The John Arasim Sr. Award December 2015
When/Why did you start CrossFit?
I think 2012… I know had been coming for just a few months when I found out I was pregnant with my first son. I can’t even remember what called me to this particular gym. I didn’t know a single person. I just wanted a “real” workout where I lifted heavy weights and pushed myself to the limits a few times a week. I was always in great shape most of my life, but working long hours and travelling for work started to take its toll on my physique. I also wanted to run the half and I knew I needed to strengthen my leg muscles so my knee would stop bothering me. CJ was the first coach I had, and I remember how encouraging he always was. The people were so incredibly nice and I loved the way I felt after a WOD. I was instantly hooked. It felt like high school track conditioning. So, I worked out almost my entire pregnancy and only gained about 25 pounds. I came back as soon as I could and once I had lost that baby weight I was pregnant again! I worked out this time around but not as much and gained 40 pounds! Yikes! Since I have been back I have lost 50+ pounds and a crazy amount of inches. I am down to the same size I wore as a high school athlete and I feel almost as strong as I did back then.
How has CrossFit changed you?
Wow, I haven’t thought much about this until now, but I am realizing it has changed me quite a bit. It has changed me in ALL aspects of my being. I have become stronger than I have been in years. I have increased my mental toughness. I have built some amazing friendships. I’m a pretty self-assured person overall, but my confidence has been boosted. Most of all, my belief bubble has changed to truly believe in progress, and to recognize that even slow progress IS progress. After 3 years of putting on and taking off baby weight, but continuing to come to the gym each week and give what I could give, I FINALLY was able to do my first unassisted pull-up. That same day that I did one, I did 50. This proved to me that we can truly accomplish great things with consistency and effort, and not giving up just because we don’t see progress as quickly as we might like.
What are your strengths/weaknesses in the gym?
I enjoy any sort of fast sprinting and also any sort of squats. I have become strong at doing toes to bar on the rings (if that counts)-those are what helped me finally get my pull-ups! I also never get down on myself if I am having an “off” day, and I will consider that a strength! What are my weaknesses? Double-unders and wall balls. They are my nemesis. Oh, and rowing. Short people hate rowing…
What is your favorite WOD?
I love overhead squats because I love the way my core feels after doing them. I feel like I leave those days with a true full-body workout. I also love lunges because of how sore they make my butt-I know they are working!
I graduated from EMU with a degree in International Business. I now work as a Director of Sales for Cengage Learning, a leading educational technology company that provides solutions for Higher Education students. I get to travel from Michigan all the way down to Texas for my job and I love it. I also get to work from home, which allows me to CrossFit during the day. I am married to Brent and have two sons (Nixon-2.5 and Brooks-9 months). We love SPARTAN football-GO GREEN- and can be found cheering them on whenever we can. I love to cook, eat clean, train for races and events, read anything and everything and hang out with my awesome friends and family. And I LOVE CrossFit!!!
We are incredibly proud of you for always striving to live a healthy lifestyle and setting such a great example to everyone around you! Your success is an inspiration Nikki!!
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