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Member Spotlight: Julie Whitworth

Let’s start with the easy stuff...

Name: Julie Whitworth

Age: 29

Hometown: Katy, TX

Profession: Stay at home mom

Fitness Background: I’ve always enjoyed being active and playing sports, and I swam competitively from when I was young through high school. Swimming was what I did most of the time, but I also played basketball and volleyball growing up. After high school I tried to like running, but that spurt didn’t last long for me. Then I had two kids; during that time I’d go on and off to the gym and take different classes, but I wasn’t consistent with anything until I started at Elevate.

Now onto the CrossFit stuff...

When did you first try CrossFit & what made you want to try it? My husband started doing CrossFit several years ago and - like many people - I was like, “great you’re joining the cult.” I had no idea what he was getting into. It wasn’t until last year when a friend asked me to do a 6-week challenge that Elevate was offering with her that I decided to try it out. When I showed up to learn about the challenge, Luke was like, “hey just jump in and do this class!” Luckily, I was dressed and ready to go, but that was probably the worst feeling workout I’d ever done. I couldn’t believe a workout that was short - maybe 15 minutes - could make my body hurt so badly. Little did I know, that was the push I needed to become hooked!

What was your first CrossFit workout? I don’t remember the exact workout, but the strength portion was strict press and the conditioning part had kettlebell swings and wallballs. I finished way behind the entire class, but what made it all worth it was everyone there motivating me to finish, even though I was pretty sure I was going to die.

What made you stick with CrossFit? After that first workout I was pretty sure I would never be able to move again, but I ended up finishing the rest of the week and grew to love it. That’s the thing about CrossFit - it sucks. It’s really hard and it pushes you beyond what you think you can do. But the feeling you get after finishing those workouts and realizing what you were capable of doing can’t be beat.

Favorite WOD: I don’t have a specific workout that I like, but I do remember one where we had to run a 300 and then follow that with the max number of reps of several different movements within a certain time limit. The workout also had deadlift as one of the movements, and pretty much any workout with deadlifts is pretty great!

Least favorite WOD: A workout that would have wallballs, thrusters and burpees in it would be pretty terrible. (Luke, please don’t program this ever!)

Favorite movement: Deadlift! I also like squat snatches and cleans.

Least favorite movement/something that’s hard for you: Oh man, there are so many! Haha! But really, my least favorite has to be wallballs and thrusters. I am by no means great at CrossFit and there are a lot of movements I still can’t do, but I keep trying and hopefully I’ll be able to do them all someday!

What gets you through tough workouts? I have no idea! I’m not the quickest or the best, but I would say I’m a “slightly” competitive person, so a lot of times I’m trying to beat the people around me. Usually doesn’t happen, especially when Michaela is in the class, but it does usually push me to do better!

What keeps you motivated? Really, what keeps me motivated are my kids and husband. I love that we both get to do this together and I love trying to beat him. Although, I’m pretty sure Jeff will always beat me in pretty much all of it, but one day I’m coming for him! I also love that my kids get to see us both working out and that it’s something important to do. I want them to know it’s important to take care of yourself, and that no matter how crazy, busy or stressed your life is, it’s still important to make time for fitness!

Proudest CrossFit moment to date? I would have to say one of my favorite moments so far was finally hitting 200lbs on my back squat. It wasn’t the best lift, but I was finally able to get it. I remember when I first started I thought I’d never be able to back squat even 100lbs, so it’s awesome to see how far I’ve come during this year! Another good moment for me was doing the team classic with my husband, DeLynn and Paul. This was a big one for all of us because it was our first time to compete in the RX category. Never in a million years did I think I’d do a CrossFit competition, let alone one competing RX. I still think we should have gotten first place and all, but being there and finishing that competition was such a huge accomplishment! I was so proud of the 4 Horseman… though this only made me hate thrusters even more!! Haha!

Hobbies outside of CrossFit: Who has a life outside of the gym? Ha! My kids take up pretty much most of my time these days, but we try to do fun things. We love to go hang out with friends, swim and do anything outside. I also love to travel! Haven’t had much time for that lately, but hopefully one day we will get to go see more places!

Changes you’ve seen because of CrossFit: I have definitely noticed I’m a whole lot stronger! The best thing for me is how it has changed my body perception. One of the reasons I didn’t want to lift heavy weights or do CrossFit was because I didn’t want to get big and bulky - I always just wanted to do cardio to get super lean. After doing this for a while now I’ve realized I was so wrong. Lifting weights won’t make me big and bulky - I actually like how it has changed my body. Now I can see muscle tone that I’ve never had before… if only I could get my nutrition on point, maybe I could see those muscles even better!

How has CrossFit helped you outside of the gym: CrossFit has helped me gain more confidence in myself. I’ve always been a self-conscious person, but this has helped me change my perception and really love who I am. Also, I’m able to achieve these goals I set for myself in the gym, and once I reach them it helps me to try and do the same outside of the gym. It’s shown me that I’m not only getting stronger physically, but stronger emotionally, too!

How do you balance working out with family life? Being a stay at home mom, I’m lucky to be able to go to the mid-morning class. It helps because I’m able to take the kids to school first or bring them with me and still have time to do whatever we need to do the rest of the day. My kids know that even now that it’s summer we wake up and we’re going to CrossFit before we do anything else that day.

What’s your favorite part of bringing your kid(s) to the gym with you? I love the fact that I can bring my kids to Elevate! For one, it’s amazing for me to have that one hour of free “me” time… I mean, that’s the real reason why I go every day! They get to see everyone working hard to take care of themselves, and I hope it will encourage them to do the same as they grow up. Not only that - my kids love to go! They’ve made their own friends there and love to play with them. At the end of class all the kids go wild, and it makes me so happy to see them trying to do the same movements they were watching us do. Both my kids will play “CrossFit” at home, and my daughter can’t wait to do it herself when she gets a little older. I remember I was about to go do a competition and Addi asked “Mom, can I please do it with you? Why don’t they have a competition for 4 year olds?” That made it all worth it, knowing she is watching me and all the great people at Elevate, and hopefully learning the importance of taking care of yourself!

Why CrossFit Elevate? I can’t say enough about why I love this place! The main reason is, of course, all the people!! I’ve made some amazing friends here, and it motivates me to come every single day. It’s almost like I’m getting together with my friends and the working out is just a bonus! From day one everyone was so nice and inviting! No matter what level anyone is at, everyone there encourages and motivates you to get through it. My favorite part is that we make each day fun! These workouts are brutal, especially now that we’re doing them in a building with no AC, but somehow we all still manage to smile and make it a great experience!