Each month the coaching staff at EHP selects a member that is “Better Than Yesterday!” The selected recipient is a great example of EHP’s CREDO– demonstrating compassion, honesty, resilience, perseverance, and tenacity.
Why did you start Elevate/CrossFit? Well, I started my fitness journey about 3 years ago. During the COVID lockdown, I hired a health and wellness coach, and I worked out in my garage. I also ran outside for pleasure. Life took some very unexpected and traumatic turns in 2021. My mental health was the worst it had ever been. I paused regular exercise and spent the summer doing mountain biking, ninja gym, and outdoor yoga and runs. It felt great to be active; what I also needed was structure, accountability, and support from like-minded people. I reached out to a good friend of mine and said that I was looking for something in a gym; structured, and consistent. Without a second of hesitation, he said CrossFit. I asked him for a specific gym, and EHP was his number one recommendation. He said the vibe there was my style, and that it was a really awesome place. So I dropped in this summer, on a running day, of all things! I almost puked and had absolutely no idea what I was doing! I was swallowing vomit, when Coach Lucas walked over and asked me how I was doing, with a huge smile; I knew that I loved it.
Why do you continue CrossFit? CrossFit is the first fitness endeavor in which I can say I truly feel like I belong. The community is so encouraging and accepting. I look forward to seeing the people I work out with just as much as I enjoy the physical and mental challenge that is CrossFit. : ) What I love about CrossFit is that, as I think Coach Rauger told me my very first week, “All you have to do is show up.” I have repeated that to myself so many times since I started. I know that once I’m there, I’m ready. Another huge reason for me is my mental health. I am diagnosed with a bunch of acronyms, and I attend therapy for PTSD. CrossFit has been the most grounding, empowering, and rewarding thing I have been a part of. I continue CrossFit because of the way I feel when something finally clicks, and I am able to complete a physical task that I would never have dreamed of completing before. I continue CrossFit because it feels so good to nourish my body and push my mind beyond its perceived limits. I continue CrossFit as an act of self-love.
What has been your greatest achievement since joining EHP Performance? My greatest physical achievement since starting EHP has either been the Chad, 1000 box step-ups; or climbing the rope. But I also really appreciate the little gains I see in the simple movements, like burpees, pull-ups, and push-ups. Another one of my favorite things to learn has been Olympic weight-lifting. I’m not joking, it makes me feel very cool. It is such a challenge, and I have to laugh at myself a lot, but I enjoy learning so much. I have so much learning yet to do! My greatest personal achievement since starting EHP has been facing my fears every single time I come to the gym. I get nervous almost every time, still! Now I have learned to recognize that feeling as anticipation and happiness; fuel for the challenge! I love throwing myself right out of my comfort zone at EHP.
How has your life changed since joining EHP Performance? Since joining EHP, I have learned to embrace the challenge. I am starting to recognize that the feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction after completing the workout is a reward that is so very worth it. The temporary uncomfy thoughts and feelings that may come from a very challenging task are small sacrifices to make for the contentment, peace, and self-love that follows and grows exponentially. Another thing I have noticed is that smaller daily tasks seem easier. When I am challenging myself at the gym all the time, it becomes sort of a comfort zone. It pushes me to challenge myself in other facets of my life. One more thing I am very thankful for is that I can say I am in the best physical and mental shape of my life. I am thankful for the many ways CrossFit has made a difference for me since September. I’m so excited as I look forward, and can’t imagine the growth that is yet to come.
Anything else you would like to share about yourself, your fitness journey, and/or EHP. My children are one of the other reasons I continue CrossFit. I am a single foster mom and have 3 children, ages 13, 7, and 3. Seeing the happiness in their eyes as I show them videos from the gym is a great feeling. They are my number one fans! Looking back on my fitness journey; after I had my 2nd child, I was in the worst physical condition of my life. I was morbidly obese and addicted to food. I had reached my breaking point, my mental health was also in the tank. I reached out to my doctors for help. They suggested nutrition counseling. I attended six months of nutrition counseling, including daily food journaling, modifications to my diet, weigh-ins, and being held accountable for this every month. I also really started to examine the “whys” of my eating and exercise habits. This was so profoundly impactful to me. I needed to address the underlying trauma and cognitive distortions that accompanied my disorganized eating patterns. For the first time in my life, I was confronting that. I had always avoided it and stuffed any anxious feelings into a box. I also decided during this time to cut meat from my diet. The way I felt after doing so was great! I felt light (I definitely wasn’t), and like I had more room for veggies and cheese. The weight began to fall off. In February of 2020, I had RNYGB surgery. I was so ready, I had prepped for months, feeding myself from baby spoons, eating mindfully, and challenging compulsive thoughts about food. I completed a 2 week long, pre-surgery, high protein, low-carb, low-calorie diet to shrink my liver. I was ready. Since then, I have lost 135 lbs. After I regained my strength and energy post-surgery, I started incorporating physical activity into my daily routine and it felt so good. I have continued a vegetarian diet and increased my physical activity consistently since then. I have started to truly love my body, and be grateful for what it does. I am amazed at what the human body can do, and how the mind is capable of pushing us to succeed. Now, my number one passion in life is holistic health and wellness. I am an RN and am also working on completing my health and wellness coaching certification through Precision Nutrition. Studying what I am passionate about has been a gift. One day I hope to incorporate all these into a career that I love. Currently, I work at StrongPour Nutrition Bar in West Fargo; we sell protein coffees, shakes, and collagen pours and is also a health food store. I love teaching others what I have learned and helping them find healthy, satisfying alternatives to sugar, which makes them feel great about what they’re putting into their body for fuel. Every day I get to do the things I love and I am so thankful for my journey. I am so thankful for my friend, who led me to EHP! Thank you to all of the EHP family, you all encourage and motivate me every single day to do better.