AOTM – October 2014

October 2014: Strong “Little” Hailey

Hailey and a barbell…like peanut butter and jelly, it just works!

hailey aotmMeet Hailey!

Tell us about yourself (name, age, education, family, work, etc.)

My name is Hailey Simmons, I’m 21 years old and a native here in the valley. I’m a senior at JMU studying inclusive early education and will graduate next year with my master’s degree in teaching and licensure in both special and general education. Ever since I graduated from high school I have wanted to come back and coach, so this year I took a coaching position at Turner Ashby High School as the Competition Cheerleading coach!

How long have you been doing crossfit?

I started crossfit a little over a year ago. I was looking to advance my workout regimen and my mom encouraged me to sign up for Peak with her. I didn’t give it much thought and signed up but I had no idea what I had gotten myself into. Honestly, I never saw myself sticking with it this long but the atmosphere at The Rock keeps me coming back and now I struggle being able to picture a lifestyle without crossfit.

When/what was your “crossfit moment” or have you had one? (the one where you think you may actually die)

Do these moments ever go away? I can think of a lot of these moments where I thought I was going to die and they all have one thing in common…..ROWING!! One that really sticks out to me is a conditioning where we had to row 2000m but do 5 burpees at the top of every minute. Every time I’ve done this I’ve wanted to quit…. I love doing squats, but when these short legs get in a rower, I feel like I make no progress! But that’s the glory of crossfit, there are always areas of improvement to be made!

What are your favorite crossfit movements?

I love, love, love squats! I’m always looking forward to “squat days” or seeing any lower body barbell movements in a workout.

What movement makes you look at the white board and want to walk back out the door?

Ummm, rowing…. Well, any rowing over 250m!

What are your goals?

Working on skills such as pull-ups, double unders, and toes to bar are at the top of my list right now. Also, I am always working to increase my workout times, so cardio is also high on my list!

What motivates you to continue coming back?

Seeing personal growth not only in myself, but those around me. Even though crossfit is a competitive sport, it’s so supportive of others, like a family! It’s so awesome when you see someone get a pull-up or any gymnastic move for the first time that they have been working so hard to achieve… that’s motivating! It’s true, some days you might just stink it up, but the next day I always feel like I’m coming in to redeem myself, and then we have squats in the workout and it’s like the crossfit gods heard my cry!

Also, my mom and sister and I secretly compete to beat one another each day J

What’s your favorite cheat meal?

I have to confess, I’m a cheater with a major sweet tooth! My favorite would probably be Kline’s ice cream or Wal-Mart sugar cookies…. I know, that icing is just pure sugar! I love it

In your own words what is Rocktown Crossfit?

I learned the hard way that the “freshman 15” is no joke! I had tried in so many ways to revert from this but wasn’t very successful until crossfit. Before stepping into Rocktown, I had never even lifted more than 45 pounds at the gym. I never imagined I would be able to do any of these movements, let alone with weight on the bar! The first thing that stuck out to me at Rocktown (after getting over the initial shock you get the first time you see a workout go down) was the friendliness. The people at Rocktown make it what it is: a community full of love and support. The trainers here have pushed me to achieve goals I never would have dreamed of before. Their dedication to this gym is constantly shining. I look forward to coming here each day, and truly feel like a piece of my day is missing when I’m not able to make it. I’m so thankful to have found my place here at Rocktown.

A big thank you to all the trainers! Thank you, Laken for pushing me throughout Outlaw and always being patient with my form during snatches. Dana, for being a great motivator and awesome partner in my first Superfit! And Lauren for helping me in a hundred ways every time I walk into the gym J Love you guys!…even you too, Nate!

A Note from the Rocktown Staff

“Little Hailey” as Lauren likes to call her, is fitting true to that name.  Not that size is anything we ever measure here but I can tell you from the first day Hailey came through our doors the changes her body has made have been awesome.  While she may not have realized she was in it for the long haul Hailey is the perfect example of someone who dedicates themselves to becoming a good athlete and their body then takes care of itself.  What most may not realize about Hailey is her hectic schedule.  She is a full-time student at JMU, is the head cheer leading coach at Turner Ashby and she still finds time to take care of her body…I have many friends that are much older than Hailey who complain about not having time, but her ability to manage her schedule and still make time for herself shows that she is mature beyond her years.  Over the summer Lauren and Hailey became “squat buddies” during the open gym hour and while not only did Lauren enjoy the push Hailey provided, she truly enjoyed getting to spend time with her as a person as well.  While Hailey has grown into a great athlete, what really stands out is her charismatic personality for others and her family.  She is always encouraging others to do great things, and while she may secretly want to beat her mom (Kellie) or her sister (Hope) deep down she is proud they are right there beside of her.  They always come in with a smile on their face, maybe a bow in their hair, and an impeccable attitude. Congratulations Hailey, an honor earned and well deserved.

Kellie, you should be so proud of your daughter, she is truly an inspiration to young girls everywhere that lifting a barbell and pushing yourself can promote a healthy, strong, empowered person…I’m a firm believer in the idea of “leading from the front” and you are that leader for your family.  We love having you guys and so grateful you have made The Rock your home.

Also…this picture…so Hailey

hailey 2