We can think of no better way to round out a year of recognizing some of our stand-out members, than to introduce you all to Rachael Eglseder. So many moms can relate to someone like Rachael. A down-to-earth mom, juggling a big family and a hectic nursing career, and still trying to carve out time to do something for herself, for her own sanity and health. It’s not easy. We have watched Rachael over the past 3 years navigate these challenges, through two pregnancies and now a pandemic. Each of these challenges she came back focused, but patient. She honored her body and what it had been through with childbirth, while still releasing stress and rebuilding her strength. But since we reopened to in-person classes in May, Rachael has been on fire! Consistent and determined. It has definitely helped to have a solid tribe of accountabilibuddies that make a commitment to show up together, push her out of her comfort zone, and pull her through tough workouts. Plus she has a supportive husband who loves CrossFit as much as she does and trades off watching the kids so that they each can get in their workouts. (Thanks Ryan!)

 

This spring her goal was to get toes-to-bar. She put in extra time practicing her kip and lat pull down. And during workouts, her friend Nikki would be right beside her matching her pace and cadence to help her through. Her other goal was to get kipping pull ups. So she built the strength to do strict pull ups first, and then put in extra time, once again, practicing her kip and timing. She is using the same process to achieve her handstand push ups, even scaling back to toes-on-box during workouts to continue building solid strength. Rachael does it right! She is a COACH’S DREAM!! She understands why we focus on strict strength first, then work up to advance skills and load. And it has all paid off.

 

For all of our new members who are unsure of what to expect, look below under “RESULTS” to see Rachael’s run down on her awesome progress and successes since starting CrossFit. It’s not a sprint to fitness and strength, it’s a journey. Rachael has learned to enjoy that journey. She is an inspiring, hard-working, BA chic. Check out her story below!

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF.

Hi! My name is Rachael and I am 34 years old. I have my BSN in Nursing and I am a Labor and Delivery Nurse at Carroll Hospital Center. More importantly, I am Ryan’s wife and mom to Bennett (7), Hannah (4), Cole (3), and Grady (1).

WHAT MADE YOU START CROSSFIT? WHAT HAS KEPT YOU DOING IT? HAS YOUR MOTIVATION CHANGED SINCE YOU FIRST STARTED?

I started CrossFit after having my third child, realizing working out at home was not realistic, energizing, or motivating. I didn’t know anyone that did CrossFit at the time, but knew I needed to go somewhere where they would tell me exactly what to do. I choose Blackbird because it was close to home and offered childcare. I walked in the door that first day dragging my 3 children with me and Rebekah KNEW MY NAME and that left a lasting impression on me. I keep coming back for the fun and my mental health and sanity, the physical benefits are an added bonus. My mentality has changed from “I have to go to the gym” to “pleeeaassse let me go to the gym!”

Get yourself an accountability partner!

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED SINCE JOINING BLACKBIRD?

Blackbird has taught me that exercise can be fun and sustainable for proven results. And that I don’t have to choose between taking care of myself or my family. I can do both and be “mom guilt” free that I am doing something to better myself and be a better mom for my kids.

WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST CROSSFIT MOMENT?

There are so many proud moments! Showing up 3x a week until I was 39 weeks pregnant with my 4th child felt like a big accomplishment. Wearing down my husband and other friends enough to give CrossFit a try and then they end up loving it even more than me. And getting a 1 rep Max clean of #115 pounds. I really never thought I would clean over #100.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BLACKBIRD OR JUST CROSSFIT IN GENERAL?

I love that Blackbird gives me a place to belong and a place to forget about all the stresses of life for an hour a day. I never realized just how important that was before becoming a member of Blackbird.

WHAT IMPACT HAS CROSSFIT HAD ON YOU IN AND OUT OF THE GYM?

In the gym, I am stronger and willing to try new things and push myself harder. Outside of the gym I have learned to be less stressed about keeping up with the world and more focused on the things that I love most; my family, friends, and work.

WHAT CROSSFIT GOALS ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING TOWARDS?

My CrossFit goals will never be to be the strongest, best, or fastest, but to be the most sustainable. It’s important to me to do something that I enjoy every day that allows me to become stronger and more efficient. I feel like at this moment I have the strength to learn kipping movements, but I can’t get and sustain the momentum. #2021goals

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LIFT, MOVEMENT, OR WOD? LEAST FAVORITE?

