The Jen and Matt Shaffer Story: 40-Something and Looking Good!


Can a busy 40-something couple with two kids find the time to use CrossFit to lead better lives? The answer to that question is a big “yes” in the case of Jen and Matt Shaffer. 

Matt Shaffer: Funny, he doesn't look Turkish!

Matt Shaffer: Funny, he doesn’t look Turkish!

Jen wears many hats: Mom, wife, Hebrew school teacher, and soon-to-be realtor. Matt is a successful precious metals commodity trader. With two children, now aged 12 and 9, both have struggled in the past to make fitness part of their lives. 

“There are 8,720 hours in a year, but with all that’s going on I couldn’t find one for myself,” says Jen. Matt adds that nice restaurants and “a wine habit” also took their toll.

Not that the couple are slackers. Over the years, they have a tried a variety of fitness programs. Matt lifted weights in younger days. And the couple has tried everything from aerobics, to working out at a community center to kettlebells and even CrossFit at another affiliate. But consistency was always an issue. 

Jen says: “there’s only so much you can do on the elliptical machine before it gets boring.”

All that changed when they joined CrossFit Autonomy. 

Matt says:  “It’s almost one-on-one training” thanks to classes capped at 8. The schedule can “basically be customized” to when members want to work out.

Highland Park CrossFit

Jen Shaffer: Looking Good!

Jen and Matt say CrossFit Autonomy Head Coach Kevin Houston is so modest that his extensive training background has only slowly trickled out over time.  The couple praises Kevin’s “great eye” and “his attention to detail” and his “unbelievable” ability to correct movement on even the most complex lifts.

“The level of expertise is unmatched,” says Matt. “I just can’t imagine anyone doing it better.” 

The couple says Kevin has brought them “to a whole new level.” Matt especially remembers doing a partner row with Kevin as the cashout for a tough workout and being motivated to set a PR of 1:41 for 500 meters.

Matt and Jen’s children have also tried CrossFit and will be returning. 

The bottom line? Jen says: “Kevin never ceases to amaze me.”