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// What was your life like prior to your CrossFit training and why did you want to start working with a coach?

Prior to CrossFit I participated in many different exercise routines. For the most part, I ran 50-60 miles per week until about 5 years ago, when I began having back issues resulting from slight scoliosis. I then began to add weight training into my routine, first through personal training 1x/week at the Erie Rec Center, and then at Restoration Fitness in Boulder. I enjoyed the weight training & functional fitness workouts, but it wasn’t frequent enough to make a difference for me, plus I also didn’t feel very challenged. Then I saw a Groupon for CFJ and did a bit of online research which peaked my interest. I started the Foundations class at CFJ in November 2011, and the rest is history. I was hooked!!!

Once I was hooked, I wanted to get better, and sought out personal training, so I could focus on specific areas I am weakest at.

// What have been your greatest challenges (physically, mentally, emotionally) since you began your CrossFit Training?

The first challenge was probably when I started going to the regular classes, after Foundations. Foundations was like a nice secure environment, then you have to throw yourself all in, it was a bit intimidating. I was used to being at the top of the class in all my previous athletic endeavors, but now I was at the bottom. It was actually a good thing for me and I really enjoy the challenge.

// What have been your greatest successes (physically, mentally or emotionally) since you began?

I am amazed at the progress I have made in such a short time. I have never been able to do pull-ups/chin-ups my whole life until I started personal training and really focusing on that skill. Handstands are another skill I am proud of accomplishing, along with handstand push-ups to an abmat. My lifts are also steadily increasing in weight and improving in form.

Another success, which I attribute to the Paleo Diet, is that my cholesterol is at a normal level for the first time. It decreased over 50 points after just 4 months on Paleo. The bone turnover marker in a urine test also decreased significantly, which hopefully means I am no longer losing bone mass. I look forward to my next bone scan in January.

// How does your body feel now compared to when you started and WHY?

Before I started CrossFit, I had reached a point where I had given in to how my body looked. It was no longer as firm or as slim as it was in my 30’s and 40’s. I started feeling like I had to give in to my age, but CrossFit changed all that. CrossFit, in conjunction with a strict Paleo Diet has made amazing changes in my body. I think I look better now than when I was 30. I also have much more energy.

// How has your life changed since starting CrossFit training? Has CrossFit transferred over into any other areas of your life?

The Paleo Diet got my husband interested in changing his diet, and he also jumped on board. We now prep & cook dinner together every evening. It makes keeping to the diet very easy, plus we spend time together doing something we enjoy.

Attending classes and PT sessions early in the morning has been great. I have had an extremely crazy year at work, and starting off each day with CrossFit has set me up with tons of energy to get through the workday/night.

// What are the advantages of CrossFit style training compared to your previous workout styles?

CrossFit is never the “same old thing”. I love the variety and the fact that there is a process of continuous improvement, be it through better form or increases in weight.

I used to run 5-6 days a week. When I started CrossFit, I came 2-3 times a week and still ran 3 days/week. Now I come to CrossFit 5-6 days a week and don’t do much running, and I do not miss it. CrossFit is more energizing to me and I don’t feel beat up by it like I did running. I feel like I’ve reached the right balance in my workout routine.

// What are the benefits you see from doing Personal Training vs. group classes?

Personal Training allows me to focus on areas where I need the most help/improvement. Without the Personal Training focus, I’m not sure I would have gotten pull-ups and handstands as quickly as I did. Currently, I am focusing on lifts. Personal Training allows the time to really break down the lifts and focus on one piece at a time, before trying to put it all together.

// What advice can you give to others?

You are never too old to improve and change.

If you are not already on the Paleo diet, please consider it. It has done wonders for both me and my husband.

// Any other details you would like to share about your experience would be great!

The CrossFit Julia community is amazing. The support from not only the coaches, but also from all the athletes is incredible. It truly is a community!

My training with Jeff has been wonderful. He has been great at adjusting the workouts if I have an injury or if certain areas are sorer than usual. His persistence with chin-ups since the start has resulted in my being able to do chin-ups & pull-ups without assistance pretty quickly. It has been a great experience, which I look forward to continuing.