May Member Spotlight
When you walk into Razorback and Foxcroft CrossFit each day, you will see athletes of all different ages and backgrounds with a common goal of a commitment to their health and bettering themselves. We are proud of the determination and hard work that they display as they are becoming healthier, stronger, quicker, and developing their overall fitness. Our growing community is an incredible group of athletes that are devoted to helping each other and themselves become better every day. As coaches, we feel extremely privileged to have the opportunity to work with so many like-minded, hardworking athletes to achieve their goals.
For our May installment of our Member Spotlight, we introduce Alan and Rebecca Tackett! Alan joined Razorback CrossFit in May of 2014, and Rebecca joined soon after once she noticed we offered a 1:00 p.m. class that would fit perfect in her schedule as a part-time preschool teacher!
How did you get started with CrossFit?
Alan: “I began CrossFit in January of 2012 – about 3 ½ years ago. At that time, I was over 40 lbs. heavier than I am today, and I could barely walk up a flight of stairs without getting out of breath. I decided that I had to do something to improve my health – if not for me, at least for my family’s sake. So I joined LRAC and began the typical cycle of minimal cardio training and doing a bunch of calf raises and bicep curls. To my surprise at the time, that didn’t work out so well. While casually standing around and not really lifting one morning at LRAC, I noticed this lady doing some very odd training that involved moving heavy weights, yelling a lot during lifting, and lying on the ground in an exhausted pool of sweat when done. So, I thought, “Well, if I’m going to do this, let’s do this right and give it a shot.” The lady looked somewhat familiar to me, as I had sat in on work-related meetings with her before, so I decided to approach her and the trainer about joining them the next day. I was so nervous the next day about the training that I considered backing out, but I had to go – otherwise I couldn’t ever show my face again at LRAC. The WOD that morning was BRUTAL, I mean BRUTAL. This inspiring lady, Jennifer Hunt, ate me up in the workout – but I was addicted.”
Rebecca: “I started CrossFit around a year ago. I was a runner and didn’t really do anything else. I loved running, but I wanted more of a challenge so I joined Razorback CrossFit with Alan."
Do you remember what your first CrossFit workout was?
Rebecca: “I don’t remember what my first WOD was, but I do remember how I had to learn to do a squat correctly. It was so fun to pick up a bar and learn correct lifting technique. Olympic weightlifting was totally new for me and I learned how fun it was! Like I said, I don’t remember my very first WOD but I do remember my first Hero WOD. It was Murph and it was the absolute hardest thing I think I have ever done! It took me 70 minutes to finish and I was so proud that I did it.”
Alan: “My first WOD on that BRUTAL morning was Filthy Fifty. Of all workouts, it had to be Filthy Fifty. On paper I was thinking yeah I got this; in reality, I couldn’t do more than 5 twenty-inch box jumps without grabbing my knees in exhaustion. Once the 30-minute mark came around, we had to call time and I really hadn’t made a dent in the list of movements. Humbling, yes… Inspiring, even more so. What was strange to me was hearing Jennifer encourage me on after she was done. I had no idea that the foundation of CrossFit training is the community support – a very foreign concept to me at the time. “
What do you like most about CrossFit?
Rebecca: “It is, most definitely, the community! I have made so many friends doing CrossFit at Razorback. Everyone is so supportive and encouraging. All of the coaches are engaging and do a fantastic job teaching proper technique.”
Alan: “It is without question, the community support. I find it much more satisfying to help or encourage someone and see them get a personal record rather than focusing solely on how I’m performing.”
What is your favorite exercise or workout?
Alan: “My favorite WOD is Murph. First and foremost, I really enjoy how Hero WODs recognize military personnel that lost their lives serving, which really puts our freedom into perspective. I did Murph within the first few months of starting CrossFit and finished close to an hour. I quickly realized running any distance at all was a huge weakness of mine, so I began training for medium distance running. I saw my return on investment the next year when Murph came back around. Also, I really enjoy the community aspect of Murph as it is typically a large group of people coming together to pay respect, have fun, and enjoy Memorial Day.”
Rebecca: “My favorite exercise moves are pull-ups and kettlebell swings. Pull-ups were very hard when I started, but I’m getting so much stronger practicing them. I can’t wait to ditch the band! Kettlebell swings were also difficult at first because I had zero upper body strength, but as my strength has improved, I’ve been able to move up in weight. The day I moved to the yellow, 35 lb. kettlebell was a happy day!”
What changes have you noticed since you’ve started CrossFit?
Rebecca: “I am seeing a huge change in my upper body strength and in my endurance while running. After doing CrossFit for a few months, training for my second half marathon was much easier for me.”
Alan: “The physical changes are the most obvious for most people in CrossFit. I’ve lost over 40 lbs. and have gotten into great shape. When I started CrossFit, I was on medication for high blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides. Within one year, I was completely off all medication and had a perfect bill of health! The combination of CrossFit and a fairly strict Paleo diet have kept this perfect bill of health to date. I also firmly believe that one changes mentally for the best with this type of training. Feeling better physically directly translates into a better mental approach to life.”
What goals have you accomplished, and what are your next goals you are working towards?
Rebecca: “One thing I’ve accomplished is learning good technique with the weightlifting portion of my workout. I feel like I know when my lift is not perfect because the coaches have broken down every move for me. I now know what the lift should feel like, not just what it will look like. Pull-ups without a band and stringing together double-unders are my main goals right now in my workouts.”
Alan: “Directly related to CrossFit, the goals that I have met over the last year include adding 10% PRs to many of my Olympic lift maxes, as well as getting more efficient on certain gymnastic moves like ring muscle-ups. Also, I had achieved a goal of improving my overall ranking in the CrossFit Open. Not directly related to CrossFit: I invested about 3 months of training for a good time in the Little Rock half marathon and was happy with that outcome. For this upcoming year, I have set goals to (1) add another 10% onto my lifts, (2) improve my overall ranking in the CrossFit Open, and (3) be more helpful and supportive to others during class times.”
How has CrossFit helped you in your everyday life?
Alan: “I think CrossFit has impacted all areas of my life including work, friends, and family. I’ll focus on family and specifically on my wife Rebecca. Rebecca started CrossFit about a year ago at Razorback, so she had to endure about two years before that of me talking about CrossFit non-stop. Rebecca and I ran together before she started CrossFit, but in general, running is rather boring and not a fun topic of conversation. I think in the pre-CrossFit days for Rebecca that my obsession with getting healthy through CrossFit and eating correctly gave us a lot to talk about. I also think in general, I was somewhat better to be around when I was feeling healthy. Now that Rebecca is doing CrossFit, I think it provides even more common ground for conversation and interaction. Everyone is busy with work and life outside of home, but having a common ground and shared interests with your significant other makes all the “work” in life much easier.”
Rebecca: “I feel like CrossFit has helped me in so many ways in my everyday life. I have so much more energy now that I’m working out on a regular basis and doing different movements, and not just running. It’s so fun to do CrossFit with my husband and cheer each other on. He has been so supportive of me and I love that it’s something we can talk about and do together as a couple.”
What advice would you give to someone new to CrossFit, or someone who is thinking about joining?
Alan: “My advice is to embrace being scared and intimidated of CrossFit because it is humbling. Approach it with a relentless desire to get better each day and to participate in the community.”
Rebecca: “I would tell them to stick with it! Don’t give up because it will be hard! Also, try not to be intimidated; everyone in the class with you was in your shoes at one time.”