Garrett & Lasandra Wilson

We wanted to nominate Garrett and Lasandra as our first member of the month couple! They are amazing together and are also so awesome in their own ways. Garrett is incredibly encouraging and always the first person to introduce himself to anyone new in the gym. Even on bad days he’s still smiling. Lasandra is one of the most consistent women in the gym. She always works hard and never stops focusing on the little things so she can keep improving. It’s also been really sweet watching her help other athletes improve their technique and build their confidence.

Tell us a little about yourselves:

GW: I’m a Sioux Falls native who works at Midco in Human Resources.

LW: I grew up on a farm in north central SD. During the school year, I drive to Vermillion where I teach at the USD Dental Hygiene Department. When college classes aren’t in session, I work at several dental offices in Sioux Falls. Rounding out the Wilson trio is our Boston Terrier, Rigley.

How did you get introduced to Crossfit? Where were you at then, compared to now?

GW: Getting back into shape was important as I was coming off a running injury. Crossfit was intriguing because of the variety of lifting, cardio, and gymnastics. Our membership at Crossfit Phos was slated to start in January 2017, but we started a nutrition challenge before our “official” membership kicked off. Progress sometimes seems slow until you look back at the starting line. Starting off felt clunky since didn’t know some of the lifts and other movements. Now I’m at least proficient in most of the movements with continued goals of cleaning up form and cycling the movements more effectively.

LW: With Garrett healing from his injury, we decided to do some personal training with Rachel to focus on gymnastic movements. I had been involved in sports my whole life but had never touched a barbell and thought this would be a great way to ease my way into the Crossfit scene. I will never forget when Rachel asked me to show her a pull-up on the rig. I jumped up onto the bar ready to find out where my starting point was going to be for training. Rachel said “go ahead”. Every single muscle in my body contracted and to both her surprise and mine, I literally did not even move a millimeter. Laughter erupted from both of us as I exclaimed “I’m trying!”. Compared to that day about 4 years ago, I have made leaps and bounds in my strength and abilities. Needless to say, we all start somewhere.

Garrett, you’ve had multiple injuries/setbacks – how did you work through these and what motivated you to stay

It’s been challenging to overcome injuries. Mental roadblocks can be just as challenging as the physical injury itself. I’ve realized that showing up is the best thing you can do. You may not be able to do everything, but you can still do something. Some of the best progress I’ve made in Crossfit is when I’ve been forced to slow down and focus. I’m thankful for the coaches who continue to help me modify workouts as needed to keep me safe.

Everyone knows you two love each other – we’ve all seen the PDA ;) How
does gym time play a role in your healthy relationship?

GW/LW: It’s a great way to have fun, grow, and support one another. We can cheer each other on, snag an extra hour together and pick each other’s brains to get better. Often times, one person’s strengths are the other’s weaknesses. Our time together during the week is limited so we are thankful for our morning rituals. And yes, we have no problem smooching in front of our classmates.

How has nutrition been a part of your lives?

GW/LW: We’ve learned that progress is a heck of a lot slower if you don’t consider nutrition. Completing a workout isn’t an excuse to eat anything you want – quite the opposite. Eating healthy is a way of maximizing the work you put into the gym and recovering for another day. We use nutrition as a way to lose fat, build muscle, and fuel our bodies for optimal health.

Lasandra, you have always been so focused on technique and excellency –
how has this been both a positive and negative characteristic in terms of
your growth at the gym?

I love lifting heavy weights. However, my goal has never been to lift the most weight in the gym. Instead, I strive to execute each movement with proper technique. Spending extra time focusing on technique allows me to maximize each lift and build strength. My goal is to have my form look the same whether I’m moving an empty or heavy barbell. On the flip side, because of my fixation with proper technique and wanting to do everything perfectly, I struggle with quick barbell cycling and sometimes hold myself back from attempting new things because I don’t want to “do it wrong”.

What achievements in the gym are you each most proud of?

GW: Finishing a competition is extremely gratifying. Some competitions turn out better than others but always proud of the teammates who give it their all.

LW: With my passion for technique, I am fascinated by the Olympic lifts and strive to be consistent and accurate in my attempts. When I first started CrossFit, I remember barely being able to complete an empty barbell snatch. Last year at the Dakota Games in Fargo, ND, I hit a new snatch PR at 170lbs with ease. I am proud of myself for continuing to work on technique even when the process is tedious; that’s when the real work takes place.

What inspires each of you?

GW: Inspiration comes in a variety of ways. People who go out of their way to show kindness to make our communities better is inspiring. Watching lifters who are smaller than me tossing around more weight reinforces I still have a lot of work
to do!

LW: Every day is full of opportunities for growth and I am continually inspired by those around me who face adversity head on and don’t back down. I love seeing people accomplish their goals both in and out of the gym.

What are your favorite desserts?

GW: I’m a cookie fan. Just not a fan of fruit in cookies.

LW: I love all things chocolate, especially thick and fudgy brownies.

And finally, What do you love most about Phos?

GW/LW: The people…duh. We’ve made some amazing friendships at the gym.