Faces of SPT

The Faces of SPT-Michael and Coral Newton

Who are Michael and Coral Newton?

Coral – Michael & I were high school sweethearts and have been married 24 years (how are we that old??).  We have two Old English Sheepdogs who keep us entertained. I am the oldest of seven.  Also, I am an accountant who enjoys volunteering and loves ice cream.
Michael –  Michael is the oldest of two.  He is in sales management in the medical field. Due to his job, we have relocated six times (in five different states) over the past 15 years. We plan to not relocate again.

How was your first day at CrossFit SPT?

Coral & Michael – We had recently moved here from Scottsdale, AZ and were looking for our CrossFit gym home.  Shannon & Casie were great.  We don’t recall the workout but we were still adjusting the humidity here and we almost sweat to death. The first few people we met were all very nice (shout out to Chris Rutledge, Lauren & Maria).

What is your favorite CrossFit movement and why?

Coral-Air squats for time. Haha. Seriously, back squats.  This is one of the movements I was decent at from the beginning of starting CrossFit. I tend towards anything that uses my legs.
Michael– Rowing or power lifting movements. Buck furpees.

What keeps you pushing through a hard workout?

Coral-Knowing I won¹t die and that I will feel accomplished when it’s over.
Michael-Thinking about people giving their lives to give me the freedom to do this.

What is the best part of getting to work out with your significant other?

Coral-We suffer through the workouts together.  It has been fun getting stronger and faster together.  I like to cheer him on even though it drives him crazy.
Michael-Accountability and encouragement

What would you consider to be the biggest misconception of CrossFit?

Michael & Coral-You have to be in good shape to start and that CrossFit is a cult.

The Faces of SPT-Shaunelle Galaise

Who is Shaunelle Galaise?

As my husband calls me-the CEO of our house! I’m a wife to Sean Galaise for almost 13 years, the mother of two beautiful little girls, Mckinley is 10 and Anniston is 7. I am their personal taxi driver and Maid. We also have two labs that I absolutely adore, Shelby and Sable. I love to walk the dogs and of course go for long runs!!

What made you start at CrossFit SPT?

Well my husband kept coming home talking about how much he loved CrossFit and how the coaches at SPT were like no others we had ever met. A few months later I decided I wanted to run my first marathon and I knew I couldn’t do it without 1. Strength training and 2. A coach that was going to help get me to the finish line!

What was your first day like at CrossFit SPT?

Oh man, oh man, my first day at SPT I walked in thinking I GOT THIS no problem….I think Casie purposely planned for me to ride 26.2 miles on the assault bike that day. I’m kidding but it sure felt that way. Needless to say I trained with Casie every Tuesday and Thursday for 5 months leading up to my marathon. It was the best decision I had ever made to walk through the doors at SPT!!

What is your favorite CrossFit movement and why?

Deadlift for sure!!! The first time I ever did a deadlift I knew it was my lift! My strength as a runner has always been in my legs, so any movement to make my legs stronger!

What is your least favorite CrossFit movement and why?

I have two 🙂
Wall balls—they are the devil
Assault bike–like stated before Casie always made me train on that bike, it also is the devil

What keeps you pushing through a hard workout?

Knowing that in the end I will be stronger than when I started the workout!

What do you think makes CrossFit SPT stand out?

No doubt the coaches and the athletes. I have been to other CrossFit gyms and SPT is totally different. We are very much a family! Everyone cheers you on during workouts, everyone welcomes you with open arms and most of all we are all there for the same reason. To be healthy and to live a healthy lifestyle!

What would you consider to be the biggest misconception of CrossFit?

That you have to be fit in order to start. People don’t understand that every movement can be scaled.

The Faces of SPT-Bob Swacker

Who is Bob Swacker?

I am very fortunate to be married to my wonderful wife, Rosanne, and a father to four great kids and three grandchildren.  I am a retired airline pilot, as well as Navy Officer having spent over 30 years in both careers.  I still work as a pilot and instructor on a contract basis for several companies.

How did you find Crossfit SPT?

I didn’t find Crossfit SPT so much as it found me. I had been working out at a local gym when one day a section of it was marked off for this thing called “crossfit.”  After watching a couple of people drift down to the area and start working out there, I decided to give CrossFit a try.  I did this in spite of all the bad things I had heard about it.  I first met Shannon, who was the owner and head coach, and then met Casie, one of the coaches and later co-owner. They were both very helpful, instructive and attentive to detail to insure I did things right. The workouts were fun, certainly challenging and I was hooked!

What was your first day at SPT like?

