Member Spotlight: Haley Faulkner

Haley’s been a member at Renew for just a short while now, and has already put a ton of work in at the gym. A friend of a friend of many friends of Renew, it was only a matter of time before we lured her in. Read a bit more about Haley and if you see her around the gym, be super impressed by her because she’s been working her ass off. 

Q: How did you hear about CrossFit Renew? 

A: I heard about CrossFit Renew by word of mouth from current Renew members: Jessica Guevara, Kelsi Dawe, and Candace Knox.

(If you didn’t know, CrossFit Renew is the unofficial informal gym of all the nurses everywhere in Austin.)

Q: Do you feel like your life has improved since joining? If so, how? 

A: Yes, of course.  CrossFit is a completely new experience and challenge for me physically and mentally.  I was searching for an outlet to push my limits in both of those areas, and CrossFit Renew has definitely delivered!  I have learned to quiet the negative self-talk and let go of my self-consciousness by showing up to WODs knowing that I may not know how to perform some of the skills – but therein lies my opportunities to grow and transform.  That if I stay committed to this investment in myself, I will leave the gym more “renewed” and improved and the growth I’ve accomplished inside the gym will positively impact other areas of my life outside of the gym.  

Q: What’s been your favorite moment at Renew? And, why?

A: It would be easy to say my favorite moment at Renew has been when someone made me laugh or when a coach and/or member encouraged me to finish a WOD before the time cap.  A more accurate and a more important, meaningful response would be to say my favorite moments at Renew have been teaching moments, hands down. For example: It was a weightlifting back squat day (5/1/19) with a cap time of 25:00, and Justin was coaching.  I must have finished my first three sets of 10 too quickly (time remaining 18:45, whoops!) because when Justin comes over to my side of the rig to check in, he kindly asks “What set are you on?”…to which I reply, “I just finished set 3.” I notice his eyes widen, and I immediately feel embarrassed in realizing I’ve moved through this workout incorrectly.  Teaching moment: Justin takes the time to reiterate the instructions and goals of the workout (i.e. how heavy the weight should feel, how much time you should take in between sets in order to properly recover, what is 80% of my max weight on back squat, and if I don’t know my max weight I should come to open gym and find out!). Justin provides me with constructive criticism and at least 1-2 minutes of his undivided attention in order for me to make adjustments for my subsequent sets.  Although I was clearly embarrassed in my mistake, I was humbled and genuinely appreciative of his feedback. All in all, teaching moments = opportunities for improvement. They are humbling experiences that occur not merely to point out your mistakes, but to illuminate your mistakes in order for you to improve upon them, to do it better the next time! Making improvements in any part of my life, however small or big, is a confidence booster and immensely rejuvenating.  

All of the Renew coaches have provided me similar, crucial teaching moments in my short 2.5 months at Renew, and I am incredibly grateful.  You all want me to succeed and I believe it. Those small moments of your time (even if it’s 30 seconds to correct my form!) have helped me to make small improvements, and over time those small improvements can only lead to further progress so long as I stay committed.  In fact, I’ve already noticed progress from when I first started! So, I’ll continue to show up and with the trusted guidance of the Renew Crew, I will continue to reinvent myself with each new WOD. And, although slow-going at times, I’m excited about my continual transformation.

Q: So, how has CrossFit helped your professional life?

A: I’ll take the support I’ve so graciously been given at Renew and pay it forward.  I hold a leadership role within my NICU unit at the hospital, and I mentor/train/support graduate RNs (the newbies).  At times, they need my help and ask for my professional opinion, especially amidst hectic situations. Even if it’s crazy busy during a shift and I have 7 million other things I need to do (and that’s for real!), I’ll try to remember that offering my staff RNs 1-2 minutes of my undivided attention could make all the difference in their world.  That maybe my guidance and support will leave them feeling more confident in their skills and abilities, like Renew has done for me in my CrossFit journey!

Q: If you could be ANY animal, what would it be and why?

A: I would, hands down, be a gibbon.  Gibbons are lesser apes that live in tropical and subtropical rainforests within parts of Asia.  So, living among the trees in a beautiful location would be cool! Gibbons typically form long-term or lifelong bonds with mates, which I think correlates with the longstanding friendships I’ve made in my lifetime and my desire for eventual monogamy.  Their primary mode of locomotion is called brachiation (if you haven’t seen a YouTube video of a gibbon doing its brachiating thang in some trees, you need to!) Brachiation involves swinging from branch to branch for distances up to 50 feet and at speeds as high as 35 mph, AND they make leaps up to 26 ft while in the air!  I’m thinking, if I become a gibbon with that much upper body strength, I would likely be able to master a strict pull-up or kipping pull-up, finally! All in all, they are the fastest and most agile of all tree-dwelling, non-flying mammals. I find them absolutely fascinating!

Q: What is something you’re proud of accomplishing outside of the gym?

A: I am involved in an Outreach Committee within my NICU unit, and we volunteer our time at local businesses, non-profits, animal sanctuaries, etc. on a monthly basis.  Just this afternoon actually, we volunteered at the Central Texas Food Bank for the second time this year. We sorted 3,450 pounds of food for families in need. The Central Texas Food Bank services 21 counties in Texas, and it was a wonderful experience to devote some of my time to aid in their efforts to end hunger!  So, I’m proud to volunteer my time to give back to my ATX community with some of my amazing coworkers 🙂

Q: What’s one goal outside of Renew that you’re working towards?

A: I am working on my hand-lettering skills, brushing up on my Spanish, and taking an online course this Fall semester in the hopes of obtaining a certification in event planning!

So, basically, if ever you want to look to someone in the gym for a little extra motivation — look for Haley. We’re so glad to have you around, girl! Keep up the kickass work.