Featured Athlete – Fay Morrison

Hi, my name is Fay Morrison. I am 36 and a stay-at-home mom of four. I started CrossFit on May 18, 2012, and it has changed my life and probably lengthened it too.



On May 16, 2012, I sat watching as three of my four children swam numerous laps in the Thomas Center Natatorium for swim team and felt guilty. I turned to my friend, Lucy Merrill, and told her how bad I felt making them do this while I wasn’t doing anything. Lucy said, “Well, you really need to do something. I CrossFit on MLK near Catherine and Company. I think you should do that.” I thank God that He sent me a friend that I could actually hear that from and not be completely offended. That night as soon as I got home, I emailed Neal to set-up my first on-ramp for two days later. The next day, Lucy mentioned CrossFit again, and I told her I had set-up an on-ramp with Neal for Friday. Lucy said, “Neal is super fit. He is pretty intimidating.” For a woman wearing size 20W yoga pants who got out of breath doing the stairs, it was not very comforting.


Meeting Neal for the first time, Lucy’s statements were proven true. He was very fit and slightly intimidating, but he was also super kind. We talked about eating Paleo and goals. I had really never set fitness goals; I had never stuck with anything fitness related long enough to reach a goal. It took me almost a week to come up with two. I would like to be able to do my stairs without getting out of breath, and it would be nice to shop in normal people clothing stores. Plus, a friend had challenged me to do the Red River Revel 5K in Shreveport, Louisiana in October. I had also decided at that time that I was not ready for classes and just wanted to do personal training sessions. Plus, it worked around my husband’s schedule so that he could help with the kids. (Thanks Enoch; I couldn’t have done this without you.) I started on a 2 to 3 days on 1 day off rotation depending on soreness that turned into a 5 day a week addiction. I am not perfect eating Paleo, but I probably get it right 80% of the time. Fortunately, I love meat and veggies.


I had no idea that I was going to become seriously addicted to CrossFit. There is nothing like your first WOD. It was 21-15-9 of some horrible things that a year later will be a warm-up. Neal ended up taking out the set of 15 for me to finish it. I just noticed that a couple weeks ago when we were going through my journal joking about what my one-year anniversary WOD should be. (That is something I love about CrossFit; everything is scalable to your fitness level even during your workout!) After that first on-ramp, I was so sore, and I made a comment about just getting here today was tough. Neal promised me that day if I just showed up that he would make me do the work. He kept that promise even on my most difficult days. (Something else that I love about CrossFit is that you don’t have to think. You just have to show up and follow instructions. I joke I get to leave my brain outside the gym, but it isn’t too far from the truth.)


In June 2012, I attempted to run my first very slow mile, but it still felt good “running” the whole thing in slightly under 15 minutes. About a month ago, I ran a 7:51 mile; that felt like flying. I remember somewhere during this process that I ran one day, and Neal said, “You actually looked like a runner  today. When you first started, you didn’t even know how to run.” Since October 2012, I have run three 5K’s, a 10K, and a CrossFit 5K (which is nothing like a 5K and definitely more challenging than a 10K.) I was so proud of my reverse split on my 10K and finishing in 65 minutes and 59 seconds. I was exhausted running it, but the entire time I was thinking that at least this isn’t burpees. I am amazed at how something I hated doing (moving) has become something I enjoy. This past weekend, Lucy and I did the Houston Mud Run and had an awesome time. Before CrossFit, there would have been no way I could have even completed even a third of the obstacles much less the 3.1 miles in between them.


My brain has been the slowest part of this process. I was still wearing my original yoga pants with the drawstrings pulled tight back in February 2013. I griped to my husband that they were still fitting. Enoch, said, “You’re wearing your pants 6 inches above your belly button. They don’t fit; go buy some new ones.” With permission to shop, I headed to my favorite plus-sized clothing store… none of the clothes fit. Where was I supposed to shop now? I drove over to Dillard’s. I grabbed a pair of size 14 jeans. They were too big. I almost cried as I zipped the size 12’s. How had I gone from a size 20W to a regular size 12 and not noticed? Two weekends ago, I fit in a pair of size 8 Levi’s. You know you are excited when you are snapping photos of yourself in the mirror and sending it to your friends.


