Doug & Jenn Windland

I’ve always been interested in improving my physical fitness, as far back as elementary school. Remember Field Day? Pull-ups, the mile, sit-ups, etc. – I wanted to be able to compete with the best in my school even though I was always middle of the pack at best. It was around that time the seed was planted that I had to basically run and lift weights to become faster and stronger. Throughout middle school I periodically lifted hand-me-down weights at home, and in high school I got my first gym membership. Yet, running track and cross country throughout those years was my primary interest. I couldn’t focus completely on both. Thus, I never had much opportunity to learn proper form and movement in a gym setting.

In college I took a break from running and spent more time in the gym, but I only seemed to get serious every time spring rolled around. Once a hard class popped-up or I got out of the gym routine my fitness would fall by the wayside. Then, enter the real world and I can’t tell you how many times I moved. And, with each and every move meant I had a to find a new place to workout. Basically hitting the restart button every time. It would take me several weeks if not months to get back into a routine… and into shape. And, oh by the way, I still didn’t truly know what I was doing in the gym when I did get into a routine. It wasn’t until after moving to Texas in 2011 where we began to lay down some roots and stay put. It was also the time a trusted friend of mine, whom I used to workout with, recommended CrossFit to me and that he was essentially in the best shape of his life. That simple recommendation resonated with me at least enough to look into it. Yet, I was still skeptical because 1) I was ignorant, and 2) I had always done the gym thing on my own.

The first CrossFit gym where I got my start opened my eyes to what I had been missing – Movement with purpose, proper position, community, people of all abilities with a common interest, and so much more. I finally found a home… until they closed. Then work got busy before I could find a new gym, and once again there I was looking ahead at yet another inevitable restart. I found another CrossFit gym, but then work picked-up again and our family grew by one baby boy. Yep, restart, up ahead… again. But, when I finally did gather the will to get back to that same gym, it had moved a couple miles further away from an already distant location. No thanks. I was also truly exhausted with the roller coaster of being fit then out of shape. I really started to wonder how many restarts I had the will to put myself through.

In thinking back on my fitness journey, I finally figured out what I needed all along to make my overall health and wellness stick, to never restart again – STABILITY. And that’s what I finally found here at CFRR. A stool with a solid foundation of three (3) discrete yet inseparable legs – CommunityTrust, and CommitmentCommunity – I have a stable ‘home’ with a family of individuals to provide support and encouragement. No matter what the spirit of the community that endures, which is imprinted upon everyone that comes through the doors. I am also there for them because I know they’ll be there for me. Trust – I trust in the programming excellence that I am provided each and every day. I don’t have to insert myself into the planning of my workouts while trying to avoid fatigue, injury, or boredom. Commitment – There is truly a sense of commitment to the individual athlete at CFRR. The coaches sincerely want to see me progress. They care about my mobility, my eating habits, etc. Even if it’s just checking-in with me every once in a while, it reminds me how committed they are to my well-being, which in turn reinforces my commitment to the community. These three critical elements provide the stool, a stable surface for me to stand upon to provide the support I’ll need throughout the rest of my fitness journey.

My CrossFit journey began a little over 2 years ago at the age of 41. While I have always been fairly active, I had taken time off from most exercise (except for running occasionally) as we tried to expand our family. After 5 years, 2 kids, 4 miscarriages, 1 failed round of IVF, and an emotional roller coaster, my body felt wrecked. I was sleep deprived, exhausted, stressed-out, and out of shape. I had run a marathon a year after my son was born, but only felt more exhausted, and finding time for longer training runs was difficult to maintain. I needed and wanted something more. At the same time, my husband was wanting to get back into CrossFit and suggested I give it a try. While I really didn’t even know what CrossFit was, I saw that CFRR had a Fundamentals program for someone like me who had never done CrossFit before. My husband and I met coaches Kali and Marcus on the first day and they not only explained what CrossFit was, but how movements can be scaled to fit my current skill level.

After completing Fundamentals classes, I was still nervous about starting the actual classes, but showed up anyway. I joined the 5am crew, and while I don’t remember what was involved in that workout, I do recall that there were pull-ups. I remember seeing fellow 5am’er Beth (who was also a working mom over 40) doing kipping pull-ups and she made it look so easy! I was officially sold…I wanted THAT!

I cannot thank the coaches at CFRR enough for all they have done for me and my family. I know no matter what class I make it to, all of the coaches truly put their heart into it and want everyone to succeed. Thank you to Kali and Marcus for your constant encouragement and unwavering faith in me from day 1! I know I would not have continued on this journey if y’all weren’t apart of it. A little over a year after I started, I joined Coach Sam’s gymnastics class to improve some of those movements (mainly pull-ups). Special thanks to Sam for always going above and beyond, for pushing me further out of my comfort zone and for helping me crush goal after goal. Thank you for sharing in my frustrations (mainly pull-ups) and celebrating my wins, and for ignoring the language that comes out of my mouth during any static hold you program. I am not only physically stronger, but the confidence and faith I now have in myself is immeasurable. I am beyond grateful!

My kids constantly teach me patience with others, but the greatest thing I have learned at CFRR is patience with myself. Goals aren’t reached overnight, but as long as I make a plan, show up and put in the work, I know I will eventually get there. The coaches at CFRR are always more than willing to help at every point in that process, and when progress doesn’t happen as soon as I would like, they are there to help evaluate why. As a nurse I have always known that sleep, stress, nutrition, and exercise all contribute to health and well-being, but realizing that I need help in applying that to myself has been a slow process.

While I am still working on embracing my inner badass, at the age of 43, I can honestly say that I have never felt better. I am blessed that my kids get to see their parents not only placing health and well-being as a priority, but they see the focus, perseverance, and patience we have developed along the way. As for the pull-ups that I wanted from day 1, Landon told me I would hate them until I could do them, and then I would love them because they’re a gateway to so many other things…well, I’m happy to say I definitely no longer hate them!