Where do I even start?? I never thought I would be nominated, so I'm still in shock by this; but I'm so happy, excited, and feel even more motivated to do better.
For those of you who don't know me or have never seen me, my go to classes are the 9am or 10am during the summer but with classes and now work, I'm just happy to fit a workout in my schedule, so I go when I get the chance...you just won't ever see me at the 5:30am or 6:30am unless somethings wrong with me.
I guess since this is a 'college girls' spotlight, I'll tell you a bit about that. I graduated from Bracken Christian School in 2014 and with not the slightest idea of what I wanted to do with my life, which school I wanted to go to, or what major I would declare...I started my college journey at Northeast Lakeview to get my basics out of the way!...while at Lakeview, after going back and forth a couple times, I made the decision to be a nursing major with the intention of becoming a nurse practitioner in the future. So as of right now I'll be a junior in the fall finishing up my last 3 classes at Lakeview before I transfer to a unknown nursing school.
As far as working out or being active, I've always been that active kid..you can ask Hannah, I much rather be outside doing something rather than just sitting watching tv. As a little girl, I did tumbling for a couple years and after every class my dad wanted me to do some push ups so I would be a strong little girl. I was 'forced' to do karate (so that I could defend myself) as a little girl in kindergarten but I didn't want to because of 'cooties' from the little boys in class but later tried it again in middle school but it still wasn't my cup of tea even though I always find myself beating up on my dad and older brother. Every weekend as a kid growing up in the hill country I remember having to move rocks or move mulch if I wanted 'freedom' the next day..or I have recently found myself moving branches for the fun of it (if it can even be fun) just because I was tired of sitting around. I played sports in middle school and high school. So to say the least, sitting still for long periods of time really isn't in my blood.
I really started working out and going to the gym my junior year of high school. I would go to the gym a lot and really enjoyed/ looked forward to those days/ nights in the gym. But after I graduated high school going to the gym didn't happen as much I would have liked. I still wanted to go to the gym but had lost the motivation to actually get myself in the gym. So after complaining about it for long enough Hannah and I decided we were going to do something to stop the complaining and try ABC/IACF for the summer. I was nervous at first, as I am with anything I try for the first time. But ever since that first day I have been hooked. I honestly feel like I'm addicted to this place. Its something I can't get enough of..I'm always drawn back here. There was a time when I stopped coming for 3 months and tried to get back into a regular gym but I didn't have that same draw, motivation, or excitement to workout like I get from ABC/ IACF.. I missed the workouts, the results, and people I had met in the months before; so my only solution was to come back and now I'm not leaving!! This place is so much more than just a gym or a place to make gains and get swole...although it is a good place for that too!! Its a place that is home. It has been a place that helped me get back on my feet when I felt like I was falling because it is a place that welcomes everyone with arms wide open and is a place filled with such sweet, tender hearted people. People that speak kind words to one another on a daily basis..whether it's just encouraging them through the wod or something as simple as ''hi, how are you?' 'you look nice today' or 'it's so good to see you again.' Its a place that has made me feel loved. ABC/ IACF has given me more confidence mentally, physically, and spiritually. It's a place that encourages me and makes me want to be a better person. It's a place that pushes me beyond my limits physically and mentally by having wods, people, and coaches telling me 'you can do it!!' louder than voice in my head telling me I can't or I shouldn't do it. I'm thankful for the coaches, the people, and the for the 2 people (TW and Channel) for making this place such a unique but AMAZEN place that many of us can come to better ourselves and consider another 'home.'
Why would I be nominated as a Spotlight Bootcamper? I have asked myself this question multiple times since I was notified that my ABC and IACF family have nominated me to be honored in this way. I want to start off by thanking each one of the precious souls that I have met at this beautiful gym, including the coaches and Channel and Tommy.
If you know me, you know that I hold myself to very high standards. I don’t settle for mediocre and am definitely a self-proclaimed “perfectionist”. This is applicable to anything between school, working out, or even day-to-day rituals. I think this is important when describing my fitness journey because it is something that has enhanced my fitness journey, but has also had its detriments on the whole experience.
My fitness journey is something that has been a part of me ever since I can remember. I am only nineteen years old, as of today, but I can remember participating in many differing sports and athletic activities since I was elementary aged. Whether it be softball/t-ball, basketball, or soccer, I was always busy year around with practices, games, and tournaments (school and select). Let me just throw it out there, I wouldn’t of been able to balance all of this without the support of my parents. They are by far my biggest supporters and fans and I couldn’t be more grateful for them. We lived in Nebraska and then later Kansas at the time, so of course there wasn’t much competition when it came to playing time and I always found myself the “star athlete”. I loved the idea of competition, but I loved the idea of winning even more.
At Smithson Valley High School, I immediately engrossed myself in the basketball program. Since I was a little girl, I always had this dream of playing college sports at the University of Nebraska. When I was little, I always thought this would have been softball, but I never really got acclimated to the softball seasons when I moved here to Texas so I stopped participating in the sport altogether. I loved playing basketball. This wasn’t just because of the teammates I got to call my best friends, but because I had a starting spot and ended up being the leading scorer my freshman year. Wow I sound very egotistical, but those things were huge to me back then. On the LAST day of school my freshman year, in the last 10 MINUTES of the school day, my team was scrimmaging and I just so happened to tear my meniscus. My doctor told me that I would need this surgery if I ever wanted to play sports again. Well obviously that wasn’t even a question. It was a long 6 months of rehab, but I was finally able to play my sophomore year season after all the hard work. I had just as good of a season by the numbers, but I wasn’t getting the playing time I thought I deserved. By the grace of God, just as this was happening, Mrs. Daigle (the softball coach at SVHS) approached me regarding coming to play softball for her and her husband.
