Your Success Is Our Success

CrossFit Iron Flag is a CrossFit community that cares about you, your success, and your experience at our facility. But we also care about results! Check out a few of our member success stories below and see for yourself.

Christoper Winter

Athlete in the Spotlight: Christopher Winter

Age: I just turned 60.

Why do you train? I’ve tried to be active as an adult.  I started running recreationally in college and Callie, my daughter, was going to Crossfit while she was in college and she kept telling me I should be going.  I finally gathered up my courage and found CF IronFlag.  On my first day Erin told me it was “strangely addictive” and that proved to be accurate for me as well.

Did you play sports in the past? I was literally the last guy picked for sports teams in gym class.  However, I started snow skiing at about 10 years old and I got really into it.  As I mentioned, running started in college.  I did the Chicago Marathon once and I have done the occasional race from time to time.  I was into mountain biking for a while and went to several camps and a few trips.  I still keep a mountain bike in Colorado and I ski with Callie several times a season.  Also, we’ve been doing some extensive hiking trips in the European alps for the the past few summers.  No question, crossfit has given me huge confidence and made me a better skier and hiker.

How long have you been Crossfitting? I’m in the middle of my third year.  I started out going to CF IronFlag once a week and it took about six days to recover from being sore.  I had the running base so that helped cardio wise, but I really got a sense of how far away from “fit” I really was.

What is your favorite thing about Crossfit? I love all of it.  The challenge, the fact that there is always something to get better at. The hard work.  I really enjoy doing workouts with my daughter.   Mostly it’s the people, though.  Everyone is so nice.  I’m so lucky to be able to workout at the 9:00 am class.  So I am there mostly with a group of super strong, super fierce women.  They are so nice and accepting of me.  I really appreciate having them as a crew and it is a pleasure to go to class with them.

What is your favorite Crossfit movement or lift? I like deadlifts, I don’t push huge weight but I am working on it.  Also, overhead squats.  I could not do them at all because they require a combination of strength and flexibility.  Brandon worked with me and helped me get going.  I usually start out pretty stiffly and then loosen up after a while.  Still no huge weight but I like to practice them from time to time after class.

What is your least favorite Crossfit movement or lift? I try very hard not to go there. If there is something I find difficult or hard to do I try to practice it until I enjoy it. I don’t think it’s a good idea to think about things as least favorite because I don’t want to defeat myself before I get started. Previous things on the need practice list would be, burpees, kettle bell swings, rope climbs, wall ball, assault bike, dumbbell work and GHD.What goal are you most proud of achieving thus far?
Kipping pull ups, Brandon kept working with me on them whenever they came up. It took a long time and then one day they just clicked. Also, rope climbs with that J hook foot position. I just started doing those.

What is your next goal to accomplish? So many things to work on and improve but I really need to be able to do double under’s and handstand push ups.

Do you follow a specific nutrition program? No, I love to eat. I try to be aware of what I eat. I’ve lately been trying to not snack, which seems to be going well. I don’t add sugar to anything. Smoothie for lunch most days. Weakness for pizza and burgers.

Do you have any wise words for your fellow crossfitters or future Iron Flag members? I’m still a newbie and learning every day. Thinking about people my age and all the replaced knees, replaced hips, heart issues and other health issues, I would say keep coming consistently. You will not wear out your joints, it will make them stronger and it will pay off big time for you as you age.

Athlete in the Spotlight: Mary Biniewicz

Name: Mary Biniewicz
Hometown: Downers Grove
Age: 62

Occupation: Retired educator; still working in the field on special projects.

Tell us a little about yourself (family, job, sports, interests, etc) My husband and I have been married for 39 years. He is a retired law enforcement official and enjoys his spare time as a pilot. We have one daughter, Melissa, who lives close by with her husband, Conor. I enjoy reading, home improvement projects, and traveling.

What was your fitness background before Crossfit? Eliptical machine and walking

What were your thoughts after your first Crossfit workout? What the heck am I doing here?

What were your goals when you first joined Crossfit? Truly to survive
How have you accomplished or exceeded those goals? With some of the WOD’s my goal still is to survive. I think that will always be the case. I look to increase my endurance and strength. The coaches have helped to stretch and challenge me. I am grateful for that.

Favorite WOD? I appreciate the Hero WODs. They help me focus on a world of issues and events much bigger than me. A humble reminder.

Least favorite WOD? Anything involving running. I dread it!

Favorite Lift? Back Squat

Least Favorite Lift? Snatch. Takes a lot of precision and speed to do well.

How has Crossfit affected your life outside of the gym? I feel stronger, my posture has improved as has my outlook on what it means to get older. Just because I am getting older does not mean I have to be or act “old.”
What advice do you have for people thinking about starting Crossfit or new members? Go for it. Do it for the most important reason – you.

Tell us something people may not know about you. I spent 8 years as a high school dean.


Look familiar? The post-baby mom bod. After my second baby, I lost my confidence. I hated seeing myself in pictures and seeing myself naked was even worse. CrossFit was the “trendy” workout everyone was talking about so I did some research. Intimidation and fear struck. But every time I asked someone who was doing CrossFit what they thought, I got the same response: “I love it.”

I went to CrossFit Iron Flag for a free trial on a Saturday morning. It was awful – the workout was in a different language, I hardly knew any of the movements and I couldn’t even finish my first WOD – whatever that meant. AND I LOVED EVERY MINUTE! The coaches are awesome, supportive and help you the whole way. The workouts are hard but fun. You feel great afterward and the community and coaches keep you coming back for more.
Three days a week turned into five. I’ve gone from pull-ups with multiple bands to doing 5 strict ones in a row. From getting stuck upside down on the GHD machine (true story) to multiple sets with a 25# plate. From a 105-pound deadlift to 205.

More importantly, I feel strong, I feel confident.  And I’m showing my two beautiful girls that chicks can lift heavy weight, climb ropes, do “real” push ups and still wear dresses with pink nail polish. Next up, mastering the kipping pull up and double-unders. The coaches will make sure I do! They are right there ready to pull you up after you get stuck on the GHD machine, push you to get your first pull-up or high-five you after all the small and big accomplishments that happen along the way.


I started at CrossFit Iron Flag in September 2014. To say that it’s changed my life would be an understatement! I’ve always had a very sedentary lifestyle. I’d find a workout I like, do it for a few months and then quit. My weight continued to climb and after the birth of my third child, I knew I needed a change. It wasn’t only about what I looked like on the outside, but how I felt on the inside…tired, rundown and lazy. I’d heard about CrossFit and, to be honest, was a naysayer. I thought it was for true fitness buffs and those looking for more competitive weightlifting. I figured I’d go once or twice and not be able to handle the intensity. In actuality, it was love at first sight. Almost immediately, I was addicted – to exercise – something that never happened to me in my life!

The coaches are extremely attentive, always keeping a watchful eye on form and safety – yet are the first to push you outside your comfort zone, encouraging you every step of the way! CrossFit Iron Flag is the whole package – a first-class yet intimate facility; the perfect mix and wide-variety of weight training and cardio; extremely well-versed and knowledgeable coaches and a “team” feel which makes every day different and fun.

Since I started CrossFit, I lost 26 pounds, 2 BMI points and have dropped more than 11% body fat. While I’ve lost these pounds before, my body has never had the muscle tone that it does now. Although my journey has only just begun, I feel healthy, strong and fit and have CrossFit Iron Flag to thank!