Athlete of Month

Emily Farren
Member name:

Emily Farren

Athlete of the month: August 2018
Details

How long have you been doing FITCon?

I started in September 2017 so almost a year now.

What made you decide to give FITCon a try?

I originally came along as part of the 8 week FIT Challenge. I enjoyed it so much I just kept coming!

What was the hardest part when you started out and how did you overcome that?

Up until joining I hadn’t really had a regular fitness regime at all so the first few weeks were really tough. The classes and the group mentality at the gym kept me motivated to keep coming and the consistency of visiting 3 times a week made everything start to fall into place.

What’s your favorite part about working out at 7 Mile Strength & Fitness?

The sense of community – everybody is so friendly and you never feel like an outsider.

You’ve been doing FITCon with us for awhile now. Name a few things that you have seen improve since working out with us.

I’ve noticed in every day life that I’m stronger, and I’ve lost weight too – nearly 25lbs since I started! My stamina has also gotten so much better; when I started out I could barely finish a workout but now most of the time I smash them!

Name something you’re most proud of in the gym.

I can lift some pretty heavy weights now!! But I’m mostly really proud of my consistency and commitment to working out – I never had that before. It’s so much easier to keep yourself going when you enjoy what you’re doing.

How has having a Coach For Life been helpful for you?

Jesse has been really great; having regular PT sessions helped (especially when I started out) to build my confidence at movements I was new to or unsure about. He always looks out for me in classes to make sure my form stays good. He’s also good at the tough love – pushing me to keep going when I need to but also telling me when I need to take some time out to rest.

A few of us coaches went to see you in the play Grease. We all thought it was amazing! How was that experience for you?

Ah thanks! It was a really fun experience, I’m such a musical theatre lover and before I moved to Cayman I was always playing in musical theatre pits so it was great to get back into that scene again. It seems like everyone on the island came to watch the show so it was lovely to always have people we knew in the audience each night. I also got to know a couple of other members of the 7 Mile family who were in the show!

Do you have any goals you’d like to accomplish before the end of the year?

I’m working at being able to do my first pull up – it’s not happened yet but I’ll keep trying! I’d also like to be able to do some handstands but I’m scared of going upside down!

Did you play any sports growing up?

I used to play netball in primary school but I was more into music growing up. I sometimes skipped out on PE classes so I could practice my clarinet!

Any sports you want to try now?

I really want to try Stand Up Paddleboarding! Whenever I go to the beach I see all these SUP-ers serenely gliding out on the ocean – I’m sure it’s harder than it looks but I’d love to give it a go.

Anything people at 7 Mile Strength & Fitness don’t know about you?

I used to be in the British Army Reserves in the UK and once played for the Queen.

Anything crazy on your bucket list? (bungee jumping, sky diving?)

Bungee jumping and skydiving are both on my list – I’m a bit of a wannabe adrenaline junkie. There’s also a coast-to-coast road trip across the US on my bucket list which I’ll be completing this summer.

What is your favourite WOD and why?

It’s hard to pick a favourite but I’m partial to anything that’s either “for time” as it challenges me to get it done as quick as I can, or a “descending ladder” because they get easier as they go! Haha.

What is your least favorite WOD and why?

Anything with burpees – yuck.

What has been your biggest surprise about doing FITCon?

I never thought it would be something I enjoyed before I started as it looked scary and very intense. However I learned that the challenge of pushing myself to do something I couldn’t do before is addictive, and I can really see just how much I’ve improved since I started.

Would you recommend 7 Mile Strength & Fitness to others and if so, why?

100%!! I’ve already recommended to friends that they should give it a try; the family atmosphere at the gym is unique and you never know what the WOD is going to be so you’re always in for a surprise – it’s never boring!

Congratulations, Emily!

 

Amy McLeish
Member name:

Amy McLeish

Athlete of the month: July 2018
Details

How long have you been doing CrossFit?

I started fundamentals in January 2018 and joined CrossFit classes in March 2018.

What made you decide to give 7 Mile Strength & Fitness a try?

I’d been training with a personal trainer since August 2017 and discovered that I really enjoy strength training (I used to be a cardio only girl) but I wasn’t really pushing myself hard enough when working out alone in the gym, so decided to try 7 Mile Strength & Fitness.

What was the hardest part when you started out and how did you overcome that?

I was nervous about being pushed outside of my comfort zone with new moves and worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep up in classes, but I now know I didn’t need to worry about that at all – nobody expects you to be perfect and the coaches are always there to help you out when you’re struggling and encourage you to keep going when you feel like you have nothing left to give. The same goes for classmates – everyone encourages each other.

Most traditional gyms do not have their members set up with a “Coach-for-Life” – what would you say is the best thing about having a Coach-for-Life?

