Kristin Pelosi, Andrea Perry, Candace Hiddlestone, Adriana Wright, Sarah Aguirre, and Mellisa Christopher
Athlete of the month: December
Left to right: Sarah, Kristin, Candace, & Adri (and all their beautiful babies)
Candace Hiddlestone first caught sight of Andrea Perry at G3 Kids, a gymnastics, parkour, and tumbling gym for kids.
She went home and told her boyfriend, “I have a girl crush. Her body is insane,” Candace said.
Candace finally worked up the courage to ask Andrea what she did to work out, and that’s when Andrea told her the secret: a mom’s class at San Diego Athletics, with workouts specifically tailored for the group by owner Jenny DeVeaux.
And the best part? Candace could bring her kids.
Full Body Transformation
San Diego Athletics is primarily a CrossFit gym, but at 10:00am on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday the gym hosts a group of four to six women and their children, mostly infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.
Andrea, the woman Candace saw at G3, has been coming to the class for one and half years. She has a two year old and a four year old, and is due with her third child at the end of November.
Andrea (6 months pregnant) and her daughter Sage.
“I’ve never felt stronger,” Andrea said, “and Jenny is the difference.”
“My body changed,” she said, “I have more muscle tone, and I’ve never felt more fit. My body feels optimized.”
Adri and Owner/Coach Jenny
Jenny’s class incorporates light weights and high reps into an hour and half of high-intensity training.
“She’s so creative in her approach,” Andrea said about Jenny’s workouts, “and every workout is different. It’s fast-paced, but it doesn’t feel like you are working hard. It’s like personal training,” she said.
Kristin Pelosi, a cross country runner in high school and college, has been coming to the Mom’s Class for two years, and she said it’s changed her body in ways running never did.
Candace said after coming to the Mom’s Class for six months, her strength and endurance are through the roof.
“I run outside the gym, and it’s crazy how much my cardio has increased,” she said, “and I’ve always had a bad back—this has made me stronger, and I have less back pain. Getting this all done in an hour is amazing—it would take me six hours on my own!” Candace said.
Adri and Candace enjoying each others company.
Candace, who has two boys ages three and six, said her increased strength comes in handy when she’s lifting kids in and out of the car.
“It totally reshapes your body,” Andrea said about the class, “for the time and effort it’s the best value.”
Setting an Example
Many gyms offer childcare with the kids stashed away in a kid’s club. At San Diego Athletics’ Mom’s Class, the kids are part of the experience.
Adri with her youngest (of 3 girls) Sierra.
Andrea said she thinks it’s important for kids to be exposed to fitness.
“It’s imprinting on your kids,” Andrea said.
“My son loves it, and it’s like my therapy, connecting with other moms,” she said.
“It just works,” Candace said about having the kids there. “At the end of the day, (the kids) are so happy to be there with their moms. It is really cool for the kids to see ‘mommy is doing it.’ Logan (her son) is so proud. He sits on my back during the plank workout!” she said.
New mom Melissa with her 9 month old son Ford.
“It’s great to have other moms there, and getting to work out and bring the kids is even cooler, it changes the whole dynamic,” Kristin said. “The kids have fun too. They all get along,” she said.
Kristin said she feels a huge sense of accomplishment after every class.
“I worked out, I took care of the kids, and I set a good example,” she said.
“It’s the holy grail for a mom,” Candace said. “It’s like nothing I’ve ever done workout-wise.”
If you’re a mom of young children and are interested in joining the Mom’s Class, call (858) 412-6012, email email@example.com or visit sandiegoathletics.com.
Kristin and Candace grinding through a band workout.
Athlete of the month: August 2016
James Polanco joined San Diego Athletics in April 2015 and began following the bodybuilding program, which at the time was offered in addition to the CrossFit program.
It was difficult at first.
“I tried to do a lateral raise, and (the coach) said, ‘Dude, just stop,’” James said. “My right shoulder was in my ear. I had shoulder and back issues, and my pecs were so tight my scap was useless,” he said.
