December Athlete of the Month – Gail Knowles


CFBF December Athlete of the Month – Gail Knowles

What’s Your Athletic/Fitness Background?

I was very active in my youth, playing sports and riding bicycles everywhere. After I was finished with my misspent youth at 29, I spent a few years lifting a lot of weights, which I loved. Then I did practically nothing for 24 years.

Why Did You Join CFBF?

My friend Kathleen went from being VERY heavy to a healthy weight and she loved Bonafide. After caring for my parents at the end of their lives I could see how their sedentary lifestyle added to their unhappiness and ill health. It was a wake up call that took me 4 years to answer.

Most Memorable WOD?

I don’t really know the names of things yet. Or I might never because I’m 61 years old! Since I lift much less weight than many of the folks there, I usually use my own bar. I was working on back squats, during the Strength building part of the WOD. I managed to get 2 reps of what I thought was 90 pounds and was very excited. Coach Addie came over, glanced at the bar and said, “Gail, that’s 100 pounds.” I’m glad I didn’t know, because I might have psyched myself out! Everyone gave me high fives and whoops like I got a gold in the Olympics. Brought a tear to my eye.

Favorite CrossFit Movement? 

Burpees! No, I’m lying. Totally deadlifts. Why? A few weeks ago I deadlifted 140#, when I started I could only do 65# and that was hard!

Biggest Challenge? 

Burpees! Pull-ups! And I get all confused when I think too much about OH squats, my fear of my knee buckling keeps my max low, but I’m getting there.

Biggest Improvement?    

Everything!! I’m so much stronger than I was in August when I started. I still can’t do pull ups, real push ups or a non-scaled burpee, today. Tomorrow is another story!

Who is Your Superhero?

My daughter Grace signed up with me in August. She has stayed with the program while juggling senior year in HS, working at Target, and varied and sundry after school activities. She’s amazing.

Fun Fact about Yourself?

I spent much of my misspent youth hanging out with outlaw motorcycle clubs and wrenching bikes and cars. I celebrated 31 years clean and sober in September, but under al the tattoos and piercings? I’m a rough, tough, cream puff.

What Most Special About CFBF?

The people. The coaches really look after us. They push those who need to be pushed, they keep an eye on me to make sure I don’t hurt myself. It’s great because I really need adult supervision. The other members are so supportive and friendly. It’s getting to feel like a second home. Plus? They have a physical therapist and a nutritionist that come in and you can make an appointment and get advice and help. Included in the price of your monthly membership! That’s some value added!!!

Any Advice for New Members?

Just come. There will be muscular manly men with no shirts on, carrying around chunks of cement. But they are nice. Any activity can be scaled to your level of fitness, so you can keep going throughout the hour. The coaches care about you, believe in you and will listen, their job is to help you get stronger and they pay attention. They is always a coach there when you are working out. If the price is daunting (it ain’t $10 a month), I just think of how much it would cost me to take a month off from work to have a triple bypass. Looking at it that way? It’s a steal.