From the Coaches: “Where do we start… Jessica is a long overdue Athlete of the Month, an amazing person, and huge part of our community here at Manta Ray. She has been with us since the beginning and impressed us since Day 1. When she works, she works hard and gives it everything she has. She has a passion for life and it shows in all aspects including her workouts and her relationships. Jess and her family have been intimately involved with everything we have done at EFC since their arrival. They rarely miss an offsite workout, Potluck, or competition. Her children, Lily and Sophia, are dedicated CrossFit Kids and her husband Cliff is a coach here at Manta Ray. Like we said before, Jess and her family are a very important part of our community. Their popularity was on display when she and Cliff were crowned Prom Queen and King at our last CrossFit Prom. We are blessed to have Jess as part of the Manta Ray family, as an athlete and a friend, she truly makes EFC a better place with her presence.
I have always been athletic. I played sports all through high school; basketball, volleyball, soccer, track, softball and cheerleading… yes, it’s a sport. I became a certified personal trainer right out of college. So health and exercise have always been a part of my life. But at 37, as a working mom with two kids, I found myself in a rut. I wasn’t happy with what I saw in the mirror. I had tried everything from Insanity, to P90X. Atkins, South Beach, Zone and every diet in between had left me frustrated. I had heard of CrossFit, but that was for crazy people… the insanely fit, right?
On a whim, and somewhat out of desperation, I bought a Groupon for a month at Evolve Fitness Clearwater, and it changed my life! I remember my first day of OnRamp like it was yesterday. “Baseline” – 500M row, 40 air squats, 30 sit ups, 20 pushups, 10 pull ups. 2wo minutes in, I was sure I would die. My body was screaming at me to stop, but I didn’t. That old competitive voice inside me, the one from my high school days, was screaming louder to go faster, to push harder. 7 minutes of pure agony passed on the clock, and it was over. I did it, and I didn’t die. “Take that, body!” As I lay on the gym floor gasping for air, I knew I was hooked.
We joined two weeks later, and what a journey it has been. I lost 25lbs in my first 90 days. But more than just pounds on a scale, my physique was changing. I didn’t recognize the body in the mirror. I would do a double take sometimes as I caught my reflection. But the best part of all of it is that CrossFit changed me on the inside. It awakened the competitive spirit within, and it has taught me that I am always capable of more. In life and in love, give it your all. There’s always a little more gas in the tank. Push yourself. Challenge yourself. Break the mold. You might just surprise yourself!
I am blessed to have been on this journey with my awesome husband, and it’s changed him too. He is now a certified CrossFit coach, and has found his inner beast. Both of my girls have joined CrossFit Kids and are learning these same lessons. That you are capable of more. You can do anything you put your mind to. My 9-year-old is strong and fast, and loves her CrossFit family. My 11-year-old has autism, and she has found her happy place at EFC. They challenge her, and push her, and show her that ability really is limitless! We are a CrossFit family, and we are better because of it!