Spot Light Members

Featuring our Monthly Spot Light Members and their amazing achievements!!!

Our April 2019 Spot Light Member is Maria Parasson. We are so proud of what you’ve accomplished!!

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“Maria’s first competition…She’s a 52 year old mother of two…” Ok, let me just say right off the bat, ALL the hard work was worth it! Getting into bikini body competition shape was the toughest physical thing I’ve ever done besides 2 pregnancies, 2 c-sections & nursing. I absolutely LOVE my new body and plan to keep it! At CrossFit in August of 2018 we were asked to set 3, 6 & 12 month goals. I laughed & thought how ridiculous is this that in 12 months (Aug of 2019) “I’m going to be in a Bikini contest, hahaha”. I saw my 12 month goal written on the chalkboard everyday & just cried inside thinking it’ll never happen. Well, that Summer & Fall, watching other Barbells gym members compete at various shows, I decided it was my time to get the weight off. I was so inspired by competitors Danara, Brandon, Adam, Michael, Holly, Amy, Michelle, Brittany, Alysha, my coaches Dakota & Amy… I entered the Spring Cleveland NPC Natural Ohio and started reaching my goal. A very long 22 weeks out of strict dieting & training, I lost 30 some lbs. I achieved my goal 4 months early stepping on stage April 6, 2019. I entered True Novice (never competed before & was up against ladies half my age) & Masters (40 & up). Big age difference in both divisions, but it didn’t discourage me. I had the time of my life & truly fell in love with the bikini competition lifestyle. Every time I look at the photos from my journey I can’t believe it’s actually me. No, I did not place which is fine. I won in more ways I can possible explain. I’ll be back on stage soon because I’m hooked.??Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to my trainers Brian & Stacy Bonifay (you two RULE?) @barbellsgym @seamonkeycrossfit, my family (kids Sienna & Leo), friends & my true love Ben for everything! God Bless you all?

Our March 2019 Spot Light Member is Tim Leasure! He has accomplished so much! Awesome job Tim! Keep up the good work!

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Picture on the right is after my bench press meet June 2018 weighing 242lbs. I had been going to Barbells Gym training and was able to achieve my goal of setting two state records in the NGPF organization that day. After the meet and I reviewed my lift and pictures, I realized that I wanted to be healthier and still be competitive so I decided to use the equipment at the gym to support this new goal and I feel I am on my way with reducing my weight in the picture on the left to 189lbs while maintaining my strength for future meets. Thank you to all the staff at Barbells Gym for there support and encouragement.

Our December 2018 Spot Light Member is Bethanie Arnod! It’s been a joy to watch her transformation. Here is her story…

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“Last year at this time, I was getting ready for my work Xmas party…… While there they had a photo booth and I finally saw how out of shape I had become. This was Dec 2017. Jan 2018 I had surgery and was allowed to walk only so I did at Barbells gym. This began my journey. I walked most days for 1 hour sometimes 2x day until March 2018 when I was released to return to activity, but not full activity. I began Crossfit with Dakota, Amy, and Brittany as my instructors. My journey started slow because I had many restrictions but they all modified workouts so I could participate. I have made many close friendships and feel that my Crossfit family has been a great support system in my getting healthy, losing weight,and finding my self esteem again. Life can be hard and bring us down but my friends at Crossfit are just as interested in me and how I am doing as they are in how much I can deadlift. Everyone celebrates when you meet a goal or Do your personal best and that’s my favorite part. Its not easy. It takes A lot of hard work but if you finish YOU ARE A WINNER! I started this journey to get in shape and got a whole lot more. Thanks to Neil, Karen, Dakota, Amy, Brittney, Michelle & Danara and all of my Sea Monkey CrossFit friends. In 8 months I have lost over 41# and 4 pant sizes but what I have gained can never compare.”
-Bethanie Arnold

Our November 2018 Spot Light Member is Jennie Storrie! Her hard work is paying off and she’s doing an amazing job!!

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“I joined Barbells gym 2 years ago because I wanted to lose weight and change the way I saw myself. I became a Sea Monkey CrossFit member a year ago in September and have done things I never thought possible. This weight loss journey has had it’s ups and downs. I have lost 60lbs since joining. I am thankful for the support and encouragement of my gym family. Thank you Barbells and Sea Monkey CrossFit!”-Jennie Storrie

Our September 2018 Spot Light Member is Kristen Stipkovich! She works hard and the results are absolutely mind blowing, amazing job Kristen!!

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“I love powerlifting. I started this journey in November 2017 and although my strength had grown and my body changed a little bit, I wasn’t seeing the results I had hoped for. I started working with Stacie and Brian 15 weeks ago. I had only ever crash dieted, so I was extremely nervous and excited at the same time! The diet is simple. If you follow it, your body will respond. In 15 weeks I didn’t change any of my training and have seen the most amazing results. Not only physically by losing 41 pounds, but mentally. I feel like a new person. I am a new person. I am hitting new PRs all the time while shredding body fat. It’s truly been an incredible journey. I am thankful for Stacie and Brian for creating and providing a customized food plan. It was the missing piece to getting the results I wanted but wasn’t able to achieve on my own.”-Kristen Stipkovich

Our August 2018 Spot Light Member is Mike Sugalski. He has an awesome work ethic and it shows, great job Mike!!

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“I started CrossFit at 50 having been working out for years and not seeing the results I’d hoped for. When I started in November of 2017, I had a lot of hip and knee pain, couldn’t run, and didn’t think I’d be able to do anything in CrossFit. Now 10 months later, the differences are way more than I ever expected. My hip pain is nearly gone, I’ve lost 37 pounds and I even feel mentally better. Everyone in CrossFit class is encouraging and positive. I look forward to having my butt kicked by the workout knowing each time I’ll get better. The way I figure it when you’re middle aged you’re going to have some soreness anyway, you might as well have it be from a workout and make it worth something.”-Mike


Our July 2018 Spot Light Members are David and Stephanie Hall. They are an inspiration and we love watching their amazing transformation…..

