For John Doe the idea of “family time “ is more likely to conjure up images of sitting on a couch watching a Disney movie while alternating between handfuls of popcorn and spoonfuls of ice cream rather than working out together alternating kettlebell swings and rope climbs. But for Theresa Dawson, you’re more likely to find her at the 6:30 pm CrossFit class keeping up right alongside her athletic, college-aged daughter Shantelle Edwards and her sister-in-law Cerita Edwards. And despite a busy schedule and a stressful job, she loves blowing off steam with a little healthy competition CrossFitting with her daughter and sister-in-law.
“Its something we can do together,” explains Theresa. “With my daughter being a year-round athlete, I didn’t play the sports that she did, so it’s kind of cool to have something we both really love. The three of us loved going to the CrossFit Games last year. Overall, it has just brought us closer.”
Beyond developing stronger bonds with her family, CrossFitting together has also brought in a level of accountability, and challenge, that Theresa didn’t have before. “I was going to Lifetime there for a while–doing kickboxing classes. Whenever I would go to Lifetime I would naturally choose a free weight that was only 5 or 10 pounds. I was never a big fan of lifting weights because I always liked to see results on the scale and I felt like the minute I started lifting weights I wouldn’t see much movement [on the scale].”
Despite attending classes, her regular gym wasn’t giving her the results she wanted. When she moved to CrossFit Fury with her family, Theresa felt the challenge to try lifting heavy, and she hasn’t looked back. “Since I moved to CrossFit, weights have been my strength. At first I didn’t see instant results, but then it was like all of a sudden the weight started falling off especially when I started following Paleo full-time.” Since starting CrossFit at the end of June, Theresa has lost an incredible 40 pounds.
But how important has family been in helping Theresa accomplish her goals? Theresa will proudly tell you that she has only missed two CrossFit workouts, a huge accomplishment for someone who has been coming for over 9 months. She keeps coming back, even through the soreness, because she doesn’t want to let her community down. If consistency is the magical key to a transformed lifestyle with the added benefit of weight loss, then Theresa has hit the jackpot.
It wasn’t always easy coming to the workouts with such dedication. Soon after moving up from Basics to CrossFit, Theresa doubted that she was ready for handstand push-ups and the rigor CrossFit demanded, but she kept going. “You kind of realize that everyone has these weaknesses—something they’re not good at, but it can change over time.” Now Theresa is a regular, and has seen some of her previous weaknesses transformed, one of which being running.
“I hated running,” Theresa declares. She dreaded the sprinting exercises on Tuesdays, but after making the effort to come (even to Detention) she was able to transform that weakness. One of her proudest moments at CrossFit was being able to run two miles in a workout and afterwards feeling like she still had energy.
One of the reasons she has been able to overcome these challenges is working out with her family. Theresa and Shantelle are competitive, but it’s their competition that drives Theresa to keep digging deep. “It’s kind of neat to be able to be there to push her or have her push me.” At the end of each workout, Theresa comes out stronger: understanding herself, and her family more.