Recently, I got really lucky during my winter in Daytona Beach Shores. I happened to meet up with Heather and Ben Bergeron who are really well known in the CrossFit world! They own CrossFit New England in Natick, MA, which is probably one of more well-known CrossFit gyms in the US, according to Self Magazine.
Their gym is also the home gym to Katrín Tanja Davíðsdóttir, an Icelandic CrossFit athlete best known for her astonishing achievements in the National and World CrossFit Games – leading to her being called the “Fittest Woman on Earth” after her 2016 victories.
Of course, Heather told me none of this; nor did she tell me that she appeared in the CrossFit Games 2010 Adidas Commercial (doing insane handstand pushups, muscle ups on rings, walking on her hands, etc) along with Chris Spealler, another well-known CrossFit athlete and ambassador for the movement.
Neither did Heather tell me that she can deadlift over 300 pounds, clean & jerk 190 pounds, or a whole bunch of other stuff that I learned only later when talking with her dad (who stays in the same place we do during the winter) and my own coach, Laura Knutson, at the CrossFit Port Orange gym where I work out (Go #CFPO!).
Nope, to me, when I met Heather and Ben on the beach, they were just some folks who were in astonishingly fabulous shape and who happened to own a CrossFit gym in Natick, MA. And, as casually as Heather was telling me to drop into their CrossFit New England gym if I was ever in the area, I was just as casually telling her about the great classes that MY gym has – including the popular Master’s Class, kids’ classes, etc.
She smilingly listened to my enthusiastic raves about what MY gym was doing.
I obviously had NO IDEA who I was REALLY talking with!
When I told my coach Laura, and Kyle (the owner of CFPO) about meeting Heather, and how I was telling her all about what CFPO was doing, I thought they were going to keel over.
“You DIDN’T say all that to Heather…” Kyle said, hopefully.
“Yeah, yeah I did…” I muttered, now thoroughly embarrassed by my utter lack of knowledge about this amazingly accomplished and well-known person.
Anyway, I did go back to see Heather on the beach the next day, after she finished an insane WOD that included more running, burpees, handstands, squats, and situps in one hour than I think have done in a month (and I can’t even do handstands yet).
I apologized for my yammering on and on about my gym, and she just laughed. Then, she agreed to answer a question for me that’s been really pressing on my mind. Explaining what my YouTube channel is about, and what types of things I’m writing about here on HealthTransformation.net, I found myself just pouring out my story to Heather. I’m in my late 50s, and I let myself go for over 20 years and am only now finally getting back to working on improving myself.
I told her that sometimes it just feels really hard. So I asked Heather what words of wisdom or advice would she have for somebody in our age group who’s wondering, “Can I get started? Can I really do this?”
What would she say?
Without missing a beat, she said, “I think the biggest challenge is just putting yourself out here kind of like what you said and just trying it because if you don’t try, you’ll never know. You’ll just continue staying stagnant and declining, likely.”
She continued, “I think the only way you can ever find out anything is if you just try it. Whether you try CrossFit, or whatever fitness plan, or diet, or change of lifestyle that might be, or even if it’s just trying to climb a rope for the first time, or trying to lift a barbell, or whatever it might be. As big or small as that might be, you have to just try it and see what might happen because the worst thing is not trying it and staying still.”
That’s good advice, and really kind of simple, isn’t it? It’s about taking one step, right?
So, I am so psyched and inspired as a result of this unlikely meeting! Who would ever have thought that I would meet someone so influential in the CrossFit world! I let her know how much she inspired me.
Check out the short conversation I had with Heather below. And believe me when I tell you that the influence she had on me and the inspiration she offered is incredible. As I say in the end of the video: “People, listen to Heather. I’m going to keep on doing it. She’s inspired and motivated me.”
I finished by thanking her, and wishing her a great rest of her vacation. I don’t know if I’ll meet Heather and Ben again or not, but it’s a meeting I shall never forget!