December Member of the Month – Ramona Allen

1. Why did you decide to join SRSC?

I joined SRSC because my sister talked me into it and enrolled me in a 4 week “on ramp” class for Christmas in like 2013. I stayed because the coaching is (has always been) excellent (and continues to improve) and the community is lovely (and always changing and growing).

2. What has been your most memorable achievement since becoming a member?

Before I started, I was scared of weight lifting, especially the Olympic lifts, and thought that for sure all I would do would be to hurt myself. Turns out, not so much! The first time I did a deadlift it was in a sort of conga line, with increasing weights on 4 or 5 bars and everyone in class taking turns starting with the lightest weight and moving heavier. We could stop whenever we wanted to, but the coach was so encouraging, and supportive, and present with us (me) that I trusted him and myself and easily overcame my fear of the lift, and moved more weight than I imagined I could (like 125# maybe?). I continue to surprise myself and move more weight than I think I can. Similarly, before starting, I would see other people do box jumps and think to myself how much I wanted to be able to do that, but how scared I was and how I couldn’t imagine that I could jump like that. I started small and moved up, and now can easily jump a 20″ box. When I look at it from across the room it seems SO tall, but then when I’m doing it it’s like totally NBD. In summary, I think my most memorable achievement has been realizing (and continuing to realize) the power of my mind, and increasing awareness of my own ideas about what my limitations are how those affect my performance. That’s why the community at SRSC is so important to me, because it helps me see that more is possible than I think, or tell myself.

3. Favorite and least favorite exercises?

I don’t like to say I hate anything, but I really do NOT like the Airdyne. I love squatting, both front and back and split leg and jumping and all the other lovely variations that are possible.

4. Current goal(s) in the gym or in life?

My current goal in the gym has been the same for, oh, probably 2 years? Handstand walking. And pull ups. Always, forever, pull ups.

5. What’s something that your gym mates would be surprised to know about you?

My gym mates might be surprised to know that I have hens and sometimes sell their eggs, or that I used to be a baker and still occasionally bake for events and friends, or maybe they don’t know that I’m a bookkeeper and studying to take the CPA exam? I don’t know… maybe they don’t know that sometimes I bring in my dad when I work out because he has Alzheimer’s and lives with us? Or, and this is more likely, they don’t know that I’ve done two ironman triathlons? That’s where I came from, athletically speaking. In my 20’s I decided that I wanted to do an ironman the year I turned 30, and so I did. I mean, I trained for it for like 4 years, completely on my own, but I eventually got there. It was a great accomplishment and something I’m pretty proud of. I used to say that I wanted to do another one, but only if I could beat my own record, but I haven’t really ever put any effort into making that happen. Priorities, you know?