Rob and Celia Nolan

1. Tell us a little about yourself?

Celia: I love to create and figure out how to do things! I’m 43 and from Cohasset, a piano teacher, and previously was a technical writer and professional ballroom dancer. I have two wonderful, funny kids, a 5-year-old girl and 3-year-old boy, and knit, weave, spin (yes, yarn), and read in my “spare” time.

Rob: I am 44, born and raised in Milford, MA, same kids as Celia (see above) :). We live in Hull.  I’m an IT Infrastructure Architect for NRG Energy focusing on database technologies.  In my spare time, when there is some, I like to tinker with things in the basement or do some woodworking and make some precision firewood.

2. Tell us your CrossFit story (where were you before RCFBC and where are you now?)

Celia: Growing up, I was always active and fit – dancing, skiing, playing tennis. That continued into my 30’s as I was a top competitive dancer (U. S. champion). Then in trying to have children, and home caring for them, all that stopped. Carrying them around and housework were all the exercise I got – and by the end of the day I was tired and just wanted to sit! Lots of sitting around and not eating well – with the predictable results. I saw how Rob felt (and looked!) so much better after starting CrossFit, but thought it would be too demanding for me, on top of already feeling overwhelmed. But then he told me about MomRamp, and it was exactly what I’d said I’d need to feel comfortable trying it out. And now I go whenever I can!

Rob: I was never an athlete or even very active and I’ll be the first to admit I’ve never been fit, at least after the age of 18.  I’ve tried joining a few gyms throughout my late 20’s and into my 30’s in an attempt to make myself look better.  After a couple days I ended up dreading going to “workout”, I found it very boring and I have no drive to do it and after a couple months I would see zero results.  So then I ended up paying for a gym membership that I was not using for months.  I always thought exercise just wasn’t for me.  Enter the 40’s … I noticed things changing with my body and mind and not for the better, I was gaining weight and just feeling awful.  I knew I needed to do something besides sitting on the couch and eating a pint of Ben and Jerry’s.  This went on for a couple of years then one day Celia mentioned how great Elena Monarch looked (Celia teaches Olivia and Cici piano) and that she was doing this thing called CrossFit that Mike also does.  CrossFit?  What the heck is that!  I didn’t think anymore about it for a couple weeks then looked it up on the internet … very interesting, I wondered if I could do that?  I signed up for On-Ramp a few days later and found it to be pretty fun.  It wasn’t an easy adjustment to go from a sedentary lifestyle to “I do CrossFit” let me tell you.  During my first two weeks of real classes I found myself totally gassed after the warmup and started to have some doubts and questions as to whether or not this was for me physically but at the same time I found it to be very interesting and fun.  After about three three weeks I found that my cardio was improving. I had also started a Paleo eating lifestyle day one and the pounds were dropping off me.  After seeing immediate results I was addicted to CrossFit.  After about three months I was taking a shower one day and I noticed these strange bumps on my arms and realized it was muscle! … holy crap batman, I was getting into shape?!!!!  I lost 40 pounds and 6 inches from my waist in the first 6 months which was double what I thought was even possible for me and I feel fantastic, CrossFit has truly become my happy pill and has changed my life in so many positive ways!

3. What does being part of RCFBC community mean to you?

Celia: It means I’m part of a group of people who give their all, set a high bar, and appreciate their and others’ efforts, regardless of the result. And it means that I’m investing in myself again, which doesn’t take away from my children – the opposite! They know I have my own activities, and I have more energy for them.

Rob: I honestly didn’t give the community part of CrossFit too much thought in the beginning but you can’t help but become a part of it.  It’s really a great group of people and it all starts with the coaches.  Everyone is very friendly and supportive.  Community becomes really important before starting that difficult WOD, knowing you’re all in it together like a group of soldiers going into battle, you’re all feeling the same pain and trying to keep pace with each other, it gives you the drive to complete the WOD.  Since Celia has joined and our 5 year old daughter is showing a lot of interest as well as our 3 year old boy I see the community aspect becoming more and more important to me … maybe Celia and I can actually do the same WOD together soon!! 🙂

4. What accomplishments are you most proud of?

Celia: Each time I go, I’m proud of myself for choosing to improve myself, and going outside my comfort zone. I went from being scared of lifting barbells, to loving having one over my head!

Rob: Outside of consistently showing up to class 4 days a week … reaching and surpassing all of my original goals I set in the beginning of being fit, feeling great and losing the weight is what I am most proud of.  Also, outside of weight, I am scaling less and less (24” Box Jumps / Rope Climbs / Reps / GHD Sit-ups etc .. ).

5. What are your challenges and goals going forward?

Celia: The big challenge is not choosing to put myself last and then running out of time. My goal is to do a proper handstand push-up, which I could never do even when I was doing gymnastics or dancing.

Rob: There are too many to list!  My biggest goal moving forward is to become a stronger version of myself specifically my core and upper body.  Also working on my deadlift form, my mobility and flexibility.  While I am proud of the number on the scale I’d like to see it go up as I gain muscle. (I’d like to have some guns to show off when the sun comes out next summer.  BOOM!)

6. What is your most favorite thing about RCFBC?

Celia: I can’t choose just one! The people, because even though you have to be driven, the atmosphere is friendly, not destructively competitive – and that great tone is set from the top. That kids are welcome too, so that our whole family can grow with it. The wide variation in equipment and workouts, so that I don’t get bored. And the technique instruction, so that I can get better and avoid injury. Love knowing how to do things, but I never thought it would be Olympic weight-lifting! Thanks RCFBC for continuing to make life an adventure!

Rob: The coaching staff!  All of the coaches care about you personally and your progress on meeting your goals.  They give great feedback correcting form or giving you that extra push to finish that tough WOD.  They make the warmups interesting and fun and keep you engaged.  They are at the core of what RCFBC is … hey .. they are the abs of RCFBC!!

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