Penny Hughes

Owner, Head Coach

  • Certifications
  • CrossFit Level 2 - 2017
  • CrossFit Weightlifting - 2013
  • CrossFit Level 1 - 2012
  • CrossFit Open Judges Certificate 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
  • RKC Level 1 - 2009
  • W.I.T.S. Personal Trainer - 2001

For more than 25 years I have been a part of the Virginia Beach fitness community. My professional experiences over these years have included teaching a variety of group classes, personal training, serving as Director of Personal training at a local globo gym, training and coaching clients in their homes, developing and implementing on-site Corporate Fitness programs at companies such as Household Finance and Gieco, writing fitness articles for local papers and conducting fitness workshops and lectures for the City of Virginia Beach.

As a natural progression I opened my own gym built to suit my “movement” style training in October 2009. Shift H.P.F.D. As the CrossFit movement grew I noticed how similar my style and methodology was to CrossFit’s and became fascinated with Olympic lifting, Gymnastics and the supportive community. It was soon obvious to me that becoming an affiliate was the direction I wanted to take my growing business. In October 2012 Shift H.P.F.D. became CrossFit ChronicAnd we are honored to be part of the Hamptonroads CrossFit community. 

Christina Bowhuis


  • Certifications
  • CrossFit Mobility 2011
  • CrossFit Level 1 2012
  • CrossFit Weightlifting 2014
  • CrossFit Gymnastics 2015
  • CrossFit Open Judges Certificate 2014/2015/2016

I am a VA Beach local girl, born and raised. However, I did not grow up an athlete I became a member of the Fed Gov. and one position was on a deployment team where working out was part of my work day.  That rolled into completing 1/2 marathons (walk/jog) with my mom.  Upon returning to VAB a friend introduced me to Crossfit and I loved it. I understand what it’s like to have no background or experience in weightlifting or gymnastics and having poor cardio endurance.

I’m working on just being the best I can be at my age and limited athletic history. I love helping others experience that same amazement when they do something they couldn’t do yesterday and plan for what they want to do tomorrow. To break down gymnastics and get a pullup, handstand hold, or climb a rope. I like to see people get lifts with good technique, tweak the little things to get them to move better. Practice, practice, practice.

I got my CF Level 1 in 2012, a week before going to CA to see the CF Games live. (There is video of me in a rowing class at the Games). A week after returning I did my first competition, The Garage Games at Mt Trashmore. I freaked when I was at my uncle’s house in CA and saw the WODs telling my mom “I can’t do that weight”. I had a goal for every WOD and surpassed my goals. I placed low, but it didn’t deter me from competitions. It’s a great way to meet others in our community, and to push yourself. I have also come back to win comps, so don’t let fear stop you.

Mike Sarmiento


  • Certifications
  • CrossFit Level 1
  • CrossFit Weightlifting
Growing up I was very active and loved to play sports with my neighborhood friends until I reached highschool. Around 10th grade I started to gain weight from being inactive and making some bad decisions. After graduating high school and about a year into college, I stood at 5’8″ and was 240 to 250lbs. After a friend helped dig me out of some deep depression, I tried my hardest to lose weight through running/jogging and diet. It worked!! After a year, I weighed in at 180lbs and for the next 5 to 7 years my weight would fluctuate between 5 to 15 lbs. After my first son was born, I decided to make a life change and dial in on my health. I started to run a lot and found myself competing in my first half marathon. It was around this time, my wife asked if we could try crossfit. A couple of her friends were doing it and seemed to enjoy it. I started at Crossfit Chronic and never looked back.
Since I’ve joined Chronic I have competed in a handful of competitions, including individual, team , and weightlifting. I love competition, but I think I love coaching just a little more. There is something about watching someone’s face light up when they learn a different skill, or do something they never thought they could do before. The one single thing I love about crossfit is that there is always room for improvement. Just when you think you’re dialed in, a new crossfit skill comes out, or Rx weights get a little heavier. I love the community and look forward to helping many more people in their everyday life through crossfit.

Heather Lamb

Coach & CrossFit Chronic Joy Girl

  • Certifications
  • CrossFit Level 1 Certificate - 2017

I am born and raised here in Virginia Beach!  I love sports and being active.  I have played softball, basketball, and field hockey all though middle and high school and went on to play field hockey at Longwood College.  After college I married my high school sweetheart Jason and started teaching high school math and coaching girls basketball at Tallwood High School (the high school I actually graduated from)!  I am now a stay at home mom with 4 active kiddos!

I found my way to CrossFit Chronic after I had my fourth baby.  I knew that I was ready to get back into shape again but wasn’t sure how that was going to happen since every January I would join a gym but it would quickly fade as my life got busy!  So in March of 2013, my husband suggested CrossFit Chronic and the rest is history.

I LOVE everything about CrossFit!  I love that I get to lift heavy weight but also get to work on skill and speed! Each day is a different day so it’s never boring.  It was exactly what I was looking for…everyday I get to push myself to be better, stronger, faster but with the “team” atmosphere I was used to in the past.  I like there is some competitiveness (because I have a competitive nature) within the box but it is friendly and only pushes me to get better.  I have even been able to bring my mom (with no athletic background) along for the ride and she loves it too!

CrossFit Chronic is an awesome place which is why I love being the JoyGirl!  I get to talk to everyone in the box, check in with them as they finish their first few weeks, and talk about goals.  It is so exciting to encourage members to reach their goals, celebrate when they finally reach it, and then watch their goals evolve in the process.  I am so excited to see what the future holds!