On the first day of practice, right after my basketball season had ended, the Daigles were quick to comment on my natural athletic ability. I remember them distinctively saying, “We don’t know if you’re a great softball player yet, but we can already tell you’re a hell of an athlete.” This small statement has meant so much to me even today. If you have ever played or come to know the Daigles, you will understand me when I say they are a gift. Not only did these individuals teach me skills to become a better softball player, they also taught me life skills I will forever cherish. I played for them my sophomore and junior year of high school, but decided to not involve myself in any sports my senior year. I cherish the challenges that high school brought me in the realm of sports because I think I was definitely put through a reality check that it’s okay to not always be the best.
Rewinding back to middle school, I was brought to aMAZEn Bootcamp for the first time by Amy Shuler. At this time, Channel was coaching in Rim Rock Ranch and I thought Amy was crazy bringing me to come work out with her. When I got there and saw that I was the youngest one to be working out, the first thing that came to mind was that I was going to smoke all of them and finish first without question. Let’s just say, that didn’t go as planned. I was frustrated knowing that I, a young individual who has been athletic and involved in sports her life, was getting beat by women who were three times my age and more! I know it should have made me want to work harder, but this only made me not want to come anymore because I wasn’t the best one. My mother, Kari Brown, started going to Bootcamp when Channel was at Powerhouse and I remember showing up every-so often to come workout with my mom. Again, after every workout I would become frustrated because I wasn’t finishing where I thought I should be finishing. It was very frustrating. However, my mother was always there being my listening ear. If you’ve met my mother, you know she is always so bubbly and a ball of sunshine every time she comes in the gym. After I was done complaining to her about my athletic performance, she would tell me to shut up and stop whining because at least I was able to show up and suit up. She didn’t want to listen to my complaining. This is when I realized that working out is for MY benefit. My workout doesn’t need to impress others, but it rather needs to be used to better myself both mentally and physically. Thank you Mom <3
The stress of college has put a damper on my availability to workout during the school year, but luckily the Rec Center has become my home away from home. Although I prefer the challenge that Bootcamp and Crossfit WODs bring, the regular gym just has to do sometimes ;) I love being back here for the summer because I get to be around all of you and get to be back at a gym that I am at more than my own house (a little exaggeration but close to being true). Whether it be coming to open gym with Tracy and showing up again for 6:30 workouts later so I’m able to workout with my mother, or waking up at the butt-crack of dawn to workout before my day even starts, I couldn’t be more thankful for everything this gym as taught me. I have always been athletic and strong physically, but this gym has built me mentally. Although I still sometimes throw my fits on not having a good performance, I know that I am only in control of what my body can do and I am grateful I am able to do this each and every day. Courtney
Ahh!! First of all I want to say how excited and honored I am to be a spotlight athlete. I guess I’ll start by saying my life has always revolved around sports or athletics. I started competitive gymnastics at age 4 and shortly after starting my parents realized they had their hands full. We spent countless hours in the gym growing up, and many weekends consisted of driving around Texas to all the different meets. I attended Bracken Christian School from K-4 through my senior year, so once middle school rolled around I called it quits with gymnastics and started “normal” sports with volleyball, basketball, track and one year of cheer. I was hooked, I loved everything about them; the competition, the team bonding and my favorite part was winning. Volleyball was definitely where I found my niche, so I joined a club team where I got to travel more and made some of my bestfriends. Finally high school came around and I started running cross-country along with volleyball, basketball, and track (small school we had to recycle athletes). My high school experience would not have been anything close to what it was without all the road trips, early morning practices and teammates I encountered in my four years. After graduation I started at Texas A&M (A-A-A-A-A!!!) where I will be returning as a sophomore in the Fall. Okay, so when did crossfit come into the picture? The summer before my freshman year Bracken offered a summer strength and conditioning program through Comal Crossfit, I remember doing (more like struggling through) the “baseline” wod the very first time I went in and quickly wondering, “what the heck did I sign myself up for??” but something about it drew me back every time, I went back to Comal Crossfit every summer until my senior year when Dimare and I decided to try out ABC/IACF to see what all the hype was about…. and wow, I am so glad we did!! From day one everyone welcomed us with open arms. I cannot thank you ALL enough for pushing me not only physically but spiritually too. I look forward to coming to the gym not only because I know I’ll be getting a good workout, but I love the community and “gym family” I have surrounding me while we all get healthier. There is something truly special about this place, it has taught me more than just how to “snatch” a bar, I have gained so many life lessons from being around such an incredible group of people, you all inspire me to be the best I can be and to push myself and those around me to live a life worth Christ dying for. Also, shout out to Tommy and Channel for creating such an awesome place, you two have shown us what true faith in God looks like regardless of the hardships you have encountered.