This edition of Athlete Spotlight we will get to know Rachel Maker.
Rach’s story about how she got into sport/fitness is quite a personal one. Thank you Rach for being open and sharing your story with us.
I hope that it may inspire others who may be having a hard time to see that change is possible and you have the control to choose your own path in life. You are a great inspiration to me, Jaydee and everyone around you. It has been great getting to know Rach and seeing her physical and mental progression over the past few years, and we look forward to seeing what you can achieve in the coming years. We hope you enjoy getting to know Rach.
Can you give us a bit of background about yourself, where you grew up, profession, previous training, hobbies, etc.
I was born and raised in Wonga Park Victoria. We often came up on holidays to Sunshine Beach and Noosa until I was 6 then the family decided to move to the Sunshine Coast. I am the middle child of three girls (yes middle child syndrome is real lol). I have my son, Jaydee, who is my everything.
I immersed my self in sport and school as a form of escaping from my so called ‘father’, who physically abused me most days until I was 14 when we had the courage and support to leave. I have nothing to do with him to this day. This was a bad time and I put on a lot of weight but at 16 something clicked and within 12 months I lost 38kg just changing my diet and running to my mums work everyday after school.
I was always the tom boy of the girls and played a lot sports for as long as I can remember. Tennis was one of the first when we moved up, which I played for a few years. Started playing softball in grade 4 which I continued to play through to year 12. I represented my school in numerous sport including softball, volley ball, touch, basket ball, athletics and swimming. Swimming would be my all time favourite as I love being under water and gliding though with my big flipper feet. It was a rare occasion for anyone to catch me in the pool and I loved it.
You have trained with us since March 2015, can you tell us how you heard about CrossFit and what made you change from Power lifting to CrosFit and what has kept you with us at Coastal CrossFit?
It was until my son was 2 that I decided I needed to do something to get back to post baby body. So I first sign to a regular gym and organised a personal trainer, whom some of you may know Janine, to help me get on track. After a while she saw potential and introduced me to another trainer who specialises in strength training (power lifting). I loved this training as was focused on the numbers. Within 9 months I went from squatting 80kg for the fist time to 150kg. The downside and little did I know, this trainer wasn’t focused on my well being. I was in pain. After speaking to Janine and sharing what’s been happening she agreed it wasn’t right and introduced me to Coastal CrossFit.
Could I suggest you didn’t enjoy CrossFit during the early stages? I remember when you first started and your approach was somewhat different to what it is now. Can you tell us what was your mindset and how have your progressed from there?
At first I wasn’t keen on Coastal but I soon realised that was me being naive and uneducated on correct form and movement. I may have been strong but I wasn’t functional. The thing I hated was having to go back to the start and retrain and that’s not so easy when large muscles were strong and the smaller, which are just as important were weak. I struggled mentally and physically for a few months but I was determined to continue. It didn’t take long for me to see Chris and Marie actually care about everyone in the gym and take the time to help each one of us to better ourselves. The box as a whole feels like a family where everyone supports and encourages each other. It a great environment to be apart of.
One movement in particular (Double-unders) were your nemesis for quite a while, now however it is awesome seeing you hitting workouts with huge numbers of double-unders RXD. There are many people facing the same double-under situation, what would your advice be to them?
Anything cardio was a nightmare. That was one way to show just how unfit I was. Double-unders were especially hated. I just couldn’t get the movement. Just continuing to come on training days when they were included helped me get there…eventually. I still have a long way to go but am proud of where I’m at. Best piece of advice is listen to everyone’s ideas and try them all. What works for one may not work for another.
Your passionate about your job in child care and are currently working full time and studying at uni whilst also being a Mum. Working in child care I am sure you are witness to many positive and negative behaviors of children. Can you tell us what you think is the most important thing as a parent that we can be doing to assist our children in becoming all they can be?
After working three jobs to supports my son and I, I went back to study and gained my diploma in early childhood education and care. I was lucky enough to gain full time employment from my first job application and currently work there as a Group Leader. I love my job which made the choice to return to Uni that much easier. I’m studying to become a Early Childhood Teacher and over half way through my degree. Marie has asked what I think the most important thing as a parent that we can do to assist our children in becoming all they can be… I have witnessed many types of parenting including my own and there is no right or wrong. One thing I have taken though is parents don’t need to be afraid to say no and set boundaries and stick to your decision don’t go back on it. I still have trouble with this myself but we continue to learn new things all the time and ways to deal with different situations. Jaydee is quite articulate so he good and working a way around me but this teaches me to pay attention more to what I say and how I say it.
What is your favourite movie?