September 2018 Athlete of the Month - Geri Dunckley

This was an easy selection for me. I remember so vividly the day Geri called the gym and I answered the phone . We told me we went to another gym to ask about membership and how to get started but they weren’t very welcoming. I am thankful that I I was next to the phone when she called because I told her to come in right away and I would show her around the gym and get her started as soon as possible. Over the past year, Geri’s fitness journey has been pretty awesome. She started out not very coordinated, not comfortable lifting weights and had little confidence in the gym. Geri’s mindset is something that has had the biggest improvement. Through elements and even her first couple months, anytime Geri expressed negative self talk, I had her do burpees. This was more of encouragement to flip the mental switch into optimism and opportunity rather than verbally and mentally beating herself up (consciously or unconsciously.)
She is not the only one who struggled or struggles with this. Many people do and it has been awesome to see the change first hand. Geri now is not a shy member who comes in, does the work and leaves. She is vocal, cheering on her fellow members and is nothing but positive. The journey is long and if you always strive for progress, there’s a very good chance you’ll continue to attain it. As a physical therapist, being strong and confident is a must. Geri has said with pride after hitting a tough workout, “have a great day. I’m off to treat clients for the next 8 hours.” How awesome is that? When I look back at my first interaction with Geri when she came to our gym for the first time with her three kids, I am thankful I got her started right away. There are numerous people who are in the same shoes she was and were not as committed to take the plunge. Congratulations and thank you for being you, Geri. Keep working hard and striving for success. I’m proud to coach you.

Written by: Coach Rob Moloney

Why you started Crossfit?
The reason I walked into that door was because my husband challenged me to complete a Spartan Race, which I did, but he had to lift me (literally over most of the obstacles and emotionally to keep my legs moving). I was proud I completed it, but knew I had to complete most of the obstacles on my own. (Which I did this past year, thanks to CIP).

What’s your background? 
Exercise background? I don't really have one. I played a little basketball in high school, but that about sums me up, besides my one year of stair climber obsession. I never lifted a weight or barbell ever. My exercise for the last 8 years has been chasing my 3 children. :) 

How long have you been a member and how long have you been doing CrossFit?
I've been a member for almost 15 months. If you count those 14 months and change, that's how long I've been doing CrossFit. 

What is your favorite thing about the gym?
The people. Hands down. No question. The coaches, the athletes, the community. The inspirational, motivating, encouraging crew that surrounds me at 6am is a blessing. I was welcomed into 6am with open arms and have never once felt judged by a single person.

What is the biggest challenge you have overcome since joining the gym?
For me, it's not physical. It's my shyness and lack of confidence that is the biggest challenge I've overcome since joining. For me to work out with people watching, used to make my stomach turn. Now I work out like no one is watching. :) Plus I'm the most shy person on the planet and being in such a supportive and kind community, I've broken out of my shell quite a bit. I'll chat with anyone. 

What is your favorite moment at the gym so far?
It's hard to narrow down, so I'll just have to say, the first day I walked into the gym. Rob was so kind, calm, understanding and encouraging. It took a lot for me to call and walk in. He got me set right up with my first elements class and got me moving. And look where that got me!!! Walking in most mornings and walking out a better me every time. Let the journey continue. 

What's your favorite "cheat" food?
This week? Chips and salsa. I'm a "reformed" junk foodie who would rather have dessert than a meal. I've committed to eating a more healthy life style.. So I only splurge for special occasions, like birthdays, or Saturdays and some Wednesdays. :) 

What would you say to someone who is thinking about starting?
Do it. You have to be stronger than your biggest excuse. Just come in. There is absolutely no judgement. Everyone starts from somewhere and CrossFit Island Park is a great place to start. 
What drives you? My kids. I want to show them what hard work and dedication are. I want to be able to chase them and participate with them. Enjoy them. I want teach them a healthy life style and lead by example.

What is you biggest fitness goal right now?
My fitness goals are ever changing. Right now, I just want to be a better me. Oh and to complete the 10k I signed myself up for. Look in the mirror, that's your competition.