The Bliss Family Member Spotlight

jbliss deadlift






Growing up, I have always been active and played sports.  After college, I enlisted into the US Army.  I obviously had extreme physical fitness as a part of my everyday life.  I was easily able to work both strength training and running into my daily routine, as I was able bench press 405 pounds and ran 2 miles in 10:17.  Near the end of my Army days, I injured my back and neck, and was unable and didn’t feel like working out every day.  When I accepted a job with the Columbus Division of Police, my vigor for working out was renewed.  We ran and did calisthenics every day during the training academy.  However, as a patrol officer working third shift, I did not have the energy to work out a lot.  I was a member of Urban Active and only lifted weights.  While my strength and size were good, I knew my cardio was lacking.  After 4 years, I switched to the Columbus Division of Fire.  During the training academy, I was able to get my cardio and strength back to where it should be.  Prior to joining SCCF, I struggled daily with going to the gym.  I wanted to lift weights and get strength and size, but I also knew cardio was important too.  I was always at home complaining about my workout routines, so that is when Kristin mentioned CrossFit because of some friends sharing about it on Facebook.  I had always heard about it, but never gave it a chance.  I did some research and decided to dive in, as it would be the perfect balance between lifting and cardio work.  I LOVE SCCF and everything about CrossFit.  It has helped me get into great shape physically, and I have lost about 28 pounds!!  It has very functional movements that I use on my job as a Firefighter/Paramedic (deadlifts for lifting the cot from the ground to standing).  Though I have struggled through some injuries early on, I have pushed on and am finally feeling like I am getting this CrossFit thing.  Thank you to the coaches and everyone at SCCF for encouraging and pushing me forward.

kbliss rope climbKristin:

CrossFit has completely changed the way I feel about myself and how I approach the things I fear. Instead of being intimidated by something that seems daunting, I now have the mental capacity and focus to realize our bodies were made to be spectacular, and only by pushing ourselves can we realize our true potential. When I walked into my first CrossFit class, I was so nervous. Like ridiculously nervous because I didn’t know anything about the weird terminology and I wasn’t sure I could do any of the moves…. It took a couple months for that to wear off, but what came in its place was a surprising confidence in myself and what I am able to accomplish. It wasn’t instant, and I’m still working on it, but as I practice movements and gain strength and suddenly find myself able to do something I never in my life thought I’d be able to (hello handstand push-ups), it is one of THE best feelings in the world. I guess that’s why CrossFit is so ridiculously addicting – the rush you get from hard work, sweat, and then success. There are times when I get frustrated because I don’t feel like I’m mastering moves as fast as I’d like, or finish slower than I’d like, but the secret is to push through the rough days because you’ll be so glad you did. The ‘off’ days make you stronger because you have to push your mind *your own worst enemy* to do beyond what it says you can do. And I’ve learned it will as soon as you shut it up.

My goal with CrossFit was to get back into good physical condition so I could feel better about myself and be healthier and a good example for my kids. I had always loved being active and showing the boys I could keep up with them when I was growing up. I played college soccer for MVNU which was when I was in the best shape of my life *hello running*, and I always worked out (I ran at nine months pregnant Round One) up until my second baby. I slowly stopped being physically active after our second child because of work, family, and lack of motivation. I gained weight but lost a part of who I am. During this time I was diagnosed with a hormonal disorder called PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). The tiniest bit of research shows women with PCOS have insulin resistance, which makes it extremely difficult to lose weight, and extremely easy to gain weight. But that makes my journey that much more of a success to me, and something I am so very proud of. I’ve lost over 20 pounds in four months. Three months into my CrossFit journey I was able to run the Cap City Half Marathon, 13.1 miles, with no other prep. I also completed the Savage Race, a 6-mile challenging mud obstacle course, and competed in a local CrossFit team competition which was a blast!

I think what sets CrossFit apart from other gyms/workouts/training is the way it is designed. Your class is a team, your instructor is a coach, and everyone cheers on the last person to finish the workout as if they’ve ‘won’ something! Having great coaches to instruct and encourage you the entire workout makes all the difference. Coaches Tim and Kyle are very good at what they do and make the classes fun. It’s so much better than going to a gym, working out to a video, or going for a solo run. I had already been turned on to the science of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) thanks to Chalene Johnson, and CrossFit encompasses that and so much more with strength training. Plus you make awesome friends who get share your obsession and encourage you to be your best.

Truly, if I can do this, anyone can. There is no secret besides dedication, hard work and finding a great box (gym). There are no shortcuts, and it won’t be easy. But I guarantee it will be one of the most rewarding things you will ever do.