Athlete Spotlight: Sarah Montes

Name: Sarah Montes
Age: 31
Occupation: Letterpress Printer/Stationery Designer/Retail
Hometown: Palmdale, CA
Which class time do you usually attend? 6 or 7 pm
Favorite WOD: Anything without wall balls!
Favorite CF Movement: Heavy squats
Least Favorite CF Movement: Assault bike
3RM Back Squat: 130
1RM Deadlift: 170
Favorite Food: Cereal!
Favorite Movie: Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Favorite Athlete: No idea! I don’t watch sports
Dream Job: Vet tech
Dream Vacation Destination: Iceland
If you could have any super power… Flying!
Favorite Motivational Quote:
Shia LaBeouf’s Motivational Speech

How long have you been doing CrossFit? 
“Since September 2017.”

How did you first discover CrossFit and what made you decide to start?
“I had heard about it years ago and thought it sounded crazy! But a friend that did CrossFit explained the scaling and the welcoming atmosphere and encouraged me to give it a shot. As I approached my 31st birthday I realized I was feeling weak and sluggish and had gained weight I couldn’t seem to get rid of. I decided within a couple days of that birthday it was time to do something, why not this?”

Tell us about your fitness/sports background: 
“Aside from two years of cross country running in high school, I have been pretty sedentary most of my late teens and adult life, with some intermittent running/walking/YouTube workout videos when I felt like I needed to do something active.”

What sorts of positive changes (mental, physical, emotional) have you noticed in your life since getting involved at No Excuses? 
“Physically I have seen extreme improvement in my strength and endurance. I no longer feel tired from going up stairs, or carrying something heavy. I have more energy and more motivation to get in the gym, even on days I “don’t feel like it” because I have seen that change so clearly. Mentally, I am more motivated to get stuff done in general. Sometimes that’s so I can make it to class!”

Who or what keeps you coming back and motivated? 
“My 7pm girls! I love having a community of people that share the same interest in getting fit and enjoying class time together – there is always a ton of encouragement and uplifting talk, combined with some friendly competition that makes the class even more fun. I also keep coming back because it makes me feel good physically and I can see how beneficial it has been for me in all areas of life.”

In what other ways do you use your fitness? 
“I sell handmade goods at festivals and lifting heavy boxes and equipment has become easier when I am setting up. Picking up my 65# greyhound when she doesn’t want to get off the bed has become easier too!”

Please share with us a favorite CrossFit or No Excuses moment. 
“Participating in the Open for the first time. I did not feel prepared or ready, but getting to be a part of that so early on in my time with CrossFit was actually a very big influence on how I have looked at my time in the gym since then. It pushed me into trying the Olympic Lifting and gymnastics skills classes since I realized there were movements I was going to need work on if I wanted to progress in my fitness.”

Name one goal you would like to achieve in the next year (doesn’t have to be CrossFit related, but it can be) 
“More time in the gym (shooting for a 5 days week) and getting my nutrition under control. I have been meeting with Coach Jeremy regularly and it has helped immensely. On a personal non-CF note, moving my business forward into wholesaling my product to different boutiques around the country.”

Tell us about your hobbies and interests outside of the gym: 
Aside from my day job, I am also a letterpress printer and I have been working on my own line of stationery and greeting cards for the past few years. I have two antique cast iron printing presses (100+ years old) that I use to print my cards. I also love knitting and have just gotten into rock tumbling. Anything creative or productive I can do with my hands makes me happy!”

What advice do you have for someone just starting CrossFit or is on the fence about starting?
Just do it! I was terrified when I walked in to schedule a consultation, but the immediate welcome and encouragement from NECF staff made me feel like I was in the right place to start my fitness journey. CrossFit is an inclusive sport, and I feel like no matter your fitness level, there is a place for you to start.

What do you love most about No Excuses? 
“The community. I love walking in and having people say hi to me even if we have only done one or two classes together. Feeling like part of the team is so important, and I think that NECF staff and members are great at creating a welcoming and inclusive environment. No one should walk out of here feeling like they weren’t wanted.”

Coach Laura’s Take: 
Sarah’s transformation in about a year’s time has been very cool to watch. I remember her starting in foundations with me. It seemed like she was “all in” and ready to take on the challenges, even though she was brand new. Her openness to try new things, like the Open and specialty classes, and being so coachable has propelled her to where she is now.”