Meet Elisha, our I AM BSHEmoth for the month of July! Elisha is one of the most dedicated athletes we have had the pleasure of knowing. Having done CrossFit for 10 years now, she is still consistently showing up, working hard and continuing to accomplish goals that make her a better wife, mom, friend and athlete every day. She has quite a testimony and we are excited to share her story below!
Who are you? Tell us a little about yourself or something that would surprise us.
I am not an athlete. In fact, when my very first CrossFit coach referred to me as one of his athletes, I scanned the room, certain he was referring to… well, anyone but me. I wasn’t a top draft choice for team captains in Elementary School, and while I dabbled in tennis, dance and gymnastics, I was never “good enough” to pursue higher levels or compete. I witnessed my brother with innate athletic abilities reach elite levels in high school baseball, knowing he could excel in any sport with ease. I simply did not have inherent talent, and allowed insecurities and fear of failure to prevail.
Thankfully however, both my parents prioritized exercise and I watched as my dad trained for many marathons, and played tennis, golf, and basketball for fun. I often joined my mom, who attended aerobics classes (visualize brightly colored, ribbed leotards cut high on the thigh, and leg warmers), where I was drawn to the music-movement mix and the adorable, energetic instructors I had come to idolize. As a high school senior, I was asked to teach a class at an aerobics franchise called The Waist Basket. I was so honored, you would have thought I was voted Prom Queen (which I wasn’t). In college, I couldn’t find an aerobics studio I liked, so I rented a room at a church near campus, registered the name Lite Weights at the courthouse, mixed some music on cassette tapes (some of you might have to Google that), spread the word amongst the sororities….and before I knew it I had a small (or should I say teeny) business. Interestingly, one of my first jobs out of college was marketing for a national chain of health clubs.
Throughout adulthood, I have worked with personal trainers, attended boot camps and ran (jogged) a few marathons. And, I’ve been CrossFit training now for about 9 years. So, while I don’t really consider myself to be an athlete, fitness and I have maintained a relationship spanning several decades.
But it’s CrossFit that helped me push insecurities and fears to the side, and provided me the mental focus, fortitude and tenacity to pursue whatever goals I set for myself, both in and out of the gym. And since starting at Behemoth, I’ve come to realize that it’s more than just time in the gym that ensures I’m at my strongest. It’s a lifestyle that includes workouts, recovery, quality food and sleep, stress management and many other factors. Moreover, because neither of my daughters pursued sports, my journey includes leading by example for them the way my parents did for me. An added plus: sometimes I actually feel like an athlete.
How and when were you introduced to Behemoth?
I started CrossFit in 2008 at a gym near my house in Bellaire. In 2013, I switched gyms and after a few weeks was informed that “our” Leah was joining their coaching staff. I was excited! I had already experienced Leah’s coaching style first-hand at Row Studios, so I knew she was good. “Good” was an understatement. I had been Crossfitting for over 5 years and until then, had never had a coach who so skillfully communicated proper technique, watched closely for potentially harmful habits or movements and provided me with proper modifications when necessary. As our friendship developed, I met Aja, Aryan and Meagan and even drove the many miles from Bellaire to Cypress on some weekends to join the Saturday morning Behemoth class. Just when Leah permanently became a Behemoth coach, I had a health incident that required a 3-night hospital stay. Once cleared to workout, I returned to CrossFit — at Behemoth — where Leah provided me with cautious, individualized programming. It wasn’t long before I was jumping into classes and getting to know all of you! And now, my morning routine includes a 35-45 minute drive to Cypress, an opportunity for which I am extremely grateful.
What are you most proud of, physically, mentally since beginning with us?
Physically, it would have to be double unders. Until Aja pointed out that practicing incorrectly (which I did for several years) is as bad as not practicing, and had me strip the skill so that I only practiced each task individually (jump, wrist rotation, etc.) before putting it all together, I really struggled. After months of “perfect practice” but with very small clips, I’m feeling increasingly proficient, able to string together around 20 or 30 in a workout.
Mentally, I no longer have the fear of failure. It took me many years, but I now understand there is really no failing; just opportunity to learn. There are many paths to success, and failure is often that fork in the road that causes you not to stop, but to change your course and lead you to progress. (Like changing the way I practiced double unders).
I make a concerted effort to surround myself with people who are better than me, because I think that makes me better myself. That’s what I get when I come to Behemoth, both from the community (YOU) and the extraordinary coaching staff.
I can’t say enough about the superior coaches at Behemoth, but the following comes to mind:
They immediately become your friend and partner. They commit to doing everything in their power to help you achieve your goals.
They are continuous learners in their field and strive to educate their members as they acquire new knowledge.
They contend with honesty that it’s a combination of smart nutrition, quality sleep and stress management, along with work in the gym, that will ultimately yield results.
Their focus on warmups, cool downs, appropriate stretching and quality mechanics overrides speed, heavier weights or the attempting of skills for which your body is not prepared.
They provide comprehensive, quality programming designed with the intent to increase strength, mobility, coordination, speed and power, but not to break you, beat you up, or set you up for failure.
They work tirelessly to build a cohesive, supportive and loving community. Strong communities are no accident, but a product of exceptional leadership.
They practice what they preach.
What next? What are you excited about pursuing here in the future?
I get excited about pursuing higher level gymnastics skills. I’d like to master butterfly pull-ups, muscle ups and hand stand walks! But first and foremost, I strive to maintain my health and remain injury free so I can continue this experience with the Behemoth community.
Mad Lib Section! 3…2…1…GO!
My favorite lift is.. overhead squat.
My most frequent class I come to is: 9:30 a.m.
I have always wanted to… prepare a healthy meal for my family and feel confident that they will enjoy it.
When I’m not crushing weights, my favorite thing to do is… sit outside and read or write.
Favorite “application of fitness” outside the gym is…for the moment, golf. It requires mobility, strength, balance and focus, so….
Favorite Pandora station – 60’s, 70’s, 80’s
Beast mode engaged when this song comes on – anything PITBULL..I like the beat.