Ashley Richelderfer brought a breath of fresh air to the 9:30am class when she joined us a little over a year ago. She was an experienced CrossFitter with great mechanics, so the 9:30am girls were loving having a new lifting partner and someone to chase. Ashley didn’t say much those first few months. That shy, laid-back woman would come in every day, work hard, and inspire everyone to be better without barely saying a word! Her fellow athletes and Blackbird friends described her in the following ways:
- “Comes in everyday and quietly destroys the workout. Without complaint. Every. Damn. Time.”
- “Humble. Friendly. Caring. Supportive. Puts others first. Strong sense of community. Likes to party.”
- “Strong badass with a lovely smile.”
Fast forward a few more months and Ashley has settled in at Blackbird. She is now one of the most welcoming members, she can deliver snarky one-liners out of no where that will keep you laughing forever, and her fierce determination has been contagious. She’s a great competitor and is always willing to partner up for local CrossFit competitions. She can throw around heavy weight in her Olympic lifts with near perfect form. And she also can be found working on her weaknesses in her spare time. We knew Ashley was a certified B.A. when she broke her foot and was in a boot, but continued to train without complaint. Every day she would limp into the gym, wrangling 3 active little girls. She didn’t use it as an excuse. She found ways around it. She rowed with one leg and did a lot of presses those months! The most impressive feat was her modified MURPH. The average person would’ve set that one out, but not Ashley.
Determined and tough do not even begin to describe this woman. Every military wife I’ve encountered has that inner strength that leaves me in awe; they are true heroes in my book! We have loved every second of watching her humble, quiet manner positively influence our community of athletes. MEET ASHLEY RICHELDERFER…
My name is Ashley and I’m 34 years old. I’m an Army wife and mother of 3 girls (Madeline 8, Abigail 6, and Grace 2). I am originally from Carroll County and am super happy to be living so close to home (at least for a few years), but we have had adventures living all over– everywhere from Germany to Washington state.
2. WHAT MADE YOU START CROSSFIT?
In 2011, Abby was born and I decided to train for a half marathon to “get in shape.” But once that was over, I wasn’t sure what to do because I hated running. I finally worked up the courage to walk into Crossfit Fort Bragg 6 years ago, and haven’t looked back since. Aside from the gym aspect, what’s always kept me coming back was the community. Moving every few years, it can be really hard to make new friends. But with CF, no matter where we move, I always know I can find people I will click with.
3. WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS AFTER YOUR 1st WOD?
I was really sore after a trial workout. And I honestly couldn’t believe that I broke a sweat because during my running days I never did. I thought I just didn’t sweat very much (haha)!
4.WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT CROSSFIT?
I enjoy seeing a friendly face every time I walk into the gym, and knowing I’ll be challenged everyday. I love being part of a community of people that’s so diverse but at the same time are all working hard to improve ourselves.
5. WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST CROSSFIT MOMENT?
Getting a bar muscle up during the Open 2016 was so exciting for me, but I’m really proud of myself for CrossFitting during my pregnancy with Grace. It was really hard at times, but definitely worth it.
6. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOVEMENT/LIFT? LEAST FAVORITE?
I love overheads squats, handstand pushups, cleans, and chipper workouts. I HATE Turkish get ups and the Airbike.
7. WHAT ARE YOUR CROSSFIT GOALS? HOW CLOSE ARE YOU TO REACHING THEM?
I’d love to get a body weight C&J and a sub 5 Fran. I’m not there yet but heading in the right direction.
I am by nature a shy person, but CF has given me a lot more self-confidence both in and out of the gym. Knowing you can throw heavy weights around will do that to a person! I really believe I am a much better wife, mother, friend and human being because of CF being a part of my life.
9. WHEN YOU’RE NOT AT CROSSFIT, WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO?
The kids keep me super busy, but when I have time to myself, I like doing hand lettering, crocheting and drinking good beer!
10. WHAT IS IT LIKE TO CROSSFIT WITH YOUR SPOUSE?
I love that Chris has re-joined the CF cult! It’s great having him be a part of a community that is such a big part of my life.
11. WHAT IS THE ONE TIP YOU’D GIVE SOMEONE WHO IS THINKING ABOUT STARTING CROSSFIT OR JUST STARTED?
Don’t get discouraged or be intimidated. My biggest CF regret is that I drove past my first gym for a year before I got the courage to walk in. Everyone starts from somewhere and has different challenges to overcome. But if you’re looking for a community who will cheer for your victories and pick you up when you fall, you’re in the right place.
12. RESULTS! TELL US ABOUT YOUR RESULTS!
I’m glad I’m done with my obsession with the scale, because since starting CF, I have gained about 25 pounds. I can never find pants that fit my butt, but I wouldn’t go back to the old skinny me for anything. I love feeling strong and empowered to take on anything life throws at me.
In 6 years and being a part of or visiting probably a dozen gyms, I have to tell you that you guys have something really special here. Not all CrossFit gyms have the caliber of coaching, the quality programming and positive community that Blackbird does. I’m happy to be a part of it!