AOTM

April Athlete of the Month – Natalie

1. Tell us about yourself:

I’m a proud military wife to CPT Russell and mother of 5 kids ranging in ages 11 down to 3. I was born and raised in Utah before moving to JBER 2 years ago. I enjoy taking care of my home and family full time. I’m a devout Christian and love to dance, play piano, read, and cook foods that please my hubby!

2. What made you start CrossFit? 

Ben, my husband, and I started together at 907 Crossfit in response to an invitation from Adam Tucker. I honestly thought I would tire of Crossfit before Ben but I fell in love with it! Staying fit keeps me sane and I love the social environment and physical challenge that comes with Crossfit. I love that the gymnastics and mobility aspect boost my self-confidence but that I can continue to improve in Olympic lifting.

3. What is your favorite CrossFit movement, lift, or WOD?

I’m all about any Chipper WOD. The long endurance aspect is always appealing. I especially enjoy anything that works shoulders.

4. Least favorite?

My least favorite is a tie between snatch and clean.

5. What is the one tip you would give someone considering or is new to CrossFit?

Be patient with your progress and utilize the expertise of the coaching staff as much as possible.

AOTM

March Athlete of the Month – Chuck

1. Tell us about yourself:

I’m Chuck Landry Jr. Married to the beautiful Lori Landry (who hasn’t given in to Crossfit just yet but she will). I’m a Gunner’s Mate in the Coast Guard. I’ve been in for 8 years. Originally from Morganza, Louisiana, our claim to fame is the movie Easy Rider. I love everything sports, I live to compete. I’m the guy who is up at 3 in the morning watching Team USA fencing yelling at the tv when I have zero idea what the rules even are (true story). I’m a baseball/soccer player turned Crossfit athlete. 

2. What made you start CrossFit? 

Honestly, a free breakfast. A buddy of mine bet me that if I went to a class he’d buy me breakfast. One, I don’t back down from challenges and two, I will take free food however I can get it. One year later and I’ve been doing this consistently ever since.

What has kept you doing it? 

Cause 30 year old me is in way better shape than 18 year old me. I love sports. I didn’t wanna believe it at first but I finally gave in to Crossfit being a sport. And when I started treating it like a sport I started to get better and I began seeing results. I was catching people in WODs who were better than me. I started strategizing how to approach each workout. 

Has your motivation changed from when you first started?

Absolutely. When I first started I was cherry-picking workouts. I usually never came on long run days or long chipper workouts, definitely not anything involving the bike. But I wasn’t getting any stronger or faster. I started getting out of my comfort zone. Going to every workout, entering in Crossfit competitions, stretching (who woulda thought). If you want something to change you gotta change something.

3. What is your favorite CrossFit movement, lift, or WOD?

I love bro-ing (and bro-ette-ing) out on 1 rep maxes. Nothing like yelling at each other to see how much weight we can toss up. I’ve come to love the olympic lifting side of Crossfit. And sprints.

4. Least favorite?

Any run over 200m. And the assault bike, but I think that one’s a given, nobody likes that thing. And ROMWODs, no amount of stretching will get me to sit on my heels.

5. What is the one tip you would give someone considering or is new to CrossFit?

Feed The Wolf. Stay Hungry. Whatever life gives you, Eat It Up. Go to the workouts every single day. Don’t let yourself get comfortable enjoying rest days, be excited to go workout. If you’re tired or sore, go with lighter weights and focus on form rather than your time. But go every day and take 1 day out of the week to reset your body. Push yourself, trust me the coaches know when your not giving it everything you got. If you aint dyin you aint tryin. NO ONE will give you shit if you bail out on a heavy lift or if you take a long time on a run. But people will give you shit if you make excuses not to try a lift or cherry pick workouts you don’t like or see a far run and not even try it. Treat Crossfit like NASCAR (I’m from the south so this is my best comparison). Find the person at the gym whose just a bit better than you and shake and bake. Then move on to the next person one at a time til you’re the standard at the gym. Talk some friendly smack, have fun, motivate each other. Start an addiction to gym shoes, spend hours shopping for jump ropes and knee sleeves, its fun. These people are the most motivating people I’ve ever met. All the big lifters want you to lift more than them and all the runners want you to be faster than them. It really is a community and I consider these people my family. Who Dat/Geaux Tigers!

AOTM

January Athlete of the Month – Gwen

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.  

Least favorite?
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)