How did you meet? What is something most people do not know about you?
Nancy: We met online.
Rene: Yes, we did meet online.
Nancy: He cherry picked me… I stood him up the first day we were going to meet. The next day I called and said, “I am sorry, something came up. I can meet you right now. I promise. I’ll show up.” I felt bad and wanted to make it up. So, I bought a bouquet of roses for our first date as an apology for standing him up. Ces had the cheesiest smile. Nobody had ever given him roses before! We hung out everyday after that. Three months later I was pregnant!
Rene: Eighteen years later we are still into each other. It all started with the flowers.
Rene: I try to be an open book. Most people don’t know I used to be a heavy gamer. I loved gaming. My priorities were gaming, work, and family. I had a group of friends I would play online with from all over the world. We played together for several years. Another thing people do not know about me is I’ve been working at Bed, Bath, & Beyond for 24 years.
Nancy: I used to play the violin and most people do not know I was a teenage runaway. I would run away from home and the cops would pick me up and take me back home. Most people don’t know that both of us were previously married to different people. Another thing some people may not know is we came close to divorce.
Why do you keep coming back to Bellhouse CrossFit?
Nancy: When Rene joined Bellhouse, I saw the changes in his body pretty fast, so I came on board about four weeks later. One of the things that was driving us apart was how I wanted to stay on the track towards health, but Ces wasn’t into it at first.
Rene: Working out brought us closer together. I saw all the positive changes Nancy had made with her body. I learned about the gym. I wanted to try and do something for myself too. I think working out together at Bellhouse CrossFit helped us become closer in our marriage.
Nancy: Working out was the first thing we ever did together as a hobby. We both love the community, the workouts, and the feeling of belonging.
Rene: The community… I think that has the most impact on us. The friendships we have made…Chris, Josh, Katie, Danielle, Hannah, Justin and Chad to name a few. It has been a good thing for me.
What are the accomplishments you are most proud of since joining the gym?
Rene: I have kept the weight off. Working out allows me to eat as much as I want. I enjoy eating out. I have lost 60lbs since beginning my health journey. I have lost about 20lbs since joining Bellhouse and I know I can lose more! I love the amount of energy I have. I always wanted to do things with my kids. I did not want to be tired or lazy. I have the ability to do those things now.
Nancy: I began working out to improve my physical health. Since joining the gym, I have gotten better mentally and spiritually. I have learned many things about my body over the years. Last year, I went into a state of Rhabdomyolysis. As a result, I had to see a cardiologist. He performed many tests on me and was concerned about a low heart rate. He mentioned that I may need a pacemaker, but referred me to another specialist. The other specialist assured me I was doing well and to keep working out! The low heart rate was the result of a well conditioned heart. High cholesterol and diabetes run in my family, so I have strong genetic leanings towards chronic disease. I am taking control of my life. It drives me and motivates me to stay in the gym and work hard. I recently saw some acquaintances from twenty years ago, they hardly recognized me.
How did you overcome some of the obstacles in starting your health journey?
Rene: I don’t want to go back to the way things were. I did not like the version of myself before. Fat, lazy, and unkept. It affected my mental, physical, and emotional self. I felt depressed and anxious. I went through a lot. Once I learned to change my eating behaviors and started working out, I learned I could feel better! The motivation to stay in the gym was important to save my marriage. My wife started this journey and I saw the change in her. I knew I just needed to do it. She found a lifestyle that worked for us. I feel comfortable talking to people and investing my time in others. I like making friends. I like talking to people about things other than working out.
Nancy: First, I think that throughout my own story, motivation is something I learned to not count on. You need discipline. There are many days I don’t want to workout or eat a healthy meal but I feel I owe it to my peers and family to show up. They help me get there when I don’t want to attend. There are some times I know I need to get there to connect with others and stay accountable.
What is your current focus or goal in the gym?
Nancy: I want to lean out and increase muscle definition. At the gym I want to increase my upper body strength. I was very happy when I was able to do toes to bar during the Open. I am proud of that. I have slowly increased the amount of weight on the bar too!
Rene: In the gym I am trying to be active, injury free, and work towards longevity. I found CrossFit after 40 years old. I have only been doing it for two years. I want to be fitter at fifty than I was at forty. I am not competing with anyone. I am trying to be a better version of myself. I have a grandson now and an eight year old son. I am going to stay healthy for them.
If you could eat any food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
What are three words to describe your partner
R: driven, intuitive, motherly
N: serving, meek, loving
What do you think your marriage will look like 50 years from now?
R: Nancy will be wiping my butt. We are gonna have a bunch of grandchildren, and have lots of sex
N: I’ll be 89, I believe we will keep doing what we are doing now… pouring into other people and helping other marriages by sharing our story, I think our marriage will be even stronger and more complete. Our calling is to help other couples who struggle in their relationship/marriage.
If you have unlimited time, what hobby would you like to pursue?
R: Traveling. Nowhere specific, just start on a mountain and go.
N: Hiking. Go somewhere through each of the seasons.
If the two of you were a band duo, what genre of music would you play?
N: Alternative on the drums.
R: Alternative on the electric guitar.