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Abbey Pacolt Transforms Adversity into Strength with CrossFit

WOD BOD Abbey Pacolt Transforms Adversity into Strength with CrossFit

How did you get started with CrossFit?

We’ll take it back a little bit. During 2014 - 2015, I went through some hardships to say the least. From health problems, to the murder of my best friend, to losing my career as a firefighter, and so on. I was “in the thick of it,” as some say. I sunk into a deep depression that just felt like it was never ending and never getting better. In that time I went from 180ish pounds to 250 pounds.

When 2016 rolled around, my husband and I moved to Tennessee, due to the military. I looked at it as a fresh start. A way to reinvent myself.

And I did just that.

I passed CrossFit Ergon every day when driving to and from work at a coffee shop. So when April 26th, 2016 came around, I walked in and my life changed, to say the least. In June 2017, I went and passed my CrossFit Level 1 Certification and became a CrossFit Coach, which is still crazy to me!

Where does your motivation come from?

I won’t lie, it comes from a dark place. I think of who I used to be. How I used to feel about myself. On a daily basis, I run so far away from that feeling. And that is when I feel successful. When I don’t even recognize that person.

When I’m in the middle of a WOD and I want to quit, I tell myself, “It’s mental Abbey, it’s all mental!” I then take a deep breath and get it done.

My motivation these days also comes from knowing that others are watching. Others are looking up to me. I need to make them proud as well as myself.

What's your typical training week look like?

I train 6 days a week usually. My main love is weightlifting, but after becoming a CrossFit coach, I needed to focus more on CrossFit as well.

Quad Damn

Currently I’m training up for a competition so I’ve been doing Invictus Competition Prep, in addition to Outlaw Barbell.

I train for 2-4 hours a day.

How have you built mental toughness, and how do you apply it during training?

Trial and error. Really figuring out what works for me through trials and tribulations. It has been a journey, that’s for sure.

Fitness is not an upward slope, it bounces up and down. I'm constantly figuring out how to be resilient and keep pushing forward. It goes back to remembering where I came from and running towards that feeling of success.

What are your 3 favorite movements?

  • Heavy Snatches
  • Power Cleans
  • Rowing

How did your diet change after you started CrossFit?

About a month after starting CrossFit, someone told me about tracking my daily calories and macronutrient split. And I never looked back. It’s the success behind my 65 pounds of weight loss. I eat about 2100 calories a day.

Tracking Macros with a Steak Salad

Where do you train and what have you gained from your CrossFit community?

I train at CrossFit Ergon in Clarksville, Tennessee.

I gained a sense of belonging.

I gained a friend group.

I learned what it truly meant to surround yourself with like-minded people.

The CrossFit Ergon Community

I look forward to going to work every day, to seeing everyone, and to pushing everyone to the limits they never knew they had.

I'm still not a firefighter and it leaves a big hole in my heart. Beyond firefighting, I had never found something I was as passionate about. But when I found CrossFit, that hole was filled a little more. Now that I’m an athlete, I know I’m ready at a moment’s notice to test for a fire department and pass the physical agility test.

How has CrossFit changed your life?

It has pushed me to become the person I always dreamt of being. I wake up every day, in love with myself again. Something I never thought I could do again.

It has given me a confidence I always wanted. It has opened up so many doors, possibilities, and friendships.

CrossFit Beast

What advice would you give someone new to CrossFit?

I would tell them to dive in headfirst. That everything you’re afraid of, you're about to face. Life is never going to let up! And here, here is where you’re going to learn to push back.

CrossFit is a place where you can find yourself, your true self. If you stay with it, you will impress yourself. You have my word.

What are your future plans?

To be better than who I was yesterday.


Find Abbey on Instagram: @absigail907


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