Occupation: Teacher
Illumine Family Member Since: May 2014
1. How did you get started with CrossFit?
I’ve always enjoyed working out, but always found myself looking for way to stay motivated. My cousin discovered Bull Dog CrossFit about four years ago and wouldn’t stop talking it. He kept insisting I look into a box near me. Yet, I told him boxing and martial arts was enough for me. I went on to tell him that I couldn’t find a box near me. Well, it didn’t take long for him to text me a link to Illumine with a message that read, “This place looks amazing and it’s 10 minutes from your home. Check it out, no excuses!” I promised to look into it and I’m glad I did.
2. Favorite and least favorite WOD and/or movement?
My favorite movements are Cleans, Clean & Jerks, and Deadlifts. My least favorite movements would have to be the Snatch and wait for it…running! I’ll never forget my first day of Onramp. Brian had our group follow him outside for a little jog as he showed us where all the meter markers are. As he showed us he said, “This is our 800 meter mark but don’t worry, we don’t do much running in CrossFit.” I did a little happy dance in my head because little did I know that Brian was being the funny guy that he is. All I know is that there has been running involved in every warm up and workout following that day.
3. Give us a long term AND short term fitness goal:
A long term fitness goal would be to continue living an active, healthy life into my old age so I can one day join “Illumine Legends.” A short term goal would be to conquer the snatch and assault bike.
4. What would you tell someone that is on the fence about CrossFit and not sure whether they should give it a try or not?
Go into a CrossFit and see what the hype is all about. You have nothing to lose but a lifetime of health, friendships, and happiness to gain.
5. What is your proudest CrossFit accomplishment thus far?
I have many moments in which I’ve been proud of myself, but the two that remember the most are: First, winning the last Friday Night Lights competition. I remember Donny explaining to all the athletes that we would not be competing as teams as planned, instead, it was every man for himself. I remember feeling my heart sink to my stomach and wanting to sneak out. I participated in the scaled division and remember giving it my all each round. Every time I thought I was done, Adrian or Anne would come up to me and say, “Catch your breath, you’ve made it to the next round!” I couldn’t believe it, but I kept pushing and giving it my all. It definitely paid off because in the end I won and went home feeling accomplished. My second proudest moment would have to be participating in my first Trodo with Jill, Abby, and Rachel M. These women were very motivating and a ton of fun to workout with. We gave it our all during this competition and went on to win the Grit award.
6. Tell us something about you that nobody knows, preferably an embarrassing story!
A day or two before the Ventura’s going away party I posted a goodbye message to Aris and Cheryl. I basically wished them well and explained that I would not attend their party because I’m not good with good-byes. Well, a day or two before the party I was at my usual 7:30pm WOD. I remember Dave coming up to me and saying, “So, what’s up with you and GBs?” I gave him a blank stare while thinking in my head, “WTH, is he serious? God help me not put him in a choke hold. I can’t go to jail, I have to work tomorrow and I have a family.” All of those thoughts ran through my head in a matter of seconds. I know Dave realized I either didn’t hear him or didn’t understand because he asked me again and finally said, “You know? Good byes.” I quickly said, “Oh Yeah! I’m bad with goodbyes because I cry every time.” As Dave walked away I couldn’t stop thinking what’s wrong with me? You see, although I heard Dave say “GB,” my sick head thought “BJ!” Hence my blank stare and wanting to pound him. Yikes…sorry! I’m able share the story because I can actually laugh about it now, but it wasn’t funny and quite embarrassing at the time.
7. If you could workout with ANYONE…who would it be and why?
My grandfather would be the person I would have loved to workout with. As a former boxer, he lived a healthy 96 years of his life eating healthy and training every day.
8. If you could have dinner with 3 people, any lifetime, who and why?
My brother, Danny, because he passed away at the young age of 36 years old and I have so much to share with him. My son, Manny, because I haven’t seen him in two years. He lives a busy and exciting life that keeps him traveling and busy as a stunt coordinator. Finally, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, I want to know what the hell is running through that man’s head.
9. What do you love most about CrossFit Illumine?
I believe this has always been the number one answer to this question: The Community. The community at Illumine is like no other and that is due to Charleen, Brian, and the rest of the amazing coaches that work hard every day to make sure each member feels important. Thanks to Illumine I’m reaching my personal health goals, meeting great people, and creating friendships with people that I would have never met at a regular gym.
10. What is your favorite quote and/or motto…one that you live by?
“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”
~ Mark Twain