My New Fitness Family

For me, the results of this Challenge, and my experience at Crux Fitness, go way beyond the physical changes to my body — which have been significant and positive!  I’ve blogged previously about some of the positive changes in my mind-set and the education that have resulted from this Challenge. Another result of this Challenge and my experience at Crux Fitness is growing what I consider to be my new “Fitness Family.”

Crux Fitness is much more than a gym. Members, often referred to as “Maniacs,” are encouraged to attend the daily one-hour workouts 3 to 6 times per week, but they are equally encouraged by Trainer Dan LeBlanc and other “Maniacs” to fellowship outside of the gym, too. It did not take long before I felt part of the “family” at Crux, even being introduced as “the new member of the Crux Family” and called a “Maniac.” I’ve made dozens of new friends at Crux, which I keep in touch with often outside of the gym on Facebook. It is common to share on the Crux Facebook pages our fitness struggles and success, goals and accomplishments, and challenge and motivate each other to be our best.

There have also been many opportunities to socialize in-person with other “Maniacs” outside of the Crux gym. Crux has hosted weekend hikes/runs, happy hours, potlucks, and various impromptu hangouts. These are opportunities to get to know other members and bond over fitness, but also other parts of life, like good food, family, music, sports, and other hobbies. This “Fitness Family” result was unexpected when I started this Challenge but has become just as important to me as the physical changes.

My new Fitness Family has not only grown by being accepted into the adoring “Crux Family,” but it has also grown as a result of being 1 of 6 contestants in this Challenge. Again, through Facebook, myself and the other five contestants have kept in touch throughout the past 7 weeks, sharing our experiences, calling for advice, and giving each other motivation. The great folks at Suwanee Magazine have also been there every step of this Challenge, and as a group, we’ve definitely bonded over weigh-ins, Facebook posts, Pilates, and group activities. I consider all of those in this Challenge part of my new Fitness Family.

Out of this new Fitness Family, there is one member that sticks out to me as a true Fitness Sister: my fellow contestant at Crux, Shonika Ochoa-Williams. We have managed to work out together a dozen or more times during this Challenge. Shonika is an awe-inspiring mother of two who has worked hard to find a balance between family, work, and her new commitment to herself and her health. With the help of trainers Dan LeBlanc, Casey Robuck, and Roshawn Pryor, I’ve watched her find this inner-strength that allows Shonika to move mountains. In my presence, Shonika has lifted more weight than she could have imagined, ran faster than she thought she could, and done more burpees than she thought she’d ever be willing to do. Her hard work is showing in her body and spirit! I really get inspired by Shonika, and her perseverance makes me want to dig deeper and work harder. She has been my partna’, not a competitor, throughout the competition.

With only a couple weeks to go, I’m pushing myself harder than ever — I want to make my new Fitness Family proud!



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