Athlete Spotlight: Kelly and Jim Vannan - Strongpoint CrossFit

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Athlete Spotlight: Kelly and Jim Vannan

Athlete Spotlight: Kelly and Jim Vannan

1. What is your favorite movement or WOD?

Kelly: Caveman Days and Tabatas

Jim: Any WOD where I finish ahead of the 17 year old girl.  Seriously though, I feel especially grateful to be able to show up for Hero WOD’s.  It’s a pittance of thanks I can offer to those HERO’s who have passed.

2. What is your least favorite WOD?

Kelly: Any involving high reps of kettlebell snatches. They tend to attack me.

Jim: Overhead squats. The worst feeling is looking around and seeing EVERYBODY, except me, being able to do the movement.

3. What motivates you to show up and perform day-after-day?

Kelly: It’s fun! I love the challenge and variety of movements.  Also, as my kids grow up and I get older, I look forward to traveling and experiencing new adventures. I will enjoy that all much more if I am fit and healthy.  Plus, I have to keep up with Jim!

Jim: There are many reasons, but here are two.  One: I get to have a daily date with my beautiful, intelligent, athletic wife. Two: CrossFit keeps me healthy.  Prior to joining Strongpoint, I was getting daily debilitating headaches.  The doctors performed CAT scans and MRI’s and concluded that I had degenerative disc disease in my upper neck (from a previous broken neck injury) which was causing the headaches.  I noticed after my first WOD (Friday), that I didn’t have a headache.  The following days (Saturday, Sunday, Monday) my headache came and stayed; however, I did another WOD on Monday night and the headache disappeared.  I thought it was a fluke, but as the days/weeks went on, my headaches became less severe and less often.  After 5 months of CrossFit, my headaches have dropped to approximately one every two weeks (I’ve actually had headaches most of my life and previously averaged 3/week).  I should also note that exercising wasn’t new to me, I’ve been a member of big box gyms for 20+ years (averaged 3x per week for the entire 20 years).  I know that CrossFit doesn’t have a magic formula for headaches, but that doesn’t matter to me…I rarely have headaches now!

4. What negative thoughts hold you back from being your best?

Kelly: To be really honest, I was used to being one of the strongest women in the gyms I lifted weights in, usually YMCA-type places. I guess my view was narrow because since I started CrossFit, I see so many women (and certain 17 year old girls…ahem) who are much stronger than I am. Sometimes that discourages me, but I try to stay positive and try harder. Stay Calm and WOD On!

Jim: Joint pain (elbows, shoulders, knees).  And yes, it is thought.   General George Patton said it best, “If you are going to win any battle, you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do… the body is never tired if the mind is not tired.” 

5. What has been your most memorable moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

Kelly: I don’t know the exact moment, but when I realized I was completing the running portions of the WODs without having to walk or stop.

Jim: Doing an overhead squat with weight (an embarrassing small amount of weight).  As weird as it sounds, that was one of the best adrenaline rushes I’ve ever had.

6. What has been your least favorite moment at Strongpoint CrossFit?

Kelly: Anytime I give up. Even if I finish a WOD, if I know I’ve gone too light or not pushed myself, I feel like it was a hollow victory.

Jim: After doing 100 AbMat sit ups for the first time, stepping in the shower thinking that a swarm of wasps followed me in to “wash” my backside.

7. What is your favorite quote from Strongpoint CrossFit?

Kelly: It’s a tie between “I was tired of looking like a busted can of biscuits” and something about “If something’s important to you, you’ll find a way to do it; otherwise, you’ll find an excuse.”

Jim: “You all right?”  “Are you all right Jim?”  “Jim, are you okay?”  “Jim, how do you feel?” “Are you sure you’re okay?”  …regular comments from RM during the first three weeks.

8. What do you want to accomplish with your training in the next year?

Kelly: Run FASTER!!!

Jim: Rx (men’s Rx!) on all WOD’s.  And finish ahead of the 17 year old girl on everything….or at least something.

Coach’s Comments: I clearly remember both Kelly’s and Jim’s first day in the gym.  Kelly came in for something mild like 3 rounds of 800m run, rope climb, and 50 push ups.  She showed up with some girl named Laura and they both claimed that they really didn’t like to run…  Jim’s first day was a hero WOD with a lot of clean and jerks, which fortunately is one of the easier movements to learn in the 15 minutes before a WOD.  They both became members of the gym and have grown to be a cornerstone of the community by participating in challenges, lending a helping hand, and making new members feel welcome. They both performed at the top of the group during the fall Whole Life Challenge. Kelly had the top compliance score at the end of the Challenge and Jim finished second in the overall standings.  They have been an absolute pleasure to coach and it has been fun and rewarding to see them progress in their fitness during the past 7-8 months.  It is an honor to name them as the co-spotlight athletes in this Valentine’s Day special!



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