- Tom during Sunday’s WOD
In the midst of all the positivity going around after finishing the 2014 CrossFit Open last weekend, we do have some bad news to deliver (if you weren’t here for their farewell WOD Sunday). Tom and Lizzie will be leaving us as they move back to Norwalk. But, we were lucky to meet these two great people in the first place. Do yourself a favor and take a few minutes to read their story below, as we chose them to be our Member Spotlight for April. Tom and Lizzie, we will miss you and the positive attitude you brought to the box every single day. We know that we met because of a disaster of a situation, but we are glad we were able to help you through your tough time. We wish you nothing but luck with your move and hope you find another box to call home soon. Be sure to keep us posted with everything and we hope to see you soon!!!!!
Names: Tom and Lizzie Wemyss
Where are you originally from?
Tom: I’m a Floridian through and through.
Lizzie: always called Brookfield, CT home base but lived in California, Australia, Maine, and Martha’s Vineyard during various parts of my life.
What high school and/or college did you attend?
Tom: University of Florida. Go Gators!
Lizzie: U-C-O-N-N, UConn, UConn, UCONN!
Lizzie with one of her favorites.....a back squat
How did you end up at CrossFit 203?:
Well, this is quite the story. What many of you might not know is that Tom and I lost our home in Norwalk to Hurricane Sandy ten days after we got married. What a wedding present!
As we were evacuated from our little cottage the day before the hurricane was expected to arrive, we knew that when we returned, our life as we knew it would be different. We were right. We returned four days later to complete destruction; furniture on front lawns, fronts of houses ripped off, porches in the middle of our playground, mud, dirt, and debris everywhere. We were somewhat lucky that we got only four feet of water in our home, but it was uninhabitable. After doing some damage control in Norwalk and realizing that there was nothing else we could do, we moved in with my parents in Brookfield.
We went from the happiest time in our life to the biggest reality check ever. Tom was his ever-optimistic and positive self, but I took this whole situation really hard. Change isn’t really my “thing.” We got served up a whole bunch of change at once. It was like I lost who I was when we lost our house and had to move back in with my parents. In Norwalk, I was this independent, confident, fit athlete who did triathlons, century cycling races, I surfed, I ran, I did boot camp. When we moved to Brookfield, I got into this huge, sad slump. I stopped working out, I ate bad, I gained 25 pounds, and I lost most, if not all, of my confidence and became this big ball of anxiety.
Tom joined CrossFit 203 in February of 2013 and raved for months about the WODs, the community, and the box. Tom asked me to go many, many times. I said “No way. Those guys are animals. I can’t do that.” He would read me excerpts from the 203 blog, especially ones about starting CrossFit. I still refused. It was totally stuck in my head that CrossFit was something that I just could not do. One day, he came home and described what he saw on a blog, “A couple that CrossFits together, stays together.” He begged me again to go. I begrudgingly went the next Saturday morning.
I was beyond nervous when I got there, like a turn around and run kind of nervous. Coach Michelle walked me through the whole thing with a big, friendly smile. After that, even though I couldn’t really walk because I was so sore, I knew I had to keep coming back. It just felt too good.
Over the last 8 months, CrossFit has helped me find myself again. It has quietly, slowly, and in a really healthy way helped me build my confidence, get stronger, walk taller, and get back to the athlete I once was. I still have a ways to go, but I know I am on the right track. CrossFit 203 was the community that I needed to pull myself out of my rut and piece myself back together. Each smile, each high-five or fist pound, each hug or cheer of encouragement was like a little building block getting put back into place. Words cannot describe my gratitude and love for this box and the people who fill it. I am so happy I didn’t turn and run on my first day.
Tom would like to add that he ended up at CrossFit 203 because he found it on the internet.
What do you do for work?
Tom: owner of Purepoint Energy. I help people and businesses reduce their energy costs while saving the planet with solar panels.
Lizzie: 2nd grade teacher in Easton, CT.
What was your first workout, and what did you think after finishing?
Tom: It had overhead squats. I remember Melissa telling me to scale down both reps and weights and at the end of the workout, I was happy I listened to her.
Lizzie: Some kind of AMRAP with cleans, front squats, and sumo deadlifts. I thought to myself, “Good God, what did I get myself into?” and “When can I come again?”
Greatest CrossFit Achievement so far:
Tom: handstand push-ups
Lizzie: Paleo challenge winner! Getting my first toes-to-bar. Now, I just need to get more than 1!
CrossFit Goal for 2014:
Tom: muscle ups and be able to walk on my hands
Lizzie: Get double unders down and string toes-to-bar together.
One interesting thing about yourself not related to CrossFit:
Tom: I was once bitten by a shark while surfing and have a scar to prove it.
Lizzie: Before becoming a teacher, I spent my summers as deckhand and a 2nd-mate on two 90-foot traditional wooden sailboats based in Maine and Martha’s Vineyard. I would do all sorts of things like cook bread from scratch in a wood-burning stove, climb the rigging, hang out 90-feet in the air under sail, host lobster bakes, and teach kids how to sail.
Complete the sentence, “CrossFit should….”
Tom: Continue to push fitness innovation.
Lizzie: Be included as a part of every child’s life. Imagine how great it would be to foster such confidence, strength, sense of community, and positivity in at such a young age!
If I’m not at the box, you can probably find me….:
Tom: Adventuring with Lizzie, surfing, hanging with our dog, Finnegan.
Lizzie: Adventuring with Tom, surfing, hanging with our dog, Finnegan.
CrossFit 203 has meant more to us than you will ever know. We appreciate the great community that Melissa and Kirk have fostered. Thank you! We love you, will miss you, and can’t wait to WOD with you again!
Big Sunday crowd for the good-bye WOD
Papa John working on some OHS's