February Athlete of the Month - Jamie Nicoll

Published February 26, 2018

Our Athlete of the Month this month couldn't be more deserving. His positivity, mental toughness, and perseverance through this fight has been nothing short of amazing. Jamie has truly been an inspiration to us and so many others. "Tough times don't last; tough people do." 

What was your fitness background prior to joining Outsiders?

Prior to joining Outsiders my fitness background/routine focused mainly on just cardiovascular fitness with little strength training. During the colder months I would try to get to the MAC Express at least three times a week to spend an hour on either a stair climber or a treadmill. I’d also use our treadmill in the basement. In a word – Boring. During the warmer months my routine focused on running on the NCR trail.

 When did you first start at Outsiders and what were your thoughts after your first workout?

Our first family member to join Outsiders was our son Josh. Going into his sophomore year of high school we expected that he would be playing varsity football. We wanted him to improve his strength and flexibility, so we researched local gyms. After a one-on-one with Stan, discussing his football experience and how CrossFit would be a great training opportunity, Josh made the decision to join Outsiders in June of 2015. After spending the Summer driving Josh to and from Outsiders, getting to know Stan and Jess, and meeting some other coaches and athletes, I took the plunge and joined in September of 2015.

When I first started taking classes I was excited to do workouts that focused on total body strength and cardio. My focus was to take it slow, learn proper lifting techniques, and focus on the long term goals more than short term gains. I have a history of chronic low back pain which has improved incredibly due to core strengthening, proper stretching, and patience in trying to set PRs.

How has your life changed in the past year and how has CrossFit played a role in these changes?

Setting PRs was put on the back burner last June when I was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer. My family was suddenly thrust into a situation that took us out of our comfort zone. Simply stated we were facing a new challenge and needed both guidance and support. I started putting together different teams to help with me defeat cancer (a medical team, a spiritual team, a close family and friend support team, and a mental and physical strength team). The community at Outsiders is the center of my mental and physical strength team. 

Deciding to open up about my health challenges was a difficult decision. I still recall meeting with Stan and Jess in the Outsiders office and choking up while telling them about my diagnosis. My doctors told me that I was going to have a long course of treatment ahead, including immunotherapy infusions, surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. They all stressed the importance staying both physically and mentally strong. I knew I needed Outsiders to help me face the challenges that lay ahead.

The Outsiders coaches and community have been a vital part of me keeping a positive attitude during my treatment. I remember a WOD where it was cold and rainy and we had to run outside. When we were meeting at the whiteboard I think I was probably the one complaining about the weather when Stan was nice enough to point out that the CrossFit experience is supposed to be a challenging one, and it is up to us to have the proper attitude. That was one of those learning moments that I have carried with me.

What is one goal that you have in the next year?

As far as a goal for this next year is concerned, I have not quite gotten there yet. I am still focusing on daily goals. My goal is to maximize each day, recognize the gifts that I have been given, appreciate life, and choose to be happy. Once I get through treatment and start building my strength up, my CrossFit goal is absolutely going to involve stringing pullups together.

What is one piece of advice that you would give someone considering Outsiders CrossFit or a new CrossFitter?

One piece of advice that I would give to someone considering Outsiders CrossFit would be – if you need help learning how to face challenges – JOIN. Every time you walk through the doors at Outsiders you have the opportunity to face a personal challenge with great coaches and a phenomenal membership to support you.

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