Last winter we welcomed Tess and Clark to the Bunker, and what a year it has been for them! This week, we will recognize Tess White for her consistency, commitment, and progress, and hear a few of her thoughts and accomplishments! (Clark’s story coming soon!)
By the time Tess found CrossFit PAX, she had already overcome a great deal in her journey to fitness. Just check out her before and after pictures… she has had quite a journey! This lady truly is a fighter and was ready to give it her all, but wasn’t anticipating just how much she would have to get outside of her comfort zone to attack those areas of fitness that weren’t in her previous routine.
But, progress is directly related to humility, coachability, and consistency. Tess has these three things down, and will continue to see great success because of that. She may have been uncomfortable at first (like everyone is)… but what a huge testament to her tenacity that she was immediately consistent and committed to learning and progressing.
We have to let those weaknesses show if we expect to improve, and that is uncomfortable. Sometimes we are on top of the world after a WOD, and other times it may reveal an area that needs to be addressed. This is true of everyone, even the most experienced athletes. No one wants to do the thing they think they are “bad” at… but that is exactly the thing they need to be doing to improve!
She continues to amaze- be it rope climbs, toes to bar, pull ups, or strength days… she always shows up and always gives every workout her all. Here’s a bit about Tess and some advice for the new folks:
How did you start at CrossFit PAX?
My road to joining CrossFit PAX was a very long and adventurous one. To give you a little history about myself I had my first son in September 2003. In June 2005 after years of not working out and being very careless with my food intake I found myself at the heaviest I had ever been weighing in at 275lbs. I was absolutely miserable and not to mention I didn’t have any energy to keep up with my toddler. One morning I woke up to go to work and I couldn’t button my size 22 pants and at that very moment I told myself enough was enough. That afternoon I joined Weight Watchers. In 8 months I lost about 77lbs and met the goal weight I had set for myself. I kept the weight off for a few years and got pregnant again and had my 2nd son in 2009. I was definitely more aware of what I was eating through this pregnancy but inevitably gained more weight than I wanted. In January 2011 I decided to go back to Weight Watchers as well as join the gym. Within 6 months I had gotten off the pregnancy weight as well as lost another 23lbs for a total weight loss of 100lbs. I loved that I lost the weight, I loved to workout and loved the amount of energy I had!! After a few years of working out at the gym I felt like I needed a change, something to start a fire under my normal workout routine and challenge me to the next level which is when I heard about Crossfit PAX. So on a whim one afternoon my boyfriend (Clark) and I stopped by the Bunker where we were met by Darren at the door, he gave us a bunch of information and told us that the owners would be in contact with us. We stayed and watched a little bit of the class that was starting and when we left we both knew right away that this was the type of challenge that we needed and wanted.
What was it like starting out?
The best way I can describe starting out at CrossFit is that it was very humbling! Being that I worked out a lot prior to coming to Crossfit I thought I knew almost everything there was to know about working out and lifting, however, I was quick to realize that was not the case. I learned so much the very first day of Fundamentals that I felt overwhelmed and questioned maybe this wasn’t for me, but I stuck with it and realized that no matter if it is your first workout or 600th workout at CrossFit PAX it can be VERY challenging and humbling each and every time. However, I do have to admit that starting and doing this with Clark did make it that much easier to keep going and pushing myself every day!
What has changed in your life since starting?
I have to say the biggest change that has happened in my life since starting crossfit is that I don’t spend hours in the gym anymore. I used to think that to get a good workout in I would have to go for 90 to 120 minutes every day which I would break up and go twice a day to the gym. Not only does that take up way too much time of your life it also will burn you out in a heartbeat! Now I can get an amazing kick butt workout in within the hour of the class!!
How has your diet changed? what does your diet look like? what foods do you rely on most?
I have to admit my diet hasn’t changed much. Before starting I was doing Weight Watchers which I continue to do today as that is the diet that works for me. However, after learning some about Paleo and natural foods I do try to shy away more from the processed foods that weight watchers allows you to eat and I try to eat more all natural, organic, home made type of food. I do think one day that I will try the Whole 30 or the Paleo diet but with having lost so much weight on Weight Watchers I worry about changing that up. Clark and I do spend every Sunday morning in the kitchen together making and preparing our meals for the entire week! Not only does it keep us on track but makes the work week that much easier as we don’t have to figure out each night what we are going to eat the next day.
What have you accomplished?
The list of accomplishments for me since starting Crossfit is a very long one! First and foremost I am ten times stronger than I ever was before starting. I never thought I would be able to lift, squat or get the amount of weight over my head that I can now. However, if you know me you know that the biggest problems for me are the body weight workouts. When I first started I couldn’t get my toes to the bar, definitely couldn’t do a pullup and climbing that rope…..yeah totally out of the question. But after working with amazing coaches that have given me key information I can now do all those (well still learning to string pullups) and the funny thing is climbing the rope is my favorite now.
What are you most proud of accomplishing?
After about a month of being in Crossfit the amazing Jen & Jade “talked” me into doing the 2014 Open. After being very reluctant at the beginning and thinking no way could I ever do this I figured why not try it what do I have to lose. Even though I feel I could have done much better and can’t wait to the 2015 Open I think I did amazing considering I was just learning many of those skills. Doing the Open pushed me to practice and get double unders and pushed me to practice and get Toes to bars as well as other workouts that were very difficult for me.
7) what is your advice for the new folks?
I would say my best advice for the new folks is 1) come every day, especially on the days where you look at the workout and say heck no! 2) Ask questions to the coaches and to other members. At first it might be very intimidating to ask questions but you can get a lot of great information when you ask your question and you will learn so much more than sitting in the back wondering if you’re doing it right. And 3) DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS!! This not only goes for CrossFit but life in general. Be yourself, be unique and strive to be the best that you can be each and every day. Some days will be harder than others but if you give it your all at that moment then you won’t regret it!!
Great advice, Tess! Thank you for helping to set a great tone at the Bunker and for your dedication! We can’t wait to see what next year brings for you if you can come this far already!