For September we've chosen Taylor Breland as the Athlete of the Month! She has been with us for over a year now and throughout her life's ups and downs, she finds a way to keep making workout classes here. Her success in how she feels & looks is a product of consistent training and simple eating habits!
What do you do for a living?
I am a Business Analyst for the State of Tennessee’s Strategic Technology Solutions team. In short, I serve as the liaison between customers and our development teams during the creation of new applications for Tennessee citizens to interact with.
Here’s a more fun, pro-girl power take on what I do. http://youngbosshe.org/shes-in-stem-taylor-breland/ I sit in front of a computer all day, so when it comes time to go to class in the evenings, it’s very much welcomed!
Tell us something people don't know about you?
I hate ketchup. I had dreadlocks for five years. I know more Marvin Gaye than you.
What was your main reason for joining CrossFit Solid Orange?
After doing track and field, dancing, and rowing collegiately, I needed another discipline and another reason to appreciate my body’s capabilities. I needed a healthy habit. My brother is a member at another box, and after years of him trying to convince me I should give it a shot, I finally did at CFSO. All it took was one strategically targeted Facebook ad and I called to set up an orientation!
How has your life changed?
During my first year at CFSO, I continued to eat whatever I wanted. While I was working out regularly and still gaining strength, I wasn’t noticing any huge differences on the scale. In May 2018, I cleaned up my act in the kitchen and, let me tell you, I’ve been surprising myself. I still have a long way to go, but since starting "Keto" (The Ketogenic Diet) three months ago and maintaining my CrossFit regimen, I have (these are according to Coach’s super accurate measurements, by the way):
On a mushier note, I have a community that is absolutely irreplaceable. When my father passed in mid-August, my CrossFit family members were the first to check on me, the first to get me out of the house, the first to encourage self-care by bringing me a bag full of goodies. I thought it would be hard returning to the gym after such a painful loss but I was back within 4 days. Overwhelmed with anxiety and grief, I knew I could go to the box and release it all…I knew I had my safe place.
Your favorite workout?
Just please, please no running. Anything but running. :)
Could you share a workout goal you'd like to accomplish?
One of these days, y’all, I will do a strict pull-up. I am also ready to push myself to a place where I can perform at least 75% of the workouts RX. I think it is easy to categorize yourself as a “scaled person,” especially if you have to modify quite a bit in the beginning, but it’s time to be part of the big girls club!
What have you learned about yourself since starting CrossFit?
I have become hyperaware of how I literally move through life. I am more in-tune with my body now than I have ever been. I listen to it, I respect it, and it thanks me. I have also realized that nothing beats the way I feel after a workout and nothing can level me out the way CrossFit does. I’ve learned to choose the gym (in most cases) over: pizza, happy hour, or the couch...and that’s something I am proud of.
Cheesiest and most memorable warm-up we've done?
I think doing burpees to “Roxanne” by The Police is a classic. It sucks, but it’s classic. I’m still waiting on the plank “Cha-Cha Slide,” though.
Your advice to someone anxious about trying CrossFit?
You are talking to the Mayor of Anxiety Town, okay? (Can we just take a second and acknowledge how insanely anxious I was sharing these progress pictures?!) The first time I showed up to CFSO to meet Coach Ryan, I had a printed list of questions I needed answered. I researched and researched CrossFit and read every female success story on Pinterest. I watched videos of how to do Olympic lifts. I looked up what kind of clothes to wear. But you know what? You just have to do it. None of that anxiety-driven preparation can substitute your first class. I promise the nervousness will go away, if not during your first class, during the second one. You’ll realize that all bodies are different, all bodies have strengths and weaknesses, but nobody will judge you for it. You’re going to have a blast!
When you're not CrossFitting, what do you like to do?
I am all about home improvement these days, so I can usually be found in the middle of a project. Otherwise, my fiancé and I enjoy lake days with the dogs, watching TV with the dogs, or eating while the dogs stare at us.
What is something fun you did recently?
We took a trip to Pensacola, FL, which is a regular vacation spot for us. However, this time we took another couple and asked each of them to be part of our wedding party. It was very special and, although I got sunburnt, it was really fun.