I would like to take a moment to recognize one of the hardest working badass athletes we have in the gym. Gina Mendoza started here at CrossFit Hippo over a year ago when we invited folks to do the CrossFit Open at our gym. Her and Iris showed up and the rest is history. Gina is an amazing member of our community. She is constantly inspiring and encouraging other athletes whether it be by example or by finishing the runs with them. Lately she has really stepped up the intensity and her commitment to fitness and nutrition. I have personally had the pleasure of helping her navigate her love of Salted Dos Equis and balance her nutrition needs with a diet she can stick with. Gina committed to the 5am class recently and stepped up the pace of her training. A couple things you can expect when you meet Gina, she gives great hugs, never misses a chance to make or bring someone a gift to make them feel special. She shreds up her shirts in the coolest ways. Oh, and most importantly her eyebrows are always done. Gina is a dear friend and we absolutely love having this committed badass mom in our family. We love you Gina and Congratulation on being our first athlete of the MONTH!
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF.
I’m 35 and a mommy of 2. Been married 15 years.
My fitness journey is different than most. After I had my son, I was the biggest I had ever been and couldn’t seem to lose the weight. I started taking diet pills and starving myself. The weight started dropping like crazy. I got down to about 100lbs and down to a size 0 (which I wasn’t even that in high school) and developed a huge thigh gap lol. I was obsessed with the number on the scale and obsessed with being “skinny”. I don’t know at which point I looked at myself in the mirror and thought to myself “omg I look f*cken sick, what am I doing?” I made the decision at that point to stop the pills. I started gaining weight, going up sizes…a mental struggle not going to lie. I decided then to start working out and get “fit”. I started Insanity at home and I did that for about 2years. Then, along came CrossFit. I’ve become obsessed with not only the transformation of what the weightlifting has done, but with seeing what I’m capable of doing. I like knowing that my kids are proud of what their mom can do. I hope that along the road I’ve motivated some people to start working out, to start eating better, and to never say “I’ll NEVER be able to do THAT” because I was “that” girl.
WHAT IS ONE THING WE MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU OR BE SURPRISED TO FIND OUT?
I don’t like chocolate candy or any candy for that matter.
WHAT MADE YOU START CROSSFIT?
I was actually doing Insanity at home and felt like I hit a plateau. Wanted something more challenging. I saw a Groupon (for a different box) and told my cousin about it and we decided to go for it and join. We couldn’t even lift the 35lb bar when we started.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT CROSSFIT?
I’d say the camaraderie. I’ve met so many awesome people that have become family. We cheer and motivate each other every single day and we don’t let anyone finish alone.
WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST CROSSFIT MOMENT?
The day I maxed out on my deadlift at 250lbs. I hurt my back doing DL at another box in 2015 (I have 2 torn discs) and had to stop working out. Did therapy for a few months and was able to go back to CrossFit with limitations (which sucked). Didn’t do deadlifts for a while after that and slowly started again at a very low weight when I started at Hippo. Thanks to the coaches that corrected my form, I grew the confidence to slowly go up in weight. So maxing out at 250lb was a HUGE deal for me!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOVEMENT/LIFT? LEAST FAVORITE?
Favorite is back squats for sure! Love wall balls too! Least favorite is snatches …mainly because I just completely suck at them. Lol. Oh! And I absolutely HATE running.
WHAT ARE YOUR CROSSFIT GOALS? HOW CLOSE ARE YOU TO REACHING THEM?
Well at the beginning of the year I wrote down 3 goals. I’ve completed two which are ring dips and stringing 25 double-unders together. My last goal before the year ends is to do a bar muscle up. I don’t know how close I am to achieving that to be honest. But, hopefully I can cross that one off my list before the year ends. I do like to set goals for myself and try to achieve them. I have completed a few along the way. Some being hitting 200lbs on my front squat, getting a kipping hand stand push-up, chest to bar pull ups, and actually getting some butterfly pull ups. Will I stop there? Nope! I think everyone should continuously make goals for themselves and strive to achieve them no matter how small they think they are.
WHAT IMPACT HAS CROSSFIT HIPPO HAD ON YOUR LIFE IN AND OUT OF THE GYM?
For one, eating healthy. Before, I’d go in waves with trying to eat healthy but had no guide. I started working with Coach George last October who has guided me throughout this past year. Even with all the bitching I do, he’s managed to help keep me on track and give me pointers. I do have my cheat days….but who doesn’t? Balance right? What can I say, I love food and alcohol.
In the gym, I’d say commitment. I’ve never committed to working out as much as I do now….EVER! And I can honestly say I owe it to Crossfit Hippo and “the herd”. I see the work that other athletes put in on a daily basis; I’ve seen their transformations and it honestly motivates me to stay committed to going as much as I do to become better. Not only for me, but you just never know who is looking up to you. I look up to a lot of athletes at the box and always think to myself “they are goals AF, I want to be able to do THAT one day”.
WHAT MAKES CROSSFIT DIFFERENT FROM OTHER FITNESS PROGRAMS THAT YOU’VE TRIED IN THE PAST?
I did the globo gym thing a long time ago (before selfies were a “thing”). No one knows you…. you are just one of the gazillion members they have. If you miss two days in a row, no one is gonna ask “hey where’s __ been? Are they ok?”
I did Insanity at home for 2years and well you have no one pushing you.
With crossfit I feel like you get a little bit of everything…plus gain a family.
IF YOU COULD CREATE A WOD, WHAT WOULD IT LOOK LIKE?
Hmmmm….an AMRAP for sure (don’t care for rounds for time) I’d name it “Damn Gina” since that seems to be the thing I hear ALL the time… and it would have back squats, lunges, front squats, & wall balls….goal would be to make it hurt to sit the next day((evil laugh)).
WHEN YOU’RE NOT AT CROSSFIT, WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO?
I love spending time with my family whether it’s going out to eat, shopping, to the park, movie nights…I try and stay busy. I have a bit of OCD so I always find something I can clean, color code or organize at the house lol. And there are those few times where I do workout at home again in the afternoons. Oh! And naps…boy do I love me some naps!