Ariel was born and raised in Woodland, CA where she grew up playing basketball, soccer, volleyball, swimming competitively, and cheering. She took a special interest in swimming and worked hard through high school to earn a partial swim scholarship for the University of Hawai’i Manoa. Ariel swam for UH from 2008-2012 and retired from swimming shortly after graduation in 2012. Ariel was set to start in the Peace Corps in 2013 to be placed somewhere in Latin America. However, she began Weightlifting and quickly fell in love with the sport. Knowing that she was in her early 20’s, she decided to pursue her potential in Weightlifting before adventuring with the Peace Corps.
In the short amount of time that Ariel has been involved in Weightlifting, accompanied by a series of injuries, Ariel has accomplished a lot in the sport. Moving around the country to follow her dreams, she has managed to collect multiple National medals, win the 2014 American Open, compete for Team USA in the 2015 China Grand Prix, and qualify for the 2016 Olympic Trials.
Ariel is motivated by her passion to be better at everything she does in and out of the gym. Whatever Ariel does, she does it with her whole heart. She is dedicated to herself and to those who support her. Ariel is excited to be part of the FeNom Team!
Kat Grillo is our resident teacup athlete. She’s just like the rest of us, only compacted and condensed for maximum power and cuteness. Asking her why she does what she does (I.E. outlift you, your mom, your dad and your weird uncle combined) she’ll tell you, “so I can eat a lot.” She’s not a complicated woman. She surrounds herself with people who will motivate and inspire her, and in return she provides an unrelenting push that will bring new pr’s and new milestones. She’s our firecracker; we love her for it.
Lived in Apex NC from 1981 to 2001. Live in raleigh currently. Been a master technician for 20+ years. Metal fabricator. Joined athletic Lab in 2011 doing crossfit were I competed on the Advanced Team. Decided I liked Weightlifting way more. Started weightlifting in 2014. Won a bronze medal at American Masters in GA 2015. Won Silver at NC state championships 2016 and won Gold and went 6/6 at Pan Americans in 2017. Currently starting training for AO series 3 and Worlds in Barcelona Spain 2018. I train at Crossfit Oceana and Athletic Lab. I'm a team motivator. I semi Coach weightlifting when I see horrible lifting. 😂😂
Photo by Charlotte Foerschler, @charlottefoerschlerphoto (Insta), Charlotte Foerschler Photography (FB)
I'm Jilly Hawkins - a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and online coach in Gainesville, GA. I've been involved in bodybuilding for almost five years now and just made the switch over to competing in strongman in the Fall of 2016.
Placing 2nd in my first competition and then 1st in my most recent competition - strongman is where my passion lies - because let's be real here, being and feeling STRONG is badass. Deadlifting cars, flipping tires, pulling trucks, carrying 400+ on your back, pressing logs overhead, and loading stones onto platforms is freaking fun!
What's next for me? I have been focusing on increasing strength and stamina to return to compete in the middleweight division and qualify for nationals in the 2018 strongman season. The sport is growing so fast, which gives more women the opportunity to get involved and push yourself past your limits.
Grew up in Niceville, Florida and played softball, weightlifting, gymnastics, soccer and golf as a kid all the way through the teen years.
Currently reside in Fort Walton Beach Florida where I own my gym, CrossFit Above The Bar as well as coach and train as a competitive CrossFit athlete/Olympic weightlifter. I hold several certs as a coach to include:
CrossFit Level 1
CrossFit Level 2
CrossFit Olympic Lifting
CrossFit Movement and Mobility
CrossFit Judge’s Course 14′,15′,16′,17′
Garage Games Accredited Judge’s Course
36 Hrs of Olympic Lifting through “Lift More Olympic”
CrossFit Scaling Course
On top of the business I am a full time Deputy Sheriff for Okaloosa County Sheriffs Office for 11+ years.
But the biggest job of all is being an awesome Mom, that's able to keep up with my 9 year old son, Colten.
I'm 25 years old, from Stuart, VA. I started out competing at a young age. I played every sport including: dance, basketball, soccer, softball, and cross-country. Once I started high school I played varsity and travel softball and ran XC for four years. Being the competitive athlete that I am, at the age of 12 I started weightlifting and continued throughout high school. Once I moved onto college I played collegiate softball for two years. During my second year I tore my labrum in my right shoulder and had to quit the sport. While doing physical therapy I continued to run long distance, but knew I wanted to get back into the weight room. I was sitting in class at RU listening to the lecture in my Adv. Strength & Cond. class and CF athletes popped up on a slide. I found out there was a CF class on campus and that was the beginning. All it took was one workout and I was hooked! 4 years later and I'm competing in every CF competition I can, all while coaching my CF Kids class. Being able to touch the lives of kids through CF is truly the best part of my day. I am blessed that my finances allow me to focus on competing in the sport I love, coach the sport I love, and nanny for a family that not only cares for me, but also treats me in Chiropractic care. CrossFit has changed my life and I love every part of it!
Sarah grew up in the small town of Currituck, North Carolina where she was involved in various sports such as all star cheerleading, tumbling, softball and MMA. In 2007 she sustained a pretty serious neck injury requiring surgery and a long road to recovery. Feeling like she was blessed beyond belief to have eventually recovered fully, she decided to take full advantage of her recouped strength and mobility. She found CrossFit upon moving to Charlotte, North Carolina for college and immediately fell in love with the competitiveness of the sport. She currently lives in Raleigh, North Carolina where she trains at and competes for CrossFit Embark. Sarah's top three reasons to CrossFit: 1. you become strong physically and mentally 2. you can inspire others 3. you get to eat A LOT!
Blake Sewell is our token big tough guy. We like to compare him to a grizzly bear because in competition he’s huge, aggressive and in attack-mode. Outside of competition he’s a dedicated Navy man, a loyal husband, an adoring father and a supportive training partner. Blake is our go-to guy to get pumped up. Going for a big PR? You can trust Blake to blast the music, yell encouragement and maybe even bark a little.
Laura Bligh used functional fitness to find her own identity again after giving up a career and several homes to follow her Army husband. She approaches training and competing with a never settle mindset and believes a strong mental game is as important as a big squat (but seriously you can never squat enough).