Liz and Jonathan, Athlete of the Month May & June 2021

We love featuring Salus power couples, like the Goldblatt’s. Married with children, this hardworking couple balances family, work, friends and WOD life on the daily. Even though they don’t always get the chance to workout together, they’re each other’s biggest supporters. It’s been amazing to witness them crush their personal goals and we look forward to watching them make new ones!

Congratulations Liz and Jon! You two are very amazing people and we love having as part of the community.

Please meet the May and June 2021 Athletes of the Month: Liz and Jonathan:

1. When and why did you start at Salus?

Liz: Jon had been trying to get me to join for a while but I had never lifted in my life. When he talked about the things he was doing at Salus, it was like he spoke another language. When the lockdown hit and Salus had to close temporarily, he finally talked me into trying the at-home workouts. He showed me how to modify things so I could make it through and by the time Salus opened up again, I was ready to commit and give this thing a real try! I started on-ramp in August 2020.

Jon: I started Salus in the fall of 2018. I’d always worked out but I was definitely in a place where things had become stagnant. My brother had been doing CrossFit for a couple years at that point and suggested I give it a try. I was approaching 40 and decided that it was a good time to make a move and try something different.

2. How has your performance changed since you started at Salus?

Liz: Since I became a mom (almost 10 years ago…Yikes!!) I struggled with carving time out for my workouts. I would start running or doing yoga but I just couldn’t stay focused or committed. I also wasn’t getting the results I used to get when I was in my 20s and my 30s. Furthermore, I was diagnosed with autoimmune arthritis and practiced denial and self-pity for way too long. I allowed fear of injury and fear of the unknown to take over and stop me from trying a new approach.

Since I joined Salus last August, I have more energy and stamina to get through each day.

My stiffness and aches are so much better now that I am building muscle to support my joints. I’m seeing muscles forming in places I didn’t know possible! I lost 2 inches in my waist and have officially been bitten by the CrossFit bug! I look so forward to every opportunity to grow, learn, and get stronger!

Jon: I see huge differences in my endurance. We’re big skiers in my family and try to get out West a couple times a year. I’ve been asthmatic my whole life so altitude tends to be all the more difficult for me the first couple days. Since starting CrossFit, I have zero issues getting on the mountain the first day and feel great the next day! No “first day out” soreness and no issue shredding the gnar on the first run :).

3. Are there exercises you can do now that you couldn’t do before?

Liz: OMG let me count the ways… Push-ups, Pull-ups, planks, bird-dogs, squats, hand stands on the wall! Not to mention all of the weightlifting moves. EVERYTHING was a struggle for me before! But now, little by little, I keep plugging away and getting stronger.

The moves become easier and I’m literally fueled by my own progress. Inspired by the amazing and encouraging humans all around me. It’s almost magical…

Someday I will do a pull up without a band!

Jon: I don’t think I’d ever attempted a snatch before I started CrossFit. It was intimidating at first and I was definitely cherry picking (I know, not cool) to avoid them for a while. At this point, I’m totally comfortable even though my technique still needs work.

4. How has your body physically changed since you started?

Liz: I am gaining definition all over. My thighs and arms are more defined. I’ve lost 2 inches in my waist and have swapped fat for muscle in several areas.

Jon: I definitely had a bunch of belts that needed a new hole! There were changes in my body composition across the board. I’ve never been overweight, per se, but I definitely dropped a few pounds and exchanged some fat for muscle.

5. How has Salus changed you in other ways?

Liz: Since I began at Salus, I have definitely been sleeping better. I don’t toss & turn as much or wake up as often throughout the night. I do find I have improved stamina for stressful situations thanks to improved energy and regular exercise.

I also did 3 months of nutrition coaching with Angela. That experience really illuminated some needed adjustments to my diet and daily habits. I continue to hydrate regularly and look for additional ways to boost my protein intake for muscle maintenance and satiety.

Jon: I find that I am way more productive on days where I can get to Salus in the morning.

