I was always pretty active growing up and loved playing sports. I was primarily a soccer player and played through college but loved everything- track, volleyball, tennis. I discovered after graduating that I’m not especially good at self-motivating. I need a specific goal- be it a race or a challenge. For a while I didn’t do much of anything, just paid my $100 a month to the YMCA and never went. I tried P90X but never made it past day 30 (thus, P30X). When my kids were a bit older I began doing triathlons and even did a few half marathons. But the reality is, I really hate running and if you’ve ever done a running WOD with me, I’m sure I’ve shared that information with you.
When CFP opened a friend told me about it. Prior to this I had never touched a barbell, didn’t dream of doing a pull up and really knew nothing about it at all. But from day one, I was hooked, cancelled my Y membership and never looked back. Since then I’ve tried to take advantage of everything CFP has to offer- nutrition, strength training with Joe Black and Ben Gabriel, personal training with Jon Collette, internal comps. It all keeps me motivated to get better, faster, stronger. There is always something to work on which keeps it interesting and exciting. My only regret is that I didn’t start sooner.
What is your favorite part about being at CFP?
From the get go, I knew there was something different about this place. Mike and Brian knew my name before I was sure of theirs (Was it Mark? Brad?). People noticed if I wasn’t there. It is hard to pick just one thing. Nowhere else in my life do I get immediate feedback about an accomplishment. But those gold stars are addictive. I’ll go through lulls where I think “I’ll never get a gold star again.”, and then suddenly I’ll PR several times in a week.
But honestly, my favorite part of CFP are the incredible people and friendships I’ve made. I was in my early 40’s when I started and I kind of thought I had made all of the friendships I was going to make. Little did I know! My early morning crowd have become an integral part of my life, and I can’t imagine it without them in it. They remind me of what I loved about being part of a team, even though we are all doing this for ourselves. The support, comradery, energy, sarcasm and love of this group is unparalleled. I read a book awhile back called “No such thing as a bad day”, by Hamilton Jordan who was the chief of staff for Jimmy Carter and a Cancer survivor. Obviously, this journey is different, but I do believe there is no such thing as a bad day at CFP. Even if the work out is awful, or if you don’t hit your goals for the day, something great will happen there that makes it all worth it.
What are your hobbies and activities?
My family and kids keep me busy. I am part psychologist, part chauffer, part motivational speaker, part soccer coach, part personal chef. I love reading, cooking, movies and I really love television and a good afternoon nap. I’m a big fan of game nights and am practically professional level at Taboo. I can hold my own in pool and ping pong and I have spectacular candle pin bowling form.
How has (if it has) CFP helped you outside the gym (in sports etc)?
CFP just keeps me strong, healthy and keeps my stress level under control. I have a busy life and it is essential that I carve that time out for myself every morning, which is why I get up at 4:30am every day. If it doesn’t happen then, it doesn’t happen. It has been an effective stress management tool for me. I’ve had Crohn’s disease since I was 17, and although it has had only a minimal impact on my life, it does impact it. I feel that CFP has helped me keep my symptoms either nonexistent or well under control.
Also, as a parent, we often forget that everything we do is a model for our kids. For my daughter in particular I try to demonstrate the importance of making healthy choices and being proud of our bodies for what they can do, more so than what they look like.
What are you continuing fitness goals to this point?
I have some long term and possibly unattainable goals. Do toe to bar like Liz Mason, have a 125-pound clean feel like a 95-pound clean and get a strict pull up. But mostly I want to keep coming, getting stronger, staying fit and laughing a lot before the sun comes up. In my work I see the consequences of people who have not taken care of themselves and not made their physical and mental health a priority. We only get one chance at this!
I have several:
“You don’t stop doing things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing things” Elias Nasser (my grandfather who lived to 96 and exercised and ate well his whole life)
“Get busy living or get busy dying” Andy Dufrene, The Shawshank Redemption
“Live to CrossFit another day” Peg Kinsman
“Keep your shit together” Brian Zancewicz”
“Come to CrossFit, don’t get dementia” Dr. Elizabeth Nasser, Ph.D.