CrossFit has also become a family affair. My two oldest children have participated in CrossFit Kids and personal training with their amazing Coach Kara. My proudest CrossFit moment wasn’t even my own. Amber and Ethan ran a mile about a week ago, and they shaved 2 minutes 13 seconds and 3 minutes 15 seconds respectively off their previous PRs! That was an awesome day! They were so proud of themselves. My husband just started last week. I am so excited. We did our first WOD together, and we were both lying in a pile of sweat on the floor in front of a fan. That was a pretty awesome bonding experience.


I really cannot say enough positive words about CrossFit Beaumont and Neal. If you are reading this and are even thinking about trying CrossFit, just do it. The experience is life changing on the outside and the inside too. I just got my blood work back a couple weeks ago, and my cholesterol levels are back to normal. I’ve lost 35 pounds and gained lots of muscle. By-the-way, I can sprint up the stairs carrying either my 47 pound 4 year-old or my 55 pound 5 year-old. Goal surpassed! Yay! Someone recently asked me while my daughter was standing next to me, “When are you going to quit CrossFit?” My daughter responded passionately before I could, “She not! My mom is going to be the fittest that she can be.” She made me realize that I am setting a much better example of what a healthy lifestyle looks like for her brothers and her, and that is what makes CrossFit worth it for me.


As I finish typing this to head out the door for my session, I am pulling the drawstring tighter on my size 10 Lulus. Neal, I should have listened to you two months ago when you said, “Why buy expensive workout pants that you aren’t going to fit in two months from now.

Fay in May 2013
Fay in May 2013 – Size 20 to a size 8!
Fay in May 2012
Fay in May 2012

9 thoughts on “Featured Athlete – Fay Morrison”

  1. So proud of you Fay! You amaze me with your determination to get stronger and faster. I am looking forward to hearing about your next Crossfit accomplishments!! And btw- that’s not how I remember the story. Lol!

  2. Fay, you are such an inspiration…and have been from the time I first saw you sneaking into CFB. “Determined and dedicated” don’t begin to describe you. “Amazing” may come a little closer. Thank-you for sharing your story. Like Lucy, I’m anxious to see what’s next! (A 7:51 mile? Really?)

  3. Awesome story!! The part about you’re daughter’s comment brought some tears! Can’t wait to see or read what’s next! I’m not sure if I’ve met you in class yet. God bless and keep it up!!

  4. Stephanie Chambers

    Wow. That’s all I can say. Just WOW. I don’t know you but your story is AWESOME! One of the many reasons I love CrossFit (especially CFB)! Keep it up ma’am!

  5. You seriously rock Fay! I remember walking in the gym one day and thinking wow you look so good! Your hard work and determination is admirable to say the least. You go girl and congrats!

  6. Fay is the hardest working athlete at CFB. After her first couple of months I started deliberately making the workouts a little harder than normal just to test her boundaries because I had gone a little easy on her in the beginning.
    Now I regularly put her through workouts that would make some of our members cringe; I wouldn’t even be able to post her workouts on the blog because no one would show up. But no matter what I throw at her she always pushes through it. She regularly does two workouts in one session plus strength/skill work.
    Sometimes when I think I’ve pushed her too hard she somehow finds the strength to push through and finds a way to finish! I’m so proud of you and all your hard work; can’t wait to see what next year will bring.

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Wade Aran


My name is Wade and I’ve been part of the CFB family for close to 3 years now. I’m happy to say that I’m the newest addition to the CFB coaching staff! Whether you’re a well rounded athlete or a complete novice, the coaching at CFB will push you down that pipeline to become a better athlete and also a better version of yourself. I’ve also found that being in the CF environment, there’s no better place to make new friends with the same mindset and goals. So come get fit, make some friends and let’s achieve our goals together!


Justin Moffatt


From a young age, sports have been a central part of my life, with football and golf being my main passions. I played football for 19 years, finishing up my career at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. I am currently stationed at my second Coast Guard unit in Port Arthur and joined CrossFit Beaumont upon arriving here in the fall of 2023.

