When I sat down with Renay for her 'No Sweat Intro' several months ago, I remember thinking, this one is driven! I asked her what made her choose us and she replied with, "I read the client stories on your website and want to have a story like that one day" Well, she definitely has an amazing story to share with us! Her drive and love for her community is so infectious and it is apparent that the confidence and the passion that she brings to the gym, she also applies to her everyday life.
My favorite aspect about being a part of the Ampersand family is that I get to meet and grow closer with new people everyday. Sometimes, I think I spend more time learning from the people that I coach than they do learning from me. I am grateful to know Renay and am thankful for what I have learned about myself from her and others like her in the gym.
So, without further adieu, here is my short-ish interview with Renay. Enjoy! - Coach Jeff
What are your passions?
My biggest passions are my job, fitness (specifically CrossFit) and spending time with son Nick, who is almost 16 and my dogs Kona, Beenz and Asker. I work at a juvenile detention center and am still happy with my job even after five years. I was in trouble as a teenager/young adult so ever since then it had always been my passion to work with at-risk youth. Because of my job fitness is very important to me as my job can be physical at times. My health is important as well as I want to live a long life so I can see my son grow and his accomplishments he achieves through life. One day, many years from now, I would like to and hope to have grandchildren. I enjoy many outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, fishing, shooting and even yard work.
Why did you start, and how did you find CrossFit?
I was extremely hesitant to try CrossFit at first as it has always been hard for me to step out of my comfort zone to try new things. I had been going to a regular gym for almost a year before I joined CrossFit and off and on throughout my adult life. I got to a point where I was spending about two hours every day at the gym and felt like I had hit a plateau. A friend of mine who had been doing CrossFit for several years had mentioned several times that I should try CrossFit. One day I had decided it was time to finally try it so I had started to research different CrossFit boxes in the area. CrossFit Ampersand was not the closest box to me but as I was doing my research something about them really impressed me as well as another client's story and I decided to contact them for a "no sweat intro". Joining CrossFit Ampersand has been one of the best decisions I have ever made not only because of the awesome workouts but I have met some pretty outstanding people.
What was your first impression?
My first impression of CrossFit was, how am I ever going to be able to do the things everyone else was doing. After I met with Jeff for the "no sweat intro" I felt a little better about my decision but was still super nervous. The one thing I really liked about CrossFit Ampersand was having to go through the on-ramp program. The one-on-one sessions where awesome as it taught me some proper form and I was able to get a taste of CrossFit without having to make a fool of myself in front of other people. From the very get go I had felt very welcomed by all the athletes and coaches I had crossed paths with. Needless to say, I can say my first impression of trying CrossFit and CrossFit Ampersand itself was and still is amazing!!
What are your goals?
My goals are to continue to build muscle, get toned and be a better me physically and mentally. In 2014 I had my L4-S1 vertebrae's fused after a car accident so it has also been my goal to strengthen my core to try and prevent any future injuries or surgeries to my back. My son is very proud to have a fit mom, so it is my goal to stay that way.
What has CrossFit done for you?
CrossFit has shown me how competitive I really am but more importantly it has shown me that I can do things I never thought I'd be able to do, like overhead squats, hand stand holds and rope climbs. It has given me the courage to step out of my comfort zone and made me realize I can achieve things that I once thought were impossible. It has helped me overcome fears such as jumping onto a box without gouging my shins and going into a handstand against a wall knowing the wall will always be there to catch me. CrossFit has shown me that every day I become a better me!! It has also shown me that it is possible for every muscle to be sore all the time even after seven months of CrossFit due to the varying workouts. Someone once told me, "Soreness is weakness leaving the body."
What’s one accomplishment you’re proud of during your time at CrossFit Ampersand?
One accomplishment I am extremely proud of since I joined CrossFit was participating and completing a CrossFit competition. This past July, about four months after I started CrossFit, I competed in The New Kids in the Box competition put on by Carson City CrossFit. That competition was my first competition I had ever been a part of and it was an amazing experience and one I will never forget. Throughout the day I had completed five workouts and they were no joke. My teammates and CrossFit family were there to cheer me on, show me support and push me even when I thought I couldn't do more. It was tough but I was extremely proud of myself for getting through it and I ended up placing fourth in my division.
Would you recommend CrossFit Ampersand to others?
I would absolutely recommend CrossFit Ampersand to others for many reasons. The most important reason is the coaching. Jeff, Harmony, JC and Marshall have a wealth full of knowledge about CrossFit and proper technique. They do a great job at sharing their knowledge and teaching movements with patience. It is evident that the goals of the athletes are important to them. CrossFit Ampersand and the equipment is kept very clean which is important when you are a germaphobe and you have to lie on the floor to catch your breath after an intense workout. Another reason I would recommend CrossFit Ampersand is because of the athletes. As I mentioned before, everyone is so welcoming and makes you feel as though you are a part of the CrossFit family. CrossFit Ampersand is a family and everyone helps each other out in one way or another. I would recommend CrossFit Ampersand simply because it is the BEST!
What advice would you give someone who is interested in CrossFit?
The advice I would give to someone interested in CrossFit is give it time, it'll be worth it. There may be a time when you question why you do CrossFit because of the intensity of it but keep coming back. Make CrossFit your addiction! It takes time to build strength, stamina and see results but eventually it happens and it is an amazing feeling. Some workouts are tough but as a coach (JC) once told me, "just keep moving" and you'll eventually get through it. The end result, whether it's the feeling you have after an intense workout or eventually reaching your goals, is so worth going through some crazy workouts. Actually, I think all the workouts are crazy but they give you such satisfaction at the end of them.
Anything else you would like add?
I would like to add that I am thankful I gave CrossFit a chance. It has truly been an amazing experience and is something I plan on doing for the rest of my life or for as long as I possibly can. The fee it costs to be a part of CrossFit has been so worth it because of the coaching and the push I get from the coaches and the other athletes. If I were to workout at home or on my own at a regular gym, I would never push myself as hard as I do at CrossFit Ampersand. I hope to one day be able to inspire many others as I have been inspired by so many.