Name:Charlene “Char” LeBlanc
Occupation:Network Security Engineer
Hometown:Fort Lauderdale, FL
Which class time do you usually attend? 6pm or 7pm
Favorite WOD:Don’t have a favorite yet
Favorite CF Movement: Wall balls, deadlifts, and back squats
Least Favorite CF Movement: Burpees
3RM Back Squat:180
Favorite Food: Coffee 😉
Favorite Movie: The Shawshank Redemption
Favorite Athlete:So many but Chris Evert, George Brett, Abby Wambach, and Larry Bird
Dream Job:Female version of Anthony Bourdain
Dream Vacation Destination:Santorini, Greece
If you could have any super power…Teleportation and knowledge
Favorite Motivational Quote:“Enjoy the journey!”
How long have you been doing CrossFit?
How did you first discover CrossFit and what made you decide to start?
I had seen the CrossFit Games on television and was too chicken to try. Yessica and her husband talked me into it. 😉
Tell us about your fitness/sports background:
Softball since I was knee high to a grasshopper and played in college. Also played basketball and tennis for fun as a kid and loved distance running.
What sorts of positive changes (mental, physical, emotional) have you noticed in your life since getting involved at No Excuses?
Mentally – I think through things much more such as when I am learning a new movement and being aware of how I should move. I am also able to focus more for the tasks at hand. Barbell class has certainly helped with this since you have the mental and physical aspects of a lift. Physically – My flexibility has improved greatly and am using muscles that weren’t being used that much. I have arthritis in one knee so staying active, even with heavy weightlifting, keeps the pain at bay (most of the time ;-). I also have some hip issues that are improving as a result of CrossFit. Emotionally – Love the feeling after a hard WOD when I thought I may not get through it as well as seeing the smiles from the 7 pm crew when we give each other high-fives and fist bumps.
Who or what keeps you coming back and motivated?
Seeing the friends I have made, holding each other accountable but also helping one another, and my improvements with each benchmark week.
In what other ways do you use your fitness?
Keeping a regular schedule of going to the gym helps with my overall sanity since I am in a very stressful job. I have had some hiccups of late (not being able to attend regularly) resulting in added frustration and anxiety but am getting back on track.
Please share with us a favorite CrossFit or No Excuses moment.
Improving my 1RM deadlift max by 40 lbs. from one benchmark cycle to the next (95-235).
Name one goal you would like to achieve in the next year (doesn’t have to be CrossFit related, but it can be)
Can’t name just one for CrossFit as I am working on the following: * Overhead dumbbell walking lunges (my hips/balance are so out of whack that I can’t hold the weight over my head at all – not even with a 5 lb dumbbell) * Box work – Higher than 14″ (hip issues again) * Press strength in my left arm.
Tell us about your hobbies and interests outside of the gym:
Since I am in an IT security role, I have to keep up with changing technologies and threats so reading various articles, manuals, etc. on security appliances, vulnerability information, threat models, exploits, defense techniques, and understanding audit and regulatory requirements is a must. Thankfully I enjoy this process. Outside of IT, I love to watch soccer (favorite teams – Atlanta United, US Women, Tottenham Hotspur), kayak, take photos, drink craft beer, walk/run, travel (don’t do enough of this), and meet up with friends for dinner/drinks.
What advice do you have for someone just starting CrossFit or is on the fence about starting?
The first step is the hardest but take it. You can’t get any further if you don’t so stop thinking about it and do it. Come to class, work hard, make friends, encourage others who may be struggling, and don’t compare yourself to others. Be the best “you” by showing up and putting in the time, even if you can’t do all the work that is prescribed. Modify the movements so you can do something instead of nothing. Our bodies are meant to move and by moving we are keeping Father Time at bay by improving our health. Without our health, we have nothing.
What do you love most about No Excuses?
Without a doubt the people I have met and sweat with. They hold me accountable, are encouraging, don’t judge, and are fun to suffer through a WOD with. Guiding all of us are our fabulous coaches who stick with you the entire time to ensure our safety, watch over your technique and give friendly reminders to you if your technique is off as they don’t want you to get injured. All of this is wrapped up in a wonderful facility with plenty of room for us to “get our sweat on!”