Athlete of the Month: Benny Gonzalez “Consistency is Key”

Back in June 2017, Benny walked through our doors feeling intimated and unsure if CrossFit was the right fit. But she got hooked…and FIT along the way! Eventually her fear turned into excitement and when she started coming consistently, her results shined!

Last year, she participated in her first CrossFit Open as a master’s athlete and finished 2050th place in her age group. This year she crushed every WOD as RX and bumped her final score to 738th place! She’s proof that consistency is key!

Benny always has a smile on her face and is there to cheer other’s on with a WOOT WOOT!

Please meet Miss December: Benny Gonzalez!

1. When and why did you start CrossFit?

I started 2 1/2 years ago. I read an article written on CrossFit and was very curious about it. I wanted to challenge my body more.

I was mid 50’s at the time and saw that my body was changing, my routine exercises were not helping anymore.

CrossFit is not just one routine over and over, it is cardio, lifting, gymnastics, stretching and more which piqued my interest.

2. How has your performance changed since you started CrossFit consistently?

I had never held a barbell before in my life, never done a hand stand, could hardly jump rope, or anything else that is usually done in a class.

My growing strength is now visible in the other activities that I do, so CrossFit truly spills into other areas of my life which is great.

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

Just about all of them, kipping pull ups, all lifting, double unders (12 is my max and I’m thrilled), rowing, assault bike, handstands, toes to bar shall I go on? I have more, but I’ll stop here. If I can just master the snatch lift…

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

I have always had love (hate) handles, I still have them but they are much less noticeable. I can wear my shirts tucked in now.

For the first time ever, I have something to flex with.

I thought that the changes in my body would only go down hill from 50 on but I can honestly say that while my body is not swim wear condition yet – I have never felt better about it.

5. How has CrossFit changed you in other ways?

I like anything that helps with my memory and focus. There are so many little things one must remember for the proper technique but no matter how many times our wonderful CrossFit coaches explain it to me, I forget.

Also, I have always had bad posture, I find that I am sitting a little more erect.

6. How do you describe CrossFit to your friends?

I tell them that CrossFit is hard, but you start with training wheels.

One is never thrown into a WOD without guidance. I started with an empty 15 lb barbell (heavy for me at the time).

Every step you take is one step closer to your goal however big or small those goals are.

It is like the hardest work out you will ever enjoy.

7. What keeps you motivated to continue?

I am a mother of 2 boys, a wife, a sister, a daughter, an aunt, friend and a lover of life. I try to stay healthy for them. I know without a doubt that if it weren’t for this particular group of coaches and fellow CrossFit Salus peeps, I would have quit.

My “why” is them and the results that occur when you do continue.

8. Favorite lift or WOD?

I like dead lifts the best but I am hoping to make all of them my favorite (do you hear that snatches and thrusters? – I’m coming for you!).

I’ve also become very fond of the endurance classes. The breath is an important component to the whole workout routine and I just feel this class helps me with that.

The weight lifting class is also a great tool for me to hone those lifting techniques.

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

So easy to answer because I remember vividly walking into my first class and thinking, “what am I doing here?” It was intimidating for sure but if you stick with it, it does get easier.

Learn at your pace and eventually, your fear turns into excitement.

Only compare yourself to yesterday’s you, you will feel amazing.

The best advice given to me was to be consistent. If you can be consistent, positive changes will take place in your body and mind.

10. What is your next goal to accomplish?

One of my wonderful coaches always has me think of a goal which is great because it is so satisfying when one is reached.

I am not sure of my next goal but my previous goal was to just to finish at least one place ahead in the CrossFit Open standings and I did do better. I would not have been able to do it without my coaches, Angela, Gino and Steven who prepared me well, my fellow CrossFitters who cheered me and each other on no matter what place we are on the white board, and some of my family members who took time out of their day to root for little old me.

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

I’m not sure of the amount but I know it would include all the things that I struggle with like pull ups, snatches, hand stand push ups, and the ASSAULT BIKE (ugh).

Oh and the deadlift, the tire and the big block that we had to jump over ( that was so much fun, but also difficult)

12. Favorite thing to do for fun?

I come from a huge crazy family and my family is everything to me so going away for a weekend and enjoying my family without a time clock is the best thing ever.

Wilson and I have never really had a common activity but with CrossFit, we can discuss the WODs, our progress, our failures, etc. What a treat to be able to do that with him, so much fun.

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

I am not a very healthy eater to be honest (gasp), I was raised on fried everything but I am learning and my new favorite food is brussel sprouts (thanks Coach Angela). My splurge meal is everything else I eat.

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

I think we are all our own superhero. If we put our minds to it, we could do just about anything as long as we do not give up.

Having said that, I am all about woman power so it would be great to be DC’s superhero, Katana for about a week, I am so certain that she would be able muscle ups without a problem.

15. Favorite motivational quote?

This is a quote I must remind myself often for I do have quitting tendencies but I am trying to change that even in my old(er) age:

“It’s a slow process but quitting doesn’t speed it up.”

16. Interesting fact not many people know about you.

My favorite sound is the sound of laughter. So I do love to look at anything that makes me laugh especially news bloopers.