Gilly Anne Smith
AS A SMALL TOWN GIRL FROM WISCONSIN. SHE FOLLOWED HER BIG DREAMS TO CALIFORNIA TO PURSUE A DEGREE IN FASHION & FITNESS. WHICH LEAD HER ALL AROUND THE WORLD, AND NOW CALLS THE CARIBBEAN HOME.
While studying Merchandise Marketing & Business Management in Los Angeles she fell in love with the CrossFit community/lifestyle. After leaving LA, she moved to Austin, TX and worked at Saks Fifth Ave. It didn’t take long before she realized that being trapped in a large department store wasn’t going to cut it. She quit her job, and started at the bottom working as a front desk girl, interning as a CrossFit coach in Austin TX. Then went onto manage one of the largest CrossFit gyms in Southern California. This is where she launched the Femme Royale Movement in early 2012 by hosting a women’s only competition. She was then fired, for wanting to grow her own company. After being told she never amount to anything, she learned to not accept defeat and overcame her fears of failure. She went on to open her own gym in Southern California called CrossFit Second Chance. She built a wonderful community and worked with people in recovery to help them find a healthier lifestyle. Gilly has her CrossFit Level 2 certification, CrossFit Kids and CrossFit Olympic Lifting certifications. Gilly has also taken the XPT Lifestyle Experience. This training course incorporates underwater weight training, hot and cold training, and breathe work.
Over the past five years she has grown the Femme Royale Movement to a nationwide competition series, and an internationally known apparel company. After studying merchandise marketing in Los Angeles. She saw a need for apparel that was both feminine, and strong as well encouraged women’s empowerment. Having a passion for both fashion and fitness it was clear she wanted to inspire women through casual active wear. Her biggest desire is to help other women find their purpose and help women discover what their soul is calling them to do/become. Her passion is to work with women that desire to release their inner lioness. We all have a purpose and we are the only one that truly know what that purpose is within us. Helping others overcome their fears whether it be in or outside of the gym. Gilly is a true believer that once we learn how to not let fear control us, anything is possible.
Gilly is a firm believer in creating a vision of what you want your future to look like. If you don’t know where you’re going how will you ever get there? But the secret is to enjoy the journey it takes to reach your BIG VISION. That’s where the growth and true awakening of what your soul desire’s lay. While working to become an accredited life coach, she realized the open road was calling. Gilly set out on a six month road trip with her best friend that lasted two years. She ended up in St Thomas visiting Gabriel Gruver, which she meet in June 2013 at the CrossFit Latin American regionals. Gilly was there as a vendor and Gabe was on the RCFSTT regionals team. They have been together ever since. After traveling the world, completing a half Ironman in Kona Hawaii, hosting events across the nation, and went on a mission trip to Uganda, Africa she has relocated to St Thomas, USVI. Now calling the Caribbean island home as well as the headquarters of Femme Royale. After the Hurricanes Irma/Maria she purchased the Reebok CrossFit St Thomas with her boyfriend Gabriel Gruver.
Gabe began his CrossFit journey in 2012. His good friend Conner Murphy, convinced him to come try out a CrossFit class and he was hooked. The constant challenge to over come weakness and physically push yourself was what Gabe loved most. Not to mention the supportive community and life long friendships he built at RCFSTT. He signed up for his first Paleo Challenge and quickly learned his old habits were not the path he wished to continue down. He was hooked. Gabe lost 17 pounds of body fat and his entire mindset shifted.
Gabe a retired LaCrosse, and football player soon found him self amongst the competitive playing field in CrossFit. He participated in the 2013 Latin American CrossFit Regionals in Guayaquil, Ecuador.
Gabe has an infectious laugh and personality that will reel you in every time. He also won’t let you get away with anything, he’ll be your best friend and your worst nightmare at the same time.
After the 2017 hurricanes, Gabe and Gilly became the new owners of the gym. He has a heart of gold, and always puts others first which is why he make such an amazing coach and owner. RCFSTT has played a big role in Gabe’s life. Which is why he believes in paying it forward to everyone that walks through the doors of RCFSTT. He lives by the motto “Do it for the people, do it for the right reasons.”
My fitness journey started when I was 14 years old and decided to join the winter track team at my high school. Having a sport on college applications “looked good” so I joined the one sport at school that was a “walk on” team – meaning no try outs, no pressure, no fear of failure. Although I grew up playing sports, I was extremely out of shape. I’ll never forget the feeling I had on my first day of practice and the track coach told us to “warm up” with two laps around the track- I couldn’t make it once around without cramping and gasping for air, I knew in that moment, this is where I was meant to be.
My first goal was already set in my mind – run a mile without stopping.
Fast forward 4 years, 4 spring and winter track seasons later, I was a runner- not because it “came natural” – it was hard- I cried, I cramped, I wanted to quit- but I stuck with it.
After heading off to Old Dominion University
I became your typical gym rat, the girl that ran on the treadmill for an hour a day to burn of lasts nights margaritas. I took every class on the calendar available- yoga, Pilates, spin, boot camps- you name it, group fitness was my thing!
Group fitness classes stayed with me up until I moved from Richmond, Va to Virginia Beach, VA and had lost my “home gym”. For about two years I gym hopped looking for my new “home” with no such luck. My husband had been an on and off Crossfitter since 2009 and always encouraged me to join. He said “you love group fitness, you love a challenge, you’d crush it”. I had the typical reservations- it’s too expensive- I don’t look like those girls- I need to get in shape BEFORE going to crossfit. What I didn’t realize was that my biggest reservation was my FEAR. It took 3 years & an upcoming deployment for my husband (and biggest cheerleader) to come home with a key chain pass reading “CROSSFIT 757”. His exact words were “Babe- go get yourself some Reebok Nanos & some lululemon, your going to Crossfit, I can’t have you getting depressed while I’m on this deployment”
Till this day, the most valuable and meaningful gift my husband has ever given to me.
Since November 2015 I have been a 5-6 days a week Crossfitter and never looked back. Suddenly fitness didn’t care what shape or size I was – suddenly fitness didn’t equate to how many calories I burned- suddenly fitness didn’t judge me or make me feel less than. I had found my new home. A space developed with a passion for community, a passion for improving quality of life and a passion for people battling those inner FEARS. Crossfit has made me believe I can do anything. If you commit to the process, embrace the journey and CELEBRATE the small victories along the way – Crossfit will reward you ten fold in all other aspects of your life.
If someone had told 14 year old me that I’d be coaching crossfit classes in the US Virgin Islands one day- I would have called them crazy. I would have also called them crazy if they said Id be able to run that mile in 7 minutes and thirteen seconds. All I’ve ever wanted in my career is to share my passion, make a difference and help improve the lives of others. I am so grateful to my new home at Reebok Crossfit St. Thomas & beyond blessed to encourage others to push past their fears.