Leslie Wingo is partner, Senior Vice President and Group Account Director at SandersWingo, a leading national advertising agency in African American, Urban and Hispanic markets. She also happens to be a CrossFit Central CrossFitter. Since joining Central’s community over 1 1/2 years ago she has inspired 5 others who work at her agency to take on CrossFit. Each person has seen great results in their personal lives. But for these creative minds, their bond through fitness transpires into the work place. They hold each other accountable, take on events and races together, and even have Paleo food for lunch meetings! Sanders Wingo employees over 120 people, has an office in El Paso and works with well respected clients. The atmosphere buzzes with creativity, teamwork and cohesiveness. These are a few of their stories
Leslie’s first experience with CrossFit Central was through a free community workout, “I was totally hooked. After we finished the workout, I told Carey “I am in! Where do I sign up?’ I think I was enrolled in classes about 2-weeks later.”Since that time Leslie has inspired a group of her team members to take on CrossFit and join the community.
Leslie: There is definitely a difference between being apart of and joining the CrossFit Central community. When I started CrossFit, I was not completely engaged with the community. I would workout, however, my food and nutrition were awful. Mentally, I had to switch my relationship with food to achieve my fitness goals. I wasn’t sure how do make the switch and I went to a nutrition meeting.
Toward the end of 2009 I went one of Carey Kepler’s goal setting meetings. From there everything seemed to fall into place for me. Her seminar was about holistic goals – life, family, spiritual goals and CrossFit. In the beginning, I thought setting goals was a little hokey, but I was wrong. In the past I had never set realistic short or long term goals. As such, I had no real way to measure my failures or achievements.
From a CrossFit perspective, there were things I never thought I could do – handstands, double unders, 16kb swings – and now I am able to do them and set new goals. From a work perspective, I was prioritizing my goals; both short and long term. Everything I set out to do from that fall goal setting meeting has been completed or adjusted to make the my goal more realistic.
CrossFit has also helped me re-think a problem or challenge. Instead of my inside voice saying ‘I can’t’ or ‘maybe I will only do’, I now think how to strategically finish something with success. And, if I am not sure how to do something or how to make things work, I ask questions or ask for help. Almost like modifying a movement during a workout. Sometimes finishing means adapting to what you have and adjustments to make things work for me.
The one thing I love about CrossFit is that you cannot be best at every movement or workout. However, with work, dedication, commitment and measurable goals, success will happen. This can be seen in my personal life and at work.
Amy: Before CrossFit Central I felt sluggish and had zero energy. I wanted to start working out – for the first time in my life – and it looked like a fun group environment. Since joining CrossFit Central I have been challenged to do things I would never consider possible. I still can’t believe some of the things I have been able to do! I have toned and lost inches all over. The biggest thing for me is challenging myself every time I go to workout. It is never just doing the bare minimum. Pushing myself and ultimately accomplishing a task I never thought possible has given me more confidence in my everyday life and relationships.
Annie: I used to think that being healthy and fit meant that I had to maintain a certain pants size, body percentage and how I appeared physically. I ate relatively well so my main focus for any/all workouts was how many calories I could burn in one session. I was not concerned with strength, but more on the image I projected to others. Mentally, I was your average female struggling with body image issues, always looking to drop 5 more lbs and fix this ‘one spot’.
I stepped into Crystal McReynolds 7pm class as a newbie, bright-eyed, nervous and not having any idea how this class, it’s people and community would change my life forever. In one short year, I have watched my body, mindset and willpower change. It is something that I owe Crossfit and more so, Central. They have given me the tools to increase my strength, endurance and flexibility—-things that I thought were ‘decent’ as a gym rat. In this same year, I have discovered a group of people that are amazing, inspiring and ultra supportive. They have given me hope, love and anything I need to throw 100 lb. over my head. I am so lucky to have these people touch my life everyday.
Since joining the CrossFit Central Community, I have done a complete 180. I am no longer looking at weight, numbers or physical appearance. The determination I have is now powered by my ability to lift heavier, run faster and complete workouts to the best of my ability. In every workout, whether it’s a 21-15-9 rep scheme or an AMRAP, there is a point that you want to quit, where your mind takes over and whispers to you, I can’t. But you shout at the voice and you work through the WOD. As with life, there are negative moments and in the past I chose to only focus on these. I became engulfed with all the “I can’ts” that my self esteem was shot and my family and friends got the bitter end of that. Today, I am a totally different person. I am a disciple of Crossfit and my daily workouts are now my reminders that life is about staying afloat in the midst of chaos, struggles and loss.
Sometimes I won’t finish a workout or it takes me longer than I wanted but it’s not a failure and in life, it shouldn’t be one either. Failure doesn’t mean it’s the end, it’s proof that success exists. I complete WODs, contribute to my career and work on my relationships with family and friends in order to learn and continue to make it better, faster, stronger.
@ the photo shoot