Trainer Vanessa Rouse

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CF-L1, Ph.D

I was born in Brazil and have been very active in sports since I was 3 years old. Falling in love with gymnastics at an early age led to rhythm gymnastics, then swimming, track, volleyball, and tennis in high school. In 1995, I earned a tennis scholarship to play in the U.S., soon becoming team captain, then assistant coach and, while working on my Master’s degree, became the Head Tennis Coach at Texas Woman’s University. I transferred to the University of Arkansas in 2001, married, taught University level fitness and sports courses, and P.E. at public elementary schools. I became a mother of two “non-stop” boys before graduating in 2009 from the UofA with a Ph.D. in Kinesiology. Being a super busy mom and teaching Special Education at a public middle school left no room for me to exercise. I was becoming unhealthy, stressed out, and unhappy. I knew I had to make a change. I decided to retire from my teaching job and pursue a healthier lifestyle, so I started doing P90X, Insanity, and Insanity Asylum. They were challenging, but after a while home exercises became boring, and I was craving something more! I watched the CrossFit Games on television. It looked super challenging but fun! I thought to myself, “Wow, I wish I could do that!” So inspired by what the women were capable of doing, I searched online for CrossFit gyms and found CrossFit Fayetteville. After one class, I was hooked! I love the variety of workouts, the support from coaches and other athletes, the friendly environment, and the music! In March 2015, I was booked to compete on the American Ninja Warrior show! However, 5 days later, I tore my ACL at a Ninja Warrior gym and couldn’t be on the show. When I told Hiedi I had injured myself, she motivated me to keep training, work my upper body, and modified and adapted some lower body exercises for me. I truly believe that the CrossFit workouts helped me recover faster and perform better during my rehab! Hiedi, together with a former coach at CrossFit Fayetteville, provided amazing support for me during this tough and stressful time. I am now back to CrossFit, rock climbing, and OCR races! On May 30th, 2016, my 8 year old son and I did the CrossFit “Murph” at the ASN Memorial Day Moving Together, where he ran 2 miles, did 50 strict pull-ups, 100 push-ups, and 150 air squats! My son’s grit and determination motivated me to get my CF-L1 certificate to become a trainer, and later, acquire my CrossFit Kids certificate. I am excited about the opportunity to inspire my boys and other children to become super fit and excel in their sports! I want to share my passion for CrossFit and motivate others to push beyond their limits and love it!