Athlete of the MonthSeptember

Leslie Benson

Career: Health Coach / Personal Trainer

"Just get started! I am the queen of modifications, trust me! There is always something you can do. And you never know, you may surprise yourself!"

Hometown: Bronx, New York

Age: 49

When did you first start training at CFKSQ? Summer 2017

Favorite WOD: Anything with deadlifts or double unders (I have rearranged my schedule to get to class on deadlift day), or longer WODs with different equipment.

Least Favorite WOD: Really short WODs with burpees :)

Tell us about your sports & fitness background: I was a tomboy as a child, but while I loved playing outside, I didn’t consider myself an athlete. I played softball in High School. I was overweight most of my childhood, so activity was pretty sporadic until after college.

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Take us back to your first WOD… what was it, and how did it feel? I started working out at a fitness center in 2013, and the manager there started giving us ‘mini CrossFit’ workouts as she called them. I liked them so much I sought out a box near my home. I don’t remember the first workout, but I remember it was mostly bodyweight (lunges and wall balls maybe). Afterwards I was both exhausted and energized! It was a feeling I’d never experienced working out at a regular gym.


What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CF (before/after)? I am definitely stronger, and my endurance has improved. I could never run as a child, but in the last few years have been able to complete 5ks and even a half marathon! I’ve also learned how to fuel my body properly and lost over 20 pounds this year.

What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were totally unexpected? CrossFit led me adopt a healthier lifestyle, so much that I left my corporate job to become a Personal Trainer and recently a Health Coach. I’ve become a healthier person, and now I get to share my passion with others.

Please share with us any favorite CrossFit / CFKSQ moments: The Open of course, it’s great to see people test themselves. I also love the in-house competitions. I typically shy away from partner workouts, for fear of disappointing my partner, but these events are a great way to cheer each other on and get to know other people in our community.

Any advice for people just getting started? Just get started! I am the queen of modifications, trust me! There is always something you can do. And you never know, you may surprise yourself! This is a great community and I’m thankful to be a part of it.

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit? I enjoy hanging out with my husband and our crazy dog, Jazz, dancing (you may see me in action between sets) and spending time with family and friends.