Cedric Willems – April Athlete of the Month

CrossFit is a great fitness routine for people coming out of competitive sports to continue to be pushed, be a part of a community and develop themselves as an athlete. However, CrossFit provides more and Cedric speaks to his reasons why he does CrossFit now, to be a role model for his kids.

Cedric has been a member of our community for a year and half. When he started here he was a new father and he also just recently welcomed his second son. Being a division one athlete Cedric understood CrossFit as a sport, but now he is understands it as functional fitness to help him be a better father and husband. We are thankful to have a role model like Cedric in our community who understands the importance of taking care of yourself so that you can take better care of your family. 

Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? What do you do for a living/study? Feel free to add more.

I am originally from Den Haag, the Netherlands. My full-time job is as a Lead Analyst in the Operations Analytics team for EviCore (part of Cigna). I also coach both tennis and pickleball at Hillcrest Country Club during the warmer months as a part-time job.

How did you find out about Lincoln Nutrition & Fitness?

When we moved to Lincoln in June 2021, I came in for a trial class. I loved it, but at the time I was working multiple jobs and I wasn’t prioritizing my health. After our first son was born April 2022, I knew something needed to change. That’s when I decided to join and commit to taking care of my health.

What was the biggest obstacle for you to start?

Thinking I am “too busy” and not prioritizing my own health / not finding a balance between everything going on.

How did you overcome that obstacle?

My motivation was/is my children and wife. I want them to have a role model to look up to as they grow up. I hope by showing them my commitment to staying in shape, they will see working out as something normal and it will push them to do the same. Besides CrossFit, I also play soccer and tennis, and being active with those also helped me get into a better rhythm.

Do you remember your first workout?

I think it was 400m run + max burpee pushups for 5 rounds. I remember thinking, “I have some work to do to get back into shape…” And the following days I was sore!

Who have your coaches been? How have they helped you through your first year of CrossFit?

I’ve mostly had Erin, Derek, Emily, Cassaundra, and Landon as my coaches. Every single one of them adds something different. At one point I struggled with an elbow injury, and I appreciated how every single coach checked in with me during class. They always provided good suggestions on how to modify the workout to avoid aggravating the injury more. I love how all the coaches balance pushing you to do more and making sure we don’t hurt ourselves in the process by loading up too heavy or performing exercises with bad form.

Why do you keep coming back to Lincoln Nutrition & Fitness?

The community and excellent coaches are what keeps me coming back. I love the group classes, working out with the other members. Pushing each other is what keeps me motivated every time. 

How do you balance health & fitness with a busy schedule? How do you stay so consistent in the gym?

I know that I want to stay in good shape for my family and I know coming into the gym will help with my mental health as well. Prioritizing my time to workout and planning it in advance helps me. It almost becomes a non-negotiable at that point for me to go into the gym.

How does CrossFit help you with your job? How does CrossFit affect the rest of your life?

I sit a lot throughout my workday, so coming into the gym is a great way for me to get moving. It helps me stay in shape to be able to stay active with my family. At the same time, it also provides me with an outlet to reset my mind. I always leave the gym in a happier mood and I carry that feeling throughout the day.

What is your favorite thing about Lincoln Nutrition & Fitness: Home of CrossFit Lincoln?

The welcoming environment and like-minded people are ultimately what makes this place so special. It’s a safe space to come and workout. Both the coaches and members are all so positive, it rubs off in a positive way and makes you want to come back!

We are so excited to see you and your family grow Cedric, and have the opportunity to be positively impacted by you,

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