Showing up to CrossFit Salus is more than showing up to a gym — it’s all about the community. From the outside looking in, one may wonder, why do I need a CrossFit community to be successful in achieving a fit and healthy lifestyle? Erica is a shining example of what makes all of us here at CrossFit Salus rave about our community.
When you surround yourself with likeminded people, the sky’s the limit!
“With that warm smile, it’s hard to miss Erica when she arrives at class. She is always excited to be there. However, when it’s time to get the WOD started, she is all focus and grit. Erica welcomes any and all coaching and does not give up. She sees her progress “glass half full”, especially after recovering from her motorcycle accident, appreciating each bit of progress made. And of course, when the WOD is finished the smile returns.” ~Coach Erin
“Erica has had that fire in her eye from day one but also very humble and coachable. She’s always open to learning and eager to be her best. She also is very kind, encouraging and has a wonderful energy.” ~Coach Scott
“Erica had been coming to Salus for close to a year now and has become one of our most committed members and a valuable part of our community. She never lets the challenges of life keep her from walking through the door and her gains this past year are a reflection of that.” ~Coach Anthony
“Erica is open to all input, really wanting to learn and improve. She is dogged in attempting and mastering new skills, and never lets challenges deter her. She always has a smile and is ready to help anyone she can. A real joy to be around.” ~Coach Lisa
Meet Erica Schneider, Athlete of the Month for July 2023
1. When and why did you start at Salus?
I was struggling with going to the gym regularly to lose Covid weight and after seeing the positive results close friends and family have had with CrossFit style workouts I decided to give it a try. I did a drop in at another box that was intimidating and intense, I didn’t feel comfortable at all. I spoke with Angela over the phone for a consultation before doing a drop in at Salus and she immediately made me feel welcome, safe and eager to try again.
I joined Salus in July of 2022 and what struck me was the friendly family vibe. I felt comfortable, included and excited to try new things. Also, Benny Gonzalez encouraged me on the air bike during my drop in class when I was seriously questioning my decision and having regrets about dropping in! She was encouraging me when she was struggling too (b/c she didn’t like the air bike either, not b/c she was as out of shape as I was!) I completed the work out and the way everyone supported me and motivated me to return was overwhelming. I felt so accomplished and all I’d done was pedal a bike and not give up.
It made me feel amazing and I couldn’t wait to come back and do more.
I am so grateful for her voice in my dark moment of air bike torture. I still don’t like the air bike, but knowing someone like Benny does it even though she doesn’t like it motivates me to keep pushing through things I don’t like, or that I think are too hard.
Everyone at Salus is so supportive and encouraging, it makes it easy to keep coming back… even when there’s air bike in the WOD.
2. How has your performance changed since you started at Salus?
The fact that I can lift a barbell at all let alone all the lifts I can now do with more weight than I ever imagined is amazing. I had never lifted a barbell before joining Salus and now not only can I lift and do things like snatches and cleans, I can do them with proper form.
I’m stronger and more confident in myself mentally and physically. I feel my performance has improved not only athletically but in every aspect of my life. I just feel better and have Salus to thank for it 🙂
3. Are there exercises you can do now that you couldn’t do before?
Toes to bar! The first drop in at the other box had toes to bar in the WOD. I had never seen it done, never heard of it before watching 5 brawny shirtless dudes folding themselves in half on a pull up bar. They were going ham and it was super intimidating and impressive at the same time.
I thought it would take me years to be strong enough and coordinated enough to do it. I couldn’t even do a pull up prior to CrossFit and now I can do 3 kipping pull ups unassisted and I can do toes to bar. (singles, still working on stringing them together).
4. How has your body physically changed since you started?
I have more muscle tone and definition than I had before. I’ve been tracking my inches since I started and I’ve slimmed down almost a size and a half!
I am stronger and more in shape than I have ever been in my life.
5. How has Salus changed you in other ways?
Salus has helped me feel healthier all around. I eat better, sleep better and when I have a bad day, I know a workout and seeing my Salus tribe will make everything better.
