Around the Whiteboard: Deb Walston


Certifications: Level 1 Trainer
Favorite WOD: I really don’t have one.  I like doing things I’m good at that don’t raise my heart rate too high, so give me a clean and some burpees.
Favorite Lift: Clean
Deadlift: 305
Back Squat: 3RM 260
Snatch: 145 happened one time
Clean and Jerk: 183lbs
Favorite Food: Snack – Pickles….Meal – Stirfry
Favorite Movie: Forrest Gump
Favorite Athlete: Crossfit Athletes-Julie Foucher and Rich of course….Mainstream athlete – Rudy (He’s real, right?)
Dream Job:  Opening a small market style store in a little downtown area
Dream Vacation Destination: Somewhere with water

How did you find CrossFit and what drew you to getting started?
“My first experience with CrossFit was watching the 2011 Games on ESPN. I remember seeing Julie Foucher in that terrible one-piece speedo running through the sand and then doing a million pull ups soon after. I thought if she could do it, so can I (all except the one piece speedo). CrossFit then became something I wanted to try when I was fit enough. It took about 3 years for me to finally muster up the courage and join No Excuses. Looking back, I wish I’d started back then. It isn’t about being “fit enough.” Everyone has to start sometime.”

How long have you been doing CrossFit?
“I started working out when I turned the big 3-0, but I have officially been doing crossfit for 3 years.”

How has CrossFit changed your life, lifestyle, level of fitness?
“CrossFit has shifted my aspirations from just wanting to be healthy and look a certain way to wanting to achieve performance based goals I’ve set for myself. Physically, I have changed a lot.  I am that person who weighs more than when they first started, however I wear the same size and my body composition looks completely different. Mentally, it’s given me something to do besides watching TV and looking on the Internet.  It’s given me an hour a day where I can forget about everything else going on and focus on the task at hand.”


What is your athletic background? How did you get started in those sports?
“When I was younger I participated in baseball, bowling, swimming, bass fishing, and ballet just to name a few. Eventually, I began competing in gymnastics throughout late elementary and middle school. This continued until I was a sophomore in high school. Then, I ran track in high school during my junior year. After that, there wasn’t much athletic movement until I turned 30.”

How do you feel that your background in gymnastics has helped your CrossFit?
“Gymnastics is an amazing sport that teaches you lessons that can be applicable in any aspect of life.  From the time you are young in the sport, you are working on goals that won’t come to fruition until many years later.  It teaches you that achieving milestones can’t happen overnight and takes many years to develop. It shows you that there are stepping stones to your big goals, and that’s what keeps you going, preventing disappointment and discouragement.”

“Take the muscle up for example. That will not happen overnight and shouldn’t.  In the gymnastics world, a coach would break that skill into pieces and progressions.  Additionally, there would be physical conditioning that would prepare your body for the stabilization needed on the rings.  You would not even attempt the skill until you mastered all of the progressions leading up to it and had the necessary strength.  Your first attempt without a spot would most likely be a success because of the hard work you had already done.  We all have that one skill in our mind that we want to achieve. Think like a gymnast and break it down to the foundational movements and strength needed to achieve it.  Spend a few minutes before and after class working on it. Eventually, the work will pay off. While having a gymnastics background has obviously given me a physical advantage in CrossFit, as with any sport, it’s the mental aspect that has helped me more than anything.”

Have you always known that you wanted to be involved in training and coaching others?
“Actually, no.  The thought crossed my mind from time to time, but I didn’t think I would be able to fit it in with my day job.  I also lacked the confidence needed to coach others.  I didn’t think I was an expert by any means.  It wasn’t until I got a few years under my belt that I seriously thought about it.  Then, Coach Brandon asked if I would be interested in getting my Level 1, and I thought “Me, really?”  Knowing that he thought I was capable of doing it gave me confidence to pursue it.”

“In whatever I do, I want to do it well and do right by others.  Coaching has been something that has challenged me.  I understand what a huge responsibility coaching is. Sometimes I feel like that first year teacher all over again, and I appreciate the patience of the members as I am learning.”

What do you love most about coaching others?
“I love watching the members work through something difficult and coming out triumphantly on the other side. Sometimes we don’t have a good day and really struggle through a WOD or a movement. It’s in those moments, that I am thankful to be a coach helping you along.”

Tell us about a CrossFit moment or achievement of which you are particularly proud.
“Most recently, I entered my first Olympic weightlifting meet. I’ve always done CrossFit competitions, which are mainly team, but I’ve never done anything individual, so this was a big deal to me.  I wasn’t so nervous about my numbers.  It was more about having all eyes on me as I performed highly technical lifts.  After it was all said and done, I was proud of myself for doing something outside my comfort zone and proving to myself that I am capable of something I thought I wasn’t.  I am thankful for Coach (Christopher) Crowder for pushing me to do this.  Sometimes all you need is for one person to believe in you, and then you will believe in yourself.”

What is your funniest CrossFit moment?
“This is a hard one to answer. One memory I can think of is when Dodson was doing a mid weight change during the WOD.  He scooted the weight off of the bar and it went rolling towards the front wall with the chalk board.  It was mid WOD, so you can’t stop working out to go chase down the weight.  So, out of the corner of my eye, I see the weight crash into the wall creating a dent (sorry Brandon).  Dodson just kept on going.”  

What is one goal you have yet to achieve in CrossFit, but are working hard towards?
“I have two numbers I want to achieve by the end of the year with my olympic lifts; 200-pound clean and jerk, and 150-pound snatch.  They’re big and scary numbers, but I can’t stop thinking about them.”

What are your hobbies and interests outside of CrossFit?
“I love my dog.  We hang out a lot together.  She loves going on car rides and running around in open fields.  In the summer, we go to the river where she will only get in to cool herself off, never to swim.  Other than that, my people interests include going out to eat.”

What is your advice for new members?
“Pick someone in class who challenges you. Chase their results and let it motivate you. Don’t be a jerk, make sure you compliment them when they beat you.  Let the competition bring out the best in both of you. By nature, we are all competitive. It’s a good thing if you do it right.”

“Seek help on skills you want to work on.  Most coaches want to help.  It’s hard within the class hour to give individual help.  Snag one of us after class and ask for help.”

“Advice for the ladies…whatever weight you think you should do, add more. We are much stronger than we give ourselves credit for.”

“Do a competition. It’s fun to work towards a goal and stretch yourself to do something you may have never done before.”

What do you love most about No Excuses CrossFit?
“The members are the best thing there. I like working out and all, but I mainly go because of my friends there.”