Ashley Rodriguez...Turning the Beat Around
_Since we are lucky enough to call her a part of our immediate family and our Lifeworx family, our perspective on Ashley and her progress as a CrossFitter have a unique advantage. When we first met Ashley in 2001, she was a competitive dancer, specializing in jazz, tap, lyrical and more dance styles. She was quiet, modest, and humble, a petite young lady with an adorable smile. Though she still graces us all with that lovely smile, she has grown into a true CrossFit athlete, surprising herself and the rest of us!
Ashley was tough to convince when we first tried to introduce her to CrossFit. She wasn't too sure that this sport would be up her alley - and, boy, was she wrong! As we all suspected, the years invested in training her muscle mobility, flexibility and coordination as a serious dancer paid off big-time when she picked up CrossFit. Everything made sense to her body - Olympic lifts were learned at a strangely rapid pace, body-weight movements were a freebie for her, and before we all knew what had happened, Ashley made a huge statement with her progress as a CrossFit athlete in the last few months. She has earned her place in this gym and with this Lifeworx family and is a constant stand-out performer in our local competitions.
All these details aside, the most exciting part about watching the strides that Ashley has made over the last year is how much she has come to love calling herself a CrossFitter. It's a huge step to transition from being a petite dancer for most of your life into a strong, healthy, muscular lady...and, as to be expected, Ashley still manages to CrossFit with a grace and elegance that few females can boast while throwing around barbells! Ashley strolls through these doors every day with a smile on her face that exudes confidence, pride and appreciation for her new sport that she clearly loves. As her wedding day approaches (yes, she and Brandon will be tying the knot in June of 2012!), we will soak up every minute of watching Ashley perfect her CrossFit skills...and we'll keep our fingers crossed that she'll give us a perfect Thruster demo when she tosses her bouquet in a few months!
We love you, Ashley!
Mary & Shaun
In Her Own Words...
I never considered myself an athlete. I danced for 10 years and was always taught to be light on my feet. I had never lifted a heavy weight until about a year ago. Hearing people talk about CrossFit always intimidated me - phrases like snatch, muscle up, tire flip, rope climb – it was like a brand new language and world filled with things I never thought I could do . I held myself back for a long time, telling myself there was no way I could do it. After getting the courage to attend a couple of classes, I was still a little unsure. Maybe it just wasn't for me. Until... I noticed I was throwing a little more weight on the bar, and using the more difficult rubber band for pull ups after a few short weeks. You don't even realize how far you come and how quick! I was always part of a team when I danced, never wanting to stand out or be singled out in any way. I’m part of a team at Lifeworx. CrossFit has given me more confidence, which is probably the most beneficial thing I can take away from it (aside from overall feeling healthier). I am proud of what I have accomplished and I don't hide it anymore!
What makes me come to the gym day after day is the people. Lifeworx is not just a place to work out, it’s a community – it’s a family. The people at this gym have changed my life and I have made many lifelong friends. CrossFitters are a different breed of individuals. They can be some of the most motivating, encouraging and selfless people you will ever meet. To work so hard and finally get that pull up, PR on a deadlift, or get that long awaited muscle up is probably the coolest feeling in the world. The best part is sharing that experience with everyone else in the gym who are probably more pumped for you than you are.
I love CrossFit Lifeworx!!