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December Athlete of the Month – Julianne Irving

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This one has been a long time coming. Julianne completed her first CrossFit Epping workout on September 6th, 2014. When she first walked in the door she told us “I want to get my first pull-up”.  Fast forward three years later and you’ll catch her nonchalantly bang out 100 like it’s no big deal. 

It’s no secret how she’s made such tremendous progress over the years. The recipe is simple; consistent training, proper nutrition and a laser focus on doing things the right way. Each day Julianne comes in early and transforms from math teacher to CrossFitter. Before class she does her stretches, practices her skills and gets ready to crush it in class. She’s a prime example of someone who knows what it takes to achieve one’s goals. We’re so happy to be able to share Julianne’s experience with you as the entire coaching team (even Mike) would like to nominate her as December’s Athlete of the Month!

Profession: I teach 8th grade math/algebra at the North Andover Middle School.

Athletic Background/ previous fitness training: In high school I was a distance runner.  I kept distance running in my fitness routine for most of my life until my body told me it was not okay with that anymore. After high school I was a gym class regular.  I liked to mix it up and try any new classes because I would get bored.  

What is CrossFit to you? CrossFit has become so much to me.  If you know me at all, you know that I love being a Mom. It is the most rewarding experience of my life. As a mom, you spend 99% of you life helping your children to feel accomplished and to feel proud of themselves.  Somewhere in this role; I started to lose a little bit of myself. I have grown to realize that I can also love being a crossfitter. This has become my place to focus on me and to be proud of myself. It is a place to set goals and celebrate my accomplishments.  I am proud of what my body can do. At 43 years old I am stronger than I have ever been. I really believe I am a much better wife, mother, friend, teacher and human being because of CrossFit being a part of my life.

Why CFE? We moved to Epping a little over four years ago.  I was looking for a new place to stay fit.  Nothing seemed to meet my needs.  Truthfully, I didn’t think CrossFit was for me, but I thought I would try it out because it was so close to home (now it is my second home).  I felt welcomed by the coaches and the CrossFit community. I enjoyed seeing a friendly face every time I entered the gym.  The healthy competition with these friendly faces is what keeps me going.  You guys have something really special here and I am so happy to be a part of it.

What inspires/motivates you to continue? Everyone at the gym. I love seeing new and old members shock themselves at what they are able to do. I love working with people who have different strengths and weakness than I have, so that we can help each other.  You all make me accountable and keep me motivated. Plus, I am totally afraid to disappoint Tobey.

Advice for someone hesitant to try CrossFit: I started CrossFit three years ago and never looked back. Don’t let yourself get discouraged or be intimidated. We all had our first day and we all have different challenges to overcome, but if you are looking for a community where you can find your “people” who will cheer for your victories and pick you up when you fall, then you are in the right place. This community will motivate you, hold you accountable and make you laugh everyday.

Make CrossFit a part of your routine and stick to it, reach out for help if you lose focus and laugh at yourself often. 

Proudest achievement: #1 getting my husband to join CrossFit. He pretty much refused to even consider it for months, but now he is a junkie.

#2 my recent 53#KBS. There is something about throwing weight around and it not throwing you around.

#3 kipping anything- It took me forever!

Greatest challenge/weakness: Without a doubt-Myself.  I am really hard on myself. I tend to get into my own head and sometimes I am own my worst enemy. I have lots of weaknesses and things I need to work on, which is good because I will always be challenged. I am terribly uncoordinated with some of the lifts, especially if I haven’t regularly practiced. I tend revert to old bad habits, like using my arms too much in a clean.

Goals (Inside + outside the gym): Inside the gym- I want to try barbell club for the next cycle to see if I can improve on some of my weaknesses with all the repetition. Outside the gym- I want to enjoy time with my family and our new puppy!

Favorite movement/ if you could design one workout: The back squat followed closely by the front squat. It was the first lift that I felt pretty good at.  I credit that to Jill who made me feel competent in what I was doing. I like metcons with squats, lunges, burpees, kettle bell swings and running.

Special interests: The kids keep me super busy, but really I like create and build things with my own hands. I like to beautify my piece of the earth that I have created with my family.

Anything you’d like to add? I have made a lot of great friends because of CFE. Thanks to all the amazing coaches at the gym.  You guys are awesome!  Yeah, even you Mike!