March is a great month for new beginnings with the horizon of seasonal change. Our days start getting longer, the sun starts shining a bit brighter, and the snow slowly melts the winter blues away. This month, we would like to announce Carmen Hendricks as our Member of the Month. This is her year to shine and welcome progress and positive affirmations.
Sitting down with Carmen for her Member of the Month interview felt like talking to an old friend, you know, the friend that you haven’t seen in a while, but you just pick up where you left off. Her smile is contagious! Seriously.
Carmen was on the verge of needing a change from her normal routine so, with a few friends, they took the plunge and joined the fun. Participating in the Women’s Challenge in January 2017, opened her eyes to new possibilities and was finally doing something for herself, something she really enjoyed. When asking most people why they think they were chosen to be the Member of the Month, most often, they are not sure. It is because our coaching staff sees the hard work, progress, discipline, growth, and confidence that is gained from coming to the gym with a smile on your face, letting it all go and focusing on themselves for the next 60 minutes.
Classified as Fort Atkinsonian since living here for the last 16 years, originally from Iowa, Carmen is established and married with two kids, Trey and Emma. Trey is 24 years old, living in Milwaukee as a medical sales representative where he loves making connections and using his suave dialogue. Emma is 18 years old, about to graduate high school, heading to UW-Whitewater for accounting in the Fall of 2019. Currently, Carmen is self-employed (most people’s dream) where she runs her own cleaning company, cleaning homes of our elderly and disabled community as well as houses. Having a physically demanding job, NorthFit has helped her stay active, lift/move odd objects, has given her an outlet to come hangout with some friends, and get a little sweaty while having fun! A little after starting NorthFit as a full-time member, she was diagnosed with cancer in August 2017. This unexpected experience had taken a toll on her body and she stopped coming to the gym, but words cannot express how happy and proud we are to have her back, starting again in April 2018. She has consistently been coming in every week, (unlimited membership in the summer) gaining back her physical and mental strength. So proud of you, Carmen!
Before NorthFit, you would probably find Carmen training for a half marathon, running four to five races a year! Part of her training also included running numerous 5ks throughout, so you could say she was a dedicated runner. She was also a member of Snap Fitness and Anytime Fitness before discovering CrossFit to stay active. As most of you know, NorthFit is more than a gym, it is a community. Members are our motivation to continue to grow and provide the best coaching around the area. This is what keeps Carmen coming back. Community. She absolutely loves the community,
“coming in and chit-chatting and sweating a little bit”
is the best part. The feeling of working out feels so good, and Carmen absolutely loves her 5amers who are very encouraging. Keep up morning, folks!
Being a Crossfitter, everyone has their favorite movement and the movement that doesn’t always sit well when it is written on the white board. Carmen’s favorite movement is the power clean. Crushes it every time! The movement she is not so keen on is burpees (because counting is hard, we can leave that to her daughter, Emma) and one piece of equipment, the air bike (makes sense). Along with favorite movements and being healthy, Carmen follows the paleo way, enjoying chicken and vegetables which is her go-to meal to keep her fueled, keeping the 80/20 rule in check, because ya gotta indulge sometimes!
Besides choosing a kangaroo as her spirit animal (very motherly), Carmen wants new members to not feel intimidated. Her note to new members is
“as intimidating as the first day feels, stick with it. It is addicting”.
The intimidation factor diminishes “once you learn the moves” and then you are good to go. Carmen is still learning and loves it! For example, pull-ups and rope climbs are intimidating, but by showing up every day with a willingness to learn, she is able to get over that slight fear and give it a try. The help of the coaches during class is a game changer and she is grateful for their encouragement. When Carmen is not in the gym, you may find her heading to Devil’s Lake because her and her family enjoy hiking. Whenever they go on trips, they find trails. Even in Nashville, although there were no hills, it was still a nice, flat hike to see the sights.
Overall, NorthFit has built up Carmen’s confidence. Working with Meg has “helped me speak my mind” and
“I don’t have to text [a fellow member] before coming to class”.
She is ready to go at 5:00 am no matter who is going to be there! With her youngest headed off to college in the fall, Carmen is more confident than ever and is starting to take time to focus on herself and if that means coming to the gym, so be it. One of her goals is to team up with her fellow Women’s Challenge goer, Erin Bravo, in this summer’s Femme Royale competition, taking place at NorthFit June 22nd. We are very excited to see these ladies take the floor!
You go girl!