My energy level is higher and it’s a great mental boost knowing that I already did something good for my health before my day really gets going.

If I can’t make it in the morning, an evening workout also serves as a great outlet for a day’s worth of stress.

Liz Jon Athlete of the Month

6. How do you describe Salus to your friends?

Liz: I tell people what an amazing community you have created here. Everyone is super supportive and encouraging of each other! You have a middle-aged mom with arthritis working along side elite athletes and somehow we all belong. That’s something really special.

The competition is within and everyone encourages each other to reach new heights regardless of where they started from.

Jon: I remember talking to Liz about it before she joined to try to allay the typical concerns. In no particular order: I’ll be the worst person there, I don’t know how to do any of these lifts, isn’t it just a bunch of freak athletes. She beats me at most WODs at this point by the way.

My description of Salus is it’s an awesome group of people that are really just trying to be the best versions of themselves. Everyone is exhausted at the end whether you modified the hell out of a workout or Rx’d it.

7. What keeps you motivated to continue? What’s your “why”?

Liz: At this point in my life, this is the exact type of exercise my body needs. I listen to my body and I want to support it for the long-term so I can keep up with my grand-kids when they show up someday! My “why” is to get strong so I can stay strong!

Jon: I want to be as active as I can for as long as I can. As I mentioned, skiing is my thing so I need to stay strong and fit so I can ski moguls when I’m 80!

8. Favorite lift or WOD?

Liz: The bear complex is my favorite!

Jon: I prefer any WOD that includes cleans. I also seem to enjoy overhead squats now which I absolutely hated when I first started.

9. What advice would you give to a newbie just joining Salus?

Liz: I still consider myself a newbie but I would say to take it at your own pace …the timeline is your own so enjoy it and celebrate every step!

Jon: Nobody’s judging so just do what you need to do to get started and keep moving forward. We have everything from Olympians to middle-aged Excel jockeys (me) and everything in between so everyone can do this and get better.

10. What is your next goal to accomplish?

Liz: I want to figure out what my actual max deadlift is. Now that I feel comfortable in the movement, I’m ready to find out and I know I can do more! My older brothers used to bench & overhead press me when I was little so I would like to get to the point where I could (in theory) deadlift one of THEM! 😉

Jon: I need to stop avoiding double-unders (ha!). My goal for the Summer is to give it a real push.

11. If you could design your own WOD, what would it look like?

Liz: (my “pumps me up” playlist playing) 3 rounds for time: 400m run, 30 situps, 20 pull-ups, 10 front squats

Jon: 21, 15, 9 of Handstand Push-ups, Power Clean, and Pull-ups.

12. Favorite thing to do for fun?

Liz: Listen to live music- really missing it since COVID. And ski, of course!

Jon: Obviously ski, especially with the family now that we can all get out together. It’s also great when the kids are in ski school and we’re not!

13. Favorite healthy dish….and favorite “splurge” meal?

Liz: My absolute favorite is the kimchi bowl at Seed to Sprout. My favorite splurge meal is a cheeseburger :/ every now & then I just need one!

Jon: Probably sushi. Tuna, Salmon, anything caught locally like Fluke in the summer. It’s very easy to make it not healthy as well but I try to stay strong. Splurge meal is definitely a massive steak with big fries, sautéed spinach, etc.

14. If you could be a superhero who would you be and why?

Liz: Batman. I mean- he’s the baddest bad-ass there is.

Jon: Yoda. It would be nice to know that all the advice I give to my family and friends is backed by 900 years of experience. Unfortunately, they have to settle for 42.

15. Favorite motivational quote?

Liz: “If you only do what you can do- you will never be better than what you are” – Master I

Jon: “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.” This is especially important to remember when helping your parents with technology issues.

16. Interesting fact not many people know about you.

Liz: I have four older brothers.

Jon: I’m a Star Wars nerd (see superhero) which I seem to have passed on to my kids.