Gustavo and Kristen Gamboa, and brother-in-law Ian Karbiener, have been members at CrossFit FireBase since 2015. Over the past year each has made great strides in their general fitness through commitment and hard work. Although each has different sports and fitness backgrounds, their journey into CrossFit is similar to millions of people around the world. Here is their story.
What are your sports or fitness background? What was your fitness routine like before joining the FireBase?
Kristen: Growing up, I was a dancer and have always included some sort of exercise into my schedule. Prior to joining FireBase, I mostly focused on cardio and exercised moderately about 3 times a week.
Gustavo: I used to play baseball and soccer but my main sport growing up was volleyball. Once I graduated from college, I did not have a specific fitness routine other than recreational sports.
Ian: I played volleyball in college, so a lot of the movements and lifts were familiar to me. But after working out and playing every day for so many years I took about a three year break from structured fitness.
What prompted you to look into CrossFit and how did you end up at the FireBase?
Kristen: I wanted to get in better shape and had tried other exercise classes, but hadn’t really found anything I loved so figured I would give CrossFit a try.
Gustavo: My wife first mentioned CrossFit but was hesitant to give it a shot. Then I realized that an old friend from high school was going to the Firebase. My friend also had nothing but good things to say about Firebase so I decided to give it a try.
Ian: I had wanted to get back in shape and stay active. Kristen and Gustavo had recently joined FireBase and encouraged me to do the same. I joined in June 2015 and have been coming several times a week ever since.
What have you noticed as the biggest difference in your fitness since joining the FireBase?
Kristen: My stamina has significantly increased and I have more upper body strength than I ever have.
Gustavo: The main difference is that my overall strength has improved significantly. The vast variety and creativity of some of the workouts have made me work muscles that I didn’t even know I had and have helped to improve my overall core strength.
Ian: I definitely have a lot more upper body strength than at any other point in my life. While playing volleyball, we focused heavily on lower body conditioning and lifting so it’s nice to be better-rounded now. I’ve also enjoyed increased cardiovascular stamina which has always been an area in which I’ve struggled.
What do you enjoy most about training at the FireBase?
Kristen: I really like the variety in the workouts. Every day is different, which keeps it interesting.
Gustavo: The FireBase community is supportive and encouraging, which makes working out more enjoyable. The support and motivation of the FireBase community helps push me through even the most difficult of workouts
Ian: There are a number of things I love about FireBase. There are always people around me that are bigger, stronger, and faster, which really helps me push myself further than I normally would. The members are also very welcoming and quick to show you a new movement or help you with a lift.
What is your most favorite and least favorite movement in CrossFit?
Kristen: My favorite movement in CrossFit is the power clean and my least favorite is a tie between an overhead squat and a snatch.
Gustavo: My favorite movement is any shoulder to overhead movement. My least favorite is muscle-ups!!
Ian: My favorite CrossFit movements would probably be the back-squat or power clean; I’m pretty traditional in that regard. My least favorite movement would probably be overhead squats or hand-stand push-ups. I’m pretty terrible at both, but am working on improving in those areas!
What you say to anyone thinking about trying CrossFit, but are afraid of doing it?
Kristen: I would recommend giving it a try and sticking with it for at least 2 months. I was very intimidated by CrossFit and knew I did not have the endurance or strength to keep up in the beginning. However, after a couple of months, I significantly improved and started to enjoy the workouts. I still have a long way to go, but have improved a lot since I first started.
Gustavo: I would highly recommend giving it a try. The first visit is free! CrossFit can seem a little intimidating at first, but it helps to push you every day in a fun way… well, sometimes.
Ian: CrossFit can be very intimidating due to the complexity of the movements and the fact that many CrossFit enthusiasts are in such incredible shape. But it’s a lot of fun, you’re guaranteed to end up in the best shape of your life, and you will meet a whole new group of people who are passionate about fitness. Many CrossFit gyms are local small businesses with great groups of people who will gladly welcome you to their gyms. Give it a try!