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This is our 79th episode of The Community Conversation, and today we have one of our favorite 5am member, Emily Oberlee on! In this episode, she talks with coach Mike about her approach to making fitness a big part of her life and how important measuring your progress is.
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All right everyone, welcome back to the community conversation. It’s been a few months since we’ve done one of these, and I’m super excited to have Emily overly on today’s community conversation. Emily is a dedicated five Amer, I think, uh, she’s one of the only folks that travels weekly and, uh, jumps on the virtual.
She does not like to miss her workout. She’s been loyal prototype member. It’s like 2019, so it’s a few years now. And, uh, she’s been, you know, just an awesome addition to our community and just super pumped to have you on today, Emily. Well, thank you and thank you for thinking of me of co. Of course. So, um, like I, we were talking a little bit before this, but you know, I, I know kind of like your story a little bit and in terms of like how you kind of found the gym, but like, I would love for you to kind of share that with the folks that are listening.
So, you know, how’d you find the gym? Like, you know, what’s your, you know, background, like all that sort of. Sure, Sure. Um, so I’ve, I’ve always been a fitness person. I was, I was kinda reflecting on this and I was laughing. Um, I grew up with my parents dragging me to, to racquetball clubs, you know, like back in the, in the eighties,
So I’ve always had fitness as, you know, a center point of, of my life and, And so I went through, uh, with my career, I, I worked for a company, um, we were living in the Netherlands. Um, I thought this was a company I was gonna retire from, and all of a sudden they get bought by another company, you know, and, and I make a decision to, to leave and I’m gonna, I’m gonna start something new.
Mm-hmm. . So, um, I’m originally from Michigan. The company had to move me back to Michigan, and I took a job out here in Massachusetts. Um, but uh, it took me a long time to find a house. Mm-hmm. . So for about 10 months I was flying back and forth, um, between Michigan and, and Massachusetts. My family was, was back in Michigan and.
and I was working with Heather Schmidt and she kept saying, You have got to come to CrossFit. Because at the time I wasn’t working out during this traveling, and it was, you know, I could really feel it. And, uh, so, but I didn’t know where I was gonna land. And, uh, so ultimately, fortunately, I, I landed in Westboro and I think, um, I remember we moved the last week in July.
Mm-hmm. , and it was like two days after we. Moved in, I came to the gym and I’m like, I’m gonna sign up. I’ve gotta start, I’ve gotta get back into it. . Uh, so, and very glad, I mean, it, it was really, um, even a lifesaver for me because six months later, Covid hit, you know, so we’re new, new to a state, new to a, a town.
Mm-hmm. . Um, and, you know, we didn’t. Still don’t really know a whole lot of people, but mm-hmm. , um, the, the gym was really my outlet. Mm. And it’s a, it’s a fantastic community. Awesome. I, So I didn’t know that you were, you lived in the Netherlands. What was that experience like? And you said that you, you went from working there and then kind of went back to Michigan and then you kind of went to Massachusetts, but like, what was that I would love, I’m curious, like what, what were you actually curious too, like what were you doing, like workout and fitness wise when you were in Netherlands?
Oh yeah, great question. A lot of biking . Um, so we were on an assignment in the Netherlands. Um, it was actually our second rotation there in, um, I work for a company that, um, had their regional supply chain, uh, out of the Netherlands. And, um, we’re supplying infant formula to, to Europe and, and to. Um, so that’s what we were doing over there.
We moved over as a family. I mean, we moved our entire household over and, uh, we were there almost three years. Um, and what I found in the Netherlands, so they’re very active. They ride their bike everywhere. Mm-hmm. . Um, I wasn’t able to ride my bike to work mm-hmm. . Um, but like the girls rode their bike to soccer practice.
We rode our bike to the grocery store, we. Um, we had a special setup on the back of it where you would put your groceries in the back. Mm-hmm. . Um, so that was definitely bike biking and walking were, uh, fitness. I did join a gym over there, um, where I did a lot of the, the hilt, the high intensity mm-hmm.
type of things. Um, what I found though, they do not get up. So gyms don’t even open up until like nine in the morning over there. Really? Yes. So that was really hard for me cuz I’m definitely, I have to do it first thing in the morning. Mm-hmm. was that because like, it’s just not part of the culture to get up early, They go to bed later?
