Wellâ€¦my name is Andy Lyons and I am the Athlete of the Month â€“ is this real life? Are you sure?Â That has been my response since I found out just because I get the privilege of working out with so many awesome athletes each and everyday that truly inspire me. So for me to be chosen as this monthâ€™s Athlete of the Month I am truly humbled and honored.
Well on the with the show because this is about me, right?â€¦I am the youngest of 3 boys and was born and raised right here in Clarksville, TN. My parents own Lyons Pest Control and have worked hard their entire lives, which has instilled in me a hardworking mentality. As a child I played baseball and as I got older I ran track and took karate.
I have always had a love for children and knew at an early age I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up. So I knew when I graduated high school I wanted to go to a college with a top-notch education program and so I attended Union University in Jackson. TN and was the first person from my family to graduate from college. I began my teaching career in 2000 as a Kindergarten teacher and loved every minutes of it.Â While teaching I knew that I loved the leadership aspect of school and being able to make a difference in the lives of so many more children that I decided to pursue my Masterâ€™s Degree from Trevecca University in Nashville. After teaching Kindergarten for 8 years I was an Academic Coach for one year at a brand new elementary school here in town and then became the Assistant Principal at one of the schools I had taught at previous. After 2 years as an Assistant Principal I was appointed as Principal of Byrns Darden Elementary where I currently am and I love it. I know that the Lord has placed me there for a reason and I feel like I am on the mission field everyday. It is a very rewarding job! I want children to love school and know that they are valued. One of my goals each school year is to try and learn every childâ€™s name and something about them â€“ that means so much to the child and their family.
I am also very involved in my church, Grace Community Church where I serve on a weekly basis. On Sunday mornings I lead a group of 3rd graders and throughout the week I serve as a small group leader and mentor to high school senior guys and college guys. Mentoring these young men is a big part of my life and I enjoy it a lot. I feel that it is very important to give back and invest in others as often as you can. So you will find me out to dinner with my guys or see me at one of their sporting events or interests investing in them and living life with them â€“ this is so important.
So …I just celebrated my 35th birthday at the end of May and I have to say I am in the best shape of my life and itâ€™s all because of the decision I made 9 months ago to attend CrossFit Solafideâ€™s Grand Opening at their new box. So many people had been asking me to come and try it out, but I had been pretty intimidated by what I had seen on TV and the internet about CrossFit and know that there was no way I could do any of it. However, I went to the grand opening and loved the energy and excitement of the place. I signed up for on ramp the next week and havenâ€™t looked back yet. I immediately began going to classes around 4 days per week and after the first month realized I needed to upgrade my membership to Unlimited because I pretty much wanted to go everyday. Once CrossFit Endurance classes began I started double woding 3 days per week in order to work on the speed of my running and I have improved dramatically. This past April I completed my 10th half marathon and will run in my first full marathon this December in Memphis for St. Jude.
I would say that I have struggled with my weight my entire life especially since middle school until now. Once I began running about five years ago I lost around 80 lbs. during all of my training for races, but as soon as I would cut back on the running I would gain the weight back. Since starting CrossFit nine months ago I have lost a little over 50 lbs and have kept it off. This is the most active I have been my entire life and it feels amazing! I am doing things I never thought I would be able to do such as climb a rope, do pull ups, lift any amount of weight on a barbell, flip tires, etc. All of these things seemed so far out of reach for me and to see myself tackle these things is really amazing to me. CrossFit has definitely changed my life for the better and I have made some amazing friends at the box. I also just completed my first triathlonâ€¦I almost drown, but I did it and am looking forward to doing more â€“ after I practice swimming in open water â€“ I mean that swimming is no joke â€“ just sayin!
So if you have ever been in a class with me you will know me as the one that is loud, laughs a lot, yells during the WOD (it really does help I promise), and of course getting my dance on when my jams are playing. Iâ€™m all about having fun and trying to make others feel welcome and have fun as well.
IÂ will close with some fun facts about me:
– My favorite color is green â€“ Iâ€™m actually kind of obsessed
– I have served as a short-term missionary in the following places: South Carolina, New Orleans, Texas, Costa Rica, Canada, Poland, Guatemala and about to be Panama
– I donâ€™t like animals â€“ no seriously I donâ€™t
– I love to go on vacation by myself and just meet people
– I have been Teacher of the Year multiple times
– I have been named Clarksvilleâ€™s Favorite Principal the past 2 years (and Iâ€™ve only been a Principal for 2 years) BAM!
Â I leave you with a couple of my favorite scriptures:
â€œTrust in the Lord with all your heartâ€¨and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.â€ Proverbs 3:5-6
â€œTherefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for usâ€ Hebrews 12:1