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

Tracey: I have led an active lifestyle my whole life but never more so than in the past 15-20 years (makes me sound really old!). I love to hike, bike, run, yoga, snowshoe etc.  I love to challenge my body and see how far I am able to push it.  I also particularly love the feeling of having really beaten myself up in a workout and feeling sore the next day.   Prior to joining CFJ I was doing all these things but was ready to push the envelope.

Mike: Prior to Crossfit I rode my bike a lot and worked out in the gym.  Riding was great but I exercised in such a way that I got stronger on the bike but the benefits didn’t play out in other sports.  As far as the gym goes, I was just another guy who would march into the gym with earbuds in, throw some steel around for 45 minutes and then go home.  I wasn’t pushed and never inspired.  I wanted to start doing Crossfit because I had friends that were doing it and I saw what great shape they were getting in.  But, equally important, I saw that they had really developed a strong sense of community within their Crossfit community.

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

Tracey: The greatest mental challenge was just taking the steps to get into the box.   Mike had been hounding me for a year to join and I just kept stalling.  In truth I was afraid I would really like it and have to find a way to fit a new loved activity into my already tight schedule.   Physically the greatest challenge for me is just knowing when to push myself and when enough is enough.  Sometimes I am not great at knowing when enough is enough.

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Mike:  My biggest challenges at the outset of my time with CFJ, now going on 2.5 years, was building up the strength and technique to complete certain movements as prescribed.  Pull ups were challenging and I would dread workouts with them.  Then Amber helped me break through with my kip and now I look forward to workouts with pull ups.  Same thing with Hand Stand Push Ups.  Used to dread workouts with HSPU, now I like them.  Pushing yourself to go to the classes where movements haven’t mastered is important.  You’ll get incrementally better at each movement with each class.  You need to stick with it and appreciate the journey getting there and know that just because you aren’t RX’ing a workout doesn’t mean you aren’t getting a great workout.

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Q.  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?

Tracey: My greatest success has been finding a way to incorporate CF into my life on a regular basis and sticking with it.  I feel stronger than I have ever felt and have also experienced body soreness unlike ever before!

Mike: My greatest success can’t be boiled down to a moment.  I certainly remember certain workouts where I improved on a workout time, completed a movement for the first time or got a  PR.  But I’m most proud of the journey.  That I stuck with CFJ and after 2.5 years of hard work I feel stronger physically and have met some great, great people who will be friends for a long, long time.

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

Tracey: Since starting CF I feel more badass than ever before.  I love that I can rope climb, do a pull-up, climb walls and carry around heavy ass sandbags all in any given day.   I also love that my kids enjoy coming and can now speak the CF lingo.

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Mike: Crossfit has made me stronger in everything I do.  On the bike I can go deeper in the red and recover more quickly.  On skis I’m not tapped after a half a dozen laps.  I can run longer (and better) thanks to Crossfit.  I’m training for Ironman Boulder now and I feel like I have a huge leg up on my training thanks to CFJ.   I also feel I am now better equipped physically to deal with the impending Zombie Apocalypse.

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

Tracey: The advantage of CF training for me is entirely in the coaching and community.  I know on days I don’t feel like coming that if I can just get to the box there will be a familiar face there to push me forward and cheer me on.  I enjoy the healthy competition from my peers and I am motivated to see my time etc on the white board compared to my peers.

Mike: The advantage, and genius, of Crossfit is that it makes working out a competition.  But unlike every other competition I’ve been in, everybody wins.  Sometime I’m striving to put up a good time and when I do I’m really pleased.  Sometimes I’m just trying to survive a workout and when I do I’m really pleased.  I love the fact that we are all, to some degee, competing with each other and cheering each other on.


Q. What advice can you give to others?

Tracey: My advice for others who are intimidated or scared to try is to do just that….try it.   I understand the intimidation factor but if you can just get through the door you will quickly see that CFJ members come in all different shapes, sizes and ages and span a wide range of abilities, strengths, weaknesses.   Everyone can fit in and belong here and everyone can do it!

Mike: Advice:  Stick with it and go to classes even when you don’t like the movements as prescribed.  In fact, don’t even look at theWOD on the website before going into the gym.  Just sign up for the class and go.  You’ll find that you go through a shift, at some point, where going into CFJ goes from something that can be intimidating to something you can’t wait to do.

Q. Any other details you would like to share about your experience?

Tracey:  I spent 2 years making fun of my husband and his CF craziness.   I rolled my eyes every time he came home talking about a WOD…an 8 minute WOD none the less.   I thought in my head how hard could that be?  I can do anything (I mean anything) for 8 minutes.   I hated hearing about snatches, cleans, hollow rocks, muscle-ups and any number of other things I didn’t know about.   All the while he would ask me if he looked any different.  Day after day after day this went on.   Then one day I DID notice.  He was really cut and defined.  This craziness was working!  I finally decided I had to have some of the crazy for myself.   It’s been 7 months and so far things are looking and feeling pretty darn good!

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