christin’s athletic accomplishments began in high school where she broke numerous track records and was a dominant force on the soccer field. she grew up in the country and followed her love for fitness and inspiring others. it took her a while to find her path, but persistence and not settling for less made her who she is today.
what is the biggest challenge or opportunity you’ve faced and how did it shape who you are?
one of the biggest challenges i have faced was choosing the “right” path to get where i wanted to be in life. growing up, my vision was simple:
…study health and physical education in college, move home, get a teaching and coaching position at my alma mater, live near my family and raise my own…
after graduating from college, i found that there was more than one road to follow. i didn’t know it at the time, but i would take the long way, with many more twists and turns than expected. instead of moving home, i continued my education at john carroll university where i pursued a literacy education masters degree and coached collegiate track and cross country. on this path i reconnected with an old mount union colleague, scott panchik—who is now my husband—at a college basketball game.
also, as a broke grad student, i took a part time position at lululemon. there, i learned much more about life than simply selling clothes. i learned the true meaning and importance of having goals and a vision. i was surrounded with passionate, like-minded people who taught me the importance of chasing your dreams no matter how scary they are.
after graduating, i got a job teaching k-8 physical education. unfortunately, it was not what i expected. i wasn’t changing lives the way i wanted, i was losing my passion for teaching, and they days ran together.
i left teaching after a year to pursue a full time personal training position at a large corporate fitness facility. but, once again, i found that what i thought i was getting into was not what I expected. i was helping change lives, but the company was more concerned with numbers than the people.
at this point, i didn’t know what i wanted to do. i felt that i had failed at life in two areas that i was incredibly passionate about—teaching and fitness. scott and i had been dating for two years at this point and he witnessed the struggles endured in finding a career path that i loved. he too was overwhelmed with his work role. scott was also a physical education teacher who left his career to become a full-time elite crossfit athlete and opened his own crossfit gym. as the gym grew, so did his responsibilities as an owner and athlete. all the responsibilities were putting strain on our relationship, so we decided to combine forces. i started coaching at crossfit mentality and also directed the business and member relationship aspects.
we couldn’t have made a better decision. it was not easy, but we have worked hard together to grow our community. we have created a culture and tribe at crossfit mentality, and have used all of our struggles to build our success. we are a team. bringing people together to improve their lives physically, mentally, and emotionally is what we both always wanted. we’re changing lives together. these people have become our family and our tribe. we make one another better together every day! there is nothing better than living your passion. it’s scary, but worth it. i may have taken the long road to get here, but every experience and person i have met along the way has helped shape who i am. i have a clear direction of where i want to go now, and who will be by my side.
what’s one word, thought, or philosophy that you live by?
we live in a world where our minds are running a million miles a minute, and though we may be doing one thing, we are most likely thinking about another. are we really embracing the miracle of each day or are we focusing too much on what is next?
with this being the norm, we have become a disconnected multitasking culture where our devices cause us to escape ourselves.
being present allows us to slow down, show up, live, and connect with one another.
who is an amazing woman that we should know about?
bethanne lazaro. bethanne is a wife, and mother of three who lives a life she loves and helps others along the way. she is a fitness instructor and life coach who helps people be the best versions of themselves. her energy is contagious and she has been a role model to me since living in cleveland, ohio. she is also co-founder of RALA BALA with her husband ralph lazaro.
our gritbabe journal features ladies from all walks of life who have persevered, overcome, and achieved great success. if you have a story to share, get in touch.