February Member Spotlight: Terry McGuirk

Introducing our new Member Spotlight!  My goal is to profile/spotlight one member every month.  I often realize how the morning people don’t always know the afternoon people and vice-versa.  This will be a great way for everyone to get to know the members of the tremendous community/family that is CrossFit Sandpoint.

Though she was a bit reluctant, the only way to kick this off would be to profile Terry McGuirk.  Her story is nothing short of incredible, and she brings a tremendous amount of vim and vigor to each and every class that she attends.  If there is someone who best exemplifies the family environment that has been formed here, it is Terry.  

She’s been here for almost two years and you wouldn’t know it now, but she was a physical mess when she started (and I only say that because of how dramatically she has progressed).  I’ll never, ever forget her first class.  I have always said that CrossFit can be for anyone, but I remember thinking, “maybe you’d be a little better off starting with something a little less intense, and coming back in a few months”.  She couldn’t squat more than a few inches (literally, and she corroborates that fact in her answers below), and I think we modified her workout to about 1/4 of what the rest of the class was doing, and I was still pretty worried about her.  Despite her troubles on the first day, she kept a great attitude and I remember laughing a lot (with her, not at her).  I didn’t know it at the time, but she had just been cleared to walk without a cane.  She survived the workout and I remember talking to her in the hallway on her way out the door and thinking that I probably wouldn’t see her in here again for a long time.

Sure enough, she came back, again and again.  Now she never misses a day.  She has made incredible progress, doing things that I don’t think that she or I would have never, ever imagined possible if you had asked us two years ago.  I’m always thrilled when she walks in the door, and I couldn’t be happier that she survived that first day!  She is the model for what is possible if you just keep showing up, putting in the work and only cursing at us/yourself through a clenched smile. 

Now, I’ll turn it over to Terry, who has been kind enough to answer some questions and fill out a profile.  If you’ve been here for any length of time, I’m sure you already know who she is, but heres a chance to get to know her even better.

1.  Hometown: a farm kid from Bel Air, Maryland

2.  Age: 59

3.  Occupation: LPOSD

4.  Favorite thing about Sandpoint? The people- their willingness to “live and let live” across a wide range of educational and political and socioeconomic experiences.

5.  Least favorite thing about Sandpoint? The long stretches of gray weather.

6.  What is your sports/fitness background? From a very active background at a young age, until I was crippled by two autoimmune/rheumotologic diseases 4years ago.

7.  When did you start at CrossFit Sandpoint? Started at CF Sandpoint a little over a year and a half ago, after finally being able to walk without a cane.

8.  How would you describe your first class? OH.MY.GOD. I wish Kenny had filmed me(!): my sguat was barely a budge off vertical; they barely made bands that could help me make two pull-ups; the list goes on! It was so bad, it was actually funny.

9.  How would you describe your first month? Painful. Rewarding. 

10.  What changes have you seen since starting here? Pretty life-changing, and this time I will leave behind my humor: I was going through some pretty serious drug therapy, and now off it all; increased everything: strength, mobility, balance (diseases aside, all things I hope will help out WHEN I start aging!); and, best of all, I have gained an amazingly supportive community/family.

11.  Favorite movement/lift? Snatch

12.  Least favorite movement/lift? Most frustrating, therefore least favorite (for now): double-effing-unders.

13.  What are your goals moving forward? Get better at everything.

14.  Any advice for those just getting started or looking to try CrossFit? Persist. And laugh at yourself- ALOT.