This month we are celebrating ONE year of fun and fitness at Bandit CrossFit. Thank you to all of our members, family, and friends in the local community who have helped us get this far. We have made so much progress as a gym and as a community. I’m excited to see what 2014 brings us!
I’m not good about making big “TO-DOs” about birthdays, anniversaries, and what-not. But, I do have something that I’d like to start doing on a monthly basis at our gym–Bandit of the Month. There is no specific criteria for this designation other than the honoree must display the core value of our gym: “No one gives it to you. You have to take it.”
Let’s face it, without our members, Bandit wouldn’t be what it is. The Bandit coaches are so thankful that you put your faith and trust in us each day. Every day, in each one of you, I see some amazing quality that just impresses the heck out of me. Every day, I see all of you taking what you want. So, it’s really hard to pick amongst you for this designation. We’ve got about 45-50 members currently. There are 12 months in a year. It will take me four years to get to all of you. So, be patient.
It should be no surprise to anyone that we are choosing Karla Langley as our first “Bandit of the Month.”
I remember Karla’s first day. She couldn’t do pushups. She had to do ring rows instead of banded pullups, even. She struggled with burpees, and often had to scale them to squat thrusts. She couldn’t do an air squat without folding her upper body over in half. We had to start her at the VERY beginning of every lift and every move. We had to build her from the ground up. Boy, have times changed. Karla, at 49 years young, is now a CrossFit machine! The boys in “The 0500” have a heck of time keeping up with her. She could easily be our most improved member over this past year.
Karla started CrossFit because she hoped it would help her running. She was getting injured from running long miles in her running training. Training at Bandit, with our focus on weightlifting, has not only helped her stay injury-free, but she is getting faster and stronger, too. All this improvement in her runs has come alongside improvement in her lifting.
Karla’s lifts by the numbers:
100# Front Squat
125# Back Squat
Karla’s runs by the numbers:
Half marathon: 2:14:54
Karla just placed 2nd in her age group last month in the Mississippi River Half Marathon with a time of 2:18:35.
Karla was Made to do CrossFit
“CrossFit is for ANYONE. But, it’s not for EVERYONE.” I tell this to everyone who shows interest in joining our gym, or starting CrossFit as a way of training. Karla’s story is a true testament to that. Anyone can do what we do in our gym. As I mentioned earlier, Karla, with very little ability to complete the work as prescribed in our daily work, had to start at the bottom. She committed to her goals and then worked her tail off 4-5 times per week to get better. Not everyone is like Karla–willing to delay gratification and commit themselves to the process of making slow gains in working toward a long term goal. We live in a society that craves instant results. At Bandit, we don’t give instant results. You have to do work. A lot of it. But, Karla has what it takes. And we admire her for that.
Karla’s goals for 2014 include
1.Getting a double under by December 31
2.Doing an unassisted pullup by her 50th birthday (this August).
3. Complete the Disney Dopey Challenge (46 miles in 4 days)
Besides working on her personal goals, Karla said the members and coaches are what keeps her coming back to Bandit. “At Bandit, everyone is a valued member,” she said. “I feel we are a family at Bandit; even new members,” she continued.
Being part of our gym has given Karla more confidence. “I like the way I look and feel. I have more energy.” she said. In terms of her performance, she knows that there will be good days and bad days, but when she’s at the gym she said, “I’m always trying to get one more rep on the WOD.”
One thing you may not know about Karla is that she is an accomplished quilter. She enjoys quilting so much that she has a room in her home dedicated to the craft. Karla is also married, has four children and one granddaughter. Her husband, Jeff, supports her in all her CrossFit and running endeavors. Karla is retired from the Air Force, and has lived on the Coast since 2006. She was born in Oregon, and is a die hard fan of the University of Oregon Ducks.
Karla, we are a die hard fan of YOU. We are so lucky to have you at our gym. You inspire your coaches and our members with your positive attitude and your dedication on a daily basis. Here’s to getting better and achieving even more goals together in 2014!