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Athlete of the Month: Lee

Lee Tapia is a powerhouse! Anyone who knows her, would agree she is extremely strong for her size. She was a top 3 finisher for NoCoast in the Open. She is an am regular, very consistent and sets the standard for most people much of the time. She excels at body weight movement, but she can also run! And she is picking up more and more weight. She does all this as an engineer and single mom of three! She's also brought her son in to workout with her, and nothing could make us happier than seeing family bonding between a parent and child at the gym. Lee is strong. Strong athlete, strong mama, strong woman. We are so excited to share more of her story this month! She really is an amazing role model.

Age/Weight: 39/+/-115 How long have you been CrossFitting? 4.5 years.

Athletic/Sports history/highlights: Tennis and softball in HS, golf for fun. Ballet as a little girl, was in a few Nutcrackers!

How did you get into CrossFit?

Tuesday am, while youngest went to 2 hours of preschool. All three away at school for the first time. Ok, lets try this:

Intro workout: 500 m row, 40 air squats, 30 situps, 20 push-ups, and 10 pullups.

Finished the workout successfully doing 10 strict pull-ups?! Whoa? What just happened.... I'm in! Got my CrossFit Kids cert first, as my full time profession at the time was being a momma. Followed that with a Level 1, a little out of order for normal folks, but completed in my order of importance. Everything I do is for the three little dirt balls that are at my side, and CrossFit would not be different. Wanted to learn all I could for all of us, and so started my CrossFit journey.

What is your favorite WOD/CrossFit movement?

Snatch. I love the explosiveness of it. To me, its a beautiful a ballet, or classical song. It has slow, and fast, and power, and suspense... perfectly timed transitions. I love it. Inches of difference between a catch and a miss. So technical, and so many parts and pieces. So hard, and so much work involved, such precision. I love it. What is your least favorite WOD/CrossFit movement?

Wall balls and rowing. I'm short. Real short. What is your most memorable CrossFit moment? Probably when I did the Frost Fit partner comp in Colorado Springs. Partnered with a young friend, 23 yr old 205 pound, ex collegiate baseball player, who had just discovered Crossfit that year, and was fully drinking the koolaid. Plan was for him to be awesome and me to be fast..... until we saw the sled pull. I don't even remember how heavy it was, but I was afraid of the weight. My partner, Wade, needed to pull/push his a certain distance, and then perform air squats, while I pull/pushed mine. I successfully completed 2 lengths with the sled until I hit a wall..... I remember being so confused? My legs just shook, nothing moving. What's happening? Why isn't it moving? I'm shaking. I'm trying harder, no movement. I'm falling to the ground, sled moved 6 inches. I look up, and see all of my friends, family, the kids, "Come on LEE LEE!!! You can do it!" Wade picked me up off my butt at one point, and plopped me back on my feet. "Common LEE LEE!" "You can do it!" Entire place cheering for me... come on, sled, MOVE! The sled never crossed the line a 3rd time, but I'm pretty sure I made 200 friends that day. :)

How does nutrition play a role in your fitness and recovery?

NoCoast has really helped me focus on nutrition. Being busy with my little family, we have been eating out a LOT! I had been getting used to cooking the kids breakfast, but not taking the time to eat myself. The Zone challenge helped me realize the importance of balance, and eating regularly. I tend to be protein heavy, and not pack in enough carbs. I had also never really embraced the importance of Fat. That has probably been my biggest take away with how I feel, add a couple nuts, buy a few more avocados, and I feel better. Then, water, water, water. Probably took me a year and two challenges later to realize that I was probably almost always dehydrated. I do still need the stoic reminder from Dan to eat more often. 5 to 6 meals/snacks per day, and it helps. Staying out of starvation mode is good. Food is not in control of me. I'm in control of what I put in my body, and I feel better/stronger/healthier for it.

How has CrossFit improved your overall wellness?

CrossFit has improved my life in several ways. First and foremost, for what I'm teaching my children. They have seen me struggle, sweat, cheer, get first place, get close to last place, be the smallest, be the fastest, and hug me when I'm done. They know I'll smile when I'm done. They know I'll pat someone on the back to say good job. I can hear them say, "You're doing great Momma!" "You can do it, Momma!" They know, I'll do the same for them, at their sport, or anything else in life...whatever it is. I like that they have and will see me struggle. They will struggle with things to, and they need to keep on working at it, keep on trying. Things aren't easy. Work at them, and you'll get better. Just keep trying.

CrossFit has also improved my own personal well being and inner strength. What CrossFit helped me realize about myself is that I like a sense of accomplishment. For me, everyday I go to gym, I accomplish something. I get up, roll out of the quiet house, and head to gym to get something done. Clear my head, sweat, pick up weight, run, jump... do something. I feel accomplished, and more in control of ME. Dirty dishes, stress at work, is there a track meet today? Book report due? Did I feed the dog yesterday? Wait... all of it can wait.

3-2-1, Go. Just go. Now my head is clear.

Then, I can go home and cook breakfast for above mentioned little dirt balls and tell em what I just did. "What was the workout Momma?" "How did you do?" I feel great guys! Lets have a great day! We're a team. Now, onto the challenges of the day, I've got this. I already feel accomplished.

Advice to new people:

3, 2, 1 GO. Just go. No need to overthink anything. We're all in this together. We're all doing the same thing. Some days are strong days, some days aren't. Some days your fighting a skill you don't have yet, another day that skill will click. Just come in. The second you started the WOD you've already accomplished something.

Why do you love NoCoast?

I truly believe that the coaches at NoCoast define the hard work and respect and humility that we see in the gym. It starts at the top. I see all of you as our leaders, look and see what coach does, look how they train, look how they eat, and rest and recover.. you name it. For those reasons, I can give no greater compliment than to have my 13 year old son join the gym, and turn him over to them with my complete trust. Yes, its a little hard for me to concentrate on myself, when he's over there floundering around with his little noodle self. But, once I can focus and look away.. watching them with him can literally bring me to tears. Watching his terrible knees in, chest down squat turn into a picture perfect OHS. Crazy! Coach having him do a hang snatch, instead of a full snatch, since his form is better from the hang. Brilliant! Taking running cues and drills he hears at gym into track practice and hearing his excitement as he tells me he could FEEL the difference at track. Amazing! And again for our community, for just saying hi, giving him a pat on the back or high five, telling him nice job, or asking how is school? Whether it is 6:30 in the morning when we leave the gym, Saturday morning, anytime.. he walks out a few inches taller, more confident and proud. Thank you NoCoast coaches and our entire community with all my heart.

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