You know her as one of the Canadian Ladies who won the Spirit Award for her dedication to "dressing the part" during the Open. She's been hitting PR's on her lifts right and left lately (you know - you've been watching!) And she always has an encouraging word for everyone. We're pleased and proud to make her our Athlete Spotlight for the month of May.
What an honour to have the opportunity to share a little bit about my fitness journey and the difference CrossFit has made in my life. If you don’t know me, I’m Canadian and very proud of it, so of course, I started my journey in sport playing hockey at the age of 5. I continued playing hockey for many, many years. I was also a multi-sport athlete in high school competing in basketball, volleyball, and track and field and won athlete of the year in my junior year. I continued in sport as a varsity athlete in university competing in shot put. Despite my active lifestyle and success in sport over the years, I didn’t have much confidence in who I was or what I was capable of. This led to a poor relationship with food, treating it as my comfort and confidante instead of a source of nutrition and energy to fuel me.
Fast forward to working life where after a few years of an active job in agriculture, working out in the field most of the year and logging lots of miles on my feet as well as staying active playing softball six nights a week, I got promoted to an office job and moved from Waterloo, Ontario to St Louis in 2013.
Since I didn’t know anyone and had a lot of time on my hands, I decided to join a local gym and hire a personal trainer. I had good success for the first few years and was in my best shape in years. Eventually, I hit a plateau and became bored with the exercises and wasn’t seeing any more progress on the scale because my diet still lacked consistency. Frustrated and discouraged with changes in trainers and lack of progress, I gave up on myself and succumbed to a sedentary lifestyle and poor food choices for years. As you can imagine, this lifestyle caught up with me and I went from being in great shape to my heaviest weight ever. I was ashamed at how far I let myself go.
But my journey was about to take a turn. In 2016, I met Nicole Jorgensen on a business trip in Fargo, ND and began a great friendship. It was through my friendship with Nicole that I was introduced to CrossFit. After several attempts at inviting me to a Buddy Day, I finally took her up on her offer in the spring of 2018. I missed sport and physical activity in my life and wanted to make a change as I had already put in a lot of work to get myself in an improved mental state. I was ready to take the step. I was nervous for my first workout in years because I was no longer the athlete I once was. With all these worries swirling through my head, I walked into UnCharted CrossFit and I was welcomed with smiles and people who were so excited for me to be there to be active and improve myself. During and after the workout, people were cheering for me and I received so many kind and encouraging words. I immediately knew this was the place for me.
This last year has been absolutely amazing and truly life-changing. I struggled the first 6 months to be consistent with my attendance and make positive choices with my diet, but the people at UnCharted CrossFit didn’t give up on me when I was so ready to give up on myself yet again. Coaches and other athletes reached out to me and encouraged me to keep working on improving myself and to just have fun enjoying the constantly varied movements and workouts.
The turning point for me was the CrossFit Open this past winter. I had heard about the community aspect of the Open but until I experienced it myself, I couldn’t fully comprehend the impact it would have on me. I’m truly appreciative of the community at UnCharted and the global CrossFit community. Each and every athlete is giving everything they have in their own journey while cheering on others to do their best. I love cheering on others as well and seeing them succeed. It has been so inspiring to me to see people believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself. CrossFit has helped show me that I am strong both physically and mentally and for the first time in years, I’m loving fitness again. I’m making better food choices and love connecting with CrossFitters from all over the world on social media. I can’t wait to get back to the gym because the coaches put so much time and effort into making the workouts challenging and fun. The best part is that my husband, Tim Coker, has joined UnCharted as well so we get to spend time together while working towards a healthier lifestyle.
I still have more to go on my journey and it will never really end, but I’m learning to give myself a break and celebrate the victories. I’ve lost 37 lbs to date and am very excited for the current nutrition challenge and continued weight loss as well as non-scale victories. I’ve been hitting some PR’s lately as well which has really helped to build my confidence and belief in myself. I love that the coaches at UnCharted invest so much into the athletes and truly care about us as people and want us to succeed in our personal goals and create so many opportunities to educate us on health overall. Wherever you are in your journey, the coaches and community at UnCharted CrossFit will grow you, challenge you, encourage you, and celebrate you. In closing, just show up to class and the community will carry you through. I’m proud to count myself as a part of this community too.