In today’s blog, we chat with the wonderful Deb about her journey from fear to fitness. She tells us of gym fear, heartwarming motivations and moments in her journey which stand out above all others. Deb has shown commitment and dedication to improving her total wellness and we are so proud to share her story with you all… So let’s dive in!
Coca: Debra, tell us about the early days of your Coca Athletics journey. When did it start, and what emotions were coursing through you as you stepped into this new chapter?
Debra: “I started at Coca Athletics in June 2021 after trying another gym in the area that really didn’t have the ability to cater to my needs. The group classes there were huge and that didn’t give the trainers much time to work with me. When I started at Coca Athletics, I felt pretty vulnerable. I am not one of those women who was formerly athletic and got out of shape. I don’t have those ‘when I thought I was fat’ pictures of myself during my teens/early twenties like so many women post on social media. As long as I can remember, I’ve been overweight. So, without a doubt, I was going in afraid.”
Coca: Your motivation for joining Coca Athletics goes beyond conventional fitness goals. Can you share the deeper aspiration that fueled the start of your journey?
Debra: “One of the big things for me, aside from health in general, was in taking on the responsibility of being the heavy lifter in my home. Since my dad started dialysis in 2020, it’s been my goal to help move the heavy objects around the home & also be there in case he needs me to lift him off of the floor. I can successfully say that I’ve seen huge progress in that area. Regular lifting in the gym has helped me tackle some previously impossible tasks.
Coca: Tell us, how has Coca Athletics supported you in taking steps toward these significant goals?
Debra: “Honestly, the atmosphere is really great. As someone who started off semi-terrified, it’s nice to walk into my gym and feel safe & supported. The coaches meet you where you’re at, and your classmates respect your efforts. Modified doesn’t mean easier; modified means working hard within your body’s current range until you can move the benchmark. I came in as an athlete who needed a lot of accommodations and they never treated my needs like they were unimportant.“
Coca: Facing challenges is an integral part of any fitness journey. What obstacles have you encountered along the way?
Debra: ” I have had to learn to work through the normal issue that anyone else has when approaching a new fitness/wellness lifestyle: figuring out my own body. I got a few diagnoses in my twenties that impact my performance in the gym. Scoliosis, PCOS, and hypothyroidism each have been obstacles. Scoliosis has been one of the hardest when it comes to performance and it impacts a lot of my movements in the gym. I have had some issues with it during the past year, but I’ve been working with a great physical therapist “
Coca: Share with us some of the standout moments during your time at Coca Athletics.
Debra: “Anyone who knows me from when I first started out would definitely say that my lower body mobility has been a huge obstacle. When I started weighted squats, I had very little body awareness when it came to depth and my scoliosis causes a lot of muscle tension. So, the accommodation I needed was to start squatting to a plyo box. Finally, just a couple of months before my 2 year mark, I started doing heavier front squats and back squats with no box! Even recently, during a set of 5 front squats, Coach George told me that I performed the best he’s ever seen me do! Even more than the epic strength wins I’ve had, the mobility wins have been the ones that bring me hope for the future”
Coca: Looking ahead, what are your future goals?
Debra: “Well, I’m really trying to work on unilateral strength. Since I have a lot of muscular imbalances, the more I work to even out the two sides of my body, the better my bilateral performance will be in the long run.”
Coca: To someone hesitant about joining Coca Athletics, what would you say?
Debra: “I think if you’re not joining because you’re intimidated, your instincts that joining a CrossFit gym is extremely challenging are correct. It is challenging, and that’s exactly why you just might fall in love with it.”