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May Athlete of the Month – Laura Spalding

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May’s Female Athlete of the Month is Laura Spalding! Laura has been a member of CFPB since Day 1!  Laura has stayed impressively consistent over the years, making our yearly Committed Club for the past two years (since we started keeping track), and is on track for this year as well.  She stays active with her two teenage boys, Jake and Cade, who she has also gotten to take up CrossFit. They joined our CrossFit Teens program years ago and have recently joined our CrossFit and BeachFit programs. She sets a great example for her kids to follow, and really sets the expectation for what a great member really is. Always supportive of others, willing to offer a helping hand, and always positive and laughing. You can always tell Laura is having her best hour at CFPB.  We love having her in our fit family, and love these answers below. Make sure you read on 😉

Tell us a little about yourself.  

I am 48 years old, have been married to my amazing husband for almost 18 years and have 2 sons who are 14 and 15. I have been a CPA for 25 years but am in the process of fulfilling my long time dream of starting a real estate company with my mother.

What’s something about you that others may not know about you? Any special talents, hobbies, or interests?

Hmmm… when I was younger I was fearless and thought I was unstoppable. When I made up my mind to do something, I didn’t think about it – I just made it happen. There are so many examples and stories but one I am most proud of was deciding I wanted to move to Chicago after college and work for one of the large CPA firms. While almost everyone I knew was interviewing in Florida I was flying to Chicago begging them to to take a chance on a Florida girl and hire me. I managed to convince KPMG and I packed my car and moved to Chicago, where I knew no one. I lived across the street from the Lincoln Park Zoo in an apartment above a store for drag queens. It was, by far, the most exciting place I’ve ever lived! I miss that fearless girl sometimes… she was a bad ass!

What do you like to do outside the gym?

I love to spend time with my boys… watching them do the things they enjoy or just hanging out with them. Raising them is my favorite hobby! I do also enjoy boating, fishing, reading and watching college football.

When did you start CrossFit?  Why did you decide to join CrossFit at that time?  What do you remember most about when you first started?

I had just gotten medical clearance to resume physical activity right about the time CrossFit Palm Beach was opening. I stopped by one day and chatted with Buddy, who, I think was working on drywall at the time LOL. I loved what he had to say about what he and his sons were going to try and create and I couldn’t wait to to start!

Laura and her boys after last year’s MURPH workout.

What new beliefs, habits, behaviors have you formed since you started Beachfit/Crossfit, that have most positively impacted your life?

The habit of consistently making it a priority to come to the gym. It has positively impacted my life in so many ways but the best part is the belief I have in myself as I walk out of the gym. On the good performance days I think “Damn – I am a bad ass… I can do anything” and on the poor performance days I think “Damn – that was so hard and so humbling, but I kept pushing and finished… I can do anything”. It’s the perfect way to start my day!

What has been your most memorable workout? 

There are several that stick out but probably the most memorable was a workout I watched, not participated in. A few years ago one of my very good friends competed in an in-house event. Watching her dig so deep to accomplish her goal was something pretty powerful and something I will always remember.

Do you have a favorite quote or motto that you live by?

Ha… I have so many! The things I repeat most to my boys are “whether you believe you can or believe you can’t – you’re right”, “fall down seven, get up eight” and “you can do anything if you keep trying”. For me personally, I love “no is just a jumping off point” and “kindness, it’s free… sprinkle that shit everywhere!”.

Have you had any setbacks since starting CrossFit, what have you done to overcome them?

For sure. I have struggled with a couple different things for years. Some things you can overcome and others you figure out how to go around. I have found that the most important thing is to know your body, know your issues and give yourself the chance to rest and recover when it is necessary.

Danielle’s nutrition coaching has been super helpful as well. A year ago I would have said that I didn’t think I would be able to run in a workout again. My knee had gotten to the point that running even as little as 200m would cause me to limp for the rest of the day. Changing what I was eating has had an incredible impact on inflammation and overall well-being. Running is still not easy for me but I am over-joyed at the fact I can do it pain free again.

What is the most worthwhile investment you have made since starting CF?

Oh, this is easy – time and consistency. Investing the time in myself has been beneficial in so many ways. Yes, I am stronger and yes, I am healthier… that was expected. But there have been unexpected benefits as well. Most importantly, CF plays a huge role in helping me keep up with my boys and their lives and has reinforced my belief that I can handle anything they or life throws at me. They like to hear about the workouts and I think they are proud of me.

I’ve never been an athlete and I am certainly not athletic. In fact, working out is very hard for me and I struggle a lot, pretty much every day. But I know that I am setting an example for my boys that the only way to improve is to consistently invest the time and effort. There are no short cuts and there is no easy way.

What do you do on days when you don’t “feel” like going to the gym, what keeps you motivated?

Most days the desire to be better than I was yesterday is enough to motivate me to go to the gym. On the days that it isn’t I text Marcy and she motivates me to go J.

What do you love most about CrossFit Palm Beach?

Everyone says it, but truly, it’s the community. It’s a priviledge to spend time with such a dedicated, determined yet overwhelmingly supportive and encouraging group of people. I’ve met a couple of the best friends I’ve ever had at CFPB and for that, I am grateful.

Marcy and Laura writing PRs together on the PR board!