We come for different reasons. We all leave sweating.
We call ourselves the Mom Crew. We met, and keep meeting, at the 8:30 class. Most of us consider our mission living the healthiest lives we can—to be fit for ourselves and our families and to ensure our health in the future by working on it now, everyday, together.
Anne: I’m over 75 years old. I first came into the gym, slightly terrified, because my daughter, who loves CrossFit, had given me several personal training sessions. I had been somewhere else but I didn’t find it interesting or rigorous. I set out to see if I could do CrossFit, not at all sure I could.
Leslie: I’d belonged to a traditional health club, too. Not only was Windy City closer and more convenient, but my friends liked it. My goal was to stay generally healthy—I wasn’t excited about working out, but didn’t want to fall out of shape.
"When I first started at Windy City back in June of 2008, I had just given birth to our third daughter. My initial goal was to shed the pregnancy pounds. However, my goals quickly evolved to overall physical and nutritional health—and getting my first pull up."
Vicki: I came to Windy City after learning I have rheumatoid arthritis. I was determined not to let RA get the best of me, and a friend recommended an intense new gym called Windy City CrossFit.
Jodi: A friend told me about a gym she was going to and she’d never been more fit. I knew I had to try it.
Colette: When I first started at Windy City back in June of 2008, I had just given birth to our third daughter. My initial goal was to shed the pregnancy pounds. However, my goals quickly evolved to overall physical and nutritional health—and getting my first pull up.
Anne: I originally approached the training pretty cautiously, not sure it was for me. But now, I like the rigor and the diversity of the workouts and that the workouts can be scaled to fit our abilities. As another CrossFitter once said, we all leave sweating, no matter our size, age, or physical ability. I sometimes have a tendency to take it a little easier than I need to, so I watch out for that.
Colette: I was the opposite. When I first started at Windy City, I loved the competitive component of the WODs. I loved (well not always) our times being posted on the boards. I was by no means the strongest or the fastest, but I held my own. It was even fun comparing times and sharing a particular WOD with my husband. For me, training is also about facilitating an athletic lifestyle. My husband and I love taking adventurous trips with our daughters—skiing, white water rafting, hiking, biking, surfing. My training at Windy City is so that I’m not the one left on the beach or at the bottom of the slope.
"CrossFit was perfect for a busy mom with 3 little girls. The WODs were so challenging that I couldn't think or worry about anything else for that hour. It was one hour all to myself. That is still true today. It is still tremendous stress relief."
Vicki: Me too. In the beginning I trained incredibly hard. I tried to run faster and jump higher than everyone else. Now I have come to realize that this is about being the best that I can be and that there is no finish line.
Jodi: I keep pushing through with an eye to being more like Anne.
Leslie: At first, I just showed up and did what I was told. I just wanted to stay fit and healthy. Now I train because I love it.
Colette: Leslie’s right. CrossFit was perfect for a busy mom with 3 little girls. The WODs were so challenging that I couldn't think or worry about anything else for that hour. It was one hour all to myself. That is still true today. It is still tremendous stress relief.
Colette: My husband started before me and loved it. I watched him complete the very first Murph Day at Windy City and got to witness what he’d been telling me about for months—the hard workouts, the great coaches, and the amazing people. I had to give it a try.
After seven years, I still love CrossFitting. Nothing else has the same level of coaching, degree of difficulty and amazing camaraderie. Making wonderful lasting friendships was a completely unexpected benefit of Windy City. There is so much discussed in that one hour ranging from school and parenting advice to restaurant recommendations and current events...all while perfecting our front squats. It’s multitasking at its best.
Leslie: I may always struggle with motivation but after nearly seven years of training with Windy City, I know it’s the friends I’ve made that keep me coming back. I’ve evolved with regard to how I approach training. I want to be here next year versus just thinking about next week. I’m truly training for life and find inspiration from the other women in the group.
"It took me six months to make the call to start. Now I don’t know what I’d do without it."
Jodi: It took me six months to make the call to start. Now I don’t know what I’d do without it. The supportive atmosphere of the 8:30 group gets me through my workout and my life.
Vicki: When I first started I could not do a single pull-up and was sure I never would. The coaches and other members inspired, mentored and cheered me on until I achieved all of my training goals.
Anne: Justin has a low-key charm and wonderful sense of humor. Without exception, the trainers are great, always willing to give specialized help and personal attention. Having different trainers on different days allows us to benefit from their particular skills and styles.
I appreciate that safety is a major focus at Windy City, with careful instruction regularly given on the proper way to do the workouts, even though we may have done the particular exercise many times before. Everyone takes these instructional sessions seriously. I love the wonderful group who attend class. We have become friends inside and outside of the gym. They provide enormous support to me.
Leslie: I noticed strength gains after 3-4 weeks and a visible difference after 10-12 weeks. After a few months, I noticed that weight didn’t change, but clothes were looser. I’ve learned that I’m stronger than I ever thought I was. It truly is mind over matter—my mental toughness has improved. I’ve learned women can do pull-ups.
For anyone who wonders if they’ll fit in, I can say without a doubt that CrossFit is not a bunch of 22 year old kids screaming with their shirts off and drill instructor coaches. It’s the Mom Crew. It’s your workout. It’s hard enough to be effective, but reasonable enough that you want to keep coming back.
Colette: The physical results of my CrossFit experience are evident everyday from carrying a 50lb child half a mile home after she broke her arm or pulling two kids behind me on skis because they were too tired to make it to the lodge or pushing my dead car out of the garage when it had to be loaded up on to a flatbed truck. When I’m doing something that requires strength or endurance, I’ll say to my kids: “This is why mommy CrossFits.”
But the most important result is the example that it sets for my kids. Exercise and healthy eating is not something extra. It is just a part of our everyday lives. Plus, making wonderful lasting friendships was a completely unexpected benefit of Windy City.
"For anyone who wonders if they’ll fit in, I can say without a doubt that CrossFit is not a bunch of 22 year old kids screaming with their shirts off and drill instructor coaches."
Vicki: I’m in the best shape of my life, but that’s only part of it. I’ve made so many great friends at Windy City. They make even the hardest workouts fun and I can’t imagine a better way to start each day.
Anne: I thrive on this rigorous workout. I am strong and agile and I have gotten more so over the six years I have been coming to CrossFit. I believe I am the oldest member at Windy City and it is very satisfying to master these workouts and to show that age is not an issue.
Jodi: In my 7th year at Windy City, it never gets easier and that’s a good thing.
"Fitness is a choice we make, for ourselves and our families, everyday."