Physically it was a bit daunting.  I previously hadn’t done what I call “full body workouts”, which is what CrossFit is all about.  I had been doing isolated muscle work at the previous gym and soon found that crossfit involves functional, whole body movements.  I never in my wildest dreams thought a 10 lb weight could absolutely crush you during a workout! This was a whole new ballgame for me. Mentally you had to focus on every movement to insure you did it right.  It was a great work out. You were in the door and out in an hour.  The support you get from other class members I found incredible.  They cheer and encourage you every step of the way.  It is the only physical activity where the “last place” finisher receives as much, if not more, cheers and encouragement as the one who finishes first. 

What keeps you pushing through “the suck” of a hard work out? 

Contrary to popular belief, pushing through “the suck” is not done to impress other athletes.  It is done to compete with and improve oneself.   The drive to improve yourself and do that last “rep” inspite of that little voice (sometimes really big) that says “Take it easy, it’s too hard!” is what its all about. This doesn’t mean that you have to perform every move at Rx level, most of us can’t.  It means you do your very best to improve yourself prove that you can do more than you think.  I push through “the suck” because I know it only lasts a few minutes, while not doing my best lasts all day long.  In CrossFit, that’s just another day!  

What is one of the biggest misconceptions of Crossfit in your opinion?

The biggest misconception I’ve heard is that CrossFit causes injuries, etc.  Once again, nothing could be further from the truth.  I know of more people being injured doing other physical activities than in CrossFit. If anything, CrossFit reduces injuries not only in class, but in life in general.  The not so big secret is that we have coaches who care and watch us constantly to insure that form and correct body position are maintained through out.  You do not have this personalized attention at the “big box” gyms. The overriding mantra is form and function before weight. We are very fortunate at CrossFit SPT to have two of the best and most dedicated CrossFit coaches on the planet. Shannon and Casie, along with some great people in class, makes Crossfit SPT my home.

The Faces of SPT-Tim Brown

Who is Tim Brown?

A simple guy who likes to live an active and healthy lifestyle, not just for myself but for my family as well.


What keeps you pushing through the suck?


I have played sports most of my life and I have a pretty competitive nature.

What is the biggest misconception of CrossFit?

That you have to already know what you are doing going into it. I’ve learned that if you have the right coaches then they will help you be successful in your fitness journey.

How did you find CrossFit SPT?

I found SPT while I was working out at the old Velocity Sports Center.

What was your first day at CrossFit SPT like?

My first day was humbling, as there was plenty I needed to learn, which was also nice since I want to always improve.

What do you enjoy most about CrossFit SPT?

What I enjoy most about the gym, besides helping me improve my fitness, is the people.

The Faces of SPT-Shelly Spaugh

Who is Shelly Spaugh?

I am a mother, wife, a lover of musicals and Irish punk, interested in how things work and how people feel, a believer that all people are equal and anyone can do anything they put their mind to, with enough savvy and effort.

How did you find CrossFit SPT?

Through a new friend.  We were talking about CrossFit and I mentioned that I was having a hard time finding a new box with the magic I was looking for.  I’ve found that CrossFit SPT is an awesome community of athletes.  They are here for you when you succeed and here for you when you fail, telling you to try again.

What was your first day at SPT like?

Confusing…. We were still in limbo (while CrossFit SPT was in-between locations) and I wasn’t sure who belonged where.  They were all really friendly and helpful though.

What is your greatest memory at SPT?

When I came back from vacation, I had people tell me they missed me.  It was at that moment that I realized I found the magic again and my CrossFit home.  A specific moment is when the whole class came out and ran with my team when we were finishing a Saturday wod.  It really shows me the type of people that workout here.  They have heart.

What keeps you pushing through “the suck” of a hard workout?

I remind myself of how far I’ve come and internally cuss myself out, telling myself that I can do it.  I also say the word Fudge a lot.  It helps!

What do you think is the biggest misconception about CrossFit?

People that think CrossFit is too hard or they won’t be able to keep up.  I talk about how CrossFit is only a competition within and when you excel, that’s when you celebrate.  CrossFit is about personal victories, small and large, not a competition between athletes, as they might see with the pros.  We are here to improve ourselves, create a supportive community, and learn both physical and internal strength.

The Faces of SPT-Elizabeth Sparks

Who is Elizabeth Sparks?

I am a wife, mom, sister and daughter.  I have a job doing medical sales, and my kids are busy doing everything they can between the hours of 4:00 and 9:00pm! Finding balance is sometimes difficult, but we manage to do it.

What is your CrossFit SPT testimony?