Like, is it, and it, is that like also kind of the work environment too? Like everything just starts later in the, in the day? Generally, yes. It’s just, it’s the culture. Um, they start a little bit later. They’ll work out in the evening. Mm-hmm. more so than say the early morning. Mm-hmm. . So that must have been a little bit of an adjustment.
Like I can, I can imagine cuz you’re like, you’re five Amer, like you’re just, I’m Exactly. Maybe I go into the 6:00 AM Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. So yeah. That’s sleeping in for you. Right? So I can imagine like, waking up early, having to go to bed early now it’s like flipped to the exact opposite way. It was, it was interesting.
Kind of like you’re mentioning like the, the fitness stuff and like family and, and like you’ve gotten your daughter involved in the gym too. She’s doing like the barbell club too, right? Absolutely. And I am, I’m so thankful. Um, I’m thankful to you and to Joe, that you have this and that you invite kids and, uh, you know, just like my parents, they did that for me, right?
I, I grew up going to racquetball clubs and it’s always been, uh, part of our lives and I wanna do the same for the girls. And I’m glad that they have this opportunity and she loves it and she’s thriving, she’s learning. So it’s Morgan. And, um, yeah, she loves being part of that atmosphere. And she herself, so she plays volleyball at the high school.
Mm-hmm. . And, um, she still wanted to lift weights and, uh, so she comes in at six in the morning now twice a week. And, and Joe was great at setting up a routine, uh, for her and another girl so that they could continue their, their weightlifting. So. Awesome. I love when, um, when families can share kind of, Fitness like.
It’s just such a cool thing. It’s funny because I’m in the back office right now and Charlotte is out like in her. In her little, you know, um, car seat, like stroller getting, I think Brian’s like pushing her around the gym so we can do this. But, but yeah, I mean, like, I’m, I’m trying to get her in there. It, like, you, you go to racquetball courts, like, uh, your whole life with your parents.
Like, I’m trying to get her exposed to the, uh, the gym, specifically the dropping of the weights so she’s not like, freaked out when she’s a, a, a little bit older, cuz it can, you know, it. She gets startled when I just cough. So I’m like, you know what? If you can get used to barbells dropping, you can, you can listen to dad cough over here and, and whatnot.
But, um, but, uh, another thing like you, you came here but you like, weren’t doing CrossFit, like this was like, right? Like you weren’t doing CrossFit. That was like the first experience. What, what was like the biggest differences or change, or I guess change from like, what you were doing before, like in Michigan and your normal routine to then starting in like a gym, like, like our gym, like doing CrossFit classes.
Yeah, it was, um, I was doing more cardio type routines. Um, you know, I would do a lot of running, uh, or jogging. Uh, and then if there were weights, it were, it was, uh, dumbbells, not barbells. Mm-hmm. . So that for me, coming here, I really learned, you know, some of the Olympic moves, I’d never done them before.
Mm-hmm. like the, um, the clean. The snatch and I was like, What? You know, what is this? And that’s been also a really positive here thing here is I like to learn mm-hmm. and I’m constantly learning something and continuously improving and, and, and progressing. And that’s me motivating. I will say like, you are one of the few people.
That is diligent on logging their workouts. I do know you have a journal. Yes. You bring it in and you, and you like log it in the system. You also keep a journal. I think that’s cool. And, and I’m curious like, cuz I, I do, I, you know, the, the, the power of kind of tracking and measuring your progress is like important and I feel like that’s something that like, is valuable to you.
And I dunno, maybe kinda share your perspective on that. Cause I do think that others could like, benefit from just like that, that perspective because, you know, there’s, there’s power. Yes. So it’s Covid. Um, because when we all came home, I, I didn’t have a whiteboard, so I’m like, Right, I’m just gonna get out of notebook mm-hmm.
and start tracking it. And, um, but I like it. Um, couple reasons. First of all, I mean, I’m, I’m, I’m in front of a computer all day long, so at the end of the day when I look at tomorrow’s workout, you know, I just, I don’t wanna be. I just wanna write it down. Mm-hmm. kind of unplug. Mm-hmm. . Um, and think about it.
But, but I also think, and, and this is something actually, you know, I talk about at work, is I do think there’s a connection between, you know, looking and writing it down. Mm-hmm. , you know, that then you think about it, you reflect on it, um, versus when everything is all digital. Mm-hmm. in, in, you know, online.
