Ballston CrossFit » Stacey Barrack

Stacey Barrack

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Stacey and I attend the PM WODs. Any given weeknight, you can find me working on skill progressions, running around bootcamp and lifting heavy with our amazing community of athletes. But this wasn’t always the case. My CrossFit journey started in 2017 when I joined BCF and I haven’t looked back. I am so thankful that I found BCF!

Growing up, I played every sport imaginable (baseball, softball, volleyball, track & field, gymnastics, surfing, and bikram yoga) without ever being a master at one, except maybe karate, which I trained for 15+ years. I was always active then, life took over. My career had me traveling all over the country for years on various campaign initiatives, so I wasn’t able to be consistent with working out and my nutrition turned to garbage. For those who don’t know, a campaign diet and lifestyle consists of whatever cheap, easy volunteer food you can find to stuff your face (Little Caesar’s $5 pizzas, anyone???) during long, 16+ hour workdays. The thought of staying healthy and committing to exercise was laughable. There were hardly enough hours in the day to sleep! My weight fluctuated. There were times I was underweight due to lack of eating (usually around election days) then, there were times I was overweight (typically after election season when I would actually start eating again!). I would try to work out when I could, going to a Gold’s gym or yoga class, but I was never healthy.

Then, in 2015, I moved to D.C. and started working normal hours and developing a routine. After ten years on the campaign trail, this was quite refreshing! I had so much more time on my hands and, for the first few months, I battled with the rush hour traffic every night before realizing I could spend that time in traffic at a gym. So, I did some research and joined Orangetheory Fitness. At first, this was great – it helped me develop an after-work routine and get back into just being active, in general. I even ran my first couple Spartan races and a full marathon during this time, both significant achievements and bucket list items for me!

However, I quickly plateaued with OTF and never really got any help/advice from the coaching staff, even though I was craving it. I asked the coaches multiple times what I could do to get better results. Their advice – come to class more, even though I was already going 4-6 days per week. I asked for help with nutrition. Their advice – try the latest fad diet, Whole 30. I even asked for heavier weights when the 10-12 pound dumbbells felt light. Their advice – stay light and increase reps. Needless to say, I wasn’t impressed. I wanted better results, to dial in my nutrition, to become healthy after years of unhealthy habits. OTF just didn’t fit the bill, so I started looking around again.

That’s when I found BCF’s New You program and thought, why not? The day I came in to interview with the coaches, the class was working on rope climbs. Rope climbs had always alluded me and I wanted to run a Spartan race where I actually completed the rope climb rather than the 30-burpee penalty. I was sold. I signed up for the 6-week New You program on the spot. It was the best decision I’ve made for my health and well-being in years!

During the initial 6 weeks, I was overwhelmed, yet excited. I saw strong women repping out pull-ups, lifting heavy weights and crushing the workouts. I wanted to be like them and to train at the same level they were. They were an inspiration and my motivation. During that initial 6 weeks, I felt sorer than I had in years and knew I had found the place I was looking for. The coaches not only cared about my goals, but also actually coached! They provided scaling options for everything and focused on form and technique over heavy lifting in order to prevent injury. I started feeling like an actual athlete again and I completely bought into the CrossFit hype. Coach Alex even provided excellent advice and resources for dialing in my nutrition. She talked to me about macro counting and referred me to different nutrition coaching programs, like Renaissance Periodization. Coupled with the BCF New Year Nutrition Challenge, I gained a new understanding of food and performance eating.

Fast forward to present day. I’ve lost 20 pounds of fat while increasing my lean muscle mass. My body fat percentage has dropped 10% and I’ve gone from zero pull-ups to repping out pull-ups like the ladies who motivated me when I started. I even got bar muscle-ups! I’m running a sub 8-minute mile again and heavy lifting is now part of my routine where it was never a thought. All my gymnastic skills – from HSPU to handstand holds and walks – have come back, and I feel stronger and faster than ever. I’m healthier and fitter than I’ve ever been in my adult life. People say its harder to get in shape as you get older. I say those people just haven’t found their BCF.

Don’t get me wrong, this journey has been long and hard and completely dependent on my own determination and motivation. I’ve had ups and downs. I work two crazy jobs, travel a lot (for both business and pleasure), try to maintain a social life, and spend time with family. The excuses to slack off are everywhere, but I’ve committed to myself, to creating the best version of me I can, and I thank BCF and the coaches for giving me the tools, encouragement, and environment to do just that.

Everyone’s fitness and health journey is personal but, by maintaining commitment and surrounding yourself with a supportive network, like BCF, there is no doubt that you will reach your personal goals. After the hard work I have put in so far, I’m proud of where I’m at, but more excited for where this journey can take me!

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