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Athlete of the Month: John and Kelly Dodd

When did you start with Cumming Strength and Fitness?

Kelly: I started with Cumming Strength and Fitness two years ago.

John: I joined the gym in March of 2016 after moving to Cumming from Flowery Branch.

Favorite Workout?  

Kelly: My favorite workout is Kelly, of course!  It has running and lots of leg work.

John: Cindy.  I like any workout that has body weight movements.

Least Favorite Workout? 

Kelly: My least favorite workouts are those with the assault bike.

John: Open workouts that have thrusters

Favorite Movement?

Kelly: My favorite movement is the clean and jerk.

John: Bar or ring muscle ups

Least favorite Movement?

Kelly: My least favorite movement is the bear complex.

John: Thrusters

Tell us a little bit about yourself (family, job, sports, military, interests, etc.).

Kelly: I have been married to my husband John for fifteen years, and we have two daughters, Gabby (12) and Emma Kate (9).  We enjoy attending their activities and watching them learn and grow. I am a teacher and love working with middle school students.  I can’t imagine having any other job. I enjoy reading, hiking, running, and doing anything outdoors.

John: I grew up in Lilburn.  I joined the Navy in 1991 when I was 17.  I got out in 1997 and put myself through college at UGA.  I graduated with a degree in Banking and Finance.  I worked in commercial banking at BB&T for 4 years. I started an online bookstore while I was in banking and I have done it ever since.  I met my  wife Kelly while I was working at a restaurant in college.  My roommate was the assistant manager and he would always schedule us together until I asked her out.  We have been together for almost 19 years.  She is a member of the gym too.  We have two awesome daughters that are 9 and 12.  Both girls are active and athletic.    .

What were you doing before you joined CS&F?

Kelly: Before I joined CS&F I was running and doing some group classes at a local gym.

John: I started lifting weights over 30 years ago when I was in 7th grade.  I was incredibly skinny and I could never gain any weight.  I graduated high school weighing about 135 pounds.  I was still 135 pounds 2 1/2 years into the Navy and my New Years resolution in 1994 was to get serious about lifting and gain some weight.  In 3 1/2 years I gained 80 pounds.  I got out of the Navy weighing 215 pounds.  I lifted weights throughout college and then I stopped exercising completely when I graduated college and started a full time job.  This went on for about 13 years and then I started working out at South Hall Crossfit in Flowery Branch.  I really liked the owner  and everyone at the gym.  I lost about 30 pounds while I was there.

What was the first CD you bought?  

Kelly: might have even been a tape, but the first album I purchased was Debbie Gibson.

John: I’m pretty sure it was a Rob Base cassette

Favorite Cheat meal?

Kelly: My favorite cheat meal would be nachos dripping in queso with some chocolate for dessert.

John: Eating a healthy diet is a constant struggle for me.  I eat some healthy foods but I also eat chocolate at least six days a week.  I have cut back on fast food to maybe one day a week, so I guess that’s an improvement.  My favorite cheat meal is 3 shredded chicken mini quesadillas and 3 steak soft tacos at Taco Bell.  On special days I’ll add in two bags of Pepperidge Farms Sausalito cookies in the Publix parking lot with a 1 liter bottle of Coke..

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

Kelly: My goals when joining CS&F included continuing my journey to being a healthy mom so that I can have a lifetime of memories and experiences with my daughters.  I became very ill after having my second daughter, and from that point on I have tried my best to be as healthy as I can so that I can take care of them. As a working mom, I’m very busy and my time is limited, so I know that when I come to CS&F classes, I am using my time effectively and growing stronger everyday. I have definitely achieved this goal.

John: I wanted to do muscle ups and just get in better shape and I’ve achieved those goals.

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

Kelly: I have a lot of special memories at CS&F.  I enjoy being able to work out with my husband, and I have made many new friends that I enjoy being with both inside and outside of the gym.  I also competed in a competition, which was way outside of my comfort zone.

John: I got my first bar and ring muscle ups here.   Several people in the gym gave me tips for muscle ups and I try and do the same with others.  Working out with my wife is always fun too.  I don’t enjoy working out alone.  I look forward to working out with younger and stronger people.

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

Kelly: Advice that I would give to a newbie is to not compete with others, and only compete with yourself.  Set small goals. Be consistent. Be patient.

John: I would keep the weights light until you get comfortable with all of the lifts.  I always try to keep moving in a workout.  If you’re taking 15 second breaks in a 10 minute workout, you need to scale something.    I would also recommend getting a pull up bar at your house.  I use mine all the time.  Also, don’t get in the habit of using chalk in the gym.  It’s completely pointless along with most other gym accessories like knee sleeves, wrist wraps, belts,  etc.    I also firmly believe that you can’t manage something unless you measure it, so I use my Instagram account to keep track of my lifts, workouts, etc.

Something you might not know about me is?

          John:  I haven’t worn jeans in over 20 years.
I have never had a whole cup of coffee in my life.
My next door neighbor is Bud Dupree who is a starting linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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