Tag Archives: CrossFit 719

Athlete Interview – Hilda Padron

My adventures with WODTales.com have been fantastic and I’ve heard some absolutely amazing stories so far, but this one is one of the most powerful so far.

Athlete Hilda Padron contacted us from CrossFit 719 and I think using CrossFit as a way to combat suicidal thoughts is a pretty motivating story… But I’ll let her tell her tale…

Q: What brought you to CrossFit as an athlete?

I was suicidal. No point on beating around the bush, right?

Back in 2013, just two years ago, I struggled with deep depression. It came from traumas I tried to not deal with from my childhood. You might have guessed already… child abuse. I still struggle with the deep wounds left behind by those experiences, even though I have faced them.

To make things worse, I lost my grandmother, then I lost my uncle who was like a father to me, and then I lost my mother to a freak accident. I was in and out of hospitals, seeing different doctors, and taking whatever medications they gave me.

I also have a bad back: two bulging, deteriorating disks in my lower spine. So I was also given meds for that. At one point I was taking up to 10 different prescriptions, with three of them being controlled substances. Very addicting stuff!

During that time I gained a lot of weight. I hit an all time high of 190 lbs – the heaviest I’ve ever been, and that’s including pregnancies. At the end of 2013 I was told that if nothing changed I’d end up dead.

At that point I knew I had to do something. My back pain was so bad that I couldn’t stand long enough to cook dinner for my family. Something had to be done, and all those meds weren’t helping at all.

I was a runner in my early 20s and I remember that “runners high” you get. But given my back problems, I knew I needed help, so I decided to see a personal trainer.

She was very helpful. I lost some weight and was finally able to walk without being in too much pain. At that point I stopped seeing her and tried going to the local gym on my own, but I wasn’t really doing much of anything.

Depression was coming back along with suicidal thoughts.

Hilda with her son shortly before starting CrossFit

My husband had taken the coach training back when CrossFit had just started and told me I should try it.

My first reaction was, “WHAT? Me? do Crossfit? NO NO NO.” All I had ever seen were the competitor athletes and there was no way I could ever do something like that.

I have this sweet friend, Jill Henry, who at the time was a coach at CrossFit Sacrifice in Columbus GA. She and her husband were the on-ramp coaches and she said I should go and just give it a try. Nothing to lose, right?

So, I went. Very hesitant, very scared… mostly just scared! I tried it and have been doing it ever since. Best decision I ever made.

Q: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am 35 and the mother of four: Tony, Matthew, Briana and Adam. I am married to a US soldier. I was born in Mexico and was sent to South Central LA to live with an aunt at age 11. Growing up was difficult – there was abuse and tough times – but I’d like to think I’m a stronger person because of it. And I am starting at PPCC this fall!

Q: What’s surprised you about your CrossFit journey so far?

How it has changed me in every possible way.

Early on I was very independent and had no trouble making decisions. It comes from being married to a soldier since they are gone quite a bit. But I lost all of that during my struggles.



I became very unsure of myself and had frequent panic attacks. I lost all that confidence.

CrossFit has given it back. Now I know that “I’ve got this!” and I’m back to the old me. Or like my kids like to say “weird/crazy”.

And the best thing about all this… I am medication free and pain free. My back hasn’t felt this good in a long, long time. That has also surprised me.

There are a lot of people out there that look at CrossFit and tell you that you’ll get injured. When I first thought about trying CrossFit, I was so scared of injuring my back and making it worse, but that has not been the case. I went in with a lot of back pain, and getting stronger and fitter has made my back feel better than ever!

Q: Where do you train?

Crossfit 719

Q: What are your favorite and least favorite CrossFit movements so far and why?


  • Deadlifts. They make me feel freakishly strong!
  • Front squats. not only do they work out my legs but also my back and my core which keeps my lower back healthier.


  • Snatches… I can’t get them right even if they paid me! There is just so much technique!
  • Burpees… The world would be a better happier place if they didn’t exist… the end!

Q: What’s your favorite piece of equipment at the box?

The floor mat, I get to lay on it at the end of a WOD…

Just kidding! I’m going to go with the barbell.


Q: If you had one word to sum up the experience of an athlete at your box, what would it be?

Life changing and life saving!

I only did CrossFit at Sacrifice for 3 or 4 weeks before my husband got orders to Fort Carson. When we got here, I was still struggling. I knew I needed to find a gym but I didn’t want to go to a “globo gym” but I knew I wasn’t going to get anything done on my own. I needed coaching. I needed structure.

When I started at 719 I was coming off Vicodin and ambien. I was having bad withdrawals! Suicide was still very real at that point. Going to CrossFit kept me out of my house long enough to where I wasn’t tempted at home to do anything I’d regret.

I feel I need to apologize to the coaches who had to deal with me back then… it was bad! I’m sorry Jennifer “JRo” Roesch and Mychael Swenning for having to deal with my bitchiness! Honestly, I love my box!

