// What was your life like prior to your CrossFit training and why did you want to start working with a coach?
In the past, before starting CrossFit, I considered myself somewhat active. I rode bikes, hiked, ran an occasional 5k, etc. However, I was not doing anything consistently and when I did it took everything I had to finish. I got to a point where I was really not looking forward to the activities I used to enjoy. About the time I turned 40, it seemed every year I gained more weight and it was becoming increasingly difficult to lose. I had never had health issues until my last pre-CrossFit check up revealed my cholesterol was very high. Shortly after, I saw a Groupon for CrossFit Julia. At the time, CFJ was located a block away from where my daughter worked so I convinced her to give it a try with me. I had no idea was CrossFit was but figured I had nothing to lose. We thought we would start out with Personal Training for a month to get ourselves going. Little did I know that our PT sessions would be so much more than meeting with a coach and working out for 30 minutes.
// What have been your greatest challenges (physically, mentally, emotionally) since you began your CrossFit Training?
When I started the CrossFit training it was a challenge to make the time to get to the box. I had let my job become a priority over most everything else. I would schedule my family and personal time around my work. There were many times prior to starting my CrossFit training when I would skip workouts because something would come up at work. I believe that signing up for personal training was an eye opener for me. Having training sessions set up with Shawn and my daughter, Adrena, meant I could not back out at the last minute and I had to find ways to make my work out a priority. One thing I did was scheduled my work-outs on my work calendar and I never let anyone book over this time. It was a challenge but my colleges got used to it. The next biggest challenge happened after starting CrossFit when I wrecked on my mountain bike and injured my shoulder. I had made some progress during my training and it was frustrating to have that progress halted by a bum shoulder. In the past, I may have considered pushing through (possibly causing more damage) or quitting until my shoulder healed. Instead, during my PT sessions Shawn made sure that I did not further injure my shoulder by always giving me another exercise option. I did not miss one PT session due to my injury.
// What have been your greatest successes (physically,mentally or emotionally) since you began? How does your body feel now compared to when you started and WHY?
In the past I would work on losing weight by doing some crazy work out and restrictive diet and the scale would go down. But I was not making a lifestyle change and after getting burned out on an unrealistic exercise program and starving from a restrictive diet, the scale would go back up, usually even higher than before. CrossFit Julia gave me a structured program, introduced me to a new concept for nutrition, and made it fun. I have dropped 15 pounds over the past year. It was slow to start but I could tell that my body was changing. After years of my weight going up and down, it was headed down and while it was not always fast, it was always down. Shawn told us about Paleo and I really struggled at the beginning with the concept. I had just been told my cholesterol was high and I did not think that quitting grains and legumes, skipping my bowl of oatmeal a day, would bring that number down. I joined the first challenge and decided to try Paleo 100 percent. I started to feel better and my workouts improved. I stuck with it and after six months my cholesterol dropped significantly.
// How has your life changed since starting CrossFit training? Has CrossFit transferred over into any other areas of your life?
My CrossFit training has flooded over to many other areas of my life. The physical fitness I have gained allows me to enjoy the activities that I was beginning dread before I started CrossFit. When my husband and I plan a bike ride, I can’t wait. I know that I can pedal and keep up instead of hang in the back and be waited for. Being fit gives me the courage to try things that I may have passed up a year or so ago. I have tried more bike trails, hikes, runs. Things I probably would have missed out on if not for my CrossFit training. My husband and I took a bike vacation last summer, we rode almost every day through different parts of the Pacific Northwest, up through Canada and down through Montana and Wyoming. We agree it was one of our best vacations and we would not have enjoyed it nearly as much without my CrossFit training.
I started CrossFit PT with my daughter. We have challenged each other, encouraged each other, kept each other in check, and found this really great thing to share and have in common. I am also confident that the challenges, goal setting, and accomplishments we experienced through CrossFit gave her the confidence to make big changes in her life and that has me very proud of her success, one of the best feelings you can have as a parent.
// What are the advantages of CrossFit style training compared to your previous workout styles?
As I started getting older I found it easier to get motivated to stay in shape by training for an event. I trained for a 1/2 Ironman distance triathlon, a marathon, and a 1/2 marathon. For all of these I used a work out plan. I would follow the plan that usually required long runs or bike rides and hard to fit in on very cold or very hot days. I did not do much strength training. I started out enjoying the workouts and looked forward to the event. I did complete each event but when it was over I was burned out by the training and found it hard to get motivated. I also developed plantar fasciitus. CrossFit training has been completely different. I get a good, kick your butt, work out in an hour or less, I have never felt CrossFit burnout! I feel stronger than I ever did when running. One of the biggest surprises has been curing my plantar fasciitus. I spent so much time and money on treatments, orthotics, doctors and nothing every worked. There were mornings I would get up and have a hard time walking two feet. One day, after I had been doing CrossFit for about 4 or 5 months, I was doing squats and the arches of my feet started to burn. I took my orthotics out and instantly felt better. I have not used them nor felt plantar fasciitus since. If nothing else, that was worth it right there.
// What advice can you give to others?
Make your workouts a priority. Enjoy them. Stay active. Eat Paleo. CrossFit.
// Any other details you would like to share about your experience?
I think one of the critical elements to my success over the past year has been PT. Shawn took me from barely being able to do one burpee to getting a top score for a WOD at the last Friday throw down.
The individual attention gave me the opportunity to develop good form and skills and that attention held me accountable. It was very encouraging to have Shawn get excited for us when we would accomplish something we could not do beofre. Adrena and I would end up pushing ourselves because we did not want to let Shawn down!