February 2018 Member Spotlight

Islip Crossfit Member Spotlight

Rachel Ullman

February 2018

We are SOOOO excited and proud to honor our dear friend Rachel as February’s member spotlight! She is our very own Wonder Woman and our swollest trap queen! Mrs. Swollman always brings her A game. She motivates us and never shies away from a tough day. She can definitely hang with the boys when it comes to heavy barbells and she and Nora have taken Sunday funday partner WODs to a whole other level…we dare you to challenge them! She’s fun, she’s strong, she’s determined, she’s fast, and did I mention her traps? Congratulations, Rach! We can’t wait to see what this year has in store for you.  Keep up the great work. #trapqueen #trapgoals #fastestairsquatintheeast


A Word From Her Coaches……

Rachel definitely deserves this months member spotlight.  You can always find Rachel cheering everyone on either during or after the metcon is over. Whenever Rachel comes into the gym, she is always smiling no matter what even when she knows the workout is going to be a miserable one. Rachel is very coachable and love it whenever she is in one of my classes! I never have to question whether or not she is going too heavy or light or meeting the purpose of the workout/lift. Congratulations this month Rachel! Well deserved. –Coach Taylor


For as long as I’ve know Rachel, she has always been fun and enthusiastic about Crossfit. She is as serious about Crossfit as the rest of us, but finds unique way to always keep her cool and have fun. She brings a positive attitude every day to the box, which rubs off on the other members. Even while injured she still came to the gym happy and smiling through every modification. She a great influence on others and always motivating. Well deserved.    –Coach Andrew

I feel like Rachel is an inspiration to many of the members at the gym. She’s an amazing mom, works full time, has to deal with me working/coaching/training, but she makes no excuses when it comes to getting her workout in. She has a million reasons to not make it to class, but never uses them. She  usually wakes up early to get the 6am class and if she misses it, she figures out a way to get to a later class or rearrange the rest of the week to make it 5 days. Scaling is never an issue, whether she’s not feeling great, feeling sore or when she came back from her 2nd child, whatever the scaling option she goes 100%. But even more than her effort, she has the fastest air squat at the gym as well as the best traps. –Coach Nick <3


Check out these “Pre-Gainz” Photos of Rachel

#wherearehertraps?  #nogainz #spaghettiarms


Let’s Learn More About Rachel…..



  • Tell us about yourself?  Nick and I have been married, going on 9 years.  We live in Bay Shore with our kids Maya (6), Luke (3) and Charlie Funk aka CF (7).
  • What do you do out in the real world? I have worked for Capital One Bank for 20 years – started as a part time Teller, while in school, and currently work in Compliance.


