How do expectations and anticipation by others affect your plans, your progress? Member Vonnie Waters felt those weights might be holding her down. She walked into Hotova CrossFit with one mission in mind: to do something for herself, by herself, “in order to get my life back in balance.” She began in the summer of 2017 with a successful FitCamp, followed by another FitCamp, and then the transition to Active classes. These days, Vonnie describes herself as “fifty-five and definitely feeling alive!”
While Vonnie is excited about her new lifestyle of wellness and thrilled with her progress, she is also glad that in the beginning, she kept it all to herself. “I made the decision to take on the FitCamp challenge and wanted to be accountable only to ME,” Vonnie vowed. “So, the first week I went to class, schedules worked in such a way that my husband did not know what I was doing.” Wasn’t that kind of sneaky? “It felt good to do something for myself with good results and benefits. It became a game of how long I could continue the secret and the surprise. Honestly, this was an extra motivator for me!” Waters explained. “At every class I was asked, ‘Well, did you tell your husband yet?’ My response was, ‘No, not yet!’” One week turned into six weeks, and the couple’s schedules aligned so Vonnie could keep up the ruse, and keep pushing herself. “To my excited surprise, I lost nine pounds—the top loser in the class—and I am feeling great!”
Waters returned to Hotova for a second, six-week FitCamp session, and is now attending Active classes. “My goal is to keep going, keep losing and getting fit,” she said. “The journey has just begun for a better me!”
When she is not at Hotova CrossFit or hanging with her husband Marty and son Alec, Vonnie Waters is Center Director of the Crow River Senior Center in St. Michael. She plans activities, events, lunches and more for senior members. She said she loves the rewards of smiles from a very active group of people who like to have fun! It sounds as though Vonnie’s work life has a lot in common with her fitness life.
In making wellness a lifestyle, Vonnie has experienced plenty of ups and downs, starts and stops, and detours. “I had been in a slump for years, not finding the right fit for exercise, and always making excuses to not work out,” Waters confessed. She had been a runner, even completing Grandma’s Marathon in 2006, but she got burned out and got out of the habit and routine of exercise.
That has now changed for Vonnie: “I truly love the workouts, and I NEVER thought I would say that! I am excited to show up to class to see what new workout will inspire my movement that day! It’s always different and that is what motivates me and keeps me excited. I love going through the journey with the others in the class.”
Vonnie plans to continue drawing from that support and inspiration to move forward with fitness; she said she knows she is committed, “I do not like to miss any classes. This is a program that I truly am excited for,” Waters said. The flexibility in scheduling and wide class offerings are so helpful. “That helps keep me going and allows me to get my workouts in during the week. I am getting stronger each week and eating in a much healthier way. It’s exciting to see the changes in my body and my clothes are fitting better!”
Vonnie credits the Hotova CrossFit family as “inspiring, empowering, uplifting and supportive” and is thrilled with the unexpected benefit of making new friends. “I feel better because of CrossFit and the support of the Hotova community. I am eating better, sleeping better, and I have a better outlook on my future, both mentally and physically,” she chuckled. “I guess you could say I am lovin’ life again and feeling stronger each day!” While how Vonnie feels is the most important thing, others have noticed. Her husband and son continue to cheer her on and praise her accomplishments, as do Hotova’s coaches.
“I saw Giane one day after weeks of classes and she told me I looked happier, that she could see it in my face,” Vonnie gushed. “That made me feel so great and that all of my hard work is paying off and showing! Others have noticed and commented, too! It’s a great feeling and I am so happy to find something that is fun, challenging and keeps me interested.”
Vonnie beautifully summed up her sentiments: “I am hooked on Hotova CrossFit! And it feels incredibly rewarding! Even with burpees!” Even with burpees.