- What was life like before you became a member?
I grew up where my father’s side of the family was in the restaurant business and my mother’s side had a farm, so it was inevitable to get involved with hard labor. I began working at 12 years old in the restaurant (still do today) and would also get on the back of the hay wagon in the summer to stack hay bales.
Physically I had dealt with a lot of fluctuations in my weight my entire life. I was a pretty heavy kid from 2nd grade up until about 8th grade. Then I slimmed down for all of high school. BAM, college hit, and I was packing on the pounds all over again. Other than that, I got married 5 months before joining and was definitely guilty of becoming “comfortable”. I was anything but comfortable. With just being married I knew we were planning on having children sooner than later and I knew deep down that was going to push me further from my goals unless I made some changes.
2. At the time you enrolled, were you already exercising? What was your previous background in fitness?
When I signed up, I would go to a local gym and weight train, or jog here and there. Nothing was consistent. I’d stick with it for a couple months and then I’d stop. It just became a vicious cycle because I truly didn’t know how long it would take to make a change physically.
3. What originally prompted you to seek us out?
I wanted to lose weight but realized that everything I was doing wasn’t going to get me there. I didn’t have the discipline to go to the gym on my own and I still don’t to be honest. I was so frustrated and I’m sure this sounds corny to some but, I turned to God. I would pray and ask if there was another option for me to accomplish what I wanted to do. I would hear about people doing CrossFit and I knew my cousin Jill went to Keystone. I knew it had Olympic lifts incorporated, something that my Great Uncle, King Joe advocated for his entire life. I thought to myself, I think this is the last option. So, I searched for the closest CrossFit gym to me, and it turned out to be Keystone. God doesn’t give you what you need directly, he will guide you, but you have to be willing and open to the options. I read something saying, I prayed for cookies and God didn’t give it to me. Well, he gave you eggs, butter, sugar, vanilla, flour, baking soda, and salt. You just have to put it together.
4. What was your goal when you originally signed up?
I thought of myself as a relatively strong person so really my only goal was to lose weight. I met with Tim about joining and he was having a 6-week challenge, so I figured what the heck. It was a pretty eye-opening experience. I lost about 9-10 lbs. in those 6 weeks. Part of me was excited for my progress and disappointed I didn’t do better. (Something I still struggle with here and there) I ended up joining after the challenge was over. At that point I just wanted to be consistent with being physically active.
5. What have you liked best about working with us?
I like the fact that I can come to class and not have to think about what I’ll be doing and then in an hour it’s done. This was exactly what I needed to be consistent. I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy the community aspect of Keystone. It takes a really long time for me to warm up to new people and new situations. I have met a lot of really great people and I wouldn’t change it for anything. I’m also glad I joined a CrossFit gym where the people running it actually care about the members. I remember the first time I got postcards in the mail for my birthday or for setting a new PR. It showed me everyone was just as proud as I was. It means a lot to me. I also didn’t realize how competitive I would be with MYSELF!
6. What are you most proud of achieving since you started?
I would say I’m most proud of staying consistent for almost 5 years now! I look back in my SugarWOD and I’ve only had a gap in attendance 3 times in 5 years. One stretch was when I gave birth and I think I was only gone for 8 weeks total. The other two times I was pretty sick. One was Covid and the other was a stomach bug. The other thing I’m most proud of is after having my son I signed up for nutrition with Tim and I lost 40 lbs. It took about a year, but it was the best thing I’ve ever done. I have stayed within the same 8-10 lbs. for the last 2 years plus I’m in better shape now than I was when I was 20, which is crazy to me.
7. With everything that you have accomplished, has your view of yourself changed?
I would say my view on myself changed for the better. With the right people and the right information, I know I am capable of hard things. I’m definitely more confident now and think of myself as a very strong woman, not just kind of strong.
8. What would you say to Someone who might be dealing with any similar struggles you did?
I would tell them it’s going to take a lot longer than you think for whatever goal you have and that’s okay. Just start. There are going to be highs and lows but keep going. It’s hard, but hard things are the most rewarding.
9. Do you have any special moments/memories?
I have so many I can’t remember them all! Last year I did the open and RX’d every work out which felt awesome. Hitting a 200# squat! 145# squat clean! It took me 4 1/2 years, but I hit 100# squat snatch! Alex and I got 2nd place at the holiday throw down which I never saw coming. There are so many great memories, and I can’t wait for all the ones that haven’t happened yet.
10. What is your favorite movement/lift?
Naturally it’s the one I feel most confident with, the squat clean! I always love dumbbell snatches and box jumps in a WOD.
I wish King Joe were here so I could share this news with him. He would have been ecstatic! He would come to work every day at the restaurant to break down boxes and put orders that came in away. We would talk about weightlifting. He’d always be asking me what my numbers were on my lifts. When I hit a new PR, I’d always be thrilled to go to work and tell him and I think he was just as thrilled to hear it! So, this one’s for you Uncle Joe!
Shout out to Tim for dealing with me on my postpartum journey. If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have learned the skills I have now and wouldn’t be feeling as confident as I do now. Thank you for making me feel like I wasn’t crazy during the low points.