TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF. WHAT DO YOU DO OUTSIDE OF THE GYM?
I am originally from the Philippines, but Chicago has been my home for almost nine years now. I work as a Physical Therapist in a rehab facility on the Southside. Most of my patients are African American seniors that require therapy for long term care and short term rehab. I am grateful for having a job that is both fulfilling and challenging at the same time. It gives me a sense of pride knowing that my job as a PT can help people recover from diseases, injuries and improve quality of life.
Living here in the city, I enjoy the perks of trying new restaurants and bars (I eat a lot and that surprises most people lol! ) and going to concerts and music festivals which i’m very much looking forward to once this pandemic is over. Outside the gym, I enjoy outdoor activities like running and hiking. I’m lucky to have a group of friends who are physically active, marathon runners, bikers and triathletes. I recently learned how to ride a bike and did my first 18 mile bike ride with my friends. I also learned how to roller skate a few months ago and did kayaking for the first time too! This is the year that I have learned to let go of the idea that it’s too late to learn something new. It is never, ever too late :)
I also enjoy listening to The Daily Stoic podcast every morning as part of my routine. In my downtime I enjoy watching documentaries, Spanish series on Netflix and reading books about personal development. (I’m currently reading Ego Is The Enemy by Ryan Holiday)
WHAT INITIALLY GOT YOU INTO TRAINING AND WHAT KEEPS YOU COMING BACK?
I was never athletic or sporty when growing up so being physically active is something foreign to me. I started my fitness journey in 2014 when I first started doing group exercise classes and pole fitness/ dance classes in an all girls gym in Lincoln Park. I did it for a few years until I had to stop because of an injury. One of my best friends who was living in California started doing Crossfit at that time and told me about how he enjoys his new workouts. I told him that I’m looking for a new fitness challenge so he advised me to drop in to one of the gyms here in the city. It took months before I had the courage to do a trial class and went with my two co workers. I still remember the workout, it was back squat for strength and rowing, box jumps and push ups for the Metcon. I was hooked in lifting weights and doing different workouts, different movements everyday. I was one of those who never stopped talking about Crossfit at that time.
Training helped me a lot with my job as I am required to do some lifting when I have dependent patients. At times, when I have high level patients, I have them do some of our workouts with modifications. My patients enjoy it and told me they feel like they were in a bootcamp during therapy.
I have learned to love running because of training. I used to struggle running a mile and through training I finished my first half marathon, 20 miler and a full marathon all in one year!
I can list down all the positive effects of training and exercise to my physical health but what keeps me coming back is the process of developing my mindset when I face challenges, discomfort, failures and fatigue during a workout. I’m learning to embrace the struggle, to adapt and find an opportunity to do better in every Wod. I love getting into the headspace where I don’t think about work and my life outside the gym.
WHAT ARE YOUR FITNESS GOALS? HOW CLOSE ARE YOU TO REACHING THEM?
My main fitness goal is to finish the six major marathons (I’ve done 1 out of 6) and to finish a triathlon. Those are just some of my long term goals and might take years to accomplish.
For short term goals, I would like to consistently do a workout Rx, hence, I need to be efficient in gymnastic movements and double unders (I used to jump rope backwards and I really thought it was normal lol! ) I’m doing accessory work at home to build upper body strength for strict movements.
WHAT’S AN ACCOMPLISHMENT OR GOAL YOU’VE REACHED AT HARDWARE THAT MADE YOU THE MOST PROUD?
I can say lifting heavier than I used to was one of my accomplishments while training at Hardware but the one that I am the most proud of is surviving and recovering from Covid. I got sick this April because of viral overload at work (fyi we are being tested at work and I take extra precaution before going to the gym) Although my symptoms were not too severe, I was weak, was short of breath even with going up and down the stairs, had no appetite, lost a few pounds and was depressed since I had to quarantine for weeks. I am grateful that Hardware started doing home workouts at that time and that I was able to do them when I could. Working out helped boost my immune system, improve my endurance and kept me sane in times of isolation.
I love doing long Metcons, or anything that involves running and bodyweight movements. I also like cleans and thrusters. I know a lot of people will hate me for this but I love BURPEES!