Tammy Fankhanel - Athlete of the Month March '19
An open letter by Coach Josh,
Without this woman, we would all likely not be here. I am obviously going to be a little bias about this legend of a human being as she is after all me MA!.
This #over55crossfitter has been an integral part of the 1st class of the day ever since we started the Box back in 2012. Tammy is always, bright, bubbly, has amazing team spirit, the purveyor of Ox Bricks and Bombs, works hard, inspires her greater community and will be the first to lend a hand if you ask.
So why this long to be athlete of the month? Why only now?
Tammy has been dealing with injury for a very long time now. She has always done the right things, eaten well, trained consistently, seen countless professionals around the right type of treatment and finally worked on improving the issue. However, all that has lead to is more questions, and never the result she has desired.
This is due to her focus being in the wrong spot; aiming to get to the DESTINATION of being pain-free instead of concentrating on the JOURNEY by doing the work necessary to be pain-free.
Recently she has taken the OX by the horns (see what I did there); she has taken ownership of the journey by doing what is necessary to get the results she wants and it’s paying off big time. This small shift in mindset has seen vast improvements to not only her injury but also her overall well being too. Her range of motion is improving and pain decreasing to where she was able to jog again, pain-free, a couple of weeks ago.
I could not be happier to see her taking control, making the necessary changes to the way she trains, tracking the inputs to be more healthy and adjusting as necessary.
Being able to contribute to a woman who has done so much for me is something I cherish.
I could not be prouder of you Mum, Love you, Keep it Up!
HOW OLD ARE YOU?
58 years young!
WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSION?
Now retired... My days are filled with looking after (my husband) Ian, CrossFitting, hip rehab, making OX-BOMBS and OX-BRICKS. Keeping home, with ALL that entails: cooking, smoothie-ing, juicing, vege-gardening, and trying to share recipes, thoughts, experiences and colour on my non-business Insta account RAW VITALITY - NOURISH TO FLOURISH .. (or one could say living the life to which I have much gratitude for.)
WHAT ARE SOME THINGS MOST PEOPLE DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU?
I'm a car lover. The ones that you start and hear that engine rumble, it’s just ... well it just takes your breath and makes you think “awwww shite that's so good, and you just have to smile”. I’m blessed to drive some EPIC cars - so I don't mind the 'old Sunday drive and AUDIOBOOKS are my new thing to do when I'm in the car.
Also, I'm currently doing a minimalist clean out at home from top to bottom. OH MY GOD ... another EPIC event.
Finally, I love to relax with a sublime wine :)
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST EXPERIENCE AT CROSSFIT COLLINGWOOD?
Well I was a kind of proud Mum, seeing Coach Josh (my son) and Coach Ren open the box - seeing their dream come to fruition. I loved the catchy, strong name: The Ox Box. The WODS looked hideously difficult and I didn't think I could do it at all.
HOW DID YOU FIND THE OX BOX?
Through your illustrious leaders ... son, Josh and Coach Ren. Too easy.
I was always a kind of chubby kid (the brunt of fat jokes at school) that loved sports over academia. I represented Brisbane in the QLD Softball State Schools competition. I just missed out on representing the school in Netball because the selector chose her daughter (bugger). After having my son I got into aerobics. Then work and motherhood was all consuming.
I really only got back into it after 40. I looked at myself in the mirror and made a promise to myself not to live the rest of my life in that shape. I went to the gym and achieved bugger all. I then learned that nutrition and exercise were a partnership. I worked with a sports nutritionist to fine tune how I ate. Did a shopping audit and learned that you don't need 80% of the supermarket. Frightening. I then looked into organic foods. I then read a gazillion books on fitness, health, nutrition (I still do). I was my own guinea pig .. diets were many. Eat Right for your Blood Type, Vegan, Vegetarian, Paleo, 100% Raw, Metabolic Nutrition, Precision Nutrition, Anti Cancer Diet, Juicing Diets, Eating to your Individual DNA... shall I go on?
What I did notice is that across nearly EVERY food program, there is a core that they all agree on. Eat fresh vegetables in abundance, some fruit, berries, nuts, seeds and drink plenty of clean water. Today I follow my individualised DNA profile that tells me how many serves my body likes of veg, grains, meat/alternatives, dairy/alternatives, fat and fruit each day. It’s a lifestyle not a diet.
SUMMARY IN A NUTSHELL: 1. we need way less protein than we eat (and I did not lose muscle as a result of reducing the protein and my liver is happier for it) 2. Your nutrition needs to be your lifestyle - not a constant challenge. 3. Its not a diet that we need - its self discipline. There is so much crap food scientifically designed to taste amazing that we fall slave to, and we mere mortals are weak when it comes to self discipline. (Keep that in mind).
