1. What brought you to the gym?

Over the summer, my grandfather gave me some money for my grades. In the card, he wrote that he did not want me to spend the money on anything school related. I wanted to try a new workout routine, so an extensive search led me to Bellum. My grandfather gave me enough money to try out a few months of classes. I told myself I had to give it at least six months to decide if this new workout was for me. It has been 5 months, and I can’t imagine NOT coming to Bellum. Usually all of my pride comes from my academic accomplishments, but now I have my physical strength to be proud of.

2. What was your first impression?

I had no idea what to expect. I arrived early to my first class and wasn’t sure what I was going to do once I walked into the door. I wasn’t even sure how to properly stretch. Luckily, the coaches at Bellum tell you exactly what to do. You don’t have to think too much as they guide you through the hour long class. Did I mention I was terrified? I quickly realized that everything could be scaled. I also quickly learned that you are not competing against others in the class, you are competing against yourself. I am not sure if every CrossFit gym is like this, but it’s definitely one of the things I like best about Bellum. You set the bar for yourself and everyone is at different levels. Another thing I quickly realized was that everyone else in the room was looking out for me. People would cheer me on, ask me about school, and they really believed in me. Everyone at Bellum genuinely cares about each other. It’s a community unlike anything I’ve ever been a part of.

3. What are you most proud of?

Wow, this is a tough one. I am probably most proud of my squat. When I first started at Bellum in July, I couldn’t even do an air squat without almost falling over. My chest would collapse and I was not stable on my feet. In November, I was able to front squat 125 pounds. I am looking forward to the upcoming test week to see how much more I can lift now. The measurable progress is what keeps me going. I consistently come to the gym three times a week. Since I am usually off on the weekend, I make Sunday a training day that I never miss. During the week I pick two classes that I know I will be able to attend. I should also add that I am pretty proud of my biceps. I can’t wait to wear my new shirt that says, “I flexed so hard the sleeves fell off.” I really never imagined I would be proud of seeing my bicep muscles.

4. What are you working on now?

I am working on my nutrition. Doing individual nutrition counseling with Ann has taken my performance to the next level. You would think as a nurse I would be more aware of how the food I put into my body effects me on a molecular level. Having Ann guide me to finding the appropriate amount of macronutrients my body needs has been amazing. When I don’t eat enough, I don’t feel well. Everything I put into my body fuels my performance in and out of the gym. I am actually losing weight and increasing muscle by eating more food! Even at school I am more focused and I find that I have more energy. I only have 11 more months until I graduate from my Nurse Anesthetist program. Now I can perform my best, and I am far exceeding my expectations of what I used to think was my best.

5. Why have you stayed at Bellum?

Well besides that fact that I can see abs starting to develop, Bellum has showed me how to be proud of myself for things other than academics. The other day I strung together my first toes-to-bar. I quickly hopped down off the bar and looked around for you (Jenai).  You weren’t here, but I automatically looked for you because you are always cheering me on. I am incredibly thankful for you helping me feel pride in my accomplishments. And as for those abs, they will definitely be here by summer. Before I came to this gym, I never looked in the mirror and said, “wow, you look good.” Now I do. I absolutely love to write thank you cards and I wish I could put into words enough thanks, but I wouldn’t know where to start writing. I truly cannot thank you enough for everything that you and Ann have given me over the last 5 months, as well as the rest of the Bellum Community! I would have never guessed that I would be able to do what I am doing now and I know that the next few months will be just as great!

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