Featured Athlete – Shannon Derharoutian (UPDATE)
My name is Shannon Derharoutian. I was born and raised in Beaumont. I have a wonderful husband and a beautiful daughter, Hannah who I don’t know how I ever lived without! I am a Hospice nurse and love it.
I’ve always been in and out of the gym. The gym was just so boring to me, doing the same thing over and over. When you go, you’re always on a machine or treadmill next to someone you don’t know, no one to encourage you and push you to give it your all. Sometimes I would be there for almost 2 hours and see no results. As a wife and mother, I don’t have time to spend hours in a gym, whereas CrossFit – you’re done in an hour or less and have accomplished 3 times what you would have at the gym. Needless to say, I was never consistent.
My friend Annie moved to Austin and she started going to CrossFit Central. She was always talking about how awesome it was, how much stronger she was getting, and how much her body had changed. At the time, we were planning on moving to Houston. My husband started working over there, but I was still here searching for a job. I took a week off from work and went to stay with him to try and find one. During that week, I went to Atomic CrossFit in Sugar Land to see what all the fuss was about. Grace had me do part of the WOD for that day. It was the toughest workout of my life, but I liked the challenge. This was the ONLY reason I was excited about moving to Houston. I never found a job I wanted, so he ended up back at his job in Beaumont. In December, Katie had posted on Facebook that she was going to CrossFit. That was the first I had heard of it. I immediately checked into it, but the gym wasn’t open yet. I was SO excited! I had started the Paleo diet the week before I started CrossFit. I went the 2nd day it was open. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to handle it – until my 3rd time. I saw a tiny difference in my legs after only 3 days of CrossFit! That’s when my addiction started. I started seeing more and more changes. I was getting stronger and faster. I was able to run longer distances without stopping. Then people started noticing differences – even more motivation. My husband and his friends call me “The CrossFit Nazi” because I’m always trying to get someone to go with me and because I’m so persistent about it. I just want everyone to be as happy as I am!
I used to think I had back problems and that we needed a new mattress because every morning I would wake up, my back would be killing me. About a month into CrossFit, I realized my back had not bothered me since I had started. I couldn’t believe it. I have more energy now, I feel better, I look better, and according to my scale I have lost 16 pounds and dropped 10% body fat. In just 2 months, I have noticed muscle definition in my arms, abs, and legs. Overall, I am the happiest I have ever been!
I am infinitely grateful to be a part of CrossFit Beaumont. Neal is an awesome coach, an all-around great person and is so encouraging. The people there are like a big family. We rely on each other and push each other, and of course compete with each others’ scores and times. I’ve pushed my body and mind beyond limits that I thought were not possible (for me). I look forward to going every day and on the days I have to work, I’m a little sad I can’t be there. CrossFit Beaumont has changed my life!!
UPDATEShannon’s previous story was two months after she started CrossFit. Now she has now been with CFB for over year. Here’s her update.
I’ve been doing CrossFit for a little over a year now and
have seen some amazing results. When I first started, I could barely run 400 meters, but after a few months I was able to run a mile without stopping. I’ve lost a total of 40 pounds but I try not to pay much attention to the scale because even if I’m not losing weight, I know I’m gaining muscle. Everyday I see more and more muscle definition in my arms, legs, abs, and back. I can now do unassisted pull-ups and push-ups from my toes. I am finally able to do double unders. I used to hate to jump rope, but now I’m glad to see them in a workout. I’m starting to do more workouts as prescribed. I’ve always compared my times to Neal’s and at first they would always be double his, but recently they’re maybe 2 or 3 minutes more (depending on how long the workout is). I’ve also competed in some local competitions and have ranked about average.
Not only do I see improvements in the gym, but I see them in my everyday life. To give a couple examples, I have more energy to keep up with my 2 year old daughter and my job requires transferring patients, so I can usually do it by myself, to the families’ surprise. Overall, I’m healthier and happier.
Over a year later, I am still just as crazy about CrossFit as I was in the beginning. I have made some great friends through CFB. I recently got my CrossFit Level 1 Certification and plan on starting a bootcamp and maybe even coaching. I’ve learned how to lead a healthy life, something I will pass on to my daughter. I’ve come a long way, yet still have a long way to go. My major goals for this year are to get handstand push-ups, muscle-ups (hopefully be one of the first girls ;), and of course to become a better, all-around athlete. I hope to lead by example and get a chance to change people’s lives just as Neal did by bringing CrossFit to Beaumont. It’s been hard work, I won’t lie but the rewards and results make it all worth it.
It never gets easier, I just suck less!