Susan Sierota was about to give up.
She’d undergone four back surgeries, gained 40 pounds due to lack of mobility and suffered numbness down one side of her body. The advice she received from her doctors was less than encouraging.
“Someone telling you that you’re just going to have pain the rest of your life is not a happy time,” Susan said.
Living in Texas at the time, the marketing specialist was dragged to a Crossfit class by a friend. Susan described her first class as uncomfortable and nerve wracking.
Yet the transformation that occurred over the next year turned Susan’s life around. Susan went from being barely mobile to jogging daily; she lost the excess weight and renewed her sense of hope.
“It changed my life in a way I can’t explain, because most people don’t have chronic pain,” she said.
Susan attributes her recovery to her trainer John Del Peral.
John’s experience with injuries and his patience to work with Susan step-by-step lead to her rapid recovery.
“Let’s figure this out,” he told in her during the first class. John modified every exercise so Susan could participate and work out comfortably.
Fast forward seven years. John and Susan, now business partners with Crystal McReynolds, own Crossfit Jiboom. The three athletes train together and Crystal, John and Ken, also a trainer, bring the same attitude and expertise Susan found in Texas to their clients in Truckee. After a little more than a year of being open the gym has 115 members, who all attest to the family feel of Crossfit: each member’s success story brings inspiration to another.
SICKNESS TO FITNESS
Trick Carland can list his injuries off the way others rattle off a to do list. Fused vertebrae, a ruptured Achilles and plates in his tibia and fibula haven’t kept him away from exercising, but the once professional skier joined Crossfit Jiboom because he wanted to be in better shape.
“I get bored at the gym and can only run so much,” Trick said.
Being a competitive athlete, much of the appeal for Trick comes from the experienced coaching by John and Crystal.
“I’m a competitive guy and I get three to five days of competing by coming in here,” he said. “And these guys have a way of motivating you without yelling at you. They always are really good about finding ways to overcome (my injury). There are things are literally cannot do and they help me get other ideas.”
Trick’s 20-pound weight loss and 13 percent body fat are marginal advantages compared to the way the 44-year-old said he feels. The admitted sugar addict said the dietary changes — omitting Twinkies and Red Bulls and implementing veggies and lean meats has improved all areas of his life.
Like Trick, John realizes that it’s all about results.
“Our members should see it, hear it, feel it,” he said. “And I think that should happen quickly too — moving from sickness to wellness to fitness.”
Many of Crossfit Jiboom’s members are athletes and joined the gym to help them recover from accidents and injuries.
“We’re experts at seeing how the body moves and how to resolve injuries,” John said.
Skiers turn cartwheels in line with new moms — both parties supporting each other and each others’ goals in the gym.
“They are side-by-side in this environment of supporting each other,” Susan said. “They bond in a way that’s amazing.”
The community aspect of Crossfit may be what has earned its reputation of a “cult.”
But Crystal said many members’ results inside the gym motivate them to create change in their everyday lives.
“It ends up being so much more than a workout,” said the competitive Crossfit athlete. “Outside of the gym they start to take charge of other things.”
The coach placed ninth in the 2009 Crossfit Games and now that she has recovered an injury, plans to present at the next games in Los Angeles.
“It’s not only a job and a profession, but I can still compete and fill that part of my life,” she said.
Crossfit Jiboom invites those interested to attend a free Community Class. Community classes are held Saturday mornings at 10 a.m.
For more information about scheduling, success stories, daily workouts or the Jiboom 30-Day Challenge visit http://crossfitjibboom.com.
“Our members should see it, hear it, feel it. And I think that should happen quickly too — moving from sickness to wellness to fitness.”
John Del Peral
Trainer and Crossfit Jibboom co-founder