Member Highlight – Joe and Leah

//Member Highlight – Joe and Leah

Member Highlight – Joe and Leah

Name: Joe and Leah Vallario

Ages:  51 and 22


Joe: Owner of a wholesale food distribution business that my grandfather started in 1949

Leah: Photographer and Graphic Designer

How long have you been working out at CrossFit Dix Hills?

Since May 2016

How did you hear about CrossFit and what made you sign up?

Joe: I spent years in the typical “globo” gym and various boxing and fight clubs. After a while the workouts became mundane and routine. I found myself watching the clock waiting for the class to end. I needed something more challenging. After a quick internet search I came across CFDH. Up until then I never even heard of crossfit. Looking at the typical crossfit workout I immediately knew this was for me. I asked my daughter Leah if she wanted to try it with me and and she immediately said yes.

Leah: My Dad found out about CrossFit Dix Hills online and asked me to try it out with him

What do you love about CrossFit?


Joe: There is so much I love about crossfit. I like that the work is already programmed for me. I don’t have to spend any time planning it myself. I just show up and do the work.

The work ethic. Compared to conventional fitness programs, the work ethic, discipline and commitment of crossfitters is unparalleled.

The community. A place where everyone knows your name. There are no strangers at CFDH. I love the fact that I can workout with my daughter but I feel as though we are all family in the gym. We all cheer each other on and everyone is genuinely happy and excited when one of us reaches a new goal or PR.

Crossfit is empowering. Every workout presents a new challenge. It puts you in a place where you either give in to your demons and quit, slow down or step up to the plate and push through.

The “Gainz”. Nothing will transform you like crossfit. If you put in the time and effort you will see results almost immediately. The motivation to continue is like a fire that wont stop growing.

Leah: I love how CrossFit is such a unique and personalized workout. Compared to other gyms, no two workouts are every exactly the same, which not only makes it fun, but allows me to exercise all parts of my body. I also love the friendly and motivational environment within the gym. The coaches always give me advice on what I can improve on and push me to achieve more; and all the other members always support each other.

What has been your biggest CrossFit accomplishment so far?

Joe: I have made so many accomplishments since starting crossfit. Although my progress has been a little slower than most, I continue to improve. Mobility is an issue for me and as that improves so will everything else. For me breaking a 450# deadlift was a big one. Maybe in a couple of years I can finally find 500, or not.

Leah: I would not say that I have one specific accomplishment, but rather many. Every time I PR on a weight, or move up from scaled to RX on a workout it gives me a sense of accomplishment and motivates me to do even more.

Please name something that you would like to accomplish in the next year?

Joe: I want to continue improving my skills and watch my daughter improve as well. I really want to get my first muscle up and the ability to string together double unders.

Leah: Double Unders!

What is your advice to other CrossFitters or those who are considering trying CrossFit?

Joe: When Leah and I first walked into the box on a Saturday morning for our first foundations class, we saw a bunch of crazy maniacs swinging from the rig and throwing barbells around. We just looked at each other and said OMG. We thought, “Is this for us”? Little did we know that soon we would be part of this group. Don’t be intimidated, take the plunge. You wont be disappointed, I guarantee it.

Leah: CrossFit may look intimidating but don’t let that stop you from giving it a try. Every workout can be scaled down to something that you can do, and eventually you will learn the technique and gain the strength to do it!

What are your hobbies and interests outside of CrossFit?

Joe: Boating, fishing, scuba diving and tinkering with old school muscle cars.

Leah: Photography, Drawing and Painting. Fishing, Scuba Diving and Shark Diving…CrossFit even gave me the nickname “Shark Bait”