Featured Athletes – DeLanea & Eric Bronson
We were always active and health conscience individuals. Like most in society we thought they were on the right path. The impact the CrossFit Beaumont has had on us has dramatically changed our lives.
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I’ve never considered myself an athlete. In fact, I’m your stereotypical non-athlete. You know, the “last one picked” in PE class. You’re looking at her. I’ve always been intimated by gyms. I would sit in the car in the parking lot for long periods of time giving myself pep talks before going inside. On occasion I just drove away, unable to gather enough confidence to go inside and workout.
Eric and I both have always enjoyed being outdoors and active. We love to find weekend adventures including skiing, hiking, rafting, scuba diving and running. We participated in many runs together over the past 10 years. I even ran a half marathon and 10k during my first pregnancy 5years ago. I felt great! A few weeks after our first son was born, I started trying to run again and quickly got frustrated and depressed. Many of you moms know what I’m talking about without even hearing the words -exercise induced incontinence. Embarrassed and down, I stopped working out all together. Two years later I was pregnant again, but this time feeling miserable. I wanted to be active again. I saw on Facebook how some of my old neighbors in Connecticut were changing their lives with crossfit. I’m not sure how I did it, but seven weeks after Maddox was born I walked into my first free Saturday class not knowing anyone in this area that did this. I don’t remember the entire workout, but it involved box jumps and I could barely walk at all for three days after. I completed my on ramps and my first workout was on coach Kara’s birthday, June 25, 2012.
This has been an amazing journey and I can’t wait to see where it takes me. I am stronger and can do things with my body I never thought I was capable of like pull ups and ring dips. One of my goals now is to finally get those dreaded double unders. So, I decided not too long ago to pull up my big girl panties (lined of course) and make this happen. I feel fantastic and at 38 I am in the best shape of my life. It hasn’t been easy, but it is extremely rewarding to look back at where you were and how far you’ve come. We want to continue our life of outdoor adventures, now with two boys. Thanks to CFB we are setting an example of nutrition and fitness for our family. We are looking froward to taking the boys rafting, hiking, skiing and snowboarding and thanks to crossfit we will be able to do these things WITH our boys and not watch from the sidelines. (And maybe they won’t have to scream “Hurry up Mom!” for too long at the bottom of the mountain) The supportive and encouraging community at CFB has become like family for us in southeast Texas.
After seeing the incredible changes in DeLanea, and hearing about the CrossFit community, I was ready to give Crossfit Beaumont a try during one of the free Saturday classes. Athletics dominated my life while growing up. I participated in wrestling, soccer, baseball, rugby, distance running and football over the years. Weightlifting and conditioning were always a major part of my life. From the moment Coach Neal yelled out “3, 2, 1, GO!” to start the WOD, I was hooked. The positive environment and intensity was exactly what i was looking for!
I was lucky enough to play division one college football in Kentucky. When compared with other offensive lineman i was small (only 270lbs). The college coaches put me on a weight gain eating program of several thousand calories a day. The program worked! By senior year I bulked up to over 300lbs. This was great for an offensive lineman, but terrible for any other walk of life. Old habits die hard and after my playing days were over, the intense organized workouts ended, but the eating stayed the same. At my heaviest, I tipped the scales at 322lbs. I turned to distance running to solve the weight problem. After several 10Ks, half and full marathons and thousands of miles pounding the pavement, I was still heavy.
The coaches at CrossFit Beaumont knew the answer was not due to a lack of activity rather a lack of proper diet. Under the guidance of CFB coaches, we have been following the zone diet since November of 2013. I have dropped into the 230s and significantly cut body fat.
I am stronger and doing things in the box I never thought I would be able to handle. This is especially true when one considers an old neck injury and subsequent surgery. In 2008 I had discectomy and spinal fusion of two vertebrae in my neck. The surgery and injury limited my strength and mobility to the point that when I first started CrossFit 2013 I was limited to employing dumbbells rather than a barbell. In a few months of Crossfit I was able to RX many WODs, something I never thought possible.
Realizing the power of Crossfit, I recently competed my Level 1 Coaches certification. My goal is to inspire others to make positive decisions to change and improve their lives the way CFB coaches have done for me.
We would like to thank Neal Riley, Kara Rees, Erica Trosclair, Elyse Dobrick, Allie Crommett, Toben Squires and Omair Arfeen for all of their guidance, support and encouragement throughout our time at CrossFit Beaumont. We would also like to thank all of the CrossFit Beaumont members that have welcomed and made us feel like family (especially the Lunch Crew and the Zombie Crew).