Brenda Roisen

Our athlete of the month for November is Brenda Roisen.  We love seeing Brenda in the gym every day!  She is always smiling and always trying to help others.  She has lost almost 60 pounds and we couldn’t be more proud of her!  Check out her words below for some great inspiration!!  PS - she also makes amazing brownies and cupcakes and somehow doesn’t eat ANY of them!

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How long have you been Crossfitting?
The short answer is 2 years.   The disclaimer: I originally started in April of 2015.   I was an “on again-off again” member until December 2016, when I quit.   It was with great difficulty that I came to the decision to quit.   This past May, Kevin (owner of CrossFit Conway) reached out to me about coming back and trying personal training instead of the standard workouts.  Luckily, I took him up on the offer, and I have been working with Kevin for the past 5 months. 

What made you start CF? 
My Maximized Living doctors, Brian and Merissa Beard, kept harping on me to incorporate more activity into my lifestyle to build lean muscle and promote oxygenation.   And BTW, thank you, Brian and Merissa, for that.  You changed my life.   

What changes have you seen since starting CF?
Oh boy... where do I start? Not only have I seen tremendous physical change from size to strength, but more importantly, my emotional wellbeing has taken a 180 degree turn.   When I started personal training back in May, I was struggling with many life issues.   As a person soon to turn 60, I had empty nest syndrome, physical aging concerns, lack of direction, loss of personal identity, etc. Now, I am full of energy, I can't wait to get to my workouts, I have a different outlook on life, and I feel I have so much more to offer.   Kevin has coached me beyond physical training.   He recognizes my shortcomings like never wanting to ask for help because I think I am putting somebody out.   He made me promise to ALWAYS tell him when I was hurting.   So after “5 months of ME,” I think he knows me pretty well.  Thank you, Kevin, for all you have done!!

What is your favorite/least favorite movement?
During the course of my life, I have tried so many different types of exercise, but anything involving a barbell has recently become my favorite type of exercise.   I think it is because there are so many things to think about regarding technique.    Previously, my least favorite movement was pushups, but now, I like pushups.   Then, my least favorite movement became planking, but now, I like those, too.    Bottom line, I don't like anything that I can't do very well, but as soon as I see progress then it's "RAISE THE ROOF" time.

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What is your favorite part of CF Conway?
This one is so hard to put into words, because it goes way beyond what people think CrossFit is about.   Let's see… could it be the "good job" I hear during a workout from somebody whom I have never personally met?   Maybe it's the high five that I always get from my coach.   How about the fact that every time I step down off the platform to the parking lot, I remember the struggle it was for me to just do that simple movement two years ago?  It could be the applause I get from a class when I hit the gong for reaching a goal.   Maybe it's a coach taking the time to do a step-by-step teaching session on clean and jerk.   It's the little things like a fellow Cross Fitter saying "yes ma'am" when I ask permission to just sit and watch him attempt a max lift.   Some days, I am just excited to get to see Mosby.   Then, on Sundays, there is usually a two-dog bonus, if not more.  I don't think I can pick just one favorite thing.   This would have been a much easier question for me to answer if it had said, “What are your 20 favorite things about CF Conway?”   

What are your long term goals? 
In 2015, I set out to lose 60 pounds by age 60.   I am not ashamed to say that my starting weight was 222.   I am now currently 166, so I am 4 pounds to my goal.   I expect to have that achieved by the end of November.    I turn 60 in January so I think the timeline looks good.  

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More importantly, my ongoing goal is to figure out as many ways to reach out to others, so they can experience the opportunity for transformation that I was afforded.   It means nothing to me unless I can pay if forward.   

What advice do you have for people wanting to start CF?
Don't let anybody tell you that you can't do something.   My own worst enemy is myself.   I am more critical of myself than anyone else could ever dream of being.  Don't be afraid to ask for help, and stop letting that voice inside of you tell you are not worthy because "YOU ARE."    

Zach Fonville