Meet Our Team

Melaina Neisner

Name: Melaina Neisner 

Certifications/degrees/qualifications: Level 2 Trainer (2018), Adaptive & Inclusive Trainer (2021)

When did you start CrossFit: Jan 2014 

Why did you start and why do you continue: I had been working as a personal trainer for a globo gym and one of my colleagues/friends pushed me to join a CrossFit gym he coached at and I haven’t looked back since. CrossFit has given me a community and an amazing friend group. It’s also given me an incredibly functional and strong body, allowing me to dabble in other sports! I love that there is such a huge variety of movements that make up CrossFit, I never get bored. 

Current job/career: Personal trainer and freelance web developer

Favorite Benchmark WOD: Fran

Favorite movement: Snatch (yes, full movement!) followed closely by handstand push ups

Least Favorite Movement: Wallballs

What would you tell someone walking in the door for the first time: You got this! Learning CrossFit is a journey, there are going to be good days and there are going to be frustrating days but just know that everyone here is going to support you on either day! 

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Mint Chocolate Chip

Favorite Color: Purple

Interesting fact(s) about yourself:  I can recite all 50 states in alphabetical order. I learned to do it in the 4th grade and it’s stuck with me ever since! 

Dan Phelan

Name: Dan Phelan

Certifications/degrees/qualifications: Level 1 Trainer 

When did you start CrossFit: Jan 2013

Why did you start and why do you continue: I remember one of my friends asked me to do Foundations and I have been obsessed with it ever since.  Throughout my professional career, Crossfit has given me a great outlet to let out steam and hang out with friends.  The Aspiration community is awesome, light, and just a great group of people to be around.

Current job/career:  Educator

Favorite Benchmark WOD:  DT

Favorite movement:  Clean

Least Favorite Movement: Box Jumps

What would you tell someone walking in the door for the first time:  One day at a time.  I have reset time and time again because life does get so busy.  But, hang with it, take a deep breath, and just enjoy the process.  At the end of the day, having a great time during that hour is the most important thing!

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Chocolate with peanut butter

Favorite Color: Blue

Interesting fact(s) about yourself:  I have performed stand-up comedy several times. 

Bree Wiater

Name: Bree Wiater 

Certifications/Degrees: CF-L1, Bachelor of Science in Sports Medicine & Physical Education 

When did you start CrossFit?: March 2015 

Why did you start and why do you continue?: I started CrossFit after I had stopped playing team sports. I found the regular gym routine to be mundane and had hit a plateau in my training. I wasn’t enjoying working out anymore and needed something to feed my competitive side. I continue to do CrossFit because it’s not just a hobby, it’s a lifestyle. There is always room for growth and that is exciting. CrossFit has given me a community of like-minded individuals with a common goal: to live a healthy lifestyle and have fun while doing it! 

Current Job/Career: Teacher 

Favorite Benchmark WOD: Diane 

Favorite Movement: Handstand Pushup

Least Favorite Movement: Overhead Squat 

What would you tell someone walking in the door for the first time?: Don’t be intimidated, everyone starts somewhere. There will be plenty of things you’ll excel in and plenty of things you’ll need to improve upon, but that’s life! As long as you commit to creating a better, healthier, fitter you...you’ll be successful here! 

Favorite ice cream flavor: Chocolate Almond Chip 

Favorite Color: dusty rose 

Interesting fact(s) about yourself: I am a terrible cook. I have a decent singing voice but nobody will ever hear it because surprisingly, I'm shy about it. 

Joanna Cunningham

Name: Joanna Guindon 

Certifications/degrees/qualifications: L1, aerobic capacity certification, Registered Nurse, CPR professional rescue certification 

When did you start CrossFit?: 2014 

Why did you start and why do you continue?: I started CrossFit to help get ready for an upcoming obstacle course race. I stay because CrossFit challenges my body, brings peace to my mind and most of all has given me so many amazing friendships. 

Current job/career: Hospice Nurse 

Favorite benchmark WOD: The Chief 

Favorite movement: Thrusters 

Least favorite movement: Double unders 

What would you tell someone walking in the door for the first time?: Know that everyone of us had a first day, be patient, kind and most of all have fun ! 

Favorite Ice cream flavor: Mint chocolate chip 

Favorite color:Blue 

Interesting fact(s) about yourself:
I once hated running but now I have run 5 marathons, dozens of half marathons and almost every distance obstacle course race.
I was walking at 9 months old, spoke complete sentences at 1 year old but I can’t remember to bring my coffee cup home from the gym . 

Mackenzy Ryan

Name: Mackenzy (Mack) Ryan


Certifications/degrees/qualifications: L1  

When did you start CrossFit: Sept 2015 


Why did you start and why do you continue? I was an athlete my whole life and was looking to get back into a sport. I stayed in CrossFit because there’s always something to chase after; always something to improve on. 