CrossFit is really such a perfect fit for me, although I didn’t think so at first. I was working out in the adult fitness program at Velocity when SPT first started, but had decided that I was not going to try it because I was continually nursing a hurt lower back, and I had a list of reasons why CrossFit wasn’t for me…I was too old.  I had nothing to prove to anyone. I promised myself after I hurt my back deadlifting too much weight with bad form, that I would NEVER deadlift again. I had my glory days of competing in fitness…had won a national fitness competition and didn’t need to take this on. All of those reasons kept me from CrossFit for about a minute! HA!! My husband, Joel ventured down to check it out first and then talked me into just giving it a try because he knew that it was right up my alley as far as the competitive nature of the CrossFit community…and he said he thought I would really like Shannon…which was true too!

What was your first day at CrossFit SPT like?

I don’t really remember specifics about my first day at SPT, but what I do remember is that Shannon never pushed me to do more than I felt comfortable with in the beginning. She was (and still is) so good about making sure that my form and technique were spot on, and that I wasn’t going to hurt myself. My biggest fear was hurting my back again, and Shannon was aware of that and really helped me to feel comfortable with the lifting that we were doing.

What is your greatest memory at CF SPT?

I don’t know what it is about getting a pull-up for the first time, but it is a BIG DEAL! For as many years as I had been working out, pull-ups were my absolute nemesis. I could not do them. I had never learned how to kip, and a strict pull up was definitely not happening. Shannon and Casie worked with me, and taught me how to kip, and eventually just told me I was done using a band! The day I got a real pull-up was very exciting! And then after that, my first Open rolled around, and I got my first chest to bar pull-up during one of the Open workouts. I remember it was only 8 CTB per round, but it took me forever!! I probably did 20 pull-ups just to get my 8 CTB, but I did it and it was VERY EXCITING.

What is your “why”, when you are in the middle of a tough workout?

Easy…to try and beat whatever the fastest score or time is on the board.  That’s just part of the fun of CrossFit (in my opinion).

What is one of the biggest misconceptions of CrossFit in your opinion?

I think people think you have to be super athletic to do CrossFit. I don’t think people really understand that there are ways to scale and modify everything to fit your own personal fitness level. I was saying earlier that I was afraid to do CrossFit because of my lower back, and that was due to my misconception that I was going to be doing crazy things that would injure me again, but I can honestly say that my back has never been better. I have had NO low back issues since I started CrossFit 2 1/2 years ago, and I think that is due to my core being stronger than it has ever been and the great coaching that we get at SPT. We are very lucky to have such great coaches who care whether we are doing something properly.

The Faces of SPT-Joey Kramer

Who is Joey Kramer? 

First and foremost I am a husband to my amazing wife KD. I am a father to two beautiful daughters – Josslyn and Emily. I am arestorer of hope as an Upper Cervical Chiropractor.

How did you find Crossfit SPT? 

I have known Chris and Shannon for the last 10 years of my life. When we moved our business to Southlake, it made sense to join and support the community!

What was your first day at SPT like? 
It felt like I had finally found home. Since 2010, I have virtually trained out of a garage gym, vowing to never join a gym again. On my first day, I knew God had delivered an incredibly special gift of this community to me and it was a perfect fit.
What is your greatest memory at CF SPT? 

Murph a few years ago…it was amazing to watch the community show their support for a great cause! I remember doing push ups with Chris and Paul and Paul was slobbering all over the turf in typical fashion…fun times.

What keep you pushing through “the suck” of a hard work out? 
It all relates back to goals and what I am aiming to achieve. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I stop at the sucking point just because my mind is not committed. What I have found is that when I can put my goals out in front and I can stay focused on them, it is easier to get through the work out. I also remember a conversation with Chris a long long time ago, we were talking about the suck of a work out and how our suck is temporary – maybe 5 minutes right? However there are people who put their lives on the line daily and their suck is 24 hours a day 7 days a week. That alone lets me know that I can suffer for a few minutes while others suffer their entire life.
What is one of the biggest misconceptions of Crossfit in your opinion?

That it injures people. Every single sport known to man has injuries. CF catches heat because of bad coaching – the movements we perform are incredibly complex! If you take a couch potato and expect them to perform a snatch week 1, someone is probably going to get hurt. However, proper coaching with proper skill development leads to a better quality of life that is provided from the exercise domain of Crossfit. The injury susceptibility is unique to every individual and what they are aiming to achieve. Just look at the IR on the baseball list towards the end of the season. Everyone is going to get hurt…it isn’t a matter of if, it is a matter of when. All we can do is ensure that we are taking the necessary precautions with proper warm up, programming, coaching and cool down to ensure that we continue to work towards our goals.

