Vagabond of the Month for January: Joleen V

Vagabond of the Month for January: Joleen Vellios 

Throughout my 20’s & 30’s I had spent time in different gyms and doing home workouts but found myself really uncommitted. I would never push myself. I would just quit if I got tired or if it hurt even a little. I was always looking for fast results with little effort. That obviously never happened so I would give up and then just complain that my butt has gotten flat and that there is extra jiggle in my thighs.
I was approaching the BIG 40 and thought “I really need to stop making excuses and get my act together, not just for my body but for my health!!” That’s when I reached out to my friend Katie from High School asking her what she has been doing for exercise because I noticed her huge transformation in all of her pictures that she had been posting on Facebook. She looked amazing! I thought, “I need to know her secret!!” She told me she had joined Vagabond a few months earlier. I asked if she would mind if I met her there one day to check it out. So, Thank you Katie Thoreson for motivating me to join you in a workout. It was one of the BEST decisions I had made in a long time.
It was 5 months ago when I walked into my first CrossFit class at Vagabond, I was excited to see Katie, it had been way too long, we hugged and chatted a bit but then it was time to get to business. I looked at the whiteboard and thought: What does all of this mean? Not knowing any of the abbreviations, acronyms, or movements and feeling super confused. I was totally intimidated, but at the same time felt completely welcomed by EVERYONE in that 9am class. To my surprise, there were a few familiar faces there too. I quickly realized that the familiar faces were my childhood dance friends that I hadn’t seen in so many years. Katie, Lindsey and Kristie, they looked exactly the same, just all grown up and absolutely Beautiful. I knew right then that I was going to LOVE it there. I even got my friend Tia to join with me. Tia keeps me going. She keeps a smile on my face even during our toughest workouts. When you are working out with your friends, it is always fun, right?! I am so grateful to have reconnected with my old friends, and for the new friends I have made. They inspire me, they motivate me and they are the reason I have made the commitment to keep going.
Each day walking into class and pushing myself a little bit harder has been such a big accomplishment for me. It’s really easy to push working out to the side and say I don’t have the time or I’ll go later but I’m addicted to this place. I had never found any type of workout that kept me wanting more until I tried the first class with Katie. I love the challenges, both mentally and physically.  I love that every day is different. It has become a part of my daily routine and can’t imagine life without it. I have worked out, off and on, for years but have never seen the results that I am seeing in such a short amount of time. I am in the best shape I have ever been in and I look at exercise differently than I have in the past. Don’t get me wrong, I want to curse, cry or give up during some of the workouts, but feel so accomplished when I walk out of there. I feel exhausted, I feel sweaty but feel stronger after each workout! Vagabond has changed my life!!!
I also have a sense of accomplishment because my daughter Kaila has joined Vagabond as well and has built up her own strength and confidence.  I’m truly proud that I get to share this lifestyle with my daughter. I enjoy watching her complete a WOD, hit a PR, or even sometimes lift heavier weights than her mom, and to see the look on her face when she completes a tough workout right alongside of me. She has recently gone back to college after her long winter break and was sad to not be able to go to Vagabond everyday but was happy to still be able to do the workouts at the gym at school because they are posted online every day! Keep up the hard work Kaila, I’m so proud of you!!!!
One of the MANY things that I love about Vagabond is that it’s a Community of different people, all ages, different abilities, all working towards their own goals. Vagabond is not just about the workouts. It’s the people that make it so great. Everyone is genuinely happy for one another’s achievements. I never thought I would be able to do nearly half of what I can do now.
I Love The AMAZING Coaches! Heather and Jay are very knowledgeable and encouraging. They keep us motivated by giving us great workouts and advice. No judgment, just support…and a lot of little reminders that form is really important! When I first joined Vagabond, I could barely lift a training bar over my head. It was quite embarrassing. I have no anxiety about not knowing what to do or how to do it, because some how they keep an eye on EVERYONE and make sure our technique and form is correct.
 Kevin is such a huge motivator. Nothing goes unnoticed with him. He is constantly reaching out to say “good work”, “great job’, or “keep it up!” He even checks in if you miss a class. That’s impressive. He truly cares about ALL of his members. He holds us accountable and encourages everyone to keep moving. It’s so much more than just exercise. It’s a lifestyle! I look forward to starting each day at Vagabond. It’s only an hour, but it is the fastest and best hour of my day. I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to work out with every morning.
Advice for someone hesitant to try Vagabond CrossFit:
You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.
 It’s never too late to become a fitter Healthier YOU. I wish I had started sooner but timing is everything! #Thisis40