Tell us about yourself
Hi, I am Gwen. I am 30 years young and I work as a therapist for the military promoting mental health and secure family bonds. I am a proud Army wife and soon to be mother, but foremost I’m a kick-ass, smart mouthed, quick with a joke or snarky comment, strong WOMAN. I have lived in AK with my hubby and doggo for just under 3 years and have loved every minute of our time here. Though I do miss my home, MD, mainly because no one in the great state of AK understands how to properly prepare seafood; if there is no Old Bay involved you are doing it wrong!
I started doing CrossFit in August 2017. My first day in the Box was literally the first time ever picking up a barbell or laying eyes on a wall ball. I was a tad intimidated to say the least, although I am sure no one could tell (yeah right). I decided to begin my CrossFit journey when I found out my husband was deploying. I knew I needed to find something to fill my time and a good outlet for my stress and other not so comfortable feelings. Little did I know, that I would find a family, spark a new passion (some may say obsession), and transform my whole body-not just my physical body, but my spirit and confidence as well. I love CrossFit and 907 CrossFit because of the tight knit community and the support. I know that when I miss a class I will get a call; “where were you”, “are you ok, you weren’t there this morning” and of course the “what a slacker, it’s cool we all killed it while you slept in, no biggie”. I think we all need to feel like we are part of something greater then ourselves and my CrossFit community does that for me. I know people count on me just like I count on them. And our relationships extend far outside the box. We are hiking together, grocery shopping together, spending the holidays with one another, and we call on each other when we need a helping hand. And while yes, I do adore my small class setup, which I can be a bit protective over, I honestly enjoy watching others find their passion for the sport and develop physically/mentally/emotional.
What made you start CrossFit? What has kept you doing it? Has your motivation changed from when you first started?
907 CrossFit has literally taught me everything I know about Olympic lifts, gymnastic movements, box jumps, wall balls, running, rope climbs, the list can go on. When I say I was new, I mean new! I have learned to trust my strength, that I can always have faster elbows, and to “stop over thinking” (I have used this both in and outside the box). But I think most importantly, I have learned that I am extremely capable. I started CrossFit focused on only my short comings: I’m fat, I need to lose weight, I’m weak, I need to get stronger. My focus has since changed; I want to be fit, I want to hit that next PR, I want to impress myself, I want to master that movement. I use others as motivation rather than comparison. I am fueled by other’s accomplishments rather than intimidated. This change is why I praise CrossFit so much. I have literally changed not only my physical body, but my mind and my confidence as well.
What is your favorite CrossFit movement, lift, or WOD?
My favorite CrossFit movement and proudest CrossFit moment all circle around the Power Clean. Last year, I competed in the Open for the first time after only a couple of months of participating in CrossFit. I was a bit nervous, but I didn’t let that stop me. Every Friday I would dance through that nervous energy, hit the bathroom, and wait for the 3, 2, 1, Go…. It was 18.2 and I was ready to shine. I had been working on my form and strength for the Clean for the past couple of weeks. Prior to 18.2 I had only Cleaned 110 lbs., but I knew I go lift more if I would just get under the damn bar- you know that whole trust my body thing I was talking about earlier. Well, the time had come and I was ready kill 18.2. I slammed through the DB squats and bar facing burpees and it was time to sling some weight. I hit 105lbs, no problems. Then I jumped to 115lbs, went up easy. Then 120lbs was loaded on the bar, first attempt I got under the bar but bailed. Second attempt, I had just under 2 minutes left; I approached the bar looked across at my friend ripped that bar into the air caught it in the front rack and got stuck in the squat. All I heard was everyone screaming “up, up, up” and the coach yelling 5, 4, 3, … and somehow in the last seconds I stood up. It didn’t look pretty, but I did it, I was up. Not to sound too dramatic, but when I dropped that bar I just started crying, everyone was clapping, and both my girlfriends just ran over to me screaming. They were hugging me and jumping, telling me how strong I was and how proud they were of me; and I was just in awe of myself. I think I smiled the rest of the day, shit I went to sleep with a grin on my face. In that moment I knew that I loved CrossFit and I loved how I felt in the box.
I don’t have a least favorite they can all suck depending on the day lol
What is the one tip you would give someone considering or is new to CrossFit?
Don’t limit yourself by what you think you can do because I promise you that your body can do more. Practice the fundamentals daily and consistently work on your goats. Arrive to the gym early, stretch out and spend a couple minutes before a WOD to build your skills.
Don’t get stuck in your own head. Keep fighting for your next PR, keep striving to RX that next workout, and keep believing in yourself! (Note: yes, she provided five tips. So much for Gwen’s listening, hahaha! -coach gaberock)