Tell us a little bit about yourself (first name, last initial, age/hometown/occupation, other relevant or family info).

Julie Frantz
53 years old
Mattoon, IL
Project Manager for Consolidated Communications
Married to Craig Frantz and we have 5 children, 5 grandkids, and 3 dogs.

When did you first start CrossFitting and/or training at CrossFit Mattoon?

My first day at CrossFit Mattoon was on October 31st, 2015.

Favorite WOD/type of movements?

Front squats, back squats, snatches, jerks, cleans, dead lifts, wall balls, box jumps, thrusters, burpees, kettlebells, farmers carry, sit ups, pushups and rowing, etc.  I love ‘em all.   I love the cardio workouts (running) and pulling a sled.

Least favorite WOD/type of movements?

Lunges are probably my most painful movement – at least the day after the workout!  Handstand pushups are impossible for me still.

What was your prior sports and fitness background?

I ran track in high school and I run 5k, 10k, and 15k races.  I’ve completed one half marathon.   I joined the Mattoon YMCA when it first opened years ago -basically so I can run indoors in the winter months.

Have you achieved or set any new goals since starting that you never thought you would have achieved or set? (Weightlifting goals, Pull-ups, etc.….) 

I couldn’t do sit ups at all before I started CrossFit, I couldn’t do box jumps, I had no idea how to properly lift free weights or the names of the lifts.  With the encouragement of my coaches and CrossFit family, I am getting stronger and achieving more fitness goals than I ever thought possible.

My goals for CrossFit – strengthen my core overall and back muscles so I can do handstand pushups.  Double Unders are in the far future – but attainable I hope.  I would like to gain more flexibility and upper body strength be able to do pushups, pull-ups, rope climb, and toes to bar.  My longer-term goals are basically to keep my lower back healthy and to be able to be active and strong as long as I can.

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit, and what made you decide to try it? Do you remember your first WOD, and how did it feel?

I was working in Decatur almost six years ago, when I walked into a physical fitness/rehab facility to install phones in their CrossFit center.  I was immediately fascinated.  I saw giant tires and ropes to climb and free weights and medicine balls.  I soon found many folks who were eager to answer all my questions.  I knew I wanted to try CrossFit one day.

My first WOD was on Halloween 2015 at CrossFit Mattoon.  For part of the WOD, we used pumpkins as weights and we jumped over pumpkins.  Endurance, sweat, creativity, and fun were a big part of the workout.   I immediately felt right at home.  The other members were very friendly and supportive.

What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CrossFit? (before/after)

I thought I was pretty fit before I joined CrossFit, but I was quickly humbled the very first day as I realized there was a whole big world out there beyond running. 
I have noticed many positive changes in my body fitness/strength this past year – my core is more defined; arms muscles are more defined and my lower back is much stronger, and my sciatic nerve issues are getting better every day as I strengthen my core and back muscles.   

What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were totally unexpected?

The most unexpected and surprising response to joining CrossFit has been the negative attitude from people.   I’ve always been called “a crazy runner,” but there’s a whole new level of disdain for CrossFitters that was completely unexpected.   I think people who make those comments are uncomfortable with their own fitness level, and it’s my job to reach out and find out what’s behind those comments and open a dialogue that’s positive and respectful.  (Mindy taught me that.) It’s quite a conversation starter, and it works well. And on a positive note – I love the curiosity people have about the CrossFit approach.   I enjoy fielding question after question about CrossFit and my favorite question to answer: “What is CrossFit actually?”   

Eating healthy has become a priority for me – it was a very natural transition after joining CrossFit.   Planning healthy, tasty, and interesting recipes that fuel a strong body is an activity that my husband and I share.  But to be honest, my husband is the talented one who actually cooks the meals

Please share with us any favorite CrossFit/CrossFit Mattoon moments!

Walking in that gym for the very first time was so scary!  I had a fear of even being in a gym with all those sweaty weightlifters, but CrossFit is a family.  We’re all in this together as we crawl, run, lift, cheer, push, pull, climb, jump, and grumble about burpees with each other!

My favorite moments would be the first time I did a lift correctly and the praise I received from my morning crew.  The support and understanding from every single person as I overcame my fear of jumping on that box for box jumps.   Morning after morning, Mike patiently stacked weights for me to jump on and told me I could do it.   Tracy and Dave came over and stood close by to give me confidence as I finally attempted to jump on a box – that was probably my most terrific moment as a CrossFitter – standing tall on that box with a silly grin on my face!

Any advice for people just getting started?

Be patient and go slow and listen to your coach.  Don’t compare your progress to anyone else – go at your own pace.   Don’t get frustrated if you can’t do everything, be brave and scale back if necessary. And have fun.  CrossFit is designed to engage the athlete and constantly challenge your fitness level.

What are your hobbies, interests and/or talents outside of CrossFit?

Running is my passion; kayaking anytime I get the chance, and spending time with my husband and our families and friends makes me the happiest.   I’m a computer geek and love to spend my free time working on computers.  And of course, my three dogs, Diablo, Wheatley, and Gizmo, who frequently make me late for CrossFit!

Closing comments?

Mike and Mindy truly make the whole CrossFit experience fun and safe – couldn’t ask for better coaches and friends and mentors.