Maximus Athletes of the Month – Doug and Christine Andres

Our Crossfit journey began in July 2008 at Henry Clay High School where Sergeant Brian Hunt runs a crossfit type training program for kids in ROTC, for teachers, and for many of the sports teams. Our daughter was a freshman and playing on the volleyball team (BTW her team was just ranked by ESPN as 50th in the country, first public school team in Kentucky to ever crack the top 50 J)! Sarge Hunt didn’t think the girls were putting enough effort into their training so he asked if any parents wanted to work out with them hoping that the girls would be shamed into working harder rather than be “bested” by their parents!  Doug and I both thought, “Hey, we’re pretty fit. We can do this.” After our first few workouts, which involved lifting nothing heavier than 18 pound bars, we could barely move for a week! Despite the pain, we loved the variety in the workouts and after a month of training with the team we were already seeing modest results (we’d progressed to a 24lb bar press)! Realizing that our old exercise regimen of walking/hiking, occasionally running, and lots of yard work maybe wasn’t yielding the fitness results we wanted, Sarge Hunt allowed us to continue to work out at the school with the teachers for the next year. At the end of the school year he transitioned us to the Crossfit gym at the old location. So we’ve been training with the amazing coaches at Crossfit Maximus since June 2009.

At first the workouts were intimidating and the other athletes were all so much more fit (and younger) than we were! Doug was introduced to Fran working out next to Bo-talk about a fitness wake-up call! The internal conversation in my head was always “I’ll never be able to do that.” However, the coaches at Crossfit Maximus do such a great job of making sure we understand how to modify a WOD to suit our individual fitness level that the self-doubt I had quickly changed from “I can’t do it” to “it’s hard but I can do it”. We especially love the personal training aspect of Crossfit. Being afternoon cross-fitters, we’ve had the most experience with Kris, Bo, Kelli, Jen, and Nathan as our coaches but have interacted with all the coaches at some point over the past 3 ½ years, and they are all so amazing. There isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t learn something new about proper form, nutrition, post workout recovery, and so much more! And the encouragement we get from the coaches makes all the difference in our success. It never fails that just when we think we can’t do one more rep one of the coaches will cheer us on and we find the strength to keep going. The positive energy just lifts us up and keeps us motivated.

The thing we love most about Crossfit is that every day brings new variety and new challenge to the workouts. At 4 ½ years and counting, we’ve never stuck with any exercise program this long nor have we seen results with any other program like we’ve seen with Crossfit. When we first began, both of us were taking medicine for high cholesterol. Doug was 30 pounds overweight and while I have always been thin I now know I was never fit. When we started Crossfit we could barely complete 50 jump rope singles, our push presses and thrusters were done using 18 lb bars, we couldn’t run 400 meters without stopping to walk, and could barely manage a pull-up with the thickest of bands! Today both Doug and I continue to PR in many of our lifts using weights well in excess of 18 pounds, Doug can do many of the WODs at the prescribed weight, and I can finally do unassisted kipping pull-ups! I can only do about three of them but 4 years ago I never thought I would ever do even one!

We’ve always been pretty healthy eaters and my diet mantra had always been everything in moderation. And to be honest I was highly skeptical of the Paleo diet when I first heard about it. However, despite all the exercise Doug was never able to shed those 30 pounds until his first Paleo challenge last summer. He lost the weight and has kept it off.  I started to eat Paleo as well, not for weight loss but to support Doug’s efforts, and have found that the chronic headaches I suffered from have almost disappeared. We now eat a mostly Paleo diet and both of us have been off our cholesterol meds for over a year with our doctor describing our cholesterol levels as “ridiculously low”. Both of us have families with a history of heart disease so the healthy heart results we’ve seen from our Crossfit diet and exercise have been so important to us.

                  Finally, when we first started working out at Crossfit Maximus I was reluctant to participate in the group WODs. I would do the WODs by myself but didn’t want to compete with the group because I felt sure that I wouldn’t be able to keep up or would be ridiculed for always finishing last. Doug would encourage me to join the group but I resisted. I couldn’t have been more wrong! Not only do the group WODs make me push myself harder than I ever would on my own but the other members of the gym are so supportive. After reluctantly joining in with the group I realized that no one was judging me because I couldn’t do what they could, they were cheering me on! We both can state without a doubt that there’s no other gym in Lexington that can boast such a supportive community of athletes.

                  Camaraderie, unparalleled coaching expertise in fitness and nutrition, a workout regimen that we look forward to and that never gets old, and a supportive, encouraging environment that is unique to Crossfit Maximus. The results speak for themselves. Doug and I will both turn 50 in December and we can proudly say that we’re healthier and more physically fit than we were in our 20’s! For us there is no other gym and no other people we’d trust our health to!