Coaches Comments: “Amanda Shallard is small in stature and yet has enough love, compassion and determination to inspire many people over and again. Below Amanda shares a piece of here journey from growing up, to CrossFit and where it all fits in for her. Amanda is a terrific example of what I believe CrossFit is about. She plays at 100% every session and is as playful, as she is determined to do well. Amanda appreciates, acknowledges and champions her teammates at each session which is not only enjoyable to see, it is uplifting and morale building, something that truly makes a difference to everyones experience. Thank you Amanda Shallard, I trust this is as valuable to our community as it has been for me.” Tristan Enright
-Where did you grow up? I was born in Grimsby England and we emigrated to New Zealand by ship when I was 8, returned to England at 11 then moved to Australia at 14.
-Who was your support network/ or lacking support network and how did that shape you?
Mum and dad were both very supportive but especially my dad… I’m definately a daddy’s girl, I could always go to him about anything, mainly I think because he has always been a much calmer and go with the flow type of person. Their love of traveling has definately been passed on. I am also grateful for their bravery and wanting a better future for themselves and their children and leaving family and friends behind to start a new life overseas. Moving schools and countries was difficult but I hope has made me a more open, resilient and accepting person in the process. I also know that marrying Mark was no fluke. His easy going nature, sense of calm and the way he makes me feel like everything will be ok is exactly what I got from my dad. Their example of a loving relationship and being best friends always definately helped me let go of a bad relationship and know I deserved more. I think also being the eldest followed by two boys, I learnt to be the dependable one. I have many memories of doing things just to keep the peace, to keep my brothers out of trouble, and I think too that even when I was hurting with trying to fit into new schools etc, I kept up a brave front most of the time because I knew mum was having a hard time as it was being away from her family. I didn’t want to make things worse.
-What characteristics define you?
Hmmm…. I guess I’d like to think I’m determined, I can be very focused when I want to be, open, but shy at the same time… loyal, loving, emotional, a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to me which I know now comes from fear of not being good enough…
-When did you decide to take up CrossFit and why?
Just over a year ago we decided to take up crossfit. We had dabbled with a variation of crossfit training in the past and had had a couple of sessions in a crossfit box before doing an intense week of training in the US with navy seals called ‘Sealfit’ which our previous trainer had also undergone and tried to incorporate into our training sessions. When an incident happened which brought out the mumma bear in me, we cut ties with her and had to then decide where to continue our training. Mark remembered seeing a sign for crossfit 3018 and with trepidation we decided to check it out!!
-What was the hardest thing about starting?
Having trained with the same trainer for about 5 years and the same group of people ranging between 2-5years, it was definately daunting joining a new group of people. Also I was scared of whether I would be able to keep up with the group. Coming from a group where I had always been one of the fitter ones I guess my ego was scared of being dented!!
-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?
At the start I figured I already had a handle on eating correctly and thought crossfit would be just a part of my training… I planned on just twice a week and doing my own training the rest of the week, so I guess my main focus was on getting the technique right and working out hard. Once I had started to settle in I then realized that I wanted a more relaxed approach to eating (having come from a disordered way of eating as a young adult, then into figure comps, I knew I needed to find a healthy way of eating that was sustainable, enjoyable and still gave me the results I was after.
-What have you achieved so far that you are proud of?
I’m really proud of facing new challenges. Knowing the workouts ahead of time, I could have so easily avoided some sessions out of fear but I always show up. My box jumps, even as hit and miss as they are, are still a huge improvement on what I ever used to do. I’m also proud of my squats…mainly because I allowed myself to be retaught how to do them properly which meant letting go of the weight I thought I could squat, go light and do it properly. My biggest achievement though in joining crossfit 3018 has been opening myself up to new relationships. Having Mark by my side, anywhere else could have easily just been somewhere to train. I feel so very blessed to have made such wonderful friendships since joining and love the fun, support and encouragement that fills the room everyday.
-What would you tell someone who wanted the same result?
Just turn up, be open to learning, be open to meeting new people, and be open to just giving things a go. Do this consistently and you are well on the way to getting the results you want and more.
-Were there times when you thought screw it this isn’t working I may as well give up either recently or in the past?
No, I’ve felt frustrated with certain movements, but never crossfit. The minute I started I fell in love with it and soon progressed from twice a week to 3/4 times and now it’s 6 times a week.
-What do you need to think about yourself in order to believe you can achieve your goals?
At times I have to remind myself that I don’t give up. Even if I’m last, I’m still ahead of everyone who doesn’t even start. I know I’ve faced fears and challenges before and survived, and I know how awesome it feels to achieve something you didn’t think you could do.
-If you can do it, can anyone? Or are you a unique human?
We are all unique with different backgrounds, circumstances and abilities but given how crossfit is run…. from the fundamental classes, the carefully monitored strength pieces, to the wods which are easily adaptable to every capability, I sincerely believe that crossfit is everyone.