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Member Spotlight-Emily Fain (Train)

A fan-favorite at the gym, Emily never ceases to amaze the entire coaching staff with her dedication, positive attitude, and willingness to improve. Known as "Fain Train" around the gym and "Mom" at home, Emily consistently finds time to workout — whether it be a home WOD or at a scheduled class time. Her posted recipes on the CrossFit James Island Nutrition page have played an integral role in the happiness of many people who were sick of making chicken and broccoli, and she does it all while balancing life with a three-year-old girl (Caelyn) and a newborn baby girl (Ella Grace). A big "Thank You" to current members Jenny, Nick, Lisa, and Mike for breaking Emily down and getting her into the gym two years ago! I'll stop talking now, and let Emily tell her story...

You have been CrossFitting for a long time now at CFJI — How did you initially get started into CrossFit?

Jenny, Nick, Mike, and Lisa have literally not shut up about CF for the past 3 years. They hounded me about it until Nick got me a 30-day pass from his school band oyster roast/silent auction. I tried it in June 2015 and have loved it since.

Your a mother to two girls, one a newborn, and you still make it into the gym 4-5 times per week. How do you balance the home-gym life with that kind of schedule?

Life is definitely crazy right now. I often tell my husband “we are in the trenches of parenthood”. CF is what keeps me sane. I am a better wife, mom, friend, etc. when I get more workout in. Despite the sleepless nights, I feel more energized on days I make it to CFJI. It’s the one hour of the day I can focus on myself.

You are always posting amazing looking Paleo and Whole30 dishes on the nutrition page — Have you always been nutrition conscious? If not, when did you make the change that part of your lifestyle?

Yes, I have always been nutrition conscious, but I have not always known the right things to eat. I used to sit at my teaching desk and shovel reduced fat triscuits and cheese and think I was eating a healthy snack. It wasn’t until I did my first whole30 with CFJI that I really began to learn the right foods to eat to feel and look the way I wanted to. Now that I have my 3rd nutrition challenge under my belt, I’m starting to grasp how I can maintain this lifestyle long-term. I finally have learned that it is 90% nutrition and 10% workouts. For the longest time, I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t losing weight if I was running 20-25 miles/week, yet eating whatever I wanted. So glad that ship has sailed!

What do you like most about CFJI?

I really like the fact that I don’t have to plan my workouts. There’s no thinking involved whatsoever. You just show up to the gym and you know you’re going to get your butt kicked AND get a total body workout throughout the course of the week. Of course, I have to mention the community. So many great people from so many different walks of life. The accountability is huge and helps tremendously with making me come back each day.

What are 1-2 of your goals at CFJI for 2017?

Pull-up for sure. I don’t care if it’s kipping or strict, but that’s been a goal for some time now. I feel like it’s within reach now that I have the baby weight totally off. It’s crazy how much easier things feel when you weigh a little less! Double-unders would be nice too. I feel like an IDIOT doing those penguin jumps.

What are your favorite things to do when you are not at the gym?

Beach, drinking coffee, drinking wine, reading---if these things could all be combined, that would be my perfect day.

Favorite Lift?

Back Squat

Least favorite Lift?


Least Favorite Gymnastic Movement?

Muscle-up---it just seems so far out of reach!

Favorite “Girl” WOD?

Fran. She’s short and sweet and serves as a nice benchmark for general conditioning.

Least favorite?

Angie wasn’t very fun. 100 pullups, 100 pushups, 100 situps, 100 squats. It’s one of those where you just have to grind through the work.


Farmington Hills, MI---20 miles outside of Detroit

Favorite Charleston Restaurant?

Any Mexican place

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?

It’s 4pm, I’m on my second cup of coffee and I cannot think of an answer for this.

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?

“One day, you’re going to move to Charleston, SC, and life will be perfect.” (I got 6 hours of sleep last night. The creative juices are not flowing.)

What is the best book you have ever read?

The Bible!!! (That’s for you, Mike Dempsey.)

A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?

“I’ve made you chicken fajitas! No need to cook dinner tonight!”

If the CFJI coaches came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare?

Paleo Enchilada Pasta---such a crowd pleaser.

If you were to get rid of one state in the U.S., what would it be and why?

Brian, these questions are hard. I was gonna say Ohio because I went to Michigan State and OSU is obviously a big rival, but then I remembered Nick’s from there. I like all 50 states equally.

One thing about me people would be surprised to know?

Maybe this is surprising, maybe not, but I actually enjoy cooking and cleaning. If accompanied by coffee and/or wine, even better.

** Love my CFJI fam and coaches! CFJI is one of my favorite places to be! I’m looking forward to open season and beach WOD season! (Here’s a bonus final statement since I deleted a question I, (surprise, surprise), could not think of an answer to. Sleep deprivation is real, people.) **

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