In the summer of 2015, my family and I relocated from Seattle, WA to Galena, OH. I had a gym membership in Seattle with challenging classes that I loved and I hiked on a regular basis. There was really never a time in my life that I had a weight issue and I could always shed a couple of pounds and get back on track no problem as long as I was active. After we moved, I bounced from gym to gym and I made everything and everybody a priority over myself. I gained and gained and managing my weight became a real challenge. I realized that I had to get control of my workouts and my nutrition, but I just couldn’t get control of both together at the same time.
My first visit to Camp Raw was to attend a Thursday dance class. I enjoyed the class and Todd and Amy made me feel really welcome so I returned for a Raw Fit class. I kept telling myself to take it one set..one 30 second interval at a time. I started seeing small changes and felt optimistic, but it was three steps forward and two steps back and I always felt like I was starting over.
In November 2017, Amy and Todd encouraged me to participate in the Advocare 21 Day Challenge. I felt uncomfortable in my skin, my weight was out of control, my energy was low and I honestly didn’t recognize myself. I committed to the Challenge in early December and haven’t looked back. I lost close to 17 pounds in the first 21 Day Challenge and continued on to start the 80 Day Challenge in early January.
Since December 2, I’m down just over 27 pounds total and over 20 inches. Losing the weight has enabled me to give my workouts the strength and energy I need to continue to see results. My success in following the program improved my overall health, strength and how I view my nutrition and workouts. I am stronger than I thought and I’m accountable. I could never have done this without Todd and Amy, who have been a constant source of support since day one and who have helped me improve every step of the way. They won’t let me just show up. They encourage me, challenge me and help me to set realistic goals and define my path to get there. Most importantly, they remind me of how far I have come in such a short time and make me feel like there is no limit to my personal success.
Athlete Spotlight: Travis Huddleston
What was your primary motivation when you started your journey?
The motivation to
try getting in shape was that I wasn’t a fan of how I looked and felt. I saw shirt and pant sizes slowly creeping up and it didn’t feel like there was anything I could do to stop it. That’s when my
wife (Lindsey) and I decided to do something about it; we started eating healthier which worked! However, because I’m impatient AND wanted to have muscle in addition to being thinner, I started
working out…. at home. In no way was I intending to go to a real gym, but a co-worker (Conan) convinced me to try Todd and Amy’s gym. That is, hands down, one of the best decisions I’ve ever
What has been your greatest achievement during your time as a CrossFit athlete?
Prior to CrossFit, I
had not been an athlete in any definition of the word. In CrossFit, I’ve accomplished things like learning how to lift, climb a rope and even jump rope. Those skills and much more were all things I
had accepted that I would never be able to do; they just weren’t in my skill set. I’m consistently surprised by what I’m able to do that I never thought I could before. Amy was the first person to
ever call me an athlete, and I won’t soon forget that.
Primary goal moving forward?
My goal moving
forward is to try and be better than I was the day before. This means perfecting form, lifting heavier, understanding food and nutrition better and pushing myself further/faster/harder. If I happen
to win a local CrossFit competition or two, I would complain either.
What supplements did you use along your journey?
Advocare Spark for mental focus and energy, Advocare Catalyst for building muscle and losing weight, Advocare Meal Replacement Shakes and Advocare Mass Impact for competition and Open workouts.
Name a misconception you heard before doing CrossFit?
One of the biggest
misconceptions I had heard about CrossFit is that the workouts are so intense that only the most elite athletes are really the only ones that are capable of it. This is so far from the truth and not
what CrossFit is about at all. It’s functional fitness that’s scalable to all skillsets so that you get the most benefit.
What piece of advice would you give to a beginner that is thinking about doing CrossFit for the first time?
Conan Gee has been an athlete at Raw for just over 2 years. During his fitness journey, Conan has lost an incredible 116 lbs and has been a consistent CrossFit participant since January, 2016. Here are a few highlights of a recent Q & A with Conan regarding his story:
1) What was your primary motivation when you started your fitness journey?
The biggest thing that caused me to start down the path was how awful I felt all the time. I had made it up to 311 pounds and I was always tired, out of breath, and had acid reflux. I was also worried about bigger health problems if I didn't make some serious changes. With all those thoughts weighing on my mind, it was time for action.
2) What has been your greatest achievement during your time as a CrossFit athlete? Primary goal moving forward (pr's, etc).
My greatest achievement I would say is sticking with it, and trying to improve continually. My short term goals change from time to time (sometimes more strength focused or more endurance or cardio focused), but ultimately the goal is to achieve and maintain a rock solid level of fitness that will carry me through life as healthy and capable as possible.
3) Name a misconception you heard before doing CrossFit?
The most common misconception I had heard was the attitude that Crossfitters had. We have a great community here and get a lot of friendly visitors from other gyms, so that myth is pretty thoroughly dispelled for me.
4) What piece of advice would you give to a beginner that is thinking about doing CrossFit for the first time?
I would say not to overdo it. When you just start using all of these muscle groups that aren't part of daily living and using them hard- give them enough rest in the first few weeks. Give yourself a day or two in between sessions and don't try to go extremely heavy early on. I think it is very easy to burn out or injure yourself right at the outset if you try and go 0-60 in two weeks. The other advice I would give is don't be intimidated. All of the things are difficult. Modify an exercise if you need to and don't get frustrated if you have a workout that kicks your butt. Take the long view and build up to some of the more difficult things and before you know it you'll be unstoppable. One workout at a time!
"Our greatest asset at Raw War is our team atmosphere. We don't have anyone here who has an attitude or a superiority complex. Everyone is very warm and welcoming. Everyone appreciates their Gym mates' accomplishments and that makes it enjoyable to come in and gives you that extra push to try for new PRs!"
“I’m a mom of 3, Patrick 23, Alex 20 and Lindsay 20. I enjoy doing agility with my Aussie Dakota and am a huge CBJ fan. I’ve been working out at RawWar since last August. I was familiar with doing group classes at a CrossFit gym and was looking for a place that was not just a gym, but also a community. RawWar is that. I do the Burnout and RawFit classes and the occasional morning AMRAP. The energy of the gym and the thrill of doing something there that I couldn’t do a month earlier is what keeps me coming back. I am also a runner. I’ve run some marathons but much prefer the half. Amy reintroduced me to the Advocare 28-Day Challenge and that gave me the extra boost I needed when I wasn’t seeing as much progress, as I wanted. I am a big Spark fan. I am hoping to break a 2-hour half marathon this year. It’s a lofty goal, but what the heck. I might even dabble in CrossFit before the year end, but don’t tell Todd and Amy that.
“I’ve been working out at Raw War for about 5 years now. I started out doing RawFit, I enjoyed the classes they were always different from flipping tire to different exercises to the guard rail. I started there when it was small, not much equipment, then I continued on to the transition to CrossFit. I wasn’t to sure what I was getting into but if Heather was in then so was I. A few years later and 50 lbs lighter, I’m happy that I continued on.”