My Journey: Stephanie Harbaugh

 This is a picture of Stephanie Harbaugh performing kettle bell swings in a Maxmead Fitness, CrossFit, Strength & Conditioning workout or WOD in St Louis Park, MN.

Hi, my name is Stephanie Harbaugh and I am proud Maxmead Fitness member.  

I had spent a large portion of my life playing organized sports: volleyball, basketball, and soccer in high school, and collegiate soccer for 4 years. After college ended, I needed to find a way to backfill the competitive void that that had just entered my life. So l chose to run long distances, for fun and for competition. Running led me to the world of triathlons, both sprint and olympic distances. Even though the swim almost killed me, I found that the variety offered by three consecutive events was exciting and provided me with a sense of of extreme accomplishment each time I crossed the finish line. 

Unfortunately the preparation required for each race became entirely consuming that I needed to take a break from long distance, endurance type sports. While I found myself in the process of searching for an exercise alternative, my wife Staci had just discovered CrossFit. She had encouraged me on multiple occasions to give it a try but I always hesitated due to the experience I had in college with weightlifting:  terrible form, lack of strength, and general weight room intimidation.

Even with my vulnerabilities, I decided to sign up at a local CrossFit gym and to my surprise, immediately fell in love with the workout variety, competition, and predefined nature. Unfortunately, with time, I started to feel like I wasn't keeping up with the lifts/weights and thought maybe I just wasn't cut out for lifting. Eventually I left that CrossFit gym and went back to the typical box gym and with that came the repetitive and boring routine of aimlessly walking around, doing a half ass workout just to say I had worked out. 

I started to miss CrossFit-style training and decided to sign up for a boot camp to get back into the swing of things before I jumped back into classes. I was lucky enough to have Coach Elizabeth as my boot camp instructor and I started to regain my confidence and enjoyment of the CrossFit type of work out. I heard Ryan was opening his own gym and immediately knew that I had to join because he is such a great coach. Maxmead Fitness provides a safe learning environment where I am able to learn lifts at my own pace and with the proper guidance and encouragement where I leave every day feeling that I have succeeded. I am by no means producing the quickest times nor the heaviest lifts, but I know I am getting better and I am having fun. The atmosphere Maxmead Fitness creates has changed my perceptions of lifting and the advantages it serves my every day life. So much so that I am thinking about training for another triathlon because of the strength I have gained through his programming. Maybe one day I'll even be able to do a pull-up :)