Honestly, my goals in life are simple. I always wanted to be a good wife, good mother and a good example to all of those around me. In doing all of that, I need to be able to be strong mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally.
Being a part of Triumph is, well, totally awesome. First, it definitely helps me be the best me I can be for my family. It has increased my mental toughness by leaps and bounds. I’ve learned day in and day out by walking into Triumph that it’s up to me to decide what I can and can’t do. Sometimes it doesn’t happen that day, but it’s no reason to give up.
I can remember in my early CrossFit days seeing the things that people would do and I thought to myself “Holy crap! I’ll never be able to do that.” But, little by little, I’ve seen myself inch closer and closer to those goals and in some cases pass them. In some cases, I just needed a coach to tell me to pick up the bar one more time and try again. I needed someone else to show me they had confidence in me when I wasn’t quite sure. Sometimes it was staying after class to work on that first pull-up or try that failed clean and jerk for a new PR AFTER time expired during the first open workout this year.
Second, Triumph helps me be a good example to my family. A little over seven years ago the only time you would have heard my name and exercise in the same sentence was to hear “Heather doesn’t exercise.” I got to a point where I needed to make some changes. Some changes are still being made but my kids see the difference in me physically and mentally, and they actually ask me to work out with them. Both of them have participated in the CrossFit Kids classes as well. My husband, despite being a farmer all his life and being physically active in that aspect, also realizes it’s sometimes necessary to make changes as you get older. Together, we all try to be a little more active and better eaters to become a better US. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!!
So yes, Triumph has helped me achieve my goals and create new ones as I go. Ironically, I’ve had to modify some of my goals due to some minor physical setbacks, and the coaches have helped me see and understand that the ultimate goal is to stay healthy and safe and have helped me modify my workouts when needed.
One of my biggest improvements has been mental. Instead of telling myself I can’t do something, I ask myself “Why not? Why can’t I do a muscle-up? Why should I let numbers on weights tell me I can or can’t. They are just numbers, but I’m boss of my destiny in that gym.” It’s made me realize that at any given time, I am where I never thought I would be several years ago when I started CrossFit, but I’m also where somebody else thinks they can’t be today.
Almost three years ago I was invited to a free Saturday class (thanks Whitney Rich) when Triumph (UMPH at the time) was just getting started. That day was all it took. I was hooked. I was diligent for 3-4 months but then the busy season of my work got in my way. Then, out of the blue, I started to connect with more and more people. For me, it became the unofficial buddy system. People would ask where I was or reach out to make sure everything was ok. It made me feel like people cared. It’s been a snowball effect ever since.
I feel like the community is a just that: a community. There are so many different types of people from so many different walks of life that I never would have met otherwise. I can’t imagine not being associated with and knowing these people who are such a huge part of my life right now. Honestly, it’s sometimes the thought of just walking in there to see all the people that gives me the motivation to go.
In case, you can’t already tell, I kind of like this place … a little. Who am I kidding? I LOVE this place … A LOT. Other than the community vibe and helping make me a better person, my favorite thing about Triumph is the coaches. It is amazing to watch each of the coaches work out, sometimes multiple times a day. I’m amazed at all they are capable of, which really shouldn’t be a surprise. What stands out in my mind is, on more occasions than I can count, watching them not only tell us the workout but doing it right alongside the very athletes they train.
To prove my point, I was looking for a partner for a competition last fall. I just threw it out there on Facebook. The first person to agree to be my partner was none other than one of our fabulous coaches, Chris Lemmel. I often asked myself if he knew what he was getting himself into, and then I started to wonder about what I had gotten myself into. Here’s what I found out: Chris only wanted me to be the best that I could be that day. He didn’t ask me to be the best that HE could be that day. He also didn’t “trump” my thoughts on how to tackle something or tell me I needed to do something that I wasn’t comfortable doing (those darn box jumps). We made decisions as a team. At that point in time, him believing in me enough to stand beside me as my partner was what I needed at that time.
Lastly, one of my favorite things about the coaches is their desire and willingness to create bonds with the members and keep the future bright. They are always looking for ways to keep members engaged (whether it’s socially, from a goal perspective or from a personal perspective). They are constantly looking to make things better for all members (present and future). I feel like they often know if I’m having a bad day before I do. They like me for me and just want me to be the best me I can be and want to help me get there safely.