April 2017 Athlete Of The Month - Shannon Borja
Published April 1, 2017
My name is Shannon Borja and at 28 years old I'm married to my wonderful husband Johnathon and "omma" to our two amazing sons Jack and Jay. I've been an athlete most of my life, but my fitness was limited to the realm of softball and running. I've struggled with weight for most of my life and have always had to remain active to stay healthy.
When I was 22, I had hit my heaviest weight of 240 lbs. I had stopped playing softball and was "too busy" to be active and found myself in a place I never wanted to be again. It took me a couple of years of running and a lot of discipline but I was able to get down to 168 lbs. I was running about 4-6 miles about 5 times a week. I thought I had found my hobby with running and was content with cardio.
In 2015 I got pregnant with Jay and although I tried to maintain a healthy lifestyle I found myself "treating myself" a little too often with the snacks. I also became very ill during my pregnancy which caused me to gain a lot of weight and we were forced to give birth to Jay at only 5 1/2 months into my pregnancy. He defied all odds and although he only came into this world at 1 lb 1 oz, he's got a huge personality and just celebrated his first birthday.
So now here I was back at 232 lbs the day I was admitted to the hospital. It was a hard number to swallow for me, but I knew I had what it took to reach my goals once again. My husband, who knows how competitive I am and how hard I push myself recommended that I tried crossfit this time around. It was something he enjoyed doing and a tool he used to stay healthy and lose weight for himself. By the time I was cleared for exercise my husband was deployed and I walked into a local crossfit gym and decided to give it a try. With no weightlifting or gymnastics experience, I was very intimidated with what I saw.
But I was shown the ways of scaling hahaha, and found that I loved being challenged and strived to be better every single day. Only after two months of crossfit, the gym I had joined had relocated and a lot of our members ended up trying OCF. My very first wod at OCF felt like my first day of crossfit all over again. The gym was filled with competitive athletes and I was sore for two weeks straight. But coaches and athletes alike welcomed all of us in with open arms and I quickly felt at home here. I'm now going into my 9th month of crossfit and am shocked with how strong I have become. The coaches here have encouraged me so much and have pushed me as an athlete to be the best I can be. The athletes here are unlike any other, and have definitely have become family to me. OCF has seen me on the "struggle bus" many days, but I am able to push myself thanks to the cheers and support of my fellow athletes here.
Crossfit has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. I feel that you truly receive whatever you put into it. I have grown stronger physically and mentally. Crossfit is a personal battle everyday, and although there are many days I have to find the strength within myself, I find an immense amount of strength through the support of all of the OCF members. Crossfit has also allowed me to share a hobby with my 7 year old son, who loves seeing his progress at the gym as well. OCF has made my whole family feel welcomed and supported throughout our fitness journey and I'm so glad that I decided to try crossfit.
I am now at my smallest weight at 165lbs and there are so many things I can do now that I couldn't do before. From being able to do a pull-up to hitting a 110lb snatch, I'm amazed at my progress here at OCF. I'm definitely competitive in nature so my goal is to have all crossfit movements down within a year... so muscle ups here I come! And all of this would not be possible without my wonderful husband, kids, and OCF family!!!
back squat: 210/285
clean and jerk: 115/150
front squat: 175/225