Athlete of Month

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.

 

Shankari Reebye
Member name:

Shankari Reebye

Athlete of the month: March 2018
Details

How long have you been doing CrossFit?

Six months.

What made you decide to give CrossFit a try?

My husband, Ounesh. I could see Ounesh’s commitment to wellness develop along with great improvements in his fitness. When the opportunity came for me to change fitness programs, I set up a meeting with Chris to learn about CrossFit. In the consultation, Chris asked some really hard questions about my intentions, goals, and what I was looking for in a gym. I could immediately see the depth in Chris’s coaching and left knowing 7Mile was the right choice for me.

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

Fear of injury. I have a torn ACL and grade 4 osteoarthritis in my knee, which made me nervous about doing certain movements pain and injury free. The only way I could overcome this was to trust Chris and the process. He helped me take a step back in my training and slow everything down. He worked with me to find a place where I could feel physically the difference between “just moving” and moving “well”.  I have learned to be honest about what causes any knee pain, and look to my coaches for advice and modifications where needed. It’s a constant balance of respecting my injuries, but not allowing them to stop me from trying new things.

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

There are so many! I love the enthusiasm of the coaches and members during work outs – it really pushes me when I most need it.

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

Owning my workout. Knowing I have good days where I need to push myself and bad days where I need to scale down. I will continue to work on this…

What brought you to the Cayman Islands?

A career opportunity for Ounesh.

You and your husband Ounesh are both members at 7 Mile Strength & Fitness. They say that us CrossFitters talk A LOT about CrossFit. Would you agree? Do you talk about your workouts all the time?

We are definitely guilty of talking about CrossFit at home. We check out Beyond The Whiteboard together before bed and almost always have a chat about the WOD. We talk about classes, tips from different coaches, complain about sore muscles and of course exchange scores 🙂

Tell us how you manage wearing so many “hats”….you’re a mom, wife, and busy interior designer! How do you handle the work/life juggle? Do your two daughters think mom is Super Mom? 😉

Flexibility and choosing what works for our family. Our family is a team and we work together. CrossFit is part of how I find balance in my life. It is the one hour a day I fully focus on myself and as a result have I have more to offer my family. Ounesh and I also make an effort to do one workout a week together. With two small children, making time for us as a couple is so important. We love our Friday date night at the bar 🙂  I look forward to doing a WOD with my girls one day!

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

I love stationary and hand written notes.

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

Nothing crazy, my bucket list is all travel 🙂

What is your favourite WOD and why?

WODs with a variety of movements.

What is your least favorite WOD and why?

Anything that requires me to get off an assault bike and use my legs.

What has been your biggest surprise about doing CrossFit?

That there is no pressure to lift anything more than what challenges you.

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

Absolutely. This gym has a fantastic group of coaches and members. Chris is a gem and invaluable source of knowledge and support.

 

Congratulations, Shankari! 

 

 

Alpa Makan
Member name:

Alpa Makan

Athlete of the month: February 2018
Details

How long have you been doing FIT (formerly known as CrossFit Lite)?

Almost 3 years now.

What made you decide to give FIT a try?

I wanted to make fitness a part of my everyday life and having tried a lot of other fitness ways , I was getting bored. I needed to do something that would push me to do better. To not be scared. Make your body do the unexpected!! CrossFit seemed to appeal the most to me.

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

Honestly, I have never been overweight but when I started out every workout was tough.  It made me realize what level of fitness I was really at so I had to lose my inhibitions and my fear of performance and give each of my workouts more than I physically thought I was capable of.

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

Without a doubt, the Coaches! And the amazingly POSITIVE and ENCOURAGING attitude of each person present in the box.

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

As of today, being the 7 Miler of the Month ;))
Probably continuing the workouts even when I was 5 months pregnant and now, making myself get to class no matter how tough the previous day/evening/night might have been.

You and your husband have been members of 7 Mile Strength & Fitness for a few years now. You both seem to have fitness as a priority in your life. We are proud of you both for that 🙂 Is this something you will also teach your girls as they grow up?

Oh absolutely!! The best way to teach kids is by example so we discuss what we do with them. We do try to bring the girls once in a while to show them where mummy goes every morning and daddy every evening. And the fact that they both (5.5 and under 2 years) want to copy us and do exercises with us at home is a joy knowing they are learning something that will always be helpful to them.

Tell us a little bit about what keeps you motivated to keep coming to class.

Rather who? It’s Kunal, my husband!! Its me who signed him up for CrossFit and now its him always encouraging me. But the happiness and satisfaction that I get after the workout is over, THAT- that’s what gets me motivated to not miss my classes.

You have been doing FIT for awhile now. You have seen the program evolve to what it is today. What are some changes that you like about the programming? Anything you dislike about the new style of programming?

The short and effective circuits are what I like, however, at times it does get a bit overwhelming for me to perform well in all of them because they are bit more than what we used to do in Lite.

The CrossFit Open is right around the corner. Have you participated in it before? Will you participate this year? Why or why not?

Sadly, I haven’t and might not be able to this year as well.

Did you play any sports growing up?

Volleyball, badminton and table tennis.

Any sports you want to try now?

Tennis

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

I LOVE food. It probably runs in my family. I am a very good cook (in case Anthony needs a sous chef 😉 ) and love to cook for others too. And on top of that, I can live on CAKES! Second has to be that I love to travel.

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

Well, I would like to skydive one day but more than that I would like to tick off Antarctica and Australia off my list, so then I would happily say that I have completed my world tour!

What is your favourite WOD and why?
Anything involving tabata and kettlebells.

What is your least favorite WOD and why?

Do i really need to say it ?? Burpees!

What has been your biggest surprise about doing Fit?

That the board may seem full of circuits but it goes by pretty fast with brilliant results!

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

Of course I would and Kunal and I already have to sooooo many of our friends. Too many reasons to list why! Repeat — for the BEST coaches!!! You guys have completely changed our mindset about what it means to be healthy. And that in this CrossFit family of ours, we use the better performance of others to inspire us and not intimidate us.

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

Thank you to you guys for making me believe i could do better and help and encourage me to surpass my own expectations!!
In fact, I couldn’t be more happy for that day when I decided to be part of this amazing fitness family!

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