Ashli Richards

“I love the people at CrossFit Morgantown. They have become a family to me. They’ve been supportive for me through my ups and downs.” 


How long have you been a member at CrossFit Morgantown?

I have been a member for 4 years at Crossfit Morgantown. 


Why did you join?

Funny story.  I used to be one of those people who was really against CrossFit and would talk about how it was impossible or too dangerous. But, I went away to basic training and came back home and felt lost. I had also gained some weight while I had been away. I didn’t know how to get back into a routine.  I was so used to someone telling me to do something. I started looking online for gyms and stumbled upon my old CrossFit gym in Beckley. I saw a climbing rope in the photos and I told myself, “I want to learn to climb that.”  I made an appointment to speak to the owner.  Here I am, 5 years later. 


What do you love most about CFM? / What keeps you coming back each month?

I love the people at CrossFit Morgantown.  They have become a family to me.  They’ve been supportive for me through my ups and downs. I always say CrossFit Morgantown is my second family. I have made lifelong friends here.  It’s truly why I keep coming back.  I love walking into the gym every day and getting to say “hi” to everyone.


“I think fitness has been able to empower me as a woman. It’s shown me how strong and capable I am at anything I set my mind to.”


4)  What is your current occupation? And/or what are some hobbies, clubs, groups, or activities you participate in?   

I work full-time as a West Virginia National Guard Soldier. Besides CrossFit, I really enjoy travelling and trying new foods and coffee. I love coffee and like to find a good roast wherever I go.


5)  Who inspires you? 

Mat Fraser! J/K. I do love him but, if I have to pick, it would be my dad. He’s my best friend. My dad taught me from a very young age that I had to work hard for the things I want in life. He said I’d appreciate things more that way. I have always kept that mentality and try to live by that. He also inspires me because he finally decided to do CrossFit after years of me begging him. He’s healthier and stronger now at 52 than he ever was in his 30s and 40s. I love seeing him work hard and bragging about his new PR’s (Personal Records). It’s something we can share together.


6)  How has improved fitness impacted your life? 

I think fitness has been able to empower me as a woman. It’s shown me how strong and capable I am at anything I set my mind to. An example in my life was in 2016, the Defense Secretary lifted the ban on women serving in combat roles; making me an eligible candidate. In 2017, I volunteered to serve as a Combat Engineer. I was one of the first women in the state of West Virginia to do so.


7)  What’s one thing – either fitness related or not – you learned in the last month?

How to adapt and overcome! I’ve learned this plenty in training, but it’s more relevant now than ever.


8)  What would you say to someone you love to encourage them to try out CFM? 

I would say to just walk through the doors. You gain a sense of community and a support system that is unbeatable. The coaches and staff care about you and make it a personalized experience.