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Athlete Spotligt- Shayna Brooks

What brought  you to CrossFit Ellis in the first place? 

Guilty as charged, I moved from fast paced California. I was surrounded by a never-ending option of outdoor activities. When I moved to Ennis, I felt very isolated. Part covid, part rural living in a town I knew no one in. I always saw CFEA Instagram and looked like such a good fun and strong community that I wanted to be part of. I followed the account for a few years before I decided to walk into the box for the first time. 

2021 was a very tough year for me, navigating grief, isolation, insecurities and lack of motivation. That carried with me into the beginning of 2022, when I decided to invest in myself both physically and mentally. I knew for certain that there were things that needed to change but I really couldn’t find it in me to “get into the gym.” I would schedule a workout or plan to go after my workday and day after day I found myself talking myself out of it. “There’s too much to do around the house, I still need to get this done, I have no time, I’m tired…” and whatever else I had to tell myself to keep feeding the voice that was keeping me “stuck in my rut” 

Until one day, one “before” picture, one encouraging conversation with Coach Aaron about my goals and accountability I decided it was time. It was time to find my way back to the energized, motivated, confident woman that I knew was there. 

It wasn’t about losing the lbs, that is a benefit for sure. The community is why I continue to show up every day. The people I’ve met, the smiles I get to share with fellow athletes and coaches, the safe place to be myself but also push myself to be more…that’s why I choose CFEA. 

What was your first impression? How has that changed? 

My first impression was WOW, they’ve really created something special here. THIS is what I’ve been missing. That hasn’t changed since the moment I walked in, only deepened as I get to see that this is not just a community, it’s your family. I’ve made friends so quickly that I know have my back. 

What was your first “Brightspot”? 

If I’m being honest, I don’t remember. Probably because I didn’t allow myself to really be vulnerable to share it when I was asked by Coach Aaron. But the truth? The truth is…finding my way into CFEA. It saved me more than I knew I needed. It saved me from my negative self-talk, my spiraling lack of motivation, my comfort of self-isolation. The group classes helped me push past physically tough situations that I’d kind of hit a wall just “working out from home and using my peloton” the encouragement to add the extra rep, to lift a tad bit heavier and to lean into the community is something that is so special and I’m lucky to have found my way into CFEA. 

What are you working on now? 

Consistency. My schedule can get pretty hectic, it’s easy to put myself and my fitness on the back burner. To me, the physical wins of getting my first pull up was amazing but that all came from consistency. Life always gets busier, and the excuses are easier to find if I let them. So that will always be my number one priority. CFEA unlimited classes are what’s been the best fit.

If you could go back in time, what would you tell Shayna of 1 year ago?

 “Wear the damn shorts” Hanna Grant and I came up with this saying…get the F out of your own way. Our bodies and minds are amazing things, and we can truly accomplish more than we could ever imagine if we just go for it. No excuses, understanding that failure is an inevitable steppingstone, not a setback. 

Also, what’s your favorite thing to do besides hang out at the gym with us?

Family Time and Cooking! I love to cook, it’s a part of the reason I go to #NoonSquad I enjoy being home for dinner, making a good, delicious meal from scratch. We do Fajita Friday every week with our family, & during the week I’ll FaceTime my family back home while I’m cooking and just catch up with everyone. My favorite food creator is The Defined Dish, Alex Snodgrass. If you haven’t heard of her, Ho check her out. Really good healthy meals, lots of which are Whole 30 or can easily be substituted to be.

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