Congratulations, Tamra! You’re our October Athlete of the Month!!!
4 years ago, Tamra and her family found their way to NoCoast and they have been a consistent presence in our community ever since. Tamra’s dedication to her family and health and fitness is what makes her so special. She prides herself on being a good role model for her kids and we have enjoyed watching this family grow into strong, beautiful, and loving NoCoasters!
How long have you been CrossFitting?
I was a below average swimmer on my “no cut” high school and summer league swim teams, and a rhythmic gymnastics national qualifier for my age group and mediocre skill level as a teenager. I was diagnosed with exercise induced asthma during those active years, which contributed to my loathing of running and intense cardiovascular training, but I successfully avoided the traditional college weight gain by hopping around my dorm rooms with roommates doing kickboxing and step aerobics videos. After having 2 babies, I “got back into shape” spending hours on the elliptical at 24Hour Fitness and using P90X and Insanity videos. I know. Impressive athletic resume you’re reading here!
How did you get into CrossFit?
We learned about NoCoast by wandering through the vendor tents at the Louisville Street Fair on a Friday night, just a few months after Dan, Leah and Sam had opened NoCoast’s first location. My 8 year old at the time, was excited for the burpee challenge that night, and when he won a NoCoast t-shirt for being the kid with the most burpees in a minute, he was psyched to give CrossFit Kids a try. I reluctantly agreed to go through the Lift One program to support my husband, Chris, who was looking for a new challenge after training for a marathon. After flogging myself with double under attempts, and smashing my nose with the Oly bar, it’s a miracle I kept coming when Lift One was complete, but I’m still here!
What is your favorite WOD/CrossFit movement?
I don’t mind going upside down, so wall walks and handstand kick-ups are a lot of fun for me. I also enjoy pretending I’m a circus performer doing toes-to-ring. As a kid and young adult, I never in a million years thought I’d be able to do a pull-up or a rope climb, so even though I’m limited on the reps I can complete in a WOD, I love that I can do both of those movements now!
What is your least favorite WOD/CrossFit movement?
There. Are. So. Many. I’ll spare you the list, and just say Wall Balls. And the Airdyne. OMG. The Airdyne.
What is your most memorable CrossFit moment?
Two memories with equal excitement: the day I got my chin over the bar for the first time with a kipping pull-up, and the day I climbed a rope with the “S” wrap method…both happened during my first year of CrossFit.
After 4 years of CrossFitting and with your busy schedule, what keeps you coming to the gym?
I joke that I keep coming just because I don’t want to be a fat old lady, but I really keep coming as an example for my family. How can I expect my kids to value taking care of their bodies if I don’t teach them how to do that, or that it takes a life-long commitment, no matter how busy you are? When the kids are in school, and I’m not working a long shift, it’s easy to come to a 9am or noon class. During the summer, sleep, leisure or family time has to be sacrificed to fit in a WOD: sometimes it’s worth it, sometimes it’s not. Modeling the balance amongst competing priorities is important for my family to witness as well.
What makes NoCoast so special is the coaching. My over-40 body is aging faster than I anticipated, and despite some chronic neck and knee pain and other injuries along the way, the entire coaching team takes the time to brainstorm modified movements or rep schemes so I can still participate despite my limitations. I may not complete many Rx WODs, and I have no fantasies of being a CrossFit competitor, but I still have a place here (even though Ian wishes I’d complain a little less! Actually, everyone wishes I’d complain a little less. Maybe I should stop complaining!)
How does nutrition play a role in your fitness and recovery?
The biggest transformation in our family over the past 4 years is our new understanding of nutrition. I am a Master’s prepared Advanced Practice Nurse (a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner), and I am disgusted to report that nurses and doctors receive very little nutritional education in school. I just assumed the Food Pyramid/My Plate Standard American Diet (low fat, high grain, high dairy) was the trusted, researched way to go. I was reluctant to participate in a nutrition challenge through the gym that cut out my family’s go-to snacks and meals (granola bars, yogurt, cheese sticks, pasta…you get the picture.) Lucky for me, I don’t have any food sensitivities, so I now eat Paleo more often than not by choice, but enjoy dairy and whole grains without consequence, at my discretion. Now we all understand that sugar intake is more to blame for obesity than fat intake, and prioritizing balancing macros over the convenience of non-perishable packaged products is important. Sadly, I still have a sweet tooth, and I love me some dessert, but overall, eating full fat dairy products and higher-fat high quality sourced meats and nuts has kept me feeling fuller, longer, with fewer cravings for my sweet snacks. Learning about cleaner brands of protein powders for recovery has been a welcome benefit as well. My boys (10 and 12 this fall) are swimmers and water polo athletes, and using the many flavors of SFH whey protein as a recovery meal after their hard workouts is keeping them from wasting away (parent tip: sneak in some extra fat by blending in some avocado, and use coconut water as the fluid for some electrolyte replacement!).
How has CrossFit improved your overall wellness?
CrossFit challenges me to work harder than I would ever fathom to try on my own. I’ve never had a serious weight problem, but I definitely had a fitness deficit before starting CrossFit. Learning new movements, lifting heavier weights, and learning new lifting techniques has transformed me from being skinny fat to being lean and strong (strong for me, not strong compared to Sam, Leah, Jurney, Kandi, Heidi…. should I name every other female athlete in the gym??)
How has CrossFit changed your family?
Our whole family is part of this NoCoast CrossFit community. We’ve done Murph as a partner WOD and other holiday WODs together. The boys have done CrossFit Kids when they could, and both assume they’ll go through Lift One when they are old enough and are ready to build some manly muscles! They know it will help them in all of their other sports and athletic interests. CrossFit has changed our family into a fitness and nutrition focused family. We don’t always make the best choices, but at least we are aware of what’s missing in a “bad”meal!
Advice to new people:
I adopted this motto after laughing hysterically at a Facebook t-shirt ad a while back: "I hate you. I hate this place. See you tomorrow!” CrossFit is hard. It hurts. But everyone around you, even the ones who are stronger and more fit than you, are suffering, too. Everyone is pushing themselves to THEIR best potential. Just keep coming back. Thanks to my old lady knees, I haven’t been able to run, jump, or squat heavy since February… there is still a place for me here, even with those restrictions. There’s room for you, too. If you like chit chat and complaining, come to the 9am class. We have a reputation.