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An Inspirational Conversation With Christmas Abbott

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Reebok. 

Last week I was chosen by Reebok, along with 4 other FitFluential Ambassadors, to attend the CrossFit Games Northeast Regional Competition.  It was an amazing experience overall which I will be going into more detail about tomorrow, but first I wanted to share the best part of the whole day.  Getting to meet elite CrossFitter Christmas Abbott and hearing how CrossFit has changed her life.

Christmas-Abbott

I have to admit when I found out we were headed to meet Christmas I squeeled a bit on the inside.  She is one of my CrossFit idols!!  Not only is she incredibly beautiful, friendly and covered in some badass tattoos, she is also STRONG!  She’s only 5’3″ (my height!) and can throw up some serious weight.

Christmas Abbott CrossFit Invoke (Raleigh, NC)

Christmas Abbott
CrossFit Invoke (Raleigh, NC)

Before meeting her, we were treated to some shopping in the official Reebok Headquarters Store where not only did we get to choose any Reebok item we’d like (WIN!) but we also got to pick a shirt from Christmas’ line (DOUBLE WIN!).  I obviously went with the Cupcake and Kettlebell tank.

Christmas-Abbott-Reebok-Shirts

Needless to say, she was SO excited we we all arrived and were wearing her shirts along with our brand new Reebok Nano 3.0s we were given earlier in the week.  We were like Christmas groupies!  Ok who am I kidding…I’m totally a Christmas groupie 🙂

Christmas-Abbott-Fitfluential-Group

After our photo session we got to sit down and with Christmas for about 20 minutes or so to hear her story and ask a few questions.  What an amazing story it is…

To say she has led an unconventional life is an understatement.  In her early 20s, she spent 4 years in Iraq as an independent contractor.  She was on a bad path and living an unhealthy lifestyle.  This was the kickstart to a new life and this is where she found CrossFit.  They didn’t have fancy equipment and often carried chairs and sandbags as weights, but it got the job done.  The group were often ridiculed and called “Circus Fit” by others, but they were just having fun.  Well if you can call grueling workouts and frequent vomiting fun.  There wasn’t any scaling in those days.  Men and women did the same weights and Christmas commented that a WOD that would take the men 15-18 minutes would often take her 45, but she would push through.  I asked if she felt this made her stronger and she said “physically no, but mentally definitely!”  

Upon returning home, she continued with CrossFit and eventually opened her own box, CrossFit Invoke in Raleigh, NC.  Her goal was to create a welcoming environment where people of all fitness levels can come and feel accepted.  She will never forget how difficult a 400m run was when she first started and will always help her members get over those hurdles.  She looks for coaches who might not be the best and most elite athletes, but for the ones who can relate to the members.  The motivators!  

Christmas has gone on to compete in the CrossFit Games, be a head trainer for CrossFit Headquarters and become nationally ranked as an Olympic Lifter in the American Open.  A few years ago she also took on the challenge of being one of the first women working on a NASCAR pit crew.  This is a fascinating and surprisingly challenging sport!  She’s decided to take a break from that venture, but you should still check out this video of the skill it takes and how she trained to rise in the ranks.

One day Christmas made the decision to stop smoking, get healthy and make better choices.  She came from a place that many of us have been, myself included, and that we don’t want to go back to.  She encourages everyone to be the exception, amaze yourself and invoke your inner athlete.  I left feeling inspired and with a renewed excitement to push myself even harder.  I’m so thankful for this opportunity and am taking some of her energy back to the box with me to crush my goals!

Christmas-Abbott-Fitfluential-Sarah

How do you invoke your inner athlete?

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