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March Athlete of the Month

Congratulations to Sue Bilstad for being named Athlete of the Month for March. You can see Sue almost everyday at 5:30 am, she consistently pushes herself and others to get better every time she is at the gym, she often sets the bar for workouts and gives us all something to chase. Thank you for making our gym a better place for everyone!

Please tell us about yourself.

I am native New Englander who landed in this great little town after hanging out in Vegas for 12 years. I have been married to my amazingly tolerant, sweet husband for 8 years now (pretty sure I got that right this time…) and have a really cool 15 year old daughter. We have a small herd of well – herding dogs and have been lucky enough to call NC home for the past 13 years

When did you become a member at Defiance West?

Since November of 2015- Got here as quick as I could.

What made you join Defiance West and why do you do it now?

I had been doing CF for a few years prior and really enjoyed the workout, and then after some changes with that gym and then my own family schedule, I was able to make Defiance West work and could not be happier. I would put up a serious fight if anyone said I had to leave!

What were your thoughts after your first workout?

Well my first CF workout was several years ago, thanks to the encouragement of Stacy Pemberton. I thought she was nuts when she said that she was trying this and that I might like it. But I actually loved it! I enjoy the intensity, variety, someone else coming up with the assignment and then just getting to work and getting it done. After my first workout at Defiance West I knew I was going to enjoy it more than ever as Cory has something pretty amazing going on here. Never mind the facility, equipment and well thought out training schedule, but Cory’s energy, passion and commitment to what he does is evident and he passes it on to the rest of us.

What is your athletic background?

I was a competitive swimmer from the time I was very young all the way through high school and also played volleyball in high school. After my years as a pole dancer in Vegas, putting myself through college (kidding – but it is a great workout… so I’ve been told), I spent many years doing your standard gym stuff. I’ve pretty much always done something, either a formal gym setting or on my own. I love just about anything active outside, from gardening to skiing, and thanks to the above-mentioned herd of dogs, there really is never a day that goes by that I’m not out doing my best to help wear them out. I guess I also am considered a runner as strange as that sounds in my own head. I decided one day after moving here that I wanted to be able run a 5k, and couldn’t have made it through a mile at that time. So I trained for it, ran it and have racked up a few more 5, 10’s, 13.1’s and 26’s since then. With all that said I guess I like to do lots of things, but not really great at any of them.

What is your favorite movement or workout?

I love a good chipper. I’m a make a list and check it off kind of girl, so chippers just work for me and I feel great when the list is complete. Doesn’t really matter what is on the list, as an energized group we all make it to the end somehow.

What is your least favorite?

Not sure what my least favorite movement is, but thrusters certainly are humbling and it goes without saying… the bike….

What has been your favorite or proudest moment since joining?

Personally, probably when I could climb the rope. I was that girl in the all guys PE class that couldn’t climb the rope, and man I hated that they could and I couldn’t. Not anymore…I was also extremely proud to be a part of a little group of us that just completed Cierra’s Fall food challenge again. Pretty proud to give a little shout out that we lost 37 lbs and over 32” combined. Way to go ladies!

How has Defiance West changed your life, lifestyle, and level of fitness?

It really is a Happy Place for me. I have met and reconnected with so many wonderful people and just love that we are all working towards the same goal of being our own best versions of ourselves. It is also pretty great to be cracking jokes and having such a good time at 5:30 am. There is no better way to start the day. Defiance West is also a great way to keep my fitness for running up without lots of actual running. I have gone through a phase of not really wanting to be putting on the miles but when I got back to it I was happy to find that the fitness and ability was still there. Nice to not have to slog through as many miles but still be able to get out there when I can/need to, or being even more honest – am okay missing a Defiance West workout to run… Because I am really sad when I miss one.

What are your fitness goals for this year?

Really would love to figure out how to get this ridiculous left elbow of mine fixed as it really makes upper body stuff difficult – but other than that, I would love to get my back squat up to what it has been in the past and also sort of have an itch for some more distance running.

What is something most people don’t know about you?

I’m a smart ass and very blunt– oh something you don’t know… I had Thyroid cancer at 20 and also just found out that I won the family genetic lottery and have Rheumatoid Arthritis lurking in me. All the more reason to eat clean and stay as active and healthy as I can. I need to be around to drive my husband and daughter crazy for a long time.

What advice would you give to people looking to get started at our gym?

It can be intimidating to try something new or to even do something you are familiar with but in a new place, but you absolutely will not regret it. Everything we do really can be scaled to fit anyone’s needs or ability and these are some of the friendliest, happiest most motivating people you will get to hang out with all day. Keep up the great work Cory, Cullen, Cierra and Skyler (add any trainer I am unaware of). We don’t have access to everything here in our little mountain town, but we certainly have a wonderful place to work out!

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