Have you met Janka and Cameron?
This incredible couple have been members at Back Alley CrossFit for over a year now! Between full time careers, two beautiful daughters, and a busy life schedule, this couple decided to make gym time, their time!
Working out alone can be a challenge. Having your significant other side by side with you allows you to be that much more motivated! “It’s also quality time with the hubby. He’s the reason I even tried Back Alley. I love that we can share this hour together.”(-Janka) This power couple has grown strong together over this past year and their achievements have been nothing short of amazing. These two have absolutely blown everyone away with their growth as a healthy, strong, fit couple!
What was your workout routine like before Back Alley?
Janka: I didn’t have a steady workout routine. I was running a bit. I did 2 half marathons and Yoga occasionally.
Cameron: I went to the YMCA and occasionally did workouts from the Crossfit main site, and Crossfit endurance site. I wasn’t very consistent or disciplined with working out for a couple of years before we came to Back Alley, and it showed.
Do you remember your first day? What was it like?
Janka: I do remember my first day at Back Alley! I was so scared. I’d never done any weightlifting before, didn’t know the lingo and I’m not athletic so my only goal was “don’t be last at everything”…and I was. Everyone gathered around to encourage me and I was equal parts mortified and encouraged to do this crazy thing again.
Cameron: I was initially kind of intimidated, but at the same time really excited to be at an actual Crossfit box. I ended up having a great time and met some really great people.
What is it like coming to the gym now?
Janka: Back Alley is now one of my favorite places to go. It’s part of my weekly routine. It’s non-negotiable: I make time. I’ve made some wonderful friends here and I look forward to coming to work out with them. I actually miss it when I take a rest day and say crazy things like, “That WOD looked fun!” My goal from the first day hasn’t changed, “Don’t be last at everything.” Now, I’m not always last and everyone still gathers and encourages me to finish. It’s an amazing atmosphere.
Cameron: If I miss it for more than a couple of days I feel terrible, both physically and mentally. It is a huge part of my life now.
Why have you stuck with BA for so long?
Janka: I’m actually really proud of the fact that I’ve done CrossFit consistently for a year. I don’t think I’ve ever been able to stick it out with any other exercise program before, and I certainly wouldn’t have guessed that the thing I’d love is CrossFit!
I stick with it because for months I learned something new everyday. I was (and still am) out of my comfort zone for an hour a day, teaching my body new things it can do. It’s so exciting to watch the growth happen. I think seeing my performance history and PR’s on the screen are a constant reminder that it might be hard, but I’m making strides.
It’s also quality time with the hubby. He’s the reason I even tried Back Alley. I love that we can share this hour together. It’s fun.
Cameron: Results. That’s one of the major reasons. I weighed 215 pounds and had very little energy. Now I am 30 pounds lighter and stronger than I have ever been. The atmosphere is really great at Back Alley. Excellent coaches, and super fun people. Some of the best friends we have now are from BA.
Are there any memories about the gym that stand out in your mind?
Janka: My favorite memory is the CrossFit Open. I did a lot of things that I’d never done before. On the 3rd or 4th workout I had to do squat cleans, which I’d never done before and the weight increased each round. I didn’t think I’d even finish the first round but Cam was there along with some sweet BA friends and coaches cheering me on and I did it. Three rounds later I was exhausted and excited. Still my favorite memory of CrossFit and a great snapshot of the Back Alley environment.
Cameron: The biggest is the Hope for Hollis workout and block party. It was amazing to see so many people come together for such a great cause. It really tugged at my heart strings, and gave me tons of pride in being a Back Alley member.
Is there anything you appreciate about the coaching?
Janka: The coaching is phenomenal. I definitely wouldn’t be able to do ANY of this if it weren’t for quality coaching. They’re attentive during the workouts, so I’m not afraid I’m going to get hurt. The coaches encourage me to push myself but are willing to adapt each workout for the skills I have. It’s great.
Cameron: I’ve worked out most of my life since high school, and realized early on, through the great coaching that I had been doing most things incorrectly. The focus on form and safety is vital to staying healthy and being able to come to the gym consistently. The coaches are very knowledgeable and excellent at encouraging me every day.
What’s the coolest thing you’ve done at the gym? Is there anything you can do now that you never saw yourself doing?
Janka: The coolest thing I’ve done at the gym is make the leaderboard! The second time I did a timed 500m row, I made the board! I had no how I would do, being a crossfit newbie and all :). To find out I actually had some rowing skills was such an exciting day!
Is there anything you can do now that you never saw yourself doing?
Cameron: Handstand push-ups. I could barely do a handstand against the wall before I came to BA. Now I am pretty comfortable with handstand push-ups. I am super excited about getting muscle ups…hopefully soon.
What type of workout gets you excited? What’s the most challenging?
Janka: Workouts involving snatches and cleans are the most challenging for me. I like doing workouts that push me because I like to see the growth.
Cameron: I love chipper workouts. I came from a triathlon background, so the long grueling workouts are right in my wheelhouse. The most challenging workouts are the short workouts with heavy weight. I love actually being able to objectively see myself getting stronger.
Do you have any advice for someone considering BA but feels intimidated?
Janka: Do it! It’s a fun atmosphere and you’ll grow so much. I took the specialty classes (Skills, Barbell and Endurance), which were extremely helpful for me. I built friendships with other members and learned skills and proper technique in a smaller setting. I got more comfortable with the coaches and had a lot fun doing it. I think someone new to Back Alley should do those classes.
Cameron: Just go for it! Everybody has to start somewhere. It will change your life, forever. I know it seems intimidating, but the hardest part of Crossfit is just walking through the door. I guarantee that you will spend an hour every day with the biggest cheerleaders you will ever have.
When you think about BA, what three words come to mind?
Janka: Fun, Challenging, Exhausting
Cameron: Effrort, Intensity, FUN!