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Member Spotlight: Jeramy Girard

What brought you to Progression Fitness?

I had been Crossfitting for a few years prior to moving and knew we wanted to get established with a gym in our new city. When we found out we were moving to Rochester we asked several people who were familiar with the gyms in the area and each of them independently said ‘Progression is the only choice, hands down.’ Visited once and before leaving had signed up for our memberships

When do you usually work out?

6 am – not by preference, but scheduling necessity. I have grown to be comfortable once I’m there, but getting out of bed is a struggle every morning!

What do you like to do with your free time?

Free time is almost completely occupied with family time. With two little girls (age 7 and 1) there is always a game to play, a dance to watch, or a horse on a stick to ride. 

Do you encounter functional fitness in your life? Does being functionally fit help you in your job or your hobbies?

I take the stairs at work any time I’m not rushing to an emergency, and being comfortable with the lung/leg burn that comes from 10 stories is definitely something functional fitness has given me. That and things that I think I often take for granted like being able to pick up my girls with ease, run around the yard with them, ride our bikes together (while pulling the little one in a trailer) and carry them around on my shoulders. 

What is your favorite clean food?

I love bell peppers. I pack one almost every day in my lunch and eat it like an apple. 

What is your favorite cheat food?

Hard toss-up between pizza and ice cream. 

What is your favorite Crossfit exercise movement?

Olympic lifting for sure. They are such complex movements and there is always something to improve. There is also something mystical about the pursuit of the feeling when everything comes together and the bar feels weightless – but then as quick as it came the moment passes – and you’re chasing it again. 

What is your most hated exercise movement?

Burpee. I have never in my life been excited or happy with the thought of doing a burpee. 

What goals are you chasing?

My primary goal is to increase my consistency. In 2021 I worked out 66% of days, in 2022 my goal is to increase that to 75%. Embedded in that (see 6am workout time) is getting quality sleep and going to bed on time. That is a work in progress. 

Results/event wise a stretch goal is a vested Murph.

What is the strangest, yet true, thing a coach ever told you?

If you want to get better, stop trying so hard. As a hard-charging achiever, it didn’t make any sense to me. Why would I NOT try as hard as possible? But I learned that by relaxing and taking some pressure off, the learning and growth came. Now I remind myself to take a step back, a deep breath, and try again. 

Who motivates you?

Our coaches motivate me. It became so clear to me during lockdown with at-home workouts, even with Progression’s daily videos telling me what to do and when I learned I need that accountability of someone watching and giving feedback. I thrive on that external motivation.

What were you scared/nervous about when starting Progression fitness?

We were nervous, coming to a new city and a significantly larger gym than we were in previously, if we would be able to create meaningful social connections in this new location. 

Now that you have been at Progression Fitness for a while, was there anything you originally were wrong about, but now have changed your mind?

I used to think working out before sunrise would be impossible. But with consistency and a group of people who I look forward to seeing and working out with, I’m now a morning exerciser. I’ve not only changed my mind, I’ve changed my identity.

What is something you couldn’t do before, but now you can? 

Stringing T2B (Toes to Bar) felt impossible for the longest time. Then a coach, Beth, showed me a scale with a band strapped around J hooks that helped me get a feel for the rhythm of pressing into the arch of the kip. It took one time, it clicked, and now I can do sets of 5-10 before being limited by grip strength – because there is always a next thing to work on!

What is your Personal Record that you are most proud of?

Completing Ironman Wisconsin in under 16 hours. I wasn’t fast, but I did it. The day was a fun celebration of all the hard work, consistency, and time I put into stretching out my endurance capacity.

What is your fitness background? Have you played sports? Do you have a favorite sport now?

I played lots of sports as a kid, focusing mainly on football, and loving the weight room in high school. I got into triathlons during and after college, eventually running Ironman Wisconsin in 2014. 

Are there any competitions/races in your future?

No, just daily working out for me.

What advice do you have to help others keep coming consistently?

Find the ‘why’ behind what you’re wanting to get out of this and/or what brought you in the first place. Get real self-reflective and examine your motivations and hopes. Then, when the snooze button has an appeal or things get busy/hard/stressful or whatever, you have that larger motivation of ‘why’ to draw on.

Also, I can count on, like, one hand the number of times I’ve gone to work out and later truly regretted it. So if you’re on the fence on a particular day, just go. 

What would you say to someone that is thinking about trying Progression Fitness but isn’t sure it is for them?

Without knowing what their particular uncertainty is about, my suggestion would be to sign up for a single month, come a few times a week to get a feel for it, then decide if it’s a good fit or not. If their nervousness is trying a new thing or not knowing anyone I would offer to join them for their few classes. If their concern is about being intimidated by CrossFit in general I would talk about how my absolute favorite thing about CrossFit, and I think Progression does a wonderful job, is that it can be adjusted and tailored to work for anyone. Whatever limitation/ability thing they’re worried about the coaches can work with them to find the right scale to get a safe and effective workout. This is the chaplain in me, responding to someone almost always requires several more layers of understanding their what and why before deciding how to proceed together. 😉

Have someone you know come up with a question, then answer it here. “Why do you do such crazy/hard workouts?”

I enjoy doing them because they’re hard. Life is full of hard; voluntarily doing hard things provides me the opportunity to get to know myself in the midst of hard. They teach me that I am more capable than I expect, that hard things are easier when done in community, that strategic rest (especially before it is strictly necessary) is crucial in the midst of ongoing hard, that it’s ok to not be the best, and that everyone is working on improvement in something.

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