Success Stories


Member Success Stories & Testimonials | Hines Park CrossFit of Northville, MI - ellen1Ellen Wierzgac

April 2016



Ellen's Journey:

When I first heard I had invasive breast cancer, my world was rocked. I quickly found myself going to consult after consult with surgeons, plastic surgeons, oncologists and radiologists. It was overwhelming, to say the least. There were so many unknowns, other than the fact I had double mastectomy surgery in my near future. The reality of it all would hit me at the oddest moments and I felt like I would break. I had to be strong for my husband and sons, so they wouldn’t break.  


I had been involved with CrossFit for 1 ½ years at the time of my diagnosis. Not only did I feel physically stronger than I had in years, but CrossFit made me mentally stronger. I had incredible support from my husband and close friends, but it was CrossFit that I turned to most often. Before my surgery, I pushed myself even harder, testing my resolve. My workouts and the coaches were my lifeline. I had a mountain in front of me and I wanted to be absolutely certain I could climb it.  


After surgery I could barely use my arms. I never felt so physically weak and it was humbling. But in my head I heard Coach Kate say “you can do anything five more times.” So every day I pushed myself to do more regardless of how uncomfortable I was. I pictured myself doing five more deadlifts, five more wall balls, five more Godforsaken snatches beyond what I thought I could do before my surgery – and every day I accomplished more than the day before.  


While recovering, my husband went to CrossFit and would come home and tell me about the workout. I would sit there, with my T-Rex arms and envision ME doing the workout. I thought, NO WAY am I not returning to my workouts for 6-8 weeks (like the doctors said)! My doctors don’t know me – they don’t understand how mentally important it is for me to get back to class! 


At 3½ weeks, I walked into Hines Park CrossFit. I was a bit nervous to see just how much endurance I had lost. I was scared because I couldn’t do anything heavy with my arms, and certainly nothing overhead. But, there were my coaches – my saviors – helping me to modify so I could get a solid workout and begin my journey back to health. 



I remember the first time I tried to do a bench press and couldn’t even lift an empty bar off the frigging rack. It scared the hell out of me and almost in tears I went to Coach Lynn and told her I was afraid I’d never be able to do it again. She gave me that “Lynn” look and reassured me that my muscles would eventually remember what to do and, in time, I would build up those muscles that were cut in surgery. Of course, Lynn was right. 



My doctors were amazed at my recovery! My coworkers said they never would have guessed I had major surgery. I always told my boys that if you take care of your body, your body will take care of you. Nutrition…fitness that pushes your mind and body to new limits…truly, that is the key. I am living proof. What I have learned about nutrition and fitness from my coaches at Hines Park CrossFit saved me, and no matter what lies ahead I am forever thankful.


Why join Northville's most recognized CrossFit gym? We've created an amazing community! See what our members are saying:

Member Success Stories & Testimonials | Hines Park CrossFit of Northville, MI - victoria"I have struggled with my weight my whole life, as well as many self esteem issues. I started running in 2013 and lost about 30 pounds. In July of 2014 I came down with a kidney infection and was hospitalized for a few days. They overloaded me with fluid and I had a hard time getting back in to running after that.

I ended up being diagnosed with depression about a year and a half later. I was at a point in my life where I was gaining back the weight I had lost and couldn't seem to keep it off. It put me in a very low spot. 

Christmas of 2015 is when I had first heard about CrossFit. I was immediately intrigued and decided to try it. After my first on-ramp class, I was hooked!

I have been doing CrossFit for almost 6 months now. I haven't taken my anxiety/depression medication for 5 months and have never felt better. Every CrossFit class pushes me to my limits, to try things that I never thought I'd be able to do. Even on my off days, I am so proud of myself and how far I've come. 

My self esteem has never been better. I have more energy and I've been eating healthier. I feel so comfortable in my body now and I love it. I have also made some amazing friends because of CrossFit. 

Everyone is always cheering you on and telling you good job. It is truly a place where everyone is made to feel welcome and that is truly amazing. I have gotten out of my comfort zone and competed in a competition (and I am just itching to do more)! 

