South Austin Small Business November 19, 2021

A Healthier Community: One Habit, One Life At A Time

Getting to know my community continues to be one of the major perks I enjoy as a Realtor. This blog allows me to share conversations I’ve had with local business owners and individuals regarding their desired impact on the community and their hopes for the city.

Just Show Up

The first step to success is simple. Just show up. It is the key to strong relationships and a thriving career. To place yourself on the doorstep of opportunity is just the beginning. But showing up can feel really vulnerable.

Will I say the right thing? What if I fail? Am I good at this?

It took me 35 years to realize that I needed someone to witness me ‘showing up’ to be successful. I wanted change. In the winter of 2017, I saw an ad for CrossFit. I had never touched a dumbbell let alone a barbell. I was terrified. And I signed up. There was a lot that I struggled with, but every time I appeared to give up, the coach would throw me a modification. The excuse to quit was removed. My only job was to show up, and try.

During the 6-week program I showed up for every class. Consequently, it became easier to show up to more opportunities in my life, than to watch them from afar.

As a parent, a Realtor, a human, sometimes I struggle to show up. As a gym member, there are weeks where I sacrifice my workout because I have too many business appointments, I’m buried in paperwork, because of softball and baseball practices, music lessons, etc.

But then a witness, noticing my absence at the gym, sends a text message: Are you coming in this week? Just checking on you. – Coach Heather

Heather Tuley is one of the owners of CrossFit SoChac located in South Austin. She owns this gym with her brother Tim and her mother Carri. Heather hopes to have a positive impact on the South Austin community through promoting healthy practices at her gym.

I Used To Think That Just Because I wasn’t Overweight I Was Healthy

Me: What was your first experience with CrossFit?

Heather: I was 38 years old with three kids. I heard about CrossFit from my brother, Tim. He gave me a Groupon for the gym in 2012. He thought it would be a great idea for me to join. It took 6 months of convincing me. Reluctantly, I went. The workout was brutal, but it lit something inside of me, a fire. I knew there was something here.

Me: Do you think CrossFit has transformed the course of your life?

Heather: It has completely transformed my entire life. From my career path, to my views about myself and how I view fitness today. I used to think that just because I wasn’t overweight, I was healthy.

Growing As A Person

Me: At what moment did you decide to become a coach?

Heather: I didn’t decide I wanted to be a coach until I was already coaching. My path started when I was asked to cover a class while my coach was on vacation. It was Christmas 2015. I look back and realize I had no idea what I was doing or what it meant to be a coach and leader. I didn’t realize the gravity of having people’s well being in my hands. Eventually I started to regularly coach classes while growing as a competitive athlete. My passion for the sport was growing, and I was growing as a person. I was starting to see transformation in my own life.

Me: When did you decide to open up your own gym?

Heather: There wasn’t a defining moment. The gym I was currently coaching at was up for sale, but the numbers didn’t make business sense. While I continued to coach at one gym, I eventually started training competitively at a different gym. The coaches where I trained were more knowledgeable and professional. I knew things could be different where I was currently coaching.

Because I was consistently training at a different gym, the gym I coached at let me go. They cited that it was a ‘conflict of interest’.

I continued to train under Coach Winchester where I grew both as an athlete and a coach. It was the best training I could have ever received. It really prepared me for what lay ahead.

Eventually I ran into my previous employer. It was at HEB, 2017, where all great things in Texas happen. He asked again if I wanted to buy the gym. Needless to say, this time it went through, and the rest is history.

A Place Of Love And Acceptance

Me: What type of transformations do you see as a coach in your clients?

Heather: We see athletes overcome health issues that have plagued them for years. Some come off of medications, overcome addiction, and grow mentally and physically stronger. Additionally, we see athletes overcome themselves and their own limiting beliefs. Athletes find a place of love and acceptance that they may not have in their home or work life. Each athlete walks their own transformation path.

Me: What are some thoughts that you think people have that keep them from joining a CrossFit Gym?

Heather: I think people see the same obstacles in CrossFit that they see with any other change in their life. Some probably believe it’s money, time, worry about the challenge, worry about gaining too much muscle, or worried that they won’t fit in. Some people think that they’ll hold the class back or that they need to be “fit” before starting CrossFit.

Read about some of the members here: Transformation Stories

But it’s all really a bunch of nonsense. Really it comes down to this question ‘Are you ready to make the change?’ I do my best to overcome these objections when new clients come in because I know they could experience real change. I know myself and my staff can have that impact. We are laying the groundwork for overall health and longevity. But you must first want change.

The Way You Do One Thing Is The Way You Do Everything

Me: How do you see CrossFit SoChac impacting the immediate community around you?

Heather: We are making a positive impact, mentally and physically, on our community. If a mother leads a healthier life, her children see that. Hopefully that changes the habits of future generations. In like manner, when someone see’s their friend looking and acting differently, they start to question, ‘Can I do that too?’

When I was training as a competitive athlete, my coach always said ‘The way you do one thing is the way you do everything’. If we are consistently late to class, we are consistently late to everything. If we are unprepared for class, we are unprepared throughout our day. We ask our clients to expect more of themselves in the gym, because if they expect more of themselves in this space, they know they can do even more in all facets of their life.

We are overstressed, under-slept, and over-consumers in a culture with little value on exercise. In the gym, there’s hope to change all of this one class at a time, one habit at a time, one life at a time.

Me: Is gym experience necessary in order to start at CrossFit SoChac?

Heather: Absolutely NOT! The only qualification is that you are willing to put forth effort. That’s all we ask. Give me your best and I will give you mine. We can make the change together.

The Time Is Now

For those who have never joined a gym like this, the time is now.  For all of you looking to shake things up in 2022, I highly recommend reaching out to Heather at CrossFit SoChac.

CrossFit SoChac

11600 Manchaca Rd #301
Austin, TX 78748


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