The Clowdus Family walked into Blackbird looking to make big changes. We thought their story was so cool. Justin’s a traveling insurance agent and in order to be together more often, they sold everything, bought an RV, and are living an adventure as a family! Due to the nature of his business, they expected to make it through their Foundations month and possibly and second month with us before being sent to their next town. They knew they had a lot of work to do and were pumped and ready to at least get their CrossFit journey started. Nine months later, they are still with us! This is the longest Justin has even been in one location. And what a blessing it has been for their family and for our Blackbird community!
We have watched each of them change so drastically in every way…physically, mentally, and socially. Over the months, their quiet, shy nature (well, except for Dalton!) has melted away. They are staples in our community and everyone is inspired by and in love with this family. Justin is strong as an ox and after dropping weight, is crushing body weight movements too. He has worked hard on improving his mobility and endurance to become a more well rounded athlete. Kim has left it all out on the floor since day one. She knew she was starting from ground zero, she embraced it, and has worked so hard in the gym and in the kitchen with our customized nutrition plan. She finishes a workout that leaves her flat on her back, but in 30 seconds she giving us a huge smile and a double thumbs up. She is one of the most down-to-earth, sweetest, and most determined person we’ve ever met. Her and Justin have now made healthy living and healthy eating a priority for their family and have seen all of the kids reap major benefits. Kayley has developed such control and awareness over her body. She gravitated towards the gymnastics side of CrossFit at first, but has steered towards a love of lifting. Since working with Coach Chris, she is now Clean & Jerking more than her body weight at 14 years old! We cannot wait to see how she does in her first OLY competition coming up. Miley was shy and unsure of herself in CrossFit Kids, but little by little is developing confidence. She did a workout with 18″ box jumps the other day!! That is a huge deal folks. Just last month, she only felt comfortable using two 45s stacked together. Dalton is the happiest kid you’ll ever meet. He’s full of smiles and silly talk that brings a whole new level of fun to the JV Kids classes. And we’ve been thrilled to finally get to work with the eldest Clowdus, Rachel since she’s visiting from Texas this summer. She has worked hard and seen such progress in the past two months. She never gives up when it gets tough and we’ve been so proud of her!
If you talk with anyone at Blackbird, they will share a story of how the Clowdus family, a.k.a. Clowdi, has influenced or inspired them. We’re so happy to be a small part of their journey to a healthier way of life that will enable them to embark on any adventure they choose!
MEET THE CLOWDUS FAMILY…
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF.
Justin (39) Kim (35) Rachel (16) Kayley (14) Miley (10) Dalton (5). Justin and I grew up in central Texas in the hill country and have been married pretty much right out of high school. Justin has spent all his life in the construction industry, and I studied in Agriculture. We have moved quite a bit with Justin’s work over the years but spent the majority of the past decade in North Texas until August of 2017 when we decided to make a huge change in lifestyle. Justin travels extensively for work sometimes months at a time so as a family we decided we were spending too much time apart and we sold everything bought a 5th wheel started home schooling our youngest 3 children and began traveling with Justin while he worked. Since we started this under 2 years ago, we have been to 37 states as a family. Our oldest Rachel is in high school in Texas and is very dedicated to her studies but spends all her holidays and breaks flying the country to spend time with us.
WHAT MADE YOU START CROSSFIT? WHAT HAS KEPT YOU DOING IT? HAS YOUR MOTIVATION CHANGED SINCE YOU FIRST STARTED?
CrossFit was a natural fit for our family but we didn’t really know it until we walked in the doors of Blackbird. I had several friends from high school that I followed on Facebook, one was even a CrossFit coach and I had watched CrossFit change their entire lives over the past several years and I longed for that and wanted to try it. Justin wanted to get in shape to go Elk hunting in the mountains and he also followed several people on social media that were active hunters and CrossFitters. At the same time, we were looking for an active outlet for our kids now being home schooled. We were living this life of adventure going places and doing things we had always dreamed about but weren’t able to enjoy it as much as we wanted because we were so out of shape. All of that has changed now after 9 months at Blackbird. We honestly feel like we can do anything and have the energy and strength and confidence to accomplish our goals both in the gym and in life.
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED SINCE JOINING BLACKBIRD?
