Amy Ayala

Amy Ayala

1. How did you get started at CrossFit?
I have been exercising regularly since I graduated from college, and I even got into running for a while, running 3 miles a day for up to 5 days a week. For a brief period of time, I was even lucky enough to get free personal training right at my work place. What a great experience, but eventually it ended, I stopped running, and I ended up at my neighborhood Gold’s Gym, using the boring cardio equipment and occasionally going to spin class. Although there were loads of weights available, it was Gold’s after all, I was way too intimidated to even go near them. Nothing really stuck or kept me interested, so here I was, tired and unhappy, and not going anywhere despite going to the gym religiously every night after work.
One day, I realized I needed a change. Nothing new really happened, other than I just knew I couldn’t spend another day at Gold’s Gym. I really wanted to find something like that personal training I had. So I did what everybody does, a google search. And I came across this thing called CrossFit that I knew nothing about at all. So I picked the one that was most conveniently located, and set up an appointment to check it out. Who knew it was going to be one of the best decisions I ever made?

2. What made you want to start CrossFit? Was it scary when you started?
I was hooked the minute I stepped inside on my first visit because it is seriously the coolest place to work out. But change, for me, is always intimidating, so lots of emotions. I like my routine and all things familiar, so that coupled with my serious lack of adventure, made joining CrossFit daunting at first. But it has turned into the most empowering journey ever.
In the beginning it was especially challenging because everything was new….I mean everything. I knew nothing about squats or burpees or Olympic lifting. Oh and I had no idea that a CrossFit class could be filled with feelings of success and defeat all within the span of one hour!
But, it was all this unknown and scary stuff that has changed my life, along with the great people that I have met along the way. The coaches and members are seriously the best people and role models around! At the end of the day, the reason I come back day after day is for the community. Everyone at CrossFit 262 makes a difference in my life, and has made this experience so much less scary!

3. What is your biggest accomplishment since starting CrossFit?
Honestly, when I first read this question, I wanted to list all of the things I can finally do, like strict pullups and double unders, because those have been huge gains for me personally. But then I realized it was something more that I’ve accomplished here that is even bigger. It is a renewed sense of self-confidence. It has been a really long time since I have felt good about myself, and that is by far the biggest accomplishment I have made in a really long time.

4. What do you want to achieve with CrossFit?
The beauty of CrossFit is that there is always something to work toward! It is a never-ending journey, and I look forward to every day spent in CrossFit class. It is seriously the highlight of my day! My dream goal would be compete in a Master’s division someday, RX of course. But right now, I am just focused on small steps and improvements each and every day. And keep working on that scary stuff, because each day is another chance to improve. Oh, and if I achieve bigger muscles along the way, that would be awesome. Really defined abs wouldn’t be a letdown either. But see question 6 because this is where the abs are hiding.

5. Tell us something we probably don’t know about you.
I am a former smoker. I quit for the second and LAST time in 2013. I am so glad that is a part of my past. I am so thankful to be on a better path now for my own health, and for my family.

6. How do you eat?
I eat way better than I used to! The biggest reason I decided to make a change in my diet was because when I didn’t pay attention to my food choices, I was riding the struggle bus during every workout! I realized food plays a huge role in my performance, so I decided to make some changes. It is still a work in progress, but I have managed to make some good choices that work for me. I don’t drink soda or alcohol. I eat little to no dairy, and don’t eat white rice or pasta. I drink tons of water, which usually results in me having to hit the potty like 2 or 3 times during CrossFit classes, but it’s worth it. My meals are focused on getting lean protein and veggies. I love snacking on good things like almonds, and I love eating hummus or guacamole with my meals. I currently don’t do any supplements in my diet. But since my diet is still a work in progress, I’ve adopted kind of an 80-20 daily rule. So I eat well for most of the day, but I have a weakness for stuff like a mini Dove ice cream treat at the end of the day or a cookie here and there if they show up at work. And if there’s ever key lime pie around, the first slice is mine. I also live for my Saturday morning trip to Starbucks. But overall, I think I’m on the right path. Unfortunately good eating requires a little more work and planning. There are so many quick and easy foods available, but they are so unhealthy! I set aside time to make a weekly meal plan for myself and my family, and I spend time every Sunday prepping good choices to take to work for lunch. It is hard and time consuming and sometimes I feel like I am spending the whole weekend in the kitchen, but it’s worth it in the end. I’m the cook in my house, so it’s not only for me but for my family as well. And when my family absolutely insists on something I opt not to eat, I just whip up some eggs on the side. Gotta get those abs.

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Alex Harris, SRCF

Alex Harris says he’s an artist and tends to be very introverted. You wouldn’t know it by his current profession.

“I ‘m a paid public speaker” he says. ” I do web design and eCommerce and I’ve written two books on the subject.”

 Alex wanted to try CrossFit but there wasn’t a convenient location. “My brother has been doing it for a while, then SRCF opened so I signed up to get back in shape.”

“I had my own business from 2011-2016 and I didn’t have health insurance. I did nothing for 5 years, just worked at my home office desk. I stepped on the scale and I was the heaviest I’ve ever been 1987. I was scared because my endurance was terrible and my diet was even worse. I knew I’d enjoy CrossFit. It reminded me of high school wrestling practice. I remember the pain of pushing past your limits. I liked the variety of CrossFit versus a traditional gym.”

“I lost 30 pounds, but I really do CrossFit to help me avoid stress and stay focused. Crossfit helps me be mentally prepared for public speaking, challenges at work and of course health. It’s dramatically helped me build confidence and break through plateaus.”
Alex does meal prep weekly with whole foods, plus protein shakes and bars in between meals. He also avoids sugar. When asked about his goals, he was pretty clear.
“It’s gonna take a while but I’d like to get to RX weights and skills in WODs. In the meantime, it gives me something to wake up to instead of work, plus it sets my day up for success. After a 6am workout I crush everything I need to do for that day by lunch. The more progress I have in CF, the more success I have in life.”
Congrats Alex, you’re a true Success Story!
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