June 2017 Athlete Spotlight

Shan L.

Tell us about yourself

I was born and raised in a small SW Missouri town named Seneca. It is south of Joplin, Missouri, and currently I work for a retail company, and I’m directly responsible for 32 stores in five states. I have lived in St. Louis since 94 and I really like this area. I have a longtime girlfriend named Melanie Steen.

What made you start CrossFit?

I previously had a trainer at a Globo gym but had fallen off the wagon and stopped putting in work. I did not like the way I felt and wanted to try something different. I was looking online for CrossFit boxes and could not find one up near I-70 as it appeared they had moved locations. When we relocated to the area we looked up Trenches and joined.

What were your thoughts after your first workout at CFT?

I was thinking I was in pretty good shape. I was wrong. It was ugly and embarrassing – a real eye opener. I did not know at the time that everyone goes through it.

What impact has CrossFit had in your life in and outside the gym?

It’s changed my life for the better. It has taken quite a bit of work, but I’m much stronger more flexible more athletic and have improved mobility since I started. I don’t feel old fat and slow anymore which is awesome. I enjoy that I’m not always good with some movements which means it is always a challenge each time I get to the box. The friendships that I have made since starting are an added bonus that I did not expect. Great coaches and athletes are at Trenches every day.

If you had to write a WOD, what would it be?

EMOM 100 meter dash max effort 20 minutes. A second one would be a one to five mile swim which can be scaled based on skill level (a pool might be handy with this one).

What’s your diet like?  How does nutrition play a role in your life?

It is a work in progress. I can only take so much oatmeal, chicken breast and salads before I need a cheat meal. I think CrossFit does change that way that I view food. I tried a couple times of not eating prior to working out. It did not go well. CrossFit has taught me that food is fuel and that you cannot out work a bad diet no matter how hard you try.

What advice would you give to a new CrossFitter?

Slow progress is still progress. There will be days when nothing goes right and everything goes wrong, just understand that is part of a very difficult sport. The work that you put in to overcome the difficult parts is what makes you grow the most. Trust the process, listen to your coaches and apply what they are telling you even though it might be out of your comfort zone. Hard work beats talent. Your best teacher is your last mistake. Efficiency is key. It’s not the most powerful animal that survives it’s the most efficient. You are what you repeatedly do. You are not what you do occasionally. The magic is in the movements. The art is in the programming. The science is in the explanation and the fun is in the community. Don’t forget to breathe.

What’s your favorite motivational quote and why?

Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.

Shan