We see each other in the gym every day (or almost every day) and sometimes it’s hard to recognize how much a fellow member has changed in their time with us. We know that everyone comes to CFC with a different goal, for some it’s weight loss, for some it’s increasing muscle mass and strength, for some it’s competition or elite level fitness, and for others it’s just the desire to be motivated by a strong community to stay fit and active. I have decided to dedicate my next couple of articles to some members who have “transformed” themselves. It is a topic near and dear to my heart, and I’ll share why after I introduce you to some seriously inspiring people.
First of all we have Petr Sebera, known to most of us as “Sebi”. He has been a member at CFC since September of 2014 when he joined a foundations class taught by Dora. Sebi’s goals for himself when he first joined were based mostly in a desire to lose weight and be healthier overall. In typical Sebi fashion he gave me one or two word answers to most of my questions, he’s the strong, silent type (expect during mobility). His says his first major victory was getting his first Muscle Up and his goals in the future are to CRUSH Ryan and Joey in all workouts (actually, he wants 100kg snatch and 10 unbroken MU, but if he can beat Ryan and Joey along the way all the better). Sebi credits his success to our motto “eat clean, train dirty”. He has made major body composition changes and has become one of the strongest lifters in the gym. His favorite CF movements are rowing, wall balls and deadlift. Most hated movements are “all mobility torture” (his words) and burpees. Sebi says his best moments so far at CFC have been the 2016 Open Team competition where he was on the Ninjas (best team of course) and currently he really enjoys Ales’ Barbell club classes on Tuesday mornings. Here is physical evidence of Sebi’s transformation.
This second picture was taken just a few weeks ago, Sebi says this was after 450 burpees. Wait, I thought he said he hated burpees. I think we can all recognize the huge changes Sebi has made. Keep up the good work Sebi, we love having you around!
Next in line we have Jana Weiglova. If you’ve ever worked out with Jana you know how focused and driven she is. She is constantly pushing herself and has made some truly amazing improvement in her time at CFC. Jana joined CFC in February of 2015. Jana has always been active and a desire to try something new is what eventually brought her to her first lesson with us. Her goals when she first started were more about staying active through trying something new and to get generally better at the movements she was being introduced to. Jana has made amazing progress in her relatively short time with CrossFit, she has lost 18kg, increased her maxes in all of her lifts by almost double, and she has pushed herself mentally by overcoming fears like being in a handstand.
The key for Jana’s success so far has been linked to changing her eating habits and maintaining a healthy diet. She says that while it isn’t easy, she has realized that she has to maintain the eating plan in order to achieve her goals and perform to her best in the gym. She has also benefited from shifting her focus away from “weight loss” and focusing more on fueling her body to be able to do what she wants to do and perform to her best. The hardest part is the maintenance of the changes she has made, but she believes that with her new mindset and the support of the community around her that she will continue to be successful. Jana has some specific goals for the near future including getting her first pull-ups and doing the 2017 Open workouts Rx. A more general goal for her is to “get as fit as possible while it’s all still possible”.
Pictures really bring to light just how far Jana has come.
Jana told me that this picture was one of the key things that made her decide that it was time for a change in her life.
She is well on her way! You are an inspiration to us Jana, keep it up!
Feeling inspired yet? Up next we have Tim Shaw. I think that Tim would tell you that he is a 100% CrossFit believer, so much so that he has his wife and son (and soon his younger son) training with us. Tim is full of energy, pushes himself and really encourages everyone around him during classes.
Tim joined CFC in September of 2015. Initially his goal was to to lose 10kg and “get healthy”. To Tim’s credit he has now lost 15kg and has what he describes as a healthy routine to his daily life. Tim says that CrossFit works for him because of the group format. He has a background in team sports and could never get behind solo workouts in the gym, or running “for running’s sake”, he even had a personal trainer for awhile but it just wasn’t right. The group classes at CFC motivate him and inspire him to push himself. He says that he feeds off the other members’ energy and encouragement. Tim’s current goal is to have a six-pack by his 50th birthday which will be in March of next year. He thinks that the goal is attainable with some more focus on dialing in the nutrition side of the equation. If what he’s been able to accomplish up until now is any indicator he will reach that goal with no problem! We are all here to help keep him motivated. Tim says that he doesn’t mind burpees overall, so maybe for his birthday we will have to give him wall balls (a movement Tim says “suck balls”).