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“We have seen so many changes since we started our fitness journey at Sea Monkey/Barbells. Seems like yesterday we were crawling out of our first CrossFit class. We have seen our fair share of ups and downs, not finishing a workout in the time cap and the first time we raise our PRs. CrossFit has now become a keystone part of our lives and our fitness, we owe all that to Barbells.” -David and Stephanie Hall


Our June 2018 Spot Light Member is Angel Groah. She has worked so hard and the results show! Awesome job Angel! Were proud of you!

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“I started coming to Barbells a little over a year and a half ago to lose some weight and get healthy . I absolutely love the atmosphere and the staff here! I love how comfortable I feel every time I walk in the door. I started Sea Monkey CrossFit here in September and am so thankful I did. I feel so much better and I am amazed at how far I have come. I have met some amazing people here and consider them my “gym family”. Everyone here is so kind and encouraging and it makes me so happy to be a part of it!!! I am glad I have a place to continue my journey!” -Angel Groah

Our May 2018 Spotlight Member is Scott Cottrell, we are proud of his lifestyle change.

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“I started to go to Barbells in January of 2017, I had let myself go and I felt completely miserable. I told myself that I was tired of living and looking the way I did, it wasn’t who I was nor wanted to be. When I started on my weight loss journey in January I weighed 358lbs. I began to watch what I ate and exercised more, and by July of 2017 I had lost 80lbs. Although it was a big loss, I still wasn’t where I wanted to be. I wanted to change my lifestyle completely and take things to a whole new level. After the 80lb loss, I hit a plateau and was having trouble to continue to lose weight. By December of 2017 I put some weight back on. Luckily I ran into Brian Bonifay at Barbells and we talked a little bit about my goals and I decided to set up an appointment with him and his wife Stacie the following week. To this day I believe it was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my entire life. With the Bonifay’s nutritional guidance and training methods I managed to lose an additional 60lbs! They have helped me achieve my goals and I feel like a completely different person.

The Bonifay’s care about their clients and go above and beyond. If I ever have any questions they are always a phone call or text away. I’m excited about my future with them because we are only getting started. I am so thankful for Brian and Stacie Bonifay and all that they have helped me achieve. I am also thankful for Karen and Neil Rager for Barbell’s Gym, it’s like a big family out there. It’s the best gym around with the state of the art facilities!”

“Barbells has changed my life!”

– Scott Cottrell

Our April 2018 Spotlight Member is Lana Swaldo Scalambrino. She has accomplished amazing things and we are proud of her achievements!

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“I started coming to Barbells’s a year and a half ago because I wanted to lose weight. I had tried other gyms but never felt comfortable at them. This gym was so different than the others. Everyone who works here is very helpful and they made me feel at home. In September I joined Sea Monkey Crossfit. It has made a huge impact in my life. I am stronger and healthier than I have ever been. I look forward to pushing and challenging myself. I have accomplished things I never thought were possible. Dakota is a great teacher. He always pushes me to do my best and he has confidence in me when I have none in myself. I have also met some of the most amazing people in this class. Everyone is very encouraging and supportive. 
I have lost over 60 pounds since I joined this gym and I feel better now at 39 years old than I did at 29. Barbell’s and Sea Monkey CrossFit have changed my life.” -Lana Scalambrino

Our March 2018 Spot Light Member is Nathan Levengood. He has done an awesome job working towards his goal!

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“The before pic was taken when I first started my weight loss journey around May 2017. I originally started my journey to get in shape and lose weight for my wedding day in September 2017. My goal was to get back to my weight and size when I swam in college, which means I had to lose 40 lbs in 5 months. So I started running and trying to eat healthy. At the same time, I started doing Obstacle Course Racing to help give me more motivation. As I got into better shape, I started competing more and started performing better. Eventually, a few months later, I got good enough to compete at the World Championship race in October, which gave me even more motivation to stay in shape. By the time my wedding rolled around, I was down 40 lbs and was at my weight and size from college. I stayed this way for the next month through my championship race. Now, where does Barbells come into play? Unlike some people, I didn’t start my journey here (obviously). However, Barbells has been pivotal in my winter trainings since I started in November. Dakota has done a phenomenal job fixing my overall lifting technique as well as teaching me new lifts that I have never done before. My overall core, upper body, lower body, and grip strength have all improved drastically. My agility and speed have gotten better as well. Heck, I’ve even lost 10 more pounds and another pants size this winter from everything (that totals 50 lbs and 8 inches off my waist). All in all, being a part of Barbells and Sea Monkey Crossfit has made me much stronger and incredibly confident going into this OCR season. I one day want to compete in the Worlds Toughest Mudder and run on the pro/elite circuit. Being a part of this gym has only made my goals more realistic and I couldn’t be more excited.” -Nathan Levengood

Our Feburary 2018 Spot Light Member is Mitchell Sanders! We are very proud of him and his achievements!

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“I joined Barbells about 5 months ago to help me get in shape for Navy boot camp. Since then I’ve lost right around 30 pounds. I really enjoy coming here, everyone is super nice and they have all the exercising equipment you’d ever need. By far though my favorite thing about this place has to be the Sea Monkey CrossFit classes and the instructor Dakota. I’ve been coming to the classes since they first started and it’s quickly become my favorite thing to do. Dakota and the owners are very helpful even when classes are not being held. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for Barbells and Sea Monkey CrossFit” -Mitchell Sanders