Isabel Perez: No Fear of the Standard

By Coach Bethany Chan

Isabel had been a commercial gym member before, but realized she needed that extra push, someone to direct her and focus her workouts, and found that CrossFit met that extra push in 2018. When she moved to El Monte from Riverside earlier in 2021, she had to find a new gym. She Googled nearby CrossFit places and found Reason Fitness – the CrossFit gym closest to her phone. Isabel came to Reason with goals to participate in competitive CrossFit, stay fit with her daughter, and lose weight, and she’s been making good on those goals. 

Ever since she started at Reason, Isabel has noted the advantage of being coached with high standards. That’s one of the things she loves about Reason – coaches analyze what you’re doing and if there’s anything that can be improved, they’ll fix it. Isabel recognizes the importance of high quality, efficient movement especially with the goal of competing in CrossFit. Flawless technique can make all the difference in conserving energy and sustaining high intensity through a workout. The other day Drew gave her a tip on her toes-to-bar, urging her to pull her head back and use her lats more, which made the movement 30 times easier. It blew her mind to realize such a small cue towards more efficient movement could make a workout much easier (no less painful, but easier). 

Reflecting back on when she started CrossFit, Isabel recalls that she was always cautious about performing Olympic lifts,  especially the clean. It was one of those hated movements that she’d see written on the board and groan internally. But after working with Miguel on her clean technique – improving her foot positioning, focusing on her shoulder and squat mobility – she’s found that she can lift a lot more than she ever thought she could. She doesn’t hate the clean anymore. Isabel loves that push that every coach at Reason has given her, not settling for “just okay” movement, but requiring the highest standard of training.  She notices it’s not just the coach of the class she’s in, but anytime a coach walks by even if they’re not coaching, they’re not too busy to interject a helpful cue or bit of advice as she participates in class.  

Working out at Reason has also helped Isabel and her daughter stay on track with their health and fitness. One of the biggest motivators in her fitness journey is her kids, and it’s a joy that she can work alongside her daughter, who was on the school track team and doing weight training for it, to accomplish their goals together. She and her daughter have been encouraging each other through their lifting and workouts, keeping each other accountable.

While Isabel reports she’s always been hard on herself, she realizes that she’s seeing results faster than expected. She’s seen a difference in her leg muscles and strength, and ability to endure running. She hasn’t forgotten the wisdom Miguel gave her about the importance of a balance between training and recovery. It’s not just about going 100% max effort running every day, but about recovery and giving her body time to rest, and about fueling herself properly with food. She’s received Miguel’s guidance with grace and coach-ability, a valuable trait that has lended itself to herself seeing swift results in the past six months.

Isabel has some sage advice to offer the Reason community:

“Give yourself time to accomplish your goals – it takes time and small steps, not leaps and bounds; keep at it, have patience”. 

Isabel certainly sets the example in chasing that higher standard with patience, and not only tolerating the push to improve from her Reason coaches, but welcoming it. Coachability is a powerful asset to her aspiration towards her fitness goals, and it’s just the beginning. We’re here for it, Isabel!

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