Tell us a little about yourself:
I was born and raised in Anniston, Alabama and I currently live in Jacksonville, Alabama. I’ve been working in Gardendale, Alabama for 13 years come January. I’m married with step children but no kids of my own. I’m prior military (Air Force Police) but prior to going into the military I was a bail bondsman and bounty hunter for my uncles company. I still occasionally help out at the bonding company but it has been limited due to the surgeries that left me with metal rods in my ankles on both feet, bone implants on top of my feet, and achilles tendons that were cut, stretched, and sewn back together, leaving me with limited mobility.
It took over a year for me to be able to walk without a walking cane and it took almost five years before I could actually attempt to do a shuffle jog (still have problems today). This limited my ability to workout like I use to do prior to going into the military and while I was in the military, which caused me to get out of shape and pick up a little weight. Ok, a LOT of weight! LOL! After getting out of the military I acquired my BS in Computer Science and MBA with a concentration in Operations Management and changed my profession.
What made you start CrossFit Gardendale?
I tried going to the gym to workout to attempt to get healthier but sometimes it would be hard to motivate myself to go. Doing the same routines all the time made me lose interest very quickly. I tried going to the gym the same time one of my co-workers would go so he could help motivate me go everyday until he stopped going to the gym as well. But I think he was having the same issue I was having, no motivation and hating having to create a workout routine and decide what muscle group to work on that particular day. He told me that he was going to start CrossFit and I should to. Of course I said sure, but in my mind I knew I was not going to join CrossFit because I had heard all of the horror stories. When it came to sign up day I chickened out and I told him maybe next month.
As the next month was closing in on me, very quickly he kept bugging me about joining again to start the On Ramp in the month of July and he told me that this would be a good time because his wife was going to join during that month and we could go through On Ramp together. Of course once again I said sure and when sign up day came, once again I chickened out. I was terrified of the thought going to a gym that was going to kill me! LOL! That was my silly thinking. Needless to say he kept trying to convince me that I needed to sign up and I let August On Ramp pass me by once again.
One day he finally asked me why I kept changing my mind and I told him how afraid I was because I didn’t want to damage my ankles more due to the limited mobility of them. He began to tell me the different ways the exercises can be modified until I am strong enough and mobile enough to Rx the WOD. He told me to talk to his wife to get a woman’s perspective and I’m glad I did. She helped clear up any anxiety I was having about the exercise routines. She convinced me that I could do it and be fine. To this day I am totally grateful for Marc and Meagan Phillips for convincing me to join CrossFit Gardendale.
Describe your first workout?
The first day of On Ramp was pretty easy. They showed us the different moves and how to do them correctly. I had never been shown the correct way to do deadlifts, squats, push presses, cleans, etc. I always went by what I had seen on TV or videos. Needless to say I was doing them all wrong. The trainers took their time to show us the proper way to do the exercises without hurting yourself. They worked with me and watched each one of us closely to ensure we were performing the proper moves with the correct form. Who would have known that sticking out your butt and holding your chest up to do a proper squat was so hard to maintain. LOL!
Each night the On Ramp workouts progressed and the workouts got a little harder and my body began to ask me “What the heck are you doing?”. Oh yeah I was really beginning to feel the pain by day 3, but I couldn’t let a little pain stop me from my mission of getting healthier. Finally came graduation night and I realized my next move was to go to a real WOD class and my decision was to either go on Friday or wait until Monday. I hated the anticipation of what a real WOD would be like so I went on Friday. I’m so glad I did! It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be but it was not easy either.
Going on Friday gave me the weekend to contemplate if I was going to continue to go to CrossFit or wimp out and stop going because I was so sore. I told myself I couldn’t let a little pain stop me from my mission, so now I’m a CrossFit junkie. I feel like I am letting myself down if I don’t get in at least four days of workout in a week. If I can’t get four days I definitely MUST get three.
What are your favorite and least favorite lifts/movements?
My favorite movements are squats and kettle bells. My least favorite movements are burpees and jump rope (DU’s). I can’t do a burpee or jump rope to save my life. My burpee is more of a “jump on the ground and roll over” and my jump rope is a “swing a rope and try to jump” type of thing. I never would have thought that jumping rope would be so hard but I guess when you haven’t jumped rope in almost 30 years that would be expected.
What goals have you accomplished so far?
So far, since September 14, 2015 until today (October 28, 2015) I have lost 6 pounds and I’m down one dress size. I am getting stronger, toned, and I am beginning to see muscle definition. I am eating better (cut out a lot of the sugar, eating better food choices). Lemon heads is my favorite candy and to stop eating lemon heads was a big accomplishment for me because I would eat them everyday.
What goals do you plan to accomplish?
My goal is to get down or close to my idea weight but I have a long way to go but it can be accomplished and get more mobility in my ankles. I will be able to do a burpee without having to put my knees down and role over like a panda bear. I will be able to do 50 double unders so I wont have to do 100 or 150 singles (that’s murder). I will be able to climb to the top of the rope and touch the pipes with ease. I will be able to do a handstand push up without breaking my neck. And, I will be able to a chest to bar or toe to bar without being afraid that I will lose my grip and bust my butt. But, my main goal is to be able to say “I did it!”. I tackled and accomplished CrossFit!
What hobbies or things do you like to do other than CrossFit?
I love to shop but lately I haven’t been doing a lot of shopping because I hate having to purchase the large sizes. I am more so embarrassed than anything. Also, all the walking that accompanies shopping limits me because I am usually in a lot of pain when I’m finished. I also love taking photos and doing different crafts. But my favorite past time is listening to music (it calms the salvage beast inside, lol).
What, if anything, has changed in your life since joining CrossFit Gardendale?
Since I’ve joined Crossfit I have more energy, I have more confidence, and I have met the most amazing people who motivate me and encourage me to keep going. They have more confidence in me than I do myself. Each person I have met in each class has been an inspiration to me and I love each and every one of them for it. On the days I think I did terrible each one will come by and tell me something to keep me encouraged. I don’t think they realize how much it means to me to hear the words “good job” (getting teary eyed). I am so grateful for having such great people to workout with.
What advice would you give to any new members?
My advice to any new member is to just try it and stick with it, you won’t regret it. One guy I met in class said it best. One day, on a day where he knew it would be a hard workout for me because of the double unders, (I can’t remember his name), he told me “think and know you are great and you will be able to get through the WOD”. His words rang out to me like a firecracker and I now use his words to tackle everything I think is a challenge for me. Crossfit has not only helped me physically but it has helped me mentally as well. YOU ARE GREAT and you deserve to be happy, healthy, and free! CFG!