How old are you?

46 years old.

What is your Occupation?

Dental Hygienist at Broadway Dental in Lynn.

What month/year did you start Crossfit?

November 2014

What made you join CrossFit?

Never one to consider myself much of an athlete growing up, my workouts were based upon taking long walks with friends at the beach. After back surgery in 2010 I decided that I needed more structured fitness in my life and joined the local YMCA. At first going to the Y became something I would begrudgingly do 3 times a week. Within months I became unmotivated and bored with the same old Y routine and began to drift away from it. I fooled myself over the next 3 years or so into thinking that another local gym would be the cure all for me. I was again wrong. Then in 2014 I realized that I wanted/needed something more if I were to ever reach the fitness/health goals that I had set for myself after surgery some years before. Enter The Swamp.

What were your original goals?

To create a healthier lifestyle for myself and rehab properly following back surgery.

What is it about CrossFit vs. other gyms that has made you more successful?

The support from the coaches and the entire community has benefited me greatly. The coaches at The Swamp have always been there for me, modifying most workouts so I could still get the desired results from the workouts through different movements. Also, the motivation that the coaches give me really makes a difference and has prevented me from drifting away like I had during my time at previous gyms.

What is the biggest factor in your success, and how do you maintain it?

Coming into this I found myself feeling slightly intimidated by the incredible athletes at The Swamp I knew that in order to reach my fitness/health goals I needed to go all in. I immediately bought into the “Just Show Up” mindset of The Swamp and I was hooked.

How many classes do you attend per month?

15+ classes per month.

Has nutrition played a role in your success?

Realizing that working out exclusively was not going to be the cure all for me in reaching my goals I began researching new diets. Eventually I settled on the Whole 30 diet which seemed to be the best fit for me. This seemingly easy diet to follow has changed my life. Going into the first 30 day challenge I was hopeful, however what happened over the next 30 days was truly inspiring, earning me a 15 pound weight loss. Seeing these results, I continued on to a second round, after a few cheat meals of course, Now in the midst of my 9th round I am down 41 pounds.

How much weight have you lost since you joined The Swamp?

41 pounds.

What has been your biggest hurdle and how did you overcome it?

Having the mental fortitude to stay focused on my goals even in the face of several nagging long term injuries. I have been able to continue on my journey of achieving my fitness/health goals only through the nurturing environment at The Swamp starting with the incredible coaches and their kind support of me and including every single fellow athlete through their heart warming encouragement. Your support has meant more to me than you will ever know. It has gotten me through some tough times. That's what makes The Swamp such a special place.

What is your most memorable CrossFit moment?

One particular memory I have occurred 2 years ago, the Friday before Memorial Day. Mike asked me if I would be coming to the Memorial Day workout, “Murph”. I answered no and he continued to ask why? I explained to him that although I can run, it causes me to have severe muscle spasms and back pain for a few days after. I told him that my ego would get the best of me and I would end up running with the rest of the group. I also knew that if I ran that I would undoubtedly end up having a problem. Mike then asked me if that was the only reason that I wouldn't come? I said yes. The night before the workout I received messages from other athletes letting me know they would be walking and asked me join them. I did show up that morning to do the workout. When we were headed out to start I went to the back of the pack so as to not get in anyone's way. I was greeted at the back of the pack by Coach Tibbo, who had already done the workout earlier in the morning. He told me he was going to walk with Megan and I. He not only walked with us for the mile he entertained us with his great sense of humor. The coaches at The Swamp went out of their way to make sure I was a part of a special CrossFit workout and made sure I was safe. It just goes to show how much these coaches care about the community of athletes.

How has this experience enriched other areas of your life?

CrossFit has made me an overall stronger person in my work, home and gym life. I am more confident in my daily routines, less stressed and happier.

If you could send yourself advice 10 years ago what would you say?

Set achievable goals for yourself. When you reach these goals set new goals. There is always room to grow, improve and do better.

Accomplishments you are most proud of since joining?

Never having been much of an athlete throughout my life. I am proud that I continued to “Just Show Up” at The Swamp and pushed myself a little harder every time I do.

What are your current goals?

Someday I hope that my back is strong enough to allow me to be able to run in workouts on a regular basis.

What advice would you give someone thinking of starting CrossFit?

Everyone starts where they start. Don’t compare yourself to others and trust the coaches, they have your best interest at heart.

What would you hope your CrossFit future holds?

I want to be able to say that I do CrossFit not that I did CrossFit.