I started CrossFit 12 weeks after hip surgery 6 years ago. Some thought it would be the worst thing I could do, but from a functionality point of view, I now have more movement over all joints and muscles than when I was half my age. I'm still a work in progress - its perpetual. I love training with younger members. I love their vitality, enthusiasm and keeping up with changes to the English language (i.e, WHATSUP - in my day that meant 'what's wrong' - today it's another way of saying 'HI' ... go figure - or SICK ... you were just effing sick, it didn't mean something was awesome). I also love training with older athletes because I understand what it takes. The community is 'SICK'. Is that the right context? (The Ox Box: yes Tammy its is, nailed it!)
HEALTH - HUSBAND - FAMILY - PEACE.
My life is amazing and I have immense gratitude for that. But I'm a Libra (zodia sign) and need all my family to be healthy and achieving their personal and business goals. My goal is to see that achieved. When it comes to health, my husband Ian has a saying, I'll earn the money - you keep us healthy. So my fave hashtags are #fitfood #fitmind #fitbody that feature often on Raw Vitality posts. I just don't think it's possible to prosper optimally without that combo - they 'fit' (pardon the pun) perfectly in sync to me.
Happily retired. My professional life was receptionist, secretary, admin, internal sales, sales rep, sales manager, state manager all in QLD, then a relocation to Melbourne as Australian marketing manager - all with the same firm. I loved my job, I loved the journey. I paid off my house as a single Mum in those days. That moment still excites me now. F R E E D O M.
Well on account of we start losing muscle after the age of 35, my thoughts of continuing to grow in strength are now elusive to perhaps non-existent, but as long as I can continue to be my best me and crossfit on, achieve little goals along the way - I'm as happy as a pig in mud. I am strong and fit for my age and I know what I have to do to keep it up.
WHATS HAS BEEN A SPECIAL MOMENT IN YOUR CROSSFIT JOURNEY?
Coming 2nd in the 2018 CrossFit Masters League by one point. (Womens 55-59 Category). I got that CrossFit T-shirt with FANKHANEL emblazoned on it. I actually felt proud of that achievement. Sometimes I can surprise even
WHATS YOUR FAVOURITE WOD?
Absolutely any workout I do to a good standard and complete is a fave at that time. I don't have a precise favourite. I fear many. I'm not a fan of Karen - 150 wall balls - OMG what is that about ... or that 7 minutes of burpees. WTF.
YOU CHECK THE WOD AND THINK “HELL YEH” THE WOD HAS:
Double unders - they really test me
3 SONGS YOU LOVE TO WOD TO?
Personal Jesus - Marilyn Manson (even though he is cringeworthy to look at sometimes)
Supermassive Black Hole - Muse
Infinity - Guru Josh
RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS
WOULD YOU GO BACK IN THE PAST OR GO INTO THE FUTURE AND WHY? WHICH TIME PERIOD WOULD YOU GO TO AND WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
I'm happy right now ... but if I was in the time tunnel (that was a 1960's TV show), I'd press the 1940's .. those gorgeous old cars, the simple things in life, jazz music, time, dizzy love, honour, dressing 'fine', respect, a time when in life, possessions and people weren't so disposable. Shopping was collected in paper bags, you baked a pie and didn't buy it. All that kinda stuff.
WHEN DO YOU PREFER TO TRAIN?
5.30am (Mornings = Energy for me)
WOULD YOU RATHER BE A PIRATE OR A NINJA?
Neither - me rather be Sarah Sigmunds
WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE TREAT FOOD?
Ice cream and Dutch liquorice (Salmiak to be precise)
WHAT'S THAT INGREDIENT THAT YOU ALWAYS END UP ADDING TO YOUR DISHES?
Anything green (in abundance too)
IF YOU WERE IN THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE WHAT WOULD BE THE OBJECT YOU'D ALWAYS HAVE ON YOU?
An invisible onesie maybe ??
IF YOU WERE AN ACTION FIGURE WHAT WOULD YOUR 2 ACCESSORIES BE?
My thermo-mix and my Mini JCW, but I'll add an aftermarket Remus Exhaust system so me be loud and sassy
IF YOU COULD GO ONE PLACE IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW WHERE WOULD IT BE?
The Ritz, Paris - It's really really Ritzy
TAMMY’S TIPS FOR READERS
1. Life is short. It catches up so quickly. Remember #1body1life - look after it in every way and it will repay you in spades till the end.
2. And some wisdom from my Mum R.I.P. - ALWAYS make the best of it (whatever 'it' is). Just think about that for a minute - it's a valuable mantra for life.