"Beyond the Barbell – Dionne Elvira"

Being active has been a part of my life from the moment I could run away from the school nurse giving out shots as a kindergartner until now, as a thirty something woman. I love the running and weight lifting side of Physical Education and dance. In fact, when I was sixteen I proclaimed I would be a dance teacher when I grew up – and here I am. This is now my eleventh year teaching, and I am currently an aspiring educational leader working on my Doctorate degree at CSUSB. Currently, I teach Physical Education and have enjoyed teaching my students the value of being the strongest version of themselves – inside and out. I am hoping to one day get CrossFit certified to bring CrossFit to my students and/or the communities students in the area I teach in.

I remained active my entire life, I hit a wall with a weight struggle for almost a decade. It really hit when I began teaching as an intern. I had poor quick and affordable eating habits while ignoring my personal needs due to lack of time and stress. The highest weight I reached was, in 2010 at two-hundred and three pounds. My diet was poor, even though I taught dance and ran the occasional 5K – despite the weight I carried. I began injuring myself numerous times when teaching/coaching and I knew a change was needed, I knew it for a long time before I actually moved forward to do such a thing. I really convinced myself that I was physically who I was meant to be, due to genetics, and that there was nothing I could do to change that. I was running and dancing, right? What more could I possibly do? Tons actually. One day, life kicked me in the behind and I woke to the realization that playing the victim to poor health and so-called-genetics, was not solving anything. How could I create a solution, what can I do for this temple I will spend the rest of my life in?

Not knowing the answers, I sought out help by doing research to find the professionals who could help in both diet and fitness. I learned there is a priceless value in taking care of one’s own health and personal growth. It is true what they say, knowledge is power. The more you know the more unstoppable and successful you can be at whatever you set out to accomplish. During this time, I also furthered my education, because I believe the mind has to grow healthy just as much as body. It took me a year and a half to lose the weight, and I have maintained it since. I believe it worked this time because I WANTED it to. There is a difference between wishing and wanting. If you want to make it happen, you will make it happen – no excuses. If you wish it to happen, you either won’t do a thing or you will make several attempts that end in giving up.

Since I was figuring out the diet side of health, and the intellectual side of personal growth, I knew I needed more. To be stronger. I did my research to find out the current fitness trend, as well as best facility. Desert CrossFit had the most and highest ratings, and this facility has forever changed my approach to fitness. It has given me that missing thing I never knew I was missing. Being a member is like being on a team sport that is year round, your teammates are the other gym goers and everyone cares. Everyone cares about your progress as well as your struggles. The best thing is you never know what workout is going to hit you until you do the unpredictable WOD or Workout of the Day. Being a full time professional and student, it has been the best exercise for time constraints – ONE HOUR. I’ve been a member for a mere seven months, and can now do push-ups, pull ups, handstand push-ups – all things I have never been able to do in my life. I am beginning to sculpt out, and have found a love in competing which I plan to continue.

The hardest step is always that first step, especially when attempting to take it while carrying your past failures with you. Simply put, you can’t move forward with past failure weighing you down. You have to let go of those past failures and allow that action to be the momentum you need to move forward into the future life you deserve. I invite you to take that first step, to be the strongest version of yourself, because YES YOU CAN!!

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