Here’s another athlete profile featuring Dana Leo.  Dana has been with the Thor Fitness family for a long time and has not only been a long time member but a good friend as well.  I remember the first day I met Dana.  The first thing she said to me was, “Is CrossFit going to make me strong?”   She didn’t mention weight loss at all.   I can honestly say that Dana is one strong chic! I believe she has achieved her goal of being fit and strong.  She’s proof that hard work pays off.  Thanks Dana!!

Where do you live?

What brought you to Thor Fitness?
I am always doing a lot of reading online about diet and exercise.  I came across the Strong Is The New Skinny facebook page and began reading all about crossfit and the paleo diet.  I became very intrigued and did a search for a crossfit box in the area and thats when I found Patty.  I was so happy she was a woman because I am not sure if I would have had the courage to join a mans gym at first!

What were your goals?  Have you achieved them?
My health and fitness goals have always revolved around maintaining a healthy weight.  I was about 35lbs overweight in my early teens and lost it with the help of a nutritionist.  After that time I felt I was always at battle with my weight.  I was never in any kind of sports or participated in any kind of exercise and I didn’t come from a family that enjoyed physical activity or healthy eating.  Eventually I went back to eating sugar and the only logical thing I could do to maintain was to exercise.  However, I had started smoking in the interim and as you could imagine the two didn’t mix.  I would literally work out for an hour or more and get in the car a light up.  At some point during college I realized that what I was doing wasn’t working for me so I quit smoking and began running.  It was only after having kids that I realized running wasn’t enough and I needed to work on my strength.  On my quest to figure out a plan is when I stumbled upon the Strong Is The New Skinny facebook page.  It was about being strong.  It was the first time I had ever shifted my mental focus from being thin.  This choice has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life.  The mental stress of being thin is a daily struggle a lot of women face and it is VERY hard to deal with.  Forgetting skinny and focusing on strength is working for me.  Not to mention, I am getting older and need to work on that anyway.  I am also a witness to my Dad growing physically weaker every day for the last 26 years from his Multiple Sclerosis.  This new found focus on strength for me has been life changing.  The things I found out I was capable of physically was astounding to me.  My body changed.  I got stronger.  I didn’t care if I was skinny anymore.  My Dad became so proud of me.  My Dad makes me realize to never take my body for granted.  He sits in his wheelchair with a complete lack of control over what is happening to him, and this has sparked inside of me the desire to take control of my own health best I can, for as long as I possibly can.  So yes,  my goal of becoming stronger has been achieved.  Not only physically but mentally as well, and hopefully it will continue to progress.

What do you do when you are not at the gym?
When I am not at the gym I do the normal housewife stuff!  Cook, clean, laundry, take care of the kids.  I love to cook, especially vegetables believe it or not!  I do work per diem as an accountant for a CPA firm.  It is where I worked before I had children and they allow me to work from home if need be.  I also am a partner in our family business (handed down from my Dad), a process service, which is one of the largest in the nation.   I am also taking the Certified Personal Trainer exam the end of this month since it is such a passion of mine.

What crossfit exercise or lifts are your favorite and least favorite?
I LOVE me some rope climbs (reminds me of how I’d beat the boys every time in elementary school!)  I do love overhead squats, and deadlifts are pretty awesome too.  Sometimes I can’t believe how much I can eat after a nice deadlift and/or squat WOD!  My least favorite are box jumps and double unders.  My legs always feel so darn heavy and I just can’t get that graceful-springy-bouncing motion down!

Any other tid bit info…
What I love about crossfit, more than anything I’ve ever experienced before, is that on one hand it is exhausting, sometimes painful, yet on the other hand it brings me such an awesome sense of accomplishment and self worth.  I never would have realized that gains made in physical strength could have such an impact on my mental strength.  Fitness has made me a better person.  All of the emotions happening during and after every single WOD, in the matter of minutes, creating that repetitive desire to get better and better, is why crossfit and fitness in general has become a passion of mine.


3 position snatch (floor, below knee, above knee) x 5 @60%

CrossFit WOD:

amrap 12 min:

4 hspu RX+ deficit hspu 45# plate

8 power snatch 115#/75# RX+ 135#/95#

12 K2E RX+ T2B


12 min amrap:

4 hspu modified

8 power snatch 65#/35#

24 abmat situps



Accumulate 1 min in each position

Right side Plank

Plank hold

Left side Plank