February Athlete Of The Month:

Mark Parsley

  1. Tell Us About Yourself:  My name is Mark Parsley, and I work as a student pastor at First Baptist Church in downtown Jonesboro. I’m 29 and am married to my beautiful wife, Leah, and we have two boys: Oshen (6) and Joe (2).
  2. What Made You Start CrossFit? My co-worker and good friend Josh Moseley. Josh was invited by our mutual friend Zack Dunivan, and he convinced me to give on-ramp a try back in October of 2017.
  3. What Were Your Thoughts After Your 1st WOD? Haha, well…you can imagine, right? I thought I was gonna die!
  4. What Do You Enjoy Most About CrossFit? Two things: 1. The community is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced in a fitness/gym envoirnment, and everyone is friendly and encouraging. 2. The Coaches. I’ve always had a bad experience with personal traning, but this is so much different than that, and SO much better!
  5. What Is Your Proudest CrossFit Moment? I’d have to say when I finished my first WOD before the timer ran out! That was a big day for me!
  6. What Is Your Favorite Movement/Lift? Least Favorite? Favorite: Bench and Strict Press. Least: Front Squats and…BURPEES!
  7. What Are Your CrossFit Goals? How Close Are You To Reaching Them?To continue to feel better and healthier than I have in a very long time.  I hope to continue to get better with movements and lifts, while loosing weight and getting stronger through the process.
  8. What Impact Has Natural State Had On Your Life In And Out OfThe Gym? I’ve really seen a change in my energy throughout the day, and I have a MUCH better day when I am at the gym for the 5am class with everyone! And most importantly, I enjoy going to the gym. I’ve NEVER felt that way about fitness!
  9. When You’re Not At Natural State, What Is Your Favorite Thing To Do? Love spending time with my family, and I enjoy my work too! Love to play music and when I can, go to the gun range to shoot!

10. What Is One Tip You’d Give Someone Who Is Thinking About Starting Crossfit Or Just Started? Just give it a try. I PROMISE that if I can do it, you can do it. The coaches always offer scaling for the workouts, and any body, any size can come and get better each day.

11. Final Comments: THANK YOU COACHES FOR THE NOMINATION! I am truly honored and thankful for you all thinking of me!

January Athlete Of The Month:

Vidhi Patel

  1. Tell Us About Yourself:

 Name is Vidhi (ViThee), I’m from Ohio where my mom, dad and brother currently reside. I graduated from The Ohio State University in 2014, I bleed scarlet and gray! My job brought me to Jonesboro where I am an Engineer at Nestle.

  1. What Made You Start CrossFit?

I have been a runner for most of my life, after finishing my 6th half-marathon in October I needed something more challenging. I heard about Crossfit from my friends and decided to try it! 

  1. What Were Your Thoughts After Your 1st WOD?

Honestly, I can’t remember my first WOD. I just remember how sore I felt.

  1. What Do You Enjoy Most About CrossFit?

The sense of community is hugely why I come back to this gym. You can be the slowest during the workout and the gym community is still encouraging you to keep going!  

  1. What Is Your Proudest CrossFit Moment?

 I was able to do 1 double under with a bunch of single unders for the longest time. During one of our Max Rep double-unders, I got 12 in a row. This whole time I was doing double-unders and I didn’t know it. I was ecstatic. 

  1. What Is Your Favorite Movement/Lift? Least Favorite?

My favorite movement is running and least favorite is front squats, back squats, thrusters, wall-balls, burpees, jerks, snatches almost everything else right now. (It’ll change once I get better at these movements J)

  1. What Are Your CrossFit Goals? How Close Are You To Reaching Them?

I want to be able to do pull-ups. I’m not close at all, I still need to use the green band for assisted pull-ups, but I did start out with using multiple bands. Progress!!

  1. What Impact Has Natural State Had On Your Life In And Out OfThe Gym?

Natural State has made me a more patient person. I’ve learned that just because I suck at something right now doesn’t mean that that won’t change with hard work and consistency.

  1. When You’re Not At Natural State, What Is Your Favorite Thing To Do?

 I love watching Ohio State Football! I really enjoy baking, hiking and I’ll find any reason to travel!   

  1. What Is One Tip You’d Give Someone Who Is Thinking About Starting Crossfit Or Just Started?

You don’t have to be an athlete to start! Show up, make friends, have some fun and you’ll see the results you desire.

 

December Athlete Of The Month:

Colin Teague

1. Tell Us About Yourself: My name is Colin and I am a full time student.  When not doing homework  or working, I do Crossfit or play frisbee with my friends. Even when it’s super cold outside.  That’s how much we love .