  • What brought you to Islip CF? How long have you been doing CrossFit?  Nick started CrossFit about 2 years before he opened Islip CrossFit. I was still going to the gym at my job, at that time, and didn’t think CrossFit was for me. It didn’t help when he had all his CrossFit friends come to our house and do a WOD in our driveway on New Year’s Day – I remember watching these people like they were slightly insane LOL. It was FREEZING out!  Somehow, they convinced me to do the workout with them…it was a workout with 1 minute at each station…I don’t remember all the stations but there were box jumps and push presses with an empty barbell.  I couldn’t even do the push presses with the empty barbell and the box jumps, I just stared at the box for at least 30-40 seconds before I built up the courage to jump.
  • What was your first CF workout? What did you think after it?  So after that driveway disaster, my first WOD was on opening day of Islip CrossFit .  I was actually the only one who showed up for the 6am. It was 3 rounds of: 1 minute Max burpees, 1 minute rest, one minute max sit-ups, 1 minute rest, 1 minute air squats, 1 minute rest.  I loved it! But I loved CrossFit even more once the barbell was introduced!
  • What changes have you made in your workouts that have been the most successful? Honestly, I just do the best I can and that’s it. Some days are better than others. I also try go to the WOD’s I don’t want to go to – those are the ones I most likely need to work on.
  • Most embarrassing/funniest gym moment? I don’t do anything embarrassing  No, I can’t think of anything at the box, but there are plenty of things outside the box – ask Jeanann – she’d love to tell you!
  • Favorite movement? Least favorite? Benchmark WOD? Cleans and GHD’s are my favorites. Running, box jumps and wall balls are not! Probably because I’m not good at them, but I guess that’s how most people work.  Grace is my favorite benchmark WOD.
  • Favorite memory OR most memorable moment at Islip Crossfit? (could be a PR moment or an event etc.)  I was never able to do a pull-up my whole life, so that was my first goal.  It was pretty cool getting my first one at 35 years old.  The other one is when I got bar muscle-ups at the internal comp a few years ago (where my member spotlight photo is from).  Such an amazing moment, hearing everyone cheering!  The energy at that moment was something I’ll never forget.
  • If you could program it, what is your perfect workout? GHD’s and Power Cleans!
  • Favorite workout music? 90’s Hip Hop! Biggie and Tupac. Represent baby baby!
  • Advice for a new member or someone thinking of trying CrossFit? Have fun with it.  You’ll be amazed at the things you can do that you never thought you could.
  • How do you find/make time to get your workouts in? 6am!
  • What is your favorite part of Islip CrossFit? I have met such amazing people. I think about it all the time. Most of the people I wouldn’t have met otherwise and some of us have kids that have become great friends.  The people are truly our extended family.
  • What motivates you to keep coming back each day?  Every day I am curious to see what I can do.  There’s so many things to work on and skills/ techniques to learn. It never gets boring.
  • What is your greatest achievement in your fitness so far?  I am going to be 40 this month (AHHHH!) and I am stronger than I have ever been.  That’s pretty cool and it makes me less focused on the number.
  • What has been the most challenging part?  Definitely finding the time.  I’m sure a lot of you can relate. Between Nick and I working full time jobs, his coaching schedule, having 2 kids and especially when he used to travel a lot – there were times it would have been easier to not go to the gym, but we make it a priority.  We carve out time each week and figure it out. It’s definitely important for both of our mental sanity!
  • Short term goal? Long term goal? The elusive ring muscle-up! I’m not sure if it’s short term or long term, but I will get them!
  • What/Who motivates or inspires you?  My kids. Maya is going to be the most excited about me being the Member Spotlight.


  • Favorite Cheat Meal? Pizza!!
  • What changes have you made in your diet that have been the most successful? I try to eat whole foods as much as possible. I’m definitely not perfect. I’ve been consciously trying to eat more vegetables lately….and less wine although it is made from grapes, so I could make a case either way, I think.
  • What is the worst “diet” you’ve ever been on?  I have only eaten Paleo and counted Macros, but I don’t really consider either of those a diet– they really are more of a lifestyle, because it’s not meant to be short-term.  I’m not good with diets – I don’t like being told I can’t have something, it only makes me want it more!
  • What’s your go to breakfast? Eggs! I love eggs and maybe a slice of Dave’s Killer Thin Sliced bread, toasted on the side.
  • Do you eat before you workout? (If so, what?) No – I can’t eat for at least 3 hours before I work out or I get really nauseous.


  • Something no one at the gym knows about you? I took tap dancing for 12 years.   
  • Favorite Quote? If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. – Maya Angelou
  • What Superhero are you? Wonder Woman! Of course
  • Biggest Fear? Being trapped somewhere. Definitely have some form of claustrophobia.
  • Best Vacation? Grand Cayman, but Turks and Caicos is coming up so maybe that will change!
  • If you aren’t at the box, where would we find you? Either at work or with my family/friends.
  • If you won lotto, what would you do? Buy a house on the water, travel more.
  • If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why? Bali or anywhere with over the water bungalows – looks like heaven.
  • Who is your celebrity crush?  Sam Hunt and currently I’m feeling JT!   
  • Last pic on your phone? Picture of my dog Charlie and his cousin Jake hanging out.
  • What’s the wallpaper on your phone right now?  Maya and Luke from Christmas Day.
  • What’s the last thing you searched for on Google? Some hippy dippy stuff my coworker told me about called Oscillococcinum – try saying that! It’s almost as bad as Curcumin (Pronounced: Curc-curc-u-min)
  • Summarize your lifestyle in 5 words or less. Family, friends, fitness, fun, blessed


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