All of the coaches at 7 Mile Strength & Fitness are great, but it’s really good to have one person who knows your individual strengths, weakness and goals, and looks out for you. Brett (my Coach-for-Life) will always catch me for a couple of minutes after class to ask how it went, even if he wasn’t the coach for that particular class. You feel supported and encouraged all of the time, which is not something that I experienced in traditional gyms.

You are participating in our Gymnastics specialty program. Tell us a little bit about your experience in that program. Any fears conquered? 😉

I love handstand class with Julia! I took acrobatics classes for 10 years as a child so the gymnastics side of CrossFit is probably the one thing I didn’t fear when I started. That said, the only thing I could comfortably do when I started the Gymnastics program was hold a handstand against a wall – I had no idea how to hold a freestanding handstand or handstand walk. I still can’t do either of those things, but I’ve learnt a lot about how to progress my handstands so with practice, I will hopefully get there.

Describe our community at CrossFit 7 Mile in one word.

Awesome

Did you play any sports growing up?

I danced for 10 years and took horse-riding lessons, but never played any team sports (I am useless at all ball sports).

Anything people at 7 Mile Strength & Fitness don’t know about you?

I would like to turn my love for planning holidays into a profitable business – if anyone would like to pay me to plan a holiday for them, let me know!

Anything crazy on your bucket list? (bungee jumping, sky diving?)

I really want to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

What is your favorite WOD and why?

Anything involving power cleans – I found them difficult to grasp in fundamentals but I now really enjoy them. I wouldn’t say I’m great at them, but they don’t fill me with fear anymore! Also anything involving handstands.

What is your least favorite WOD and why?

Anything involving rowing, followed closely by anything involving a bike.

What has been your biggest surprise about doing CrossFit?

It helps me destress and switch off from whatever else is going on in life in a way that no other form of exercise ever has – all I think about during class is how to get through the WOD and I leave the gym after every class with a sense of achievement, which is a great start to the working day. It’s also extremely addictive – I’m not a morning person and so I thought I would struggle to make it to classes at 6.30am three times a week, but I now look forward to my 6am starts (something I never thought I would say!)

Would you recommend 7 Mile Strength & Fitness to others and if so, why?

Absolutely. Joining 7 Mile Strength & Fitness is one of the best things I have done since moving to the Cayman Islands, my only regret is not doing it sooner. At 7 Mile Strength & Fitness, you’re more than just an anonymous gym-goer, you’re a member of a great community of people who will support you to achieve your goals. There is a great sense of comradery, which makes every class enjoyable.

Congratulations, Amy!

Rachael Newton
Member name:

Rachael Newton

Athlete of the month: JUNE 2018
Details

How long have you been doing FITCon?

I started FITCon last September after just moving to the island.

What made you decide to give FITCon a try?

I was ready to get back into exercise after taking some time off and I started off with the 8 week program which seemed like a good way to get slowly back into it rather than going all out immediately and injuring myself!

What was the hardest part when you started out and how did you overcome that?

Honestly, the hardest part was, and still is, that change is slow. It’s hard to see results physically, particularly when you see yourself every day, but the coaches and my classmates are all so great about putting things in perspective and encouraging me not to give up!

You just won the 6 week Whole Life Challenge, congratulations! Tell us a little bit about that experience for you – what were some things you found hard and what were some thing you found easy? How were family and friends reacting to the changes you were making?

Thanks! The best thing about it was sticking to something for 6 weeks consistently, and seeing whether those changes actually made a difference, rather than trying something for a few weeks and then giving up because I couldn’t see results! Once I realised that it was working, I found it a lot easier to stick to. Eating out with friends was hard, but once I let them know about the challenge they were very supportive, as was my family!

Now that the WLC is over, are there things you are going to keep incorporating into your everyday life?

Yes, definitely trying to maintain the dietary changes will be the main one, but also being mindful of how much sleep I’m getting. Our morning alarm clock (aka my kids) never changes, so it was good to try and get to bed a little earlier, knowing that I was always going to be woken up early the next morning!

Has “Mom Life” changed much since doing the WLC?

I do have to cook slightly differently for myself so I have tried to make that as easy as possible e.g. buying cauliflower rice rather than making it myself. Dexter (my 3 yo) has been very excited about ‘Mummy’s Fitness Challenge’ and has been bugging me to exercise together – so when you start doing toddler classes, you’ll have to let me know 🙂  In terms of FITCon I really appreciate having that hour just for me and I feel like it makes me a better person to be around, which is probably a positive for the kids!

What’s your favorite part about working out at 7 Mile Strength & Fitness?

The people. I love that everyone is so friendly and so encouraging – it’s such an inclusive community.

Name something you’re most proud of in the gym.

I’m proud of how strong I feel – it’s always a great feeling when I can do a workout at Rx – I always remember looking at the board when I started off and thinking there was no way I would be able to lift that heavy.

Did you play any sports growing up?

