November Athlete of the Month, Julie!

  1. What was life like before you became a member?

Life before I became a member was busy. (It’s still busy.) I’m a full-time mom and a full-time elementary teacher. Also, I’ve forever been super-aware of diet and exercise.  I was either always walking, running, or biking. However, my diet and weight were that of a yo-yo. I also had the mindset that the less I ate the skinnier I’d become. So unhealthy!

2. At the time you enrolled, were you already exercising? What was your previous background in fitness?

Previously, I exercised a ton, but all cardio and zero weightlifting. Honestly, I felt weak. I think the one and only time I touched a dumbbell was when I was in the weight room in high school physical education class.

3. What originally prompted you to seek us out? 

Originally, I came to Keystone for a bring a friend week in 2018. My childhood friend, Andy Polansky, suggested I try a class. I was scared to death! I have had injury-issues with my neck since I was a kid, after breaking my collarbone. I was nervous to hurt myself. The lifting portion of the WOD was push press. I had never even touched a barbell in my life, never mind lift one above my head with weight on it. When I lifted 65 pounds, I was shocked. A few weeks later, Coach Tim popped up in a Facebook ad, doing The Floss dance, for a nutrition challenge. I gave it a shot and never looked back. 

4. What was your goal when you originally signed up? 

My goal when I originally signed up was to lose a few pounds and gain some muscle. I did just that. I got in the best shape of my life, and I actually have muscles! I feel strong!      

5. What have you liked best about working with us? 

The best part about working out at KCF is the people! All the coaches are extremely encouraging, and the athletes are genuinely supportive. It sounds cliche, but we really are a family at KCF.   Oh, and Saturday morning kickball is THE BEST! 

6. What are you most proud of achieving since you started? 

Since I’ve started back in 2018, I am most proud of staying disciplined with my gym attendance. I go as many days as my schedule allows me. My goal is to get to the gym at least 4 days a week. In the summers, I try to go six days. I seriously HATE missing a day at the gym. 

7. With everything that you have accomplished, has your view of yourself changed? 

My view of myself has definitely changed since I started. I feel ten times more confident physically and mentally.  Knowing I have the stamina to run an 800-meter run (which I couldn’t do before KCF) or lift my body weight in a deadlift is pretty satisfying. Also, CrossFit has made me a better teacher, believe it or not. My reading and writing class require a lot of my eight and nine year old students. When they come into my classroom and see the agenda on my whiteboard, sometimes I hear moans and groans (much like the CrossFit whiteboard-HA!). My class may consist of reading a long, difficult reading passage and writing a one to two paragraph response afterwards. I remind the kids that if they want to get smarter, and be better readers and writers, they have to build their stamina for both. I tell them their brain is like a muscle…if they want it to get stronger, they have to keep working it, consistently. I’m their coach through all of it, and I modify assignments for kids, too if needed. And lastly, when they leave my classroom, they should feel good about themselves and working so hard and pushing through a tough assignment. The correlation between school and CrossFit is strikingly similar. 

8. What would you say to anyone else who might be dealing with any similar struggles you did?  

 I would tell someone who might be dealing with apprehension in joining the gym to just DO IT! Face your fears! Take the risk! You’ll surprise yourself with what your body can do, no matter what your age or ability. 

9. Do you have any special moments/memories?

My most favorite memory, albeit embarrassing, was finishing the CrossFit Open with a bucket nearby! It was 19.5 and the WOD consisted of what seemed like a million thrusters and jumping pull-ups. Tim was coaching me through it. He saw me dry heave in my mouth 3 times! I finished like 89 reps of each, and Tim told Alison to get a bucket because I looked like I was going to be sick! I was proud with how I finished, anyway. 

10. What is your favorite movement/lift?

My favorite lift is the power snatch. It took a while for me to master it, but once I got the movement and grip down, I’ve grown to love it.  There’s something about hurling that barbell from the floor to overhead that makes you feel so strong!

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