Do you really get that kind of mind? Connection. So I, you know, for me, it’s all I agree with you. I totally agree with. Well, and I see you have behind you. I was just gonna say, this is how I can’t see, I don’t know what they say, but don’t worry about what they say, what it says. But this is, yeah, this is my, But it’s the same thing.
You know, you put something on the wall, you can write about it, it’s, it’s everywhere. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. Mm-hmm. . Totally. So you can look at it, reflect on it, and come back to it. And that’s what I like. I mean, I can page back, uh, like this morning I went back and when’s the last time I did thrusters and. You know, how many we were doing, and, and then I kind of gauge, right?
Yeah. I can, I can maybe go up five pounds. Mm-hmm. or not. Mm-hmm. . That’s awesome. Yeah. It’s, it’s, it’s powerful. Like it being in front of you. I like the point you said kind of like your, your world is so digital now. There is a Yeah. I’m a believer in that too. It kind of, being out in front of you, it’s easy to kind of revisit it and explore it and learn and then like, you know, tinker, like, you know what I mean?
And even be able to kind of measure that, measure your progress and see kind of where you were to where you are now, like being like in front of you. I mean, you literally see those. I have, it’s funny, I should bring this in for you. I have a journal. We used to have these like. Like CrossFit prototype, like wa like wad journals.
Like they used to make ’em, I don’t even know if the company still makes ’em anymore, but like I have like my workouts from like 2012 like in there. It’s, it’s funny, like it’s just, it was, this is, this is pre, so this was like when we didn’t have like it online and I’m like actually like that. Like being able to kind of write all that stuff down.
So maybe something that you’re inspiring me to kind of revisit that myself. You know, personally for my, for my workouts. Um, so since you’re like kind of all in on CrossFit and you’ve like, you love learning and all that sort of stuff, I’m, I’m curious, like, are there any like standout like CrossFit workouts that are like your favorite or favorite movements or anything like that?
Anything that kind of comes to mind? Ooh, that’s a good question. Um, maybe
nothing. I mean, I guess I do like the clean. Mm. Because I, I feel like I am getting, uh, better at it. Mm-hmm. , um, and I have been able to, to increase on weight. Mm-hmm. . Um, but I, I kind of like, um, when we do, first of all the partner workouts mm-hmm. , those are always fun when you have somebody to do, to do that with.
Mm-hmm. , Um, uh, but I, I kinda like, I guess the chip. . Yeah. You know where you’ve got it and you just gotta kind of work through it. Stay focused. Mm-hmm. ? Um, I do prefer, uh, you know, running when we mix in the running or the jogging mm-hmm. , uh, in between as well. Mm-hmm. . Or rowing. I mean, my preference is running versus, versus rowing.
But , you are, you are the, the minority in that. I’d say most folks Yeah. Cringe and do not want and avoid the running workouts. You I know. Well, Kim and I are there. You know, Kim and I will talk running the day. Yeah, that’s right. That’s right. He’s, he’s definitely good there. You’ve, um, one thing I just kind of circle back, I didn’t know that, um, Heather Schmit was the one that like, I told you about the gym, so that’s cool.
That’s something I learned about. I know you guys like work together and stuff like that, but I, I didn’t, I guess I didn’t make that connection like in my head. And that’s cool. You guys work out together, work together, like I guess I’m curious, like you do do, do you work together? Are you seeing like, you know, a relationship, like you guys able to like train together in the gym?
Is that like impacting work relationship is like other stuff to talk, I’m just curious. Oh yeah, absolutely. So, so the company that I moved out here for, um, Heather and I worked at together. Um, I worked there for three years. I, I actually moved on to a different company now. That’s right. But Heather is, Heather was my first friend.
That’s awesome. Out here. And, uh, she did, she, she recommended, um, the gym. She told me about you and John. Mm-hmm. , uh, I think at the time she was, she was training with John and. Just spoke very highly about it. And, and then we started coming to the 5:00 AM class together and absolutely, it’s, it’s certainly fostered the friendship and, and certainly, and also helps keep us connected even though I, you know, we don’t necessarily work together.
