While 317 continues to get to know our new members, we also love to check in with those that have been part of our community for years. Today we’re catching up with Jackie Weir, a four year member and the very first person that we highlighted in our weekly Member Monday series. Read on to learn more about the progress that Jackie has experienced during her years at 317!
Tell us a little about yourself. Career? Family life? Let’s get to know you!
“I grew up in Danville, IN, and my spouse Sheila and I now live in Pittsboro. We have 2 adult kids. My step daughter Ashten is 27, has her law degree and is a JAG in the Air Force. My son, Nick, is 25, is a certified Diesel Mechanic, and works converting vans into handicap accessible vehicles. We are very proud of them both. We also have 2 dogs, and soon to be a new cat. I have an IU Bachelors Degree in Accounting, and went on to get my MBA. I’ve spent my career in health insurance operations, finance, compliance, and mostly IT, and am currently the Population Health Management, Executive Director, Medical Economics at IU Health System. I’ve been there for 4 years. My role is to aggregate and analyze data to help our system deliver better quality and outcomes to our patients. I LOVE MY JOB!”
What has made you continue to turn to CrossFit over the years?
“I’ve been doing CrossFit for 4 years now. It’s hard to quit when you are married to Sheila! It’s actually something we enjoy doing together and I love not only seeing how it benefits me, but also how it benefits everyone around me. It’s awesome to see people change…not just physically, but also the enhanced emotional well being.”
Why do you continue to train at CrossFit 317?
“CrossFit 317 is the only place to be! It’s a way of life now. I have gone with friends to try other things, but no other type of gym or work out provides for me personally, what I enjoy at our gym, which is more than just a work out.”
Please share some of your impressions of the facility, the workouts, the coaching, and the class environment.
“The facility has come a long way in 4 years. Nice upgrades, very clean and well maintained environment and equipment. We have seen members come and go and come again and still have plenty “lifers” who are permanent fixtures, so that makes it fun to get to know people. Changes in programming, coaching styles, and addition of different types of classes have taken place and all have been very positive changes.”
What physical changes have you seen as a result of your training?
“I am 49 years old. When I started CrossFit I was declining in health. I was clinically obese, pre-diabetic, had high cholesterol and was probably at the worst I had ever been physically. I was tired all the time and had no energy. Diabetes runs in my family, and my PCP said “If you don’t change and lose at least 30lbs, it’s not IF you will be diabetic, you WILL be diabetic in 5 years.” So, when a friend started CrossFit and we saw her shed the lbs. quickly, Sheila decided to try it out first. She was instantly hooked! I was recovering from shoulder surgery so I started a few months later. I could barely lift 20 lbs overhead, couldn’t run hardly at all and I remember when I hit a 135lb back squat the first time I was over the moon. Within 6 months of going to the gym and eating a leaner diet and stopping soda, my labs all came back into normal range, I started dropping fat and adding muscle, and had more energy than ever. For those that know Sheila, you know this is good because I have to keep up with her energy level! Physically today, I’ve dropped about 40lbs, can lift over 100 lbs over my head, can run a 5K without stopping, and back squat 215lbs. So, all of that physical stuff really just changes your whole attitude because you just feel better. I’m healthier physically, mentally, and emotionally at 49 than I’ve ever been in my life. Starting CrossFit and sticking with it has everything to do with it.”
How has your training at CrossFit 317 impacted your life outside of the gym?
“Outside of the gym, it’s fun to meet people who also do CrossFit elsewhere. You have an instant connection, and can speak a language all your own! Also, I’ve done other things I would have never considered before, like the Indy Ultimate and some 5Ks, because CrossFit has prepared me for that. It also helps when we move our kids in and out and in and out and in and out of their living quarters because they move every year! People are shocked when we can deadlift a couch or washing machine…no problem!”
What has surprised you the most about being part of the CrossFit 317 community?
“What surprised me the most about being part of the 317 community is that I liked it. I am extremely introverted and don’t do well with group social activities. I’m very much a loner, but this was different. It’s hard not to engage in such a great, welcoming environment. It also helps that everyone at 317 treats Sheila and I (as well as many others who sometimes face barriers due to diversity) with respect, inclusiveness, and full support. That is everything to us.”
If you could program your ideal workout, what would it include?
“I think a great idea for a new program WOD would be geared towards people who are getting older and/or have physical limitations. A class just for people that is programmed for still a hard workout, but take out some things that most people my age or older don’t really want to do. Keep in cardio (burpees, bike, run, row, box jumps) and muscle toning/building activities (bar bells, kettle bells, lifts, ring rows, sit ups, pushups, etc), but take out more advanced movements (pull ups, toes to bar, hand stands, rope climbs, etc).”
Did you have a moment where you knew CrossFit was for you?
“I knew CrossFit was for me the second my labs came back and confirmed my hard work was paying off. Staying healthy as you age from a young person to a senior person is imperative to how I will be able to fight the normal age and illness management in 20 years. You have to put in the work now, so you are ready for it.”
What advice would you offer someone that’s considering CrossFit 317?
“I have plenty of advice for people who hear things about CrossFit and think it’s not for them. First, if you have heard things about CrossFit but never tried it, it’s likely you don’t really know what CrossFit is. It’s not extreme exercise and/or just lifting super heavy weight. It’s not deficient in cardio work. It’s not way more expensive than other gyms when you break down the cost compared to the benefit you get from it vs other places. I encourage everyone to at least try it if they want to exercise and be ENGAGED while exercising. That’s the big difference…engagement. You have to love what you are doing, or it’s easy to quit. Finally, CrossFit is NOT for everyone, and that’s ok. If you try it and find you don’t like it, that’s ok. Just do something and be healthy. But don’t say it’s not for you unless you at least experience a week so you see it for what it really is and is not. CrossFit sometimes gets a bad rap. It also depends on the gym, and 317 is the best around.”
Besides coming to class, what do you enjoy doing in your free time? Any hobbies?
“Aside from CrossFit, I am a big sports fan, mostly football and basketball. I also love golf, but don’t get out as much as I would like. We also travel a lot, and we enjoy hanging out with our friends and having good times. We also adore our fur babies…Life is Great!”