Women Who Lift: Meet Joan

Welcome to my feature: Women Who Lift. If you are interested in being interviewed for the series, please email me at jennifer@metamorfit.org  I would love to spotlight you. You don't have to have a blog, you just have to be a woman who lifts!

Today I am spotlighting Joan. Joan works out at my box CrossFit En Fuego. I had the opportunity to meet Joan many months ago during a 9 am class and she's inspired me countless times since then. Joan is the embodiment of the philosophy of if you take care of your body, your body will take care of you.



Name: Joan H.
Age: 48  ( for a few more weeks! Smile)
Occupation: stay at home mom, but the nest has been empty for 2 months!  I also do some part time accounting project work.
Location: Lutz, Florida 
Favorite WOD: “9-11 Tribute WOD” at Crossfit EnFuego
Favorite Lift: Push Press
Deadlift Max: 175 lb
Back squat Max: 105 lb
Overhead Max: Which lift? 85 lb Clean and Jerk
Favorite Girl?

Got Muscle-ups? no
1 mile run
: 8:34

How long have you been CrossFitting? 4 years

What keeps you coming back/motivated? The results; going consistently and doing my best every time I am there makes me feel better and will help me stay healthy.  Also, I have met a great group of friends and I enjoy spending part of my day with them!

How did you find CrossFit?  A gym that I had been going to closed and I liked group fitness classes so I tried a class at a gym that I had driven by several times that looked interesting.  I had no idea it was a CrossFit gym at the time, nor did I have any idea what CrossFit was.  I did a different workout than everyone else and I really didn’t understand the structure of this gym.  I went home and got online and saw it was a CrossFit gym and then I became curious about what CrossFit was.  I linked to the CrossFit website and saw that there was a different gym that was closer to my home.  So, I called the number and spoke to Pete!  CrossFit EnFuego was getting ready to open! He told me when the first class would be.  He was very professional, enthusiastic and nice!  So, I showed up to a class that first week and have been there ever since!  I am honored to be an original member and that I got to start doing CrossFit with an awesome group of people! 

What is your athletic background (If applicable)?  I have always been active, which mostly included running and typical gym workouts and classes.

How has CrossFit changed your life, lifestyle, level of fitness?  I am doing things I never even heard of before, and I think that is fun!  I look forward to going to the gym.  I know the importance of maintaining a certain level of strength and fitness as I get older.

What is the one thing you have done at CrossFit that you never thought you could do? I didn’t have any prior experience with many of the exercises we do, but I would have to say doing a pull up (yes, just one!) without assistance was a big deal since I remember NOT being able to do them in P.E. class ages ago! 

What motivates/inspires you?  The coaches and the people that I have met at Crossfit En Fuego.  Everyone is very supportive, encouraging and fun!  The workouts are challenging, but the atmosphere is not at all intimidating and we are well coached on how to scale a workout.  We are always learning new things or working on improving what we have already learned.  The atmosphere is great and I have never experienced anything like it at other gyms.  I have not gotten bored yet! 

What is your proudest CrossFit achievement?  I spent at least a year and a half trying to do just one double under, so when I finally did one, I was pretty proud.  It was only one, but I didn’t care!  Not too long after that, I did not scale a workout that included double unders.  It took me a long time to finish that day, but I did finish.  I still cannot do them very well, some days are better than others, so I will often do singles with a few double unders thrown in.

Name one goal/personal achievement you would like to achieve through CrossFit?  I want to be more consistent with exercising when I am out of my normal routine.  There are so many ideas for workouts that you can do without equipment.

What goals have you achieved in CrossFit?  I am not very good at setting specific goals.  I have a more general goal of staying active and healthy.  I take things one day at a time and do my best that day.

Hobbies/Interests outside of CrossFit?  Travel, running and spending time with my family

Do you follow a special diet? Paleo? Whole30?  I followed the Whole 30 program about a year ago and developed some healthy habits from that.  For the most part, (definitely not always), I try to stay away from processed foods.

What is your favorite meal?  Pork tenderloin with mashed plantains

Any advice for new members?  Be patient and don’t be too hard on yourself.  Do your best when you are there and ask about scaling.  Anyone can do Crossfit; your ability is not compared to anyone else’s.  I still scale just about everything and I am okay with that!