Obviously Tim has made excellent progress. Kudos to him for the very official looking before and after pictures as well!
As I mentioned at the beginning of the article people come to us with many different goals, it’s not always about weight loss. Our next featured member is a great example. Marta Nikolic first came to CFC in September of last year when she started private lessons with Zuzka. She came to us because she was about to run the Prague Marathon and she realized that she would need more than just basic endurance to really reach her goals for the race. To that end, her first goals with CrossFit were to get stronger overall. Then in her words “each new movement became a new goal”. For Marta it has become a goal to do every movement with as good technique as possible. She has pushed herself very hard and been very dedicated to improve everything from simply squatting to the more complex olympic lifts. Marta has accomplished some amazing things in her time with us including finishing her first marathon in 4 hours and 14 minutes, she participated in the Open team competition, she doesn’t fear the WOD’s anymore and she is getting used to being “uncomfortable” and just pushing on. Marta says that CrossFit works for her because of the constant variation of movements that keep her always wanting to improve. She loves the fact that she feels mentally refreshed after a WOD and she enjoys the “family” that we have created at CFC where she feels supported and can support others through ups and downs in the gym and in life. Her goals for the future include more focus on the olympic lifting technique and mastery of the gymnastic movements. Marta says her best moments so far in the gym have been the Open competition where she was on the winning team, and every day after the WOD is a great moment for her as long as there are not any burpees. Marta hates burpees.
I don’t think the pictures do justice to just how much Marta has been able to “transform” herself in her time with us. Her strength and mobility have grown immensely along with her ability to push through a tough WOD. You’re an excellent addition to our CFC family Marta!
I mentioned that this topic of transformation is near and dear to my heart. While I can say that personally I have changed a lot in my three and a half years with CrossFit my own transformation was well on it’s way before I met any of you. I thought this might be a good time to share just briefly about my own journey.
I was overweight my whole life but it wasn’t until my son was born that it hit me that I was actively shortening my life by choosing not to do something about my health. I wanted to be around as long as possible for him, as well as be a good role model for him as he grew up. It has been a long, slow process that I don’t think will ever really have an “end”. Every time I reached a goal that felt unreachable I set myself another goal and slowly but surely I regained control.
I found CrossFit through my husband Drew who you all probably know. He started with Joey in January of 2013 and really loved it. He kept trying to get me to try it, but I was pretty set in my ways and it seemed to be working for me. I was a certified personal trainer by then and I thought I knew all there was to know about getting fit. Finally after several weeks of hearing Drew talk about nothing but CrossFit I gave in and went to an intro with Joey. I did the workout pushing as hard as I could to prove to Joey that I was already fit (HA!) then couldn’t breathe properly for the next several hours, but I realized that I was HOOKED on that feeling. The rest, as they say, is history and here I am three years later a Coach!
Joey has a line he uses in his intro classes and it really speaks to me. He says that in CrossFit we try not to be so focused on what the scale says or how our bodies “look”, but we focus on how we feel and what our bodies can “do”. This is huge for me, and I think it’s a great message to anyone who has every struggled with body image issues of any kind. This change in mindset has helped me continue to push myself to set and achieve goals that I really never thought possible. I’ll share my pictures here, even though it is not fun to look back at where I started.
Dec. 2012 (about 2 months before I started CrossFit)
I know I’m not the only coach that has made some big changes in their lives. If any of you ever feel like you need more support to meet your goals, we are here to help you! For now let’s celebrate the four awesome members I highlighted in this post. Hopefully it has motivated you to set some new goals for yourself, or just give some encouragement to the members around you knowing that everyone is ALWAYS working on SOMETHING! I know that there are more of you out there that have made amazing transformation and believe me I want to know your story as well! We all came to CrossFit in different ways, for different reasons, but the fact that we are all together now supporting each other and cheering each other on as we continue towards our own goals is something to celebrate.