Chris Hoebelheinrich has a gym in her basement.
She’s got the squat rack, barbell and free weights.
But the Omaha woman rarely uses it. The space is missing something important: her gym family.
“My people aren’t there,” the 55-year-old said. “The people are at CrossFit Solaria. They’re my other family.”
Hoebelheinrich is a regular at the CrossFit gym near 99th Street and Blair High Road.
She became a gymgoer when she hit a weight-loss plateau about six years ago. She wanted to drop a few more pounds, so she hired a personal trainer.
In her first year at a gym, Hoebelheinrich tackled regular one-on-one training sessions and, eventually, group exercise classes.
When her trainer made the switch to CrossFit Solaria, Hoebelheinrich followed. She has been there for the last five years.
When she first started to do the power clean lift, she started by using a lightweight piece of PVC pipe. Today, she’s up to lifting 95 pounds for that move.
“That’s what consistency will get you,” she said.
Q: When did you start working out and why?
A: I joined a gym a little over six years ago because I wanted to lose more weight. I was kind of stuck, so I joined a gym and hired a personal trainer. My personal trainer just happened to get a job at CrossFit Solaria, so I’ve been there five years.
Q: Describe your workouts. How many days per week do you exercise?
A: The cool thing about CrossFit in general is that there isn’t really a typical workout. A lot of times, it’s a combination of high-intensity cardio and a strength component. I work out six days a week. On Sundays, a member leads us in a type of Eastern meditation.
Q: What is your current fitness goal?
A: I tell everybody I want to be able to do a strict pull-up before I die. I’m getting close to the pull-up part.
Q: What has been your biggest accomplishment?
A: It’s kind of becoming fearless. Really, there’s nothing that I would not try now because I’ve tried so many things and had success. I’m not afraid to try something I’ve never done before. CrossFit has taught me that you can do this. There’s always a way you can do it.
Q: What has been the toughest hurdle and how did you overcome it?
A: When an injury flares up, it keeps me from lifting as heavy as I want to. That’s what the coaches are for, to keep you from doing stupid stuff. It really gets in my head. To take a step back, let my body heal and put a little less weight on the bar and focus on technique is really hard for me.
Q: What helps you stay on track?
A: The people. I have a gym in my basement with a squat rack and barbell. I hardly ever go down there because my people aren’t there. The coaches add a personal touch. It’s a little bit smaller gym, and that allows the coaches to take an individual interest to help us reach our goals.
Q: What is your gym pet peeve?
A: When people are not on time to class. Then the coaches have to repeat a lot of instructions.
Q: What do you do when you aren’t in the gym?
A: I like to read. I love doing 5Ks for a cause. I’m a sucker for a good cause.
Q: What is the piece of equipment, supplement, clothing, etc. that you can’t live without?
A: My shoes. I’m pretty picky about my shoes. I like to wear the Reebok Speed TR. My other thing is Chapstick. I can’t stand not having Chapstick when I’m working out.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who is just starting their fitness journey?
A: It’s about consistency and finding something you love. Those two really go together. If you find something you love to do, you’ll keep doing it. If you’re consistent, you’ll have success and then you’ll want to do it more.
Gymgoers share what motivates them, pet peeves and their proudest accomplishments
You never know who you might run into at the gym.
There's the man who's exercising as he waits for a heart transplant. Or the woman who's made Jazzercise workouts part of her life for more than 30 years.
Some workouts see moms accompanied by babies. Elsewhere you'll find folks well into their 90s who stick with exercise.
Check out their stories.