Sim has been an absolute delight to work with. Honest, open and real, Sim makes it so easy for people to be in her company. She is playful, funny and energetic and makes the most out of her experiences 🙂 Its been incredible to coach someone who values fun as highly as technique and Sims insatiable desire to learn and give 100% have been key to her fast achievements. When Sim walks through the door a couple of things happen, people surround her because they love being in her space and you know she is going to have a crack. She is known by her work colleagues as the energiser bunny and we are very proud of her.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Switzerland until the age of 14 years. A very normal traditional household dad works, Mum stays at home and does the housework and cooking. We very much ate traditional food, meat, cheese bread. I spent days on my bike in the countryside building dams, climbing trees and playing with my friends – we were extremely active. This was the generation before video games or computers.
Who was your support network/ or lacking support network and how did that shape you?
I had a very supportive father but wasn’t close to my mother. They split up and things became very unstable at home. Everything was unstable, home, school, friends even food. I remember being very thin and pretty much hyperactive. Photos at the time show a tom boy blurr….I was never in focus. I think I was in survival mode. We migrated to Australia and began again. I did not speak the language and the culture was different but we acclimated in a year and things settled down. I have always had trouble sitting still, I have been an aerobics instructor, triathlete, track cyclist, snowboarder, scuba diver, runner etc etc
What characteristics define you?
I think I’m impulsive and pretty adventurous, a little ADD, determined and I sometimes lack confidence. I know I’m easily bored and it took me a long time to settle down in any way. I do have problems committing to doing something if I’m not good at it. That’s why CrossFit is such a challenge for me.
When did you decide to take up CrossFit and why?
After running a half marathon about 2.5 years ago I sustained a chronic Achilles injury and went from being very active to barely being able to walk long distances. Even cycling was painful and none of the treatment I had – helped. I was told that with my long history of running, my joints and tendons were pretty worn out. I was told to go to the gym and build strength – but of course I didn’t! The longest I’d ever lasted at any regular gym was 2 weeks. Boredom always set in and I just couldn’t commit. So the weight started to climb. Usually a slim 54-58kg I ended up at 68kg and climbing fast!! I was the heaviest I’d ever been when I got married in Feb 2016. My Achilles issues were getting worse as was my back. I was now waking up 2-3 times per night with back and Achilles pain! I felt like my body was giving up. My husband Steve wanted to try CrossFit as he was fighting injuries with his long training stints as an ironman triathlete. I thought I’d join him for the fundamentals sessions just to see what was involved and to support him more than anything. That was in February 2016.
What was the hardest thing about starting?
I think it was having no idea how to do anything and also the pain of moving a heavy body with no strength, into movements I had never tried. I was very sore, after EVERY workout but I could feel it working parts that needed to be worked.
What did you decide to commit to straight away? Eating a certain way, training a particular amount of times a week, showing up, having fun, moving properly… what mattered to you most?
I don’t think I committed at all at the start. I fully expected to sign up for a monthly membership at 2 sessions per week and lose interest in that same month, as per usual. I did commit to doing the movements properly where possible and that was it. After the first month I was hooked! I was hooked because I started to feel stronger already. I also found it wasn’t hard to show up as there was someone there to help me, ask questions and also ask why I wasn’t there if I didn’t show up. I was also never bored and I was having fun. I signed up to unlimited because I could feel I could keep coming and improving. I then committed to zone diet eating after getting a body scan done. The most frightening thing was that I was now at 35% body fat with a visceral fat level of 10 (it doesn’t get any higher than that – hello to type 2 diabetes!!!!) What a wakeup call. I thought I was fit and really not that much in danger of being overweight – I had my head stuck well and truly in the sand!!
What have you achieved so far that you are proud of?
The thing I’m proudest of is working on my strength to help fix my injuries and living pain free so that I can stop whinging. I feel 1000% better than before. I have my energy back and best of all I don’t feel old anymore. I’m also proud that even though I’m nearly 50 that I now have the strength to do some of the things I couldn’t do at 20! And I know I can still improve so much.
What precisely about those achievements makes you proud?
The fact that I stopped talking about doing something and actually did it. I think I knew I had to immerse myself in an environment that was encouraging and challenging and CrossFit did that and then some!
What would you tell someone who wanted the same result?
Keep showing up, it’s going to be hard some days and you won’t always train well, but just show up. You will improve! Make friends with the team at 3018, If you don’t rock up they will ask where you are. But most importantly have fun with it and don’t take it too seriously if you aren’t the expert!
Where there times when you thought screw it this isn’t working I may as well give up either recently or in the past?
Actually I can honestly say no I haven’t. I’ve had doubts about certain activities or movements within Crossfit and being able to do them. But now understand that it’s actually a process of progress.. You don’t walk into a Crossfit gym and have the strength or skill to do everything, but you will get there if you keep going. The reason I know this is because I prove it to myself all the time.
What do you need to think about yourself in order to believe you can achieve your goals?
I think I’m fairly lucky, I don’t have a lot of negative internal dialogue but when I do hear it, I like to believe that it’s just me being lazy. If I’m really honest with myself I know when I’m being lazy. I find it a lot harder to be lazy now that I have started to improve. The reason for that is that I’ve proven I can do a strict pull up, push up, box jump etc if I put in the work. So there is no excuse to give up on all of the other things I still want to be able to do.
If you can do it, can anyone? Or are you a unique human?
We’re all unique but I honestly think that if I can do it, anyone can, provided they keep showing up. To be honest I think we all experience similar feelings but through unique eyes. I think I rely a lot on the support of others at our gym to keep me going. I often look at what our members are able to do and I think – wow! I want to be able to do that. I live in other people’s shoes a lot! When I can’t do what they are doing I just think to myself Í can’t do that …..YET’.
Is there anything else you feel compelled to share…
I deal with being outside my comfort zone all the time at CrossFit but I also know that if I keep trying eventually I will get there. With many of the things I’ve done in my life I usually picked up how to do things fairly well very quickly. Not so with CrossFit, it’s been really challenging for me but it’s so much more satisfying knowing I’ve had to work really hard for my results.