Pascack Hills Life: Distance Formulas and CrossFit

Schwartzman competing in the Strongman competition.

Contributed by Charleen Schwartzman

Schwartzman competing in the Strongman competition.

Every student knows when she is coming. Her heels clicking on the floor down the hallway, while saying, “Hi,” in personalized ways to each student she knows. Students know she is on the lookout to make sure everyone is happy and committed to the dress code.

Going by “CSchwa,” Charleen Schwartzman, a current math teacher at Hills, is loved by almost every student she has connected with; but what does she do other than teach?

Schwartzman does a lot more than talking about calculus and geometry all day. She works out every morning and is a past Strongman competition winner. This workout hobby began 11 years ago when she joined CrossFit.

According to, “workouts are based on functional movements, and these movements reflect the best aspects of gymnastics, weightlifting, running, rowing, and more.”

Schwartzman started her hobby through a competition with friends. She said, “[My friends and I] had a competition and it was right after Christmas; you know how everyone gets fat right after New Year’s and everyone is like, ‘Oh, I’m going on a diet.’ So, at CrossFit, we all decided to do this whole competition to see who could lose the most body fat in three weeks.”

“I started cleaning my diet up and started working out like a machine. I lost 19 pounds in three weeks and within four weeks my body fat dropped… three percent,” said Schwartzman. This initial drop caused her to keep going, as she was confident in the way she looked.

Crossfit has not just brought Schwartzman confidence and a hobby, but it introduced her to her now-husband, Todd Schwartzman. “A couple of years after that I met my husband who was a big-time gym rat, which is one of the things we have in common,” said Schwartzman.

After learning Todd was doing Strongman competitions, Schwartzman became intrigued. She said, “He was like, ‘I’ve done Strongman competitions’ and so I was like, ‘Do they have them for women?’ He said they do, so he and I trained. I won the women’s division when I did compete for the first time.”

Time seems sparse to students who are doing a club and homework, so how did C-Schwa do it? She said, “If something is important to you, you find the time for it, you know. I think for me this is something I enjoy doing, and I would make kids work out with me.”

To Schwartzman, Crossfit and Strongman competitions aren’t just to stay fit. She said, “If I do things that I enjoy doing and I am fulfilled with my life … If you do things you enjoy doing it makes you a very happy person. Happy people tend to make people around them happier.”

Nothing will stop Schwartzman in her hobbies, as for her they are lifelong and bring joy. “Working out is part of my routine. It has and it always will be. It will be something that I keep because it is something that is important,” said Schwartzman.