Why would the CrossFit PAX staff be arguing over who gets to coach at 5am!? As much as we all love the Bunker and love to get our sweat on before the sun comes up, waking up at 4am is not always easy. Joanne and Juan have made that alarm sound so much sweeter and we love to see their smiling faces at 5am. We love their antics and are inspired by their teamwork. Joanne started sweating with the 5am class in July and Juan showed up soon after to see what all the fuss was about. They show up ready to work HARD, they eat clean, they ask great questions, and they motivate the people around them. It is a simple equation for success but doesn’t come without a great deal of teamwork on their part. Raising two young boys and working full time, they have to be up well before the sun to make sure their fitness is a priority in their lives.
So why did they start? Joanne says, “While living in Jacksonville I learned that I was borderline type 2 Diabetic and immediately my doctors wanted to put me on meds. I remember having to go to diabetes ‘orientation’ with a group of people and I was the youngest person there. We watched a video on how having type 2 diabetes wasn’t my fault. I sat there thinking ‘yes, it is my fault!’ So I refuse to go on medication and started a strict regimen of diet and exercise. I lost 50 pounds and felt great! But then we got orders to Pax River and talk about culture shock! At first I hated it here and before I knew it I gained 27 of the 50 pounds I had lost. So, when I heard about CrossFit PAX I knew I could find the support I needed to get my health back on track! After starting the 5am class I haven’t looked back! My experience has been amazing! I really enjoy this type of exercise. I love the sense of accomplishment I feel after a WOD! I feel welcomed when I am at the bunker and I know this because a welcoming community is a big part of a Crossfit box and Crossfit PAX embodies that.
A few weeks after Joanne started, Juan gave us a call. He says, “I have to admit that I initially was extremely skeptical about all the promises and claims made by avid CrossFit athletes. I met Gibb Dungey at one of our Supply Corps Association meeting and it was there when I first heard him state that he acquired his powers from CrossFit. I took a little interest, but it wasn’t until my wife Joanne started showing progress and waking me up with her alarm clock every morning at 0430. I told myself, I either move out of the house, divorce her, or just jump on this CrossFit Wagon. The experience has been like no other. Before CrossFit, I was most proud of surviving/accomplishing five things: 1. Marrying and staying married to Joanne 2. Raising two healthy and smart children. 3. Naval Officer Candidate School. 4. several deployments 5. hitting an Iceberg while crossing the North Pole in a Nuclear Powered Submarine. CrossFit is now right up there as number 6!”
“I am proud of how strong I have become,” Joanne says, “Crossfit has definitely made me physically stronger, but what I didn’t expect was how much strength I would gain mentally. It makes me a better person, a better mom, and a better wife. Besides being stronger I am much more self-confident. Poor self-esteem is something I battle with and Crossfit PAX has helped with that. My life has changed for the better. I feel a lot healthier and have more energy than ever before. My overall goals are to perform lifting and WODS utilizing the best possible form, be able to one day do one unassisted pull up and I hope to one day climb that darn rope!”
Juan adds, “I recently was able to pass my Navy Physical Fitness Test and Assessment with considerable ease, cutting a full minute off my 1.5 mile time. I am now able to do 7 strict pull ups and Bench press 250LBS. By the end of this year, I would like to be able to complete all WODs and all exercises at level 2 with no scaling.There are other things that I hadn’t expected changing in my life. For example, I have lost weight and can now fall asleep without using any sleep aid. My life has changed radically. I can now with increased confidence go to Facebook and post a picture of me in uniform or Pajamas. It’s not just looking good, but feeling great! If you are thinking about starting, don’t hesitate, press the “I Believe Button”- you won’t regret it!
Joanne has some advice for the hesitant as well, “I’ve been there and I know it looks intimidating. It is always a good thing to get out of your comfort zone and try something new. I know there are a lot of opinions out there regarding Crossfit. Don’t you want to form your own opinion? So, I say go for it! What do you have to lose? Just like with anything, practice and consistency will make you better. Crossfit isn’t (despite what some people think) about impressing other people. I’m hooked, and now all I want to do is keep getting better at it.”
To an inspiring and now very fit couple- keep it up! You two are setting a great example to your sons and motivating your fellow athletes at the Bunker. Thank you for your commitment to the community and the standard that you set day in and day out by making your health a priority! Eat clean and train hard, friends!
To the rest of the crew at the Bunker, Coach Jon says, “For those who don’t know who they are, stop sleeping in. Shame on you!” Try that 5am class out- you may just find your groove there as well with this dynamic duo!