CrossFit makes me feel so strong and so empowered, like I can do absolutely anything. I am so thankful that I have CrossFit and I'm very happy that I took the leap I did. CrossFit has truly changed my life."


"Throughout the course of my life I have been an active person that has been heavily involved in athletics from very competitive levels down to recreational fun.  For me the compelling reason for being active is to stay fit so that I can maintain a healthy lifestyle later in life.  Setting the foundation now is essential to meeting my ultimate goal. 
Over the years I have dabbled in traditional gym environments but often struggled to find the motivation or encouragement needed to fulfill my potential.  About three years ago, after completing a “CrossFit-like” program at a big-box gym, I joined Hines Park CrossFit.  My first few classes were eye opening as I quickly learned that I have a lot to learn!  It was a situation that could have easily been perceived as intimidating, but the reality was the exact opposite.  The CrossFit community can be summed up as nothing more than an affinity group of like-minded people of all ages that come together with the common goal of motivating others to be the best they can be.  It is a community that comes together to support one another from completing the final repetition of an exercise to being there for each other for whatever challenges life presents. 
Sure, the physical benefits of CrossFit are obvious; however, the true benefit that I’ve experienced is the development of mental stamina needed to complete high-intensity workouts at an optimal level.  The ability to develop and maintain mental strength and focus easily translates into the workplace.  It is a differentiator when successfully leading teams and driving productivity day to day.
I am proud to be a member of the CrossFit community.  It has afforded me the opportunity to better myself as well as to expand my circle of close friends and professional contacts.  It has taught me the importance of goal setting and working hard to accomplish feats that were once thought to be impossible.  The best part is that the journey never ends… just when you think you’ve mastered a CrossFit move or technique the door opens to a whole new set of challenges.  It is similar in the workplace where one should never settle for mediocrity, but rather should always reach for greatness!"

~Steve Settle

"I have been a client at Hines Park Crossfit for 4 years.  Prior to joining, I didn’t work out regularly and it was hard to get into a routine.  Hines Park has given me a community of friends, who hold me accountable and keep me coming back day after day.  I go at least 4 times/week, and it is always fun and always different.  I have built a healthy habit now and couldn’t imagine my life without this regular fitness routine.  The programming is different every day, so I never get bored.  There have excellent coaches, and it is nice to experience their different styles. The coaches get to know you personally, and help scale if you don’t want to do the exact exercises.  It is a great way to relieve stress, practice staying in the moment and focus, and conquering fear and mental roadblocks.  My blood work/health scores have gotten much better too (cholesterol - and triglycerides especially - lowered significantly).  I enjoy mixing boot camp with regular CrossFit for added variety.  I have learned these past few years, that I must take care of myself first, and if I do, I perform better as a leader.  I appreciate Hines Park for improving my health and quality of life."

~Kristen Holt

Awesome Place!

"Awesome place. The trainers are very well versed in overall health and wellness as well as Crossfit programs, keeping your safety and well being at front of mind. The gym and locker rooms are very clean, and the actual facility has super new equipment. The team and community atmosphere along with the vision the owners and trainers share is really what makes this place shine. I highly recommend!"

~Scott S


"Legit. Went in today for my first time at 7:30 pm I met the manager and one of the coaches. I really just went in to check the place out, I needed a new box because mine is out of the way now. I ended up staying for a workout which was awesome. After a quick warm-up I learned how to do a kipping pull up. I could do them strict but never was able to kip before, not even one. I have had people try and teach me in the past with no luck. After maybe 15 minutes from the time I walked n the door Lindsaya taught me how to do something that I have been trying to figure out for 4 months. I can' wait to go back. "

~Anis S.

Simply Amazing!

"I've been to Crossfit in the D several times... simply put, the facility is absolutely amazing and completely state of the art and their staff are equally awesome... are all well trained, very knowledgable and top notch as well... in every way and in every sense of the word... this place must be seen to be believed!!! Stop by and pay these guys a visit asap... give it a try... promise you won't be disappointed!!! This place is simply amazing!!!"

~Kris D.

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