The CFW member of the month for August 2011 is Erika “Wipeout” Wilzer. Erika has been with us since the River City CrossFit days and she can’t know how much she means to me and to our little community. First, she is an amazing role model and spokesperson for how CrossFit can change lives. We all know people who have struggled with fad diets and trendy exercise plans, never really achieving any level of sustainable fitness or long term health and I think Erika used to be in that predicament. She is a perfect example of someone who has found real empowerment through physical culture. Not just physical empowerment, but the kind of confidence you can take with you through all aspects of life. The words “I can” are very powerful. If you get the chance to talk to Erika about her journey, don’t hesitate to do so. She can tell you how she felt when she started CrossFit, how she struggled to get through a 400M run without slowing to a walk, how she went from counting calories and points to almost effortlessly maintaining a size 4. She can also tell you about how she got her nickname and how far she has come with her box jumps and what a sit-up machine she has become. She’ll tell you how it doesn’t matter if you’re a mom or even a grandma, you can do things like pullups and snatches. I’m sure you’ll be inspired by her story too, but even better, you’ll get to know one of the kindest, most thoughtful people I’ve ever known. Thank you for being you and for helping make CFW the community it is today, Erika!
Height: 5 feet
What is your favourite exercise or workout? Deadlifts – they make me feel strong.
What is your least favourite exercise or workout? Anyone who knows me there knows I hate rowing!
Tell us something interesting or surprising about yourself? I was overweight as a child, was never athletic and hated sports
What is your favourite hobby, pastime or sport? I love to read.
What were you doing before CrossFit? I did exercise videos (aerobics), we have a bowflex that I used, and I went to Curves
How did you find out about CrossFit Winnipeg? I took a course on Healthy Living taught by the Bohemiers and Brendan taught the exercise portion of the course. After the course was done, he invited anyone who was interested to come and check out his gym, which was River City Crossfit at the time, so I took him up on the offer with a little fear and trembling but have never looked back.
What changes have you seen in yourself or your life since joining CrossFit Winnipeg? Where do I begin? I am healthier than I have ever been. I am stronger and more flexible. I think the biggest thing that Crossfit has taught me is “I can”. I would never have pictured myself doing the things we do here. I remember when I started I would come in and look at the wod on the board and think “I can’t do that”. Now I come in and look at the wod and think “ok, here we go!”
Do you have any special memorable CrossFit Winnipeg moments? Getting my first pullup – that was very empowering. I just love the feeling after a particularly intense wod, when you’re laying on the ground trying to force air into your lungs and you think – I did it!
What advice would you give to a newbie or someone just joining CrossFit Winnipeg? Keep coming in and giving it your all. Whatever goals you want to accomplish – you will. There is no “can’t” there might be “can’t right now” but eventually you can.
What is your biggest accomplishment at CrossFit Winnipeg? I think my biggest accomplishment here isn’t so much physical as it is mental. I used to be ruled by the number on the scale. I lived or died by that number. When I first joined Crossfit, it was about losing weight. Somewhere it changed to becoming stronger. It was a huge milestone for me when I saw the magazines in January that always promote the latest “lose the holiday weight” routine and I didn’t feel compelled to buy them and try it. When I started Crossfit I was a size 10 and I weighed 147 lbs. I have only lost 17 pounds but I am a size 4. The numbers on the scale don’t rule me anymore and that is so freeing. For that I can truly say Thank you Crossfit and thanks to all the incredible coaches who make this all possible.