Current job/career: Occupational Therapist Favorite benchmark wod: DT 


Favorite movement: Power cleans 


Least favorite movement: Pistols 


Fav ice cream: Cookie Dough 


Fav color: Army Green 


Fun fact about yourself: I can juggle 

Sam Wiater

Name: Sam Wiater 

Certifications/Degrees: CF-L1, Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science, Bachelor of Science in Regional Planning 

When did you start CrossFit?: December 2015 

Why did you start and why do you continue?: During my teenage years I was an endurance athlete, running Cross Country and Track and Field in high school. An injury prevented me from running competitively in college so I shifted my focus to mountain biking and rock climbing. In March 2015, I had a complete rupture of my patellar tendon which forced me to stop being active. Once I was healed, my wife convinced me to try CrossFit due to the fact that all the movements could be scaled to the needs of my knee’s rehabilitation. I continue to do CrossFit because it is the perfect combination of sport and fitness that allows me to live a healthier lifestyle and excel in a physically demanding career. The constant variety and community keep me interested and coming back day after day. 

Current job/Career: Explosive Detection Canine Imprinter and Trainer 

Favorite benchmark WOD: Helen 

Favorite Movement: Cleans 

Least Favorite Movement: Snatches 

What would you tell someone walking in the door for the first time?: Take it slow. A solid foundation and proper mechanics are much more impressive than heavy weight. 

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Vanilla mixed with Hershey’s chocolate syrup 

Favorite Color: Green 

Interesting facts about yourself: I can and will eat an entire large pizza by myself. I love to fish. 

Matt Long


Name: Matthew Long

 

Years doing CrossFit: Started in 2014

 

Certifications and Qualifications: CrossFit L1

 

Why did you start? Why do you continue?: I started CrossFit after doing BeachBody workouts for a year or so and getting bored with them. My brother had found CrossFit and when I saw the results he was getting I decided to check it out. 3 minutes into observing that first class I knew it was just what I was looking for. Constantly varied movements, weightlifting, Olympic lifts, cardio and gymnastics with a group of like minded individuals had me hooked. 

 I continue because it works. There’s always something to improve and work on which means there’s endless opportunities to earn a feeling of accomplishment. 

Current Job: Senior Custodian Szetela Preschool Chicopee MA

 

Favorite Benchmark WOD: Fran

 

Favorite Movement: Clean and Jerk

 

Least Favorite Movement: Overhead squat

 

What would you tell someone walking into the first time: Hi! My name is Matt. If you remember one thing from your foundation class I hope it’s “form before intensity” so leave your ego at the door and, most importantly, have fun!

 

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Moose Tracks

 

Favorite Color: Green

 

Interesting Facts about yourself: I was found in the streets of Korea as a baby. I got put in an orphanage and didn’t get adopted until around 1 1/2 years old. My birthday is actually a  “best guess” date from the people in the orphanage.

Lori Assad

Name: Lori Assad

Certs/Degrees: L-2/ CrossFit Gymnastics/ CrossFit Kids/ CrossFit Aerobic Capacity/ A.S. Fitness, Health & Nutrition/ AHA CPR/AED

When did you start CrossFit?: August 2010

Why did you start and why do you continue?: I started just 3 months after my son was born. I was active already, training for the NYC marathon, but a friend started doing CrossFit and encouraged me to try it. I hesitated at first, thinking I needed to get in shape before starting. Finally, I did it and I knew instantly that I had found a new method of training. I remember in one of my first classes I did a 65# thruster; I had never felt so empowered. Over the years, CrossFit changed my life. I gained physical and mental strength. I became confident and independent. I knew there was nothing that I couldn't handle. I continue to do CrossFit because I haven't found anything that completes me like CrossFit does and I want to share that with others. Whatching people do things that seem impossible is the greatest feeling in the world!

Current job/career: USPS and owner/coach at Aspiration CrossFit

Favorite Benchmark WOD: I have so many its hard to choose...DT, Grace and Nancy are among the top

Favorite Movement: gymnastics: muscle up barbell: clean

Least Favorite Movement: sumo deadlift high pull

What would you tell someone walking into the gym for the first time?: CrossFit is hard, but anything of any worth is hard. Give it a chance, scale appropriately, don't compete with anyone else, put your ego aside and have FUN! Commit to 30 days and you'll be amazed at your growth. 

Favorite Color: purple

Interesting facts about yourself: I have a crazy obsession with workout clothes (not surprising). I hate being the center of attention. I hate the sound of my voice and I'd rather stay home than go out on a Saturday night. 

Lauren Jimison

Name: Lauren (LJ) Jimison 

Cerifications/degrees/qualifications: Certified Athletic Trainer, EMT, Bachelor of Science in Sports Medicine, Masters of Science in Sport Rehabilitation 

When did you start CrossFit?: 2011 

Why did you start and why do you continue?: I started CrossFit because I was bored with running and globo-gym activities. I continue to do it because it changed my life and I enjoy how mentally tough it is. 

Current job/career: Certified Athletic Trainer and Clinical Education Coordinator for the Athletic Training Education Program at Westfield State University 

Favorite Benchmark WOD: Grace 

Favorite Movement: Snatch 

Least Favorite Movement: Thruster 

What would you tell someone walking in the door for the first time?: Hey! Welcome and get ready to have some fun! 

Favorite Ice Cream: chocolate peanut butter swirl 

Favorite Color: blue 

Interesting fact about yourself: I highly dislike uneven numbers.