Today we celebrate Beth M., a wife, mother of three and all-around great woman. She’s got the drive and determination most of wish we had and when she sets her sights on something, she works HARD to make it happen. Arguably she is one of the most “coachable” athletes at the Cove and the results she’s had in the last six months are nothing short of astounding.
Beth is a lifelong athlete. She was a competitive gymnast from age 7 to 18 (which she referred to as “a full time job”) and then coached throughout college as a part-time gig. After college she started running with her high school sweetheart, David (now her husband) and took all sorts of fitness classes. But she didn’t fall in love with any of them.
“I started running because of David and his family. His brother and my sister-in-law convinced me to do it because they were doing it. So we did a few marathons and half-marathons. But I never liked it. I liked the endurance aspect, but I didn’t’ feel stronger.”
“I took some fitness classes and even some weight lifting group classes, but we weren’t really LIFTING. I wasn’t seeing any results and it was really frustrating. I knew I needed to do something different”.
“I had been wanting to try CrossFit for a long time. A friend from high school was an early adopter and had been doing it for many years and I was fascinated. But I always had an excuse. Or I was scared. It just seemed too intimidating”. And then my brother and sister in law started in Colorado and said, “You’ll love it!” (Author’s note: this in-law peer pressure is incredible!). But unlike the marathons they got her to do, this time she LOVED it.
“All my life I had been doing mostly individual sports. Sure, gymnastics has some team aspect, but it’s mostly just you out there. Same thing with running. And David and I never really got to work together. We’re run the same races, but not TOGETEHR. It’s nice to be next to him, even if we aren’t doing the same weights. And we love Partner WODs! Ironically, he’s the one who’s really good at the gymnastics stuff. We love to partner up when our strengths play to the other’s weaknesses. I’m so proud of everything he’s accomplished too. We can be competitive with each other, but it’s always in a good way.”
And CrossFit has changed the dynamic at home too. “Almost every night in bed we look up the WOD and decide what we’re going do tomorrow and how to approach it. And if one of us has done the workout earlier that day, we’ll call the other and get the lowdown on the workout. “ And it’s become a family affair. “The kids just love it. Ella (her oldest) will ‘coach’ the twins to do burpees and push ups!”
As an ‘individual athlete’ for most of her life, the ‘team aspect’ of CrossFit got some getting used to. “If I was last and everyone was cheering I was uncomfortable at first. But I Iove doing it for other people, and now I totally understand it – and actually appreciate it. In fact, if my fellow athletes and coaches weren’t there yelling for me, I probably wouldn’t have gotten it done. Because of the ‘team’ and the coaches, I do things here I would never do on my own.”
Her list of accomplishments is mind-blowing (did we mention she’s lost THIRTY POUNDS since she started??), but she still has a lot on her to-do list. She (smartly) takes on one or two things at a time and hones those skills before moving on to the next. What drives her? “I have a mental punch list in my head. I’m inherently pretty competitive with myself. But mainly I just want to be able to DO everything.” She laughs that the gymnastics are the things she struggles with (toes to bar, handstand push ups, etc.). “I don’t like not being good things so I’ll work on them until I can do them.”
Things have completely changed in the last six or seven months. “I don’t even think about going to the gym anymore. Before it was such a chore and I’d have to mentally prepare. Now I can’t imagine not being able to come in four or five days a week. I FEEL the changes. And it didn’t take that long.”
What’s changed most for her? “I have more confidence. More energy. In the past I’d always be tired and the kids would want to play and I’d say, “I’ll give you five minutes”. Now I do more active stuff with them and we’ll jump on the trampoline for hours. I’m a better mom. I’m a better person. And I can do more than before. And I WANT to do more than I ever have before”.
Her advice to those who need a change? “Just try it. Seriously… just TRY it. I wish I did just that 10 years ago”. Sage advice, Beth!
6 Front Squats
200 M Run
8 Strict Pull Ups
200 M Run
10 Bar Facing Burpees
1 Minute Rest
Fitness: 10 Front Squats 95/65
Open: 185/125 (chest to bar)
Coach’s Tip: Lots of fun stuff going on in today’s WOD! Heavy front squats, strict pull ups, bar facing burpees… and running (oh, and rest too!) If you’re on the fitness track, you’ll see more reps at a lighter weight to get more of an endurance workout. For Performance and Open we are looking to go heavy. The 6 reps should be unbroken, but we are looking to make them hard. Hitting strict pull-ups during a Metcon provides recovery for the lungs and forces you to work body weight pulling strength while fatigued (which is great training!). Open is strict chest to bar and yes, that is hard! It can be scaled to chin over bar, but getting the higher pull and making contact should be the goal. The bar facing burpees should be attacked head on and the minute rest lets you recover before you hit the front squats again!
Beth says she’s proud of David and supportive of him, but these are some wifey “Judging eyes”…