WEDNESDAY WINS! HALLIE F!
Today we shine a bright light on Hallie F, a woman who seems to do it all! And while she seems to epitomize what it means to be forty, fit and fabulous, it was quite a journey for her to get where she is today.
“I was a fit kid, and loved being outside and active — swinging on ropes and that sort of thing. I played lacrosse in high school and also skied competitively. After college I was a ski instructor for 10 years in Wintergreen and for a year out west in Breckenridge. Then “real life” got in the way… I ran out of time; and I wasn’t near resorts. I went from a really active life to the opposite of that”.
After being sedentary for too long, she went the ‘globo gym’ route to try and make a change. But it was not the change she hoped for. “It was bunch of dudes being macho. And it was just a bunch of machines. Treadmills? Bleh! It was boring! I didn’t want to put in the work to figure out how to do it all. I went three times and hated it.“
And life continued to evolve. Kids a came into the picture. And 8 years later she still hadn’t found her fitness groove. “I’ve run maybe 10 times in 8 years and only because Brendan (her husband) was a runner. He kept telling me if I did it right I’d like it more. I didn’t”.
“Brendan was curious about it and dragged me to foundations. I had not done anything physical in a long time and I was terrified. I had zero cardio fitness, and even less strength. And the smack people talk about CrossFit? I had a hard time believing it wasn’t true.”
“But he was ready to get fit and researched every box in this area. We knew we needed what CrossFit offered, but we also needed “warm and fuzzy”. We didn’t even step foot in another box, but our research led us to the Cove. And it was the right decision on so many levels”.
FINDING MOTIVATION IN OTHERS
“I’m not a self-motivator. I’ve learned I need the motivation of the people around me. It inspires me. When I came to foundations classes at the Cove, I was intimidated by the workouts, not the people — but I still would not come alone. Brendan and I would hire a babysitter three nights a week so I didn’t have to “CrossFit alone”. I needed to be more comfortable before I walked in the doors on my own. I’d look at the WODs and think ‘Wait, what’s that one? What are they talking about?’ But I quickly learned I could be my dorky self and not be embarrassed with the coaches. They were all great and it became easier.”
“Then I found the 9:30am class. Women like Meaghan, Anna, Maria and Ada –they became my consistency. And they are CRAZY inspiring. And there were also women at my level that were so nice and encouraging. I found my safe place”.
“I still love to work out with Brendan, and we do Saturday morning “dates”, but I’m more than comfortable walking that door alone now because I’ve got the support of everyone around me.”
A WOMAN WHO LIVES BY ‘CODE’
Hallie is a dealmaker. She cuts deals with herself and uses them as motivation. It’s a fantastic version of ‘goal setting’ and she holds herself accountable in unique ways. Case in point: When the new Cove T-shirts came out she bought two. But then said to us “I really have to make sure I come at least three times this week so I can wear them.” “What?!”, we asked. She told us “I set a rule for myself that if I don’t come two or three times per week I don’t earn the right to wear a Cove T-shirt. So it helps me get my butt to the gym so I can wear it proudly. Like I’ve earned the right to wear it.”
This code translates to other things too. “The other day I did a fifth 400m run (the workout called for four) as penance for not going heavy enough on the cleans. “And I have to clean the house before doing my jewelry work. Brendan thinks I’m crazy, but it works for me.”.
Yes, Hallie. It is working.
‘WHAT I DO HERE WILL MAKE BE BETTER AT EVERYTHING ELSE’
Hallie just completed her first Spartan Race at age 40. “It gave me a great goal to work towards. And the endurance cycle and nutrition challenges were perfectly timed to help me prep. It got me working on the ropes more. Toes to bar and pull ups were all bite-sized goals I set for myself leading up to it. I don’t think about the weights as much, but rather how they will get me to hit those other goals. I know all the work I do here will make me better at those things. And now I want to do more races! “
When you talk to Hallie about it, you can FEEL her enthusiasm. “Coming off that course I was on the highest high.” While she was anxious after she signed up, she gained confidence as the day drew near. “I felt I had put in the work and I had increased attendance at the Cove to 3-4 times per week. I worked on things like pull ups to increase upper body strength. And the week before I got my first three strict pull ups!”
She’s never run a 5k, but that day she did 4.5 miles and 22 obstacles…AND was not gassed when it was over (we always say the sign of great fitness is how you recover!). She breezed through the obstacles, swinging ring to ring and climbing ropes. The walls were easy for her. And burpees? No problem. She said “They must be friends with Geo because this programming kills me in the box but completely prepared me for this race!”
“I started to feel like an athlete again. This CrossFit thing really changes the way you feel about yourself. I’m now comfortable in my body. More capable. More confidant. Not just how I looked, but “in my skin”. And it became a holistic approach. I wanted to perform better, so now I eat better, drink more water and my rest. It has completely shifted my mentality.”
“It never would have occurred to me, even a year ago, that I could do a race like this. Now I’m ready to train for the next one… maybe even the ‘Super’! I turned forty this year and feel better about my body than I have in ten years. I even wore a bikini for the first tie since my honeymoon 12 years ago! The Cove has changed how I feel about myself and helped me step FAR outside my comfort zone… only to find that there are some really fun things out there.”
IT’S BECOME A FAMILY AFFAIR
“One of the coolest things was the impact it had on my kids. We love doing the kids’ class together. And the race has had a great impact on them too. Seeing me get ready, seeing me get excited… they wanted in on the action.
“I signed them up for the kid’s Spartan. We set up courses on the playground. And I even make ‘deals’ with the kids. A donut hole for every 15 burpees – and those kids did 60 of the fastest burpees I’ve ever seen! It was amazing to watch on race day. Grayson knocked out the ½ mile and Quinny ran the mile with her cousins and their crew. They crushed it — and slept 12 hours that night!”
“They watched me race and the best part was hearing Gray say “You are so strong Mom. If you don’t get hurt you’ll probably win! The three of us were so proud of ourselves after that weekend that we can’t wait to do another one soon. And this time we plan to drag Brendan into it so it can be a full family affair!”
THE ONCE-INSPIRED BECOMES THE NOW-INSPIRATION
We, as coaches, can remember back to when she came in the door. Hesitant, uncertain and refusing to cross that threshold alone. Now she’s climbing ropes, doing pull ups, rocking Olympic lifts and crushing Spartan races. She eats right, gets her rest and holds herself accountable. She is an ATHLETE again. She’s as humble as can be, and has no idea the inspiration she has become to so many others.
We loved when she talked about being inspired by that group of women early on, but what she doesn’t see is that SHE’S that woman now. “I’m a great example of a NORMAL person.“ she said pointing to Coach Maria doing a workout a few yards away she says, “SHE is not a normal person”.
We hate to break it to you Hallie, but we whole-heartedly disagree with you. You are both normal people. But you are normal people doing extraordinary things.
3/3/3/3/3 (build up in weight)
20 Overhead Squats
30 Sit ups
500 M Row
15 Overhead Squats
25 Sit ups
400 M Row
10 Overhead Squats
20 Sit ups
Fitness: 115/75 (front Squats)
Open: 135/95 (toes to bar)
Coach’s Tip: The strength portion will be a good warm up for the workout. There is a heavy amount of toes to bar, so PLEASE drop reps if you are still working on the skill. Overall the load today should be challenging and something that could be done in 2-3 sets with 20 reps.