Q: What do you think is the secret to CrossFit’s crazy success and growth?

The community, of course – from that moment you walk in and everyone welcomes you. We all get to know each other. And everyone cheers each other on!

Q: What’s your favorite story from your time with CrossFit so far?

When I first got your email and went through the questions, I think this one is the one I had to think about it most. I kept going back and wondering what could it be. I thought for a while and what I came up with was this…

It isn’t a specific lift or finally getting a movement down. I think it’s the feeling of accomplishment that comes from that after all this time, hard work, and sweat, I finally did it! The “high” you get from that is simply amazing! And being able to see your friends do something they’ve been working hard on makes you so happy for them because you know what it’s like to work hard for it.

I think THAT is my favorite, and THAT makes it all worth it!


Thank you Hilda for answering these questions and sharing your amazing story! I hope your tale motivates other folks who think they can’t do CrossFit to get up and give it a try! And congratulations on starting at PPCC! Best of luck with your studies!


Are you interested in being featured as a box owner, trainer/coach, or athlete? I’d love to hear from you! Click “Contact Us” at the top of the WOD Tales page (or in the right-hand column) and I’ll get in touch!

Battle of the Dragon Slayers at CrossFit 719 this weekend!

CrossFit719-logo-trans-175 Looking for something to do this weekend? Why not stop by CrossFit 719 for the Battle of the Dragon Slayers! This is the 4th annual individual competition for 719 and it’s shaping up to be a battle royale between athletes young and old!

Heat times should be released today at 7pm and WODs will be released tomorrow night at 7pm, so check back to the site for all the latest and greatest.

Find all the details at the competition page: http://www.swcomps.com/dragon-slayers/

I know a few of my fellow athletes from Crossfit Continuum will be competing, so we’ll be coming by to cheer on the madness too!

Looking for other competitions in the area? Check back to swcomps.com for all the news!

Trainer Interview – Marilee Lake

When my wife started CrossFit, it was with the encouragement of her good friend and fellow soccer player, Marilee Lake. So it was only appropriate that she was among the first group of coaches I had during my own journey too! And she has been a big part of my whole family’s CrossFit journey ever since.

Lee was kind enough to answer a few questions about her own CrossFit experience…

Q: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am a part-time CrossFit coach and stay at home mom. I have a degree in Sports Management and have worked in the fitness industry for 5 years now. Outside of CrossFit I love to play soccer, hike, and volunteer with Street Petz.

Editor’s Note: Street Petz is the non-profit organization my wife helps run down here in Colorado Springs. They support the pets of the homeless by providing food, supplies, and some basic vaccines through the generous support of local folks like Lee. My garage looks suspiciously like a pet store at times, but I know the folks Street Petz supports appreciate everything my wife, Lee, and the rest of the volunteers do for them. Check out this awesome article at the Colorado Springs Independent for more about what they do!

Q: What brought you to CrossFit as an athlete?

CrossFit gave me physical and mental challenges just like when I was a college athlete. As I became part of a box, I was on a team again.


Q: Why did you become a trainer?

When picking a career, I knew helping people was my main goal. I started off as a personal trainer. CrossFit just provided me the tools to truly change people lives.

Q: What is your main focus or goal as a trainer?

My main goal as a trainer is to make sure that someone is reaching their fitness goals and creating a healthy lifestyle.

Q: If you could start over as a crossfitter, what would trainer-you tell athlete-you?

More mobility! I would of focused more on the efficiency and technique of the movements rather then just weight and checking something off the list.


Q: What’s your favorite piece of equipment at the box?

A barbell never lies.

Q: Where do you train? And where do you coach?

I train and coach at CrossFit 719 in Colorado Springs, CO.

Q: What do you think is the secret to CrossFit’s crazy success and growth?

It works for so many different types of people. You can see young and old doing the same WOD with different modifications. CrossFit also builds confidence and mental strength that can really help outside the box (gym).

Q: Who is your favorite CrossFit athlete and why?

I don’t have a true favorite. When I am competing in a sport I don’t like to idolize others. Everyone has their own story and path to get to the top. I just hope I can write mine someday. If I had to pick one, [I would pick] Annie Thorisdottir because she is always smiling like one of my favorite [Pittsburgh] Steelers’ player Hines Ward. You should be loving your sport that much.

Q: If you could ask your favorite crossfit athlete a question – what would it be?

How do find time for everything outside of CrossFit?

Q: What’s your favorite story from your time with CrossFit so far?

There are several stories, but one word explains them all Community. In my CrossFit career so far I have been a part of two boxes, and the family connection is amazing. I had so much support when Clara was born, during competitions, and even while I was the newbie in my current box.


Thanks Lee! I appreciate the time! I still need to come check out CrossFit 719 and your Oly Lifting class over the summer. 🙂


Are you interested in being featured as a box owner, trainer/coach, or athlete? I’d love to hear from you! Click “Contact Us” at the top of the WOD Tales page and I’ll get in touch!