Grand Trunk CrossFit member Tracy Dimitri’s iPhone screen saver is a picture of herself climbing a fence to retrieve a baseball at a Little League baseball game a few years ago.
In the picture, you can’t see her face.
In fact, you can’t really tell it’s her since it was taken from afar. But Tracy knows it’s her. She knows one hundred percent.
Why, you ask, would a mother and grandmother save a picture on her phone of her scaling a chain-link fence?
“That’s the last time I felt fit,” says Dimitri.
That picture was taken six years ago.
Since that day, her fitness journey has been one of stops and starts, battling injuries and handling different life events that took her attention away from taking care of herself. But after years of waffling when it came to getting in good shape, she made the leap to Grand Trunk CrossFit and hasn’t looked back since.
“If it wasn’t for Brooklyn’s persistence, I never would have gone back,” said Dimitri. “It’s because of him and Diana that I’ve gotten back to working fitness into my schedule.”
Tracy’s introduction to CrossFit, ironically, came at a big-box gym where she worked out with her daughter and her daughter’s husband. She signed up for a class with a coach who was in the midst of CrossFit training, and that coach weaved CrossFit movements into the classes.
“The class was amazing and I felt very empowered after a few weeks of this type of exercise. After working this type of fitness into my routine, I never looked back.”
But then knee surgery cut short her fitness goals, so she had to stop working out while she recovered.
After she healed, Tracy joined a proper CrossFit box and got in the best shape of her life. But other ailments popped up that prohibited her from moving forward,
When she was ready to slowly reintroduce CrossFit into her life two years later, she stumbled across Grand Trunk, thanks to relationships with a few women who were already members at the still-new CrossFit box.
“It was a challenge, at first, to get Tracy in here consistently,” said Brooklyn, the owner of Grand Trunk. “But once we did, I could see her body slowly reacting positively to CrossFit.”
Indeed, it was never a question for Tracy of not being active.
Growing up, she had four brothers who played every sport imaginable. Her presence necessitated being able to hang with her siblings when they needed a fifth person to round out their teams.
Maybe due to athletic prowess, or perhaps just convenience, Tracy was often the first person they chose. So, she got used to a life of activity, which made it even harder when that aspect of her being was taken away.
“It got so bad at one point that I had to go down the stairs one at a time because I was dealing with so much pain due to arthritis and another bad knee,” adds Dimitri. “I couldn’t run at all and even jumping rope was a struggle. Going back made me realize my physical limitations.”
It became almost unbearable for Tracy that she couldn’t do what she wanted to do with her body. Movements like hand-stand push-ups, which Tracy was once able to do without thinking twice, became roadblocks in her journey back to being fit. But she remained determined to overcome her limitations. If anything, it made her even more determined to get back to her former fitness level.
And, if she couldn’t do it for herself, she would do it for her grandkids, who were becoming old enough to run and play with grandma. If she couldn’t hang with them, they would notice.
“My grandkids are my life and I needed to be active with them,” she explains. “I didn’t want them to wonder why grandma couldn’t hold them or run around in the backyard with them. That would be devastating.”
So Tracy, after a year of being away from fitness, reached back out to Brooklyn to inquire about joining. Knowing a few folks at the box helped. Hearing they fostered an amazing community was the clincher. But it wasn’t without its challenges.
“Going back after five years was hell,” Dimitri says. “I can honestly say it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done because I didn’t have much mobility. But I can also honestly say it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.”
Today, Tracy and her daughter are both members at Grand Trunk, and her grandkids look on while they WOD together. The pull of Grand Trunk’s community was so strong that Tracy’s daughter, Alicia, has joined, even though she lives more then 30 minutes away. Their daily workouts have become bonding time. It allows Tracy to show off her dedication to her grandkids.
“It would be easier to join a CrossFit box closer to home but I wouldn’t get the same time with my mom if I did,” said Alicia Ciha, Tracy’s daughter. “Watching her get back into shape has inspired me to get more fit, and Grand Trunk is the perfect place for us to meet our goals.”
But back to that picture on her iPhone.
The woman Tracy sees every day is a woman who is never coming back. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If anything, CrossFit has allowed Tracy to become more aware of who she is as a person now, and reminds her to take necessary steps to stay within herself, whether it’s working out or watching what she eats.
“If CrossFit doesn’t affect your whole being, something’s wrong,” she adds. “It’s transforming in a lot of ways, not just physically. It helps me apply discipline in other areas of my life, as well. CrossFit is mind, body and soul. I reap benefits even when I’m not at the box, which is a definite bonus.”