Why This 40+ Mom Tried CrossFit!

Claudia Head Shot Small

Claudia Head Shot Small

By Claudia FWife, Mom, Designer, Manager, Dog Lover, CrossFitter

My stomach had been churning for hours. It felt like the first day of school…only worse! Who would have believed I’d be going to do something I always thought was for muscle heads. I’m so anti-gym and definitely didn’t want to look like a body builder, right?? I’d always liked to walk and even did a half marathon, but I was 40+ and about to try CROSSFIT!

How I Ended Up in the Box

It all started when I took a job as the Manager of Iron Physical Therapyin January 2014. I’d been in a bit of a rut, and I was excited about a fresh start but I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

If anyone knows Dr. Geno Mayes, the owner of Iron Physical Therapy, then you already know that the words “I can’t” or “I’m too afraid” do NOT exist in his vocabulary. I knew my time had come to put fear aside and challenge myself to become active again. Geno helped me find the part of me that had been longing to come out. I believe that everyone has competitiveness to some degree within. I’m definitely one of those people, and as an avid CrossFitter, Geno thought it was just the thing for me.

I observed a CrossFit competition one Saturday and thought to myself, why do these people want to do this to themselves? I could NEVER! Well then Martha fromCrossfit Caldwellcame into IronPT one day. She convinced me to try a free class and assured me there wouldn’t be any pressure to join. Well, that was almost five months ago.

I remember going there and thinking everyone was looking at me saying, “What is she doing here?" I never worked so hard in my life, but I finished the class. I signed up for the fundamentals class thinking I'll give it two weeks, and then I’ll be good…and then I signed up for a month and another after that.

Five Months Later

I still feel the same in the morning when my alarm clock goes off at 4:00 a.m…“Why am I doing this”? But being a mom and working full time, the 5:15 a.m. class is the only one that works for my schedule. Even though it’s hard, it’s been worth it.



I was skeptical about how much my body could change in such a short time, but my co-worker took my measurements, and I’ve lost three inches around my thighs and one inch around my waist. Now THAT is a great feeling! I have also increased my strength more than I ever thought possible. My back squat went from 65lb to 115lb and my deadlift went from 95lb to a PR of 165lb.

What I’ve Learned

Doing CrossFit is scary, hard and satisfying all at the same time. As a busy mom, it was exactly what I needed to start making time for myself again. Being active has given me the confidence to believe, “I can do that too.” I may not do CrossFit forever, but I now feel bold enough to try other things. It has also made me feel less self-conscious about my appearance. As we get older, it’s not as easy to keep things in place as it used to be ; ) The strength training helps move things around a bit, but more than that, it makes you appreciate your body for everything it can do rather than just how it looks.

Going from 0 to 60 MPH does come with a few aches and pains, but I am learning how to address any issues and take better care of my body so that it serves me over the long haul. 

My first competition!

My first competition!

If you’re on the fence about trying a free class at CrossFit, I say go and check it out. It’s a challenge…ALWAYS! Just go at your own pace. YOU are the only one that matters. I have said that I’ll give myself one year and then see how I look and feel. But then again, I was only going to do the fundamentals class – ha!

I Do CrossFit!!

Easy Green Smoothie: Paleo Style

Easy Green Smoothie: Paleo Style

My day…

Alarm rings, hit snooze, wake up at 6:00, out the door by 6:30.

Time for breakfast somewhere between drying my hair and brushing my teeth?

I needed something easy, quick, and filling, because the last thing I wanted was to be starving at 8:30 during a plank party.  Then, like a healthy superhero, a good friend of mine introduced to me to the green smoothie!

Green Smoothie Recipe

  • Like a magic potion, you just add…

  • 2 handfuls of leafy greens (any will do)

  • a few carrots

  • 1 can light coconut milk (the real stuff, watch the ingredients)

  • some almond milk

  • 1 banana (I use the ripe ones since I can’t stand to eat them)

  • handful of other fruit (I use frozen because it’s easy, but any kind will work! Peaches and Pineapples are my favorites)

  • 1 handful of sunflower seeds

  • Sprinkle some chia seeds

(I’ve added cucumber, avocado, pumpkin seeds, coconut water, fruit juice… anything Paleo goes!)

and BLEND!

Green Smoothie

Green Smoothie

It starts off looking gorgeous and layered in the blender, but by the time its done working its magic, the color can be anything other than attractive. It is a green smoothie after all. Good thing it's healthy, tastes good and fits the Paleo lifestyle!  Added bonus is that it can help empty the refrigerator to make room for new goodies!


