November Athlete of the Month - Ginger Loarca
Published November 1, 2017
I’m honored to be OCF’s athlete of the month. I’m Ginger Loarca, 36-years-old. I’m a recent graduate of a Physical Therapist Assistant Degree and I own my own business as a certified massage therapist. My passion for movement and recovery stems from my previous exposure in the field, wherein I worked as an exercise specialist for 5 years and coached youth soccer. I absolutely love working out with the OCF crew, traveling, eating, the beach and spending time with my furbaby Moosie.
I have been physically active all my life. As a child, my dad would take my sister and me to the gym with him, we would try out every machine as if it was our playground. I spent my high school and undergraduate years in the Philippines and this is where my passion for soccer began; I continued to play at a collegiate level at one of the top Universities in Manila. I consider soccer to be my first love (pickup game anyone?). Recreationally, I tried dragon boat rowing and flag football. In 2006, I decided to move back to California. At that point, my primary physical activity consisted of running, spinning, and I’m not going to lie… P90x and Insanity too.
I was first introduced to the world of Crossfit by a former coworker. It was 2012, I was working as an exercise specialist and he was a chiropractor who was involved with Crossfit for about 2 years. He had this crazy idea of putting a few of us (staff) through a WOD, which included a ridiculous amount of body weight exercises like push-ups and dips, that left me with “T-Rex” arms for days. It was no fun not being able to move my arms when I had to teach rehabilitative exercises for a living, so I had no hesitations putting Crossfit on my “never again list”. Fast forward to 2014, 2 coaches from OCF came to the clinic I was working at, to resolve a few of their injuries (promising right?) I must say, I was quite intimidated by these two women, I kept thinking, “with those arms, these two can probably bench press all 108 lbs of me” (I’m 122 lbs now) - I was wrong, they can bench me plus 2 kids.
I became really close friends with one of the coaches, and she insisted I try one of the classes at OCF. It took her weeks to convince me, she said: “come to my 6 pm class on Friday, I coach that night”. I finally agreed but I had no idea what I was walking in to. Lo and behold it was a COMP class, COMP for competitive… mind you, I had no fundamentals or barbell experience whatsoever. Do you guys remember how you felt during your first fundamental class? Now multiply that by 10. I was mortified! However, I managed to keep my poker face on. I pushed through the workout, saw Jesus a few times, and have been hooked since.
The first few months of joining OCF, it was more of a learning curve for me (still learning to this day). What a snatch was compared to a clean and all its technical glory. If that’s not enough, they confuse you more by adding the words power and hang. As weeks passed and everything started to make sense, I was surprised with how much stronger and efficient I was becoming with different movements. I was getting compliments on muscle definition (still working on the veins though, since it seems to be a thing these days). Before OCF, I was quite skinny since I was a cardio queen. Mentally, it has definitely pushed me beyond my limits. However, when I feel like I can’t push any further or when I doubt myself, the awesome OCF coaches and family are there for support and encouragement. It is an amazing community that continuously reminds you of what you’re capable of doing when you put your mind to it.
Now I’m in my 3rd year at OCF and I can’t help but wonder how much stronger and faster I would have been if I had started younger. But I’ve learned to take a step back and appreciate how far I’ve come and to consider how many people my age or even younger are capable of doing what I do. For me, this is an accomplishment on its own. For those who are older than me, they’ve become my inspiration and my role models. My fitness has now become a lifestyle, an addiction coupled with nutrition about 80% of the time. I love that I get to spend each day enjoying it with people that share the same philosophy and passion. Sure, some days I can’t help but compare myself to other people. But as long as I know I’m putting in enough work to become a better ME, and encouraging others to do the same, then that’s all that truly matters.
LIFTS – past/ current/ goals:
back squat 133/190/200+
clean and jerk 103/125/140
front squat 110/185/200+