May’s Member of the Month, Shilo Hutchins!
Congratulations to Shilo for becoming the newest receipt of GBCF’s coveted Member of the Month award! We are extremely excited to recognize another GBCF member that embodies the Core Values we have in place here right down to the letter. If the classes at GBCF were all “teams” it would be easy to imagine Shilo being the Captain of the 6:15am Team. Shilo exhibits all of the qualities you would look for in a leader; she is incredibly positive, always quick to cheer others on, takes her fitness and training seriously, but is able to see the bigger picture, has a great sense of humor and works hard to improve herself everyday.
To give an example of how enthusiastic Shilo is in class, this year during the CrossFit Open, Shilo would come in on Friday morning when we would be taking on that particular Open Workout for the week and proclaim how she didn’t sleep the night before because she was so excited to watch her fellow classmates go through the Open Workout. When asked if she was excited to do the workout herself, she would shrug and say “nah, not really, I just want to watch everyone else CRUSH IT!!” That right there is what we love about Shilo and why she would make a great Captain; she genuinely wants to see others do well, period.
On top of this, and even if Shilo won’t admit that she is extremely dedicated to her time in the gym, Shilo is incredibly motivated and driven to improve upon her efforts from the day or week prior. She is always seeking out advice from her coaches and willing to learn and practice new skills. She recognizes and understands her limitations, but doesn’t let them discourage her and in fact, these limitations make her work harder to achieve the results she is looking for. And, of course, she does all this while spreading her positive energy to the group around her.
So we want to thank you, Shilo, for making our community that much more inspiring, motivating, and fun to be a part of. We are proud to call you one of our own.
Enjoy the Q&A!
Q: First off, Congrats, Shilo! It’s now your turn to answer our traditional first question; how did you feel to be named Member of the Month in May?
A: Thank you so much for selecting me! I was soooo surprised. I was sitting in my office at work after lunch and happened to check my email and I couldn’t believe it! I shrieked in shock and amazement “meeeee?!!!!” A couple of my coworkers raced into my office thinking something disastrous had occurred. After the shock wore off, I got a little teary eyed. I just couldn’t believe I was selected, especially considering how much I admire the other folks who have been Member of the Month!
Q: Not many people may know this, but you work as a nurse practitioner, helping people who have health issues on a daily basis. Does the way you exercise influence the way you approach your career or vice versa?
A: Exercise has always been a part of my life; starting as a small child my parents encouraged physical activity. We lived in the middle of nowhere with only three television channels and were always skiing or doing some outside activity and then playing organized sports once we were old enough. The only time I can recall in recent years that I didn’t consistently exercise was when I was pregnant and on bed rest. That was horrible. Patients ask me for guidance regarding making healthier lifestyle choices to manage their chronic health conditions. While I can spout out all kinds of data and facts when it comes down to it, sometimes people are scared and just want to know what I would do in their shoes. I often think to myself that I have no right to tell someone that they should do something to improve their health if I am not a. already doing it or b. willing to do it myself. That is tough because I have a MAJOR sweet tooth and a bad habit of gobbling sweets when I get really stressed out. But I think that helps me to be empathetic and relatable. I don’t propose to know everything or 100% follow all the good instructions that I give to other people. I definitely use exercise now to relieve the stress related to my career. But I must say I feel fortunate to love my job and my profession and feel honored to work in primary care with my patients some of whom I have known now for 10+ years. The stories of their lives and experiences, especially during their time in the military, are things that I cherish and try to keep with me when I feel discouraged. To answer the question, I guess it is a mixture of both.
Q: You might be the most positive and optimistic person we have ever met. What keeps your outlook so bright?
A: Wow, I am amazed to hear that others see me in this way! I really love my time at GBCF, I feel like it is the only place in my life where I can be carefree and fun loving without reservation. I don’t have to worry that someone might die if I don’t make the black line with my wall ball. When I am at the gym it is all about being in the moment and getting into a work out and sometimes just telling myself “you can survive this, it’s only x number of minutes”. I feel very grateful that I get to spend time a few days a week at the gym, it really nurtures my soul. Plus, watching the people around me accomplish such heavy lifts or what I consider to be amazing feats causes me to feel really excited and happy. It might sound silly, or even kind of simple, but I admire each person that I get to work out with for a different area in which they excel. It inspires me. I wish that people could see themselves as I see them during class. Sometimes I get so excited, I just have to shout “yeah” because I see someone doing something so fluidly which I realize I might likely never be able to do with such ease/speed.
