Featured Athlete: Shawn Blackwell
It seems that I have always had a job, at least for the last 21.5 years, that has been physically demanding. I swore into the Army in late 1996 and spent the better part of 4 years in 3rd Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment where the physical training was strenuous, to say the least. Upon exiting the service, I joined the local police academy and have been working as a police officer since late 2001. I have always followed an exercise program, but a few years back I noticed that the normal routine of going to the gym to lift weights, and possibly doing some cardio on the treadmill 3 times a week, was not as effective as it once was. Around the middle portion of 2013, myself and a handful of other officers in the county got with our bosses and were able to convince them to send us to SWAT school. When we returned we formed a small team that now consists of officers from Silsbee PD, Lumberton PD, and the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office. It was during the infancy of this team that Stephanie Hardy and Grant Belvin came to one of our training days and pitched the whole Crossfit thing to us. It was not an immediate sale, but I was very interested. As time passed, Natalie and I went to a Lumberton Early Childhood benefit auction, if my memory serves me correct, and we bid on one of the baskets. Well, we won the bid and inside the basket was a gift certificate to Crossfit Lumberton. I started at CFL and really enjoyed the experience. I began to get faster and stronger. The coaches were genuine and seemed to enjoy what they did. All of the coaches are really good at what they do, and I mean that, but I’m mainly a “morning guy” and feel the need to give Coach Katie some glory. Unless there has been something out of her control she has always been there with motivation, pointers, and an ever-watchful eye to prevent injury.
Time rocked on and I played a benefit golf tournament in Beaumont that benefited the Garth House. There was a silent auction, and one of the items for auction was 3 months of Crossfit at CFL. Needless to say, I bid on the 3 months to CFL, won the bid, and gave the 3 month gift certificate to my wife, Natalie. Natalie was, like me, hesitant at first. She has always been in good shape and also works in a physically demanding job. She is constantly having to lift people and work with people in the Therapy industry. She cheered through her jr high and high school days for Lumberton and played soccer from childhood through much of her adult life. She has always been active in some type of gym environment. Natalie and I met at Lumberton Fitness in 2005 and since our meeting, our relationship has always involved some type of “gym time.” Natalie, although she has always been active, is in my opinion, naturally fit. She is the girl that had “abs” less than 6 months after child birth. She was always going to lift, or teach kickboxing or spin, or going on some crazy long run. Crossfit seemed to be natural to her. Although she did, and still does, underestimate herself, she seemed to fit right in to the Crossfit action. Natalie loves competition and loves working out so it is a win-win. It is very rare that she is not on Wodify liking someone’s performance or liking a post in CFL Members.
Natalie and I really enjoy our time with Crossfit Lumberton. The coaches and members are top notch people. The Christian and family oriented environment is also a unique experience when regarding the fitness industry. Sean and Stephanie, y’all have a good thing going with Crossfit Lumberton, and Natalie and I could not be more proud to be a part of the CFL family.