I’ve dropped so much fat. I weigh about the same as I did when I started, but I lost at least 10% body fat and I’ve gone down several sizes.

Member Of The Month: May 2019

Name: Sarah Berkebile (that's "Berke" like "Turkey"  ) 
Age: 33
Profession: High School English as a Second Language Teacher
Member since: October 2018

How long have you been doing CrossFit?

I started CrossFit 6 months ago when I joined Climate. 

Were you scared to start? If so, what motivated you to start?

I was terrified. You see and hear so many awful rumors about CrossFit. But I had been watching all of the CrossFit Games documentaries while on maternity leave (I was watching them during those late night wake ups). I had been on the fence for a really long time but, once I saw the ad for the 6-week challenge, I decided it was a sign I needed to give it a try. I was just tired of feeling horrible all of the time, both physically and mentally. I knew if I kept doing what I was doing, I was going to either get really sick or I was going to die from what I was doing to myself. 

Did you have an athletic background before starting?

I played volleyball in high school, but I started being more involved in choir and the drama department, so I didn't have the time for it all.

What has been your biggest accomplishment since the beginning?

I've dropped so much fat. I weigh about the same as I did when I started, but I lost at least 10% body fat and I've gone down several sizes. I remember buying a size 18 right before I started. It was devastating. I made a big deal with my husband when I got to throw out (and donate) all of the clothes that are now too big and when I was able to fit in the clothes that had been too small. 

What has been the most challenging thing for you?

I am still trying to get my brain caught up with what I've accomplished. I bought a new pair of pants and went a size too big because I was convinced the size smaller wasn't going to fit. I had to exchange them. Or I won't add weights because I'm still convinced I'm not strong enough. I'm gaining a lot of confidence, but I'm still holding myself back a lot.

What time do you usually take classes?

4:30 pm. I'm not a morning person whatsoever. 

How has CrossFit benefited you outside of the gym physically and/or mentally?

I have had so much more energy to play with my daughter. Now that the weather is better, we go outside all the time. We go to the park, for walks, and just get out of the house more often. I have more energy to move around the classroom with my students. I'm also not as depressed. For me, being out of shape and overweight was a constant cycle of hating how I looked, being motivated to change, making one mistake, and giving up out of disappointment in myself. I've been more forgiving and patient with myself since starting CrossFit.

Give us three words that describe you.

Quirky, Funny, and Dedicated

What’s something we may not know about you?

I am a classically trained singer. I sing for different events at my church (weddings and funerals) and I have a small group that I travel with to sing the "Star-Spangled Banner" at different events in Omaha. We sing for Creighton, the Stormchasers, UNO, and for Memorial Day services. 

What is your favorite activity outside of the gym?

I like making things. I crochet. I knit. I've picked up cross-stitch. I've been taking on a lot of DIY projects since we just bought a house.

What is your favorite healthy meal?

I have a really good lemon chicken with asparagus recipe. So yummy! 

What is your favorite “cheat” meal?

Pupusas. I teach a lot of students from El Salvador and they love bringing pupusas to share with everyone. Two siblings' aunt owns a pupusaria near the school and I love going there to see them and eat some amazing food. 

If you could master one skill in the gym that you currently don't have, what would it be?

I would love to be able to do toes-to-bar or handstand push-ups. 

What's your favorite movement?

I really love the split jerk. It's hard not to feel powerful with that move.

What's your least favorite movement?

Snatch. It has been my nemesis from the beginning. 

What would you tell someone who is on the fence about trying CrossFit?

You will never know what you're capable of, if you don't just jump in and give it a try. I was so scared at first, but the coaches are so great at meeting you where you are. The entire community truly wants you to succeed and we celebrate everyone's victories, whether it's getting a new job, PRing, or your first Rx MetCon.

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