If you haven't tried CrossFit yet, what's stopping you??

The Evolution of a Dead Lift PR

PR stands for a Personal Record. Throughout my weight loss and fitness journey I've had the opportunity to set all sorts of PR's. 2011-2012 was my year to set running PR's. In 2013 I made the commitment to MY KIDS that this would be the year for THEM to set running PR's so every race we've done together has been at their pace. They've been quite happy with WALKING most of the races, so my running has really gone to pot this year, but that's OK, I've had the opportunity to set PR's in other areas.

When I started CrossFit back in March (wow, has it been 7 months already?!?!) PR's hadn't even crossed my mind. My box is not one where people write down their times daily on the whiteboard and compete and compare. It's very encouraging and you just do the best that YOU can do.

I don't remember at what point I started thinking about PR's, but I know in terms of dead lifts, I started to think about it when I hit 180#. I have a CrossFit blogger friend, Lydia over at Running Wilder who commented on my 180lb picture "congrats, you'll be in the 200# club soon." And that's when it hit me, I had a PR goal that I wanted to be able to lift 200 pounds. 200lbs was just under the amount of weight I had lost and I wanted to feel what it was like to lift that much, and before I knew it, I did. I PR'd my dead lift on September 20, 2013 at 210 pounds.

That was HUGE for me. I cried. It felt like I had overcome a huge obstacle.

Earlier this week I had missed strength day at CrossFit En Fuego (which is typically on Wednesday) and when I saw the workout posted later that night, I knew what I'd be making up on Friday.

The workout consisted of a 9 minute "warm-up" of 100m sprints, followed by 5 air squats and 5 hanging knee raises alternating on odd/even minutes.

Then we had our strength work. 7 sets of a 3 rep strict press and 7 sets of a 3 rep dead lift. I went in today hoping that I could hit that 210# dead lift again.

I lifted with my strength buddy, J and together we decided that we'd both try to set new PR's. And we did! I literally shocked myself when I hit 210# and it went up easily. No struggle. I thought to myself, "what the heck Jenny, just last month 210 pounds was freaking HARD. What in the world have you been doing this past month?"

I do have an amazing programming coach. Everything that he plans for us is well thought out and with a purpose. Nothing is just thrown together. Obviously whatever he has been throwing our way has been good for dead lifts because today I hit a NEW PR!

240 POUNDS!!

I worked up to it. I did 7 sets of 3, adding weight each time. Once we hit 170 pounds we started going for a one rep max because my training partner's previous PR was 170, so we were going to take it nice and slow.

Is that crazy or what??? A 30 pound increase in 28 days!?!?!?!

I love this picture. I am in full on beast mode!

And a good PR wouldn't be complete without a video. Tongue Out

I honestly can't imagine that I can lift any heavier than this. But I'm going to keep doing what I've been doing. Which means that I'm going to be consistent with my workouts, with my weight selection, with my nutrition, and with my positive mindset.

What's something recently that you've done that you didn't think was possible??

Tween Devil Costume

Disclaimer: HalloweenAdventure.com provided me with this costume for Haley to review.

My three kids could not be more different when it comes to choosing their costumes for Halloween.

Haley wants to be a devil, Ella wants to be an angel, and Ronin wants to be a zombie. Not only do I need to find costumes that are fun, but they also need to be modest, comfortable, and appropriate for school.

After looking through their page of DEVIL costumes, it was a hard decision to pick one would be the one that I thought Haley would most enjoy and would fit my criteria.

But I did eventually settle on one and when it arrived she immediately tore open the package and put it on!

Haley is 9 years old, and is quite petite. I chose size Medium which according to their size chart is a size 8 and it fits her great! I wanted the skirt to be a little bit longer than how it was displayed in the ad, and I think that size Medium did just that. It's one piece, so I didn't have to worry about the skirt being too big that it would fall off her slender hips. Her upper body is what is supporting the entire costume!

It's super cute and she loves it. She puts it on every afternoon when she gets home from school.

Overall I am VERY HAPPY with Halloween Adventure.com. Shipping was quick, the item was well packed, and best of all...my tween is HAPPY!! And a happy tween is a happy house Smile

What are your kids dressing up as this year??