The Faces of SPT-Hady Aghili

What is your CrossFit SPT testimony?

 I have witnessed the birth of CrossFit SPT from day one. At first I was a little skeptical to try it but I have seen how much coaching Mrs. Shannon has put in to it. I tried it out and fell in love with the sport.

What is your greatest memory at CF SPT?

I still can’t believe that I signed up and participated in 2016 Open Games.

What is your purpose when you are in the middle of a tough workout?

 I am eager to achieve and pass my limitations!

What is one of the biggest misconceptions of CrossFit in your opinion?

People always think that CrossFit is too tough and they can’t do it. In my opinion, there is no limit on what you can do regardless of your age and shape with the right coaching and training.




The Faces of SPT- Jenaya Craig

Who is Jenaya Craig?

I was born and raised in Canada.  My husband, two kids and I moved to the U.S. four years ago for my husband to take a new position with his company. We lived in Denver for three years and moved to the Dallas area a year ago.

How did you find SPT? What was your first impression of the gym like?

My neighbor and now friend invited me to try Crossfit SPT.  At first I was quite intimidated because the box is so much smaller then my old one BUT, they have been so welcoming.  I would say my first experience with Crossfit SPT was very positive and both Coach Casie and Shannon were incredibly encouraging because I had taken the summer off to get my kids settled and our new house organized and was a little rusty.  They both helped me get back into the groove quickly with their positive attitudes.  I’ve also made some wonderful new friends at the gym.

What is your greatest memory at SPT?

My greatest memory at CF SPT is getting my kipping pull-ups and my handstand push-ups! I hadn’t been strong enough or had the confidence to do them before so this was very exciting.

What is your “why” during a tough workout?

Somedays… I just want to be able to finish those tough workouts as quickly as possible but, most of the time I want to prove to myself that my body is strong enough to do these challenging workouts.

What do you think is one of the biggest misconceptions of CrossFit?

I think one of the biggest misconceptions of Crossfit is that a person might be too old or too out of shape to begin doing Crossfit.  There are always modifications that can be made for everyone!

Photo Cred:Tiffany Swilley

The Faces of SPT-Chris McIntyre

Who is Chris McIntyre?

Let’s see. Always a hard one to answer. Write something about you. Sounds like an interview question. I’m a husband and puppy dad. Although I love to travel, it’s always best when I get to come home to my family and my bed! I’ve dabbled in a few things over the years like skydiving, skiing (water and snow) and a handful of triathlons. I love basketball but play most sports that have a round or cylindrical object. Due to our hectic schedules, some of the best days are spent at home, with Maria and the puppies! Any trip to the beach is a close second! And always finish the interview with how much you love the company you’re interviewing for… SPT is the best!

What is your CrossFit SPT testimony?

CrossFit found me. We molded together. Maria and I had worked out for years at a local gym… I used to shoot baskets on a goal where SPT now sits! I’d always looked for something more than the traditional gym, a better challenge, something different. When SPT moved in, I gave it a go, and here we are. More than two years later and still going strong. As far as a first experience? I think every day I get to the gym and finish a workout, I feel like it’s my first experience as I lay on the ground in a pile of sweat and agony…

What is your greatest memory at CF SPT?

The number 55… Well, if you’ve done the open, you know what I mean… Due to a back injury, I hadn’t done deadlifts in over 18 years. When I started at SPT, it was one of the things I was hesitant to do them. Shan started me off slow with proper form and light weight. Fast forward to my first Open in 2016. 55 DL, 55 WB, 55 Cal Row, and 55 HSPU? Really, this is what I have to do?? Who does 55 DL? Slowly, but surely, I chipped away… Done! Then came Open 2017… Repeat… But this time I was ready!

What is your “why” when you are in the middle of a tough workout?

Hero WODs are my why! When it gets hard and I begin to doubt my cardio or strength or stamina, I think of what the soldiers went through in their last minutes, hours or days before they took their final breath! Murph anyone??

What is one of the biggest misconceptions of CrossFit in your opinion?

It’s a cult… Let’s face it, everyone’s heard it and everyone has had to explain why it isn’t… It’s a family and you feed off the energy of those supporting you! Not just at SPT, but wherever in the world we travel, we find a CF gym and are welcomed with the same family atmosphere and instruction that we’ve come to expect! The other thing is it’s a young person’s sport! Well, that’s an easy one… Two days a week, Maria’s parents are kicking butt and improving every day at SPT! They embrace the knowledge and skills Casie imparts on them each class! I’ve never seen them so excited about fitness!!

Photo Cred: Tiffany Swilley