I'm super excited about this month's featured "Fit Life in the Spotlight". She has an amazing story and is an even more amazing athlete! Meet Julie Holt - a football wife and mom! Her husband Nick Holt is the Associate Head Coach at Western Kentucky University, her eldest son plays at WKU and her youngest plays at Bowling Green High School. She is one of the four founding partners of Heart for the Game - an awesome website created by coaches wives to share the inside stories of college football.
Not only is she a coach's wife, Julie has her own coaching career to celebrate! At Stephen F. Austin University she earned a dual degree while playing on a nationally ranked women's basketball team. She continued her basketball career with head coaching stops at the University of Nevada, Gonzaga, University of Idaho (where her husband was coaching football) and Harbor College. At each of her university stops she was involved with improving gender equality through Title IX and on-campus academic and athletic programs.
I was super excited to get to know Julie better throughout this interview process and am thrilled to share her story and inspiration with all of you!
Have you always been into fitness?
Yes, playing college basketball and then coaching for 25 years was part of that. I very often trained with my teams in the weight room. I still believe it is important to set an awesome example. It is important to be fit and healthy at any age.
How did you get started with CrossFit?
I started in Butte, MT at Copper City CrossFit…my husband & I thought we would try something different for the fun of it and of course we loved it. What I love about CrossFit is it something different every single day. Your body, mind and heart is challenged everyday, along with your nervous system. It really stimulates all areas of your life. Then after moving to Bowling Green, KY and finding CrossFit Old School was awesome.
What is your favorite WOD?
I can’t say that I have one. But I like the chippers where you have a list of things you have to do. I like seeing if I can finish the WOD first.
Finishing second in the med ball clean/burpee WOD and having to jump up on the stage so my timer on my ankle brace would score me was cool, but the best part was getting up there and then seeing all “my people” cheering like crazy and totally into it!
What was your best memory of the CrossFit Games?
If you're not doing CrossFit, how do you like to stay active?
I ride my bike almost everyday, even when it’s raining. We have an amazing trail in our neighborhood that follows Drakes Creek. I take the dog at least once a day
What do you eat for breakfast?
I usually workout first thing in the morning so I don’t really eat. (I might grab a half a banana or eat one bit of scrambled eggs). I am addicted to Walmart peppered bacon and jimmy Dean Country Sausage. So, throughout training I would come home and have one or the other. Maybe with an egg or some sautéed kale too.
Any food you absolutely avoid?
Fried, greasy food. While training for the games I stayed away from breads and pasta. But I found as hard as I was training, I actually needed more carbs to keep up with my workouts. So I added potatoes.
Any tips to share for feeding a busy, active family healthy meals?
Planning ahead is the best way to ensure your family eats well. I always try to have lots of fresh veggies & fruit around and ready to eat. The snacks in the pantry are usually walnuts, pecans, almonds, natural apple sauce, sunflower seed butter (it is the best) and albacore tuna cups. In the fridge I keep jars of hearts of palm, spinach, kale, lettuce and brussel sprouts that’s ready to make a salad or sandwich. And again…we eat bacon as a snack (Paleo you know)
What is the biggest challenge in balancing work, being a football wife and mom and staying so competitive?
The time it takes to train. Sometimes you may miss out on something else because you have to pick only one thing. For example, you don’t always have time to train and go to lunch or a movie with friends.
What motivates you?
It is the only thing I truly do for myself. I miss competition and being good at something. As we get older we seem to stop “playing or competing”. This way I get to do both and I love it.
Do you have any training partners?
I trained with my husband Nick originally but because of his football schedule that doesn’t work a lot of the time. Then I joined the “Games Team” at CrossFit Old School and that’s who I train with primarily. It’s an extended family with a wide variety of ages…of course I am the eldest of the bunch and the youngest is in high school. When I qualified for the world games people would say “I’ll do a WOD with you. What is it?” they would find out the workout and say “ohhh, no I’m not working out with you”. Trying to stay up with the 40 year and the 22 year men was a great challenge for me.
Do you ever exercise with other coaches wives?
Becky Petrino from University of Louisville started doing CrossFit while she was in Bowling Green last year. This year, a few of the WKU wives have asked me to work with them twice a week to get them started…once school starts I will be doing that.
What is your favorite sport to watch? To participate in?
To watch: College football and March Madness.
To participate in: CrossFit, basketball and tennis
What is your typical game day routine?
Workout, record (ESPN College) Game Day, come home and while I am getting cleaned up turn on Game Day. Record any other games we may want to watch late that night. If our coaching friends are playing I am watching them. Usually some form of texting is going on nationwide with all my coaches’ wives/buddies.
How do you get plugged into a fitness community after a move?
Nick and I have been married for 24 years and have moved 8 times. (When we're somewhere new) I talk to people in the community and check things out for myself. I pick a place and then go for it.
What would you tell someone who is just getting started with Cross Fit?
Make sure you go to a gym that is fundamentally sound. Meaning that the instructors are teaching proper technique on Olympic lifts and other gymnastic movements. Work your way up. Build your base so you can stay injury free. Mobility is huge. Take the time to stretch.
Any other advice to share?
Just remember, when I started training at Old School last August with the Games team, I could NOT do the following:
1. pull-ups w/out a band
2. handstand push-ups
3. handstand walking
4. chest to bar
5. climb the 15 foot rope
I can do all those things now.
THANKS JULIE and CONGRATULATIONS!
Fit Life in the Spotlight is a regular feature on Home Field Fitness. I love sharing what fit and healthy women in the sports world are doing! They sure motivate me - and my hope is that they will motivate you too! If you know someone (or you yourself) that should be featured here - send me a message!
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It's great to see you! I'm Alyssa and I blog about all the things I've found "essential" in my life as a fit mama and football coach's wife. You'll find all kinds of fun stuff here like workouts, oily info, football stories and more!
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