I’m one lucky girl who is married to SISU co-owner Pat Crosby and am honored daily to be “Smom” (step-mom) to my most favorite girls, Ellie and Taylor. They fill my heart in ways I can’t even put into words. I am “momma” to Edward, our 5 year-old boxer. He’s my snuggler and running buddy.
One of my greatest joys is my volunteer work with Youth Grief Services, having been inspired to do this in honor of my younger brother Patrick who passed unexpectedly in 2004. Prior to SISU, I was a fitness instructor at The Firm for over 11 years – I taught spinning and muscle conditioning classes.
For my career, I’ve been in healthcare for over 23 years, serving in a variety of roles. Currently, I’m the director of Business Relationship Management for Fairview Health Services.
I started at SISU 10 years ago when we opened the first location, our pilot site in Wayzata. At that time, I knew (Pat) Crosby loved it, but I didn’t know much about it. He and I had always worked out together – running, spinning or group fitness classes. So, I decided to try it, and to be honest, I didn’t enjoy that initial experience.
After that, I primarily focused on running and spinning.
Making a Change
Before returning to SISU, I had experienced two miscarriages, a cancer scare and was in my mid-forties. For the first time in my life I found myself really struggling with my physical appearance. I had been a fitness instructor in my 20’s & 30’s, a long distance runner (marathons and half-marathons) and always maintained a healthy lifestyle and appearance. My body had changed, and it didn’t bounce back like I thought it would. I was struggling to lose the weight I had put on from the miscarriages and time off for recovery. I didn’t feel good about my body and was embarrassed by how much I had changed. I had never experienced those feelings before; it was a painful time and a low point for me. I knew I needed to make a change.
Getting Started at SISU
I started with spinning, running and some of the group fitness workouts I used to do. However, I wasn’t getting the results I wanted. At that point, I also adjusted my mindset. I started accepting the reality of being 45, realizing that your body changes and the things you’ve always done may not work for you any longer. As I struggled, I continued talking with Crosby. He and (coach) Thomas encouraged me to try CrossFit. I continued to be a resistant as I’d never lifted more than a 15 lb. dumbbell and the bars/heavy weights intimidated me. They said the programming had changed from my first experience and asked me to trust them and to simply try SISU-X.
I started the SISU-X class – cardio and strength training with variety in each workout. That’s all it took, and I was hooked. Then SISU Endurance/Intervals launched, and I don’t know which class I love more! But what really keeps me coming back for more is the community of people. I’m moved every day by the people at the gym. They inspire me to be more, do more and they support me when I hit my own challenges in a WOD. We “Spread the Love” every day, and I’m beyond humbled and honored to be a part of this community of amazing people.
This spring, I began the SISU nutrition program. I was amazed at how much I learned about my previous nutrition. I thought I had always been a healthy eater. I previously ate low carb and high protein. I didn’t eat fast food, greasy foods or drink soda. I was shocked to learn about macronutrients and that the food I was eating (peanut butter, avocados, salad dressing etc.) was too high in fat for the goals I wanted to achieve. The support and encouragement I received from (nutrition coach) Christina was amazing – so personal and compassionate. I will forever be thankful to Crosby, Thomas and Christina for bringing these elements into my life. I’ve lost over 25 pounds and feel the best I’ve felt in years. I feel like “me” again.
Looking back on this chapter in my life, I realize how unexpected challenges, both physical and emotional, can throw you off, and how I had taken my fitness/health for granted. I never want to hit that low point again, I feel like I now live the mantra of “challenges make you stronger”. I am grateful for the perspective I’ve gained and for finding my way back to healthy nutrition and a healthy way of life.
Encouragement to Others
Keep your mind focused on “I think I can…I think I can…” and you will! Why I allowed myself to put up barriers to fitness programs is beyond me. I’m still trying to understand that. But, what I can say I’ve learned is – stop the excuses and lean on the people who love you. Life is hard; we experience the unexpected, and it impacts you in ways you never could have imagined. You can continue to stay in that reality or choose to pick yourself up, dig deep, get gritty, do what you need to and move forward. I chose to move forward and not look back. If others can relate, just jump in – come try SISU-X, Endurance, Yoga or CrossFit – you won’t regret it. You will find the most amazing you yet! And in every WOD just remember, I think I can….I think I can…. And you will!!