This week we get to learn a little bit about the one and only Tammy Johns, pictured above to the right of the lady with the ball. A wife, mom of two active young boys, and Rugby player, Tammy has been rocking the WODs along with her friends at the Bunker now consistently since last July. Tammy is competitive, driven, coachable, and eager to learn. She is committed to keeping the “base” of the CrossFit pyramid strong through a good diet and his tough super CrossFit athlete has been taking her functional fitness to the Rugby field where the hard work is paying off. We asked Tammy a few questions about how she found the elusive Bunker and what her past year has been like…
How did you get started with CrossFit?
I began CrossFit in April 2012 with Chris Guffey at his house. A mutual friend, Kayla Peters, invited me to come join them in the mornings. When Chris deployed, the group fizzled out a bit and I had been coming to some of CrossFit PAX’s events and it seemed like a good time to transition. I am much more inclined to work out with others than on my own and I was seeing positive growth in my personal strength.
What has changed in your life since starting at CrossFit PAX?
Becoming involved in CrossFit benchmarked some things for me physically, mentally, and spiritually. Most of my life I have struggled with bulimia. I had cried out to God for help and realized I wanted Him to miraculously take away my problem. Instead it became clear to me I was supposed to be exhibiting self-control which is a fruit of the Spirit. So for me, beginning to seriously train correlated with my decision to get my eating habits under control. Since I started CrossFit in ’12 I’ve lost over 30 lbs. Due to weight loss and increased activity levels, I have also been able to cycle off antidepressants. I have seen improvements in my rugby performance, endurance, and personal strength. I have accomplished multiple goals including improving my mile split times for running, sprint times, achieving a 3 minute plank… Basically every area of fitness has improved!
What are you MOST proud of accomplishing over the past year?
It is a tie between getting my first strict pull up and a 275 dead lift.
What are your current goals?
Double Unders, or as I currently refer to them, my personal whippings. I can get a couple at a time, but I would like to be able to string them together to get 50 or 100 consecutively.
Working on getting my knees out (shout out to Coach Jen and Chris), chest up, and a good range of motion in any squat related exercise.
Work on mastering the mechanics of the power lifts. I am strong, there is no doubt about it, but I am falling short because coordination is not one of my gifts.
What is your favorite thing about training at CrossFit PAX?
There is a great team atmosphere. I enjoy that people I do not know are cheering me on and I do the same for them. It is a positive environment where I can be who I am and I do not feel like I am about to engage with catty or negative people.
The coaches genuinely enjoy being there and are invested in the athletes. For example, Jen knows what my strengths and weaknesses are. She reigns me in when I want to throw extra weight on the bar when I should be working on form, she knows that sometimes have problems with my shoulder, and that I chronically have a broken finger during rugby season. However, there is also celebration in personal accomplishments. When I got my first pull up she was jumping around with me like that was the first pull up she had ever seen!
People celebrate each others accomplishments. When you sweat and bleed with other people you invest in others as well as yourself; there is camaraderie. There is an unspoken agreement that I will give you my best and you will give me yours. We push each other. Therefore, when another person has achieved, we can and should share in the celebration.
What is your advice for new athletes starting at CrossFit PAX?
Do not be afraid to fail and stop comparing yourself. It is good to be competitive, but each person who walks through the door has a different story; they have different strengths and weaknesses. Yeah I can dead lift 275, but my squat clean is a solid 45 pounds because I lack the mobility and coordination. However, if you consistently stay in your comfort zone, you will not be able to see what you are capable of.
We are all proud of you Tammy, and excited to see you hit the 300 lb deadlift, conquer those double unders, and continue to thrive both at the bunker and on the Rugby field! Keep setting that example to your sons, family, and friends through your character, hard work, and intentional living. You are a special lady and a great athlete and we are honored to call you a CrossFit PAX athlete!