Mentally it helps clear the chatter in my head, helps me focus more and confirms and validates the fact that I can do hard things. No matter how difficult or uncomfortable, I can and will get through it. I’m strong inside and out and if I can get through Nancy, or Thrusters and rowing without dying, I can pretty much get through anything life throws at me.
My confidence has improved significantly too.
6. How do you describe Salus to your friends?
I tell everyone who will listen how awesome Salus is. Overall the environment is welcoming, friendly and most importantly safe. From the first consultation call before a drop in class to the on boarding Gino and Angela let you know exactly what to expect so when you start you feel comfortable.
The coaches are fantastic, knowledgeable and supportive. Each brings a different style or approach to coaching that appeals to different styles of learning/working out which makes it super easy to improve/learn proper form/technique and progress. They know exactly how to challenge you, when to push, and when to scale back to work on foundations/basics.
No matter what level you’re at you always leave feeling confident, accomplished and motivated to come back. The community is supportive, friendly and encouraging. Especially when you don’t think you can go on in the middle of a grueling WOD and someone calls out to you “Keep moving, you got this!” Suddenly you dig a little deeper and find the energy to finish strong because you feel seen and you know they’re in it with you, they’re not giving up so neither should you.
The box is my happy place, the people, the work outs, even the hard ones… when it’s all said and done I always leave uplifted and happy, even if I’m tired and sore.
CrossFit and the Salus community cures a bad day.
7. What keeps you motivated to continue? What’s your “why”?
Initially I started working out because I wanted to be “Fit and 40 not fat and 40” and now I want to continue to see what I can do. I’m so impressed by the men and women at the box, I want to continue to improve and be like them. I want to be able to do all of the movements/lifts to the best of my ability and look as amazing as everyone there.
But mostly I keep coming back because the people at the gym are awesome and I like being around their positivity.
8. Favorite lift or WOD?
I think my favorite lift is the deadlift. I never did it before joining because I was afraid I’d do it wrong and get hurt. I remember Coach Anthony coached me through it my first or second week and it became my favorite.
9. What advice would you give to a newbie just joining Salus?
Listen to the coaches, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Go at your own pace and never be embarrassed about what you can’t do. Everyone has to start somewhere and everyone continues to learn and improve every day.
Always celebrate your victories, even the smallest ones like just showing up. 🙂
10. What is your next goal to accomplish?
Double unders, still can’t do them consistently. I think I’ve gotten one or two in a row but that’s it.
11. If you could design your own WOD, what would it look like?
I wouldn’t even know where to start to design one, I give Gino so much credit for the work outs he comes up with. But it would probably involve something I enjoy like Deadlifts, Front squats, or the Rower.
12. Favorite thing to do for fun?
I like to read or go out to new food places with my friends to try new things.
13. Favorite healthy dish….and favorite “splurge” meal?
Right now my favorite healthy dish is the Chicken Teriyaki meatballs from Coronatos.
My favorite splurge meal would probably be pork roll, egg and cheese on an everything bagel.
14. If you could be a animal/superhero, what would you be and why?
If I could be an animal I’d be a spoiled house cat, so I could nap all day and have people pick up after me.
Superhero, I’d want to be like Rogue from X-men so I could take on the powers of others for a little bit, be super strong and fly. 🙂
15. Favorite inspirational quote?
Rejection is protection and redirection. When something doesn’t go how you want or if you get rejected, it just means whatever it was wasn’t meant for you and something better is coming instead.
16. Interesting fact not many people know about you.
I’m a huge nerd. I enjoy attending Comic Cons and am obsessed with Star Wars, Harry Potter, Doctor Who etc.
Regardless of whether you have never stepped foot in a CrossFit box or if you have been doing CrossFit for years, our community is irreplaceable. We pick each other up when we are down and push each other to reach new heights. Check out CrossFit Salus to join this wonderful community.