Totally. Totally. That’s cool. Now I was, I was curious, um, another thing since like, you’ve, like, you’re like at like, you know, religious on tracking like your workouts and that sort of thing, like, What are you, like your, I’m curious of like your goals, Like what are the things that you’re working on? What do you want to get better at?
Like, you know, what are the, you know, I guess maybe three month outlook, you know, year outlook, whatever. Like what, what are those things? Yeah. So, um, you know, consistency is important to me. Mm-hmm. , um, you know, and it, it’s just as much the, the mental, maybe even more so than, than say the physical. I mean, that’s, that’s why I come as much as I do.
I get such, um, You know, a mental kind of start to the day or reset if it’s needed. Um, so it’s, I just will continue to come. Even if I’m tired, I just say, just go. You don’t have to even, you know, do the, the full, just get it done. Totally. Um, so I wanna just continue to be consistent. Mm-hmm. . Um, as far as some of the physical goals, I mean, I would love to nail double unders, you know, but do it like consistently and not this, you.
One, two or 1, 2, 3. You are guine. You’re gotten so much better. It’s awesome. We’re getting there. But boy, , I just wanna find that rhythm. If, if there’s a analogy to learning and development, that movement is like right there up with it. You can see the, the evolution in the, in the progression. And it’s so similar across the board for, for almost everyone it’s, I think it’s.
Very rare that folks do try that for the first time and they’re able to do it successfully. And it’s, I think I’ve only seen one person in my entire life that like you gave ’em the jump rope, you showed ’em how to do it, and they were able to do ’em like in a row. Like I’m not even, I’ve been, you know, coaching this stuff for.
CrossFit specifically, like for 12 years, and it’s like, I think one person that comes into my mind, but it’s like, it’s such a, it’s so analogous to, to like learning anything. It’s like there’s like a, a progression there and then there’s like also the regression. There’s some days you’re kind of like, why is this not working?
Right? Exactly. I was just thinking, it’s like golf for me. I have a good hole or a good shot and I’m like, okay, or I have bad and I wanna, you know, throw the clubs in the lake and, and be done with it and never do it again. But then I’ll have like a good shot. So it’s the same thing. I’m like, Oh, I’m done with this.
I need a new jump rope, or I need, and then I’ll have a good, uh, a good run of, of double unders or jump roping, uh, like, okay, I can do this. I did not know you were a golf. Yeah. How, how did you play? Do you play often? Not often. Not so much anymore. We used to, uh, in, uh, actually, uh, live close to the golf course here and don’t take advantage of it enough.
But maybe once the kids, uh, you know, kids kind of get in the way of the, the game. Yeah. Yeah. It’s a, it’s a commitment, I’ll tell you that. Like yes. It’s funny since I’ve had c. Erin and I used to play, you know, every weekend, and I don’t think I’ve played in, geez, maybe 12, you know, almost since she, I think I played twice since she was born.
But like, it’s fun. It’s like, it is a commitment. You know, if you’re gonna go play 18 holes, you’re out there, it’s a six hour, it’s a six hour commitment, you know, driving, playing. There’s always the 19th hole, you know, no matter what exactly , you know, you’re not just leaving the course. Um, uh, so one, one thing I wanna, I wanna get into, which I think we’re at a good point here, is, um, are, are two truths and a lie?
Yes. Um, for you folks that are listening, you may not have seen this or heard, listen to the community conversation before. We do this thing called Two Truth and a Lie. So, Emily’s going to try to stunt me and she’s gonna give us, Gimme three state. Two of those are true about her and one’s a lie and I gotta try to figure out which one’s a lie.
I will be very honest. My track record is not very good. I am, I, you know, I dunno, people can lie to me pretty easily, so I’m gonna do my best. But I’m curious, Emily, I know you got a few things, like, let’s, let’s hear ’em. I’m gonna, I’m gonna do my best to try to, to try to nail you on. All right. And so you want me to say all three of ’em at once?
Uh, yeah. You can just go on one, Yeah. Yeah. Yep, yep. All right. Right. So, um, so I have a, a really big family back in Michigan. Mm-hmm. . Um, uh, another one is I used to do triathlons. Mm-hmm. . And then the third one is that I am a huge fan of, uh, the eighties hair band music. But then also I really like some other eclectic stuff like Depeche Mode and Prints.
