January Athlete of the month: Lydia du Preez

When did you start with Cumming Strength and Fitness?

I started at CS&F in August 2020, so I’ve been a member here for a little over a year.

Favorite Workout?  

I love longer WODs that have a nice variety (mixture of several different weightlifting movements and endurance/cardio movements). Partner or team WODs on Saturday’s are my favorite – they’re always a killer workout and having a partner really gives you that extra push to work harder.

Least Favorite Workout?  

WODs that only have one single movement (e.g., “Randy”, 75 power snatches for time).

Favorite Movement?

Cleans! Any kind of clean really, but hang cleans are probably my favorite. I also love back squats!

Least favorite Movement?

Barbell thruster’s suck. 😀

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

I’ve been married to my amazing husband, Cornel, for just over 4 years now. We have a fur baby named Mikayla, who is our sweet rescue pup. I’m an extroverted person who enjoys going out and spending time with my husband, my friends, and my family. Leading a healthy and active lifestyle is a huge part of who I am. I love CrossFit, obviously. 🙂  But I also enjoy running, cycling, swimming, and just being outdoors. I have a huge passion for traveling. So far, Cornel and I have visited Asia, Europe, Africa, and North America. We were supposed to go to South America in March of 2020, but then COVID hit, and our trip got canceled. We’re hoping to reschedule that trip in 2022. Our plan is to travel to all seven continents and visit as many countries as we can together. I also enjoy reading in my spare time. The books I’m currently reading are “Lifespan” by Dr. David Sinclair and “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. As for my job, I’ve been working in IT for about 10 years now. Most of my background is Cyber Security, but more recently I’ve worked in IT Operations and Support, and IT Project Management. 

What were you doing before you joined CS&F?

I started consistently working out in 2016. I worked out at OneLife Fitness for a few years, following misc. programs and just kind of doing my own thing. I would occasionally do their group fitness classes as well. From early 2019 until August of 2020 (before I joined CS&F), I worked out at Cumming Fit Body Boot Camp. I enjoyed my time there; the staff and members were great.

Favorite music to workout to?  

Rap, pop, hip-hop, top 100 hits, early 2000s, and 90s. Kate is one of the few coaches who have the music playlists figured out. 😉 Jeff has slowly improved his playlists as well. 😀

Favorite Cheat meal?

That’s a tough question because I love food, haha. My favorite cheat meal would probably be Thai food or Indian food. I have a sweet tooth though, so any kind of homemade cake or pastry will always be a favorite food of mine to indulge in.

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

What drove me to CS&F initially was to become leaner, stronger, have greater endurance, and better mobility. I would say I have certainly made progress in those goals, but they will forever be a work in progress. I always strive for new goals; so the journey is never ending.  One specific goal I had was to be able to do strict pullups, which I can finally say I have achieved!

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

What memories aren’t amazing at CS&F? From my first interaction during my orientation with coach Jeff, to the daily comradery with all the awesome gym members, CS&F is a great place to be. One of my other goals when joining the gym was to find a like-minded and supportive community where I fit in and felt welcomed – and I couldn’t ask for a better culture than what we have here at CS&F. Some special achievements that stick out in my mind are: my first strict pull-up, when the Snatch finally clicked & I got the mind to muscle connection right, hitting new PRs on the major lifts, and competing in CS&F hosted CrossFit competitions in 2020 and 2021.

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

It’s easy to feel intimidated when you first start CrossFit, but just remember that everyone has been where you are at some point. The community is friendly and supportive, and the coaches are always willing to help you with any questions or concerns. Don’t feel like you have to Rx the WODs, what’s great about the programming is that anything can be scaled or adjusted to accommodate all fitness levels. My other piece of advice is to be consistent. Just show up, even when you don’t feel like it – you will always be glad that you came. Build it into your routine and make it a habit to be here at least 4+ days a week.

Something we might not know about you is?

In 2015, I was diagnosed with prolactinoma. Most people don’t know what that is (I didn’t either at the time), but basically, it’s a hormone-secreting tumor (noncancerous) on my pituitary gland. Along with that came some unwanted side effects, including weight gain. At the time, I obviously wasn’t happy about this diagnosis, however the silver lining is that it’s what initially drove me to start taking my health and fitness more serious, and ultimately led me to where I am today. Now, I can’t even imagine my life without health, nutrition, and fitness being such a cornerstone of my life. I’m happier, healthier, more fulfilled, and I feel amazing (most days anyways, haha). 

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