CrossFit Sandpoint 5 Year Alumni Spotlight: Aleya Hutchens


To say that Aleya has transformed herself over the last 5 years would be a tremendous understatement.  When she first walked into one of my classes, I remember feeling like she didn’t like me, nor did she like what I was asking her to do.  If you would have pulled me aside that morning and said, “over the next 5 years, you’ll watch her develop into one of, if not the, best movers in the entire gym” I’d have thought you were crazy.  It wasn’t personal at all, it was just definitely something out of her element. 

Yet, through these years, I have watched her do things I imagine she never thought possible.  From gymnastic feats like muscle-ups and huge sets of pull-ups to Weightlifting at a nationally competitive skill level, she continues to grow and achieve.  I’m incredibly proud to be able to say that I’m her coach. 

What are you most proud of over the past 5 years?

Honestly I think I’m most proud of myself for sticking with something for so long. When I first came to CFSP I had only stepped foot in a gym a handful of times. I used to run on occasion, hit up the stair master at the gym in my apartment complex, slide around on the elliptical etc. I’d never laid hands on a barbell, couldn’t do a single push-up, or pull-up. I ran an 10+ minute mile, never heard of the snatch or clean and jerk and could barely lift the 35# barbell over my head. The only thing going for me was my wicked mobility. I think Kenny will attest he thought I was lost the first few times I showed up for class. Now it’s just part of my lifestyle, knowing what it’s like on the other side of fitness and experiencing that shift is one of the greatest feelings ever.

What brought you to CrossFit? What was your first experience like?

My introduction to CrossFit was in November, 2011. The gym was actually not quite a gym yet and wasn’t affiliated with CrossFit or open to the public. It was just this strange “CrossFit style friends gym” in a random building. In need of some positive changes and habits in my life I put my nerves aside and came in one afternoon to workout with Alison. It was the first time I had met her and we were about to do something called the “Filthy 50”. I was petrified. Anyone who has done this knows that the Filthy 50 is a very aggressive workout for someone’s first day in the gym. To make a long story short after the first 14 box jumps I desperately wanted to fake my own death and disappear. Over 45 minutes later I finished the damn thing using every scaling option known to man kind. I was dead, out of breath, laying on my back in a pile of sweat, dizzy, sick, tired. This is absolutely bat shit crazy, who does that kind of thing for fun? Well…

What keeps you coming back?

One of many reasons I keep coming back: I have seen so many people positively change their lives here I’m not even sure where to start…. we did a weight loss challenge a few years back and this 14 year year old kid, youngest member at the time (before CrossFit Kids or Teens was around) won the damn thing! He came in wearing his sweet new black and green Rogue shorts he bought with his winnings and a shit eating grin on his face the next week. He was a totally different person then the shy kid who showed up in his SHS gym clothes.

The positivity and encouragement of everyone at the gym just radiates throughout. Being able to see people through their own personal journey is pretty inspiring. It definitely keeps me coming back every day, working hard trying to achieve my own personal goals and hopefully inspiring other people to do the same thing.

What is your favorite memory?

When Kelli first moved to Sandpoint she showed up at the gym one night during the Open. I saw her stretching in the corner and thought something like “oh shit that girl is strong and serious and very intimidating”. I was terrified to talk to her. We finally started chatting and quickly became close friends. We coming into the gym to lift together, workout together, heckle each other etc. One particular Saturday morning we had to come in to work on snatch technique. Both having trouble hitting numbers that normally would not cause a problem we decided it was a good idea to switch things up. By the end of the lifting session Kelli and I had the garage door open, barbells set up head to head, Dance Cardio radio as loud as the stereo would go, shirtless, yelling profanity at each other, calling each other names. We finally managed to start hitting our lifts. Everyone thought we were mad but we just laughed and laughed. Way to many memories to pick one but that one stands out in my mind as one of the best.

Still on my list to achieve?

Linking my ring and bar muscle ups, walking in a straight line on my hands, 130# snatch, 185# back squat, 40 unbroken pull-ups