I wasn’t a very sporty kid – I played lacrosse, tennis and netball but I was never picked for teams! I did enjoy swimming though and sometimes did some races.

Any sports you want to try now?

My husband is Canadian so I’ll need to pick up ice skating at some point!

Anything people at 7 Mile Strength & Fitness don’t know about you?

I’m a cake baker. I used to have a stall in Broadway Market in London (where Claire Ptak who made Harry and Meghan’s cake also has a stall). I also make wedding cakes but haven’t made any for royalty unfortunately!

Anything crazy on your bucket list? (bungee jumping, sky diving?)

I’d like to get to Antarctica one day and hope that I would be lucky enough to see some polar bears.

What is your favourite WOD and why?

Anything with rowing or the bike – being tall I think makes it a bit easier!

What is your least favorite WOD and why?

Wallballs!! I am so bad at them.

What has been your biggest surprise about doing FITCon?

The friends I have made. I didn’t expect to join a gym and make friends – it seems weird to say that because it’s so normal now to walk in and say ‘hi’ to people and have a chat, but that would never have happened in my previous gyms!

Would you recommend 7 Mile Strength & Fitness to others and if so, why?

Absolutely. No matter how fit or flexible you are, the coaches will always modify the workout so that it is just right for you. I have never felt like I’m not good enough, or that I don’t belong – you are always made to feel that you are capable of doing the workout – it’s so great for your self confidence and makes you want to come back for another one!

 

Congratulations, Rachael!  We are very proud of you!

 

Gillian Allan
Member name:

Gillian Allan

Athlete of the month: May 2018
Details

How long have you been doing FITCon?

Since September 2016

What made you decide to give FITCon a try?

I wanted to increase the range of movement in my joints, particularly my knees, and also wanted to do some weight bearing exercise.

Your daughter Florence originally started with us when she was a part of the Cayman Islands Sailing Club. Was she your motivation for starting with us?

Yes, part of it for sure, she suggested to me to give it a try. Florence started in the teen program with CrossFit 7 Mile to help with strength and overall fitness as part of her sailing training. I was impressed at how supportive the gym was to the kids and how she became hooked early on. Chris Spigner has helped her enormously along the way and she really enjoys working with him.

What was the hardest part when you started out and how did you overcome that?

Mobility of my knee joints. All the coaches in class were always able to find an alternative/modified movements for me. This helped to keep me motivated and feel included in the workouts.

What’s your favorite part about working out at 7 Mile Strength & Fitness?

The encouragement of the coaches, the tips & guidance they offer and their willingness to work with you to scale if required.

Name something you’re most proud of in the gym.

The coaches as they practice what they preach and gym’s reputation.

We know you’re an avid supported of the Humane Society and helping foster dogs when in need. Are you now the proud owner of 25 rescue dogs? 😉

We’ve fostered a few dogs, a couple were really sick with heartworm disease, (such a preventable disease) so it’s lovely to see them get better and healthy as some are so badly neglected its heartbreaking. We hope it has helped them along their way to recovery and finding their forever homes. It’s hard not to keep them though!

A lot of people think what we do isn’t for anybody over the age of 40. What would you tell those people?

And over the age of 50 – LOL! Come and try it I’d say. It can appear at first a little bit of an intimidating environment, but once you have been to the gym a few times you realize it’s not like that at all. Everyone is very friendly and the coaches genuinely want you to do well, help you and see you improve. So easy to say ‘I can’t do that’ but none of us should allow that mental barrier get in the way. We are all way more capable of lots more things than we think, get out of the comfort zone put some hard work in for your own self reward, its so worth it. You feel better in your daily life.

Congratulations on participating in this year’s CrossFit Open! Tell us a little bit about your experience 🙂

The first year I did it I wasn’t sure about doing it, if I’m honest. Having a scaled work out (for my age) helped a lot. The first year I did it, it was hard but it felt great to be working out with the other people in the gym, the coaches and the judges were very super, helpful, encouraging and supportive. My friend from FITCon, Lisa Queen, encouraged me to sign up for my second year. I was completely blown away on my improvement in a year and the increased weight I was able to lift, it was a huge motivator. Looking forward to doing my third one next year.

Did you play any sports growing up?

I played hockey, volleyball, netball at school and also did a lot of horse riding.

Any sports you want to try now?

I’d like to give kite boarding a try.

What is your favourite WOD and why?

My favorite part of a WOD is handstands if they are in it. I find them strengthening and empowering and the inversion feels good, especially if you’ve been sitting as a desk all day.

What is your least favorite WOD and why?

Least favorite part of a WOD is biking for calories, it’s such a slog but like a lot of things in a workout it feels good when you’re done!

What has been your biggest surprise about doing FITCon?

My main aim was to increase the range of motion in my knee joints as mentioned earlier. The increased range of motion is way beyond what I thought I could achieve so its great incentive to keep it up.