James’ shoulder was so messed up he couldn’t do a push-up.
So James, at age 40, committed to fixing his body. He started doing the bodybuilding program three times a week and went to physical therapy one to two times per week.
James works from home in software development. While working from home has many perks, it also can lead to a lot of sitting and the temptations associated with unlimited access to the kitchen.
As with many people, James got out of the habit of being regularly active after college. The years of inactivity were immediately apparent in James’ movement patterns.
“That first week (of bodybuilding) I was in the worst pain ever,” James said, “but after a couple of weeks I got used to it.”
When the bodybuilding program ended, James moved right into the CrossFit program and said it was a smooth transition. He said he’s loved learning the more technical Olympic lifts and also getting to know more of the members now that everybody is doing the same programming each day.
The progress James has made in about a year and a half is impressive.
When he started, he bench pressed about 75 lb. He’s now up to 196 lb. James could not properly do an air squat in April of 2015, and now he can back squat 270 lb.
James made all these strength gains while losing 30 lb.
A few years before joining San Diego Athletics, James and his wife went to see a nutritionist to get a handle on their eating habits.
“We ate fast food on a regular basis,” James said. Not in the habit of planning their meals, they would discover at the end of the day they had nothing to eat for dinner. The prospect of figuring out what to eat, driving to the store, and then coming home and cooking the food was too exhausting, so they would just head to Taco Bell.
At the advice of the nutritionist, James and his wife started to plan meals, which then led to having healthy leftovers for lunch. Now, when James and his wife do eat out, they avoid fast food in favor of healthier options.
James is a regular fixture at the 8:00 am class at San Diego Athletics. His goals for the future include getting a muscle-up, stringing together 15 pull-ups easily, and bench-pressing 220-lb.
What keeps him coming back day after day, however, are not these goals. Not only does James not need help from his physical therapist, he said he’s in the best shape of his life.
“This is top notch,” he said about San Diego Athletics. “The facility, the people and the coaches.”
By Hilary Achauer
Athlete of the month: September 2016
After college Shawn Paone, 25, stopped working out.
“I had a really unhealthy relationship with fitness,” Shawn said.
She struggled with an eating disorder in college and became obsessed with running and working out, so to break that cycle she stopped exercising completely.
Originally from New Jersey, Shawn moved to San Diego two years ago. That’s when she returned to fitness and ran her first marathon in May. A month later she was looking for a new challenge, and tried out a class at San Diego Athletics.
“Halfway through my first class I knew I was going to join,” she said.
Shawn works in software development in Mission Valley, and she usually comes to the 5:00 pm class on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. An avid photographer, Shawn frequently heads to the beach after class to take photos of the ocean and surfers. You can check out her work at www.shawnpaone.com.
Many people come to CrossFit never having lifted weights, but Shawn played soccer and ran track in high school, and back then her training included squats, deadlifts, and cleans.
“I haven’t done that in eight years, but it felt familiar. I missed it,” she said.
The one thing she had never done was snatch.
“The first time I snatched, Bryan said I looked uncomfortable,” Shawn said with a laugh.
Now, just six months later, she can snatch 90 lb.
Bryan told her he can’t believe how far she’s come in such a short time. Excited about the progress she’s made, Shawn said she hopes to get a strict pull-up soon, which she said she hasn’t been able to do since elementary school. She also looks forward to completing the workouts as prescribed.
“The community, the people have motivated me to keep coming,” she said. “The coaches are awesome at San Diego Athletics. Bryan and Jenny are so helpful. They spend so much time correcting my form, telling me I need to slow down, and making sure I’m doing this right before I put more weight on the bar.”
More than anything, Shawn said she loves working out at San Diego Athletics, and how she feels after doing CrossFit for six months.
“I look in the mirror and I’m super proud of who I am and how far I’ve come,” Shawn said.
By Hilary Achauer
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"This place has changed my life! It has given me so much confidence in my body, my balance, and my ability to be active.”
- Chris Madsen, SDA member since 2010