Athlete of the Month: Reba Swann

  My name is Reba Swann and when I was at Progressions recently, my coach(Silvia) said she needed to talk to me after the class. I thought to my self, (she  is going to say Reba, you are not keeping up, or this is just too hard for you and you may get hurt). I said can’t you just tell me now? I was prepared to leave rather than go through the class and her tell me then. To my amazement she said I was chosen for athlete of the month. I quickly calculated what I had just heard and laughed to myself thinking I am not an athlete, but slowly said OK. I must say I felt a little humbled.
As I stated, my name is Reba. I was born in Nashville,Tn. in 1951. There truly were no tall buildings until I was 6. I lived in the country most of my life, which has a way of making you strong due to the environment. I did ballet as a kid which further made me strong, so exercise and movement has always been important to me. I did the usual 60’s stuff!! Then from age 20 to 40 lived on a farm in Kentucky while raising my two daughters and getting through nursing school. I currently work at Vanderbilt and will have been there 24yrs. In May.  I am married to my best friend,(Mark). In the past year have become a Grandmother to a beautiful baby girl (Sophia). I became interested in eating clean and organic when I was introduced to possibly the first natural food store in Nashville in the late 60s. I planted my first garden at age 20 on my grandparents farm with the help of (Kit and Kate) two mules!! I have been planting organic since.
I cannot say I eat Paleo all the time, but I do try to eat clean and nutrition has been a passion for most of my life.
Daughter and Son in Law, started doing CrossFit a few years ago, and talking about SolaFide. I had no clue what they were talking about, and what I did hear them say sounded nuts to me. I had been doing Barre classes (ballet, yoga, and Pilates) when I could in Nashville, and some occasional yoga in Clarksville, and was perfectly happy exercising at the Barre with turned out legs and pointed toes in my grippy socks. But, I could see CrossFit making a big impact on them. Not only physically, but in discipline, diet, and there seemed to be a sense of family and support more like what we experience with our church family that intrigued me. Daughter kept trying to get me to come, so I started looking on line to learn more about what this thing was.
The things that were important to me finally making the decision to give it a try, were the multiple classes available for  various levels of fitness and skill, Affordability, The convenience of (the box), and the opportunity to develop proper technique in lifting and using weights, to prevent hurting myself. I love to feel and look strong, and it is so important to me to be able to do the things I love to do as long as possible.
I have never loved to run, and possibly never will, but I feel good about myself every time I finish a run since beginning CrossFit. I am much better with things like rowing or kettle ball or something using upper body strength due to many years paddling rivers and swinging a metal detector (Yes, I love to hunt for silver and gold and relics). CrossFit is challenging, and certainly never boring so if one exercise is not your favorite or you cannot do as well, there will be some that are.  After several fractures and nerve damage It is not always easy to do the things I could do in the past, but it is a fact the more I move and push myself the more strength and flexibility I have.  The coaches are good to modify anything you have trouble with from injuries or limitations.
I have only been able to do CF, one time a week most weeks since I began around the first of Dec.2016. With only that short amount of time, I feel and look stronger. There is a feeling of accomplishment after every class. I would recommend to anyone to do CrossFit at least two or three times weekly to truly get the full benefit. Most of all no matter your age or fitness level, just start moving. In Nursing we say “If you don’t use it you lose it” (your skills), I would say even more so with our muscles.
My goal as we get closer to warm weather is to become more proficient in what I have learned so far in CF, and hopefully get more classes in, and who knows what I may do next. “See you at The Box”!

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