Our member of the month for January is Desi Lyon! She’s thrown herself back in and dedicated time to improving all aspects of her life.

Desi actually started with us, left, and then came back. I think her answers will tell you why!

1. What do you love about Crossfit, and how does it help you in your day to day life?

I have been in and out of sports for years. I used to play professional basketball when I was in Cyprus (as a frizzy-haired teen at 160cm), I played football at uni (left wing) and I’ve been in and out of various gyms over the years trying to reignite that same competitive spirit team sports engendered in me. And I’m definitely not a natural at Zumba.

Enter, at the tender age of 35, CrossFit… the rebel of the gym industry in many ways, one of the reasons I love it. It completely changed my perspective on what really drives me both in the gym (or at the box) and in life. I thrive on trying to be the best version of me. As a wife, as a mum, as a career woman and as a person who prioritises fitness. And the best version of me means having measurable results… getting a promotion, getting told my son is polite or my daughter is feisty (long may that continue!), getting a better time in a benchmark WOD. Measurable results in performance can’t be found in a gym for me; a treadmill is a road to nowhere and other people aren’t thinking in the same way. CrossFit, along with a whole new set of acronyms, has given me what I have craved since my formative years – the ability to be part of a team whilst still working towards my own individual, measurable goals.

Day to day, my mood has improved dramatically, so all of the other versions of me have improved – my fitness has taken an upturn, I’m more focused at work, I’m more patient with my children. My husband definitely thinks I’m happier!

2. What’s your favourite workout?

I love the variety of workouts. Jillian Michaels recently said that CrossFit is limited in its movements. Well, that’s rubbish. I mean there are six different types of squat that spring to mind just at this second. They’re probably not my favourite. Neither are pull-ups, handstands, wall balls, kettlebell swings… put them all together into a WOD though, and anything that sends me stumbling back to my car, shaky but smiley, works!  Some workouts are short but I prefer the longer ones which mix up a variety of barbell work and cardio.

3. What 3 things would you say are TOWIC’s biggest plus points?

When I say ‘the coaches’ it’s true but it’s also unfair to group them in this way as there are many things that I think are great about each of them…

Shaun taught me form in my front squat and now I never forget to keep my elbows up (well I probably sometimes do but I quickly correct!). He also once nearly no repped me on a wallball and I’ve never missed the target since.

Chris is very much focused on form which is incredibly important – barbell classes are invaluable.

Noel always notices small improvements, and his programming is well thought through, incorporating new ways of thinking in fitness.

Don is an all-around lovely human being who once told me that the barbell is my b*tch. That day was the first time I managed over 25kg in an overhead lift – a 30kg clean and jerk.

They all have a sense of humour and genuinely love coaching which is incredibly inspiring.

That was long… so secondly, I’d say the people. And thirdly I’d say, the people.

4. How has being a part of our community had a positive effect on you?

Apart from it being the most effective legal mood enhancer, my relationship with myself has improved. As you get older, you don’t often get put (or put yourself) in a situation where you have to get on with a whole new set of people completely on your own merits. On a personal level, CrossFit has taught me that I’m not too shabby a person and I respect myself – and all the great qualities, moments, fun everyone else brings to the party – more than I ever have.

5. What’s your favourite treat meal?

Far too many treat meals have led to me now counting my macros and making yet another change for the better. However, I’m half Greek Cypriot so it would be remiss of me (and probably a little unadventurous as a foodie but hey ho!) of me not to big up a moussaka.

6. What would you say to anyone new trying out TOWIC for the first time?

Don’t be apologetic. You are where you are, and others are where they are.

Think outside the box literally… start to value CrossFit for the body #gainz, but more importantly for the perspective it brings to your daily life.

If you give it your all, be prepared to have happily surprised yourself after every WOD.

Thanks Desi, for your hard work and dedication and for trusting us with your journey. Long may it continue!

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