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March Athletes of the Month: Mark and Laura Howard

This month we are happy to feature one of our favorite couples as co-athletes of the month. Get to know a little more about them from their responses below.

 

 When did you start with Cumming Strength and Fitness? 

Laura: 3 years ago

Mark: Nov. 2014

Favorite Workout?  

Laura: No question. DT. Anyone that knows me knows I love some barbell.

Mark: Anything with Cleans but named work out is “DT”.

Least Favorite Workout?  

Laura: Anything with running and I absolutely loath Fran

Mark: anything with burpees

Favorite Movement? 

Laura: Cleans!!!!!

Mark: I have two: Hang Cleans and Snatch

Least Favorite Movement? 

Laura: Deadlift

Mark: Those pesky gymnastics movements that us big people have difficulty mastering – like pistol squats…can’t do them.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Laura: I’m a busy working mom of a blended family with 5 kiddos. Fitness has always been a huge part of my life.  I played sports growing up and have always been active.  Nutrition is huge to me and it’s very important for me to teach our kids healthy habits.   That’s about all I have time for.

Mark: June 9th of 2017 I married Laura Little, co-athlete of the month. Together we have 5 children (me-3 her-2), 1 dog, and 2 cats. I mainly work from home unless I have to travel, and my job title is Program Director”. Basically, I’m on the phone and computer all day solving problems – or trying to. This is one of the reasons why I love going to CS&F – I get to get out of the house and interact with other humans.

I played sports as a child all the time. I grew up thinking I was going to throw a baseball for a living. I played football, baseball and basketball for my high school and went on to be blessed with playing baseball in college and earning my degree. 2 years at Central Alabama Community College and then 3 years at Auburn in Montgomery. I received a B.S. in Education – Math and I’m still trying to determine what I want to do with my life professionally. I never got exposed to the Olympic lifts during my athletic career (which is over btw) so I really love that part of CrossFit. 

I like to play golf, fish, be outdoors when we can, play video games, watch college football (Roll Tide),  have fun with the kids, and do Crossfit (well, lift weights and try to keep up with everyone else doing burpees). 😊

Oh and I’m partial to the 5:30 class – we pretty much rock.

What were you doing before you joined CS&F?  

Laura: I started Crossfit after I got divorced.  I needed something different after a major life change. I would spend 2 hours a day at the gym doing spin, boxing, and Les Mills classes and I was soooooo bored.  I found a groupon for a Crossfit gym and figured I would try it out.  I instantly fell in love.  I loved how challenging mentally and physically cf is. I went through a couple of crappy gyms before I found CS&F.  I heard great things about CS&F and actually encouraged my boyfriend (now husband) to go try it out and he eventually encouraged me to come join the fam.  At that point I was doing CF on my own at a globo gym.  The community is why I love CS&F so much.  Like minded peopling doing like minded fitness. Isn’t anything better.

Mark: “Insanity” – work outs and life

What was the first CD you bought?  

Laura: Honestly do not remember.  Probably Mariah Carey

Mark: Probably Pink Floyd “Delicate Sound of Thunder”

Favorite Cheat meal? 

Laura: I don’t believe in cheat meals but I do love a bunless burger and sweet potatoes fries.

Mark: Pizza – is there any other?

What were your goals when joining CS&F and have you achieved them?

Laura: Doing fitness with friends.  Goal achieved. My fitness journey has changed over the years.  Now I make it to the gym when I can and do what feels good to my body that day.  I take it less seriously now and just have fun.

Mark: Squat 500 – almost made it, 465, meniscus tear – I’m settling where I’m at and just trying to stay healthy and fit now.

Clean and Jerk – 300 – made it to 285, see above

Snatch – 250 – made it to 225, see above

Do you have any other special memories/ achievements during your time here?  

Laura: I love seeing people reach their goals especially newbies.

Mark: 16.3 – I came in on a Sunday afternoon to do the work out. 7 min Amrap, 10 power snatches (#75), 3 Muscle Ups. I had only done 1 Muscle Up up to that point and I figured I would just give it a try. Justin and I went to the back of the box and I got thru the 10 snatches quickly and figured I would spend the rest of the 6:30 seconds trying my muscle up.  Got it on my first try. Then I hit the second and third. Unbelievable, I made it thru a full round. At this point Justin had yelled at me a few times and had drawn attention to us and several members had gathered and they were also cheering me on. It was awesome, adrenaline was flowing and everyone was really firing me up. I ended up with 38 total reps, 8 Muscle ups. It doesn’t sound like a lot but it was for me but it was more about the environment that was generated by everyone being there and cheering me on. It’s what makes CS&F great, the people.

What advice would you give to a newbie just joining Cumming Strength and Fitness?   

Laura: Be patient.  Work on technique, technique, technique.  Don’t rush the process and by all means have fun!

Mark: Do what you can do (movement and weight wise but try to perform the movement correctly).

Stay with it and don’t get discouraged.  You’re building for the future.

Give your best – that doesn’t mean put more weight on than you can handle, but always try to give your all. Your all one day may only be 75%, but you were there, you started and you finished.

Have Fun!!!

Something you might not know about me is?  

Laura: I love romantic comedies and country music.

Mark: I threw the first and only no-hitter in the Alabama Junior College Baseball State play offs.  Central Alabama vs Wallace of Hanceville.  9 Innings, 10-0, 11-K’s, 2 BB – 0 Hits.

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