Meet the Forge Fitness team

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Rich Pennino

Founder

Before CrossFit Rich heavily focused on lifting weights at the Globo gym and naturally excelled in running. He was introduced to CrossFit in 2008 and never looked back.

CrossFit has conditioned Rich into an impressive athlete who has competed and dominated in numerous athletic events. He finished in the top 10% or better in: Triathlons, Tough Mudders, Warrior Dashes, CrossFit competitions, 100 mile bike rides, a Go Ruck Challenge and a Marathon . How did he accomplish all this so quickly? CrossFit! He received his CrossFit Level 1 certification in 2010, began coaching in 2012 before deciding to open FORGE FITNESS in July 2013. I’m a father to Faith, Hope, and Sara.

Certifications:
CrossFit L1 L2
CrossFit Rowing
CrossFit Mobility
CrossFit Endurance
CrossFit Kids

Ryan Peardon

Coach

Ryan has been coaching CrossFit for about 7 years now. He is a veteran of the Florida Army National Guard and currently studying Optometry at UAB. What Ryan enjoys most about coaching CrossFit is working with athletes and watching the growth from the foundational movements into more complex and skilled movements; as well as just being a part of their fitness journey. Outside of the gym Ryan recently began learning to enjoy the game of golf.

Certifications:
CF-L1

Katherine Wolff

Coach

Katherine grew up in Hoover, Alabama and has always loved being active. She played volleyball and ran middle-distance track as a teen. During undergrad at Ole Miss, she turned to distance running as her athletic outlet.

Katherine has a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Ole Miss. After graduating, she completed her post-doctoral residency year (PGY-1) at UAB Hospital and then moved to Cleveland, Ohio for a position with the Cleveland Clinic Hospital. It was this move far away from her hometown and usual support system that ultimately led her to CrossFit. In 2014, hoping to stay in shape and maybe make a few friends in her new city, Katherine walked into her first CrossFit gym and never looked back. As a healthcare professional, wife and mom, Katherine hopes to help the community realize that CrossFit is for everyone.

Certifications:
CF-L1

Kat Chapman

Coach

Kat’s fitness journey started relatively young. She began competitively swimming at the age of 5 and didn’t turn that off until she graduated high school. Kat played a smattering of other sports early on including ballet, gymnastics, figure skating, cross country, and a short stint in pole vaulting. Prior to beginning CrossFit in 2016, she had undergone hip surgery and her therapy was lacking to say the least. She was weaker than ever. She began lifting at the YMCA to rehab herself and met some incredible people who introduced her to Olympic lifting. That was her first love. CrossFit came shortly thereafter. Not long after beginning Crossfit, her decades of swimming, instability caught up to her and she suffered an accident with her shoulder. She went to see another physical therapist following this surgery and ultimately, it was these people who convinced her to try to pursue a career in physical therapy. She obtained her CrossFit Level One certificate in 2018 and began coaching back home in Birmingham. She would drive back from Auburn every single weekend and coach because she loved it so much. She graduated from Auburn University in 2019 with her Bachelors in exercise science and she will graduate as a Doctor of Physical Therapy in December of 2022.

Her time as both a coach and as a clinical student has made her more and more passionate over the years on the concept of fitness and physical capability over a lifespan. In her Level 1 years ago, she was introduced to a quote by Greg Glassman, founder of CrossFit, in which he stated “our needs differ in degree and not kind” and she takes this to heart in both coaching and clinical practice. From the athlete who wants to make it big time, to the grandmother who just wants to be able to get on and off of the floor to play with their grandchild, there is a common thread. They both need to be able to perform human movement like pushing, pulling, hinging, squatting… Just not to the same degree and maybe not the same kind.

Over the years and surgeries, Kat has had to leave the Crossfit space and branched into weightlifting and bodybuilding but she never once left the community. From the in and out routine and discipline of every day classes to the unparalleled intensity and camaraderie of competition, Kat says “this is my favorite space to be in.”

Certifications:
CF-L1

Marcus Purcell

Coach

D’Marcus Purcell, the young blood of the crew, 21 years young came to Forge from a little town called Crestview, Florida. Growing up Marcus has always been around the CrossFit world, his dad owns an affiliate back home in Crestview, but Basketball was his first love. Marcus grew up playing ball and played basketball in college for 3 years . One Year at Samford university and then 2 years at Lawson state community College. Although Marcus doesn’t hit the courts anymore, he is still in school working on getting his degree and plans to be finished by the end of this year! Marcus is now in pursuit of a professional CrossFit career and plans to become a career CrossFit coach. Marcus now calls Forge his home and the members’ family!

Sonia Steely

Coach

Sonia has been coaching Crossfit since 2011 and been part of our coaching staff at Forge since July 2021. Sonia loves to see new people come to learn and love Crossfit, especially former athletes who thought their best performances were already behind them! Sharing the experiences and getting to know members are her favorite parts of this community. Sonia is also adamant about the need for everyone to strive for fitness at any age. As an athlete in her 50s she is proof that aging doesn’t slow you down.

Sonia has also completed four 100 mile trail races, over 40 ultras (races longer than marathon distance), dozens of marathons and one half Ironman race. Trail running is obviously her passion and she’s very involved with Birmingham Ultra Trail Society and Red Mountain Park.

Sonia is married to Kelly Steely; they have two children who are D1 collegiate athletes–Sydney (University of Kentucky Women’s Cross Country and Track) and Dylan (Belmont University Men’s Soccer).

Certifications:
CF-L1

Lindsay Sport

Coach

Lindsay Sport is originally from Luverne, AL. “When I was young I never dreamt of fairy tales or what ifs. I have always been resourceful and innovative. I grew up in the gym and immersed in athletics…When you have the last name Sport, fitness just comes with the territory!! Mediocrity was never in my vocabulary! Being the best was the only option, and I enjoyed sharing my knowledge with others. It wasn’t until years later that I realized just how much I loved contributing to helping others be the best they can be.
The human body and mind always fascinated me. I love reading, learning, and discovering new things!”

Certifications:
Degree in Recreational Therapy and Psychology
CrossFit Level 1 and Level 2 Certified Trainer
NASM Certified (National Academy of Sports Medicine)
Certified Personal Trainer
Fitness Nutrition Specialist
10 Years Experience Personal Training
Bodybuilding Experience- NPC Local, State and Southeast Shows

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