Lisa Van Gerpen
We nominated Lisa for a number of reasons. Since joining the gym a year and half ago she’s worked hard to increase her strength and has valued learning technique first. She’s prioritized making it to the gym – even after nights of being on call and delivering babies – and has had some exciting changes in her health markers that she didn’t expect! She is a rockstar.
Tell us a little about yourself and your family:
I have been a certified nurse midwife at Avera for 22 years. My husband Shawn is a child psychiatrist at Avera. My oldest son Isaac is a junior physics major at SDSMT. My daughter Tessa is a 6th grader at Harrisburg South Middle School and son Treyton is a 3rd grader at Harrisburg Liberty.
How & when did you get introduced to Crossfit and what made you want to continue coming?
I was introduced to Crossfit by Rachel Lynass. I have always exercised and had thought about trying it several times but had been intimidated. I finally decided when they offered a free month for their anniversary (October 2019) that it was time. I had started lifting some (machines only) after years of only cardio but had never before worked out so hard in my life. Something about the intensity of the workout makes you feel great both emotionally and physically. I feel better than I have ever felt in my life and never thought I would say that at this age.
When do you normally workout (what class) and what do you like about that group?
I try to do the 8:30 group as much as I can. Partially because it is the best time for me physically but also it is a great group of people, so I feel supported and relaxed working out with them.
What are some of the biggest improvements you’ve made since starting?
When I started, I told Rachel that I just wanted to maintain tone. She told me “you are at the wrong gym.” I embraced the “getting stronger” and have gradually increased my weights on every exercise. I think more importantly, I can lift way more at home doing everyday things. I have always had normal lab results but decided recently to do a planet heart screening. My cholesterol ratio was 2.2, the lowest it has ever been! My resting pulse is also the lowest it has ever been. So, to be able to be getting to the age where most people start to get worsening results and actually be improving is pretty awesome.
What advice would you give to someone who is on the fence about trying Crossfit Phos?
Do not be intimidated. You can modify a lot, especially at first, but you will gradually get stronger and healthier. Also, I think it is a common misconception that you need to go 5 or 6 days a week and for many, myself included, that is unrealistic with work and family. Make a goal of 3 or 4 days and stick to it.
If you had to pick a vehicle or song that fit your personality, what vehicle/song would it be and why?
I am going to go with my favorite quote instead, as I am not really a car or song person. “Enjoy this moment for this moment is your life.” Try not to dwell on the past or worry about the future.
What’s your favorite pick-me up food, snack, or drink on a busy day?
Homemade energy balls and fresh fruit.
What’s your favorite “free time” activity?
Camping, hiking, gardening…. basically anything outside.
And finally, what do you love most about Phos?
Definitely the intensity that for one hour of my life makes me forget about all of my stressors, the feeling of accomplishment when I make it through a tough workout, and the people – both the staff and other members.