This is such a hard question to answer because being at Blackbird has changed every aspect of our lives. We have learned our days are happier and go more smoothly when we are active. We have learned to work hard but also be patient with ourselves and appreciate overcoming obstacles even the small ones. We have learned to celebrate each other and encourage each other through the influence of all the other amazing people that are part of the Blackbird community. We have learned that community is important and being surrounded by positive and inspiring people changes you for the better. That is something we have never really had before because of all our moving. I (Kim) have always been extremely shy so to come in and be welcomed in by so many has really been life changing for all of us and it is something we now know to look for whenever and wherever our travels take us.
WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST CROSSFIT MOMENT?
There are so many things but by far watching our kids become stronger and more confident as both athletes and individuals makes us really proud as parents.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LIFT, MOVEMENT, OR WOD? LEAST FAVORITE?
For each of us its different but for Justin and I any move that lets us express our brute strength like squats. Kayley is a mobility queen she loves overhead squats. Rachel and I both really enjoy the rower, so much so I’d put one in the rv if Justin would let me. Miley likes tire flips and Dalton likes pushups. One thing we all agree on, burpees are the worst!!!
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BLACKBIRD OR JUST CROSSFIT IN GENERAL?
The community at Blackbird, we are a long way from home and anyone we really know so coming in each day and seeing smiling faces and talking to people at the gym is really great for all of us. Everyone there is so inspiring and encouraging it is impossible not to become better people being surrounded by that.
WHAT IMPACT HAS CROSSFIT HAD ON YOU IN AND OUT OF THE GYM?
As a family we are so much more active now. We look for things to do now that involve exercise and outdoor fun where before we would have just been hanging out on the couch. The number one impact has been confidence for all of us to be more social, more active and accomplish our goals in life.
WHAT CROSSFIT GOALS ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING TOWARDS?
Justin and Kayley are both neck in neck to getting their first muscle ups. I am working hard get that first pull up. Rachel is brand new at all of this and is working hard to learn all the proper movements. Justin and I would love to start participating in some smaller CrossFit competitions at some point. Kayley has fully embraced CrossFit and currently is working with Coach Chris on a customized Olympic Lifting program and has her first meet in August. She even has goals down the line of maybe one day being a games athlete or CrossFit coach.
WHEN YOU’RE NOT CROSSFITTING WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO?
We are avid outdoorsmen. We spend a lot of time swimming and doing archery as a family. We love hunting, fishing and exploring new and exciting places. We are pretty passionate about harvesting our own food. We also love the water and being near the ocean and spending time on boats.
WHAT IS ONE FUN THING ABOUT YOU THAT WE MAY NOT KNOW YET?
We are working on starting a YouTube channel to vlog our travels and adventures as a family.
WHAT IS YOUR DIET LIKE? HAS IT CHANGED SINCE STARTING CROSSFIT? WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WORKOUT FUEL?
We started eating paleo several years ago, I had actually lost 50 lbs before ever starting to exercise through diet alone. I am now in the Nutrition program with Coach Steve and have started incorporating some better carb options such as Amish oatmeal in to our daily routine to properly fuel us and keep our energy levels up for the amount of working out we are doing.
WHAT IS THE ONE TIP YOU’D GIVE SOMEONE CONSIDERING CROSSFIT OR WHO IS NEW TO CROSSFIT?
Make the move and walk in that door. Once you are there you will have wished you would have done it so much sooner. Really listen to the coaches and be patient with yourself and the results will come. Don’t forget those rest days and recovery work its just as important as the workouts.
IF THERE WAS ONE THING YOU WOULD IMPROVE UPON AT BBCF, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
There isn’t much to say on this one we love Blackbird. The coaching staff is amazing and knowledgeable, the classes are fun and we can’t imagine getting better workouts anywhere. I just wish we could replicate Blackbird and take it with us everywhere because I know when we do have to move on to somewhere new finding a community like this one will be hard to do!
RESULTS! TELL US ABOUT YOUR RESULTS!!
The results are undeniable. Each of us are stronger, more agile, faster and have more endurance that before. Justin and I have lost over 50 lbs of body fat combined and completely reshaped our bodies. We have all gained pounds of muscle. This is something we will never stop doing and I cannot wait to see what another year or two of CrossFit does for all of us.
Joining Blackbird was a game changer for our family. It changed the trajectory of our family so profoundly that I can not find the words to express its impact upon us. We are happier, stronger, more patient and more kind with each other because of being there. Matt & Rebekah and the rest of the coaches have created a beautiful environment where people can really become the best versions of themselves! The gym is full of so many inspiring power couples and that influence has made our marriage stronger. And to all the individuals there who made us feel so welcome and like we are a part of something, we are truly grateful.