Jessica & Joey Slaughter

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How many rounds did you get today? I can finally do a handstand! Did you get a PR? I love doing snatches!

Jessica: This is how conversations go at our house these days. Until last winter, these thoughts weren’t even in our vocabulary. I gave Joey the “gift of Crossfit” for Christmas last year, because for years I heard him talk about wanting to get in shape, mostly after insomnia led him to infomercials.

Joey: I had thought about many types of workouts, from tv gimmick methods to karate. I had a friend tell me “you don’t need that; just go to Crossfit.”  The idea of lifting weights had never appealed to me (it reminded me of my brothers huffing and puffing in the mirror in high school) and I had no idea what Crossfit even was. So Jessica bought the membership for me, and at the first meeting with Evan he asked if I had watched any Crossfit videos, which I hadn’t -- I was completely unaware of what I was getting into. After my first workout I was disappointed in my performance but excited at what I realized could happen.

Jessica: He was hooked immediately, but it took a month before I joined him at the Box. I resisted at first because I was totally intimidated by the idea of gym equipment and gym people, and I thought Crossfit included people yelling in my face. He told me to “just go once” and do the intro with Evan. I did, and I’ve never wanted to stop.  It’s a gym, yes, but not a gym with scary equipment where you don’t know what to do. The people are great. All ages and fitness levels meet together, from teenagers to retirees. And the only yelling I’ve heard are words of encouragement-- never words of defeat.

Joey: It didn’t take long before I felt better, and could see my performance improve. I lost 20 pounds in two months. Each day before class I would feel apprehensive, nervous about the day’s WOD, but I would always find myself there, trying to get better for Jessica and the kids. The staff has always been great: helpful, knowledgeable, encouraging. They know how to push me. Now that I’ve been going for 9 months, I can say I love lifting weights. I grew up skateboarding, working on movements over and over to perfect them. I have a similar feeling with lifting; I enjoy learning correct positioning, working the movement repetitively to get the right feel and improve my weight.

Jessica: Joey and I are DIYers. Last year we took on the task of completely renovating a house, among our already-full schedules of jobs and two young kids. As the year progressed, our emotions ran from elation to complete despair. Crossfit really became a haven for me, where I would have my hour each day to work my ass off and not think about anything else. I have no real fitness background, so I began to learn how much mental strength is involved in training your body to do new things.

The actual “work” of the house was definitely made easier by our new-found WOD love. This summer, as we were sanding yet another ceiling, in the non-AC house, we had the realization-- “damn, this is way easier than when we started last year.” Painting ceilings, carrying 5 gallon buckets of mud, sanding and grouting and laying tile…..all were made easier because of our stronger bodies.

Joey: I am so proud of Jessica. She is strong and works so hard. We look forward each day to pushing ourselves. Usually we have to go to separate classes, but occasionally we get a “Crossfit date.”  We did Murph together on July 4, and it was a Crossfit highlight for sure. The other part of this experience that has made such a difference is our new diet, which is what makes this a lifestyle change, rather than just working out. We ate relatively well before, but eliminating processed foods and sugar has made a huge difference for us. We want to have the best quality of life we can, as well as set good examples for our kids with making smart food choices.  Our kids already see and know things about fitness and nutrition that we didn’t a year ago.

Christian DunnComment