September 2014: Joan and Linay Williams


CrossFit Summa's Biggest Losers Love To Win


Before Joan and Linay Williams joined CrossFit Summa, they were two of Warwick Township's "Biggest Losers." They participated in the weight loss competition for the first time in 2010, losing about 170 pounds combined. 


What began as a weight loss challenge has turned into a fitness adventure for the motivated mother-daughter team. “We are both very competitive. Linay likes the intensity of CrossFit and mud runs; I like everything from cycling events to sprint triathlons,” says Joan. “We both enjoy challenges. We both want to win.”










































It’s hard to imagine that Joan and Linay were ever so overweight and sedentary. “We were very unhappy with ourselves,” explains Joan. “We were going nowhere.”


They were both having trouble coping with the unexpected loss of Joan’s husband and Linay’s dad. Joan became a widow at age 45, losing her husband to a sudden heart attack that occurred on campus while they were visiting Linay and their son, Ben, at the start of a new year of college. It was the first day of the couple’s vacation.


“We knew he had a mitral valve problem, but we weren’t expecting this. He was scheduled to see his doctor when we got back from vacation,” she says. “He never got back.” Joan’s husband was overweight and suffering from stress. For years, he commuted to a very demanding finance job in New York City. “Stress will kill you,” says Joan.


That’s why Joan just keeps running … and biking … and swimming … and smiling, even during the most grueling 6 a.m. workouts at CrossFit Summa. Joan was unsure of CrossFit at first, but she is now one of Summa’s most dedicated members.


“Before Linay joined Summa, we had been working out together at a gym four days a week. I missed her, so I decided to give CrossFit a try,” she says. “I’m really glad I did. I like seeing the same people in the morning; we’re like a family.”