve seen a big change. I’m stronger and more muscular than I’ve ever been in my life. Mentally I’m also stronger. I know that if I work hard I’ll be able to do movements I haven’t been able to do since I was a child. I wanted so badly to do a pull-up. The coaches and many fellow CFME members gave me special exercises to help get me stronger and encouraged me along the way. I watched You Tube videos and read articles that told what exercises I needed to do in order to perform a pull up. I’ll never forget the night I did my first pullup as I screamed with joy when my chin reached over the bar.
What do you like about it?
Everything! I love being challenged. Before coming to Crossfit I had never lifted weights. When I started I never thought I’d be able to do a clean and I bet Coach Brandon felt the same way! I struggled so much with that lift and am amazed that it’s now my favorite movement. Now I’m struggling with the Snatch, but know that with practice and the great coaching I get at CFME someday I’ll be good at it.
Without a doubt the best thing about CFME is the coaching staff, all its members and the family atmosphere at CFME. Everyone truly cares about each other and the support between the coaches and members is amazing. I love the wide age range of CFME members. 2015 was a difficult year for my family as we watched my husband fight a very tough cancer including a stem cell transplant. Crossfit was a big reason I was able to get through that difficult time. Most members weren’t aware of his illness, but their kindness, friendship and encouragement on a daily basis became the bright spot of my day and took my mind off my family troubles. One night I came to class and Coach Mark, who knew about my husband, could see I was having a very bad day, as I was having a hard time holding back tears. He was compassionate and talked me through it, something I’ll never forget.
I love watching others training. Their perseverance, hard work and dedication inspire me to work harder and get better. The coaches are always willing to answer my questions and work with me to improve my movements. I have a hard time grasping many of the techniques. The coaches are always patient and go above and beyond to help me improve.
I remember my first workout was with my grandmother. When I slept over her house we watched Jack Lalanne and worked out together. I have been active ever since. I love seeing the younger members work out . I know the positive impact exercising will have on the rest of their lives.
I also love going to Crossfit competitions to watch my friends compete and cheer them on. They all work so hard and their dedication is remarkable. Most of them are young enough to be my children, so I can’t help but be proud of them and happy for them.
What would you say to someone who wants to try it?
I’m always encouraging people to try Crossfit. I tell them if a woman my age can do it, anyone can.
I explain that every movement can be scaled to fit ones abilities. I tell them how welcoming and encouraging the members are. I also tell them the coaching staff is very concerned that they perform the movements correctly so they won’t get hurt and that we constantly work on movements to assure we are performing the movements correctly. In addition to your Crossfit membership, you get a YMCA membership too. What a fabulous bonus.
What is something people might not know about you?
I love cars. If I could I would have a different car for every day of the week. When I was a teenager my favorite car was a 1972 Corvette. Many many years ago I was driving up East Main St. when I saw a blue metal –flake t-top ’72 Vette with a for sale sign in the window. My husband and I bought it. I didn’t know how to drive a standard, so until I learned I had to walk to work. Needless to say, I learned pretty quickly. We still have the car, but it needs work. After we had children we didn’t have the money to keep up with the car. Someday I hope to see it restored.