Would you recommend 7 Mile Strength & Fitness to others and if so, why?

No matter what your ability, age or skill set, CrossFit 7 Mile are able to accommodate what you want to work on.

Congrats again Gillian – we are proud to have you represent CF7M for the month of May.

 

 

Shenaye Ebanks
Member name:

Shenaye Ebanks

Athlete of the month: April 2018
Details

How long have you been doing CrossFit?

A little over 1 year.

What made you decide to give CrossFit a try?

I wanted to incorporate fitness into my every day life, but I kept getting bored with everything I tried and would eventually stop. CrossFit seemed to be the most challenging and would give me the push I needed to both do better and stay consistent.

What was the hardest part when you started out and how did you overcome that?

I actually found it to be extremely intimidating and I was always so nervous whenever I had to go into the gym. So in essence, I suppose the hardest part for me in the beginning was simply to keep walking through the doors of the gym. Chris frequently tells me to just have fun, and this may very well be how I overcame the initial intimidation and nervousness I felt. I made the conscious decision to get out of my head and just have fun, and I put my complete trust in Chris – it’s really easy to keep walking through the doors of the gym everyday when you know your Coach has your back!

What’s your favorite part about working out at 7 Mile Strength & Fitness?

The coaches and the incredibly encouraging, positive, and all around happy people in the gym! I’ve found that whenever you’re at 7 Mile Strength & Fitness, you’re surrounded by athletes and coaches cheering you, motivating and encouraging you, giving you that high-five and pat on the back you probably needed. You’re surrounded by smiles and laughter, and it’s the camaraderie you find at the gym that is undoubtedly the best part.

Name something you’re most proud of in the gym.

My growth and progress, both physically and mentally. “I can’t,” used to be my favorite line and in the beginning there were certain movements I wouldn’t even try. Chris frequently tells me that “I need to let the badass in me shine a little bit,” and it’s only been recently that I’ve been able to find it in me to do just that, and honestly It’s amazing what you can become and what you can accomplish if you just stop standing in your own way.

You participated in the 2018 CrossFit Games Open. Congrats on finishing! Tell us a little about your experience. Were you nervous about it? Did you have fun doing it? What was one thing you learned about yourself from doing those workouts?

I was definitely nervous, but it was worth it in the end because I had loads of fun! The one thing I can say I learned from doing those workouts is that I have the strength to get past that mental barrier that was always screaming at me to stop. I learned to really push myself (as well as properly pace myself), and I learned that I can pass that boundary from comfortable to incredibly uncomfortable, and there are so many amazing things that can happen when you allow yourself to do this. We’re all so much tougher and so much stronger than we think we are!

Since coming to 7 Mile Strength & Fitness has there been any changes in your lifestyle habits that you wouldn’t have made otherwise? For example, do you get a better nights sleep now, any changes in your food intake etc.

Most definitely! I really didn’t think getting 8 hours of sleep and making the decision to fuel my body with more wholesome food would make such a difference, but it has made all the difference for me! I sleep better at night, it has become easier to choose to eat in a healthier way, and I’m a much happier, positive, and productive person because of these simple changes. Most significantly however, I was able to stop smoking cigarettes and I’ve learned to deal with my anxiety and the symptoms that accompany it in a much better way. If ever there were a cure for anxiety, I’d have to say that it would be CrossFit!

What would a perfect day look like for you?

Any day where the smiles and laughs are easy, is a perfect day for me.

Anything people at 7 Mile Strength & Fitness don’t know about you?

I love reading and there isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t pick up a book.

Anything crazy on your bucket list?(bungee jumping, sky diving?

Cage diving with Great White Sharks is pretty high on my bucket list.

What is your favourite WOD and why?

Anything with squats and/or a barbell, simply because I love squats and using a barbell is nothing short of empowering.

What is your least favorite WOD and why?

Any WOD that involves Assault Bike sprints, because that just sucks.

What has been your biggest surprise about doing CrossFit?

How much I love it. I thought I would like CrossFit, but I have fallen in love with it and going into the gym is the best part of my day.

Would you recommend 7 Mile Strength & Fitness to others and if so, why?

Most definitely, and I recommend it all the time to friends and colleagues! There are so many reasons to list, but again, the coaches and support you find in the gym! The Coaches have completely changed my mindset on what it means to lead a healthy life, and there really is no better investment than that. As humans, we love to put limitations on our abilities, when really our abilities are limitless, and at 7 Mile Strength & Fitness, you’re not intimidated by what everyone else is doing, lifting, or accomplishing, you’re inspired! 7 Mile Strength & Fitness has become my happy place; it has become my safe place, and for anyone looking for that, 7 Mile Strength & Fitness is the answer!

 

Congratulations, Shenaye!  We are so proud of you.

 

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