In early 2023, a severe knee injury left my body at its weakest. I spent months in physical therapy, working hard to regain the ability to walk. Moving to Texas, I was determined to join a gym that emphasized community, camaraderie, and functional fitness applicable to everyday life. That’s exactly what I found at CrossFit Beaumont.

Less than a year into my CrossFit journey, my knee has fully recovered. I feel stronger, more flexible, and healthier than ever before. As an avid golfer, I’ve noticed significant improvements in my mobility and performance on the course thanks to CrossFit.

CrossFit has inspired me to learn the methods behind it so that I can be fully equipped to lead and inspire others on their own fitness journeys. What we do here works; I’ve seen it firsthand, and the results are evident all around the gym. I hope to do the same for you!


Yohannes Taddesse


Honestly, when I first joined CrossFit Beaumont back in July of 2021, I was in a weird place both mentally and physically. To get out of the rut, I tried other gyms, and I couldn’t find myself driven enough to go past three months or so. But when I tried that first class with CrossFit Beaumont, I knew immediately that I would be coming back. In fact, I signed up that very day. Though I had played soccer all my life and I was participating in the occasional 5Ks, 10Ks, and half marathons, I left that first class realizing how out of shape I really was. I was excited to come back and face the challenge. I recently learned that fitness is health and wellness throughout lifetime and by that definition, my journey is not complete. However, I have been here two years now and I am the healthiest that I have ever been. I am in a good place both mentally and physically. And as a plus, in sharing the challenge of the class with others, I made some of my best friends. I can never give enough appreciation to the coaches and the members that guided and cheered me through all of it . . . There just aren’t enough words. But I am now part of the coaching staff and it’s exciting for me to be able to share and help guide others through the fitness journey that I went and still am going through.


Sophie Hurley


Staying active has always been part of my life. I played sports growing up and I have been a dancer my entire life. In college I was searching for the next step in my health and fitness journey, not sure of where to go to achieve my goals. I stumbled upon CrossFit Beaumont and never looked back. The constant variation kept me interested and allowed me to do things I love as well as improving weaknesses. I am a dance instructor and I have a passion for sharing an active lifestyle with others. I am so grateful for the relationships I have developed within this community. Becoming a coach has been a dream come true and I am proud to be on the CFB team. There is nothing quite like the environment of CrossFit Beaumont and the opportunities I have to improve myself and cheer on those around me.


CrossFit Level 1 (CF-L1)

Sean Bebeau


” Growing up, I was always on the move. I loved playing baseball, basketball, and football with friends. I loved the comradery we built over years of continuously rooting each other on. I especially loved the competition that forced us all to grow and improve. As I have begun my journey to becoming a coach at CrossFit Beaumont, I’ve realized the reasons I enjoy CrossFit so much are the very same reasons I loved athletics in my younger years. I’ve formed amazing friendships with the people I see in class every day. There is an awesome sense of competition that pushes me to do my absolute best in each workout. The benefits of the CrossFit methodology are great, but what makes CrossFit special is its unparalleled culture. I’m proud to be a part of the unbelievable team at CFB. I’ve seen the dedication and care that our coaches pour into their classes and athletes first hand. It is my goal to do the same for each person I get the opportunity to coach. “


CrossFit Level 1 (CF-L1)

Javob Yentzen


I started at CFB almost 8 months ago. I will say JJ thoroughly disappointed me in promoting the atmosphere and the fun in suffering I have experienced. At least Neal would tell me to try it out from time to time. I am husband to Heather of 9 wonderful years, and father of crazy, wild, and awesome kiddos Bryson (3) and Bailey (5). Through the years since college, I really have just got into that sedentary life style that I always knew I needed to get out of. I needed it for my mental health as much as for my physical health. I have always done a month here and a couple months there at these globo gyms in town, just to never hang on and not find anything that got my competitive juices going. I have found that in life you will always find time for things that you enjoy and things that are important to you. And these gyms were never anything I enjoyed or became a priority. I now look at my schedule every week and see what classes I can make because CFB checks those enjoyment and important boxes. Since joining CFB, the fellowship and encouragement from members/coaches (now many friends) have been things that stuck out to me. Always someone there encouraging when you feel like you don’t have that last rep or those last 10 calories on those horrible assault bikes. Oh and I’ve also never been this fit in my life and look forward to the progress I know is still in front of me. Thank you to all friends and coaches! Can’t wait to get another pair of shoes……….


