RIV Athlete Stories

The stories and testimonials of our Community

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Brittany Z

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Deb and Amy

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Tola M

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Bobby K

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Longs and Innes

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Shannon M

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Eric E

“In no particular order– I absolutely love the entire staff, the team atmosphere, and the competition.  The RIV has really become my happy place.  As long as I make it to the RIV every day I feel happy and accomplished.  The coaches are such wonderful people and I know the RIV would not be what it is without them.”

“My passion is backpacking and before I got serious at the Riv, my treks were filled with struggles – mostly physical.  Since I’ve gotten into better shape, backpacking is so much more enjoyable.  I went for a solo hike a month ago – that was probably the best trip of my life!! … I love that I’m constantly encouraged by the coaches – to do the best that I can, to push myself further.  It doesn’t matter that I’m not one of the many elite athletes at the Riv, they treat everyone with respect, encouragement, & enthusiastic support -even us beginners & novices!!  I have always felt welcomed!!”

“The people– everyone from the coaches to the members are really good people who enjoy seeing each other’s success!”

“Not only has the Riv helped me reach fitness goals but it’s opened my eyes to having fitness goals in general. The dedication/commitment on my part, the motivational group environment, and instruction and inspiration from the coaches has allowed to me to get stronger, faster, sharper, and more motivated each day. This has lead to consistent and progressive results, and constantly drives me to push myself further each and every workout.”

“My favorite part of the Riv is the community and competition. It’s a completely non-judgmental place that makes you feel confident in working out but also pushes you to go harder than you did last workout. I love competing with my sister and the friends I’ve made at the Riv because it makes us better every day.” -Tori

“My favorite workout is endurance class with Coach Mike. I love that coach Mike intertwines cardio and strength in the workouts. I find it challenging and exhausting. I have improved on my box jumps despite getting injured a week ago. I went from a 20 to 24. Coach Mike would like to see me get to 30 (not so sure about that anymore). Also, my running time has improved!” -Meghan

“A few years ago, I began focusing on distance running as a means of stress-relief and immersing myself in the outdoors.  It soon also became a primary motivator in my life – wanting to get faster every time I went out for a run.  Succeeding here helped me focus more on work, school, and some other factors in my life.  Last year I felt I plateaued on my half marathon pace.  I signed up for another half marathon earlier this year, hoping to PR.  Going into the race, I was nervous I hadn’t trained enough… I had “only” been taking the RivFit and CrossFit classes at the gym.  I ended up finishing the race with a new PR by 11 minutes.  I was super surprised, yet super proud of myself.  This just confirmed the overall fitness training I receive at the Riv and how the programming here can help you reach many goals other than just lifting weights!”

“Firstly, let me start by stating how excited I was when I learned I won the CrossFit Riverfront Rising Tides Challenge. Not only does it feel good to know that my friends thought so highly about what I do, it’s equally as fulfilling to know that, CrossFit Riverfront was impressed enough to deem me the winner!

So far, my experience at The Riv has been challenging, learning, and rewarding. The learning, and the rewards, actually stem from the challenges that were presented before me at each workout. Whether it’s a turf WOD, or a weightlifting WOD, the work forced me to constantly push myself to the “next level’. Not only have I learned a plethora of new exercises, I’ve learned proper form, and advanced technique on exercises I was already familiar with. I’ve learned new ways to increase my strength, and endurance; and as a runner, endurance is highly necessary when I compete!

Another great attribute of CrossFit Riverfront, is the community. From the coaching staff, to the members, there is always somebody in your corner! There’s always somebody motivating you! There’s always somebody pushing you to be your best you! That kind of priceless support goes a long way toward me reaching that next level! I can definitely understand why my friends love CrossFit Riverfront so much. The work, the challenge, the people, and the achievement, make it worth the price of admission! Thank you for the experience CrossFit Riverfront!”

“My favorite part of the Riv hands down is the community atmosphere that you feel as soon as you walk through those doors. I was very intimidated when I walked in 2 months ago, but the second I saw how quick everyone was to take me by the hand & help me through those first few workouts, I could see why the the Riv was so popular. The Riv for me is my escape. It’s truly a judgement free zone!”

“I think community seems to be the consensus! But seriously, the Riv is full of such supportive members. If you’ve ever been to a competition, it’s a really neat thing to watch everyone cheer each other on. I think it’s what drives our athletes to improve ourselves. My experience so far at the Riv has been really great. It’s tough to explain to non-crossfitters why I wake up 4:30AM to do it, but it’s, without a doubt, the best part of my day.”

