“First, understand that you can build muscle and increase your flexibility at any age. Along with strength and agility will also be increased mental alertness and better sleep. Both of us have had the opportunity to excel at hard work throughout our lives. Whether it was physical, mental, or emotional work, we have had our share of challenges and we have learned some things about how to succeed. Just because something is hard, does not mean you can’t do it. It just may mean it may take longer than you had thought or you may have to change your approach (one, two, three or more times) before you accomplish the goal.”

Congratulations to Rocky & Norma, our latest Cypher Athlete Spotlights!

Cypher: What were you doing to stay in shape before you started Cypher?

Norma has been actively involved in martial arts for the past 28 years which allowed her to maintain her flexibility, strength and balance.  Rocky was doing mainly individual workouts to stay in shape just before joining CrossFit Cypher.  He was cycling and swimming but he did not necessarily look forward to working out alone.

Cypher: What do you do for work?

Norma runs her own real estate mortgage brokerage company, the Norma Saunders Group.  She provides families and individuals the opportunity and pride of home ownership through a network of 50 leading lenders. Rocky is a retired emergency manager and currently consults with several companies including Seismic Warning Systems, a company that delivers actionable earthquake warnings.

Cypher: How did you hear about CrossFit Cypher and CrossFit?

Our daughter, Jamie, joined a tabata CrossFit club in Sacramento and was extolling the virtues of CrossFit training.  We both remembered hearing something favorable about CrossFit, so inspired by Jaimie’s great results we decided to look into it.  We found CrossFit Cypher on the internet and went over for a visit.  To our surprise on our initial visit, we saw a neighbor of ours, Chris Yetter, in the class.   After getting an enthusiastic thumbs up from Chris, we met Mauricio and Leslie for the first time and the rest is history.

Cypher: Describe your first day participating in a CrossFit workout. Do you remember what the WOD was? What was it like, and what were your thoughts when you left the gym?

Our first workout experience was through the six session On-Ramp program which took place over the first two weeks.  At first we couldn’t even spell WOD, let alone know what is was.  Although our bodies were sore (really sore), we were feeling the success of achievement.  Our first impression of CrossFit Cypher, Mauricio, Leslie and the community of athletes was “Yessss!  This is it!”

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Cypher: What has been the most challenging part of CrossFit for you?

Both of us have experienced several challenges since joining CrossFit.  For the most part, joint and muscle flexibility issues have been a continuous challenge for both of us but this is definitely getting better.  We both have received great instruction from Mauricio, Leslie, Becky, Sarah and Bianca on stretching and flexibility in addition to maintaining good form while exercising.

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What has been the most rewarding part of CrossFit for you?

By far we enjoy working out hard every day in a community of like-minded people and enjoying the comradeship of new friends.

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Cypher: What is one of your most memorable CrossFit PRs or milestones? What did it feel like when you did it?

We both enjoyed the moment of surprise and satisfaction with our Dead-Lift PRs.  Norma never thought she could lift more than her own weight and Rocky broke into the 300 club with his.  We amazed ourselves, while at the same time we knew we could do more.

Norma 5

Cypher: What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CrossFit?

We have both seen an overall increase in physical strength, endurance, feelings of well being and mental alertness. Norma has gained strength in her legs and arms.  Rocky has also lost inches around his waist, dropped a few pounds and his knees don’t seem to hurt as much as they once did.

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Cypher: What encouragement or words of advice would you give to new people coming in?

Take the long view.  Look at your progress over a few months at a time and don’t necessarily look for immediate changes.  Stick with the program and trust your coaches.  If you need an accommodation on a particular exercise don’t hesitate to say something.  The coaches are really great about thinking up substitute routines so you can accomplish a tough but doable workout.  Even though a particular exercise may be challenging, take inspiration from the other athletes in the class.  It is challenging for them too.  Put in the time and you will get the results.

Rocky 1

Cypher: You are both such great ambassadors for the Masters population :)! What do you think it is about your background and personality that made you open and willing to try something like CrossFit?

First, understand that you can build muscle and increase your flexibility at any age. Along with strength and agility will also be increased mental alertness and better sleep.  Both of us have had the opportunity to excel at hard work throughout our lives.  Whether it was physical, mental, or emotional work, we have had our share of challenges and we have learned some things about how to succeed.  Just because something is hard, does not mean you can’t do it.  It just may mean it may take longer than you had thought or you may have to change your approach (one, two, three or more times) before you accomplish the goal.

 

Cypher: What fitness goals have you set for yourself to achieve in 2016?

In 2016, Norma wants to set new PBs for dead lifts, and back squats while improving her flexibility.  Rocky wants to get into the 400 club on dead lifts and the 300 club on back squats.  Oh yeah, both of us want to get better at burpees!

 

Cypher: What are some of your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of the gym? Any fun facts your gym-mates might not know about you?

Norma has been studying and teaching Kung Fu for 28 years.  She has also been involved in all aspects of the real estate industry including designing solar energy systems.  Rocky had a career in government including many years working at the State Capitol in Sacramento and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.  Rocky enjoys singing and he holds a private pilot’s license for airplanes and helicopters. We have two young adult children.

Rocky 3

Cypher: Spirit Animal & Super Power?

Norma’s spirit animal is the rattlesnake, fast and powerful. Rocky’s spirit animal is the elephant; strong, stable, and the true king of the jungle.

Cypher: If you could describe Cypher in five words, what would they be?

Uplifting, flexibility, empowering, community, challenging.

Cypher: Any other thoughts or shoutouts?

We would like to send out an enormous shout-out to the Cypher team of coaches as well as to the inspiring group of athletes with whom we are privileged to sweat.

Rocky and Norma 2