2. What Made You Start CrossFit?  When I turned 21 I realized that if I did not start a fitness regiment it would only be more difficult as time went on to get into the habit.  So I started working out on my own.  At 24 years old I found Crossfit and have never looked back

3. What Were Your Thoughts After Your 1st WOD? After my first WOD I was certain that I had found the best fitness model.  Crossfit’s ethos on constantly varied movements done at high intensity aligned perfectly with my own.

4. What Do You Enjoy Most About CrossFit? The community.  If it were not for them I don’t believe that I could stand the daily, arduous grind that Crossfit demands of people.  Plus everyone laughs at my jokes even when they’re super lame.

5. What Is Your Proudest CrossFit Moment? It might sound cheesy, but every end to the day’s workout is my new ‘proudest moment’.  That is because it is one more day that I have definitely pushed away obesity, chronic illness and an unfit life. 

6. What Is Your Favorite Movement/Lift? Least Favorite? My favorite lift is the squat snatch (I’ve learned not to say that in public).  And I don’t have a least favorite movement! Just kidding, it’s wallballs.7. What Are Your CrossFit Goals? How Close Are You To Reaching Them? My goal in Crossfit is simply to improve everyday.  I believe I am achieving that goal. 

8. What Impact Has Natural State Had On Your Life In And Out OfThe Gym? The impact that this gym has had on my life cannot be overstated.  It is a constant source of joy and a sense of achievement. 

9. When You’re Not At Natural State, What Is Your Favorite Thing To Do? Definitely playing Catan.  For those not familiar, it is a strategic, turn-based board game that turns friends into frienemies.

10. What Is One Tip You’d Give Someone Who Is Thinking About Starting Crossfit Or Just Started? Those barbells and that pull up rig is where aspirations meet reality. If you can will yourself through the pain that those chunks of steel inevitably bring, then the realization that any obstacle can be overcome is suddenly clear.

 

 

November Athlete Of The Month:

Emily Ledbetter

  1. TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF.

I am married to my husband, Logan, and I am a new mom to my sweet baby, Calvin. I think being a Mom is my best adventure yet! I am about to begin my career as a speech-language pathologist.

  1. WHAT MADE YOU START CROSSFIT? 

I was a junior in college and never made enough time for fitness like I had in high school. One of my best friends was a Level 1 trainer at Searcy CrossFit and invited me to try it. I was hooked after one week.

  1. WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS AFTER YOUR 1st WOD?

I want to do this again tomorrow! I had never been so sore before.

This was the first picture ever taken of me doing CrossFit in 2015. 🏋️‍♀️

  1. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT CROSSFIT? 

I feel like every hour I spend is an investment into my health and well being. I love how challenging the workouts are as well as the community we have in a CrossFit gym.

  1. WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST CROSSFIT MOMENT?

One of my proudest moments was when I was finally able to snatch 130lbs. It was my goal for several months and I put a lot of time into practicing each position of the lift.

  1. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOVEMENT/LIFT? LEAST FAVORITE?

I love all Olympic lifts! My least favorite movement is wall balls.

  1. WHAT ARE YOUR CROSSFIT GOALS? HOW CLOSE ARE YOU TO REACHING THEM?

Right now my main goal is to get myself back to being active, working towards losing more baby weight, and lifting heavy! I know I have a long road ahead of me, but I’m excited for the challenge and appreciate the support of all the other Moms and members of our gym.

Welcome to the Gun Show- 2016. Haley Townsend & I one week before Rampage on the Ridge! 

  1. WHAT IMPACT HAS NATURAL STATE HAD ON YOUR LIFE IN AND OUT OF THE GYM?

Natural State has been my gym for two years now and I have achieved so many personal fitness goals while being a part of this family. I love knowing I can bring Calvin with me and one of my friends can watch him for me while I work out. Outside of the gym, I am inspired by other members to eat well and stay active even on our rest days.

  1. WHEN YOU’RE NOT AT CROSSFIT, WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO?

I love visiting my parents in Searcy, going for walks at Craighead Forest, reading, watching sports with Logan, and binge-watching Gilmore Girls if my husband is at work! I also love cooking, especially recipes I find on Pinterest.

11. WHAT IS THE ONE TIP YOU’D GIVE SOMEONE WHO IS THINKING ABOUT STARTING CROSSFIT OR JUST STARTED?

Don’t be intimated by the what you see others do, in the gym or social media. Give it at least a week before you decide it’s not for you, and STRETCH!!

FREEWRITE:

I can never go back to a “typical” gym again. Natural State has such a special place in my heart because of the incredible people I have met there. I would encourage anyone to try CrossFit, especially if they want to have FUN & get FIT!

Working out with the baby bump! 👶🏻💙Captured by Ashely Helliwell