Donna Mickler’s 1-Year CrossFit Vacaville Journey

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It all started after I saw her in the cafeteria… she was noticeably smaller and seemingly fit. Ciandra, a colleague of mine for the past seven years, was changing before my eyes and over only a few short months. Not only was her body changing, she started dressing more youthfully and was exuding confidence. Throughout her transformation, I would comment on how great she looked and eventually I asked, “What are you doing because you look fabulous”! Her response was one word. . . “CrossFit”. Ciandra then proceeded to provide me with links to CrossFit Vacaville along with articles on nutrition and general fitness. She instantly became my inspiration and my biggest supporter.

In mid-January 2012, I made a “Newbie” appointment with Andy. Keep in mind, that beyond high school P.E. and sports, I never had a routine exercise program except for a two-year period of daily swimming while living in Saudi Arabia. And until I was 30 years of age, I had always been small at 115 lbs. However, after marriage and childbirth, I became the textbook definition of “couch potato”. My first introduction to the Newbie Warm Up resulted in near fainting, almost losing my lunch and several minute rest intervals between exercises. I asked Andy if my reaction to the exercise was typical to which he replied, “Normally people do not get exerted so easily”. That statement was an enlightening moment for me and I vowed to myself I was going to see the program through. I signed up for three months of unlimited visits. As it turned out, that was one of the best decisions of my life. As luck would have it, Marcia, the other owner/operator of CrossFit Vacaville, happens to be a nutritionist. After about a month of doing the workouts and seeing the nutrition challenges, I decided to consult with Marcia on my diet. She introduced me to something called Eating Clean, which includes foods I had not previously known such as Ezekiel bread and almond butter. She advised me to track my intake and then analyzed it. After the first analysis, she informed me that I was not eating enough food throughout the day. . . go figure! She put me on a plan where I consumed more food in a day than I ever had before, but the right foods. My metabolism revved up and between workouts and the diet, I started to shed pounds and inches.

Changing my routine and making myself go to CrossFit Vacaville after work each day was a challenge until I got to know the trainers and other CrossFitters. The atmosphere was one of encouragement, camaraderie and fun. By August, my cholesterol levels were all normal. They have not been normal and in fact have been astronomical since I started measuring in 2008. I should have known I was on the right path when my doctor insisted I start medication until I pleaded for a little more time because I started this new program called “CrossFit”. She knew what it was and agreed immediately.

I have lost 34 pounds and have moved from a tight size 12 to a tight size 2. My body fat started at 36 and is now at 28 and dropping. I no longer get winded when climbing a single flight of stairs and have not felt this strong and confident in 15 years. Complete strangers have commented on my muscle tone and I routinely receive complimentary comments by those who know me on my progress. At 52 years of age, I would never have thought I could achieve the results I have in such a few short months. And to think. . . all I do is show up four to six times a week for about an hour and do the WOD (work out of the day). If I can do it. . . anyone can!

I will be forever grateful to Ciandra for being my inspiration and sharing her path with me and to Andy, Marcia and CrossFit Vacaville for creating an extremely special atmosphere where lives are changed.

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