Photography by Sarah Griffith
Kailey Walker, age 15, collapses on the mat after completing her Friday Night Lights Open 16.2 workout. Completley spent, she put every ounce of grit and strength she had into finishing the workout. Her parents spectate from only a few feet away, offering her love and support. Her uncle, Doug McMillian is watching intently as he warms up. Coach Stacy Boaz cleans 225 while his daughter Olivia, hollars to him to get one more rep. Renee Weddle digs deep to complete 5 squat cleans at 135 at the end of her 5th and final round. The gym was packed this week with athletes and proud family members.
A few heats later Gary Carroll, a spry 56 year old, wears a familiar look of determination as he squat cleans 145- his heaviest ever! His wife Regina, sister-in-law Jennifer and nephews Brenden, Josh and Colby are going crazy from the sidelines. Regina Carroll, who also completed the workout herself had this to say, "Seeing Gary out there Friday night pushing himself and everyone cheering him on made me cry. He's come so far! He's a new man!" Colby and Brenden were the first in the family to join Crossfit Eden and once they "drank the kool-aid" their entire family got in on the action. Now Gary and Regina, Jennifer, Josh, Colby and Brenden share a bond to get healthy to add to their bond of shared DNA. Family can be both the source of inspiration and support. Renee Weddle summed it up really well, "Looking up to see that my Mom and Dad had come to see me compete definitely made me push a little harder. I wanted them to be proud."
Teen athlete Ashleigh Smithey went the entire 20 minutes Friday. Her mom and dad, Will and Leighanna, cheered for her while awaiting their heat. Ashleigh is one of our original teens who started at CrossFit Eden about two years ago. Ashleigh, though only 13 years old, is already a leader. She was able to convince both of her parents to come to CrossFit with her as well. Now Will enjoys making sweat angels as often as possible and Leighanna is constantly pushing herself to try new movements. In fact, Friday was the first time she had completed hanging knee raises without her feet touching the floor in between reps!
When you walk into CrossFit Eden on any given day, you are likely to see someone from every age and stage, all working out together. That becomes even more apparent during the CrossFit Open. If you ask a member, they will most likely list "the community" as one of the key benefits of coming to CrossFit Eden. And while it is true that our community is awesome- sometimes the best support is from the community you already belong to- Family. Who will you inspire this week?