CF-L1 Trainer



I’ve been around sports my entire life. I played the big three growing up: baseball, basketball, and football and I continued to play baseball into college for five (5) years. I’ve seen and met all types of coaches and I’ve learned many lessons from them all. Coaching and teaching have always been passions of mine. Helping others set goals, seeing their journey, and helping them achieve those goals is something that really drives me. Crossfit has let me continue these competitive and coaching passions on a daily basis. We have great coaches at CFB that bring their own flair and styles which let myself and members gain a wealth of knowledge to continue to set and achieve goals.


CrossFit Level 1 (CF-L1)



I have always been an athlete, from swimming, volleyball, basketball, softball and powerlifting, but college changed a lot of that for me. As I moved to Beaumont in 2014, I started getting into a little routine at a local gym, but it wasn’t feeding my need, just checking off a task on the to-do list. I hadn’t touched a barbell in what seemed like ages and lost sight of my self-confidence. All of that changed when I came to Crossfit Beaumont. It’s funny, reminiscing about that first day you walked in, those feelings and that slight anxiety, but it changed my life. The workouts were like nothing I’ve been through before, the motivation from other athletes, who were complete strangers then, was a new concept all together and the fact that we were doing it all together really changed the dynamic of working out for me.

Since joining, I have become a Crossfit Level 1 Coach, a Certified Personal Trainer and a USAWeightlifting Coach. I have crushed goals and made new ones, I’ve learned to set my pride and ego aside and become coachable and I wouldn’t have been able to do any of it without the people I surround myself with at our gym. The passion, dedication and fun put into what we do here takes ‘just working out’ to a whole new level and I can’t wait to see what comes next.


CrossFit Level 1 Certification



Growing up I always wanted to be a ballerina! I stayed active in dance and in swimming throughout the years. In 2012 post college I needed some structure in my workouts and habits. Oh my did I fall hard for Crossfit! Since joining Crossfit I have found a balance with my workouts and nutrition that I desired. As a coach, I love bringing other people into the wonderful community we have here at CFB.


CrossFit Level 2 (CF-L2)



CrossFit Olympic Weightlifting Coach I have always had a passion for sports and fitness and love to compete no matter what. I thought myself in pretty good shape until trying my first CrossFit workout, Fight Gone Bad. Afterwards I was left on the floor unable to move wondering what the hell had just happened to me. I was hooked. Since starting I’ve gotten stronger, faster, and gained more endurance than I thought possible. CrossFit Beaumont is my dream come true of bringing a new level of training to everyone willing to put in the blood, sweat, and tears to attain elite fitness.CrossFit Olympic Weightlifting Coach I have always had a passion for sports and fitness and love to compete no matter what. I thought myself in pretty good shape until trying my first CrossFit workout, Fight Gone Bad. Afterwards I was left on the floor unable to move wondering what the hell had just happened to me. I was hooked. Since starting I’ve gotten stronger, faster, and gained more endurance than I thought possible. CrossFit Beaumont is my dream come true of bringing a new level of training to everyone willing to put in the blood, sweat, and tears to attain elite fitness.


CrossFit Level 1 Instructor
USA Weightlifting Club Coach
CrossFit Gymnastics Coach
CrossFit Running & Endurance Coach


Owner/Head Coach

My whole life I’ve been involved with cheerleading, gymnastics, track, the whole nine yards; so when I stepped into my first CrossFit class as a collegiate cheerleader in January 2011 I was expecting it to be just another day at the gym and no big deal. Wow, was I mistaken! The first fifteen minutes of class I was sweating more and working harder than I ever had in a gym. I knew that I had found my new sport, CrossFit. The more I came the stronger I got, the faster I moved the more I was hooked. I love that the hard work we put in constantly reaps results and that no matter what you’re doing there’s someone there pushing you or dying along side with you. Training others has been the biggest blessing and I love seeing our community at CrossFit Beaumont thrive!


CrossFit Level 2 (CF-L2)
B.S. Nutrition & Dietetics


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