Mm-hmm. . So those are the three. All right. I, This, this is, this is tough. So the last one, Huge fan of eighties hair band music, depe. Like it’s so specific that like, I feel like it’s either that has to be the lie or it’s so true that like it’s gotta be true. So I’m gonna like say that that’s the truth. But like, don’t tell me if I’m wrong quite yet.
Um, Okay. I, I haven’t made my final decision. I gotta pick the lie. Big family in Michigan, I assume is true cuz it’s vague. And big family could mean something differently to you than it could to me, but I do think that may be true. The triathlon I’m curious about, because I know you said you like running, you have a fitness background.
We didn’t talk about that. I, I said I’m gonna go with two. The triathlon’s a lie. No. Oh, that’s, no, that’s true. I suck at this game. Okay. I suck. All right. Well, well, let’s start with that. I’m, don’t tell me to lie yet, but. So you did triathlons, Like, so did that, did you have to put that on pause? Like when you were in Netherlands, did you do that when you were there or was this like more of a Michigan thing?
Yeah, no, I, I, I did them in Michigan. Um, you know, with all the lakes around it was, it was very easy, you know, accessible to find lakes and do them. Um, yeah, again, it goes back to once the kids came around, it kind of went on pause, but mm-hmm. . Yeah, I had the whole, I still have the bike and the wetsuit, and.
All the gear. Mm-hmm. , so I didn’t do any major ones. They were more, you know, sprints or, or the next one up from a sprint. Yeah. That’s cool. I didn’t, I do like ’em. I, I do miss them. I thought, you know, maybe, maybe some, some point we can get a small group to go and do something, you know, Do do a small one. I would love it.
That sounds like a great idea. I’ve never done a triathlon in myself. I’ve done a Ur Athlon, which I maybe like, that’s kind of cool. We do the. The concept two bike, the skier, and then the rower. It’s all an indoor thing. I did it last year and it was, uh, it’s pretty brutal. Um, but that’s cool. I did not know.
I did not know that about you. Um, alright. What’s the, what’s the lie? The lie is my big family. Okay. I have a very small, small family. Okay. Um, back in, back in Michigan, which, you know, makes it tough at times. Mm-hmm. . But yeah, I wish I would like to have a big family. I think that would be, you know, cool. But no, just very one sister, only like three cousins,
That’s it. Yeah. So that was like tempted. I was like, oh, that’s like very vague. I don’t know what that means, but, Okay. The, and then so the, your, the another truth that he said is like, huge fan of eighties hair band music, the peche mode Prince. Oh yeah. Def Lepar. Gimme some, gimme some of the, the, the favorites on the, on the hair band.
Oh, Def Leppard. Mm-hmm. . So I, I have my, I’ll wear my Duff leopard t-shirt to the gym. Didn’t you, were you, did you, was that one of your costumes one year for how the wa we, I can’t remember. Maybe not. It wasn’t, but I was actually thinking about it this year. Mm-hmm. , that’s interesting to make. So, uh, so Van Halen, uh, Poison Guns and Roses.
Oh, there we go. All right, so I know what music will play when you’re in class now. Now I’m getting like my, Oh yeah, the acdc. I’m getting my list. I’m getting my list now. This is awesome. It’s cool. It’s cool. I didn’t know that. I didn’t know that about you. But then you also like the best mode and prints.
It’s a good wide variety of, uh, A music thing. Yeah. Is, yeah, it’s kind of, it’s kind of crazy. So yeah, I have, it’s eclectic from that, from that era. That’s cool. That’s awesome. Well, Emily, I, I super appreciate you beyond the community conversation today and sharing all this, this stuff, this is just really cool.
I learned, I learned a lot. There’s a lot of lessons to be taken out of this for the folks that are. Listening right now. Thank you so much for tuning in. Um, we love doing these community conversations, highlighting our members and being able to talk and learn some life lessons from all of them. There’s tons of stuff to, uh, to learn from a lot of the great people that we have here.
And very thankful to have Emily on today’s episode of the Community Conversation. So thank you all so much for listening. And Emily, thank you so much again for being part of this conversation. Yeah. Well thank you and thank you for all that you do for us. I appreciate it, Mike. You’re very welcome. Do a great job.
Thank you. So well have a, Have a great day. Bye.