I usually post Athlete Profiles on Saturdays, but my Saturday was filled with interviews in Houston in preparation for my move back in August (eek!). So today, it's my honor and privilege to introduce to you two of my biggest supporters: Miss GiGi and Mr. Carlos Carbo!
Names: GiGi & Carlos
Favorite Nicknames: GiGi – GiGi is my nickname. No one calls me by my “real” name. Carlos - None. Only my wife calls me something other than Carlos and I am not sharing.
Hometown: GiGi – Aggieland Carlos - None. I moved around quite a bit
Age: GiGi – 43 Carlos - 49
Occupation: GiGi – database admin Carlos – programmer
All cleaned up!
Strict Press GiGi – 90# Carlos – 130#
Back Squat GiGi – 205# Carlos – 235#
Deadlift GiGi – 235# Carlos – 267.5#
Clean GiGi – 110# Carlos – 140#
Overhead Squat GiGi – 50# Carlos – 110#
Bench Press: N/A – we don’t have a bench yet at home. Carlos – I used to lift 90# dumbbells at the gym once upon a time
Favorite WOD: Any that we can complete and not feel dead afterwards
Least Favorite WOD: Any with Crossfit movements like muscle ups and double unders. MUs do not look shoulder friendly and we both struggle with double unders.
Describe your sports and fitness background:
We started working out together when we were still dating and have continued consistently through our (almost) 22 years of marriage. Together we have enjoyed activities like mountain biking, martial arts (especially judo & jujitsu), weight training, and soccer.
How did you first get exposed to CrossFit?:
Carlos had read about Crossfit and we watched the Crossfit Games on TV. We started by adding just one crossfit workout a week to our schedule and within 6 months we quit our gym and set up our garage as our own personal box.
I wish this was my garage!
What was your first WOD like? Humbling.
What sort of changes have you seen in your body since starting CrossFit (before and after):
GiGi - For me I think the biggest change has been how quickly I am able to recover from strenuous activity. I noticed it first on the soccer field. I would run all out, come off the field panting - all of that was normal - but I was ready to get back out there much more quickly after we started CrossFit.
Carlos - I thought I was in fair shape before I started but now I realize that while I had strength, I was carrying too much weight and did not have enough stamina. Everything fits better and I am in much better shape and condition. Also, people seem quite shocked when I tell them my age; that can’t be bad.
What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like Crossfit? Expected or unexpected?
We found that it was impossible to perform crossfit workouts at our gym, so wequit. The crossfit boxes in town were too expensive and none of them offered childcare or convenient times for working couples. So we took the money we were spending on our gym memberships and went online to order a bunch of equipment from Rogue. Having a gym in our garage saves us time and travel costs and means we have no excuse to miss a workout. And as for an unexpected bonus, now that we are crossfitting, Carlos is no longer experiencing the elbow and shoulder pain that he would experience from our "normal" workouts. The variability of crossfit helps prevent repetitive use injuries. And since we are working out in the garage, our 12 year old son can even join us from time to time (he’s the box jump king in our family). Then variability also helps prevent boredom and stagnation from setting in.
Our only complaints are:
1. We lost quite bit of strength, We believe that was due to our overriding concern to drop weight. Now that we have slowed down the weight loss, our strength is coming back and we expect our maxes to increase by quite a bit this year.
2. We keep having to buy new clothes and pack up our fat clothes. (But that’s a problem we’re willing to live with.)
Get it, Miss GiGi!
What's your favorite lift and why?:
GiGi - I love to dead lift! My body was just BUILT to dead lift. Carlos - Squats. Not sure why.
Funniest experience related to CrossFit?:
Since we have lost so much weight, we find ourselves explaining Crossfit and, to a much larger extent, the Paleo diet to co-workers and friends. We also feel like we should get a commission from Rogue.
Name one goal you have achieved since starting CrossFit and one goal you want to achieve:
GiGi - I've dropped 50 lbs in the last year! (Whoop!) And as such, I have lost a fair bit of strength. Many of my ORMs have dropped. I'd like to get them back up to where they were, especially my dead lift. I know that proportionately I am lifting more now, but as silly as it may seem, I want to get back to that old milestone. And I really want to be able to do a good overhead squat - it's my nemesis. Carlos – After I get my strength back, I want to be able to do MUs, uninterrupted double -unders, and a snatch with proper form (not sure why that movement feels so unnatural to me).
Any advice for people just getting started with CrossFit?
HAVE FUN! And know that there are no good excuses to NOT exercise. Find what works for you- whether that's finding the right box for you, finding a friend to hold you accountable, or outfitting your garage so you never have to miss a workout - find what fits you best so that you will stick with it. If you do not have access to a quality box or are just not comfortable with the social part of box life, set up something in your garage, your back porch, your back yard. And you don't need fancy equipment either. You can always head to the neighborhood playground and you'll find a lot of what you need right there waiting for you. There are no excuses. Just do it. And have FUN with it!
Also, proper diet is 80% of the battle. If you don’t believe that, you will never get the results you are seeking - unless you are some mutant genetic freak that can eat anything and not put on fat. In which case we hate you, like a lot. We have had quite bit of success with a modified Paleo diet. Basically we have stopped eating sugar and processed foods. The diet has not only helped us lose quite a bit of weight quickly but has made it easy to keep the weight off, which is often the hardest part. We would say that Paleo is a bigger and harder commitment than Crossfit. GiGi has been keeping our more successful Paleo recipes here: http://mamagsgotomeals.blogspot.com/
What do you tell yourself to keep motivated?
We think the results speak for themselves. We’re feeling better. Clothes fit better. And we’re not constantly battling the injuries we had dealt with in the past. What more motivation do you need?
I gotta say, I follow Miss GiGi's blog and her recipes are incredible! I am just so proud and impressed with these two. They have been so wonderful to me since I started Eat.Pray.WOD! Thank you to both of you for allowing me to tell your story!
If you know someone who would make a great featured athlete, please email me at eatpraywod[at]gmail[dot]com!