Mindy Houser - Owner/Coach

I found CrossFit in late 2009 while training for another half marathon (which I wouldn’t finish due to overtraining and under eating).

Movement has been a lighthouse in my life, offering refuge from depression, anxiety, and struggles with self-loathing. It seemed to calm my mind and help my body deal with trauma that had a heavy impact on my life. After having lost around 100# by the time I found CrossFit, I was eager to put back into practice my love of lifting weights.

In the last 5 years of owning SharpIron Athletics, I have seen and experienced life changes ranging from physical to emotional healing, and I’ve been overjoyed to see the same in our members. 

We have a busy, active home life with two young adults + two pre-K aged kids and have enjoyed raising our family in the wonderful community of Mattoon.

Mike and I look forward to helping build a strong community of world-changers.


  • CrossFit Level 2 Trainer
  • Certified CPR
  • Certified First Aid
Mike Houser - Owner/Coach
Being a man of small build, lifting weights always intimidated me. I had always been very good at endurance sports and didn’t see the need for strength training. When I would go to the gym with my friends, I would leave with sore arms but not feeling like I did anything. The muscle isolation lifts just weren’t for me. I needed more.

As I got into my mid 30s, my doctor (who was very into fitness/nutrition and also a strong runner) kept telling me I needed to back off the endurance and start doing strength training. He knew my opinion on strength training and explained CrossFit to me. He said I would love it, but I was skeptical. A month later, with a bet of “if you try it, I’ll try it” from a female friend (who is now my wife), I went to my first class. I was hooked instantly.

I was able to run, move heavy objects, and use my body as an object. It wasn’t the same routine over and over again. There was no intimidation, only community. For the first time in my life, I was able to put on muscle — 20lbs of muscle. I wasn’t skinny and able to run fast anymore — I was strong and able to run faster.


  • CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
  • Certified CPR
  • Certified First Aid
Paige - Coach
Hello! Hailing from Terre Haute, IN, I have lived in the Mattoon area for a little over two years, and along with interning at CrossFit Mattoon, I currently teach English at Shelbyville High School in Shelbyville, IL.

Besides binge watching my favorite series on Netflix and HBO, I have a passion for athletics, and this is a passion that I have had for most of my life. However, health and fitness never played a role in my development as an athlete. Instead, I focused on dieting, trying out the latest fad to lose weight quickly, and cardio- so much cardio. It wasn’t until I discovered CrossFit in 2013 that I realized that the previous strategies I used to make myself “healthier” were not healthy or sustainable. CrossFit helped me switch my mindset completely and embrace the idea of changing my lifestyle. I realized that what matters is how I feel, making my body stronger, and living a sustainable life for myself that focuses on nutrition. It is this realization that most of all inspires me to be a CrossFit coach!

I CrossFit because it provides an incredible sense of community, confidence, and self-empowerment. When I pick up over 200lbs of weight, I feel like I can overcome any obstacle that is put in my path. CrossFit has changed me physically and mentally.

I coach because I have been in the same situations many women find themselves in. Since I was in middle school I tried everything to be thin: Weight Watchers, extreme bouts of cardio, 1200 calorie restrictive diets, Hip Hop Abs (I still have those tapes somewhere…), intermittent fasting, light weights at high reps, etc. Basically, I tried to get healthy through some very unhealthy and unsustainable methods. CrossFit completely turned everything I thought I knew about fitness and nutrition upside down.

My rock star workout consists of deadlifts and burpees…all day every day!

My drag-myself-through-the-door workout consists of wall balls and rowing.

My favorite cheat meal is copious amounts of breakfast food, especially donuts.

Jarad - Coach

I am a husband, father, high school physical education teacher, football and track coach.  I have been around weight lifting and athletics for most of my life.  I went to high school in Florida were I was a member of the football, weightlifting and track teams.  The weightlifting team at my high school is where I found my passion for pushing weights.  That love of weight training helped me earn a scholarship to Eastern Illinois University to play football.  Once my playing days were over, I continued to lift weights but found myself in a rut that I needed to get out of, so I started following CrossFit and doing workouts from the mainsite.  I then found myself as a member at CrossFit Mattoon, and I have not looked back since.  I can’t see myself training any other way because I feel like I get the “bang for the buck” the way that we train at CrossFit Mattoon.  

When I am not at the high school or at the gym, I enjoy camping with my family and friends.  I also enjoy traveling around watching my 3 children compete in their respective sports.  We are a big football family and enjoy watching the Bears and the Colts play during football season.  



It will take work. It will take determination. But you have what it takes and we have the training and the coaches to help get you there. Start your journey today!