Marnie Wortman

Marnie Wortman

By Dr. Marnie Wortman, PT, DPT, CrossFitter

Tackle Arthritis and Knee Pain to Stay Active (POM 12/13)

Patient of the Month

It has been a true pleasure to work with Jerry. He has been fully committed to therapy and demonstrated a strong desire to live a healthy, active lifestyle. In addition, he is always a gentlemen who puts family and others first. We want to honor the wonderful changes he's made and can't wait to see where this year takes him.

In His Own Words...

Three Words That Describe Me: Pragmatic, Family-Oriented, Inquisitive

. What brought you to PT? After many years of untreated knee arthritis, a couple years of low back issues, weight gain, and an increasing lack of physical activity, I was starting to have problems ambulating. Walking just a few blocks was becoming difficult. I needed to get my lower extremities in much better shape. At 63 years old, I'm way too young to be having ambulation problems.

How have you benefitted from your PT experience? I've regained at least 25 degrees of range of motion in my knee and significantly increased the strength in my hip and leg muscles. My walking endurance and comfort have also increased significantly. Dr. Mayes along with his team members Deb and Melissa have given me the encouragement, support and tools necessary to continue getting stronger and better. I've dropped 12 pounds as well.

What would you recommend to someone who has the same injury as you? Work hard and pay attention to Dr. Mayes and his staff.

What activities are you most excited about getting back to? I'm very excited to be able to walk without discomfort in my legs. When I started at Iron PT, I could walk for only about 3 to 5 minutes before knee and/or hip discomfort kicked in. I can now walk at least 25 minutes without a problem. I will continue to work on endurance and strength. My short term goals will be to exercise and eat healthfully every day. My long term goals are to complete a 5K walk in 2014 and to still be exercising every day when I'm 80 years old.

How I Lost 40 pounds and Got in the Best Shape of My Life!

By Linc Jenkins

This is me at age 16 modeling my speedo for the high school yearbook.  I remember it well because as you can imagine, I was not thrilled about the image of myself in a bikini bottom being captured for 1600 of my classmates to see.

linc swim team circle

linc swim team circle

At 6'4", I always had a pretty lean build, until my late 20's, when I started lifting weights and paying more attention to nutrition. In college I was about 235 after putting on about 15 pounds of muscle.

In my early 30's, I had a lot going on in my life and  stopped working out and developed some bad habits.  One of those being eating massive amounts of food late at night.  Have you seen the movie Gremlins?  Remember what happens to the little Mogwai's when you feed them after midnight?  Well, the result is not positive and the same can be said for myself.  Over time my size 38 pants no longer fit and the scale was reading 275.  My wakeup call came in the form of a trip to Macy's to buy some new dress pants and coming home with waist size 42.  I had had enough and it was time to get back on a healthy track.

Here's a picture of me at almost 300 lbs. Not many photos of that time!

linc heavy

linc heavy

I really like slogans because they are a good way to not only remember things easily but also to keep things simple, which is important for me.  So, I'll use a few well known slogans to share some of what has worked for me.

Monkey See Monkey Do 

Random story. During a swim meet in high school , my teammates once overheard an opponent who I had just beaten in the 50 free referring to me as "King Kong".  I guess the thought of monkeys and and my yearbook picture sparked that memory.

linc diving

linc diving

So, even though I actually have been described in likeness to a primate before (insert sarcasm), this has nothing to do with monkeys. It is about inspiration and finding someone to emulate which can help you get started and visualize your  goals.

My inspiration to get into working out was Tony Gonzalez (Gonzo), an NFL tight end who now plays for the Atlanta Falcons. I'm an avid fantasy football player and back in 2004, Gonzo was my man. Any of you who happen to partake in fantasy football know what I mean.  That guy who produces week after week for your squad and whose name always seems to end up on your roster, year after year.  One could call it a man crush.

So I had just started working out with weights and saw a clip on TV of Gonzo incline pressing 100 lb dumbbells.  At the time I couldn't even come close to putting that kind of weight up, but seeing Gonzo do it inspired me and I told myself that there was no reason why I couldn't do the same thing one day.  This was a major turning point for me because a benchmark was set (pun intended) and I now had a specific goal to work towards.

You Are What You Eat 

This is coming from a guy whose family nicknamed him the "garbage disposal" because of the quantities of food I consumed and the speed at which I did so.  I had to "upgrade" to a deluxe meal plan in college, because two all-u-can eat meals a day at Chapel Hill's Lenoir Dining Hall was not enough. A typical snack for me was a Mrs Freshens honey bun that had been marinating in the vending machine in the basement of Alexander Residence Hall. Now, this strategy worked for me when I was 19; however, in my early 30's, not so much.

