Athlete of the Month: Sheila Betts
How has CrossFit changed your life?
Where do I even begin? CrossFit has impacted my life in countless ways but I’ll try tokeep it brief. I am a substance abuse counselor and I love being a social worker. I have the opportunity in my job to help people change the path of their addiction, intervene in recidivism of jail or prison incarceration, remedy the relationships with their loved ones and children, and potentially achieve a state of peace and serenity which is entirely unfeasible while active in their chemical use. Unfortunately, not everybody always gets sober when they make initial efforts (or stay sober for that matter). Some of the things I witness on a daily basis are literally unbelievable for people who have never had any experience living or working with addiction – Oh, the stories Angie Porath and I could tell you! Addiction is a vicious, unforgiving disease which can destroy how people think, feel, relate to, and love themselves and others. CrossFit has become the largest factor in my life which combats the negativity. The workouts are not only a time where I can disconnect from my daily grind and what I am exposed to, but also my field of work can seem like it sometimes takes from me spiritually and/or emotionally. To a certain degree, it’s impossible not to experience some draining in this field because we work with people’s lives. But CrossFit is one of the main areas in my life that nurtures me. It sounds funny to say because if you’ve ever worked out with me you’ve probably mostly just heard me complaining or cursing out the WOD that Bobby has graciously developed for that day. On a side note, don’t complain to him because he will develop a miserable WOD just for you and make everybody do it (i.e. “Everyone Can Thank Sheila WOD”). Needless to say, CrossFit is incredibly rejuvenating for me. One piece I haven’t mentioned yet is the camaraderie of our gym. I work close to downtown and it would be much more convenient for me to go to a box closer than 515, but the environment and family I have developed at 515 is unlike anything I have ever experienced. These are the people I choose to surround myself with. They’re who I spend my time with on every aspect; throughout the work week, on rowdy Friday nights and early weekend mornings (when I’m not sleeping in), they’re the roommates I live with, and my boyfriend is a CrossFitter. Jaime once told me at the 2013 Chicago Regionals that it is unreal how much self-respect CrossFitters have for themselves. They take care of themselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually. To me, CrossFit encompasses self-respect and self-love for a multitude of reasons. When I witness the complete opposite of these things at work it not only makes me grateful every day for what I have but also motivates me to somehow share this with others who don’t have it.
Favorite & least favorite movement
Favorite movements are anything on my hands! Handstand push-ups, chest-to-bar pull-ups, rope climbs, and toes to bar.
Emily Berg would say my least favorite movement is “heavy” squat cleans thanks to the Circus 🙂 Wall-balls, thursters, and rowing are right up there, too (thanks a lot for 15.5, Castro)
Something interesting about me.
I went to the University of Alabama for my Master’s Degree. Roll Tide!!
Baseball is my favorite sport. I was at the Colorado Rockies 1 and only no-hitter at Turner Field in Atlanta.
Growing up I was always TERRIFIED to fly. Ironically, my first flight ever was half-way across the world to Japan.
This summer will be my 4th RAGBRAI and in October I’m running my 5th Half Marathon. Before my 1st RAGBRAI I legit prepped my parents to say their final good-byes to me, assuming it was going to be the death of me.
Do something today that your future self will thank you for
There is no passion to be found in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living – Nelson Mandela
It is a shame for a woman to grow old without ever seeing the strength and beauty of which her body is capable – Socrates
Favorite songs to workout to
Any rap jams Justin Vaught plays for Claire and me during the Open WODs. I’m always a big fan of working out to Eminem and right now I’m really into Believe by Mumford and Sons. Not sure if I actually like that song or if Bobby just rocks out to it so much that I’ve been brain washed.
Favorite TV show or movie
A Time To Kill and The Godfather
What movement or skill were you most excited about when you were able to do it?
Definitely the ring muscle up!! I caught myself in the dip position but then started to panic because I didn’t know what to do next. I certainly would have failed that day had it not been for Jaime yelling at me to stay calm! Trust when I say nobody was more surprised than me that I got it! I was also pretty stoked to learn the bar muscle up and to even hit 125 cleans a few times in 15.4!