FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - It's just a quarter before 6 a.m. in Florence. It's anything but quiet inside Pee Dee Crossfit.
This is where you'll find Nicole Abbott, a mother of three teaching a class.
Every weight pounded and turn of a pedal, is a second closer for the 20 min clock to expire, giving the participants the time to catch her breath.
As Abbott yells words of encouragement and support, every person in the class wears a blue t-shirt bearing her name. That's because they're supporting her.
"She'll take you along from beginner," participant John Pecca says. "She's not going to let you do something you can't do, but she's going to push you once you get to the level where you can actually do the workout."
Business partner Sarah Gerschutz agrees. "She has an amazing athletic ability. She's as sweet as she can be. She just has a genuine and personality."
That athletic ability has the 45-year-old ranked as the best Crossfit athlete in the State, and fourth worldwide.
But it wasn't always that way.
"I couldn't even do one single pullup," Abbott says. "I had to use the band and I had to jump and I couldn't even get my chin over the bar."
Her desire to compete and get better built from there.
"I look at things I can control and those are basically my effort, following the game plan, focusing on myself, because I can't control what everybody else is doing."
On her left arm, a tattoo representing something else she couldn't control.
"It's actually two tattoos. It's a feather. That was the first tattoo I got. My Mom passed away about 10 years ago. She died of Cancer and she had tattoos. Her first tattoo was a feather and I kind of wanted to honor her with that and then my Grand mom passed away a couple years later. Her work ethic was amazing along with her attitude about life and I carry that over into Crossfit. Unfortunately, she never got to see me do Crossfit."
When asked, what she thinks her Mom would say to her now if she saw Abbott in the games, her head bows and eyes fill with tears.
"She would be proud," she cries.