Roaster Spotlight: Abbey Ratcliff

From Coach Pete: Today’s spotlight is a special one. Abbey has been one of the most consistent athletes through one of the craziest years in history. Not only is today Abbey’s spotlight day, but its also her last day at the gym as life is taking her onto her next journey (which happens to be just a little too far away). Although its always tough to see good people go, I couldn’t be happier for Abbey and her future. Her success in her professional career, and her success in the gym are not surprising considering how smart and talented she is. She has a great heart and we will truly miss her and her energy in class. Thank you, Abbey, for trusting Roaster Barbell and myself with your fitness. You will always be welcome here 🙂


1) What is your why? What gets you out of bed in the morning?

My purpose is definitely to be a light in the lives of my family, friends, and students. The people in my life are the most important thing to me, and I want them to feel noticed and appreciated every single day.

2) What is your most meaningful goal? Could be life or fitness or anything.

Even though this is super general (and not as specific as most of my goals are) my most meaningful goal is the same as my “why” – to have a positive effect on the people in my life. There is so much negativity in the world, if I can make one person smile or recognize their worth each day, I consider it a success.

3) If you could have lunch with anyone ever, who would it be and why?

I would love to share a meal with my Great-Grandpa Champa. I’m very interested in family history – not just the big events, but the ins-and-outs of everyday life. My grandpa grew up during the depression, trained as a golden gloves boxer, and had so much love for his wife, taking her polka dancing on Tuesday nights. He passed away when I was pretty young, after battling dementia, so I never had the chance to hear about his life experiences or personal values first hand. He seemed like such a quality man though (not to mention he could do double-unders into his 70s!) so I would absolutely love to speak with him now as an adult.

4) What is your favorite part of training?

My favorite part of training is the feeling of both accomplishment and absolute exhaustion at the end of a tough workout. It feels so good to see persistence and consistency pay off, both in myself and the rest of the team, after overcoming such a challenge.

5) What is your least favorite part of training?

My least favorite part of training is when I realize mid-WOD that I’ve scaled something inappropriately. Sometimes it’s difficult to gauge what I’m capable of (or not…) and when the scale is either too easy or too hard I know that I’m not getting the highest quality workout. I like to keep up with the pace of those around me but also challenge myself, and sometimes it’s hard to balance that out!

6) What has been your biggest obstacle on your fitness journey?

The biggest obstacle on my fitness journey has been learning to overcome challenges involving body image and disordered eating. There are so many conflicting messages about nutrition and how women’s bodies should look, despite what really results in the best overall health (not just physically, but mentally as well…) It has been beyond helpful to see how my performance in the gym is directly linked to my eating habits and giving my body the nourishment it needs. Beyond that, there are so many strong women in our gym that I look up to and am constantly in awe of – they are living proof that women of every size and stature can be incredibly strong and fit.

7) What would your ideal day consist of?

When I was in high school, my martial arts instructor asked me where I would be if I could be anywhere in the world, and I said, “Right here.” I’ve been super intentional about designing a life that I love day in and day out. If I had one ideal day to live, I would wake up early and drink a black coffee while sitting outside watching the sun rise. I would still go to work for the first half of the day, but would cancel normal class and treat my kiddos to a morning of extra recess instead, where I’d join in on their games of 4-square and make-believe. After school, I would still hit the gym (and pray for a WOD with some running but absolutely no sled-pull!) At the end of the day, I would plan a bonfire at my childhood home and invite all of my family and friends to revisit memories from our past and make Reese’s cup s’mores. Later that night, I would lay out in the field with those who are closest to me and we would listen to the crickets and bullfrogs while watching the stars.

8) What is something that no one knows about you?

It’s not a secret that I’ve kept a journal since I was about 12 years old, but those journals add up over time. There are about 20 notebooks completely full of my memories, hopes, and dreams in a storage bin in my parents’ barn. I started the habit as a kid because I was worried that when I got old I would forget all of the details of my life…now I’ve got more than enough cringey entries (that I sometimes wish I could forget!)

9) Who is your biggest inspiration?

I don’t think I can choose one singular person to be my inspiration. Instead, there are qualities that I see in those closest to me who I aspire to be like. My father is beyond disciplined. My mother is full of understanding. My siblings have a creativity and sense of humor that goes beyond all else. My boyfriend has an incredible work ethic as well as sincerity in both his words and actions. I aspire to be like my students, who greet each day with a sense of wonder, adventure, and excitement, and can find laughter and joy in the smallest of things. There are so many amazing people in my life – I can’t choose just one!

10) What brought you to Roaster Barbell?

I was in a pretty low place at the beginning of 2020 and, trying to feel better, made a list of things to look forward to throughout the year. I didn’t have anything super exciting on the list for January and had always wanted to try Crossfit, so I took the plunge and reached out. Best. Decision. Ever.

11) How has the gym influenced your life outside of the gym?

Believe it or not, the gym has actually made me a better teacher! One specific connection that I’ve gained (which is a bit niche) is how scaling a workout is a perfect parallel to differentiating lessons for my kiddos at school. For work of any kind to be motivating, it needs to be challenging but in the realm of possibility, whether that’s at the gym or in math class.

12) What advice would you give someone who is on the fence about CrossFit and Roaster Barbell?

Just do it. Schedule your intro lessons, take a deep breath, and give it a try. If you’re brave enough to show up at a random warehouse you’ve never been to before (lol), you’ve got what it takes to make it through your first class. Everyone is very welcoming and supportive here  – it’s not quite as intimidating as it seems!


Thank you for taking the time to get to know Abbey and her journey! If you would like to learn how you could become our next success story, just email Coach Pete at and lets begin talking about how Roaster Barbell and help you reach your goals!