Deb Steele

Member of the Month: Deb Steele


Deb Steele 




Byron Center, MI.

Member Since:

April 2018.


What was your athletic background, if any?

I played softball in rec leagues when I was young and in high school.  I played on softball leagues during college, too. Chris and I joined a Grand Rapids club for bootcamps. Be sure to ask him about it, he has many fond memories! 

What led you to Crossfit and CFA specifically?  
After watching Anna get stronger and stronger @ CrossFit, Adeline and I decided to give it a go.  Plus, what in the world would our family even talk about?

What do you do when you're not at CFA?

I used to wrangle kids for a living.  Now, I find ways to volunteer my time.  I greet parents and children outside in the morning at Allendale Early Childhood Center, I was an outside guest reader, and I pick up debris around the elementary campus.  I love, love, love nature and you will often see me at many of our amazing county and state parks.  Some people call me DNR Deb.

When did you realize that CrossFit is right for you?

This question had me stumped because there isn’t one specific moment but a whole slew of moments when I realized that CrossFit was right for me.  When Josh graduated me from my invisible jump rope to a real jump rope.  When the CrossFit community and beyond, held a fundraiser in my honor.  When I met with the radiology doctor after they zapped the cancer in my leg and hip socket and asked him what restrictions I would have at CrossFit and he had to pick up his jaw from the floor.  When I hear people passing me while running and saying, “you got this, great work, keep it up, etc.”

Do you remember your first WOD?

I only remember barely surviving and not being able to pull up my underwear for a week!

What movement do you despise over everything and why?
If you asked me this question a few years ago, I would have a laundry list!  There isn’t one thing that I despise because every movement at CrossFit makes you stronger and more functional!

What has been your all-time favorite moment at CFA? 
Plank DB pull throughs is my all time favorite even though I spent the rest of the day in child’s pose!

What motivates you during a tough workout?

Watching everyone else killing it and watching the time run out on the clock!

What are your goals going forward and what do you think will help you achieve them?

There are many modifications that I currently use so my goal is to slowly remove those modifications.  To achieve these goals, I keep showing up to CrossFit and go to PT (that one leg is still weaker than the other)


What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health, and fitness or just day to day life since starting CrossFit (before/after?)

This is kind of hard to believe since I was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer in 2019, but I feel like I’m at the top of my game!  I’ve been so thankful that I started CFA in 2018. It has prepared me to fight for the quality of life that I have chosen to have.  CFA has shared many of my posts during my journey and I would not be here today without CFA.  I like wearing my CFA merch to doctor’s appointments and treatments for the jaw dropping factor!


What would you recommend to someone who is just starting out with CrossFit or is too afraid to try it?

Was I afraid to try CFA at first? Absolutely!  Was I sore for weeks at a time after workouts? Yep!  Did I think I was going to die during a WOD? Definitely!  Here’s the thing...I’m still sore and I haven’t died from CFA WOD’s but my functional fitness is drastically improved!  Why wait for tomorrow to take care of your body, health and fitness because tomorrow is never guaranteed!  I talk to many sick people with chronic health problems and they always say, “I wish, I wish, I wish I would have done something before this!”  Don’t wish your life away, get up and do something today even if it is with modifications!

If you could have one skill or characteristic of another member at CFA what and from whom would it be? Or which other CFA member are you the most motivated by?

Oh my word there is a huge laundry list of members with aspiring characteristics!  Believe or not, they are what inspires me to get better each passing day.  Remembering to not wish my life away, I try to say to myself, “I’m going to run fast like Shannon some day, I’m going to box jump like Adeline some day, I’m going to lift heavy stuff like Anna, Chris and Arie some day, I’m going to make that assault bike my bitch like Jason does some day, I’m going to climb a rope like Josh some day (probably not, I’m too scared, maybe half way), I’m going to love doing burpees like Kate someday.  I could go on and on!  Know that I every single one of you showing up and giving 100% each day and I aspire to be just like you!

Quick Questions

Favorite Cheat Meal: Mr. Burger’s fish sandwich with mayo and pickles instead of tartar sauce, fries and a diet mountain dew….my mouth is watering just thinking about it!  Since eating clean, I just get a stomach ache from eating it.  But if someone was going to offer me my last meal, I would choose Mr. Burger!

Favorite workout song:  Chris can confirm that I do not know names of songs or artists that sing the song, but I do love the “sally up, sally down” song. 

Favorite place you have traveled: In college, I studied abroad in Ireland and traveled Europe.  There is so much beauty in this world, don’t forget to explore it!

Favorite Tv Show: Bravo anything 

Favorite CrossFit Athlete (if any): Anna, Adeline and Chris (I would probably need to find another place to live if I didn’t give them a shoutout!).  Yes, yes, I know this question is about professional CrossFit Athletes but like songs, I wouldn’t be able to name them.

Coach's comment:

Most people are still sleeping at 5am. Not Deb. Take for example this morning, October 30th. It was 34 degrees and we had our garage door wide open. Deb was doing our bootcamp class in cold right on the edge of being outside in the darkness. No excuses or complaining, just her John Deere mask and her hard work.


Quite honestly Deb is very overdue for Member of the Month. She is one of the most consistent and dedicated members we have. Although there are some movements she is not able to do (yet) she always finds a way to modify and keep moving. She says CrossFit has been a staple of her PT and treatment process and really that makes us so proud.


Deb really is the heart and soul of this gym. No matter what is going on in your life, you can control what you can control, and your movement and exercise is one of them. Keep up the hard work Deb, you are a badass!


Drop in, Say Hi

(810) 241-2703

5241 Edgeway Dr. Suite F

Allendale, MI 49424