One of my favorite cartoons back in the day was GI Joe.  Each episode concluded with a short public service announcement where a GI Joe hero would come across some kid acting a fool and offer expert GI Joe advice.  After being quickly educated in the school of common sense, the kid would enthusiastically mutter "now I know!"  This would then of course cue the GI Joe theme music and the hero responded with the coin phrase "And knowing is half the battle".

Well, call me Cobra Saboteur because I'm rolling with this phrase when it comes to proper nutrition and fitness results. My experience has always been that working out is only half the battle.

When I got serious about working out in my late 20's, I also drastically changed my diet. I'm no nutritionist, but over the years I've found some healthy foods high in protein and low in fat that I like eating, and I stick to them.  I throw in a protein bar for a morning snack every day and whey protein shakes after working out.  Once again, a key point here is that I like what I eat and it gives me a sense of satisfaction knowing that my body will function better as a result.

Stay  in Your Lane

This is actually a Dr Mayes saying that I really like and figured would be appropriate to close with.  For me, this has to do with genetics and body type. Whenever someone compliments me or asks me what I did to get in shape, I always start with giving props to my DNA.  Even before I knew how to spell working out, I had reasonably muscular arms; this came from Ralph Jenkins and Debra Fraley (may they rest in peace), not anything that I did.  On the same token, I had hip surgery at age 13 due to a bone tumor and now face possible knee replacement at age 37 due to severe arthritis in my knees.  So I'm gonna go out on a limb and  proclaim that I'm not an ideal candidate to be a marathon runner.  My body seems to respond well to strength training, and I enjoy it, so that's the lane I've chosen.

I'll leave you with my "after" picture which includes my amazing wife of 10 years!

lis and linc

lis and linc

Note about the author: Many people in town think Linc and Dr. Geno Mayes are brothers (or the same person-ha), but in fact they are only related through marriage. Linc is not only family (his wife runs the IronPT office),  but he has also been a patient from time to time. Even cooler, his arm is featured on thewww.ironpt.com home page. We are thrilled that he has spilled some of his secrets for us and will definitely have him contribute again to share more about his diet and workout.

Losing Weight and Getting Healthy with the Paleo Diet

By Melissa Jenkins As It Turns Out, You Can Teach An Old Dog New Tricks!

As my sister Meri revealed in an earlier post, dieting, food restrictions, or anything of the like have not been part of my lifestyle. Much to the dismay of my particularly healthy surroundings (husband, sisters, friends) I have been known to nosh on candy stashed in my glove compartment or grab fast food for a lunch on the run.

Back in October, when my sister initially coerced me into trying the Paleo diet for 30 days, I fully intended for it to be just that -- 30 days. I just wanted to prove to myself and others that I do have some self-control when it comes to food choices. In this case, “if you can’t beat 'em, join 'em” has turned out to have had a good outcome.

To my surprise, I have maintained quite a bit of the Paleo diet for over three months now.  This is still me, so of course I haven't permanently omitted any foods from my daily diet; but my intake of whites, sugar, and dairy is limited these days and I have now incorporated lots more protein, fruits, veggies, and water.



So why have I continued??

1. More Energy

For me, a driving force has been the energy I felt during the month of strict Paleo. I pride myself on being “well-rested” (sleeping at least 8 hours a night and taking a nap whenever possible). However, I often still found myself feeling drowsy throughout the day.  My idea of a snack was a small bag of candy and a diet soda. Not surprising, this would result in a burst of energy soon followed by a wave of drowsiness. These days, my favorite snack is pistachios and seltzer water, which keeps me going and feeling good.

2. Clear Skin

Another huge motivator to keep this Paleo thing going is the clarity of my skin.  I live a relatively busy life and often use a facial wipe cleanser before falling into bed at night. This lazy approach does not exactly lead to flawless skin.  However, with limited intake of gluten and diary, I can slack off doing a total face washing and still have skin that makes me smile.

3. Weight Loss

Although I did not start the diet to lose weight, I'm certainly not going to turn it down. During the first month, I lost almost five pounds and since then I've taken off another three. Good to be back in my skinny jeans!

Moving forward, my goal is to roll into my 40s gracefully.  I just celebrated yet another birthday, and I am hoping that as time goes on I will continue to feel more energized, eat healthier, and look good doing it!

Especially now that I work at IronPT where I continually see individuals striving to improve their quality of life through physical exercise, I am inspired to keep this good thing going with my Paleo (modified) diet!

Has anybody else had success on Paleo?

Do you have any good recipes for breakfast...that seems to be the hardest meal?