Athletes of the Month: Lili & Chris Bernardini

For the Bernardini family: Lili, Chris, Cassidy, Luca and Jess, CrossFit is their “prescription for life”. It is our pleasure to feature them for this month’s Athletes of the Month. Together, they each demonstrate a drive to better their fitness and their life.

Through this monthly recognition, we are showcasing those dedicated members for their hard work and accomplishments and show the community that anyone can be a CrossFitter. All you have to do is make the choice to give it a try, set goals, work hard and challenge yourself. You may be surprised at what you will accomplish! It’s not that this person is able to RX every workout or lift the most weight.  What makes an Athlete of the Month is that every time they come to the box, they try their hardest, give the workout their all, and then some.  They go above and beyond by spending extra time to work on specific skills, are welcoming of others and encourage other athletes to do their best, too.  They really embody what CrossFit is all about and work to make CrossFit Salus the community and family that it is.  Each month we will choose a different Athlete and post some fun facts about them to help you get to know them better.

Meet Lili & Chris Bernardini!

1. When and why did you start CrossFit?

We first learned about CrossFit through our daughter Jess and now we are pretty much a CrossFit family. I walked in on the first day CrossFit Salus opened, met two amazing people, coaches Angie & Gino and I felt connected to them right away. I took introductory class and that was it… I signed up right away (for the rest of my life!). Our son Luca started attending the CrossFit Kids classes and soon after, Chris switched over to Salus not only because we like to workout together but also because the coaches and their knowledge made the difference!

2. How has your performance changed since you started CrossFit?

One step at a time, we have been executing lifts and gymnastic movements with more confidence. CrossFit has made us push ourselves beyond our comfort zone while being aware of our limitations.
For Luca, he has developed more confidence, concentration, agility, interest and passion for exercising while having fun and following direction.

3. Are there exercises you can do now that you couldn’t do before?

Chris: I have been training my whole life but CF has made me aware of Olympic lifts which I never trained before .
Lili: I finally got my firsts unassisted pull up and double unders. Little by little I’m improving my cleans and OHS. I never thought I would be jumping 24 inch boxes or even doing wall balls with 14 lb ball (I was afraid of crashing). I still have a long way to go, but I love to challenge myself.

4. How has your body physically changed since you started CrossFit?

Chris: I have gotten stronger and more mobile, I feel that CF has helped me recover and endure my knee surgery better.
Lili: I love feeling stronger and agile. I enjoy watching how my body has been changing, getting fitter, seeing my muscles coming to life and checking every day how my “6 pack dream” is progressing (I’ll give it 1 more year – baby fat still around).


“CrossFit is my prescription for life.”


5. How has CrossFit changed you in other ways?

Chris: I definitely have more energy, I’m much more aware of posture, mobility and movement. It has also given me and Lili something else to do together, that is healthy and sets a good example for our son Luca.

Lili: CF is my prescription for life. Whenever I get down, I can’t wait for the morning to run to my WOD. It motivates me, gives me more energy than ever, cheers me up, eliminates my stress and helps me to find clarity in my decisions. I feel happier every time I leave the box .

6. How do you describe CrossFit to your friends?

Chris: I tell people that CF is a means of training which is high intensity using time, weight and/or bodyweight and effort. You work out with other people and it is fun.
Lili: CF is inspirational not just by examples of different levels of athletes, limitations or ages but by the sense of community. No matter who is next to you, they are all cheering for you and you for them. Everybody helps each other to get better or to finish something that you didn’t feel capable of… The people make it fun and the coaches (my coaches) make it possible.

7. What keeps you motivated to continue?

Chris: Getting better at all phases of training and being as fit as I can be.
Lili: The results, the energy and feeling of accomplishment that I get and the wonderful quality of people that I have met.

8. Favorite WOD, skill, and/or lift? (What was your first- or most memorable- WOD ever?)

Chris: My favorite lift is Deadlift… the first time that I lifted 305 lbs, my eyes got watery because I was so excited.
Lili: WODS that I remember as hard but fun, the Halloween WOD (first time jumping a huge tire in and out, 100 meters carrying weights OH, medicine ball, run and Gino trying to scare us); “Bring Sally Up, Bbring Sally Down”; the 12 Days of Fitness Christmas WOD to name a few. My favorite lifts areBack Squats, thrusters, Split Jerks and Deadlifts.

9. What advice would you give to a newbie just joining CrossFit Salus?

Chris: To be patient with themselves and not to get hung up on other people’s abilities. Work on own improvements, mobility, etc.
Lili: Benefit from Gino and Angie’s coaching (nowhere else like Salus), take advantage of the On Ramp classes and learn and practice as much as you can; don’t get intimidated by others, don’t push yourself to lift heavy weights until you have mastered the proper move and position; have fun and enjoy everybody’s support.

10. What is your next goal to accomplish…or goat to kill?

Chris: I don’t have a goat… I have a herd but I am culling the herd one goat at a time. I’m working on Handstand pushups and double unders right now.
Lili: Like my hubby, I have a lot. As I accomplish one, I have to continue to get better on that (pull ups and doubles currently under improvement)… My next goats are handstands and handstand pushups while I keep working in getting a better clean and snatch (CF exercises!)
Luca: Jump rope and Hand Stand… haha