“First, I would like to say that the staff and community are easily my favorite parts. It was hard for me to become dedicated but with such a great atmosphere, who wouldn’t resist? After three weeks, I am not quite sure if they are trying to kill me, but some WOD’s I want to pack up and leave. Instead, I fight through it every day (literally) and afterward I feel great. Thank you to all the coaches who dedicate their time to help others…”

“CrossFit is the only thing I have ever done for fitness (outside of Volleyball) that I have stuck to faithfully for a long period of time. I will bitch and complain how awful a WOD is going to be, how bad it was and say that I’m never doing it again, but know walking out the door I’ll be back at 5:15 a.m. the next day. I joined to lose weight. I no longer weigh myself. I feel healthy and strong and that makes me feel more confident than being a size smaller”… (When asked about her favorite part of The Riv) “Hands down – the Community. I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would form so many new friendships at a gym. Sometimes it shocks me how some coaches and my fellow athletes have more confidence in my capabilities than I have in myself. It’s something I have never experienced before, even playing collegiate volleyball.

“I have no doubt that the CrossFit-inspired class I tried at CrossFit Riverfront in Wilmington, called RivFit, will help people lose extra weight. I could practically feel the calories jumping out of my body when I got back to the office, totally wired. The class, a non-stop mix of cardio and small weightlifting, is the gateway to CrossFit… Though I went into the class thinking I’d be really intimidated and under qualified, I left feeling very accomplished. I even went for a run the next morning and felt extremely energized. I recommend trying out a RivFit class if you want a challenge.”

“My favorite part of The Riv is the community. Coming to gym with friends is probably the main reason I’m still here today. The way everyone supports and encourages each other is amazing. You won’t find that many in gyms.”

“So, tonight I accomplished something I’m very proud of. I PR’d my clean and jerk at 50 Lbs. Now, I know some of you are thinking, “So? I eat sandwiches bigger than that!” But for me it was a big deal for a lot of reasons. Some of you know that I was born with a neurological condition that affects my fine and gross motor skills. In particular, my left side is worse than my right. When I first started at the box a year ago, I couldn’t lift a ten pound dumbbell with my left arm. Now my max push press is 60 Lbs. Joshua had to scale down 10 x 10 sprints for me, now I run 15-20 miles a week. As a kid I spent years in casts and braces, and I figured being “athletic” was not meant for me. My progress is slow, but it means a lot to me. I just wanted to thank all the coaches and members at the Riv, because I would not be doing this without all of you.”

“Everyone respects your progress and effort, even on your worst days – it truly is a culture. I love the coaches, because they are genuine when it comes to the support and encouragement they offer. I also love that there are giant garage doors.”

“I’ve come a long way since joining. I’ve lost about 40 lbs and hit numerous milestones in my lifts, endurance, and above all mobility (which has always been a weak point of mine). I find myself constantly pushing the boundaries of my fitness goals as they improve. What started as a means to simply get in better shape has evolved into so much more. Most of which can be contributed to the Competitors Programming, I highly suggest it to anyone interested!”

“When I started my first RivFit class everyone looked to be in their 20’s and I wondered what the heck I was doing there (my son is one of the coaches and talked me into it!). I quickly learned to modify and do the best I could. In future classes I noticed people of all ages and levels of fitness. It took awhile but I noticed I was modifying less, doing more reps and feeling stronger. After 3 1⁄2 months I really look forward to the classes and feel strong, energized and empowered. I love that every single class is different so my body doesn’t simply get used to the same workout. While I will never keep up with the 20 year olds I continue to push myself to the best I can be. You should try it too!”

“It’s been 3 months since I joined CrossFit Riverfront at the insistence of my brother. A passionate CrossFitter himself, he knew what I needed and badgered me until I got off my couch and made the call. From my first conversation with Meredith I knew this was no “gym sales pitch” – she genuinely cares about helping others achieve personal fitness. Like me, she is a working Mom and urged me to take myself off the back burner for the betterment of myself, and by extension my family.

I understand the passion behind CrossFit now. If you dedicate yourself the results are irrefutable. In this short period of time I have seen a drastic improvement in my stamina and reaction time, increased flexibility and strength, steady weight loss and healthier dietary choices. Not to mention the overall boost to my self esteem – repeatedly meeting new goals, accomplishing once unthought-of feats and pushing myself beyond my limitations has helped me regain the bounding confidence tarnished by time and weight gain.

