Athlete of Month

Sarah Gavin
Member name:

Sarah Gavin

Athlete of the month: October 2018
Details

How long have you been doing CrossFit?

Started fundamentals in January 2018, joined classes in March.

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

I’d trained for the 2017 Cayman Islands Marathon with Scotty and Jesse, and was introduced to the 7 Mile community that way. I did some mobility sessions with Chris and realised how much I could gain from focusing on strength training, alongside conditioning. I signed up for fundamentals and as they say, the rest is history!

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

Building confidence and learning the proper techniques for olympic/power lifting. I’ve never had the confidence to “lift” before, and I felt quite intimidated by the whole idea. With Chris’ careful and patient instruction (and my desire to avoid looking like a complete moron) the techniques became more familiar and the confidence started to grow. It’s an ongoing process, but I now absolutely love the strength aspects of the workouts!

You recently said, “I’d never in a million years have thought I’d have the confidence to wear booty shorts and yet, thanks to 7 Mile, I’m a convert.” Can I just say how AMAZING that is to hear!!! You look fantastic and we couldn’t be happier for you – honestly – keep rocking those booty shorts. Inspiring others is what we’re all about 🙂

Thank you so much. I have struggled since the age of 13 with body image and confidence. Thanks to CrossFit I no longer avoid photographs or reflective surfaces.

I was at the Marathon Seminar we had back in August. You got up in front of the crowd and addressed a few things that have made a huge impact on your overall health and wellness. Would you mind sharing some of those things?

I first met Chris when I was training for last year’s marathon and was struggling with injuries and from over-training. Chris put it very simply – “running is great for you, if you run well”. We took a few videos (which were painful to watch) and it turned out I didn’t run too well! After the marathon I took some time out to recover and then started fundamentals in January. I focused on hitting my macros and ditched the cider. I didn’t run long-distance at all. I threw myself into fundamentals and loved it. My energy levels improved, my injuries disappeared, and I began to tone-up and see muscle! I began running again with the marathon training group in August and the difference in my technique and pace is incredible!

We are not your typical gym. Most gyms don’t offer a Coach for Life. Coach Chris is yours – how has having a Coach for Life helped you?

Put very simply, having a coach for life has totally transformed my life! Chris constantly supports and encourages me, he drives me to do better, and he won’t put up with excuses. He keeps me on the straight and narrow and helps to prevent me becoming injured as a result. It’s a bit like having an exercise-conscience, like Jiminy Cricket: if Jiminy Cricket did CrossFit. He champions success and helps me learn from my many and frequent fails. And I have it on good authority that he makes every single one of his tribe feel the same way, which is quite extraordinary! The coaches at 7 Mile really are the best in the world.

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

Something I’m most proud of is my deadlift and my progress on pull-ups. I’m onto the red band now. I also have 14 DUs when I started with zero!

Did you play any sports growing up?

Yes loads! Before I stopped growing (aged 11) I was a sprinter, cross-country runner, and swimmer. In my teens I played netball but my fave was lacrosse.

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

I LOVE off road motorcycling (albeit I’ve not ridden since arriving in Cayman). No better feeling in the world (save, perhaps, for CrossFit!)

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

Ironman and Marathon Des Sables (if Chris lets me…)

What is your favorite WOD and why?

Anything with shoulder work, I love working on my upper body strength!

What is your least favorite WOD and why?

Assault bike and wall balls (I hit myself in the face the first time I did walk balls in a workout and am still recovering from the embarrassment).

What has been your biggest surprise about doing CrossFit?

How strong and toned I’ve become in just 6 months. I’m so excited to see where I am in another 6 months’ time!

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

YES! In a heartbeat. Why? Because it will change your life.

 

Thanks Sarah, we are proud to have you as our October 7 Miler.

Casey Burgess
Member name:

Casey Burgess

Athlete of the month: September 2018
Details

How long have you been doing CrossFit?

Since November last year.

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

I have always wanted to get into fitness and self-improvement but had found regular gyms hard to get into. The W.O.D program is perfect for someone like me who would never push myself on my own; making sure I don’t totally embarrass myself in front of other people is a great motivator.

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

Starting from zero. Playing sports throughout school had always come very naturally to me and I have a very competitive edge but starting fitness after a lot of inactivity was very humbling, I wanted to keep up with everyone but had to accept my limits.

Most people participate in either the CrossFit class or the FITCon class, not both. You do – how do you like that combination of coming to both styles of classes during the week?

I like the combination of strength and conditioning. I always feel I get a bit more conditioning from FITCon than I do from standard CrossFit classes. As long as I need to work hard on both aspects I’ll continue to attend both.

Coach Julia is your Coach for Life. She mentioned that you have made some really great progress since coming to our gym. That is awesome, congrats! Can you tell us a little bit about the things you’ve improved on? What is the thing you’re most proud of?

Probably conditioning. I could barely run 200m without being out of breath at the start but that’s becoming a distant memory. The ability to have stamina to match some of the strength I already had has definitley felt great.

I understand you are on your feet most of the day with work. How do you stay motivated to come to class after being on your feet all day?

Enjoyment. As much as I like to complain to Julia I always have a great time and enjoy every bit of punishment she gleefully dishes out. The structure of classes is always fresh and exciting

Did you play any sports growing up?

Anything and everything I could. Football, Rugby and then American Football when it became available later.

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

Probably quite a lot. I’m a huge Manchester United fan if people wanna goad me about it 🙂

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

A cruise to Antarctica is my number one right now.

What is your favorite WOD and why?

I’m still learning a lot about my limits and how far I can go. Anything with a one or three rep max is always exciting.

What is your least favorite WOD and why?

Anything with a movement I cannot do yet, looking at your muscle ups and handstand activities.

What has been your biggest surprise about doing CrossFit?

How friendly and supportive everyone is.

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

Absolutely, and I’d recommend Coach Julia doubley so. She has been a fantastic coach who always listens and does her best to work around my limitations and push me when I need pushing, thanks for everything!

 

Congratulations again, Casey!  We are proud of you.

 

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!

 

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