Age: 41

How long have you been coming to NCF? Just over 3 months.

Why did you join CrossFit? I had hit a low point in my life about myself. I wasn’t happy about my weight and how I felt emotionally and physically. I had started to not like going out and had skipped out on family events because I didn’t want to be around others. It was time to do something. I had heard my sister-in-law praise CrossFit, so I gave it a try.

How has CrossFit changed your life? Crossfit has been such a positive aspect in my life in just the short time that I’ve been doing it. It challenges me to do things I didn’t think I could do—like a box jump. The first time I stood in front of one, it freak me out. Then one day we were doing them in class. I just walked up to it and when the time came,  I jumped! It was an awesome feeling of accomplishment! Before CrossFit my confidence was low, but now it’s slowly being built back up.

What is your most challenging move in CrossFit? Burpees!

What is your favorite CrossFit move? Back squats.

What are your future goals in CrossFit? I would love to eventually be able to do a pull-up.

What’s your favorite thing about Newberg CrossFit? Most definitely the people—everyone is so nice and encouraging, and they make everyone feel so welcomed!

What was your reaction when you were told that you’d been chosen as our Spotlight Athlete? I was a bit stunned when April told me I was chosen. And then shocked throughout class that night. On my drive home after class, I got a little emotional. I’m still surprised!

What are a few things people may not know about you? I’ve been married for 20 years and have 3 kids (17, 12, and 7). My real name is not Helen it’s Jelena (Yell-in-ah). I’ve never gone by that name and don’t like it. My first language was not English, it was Croatian. I’ve rode in the back seat of a police car in my pajamas, and not for any reasons you all may come up with. Given the opportunity, I would love to drag race or ride in an F-15 jet—I have a weird need for speed.

“Helen is just amazing.  She is so hard working and always surprises me.  She is just a gift to have in the gym and I am excited to watch her fitness journey!”
-Abby Hildreth


“Helen is truly inspirational.  On her first day, in 101, she was unsure and very scared about what she was getting herself into. We talked and I assured her she was in the right place and doing the right thing. Honestly,  I was worried that she wouldn’t believe me and that she might not come back.  But she did come back and everyday since.  And everyday she never ceases to amaze me.  Watching her do box jumps or move with the barbell is awesome.  Her athleticism is the coolest thing to see come out.  Helen moves very VERY well and sometimes she catches me off guard.  I was stunned when she told me she’d never played sports as a youth because she is, without a doubt, an athlete to the core.  Watching her discover and embracing that has been amazing.  She is an inspiration to me for sure.”
-Doug Hildreth


Is there anything else you’d like to say? I’d like to share one of my favorite quotes: “You can suffer the pain from change or suffer remaining the way you are.” -Joyce Meyers

Congratulations Helen on being our November Spotlight Athlete.

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