The workouts are challenging. I have gone into every WOD with an uneasy anxiousness and come out every time with a smile and quivering muscles. The constant coaching gives me all the benefits of an individual session, while still enjoying the energy of the other members. There is no question that the support and encouragement of the fantastic trainers and enthusiastic members is unrivaled, and can make the difference between giving up early and finding that reserve to push yourself harder and further than you ever thought possible.

Joining the CrossFit community has helped me make so many positive changes in such a short time. I can’t wait to see what the next WOD will bring!”

“So anyone that knows me knows I really don’t like to work out. I’ve tried running I like it but never stick to it. Carra Harrison Breen and I joined crossfit and we have been doing the  riv fit class 2 to 3 times a week for the last month and a half. I have to say, I really like it!  I’m getting stronger and losing the jiggle i so hated.  So if you are looking for something new check it out.”

“I wanted to take a moment to thank you and also share with you some observations over the past few months. You may already know some of this, but it’s worth repeating because the separation is amazing! I have really enjoyed my first few months of CrossFit and after dropping in on a few other boxes since I started, I feel like I appreciate it even more. First, the gym itself is first class, period. The largest of the 4 that I have been to, but more importantly also the cleanest, and most professional. You are also responsible for supplying the most variety of and the best equipment out of all of them. It is clear that you take a lot of pride in the gym, and you set the example for the hundreds of people that take pride in it as well. Beyond the gym itself and the equipment, your staff is amazing. Every single one of them is friendly and genuinely happy to be there, and always helpful. I mainly attend the 6:15 class, and I can tell you that Jeff and Steve have to be as good as they come. I found that what I thought was normal, was actually exceptional, when visiting these other gyms. Jeff and Steve’s programming, approach, and communication are so good that you don’t even realize it. They make sure that everyone is being challenged, but is also safe and having fun! I did not feel like there was as much thought or understanding that went into the programming at the other gyms ( I joked with Jeff and Steve that I don’t get sore at the other gyms so they must be doing something wrong). But more importantly I felt like the direction was hard to follow, vague, and even contradictory at times. I am not pointing these things out to knock the other gyms, but to let you know that you are doing it right. The gym is the great, and in a time where it is so hard to find great people, you seem to have found all of them. Thank you for providing such an awesome experience.”

“I didn‘t have the hour and a half to spare going to and from The Riv this morning because I‘m going out of town and needed to get on the road early, so I caught a WOD at a box in West Chester, PA which is 10 minutes from my house. I‘ve only been a member here since January 2014; and in all fairness, I don‘t have much to compare The Riv to. It‘s not that there is something necessarily wrong with that West Chester affiliate. Its just that there is something special about The Riv. It‘s something in the air. An intangible. Surely, it‘s a combination of the facility itself, the atmosphere … and most importantly … the members and the staff that make it the unique family that is. And big props to the ownership, of course, who makes it all happen. Thanks, Meredith Cohen Simmons … clearly loving it here.”

“So far it has surpassed my expectations! The coaches are great: they’re friendly, interactive, engaging, encouraging, knowledgeable… I’m learning everyday & challenging myself… Overall I like it.”

“Love it. It’s amazing the difference from the first night. I was exhausted from the warm up now am getting through the WOD’s, still exhausted but getting through them.”

The fact that CrossFit Riverfront has continued to flourish despite some difficult times is a strong testament to the quality of the community you have helped to create here.

When I first moved here from Upstate NY, I was new to the area. I was out of shape and I didn’t know anyone here. And a year later, I am part of a wonderful community, I fell in love with CrossFit, made wonderful new friends and I am at my best when it comes to my fitness. I mentioned long time earlier that I see the Riv as part fitness and part community and that’s what has made it so much successful. So I am thankful for all your hard work and to all the coaches that have made Riv possible and continue to work hard every day & night to bring the best out of everyone there.

Thank you,


My son participated in the summer Crossfit program for 2 years.  Not only did it improve his performance in his sports but it was a healthy and safe way to begin weight training.  He learned a tremendous amount about weightlifting, nutrition and the importance of cross training. He was thrilled to see his personal goals achieved and saw a difference in both his endurance and strength by the programs completion.

He truly enjoyed his time at The Riv and is hoping to make Crossfit and continued part of his athletic training.

-Jamie S.

Question? Get in Touch at: 302-745-2348 or info@rivathletics.com

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