I love overhead squats! I feel like I get the most benefit of muscle building in one movement. Double unders are no mother’s friend.

WHEN YOU’RE NOT CROSSFITTING WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO?

CrossFit is THE thing that I do. Between a job and 4 children there is not much time left!

WHAT IS ONE FUN THING ABOUT YOU THAT WE MAY NOT KNOW YET?

I love to organize! And maybe my definition of fun needs some improvement in 2021:)

WHAT IS THE ONE TIP YOU’D GIVE SOMEONE CONSIDERING CROSSFIT OR WHO IS NEW TO CROSSFIT?

You have nothing to lose by trying CrossFit, but possibly a whole new world of health, fitness, and friends to gain. CrossFit is like Jesus, everyone needs it in their lives, but it takes some people longer to realize it than others!

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU DO OUTSIDE OF THE GYM THAT IS NOW EASIER BECAUSE OF YOUR INCREASED STRENGTH & FITNESS?

I feel like the coaches’ words echo through my head all day everyday. I think about Turkish gets ups when I get up off the floor holding kids, I think about box jumps when I’m racing up the stairs two by two, I think about cleans when I heave up a full basket of laundry, I think about squats and thrusters every time I pick up a child and throw them in the air. I think about a sled push every time I push bed running down the hall to the OR, I think about dumbbell accessory work when carrying a kid on my hip or holding a patient’s leg for hours. The functional fitness of CrossFit is key to its sustainability for every age and stage of life.

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN MAKING FITNESS A PRIORITY IN YOUR LIFE AND HOW DO YOU OVERCOME IT?

While 2020 has brought unique challenges to everyone, it has allowed Ryan to work from home full time. This allows me to take advantage of his lunch break everyday and get to the gym. I feel very fortunate that I am able to do this and that he is willing to sacrifice his break for me. Having 4 kids also takes its toll, but I am proud of how far I have come just one year postpartum.

MURPH 2018WHAT IS YOUR DIET LIKE? HAS IT CHANGED SINCE STARTING CROSSFIT?

My diet is not “CrossFit worthy,” but I try to make progress everyday by incorporating more vegetables and less sugar. There are too many times I run out the door to the gym with an apple wondering if I even ate that morning or just drank coffee. It’s not a good plan, but it’s the reality of 4 children at home all day everyday. Also 9pm snacks are one of my favorite pastimes and I don’t see myself quitting that anytime soon. #2021goals

Always lean, but the difference in strength, capacity, skills, and mindset between these two snapshots is amazing!

RESULTS! TELL US ABOUT YOUR RESULTS!!

I joined CrossFit thinking it would help me lose 15 pounds fairly quickly. Honestly before I walked in my first day I was already planning my email in my head for 3 months later saying I could no longer justify the time and money to keep going. Well, almost 3 years and a baby later, I’ve gained and lost a lot of weight, but more importantly a never ending love of CrossFit. I have managed to increase my skeletal muscle mass by 5.5 pounds and decrease my body fat by 4.3%. I am learning every day to fall more in love with what my body can do and stop focusing on the negative or what “used” to be. My back squat has gone from #85 to #200. I remember that #85 pounds and for the next week I could barely walk down the stairs it hurt so much. Sometimes it’s hard to remember how far I have come, but when I think back to that moment it’s a long way! Clean from #55 to #115. Deadlift from #105 to #225. Pull ups and handstand push ups were non existent and now I can do a few of each!

FREEWRITE:

We all start somewhere! Rachael looks like a boss in the gym now, but even she was scaling push ups when she began. Trust the process.

Wow! I was very surprised to be chosen as athlete of the month when I know there are so many people who stand out and shine from this community. I am not one to talk about myself or enjoy the spotlight, but I am trying to embrace it and enjoy the moment! Life is never easy, especially these days, but I try to show up each day smiling (behind my mask, of course) and enjoying the hour I have been given to improve myself. I give all of the credit of my success to Matt and Rebekah and all the coaches. I just show up at the door and they do the rest through programming, demonstrating, correcting, and encouraging me to keep moving forward. I love Blackbird and I still have a few more friends to wear down and join!