A post featuring one of our M4G 2022 Effort winners, Tifani Goen and her journey in CrossFit.
1. Why you started CrossFit
I ran cross country in elementary and middle school, but that was the extent of my athleticism. I was a mathlete, not an athlete. I didn’t start getting into fitness and taking care of my body until my late twenties. I joined a “brand name” group class gym and stuck with it for a few years. It felt good and I saw changes in my body, but I wanted to be stronger. I wanted to gain muscle and strength without sacrificing my endurance and that was only going to happen with CrossFit.
2. How CrossFit has changed you and your path
CrossFit has given me an outlet for my obsessive/addictive personality. It has given me an outlet for my aggression. CrossFit (M4G particularly) gave me my “why” back. I could see the results of hard work by setting goals and crushing them. It’s that simple. It’s the same satisfying feeling of planting a garden, watering it, weeding it, and finally seeing your first flower bloom. My favorite part of CrossFit is that you are never done setting goals. There is always room for improvement (ESPECIALLY WITH DOUBLE-UNDERS). In the words of my friend Kendrick Lamar “Be humble, sit down.”
3. What ways you have grown through Crossfit
I have grown through our little gym community by becoming more comfortable in my own skin. I joined M4G at the beginning of my sobriety. I was embarrassed and ashamed. The fitness challenge at the beginning of the year changed a lot for me. The mental health class we had blew my mind to be completely honest. I had no idea people suffered like I did, cared about me, wanted to be my friend. I was so caught up in my own shame. Having a gym community that is so open with mental health is huge. It’s life changing. It’s gotten me through days that I have wanted to open a bottle of wine. I am more confident because of the people who support me and stand with me.
4. Advice for those out there in a dark place, or struggling, to find what makes them happy and helps them live a healthy life
First and foremost, give yourself grace. You have to know you are going to mess up and it’s ok. It doesn’t make you less of a person. Just don’t quit. Keep taking small steps. Small steps will lead you out of darkness. Small steps look different for everyone so don’t compare what you are doing to what so and so on Instagram is doing. Don’t compare yourself to others (unless you are an identical twin I guess?). Last piece of advice for someone struggling or in a dark place would be to talk about it. Talk to a counselor, a friend, a coach, a spouse, God. I’ll talk to you, just talk.
Notes about Tifani from Friends
“Tifani, I’ve been so impressed by you and your character. You are willing to be vulnerable and honest, and you also value maintaining boundaries and taking responsibility for your life, which is a rare combination. You work so hard on yourself but also encourage and support others! Thank you for being my friend and supporting me, as well. I am excited to get to know you better in the future!” – Ash
“A few words I would use to describe Tifani: Tenacious – she just keeps at it, even when it’s hard. Inspiring – her commitment to hard work is awesome. Funny – I mean, how many people would work out in a banana suit? Authentic – she speaks her truth. Ninja-like – her speed and skill with CrossFit is impressive. Innovative – she’s figured out creative ways to reach those pull-up bars. I’m just getting to know Tifani a little more, but I really appreciate having her in my life.” – Teresa
“Tifani has been my friend for over 3 years. She is An amazing listener, loyal friend and is always there to make sure you are ok. She has grown so much at M4G and has put so much effort into growing her strength levels. I am so proud of her in her efforts to stay sober and fight a generational cycle. She is my soul sister and I love her very much!!” – Jenny
“I appreciate that Tifani tells it how it is and is her true self. She is not afraid to be vulnerable with her experiences, which are an inspiration to others!” – Eileen
“I think Tifani is one of the most special M4G-ers! She makes us all better. She gives every workout everything she’s got and then makes time to do extra work. She and I sometimes train at the same time on Monday’s and even when she is working, she makes a point to cheer me on or give me a verbal kick in the ass if necessary. I can’t think of a time that we have been in the gym together that she hasn’t made me laugh… a lot.More than just a great M4G-er she is an amazing friend, wife, mama bear, all the things. Her drive and love for others are truly inspiring. ” – Tiffany
“I remember the first day Tifani worked out in the same class as me. It was noon, and she was focused on everything Coach Tristan was saying, with a face of focus ready to tackle the WOD. The intensity, focus and drive that Tifani possesses has only increased since that first class we had together months ago. Tifani is a bright light in the gym that brings laughter to others, inspires everyone around her to work hard, and proves that we are capable of so much more than we can imagine. I am thankful that Tifani is a part of our M4G family!” – Becky
“When I met Tifani I knew right away we’d be friends. She’s got all the qualities I want in a gym boo. Smart, tenacious, sarcastic, humble and not afraid to speak her mind. I’m so proud of how hard she works to make herself strong; putting in those hours at the gym while working, raising kids, being a wife, and going to school seems like an impossible task but she never gives up. On top of all that, she’s such a caring friend. Never too busy to ask how you are, how she can be there for you and your goals, and ready with a hug if you need it. I just adore her and hope that our friendship lasts a lifetime. Happy Birthday Tif!” – Amanda
“Tifani has a smile that lights up the gym. Her positive attitude and sense of humor make those long grueling workouts a lot more enjoyable. I’ve only done a partner workout with her a couple of times but her words of encouragement are always much appreciated.” – Katie
“Her combination of size and feistiness is unrivaled. Funniest female I have ever encountered – absolutely HILARIOUS. Appreciate her grit and unmatched ability to FIGHT.” – Tristan