Member Spotlight: Deya Zalapa

Let’s get to know YOU!

Name: Deya Zalapa

Any nicknames? My first name is actually Deyanira (named after my mom) but ever since I was little I have always gone by Deya since it’s shorter. Then I definitely stuck with it when moving to the US as it is much easier for English speakers to pronounce.

Age: 40

Hometown: I was born in Brownsville, TX, but grew up across the border in Matamoros, Mexico.

Profession: Full-time mom to 4 crazy boys ages 17, 13, 11 and 7. Last August I went back to work part time as a speech pathologist in Katy ISD after being home for 11 years.

Fitness Background: I honestly was born with two left feet and was never athletic or into sports growing up. My younger brother is the athlete in the family and he was a swimmer, so I was dragged along to do swim team with him. I quit swim team in my teen years and did some aerobics classes in high school and enjoyed going on jogs with my girlfriends. It wasn’t until I had my fourth son and lost both of my parents (my dad to strokes and my mom to leukemia) that I felt a huge need to make some serious lifestyle changes. I joined a running group for moms (the majority of us were postpartum and we trained and ran our first 5k race together!) and I became a member of a stroller fit/bootcamp that I attended for 5 years since it allowed me to bring my youngest son to work out with me. I trained and ran the Chevron full marathon in 2006 and have run several half marathons over the last 6 years.

Favorite non-gym way to be active: Definitely running. I need to get more disciplined with my training runs, as I am signed up for the Aramco half next January.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? The ability to clone myself so I could be in more than one place at a time. With 4 kids at 3 different schools and who all have different needs and activities, it gets pretty busy and can seem never-ending.

Hands down best song to work out to? Any pump-up songs by Michael Jackson, Eminem or Imagine Dragons (no boy bands from the 90’s please!).

Pick one word to describe yourself: Resilient

Now the nitty-gritty workout stuff…

You do both Bootcamp and CrossFit – what are your favorite aspects of each? I am a regular Bootcamper, but I tried a few CrossFit classes in the summer when Bootcamp classes and CrossFit classes would get combined. I love Bootcamp because of our amazing coach Liz! She makes our workouts so fun and different every day, and they’re also tough and challenging for every person at every level. CrossFit I still find quite intimidating as I continue to slowly gain upper body strength and improve my form. I do LOVE doing heavy back squats and heavy deadlifts and attempting power cleans when I can get my form right!

When did you first try CrossFit/Bootcamp and what made you want to try it? I have to thank my friend Tricia Richardel, who continually asked me to come check out either CrossFit or Bootcamp all of last year despite all of my excuses. Last January I finally built up the courage and sent an email to Luke and Liz asking if I could come try a class as I had made it one of my New Year’s resolutions to get out of my comfort zone and try to ramp up my fitness routine.

What makes you stick with coming to Elevate? Definitely seeing Liz’s smile and finding what fun, crazy workout she is going to surprise us with. I also love that I get to workout next to some old friends of mine who have joined Elevate as well as new friends I have made here. I love that everyone is down to earth, always so encouraging and just plain hilarious.

Favorite movement: Heavy sled pushes, slam balls and most recently DB snatches.

Least favorite movement/something that’s hard for you: I hate box jumps!

What gets you through tough workouts? Watching all my fellow ladies giving their maximum effort with every move and every rep. Also having Liz cheering on all of us.

What keeps you motivated? I see exercise as my own self-care time. I do Bootcamp not just for the health and physical benefits, but also for the mental ones. For me, exercise is a great outlet to get rid of daily stress, worries, frustrations, anxiety, etc.

Proudest Elevate moment to date? Finishing the whole Murph workout challenge on Memorial Day last May.

Hobbies outside of killing it at the gym: When I’m not working or being on mommy duty with the cooking, laundry, cleaning or driving my boys around to places they need to go, I enjoy watching movies with my family, reading, going on much needed mom night outs with my girlfriends and date nights with my hubby when we can make them happen.

Changes you’ve seen from working out at Elevate: I have lost 9 lbs in 10 months and I have gained strength being able to use heavier weights I could not even lift back in January when I joined.

How has CrossFit/Bootcamp helped you outside of the gym: It has given me more energy to keep up with my busy family, I sleep so much better at night, and it has certainly made me watch what I eat and aim for healthier food choices more often.

How do you balance working out with family life? I plan for the week and I come on the 3 days I am off work. On the 2 days I have work I try to go on short runs in the evenings or at least go on a walk. When training for a half marathon, I set my alarm for 5:30 am and go on early runs on either Saturday or Sunday mornings.

Why CrossFit Elevate? The coaches and the friendly and extremely supportive people who all have the best sense of humor! :)