Q: I know you have said that coming to GBCF is considered your “Free Time”, where you don’t hold yourself to standard or goals, but you are still very focused on improving yourself. Can you tell us more about how you approach your fitness and what your time at GBCF means to you?
A: In recent years, healthcare has changed so much. Everything is measured and goals are constantly set for me in terms of patient care. I have mixed emotions about working in this way because I really just want to help people be as healthy as they can, and that means helping them determine what they think healthy means…not just following a pre-set algorithm. While I routinely meet and exceed the goals that are set for me at work, I really dislike that part of my job. So, when it comes to fitness I strive to simply enjoy my work out. Training for different sports at different times in my life was often not very fun and downright tedious. At this point in my life I really want to enjoy exercise, not just put in the hours or the miles that a coach has set for me. I love looking at the workouts in advance and trying to plan out my strategy in my head. I ask people in class for suggestions on how to break down a movement to complete a work out (shout out to Lauren F., Jeff, James and Phil) because sometimes I get really intimidated by something that we are going to do in class. I want to get better at everything I do and I feel that the programming helps me do so. I can see and feel the gains that I make in terms of strength and completing certain moves. I plan my week of workouts in advance because if I don’t, work and family life can easily overtake my plans to exercise. I like to set a long term goal and keep chipping away at it and once I meet it keep on going because by then it has become a habit and it seems like “well if I have done X for 4 months now, why stop, keep going for 6 months”. Like must humans, if I really hate something I try avoid it but since I am pretty much at class every Monday, Wednesday and Friday I tell myself “you get what you get and you don’t get upset”. You keep managing to get me to do bear crawls during a workout and I’d rather eat glass!
Q: You recently took up meditation! Could you share some of your thoughts on how adding this practice has affected your life?
A: Believe it or not, I am a “Type A” high stress person. If I didn’t work out I would probably need medication for anxiety, or maybe I would be a chain smoker (though I take pride in saying I have never smoked a cigarette in my life). At work I am fairly adept at keeping a calm “poker face” in times of stress but when I am home, all bets are off. I am constantly doing ten things at once and can just feel the stress seeping out of myself. I hold myself to such high standards, nothing is ever good enough. For some reason, from May of last year until January of this year work was crazier than ever. I felt like I was losing my joy in my profession and my life in general. I had some freak injuries (like rupturing the ligament in my thumb, falling through the snowmobile bridge and smashing my face into the rig during the “12 Days of Christmas” work out). I could see that all the stress in my professional life was spilling into my personal life and that I overall have unrealistic expectations for myself. I realized that there was no way in the world that I could keep doing what I was doing and live a happy life. I have tried meditation before but gave it up after only a short time because I found it annoying. However, earlier this winter I was talking to another mom who shared with me that she had recently started this free online meditation that made a huge difference in her life. She sent me the link and I thought “what have I got to lose? I need to make some changes in my life to manage my stress level better. I can’t keep living like this; it’s not good for me or my family”. I started daily meditation just before Saint Patrick’s Day and haven’t stopped. It has made a huge difference and I can’t explain how or why. But I feel so much calmer and things don’t get me riled up nearly as much! I have even stopped gobbling my son’s snacks after work. Shocking!
Q: If you were to create a workout for the day, what would it include and why?
A: Oh, boy! It would involve slamming things. Like medicine ball slams and sledge hammer swings. And definitely partner carries/piggy back racing. That is probably one of my favorite things. Sometimes I convince my husband to let me give him a piggy back to practice at home. Lucas always volunteers but since he doesn’t even weigh 40lbs that isn’t too much of a challenge! I really like the workouts we do as partners/teams. Those are so fun for me because I love watching other people. You can always learn something from a partner. I like running with groups of people. I could probably run forever with a pack of laughing friends. Oh, and I really like hanging knee raises. I would add some Guns n Roses to the playlist and maybe some Metallica, too. Yeah!
Q: To wrap things up here, are there any final thoughts you would like to share with everyone?
A: I was so scared when I first started coming to GBCF. Everything was so hard and everyone seemed so supersonic to me, it was intimidating. I don’t feel chronologically old, but I can see how my body has changed in my 40’s in terms of responsiveness to exercise, recovery, flexibility and strength. Things are a lot harder now and over the past year I have learned to just get on with it and accept what I can do rather than perseverating on my struggles and getting down on myself. Thank you everyone for encouraging me and giving me a place where it is safe to just savor the moment and have a blast. And, I really like the music!
THANK YOU SHILO!